Excrement Working…

Just a quick warning that Speech to Text doesn’t always work out the way we want. Always–ALWAYS–double check the text.

From an eBay auction for an electronic device:

Excrement working,  in like new condition.  Includes black sleeve case

Good to know. Excrement is working just fine–in like-new condition to boot!







Of Love and Plagiarism

The other day I was in a Walgreens here in Florida and quite suddenly my ears caught a remake of the 1965 Beatles song, It’s Only Love.
I thought, how nice it is to hear the younger generation give the nod to the classics.
It would be like Jack Kerouac beating out a Shakespearean quote. Or Shakespeare sonneting Chaucer. Or Chaucer … Well, you get the picture.
I opened my mouth to voicelessly—and inconspicuously—sing along with the singer. “It’s only lo…”2016-05-19_0218
The singer—gasp—messed up the lyrics. He didn’t know the lyrics to the song he was remaking.
No. It was something far worse. He didn’t know he was doing a remake of a classic.
This new song itself isn’t bad and the part in question appears to be just a bridge or mini-chorus. It has a catchy synthesizer riff that makes the song memorable without needing to plagiarize.
I have no idea who sings the song or what it is called—at my age (42) it would be downright embarrassing to know that—but if you are 20 and have never heard of the Beatles, lend me your ears and I’ll play you the chorus of It’s Only Love. Brace yourself: you’ll instantly shout, “Those rascally Beatles stole that from so-and-so!”
Only, barring the slim possibility the Beatles possessed time travel abilities, it was the other way around.
(Here is a very well-done cover of the song. Listen to the chorus.)

George Harrison, of course, had a similar problem. My Sweet Lord rips He’s So Fine. And honestly, his indiscretion was much worse. He didn’t have the youth excuse. He should have known better.

On Japanese Toilets

Rob Long, a Hollywood-based satirist writes this in the latest issue of National Review: (here is the full article)

Arriving late one night into Tokyo, I checked into my hotel room to discover the world’s most complicated toilet.

I’ve said this before, but the Japanese have both the highest high-tech and lowest low-tech toilets in the world.  There are the traditional squat toilets that are little more than a hole with a flusher:

And then there are these: (continuing from Mr. Long’s account)

There were hoses and nozzles where hoses and nozzles probably shouldn’t be, and along the side there was an alarming set of button and switches, which made the entire contraption look like a neat freak’s electric chair.


It’s difficult to convey, in a magazine dedicated to the higher pursuits of political philosophy and national renewal, just how fantastic the Japanese toilet was. It’s impossible, especially, within the civilized parameters set by the editors and their assistants, to describe what a revelation it was — after a few eye-popping mishaps with the electric controls and one of the smaller nozzles — to discover that there were still things to perfect about an act we’ve all come to take for granted, still improvements to be made on the entire system, and that the Japanese had done it.

…In addition to the water in the toilet itself, there’s the additional water for all of those clever nozzles — you can set the pressure for each of them, but I learned the hard way that it’s best not to be a hero.

There is a happy ending.  After returning to the U.S. he found a supplier (surely Toto) and bought himself one.  One day, I plan to do the same.

This reminded me of a time shortly after I first arrived in Japan.  A friend and I sat down at a Gusto’s Family Restaurant to enjoy Yamamori Poteto Furai (big mountain of fries) and some pizza.  After ordering, he excused himself to visit the little boys’ room.  A full fifteen minutes later, he returned to his now cold food with a contorted look on his face. All I could get out of him was:

Don’t ever touch any of those buttons!!!

It took a few years, but now I am confident enough with my Japanese to use and want the high-tech Japanese toilet.  There’s no place like the bathroom at home, Toto.

Thai Elvis versus a Taiko Group

You have to see it to believe it, folks.

Last week at the Asian Festival in Gainesville, Florida, a Taiko group was supposed to follow Thai Elvis—yep, he was a Thai impersonator of Elvis.  The only problem was, as the Taiko group started, Elvis played an encore.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Elvis.  It’s just when you’re expecting cola and you take a swig of milk, something just ain’t right.

