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Toyota accelleration issue - - and sushi 2010/3/14 02:14
Okay - I promise to stop obsessing about this - but -

It turns out that the California Prius-driver did not go into Neutral as told to do - because he was "afraid to do anything different." And there are some other suspicions about this story.

Also, the previous California trooper who had died in the Toyota he was driving - it turns out that that was a floor-mat issue - it supposedly trapped the pedal underneath.

So it's reassuring to read that there might be something drivers could have done differently.

As for getting great sushi - you can make it yourself if you can't find a good restaurant. Just find some Japanese sweetened vinegar to flavor the rice (something many second-rate restaurants don't do), a package of dried nori, a good piece of fresh tuna or salmon, maybe some Japanese pickled vegetables or seafood if you can find them, and ripe avocado, and you're set to go.

I agree with Dave-san - I think all this was special-occasion food in Japan, for holidays, maybe. Not everday food. The same for sukiyaki, and tempura. These were special dishes, not eaten every day. I'll ask my son Jeff who was there recently if that's true.
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

A nice story for Peter 2010/3/16 01:00
March 14, 2010
Woman Is the Youngest to Cross an Ocean Alone

Katie Spotz completed her mission Sunday, becoming the youngest person to row an entire ocean solo, and the first American to row a boat without help from mainland to mainland. After 70 days 5 hours 22 minutes in the Atlantic, Spotz, 22, arrived Sunday in Georgetown, Guyana, in South America.

gYoufre in a situation that you canft escape, so you really have to dig deep,h said Spotz, who left Jan. 3 from Dakar, Senegal, on the west coast of Africa.

Her 2,817-mile journey raised more than $70,000 for the Blue Planet Run Foundation, which finances drinking water projects around the world.

The trip could have ended eight days ago. But as Spotz approached Cayenne, French Guiana, the wind and currents grew so strong that she would have needed a tow for the last few miles, said Sam Williams, who rowed the Atlantic in 2008 and communicated with Spotz via satellite phone during the trip

Determined to make the entire crossing under her own power, Spotz kept rowing to Georgetown, 400 miles to the northeast, where currents are milder.

gIfm just impressed by the way shefs got on and done it,h Williams said. gShefs had such little drama. Most people would be scared out of their minds.h

Spotz had packed enough food to last 110 days: half a million caloriesf worth of mostly freeze-dried meals, granola and dried fruit. Her crossing took much less time because she had help from the trade currents, and was fortunate not to face any major weather or technical problems.

Her 19-foot yellow wooden rowboat was broadsided by 20-foot waves as she approached South America. It was a frightening ride, even though the boat was built to withstand hurricanes and 50-foot waves, said Phil Morrison, the British yacht builder who designed it.

Spotz said in a telephone interview after the trip, gI was worried the boat might capsize.h

Early in the trip, Spotz broke the cable that allowed her to steer with her foot as she rowed, forcing her to use a cumbersome hand steering system. A day before landfall, Spotz smelled smoke. Her GPS tracker, which she used to update her position on her blog, was on fire. Spotz extinguished it. Her GPS device for navigation was not affected.

Most important, the boatfs solar panels, batteries, water desalination machine and the iPod she used to play audio books on Zen meditation remained functional.

Her equipment was a vast improvement over that of the first ocean rowers, the Norwegian immigrants George Harbo and Gabriel Samuelson, who traveled from New York to France in 1896 in an open boat.

gI wouldnft go on a trip like this without all the safety gear and technology I had,h Spotz said.

Even so, the voyage remained a grueling test of endurance. Spotz developed painful calluses and rashes from rowing 8 to 10 hours a day.

Spotz could have cooled herself at night by opening the two hatches of her watertight sleeping cabin, but doing so would have made her vulnerable to large waves. So she kept both hatches closed.

As she slept, her boat bobbed erratically in the waves. To keep from being thrown around the cabin, Spotz used clothes and gear to wedge herself on a thin foam mattress. The padding helped, but not much.

gSleeping was a real problem,h Spotz said. gIt took a toll to put out that much physical effort on very little rest.h

Spotz grew up in Mentor, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Her career as an endurance athlete began when she ran her first marathon at age 18. Later she cycled across the United States and became the first person to swim the length of the Allegheny River.

Before leaving for Senegal, her biggest boating experience consisted of a 40-mile practice row on Lake Erie that ended with her boat being pinned against a cliff by wind and waves. The boat was nearly destroyed. Many people asked Spotz how she could row across the Atlantic if she could not even row on Lake Erie.

The answer, she said, is that the biggest danger in ocean rowing besides hurricanes is coming too close to shore, where the current can overwhelm the rower and push the boat into the rocks.

gThe last day of the trip is always the most dangerous,h Williams said.

Landing safely is a major accomplishment in the sport of ocean rowing. In the last decade, 110 rowboats have successfully crossed an ocean, according to the Ocean Rowing Society. Nearly as many rowboat crews, 102, tried and failed. One American, Nenad Belic, attempted to row solo across the Atlantic in 2001. He was lost at sea.

