Independence Day.

Feast your eyes on what a fireworks display looks like in Japan. Granted, this was on American Government property. Still, it looks like any damn fireworks show.

Yes, I’m one of those troglodytes who can go to a fireworks show like the one that you see below, sit quietly and patiently, absorbing the ink black sky being punctuated by man made star bursts, and still remain positively dead inside.

Fireworks just don’t do it for me. If there was some overall point, like someone issuing a proposal for marriage using strategically placed roman candles, or if there was a skeet shooting competition where the rifles were replaced with bottle rockets, then my interest might be peaked.

So, why am I showing you this side of me? Why did I go to a fourth of July celebration at all this year? For the same reason a husband/father does anything: my wife told me to, and she told me that I had to take the kids.

While I was loathe to participate, this matrimonial decree was not worth eschewing.

So, I took the kids, fought through the sweaty masses and accomplished my betrothed’s polite request. Not for nothing, it was nice watching my kid’s face’s light up.

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Having Goals Whilst Living Abroad.

While living abroad (and with life in general), goal setting should become a crucial part of your life. Not only will it help you adult, but it will also take the sting out of being a stranger in a stranger land.

One day I went out for a bike ride. On that ride, I saw what I had believed to be a hawk. He was sitting on a fence post taking in the summer sun. Me, never seeing one up close before, I nearly endo-ed my ride just to appreciate that majestic fucker.

After dismounting my bicycle, I crept as close as I could to him, and I very politely whispered, “Good morning, you majestic motherfucker.”

He looked at me like:

and then flew the fuck away.

As his ass receded into the horizon, I made my first goal in Japan: getting a picture of that son of a bitch.

That was back in July 2016.

Every day since then I would ride my bike as much as possible. There have been plenty of near hits. He’d let me get close enough to get my phone out and then he’d be nothing but a puff of feathers. Other times I would be driving in a car and cursing his still presence on whatever perch of his I just drove past.

Then, one day back in December 2016, I saw him. Fortune had decided to smile on me. There were airplanes going over head and I happened to be downwind. He had no idea that I was there.

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Really, I caught him while it was early in the morning and he was taking a shit. See?Granted, I am not Ansel Adams but I still got my picture.

The moral? Goals are only as effective as your willingness to follow through.