Hats off to Machine Translation

Hmmm…  I need to rethink the pedagogical value of our videos.  Here is a comment from Youtube:

thanks. i can now say thank you in japanese

Usually a machine translation of Japanese is funny.  It is funny because you can see how the error erred.  But I have no idea how any of this “translation” became what it became.  I mean, 帽子 boushi?


So Jack is dying, his daughter returns for a stem cell miracle, and Season Seven comes to a close.  I have a feeling Season Eight will spend half of the day cleaning up Season Seven’s mess.

This was the first season I actually watched on TV.  Every other year, I waited until it was finished, bought the DVD, and crammed 24 hours in a day or two–naturally with lots of popcorn and coke.  

Overall, it was quite good.  Although–and I’m sure I’m not the only one–I REALLY wanted to get up off my chair and slap Chloe #2 across the face quite a few times.  I call her “Chloe #2” because… I can’t remember her name.  But she is the computer geek doing Chloe’s job at the FBI.  She could care less if a gazillon people were about to die as long as all the t’s were crossed… 

It would have been a much better season if she ended up being the mole at FBI–if she was connected with a radical anti-human trees-first organization, for example.

Other than that, I thought the cast was pretty good. Bill Buchanan came back and died;  Tony came back from the dead only to end up living; Chloe came back from the living, stayed on living, but didn’t get to slap Chloe #2…  

Why not!!?

Well, one can only hope for a little slap action in Season Eight. Go Chloe!  Defeat your nemesis!

On the Proper Order of Peanut Butter and Jelly

One question has plagued the college student more than any other.  This of course is–which to dip first: the Peanut Butter or the Jelly?

Peanut Butter and Jelly

He… (and I say “he” not to be sexist or as an attempted rebellion against political correctness, but because a woman would simply wipe the knife off before sticking it in the Peanut Butter–or the Jelly as the case may be)  …He has to make the decision before starting the P&B sandwich.

Invariably, once the decision has been made, there are regrets.

Starting with Jelly:
The splash of grape color in the Peanut Butter makes the “he” wonder should the Peanut Butter jar now go into the refrigerator?! Pure Peanut Butter can survive in the cupboard, but after a while the unrefrigerated and opened purple grape Jelly turns nasty white.  Clearly, starting with Jelly complicates things.

Starting with Peanut Butter:
Arguably, this is the cleaner choice since the Peanut Butter should stick more to the knife than the soft Jelly.  But something about dipping a soiled knife into pristine purple grape Jelly* disturbs us men.  In addition, usually a touch of Peanut Butter does end up in the Jelly jar.  Regrettable, but unavoidable.

Other Issues:
And then there is the issue of using the ends of the bread (called みみ mimi in Japanese, by the way) or not.  Men differ on this matter.  I am firmly in crustacean camp; I like the crust.  However, I do see the other side’s point and wish them no ill will.

Lastly, our young college student has to decide which side gets flipped to be the top.  Do you put the jellied side on top of the Peanut Butter or the other way around? Are you adventurous and turn the more drippy Jelly side–or are you the clean type whose safe Peanut Butter bet assures no messy Jelly drips on the table?

Some would make this into a gender issue with Peanut Butter being seemingly more masculine and Jelly feminine.  This worldview becomes stickier when one thinks the process through:  If you turn the Jelly, you are putting the feminine representative on top–BUT you are also causing her to do all the work while the male sits back and does nothing.  As you know, perceived sexism is the #1 cause of college-aged male angst.

Obviously, stating my preference could get me in a great deal of trouble.  Not liking trouble too much, I leave this one for the reader to decide behind closed doors.

As you can see, the process of creating a Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich is far for simple.  It involves tough moral choices and a few logistical considerations.  Doing the right thing isn’t always easy.  But it can be tasty with milk.

* Just as men don’t eat strawberry ice cream–preferring chocolate instead–, they also prefer grape Jelly.

Doggie Door Progress

Last week, I reported a friend had helped rescreen our back porch and install a doggie door.

doggie door

My friend called me the next day and asked if the dogs were using it.  I said, “Sure!  As long as I hold the flap up and push the dogs through!”

I’m happy to say Tevye (the boy dog) began going through it voluntarily a few days back and–miracles of miracles–Hana (the girl dog) started doing the same yesterday.