Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Parting Shot(s)

Well, tomorrow I'm off to the "old country" until about the 10th of September. Although I could probably get online if I felt like it, I probably won't. Hey, it's a holiday trip with my family to spend time with family and friends.

Anyway, please don't worry if you don't hear anything from me for a while (unless I owe you money). I'll be busy guzzling maple syrup beer and clubbing seal pups with a hockey stick. I'll be back (probably sooner than you'd wish!).

Oh yeah, some parting shots (click to enlarge):

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Funniest, Most Interesting Thing I've Read Today

Screw the Halt and the Lame.

"People who don't realize that Ayn Rand was insane." Good one, P. Drano

Non-stop, 24-hour-a-day, Action-packed Excitement

Tea towels from Wales are a popular item for Japanese tourists.
The tea towels we have in Japan tend to be much thinner and smaller. The material appeals to the Japanese as do the bright colours, we find them very beautiful.

Anarchists in Ottawa "attack" Bank of Nova Scotia branches.
It happened because we are tired of living on our knees beneath a system forged by the plots and nightmares of assassins and thieves! Destroy Capitalism and its conspiring defenders!

Dog bites man.
Newburgh [Indiana] police used a K-9 to arrest a man after he refused to come out from under his ex-wife's mobile home Sunday. Cvetic ran away through a back door when an officer arrived. Using his police dog, officer Chad Bailey tracked Cvetic to underneath the trailer. When Cvetic refused to show his hands or come out, Bailey released the dog, who bit Cvetic several times.

More rain for Green Bay, high of 67.
Rain is forecast throughout the week. Today should see scattered showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 1 p.m. Cloudy, with a high near 67. East southeast wind between 9 and 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40 percent. number one search result for search term "google".
Google. Advanced Search · Preferences · Language Tools · Advertising Programs - Business Solutions - About Google. ©2007 Google. [Click for more information] Stock quote for GOOG - 6k - Cached - Similar pages - Note this

Ocean and Rocks

Some more pics from today's drive along the coast (click to enlarge):

The Coast

[I'm getting bored with posting about Canada, so it's back to our regularly scheduled programming...]

The digital camera/blog combo has really got me interested in photography the past few months, but really I'm only at the "point and shoot" level. I haven't even taken the time to familiarize myself with my cameras and their various functions, and basic things like lighting and horizons still drive me a bit batty (I had a lot of ocean shots ruined by lopsided horizons today; this drives me crazy because when I snap the shot I'm pretty sure I'm holding the camera "straight"... Oh well...). Anyway, if nothing else, I hope that readers can get some idea of what things look like around here. Miyazaki is really quite stunning...

It's really hot and sunny here today, so at lunchtime I figured I'd go for a little drive down the coast and take a few pictures. Actually, I took a shitload. Here a few (click to enlarge):

Monday, August 20, 2007

True Canadian Facts! (2)

Our wingnut friends in the south are veritable fonts of information and trivia about Canada. They certainly know us better than we know ourselves and we really appreciate their unceasing efforts to educate us and keep us in our place.

--Canada sent troops to Vietnam. (Ann Coulter)

--Canada exists solely through the good graces of its American benefactors. (Ann Coulter)

--Canadians are mentally-retarded stalkers who obsess about the United States. Anybody with any ambition at all in Canada has left and now lives in New York. (Tucker Carlson)

--"Without the U.S., Canada is essentially Honduras, but colder and much less interesting." "... the average Canadian is busy dogsledding." (Tucker Carlson)

--[...] Canadians... are often among the nicest and most decent people you'd ever want to meet. They just don't live in a normal country. (Jonah Goldberg)

--Canada is a haven for terrorists. "[...] virtually every terrorist organization in the world has come to and set up shop at one time or another in Canada..." (Pat Buchanan)

--"[...] Canada is a homo-fascist state where the filthy fag agenda has become the law of the land." "God hates Canada!" (Fred Phelps)

As a Canadian it pleases me that these (and many other) luminaries of the arts and sciences in America have devoted their time and energy to the study of Canada and all things Canadian, and have, by their selfless and untiring efforts, contributed to the world's knowledge and understanding of Canada. Bless you all, and please, keep up the good work!

Great Moments in Canadian Sports History, Part Two

On February 14, 2002, in Salt Lake City, Canada defeated the USA 5-2 to capture the gold medal in men's "ice" hockey. It had been 50 years earlier that Canada last won this event. The broadcast of the game in Canada was (up to that point, at least) the most-watched TV broadcast in Canadian history.

I had to get up at around 5 a.m. to watch the game live with Japanese "commentary" on NHK. I didn't mind...

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Post Deleted...

... because it was poorly conceived and executed... because it was stupid... because when I sobered up it seemed mean...

Friday, August 17, 2007

True Canadian Facts! (1)

Pamela Anderson was famous from the very moment of her birth. Born on July 1st, 1967, she was officially proclaimed Canada's "Centennial Baby" (the first baby born on Canada's 100th birthday). [According to Wikipedia, however, this would later be shown to be incorrect, as another baby was actually born a couple of hours earlier.]

Not only that, but Anderson has apparently appeared on more covers of Playboy than any other model.

[DISCLAIMER: The appearance of this post immediately following a post on gay marriage in Canada is nothing more than pure coincidence. Honest!]

"It's not the 1800s anymore."

Continuing with Canada-themed posts...

This Saturday Scott Brison, Liberal Member of Parliament for Hants-Kings, Nova Scotia, is getting married. Two former prime ministers of Canada (Paul Martin and Joe Clark) will be in attendance, as well as the current leader of the Liberal Party of Canada (Stephane Dion) and the former premier of New Brunswick (Frank McKenna).

