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spahnmatthew comments

Posted in: Australian boy, 12, runs away to Bali using family credit card See in context


His exasperated mother's statement makes the entire article: "He just doesn't like the word 'no', and that's what I got, a kid in Indonesia".

Makes me want to hug my kids.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Luggage falls out of bus on Nagoya Expressway See in context

Express delivery!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: No. of Japanese tourists to Guam plunging on N Korea missile scare See in context

My sister lived in Guam for several years and I visited her often. She lived in a house that was part of Leo Palace Resort. While the food is so-so and expensive (thanks to the Jones Act), the people are nice, golf amazing, and the diving fabulous. I find it hard to believe that Mr. Kim will (or would) target Guam, despite his inflammatory statements. Guam is the largest military base in the Pacific, I would assume that it is protected with a THAAD system, whether we know it or not. Any attack on Guam would evoke an overwhelming response from the USA. I would go on holiday in Guam tomorrow (especially to escape the freezing cold of NYC)!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: American tourist arrested for scrawling graffiti in Shibuya See in context

What a loser! Graffiti is so disrespectful.

Since he created filth, he should remove filth as a punishment.

My suggestion: may his tongue serve as a washlet wand for a week.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Posted in: Fujitsu, Lenovo agree to PC merger See in context

Personally, I think that Microsoft's various Surface models have created a higher standard for quality in the PC and tablet market; I just purchased a Surface Pro and was disappointed with the offerings from Lenovo. When Lenovo's business was part of IBM, they made fantastic products, but seemed to have slipped. The Surface lines are expensive but, in my opinion, provides a better Windows experience.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan is running out of swordsmiths, and a strict apprenticeship requirement is a big reason why See in context

"...that number has been nearly cut in half..."

In the context of the article's topic, the author should have written, "...that number has been slashed!" =P

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. World War II vet returns Japanese flag to fallen soldier's family See in context

A heartwarming story of empathy eclipsing the human tragedies from war...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Fire breaks out at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market See in context

So sorry to hear about that fire! Hope no one was hurt. I had lunch at one of the sushi joints at Tsukiji Fish Market three weeks ago when I visited Tokyo. Oishīdesu!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Posted in: Is it OK to take your girlfriend to Yoshinoya on a date? See in context

I am eight years married. I took my wife to $18 all-you-can-eat sushi for our first date. I loved that she cared much more about the company than the venue. In fact, it motivates me to take her out to fancy restaurants and buy her expensive things because she does not expect them. For example, I just returned to NYC from Tokyo last night and surprised her with six dresses from Japanese designers...man, she looked hot!! =)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Posted in: Tiny house by Muji finally goes on sale in Japan See in context

While I don't have a pulse on the market prices, I do like the concept of "tiny houses".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: What do you think of the new Japan Today design? See in context

I'm sure I will get used to the new look.

Two suggestions:

I would like to be able to view my prior posts by clicking my username. I had that capability on the prior website. Your Up/Down votes should be color-coded (green = up; red = down) along with a + or - sign.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch heads for confirmation as Senate tears up own rules See in context

I am aware that by writing something that is not sympathetic to the Democratic Party in the JT commentary precincts will garner many thumbs down votes, but here goes...

I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I am not even a political person. But the hard truth in this matter is that when the Democrats controlled the US Senate early in the Obama administration, they changed the rules for appointees to all of the federal circuit courts from a 60 vote majority to a simple majority (with the sole exception of the US Supreme Court). In doing so, the Democratic Party stacked the lower courts with a plethora of judges that will serve life terms. The GOP's recent action extended the Democratic Party's rule change to the one remaining court that had still required 60 votes. I am not commenting on the wisdom of either party's actions, but rather injecting a non-partisan perspective into the conversation.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan's 2nd big helicopter carrier enters service See in context

In the US Navy, it is tradition to name aircraft carriers after US presidents. Battleships (which are no longer produced to the best of my knowledge) named after US states. Cruisers were traditionally named after US cities (though that may have changed). Destroyers are named after US servicemen who died heroically in battle. Munitions vessels were traditionally named after volcanoes (someone at the DoD had a sense of humor).

