Saturday, February 26, 2005

Funny, I never met any girls like this...wonder where they are all hiding?

Reuters published an article saying Japanese girls do not want to get married. Those are the types of girls I should have met. My experience here has been quite the opposite. All the girls I met, enjoyed their single life, but at some point they always exerted that subtle pressure to get married. Its a reason why a friend of mine said that, in Japan you need two things, a girlfriend and a mistress. The girlfriend will give you sex for free, fill out the interminable Japanese forms for you and try to get you to marry her. The mistress (according to him) is where the fun begins. She'll probably be around 20-24 and very beautiful. She'll know you have a girlfriend but won't mention it. But she will want you to help her buy trendy clothes, make-up and holidays.

This little arrangement usually lasts till the girlfriend finds out about it, and then you are looking for a new girlfriend. Or you do something really stupid, like marry the girlfriend and then, when you are shortly into it, realize what you knew when you were married to an American shrew, that the concept of marriage is based on the flawed concept that women are somehow different from each other. They're not. Japanese women only seem submissive. In reality they are just as manipulative as their western shrew sisters. They just have managed the technique of making you feel better while you are being used.

Actually marriage could work, I think, if it just did not have to be tied up to the whole monogamy thing. There are several girls I could live with, provided I could have a repeated ability to get out and about and do my own thing. Women no matter what their country never seem to understand that need.

And for the Japanese government the problem is deeper. They need a whole host of new little taxpayers to start growing up now. And that's not happening. Its a real problem, not just here but in other Asian countries as well.

Then again, maybe that can be new pickup line, convincing a girl its her patriotic duty to sleep with me.........

Putin vs Bush---Where does the truth lie?

Shades of the Cold War! Conservative pundits are asking a question straight out of the Reagan years, " When are we going to get tough with Russia?" and " Human Rights in Russia should be a top priority". You would think I am back in 1980......wish I felt as genki as I did then.

Watching the two leaders at their press conference was interesting. President Bush taking his "I'm being patient with a fool" look just like he seems to do with anyone who voices an opinion contrary to his; and Putin in the thick language that Russians always seem to use, reasserting that Russia is still a great power too. The truth as always lies somewhere in the middle.

It revives a debate that President Bush himself has triggered, namely where do the limits of national sovereignty lie? The President, through his rhetoric to roll back tyranny and spread democracy everywhere, seems to be implying that national sovereignty only belongs to nations that have governments acceptable to the United States. And that if nations act in a manner that deviates from that, then he must at the least lecture them.....and at the most invade them. No , wait a minute, we tried that in Iraq...did not quite work out so well.

The fact is, we are in no position to "get tough" with Russia. We need them more than they need us. With Iran emerging as a major issue these days, it would help for the US to be able to count on the support and aid of the Russian president. Otherwise, Vladimir Putin in a bid to show the world that his Russian state , with a broken and underpaid but still large military possessing nuclear weapons, can act independently of the United States. Furthermore, Putin does make a point that no amount of democracy can make up for not being able to feed and cloth one's people which despite a 15 year interval between the fall of communism is still not universally true in Russia. US national interests force a more active partnership with Russia and allowing the Russia leader to work at his own pace. If he goes too far, the Russia people will have a reckoning, just like they had with the Romanovs. But for now, we need them to help us keep the Persian horde in their box.


Friday, February 25, 2005

For those in Japan, here's something really interesting

Here in Japan, every weekday at 12:20, they have a TV show on NHK called お昼ですよ。(Polite way to say, Its Noon!). Now the meat and the potatoes of the show is the kind of mundane panel discussions that are way too prevalent on Japanese TV in my humble opinion. ( Like today was 卵の世界。。。。the world of eggs.) Nonetheless I watch when I can at lunch. Why? Because it is always opened by a string quartet consisting of 4 sweet looking pieces of tuna called Vanilla Mood. Now they are something worth interupting your lunch for. See below and I think you will agree:


Keiko plays piano, Yui the violin, Waka the flute, and Mariko on the cello. Mariko could have my baby......she's nice! They also are very talented and they take plain ordinary songs and put a different spin to them with traditional instruments.( Don't go there....all you men with dirty minds, I've already thought about every possible joke/ pun related to that subject.)


Works for me--Skippy-san

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Recent pixs from the Singapore trip.....

Who could visit the Lion City without revisiting its past? So we went to Raffles.
Skipped the Long Bar though...Beers are too expensive. Go across the street to Chijmes and have confession at Father Flanagan's...a holy watering hole.

Harumi in front of Raffles. Aw the majesty! The History! The prices!

Which is more important, democracy in the Middle East or progress for people?

