Well, let’s call it 22 hours and counting.

1. Unlike previous years, 2015 offers a very narrow window in which I can take my annual culinary journey to Japan.  And so, after much back and forth, Akemi and I finalized the dates and I spent the better part of three hours booking flights online. Akemi from Vancouver to Osaka.  My sister from Montreal to Vancouver.  Joe from Vancouver to Osaka.  Daisy from Montreal to Vancouver.  Joe and Akemi from Tokyo to Vancouver.   My sister and Daisy from Vancouver to Montreal.  A series of maddening one way flights, seat selections, upgrades to premium economy, and in-flight meal purchases.  When I was finished, weary but satisfied, I moved on to the hotel bookings…and couldn’t find a room.  At any of the local hotels.  Further investigation on Akemi’s part revealed the reason: Silver Week.

“Once in a while the stars align and Japan’s holiday laws kick in. The result: a 5 day holiday. This is known as “Silver Week” in Japan. It’s named after Golden Week in April / May. It also has a double meaning: “silver” is a common word in Japanese to describe the older generation (Respect for the Aged day hence brings “Silver Week”).

Silver Week is relatively rare: 2015, 2026, 2032, 2037, 2043, 2049. ”


And so, I’ve had to cancel and push our Japan trip to April of 2016 (To coincide with Akemi’s birthday!) – barring  a change in near-future plans.

2. This morning, Akemi and I visited Granville Island, our usual destination for fresh fruit, veggies and seafood (a shout-out to the gang at http://www.seafoodcitygi.com).  I was walking along, texting, when a unusually concerned-looking Akemi motioned to me.  Out of the corner of my eye, I caught someone a half step behind me.  Assuming he wanted to pass, I slowed down and stepped aside.  He stopped, right behind me.  So I kept walking, and he continued to keep pace.  I stopped.  He stopped, again less than a half a foot beside me.  I moved threw him a look and gave him a once-over: mid-twenties, baseball cap, carrying an enormous backpack and sporting what looked like a do-it-yourself arm cast.  As I fell into conversation with Brian, the owner of the Seafood City, someone at the counter asked the weirdo if he wanted to purchase something.  Weirdo mumbled something and, grudgingly, wandered off.

I didn’t give it a second thought but Akemi was very disturbed by the incident. There was definitely something off about the guy but I’m not sure what was his game plan.  Pickpocket?  Maybe, but it was clear I was keeping my eye on him – which didn’t seem to dissuade him.  And, with the enormous backpack he was carrying, I very much doubt he could have executed a snatch and run.  I almost wanted to surreptitiously follow him around find out what he was up to – but it was clear that Akemi wanted to go home, immediately, so my P.I. gig would have to wait for another time.

3. We paid our weekly visit to White Dwarf Books on 10th Avenue.  I go there to peruse the shelves and pick up new titles while Akemi goes to shower the shop’s dog, an easy-going basset hound named Judd, with affection.  On this day, however, we arrived to the news that Judd had taken a sudden and very bad turn. He was at his local vet and unlikely to survive the day.  Heartbreaking.  In addition to our weekly visits with him, Judd stayed with us for a two week period last year and, in that short time, became sort of an honorary pack member.

July 29, 2015: Joe And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!
Akemi and Judd.

 4. I received a series of very disquieting, downright bizarre emails this morning that…well…concerned me.  I’ll leave it at that but suffice it to say: LTS.

  5. I’ve still got plenty of today to go.

34 thoughts on “July 29, 2015: Joe and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day!

  1. Wow, sounds like a very weird and crappy day indeed. So sorry to hear about Judd. Man, what is it lately about our animal companions? I’ve heard from several other folks with pets or that know others with pets that have taken a bad turn. So sad.

    That backpack guy – it wasn’t me, I swear! 🙂 That was very strange though. I would have just turned around and said, “Excuse me, can I help you? If not, **** ***!” Well, maybe not that last part. Or maybe so.

    Those emails sound concerning. I’m not sure what LTS is though!

  2. I was just thinking again about the backpack guy. Perhaps he was some Stargate fan that was so traumatized by the cancellation of SGU that he never really recovered and now lives on the streets of Vancouver, randomly yelling out things like, “The stones! Just use the stones!” and “Don’t trust Rush!” Vaguely, through a haze of drugs and despair, recognizing you as an icon of SG’s best days, he wanted to say something but just couldn’t verbalize.

    Sad, really. Or, he could just be some random weirdo.

