dateURLculture shockother
09.14.00 Honda Roller Through GoGo
in america, it was the Kick N Go. In Japan it was the Roller Through GoGo.

those new scooter things that are everywhere keep reminding me of Kick N Go.

- - - - - - -
official site for one of the most loathsome personalities in hollywood.

i like the total disconnect with reality that this site has. according to the Joan Rivers timeline: "She is an inspiration, a phenomenon, and, above all, a whole lot of fun!"

oh, and this picture from the joan rivers photo album is crazy good. (the rest of the album is just so-so.)

also, this is one of those things that's kind of interesting but then really obvious once you realize it. if you search the whole internet for the phrase "biggest Joan Rivers fan" only one pageshows up. How sad a specimen are you if only one person on the whole internet likes you? In fact, searches for "joan rivers fan" pretty much just turn up anti-Joan pages.

ha, speaking of. the Dumb Joan section of this site has a great list of errors that Ms. Rivers has made at awards ceremonies. bonus points because almost all of them end with the phrase, "DUH Joan!"

yeah, maybe skip the official Joan site, and just check out the anti-joan sites.

- - - - - - -

japanese strange music: h
a list from Ha to Ho. just a list. and it's all in japanese. there are some great band names and album titles, but i'll list them all so you don't have to waste your precious finger-clicking energy going there.
  • Happiness Proof
  • The instant Fisherman
  • Slug & Firearms
  • nympho has some great elements
here's the rest of the alphabet. also don't bother with this one, except these two are pretty great: MEATOPIA, and SPANK HAPPY.

Meatopia. Meatopia. Why didn't I think of that? So great. Meatopia.

- - - - - - -

Daimler Reitrad
oldest Honda thing. Looks like a wooden motorcyclehorsebike.

- - - - - - -

mcdonald's happy meal hunchback of notre dame toys
there was this awesome ad on at the time for these. i tried to record it, but never managed to. the key moment was when the gregarious little blonde girl said something like, "...with my new best friend, Quasimodo." and then there was a close-up shot of the little plastic Quasimodo with the girl in the background. And then later it showed her hugging it I think.

disney mcdonald's quasimodo happy meal. so insane. who would have ever dreamed up putting those concepts together? certainly not Victor Hugo.

also of note on this page is the following message which i'm not sure what it means, but it keeps cracking me up: "Puppets. Available $7.00 shipped, $12 for 2, -$1 for squirting (there's a mime!)"
little tree smell
this evening, i got some food "to go" at a restaurant where the waiter smelled like one of those little tree car fresheners. i'm quite certain that it was specifically that smell and that smelling this way was intentional on his part.

do they make a cologne or aftershave that smells like little tree? or did he have to use an actual little tree to get that smell?

what kind of terrible smell must this man be hiding, that the little tree smell is an improvement?
3 half-formed bad ideas
  1. good breath cop, bad breath cop
  2. chicken ambulance
  3. restaurant where you can eat the potted plants
the saddest thing is that i thought at one point that each of these was worth writing down.

for chicken ambulance, maybe you are doing the chicken dance and something goes wrong (you dance wrong?) and they have to call the chicken ambulance.

good breath cop, bad breath cop. a trident commercial? bad breath cop gets all in your face and throws you against the wall and threatens to put you in the cage if you don't cooperate. good breath tells bad breath to "take it easy." etc. makes no sense.

when i'm dining out, i always want to eat the potted plants, so it seems a natural extension of that desire that a restaurant would simply put the plants themselves on the menu. could maybe even be a restaurant where they don't serve any food, and you just start eating the potted plants and vines growing on the walls.

- - - - - - -

Script Review of 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind'
"...based on the 1996 'unauthorized autobiography' of the same title by former game show producer/host Chuck Barris. The script illuminates Barris' far-fetched claim that while he hosted THE GONG SHOW he moonlighted as an assassin for the CIA."

- - - - - - -

berry nawty diary
a funny and generally entertaining diaryland diary. Designed around a Strawberry Shortcake theme.

- - - - - - -
nice art/design site.

part of, most of which is really good.

- - - - - - -

Honda humanoid robot movies
plus some German Honda robot movies: the walking down stairs is pretty impressive. None of my robots can do that. Mine can just throw rocks and tie me up.

Humanoid robot has a "destroy Aibo" setting.

[thanks Stefan and Leslie. Both. Woo!]
8 words I never thought I'd say:
i really enjoyed watching the Emmys last night.

i thoroughly enjoyed them. isn't that weird? i think that's weird. i hate those shows. have i changed or have the Emmys? or is this some lingering culture shock thing?

oh, and what's weirder is that because i've been out of the country for just over a year, these Emmys were awarding a year of television shows that I haven't seen. West Wing, nominated for 18 Emmys, and won like 9 or something--I've never seen it. weird, yeah, weird.