JD Whitlock has made an excellent point about the march of democracy in the middle east. Citing a very good article in the New Republic. JD points out that democracy only matters in its effect on the future and how that future supports the interests of the United States. As noted in the article, if elections were held in Egypt today, the Islamic whackos would get a clear majority and in the long run it would be a setback for US interests in the middle east and more importantly, for the Egyptians themselves.

Like it or not, there is still something to the idea of national sovereignty and the idea that nations should be allowed to evolve at their own pace. Free lance reporter Christopher Allbritton sums this up very well, in his recent writings by pointing out that, "Most Arab states would like to have democracy, yes, but not at the barrel of a gun, which is how it came here. If the choice is being invaded, occupied and force-fed controversial elections that might lead to civil war versus working at democratic reforms at their own pace and in their own way, I suspect most Arabs would choose the latter. And who could blame them? Iraq is not an example to emulate."

Furthermore, which is more important to Americans, peace and stability in the region, or instability and fanaticism which those devoted to radical Islam generate? I submit the former is more important. It does us no good to have a democratically elected government in Iraq or anywhere else if that government is going to be in opposition to the interests of the United States. The sacrifice of 1400+ brave young Americans will have been in vain and I, like many others, do not wish to have that happen. The neoncons would tell you that any election is a good election. To that I would respond that, we should not forget that Adolf Hitler came into office as a democratically elected leader. Somewhere out there waiting in the wings, is a future Nasser waiting to be elected in one of the Arab nations. Sadly, had we supported the British during the Suez invasion 50 years ago we could have strengthened the British Empire, and in doing so our own position in the world. We did not, and so began the long chain of events leading to Sept 11th.

Herman Wouk wrote in one of his novels that, "Victory is meaningless except in its effect on the politics of the future. You [Americans] have yet to grasp that." His words are very true today. Victory in Iraq is meaningless unless it provides for stability and peace in the region. To date we have yet to see any real evidence of that. The conservative elite will tout the demonstrations in Lebanon as proof to the contrary. , I submit that it proves a very different point, namely that nations act in their self interest. Syria is acting in its interest by using Lebanon as a way to hem in Israel, and Lebanon is acting to convince Syria its time to go. 100 years ago, the British would have referred to this as the "The Great Game". Moving the Arab chess board around to keep the Russians at bay. Very little has changed in the intervening years, except that it is no longer Russia we seek to keep at bay, it is radical Islam.

But "wait", you ask, " is not liberty a God given right to each and every nation?" "That's what my President told me". Sure, but it is also God's will that they freely choose it and for nations that will be when they are ready to do so. To try to be a midwife and force the process along in a hurried fashion only leads to tragedy and anguish. Until the Arabs themselves choose to divest themselves of the albatross of Islam, a democratically elected government could worsen the situation rather than improve it. America needs to act in its self interest, and if we pretend we are above all that, we are only playing the fool. No one really believes that anyway.

So for a while anyway, we should help Mubarak and the monarchs like the King of Jordan. They are not democratically elected, but they have done things to support America. There are democratically elected governments that have yet to do that.

"Let the persimmon ripen on the vine"- Japanese proverb.


Monday, February 21, 2005

Hunter S. Thompson dead!

Opened up my e-mail to find in the current edition of the Straits Times that Hunter S. Thompson is dead by his own hand. What's up with that? Seems to me the guy must have either so whacked himself up with drugs, that he was terminally depressed OR he just could not stand having it made with plenty of cash and a market for his writing. Either way it makes no sense to me......

Wonder if that means Doonesbury is going to kill off Uncle Duke?


See for yourself below:

Feb 21, 2005Author Hunter S. Thompson commits suicide
DENVER - Hunter S. Thompson, the acerbic counterculture writer who popularised a new form of fictional journalism in books like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, fatally shot himself Sunday night at his Aspen-area home, his son said. He was 67.
Hunter prized his privacy and we ask that his friends and admirers respect that privacy as well as that of his family,' Mr Juan Thompson said in a statement released to the Aspen Daily News. Pitkin County Sheriff Bob Braudis, a personal friend of Thompson, confirmed the death to the News.Mr Juan Thompson found his father's body. Thompson's wife, Anita, was not home at the time.
Besides the 1972 drug-hazed classic about Thompson's visit to Las Vegas, he also wrote Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72. The central character in those wild, sprawling satires was Dr Thompson, a snarling, drug- and alcohol-crazed observer and participant.
Thompson is credited with pioneering New Journalism - or, as he dubbed it, 'gonzo journalism' - in which the writer made himself an essential component of the story. Much of his earliest work appeared in Rolling Stone magazine.
'Fiction is based on reality unless you're a fairy-tale artist,' Thompson told the AP in 2003. 'You have to get your knowledge of life from somewhere. You have to know the material you're writing about before you alter it.'
An acute observer of the decadence and depravity in American life, Thompson also wrote such collections as Generation of Swine and Songs of the Doomed. His first ever novel, The Rum Diary, written in 1959, was first published in 1998.
Thompson was a counterculture icon at the height of the Watergate era, and Richard Nixon once said he represented 'that dark, venal, and incurably violent side of the American character'. -- AP

Observations on America- Outside looking inside.

