Friday, July 21, 2006

Patrick Swayze Wept - John, Chapter 11 Verse 35

It was not a good movie.

But it wasn't a... horrible... movie. It had some decent fight scenes [if one is forced to be honest and nostalgia free - better fight techniques than the original] and, well, breasts [I'm a guy - sue me]... Jake Busey did some good scene-chewing as one of the bad guys, and Will Patton was a clear acting playing-field above everybody else... but it was strictly B-movie direct-to-DVD fare.

Patrick Swayze, indeed, wept.

The Big Lebowski - The Fu&*^ing Short Version

Ah, the music of profanity...

Hey look! It's crazy people!

Unsurprisingly, religion is involved.

Shocking, I know.

Silver Linings and a Cross of Gold (
"It turns out there's an upside to the current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah—if you're waiting for the second coming of Christ. Here's a selection of excited messages spotted over the last few days on the Rapture Ready/End Times Chat online bulletin board. By Ken Silverstein.

* * *

Praise God! We are chosen to be in these times and also watch and spread the word. Something inside me is exploding to get out, and I don't know what it is. Its kind of like I want to do cartwheels around the neighborhood.

* * *

Got that dancing feeling on the inside of me.

* * *

This is the busiest I've ever seen this website in a few years! I have been having rapture dreams and I can't believe that this is really it! We are on the edge of eternity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* * *

Whoa! I can sure feel the glory bumps after reading this thread!"

"It's not a tumor"

Well, technically it is, I guess.

Had a small bump on my shoulder for about 2 months that seemed like a bug bite at first, but never healed. Finally went out to the hospital yesterday, as it's now summer vacaction for the kids, and it took the extremely competent English speaking doctor all of about 2 seconds to say "dermatofibroma".

Which in normal person speak means skin fibroid or skin fibroid tumor. Basically a benign growth of histiocyte immune cells that [probably] overreacted to something... [maybe a bug bite, according to some websites, so I wasn't completely crazy imagining there was one...]

So upon our return from the US in August, I've got an appointment with a friendly Japanese man with a very sharp knife to excise it for me...

Dermatofibroma - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Dermatofibromas are harmless benign skin growths, found especially on the legs, that range in size from about 0.5 to 1 cm. They are hard papules (rounded bumps) that may appear in a variety of colors, usually brownish to tan. Typical dermatofibromas cause little or no discomfort, although itching and tenderness can occur. Some physicians and researchers believe dermatofibromas form as a reaction to previous injuries such as insect bites or thorn pricks."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Institutionalizing the stupidity of 'not thinking'.

“Belief is the death of intelligence”. - Robert Anton Wilson

Everything in your life, let alone everything you read in a book, is nothing more than an interpretation of something. And most often, your interpretation of someone else's interpretation. And on and on it goes...

Florida's Fear of History: New Law Undermines Critical Thinking:
"One way to measure the fears of people in power is by the intensity of their quest for certainty and control over knowledge.

By that standard, the members of the Florida Legislature marked themselves as the folks most terrified of history in the United States when last month they took bold action to become the first state to outlaw historical interpretation in public schools. In other words, Florida has officially replaced the study of history with the imposition of dogma and effectively outlawed critical thinking.

Although U.S. students are typically taught a sanitized version of history in which the inherent superiority and benevolence of the United States is rarely challenged, the social and political changes unleashed in the 1960s have opened up some space for a more honest accounting of our past. But even these few small steps taken by some teachers toward collective critical self-reflection are too much for many Americans to bear.

...The fundamental fallacy of the law is in the underlying assumption that “factual” and “constructed” are mutually exclusive in the study of history. There certainly are many facts about history that are widely, and sometimes even unanimously, agreed upon. But how we arrange those facts into a narrative to describe and explain history is clearly a construction, an interpretation. That’s the task of historians -- to assess factual assertions about the past, weave them together in a coherent narrative, and construct an explanation of how and why things happened.

[Actually, that's the task of EVERYBODY - not just historians, but I digress - Rob]

For example, it’s a fact that Europeans began coming in significant numbers to North America in the 17th century. Were they peaceful settlers or aggressive invaders? That’s interpretation, a construction of the facts into a narrative with an argument for one particular way to understand those facts.

It’s also a fact that once those Europeans came, the indigenous people died in large numbers. Was that an act of genocide? Whatever one’s answer, it will be an interpretation, a construction of the facts to support or reject that conclusion.

Speaking of contemporary history, what about the fact that before the 2000 presidential election, Florida’s Republican secretary of state removed 57,700 names from the voter rolls, supposedly because they were convicted felons and not eligible to vote. It’s a fact that at least 90 percent were not criminals -- but were African American. It’s a fact that black people vote overwhelmingly Democratic. What conclusion will historians construct from those facts about how and why that happened?...

In other words, history is always constructed, no matter how much Florida’s elected representatives might resist the notion. "

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"What? Ya haven't peaked yet?"

"I didn't hear no bell."

