Heidi says I need to apologize for not doing an update on a Monday. My excuse (note the excuse part) was that Monday was a holiday and I got to take a vacation – the second one (note the pictures from San Francisco) in a little over a week.
Little happening here except that Jake is sitting up like a trooper and soooo close to beginning to crawl. His language consists of incessant “dadadada” all day long and not entirely happy face as the first teeth are pushing their way through.
Oh yes, in other news, Heidi and I have “completed” the second room in the house – our bedroom. Finally! 🙂 It is filled with so many gifts from … Mats, my family, my mother, Grandma and Grandpa Rule, Jen, Coralie, Heather and a million others. Thank you to all. You certainly have given us another reason to smile.
So I uploaded a few pictures from the trip to Tokyo. Nothing too much of consequence, but I didn’t leave the city so it’s mostly shots of the Imperial Palace and in and around Tokyo. By the end of the week, I could do the subways like the back of my hand. They’re so incredibly efficient that it really doesn’t make sense to travel any other way. Last week I mentioned that the subways were crowded, so allow me to illustrate this through an annecdote that my colleague in Japan mentioned. He said that periodically, there will be so many people on a subway car that the windows pop out under the pressure. You really have to see it to believe it!
Lastly, it was a interesting to work all day in Tokyo on Friday, and then leave from the airport Friday evening. Flying all night, I landed in Toronto on Friday slightly before I took off from Japan. Smile.
For those of you who might never have been to Japan, I realize that my description from last time might be a little scarce in details. I’ve decided that the only way to correct that would be to give you ten ultimate truths about visiting here.
- The Japanese tend to be shorter than Americans by at least 5″. I’m not a tall chap, and I’m always hitting my head on the the rungs in the subway.
- The Japanese are incredibly polite. Bowing multiple times is the accepted form of greeting. A bow begins at the waist, not the shoulders.
- Although the sumo wrestler is afforded tremendous respect and attention, the average Japanese person weighs 80 lbs.
- More than 12 million people live in Tokyo. Most of them are on my subway car in the morning.
- Nine out of ten Japanese business men over the age of 18 wear black suits. The tenth wears navy blue.
- Nine out of ten Japanese career women wear 3″ heels. The tenth wears 4″ heels.
- Nine out of ten Japanese working class folks smoke cigarettes. The tenth smokes second hand smoke.
- In America, Denny’s is open 24 hours and sells breakfast food all day long. In Japan, Denny’s is open 24 hours.
- The streets and subways of Tokyo are impeccably clean, but I’ve yet to see a trash bin on the side of the road.
- History is a subjective thing. Visit the war museum in Tokyo and read an American history textbook. Compare and contrast.
With regards to item two, have you ever stood at the side of the road with 1000s of people cheering 1000s more running in a marathon? I have. They all waved flags and not a sound was made. Nothing. Eerie quiet except for the sound of runners feet pounding by … If you saw someone you knew. You didn’t call their name. You waved your flag harder.
So perhaps some of these observations are a little out of control. Take number four … there was certainly not 12 million people on the car during rush hour, but standing in there was a full body massage. I hope you don’t need personal space. There are entirely separate cars for the ladies. Little wonder …
The last item is one of tremendous interest to me. Perhaps its because I’ve always been interested in history. The story relating to WWII is so radically different in Japan and America that you wonder who writes the books. Perhaps our wonder at the lack of accuracy from Flavius Josephus is a little misplaced.
Tokyo still doesn’t have the vibrancy of other places I’ve been, but I feel like I’ve absorbed a little more of the culture. I’ve also learned that just because I’m in Japan, not all sushi places are good. Smile.
I bet that by now you’ve all given up on coming here every Monday for an update. Really this just goes to show that there wasn’t anything exciting in our lives to report in the first place! If I were to take over the responsibility of putting something in every week I’m afraid you’d all be innundated with boring news of Jake’s lastest feats and trials.
But since he’s my most favorite subject I have no problems doing just that! To start, he is finally sleeping through the night, all night. Hooray for the extra sleep that we’re getting! :-)He is sitting up now too although he wobbles a little precariously until eventually the momentum carries him to the floor! He’s also in the throes of teething, or so we think from his constant crying out loud and’out-of-the-ordinary’ fussing. Or maybe that’s just what babies do…
In the travelling arena we were up in Palmyra for Cynthia Porter’s wedding to Jonathan Gorgas (CONGRATS). It was nice to see everyone from up there again. Danny has a seven day business trip to Japan this week 🙁 and then he’s taking us with him to San Fransisco at the end of June. This travel stuff doesn’t seem to end for us! Also, Teddy and Julie and Ben (who is very, very cute!)came up for a weekend visit which was entirely too short. But maybe if you ask them it was a little too long! Teddy left here with a broken arm after skateboarding with Danny at a local park. Sorry Teddy!! Hopefully they will still be able to look back at their time here with a smile. 🙂
So this update is actually coming from Picadilly Circus in London. What a day yesterday was? I flew over from Boston to Manchester on Sunday night and didn’t get a second of sleep on the flight. Landing at 07:10, I took the train directly from the airport over to Sheffield where I had a client meeting through until 16:00. From the meeting, I grabbed the train on down into London, arriving here around 20:00 last night. There are two things to gather from all that: I didn’t sleep a wink in more than 36 hours (and still wasn’t that tired) and that the train system here in the UK is tremendously efficient.