Long may she wave!

As I pointed out earlier, I just got back from a week in the States, mostly for business , but I did take some time to go skiing up at Lake Tahoe. Since they have had the most snow in over 100 years, just could not skip the opportunity. It had been six months since I was last "in country". After 5 years in Japan, its always an interesting feeling returning home. In part a relief to be where I can speak the language and be understood ( except in LA!); able to move about , drive, and park with space to spare; and pay $2 for a beer in instead of $9 in a bar. (Again except in LA!). In part, though, I find myself missing the things my adopted country has: Trains that work for example. As I have said over and over again, not matter how long I stay overseas, I am an American through and through and I am proud of that fact. Nonetheless, its always interesting to look at the USA a little more dispassionately then I did when I lived there. This trip, here are few things that I really noticed while moving about:

Americans are fat! - Not all of them, but a heck of lot more than there should be. And I'm not talking about just a couple of pounds over weight, but honest to God blubber/spare tires being carried. Its one of the first thing one notices after you have been in Asia for a while, where even the women who are heavy are thin by American standards. I was out in a brew pub one night, and saw some pretty hefty women trying to flirt and strut their stuff. Scary is an understatement.
The food portions in restaurants are huge!- I'm not talking just in the fancy places, but in the average diners and fast food places. Its sad for me to order dinner and get a plate of food I know I am not going to be able to finish. The voice of my mother haunts me as I eat, as she guiltily reminds me that there are starving people in China who need that food. Trust me ma, I've been to China; We eat more food in one sitting than they will eat all day. There's a good reason for that too.
This particular phenomenon seems to have become more pronounced in recent years. I know the restaurant industry is quite competitive, but do we all need to really eat so much? I'll skip desert and have another beer.......

Courtesy is on the decline- Coming from Japan where I cram in to a car on the Tokkaido line with a 100 of my Japanese friends, I am also amazed at how uncivil my countrymen can be over things that, in the grand scheme of things , are trivial. People are just plain rude to each other sometimes. I saw it in the malls, on the street, and even in my business meetings. People complain that Japanese society is too structured and it probably is, but there is an understanding that there are rules of politeness that are the currency that allow people to live together peacefully.

American women are pushy- Too pushy in my book. Went to a dinner party with some other couples. One guy's wife was simply amazing. You would think she was working for the company instead of her husband. Its a sign of how spoiled I have become living overseas, that hearing women talk about what they will "allow" their husbands to do and not do really annoys me. My ex-wife had that statement down to a science, her signature line was , " Here's the deal!" (Maybe paying alimony is worth it, just to not have to hear that.). Talking to the guys, offline was illuminating too. Its bad enough having to put up with amazing stress at work, but to come home and have to deal with more at home ......While all the while doing it for the "privledge" getting laid once a week........does not cut it in my book.

Speaking of American women, who teaches these girls how to dress?- One thing that is always noticeable here in Japan is that women in Japan know how to put an outfit together. Evenings out in San Diego this last week were an adventure---every thing from badly fitting T-shirts to jeans to I don't know what. Come on girls, come over to the Land of the Rising Sun and ride the trains. You'll learn a thing or too about color coordination.

Not every one of my observations is negative. A few things I was in heaven to be back to:

American TV- Commentators point out how low the standards have fallen and what a wasteland the tube is these days. They don't watch Japanese TV or they would stop complaining. Just to be able to watch a SITCOM this last week was sheer heaven. From my perspective the news over in America is much better ( despite all the accusations of bias, its really not that biased in my book) , writing for the SITCOMS and Dramas is much better, and the plots tend to actually flow logically. Plus a 100 channels to choose from is something to get down and be thankful for.

American Cars- Just having room to drive and park, without performing major surgery was so great. Took the rental car on a high speed sojourn up interstate 80----HEE YAA!!!

Philly Cheese steaks and Hot apple pie for desert- Yes they are too big, but eating it was good for my soul.

There are probably those reading this who say I need to be grateful for my blue passport, and I am. However that little book has taken me on some amazing adventures. It would be good for us Americans to remember that there are things we can learn from other countries as well. That's why for me, its good to be back here fighting the home in Tokyo.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Better business practices? Or are we just robbing Peter to pay for Paul's war?