- - - - - - -

american tv ads
seem so slow and boring. also mostly pretty ugly. what's up with all the ones that take place during self-help group meetings? do most americans identify with that?

09.09.00 red dragon, inc.
cool japanese site. very engaging and rad. wait, did i say rad? i meant red. maybe created by an illustrator? i was able to click around for a long time without figuring very much out.

[from Uncle Tooth]

- - - - - - -

mango spray
inexplicable, colorful, kind of loud, japanese flash site. includes a "my pet rabbit" section--always a plus.

other good parts include:
- - - - - - -

hot chocolate
another japanese illustration site.

don't miss sickness mouse or delicious mind. really almost all the illustrations are good.

plus more pet rabbit photos.

[again thanks Uncle Tooth]

- - - - - - -

boiled bunny
another japanese illustration site. best part is the home page. (no pet rabbit, i assume.)

- - - - - - -

Onania; or, The Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, and all its Frightful Consequences in Both Sexes, Considered
please read this before you consider practicing the heinous sin of self-pollution.

or if you're in a hurry, read the brief summary.

- - - - - - -

baby names - Onania

- - - - - - -

Circumcision: A Riddle of American Culture
"a significant part of the American medical establishment persists in prescribing and perpetuating the contraindicated practice of genital mutilation, when all other industrialized countries have almost or completely abandoned the practice."

- - - - - - -

yahoo japan banner ad

- - - - - - -

apple head boy walking animation
i'm going to watch this animation for 200 hours straight and then i'm going to get into the guinness book of world records for longest non-stop apple head boy walking animation watching.

- - - - - - -

chris and luke
"Sponsor us: we will eat your cereal, even if we're not hungry."

to cover the enormous expense of attending college in the US, these 2 guys are looking for corporate sponsorship. they deserve to have their education paid for just for being so brilliant.

however, being a "spokesperson" is, by all accounts, horrible.

oh yeah, paying off student loans for 20 years isn't so hot, either.

(looks like probably this is making the rounds, what with their list of tv and radio interviews. and, goodness me, they even have a publicist.)

- - - - - - -

united bread
great flash design site. great name. great poo-related icons available for download. also great non-poo-related icons.

i'll bet their motion graphics are really slick, too, but my Netscape thinks they're MIME type text/plain and won't play 'em. (IE too.)

- - - - - - -

camera van
that van covered in cameras.

(here's more on the Camera Van.)

[via atomictonic's links page.]
pacific bell is awful
i'm not going to dwell on it (for once). but they really are awful.

09.07.00 custom fangs
you can get fangs custom-made here. maybe i'm over-tired, or hypnotized, or maybe i drank way too much of that cough syrup that was past its expiration date, but i would like to get some fangs.

usually, it's my job to make fun of these things, but today it's my job to be a sucker and to want to get some fangs.

also, here are people with claws, plus people wearing hepatitis contact lenses.

from the faq:

"Can I bite people with these fangs?

That is entirely up to you and the person whom you wish to bite. Biting a non consenting person is illegal and considered assault in all 50 states, so make sure that the person you plan to bite is willing."

oh, and look out, hey, i'm a vampire, grr. (i guess vampires don't really say "grr." i'm thinking of bears maybe.)

- - - - - - -

website for the brilliantly-named superhappybunny company. sock monkey jacket, vibrator cozy, etcetera.

i mentioned them before, when they were just getting started. now they've relaunched and the site is fun and clean and design-y and nice.

- - - - - - -

ABC News' Nightline on hip-hop
this is a special online thing made to accompany the piece that aired on the show last night, during which viewers got to see Ted Koppel say "jiggy," "juice," and "phat."

Nightline also included a hip-hop glossary, just because they're so damn fly.

- - - - - - -

history of the popularization of the word 'scum-bum'
according to imdb.

- - - - - - -

Scum-Bum™ Equipment
and Scum-Bum™ photo gallery.

"...a stationary device strategically placed to work in conjunction with a traditional skimmer arm, for the removal of norcardia, scum and other debris from the water's surface of circular clarifiers."

- - - - - - -

Flexchron Bell Ringing Clock
plus Macintosh fishtank and IBM PC litterbox.

- - - - - - -

smokey and the bandit wav files
here they are, those Smokey and the Bandit .wav files that no one asked for.

(from the same site as the above Flexchron Bell Ringing Clock, oddly enough.)

