Cold-Weather Comfort Food

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO800
“Oden” Cedar Park, 2021

I returned from 80° F Southern California sun to a chilly 50° F Texas gloom, but tonight’s dinner was the perfect antidote. A pot of delicious Japanese oden. The traditional 辛子 karashi (hot mustard) was perfect with it, but I also kicked it up a notch by adding some fresh (homegrown by my mom) scotch bonnet to the broth in my bowl. 🌶 I was toasty warm after that meal for sure!

Japanese Magazine from 1972

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/2.8, 1/100 sec, ISO1250
“Old Magazine” Cedar Park, 2021

Mariko had put this women’s magazine from 1972 into the recycling box, but I love the style of it, so I rescued it and have been enjoying looking through the ads and photos. There are lots of cool rice cookers, appliances, and who-knows-what-else! I also love the designs and fonts… they are so cool.

It’s also kind of fun to think that my Peugeot bicycle, Sophie, is the same age as this magazine. They are literally of the same era. 😄

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/3.6, 1/13 sec, ISO800
“Rice Cooker” Cedar Park, 2021
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/2.8, 1/90 sec, ISO3200
“Organ” Cedar Park, 2021

New Watch – Casio Baby-G BGD-501-1JF

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/30 sec, ISO500
“Baby-G” Cedar Park, 2021

For my birthday, I treated myself to a new watch: the Casio Baby-G BGD-501-1JF. I’ve always thought Baby-Gs (women’s version of the G-Shock) were really cool ever since Mariko had one back when I first met her in the late 90s, and lately I’ve seen the G-Shock black-out version which looks really cool. However, it’s a large watch for my 6.75-inch wrist (plus I have a couple other large watches already).

Enter the Baby-G version of the black-out watch. It’s pretty much the same design except in a slightly smaller package. I think it’s the perfect size for my wrist! And like the big brother G-Shocks, this particular Baby-G has 200-meter water resistance (most Baby-Gs have 100-meter). It also has the little wire guard that should offer more protection from scratches.

There are a couple of cons to the Baby-G, though. First, the display is a bit hard to read sometimes. That’s just a tradeoff for having a black-out style. Secondly, the light doesn’t stay on long enough. I think it should stay on for at least three seconds, but this Baby-G’s light stays on for only one. Not a huge deal, but still annoying.

All in all, I love my new watch. It’s definitely the most comfortable watch I own (even compared to my lighter Casio W800H-1AV). It sits so well on my wrist that I often forget I am wearing it and wake up to realize that I’ve worn it all night. That would never happen with my beloved Seiko SKX-007. 😁

To make room for the new watch, I have put an older Casio I have up for sale. No takers so far, but we’ll get it sold someday!

Dietz Lantern

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Dietz Lantern” Cedar Park, 2021

Behold! Our new lantern arrived! It’s an old-fashioned hurricane lantern that uses lamp oil as fuel. I have LED lanterns/lights, a propane lantern, but have never owned an oil lamp/lantern before. This particular model is a Dietz #30 “Little Wizard”, and I love it.

Oil lanterns work similarly to candles, with a wick (this lantern has a 5/8″ wide cloth wick) and fuel (wax for the candle, lamp oil for the lantern). The light output of the lantern is not nearly as bright as a propane or LED lantern but the light from the flame is much nicer and more soothing. It’s actually perfect for keeping on the picnic table since it adds so much ambience, can illuminate the table adequately, and is absolutely silent. In addition, if you use citronella oil, it can keep the mosquitos away.

There are plenty of videos out there describing the operation of oil lanterns, so check them out if you are curious. As for me, I’m hooked on these wonderful old lanterns and will definitely be bringing this “Little Wizard” on our next car camping trip to enhance the campsite.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 20.5mm, f/3.2, 1/70 sec, ISO3200
“Dietz Lantern” Cedar Park, 2021

Tennis at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater

“Tennis” Austin, 2021

Tonight I saw a band I really like play a show at Stubb’s. Tennis was awesome! They sounded great, with Alaina Moore singing perfectly and her husband Patrick Riley’s guitar work excellent.

The setlist was really good, and I got to hear most of my favorite songs. They pretty much spread out the setlist over their entire discography, which I prefer over setlists that just focus on the latest album.

Here’s one of the “oldies” from 2013 that they played:

Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater is a cool place to hear live music. It’s outdoors so if the weather is nice, it makes for a great time. Tonight happened to be clear and in the low 70s so it was perfect. One bad thing about Stubb’s is that people tend to talk a lot during the show, so if you want to just hear the music, you should move close to the front. Otherwise all the talking can get really annoying. I moved around a few times just to get away from loud conversations.

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/7 sec, ISO800
“Stubb’s” Austin, 2021

This was the first concert I’ve been to since the pandemic started. The band required negative COVID tests or proof of vaccination, and the staff was indeed checking everyone at the gate. However, I still wore a mask the entire time. (I was one of only a handful people masked up)

I was a little nervous going to the show because of COVID, but I’m really glad I did. It was a lot of fun and I even came home with a new t-shirt. 😄