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Are You Ready For Some (of that other kind of) Football?

The perfect topic on NPR's Talk of the Nation Wednesday. why can't Americans join in the enthusiasm of soccer?

Last night at the hash everyone who had tickets to the world cup had to drink. Of course with all the Brits, Kiwis, and every other nationality that isn't American, most people wanted to go, only about nine of us had them, and I was the only one who didn't know what teams I was going to see.

I had a mini-conversation about the topic last week with a group of various Europeans, and I am sure the topic will come up again (and again and again) through the next two(?) weeks.

I personally do not have anything against soccer. I can't get excited about it as other people do however because I just can't recognize the skill to a level that makes it interesting for me. I played football. I played on the line. Now, when I watch a football game, even if there is no touchdown, or no yards are gained, I can still enjoy it if there is one excellent block in the play. Of course the only way I can recognize a good block is because I have played it myself. For some reason, I love to watch people running around in circles on a track. Why? Because I did it myself and understand it somewhat (not there is so much to understand). I should point out of course, that I could care less about baseball, hockey, basketball, and often pro football. Come to think of it, I like soccer just as much, if not better than most "American" sports.

They made a few interesting points on the show, only one of which I will give you. --- Most other American sports favor athletes who look like superheroes. Soccer on the other hand favors girly-men.

***

I'm pretty much devouring A Mind At A Time. I would love to write my reaction to it on a day-to-day basis as I move through it, unfortunately I found I have a deficiency in that area.

***

I haven't been able to get up early the last two days... of course Thursday is always a lost cause because the hash is on Wednesday.

Poor poor me!

I have to put the Japanese study on hold for a couple days already. A Mind At A Time came from Amazon today. Maybe it's because I am getting tired of reading computer or business related books, which I have been for the past three years. Maybe it's because I see in this book a chance to finally understand myself, but I am pretty excited about this book.

Having graduated from high-school 8th from the bottom of my class (I wonder if mom and dad ever knew that...) I felt like a lot of people thought I was pretty much a looser. I didn't think so myself of course... the fact that I was able to do as well as I did with as little work as I did doesn't say much for my work ethic I guess, but in a way it showed me that I was not an idiot. What really baffles me now, as I look back, is that no one (even myself) realized the things I was doing great at. Certainly no one encouraged me to follow them. The focus was always on the things I didn't care about, and thus did poorly at.

For instance, I probably spent more time on drawing when I was a kid than any other single activity. Yet, there was never a real effort to encourage me to develop that, or even the general "artistic" theme. Granted, the sole reason for my high-school to exist was to push people into the ministry, and they could have cared less about art, but still, as much time as I spent on that you would think someone would have noticed that I was good, and encouraged me to do it more. Instead, I can only remember people telling me to stop. (mostly during algebra class). In fact there was one time in 5th grade when I was forbidden to draw for a year, and I was banned from having a paper and pencil in my room. Now that I am in Japan and have had a chance to see how popular pornographic cartoons are, I have too wonder how successful I might have become had I been encourage to draw more naked ladies instead.

In high-school, I didn't find what I excelled at until the end of Junior year, although from the beginning I had no shortage of people pointing out my apparent weaknesses. I was not a star athlete, although once I discovered how much fun it was to run around in circles until I couldn't feel my limbs during my Junior year track debut, I became much more interested and much better at any sport I tried. I think what I found so appealing about track was that it was a struggle against myself. Only. As long as I could get my best time yet, it didn't matter what the guy with legs six inches longer than mine (Jon) could do.

In high-school though, the biggest surprise for me was my ability to learn a foreign language with less struggle than most people. I remember one letter that went home from my Latin teacher telling my dad, "Kevin must have some abilities, languages just isn't one of them." I guess I had just never met any women from old Rome that caught my attention. Instead I met Maria, a Swede, and after studying Swedish, found that foreign languages are actually interesting. I went from being ranked dead last in German, to being among the top students. And even compared to the students who had better grades than I did, I could converse and express (basic) abstract idea circles around them. They were better at memorizing verb endings for the quiz, but take my word for it, having the perfect noun form is worthless if you can't build visualize the idea in the target language. I didn't even see it as a "gift" then. It was not until I actually came to Japan and saw that some people studied just as much as I did (a lot more than I ever did for anything in high-school) and just couldn't get it.

Yet, even then, I can think of no one other than my advisor at U of M that said anything more encouraging than "What can you do with that?".

Anyway, to round it up, I think the reason I am so excited about reading this book now, is that my biggest regret from when I was younger, was not exploring the ideas Dr. Levine puts forward. I never really stopped to say, "Hey let's see what I am good at and concentrate on that". I never knew it was an option.

TLH3 Shinagawa

Thanks be to Bruce Pee for taking over the hash flash for much of the night. I was hoping to get some variety. It is hard though when every hash looks the same. If I ever miss a week, I will just use photos from a year ago and no one will notice the difference.

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Hard Hitting News

I hear that Sept 11 is (or has been) winding down in the US, as headlines and news reports talk about returning to normal. I don't have CNN here in Japan, but from the report I heard at Christmas time, the number of hand-made gifts increased greatly this year because so many people where glued to their TV watching the War on Terror. Other than this, I don't really have a gauge to know what it's like there... (I'm just now listening to the archived "live coverage")

I noticed something interesting today though... I have been looking back through past topics in NPR's Talk of the Nation. Here are some of the topics from August 2001...

Of course I haven't listened to any of these, they my be hard-hitting, but it is interesting to note that the next topic that come close after Sept 11, is Annual Bird Show/ Christmas Bird Count on Dec 28. (Friday is always science related).

January seems to be returning to frivolity with Salary Cap Good For Sports?, and then BEAUTY CONTESTS Feb 3. The Art of Courtship report is excusable because it is Feb 14. There few other topics as uncompelling as these between Sept 11 and today... certainly nothing like Ssssnakes.

***

By the way, I hear a lot of people talking about where they were when they heard the news, and I don't know if anyone cares, but being in Japan of course, without CNN, I'll tell you what I was doing.

