Archive for the ‘japan’ Tag

04-06-2016 Journal – Cemetery Humor & Limericks!   Leave a comment

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I thought that since today is once again cold and sunny I should dig into my trivia library for some interesting facts  rather than going out to brave the weather. I might even find a few that aren’t so interesting but as always you can be the judge of that. These are items primarily related to cemeteries and funerals. I may be forced to throw in a few off-color limericks as well.  Let’s get started.

Here’s an entry I’m adding just for my beer drinking better-half.

  • A headstone in a cemetery at Saint Kilda, Victoria, Australia, depicts a hand holding a jug of beer. The headstone was the result of a threat often made by the widow to her thirsty husband.

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This item amazes me.  I can’t begin to understand the level of dedication this involves.

  • In Nara, Japan, a lantern in the tomb of a Buddhist priest, Kyobo Daishi, in the monastery of Koya San has been burning continuously for 1126 years.

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This one I can appreciate somewhat. The woman was truly dedicated to her profession, regardless of the consequences.

  • The epitaph of the late Shirley Pitts of London, England, dubbed the “Queen of Shoplifters” reads, “Gone Shopping”.

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Everyone loves a good “Love” story and here’s a beauty.

  • “Husband: I anxiously awaiting you, 1827.” “Wife: Here I am, 1867 – Gravestones in a Paris, France cemetery.

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Here are two entries concerning two stubborn fools.

  • “Here stands old Britt Bailey” – Epitaph to James Britton Bailey, who was buried standing up because he refused to look up to any man.
  • A tombstone in Weather Hill, New England, reads: “Here lies the body of Samuel Proctor, who lived and died without a doctor.”

Here are a few rather interesting approaches.

  • A tombstone in a cemetery in Medway, Massachusetts, reads, “Beneath this stone, this lump of clay, lies Uncle Peter Daniels, who too early in the month of May, took off his winter flannels.”
  • “Here lies the father of twenty-nine, He would have had more but he didn’t have time.” – Gravestone in Moultrie, Georgia.
  • A gravestone near Uniontown, Pennsylvania: “Her lies the body of Jonathon Blake, stepped on the gas instead of the brake.”
  • “Owen Moore Is gone away, Owen’ more than he could pay.” – Epitaph in Surrey, England.

And finally a proper send off for an attorney.

  • The tombstone of an attorney in Willwood cemetery, Rockford, Illinois: “Goembel, John E. 1867-1946: The defense rests.”

Now for a couple of art related limericks.

For a sculpture that’s really first class,

You need form, composition, and mass;

To do a good Venus,

Just leave off the penis,

And concentrate more on the ass!

 

A lascivious lecher, called Fletcher,

Was also a talented sketcher.

Of ladies (quite nude)

He invariably screwed,

But did they enjoy it? You betcha!

I think that’s enough silliness for today.  Look for more limericks in the future because I recently stumbled upon quite the collection, most from the British Isles. They have an excellent approach to raunchiness that I really admire.

06-17-2014 The Japanese, Turtles, and Muslims!   Leave a comment

I’ll start off to day talking about consumerism.  I didn’t realize just how much of a consumer I actually was until I began tracking my purchases and saving every receipt.  I’ve been doing that for years now and every so often as I’m entering that end-of-month information into a spreadsheet I’m forced to admit my somewhat excessive consumer issues. Once each month I find myself standing next to a trash can filled with receipts and that has to tell me something.

That being said as I was reading yesterday I discovered that in comparison I might not be as bad as I first thought.  I noticed that as bad as we American seem to be when it comes to crass consumerism the Japanese make us look like a bunch of amateurs.  Here’s a collection of tidbits on the Japanese and their quirky approach to retailing and consumption.

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“In Tokyo, Japan there are vending machines that dispense frozen meat, jewelry, and even dating information.”

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“A company in Kyoto, Japan, makes waterproof books for students who like to study in the bath.”

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“Kanebo, a cosmetic company in Japan, has developed a line of panty-hose that are embedded with vitamins and special scents that are released when worn.”

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I know you thought I was kidding, right!   Those crazy fun loving Japanese will merchandise and sell just about anything.

Next I’ll address a subject that has always fascinated me. Synchronicity!  I’ve firmly believed for most of my life that there are no such things as coincidences.  As a former extensively trained investigator it’s been proven time and time again to my satisfaction. Unfortunately there have been a few random times that "synchronicity" has reared it’s ugly head and I had no logical explanation.

Two days ago my better-half and I were taking a walk near our home when a passing motorist stopped to tell us about a large turtle she saw crossing the road. She was concerned it might be hit by a car and had turned around to check on it. I walked a short distance and found the turtle scrambling from the highway and helped him along in his travels to get off the road.

