Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Lena Horne or Billy Joel

I will let you all make the call. Would you like to name this blog entry "Stormy Weather" or "Storm Front"?

We are under a typhoon warning (again). This one will likely at least strike a glancing blow to the island. Interestingly, the package stores on base will not sell alcohol when we get to a certain point in the warning scale. They do not want Marines going out on the roof during these storms. I am used to the east coast. There, when a hurricane comes ashore, it comes, and by that point it goes its merry way fairly quickly. This typhoon is just taking its time.

It is raining, again, as a result. We had four days of sunshine and lollipops, and now....

I checked out three movies from the library. There are books here. All is set.

GS: Note position of quotation marks yet again. This time, the question mark logically should be outside the quotation mark, as it is part of the full question as opposed to part of the song title.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Rav Sean Bites More than He Can Chew

I went for a bike ride today. Powered by peanut butter and jelly, plus the omelette I had for breakfast, I took a ride out along a bridge to a neighbouring island. It was a beautiful ride, even though I got lost on the way back. People here do not really speak that much English. My Japanese is non-existent. Anyway, I cannot seem to figure out how to upload the pictures I took to this blog. Such is life.

One of the things I noticed though was the constant presence of little makeshift shrines. I also saw a cemetery. I regret to inform you that I took no pictures, as I did not wish to risk offending local custom.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Take a Left at Typhoon Alley

For those of you who do not know, Okinawa is in an area of the Pacific known as "Typhoon Alley." We have no typhoon warning in effect at this time. There is nothing forming in the Pacific. We have not battened down the hatches and stocked up on bottled water. There was one over the week though that romped through the Philippines. We have gotten all of the rain that did not fall there. When one is either on foot or on bicycle, all of that rain really crimps one's style.

Near here, there is a bridge, about a mile long, that goes out to a nearby island. I am going to ride out there on Sunday.

I am thoroughly impressed with the amount of humidity here. When I woke up this morning, the walls of my room were quite wet. The floor had a visible puddle, about six inches in diameter (15 centimetres for you metric folks). Now I know why the room has a dehumidifier. For the sake of the tefillin and the computer, it will get plenty of use.

It is 7:15 PM here. I am going to make a reasonable attempt to be in bed before 9:30.

Note to GS: On "Typhoon Alley," I placed the period outside the quotation marks. I seem to recall that this is consistent with the American system of grammar. It does not seem logical in certain cases though. Old habits die hard.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Out and About

I have met most of the relevant people as of now. Even better, the chaplain whose office I will cover has not used his bicycle in a long time. That saves me the trouble of having to buy one.

It is quiet, and I do not have much to write. I found a recipe though, and I thought you might like it. If you cannot find Japanese pumpkin, try the obvious substitute - radishes. I have not tasted it, but I am looking forward to it.

One half kabocha (small Japanese pumpkin, usually green)
3.5 tbsp sugar
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1.5 cup dashi soup (made from dry bonito flakes - recipes available on line)

Scoop and peel the pumpkin.
Cut pumpkin into slices 2 inches thick.
Place pieces in deep pan, former skin side down. Add dashi soup, and cook at high heat. The recipe does not say for how long.
Lower heat, add sugar and let it dissolve. Cook at low for 7-8 minutes.
Add soy sauce, and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Lower heat, cover pan, and simmer until pumpkin is tender.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Note to Self

Note to self: if one opens up the digital camera and lets the battery charge over Shabbat, one will have the digital camera with him when one takes walk around town.

Oh well. There was not too much to see in any event.

Shabbat went well. I got to meet the Jewish congregation here. They are very nice people. I look forward to working with them. Besides being responsible for the Jewish program here, I will fill in for a Chaplain who will spend time out in the field while I am around. As such, I will be assigned to Headquarters and Service Battalion during the week. They will move me up to Camp Courtney for this tomorrow.

It is humid here, but with a lovely breeze throughout the day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Transit to Okinawa

13 October and 14 October 2010:

I said goodbye to Jennifer and to the kids this morning. I am not usually given to tears, but Keren got them out of me. Things we will all miss during the family deployment:

Long conversations about submarine operations on which I know nothing.
The inbound monkey
The seltzer club
Morning wrestling matches to get Gavi out of bed

We have crossed the dateline today. As well, the plane has gone above the Arctic Circle. If the GPS is correct, we have gone even north of Alaska. Presently, we are above Russian airspace, west of the Sea of Okhotsk. It is a shame that we have flown above a constant cloud cover. The clouds look the same everywhere.

I landed in Okinawa. It is nighttime, so I did not see that much. Tomorrow, I have to get a haircut.