Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Seven steps to recovery



Now, keen readers will know Our Man has an astonishingly poor attention span for numbers and graphs and such, but he finally got his head round this here graph, lifted from here. In fact, go back to there (where it says "here") and click on the link because there is a very good, if uncomfortably accurate description of the gaijin experience.

Where is Our Man on this scale, you might be wondering. He's somewhere between ill-informed activist and witless cynic, but he intends to bypass the indigenous wannabe and semantic gatekeeper stages in his quest for accidental gaijin nirvana.

Where would you fit on this scale?

Link lifted from here.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Defence of Abiko: the facts

Our Man can exclusively reveal the TOP SECRET defence plan that will go into effect should a Nork attempt to flytip any space debris into the Abiko Inland Sea:



1. Intercept delivery vehicle with Abikan Air Self-Defence Force's high-tech destroyers (pictured above).

2 Time is of the essence, so if that fails, get Abiko's big brother on the line. Let's see, the code for America is 001 plus, er, is it (212) for DC? 

3. If that fails, write a sternly worded letter to the Abikan Council.

Sleep easy now, Abikans!

Tosser wins Chiba election

News just in, the inane quiz show panelist fellow, backed by the LDP, has declared himself the winner of the guberna-whatsit thing. What does this mean? You decide:

  • Sauron's minions have won again.
  • The good folk of Chiba don't like the opposition's latest corruption scandal.
  • The winner's got a nice smile and I saw him on telly once and he doesn't half seem like a lovely chap.

13 hours that shook the world (of Chiba local governmental politics, maybe)



If you are anything like Our Man (gawd 'elp yer), then you are probably beside yourself with excitement awaiting the results of the Chiba Gubernatorial Election (see Our Man's stunning run-up piece here and a somewhat more in-depth piece by real paid "experts" here). As far as Our Man can tell, there were five candidates. One of them was a woman. Two of them had unofficial backing of the ruling LDP party, one of whom is also a minor "talento" (one of those inane tosser panelists who appear on those inane tosser TV game shows that fill the programming schedules here between cooking shows and figure skating competitions). All of Japan awaits the result here because what happens here, could have stunning implications for the nation. Yes, it's a ouija board for the big General Election that has to be called before the end of September. OK, OK, actually hardly anyone gives a toss about this election and in fact Our Man forgot about it but snapped this picture of an odd clock from a platform in Nishi-Funabashi yesterday. It's not a picture of anything very much, but maybe it's symbolic of something profoundly significant, like LAST HOURS OF THE CURRENT REGIME or 13 HOURS TO SAVE THE NATION or SEE YOU AT HALF PAST 13. Deep, huh?   

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Robot watch: Day 2

JAPAN/

They are at it again - the robots are in our midst story (as chronicled here not four days ago, dammit), once again top prize goes to those imaginative folk at Reuters:


Let's look at that formula again, shall we media students?

Slow news day + PR hungry corporation + lazy editor = Another bloody robot story

Saturday, 28 March 2009

H is for Hanko

News photo

Our Man's got a fairly small one, the fella in the estate agent's has got the biggest one Our Man has ever seen, while it is said the Emperor has the fattest in the country. He's probably got more than one. Come to think of it, Our Man has three. Ahh, the clue's in the picture (lifted from a Japan Times story here). Yes, Our Man is talking about hanko, the entirely pointless signature seal that Japanese use almost daily. Oh don't be so culturally insensitive, the hanko is a time-honoured cultural majestic thing of the east, blah, blah, blah, blah. Have you finished? It's a crock. You spend a small fortune on the things, you have to guard them with your life so you can stamp numerous pieces of paper with them (application forms, receipts, local newsletters, pieces of paper at work, delivery invoices, children's homework) when a signature (or nothing at all) would do. In fact, for anything really important, you have to sign for it in the newfangled Western way anyway. Has the paperless office spelt the end of the hanko? Nope. There are virtual hankos now.
Rant over, feel a whole lot better now.
Back to your anime, chaps.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Sympathy for the old devil

JAPAN-POLITICS/OZAWA-STAY

You know, Our Man's beginning to come round to the idea that Ozawa (you know him, he's the blubbering PM in waiting whose buddy has been helping police with their inquiries over dodgy payments from shady contractors) is not that bad. He can tear up like the best of them and, let's face it, any wrongdoing in this instance amounts to Dang, my accountant put the bribes in the wrong column! It's not in the same league as Let's kill the electorate and charge them for the privelege, or we are completely incompetent, here's a case of shochu, now go and vote for the Lord of the Manor's ass. OK, Our Man may be going soft in his old age, but Ozawa has proved one thing in his refusal to step down: he really wants the job of PM, and there aren't many folk around like that. 

