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Home: Gary J. Wolff's Blog: Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2018

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives
April-June, 2018

This page shows archived posts for Gary J. Wolff's blog from April-June, 2018.



June 24, 2018 - Today's Dale Carnegie quote

"You can make more friends in 2 months by becoming interested in other people than you can in 2 years by trying to get other people interested in you."

—from the top-selling book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), American writer and lecturer

June 17, 2018 - WARNING: Vegetable gardening may be hazardous to your health!!

A 23-foot-long python has swallowed a woman in central Indonesia, a village official said Saturday. The 54-year-old woman went missing while checking her vegetable garden near her village on Muna island in Southeast Sulawesi province on Thursday evening, according to the village chief, Faris.

On Friday, her family went to look for her at the garden, but found only her belongings, including sandals and a flashlight, said Faris, who uses a single name.

The family and villagers launched a search for the woman, and found the snake with a bloated belly about 50 yards from where her belongings were found.

The villagers killed the snake and carried it to the village.

"When they cut open the snake's belly they found Tiba's body still intact with all her clothes," Faris said. "She was swallowed first from her head."

Videos posted on some websites showed villagers slicing open the python's carcass to reveal the woman's body.

Faris said the victim's garden, about half a mile from her house, is located in a rocky area with caves and cliffs believed to contain many snakes.

Reticulated pythons, which are widespread in Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia, grab onto their prey with dozens of sharp curved teeth and then squeeze it to death before swallowing it whole.


June 9, 2018 -  Thee Blackdoor Blues, Club Que, Shimokitazawa, Tues. June 5, 2018

On Tues. night I had the pleasure of hearing the amazing punk rockers Jocelyn Guzman from Mexico and Naoto Sutou from Japan. By all means, don't miss Jocelyn's passionate on-stage antics in the "Dirty Water" song, beginning at the 15:30 mark! Cheers, Thee Blackdoor Blues. Best wishes to you!

Jocelyn Guzman - vocals, guitar, keyboard
Naoto Sutou (須藤直音) - guitar, drums

Thee Blackdoor Blues, Club Que, Shimokitazawa, Tues. June 5, 2018
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)

June 1, 2018 - Mt. Fuji 2018 climbing season congestion forecast

For anyone interested in scaling the nation's highest peak this climbing season (opening 1 month from today), Fuji-san's official site has posted a calendar of the forecasted most congested climbing days, as well as the most crowded times of day from the 8th station to the summit for the Fujinomiya, Subashiri, & Yoshida Trails.

The site states that one of the dangers of climbing the busiest and most congested Yoshida Trail is: "Being in high risk of falling over like dominoes or hit by falling rocks." As one of my Facebook friends aptly commented, "It makes one almost want to be a part of it." Ha-ha. smiley

Mt. Fuji 2018 forecasted most congested climbing days
Mt. Fuji 2018 forecasted most congested climbing days
(image courtesy:

May 18, 2018 - Rambling Steve Gardner, live at Lown in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo

Mississippi Roots and Bluesman Steve Gardner is without question Tokyo's most accomplished harmonica playin' & finger pickin', slide playin' blues guitarist. For more on Steve and his music, including his videos, photos, blog, & live gig schedule, head on over to:

Rambling Steve Gardner, live at Lown in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)

May 13, 2018 - 7-Eleven electric mini-cars (セブン-イレブン 電気ミニカー)

7-Eleven stores in Japan are using single-seater, 50-cc Toyota electric cars for their home delivery service aimed at helping the country’s aging population do their grocery shopping.

According to 2014 estimates, about 26% of the Japanese population are aged 65 and over. With the disappearance of smaller, local shops, there are increasing numbers of people who struggle with their daily shopping.

The 7-Eleven electric mini-cars cost about 700,000 yen ($6400), have a 6-hour charge, and have a range of around 50 kilometers (31 miles).

Founded in 1927, 7-Eleven is based in Irving, Texas (a suburb of Dallas), and is owned by Japan's Seven & i Holdings which operates, franchises, and licenses some 64,319 stores in 18 countries, as of January 2018.

Of those 7-Eleven stores around the globe, 20,260 of them (31% of the total) are located in Japan, more than any other country in the world. 2,601 of the Japan stores are in Tokyo alone.


7-Eleven electric mini-car in Japan
7-Eleven electric mini-car in Japan

April 30, 2018 - Koinobori (鯉幟, carp streamers) along the Edo River (江戸川) in Tokyo

It's that magical time of year in Japan again... GOLDEN WEEK!!

According to ancient Chinese legend, a carp once swam upstream against the rapid current in the Yellow River to become a dragon. Because of the carp's strength and determination to overcome all obstacles, in Japan it was chosen as a symbol for Children's Day (こどもの, Kodomo no hi), May 5, one of the 4 national holidays during the week-long Golden Week holiday period.

To celebrate Children's Day, "koinobori (鯉幟)," or carp streamers, are flown around the country in honor of Japanese children in the hope that they will grow up healthy, strong, and happy. These wind socks are made by drawing carp patterns on paper, cloth or other non-woven fabric. They are then allowed to flutter in the wind. Landscapes across Japan are decorated with koinobori from April to early May.

Yesterday I had the good fortune of seeing some of these HUGE flying carp along the banks of the Edo River (江戸川) on what was one of the most beautiful days in Tokyo so far this year.

Koinobori (鯉幟, carp streamers) along the Edo River (江戸川) in Tokyo
Koinobori (鯉幟, carp streamers) along the Edo River (江戸川) in Tokyo

And here's a video of 35 flying carp along the Edo River I made several years ago, complete with background music, courtesy of the "Memoirs of a Geisha" soundtrack: smiley

35 Flying Carp along the Edo River in Tokyo
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)

April 21, 2018 - Never a dull moment in the world's largest metropolis!

One of the biggest culture shocks I had when I first arrived in Tokyo, and that even after all these years still haven't completely adjusted to, is the overwhelming propensity for most people to wear BLACK… black suits, black coats, black bags, black shoes.... and of course, black hair. So when you navigate the trains and subways on your everyday commute, it's a sea of black.

Well, I'm happy to report that in the past several years, we've finally begun to see a bit more COLOR. smiley Never a dull moment in the world's largest metropolis!

Colorful Tokyo commuter
Colorful Tokyo commuter

April 8, 2018 - Spring 2018 Tokyo Flowers video

Spring flowers in Tokyo are therapeutic to my heart and soul. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have...

Spring 2018 Tokyo Flowers
(If player above is not visible, you can view video @ YouTube here.)

[This year's gorgeous Tokyo cherry blossoms already got their own special attention here.] smiley

April 6, 2018 - Sayonara 70-day-old beard! ​​

​Well, it’s back to the work grind tomorrow after a long, enjoyable 2-month spring vacation. Thus, today I lost my 70-day-old beard (in stages) and had a lot of fun playing around with different styles. Ha-ha.

If you have a preference, please feel free to cast your vote by writing the number of your preferred look, along with any thoughts, in the commenting section below. smiley

George clone
Astros beard 1
Astros beard 2
Astros beard 3
Astros beard 4

April 5, 2018 - Ancient Japanese Proverb

Ancient Japanese Proverb

Japan-Texas ebook cover thumbnail
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Pattaya ebook cover
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Alaska ebook cover
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Summer 1974 hitchhiking trip ebook cover
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