Samurai Dave: The Roving Ronin Report

Rambling Narrative of Travels, Thoughts, and Embellishments

Life-Size Gundam Returns to Tokyo

While at a German Oktoberfest Celebration (in May) in Odaiba, I came across my old friend Gundam whom I saw here 3 years ago. Gundam is back in Tokyo big as ever. In 2009 to mark the 30th Anniversary of the premiere of the popular anime show Gundam, a 1:1 life-size Gundam model was erected on the island of Odaiba in Tokyo. It stayed there for a couple of months before being moved to Shizouka. Now it’s back in Tokyo for however long.

Gundam is an anime show where humans pilot these large robot-like suits called Mecha. Gundam has become a cultural icon in Japan.

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May 9, 2012 Posted by | Anime, blog, Gundam, japan, tokyo | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2012 Emperor of Japan’s New Year Address

On January 2 the Japanese Emperor makes 5 appearances with members of the Imperial Household to give a short (emphasis on short) speech welcoming the New Year.

Although the Japanese Imperial system goes back well over a millenia, the tradition of making public addresses to gathered crowds only dates back to after WWII.

I’ve been to the New Years Address about 4-5 times now. The interview footage is from the 2009 and 2010 speeches.

This year however was different than previous years and the Emperor made direct mention to the Earthquake of March 11th and the continual suffering of those directly affected by it.

January 10, 2012 Posted by | akihito, blog, Blogroll, japan, Japan Earthquake, Japan Vlogger, japanese culture, japanese emperor, japanese imperial palace, New Years, tokyo, tokyo imperial palace, video, vlog | , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering the Millenniums (2000&2001)

The first decade of the 21st Century is drawing to a close. 10 years ago the world waited with anticipation for the year 2000. Some with hope, some with dread. Many thought the world would end either by God’s doing or by faulty computers. Remember Y2K? Anyway 2000 came and went as did 2001 for those crusty pedantic people who maintain 2001 was the real first year of the millennium – though all the big soiree were scheduled on New Year’s Eve 1999 (as Prince would have wanted it).

Where were you when the new Millennium dawned? Were you partying it up like there would be no tomorrow as some prophesied or were you at home cleaning the guns waiting for the Apocalypse of civilization?

I was at a New Age Concert thrown at the Pyramids of Giza.
Millennium at the Pyramids

For the 2001 New Years, I was working at a country&western club in Austin, Texas getting my lip chewed on by some tasty fillies.

Post your comments or video responses on your memories of what you were doing when the Millennium(s) dawned.

An account of my 2001 New Years’ experience and my disappointment of not having a hover car.

I threw a bone up into the air, and it still came down a bone

Well the New Year has dawned and still no Apocalypse.
Damn, I was so looking forward to rioting and looting!
I finally had to cancel my subscription to the “Y2K
Survival” Magazine. 

It’s 2001. Where the hell is my hovercar? Wow, hey,
guess all those past predictions about this year have
become pretty disappointing. No moon bases, hover
cars, ray guns, alien invaders, flashy futuristic jump
suits, black monoliths, or world peace (ha! we were so
naive back then). 

[NOTE: I had no idea how bad things were going to get 9 months down the road that year]

I worked security at Dallas, a country/western club
my uncle manages in Austin, TX. I wore a white tux
shirt with a black bow tie, cowboy boots and a black
cowboy hat (and trousers of course). I looked more
like a stripper at Chippendale’s than club security.

It was my job to check IDs and walk around breaking up
any fights. As these Texans tend to be rather big and
my karate a bit rusty, my plan was if a fight broke
out let them beat each other senseless then go over
and kick them in the balls. Granted, it wasn’t much of
a plan but at least I had one.

I drank too many cheap champagne toasts when the New
Year struck so I was buzzing when they put me back on
the door. I tried hiding this but it was hard when new
arrivals showed up and I greeted them with a “What the
hell do you want?” instead of “Hi! Welcome to Dallas
etc…”

Some inebriated young filly gave me a New Year’s kiss
that practically turned into a New Year’s mauling. She
damn near chewed my bottom lip off then tried to
convinced me that I liked it. She couldn’t possibly
have known that I had given S&M up as my New Year’s
Resolution.

She later staggered out of the club with the
assistance of her friends and to assure us at the door
everything was under control she said: “It’s ok, I’m
the designated driver.” Ah, my lips still bleed when I
think of her!

I left Austin Jan 4 heading back to Tennessee. The
miles clicked slowly past as the gene pool drew
steadily shallower while I drove through Louisiana,
Mississippi, and Alabama. Near the Alabama/Mississippi
border around 2 am, I came to the conclusion that
admiring deer while driving was hazardous especially
when they are standing in the middle of the freeway
and you’re doing 75 miles per hour. In trying to avoid
God’s simple yet stupid creature, my car swerved left
and right then completely around. (A Hovercar would
have been helpful at this point) I was now continuing
on my journey which was fine except I was going
backwards at 70-75 m.p.h. In this harrowing near death
experience the only lofty soul-searching thought that
ran through my head at the time was: “Well, this isn’t
good.”

My car must have had the same thought because it went
off the road and crashed into the woods. I actually
was able to drive off minutes later. My driver’s side
mirror had been sheared off but the rest of the car
was fine except for the mashed up front end but that
was from an earlier encounter with an inbred that
couldn’t read Stop signs.

Damn flea-ridden beast! To think I once cried when
they shot Bambi’s mother. Now I wish I had pulled the
trigger myself!

As no one was around when it happened, had I been
forced to shuffle off this mortal coil no one would
have ever known what had happened. If ever I do pass
the way of all flesh in a similar manner you know the
deer are behind my vehicular demise and I hope some of
you will wreck unholy vengeance upon their misbegotten
tasty hides in my name.

At least I lived to tell the tale. For a bit I was
wondering if perhaps I was dead living out some
bizarre Jacob Ladder-like pre-Afterlife until I pulled
over at a truck stop at the next exit. The singing
fish display, the bumper stickers that said “My other
car is also a piece of shit”, and the mud flaps with
naked women silhouettes reassured me I was still in
the land of the living. No self-respecting Afterlife
Limbo dimension would display such vulgar items and
even Hell wouldn’t be so tacky.

I hope no one else had such a close shave from the
Reaper’s scythe.

December 31, 2009 Posted by | 2000, 2001, blog, Blogroll, egypt, great pyramid, humor, Middle East, Millennium, New Year's Eve, New Years, travel, video, vlog | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments