Posts Tagged ‘dog’

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

2011年 9月 14日

Being thrown curve balls of all manner, including a police interview regarding the apparent murder at one of my schools, so can’t yet get back to proper (excessive) posting frequency. After the move on Saturday, and the lag in getting internet connected at the new house, I should have an extra 20 hours a week to fill. I plan to use half of that for sleep, and a significant portion for late paperwork, but perhaps a portion can be used to fill these pages with tastes of my life in Japan.

Readers have made considerable requests for more of my photography and I hope to oblige. Various standards and rules prevent me showing certain works under consideration for contests; however, there is plenty of material otherwise uninhibited. Dog on Board (original)Here is a photo I took in Ise-Shima while on a photo trip with my chapter and a chapter from Nagoya. There was a surfing contest at this beach, but the waves were small: and the surfers, bored; which is a recipe for amusing behavior. This French bulldog really had a fascination with the board.

I was initially drawn to the scene because a number of senior members were shooting furiously from the bow of the board. As I moved quickly down the beach, I was approaching from the side; which is generally considered less favorable, but the dog cooperated by facing my direction. To date I have seen no other works including the dog on the board, so I may have been lucky with the angle. Odd angles seem to be my way (which could be a future post).

My friend who has been encouraging me in my Ubuntu usage, also impresses upon me to make use of GIMP for editing my photos. Even though an artist friend has made other software recommendations, the generally utility and free price of the GIMP make it very attractive. Dog on BoardHere is an image from the same photo with some intense color enhancement, which is only possible due to learning about more of the powerful selection tools in GIMP. Early color enhancement efforts would leave the dog looking yellow, or both the dog and board a bit blue. Here, I was able to make the yellow on the board stand out and change the almost murky water into a bright blue without damaging the dog’s appearance. Yet another critical point is that I could also keep the breaking portions of the wave looking sharp crystalline or white.

Ultimately this photo can’t be used for the Tsu Exhibition this year: not sharp enough to enlarge to zenshi-size; no other subjects to tie this to reality; and doesn’t include the board tip among other points. I will be submitting a photo this year and it will be one with the dog, but you’ll have to wait for more on that. Perhaps it can be my Christmas present to you all.


Sad News

2009年 3月 21日

I taught a fun class in the morning and then returned home. Along the side of my house is an alley that accesses all the houses behind me, so my area is very social. I noticed one of the neighbors, holding her dog and chatting with my next door neighbor over her fence. I went to join them and heard a confusing Japanese sentence. Either they meant, “Naito-kun became not here (i.e., went someplace else)”, or they meant, “Naito-kun died.”

After a little explanation, it became clear that my neighbor’s cute, light brown poodle met his final fate on the holiday yesterday. Apparently he ran out in the street during morning rush. My street is not a big one, but it is heavily used during the morning commute; and many of the drivers race down the street. The elementary school uses this are for the kids to get to school, so we are a little concerned about safety.

Apparently, the driver was going considerably fast and slowed down to look back after hitting the dog, but never stopped. In America we would consider that extremely rude, but in Japan it is completely shocking. By the time the neighbor got a taxi and found an open animal hospital the doctor gave her a strong recommendation not to try to save him as his lungs were in bad shape and his eyes were growing very distant.

I love animals very much and am always petting the neighbors’ dogs when we are outside. So, I was a little late for calligraphy because I stayed there and listened a lot. We were just talking a couple days ago about how hard it is to talk to someone who has had a loss; it’s just impossible to find the right words. However, she really seemed to need to be heard and understood. I bought just a few souvenir presents in Kyoto yesterday, but I gave a package of small Japanese sweets for eating with thick green tea to the neighbor. She felt they would be perfect when she pays her respects today.

This made me think about my Fritz who passed away this year, but poor Naito-kun was still a little puppy and Fritz, Fred, and me have lived a long and happy life together. My neighbor’s kids are all adult and moved out, so she really depended on his love. Fortunately most of our block are friendly and supportive.