I don’t watch the London Olympics on TV because I guess I’m not a real fan of the Games. However, the other night I stayed up till 10:30 p.m. because one of the entries in the women’s 100-meter dash was a Gardena resident.

I may be wrong, but it’s probably the first time someone from Gardena was competing as one of the favorites to win a medal. Carmelita Jeter is her name and she was only a step behind the gold medal winner, Shelly Ann Pryce of Jamaica. In two more steps, the Gardena lass might have won the gold medal.

But she captured the silver to become the first Gardenean to win an Olympic medal.

I’m kind of surprised that the local media didn’t give Jeter a little more pre-race publicity.

Oh well, I guess the scope of the Games is so huge, the residence of the competitors doesn’t capture much attention.

Maybe after the Games end and all the athletes return to their hometowns, Gardena might hold a special parade to honor Jeter.

Are you tuned in to my column, Mayor Paul Tanaka?

While cruising on sports, the Seattle Mariners trading Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees might enhance the Japanese star’s chances to become a Major League Hall of Famer.

A ten-time All-Star who led or tied for the Major League lead in hits seven times, Suzuki may now have a shot, especially since he is going from a cellar team to a World Series contender.

Suzuki, 38 years old, had requested the trade and said, “I’m very excited going from a team with the most losses in the Majors to a team with the most wins.”

Of course, he said he is also sad about leaving a team that he played for over the past 12 seasons.

Maybe it’s a coincidence but on my birthday, a reader sent me a clipping from USA Today that had an article with the heading, “Activists fight horse slaughter.”

The sender probably wanted to be humorous about “slaughtering horses.”

The article was actually about Congress lifting the ban on slaughtering race horses.

Since the ban was lifted, businesses in Wyoming, Missouri and Oklahoma are planning to open slaughter facilities. They say that horse meat is high in protein and low in fat.

Opponents say the new slaughter approval is akin to killing a pet and is morally repugnant. The president of the Humane Society of the U.S. said the slaughter of horses goes against how we value horses in America.

As one named Horse, I agree … heh, heh.

On the more serious side of the news, we know that China is expanding its influence throughout the world, especially in the Far East.

The Japanese government is probably more aware of China’s activities, so in a recent edition of The Wall Street Journal, the Japanese government placed a full-page ad with the heading, “To the American People from Tokyo, Japan.” It read:

“We thank you for your generous response to the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan. It reflects the commitment of the United States to a strong and enduring U.S-Japanese alliance.

“In Washington, D.C. earlier this year, Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara announced the purchase of the Senkaku Islands located in Okinawa Prefecture, which is indispensable geographically to U.S. force projection in the Far East. The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has received approximately 90 percent positive opinions in this regard and collected some 17 million dollars in contributions.

“It is with the hope of gaining the understanding and support of the American people for our purchase of the Senkaku Islands that we are running this issue advocacy ad today.

“A rapidly growing China is fortifying its military presence in the South China Sea, expanding into the Paracels, the Spratlys and the Macclesfield Bank as it turns up the heat on Vietnam and the Philippines. In the East China Sea, China is strengthening its pressure on the Senkaku Islands, which are historically Japanese territory.

“Under international law, there is no disputing the fact that the Senkaku Islands are an integral part of Japan. Nevertheless, the year before last, a Chinese fishing boat collided with a Japanese Coast Guard patrol boat near the islands, causing a major diplomatic incident and raising tension in the area.

“Instability in Asian seas portends hindrance to free trade and free navigation of vessels in these waters. This is disadvantageous to the economic and other interests of the Metropolis of Tokyo and the nations of Japan and the United States of America.

“Failure to support the Asian nations confronting China would result in the United States losing the entire Pacific Ocean.

“We are asking you our dearest friends, the American people, for your support, endorsement and understanding of the purpose of purchasing the Senkaku Islands by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.”

Perhaps the foregoing was a bit lengthy for a topic that many may not be interested in, but with the growth of China’s influence in the world, the position of Japan might be of great importance, so I decided to run it in my column today.

That's me and my wife at the Kumamoto Kenjinkai luncheon table, preparing to dine on the wonderful lunch they served.

A couple of weeks ago I chatted about being invited to the Kumamoto Kenjinkai’s annual picnic.

I didn’t realize one of the members of the Kenjinkai took a photo of me and sent it to me, so I decided to put it today’s column as my way of thanking them for asking me to be a guest at the picnic.

If I keep eating all the food they prepare at these events, I’ll soon be like a sumo wrestler.

At least that’s what my wife always says.

Time to toss in an email letter from a reader who signed his missive as “Yas.” His message read:

“Horse, you always seem to make some kind of comment on the Nisei Week Committee’s naming of the festival parade grand marshal and parade marshal every year, but I noticed you haven’t made any remarks about this year’s honorees.”

Thanks for your comment, Yas. I didn’t realize that I made comments about the two honorees that frequently. Maybe it’s because I don’t write about the festival anymore.

I guess I should learn a lesson from a friend who visited Las Vegas a few days ago.

Before he left he told me he was going to be there until Tuesday. However, he called me today (Sunday) to say he cut his trip short.

Naturally, I asked him, “How come?”

He responded, “I hit four aces on the poker machine and collected a hundred bucks. That’s not a lot of money, but a $100 profit is a $100 profit, so I asked myself, ‘Why throw it back?’”

Maybe I should use the same thinking on my trips.

I know sometimes I hit a jackpot on a quarter slot machine on the first day I’m there but if I stay three days, I throw it all back.

I know, some of you who are Vegas fans will say, “Hey, you go there for fun, so why even think of quitting by winning a measly 100 bucks?”

Good question.

No, I don’t have any plans to visit Vegas in the near future. That’s because I don’t have 100 bucks.

By the way, I want to thank neighbor Ed Fukumoto because when I’m out of town for three days, he picks up my L.A. Times and Daily Breeze newspapers and tosses them over my backyard fence.

I don’t call the two publications to hold my deliveries because the person who delivers them forgets my request to hold the deliveries during my time away from home.

So, Ed is kind enough to walk over to my driveway and pick them up for me.

The reason is I have concluded that if the criminal types see three days of newspapers on my driveway, they will assume I’m out of town and they may attempt to break into my house.

It would be adding insult to injury to come home after losing my butt in Vegas and then find my house ransacked.

Maybe I should get rid of my cats and get a dog.

That way, Ed can sleep late instead of rising early to collect my newspapers.

Okay, let’s laugh:

I was visiting my son last night when I asked him if I could borrow a newspaper.

“This is the 21st century,” he said. “I don’t waste money on newspapers. Here, you can borrow my iPad.”

I can tell you, that damn fly never knew what hit him.

Okay, try this one:

We’ll begin with a box and the plural is boxes. But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese. Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice. Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always men, why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?

And for you Republicans:

A woman applying for a job in a Florida lemon grove seemed to be too qualified for the job. She had a liberal arts degree and had worked as a social worker and a schoolteacher.

The foreman frowned and said, “I have to ask you, have you any actual experience in picking lemons?”

“Well, as a matter of fact, I have. I’ve been divorced three times, I owned two Chryslers and I voted for Obama.”

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via e-mail at Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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