It would have been around 9 or 10 pm here. I was sitting at my desk at work and Bryan (my boss) got a call from his brother in the US. Of course there is no TV there, so all we could do to "follow" it was reload the top page of cnn.com every 10 minutes or so. They had streaming coverage, but they were getting so much traffic they had to replace the top page, which is full of images usually, with a simple text only html file (I think there may have been one photo). I couldn't connect to see the video stream, so I stuck to the text stuff.

I rode the next to last train home, and of course no one else on the train knew what was happening. I turned on the TV when I got home and found only one news show talking about it, but they talked more about what the World Trade Center was, rather than the attack. The next day too, I heard very little about it. I never overheard any Japanese people talking about it, and (although I know they were) it appeared that no one here was even aware.

I myself was not as affected as everyone in the US appears to have been. I didn't feel anger, or sadness really, but I did (and do) feel sick that this could happen when I actually think about it... beyond the news reports. For instance, (what really brought this up today) I was reading Fighting to Live as the Towers Died on the New York Times web site. They pack a a lot of dramatic and horrible stories of individuals into 8 pages. It's interesting and sad to read. But for me, to really think about it... beyond the news reports, you have to just take one of the personal stories from one of the eight pages. Any story would do. I picked one at random.

"I can't go anywhere because they told us not to move," Ivhan Carpio, a Windows worker, said in a message he left on his cousin's answering machine. "I have to wait for the firefighters."

Now spend the rest of the time it would normally take you to finish reading the article, and concentrate on imagining that it was your cousin, or brother, or son who left that message on your machine.

I was telling someone the other day, that what would really scare me a lot more than a threat to blow up the Statue of Liberty, would be a threat to attack a random small Mideastern city. As it is now, I am fairly confident that my family is safe... after all, why the heck would a terrorist attack Bay City?

Anyway, that's the short take on Sept 11 from one American in Japan. Stop reading my crap and really think about it... beyond my bastish comment.

Monday

I better be careful, even though I don't have the time to pursue every project and interest I want to now, I always find myself piling more on. I just ordered A Mind at A TimeRead about his book by Listen to an interview about his bookDr. Mel Levine,, and before it even gets here I have my finger on the mouse button just itching to use my powers of one-click-purchasing because I found this NPR's Talk of the Nation discussion on good books to get a handle on the whole Israeli / Palestinian history and current situation.

Also, at the art exhibition Saturday, I was talking to some of the artists about a simple web-site to display and promote their class, exhibitions, and personal works. Despite what you may think, making a web-site and doing it right takes a hunk of time... time they can't afford to pay for of course. (although they DO pay $1000 for a single frame...) Today however, I had the brilliant idea to help them with a site in exchange for some long awaited painting lessons and them letting me borrow their equipment for the lessons. I'll have to follow up on that... don't know where to get the time.

I have been studying Japanese again, forcing myself to read the newspaper for at least an hour a day at lunch, and of course spending the last 10 minutes before I fall asleep cramming some vocab. According to Listen to an interview about his bookthe interview with Dr. Mel Levine,, you are way more likely (he didn't use the term "way more") to remember things if you sleep immediately after studying them... even taking a shower will screw it up. I am greatly saddened by how many Kanji I can no longer identify. Hopefully they will come back as quickly as everyone keeps telling me they will.

I found a gym nearby my work that is semi-affordable. Since I have been forcing myself to leave work at by 7pm at the latest for the past 2-3 weeks, I should be able to get in there and back home by the same time I used to get home when I worked too much.

***

"When I worked too much" I say, but I don't think I really worked too much. For the first year at my company I was really getting value out of staying late and doing what I did... I barely knew anything about programming and the Internet then, and the work I was doing pushed me into my un-comfort zone in that respect. Everything I did was a challenge and something I had not idea how to do. I was learning more than I ever could on my own time. Lately though, I realize that my company doesn't have as much to really challenge me as it did before... at least not in the areas I want to be challenged (having my patience challenged is not one of them). I feel like I am outgrowing it. I have discovered just the opposite is true now as was a year ago. My own projects push me more than any project I have at work. I don't like that fact and something's got to change soon. I seem to be spending much of my time at work trying to figure out how to make it a place I can be satisfied with. In a sense however, that is the greatest challenge of all.

***

The other day I received a comment full of praise. It seems she thought she was writing the comment on another site... when she realized the mistake she wrote me asking me to delete it. Bummer.

***

I have been checking on tickets to get home for Tim's wedding. Not good news for Kelly. The cheapest I could find is still over $1000. I have a $1000 voucher for United air, but the cheapest they have is $1300.

Taking A Break

I'm taking a break today from posting, so this will be short. I have used way too much time on this site the last few days.

***

It was a beautiful day to day so I decided to take some photos of my apartment and neighborhood for the site, Unfirtunatly, I'm not the most mechanically inclined it would seem. All the photos turned out blank, and by now it is pouring rain with lightning and thunder so I can't really get new ones now.

***

Check out thisfunny labeling on Japanese product. From www.engrish.com.

Art and Learning

After spending the morning scrubbing my toilet for Brian and his buddies next week, I headed out to the lumber store for more home improvements (on Guri's home) The fence no longer holds her in, and I don't know where she escapes from yet. I hope she would learn that if she escapes in the morning she can't get back in to get to her food until I get home in the evening, unfortunately she prefers the wallpaper more than her seeds anyway.

I bought a couple pieces of wood and hinges to make a nice door for it. I don't know how much a piece of wood costs in the US since I wasn't into the whole lumber scene, but $4 for a thin piece twice as long as my arm sounds expensive to me. (The lumberman seemed frustrated too when I described it like that, but what can I do... I have no tape measure).

