Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wish you were here!

It's a lovely morning for a sea commute. Wish you all were here! We could have tea and coffee together and enjoy the trip!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Adventures in running

Today I signed up for my  first 5k! It's in 2 weeks here in town. And I did the registration paperwork all by myself. I was kind of proud of that. ;-)
I've been running for about a year now, and I'm happy to say that I can run a 5k. However, I'm quite slow. Knowing this, here's where my mind went:

Imagine with me: Summer is coming to a close. There is a light tang of fall in the air. We focus in on an empty city street. The street is littered with paper cups and other small bits of paraphernalia that indicate a recent event. A lone crow caws loudly before snatching the last crumb on the cracked sidewalk and flying away. No people can be heard or seen. Even the shops are boarded up and deserted. A tumbleweed rolls by.Our attention is caught by a steady sound. Thump…thump…thump. We wonder what is could be. We look up, and in the distance, we see a woman slowly and steadily running toward us, race number pinned to her shirt. Every five steps, her pants slip and she gives them a quick hike. Her ponytail swings to the beat of her stride. With determination and exhaustion written on her face, she runs right past us, not even seeming to notice us.

After I got that out of my system, I went and read the actual race schedule. The JHS and up males will start first. The JHS and up ladies (me!) will start 5 minutes later. 5 minutes after that, they will release the 5th and 6th grade elementary school students. So now my worst case scenario basically involves me being passed by a pack of little kids with fire in their bones!

I just have to remember the old adage..."Dead last is better than did not finish, which trumps did not start." 

I'm actually really excited and really a little terrified about running all in one. It's kinda fun!

So, I went out for just a slow distance run today. I decided to run to a lake that I thought was about 5k from my house. Then, I figured I'd just walk back. As I was running, things seemed a lot farther away than my brain had told me they were before I started running. I just kept trucking (golf carting) along. When I got home and checked the distance, it turned out to be 7km. I got a free 2km bonus tacked on to the end. And it only took me 7 minutes longer than my first timed 5k a few weeks ago. I was kind of excited!

Along the way, I stopped 2 times. Once for a light, and once for a deer. Yup. As I ran out of town in the late afternoon, I saw a deer in the brush next to the road. I startled it, and it bounded away (deer are much faster than I am). I kept peeking to see where it went while I ran on, and I saw it meet up with 2 other deer - they looked like teenage fawns. Still had cute spots! I was rather excited, but I hadn't stopped yet. Of course, I startled the group, and they scattered in all directions. One of the fawns ran onto the sidewalk in front of me. We both ran along for a few, and that's when I stopped. I was concerned that the fawn was going to swerve and head straight into oncoming traffic. I stopped, and it stopped and looked at me, thought for a second and then thankfully bounded away into the brush. 

As I ran on my way, I headed out into cow country. I do not recommend heading into cow country when your body is starved for oxygen. Ugh.

I made it to the lake, and then headed for home. Far ahead of me on the road, I saw a dark thing cross the street. At first, I thought it was a cat or a fox. Then I thought (imagination again), what if it's a bear. Thankfully, it was a cat. I wonder if I should consider wearing my glasses while running?

By this time, it was growing dark quickly. I enjoyed watching the sun set, seeing Rishiri, and just the general beauty of the evening. But I was in danger of getting home much later than I planned. So, I caught a bus. Heeheehee...this is why you should carry some money when you run. I got off the bus about 20 minutes from home and stopped at Seicomart. Of course, I was finished with my run before I got on the bus!

But I finally made it home, and now it's time for something tasty for dinner!

Can't wait for the adventures my next run will hold! As long as they don't include a real bear.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I did it! I hooked two scallops! Here is my bounty cooking.

Yes, I felt a little mighty hunter-ish.


Today is Japan's northernmost festival(as far as I can tell!). There is more food and fish than you could hope to consume in a year. I wish I could post smells, because it smells good around here.

Now, if you'd prefer a more active role in preparing your lunch, you can try what the people in this picture are doing. It's a game where you try to hook as many scallops as possible in a minute! I'd like to try, but what would I do if I caught one???

Gonna go watch and enjoy the festivities some more!