09.05.00 swedish tv's mosquito
very slick flash site. the movies are pretty fun.

the site's in a sort of hip-hop style. Swedish hip-hop style. yes.

america maybe needs tighter export controls on hip-hop. anything to stop the smuggling of hip-hop trade secrets.

- - - - - - -

Mister Cookie Face Web Site
here are my favorite cookieface moments, presented as an unordered list. [thanks, scout.]

- - - - - - -

good personal site where the writing's entertaining and funny and also some time was spent on making the design good and fun, so that's always nice, y'know.

three articles i will draw your attention to because they're all dead-on:
  • temping
  • iron chef
  • costco, especially to me right now because american bulk products are totally freaking me out. so huge and wasteful and scary. like so many americans, themselves.
- - - - - - -

live nude cats
is pretty funny.

[via the above-mentioned Atomictonic]

- - - - - - -

cartoons by hillbilly rick
hillbilly rick. hillbilly rick. hillbilly rick. great cartoons.

also, on the same site, hillbilly rick has written some articles, most of which are good and crazy.

here's an excerpt from one entitled, 'A HILLBILLY RAMBLES ABOUT "A HAT"!':

"Now I've seen some mighty strange hats on country dancers: a red bomber hat on a grisly bearded face of a man they call 'Speedo'!, a hat that moved on the floor powered by a remote controlled car by DJ Dan was a delight!. I've also seen hats with fish, hats with hair coming out of them and even a propeller on top of a hat worn by none other than Neal McCoy!"

(so sad i couldn't get realplayer to play the hillbilly breakdance.)

[also from Atomictonic]

- - - - - - -

sunday school
fun back-masking interactive toy from

[thanks, paw.]
Wells Fargo Starbucks
The Wells Fargo on Van Ness is now also a Starbucks.

Rather than make it a good bank or even a competent bank, they just combined it with a Starbucks.

So the service is still awful. The likelihood that they will screw up anything complicated is still high. But now you can get a chai latte while you're waiting in line for over 20 minutes.

The only reason the two companies make sense together is because they're both big and evil.

Like the heads of both companies were golfing together and the Wells guy said, "yeah, my company, my company is so big and evil."

And then the Starbucks guy perked up and said, "hey, mine too. really big. and really evil. mine's an enormous multinational driving small, local competitors out of business."

And the Wells guy got all excited, "yeah, yeah, exactly! My company too!" And then a lightbulb appeared over both men's heads and we fast-forward to both of them being photographed shaking hands, at the grand opening of the new stupid Wells Fargo Starbucks.

ok. so. anyway. this happened there.

this pleasant 60-something woman in line at Wells Fargo (she could be your grandmother or mother) out of the blue just says, "I hate this bank. Don't you hate this bank?"

and also, this overheard conversation is so great.

Starbucks employee #1 to Starbucks employee #2: You like working here?

Starbucks employee #2: Yeah.

Starbucks employee #1: Not me. I come from a pretty wealthy family and they got me this job to teach me a lesson.

08.30.00 irritating eyes
heh, irritating eyes. also available as a pdf.

- - - - - - -

comedy 101
e! online interviews with Abrahams & Zucker, and John Landis. really interesting.

Zucker and Abrahams talk mostly about the movie, Airplane. And they show some footage of Airplane right next to the film it was based on, Zero Hour. (Which I'm dying to see, but RealPlayer was in one of its moods again.)

"What I think was the biggest influence on us was MAD magazine--in particular a column called "Scenes You Like to See."... what they would do is set up a scene on a page and in those cartoon boxes. And if you look at those boxes, every one of them is serious.... They are just duplications of the way you would see them in the movie, and then finally in the last panel down at the bottom right is the joke."

And John Landis talks a lot about Animal House:

"...Belushi in Animal House is... a cross between Harpo Marx and the Cookie Monster. They're both rapacious. The thing they have is that they are very sweet."

The interview with Syndey Pollack is pretty interesting too, especially the part about Bill Murray.

- - - - - - -

the Precious Moments Chapel
and the rest of what should be called Precious Moments Land, located in Carthage, Missouri, the preciousest place on earth.

here's the story behind the Precious Moments Chapel.

and the Samuel J. Butcher story. He's the artist responsible for the Precious Moments collectible figurines. news flash: he's Christian.

too much good stuff here: wedding services, an art museum. and (praise the Lord) it looks like they actually have people walking around the grounds dressed as life-sized, big-eyed Precious Moments figurines.
peanut butter
The largest size jar of peanut butter that you can buy in Japan is smaller than the smallest size jar of peanut butter that you can buy in America.

"The Association of Lincoln Presenters members include 124 Abraham Lincolns."

