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Phil's Journal

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PC800 Rider



March 26th, 2009

I survived

PC800 Rider
This particular black thursday

October 12th, 2008

My political agenda

PC800 Rider
Everywhere I look, listen, or am accosted (radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, blogosphere, bathroom walls, canvassers at my front door, etc) I get bombarded with messages from candidates, from candidates supporters, from the parties, from the lobbyists, from the shills and from the all seeing all unknowing masses.

I'm tired of it. It's time for change. Not change in the people, but change in the system. The system is broken, even if it IS the best of them ... that shouldn't be used as an excuse for complacency or for failure to adapt to to current needs due to clear problems as things exist now.

So, my agenda is to reform the political system, in particular the electoral system that removes government from the interests of the people, and instead gives it to the moneyed special interests.

The system IS BROKE. The system NEEDS FIXING. Here's where I START (and there's more to be done after this).

1)Term Limits. Strong one. Not just limiting the term in an office, but limiting the term by an individuall. Example: Once elected to any given office, you are not eligible for election to ANY other office, nor may you succeed yourself in your current office, until a period of at least the same length of time as the office you wish to ascend to (or descend to) has pased.

2) None of the Above" as a listed, recordable and accounted for position on EVERY ballot, for EVERY issue.

3) Runoffs as necessary. If None of the Above wins a simple majority, the lowest rated (as shown by votes received) candidate is removed from the run off and we do it all over again. Repeat as necessary until there's a single winner.

4) Polling places open 24x7 on Friday/Sat/Sun of election "period", not a single day.

5) No preliminary reporting of results by any means until ALL votes counted

6) No electionerring of any sort within a 10 mile radius of polling places on election day. To include no signage or other advertising within that radius.

7) Real world spending limits on campaigns, regardless of souce of the $$. Definitely less than 6 figures. Any contributions, from any source, for any reason above that $99,999.00 limit MUST be either not accepted, or returned to the contributor within 24 hours of receipt.

8) Eliminate primaries. Restore party conventions to importance and not just excuses to party. Everyone votes one time during the election cycle (and once for each runoff, if necessary).

9) In the case of Presidential elections, eliminate electoral college. It's outdated.

10) In the case of Presidential elections (or others where 2 or more candidates currently run as an "item") break it apart. Vote for a President. Vote for a Vice President. Check and Balance.

A new American Revolution, this time against the entrenched government by tyranny that we have allowed to grow in our midst for the past 230 some odd years; and which has grown exponentially in the past 68, give or take.

July 23rd, 2008


PC800 Rider
There are lots of people in Japan with the surname Yamamoto.

Almost everything annoying that happens to one particular person in Japan is one particular Yamomoto's fault.

The facts, as always, speak for themselves ... when they speak.

June 1st, 2008

Worked from home last week, very nice. When the workday ends, it *really* ends.

Mrs. Yo-gi just called; the water heater just sprung a leak and is flooding. She was however able to turn it off, whew! Now we get to see how much, and what the damages are (both to the house and the budget).


First time in 'uckin forever I update this journal and now this.

Maybe we'll be getting that new tankless model sooner than I thought.

January 10th, 2008

Konnichiwa or Ohayo goziamasu (as appropriate for when you're reading this)

Watashiwa eigoga wakarimas!

Watashiwa nihongoga schoosh wakarimas!

Nihongoga wakarimaska?

Eigoga wakarimaska?

Anatawa amerikanjij desuka?

Watashiwa amerikanji desu!

Gengki desuka?

Arigato goizamasu.


May 23rd, 2007


PC800 Rider
http://www.thezaleskingroup.org is now active, for those who are interested.

May 4th, 2007

1) Sushi is a reason to live. Even mass produced sushi in a conveyer belt place. Even massively mass produced sushi in the Seven-Eleven. (Remember, sushi doesn't necessicerally mean fish, let alone raw fish ... that's sashimi ... sushi is the rice that plays the supporting role). Anyway though, sushi is a reason to live, especially when you're getting it in Japan

2) Karaoke, at least the way it's done here, compresses time tremendously. It only takes about 30 minutes to enjoy 2 hours of karaoke.

3) No matter how badly one sings, off key, off tempo, forgetting the lyrics ... doesn't matter ... Karaoke is fun and somehow addicting.

