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Bakeries and Babe Ruth

June 1, 2022

After 25 years in Tokyo, I was comparing the benefits and drawbacks of living in a metropolitan area vs. a small town. Endless choice of food choices or space. Higher wage or lower living costs. Entertainment venues or late-night bonfires.

After much deliberation on the matter, for me personally, the only benefits I can get from big city living are two. One, the small boutique second-run movie theater is a major plus. In 10 minutes, I can be in the middle of Jean-Paul Belmondo film festival or watching Tommy on Christmas evening (both examples are actual events). The next merit of living in a populated area is bakeries. I’m not talking some Tim Horton Dunkin’ Donuts chain. I’m talking legitimate patisserie shops. Maybe it’s just Tokyo, but the voluminous number of these shops make the proximity over and under of scoring a French baguette at 500 meters at all times. Surprised Tokyo has sumptuous bakeries? Don’t be. The care and meticulous nature of making those goods needs the hands of an artisan. And Japan has no shortage of Francophiles that have learned and studied the art of baking at either in France or under French tutelage.


As I’m not the most cultured person around, classical music has always merely a reference point of movies, or animation, i.e. The Barber of Seville on Bugs Bunny. (I’m sure after I typed Barber of Seville 95% of people would immediately visualize Bugs rubbing hair tonic into the bald man’s head)

There’s another operatic piece of music I’ve grown up listening to and know thoroughly. The Bad News Bears music, as I would reference it. Recently, my enjoyment in listening to classical music has increased exponentially, and I’ve been trying to become more knowledgeable about it. Through this scholarship, I’ve found out the Bad News Bears music is a piece from the opera “Carmen” and titled “Toreador”, meaning the bullfighter, which further advanced my interest in the sonata (did I use that right?) Major regret not learning more about music at a younger age.


The departed grows more distant each day

Keep checking obituaries back home. Less and less people from my parent’s generation, or their circle, are popping up. Guessing that means most have already passed. This may explain my recent feeling of a lack of identity crisis. I no longer feel that cloak of being the youngest son of my parents, which is what I was deemed to be for almost five decades. Now I’m the pudgy middle-aged grump who walks dogs all day.


Since we started coming to the beach five years ago, I’ve been introduced to and enjoyed the sport of Lifesaving Competitions. These competitions are held with high schools/colleges have co-ed lifeguard teams, just like I grew up with football, basketball, etc. I can’t think of another sporting activity that has more practical use in society that can literally mean the difference between life and death, unlike the crap the athletes’ spout in North America. How many times have you heard something like, “It was do or die. We were almost dead” Blah Blah Blah. Oh, kinda jealous of how fit these lifesavers are too!


Shohei Ohtani vs Babe Ruth

Yes, Ohtani has impressed me beyond my wildest imagination. The ease of how he can go from position player to pitcher is truly amazing, and is only surpassed by the lack of understanding of most people of the skill level he is displaying. It is so underreported I feel it borders on race issues. He should be on the cover of every sporting magazine there is. I may have just dated myself as I don’t know if magazines exist or not anymore.

That said, the comparisons to Babe Ruth are interesting for entertainment value, but should not, and cannot, be taken seriously. No offense to Shohei, but it is BABE RUTH. I’ll show you a stat of what “Ruthian” means.

Babe Ruth’s HR’s as % of league’s HRs

1920- 14.6%

1921- 12.4%

1922- 6.7%

1923- 9.3%

1924- 11.6%

1925- 4.6%

1926- 11.1%


1928- 11.2%

Ohtani 2021- 1.5%




166 A.A.

Gramma out of the hospital. And back to normal. She bragged that in her room of four people she was the only one who didn’t wear diapers. And for lunch, while she was getting hiyashi chukka, my wife,

157 A.A.

Rainy season has lifted, and the heat has set upon us. Brutal. Adding salt to that wound is that mother-in-law is in the hospital. Gallstones. Two weeks. Two surgeries. On the bright side- Total expen

164 A.A.


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