There is an excellent article on the web site DefenseTech.Org that explains the way the "whackateers" who manage the DOD budget are mortgaging our future to pay for the war today. Namely by using supplemental appropriations and tying them to the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, the powers that be can ensure Congressional passage of needed to funds for operations and maintenance and mask the true damage that the ongoing war(s) are doing to overall military readiness.

Now I don't doubt that the money is needed, but by getting it this way, it allows the powers that be to engage in the worst kind of BS, by saying that we can really afford to fight 3 wars at once and reduce the size of our military at the same time. Kudo's to Sen. John McCain for calling this smokescreen what it is.

Click on the link in the title to see the whole article.

The real reason American owned airlines are going bankrupt!

Its a rainy Sunday morning here in Tokyo and my body clock is still not readjusted. So time to post some observations from my recent trip back to the States.

I flew United Airlines over and American back. Both ways I saw things that you just don't see when you fly on Asian owned carriers. In a nutshell its this: NO CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS!

As I said flew United on the way over. Could not get upgraded because my travel people had booked a non unpgradeable ticket, even though they are not supposed to do this. So back to the "cattle car" that is a 747 I went. United, at least still has some amenities, they do not charge for drinks, and the food was OK. However once they have made that second pass through the cabin, that's the last you will see of the flight attendants for the next six hours. WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?

Coming back on American was where the real horror story begins. Before I had left, I called the American Airlines service center to place my name on the upgrade list. ( Getting upgraded on American is critical, because back in coach, the little weasels charge for drinks!!!! Need at least a couple of beers on a 11 hour flight if I am to have any hope of sleeping.) I reconfirm with the airline the night before. I get to the counter as they start processing the list, talk to the lady at the counter who says we have a seat in business, just need to process it with the service center. They then go back and forth on the phone about how much to charge me for the upgrade.

Charge me? Why, I am using miles, I am a platinum member and I put my name on the list out side of 10 days. There's no charging here, I tell the lady. Besides American is the only airline that flies across the Pacific that charges to upgrade people. ( As far as I know they are also the only one who charges for drinks too!).
Finally get that straightened out and she prints up my business class boarding pass. I'm all set, just waiting for her to hand it to me, when she ( still on the phone with the service center) says, " Oh I am sorry we cannot upgrade you because your ticket was issued on United Airlines ticket stock." WHAT?

ME: "But my ticket was booked by my travel agency and I have no say in whose ticket stock they use. Besides I flew United on the way over"

Her: "I understand, but Tariff has no way to charge"

ME: " Wait a minute. We already established that there is no charge. You just need to deduct the miles from my account".

Her: " I am sorry we cannot upgrade a United ticket"

ME: " But its not a United ticket. I'm in San Jose flying on American"

This banter goes on for another 10 minutes with me getting madder by the second. All the while the flight is boarding and I am looking at a nice business class seat boarding pass with my name on it sitting on the counter. Finally I realize this is going nowhere and ask for someone to complain to. She gives me a printed sheet that HAS NO PHONE NUMBERS ON IT! You either have to e-mail them or send a letter. Gotta get on the plane cause its boarding, anyway.

And thus begins the second half of the problem. Squeezed into my tiny seat, up against the bulkhead, I wait for the service cart to come by, seething the whole time. The grey haired flight crew, finally come around at altitude..with an attitude.

"Yes Skippy-san, you may have a beer..5 Dollars."

Since I knew this coming I was prepared, had a stack of 5's in my shirt pocket. Kind of like being in a strip club, only beer is generally cheaper in a strip club and you get a better view and more value for your money.

Now contrast this to last month, when I flew from Singapore to Bangkok on Singapore Airways. Ticket price was equal to or less to an US company for a comparable distance. On a 2 and 1/1 hour flight got served an excellent meal, by a beautiful group of Chinese and Malaysian stewardesses. Wine and beer served before, during, and after the meal. Upgrading if I had wanted it was straight forward and no charges are involved.

But you say, "Oh but that is Singapore Airways, they are sexist and have young good looking stewardesses....Besides they are state supported". ( My token acknowledgment of feminists and capitalists) To which I would respond---so what's your point? Bottom line is I can get a ticket for the same money, better looking women on board, and free beer. What's wrong with that?

The simple fact is that Singapore Airways, Malaysian Air, and Cathay Pacific as well as the main Japanese carriers of JAL and ANA are learning that they can compete with the US in terms of price and the service is and will always be light years ahead of any airline in the US. If my company did not have assinine rules about not allowing to book my own travel, I would never fly an American carrier across the Pacific again.

