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Sunday, 31 August 2014

Say what? Hot and Mild?!

 Take if from the Japanese to really do a doozy on using English incorrectly. How the hell can something be hot and mild!? I mean Jalapeno and cheese

Thursday, 28 August 2014

A chatty kitty and a big solar panel

This kitty looks like two I had as a child back in Nova Scotia. Both I had named Charlie. Charlie 1 was born sometime about 1978 and lasted until about 1983. Charlie 2 I remember about 1983 to 1994. Pretty old for a cat.

 Due to the energy shortage by the nuclear plant meltdowns up in Northern Japan which produced 40% of the Tokyo regions power, this solar panel was built near where I live. Not sure how many of these will be built in the near future.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Arakawa camp Kiyosato Yamanashi 2014

Kiyosato Station, Yamanashi, Japan. If you ever want to travel from Tokyo to this place, it will cost you at least 6000 yen round trip. WOW!
This town used to be really hopping. Unfortunately, several combinations have caused many of the shops around the station area to close. A drop in the population, its actually cheaper to travel outside Japan then inside! Its sad, as I counted about 12 shops which were closed, all of which were within walking distance of this station.
This type of train was what used to chug up the hills to get there. The weather was also a lot cooler up there, about a ten degree difference. Hence I'm wearing jeans and a flannel shirt in August in Japan!
Take my shot buddy, I need to get back to my students! You will find trains like these all over Japan as displays for kids to climb over and then break something.
Once again, my company was asked by Arakawa Board of Education to teach their World School Program. This year we had teachers from USA, Canada, UK, The Philippines, Australia and New Zealand
Mark from Kenya and I. We had a lot of laughs.
Mark from Kenya, Jai from Hawaii. Both these guys were great players on our training team. I didn't notice the sweat stain on my shirt.
Brian from Queens, New York. We work together in Edogawa, Tokyo this year.

We went up to Kiyosato, Yamanashi from August 21-25. I got home, went to bed for about 5 hours then cycled to school in Edogawa. Unfortunately, I lost my voice from all the excitement we had to do with the students on the trip. I'm still resting it. Hopefully, I will be able to teach my students with some more speaking, but then again, having them do most of the talking means I cut most of my work! I guess its a win win, unless they don't do any talking.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Battle of Wannepang, Nova Scotia 1722

 This action was part of Father Rale's War, one of the frontier actions on the New England, Nova Scotia/Acadia borders. In this instance, a group of MikMaq warriors seized New England fishing vessels. The British governor in Annapolis Royal sent out a government armed vessel to try and defeat them.

 Two vessels, a Royal Navy light vessel under the command of a midshipman on the left and an armed merchant vessel 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

American Loyalist troops 1775-84

Left to right:
American Legion, Queens Rangers Hussars company. Royal Newfoundland Regiment, Kings Royal Regiment of New York, Queens Rangers Highland Company. 
Green was the color of choice for Loyalist provincial forces as they could blend well into the woods. The cavalry forces made up for the lack of trained horse troops from Britain. 

Hessian troops in North America 1775-83

 Depictions of mercenary troops hired by the British government to fight in North America from 1775-83. I shall be updating this posting over the next month as I find my historical information.

British Light Infantry 1768-88

 Several light infantry companies. 
As part of the British Army's retraining from 1768, Light Infantry companies were made a part of each battalion in the British Army. Their uniform coats were cut shorter, their caps were designed specifically for their work in the forests, they were issued with tomahawks, rather than small swords, and they were usually the better soldiers in each regiment. They were the first units to engage the American rebels in April 1775. 

Battalion companies, British Army 1768-88

The British army, known usually as Redcoats, were the backbone of each Regiment. Each soldier needed to be five feet in height, have all of his limbs, not troubled by fits, have two teeth that met in order to bite open his cartridges.
Far from being the thugs, criminals and dregs of society, many of these men served with pride and distinction, despite being far from home, hated by the American public, and also loathed by their own country. 

Wolfes Army 1755-65

 All of my troops painted as the regular British Army which was sent to North America between 1755-65

British commanders in North America 1756-65

 Amherst and Wolfe with two companies of Grenadiers, 22nd and 48th. Amherst is holding the spontoon while Wolfe is holding his walking stick.

British troops of the Seven Years War/French and Indian War: 1st Royal Regiment

 The 1st Foot, the Royal Regiment, otherwise known as the Royal Scots, took part in the siege of Louisbourg, then joined Amherst's command on the advance to Montreal. Later they took part in the West Indies campaigns with the regiments they served with at Louisbourg. 

