Summer 2016

Summer 2016
Summer in Tsukahara

Spring in Tsukahara

gkimbal's Spring in Tsukahara album on Photobucket

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

First Snow!

Last week, the first snow appeared. This is our favorite time of year. The tourists disappear and Tsukahara becomes very quiet and peaceful. Soon, the entire plateau will be covered in the white stuff. That’s when Tsukahara becomes a winter wonderland. Right now, it’s time to enjoy the amazing fall colors.


For Kiley, it’s time to enjoy the wood stove. George

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's a start

Since moving to Tsukahara, I promised myself that I wouldn’t touch the landscape. I felt that a natural setting was the best fit for our home. I have discovered that the oaks on our property are attracting the world’s largest hornets. These hornets can be deadly if a person is stung. The danger is real enough that the local hospital keeps a serum on hand if a victim is stung. Rather than endanger our guests and ourselves, we have decided to remove the oak trees.

I do not want to do this, but it’s something I must do. We’ll cut the trees down before the leaves appear next spring. The wood will be dried and used for firewood in a few years.

One of our neighbors has a Japanese maple forest in his front yard. In Seattle, we had a similar landscape in our yard. I’ve always been a big fan of Japanese maples and I have tried to incorporate them into all of my landscapes. Our neighbor has given us a bunch of small Japanese maples which we have been planted in our nursery.

Japanese maples, really?

They don't look like much right now. We have been told that they will reach a respectable size in five years. It’s a start…and five years will pass quickly. One of the nice things about Japanese maples is that they allow light to filter through. This is very important as we don’t want to block our million dollar view! I like the idea that they are growing wild in the mountains that surround us. Having them in our yard gives us the feeling of bringing the mountains a little closer to us. The spectacular fall color will be an added bonus.   George

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wedding for Friends

We were asked to plan a wedding in Hawaii for one of our student’s daughters. She was already married, but she wanted to renew her vows in Hawaii. I found a company that could arrange the wedding, cake, photography, video, flowers, music, and transportation. All the couple needed to do was to find a dress, tuxedo, hotel, and someone to do hair/ makeup. The hardest part was coordinating the couples needs with what was available, and not cost them an arm and a leg. A dozen emails later, everything was booked and paid for.

Here’s some pictures of the big event. Everything went according to plan and the happy couple (and their family) left Hawaii with memories that will last a lifetime.  George


Monday, November 11, 2013

R Brian Baylis

Bicycling...I used to be obsessed with it, but that's tapered down to an occasional spin on the mountain bikes. I’m mentioning this because the builder of my bicycle is retiring in November (11/12/13). Baylis is one of the last true craftsmen in the business. Each frame is unique and built by hand. He hasn’t taken a frame order in over 5 years. According to Baylis, what finally pushed him to retire was the dwindling supply of Imron paint. He’s busy finishing up all of his backlogged projects before he calls it quits. He will still devote some time to mentoring future frame builders. He'll also continue crafting knives and finish a long overdue house remodeling project.

I purchased my frame (serial number 003) in 1986. The frame is equipped with Campagnolo 50th Anniversary components. The bicycle has been collecting dust for the past few years. It's difficult to sell a custom bike because it's only custom to the original owner. Maybe a collector in Japan would be interested?
Erika and I often ride our mountain bikes when we are too tired to walk the dogs. The dogs don’t seem to mind jogging around Tsukahara while we happily roll along side of them.

Our tandem hasn't been ridden in a few years. This along with some other hobbies (stained glass, intarsia, and astronomy) are on hold until we get a handle on the gazillion things that need to be done around the house . It seems to be never ending.     George

The cycling world has lost a great craftsman. Brain Baylis passed on February 20, 2016. His obituary is posted here  

UPDATE: The 62cm Baylis is still available for sale. If you're interested please make your best offer in comments and I'll get back to you. ( Posted Feb 2016)

All measurements are taken from center to center of the tubes specified. Here are the specs:


Seat tube         62

Bottom Tube   65

Top tube          59.5

Head tube        14

Seat stays         56

Chain stays      43
Floor to the top of the top tube    84.6

Forks (measured from top of crown)     36

Serial number       3

Friday, November 1, 2013




Our closest town to Tsukahara is Yufuin. Yufuin is located southwest from us and about a 10 minute drive down the volcano. It’s a popular tourist spot and often the hotels are fully booked. Tourists come from all over the world to enjoy the scenery and hot springs. I was told that some of the restaurants feature exquisite Japanese cuisine...too expensive for my taste.


Yufuin has a varied assortment of shops, restaurants, inns, and hot springs.


There’s a beautiful lake with walking paths and a river. The river is lit by fireflies in the summer.

Lucky enjoyed the fishing opportunities.
Most people prefer the view of Mt. Yufu from the Yufuin side. Since I’m biased, I think the Tsukahara side has the most beautiful view of the volcano. You can be the judge…

Yufuin or...


I think Kiley made up her mind…         George