home repair repair repair ...

2019-02-20 TOKYO, JAPAN -- At our house in Tokyo, the contractors are smoothing the sheetrock surfaces and hanging wallpaper.

The entrance to the house is where in-coming equipment is stored. From left to right: the vanity sink, the steam convection oven, and toilet.

commercial kitchen show

2019-02-19 TOKYO, JAPAN -- I visited a trade show for owners and managers of restaurants and hotels. Vendors exhibited services and equipment.

Alas, no photography allowed

I noticed 3 things:

(1) The booths are huge. Some vendors rented space exceeding 30 x 30 meters. They had full-size kitchens and tables for customers. Wow!
(2) The buyers expect respect. Chefs typically work (or should I say slave) for several years before advancing to leadership positions. They are proud and can be haughty.
(3) Many vendors offer food samples but (surprise) you don't get full! Buy from vendors who give you all the food you want to taste and test.

valentine's day

2019-02-14 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Valentine's Day!

All the boys got chocolate from Noriko.

Today is the 20th anniversary of my submitting my PhD dissertation. At my department (at that time) we revised our dissertation after the defense. This was the last step before commencement.

snow festival

2019-02-10 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Sapporo has its snow festival in early February each year. Noriko and I walked the streets to see the sights.

The Japanese army builds some snow sculptures. The army signals group built the Helsinki cathedral shown below.

The army's 11th artillery built sculptures of a rock band that comes to life with projected lights and powerful music. (The picture below has low quality because it is a screenshot of a movie I took.)
180210_Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 11.36.51

A freight train traverses the landscape. Night-time sculptures are colorful.

180210_Screen Shot 2019-02-14 at 11.40.47

In daylight, the snow statues are all white.

Frozen aquarium.

Pink Frog meets Ice Frog.


2019-02-05 NIIGATA AND OTARU, JAPAN -- I took another ferry back from Tokyo via Niigata to Sapporo.

Azalea was launched in 2014 for the Shin-Nihonkai Ferry line.

Plenty of deck space!

My cabin was slightly smaller than the
Kitakami but no complaints. Same off-season discount -- a cabin for 2 for the price of 1.

The TV has an HDMI input port so that I can connect my laptop or digital camera.

The shower has fantastic water volume and pressure.

Pick-and-pay cafeteria. I had beef stew,
nikujaga (pork and potatoes in sweet soy sauce broth), veggie salad, and a big bowl of rice.

home repair continues

2019-02-03 TOKYO, JAPAN -- Our house repair is progressing. Work halted several times while the construction crew waited for materials to be delivered. We were unable to order materials before start of construction because nobody knew what needed to be repaired until the ceiling, walls, and floors were removed.

We installed sound-absorbing ceiling tiles to reduce sound reflection. The eye bolts are for Noriko. She intends to relax in hanging chairs and hammocks.

The shoddy workmanship of the original owners of the house gives us no end of headaches. Our construction crew fixes as much as they can.

Cross section of our new flooring material. The top layer is decorative. The middle layers support the weight. The bottom sponge layer cushions the floor, so that if people or objects were to fall on the floor, the shock would be reduced. The total thickness of this composite flooring is 19 millimeters. We installed this on top of our existing 2 layers of flooring material. The floor is now over 30 millimeters thick.

The ceiling is ready. The walls need to be papered. The floor is ready.

Glass sliding doors were replaced. The old doors (see above photo) were clear on the top half and frosted on the bottom half. The new doors are a single pane of clear reinforced glass, so the room feels airier and more naked than before.