Thursday, March 26, 2009


Hello All -

I have lots of things to tell you, and no time it seems to type it all up and post it here.

But I should have some time starting this weekend, as I'll be on Spring Break starting tomorrow. yeah!

I'm not going anywhere or doing anything special - just hanging out in my town and trying to catch up on things that need doing, like cleaning my apartment, seeing some movies (Watchmen - yeah!), and updating this here blog.

I'm sure many of you watch my vlogs over on YouTube, and I've been pretty active over there, but I want to spend some time here as well - I have some text posts percolating in my brain that I want to share with y'all.

Also, I need to update my Flickr site, which is way behind. Altho the fun of it has gone mostly for me now that I can't post pics of me with my students, I will try and get the rest of my Tokyo pics posted and some other recent pics as well.

Thanks for reading and I hope your Spring is off to a nice start.

Be Seeing You,

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Another good vlog from my buddy Koichi.

A good one for my students to watch!


Monday, March 09, 2009

Response - Getting to know TaishaJason

More than you ever wanted or needed to know about me. :)

To follow along with the list, click on the YouTube icon in the lower right corner and watch the video on the YT page so you can access the sidebar.

I invite comments and responses.


Friday, March 06, 2009

New STAR TREK trailer

I was never a big Star Trek fan. In that old pop-culture debate, Star Wars vs Star Trek (similar to Elvis vs The Beatles or Batman vs Spider-Man), I was always on the side of the Jedi, Wookies and lightsabers over the side with phasers, Tribbles and bad Scottish accents.

But I certainly enjoyed Star Trek growing up - the original TV series with the best captain (which is another debate - Kirk vs Picard) was always something I liked to watch, but I hadn't seen every episode and I didn't know obsessive details about each show. I had a friend in High School named Chris who was a big Trekkie and he got me to watch some of the best of the original series, like Wolf in the Fold and City on the Edge of Forever. Well, as you can see, I now can name episode titles, so I've grown into being a Trekker (the more recent term for a Trek fan), but I'm still not an uber fan.

What prompted my interest even more than Chris's enthusiasm for the old series was the new series - The Next Generation - that started when I was a Freshman in college. The first season was a bit stiff and awkward at times, but the show grew into an interesting parable of life here even tho the action took place in distant galaxies far into the future. I became a bigger fan of "Next Gen" than I was a fan of the Kirk and Spock version of Trek.

But the first Next Gen movie - called Generations - was a disappointment. The previous 6 ST movies, with the original crew - had been somewhat hit or miss - the generally accepted wisdom nowadays is that the even numbered ones - 2, 4 and 6 - are good movies, with #2 being my personal fave - and the odd numbered ones are not very good, or even downright awful, as in #5. (Although I have a lot of affection for #3 - The Search for Spock)
The Next Gen movies hit their stride with their 2nd attempt - First Contact - which features perhaps the best villian in any of the movies, even better than Khan in ST #2 - the Borg.
Star Trek movies, like Bond films, get by on their established characters, but what makes them really memorable and fun and exciting is a great villian.

So it's with interest that I watch the build-up for the new Trek film, coming to screens in May (even here in Japan where it comes out on May 29th).
Simply titled "Star Trek," this film chronicles the early adventures of Kirk and Spock and the original crew, all played by new, younger actors. The film is being directed by JJ Abrams, who is responsible for Lost and Alias on American TV,

The trailer below is pretty excellent - giving a good indication that the film will be action packed and exciting. What's missing, at least in the trailer, is a hint of the comedy that makes Trek so much fun - no dialog from Scotty in this trailer - and I'm still not sure if Nero, the new villian played by Eric Bana, will be memorable or not, but I'm certainly very excited to see the film.

Abrams has to walk a fine line here - please all the core Trekers out there while trying to build a new audience that will want to "bodly go" on more adventures in the future.
Many casual movies fans will dismiss this picture based on the title alone - "pphhht" Star Trek? - I don't like Star Trek, some of them will say, but if the movie succeeds, then perhaps even casual fans or older fans, like myself, who didn't buy into the recent TV incarnations of the franchise, like Voyager, Deep Space Nine and Enterprise, will give Star Trek another chance.

Watch and enjoy! (There is a short commercial before the trailer begins)


Tuesday, March 03, 2009

new Terminator film trailer

I'm a big fan of the Terminator film franchise. I absolutely love the first two movies, and I even enjoy the third one for what it was - an attempt to prolong the characters on screen.

This new film - with Christian Bale (who plays Bruce Wayne/Batman in the recent Batman films) as John Connor looks AMAZING!

I can't wait to see it. The Terminator films and even the Fox TV show, which just came out on DVD here in Japan, are pretty popular here, so I'm hoping the film will come to Japanese theaters shortly after it debuts on American screens.

Another highly anticiapted movie for me - Watchmen - comes out this weekend in America and in late March here in Japan, so that's not too bad a wait for me. It also looks fantastic based on what I've seen online.