New York City, with Manhattan Island in the background.
September 16, 2005
What a pain in the ass. Some 11 year old just ran a script
and ruined my blog. If only I had his/her parent's email address, I could
get them grounded. Alas.
July 15, 2005
This just in...
As of today, I have caught up to, oh, I'd say around 2003
or so, in terms of technology. That's right, I've now decided to test
out using a blogging program. Why? Well, every one of these lovely posts
I put up is actually written out in html, then posted, then later cut
and pasted into archives in a slow, mind-numbing process. Apparently (nobody
ever told me) this silly ritual is completely unnecessary, and was made
obsolete years ago by blogging programs. Who knew.
So from now on, if all goes well, I'll be posting on blog.aaronwilliamson.com,
which I'll likely do more often because the process won't be quite so
July 12, 2005
One major indicator that I'm a geek: I only feel that I've
really settled in at our new place now that I have internet access
and email. Well, that's just something that I'm going to have to deal
We had our housewarming party this weekend. It was meant
to be a quasi-civilized afternoon barbeque with blender drinks and a Mexican
theme. Somehow things went...well...a little differently than had been
expected. I blame the tequila. Suffice it to say that the house has now
been suitably warmed. If only we'd had internet access, we could have
been listening to one of those all-salsa music-all-the-time web radio
stations. I guess that means we might need to have a repeat.
Yesterday Laura and I discovered the joy that is the hanger
steak. Not all that easy to come by, but man, are they ever worth the
trouble. I sauteed a couple up with a shallot and wine sauce last night,
and decided to push the bistro theme a little further with glazed carrots
vichy and pommes dauphine...Laura couldn't stop eating and hurt herself.
July 3, 2005
Alright, a general apology to everyone for having briefly
dropped off the face of the planet, so much so that I've started getting
emails from people wondering if everything is okay. Not to worry; all
is well, except for the fact that I can't really access the internet (though
I have to give thanks to whoever this is whose network connection I have
Laura and I have now officially moved into our new place.
Much time has been spent over the last month shuttling our belongings
between apartments in a Corrolla, slowly moving our things over in tiny
Moving was such a good thing, though. As I write this, I
am sitting on our back patio, surrounded by all the vegetables I have
growing in our garden, basking in the shade of our grape vine. A definite
move up in the world.
So, as people may have guessed, we don't have internet yet,
and won't until we can a) get some wiring finished in our house, and b)
persuade Bell Canada to send out a technician (they're on strike.) Our
upstairs neighbours have been waiting a month for Bell to show up. I can
receive email by sitting on street corners with my laptop, but for complicated
and boring reasons I am no longer able to send any (no valid SMTP server),
though I will try to resolve that soon. So, sorry if I haven't written
you, but I will as soon as I can.
As far as the book is concerned, I am now working on the
second draft, and the first draft ended up at 535 pages, albeit with an
incomplete ending. Work is going along well, though the task is somewhat
daunting, as the manuscript is over six inches thick. Lots of work to
go, but the end, at least, is in sight.
As far as the much promised food blog, there is plenty to
put up, as summer has inspired some innovation in the kitchen. I'm fairly
excited about my newly invented recipe for Clamato juice, which - if I
may say so - makes the best damn Caesar you'll ever have.
Happy Canada day, and with luck, I'll be able to post things
a little more regularly. Cheers.
All the past comments from this page are now archived
on another page to try and reduce the download time of this page.
Venice...where do I even begin? It's easy to say that it's
unique, or unforgettable; but does that even begin to capture
all that this place is, was, or will be?
You can go there for the art, the music, the architecture, the food,
the culture, the shopping...it doesn't matter what your interests
are, I can't imagine Paris not being of vast interest on some level.
Here are my thoughts on one of the most impressive cities I have yet
Terre; a string of beautiful fishing villages along an even more
beautiful stretch of coast. I had my doubts...but this place is gorgeous.
Duomo in Milan; very big, very Gothic...very under construction.
