Inspection Time

Yesterday, we took one of cars in for its bi-annual inspection.  In Japan, cars need to inspected and re-registered every two years, and the time was up for our Subaru.   Having owned this car for only a little less than a year and a half now, I really think too much of it.  It’s a nice car tote the family around in but I didn’t think I was emotionally attached to it as I am to my Honda.   But for some reason, when I left it at the dealership and was given the loaner car, I really missed it.   We were given a crappy little Toyota to use for the next two weeks, and I already hate it.  Compared to the Subaru, it’s underpowered, a pain to drive in wet weather, and just plain ugly.   So I’ll probably not be driving it much until we get the Subaru back.

The dealership is located near Minato Mirai 21, which is a newer part of Yokohama that has been under construction since the early 1990’s.  It has a lot of new shopping malls, restaurants, and high rise apartment buildings that overlooks Yokohama Bay.   There’s also a small amusment park there, where we took Haru for the day.  Since most of the rides were geared for older people, there weren’t too many rides Haru could ride on.  But we did take her on the giant Ferris wheel, which she seemed to really enjoy.  Even though the weather wasn’t so great, we were still able to see the entire Minato Mirai area.  Haru seemed to particularly enjoy the the boats that zoomed by in the harbor, which looked little toys from the top of the Ferris wheel.

Later, we went into the carnival area where there were smaller rides for kids about Haru’s age.  Haru seemed to enjoy sitting in the little rides while they were not moving, but as soon as they started to move, should would want off immediately.  I’m not sure if she was afraid of the ride, or if she just didn’t like the motion.  I really wanted to take on one of the smaller roller coaster rides, which I know she’d get a kick out of, but since she’s still small, they’d probably not let her on.

We then took her to the haunted house, which I thought would bother her, but  I was wrong.  There was an animated zombie ghost-like manikin in front of the attraction which seemed to have frightened her.  She didn’t cry, but she stared at it for a while and then turned away, while grabbing onto to me.  She is quite strong, so she nearly strangled me.  The funny thing is, as we walked away from the haunted house, she waved to the monster and said bye bye.

Haru on the Ferris wheel at Minato Mirai

Another on the Ferris wheel

And another, Haru wearing her yellow rubber boots.

Peeking over the side to see the little boats go by in the harbor underneath

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RIP Michael Jackson

This is way off topic, but I felt I had to write about it wherever I can write.

It’s been long suspected that Michael Jackson’s health was failing, and it’s been confirmed today that this was no rumor. Michael Jackson is dead.

He was my childhood idol, and I often emulated his dance moves and sang his songs. I remember having posters of him in my room, and listening to his music over and over again trying memorize the lyrics. He was quite an odd individual and often misunderstood by the media, but I always regarded him as my childhood hero none the less.

You’ll never be forgotten MJ! RIP! And thank you!

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Back to the Vacation House

A few week ago, we went to the vacation house out in Chiba. In my haste, I left the power adapter for my laptop in the dining room.  So for the last three weeks, its been a bit inconvenient because my wife and I had to share an adapter.

Well, over the weekend, we decided enough is enough, and it was time to make another visit to pick up my adapter.  So last Saturday, we decided to take another trip out there and spend a few minutes there.  The weather was quite nice, so we decided to make it day and let Haru run around in the yard and chase bubbles.  Afterwards, we had lunch at the restaurant we had lunch at before.

Haru, having a run out in the parking lot.

Soaking her feet in the hot foot bath.  I have no idea why this was here.

Saying ‘cheese’ for the camera.

Big sip of my Miso soup for lunch

Enjoying the restaurant

Chasing bubble outside of the house.

Going for a drive.

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Summer Somersaults

When I was a child, my sense of balance was pretty good, and I was (still am) pretty limber.  So there was a brief period of time where I took gymnastics, and not toot my own horn or anything, but I was pretty good at it.

On top of this, I was the second best gymnast in my 7th grade physical education class.  I was second only to a girl who was “junior Olympics” material and who had actually met Mary Lou Retton.  And not to toot my horn again, but I was better than her at most things except she got more points for being able to the aerial stunts better than me.

Lately, Haruka has shown an aptitude for being a gymnast.  She’s got very good upper body strength (for her age of course), she loves climbing on things, totally oblivious to heights, fearless, and pretty limber, which are all ingredients that make for a good gymnast.

The other night, we were watching a TV program featuring a private pre-school in Kagoshima prefecture, that teaches a somewhat unconventional, yet advanced curriculum to 2 to 3 year olds.  Part of the curriculum consisted of gymnastic-like activities.  They showed children, who are only a year or two years older than Haruka, doing really hard core gymnastic stunts like round offs, one-handed round offs, and no handed round off, not to mention other gymnastic stunts that even the hardest core gymnasts have a hard time doing.  It was nothing short of amazing, because most of these children were only 3 or 4 years old.

Haruka, being the impressionable kid that she is, was also watching this, and was amazed by it as well.  As a matter of fact, she was so amazed by this, she decided that she’d attempt to do some of the stunts for herself.  She immediately got into a somersault (or more of a head roll -since she’s touching her head) starting position, and tried to roll over, but of course being that this was her first attempt ever, and the fact that she’s only 18 months old, she wasn’t too successful.  But being tenacious as she is, she didn’t give up.  So she tried it over and over and over and over and over again.  She did it so many times, that she was actually starting to get the hang of it, so my wife and I encouraged her.

Since that evening she seems want to do somersaults whenever and wherever.  Apparently, she even attenpted to do one outside on top of concrete.  So maybe this is the avenue she should pursue.  Afterall it is something I can teach and demonstrate (to a certain degree) so it may be something that she might be able to get into.


playing with bubbles with her friend Anri


in the middle of toilet training

sharing a tomato with the dogs

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