2008 December 23 Tuesday.


Today is a National Holiday in Japan. 
It is the
Emperor's Birthday   天皇誕生日 to be exact. 

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko came to Asahikawa on July 4, 2003 for the first time in more than 30 years. 

The Royal Couple were on a tour of Hokkaido that year, and they traveled around this beautiful island by motorcade.   

One of the events on their schedule was to have a Luncheon Banquet at the
Taisetsu Crystal Hall which is right across the street from my classroom.   

Because I knew the schedule of events on that day, I waited outside on the street along the route of the motorcade as it left the Luncheon Banquet at about 15:00. 

I was in a big crowd of people, but lucky for me, I am taller than most of the other people, so I could raise up my
one-shot-at-a-time digital camera over my head in an attempt to take a photo of the Emperor as he and the Empress passed by on their way to their next event. 

Even though I couldn't use the viewfinder so as to be sure that I got a good photo, I got lucky none the less. 

As you can see from the photo on the left, this was a very lucky photo indeed, because I only had one chance.. 

The one and only chance in my lifetime perhaps.   
As a result, I nailed it.   

Later that same day, during the evening, there was another large gathering of people, this time in front of the Asahikawa City Hall to wave up at the Royal Couple as they waved back down to the crowd below from a 15th floor window in the Asahikawa Grand Hotel. 

I was able to take some very interesting photos of the occasion and you can see the photo gallery for that day day by clicking here.   

You can also read the very short essay I wrote about it by clicking here.

As I said at the start of today's blog, today is a National Holiday so I had no classes to teach. 

With about 3 weeks of winter vacation in front of me, I began to think of all of the things that I must do, and most of the other things that I want to do. 
It is a rather long list.






2008 December 15 Monday thru December 22 Monday.


Today, December 22 is the Winter Solstice.   
It is the longest night and the shortest day of the year. 
It is not the coldest time of year in Asahikawa, that will come in the middle of February.

This past week was my last week of classes before the start of my 3 week winter vacation. 
As such, there was a small Xmas Party during each and every one of my classes, with a small gift for each and every student to take home with them.

Speaking of Xmas parties, I was invited to the METS 英会話 School's Xmas party, that was held at the Leo Palace Hotel on Saturday night from 19:00 until 21:00.

I don't know for sure, but I think this school has been around longer than my own classroom.   
I remember seeing their Town Pages Advertisement every year since I first started my school back in 1996.

Anyway, I met the people who work at and manage the school for the very first time on Saturday evening.

In a word, they are very nice people and if you live in the Suehiro Area of Asahikawa, you may enjoy attending some of their classes.   
They even have classes at other locations around Asahikawa such as Lumine and other citizen learning centers.   

Be on the look out for METS メッツ 英会話 posters when you go shopping at the 100 Yen store or you local supermarket.

After the METS 英会話 Xmas Party was finished at 21:30, I was invited by the manager Mr. S., to join everyone at another location for a second party, but I declined the offer because I was thinking about doing some more work on my affiliate website the Every Thing Japan Network.   

So, I sad thank you very much and started walking home along the icy sidewalks of downtown Asahikawa.

As I passed by the Planet Building, I suddenly remembered that I haven't been to the Piano in Pub, for a very long time. 
Since I was already in the area, I decided to take the elevator up to the 8th floor and join the party.

The reason I like this place so much, is because the owner can play any song on the piano and the customers can sing along on an open microphone.   

If you like going to a Karaoke Box and singing all of you favorite songs, you will like this place even better.

Not only that, but on Saturday nights they are open until 02:00 on Sunday morning, and a lot of really talented musicians stop by to play their musical instruments.   
It is an excellent place to meet up and get together for for a LIVE JAM!

On Sunday afternoon starting at 14:00, I went bowling with the Asahikawa University Lifelong Learning Class 旭川大学生涯教育クラス at the Dinos Sugai Building located on Taisetsu Doori.   

About the only time I go bowling at all, is with this group of people, and in 2005 I got the highest score over two games and won about 10,000 yen worth of book certificates. 

However, this year I didn't do as well.   
Although I paid 1,200 yen for two games of bowling, I won a total of 1,500 yen in book gift certificates 図書カード.   
Not a bad deal by any standards.

Tomorrow is the Emperor's Birthday and thus, a National Holiday.






