Monday, July 28, 2008


Alive in America. 6 hours in Honolulu at gate 15 staring at Diamondhead as a guy on a cell phone,they are all on cellphones, argues with his girlfriend. The unironic clincher, "That's how I roll!"

Pefect flight to Atlanta on Sominex. N0 movies. No headphones. No turbulence. Asleep on my tray table. Jennifer took me to Waffle House and Super Walmart so I could experience life as a white person. Handed me off to Chad and we were off to Knoxville. Dave Kyser is in the hospital with swollen hands as his dog tried to eat his cat and he tried to stop it. No sign of the cat. No camp for Dave. Strange nexus of dead state-troopers in North Carolina. Possible run on panda brains for the ecodorm. Warren Wilson College has my initials.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


DSCF8031, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

MIyazaki was good. Tomo got drunk and asked for permission to use his own toilet. No one told me that all of the belongings that I had carefully placed in plastic containers, wrapped in a blue tarp weighed down with concrete and stored under a cover on Chad's roof had been moved and uncovered by someone thereby leaving 95% of them utterly destroyed. It is my fault for leaving them there. It was asking too much but it was hard. It was easier because Natsuki came along and said "Throw it away!" She also added, "Unless you can't." Which makes her rad. I got to go surfing about 3 times. The waves weren't great. James managed to break my board so I tried Tomo's fish, which was impossible. Aoshima waves were tiny, but I rocked James' fun-board. A little bigger at Dobutsuen-ura and we ran into Shiho's sister, who informed me she has a boyfriend these days.

Chad and Caroline are off for Wales, and then to parts unknown. Won't quite be MIyazaki without Chad.

I slept hard on the boat back. A kid on the train today was wearing a basketball shirt that read "Slum Dank." I feel you kid.

This morning I had to work at the education training center with other English teachers on making short videos for elementary schools. THe irony wasn't lost on me that two years ago I was on the waiting list for FSU Film School and now I am having an old lady tell me how to work their beat up video camera.

Now I am getting ready to get on a plane to Hawaii and on to Atlanta. Every moment I am on a plane I am convinced I am going to die. I am pretty sure I won't, but if I do, it was a good run. You can get this post Buzzfeeded as "Dude predicts demise in blog-post." Play The Pogues at my funeral, put my ashes in a cherry bomb and blow up a mailbox or something. I have some good books for the trip.

I am a good shade of brown. On to camp!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Students

DSCF8011, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

This what my students look like. The one on the right is the toughest kid in school. He doesn't cause problems for me. The one on the left is bad in calls but is somewhat nice to me. He is almost taller than me.

Return to Miyazaki

DSCF8039, originally uploaded by wwc photos.

I caught the ferry back to Miyazaki on Friday night. Saturday we went swimming in Aya River and then to the Aoshima Matsuri. I had noticed a U.S. Navy minesweeper in the harbor. At the matsuri there were all these chubby foreigners looking out of place. After a few minutes I put 2 and 2 together. Most of the Navy guys were pretty friendly. This guy, Barney I think, was running around barefoot in a pair of trunks. As he explained that his tattoos were by Sailor Jerry he held a beer in one hand and some kind of wine in another. As he explained the tattoo he was dumping each cup on his chest. Miyazaki.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Natsuki!!!

It's Natsuki's birthday.

In celebration:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Human Rights?

An interesting article on the recent Japanese Supreme Court ruling on children born to non-Japanese mothers.

I agree with a lot of his points here. Lots of large issues, whether it is human rights or the environment, get cutesied up and littleified as to be digestable by Japanese society. An overall, ecological criticism of rampant consumer culture would be changed to "Why don't you take an eco bag to the grocery store." Or, as Pro. Jones observes here, the right to a fair trial is usurped by, "Don't be mean to people."

I think eco bags and not being mean to people are important, but I worry that simplifying things so much makes the larger issues irrelevent to the larger population. I believe that is the general viewpoint in Japan anyway. Human rights are something big that is dealt with by the government, which is boring and no one is interested in. It's really none of our business.


Interesting point. I would be included in that demographic.

