Silver Lining

Filed under:★2004,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 9/29/2004 @ 8:47 pm

Anyone who has lived on Okinawa for a while knows there is an incessant amount of crawly critters that call the island home. The most irritating of these is the gokiburi, more commonly known as a cockroach. It is as if the ever-present crawlers are everywhere all the time. This year we have had an unusually large amount of big tropical cyclone systems. I dont know if anyone else over here has noticed, but cockroaches dont seem to do very well in water. With all of the rain that the typhoons have brought, there appears to be a lack of cockroaches crawling around. As they say, the good comes with the bad.

Unchanged Melody

Filed under:★2004,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 9/27/2004 @ 12:19 pm

As Mike points out in his comment to the Really!!!© Pet Peeve of the Week #14, “Funny how things never change in Okinawa.” I don’t know exactly when he was on Okinawa, but he’s absolutely correct. The only things that change much are the roads and the width of the island, due to constant construction. Over the past thirty years, there has been a large amount of construction. Much of the it involves man-made beaches up North and new residential areas in the center of the island. As for the rest of life on Okinawa, it is similar to being in a bubble at times. It is a good place to come if you are interested in history and/or water activities. I don’t know what Mike’s hobbies are, but the main form of socializing is still eating and drinking which is mainly done at some sort of izakaya.

Really!!!-Pet Peeve of the Week #14

Filed under:2004,Rants — posted by JAWjaw on 9/26/2004 @ 11:45 am

There are over one million people on this little island. With all of those people, one would think that they would be able to come-up with their own creative ideas. But no, it never fails. whenever I create a new idea for the club there is always someone trying to use it for their own purposes. I mean, I’m no creative genius. I am just willing to take the time and effort necessary to locate objects or create logos and “catch phrases” for the club. Even people who think they should receive royalties for their own creative works, try to steal the ideas. It’s a shame that this is a part of life as we know it in these times.

Back in the Saddle Again

Filed under:★2004,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 9/23/2004 @ 10:24 pm

Well, here we go again. The very relaxing week vacation is over. Just as we were finally able to get our entire yard trimmed and all the debris cleaned-up, another typhoon is on its way. The poor event organizers are really having a rough time of it this year. It seems as if every tropical cyclone system is bound and determined to visit on Sundays and/or Mondays. The only time it’s fun to have typhoons this frequent is when you are a student and able to get out of the daily rigmarole of classes. Otherwise, all typhoons do for one is push the workload into a compressed time period. Then you are stuck playing catch-up and clean-up. On the bright side, we are being provided another opportunity for getting our weekly work-out in nature’s sauna box!

Everyday People

Filed under:★2004,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 9/21/2004 @ 1:08 am

It always amazes me how some people get so caught up in hype. You know, the people who are so easily swayed by image, who buy into the fame game, fanatics or more commonly called “fans”. It’s not that I don’t think that persons of accomplishment are due their just respect. Oh contraire, if it weren’t for the people who strive to make advances in our world we would be stuck back in the caves. However, I feel that it all should be kept in perspective. If I were in need of advice on acting, for example, then I would go to the Actor’s Studio and judiciously focus on every spoken word of the experts in the field. However, I don’t feel that the expertise in one field extends to all aspects of life. In other words, I wouldn’t go to the same facility to gain information on the best way to dispose of a community’s public waste. For that I would go to the experts in the field, the seasoned “trash man”. And it is true that there are some people in our world that are blessed with the potential to excel at any endeavor they choose to focus on. But these people are few and far between, and no one person can be an expert on everything. The way I see it is unless I am seeking advice or further knowledge on a particular subject, that “expert” and everyone else are the same. We are all just people and each one of us has their own potential.

Really!!!-Pet Peeve of the Week #13

Filed under:2004,Rants — posted by JAWjaw on 9/20/2004 @ 2:26 am

On Saturday I was doing research for something and ran across a November 1997 article involving Taki. The article includes an interview he did with a Washington Times reporter. Taki didn’t even know the article was ever printed. When I tried to gain access to the full article, I found that the newpaper requires a payment for access to archived news articles. First, I do not feel comfortable enough with internet security to provide private financial information, such as a credit card number. Second, I was surprised that a major newpaper, such as the Times, charges for persons seeking archived information. I noticed that there is online advertising by sponsors. Doesn’t that and regular subsciptions provide enough of a profit for your investors? I am glad not to be a student seeking archived information in these days and times if I would have to pay for every article I wished to access. If you are interested in reading the full article, a brief lead into the story is available here.

“Angel Network” News?

Filed under:★2004,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on 9/17/2004 @ 8:35 am

I’ve been keeping my eye on CNN satellite news for a few days because Ivan was heading towards some of my loved ones. Later this afternoon, Taki was watching Japanese afternoon news and I became so frustrated with the whole thing. Isn’t there anything to report on other than depressing news? Is it any wonder there is so much despair in people with this constant barrage of the negativity of the human character? Surely, there must be something to report on other than hatred. Then it came to me. I grew up in the sixties when TV journalism was just taking hold of our daily lives. Back then journalists were always looking for the “hard core” stories in order to be taken seriously. With the world the way it is, couldn’t someone use the same theory and apply it to finding the true good Samaritans of this span in time. Why couldn’t Oprah, or someone in the journalism field, take the “Angel Network” idea and expand on it. Have journalism interns use the same investigative techniques used in “serious” reporting and provide a nightly dose of “Angel Network News” showing the positive aspect of the human character. Or is it just too hard to find selfless, caring people in the modern world anymore?

Eye of the Storm

Filed under:★2004,Misc — posted by JAWjaw on @ 12:52 am

For the last few weeks life a has been quite hectic over here. Finally, this past week we were provided a break in the weather, and various other things. Taki said JET’s Osaka performance went well. All the members were pleased. Although slightly humid, the weather allowed us to finish cleaning-up the remaining debris left by the last typhoon. And we were finally able to have our first family barbeque with Jaco, our 15 week-old pup. It’s always amusing to see a new puppy’s first reactions to B-B-Qs. They’re never quite sure what to make of the dancing flames of the charcoal. As pleasant as this week has been, it’s still typhoon season so we know there will probably be more storms to deal with, especially with this year’s weather! So for now, we just enjoy the eye of the storm.

West Wind, East Wind

Filed under:☽2004,Culture — posted by JAWjaw on 9/14/2004 @ 1:53 am

I never thought of myself as a political person. In fact I would rather stay away from the twisting and turning of the manipulative games. I have always felt more comfortable with the good-old fashioned straight forwardness of my upbringing. True at times I can be a little too straight forward, but only because I feel that it is a waste of precious time, energy, and effectiveness to play games with people. I see this as a system where like-minded people come and stick to mutually beneficial agreements. Yet, here I am on Okinawa where the social structure and politics run hand in hand. This is a culture that originated, after much internal feuding, as an autocratic Kingdom. This led to a tradition of secrecy and plotting in order to win favor with the ruling powers. What evolved was a system of hiding one’s true thoughts and feelings and channeling that energy into one’s goal, or being gamman. Although this system lends itself to a great deal of flexibility, the problem I see with it is that one never really knows what the other person’s goal is. This leads to a lack of trust and hidden shifting of commitments from one person to another when the second person’s goals are more closely associated to what is desired. This is more commonly expressed in Western terms as “yes” doesn’t mean yes and “no” doesn’t mean no.


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