2008 December 1 Monday thru December 7 Sunday.


Believe it or not, it was raining all week, until Saturday when it started snowing again. 
The snow continues today on Sunday, and hopefully every day after that.   
I wanna go snowboarding at
Santa Present Park next Saturday night, if possible.

The main reason I often go to Santa Present Park at night is because it is only a 15 minute drive from my house and it is not very crowded at night.   
I don't like waiting in lines for any reason, especially ski lifts.

Santa Present Park is a good place for beginning skiers or snowboarders to start learning how to ride on the snow.   
There are three different ski lifts there.   
The lift in the middle is short and takes you up to less than half way on the hill.   
From there, it is a gentle slope down to the bottom of the hill, just perfect for beginners. 
In fact, that is where I first learned how to snowboard about 15 years ago.

The photo you can see in today's blog was taken on Saturday at the Taisetsu Arena, which is right next door to my classroom.

I was invited to attend these ice hockey games by one of my architect friends, Mr. N.  His youngest son, who is now almost 20 years old was supposed to perform some of his original rap songs after the children's hockey match, and before the start of the professional hockey match.   

I have known Mr. N for about 16 years, and remember his youngest son when he was still in kindergarten.   
Now, this kid has pink hair, hip hop fashion, and a foul mouth that spews forth all of the dirtiest words in the English Language, but not much else.   

It reminds me of a Willie Nelson song that goes something like this; "Momma don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys,..."   In this case I would substitute the word "cowboys" for "rappers".

Despite this small disappointment in stunted growth, I'm glad I went because I like to watch ice hockey games live, even though the Taisetsu Areana is ice cold.   
Another enjoyable thing about going was that I was able to meet a young Canadian lady, who was brought along by Mr. N's wife. 

Mr. N's wife is a school nurse in the Furano area, and the 21 year old Canadian lady is employed as an Assistant Language Teacher in the same general area.   
She has a good sense of humor and was a lot of fun to talk to, especially because we are both native speakers of North American English.

She told me that she had arrived in Hokkaido only about 5 months ago, but that she had been studying the Japanese Language, on her own, since she was about 15 years old!   
This surprised me so I asked her if she had been to Japan before when she was in junior high school, on a home stay program or something like that. 

She replied that she had just come to Japan this year for the first time, but that she liked to study languages, and that is why she first started learning Japanese about 6 years ago.   
I too like learning languages so we had something in common to talk about.

Tomorrow morning, Charlie and I are off to Mebae Kindergarten めばえ幼稚園 to do a special Christmas Songs Show for the kids out there. 
Last year I had to do it by myself so this year's show should be a lot more fun for everyone.






2008 September 16 Tuesday thru September 22 Monday.

2008sep20_shakuhachi The Autumn Equinox is tomorrow, and the weather this past week has been absolutely gorgeous.   

I love this time of year the most of all. 

I like to spend a lot of time outdoors, both day and night. 

Because it is still warm enough to walk around with bare feet and sandals.   

I like to walk slow, and take my alto recorder with me. 

Which got me to thinking again, about my promise to myself, to get a Japanese ShakuHachi Bamboo flute THIS YEAR, and learn how to play it too.   

I was thinking that I may have to pay from between 20,000 yen to 40,000 yen for a beginner's bamboo flute.   

A bit expensive, but I really want to do this, so I decided to go downtown on Saturday afternoon and buy one.   

The only store which I could find, that had any 尺八 for sale, was the OoNuma Musical Instruments Store 大沼楽器 at 2 Jodori 11 Chome.   

When I walked into the store, I saw a very nice looking shakuhachi with a price tag of 100,000 yen.   

YIKES!    I wonder if they have something a bit less expensive.   They did.

The one I bought, is the one you can see in the photo on the left.   

It only cost 9,000 yen because it is made of plastic.   

A very hard and thick plastic, but plastic nonetheless. 

The black band that you can see in the middle of the flute is the place where you can pull it apart into two pieces, making it easy to carry around in a small bag.

The shakuhachi is not easy to play.   

It has no reeds in the mouthpiece, in fact it has no mouthpiece at all. 

Just an open hole at the top with a very small v-shaped cutout at the front.   

It is like blowing across the top of an open bottle in order to make a sound, only much more difficult.   

I has a total of five finger holes.   

Four on the front and one on the back.   

The easiest sound to make, is with all of the finger holes open.   

