Found out we can sent the kitten by ANA to Fukuoka from Itami (Osaka airport) for 2,000 yen (20 bucks). The debauchery I cancelled in Nara/Wakayama this weekend is back on track!
I wonder if the one cat per plane rule is for domestic flights as well?
I’m sure gonna miss the little carpet-shitter.

Hand Carry It Is

I’m planning to carry the little booger all the way to Kyushu this weekend. I’ll pass him off to my sister, drink some Kyushuvians under the table again, eat some Aso beef-on-a-stick, and come back on a return flight for work and a new chapter of Talking with Myself. That’s my temporary plan, anyway.
Yoda will be a good American, I just know it. He fucking hates the Taliban.
Oh, in case you haven’t noticed: I’m on a blogging binge today.

Lost in Translation

All hail the Chinese butt book pirates:

Clinton is the latest victim of Chinese publishing pirates, who counterfeit entire books and rewrite the contents. Acting on the orders of their employers, translators regularly add invented content to make foreign books more appealing, such as Clinton’s memories of his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.
“She was very fat. I can never trust my own judgment,” the Mandarin version said.
In the knock-off version, Clinton quotes Chairman Mao frequently.

Go read the whole column here:

My Little American

If all goes according to my master plan, by this time next week Yoda the kitten will be on US soil, forever! We (as in, “Nam”) are working hard to have my sister hand carry him back home next week. Today, the vet announced that Yoda’s eye has completely healed (as in, “sealed totally shut” – he’ll never see out of the eye, but it won’t kill him, either) due to our daily eye washing regimen and, I suspect, also the fish oil capsules I’ve been splitting with him. (He loves the fish oil. I merely tolerate it. But we both have disgusting breath for a few hours after. Bonding at its root levels.)
The vet estimates his age at almost exactly two months old, and gave him a rabies shot today (poor baby!). I am sad because Yoda has been keeping me company during the times when I usually talk to myself – I’ve been teaching him about Life, instead. I’m very proud to be raising a bilingual kitten. He can “nyan” in Japanese and “meow” in English… Been training him for the interview at Immigration, you see. Nobody’s gonna call my kitten an FOB.
Did you know that there is an actual aviation regulation that permits only one feline per aircraft? Cool. My little sis is calling to reserve the slot now. Apparently, you can carry on pets or check them in as luggage, although carry-on is sometimes frowned upon (I guess if it wasn’t, the terrorists would be using pit bulls instead of nail clippers).
Much more to research. Will report later. The best thing to come out of this may be the addition of the line “Cat Exporter” to my resume. Aside from my kitty being safe, healthy, and American, that is. Woooooooooooooooooooot!

Someone Cares

Look at this spam attack from yesterday:

2004.07.21 21:34:17 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog:
2004.07.21 21:34:18 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog:
2004.07.21 21:34:19 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog:
2004.07.21 21:34:21 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog:
2004.07.21 21:34:22 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (levitra|lolita|phentermine|viagra|vig-?rx|zyban|valtex|xenical|adipex|meridiab)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:23 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (levitra|lolita|phentermine|viagra|vig-?rx|zyban|valtex|xenical|adipex|meridiab)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:24 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog:
2004.07.21 21:34:25 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog:
2004.07.21 21:34:27 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (prozac|zoloft|xanax|valium|hydrocodone|vicodin|paxil|vioxx)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:28 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (prozac|zoloft|xanax|valium|hydrocodone|vicodin|paxil|vioxx)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:29 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (prozac|zoloft|xanax|valium|hydrocodone|vicodin|paxil|vioxx)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:30 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (prozac|zoloft|xanax|valium|hydrocodone|vicodin|paxil|vioxx)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:32 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (ultramb|btenuate|tramadol|pheromones|phendimetrazine|ionamin|ortho.?tricyclen|retin.?a)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:33 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (prozac|zoloft|xanax|valium|hydrocodone|vicodin|paxil|vioxx)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:34 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (levitra|lolita|phentermine|viagra|vig-?rx|zyban|valtex|xenical|adipex|meridiab)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:35 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (levitra|lolita|phentermine|viagra|vig-?rx|zyban|valtex|xenical|adipex|meridiab)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:36 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (levitra|lolita|phentermine|viagra|vig-?rx|zyban|valtex|xenical|adipex|meridiab)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:34:37 MT-Blacklist comment denial on Higo Blog: (levitra|lolita|phentermine|viagra|vig-?rx|zyban|valtex|xenical|adipex|meridiab)[w-_.]*.[a-z]{2,}
2004.07.21 21:35:34 MT-Blacklist retaliatory auto-response:

People have asked if MT-Blacklist works. This is proof that it does. Even after renaming the mt-comments.cgi file, my only defense against comment spammers is this essential plug-in written by Jay Allen. I do not want to move to MT3 and that Typekey crap, so MT-Blacklist is actually a reason not to upgrade. Yes, I’ve seen the Blackout plug-in for WordPress. Two words: Code thieves.
Note: Higo Blog is my little brothers blog, also hosted on this site.

