Denny Sinnoh's "Akihabara Starlight"

Archive for March, 2015

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On Hiatus again …

On Hiatus again …

HanPopcicle

Due to time/workload constraints I have to take another two-week break from blogging. I will still try to check messages and delete spam, but I will not be posting anything new for a while.  April 15th and all that.  Ah-Ha! … but before you breathe that sign of relief… know that I may still be viewing and providing opinion on YOUR posts however. There may be some creative “re-blogging”

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Idol wa Unyanya no Ken PV | AKB48 Daily

CUTE!  CUTE!!  CUTE!!!

Please see the photos and article on AKB48 Daily blog.

Idol wa Unyanya no Ken PV | AKB48 Daily.

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: Geisha on a scooter

Geisha on a scooter:

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A Geisha gets around Kyoto on a scooter!

Sorry for a only short post this week. Still, I would like to share this wonderful photo from Flickr user Futoigokiburi. Credit goes to them.

Which do you prefer, the color or the black and white?

Now I need to scoot.

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I know someone who is going to be slurping up the noodles tonight!

Happy Birthday  奥 華子  !

Oku Hanako, born March 20, 1978.

nice sweater noodles

I just wanted to be the first in my time zone to wish The Little Great One* a very Happy Birthday tomorrow!  I bet Ms. Oku-san will be celebrating with some good food.  We know that she is fond of Ramen noodles.

The date will also be the Equinox, so you can STAND EGGS UP as well!

The gentle flowers will sense the days are getting longer …

noodles

(For more Oku noodle bowl photos, see my post “The Lady Loves Her Nooodles” linked here.)

Oh, where to begin … She is a great artist, but she is little known outside of Japan … or my own mind.

how oku makes me feel

How Hanako Oku songs make me feel

Although she sings in Japanese — a language I do not understand — she still touches my soul with her songs. You know the story …

Hanako Oku is also a very gentle, kind hearted person. I think that anyone who views her webpage linked here would see that she is not your typical rock star. I’m not sure that even “pop star” is a very good descriptor for what she is.  I like to view her blog, even if I can’t understand any of it without Google Translate.  I like all the photos she shares with her fans on social media. Warm.

Oh, what I would give to be there tonight … er…tomorrow … Japan is 12 hours ahead of me … is it already then there … now I’m not sure …

I would buy the whole band a round of  Sapporos if I were there!

I bow respectfully to you Oku-san!

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* I know, I’m the only one who ever uses that title! 

PS: You can preview her NEW SINGLE on the music163  webpage linked here:

Not liking Major League Baseball’s proposed new rules.

baseball tobacco landscape

Major League Baseball is considering several new rule changes in order to “speed up the game”. These are currently being experimented with during Spring Training this year.

These are the proposed new rules … and some varying fan perspectives on them:

1. Hitters must keep at least one foot inside the batter’s box at all times, barring exceptions like foul balls, wild pitches, or if the umpire grants him time out.

“This one is actually funny. Have you seen these guys forget — then try to stretch one foot to the box? Does MLB have any idea how gay this looks? Don’t turn ballplayers into a moonwalking Michael Jacksons. Also, how about when a player really needs to make those deep, deep scratches down in the groin area — including inside the cup? I say let him walk another three feet away from the plate for a little privacy.”

2. Pitchers must throw a pitch within 20 seconds of receiving the ball. Clocks posted in each dugout will count down the 20 seconds.

“This is not much time at all to visualize the next pitch. Furthermore, pitchers will scarcely be able to question their own existential meaningless. The notion of the futility of our existence in a god-less university can hardly be grappled with in a twenty second time period. “Am I throwing the ball, or is the ball throwing me?” Philosophical musings on the mound will be severely curtailed under this new rule!”

3. There will be a maximum break between innings of 2:05, with a clock keeping track. Hitters must be in the batter’s box by 1:45. If the hitter’s not ready, the umpire can call a strike. If the pitcher doesn’t throw a pitch by 2:05, the umpire can call a ball.

“Does not allow enough time for players like CC Sabathia, Prince Fielder, etc. to attend — let alone load up — at the inter-inning buffet.”

4. Teams will have a maximum of 2:30 to change pitchers, with the clock starting as soon as the reliever enters the playing field.

“What if the visiting bullpen is in the middle of verbal and physical confrontation with the home fans? Not enough time to be properly heckled.  This is not nearly enough time for fans to accumulate enough stadium debris to pummel upon the incoming reliever!”

5. Teams are limited to a maximum of three mound visits per game, not including pitching changes. This applies to trips to the mound by managers, coaches, and catchers.

