Sunday, October 29, 2017
These falls are part of Nago City few travelers get to see.
It's been close to five years since I made the trek. These images were processed today.
It took a bit of photo editing, to prepare them for some travel sites.
The traditional Okinawa tiled-roof building serves as a rest stop.
It may be found, on the trail at the lower entrance to the waterfalls.
Reaching the falls from the trail at the top can be dangerous so, is not recommended.
Those, not good at navigating via Google Maps, may get directions at Map It Okinawa.
Pleasant weather, this time of the year, makes this an enjoyable nature hike.
A light jacket, sturdy walking shoes and, some insect repellent, would be the way to go.
The walk only takes about fifteen minutes but, I spend half an hour doing photography.
There's no telling, what kinds of creatures, you might spot in the jungles.
Birds, butterflies and, humongous banana spiders, are some of my favorites.
Recent typhoons may have turned this trickle of water, into a raging river.
Places along the trail may require visitors, to get their feet a little wet.
A walking stick might be a good idea, to keep from falling off of slippery rocks.
A few spots along the way, the trail may be non-existent and, climbing is necessary.
There's something about trekking in nature that relaxes the body.
Just, don't get too comfortable, climbing on wet rocks; they can be dangerous.
In places along the way, you may have to decide, which side of the stream, to hike on.
Like flowing water, I tend to take the path of least resistance.
Younger generation folks, may sprint, and splash, ahead of me. That's fine.
It's always fun, to experiment with slower shutter speeds, shooting flowing water.
If, you didn't bring along a camera, at least take some smart-phone photos.
Ferns, fallen trees, vegetation, flowing water and rocks, are great for composing images.
Cloudy days, are the best, for this type of photography. There's no sun glare.
A dreary day, when the beach is out of the question, is perfect for this trip.
Most people will hear the waterfall before it comes into sight.
It's not the largest fall in Okinawa but, it certainly is beautiful.
Whenever I visit waterfalls, I like to photograph from different angles.
On a sunny day, it's best to wait for some clouds to block the bright sunlight.
Moving around, gives you a chance to compose various images.
When reviewed on a computer monitor later, it's easy, to throw the worst ones away.
Sometimes, an editor wants, space to write or advertise. It's their money.
So, I'll make a composition, such as this. I certainly, don't like the image.
Show me the gold and, you can have it.
From the right side of the waterfalls, I had to shoot through some vegetation.
People who want privacy might think, this is a good place to jump into the water.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Place to Munch for Lunch
It was just after a short visit to the hospital, the wife and daughter took me to lunch.
I was kinda bummed because the doctor said I have to continue taking medications.
She asked, how I was feeling but, didn't even pull my shorts down. Oh well.
This is a unique establishment. Conveyor belts. deliver food to the tables.
So, if you like complaining don't expect a waitress; bring your wife.
Orders are placed by pressing buttons on each table's computer.
Conveyor belts, do the delivery. You're supposed, to be honest, and take only your orders.
Above, is Maguro (AKA Tuna) and the card preceding, is in English as well as, Japanese.
The next serving is Taco or, Octopus Sushi, in English.
Everything comes in orders of two and, sitting on a bed of rice.
At the tables, soy sauce, wasabi, and other dressings are free for the taking.
This one was a surprise. Meat on a sushi roll.
Actually, there were two sushi rolls, when the things rolled out. I ate before shooting.
It may have been Ginger Pork or, some sort of beef. I can't tell you. It got gobbled, too fast.
Items other than sushi are available, such as chicken nuggets, soup, salad, and fries.
If you go on weekends, each plate or order sells for 100 Japanese yen.
On weekdays servings only cost 90 yen.
See my Google Maps Review for directions and more.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Torn from My Work Again
This morning a friend, living north of me, posted this on Facebook.
Joking with him, I asked what time it would be ready?
It looked like a meal, worth taking a taxi ride, to consume. But, he may have been joking.
Next thing I knew, he said "I'll come by at 2 PM and, pick you up. So, I'm outta here.
Yesterday's blog post, about a Reuben Sandwich, went kind of wild.
