Archive for birds

Hot & Wet. Not in a good way.

Posted in Bah. Winter., blog manus. no - youre a manus., plantlife. and death., Yikes. Sweaty. with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2009 by pigsofdarkness


Meh. Rainy season sercks.

Back in Ichigatsu, we knew that we still had a couple of wintery months to deal with & I was feeling just a little jaded by the samuiness. Winter, incidently, having begun a little early on Jyugatsu Kokonoka at Fuji Speedway. The day previous had been quite warm, so manus here didnt take a jacket. Yep.

These people all had jackets.

Aaanyhizzle, silly old nature (the crazy joker) decided to throw a late January curve ball (baseball season still several months away, so quite a masterstroke. Ha ha. I said…) our way with one 26C Saturday. Followed by a sub artic Sunday. But I’d like to go on, and on, about the Saturday. I was so discombobulated by this state of affairs that I even went to the park. Twice. With the missus. Both times.

As you might expect, if youve suffered through my previous rantings, it took me next to no time to go quite troppo. Thus I did some unseasonable lurking in the undergrowth. Being technically mid winter, the undergrowth was somewhat sparse. The overgrowth was just sticks. Pretty poor effort really.

My little bird buddy here couldnt believe his crazy warm weather luck.

It was all going swimmingly until the pidgeons turned up.

Followed by the Americans.

This sign was only here during winter.

Presumably these noisy little creatures get all sweaty under the helmet (Ha ha! etc.) in warmer weather, thus staying away from the park, rendering a nattily crafted warning from the municipal authorities somewhat redundant.

Of course, if one was to take one’s  inu for a pleasant sampo in the koen on an unseasonably warm Doiyobi, then one would need not be concerned about rowdy midgets with potential under helmet sweat.

Although old Hat’n Jacket’n Sausage Inu here seemed to be running from something…

…Gajin Four Eyes trying to steal his soul perhaps?

Or maybe those racket making Americans with their warlike aeroplanes of wardom.

Not just I had gone troppo. Here, a local tree attempts to fly a kite.

Ultimately unsuccessful, but kudos for giving it a bash.



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…

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.

On me bike, I was.

Posted in bikers of the kanto with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2008 by pigsofdarkness

Friday evenings TV news promised that the northward heading typhoon would hit Tokyo on Saturday, so we expected wind, rain and all manner of calamity. Now youre thinking “That sounds exciting, but a little bit scary at the same time”, but dont worry friends, despite two of my Nihongo classmates being from the Phillipines, the typhoon stuck to the sea and gave us a warm sunny day. Ideal for setting off on your girls bike with a basket on the front and no sunblock. I decided to annoy the crap out of myself by stopping every few moments to take a photo. Kind of like having a camera crazed grandparent sitting on the handlebars, but with less flatulence.

Almost at downtown Machida, so first photo oppotunity. No typhoon, but some funny looking birdlife. Better take another photo…

Actually, I took about 10 photos of these chaps. They werent chickens, but the were pretty funky. Wouldve been a hoot (hooting chickens? Madness!) to see chickens perching up there…

These are the type of giant boxes that the Cos-Play kids get dressed up in to catch the train to Harajuku on weekends to entertain the squares. Like me. You should see my new glasses.

This is on the cusp (shall we say) of downtown Machida. The building with the Hotel sign on the roof is a “Love Hotel”, a venerable Japanese institution where one can take ones bit of fluff for a couple of hours, or a nights, hoo haa. The orange-ish building on the right looked interesting, so I decided to take some more photos. Turns out that is a Love Hotel also. Golly.

I stopped next to the orange lust shack to to git me some more snaps & turned to take in the view across the river. Yep, that pink stripey place is all matrimonial suites as well. My bike ride was more debauched than I had planned. Moving on, I want a giant 10 Pin on the roof of my house…

They go through those barriers pretty fast ’round these parts (Ha ha – I said parts). There is only a little truth to the rumor that when I was getting used to piloting a clunky old dunger of a basket fronted girls bike that I tried to speed though some of these barriers, clipped my pedal on the pole (ha ha – I said…) & crashed into the fence in front of some schoolkids. Its ok. The basket was fine.

Check out the precision shot with the placement of that train. Someone didnt crash into a fence today…

This woman’s sun defeating unbrella reminded me that I was sunblockless. Woops. There’s a giant snail on the Hubbahubba House.

More giant roof ten pins? Maybe there is more to Machida than the guide book says…

Careful! There’s giant Ten Pins up thattaway!

I bet youre jealous of this dude’s pink shirt.

It appears that he is a Definitive Surf Legend. I wouldnt have guessed. Those giant Ten Pins will hash his browns. To be sure.

Id taken some photos of this redecorated Z31 previously, but decided to stop and wait as the JR line to Yokohama is next to it and I figured that I could get some flash Train & Z shots. I ended up waiting for 20 minutes. And it was quite hot. Still, sunburn in Japan is a bit different to sunburn in NZ…

Meanwhile, the Caras’ were massing… Both of them. Ive never seen such massing. Well, maybe during the week, but not on a Saturday.

I even had a chance to point the camera across to the other side of the river. The passing locals were turning to look at what I was photographing. Im confident that they carried on none the wiser, except to trust the gaijin less than before.

It takes special attention to detail to factor in dark armpit patches to your blowup bull. Or perhaps a fetishist working in the Inflatables factory. Although you may think that they would all be fetishists.

The train! On time!

Ive actually posted these photos in reverse order. The train was heading away from Machida, from left to right. But that didnt fit with my vision, so I chose to play God. Mwwaaaa hahaha hahaha!!!!

After Id left the Zed behind, a slew of trains rumbled by toward Machida. In the direction Id wanted initially. Thanks for nothing (apart from your clean, efficient light rail service and courteous, helpful staff) Japan Rail.

I was managing to cycle about 50 metres at a time before an essential photo opportunity would present itself. So my ride was proceeding as if the fictional grandparent had downed 5 cups of tea at a rest stop.

Im pretty sure that when this fellow set off on his Saturday cycle that he wouldnt have guessed that the back of his head would appear on a blog where a sunburnt gaijin would blather on about imaginary incontinent handlebar mounted grandparents. Life aye? Throws a few curveballs…

This old cooter probably did have an inkling of the dubious merit of any blog that I might be taking his photo for, which is why he’s smiling so much.

Im sure this isnt a popular place to take a photo at all.

Its nice, but the photo needs a person…

There we go. Do you reckon that with a get-up like a Colonial in India, he’s probably a grumpy old buzzard who hates foreigners?

Just as I was taking this photo he was beginning to shake his fist and babble some indignant Japanese fustiness at me. Sadly, I was laughing too much to take another photo before he stomped off. Probably in search of elephants or Darjeeling tea…

It is now autumn here, but some trees like to flower at this time of the year in a Telecom NZ style tactic of confusion marketing. We shall hereby name it “Teresa Blossom”.

I felt bad, because I didnt have time to warn this guy.

But fortunately he made it past the Theresa Blossom. From a memory I attempted to repress, I seem to recall that perhaps Theresa Blossom might have knees unsuited to chasing weekend joggers.

Its Smileys brother! They’ll have something to talk about this Xmas!

Im told that if you have a house next to the bush like this, it can be a good idea to have a dog that eats snakes. Makes sense. Then you wouldnt need to feed the dog as often.

Careful! There are snake-eating dogs about!

What do you think she is running from? A snake? Or a snake-eating dog?

Thought Id finish with a sequence. After conferring with my imaginary incontinent shutterbug grandparent.

If, for any reason youd like to see all 127 photos I took on this ride, the flickr set is at: