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Gary Kirkpatrick comments

Posted in: When you were a teenager, did you think much about issues concerning the environment, such as climate change, pollution, recycling, energy and water conservation and so on? See in context

Back in the deep, dark past of the 70s, I do remember anti-littering campaigns but little else that I was aware of.

The American 'Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute' campaign comes to mind. It even wormed its way into this Canadian's psyche.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: 'Dragon Ball' creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68 See in context

Gone too early.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Where do you like to buy furniture in Japan? See in context

Muji. Good quality. Lasts forever. Pricey but worth it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Russia withdraws from 2025 World Expo in Japan See in context

Well, it is not like Russia is busy with anything else except maybe Russia's Afghanistan 2.0 in the Ukraine.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Posted in: Golden Pyramids See in context

Staying at Nagashima and making an evening trip to Nabana no Sato is my family's yearly tradition. We love the amusement park, outlet mall, and the flowers and lights at Nabana no Sato. Also, the restaurants there are great too. We've been going since it opened.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to OK train fare hikes for holidays, weekends due to 'overtourism' concerns See in context

This will put off locals more than visitors. If you have already travelled to Japan than you are more than likely willing to pay up as you probably won't be back anytime soon. Whereas us locals will be put off as things are already too expensive. Best to save on travel and make those mortgage payments instead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan to OK train fare hikes for holidays, weekends due to 'overtourism' concerns See in context

Great idea. My family and I love travelling locally. Kyoto is is one of our favourite destinations. But now that the JGov in its genius is looking to discourage foreign tourism with higher transportation costs, they will also put off locals too. Way to go geniuses.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Cricket set for shot at Olympic glory See in context

Yet another reason to not watch the Olympics.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Is buying a house in Japan a good financial investment? See in context

It is my biggest regret to have built a lovely but worthless house over here. I can see why so many people here can't be bothered to try to maintain the exterior or interior of their houses. Why bother when it is valueless? In my case I do but that is because I am house proud and can't stand the thought of living in a hovel. Of course, after I'm long gone, I imagine my wife won't be bothered. It'll turn into the haunted house on my block.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Posted in: What's your favorite city to visit in Japan and why? See in context

Ono city in Fukui prefecture. Small and comfortable. Lots of history and local culture. Surrounded by mountains. It is far from the maddening crowd.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Would you support a complete ban on smoking in public places in Japan? See in context

My uni tried to ban smoking on campus so now all the smokers quit and lived healthily ever after. Nah. They smoke right in front of the building, drop their cigarette butts all over, and on rainy days stand undercover in front of the two entrance ways gifting their smoke to the whole building. And these kids are the future at least until the cancer takes them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Are you getting tired of reading or hearing about ChatGPT? See in context

Yes, but not as much as the UN's SDGs.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Are you worried about losing your job to a robot or artificial intelligence? See in context

Not in the next 5 years. After that, I'll be retired. 65 ~ 75 - I'm confident there will still be plenty of students who would rather speak face-to-face with a real person rather than a screen. By then I'll be strictly part-time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Should commuting to your workplace count as work time? See in context

I've gone from a 3 hour commute to a 30 minute commute in near on 30 years of working here. The 3 hour commute time was spent napping and studying. It helped get me through my Masters program. Now, my 30 minute commute is strictly for napping and listening to my podcasts. I don't expect that commuting tine will ever be paid but at least they pay for my commuter pass that I can use to save money on weekends and holidays. Works for me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you still send Christmas or season's greetings cards by email or post or have you given up on all that? See in context

who we used to send them to

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Do you still send Christmas or season's greetings cards by email or post or have you given up on all that? See in context

We've long since given up. The ridiculous costs of the cards and postage put us off. As well as the lack of cards from overseas. Most of my elderly family who used to send them to have all passed away. The younger generation doesn't seem to bother. Now we send a lucky Japanese New Year's card with Seasonal Greetings. Just add ¥80 or so in stamps and you are set to go.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: When you were a teenager, did you think much about issues concerning the environment, such as climate change, pollution, recycling, energy and water conservation and so on? See in context

Back in the 70s, the elementary school age me was educated about the world ending threat of litter which we were urged to pick up and from US CMs - give a hoot and not pollute.

