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Having nowhere else to practice, Miho and I have been spending quite a few Saturdays playing our violins in Yoyogi park. Every so often, people come up and talk to us, take pictures, etc. (No money yet though). We still haven't worked up the courage to play in a more public location, such as in front of a train station like other bands do, but we're planning on it. It would be nice though if we had a couple more musicians to accompany us, like a guitarist or a pianist....

yoyogi park fiddle


I'm an uncle! After more than 9 months of waiting, my sister Cathy and her husband Tyler finally had their first baby. Meet Annabelle Calista Bailey, born on June 30th (almost a Canada day baby!) and weighing 8 pounds and 13 ounces. It's hard to say who she looks more like, I can see some of both of her parents in her. I'm disapointed that I couldn't be there in person, I guess I'll have to wait until Christmas of this year until I get to meet her.



So it's like Canada day eh? To celebrate the forming of our great nation, me and a couple other patriotic Canadian hosers went to Yoyogi park where the Candian Wheat Board along with the CCCJ were serving a complementary pancake breakfast complete with real maple syrup! Afterwards there was beer, hotdogs and cake. Here's me finishing my extra large Moosehead beer. By the way, I'm not alone in the park, the tent and everyone else are in front of me.

canada day yoyogi park


Here's my ultimate team 'Small Axe' (in green) the winners of the 2004 Tajima ulitimate tournament in Tajima, Hyogo. This year however we came in second. We lost 11-10 to 'the Kinki Trolls'. What a game it was too! So close it could easily have gone either way. Besides playing in the tournament, we spent the weekend camping, barbequing and drinking with the other teams (there were 12), plus going to an amazing onsen. Unfortunately it rained a lot, but still a great time.

small axe ultimate tajima


Having offered my own line of shirts and other junk online for all this time, I finally decided to get a t-shirt for myself. Pretty studly eh? I bet you all wish you could walk around with Woody on your back. Just how nice are they though? Well at $15.99 the price was pretty good, but an extra $7.00 shipping made it not so good. The shirt quality is not bad, and it fits fairly well, but you can see where they ironed on the images, not exactly high quality. Anyway what are you waiting for? Order today!

woody tshirt


This is what waited for me when I came home one Saturday evening. There had been an earthquake during the afternoon, not too big but not small either. Anyway I opened my door to find my mirror had fallen down and smashed on the floor. The big pieces are easy to see, but there were thousands of smaller, dagger-like pieces also lying around everywhere, even, as I painfully discovered at night, in my bed. First time that an earthquake caused me any damage. Kind of scary....



Here's lake Tazawa in Akita prefecture, the first stop on my week long summer vacation. Akita is in the northern part of Japan and lake Tazawa has the distinction of being the deepest lake in Japan. I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only is the water clean and clear (unlike most lakes in Japan), but there was a nice beach as well. After years of putting up with saltwater and pools, I was dying for a swim in freshwater, I am Canadian after all. Needless to say I wasn't disappointed.

tazawa lake


I met some interesting people in the youth hostels I stayed at. One of the guys (in the middle) even had a car and he drove me and a few others around Northern Japan for a while, taking in some sites that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to go to alone. We went to a few onsens, (see below) as well as Lake Towada, another beautiful lake.

tazawa youth hostel


Back to onsens again. Actually the above guys and I went to about four onsens on this trip, but Nyuto onsen was the most memorable for two reasons. One was the colour of the water which you can see is a chalky white ('nyu' means 'milk'), and the other is the fact that it was a mixed onsen, meaning that men and women bathe together (naked of course), which apparently is pretty popular in the country-side. Well there were about 8 guys but zero women came to join us. At first I was relieved... then later on disppointed....

nyuto onsen



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