***

Around afternoon o'clock I went to Kichijyoji for a friend's art exhibition. I should have counted, but I think there where about 40 different painters' paintings on display. Although I am far from an expert in art, I was still able to enjoy them, but I don't like the feeling of "not knowing" and in this case I didn't know what to look for in a painting. What makes one painter good and another average? Luckily the was an art sensei there so I asked him, unfortunately, despite the fact that it was a very interesting conversation, I still don't know what to look at when I look at a painting. Of course I know that all that really matters, and that what gives it value is if the viewer likes it, but still, there must be something more... why do more viewers like a certain painter's work than another's? I know I have heard art snobs say things like "blah blah blah powerful brush strokes blah blah blah..." What is that? Maybe someday I will find out, but not today. Anyway, Dr. JJ and Kazuyo showed up, and we wound up hanging out there until closing time drinking sake and beer and talking with the artists for a couple hours.

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***

The cost of the painting materials is amazing. The frames and canvases are worth more than some of the paintings. It's no wonder I am not a painter now. I was talking today aobut how different my life would have been if I had had access to paints and such, and more importantly an art "mentor" as a kid. I spent so many countless hours drawing with paper and pencil, but never branched out into different media, never used chalk, pastels, or paint. I don't think that mom and dad would have refused to let me try it, I just didn't know about it. The only thing I knew was paper and pencil. I thought that the only people who could have an artistic job was an "artist", and I thought artists where crazy and only a few ever became famous, and only famous artists can sell a painting. I had no idea there was such a thing as graphic designer or illustrator.

Tomoe's dad is an illustrator, as a result, she grew up around so many different artistic tools and supplies, not to mention a professional artist to give tips and show her techniques. Of all the different influences I did not have when I was a kid, (because each kid only has a few) I think the one type of influence that would have really made a huge difference in my life would have related to art. I can't even imagine what I would be doing now... Please take note that I am in no way complaining. My life is pretty dang great as it turned out so far.

I do however feel I have a responsibility to a high-school friend who saved every sketch and doodle I did during class. I hope for his sake that there is still a chance that I'll be famous someday and all those doodles will be valuable. Even if I never become famous for art, as a last resort I'll do something terribly evil and perhaps they will be valuable for that.

***

As I scrubbed the toilet today, I was listening to Fresh Air. Dr. Mel Levine, author of a book I ordered immediately after hearing the interviewListen to the interview with Dr. Mel Levine,, A Mind at A TimeRead about his book, talks about how people learn.

There are really some interesting comments in this interview. As I listened, I though "That's me!" in more than one point. I sure don't feel that I have a learning disorder, but one thing in particular that made me think was something he called "mental energy control" This is basically the ability of knowing where to focus your mental energy, what to spend it on. I didn't think anything of it until he started explaining what to look for in a child (or adult) who has trouble with it. Basically, people who can't concentrate during the day, and can't sleep at night. I think it must be what most people describe as "my mind is running a million miles a minute". I don't always have this problem, and I haven't figured out just what causes it to come and go, but sometimes for a month at a time I will be much less productive during the day, because I just can't seem to concentrate on things as well as I can other times. Now that I have listened to this interview, I realize that these are the exact same times when I can't get to sleep at night... according to what he spoke about, it seems I am having troubles making myself stop exerting mental energy so I can sleep, just as in the day I am having trouble exerting my metal energy on a specific task at hand... instead I exert it all over the place.

Listen to it... it is only a few minutes, but even the smallest level of understanding about how we learn can save you hours, days, or years worth of time (depending on how much time you have left on earth)

Freaky.

I'm getting a little freaked out. In the last week I have met an astonishing number of people who have actually been reading the daily updates rather than just looking at the photos. Of course they are all people I know, but still... What's more, they actually seem to be interested in what I am writing. To top it all off, I find a messageView entire message from the president of the bastishnet fan-club today from someone I don't know who says she is interested. Unfortunatly I recieved another message from this person asking me to remove it from the site, butI will still leave this excerpt...updated May 27 2002

...your life. Sounds pathetic...

I am tempted to think this is Jon being wild and crazy like he always is (you wild and crazy boy). But it seems like a little too much work to set up an email address just to make me feel popular.

The pressure is really on now. If other people are really looking at this site, I better find some interesting topics and take a remedial spelling/grammar course. I thought I was only making this site for my mom to read so she would stop trying to Yahoo Chat with me while I am at work. (it never fails that just as the president is standing next to my desk, a message from mom or Tomoe pops up my screen. He thinks I spend my entire day chatting)

***

I never made it home after work last night. I went to Kumiko's house for her birthday party, where everyone (13 people if I remember correctly) ate and drank while Kumiko slaved in the kitchen to prepare a great meal for all of us. Happy Birthday... and hurry up with that soy sauce! Click here for More Photos & CommentaryA link to photos from Kumiko's birthday party, and a little commentary about the evening.

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***

I have a little good news regarding the terrorist threat to US landmarks. There were three French people there last night, and they didn't seem to be offended so much that terrorists may have singled out their gift to the US, the Statue of Liberty. Apparently they only gave it to us because the "big gomi" sticker would have been way to expensive.

Speaking of which, I almost got rid of my broken old washing machine this week to some unsuspecting new arrival in Japan. Unfortunately it is still sitting in the middle of my kitchen because I am too cheap to throw it away. I should get rid of it quick before Brian, a friend from when I lived in Kyushyu, and 4(?) of his friends come to stay for a couple nights. The "big gomi" sticker is something we have to pay 30 bucks or so for to stick on any large trash we want to throw away. TV's, furniture, refrigerator, washing machine etc... all cost money to get rid of here. It doesn't seem to discourage anyone from buying the latest model of whatever and trashing the old one each year though.

***

Yes, it's WorldCup fever time... Brian and his friends are coming all the way from Wisconsin to see the games here. Some of the Europeans I know are excited to be getting a free one month trial of Cable-TV that just happens to coincide with the World Cup. But while they, real soccer fans, are watching it in their cramped apartment, on a tiny little TV screen, I, who don't know the first thing about soccer, will be watching (at least one of) the games live. A client of ours and also just so happens to have some extra tickets.

I remember when WorldCup fever hit a few years ago while I was in Kyushyu. That was perhaps the most boring two weeks of the year. Alot of the people I hung out with there were European also... then there were the American freaks (like Brian) who liked soccer too. People were going to bed at 7pm every night so they could get up at 4am to watch the match.

