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Gary J. Wolff's Blog

Gary J. Wolff's blog is my mini-journal about GaryJWolff.com. It...

  •  lets you know whenever any new pages are added to GaryJWolff.com
  •  allows me to periodically share some interesting stuff about Japanese culture  
  •  keeps you up-to-date on any other postings or news regarding GaryJWolff.com


Enjoy...

Cheers, 
Gary


Recent website updates (at bottom of the page)
Feel free to share your comments below.





Sept. 19, 2017 - Hurricane Harvey flood damage

Late last month, Hurricane Harvey hit my hometown hard, with heavy rains and flooding, and some places in the Houston area getting as much as 50 inches (1270 mm) of rainfall. My mom's & sister's houses got hit too, with a foot (~30 cm) of water in their homes. OUCH! frownie

Fortunately, I was able to be there for a short while to help out, but unfortunately it looks like the recovery will take a long time. Here are some pics:

Flooded front yard
Flooded front yard


Flooded den
Flooded den


Residential flood damage debris
Residential flood damage debris

The rest of my Hurricane Harvey flood damage and Houston vacation pics are here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsm962iTe

And here's a short video I filmed Mon. 9/4, riding around with my mom & sister in the Southdale neighborhood (south of Bellaire Blvd. & east of Newcastle St.), one of the hardest hit, flood damaged parts of Bellaire, a suburb of Houston:
https://youtu.be/4buJyuWKbeM?list=UUi7Jxm2NxfM5LCdkpg3Nhxw




Sept. 17, 2017 - Pics of GW's August 2017 Alaska Road Trip

It was a great 15-day trip! Here are 2 of my favorite highlights:

Alaska Arctic Circle
Alaska Arctic Circle, Aug. 23, 2017
Dalton Highway, Latitude 66° 33'


Alaska silver salmon
On Aug. 29, 2017, I caught 2 of these silver salmon in the Lower Kenai River on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula (the daily limit allowed under Alaska fish & game regulations).​

The rest of my nearly 300 Alaska road trip pics are here: Pics of GW's August 2017 Alaska Road Trip




Aug. 13, 2017 - THE BEST LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM IN JAPAN!

Congrats once again to the Tokyo Kitasuna Little League baseball team (東京北砂リトルリーグ) which will be the 2017 Japan representative in the Little League Baseball World Series for the 6th time, and 3rd time in the last 4 years.

Tokyo Kitasuna defeated Chiba City, 17-0, in the final game of the all-Japan regional tournament that lasted 2 days with 16 teams. Tokyo Kitasuna has already become World Series champs 3 times, having previously won in 2001, 2012, and 2015, and was runner-up in 2007.

Since 1947, Japanese teams have competed 28 times at the Little League Baseball World Series, and have become world champions 10 times, 2nd only to Taiwan, which has won the tourney a remarkable 17 times. Besides Tokyo Kitasuna, Japanese World Series champs include Tokyo Musashi Fuchu in 2013 and 2003, Tokyo Edogawa Minami in 2010, Osaka Hirakata in 1999, Tokyo Chofu in 1976, Wakayama City in 1968, and West Tokyo in 1967.

The 2017 Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania (tournament bracket) runs Aug. 17-27. Tokyo Kitasuna's first game will be this Friday, Aug. 18 vs. Hills Little League of Sydney, Australia.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the largest youth sports organization in the world, with over 2.5 million participants and 1 million volunteers worldwide.

Go Japan (がんばれ日本)!! smiley

Tokyo Kitasuna 2017 Little League Baseball champs
Tokyo Kitasuna 2017 Little League Baseball champs
(photo credit: llbws.org)

Aug. 27, 2017 update: Japan Wins Little League Baseball World Series Championship!




Aug. 9, 2017 - WHAT COUPLES FIGHT ABOUT ON VACATION

Ha-ha! This reminds me why I enjoy traveling solo... smiley

The Top 10 reasons behind a couple's holiday arguments:

1. Men checking out other women
2. He wants to 'do' something, she wants to lounge
3. Where and what to eat
4. Drinking too much
5. Map reading and other driving rows abroad
6. Packing (he packs too little, she packs too much)
7. Women taking too long to get ready for dinner
8. Spending too much money
9. Getting to the airport in time
10. Currency (how much to get and where to get it)

Source: Daily Mail




Aug. 7, 2017 - Edogawa Fireworks Festival (江戸川花火大会)

On the occasion of having attended last Sat. night the 42nd annual Edogawa Fireworks Festival, I was reminded of this amazing pic taken at the Aug. 3, 2013 Edogawa fireworks show by Facebook friend Andrew Parker, whom I met then at a fireworks viewing party I had the pleasure of attending.

