Friday, June 26, 2009

Breaking news - Michael Jackson has died at age 50

This from

Michael Jackson has died, according to stunning reports from Los Angeles. The 50 year old suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles on Thursday and paramedics were called to the scene. Reports suggest the King of Pop was unconscious and not breathing.

The medics had to perform CPR on the superstar as they rushed him to UCLA Medical Center. claims the Thriller singer has since died.


This is crazy news. I'm reading this at about 7:30am here in Japan as I prepare to go to school. I don't have time to write a reaction now, but I'll add one tonight.


Monday, June 22, 2009

TRANSFORMERS 2: Revenge - an early review from Japan

My thoughts on the big summer blockbuster, which actually opened in Japan a few days before it opens in America.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Not everyone likes us

Recently I posted a video about the challenges and rewards of teaching at Elementary school in Japan. I'm trying to get some of my thoughts and experiences teaching here for 5 years on video before I leave Japan in just over a month.

As always, my vids get comments and I get emails wanting more info, etc.

But this time I got another video posted as a "response" to my video.

The video was about 2 ALTs (maybe JETs - but I'm not sure - they could be with another company) who got arrested in Okinawa ken for having crystal meth. Drugs are a big huge No-No! here in Japan and there is zero tolerance.

But the interesting part was what was written in the sidebar description box...

I've copy and pasted it here with no corrections or additions/deletions.

Just goes to show that for all the kids I've helped become more interested in English over the years and all the Japanese friends I've made, there is still a very small amount of Japanese citizens who resent us being here on the taxpayers dime.

Here is the content:

The superintendent of education said
「Trust in the education is damaged and regrettably. Severe disposal is examined including the dismissal. 」

what a nauseating sight.
This is why I hate gaijins.
this kind of crimes committed by gaijins is on the rise and has become a social problem.
it seems sign of going from bad to worse.
these gaijins doesn't want to follow the rule of japanese society..


Dear jet.
do you get certified as tefl,tesol,M.Ed?
most of your associate in japan are only speaking native tongue...
they are not qualified teacher.

it was originally started in 1987 to trade friction between Japan and the U.S.
How many country would employ, even as simple language teachers, unskilled foreigners who could
not speak, write and read the national language?
only japan.
What a nonsense.

Now, existence value of jet is nothing.
there is a movement to do abolition of jet.
it is positive trend.

the problem is Administrators of jet, called clair.
that's what we call "amakudari",
clair is seen as a symbol of corruption of official.
we japanese have doubt about the way of using taxpayer money.

we'll see the end of the jet programme in not-so-distant future.
slowly but surely many japanese is realizing this.

it's very regretful that
i heard some jet persons are always bad- mouthing japan on the web.
stop it.
that's unforgivable rude
ingratitude to japan.

in fact, you receive very preferential treatment(like striking mismatch)from japan.
You're encouraged to remember that japan spend money 40000 million yen a year to feeding jet foreigners.
this is our tax.

I've had comments left on my videos similar to this in the past - and I've even tried to be reasonable and have a discussion with these types of people, but they're not interested in a dialog - just a one-way, narrow minded attack on what they see as a waste of taxpayer money. Of course, I humbly disagree.


Monday, June 15, 2009

A few June Updates

Hello All -

I noticed when I logged in to Blogger just now that this is my 901st post. I'm sure I passed 900 a ways back, but I've deleted some old posts along the way (usually cuz they were linked to photos that are no longer public) and I'm now at 900+ posts. Kinda crazy in a way. I've been posting to this blog for about 4 1/2 years, so that's about 200 posts a year. Not bad. :)

Anyway - it's interesting (at least to me) that after spending so much time on this blog, and then shifting my attention to my much more viewed channel page over at YouTube, that I'm now going to start using Twitter.

I've had some people bugging me about why I hadn't signed up for Twitter yet. I didn't really see the appeal, but I'm not going to have as much time to vlog and blog over the next few months as I prepare to leave Japan, so maybe the brevity of Twitter will work best for me.

My address over there is Twitter(dot)com/TaishaJason

Check it out and feel free to leave feedback.

I never seem to catch on to these social network sites - I have a MySpace page that I haven't logged onto in over a year and the only time I go to my FaceBook page is when someone leaves me a message over there.
I spend a lot of time on my computer, but I just don't visit these sites that often.

Not really much else to report at this time.

I just got back from a 3-day English camp called CHESS that I've blogged about here many times in the past. It was, as always, a great and exhausting time - one of my most favorite JET events of the year.

I now have to turn my attention to leaving. I have to pack, send boxes back to America, try to sell some things here, give away clothes and books, etc., finalize my bills, get my plane ticket home, and the list goes on.

I have a few more big events before I leave, including a special library event on July 4th that I'll tell you more about soon, but basically my attention has to be on preparations for leaving and saying goodbyes. July 30th (my tentative leave date) will be here before I know it, and I don't want to rush around in my final week.

Hope all is well where you are.