"Ding. Ding."


Ollie Queen comes to Smallville!

[I don't care... I think it's kinda cool.]

Via Kryptonsite:

KryptonSite: Green Arrow Comes To Smallville!:
"TV Guide's July 24 edition, now arriving in subscriber mailboxes with a nifty Tom Welling cover, has a BIG scoop -- that the DC Comics character of Oliver Queen, better known to fans as Green Arrow, will be making an appearance in Smallville for a story arc that will go for 'at least seven episodes.'"

Swami Vivekananda addresses the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions

Chicago Addresses:
"Much has been said of the common ground of religious unity. I am not going just now to venture my own theory. But if anyone here hopes that this unity will come by the triumph of any one of the religions and the destruction of the others, to him I say, 'Brother, yours is an impossible hope.' Do I wish that the Christian would become Hindu? God forbid. Do I wish that the Hindu or Buddhist would become Christian? God forbid.

The seed is put in the ground, and earth and air and water are placed around it. Does the seed become the earth, or the air, or the water? No. It becomes a plant, it develops after the law of its own growth, assimilates the air, the earth, and the water, converts them into plant substance, and grows into a plant.

Similar is the case with religion. The Christian is not to become a Hindu or a Buddhist, nor a Hindu or a Buddhist to become a Christian. But each must assimilate the spirit of the others and yet preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth."

Swami Vivekananda's Parable of the Frog

A frog lived in a well. It had lived there for a long time. It was born there and brought up there, and yet was a little, small frog... Well, one day another frog that lived in the sea came and fell into the well.
"Where are you from?"
"I am from the sea."
"The sea! How big is that? Is it as big as my well?" and he took a leap from one side of the well to the other.
"My friend," said the frog of the sea, "how do you compare the sea with your little well?"
Then the frog took another leap and asked, "Is your sea so big?"
"What nonsense you speak, to compare the sea with your well!"
"Well, then," said the frog of the well, "nothing can be bigger than my well; there can be nothing bigger than this; this fellow is a liar, so turn him out."

That has been the difficulty all the while.

I am a Hindu. I am sitting in my own little well and thinking that the whole world is my little well. The Christian sits in his little well and thinks the whole world is his well. The Mohammedan sits in his little well and thinks that is the whole world. l have to thank you of America for the great attempt you are making to break down the barriers of this little world of ours, and hope that, in the future, the Lord will help you to accomplish your purpose.

Do you think a thought, or does the thought think you?

Funny synchronicities yesterday and today... the day after I watched the flick Annapolis [not really all that good - and not really realistic in portraying Academy life. Two big dramatic "hooks" in the flick absolutely would not have occured at USNA...] I get an email from my cousin asking me if I had seen it and what I thought about it...

And today, Nagano Sensei wanted to show me a website he came across yesterday and ask some questions about it. He asked me if I knew what "Japlish" was and right away I knew that he was gonna show me, which I had just gone to the first time yesterday to send the link to another JET. So literally, he and and I were clicking on the same webpage pretty much simultaneously.

Now all I have to do is figure out what that means...

Kevin Smith Rules.

Happiness is when your trip back to the states coincides with the new View Askewniverse flick.

Comic Book Resources - CBR News - The Comic Reel:
"So, I wanted to do a version of what I felt what it was like being in my 30s that was a little more in touch with reality, which is odd because this movie does have a donkey show at its epicenter. "

Monday, July 17, 2006

JAL Seahawk Hotel

Kiko also hooked us up with an overnight stay at the Seahawk Hotel, in a 3man/$300 a night room.

It was pretty sweet.

This is me either, 1 - goofing around in the very cool shower, or 2 - trapped in the Phantom Zone. Take your pick.

Great beds. Excellent for napping.

Check out the great view of the city from the top of the hotel.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters over the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, 3-0

Aunt Kiko won some free tickets to a Fukuoka Hawks game this past weekend. She and the family weren't able to go, so she kindly passed them on to us... Sadly, the local team dropped the game 3-0 to the visitors, but it was a good time...

The team is actually the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Softbank is the company that runs/owns Yahoo Japan, so the stadium is, of course, the Yahoo Dome.

We had some great seats, just off third base/left field.

Check out the beer man! [Not to mention they had the Chu-hi man, the bento man and the ice cream man...] But the beer man, yes, he's the one who's services I indulged.

The seventh inning stretch, "Lucky 7", tradition at the Yahoo Dome.

In a custom that should be mirrored by baseball teams around the globe, I present to you... baseball cheerleaders!

Drugs, if nothing else, spark the hell outta creativity...

Cause no sober individual decides he's a bridge troll.

I don't think. - News - 'Bridge Troll' Arrested After Confrontation With Deputy:
"Robert Hibbs, 19, was arrested Friday in a park near Foothills Highway and Colorado Avenue after demanding money and attacking the deputy. Police said that Hibbs insisted he was a troll and owned the bridge the deputy was trying to cross."