Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives
This page shows archived posts for Gary J. Wolff's blog from
16, 2019 - Video of my Sept. 2019 Houston, Texas vacation
It's always great to get back to my hometown at least once a year, so I
can catch up on Tex-Mex, Texas BBQ, delicious Gulf Coast seafood, and
of course, re-learn my southern drawl Texican accent, ha-ha! Pics of my
Houston vacation are here.
Video of my Sept.
2019 Houston vacation
(If player above is not visible, you can view video
at YouTube here.)
0:00 Takeoff from Tokyo Narita Airport (check
out all the patchwork rice paddies and the Pacific Ocean waves reached
only 4 min. from takeoff)
4:12 United Airlines real-time flight tracker map (NRT to IAH)
5:49 Landing at Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport
9:53 LJ tells story next to lake on Windlinger Ranch in Kerrville
10:25 Sunrise panorama from Simba Point on the ranch
11:01 Early morning 360-degree panorama of lake, ranch house, &
12:36 Sat. morning Catholic mass service on ranch
12:39 Beautiful garden outside of ranch house
12:54 World-champion fly fisherman BR angles for the biggest fish in
13:42 Splashing fun in a Houston swimming pool
13:49 Basketball dribbling wizardry
14:10 Panorama of Houston skyline & Hermann Park from Texas Medical
14:39 LJ tells story in Houston's La Fiesta restaurant
15:33 Beautiful nighttime-illuminated arch bridges on Houston's
16:35 MANY Japanese beckoning cats (招き猫, まねきねこ) above Yume Asian
Kitchen, Terminal E, Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport
17:21 Q, the amazing, all-new Texas barbecue smokehouse, featuring a
LONG bar with 2 towers that showcase a variety of whiskeys in the
Houston airport Terminal E
18:42 Takeoff from Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport (includes
views of the downtown Houston skyline & the Galleria area)
24:14 United Airlines real-time flight tracker map (IAH to NRT)
25:52 Landing at Tokyo Narita Airport (check out my plane's shadow on
Granted, there are many beautiful places all over the world, but
even after nearly 3 decades in Dai Nippon, there’s a little slice of
heaven right in the heart of the Texas Hill Country that still touches
my heart in a very profound way. On our friends' 263-acre (106 ha)
Kerrville ranch, all our college buddies gather together every
September to reminisce old times and to enjoy nature at its finest.
Deer, foxes, wild pigs, wild turkeys, a lake full of fish, the clearly
visible Milky Way in the nighttime sky, and pristine, clean air to
breathe are just a few of the many therapeutic benefits of spending an
entire weekend on this beautiful piece of God's green earth.
I sincerely hope my pics will give you at least a small sense of the
many wonders of this beautiful place…
2019 - Video of my August 7-21, 2019 Hokkaido Adventure
Video highlights include the absolutely gorgeous waterfalls,
including my personal favorite, the Oshinkoshin Waterfall; the first
time I can ever recall seeing fireworks released by speed boat where
the fireworks shoot up directly from the surface of the water;
interesting forest trees lined up in rows on Nakanoshima Island in Lake
Toya; and a panorama of the stunning nighttime view from atop Mt.
Hakodate, which is ranked one of the best night views in the world. I
hope you enjoy!
Video of my August
7-21, 2019 Hokkaido Adventure
(If player above is not visible, you can view video
at YouTube here.)
