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Home: Gary J. Wolff's Blog: Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, April-June, 2021

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives
April-June, 2021

This page shows archived posts for Gary J. Wolff's blog from April-June, 2021.



June 18, 2021 - The Moment Kids In Israel Are Told They Don't Have To Wear Masks Anymore

The Moment Kids In Israel Are Told They Don't Have To Wear Masks Anymore
  (If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

June 10, 2021 - R.I.P., my dear friend!

Best wishes in the next stage of your eternal journey up there on the big playground in the sky. Thanks for your loyal friendship and for touching our lives in a very profound way the past half-century. Will always luv ya like a bro....

LJ collage
Lawrence "Larry" Jerome Jones
July 14, 1953 - June 10, 2021
(the rest of the photo album is here)

Larry's obituary
Larry's memorial video

June 4, 2021 - Never a Dull Moment, Vol. 5

In celebration of my old UT college buddy's big 2021 birthday. Have a grrrreat day, JP!

[Be sure to crank up your volume to hear one of our favorite, most memorable songs from our college days, "Won't Get Fooled Again" by the famous British rock band, The Who!]

Never a Dull Moment, Vol. 5
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

The pics are here: Never a Dull Moment, Vol. 5

May 26, 2021 - The 2nd worst ripoff of the century!

Boy, did I get a BIG surprise today after ordering my Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger (ベーコンチーズバーガー) for lunch. The advertising sign made it look so lush and delicious, but what an amazing disappointment it turned out to be. frownie

What I received was completely different from what I expected. Oh, in case you're interested in the #1 ripoff of the century, that was a Spicy Shrimp Whopper at Burger King a couple years ago: Burger King ripoff of the century!

I really know how to pick 'em... smiley

Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger
As advertised on the menu board

Wendy's Jr. Bacon CheeseburgerWendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger
As served frownie

May 21, 2021 - A Day in the Life of a Tokyo Musician (See what you missed "working for a living" all these years!)

As a working musician playing gigs in a city of nearly 12 million and using public transportation to go to and from live shows, my success depends on the art of packing and personal mobility. I usually carry a couple or sometimes three guitars, spare strings, a handful of harmonicas, holders, slides and picks, a small amp, mics, all sorts of wires to plug into do-dads for this and that, CDs for sale, a bag of energy drinks and tonics and a Snickers bar, just in case, all stacked and packed onto my “rolling rig”. (Every musician has their own rig for gigging around. Some roll and some don’t. But we all carry more or less an amazing pile of musical "stuff".)....

...Read the rest of the amazing Rambling Steve Gardner's gripping story here: A Day in the Life of a Tokyo Musician

May 16, 2021 - Japanese Girls' Spring 2021 Softball Tournament (日本の小学生女子春季ソフトボール大会)

Because my own dad, Walter F. Wolff, was a world-famous fastpitch softball pitcher, I was thrilled to see these Japanese elementary school girls yesterday playing such a high-level game at such a ripe young age. In particular, I was VERY impressed with the skill level already attained by these young female pitchers. Amazing!

And who knows? Because women's softball is an official Olympic sport, maybe some of these young girls will become future Olympians! smiley

Japanese Girls' Spring 2021 Softball Tournament
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

Walter Wolff, softball pitcher, Lake Charles, Louisiana
Walter Wolff strikes out 17 straight hitters and 20 of 21 for the game as Metallic of Houston defeated Yazoo, Mississippi 3-0 in a 1965 tournament in Lake Charles, Louisiana. (American Press staff photo by Sam Guillory)

Here are just a few highlights of Dad's amazing softball career:
  • At age 16, started his LONG pitching career which spanned a remarkable 5 decades
  • Pitched in 6 world softball tournaments
  • Pitched 3 times in Mexico, including in the Mexican National Softball Tournament in Poza Rica
  • Toured New Zealand as a pitcher with the Western U.S. All-Star Team
  • Once struck out 20 of the 21 batters he faced, including 17 straight, in Lake Charles, Louisiana
  • Inducted into the Houston, Texas Softball Hall of Fame in 1986
  • Pitched against (& beat) Eddie Feigner and his world-famous 4-man "King & His Court" softball team in the Houston Astrodome
  • Inducted as an Honorary Member of the United Softball Club of Auckland, New Zealand
More details on Dad's softball pitching days, including a photo gallery and the full story are here:

May 5, 2021 - 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 an 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.

And here's a video of 35 flying carp along the Edo River (江戸川) I made several years ago, complete with background music, "Going to School" from the awesome "Memoirs of a Geisha" movie soundtrack: smiley

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

April 25, 2021 - How to stay alive during a routine police traffic stop

Unless you've been living in a cave, you're probably already familiar with this controversial news topic which has recently captured the attention of the American public, as well as millions of other folks around the world. In the humorous video below, stand-up comedian and Hollywood actor Chris Rock has some important tips on what to say and do when you're pulled over by a police officer.

This video is arguably more pertinent today than it was 11 years ago when it was first made. Rock has hosted the Academy Awards twice, in 2005 and in 2016. He has won 4 Emmy Awards and 3 Grammy Awards, and was voted the 5th greatest stand-up comedian in a poll conducted by Comedy Central.