Pic and sympathy lifted from here.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Interview with a blogging legend, why it's ME!!!



Hey Google followers, acolytes and Bud Lites, forget the recession depression, Ozawa's dilemma and Aso's woes, Our Man has got what you're craving - More Self-Promotion Fun. In fact, for the first time in his long and illustrious, er, career as a blogger (since late November way back in '08) Our Man has been interviewed by British blogger Paul Burgin who has interviewed some pretty classy political animals  (anyone heard of Iain Dale and Paul Linford? Not to mention a bunch of British MPs) Well, it was a shameless self-promoter's dream come true. In the wide-ranging interview, discover:

Our Man's favourite Bond movie Why Our Man started blogging Our Man's favourite blogs Our Man's favourite blog post and Chocolate, Vanilla or Mint? 

Whaddaya waintin' for? Click HERE for all the juicy details!!!

Oh, image shamelessly lifted from here.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Robots: Journos on autopilot

AUTOSHOW/

Our Man has had it up to here with robots. Open a paper or click on a site with anything Japan-related and you'll get the usual bollocks about some great new robot that will revolutionise healthcare/transport/the economy/petgrooming. If Our Man could be bothered he could fill this post with links to examples of this, but he can't be arsed. Go over to Japan Times and search for "robot" and you'll see what he means. OK, OK, he's done that for you. Just click here. A word of advice to any impressionable Japanophiles out there with visions of a robot-assisted high-tech wonderland: It doesn't exist. Been hearing about robots doing it all since at least the late 1970s. Don't believe what you are told by the PR hungry corporations and the lazy editors looking for an easy Japan story to file. Robots put on their trousers one leg at a time like everyone else.

Easy Japan story pic lifted from here.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Life Jim, but not as we know it


Blog of the week, Blog of the week, BLOG OF THE WEEK (to the tune of Blankety Blank here.) So many blogs, so little to choose from. Let's see, should be about Japan, sort of. Should be at least vaguely political. Should post more often than once a month. Should preferably be quite good/original/amusing/topical or at least written in passable English. Well, how about this one - Osaka Life. Not so political, posts are sporadic at best and the English is not native. Hmmm, worthy of Blog of the week, Blog of the week, BLOG OF THE WEEK? MOST DEFINITELY. See, instead of viewing Japan through the foreign eyes of gaijin blogging in their native language, it's a view of Japan from a native Japanese office worker blogging in a foreign language. Hats off to her. Check out this post just right here on the difficulties of being patriotic in Japan, and her latest here, about bizarre political posters (Our Man knows a little about that too, tee hee).

Monday, 23 March 2009

Our Man likes Icke



Hey, good folk of the world, do you remember Icke, David Icke? Course you do. He was the former BBC sportscaster who threw fame, fortune and Frank Bough's sloppy seconds away in the late '80s or so to warn the world of a lizard-people conspiracy to control our minds. No really, he really did. Well, he's still around and thanks to the good folk at former Blog of the Week winner Mutant Frog Travelogue, Our Man has learnt that money doesn't exist. (Well, Our Man lost interest about two minutes into the video, more worried about how much the poor man was perspiring). Anyway, thanks to MFT comment-leaver mozu, Our Man has learnt Icke's turned Japanese - check out his Japanese site here. For the record, Icke's a loon, but Our Man likes Icke - they share the same birthplace (but not haircut, thank the sweet baby lizard Jesus). Folk like Icke are what make the internet a fun place to be.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Anyone film the anti-surveillance protest???

By the way, does anyone have video of the Shinjuku flashmob protest against a surveillance society that Our Man could post here? Come to think of it, that might be somewhat paradoxical...

