June 30, 2007

june 30

saw 2 really great tee shirts today. a guy in a record store had a shirt that said "where's brooklyn". and a girl walking in my neighborhood wore "dang it". both equally funny in their own ways

June 29, 2007

june 29

i accidentally had the imeem player running a stefski track while i was watching olberman tonight. it took about 30 seconds to figure out it wasnt intentional. i though i felt a lot more relaxed, and maybe it was a deliberate choice by msnbc, who would have figured.

June 26, 2007

june 26

went rafting on the kuma river today. it was really beautiful. went in a great cave too!!
see full size image HERE
see full size image HERE
see full size image HERE

June 25, 2007

june 25

went with my friend haruka to her moms daycare today to visit her students. it was great fun. a huge old school way up in the mountains. just 7 really great kids, we played some english games and ate lunch together. for most of them, it was their first time seeing a foreigner. when i arrived they all introduced themselves and gave me the cutest little bows. the differences in this daycare vs. its american counter part were pretty amazing. first of all, every door and window in the building were wide open, free for anybody to come and go as they please, strangers in, students out, but it wasnt an issue. i thought it was cool that a stranger like myself was so welcome to come in for the day and hang out with the kids. when we were leaving i told haruka that if we were in the states, a stranger would not be allowed in, maybe only with the prior written consent of all the parents. even though the kids were only 3 and 4 years old, there was a ton of responsibility put on them. before lunch, the teacher told them to go to the bathroom and wash up, they all trotted in there alone, and got cleaned up, came and sat in their place and politely waited to start eating. after lunch they all brushed their teeth and got ready for nap time.

on the way home we stopped at this famous bridge. it runs over a river, and also acts as a canal. if you are lucky enough to be there at the right time, they pull the plug and water gushes from holes in the bridge down to the river.

June 24, 2007

june 24

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sorry, im about 5 months late on this, forgive me for my regional handicap. 300 came out in theaters this week, so went to the late show. iv got to say i had a really great time. loved the graphic novel feel that it shared so well with sin city. the over muscled acting and bad dialogue was a perfect balance to the 117 minutes of CGI. unlike every marvel and DC adaptation it actually resembled a comic. here are a few things i thought about while watching the film
1- the writers had to really push hard to sell the idea of pride to the audience, there were numerous scenes that re and re and restated the philosophy of giving your all, possibly all the way to the grave, to something you believe in. this brought 2 things to mind. one were the 40 other people in the theater with me, all japanese. this idea of pride and self worth need not be pushed on them, it is a way of life for them. this is the same philosophy that put kamikaze pilots into pearl harbor, and essentially the life and death of the samurai. the second thought was that terrorists and more specifically suicide bombers carry this same set of ideals. which all above cases (spartans, kamikazis, jihadists, and samurais) support a powerful idea that motive and morals conquer brute strength, which could and should be applied to much of the international crisis we deal with in current day to day living.
2- i thought about GCI a lot, and how it has a great time and place. i would much rather watch a more traditional style of film, but if i want to sit back with my caramel popcorn and watch a movie shot on a green screen, i would much prefer 300 to spiderman, or dare i say....transformers.
i am now having memories of when 300 hit theater in the states and everybody was bitching about the muscular greasy men and the...uh...every other lame detail they could pick out, but seriously, how much fun would that movie have been if they all had the more realistic bodies of 40 year old? i think you have to be a grumpy old bastard to not like enjoy this film

June 23, 2007

june 23

saw a local politician campaigning in a van today. his photo and logo was plastered all over the van, loud speakers mounted on top. when they were driving around i snapped this really bad photo of him stuffing evelopes while shouting his policies at the neighborhood. if he can multitask like that while in office, his may well have my vote.
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June 22, 2007

june 22

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this week slate magazine started a new podcast called "the mixing desk". the idea is that slate magazine will discuss upcoming albums. for the first edition, they went with R kelly's new album double up (double up in this case means r kelly is about to have a threesome). i can not find any believable reason why they would do this, there is so much great music coming out now, and r kelly is one of the worst recoding "artists" i can think of, he is obvious, boring, culturally degrading, sexist, self actualized and possibly dangerous, but not in a tough ganster way, but more in a hangs out at parks in the afternoon to watch kids play way. not only is it idiotic to ever do a piece on r kelly's music, but to start a new project out this way? it would be like me opening up a new ice cream store and my introductory flavor being chocolate covered shit. slates music critic Jody Rosen is joined by Michael Agger as they point out all the atrocities of the album, lyrics that are so bad they make you want to scream (Girl, I got you so wet It's like a rain forest Like Jurassic Park Except I'm your sex-a-saurus) please keep in mind that in the back ground of this track there are monkeys and elephants sounding off. every beat on the album is the most generic R&B sound, the typical make out music that he has been making since 1992. Jody and Micheal go on for nearly 20 minutes about how laughable not only this album is, but r kelly as a person too(do remember that mr kelly has pending child porn charges where he had sex with a 15 year old, video taped it, finishing it off by peeing on her). so with all the tearing apart they do during the podcast, they sum it up by saying that they advise going out and buying double up. as a long time fan of slate magazine, i am highly disappointed by this lame mismanaged piece of insight. i almost feel like the record label payed for them to do this segment.(or at least paid for the bandwidth)