***

If anyone needs some advice on climbing Fuji, Nobu-san tells us the "king way of Mt Fuji climbing".

A night on 23 was pleasant. I drank Martini too much. The photograph of Mt Fuji climbing was seen. Why does Mt Fuji get crowded when it goes into the season? A general mountaineer. The sightseer of the tour. There is it in the excursion of the U.S. Army stationed additionally in Japan, and the Japanese Self-Defense Force to say, too. It is the sightseer of the tour that the probability of that it succeeds in climbing to the summit is the highest. It is two of the light air and the hot sunlight to make climbing to the summit to the high mountain difficult. The schedule of the sightseer of the tour seems to be the next.
  1. Leave Shinjuku by bus before noon.
  2. In 5 of Mt Fuji, at about 3 p.m., arrival. Then, it begins to walk.
  3. It arrives at the cottage of the 8 or around the 8.5 at about 7 p.m. Take a nap after you finish a meal.
  4. Leave a cottage at 1 a.m.
  5. A sunrise 30 minutes ago, of a mountain due at the summit.
This is the king way of Mt Fuji climbing. Because it walks at night which it is cool in, sweat matches it very much, too, and it can climb it.
***

Hopefully this is the lsat update to today's post... Another interesting interview on Fresh Air.

Producers/writers/directors Justine Shapiro and B.Z. Goldberg. Their new documentary film Promises takes a look at the Palestinian-Isreali conflict thru the eyes of seven children living in or near Jerusalem. It was filmed between 1997 and the summer of 2000. SHAPIRO grew up in Berkeley, California and hosts and co-writes the award-winning travel series, Lonely Planet. Goldberg was born in Boston and grew up outside of Jerusalem and has been a television journalist. Promises was broadcast on PBS last December as part of the P.O.V. series.

They tell about how the children they were interviewing, both palestinian and Isreali alike, had such hatred for the other, but during the making of the film and through some interesting incidents, such as a delayed flight where the children were forced to spend the night together in the airport lounge, the children's views were changed. Even so, when they are in their own community, they really have to keep their mouths shut about it.

When Conservatism Sets In

Some users have pointed out that if I fix the login function I may be able to find out who is visiting. Why didn't I think of that? I will work on that this weekend.

Truth be told however, I have also been working on a super-cookie that will track not only who visits what pages on my web-site, and every other site you visit, but also scans the users computer for pornographic photos, private documents etc... It will also send me a copy of all of your email, tell me how much money you have in your bank-account, your credit history, and when you are running out of milk in your refrigerator.

***

At the Hash last night we got into a conversation about who has had the most interesting job in their life. Guess who that might have been? Do you know anyone who was a rich guy's b... friend for hire? For those of you who don't know about that, you can read all about it here (when I get it written).

I often look at my own life as nothing out of the ordinary, but I guess if I think about it, I do have some stories to tell. Remembering some of these stories also reminds me of the golden rule I used to use to make decisions. Basically, if I have a choice to make, I would always go with whichever one scared more bejeeziz out of me. Or, like in the case of working for Rich Man, whichever one scares the bejeeziz out of people around me. At that time I was 18 and everyone around me said they would never do it... be careful you'll get raped... it's a trick... blah blah blah. I knew the man somewhat and was confident that I would not be raped, and the only reason anyone could give me for NOT taking the job is that it is scary... it might be a trick... (i.e. we don't understand it. We have never had that experience before)I had the same doubts and that clinched it for me.

Recently I feel like I have made a complete turnaround. I am pretty conservative now. I think I have to blame some of that on the influences of Tomoe, some of it on getting older a little, but mostly I just have to blame the fact that I forgot about the rule. When I have choices I have forgotten to pull out the little bejeeza-meter. I remember now... lets see if I use it.

Kumiko's B-Day


It was lots of fun though. All the friends from this mountain climbing excursion were there, plus a new representative of Italy. Nobu-san was the life of the party with his banjo-like guitar and amazing powers of e-su-pa (esp in English). He confided in me later that his probably among the 30 strongest e-su-pa-abled people in Japan. In an amazing display of his powers, he laid out nine coins on the table, and went in the other room while someone touched one of the coins. He then returned and after only shaking the persons hand he was able to.... PICK THE COIN!!!!! We were amazed to say least. It was so amazing I have all but forgotten the second attempt which didn't go quite so smoothly.

Since almost everyone else there was an engineer or scientist of some sort, I find it odd that before the party Kumiko and Nobu-san discussed who would be the biggest doubter of his super-powers and they both decided it would be me. In fact, I don't doubt at all that some people are more sensitive to some "mysterious" force than others are... just as some people are born with an amazing gift for music, art, or athleticism. I also don't doubt that some day one of these scientific types will discover what causes it and everyone will be able to exercise that skill.

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I feel so silly-willy...

I hope it is not too late to recant my harsh criticism of yesterday's interview. I got a mail from the interviewer asking me to answer some of the questions again. Apparently she didn't understand what the heck I was talking about with my answers yesterday. I should really get to studying Japanese again. I really feel that I am loosing loosing loosing it day by day. It is a tough choice though... study Japanese or study career related computer topics. Of course as I told the interviewer yesterday, although I hope to be back in the US within the next ten years, it's pretty obvious that there is a 89% chance that I will be working in a Japan related field. Studying Japanese is also a career builder.

***

I put this link up the other day to a Fresh Air inteview with a reporter in Palestine. He tells the story of how while he was traveling with the Israeli army, they took over a Palestinian family home to use as a base. Later I found this audio transcript from a young Palestinian woman whose house was taken over by the Israeli army. They are both interesting, but taken together even more so.