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We returned to our house and I sat down at the computer to check on a few things on-line.  On Facebook I found an entry from my step-daughters husband who was traveling for work and happened upon what else, a freaking turtle on the road. He posted a photograph of himself parked along a highway and assisting the rather large turtle to cross the road to avoid the dangers of oncoming traffic. 

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A synchronistic moment to be sure.  I’ve had a few other startling incidents like this during my life for which I have no reasonable answers or explanations.  Just saying.

Lastly, I finally finished the renovation of my wine-making area.  I’d been wanting to complete this job for years and finally was able to get it done.  It should make bottling and handling of my wine a much easier process than in the past.

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That’s all I have for today but I thought I’d pass along a few tidbits of wisdom from Jeff Foxworthy. In the Army we called this process “Knowing Your Enemy”. If this offends anyone out there just remember I’m just doing my part in adding a little humor to a humorless situation. So get over it.

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Have you ever wondered why it’s OK to make jokes about Catholics, the Pope, Jews, Christians, the Irish, the Italians, the Polish, the Chinese, the French (including French Canadians) etc., but its insensitive to make jokes about Muslims? We need to level the playing field for the sake of political correctness . . .

Jeff Foxworthy on Muslims

1.   If you refine heroin for a living, but you have a moral objection to liquor, you may be a Muslim.

2. If you own a $3,000 machine gun and a $5,000 rocket launcher, but you can’t afford shoes, you may be a Muslim.

3. If you have more wives than teeth, you may be a Muslim.

4. If you wipe your butt with your bare hand but consider bacon to be unclean, you may be a Muslim.

5. If you think vests come in two styles: Bullet-proof and suicide,you may be a Muslim

6. If you can’t think of anyone you haven’t declared jihad against,you may be a Muslim.

7. If you consider television dangerous but routinely carry explosives in your clothing, you may be a Muslim.

8. If you were amazed to discover that cell phones have uses other than setting off roadside bombs, you may be a Muslim.

9. If you have nothing against women and think every man should own at least four, you may be a Muslim.

10. If you find this offensive and don’t forward it, you may be a Muslim.

THERE YOU HAVE IT!

12-15-2013 Christmas Food Traditions   Leave a comment

I’m what you might consider a “foodie”.  I love to cook and above all I love to eat.  It might explain why I’m in the middle of a six month weight loss program.  As a kid I always looked forward to the holiday season primarily due to my grandmothers Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners.  Every country and ethnic group has their own list of traditions for the holidays and compared to the United States they can be  just a bit strange and a few are a little disgusting.  Some are fun but they all accomplish the same basic things as ours.  Time with family, friends, and memories of past holidays and family members.

Here are a few I discovered while surfing which are very interesting.  I can guarantee one thing after reading them, I’ll never be attending Christmas dinners anywhere in Scandinavia.  I love  seafood but OMFG.

Japan

In Japan it’s customary to go out and eat Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas dinner from a nearby KFC of course. Thousands of people flock to KFC’s to enjoy some finger licking chicken and the Christmas rush has become so huge that some branches take table bookings.

Peru

In Peru, the big day is Noche Buena or “Good Night”, on December 24. On this night, after mass, everybody goes home to open gifts and feast on an elaborately prepared Christmas meal of traditional roasted turkey. At midnight, the adults toast with champagne and children raise their glasses of hot chocolate as fireworks shine in the night sky.

Bulgaria

In Bulgaria they cook 12 dishes to represent the 12 months of the year but they eat no meat. A typical feast consists of nuts, dried plums, cakes and banitza (a pastry). Walnuts are a necessary component of the meal as each family member cracks one in order to determine their fate for the next year.

France

Traditionally the French dine on a starter of fresh oysters served with rye bread and butter and lemon juice or shallot vinegar. Some households may also eat smoked salmon or escargots (snails). This dish is then followed by a second starter of Coquilles St Jacques (Scallops with mushrooms and white wine).

Italy

After the meatless day before Christmas, Italians often enjoy a delicious Christmas dinner that includes other meats. From lamb to roast beef, turkey or pork, Italians often include foods other than fish on their tables on Christmas day. Salads and antipasto are often the first course. Broccoli, eggplant, peppers and other vegetables are featured in side dishes. Pasta’s, a staple of Italian cooking, are also included on the big day, in baked dishes or as homemade vermicelli. Crostini, a dry toasted bread, is often included in the meal.  Fruits and nuts may also make an appearance as well as desserts and sweets. Try your hand at making belfanini an anise flavored cookie.

Puerto Rico

Popular dishes include roast pig, rice and pea dishes, coquito or eggnog made with rum and coconut milk, coconut custard, fried plantains, and nuts. Many families also celebrate with unique dishes only made during the holiday season.