  3. Hi Joe; yup, bad days tend to keep heaping more bad news as the day goes by – I hope all works out well with Judd though: although I have no idea what LTS stands for, the most important thing to me in all that is a good natured dog is sick. Always been a sucker for dogs…

  4. maybe the guy with the backpack was trying to read your texts? or like gforce said, could be some random weirdo. hope you don’t see him on the news next week for doing something crazy.

    LTS? long term support? low temperature superconductor? long tall sally? look to see?

  5. Is there any other destination you two would like to try out since Silver Week thrashed your plans?

    I hate the shadowy shadowers. I once caught a guy trailing me in a mall during the holidays, my hands full of bags. I stopped suddenly to check out a kiosk, and him, leaving him paused in front of an empty storefront and desperately trying to dodge my stare. He vanished before I could alert security.

  6. I’m with gforce. I don’t know what LTS means. But the Internet has provided me with some possibilities. Maybe:

    “Lunging Thrust-Smack” from something called “Kingdom of Loathing” (what Joe wants to do to his creepy emailer?);or

    Laparoscopic Tubal Sterilization (perhaps Joe wants to subject his creepy emailer to this instead?); or

    Long Term Survival (what Joe is hoping for, to get through his crap day).

  7. Yikes hope your day gets better, many that guy is a suspect to all the theft going on at Granville island, i am there often as well for fruits etc..so thanks for the heads up i will keep an eye open for creepy backpack guy. Sounds like the rest of the day you should turn off the TV/computer, don’t go outside and just stay in and read a book.

  8. Deja Vu – recall your earlier post of your Japan trip had the year 2016.
    oooohhhhhhh, that’s scarey.

    One trauma at a time dude….

    Yes, listen to Akemi – NO PI crap…that can be dangerous!

  9. You watched Outlander yet? RDM has done a fantastic job bringing the Diana Gabaldon books series to life. You’ll forget your crap day and want to visit Scotland.

  10. Hi Joe
    Hope the rest of your day goes better.

    LTS = Lets Talk Shop?
    LTS = Long Term Support?
    LTS = Lord, That Sucks?


  11. LTS?? LTS?? For the life of me I have no idea what that stands…. stop it!!! Stop doing that!! Spell it out man!!

  12. One thing about living in Memphis, I don’t ignore someone following me. That’s how you end up mugged. Been there, done that! Glad you guys are ok!!! Does Akemi have any mace/pepper spray?

    So sorry about your trip. Silver week, huh? Interesting. So your sister’s ok with postponing? It would be great to have a responsible sibling. You are so lucky! I wouldn’t trust any of my brothers to pick up my mail, much less take care of my cats. You should give her a biiiiiig Christmas present! 😉 (I don’t know her and she didn’t put me up to that. 😉 )

    Poor Judd. 🙁

    Can you trace the emails? My son got cyber stalked a few years ago. It’s pretty easy to hide identifies. One day, the laws will catch up to the internet.

    LTS? I’m old and don’t know all the young’uns lingo.

  13. Life Truly Sucks!!??

    Were the emails from Cloverblob? Maybe that cat is harassing you?

  14. I’m sorry to hear about Judd. Two good friends just lost their sweet dogs, each unexpectedly and within days of each other. So sad.

    LTS – Life’s Too short? Laugh To Self?

    #PeterJ – Outlander the Series is outstanding on so many levels! Terrific story adaptation, masterful acting, production values off the charts–can’t wait for Season 2. Well worth a weekend of binge-watching.

    I hope your day improved Joe!

  15. LTS = Life’s Too Short

    I remember from the SG-1 DVD commentaries that it was/is a favorite saying of the fabulous Richard Dean Anderson.

  16. “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” ??????

    You make me weep and wanna die
    Just when you said we’d try

    Lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ each other
    When I’m alone all by myself
    You’re out with someone else
    Lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ each other

    You’re tearin’ me apart
    Every, every day
    You’re tearin’ me apart
    Oh what can I say?
    You’re tearin’ me apart

    It won’t be long, yes, till you’re alone
    When your lover, oh, he hasn’t come home
    Cause he’s lovin’, who he’s touchin’,
    He’s squeezin’ another

    He’s tearin’ you apart
    Every, every day
    He’s tearin’ you apart
    Oh girl what can you say?
    Cause he’s lovin’, touchin’ another
    Now it’s your turn girl to cry
    Na na na na na na
    Na na na na na
    Na na na na na na
    Na na na na na

  17. Left Testicle Swelling? If so, better get it checked out!! 😀

    (I figured that, after such an awful day, you needed me to be socially inappropriate…just so, ya know, you can count your blessings that I’m not your next-door neighbor. 🙂 )


  18. Hope things turn around soon. My late wife was Sicilian and used to make me recite this against il malocchio when I had days like this:

    Occhi e contro occhi e perticelli agli occhi,
    Crepa la invidia e schiattono gli occhi.

