Saturday, October 27, 2012

Rory Smart

Our son-in-law, Rory, (the one on the right) clowning for his children, who love the show "Get Smart," which is apparently showing on the telly in Australia. (Rest of the story: he and Bonnie were going to a black-tie affair, when the sole fell off his shoe!)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Seven Times, Rise Eight

A friend asked me for a translation of this beautiful picture of a koi trying to swim up a waterfall.  It is actually a Japanese proverb.  It is read Nanakorobi Yaoki and means roughly, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," or even better, "Never give up." (Thanks, Micah.) In the face of seemingly insurmountable opposition, never give up!
 Literally, the proverb reads "Seven fallings, eight risings" or more smoothly in English "Fall seven times, rise eight." With hiragana, it looks like this.
This particular saying is often associated with the Daruma Doll, an armless, legless doll that falls many times but always finds its way into an upright position. Read the story of the Daruma Doll here.
 For Japanese language students, the proverb breaks down as follows. This is the kanji for
The kanji TEN/koro(bu) has the connotation of turn, remove, change, or in this case fall down, tumble.
The left-radical for this kanji is SHA/kuruma, vehicle, cart, wagon, or car. It kind of reminds me of a wheeled vehicle.
The second half of the proverb starts with the character for eight—HATSU/HACHI/ya.
The final kanji is KI/o(kiru), meaning get up, rise, awake.
Its root (radical) is SO/hashi(ru)—run.
 Note: The capitalized reading is the Onyomi; the miniscule reading the Kunyomi.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cebiche Peruvian Restaurant

 As stated, one of the reasons for this blog is to share our favorite things, and today we discovered another of our favorite places in the Denver area. That would be a wonderful Peruvian restaurant in Wheat Ridge called Cebiche.
If you have never tried Peruvian food in general, and cebiche in particular, try this place. If you love Peruvian food and/or cebiche, you will love this restaurant.
Here we are in front of the establishment.
We jumped the gun and started eating before snapping a shot of this delicious Incan Platter, a sampling of four fine entrees. Lomo saltado (Stir-fried sirloin steakyum), Aji de Gallina (with the amarillo saucetasty), Adobo (cubed pork with mixed vegetablesdelicious), and Pescado a lo Macho (pan-fried white fish smothered in a savory parmesan garlic cream sauceare you kidding?fantastic).
Empanadastwo varietiesone with mushrooms, the other with Chipotle shrimpboth scrumptious.
Cebiche—the namesake dish of the house, and it was wonderful. Lime-soaked white fish, shrimp, scallops, and calamares, along with various vegetables. Fantastic. If you have never tried cebiche, try it here first. You will not be disappointed.
 I love this quote from their web site:
"One of the most diverse in the world, Peruvian cooking embraces the imported flavors of Spain, China, Italy,West Africa and Japan and integrates them with the native ingredients of Peru.
Did we enjoy the meal? Uh, yeah!
Just love the painting of these two cute llamas. The restaurant is filled with beautiful artwork, much of it done by the family of the owners.
There have been numerous write-ups about Cebiche in local papers. Here are a few links:
More of the artwork at Cebiche.
Upstairs, there is a nice art gallery. This gives a glimpse of some of the artwork. I like the reflection in this shot.
But the color is better here.
One of a dozen beautiful paintings in this style.
Kathy posing amid the paintings.
We particularly loved these colorful paintings on the first floor.
After our delicious lunch, Colleen, the owner, introduced herself and chatted with us, giving us a tour of their wonderful facility. We assured her we would be back soon.
Cebiche web site is here.
Menu here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Happy Birthday, Mom.

With much love from me to you.
Lots and lots of love from me to you.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Real Tokyo Ramen in Denver

September 2012.
Our latest visit to Oshima Ramen was to introduce Eli to one of our favorite eateries in Denver.
 We wanted, finally, to get a shot of the owner, who always graciously compliments my Japanese, but he demurred. He suggested we take a picture of ourselves instead. Here is the crew.
After spending five wonderful years in Japan, we were delighted to discover an excellent ramen shop in Denver. Our son discovered it originally, and we have been back many times since. There are a couple of places in Denver where you feel as if you are walking out of the United States and into Japan. Domo Restaurant is one, and Oshima Ramen is another. The proprietor speaks to us in Japanese, and the place has the authentic feel of a ramen shop in Tokyo or Yokohama. Here we are on our latest visit (November 2011).
This was a few years ago. The ongoing visit of our close friends, Bob and Vicki, and a promise we had made to our niece, Liz, was a perfect pretext to make the drive south to 7400 Hampden (just east of I25) to share a bit of Japanese cuisine with our friends. (In point of fact, ramen originated in China, but ramen shops are ubiquitous in Nihon, and that is where we learned to love it.)
At Oshima Ramen, you can also enjoy yakisoba, fried rice, Japanese pickles, and gyoza, to name just a few delightful dishes. Here's the gyoza. Not only is the food tasty, it is reasonably priced. Whether you are a veteran noodle slurper or are looking for something different, give Oshima Ramen a try. You won't be disappointed.
Here's a link to a map and some reviews of this shop, one of our favorite places to eat in Denver.
Original Oshima Ramen with a quintessentially Japanese drink, Ramune.
Chicken-Vegetable Ramen.
Original Oshima Ramen.
Spicy Kimchi Ramen
Chicken Ramen, Gyoza, and two types of Japanese pickles (Tsukemono/Takuan).
For more about ramen, check out this link. 
2011 review: Eat Local.2009 review: From Japan, with love: a True Noodle House. 
2008 review: Strangelunch.
2004 review: God Has Smiled on Oshima Ramen.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


Fuji-san (Mount Fuji)
 12,389 feet of alpine beauty
 Rising to those heights from near sea level
Ancient in the background; modern in the foreground
 Any way I look at it, Fuji-san spells nostalgia for me; I miss the land and the people of Nihon, my home for five wonderful years.