Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Years!

Well 2010 is all but done and dusted and already 2011 is starting to shape up well. It's been a mixed year personally with health issues from bust fingers to allergies (nothing serious, but just small niggly stuff one after the other). I'm not all that sure if the year's flown by or taken forever because there's been a lot to fit in and some of it seems like so long ago. Congratulations goes out to my wife for completing her Hula training course earlier this year. That was a big coup for her. Also thanks to our fantastic landlords for their hospitality and friendship over the year. We're really enjoying our new place and the ocean views and sunrises. (BTW, best of luck with the new addition in 2011). Also, I'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone I work with daily, the students, their parents, the staff at head office and other teachers I've worked with over the year. I guess that none of you, except maybe 1 or 2 will ever see this, but you guys help my world tick along smoothly and bring joy to my days.  Also, all of Aiko's Hula Halau members and their families as well as all my friends in the surfing fraternity here in Kamogawa and elsewhere for the good times.

Looking down the track, January is already looking like a cracker with friends visiting and a trip home to see family and Nana.

It's already off to a good start with a new table and chairs we bought and put together this evening.

 IKEA Home Furnishings in Funabashi, Chiba.
 Last sunset of 2010 as we turn off the highway on the way home.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas (Eve) Party on the hill.

 A few crackers to kick start things.
 Above and below, brother and sister, when kids get behind the lens and start shooting the subjects like to get their funky face on.
 Below, the kids are putting the finishing touches on their Christmas cake.
 The finished product!
Mahalo and Merry Christmas everyone.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Unajin in Wada

 Select raw veges and miso
 Great company
 My FAVORITE! Skewered river eel grilled with wasabi topping
Here's to a great 2011!


Huge thanks to our friends in Hachijojima for the flowers. サンダーソニア, are also commonly referred to as Christmas Bells and Chinese Lanterns. They brighten up our living room and are a nice seasonal touch as well as a reminder of the good (tropical) times we had on our trip earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010




2010 Winding down

It's that time of year again. School has two more days of classes for 2010 and then it's a much earned break. Year end parties are sprouting up everywhere and of course there's X'mas. I finally got a couple of X'mas cards sent away to NZ/Germany today, so no doubt they'll be a little late (sorry 'bout that). As for X'mas day....I have a dentist appointment at 9:30 in the morning. Nothing serious though, I hope, but it may curtail some of the regular Christmas goodies that I can eat that day :(

Last Sunday a few people from work got together for a bit of a Year End party in Mobara (half way between here and Tokyo). It was more or less the same bunch of people that partook in the Summer Camp earlier in the year. It also meant that I had to ride the train! It was actually the first time in about a year (since Amanda visited) that I've ridden the train which is unheard of for most people living in Japan. Anyway, I got a bit carried away and took a few photos amongst all the downtime.

 The 'View' is the express train from Tokyo.
 Looking north from the platform.
 Me waiting for the train to depart. Traveling light with the bag my dad gave me for X'mas last year.
 JT doing their best to help teach smoking etiquette to the 'bad smoker'

 Face off.
 A deserted station in Katsuura on the way home.
 Look out! Here it comes. Our train home.


This is for my friends that are traveling to NZ with me soon to help with the motivation to save up over the next month or so. Fingers crossed we get waves like they scored at each of the events in the Hyundai 2010 Longboard Tour.

So, for those with a spare 20 mins or so, sit down, crack open a cold beer or coke or whatever, and enjoy...

More Surfing Videos

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Treats or Necessities?

Santa came early this year. I splashed out on some much needed/wanted items. Stoked to be warm in my new FLORdesign Wetsuit from BLOOM SURF SHOP, riding a newish (used) board, "Mackerel", from JS (first one in about 5 years) and wearing a sick as hat from RULZPEEPS. All is good in the 'gawa.

Toasting Bill

 Long time friend and sidekick, Bill, is never far from our thoughts. After dinner out and a couple of beers we came back to our 'mansion' and ducked into the bar in the lobby for a quite couple to top the night off. Here's to Bill and his family! MERRY X'MAS BRUTHA!
A classy German beer to kick things off given that that is where he now resides.
 Followed by a couple of TSINGTAO's since the last time we visited them they were in HK.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Kids Marathon Race

All the local elementary schools in the area have been practicing hard for their respective 'Marathon Races'. The students run various courses based upon their grade at school, but usually range somewhere from 1000m to 2000m or so.
Kamogawa Elementary School runs their races along the beach front near my place, the perfect place if you ask me and no doubt the envy of other local schools. When I went out on the balcony to check on all the raucous going on I saw everything was in full swing and had to go and see it first hand. I grabbed my camera and was out the door in a flash.
 Little ones receiving their last instructions.
Off to a flier!
 4th graders (I think) starting out.
 6th graders just getting into their stride.
 Supporters lining the finishing straight.
 Finishers in the shade lining up for their official placings.
 Not 1st.
Nearly there, ganbatte!

Congratulations to all the participants. They all gave it everything, right to the finish. Fantastic team spirit demonstrated by one and all! otsukarisama

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fantastic Weekend!

Perfect weather Sunday and Monday with temps in the 18-19 degree range meant for a perfect weekend at the beach.
We woke up early on Sunday as we were giving friends a hand with their annual user's surf contest (JS SURFBOARDS) which was held down in Wada. The sunrise was picture perfect and when we got to the surf point this is what greeted us.
There were fun peaks up and down the beach which were breaking really good, especially on the lower tide.
There was a great turn out and the surfing level was very high across all classes with one guy even scoring a perfect 10 point ride in the semis!
Yoge-san, a surfer/skater/artist/photographer, drew some art on a special award for the biggest impact.
Then on Monday, I spent most of the day out long boarding at Seaside with friends. Dave and his family were down there and he was taking photos and snapped these two of me. The first, a close-up of a hang-five looking back at the beach is super cool. I really like the perspective, a little different from the point and shoot from the beach angle.
The second is this cruisy hang-ten. I don't often get good nose rides, so Dave was on his game to capture the moment. (Thanks buddy)
 Shu was there too and his camera firing away as well.
Thanks everyone for the good times (and the photos) this weekend. I had a blast!