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Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1317
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to estebanana

Ah... To be a cat in the land of sushi. Itadakimasu...



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2013 18:43:27
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

At Roi-Namur in the Central Pacific there was a guy called "Mose" from Kosrae. He was a deck hand on the ferry that ran from Roi-Namur to Ennubir, where most of the Marshallese workers at Roi lived.

I got to know Mose a little because I ran Scuba Club dive trips using the boat he worked on.

Mose subsisted entirely upon stuff he harvested from the island environment. He regarded the American Dining Hall and Snack Bar as temporary anomalies introduced by the white people. Besides, he didn't like the food they prepared. He was kind enough to teach me the various phases of coconut ripening and the uses they could be put to at various stages.

On boat trips the deck hands trolled hand lines. Mose always caught the first fish, the biggest fish and the most fish.

One day I happened upon him on the lagoon beach cleaning a barracuda he had caught. Ciguatera poisoning is a serious issue in the Marshalls. As you ascend the predator food chain, the concentration of the dinoflagellate poison can increase to dangerous levels. Ciguatera is a neurotoxin that can produce serious, permanent effects on sensation, muscle control and thinking. However, people recover from mild cases. Barracuda are at the top of the food chain. Almost nobody would consider eating one.

"Mose, are you going to eat that barracuda?"

"Maybe so."

"How do you know it's not poisonous."

"Take liver, rub on lips. Lips feel funny, don't eat."

He offered me the liver to try. No unusual sensations.

"Does this always work?"

"Oh, liver okay, you give little piece of fish to cat, just a little bit. Watch how he goes."

There were always several cats hanging around when Mose was cleaning fish, so I guess his experiments had no significant effect on cat demographics.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 8 2013 19:50:35
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Those are Tachans cats, the lady who lives across the way who cooks lunch boxes starting at 3:30 in the morning. I think she feeds those lazy cats before dawn. They spend the rest of the day on the fishtank or the hood of the car.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2013 2:09:07
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Now that Richard has scared the pee-whottle out of us with ciguatera, a food illness that sounds like a flamenco palo, how about some yakiniku?


To make the dipping sauce: Hot miso paste, sesame oil, sugar, ginger, soy sauce.

Cut up any veggies you like, get some thin slices of beef and some gyoza. Gyoza are potstickers, before we came to Japan we used to buy them at Trader Joe's in the frozen section and they are not bad at all.

These hot plate pans with no stick surfaces are available just about everywhere. This is just Sunday night dinner, no big deal. I love eating this way, but I have to be honest, I'm going to make hamburgers soon. I was going make hamburgers for dinner earlier this week, but Yuko stopped me because her dad, who is pretty experimental for a 79 year old Japanese guy, would have had difficulty with hamburgers for dinner. She said hamburgers are a lunch item. Yeah right, not for me babe!

Reminds me of a Chinese cooking show I once saw where the chef said westerners are repugnant because they bring big slabs of meat to the table and butcher the animal at the table. Chinese, he said, are more genteel because they do the butchering in the kitchen and prepare the food in delicate bites you can pick up with chop sticks. Remember that next time you're at family dinner and Uncle Albert is carving up the brown crusted roast with a two pronged fork and a freshly honed silver blade. Remember you are a barbarian as the juicy pink slices fall off of uncles blade and onto your plate and the hot buttered mashed potatoes are passed to you.

When I was in China the chef for the student dorm liked to come to the table to see how we were eating. He explained the whole thing much better, he said Chinese people, and Japanese to an certain extent, like to have a little bite of everything, variety at the table pleases them. They want beef, pork, and a fish at the table, plus three or more vegetables. We might be happy with a burger and fries or the roast beef with mash and two more vegetables and bread. In general the west favors bigger portions of fewer choices, while the Chinese favor more choices in smaller portions, plus the fact that we are uncivil for bringing long knives to the table.

In Argentina I walked into an asado and as handed choripan and a glass of tinto. Over the next two hours several different cuts of slow roasted beef and beef organs came off the grill, there was a salad too, but mainly it was bread, meat and tinto. I wish the Chinese TV chef had been there to witness the sublime act of Argentines cooking beef. He would have dismounted his high horse of moral cheffitude and begged for tri tip sliced right off the grill.

And for the vegetarians, just print this post out and cross out every mention of beef and it will be ok. Yakiniku means grilled meat, but it works with all veggies, add a few pickles.


How does Ciguatera go? Ayeeeeee, yaya ya eeeeeeeeeee..

Anyone know any letras por Ciguatera?



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2013 3:18:16
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

The interior of Kyushu is stunning, verdant, full of water and farms. There are places where water is so clean water cress grows wild and you can gather it for your salad. Water cress is very in expensive in the grocery, but more fun to pull your some yourself.

