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Home: Gary J. Wolff's Blog: Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives, October-December, 2022

Gary J. Wolff's Blog Archives
October-December, 2022

This page shows archived posts for Gary J. Wolff's blog from October-December, 2022.



Dec. 29, 2022 - 2022, The Year in Pictures

I am indeed very thankful for another wonderful year! As I have done in years past, I sometimes like to put together a collection of photos reflecting back on some of my favorite memories of the past year. As we savor the last few days of this year, I hope you enjoy this 2.5-min. slideshow which features 60 pics to the tune of "Soulful Strut," a 1968 hit by the Chicago soul/jazz ensemble, Young-Holt Unlimited. Best wishes for a magnificent Twenty Twenty-Three, the Year of the Rabbit... 😍🙏

2022, The Year in Pictures,
a 2.5-min. slideshow featuring 60 memories from the past year
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

Christmas Eve, 2022 - Japanese Christmas trees are just SO pretty!

Merry Xmas to all my dear friends around the globe! Many Japanese Christmas trees are just SO original & creative. I've been collecting pics of them ever since I first moved to Japan, and a few years ago I finally got around to putting them in an album.

Just this week I added 14 new trees I've seen this season, and the collage below shows a few of my favorites:
  • a Texas-themed tree in the Little Texas honky-tonk
  • a HUGE white tree suspended from the ceiling in a multi-level shopping mall
  • one of several snowmen all piled up in the shape of a Christmas tree smiley
  • a triple tree, train station display with a foreground village of cute little internally-illuminated buildings.
All 103 trees are here:
(click the thumbnail images on that page to open up the full-size photos, or click the little right arrow in the upper right to view an animated slideshow)

2022 xmas tree collage
Japanese Christmas trees (full Flicker album)

Dec. 17, 2022 - End-of-year ebook sale!

BIG CHANCE! Smashwords, the world's largest publisher of indie ebooks (>120,000 titles) is now holding its 6th annual end-of-year sale from now till Sunday, January 1, 2023. If you’re looking for a little something extra for that someone special (and that could be YOU!), you might consider one (or more) of my 4 ebooks which are now FREE downloads, WOW!

Normally I would say "Shop till you drop," but in this case, with no cash involved, perhaps I should just say "Download and read till you drop (or fall asleep)." smiley

Here are the 4 titles:
  • The Japan ‒ Texas Connection: Best Friends Forever (BFF)
  • GW's 2016 Wild West Road Trip: 28 Days, 7700 Miles, 8 States, and 10 National Parks
  • Climbing Mt. Fuji: Tips, Q&A, and Climber Stories
  • The View from the Top of Japan: My 2-Decade-Long Quest to Scale the Nation’s 25 Highest Peaks
For more info:

Smashwords end-of-year ebook sale
Smashwords end-of-year ebook sale

Dec. 12, 2022 - The magic of a simple smile

"The easiest way to convey energy and enthusiasm is to smile. Now there’s a tip that you can implement today. No waiting, no paying for expensive degrees, no buying a new suit – just smile!!"

—Dan Miller, An Understanding Heart—

Magic of a simple smile
Photo courtesy: Dan Miller, Career Coach &
Author of "48 Days to the Work You Love"

A dear friend of mine since my childhood days when he was my basketball coach recently passed away in Houston. He was known for his signature at the bottom of every email which read: "If you see anyone without a smile, give them one of yours!" Rest in peace, Bobby... 🙏

Dec. 7, 2022 - Red Illusion (夢幻回廊)

This collaboration event of Tokyo artists, musicians, and dancers, and organized by world-renowned artist Miki Meguro, celebrated "a world of passion and fantasy." By all means, don't miss the amazing performance by sexy belly dancer Noa, 1st up in this video! What a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season...

0:00 Belly dancer Noa (WOW!)
7:22 nature airliner - charming Japanese/Canadian couple singing in French
9:50 Belly dancer Teiko Nharumiya
14:45 Opera singer Shoko Itabashi

Red Illusion (夢幻回廊), a collaboration event of
Tokyo artists, musicians, and dancers
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

Dec. 3, 2022 - Lone Star State Taxas

Being from Texas, of course this sweatshirt in a Tokyo clothing store caught my eye today, and I believe it's the latest testimony that there's still job security for English proofreaders. smiley Or maybe just a JOKE? Or perhaps a subliminal political message.... like "TAX US." Or maybe "TEX ASS"? laughing icon Never a dull moment in the Land of the Rising Sun...

