Pet Photos

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/80 sec, ISO3200
“Camera Shy” Cedar Park, 2019

It’s so funny that Lani doesn’t like when the camera is pointed at her. The only time to get a photo of her face looking at you is if you catch her off guard or if she is severely distracted by the prospect of food. 🐶

The cats, on the other hand, are pretty willing to have their photos taken. 🐱

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO1600
“Sweet Anko” Cedar Park, 2019

I Am a Cat – Book Cover Design

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO2000
“I Am a Cat” Cedar Park, 2019

こんにちは。How’s it going?

I’ve decluttered my paper book collection quite a bit, but these three volumes of I Am a Cat by Sōseki Natsume are ones that I want to keep. Not only is the story interesting and funny, but the book cover art is so great. I love it! The book lists the cover art as by H. Doki, but I cannot find any other information about the artist.

I bought these when I lived in Japan (¥1243 sticker still on the back of volume 2) and the printing was from 1995, so I am guessing the artwork can’t be that much older. I think the simple color palette for each volume is perfect. It just makes me smile. 😀


Monday Hamburgers with Homemade Buns

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/4, 1/60 sec, ISO3200
“Burger” Cedar Park, 2019

The second meal I prepared on the new barbeque grill was hamburgers. Actually, I would have thought burgers would be the first meal, but steaks aren’t a bad choice either.

Anyway, the burgers turned out great. As usual, I used 80-20 ground chuck, but this time I added Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard to the mix. I think I did that last time too. This time, though, I used a fork to mix it all up before dividing the meat and forming the patties. I think this makes a huge difference because the ground beef doesn’t get as compressed so the cooked burgers have a nicer, coarser texture. And maybe they stay juicier too? I don’t know, but these were certainly moist!

Mariko made homemade buns, which were fantastic. Natural ingredients and no preservatives are healthier than store-bought, of course, and the taste of the freshly-baked, homemade buns cannot be beaten.

To round out the burger, the toppings were lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, jalapeños, mayo, ketchup, and mustard. Can’t go wrong with the classics for toppings!

I sometimes like to make simple burgers using just salt, pepper, and garlic powder, but the family really enjoys the Worcestershire/Dijon version so I’ll probably keep making those. Purists say that adding anything more than simple seasonings turns a burger into meatloaf, but hey, we like meatloaf too!

I’m wondering if there are any other things people like to add to the meat before grilling… I must do more research.

I hope you had a nice day!


Children’s Day Koinobori 鯉のぼり (Japan)

"鯉のぼり" Cedar Park, 2019
Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/5.6, 1/280 sec, ISO200
“鯉のぼり” Cedar Park, 2019

Here in Texas, May 5th is when most people celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but in Japan, May 5th is Children’s Day こどもの日. It’s a tradition to fly the Koinobori 鯉のぼり if your household has children, so we (being of Japanese descent) have flown ours ever since Bay was born, starting in 2002.

Besides putting up the koinobori, we didn’t do anything special. Every day is children’s day in our family, after all. 😆

I hope you had a nice day!


AYO Grand Finale Concert

"Austin Youth Orchestra" Austin, 2019
“Austin Youth Orchestra” Austin, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

What a busy, but great day, we had! Koa had a percussion competition in the morning down at Texas State University in San Marcos, then in the afternoon, he performed in the Grand Finale Concert of the Austin Youth Orchestra. After that, we headed back down to San Marcos for a percussion master class, and then we found out the results of the competition. And the results were great – Koa received 4th place (out of 29) for his marimba performance!

Not only was the competition great, but the Austin Youth Orchestra performances were fantastic as well. Koa played timpani in a Stravinsky tune (which was really fun to watch), and snare drum in a Tchaikovsky tune. It was awesome. If you have a few moments, give them a watch/listen:

The grand finale concert marks the end of the spring session, and I am pretty sure Koa will want to join AYO again next year. I am happy and amazed that his level is so high at just his freshman year. Looking forward to his future!