Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Best Little League Game Ever

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Random thoughts

Just had a mild earthquake here a half-hour ago. Around 3 on the Japanese scale. It felt like a truck passing by, but a few seconds longer, so I decided to check on the Japan Meteorological Agency website (they have a pretty good English page), and saw it there.

Gasoline has dropped to at or below what it cost back when I started driving in Japan two or three years back. ¥118 per liter. However, that's still US$4.66 a gallon...

Japanese TV often has shows where "tarento" (basically, people who are famous for being on these shows) go out into some seldom-visited part of Japan and do...interesting things. Today's show has four or five of them off in Hokkaido, participating in farming activities and traditional Japanese inns.

Oftentimes, these shows use stock music from a variety of sources. I've heard a lot of incidental music from various anime in these shows, plus the occasional pop song, either Japanese or western. (Don't ask me how I recognize the anime music...as if you couldn't figure it out on your own.)

During a segment on cows, milk, and yogurt, they used a song which I recognized immediately -- Innerst i sjelen, by Sissel Kyrkjebø. I thought it odd that a Japanese variety show would use a Norwegian pop ballad for background music, but I guess Sissel is fairly popular here.

I recognized the song because I picked up this album in Northfield back in 1993, prior to traveling to Norway as a member of the St. Olaf Choir. One of our performances was at an outdoor concert in Bergen where she performed as well.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Recycling ideas

I've posted this one before, a long LONG time ago I think, but since I'm using the idea again (that's right, I'm recycling activities from Kagoshima), I thought I'd mention it.

The lesson: Fruits and vegetables, "I like," "He/She likes"

I draw a man's face on the board.

"This is Jack. He likes fruit."

I draw a woman's face on the board.

Jill? Nope.

"This is Diane. She likes vegetables."

Of course, I'm probably the only one at work who gets the joke. Probably a good thing, actually.

"...Oh yeah, life goes on..."

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

小浜市 - Wikipedia

小浜! 小浜! 小浜!

I'm sure that many of you have heard of this already, but in case you haven't...

Many people in Japan were very happy that Barack Obama won the election last week, especially the people of Obama City, in Fukui Prefecture.

The characters in Obama, 小浜, mean small beach. There are also a number of Japanese families with the surname Obama, but of course there's no relation.