Japan: Mad as hell and not gonna take this anymore (maybe)



Another day, another poll showing, wait for it, folk have no faith in politicians. The latest Asahi Shimbun poll (which entered into Our Man's consciousness thanks to James at Japan Soc here),  found that a whopping great 91 percent of Japanese are mad as hell with politicians, Well actually, according to the left-leaning paper (left-leaning, though it was happy to shaft the unionised journalists it employs, but that's another story):

Around 90 percent say politicians have failed to present a future vision or reflect the people's wishes. Only 6 percent said they were "relatively satisfied" with the current state of politics. Just 1 percent said they were "greatly satisfied." Sixty percent said they were "greatly dissatisfied" and 31 percent were "relatively dissatisfied," according to the poll.

Oh, goody. So, that means Ozawa and the DPJ will storm into power come September, when Aso has to call an election... hold on a mo:

Asked what kind of future government they would want to see, 11 percent said a government formed around the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, while 15 percent said an administration formed around Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), the main opposition party. Forty-six percent said they hoped to see a "new form of government created through a major reshuffle," and 19 percent said a "grand coalition bringing together LDP and Minshuto" would be desirable.

"Major reshuffle" and "grand coalition" are not quite the same as "Let's storm the Bastille" or "Death to the capitalist-imperialist pig-dogs", but it's pretty close. Would have been nice if the Asahi chaps had asked the good folk of Abiko: "Do you think it makes any difference since the bureaucrats make all the decisions anyway?"  Wish Our Man had a ballot to spoil.

Oh, clip lifted from the excellently titled blog John Wayne's Holster, here. Nice to see the world hasn't moved on from 1976, eh readers?

Saturday, 21 March 2009

J-pop's next big thing (or, dunno, maybe she already is)



It's Friday night/Saturday morning here in downtown Abiko and Our Man don't have no patience to come up with nothing very political, not just this minute, no. He's actually getting snowed under with work, so what posts there will be for the coming week will probably be skimpier (but just as colourful as ever). Anyway, here's a popular Okinawan shinga-song-rita, Kaori Futenma, whom Our Man has it on good authority is all set for the mega-big-time if this song is adopted by a SUPER BIG CORPORATION for its forthcoming May advertizing blitz. She can sing, looks good, writes her own songs and has all her own teeth (this last point rules her out of contention for high political office). If Our Man told you any more than that, he'd be forced to silence you with the utmost prejudice. Mainly because that's all Our Man knows. For someone who actually knows something about J-pop and its seedier side, click here.

Protest and survive

Lifted from here:

Friday, 20 March 2009

Special relationship



Sorry, this may be old hat, but just found it while procrastinating instead of doing some work and thought it was an appropriate theme following on from the gay Russian propoganda yesterday. Look, Our Man doesn't have a gay thing, OK...

Lifted from here.

Ask not what Our Man can do for you



Now, of course Our Man loves you, dear readers (and would be happy to make room for a couple more), but come on now folks, how many hints does he have to drop? You know, from Jan. 30, Our Man would run for office,  All Our Man needs now is a platform. Got any policies he could borrow?, or how about this: the he'd run for office Now, just need some policies... (from yesterday, dammit.) OK, guess Our Man will have to do all the dirty work all by himself, as usual. Here's a first stab at some policies to get Our Man onto the public payroll, er, to do his bit for democracy:

  • Invite more foreigners in and shag 'em. Not figuratively, literally. (Aging Japan? Not a problem anymore).
  • Stop unnecessary public works projects by taxing concrete.
  • Encourage global trade: Free bottle of Ozzie plonk for every Our Man voter.

Er that's it so far, 24 is on the telly gotta go. Can you do better?

Completely inappropriate pic lifted from here.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Tired of cycnicism about politicians? Nahh, me neither


You've probably already marked it in your diary, but don't forget March 29th is the Chiba Prefecture gubernatorial elections. You what? Gubernatorial is an adjective that means governor. Our Man learnt that in America. And Chiba is the prefecture what lil' ol' Abiko is in (there are about 100 or so prefectures in Japan, each with their own unique fermented bean curd delicacy). Not exactly (or even remotely) sure what a prefectural governor does, but judging from the candidates' expressions above, it probably involves shunting large amounts of taxpayers' cash into vote-buying projects and taking kick-backs from construction firms. Our Man could do with some of that! Hence the campaign poster above. Now, just need some policies...

