Saturday, October 18, 2008

Speaking of Elvis...

Yeah, I may not even talk to my mom anymore, but years of Saturday cleaning, with Elvis on the 8-track... it has an effect. Elvis was badass, for a white-boy-soul-singer.

Aloha Elvis rocks "My Way."

"Jailhouse Rock"

"In The Ghetto"

This is brilliant - "P.J. Proby & Marc Almond "Yesterday Has Gone""

[But I've been drinking. Screw you, it's my birthday.]

P.J. Proby seems to be what would've happened to Elvis, had he lived.

Still, I'm digging this music.

Hat tip to Boing Boing/Metzger, for today's Proby diversion.

"This is the RARE 1996 Promotional Video for P.J. Proby's duet with 1980s new-wave singer Marc Almond. The single was taken from Proby's EMI album 'LEGEND'"

Friday, October 17, 2008

T2 - 47/48.

47 - Upper body wkout/6 meals/2.5L water
48 - Free/rest day

Inspiration: Body-for-LIFE Challenge Champions 2003:
" Joseph Okabe
2003 Grand Champion
Men Age 33-39

...lost 65 pounds of fat, and he went from a 40-inch waist to a 31-inch. His blood pressure also went from 182/95 to 122/73..."

"Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you." — Aldous Huxley

Robert Anton Wilson Explains Quantum Physics [to the layman.]

And he explains everything else too, for that matter.

"An electron is not anywhere until we look...

Every model we makes tells us how our mind works as much as it tells us about the universe... these are just human symbolic games. The universe is bigger than any of our models.

Ergo any model we make does not describe the universe. It describes what our brains are capable of saying at this time.

All perception is gamble...

Every type of bigotry... that allows people to kill other people with a clear conscience... every kind of ignorance in the world are all results from not realizing our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it and we don’t even know we’re making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality...

Now the argument is that maybe my perceptions are inaccurate, but somewhere there is accuracy... the scientists have it with their instruments. That’s how we can find out what’s really real! But relativity and quantum mechanics have demonstrated clearly that what you find out with instruments is true relative only to the instrument you’re using and where that instrument is located in space time. So there is no vantage point from which real reality can be seen. We’re all looking from the point of view of our own reality tunnels. And when we begin to realize that we are all looking from the point of view of our own reality tunnels, we find it is much easier to understand where other people are coming from.

And the ones who don’t have the same reality tunnel as us don’t seem ignorant or deliberately perverse or lying or hypnotized by some mad ideology, they just have a different reality tunnel and every reality tunnel might tell us something interesting about our world... if we’re willing to listen."

Can't Fight the Future: "RiP: Remix Manifesto -- documentary about copyright and the information age."

RiP: Remix Manifesto -- documentary about copyright and the information age - Boing Boing:
"In RiP: A remix manifesto, Web activist and filmmaker Brett Gaylor explores issues of copyright in the information age, mashing up the media landscape of the 20th century and shattering the wall between users and producers.

The film’s central protagonist is Girl Talk, a mash-up musician topping the charts with his sample-based songs. But is Girl Talk a paragon of people power or the Pied Piper of piracy? Creative Commons founder, Lawrence Lessig, Brazil's Minister of Culture Gilberto Gil and pop culture critic Cory Doctorow are also along for the ride."

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chavez is an ass, but that's funny.

Hit & Run > The North Is Red - Reason Magazine:
"Socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez mocked George W. Bush as a 'comrade' on Wednesday, saying the U.S. president was a hard-line leftist for his government's intervention of major private banks in the U.S. financial crisis....
'Bush is to the left of me now,' Chavez told an audience of international intellectuals debating the benefits of socialism. 'Comrade Bush announced he will buy shares in private banks.'"

"Batman vs. The Penguin: The Debate."

Political sendup from a campy 60s TV show is actually how they run Presidential elections in 2008. Absurdly surreal. [Burgess Meredith was awesome.]

Via Boing Boing

T2 - 46.

20m cardio/6 meals/2.5L water

Inspiration: Body-for-LIFE MultiChallenge:
"Results: Lost 85lbs and went down 18 dress sizes from January til November living multiple Body-for-LIFE Challenges

Before Before was on Jan 1st 2000
Before Photo was on Sept 4th 2000
After Photo was on Nov 27th 2000

Breaking the Law.