4) Karaoke with FOUR people who sing badly, off key, off tempo, forgetting the lyrics ... is way more than four times the fun it is with only one person singing.

5) Karaoke is just fun

6) Cell phones here are WAY the hell ahead of anything at home. Ya want miniscule? You got it. You want net access? You can't handle deciding how much, and how, you want net access. You wanna take pictures at 1.3, 3.1, 5.whatever, resolution ... dime a dozen. TV? Got it. 16x9 format TV. Sure, no problem. Full (not full size) keyboards that slide out,flip over, twist on an axis ... yep! The electronics shops have walls just full of phones ... 30 feet long by 5 feet high, just packed with them. Easily 100 or more choices. And this is just in Niigata, which is maybe an Atlanta sized city. Haven't even been to Akihabara (so called "electric city") in Tokyo yet. I'm told there's probably 2wice the selection there.

7) There's an interesting subculture here. There's a name for it, but I can't remember now. But basically, it's about dressing in just wild ways. Almost like a costume party that's always on, but only for the people in the know. Hard to explain, interesting. Maybe I'll get some pictures up.

8) I'm very happy.

May 2nd, 2007


PC800 Rider
Sanjo-shi, Niigata-ken, Japan. Thursday 0500 local time.


I had forgotten that this far north, and with no DST in use, daylight comes early. Can't really see the Sun itself, but there's plenty of daylight.

Took 24 hours (almost to the minute) from when we arrived at RDU on Tuesday morning until we walked out of the Japan Rail stations at Sanjo. However, those 24 consecutive hours began on Tuesday morning 5/1 and ended at 8pm Wednesday 5/2 (on Sanjo time) meaning 12 of those 24 hours disappeared. And people say "time travel" is impossible ... Einstein had no clue.

Note to self: If you're not going to fly first / business class, and your flight is 13 hours in length, an additional 5" of legroom in economy is TOTALLY a good idea to buy. 5" in an airplane, of any size, is pretty valuable real estate. Glad we upgraded.

Arrived Narita, cleared customs, changed USD to JPY, rented cell phone (survival gear here), exchanged voucher purchased in Raleigh for Japan Rail passes, Narita Express from airport to Tokyo, Shinkansen (bullet train) to Sanjo.

First nite in Sanjo: Miss yo_gi meets us at train station, we all pile into little-itsy-bitsy roller skate that passes for a car and did however manage to carry us all, plus suitcase, duffel bag, backpack, and other duffel pack ... one 5'1" tall Miss yo_gi, one 6'2" tall Master yo_gi, and yo_gi himself fit also.

Checked into hotel "Hotel New Green Chain". Pretty typical room, hotel, etc. Maybe I'll go into detail in another entry later.

Walked through Sanjo to Jenny's local sushi-on-a-conveyer-belt-restaurant and proceeded to demolish a bunch of 105Y plates (2 pieces / plate). All three of us, stuffed, about 1500Y.

Went to Jenny's flat, hung around for another hour or so, and finally crashed at hotel about 0100 Thursday local time.

Have I said I love being here?

I do.

April 23rd, 2007

Virginia Tech

PC800 Rider
First, let me just say how terrible I feel for the victims and families of the incident at Virginia Tech last week.

Having once been involved in a somewhat similar incident (1982, Bethesda MD) I do know the terror and fear that not only those who died felt but also those who thankfully survived.

All of these disturbed individuals who wish to wreak havoc on our society and then take themselves out in their blaze of glory and martyrdom, while publishing their manifesto and diatribes on our society should be given the chance ... as long as they agree to take themselves out FIRST, on TV, with full live TV and radio and print media coverage.

Yes, that's right. You want to kill everyone, and then yourself so you can make a statement? Fine!!! We'll give you the opportunity and all you have to do is promise you won't start on THEM until you finish on YOURSELF. I'd even go it one better. We'll provide the gun (take your choice of any weapon you desire), the ammunition, the cameras, the reporters, the location, the internet connection (high speed and wireless, if you prefer). We'll carry it live, taped, delayed, cable, satellite ... your choice. You get to shoot as much or as little as you want. You want targets? You got 'em.