Lone Star State Taxas
Lone Star State Taxas

Nov. 28, 2022 - Fall Colors Tokyo 2022

It’s that gorgeous time of year again in Tokyo when nature's paintbrush adds a lot of colorful cheer to our lives.

This kind of beautiful scenery warms my heart and puts a lot more spring in my step. Even after more than 3 decades here, this much welcomed boost to our spirit never grows old. Japan is indeed one beautiful country...

Fall Colors Tokyo 2022
Fall Colors Tokyo 2022
 (click here to view full album)

Nov. 21, 2022 - Japanese train station postal dropbox

Yes, it's real! You can actually mail letters in it. smiley

Japanese train station postal dropbox
Japanese postal dropbox, JR Shinagawa Station, Tokyo
(photo courtesy: Jim Tittsler)

Nov. 17, 2022 - Happy Birthday to.....ME! smiley

I'm in heaven after being treated to a gorgeous multi-course dinner to celebrate my landmark birthday... from a wonderful friend I've known for over 3 decades after my first arriving in Japan.

landmark birthday dinner
landmark birthday dinner

Another dear friend awarded me a Happy Birthday Gold Medal for being the "best guy in the world," ha ha. laughing icon

Happy Birthday Gold Medal
Happy Birthday Gold Medal

Nov. 12, 2022 - Today's words of wisdom

"The surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness."

—Michel de Montaigne, French Renaissance philosopher—

Nov. 7, 2022 - Houston Astros 2022 World Series Champions!

This year my hometown team went to the World Series for the 4th time in 6 seasons, and I'm so pleased that for the 2nd time since 2017, the Houston Astros are 2022 World Series Champions! YAY! smiley

2022 Houston Astros World Series Champions
2022 Houston Astros World Series Champions
(photo credit:

2022 MLB Postseason Bracket
2022 MLB Postseason Bracket
(photo credit:

Nov. 3, 2022 - Amazing Xmas tree display

Call me old-fashioned, but I still think early November is TOO early to start displaying Xmas decorations. smiley Nonetheless, I was touched by a very beautiful triple tree Xmas tree display I saw yesterday outside a Tokyo train station. Especially impressive was the village of cute little internally-illuminated houses in the foreground.

triple xmas trees

Oct. 25, 2022 - What's the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?

What's the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?

I believe the main difference is that one will see you later and the other will see you in a while. I could be wrong. I'm not a zoologist. laughing icon

Oct. 18, 2022 - Satomi Koen Rose Festival

Satomi Koen Rose Festival
Ichikawa, Chiba. The full Flickr album is here.

Oct. 17, 2022 - Preparing for Halloween

In anticipation of Halloween, there are now numerous training flights in progress! laughing icon

Went for a ride last night
Went for a ride last night. Had some engine trouble.

broom riding witch

Oct. 6, 2022 - 2 old college buddies enjoy a reunion sing-along

2 old college buddies enjoy a reunion sing-along
(If player above is not visible, you can view video at YouTube here.)

0:00 Jesus Is Just Alright
2:42 El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
5:48 Back Home Again

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. Quote of the Day

    May 18, 24 07:40 AM

    "Trying to help people understand what's going on right now is like going back into a burning building to pull someone out. Only to have them keep punching you in the face and demand evidence that the…

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  2. Coalition of 22 State AGs Call on Biden to Reject Treaty Drastically Expanding WHO Authority

    May 15, 24 07:27 AM

    A coalition of 22 state attorneys general have sent a letter to Joe Biden voicing their opposition to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) proposed pandemic treaty and amendments to the International…

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  3. Any recommendations on booking a mountain hut, many which are rapidly becoming fully booked?

    May 14, 24 10:16 PM

    Gary, I have enjoyed your website while planning a trip to Japan with my wife and son. My son is graduating from high school, wanted to go to Japan to

    Read more

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Gary J. Wolff
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My pics:

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GW's road trip ebook cover
Only 99¢ at 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)