If you don't believe me about the price issues, I would urge you to check out Singapore Airlines web site: . Look under the special deals section.

Seems to me if United, American, and the others want to stay out of the bankruptcy courts then they need to go back to basics and learn about how to please their customers.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Damn the media..Where's the good news about Iraq?

I recieved another couple of e-mails yesterday about the media's coverage
of the Iraq mess. These writings all have the same theme:
" Why are not the media talking about all the good things that are happening in Iraq? What about all the schools opened and the private enterprise and the uplifting of women and all that other stuff". Some other examples:

" Did you know that 47 countries have re-established their embassies in

Did you know that the Iraqi government employs 1.2 million
Iraqi people?

Did you know that 3100 schools have been renovated, 364
schools are currently under rehabilitation, 263 new schools are
under construction and 38 new schools have been built?

Did you know that the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research
in Iraq consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges within the
Community College system, two Commissions and two Research Centers?

Did you know that 25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January
2004 for the re-established Fulbright Program?"

That's all good stuff, but when I read stuff like that, I cannot help but
think about the conversation that was reported to have occurred some time
after the end of the Vietnam war between an American military officer and
a Vietnamese general:

American: "You never defeated us on the battlefield"

Vietnamese: " That is true. It is also irrelevant".

The same statment is true about the occupation of Iraq. Of course we are doing good things, of course we are slowly rebuilding the country, of course there are folks going to school. We are Americans, we know how to good things. All these items are good things, but not central to the problem at hand. Iraq is not a secure place to live. Its a dangerous place to live and be doing those things. And remember, as advertised by the administration...IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE HAPPENING THIS WAY. 135,000 US troops have been engaged there for over 2 years and that deployment is coming at a huge cost to the United States. 1400+ great Americans cut down in the prime of youth. God knows how many Iraqi's killed and in the end our position in the Middle East is not as strong as it once was.

The media recognizes that the occupation and the planning for it and the execution of it, are the central issues. So they report because that is what they do.
Like it or not the violence is news. Its made more visible by the spin meisters attempts to reassure us that "all is well" and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. And finally ,I believe, that all the good news stories in the world will mean nothing to the average American till they can be assurred that the troops will get home someday. The elections have been held and at this point it still looks like the troops will be there for 2 more years. That's the only thing that matters to me, getting this little adventure over with.

Till then...well, bad news sells papers. Like it or not.

戦争はいつも大変ですね? 私たち質問はその戦争はいつ終わりますか?


Monday, February 07, 2005

Highlights from Japan's Weekly Shukan's or Tabloids

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.......

Arnold working the crowd at a recent function in Tokyo

He gave a great speech and I was impressed!

Love: Hong Kong style....

True love for a HK Gal......
Ah Love!

Some ideas never go out of style- the misery index by Col Ken.

For those who don't know him or of him, Col Ken is the commentator in the very successful book series, "Hardship Posting: True tales of Expat life in Asia" In the 3rd edition he has posted his true cost of marriage I completely agree with. Buy the book, you tired and oppressed American'll see that there is a better way!

So here now is the Misery index from Col. Ken . ( Quoted directly from the web site):