You go into a locked, lead lined, concrete walled (no less than 12" thick in case you're planning on using that mortar round) room with all the accoutrements necessary for the job. You agree to remain in that locked room, doing whatever it is you want to do, until you're finished. How do we know you're finished? Simple ... you're dead!

You go in, you do your thing, you leave. The world gets to watch, hear, read, react, rejoice, and go on. One way street, bada bing bada boom.

You're happy. We're happy. We celebrate, your family mourns (but doesn't have to apologize for your actions, and doesn't have to go into hiding so the NEXT person who's upset at the world but doesn't have the balls to just LEAVE, which is what you should have done in the first place, doesn't go after your family). People around the world breate easier for a little bit, someone else adds your day of infamy to Wikipedia. Shit, if you're REALLY good at it, you can add your own Wiki and be sure it's done right. We'll leave a laptop for you.

And all the guns that we take off the streets of the USA *finally* can be put to a useful purpose.
So my friend KDCYYZ keeps finding these things and posting them, and I figured what the hell:

You Are 40% Borderline

You're a little moody, but you probably don't have a borderline personality.
Everyone has their ups and downs. Just don't make too much of them.

You Are Pretty Happy

You generally have a happy, fulfilling life.
But things could be a little better, and deep down, you know it.
Maybe you need more supportive friends or a more challenging career.
Something is preventing you from being totally happy. You just need to figure out what it is!

You Are 16% Capitalist, 84% Socialist

You see a lot of injustice in the world, and you'd like to see it fixed.
As far as you're concerned, all the wrong people have the power.
You're strongly in favor of the redistribution of wealth - and more protection for the average person.

April 22nd, 2007

Going to Japan

PC800 Rider
I don't even want to think about how long it's been since I've updated this blog.

Anyway, hi to my at-work pals who I haven't seen or talked to since someetime in February. I've been on, as they say, "special assignment" for a while, working from home. Don't know when it's gonna end.

And a quick "announcement" of sorts ... we're (Jason and I) off to Japan on 5/1 to visit with Jenny in Sanjo-shi, which is near Niigata-ken, which is on the west coast of what's curiously called eastern Japan, as in ... we can buy a JR-East (Japan Rail) pass which allows us to travel about 1/3 or more of the island of Honshu (the main island) for the entire 10 days we'll be there. Now, how the west coast of the country can qualify as being part of eastern Japan is beyond me, but hey it's less expensive than having to buy a full JR pass for which we'd have no use of 2/3's of the country.

Anyway, I'll try to send a shout from somewhere on that side of the Pacific.

July 30th, 2006

Let me see if I have this right. Let's pretend for a few minutes. Oh sorry, this isn't pretend, it's real. Just watch a little TV this morning, any bunch of talking news heads will do. You'll see.

You're a Lebanese citizen / civilian. You, and an awful lot of your friends are tired of having Israel shooting at you, and killing your people, especially the civilians. By the way, most Israeli's feel about the same way, I'm sure. Most Americans feel the same way, I'm sure. Hell, most everyone on the friggin planet feels about the same way.

You, along with your friends, descend en masse to the United Nations offices in Beirut. There you use your overwheming force to overcome the outnumbered observers who are basically trying to get the Israelis and the Hezbollah to stop fighting; trying to bring peace to your very troubled region. You attack the UN because you believe it's ineffectual (it seems to be), because you believe it's a tool of the USA (it's not but since its main office is in the USA, you think it is, and besides most of the rest of the countries in the UN don't really like the USA either), and because you think it's the UN's fault for not stopping this from happening.

What you DIDN'T do however is attack, or even go to, the offices of your own government where you use your overwhelming force to bring true democracy to your land so you, the people, decide what being Lebanese really means.

What you DIDN'T do however is direct your anger and overwhelming force at the foreigners, Iranians, Iraqui's, Afghans, and the other identified terrorists who use your country as a base for their operations into Israel.

What you DIDN'T do even though you think Americans are the most evil people on earth is direct your anger and force at the Americans (and thank you, most of us here don't want THAT to happen) who you believe are giving tacit approval to Israel to kill your people (and maybe it is, but it's NOT the ones who are actually doing it); instead you go after the mostly uninvolved, and totally ineffective United Nations in the hope that THEY will do what you're unable to. The UN hasn't had a success story in this arena since about oh, forever. Yeah, that'll work.

