This is a story about an international couple raising and home educating three young boys on a small island in Japan, half living in buses, engaged in organic, self-sufficient farming in the middle of a mountain forest while dealing with climate, cultural, and personal challenges. These pages are about pretty much anything and everything all guided by our family motto, Taking Chances, Making Changes, Being Happy. Thank you very much for joining us on our ongoing crazy adventure.

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- Neither one of us are really online picture people but trying to be now because of the baby. Anyway, this picture is obviously of me and Akiko in our home. Akiko is looking very pregnant now.
Us again.
Side view.
Side view.
- Fishing at Ocean Beach.Yup, we bought our Einstein bagels, coffee, and headed out to the pier. The OB pier is the longest concrete pier on the West Coast and is complete with fish cleaning sinks, bathrooms, and a really cool cafe and bait shop. Today the fishing sucked though. The waves were really high and fun for the surfers but not for those of us fishing.
Yeah, looking cool with our fishing shades on. We are pretty well known at this place and usually catch something even when nobody else does....but not today. A couple of weeks ago we caught a lot of sardines. Looking forward to the real fishing season which really begins sometime next month.
- Mother's Day.We went out and bought lunch and ate at Mission Trails park, which is about a mile from our home. This is actually one of the largest urban parks in the country. The main feature is Cowles Mountain which is the highest point in the City of San Diego.
We spent a quiet evening at home. We made a nice BBQ with dessert. No worries everyone. The wine glass in Akiko's hand is only for the picture. She only gets to drink like a teaspoon of wine once or twice a week. She really misses wine though.
- Do not buy Farm Raised Fish. Yesterday Akiko and I went to our favorite Vons supermarket to buy some fish. We intended to BBQ and now that she is pregnant, we keep a close watch on what she eats. We know most types of wild fish contain unhealthy amounts of mercury and have limited meat consumption to mostly chicken the last few months. Anyway, we bought a nice piece of "Atlantic Salmon", brought it home, sprinkled it with butter, garlic, and pepper and then went online until dinner.
Studying Japanese - Although I can speak Japanese, I am still far from perfect. With other work somewhat caught up, I decided to begin studying again in preparation for moving to Japan next year. I plan to use the 1600 page Japanese site I made and add to it as my studying progresses.
I found a website with old Japanese stories with audio. The story for today is at this link.
- Your Obligation to Your Kids. Now I am well into the second week of working out. Although I am pretty active, now it seems more like I am on a mission to be in better condition. Why? The answer is simple....A baby is on the way.
- Save the "Chuck" Show.Yup, I was logging out of Hotmail and lo and behold, there was a story about which shows will be cancelled next season. NBC, in its infinite wisdom has decided not to reschedule the “Chuck” show next fall due to poor ratings. Notice I said “not to reschedule” as opposed to canceled. It seems there is still a chance to save the show if fans get out and initiate some sort of action to keep it on the air.
- More Japanese Study. I decided to use an old Japanese cartoon, which was turned into a TV show, for Japanese listening practice. The show deals with family stuff and uses Japanese found in everyday situations. Someone was kind enough to put tons of episodes online.
Sazae san (さざえさん) shows

I found these videos on the site which explain about various aspects of Japanese society in videos of anywhere from 3-5 minutes. This is the best way to learn a language since you can repeat the videos over and over until you eventually understand everything. This particular video is about Bonsai.
Bonsai - Nature's Beauty in Miniature
- Maybe Next Time. As "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry," so it is with fishing plans for tomorrow. With good intentions, I made ice for the coolers, bought lunch, prepared all the fishing stuff, and then this afternoon, I began to feel like crap. What I thought was allergies might be the flu, pretty much canceling fishing plans for tomorrow. Still going to try for Sunday though.
- Pretty Average Day. Nothing much to talk about today. Pretty much stayed home trying to feel better. Me and the wife enjoyed a long dinner outside talking about lots of stuff.
