Monday, December 31, 2012

Daibutsu

New Year's Eve - a time for reflection.

Kamakura Daibutsu
We weren't actually the only ones there, but Kamakura is quiet. Everyone saves up their visit for the first 3 days of the New Year.
Kamakura Daibutsu

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Boxing Day

It didn't start out that well...

Boxing Day in Tokyo
But after a tasty business lunch in a basement, discussing a paper revision with a colleague also attending the meeting, we went home the slow way.

The light was a bit wild at the newly refurbished Tokyo station.
Next to Tokyo Station
untitled12122720.jpg
Swung by the Imperial Palace
Imperial Palace building
untitled12122756.jpg
The pale brown stuff below is grass. It always does this here, because it is so dry in winter.
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Imperial Palace East Gardens
Found some end-of-year leaves (ginkgo)
Imperial Palace East Gardens
And some 10th month cherry blossom
"October" Sakura
And then ran to meet James (who had been peacefully reviewing papers - his main occupation since August - in a cafe a couple of miles away), only pausing occasionally to photograph the architecture.
Imperial Palace East Gardens - gate
Tokyo skyscrapers
untitled12122786.jpg

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Friday, December 21, 2012

More wildlife for my MIL

Oh OK. I give in. But most of them weren't in Yellowstone... and see how few of them are bears!

Elk (there are plenty in Yellowstone, but this one was just north of the park entrance):

Elk
Mountain goat (Glacier Park):
Mountain Goat
Mummy rare black-tailed prairie dog (Devil's Tower):
Black-tailed prairie dog
Kiddiwink prairie dog:
Black-tailed prairie dog
Big Horn Sheep (The Badlands):
South Dakota Badlands
Mummy deer (Boulder garden variety):
Mummy deer
Kiddiwink deer (it actually did have 4 legs):
baby deer
Tourist and moose (Lake MacDonald Lodge, Glacier Park):
Lake McDonald Lodge
We saw a live moose in the distance just outside Glacier Park. Unlike the wolf, it was easily visible to the naked eye, but again there was someone there with a scope who kindly let us get a closer look. Pronghorn deer are everywhere in Wyoming, but they are small and springy and I didn't try to photograph them.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Wildlife for my MIL

James has promised his parents a trip to Yellowstone. Weirdly this has resulted in them sending us lots of bears for Christmas and birthdays. It seems important, therefore to point out that, apart from buffalo, wildlife can be elusive. For example, see the wolf, 4th photo down, here.

We had better luck with the mountain goats further north:

Mountain Goat
(Those prairie dogs in the distance are rare black tailed ones!)

When you do see a bear, usually it is too quick to hardly even notice, but sometimes it looks like this:
DSC03889.jpg

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

body image

Gingerbread men weren't morbidly obese when I were a lass (in the 1970s). We shared him, of course.

gingerbread fatman
I don't understand US food portions. I suppose the idea is that people support the economy by eating lots of food, and then they support it even more paying for the resulting treatment to lose the weight gained. In Japan the portions are all much smaller, which means that even if you go to a restaurant alone you can sample a pleasant variety of food for your meal, whereas in the US one is in danger of exploding before finishing half a portion. Because it is not necessary in Japan to pay someone to make you thin again, it makes sense economically that the food is much more expensive.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

AGU review, the ADD version.

Drink Bluebottles. Eat chockie. Don't forget your hearts.

Blue Bottle latte + Tcho
Dangerously multitask coffee and phone. If brain overloads with exciting science, cease multi-tasking immediately and prop self against wall, where it is safe to engage in deep thought.
more scientists
It is of the utmost importance that men spend much more time proclaiming codswallop to bemused women than the reverse.
scientists
Help. Help. Geeekkks! Geeekks! As far as the eye can see!
even more scientists
Recuperate by sampling best pizza in San Francisco (Noisy and not as good as Kamakura's finest, let alone Tokyo's.)
Best pizza in SF?

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tour de San Francisco #2 - Let's Art!

San Francisco has a modern art museum. It is important not to view modern art on an empty stomach. Luckily, art-priced luncheon is available on the top floor. Note the brilliant Mondrian cake.

SFMOMA
Like a multi-floored Japanese department store, starting at the top and working down is a good tactic, as the whole experience is then a slow run for the door. But after a while one may start to confuse up and down...
SFMOMA
Apparently this one is about uncertainty, and since this is wot we work on, I had to take a picture.
SFMOMA
Some staved off madness by retreating into familiar worlds.
SFMOMA
James' trousers were admired several times!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tour de San Francisco #1

Unfortunately I did not remain at the chocolate sundae shop all week, while James went to hang out with the spods at the AGU. Although... perhaps I could become one of those ladies who lunch eat chocolate...

Ghiradelli square
Instead we left Ghiradelli behind...
Ghiradelli
and visited some old boats from the motherland...
Harbour of old ships, San Franscisco
Artistic misty golden gate bridge with posing gull was the reward for making it to the end of the pier...
Seagull at golden gate bridge
The walk back to our hotel was quite interesting. Really ought to have taken more pictures. We did, however, have the honour of being flashed by a street photographer. Is this really an advert for Dropbox?
IMG_1913.jpg
Dinner was in Chinatown. I didn't previoulsy know that the temples are built in the upper stories.
Chinatown, San Francisco
Sorry if these pictures are awful. Work has given me a new MacBookPro and it makes all my photos look phenomenal. Hopefully some discernment will return with practice.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Choclit

How much fossil fuel would you burn for a chocolate sundae?

James in Kamakura
James on NEX
Narita
James on BART
James in San Francisco
Choclit sundae

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