Thousands of people liked it and, are even asking questions about the place.
There aren't enough hours in a day, for me to assist everybody.
If, they would just look at Google Maps, directions, menus and images, can be found there.
In less than 24 hours, this Facebook post of the sandwich got over 8,000 views!
Now, I have to hurry and get ready, to consume some smoked meat.
My friend will arrive shortly.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Just a quickie tonight because I'm later than usual. Vegetarians, don't have to look.
Hanging around the island for some forty years, I've never had one like this.
The place was recommended to me by the proprietor of Bingo's Pub, in Kin Town.
It's called Five Star Deli.
Poke on the link and, you can get directions, see more photos and read my review.
For now, let's just say, I'm on a secret mission. Bye.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
It Missed Okinawa
The weather dudes got it all wrong this time but, it gave me some time off.
Typhoon Lan, is a big one and will probably, cause some damage in mainland Japan.
Last night, I crashed at 7 PM and, woke up 3 AM this morning, to see the action.
That's what time, they predicted winds and rain would be severest.
It was a little windy but, dry outside so, I walked the dog and, bought some coffee.
At 4 AM, white clouds were visible, in the dark skies. By 5 AM, I was at the office.
Cleanup Some Bird Photos
There wasn't any typhoon cleanup required. Yesterday was wasted, for no good reason.
So, I dug up an old bird photo from 2015, to demonstrate cleaning up an image.
There are distractions in this photo which, take away from the subject. Get rid of them.
The subject is a Black-crowned Night Heron, located in Namisato, Kin Town, Okinawa.
To make the photo "pop" some sticks, twigs, and undesirables, had to be removed.
A few minutes, of photo editing and, my cleanup would be done. Call this BEFORE.
Here's the AFTER Image
Had I wanted to spend a few more minutes time, some of the off-colored items, would disappear.
Just in case, another wildlife photographer wants, to find the spot, I left it natural.
The cement block and colored rocks are more than likely, still there.
One Other Item
One of these days, WiFi will need to be installed in my house.
Sitting at home, checking email accounts was next to impossible the past 24 hours.
One email, from Academia, came through and, really had me curious.
But, there was no sense in pushing "View Now" because I knew, I'd get nowhere.
They Got Me Confused with Someone Wearing Shoes
There's plenty, I could tell you, about ways of the world and, ladies of the night.
But, I ain't got no Doctorates Degree!
So, I had to get some cleaning up on that Academia site, too.
Don't get me wrong. People with that level of education, I admire. Some, are my friends.
"Michael Lynch" (the guy in that email) probably, is way more educated than me.
So, I spent a few hours, getting my profile, over there, spiffed up.
There are a few thousand, "Michael Lynch" characters on this planet, I'll bet.
But, I bet, there ain't many, doing their research, wearing yellow flip-flops!
My Typhoon Cleanup is done for the day.
NOTE: For the best typhoon information (On Okinawa) go HERE
Friday, October 20, 2017
Someday Might Become Extinct
This 2008 image was found and cleaned for presentation and, the research was done today.
It started last week, when a gal asked me, "Are those owls, flying around here at night?"
Out behind my office, the visitor from Hawaii, caught me while on a smoke break.
There haven't been any owls, spotted by me, in the few years, I've occupied this office.
She mentioned, the critters hang from telephone wires, upside down and, I knew immediately.
She was talking about the Ryukyu Flying Fox, which is a Fruit Bat.
Scientific Name: Pteropus dasymallus
Five subspecies of this animal, exist in the Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan and the Philippines.
First the Fun Facts
- These bats, won't bite people. So, don't scream as, they swoop down and surprise you.
- They are nocturnal and, usually start flying as the sun is going down. During daylight hours, they hang in trees and, are fairly well camouflaged.
- Adults, with a wingspan of a meter (3 feet) make a good swooshing sound, when they flap.
- Fruit Bats, don't have radar, like others. They navigate, using their eyes and ears and fur.
- The diet of these flying foxes is mainly fruit and leaves, with an occasional insect.
Holy Bat Shitman !