Ms. DINA HUZARY: The Israeli soldiers came and took our buildings and stayed there as a military base and forced our neighbors to come down and live in our house for three days. It was horrible. They have the guns all the time and it's not even guns, it's machine guns, big guns and they have them pointed into your face so we can't move. Even when we are in one room, we can't talk 'cause they don't understand Arabic mostly, so they don't want us talking. And you never know what's going to happen. It's very hard, especially when one of them--like a soldier my age would go up to my dad or to my uncle and scream at him and force him to do things and he's just so young--he's the one in power. So we were very scared 'cause they're taking men from the age of 14 till 50. Like we're three girls and one brother and my brother is the youngest. He's 15, so whenever they come into our house, we tried to act calmly and let them do whatever they want. They can check the house. They can look and find whatever they want. They could take everything, but you have to act patiently so they won't hurt you.
***

I am happy to know, as I'm sure anyone else would be, that my site is gaining in popularity. Last time I checked the logs, I was averaging 15 visits a day. I think half of those are search engine robots and what not, and I visit about 3 times a day. That still leaves 5 visits from OTHER PEOPLE!!!!

I know one lady who seems to find my boring stories interesting. So much so that she actually had a dream about my web-site. (it turned out later that she was just mixing it up with some other site she saw that day, but the fact remains, she can't get the bastishnet out of her mind).

TLH3 Ikebukuro

Next hash Shinagawa Station.

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The Big Interview

I had my big interview today. I had hoped for something a little more interesting. For example, some of the questions on the pre-interview cheat sheet dealt with my view of work, and what I find particularly disturbing in the news lately. In the end though, the interviewer focused on the same questions that I am sick to death of answering for every new Japanese person I meet... Why did I come to Japan? What surprises me about Japan? What Japanese food do I like? What food do I have trouble digesting?

I don't blame her. After all, she is doing her job. She is writing for her market. I think what I should have answered when she asked me about my impression of Japanese students (what kind of frikkin' open ended question is that? How can I ever answer something that specific?) anyway, I should have answered that Japanese students (the ones who read this magazine) spend too much brain power and time trying to find out what food I like, and not enough developing their own ideas and opinions.

Getting back to the questions... since the magazine is about careers, I assumed that the main questions would be regarding work... incidentally, this is where my major interest lies today. What is work... to me? What do I want to be?

I am not sure she understood my answer, about what I feel the relationship between employee and company is... I told her that the way I see it, I am Kevin Inc., basically a freelancer whose client at this particular moment is T-Mark. The relationship between myself and my client is one in which I offer my services and in return (besides money) I am able to gain knowledge and experience from the client... the opportunity to grow myself and do something interesting and new. The main goal is to increase my own value... to build my own brand.

Maybe that answer is just plain boring, or maybe it was so darn clear that she saw no need to dwell on it any longer that a quick "ahhh... Give and take. How about food? Is there any Japanese food you can't eat?"

Despite all my complaining, it was not a bad experience. The interviewer seemed interesting. She had just left her own company 3 months earlier for her freelance job. I would have like to have more time to talk about how that was with her. (of course she may find that boring and would rather discuss what food she likes). I got my photo taken in the park for everlasting fame in the pages of whatever magazine it was, and it ended with a little envelope with 100 bucks inside. Not bad for 45 minutes.

***

I was able to get up at 6:30 today. Halfway to the goal of 5:00. I found that it is much easier to jog in the morning than it is when I get home from work. One I think that is that I find running (alone) extremely boring now. It is the last thing I want to do when I get home from work at 7 or 8 tired, hungry and pissed off about something someone did at the office. It is still boring to run anything longer than 30 minutes in the morning, but at least I feel that I have the whole day left to do something enjoyable, as opposed to spending one of the last waking hours on it.

Running on the hash last week with Jon was fun though. A little competition, a challenging pace... I could handle that everyday if I had someone to run with.

***

A friend sent me this link (as a joke I think) but it turns out to be extremely interesting. It is the personal web-site of a woman who used to be a man. The site starts at a period just before she underwent the knife, and it continues on describing her experiences and what life is like for her as a transsexual. She describes in pretty good detail the surgery (facial) and the two weeks following when she went from a bloody mess to actually quite attractive. There are also daily pictures for two weeks after her surgery.

Up at 9:00

My plan failed miserably. I didn't wake up till 9 am today. It is tough to do when no matter how early I get up, I can't seem to sleep until 3am.

It dawned on me in the can today, that the problem with making changes such as getting up earlier, exercizing more, eating better, drinking less, and on and on, is in the way I sometimes approach changing what we normally refer to as "bad habits". This time I decided "I am going to stop getting up so late, and get up earlier". I focused on changing a bad habit, rather than just becoming a person who gets up early and exercizes. I don't know if the difference is obvious, but when I decide to change, I am making the assumption that the way I do it now is wrong. However, if I simply decide that I am a person who only drinks on Wednesday nights, I am making no assumptions about who I was before. I am deciding what type of person I want to be and being that.

Why this is important I think is that making such assumptions automatically puts me in a "wrong" position and implys that getting "right" will be difficult. I am a late sleeper trying to wake up early, rather than simply a early riser. It also creates a nice excuse for not getting right... because hey, it was difficult!

I wonder what other assumtions I am basing my life on... This is something I will be watching for. I also know that I do not approach all issues in my life like that, some I approach pretty much free of assumptions, I also should figure out what is different about the two types of situations, and why I appraoch them differently.

***

I finally got around to "developing" three orphaned photos from last Wednesday's hash. I'll put them here too just to be fair to them since most people will never go back to the old photo page again.

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I also have some photos of Guri's new cage, before (when she was free) and now.

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Up at dawn

I've started a new initiative to wake up earlier everyday. Today I had a little help by a 5 am earthquake, but I had been meaning to do this for a while now. Waking up at 8:30 for work at 9:30 wastes half the day, since it gets light around 4:30-5:00. By the time I get off work, it is dark and all the stores are closed and there is not much to do. (of course the stores are closed at 5 am too, but it just feels like I am doing more.

What did I get done today because I woke up early? Poor Guri, I finally put caging around her house. She was getting too crazy and eating too many of my books, photos, cds, not to mention the walls. She doesn't seem any too happy about it either... and I give her two days before she finds a way to escape anyway.

***

There was a really great interview on Fresh Air Thursday.

