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A mere 94 degrees in Evanston, Illinois today, no doubt heralding an excellent summer!

In addition to this being my first visit this year to Evanston's South Boulevard Beach during its official "open" season, and receiving my second painful sunburn of the year, I have also fallen deeply in love with this year's LIFEGUARD BABE! (pictured at right from a distance.)

Shy as I am, I dared not venture up to her to say hello. Instead, I continuously swam out of bounds or intentionally created some sort of dangerous havoc so that she might notice me. And my ploy worked brilliantly! Soon she was caressing me with her sweet voice (via the bullhorn) saying such things as "I TOLD YOU NO SWIMMING OVER THERE!! ONE MORE TIME AND YOUR OFF THE BEACH!!".

To complete the success of my morning's lifeguard-babe seduction, I ultimately feigned drowning, albeit in two feet of water. Nevertheless (as I understand City oridnance) lifeguard-babe was REQUIRED (heh heh) to come to my rescue. As I surpassed the likes of any Hollywood actor in maintaining a "drowned person's limpness", she diligently dragged me ashore.

While holding my breath, waiting for some tongue-to-tongue CPR from lifeguard-babe, she totally surprised me with what came next...

A hard kick to the buttocks.

I think she likes me. This is going to be a totally HOT summer!! (more lifeguard-babe pics below)

When words fail, pictures presumably prevail.

here in Chicago. First sunburn of 2006.

I had the pleasure of a very memorable homestay experience on Sado Island (Sado ga Shima), a relatively small island (approx. 330 square miles / 855 square KM) with a population of around 70,000. It is located off the northwestern side of Tohoku, Japan's main island and resides in the Sea of Japan between mainland Niigata Prefecture to the West and and Russia to the west. (Not in the middle, of course. It lies within an hour's boatride of Niigata shores.)

Here are a few (non-digital, scanned) photos I took during my time there. Please forgive me for the quality of these pics. I took these with a disposal camera purchased on locale.

Here's the type of boat I took from Niigata to the Sado. Very smoooooth.

Here's the colorful view I was greeted with this morning. I thought it was worth sharing.

yes, those are cloud-tops you see. This is in Tochigi-ken, Japan. I lived for a couple years somewhere below those clouds. (See that cloud wisp behind me creeping up in an attempt to grab me?!?)


This is what I am blessed to see when I visit my father. If you can hurdle the distant-most mountain range, you may just land in Mexico. And then the Tequila's on me!!

Here in Chicago the Autumn season is generally quite short-lived due to our fluctuating weather. We are now at that point where the the color and foliage of Fall are fading fast. I thought I better take a few photos before the winds of Winter erase all evidence of the season.

I guess I stayed up a little too late last night. When I looked out the window it was already getting light outside. So I decided to take a walk and watch the sun come up. Here are some of the photos I took.

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