Quote Of The Week

Whatever it is that you think you want to do, and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that, stop making excuses. You can do anything.

Katia Beauchamp, Co-founder and CEO, Birchbox

Assorted Fish Highlights

Precious Strawberry Haichu

Seasonal flavor of one of my favorite Japanese candies 🙂

Homemade Okaki

Made from New Year’s omochi!

Indian Summer Saison

Dondo Yaki

The Japanese tradition of burning New Year’s items to ensure good luck, health, and success. This little bonfire took place at a shrine near my home.

Pizza Hut

Can you guess how much this ‘L’ sized pizza cost (which really amounts to an actual small sized pizza by American standards) — 3500 yen (mindblown). But sometimes you just simply need a pizza in your life, even if it’s priced like premium Apple product.

Africa Pale Ale

A very much needed EOW (end of week) beer.


Tiring week! The raging snow here in Sapporo is enough to drain my energy levels. All the snow shoveling involved is killer. I thought shoveling snow in our last couple apartments were bad…

The house we live in now does have a car port, so I’m spared from having to clear snow off of that. However, instead I now have all this real estate in front and behind my house that I gotta shovel snow for. EVERY. DAY.

I suppose what makes it bearable this time around is that I can creative with all this snow piling up here. I’ve already made quite a large snow mountain in our backyard (still continuing to grow in size) mainly for Keimei to play on.

On a somewhat relevant note (soon to be the first of two small rants), I do realize with all this snow to shovel, eventually you’re going to run out of room to toss it.

Round 1

The other day my wife and I noticed what was clearly tossed over snow from our neighbor’s side. Like, really? They’re a senior couple that live next to us, and I was just helping out the husband the other time shoveling offering to shovel snow for him, and this is what he does when we’re not around? Not cool. We don’t need extra snow piling up in our yard!

For the record, we’ve never had any negative history with each other, and I’m gonna give the old man the benefit of the doubt and guess that he probably shoveled snow over on this side when our house was vacant before we moved in. Well, there’s folks living here now and that’s not gonna fly.

If I see this same thing happen, there were going to be some words.

This week I didn’t go out a single day, and worked from my sofa which faces directly toward the area of our neighbor’s house and our’s. And sure enough one morning this week, while I was pounding out tickets, I see a figure slowly emerge from the corner of my eye, and snow being pushed over to our side of the house. Literally, right in front of me.

I approached our glass door making it appear like I was naturally just checking outside, but really I just wanted to make my presence known. And indeed it was. Mid-shoveling he realized I was standing right there and we met eyes. I didn’t need to say anything, I just nodded my head the way Japanese people do when they see each other to say hi. Except, I put an added slowness to the nod to differentiate it this time around, and that this was not a ‘hi-neighbor-how-are-you-doing-today-on-this-lovely-snowy-morning’ nod. Nope. Oh no. This was more of a ‘no words need to be spoken to let you know what I’m thinking’ kind of nod.

And at that point, we understood each other. I watched as he skedaddled away. For good measure, I continued to work in clear view of our backyard for the remainder of the week. I noticed the days when he’d come out to shovel snow, and he’d notice me (most likely confused why I’m not at ‘work’). But since that day, no more unwanted snow on our side.

Round 2

As for the other rant I wanted to mention, I’ll keep it short because I generally don’t like ranting to begin with.

TLDR; I stepped down from a parking lot quarrel today. Parking lot battles, don’t we all love them.

I was circling the lot, a space opened up right in front me, then before moving in some old man comes up from behind, honks his horn, and gets out of his car to tell me it was his spot since there was a line waiting out back and that he was the first in ‘line’.

I know quite well that there’s no system in place for waiting in lines (in this particular lot at least), you wait only if you’re sharking a certain area, however it’s common in Japan to follow behind others like lemmings, in both a literal and figurative sense.

Aside — when people wait in the subway, they’ll line up in single file line even though there is a clear sign written on the platform to stand and line up in two columns for each side. At any rate, I could go on about this weird phenomenon at a later time.

Getting back to the story, I was simply here to get Keimei to his swimming lesson. Even though Kosato and Keimei had already entered the building, and were not with me at the time, a time when I could have flipped a switch (something my twenty-something-year-old self would have done), I did decide to just be the better man and give the old man the spot.

Senior citizens. Sometimes you folks are a handful. Really.