It took Spotz two years to plan the trip and to raise $100,000 to pay for it. Spotzfs parents tried to persuade her not to try such a dangerous adventure.

gAre you nuts?h Dan Spotz, her father, said when she told him about her plan. gWhen she rode a bike across the entire country, she didnft have to worry about sharks or pirates.h

Spotz did see sharks. She was splashed by dolphins as big as her boat. Fish leapt and slapped her in the face, and exhausted birds nestled beside her as she rowed.

Rather than thinking about how far she had traveled or how many miles she had left, she tried to notice her surroundings.

gFor this journey I really couldnft think that far in advance because otherwise it would be overwhelming,h Spotz said. gIt allowed me to focus on what was happening in that moment.h
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Thanks 2010/3/16 10:03
Hi Steffi yes I enjoyed it!!
The Man who I sold my boat to was Tom Mailhot..I mispelled it in a previous post..who Me..mispell !!
He's all over the net with his documentary, Row hard No Excuses or something like that.
I continue to follow Abby Sunderland who is making good progress and also Jessica Watson who is also 16 in her attempt to circumnavagate. Abby is 5 months younger.
Big storms in NH, and no power for a day and flooding in the basement without pumps. 2 hrs sleep in a day..better now, power back and with the rescue from The Fire Department the water is pumped back. Not a fun experience. Some damage but not as severe as it could be. I'm pooped.
Best to all.
Sure would like some gyoza tonight..
Too tired to cook and eat.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

2010 Census 2010/3/16 23:00
Got my 2010 Census Survey yesterday, filled it out and mailed it this morning, as I want to make sure that mom and I are counted. There are three kinds of people in Missouri, those who can count, and those who canft.
by Wally (guest) rate this post as useful

Got it 2010/3/17 00:11
Wal-san..took a moment but got it..
How do you tell male flys from female flys?
The males are the ones on the beer bottle..
the female flys and on the phone.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Peter-san 2010/3/17 00:45
Got what?
by Wally (guest) rate this post as useful

Got it 2010/3/17 01:12
Wal-san...your joke of course
What has 3 teeth and a hundred feet ?
A New Hampshire voting line.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Tomi Fujiyama 2010/3/19 06:28
I was going through some of my keepsakes and found a picture of Tomi Fujiyama. On the back she signed it to me with love. For those of you who donft know who she is, Tomi is the leading lady of country music in Japan. I was a big fan of herfs back in the late 1960s, and went to see her perform at the Kishine NCO Club and Seaside Club. I donft recall that she ever appeared at the Zebra Club. She was cute as a button and had a great voice. Does anyone else remember Tomi?
by Wally (guest) rate this post as useful

Wally-san's Tomi 2010/3/19 11:33
Just looked up your lady. There are over a dozen videos of this lady on youtube - see below - you can go see her in Tennesee, Wally, among other places - she's still going strong -

by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Numba One! 2010/3/19 12:31
Wally-san - Thank you! I googled Tomi Fujiyama and spent the past couple hours listening to her and reading about her. She is really great. You can leave her a message on her web site.
by Dave-san (guest) rate this post as useful

Tomi 2010/3/19 23:26

What a kick ! Wally you HAVE to go and see her ! and bring the photo..or at least copy the photo and send her a copy..
I regret that I didn't see her or know of her when I was there.
Hope all are well..The floods have receded, and there is very little snow left here. Still a big pile at the end of the driveway.
Every year I take the last handful and make a snowball. Silly tradition.
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Tomi 2010/3/20 23:57
Steffi, thanks for the website. Tomi seems to have aged a bit , but she can still belt out those Hank Williamsf songs. The first time I saw her she was performing at the Kishine NCO Club, a friend of mine was the NCOIC that night and the impromptu master of ceremonies, and during her breaks Tomi sat at our table, and she was just a delight and had a wonderful sense of humor.

Isn't this the first day of spring, so why is it snowing? We have a tradition here in Missouri; on the first day of spring we move our refrigerators off the front porch and back into the kitchen. The whole family gathers around as the head of the family plugs it in.
by Wally (guest) rate this post as useful

Plugs it in ? 2010/3/21 02:24
Wal-san..you have electricity ?
Good for you..!!
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Word of the Day 2010/3/21 10:10

Its so nice to have.. denki...

[especially in Missouri]

Hey Wal-san where is that picture ?
by Peter (guest) rate this post as useful

Virginia Weather Report 2010/3/21 13:28
Mid seventies today. I put on shorts and spent the day out cleaning flower beds and preparing for the spring planting. Cooked a steak outside on the grill for the first time since last year. I have a little color or maybe a slight sunburn. Hard to believe that we were buried in snow three weeks ago. Soon we'll all be complaining about the heat. You will even be complaining in New Hampshire and Missouri.
Here are two videos. The first explains why we went to Japan and I believe the second explains why we were treated so well there.
by Dave-san (guest) rate this post as useful

Dave-san - - occupations 2010/3/22 08:10
You've done it again. I've never seen these videos - thanks for finding them for us. I assume what you're saying is that the Japanese behaved as well as they did during the occupation because of the Emperor's words to them?