Monday, July 14, 2008

FLorida Voter Swing

This is good. I don't imagine that it affects the Panhandle so much, but something will have to give. My prediction is that the Panhandle will gradually more isolated in its political leanings and be an aberration in Florida, more strongly linked with Alabama. Of course, a lot of this depends on immigration patterns which could root out the old white-folks and retired military. The main issue is that there are no large universities or new-fangled jobs to keep younger people around so there is little push for internal change.

Just in Case You Forgot

Here is info on the Gion Matsuri. You will notice that my photos are linked to at the bottom.

Do You Believe in Miracles?!?!?

My phone works again. I dried it all out. It wouldn't work. As a last ditch attempt, I put the battery back in and turned it on. The outside display is a little messed up, but it is completely functional. I think I should buy a new one soon anyway as it is probably corroding internaly. Aren't we all.

Like I Said, It's Hot.

I was worried yesterday that people would get heatstroke. Especially sinc eit is matsuri season. I would wager that some tourists in town for Gion Matsuri are going to pass out at some point today.

Speaking of passing out, we are having a Gion Matsuri party at my house tonight. Now that I live on Muromachi, I actually have Yamaboko on my street. I went and took pictures of them being erected yesterday. Will try to post soon.

A few months ago I was coming home from work and I heard a group practicing the Gion Matsuri "kon kon chiki chin kon chinki chin" music and I got excited. The next morning I was riding my bike to work and I got all excited thinking I was hearing it again. It turns out it was just the metal shutters on a parking garage being opened. I am all for dischordant Japanese music but... It happened again this weekend. I hear some metal banging and thought "It's started!!" But it was just another shutter, being lowered this time.

Sorry it is on a weekday Ed, or I would have invited you.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

AKA Barbie

I just saw this. Congratulations Jennifer!!


Indeed it is really, really hot. All of the tourists are in town for Gion Matsuri, but I would advise them to not got outside during the day. I went running about 10am and it was death hot. Later in the afternoon I went to buy some new board shorts. It was super death hot. Also, the store was full of fake surfers buying fake surf clothes for the purpose of fake surfing.

Friday, July 11, 2008

School Expert Says: School Works!!!

A British education expert gives Japanese elementary schools a thumbs up. There is a lot I like about Japanese schools and stuff that I don't. In the end though, it is the same equation as anywhere else; good schools work and bad schools don't. Surprise. On the whole, I think that Japan probably has more good schools, but that is hard to say sitting here.

Somehow, the thing I can't get over is that this article again wrongly uses the phrase "magic bullet." I hate that. Wait. Now I am thinking. You could make a strange case that it uses it correctly but I think they mean to say "silver bullet." People often confuse the two. This makes me more nuts that it should. It is like when people say, "She got the Noble Peace Prize in science." No. No she didn't. Nobody ever has. Still better than calling someone a "porous defender."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Guinea Pig or Tug Boat?

More from Debito Arudou, who is worth reading even when he is wrong. He is not in this case. I'm just sayin'.

Wet Phone

Here is some good information on fixing a wet phone. I got a lot of it right and some big parts wrong. I took the battery out and dried everything I could as soon as I got it out, but I also put the battery back in a few times. The whole thing is dissassembled and sitting in front of a running fan right now.

Disaster Strikes

I fell asleep after work today and woke up around 12:45. I groggily began searching for my keitai (cell phone) knowing that I went to sleep with it somewhere in the vicinity. I couldn't find it anywhere so I gave up and went downstairs. When I came back up I saw it, suspended in a glass of water that was next to my futon. How does this happen? How? If you don't live in Japan maybe the magnitude of this disaster seems a bit muted. Essentially everyone I know or have known for the last seven years lives inside of that phone. If I wanted to mail someone who I hadn't spoken to in half a decade, I conceivably could. I have now deconstructed the phone and laid it out in front of a fan. I have known this situation to go either way. I am not sure how I began to piss of God, but I must have done it well and good. I was going to compare losing one's phone with being mired in bankruptcy but then I thought, "No. That feels a little bit different." Pray for me children. Pray for me.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Don't Believe the Hype

Do you really think that drilling off of Florida will help you oil consumer? A few things keep being pretended in the current oil conversation. First, it seems to be glossed over that the oil won't go directly to the American people. The oil will go to the oil companies. The same oil companies who make record profits during a time of crisis and are given subsidies to do more drilling. Subsidies!!! We subsidize companies so that they can the take more of our money. What the F?

