August 31, 2008

Sayonara, Two-Wheeled Friend

Kawasaki Eliminator ZL750A (b. 1987- d. July 29, 2008)

Background: I was involved in a minor traffic accident while driving my motorcycle home after work one recent summer evening. Suffice it to say, I suffered no serious injuries and the other person involved accepted all responsibility for the collision. However, my great two-wheeled friend, the Kawasaki Eliminator ZL750A, suffered terminal damage and is now no more, having gone on to bigger transcendental journeys. Naomi and I took many remarkable trips throughout western Japan, Kyushu and Shikoku on her over the years, and leaving her behind is truly hard to do. To celebrate my venerable touring buddy, I crafted six haiku in her honor, one for each of the six years she served me faithfully on my journeys brief or long. Fair winds and full sails!

Motorvating tranquility
blurred screeches of contrition
tasting pavement.

Crunch of metal
sordid humidity of summer
you are but wind.

Front forks contorted
soaring paradigms of providence
too steep to mend.

Bravado on cellphone
focus elusive, wind lulling
you screwed the pooch.

Fortune’s cackle
blue skies betrayal, sneering
engine silenced now.

Young coltish gasp
midlife loyalty through the tempest
73,795 yelps of freedom.

August 28, 2008

For Immediate Release

August 28, 2008


HIROSHIMA, Japan—From July 13 through 25, 2008, the Family of the Rising Daughter (FRD) visited Vancouver, BC, and Ottawa, ON, during Elena's inaugural trip to Canada. It was Lady E’s first journey to her other homeland, initiated so she could visit her many Canadian friends, fans and relatives. According to participants, the trip was an unqualified success, which featured:
- A civilized first trip aboard the Shinkansen bullet train from Hiroshima to Osaka.
- A long and exploratory first flight aboard Air Canada.
- Two beautiful days in Vancouver punctuated by an enjoyable meal and visit with friends in Burnaby. BONUS: Not planned, but a surprise tour of a hospital Emergency Room in Richmond provided firsthand experience of Canadian health care!
- Eight days in Ottawa with a staggering schedule—a sumptuous Fiesta of Food and 64-degree pool dive display hosted by longtime good friends; Lady E. being baptized; ‘new’ Granddad achieving a hard-earned and well-deserved retirement (with accompanying grand retirement party with NASA-certified Super Ultra Deluxe BBQ gift); ‘new’ Grandma doting the entire week on the Rising Daughter’s every desire and mood; a visit to Uncle’s AndrĂ©’s Cabin; and a dizzying array of other activities.
- A travel program which resulted in two tired but elated parents, and one happy toddler.

The FRD’s journey to the Great White North also contained spiritual and geographic elements which added value to the experience for all members. Lady E’s christening gave her a faith to believe in going forward throughout life. The comparatively chillier climate in Canada yielded a reminder that the Rising Daughter clan's current region of residence has many wonderful advantages, the weather being one of them. Finally, working closely as nuclear family unit, the trip was a great opportunity to take the initiative, take the journey, and grow together with new experiences that only travel can provide. Thus, the FRD evolved into an enhanced version of the traveling couple motif firmly established by the FRD's parents prior to her arrival in January 2007.

“My first trip to Canada was an unqualified, outstanding success,” said Elena R. Daughter, using telepathy to communicate her words. “After flying a total of 19,020 kilometers over two full days of air travel, staying in Canada for nearly two weeks, visiting a hospital emergency room and getting baptized, I was completely satisfied with the service I received. I am proud to note that my parents, grandparents, great-granny, other family and friends did an outstanding job in meeting my every need, 24-7. Even when I was full-on screaming in the airplane…err…airplanes.”

“Traveling vast distances with someone under two years old is all about the challenge and sense of achievement when your progeny actually sleeps on the ten-hour flight home, or you gain less than ten pounds despite a daily gorging on delicious Canadian foods,” remarked Rising Daughter father and trip sponsor, Chris X. “We’re convinced that Lady E. has what it takes to join us on adventures in new and exciting destinations in the future.”

“This family is always in pursuit of the Next Big Thing, and this trip was one more step in our beloved Rising Daughter’s ongoing conquest of coordinated motor skills, jet lag and amenable grandparents,” said Rising Daughter mother, Naomi X, trip co-sponsor. “We are looking forward to future trips--we are committed to pushing ourselves to deliver maximum family vacation performance in everything we do and with every person we meet on the way.”

The Rising Daughter’s inaugural visit to Canada continues a long series of successful ‘firsts’ for the globe-trotting tot from Hiroshima. With plans for progressively challenging and no-doubt entertaining visits in the future, she continues her tolerance training to increase her discomfort threshold before screaming, raising the standard to world class levels in anticipation of future overseas travels.

- Ends -

Osaka International Airport stroll

At the Vancouver Aquarium

With old Hiroshima friends, the M's.

With even older Ottawa friends!

Typical vacation day with Grandma

Happy family at Andre's cabin

'Super Late Sneak Peek' CX-9 drive

Granny K & The Boyz

Goodbye to Grandma and Grandad