Chris Rock - How Not To Get Your *ss Kicked By The Police! smiley
[Click on 'CC' button to stop Poiish subtitiles, or click on Settings (gear) icon to change subtitles to English.] (If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

April 21, 2021 - Spring flowers at Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園)

This amazing 200-hectare park, right on the Pacific coast and only 2 hours from Tokyo by train, is without question one of the most remarkable parks I've ever seen. The park is most famous for its 4.5 million "baby blue eyes" flowers (nemophila, ネモフィラ), whose translucent-blue petals peak every spring in late April, drawing TOO many tourists. The park features blooming flowers in all 4 seasons including a million daffodils, 170 varieties of tulips, narcissuses, poppies, roses, zinnias, sunflowers, kochia (summer cypress), and cosmos flowers. The park also includes cycling trails on an exclusive right-of-way and a small amusement park with a Ferris wheel and roller coaster. Park website:

Baby Blue Eyes flowers
Baby Blue Eyes flowers (ネモフィラ)
View my entire Flickr album here:
Hitachi Seaside Park (ひたち海浜公園) 

April 12, 2021 - Yamanote Line Challenge (山手線・チャレンジ)

I did it! (barely), and I’m calling it, "30 Stations for 30 Years." Saturday was my 30th anniversary living and working in Japan, so like thousands of other folks through the years, I decided to challenge walking around to all 30 stations of the circular 34.5 km Yamanote Line, Tokyo‘s busiest and most important train route.

The all-day trek took 14.5 hours, and the last couple hours after dark, with the blisters on the soles of my feet and the excruciating knee pain, I felt kinda like a zombie walking among the living dead. smiley

The only main difference between this and the pain I had to endure back in my mountain climbing days is that Saturday I didn’t have a 20 kg (44 lb) backpack to lug around as well.

So at the end of the day, it was no surprise that I had logged over 60,000 steps and nearly 44 km (a full marathon is 42.2 km (26.2 miles))! And although I could barely walk yesterday, the good news is no one had to summon an ambulance for me and I was able to check off another item on my bucket list.

So just in case there was still any question in the minds of my family or friends, the Tokyo Wolffman has indeed lost his ever living mind… laughing icon

Yamanote Line route map
Yamanote Line route map
(image credit: Wikipedia)

Yamanote Line walking distance
Yamanote Line walking distance
Yamanote Line walking steps
Yamanote Line walking steps

April 15 update:
I finally got around this morning to uploading my pics from last Saturday's sightseeing jaunt. It’s mostly a lot of buildings, 30 train stations, and a lot more of the concrete jungle, but I tried to weave in a bit of nature and Japanese culture as well along the way, ha ha... smiley
Yamanote Line Challenge - April 10, 2021 photos

April 5, 2021 - Tokyo Mega Illumi, April 2021 (東京メガイルミ)

Without question, Tokyo‘s best kept secret. Opened in October 2018 and located at the famous Oi horse race track, this illumination event claims to be a place "for healing by illumination." So it’s time to cast aside those blues and cheer up with the most magnificent illumination spectacle I’ve EVER seen. Don’t miss the rainbow-colored fountain light show and the crystal cherry blossom tunnel. Open till April 11. Best part is it only costs ¥1000 ($9). Yee Hah! smiley

More details in English here:
(pdf also available in Japanese (日本語), Chinese, and Korean languages)

Tokyo Mega Illumi, April 2021 (東京メガイルミ)
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

0:00​ Front entrance
0:31​ Twinkle Tunnel
1:26​ Twin Kuru Kuru Fantasy
1:54​ Wonder Media Trees
2:42​ Animated colored light collage
4:26​ Tokyo Twinkle Map
6:13​ Tokyo City Keiba light tower
7:34​ Rainbow-colored fountain light show
10:30​ Aurora Forest light show
12:22​ Tokyo Time Tunnel
17:11​ Colored terrace rice fields
21:12​ Crystal Cherry Blossom Tunnel
22:53​ Meiji Surprise Maze
24:07​ Taisho Romantic Garden of Lights
25:55​ Rose Garden
27:08​ Blue & white twinkling light pathway

April 4, 2021 - Spring 2021 Edutainment Lesson Plans

Let's have fun learning English! Edutainment lesson plans on this page are optional, but if you take the time to do them, they will not only improve your overall English communication skills, but will also broaden your cultural horizons to help you become a more successful international citizen in today's global society! smiley

New lessons will be added each week. Read more to begin your free, self-study course here: Spring 2021 Edutainment Lesson Plans

Japan-Texas ebook cover thumbnail
A FREE download at Smashwords

Pattaya ebook cover
Only $1.99 at Amazon
(¥214 at アマゾン日本)

Alaska ebook cover
Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥340 at アマゾン日本)

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

What's New?

  1. Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is suing Pfizer over the COVID vaccine

    Jun 20, 24 08:00 AM

    Click link to view 3-min. video clip of his press conference.

    Read more

  2. Freedom Fighters Rally in Geneva

    Jun 14, 24 09:35 AM

    Thousands of freedom fighters from around the world in ‘The Road to Geneva People’s Convoy’ protested the WHO (World Health Organization) IHR (International Health Regulation) Amendments to their Pand…

    Read more

  3. The 16-year Plan to Destroy America

    Jun 13, 24 09:44 AM

    "As we know, Barack Obama was the first 8 years of the 16-year plan to destroy America and Hillary Clinton was supposed to be the second 8 years of the 16-year plan to destroy America. Everything that…

    Read more

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Gary J. Wolff
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GW's road trip ebook cover
Only 99¢ from Amazon
(¥114 at アマゾン日本)

new Climbing Mt. Fuji book
Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥343 at アマゾン日本)

Only $2.99 at Amazon
(¥343 at アマゾン日本)