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Two halves of a whole: Japan’s habitual ‘labeling’ of bicultural kids See in context

My Eurasian daughters are beautiful, inside and out. They are a product of the best of my wife and me.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese celebrate Valentine's Day with insect sweets See in context

A "water bug" is nothing other than a euphemism for "industrial-scale cockroach".

See that photo? Go ahead lady, munch a roach with your cocktail. Nutritious it may be, but it won't help you find a boyfriend.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Robert De Niro says Meryl Streep's Globe speech was 'great' See in context

I do not like it when actors and actresses leverage their celebrity status to impress their political views on me. That belief holds true for other people in power, including CEOs (paging Howard Schultz and Eric Schmidt). Reason being, a CEO's job is to run a company, not impress their values on me.

These days though, in Hollywood circles, Streep's antics would be well-received. She is a talented actress, but when I flip through the channels and come across one of her movies, I see the activist almost as much as the character she attempts to portray and that hinders my enjoyment of the film to the extent that I typically find something else to watch. This dynamic is the downside of activist entertainers. I vote with my wallet at Starbucks too for the same primary reason.

Decades ago, reporters asked Elvis Presley on his view on the Vietnam War. Elvis replied that his job is an entertainer and he keeps his political views to himself. Classy response. Hollywood, take note from The King.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Keep your smartphone clean See in context

Today, cover glass addressing the mobile phone market is dominated by Corning's various forms of "Gorilla Glass", known for their clarity, strength, and antimicrobial properties.

To see for yourself, please refer to the following link and refer to page three: <http://www.corning.com/content/dam/corning/microsites/csm/gorillaglass/PI_Sheets/CGG_PI_Sheet_Anitimicrobia_Gorilla_Glass_14_02_11%20export.pdf

While Corning has developed various types of cover glass, they all have antimicrobial properties to some extent.

This antimicrobial glass is also penetrating many touch screen markets too.

Years ago when smart phones were originally introduced, the cover glass did not have antimicrobial properties, and I recall folks from Motorola telling me that a toilet bowl has fewer bacteria than the typical mobile phone cover glass. That has changed, gladly, for the better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Artelligent Christmas See in context


D@ng, she's still hot. I like to find her under my tree at Christmas

Or around it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Serial foot licker apprehended in Kyoto See in context

Kudo to the girl who recorded the incident and license plate, but I hope that becomes more "street smart" in the future. It could have turned out so much worse for her than a simple saliva-drenched foot.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: Clinton says she won't be 'knocked off course' in final week See in context

Sec. Clinton complained about lack of transparency and villified Dir. Comey (who was appointed by Pres. Obama and until recent days could do no wrong by Democrats). She could still help voters out in the final days before the election by coughing up her 33,000 missing emails. Or she could let her aide Huma Abedin explain to the press what she may have sent to estranged husband Anthony Weiner, whose laptop contains the new-found emails. But that kind of genuine transparency might be hard to contain. And with a week until Nov. 8 the Democrats need someone else to blame for all of their previous lack of political transparency.

If Sec. Clinton had been forthcoming from the beginning this would not be an issue. Her issue is of her own doing when she created her personal email server to hide her correspondence from public-records laws, or when she claimed not to have sent classified information or did as little as possible to cooperate with Congress and the FBI.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Posted in: New range of light-up costumes perfect for Halloween See in context

Thank you JT for the "uplifting" content.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: 2 children perish in house fire in Hiroshima See in context


0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Man uses karate skills to fight off bear in Gunma See in context

I'm so relieved that he fought the bear successfully! I relate to him, as I was mauled by a bear while backpacking in the Sangre de Cristo mountains in New Mexico. Fighting the bear was the only way to extract myself from its jaws.

I am an experienced backpacker, not only in various terrain of the lower 48 USA but also in Alaska. I recall encountering a black bear while descending a glacier in Alaska and it was my experience with dealing with bears that saved my life there too.

From what I am reading in this article, this was a black bear. Black bears tend to be more aggressive but if you fight it ferociously you can repel it. Also, a person can intimidate a black bear as well, for a bear can perceive a stern tone of voice. Believe me, I know what I'm talking about. It sounds as if the person did the right thing by fighting the bear and in so doing repelling it long enough to extract himself from that perilous encounter. I'm so happy that he is safe.