June 21, 2007

june 21

before i get in to this, there a two things you should know.
1) talking on a japanese bus is a no no. ride in silence. i dont care if your wife is cheating on you in the seat next to you, you can talk to her about it when you get off at your stop. the ride can actually be a bit creepy.
2) old japanese people not only think they are the most important people in the world, they expect to be treat that way. blasting in front of you in line, pushing you aside in the isles of a store, that sort of thing.
and now...im riding the bus to work today, maybe only 5 or 6 people on the bus. we stop at a really random sort of countryside stop, in the past 18 months, i have never seen anybody get on or off at this stop, so obviously im getting excited to see what exactly this tumble weed is thats boarding the bus. much to my amusement, its a realllllly old guy, maybe too old to be "out" by himself. but, not old in that slow moving fragile way, more in an absurdly confused way, that and he has got to be pushing 90. on the up side, he is wearing the coolest bright yellow levi's and a baby blue tee shirt. the six of us already on the bus are taking up a fraction of the 30 seats on the bus, so needless to say, this guy has lots of options as to wear to sit. naturally he picks a seat right next to a junior high kid, who gets this look of annoyance right away. about 5 min into this cowboys journey, im listening to my pod, minding my own business, and i can hear this odd sound coming from the front of the bus, but cant make it out while listening to my buds, but as soon as i pause, i can clearly hear mr yellow pants screaming at the school kid, who is wearing noise canceling over ear headphones. (side note: japanese puberty invested teens are awkward and freaked out beyond belief) so the kid eventually takes the covers off his ears, turns his head 90 degrees to find the old guy seriously yelling at him from 3 inches away, asking him "what stop do i get off at"! it takes every ounce of self control i have to not fall into the isle laughing, but i force myself to hold it in as to not throw this plot off course. at this point, the guy has been repeatedly yelling the kid the same question for 30 seconds, and in the rebelliousness (or scared shitlessness) of this kids attitude, he manages to stare this guy in the face, not replying, not making a sound or movement, he actually gave the blankest stare i have ever seen in my life, it would have been easy to convince me the kid was dead he was so stern in his glare. after yellow pants put together that the kid was of no help, he began roaming from passenger to passenger doing the same thing. i was feeling pretty bad for everybody, then it hit me that i was in his line of fire. just as he was about to attack me, the bus driver pulled over and told the guy that this is his stop. im still not sure that was his stop, or if it was even a bus stop at all, but im sure as hell glad he was no longer disturbing the bliss that is a japanese バス(bus)

June 20, 2007

june 20

found this rad map of the internet today. the more traffic a page gets, the closer to the center it gets, where it also acts like a hub to get from one page to another
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check out the story and full size photo HERE

June 15, 2007

june 15

been on the 新幹線 (bullet train) dozens of times, but still makes my day to move 200 miles an hour as smooth as glass

June 13, 2007

June 12, 2007

june 12

since WWDC was so boring, all steve jobs talked about was things he already talked about last year concerning leopard, safari for windows (just a google money maker), and the iphone being open to web app development, i thought id give my thoughts on what apple should have released this week.

1- a bluetooth iPod, im so tired of trying to weasel my headphone wire through my clothes to keep it from getting tangled up in my bike handle bars. just put the iPhone bluetooth technology in a pod for those of us who dont want that idiotically overpriced smart phone.

2- bring back the 12 inch books!

3- fix iphoto, ical, spotlight and that beachball

June 11, 2007

june 11

turned 26 today. it was fun. got a %400 be@rbrick!!

June 9, 2007

june 9

read about the webby awards today, they are a pretty lame set of awards presented to the "world's best websites", the kicker is, your acceptance speech can only be 5 words, some were pretty clever.

Artist of the Year
Beastie Boys: Can anyone fix my computer?

Social Networking
Facebook: I'm just here for Bowie.

Lifetime Achievement
David Bowie: I only get five words? Sh*t, that was five. Four more there. That's three. Two.

CNET.com: This one's for James Kim.

The Reggie Bush Project: Finally a Bush everyone loves.

Best Home/Welcome Page
Sony.com: The focus groups were right.

PBS KIDS Sprout: Mommy, what's a webby?

Blog - Business
DealBook: Hey Rupert, we're available. Call.

June 7, 2007

june 7

read a hilarious blog entry today titled "Rural America 101: Explaining Guns, Mullets and Wal-Mart to the Japanese"
I volunteered to take a group of Japanese exchange students on a field trip. I dutifully explained to them about trailer parks, biker bars, Wal-Mart and Mullets. After we passed a gun shop, they became excited and decided they wanted to go shooting rather than horseback riding. God bless America!

June 6, 2007

june 6

learned a new word today, 亭主関白, (teishukanpaku) it translates literally to tyrannical husband. i was shocked that not only is that a word, but its commonly used. :(

June 5, 2007

june 5

went to kagoshima today, a city about 250km south of here. there is a famous volcano just across the bay from the city. it was puffing and smoking more than i have seen it do in the past. i actually had to brush ash off of my clothes when i got on the train to head home.

June 4, 2007

june 4

hand made tortillas today, first time ever. they were corn, and tasty

June 3, 2007

june 3

got a tax notification in the mail today, please have a look at how different this is than anything the IRS has ever sent out. the bubble basically say, "please pay your city taxes"
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June 2, 2007

june 2

went out this evening, asked myself the following two questions in all seriousness.

1- "why the fuck is that tree plugged in?"

2- "who does she think i am?"

June 1, 2007

june 1

watched "stranger than fiction" in the theater today. what a great surprise, funny, sexy, sad, madly clever, suspenseful, smart and fun to play along with. will ferrell is dry and blank, but funny and tragic. dustin hoffman, hilariously simple and studious, maggie gyllenhaal pins down the sexy and kind role. great music, simple and subtle digital effects. check out the opening sequence below.
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