“I think that this rule will deeply undermine the sanctity of Pitcher-Catcher relationships. Sure, they may still maintain the physicality of their relationship – but what about the deep emotional bonding? Can the tender feelings between pitcher and catcher be fully explored in this amount of time?  These intimate relationships need time to develop, otherwise Pitcher and Catcher will begin to feel that they are only “going through the motions”.  Yes, physically they may be good together – but are they really, truly communicating on a deep emotional level?”

6. Pitchers no longer have to deliver four balls for an intentional walk. The manager can simply signal to the umpire.

“This will anger the Baseball Gods! How many times has a wild pitch occurred in this situation which advanced the runners! Then there was the famous episode where a team pretended to intentionally walk a batter when the ball count to become 3-1, then proceeded to throw two strikes for the out.  Really, this rule may also lead to too much “micro-managing” from the dugout.”

 … I can think of some other changes I would want to make.

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My advice: MLB, please do not approve these travesties of the game.

I say, bring back something like the old “Nickel Beer Night” they used to have at Cleveland Stadium if fans want to experience a shorter, but more exciting evening.

KIMONOS ON MONDAY: Kimono costume wardrobe worn in the 1980 TV series “Shogun”

Blackthorne: “Is this the Japans?”

Shogun scene mariko and blackthorne

Kimono costume wardrobe in the 1980 TV series “Shogun”:

I watched the “Shogun” TV miniseries when it first aired way back in 1980. I watched it again last year. Now that I have a much greater interest in kimonos and Japanese culture, I enjoyed it a lot more.

The show was a ground breaking series. Much as European countries knew little about “The Japans” in the 16th century, most Americans knew little about Japanese culture in 1980. (Yes, count me too.) I can recall back then when the “urination scene” and the “beheading scene” caused a lot of reaction.* The great thing about re-watching it on Netflix DVD was that there are many “making of” special features and interviews included.  One of the irritating things is that there are no subtitles or closed captions. Like Richard Chamberlain‘s “Blackthorne” character, the viewer has to keep asking “What did he say”?  The sets, the artwork and the costumes were great.  It was a treat to watch the great Toshiro Mifune as Shogun Toranaga. At one point in the interviews, the director said that millions of American men fell in love with the “Mariko” character. (Yes, count me too.) The actress Yoko Shimada was cast at the last minute, when the original actress left for a singing career. She was  fascinating to watch.

*I encourage you to watch-it-again-for-the-first-time!

Here is a snippet from the gentle musical soundtrack (from there, YouTube links to more).

Starlight: It took 34 years for me to re-view this wonderful TV miniseries! 

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Pokémon Nicknames: Vulpix and Ninetales

Vulpix and Ninetales

womenwhochangedamerica-lucille-ball

Vulpix (in Japanese: ロコン “Rokon”) is a Fire-type Pokémon. Vulpix evolves into the Fire-type Ninetales (in Japanese: キュウコン  “Kyukon”) when exposed to a Fire Stone.

vulpix to ninetales

I named a Vulpix “Lucy” after Lucille Ball, the television actress famous for the “I Love Lucy” TV series.  Lucy was the matriarch of zany comedy. This lady knew funny! The late actress was famous for her red hair (not her natural color).  I think that the red curly hair on Vulpix looks like classic Lucy.  You have to wonder if Vulpix would have fared any better on a chocolate factory assembly line.

lucy chocolates factory giphy

Like Lucy herself, that little Vulpix is also known for getting into hilarious predicaments!

vulpix christmas giphy

I named a male Vulpix Fiero after the sporty Pontiac so common in the 1980s. Oh, so common.  You kids cannot believe how many of these faux Ferrari there were back then. (Ferrari is also a great ame for Vulpix/Ninetails!!!) Everyone was buying them.  You asked someone what kind of car they were considering buying, they would always say “I’m thinking of getting a Fiero”!!!

Despite this ad, there was actually little room in a Fiero for "Hauling Oats"!

Despite this ad, there was actually little room in a Fiero for “Hauling Oats”!

They were actually a neat design. Most American cars in the 1980s were standard “box on wheels”. It is surprising that General Motors released this plucky little mid-engine sports car. (Reminds me of Vulpix!) Of course they were fun, until the mid-engine just underneath the passenger compartment would catch fire, and so many had to be recalled, but I digress once again ….

Ninetales of course, is based on the “Fox Spirit” in Japanese/East Asian mythology.

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Ninetales is more of a “strawberry blonde” than a redhead however.  I still think that Lucy, or other fire name will still work when it evolves.

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You could name them Fuego for a little Spanish fast fire flare.  Vixen is good for females. Kitsune (from Japanese mythology) is great for Ninetales. Fawkes (sounds like “fox”) might be good – after Guy Fawkes  the fire-bombing revolutionary so many rich, spoiled college students admire.  Just name your Vulpix/Ninetales after a fun and firey redhead who you know!

I am going to stick with Lucy.

What is the name for your little redhead?  Please Comment!

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