Monday, April 27, 2009

"Dont the Sun look angry through the trees..Dont the trees look like crucified thieves"

from Desperados under the Warren Zevon

I thought of these words from Warren Zevons album "A Quiet Normal Life"as the trees outside my apartment building were removed over the last two weeks.Twenty four trees,twelve each side of the large intersection on Route 19 have been unceremoniously lopped,topped and extracted from the centre island of the road.

Their removal will allow the construction of traffic turning lanes into the intersection to take place.

There was nothing particularly outstanding about these specimens.Just your uncommon urban tree.
They were functional.A touch of greenery one could gaze down on.They provided nests and perches for birds.They were homes to the seasonal cicadas that broadcast their raspy metallic beat from their boughs every early summer.
They were a barrier against the constant grind of traffic noise.A filter against the fumes and filth that blackened their limbs.

I for one will miss them.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Postage Stamps

Some recently issued stamps featuring various flowers common at this time of year including cherry blossoms and tulips.

Two cherry blossom trees in the grounds of a small local shrine.The weather was almost summer like today,reaching the high 20s and relatively clear.Some of the earlier flowering varieties have virtually finished flowering and now wear a fresh green mantle of foilage.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Flash...Grape KitKats

I received this presentation or gift pack of grape flavoured KitKats recently.I hadnt seen them before so presume they are regional variations using local produce.This pack Im told came from Nagano Prefecture.

Upon opening the box you find the contents consist of 12 packs of twin mini bars.The wrappers are purple and black.The KitKats themselves taste of purple or black grapes and are encased in dark brown chocolate.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Food Prices and Increases

Food prices seem to have been on the rise recently.Or maybe Ive just been more aware of it since my new reduced contract came into force from the start of the month.
Seems there are at least two methods being employed to pass on increases to consumers and customers.
The first and most obvious is the straight price increase.Exhibit number one is the small bag of shredded cabbage in the shot above on the left hand side.Last week 100 yen.This week 108 yen.Same amount just an 8 percent increase if my math is correct.
The second method is to charge the same price but reduce the contents.I draw your attention to exhibit 2 above.The packet of coffee to the right of the cabbage.Last week a 150 gram pack cost 478 yen.This week the contents have been reduced to 130 grams.Same price 478 yen but 20 grams lighter.
I need to cut back on my coffee consumption so now i've got a ready made excuse to do so.
Then again in an attempt to avoid price hikes some companies are using cheaper ingredients in their food items substituting cheaper ones instead of increasing their prices.

New Haagen Dazs Ice Cream

This newcomer with its banana and chocolate and cookie ingredients seems to have all the required food groups within its mini cup.Theres a distinct banana presence as soon as you peel back the plastic cover revealing the grainy brown surface embedded with pieces of cookie and softened with melting chocolate sauce.
Id suggest waiting a few minutes after getting the ice cream from the freezer.This will give an opportunity for the contents to melt and allow the chocolate sauce within to blend with the harder cookie pieces.Definitely worth a try.