What you DIDN'T do but you should have was direct your anger at the most recent perpetrators of this obscenity in your region. Have you ever even CONSIDERED directing your overwhelming anger and numbers at the Hezbollah fighters, who are shooting at the Israelis and killing their people, especially the civilians. Have you ever CONSIDERED that the path to peace in your region is to rid the area of the terrorists on your own land before worrying about ridding the area of terrorists on someone else's land? Will you NOW take action to do something positive to end the violence.

No, I didn't think so.

No one's completely right in all of this, and no one's completely wrong in all of this. Both sides have legitimate concerns and worries and arguments. Both sides are culpable. But peace has to start somewhere, and the best place to start is where you have the BEST chance for success, not the least. Direct your anger at the appropriate villians first. Take back your country, your region, your peace.

War is just plain freakin' stupid. Innocent people die, and they want to kill other innocent people, just to show that if you can do it, so can I.

Revenge. Tit for Tat. Eye for an Eye. Can't humanity get past it, or is this REALLY how it's supposed to have gone for the past 2005 (or so) years as well as the next 2005?

How many times does it have to occur before humans get the message?

June 21st, 2006

In today's New York Times, in an article entitled "U.S. Says 2 Bodies Retrieved in Iraq Were Brutalized", Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV is quoted as stating

""Due to the condition of their bodies, we do not believe it was by natural cause of death." "It did not appear that they had been mortally wounded and moved to a location and died."

Now see, that statement defines the problem with war and warriors, especially the commanding warriors, who by the way include that Commander in Chief of the U.S.A.

It's not quite as bad apparantly for soldiers / warriors to die in warfare, as long as they die by NATURAL causes, like being shot or run over or blown up or burned ... oh and it's only not as bad for soldiers to die in such NATURAL ways as long as they're the FUCKING ENEMY ... but it's NOT NEVER EVER OK for the FUCKING ENEMY to kill OUR soldiers in such NATURAL ways.
It's an ATROCITY when the guys wearing the US on the collar are brutally killed (which after all IS the whole point of the exercise in the first place), but it's just us doing our business when it's the other guy who goes down.




June 20th, 2006

And in other news

PC800 Rider
Just a few random things that probably bear at least a passing mention, in no particular order

Mrs. yo_gi is now once again gainfully employed, working "on the floor" (no silly, not literally) at Panera Bread. Next week she gets to learn how to make the drinks :-)

Miss yo_gi has graduated MAGNA CUM LAUDE from NCSU with her Bachelors Degree in Communications. Now none of us are quite sure exactly what that bit of Latin means, but we know it's DAMN GOOD. Miss yo_gi is *also* gainfully employed, having joined that great American workforce (supposedly something like 60% of all American's do this at least once in their lives) working at McDonalds. And no, before you ask or even think it, her job is neither being Ronald, nor playing with Ronald, nor having anything to do with Ronald. So, PROPS for Miss yo_gi and her degree, and her plans, and her future year in Japan (oh, she has been assigned to the city/town of Sanjo-shi in the prefecture (think state) of Niigata-ken). She and her guy :-) are still a single unit attached by a ring!!

Master yo_gi continues to be gainfully employed and has turned into quite the hockey fan himself. Unfortunately, he went to the beach with some friends last weekend and has gotten a bad sunburn on his nose, which in turn has managed to become infected, and has required medication, to which he is allergic, so he is now 1) burned 2) sore 3) infected 4) medicated and 5) neglected [not really but I think there's a song in there somewhere]. Since the cure for an allergic reaction seems to be steroids, he is additionally medicated and possibly a candidate to replace (you pick the loser of your choice) any one of a couple of hundred drugged out baseball players.

Life IS good!
For those of you who are living on a distant planet in a distant galaxy in a distant universe (or who just don't care about this kind of stuff) the Carolina (nee Raleigh nee Greensboro nee Hartford Whalers) HURRICANES hocky club ***WON*** the coolest trophy in all sports-land ... the STANLEY CUP. In a very hard fought, mostly well played, very enjoyable final series, the Canes won 4 games to 3, winning last night on a score of 3 - 1 which included an empty net goal with one minute to go in the game. Although the Canes had a 2 - 1 lead, this game wasn't in the bag until that empty netter was scored, and even then Edmonton is a team that couldn't be discounted until the final horn sounded.