Bats are categorized differently, from one country to another, based upon population size.
At one point the species was declared extinct, in Taiwan. But, somebody spotted, two.
Squirrels, feral cats, dogs, typhoons, deforestation and hunting, wipe the bats out.
Critically endangered on the Japanese Red List, these bats have been declared Natural Treasures.
The IUCN Red List has this bat listed as Vulnerable.
But, they go on to say, "Local illegal cults, operated by farmers in response to crop damage,
are a major threat, which has been ignored, so far."
In the Philippines (Not all bad people) on certain islands, the bats, have it worse.
Poachers, go after these bats because, they are considered, a delicacy !
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017
Mind Twisting Drugs
This won't be a long story, I promise. The doctor gave me these drugs.
For the second night, in a row, I went and shot photos at the Kin Matsuri.
Saturday, I took one of these pills, slept for 3 hours and, went to work.
They said, "Don't operate any machinery, until you feel used to the stuff."
That's why, I took a long nap. A camera, on a tripod isn't really all that heavy.
At the matsuri, I tried avoiding beer because, I wasn't sure it would be a good idea.
Eventually, I caved and, tossed a few before the fireworks even got started.
Then, shot a bunch of fireworks and, went out drinking beers until 2 AM.
Skipping the nighttime dosage, I slept fairly well.
Next morning, I did an internet search on Lyrica, the pain killer, they gave me.
Oops. You shouldn't consume alcohol or, only drink in moderation if, you have to.
Well, moderation, to me, would be, no more that 20 and no less than 17 beers.
Just kidding. Taking the dosage the pretty doctor, put me on, I won't be drinking at all.
Pain killers and I, don't exactly, get along with each other, I told the doctor.
Why in hell, anybody would want their brain numbed beats me.
Figure out, what's causing the pain and, fix it. Numskulls.
Anything stronger than Aspirin, is too much, for me. Beer can make me numb.
With two women in the room (wife and doctor) telling me, I need these drugs, I groaned.
There's no sense getting in an argument with experts, who know everything about anything.
So, I'm taking this medicine for the next two weeks. I had to make a promise.
No heavy lifting. Can't lift a cement block, over my head 150 times a day.
That would be dangerous, with a numb skull and psychedelics on your mind.
One hundred and fifty push-ups, a day, doesn't sound too bad, though.
Processing Fireworks Images
All hopped-up on medicines, I'm going through about 300 photo files, for developing.
The bright light and colors was really getting to me, today. Dizzying.
Every 20 minutes or so, I went outside for a break and, a smoke, usually.
Do ten push-ups for each cigarette, you smoke and, it adds up to 150, quickly.
Without cleaning-up the images, I put 50 or more, in a Facebook album.
This one, had some editing done, to remove the smoke, trailing behind the explosion.
Some psychedelic GIF animations, could be in the making, at a later date.
For now, I'm limiting my work, to things which are simple and enjoyable.
Some reporter, wanting to interview me, had to be told, to go find someone else.
A guy, like me, might say something offensive, when taking mind-bending drugs.
We, wouldn't want that to happen, would we ?
Camera: Pentax K1
Lens: Pentax 18-250 at 18 MM
Exposure: f/11 1/sec ISO 100
Location: Kin Town, Okinawa, Japan
Date and Time: OCT 10 2017 8:58 PM
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Thanks to an Alert Granddaughter
The sun was still blazing hot when I arrived at the Kin Town Matsuri.
Placing the tripod and camera under a food counter, I did some serious BBQ eating.
The only photos I planned on shooting, would be the fireworks.
Some friends, hanging around the festival food booths, were drinking beer.
Some medications, I'm taking gave me an excuse to, not join them, enjoying the booze.
Along came the Mayor and, he wanted to chat, meet my friends and, drink beers together.
The next thing, you know, everybody's buying beers and doing cheers.
That was my excuse, to partake in a little bit of beer drinking. Not to insult the Mayor.
The Mayor, doesn't speak much English and the gang, didn't speak Japanese.
Even though, I'm not an official translator, I had to do some simple translating.
