Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Kopy Koi?

The guy I buy my koi from told me about a new, bizarre, development. Apparently someone in China is tattooing UPF (ugly pond fish; ie, carp that don't have the distinctive koi color patterns). Counterfeit koi. They're tattooing little diamonds onto each scale, or something. It boggles. I can't find any online info about it, we'll have to wait and see if this turns into the next copy watch industry.

The Yakuza have their koi tattoos; maybe eventually koi will have yakuza tattoos. Afterall, diamonds are one of the traditional local gang symbols:

More accurately, the Yakuza used to get irezumi, full body tattoos. But as with all things traditional, the practice isn't as prevelant as it once was. You'll probably see more full body art in SOMA, or DUMBO. Here's a guy with an amazingly beautiful koi tat:

He has an interesting web site too.

I bought a very nice Shiro Utsuri yesterday,

replacing a smaller green (non-traditional, but gorgeous) fish which, sad to say, had become another heron breakfast. Offshore storms seem to drive the coastal herons inland to feed. Either that, or those crafty birds think they have the advantage on rainy days (actually, I guess they do). But look out birds - perhaps one day my pacifist population of koi will be infiltrated by Yamaguchi-gumi carp. Yakuza used to be defenders of the community, from marauding Ronin, rouge samurai. That long beak of yours might be considered a shogun battle sword. You've been forewarned - beware the wrath of warrior counterfeit koi!

Monday, March 28, 2005

I have this ugly lump on my forehead...

...from repeatedly slamming my head on the desk, in astonishment at the level of hypocrisy Duhduhduh-Delay is capable of sustaining.

It looks as if the story is starting to take off. Maybe everyone will now get back to indicting this guy.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

How perfectly goddamn delightful

The Guardian UK spends an entire week, catching up with The Crumbs.

I originally wasn't going to lift a quote. Keep this entry nice and short. Neat. But resolve collapses, when confronted with the endearingly cantankerous Crumbian nature and his loving antagonist. So, just one excerpt, ok?

Robert: Sometimes I look around at a party and I go, "Look at those jerks over there, actually having fun." That's incredible. They're so fucking well adjusted that they're enjoying this situation with the loud music and too many people. To me, there are so many existential factors that are so deeply disturbing about that scene that I couldn't possibly imagine how people have fun at something like that. Aline, did you have fun at that party last night?

Aline [Robert's wife]: I had a great time.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I wonder what the neo-cons have in mind for...

The Schiavo debacle is, now, about the culture of life.
The Iraq debacle is, now, about liberty.
The third unalienable right Thomas Jefferson felt obliged to spell out was...

...the pursuit of happiness.

Oh, great.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

You don’t know what you got till it’s gone

Joni Mitchell wrote 'Big Yellow Taxi' while on a visit to Honolulu. The Canadian looked out her downtown hotel window and the rest of the lyric came to her in a flash: you pave paradise, put up a parking lot.

Yesterday, the Senate voted down a bill amendment which would have prevented drilling for oil in The Artic Wildlife Refuge. It was a close vote: 49 – 51. Both Democratic Hawaiian Senators voted to allow drilling. So did both Republican Alaskan Senators.

Hawai’i and Alaska – senators from two states synonymous with natural beauty – voted to spoil one of our remaining pristine environments. Why would Hawaiians, Democratic Hawaiians (along with one Louisiana – oil biz state - senator), break with the rest of their party?

A political deal.

But even more sadly, the deal seems to have been tied to another bill: “The Akaka Bill.” A bill considered to be a first step towards given Native Hawaiians back something they didn’t know they had lost until it too was gone.

The “Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill” is also known as the “Akaka (HI Dem)/Stevens (AK Rep) Bill.” The bill would begin the process for Native Hawaiians to be recognized by the US Government as an indigenous people. It is (arguably) a first step towards instituting Native Hawaiian self-determination. Not exactly secession, but a venue towards finally addressing the possibility of reinstituting The Hawaiian Kingdom.

Just another political deal, which becomes an ethical debate example of whether the ends will justify the means. Will native Hawaiians see some justice from their bill? Will that justice be worth it?

While we were on the Big Island last month, I met a neighbor; a native Hawaiian, who spoke passionately about the Akaka bill. He was a great, great, great grand-nephew of a Puna district local Ali’i. He said his family had been bamboozled out of their lands, all those years ago. I was ignorant of the Akaka bill; ignorant of the power plays Stevens, Inouye and Akaka were known for partnering on, in the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Pork barrel politics are very actively engaged in, in both paradises.

I wish I had been informed enough to have asked this gentle man if despoiling an Alaskan wildlife refuge was an acceptable trade-off for his people’s cause. In Hawaiian culture, the concept of “REFUGE” has always been important. They would set up places where, if you could get there, you could escape whatever/whomever was after you. My new friend was for - but wary of - the Akaka bill and schooled me on it. He knew its limitations. He still felt the ultimate solution was true autonomy; secession and the reinstitution of the Kingdom. But…I didn’t ask him: “really, a kingdom?” Is this nostalgia for class favor, landed gentry and a withdrawal from democracy? Or, is it simply an interest in getting out from under the control of the mainland? Getting back something that was taken away? And isn’t this Akaka/Stevens wheeling/dealing just trading one land grab, to pay back on another?

The blue states are not all on the same page, are they? Sometimes, all that post ’04 election talk about moving to another country doesn’t sound so futile. Where is refuge now?

This is a pretty good summary of the political connections between Artic Refuge and Hawaiian Recognition.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Assorted Behind the Musicks.

So this is what
they meant by "Champagne Supernova."

For 6 years, the author of "Amazing Grace," John Newton, was a slave trader. Casual or intentional disinformation suggests he quit the slaving gig and then afterward wrote the song about his redemption. But it actually happened the other way around:
he got into the Brown Sugar game after his religious awakening.

Speaking of cold english blood running hot, doesn't it seem awfully cold-blooded that "Rule Britannia," with its famous chorus:
Rule, Britannia, rule the waves; Britons never will be slaves, was written during the height of the slave trade?

And lest this seem a slam on all things musically Brit, we here in the colonies have our own insane King George. Sing it George.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Jury duty summons today. Here's hoping my perfect record for never being selected stands another test. My personal definition of civic duty does not include deciding upon the fate of others.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Why we don't mourn; parts I & II

Tom Watson says it so well.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The Big Island, feb 05

Here are some of our Hawai'i photos, via Flickr.

I have to pay to upload more than the allotted 100/month. But I can never seem to get PayPal to work for me. I am such a dweeb. Anyway, you can leave comments, for any pics currently uploaded. Or, view slide shows. 3 'sets' (Opihikao, Onion House & Lava) have slide show options - and the full batch can also be viewed in a slide show.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

There's a little musical tribute to Mike, in the form of a web stream, here (rev A: corrected the link).

Sunday, March 06, 2005

We're back from Hawai'i.

But before I do the standard 'here's how we spent our vacation' spew, I have to admit to erecting a lava cairn - way off in the middle of the very new lava fields, south of the Kilauea eastern rift - in Mike's honor. It looked perfectly ready for a classic Mikeism: "Wow. So this is what I get? A pile of rocks? Well...they are fresh, new rocks, aren't they? Hmm, OK then. It's sweet."

But he'd still make The Face.
Mike, I miss you, buddy. Tomorrow, let's talk story, about the big isle.