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Home: Gary J. Wolff's Blog: Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, July-September, 2011

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives
July-September, 2011

This page shows archived posts for Gary J. Wolff's blog from July-September, 2011.



Sept. 29, 2011 - Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake (甲斐駒ヶ岳), Japan's 18th & 24th highest peaks

These peaks were climbed over 14 yrs. ago, so it's a big surprise this aging brain could recall even half these details. smiley  Given their proximity to the Tokyo metroplex, weather permitting, these awesome peaks can be easily scaled in a weekend. I hope you enjoy my pics, maps, & trail description.

Mt. Kai-koma-ga-take and Marishiten
Mt. Kai-koma-ga-take (甲斐駒ヶ岳) and its subpeak, Marishiten
(摩利支天) (photo courtesy: Wikipedia)

Sept. 26, 2011 - 7th inning balloon release - Marines vs. Lions, Marine Field, Chiba, Japan

                          (View in separate window here.)

Cue marks:
0:00 Blue Lions' balloons - start of top of the 7th inning
1:12 White Marines' balloons - start of bottom of the 7th inning
2:37 Lions' relief pitcher driven to infield in Volvo convertible car

Game played Sat. Sept. 24, 2011. Interestingly (and disappointingly), the game finished after 9 innings w/ a 5-5 tie, because of the Japanese pro baseball rule this season (due to the big 3/11 earthquake/tsunami) that no extra innings can begin more than 210 minutes after the first pitch. :-( Also, except in the playoffs, because of the fear that fans might miss their last train, Japanese pro baseball games that go 12 innings and are still tied, are halted & recorded as ties. As of Sept. 26, less than 3 weeks before the end of the 2011 season, there have been around 90 tie games in Japanese pro baseball this year.

Sept. 24, 2011 - Mt. Senjo-ga-take (仙丈ヶ岳) and Mt. Kai-koma-ga-dake (甲斐駒ヶ岳), Japan's 18th & 24th highest peaks, Southern Japan Alps

                          Pics taken Aug. 12-13, 1997. View entire album here.

Sept. 23, 2011 - These 30 moving cinemagraphs are remarkable !

One of the coolest things I think I've ever seen. A cinemagraph is a technique of blending the effects of images and videos. Be patient, as some of them will take time to load:

moving cinemagraph
      (Photo courtesy: ICanBeCreative)

Sept. 19, 2011 - Ever seen a typhoon or hurricane tie a knot?

Typhoon Roke (台風15号) just pulled it off. And NOW it's making a beeline for Tokyo. Oh brother, what a CONFUSED storm!  smiley

Typhoon Roke ties an overhand knot
Typhoon Roke ties an overhand knot btw. Sept.
16-19, 2011 (Source:

Sept. 17, 2011 - Sunrise in Tokyo, Sat. Sept. 17, 2011, 5:14 am

Sunrise in Tokyo

Sept. 13, 2011 - Pics/videos of the Wedding of the Millennium

Ainsworth House & Gardens
Portland, Oregon
Sept. 2-3, 2011

The Wedding of the Millennium, Ainsworth House & Gardens, Portland, Oregon, September 2-3, 2011
(Click right arrow above to advance pics sequentially, or view entire album at a glance here. Note: The 1st 32 pics in this set are courtesy of the official wedding photographer, Bryan Hoybook Photography of Portland, OR.)

All 3 videos are in a playlist and will play continuously, non-stop.
Or click on the playlist icon playlist icon above to select the other 2 videos.
(Play the entire playlist in new window here.)