Well kinda. Maybe. If the law means regulatory, bureaucratic stuff that may or may not even exist.

Anyways, it's oft repeated hububb on JET that we, as scary foreign ALTs aren't ever supposed to be left alone in the classroom. That there's always supposed to be an officially licensed/hired teacher in the classroom. Whether or not that's actually the case, who knows? But that's what "they" say. And even in Elementary school, in those classes where the homeroom teacher may do little but sit in the corner and grade papers, they're still there. I have started off classes though, when teachers were running late or whatnot, but they were always enroute.

But today the retinue of English teachers at my Jr High fell from 3 1/2 [yes, I only count myself as half a teacher] to only 1 1/2. One was off on a shutcho [business trip] and the other was attending her daughter's yochien [kindergarten] field trip.

So yesterday the teacher off on her daughter's field trip asked if I could cover one of the classes... dum, dum, dum!... on my own.

No problemo.

Lending itself to the ease of the class and my outstanding savoir faire was a couple things... the first being that the teacher who was off with her daughter is starting her pregnancy leave next week, and we've already reached the "hand off" point she wanted to get to for the next teacher. So no new grammar points or info needed to be taught. My Japanese ability remains completely inadequate to that sort of task. The second being, the class of second graders I had was a good group of kids, with nary a yanki bastard in sight. [The second graders overall are a really good group of kids. One or two are flirting with yanki-ness, but it looks like they're gonna make it out of their 2nd grade/"year to screw off" with no problems...]

[Btw, in case of any confusion Yankee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"In Japan since the late 1970s, the term Yankī has been used to refer to a type of delinquent youth"]

So, yeah, piece of cake. Today became "Big Vocabulary Review" day. Once the kids got over their shock and surprise - "Eeeeeeeeeh? Hitori dake?" - and their cheers that no other teacher was coming - kinda uncomfortable recognizing their dislike of one of the teachers who didn't come - the class knocked out without a hitch.

5-10 minutes with the standard line game warm up, about 15 minutes of board race spelling and definition review games and then 15 minutes on a 40+ word find worksheet. [I still can't get over the laser like focus even the least apt students puts into these. They work even in elementary school.]

So, success. And all that kinda thing. Honestly, I did dig on the feeling of working "without a net" so to speak. Even though conditions were pretty ideal.

And whether the whole "can't be in a class alone" is true, who knows? I doubt I'd have been asked to cover if it was such an out of bounds thing to do. Shoot, even the Principal happened to walk by and spent some time checking out my awesome handout. Though in hindsight, maybe he was checking up on me... either way, the point of all this rumination and typing is that I am awesome. That is all.

Sweet, sweet capitalism.

Overheard in New York | It's Important to Motivate the Sales Force:
"Drug dealer #1 (whispering): Smoke, smoke, smoke.
(passerby keeps walking)
Drug dealer #2 (yelling at drug dealer #1): C'mon, you gotta step your game up! Get that shit out there!

--Washington Square Park

Overheard by: willandbeyond"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Judgement calls.

Overheard in New York | Debbie Does Wednesday One-Liners:
"Girl on cell: No, mom, I'm not going to flag submissive at a fucking porn convention, pardon my French.

--170th St & Audubon Ave

Tall thin statuesque black girl looking intently into white guy's eyes: Do you want an open relationship or just want to do porn?


Overheard by: toughchoice"

I think it'd matter a little bit.

Overheard in the Office | Could Be a Wooden Plank in a Stripper Costume:
"Drone #1: Christ! I need to play the lottery.
Drone #2: Why, how much is it?
Drone #1: 250 million. If I win I'm flipping the bird to this place and you and I are gonna go hit Vegas. I'm gonna die balls deep in some hot stripper.
Drone #2: A female one right?
Drone #1: At 250 million, it won't matter.

Broadway & 42nd
New York City, New York"

T2 - 45.

Lower body wkout/6 meals/2.75L water

Motivation: | Blog May 12: Why I Hate Fat People:
"'Why do you hate fat people so much, Chris?'

It's a question I get often. And of course, the truth is that I don't hate fat people. In fact, helping fat people is a big part of my job and my passion in this field.

