Monday, July 25, 2005

It's Running Rampant!

Cough Hack Micah Hack Sniffle Sneeze Wilson Hack Phlegm Cough.
I repeat it is not a toy! It is a serious piece of journalistic equipment. It should only be used by authorized personnel!

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Some missionaries are smart, some are funny, and some are strange. Then there is this feller. Some people you just cannot categorize. I will refrain from mentioning his name since I do not want to embarrass him. Cough Aaron hack hack cough wheeze DeLion wheeze harack hack.
He seemed like a capable fellow and all when I first met and got to know him, but then I found this 'self portrait' on my camera. I may have to revise my earlier impressions. I must confess that my camera is a small Sony and people are sometimes intrigued by it, but I am unconvinced if that was the case this time. I get the impression from this shot that Aaron (sniffle cough hack) was just fiddling around, accidentally and maybe even unknowingly snapping a shot of himself. I would say it is quite obvious from his pixel captured expression. It is one of stunned surprise, one that seems to say; How do you work this newfangled thang? What does this button do? Oops! Well I caught you playing with my sophisticated piece of equipment, mister!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Life imitating art or art imitating life?

A short time before I came to Canada, I was watching television. The program was demonstrating how a satellite could hit and blow up a meteor in space. It looked like news, (it seems that no matter what country and language, the news shows always have a 'look' to them). I thought to myself, "That's pretty cool". I was intrigued, but because I can not read or understand Japanese (other than a few useful sentences such as "I hit my head on the toilet door") I could not be sure. The detail of what I gleaned from the foreign TV screen was sketchy at best. I was at a loss as to what was going on. Was there a comet hurtling toward earth? Was this some kind of stop gap measure to keep the earth from being destroyed? Were we being attacked by an other worldly race of tiny green men (or more plausibly a race of dark, supersized yet muscular, armour bearing and batleth wielding beings with bumps on their foreheads)? Or maybe it was a rogue faction of the former Soviet Union with a spectacular 'star wars' type secret weapon of mass destruction, attacking the rest of the world looking to prove that Karl Marx wasn't all bad. I did not know what was happening and to be honest with you my imagination can be pretty active at times.
After I returned to Canada, I was talking with a good friend of mine and he was telling me about this thing NASA was doing, sending an interceptor to a meteor and blowing it up. It is the stuff of Hollywood. As we chatted, I connected the dots with what I had seen at that time and was able to put it all together. It seems there was a plausible explanation after all.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Samarai Will

A couple of weeks ago, I visited Osaka Castle in my full Samarai garb. I was hip.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Whenever one has been immersed in culture for a period of time, there is usually a culture shock of some sort that smacks you. Last year when I flew back to Canada after living in Japan for three months, it was the people, (or lack thereof). I wandered around for the first few days trying to figure out where everybody was. It was a little disconcerting, was everyone hiding? On vaction? The feeling went away.
This time, it was the silence. Living in Osaka is a constant barrage of noise, noise that never ceases, (especially with the windows open to let in the cool night air). As I went to sleep the first night in Canada, the lack of noise was very tangible, it was a palpable quiet. All I could hear was a whine in my ears.

Monday, July 11, 2005


I am trying to recover from jetlag. But, I am not very good at recovering from jetlag. I have not figured out if it is my technique, my physique or my metabolism.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


As we were zoomin along... I played with the map function on the monitor.
We had a 100 km/h tailwind, and I thought hmmm, if I was on my bicycle I'd really be cookin. We were cruisin at almost 600 km/h, and I thought wew, I like going fast.
We were over 11 kms above the surface of the earth, and I thought, well pondered would be a better way of putting it. I pondered the dynamics of lift and how they applied to my situation, and I pondered how much physical mass (weight) there was in the airplane. And I pondered the momentum of the mass in comparison to the amount of lift, and realized that a lot of lift is required and also that if there was suddenly no more lift, how much like a stone we would be. I pondered God's common grace keeping us aloft, and further God's common grace that keeps the forces of chaos at bay.
I had over 12 hours to ponder such things, but I watched four movies back to back to back to back instead.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Patience is a Virtue I'm told.

My Visa is about to expire. I applied for a newer and longer visa, but I have not been awarded the visa yet. I will be leaving for Canada at 5:55pm on the tenth of July and after traveling for about twenty hours, will arrive on the same day in Canada.
The wonders of flying across the international dateline. I will have to wait in Canada for the Visa, and hopefully not too long.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Coffee House

The day before yesterday, (asatte in Japanese, which seems more convenient to me) we held a coffee house with our short termers. The idea is to invite Japanese students to an open house sorta deal, to establish contact and hopefully develop relationships. All of the girls who came were already contacts though. Two of them have previously gone through the Alpha program and the other two are contacts through Kayti. (She is the funny looking New Yorker with her eyes closed.) We had a good time fellowshipping though.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Picking up the Culture

I am trying to learn the Japanese culture as much I can...

But I have not yet figured out how to sleep while standing up on a packed subway train which has no constant motion but accelerates and slows down, stops every five minutes or so, and wake up just at my stop.

I don't expect to be able to do that any time soon either.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Lost again.

It is amazing how many nooks and crannies there are in Osaka. I teach an english class which is near a major train junction. There are about nine different lines running in and out of the station. I know that there is a closer station to where I teach, and each week on my way home I have been trying to find it. I go in the direction I think I am supposed to be going in, and follow the train line, arrive at the station I think I am supposed to be getting on my train at, which turned out to be the wrong one.
I tried three different stations, and ended up going back to Tennoji.

Monday, July 04, 2005


Fridays, I usually attend a community center in my area that offers a couple of hours of Japanese teaching (for foreigners only). It is quite pricy at 300 yen for six months. (That's about 3.50 Cdn). This past week, instead of class they held a Tanabata party for all the attendees. Traditionally, one writes a wish on a piece of paper and then hangs it on a bamboo tree that is set up just for the purpose. I think we could liken it to the whole Santa Claus and Christmas tree thing we do in North America, minus the true meaning of Christmas.
We expressed our appreciation to the teachers and helpers with a song written by one of the students, and then enjoyed snacks and some light language learning fun.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Short Termers

For the next couple of weeks we have a couple of short term workers here from the US. Eileen is a Korean American from New York and Alana is from Indiana. They are keeping us long termers quite busy with various different things.