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Friday, January 1, 2016

MY PLANS FOR 2016

First a strange sunset when I tried to capture the Green Flash:


Our 15C poker group somehow had the resilience to play until midnight.  Almost lost all my money until I made a remarkable comeback and ended up okay.  We actually sat there, drank, ate and talked until almost 1AM, an even more incredible accomplishment when most of us normally fall asleep by 10PM on New Year's Eve.

This morning I made ozoni with Hokkigai (Arctic Surf) clams, mustard cabbage, green onions, Chinese cabbage, daikon (turnips), Shiitake mushrooms and mochi.  I first fried a goodly amount of fat from Matsuzaki wagyu beef, tossed in all the above and had the concoction on my lanai for brunch:


With ahi (yellow fin tuna) sashimi, hot sake and fine malt beer (as indicated on that green bottle), this was an auspicious start to my New Year, save for one problem.  All the mochi dissolved into the soup.  So, tonight I'll finish the remaining portion with another piece of this pounded and shaped rice seen to the left, which this next time will hopefully not totally disappear, plus some soba (buckwheat noodles).

So, Happy New Year.  I have in the past predicted the future on this day, and in 2011 said Peak Oil would not occur, Republicans will continue to support global warming, Honoluluans should not worry about hurricanes because our mountains protect us and the U.S. will continue to leave troops behind in the Middle East, all of course now so true.  A fifth (which was #3 on my list that day) was scarily prophetic:
3.  Statistically, there should not be another 8.5 earthquake or stronger for another 20 years.  The Chile tremor in February was rated at 8.8, which was not even close to the most powerful ever, also in Chile, of 9.5 in 1960.  Unfortunately, isn't it amazing how a hundred year storm can happen the following year again? More ominously, there have been four 8.5 and greater events since 2004.  Such is the nature of Mother Nature and natural disasters.

So, what happened?  The Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami struck Japan.  The Moment Magnitude was 9.0.

This year I will only predict what I will do this year:
  • This blog site already has entertained visitors from 219 countries and will in a few months reach one million viewers.  This has long been a goal, at which time I thought I would terminate my effort and go on to other  things.
  • I've been preparing to write a novel:  THE VENUS SYNDROME.  But this would take all my time for a year or more.  Sure, if a publishing company wanted to give me a $100K advance I would, or if I get a call from Steven Spielberg asking me to finish this effort so he could make that movie.  As the odds of anything like this happening are around one in a billion, it's a lot easier for me to walk on a golf course a couple of times a week and otherwise do nothing all that important.
  • I noticed that the Hokkaido Shinkansen (bullet train) will finally link all the main islands of Japan on 26March2016.  I haven't had my annual hanami (picnic under cherry blossoms) for a couple years now.  So, why not a Japan Rail Pass to Sapporo and back in April when the Sakura is at a peak?  To the right, one of the locations where I dropped Pearl's ashes.  Perhaps I can also make another visit to Utashinai, from where my grandfather left Japan in the 1890's.  The ultimate goal is for the train to move along at an average of 225 MPH all the way to Sapporo.  But that will not happen until 2030.
  • My Crossroads series should be completed by the first week of January.
However, tomorrow I will officially begin my search for a companion to accompany me on my next around the world adventure.  What began as a fantasy tale for conversation purpose--a 120-day global cruise--recently took on a whole new level of realism.  This should be an intriguing, and maybe even provocative, pursuit to add a final meaning to my life.

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Tropical Cyclone Ula at 85 MPH is weakening and should not cause any serious problems to Fiji and Tonga:


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

mochi tastes good when lightly toasted on a piece of foil in a toaster oven. Toast both sides. if heated in microwave oven or frying pan to soften, add to soup last, just to heat so it won't melt. Best ozoni is made with Usui clams (small tuna size can) sold at Marukai. Expensive but sooo delicious! Hey, you're worth it! Happy New Year! KaraokeLuxe