"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

EP Vids















Something Stinks: Tsukiji Fish Market Relocation On Hold

Above, the historic Tsukiji Fish Market in 2010. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Oh-oh! It appears that the planned relocation of the Tsukiji Fish Market has been put on hold due to concerns by Tokyo's governor.

The Japan Times reported:
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike on Wednesday suspended the relocation of Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji fish market, saying she may order a root-and-branch review of the move. 
The famously messy but colorful market was due to close a few weeks from now and reopen in spanking new surroundings at a custom-built facility in Toyosu in Koto Ward on Nov. 7. 
At a news conference, Koike said three worries forced her into the decision: noxious chemicals in the ground at the new site, ballooning construction costs and a general failure to keep the city’s residents in the loop.
Due to this action by Tokyo's governor, it appears that tourists have a little more time to see the historic Tsukiji Fish Market at its present location.

To read more, go here.

Japan Tourism Agency Seeks 58% Budget Increase

Above, a big neon advertising sign in Asakusa. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

In order to meet the goal of 40 million visitors by 2020, provided that the surging yen doesn't put a damper on that, the Japan Tourism Agency is seeking a 58% budget increase to build on the boom in visitors.

According to an article in the Japan Times:
The Japan Tourism Agency is asking for ¥31.6 billion in the fiscal 2017 budget, a 58.0 percent increase over last year, as it tries to boost the number of foreign visitors. 
The request includes ¥15.5 billion for measures to make the country more tourist-friendly, such as the establishment of new visitor information centers. In addition, ¥11.5 billion will be earmarked primarily for promotions targeted at wealthy individuals in various countries in Europe as well as the United States and Australia.
The original goal was 20 million visitors by 2020, but that was already met this year. This increase has already put demand pressures on Japan's available hotel rooms. Prices for accommodations are sure to rise due to the supply and demand.

To read more, go here

Hawaii Arrivals Set New Record

Above, Diamond Head from the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon in Waikiki. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Hawaii saw the best month ever in tourist arrivals in July.

According to the Star-Advertiser:
Hawaii tourism celebrated its best month ever for visitor arrivals in July, and those that came spent a little more than last year’s counterparts, according to preliminary statistics released today by the Hawaii Tourism Authority . 
Some 835,417 visitors came to Hawaii in July 2016 — a 2.1 percent increase from July 2015. At the same time, visitor spending increased 1.5 percent year-over-year to $1.4 billion.
To read more, go here.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Brand-new Gianfranco Ties



Last week, I reported that I assisted Asya with a photo shoot she was doing on a new line of men's neck ties.

Those ties are now available at eBay!

According to the listing:
A variety of 1000 brand-new ties to choose from, coming in original transparent packages. Geometric and floral patterns in different colors available, light and dark: blue, green, violet, grey, brown. 
Each tie comes with a handkerchief. Italian fabric design, produced in the U.S. 
Each tie is labeled with Gianfranco label and Italy design label.
I closely examined the ties and they feel great to the touch.

Here's more of them:











Besides being great-looking ties, they are only $9.99! Where else can you get a tie and a handkerchief for $9.99? What a deal!

To order these fine ties to look terrific at the office or out on the town, go here.

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It Hardly Seems Possible!

Above, the reminder from Facebook.

It hardly seems possible that it was six years ago that I delivered copies of The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan to Books Kinokuniya in Little Tokyo for sale there.

I remember going there with the copies as if it were yesterday.

They want to sell the updated version once I get it published.

Speaking of which, any G-fan who was recently in Japan and saw Shin Godzilla, the offer still stands for information on the locations/landmarks used in the movie for the new edition. You will be acknowledged in the book for your contribution.

It's Official! Party Is October 2nd!

Above, yours truly at the Odyssey Restaurant today.

To nicely cap off an otherwise great day, I headed to the Odyssey Restaurant to formally book the unveiling party for the portrait painting by Asya.

Since I didn't have anything to eat before heading off to Small Claims Court in Van Nuys (I won!), I decided that I should treat myself to a nice lunch with a glass of white zinfandel to celebrate.

