Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

March 30, 2009

belle and sebastian

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:34 am

if a teenage me coulda jumped in a time machine and visited the now me …

don`t think he`d be too impressed.  dunno if he would have wanted to top himself or anything crazy like that – maybe, but he was an overdramatic wanker. 

i know he wouldn`t have liked my taste in music.  (thats ok – i think his musical taste is a tad boring tbh).

he wouldn`t have liked belle and sebastion.  peaceful easy listening ish.  which i used to abhor.  but.  the lyrics aren`t annoying – this is probably the only new music that i have liked where i can make out the lyrics.  radiohead?  love em, but can`t understand what the lead singer is going on about.  mars volta?  ditto. 

but.  but.  an easy listening track with a mellow voiced singer singing “get me away from here i`m dying …”, in a mellow, cheerful voice … its just hilarious.  i love it.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T6vGCbhsDA

almost something special …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:20 am

this japan squad.  so many good pieces.  attacking wing backs / full backs.  smart, solid centrebacks.  a bunch of skilful, intelligent mdifielders.  and a generally cohesive style of play, good technique across the park, stamina …

but no goals.  if japan had a line leading forward who could get goals and bring others into the play, then you could have a really good team.  (yeah, i know, there are so many forwards like that around, anywhere.  not). 

but it really seems to be the one piece that is missing. 

i guess they are my second team – i cheer them when they aren`t playing oz.  but tis quite frustrating, cos they are so close, yet so far, to being something good.

March 29, 2009

oh yeah … tis cherry blossom time

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:10 pm

spent the arvo at the local castle ruins admiring the cherry blossoms in the grounds and on the surrounding hillsides.

tis quite beautiful and all.

region locking …

Filed under: Life in Japan, Videogames — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:07 pm

gives me the shits.  big time.  never liked it for dvds.  never liked it for games.

its nonsensical.  the bananas that i bought today came over from the phillipines.  got some coffee on my table that came from africa.  and company X doesn`t want me buying their product (that they may or may not sell where i live) from another country?

ok, i am drowning in game choices atm.  playing through half life 2 ep 1 and 2, got forever blue to play next, okami, persona 4 … maybe go back and revisit some other games in my collection no more heroes, metroid prime 3 … a stack of games i can get cheap cheap cheap …

but i bought okami for ps2, cos the company that made it didn`t bother releasing it in japan on wii.  north america and europe only.  the nintendo wii is region locked.  fair enough if a company decides not to release something in my region – its a commercial decision.  but when the platform is intentionally locked so that i cannot buy that product from another place … thats bullshit.

and capcom, the company that made okami, is not the only violator on this front.  sega make a cool, stylish, reminds people of robert rodriguez / quinten tarentino light shooter game, and they don`t release it in japan?  this is the kind of stuff i lap up and i can`t play it.  the team that made okami just made a new ultraviolence game.  sega didn`t release it in japan.  so i can`t play it.

its like they don`t want my money or something …

nintendo really messed up when they locked up their platform.  i didn`t mind when all the stuff i wanted to play was being made available here in japan … but now i know cool stuff is not coming over.  thats annoying.

March 28, 2009

japan v bahrain …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:25 pm

japan win after a deflected nakamura free kick.

is this the same bahrain team that made australia play so bad?  japan neutralised them pretty much.  the jap gk had a pretty easy night of it.

the pretty midfield play and the lack of bite up front were again there for all to see.

the one crazy bastard in this squad who isn`t afraid to pull the trigger – okubo was played at left forward in a front 3 – i think he is wasted out there.  the central forward – tamada, works hard, but is no gamebreaker.  the right back uchida put in a good effort, hitting the crossbar.  the left back nagatomo did his job defensively, but his crosses were poor.  nakamura won the game for japan – but i am never overly impressed by his open field play.  endo did well.  tulio and nakazawa were very solid at the back, and looked dangerous coming forward for free kicks.  japan really needs these two guys to stay healthy – the last time i saw another centreback play for japan, he was not impressive.

tactics wise there isn`t too much bad you could say about okada, the coach.  he just didn`t have anyone with the desire or ability to put the ball in the net from open play.

selection wise i hear he has his critics.  there is a young japanese striker starting in serie A.  4 goals this season, but he is starting.  he isn`t in the squad.  if australia had a striker starting in serie A, i think they would make the squads … okazaki – a striker who knocked 3 goals in in a friendly against finland B, sits on the bench …

think i`ll head over to rising sun news blog to see what wiser heads made of this game…

hehe, i disagree with those wise heads.  ken matsushita thinks japan needs to learn how to give a kick or two instead of just being on the receiving end … bahrain were pretty cynical and thuggish last night.  the ref should have shown more yellows to the bahrainis methinks.  but i disagree with ken.  i thought it was cool how japan ran down the clock at the end, stayed cool.  as the bahrainis lost their heads and kicked them even more in vain efforts to get the ball back (or were they just taking out some frustration on them?).  i think they need to put the ball into the net.  again.  and again.  and again.  their front third players need to stay on their feet better … and show a bit of selfishness / belief.  kinda like the highlights i saw of that kid playing serie A on youtube.