The Colonel's 'Cost-per-Knob' Index
Which is cheaper: sex for money, or sex within the hallowed institution of a loving marriage as endorsed by the pope?
Let me paint the parameters of this painstaking research first: All statistics are based on American figures for consistency. Well that plus they've got more divorce lawyers than you could point a pit bull terrier at, so statistics from the US Census Bureau are plentiful.
The median duration of a marriage is 7.2 years, and the median age of divorce is 35.6 for men. During that time, sex - more commonly known as Giving the Ferret a Run, Hiding the Salami, Putting the Tool in the Shed, the Matrimonial Polka, or the Magic Disappearing Cane Trick - is likely to rear its ugly head 6.9 times per month (according to Edward O Laumann, But let's go with some more generous statistics from the Illinois State University, who say that married couples Make the Beast With Two Backs two to three times a week in their twenties.
Assuming the average man therefore marries at 28 years of age, let's allow for three Horizontal Cha-Chas per week for three years, two per week for the next three years, and then - as kids and boredom from eating from the same menu and dissatisfaction creep into the game - let's say once a week for the remaining 1.2 years. That, ladies and genitals, gives you a grand total of 842.4 rounds with the Chubby Conquistador (well, you remember that time you fell asleep on the job, don't you?).
Now, my good friend Dr Sam Vaknin - financial consultant and economic advisor to the stars - calculates that the average couple in the west accumulates assets of US$100,000 over seven years of marriage. We could argue maybe a little more for expats, but let's stay with the conservative figures.
If divorce now takes place, kiss goodbye to half your assets. It just cost you $50,000 for 842.4 grease and oil changes. Cost-per-Knob: $59.35 per time with the Chief of Staff.
But, and this is a big but (perhaps I should spell that 'butt'!): the cost of legal fees, etc, for the divorce itself is $15,000 and takes a year to complete. During that time, let's presume the Purple-Helmeted Warrior of Love is enjoying no attention from your ex-partner (although, if the mood seems right, you might want to ask if you could finish off that missing 0.6 from the better days).
Plus, you've had two kids in the meantime, and the cost of child maintenance for two kids is 27% of net wages. This could be more for expats, but let's just call it a nice even $1,000 per month. For a period of, oh, 13 years just till the older one turns 18. So we're on the low side again. That's a total of $156,000 in child support.
So you actually spent $221,000 for those 842.4 Air-flown Kobe Beef Injections at a Cost-per-knob of $262.34 a piece. But hold on, we haven't even factored in those fancy dinners, cocktails, bunches of flowers on Valentines Day (or the day after, when she reminded you), fur coats, and trinkets. Oh, the trinkets!
Now let's look at the alternative. You swan down to Soi Nana in Bangkok. Let's call it the epicentre of the universe, just for illustrative purposes you understand. You browse the 3-D living blackboard menu on stage, with the soup of the day changing everyday, with Chef invariably offering a specialty of the house.
Let's say you're between 35-45, slightly overweight and balding (ie, you possess all the best attributes of the male species!). According to the website someone of that description would averagely be paying 1,195.12 baht for a Bounce With Mr Wobbly at Soi Nana with a medianly attractive girl who can joke and have some fun with you. (Face it, fellow stud bulls, we're paying more than Mel Gibson would have to.) Now let's throw in 250 baht for ladies drinks, 300 baht for a short-time hotel room, and 500 baht as bar-fine. That's a grand total of $2,245.12 baht for the satisfaction of the One-eyed Wonder Worm. At 43 baht to the dollar that's - dadaaaaaah!!!! - a Cost-per-Knob of just $52.21 to put a smile on the face of the Bald-headed Butler. All in. And you don't have to discuss her feelings afterwards. Even if you did a personal best of 0 to 100 in 7.8 seconds so you could get back to watch the second half of the game!
So ladies and genitals, irrefutable proof of what you always thought: it's cheaper to buy a litre of milk as required rather than the whole cow. Paying for sex is cheaper. And the golden rule I'm dispensing for free here is this: if it flies, floats or fucks, you're better off renting it.
Cop you later, Posting - True tales of expat misadventure in Asia.Over 50,000 copies in print. Volume 3 out now.

Despite the best efforts of our senior leadership to crush it...independent thought remains in our military!

Consider a few of these gems that were sent to me by a friend. There still may be hope for real cogent thought among the zombies......

Cynics delight- Military Quotes:

"The 'L' in CENTCOM stands for leadership

"At this Command, we have written in large, black letters: DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) on the back of our security badges." Maj (CENTCOM)

"'Leaning forward' is really just the first phase of 'falling on your face.'" Marine Col (MARFOREUR)

"I am so far down the food chain that I've got plankton bites on my butt."

"None of us is as dumb as all of us." Excerpted from a brief (EUCOM)

"We're from the nuke shop, sir. We're the crazy aunt in the closet that nobody likes to talk about ..." Lt Col (EUCOM) in briefings

"Things are looking up for us here. In fact, Papua-New Guinea is thinking of offering two platoons: one of Infantry (headhunters) and one of engineers (hut builders). They want to eat any Iraqis they kill. We've got no issues with that, but State is being anal about it." LTC (JS) on OIF coalition-building.

"The chance of success in these talks is the same as the number of "R's" in "fat chance..."" GS-15 (SHAPE)

"His knowledge on that topic is only power point deep..." MAJ (JS)

"Ya know, in this Command, if the world were supposed to end tomorrow, it would still happen behind schedule." CWO4 (EUCOM)

"We are condemned men who are chained and will row in place until we rot." LtCol (CENTCOM) on life at his Command

"Right now we're pretty much the ham in a bad ham sandwich..." GO/FO

"If we wait until the last minute to do it, it'll only take a minute." MAJ(EUCOM)

"The only reason that anything ever gets done is because there are pockets of competence in every command. The key is to find them ... and then exploit the hell out of 'em." CDR (CENTCOM)

"I may be slow, but I do poor work..." MAJ (USAREUR)

"Cynicism is the smoke that rises from the ashes of burned out dreams." Maj (CENTCOM) on the daily thrashings delivered to AOs at his Command.