124! That's a lot of Lincolns. If you know what I mean.

they ride in on motorcycles and terrorize the local god-fearing townsfolk, a la The Wild One.

The "Why Lincoln?" section, is great:

"9.LINCOLN was the first President to grow whiskers."and also

"11.LINCOLN was both melancholy and mirthful."

being "both melancholy and mirthful" does not really do much to set Lincoln apart from every other human being on the planet. however, if mirth and melancholy are what get you going, and are what make it worthwhile to put on the stovepipe hat everyday, then by all means, go for it, impersonate away.


- - - - - - -

The Beast
information about the world's longest wooden roller coaster. (i rode it as a kid, right after it opened, and it ruled.)

also here's a review of a book about the history of roller coasters (which you may be surprised to learn, starts in 16th century Russia).

this is really a great site. now here's something on The Journal of Ride Theory, which looks so awesome.

plus, dark rides.

- - - - - - -

10 codes
"A good way to begin learning "'Trucker lingo' is by getting to know the 10-codes."

i'm beginning to learn trucker lingo. i'm getting to know the 10-codes.

- - - - - - -

ralph archibald interview
oh, wow, a while back, suck interviewed my hero, ralph archibald, benjamin franklin impersonator, extraordinaire.

- - - - - - -

Rapid T. Rabbit's New York City Rabbit Hole
a website about a person in a rabbit costume.

of course, when it's a website about a person in a rabbit costume, the photo gallery does not disappoint: There's also some R. T. Rabbit video up as well. the Rapid T. Rabbit meets Chuck E. Cheese videoclip is a slow loader and a little disappointing i think. The Daily Show clip is better, but it's a huge file (~10Mb).

[thanks, scout.]

- - - - - - -
hello. what's up with this, this furry anthropomorph thing, anyway? there are lots of weird fetishes in the world, of course. how come there are so many people with this one?

definitely, kudos to everyone who figured out that furry anthropomorphism was their thing. but just how exactly did this get to be a thing for so many people? i mean, i'm not the only one who wonders this, right?

okay. so now i'm thinking about this a little. and someone reading this is probably going to be able answer those questions, and then i'll wish i didn't know. so please consider the above questions rhetorical. thanks.

- - - - - - -

pilgrim outfit thread
from the mountain man mailing list.
yet another toilet story which takes place in san francisco, not in japan
(another bathroom story. and what's wrong with that? i'd like to know. because here i go. again.)

i had lunch in dolores park on sunday. (i was groggy and all culture-shocked, but i managed.) while i was there, i went to use the restroom. some other guy walked into the restroom at the same time. and he started barking like a dog really loudly. or rather, he was barking like many different dogs; he would yell the name of a type of dog ("chihuahua!" for example) and then start barking like that dog. and then another dog. and so on.

and i'm all freaking out, because i forget if this is something that happens all the time in america. i swear. i really could not decide if it was weird or not. but mostly i'm thinking that i can't wait to finish and leave the restroom as soon as i can. because, really, if someone's yelling dog names and then barking, well, who knows really what else they might do.

but then again, maybe not, i'm thinking. maybe there's no reason at all to be surprised or concerned, because i'm thinking, maybe this always happens in america. which now i realize, makes no sense that i was thinking that, but seriously i was in such a weird state of mind at that moment, that i had no idea.

(which, i'm still in a weird state of mind. attention culture-shock: wear off soon please!)

then, as i'm leaving, he's leaving too. and he says to me, "i was pretty good wasn't i?" to which, i replied, "yeah." because i'm not much of a judge of these things. i don't know my different dog barks so well, but i would assume that they were not too far off mark. i mean, each one was very unique and they obviously weren't THE SAME dog, but they were all definitely dogs. and i'm not gonna be like, "pretty good, but i thought your german shepherd sounded more like a labrador retriever."

and then he held out his hand and said what i thought was "gimme four." and i had just been high-fiving a year-old baby who's all into high-fives, so maybe that's why i thought he said "gimme four" but again, i was unable to discern whether or not that was weird.

so i tucked in my thumb in and gave him four, basically, five minus the thumb, i figured. and then he looked at me and said, "c'mon gimme a quarter." so realized that i'd misheard him. that he didn't want "four" at all.

so i told him that i was sorry and that i didn't have a quarter and kind of quickly left.
re: boogers
i was just kidding yesterday about eating boogers. that's gross.

my boogers smell like dust (but still taste like regular boogers).
wow, san francisco is filthy and cold. and american appliances are so huge that my refrigerator made me laugh out loud. seriously. i ate a bagel. and i drank some root beer. more later.