There's a Tom Waits tune off of Mule Variations Called "Big in Japan," and it's more or less an ironic rant about bands, artists, and people who can't really make it in the mainstream, but are big elsewhere. Big in Japan has long been the cry of those who feel that they're undervalued at home. Of course, this is Waits we're talking about, so any kind of attempt at labeling him as ironic or earnest or post-modern slips off him the way light slips off a convex mirror. Where is all this maundering going? I've hit a patch of good luck, recently, publishing-wise, getting notified by four separate magazines that I'll be in their publications come 20101 (Surfer's Journal, Wend, Mountain Flyer, and another story in Cyclocross Magazine. This blog, too, has gotten some notice, on Blogs With Balls, a venture that seems attached to ESPN. Check out the publicity here. In honor of that website, in a Waits-ian turn, I'll be doing a review special of chamois creams over the weekend. I know every PRO loves Assos, but there are a host of other products out there, such as the even more suggestively named DZ Nuts, courtesy of, of course, David Zabriske. I'll go and pick up an armload of the different types and post a review over the next few days, to justify my "Blog of the Week" status at BwB.