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Welcome to my page. I thought I would start with a bunraku theme since that is what I chose for my screen name. I will probably change it to an anime theme once I have a little more time to spend on it. That whole work thing gets in the way.

For those of you who are not familiar with bunraku (which I assume, is most of you), here is some general information about it:

Bunraku is one of the 3 traditional types of Japanese theatre. Kabuki and Noh are the other two. Bunraku is a type of puppet theatre.

The art form was started in 1684 in Osaka, Japan. The puppets are large - usually about one-half life size - and the main characters are operated by three puppeteers. Many bunraku plays are historical and deal with the common Japanese theme of giri and ninjo - the conflict between social obligations and human emotions. The greatest works by Japan's most famous playwright Chikamatsu Monzaemon (1653~1724) are bunraku plays, many of which are written around this kind of conflict.

Some of the information on this page was taken from http://www.japan-zone.com/culture/bunraku.shtml

Saturday, June 25, 2011

   Thinking of the dead
Just stopped by to dump some random thoughts. Nothing terribly exciting or groundbreaking today.

Last weekend, for father's day, I decided to visit some graves of my ancestors. ok - ancestors might not be the perfect word - people I am descended from that died before I was born. Technically accurate use of the word, but ancestors generally implies long past.

I thought I went well prepared. It turned out not so much. The first grave I went to was actually someone I did know - my father-in-law. He actually passed away one year after I married his daughter. We were both happy that we married at a time where he could walk her down the aisle. That one was odd - 15 years since I have been there & I remembered exactly where his brass plate was located. That was the easy one.

The second stop was to visit my mother's father. He died when my mom was about 13. His tombstone is shared with my grandmother who died 38 years later. I had the area, row and plot number. Unfortunately, it was not that easy to see the section numbers and there were over 20 unlabeled rows in that section & going through row 6 counting from the edges and from the center going each way did not result in a find. I finally did find it & noted landmarks to help identify it for future visits. I really like this tombstone because it had pictures of each of them. If you are going to be buried western style, I stronglyu recommend that option. It really made the visit more personal.

At that same cemetery, I also visited my great-grandmother. She was in the main mausoleum. Beautiful building inside. It was nice to visit there. The only drawback was she was on the top row 15-20 feet up. I had to get a big ladder on wheels just to get high enough to take a picture of it.

My final stop was my great grandfather. I was still hoping the rows and plots at that cemetery would be better labeled. Unfortunately it was worse. The section was labeled fine, but within the section there were no obvious rows. It was so bad it looked like they were not even able to run the lawn mower through this section because you never knew when you would come across another ground level marker. I wandered for about half an hour before deciding to head back & as I got back to my motorcycle, I found it. I had parked right next to it. Unfortunately, I had walked behind the tombstone when I started my search so did not see it until I was leaving.

Until next time - take care.


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Monday, August 23, 2010

   Human nature
Question - Does an infant have quintessential human nature, or does human nature change biologically as the body and brain grow?
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Friday, July 2, 2010

   The Last Airbender - Review
I got to see The Last Airbender at a midnight showing - It was kind of nice to see it before the avalanche of bad reviews started rolling in.

One word review - disappointed.

There was a lot to complain about in the film, but mostly I thought the biggest disservice they did was to remove the depth of the characters. all of the characters were flat and went through very little change. I think Uncle Iroh was the best example of this. Uncle Iroh in the cartoon was definitely a jolly old fellow with hints of mroe underneath. as the series progressed, you got to learn what was underneath & how he got to be the jolly old fool & what advantages that gave him in that environment. The greatly compressed storyline of the film I think does not allow for that subtlety & their attempts at complexity fail miserably. you get some offhand comments about girls, respect for spirits and a brief display of power. He lost all of the tranquility, peace with the world & sense of sadness he had for his nephew that made him such a great character in the series.

I may append this soon as I get more time. Gotta jump on a conferenc call now. Catch ya later.


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