- Meteorologists. Question? In what profession can you lie to the public on a daily basis and still get paid for it? Meteorologist. Hey I wanted to be a meteorologist for many years and really feel weird about slamming these guys….but come on. A couple days ago they said it was supposed to be close to 100 inland and in the 70’s on the coast today. Then they changed the forecast. We went fishing really early today and guess what? It was cold and drizzling at the coast. We ate our bagels, drank our coffee, and came home without even setting up. We went back to the bagel shop for more coffee and came home again. Ah….a couple of disappointed fishing people. We should get some type of award for our acting job in this picture. Maybe next time.

Earthquake. For those of you who don’t already know, Southern California was shaken, not stirred tonight. Nope, not the latest James Bond film. This was a 4.7 magnitude earthquake (地震) centered in the Greater Los Angeles area. The earthquake occurred at approximately 8:39 pm and was felt in San Diego. This planet is shaking everyday. Want Proof? Click any of the following links for more information about earthquakes.
Recent Earthquakes - California, Nevada
Recent Earthquakes - United States
Recent Earthquakes - The World
USGS Education Materials
- Another Crappy Fishing Trip. Hey, we went fishing once again. This time we went with Valerie for a few hours, in the afternoon this time. The temperatures were barely tolerable and we caught only two fish. Probably stay away from fishing until next month when things should warm up a bit. Anyway, we enjoyed a nice BBQ back at our place.
- The Missing Link. Hey folks, pretty big news in the science community. Even if you're not into this sort of thing, you should at least check this out. Pretty cool. A discovery of a 47 million-year-old fossil primate that is said to be a human ancestor was announced and unveiled Tuesday at a press conference in New York City. Known as "Ida," the nearly complete transitional fossil is 20 times older than most fossils that provide evidence for human evolution. It shows characteristics from the very primitive non-human evolutionary line (prosimians, such as lemurs), but is more related to the human evolutionary line (anthropoids, such as monkeys, apes and humans), said Norwegian paleontologist Jørn Hurum of the University of Oslo Natural History Museum. However, she is not really an anthropoid either, he said.
Read the full story
Watch the video
- Another Picnic in the Park. Yup, recently Akiko and I spend a lot of time relaxing. We go walking for over an hour every morning after breakfast. We come home, do a few things around the house, and then head to the park or other location for a picnic. These days we are spending a lot of time with friends and enjoy being able to meet outside. We are hoping to meet friends as much as possible now before we move to Japan at the end of this year.
- Happy Birthday Dad. I want to take a moment to wish my Dad Happy Birthday. I learned many things from him and I miss him very much. I plan to get the old pictures out and post them this Summer.
- Beginning of the Holiday Weekend. Yup, lots of plans for this weekend. Tomorrow our friend is coming for dinner. Then Sunday is the Food Fair. Monday, it will be the two of us for a nice BBQ at home. Actually we BBQ'd tonight. If any of you are stuck for what to make, try teriyaki chicken. Really easy. Simply mix sugar and soy sauce in a bowl....add amounts to suit your tastes. Then cut chicken into small chunks. Marinate in the mixture for a few hours. Put the chunks on metal skewers. That's it. Easy stuff and delicious.
- Dinner With Our Friend. We went for our walk today then, later in the day, ate dinner at our place with our friend Masako. Pretty much sticking to my wine rule....only drinking when guests come over, or when visiting a friend, or when attending a local function. Really miss the occasional glass of wine with dinner but trying to show support for Akiko who misses wine about 100 times more. This will be a BBQ holiday weekend until we return to our normal Japanese food menu next week.
- 30th Annual Ethnic Food Fair at Balboa Park, San Diego, California. We went to the Food Fair again this year, and as usual, it was a really nice event. The food was delicious and the entertainment was fantastic. We ate a combination plate from the House of India, fried bread with from the House of Hungary, and eggrolls from the House of China. We saw Meenakshi Jain and her husband Rakesh at the event. Meenakshi works with the House of India and coordinates this event. We met a few friends, came home, and made a BBQ again.
Me, Akiko, and Masako sitting on the lawn in front of the entertainment stage. Still pretty early.
Um, same picture. We bought food from the House of India.