If you're a Facebook user, you can see the other 35 incredible pics taken by Andrew that night in his album here.

The Edogawa fireworks show is one of the largest and most popular in the Tokyo area, and thus a must-see, rewarding diversion from Japan’s ungodly hot and humid summer season. This year’s 75-min. Edogawa fireworks show featured 14,000-plus fireworks, with a new theme every 10 minutes.

Aug. 3, 2013 Edogawa Fireworks pic by Andrew Parker
Aug. 3, 2013 Edogawa Fireworks pic by Andrew Parker
(used with permission)




Aug. 6, 2017 - Japan's latest invention: Non-melting ice cream

Researchers at the Biotherapy Development Research Center in Kanazawa, Japan trying to create a new kind of confectionery with strawberries that were not the right shape to be sold have discovered by accident a way to make non-melting popsicles.

Scientists found out that a polyphenol strawberry extract could be used to stop ice cream from melting, retaining almost the same shape even if exposed to the hot air from a hair dryer.

The "Kanazawa Ice" popsicles first went on sale in Kanazawa in April and are now selling in Osaka and Tokyo as well.

Source: Daily Mail

Japanese non-melting ice cream
Japanese non-melting ice cream
Photo credit: Daily Mail




July 31, 2017 - Houston's famous Beer Can House

The famous Beer Can House in Houston, Texas, covered in 50,000 flattened beer cans, was once the home of John and Mary Milkovisch, who started adding the empty cans in 1968 as a way to provide shade for drinking their afternoon beers.

The Beer Can House is now a historic landmark and is open to the public as a tourist attraction. If you visit my hometown, this is a must-see!! smiley This summer it's open Wednesdays through Sundays from 12 to 5 pm.

Houston's beer can house
Photo credit: The Washington Times




July 28, 2017 - Now THIS is real comedy!

I concede that I'm probably a bit old-fashioned, but compared to all the political silliness that passes for so-called comedy on America's late-night talk shows nowadays, I believe this old skit with Johnny Carson and Jack Webb to be REAL COMEDY. Johnny Carson (1925-2005) was best known for his 30 years as the talk show host of The Tonight Show, and Jack Webb (1920-1982) was most famous for his role as Sergeant Joe Friday in the popular TV series Dragnet.



(If player above is not visible,
you can view video @ YouTube here.)


"Cleaning woman Clara Clifford discovered your clean copper clappers, kept in a closet, which were copped by Claude Cooper the kleptomaniac from Cleveland." smiley




July 24, 2017 - Google Street View climbs Mt. Fuji

Want to climb to the top of Japan's tallest mountain without leaving your desk chair? If you've ever wondered what the top of Japan's 3776 m (12,389 ft) Mt. Fuji looks like, Google Maps can now show you. Four years ago this month, Google sent a team up Mt. Fuji to get a "Street View" of the summit.

Using the Street View Trekker backpack device, equipped with a remarkable 15 cameras and carried on the back of team member Jiro Dohi, the Google team was able to capture a full range of 360-degree panoramic imagery from atop the mountain, making its visual treasures available to all for the first time.

They're hoping it will assist climbers who plan to venture up Japan's highest peak by providing a virtual glimpse into how trekkers make their way up the rocky terrain. The Street View collection covers the busiest and most popular Yoshida trail that takes hikers up the mountain, the full walk around the crater at the top, and the quick zigzag descent.

The video below shows the making of the Street View and here is the new 360-degree Street View panorama from the abandoned weather station atop Japan's actual highpoint: http://goo.gl/maps/0o5Ko



(If player above is not visible,
you can view video @ YouTube here.)


July 22, 2017 - Texas-style beach sandals!!

You can take the cowboy out of the country, but you can't expect him to get rid of his boots.

Yee hah, ride 'em cowboy!! smiley

Texas-style beach sandals
Texas-style beach sandals




July 16, 2017 - Do Nothing for 2 Minutes

Need to slow down today? Apparently a lot of people do. In 2011 Alex Tew introduced a “fun side project” called Donothingfor2minutes.com. When users clicked on the site, it immediately began a 2-minute countdown while encouraging them to listen to the sound of the waves – and do nothing.

