Category Archives: Random

The Perils of Being Cassandra

There are still those who doubt my powers, but they were scrambling for warm clothes today and probably cursing my name.

At least I like to think they were.

I’ve written before how one of my basic mantras is that “It always gets cold one more time.” There are people who doubt this–they claim that sudden warm weather is proof that winter is over–but today, to celebrate the first day of spring, we got snow.

It didn’t stick, and it only came between bouts of sleet and rain, but it did snow for a couple hours.

It didn’t effect me much, but I had fun walking in the snow with our youngest to get lunch. Also, as is a tradition, we are using our last drips of kerosene.

Now, there are those who will think this is the last time it will be cold. They are wrong. It always gets cold one more time.

What Day Through Yonder Window Breaks?

It’s only day three of the break between school years and I’m already not sure what day it is.

I managed to get myself to the speech contest on Saturday but since then I’ve had no place to be and little of importance to do. This means it’s easy to sit back and do little and have a very good time doing it.

On occasion I’ve listed things I want to sell and even dusted off old camera gear to take some pictures of the gear but other than that, I’ve done little else that required me to know what day it is.

That will change soon when I once again am “responsible” for “work” as required by the company for which I work.

I’ll be annoyed, but at least I’ll know what day it is. Probably.

Farewell, But First

Anyone who thinks the Japanese are nice and polite has never seen them wait for booze.

Tonight was the farewell party for the teachers who are leaving the school where I work. This usually involves shockingly precise timing and those who arrive fashionably late miss the opening toasts and at least one course.

The toasts are important because, technically, no one can drink or eat until the toasts are made.

However, tonight, the toasts were delayed because beer arrived quickly, but the mixed drinks didn’t arrive for quite a long time. As a result, we just stared at empty glasses or slowly warming beer.

As the beer degraded, several staff members began to complain. This didn’t hurry things along as two large parties and the regular guests were being served by only three staff.

Eventually drinks arrived and toasts were made and we then enjoyed the tradition of slowly starving whilst waiting for the various courses.

A few of us were wise enough to meet before the party to have a few beers and eat some food. This meant we were more polite than many of the Japanese, which was a bit odd.

Now school is out and we won’t have to be polite again for a few weeks.

Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Winter Olympics 2018 End of All That Edition

The Olympics ended with a few pleasant surprises and no small amount of Canadian tears.

USA winning gold medal in Men’s Curling: A

Number of Americans who care: >100

Number of Canadians who care: Many Many Many

Number of depressed Canadians: Many Many Many

Odds that Canadian Prime Minister Socksy Dancer will have to resign: Strong

Canadian losing to Germany in Men’s Hockey: F (For Canadians); Who cares? (For everyone else.)

Canada winning bronze: D- (for Canadians); Who cares? (For everyone else.)

Canadian team questioning goal and calling for video replay: F

Canadian announcer questioning Canadian teams questioning of goal: push

Video replay in hockey: F for WTF?

Odds of Canadian Government investigation into team selection process: High

Odds Canadian Prime Minister Socksy Dancer will be beheaded: push

Japan’s women making Curling final four: A

Japan winning bronze: A

Great Britain going for win only to lose: push

Yoshida Chinami: A

Takagi Nana’s gold in speed skating: A

Japan getting 13 medals (which is more than Nagano total): A


Closing Ceremony
Score: Automatic F

US uniforms: B+

Japan’s uniforms: B (the blue and gray hats and scarves were odd but looked good with red coat).

Thirteen year old guitar player: A-

Electric bungee TRON boys: F for WTF?

Drone formations: B+

Drone swarms: C

Forgetting lessons of the The Terminator: F

The Terminator: A

Every Terminator movie after The Terminator: F

Linda Hamilton in The Terminator: A

Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2: Judgement Day: A-

K-Pop: B

Endless K-Pop in closing ceremony: F

Image Mapping: A

On shadow dancers: A

Dancing in the shadows: A

“Shadow Dancing”: C

All this and nothing more: F

’70s references: F

Of songs you didn’t even like: F

Confusing “Shadow Dancing” with “Slow Dancing”: F

Johnny Rivers: B

Andy Gibb: B-

Dying young: F

Speeches: Automatic F.

