Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Old Photos

I had a rare office day today. They've moved to a different building since last I was there. It's brighter but quieter. I spent the day going through some photo folders on one of my portable HDDs, looking for stock-type photos to edit.

These photos I took about a year ago when I was asked to observe a first grade Japanese lesson. I posted another one of the boy who is squinting on my PAD last year, but I thought I'd do this one as a B&W. The boy with the book on his head .... teehee. Of course, they're in second grade now, and it won't be long before they move into third grade.

I accidentally erased the originals from the HDD....(

Monday, January 30, 2006

Off-centre Ball

An outtake from the Off-Centre Challenge. The ball is as I found it, sitting on the net. I liked the definite shadows. It was very windy and cold that day.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Pug's Smugmug : The Purple Ant

I finally created some galleries for my Colour Project on my SmugMug page. I included this one of a purple ant on a yellow flower. It's in the Yellow Gallery, though. I took it in September last year for the Complementary Colours challenge but didn't submit it...

Link here:

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Colour Project: BLUE

I took some Blue challenge shots today. I doubt any one of them would do exceptionally well. Here's one from Jan 17 ... a blue net for soap.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Off-centre Skipper

Another pic from the other day, trying for off centre. However, it probably wouldn't do so well in the challenge because ot the cut-off shadow, foot too close to the bottom, and other reasons. She's a new girl at the school and was jumping with two ropes.

I saw a fox this morning as I was driving to school - well, the tail mainly as it went over an embankment into the little forest. I never expected to see one in such an area.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

It's a dog of a year

One of the photos I took yesterday at a temple in Ujiie. As it's the Chinese zodiacal year of the dog, they had this big painting on the temple verandah. It seems unfinished, but it looks good the way it is. I'm not a dog person at all; I'm definitely one for the cats.

I didn't take any photos today but had a little snowball figt with some third grade kids - lots of snow remains from Monday because today's school is in the shadow of a mountain forest for most of the day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday night again

No time for downloading pictures I took to day. I took my new guitar to school today and played it for the first graders.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Evidence of yesterday's snow - and patterns made by somone. Cool.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Colour Project: BLUE

A photo from my expedition the other day. A graveyard behind a temple - and an upside down rice bowl on a plank. Rice bowls are left there to feed the departed souls.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Mice will play

Boardgame day today in Oyama, where it was snowing more heavily than here (the train was held up for a 15 or 20 minutes at the station before Oyama). These are playing pieces from one of the games, Mouse Rally. It's quite fun - what might be called a dexterity gamme. It doesn't fit in with the Colour project because no colour is the featured colour.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Colour Project: RED

Today after school I went to an out-of-the-way temple to take challenge photos. Here's one for the colour project, of little jizo statues wearing their red bibs and caps.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Danger in the Mountains!

I had another early mark from school, so I decided to go up Takahara-san's flanks for photos ... maybe Wildlife or a Tribute shot in the making. This one is of a kamakura snow dome at the People's Forest Information Centre. You may not be able to see him too well because he's camouflaged, but there's a guy there carrying a camera on a tripod. He had been taking photos of some robins in a tree.

From the Centre, I went further up the mountain past the snow line: fortunately the road was ploughed of snow. I reached a point where I decided to turn back, so I turned my car around and parked it to take some photos of the trees in the snow. When I got back in the car, it wouldn't start! Too cold, I guess.

Luckily, it was facing downhill, so I rolled it and it wasn't long before I got the engine running again. When I stopped one more time to take photos, I kept the engine ticking over.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Colour Project: YELLOW

An early mark today, so there's time to do some editing (and surfing).
This is a fish in one of the tanks in the school entrance hall. It's the same tank as the skunk shrimp which I've taken pictures of before. There used to be a very shy blue fish in the same tank but I didn't see it today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Colours: GREEN

I had an idea to create galleries of photos with one major colour element. Originally, I thought it would be a PAD for a month in a single colour, then change colour. But I guess it would be easier to set up the separate galleries and post photos as I do them. So, today I took Red, Blue, Green and Yellow photos.

The burning question is, will I get around to creating the galleries at http://pug8.smugmug.com/ seeing that I haven't posted anything there since DEC 5? (lazy sod)

Some remnants of green tea.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Going down the road

I tried some shots for the Signs and Roads challenges - here's an outtake from the Road. I think I'll enter the Signs challenge, if I enter either. Maybe a bit oversaturated. I only took one lens - and my car was at the bottom of the hill.

