Monday, September 05, 2005

Dear Blogger, your product sucks the big one! New title to a nice post.

I had a nice little post typed up about a nice day today when Blogger ate the damn thing. There is nothing more frustrating than going to hit "Publish Post" and getting the white screen of death! "Cannot find server" my ass!! Tried to recover in the history file, no chance paddles, you're screwed!

Anyway, if I can remember it all, I had a nice day today. Thanks to the incompetence of the people at blogger, I lost my nice words about driving up to Aomori City today. Now its 3 beers later and I'm struggling to remember my brilliant prose. It was a nice drive through some pretty countryside. Ended up heading up to the city parallel to the coastline so got to see about all of the harbor. We walked around the central city and the S.O. dragged me to literally every pottery and China shop within walking distance. However when I tried to sneak away to a manga shop while she looked at Arita plates.....well that did not set well. GRRR!!! (Pictures to follow...and the Manga was good. Pretty risque stuff.)

I've found a new toy I have to buy. The rental car we have is equipped with a GPS car map system. It made life a lot easier when the S.O. could not remember the lousy directions here friend had given her. Add to that the fact that she has a TERRIBLE sense of direction and really cannot master maps. Had I left it to her we would probably still be on the road. However thanks to the Pioneer corporation and some unsung engineers we were back in business in no time:



When it became apparent that she did not know where we were going, I stopped the car and fell back on my Navy training. Read the instructions (which were in Japanese...a feat unto itself for me!) , programmed in some waypoints and then proceeded to fly drive on instruments. Arrived on time with no further delays. Wish I had access to one of these 28 years ago when I was in the training command trying to learn how to do point to points! And unlike the training command, there was no instructor yelling at me, "What the F**K are you doing?"; rather a cute female voice telling when to turn at the next waypoint. ( You could even pick one of 6 cartoon ladies to put on the screen, is this a great country or what!) Everything on the map was in Japanese, but fortunately I can read enough to figure things out. When I needed to I turned to the S.O. and said, "what's that?". Proves the 4 "ates" still work: aviate, navigate, communicate and radiate.

Despite it all we both had a good day.Ate ramen for lunch and went to some of the city's highlights. (there are not that many). Then this evening, a friend of mine who works at Misawa invited us to the fireworks they had on the beach on the north side of the base. It was great because of the water and the fact that it was in the country, you could see them very clearly. They even had music to go along, including one of my favorites at the end:

If tomorrow all the things were gone I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I'd thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
'Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can't take that away.

And I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
'Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.

From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,

From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there's pride in every American heart,
and it's time to stand and say:

I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I'd gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.


Yea, I may loving living in Asia and intend to do so for a lot longer, there will always be a blue passport in my possession. That particular song still chokes me up. And today, Labor Day, it may be a fitting song to think about when so many Americans are overseas doing thankless jobs as well as those in the US doing their best to fix a mess they did not create. So tonight, lets remember them.

Hope I got this right. First time around the words flowed like butter off a knife. Anybody got any suggestions how to do better than Blogger?

Skippy-san

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