That’s all for now. The next Olympics, in 2020, will be in Tokyo which will add a level of intensity to the proceedings.

Until then, take care and have fun.


Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Winter Olympics 2018 Scandalous Edition

The short hiatus is over and that means it’s time to deal with a few Olympic Scandals.

Katie Couric’s comments on people in the Netherlands skating to work: F

Katie Couric opening mouth to speak: F

Japan winning gold medal in Pursuit: A

Japan exceeding Nagano medal tally: A

South Korean pursuit skaters bullying teammate during and after race: F

South Korean’s bullying Canadian skater: F

Bullying Canadians: D-

Canadian Bullies: N/A (Except when they are talking about USA or to someone from USA, then D for Don’t care because it’s Canadians.)

Canada’s Ski-Cross lumberjack uniforms: A- (A+ if they’d been worn during opening ceremony.)

Being a lumberjack and being okay: A

Cliches: F

US Speed Skating’s scandalous and offensive naughty bits uniforms: D- (would love to hear the designers explain that design)

USA women defeating Canadian women for hockey gold: A

The match ending with a shootout: C+

Winning the shootout: A

Canadian Depression level after loss: C+

Canadian goalie ripping off silver medal: F

Drinking Canadian tears: B+

Odds that a big chunk of US team was actually from Canada: push

US men being eliminated from medal contention in hockey: D (for Don’t care because USA isn’t playing so sport is irrelevant.)

US men defeating Canadian men in Curling: A

USA being guaranteed highest finish ever in Curling: A

Canadian men missing out on chance at even a bronze medal: F (in Canada) D for Don’t Care (rest of world).

Odds that Canadian men’s team will be forced to settle outside of Canada: high

Odds of a national investigation into loss: high

The fact your humble editor actually watched hockey: push



Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Winter Olympics 2018 Day Eleven-or-so Edition

Japanese television and online streaming have been dominated by Yuzuru Hanyu’s gold medal. Luckily, there are a few other things happening, although the Japanese press doesn’t seem to care.

Yuzuru Hanyu: A-

Shoma Uno: A-

Yuzuru Hanyu’s performance: A

Seeing Yuzuru Hanyu’s performance 24 hours straight: F

Simulcast failing in final 30 seconds of Hanyu’s actual performance: F

Men’s Free Skate: B

Winnie the Pooh: A

Eeyore: A+

Flinging Pooh: A

Flinging poo: F

Going there: D-

Hitting the easy ones: F

Totally Not Russian Russian team’s frown at their scores: A for not pretending.

Jin Boyang’s genuine joy: A

Genuine joy: A+

Possibility of genuine joy: C-

Japan finishing 1 and 2: A

Brian Orsor finishing 1 and 3: A

Brian Orsor’s income the next few years: A+

Javier Fernandez: A

Running real-time Technical Score: B

Potential for butt-hurt: F

Potential for controversy in a corrupt competition: F

Canada versus Sweden in Curling: A

Sport with the best sounds: Curling.

Whatter ya’ tryin’ fer?
Never touch it. Never touch it.
Never. Never. Never.
It’s straight. It’s straight.

Isabel Atkin: A

Great Britain’s first skiing medal: A

Fact that it come from an American: A+

Fact that it’s bronze: C

Delayed Medal Ceremony: D- for I just won a gold medal; let me get drunk NOW.

US Slopestyle ski suits: Maroon and Gray: B-. Maroon and Blue: A

Worst team uniforms: Norway’s curling trousers: F for wearing ugly Christmas sweater as trousers.

Watching three sports streams at once: E for Elvis.

Bobsled superimposing other sled to show actual victory distance: A for Really? Two-hundredths of a second is THAT far?