Journalist Scott Anderson.He traveled with a platoon of elite Israeli commandos into the West Bank and wrote about it in the article "An Impossible Occupation" which was the cover story of last Sunday's New York Times Magazine.

I only regret that no one looks at this site, and no one will find this link. The story was also in the New York Times Magazine this week, but I don't know anyone who reads that. It really gives a much different view into what is happening and what it is like there than Nightline, 20/20, and I'm sure CNN do. He talks of how he visited the father of a 16 year old suicide bomber, talks about taking over a Palestinian family's house with the Israeli army to be used as a base, and how they clean it and vacuum it before they return it to the family. If you only listen to one of the Fresh Air interviews I have recommended, make it this one.

***

Also on the NPR website they have set up a special section that has audio and transcripts of all their reports relating the middle east.

Some people may call it beer

went to a beer festival in Ebisu today, 400 different brews made in Japan. I guess you could call them beer, as far as they were beter than what most people here refer to as beer (Ebisu, Krin, Saporo, Asahi). Of course, perhaps I am making a linguistic mistake... perhaps the japanese word biiru is not even supposed to be translated to "beer" in English. I guess this would be akin to transalating the Japanese word for "tea" as "milk" and then saying that Japanese milk sucks. I would like to be a positive person, so I will assume that what I drank today was not even supposed to be beer.

Some of it would have been alright though if it were beer. I had a stout that was ok, a porter too that I would be tempted to translate as "beer" if I didn't know Japanese so well. I tried an IPA that was better than most biiru I can buy in the shop near my house. All in all though I would much rather have a beer than a biiru.

Friday

The week flying by. I don't feel like I got anything done, but it's gone already. I will finally have an oportunity to try and get rid of my old washing machine. It costs about 30 bucks I think to throw it out.

I have been making a big effort to "get a life", trying to meet more people, focus less on work. I find it is more tiring to do this than it is to work. I don't know how a head-hunter friend of mine does it... her job is to meet people get connections and always be nice freindly and cheery. I have about had it after only a few weeks of making an effort.

***

Big beer fesitval coming up this weekend. Hundreds of different micro-brews from all around Japan. Of course I don't want to put things such as alchohol in my body, but in the name of "getting a life" I think I better go. That and the fact that I have yet to find really good beer in Japan unless it is imported from Belgium.

***

I just recieved an outline of what types of questions I will be asked in an interveiw next week for a Japanese magazine. I may have to spend the weekend studying.


  1. What are some good things about Japanese companies?

  2. Favorite food, least favorite food

  3. What does it mean to me to "Work at a company"

  4. Brag about the US

  5. Where will I live 10 years from now?


There are more but you will have to wait for the interview to be published.

***

Found a really interesting article about crocodiles in the news the other day. A researcher Daphne Soars discovered that they have little hypersensitive bundles of nerves around their jaws that allow them to locate the position of even a droplet that falls onto the water's surface, allowing them to hone in on their prey.

***

Two good interviews on Tom Peters site. One with Paco Underhill, an anthropologist and retail consultant and author of Why We Buy, a great book about what environmental variables drive people to buy, based on the observations he and his company has made throguh the years. It's a great book, interesting even if you don't care about the business aspect of it... it will tell you a little about what makes you buy too.

And...

One with Robert Sutton a Management Science and Engineering professor. I havn't read his book, but I just may check it out...

Origin of Sumo

Pretty busy lately so no time to think of anything of consequence, but I wanted to have at least 3 posts a week so I will tell you what I learned this weekend at the Sumo tournament.

A military dictatorship was established in Kamakura in 1192 and a long period of intense warfare ensued. Sumo, quite naturally, was regarded chiefly for it's military usefulness and as a means of increasing the efficiency of the fighting men. Later in the hands of the samurai, jujitsu was developed as an offshoot of sumo.

I did not know that.

***

Recently there has been an unusually high number of people from Michigan at the hash. This weekTLH3 Shirokane-Takana-blahblah we had a little quiz to see who (not from Michigan) could best describe where Michigan is. The winner was "in the north part" the rest were so far off it makes me fear for the future of the human race. Answers ranged from " west of Chicago "Read her lips... Michigan is west of Chicago. to my favorite, "Arizona".See the guy who thinks Michigan is in Arizona.

TLH3 Shirokane-Takana-blahblah

A fine hash in Shirokanetaknablahblah with firworks and happoshyu waiting at the end. The most tiring hash for me in a long time because of lots of hills and the fact that a friend and former running buddy from my high school days was running with me, forcing me to act like I am in shape.
The On-On was definatly one of the most informative as we learned about Geography, Law, and farm animals.

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Amazing Inventions

What will those clever Japanese come up with next? I finally found a new washing machine and am quite amazed that it does everything with the press of one button. (I still have to put the clothes in it, but I am training Guri to help out)

For the past 2 years I have been using an old style machine that I found in the garbage. I had to do everything by hand... pour in water, stop the water at the right level, turn on wash, drain the water when it was done, move all the clothes to the spin machine, then back to rinse and back to spin and so on...

I guess it is kinda sad for mom, with mother's day coming up and all to find that I am no longer her son... I have broken the chains of cheapness inherited from her. I could have gotten the same kind of "do it yourself" washer for about $200 cheaper. Instead I wound up paying $300 which is really way too much, but I blame Japanese consumers for that. I found cheaper machines but they are too far from my apartment so that I have to get it shipped. Unfortunately customer relations means nothing to Japanese companies. Just as banks, the phone, gas, and electric companies close at 4 pm, while everyone is still in work, ATMs have the same hours as the bank teller, delivery companies and appliance stores will not deliver past 6pm. And the Japanese consumers shrug and put up with it.

***

An friend of a friend of mine is a magazine editor and would like to interview a young foreigner about Japanese young people and working in Japan. Of course I said yes, but it makes me nervous. Am I really qualified to comment on Japanese youth? I know a few maybe (although 90% of the people I hang aournd with are at least 5 years older than me), but that is hardly representative of Japanese youth as a whole... besides the "youths" I know are all freaks in that they talk to or hang out with Gaijin.

