“Kiji” pheasants have a grating call that I always said sounds like a rusty gate, but I found a more apt comparison: the scraping sound of sliding plastic hangers along a pole. 😬

    It’s not a thing where I’m from, but Boxing Day each Dec 26, has an interesting origin of being a day for the more fortunate to give to the less so. There’s also Cricket and big sales. 🎁⛪️

    Merry Christmas from Maru the Shiba and his humans. 🎄📷

    A Shiba dog in a Christmas Tree outfit.

    Noel Log Cake, a chocolate cake with a little chocolate axe.

    Pie with tomato and sausage, and roast chicken.

    NYT Connections is a cool game where you pick groups of four words with some connection from easy to hard.

    Puzzle #196

    On 12/23 in 1982 Japan NTT designated this day “telephone card day”. My first real job was at a design co that licensed idol and actor photos, selling “tereca” printed with them and some English text, to dept stores. 🎌☎️

    Per GEDA, 12/22 1997 (H9) marks when generic medicines were first allowed by MHLW, giving Japan consumers access to cheaper alternatives. Med patents expire in ~20 yrs, after which generics can be made. 🇯🇵💊

    Today 21 Dec is the anniversary of the first “word-cross” puzzle, published in the New York World in 1913 (T2) by its editor Arthur Wynn. 📰

    Walkers have precedence on the highways and byways of Sumida… 📷🇯🇵

    A bike rider in a grey jacket rides under an underpass while a walker crosses the bridge above. The yellow sign on the bridge admonishes riders that pedestrians have right of way, and to ride slowly.

    Optimists waiting in the cold to buy their 年末ジャンボー “year end jumbo” lottery ticket. 📷🇯🇵

    Long queue of people outside a Tokyo building, all bundled up against the winter cold.

    Red down left 📷

    Red bench sculpture object in Tokyo courtyard surrounds a lonely tree.

    Baron Yoshitoshi Tokugawa (relative of the last Shogun) piloted Japan’s first powered flight 19 Dec 1910 where Yoyogi Park is today. 🇯🇵🪽

    Robert Patrick, who played the T-1000 in one of the Terminator films has a good line in the new Reacher season on Amazon Prime. Someone asks about an alias: “Who’s Sarah Conner?” and his character quips, “I don’t give a shit, just keep an eye on that hotel.” 😆

    Dec 17 1903, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, was the first 4 manned flights by the Wright Brothers over a short distance. Today you can hang glide it! 🛫📷

    Young woman giving a peace sign sitting on the sand dunes at Kitty Hawk NC, before her hang glider flight.

    Dec 16, 1890 (M23) marks the start of phone service between Tokyo and Yokohama with 155 and 44 phones respectively. The 7 female operators (with 2 males on night shift) could connect you for 240K JPY in today’s money. 🇯🇵📞

    Destruction of the ancestral “jikka” home under tarps, 2019. 📷🇯🇵

    A home between white and green tarps being torn down by a small yellow backhoe.

    A program in place since 1906 in Japan, Dec 15-25 marks the period during which you can post a 年賀状 “nengajo” postcard for Jan 1 arrival. 🇯🇵🏣📷

    A nengajo new year’s greeting postcard from 2012-13.

    Empty Tokyo restaurant. 📷⏳

    Interior of a restaurant with a line of empty tables during non peak hours.

    Maru the Shiba came back from day care and the staff who drove him said he and other Shibas hadn’t pooped. A border collie friend kept running up like “hey! Whatcha doing!? Any good smells there?” causing poopus interruptus. 😂🐕

    Three Shiba dogs on yellow fallen leaves.

    Dec 13 marks the formal start in Japan of 正月事始め(shougatsu-goto-hajime) when the Big Tidy activities start and it’s off to the mountains to get 門松 (kadomatsu) materials. 🎍🇯🇵

    Bean bun boogie, Shinbashi Tokyo. 📷🧆

    Woman in purple uniform exchanges a bean bun for some change, in warm light.

    Alien traffic safety mascot approaches. 📷👽

    A person in a mascot suit, with polka dots in green, blue, and yellow, and antennae, has a sash with “koutsu anzen” (traffic safety) written on it.

    Dec 11 is International Mountain Day, a day to think on our impact on vital mountain ecosystems. I wish I was hiking today! 🏔️📷

    Man standing on a rock part way up a mountain, with his arms outstretched.

    Scaffolding went up before the old “jikka“ ancestral home was torn down. Four years ago already! 📷🏡

    An old tan and brown Japanese style house with scaffolding around prior to it being torn down. Yard is kind of overgrown. There’s a makeshift utility pole with an electric wire strung from it.

    Yesterday our 大掃除 “ohsouji” or “Big Tidy” task was replacing the ugly brown mats we’d laid downstairs with nice wood-like flooring. Took all day & was really hard, but looks good & we can use the heated floor. 💦

    8000 US $ per hour?! Wow.

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