NBC screwing up Woman’s Super-G call: F

Ester Ledecka: A

Her Super-G run: A+


All NBC announcers: F

US media in general: F

That’s all for now. More as it is discovered/created.

Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Winter Olympics 2018 Middle-ish Day Edition

As we approach the halfway point of the 2018 Winter Olympics we are now dealing with an odd new controversy.

For reasons your humble editor doesn’t fully understand, Great Britain is a leader in Skeleton, or high-speed head-first ice tube sledding. It turns out this may have something to do with their ability to bend the rules on helmet and suit design.

Cheating: F

Bending the rules: B

Skeleton: A as it is the only ice tube sliding event your humble considers to be an actual sport.

Hurtling head first down an ice tube on an unsteerable bit of tubing and plastic: B

Great Britain: A-

Mikaela Shiffrin: A+

Collapsing in the snow: A for Adorable.

Giant Slalom: A

Slalom: B-

Super Giant Slalom: A-

Czech Republic’s migraine aura ski suits: F

Mexico’s Day of the Dead ski suits: A+

The fact that whenever a movie visits Mexico, or any place in Central or South America it is always during the Festival of the Dead: C- for cliche.

USA vs Slovenia in hockey: C for choke.

USA Vs Slovakia: A

Event that sounds dirty if you mispronounce it: Women’s Aerials

Women’s Aerials: B

Aerials in general: B

Yuzuru Hanyu: A-

Figure Skating: B-

Ski Jumping: B

Japan’s current performance in a sport it used to dominate: D-

Snowboard Cross: B-

Snowboarding: push still have never tried it.

That’s all for now. More as your humble editors learns it/makes it up.

Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Winter Olympics 2018 Gold Medal Edition

On this day in the Olympics, whatever day it is, politics continues to influence events, but more on that in a bit.


Not realizing this is the 20th anniversary of this bit of nonsense: D

Realizing it’s the 20th anniversary: F+

Competition your humble editor should hate but can’t stop watching: Curling

OAR vs Norway Curling Mixed Doubles bronze medal match : A-

Your team being called OAR: F

Winning to get bronze: C

Losing to get silver: F

Canada vs Switzerland Curling Mixed Doubles gold medal match: A

Calling the match when you’re way behind: A-

Keeping hope alive: A, except when it prolongs an ass-whoopin’, then F

Killing hope dead: F, except when it shortens an ass-whoopin’, then A

Gettin’ your ass whooped: F

Abandonin’ “G” in your writin’ as a mere affectation: F

Favorite Curling announcer exchange:
Announcer 1 (with English accent): “Beautifully played again.”
Announcer 2 (with Irish accent): “Delightful really.”

Accidentally watching NBC’s Olympics coverage: F

NBC’s Coverage: NA for lack of actual sports coverage.

Coming out bigly against your country’s leaders on the world stage in a country that discriminates in the exact way you’re complaining about: F

Backtracking even more bigly: F


Wanted attention: B-

Unwanted attention: F

Dragging politics into the Olympics: F

Believing the Olympics isn’t political: F

Basically repeating same comment as before: F, for lazy.

Slopestyle vs Halfpipe: Slopestyle by far.

Shaun White: A

Ayumu Hirano: A-

Shaun White with short hair: push

Chloe Kim: A

Jamie Anderson: A

Seventeen-year-old competitors claiming two medals: A

The Olympic medal designs: A.  Your humble editor likes that design and the detail on the edges


Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Winter Olympics 2018 Day Something Something

This report poses some odd problems for your humble editor: The actual Olympics has been fairly boring and what wasn’t boring involved politics and not sports. Although politics is what your humble editor has longed long to avoid, a couple minor exceptions have been made.

Also, one of the things your humble editor has written about before is how young reporters discover old stories that they think are new. In this case, your humble editor has noticed a great deal of attention being given to the “bulges” of men’s luge competitors. This controversy takes your humble editor back to the early days of this bit of nonsense and the first Olympics report card from Nagano in 1998: Look here and scroll down to  “Bulbous Naughty Bits”.