Second, large drilling operations are not economically feasible. Companies might pretend that they are because they might be able to squeeze a little out for now, but mainly because they desire to preserve this system for as long as they can run it.

Lastly, this is all the equivalent of a 12 year-old boy thinking, "If I just lay here and masturbate for 5 minutes then that is time that I won't have to get up and go to school." It doesn't change anything. We are going to have to deal with oil shortages. No one wants to cut back on consumption. No one wants to think about the population. No one wants to think about the fundamental nature of our societies so they reason something easy; just drill more then shoot all of the pollution into space. It don't make no kind of sense.

As Jane's Addiction Would Say...

Here we go!

Wet Pants

This morning I woke up to a giant rainstorm in Kyoto. It stopped before I went to work and I was able to ride my bike downtown without getting wet. To big foreign guys had jumped in Kamo-gawa by Sanjo-Ohashi and were splashing around in their underwear. I must say that my entering Kamo-Gawa around Ebisu-Dori, North of Nijo was playful and summerish, these two rubes committed and unforgivable transgression. If you can't understand that it is hard to understand the directional bias of Kyoto.

As the train neared Hirakata we caught back up with the rainstorm, which, as a former resident of both Florida and Miyazaki, I must say was the most violent non-storm related rain I have witnessed. It fell straight, but hard.

Everyone was buying umbrellas at the station, but I didn't feel like waiting in line so I ran through the bike parking lot, exited in front of the pachinko place and dashed up the street to the Family Mart, where no one was buying anything. At school, 90% of the teachers were soaking wet. My pants still are.

Back in the dungeon the last two days and things are getting worse. I have assumed a Zen attitude about the matter and have decided to merely bear witness. Yesterday Okada set off party-poppers in my class yelling, "Happy Birthday." My natural reaction would be to beat the living shit out of him. Not being able to do that I paid attention to the 70% of the class that was trying to participate. Hyodo came in holding a popper and I said to him in English, "Hyodo, if you set that off, I will rip off your fucking head and shove every stream of paper into the bleeding hole." He said, "I don't understand." "But you catch my drift." "I got it. You said 'Why don't you sit down and do the worksheet.'" "No, but that will do."

Yesterday, Ueshina, the 2nd tiniest boy in the 1st grade, tried to beat up the math teacher. Apparently the 1st years are trying their big-boy pants on for size. Apparently they don't know that my big-boy pants are Zubaz and their is no moratorium on me regulating their asses.

Monday, July 7, 2008

My Contribution: Fusion

If Summer's clip and David's clip were fused in the Brundel Fly machine, they would come out as my clip, which could be cleaned up a bit technically but is still pretty f'n good.

Summer's Contribution

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

David's Contributuion

What the F?

Go Venus. Come Here Serena!!

If you are me, this is indefinably hot.

All in the Family

They keep pigeon-holing us as basketball players, but we are so much more.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Africa Hot

Today was hot like Florida when you go outside to do something and realize you can do nothing else for the rest of the day. I went running about 11am at couldn't find my sunglasses. I did 5k and realized that my brain had exploded, so I jumped into Kamo-Gawa and wandered around for a bit. Rivers are amazing. They are colder than the land hat surrounds them. That is great of them to do that for us. Good on you rivers. I went home to my narrow attic and let the heat change the chemical composition of my cellular structure until I downed to Excedrin, rolled around waiting to throw up for a bout an hour and then popped out of the oven in a better mood.