This chap looks like he might have some good ideas.

Truth in marketing

coffee_beans_of_the_world.jpg

Our Man had time off for good behaviour yesterday afternoon, and after inspecting the Abikan surface fleet, popped by his favourite coffee bean emporium. The place looks a little worse for wear and tear - despite being at the centre of the Earth  - and the proprietor is, by standards of business etiquette, quite rude. Remarking to Our Man's missus about how cute our kids were one day, he told her "You must be their stepmother." Anyway, as Our Man battled his way out of the stiff manual sliding door, the master-san couldn't help himself: "My, you're looking pretty fat these days!"

Our Man had to agree that his Christmas paunch was looking highly unseasonable and wondered why he kept coming back to the place to be insulted. Because in the anodyne world of slick marketeers and two-faced money-grabbing politicians who will tell you anything to string you along (this is called the customer is always right) it was refreshing to hear the truth. No matter how unwelcome. And you thought Japanese were always polite.

Pic lifted from here

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Back to Blighty? Nahh, we don't want your sort...

[british+sheep.jpg]

Just when Our Man had got to thinking he really ought to quit subscribing to the Japan Times after another couple of advertorials almost as turgid as this one documented right here (how could you consider quitting, what with it being Bulgarian National Day and all?), they go and print an interesting tale about officious UK immigration rules putting off even a most charming Japanese Anglophile from wanting to marry her British Beau in Blighty. If Our Man had his way, he'd eliminate passports entirely, but that's a post for another day. Perish the thought that Our Man would ever become one of those tedious "More British than the British" ex-pats berating his homeland yet forever criticising his adopted home, BUT... what has happened to the land of the Magna Carta and friend to the shunned radicals of Europe? In between CCTV blanket coverage of ordinary folk going about their own business and Daily Mail anti-foreigner rants, will there ever be room for another Tom Paine? Apparently not, he's blogging from Russia. Check out a recent post right here.

Raised glass to agent provocateur extraordinaire Dr Datsun Kildare for the link. Pic lifted from here.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

How to turn that TEFL into pure gold

Our Man fully intended to write deep, meaningful, or at least pithy political stuff about, oh, dunno, the third stimulus package (ah, but it's never as good as your first), when he came across this stunning video from An Englishman in Osaka, lifted from right here:


Now, Our Man's compatriot does an excellent critique of the, er, acting in this clip (and casting), but what interested Our Man was this: Think Our Man worked with the chap a dozen years ago in a dingy back office of a Berlitz school in Kudan, Tokyo. Back then, our star of the small screen was just-another-gaijin writing exam scripts for the poor f*ckers who had to take company English proficiency tests. And now, look at him - he's role-playing his own scripts! What a dream come true! Truly, this is the Land of Opportunity (no wait, that's here.)

Monday, 16 March 2009

Abikans rule the waves



It was a proud day for the Abikan Maritime Self-Defence Force, as its top destroyers, SS Tora-san, SS Waki Kauru and HMS Yaki Tori steamed for the far shores of Lake Abiko to protect vital shipping lanes from pirates. Under the constitution, they cannot of course protect vessels from Kashiwa or Kohoku, but Abikans can sleep easier tonight. Phew. 

There is no 'I' in self-promotion. Oh, there is isn't there?

Our Man doesn't quite get it, but he's been sticking allegedly cool technical bits and bobs on the site in his continuing bid for world domination. The latest is a little feedburner thing that allegedly measures how many folk subscribe to OMIA - though Our Man knows for a fact it's more than 1, as the counter claims, because he signed up twice himself, damn it. In more exciting self-promotion "news", he's added a Google follower thingy to the site. This enables folk to proclaim their devotion to the gospel of St Ourmani Nabiko and has "social networking functions" and stuff. Don't quite get it, but it's there for all you smart kids who do. Oh, and Our Man felt sorry for the lone disciple, so he joined too. Go on, check out these exciting new exciting things in a prime real estate location - bottom left just above the map. Here's a little teaser for you: Can you discover where Our Man got the idea for the silhouette from? Just follow the leader...

