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Sunday, January 1, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For today, forget the past, ignore the future, live for the moment.  There is much to be happy about.  Yesterday was Saturday, this is now Sunday and tomorrow is another holiday for many.  I took this chimeric midnight photo of St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square:


No, this was not a van Gogh painting.  This were fireworks in real time (off CNN) that began 2012 in Russia.

The world is in great shape.  Many Americans, especially of the Republican faith, say Peak Oil is a myth and that global warming is but a theory, and, who knows, they may be right.  For this first day of the year, let's give them the benefit of the little doubt and get on with the rest of the year.  There are no storms in this middle of winter, no major wars, and an improving economy.

If you happen to be Barack Obama, you are at this moment probably golfing (there will yet be a Romney rant about using a helicopter to find his errant drive) on Oahu, can't quite believe your incredible luck of the Republican survival series unfolding on national TV, and feeling good about some added insurance from the continuing Occupy Movement.  Having disposed of bin Laden and Gaddafi (there are 112 ways to spell his name), and pulling troops from the Middle East, you only have the economy to orchestrate.

The United States is the surviving supreme power and arguably the greatest nation in the Universe, ever.  Our women's soccer team lost the World Cup to Japan, but that was a godsend to a suffering nation.  Yes, I'm of Japanese lineage, but always root for the USA, and started so at the beginning of the match.  However, as this band of relatively tiny over-achievers gritted their way into overtime, I was leaning in their direction and had a tear in my eye at the end.  Such happiness, coming four months after that terrible earthquake/tsunami/nuclear cataclysm.


About Hawaii, the coming week will feature sunny skies and temperatures from a low of 65F to highs in the lower 80's, with just enough tradewinds.  I took this photo above from my computer.  That's the Pacific Ocean on the horizon.  My health is fine, and, in fact, my golf handicap is the lowest it has ever been in my life.  Yes, I'm scheduled to play tomorrow.

For my grand meal of the day I prepared a fusion ozoni.  As you might know, I've been traveling the world tasting the finest in fusion cusine (Italian-Japanese in Nara, Chinese-French in Singapore, etc.).  My soup stock began with Peking Duck.  After golf on Friday I picked up a whole duck, could only barely eat the skin, and boiled the rest.  I added cans of hokkigai (red clam--right) and abalone, dried scallops, water chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, and, finally, an assortment of vegetables and the essential mochi (rice cake).  This was thus a Chinese-Japanese fusion soup as the duck spices kind of dominated. I had this with some o-toru (fatty blue-fin tuna) and fresh wasabe, fried abalone in butter, and a teriyaki cooked combination of gobo (burdock), takenoko (bamboo shoots) and onions.  All that with hot sake and cold Kirin beer.

Thusly fortified, I re-thought my next global odyssey and decided that it made more sense to go on a couple of shorter trips.  I will need to check on who exactly was the model (she looks almost exactly like my wife, who passed away in 2009, including the haircut) for the statue I saw in Jindaiji, might make it to the decadal Floriade in the Netherlands to view tulips in season, perhaps a side stop to Venice because I've never been there, largest hot air balloon gathering in Chambley (France), maybe the Galapagos, possibly Ayers Rock (Australia), probably the World Expo at Yeosu and a few more Pellegrino Best 100 Restaurants.  

Yes, there is every reason to be happy about the Year 2012.  I wish you all an equally magnificent year.


This first day of the year ended with a perfect sunset:


For the surfing aficionado, the North Shore is expecting waves of 30 feet, and, maybe higher, around mid-week.  The Eddie go?


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