January 28 – I got my first view of land today since leaving the Strait of Juan de Fuca on January 17. It is the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan as we pass between it and the Japanese mainland on the way to Pusan, South Korea. The weather is sunny but still below freezing. Ship traffic is increasing and sea birds are much in evidence.
The picture is of Mt. Toyomi on the south-central tip of Hokkaido.
I finished Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life, and wish I had the time and money back. I’m hard pressed to recall a more self-deluded tome. Nothing is his fault and he emerges the hero in every rotten anecdote. Richards spends as much ink on the stray animals he collects as on the death of his second son, whom he left in the care of his junkie common-law wife while he embarked on the 1976 Rolling Stones tour. (The tour continued uninterrupted: “I don’t even know where the little bugger is buried, if he’s buried at all.”) He does offer some useful tips: When you relapse after going cold turkey, reduce your heroin intake by 2/3 initially in order to avoid Gram Parsons’ fate. Throughout Richards stoops to name dropping and even posts his favorite recipes as filler toward the end.