Friday, November 30, 2012

Autumn colours

Even the toxic waste dump part of town where we work has some pretty red and gold colours at this time of year.

a leaf
new iPod!
In the shop I thought the iPod was green and was surprised to find no such colour option available, only yellow. Depending on the light it can be gold or green (flourescent light is green and tungsten is yellow). Anyway, whatever it is, it is a brilliant colour, especially for someone so good at losing things - hope it doesn't wear off too quickly. The background is the deep red leather of an iPad cover.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

But then on 25th November...

I found that James had been right all along (as usual) - the cars really are breeding! Clearly one of ths parents of this brother and sister pair is the first car pictured here.

Starbucks parking
Starbucks parking
Starbucks parking


Monday, November 26, 2012

On Nov 18th...

I didn't pass Starbucks, Motomachi, but James did. He claims to have taken these photographs, but I think it more likely that he discovered the "Breed You Own Beetles" game for his new iPod.

Motomachi Bug #1
Motomachi Bug #2
Motomachi Bug #3


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Autumnal flare

I think the unbelievably sunny autumns and winters are probably what keeps some Brits in Japan for too long.
[Motomachi, Yokohama. Taken with my new camera! Actually, the camera was free with my new! gold! iPod!]


Friday, November 16, 2012

From the ridiculous to the sublime

Where, of course, this is the ridiculous.
The leaves are now starting to turn so I can't delay in posting this photo, taken a couple of weeks ago in Ankokuronji, Kamakura.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Colour or Monochrome?



Friday, November 9, 2012

Grand rivers

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The grand fishermen of the Yellowstone
Fishermen,  Yellowstone
A grand Wolf!
Hayden Valley
More accurately, the wolf appeared a half hour later, but it was only about one pixel in size, so it makes no difference to the photo. A kind woman let us view wolfie through her scope and he looked very much like this.


Toilet humour

What the Americans lack in technical toiletry they make up for with something called "humor". These excellent signs are examples of this. They make up the decor inside the women's "restroom" at Kind Coffee, Estes Park, where I had a nice rest. I'm told that there was nothing similar in the men's resting area.

Kind Coffee ladies toilets
Kind Coffee ladies toilets
Maybe it's not just frivilous "humor" but actually deep wisdom - the last person who told me "there's plenty of time to sleep when you're dead" is now an FRS (Fellow of the Royal Society). Personally I find the top motto more fitting to my own lifestyle, so I guess I'll never be an FRS.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Both kinds of flushing

And then there's the American idea of a technical toilet. Incredibly, you can pull the lever up... and down!

I can't remember the last time I saw a Japanese western-style toilet without dual-flush, which made the attached greenwash seem even more spectacular, "By installing this water-saving handle with dual-function flush, this facility has demonstrated its commitment to protect and preserve the environment".


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

let's technical toilet

Location - a posh French resturant in Tokyo. The toilet lid rose to greet me as I entered the bathroom. Next I noticed the unusually large array of buttons on the toilet control panel.

technical toilet controls
As I sat down I accidentally knocked the panel (Japanese bathrooms are not often large). The cover fell to reveal all the buttony options.
technical toilet controls
Luckily there was a a simplified instruction chart explaining basic usage such approaching the NEOREST, washing the rear, drying wet rear and standing up from the toilet seat.
technical toilet Instructions!
I escaped without incident, but an elderly gentlemen of our party had to request flushing assistance from the staff. Later, James reported that the lid decided to come down while he was in mid-piss. Whether the toilet was unprepared for the incredible volume of his bladder, or unable to detect him given his unusual height, I cannot say.


Monday, November 5, 2012

A flower

Unless someone has been out guerilla gardening, this butiful flower has planted itself in the little scrape of soil that we call "our garden"!

pink flower
It looks like a relative of the higanbana. Higanabana are also called equinox lillies, because they shoot up around mid-September. Our garden is cold and dark so a month's delay isn't surprising. It is, however, surprising that it made it as far as actually flowering.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

More mantis

Matilda seems to have disappeared from the wisteria, but Gertrude is hanging out on the house. Gertrude is a very small giant asian mantis, and it is a bit surprising that s/he is not dead yet. Not only not dead, s/he is still skinning up drain pipes.

Mantis - Giant Asian
The worrying thing is that when I search for Giant Asian Mantis on Google to check what the species looks like, the second image is one I took (although hosted on some other website). This almost as bad as the time I searched for information about a scientific concept that I didn't know much about, found an interesting link that I thought might enlighten me, and was very disappointed to discover a link to one of my own papers. Is must be the fault of Google, trying to find pages it thinks I want to find? Are there internet universes out there that I can never discover?


Friday, November 2, 2012


Upper Geyser Basin


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