I used to be fat, and I know how the world simply changes when the fat is gone. It goes far beyond the numbers on a scale, and I want all overweight people to experience that.


I hate laziness. I hate excuse-making. I hate rationalization and self-bullshitting. I hate willful ignorance. I hate watching people piss away their potential. I hate it when people blame everyone but themselves. I hate mental weakness.

And that pretty much describes most fat people.

Yet at the same time, I'll bend over backward to help those who truly want to change. I've been there. And here is a much nicer place."

Revenge for years of inept anti-drug ads - "Talk to your parents about McCain."

"'If you're ever out somewhere and you're thinking about voting for McCain... just call me and I'll come pick you up, no questions asked.'"

Not untirely untrue.

Overheard in New York | Ni Hao, Wednesday One-Liners!:
"Asian chick: Asians are obsessed with analyzing poop.

--Max Restaurant, Tribeca

Overheard by: Shringle"

"Is Barack Obama part of the international black conspiracy to trick white people into thinking about racism? Answer: maybe..."

Entirely too funny.

Fafblog! the whole world's only source for Fafblog.:
"So ever since this election switched from practical bread-and-butter issues like how much Democrats are going to tax Jesus to fund their gay-married abortion babies to fluff like "the economy" and "the recession" and "the apocalyptic collapse of global capitalism" it looks like everybody's gonna vote for Barack Obama...

FACT! Barack Obama and sixties radical Bill Ayers were both associated with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a radical education foundation whose radical goal is to radically educate black children by educating them... while they are still black.

FACT! Barack Obama spent twenty years in the same church as radically black pastor Jeremiah Wright, who has been known to make such incendiary claims as "white people enslaved black people" and "white people killed Native Americans." Is Barack Obama part of the international black conspiracy to trick white people into thinking about racism? Answer: maybe...

FACT! "Obama" is an ancient Muslim name meaning "He Who Deceives the White Man with his Telegenic Charisma, Angular Good Looks, and Deceptively Conservative Policy Proposals." Coincidence? Or co-bama?

FACT! The previous fact was made up. But doesn't the fact that it was so easily made up prove that a kernel of truth must exist within the lie, and doesn't the existence of that kernel of truth prove that the lie is, in fact, true? Think about it! But not very hard!

Labels: fuck you '08, what will become of whitey??"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

"I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for."

Evidence suggests it's certainly no longer the party of small government, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and government non-intervention in people's lives.

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » One Step Closer to Purity:
"Christopher Buckley, author and son of late conservative icon William F. Buckley, last week surprised readers of the magazine his father founded, the National Review:
“Sorry, Dad, I’m voting for Obama” was the headline on The Daily Beast blog.

...I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.

With fiscal conservatism and smaller government clearly out the window these last eight years, really all they seem to have left is social conservatism and poorly thought out preemptive wars.

Otoh, the Democratic Party you still can't sum up the same way you can the Republican Party. Republicans believe [propaganda wise, anyways] in smaller government, fiscal responsibility and personal liberty, despite all evidence to the contrary.

Democrats believe in, ummm... honestly, such a hodge-podge of different things that you can't sum it up very well. Which is one reason the "Change" mantra and the "One America" bits play well this year. It gives them a verbal and ideological hook. Otherwise, Democrats suck on message. Clinton worked it by hammering "It's the economy, stupid." But otherwise, Democrats are horrible at articulating, simply and clearly, what they believe in.

Even Libertarians do a much better job with a very simple and clear message - maximal economic and personal liberty. Or the oft touted "economic conservative/social liberal."

Especially since they were able to make liberal a dirty word. You can't say you believe in liberal ideas in American politics anymore. Even though liberal really comes from ideas meaning liberty and openness. You can say still say you're a "conservative" and confer some sense of cautious responsibilty. "Liberal" means someone that wants to take all your money and force you to marry a homosexual. Though the left wing did hit back with a nice bit of verbal judo with the appropriation of the term "Neoconservative." Not really a conservative... a new type of conservative hellbent on screwing everything up.

Eh, they're all one big statist power-hungry party of domination and abuse. And that's my bit of cheery sunshiny optimism of the day. I'm gonna go talk with children and cheer myself up.

Of course they didn't - "TSA didn't keep track of ex-employees' badges and uniforms..."