Mr. Brison's partner, Maxime St. Pierre, is a man.

Congratulations, guys!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The "Holy Trinity"...

...of the Canadian music scene:

Neil Young

Leonard Cohen

Joni Mitchell

'Nuff fucking said... for now. More Canadiana tomorrow!

Great Moments in Canadian Sports History, Part One

Paul Henderson's goal in the dying moments of the 8th game of the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union gives Canada the game and the tournament.

I was allowed to stay home from school to watch the game (which was being broadcast from Moscow). After two periods Canada trailed the Soviets 5-3. My despair was so deep I felt sick to my stomach. Twenty minutes later I was on top of the world. I went outside my house and there were people dancing in the street! It's hard to describe to people who aren't Canadian and of a certain age (and hockey fans), but if you've seen scenes from Brazil or Italy when their teams win the World Cup, maybe you get some idea...

My Home and Native Land...

Next Thursday I'll be heading home for a couple of weeks. In the run-up to this long-awaited, highly-anticipated return (and because I have no ideas for anything more interesting), an onslaught of things Canadian.

The national animal of Canada is the beaver. This is not a fit subject for jokes:

It may not always be obvious, but Canadians are fun-loving, life-of-the-party-types:

Just getting warmed up...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Get Off On My Clouds

I've just about got this out of my system, thanks for bearing with me...

Here's what things looked like around here this morning:

Here's what things looked like this evening:

Sunday, August 12, 2007


I'm sorry that so many of my pictures are shot from my back balcony (like the ones below). This is the point from which I (usually) blog, and this is what I see as I look out the window. This view is constantly changing, and these changes fascinate me. I'm in love with the sky, the clouds, the colors. I hope it's not too boring for you...

From the Really Fucking Stupid Dept.

From This AP story we learn of a discrimination suit being brought against federal officials and JetBlue Airways in the US. Apparently in August of 2006, Raed Jarrar, an Iraqi architect who's been a US resident since 2005, and who's married to an American citizen, was barred from boarding his flight "because he wore a T-shirt inscribed with an Arabic phrase."
The incident is part of a discriminatory pattern at airports since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with officials targeting people perceived to be of Arab descent — particularly those displaying their ethnic background or religious faith, two civil liberties groups said Thursday in filing the lawsuit.

The ACLU, joined by the New York Civil Liberties Union, filed the federal lawsuit on behalf of Raed Jarrar. The Iraqi architect was barred from the JetBlue flight for wearing a shirt that read, in English and Arabic, "We Will Not Be Silent."


Last August, a Transportation Security Administration official identified only as Inspector Harris pulled Jarrar away from a boarding gate, took him to a JetBlue counter and told him his shirt made other passengers uncomfortable, the complaint said.

Jarrar was told to cover up the message if he wanted to board the flight to his home in Oakland, Calif. The TSA official equated wearing Jarrar's an [sic] Arabic shirt to an airport with "wearing a T-shirt at a bank stating, 'I am a robber,'" the complaint said.


Jarrar, who now lives in Washington, D.C., said he was intimidated into wearing a shirt purchased by a JetBlue customer service agent over his T-shirt. His seat was also moved to the back of the plane and he was forced to board first, said the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.

"We will not be silent" in Arabic and English... Pretty radical stuff. I guess Mr. Jarrar should have had a more "American" slogan on his tee, maybe something like "Live free or die" (although Mr. Jarrar, being an Iraqi, could be forgiven if he found such a slogan too poignantly ironic).

I wish I had been there. I would gladly have loaned him this t-shirt of mine:

And the Clouds Go By...

Sunday morning boredom. Nothing to say. Some pics (click to enlarge):

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Random Ramblings...

Are we what we do? Is it inconceivable that, say, the best French chef in the world might actually hate French food? Would this make him, somehow, less professional? Isn't the very essence of "professionalism" doing the very best job you can while putting your personal feelings aside? Is it inconceivable that the best person in the world for some particular job might actually hate that job at the same time as she's trying to re-define it?

Would you say that what someone does is ultimately more important than what he says? (Think carefully, lest ye become an existentialist!)

What would you say about a guy who didn't give a shit what he did for a living, as long as it kept his family in food and clothes, etc.?


Personally, I think the world would be a better place if everyone liked White Zombie.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Random Miyazaki Pics

A few more pics taken near where I live, in case anyone's curious:

Tachibana-dori, Miyazaki's main street.

City "center".

Takachiho-dori, which intersects Tachibana at the center of town.

Some cranes; a pretty common sight.

A parking area for bicycles near the train station.

My Brain Hurts...

Yes, this is about right...

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Morning Walk of a Dork with a Camera

This morning I woke up feeling... no pain!! I've still got some numbness in my right arm and hand (from the pinched nerve I've been whining about recently), but it doesn't hurt any more! I felt so good that today I resumed my regular morning walk. I took along my camera (click to enlarge)...

Starbucks has only been in Miyazaki for about a year, and already there are three outlets. This one is only a 5-10 minute walk from my place. It wasn't open yet when I took this picture, but you'll notice that this Starbucks has a drive-thru (I've never seen this in Canadian Starbucks shops). Yes, now you can wait in the comfort of your car while the schmuck in front of you orders a half-caf double decaf latte...

Resistance is futile... Actually, I'm quite happy to see foreign pc companies make inroads in Japan because, frankly, the big Japanese pc makers (Sony, Fujitsu, NEC) suck...

The front of Miyazaki's train station.

The back of Miyazaki's train station.

Miyazaki's space station is just down the street.

He may be a dork with a camera, but his choice of hockey teams is beyond reproach...