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Monday, August 22, 2016

Blog Topics Everywhere And Not A Topic To Blog About

That was the worst paraphrasing of William Blake ever. And you read it here! Yay me!

In an effort to try and present what I think might be a topic of interest to my loyal two readers, I frequently look up a topic that suddenly hits me while I’m either: in the washroom; playing video games; watching television; or helping track pitches at my son’s baseball games. There are other places that inspire, but those ones listed are the main ones.

Okay... I also get lots of suggestions from you loyal readers.

From there, I take the topic that rang my bell and look things up on-line, or in an encyclopedia or three I have in the basement, knowing full well that the one from 1934 is outdated, but probably still full of even more interesting archaic facts. For example, that old encyclopedia calls Aboriginals from Australia a sub-species of homo sapiens. I was 10 when I first saw that and knew that was an ignorant fact. It's stuff like that that helps me add 'color' to articles I compile. 

Through those multiple means, I then fall through the proverbial rabbit hole. If on-line there’s a good chance I’m now on some porn web-site, because when looking up earthquakes and typing in Japanese liquefaction, I expect to find information on earthquakes.

To be honest, I just came up with that… I have no idea if it will lead me to a Japanese hentai video… I’m at work, and my own home computer is in the shop for the next few weeks.

Anyhow, I was going through a plethora of articles that I began—some I finished, even—but for whatever reason I didn’t think were up to my usual standards. (I know Vinnie is laughing Yoo-Hoo out of his nose at that last sentence.)

My list is as follows, but if there’s a topic here you think you might find interesting, perhaps I’ll revisit it.
  • Japanese fish farming;
  • Japanese travel posters;
  • Japanese airline posters - see Pan Am poster above... seriously... for any hetero male or gay woman, would that image not make you want to drop everything and fly to Japan? That was what I thought all Japanese women looked like... but no... only she looked like that, everyone else looked like themselves. I wonder if that model is still alive? She'd be like 50 to 75 years-old now - does anyone know where I can find out timeline information on such posters?;
  • Japanese train posters;
  • Japanese cruise (ship) posters;
  • Japanese general posters (like Olympics or hotels);
  • Japanese scientist creates a hologram you can touch (think Princess Leia saying “Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope!”). I couldn’t find a legal way to use images or a video, and without visuals… well… I scrapped it;
  • Japanese musical instruments (there were way more than I thought!) - and finding video to provide sound proved curiously difficult;
  • How to make different types of sushi. I suppose I could just write about the different types of sushi;
  • A write-up on some neat blog about Japan that I liked;
  • Facts about Japan - actually, I found some list on-line that offered interesting facts about Japan… but they were all three-line factoids… and you know me… three-lines of information merely whets the appetite for all of the information on a given topic… I have used a few bits from here, however…;
And in my blog draft folder, we have:
  • Aviation cards of Japan;
  • Remote-control WWII tanks;
  • Black-hole monitoring satellite;
  • Early Japanese Aviation;
  • First Japanese MLB star Masanori Murakami;
  • Japanese immigrants;
  • Mushrooms in Mario video games (Nintendo);
  • Allied Invasion Plans For WWII Japan;
  • Akira (the amazing anime from the 1980s) - I read the manga before I even thought about going to Japan;
  • The Sony Walkman story; 
  • The Foxes Wedding - Japanese Fairy Tale;
  • The decline of Japanese kimono in Japan;
  • Japanese pirates - not a baseball team, rather those scurvy dogs. Arrr;
  • Tokyo Olympics - I started it a couple of years ago... we still have four more years;
  • Sex classes for Japanese women - not enough information, and that was three plus years ago;
  • a bio on a Japanese author living and writing in the U.S. of 1897;
  • A historical murder case or two;
  • Something on Japanese toys;
  • Konnyaku - a weird Japanese food gaijin eat but don’t really like. I never knew what the hell it was in my Japanese stews for three years;
  • Some weird Japanese alcoholic drink; 
  • Write-ups on now little-known Japanese figures of teh past - but were HUGE back in their day;
  • 2013 Tokyo Car Show;
  • 2011 Tokyo Car Show - in both instances the images belonged to someone else;
  • Early Japanese anime;
  • Write-ups on different ukiyo-e art pieces - either boring write-ups or not enough info. Obviously I found the artwork to be quite good;
  • Buddhist temples;
  • Ohtawara-jo (Ohtawara Castle) in Tochigi-ken. I thought I had a photo of the castle’s layout… but couldn’t find it, so I scrapped the idea. The castle was burned down centuries ago, and nothing exists except for a depression and some earthen ramparts and the sign with the floor plan. There's nothing on-line about the castle… or at least there wasn’t when I thought about writing on the subject back on January 29, 2012;
  • Guinea Pig - which isn’t about those furry little critters that make excellent food for pet snakes that get loose and hide somewhere in your apartment’s pipes… no… this is about a slasher movie series. That one was from 2011.
Heck... I suppose I still could look for stuff from some old newspapers I was given... or the photo album/scrapbook I was given... or the tourist brochures I was given—from two friends. 

