Sunday, March 20, 2011

The insects awaken


When spring comes, the hibernting insects awaken. When there are three blackout free days in a row, the Pumpkin Family goes shopping.

We wanted to get a "spoon set" for the Pumpkin Prince. This is a flatware set consisting of a spoon, fork and a pair of chopsticks in a plastic carrying case. There are all kinds of sets, Pokemon, Hello Kitty, Peanuts, Disney, etc...The Pumpkin Daddy wanted to get the Pumpkin Prince the same kind he got the Pumpkin Princess, so we went to the big department store in the next city.

I take back what I said about the gas station lines not making any sense. There is an actual supply/ demand discrepancy caused by the quake. Actually, quakes. My uncle, who worked for Mobil until his retirement, explained it to me. The oil refineries stop production and run a safety check every time there is a quake. The past week, there have been quite a few aftershocks, so every time they start production, there's a quake, so they've been checking too much and making too little. The story in the oil refinery probably goes something like this..

"Is everyone OK? Production stopped automatically? Good. OK, begin safety check according to safety manual. Check, check, check...double check...great, everything is in order. Ladies and gentlemen, let's get this show on the road, and...(shake, rattle roll) Is everyone OK? That wasn't nearly as big as the last one. Please begin safety check according to the safety manual. Check, check, check, double check...Ladies and gentlemen, let's get (shake rattle roll) Oh drat. Begin safety check, please. Check, check (shake rattle roll) THIS IS DRIVING ME NUCKING FUTS!!!!"

On the way to the department store, we saw a gas station line over a kilometer long.

The parking tower near the department store was really empty. We got to the store at around 11, and only had to go up to the 2nd floor to find parking space, which is a new record (par that time of day is the 3rd or 4th level). The tower is usually packed with shoppers and also people taking the train into Tokyo. The stores were pretty empty for a Sunday morning with nice weather. So much for keichitsu...

Someone made this Scheduled Blackout Calendar. I'd leave them a tip if I knew how. I now have the blackout schedule on my computer and iPad, so I can schedule work stuff and housework around them.

And there is this...the American gentleman, and I call him this in every sense of the word, is Daniel Kahl. He's known for his fluent Yamagata dialect Japanese. I am having problems coming up with a good American equivalent. I think in the UK it would be a lot like a very heavy Welsh accent, but my Brit friends might disagree. Anyway, his American network standard English really threw me off, and I almost didn't know he was. I think most who know of Daniel Kahl would find the lack of accent amusing, whether they share my perspective on the "nuclear disaster" or not.

One thing I would like to add to Mr. Kahl's words is if the international media are guilty of generating and riding the hysteria, the Japanese media are guilty of exactly the same thing.


Annie Crow said...

So where are you getting your gas? Is the Pumpkin Daddy the one standing in line for the household?

TO echo another poster, thanks for the frequent and clear updates.

pumpkinmommy said...

The Pumpkin Daddy gets his gas on the tollway gas stations as he commutes. The gas stations in the tollways are always supplied first, the logic being a lot of cars out of gas on the tollway would be a big problem. I filled the Pumpkin Prius's tank the day before the quake. It is still about 2/3 full, and I figure I'll be fine if it all settles down by the end of this month.

This is not a paid advertisement for the Toyota Prius.