0:00 Shirahige Waterfall
0:54 Ryusei Waterfall
1:41 Ginga Waterfall
2:46 Oshinkoshin Waterfall
4:00 Kumagoe-no-taki Waterfall
4:51 Timelapse sunset from Oronkoiwa Rock Observatory
5:23 Panorama from Bihoro Pass above Lake Kussharo
5:44 Lake Akan Bokke Mud Volcano
7:25 Lake Onneto Yu-no-taki Waterfall
8:47 Wild deer grazing streetside in Akanko Onsen residential area
9:29 Red-crowned cranes in Akan International Crane Center
11:28 Red-crowned cranes in Kushiro City Red-crowned Crane Natural Park
13:01 Panorama of Lake Shikotsu
13:24 Panorama of Lake Toya
13:47 Lake Toya fireworks show
16:41 Inside Usuzan Ropeway
18:53 Interesting forest trees lined up in rows on Nakanoshima Island
in Lake Toya
19:50 Arrival of Espoir cruise boat at Nakanoshima Island in Lake Toya
21:55 Nighttime panorama atop Mt. Hakodate, ranked one of the world's
best night views
Without question, one of the most exciting adventures of my entire
life. 15 days, 2812 km (1750 mi), 6 national parks, a quasi-national
park, and an uncountable number of national forests in Japan's last
unspoiled wilderness frontier. I hope you enjoy my pics. Video
6 years ago today one of my best Tokyo buddies went to be with the
Lord. Don Davis was one of the kindest, most sincere, and humorous
people I've ever known.
Not only did he touch my life and his countless friends in a very
profound way, but as a longtime entertainer in English education stage
shows conducted in public halls all over Japan and a teacher for the
young mentally-challenged, he also enriched the lives of thousands of
young Japanese children thru the years.
We love you and miss you, Don, and haven't forgotten you. Hope all is
well up there on the big playground in the sky...
"I've noticed that worrying is like praying for what you don't want to
—Robert Downey, Jr.—
2019 - Burger King ripoff of the century!
After receiving a new sheet of Burger King coupons recently, I was so
excited to try out their new Spicy Shrimp Whopper. Well, I got my
chance the other day and before biting into my Spicy Shrimp Whopper
Junior, I decided to open it up and check out the shrimp.
Oh boy, was I in for a great disappointment! Unlike the gorgeous
marketing photo, there were just 2 tiny little shrimp barely covering
the meat patty. Reminded me of those old "Where’s the beef?" Wendy’s TV
My complaint to the manager yielded no results, as he was very adamant
that the Whopper Junior is supposed to contain only the 2 tiny little
Well, boycotting food establishments is not my style, but in my
opinion, this definitely gives Burger King a black eye. And I will
definitely keep this false advertising incident in mind in the future,
which sadly is all too common among fast food restaurants in Tokyo.
Burger King false advertising incident
(slick marketing photo vs. reality!)
2019 - All 4 Mt. Fuji trails are now open all the way to the summit
On the occasion of yesterday morning's opening of all 4 Mt. Fuji trails
all the way to the summit to officially kick off Mt. Fuji's 2019 climbing season,
I was reminded today by Facebook's Memories page of one of my most
prized "get lucky" snapshots of Japan's tallest & holiest peak and
World Heritage Site.
It was taken just before sunrise on Aug. 14, 2011 from 60 km (37 mi.)
away, just below Mt. Kita-dake,
Japan's 2nd highest peak. Happy trails to all of this year's climbers!
Mt. Fuji before sunrise, taken Aug. 14, 2011 from below Mt. Kita-dake,
Japan's 2nd highest peak
2019 - Half-price sale on my mountain climbing eBooks!
In celebration of the July 1st opening of the official Mt. Fuji
climbing season and Smashword's Summer/Winter Sale this month, my 2
mountain climbing eBooks are selling this month only for HALF-PRICE! So
please act NOW to get your copies before 7/31!
Smashwords, the world's largest distributor of indie eBooks, offers a
catalog of over 400,000 vetted, well-formatted eBooks from over 100,000
authors and publishers. Their eBooks can be read online or downloaded
instantly to your e-reading device in any of the 8 different formats.
For the first time in 3 years, I was able to visit my home state of Texas. It was an action-packed experience and very culturally rewarding. :-) I hope you enjoy my pics! If you have time, you can vie…
In 1970 the Student Engineering Council of the University of Texas at Austin established the Student Leadership Award in Engineering. Each year 6 awards are presented and each recipient receives a fra…
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