Today’s New Word is: Applicosinox. Applicosinox made its debut about five years ago in a song recorded by Taro and I in his old juku (cram school). I made it up to fill a particular line in the song and it fit perfectly. Applicosinox is spiced wine made from apples that makes your nose itch and causes sneezing if you drink too much. On the plus side, your eyes start glowing like Dune if you drink more than a cup a day.
A search for this word on Google used to return a lot more hits than it does now. In particular, I remember it being researched on a linguistics department website of some university in Tokushima. Wonder where all that went…

Meat Conspiracy

Do you realize how hard it is to keep up with a no-carb diet right now in Japan? There are problems with all four of my food groups!
Beef: Australian is the only beef available in quantity but the grade of meat they are importing has the texture of reconstituted beef jerky.
Pork: Pork has always suffered a stigma here, and it sounds like they are going to stop the import of American pork due to the mad cow scare. (I was going to write a joke about increased imports of Canadian pork here but I got engrossed in this page instead. Too bad.)
Chicken: Goddamn avian flu coupled with in-country corruption (they just busted a local hatchery for selling laying hens to butcher shops!) means that eggs and rows upon rows of possibly tainted fowl were the only goddamn meat product available at the store today. And the egg section was plastered with recall notices for lead-tainted eggs they sold last week!
Fish: Smaller, more expensive, increasingly frozen, and more likely to be farmed than caught lately.
Maybe the trees really are screaming.
I ate the last of the lamb chops I squirreled away last week for dinner. Oh, tofu also. Shit, I even ate a pack of natto, so I guess I’ll see what that does to my ketotes tomorrow when I do a test strip.
Lord Atkins in heaven, the natives of this savage land have forsaken me! Send me some lobster and steak dinners, stat!


On the way home from field archery a few months ago, I spotted this bad boy about to get squished on the road. We took him home for lack of a good place to release him, and I snapped this shot with the Nikon in one hand and steering wheel in the other. (On a scale of difficulty, it was somewhere between eating a Big Mac and changing a CD while driving.)
Anyway, Mr. Turtle got to play in my bathtub for a few hours and he surprised us all by screeching the entire time. Yes, it’s true. Turtles screech. Eeek eeeeek eeeeeeeek. So the next time some hippie starts crying about the trees screaming (as opposed to the Screaming Trees), you can tell him it was probably just a turtle he stepped on.

New Word Primer

Well I thought of a new pursuit and went ahead with it before it escaped my memory (volatile). Now I should explain: When learning a new language, I often experience meltdown trying to think of the English equivalent of a particular word or phrase. Since I am a product of American public schools (K-12) and Japanese university, I am pretty much the stupidest, laziest, least-inclined-to-use-a-dictionary fool you will ever meet. Hence, my need to create new words, even if they already exist. OK?
Q. Can your New Words be used for free?
A. No. Every spoken usage costs a beer. Every written usage costs a car (scaled to wealth of individual; Bill Gates can afford a lousy Maybach, etc.). Corporate usage is banned unless your company markets trendy fruits such as the pitaya to medium-sized co-op grocery chains in the northwest.
Q. Are volume discounts available?
A. See your monthly statement and perform a quick scalpulation.
Q. I represent so-and-so publishing. May we include your New Words in our dictionary/linguistics journal/”Asshat Central” project listing?
A. Yes, but please include the following tagline: –> k0zBu 0NZ J00!
Q. What if you create a word but it already exists?
A. It becomes mine by default.
Q. Won’t that enable you to claim the entire English language as your own?
A. Heh.
Q. This sounds like complete BS, just how many people do you expect to pay you to use the English language?
A. My Nigerian mentor, Roberl Dungabe, says “plenty.”


The new word for today is “scalpulation.” Scalpulation is an answer or calculation derived by much head-scratching, chin-fondling, and mutterings of the word “Um”.