Winter Turfgrass Seminars at Japan: the outtakes

I was at Japan for nine days this month to speak at turfgrass science seminars and to have a few meetings. For an official report of the seminars, check for updates to For the outtakes of this trip, read on.


You may have seen me sporting different looks as I change from one pair of stylish Zoff glasses to the next. Here I am with another Zoff connoisseur on a snowy day. This could have been a photo shoot for the next Zoff advertising campaign.

I enjoy Japanese food, and am an expert at slurping large bites of noodles, showing my appreciation of their taste and my respect for the chef by making an ostentatious display of eating. The large hand towel sitting on the table will be useful as I wipe my chin clean later. I am better at eating the cold noodles (this was a dish of chilled soba) in this way. With bowls of steaming ramen I must be more careful and you will find my form changes to a precise movement of the chopsticks and dainty bites of hot noodles.

A number of questions remain unanswered about this photo. Is it St. Patrick’s Day? Is that green beer, or is it something more sinister? Why are these men wearing robes? Has Micah misplaced his trendy Zoff glasses? If that is not green beer, could it be melon soda?

And that raises more questions. Why would one drink a melon soda? Why would melon soda be green? Wouldn’t a red colored melon soda be more appealing to the senses? Would it not be easier to drink a beer?

The upturned nose, tongue sticking out, muscular shoulders, lack of a prominent chin (or much of a neck for that matter), there first appeared to be a striking resemblance here. Were I only wearing my white jeans and white jacket, this could have been an even better photo.

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