Archive for October, 2008

Spooky desu.

Posted in shoppin' jp with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

It’s almost October 31. All Hallows Eve as you are probably aware. And being an American commercial trinketfest, it is all the rage here as well. But dont be too scared. These are only photos.

Our local outlet mall was on the case in mid September. Given that the English language L and R are for the most part interchangeable in Japanese and when pronounced can sound like either or a combination of the two, depending on who is speaking, “Grand Berry” is an interesting choice of name for a commercial enterprise in this part of the world. That said, I choose not to question these things, as that would possibly mean speaking to somebody “in marketing”, which would make for a truely frightening Halloween. Besides, I like to tell the in laws when I am off to Gland Belly. To keep them in the loop.

I like to think of this as a command, rather than a suggestion.

Heres a pumpkin on a pole. Kind of like a giant Pumpkinsicle, except that it is constructed of metal and fiberglass. And glass, if you include the lamp. And not frozen… Oh look! A banner with a picture of a glandbelly!

At first these dont seem very scary at all…

…but then, when every time you look to the side, there is another of the creepy little buggers gurning madly at you, perhaps they do have the desired effect. Didnt make me buy anything however. Apart from the cool little black plastic pumpkin with orange fangs. Hmm…

Today was a “Halloween Festival”, but most people were scared off by the rain.

Check out these two – running like the Zombie Pandas of Doom were after them.

Zombie Pandas of Doom. Heh.

Why of course this painting is for sale. Step right this way, my new friend.

Quite a few people were dressed up in Halloween costume, but I wasnt scared.

No. Wait. Yes I was.

Some of the neighbours have dressed up their houses. I like the fact that this place looks like a prison, but theyve put Halloween stuff there to make it scary.

These homeys just showin’ off ‘cos they got a lawn…

If you are tempted to say “Wonder if this keeps the bills away”, please punch yourself.

I asked Ponta to look scary, but I think she was lacking motivation.

Had to.


Info-tainment demystified.

Posted in blog manus. no - youre a manus., controlling the masses with tags , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

Japan is a country where a wide variety of information is available to you via a wide variety of media. Some of the written info is presented in English, but the majority can be a little mysterious to those still developing Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji reading skills. Including the humble sign. In my gettings about I have attempted to capture these signs in as natural a state as possible and as I am now somewhat of a local, I can decode the messages, to empower you with essential knowledge should you ever choose to call upon these isles of abstrusity…

Obviously, with so many people on a smallish land mass, littering could be a problem, so many of these signs look to set young’ns on the way to being tidily efficient citizens. In this nation of dog lovers, pooch welfare is also a priority. This sign encourages the kids to not lob spent soda cans over the shoulder, lest Fido receive a nasty donk to the head…

…in which case he will turn around and biff his smokes at you.

Here we are shown just how much joy a football can bring to a young feller.

Or even a baseball, if you swing that way.

But things can quickly turn nasty should chafing occur.

The enjoyment to be had from walking your Hoverdog should not be overlooked.

The sign is mounted (ha ha – I said…) quite high, as tall people tend to own Hoverdogs.

If you cant afford a Hoverdog, perhaps you could consider a cute little tyke who is deliriously happy about shovelling his own poo.

Or a more contrite wee beasty who will gather up his leavings with a pair of chopsticks. Even if you make him look the fool by dressing him in shorts.

This eager little sock chewer will remain cheery even if you simply cannot comprehend what message he is trying to send you.

Careful though! If you are not vigilant (and efficient) little Barkwoofbuttsniff here might just make off with your homework.

Should you enter an area inundated with extremely loud beaked aerobicising birds, you should receive ample warning.

Just look how frustrated the sight of your happily jogging child can make the nine to fiving commuter.

Litter is a constant problem. If not kept under control, the cans and bottles will begin to organise extremely light hearted protest marches.

Dont worry about the empties lads! The ducks’ll take care of them!

If you &%$# townies chuck yer ?*”! litter on me <?+*&% allotment, I’ll run you down with me *+%&$# tractor!

Sadly, this area is now off limits, as it is under the control of the cack-eyed Frog Children.

Beware!! The cack-eyed Frog Children have taken to wearing duck disguises. Do not feed them any bread.

This may not be Kings Cross, but there is still the danger of receiving a Townsending from one of those maniac cyclists…

Because Im no good…

Posted in plantlife. and death. on October 24, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

…I didnt pour a 40 on the curb for the sunflower who didnt make it…

You may not have realised it, but your pooch is deprived…

Posted in shoppin' jp with tags , , , , , on October 24, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

…but this will make it all better.

It’s ok – I found what I was looking for.

Posted in Uncategorized on October 15, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

The Abandoned Stairway. Wasnt easy, but being able to share makes it all worth while…

Well there you go…

Posted in Uncategorized on October 13, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

I didnt even know that it was illegal. Those damn boy bands should be. By gum.