My friends and I sort of complied by collecting soda bottles which we cashed in to buy candy. The wrappers of which I hope we discarded in the trash and not along the bush trails and riversides where we hung out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Opposition steps up offensive against beleaguered PM Kishida See in context

Abe and Kishida. The Tweedlee and Tweedledumb of Japanese politics. Unfortunately, the opposition is the Tweedledumber. Oh, for some competent leaders who aren't tainted by and mired in scandals from the get-go.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan set to honor assassinated Abe at controversial funeral See in context

Not Japan but rather his political party is martyring him to solidify their strangle hold on power. The death of democracy?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan weighs plan for ban on hotel guests without masks: report See in context

No shirt, no shoes, no mask.

No service.


When you get to your room, take it off.

Stop whining.

Your sense of exceptionalism stops at your country's border.

-6 ( +15 / -21 )

Posted in: TikTok search results riddled with misinformation: Report See in context

Who goes to TikTok or other SNS sites for medical information or anything other than dumb dance videos?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: 40% of evacuees from Afghanistan have left Japan over poor support See in context

So the none to subtle pressure to leave worked well. Like companies sidelining workers so they will quit. If being lousy at the local language was the real reason I would have packed it in decades ago. But despite that, I have thrived all the same here.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Posted in: With all the bad news in the world, whether it is the war in Ukraine, coronavirus, climate change , economic problems or political divisions, do you sometimes get tired of the news and just "switch it off?" See in context

I limit my exposure by not listening to news pods, and watching serious news programs - morning news shows here are mostly variety shows with weather news, so they don't upset me much.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese firm seeks halal approval for non-alcohol udon soup stock See in context

My wife's company briefly flirted with the idea of producing halal and/or kosher products but made no real effort to understand the rigours of application and production. Also, once they realised the cost, they abandoned it. Short sighted to say the least.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Posted in: Japanese junior high school girl removed from class for three days for grooming her eyebrows See in context

Ah, this takes me back to the days when I worked at both Buddhist and later Catholic girls' high schools. The religions were nothing other than cosmetic mind you. (Excuse the attempt at humour.) I remember one young lady at the former school being hauled into the office for coming to school with coloured hair and watching in amazement as a male staffer forced her to bend over a sink while he sprained on black hair colouring. In latter the school, a compromise was met in that it was agreed that the young lady would leave the school permanently, hair intact. More recently, both my bicultural kids had to file paperwork that proved their hair colour was naturally not jet black. I offered to show up and show them why but my wife just gave me the look.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

Posted in: KDDI says 70% of services restored after wide network troubles See in context

Just another manic Monday and my phone still doesn't work. Have they forgotten those of us living outside of Tokyo and other more populous locals? Voters here don't matter?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: If you live in Japan, when you visited family or friends overseas (in pre-corona days), did you take your shoes off before entering their home, as you would in Japan? See in context

Yes, of course. My family doesn't live in a barn. Houses are typically carpeted. I can't imagine the mess if outdoor shoes were worn inside. Not to mention all the pain and suffering that would be inflicted on anyone foolish enough to try. Mom would kick their butts faster than greased lightning.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: If you are an employee of a company, educational institution or organization, do you like your job? See in context

When I first arrived back in '94 to work for a now defunct Eikaiwa, the talk was that anywhere was better than there. More through connections than anything at first, I moved on to work at several private high schools before landing at a university. I managed to get tenure this year by getting a MSc and working my ass off. Sure the money is much better but there is the constant demand to publish and connect with the community and that can get tiring. As for months off, not sure where those people work but we have events during most breaks to attract new students. Despite all that, I can't complain. My colleagues are very supportive. My students are for the most part interested and focused provided I do my job. You can be happy or unhappy anywhere. I guess it is all about your attitude. Make the best of it or move on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Afghan entrance See in context

She should be offered asylum somewhere. I can't imagine the fundamentalist terrorists who are now in charge in Afghanistan will praise her competing in the Olympics.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: If the Tokyo Olympics are held, will you watch any of it on TV? See in context

I have never had any interest in sports of any kind all my life. I go out of my way to avoid them on television. The Olympics have always been a great time to catch up on reading or movies.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

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