Rereading  yourself and realizing you’ve changed your own rules on Opening Ceremonies: F

Rereading yourself: D-

Realizing you MAY have improved: B+


A few more grades:

Eurosport network playing “I want it all, and I want it now” for an event dedicated to peace and sportsmanship: C-

Believing the notion that the Olympics is actually about peace and sportsmanship: D-

The return of the North Korean all-woman synchronized creepy cheerleading squad after 14 years: B-

What will happen to the cheerleaders if they talk about what they’ve seen once they get back to Commie Hellhole(tm): F

(Note: According to the AP, part of the previous group of cheerleaders blabbed about the non-Commie Hellhole(tm) nature of the non-Commie Hellhole(tm) world and suddenly disappeared from the world stage. Scroll down a bit here and there’s more information.)

Commie Hellholes(tm): F

The US media officially losing its collective crap over head of Commie Hellhole’s(tm) propaganda group: F

Difference between “smile,” “smirk,” and “side-eye”: C-

Excessive use of(tm): F

Being too lazy to use the actual character: F

US Snowboard Team’s boring outfits: C

Red Gerard’s gold medal: A

Red Gerard’s Slopestyle run: A+

Phrases that sound dirty but probably aren’t: slopestyle run

Snowboard term that should be a band name: “Goofy Foot Rider”

Mirai Nagasu landing the Triple Axel: A

Endless Japanese coverage of Mirai Nagasu landing the Triple Axel: D

Spell check hating Axel vs Axle: C-

Not finding anything dreadful to mock: D-


More to come as your humble editor finds time to know it.

Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Winter Olympics 2018 Reports

It’s an even numbered year and that means it’s time for your humble editor to emerge from hibernation and write a few comments and give a few grades.

But first, a few basic grades:

Winter Olympics: A
Summer Olympics: A-

Olympic Mascot Soohorang
This is a pass/fail category with the only requirement being “Is it better than Izzy the Atlanta 1996 Mascot?”
Verdict: Pass

White tigers: A for cool.

White Tiger (band): D

Glam Metal bands: D-

Shockingly Obscure ’80s band references: F

Opening Ceremony:
Automatic F as all opening ceremonies are glorified Super Bowl half-time shows. However, it was relatively short so F+

Justin Timberlake: D-

Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl halftime show outfit: F for WTF? (Camo, vomit, and an orange bandana?)

Video Game cut-scene intros: B

Video Game cut-scenes involving kids: C-

English announcer phrase that sounded dirty but probably isn’t: “Sliding Center”.

Parade of Athletes:
This year’s Olympics parade of athletes poses an interesting problem in that 1) the Winter Olympics is happening in a place where it’s actually winter, and 2) it’s happening in a place where it’s actually cold. This has had a horrible impact on opening ceremony fashion as many teams were dressed for warmth not style.

Dressing Practically: A

Having to comment on practical dress: D

Athletes in Winter Olympics complaining that it’s cold: C-
(Normally this would be an F but given that the last Winter Olympics was based at a beach resort your humble editor has been forced to adjust things a bit.)

Lion King sequence: F

Lion King sequence including insects: A

The Lion King: B

The circle of life: A

The Circle of Life (song): C

Having The Circle of Life stuck in your head: F

Drum Sequence: B-

Light Show: B-

Fireworks Dance at end: B+

Fireworks: A

Asian love of fireworks: inexplicable. (Note: your humble editor suspects that someone told Kim Jong Un that nuclear weapons are just big fireworks and that’s why he’s in such a hurry to build big ones.)

Mocking nuclear holocaust when you’re only a couple dozen miles from a major target: A

Ghana: Outfits: B- Dancing: A (Note: a great many teams spent a lot of time dancing. Why?)

Ghana Chocolate: A

Disco dancers along athletes’ path: C- (but they were the warmest people in the stadium.

