General Blog

General Blog

October 18, 2018

Japan – Day Five – Mt Cloverfield

e’d opted for a special day tour of Mt. Fuji through the hotel. So, of course, the day dawned cold and drizzly. Oh well, at least we’d do a day trip out of Tokyo and see the countryside. The bus start was chaotic – between the drive and guide yelling back and forth, it sounded like a Chinese junk sinking. Finally got on the road. Even with the light rain, JB and I agree, a bus is one of the finest ways of touring. Unlike trains (where you see the backs of houses), from the bus window you’ll see people […]
October 18, 2018

Japan – Day Four – Shrines and Temples

oday after breakfast we met with Mike-san, our Tokyo guide. Nice gentlemen, older and state-side savvy so he served as a good cultural bridge. He was to provide more than capable at maneuvering us through the null space between our various attractions. First stop – the Meiji Shine at Harajuku, a beautifully wooded park and complex. Mike explained the facets of Shintoism and invited our participation. I even paid for a charm (token? Not sure) to keep me safe from car accidents – I’ll tuck it onto my bike and we’ll see. Also sent a paper prayer to Mookie – […]
October 16, 2018

Japan – Day Three – Towers and Clocks

e’d picked up a Minato City tour book from the Tokyo Met building the day before and used it to fragment out some of the longer self-guided tours into short Raymond jaunts. This being the case, we trotted through waves of morning commuters to get to Shinjuku Station to head to our first looksee – the Tokyo Tower. However, for this, we needed to hop on the Oedo Line (like London’s Circle Line, it loops ‘round the city). So it goes like this – image a triangle pointing to the left. We enter on the lower right point, Shinjuko Station. […]
October 16, 2018

Japan – Day Two – Anime and Altitude

fter a nice “American breakfast” (which was a casual-slow ordeal and had things I’d never seen in a rodeo cookup) we slipped out. Strolled through the Shinjuku Golden-GAI district (narrow streets catering to electronics and eateries) but in this early hour everything as closed and the only motion were the cut-through high-stepping commuters. Nosed into Shinjuku station but were unsure what to make of it, with the noise and flow of humanity. Backed out of that madhouse and decided to look in a different direction. Just west of the hotel, in the shadow of the fifty-story Metropolitan Government Building, there […]
October 16, 2018

Japan – Day One – Transpacific

vernight, JB and I were both restless, both worrying about that 3am wakeup alarm. What could go wrong? But the trip to the airport was a breeze, security easy and casual. The fight to the first stop (Texas, another foreign country) was full except for one seat on our row, the empty seat making picking up extra sleep a little easier. And unlike Newark on that horrible rainy night so long ago, Houston was sharp. Crisp gate instructions, good signage (a color-coded E turned into a back-and-white E, which cost us one hundred paces each way). So we settled in […]
October 5, 2018

Japan – Day Zero – Real worries

eople who read my trip reports know I worry. I worry about little things and big things. Possibly I shouldn’t be a tourist-traveler; I’m too strung for this. You can even see it in our last big trip, when we went to India. And now here I am, a knot of nerves the day before we are departing (and even earlier this week, when I couldn’t sleep and, when I did, woke up in cold sweats). First and foremost, at the start of the week I felt a dull pain down in my frontal-midships area. Went to the urologist yesterday […]
August 16, 2017


don’t know why I sang it. I hardly remembered the lyrics. But the shelter told us that when you get a cat home you should sit in the bathroom with her and her litterbox until she used it to calibrate her domain. And this new visitor/family member of ours, this little black and white darling with her tiny white nose and vastly curious eyes, she prowled the bathroom and sniffed at the box while I lay in the bathtub waiting for her to christen her abode with a poo. At one point she jumped into the tub with me (how […]
October 16, 2016


ell, like I needed another hobby. I have model railroading, reading, writing (and blogging), astronomy, cycling, and now Go. So what is Go? Essentially it’s an Asian game of strategy. Black and white exchange placing pieces, trying to surround the other forces and claim territory. But it’s amazing the way the patterns flow in this game. You might stalk your opponent for a capture, only to find that he is working to capture you. Astounding. While I love to play (and just purchased my own board and stones) I’ve got a long way to go before getting any good.   […]
March 1, 2016

India – Day Nine – Liquid Death in all forms

oday was our trip to the Ganges. “But wait,” you say. “I’ve already read this.” No, this time it was to see the sun coming up over the Ganges, a time of prayer. But in starting the day off I got two pieces of bad news. First, my sister had explosive Ebola-level liquid death (likely from that Air India sandwich she ate on the short flight out – two other people were down for similar reasons). And then a good friend, Ed Rieg, had passed away. So I had a lot on my mind when we pushed through traffic (human, […]
February 29, 2016

India – Day Eight – Love and Death

kay, so, Khajuraho Temple – looks like those temples out of the Jungle Book (yeah, already made that comparison). But that’s where the G-rating ends. Whoever the natives were, they were very open-minded. Their temples showed all manner of court life (unclothed court life) and all manner of sexual configurations (69, three-somes, voyeurism, bestiality).  So yeah, I got a lot of pictures. Really, there is something (as an occasional writer of erotica) that these stone-masons of 1000AD captured, the saucy cant of a woman’s hip, her come-hither expression, all that. And did they ever catch it. Honestly, much of it […]