Thursday, August 30, 2007

Far Less Than Meets the Eye

I got talked into seeing Transformers the other night. My friend Emma from the radio station wanted to go. I didn' care, but I like going to the movies, and I hadn't seen Emma in a while. In the current context of our ongoing disaster in Iraq, I found the movie borderline offensive. It begins in the Middle East with c-130s and A-10s and Blackhawks working with special forces teams to fight off-----------------robots from outer space. We would like that wouldn't we. Makes it easier. But we aren't fighting robots and all of our beautiful miltary equipment is useless. Anytime we get told about "liberal Hollywood" think about this garbage. It conditions your mind to think that if, somehow, w can figure out what round to load, we can fight off the enemy. Apparently people who like this movie applaud the way it sticks to the story in the original movie. Who cares? The original was a garbage kid movie too. Nothing that happens makes any sense. Nothing. Michael Bay is truly the worst director in the world. I have about $100 left in the world and this joker gets hundreds of millions to tkae a giant, digital poop on all of us. Ha Ha..funny society you came up with. The chick is hot though. The joke is, she has sex with Brian Austin Green. Nice world there God.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

An Indelicate Question

I think I have hit my limit of being able to care about the Michael Vick situation. Let me ask something. I haven't eaten meat(on purpose) since I was in junior high. I don't have any problem with people who hunt or farm and can slaughter their own meat. I have a big problem with a factory system that seperates us all from the work, the killing necessary to give us our gluttony. Don't get me wrong, I am a glutton. I understand that Vick's slaughter of animals seems fairly useless and cruel, but isn't killing a pig so you can have a sandwich which you will throw half of away just as wastefull and disrespectful of life? I am finding people's outrage more and more disingeneous when most people have zero problems with the circus, rodeo or marine parks where dolphins are kept in concrete tubs. Is it because he killed dogs? Dogs are special to Americans, certainly. We destroy animal habitat by the millions of acre a year though. We allow pigs, chickens and cows to be not only slaughtered but grossly distorted by hormones and treated like garbage. If this kind of thing bothers you you are generally regarded as a fruit loop, if not a poof. I guess Michael Vick should have just eatne a hamburger, bet on what was in it and shut the fuck up like the rest of America.

Rebel Forces

I have been crashing at Tomo's. Dodging from house to house like the resistence. I am still maintainging a massive surfing beard and a suntan. Surfing has been good, if small, everyday. For a year or so there I wasn't enjoying it much. I think it had to do with Kumar being gone and sufing being something I usually did with him. I think I have made a lot of progress this month and actually feel better than a lot of people. As far as better goes. More capable may be more accurate. Engaged in a massive game of Scrabble with James and Cameron. Never play Scrabble with a Scotsman. Cam always makes words with no vowels and then insists that they are a word for a fog that moves in over Scotland on fall mornings. Scrabble has some serious flaws in its lack of reward for creativity and elegance. Much like life. Oh. Saw that one coming. Tomo's house has a Mac which for some reason doesn't like this site. Sorry for the infrequency. Also, I signed up to MIXI. It is like the Japanese MySpace...I guess. I am sure I will lose interest in a month or so. Good Japanese practice though. Today I was attacked by praying mantises.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bush and Vietnam

I saw a bit of Bush`s speech comparing Vietnam and Iraq. I suppose they are calculating his audience to be those with no desire to understand history accurately. If so, a veterans group was probably the right place. No offense, but I gre up around those people and they seldom reality to obstruct a good storyline. It is necessary to understand two major points in any discussion about Vietnam. 1: Ho Chi Minh appealed to the U.S. for help in his countires quest for independence. The U.S. turned him down in favor of French colonial rule and in support of colonial rule in general. 2: The country was divided into North and South in anticipation of an election that would decide control of the country. When it became clear that Ho`s side would win, the U.S. put a stop to the election. Considering just these two factors, arguing that the U.S. pullout was what caused chaos is absurd. Is the President`s new position that we shouldn`t have left Vietnam? If so, shouldn`t we go back and look at the card he filled out saying he wouldn`t serve there? I guess they are just playing to a very small segment who belive that we were stopped from winning Vietnam by weak-willed ninnies so they can get on with constructing a similar myth around they own failings in Iraq. Neither war was viable to start with and therefore have no viable solutions for calm endings. Iraq will end in chaos and violence because there is no military solution available. People said that before it started and no one wanted to listen. No that line of reasoning needs to be extinguished so that the U.S. foreign policy apparatus can`t learn from its mistake. Gonzaga will take Couture.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

a tsunami is coming

a tsunami is coming, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

We arrived at Tenjikan, after leaving Tomo at Hotel Mae, to find a sign reading, "A Tsunami is Coming." Wow. We went around the parking lot asking people. There were people in the surf. Cam checked NHK on his keitai. It was the earthquake in Peru. The tsunami was estimated at 20cm and had already past. It felt bad laughing at the sign, knowing that a death toll would come rolling in later. But I can now say I surfed a tsunami. In the background you can see the crazy observation building carved into a large rock. The seat on top are for watching the rocket launches as this is the home base for the Japan Space Agency.