I’ve never been to the north of England before, and it was positively beautiful. I was working with someone who had come down from Edinburgh and he said that it was as nice here as in Scotland. The area we were taking the train through was right out of a movie. Hilly, with low stone fences, massive estates with every building made of stone, and nothing but sheep for animals. Green to the point of blinding … beautiful.
Well, it’s over to Germany tonight for a couple of days before I’m back to Boston. I’m renting a car while I’m there and I hope to explore a bit. I have the camera with me, but there haven’t been any pictures so far … perhaps if I actually “do” the tourist thing. Smile!
These have been some busy week(end)s for Heidi, Jake and I. We went from NFLD to Toronto (see pictures in the album) where we had a wonderful time at Heather and Craig’s place, and then back to New Hampshire where we had Mats come to visit this past weekend. It doesn’t appear to be slowing with guests coming this weekend and then potentially up to Newport the following weekend for Nathan’s graduation. Can we get some rest here?
The nice part of course, is that we are able to visit with lots of folks and the fellowship is more than a little needed. The downside is that the travel is quick to tire me out. Not only are we off travelling on the weekends, but it seems that I’m in NYC or Atlanta every other week.
So it should be obvious from the pictures that Heidi, Jake and I are back from Newfoundland. If Shawn or Lynn tell you that their house isn’t that nice, I’m afraid that they’re simply being modest. Don’t believe them. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but their house is wonderful, welcoming and very homey. And that’s not including how they made us feel …
The day we arrived was gorgeous and warm and we headed to Signal Hill. I’ve only ever seen it in pictures, but it was every bit as beautiful and scenic as the pictures make it out to be. The weather also was sunny on Lord’s Day and allowed us to do some hiking overlooking Portugal Cove. In fact, the only day it was “typical” NFLD weather was on Monday when we left. I suppose that was in fitting with leaving their place and returning back to New Hampshire.
All said, it was a wonderful break and I realized that flying beats driving any day of the week. Jake continues to be good on the planes and both Heidi and I are thankful for that. It was truly a week to make us smile.
What does one do on a sunny, Sunday afternoon? Why, take a walk to the nearest Dairy Queen of course! With the promise of a chocolate-covered ice cream cone, I set out with Danny and Jake for stroll (really more like a marathon) for some exercise. I should have known all was not going to go well when my body immediately started protesting by giving me a stomach cramp as soon as I stepped out the front door!
My body ached the whole mile and a bit (now don’t even say “it’s just a mile” because I have to admit that I’m a little, um, shall we say, like the pillsbury dough boy) and as we neared the restaurant Danny said “Hey, they might be closed Easter Sunday.” And wouldn’t you know it, the sign read “Closed Easter Sunday”. I’m so glad I walked all that way. No really, it was like’bonding time’ or something.
But all in all, we enjoyed the beautiful weather and seeing the greenish, brownish grass poking up between the last snow splotches. Oh, and we ended up stopping in the Burger King (shh, don’t tell the Allans),which is actually and ironically a lot closer to our house than Dairy Queen. And I still got ice cream in the form of a Hershey ice cream pie! Smile!
Thanks to Lindsay for the quick notification of the highly inappropriate content in the guestbook. Ever since I created the guestbook, I would check it daily to ensure no one was submitting content that shouldn’t be there. I had to delete content at a minimum of once per week because of everything from:
Over a period of time I was forced to slowly introduce more and more “security”. First it was a masking of email addresses. Then it was a notification system of review. Finally, I’ve had to lock it down to only show submissions AFTER they meet approval. This means a slight delay in your submission showing up if you sign the guestbook, but it also ensures that the guestbook submissions are clean. Thanks Lindsay. Even if I might disagree with some of your submissions, I’ll let those through the gates. 🙂
Well the snow if finally beginning to melt and Spring showing its colors. Finally. I have that itch to take my bike out on the open road. I think even Heidi wants on back this time. We’ve also begun after eight months to finally finish some of our house and I’m really excited. We hung the beautiful text that we received at our wedding from Revelation 1 and several other pictures. Curtains are on the way and its all reason to … Smile!
Heidi says that if you read back a few years, my updates were much more interesting and informative. Is this true? I certainly know that there is less time for writing updates, but it could also be for two additional reasons: one is that I’m quite busy with work and family and all, but the second and more plausible reason is that when I have something to pour out to someone, I can do it with my most wonderful wife instead of a website. True? Of course true.
These few days have me back to the airplane lane with trips to Atlanta and presently from the heart of midtown Manhatten. When I don’t travel so much I sometimes miss the trips, but when I do travel a lot, I certainly wish that I wasn’t. Hmmmm … where’s the happy medium.
The medium is found in that bouncing smily bundle of boy that the Lord has given for a time to Heidi and I. He’s growing like a beanpole and finally sleeping through the night. Now I just can’t wait till he’s big enough to help me shovel out from the mountains (and I’m talking six foot snowbanks) of snow in our yard. It’s March 13 and we’re still getting pummeled with a foot of snow every week. Smile!