Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Belly #6!

So let's see, Mike took this picture last week, when I was about 26 weeks. I've just entered month seven and the final trimester - yikes! I did end up registering online at Babies 'r' Us, for those of you who have wondered what we still need... they won't ship to Japan, but there are some ideas on there, anyway. :)We're not asking for gifts!!! But I guess there's no point in registering if we don't tell anyone. :) Posted by Picasa


Monday, October 23, 2006

The Long Road Home

More Japanese signs... you are NOT going to miss this construction zone, not if the road crew has anthing to do with it!

Meika and the Sunset

Mike took this photo of me just as the sun was setting. I was "good" this weekend and didn't pester Mike with the camera the whole time, and see what's come of it! No pictures of him for the blog. :( Back to pestering!

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing;
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice; then darkness again and a silence.
~Longfellow, The Theologian's Tale


Rock Formation

There was a cool rock formation on this beach.


Here's one of the padlocks - your guess is as good as mine as to what it says! Right above "Family" is the date: 18 (this year, the 18th year under the current emperor).10 (month?).9 (day? I forget which is which).

The Locked Fence

There was a fence around the lighthouse which was covered with padlocks. Most of them had something written on them. We're guessing that it's some kind of "we were here" thing, but who knows? Interesting, anyway.

The Beach

Mike and I went to the beach this weekend - just looked at the map (well, he did), hopped in the car, and drove until we found ocean! It was something of a celebration of drivers' licenses: we both passed our driving tests this week, no small feat! This is the lighthouse on the patch of beach we found.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Toilet Series: Image 1

The Japanese do an exceptional job with their warning signs - their visuals communicate like nothing we have in the States! Obviously I can't read most of this, but from what I can gather this sign says: One MUST NOT put cigarettes or other sundry items into the toilet, lest the maintenance man be forced to attack the resultant clogged poop with a shovel.


Monday, October 09, 2006

In Memoriam

Memorial Monument for Hiroshima, City of Peace
Erected 6 August 1952
This monument was erected in the hope that Hiroshima, devastated by the world's first atomic bomb on 6 August 1945, would be rebuilt as a city of peace.
The epitaph reads, "Let all the souls here rest in peace; for we shall not repeat the evil." It summons people everywhere to pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased A-bomb victims and to join in the pledge never to repeat the evil of war. It thus expresses the "Heart of Hiroshima" which, enduring past grief and overcoming hatred, yearns for the realization of true world peace with the coexistence and prosperity of all humankind.
This monument is also called the "A-bomb Cenotaph," for the stone chest in the center contains the register of deceased A-bomb victims.


Hope: Hiroshima Today

After looking at that last picture, it's encouraging to see the life in this one. Hiroshima is a thriving and beautiful city, one of the prettiest we've been to. (In fact, after finding out that there's a JCI office in Hiroshima, I pouted a bit that we were assigned to Uglyville.) Posted by Picasa


After the Bomb

This is a picture of Hiroshima after the bomb (click to enlarge). The bombing was, I believe, on August 6, 1945. I think this picture was taken in October. [WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT] It's amazing that anyone survived this, but many did - though not so close to the hypocenter, around where this photo was taken. Some were incinerated, leaving black silhouettes on the ground. Some had skin melted and hanging off their bodies. Many had third-degree burns all over. Some survived the initial bombing but died in the fires that followed, trapped in collasped buildings. The most awful were the ones who survived both the bomb and the fires only to succumb to acute radiation sickness in the months that followed - blood vessels bursting under the skin, sores in the mouth... The museum told the story of two siblings with radiation poisoning. The younger, a boy, died after several agonizing weeks, during which his mother said he vomited what looked like parts of his internal organs. The older, a girl, survived, but endured considerable suffering of her own, including a throat swollen nearly shut with a massive blister filled with blood and pus. She began to get better when that burst and is alive today, though she's struggled with cancer on more than one occasion. Posted by Picasa


Dome and Willow

Here is another view of the dome, through a willow tree on the river. Posted by Picasa


A-Bomb Dome

A view of the dome. Posted by Picasa


Twisted Metal

For some reason, this staircase encapsulated the horrific intensity of this bomb for me more than anything else - despite the partial collapse of this building and the photos of the absolute devastation surrounding it. This metal spiral staircase is, of course, in the A-Bomb Dome as well. If you look closely, you can see how it was warped, bent, and twisted from the heat and pressure of the explosion. Amazing that a metal staircase could be melted in just an instant. Posted by Picasa


Midst of Destruction

Another view of the A-Bomb Dome, this through the first floor. You can still see the rubble around it from the parts of the building that collapsed. In addition to intense heat, the bomb projected an incredible atmospheric force that also knocked buildings down (that's what you see in the movies when a bomb goes off and our hero goes flying through the air). The initial force was immediately followed by an extremely intense "backdraft" (no idea if that's even close to the right word) that blew back toward the center of the explosion. That's because the outward force of the explosion left a really low pressure area in its center, which the higher pressure all around rushed in to fill. Got it? :) Posted by Picasa


In Honor of Kim Jong-Il

In honor of the fine North Korean dictator's recent test of a nuclear bomb, I thought I'd post a couple photos from our weekend trip to Hiroshima. Nice timing, Kim-san. Actually visiting this place makes the whole nuclear thing just a little bit more real - and a lot more scary. This is a photo looking up at the A-Bomb Dome, preserved as a witness against nuclear arms. It had a copper dome on top, which melted instantly - and no wonder, with surface temperatures reaching 5000 degrees Celsius. Everyone in this building was killed. Posted by Picasa


Belly #5: Mike for Real

And now, so you don't all think that he's been eating WAY too much Coco Curry and really packing them on... here's Mike's real belly. More or less. Is he sucking in? I'll never tell... Posted by Picasa


Belly #4: Mike!

Mike felt a little bit left out, so we decided to take a belly picture of him, too. You'll notice that he's nearly even with the first piece of tape on the door - one of our guesses for how big I'd get! Go Mike! Posted by Picasa


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Belly #3: Now!

Yeah, I just wanted to keep you all in suspense. :) Actually, I'm having trouble with Picasa's BlogThis feature, which is how I normally upload photos, so I had to take an overnight break on this series. Anyway, here I am now, or close to it! I think that Mike took this photo last weekend, when I was about 22 weeks. I'm moving into week 23 now, which has me just beginning my sixth month. Really, really crazy. Baby Taos is moving around all the time now, which is slowly becoming less weird and more cool. For the most part, her movements aren't strong enough to be uncomfortable yet, although every now and then she finds a sweet spot and hammers away ... In other exciting news (for me, anyway), my neighbor Mariko had her baby last night! Since it seems like days ago that she told me she was pregnant, it's hard to believe that in just a few short months I'll be in her very shoes. Or hospital slippers. :) Amazing...


Bellly #2: Sixteen weeks

Here's belly #2, taken when I was about sixteen weeks along. The little pieces of brown tape on teh door behind me are Mike's and my respective guesses as to how big my belly is going to get! Huge, I'm sure. Absolutely huge. Posted by Picasa


By Popular Demand: BELLY!!!

Here's a "before" belly shot, just to give you a point of comparison. Mike took this picture on the day we found out I was pregnant, when we were four weeks along. Posted by Picasa