You know, I bet I wouldn't even mind the encroaching totalitarianism and loss of civil liberties if they were even halfway fucking competent at their jobs. But they are not.

TSA didn't keep track of ex-employees' badges and uniforms - Boing Boing:
"A Homeland Security Committee investigation has found that the TSA was negligent in keeping track of former officers' uniforms and badges, so that an unknown number are now floating around, ready to be worn by anyone who wants to impersonate a TSA officer in order to bring a 3.1 ounce tube of toothpaste into a major US airport, thus causing every plane in the sky to crash simultaneously."

Most redundant sign seen in Japan.

"Asian Dining"

In English, no less.

Spotted on the road to Iizuka this past weekend. Sadly, my camera was not at hand to record this momentous redundancy.

Best CSR Ever.

Overheard in the Office | At Least I Don't End My Sentences with Prepositions:
"Angry customer on phone: Where are you located at?
CSR: Iowa.
Angry customer on phone: I outta come there and kick your ass!
Calm CSR: With all due respect sir, bring it. (hangs up)

Iowa City, Iowa

Overheard by: Cube Mate"


Hit & Run > Odds and Sods - Reason Magazine:
"A jarring helmet-cam video obtained by Salon suggests that a 2006 insurgent attack that killed two American soldiers in Ramadi was, in fact, a friendly-fire incident. One cannot help be moved by both the awful tragedy on display and the professionalism of the soldiers responding. That is until, at the very end of the video, when the squad leader orders his soldiers to report that they were hit by enemy mortars and not a U.S. Army tank shell."

T2 - 43/44.

43 - Upper body wkout/4 meals/2L water
44 - 20m cardio/6 meals/2L water

Last vestiges of sickness hanging on... headaches and gastrointestinal weirdness [how can one feel both bloated and nauseous at the same time?] Ah well. In true Pavlovian/Skinnerian greatness, the only time I've felt halfway decent the last few days is working out.

Inspiration: Body-for-LIFE Before After Afters:
"Pounds lost 22

Lean muscle gained 15
Years Charles has kept his weight off 2 years"

"Steal This Comic."


Monday, October 13, 2008

Smoke, mirrors, belief and bullshit = the stock market.

Again, the market doesn't measure a company's worth, it measures the percieved value of a company's worth. And perceptions are things people just pretty much make up as they go along. Attempting to define the market "rationally" then, is a losing game.

Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » What Comes Down Must Go Up:
"The market is officially insane, with the DOW at 950+ on the day. At least it is in a good direction, but this is still madness.

I am not sure what has changed to make it go up like this- aren’t all the same problems we had last Friday still here today? Yes, governments all over the world are going to rescue the banks, but I fail to understand how a rescue is cause for celebration. Have we not just kicked the can back down the road a few weeks?"

"Sure, deaths from drug overdose have jumped 70 percent... But fewer people are smoking pot. And that means we're winning."

Lies, damn lies and statistics. Torture the numbers, make them say anything you want.

Hit & Run > Drug Czar Fail - Reason Magazine:
"We're told that drug war is a moral imperative because, in the words of Walters himself, "dangerous drugs damage [children's] lives and limit their futures." But like most temperance zealots, Walters measures success not by actual lives wrecked or ended prematurely, but merely by how many people are and aren't getting high.

Switching from the "drugs ruin lives" justification for the drug war itself to "how many people are getting high" when measuring the same drug war's effectiveness, then, hides a more important statistic: How many people have had their lives ruined and futures limited by the drug war? The vast majority of the 873,000 people arrested for marijuana offenses last year, for example, likely had more damage done to their lives by the prohibition of marijuana than could ever be done by the drug itself.

Such is why drug warriors like William Bennett, Karen Tandy, and Walters can assert with a straight face that alcohol prohibition was, also, a "success." Sure, the crime rate spiked, alcohol hospitalizations soared, and corruption and contempt for the rule of law was rampant. But fewer people swallowed down less demon rum. So, score one for social engineering.

Sure, deaths from drug overdose have jumped 70 percent, and more than doubled among young people. But fewer people are smoking pot. And that means we're winning."


You know, when my oldest niece starts college, my youngest nephew starts high school, and my wife's 16 year old cousin wears shoes like this...
From 2008-10-12

...I may be getting older. Something must be done about this.

