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Number One!

Originally uploaded by mr_caffeine74
I don't know why Noelle was holding up one finger like this but I love this photo. Noelle and I spent an afternoon playing in the fallen leaves at the park on the hill. That's our truck in the background and my shoes in the foreground. In her hand she has some chocolate milk. We had stopped playing for a snack. We were gathering leaves to make an orange garbage bag full of leaves for the yard. We bought the bag in Wyoming for 2 dollars or so. It had a Jack-o-lantern face on it. I wanted to get it out in the yard for decoration before Halloween.

Noelle's Japanese continues to astound me. She speaks so fluently sometimes. She talks to herself a lot and it is so cute. She says things like "Hmm, I wonder if this is the right one?". On the other hand her English is coming along rather slowly. We will be going to Wyoming for a month and I hope that gives her a big enough boost that she can keep talking even more English when we get back. She tries, sometimes, to speak English but she can say SO much in Japanese that it frustrates her to not be able to say it in English. I think though, that she has the right personality to learn to speak languages well. Time will tell.






Northern Territories Nosappu Cape Half Marathon

I went to the Northern Territories Nosappu Cape Half Marathon over the weekend. I took a micro-bus there loaded with other runners from the Obihiro area. When I say micro, I mean micro. I had to sit in the guide's seat beside the driver because the area between seats was so small that I couldn't sit there. My knees were pressed up hard against the back of the seat in front of me. I thought I was lucky to be able to sit in the front seat until the ride home when, sun burned and tired, I had to ride for hours into the setting sun with no shade or protection of any kind.
The people on the bus were a good natured and jolly sort that loved to drink and razz each other on. I was surprised again, which I shouldn't have been, but they drank all the way to Nemuro, where the race was being held, drank before, during and after dinner, and then opened up cans of beer the moment they crossed the finish line after the race. They kept opening them for a few hours on the way home until the bus started to quite down as they finally dozed off into drunken slumber. But they weren't too bad as far as the drink goes. Even though it seemed they were drinking the whole time and that the race was only an excuse to drink, none of them got out of hand or overly boisterous.
After breakfast we all loaded into our micro-bus which took us to the Nemuro City Hall. There we got on much larger buses that carried us off to Cape Nosappu. Reception and the opening ceremony was held at the cape and then we were able to get back on to the buses which carried us to the starting line. One for the Half and one for the 10k. It was a straight course to the Nemuro City Hall. The course was full of hills and we were running into a headwind. It was hot. 76 degrees. Doesn't sound too hot but it was too hot for me running in the sun. I got a half body sunburn. Most course are out-and-back or loop courses so you get baked on both sides.
All along the way there were people watching and cheering us on. Especially, when we entered Nemuro, the numbers of people cheering us on increased as we made it down the last 4k to the killer hill at the end before entering the round about at city hall.
After finishing you were able to get a drink, some crab soup and some rice balls if you handed in your meal ticket. Inside city hall they were printing out certificates of completion?? with your time on it. There was a closing ceremony, awards ceremony and a lottery. Every year they give a prize to the person who came farthest for the race. Next year, if I go, I'm writing America instead of the town I'm living in. Since I can't place, that's about all I can do to take something home.


今年も根室の北方領土納沙布岬マラソン大会に参加してきました。去年は1時間34分か、1時間44分で走りました。どちかは覚えていません。確認しないと。今回は1時間35分を目指していたけど、残念ながら1時間39分48秒しかだせなかった。私にとっては天気は暑くて大変でした。アップダウンが結構多いワーンウェーコースでした。ほとんど気持ちよく走れたけど、最後の4kmくらいはきつくなり、ペース上げることができなくて、ペースを維持するだけで必死でした。本当に心のかなで1時間30分で走りたいなぁと思っていたけど、現実的には1時間35くらいが可能だろうと思っていました。One wayコースだったので、日焼けもone wayでした。向かい風が時には厳しかったけど、どれぐらい影響あったかはわかりません。



After finishing it's 29th meet, the annual Tokachi Healthy (kenko) Marathon has come to an end! There will be no more. At least that is what a postcard that came in the mail from the organizers said the other day. After losing the Toyokoro Salmon Marathon two years ago, there are now now large foot races left in Tokachi! I'm not sure if you can consider Urakawa part of Tokachi, but it is the only race over 10k left near by.This is so sad. Hopefully the race in Honbetsu will gain momentum.


The team at 5 am, after 12 hours of biking

This year we once again had a team in the All 12-Hour Japan Mama-Chari Endurance Race. What's a Mama-Chari? It's the bicycle. The race starts at 5pm and ends at 5am the next morning and is run on the Tokachi International Speedway, a racetrack. It was fun and something to be remembered. I even behaved very foolishly by paying lavish amounts of money for a t-shirt. Something that I kind of regret now. The team name was G-Power, keeping it the same as the year before, least some other teams be looking out for us. Last year we didn't get any media attention at all, which was pretty disappointing considering we live in a country were most everybody has an Asian face and straight black hair. However this year we did catch the attention of the announcer and of at least two media organizations and got a little write-up done about us in the local news. Apparently, our team was also videoed by a TV channel or something, but I wasn't there when they asked my teammates to dance like idiots for the camera. This I heard second hand. You will notice if you look at the newspaper clipping that I am not in that photo either. Bummer. But at least I did get my name mentioned.


