Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Yanmar Co., Ltd. and Japanese Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers

♪風に逆らう~
俺の気持ちを~
知っているのか~
赤いトラクター~♪



以前、キャッツキルに行ったときのブログ・エントリーでも思わず筆がすべって口ずさんでしまいました、マイト・ガイ、小林旭兄ぃの ヤンマー・ディーゼル・トラクターのCMソング。

都会生まれで農作業なんて幼稚園の遠足で行った「芋掘り」ぐらいしか経験の無い私でも、なぜか鮮明に覚えているこのCMソング。1977年のヒット曲らしい。

ヤンマーさんといえば、やはり「ヤン坊マー坊天気予報」。こちらはなんと1959年から続いているらしい。



ヤンマーさんのお得意さんが、お百姓さんや漁師さんなど、お仕事が天候によって左右されやすい人たちだから、天気予報のスポンサーしているのかと思っていたが、会社のホームページによると、

「本格的なテレビ時代の幕開けを迎えた1959年(昭和34年)の 気象記念日よりヤン坊マー坊天気予報はスタートしました。以来45年、 天気予報の代名詞にもなったヤン坊マー坊天気予報は、 生活情報としての天気情報を、全国で提供し、人々の暮らしに役立っています。」

なんだとか。

あくまで「全国」にこだわっているらしい。

いままで疑問だったんです。

高いテレビの広告スポットを利用して、一生のうちにヤンマーの製品を買うことなんか一回も無いであろう都市部の視聴者にPRすることにどれくらいの価値があるのか。なんか無意味にブランドの知名度をあげていないですか、ヤンマーさん...?

しかしヤンマーさんにとって「ヤン坊マー坊天気予報」はあくまで社会貢献活動であるらしい。

さすが近江商人。
そして非上場会社だからできるワザか。

とはいえ農協さん漁協さん相手の営業から、国際マーケットを狙った仕事にどれだけ対応できているのだろうか。

業界ライヴァルの井関農機やクボタなんかと同様にちょっと頭の隅でチェックしておこう。

特に井関さん。会計処理でミソつけたばかりだし、海外展開では出遅れているし、農林中央金庫が大株主だし...お~い、ガンバレ~。

Friday, July 27, 2007

ホームシックに泣き上戸

最近、立て続けに...

頼んでいないのに日本のアニメ・ソングが勝手に脳みそのBGMになったり、

ルパン・ザ・ファイアーをYouTubeでエンドレスに流してみたり、

仕事中、メールの「Send」ボタンを押しながら、

「必ず最後に愛は勝つ~」

などと口ずさんでみたり...

(「お願いだからオレのコメントにクレームつけんでくれ~」と祈っているわけです、ハイ...)

オレ、どうしちゃったんだらう...

などと思っていたのですが、先日、家でお気に入りの「真澄辛口生一本」を口に含み、自家製の寿司を食べながら、やっと気がつきました。

「う~ん...日本が...ちょっと...恋しいぞい...」

よし!

ニューヨークが終わったら、日本で少々骨休めじゃ。

秋の温泉じゃ。

別所温泉でもいこか!

もしかしたら「真田太平記」の遥くららさんみたいな人と混浴かもしれん...下手したら草刈正雄さんかもしれんが...。

ちなみにこいつが我が家の寿司職人です...













実家の女衆からいただいた木皿(ありがとう!)に盛り付けました。












ちなみに、うちのセガレはレモネードで酔えます。













しかも泣き上戸です。













































しかし、おねえちゃんにいじられるとすぐに笑います。










誰に似たのか...ったく...。

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Let me show you're my everything 夢のこのファンタジー...

いかん...今度はこの曲が...頭から離れない...



...っていうか、オレ...まる一年オクレテないか...?


「カリオストロの城」冒頭のカーチェイス(クラリスの2CV、伯爵の手先のHumber、ルパンと次元のFiat500の三つ巴のヤツ)を観たスピルバーグが、

「今まで観たあまたのカーチェイス・シーンの中でも最高級だ...」

と言ったとか、言わなかったとか。

実写版「ルパン3世」がハリウッドで企画されているらしいが、誰がルパンやるねん...。

George Clooneyとかいったら、ぶん殴るぞ。













個人的にはJohn Leguizamoとかどうかと思うんだが...どうでしょうか。











Matt Dillonでもいいかな。














不二子ちゃんは...Maggie Qとかになっちゃったら泣けてくる...