Day of beasts. And bikes. And pidgeon Nihongo.

Posted in Beasts, bikers of the kanto with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

I had some gettin’ aboot to do yesterday & just happened to have my camera with me most of the time, so by about 3pm my memory card was full. As was the memory card in the camera. “Wot ho!” I thought to myself. Lets share my day with the interweb!

Morning wise was a cyclo-dash into downtown Machida to frustrate my Nihongo Sensei with my inability to remember even the most simple tenents of the Japanese language. A fine way to start the day. The sun reflecting serenely off of my basket wasnt enough to stop me screeching to a stop to record more birdlife.

Im a fan of ducks & that big chap is a boon to photograph, but those bloody white things… Turn around you b&$*%<d! Yeah… nah.

Machida has no shortage of natty little sculptures about the streets (can you imagine that? A city with a shortage of natty little sculptures? Sure – you could live there, but would that really be living?) and thisn’ is outside the library. Im pretty sure that it relates to readin’ n’ thinkin’ n’ stuff.

Chekkit Holmes! You can see my foot in the window reflection! Sweeet.

I think Stretch here was created to draw attention to the plight of those who cannot sit down because a book has been carelessly left on their chair. The many. The forgotten. Not in Machida!

Nice work Stretch! No Books On Chairs By 2010!

My Nihongo school is further down the the street. The pink building, if you must know. Dont laugh. No – youre a manus.

Urban grittiness. It was that time of the morning.

Try to duck as she might, she couldnt avoid being blogged. Enjoy the small victories, they said. See the world, they said. Hmm… black bike, black clothing… Could she be the Cyclist of Darkness?

Man – that damn book is still on the chair. There will be no sitting today folks. Keep the faith Stretch!

Handy bicycle park. Free for the first hour dont you know. Personally, my basket jitensha is parked under cover with two elderly attendants. 100y all day. Flash as.

I thought Id chop off the rest of this shops’ name, so you could guess what it is. Interactive!

I could have turned up early for my Nihongo class and done some extra study, but this snazzy mural led me down this alley, as so many have done before…

That’d be Rick’s then.

No time for an haircut. Besides, no hair…

If they ride home, won’t their new perm get messed up? Bikes and 80’s hair fashion – at odds again…

9.30am and the amusement arcade is already popular with people who dont own cars.

Homey dont need no damn car – he’s winning the Wangan Expressway superuuu baaateruuu! Im just jealous, because I havent played thisn’ yet. I did win a touge battle on Initial-D’s Mt Akina (in a MR2 – choosing cars is difficult when the screen is full of crazytalk), where I took the lead in the Consecutive Hairpins, but the machine wanted another 100 yen to take on Kenji in his S13. So that’s the secret to the Japanese boom economy of the 1980s. And if youre not a car geek you probably have no idea what Im on about. Mwwaa ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

It’s not Fujiwara Tofu, but almost. Fujiwara Tofu ja arimasen deshita kedo daijobu. Who needs classes?! Ok – that Nihongo sentence doesnt quite make sense, but it looks flash. To me.

Ive just noticed that the dude on the cycle is posing! Glad I thanked him – just wasnt sure what for at the time.

If this isnt going to encourage you to walk in and partake of their crumbed chicken products, then nothing is.

This shot was next on my memory card, so I’d successfully (!) finished my Nihongo lesson, jitensha’d home, eaten lunch & finished my latest Zombie Panda. Of Doom!

Leaving the basketbike at the homestead me’n th’missus set off on a sampo. When I saw this sizeable individual, I exclaimed “Oh golly heck, look at this large arachnid!”, or something similarly free of colourful language.

Our feathered buddy seems unconcerned about the approaching Koi of Doom. But then he aint no wuss pidgeon.

The local retailers started going Halloween crazy in mid September. Including that nutty pet store. Usually I think that pet clothing is as crap as the Japanese football teams’ performance against a woeful UAE side earlier this week, but this was funnier than the Japanese football teams crapness at the Olympics. The smaller chap belongs to the coffee vendor & is madder than I was after the Japanese football team fell on the ground and started crying against  a rubbish Uruguay a month or so ago. They did beat Australia recently however, which in hindsight is quite amusing.

Crackups bro.

These two are watching a little floormop of a dog barking like a mad thing at the barista. Which is probably a bit unfair as his coffee is much better than the other local options. And you can get a whiskey at 9am. If youre into that sort of thing…

Barky the noise beast.

Cant seem to stay away from this pet store. Must be the catnip.

The bung focus is my fault, but check out old crazyeye. If I had a spare 3 grand, I’d take ‘er home to scare the old woman across the way who sweeps the road at 5.30am.

Heh. Soft porn for car geeks.

Wo ho ho! Easy there missy!

There are actually even more photos on my flickr site. Here’s the link if you have nothing better to do. Especially if the boss is paying.