Online Running Logs

この二年間、オンラインで自分のランニング日記を作るいくつかのサイトを使ってみました。日本のサイト二つとアメリカ等の英語系のサイト4つくらい。今現在、ランニング日記(running log)を二つ同時に使っています。アメリカの一つと日本の一つ。この二つのサイトの機能が合併されたらなおうれしいです。www.jognote.comwww.buckeyeoutdoors.comを使っています。
バカイアウトドアズでは道具の登録、セットなど、トレインニングプランの作成などさまざまな機能があります。UIはあまりきれいではないけど、まだバッグはいくつかありますけど、細かいところがいいです。例えば、ある日はintervalsを走ります。800mの5本を3分44秒で走ります。その前に3kのアップとその後に3kでクールダウンをします。そしてこの日は青い靴を履いて走ります。この情報のすべてを記録してくれます。道具を登録するとき既に使った走行距離と寿命になる距離を登録することが出来ます。今の青い靴はもう700kは走っています。そして1500kくらいで買い替えしたいなぁと思って、その数値を登録することが出来ます。自分のトップページの左側にEquipmentと書いたところがあります。そこを展開すれば登録している道具の走行距離と上限(max)距離が書いてあります。走るたびにランを記録するとき、ランで使った道具を選択すれば、走った距離がその道具に適応されます。ブログパーツもありますがjognote.comのブログパーツの方が好き。バカイのブログパーツはただの文字情報しかありませんが、jognote.comはグラフをパーツとして提供しています。jognote.comの友達機能と似たような機能もあります。My Team(私のチーム)という機能があります。jognote.comと違って写真とグラフつきではないけど、最近の一週間のそれぞれの日付にチームに登録している人のランの情報が出てきます。コメントを書き込んだり、メッセージを送ったりすることが出来ます。しかし日本にいるユーザーは私と別に後一人しかいません。そしてその人は自転車と水泳しかやっていません。残念。


You are Tenacity

You are Tenacity
Originally uploaded by DavidGardinerGarcia
This is a great shot. I'd love to run in the NYC Marathon. I wish I could make this one into a poster.
これは本当にいい一枚ですね。女性は「You are Tenacity」と書いた看板(?)を持っています。tenacityという言葉は調べてみると「不屈不撓、 持久力、 スポ根」らしい。「頑張り」と言う意味もあります。つまりこれは「あなたは持久力です」みたいな応援のメッセージになります。こうした看板を持って応援している人はたくさんいたらしい。


running dogs

running dogs

running dogs
Originally uploaded by mr_caffeine74.
なぜか今日は走る仲間が出来ました。普通は一人で走っているけど、今朝の霧の中から二匹の犬が静かに寄り添ってきて一緒に11キロほど走りました。帰宅するまでずっと一緒でしたけど、ちゃんと自分のうちに帰れたのかなぁ。for some reason I have running companions this morning. I usually run alone. But this morning out of the mist came these two running dogs. They silently came up beside me and kept me company for about 11 kilometers. They ran from the point they picked me up till I reached home, running beside me, behind me, in front of me and sometimes almost tripping me up. I wonder if they made it back home?


Quote of the Day!

A p.s. attatched to the end of a mail from a friend recently who is working in Japan as a "Instructor for International Understanding".

PS Does seem kinda funny that I spent all that time in a lab, mixing chemicals, cutting things open, memorizing formulas, analyzing data, and all sorts of other difficult and timeconsuming things, to earn a bachelor of science, which now allows me to do the hokey pokey with kids all day!





An athlete begins his run after the swim.

Photo of me in the local edition of the Hokkaido Newspaper. The captions reads, "an athlete begins his run after finishing the swim". I participated in the Obihiro no Mori Aquathalon for the second time. I bettered my time from last year by a few minutes. My swim was much faster but my run was slower. I haven't been able to exercise much. Don't know why my swim was faster??


Second Language Learning

I have started reading some articles about Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning by Greg Thomson. I have found them on a site called Language Impact's Language Learning Website. I have just finished reading Thomson's What? Me Worry About Language Learning? article. In it he talked about his experience and trails trying to learn new languages. In particular he talked about his experience and how he went about trying to learn Blackfoot. He also talks about why some people may be better at learning languages than others and why some languages may be more difficult for one person than another. It was very interesting for me and enlightening. The main gist of the article, other than being a primer for one who is thinking about starting to learn a new language, is that you have to have a good strategy. He says that a good strategy would include
  • a time commitment,
  • making yourself accountable,
  • ways to keep improving your conversational ability, and
  • a way to develop lots of relationships with speakers of the language you want to learn.
The first two should not be too difficult for most people to accomplish. The second and third strategies seem a bit more difficult. What if there are no or very few native speakers of the language you want to learn?

Well, anyways, I hope that this new insight into language learning will help me develop better activities and methods for teaching English. Although one of the things that he repeatedly stresses is that it is extremely difficult to learn a second language in a language class. 頑張るぞォ


It's a boy!

It's a boy!
Originally uploaded by mr_caffeine74.
Introducing Aspen Ross Lane. Born 12:54 in the afternoon. Weight 3594gm.
Ryo felt labor coming on at 6:30am and he was born that day at 12:54, just after noon. There were no complications. A few seconds after he came out he started to cry. I cut the umbilical cord. He started looking for a drink right away. Both mom and baby are doing great. They will be in the hospital until Friday.



少しでも多くbe on my feetしたい。立っている時間をなるべく多くしないと、足はじょうびにならない。100kmマラソンに出ようと考えています。もうすぐ申し込むと思います。100kmを走れるためにどうやって準備するんだろう。それは You have to be on your feet as much as possible.と友達からもらったアドバイス。今日はたった10分だけど、体育館で走って見ました。みなは外でホッケーを練習しているので、誰も体育館を使っていない。帰る前もう一回一っ走りしてから。