Japanese Medicine

I was at an orientation for work where a European guy laughed about how bad the Japanese medical system was. He is an asshole. Not really, but if you are not an American, it is hard to understand what an amazing thing it is to walk into a medical clinic, say what is wrong and be treated. That's it. I have been to the hospital three times this week, after injuring my knee surfing. The total cost has been about $30. That includes two X-rays, two injections and three laser treatments. It is amazing what the American public will allow to be denied to them.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


The Tanegashima photos are up. You can see the Tsunami warning sign, a crab, three barebecues, 900 pictures of Fumiko who always seems to cover her face and then say, "Take it again." So that it ends up looking like I wanted to take so many pictures of her. No offense, but no. You can see the overhead waves at Tenjikan and the double overhead at Hotel Mae. Although the double overhead just shows up as a bunch of whitewater.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

For James

Everytime I go surfing a get a song stuck in my head. It had been "The Bridge is Over." Then me and James got started on "Afternoon Delight" which has to be one of the most disgusting songs ever written.

Politics for David

I returned from the island to find that Karl Rove is being put to pasture, or set to stud. I have only seen a small sampling of main stream commentary on the subject but it is clear enough all ready that the guy has gotten a free pass for far to long. The media is composed of people who are just ignorant enough to remain solidly in the gushy embrace of the status quo for the amount of time required to place them in their booster chairs and shove them up to the table. The group who will willingly promote the latest Avril Lavigne album will tell you that Karl Rove is a genius. Not merely someone who was willing to go lower and play stupider. Republicans win because being stupid is easier. That is the long and short of it. The fact that no one can come out and say this is indicative of the problem. Karl Rove didn't win because he was a genius, he won by being procisely the opposite: stupid. Can you think of an intelligent policy he planned? Even one that failed. He is a moron and the fact that he is puts him in tune with morons around the country who vote in great numbers. They swarm together like sea roaches on rocks in the water; because they don't know anywhere else to go. A genius would lead. A genius would realize that being crass to maintain power doesn't benefit hummanity in the long, or the short run. A genius would step outside of themselves and ask what was right. Karl Rove did none of those things, and never will. I think the Braves will battle to the end in the standings. Go Chipper.

The Toppy

The linear time is going to get weird from here on out. I will try to go back through the week in Tanegashima. But not all at once. James, Alex, Cam and I took the train down early two Sunday's ago. Alex and Cam brought their kettle so that they could have tea. My surfboard blocked off about two doors between the train cars. We took the Toppy, a high-speed hydrofoil, from Kagoshima to Tanegashima. The last time Cam took it, it crashed into a whale, or a North Korean sub, or something, at 78kph resulting in numerous injuries and an award for Cam's first-aidary. The dock smelled like evry dock I have ever been around. It always make me feel like vomiting a sandwich I haven't eaten. The engines sound like rockets and the ue the space in front of the emergency exit to store our boards. A typhoon was passing from Taiwan to China. We headed south through the relative calm of Kinko Wan to the point where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Japan. In the distance I noticed giant, crytal blue waves errupting like a nightmare compilation of lgihthouse posters. I mentioned them to Alex and assumed there was no way we would confront them. As we approached them at 70kph the whole boat began to take notice. It seemed like we all started screaming in unison. James suddenly woke up and pulled back the curtain. The captain rolled the hydrofoil hard to the left, making the view from the oppsing windows sea and sky. The TV was playing a broadcast of the Koshien High School Baseball Tournament, in which the end of each game is announced with a loud, screeching siren. It began to go off as the captian through the boat back hard to the right as waves roared up and crashed around us. I have never seen any waves like this in my life, not even in The Pass during a hurricane. I screamed like a little girl trapped in a hydrofoil, flying madly to its doom. Fortunately this only lasted for a few minutes as we cleared into open seas and set off towards Tanegashima.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Back From Tanegashima