Wasabe is root that grows in clear shallow running water and the water has to be clean enough to drink for the wasabe root to survive. There are farmers who specialize and take great pride in growing these specialty crops.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2013 13:25:20
 
estebanana

 

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2013 13:26:59
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

While in the river country of the interior we went to a country inn over night. It was quite affordable, called Testuka Ryokan. One of the volcanic hot baths you can use privately. The water has "water flour" floating in it. I think the water flour is soft volcanic ash and it notes a good thermal spring. The Japanese seem to have all kinds of adjectives for the different water conditions in hot springs. Some are more astringent, some are salt water near the ocean...it's fascinating, if not restful.

The onsen I go to in Akune is saltwater and families go together, but men and women have separate areas in public baths. I must be part Japanese because I am a bath person by nature.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2013 13:46:05
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

One problem are the interloping monkey's that can just ruin your soak. I was able to get photo of one of the fear some creatures:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2013 13:51:14
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2766
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to estebanana

Stephen,

Have you tried fugu (the poisonous puffer fish) in Akune? Can you order fugu in restaurants in Akune? Or do you have to go to a larger city? Chefs in Japan have to be specially trained and licensed in order to prepare it, and I was wondering if they can be found in small towns. Is fugu served as sashimi with wasabi?

Cheers,

Bill

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2013 14:14:05

Morante

 

Posts: 1409
Joined: Nov. 21 2010
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to estebanana

Any trout in the rivers?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2013 17:19:51
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to BarkellWH

Diving at Roi-Namur, at the place we called Speedball because it was offshore from a rocket launch site, we came upon a big green moray eel that was acting very strangely. As usual in the daytime, most of it was stashed in a deep hole in the reef, with its head protruding.

But instead of the usual rhythmic breathing through the mouth, which exposes a formidable set of teeth, and people often mistake for a threat, and instead of alertly surveying its surroundings, the big eel was just swaying back and forth in the surge, and not really reacting to approaching divers with cameras.

We hung around and watched for a while. By and by the back and forth surge from the nearby surf brought the inflated dead body of a puffer fish into view, inside the moray's hole. He had bitten off more than he could chew.

At Kwajalein, ciguatera was believed to be found only in fish in the lagoon. Outside, in the ocean, people thought it was not a danger. I once happened to encounter one of the experts on the subject, a professor at the University of Hawaii.

He said that damaged coral reefs tend to promote blooms of the micro-organisms that produce the poison. Ocean side the constant surf tends to disperse the clouds of dinoflagellates. Inside a lagoon the blooms can persist and the poison can work its way up the food chain, and reach dangerous concentrations in the top predators.

Fishermen, at least among white people at Kwajalein, believed that yellowfin tuna and rainbow runners stayed oceanside, while both the big and the smaller species of barracuda, and dogtooth tuna inhabited the lagoon.

At a gathering, I was relating the behavior of schools of rainbow runner. They will zip past you, disappear beyond visibility, but suddenly reappear for a second look at something as strange as a scuba diver.

The fishermen in the group were shocked when I told them that rainbow runner were frequently encountered inside the lagoon. "Well," they said, "at least the yellowfin are safe." I had to disappoint them by letting them know that we often encountered yellowfin inside the lagoon, though usually near the passes into the ocean.

Anywhere on the coast of Japan, fishermen and fish merchants would be aware of any potential danger from ciguatera, and avoid it. Does the ciguatera dinoflagellate even grow in the cooler waters of Japan? I've only run into ciguatera stories in warm water places.

Not long after I arrived at Kwajalein I was at the marina when a white fisherman was proudly displaying a huge grouper he had caught. Behind him, out of his sight, Marshallese boys were giggling and imitating the staggering gait of a ciguatera victim.

Someone warned the guy with the grouper, but he said he didn't plan to try to eat it.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2013 19:16:12
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

Have you tried fugu (the poisonous puffer fish) in Akune? Can you order fugu in restaurants in Akune? Or do you have to go to a larger city? Chefs in Japan have to be specially trained and licensed in order to prepare it, and I was wondering if they can be found in small towns. Is fugu served as sashimi with wasabi?

Cheers,


I have not done that, to eat the fugu as sashimi, meaning raw, you do have to have it prepared by an expert. As I understand it the toxin has a buzzy numbing kind of effect on your mouth that some fugu lovers crave. They sometimes eat a bit of the part with toxin for a thrill, but news reports a couple people dying every so often for going too far.

