Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vending Machine

Smart, indeed. If there's one thing the Japanese love, it's small things, cute things, and pushing buttons. Well, this smart car has all of the above. 

Friday, June 13, 2008

Paradise Garage

Walked over to snap some pics of a delivery Cub with a huge crate strapped to it, when I noticed directly in front of me an old man with an energetic step got out of a van and walked into an open garage which was directly to my left. I completely missed it. Inside the garage was a paradise for car lovers, tinkerers, and the like.

Another man, also elderly, wearing overalls was waiting for him and eagerly displaying a very shiny blue body panel part for the Bugatti beauty he was working on to his visitor (who may have been the owner of the car, since, when I walked by later, he was sitting behind the wheel).

There were two other vehicles in there along with square frames for another. To say the garage was clean was an understatement. It was spotless.

Meeting Nice People

I met a very nice Japanese couple outside the Tsutaya movie rental place in town. I had left with my DVD, a little delayed because the cashier made two mistakes in overcharging me. Very rare in Japan. I never count my change. But this time, I felt the charge was a little high, so double checked. Needless to say, he was very apologetic. But that delay was fruitful, because when I left I was greeted by the owner of this fine Cub...


He and his girlfriend were very friendly and curious about my bike because they had seen it and told me it's famous on YouTube. 

I'm not sure, but they may also have owned this tartan seated one, too:

So, you never know what may transpire when you are delayed. 

Saturday, June 07, 2008

New Japan vs. Old Japan

Slouched, sloppy attire, looking down playing Nintendo, PS3+, or fiddling with the latest and greatest keitai (cell phone) probably less than 3 months old vs. upright posture, clean and pressed suit, reading morning newspaper.

When I see views like this, I can't help but think that the funniest part is, that youth is certain he's being "Green" - that he's hip and connected to the world, making his contribution, being important, and fighting the good fight against all those evil old-timers and big corporations like his old fashioned neighbor who's reading a nasty newspaper made from cutting down innocent trees.

Our youth forgot to use that overrated secondary organ in his calcified membrane known as a skull which would have reminded him that the constant manufacture of parts for the literally millions of cell phones produced MONTHLY in Japan alone, and the associated labor, factories, energy required to run same, microwave radiation to send the signals, the monstrous steel towers to carry those signals, the steel to make those towers, the iron ore extracted from the GREEN HILLS of Earth turning mountains into mole hills to make that steel and all the millions of metric tons of polymers synthesized from, yup, you guessed it, OIL, (that evil substance stolen from Mother Gaia by big fat American corporations) that's right, petroleum to make the plastic to make the latest and greatest casings and knobs for the never-ending style changes that occur each and every week on each and every model for all those lovely electronic EMF spewing parts inside - all of that might skew the numbers in another direction if he bothered to think it through. Which we assume he most likely never, ever will. Yup, he just didn't think it through.

(I'm always reminded of Robert Deniro's wonderful character in the equally-wonderful movie Wag the Dog when he explains why the CIA couldn't arrest them. "He just didn't think it through, that's all.")

Yes, this kid didn't follow it through, but that's not the only reason he didn't think on these things. Because if that were the reason, the sole reason, then eventually, he WOULD figure it all out, he would realize that his existence is mainly a daily rationalization of what he might call, in other people's behavior, 'evils'.

No, he won't realize this. Why not? Because along with everything else he has, he has one thing in sublime abundance yet which he has no use for AT ALL, nor even a reason for having, unlike a cell phone or a computer, which are undoubtedly convenient and useful. No, there is one thing he has in abundance more than the closet full of Converse sneakers and Abercrombie T-shirts, more than baseball hats and more than all the now unfashionable iPod non-disposable color carrying cases that no longer fit the latest unit, more than all those combined. What is it? Nothing but something that has been around for a very long time, Mr. Mulder, a very long time. Arrogance. That's right, arrogance. He's got that in spades. He's certain he's in the right, that he and those who look like him are pacifists in this war on mother nature. He's certain as there are little green apples that this is so. That certainty, that militant certainty will be his downfall, and quite possibly the rest of ours, as well. For this generation acts before thinking, not that this is anything new, but with the speed and global reach of the net, and the quick-to-judge, yet frighteningly unquestioning mind, we have what might be called a pandemic of sophomoric blindness.

Of course, this is all an assumption, all speculation (like humans being the cause of Global Warming). When in fact, that youth may indeed be a bright, honest, selfless instrument of humanity, jotting down a reminder to put in extra hours volunteering at the local nursing home, or calculating a bold, new formulae for a cure for cancer.

Or maybe not.

In any case, I sometimes think the doomsayers like Ed Dames on Coast to Coast AM are right when they say we are headed for the End Times. It seems there are less and less examples of class (and hygiene!) and more and more of self-centered sloppiness, as if it were a 'right'. It's one thing to be sloppy, to be dirty, to be annoying and obnoxious, but to be those things AND to be arrogant, well that's just plain boring.

One thing's for sure. The world is turning into a huge gadget-idolizing net-hooked, tattooed, porned and pierced slobfest bent on destroying the planet all in the name of saving it.

Count me out! I'll just head for my island in the sun, riding my time machine and always smiling.

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Weird Japan

Stumbled upon this abandoned community pool in Fuchu near Tamagawa. Strange place. With land space at a premium, finding such a large area unused is very rare in Tokyo. The place had an eeriness about it.

Handling a Cub

Friday, June 06, 2008

Mini to the Max