Sweden

Swedish Julafton (Christmas Eve dinner) typically consists of a smorgasbord with julskinka (a type of Christmas ham), lutefisk (pickled pigs feet), dried codfish, sliced gravlax (raw salmon cured in salt, sugar and dill), pickled herring and an assortment of sweets.

Norway

They enjoy pinnekjøtt which is salted lamb ribs for the main course. To compliment the meat they tend to eat mashed rutabaga (also known as swede) which is kind of like our turnips.  Another favorite meat at Christmas is the lambs head to go along with the lamb ribs. This is boiled and salted (minus the brains) and the head is eaten from front to back with the tongue and eye muscles being particularly yummy cuts.

Czech Republic

Christmas is a very religious and peaceful time in the Czech Republic and everyone fasts for one day in the run up to the Christmas meal. They then start with a fish soup which is followed by the tradition of carp. This is often accompanied by a potato salad including onions, cooked carrots, pickled gherkins, cooked eggs and mayonnaise. This is prepared on Christmas Eve and allowed to ‘mellow’ for a day before eating. YUM?????

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You see what I mean about Scandinavia.  Truly some acquired tastes there.  I hope you’re finished with your shopping and are preparing to relax and enjoy the holiday.  I know, I know, who am I kidding.  You’re probable a bunch of Christmas Eve shoppers who get off on the big crowds and incidental body contact.  Another unusual Christmas tradition that started in NYC on the subways. LOL

12-09-2013 More Christmas Trivia   Leave a comment

Well, we’re left with only 15 shopping days till Christmas. Instead of writing about myself and my Christmas stories, which I’ll save for later time, I found a few others that are both humorous and funny. The first story comes out of the great state of Connecticut and took place a few yeas ago. In my experience Connecticut has always had an overabundance of strange folks wandering the streets and once again I’ve been proven correct. I’ve never known anyone who found Santa all that sexy but apparently they’re a few people out there who do.  Here we go.

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DANBURY, Conn. (AP) — Santa Claus says that a woman who sat on his lap was naughty, not nice. A Santa at the Danbury Fair mall said the woman groped him. “The security officer at the mall said Santa Claus has been sexually assaulted,” police Detective Lt. Thomas Michael said of the weekend complaint.

Sandrama Lamy, 33, of Danbury, was charged with sexual assault and breach of peace. She was released on a promise to appear in court on Jan. 3.
Police quickly found and identified Lamy because the woman was described as being on crutches, said Capt. Bob Myles. A call seeking comment from Lamy was answered by a recording Tuesday morning. A woman later called back and said: “It’s a false report and I don’t have any idea.”

Police did not give the name of the disconcerted Santa, but they said he is 65 and felt badly because children were waiting to see him. “He was apparently shocked and embarrassed by the whole incident,” Myles said.

A man who teaches hundreds of prospective Santa’s a year _ “Santa Tim” Connaghan, president of realsantas.com, said he’s never heard of a similar incident, though it’s not unusual for adults to want to pose with Santa.
“I’ve had some very nice ladies sit on my lap,” said Connaghan, who did not train the Danbury Fair Santa. “Once in a while they’ll say ‘I hope Mrs. Claus isn’t going to be upset.’ You have to be discreet and kind and say ‘Oh no, she’ll be OK. You can sit here, but only for one photo.'”

A spokeswoman for Cherry Hill Photo, the company that coordinates Santa’s for Danbury Fair, declined to comment Tuesday.

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Here’s a short list of the many and varied ways you can say Merry Christmas around the world. It may not interest some of you and that’s okay, enjoy them anyway.

Glaedelig Jul – Danish

Vrolijike Kerst – Dutch

Hyvvaa Joulua – Finnish

Frohe Weihnachten – German

Kala Christouyenna – Greek

Gledileg Jol – Icelandic

Buon Natale – Italian

God Jul – Norwegian

Feliz Natal – Portuguese

God Jul – Swedish

Iyi Noeller – Turkish

There’s always room for more Christmas trivia. I think it’s a good thing to see and understand just how this holiday developed and has been interpreted around the world in so many different cultures.

  • Christmas Eve in Japan is a good day to eat fried chicken and strawberry shortcake.
  • Michigan has no official state song, but one, ‘Michigan, My Michigan,’ is frequently used. The words were written in 1863, and the melody used is that of the Christmas song “O Tannenbaum”.
  • Electric Christmas lights were first used in 1854.
  • America’s official national Christmas tree is located in King’s Canyon National Park in California. The tree, a giant sequoia called the “General Grant Tree”, is over 90 meters (300 feet) high, and was made the official Christmas tree in 1925.
  • The first department store to feature a visit with Santa was the J. W. Parkinson’s store in Philadelphia in 1841. Astonishingly, no other department stores copied this event until 1890 when a store in Boston repeated it. Before long lines of children formed at stores across America to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him their Christmas wish list. The department store Santa has been immortalized in films such as Miracle on 34th Street and Christmas Story.
  • “Jingle Bells” was originally written for a Thanksgiving celebration, in 1857.

