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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
Now who'll send me nengajō? ☺


That tree

We worked our asses off on Saturday, and got the tree cut back enough that you could squeeze a car through. Did some more work today, and now you can get a vehicle by comfortably.
As you can see, I'm moving a rather large (and bloody heavy!) branch with the wheelbarrow. The reflective jacket isn't some Health & Safety nonsense, it is just a simple way to try to protect myself to the horrible sticky stuff that oooooooozes out of pine trees.
If you look just under the branch to the right of the electric pole, you'll see that Tiny (cat) was outside with us enjoying the action.


New Years

So I watched New Years programming on NHK World. It seemed quite subdued compared to how the West behaves. But, then, where else could we see guys playing seashells?
Playing a shell

A place where the big tradition, other than paying their first visit to the local shrine, is a lot of little candle lamps. And when I say a lot, I mean a lot. Thousands.

Many many candles

You thought this next one only happened in budget Asian movies, right? Well... Um... It is -1°C, there's snow on the ground nearby, and the narrator says "in the biting cold, the waterfall is a place of meditation".

When Meditation Goes Bad!
Kinda leaves you speechless, doesn't it?

And finally; a cutie with a hardhat, called Noriko, installed in the new Tokyo Sky Tree (which will open in May). Spectacular views, but at 634 metres (2080ft), being the tallest tower in the world and the second tallest man-made structure in the world (second only to that thing in Dubai), I think it would be pretty freaky to be up there in a mild earthquake, never mind a large one! Sadly, the poor little Tokyo Tower (the red/white Eiffel tower lookee-likee) is only 333m and numerous buildings around it are larger, which somewhat defeats its purpose as a broadcasting tower, especially with requirements of digital broadcasting.

So kawaii!


Over in London, juiced up on the hopes of an Olympic year, they blew up London a little (for the first time ever, Big Ben)... [pictures from BBC]

London fireworks - Big Ben

Then a lot...

London fireworks - loads of fireworks

Then the all-out crowd pleaser. Look how it is lighting up the city.

London fireworks - the crowd pleaser


Over on CNN... I don't get it. It's a big ball. It drops down a pole. It's the new year. What?
Here it is, the big ball:

CNN - the NY ball

Though, to be fair, I don't think many people at home were watching the ball when Kathy decided to, well, disrobe...

CNN, Kathy, striptease
# It's me, it's Kathy, I've come home. I'm so cold, let me in, in-a-your window...

She's a serious news presenter, right? She still has a job, right?


Her excuse was some mumble about Lady Gaga. While what she said, actually pretty much everything she said, made no sense whatsoever, she might have had a point regarding Gaga, who pressed the button (to lower the ball, I presume) with the current Mayor of NYC.

Lady Gaga wearing WTF-is-that?

So there it is. The ball dropped. Some lacklustre fireworks...

The ball has dropped

...and this was followed by the other tradition. Tickertape. So much paper confetti my poor PVR nearly had a nervous breakdown trying to record it. That must have been a hell of a mess to clean up.


And finally when it was all over, we went down to Aysha (Aisha?), however you spell it (actually, I have no idea who she is!), who sounded ridiculously British compared to all the Americans. She did have to correct herself saying "telly". I think if I was to go to America, they might not understand half of what I say!
Well, here she is, whoever she is, interviewing a very cute member of the crowd.

Crowd interview


Out and about

So today we went to a nearby(ish) town. Châteaubriant. I, with my mobile phone, took some photos, and dropped them onto Panoramio. These photos may, or may not, turn up on Google Maps or Google Earth.


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joe, 7th January 2012, 11:16
Happy 2012, to you and your Mom Rick. 
The photos from Chateaubriant are nice and 
more important than the whole New York madness. 
I don't see the point in being so excited about 
this stupid ball and another media creation, Lady Gaga, 
I wouldn't care less, if she didn't exist at all.
Jess, 9th January 2012, 20:09
So pretty much every female is "cute" today?
Rick, 10th January 2012, 06:05
If you look, you'll find my definition of "cute" usually applies to short brunettes with round smiley faces. 
In other words, I would *not* call Uma Thurman "cute". Nor the Kathy-newsreader(?)-person. Others might, but not me. :-) 

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