I see small fugu in the water all the time and you can buy larger fugu in the fish market to be cooked. In Micronesia I used to free dive a reef snorkel every weekend. I was swimming around huge coral head about 6 feet under water and a fugu was doing the same thing. We met eyeball to eyeball and both got startled and looked at each other. Then he puffed up like basketball with spines and backed himself off. I finned backwards and then we both swam in opposite directions. It was quite funny. But I'll never forget.


Morante,

Some excellent trout fishing in Japan up north in top of Honshu and Hokkaido. I think there is a Steelhead run too. I see fishing shows n TV where they go fly fishing and catch and release. There are salmon up in Hokkaido. I'm on the same latitude as Northern Florida so not much cold water here, but there are other river fish. There may be some trout on Kyushu near one of the big volcanos like Mt. Aso up on the north part of the island.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2013 2:18:24
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Down in Okinawa I think they have to be aware of ciguatera, but here there are no barrier coral reefs that create lagoons and a system of less active water in my area. The tide movement here is vigorous and larger fish caught close to shore are more seasonal migrators.

I'm waiting for the Fall when Sawada come in close enough to catch off the breakwaters. Aji come in close late summer and fall, but they are small Horse Mackerel, bigger fish follow them. They say you can see Mahi-Mahi off the breakwater, or I call them Dorado having grown up near Mexico, I forgot the Japanese name. And bonito come and a few others.

I'm looking forward to going out fishing offshore soon, but have been too busy organizing my new shop and learning how to get materials here. I know a couple commercial fishermen who I'm gong to try to talk into letting me go along and you can also get on a charter boat and go out. One fisherman is Yuko's cousin Yuzo, he dives for octopus and is throwing a big family Tako party on June 15th. The same Yuzo who needed to see how much shochu a giajin can drink at Yuko moms first passing away anniversary.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2013 2:32:37
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to estebanana

Stephen -it just occurred to me- that now your guitars will need be marked as "Made in Japan"? While flamenco guitars "Made in the USA" [California, Oregon, Texas etc.], have over the years earned a rather respectful status and -as you recently pointed out about Amigo playing a Lester DeVoe along his Reyes- compete well with their Spanish counterparts, will "made in Japan" affect negatively your production?

I am sure you pondered this point and am interested in the opinion you [and others] may have formed on the subject.

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gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2013 16:29:39
 
theblackcat

 

Posts: 57
Joined: Feb. 2 2010
From: Istanbul

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to gj Michelob

quote:

will "made in Japan" affect negatively your production?


Well the place of production would have an effect on the perceived value of the mass produced, factory made guitars, but for a guitar that is hand built by a renowned luthier, there would be no effect, at least not for me. A Faulk built by Faulk is a Faulk, no matter where it is built.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2013 18:18:46
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Gj,

I don't think the guitars have to be marked 'Made in Japan', but I am making new label for the ones made in Akune. I think Akune is a cool name and has some overseas flavor or dare I say, exotic appeal? I have one customer in France who requested I use the San Francisco label, I still have them with me if a customer wants that label. But unless requested I'll design a beautiful new label for the Japanese epoch. Who knows? It might become desired.

Not worried one bit about the origin effecting sales or my reputation, just going continue evolve and do my best. Japan has a long history of making hand made objects of high quality and I think people relate to that when they think of hand built guitars and Japan. There are some very high level Japanese classical makers here and the Canadian flamenco & classical builder Jim Frieson who lives up in Hokkaido. Frieson has been building in Sapporo for ten years and he seems to do pretty well with the American and Canadian market. I have not asked him about the Australian connection, but Down Under is closer from Japan.

I contacted Frieson on the recommendation of R.E. Brune' and he has been extremely friendly and helpful while I settle. He is a mench. Check out his website by google searching: 'Jim Frieson guitars Sapporo' ect.

Meanwhile, made this go bar deck today in my shop:



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 12 2013 15:22:19
 
gj Michelob

Posts: 1531
Joined: Nov. 7 2008
From: New York City/San Francisco

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to estebanana

As you probably remember, my dear German Vazquez Rubio does not indicate the country of origin in his guitars' labels. I wish he did, as I am proud of him, his work and that he is a Mexican born California based Luthier. However, when exporting goods, technically, one is required to show the country of origin in the product label. You may want to run it by the shipping company you choose, as "hang-tags"[not permanently glued] may suffice.

I do not disagree that those who know you will not necessarily lose interest in your guitars because they are now made in Japan. However, if listing them on a guitar store [say GSI or LaSonanta] it may take some explanation. However yet, I would not be surprised if you found a fancy spin to turn this to your advantage, handing you an edge, a distinguishing trait of some sort.

Good luck with it all, Stephen, I hope Japan will continue to stir your imagination and creative flights, as your "Dispatches" show it already does.

