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Home: Gary J. Wolff's Blog: Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, July-September, 2019

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives
July-September, 2019

This page shows archived posts for Gary J. Wolff's blog from July-September, 2019.



Sept. 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! laughing icon 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, & lake 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 the lake
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 Center
14:39 LJ tells story in Houston's La Fiesta restaurant
15:33 Beautiful nighttime-illuminated arch bridges on Houston's Southwest Freeway
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 the ground!)

Sept. 15, 2019 - My pics of Dubfest VII, Kerrville, Texas, Aug. 30 - Sept. 1, 2019

​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…

Aug. 25, 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

Aug. 24, 2019 - Pics of my August 7-21, 2019 Hokkaido Adventure

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 coming soon!

Aug. 21, 2019 - Sun Pillar Park, Hokkaido

Just returned back from a wonderful 15-day road trip around Japan's northern island of Hokkaido. Stay tuned for more exciting pics!

Sun Pillar Park, Hokkaido
Sun Pillar Park, Hokkaido

July 31, 2019 - In Loving Memory of Don Davis

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... hearts emoji

Don Davis - World Family News
In Loving Memory of Don Davis (right)
June 2, 1953 - July 31, 2013

July 28, 2019 -  Quote of the Day

"I've noticed that worrying is like praying for what you don't want to happen."

—Robert Downey, Jr.—

July 21, 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 commercials. laughing icon

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 shrimp! UGH!

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. frownie

 Burger King spicy shrimp whopper
Burger King false advertising incident
(slick marketing photo vs. reality!)

July 11, 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 at sunrise
Mt. Fuji before sunrise, taken Aug. 14, 2011 from below Mt. Kita-dake, Japan's 2nd highest peak

July 3, 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.

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. Are you better off now than 3 years ago?

    Apr 21, 24 01:41 AM

    Regardless of which side of the aisle you're on and the accuracy of the economic indicators below (I didn't bother fact checking them), I believe most folks would agree that many Americans are truly s…

    Read more

  2. Japanese protest against the WHO for forcing them to be vaccinated, ignoring Japan’s sovereignty where vaccines are voluntary

    Apr 17, 24 10:52 PM

    An estimated 20,000 protesters voiced strong opposition to mandatory vaccinations and the potential infringement on Japan’s sovereignty. One of the banners leading the march declared: “We strongly pro…

    Read more

  3. Spring has sprung in Tokyo!!

    Apr 17, 24 10:50 PM

    The springtime flowers in Japan bring a non-stop exhilarating display of brilliant colors and sweet fragrances to titillate the senses. The plum blossoms begin in mid-February, followed by the absolut…

    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)