A kokeshi is a wooden doll or a dildo, depending on the context

This week is marked by extraordinarily hot weather. I think the French heat wave that melted the cheese and boiled the wine in 2003 decided on a Japanese vacation this year. It’s a wet, constant heat that makes me slow and irritable… My snapping at people is suffering from delayed reaction times; I’m nowhere near the top of my game, although the ear wax dribbling down my sideburns might make some killer organic candles.
Surfing around the expat blog scene, I’ve begun to notice that a lot of people are leaving Japan. Many already have. Is there something you should let me know? Is Rumsfield secretly planning a nuclear strike on the hospital where traitorboy Jenkins is being treated? Will Shoko Asahara pull a (stinky) remote detonator out of his butt and push the (red) button, awakening the 600 ft vibrating kokeshi monster that will stomp its way from Kamikuishiki-mura all the way to the Shibuya ward office? Please, please let me know. This “work” shit is getting B-O-R-I-N-G, quickly.
Update: I just had a flashback of Matilijah Junior High days, when I corrected our geography teacher’s pronunciation of “Tierra del Fuego.” Yeah, I got picked on after class for that one. Priceless: The teacher’s name was Mrs. Pugh (pronounced “pee-you,” not “pug”). Also, my history teacher was a white supremacist who taught us that Japanese-Americans who were interned during the war got “a free ride.” Somehow that didn’t jibe with tales of financial ruin and broken families I had heard from close relatives, so I got my parents involved. I got picked on after class for that one as well, but somehow I knew I had done the Right Thing.
o shit i’m late for a meeting. lates.

Unknown Hard

If WinXP has an aneurism during re-installation and defaults to the Blue Screen of Death, with the dreaded error 000021a and the mysteriously simple descriptor: “Unknown Hard”, slap the monitor and the keyboard around a few times (I’ll give you hard, bitch!) and kick the minitower around until you smell smoke.
Alternatively, insert the WinXP install CD again and set the boot order in BIOS to optical drive first, hard drive second, then reboot and try, try again.
Bill Gates can be a real asshole sometimes.

Soapland Diaries

Busy three day weekend. Had to go clear out remaining stuff at my little sister’s apartment in Sakai on Saturday (the stalker incident left her shaken and we didn’t let her be there by herself after that), but there was too much to move with my car in a single trip, so I enlisted Taro and his van to help out. Friday, after work, I rode the hydrofoil to the airport and from there took a couple trains to his house in Horyuji. Inevitably, drinking ensued.
Some memorable moments include picking up my new theramin at Taro’s new incense shop, snapping a shot of a girl in a pink yukata playing an accordion, and eating a heavenly slice of yubari melon while lightly fingering a Fender bass.
The most memorable conversation that night was one between Taro and a friend from overseas who shall remain unnamed because:
1. His older sister, who I know from university, and respect, sometimes reads this weblog
– and –
2. His older sister, who is known to punch people in the mouth, sometimes reads this weblog
(If you think you are the sister I am referring to, you definitely are not the sister I am referring to. Or in a way, maybe you are. Don’t ask me, it’s a zen thing.)
Anyway, this anonymous person, who I shall call Mr. X, has only been in Japan for a year or so, and had a lot of questions regarding daily life. Easy enough, so we helped him out and gave pointers and I got very sleeeeepy from the beer and knocked out for a while. When I awoke in a fuzzy state of having just realized that I must have dozed off for a spell, I was in that “overhearing snippets of hushed conversation” state of not-quite-awakeness.
Fascinating. Mr. X had started confiding in Taro about recent sexual escapades in an altogether serious manner. Serious, as in, “Am I fucked up if I get off on dotdotdot” type of talk. Now substitute the following for dotdotdot:
1. Kinky oral stuff? (Taro’s answer: Hell no!)
2. Buggery? (Taro’s answer: Nothin’ wrong if she asks for it)
3. If she wants to stick her soapy fingers up my butt during oral gratification? (Taro’s answer: Um)
At this particular juncture I could no longer contain my amusement and exploded with laughter, forever staining the moment with much back slapping and ribbing (Mr. X, you dirty dawg!). Mr. X was thoroughly humiliated and will probably have to go to a therapist to fix the emotional damage I caused by waking up at just the wrong moment, overhearing his dark secret, and then teasing him about it all night. Plus, he never got the last question answered because Taro went off on one of his tangents and the most interesting aspect of the story became whether the girl in question is a soapland veteran or not. (“Soaplands,” previously known as torko, short for “Turkish bath,” are places to get “sudded up.” One of the standard “services,” apparently, is anal probing).
Anyway, if you think you are reading about your little brother now, I just want you to know: It ain’t him. He’s an angel.

Cabin food for thought

I read this article this morning and can’t stop thinking about it:
Terror in the Skies, Again?
If you were the author, would you have gotten up and done something? If there really were air marshals on that flight, what the fuck were they waiting for? Perhaps they didn’t have “probable cause,” i.e., one of the “musicians” to emerge from the lav and ask another if they had more matches, “cuz the fuse is damp with ketchup.” I have this sinking feeling there were no air marshals on that flight, and the crew was simply going by the handbook to placate the passengers. If so, that’s just a horrible mindfuck. But I certainly wouldn’t put it over the airline companies at this point.