diamond wedding

2018-05-19 FUJISAWA, JAPAN -- Noriko's parents celebrated their 60th anniversary.

Being happily married for that long is an accomplishment. Being healthy to enjoy celebrating is cause for double celebration!

We ordered gorgeous boxed lunches. I was astonished that mom and dad finished theirs. They usually eat light.


Noriko and Keiko ordered a commemorative manju (a steamed bun filled with sweetened black bean paste).

This behemoth is about the size of a child's head. It contains 7 tiny manju with colored bean paste.

Dad is a master gardener. We took group photos in his garden.


2018-05-17 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We attended EDIX, a trade show for technology in learning.

We rode the
yurikamome train. The automated trains are unmanned (no driver or conductor), and are monitored remotely.

Cloudy, cool, breezy, comfortable day.

We attend EDIX each year. Recently they started doing shows in Osaka. Glad to see growing interest in the field.

tonkatsu lunch

2018-05-05 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We had lunch at our favorite tonkatsu restaurant Tonki.

I was in high school when I went to Tonki the first time. A biology teacher took us to the main store in Meguro.

An elderly couple runs the store. Their business hours are reduced these days, and the prices are a tad high, but the technique and flavor are superb.

The pork is dipped in egg sauce, then in flour, for 3 times. No
panko (bread crumbs) are used.

smoke detectors

2018-05-05 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We replaced our smoke detector, and added 4 more.

This is our old detector that I installed 22 years ago. I brought it from America.

Japan's law recently changed. They now require smoke detectors (at last!).

Our new made-in-Japan units come with 10-year batteries.

motion sensor lights

2018-04-29 TOKYO, JAPAN -- During a 10-day series of national holidays, we returned to Tokyo.

My brother Kan replaced a motion-sensor light fixture for us. The old units were installed by him 22 years ago.

Let there be light!

ben jansson sextet

2018-04-21 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Ben Jansson and his sextet performed at the jazz bar Jamusica.

Ben is a professional sax player, who writes and performs his own songs. Tonight all music was his original.

He autographed his CD for me.

Ben is spearheading a movement to change all jazz venues in Sapporo into non-smoking establishments. Thanks Ben! That transformation is way overdue!

practice in the recording studio

2018-04-15 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- I enjoy practicing my trumpet in the recording studio at work.

This tiny soundproofed room is for recording foreign language material for use in language classes. I use the room when nobody is using it.

My trumpet case sits on a chair besides me.

I put my 2 iPads (a large and a small tablet) side by side on a book stand I brought from America. The loudspeaker is for practicing with backing music.

I can view my spectrogram and tuner together. I don't need 2 tablets but I happen to have them so I enjoy them.

big band hokkyoku

2018-04-14 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Hokkaido University's student big band Hokkyoku (north pole) performed at the Party House Fiesta.

Fiesta is owned by my former trumpet teacher Izuru Konishi. We chatted before the show. I learned that Izuru is still teaching a few students. I left so that he could focus on his new business.

The restaurant seats 130. The place was packed! Tonight's performance doubled as a recruiting event for new members.

A former student of ours, a trombone player, is the band leader this year.

ivy lin at jamusica

2018-04-13 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- Ivy Lin, our former graduate student, sang at the jazz bar Jamusica.

Jamusica is now smoke free! Yay!

Ivy earned her MA in language learning last month. She teaches at 4 universities in Sapporo city.

polished trumpet

2018-04-07 SAPPORO, JAPAN -- The morning after I returned alone to Sapporo, I spent 150 minutes straight polishing my tarnished silver-plated trumpet. I'm surprised that I didn't even go to the restroom. I was totally obsessed with cleaning.

My Yamaha YTR-8310Z was already black before I left Sapporo 8 months ago. It's blacker now!

Silver polishing cloth to the rescue!


Ta dah!

I replaced the piston felts too. The G17 glue is used by repair people at Yamaha.

artificial intelligence trade show

2018-04-04 TOKYO, JAPAN -- We visited a trade show about artificial intelligence and content.

I cannot believe the number of vendors selling AI-related products and services.

Lots of graphic artists and manga artists ready to visualize your concepts.

replace laptop battery

2018-04-01 TOKYO, JAPAN -- Noriko's laptop battery gave up the ghost.

This MacBookAir is easy to open and upgrade. Some years ago, I replaced the hard disk with a solid state drive.

This is my first time replacing the battery of this particular laptop.

The old battery swelled to over 5 times its original thickness. Glad I disposed of it in time!