Topics? That wasn’t even all of them. I have well over 100 blog thingies that I started. Some are outdated. Some are just a topic or are a copy and paste newspaper article that needs fleshing out. Some seemed interesting when I started, but most failed to capture my attention the further I became involved in them…

Others like "fish farming in Japan"… what little information there is seemed contradictory or the information was presented in such a complex or strange manner that I couldn’t make fish heads or fish tails out of them to present a clearer and more concise option for myself and you.

That’s what I do, eh. I take a topic, examine it from multiple sources and try and present one that is not only the most-correct, but also answers all the questions anyone might have. I collate and amalgamate and merge.

And yes, sometimes I use big words, but I usually try and explain what said words really mean. It’s the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) principal.

So yeah… it’s actually Wednesday the 17th… I’m out of the office for the next few days and thus can not create blogs, so I’m grasping at straws for a blog topic. I’m thinking this one is for Monday midnight.

I do have one written and prepped and scheduled - for next month… when it will actually be an anniversary and thus more topical - September 27.

Thanks for indulging me. If any of those topic strike your fancy - great. If not, feel free to pass suggestions along, knowing I can only write about them during a workday lunch hour. At least for the next few weeks.

I also have two book reviews due - one to Stone Bridge Press (still reading it), the other to Tuttle Publishing (not sure how to write about it even though I have copious amounts of notes). 

Andrew Joseph
Hmmm, I guess I could have called this Filler Blog #3.    


  1. Replies
    1. I had a Sony Walkman tape player, with a special insert cassette to get radio...

    2. That's the extend of you Walkman blog eh. Well I guess they can't be all 800 words. Lol

    3. Ha... no... I'll get on it. All I have are some photos I found on-line while surfing five years ago. I never did the research on it at all. Now... the Mario/Nintendo mushrooms (see below)... that one I had done about 40% of the work. I'm doing that first, then the Walkman!

  2. “Sir, I admit your general rule,
    That every poet is a fool,
    But you yourself may serve to show it,
    That every fool is not a poet.”
    ― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    I've always been curious about those magic mushrooms ...

    1. Ha! Coleridge is MY favorite poet - Especially his The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan!
      Those Mario magic Mushrooms... there's soooooo many of them...
      Y'know I did one on mushrooms of Japan, and then poisonous mushrooms ... and then I thought about Mario's mushrooms... From the interesting to the sublime. Sounds like a plan to continue.

    2. As a head's up... I have finished writing the mushroom blog, and will later do the prettying up work of adding bolds and italics and stuff like that... 20 hours!!! That's what it's taken me so far in this second incarnation...

    3. 20 hours! That's a lot of mushrooms. My favorite cap is one I stole from my oldest son years ago with a Mario mushroom on the front and "Know your roots" on the visor. He still relishes the day I rage quit playing Tetris Attack with him (on Super Nintendo ... lol). The kid was 7 or 8 at the time. These days, he starts telling that story by saying, "I remember the day Mom stopped playing video games ..."