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Squared Sevens Blogging Corp.
Sunday, 28 September 2003
mouichido itte kudasai
Hello from Japan, again. Im safe and having a good time. Ive been to Yokohama, and all over Tokyo. However, Id still love to hear from people back home. Just so you know, I cant get AIM Express to work here. So dont expect to see me on. Calling internationally is prohibitively expensive. So again, the easiest way to contact is through email. My phone email is posted below. Or you can send something to fdiddy49er@hotmail.com . Again, It would be good to hear from people at home. So, send an email.

PS. How about them Panthers. 3 and 0 and that is just awesome. Too bad Im missing it all. Oh why couldnt I have gone the year that they were 1-15? Oh well, Ill take their success any way that I can get it, even if it is across the Pacific Ocean.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 10:32 PM EDT
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Sunday, 21 September 2003
EZ contact the Fro
My cell phone number here in Japan (dont know the country code) is 08054050673, and my cell email is --- so contact me sometime.

Edit: removed email. I think that I picked up spam by having it on the web.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 10:58 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, 14 May 2004 4:06 AM EDT
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Friday, 19 September 2003
Nihon de
Hey. Here is some info from Japan.

The plane ride over was hell, but I`ve recovered very well. There is no daylight savings in Japan, so the sun rises at about 530 and sets at about 6, no joke- so i end up going to sleep and waking up very early. When I got to Tokyo Narita Airport, I had to wait an hour in Immigration, and then almost missed my luggage, but I found it. We drove through Tokyo on a bus to get to my school, and it was flat out incredible, I don`t know how else to say it. I will try and get some pictures up soon. The school here is actually quite nice, and my host family is very kind and understanding of my relative lack of Japanese. I take the trains (denshaa) every day to and from school, they are cheap and reliable but incredibly crowded. The Japanese people that Ive met are very kind, which is good. I got a cell phone (keitai denwa), but it doesn:t seem to want to work right now. Oh well. Classes started today, they are mostly in english so I think that I can handle them. Agh, I just wished that I had studied more Japanese before I got here! Ah well, I am just trying to have the most positive `can do` attitude when it comes to language difficulties.

I`ll have more later, stay tuned.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 2:28 AM EDT
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Friday, 12 September 2003
Official Japan Departure Post
For the few that are still not aware, I leave for Japan on Monday September 15th. I should Arrive in Tokyo's Narita airport on 2:20 pm September 16th, local time. Now that is a long flight. But hey, sometimes that's the price you gotta pay. I'm feeling a lot of different emotions about this. Excited about the new environment and possibilities, but sad, because I'm leaving a lot behind here in America for a long time (approx. 11 months). But for my stated goal of getting the most out of my life, I'll get a lot more mileage out of the next year in Japan than in Charlotte, that's for sure.

The stated reason for me going is to study the Japanese language, culture, and international politics. But I'm going because I want to be exposed to a different people and society, it's been a long standing dream of mine to go to another country. And hopefully, I'll get a lot of good stories to come back and bother everybody with.

It's funny, when I tell people that I'm going to Japan, they are really enthused about it, or I get The Look. As in, why in hell would you want to go there? I'm not sure why I get that last response. Is it racism, a general response that any Asian country is a very dirty,dirty place that isn't worth my time, or do they just think that it will be very boring? I don't know, and it's possible that I'm reading far too much into this. But I wouldn't be surprised if that played into it.

In one odd exchange, an adult who shall remain nameless went on to lecture me about having my hands cut off if I stole something, i.e. old school Islamic law. Then he went on to inform me of the brutality of Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and I cannot make this stuff up. I'm still not quite sure what to make of that even today.

But I'm going to go into this with an open mind- every Japanese person I've met here has been very nice, but I know the society and the people are far, far, from perfect. So we'll see what happens. One thing is for sure though: I've got to have the right "go for it" attitude. I'm only going to be there for one year, with few second chances, and that will give me the sense of urgency that I'm missing in my normal "American" life.

Stay tuned, I'll update this blog when I can with further updates. Until then, peace.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:55 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 9 September 2003
Tonight on Fox News....
The Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate. Also known as... "The useful example next time we need to prove We're 'Fair and Balanced" debate. Or... "We don't think that any of you have a real shot, but we're going to throw you a bone" Debate. 8:00 tonight. Don't miss it!

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 7:58 PM EDT
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Sunday, 7 September 2003
Oh man what a game. Panthers rule.
I went to Ericsson Stadium today to catch the Panthers play an NFL game before my little trip overseas. Lucky for me, it was a great game, Panthers beating the Jags 24-23 on a late touchdown pass on 4th down from Jake Delhomme to Ricky "Clutch" Proehl. Chris, I told you Jake was good. The first half was some of the worst play I've seen in a long time. Panther's Offense accomplished exactly jack while running predictable and conservative plays, and the D gave up a bad touchdown on the last play of the first half.

But it was a completely different game in the second half, Stephen Davis started finding holes and Mushin Muhammad promptly cought a TD. Meanwhile, the D came up with plenty of stops, and excellent special teams play from Steve Smith and Rod "He Hate Me" Smart help to complete the comeback.

