Wednesday, March 12, 2014

‪Recent Ramblings: Anarchism, Death and Vacuum Cleaners

Lots of things I've been thinking about recently...

Yesterday, when I told a group of journalists visiting Japan that I am an anarchist, one of them said, 

"But if there were no government, who would build the roads?" 

I replied, "In Japan, all of the privately built trains and subways (and there are LOTS of them), are fast, clean, always on time and cheaper than the government run trains." 

The Journalist's eyes grew wide as the realization sank in and they all said, 

"Oh, yeah... That's right." 

The privately built train and subway stations are also immaculately clean, modern and are filled with shopping for commuters. They stand head and shoulders above the government run trains and stations that are dirty, broken down, and well, they look drab and poorly maintained; like everything else the government does. Not to mention that the government run train system is shoddy and massively in the red every year and a money drain. The private trains are profitable.

Read more about Japan's privately run transport system here: 


I haven't been blogging so much recently for many reasons and one of them is that my dear daughter's grandmother passed away after having a stroke. This fine woman was my mother-in-law from my first marriage. Usually, after a divorce, the in-laws experience a bad relation with the former spouse of their child. But this woman helped me greatly and I will miss her very much.

Komako Hiroki. Thanks Ba-chan. Thanks for everything. I will miss you.

What happens when the matriarch passes away? What happens to a family when the glue, the bond, that held the family together for 5 decades passes away? Read: What Happens When Grandmother Has a Stroke...


Even though it is still quite cold in Japan, the plum blossoms herald the coming of spring. When I visited my daughter's grandmother at the wake, I was pleasantly surprised to find the first plum blossoms of spring had blossomed in front of her house.

In spite of the cold, these blossoms braved the weather. Thanks for the present Ba-chan!

Then yesterday, near my home, I saw many more plum trees in full blossom.

The seasons change. Time moves forward. Everything happens for a reason. 

2014 is still a young year. I am reminded of the writings of C.S. Lewis:

"Life is difficult, so let us be good to each other."


Finally, the readers of this blog won't get to see it, but I did the voice for a nationally broadcast TV commercial for Roomba vacuum cleaners. It was my first big TV commercial for the year. 

I'm pretty happy about how it came out (usually I am not).

Spring is almost here. Let's have a good year. For ourselves and for our loved ones and friends who have passed.

Remember to treat your loved ones well as:

Yesterday is gone. Today is almost over. Tomorrow isn't promised….


Andy "In Japan" said...

The last time I told someone I was an anarchist the response I got, from a UC Berkeley graduate, was hysterical.

He replied that we would all die without government, would not have breathable air or drinkable water. While lecturing me about how no one other than government could supply drinking water, the guy was holding a bottle of drinking water in his hand. I don't recall the brand name on the water bottle, but is was certainly a private sector company.

These government worshipers remind me of highly religious people. They believe things without reason and just don't want to think.

Mike san, I am touched by your warm feelings for your daughter's grandma. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and photos. It's a beautiful tribute to someone who was obviously kind to you.

Robotgrasmaaier said...

You don't live everyday. It just the memories that are saved inside of you that keep you going. Life is present, Neither past nor future are chase able. So live the moment as it is supposed to be live wholeheartedly.

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