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what price peachfronts and the moons of jupiter

2012-10-23 - 2:45 p.m.

Tuesday evening, Tokyo time, October 23

Several bouts of heavy rain so far today. I made my way to Shinjuku, where I quickly found the restaurants on the White Garden (a rooftop garden) on the Times Square building. I dined outside in the sorta faux Belgian place, where I had a salad and an omelet outside...and then it started raining cats and dogs, so they moved me indoors to a window seat for my ice cream.

Strolled around the Korean neighborhood, where I discovered a pet shop. The very first bird I saw, I swear, was a Peachfront Conure on sale for the low, low price of 120,000 yen. Yikes. I just ran the conversion on 120,000 yen, and that's $1,500. For a Peachfronted Conures. An untamed Peachfronted Conure! He was right next to a Rose-Fronted Conure, and he (or she) kept doing the crouch and wing flap dance to get the Rose-Fronted's attention but the Rose-Front pretty much ignored him.

There was also an owl for sale. No kidding. I don't know what species. Bigger than a screech owl, smaller than a barred owl. Snoozing away not bothering to acknowledge the audience.

The reason the Peachfront Conure was the first bird I saw isn't just because I'm weird and that a magnetic attraction to Peachfronts drew me into the store but because it was the first bird, with some of the mammal section around it. Cotton top tamarin, another tamarin, some other kind of miniature monkey, two wonder the poor Peachfront was hoping to win an avian ally from the cage to his side.

Wednesday morning, 5 A.M. Tokyo time

I was just awakened at 4:25 AM Tokyo time by a bright light shining in the window. It was Jupiter. I could see one or two of the moons. Naked eye. Through window glass. And not because it is particularly good viewing. I can't see stars really. I got up and got my binoculars and inspected the situation. Yes, Jupiter with two bright moons close enough together to make a single bright light. Ganymede and Europa, if I'm reading the Sky and Telescope Jupiter moon-finder's page right. But bright enough to wake up someone from a sound night's sleep? I have never seen them naked eye anywhere, even when I had very fine viewing of the moons from rural Madagascar or Los Volcanes in Bolivia. I can still see 'em. Crazy.

I guess if I get up in the morning, and this post is still here, I will know that I didn't dream the whole thing.

It's only a little spooky!


The sky is red, Jupiter is gone, and they will be serving breakfast soon. Maybe I can beat the Tokyo rush hour to the park. Pray for me!

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