I spent the week surfing on Tanegashima, an island in the Pacific just south of Kagoshima. I have way to much to tell in one post so will try to break it up and post some pictures soon as well. Several points: I have rad friends. Cameron compells people to spend way too much money. We have the power to make cool shit happen wherever we go. People who live normal lives are ridiculous. I am poor again. I was in the hospital this morning. Natsuki is rad. You can barbecue every day for really cheap. Never show Chappelle's show to British people, it's not that they won't find it funny, it will just be for all of the wrong reasons. I am brown. Snorkeling is something you should get excited about. Seasnakes are strangely hypnotic. Natsuki is way beyond rad. Tomoko, who runs Narai, is the nicest lady on earth. I will stop trying to explain surfing to people who don't do it. British people consume way too much beer and tea and will somehow convice you should play along. Be careful when you just leave Itunes running and do something else, because things get weird. I have a big surf beard like Pat Curren. Na-Tsu-Ki! Stay at Narai. Snorkle at Urata. Surf Tenjikan. The Toppy can be terrifying.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


I went back to fighting class for the first time in four months last night. My ass was roundly kicked. Some new kid squeezed my face until my jaw hurt. I have been surfing every day and feel in reasonably good Since I have been gone, Danny went to the Fukuoka tournament and won the whole thing. I used to do ok sparring with him. Here is what I have to deal with.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fuck Barry Bonds

This is like the Alberto Gonzales Hearings for me. Do we have to pretend that we don't know Bonds used HGH-at least-??? I think there are arguments to be made for why steroids are OK. I think Joe Rogan, strangely enough, made a very convincing argument that they might have their place in competitive sports. What some people don't seem to get about baseball is that it is a competition against the past. Of course things change. We have creatine and training staffs and no long train trips. The only thing I can't get around is what a slap in the face to the nobility of Hank Aaron and what he had to endure to break Babe Ruth's record. Barry Bonds, always a jealous little brat, couldn't stand to retire as mearely one of the best players to ever play the game. He had to take over. He has always been rotten, now he is even more so. Do i think there is a racial component to the hatred directed at Bonds? I think there is a racial component to everything in America. Do I think he is even close to being a decent human being? No. Many athletes flaws have made them compelling figures-George Best, Mickey Mantle, Ty Cobb(just plain rotten), Ali, Tyson, Babe Ruth-But Bonds is something other than flawed, he is deliberate and coniving and immature. I find him spoiled and his story decidedly uncompeling. I well up with tears everytime I see Aaron hugging his mom at home plate because I can understand what it meant for him. I feel nothing for Barry Bonds.

America is Better

As an American overseas you have to listen to a lot of bullshit from Europeans who are so dead certain how backwards life must be in the colonies. While Demarcus Beasely was busy scoring a 20 yard goal for Rangers this week, he had to endure a section of fans making monkey noises. Can you imagine that happening at a pro game in America? I tried to think of all the random comments I have heard at sporting events in the South and even the worse ones, whispered under someone's breath, weren't this base and immature. For the most part I am proud of America's sporting culture when but against the mindless tribalism of European football. I hope Demarcus files a complaint and gets the fans banned from the next home game.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Wakayama Dolphin Hunts

If you have never heard about the dolphin hunts in Taiji, they are sick. Fisherman use boats to run dolphins and pilot whales into small coves and then spea and beat them to death. The water turns to blood. Several organizations have tried to stop this, but there is really no public awareness of this inside Japan. Even seemingly reasonable Japanese people will roll out every kind of excuse for this inexcusable behavior. Japan is a special country and a little island. It isn't big and strong like the rest of the world and it has to provide for its people. Fishermen are special. You just wouldn't understand. Now, to brave councilmen from Taiji have come out and said that they have had the meat from these dolphins, which is routinely served to school children in their lunches, tested. It is full of dangerous levels of mercury. The government's response: "............" Read the Japan Times article here. While I don't believe in the death penalty, some people need to get deaded up real good. Anyone involved in this bullshit goes to the top of the list.