There are four torii and several little shrines. I kind of like how the background is overexposed so that it looks like mist.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Stayed home all day ..... housework, washing, cooking, cleaning, that sort of thing. A bit of websurfing. I considered getting the camera out but didn't get round to it. So here's anotehr outtake from the Shapes challenge. I wonder if either of these two would have done better than my final entry.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Finding Parts Unknown in Your Soup

hehe, I haven't touched my camera in a couple of days, but have been thinking about photography a lot. There's a picture I want to take for the Free Study, but it necessitates things I don't have available. So I'll have to think of something else...
Today I bought a Yamaha guitar. I'm no great guitarist by a long, long shot but I'll be able to use it in classes. However, my fingers are so soft from not playing for such a long time, it hurts if I play too long.
We had some decent rain today. Winter is pretty dry and humidity is very low here.
Well, here's an outtake from the Shapes challenge.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Ice wheel

Actually taken yesterday, this is the waterwheel near the school I was at today. The water gradually turned to ice as the wheel moved, resulting in icicles going in different directions. However, the wheel is frozen stuck now, and the ice doesn't all melt away during the day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

No time for photo editing

I took some photos today. A koala-shaped macadamia chocolate. Some of the school kids (practising for the Singled Out challenge). And a frozen waterwheel. But I have no time tonight for editing any of them. That's the problem with having an evening class to teach as well, on a Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

My new light tent (II)

Well, I took a photo of it, just to show you what it looks like. Maybe I should have put the cylindrical one in too. I had assembled it, then made dinner. Before eating, I thought I'd take a photo of my g***a for the recipe/food challenge on dpc. I need to get a decent light and sheets.

New light tent

No photos today, or at least, not yet/probably not. The first day back at school for the last term. I didn't take my camera. In the afternoon, I went to the 100 yen shop and bought some stuff to make a light tent - tubes and fittings. I haven't put it together yet, but it should work well except it's deep blue. Not bad for less than $US5 altogether. The one I bought before, a collapsible cyclindrical job, is a wee bit small - and cost more than ten times as much.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Star Child

In the toys and games section of Tobu department store, they have some imported children's games on sale. This is one that I noticed boardgamegeek does not have a photo for, so I took some photos to put on that site. It's a game called "Sternenkinder" or "Star Children" or "Les Enfants des etoiles", only published last year. It's a public holiday in Japan today, so we went into Tobu for lunch.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


This time it was Mi-chan's turn to go to the hairdresser, so I had to to wait around - a lot longer than I expected. Well, at least I bought a cordless electric kettle with some of the money my parents sent us for Christmas. They had their 50th wedding anniversary party yesterday (the anniversary is the 14th), so I rang them up in Australia.
The photo is of the shopping mall near the Mi's hairdressers. It has primary colours in abundance.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The pointy-haired boss

I didn't actually take any pictures today, so here's one from the Yomeimon Gate at Toshogu Shrine I took on Thursday. The figure second from right reminds me of the pointy-haired boss from Dilbert. (Look at it full size). Maybe I should email it to Scott Adams...

We went to La-la Square today to the Laura Ashley shop and I had to sit around and wait for a while. I also had my hair cut (not pointy) at the 1000 yen 10 minute place, though it didn't really need cutting. Anyway, you buy a ticket from the machine and the smelly guy cuts your hair in 10 minutes. At the end he vacuums your head.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Bird by the Water

I went into Tokyo today for an errand (to buy a Japanese boardgame for someone in Australia), and stoppped off at Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku. I was playing around with the cameras and thought, "Why not put my spare SD card in and study the pics at home?" So I tried out the *ist DL, *ist DS2 and *ist D, which all had different lenses. The *ist D RAW files got corrupted for some reason. Anyway, this is a photo of a sample photograph taken with a 14mm lens on a *ist DS, though the original photo was apparently taken with an Olypus E-300. I cropped off the extraneous surroundings to make you think it was a real photo by me.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I put in a profile pic

I asked Rikki to take a photo with my camera of me with the famous 3 wise monkeys. It's too late at night to figure out how to format it correctly on the side bar.

