Japan Today

lacyunderalls comments

Posted in: And then there was Ichiro: MLB teams in process of shedding Japanese players See in context

I don't see why a Japanese player has to wait nine years to go to the U.S. Why can't they just sign a contract for 2-3 years in Japan and when it expires, simply go to the U.S. Oh, that's right. This is the land of legalized slavery.

U.S. players pretty much come and go as they please to Japan. One point for the U.S.

I signed a teaching contract in Japan which said I couldn't teach the school's students privately after quitting. I mean, what gives them the right. They didn't birth the students.

I got a flyer from some coach requesting my kids to join the local baseball team. I said, "They're only 5 and 7." He said there were plenty of 5-7 year olds on the team. I said, "I mean, I think it's a really bad idea because they are only 5 and 7."

I hear they practice SIX days a week. My next-door neighbor's boy practices another hour (8-9 p.m.) with his dad. So noisy!

I believe I'll steer my kids away from team sports in Japan for awhile. Aikido and hip hop dancing is fine - both are just once a week. Far more useful in life as well.

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Posted in: What's the best way to deal with screaming or badly-behaved children at airports and on planes so that they don't drive other passengers crazy? See in context

The reason kids cry is because they lack the necessary vocabulary to express themselves. Therefore, parents must provide that vocabulary.

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Posted in: Legs, legs, legs See in context

The word for the day is: legs. Everyone, spread the word.

Why does none of them have black hair? Don't they know black hair looks best?

Yes, but it's also important to change your look every six months so people give you second looks. Maybe they're slowly setting us up for a devastating return to shimmering midnight black.

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Posted in: Exterminators lock horns with 'super gokiburi' See in context

Haven't seen a cockroach for six years. We use a plug-in noisemaker (inaudible to humans) from Costco that must be working well.

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Posted in: Japan hikes taxes on cigarettes by 40% to curb smoking See in context

People here are freaking out and stocking up like crazy and the hike is only 100 yen. No big whoop. NYC did a 100% hike if I remember correctly.

I read an interesting myth about smoking. Smokers always say they need to smoke to reduce stress when the "stress" is actually withdrawal symptoms from not getting their nic fix.

Stop smoking and the withdrawal symptoms will eventually go away. Handle your stress like everyone else - make/keep friends, be honest, exercise, eat right, etc.

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Posted in: In your experience, which country's tourists are the least well-behaved whenever you have seen them out and about? See in context

Chinese and Koreans are just awful in Kyushu. Sit right on the steps in the onsen, take cuts in the buffet line, clear their sinuses noisily - get them away from me!!!

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Posted in: Mother arrested for selling porn images of 4-year-old daughter See in context

I don't see the problem as far as the mother's morality. The daughter will not be recognizable from the photos in a year or two. As someone mentioned, the person to get angry at his the man who shoots his wad looking at this. Even at that, who is harmed?

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Posted in: Snack foods a threat to nation's youth See in context

The following quote is worth remembering:

“We should eat foods that generate flavor through the process of chewing,” advises Sadao Mayumi, a pediatrician who regularly lectures on nutrition. “Anything that tastes good as soon as you put it in your mouth is going to be full of additives.”

That's a brilliant analysis and the main thing I'll take away from this useful article.

My Japanese wife and I are in complete opposition with her saying, "Oh, just a little doesn't hurt." The thing is, people who follow this "80-20 rule" with 20 being the "just a little" is actually more of a 60-40 or even 50-50 ratio. I'm constantly pointing out that apples have roughly 100 calories, but those doggone chocolate-covered peanuts have about 450. The wife says the kids have good, slim bodies, but she is so dumb that she doesn't realize that things are going to change as they get older due to this dependency on junk.

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Posted in: What books or movies would you recommend to anyone wanting to gain an understanding of Japanese people's way of thinking and culture? See in context

Tokyo Underworld by Robert Whiting is one of the few books I've read about Japan. I liked it, especially the part about how a pro wrestler captivated the whole country as Japan started its economic recovery after World War II. The wrestler's name was Rikodozan, I believe, and he was whipping American wrestlers, including Killer Kowalski, to the delight of his "countrymen". He is credited with restoring the wounded national psyche so badly bruised during the war. Turns out, he wasn't actually Japanese, but was of Korean descent.

The book, however, is mainly about an Italian-American restaurateur and the sinister doings of the Japanese mafia.

Sayonara was educational as far as understanding post-war relations, but the lead actress was so plain. It was hard to believe that Brando could fall for her. She probably got the part due to her English skills.

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Posted in: Paris Hilton leaves for U.S. after being denied entry into Japan See in context

Would have loved to have been there for the strip search.

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Posted in: 3 firemen arrested for alleged gang rape of woman See in context

Wikipedia says: Due to the lack of a jury system, the Japanese justice system (along with all other civil law jurisdictions) is said to be very bureaucratic and predictable. Because judges work under a fairly uniform system of evidence and procedure, which is indirectly supervised by (the) Ministry of Justice, the district prosecutor knows exactly the types of evidence which are needed to secure a conviction from a judge. Consequently, failing to secure a conviction would be seen as serious failure in his judgment for pressing charges in the first place and even a single failure would have a serious negative impact on the career of a prosecutor. One of the consequences of this arrangement is that prosecutors rarely press charges involving the rape or assault of an acquaintance.

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Posted in: AirAsia X on the way See in context

Who's the guy in the red hat?

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Posted in: What do you think is the fairest method of income tax? See in context

marginal tax method, 18%,22%,25%,28%,33%,36%.

a lot of people call this "progressive"

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Posted in: What do you think is the fairest method of income tax? See in context

I have lost one friendship over such a discussion.

I was discussing various tax shelters with a friend over lunch and he indignantly stated, "I enjoy paying my taxes." I asked him if he enjoyed paying for $5,000 toilet seats and $2,900 hammers? How about research on the effects of nose picking on work productivity or money to support First Tee, a program that uses golf to teach kids life skills. It only takes a 3-second internet search to find out that $200,000 is being giving to teach Cleveland kids about rock and roll. You don't want to know how much is given for the painting of murals on dams.

I just made up those numbers on the hammers and toilet seats, but I think it's clear that cutting wasteful spending should come before any tax hikes - even on the rich. Obama is an economic ignoramus.

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Posted in: What do you think is the fairest method of income tax? See in context

The "fairest" method? A flat tax. Why not ask what is the "best" method?

I think it is implied that "fair" would be the "best" method. Anyway, I like a flat tax, too, as long as the rate is zero.

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