Aquarium update

Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO4000
Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは! Good evening!

Tonight’s post is about our aquarium that we’ve had for several years now. It’s a plain 10-gallon glass tank, simply decorated with some rocks, a nice piece of driftwood, and a “Pirates Cove” skeleton accompanied by his jug of rum. You know, the classic!

For fish, we currently have three tiger barbs, although one of them wasn’t looking too well this afternoon, I wouldn’t be surprised if we lose him the next couple of days. We also have several live plants, which are relatively new. I always had plastic plants in my aquariums, but thought I would give some live plants a try. I really like them! They are easy to take care of, and look nice.

But lately our tank has been overcome with some brown algae. In order to combat this, I picked up several Malaysian Trumpet Snails which are supposed to be great tank cleaners – eating algae, dead leaves, and even fish poop. 🐌 We only have about 8 so far (our local fish store gave us some of theirs free of charge) but they are working hard! You can really see a difference on the parts of the tank they have been active in. But what I am looking forward to is for them to have baby snails (it should take a month or two) and then we’ll have a snail army to clean the tank! Apparently they all come out in the middle of the night and do their work. 🌛

I’ve had an aquarium of one size or another for most of my life… all fresh water type. I have fun watching the fish and taking care of them, but the new snails are by far the most fun things to watch. It sounds funny, right? But they are fascinating!

Anyways, that is tonight’s aquarium report! Have a good evening and we’ll see you tomorrow.

おやすみなさい!

– B Barron Fujimoto

 

A-Z Challenge – O

Redondo Beach, 2013
Photo info: SONY NEX-6, 28mm, f/13, 1/160 sec, ISO100
Redondo Beach, 2013

O is for “Ocean”

I’ve always loved the ocean… swimming in it, listening to the waves, or hanging out at the beach during the summer… so many good memories! Living in Central Texas for the past 16 years, I really miss the water. Sure, there are lakes and rivers here, but swimming in them gives me the creeps! Salt water is much more to my liking. Scuba diving in clear tropical waters is such an amazing experience! 🐠

A few of my fondest ocean memories are:

  • Torrance Beach (California) – My hometown actually has a small strip of beach, just south of Redondo Beach (my birth city), and the strongest memory I have of this beach is going there with my family when I was really little, and the smell of french fries from the snack bar was so strong and good! I have a vague memory of eating some fries, and they were limp and greasy but yummy all the same! 🍟
  • Manhattan Beach (California) – During my high school years, my friends and I would hang out here during the summers. A great period of my life, driving our used cars, working part-time jobs, and looking for parties. At the beach, we worked on our tans, but maybe now we are paying for it with extra wrinkles! 😝
  • Ho’okipa Park (Maui) – We visited my Dad’s hometown (Wailuku) on Maui during the summers when I was under 10 years old, and we would often go to this small beach. These days it is famous for windsurfing, but back then in the mid-’70s, there was surfing and spearfishing. While my oldest brother was riding the waves, my dad was spearfishing and my other brother and I would float along in inner tubes (real car inner tubes made of rubber) following my dad as he speared fish. Fun! 🐟
  • Enoshima (Japan) – This touristy island can be reached by a long bridge, and Mariko and I explored the island for a whole day. Lots of great views of the Pacific… a wonderful memory shared by us newlyweds. 💞

We are planning on moving to Japan when our kids are independent, and I’d love to live near the ocean again. Even if we don’t live in a coastal town, Japan is small compared to Texas, so we should be able to visit the ocean much easier. I need to hear the sound of the ocean waves on the shore again. It makes me feel alive! 🌊

Kitten invasion

Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/60 sec, ISO6400
Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは! Hello, how’s it going?

We’ve been enjoying having the two kittens in our house. So far, they are staying in our “sun room” which is next to our TV room. We are keeping them separated from our dog, Lani, for a while… Lani is so excitable and whines and growls a lot. The kittens were really scared at first, but now are slowly getting used to the dog, although they have only briefly been in the same room together. We’ll give it a couple weeks I think before we introduce them fully. But, they do look at each-other through the French doors.

Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/60 sec, ISO2500
Cedar Park, 2016

In other news, the rain has been pretty heavy. This morning the kids’ schools were delayed by two hours… of course they were so happy about that. Koa just said to me a few minutes ago that he’s hoping for a short day tomorrow as well. There’s a good chance he will get his wish! ☔

I hope you had a nice Monday, and we’ll see you tomorrow! Meow or Nyan!

おやすみなさい! – バロン Barron Fujimoto

Rainy sunday

Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4.5, 1/60 sec, ISO3200
Cedar Park, 2016

こんばんは! How’s it going?

Today was the first day of our huge rainstorm, which is supposed to last maybe three more days. ☔ Our house is not in any danger from flooding, but there are some parts of town that are near the river and those get so much water that they overflow the banks. It’s really dangerous and there are often reports of people getting swept away as they try to cross through the water in their cars. Even though we have the saying “Turn around, don’t drown” some people think they can make it and just try anyways.

I stayed in the house today and actually had a task to do: file our 2015 taxes. Like many other people, I use TurboTax to do our taxes, and after several years of doing it, it has become pretty quick and easy. The main thing is that you need to just keep all your tax documents in one place as they come in during the year. I have a box that I put all the documents, and when I receive an email saying I have tax documents online, I will print those out immediately and put them in the box. Then, when I finally get down to doing the taxes, it’s all there!

I remember several years ago, I had so much trouble figuring out where everything was, but now it is a breeze. I think the software has gotten a lot better with each year so that is a huge help!

While I was working and looking for a folder to archive all the documents, I found a clear file that has all the stickers I have collected over the years. I forgot about one sticker that I bought in Japan a few years ago… it’s a cat with a camera! It actually says “Neko camera” (neko means cat). So I put it on my Chromebook. I now have 5 stickers on it… SCANDAL, Neko Camera, Momusu, K-on!, and a KTUH sticker that my brother sent me.

I’m still enjoying using the Chromebook for my blogging… I am typing this (and pretty much all my posts) using it.

Cedar Park, 2016
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/3.6, 1/40 sec, ISO3200
Cedar Park, 2016

Well, it’s getting late so I am going to read a bit, then sleep. Let’s have a good week!

おやすみなさい!

– バロン Barron Fujimoto

A-Z Challenge – N

N is for “Nostalgic 懐かしい”

One of my favorite Japanes words is “Natsukashii” which means “nostalgic”. For instance, when talking with a friend and you reminisice about an old time, you will say “natsukashii”. Or if something spurs an old memory, you can say the same thing.

As I get older, I often have these moments where I remember something from log ago and I think back fondly about it. I was listening to some music from my library, and a song came on that always brings back a certain memory… it was 1996 and I was watching tv at my shared apartment in Tokyo and a commercial came on that had a song that I really liked. One of my housemates told me who it was (Sakamoto Ruichi and Fujitani Miki) and I told her that I really wanted to find that song. So a couple weekends later, we went to Tower Records Shibuya and at a listening station, we found that cd… Ten seconds into the song, the main melody came thru our headphones*, I looked at my friend and she looked at me and we both said, “that’s it!”. Needless to say, I bought that cd.

It’s so fun when natsukashii moments happen. I wish I could share memories better… if there were some sort of memory recorder, that would be amazing. I admire people who can illustrate on paper so much. If I could I’d love to documents some of these memories like that. Or writing as well… I wonder if it is something I should work on. It’s a worthwhile thing, I think.

But maybe these memories are so personal, that they will have no meaning to strangers. Which is why that shared experiences are so special. Now I want to get in touch with my friend to see if she remember that moment too.

*The listening stations were set up so with a pair of headphones for each station