Sunday, October 22, 2006

Random thoughts.......

Today was good day except for the rain that started on 16. Finished the round with 2 Pars which for me is nothing short of a miracle. Accordingly, I'm not mentally caged to jump into the serious end of the pool tonight. Tomorrow being Monday, maybe I can comment on the irony of our deriding mass torture in Iraq while at the same time the Secretary of State is being feted in the capital of torture and human rights violations-Bejing. So appeals to my better nature about how we had to save the Iraqis tend to confuse me a bit.

But that is for another time.


Series update:

Japan Series:

Chunichi Dragons won the opener 4-2.

NAGOYA -- Once Kenshin Kawakami remembered how to be himself, the game was in the bag. Kawakami, a 17-game winner during the regular season, went eight innings, striking out eight and scattering five hits, as the Chunichi Dragons defeated the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 4-2 in Game 1 of the Japan Series on Saturday night at Nagoya Dome.

Tyrone Woods scored two runs, and the Dragons got an inspired start from Kawakami, who struggled early but turned it on during the last five innings he pitched, before turning it over to closer Hitoki Iwase in the ninth.

"Kawakami was superb," Chunichi manager Hiromitsu Ochiai said. "He's our ace, so we expected to win."

Game 2 is on the TV while I type this.

Meanwhile over in that other minor league match up, the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Detroit Tigers 7-2 last night in the opening game of the World Series at Comerica Park in Detroit. Which is bad news for me, since I am breaking my tradition of rooting for NL teams so I can root for Jim Leyland, former manager of the Pirates.

``We didn't play well,'' Tigers manager Jim Leyland said in a postgame press conference. ``We didn't swing the bats well. We didn't give a good performance.''

The Tigers' Kenny Rogers will face the Cardinals' Jeff Weaver in Game 2 tonight.


Meanwhile there is at least one new vacancy opening up at the State Deparment. That's what happens when you try to give an interview in Arabic..........


I learned something new this weekend. Did you know that Jesus visited Japan? Neither did I, but it seems there is a small group of Japanese that believe that he did.

In the remote village of Shingo, once known as Herai, a local belief has it that Christ escaped His fate at the cross in Judea, fled across Siberia, and eventually settled down in what is now part of Aomori Prefecture.
Shingo epitomizes the middle of nowhere. A sprinkling of farmhouses. A lonely general store. Scraggly garlic fields and rice paddies. A bland noodle restaurant and a dingy karaoke pub. There's little to distinguish this village from a hundred other remote Japanese farming towns.

Except for the crosses. They're everywhere.

Painted on road signs. Positioned on the tops of fruit stands and bus stops. Emblazoned on the Day-Glo windbreakers worn by village employees, and pictured on their business cards. And, of course, marking the purported grave of Christ. The cross is usually accompanied by the phrase "Kirisuto no sato," which roughly translates as "hometown of Christ."

In the years before World War II, documents pertaining to two small, forgotten graves on the ancestral land of the Sawaguchi family in Shingo turned up in Ibaraki Prefecture, just north of Tokyo. While Sawaguchi family tradition held that the graves should lay undisturbed, no one knew whoor whatwas buried in them. The ancient scrolls were found among the possessions of Koma Takeuchi, a Shinto priest from a long line of Shinto priests. When he realized the secret his family had been guarding for generations, he went to Shingo with Banzan Toya, an artist and a researcher in ancient Japanese history. The two found the graves on May 26th, 1935 in a bamboo grove atop a small hill.

Locals call the documents a testament of Jesus Christ, His last will and testament, to be exact. These papers, written in a Japanese so ancient that most people today cannot understand them, were deciphered by scholars, copied and translated into modern Japanese. They explain that one grave the one on the rightis that of Christ Himself, while the other marks the final resting place of His brother's ears and a lock of the Virgin Mary's hair. The original scrolls, however, were seized by authorities and brought to Tokyo, where they were lost in the mayhem of the war. But the copies remain to tell the tale.The papers say Jesus came to Japan for spiritual training during His "lost years," the twelve years before His three-year ministry. The "testament" tells of how He travelled across Asia, at various points visiting Siberia, Alaska and what is now Vladivostok before reaching northern Japan in his quest for enlightenment.

So I guess this means the Da Vinci code is really written in Hiragana?


Spike has found a web site that makes it easier for you get your toys through the TSA screening.............

Or may be not. The same site also give you helpful tips on how to make the flight pass faster..............


You think American politicians have problems? Try being the first lady of Japan.

Akie Abe

According to the Mainichi Shimbun:

Apparently, Akie Abe is on the spotlight in Japanese media, as she made an end to the past five years yearning for a First Lady during former PM junichiro Koizumi tenure. Unlike former First Ladies of Japan who often shunned the spotlight, Akie Abe is a peppy 44 years old who won peoples’ hearts by her socialite and vivacious profile, as well as by the couple’s famous handholding. She used to work as a DJ, dances flamenco, and professes her passion for South Korean pop-culture, notably the famous actor Bae Yong Jun. But more importantly, SHE DRINKS, and way too much!

Akie goes to all the parties held down amongst the voters in Abe’s Yamaguchi Prefecture constituency. She guzzles down the sake like it’s going out of style and then lets out a big sigh of relief. Abe’s backers love her for i!

and that is not all…

Akie has also been known to babble over her cups, getting teary after a few too many and pondering whether she’s really suited to be the wife of a prominent politician because she remains childless.

Sounds like my type of woman!


And finally if you are under 35, white, and looking for a place to stay in Tokyo check here. (Purchase of Louis Vuitton purses is extra.........but probably part of the ticket if you want to see the inside of the apartment).

Wonder how many serial killers will beat down the path to her door?

Ja ne!


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