Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives
This page shows archived posts for Gary J. Wolff's blog from
24, 2017 - Video of GW's August 2017 Alaska Road Trip
Don't miss the cute ground squirrel at the beginning of the video, the
mama grizzly bear and her 2 cubs @ 9:06, the cute little short-tailed
weasel @ 29:01, salmon leaping up the Bear Creek Weir @ 31:12, our
HUGE silver salmon in the Lower Kenai River @ 39:35, and the 3
jumbo jets landing a mere 200 feet above my head at Anchorage
International Airport @ 51:59! Enjoy!
GW's August 2017
Alaska Road Trip
(If player above is not visible, you can view video
@ YouTube here.)
My favorite clips are highlighted in yellow:
Arctic ground squirrel on the Savage River Alpine Trail in Denali
National Park (DNP)
0:27 Ranger Riley narrates a sled dog demo at DNP
5:20 Shuttle bus driver Will explains details of our trip to the DNP
Toklat River Rest Stop
7:40 Smiley Ranger Jen welcomes shuttle bus passengers at the DNP
Savage River checkpoint 9:06
Mama grizzly bear and her 2 cubs forage for berries
11:39 Panorama of Toklat River drainage basin
12:54 Panorama from top of Savage River Alpine Trail
14:06 Arrival at Denali Depot of the Fairbanks-to-Anchorage Wilderness
Express Alaska Railroad
15:50 Inside the busy, busy Denali National Park Visitor Center
16:27 Ranger Alex guided hike on the Triple Lakes Trail near the DNP
18:40 Hines Creek, Triple Lakes Trail, DNP
19:02 DNP Ranger Alex asks thought-provoking questions at the Riley
Creek suspension bridge, Triple Lakes Trail, DNP
21:08 DNP sled dogs go CRAZY over a squirrel in a tree (LOUD!!)
22:10 Interesting illuminated display in the Museum of the North at the
University of Alaska Fairbanks shows the percentage of successful
ascents of Mt. Denali every year from 1992 to 2012
23:22 Gary gets a refreshing, mint chocolate chip shake in the AMAZING
Freal automatic shake-making machine!!
25:12 Liberty Falls, adjacent to Wrangell-St. Elias National Park
26:18 Acrobatic seals swimming (upside down) inside the Alaska SeaLife
27:28 Sea lions spotted on the ranger-guided, 5-hr. Kenai Fjords
Wildlife Cruise in Seward's Resurrection Bay
28:28 Waterfall seen on the ranger-guided, 5-hr. Kenai Fjords Wildlife
Cruise in Seward's Resurrection Bay 29:01
My cute, little short-tailed weasel friend on the Harding Icefield
Trail, Kenai Fjords National Park
29:41 Grizzly bear seen from the Harding Icefield Trail, Kenai Fjords
30:13 Exit Glacier and its runoff, Kenai Fjords National Park 31:12
Salmon leaping up the artificial falls at Bear Creek Weir near Seward
Highway Milepost 6.6
34:18 Spawning salmon in Grouse Creek, adjacent to Seward Highway
37:15 Salmon leaping up Russian River Falls on the Kenai Peninsula 39:35
Catching HUGE silver salmon from a boat in the Lower Kenai River on the
Kenai Peninsula (my half-day fishing trip with "King of the River"
41:00 Young staff at the Alaska Native Heritage Center demonstrate
Alaska native games
50:51 Panorama at Flattop Mountain in Chugach State Park, Anchorage
51:23 Picking wild blueberries at Flattop Mountain in Chugach State
Park, Anchorage 51:59
Three jumbo jets landing a mere 200 feet above my head at Anchorage
International Airport (Wow, SCARY!!)
54:47 Bicycle "Fixit" station alongside bike path in Point Woronzof
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!
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:
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
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
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)!!
Tokyo Kitasuna 2017 Little League Baseball champs (photo credit: llbws.org)
2017 - WHAT COUPLES FIGHT ABOUT ON VACATION
Ha-ha! This reminds me why I enjoy traveling solo...
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)
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
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
Aug. 3, 2013 Edogawa Fireworks pic by Andrew Parker (used with
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.
Japanese non-melting ice cream
Photo credit: Daily Mail
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
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 to 5 pm.
Photo credit: The
2017 - Now THIS is
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.
Johnny Carson & Jack Webb in a Dragnet Spoof
(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
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
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.
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.)
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!!
Texas-style beach sandals
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
Check it out – it’s a hoot. See if you can do nothing for 2 minutes.
2017 - Never a dull moment in Japan!
Facebook friend Dennis Gunn
So then… What am I supposed to do?
"To touch or not to touch.... that is the question."
Only in Japan...
2017 - Creation Calls -- are you listening?
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
Creation Calls --
are you listening?
(If player above is not visible, you can view video
@ YouTube here.)
It’s the same advice I only wish I’d heard a number of times during my lifetime. For example, after I spent several years as a youngster learning how to play the organ, and getting good enough to actu…
I grew up in a racing family. Two of my cousins, the King brothers, built and raced their own stock cars at Houston’s quarter-mile dirt oval race track, Almeda Speedway. My Grandpa Wolff often used to…
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