Disco music: C

Dancing to disco music: D

Dancing in general: D

Making your stadium the shape of a pentagon just to be different: A

Being the guy suck in the seat at one of the five corners: F

The Pentagon: C-

Nigeria: B+ Odd colors but loved the green head covers.

Netherlands: B- Great color but boring.

New Zealand: A for All Black. (They win the Ninja Chic Award.)

Denmark: A- for basic black and white.

Germany: B+ which, for Germany, is technically an A. The tan coat was a bit bland but they looked sharp rather than embarrassing.

Suddenly the world doesn’t make sense.

Latvia: A The touch of pattern on the hats and sleeves worked well.

Malaysia: C- for the odd tiger back.

Mexico: B for stealing the ninja look from New Zealand.

Malta: Flag Bearer: A; Uniform: B

USA: Jackets, boots, and hats: A
Fringe leather gloves. Fringe. Leather. Gloves. Leather gloves with fringe:
E for Elvis.

Bermuda: A+ Shorts in winter. (Then again, after Sochi, they were probably a bit confused.)

Belarus: B- Great pattern on scarf lost on red jacket.

Bolivia D for DayGlo green and red trousers.

The abundance of DayGlo green at this ceremony: F (This was almost as prevalent as basic black.)

Bulgaria: B For some reason the DayGlo actually worked.

San Marino: F for migraine aura pattern.

Serbia: F as they appeared to be wearing lobster bibs.

Lobster: A

Rock Lobster: B-

Bibs: C-

The B-52s: B

B-52: A if they’re on your side. F if not.

Sweden: A (from a distance) B- (up close)

Switzerland: A Liked the red on gray, even though many teams sported the same look.

Slovakia: A  The black and white fleeces were sharp.

Excessive use of “sharp”: D-

Slovenia: F Appeared to have been dipped in a vat of toxic green paint.

Iceland: A (Flag bearer only.)

Ireland: F The green and blue meant the Irish were competing for worst look.

Azerbaijan: A as the black trench coats were cool.

Trying to spell Azerbaijan: F

Googling Azerbaijan to confirm how to spell it: B

Albania: A but only for the double headed eagle scarves.

Great Britain: A   Liked the splash of red on blue.

The Olympic Athletes from Russia: B+

Marching under a different flag: F

Cheating on drug tests: F

Peeing in cups: D

Japan: C- Painfully bright red jackets with white boots. Hmmm.

Jamaica: A for uniform with dark green trousers: F for uniform with toxic green trousers.

Georgia: A+ Your humble editor’s favorite as they actually brought some color and style.

China: C for boring.

Czech Republic: A for the impromptu wave. B- the white on blue outfits.

Kazakhstan: F for the ugly blue gradient trench coats.

Canada: B for Boring But Better Gloves than USA.

Fringe Leather Gloves. Really?

Colombia: Hats A; ponchos C- for the trash bag chic.

Togo: F for Toxic green plus mustard. Probably the ugliest uniforms.

Toxic Green: D

The Toxic Avenger: B

Tonga: B

Pita Taufatofua: A Once again he wins the opening ceremony wearing only a grass skirt and body oil.

France: B Simple but stylish. Head band in lieu of hat: C

Finland: Men: A Women F or the Aqua plus vomit jackets.

Korea: Boring

United Korea: A

Korea united under capitalism: A

China imagining a united capitalist Korea: F

North Korea turning South Korea into a communist Shit hole: F

Sanctimony over alleged use of phrase “shit hole”: F

Speeches: F

Eating supper during speeches: A

Pumpkin Gratin: A

Anyone Singing “Imagine”: F for Kill it With Fire. (Imagine there’s no singer/ who sings that song again. / You may say I’m a dreamer / but it would be way awesome. / I hope some day it will be stopped / and the world will be awesome)

British announcer implying that singing the song was a bad idea: A-

Torch Lighting: B

Flaming Snake Thing: B+

Black Snake Firework: A (at age two); F (Any age above two.)

Kim Yeon-ah: A

That’s all for the opening ceremony.

More to follow as your humble editor finds time to watch actual sports.