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Home: Gary J. Wolff's Blog: Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2011

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives
April-June, 2011

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



June 25, 2011 - Volunteering your way to JOY

Volunteerism is often seen as giving up something for oneself (time or the chance to make money) to help another. No wonder people think of it as a kind of sacrifice which is preferably avoided. However, on the contrary, volunteering is one of the best things you can do for yourself, making you much happier.

The Happy Planet Index (a way to measure people's happiness) finds that the happiest people are not the most materialistic wealthy, but those with the most connections, who share their lives with others (Especially, Latin American countries scored high). No doubt, a certain amount of material comfort is beneficial, but connecting with others (by reaching out and "doing good" to other people, animals, and plants) generates a much deeper and longer lasting fulfillment than anything which is only done for myself could. (Source: Jambo International)

June 21, 2011 - Lotteria's new Tower Cheeseburger

This new heart-attack-waiting-to-happen from Lotteria is known as the Tower Cheeseburger and has 10 patties & 1,823 kilocalories. It goes on sale June 24 for a limited time. Cost: 1,400 yen. A smaller version with five beef patties costs 700 yen.

Lotteria's new Tower Cheeseburger

June 19, 2011 - Happy Father's Day !!

God bless all the wonderful fathers in the world, especially those who've made the ultimate sacrifice to help keep our world safe. Here's a tribute to my own dad, a famous softball pitcher, who went to be with the Lord in 2004:

Happy Father's Day

June 12, 2011 - The Power of the Smile

How does one choose to be happy before anything happens to make one happy? There are many ways to do that. Here is a simple technique suggested by the famed Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh: "Smile 5 times a day for no good reason." Smiling actually produces a biological effect in your body. It sends chemicals racing around your body and actually lifts your spirits. Try this today. Then, every day this week, smile 5 times a day for no good reason. Do it sitting in traffic. Do it standing in the shower. Do it walking down the street, or working at your desk. For no good reason, just break into a smile. Watch your mood change, even though nothing in your exterior has shifted.

(Conversations with God News, April 7, 2006)  
Courtesy: David Howenstein, Jambo International

June 8, 2011 - Aerial video of Mt. Fuji, elev. 3776m, the highest mountain in Japan

Taken @ 4:39 pm, June 3, 2011 aboard ANA Flight 261 from Tokyo Haneda to Fukuoka Airport. I made this video while enroute to the JALTCALL 2011 conference in Kurume, on the southern Japan main island of Kyushu.

                      (click here to view in separate window)

Aerial view of Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest peak
    Aerial view of Mt. Fuji, Japan's highest peak

May 25, 2011 - 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 3 min. video...

                             (click here to view in separate window)

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

May 21, 2011 - Helen Morrison's May 14, 2011 Concert

Helen Morrison's May 14, 2011 concert

Vocals: Helen Morrison ( and Aimee Blackshleger
Piano: Yuko Somiya
Bass: Jeff Curry
Drums: Kenji Matsuura
PLUS......the 60's Girl Group: The Pink Ladies

Mobius Music Bar
Sat. May 14, 2011
Tokyo, Japan

All 4 videos are in a playlist and will play continuously, non-stop.
After 1st video starts, mouse over screen to select the other 3 videos.
(Play the entire playlist in new window here.)

May 18, 2011 - What Japanese University Students Think About America

Our new university spring semester is now in full swing and a fresh batch of stories for the "What Japanese University Students Think About...?" project can be viewed here: Stories for 2011-2012 School Year

May 11, 2011 - Triumph unveils 'Support Japan Bra' printed with worldwide messages

Triumph's new Support Japan Bra
Triumph's new "Support Japan Bra" (Sankei)

May 6, 2011 - Free Nathan !!

Mexican national & award-winning photographer Nathanael Teutli was arrested November 15 under false charges & has been detained ever since in solitary confinement at Niigata Prison without sentencing. And his Japanese wife is doing all she can to keep him there, so she can get custody of their daughter Yukari. Please spread the word so Nathan can be freed to return home to his family & friends.

May 1, 2011 - Mt. Ontake-san (御嶽山), elev. 3067m, the 8th highest mountain in Japan

Pics, maps, and trail description of my Aug. 2001 climb of Mt. Ontake-san.  Climbing this peak was without question the most religious & spiritual hike I've ever taken in Japan. The climbing trail has little shrines, temples, and statues of religious deities pretty much along the entire course. More details...

San-no-ike (三ノ池), one of Mt. Ontake-san's 5 crater lakes
San-no-ike (三ノ池), one of Mt. Ontake-san's 5 crater lakes

April 29, 2011 - Google Map of April 27, 2011 U.S. tornado outbreak, the worst tornado disaster since the Great Depression

Over 170 tornadoes killed over 300 people in several states:

April 27, 2011 tornado map
          View Tornado Outbreak April 27, 2011 map in new window.

April 25, 2011 - Mt. Warusawa-dake (悪沢岳) and Mt. Akaishi-dake (赤石岳), Japan's 6th & 7th Highest Mountains

Pics, maps, and trail description of my Aug. 1995 climb of Mt. Warusawa-dake, elev. 3141m, and Mt. Akaishi-dake, elev. 3120m. More details...

Atop summit of Mt. Warusawa-dake
         Atop summit of Mt. Warusawa-dake (悪沢岳),
       elev. 3141m, the 6th highest mountain in Japan 
                            Aug. 13, 1995

April 22, 2011 - Danny Gokey sings "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me" (w/ lyrics)

"Blowing out the candles
on another birthday cake
Old enough to look back and laugh at my mistakes
Young enough to look at the future and like what I see
My best days are ahead of me..."

Milwaukee, Wisconsin native Danny Gokey, who was the third place finalist on the eighth season of American Idol, and whose wife died just 1 month before his AI audition.

Danny Gokey sings "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me"

April 16, 2011 - Tokyo cherry blossom blizzard on April 14, 2011

Tokyo's 2011 cherry blossom season comes to an end with city-wide cherry blossom blizzards. This one was captured with my Samsung Galaxy S cell phone on April 14, 2011 in Shibuya near the entrance to a temple.


April 8, 2011 - 3-day-old crescent moon in Tokyo

On Wed. April 6, 2011 in Tokyo, between 18:33 and 18:51 I took 75 pics with my cheap, shirt-pocket digicame, and the one below taken @ 18:38 wound up as the winner.

3-day-old crescent moon in Tokyo on April 6, 2011

April 2, 2011 - American businessman and associates in Tokyo enjoy yakitori and oden at Japanese yatai (food stall)

American businessman eating oden at Japanese yatai

Japanese translation of credit card commercial:

In office
Office worker (to her boss): "Sorry, I couldn't find a nice place for tonight's reception for our foreign clients."
Lady boss: "Don't worry. We don't need such a fancy place."

In yatai (tent-style food stall)
Lady boss (to her subordinate, upon seeing how much fun the foreigners were having): "They were impressed, weren't they?"

(Note: Working with Ryoko Shinohara (the lady boss), one of Japan's most popular actresses, was a real pleasure. She is without question one of the most strikingly beautiful women I've ever seen with my own eyes.)

Summer 1974 hitchhiking trip ebook cover
Only 99¢ at Amazon (¥105 at アマゾン日本)

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