I went to the gym later and was thoroughly dominated and received a fat lip. I got an omaplata on one guy with a few of the pro guys cheering for me. I then realized that the effect of my chemical heat rendering was the power to constantly feel the need to vomit. I lost the ability to move and ended up tapping to the need to vomit. Kyoto is hot. Like Africa hot.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

UFC 86: 7 Words

As Chad mentioned, the UFC has decided to suck it up and go on after the political assassinations of political allies George Carlin and Jesse Helms. After the two were found dead in their West Hollywood penthouse, handcuffed to each other with silencer shaped burn marks on the back of their necks, everyone thought this weekend's festivities would be canceled. A teary eyed Dana White stepped up to the podium(which is actually a lectern) in his vintage RUN/DMC t-shirt and announced, as the Blue Angles flew over, that America must go on.

Griffin vs. Aurellio: Submision powerhouse vs. powerhouse. In an exciting fight, Griffin wins via Badonkadonk in the 3rd.

Rollins vs. Saunders: I like watching Saunders as a fighter. He has an interesting hybrid style that isn't seen so much. Rollins is more of a contemporary wrestler come MMA fighter. I think he has the better chance to beat Saunders although I am rooting the other way. Rollins via 3rd round TKO.

(Update: Apparently this fight has been moved. I now changed my pick to Saunders by Minnesota.)

(Further Update: This bout is replaced with Gonzaga vs. McCully. If this fight makes it out of the 1st without Gonzaga shellacking McCully then they should toss him out of the UFC by his ample back hair. McCully is slagged on often and supposedly has a black belt in BJJ. While I am sure he is better than anyone I grapple with he is shite on the big stage. If I could grind out wins by laying on top of people, I probably would too, but Gonzaga was supposed to be the next big thing. Prove it big guy.)

Wilson vs. Bruno: I don't have enough information to make an intelligent decision. All I know is that Bruno got in a helicopter crash while in the Navy. Bruno in the 2nd by surviving a helicopter crash.

Hill vs. Bucholz: I still haven't seen anything great out of Bucholz. Hill is an interesting prospect. He is 6'4" and fights at 155. That is crazy. I got Hill by decision.

Guillard vs. Siver: I used to like Guillard, now I have no idea why he is still in the UFC. He acted like a little crybaby after his loss to Rich Clementi. Guillard is famously susceptible to subs. Siver shows little indication of sub ability. If you are actually betting, Siver is anough of an underdog to put some cash on. I don't bet, so I will reluctantly say Guillard by KO in the 2nd.

Gurgel vs. Miller: I realize that Gurgel is a better grappler than anyone I have ever trained with are been around, but I have still seen nothing that impresses me about him. Miller has done little either. Summer wants to "bone" Miller. He also trains at ATT so I will let that give him the edge. Miller by decision.

Koscheck vs. Lytle: I like both of these fighters. You can really learn a lot by watching Lytle fight. He is also a fireman. Koscheck is one of the better athletes in the UFC and he is consistently getting better. I would like to see Lytle pull out a decision. I know that he is perfectly capable of getting a KO. I see Koscheck by decision though.

Stevenson vs. Tibau: Tibau shows no signs of doing anything that can beat Big Daddy. Stevenson by vicious head-wrenching in the 2nd.

Cote vs. Almeida: Almeida is really my kind of fighter. After a hiatus from fighting, where he was holding it down in the 24 situation room, "Tony" has come back strong. I have a strange soft spot for Cote though, even though he is not "my kind of fighter." I see Cote by a KO in the 3rd. I think he might be putting it all together. I expect him to do well out of the clinch.

Jackson vs. Griffin: Here is the big one. This is rough. I like both guys. Rampage is still a nostalgic throwback to the salad days of Pride. Griffin is someone who always brings it all into his fights. I want to pull for both of them.

Striking: Jackson. Griffin has never showed any KO power. He has one KO over a random Brazilian.

Striking defense: Forrest's is good, but Jackson's might be the best I have ever seen in MMA.

Take-downs: Rampage. He is a power machine.

Grappling: Defensively Rampage is great. Forrest is supposed to be very under-rated on the ground. I'll call the grappling a wash.

Stamina: Forrest. Forrest. Forrest. This is not a knock on Rampage, but Forrest's stamina is among the best in the business. He can hang in there at almost a light-weight's pace.

