Thursday, August 7, 2008

You have mail!

It's wonderful to receive Bảo email today. I did not expect that he has internet access in Kyoto, so it was a pleasant surprise this morning. In the email, he said that he visit Nijō Castle and I quickly went online to check it out. It's beautiful! Wish that we could be there. Someday we will, the whole family.

Looking at the picture of the Nijō Castle, it reminds me of the Japanese TV show that I watched with my Japanese friend a long time ago. Richard Takahashi, that's my colleague & friend name back when we were working for TRW in Torrance, California. We usually watch this show during dinner on an old dinky B&W TV, which has aluminum foil wrapped on the rabbit-ears antenna. This is the only show which was visible enough for us to watch. The TV show does not have subtitle. Richard is 2nd generation, borne & raised in California, so he does not speak Japanese well. However, he can recognize few words, so he's the translator. He translates few key conversation, and my mind would fill in the rest. It's a Japanese Shogun TV drama, about the Tokugawa shoguns. Now, looking at this Nijō Castle, I bet the TV show was filmed there. Well, difficult to tell, because Japanese architecture at that time is pretty much the same, hard to tell one from the other if you do not have the whole layout of the castle. Quite interesting though, that is the first time that I know about Japanese culture. After watching enough of the show & living with Richard, I went to Little Tokyo in LA & bought myself a futon set at $200, which was very expensive for me ~20 years ago. I still have the pillow, the comforter, and the pad. I could not figure out how to take the pillow cover off to wash, so it had not washed for 20 years. But it's still hold up very well, and I use it to prop up my head at night watching TV.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pedal, Huân. Pedal

Last weekend, Thuỵ and I took Huân to the Jamestown Elementary parking lot to practice riding on his new bike. Huân's new bike does not have any training wheel, we use a long handle which connected on to the back of the seat to give him extra balancing & momentum.

We go up & down the length the parking lot. Thuỵ is riding in front, I am running behind Huân's bike constantly reminding him to look-up, pedal & chase after Thuỵ. I also show him to slow down and use the hand brake. On a level stretch, Huân can pretty much ride by himself, but for a slightest up hill, I need to hold on to the bar and guide his bike. Huân quickly learned how to use the hand brake, but he still does not want to pedal. This reminds me to adjust his seat higher to give him more strength to push on the pedals. May be that is all it takes to enable him to ride by himself. There were lot of times I have to run along the side, up & down the stretch, holding on to the bike, and I was exhausted. I am completely out of shape, and I need to teach Huân how to ride before I can no longer run beside him.

More than once, I let go of my hand and Huân can ride by himself, it was a good feeling seeing him ride the bike by himself.