Like, introducing people and, telling the Mayor their ages and occupations.
Maybe, stuff like, "Wow. She's got nice jeans." When some gal walked by.
Other than that, everybody kept buying, each other, cups of beer and saying, "Kampai."
That's what folks do, when drinking and making toasts in Japan.
The Mayor, floated away in the festival crowds so, we kept drinking beers without him.
Along came a granddaughter, who knows, I have a camera, for the festival, somewhere.
She asked if, grandpa remembers, why he came to this festival.
"I came to shoot the hanabi (fireworks), I told her."
"Where's your camera, Grandpa?"
"Over there, under the counter."
"Hurry up and get ready."
"Why" I said, "The hanabi don't start, until 8:45."
"She came back with, "Grandpa, it's 8:40 now!"
Holy crap. I had to slam my cup of beer and run to get the camera set up.
These shots were taken between 9:00 and 9:02 PM, the last few minutes of the fireworks.
More Photos on Facebook in the Kin Town Matsuri 2017
Friday, October 13, 2017
Prettiest Doctor on Planet Earth
Scared to visit doctors, from previous experiences, I only use them when I have to.
The past few months, I hadn't been feeling well but, try to hide it.
Finally, I got half scared to death and decided, it would be a good time to turn myself-in.
Almost three years ago, I had been in this hospital for surgery. It's up in Nago, Okinawa.
They cut me open and installed some mesh, to patch a blowout in my belly.
It was fun, joking with the nurses and sneaking off the fourth floor, to get outside.
No smoking rules, forced me to ground level, past the mortuary, to get outside and smoke.
The doctor let me cut my visit a few days short because, I recovered so quickly.
Shadanhojinhokubuchiku is the hospital, I was in and decided to go back there.
Attorneys Love Things Like This
Those mesh patches, feel sorta funny, when installed in your pelvis.
After awhile, you get used to it and, life goes on, as usual. It beats being dead, I think.
Some gal back in the USA, won 57 million dollars because of a mesh lawsuit.
It seems Johnson & Johnson, got caught selling defective patches and has to pay, now.
The woman, had all sorts of problems, with the mesh and, felt like she was on fire.
Back around June, of this year, my mesh started burning, down there in my lower tummy.
Not really interested in becoming a millionaire, I decided to get a checkup.
What if, they quit selling that mesh in the USA and, sent some to Japan ?
Certain, I was about to be admitted, I traveled light. Just carried a few extra smokes.
All appointments, for the next few weeks, were put on hold.
Keys, a few hundred dollars, cameras and, other junk I usually carry, were left at home.
Just the wife and a daughter, drove me to the hospital. The dog I said, "Later Stinky."
When you check-in at the front desk, they decide, where to send you next.
This, I'll call station #4. There must have been 35 people, who arrived before me.
Orthopaedics, I had to google. I figured, it had something to do with bones.
An hour wait at the front desk and, another hour stuck here. Groan.
Blood pressure, heartbeat and a few other things, eventually got checked.
Poor little nurse, couldn't reach high enough to measure my height so, I did it myself.
Once, they decide, which doctor you need, you get to wait another hour.
Soon, I started telling the wife and daughter, "It's a miracle. I'm cured. Let's go home."
Beautiful Woman Doctor
A gorgeous, late twenties, almond-eyed, long-haired, gal in a blue uniform, greeted us.
The wife comes along, to help with the hearing and translation.
She gets informed about my last visit and, pulls up all my records on the computer.
Meanwhile, I do stuff like, look at her fingers and, see there are no rings.
She has me, get up on a table for examination and, I had to pull my shorts down, a little ways.
She started poking around, looking for the scar, from my last surgery.
Sort of a gorilla, it took her awhile to find the spot. Then, she pokes around there.
"Does this hurt?" she asks. "Yeah. That's why I came here. It burns, like fire." I told her.
She wanted my pants down lower and had me raise my fanny up a bit.
Then, she pulled everything down to my knees and had me spread my legs.
Holy crap. The gal started, sticking her hands all over my crotch, probing and squeezing !
