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OT: Update from Alex in Japan

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  • Alex
    First, if you are not interested, please delete or do not read this posting. I apologize for this distraction. Fellow Z-heads, Below is a copy of my e-mail I
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 14, 2011
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      First, if you are not interested, please delete or do not read this posting. I apologize for this distraction.

      Fellow Z-heads,

      Below is a copy of my e-mail I sent out to folks wanting to know the latest of my situation. Before you read it, I would like to ad a few comments and disclaimers.

      My e-mails are meant to answer as many qestions as possible to the most people that are asking. In no way, am I asking for help, a hand-out, charity, or money. I greatly appreciate everyone's concerns, well wishes, and kind words. My words are non-political, non-ethnic, not pro-this or anti-that. While I am not an animal rights advocate, leaving or abandoning my two fur-kidZ behind or with someone else is NOT an option. I appreciate everyone's suggestions, but trust me... I am thinking and doing everything I can, that is possible at this time. What many of you may not understand... I am considered a foreigner here in Japan. It does not matter that my wife is Japanese, nor that I am here legally. Foreigner status here is not the same as a foreigner status in the U.S. And, for those that have never had any contact with a U.S. Embassy in a foreign country... no... beyond all the typical government hype, they really are not able to help.

      Also, I am fortunate to still be in my apartment with my wife and two fur-kidZ and all my Z. There are thousands of Japanese that are without a single thing... and, thousands that are no longer living. My situation is trivial compared to theirs.

      So... if after reading the above, if you are still interested in today's update... here it is...

      Hello All,

      How are you? I apologize for another mass e-mailing, but this is the easiest way at the moment.

      First... thank you... to so many of you... for your concerns, well wishes, comforting thoughts and words, and offers of opening your doors to us and sharing your homes. Thank you for the offers of mileage points for airline tickets (more details below). I greatly appreciate every e-mail I have received and read. Yes... I do read everyone's e-mail. I apologize if my replies are slow or sometimes seem a bit impersonal.

      Tokyo and the area I live on the west side of Tokyo is okay... for now. Many, many strong after-shocks. This morning, I was just about bounced off the bed from an earthquake at 05:00 a.m. Not a nice way to wake up. What is really bad about this morning's small quake... it was a vertical movement, not the horizontal movement that we have been getting since Friday.

      There were supposed to be rolling black-outs starting yesterday... twice a day, for four hour periods. We are not sure why, but both black-out periods did not occur. I don't know about today yet. Actually, I wish they would occur as planned, because most folks are becoming complacent. I think a few hours of complete darkness will snap folks into realizing there is a serious danger and problem

      Trains are not running normal schedules... some are not running at all. Some of the major high-ways are damaged and closed. My Boeing contract work was cancelled for today (Tuesday), as I have no way to travel from the Tokyo area to the Yokohama area.

      I did go to my early Monday morning work. I usually leave the apartment about 02:00 a.m. Near home, I pass a 24-hour McDonalds. It was closed. There is a gas station next to it... with a line wrapped around the block... at 02:00 a.m.! Think of the gas shortages and lines of the late 1970's (if you are old enough to remember that time frame... or, if you are too old and you forgot about it).

      Most gas stations are out of gas. The large refinery that supplies the Tokyo area burned and was destroyed from the earthquake. Super-markets are empty... as in, bare shelves. Most folks made a run on the stores Sunday and Monday. The stores are not getting fully restocked, because of lack of deliveries from trucks not being able to fuel and the major high-way damage and closures. Restaurants are closed, because they cannot get food deliveries and folks can't get to and from work.

      Yesterday was about a 20+ hour day for me. After work... I spent the rest of the day buying a tent, sleeping bags, canned foods, first-aid items, bottled water, bicycle, dog carriers, etc. Still, I forgot items that I wish I could have. Unfortunately, living in Japan... I cannot obtain a hand-gun, a shotgun and a rifle and a good supply of ammunition for all three.

      The nuclear situation is the problem now. The Japanese government and TEPCO (the owner/operator) are lying about the danger and radiation levels. If even one of the reactors does a Chernobyl... all of Japan will be contaminated. The government and TEPCO are only worried about saving face.