If the mouse or keyboard is touched, a red "try again" message appears and the timer resets. In the first week, the site had over 2 million visitors.

Check it out – it’s a hoot. See if you can do nothing for 2 minutes.




July 9, 2017 - Never a dull moment in Japan!

Touch this bum
Photo courtesy: Facebook friend Dennis Gunn


So then… What am I supposed to do?

"To touch or not to touch.... that is the question." smiley

Only in Japan...




July 5, 2017 - Creation Calls -- are you listening?

Absolutely stunning footage from the BBC Planet Earth Series, set to Brian Doerksen's song, "Creation Calls," and celebrating the wonder and majesty of God's creations.

It's like taking a trip around the world in just a few minutes. I believe I'll watch this the first thing every morning to start off the day...



Creation Calls -- are you listening?
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)


June 25, 2017 - Japanese university English speech contest

This university ESS (English speaking society) holds a recitation speech contest every June just for college freshmen, where they recite from memory a famous speech from history, like JFK's 1963 inaugural address, Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech, Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford commencement address, etc. These kids were truly phenomenal! And it was my honor to help judge the contest again this year for the 8th straight year.

2017 recitation speech contest




June 18, 2017 - Feeling the Wind

One of my greatest pleasures while residing in the planet's most populous metropolis is cycling up and down the nearby Edogawa riverside on sunny days.

Yep, I'm the crazy guy who several years ago started the fad in Japan of wearing ankle weights on my wrists while cycling along the riverside. Since cycling exercises primarily the lower body, I felt I needed to spend that time working my biceps and triceps as well.

A few years ago while I was out on my mountain bike, I took a breather at the "Kaze o Kanjite" (風を感じて, "Feel the Wind") statue in Junsai-ike Park (じゅんさい池公園) in Matsudo, Chiba (千葉県松戸市). In the pic below, I'm in my usual attire, sporting 4 kg (~9 lbs) wrist weights on each arm.

And for some reason, this spring so far I've encountered an above average number of days with fairly strong headwinds. So I'm hearing the naked statue lady's message loud and clear, as I'm definitely "feeling the wind"! smiley


"Kaze o Kanjite" (風を感じて, "Feel the Wind") statue
"Kaze o Kanjite" (風を感じて, "Feel the Wind") statue
Junsai-ike Park (じゅんさい池公園), Matsudo, Chiba (千葉県松戸市)




June 13, 2017 - New Guinness World Record for biggest swimsuit parade

This is old news from a June 11, 2010 post, but it was so noteworthy, I felt it deserved a replay! smiley


Bikini parade at the Venus Fort shopping complex
To promote its new Gillette Venus razor, parent company Procter and Gamble assembled 323 Japanese bikini-clad beauties at the Venus Fort shopping complex in Odaiba, Tokyo to set a new world record.  


June 3, 2017 - Fond Memories of My Favorite Japanese Peaks

Just a quick trip down memory lane today, reflecting back on my quarter-century of climbing Japan's gorgeous peaks. I hope my many friends will enjoy the 4-minute video below. I chose Enya's "Caribbean Blue" as the BGM.

I believe the final frame in the video sums it up well: "Can you see now why I love Japan so much?!" smiley

Cheers,
Wolffman



Fond Memories of My Favorite Japanese Peaks
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)




June 2, 2017 - Japanese university ESS (English Speaking Society) speech contest

I never cease to be amazed at the ambition of some Japanese university students who are so passionate in improving their English and public speaking skills. For the 8th consecutive year, on Sunday, May 21, 2017 I had the pleasure of helping judge a university student English speech contest sponsored by my university's ESS (English Speaking Society). These 2nd-year students were truly amazing, sacrificing an entire day to give by memory in front of 100 people a 7-min. speech which they composed themselves.

May 2017 speech contest


May 2017 speech contest




May 28, 2017 - Tokyo Eco-Toilet, Edogawa River

This totally self-sufficient eco-toilet along the Edogawa jogging/cycling path in Tokyo is powered by wind and solar energy, and collects rainwater from the roof for the toilets. Furthermore, it is covered by greenery to reduce heat absorption. Click below to view my 3 min. narrated video...


Tokyo Eco-Toilet, Edogawa River
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)


Tokyo Eco-Toilet, Edogawa River
       
 Tokyo Eco-Toilet, Edogawa River


May 23, 2017 - Japanese man oldest person to scale world's tallest peak

Four years ago today, Yuichiro Miura (三浦 雄一郎), an 80-year-old Japanese mountaineer, became the oldest person to reach the top of the 29,035-ft (8,848-m) Mount Everest at 9:05 a.m. local time (just after noon in Japan).

