Zach awry in Japan

Archive for September, 2008

23 September 2008 Day trip to Kobe

Today was a day off because of the fall equinox. Genbo explained to me on the way home from daycare the other day that night and day were the same, which is why he had vacation. His teacher and a good oni (demon) had explained it to him. I have no idea what kind of teaching aids they use at his daycare, but it being run by a Shinto shrine and all, it seems I have little grounds for complaint.

So, we decided to make a trip to Kobe for the day. It’s a fun, very cosmopolitan town, with a bunch of European-esque cafes, an old Chinatown, and a monorail that Genbo was dying to ride.

All these photos were taken with a Sigma 30/1.4 on loan from Jeffrey, who went to great lenghts to secure a good copy. And, judging from the quality of these pics at very wide aperture, he certainly did a good job. (You sure you don’t want to reconsider that trade, Jeffrey?)

Genbo looking out the train window. I’m going to have to join a support group for dads whose sons are much better looking than they are.
Bored with the scenery, Genbo decided to kill time by giving Zoe rasberries. Now where could he have learned such aberrant behavior?
At last, blessed peace…

On our way to a great cafe we went to last time, I spy a classy shoe store catering to the ideal of understated elegance that young Japanese ladies are known for.

Psychedelia to wear

The cafe was as excellent as we remembered. The pastries and coffee were all first class. I definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Kobe. Of course I have no recollection of what it’s called….

Zoe has had worse experiences than eating honey crepes and cherry tarts…

I still remember the time my uncle Tommy taught my brother and me the trick of plugging the top of the straw with your finger, bringing it to your mouth, and then letting go to drink one strawful at a time. I took this opportunity to teach Genbo, and he only spilled a few strawfuls of grapejuice on his shirt before getting the hang of it.

Sizing up the task ahead
Street performer playing amplified harmonica
Zoe likes Kobe…
… a lot!

16 September 2008 Too funny not to post


Pre-Game Coin Toss Makes Jacksonville Jaguars Realize Randomness Of Life

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16 September 2008 Bamboo Tomato Latice

…from my father-in-law’s garden

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Lens: ZF 25/2.8

7 September 2008 Houzuki!

This here is called a hozuki in Japanese (Physalis angulata in English). This particular specimen was given me by a photographer I know. They’re mainly used for decoration, although with the leaves intact (example here) instead of disintegrated as in this one. It was basically the perfect excuse to break out the big heavy glass, which I’ve been itchin’ to do for a while.

The setup on my kitchen table
Leaf skeleton
Here you can see the fruit inside (highly recommend you click to enlarge this one–the ZF100 captures the textures of the disintegrating leaf so beautiflly)

If I were sophisticated I’d combine these last two images into a rollover (don’t worry if you don’t know what that means), but I’m not, so I’ll have to wait until my friend with uber geek powers gets back from the States.

Houzuki top
Houzuki bottom