On paper Rampage has this all the way. I put Forrest in the category I put Bisping in: He is the most athletic guy you know, not a great athlete. There is one factor that overrides this; he beat Shogun. That might not mean so much to American fans, but Shogun is fucking Shogun! He was amazing at 205 until Forrest choked him out. That is the only way that I can see Forrest pulling this one out. I cna see him hanging in there for as long as he can, getting Rampage tired and jumping on his back and choking him. That would be quite a feat. It is more likely that Jackson will get a TKO around the 3rd.

Eat some watermelon with some salt on it. Call Arash Markazi and tell him how "with-it" he is. Pull for the underdogs. Pray for the intertwined souls of Jesse and George. Take it to the office.

Happy 4th of July II !

I think I posted this last year as "Two heroin addicts, a pot enthusiast, and a Rhodes scholar play a song about a train." The most patriotic song that I actually like. I feel about Willie Nelson and music the way I feel about BJ Penn and fighting; sometimes he just descends to earth for our benefit. He forgets the lyrics though. It's "Train yards full of old black men." Although I am sure that there are graveyards full of old black men somewhere.

I talked to the elementary school kids about Independence Day yesterday. I told them that England was very strong and America was very weak back then and then I asked them how America won. "The atomic bomb!!" Each class answered without fail. "No. Americans are really good cheaters so they all hid in the woods and shot at English soldiers who lined up like you were supposed to back then and then they ran. After a few years the English said, 'Go on and take it!'" The kids liked that version of the story.

Happy 4th of July!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Apologize for All the Youtube, But....


Too Much Youtube

Sorry, but this was funnier than I thought it would be. Don't know who April is though...Not my sister

Better Than Nothing...

I would rather he come out a little bit stronger on Gen. CLark's side, but I realize that that would be a bit of a sideshow right now. Good response all in all.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Well That's a Bit Harsh

Old Ladies

One of the stories you hear about Japan is completely true: That old ladies around shopping go crazy! Today I went to the grocery store as my throat infection has been compelling me to throw down more ice cream in the last three days than I usually eat in a year. I was waiting in line behind a pretty old woman, which in Japan means over 90, when she saw a .000000000005% chance that another lane would be 2 seconds faster. As she scurried. swinging her stroller in front of her, she knocked over a display of cookies. As I was behind her in line, and next to the register, it spilled down around my feet. I leaned over to pick it up, as she was off at knee level in search of the other register, and because I would have anyway. As I spent the 3 seconds scooping up the cookies a moderately old lady, 75-85, dashed in front of me throwing down her basket at the register as if someone might take it from her. She was very focused on creating a zone of non-existence in my direction even though she had 3-times the groceries that I did. What compels one? I will never know.

I Still Love Wesley Clark

If you understand why Wesley Clark is being railroaded right now, then you have come a long way towards understanding U.S. politics. Here is a brief review if you haven't been following. What Wesley Clark did by saying that John McCain being a POW doesn't mean that he has national security expertise was to break through the fake, soapy, 4th wall surrounding our TV politics opera. As the Fresh Prince once said, "He's the DJ, I'm the rapper." Clark went and forgot that the seating arrangements were all made long before he ever showed up. Like any good boy band, the roles are assigned before the members are cast. McCain is the war hero. Being the war hero means that they are infallible on national security, until they fail royally and everyone shrugs and asks, "How could we have known?" It is the same mistake John Kerry made. He wasn't cast as the war hero. John McCain is the war hero. Further more, Democrats aren't allowed to be war heroes.

A larger violation is that Gen. Clark asked an intelligent question with an obvious answer. Does being shot down and held prisoner give you special qualifications to be president? Not really. It makes you a special person to survive it. It makes you courageous. It makes you a hard individual. But many people have been POWs. They deserve our respect and have amazing personal stories. That is exactly what Clark said. He went on to say that McCain was a hero of his in Vietnam. What he said after that was that McCain's record contained little in the way of larger command experience but he seemed to be claiming that he was. What he forgot is that everyone is suppsoed to play along. The band had been cast. Maybe Clark can be the shy one.

attempting to silence the voices in my head.