2019

home repair

2019-01-05 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We have been repairing and remodeling our house in Tokyo. It is partly an irritating process, because the building should have been demolished (it was not built to code) when we obtained it. Alas we are stuck with it. Our contractor team is removing or replacing faulty plumbing, and insulating and sealing the drafty house. I am determined to make the best out of a poor situation.

We ripped out the old ceiling, walls, and part of the floor. We are insulating and sealing all inside surfaces. Already the room feels warmer. The ceiling has been sheet-rocked. The walls will be too, as soon as the electrical outlets are installed. We will add a layer above the existing floor to reduce sound propagating downstairs.
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This corner is where the new sink and
steam convection oven will go. I am excited to cook for my extended family!
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We are aiming for a spacious room where we can cook, laugh, watch movies, and (gasp) play music.
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archery event

2019-01-02 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We went to the Oomiya Hachimangu, a shinto shrine about 2 km south of our Tokyo house. After praying for purity for the new year, we watched an archery ceremony conducted on the shrine grounds.

The event consists of 2 ceremonies. In the 1st ceremony, an arrow with a ceremonial whistling arrowhead is shot. The whistling sound wards off evil. In ancient times, the sound signaled the opening of battle. In the 2nd ceremony, 6 archers shoot 2 arrows each. This is a ceremonial competition, where the symbolism within the rituals is more important than the shooting.
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The target is large and fairly close to the archers. The objective is to cleanse body and spirit, not necessarily to hit the bullseye (although all 13 shots did hit it).
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happy new year

2019-01-01 SAPPORO AND TOKYO, JAPAN -- Happy New Year everybody! Best wishes to all of you!

Screenshots from "
Dream Girlfriend" (虹色カノジョ). My grand-daughters have been collecting cute outfits.
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