"WE are the reason that Rumsfeld hates us..." LTC (EUCOM) doing some standard, Army self-flagellation

"Working with Hungary is like watching a bad comedy set on auto repeat..." LCDR (EUCOM)

"I finally figured out that when a Turkish officer tells you, "It's no problem," he means, for him." Maj (EUCOM)

"Never in the history of the US Armed Forces have so many done so much for so few..." MAJ (Task Force Warrior) on the "success" of the Free Iraqi Forces (FIF) Training Program, where 1100 Army troops trained 77 Iraqi exiles at the cost of, ...well, ...way too much...

"Our days are spent trying to get some poor, unsuspecting third world country to pony up to spending a year in a sweltering desert, full of pissed off Arabs who would rather shave the back of their legs with a cheese grater than submit to foreign occupation by a country for whom they have nothing but contempt." LTC (JS) on the joys of coalition building

"I guess the next thing they'll ask for is 300 US citizens with Hungarian last names to send to Iraq..." MAJ (JS) on the often-frustrating process of building the Iraqi coalition for Phase IV

"Between us girls, would it help to clarify the issue if you knew that Hungary is land-locked?" CDR to MAJ (EUCOM) on why a deployment from Hungary is likely to proceed by air vice sea

"So, what do you wanna do?"..."I dunno, what do YOU wanna do?"..."I dunno, what do YOU wanna do?," etc. COL (DIA) describing the way OUSD(S) develops and implements their strategies

"I'll be right back. I have to go pound my nuts flat..." Lt Col
(EUCOM) after being assigned a difficult tasker

"I guess this is the wrong power cord for the computer, huh?" LtCol
(EUCOM) after the smoke cleared from plugging his 110V computer into a
220V outlet

"OK, this is too stupid for words." LTC (JS)

"When you get right up to the line that you're not supposed to cross, the only person in front of you will be me!" CDR (CENTCOM) on his view of the value of being politically correct in today's military

"There's nothing wrong with crossing that line a little bit, it's jumping over it buck naked that will probably get you in trouble..." Lt Col
(EUCOM) responding to the above

"Never pet a burning dog." LTC (Tennessee National Guard)

"Ah, the joys of Paris: a unique chance to swill warm wine and be mesmerized by the dank ambrosia of unkempt armpits.." LCDR (NAVEUR)

"'Status quo,' as you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in...'" Attributed to former President Ronald Reagan

"We are now past the good idea cutoff point..." MAJ (JS) on the fact that somebody always tries to "fine tune" a COA with more "good ideas"

"Nobody ever said you had to be smart to make 0-6." Col (EUCOM)

"I haven't complied with a darn thing and nothing bad has happened to me yet."

"Whatever happened to good old-fashioned military leadership? Just task the first two people you see."

"Accuracy and attention to detail take a certain amount of time."

"I seem to be rapidly approaching the apex of my mediocre career." MAJ

"Much work remains to be done before we can announce our total failure to make any progress."

"It's not a lot of work unless you have to do it." LTC (EUCOM)

"Creating smoking holes (with bombs) gives our lives meaning and enhances our manliness." LTC (EUCOM) at a CT conference

"Eventually, we have to 'make nice' with the French, although, since I'm new in my job, I have every expectation that I'll be contradicted." DOS rep at a Counter Terrorism Conference

"Everyone should have an equal chance, but not everyone is equal."

"You can get drunk enough to do most anything, but you have to realize going in that there are some things that, once you sober up and realize what you have done, will lead you to either grab a 12-gauge or stay drunk for the rest of your life."

"Once you accept that a dog is a dog, you can't get upset when it barks." Lt Col (USSOCOM)

"That guy just won't take 'yes' for an answer" MAJ (EUCOM)

"Let's just call Lessons Learned what they really are: institutionalized scab picking."

"I can describe what it feels like being a Staff Officer in two words: distilled pain." CDR (NAVEUR)

"When all else fails, simply revel in the absurdity of it all." LCDR

"Never attribute to malice that which can be ascribed to sheer stupidity." LTC (CENTCOM)

"They also serve, who sit and surf the NIPR." CPT (CENTCOM)

"I hear so much about Ft. Bragg. Where is it?" "It's in the western part of southeastern North Carolina." LCDR and CPT (EUCOM)

"I've become the master of nodding my head and acting like I give a sh_t, and then instantly forgetting what the hell a person was saying the moment they walk away." Flag-level Executive A$$istant

"Mark my words, this internet thing is gonna catch on someday." LTC

"You're not a loser. You're just not my kind of winner..." GS-14 (OSD)

"He who strives for the minimum rarely attains it." GS-12 (DOS)

"If I'd had more time, I'da written a shorter brief..." Maj (EUCOM)

"I work at EUCOM. I know bullsh_t when I see it." LTC (EUCOM) in a game of office poker

"You only know as much as you don't know." GO (EUCOM)

"I'm just livin' the dream..." EUCOM staffer response to the question, "How's it going?" or, "What are you doing?"