"Does it hurt here? How about, when I do this? Pain here?"
"No, sweetie. You're making everything feel fine. It doesn't hurt down there." I told her.
Off to the Echo Chamber
The doctor determined, some sort of internal images, should be taken and, away we went.
"That gal's too young to be a doctor. She's cute. Did you see what she did to me?" I asked the wife.
"Why didn't you punch her in the face?" I said, while we walked to the next station.
The wife said, "She's a doctor, doing her job. Maybe, she's an intern. That's why she's young."
Well, I sort of enjoyed it but if, I saw some young guy, do that to you, I'd knock them out."
At the EKKO Station, the missus, waited outside and, I went in with a 3/4 good-looking gal.
She slapped some grease on me and, watched a TV screen, while rubbing a machine around.
Both sides of my pelvis got viewed but, she kept away from the Tinker Toys. Yeah !
Another hour or, two and, we got to see my favorite doctor, again.
The doctor, after looking at the pictures, said everything looks normal. I could go home.
Duh. My belly's on fire. That's not normal, to me !
Let's Try a CT Scan
That's one, I have never experienced and told the doctor. MRI, I've done some.
She said it was similar to an MRI, just a different machine.
They gave me some sort of transfusion machine, hooked-up and taped to my arm.
Took some blood and, pumped juice in me and, I'd have to wait an hour.
No eating lunch. Dammit, it was going on two o'clock and, I was hungry.
"No smoking," a gal told us. But, the wife whispered, "She said, one was OK."
The wife, couldn't stay there in the room. "No problem," I told her.
In case, they spoke Japanese only, I could understand, "Hold still and, hold your breath."
The machine, was similar to an MRI, just smaller. It wasn't like going into a coffin.
The gadget, on my arm, got colored juice, pumped into an artery.
The machine buzzed and, I spent about half an hour on the table, moving in and out.
When done, they unhooked me and, when I stood up, felt like a drunk.
That's something I've become accustomed to so, it was easy navigating through the hospital.
The results of the CT were delivered back to the nurses at my doctor's station.
Knowing it may take another hour, I had the wife and daughter waiting and, got more smokes.
The lady doctor, finally had us brought in but, didn't feel me, this time.
After looking at all the evidence and, consulting with the big doctors, she knew.
The burning sensation is caused by some nodules. I can get pain killers.
Nope. I don't want some drugs, to numb my brain so, I won't feel the burning.
We settled on some medicine, that's like Vitamin B 12. I got a month's supply.
And, I have another appointment, with the lady doctor in two weeks, for a checkup.
When she asks how I feel, I'll say, "I don't know. You tell me."
The wife knows, I like to clown around and, is happy to have me home.
She told the daughter about my thrilling experience with the young lady doctor.
They both had a good laugh and, we went out to dinner, while in the big city.
With my Japanese health insurance, it cost about 150 bucks, for everything, yesterday.
It would have totaled over $17,000 if, I had no health insurance. Probably more, in the USA.
When I go back, I'll ask the doctor, "Could you add a little Viagra, to that medicine?"
Then, start dancing around the room singing, "I'm the Hoochie Coochie Man."
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
It's Almost Here
It seems like, the stores have been pushing Halloween since August.
Now is a good time to post something from last year and, a few reminders.
Some folks, have to go out and buy costumes for the event. Others, don't really need them.
For photographers: You might want to go out and catch some of the attractions, to photograph.
This image gave me an idea. I think I'll just stay home.
Saturday, October 7, 2017
Nine Image Animation
A lot can happen, when out shooting the full moon on Okinawa.
The series of photos, used to create this scene, were taken between 6:20 and 6:26 PM.
The wind was blowing black clouds through the sky and shaking my camera lens.
The color of the moon, changed during that time period, too.
After downloading the camera and, posting images on the blog, I went out for a drink.
Joking with a guy in the bar, I said,"The moon's a moving target."
He agreed and said, "I know. I'm a meteorologist."
That was my chance to ask him, "How come the color of the moon changes, so fast?"
Well, about that time, a beautiful woman, walked into the bar.