Even this took me a good 30 minutes to learn how to make a steady musical sound.   

After practicing for 3 days straight, I was finally able to make a sound with all 5 finger holes covered.   I say make a sound, but not music.   Not yet.   

This is by far, the most difficult musical instrument, I have ever tried to play.  (I have never tried to play the violin or the clarinet, or the trombone, etc.)

I really love the sound of the Japanese Bamboo Flute 尺八, and I am confident that I will be able to make it sound nice, after several years of practice.

I know for a fact that anyone who really tries hard to do something, that they really want to do, will be able to make it happen. 

Even non-Japanese people can learn how to play the shakuhachi well.   

Click here to see a YOU TUBE video of  Todd Barton  playing a song called "AKEBONO" on a very expensive flute.   

I want to become that good too, someday.


Another thing which I bought on the same day, was a book about 15 historical sites of the Jomon Culture, which are in Hokkaido and the North northeast area of Japan 北東北.   

I saw an article about it in the Hokkaido Newspaper a few weeks ago, and decided to buy it right then and there.   

I have already been to most of the Jomon sites in Hokkaido, in fact you can see a photo slide show which I made of the Oofune Site that I visited on 2007 August 9.   

It is located in Minami Kayabe Village which is now a part of  Hakodate City.  Please view this photo slide show by clicking here.

The main purpose of this book is to show the reader how to get to each of these 15 sites, and what they can see once they get there.   

Also, the cover of the book says; "With the aim of having these historical remains registered as World Heritage Sites.   I totally agree.   

The Jomon Civilization dates back from 12,000 years ago up to about 3,000 years ago. 

That is a very long time.   Unfortunately, they did not develop any writing system so we have no written record of their daily lifestyle, and no clue as to what kind of language they spoke.   

Was it the original Japanese Language?   Maybe so.   

The Japanese Language as only 5 vowel sounds, which is a very small number by modern language standards.

I have already studied quite a bit about the Jomon Culture, and will continue to do so from now on.

Human Beings living in total harmony with the earth.

That was the Jomon People.


On Sunday morning of September 21, I went to the KeiMei Elementary School 啓明小学校 to watch their School Arts Festival 学芸会.   

The only reason I went to this event, is because 5 of the students who come to my classroom, also attend this elementary school and they invited me over and over again to come and see them perform. 

So, I made a special trip out to their school, to see them on stage.   

I enjoyed it very much, but the sound system wasn't very good, and I couldn't understand what the actors on stage were saying.

Finally towards the end of the event when the 6th graders got up on stage to do their performance about the beginning of this school 80 years ago, I was able to move closer to the stage and hear what the actors were saying.

It was a lot more interesting for me than the previous performances of their younger classmates.   

The event was finished at about 12:30 and I quickly got back into my van, so I could drive on over to the next event that I wanted to attend, on that day.


The next event that I wanted to go to was a free outdoor music stage, right in front of the Marui Imai Department store on the pedestrian shopping mall 買物公園, that was scheduled to start at 12:00 and end at about 17:00.   

I couldn't find any free parking, so I drove my van back to my house, and walked from there back into town. 

I arrived at about 13:30, just in time to hear a Rolling Stones Cover Band crank out some wicked sounds, at high volume.   What a treat!

In total, there were about 13 different bands, playing different kinds of music.   

The photo on the left is of a band called "Hauling Scrap" which was probably the most dynamic of all the bands.   

Also, it was one of the youngest of the bands in terms of the member's ages.

About half of all the other bands were composed of older guys about the same age as me.

There was a large crowd gathered around for each performance, with people drinking beer and dancing to the music. 

A very peaceful and enjoyable afternoon, with not one policeman in sight.

I met many people near the stage area, whom I have known for many years, and I even made a few new friends as well.

I play music too, so I can really appreciate what goes into making a band sound good.   A lot of practice.

It has been several years since I have played on stage at one of these events, but I hope to do so again in the very near future.   

Nowadays I am concentrating on the electric bass guitar the most, of all of the instruments that I can play.

Oh yes, let's not forget that I just started learning how to play the Japanese Bamboo Flute 尺八 only 3 days ago.   

It will most likely take me about 3 years to learn how to play even one song, well.   

Yeah, so what!   I have enough time to do that too.

Lifelong learning is my greatest pleasure, now that I am 52 years young.

There is always something new to learn.   