Miura also conquered the planet's highest peak when he was 70 and 75. In the photo below, Miura, right, poses with his 43-yr-old son Gota at the C4 camp (elev. 26,247 ft) en route to the summit.

A noted veteran adventurer, Miura became famous when he was a young man as a daredevil speed skier. He came to worldwide attention in 1970 when he became the first person to ski down Everest. The feat was captured in the Oscar-winning 1975 documentary, "The Man Who Skied Down Everest." He has also skied down Mount Fuji.

Miura has since skied down the highest mountains on each of the 7 continents, following the tradition of his late father Keizo, who skied down Europe's Mont Blanc at the age of 99.

Miura conquered Mt. Everest despite undergoing heart surgery in January 2013 for an irregular heartbeat, his 4th heart operation since 2007.

Sources: Various, including ESPN

Yuichiro Miura
Yuichiro Miura, right, poses with his 43-yr-old son Gota
at the C4 Mt. Everest camp




May 19, 2017 - Australia's jacaranda trees

I'm in LOVE with Australia's jacaranda trees, which bloom in October (springtime in the southern hemisphere), which were introduced to me by one of my foreign exchange students from Brisbane who shared this remarkable story: http://www.garyjwolff.com/jacaranda.html


Australia's jacaranda trees
Australia's jacaranda trees




May 3, 2017 - Wisteria Festival (藤まつり) at Kameido Tenjin Shrine (亀戸天神社)

I first visited this beautiful wisteria festival about 20 years ago, but I'd forgotten how stunningly gorgeous the wisteria flowers actually are. Some strands of wisteria blossoms I'm guesstimating were at least 10 feet (~3m) long.

It was a wonderful experience, in spite of the hoardes of people on a picture-perfect Golden Week national holiday. If you're in Tokyo, the wisteria festival this year runs through Sunday, May 7th.

The rest of my wisteria pics are here (don't miss the kissing turtles!): smiley
Wisteria Festival (藤まつり) at Kameido Tenjin Shrine (亀戸天神社)


Wisteria Festival (藤まつり) at Kameido Tenjin Shrine (亀戸天神社)
Wisteria Festival (藤まつり) at Kameido Tenjin Shrine (亀戸天神社)




April 29, 2017 - Rainbow Cycle Monorail (レインボーサイクルモノレール)

This is just one of the million reasons why I love Japan, where I routinely stumble unexpectedly upon something really cool, and which I would likely never, ever see in my own home country...



Rainbow Cycle Monorail (レインボーサイクルモノレール)
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)




April 23, 2017 - Tokyo Bay Fishing at Miura Kaigan (東京湾三浦海岸釣り)

This Saturday, June 16, 2007 adventure with one of my coworkers was, without question, one of the most awesome fishing trips I've ever been on. The water and sky that day were the most stunningly beautiful shade of blue I've ever seen..... ANYWHERE, EVER.

One of the highlights of the day was catching the most amazing Japanese fish with butterfly wings shown below, but it touched my soul in such a profound way, I decided to release it back into the Big Blue Pond. smiley

Click open the 25-photo album to check out the breathtaking view of Mt. Fuji and other pics of Tokyo Bay's beautiful blue water.


Miura Kaigan butterfly fish
My Miura Kaigan "butterfly fish"
(In Japanese, it's called a hōbō (魴鮄), or red gurnard in English)




April 22, 2017 - MAXINE'S UNIVERSAL LAWS OF NATURE:

Maxine's Universal Laws of NatureMaxine
1. Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, or screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
2. Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.
3. Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.
4. Law of Mechanical Repair - After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to pee.
5. Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).
6. Law of the Bath - When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.
7. Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.
8. Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.
9. Law of Biomechanics - The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
10. Law of the Theater & Hockey Arena - At any event, the people whose seats are farthest from the aisle, always arrive last. They are the ones who will leave their seats several times to go for food, beer, or the toilet and who leave early before the end of the performance or the game is over. The folks in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies and stay to the bitter end of the performance. The aisle people also are very surly folk.
11. The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
12. Murphy's Law of Lockers - If there are only 2 people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.
13. Law of Physical Surfaces - The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.
14. Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
15. Brown's Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they're ugly.
16. Oliver's Law of Public Speaking - A closed mouth gathers no feet.
17. Wilson's Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it (especially in Japan!).
18. Doctor's Law - If you don't feel well and make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. But if you don't make an appointment, you'll stay sick.