まぁ...別にどうでもいいか...。

あ、でももし「カリオストロ...」を映画化するのであれば、クラリス役にはこの子を推しときます。













Clare Danes。

アニメオタクども、文句あっか?

オマケ


もひとつオマケ

Saturday, July 21, 2007

America the Careless





On my last trip, I realized too late that I had my Victorinox Money Clip in my pocket.

As I lined up at the security check-point at JFK airport, I was resigned to giving it up to the security guard.

Somehow, the guards were enthusiastic about making us all take off our shoes but failed to see my money clip and its concealed knife, although it was being x-ray-ed with my carry-on bag.

Later I realized that I was also carrying a scissors in my pen case in the bag, too.

Doh!

America the Thoughtless



As I wrote previously, we went to Reno last month as part of our family's tour of west to see rodeo there.


As part of its opening ceremony, they made a dedication to the US service men and women in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the globe.


Regardless of my political conviction, it touched me deeply. This was the community whose members are making real sacrifices for what they believed to be the righteous cause.


Then they rounded the whole ceremony off with the flypast of chopper and... Bruce Springsteen's "Born In The U.S.A." blaring out at max from speakers.


Then and there, I just wanted to shout it out.


"YOU MORONS!"


"Born In The USA" is a protest song. Haven't they paid attention to the lyrics?

Born down in a dead man's town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
You end up like a dog that's been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up, now
Born in the U.S.A.
I was Born in the U.S.A.
I was Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A. now
Got in a little hometown jam
So they put a riffle in my hands
Sent me off to a foreign land,
to go and kill the yellow man
Born in the U.S.A.
I was Born in the U.S.A.
I was Born in the U.S.A.
I was Born in the U.S.A.
Come back home to the refinery
Hiring man said "Son if it was up to me"
Went down to see my V.A. man,
He said "Son don't you understand now"
I had a brother at Khe Sahn, fighting off the Viet cong
They're still there, he's all gone
He had a woman who lived in Saigon,
I got a picture of him in her arms, uhh
Down in the shadow of the peni-tentiary
Out by the - gas fires of the - refinery
I'm - ten years burning - down the road
Nowhere to run ain't got nowhere to go
Born in the U.S.A.
I was Born in the U.S.A. now
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a long gone daddy in the U.S.A. now
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
Born in the U.S.A.
I'm a cool rockin' daddy, I'm a U.S.A., now


... isn't it clear enough? Playing this song in praise of men and women in uniform is like playing "We Shall Overcome" at KKK jamboree.


I suppose the world is ultimately trusting of the Americans. After all it is a democratic society built on the basis of freedom and justice. At least, that is their aspiration and, as a result, we are more comfortable with their hegemony than, say, that of some autocratic one-party dictatorship of certain superpower-in-waiting.


Still, their blatant thoughtlessness and ignorance displayed that night really made me feel scared and worried.


After all, someone may think that I am the yellow man in the song.


And some of them, I am sure, keep rifles at home.

あんまりソワソワしないで~

なぜかこの曲が頭から離れない...



この曲も...



疲れているのかな...

First Gentleman



I first saw David Niven in "Death on the Nile", a 1978 film in which he played alongside Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot. I later learned that Ustinov was Niven's batman during WWII.

I think I read this anecdote about David Niven some time ago. Still it never fails to fill me up with enormous respect for the man every time I read it:-

After Great Britain declared war in 1939, he was one of the first actors to go back and join the army. Although Niven had a reputation for telling good old stories over and over again, he was totally silent about his war experience. He said once: "I will, however, tell you just one thing about the war, my first story and my last. I was asked by some American friends to search out the grave of their son near Bastogne. I found it where they told me I would, but it was among 27,000 others, and I told myself that here, Niven, were 27,000 reasons why you should keep your mouth shut after the war."

Friday, July 13, 2007

Further Words of Encouragement (Because, even at my age, I still have so many questions about life)


Success or otherwise of one's career is ultimately based on the long-term results.

Therefore, one should emphasize his attitude towards the career and life-style which supports it, which are sustainable and consistent over a long term, rather than short-term achievements and results based on personal sacrifices or trade-offs, which are not sustainable over a long period.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Catalystic Quotes

"What happens is fact, not truth. Truth is what we think about what happens."

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cheer Up, Vitter

In relation to the news of "DC Madam":-

"I believe that sex is the most beautiful, natural and wholesome thing that money can buy."