2008 August 1 Friday thru August 17 Sunday.


My long 3 week summer vacation is finished today.   

Usually during this time of year, I go for long drives and camping here and there around this beautiful island.   

This year, I stayed at home.   

The main reason being, I had rediscovered my Digital Video Movie Camera, after having not  used it for about 3 years.   

I have about 8 Mini DV cassette tapes that I had filmed in locations like Otaru and Niseko, but had never transferred them onto a computer hard disk.   

So I did that.  Also, I was encouraged by the good results I had gotten from filming at the Hokkaido Newspaper's annual Big Fireworks Display on July 31, and I planned to do an even better job of filming at the Hanabi in Kagura held every year on August 14.   

I went to the festival grounds about one hour early, and filmed the trees illumination and the live music show on stage before the start of the fireworks.   

I was able to get a place right in front of the stage with an excellent camera angle for the upcoming launch of the fireworks.   

I had my tripod down low and was sitting down during the entire display.   

This time, I was careful not to make the mistakes I had made on July 31 while I was filming.   

I used up the entire 60 minute tape and felt really good about my filming session.   

Felt really good until I got home and attempted to download it all onto my computer hard disk.   

That's when I discovered the awful truth.   

The camera hadn't recorded anything at all!!!!   


I got out the owner's manual and looked through the back pages.   

I soon discovered what the problem was.   

The recording and playback heads of my camera were DIRTY!   

The manual also said that a message will appear on the camera screen telling me when it is time to clean the camera heads. 

No such message ever appeared.    

I went from feeling really good, to feeling really bad in the space of just a few seconds.   

What a fool I had been.   

I never thought that the camera heads were dirty, because I haven't used the camera all that much.   

I was wrong.   The next day, I went to a big electronics store not too far from my house, to buy a camera head cleaning cassette, and 3 new recording tapes as well.   

When I tried to clean the camera heads with the cleaning tape, I discovered that I had to do it three times in order to get them really clean.   

Then I discovered that the recording cassette tape which I had used to "record" the Hanabi in Kagura, was worn out and would not record anymore.   

I will not make this same mistake ever again.   

Next year for the Hanabi in Kagura I will use a brand new tape to record the marvelous show.   

In my opinion, this year's 20th anniversary of Hanabi in Kagura was the best ever.   

They even had the fireworks synchronized with the loud music that they were playing during the entire event.   

I really missed a grand opportunity to make an excellent DVD this year.   

I'll get it right next year.    On Saturday, Ikuko and I went to visit the family gravesite in Kannon Dai, on the top of the hill near the former Inosawa Ski Ground.   

The weather was very nice as you can see from the photo above/left.  Tomorrow, it is BACK TO SCHOOL.   

See you all again at that time. 





2008 July 19 Saturday.


The smart little girl who comes to my classroom every Saturday morning, couldn't come today because she had a bad headache.   

I hope she feels better soon.   

With my morning lesson canceled, I had the perfect opportunity to get back to basics on the electric bass guitar. 

I am all the way up to track 20 on a 65 track instructional CD that came with the textbook entitled; EASY BASS.   

Yeah, that's right up my alley.   ABC 123.   

After about 90 minutes of practice, I had to change clothes and get ready to go the the Grand Hotel by 14:00 for the celebration of the 45th Anniversary of Asahikawa Women's Junior College, 40th Anniversary of Asahikawa University etc.   

It was a huge event, with the likes of who is who in Hokkaido, all in attendance.   

Even the Mayor of Asahikawa, Mr. Nishikawa himself, found the time in his busy schedule, to show up and make a speech.   

See the photo above/left for details.   

After about one hour of speeches and awards presentations, everyone of the more than 220 people who came today, went into the room next door for food and drinks.   

We were also treated to an excellent performance of some very complicated music by the 旭川大学高等学校吹奏楽部 Asahikawa University High School Brass Band.   

They were really good!   

They must practice almost every day, in order to pull off a perfect performance like the one they did today.   

Another delightful treat for today, was to discover that the elderly gentleman seated to my left at the banquet table, and who teaches information processing on Tuesday mornings, is in fact distantly related to my wife's family!    

To keep it short, he is the husband of the sister of the mother of the the husband of my wife's older sister.   

Therefore we have the same two nephews, in common!   

Did you follow that?    OK, here it is again in reverse order.   

My wife has two sisters.   One older sister and one younger sister.   