Mrs. yo-gi was there with yo-gi and we had a BLAST. Mrs. yo-gi has become a Hurricanes fan, and especially a Mike Commodore fan (you'll just have to go look him up yourselves ... www.nhl.com is a good place to start, or www.carolinahurricanes.com will do him quite a bit of justice as well, I'm sure). Next season, Mrs. yo-gi will have her very own team sweater (jersey, for you uninitiated), in home team red to set off my white one and we'll have a fun surprise on the backs of them (we hope). You'll just have to wait till next season to find out.

And I gotta tell you ... the RBC Center has NEVER been as loud, or full as it was last night. We ARE the loudest house in the league. Most of us stood for the entire game. The team rocked, the fans rocked, and hey ... winning the Stanley Cup in front of the home crowd = PRICELESS.

Props also to the Edmonton team ... they were tough, they deserved to win this just a little bit less than we did. A little chippy near the end, but that's a big part of the game.

And MAJOR PROPS to the Edmonton FANS! I have always liked Canadians, every one that I've met through the years have just been GOOD folks. The fans last night should make their land proud, they were the best sportsmen we've seen at the RBC all year. Good, clean, fun for both sides. THANK YOU EDMONTON FANS --- WELCOME BACK NEXT YEAR (But we're still gonna take it again ).

Pictures of the game and celebration are at http://tinyurl.com/qme8b . Feel free to distribute that to anyone you think might be even slightly interested.

(Put sound of foghorn here) -- Use your imagination

(Followed by a Rick Flair shout of)
Wooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! Wooooo Wooooo Wooooo

May 30th, 2006

It's hard to believe, but it was only (already) a year ago that my daughter and I were in Japan for a 2 week vacation. We had a fantastic time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and a couple of stops / trips in between. It is a fantastic country. I seriously miss it and wish I could go back.

Which leads me to say, I probably WILL be going back, if not this year then certainly next. My daughter (who has just completed her degree at NCSU) has been accepted into the JET (Japanese Exchange Teachers, I think) Program and will be going to Niigata-Ken in August to spend a year as an Assistant Language Teacher. I'm totally jealous of the opportunity she's gotten ... where were these when I was growing up?

Good luck sweetheart. You're gonna do *F*A*N*T*A*S*T*I*C* and you're going to have an experience of a lifetime.

Mom and I are very proud of you, and we love you so much.

March 28th, 2006

Miracles do happen

PC800 Rider
Much to my amazement, I experienced something this past Monday that I have not experienced in 20 some-odd years.

For the first time in all that time, driving from the Pocono Mountains region of NE Pennsylvania to Harrisburg, and from there on to home there was NO ... absolutely NO ... lane-closing-for-25-miles-(ok, slight exaggeration there)-so-a-small-bridge-of-35-feet-in-length-can-be-rebuilt construction zone on I-81 between Scranton and Harrisburg.

Made the ENTIRE trip without a single construction zone. This is in all honestly the 1st time we've done that in at least 50 trips along this way over the past 20 years.


Congratulations to PADOT.

It's about time.

January 24th, 2006

Some quiz results

PC800 Rider

You fit in with:

Your ideals mostly resemble those of an Agnostic. You are fairly ambivalent towards any religion or spiritual connection. You lead a very busy life and find that religion and spirituality are unnecessary to your life.

40% scientific.
20% reason-oriented.

Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

January 21st, 2006

I see pictures

PC800 Rider
I've been busy the past couple of days putting as many of my already-on-the-computer pictures up onto a photo sharing site.  There's still a bunch more to go but I think there's enough now to keep you busy, if you're interested.

There's some family stuff, some travel stuff, and some general-just-because-sometimes-I-like-taking-pictures stuff.

The link is http://public.fotki.com/Zaleskin

I hope that you'll look, I hope that you'll enjoy, and please feel free to make any comments you'd like to.

January 19th, 2006


PC800 Rider
Went to tonight's game ... Hurricanes 4, Islanders 3.   Cane's didn't play too well, but 2 points is 2 points, and they're firmly in the overall points lead now.

Had a terrific time.  Sat one section over from where my "package" seats are located, and I think I'll be pretty pleased with the package seats.  First game on those is this coming Monday vs Montreal Canadians.

Can't wait.     
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