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ohtani's jacket

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  1. Japan managed to make it past 20 gold medals thanks to Daiki Hashimoto winning a second gold medal in the horizontal bar, Sena Irie winning a boxing gold medal (go girl!), Sakura Yosozumi winning a women's skateboarding gold medal, and tonight Yukako Kawai winning a wrestling freestyle gold medal. The Kawai story is sweet since her older sister won gold in the same weight class in Rio and moved down a weight class to give her sister a chance of competing at the games. New Zealand is also cranking it with 6 gold medals.
  2. Mijain Lopez' celebration was awesome. I like the way the wrestling has commentary over the PA system, and how the wrestlers can talk to their loved ones afterwards through video conferencing. EDIT: Two-time World Champion, Kenichiro Fumita, was gutted after losing his gold medal match, but he was well beaten by his Cuban opponent, Luis Orta Sanchez.
  3. 2003 2003 is a year that means nothing to me musically, but even living under a rock, I still knew Hey Ya! and In Da Club. I don't really have much of an affinity for any of the songs the book chose from this year. I like Belle and Sebastian, but the music video distracted me from the song. Dizzee Rascal had an interesting sound. Just so you know how out of touch I was in '03, I wasn't aware of that White Stripes song until 2016 or so. A band I discovered on my own from this year is Mew. I also liked The Postal Service. A few more (not always from bands I would expect): I am still struggling with hip-hop aside from MF DOOM in all his guises. Brother Ali was all right, and the Canibus, Little Brother, Immortal Technique, and CunninLynguists records weren't bad, but nothing is really doing it for me. At least Three 6 Mafia were still banging.
  4. Some joy for New Zealand, the Black Ferns won the Women's 7s after their agonizing loss in the 2016 final, and won a lot of hearts around the world for their post-match interviews. And today, our great Olympic champion, Valerie Adams, sister of NBA player Steven Adams, won bronze in the women's shotput. At age 36, after multiple shoulder surgeries and having two children since the last Olympics, Valerie worked incredibly hard to make it back to this stage. She was very emotional afterward saying the bronze was better than her two golds put together. Go, Val!
  5. I finished the second and third arc of Sandman Mystery Theatre. Folks weren't kidding when they said the book gets even darker. I'm still not sure how I feel about that, to be honest. It's kind of weird reading a Golden Age hero involved in these dark, gruesome stories. Part of me thinks it's great and part of me thinks its gratuitous. In particular, The Brute arc escalated rapidly, and had a strangely off-putting romantic ending after a series of horrific scenes. Sandman isn't your typical early 90s anti-hero, but the series does have a Frank Miller feel to it, and I'm torn over how I feel about that, especially having read James Robinson's Starman recently, which balances the darkness with light and joy. It appears that the relationship between Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont will be at the heart of the series. I'm all for romantic relationships being the heart and soul of a series, I just wish Wagner would stop having them meet by having Dian show up on Wesley's doorstep in the early hours of the morning. I mean, I get that one of the motifs is the night, and how Dodds can't sleep because of his nightmares and everything, but unless it was some deliberate reference to storytelling of the era, Wagner used that plot device way too often in the first three arcs. Having different artists on each arc is jarring as well. It worked in Sandman, but here I find the characters keep changing their appearance depending on the artist's style, which is confusing when you're in the early stages of a series. The art isn't bad per se, I just would have preferred a more consistent look and tone. All of this sounds like I'm more critical of the series than I am. It's still an intriguing read and early days in the series.
  6. There's still Risako Kawai, though,
  7. New Zealand is quietly doing all right as well. We have three gold medals in the rowing, which has become our most successful Olympic sport (traditionally it was athletics.) Our best Olympics was the Los Angeles Olympics in '84, which was the first Olympics I can remember seeing. We usually punch above our weight considering the size of the population.
  8. Japan's first ever fencing gold medal, too. First non-European nation to win gold in the men's team epee as well. I think they have a chance to win over 20 gold medals. They dominated women's wrestling in Rio and have some gold medal hopefuls in some of the new sport categories. They will be hopeful of a baseball gold medal as well.
  9. Japan has 13 gold medals now. I believe the most they've ever won is 16 (at the '64 Olympics & '04 in Athens.) Japan won the women's softball (yay!), but the ICC has decided to scrap softball again for 2024 (boo!) Yui Ohashi back up her 400 IM medal with the 200 IM title, which was impressive, and there were a couple of surprise judo gold medals as well. Japan also has a new gymnast hero, 19 year-old Daki Hashimoto, who has taken over the throne of "King" Koji Uchimura in the men's all round competition. And New Zealand got a gold medal in the rowing. Well done, Kerri Gowler and Grace Prendergast! I was hoping the All BlacksSevens team could win gold, but Fiji were too good for them in the final. Fiji are back-to-back gold medals in Olympic sevens. So far, I've been enjoying the Olympics despite how low key it is. The equestrian events are right up the street from me, but you wouldn't notice except for police officers doing the rounds. The coronavirus numbers are soaring, which has everyone on edge a bit, but the sports side of things has been entertaining.
  10. How about Hidilyn Diaz winning the Philippines' first ever gold medal in weightlifting? EDIT: Oh, yeah. My home country, New Zealand, got our first medal of the games, too. A bronze in the men's triathlon. Well earned, Hayden Wilde!
  11. Momiji Nishiya because Japan's youngest ever gold medalist at 13 years old. Who knew Japan was so good at skateboarding? Meanwhile, Shohei Ono, defending Olympic champion, unbeaten since 2015, and one of the greatest judokas to ever live, survived a grueling final to fend off his Georgian opponent, Lasha Shavdatuashvili. Shavdatuashivili was an Olympic gold medalist at 66kg in 2012 and a worthy opponent for Ono. Their bout went 9:25 minutes with Ono one penalty away from disqualification for much of the overtime. Finally, Ono was able to sweep Shavdatuashivili off his feet with a waza-ari to survive the ultimate scare. He wasn't entirely satisfied with his victory, but it scared the bejesus out of the nation and was a tremendous relief.
