Friday, November 11, 2005

No Some politics today!

Today was a good day with the S.O. The last thing I want to do is screw it up by talking about all of the screwed up things going on in this screwed up world.

A couple of editorial comments though:

1) Who makes decisions for the terrorists and why are they so f**ked up? Bombing an Arab nation that has sat on the fence for years hardly seems to be the way to help one's war effort. It is the quintessential equivalent of shooting one's foot off ( or something worse). Just f**king stupid.......

2) I also think that the Jordanian protests are right on target: "Burn in hell, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi!"

3)A recent poll says that "most Americans say they aren't impressed by the ethics and honesty of the Bush administration, already under scrutiny for its justifications for an unpopular war in Iraq and its role in the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity." I think it missed the mark. I don't think Bush is dishonest at all. His compass however, is decidedly 180 degrees out of whack. He does need to find a different way to package himself. He continues to come across on TV as arrogant and unable to accept different viewpoints. Accordingly, I would sum up his TV persona as " I'm being patient with a fool..." The fool of course being all of us who don't accept his explanations at face value.

Now to the good news for the day. S.O. and I went to Mt Ooyama (大山)down in Isehara (伊勢原)。 We wanted to take advantage of the holiday to see the changing of leaves, known in Japan as Kouyou(紅葉)...Taking in and appreciating these scenes is called momiji-gari, an excursion for viewing the scarlet maple leaves. Today they were just beautiful:

Ooyama is a neat place. Finding a place to park the car is a little difficult and the drive back is simply painful if you get stuck in traffic. However once the parking obstacles are overcome, the walk up to the cable car is quite interesting. Lots of shops selling tops (koma) an Ooyama item, other items including sweet sake and a lot of restaurants specializing in Tofu. As you come to the cable car station you find out why: The mountain streams have beautiful crystal clear water and that is important to good Tofu. ( More on that later.......).

We boarded the cable car and rode up to the shrine:

After washing our hands, and allowing the SO to pay her yen offering, clap her hands and pray ( truth be told I did too, but to with no hand clapping, just asking God to help me figure about 30 things out........). It was off to the mountain trail to the summit.

A word about Japanese trail building. It appears the concept of switchbacks are unheard of here. 250 steps straight up the side of the mountain are though and after ascending them all, we realized that we still had a lot more to go on the trail about 90 minutes worth. Since a good Japanese meal was part of our reason for the expedition, we abandoned the search for the summit. What really sucked was watching men in their 70's climb, climb, climb. Genki ne?

I'm not kidding about the stairs:

Turnaround we did and on the way down we skipped the cable car. Again we had to traverse straight stairs down the face. So about 3pm we arrived back at the main station and picked restaurantnt to eat in. We picked a small one, but it appeared to havsomeem folks in it and prices were not too bad. It turned out to be a good pick.

Now I am not a big fan of Tofu. The word almost always makes me think of my friend's old criticism of the west coast Navy: Granola crunchin', sandal wearing, tree hugging, Corona drinking, Tofu eating, feminist thinkin', homo-loving, no load sacks of s**t.......Come to think of it, that's probably still a good summary of San Francisco, California. However the set meal the S.O. ordered for me ( she indulged me by letting me order it myself in Japanese and thus save some shred of my manhood....she did have to help me read it though...). Bottom line: it was all pretty good. Tofu with veggies, Tofu miso soup, Hot tofu with soy sauce, rice, Japanese pickles, sweet Tofu bars.....

Not something I'd want every day, but far better than I've had before in other places. Sadly, no beer as I had to drive, but as much ryokucha (green tea) as you wanted.

All in all, a pretty good day. Bad world news or not...........Not really fair though, while the rest of mankind has to sleep so badly.



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