April 13, 2017 - 2017 Tokyo Cherry Blossoms

Even after 26 years, I don't think I'll ever tire of the gorgeous Japanese cherry blossoms.



2017 Tokyo Cherry Blossoms
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)


The cherry blossoms normally peak in Tokyo around the beginning of April, when both the school year and business year begin in Japan, and so are symbolic of a fresh start. And from the time the blossoms first open until they start falling off the tree, they rarely last for more than 2 weeks, representing the fragility and shortness of life. Now you see them, now you don't.

And by far one the most stunning aspects of their demise, is the remarkable way the cherry blossoms fall off the tree and get blown around in the breeze, resembling a snowstorm. So it is no big surprise that the Japanese refer to this phenomenon as "sakurafubuki" (桜吹雪, cherry blossom blizzard).

[If you have time, you can watch 8 more videos of the amazing Tokyo cherry blossoms I've taken thru the years, including some cherry blossom blizzards and the stunning Chidorigafuchi nighttime lightup, in my new "Tokyo Cherry Blossoms" playlist at YouTube.]




April 8, 2017 - Japanese playground slide with rollers 

I want to be a kid again!!

It looks FUN! I wanted to try it, but I guess I'm too big.

[Just after I stopped filming, I saw a dad sliding down with his kid.] smiley



Japanese playground slide with rollers 
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)




April 5, 2017 - Japanese "high-jumper" (ハイジャンパー)

This interesting piece of Japanese playground equipment is known as a "high-jumper" (ハイジャンパー), to measure how high you can jump up and touch. The little numbers range from 210-280 & indicate height in cm, e.g. the red "225" represents 2.25 m (~7 ft. 5 in.). Only in Japan... smiley

Japanese high jumper
Japanese "high-jumper" (ハイジャンパー)




April 1, 2017 - Japanese bicycle escalator in Tokyo - ONLY in Japan!! smiley

This bicycle escalator starts from the basement bicycle parking garage in the 45-story i-Link Tower near JR Ichikawa Station.

No, this is NOT an April Fool's joke! smiley



Japanese bicycle escalator in Tokyo
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)








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Website Updates

Sep 19, 2017

Hurricane Harvey flood damage

Late last month, Hurricane Harvey hit my hometown hard, with heavy rains and flooding, and some places in the Houston area getting as much as 50 inches (1270 mm) of rainfall. My mom's & sister's houses got hit too, with a foot (~30 cm) of water in their homes. OUCH! :-(

(Click link to see pics.)

Continue reading "Hurricane Harvey flood damage"

Sep 19, 2017

Pics of GW's August 2017 Alaska Road Trip

It was a great 15-day trip! Click link to see 2 of my favorite highlights, my trip to the Arctic Circle, Latitude 66° 33', and one of the HUGE silver salmon I caught in the Lower Kenai River on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula (the daily limit allowed under Alaska fish & game regulations).​

Continue reading "Pics of GW's August 2017 Alaska Road Trip"

Sep 19, 2017

Gary J. Wolff's Blog

Gary J. Wolff's blog keeps you up-to-date with my everyday life in Japan, as well as recent additions/changes to the GaryJWolff.com website.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog"

Sep 14, 2017

Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Page 2

Page 2 of the most frequently asked questions about climbing Mt. Fuji, including info on routes, maps, videos, transport access, weather, and climber stories.

Continue reading "Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Page 2"

Aug 15, 2017

Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, News updates for May 14-20, 2011

May 14-20, 2011 news updates for the strongest ever Japan earthquake and tsunami on Mar. 11, 2011, including maps, photos, and videos.

Continue reading "Strongest Ever Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, News updates for May 14-20, 2011"

Aug 13, 2017

THE BEST LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM IN JAPAN!

Congrats once again to the Tokyo Kitasuna Little League baseball team (東京北砂リトルリーグ) which will be the 2017 Japan representative in the Little League Baseball World Series for the 6th time, and 3rd time in the last 4 years.

Tokyo Kitasuna defeated Chiba City, 17-0, in the final game of the all-Japan regional tournament that lasted 2 days with 16 teams. Tokyo Kitasuna has already become World Series champs 3 times, having previously won in 2001, 2012, and 2015, and was runner-up in 2007.

Since 1947, Japanese teams have competed 28 times at the Little League Baseball World Series...

