New Year’s Eve at Nitta Jinja

December 31, 2011

I’d spent the evening calibrating the telescope and making everything worked, so Hayamizu-san took me to the local shrine for a New Year’s Eve celebration.  The Nitta shrine (Jinja) was in honor of turtles and required climbing up several flights of steps on a hillside to the top.  Over 650 years old, this Shinto shrine and its 700-year-old tree had survived lightning strikes and World War II bombings.

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A Japanese Thanksgiving in San Francisco

November 24-26, 2011

 Several of the boys from my lab at JAXA attended the a conference on fluids hosted by the American Physical Society in Baltimore in November, right before Thanksgiving.  The boss encouraged them to arrange a layover in San Francisco, and for me to take them to Thanksgiving with my family.  The boss’s ultimate goal is to get his students to think outside of Japan when it comes to future study or work: even if they do ultimately decide to remain in Japan, at least they’ll know what the other options are, or how other folks live their lives outside of Japan.

I could do even better than bringing the boys to a family Thanksgiving dinner: I invited Maro-san and Aikawa-san to a big celebratory meal at a friend’s converted warehouse for Thanksgiving, then to the Inverness Yacht Club for a post-Thanksgiving party the following Saturday.  They can watch US TV shows if they want a depiction of a Thanksgiving dinner in North America; here I could provide them something entirely unique.

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Meyers Race 2011

October 2, 2011

The race season at the Inverness Yacht Club extended into the autumn in 2011, giving us races with just enough wind for Mark Darley and I to be consistently competitive, coming in first or second in most races before corrected time.  Joining Ross Valley Crossfit gave me enough strength to wrangle the various spinnaker lines on his Johnson 18, resulting in a fall sailing season with rainbows marking the end of our races.

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