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Nasu day three

 I had to repost this one. This was the bathhouse in the campground. It was rather nice to take a hot bath listening to the rain hammer down on the roof.
 With all the rain, our kids were playing with their new friends, the owners children. We had to pack the car, and take down the tent in the rain. 

 This was the campground the morning after the storm. There was an elderly couple with their tent, and a family with a camping trailor. 

 breakfast consisted of our leftover steak and sausage mixed with some boil in the bag stew and a pot of strong tea. My messtins from Cadet Direct and my hexy stove worked wonders. My wife noted that we don't need to bring the gas canister stove next time as I was able to cook out food with just what I had. 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Nasu day four

 The morning after the rain storm. As you can see, the campground was nearly deserted! There was a retired couple and a family with a camping trailor. 

 Using some boil in the bag stew, with the left over steak and sausage from the night before, I made a stew for breakfast. I also made a pot of strong tea.

 Posing with the daughter of the owner. They were a great family which my children enjoyed playing with. Emi and I had to pack the car and take down the tent in the rain. Hence why I'm still in my rain kit.
 We then went shopping at an outlet mall as with all the rain, there was nothing else to do. We then stayed at a Japanese style bed and breakfast which is run by a former daycare teacher. She is married to an American from Guam and was very friendly.

The next morning, we went to Nasu Highland Park, which is a big amusement park. 

Emi and the kids went on a lot of rides. I did go on the water slide ride, and an airplane ride. While waiting for my family, two twin boys who had been staring at me, came over to ask for a picture. This is usual in Japan sometimes, as they like to have a picture taken with a foreigner. I was suprised when I started to talk to them, that in fact, they were my students from one of my schools in Tokyo! And the fact that their uncle lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia!

Leena having fun with the mascots. 
All in all it was a great trip. Coming back took about 5 hours driving due to a minivan which blew up and burnt out on the expressway.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Nasu Day Two

The next morning, we went down for breakfast. Still full from the night before, I had a few breads, and french fries.

We had Kraft blueberry jam!

The weather was a mixture of drizzle and overcast. This was a farm where you could pet bunnies, goats, calfs, and feed horses and ride ponies. Leena freaked out when the goats tried eating her skirt! I had a calf find my Roots Canada shirt tasty! Luckily, no damage.

Ian takes his hand at archery. He's the fellow with the buzzed down haircut.

Leena decides to be like Meredith in Brave and tries as well.

My wife and I setting up our new tent at Holiday Camp ground. We bought a Coleman 4 person tent with two rooms. This was great because, due to a typhoon which hit southern Japan, our area in the east was on the hit by massive rains.

Once set up during the rare sunshine, we played outside, and then had lunch.

My lunch was Garlic toast, Beef jerky and Pringles American Cheeseburger

I will post the address of this place once Emi can translate for me. 

 I bbq steak, Johnsonville sausage, the owners of the campground gave us corn. I had bought my mess tins from Cadet direct back in the winter. Made a nice platter. I was able to make a nice pan gravy from the dippings and non-alcoholic beer I had.

 I also had shrimp and salmon.
The weather then continue to change to rain. There was also a fireworks display that night, but with the clouds and rain, you could barely see them. The only thing you was that you could hear them going off. It sounding like we were in Long Tan with Royal Australian Artillery firing at the NVA/VC.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Redden family encampment Nasu, Tochigi, Japan, August 2014

Amazing what you can pack in a Daihatsu Tanto Day one:
we packed the kids around our gear. Their still little enough to do this, however, we may not be able to do this as much next year. Just as we were getting ready, we were aware of an approaching Typhoon! It hit southern Japan, but we saw the forecast indicating that it would be windy and rainy. So we opted to stay at a Hot Spring and pool. After a 3 hour drive from our area outside Tokyo, we then went for a swim in the heated pool. And that's when the rain started! It was funny to be swimming in a warm pool, to be pelted by rain!. We then moved to the hot tubs after a hot bath. As my son and I were in the male area, it really began to torrential rain! Try gingerly running around a spa totally nude with Noah style rains! The Japanese bathe nude in separate men and women's areas.
 this is not iced tea but plum wine! I nearly downed the cup when my brain kicked in, Ive been dry 11 years. This was the complimentary beverages on offer before you could check into your room.

 a Scottish ale with an English flag! Once the bartender came on I informed him of the mistake! He took off the label. 
The food at the first hotel we stayed at was superb! It was an all you can eat Chinese buffet. There were even chefs to grill your steak to order, Chinese chefs to prepare what you wanted! I had Chinese BBQ pork, Char-shu(sp) Peking Duck, several styles of shrimp, stir fry and of course rice,
After we had dinner, my wife was exclaiming we didn't need to eat in the morning!