      We've been thinking of evacuating to the U.S. Unfortunately... much easier said than done. Buying the tickets or chartering an airplane is not the problem. Found out this morning, Chiemi's passport is expired. At best, this will take a month to complete and get in hand. Both fur-kids will need to be chipped and go through a series of shots. Again, another time factor involved, as vets are closed because of lack of power or transportation.

      Obviously, I have no idea what news you watch or what is even being reported. Most major networks and news organizations are only going to report what sells their ratings... body counts, destruction, panic, etc. I'm sure if a Lindsey Lohan story pops up or the all important (NOT!) NFL player's strike generates some news... that will get top billing. I was a bit miffed to see Diane Sawyer's reporting... walking, prancing, spinning around in the streets of a washed-out town... making a show of the destruction. Is anyone reporting on the real dangers of the nuclear power-plant's possible melt-downs? If one of them blows... the fall-out can easily reach the west coast of the U.S.

      Again... thank you all!

      Alex

      Tokyo
    • Don Avila
      *If you want to see why Alex has been getting bounced around, look at this interactive earthquake mapping site...
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 15, 2011
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        *If you want to see why Alex has been getting bounced around, look at this
        interactive earthquake mapping site...

        http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/03/japan-earthquake-hundreds-of-aftershocks-rock-island-nation-dozens-preceded-the-great-quake.html

        ...don
        *
        On Tue, Mar 15, 2011 at 1:17 AM, Alex <techrepjapan@...> wrote:

        >
        >
        > First, if you are not interested, please delete or do not read this
        > posting. I apologize for this distraction.
        >
        > Fellow Z-heads,
        >


        > [snip]
        >


        > Again... thank you all!
        >
        > Alex
        >
        > Tokyo
        >
        >
        >



        --
        *...don a* *- Northern Ohio, USA*


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • reynard wellman
        Hello Alex, Thank you for the informative update. It is wonderful that you, your wife and furry kids are safe for the time being. We all should be concerned
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 15, 2011
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          Hello Alex,
          Thank you for the informative update. It is wonderful that
          you, your wife and furry kids are safe for the time being.

          We all should be concerned about the worlds nuclear power plants.
          Our needs drive us to build these things. Civilization sits upon
          the churning mantle of the earth so we can never be certain
          of the future. None-the-less, we keep trying to make it work.

          Hopefully, you and your family will continue to have enough
          food and shelter over the coming months and be able avoid
          any fallout from the reactor explosions.

          Warm regards,
          Reynard


          EDITED FOR LENGTH
          On Mar 15, 2011, at 12:17 AM, Alex wrote:

