Friday, May 3, 2013

Rollin' along

Look at this fun app! It adds the location and weather to photos.

This is kind of an odd photo, but I'm stuck in the middle of the bus to Sapporo. Not much to see from this angle. But if you look, you can see the steps leading down to the bus bathroom. Cool, yet bizarre.

The weather is still rotten, but it's ok. It snowed for the first hour of our trip or so. Now, the ground is brown, but there is patchy snow. And the hills in the distance are white. If I can just get a little sun, I'll be happy.

Seems like Golden Week is often gray!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

It takes a village find a missing phone

Last night, I went to get my smartphone out of my workbag. It wasn't there. I tried calling it from Skype. No buzz.

I posted on Facebook that I had lost it, and a Facebook friend tried calling it. No phone.

I backtracked to the convenience store where I had stopped on the way home. No phone.

I made my way back to the office, where my late-working coworkers were surprised to see me pop in. No phone.

I headed back out. My supervisor and supervisor supervisor followed me. I said goodbye, and they said they wanted to help me search.

We looked on the street, and made our way back to Seicomart. We searched again, and they gave their info to the Seicomart people in case the phone showed up.

They helped me search the street back to my house, and then called my phone a few times to look for it. Nothing.

This morning, I went to school an hour away. My office called the school to check and see if I'd found it. One of my English teachers was concerned, so he called the cell phone company while the other looked up information. They also called the police. The teachers helped me get the phone shut off, just in case it had fallen into nefarious hands.

After I got back, I had to go get a lesson plan from the office. Everyone was very sympathetic about my lost phone, and one of our division chiefs called the police again.

I made my way home, slowly searching again as I went. When you don't know where something is, it's hard to take a break from searching.

Around 8:30, my doorbell rang. It was my supervisor! Seicomart had found my phone! We drove to the store, and they brought out my phone. I recognized the garden dirt that got stuck in the cover.

As it turns out, my phone was found in the coffee area. I mean, I know I like coffee, but how did it get there?

Anyway, I was so happy, I think I thanked everyone 40 times. My supervisor helped me get my phone set back up, and then it was time to start sharing the good news.

I feel like the woman in the Bible who had a party after she found the lost coin.

Let's party, everyone!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An update from the back 40

Well, things are merrily growing in the back 40. Some are even not weeds! Tomorrow, we have snow in the forecast. Temps are supposed to be above freezing, so I hope everyone will be OK.

Here's the spinach and hyacinth. Aren't they cute? The spinach was started from seed.

Monday, April 29, 2013


Well, I'm on the train back to Wakkanai now. Not quite finished with my long list of learning objectives, but I'm making pretty decent progress. Today, I'm going to try to knock as many things off it as possible. Unfortunately, blogging is not on the list, so I'll have to be quick here.

These are a couple things from the last 24 hours. The first pic is from the art museum. There was a section where kids could draw Anpanman, a hero whose head is made out of bread filled with sweet bean paste. Yes.

The third pic is from the guesthouse. They had flags up representing all the countries that visitors had come from. At the bottom, they put the flags for the current visitors. Isn't that a fun idea?

Pix 2,4, and 5 are from the cafe I visited this morning. There were lots of flowers inside. Very cute!

Number 6 is just a fountain in the city. There are all kinds of sculptures and things around Asahikawa.

Ok, my economics book is calling. I better answer.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Scenes from the guesthouse

Here's some pix from the guesthouse where I'm staying. It's pretty cute! My tatami bunk is an adorable spot. I actually didn't mind sitting in there to work on one of my MOOC assignments. I needed the electricity.

BTW, if you ever want to learn something, MOOCs are pretty cool. They are basically free courses online. They are not for credit, but they are offered by major universities. I'm taking one on writing - it has something like 30,000 students. Wow.