- Steve Martin

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

All come to look for America

Simon and Garfunkel, anyone...?

So I took a week off, packed the luggage, corralled my family and boarded the plane at JFK for Oakland, CA.

To cut a long story short, we did the following in a week and a bit:-

NYC - Oakland, CA - Sacramento - Lake Tahoe - Reno, NV - Virginia City - Las Vegas - Sedona, AZ - Ludlow, CA (I expired in the middle of night on Interstate 40 crossing Mojave Desert and stopped at a tracker's motel in the middle of nowhere) - Carmel - Napa Valley (Napa - Calistoga - Yountville) - San Francisco - Oakland, CA - NYC

I can do without going on driving for some time now.

Upon our return to Oakland Airport, a lady at Hertz checked the car's mileage and pronounced our trusty Ford Taurus to be retired, to be sold on second-hand market at discount.

Some observations from the trip:-

1. NYC is the friendliest city in America.

People are forced to live in close proximity of each other in NYC. As a result, people communicate with each other with much more ease than Americans from any other places that we have visited (although, for New Yorkers, it may be for the sole purpose of staking their claim to their respective personal spaces).

We went to see rodeo in Reno and managed to spend the entire evening without speaking to strangers. (Perhaps I should have gone to Gay Rodeo, as a colleague suggested.)

I guess they are shy.

And they do not realise that they are being rude when they say

"I don't understand your accent."

Whatcha talkin' 'bout, yer lard-ass hillbillies!

2. Obesity is a big problem in America. It is a bigger problem out there in the Wide Wide West.

I have decided not to show a photo in support of this observation for fear of litigation.

3. Generally speaking, people in casinos rarely look happy.

4. Purpose-built resort establishments, like the one we stayed in Sedona, put too much stress on you to relax and enjoy, ultimately defeating the original purpose.

There is nothing else to do and hotels do not make money unless their guests move from one organised activity to another. Soon, one feels as if he has checked into an institution (which it is, a kind of).

We have come to a conclusion that we do not much care for this kind of resort. We would rather sit by a river, on beach, in forest etc. doing nothing without paying "resort fees".

5. People do not sweat in Arizona.

The strength of sunshine is such that sweat evaporates immediately upon surfacing, leaving salt mark on one's skin.

Whilst on the topic of Arizona climate, it is a mystery that Doc Holliday managed to die of TB wearing wool clothing in Arizona all year round. It may be that he was sleeping in sweat-soaked clothes at cold desert nights.

6. You do not find Starbucks in the places where people do not appreciate and see the point of paying extra dollars for coffee with foreign-sounding names (like "Frappucino" or "Arabica" beans... so foreign... possibly related to terrorists... I mean the name contains the word "Arab"...)

On the other hand, you can find Chinese restaurants/take-aways in the most remote areas.

We had a late lunch at a Chinese restaurant, "House of Chan", near Kingman, AZ, Interstate 40/US 93 junction. We were served by a mainland Chinese girl who apologised for the poor quality of food due to certain ingredients being unavailable in the neighbourhood. True to her words, my hot and sour soup had been made with western style vinegar and was horrible. Still, local sheriff was enjoying the buffet lunch on offer there.

7. Only tourists swim at beach at Carmel. Local residents are far too old to engage in such dangerous activities.

8. In Napa Valley, watch out for drink driving. Not just your own but others' , too.

I had a couple of hairy moments.

9. San Francisco's China Town is a tourist trap.

Chinese people got rich and moved to the suburbs.

My wife stopped an elderly Chinese couple on the street and asked for a good restaurants in the area. They replied "We eat at home."

We missed Hong Kong there and then.

10. America is huge.

Like, I didn't know. But I definitely felt it driving across only three of 50 states.

I want to see more. But I would appreciate somebody else driving next time.

Future teamster!

More Words of Encouragement (Because, at my age, it is somewhat embarrasing to admit that I am still learning new things about life)

You are never lost as long as you enjoy being where you are and look forward to the way you are heading.

Enjoy the scenery. Enjoy the journey.

(Photo: 10 June 2007 at Meredith, Delaware County, NY)

Words of Encouragement (Because, at my age, those cheering for me are getting fewer and far between)

True leadership does not come from having men under you. It comes from rising above your peers. Consequently, it comes in many shapes and forms, other than positions and titles.

Being different from the others is not leadership in itself, but it is a step (although one cannot be sure if it is in the right direction).
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