Ayumi and Yuka hanging out and waiting to get some food.
This turned out to be our group. Much smaller actually than last year. We stayed until 3:00 pm. Some of our other friends came at 2:00 pm but we missed each other.
Yeah, Yeah. Too cute, huh?
Me and Akiko eating the fried bread thingy from the house of
This is pretty much a standard purchase every year. This is fried bread from the House of Hungary. The toppings include cheese, sour cream, and garlic. It was smaller this year but the taste was still incredible.
Another standard purchase every year. This is the combo plate from the House of India. A few of our friends are from India and I should know the names of these foods but I keep forgetting. I know the bread is called nan bread. Anyway, the food is pretty spicy which both of us like.
Me, and Akiko with our friends Rakesh and Meenakshi Jain with their two kids. We met Meenakshi a few years ago at a House of India performance in Balboa Park. We became friends and spent a wonderful evening at their house last year. Hoping to spend a lot more time with them in the coming weeks. Meenakshi is very involved with the House of India and the lawn program at Balboa Park. Last year I made several videos of the House of India performances. Definitely worth watching.
Pretty much the same picture again.
A belly dancer performing at the event.
- Memorial Day. Akiko and I made a nice BBQ for the holiday. Tomorrow is back to business and getting ready for many changes.
- Stolen Registration Sticker. Really pissed me off. The other day a friend of ours came for dinner. We all went out shopping together. We came back home and she said, "Where is your sticker" after looking at the back of my truck. Someone stole the sticker. It took a trip to DMV and 18 bucks to straighten it all out.

Additional Note – US Mission to the Moon. A friend of mine sent an article about the US mission to the Moon. It would seem the entire mission is now being questioned in a Russian newspaper. Pretty interesting reading.
Full Story
- Workout. Today was back to the regular workout schedule after taking it easy and eating a bit too much over the Memorial Day holiday. Really working now to get those 6 Pak abs back again. Why? Because Peyton Manning said it was impossible. Yeah, when it comes to Mannings, prefer the Giants over the Colts anytime.
- Drama. Found a site with tons of Japanese movies and dramas to use for my Japanese studies. This particular drama is a love story revolving around a bowling alley. The English subtitles are a bit of a distraction.
Full Bowling Drama
Japanese Dramas
Japanese Movies
- Favicons. Really not warm today and we decided to stay in and finish up a few site projects. Finally installed the Favicons on the sites. Favicons? This is techie talk for Favorite Icon. These are basically the little pictures you see in your favorites list and on your browser tabs when you visit different sites. Brings a lot more attention to the sites. Check out the Favicon for this site.
- Do You Want to Relax? Before I explain, um....let me explain. Really not warm again today. Planning to stay in again and finish up more projects. Kind of recovering from a bottle of Cabernet last night, not to mention hours of watching a Japanese drama. Anyway, this company made some pretty cool scenes you can watch to relax. Click the following link, then click YORITSUKI on the sidebar, then click ENTER, then click Day or Night. Be sure to turn up the sound on your computer. It might take a couple minutes to load. Worth the wait for sure. Enjoy.
Hybrid Scenes From Japan
- Facebook Post - Registration sticker on my truck was stolen. Really pissed me off.
- Cyborg She. My Japanese studies continue on, this time with a semi-popular movie called "Cyborg She", starring Haruka Ayase. I watched this movie last night and decided it was good enough for me to write about it today. This is basically a love story with a little bit of the Three Stooges and Terminator thrown in. Really funny, and even if you are not studying Japanese, the English subtitles make it worth watching. Besides Haruka Ayase is simply beautiful. Anyway, the following links provide plenty of information in English and in Japanese. Note: The first link cuts out the last few minutes of the movie. You can watch the end of the movie on the YouTube link.
Click to watch the movie, Cyborg She
YouTube Version, Cyborg She
Wikipedia - Cyborg She in English
Wikipedia - Cyborg She 日本語で
Wikipedia - Haruka Ayase in English
Wikipedia - Haruka Ayase 日本語で