Well, there you have it. Another short collection of useless Christmas trivia. It amazes me just how much information is available about Christmas not just here in the United States but around the world. The more I search the more I find and just so you know I intend to keep searching. Hopefully within the next day or two I’ll post my Christmas story involving Santa and and his visits to my home in Pennsylvania oh so many years ago.

12-15-2012   2 comments

Today I’ve rejoined the Christmas parade with more tidbits of useless information collected for your entertainment.  After reading some of these odd stories and facts you might think your own Christmas traditions are somewhat tame.   First, we have a few facts about Christmas from around the world.

According to a 1995 survey, 7 out of 10 British dogs get Christmas gifts from their doting owners.

Charles Dickens’ initial choice for Scrooge’s statement "Bah Humbug" was "Bah Christmas."

A traditional Christmas dinner in early England was the head of a pig prepared with mustard.

During the Christmas buying season, Visa cards alone are used an average of 5,340 times every minute in the United States.

During the ancient 12-day Christmas celebration, the log burned was called the "Yule log". Sometimes a piece of the Yule log would be kept to kindle the fire the following winter, to ensure that the good luck carried on from year to year. The Yule log custom was handed down from the Druids.

In Britain, the Holy Days and Fasting Days Act of 1551, which has not yet been repealed, states that every citizen must attend a Christian church service on Christmas Day, and must not use any kind of vehicle to get to the service.

If I didn’t pique your interest with those facts then maybe these little stories will.  Unfortunately even on Christmas people can and will do some of the dumbest things you can imagine.  Be glad none of these folks are in your family.

Christmas Stupid

Late coming home after a night out, a youngster attempted to climb into his home down the chimney.  He did not to want to wake other residents in the Judson Center social services agency; also he had broken his curfew and wanted no trouble.

In best Santa Claus mode he climbed onto the roof and let himself down the chimney; unfortunately he was too large, and he became stuck.  The 17 year old began moaning and was heard and rescued.  Fire fighters and police officers from the City of Royal Oak, Michigan, USA, had to pull him out.  The youth suffered from minor scrapes and bruises.

Christmas Stupid On Steroids

1) This is a true story about John Porter, from New York State, whose pipes in his home froze one winter.  Anxious to unfreeze them, Mr Porter backed his car up to an open window so that the exhaust would warm up the house. A little while later and Porter, his wife and their three children had to be rushed to hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

2) George Gibbs, from Columbus, Ohio, suffered second-degree burns on his head.  This is what happened one freezing cold winter morning.  Unable to start his car, George diagnosed the problem as a frozen fuel line which he thought he could correct by running warm gas through it.  He then tried to heat a two-gallon can of gas on his gas stove in the kitchen. 

I can only assume that George became an immediate french fried A-hole. It’s really no surprise to any of us that stupid never takes a holiday. Now for a short visit to Japan  for a lesson in Christmas romance.  I hope you never end up as  “unsold Christmas cake”.

Christmas Japanese Style

In Japan Christmas is widely celebrated as a day for romance, a day for sweet-hearts much like Valentine’s Day in other countries.  Christmas cake is popular but it is a strawberry cream sponge with no traditional ingredients in sight.

The main Christmas dish is a popular fast food, fried chicken, as that is how a traditional Christmas meal is depicted in local advertising.   Women of 25 years and older who are single are jokingly referred to as "unsold Christmas cake".  Not very friendly think Will and Guy.

Note: Sending red Christmas cards to anyone in Japan constitutes bad etiquette, since funeral notices there are customarily printed in red.

Here’s my Christmas gift to all of you.  A little Christmas humor to share with family and friends.  These jokes and one-liners are so corny they just might make you smile a little.

  • What is the purpose of reindeer?  It makes the grass grow, sweetie.
  • The other day I sent my girlfriend a huge pile of snow.  I rang her up and asked, ‘Did you get my drift?’
  • Christmas: The time of year when everyone gets Santamental.
  • What is a webmaster’s favorite hymn?  Oh, dot com all ye faithful!
  • What do lions sing at Christmas? Jungle bells!
  • When is a boat like a pile of snow? When it’s adrift.
  • How do snowmen get around? On their icicles.
  • What does Santa call reindeer that don’t work?  Dinner. 
  • What do you call the fear of getting stuck in a chimney? Santaclaustrophobia

NINE MORE SHOPPING DAYS

HO!, HO!, HO!