Centuries of assault by pigeons still hasn't dulled the allure of
the jewel of Milan...
of the gems of Greece, the rocks of Meteora
rise out of the Pinios valley, capped by the stunning monastaries
built after the eleventh century. Conceived both for solitude and
for protection, the stone monastaries were once accessible only by
a net lowered with a winch...
in the heart of the Chianti Classico Region, deep in the hills of
Tuscany, Colle Lungo is
about as close as you can get to heaven on Earth...
temple in Nara is one of the country's most famous temples, and
is home to the Daibutsu; a giant gilded statue of the Vairocana Buddha.
best way to see the sun rise in the land of the rising sun is to climb
its highest mountain;
Mount Fuji. An enduring symbol of Japan, Fuji is also the world's
most climbed mountain...
time has come yet again for the Daimonji-okuribi
festival here in Kyoto, and with new pictures comes a new update to
the page. See the fires that send the spirits of the Japanese ancestors
Temple, in Fukui Prefecture, Japan, is one of the two head temples
in the Soto Style of Zen Buddhism. It is also where I went to experience
Zen practice myself as a lay-practitioner.
you even think about Japan without the word
'Sumo' jumping into your head?
Here are a few shots from the recent Sumo Grand Championships held
in Osaka Castle Hall in April. The tournament was held to honour the
retiring sumo great, Takanohana.
Blossom season in Japan is when the country seems to reach its
height in terms of beauty. Here I've put up a few pictures of the
famed sakura, or cherry blossom tree. The perfect excuse to
get outside, to see friends and to drink a lot of sake, the sakura
has captured the Japanese imagination for generations.
is famed not only for its many temples and shrines, but also for the
Maiko and Geisha
who constitute a living part of this country's history. Here I
have compiked a few of my photos of some of Kyoto's Maiko and Geisha.
Onsen has got to be one of the most serene and relaxing places
on Earth. Situated in a misty valley high on the Shiga Plateau in
Nagano Prefecture, this Onsen is famed for its hot waters that are
popular with both people and the surrounding wildlife...
in Kyoto only seemed to last for a day, if you count winter as
the number of days that there is snow on the ground. It was brief,
but beautiful. Laura and I seized the chance to get out and see how
snow would transform the face of the old capital.
Castle, one of Japan's greatest remaining castles, is another
one of the country's many UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Built over
400 years ago, with an interior frame entirely made of wood, Himeji
Castle is a wonder to behold.
preliminary shots from the Plum
Blossom Festival in Kyoto's Tenmangu Shrine. I have yet to get
my film developed, so this one is a work in progress! The Plum Blossoms
came into bloom in late February, and despite their beauty are often
into the mountains of Nagano, the Jigokudani
Monkey Park is home to two troupes of Japanese Snow Monkeys. No
ordinary monkeys, the simians of this valley are known in particularly
well known for their propensity to lounge in the hot springs of the
area. These are some mellow minkeys.
are the details on the Shugyo
training camp in the mountains north of Kyoto. Based on a training
philosophy that came into vogue among Samurai centuries ago, Shugyo
training is a form of ascetic conditioning in which one challenges
themselves physically and mentally under harsh conditions
it is, that unmistakeable icon of Japan: Mount
Fuji. Laura and I hit it on our way back from Tokyo and Laura's
been bugging me to put up the pictures ever since...so here they are!
home to over 26 million people, with over 1300 rail stops and one
of the two most expensive cities in the world. The pop-cultural capital
of Japan and Electronics Mecca...
is a spectacular festival of lights held each December in celebration
of the city's miraculous recovery following the disasterous 1995 Hanshin
gives a unique look at the city's long and colourful history. Check
out the pictures of this parade, made up of over 2,000 people all
dressed in period garb showcasing the various periods between Kyoto's
designation as capital in 794 to its loss of the title in 1868.
trip down Kyoto's
Hozu gawa River brought us through some gorgeous country...which
resulted in the first monkey sighting of our trip: a momentous occasion
indeed! We saw plenty of wildlife as we headed down this old river
in a traditional boat, travelling from Kameoka down to beautiful Arashiyama.
Temple, a stunning building from Japan's Kamakura Era. Built in
the 1300's and covered entirely in gold leaf, this is another UNESCO
was the home of the Imperial Family of Japan for over 1000 years,
and the Kyoto
Imperial Palace - with its gardens and many treasures - is the
very essence of the city.
pictures from our first attempt to take it all in at Daigo.
Bested by the mountain, and unable to see all the multitudes of temples
and shrines in this World Heritage Site, we nonetheless managed to
come away with some beautiful pictures and a lot of fun memories.
So check out Daigo...our first attempt.
out the pictures from my cousin Sam's
visit to Kyoto's Kiyomizu Dera, Yasaka Shrine and Gion District.
A fun day that had the rare treat of seeing the Maiko out in the streets.
long last...the pictures from our dinner
in Kibune, North of Kyoto. At $12 a beer and costing about $80
each just to sit down, there was good reason for not being able to
afford to develop the film for a while...but it was most definitely
worth every penny (yen?).