          > First, if you are not interested, please delete or do not read this posting. I apologize for this distraction.
          >
          > Hello All,
          >
          > How are you? I apologize for another mass e-mailing, but this is the easiest way at the moment.
          >
          > First... thank you... to so many of you... for your concerns, well wishes, comforting thoughts and words, and offers of opening your doors to us and sharing your homes. Thank you for the offers of mileage points for airline tickets (more details below). I greatly appreciate every e-mail I have received and read. Yes... I do read everyone's e-mail. I apologize if my replies are slow or sometimes seem a bit impersonal.
          >
          > Tokyo and the area I live on the west side of Tokyo is okay... for now. Many, many strong after-shocks. This morning, I was just about bounced off the bed from an earthquake at 05:00 a.m. Not a nice way to wake up. What is really bad about this morning's small quake... it was a vertical movement, not the horizontal movement that we have been getting since Friday.
          >
          > There were supposed to be rolling black-outs starting yesterday... twice a day, for four hour periods. We are not sure why, but both black-out periods did not occur. I don't know about today yet. Actually, I wish they would occur as planned, because most folks are becoming complacent. I think a few hours of complete darkness will snap folks into realizing there is a serious danger and problem
          >
          > Trains are not running normal schedules... some are not running at all. Some of the major high-ways are damaged and closed. My Boeing contract work was cancelled for today (Tuesday), as I have no way to travel from the Tokyo area to the Yokohama area.
          >
          > I did go to my early Monday morning work. I usually leave the apartment about 02:00 a.m. Near home, I pass a 24-hour McDonalds. It was closed. There is a gas station next to it... with a line wrapped around the block... at 02:00 a.m.! Think of the gas shortages and lines of the late 1970's (if you are old enough to remember that time frame... or, if you are too old and you forgot about it).
          >
          > Most gas stations are out of gas. The large refinery that supplies the Tokyo area burned and was destroyed from the earthquake. Super-markets are empty... as in, bare shelves. Most folks made a run on the stores Sunday and Monday. The stores are not getting fully restocked, because of lack of deliveries from trucks not being able to fuel and the major high-way damage and closures. Restaurants are closed, because they cannot get food deliveries and folks can't get to and from work.
          >
          > Yesterday was about a 20+ hour day for me. After work... I spent the rest of the day buying a tent, sleeping bags, canned foods, first-aid items, bottled water, bicycle, dog carriers, etc. Still, I forgot items that I wish I could have. Unfortunately, living in Japan... I cannot obtain a hand-gun, a shotgun and a rifle and a good supply of ammunition for all three.
          >
          > The nuclear situation is the problem now. The Japanese government and TEPCO (the owner/operator) are lying about the danger and radiation levels. If even one of the reactors does a Chernobyl... all of Japan will be contaminated. The government and TEPCO are only worried about saving face.
          >
          > We've been thinking of evacuating to the U.S. Unfortunately... much easier said than done. Buying the tickets or chartering an airplane is not the problem. Found out this morning, Chiemi's passport is expired. At best, this will take a month to complete and get in hand. Both fur-kids will need to be chipped and go through a series of shots. Again, another time factor involved, as vets are closed because of lack of power or transportation.
          >
          > Obviously, I have no idea what news you watch or what is even being reported. Most major networks and news organizations are only going to report what sells their ratings... body counts, destruction, panic, etc. I'm sure if a Lindsey Lohan story pops up or the all important (NOT!) NFL player's strike generates some news... that will get top billing. I was a bit miffed to see Diane Sawyer's reporting... walking, prancing, spinning around in the streets of a washed-out town... making a show of the destruction. Is anyone reporting on the real dangers of the nuclear power-plant's possible melt-downs? If one of them blows... the fall-out can easily reach the west coast of the U.S.
          >
          > Again... thank you all!
          >
          > Alex
          >
          > Tokyo
          >
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Alex
          Thank you, Reynard. By the way, you have an e-mail about the Rokuhan. Alex
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 15, 2011
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            Thank you, Reynard. By the way, you have an e-mail about the Rokuhan.

            Alex

            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, reynard wellman <micron@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hello Alex,
            > Thank you for the informative update. It is wonderful that
            > you, your wife and furry kids are safe for the time being.
            >
            > We all should be concerned about the worlds nuclear power plants.
            > Our needs drive us to build these things. Civilization sits upon
            > the churning mantle of the earth so we can never be certain
            > of the future. None-the-less, we keep trying to make it work.
            >
            > Hopefully, you and your family will continue to have enough
            > food and shelter over the coming months and be able avoid
            > any fallout from the reactor explosions.
            >
            > Warm regards,
            > Reynard
          • David
            Hey Alex: No apology is necessary. We are all concerned about you guys over there. Glad to hear you re okay.
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 16, 2011
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              Hey Alex:

              No apology is necessary. We are all concerned about you guys over there. Glad to hear you're okay.
            • Alex
              Hello Folks, How are you all? I hope you are all well. Here is another long e-mail. At least you will have something to read for a while, while I am without
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 17, 2011
              • 0 Attachment
                Hello Folks,

                How are you all? I hope you are all well. Here is another long e-mail. At least you will have something to read for a while, while I am without power. This e-mail will also give you an excuse to turn off that stupid television and stop listening to most of the misinformation that is being spewed.

                I apologize for the lack of updates for the past few days... except for the joke of an e-mail of offered help from the U.S. Embassy.

                I'll start off with a follow up to my Embassy e-mail. Just to put things into perspective. The French Embassy arranged charter flights with Air France to evacuated French citizens from Japan. The French government is paying for those flights... not the individuals. The flights are for French citizens to return directly to their home country... France! They are not being dumped off in some other Asian country, to fend for themselves to find follow-on transportation to the U.S. The first U.S. evacuation flights landed in Taiwan last night. I'm thinking... what are those folks supposed to do next?