Cue marks for the Post-Wedding (3rd) video:
00:00  Post-wedding mingling in front of Ainsworth House
00:27  Scott's speech @ reception
03:35  Heather's speech @ reception
08:01  Bride & groom cut cake
09:20  Bride & groom dance w/ each other
12:06  Bride & groom dance w/ parents
15:32  Free dance
19:41  Bride tosses bouquet
21:56  Free dance
23:48  Bride & Claire dance to "Devil Went Down to Georgia"
27:15  "Cuban Shuffle" dance
29:27  Wedding party departs by limo, while being cheered w/ sparklers

Sept. 13, 2011 - Video of my Oregon Sightseeing Tour 

      (Video taken Sept. 1-8, 2011. View in separate window here.)

Cue marks:
00:00  High Rocks City Park, Gladstone, Oregon
00:58  Glockenspiel Restaurant & Bar, Mt. Angel, Oregon
10:07  Multnomah Falls, Oregon
11:36  Sunrise from East Rim Drive, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
14:33  Pika on Mt. Scott Trail, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
15:09  Toketee Falls, Oregon
16:33  North Umpqua River, Oregon
16:56  Spinreel Campground, Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
17:07  Flashing yellow left turn arrow traffic signal, U.S. Hwy. 101, Florence, Oregon

Sept. 12, 2011 - My pics of the Beautiful State of Oregon, Crown Jewel of America's Pacific Northwest

                  (Pics taken Sept. 1-8, 2011. View entire album at a glance here.)

Sept. 11, 2011 - 9/11, Ten Years Later

[Oops, the video ( is no longer available.]  frownie

This documentary was made in 2006 in Tokyo by film producer Joey Manalang for a charity concert in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of 9/11. A famous American movie star is interviewed @ the 2:05 & 9:27 min. marks.

Aug. 20, 2011 - Pics, maps, and trail description of my Aug. 2011 climb of Mt. Notori-dake (農鳥岳) and the Shiranesanzan (白根三山) in the Southern Japan Alps (南アルプス).

Mt. Fuji at sunrise
            Mt. Fuji, Japan's tallest peak, at sunrise
                       5:31 am, Aug. 14, 2011

Aug. 15, 2011 - Mt. Notori-dake (農鳥岳), one of the Shiranesanzan (白根三山)

Mt. Notori-dake (農鳥岳), along with Mt. Kita-dake (北岳) & Mt. Ai-no-dake (間ノ岳), comprise Japan's Shiranesanzan (白根三山, "3 white summits"). We don't have anything even close to this in my home state of Texas, and is just one reason I love beautiful Japan.

                                        (View entire photo album here.)

Aug. 10, 2011 - Chiba Lotte Marines in Marine Field on Marine Day Weekend

                          (View in separate window here.)

In Japan the 3rd Monday in July is a national holiday called "Umi no Hi," or Marine Day (also called Day of the Sea). This game between the Pacific League teams Chiba Lotte Marines & the Softbank Hawks was played on Sun. July 17, 2011 on Marine Day Weekend. It was an all-round good time on a gorgeous but HOT day. Enjoy a first-hand glance at Japanese pro baseball !!

Highlights (in min.):
2:34 - pre-game food stalls
7:00 - opening pitch
8:46 - beer girl
10:56 - kid's play area
12:52 - 7th inning balloon release

QVC Marine Field is located in Chiba's Makuhari area, right next to Tokyo Bay.

July 19, 2011 - Government Waste

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."

--Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), 3rd President of the United States (1801–1809), and one of America's most influential Founding Fathers--

July 15, 2011 - The White House Resolute Desk

The 131-year-old Resolute Desk, which adorns the White House Oval Office, was built of wood salvaged from the British arctic exploration ship HMS Resolute and was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880. It is considered a national historic treasure and an icon of the U.S. presidency.

Obama disrespects national historic treasure, the Resolute Desk
      The Resolute Desk, in the White House Oval Office

In 1852 the British ship HMS Resolute was sent to the Arctic Ocean on 2-3 year mission along with four other ships to search for missing explorer Sir John Franklin and his party who had disappeared in the Arctic while trying to discover the Northwest Passage.

