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

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Noriko and Keiko ordered a commemorative manju (a steamed bun filled with sweetened black bean paste).
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This behemoth is about the size of a child's head. It contains 7 tiny manju with colored bean paste.
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Dad is a master gardener. We took group photos in his garden.
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edix

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.
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Cloudy, cool, breezy, comfortable day.
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We attend EDIX each year. Recently they started doing shows in Osaka. Glad to see growing interest in the field.
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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.
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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.
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The pork is dipped in egg sauce, then in flour, for 3 times. No
panko (bread crumbs) are used.
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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.
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Japan's law recently changed. They now require smoke detectors (at last!).
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Our new made-in-Japan units come with 10-year batteries.
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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.
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Let there be light!
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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.
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He autographed his CD for me.
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Ben is spearheading a movement to change all jazz venues in Sapporo into non-smoking establishments. Thanks Ben! That transformation is way overdue!
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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.
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My trumpet case sits on a chair besides me.
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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.
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I can view my spectrogram and tuner together. I don't need 2 tablets but I happen to have them so I enjoy them.
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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.
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The restaurant seats 130. The place was packed! Tonight's performance doubled as a recruiting event for new members.
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A former student of ours, a trombone player, is the band leader this year.
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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!
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Ivy earned her MA in language learning last month. She teaches at 4 universities in Sapporo city.
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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!
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Silver polishing cloth to the rescue!
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Yecch!
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Ta dah!
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I replaced the piston felts too. The G17 glue is used by repair people at Yamaha.
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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.
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Lots of graphic artists and manga artists ready to visualize your concepts.
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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.
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This is my first time replacing the battery of this particular laptop.
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The old battery swelled to over 5 times its original thickness. Glad I disposed of it in time!
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