Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kaisha toilet etiquette

Rules I have observed but don't always observe

Upon entering the restroom, if another lady is present, you must greet her with Otsukaresama desu! (Wassup, fellow laborer!)

Please use the sound princess to muffle the sound of your pee. Under no circumstances should your discharge be audibly recognizable. If no sound princess is installed, you must repeatedly flush the toilet while peeing/pooing to mask the sound. Environment be damned. If available, please also use the "powerful deodorizer" button.

Use the cabinet in the restroom to keep your lady toiletries. Keeping tampons in one's desk is unladylike.

A few minutes after lunch, you should join the klatsch of tooth-brushers doing a community polishing. Five or six to a mirror is fine. Try not to spit on your neighbor.

Except when tooth polishing and gossiping, the user should evacuate quickly if another user enters the restroom. Failure to cede the entire area to the incoming user will result in dirty looks and sighing.

Anything to add?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

mirror lake

My dear Oregon is a dream for hiking, so when my sis proposed a hike out to Mirror Lake, where I hadn't yet been, I was game.
Photo courtesy of Cassandra, taken by some friendly hiker ladies we met along the way.

About an hour east of Portland on the I-26, Mirror Lake is a gentle hike that leads to the pretty lake reflecting Mount Hood.
photo by Melvin

We also managed to find a geocache along the way, Melvin's first.
photo by Melvin

This would be a pretty place for a swim in the summer. I got stuck in a bog and had mud up to mid calf. That's what happens when you wander off the path.

photo by Cassandra

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

a visit to the pumpkin patch

My sis wanted to take all of our child-friends to the pumpkin patch (she's a very cool fake aunt) so I found a groupon to Lee Farms and off we went.

It was a fine fall day.
There were lots of things to entertain the kiddos in addition to squash, so as they powered from hay maze to barn slide I snacked on a caramel apple and listened to a bard doing Jake Johnson and Bob Marley covers out of the corner of my ear.

The pumpkins were a bit expensive, and while I truly want to support small farms, 10x the price of the grocery store is a little hard to swallow. Still, a good time was had. (Faux) country living!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Miller becomes Bowie

On my way to the U.S. for a visit with the fam-and-friends, I had the honor of escorting this little fella to his new and forever home.
Miller, a Cavalier King Charles (CKC), was down in the Ozato pound on the gas line in Okinawa when Doggies Inc. uploaded his pic to their site. A CKC lover noticed him and alerted a CKC fan club, which quickly mobilized to raise money to get him pulled from the center, vetted, fostered, and transported to the west coast for rehoming. All the fine details on the Japan side were carried out by Doggies.

When they posted that they were looking for transport, I immediately vounteered as I was planning to visit the States in a few weeks. Since his final destination was Seattle and mine was Portland, it was a fairly convenient arrangement and I called the airline (Delta) to book his passage.

Upon arrival at the airport, I met the lovely Lisa who had been fostering Miller until his departure. She helped me get him checked in and paid his transport fee.
Unfortunately, there was a snafu after I got to the boarding gate. Despite making my reservation for Miller weeks in advance, confirming it a few days in advance, and breezing through the check in process, it was discovered when trying to load Miller onto the plane that he was not actually allowed on the plane. A gate agent called me shortly before boarding to tell me we would not be allowed on the flight.

After some scrambling and confusion, we were rerouted through Minneapolis. The agent who had been dealing with my case gave me the gate number and told me to run, as boarding was in process. Nobody told me why we had been ejected.

Upon finally reaching Minneapolis, I encountered another roadblock when I couldn't find Miller in the baggage area. I asked a baggage clerk - he had no idea. Asked a Delta rep hanging around the area - she had no idea. Asked another baggage handler - no clue. Finally one of the immigration agents went to look for him and brought him out to me, then escorted me to the front of the line. I have to say that the immigration person was exceedingly kind.

Unfortunately, after all the rigamarole, there was not enough time to take Miller out of the airport, as it would have involved going out of security and then having to go through the whole process again to get back in. I had less than an hour to make my connection at this point. There is nowhere at MSP to take a dog to relieve himself during transit. Poor Miller had to endure another leg of the journey without leaving his crate. We had originally expected that he would be in the crate for 10-12 hours, as the flight from NRT to PDX is 9 hours. By the time we reached PDX, he had been enclosed for more than 20 hours.
But reach Portland we finally did, where his new mama was waiting. 

And his new siblings.
Miller's name is now Bowie, and he lives in Seattle. Yay Bowie!

Here's a video made by someone in the CKC group that helped raise money and spread the word.