Unfortunately, the ship became ice bound and after two winters stuck in the thick ice, the Resolute had to be abandoned and its crew returned to England aboard another ship. For over a year the HMS Resolute drifted in pack ice as a ghost ship.

In September 1855 the ship was discovered 1200 miles from where her crew left her by Capt. James Buddington of the US whaling ship George Henry. When the thaw set in, his crew managed to free the entrapped Resolute and sailed the salvaged prize back to Capt. Buddington's home port of New London, Connecticut, where, after the British Government waived all claim to her, the American Government bought her from the fortunate whalers for $40,000, a huge sum of money in those days.

As a token of goodwill & friendship, the Resolute was repaired & refitted in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in 1856 was presented to Queen Victoria and the British people on behalf of the people of the United States in the hope that it would promote peaceful relations.

The Resolute served in the Royal Navy for 22 more years until she was decommissioned in 1878. When the ship was finally broken up the following year, Queen Victoria asked for 4 desks to be fashioned from the strong oak wood of the Resolute by William Evenden at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Chatham, England. She presented one of the desks as a gift to U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes in 1880.

In the 131 years since then, apart from short spells in a traveling exhibition and on display in the Smithsonian Institution, the Resolute Desk has been in daily use in the White House by every president since Hayes either in the Oval Office or a private study in the Executive Mansion with the exception of Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Ford.

The desk was made famous in part by a photograph of Pres. John F. Kennedy at work while his son, John Jr., peeked out the front through the kneehole panel. The Resolute Desk has sealed a lasting friendship between Great Britain and the United States.

JFK, John Jr., & the Resolute Desk
JFK, John Jr., & the Resolute Desk

July 5, 2011 - 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...

                             (View on separate page here.)
              Individual episodes from the BBC Planet Earth series
                    can be ordered from Amazon for only $1.99.

July 4, 2011 - Climbing Mt. Fuji

Mt. Fuji's official 2-month climbing season opened July 1st. Reminds me of the old Japanese proverb: "If you come to Japan and don't climb Mt. Fuji, you're a fool; but if you climb it more than once, you're an even BIGGER fool."  Smiley face  Cracks me up....every time.

If you know anyone interested in climbing Mt. Fuji, they might be interested in my Climbing Mt. Fuji - Frequently Asked Questions page. And pics from my Aug. 3-4, 1991 climb of Mt. Fuji are hosted @ Flickr here.

Mt. Fuji's "unkai (雲海)" (sea of clouds)
        Mt. Fuji's "unkai (雲海)" (sea of clouds)


July 2, 2011 - Glacier National Park, Montana

Got an email last night from a good bud living in LA, who said he & his girlfriend are headed for Glacier National Park, Montana today. Reminded me of the magnificent summer I spent working there, so I dug up this pic from the archives. Glacier NP, together with the adjoining Waterton Lakes NP on the Canadian side of the border, form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the first-ever park in the world spanning an international border. 

Glacier National Park
              Red Eagle Lake, Glacier National Park
   (Here's the GNP hiking trail map for how to reach it.)

Without question, Glacier National Park is one of the most strikingly beautiful places I've ever seen on God's green earth. More pics taken Aug. '09 by my daughter & her husband are here.

July 1, 2011 - It's going to be a LONG, hot summer in Tokyo

Temperatures busted the 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) mark on Wed. June 29, 2011 at a number of recording stations in Gunma Prefecture, as the Tokyo Electric Power Co. struggles to keep up with electricity demand. New subway station monitors show real-time hourly electricity demand as a percentage of the available supply that TEPCO is capable of providing. The monitor below shows that in the 11-12 am hour today on July 1, TEPCO customers were using 41.4 gigawatts, or 81% of the maximum 51-gigawatt capacity TEPCO was capable of supplying. (TEPCO's real-time demand/supply graph)

 TEPCO electricity demand vs. supply monitor

Tokyo Weather/Sky
Click for Tokyo, Japan Forecast
Click for Tokyo, Japan Forecast

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