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Taro's Top Ten keep fit tips for seniors



10. Drink plenty of liquids! 
9. Remember, you're too old to follow a Diet (geddditt????)
8. Take the odd foreign trip, no matter how short or pointless, you deserve it!
7. Careful with the cough syrup, you don't want to have too much now.
6. Be careful with other people's money, you wouldn't want to waste it
5. Don't wear sandals, flip flops are unbecoming of seniors!
4. Black hair is the new gray!
3. Where was I?
2. If folk think you're lost and disorientated, just tell them "I run the country, I do" this will put them at ease!
1. It's never a bad time for a micro-sleep!

Inspiration and pic from here.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Elmo and Gervais

Severely off-topic, but this from here was worthy of immediate attention:

N is for North Korea


A few not very well thought-out thoughts on the Pressing Issue of North Korea and all things Kim Jong Illian, arranged into bullet points in no particular order:

  • Can't remember: One of them is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea or the People's Republic of Democratic Korea and the other is ...? One was once an autocratic police state, and the other is still an autocratic police state. Whatever. Anyway, Our Man henceforth will adopt Asia Exile's excellent Norks to refer to the leaders of the odd fiefdom of the North.
  • Our Man should be better at the name of the place because the Extremely Pressing Issue of the 12 abductees from 1978 is on the telly here more often than you can say Christ on a bike, not another cooking show. 
  • Say what you will about the Norks, but they sure know how to teach Japanese. Thinking of enrolling in their forced isolation immersion programme.
  • They are so useless they can't feed their own folk, but the Norks are so capable they're poised to strike at any moment with their weapons of mass destruction. Wait a mo, heard that line somewhere before...
  • The Norks are actually talking some sense recently too: For once, North Korea has a point - what IS Tamogami doing teaming up with the abductee families?
  • Let's leave the last word to the Norks: Kim Jong Il Announces Plan To Bring Moon To North Korea
  • Oh, pic from here.

Friday, 13 March 2009

First Blog of the Week, then the world

So there was Our Man surfing the net last night (do the kids still say that?) when he came across a former winner of the coveted Our Man BLOG OF THE WEEK awards, JJ - Mr Fatblueman himself. You may remember him from the half-a-million-hit Christmas in Japan vid. Well, JJ's been applying his considerable songwriting talents to a good cause - clean water for poor folk in Cambodia (yes, yes, doing his bit for chariddeee and all that). But darn it, it's a good song, actually an excellent song. If you are feeling charitable, dear readers, why not click on the link at the beginning of his vid for chariddeee info. If not, enjoy the song, skinflints.

Go team gaijin!

Healthy disrespect for Japanese history

Land of the (yawn) Rising Sun, home to unthinking obedience to the higher-ups... Nah, load of codswallop. Take a look at this here TV clip of Japanese teenagers' healthy disrespect for their history textbooks:



Not that history is bunk or anything, but Our Man did enjoy the one of Admiral Perry as Bozo the Clown. By the way, Land of Hope and Glory is used as an anthem at high school graduations here (and in the US too, though methinks the words are probably different).

Lifted from Japan Probe here.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Japan Tobacco gets right-on

Regular losers, er, readers will already know Our Man's less-than-cordial feelings about the Japan Tobacco tossers and their bum chums in government (yeah, yeah born-again non-smokers are a pain in the backside, but hear Our Man out, he's going to say something nice about the drug dealing bastards...) the purveyors of painfully slow death don't half like to use right-on political jargon in their J-marketing. Consider, ladies and gentlemen of the jury:

Exhibit A:

This would be the less-Obama-inspired black impact, more the colour of the lungs, presumably. (Pic from Our Man's nearest Family Mart).

Exhibit B:



Every smoker's health policy. (pic from here).

Exhibit C:






















That would be less the American spirit that brought us the Pursuit of Happiness and Easy Rider, more the tobacco plantations and slavery. (Pic from that clever anti-marketing marketing fella Seth, here).

Exhibit D:



Ahh yes, that un-nicotine-stained symbol of democracy - Charlie Sheen, er, Parliament (pic from here).

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Woman blogs about Japanese politics, no really!!!