My wife's older sister, is married to a man.   

That man's mother also has a sister.   

That sister is married to the elderly gentleman who sat next to me today at the banquet table.   

Yeah, I know.   It's a long and winding road, but all of us are connected in some way.   

Whether we know it or not.





2008 July 7 Monday thru July 11 Friday.


The WORLD comes to Hokkaido.   

What a nightmare for the traffic cops.   

I stayed far away from all of the hoop-la, and didn't leave Asahikawa.   

I had already scoped out the Windsor Hotel Lake Toya, during Golden Week of 2007 on May 12.   

Click here to read the details

Unfortunately for the World Leaders and their entourages, the weather at Lake Toya this year on July 7, 8 and 9, was not the best.   

From Live News Broadcasts, I could see that it was very overcast and dark.   

Not the best way to remember this beautiful island of Hokkaido.   

When it is clear and sunny, Lake Toya is absolutely stunning in its own natural beauty.   

The Windsor Hotel has the best view, because it is located on the highest hill, that surrounds the lake itself.   

A Magnificent View from the top.   

Will this 34th G8 Summit be remembered as the 3 days which rocked Hokkaido?   

Hmmmm,... I wonder.    I will be here as usual, 365/24/7  waiting for yet another sunny day, and visiting  the Windsor Hotel again, in the very near future.    

By the way, a word about the Annual G8 Summits, in general.   

Every year, this is a big media event, and that is about all that it is.   

Nothing of real importance is decided at the G8 Summits.   

All of the really serious issues about how the world will be managed in the near and not so distant future, is decided at the Annual Bilderberg  Summit that is held every year BEFORE the G8 Summit.   

What does that tell you?   

Exactly!    Everything that is really really really important, has already been decided before the annual G8 summit even starts.   

Therefore, the top of the top in the Governments of the BIG 8, can relax and talk about family and friends and favorite memories and, etc.    

Consider the G8 Summit to be a very short summer vacation in some far and distant land for all the government leaders of the first world countries.   

The only disappointment I have about the whole affair this year, was the lousy weather that G. W. Bush and Family, had to suffer through during their very brief visit to Hokkaido.   

They arrived in Hokkaido, and left from Hokkaido aboard Air Force One, at Chitose Air Base.   

I know that somebody somewhere in Hokkaido, was there on those days to take photos of Air Force One coming into and going out of Chitose Air Base.   

I wish I could see those photos.   

That would be an excellent adventure, in and of itself. 

If you have some, please e-mail me at snowmanjapan@live.jp    

Thanx again!!!





2008 July 1 Tuesday thru July 4 Friday.


Happy Birthday USA!    How long has it been now,.....    

Let's see the year 2008 minus the year 1776 equals; 232 years as a sovereign nation.   


Try a little harder, and you might rival the glory of the Roman Empire.   

Wait a minute, what am I talking about.   Consider China.   

How long has that culture been on this planet?   

Four thousand some years is what I have heard.    Now, that's a long time.   

Anyway, July 4 is a National Holiday in the USA, and falling on a Friday this year, you can be sure that a lot of people will be taking a very long and enjoyable 3 day weekend.   

Because the month of July is rather hot, in most of the continental USA, there will be lots of outdoor activities including BBQ parties, softball games, volleyball games etc.   

The climax of the day is the BIG FIREWORKS DISPLAY 花火大会 in each and every city, town and village, that you might happen to be in, on that day.   

In my hometown of Spokane Washington, it is hot and dry every year in July, and the perfect season to get out the pyrotechnics, and enjoy the lights and smoke.   

I remember well, how I used to ride my Schwinn Cherry Picker banana seat bicycle all over the place, visiting the fireworks stands, that sprang up all over the small city of Spokane.   

Each and every year, they had something new to offer, plus all of the old favorites that we bought every year.   

Another thing that I learned to do, while reading my Encyclopedia Britannica, was how to make gunpowder out of the 3 essential ingredients.   

Salt Peter, Sulpher and Charcoal.   

I didn't make any explosive devices, only sparklers and fountains that shot out an enormous amount of heat and light, and were not dangerous to the public at large.   

Boy, those were the days.   

Nowadays, I live in Japan where these type of small fireworks are available for sale to the public at most stores, of any kind, all around Hokkaido.   

Oddly enough, even though I had enjoyed this type of activity when I was just a kid in the USA, I have never bought nor used any small scale fireworks in Japan.   