                We are okay. Remember, what you are seeing in the media is a lot of hype to sell the news. Except for the minor inconvenience of twice daily rolling black-outs... we are still in our apartment, we have plenty of food and water, we can sleep in our bed, we have running water and can take a hot shower every day, and... most importantly... the four of us are together.

                We are very fortunate. There are many, many Japanese that are not.

                We are staying put. I have found that we can get Chiemi's passport renewed in short order. Problem is... the continued rolling black-outs in the Tokyo area are making it difficult to take trains to get to the required offices... then, those offices are without power, too. We can also get a non-immigrant visa issued by the Embassy in a single day. Only one small problem, Chiemi's passport needs to be current. Working on it...

                I appreciate everyone's concerns and comments about evacuating as soon as possible. While we are not animal rights activists or PETA members... our two French Bulldogs are our kids. We will not abandon them... period... not an option. I understand there are some of you that have a hard time understanding this concept. If you had children... would you abandon them to save yourself? Of course not. No... our fur-kids are not human, but their lives are not any less valuable. Plus... our fur-kids are a lot better behaved than many human kids... and, cleaner... and, eat less... and, we don't have to buy the the latest mobile phone or Apple product. Plus... they make great bed-warmers!

                As for the nuclear power-plants and possible radiation hazards... here is my take on this situation. As I have mentioned previously, I do not trust the Japanese government and TEPCO's assessments. But, I also do not believe that there is a great danger to the Tokyo area. We are 270 kilometers (you do the math if you want to know the distance in miles) from Fukushima. The latest evacuation area recommended by the U.S. Embassy is 80 kilometers. Yes, yes... I'm fully aware of wind changes and atmospheric conditions and changes... blah, blah, blah. So... let me explain some of my thoughts.

                The U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Please, we are not going to get into a discussion about rights and wrongs... I just using this as a reference point.) Believe it or not... people lived through those bombings. And... some of those Japanese lived well into their 80's and 90's.

                Chernobyl blew up and spewed radiation all over Europe. Each country in Europe was affected. There are many rules and regulations through those different countries about the consumption of wildlife and crops. The truffles of France are hot, yet folks are still eating them. The wild boars of Germany are hot, yet folks are still hunting and eating them. How many reports out of Europe do you hear of wildlife being found with an extra eyeball (think of the Simpson's three-eyed fish) or of humans dropping dead from the fall-out.

                So... "if"... a large amount of radiation reaches the Tokyo-area, and... "if" we become contaminated... what is the worse that can happen? Are we going to drop dead? No. Will I get cancer? Maybe... but, when? Five years from now? Ten years? Heck... I might already have cancer and not know it. Ten years from now, I'll be 61. If I die then... I'm okay with that. Remember, around the turn of the 1900's... old age was defined as in your 40's.

                Okay... that's it for today. I know some of you will disagree or have a hard time in understanding my outlook. Others of you that know my thinking and mindset will understand.

                Again... thank you all for your concerns, well wishes, e-mails, comments, and prayers. I appreciate hearing from all of you. I apologize if I do not take the time to reply to everyone individually.

                Take care,

                Alex
              • ronaldjhurley
                Hi Alex, Completely agree about the pooches! I would never leave them. At age 63 I m not sure about saying Auf Wiedersehen at 61 though! I hope many good Z
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 17, 2011
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                  Hi Alex,
                  Completely agree about the pooches! I would never leave them. At age 63 I'm not sure about saying Auf Wiedersehen at 61 though! I hope many good Z years left. Be safe, best not to glow in the dark!`Get a lantern!
                  ron