Hold on to your hats, folks, it's blog of the week time. When is blog of the week time? Why it's whenever Our Man's creative juices have dried up (which, let's be honest, is just about all the time). Now, Our Man can't be sure, but he thinks he's got a real doozey of a blog for you folks, that you probably don't already know about. Here's what's good about it:

  • It's well-written.
  • It's about Japanese politics and culture.
  • It's got pictures as well as words.
  • It doesn't drone on and on and on about the same old subjects in the unshakeable belief that it is the most spot-on piece of prose that you will ever be lucky enough to encounter.
  • It appears to be written by someone who knows what they are talking about (though Our Man wouldn't like to go down that route, for at the end of that journey would be uncomfortable questions about just how unqualified Our Man is to offer anything more than throwaway comments on yesterday's weather).
  • Oh, yes, Our Man might be wrong, but it appears to be written by A WOMAN!

Has Our Man found that holiest of holy grails, a woman blogging about J-politics? You be the judge, with a post about wimins' things here and arty stuff here and insightful political stuff here.

The name of the blog? Armchair Asia. Go ahead, take a weight off. Oh, pic lifted from elsewhere, just here in fact.

Monday, 9 March 2009

For the love of money

Let's play a little game called "which is worse":

[junkyward.jpg]

1. GM says give us $21 billion in public cash, because no-one wants our crap cars

2. US blows $700 billion on Wall Street so the investment bankers can keep their bonuses

3. Japan blows trillions of yen so voters can blow it on a last supper at the sushi shop

4. Construction firm stuffs couple of million yen into Japanese politicians' back pockets

5. Michael Jackson plans comeback tour with 10 dates in London


It's a no-brainer, isn't it?



Pic from here, by the way.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

That big political scandal again (yawn)


It 's hard to keep up with what exactly is going on with THE BIG POLITICAL SCANDAL that has ensnared the opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa and now a couple of lesser LDP officials (see Ourmani's Daily Specials above Our Man's head if you really want the lowdown on what's really what). To figure it all out we need an unfathomable Yomiuri flowchart graphic that they are notorious for producing. Apparently, a dodgy construction firm sent cash (in the order of 100,000 quid or so) directly to Ozawa's money man, rather than into an official political slush fund. Despite the pro-LDP press calling for Ozawa to quit, he's refusing to, saying his buddy accountant didn't know what he was doing was illegal. Our Man wouldn't like to state anything libelous or anything (so this is where he will cleverly use the word allegedly), but it does seem allegedly that the allegedly crooked goings on of the allegedly honest politicians just go to prove that THEY ARE ALL A BUNCH OF CROOKS. Allegedly. So that would be business as usual then, according to an analyst familiar with Japanese politics*.

*Our Man's missus.

Pic from here.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Deep (pan) thoughts on patriotic duty

You've gotta love economic meltdown Japanese style. Not only do you not have to work overtime (and if you're really lucky, not work at all) but the Government is now paying you ¥12,000 - close to 100 quid - just for being you. And that includes us foreigners too! (see here - Foreigners of Japan - Get your FREE MONEY!!!). This is called taking bold, urgent action on the economy. It is not a bribe to vote for the LDP, nor is it too little too late, or too much too soon. See, that 100 quid that could have been pooled together and targetted on, for example, a decent pizza restaurant in downtown Abiko, providing pizza for the homeless and jobs for the hungry, instead will have an amazing galvanising effect on the economy. Our Man is planning to galvanise the local economy tonight by blowing it all behind the bar. Don't thank Our Man, he's just doing his patriotic duty.

Picture lifted from here.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Forget Ozawa, meet the Beatles (sort of)

Yes here he is, the aptly named sixth Beatle.



Lifted from here, An Englishman in Osaka.

Our Man, new man? Search me...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZhzzZdTzL._SL500_BO2_OU01_AA240_SH20_.jpg It's no wonder Our Man is such a reasonable, balanced man - he is surrounded by the fairer sex. In fact he is outnumbered by them 4 to 1 in his own household, which is why his rudimentary Japanese sounds like a polite 67-year-old lady's with the vocabulary range of a two-year-old girl. So, Our Man is quite happy to pick up a few tips from the ladies, such as how to retrieve a pillow from a corrugated iron roof armed only with a clothes pole. Another tip he picked up was from his favourite women of the web - 10 Google searches that piss me off, Happy Birthday to us! and Dear Geisha - it is the how-the-hell-did-they-find-me post, well here's Our Man's humble offering to the genre:

  • There's a very earnest chap in New Delhi who found Our Man by typing articles on present global recession and how to solve the global recession. If Our Man knew the answer to that, dya think he'd be offering it for free?
  • A, hopefully less earnest chapette in Malaysia popped by on Valentine's Day to find out how to spot a yakuza man. May Our Man refer to the former bullet point for his answer. Yakuza man is not really his type.
  • There's no accounting for taste (or search engines) when it comes to immigrant shag animals bringing in a hit from some poor sheepshagger in Dewent, Lancashire.
  • But Our Man's recent favourite (from today, no less) was someone in Lubbock, Texas, wanting the lowdown on Japanese Truth Serum. Wouldn't know, fraid Our Man's just getting stuck in to a bottle of the Australian variety right now.

Happy searching, web wanderers.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Moments away from greatness

There's a post in the works, just hold on a sec while Our Man finds a decent pic to go with it...

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Ozawa, round two

So the plot thickens. Click here for Master Tobias's masterful mastery of Ozawa's predicament and the DPJ fightback against sleaze smears. Our Man wonders if there is something of payback in the air for the DPJ pressuring Aso to hang Nakagawa out to dry.

It was just for the widows and orphans...



Write off the LDP's chances in haste and repent at leisure -yep, words Our Man should get used to hearing. Seems Ichiro Ozawa - you remember him, he's the head of the DPJ - the great hope for Japanese Democracy (you sadly may have read those words here first, ahem) MAY have been caught with his fingers in the till. Seems the cops reckon his bagman has been stuffing large numbers of unmarked bills into Ozawa's jacket pockets. A corrupt politician in our midst? Our Man is shocked and stunned. But it's what happens next that is the 21 million yen question.

These guys here, and here and here may have some answers, but Our Man saw nothing, knows nothin and you didn't hear nothin from him neither. Capice?

Oh yeah, innocent until proven guilty and all that, of course.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

How the internet beats TV and papers hands down

All it takes is a camera and something interesting to film:


Nicked from here.

The turkey has landed



Monday, 2 March 2009

Is there a doctor in the house?


Our Man's eldest came back from school today dismayed. Only 14 people were off with influenza in her class. Only 14? Well, the school will only close a class when it reaches a 50-percent infection rate. Her class has 32 kids. So, still two more cases to go before she can get the rest of the week off. As it is, the school is taking reasonable precautionary measures. These being sending her class home an hour earlier than usual to stop the rot. This got Our Man thinking (which, as has been documented frequently on this here blog, is not a sensible activity):

  • Our Man knows next to nothing about contagious diseases, but surely waiting until half the population has caught the thing, is erring just a little on the side of TOO BLOODY LATE, isn't it?
  • What kind of hoodoo voodoo science decrees that diseases only spread an hour before hometime?
  • There's a geo-political element too. Why is it that flu strains all emanate from formerly Communist countries - in this case Russia (A strain) and China (B strain)? Is North Korea so inept that it can't even manage a C strain?
  • The prevention of choice? Keep your masks on. Picture from here

Is it just Our Man, or is this not the same approach Our Glorious leaders are taking to the financial crisis? Do next to nothing until everyone's up to their necks in it, then take radical, ineffective action. Whydontcha give Our Man a bottle of paracetamol now, doc, that he could wash down with his nightcap?

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Language that even Our Man understands

A completely un-PC video, but made Our Man smile. Our Man is a simple soul, all said and done.



Lifted from here.

Refrigerator journalism



A comment kindly left from eco-blogger Martin on the demise of local news (click here) got Our Man thinking. What is local anyway? For all of Our Man's time in journalism he has been force-fed the mantra "keep it local" which, as far as Our Man can tell, meant lists of kids who entered fancy dress competitions or names of folk who competed for best marrow in the local summer fete/fair/bazaar. This, Our Man was informed as a wet-behind-the-ears reporter at The Log Cabin Democrat many summers ago, is refrigerator journalism (ie, of no interest to the wider world, but got cut out and stuck with a magnet on fridge freezers throughout the circulation area). What's of local interest to Our Man? Well, being half-Arkansan-half-East-Midlander living in Abiko, Japan, your guess is as good as mine. But, he reckons he probably needs a lot bigger fridge than he's got now.

Gratuitous fridge picture nicked from here.