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gj Michelob
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 12 2013 16:31:30
 
ralexander

Posts: 797
Joined: Jun. 1 2010
From: Halifax, Nova Scotia

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to estebanana

quote:

Japan has a long history of making hand made objects of high quality and I think people relate to that when they think of hand built guitars and Japan.


Exactly, I know I do. If you are familiar with steel string luthier George Lowden, I once owned a killer guitar built in 1980 right around the time that George had licensed manufacturing of his guitars to a small group of master luthiers near Nagoya. I also owned 2 other Irish made Lowdens over the years, and there was no discernible difference in quality or even sound.

Glad to see you getting settled in Akune. I haven't had much time to read your dispatches - hopefully, I'll have time this weekend to go back and catch up.

By the way, I think you should mark your new guitars as Made in Japan and do so with pride.

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Ryan
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 12 2013 17:24:12
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Ryan,

Tango challenge?? I just mentioned Lowden to Miguel, before I read this.

I don't think I'll label them with the exact words "Made in Japan" I have not problem with it, but I'll probably go with "Akune, Kyushu, Japan" City, Island, Country.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 13 2013 0:52:49
 
Leñador

Posts: 5213
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

How 'bout "Hecho en Japón"

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\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 13 2013 1:52:26
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2502
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

Now that Richard has scared the pee-whottle out of us with ciguatera, a food illness that sounds like a flamenco palo,

How does Ciguatera go? Ayeeeeee, yaya ya eeeeeeeeeee..

Anyone know any letras por Ciguatera?



Manitas and Carlos Montoya were both proficient ciguateros. And I believe Professor Doctor Diaz has a package deal for a guitar and ciguatera lessons. The lessons are said to reverse the sensations of heat and cold, and to induce novel thought patterns.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 13 2013 6:05:04
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Ciguatera sounds an Ida e Vuelta cante, only you get bad air seecknees on de plane.

Ciguajira poisoning is from Cuban fish.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 13 2013 6:12:17
 
ralexander

Posts: 797
Joined: Jun. 1 2010
From: Halifax, Nova Scotia

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to estebanana

Stephen - right, not "Made in Japan" because ignorant people may get hung up on that. I like your choice of wording.

Lowdens rule \o/

re: Tangos challenge, yah I'm in. I've been busy lately, and have been avoiding the thread I was playing some Solea last night thinking about how the last challenge really helped me develop. I'm noob with Tangos as well, so it will be good to set a goal again.

By the by, I haven't given up on my woodworking plans. I have been in the process of converting my unfinished basement into a proper workshop. In fact, I was re-reading those helpful posts from you on the subject the other day. I hope you don't mind if I hit you up for some advice in the future. I have been digesting info like crazy the past few months, and I'm about ready to finally start making a mess very soon! Workbenches first, then some outdoor benches for the patio.

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Ryan
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 13 2013 14:15:13
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
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RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Ask away.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2013 0:49:38
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
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RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

I have not shown you guys what the old port looks like. This is five minute walk from out house. Very ahh, quiant, but it's a working fishing fleet that provides locally caught fish. Yum.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2013 1:38:52
 
estebanana

 

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RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

A few steps from where I took the first picture. I like to come over here to look at the water.
I call Akune 'Gilligans Island'


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2013 1:40:31
 
ralexander

Posts: 797
Joined: Jun. 1 2010
From: Halifax, Nova Scotia

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Beautiful! That shot of the volcanic hot bath looks like a real slice of heaven. I was just there in my mind, but then got hit in the face by interloping monkey poo. Fantasy over

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Ryan
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 14 2013 14:16:47
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
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RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Every night at 8pm the announcements come over the city intercom radio station. All the homes have a special radio for this broadcast, which also helps test the system in case of real events like tsunami of terremotos. ( let that not happen)

A few nights ago the chimes rang on the radio before the announcements of the day and the city crier, a young woman, said: "Only thing to report today is: Monkey's sighted in the Yamashita area of town. Stay away from them and don't engage monkeys they are dangerous."

It was kind of funny, even for this rural area.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 15 2013 1:45:23
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7497
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RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

In Kagoshima, the biggest city on the southern half of Kyushu there is a famous volcano called Sakurajima. I'm standing across the bay from the volcano near Downtown Kagoshima where the shopping district and university are located.

I made three short videos looking across at Sakurajima.










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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 2 2013 7:25:04
 
Wayne Brown

 

Posts: 124
Joined: Oct. 22 2012
From: Huntersville, North Carolina, USA

RE: Dispatches from Akune (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

This reminds me. I was stationed in Japan for several months and then one day we had a clear day, no rain and no smog, and there it was....... Mt Fuji! Very impressive! Those clear days didn't come often, but they came more in the winter months.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 2 2013 18:54:11
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