Nikko with Rikki

I went up to Nikko today and met up with Rikki and Yukako. It was cold but only snowed a little bit while we were there. I deleted 45 photos from a card thinking that I had already downloaded them onto my portable drive (when in fact I had downloaded my other card twice).

Well, I was glad to be the guide as they wouldn't have thought of coming to Nikko if I hadn't mentioned it. But I can't believe how tired I am ... maybe post some more pics tomorrow.

I don't know who the people are, but I liked how they were facing opposite directions, and not looking at the main gate, Yomeimon.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ice Waterfall

I had to go back to the town office of the town I used to live in (I moved in November) to get a refund from the health insurance. On the way, I saw the ice waterfall on the other side of this river. It's in the shade all day, and this was about 1.30pm. Maybe it's not really a waterfall, but I would like to get closer to it.

I've arranged to meet Rikki tomorrow to take him up to Nikko.

Shapes are done

I wasn't really going to enter the dpc Open challenge this week, but I came up with an idea last night and executed it this morning (not the original idea but a variation thereof). I won't upload any outtakes here as that would surely be too obvious. I predict a high score! and way better than the current one, which I'm quite disappointed that it's met with such universal disapproval. Hmm, but over 320 entries in the Shapes II....

So I'll just post an outtake from the Perspectives II challenge, a self-portait in the Oya Stone Mine.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Time stuff fixed

I figured how to get the time set to japan time, in the Settings menu. Phew!
So, it looks like I have to change the time/date every time I post.
I had hoped to visit one of the shrines to take photos after doing some errands, but Mi-chan has a cold and didn't want to be left alone too long. So I suggested we play OltreMare, which is a game I got from Secret Santa. For Christmas, one of the guys on boardgamegeek organised a Secret Santa list. I sent a game to someone in S. Korea (who actually shares a post box number with the organiser - Mi-chan was a bit suspicious of that), and I received Oltremare (the old edition).

I bought two packs of Pirates of the Barbary Coast, which is a collectible game so you don't know what you're getting in the packet. The only reason was to get some ships for OltreMare - and I just happened to end up with two ships the same, the Carthage, which was good because they're not too big.

The game is still unfinished, because she went to bed.

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year Decoration

To complement the Christmas decorations from this morning's post, here's the New Year's decoration we have in the genkan entrance. It comes from living in a bi-cultural household, I guess.
We went over to Ojiichan's place for New Year's greetings and dinner. We taught the 6 year old the Hanafuda game; she picked it up very well - perhaps better than the games I tried to teach her last week.

Of course, date and time are out of whack. Just sit tight while I ...

twiddle a few thumbs and see how to change them. You see, the Christmas decoration photo was posted late morning on the 2nd Jan, but it's head under 1st.
Ah, found it. Now, will I have to adjust it every time I post?????
***This was posted not long after the New Year decorations.***

Oops, forgot...

I was doing the vacuuming this morning, then I decided to take down the Christmas tree. I had taken off all the decorations except the lights, then realised I hadn't taken a photo of the whole tree. So here's a photo from last month...

It was good to have a tree, and I was glad to be able to get it cheaply ... a 150cm "nude" tree. Artificial, of course, and I managed to fit it back in the box all right. Artificial tree notwithstanding, I was surprised that it lost needles like a real tree (though not as much, of course).

As far as I remember, the "proper" date for taking is the 6th, but it takes up a bit of room in the corner.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Still January 1st

Well, we've had dinner, some traditional New Year's fare called zoni, or o-zoni if you want to be honorific about it. Now I can post one of the photos from today, nothing brilliant, though.
As part of the New Year sale celebrations at the Fukudaya mall, they had a children's group of Taiko drummers. There were two girls playing small drums, a boy playing the bamboo flute, and a boy with handheld percussion instruments. And this guy dressed up prancing about in front of them.
We had Chinese noodles for lunch at Mr Donuts; the only reason we went to Mr Donuts was that somebody had dropped discount coupons in the carpark, so we had three "free" doughnuts, as well as the noodles, which you don't really expect to get at a doughnut shop.

1st January 2006

Maybe this year I will maintain a true regular blog. I did a Photo-a-Day project in 2005 which sort of collapsed in December though I still took photos ... I just didn't get around to posting them all.
I found this site due to http://laurielblack.blogspot.com/, a fellow dpc'er.
I did take some photos at the mall today but haven't put them on the computer yet. Will try later as it's dinner preparation time right now.