The catering director was in a meeting when I arrived, so I let the girl at the front desk know and proceeded to the dining room for lunch.

I chose a prime rib French Dip sandwich and a salad with bleu cheese dressing.

As I was in the midst of paying the tab, the catering director came over to my table (perfect timing!) and we proceeded to the lounge area to begin our booking transactions.

Above, the Atlantis Room. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

We will be holding the party in the Atlantis Room (downstairs) on Sunday, October 2 at 1:00 P.M., which includes a connecting patio with a great view of the San Fernando Valley. The Odyssey Restaurant is on a hilltop near the I-405 freeway in Granada Hills.

The party will be hosted (by yours truly) and will include hors d' oeuvres, wine and (for non-drinkers) ice tea.
Above, Asya.

The munchies include: deviled eggs, mini crab cakes, antipasto skewers, assorted cheeses (since we're serving wine, you gotta have cheese!) and sesame crusted chicken skewers.

Asya is arranging for some "door prizes" of "adult beverages" and cigars.

Along with the portrait of yours truly by Asya, we're expecting to display more paintings by her (available for purchase) and by another artist, Mariia Malygina.

The number of people for the party is limited, but if you wish to attend, email me at AMVaquer@aol.com and I'll "squeeze" you in. But, once you R.S.V.P. your confirmation, please be sure to attend as I am paying for this stuff. The Odyssey doesn't allow doggie bags for any leftovers.

If you've never been to the Odyssey Restaurant and Event Center, this will be a great experience for you!

"Nappy" & "Chunks" Get Their Clocks Cleaned

Above, celebrating victory at the Odyssey Restaurant.

Robert McArthur: See? Told ya ... "There is no substitute for victory."


Jackie "Nappy" Scott and her narcissist friend Denise "Chunks" Santos tried to defeat me in Small Claims Court today in Van Nuys, but their lying testimonies were about as convincing as the special effects of The Giant Claw.

Fortunately, as I anticipated that my ex would show up as a "witness", I was ready with the text message transcript from last February that exposed her lies.

Scott claimed she never received my text messages of May and June with my request for payment of her costs of the Hawaii trip and claimed that she was told by "Chunks" that all she had to pay for was her airfare (and her "star witness" also tried to back her up, but she knows better) and that "Chunks's" mother would cover the rest. Totally bogus! She claimed that she never knew she was obligated otherwise. The first I heard of this tale was when we exchanged evidence in the hallway. Later, she even tried to deny that "Chunks" and I were even engaged! And I said out loud under my breath, "That's a lie." She also claimed that after our meeting with the Auto Club travel agent, when we met at Coco's, she was "unsure" if she was even going. That's another lie. She was definitely sure about going when she asked me to front her portion of the AAA travel package. I produced the text message in which I expressed my displeasure to "Chunks" in being put on the spot over this to the court.

In rebuttal, I argued, "It seems odd that when she was served with the lawsuit, she didn't contact me to question it." The judge pro tem didn't buy any of her arguments.

Her "witness" stumbled like a drunk when she tried to answer the judge's questions. She tried to tell tall tales on the fly. She's going to look awfully foolish on television if she tries this tactic on Hot Bench* next month. She had the gall to claim that I never asked for payment until after she and I broke up. Another outrageous lie! By all rights, she should be nailed for perjury.

The thing I do before I go into Small Claims Court is that I watch the Reagan and Carter debate from 1980 and study Reagan's way of deflecting the other side's arguments. It has worked for me every time I've been in Small Claims Court. Well, I won them all!

It was only when the lies got outrageous was when my blood began to boil. But I would catch myself and just smile and laugh. That bugged them.

So now Jackie Scott owes me $808.25 plus court expenses. Not bad for a "pathetic old fuck"! If it weren't for them telling so many lies, I wouldn't be "whooping it up" so much.

I wore my space shuttle tie for good luck today, too!



*The lies that were told today were so outrageous that I am considering pulling out of the show.

*****************************
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