I like the big sky burst displays of fireworks much better.   

Maybe this is because I have no children of my own, and therefore no real opportunity to buy and use these hand sized fireworks, which are so popular in all parts of Japan.   

According to my calendar, there will be a big fireworks display on Sunday July 13 starting at 20:15 near the 北旭川大橋, and then, many more after that date.   

Click here for a full schedule of the big fireworks displays in Hokkaido for 2008.   See ya there.





2008 June 8 Sunday.


What a busy Sunday.   

First on my list, was a drive over to Shibinai Elementary School 志比内小学校 to observe their 99th annual Sports Day Event 第99回 運動会.   

I got there just a few minutes after 09:00, and the opening ceremony was already underway.   

This very long standing school has only 15 students this year.   

It was the most intimate school sports day, I have ever been to.   

The only reason I know anything about this school, is because my friend Charlie Hamel has one of his two kids, attending school there. 

You can see the entire student body in the photo above/left.   

Charlie's other kid is still too young to attend elementary school so he had lots of free time today.   

He and I, and a lot of the other smaller kids did various things together like; playing catch with a soft baseball and two gloves. 

Kicking a soccer ball around and finally having water gun fights amongst ourselves with the tiny little plastic water guns that the school had given out as prizes, after one of the earlier events.   

I had to leave before 12:00, so that I could swing by my house to pick up Ikuko, and then drive on over to the Citizens Culture Hall 市民文化会館 to listen to only 3 of the 37 chorus groups that performed during the long day 第54回 旭川合唱会.   

After we listened to the groups that we came to hear, Ikuko and I left the hall, and drove back into Kagura to shop for food, and batteries for my digital cameras.   

The weather today is excellent, and summer is just around the corner.   

Starting at about 18:00, Ikuko and I had a private 2 person Korean BBQ party on our big balcony.   

Of course, as with any cook-out, there has to be lots of delicious all malt beer, to wash down the freshly cooked meats.   

Today we roasted lots of beef strips which I marinated in salt, course black pepper, vinegar and soy sauce.   

After the beef strips were cooked, they were immersed in 大根おろし sauce and then folded into a leaf of fresh green lettuce.   

The final touch before putting it into the mouth, was a huge frosting of hot red pepper paste right on the outside tip of the green food missile.   

Then, put it straight into your mouth and bite down hard.   

The first taste sensation, is the hot red pepper paste, soon followed by the BBQed beef and it's Giant Radish soy sauce juicy flavor.   

As you begin to chew into the unit, the refreshing taste of the green lettuce begins to take over your palate, and you have yourself a juicy mini meal.   

This is an excellent way to eat charcoal grilled beef strips, and I highly recommend it.   

But,.....   don't wear a white shirt when eating this, and have plenty of moist hand towels おしぼり sitting on the table, within easy reach.





2008 June 1 Sunday.


It is an overcast and rainy day.   

I have been invited to attend a wedding celebration party at the Asahikawa Grand Hotel, starting at 13:00.   

The woman getting married is a student at my classroom who came from Mie Prefecture 三重県, and her husband's hometown is Asahikawa.   

As such, a lot of people who don't live in Hokkaido came to this wedding celebration party today.   

As usual, I was the only non-Japanese person in attendance, and I only knew 2 of the 97 other people who  were there also.   

The ceremony was gorgeous, the food was great, and there were a wide variety of drinks to be enjoyed.   

The whole thing lasted about 2 and one half hours.   

According to a card at each place setting, there was a second party scheduled at a different location in the city, to be held from 16:30 until 18:30.   

However, in my semi-drunken state, the time registered in my brain as "6:30 pm until 8:30 pm".   

This is the time I believed to be true, when I left the Grand Hotel and got into a taxi for the short ride back home at about 15:30.   

I was thinking to myself, "I have enough time to change my clothes, have a bite to eat, and then head back into town for the second party.   

Well, my belief was wrong.   

After sitting around at my home until about 17:30, I looked at the card again to confirm the location of the second party and was shocked to realize that the second party was already half over!!!   

Ahgggggg!!!   I missed my chance to have some drinks with Taemi, her husband and some of their friends.   

What an idiot I was.   My name is Norman not Morman, but sometimes I call myself Moron!   

Can't turn back the clock.   

Just wait for the next opportunity.