In other news no one cares about, all my shoes are apparently turning into either Crocs or Fivefingers...
From 2008-10-12

Crocs aren't the most attractive shoes in the world, but you know what? They totally work for me. The nice wide footbed and loose fit rocks pretty hard.

[Especially since, it seems, my feet are getting bigger as I get older. Does this happen to everyone? Why was I not told? I wore a 9.5, maybe a 10, all throughout college and the military, but in the last year and half, two years, I need a 10.5 or an 11 to work.]

Plus, going barefoot and wearing the Fivefingers a lot, anything that isn't a loose fit type show feels like my feet are being bound and gagged. [Metaphorically, of course.]

...and Crocs are really the perfect shoe clog for Japanese schools, as I'm forever changing on the go. Outside to inside. Inside to outside. Gym shoes to outside shoes. Inside shoes to gym shoes. On and on and on...

And now that Crocs make a Teva-clone, it's good to go. Though they were almost an internet fail purchase till I took a pair of scissors to them. Note to Crocs manufacturers... your selling point is the wide footbed/loose fit. Putting crappy non adjustable elasticized straps in your Tikali model = fail.

And now I've gone on so long I've bored myself. I must officially be a blogger now.

Japan has some crazy looking spiders.

By our apt.
From 2008-10-12

In Iizuka.
From 2008-10-12

Road tripping to Iizuka.

Headed over to grandma's on Sunday, of the three day weekend.

Here, Midori proudly shows off her "just bought on sale yesterday" jeans. Definite Adachi-kei.
From 2008-10-12

From 2008-10-12

Piling in the car, on the drive to Iizuka.
From 2008-10-12

Grandma is out.
From 2008-10-12

As is Midori.
From 2008-10-12

Yes, the sign only says "Parking Area" but that's Hiko-san [Mt Hiko] in the background. [I think.] Anyways, good picture.
From 2008-10-12

The clan fuels up before beginning our trek.
From 2008-10-12

Grandma doing what she does very well. Now only if they had hats to buy.
From 2008-10-12

From 2008-10-12

And we're off. Bringing up the rear as Bachan had a tendency to not care when cars were coming.
From 2008-10-12

From 2008-10-12

Beginning the stair climb. Pretty tall, actually.
From 2008-10-12

From 2008-10-12

I still don't know what Sandy was doing here. Something about "perspective" or something. I just take pictures, I don't ask questions.
From 2008-10-12

Bachan gambaremasita!
From 2008-10-12

This is, maybe, about halfway up, looking back.
From 2008-10-12

Having reached the "top..."
From 2008-10-12

...appropriate thanks was given at the local shrine. [I think that's how it works.]
From 2008-10-12

Daijiro being AWESOME.
From 2008-10-12

From 2008-10-12

From 2008-10-12

From 2008-10-12

I have this effect on women... that strange mix of joy, panic and fear.
From 2008-10-12

From 2008-10-12

Bachan, the conquering hiker, on the descent.
From 2008-10-12

Grandma shows Daijiro where she once killed a man, just to watch him die. [I may be getting that translation wrong.]
From 2008-10-12

I'm all artistic and stuff.
From 2008-10-12

He's watching you. [Find the kind of creepy statue.]
From 2008-10-12

Midori is out. Crazy bit, she's asleep with one eye open! Kowai, ne?
From 2008-10-12

Like mother, like daughter.
From 2008-10-12

Current Japanese Prime Minister Aso is from Iizuka, so his mug is plastered all over the local omiyage. Cracks me up, though no different than the GW bobbleheads in Crawford, I'd imagine.
From 2008-10-12

Return trip mandated a soft creme break. Look at that mad, sugar-rush crazed gleam in her eyes...
From 2008-10-12

Mmmm, chocolate sauce. It was actually the best ice cream I've had in a while. Hokkaido style rocks.
From 2008-10-12

Little Kyoto in Iizuka was... um... underwhelming. Though I bet it's kinda cool in cherry blossom season.
From 2008-10-12

From 2008-10-12

Return home/evening wrapup around the nabe pot.
From 2008-10-12

Economic Summary.

Via Sinfest: The Webcomic To End all Webcomics