"I'm just ranting...I have nothing useful to say." LTC (EUCOM)

"Why would an enemy want to bomb this place and end all the confusion?" GS-14 (EUCOM)

"Other than the fact that there's no beer, an early curfew and women that wear face coverings for a very good reason, Kabul is really a wonderful place to visit." LTC (CENTCOM)

"It was seen, ...visually." LTC (EUCOM) during a Reconnaissance briefing

"Let me tell you about the benefits of being on a staff..." "This should be a short conversation." LtCol to Lt Col (EUCOM)

"Hello gentlemen. Are we in today or are you just ignoring my request?" GS-15 (DSCA) in an email to EUCOM staffers

"After seeing the way this place works, I bet that Mickey Mouse wears a EUCOM watch." Maj (EUCOM)

"Your Key Issues are so 2003..." CPT (CJTF-180) in January 2004

"USCENTCOM commanders announced today that they intend to maintain their presence in Qatar "until the sun runs out of hydrogen," thus committing the US to the longest duration deployment in human history. When asked how they planned to maintain the presence in Qatar for a projected length of 4 to 5 billion years, planners said "we're working on a plan for that. We don't have one yet, but not having a plan or an intelligent reason to do something has never been much of an impediment for us in the past; we don't foresee it being a big show stopper for us in the future either."

Among the options that were being discussed was an innovative program to "interbreed" the deployed personnel. "We are going to actively encourage the military members in Qatar to intermarry and raise children that will replace them in the future. Sure, it may be a little hard on some of our female service members, since there are currently are about 8 men for every woman over there, but we expect that to be OBE as the sex ratios will even out in a generation or two. In any case the key to the plan is to make these assignments not only permanent, but inheritable and hereditary. For example, if you currently work the JOC weather desk, so will your children, and their children, and their children, ad infinitum. We like to think of it as job security." CPT

"That's FUBIJAR." COL (CENTCOM), Fu--ed Up, But I'm Just a Reservist...

"I keep myself confused on purpose, just in case I am captured and fall into enemy hands!" GO/FO (CENTCOM)

"Does anybody around here remember if I did anything this year?" LTC
(EUCOM) preparing his Officer Evaluation Report support form

"I'd be happy to classify this document for you. Could you tell me its classification?" GS11 (EUCOM) in an email from the Foreign Disclosure office

"Nothing is too good for you guys...and that's exactly what you're gonna get..." LTC (EUCOM) describing the way Army policy is formulated

"The only thing that sucks worse than being me is being you..." LTC

"I have to know what I don't know..." Col (CENTCOM) during a shift changeover briefing

"No. Now I'm simply confused at a higher level..." Foreign GO/FO when asked if he had any questions following a transformation brief at JFCOM

"I'm planning on taking the weekend off...notionally..." LT (EUCOM) midway through a huge, simulated command exercise

"I've heard of 'buzzwords' before but I have never experienced a 'buzz sentence' or a 'buzz paragraph' until today." Maj (EUCOM) after listening to a JFCOM trainer/mentor

"We've got to start collaborating between the collaboration systems." "Our plan for the Olympics is to take all the ops and put it in the special room we have developed for ops." GO/FO (EUCOM)

"Did you hear that NPR is canning Bob Edwards?" "Why? Did they catch him standing up for the National Anthem or something??" COL to CDR (EUCOM)

"Not to be uncooperative, but we're just being uncooperative." CDR
(EUCOM) in an email response to a request for information

"He cloaked himself in an impenetrable veneer of terminology." Lt Col JFCOM describing the Jiffiecom alpha male

"Transformation has long been the buzzword for those that are dispossessed, dispirited and disillusioned..." Chaplain (EUCOM), allegedly.

"There are more disconnects on this issue than CENTCOM has staff officers" GO/FO (EUCOM)

"Is that a Navy or a Marine admiral?" MAJ (EUCOM)

Greetings from the Land of the Rising sun

New as I am to the blog-o-sphere, I'm going to take some time to get up and running. The purpose of my blog will be to add my little voice to the din of ideas making there way around the globe. I'm not a conservative....I'm not a liberal. Just a guy, making his way in the universe, living in Asia and loving it. American to the core, just don't want to live there is all. Prefer to use my American experience to help me frame observations and ideas to share with one and all.

As for the name of the site: Well remember,

" "Cynicism is the smoke that rises from the ashes of burned out dreams."

More to come......

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