News and Views from the Oshika Gang

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Half Year May 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — oshikagang @ 4:06 am

I cannot believe that Aili is six months old! Where have the months gone? It seems like it’s been the blink of an eye — but also that she’s been with us forever. Johnny and I also reflect on how much and how quickly she has changed and developed. It seems every day she has more strength, coordination, consciousness, personality, and is more grown up.
So happy half year to you, little Ai-chan.

Yesterday we went to CNN to get the tour. Unfortunately cameras were absolutely not allowed so you’ll have to take a trip down to Atlanta to see it yourselves. Interesting indeed. Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to give Anderson Cooper my sister’s number as she requested, but we did see the very handsome TJ Holmes in action.


We also went to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. Centre. He was born in Atlanta – in fact, the house that he was born in has been carefully preserved. After being assassinated in Memphis in 1968, he was buried back in Atlanta. This is his tomb:


Ummmm…. has no one else noticed that, er, the ‘Eternal Flame’ has gone out?

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colo[u]r of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I second that motion. I can think of no better future for my own precious child.


I knew that MLK was quite the guy, but the centre really puts it in perspective. I’m glad to see that his dreams of a world without racism have been set in motion, and I hope that we will each continue to carry forward his passion for human rights and equality.

Now we’re in Tennessee, home of the walking horse and country music. Tennessee is a lovely place, with slow rolling green hills and thick deciduous forests. Most of the houses are red brick with white trim and shady front porches, just like I envisioned. Today we drove through Chattanooga (fun to say but not all that interesting to visit) and right by Davy Crockett’s homestead. I’m embarrassed to say that we didn’t even stop to see it. I’m even more embarrassed to say that I don’t really know why Davy Crockett is famous. I think I get him and the guy with the big blue ox and Johnny Appleseed all mixed up in my head. Oh, and one of them wore a hat with a raccoon tail on it.

We didn’t stop to see Davy Crockett’s place because we were on our way to the Jack Daniels distillery. Now, neither of us are big whiskey-drinkers, but we figure it would be interesting to see. We were right, but that hasn’t convinced us to drink whiskey. You might be interested to know that every single drop of Jack Daniels is produced right there in Lynchberg Tennessee and bottled by hand.

Jack Daniels visitor centre.


First Coke, now whiskey. This kid is really getting an education.


This is the safe that killed Jack Daniels. Yup, the actual one. Apparently he couldn’t get it to open and in frustration kicked it (sounds like something I’d do). This led to gangrene of his toe, which eventually resulted in amputation of his foot, and then a full systemic infection, ultimately doing him in.

The computerized control centre that manages all the whiskey-making systems.

Fermentation. You can see all the bubbles in there – that’s actually from the yeast. It is not hot at all (we know because we got to stick our fingers in there). They let it bubble away like this in giant vats for 6 days.


Whiskey tower.


Cute girl in stroller.


As for food, I have not yet tried the grits. I was somewhat disappointed, however, when the ‘fried pies’ store was closed. It just seemed to be the quintessential ‘deep southern’ food. Of course you’d have to pronounce it “frahd pahs”. (Oh, and yes, they really DO talk like that. I cannot believe how many times I have to ask someone to repeat themselves, or just smile and pretend I know what they’re saying.)


Tomorrow: Country Music Hall of Fame. What else would you do in Nashville? I don’t quite know, which is why we’re moving on to Memphis tomorrow afternoon.

Proud papa.


Someone has GOT to do something about those eyebrows.



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One Response to “Half Year”

  1. The Devines Says:

    Happy 6 months to you Aili!!! Now stay away from that bottle – the whiskey bottle that is. Love to your mom and dad for me! xoauntie alexa


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