What I seem to remember is that, until the Emperor spoke to them during the time of the surrendor, the Japanese people as a whole had never laid eyes on him - he was a god and could not be looked upon - and they certainly had never heard his voice either.
So, all of this, hearing their emperor sounding like a mere mortal, in addition to losing the war, and the effects of the a-bombs, and regular bombing, was a shock on many levels for the people.

As for what the prince said, about the Japanese only doing what other colonial powers had done before them - according to the book that I'm reading by Ben-Ami Shilony, this view was widely believed in Japan. The Japanese didn't think they were doing anything wrong by expanding their terrain. They were simply copying the actions of the great powers before them, and in fact were doing something good in restoring Asian areas back to an Asian power and away from the foreign invaders. I guess it's all how you look at these things.

In a related matter - I once read that in North America, there were once something like 70 to 90 million native peoples when the explorers first came over, which at that time equaled the whole population of Europe. So, in the process of establishing the USA, we also caused the demise of a huge civilization that had been here for hundreds of years.
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

Steffi 2010/3/22 10:10
Four years ago I wrote a guest editorial about immigration for the Centralia Fireside Guard, and did much research on Native Americans at the time that Europeans came to the New World. Research showed that there were approximately twelve million Native Americans living in North America prior to the European immigration, there was never anything close to 70-90 million. Today, there are a little over two million NA in North America. Another point that I discovered is that there is a lot of evidence that Europeans had been turning up in North America centuries before Columbus. For instance, Kennewick Man is a 9000 year-old Caucasoid skeleton recently found in the State of Washington. So, a new theory about how North America was settled is now taking shape. Apparently there were several waves of different types of people, and the current lineage of Native Americans are from Mongoloid stock. The new theory being developed is that Mongoloid people invaded North America around the time of the Kennewick Man (his skeleton by the way had an arrowhead stuck in it). So, Europeans were living in North America, and 9,000 years ago they were defeated and replaced by Asians, and in the 15th-17th centuries the Asians were defeated and replaced by Europeans.
by Wally (guest) rate this post as useful

Native Americans 2010/3/22 23:00
First of all, thanks Dave san for a pair of interesting news reels. I had seen the first story on the surrender a couple of times and seeing the Mighty Missouri recalled our recent visit to Pearl Harbor...

Years ago, I read that a better estimate of native populations was around nine million, although 12 million could easily be the right number. The Native American population was said to have increased some years after the European arrival because of the introduction of horses. At the same time, large numbers succumbed to disease brought by the Spanish and others.

There were several pre-European groups that arrived in the New World at various times, all most likely from Asia. I don't think there is any question that Europeans, probably from Scandinavia, visited the east coast of America. Eric the Red established a large colony on Greenland in the year 986 during one of the earth's warming periods. The colony raised grain, grapes and livestock for four hundred years. When the world began to cool, in about 1350, the settlement disbanded and returned to Europe. All were gone by 1400.

Then, less than 100 years later, our history was writen in Italian but on behalf of the Spanish crown...
by Eric (guest) rate this post as useful

Eric 2010/3/24 00:34
The latest theory is that the Clovis people, who dominated North America from 13,000 to 8,000 years ago, may have immigrated from Southern Europe, because the design of their stone spear points resembled those made in France and Spain 17,000 years ago, and no Clovis points have ever been found in Siberia or Alaska. These people did not bury their dead, they left them in trees and on hilltops for animals to devour, so there are no remains to run DNA tests on.
by Wally (guest) rate this post as useful

Numbers? 2010/3/24 01:18
I had once read that there were once in fact as many Native Americans as there were Europeans - but the following explains that it is impossible to know what the actual numbers were:

The population figures for Native Americans in the New World prior to the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus have proven difficult to establish, relying on archaeological data and written records from European settlers. Most scholars writing at the end of the 19th century estimated the pre-Columbian population at about 10 million; by the end of the 20th century the scholarly consensus had shifted to about 50 million, with some arguing for 100 million or more.[1] Contact with the New World led to the European colonization of the Americas, in which millions of emigrants from the "Old World" eventually settled in the New.

The population of Old World peoples in the Americas grew steadily, while the number of the indigenous people plummeted. Old World diseases such as smallpox, influenza, bubonic plague and pneumonic plagues devastated the previously isolated Native Americans. Conflict and outright warfare with European newcomers and other American tribes reduced populations and disrupted traditional society. The extent and causes of the decline have long been a subject of academic debate, along with its possible characterization as a genocide or democide.
by Steffi (guest) rate this post as useful

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