                  --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Alex" <techrepjapan@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Hello Folks,
                  >
                  > How are you all? I hope you are all well. Here is another long e-mail. At least you will have something to read for a while, while I am without power. This e-mail will also give you an excuse to turn off that stupid television and stop listening to most of the misinformation that is being spewed.
                  >
                  > I apologize for the lack of updates for the past few days... except for the joke of an e-mail of offered help from the U.S. Embassy.
                  >
                  > I'll start off with a follow up to my Embassy e-mail. Just to put things into perspective. The French Embassy arranged charter flights with Air France to evacuated French citizens from Japan. The French government is paying for those flights... not the individuals. The flights are for French citizens to return directly to their home country... France! They are not being dumped off in some other Asian country, to fend for themselves to find follow-on transportation to the U.S. The first U.S. evacuation flights landed in Taiwan last night. I'm thinking... what are those folks supposed to do next?
                  >
                  > We are okay. Remember, what you are seeing in the media is a lot of hype to sell the news. Except for the minor inconvenience of twice daily rolling black-outs... we are still in our apartment, we have plenty of food and water, we can sleep in our bed, we have running water and can take a hot shower every day, and... most importantly... the four of us are together.
                  >
                  > We are very fortunate. There are many, many Japanese that are not.
                  >
                  > We are staying put. I have found that we can get Chiemi's passport renewed in short order. Problem is... the continued rolling black-outs in the Tokyo area are making it difficult to take trains to get to the required offices... then, those offices are without power, too. We can also get a non-immigrant visa issued by the Embassy in a single day. Only one small problem, Chiemi's passport needs to be current. Working on it...
                  >
                  > I appreciate everyone's concerns and comments about evacuating as soon as possible. While we are not animal rights activists or PETA members... our two French Bulldogs are our kids. We will not abandon them... period... not an option. I understand there are some of you that have a hard time understanding this concept. If you had children... would you abandon them to save yourself? Of course not. No... our fur-kids are not human, but their lives are not any less valuable. Plus... our fur-kids are a lot better behaved than many human kids... and, cleaner... and, eat less... and, we don't have to buy the the latest mobile phone or Apple product. Plus... they make great bed-warmers!
                  >
                  > As for the nuclear power-plants and possible radiation hazards... here is my take on this situation. As I have mentioned previously, I do not trust the Japanese government and TEPCO's assessments. But, I also do not believe that there is a great danger to the Tokyo area. We are 270 kilometers (you do the math if you want to know the distance in miles) from Fukushima. The latest evacuation area recommended by the U.S. Embassy is 80 kilometers. Yes, yes... I'm fully aware of wind changes and atmospheric conditions and changes... blah, blah, blah. So... let me explain some of my thoughts.
                  >
                  > The U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Please, we are not going to get into a discussion about rights and wrongs... I just using this as a reference point.) Believe it or not... people lived through those bombings. And... some of those Japanese lived well into their 80's and 90's.
                  >
                  > Chernobyl blew up and spewed radiation all over Europe. Each country in Europe was affected. There are many rules and regulations through those different countries about the consumption of wildlife and crops. The truffles of France are hot, yet folks are still eating them. The wild boars of Germany are hot, yet folks are still hunting and eating them. How many reports out of Europe do you hear of wildlife being found with an extra eyeball (think of the Simpson's three-eyed fish) or of humans dropping dead from the fall-out.
                  >
                  > So... "if"... a large amount of radiation reaches the Tokyo-area, and... "if" we become contaminated... what is the worse that can happen? Are we going to drop dead? No. Will I get cancer? Maybe... but, when? Five years from now? Ten years? Heck... I might already have cancer and not know it. Ten years from now, I'll be 61. If I die then... I'm okay with that. Remember, around the turn of the 1900's... old age was defined as in your 40's.
                  >
                  > Okay... that's it for today. I know some of you will disagree or have a hard time in understanding my outlook. Others of you that know my thinking and mindset will understand.
                  >
                  > Again... thank you all for your concerns, well wishes, e-mails, comments, and prayers. I appreciate hearing from all of you. I apologize if I do not take the time to reply to everyone individually.
                  >
                  > Take care,
                  >
                  > Alex
                  >
                • de Champeaux Dominique
                  Alex thanks for the news and for the comments, especially those about press, they re refreshing my mind! Take care, Dom ... De: Alex
                  Message 8 of 8 , Mar 17, 2011
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                    Alex thanks for the news and for the comments, especially those about press, they're refreshing my mind!
                    Take care,
                    Dom

                    --- En date de : Ven 18.3.11, Alex <techrepjapan@...> a écrit :


                    De: Alex <techrepjapan@...>
                    Objet: [Z_Scale] Re: OT: Update from Alex in Japan
                    À: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Vendredi 18 mars 2011, 1h40


                     



                    Hello Folks,

                    How are you all? I hope you are all well. Here is another long e-mail. At least you will have something to read for a while, while I am without power. This e-mail will also give you an excuse to turn off that stupid television and stop listening to most of the misinformation that is being spewed.