March 27, 2009

“i`d rather win ugly than play beautiful football and lose”

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 3:13 pm

tis a meme that has turned up recently prior to the upcoming world cup qualifier against uzbekistan.  tis said as a defence against recent criticism that the team has been a bit lucky, crap, or even worse … boring.

but it is an interesting thing to ponder if you are me, as i don`t believe in beautiful football.  only effective football.  would spain do all that lovely, thoughtful passing if they weren`t a bunch of midgets?  no, this football that they play is merely the most effective available for them.  any aesthetic value it may have is a happy accident, nothing more.

so, tis a strange thing to hear players and coaches say stuff like the above … does this mean that the team is more effective playing an “ugly”, cautious football?  IF the most effective way for the team to play is by doing what Pim has had them doing so far, then keep on doing that.  IF “flair” football, “attacking” football is the most effective way for the team to play, then do that.  the idea that a team should play 1 way in order to qualify and that they will then play another way at the big event is rather strange.  leopards.  spots.  all that jazz.

the idea that pretty football is a risky way of playing is a strange one.  everyone is trying to win, nobody is playing pretty just for the sake of it.  pretty teams play that way because it is the most effective way for them to play.

when people say the “i`d rather win ugly …”, i think they are showing a belief that cautious, direct football is more effective.  and for some teams, it may be.  but for all teams?

so, what is the most effective style / set of tactics for this aussie team?  whatever it is, they should figure it out and stick to it … the idea that you will change style later and turn into the harlem globetrotters is ridiculous, and smacks of flat track bullyism.

down the rabbit hole …

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:45 pm

reading through “alice in wonderland” again …

i love the playfulness of the writing, the strange characters and the properness of young alice.

and the impact that this book has had on modern thought.  not in a big picture, change the world kinda way … but ideas from alice in wonderland have inspired / matched very well with a range of modern memes / ideas.

red queen theory – In Lewis Carroll’s classic Through the Looking-Glass, the Red Queen, a living chess piece that Alice meets, has to run in place as quickly as she can to simply stay in the same place. In order to get anywhere else, she says, you must run twice as fast.  (took that from http://redqueentheory.com/)

prizes for all – love that one.

even “down the rabbit hole”.

lots of fun …

i also love some of the witty little exchanges – alice says she does know where to begin, and the king tells her “start at the beginning, continue to the end”  nah, that ain`t it, but its like that, and witty.


a new exercise …

Filed under: Life in Japan — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:29 am

was starting to fall into a training rut.  exactly the reason i stopped going to gyms … unfortunately i had turned my local beach, a really nice walking trail, and my fave riding tracks into dull, flavorless chores.

ok, i am exagerrating a tad, but you get the drift of it.

but today i did something fun.  there is a shrine on a mountainside.  a ways up the mountain is a shrine looking over the town where i live.  and getting there relies on walking these strange, twisted old steps.

went up and down the old steps 5 times.  excellent workout, and the fear of slipping over keeps it from being a drudge.

i seem to like doing stuff with consequences.

March 23, 2009

the “next harry kewell” will not play in the a-league …

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 11:59 pm

not if he is developed by a state league team.

and not if the state league team has any sense.

the ffa has capped that transfer fees that state league teams can seek from a-league clubs to $5000.  if a state league club has a player good enough to warrant attention from an overseas team, they would be mad to not hawk them overseas …

several players have stepped up from state league last season – and made a splash along the way – barbiero, cole, bojic … but the most their state league clubs can get for their troubles is $5000?   the FFA is incenting state leagues to sell their best to overseas clubs rather than the a-league.

a while back their was a story about sydney united trying to make links with the croation fa to send players to their league.  with mandatory, capped transfer fees like this, they`d be mad not to.

this seems so heavily in favour of the a-league clubs that it is not funny …

possible solutions?  ok, everyone wants the a-league to stay solvent … but does it have to be so one-sided?  why not allow the clubs to negotiate performance based transfer fees?  if this guy plays x number of games in the next 2 years, we get y dollars, if this guy gets a socceroos cap, we get y dollars … let the clubs negotiate on-sell rights if a guy goes overseas …

australian football is not yet one big happy family working towards a common goal methinks …

March 22, 2009

i am anti 6 plus 5

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 4:50 am

as a small country that will always export its best talent, i am anti 6 plus 5.

under the current rules, any young aussie good enough to join a barcelona or a man u or a milan etc needs to be damn good.  damn damn damn good.  but change the current rules to mandate 6 players from the league`s country, and that imaginary wonderkid is now not good enough – they have to be even better that that.

cos foreign talent will flow down the chain through more leagues … to the players detriment as their earning ability goes down.  and it will become that much harder for aussie players to earn a spot on an overseas roster …

i think the best we can hope for from the a-league is support, and salary comparable with that found in the AFL … we will never match the salary available in a china or a japan, let alone a spain …population affects tv deal size, and we are a small fish in a big pond.

EPL, champions league, prima liga etc want the world to watch them.  they want the world`s fans and money, but now want to restrict the rest of the world`s players from playing in their leagues?

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