So, I quit paying attention to the weatherman. Amen.
Friday, October 6, 2017
Children Perform Eisa at a Full Moon Festival
October 4th 2017 a Kangetsusai (moon viewing) Festival was held in Kin Town.
Wanting to travel light, I used a mono-pod and 18-250 MM lens, with the Pentax K1.
The mono-pod, would make it easier, to avoid having drunken revelers, shaking the camera.
The thing had been collecting dust, in my office for a few years.
It was my first time, using such a gadget and, it worked out pretty well.
I was standing at a level above most of the crowd and zooming-in on the stage.
Two younger grandchildren came along and said, "Jiji." That's Japanese for grandpa.
I hugged the girl and patted the boy. It started raining. I toweled his bald head, dry.
The granddaughter told me, "Kannon's up there doing Eisa."
Kannon, is a sixth grader and, daughter of my favorite daughter-in-law.
What kind of crappy grandfather, would I be if, I missed photographing her ?
A Busy Time of the Year
Celebrations, festivals and sports day events keep me going, around the clock.
There are probably thousands of images, waiting processing in my files.
The wind picked up, rain was falling down, on and off, during this matsuri (festival).
Some folks, ran off the field, seeking shelter. Others, popped open umbrellas.
The last time, I saw my granddaughter perform Eisa, she was wearing purple head-wear.
Assuming she'd be dressed in the same uniform, I concentrated on purple.
Then, used continuous firing on the camera's shutter button. Like a machine gun.
Frame the compositions, to include everybody in the crowd and, I couldn't miss her.
The weather or, something, even broke the loudspeaker system and, music stopped.
But, those spirited kids, kept on drumming, chanting and dancing. They were amazing.
At any Eisa event, there's always someone, whistling loud, like a whippoorwill on steroids.
Local men, fired-up on kettles of Okinawan spirits, contributed to the merrymaking.
After the Eisa
Along came my favorite daughter-in-law and, she saw that I had brought the camera.
"Papa, did you get photos of Kannon?" she asked me.
"Of course, I get photos of everybody. What sort of crappy grandpa, do you think I am?"
By the end of the event, I was exhausted. Dropped the camera by my office and, called it a day.
There were over 800 photos taken. I left a computer, downloading and, locked the door.
Out shooting the full moon, the past few nights, I haven't done much photo processing.
Here it is, a few days later and, everyone wants to see the pictures of Kannon.
Going through the image files, I couldn't find her. I looked at hundreds of photos.
Enlarging them on the screen and, looking at purple scarves, I didn't spot my granddaughter.
Bummed Out Grandpa
It's a good thing, I only have one daughter-in-law, in Okinawa. She's still my favorite, here.
The other one, in the USA is, my favorite American daughter-in-law.
It's also a good thing, I didn't delete all the photos, of those kids wearing purple.
After checking all the kids faces, on the stage, I noticed something.
Bouncing up and down, on the ground, were drummers, in red head bands.
All of a sudden, I spotted this doll, with a drum and a cute little nose, I'd recognize anywhere.
Why in the hell, didn't anyone tell me, the color of my granddaughter's uniform ?
Thursday, October 5, 2017
Last Night We Celebrated
There was a big festival, known as Kangetsusai, in Kin Town, under the almost full moon.
Of course, I was out there, with a camera and, extremely busy.
Everyone kept offering me alcoholic spirits to enjoy, along with them.
But, I don't drink, when using the camera. It's against my religion, I guess.
The moon, wasn't quite 100% round. It was 98 or 99% if, you ask me.
Knowing, it would appear more full tonight, I got outside early.
This photo was taken at 6:23 PM using the Pentax 300 MM and a 1.4 converter.
A Few Minutes Later
Clouds would come and go and, a second series of shots might not have happened.
Going back downstairs, I switched to a Sigma 50-500 MM lens with a converter.
Stretched out all the way, the lens gave me 700 MM of focal length.
It was 6:39 PM, when this photo was taken. Notice, the change in the color of the moon.
If, you want to catch the moon, appearing orange, don't be 16 minutes late.
More about the Harvest Moon