(Click link to view team picture.)

Continue reading "THE BEST LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM IN JAPAN!"

Aug 08, 2017

WHAT COUPLES FIGHT ABOUT ON VACATION

Ha-ha! This reminds of some of the reasons why I enjoy traveling solo... :-)

The Top 10 reasons behind a couple's holiday arguments:

1. Men checking out other women2. He wants to 'do' something, she wants to lounge3. Where and what to eat4. Drinking too much5. Map reading and other driving rows abroad6. Packing (he packs too little, she packs too much)7. Women taking too long to get ready for dinner8. Spending too much money9. Getting to the airport in time10. Currency (how much to get and where to get it)

Continue reading "WHAT COUPLES FIGHT ABOUT ON VACATION"

Aug 07, 2017

Edogawa Fireworks Festival (江戸川花火大会)

On the occasion of having attended last Sat. night the 42nd annual Edogawa Fireworks Festival, I was reminded of this amazing pic taken at the Aug. 3, 2013 Edogawa fireworks show by Facebook friend Andrew Parker, whom I met then at a fireworks viewing party I had the pleasure of attending.

If you're a Facebook user, you can see the other 35 incredible pics taken by Andrew that night in his album here...

(Click link to read more and to view beautiful fireworks pic.)

Continue reading "Edogawa Fireworks Festival (江戸川花火大会)"

Aug 06, 2017

Japan's latest invention: Non-melting ice cream

Researchers at the Biotherapy Development Research Center in Kanazawa, Japan trying to create a new kind of confectionery with strawberries that were not the right shape to be sold have discovered by accident a way to make non-melting popsicles.

Scientists found out that a polyphenol strawberry extract could be used to stop ice cream from melting, retaining almost the same shape even if exposed to the hot air from a hair dryer.

The "Kanazawa Ice" popsicles first went on sale in Kanazawa in April and are now selling in Osaka and Tokyo as well.

(Click link to view photo.)

Continue reading "Japan's latest invention: Non-melting ice cream"

Jul 31, 2017

When does the Hotaka-dake-sanso close in 2017?

Hi Gary, We are looking to climb Oku hotaka dake at the end of October 2017 (somewhere in the last week). Is there information available on exactly when

Continue reading "When does the Hotaka-dake-sanso close in 2017?"

Jul 30, 2017

Houston's famous Beer Can House

The famous Beer Can House in Houston, Texas, covered in 50,000 flattened beer cans, was once the home of John and Mary Milkovisch, who started adding the empty cans in 1968 as a way to provide shade for drinking their afternoon beers.

The Beer Can House is now a historic landmark and is open to the public as a tourist attraction. If you visit my hometown, this is a must-see!! :-) This summer it's open Wednesdays through Sundays from 12-5 pm.

(Click link to view pic.)

Continue reading "Houston's famous Beer Can House"

Jul 27, 2017

Now THIS is real comedy!

I concede that I'm probably a bit old-fashioned, but compared to all the political silliness that passes for so-called comedy on America's late-night talk shows nowadays, I believe this old skit with Johnny Carson and Jack Webb to be REAL COMEDY. Johnny Carson (1925-2005) was best known for his 30 years as the talk show host of The Tonight Show, and Jack Webb (1920-1982) was most famous for his role as Sergeant Joe Friday in the popular TV series Dragnet.

(Click link to view funny video.)

Continue reading "Now THIS is real comedy!"

Jul 26, 2017

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, January-March, 2017

Posts include GW's Wild West Road Trip eBook, my Summer 1974 hitchhiking trip eBook, and pics & video for my Feb. 2017 Ao Nang, Thailand travel adventure.

Continue reading "Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, January-March, 2017"

Jul 26, 2017

Langkawi, Malaysia Travel

Photos, videos, & descriptions of my July 2010 Langkawi, Malaysia travel, including the Langkawi cable car, Underwater World, a mangrove river boat cruise, and Kuah Town.

Continue reading "Langkawi, Malaysia Travel"

Jul 24, 2017

Google Street View climbs Mt. Fuji

Want to climb to the top of Japan's tallest mountain without leaving your desk chair? If you've ever wondered what the top of Japan's 3776 m (12,389 ft) Mt. Fuji looks like, Google Maps can now show you. Four years ago this month, Google sent a team up Mt. Fuji to get a "Street View" of the summit...

(Click link to read more and to view video.)

Continue reading "Google Street View climbs Mt. Fuji"






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