Monday, July 30, 2012

Family values...

 Family values...

What the f--- does that mean exactly?  And why has the American Christian Right come to feel that only they have them?

Let's see...  Family values...  Do you love your spouse/partner?  Do you promise to be faithful to that person, in sickness or in health, until death do you part?  Will you respect them, honor them, desire their happiness?  Treat your children well, love them without reservation, teach them right from wrong, provide for them, even deny them what they want when necessary for their physical and spiritual growth?  Communicate with your family?  Sounds like family values to me.

To say that only far-right, Republican American Christians have family values offends me.  It taxes me.  How can you say that only you have "family values"?

My wife has all those values, and more.  But she is Japanese, and while she did go to a Catholic school, she is not Christian.  Nor are almost all of the people around me (only 1% of Japanese are Christian).  Yet they love.  They respect.  They honor.  They raise families, cherish their children, teach them proper behavior and to respect others.

My gay friend John -- God, I hate prefacing his name that way --  My high-school friend John has those values, as did my college friends Bo and Scott, and numerous other gay or lesbian friends.  My Iranian friend, Bobby, has the same family values.  So do I..

Are intolerance and bigotry "family values"?  I should hope not..

An unfortunate choice of acronyms

I receive a newsletter from a sporting goods shop where I get training supplies.  They have a good name for a training and martial arts shop, BodyMaker.

Can you guess where I'm going yet (pun not intended, yet, oh, so apropos).

Look at the newsletter subject line:

会員 だれだれ様へ[BM NEWS]日本応援!!今日は重量挙げ☆【BODYMAKER】

BM NEWS?  Kinda makes you hesitate to open it and see the pictures, now don:t it?  Big steaming piles of ...

Check out some of their web pages, which are, again, unintentionally funny (life is what you make of it, my friend).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Well, here's a new wrinkle on the nuclear power issue here in Japan.

A report came out detailing all the errors and bad procedures which led to the fire/explosion and resulting radiation leak in Fukushima after last year's earthquake and tsunami.  The cause was, surprise, surprise, human error.  The entire glow-in-the-dark, 25-km exclusion zone, modern ghost town mess was, even with the tsunami factored in, completely avoidable; the result of excessive micromanagement by the Prime Minister's office, and general passivity on the part of TEPCO executives (Tokyo Electric Power Co).

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, the bozos at another nearby reprocessing plant actually hand printed a manual that said it was OK to mix sub-critical masses in freakin' buckets that led to an incident in 1999 that killed 2 workers.

A subsequent check of other facilities led to all Japanese power plants being taken offline, while issues of safety and procedure were addressed.

And thus we reach my point for this post, which is brownouts.  Kansai power has asked all residents of the Osaka-Himeji and points west to conserve power (they just restarted the Oi plant, which led to mass spontaneous demonstrations by folks opposed to sloppy handling of the nuclear material.  Kinda reminds me of John Travolta in "Broken Arrow":  "How many times do I have to tell you, please don't shoot at the thermal nuclear weapons!")

So now, at the beginning of the hot-as-hell season, oops, summer, they want us to not run our air conditioners, etc, and will institute rolling brownouts.  My classroom is gonna become one of those toy Betty Crocker ovens, and the lack of power to my fan will make it totally unbearable.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Men's Club

Recently someone asked me if Japan was still a patriarchal society, and I said that things were changing.  Women have more opportunities in the workplace:  they aren't pressured to quit their jobs when they get married, some even keep them after having a child (I said it was getting better, I didn't say it was fair).  Well, the Japan Olympic Committee just put the lie to that..

This is ridiculous.

The Japanese women's soccer team, the current Women's World Cup champion team, will be flying to London by Economy Premier class, at about 500K yen per seat (someone should teach the JOC about discount tickets and early purchase).

Yet the men's team, currently ranked #20 in the world, gets to fly Executive Class at 750K a pop.  Nothing against the men, but...


She Was From Detroit...

I was walking my dog a while ago, when something just felt weird, tugging at my attention, demanding a second look.  So I looked again, and, man, was she worth it.  Big bodied, muscular; so sexy, you just wanted to touch her; so strong, she could eat you alive.  No rice eater, this one.

Now, I don't usually drool over cars.  But after years of seeing K cars (mini Cooper sized, w/o the personality) named Parsley, Fit and March, some good ol' Detroit rolling iron gets the blood moving.

Oh, and check out the Schwinn next to it.  Someone's dished out some serious money for these two.