    Not that I believe this stuff but, hey, couldn’t hurt.

  19. I recently saw a report about people snatching cell phones from people that are unaware of their surroundings.

    I think the person following you was getting ready to snatch your cell phone.

  20. I know what you mean. Just spent the last two and a half days trying to fix the hacking of my e-mail account and many of my passwords. Weird few days…
    Life is too short for this!

  21. Well, dang. Poor Judd. I still hope that he can recover. You never know.

    The creepy guy, was just plain creepy. Usually someone about to grab a phone or purse doesn’t want to be seen, or be that obvious.

    And I’m so sorry to hear about your trip to Japan. It’s almost like a reward for all your hard work towards the end of the year. I can’t imagine how disappointed you and Akemi must be.

    LTS? I hope it’s not about Lulu or DM.

  22. Tam Dixon: Yosemite is the only place I can’t take a bad picture. It it beyond stunning, and I really hope you can visit. The best time is in spring when the falls are in full flow, or autumn when there are fewer people. July and August is just too crowded and noisy.

  23. Sounds like such a time-consuming day. That would creep me out, too (being followed). Akemi was right. That is her woman inner survival self speaking.

    LTS? Lulu too sick Gosh I certainly hope not
    LTS: Laughing to self?
    LTS Laryngotracheal stenosis
    LTS Long-term solution
    LTS Long-term strategy
    LTS Life’s too short.
    LTS Less than stellar.
    LTS Loose-thread stuff

    Curious minds want to know.

  24. you know, Friday is a BLUE MOON… With your luck, you should probably buy a lottery ticket. Ya never know! [#SilverWeekLining]

    okay. So, “explain” to me how someone who phone-paparazzi-es EVERYTHING that’s remotely “edible[?]” that comes within focus of your mouth, doesn’t just “accidently” snap a pic of your Mystery-Shadow-Stalker whilst conversing with SEAFOOD-GUY..?! — oh wait! Are you sure it was a backpack and not a FIN in disguise? – Is SHARK-WEEK still on?


    I was just trying to survive DAY 4 of 30C+ temps! — Went to 34C [93F] today in Ottawa with a 41C [106F] humidex! — I was tempted to save a bit of electricity and turn the inside of my car into an EASY-BAKE-OVEN!

  25. Oh, right! jenny horn Is correct: LTS is Life’s too short. The response to “Hey, maybe we should get so-and-so big-name-actor-who’s-a-prick-to-work-with to do a guest spot on our show!” No, that’s alright. LTS.

  26. Wow, move out from under that black cloud. In my world, we call that “Taylorluck” (my last name). It’s just bad luck. Nothing life threatening, just a series of annoyances that make you want to go live in a cave. I always thought I was imagining it. But others in my circle of family and friends have witnessed it. So it’s real.

    So sorry to hear about Judd.

    LTS? I like das’ suggestion.

  27. for ominous abbreviations I usually try urbandictionary.com – while following the safety precaution not to use any of its contents in conversation 🙂

  28. Joe, this rare occurring of “Silver Week” does not make sense to my American holiday sensibilities. Either Japan has too many holidays and holiday laws, or America doesn’t have enough.

    Don’t try to be a PI, it’s too dangerous. You’re not hard-boiled enough. Joey, don’t be a hero. Don’t be a fool with your life.

    I hope you tell us later about this “series of very disquieting, downright bizarre emails… that…well…concerned [you]” as we are now all concerned too.

  29. If LTS is Life’s Too Short, I agree. Not enough time in the world to deal with other peoples nonsense. (OPN)

  30. I saw an ad on Facebook for a t-shirt that reads, “I’m just here to pet all the dogs.” That’s so me, and clearly Akemi. If she would like to order said shirt, Twitter me (@MrsTigercat) and I will get the URL for her.) So sorry to hear about Judd. My sympathies to his family, and Akemi.

    Have you ever considered an e-reader like Kindle or other brand? Then you could browse all the books on the planet from your desk (couch, table) in your bathrobe. We had hundreds of books, and had to get rid of almost all of them when we moved. You mentioned the other day that you were thinking about getting a smaller place. That’s why I mentioned it.

    I hope the rest of your day is better. Chocolate. 😉

  31. Ok yeah that is totally creepy with the dude stalking you like that. And that stinks abt Sliver week, messing up your travel plans. But then there just must be something better coming up in April, something you never would have gotten to do or see in Sept. :o) And I am so sorry to hear about Judd, that is horrible. My condolences to you, Akemi and his family. And stink on the emails that is never fun.

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