Monday, June 18, 2018


Too sad. Couldn't listen to it. But if you needed more evidence of the cruelty of this.

Support ACLU Texas, which is advocating for broken families.

From VOX

But as more and more influential Christian groups and leaders speak out against his policies, Christian voters may have to make a difficult choice. And it remains to be seen whether, having helped to create the force that is Donald Trump, Christian leaders will have any influence over the rank and file when it comes to stopping him.

--- Tara Burton

Difficult choice? No: follow Christ, or lay down the cross and follow Trump. 

Influence? Good luck with that.

America's Shame



Japan is famously unwelcoming when it comes to refugees and asylum seekers, on par with Switzerland. The US joins that select group, with a cruel twist. Proud to be an American these days.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Weekend Cycling

Pics from June 3.

                                    Destination: Mt Sumon, Niigata,

                                               Roadside Shrine
                                         Rice paddy recently planted 
                                    Tough climb to reach the lake (700 m)

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Photos of Shirakawa Village, Gifu

Photos taken at World Heritage Site Shirakawa-go, Gifu.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Religion in Politics

The Komeito Party in Japan is the political wing of Sokkagakkai, the Buddhist lay organization. It is the junior partner in Prime Minister Abe's administration and is expected to moderate the nationalist extremes to which some in Abe's party are tempted. Here's wishing Komeito luck.

Speaking of religion, Christians in America have a stark and simple choice: either take up the cross and follow Christ, or lay the cross down and follow Trump.

Here endeth.   

Monday, May 28, 2018

Photos from a Recent Outing on the Bike

     Jokoji, Kamo City, the family temple of Steve Jobs' Zen master,                             Kobun Otogawa

dilapidated farmhouse and kura- the original thatch roof of the former has been covered with tin

the only remaining rolling stock of the defunct Kambara Railway, Japan's first all-electric line- taken in Kamo City, Niigata; the foremost carriage is the oldest wooden car in the prefecture


Thursday, May 24, 2018

Japan by Bike and Glimpses of Japan

Japan by bike now posts on Glimpses of Japan.

From a post entitled "On the Road Again."

Japan by Bike is back, albeit without Don, who a couple of years ago returned to his native New Zealand. So for the time being it's a solo effort, dear reader. The colorful commentary of my erstwhile cycling partner will be missed, but I trust Japan by Bike will continue to convey the pleasures of discovering the country on two wheels.

Afternoon Ride: a Post from Japan by Bike

A few photos taken during a recent afternoon ride. Severe winter weather in the area felled trees, which block a spur of a local rindo, or forest roadThese roads, usually gravel but sometimes sealed, offer excellent cycling but are often sketchy come springtime until crews can get out and clear or repair them.

Houses like this are a common sight in rural Japan.

skunk cabbage

A paved section of forest road.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

The HS Entrance Exam: Today is the first day of the rest of your life

It comes down to today and tomorrow, March 7-8 this year in Niigata, the culmination of 9 yrs. of compulsory education, the last 3 of which were primarily a preparation for the high school entrance exam and additional years of "elective" schooling. I'd venture to say every jr high 3rd-year who sat the exam has an insurance policy, a Plan B, or what is referred to as a suberiko (滑り校), or suberitomeko  (滑り止め校), the private school (In Niigata City there are 8 from which to select) chosen by students that will arrest their fall should they fail to gain admission to a public school. Otherwise... Official exam results to be announced next week. Students will nevertheless have an accurate sense of their performance, as local newspapers publish the test questions and answers the following day, but whether a student's overall score is good enough will remain unknown, resulting in several days of anxiety, for many..