I recently came across a story by an American writer living in Japan. (If I can find the link I will post it) This guy was talking to people in America who probably had no idea about Japan. Even though most things he said were technically true, it was quite a one-sided picture he painted. Some good aspects some bad, but all extreme and extremely generalizing (is that a word?). For me to listen, it is nothing more than amusing stories, but I have experience to know what is exaggerated and what is not. It frightens me to think that many of his audience knows nothing about Japan, and takes what he was saying as fact. Right down to the end of his story where he stated that his personal goal for being in Japan now was to rescue all the helpless Japanese women from the evil society be teaching them whatever they need to know to be strong, forceful, and oh yeah, smart.

I think all Japanese women should be thankful to have such a chivalrous gentleman on a white horse and all...

It reminds me of Memoirs of a Geisha which was a good read, and I enjoyed it, but it was supposed to have been the narative of a former Geisha, and the main character was actually quite strong and impressive, even so, the book seemed to revolve around the idea that everything she did and acomplished she owed to the male hero. I found it hard to fool myself into thinking that it was not in fact the narative of the "modern" weastern man who wrote it.

I know this idea of chivalry is seen all over both Japan and the US, it just rubs me harder because I see so many men coming here looking for the "perfect Japanese wife" who is weak and obediant and everything that requires a galliant gentleman to take care of her and rescue her from evil. What rubs me the most, is that because I am seeing a Japanese woman myself, I am naturally lumped into the same category as these people, and she is viewed as the rescuee.

Anyway, that was a long rant which I must take some time to reread some day... but getting back to the point...
I hope that in the interview I don't come across spouting generalizations and such crap about either Japanese youth or how us gaijin feel about Japanese youth... I am hardly representative of American's even less representative of foreigners in Japan, and I can't see the Japanese people I know as being representative of Japan.

It feels like I have life

Just got home after another long weekend. Recently I seem to have gotten a life and it makes me tired. It was a great weekend though. Met Jon and his co-workers for dinner Friday, woke up at 4:30 am Saturday to go to Fuji and climb, got home from Fuji that night and headed to Shinjuku to check out the red-light district. (you'll never believe what you can get at some of those bars fro only 5000 yen). Found a resteraunt with quisine from Tibet in honor of the mountain climbing, wound up passing out in their hotel in Shinagawa. Today went to the Edo museum and just our luck, it is the first day of a Sumo tournament next door so got to check that out as well.

***

I just heard on the Barakan Beat that Olu DaraOlu's first solo album In the World: From Natchez to New York
will be coming back to Tokyo in July. I wont say Olu DaraOlu's second album Neighborhoods is my favorite artist... that honor changes hands on a daily basis it seems, but I will say that he is one of the few who I monitor waiting for a new album to be released and for any chance to see him live.

Tomoe and I saw him live in the Tokyo Blue Note last year. He is amazing... more than i can say for Japanese concert goers. During the concert we and about three other people (all foreigners) found it impossible to sit still so wound up giving up our seats to move to back of the club where we could dance without blocking the view of any of the Japanese statues sitting in their seats. (one guy was even asleep) . This of course happens at every concert I have been to at the Blue Note, so it is in no way a reflection upon Olu Dara.

Anyway, I did a search on Fresh Air for an interview and lucky lucky lucky... Terry Gross interviews Olu Dara. I also found another printed interview that despite the boring questions gives a little more info than the album covers.

***

Being in Tokyo everything seems kind of "normal" and I take it for granted. When I get visitors, I start to see the "interesting" aspects of Japan again, and that I actually know alot more about certain things than I realize. I tend to look at my experience in Japan as interesting, but not so out-of-the-ordinary, or even exceptionaly valuable for that matter. It seems some people would disagree. Whose right? Am I the only one who sees that living in Tokyo and simply speaking Japanese is not really any big deal? (after all, I've met many a looser who has more time in Japan than I do, and some who speak Japanese better... I sure don't consider them exceptional) It seems to me that this is just a tool, something that is only valuable if it compliments a real skill... often though I hear things like "with your Japanese skills you could get a job in xyz in a second" . This despite the fact that I do not have any experience in their core business? Is simply speaking Japanese ( a parrot can do that) so great? who is right?

Fuji Climb

I am happy to say that climbing Mt. Fuji is not near as bad as all the stories I have heard. There were no old ladies pushing and shoving, no long single file line of climbers inching their way to the top. In fact, we encountered only six other climbers on the mountain.

Perhaps all the old ladies were at the top. We wouldn't know, because we actually had to turn back at the 8th step. There are many excuses though... we ran out of time to catch the last bus, we met some climbers who had gone higher (not to the top mind you) and reported that when they took off their backpack the winds blew it away. etc... etc...

The winds were strong. I was anxious to experience being "blown off the mountain" as I have heard happens every now and then. I figure it would be like hang-gliding. Unfortunatly, I chickened out when the opportunity arose, and instead of spreading my coat to make wings, I hit the deck and held on for life.

This time we only had time to make a day trip, next time we gat a chance to climb (only in the off season) we will tke tents and gear to camp... with a few extra hours on our hands we can make it to the top no problem. I forgot when Jon said he would be back next... but I'll be sure to keep that day open.

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Fuji Climb

I am happy to say that climbing Mt. Fuji is not near as bad as all the stories I have heard. There were no old ladies pushing and shoving, no long single file line of climbers inching their way to the top. In fact, we encountered only six other climbers on the mountain.

Perhaps all the old ladies were at the top. We wouldn't know, because we actually had to turn back at the 8th step. There are many excuses though... we ran out of time to catch the last bus, we met some climbers who had gone higher (not to the top mind you) and reported that when they took off their backpack the winds blew it away. etc... etc...

The winds were strong. I was anxious to experience being "blown off the mountain" as I have heard happens every now and then. I figure it would be like hang-gliding. Unfortunatly, I chickened out when the opportunity arose, and instead of spreading my coat to make wings, I hit the deck and held on for life.

This time we only had time to make a day trip, next time we gat a chance to climb (only in the off season) we will tke tents and gear to camp... with a few extra hours on our hands we can make it to the top no problem. I forgot when Jon said he would be back next... but I'll be sure to keep that day open.