There are other instances where fighting a black bear will not make any difference, but that is outside the scope of the conversation. Once again, I'm so happy he is safe.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: What do you think of Japan’s high-tech toilets? See in context

I first tried a washlet at a Japanese resort in Guam. Love them. I've noticed them in resorts in the USA too. And my wife's friend in Long Island City has washlets installed throughout her condominium, so hopefully these novel and sanitary washlets are starting to catch on in the USA. Certainly when it comes time for me to renovate my bathrooms, I plan to install washlets in my house.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: 2 Lochte teammates in robbery probe pulled off plane See in context

While I certainly have no insight on the specific event regarding the American swimmers, I DO have first-hand insight on the motivation by the Rio police, based on my experience in that city.

In 2006, my wife and I were on holiday in Brasil, four days of which were spent in Rio. We were walking on the sidewalk on Copacabana Beach. I recall that we were very close to a fancy hotel that celebrities frequent when it happened. We were not wearing any jewelry and had no valuables among us, for we are streetwise New Yorkers and we were aware that Rio can be dangerous.

It was dusk and there were folks having drinks sitting at tables on the sidewalk. My wife cried out suddenly, and that saved my life. As I turned, I saw him lunge at me with a knife. I caught his arm as he was mid stroke to plunge the knife into my chest. At that moment, another person grabbed me from behind to try to immobilize me. I yelled for help and fought these two guys to a stalemate, the whole time with my eyes fixated on the knife. My wife fought the guy behind me and tried to pull him off of me. Soon folks sitting at the cafe tables started getting up and approaching us to help. The two guys stopped their assault and melted away toward the Favelas, brandishing the knife as they retreated.

Luckily, I was unharmed.

We spent more than three hours at the Rio Police station combing through books of suspected perpetrators. We were unable to identify the assailants. We filed a police report, so this is all on the record.

The police had us talk with a kind and gentle-mannered person who introduced himself as a police interface with tourists. As for motive, based on our report and the location of the assault, he said that killing a white guy is not uncommon for gang initiation (I am white and my wife is Asian). He begged us to not tell anyone of our assault, for he said that Rio relies on tourism for its economy and without tourists, the police will have insufficient resources to protect and keep the peace.

In good conscience, I have not kept silent about my experience to any friend considering traveling to Rio.

I have traveled to Brasil extensively multiple times and I must say that the other cities and countryside areas have been wonderful experiences for me. My only horrible experience was in Rio.

As for the robbery of the American swimmers, it is probable that this high profile robbery could affect tourism in that city, providing local police with fewer resources to combat the violence there. And if the American swimmers can somehow be discredited, then the Rio police can argue that their city is safe and inviting for tourists.

Please, I urge you...avoid Rio for your own sake. It's not just the violence, but also the pervasive petty graft at restaurants, beaches, etc. There are other areas in Brasil that are fabulous and worth experiencing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Nice lunch for athletes See in context

Note to self: "Watch female Olympic volleyball"

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Clinton promises steady hand in dangerous world See in context

Mr. Trump may not have been my first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth choice GOP candidate, but I prefer him over his Democratic opponent who has shown herself to be a congenital liar.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: Gov't reveals new hot spring symbol for foreign tourists ahead of Tokyo Olympics See in context

A thoughtful and considerate action to accommodate the temporary influx of foreigners. I prefer to keep the symbol unchanged so as to preserve cultural tradition. I will be curious to learn how popular onsens are with foreigners.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese mom lists 14 ways life with a spouse differs from life with someone you’re dating See in context

That the mother took the time and reflection to impart some nuggets of wisdom to her daughter speaks well of her... I believe that many of us can benefit from reading her list from time to time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: I really want people to think about what they use their money for. Money is worthless unless you use it, and I don't understand why people just keep saving it. See in context

Money is nothing more than a tool. We have the power to apply that tool toward various forms of consumption and investments. That decision is personal in nature and varies with each person's priorities and circumstances.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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