Bangkok is a big city, and I enjoyed this view of it for the past few months. There are big buildings in all directions, but this direction has the most.
I was recently in Yuzawa, which is not such a large city, and while there I enjoyed the snow, food, and hot springs. I don't know how much of this book was written in Yuzawa. Certainly a substantial part of it was. Maybe 10%. Maybe 15%. I've written quite a bit in Yuzawa, and I will be going back for more at the next opportunity.
In the meantime, I've rearranged my office. I've enjoyed putting some of my favorite things back onto the shelves, and the bottle of Yuki Otoko I brought back with me goes nicely with my copy of Yuki Guni. The Yuki Otoko has an amazing label.
I've been working on the Micah no jikan book for a long time. I am happy to report that all the final changes and edits have been made, and it is now with the publisher. You can order it for worldwide shipping at Amazon.co.jp.
What else is new? How about some amazing new flavors at the convenience store. Japanese wasabi potato chips. Korean barbeque chips too. The new flavors just keep coming.
It's all very international, and since I've felt obliged to taste all these new flavors, very tasty too. I omit the photo of English cheddar, but you can imagine it.
In the cookie aisle, where we usually find more consistency, there's been a striking addition. Coconut Cream-O. Chocolate plus caramel coconut. The package says Choco Plus, and I agree.
The idea of the grammar is to provide a language to describe, quantify, and translate turfgrass management practices from one place to the next. I've studied the grasses as they grow in the wild, and I also had a chance to study them under regular maintenance. Or maybe this was exceptional maintenance. It certainly was a lot of fun.
I've found the birdie dance photos and the botanizing posts to be a bit blasé, so although there have still been a lot of both, I have not felt any need to document those exploits here.
Well, I would like to document this.
With that disclaimer out of the way, there has been some exceptional botanizing recently.
I've also made an effort to measure the photosynthetic photon flux density at different locations. Botanizing and light measurements go good together.
I've been reading too. I've moved the what I've been reading list to a higher position on the right sidebar of this page. Reading goes good with botanizing and light measurements too.
And there have been lots of charts. I made this one showing flights since 8 August 2013. When I get around to it, I'll add flights going back about 10 years. I need to adjust the code some more to more clearly highlight (with color, line width, and transparency) the routes flown most often, but this shows that Bangkok-Tokyo has been a common one.
What else? Various projects. This talk with Dave Wilber covers a wide range of topics.
The question of reading lists came up in a conversation last evening. Considering that my experience with contemporary and historical literature is both extensive and peculiar, let me take this opportunity to list some fine books.
I have traveled to six countries this month, getting on an airplane once every 54 hours (on average) and staying at hotels from the waterfront at Kota Kinabalu to the noisome streets of Kowloon and to a surprisingly quiet Kanda last week. I returned to Thailand in the early morning hours today and have three consecutive days here before my next departure.
At Vietnam last week I had the opportunity to take this interesting photograph with Tiger Song, the principal of Korea's Songho Golf Design Group. We smiled as we imagined the mirthsome headline Tiger meets Woods.
In addition to the advisory and research work that took me to Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, and Vietnam this month, I also went to Japan to teach about turfgrass science in full-day seminars at Tokyo and Osaka. One of the challenges in giving seminars in Asia is that the handouts and other presentation materials must invariably be translated well in advance of the seminars. By the time of the actual seminars, we have a lot of fun.
And the bow tie adds a rakish flair to the proceedings, doesn't it?
I've finally finished the superb one-volume Dostoevsky (Frank). I made a valiant effort to finish it in September, had to lay it aside for much of a busy October, and have finished it today. What an excellent book! What a great writer! If I may point out a similarity between myself and the immortal Dostoevsky — he was a great admirer of Dickens, as am I.
And now I begin Raymond Carver (Sklenicka). Its 489 pages feel like a mere feather in my hands compared with Dostoevsky.
This evening I find myself at Florence, making progress in my studies and in my writing. I started reading Frank's one-volume Dostoevsky in May, and I thought that I would finish it within a month, but I was so busy with work in the subsequent months that I have been able, still, to enjoy reading this book while at Italy.
And with sentences such as "Raskolnikov thus finds himself confronted with someone who is not only personally hateful but who also reveals the moral dubiousness of exactly the same Utilitarian logic to which he had become so ruinously committed," you can imagine how I like to take the book in small doses. And you can see here how I have been taking the book, and how I strive now in September to reach page 932.
You can see that I've made some excellent (and enjoyable) progress this month, but hundreds of pages remain. And the inspiring view you see below is something I check every day, a short walk up the hill behind my apartment, before returning to my writing and Dostoevsky.