  12. It's typhoon season. A few pass through Tokyo each year. There was a large one during the Rugby World Cup in 2019.
  13. BTW, a typhoon is headed our way that could have an impact on some of the events.
  14. Great day for Team Japan. First, Yui Ohashi surprised everyone by winning the women's 400m IM after swimming superstars Rikako Ikee and Daiya Seto failed to qualify for their finals. She has overcome a lot of setbacks in her swimming career and almost quit the sport at one point. Very emotional win. Then, Yuto Horigome became the first ever Olympic Skateboarding gold medalist landing four of his five tricks. Horigome didn't do particularly well in the heats and qualified sixth out of eight, but he was phenomenal in the trick section of the final. The hot favorite, Nyjah Huston, started off well in the runs but crashed out in the trick section. Hopefully, this raises the profile of skateboarding in Japan since it has a reputation of being a past time for no hopers and layabouts. Finally, brother and sister judokas, Hifumi and Uta Abe, won the gold medals for the men's 66-kg and women's 52-kg. Both siblings won tough, emotional contests. Uta, in particular, had an extremely hard fought victory over European champ, Amandine Buchard. It was their goal to become Olympic champions as siblings after winning World Championships together in 2018. Hifumi faced a tougher path to the Olympics. He had to defeat his long time rival and world number one, Joshiro Maruyama, in a special one-off contest just to qualify for the Olympics. After 4 minutes of regulation, the match went into a golden score scenario that lasted for another 20 minutes. Hirfumi prevailed and is now Olympic champion.
  15. I read the first arc of Sandman Mystery Theatre. This series has been on my bucket list for a while. I was actually on board with Vertigo when it first launched, but Sandman Mystery Theatre wasn't a title I picked up. I may have had a few issues or flicked through it at my local comic book shop, or perhaps I just read the monthly blurbs in Direct Currents, but it didn't seem unfamiliar to me. I'm not sure why I didn't buy it at the time. I knew who Matt Wagner was. I remember going on a family ski trip and heading to my comic book shop to get some comics to read at the chateau, and my friend who worked there went through the back issue boxes choosing stuff for me to take. One of the books he picked for me was a Dark Horse collected version of Devil by the Deed, which I loved. That led me to discover both Grendel and Mage. The first arc of Sandman Mystery Theatre drew on pulp influences, as you'd expect, but it was darker and more violent than I expected. I guess that's not a surprise given that it was a Vertigo book, but I wasn't quite prepared for some of the more graphic stuff (especially for a title about a Golden Age character.) I was hooked after issue 3, but if I had one criticism about an otherwise excellent arc, it's that there wasn't much mystery surrounding the identity of the killers and the ending was somewhat predictable. Good start to the series, however.
  16. I was all about the fencing and judo today. In fencing, Aron Szilagyi became the first man to win three gold medals in a single discipline (sabre), and Sun Yiwen won an exciting overtime victory to follow up on her bronze in Rio for the epee. Japan won its first gold of the games when three-time world champion Naohisa Takato overcome his disappointment at a bronze medal in Rio by winning the -60kg gold medal for Japan for the first time since 2004. Funa Tonaki took silver for Japan in the women's 48kg, losing to world number one, Distria Krasniqi of Kosovo.
  17. A big fucking asterisk saying all-time great performance.
  18. I changed my tune about Mike Ploog's work on Werewolf by Night just in time for him to leave the book. To be fair, I didn't realize that the story began in Marvel Spotlight. The first issue of the ongoing series was a bit jarring in retrospect. I still think some of his panels are way off, but I like the overall aesthetic he brought to the title, especially his designs for the villains.
  19. Not really. There were certain arcs that were high points for me throughout the series, but I thought the quality was consistently high. The final Vertigo run probably had a few filler issues, but nothing egregious. I feel like having Brent Anderson as a constant throughout the series helped to avoid any slips.
  20. I finally finished Astro City. It's one of those rare series where there are no bad issues. I enjoyed some stories more than others, and there was the odd character that didn't do much for me, but I can't think of a single issue that was bad, which is amazing given how long Busiek has been churning out stories. I'll have to fill the void in my day with something else now.
  21. 2002 The book didn't really go for any obvious hits from 2002. They ignored that Coldplay band. I still like their early tunes. Interpol didn't really work for me. I didn't see the point in a Post-Punk revival. I liked the Wilco song a lot. I thought it sounded even better when listening to the LP. There were a lot of decent records in '02. I liked the stuff The Mountain Goats were doing and old faithfuls like Tom Waits. I spent a few weeks obsessed with these songs: I wasn't too high on 2002 hip hop. 2002 might be the first year where I don't have a favorite hip-hop record. Here are the usual lists of random tunes I liked: Apparently, I liked Death Cab for Cutie a lot. There's a Bowie song in this one! Last call.
  22. All this means is that restaurants close early and we can't order alcohol anymore. The first State of Emergency was treated seriously but since then people don't care. They lifted the most recent SOE a few weeks ago so numbers are rising again.
  23. Wimbledon will be a cakewalk for Djokovic, unfortunately. Federer made it to the other side of the draw, but I can see him getting knocked out early by a young player. I will be surprised (and thrilled) if he has a deep run, and crushed if he loses to Djokovic again. I can't see Fed playing next year, but you never know.
  24. I never thought I'd see the day when NZ became test champions. Makes up for my childhood devastation of the 1992 World Cup semi.
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