Blocks, fumbles, great runs and passing, high drama, this game had it all. And it's always more fun in person. You get involved, you yell, you sweat, it really takes a lot out of you. If you're loud enough, you can affect the other team's concentration and effectiveness, therefore it can pay off for your team to get involved. It's all a tremendous amount of fun. So in case you've never been to a live NFL game, I highly recommend it.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 7:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 7 September 2003 7:46 PM EDT
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Tuesday, 2 September 2003
I know what you're thinking
I bet people are wondering, "Mike, why don't you ever talk about what goes on in your daily life, so why don't you list every minute detail like all these other blogs, because we really, really care, and by listing all of these details, we will all think that you are a really lucky and interesting person that we will all be instantly envious of?" Well, sure, of course people were thinking that, but I have so far decided against taking that course of action, instead choosing to commentate on socially important topics such as fear, loathing, and Terminator 3. But, I do think that you really want to know what is going on in old Fro's life. So here goes.

Yesterday, I woke up at around 1045, and had frosted mini wheats for breakfast because I felt that I really needed the variety in my life. Then, as is typically the case, I made a quick rundown of the ads in the paper and saw a dynamite deal on a digital camera. So after brushing my teeth, (hygiene comes first people) I skipped down to Target and bought a Canon something or other, and got a 128 meg memory stick for free!!!1!.

Then I stopped in Harris Teeter to pick up some of their great chicken burritos, and couldn't help noticing that all of the prices in the store were 10-25 cents more per item than at Food Lion, aint that something. Upon returning home, I saw a hellish storm brewing in the distance and approaching quickly, which can only mean one thing: Get the cover on the boat! Oh man, I'm so glad that I get to bother with something I hardly ever use and never wanted while an intense severe weather system bears down on me.

Well, as you can guess, the power went out. And that can mean only one thing: the intense and destructive "family time". I longed for the days when technology pushed us apart- like today, for example. Electricity soon returned, but since we were all, you know, very hungry and stuff, we decided on AppleBees (tm) for our dinner. Now, when you pay 8 dollars for food that you probably shouldn't have to pay 8 dollars for, you'd expect to have the plate they serve it on full of food- overflowing to the point of complete messiness, if possible. But I sure as hell got a piddly ass serving, and asked for some more rice pilaf, because I'd seemed to remember having a larger serving of rice pilaf last time I was at AppleBees (tm), when the manager joked about the manliness of my main salad entree, and no, I'm not kidding here. Anyways, I got more rice, but felt like a jackass all the same.

Then, after playing some Burnout 2 on the Xbox, (quite a lot of fun by the way), I sat down to write a placement test for my Japanese University that I will be studying at next year. I had to write an essay of about 200 characters without using a dictionairy. Now, I've only taken 1 year of japanese, I can't use a dictionairy, and it's been over 3 months since I was in a Japanese class of any sort. Needless to say, so far my essay is about 3 sentences long, and the best sentence I have is, "Japanese is pretty, but hard." So I need to get to work on that. If it's a quarter as long as this blog update, I should be in good shape.

PS. Get the Speed "5 Star collection" 2-DVD set, it's excellent.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:06 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 2 September 2003 12:13 AM EDT
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Saturday, 30 August 2003
Get Well Sam Mills
Panthers assistant Mills diagnosed with cancer

Long time Carolina Panthers fans may remember former high school teacher-turned USFL-turned NFL All-Pro linebacker Sam Mills, who was a real class act on and off the field (a true rarity in the realm of Charlotte professional sports). It's with great sadness that I report that Sam has been diagnosed with intestinal cancer. Coming right after the news of Marc Field's Hodgkins disease makes the news even tougher to handle. Keep both of them in your thoughts, prayers, offerings, etc.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 12:29 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 27 August 2003
Crisis Zone
If there's one thing that I've learned about American people, it's that often they don't take action or make a sacrifice on something unless it's absolutely necessary. It takes a crisis, like the huge blackout we just had in order for changes to be made. It's funny, becuase once the blackout happened, every politician announced the need for action, every commentator talked about the shoddy condition of this country's power grid. But where were these people a month ago? They never would have mentioned any of this before becuase it would have been too costly, and Joe Six Pack wasn't ready to foot the bill. It just wouldn't seem urgent enough to do so, to commit the vast resources and capital. But a lot of people suddenly decided it was necessary once there was a real problem.

Call it procrastination, or laziness, or whatever. And I think that 9/11 is an extension of this symptom. Look, let's be honest. International terrorism was always a threat to the country, but people in America thought they were invincible from it- terrorism was always something that had to do with countries "over there", never here in the States. They never would have agreed to all the extra time at airports, strip searches, etc.- although maybe they should have. And now, with an official crisis (the biggest ever? Depends on who you ask), it's fairly easy to argue many in government and the real world have gone overboard in the zealousness of their response.

I think that's why a lot of very important long term issues- such as the environment, budget deficits, and close working diplomatic relationships with other countries- often get overlooked by John Q. Public. They're all important, but might not seem so urgent at the present time. Although, with a lot of these issues, by the time you realize how bad it is, it might very well be too late to repair. But that's for another discussion.

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 1:44 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 27 August 2003 1:47 AM EDT
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Saturday, 23 August 2003
A Couple of more links for your viewing pleasure
Fans of The Boondock Saints click here



Following up- Video Bo strikes again

Posted by nc/frodaddy at 1:17 AM EDT
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