Finally Used the Hammock/Partied with the Nemesis

We went surfing all day yesterday. Nothing has changed at Kisaki except for the faces. It is a new group hanging around the tables and they have looks of pride on their faces like they discovered the beach. Whatever. Miles was still there. The nemesis, deciding he is now a surfer, poses as king of the parking lot. Chris Miyoko showed up and I surfed with Alex Moss for the first time. That was rad. It was Sunday so Kisaki was crowed. I had a lot of really decent waves. As I drifted farther up the beach I got into major asshole territory. There was one Japanese guy-there always seems to be- that paddles from as far away as possible and tried to snake every wave. If he makes it, he will take off on your face, if he doesn't he looks at you like you shiit on his house. I yelled, "Take it then motherfucker." At him at some point, but I am not sure if he cared. I was ahppy to find out that everyone had run into him that day, so I wasn't imagining it. Cam, newly single, wanted to stay at the beach and test his freedom so I busted out the hammock and slept in the woods. It started storming so I pulled my giant Postal Service shipping bag over my head and went back to sleep. The nemesis danced aound the parking lot playing terrible techno music on his van stereo for the better part of the night. I woke up at dawn and found that he had left all his trash and stolen all of our beer. Ass. Alex and I got into the ocean at about 5:30 and the line-up was crowded by 6am. We sufed for two hours and then gave it up do to overcrowding. I have a blister on my thumb from playing a guitar that is out of tune and missing strings. Alex and I worked out that every reggae song is the same so we would play and sing different ones at the same time and you couldn't really tell the difference. I came back to Cam's and slept all day. Didn't go for the evening surf and was called a "poof." I had to remind cam that he was the one sleeping on the futon in the back of his van while I was in for two hours this morning. Nevertheless, I would rather be at the beach. Still broke. A week until payday.

The Pop-Up

An element of my surf game that is really struggling is the pop-up. This is the most important element of your take-off as it decides how your whole ride is going to go. For some reason I got in the bad habit of grabbing the rails and draging my knees across the board. A lot of this is because I would surf for a while and get tired, and I was riding smaller waves that didn't make me pay for a bad take-off. I am really going to try and concentrate on correcting this problem this week before we leave for Tanegashima.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Back on Miyazaki Time

Spent Monday night scattering any usable garbage I had around bridges with a homeless population. I took my washing machine and ran through a bad neighborhood with it, finally dropping it in a housing project courtyard. My apartment was spotless for the final inspection. As I was putting my luggage together in the bicycle room, the boss man cam back in looking troubled. The 31st was apparently garbage inspection day. They had discovered my pile. I had slept on my futon and then thrown it out. They asked if it was mine and I told them no. He kept saying, "But it is in the same bags as your trash." "I know. They are trash bags." I slinked further and further towards the main street and I was off. Homeless and penniless yet again. I rode to Koji's and organized my stuff on his balcony. He told me the typhoon was coming faster then expected so I better catch the ferry that night. I was off. Slept like death in my ferry bunk for 12 hours. Cam picked me up at the port wearing nothing but shorts and blaring, "The Boys are Back in Town." Classic. We met up with Alex and Tomo and James at Kisaki and surfed the pre-typhoon surf for about 3 hours. I went back to James's place and watched the Soprano's, turned around and went back out for another surf at Aoshima. The waves were getting fairly big. 2 meters probably. I was able to catch about every wave I went for all day. Surprising. It got dark while we were still surfing and I caught a massive wave in all the way to the beach.

The next day the typhoon showed up. So did Angela. The three of us stayed in James's (actually Chad's) tiny apartment all day watching movies, eating chips and drinking tea-Angela is from Manchester-. That night we got beer and Damian and Cam stopped by. We drank and played guitar and pretended we were in college. I did a 30 minute version of 'The Aristocrats' involving a small girl holding a rose while being rammed inside the corpse of a gorilla. I think I firghtened people.

The day after the typhoon was strangely rainy and we headed south to surf at Miyaura. The swells were big, somewhat powerfull, and not very rideable.

Last night was my welcome back party. We went to Yamato's new restaurant and drank beer. Lots of beer. Yamato gave me a hug and was very nice. I didn't want to go to Kobi's afterwards but we had to meet some people. I hate that place. I really hate the vibe. I went home feeling bitter and got a flat tire for my effort.

Today is the fireworks. I am not going with Shiho. Of course. At least she mailed to confirm we would not be going. I am going with Cam and Yukiko and that should be just fine.

Miyazaki is Miyazai and it is wonderful. I advise everyone to make friends and keep them. Friends are rad. I think we have talked about Kumar at least 900 times in three days. We all really miss him a lot. It sucks that he won't be there to yell, "Tamaya!" at the fireworks tonight. I will do one for him, but it won't be as charming or well recieved.

I surfed today but the waves were small. I got sun on my back. I need to surf in the morning and get sun on my front. Must get in shape for Tanegashima. I'll try to get it together and post Miyazaki pictures soon. Just letting everyone know I am alive. (If typing this on a 7 year old Gateway computer counts as 'alive'.)

attempting to silence the voices in my head.