The Kuraoka Family Website

Kuraoka in Japanese. It's an unusual version of an uncommon family name. The character on the left, KURA, is unique. While KURA can mean either 'warehouse' or 'saddle,' our KURA means an especially large warehouse. OKA means 'hill.'
San Diego, California
(619) 465-9375

Welcome to the Kuraoka family website! For the latest news, click on our weekly journal. You also can see what's hanging on our virtual refrigerator door, read our travel journals, tour our room addition, learn about our neighborhood in San Diego, and much more. So, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and enjoy your virtual visit with us!

If you're new here, we recommend the following path to get to know our family: About us >> About our neighborhood >> Weekly Journal >> Then scroll down and click on whatever strikes your fancy.

About us (our family and other regular characters)
Our absurdly popular weekly journal (updated at least once a week since 1998)
Our virtual refrigerator door (recent photos and other odds and ends)
Archive (selected weekly journals and family portraits from the journals)
Our new roof and solar power system journal, November 2016
Our room addition journal (one huge file with photos and daily entries), January through June 2002
Astronomy stuff
Outdated family photo album
Leo's page
Roy's page
Mas Kuraoka's page
David Brooks's page

A simplified Frosty the Snowman with guitar chords and lyrics
Long John Silver, advertising copywriter
Our Daily Life: an all-purpose pictorial journal
UPDATED! What's in John's wallet?
Bad Drawings and Worse Poetry

Twitters and Blogs:
Family stuff: @kuraokafamily
Ondine's stuff: @mangopoetondine
Advertising stuff: @kuraoka
Craft stuff: Ondine’s crafts, gardening, and cooking blog
Found stuff: @foundstuff
John’s original ad blog: Advertising blog

NEW! Sand Pond 2017: Salmon Creek Campground, first road trip in the Prius
Sand Pond 2014: the year the car broke down, with photos
Japan: a three-generation trip of a lifetime to connect with family
A weekend at La Casa Del Zorro, 2013
Disneyland 2013
Sand Pond 2013, Santa Monica Pier, LA Museum of Natural History, and more, with photos
Santa Barbara and the space shuttle Endeavour exhibit, 2013.
Washington DC 2012
Sand Pond and Redwoods, August 2011, a look back with 53 photos
Our Christmas Cruise to Mexico, December 19-26 2010, with photos
Sand Pond 2010, a brief look back but with photos this time
Leo Carrillo State Beach, June 22-24 2010, with photos
Sand Pond 2009, a brief look back
Sand Pond 2008: further family camping adventures, August 8-17 2008, with photos
Barbara, Bill, and the Boys at Big Bear, May 23-25 2008, with photos
Indian Hills Camp: a boy's getaway, May 9-11 2008, with photos and video clips
Sand Pond: still more family camping, August 4-12 2007, with photos and video clips
Hawaii, June 30 2007 to July 7 2007, one week that spanned two months and three generations (with photos and video clips)
Disneyland with kids, December 20-21 2006, with photos
Sand Pond: more camping with kids ... and a dog! August 2006, with photos and video clips
Sedona, April 2006, with photos
Downtown San Diego, March 2006, with photos
Old Town State Park, June 2005, with photos
A desert jaunt: Anza-Borrego and Desert View Tower, May 2005, with photos
Solana Beach Getaway April 2005, with photos
Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany: a six-week house swap (with photos and video clips; also, see our archive section for our journal entries)
Sand Pond: camping with kids August 2003 (with photos)
Boston & Northampton, by Roy (with photos)
Southern Arizona: a weekend getaway
England (with a few photos)
Germany: Ten Days on the Romantische Strasse (unfinished; with photos)

Sales Department:
“Thank You For Your Business, May I Please Have More?”, an e-book supporting John’s Tightwad Marketing project

How to Make Mini Worm Composting Bins, a great group project for young kids
Review of the AlphaSmart Neo by an AlphaSmart Oldo
Digital Photography, Clocks, and Watches a simple how-to guide
Morning Sickness Remedy Checklist for pregnant moms and their partners
Tightwad Marketing for owners of small businesses

Work, work, work:
John’s business (freelance advertising copywriter):
More of John’s business (freelance writing):
Ondine’s work: Kaiser Permanente San Diego
Ondine’s freelance writing (inactive):

Our community:
UPDATED! 8/16 Closed school sites in San Carlos
About our bit of San Carlos, a neighborhood in San Diego, California
San Diego real estate listings: Mary Anne Stevens (we used Mary Anne, and highly recommend her)
San Diego newspapers: The San Diego Union-Tribune

Links we like:
The BBC | EastEnders | Tucker's Luck
Learning German (BBC)
WDR programming on streaming video | Maus
Sand Pond and surroundings | Alta Ranch, Montana | NAWCC Chapter 59 | Unidos Judo Clubs
FutureLearn, a source for free, high-quality online learning through Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Chordie, guitar chords, tabs, and lyrics - we wish we'd found it sooner!, tons of free (donation-based but no nagging) guitar lessons!

Webcams we like:
San Diego Zoo Panda Cam: Awww, aren’t they cute?
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Tram Cam: The top of the tramway looking down into Palm Springs.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Long Valley: If you can't get to the mountains, let the mountain come to you.
Trafalgar Square: An active mix of locals and tourists, pedestrians and motorcars, with several views.
Mülheim an der Ruhr 1: Our home in Germany for six weeks. View of the Ruhr to the North-West.
Mülheim an der Ruhr 2: View toward the South-West, toward the Forum and the MüGa.
Köln Dom Cam: Roy and John went up the south tower!

Email us:
Both Ondine and Frances have their email filters set to “exclusive,” so if you’re not on their safe list, neither will receive your email. Also, Frances recently changed her email address, so make sure her new one is in your safe list, or you won’t receive her emails. If you can’t see the email addresses, then you have JavaScript disabled. What the heck, you may just have to pick up the phone and call: (619) 465-9375. We don’t usually pick up the phone, so please do leave a message. You know, considering that we maintain a massively public family website, we’re really sort of private people.

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