Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011


A few weeks back I got in our condo's elevator with my daughter. A young business-type guy who lives on one of the upper floors (we live on the fourth) got on with us. This guy seems like he's probably OK, but he's one of those people who looks at me like I'm some sort of exotic zoo specimen; he's also always trying to impress me with his English ability.

On this particular day he decided to speak to my daughter: "Your daddy is an English teacher...." After a brief pause, my daughter replied, "Yes."

The elevator arrived at our floor and we got out. As the doors closed and the elevator departed, my daughter looked at me and said, "That was a bit awkward, eh?"

I burst out laughing. The kid cracks me up...

Vending Machines, No. 134

By the Water


Friday, October 07, 2011

From the Dept. of Statistical Coincidences*

By a strange coincidence, I happened to stumble across the following two statistical items recently...

Toto (the Japanese toilet maker) has sold over 30 million units.

Toto (the band) has sold over 30 million albums.

I have no comment on this, but you're welcome to etc...

[* If pressed, I can supply verifying links. But really...]

A Sunset

After the Rain

Adventures in Driving: The "Point and Shoot"

Cameras today are so good that even a schmuck like me can puke out some half-decent shots. There's a reason they describe newer cameras as "point and shoot"--that's all ya gotta do! Point the damned thing at the subject, and shoot it. Simple, right?

And what fun it is to point and shoot! You can do it anywhere--even while you're driving! In fact the shot you see below is a simple driving point and shoot I did a couple of weeks ago! You can do it too! Just hold the steering wheel with one hand, and the camera in the other. (Don't ask me which hand for which--are you stupid!?). While you're driving, just stick your camera arm out the window, point, and shoot! (Note: it's usually a good idea, for what should be obvious reasons, to roll down the window before you begin pointing and shooting--a good point and shooter is always prepared!)

Now, the shot here is not exactly a standard driving point and shoot. No, this one is a *reverse* driving point and shoot. (No, it doesn't mean the car was in reverse--that would be the reverse forward reverse driving point and shoot. Today we're only talking about the basics. The reverse forward reverse driving point and shoot is like the ninja-level of driving point and shooting.) So, the car is going forward, but your subject is behind you. It sounds simple, but it takes quite a bit of concentration and more than a little eye/hand co-ordination, because you have to line up the subject in your rear-view mirrors. See?

Easy as pie!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Turning Japanese?

This evening I was talking on the phone (in Japanese), and I noticed that my daughter was pointing at me and laughing. When I was finished I asked her what she thought was so funny.

"You looked like ji-chan (grandpa) while you were talking. Every time you said "thank you" you bowed. Why do you bow when you're talking on the phone!? It looks really funny!"

"I was NOT bowing on the telephone!"

"Yes you were. I saw it. You did it 4 times!"


Random Miyazaki Cell Pics #22

Sakurajima (2)

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Sea and Sky: Yakushima, Japan

Sea and Sky: Yakushima, Japan

Unintentional Car-Jacking

A couple of weeks ago I was at the mall with my daughter. When it was time to leave the rain was coming down really hard, and we'd left our umbrellas in the car. We looked at each other and shouted "run!" and ran to the car with the rain pelting us.

At the car I tried to open the door with my key, but something was wrong. "What the...?" I began to say, when suddenly the car opened from *the inside,* revealing an old woman with a shocked expression on her face--the kind of expression you'd expect from someone who thinks some mad gaijin is trying to car-jack her...

I sputtered a "sumimasen" (excuse me) as my daughter burst out laughing. Soon I was laughing too; and like a couple of crazy pirates we ran laughing through the parking lot in the pouring rain looking for my car...

A Spider

Monday, October 03, 2011

A Young Monkey

Anatomy of a Bad Day

1. Go to bed early the night before. Get lots of sleep.

2. Wake up with a headache.

3. Drive half way to work, and then remember that you have an appointment to get your car's safety inspection done.

4. Drive back to town, take your car to the service station, and pick up a replacement car for the day.

5. Drive to work. Realize that you left your office key with your car keys.

6. Have university staff open your office for you. Make coffee and prepare for work.

7. Realize you have left your glasses at home. You can't read anything without your glasses, so you can't work.

8. Drive home to get your glasses.

9. When you arrive home, remember that your house key is also with your car keys--at the car shop.

10. Drive to the car shop to get your keys.

11. Drive to your house to get your glasses.

12. Drive to work.

13. Have lunch.

14. Wonder what else you've forgotten to do today...

A few hours later...

15. Try to remember the color and make of the replacement car. And where the fuck you parked it...

Sakurajima (1)