                    I apologize for the lack of updates for the past few days... except for the joke of an e-mail of offered help from the U.S. Embassy.

                    I'll start off with a follow up to my Embassy e-mail. Just to put things into perspective. The French Embassy arranged charter flights with Air France to evacuated French citizens from Japan. The French government is paying for those flights... not the individuals. The flights are for French citizens to return directly to their home country... France! They are not being dumped off in some other Asian country, to fend for themselves to find follow-on transportation to the U.S. The first U.S. evacuation flights landed in Taiwan last night. I'm thinking... what are those folks supposed to do next?

                    We are okay. Remember, what you are seeing in the media is a lot of hype to sell the news. Except for the minor inconvenience of twice daily rolling black-outs... we are still in our apartment, we have plenty of food and water, we can sleep in our bed, we have running water and can take a hot shower every day, and... most importantly... the four of us are together.

                    We are very fortunate. There are many, many Japanese that are not.

                    We are staying put. I have found that we can get Chiemi's passport renewed in short order. Problem is... the continued rolling black-outs in the Tokyo area are making it difficult to take trains to get to the required offices... then, those offices are without power, too. We can also get a non-immigrant visa issued by the Embassy in a single day. Only one small problem, Chiemi's passport needs to be current. Working on it...

                    I appreciate everyone's concerns and comments about evacuating as soon as possible. While we are not animal rights activists or PETA members... our two French Bulldogs are our kids. We will not abandon them... period... not an option. I understand there are some of you that have a hard time understanding this concept. If you had children... would you abandon them to save yourself? Of course not. No... our fur-kids are not human, but their lives are not any less valuable. Plus... our fur-kids are a lot better behaved than many human kids... and, cleaner... and, eat less... and, we don't have to buy the the latest mobile phone or Apple product. Plus... they make great bed-warmers!

                    As for the nuclear power-plants and possible radiation hazards... here is my take on this situation. As I have mentioned previously, I do not trust the Japanese government and TEPCO's assessments. But, I also do not believe that there is a great danger to the Tokyo area. We are 270 kilometers (you do the math if you want to know the distance in miles) from Fukushima. The latest evacuation area recommended by the U.S. Embassy is 80 kilometers. Yes, yes... I'm fully aware of wind changes and atmospheric conditions and changes... blah, blah, blah. So... let me explain some of my thoughts.

                    The U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (Please, we are not going to get into a discussion about rights and wrongs... I just using this as a reference point.) Believe it or not... people lived through those bombings. And... some of those Japanese lived well into their 80's and 90's.

                    Chernobyl blew up and spewed radiation all over Europe. Each country in Europe was affected. There are many rules and regulations through those different countries about the consumption of wildlife and crops. The truffles of France are hot, yet folks are still eating them. The wild boars of Germany are hot, yet folks are still hunting and eating them. How many reports out of Europe do you hear of wildlife being found with an extra eyeball (think of the Simpson's three-eyed fish) or of humans dropping dead from the fall-out.

                    So... "if"... a large amount of radiation reaches the Tokyo-area, and... "if" we become contaminated... what is the worse that can happen? Are we going to drop dead? No. Will I get cancer? Maybe... but, when? Five years from now? Ten years? Heck... I might already have cancer and not know it. Ten years from now, I'll be 61. If I die then... I'm okay with that. Remember, around the turn of the 1900's... old age was defined as in your 40's.

                    Okay... that's it for today. I know some of you will disagree or have a hard time in understanding my outlook. Others of you that know my thinking and mindset will understand.

                    Again... thank you all for your concerns, well wishes, e-mails, comments, and prayers. I appreciate hearing from all of you. I apologize if I do not take the time to reply to everyone individually.

                    Take care,

                    Alex











                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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