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Quick Update

I have been way too busy to even look at the site. Tomorrow I meet Jon after almost 10 years since graduation, so I will probably be way too drunk to write anything. The next day I am off to Fuji.

***

Spent the night drinking with a really iteresting mand from California (now a citizen of Australia) who is here in Japan to start a headhunting company specializing in financial industries (non-IT which seems rare) If there happens to be anyone out there who could not make up their mind about working for ML or JP, according to him, as a recruiter, a person who has worked for JP is more attractive because it indicatest hat they have been trained extremely well. If that same person who couldn't decide is also contemplating GE, he equates GE with ML, and would stick with JP... of course there is more to it than that, but just in case anyone who reads this might be pondering such things.... give me a call and I will tell you the rest

***

I have a mean sunburn. Lotion doesn't seem to help me at all. Maybe Japanese ltion is weaker. I'm sure it wasn't good for going to eat lunch with a client today... seeing my leporadic face probably didn't mix well with the great meal we had. Anyway, a big project for them and T-mark was (almost) finished last week so they took us out to lunch.

***

Two really interesting interviews on Fresh Air this week. A New York Times Journalist talks about covering Afghanistan, and Stacy Peritala talks about how he and his gang created the first extreme sport (skatebording) when they were kids.

***

I came home tonight and found Guri stuck in a little bamboo tube. I don't know how long she was in there before I got home, but she was not at all happy. This is the second time... you would think she would learn not to go in there anymore.

TLH3 Akasaka

It was the best bad hash I have ever been to. It was way too long and we were lost alot, but it was nice and twisty.

Still alive

The Kayaking is done for this weekend. There is good news and bad news of course. The bad news is that I didn't come anywhere near my goal of kayaking from Yokosuka to Ei-no-shima. I set out early enough in the morning, and even with the wind and waves, it was beautiful weather for kayaking. The waves were at about my head level, making it exciting and fun enough, without the element of true danger. The fact that there were other boats and people within 100 meters at all time helped add to the feeling of safety.

I was hoping to camp at the tip of the peninsula, allowing me to see both the sun-set and sun-rise over the ocean. I only made it about halfway there when I ran into a large break wall with terrifying amounts of foaming sea water gushing over the top. after trying to follow the coast, inside the breakwall, but running into a dead end, I decided to brave the elements. I turned around and went outside the wall. This was perhaps the greatest adventure I have ever had in a kayak (although he lightning storm in Maine was a riot too). As soon as I rounded the corner, the coast disappeared only to reappear 5 seconds later. I blink and it is gone again. The wave here were three times higher than on the other side of the wall. When I was in the trough I could see nothing but water. On the crest I peed my spray-skirt when I saw only more humongous waves for at least a kilometer until I could reach calm water.

Now is time for some good news. Since the waves were not coming in an even order, nor from only one direction, it was extremely hard to keep balance, and before I knew it I was UPSIDE DOWN!!! YeHAA!!! This is the first time it has ever happened against my will. The perfect chance to see how much my rolling practice has paid off. With one beautiful flick of my hips and swish of the paddle I was up top where I could only see the face of another wave. I guess this threw me, 'cause I was under again in a second. This time, with my confidence shaken, I had no choice but to do a wet exit. This was the scariest moment of he trip, since if I couldn't get back in the boat I was sure I would be driven toward and smashed into the concrete break wall. Getting back into he boat is hard enough when the water is calm, but for some reason, adrenalin maybe, it was a snap this time. It probably took 60 seconds, but I didn't even notice until I was back inside with the skirt strapped on.

A little thanks to God, because when I looked up now, I was back on the "good side" of the break wall, and only had to paddle over a few feet to find "small waves". Here I was able to pump out most of the water from my boat and limp back to the last beach I had seem to completely empty it.

While part of me was saying that I had to go back out there if I ever want to get good enough to beat waves that size, the lazy me took over and I decided to go fishing instead. So I leisurely paddled back to a nice place I saw to camp, fishing along the way, but catching only weeds.

That night I was glad I never made it to my true destination, as I was sure that the tent was being moved ever so slightly by the wind despite the fact that a 180 Kg person ( 2002/05/22 - make that 80 kg) with gear was inside. The wind didn't let up and in the morning when I woke up I found that it would be blowing against me the entire way home. Not impossible, but definatly tiring. After having a breakfast of Udon with Chazuke powder on top, I was all set to head back to where I started yesterday... figuring about three times as long a trip because of the wind. I was a little happy as I could chalk it up to me experiences, and it would definatly hel;p me the next time out.

Just as I was about to head out, I met an old man who wanted to see the boat so I gave him a full tour and started chatting. It turns out he is a retired camera man from NHK (Japans BBC). He started working there before there were TV's in Japan. He filmed the news shorts that were shown before movies. He offered me a ride to the nearest station, which I first rejected, since I had actually come to kayak, but after talking with him for a few minutes, I changed my mind, packed up the kayak, and went back to his mansion on the coast where I wound up talking with him for seven hours, listening to his stories of a career that started before TV, ended with producing interactive digital films about dinosaurs for a museum, and in between included the Vietnam War, war in Laos, documentaries about everything from famous composers to Persian rugs, being forced to retire from NHK at the official "retirement age", starting two succesful production companies of his own, and finally completely retiring last year after breaking his arm in a fall while climbing the Himalayas.

I'd love to do a complete writeup of hs story, maybe an interview... Mybe this should be a new section on the site ...Japanese People where I interview cool Japanese people... hmmmm.....

Not a bad weekend.


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Nothing Special

Nothing happening today. I decided late last night to go Kayaking today and tomorrow since Jon wouldn't be here. It was supposed to be cloudy today though so I changed my plan to Sunday and Monday. Besides, doing that gave me a chance to finally buy a fishing pole. Every time I Kayak I see all the guys fishing from the shore, and I always wish I had a pole. I don't really expect to catch anything, but sometimes miracles happen.

I will only be Kayaking around the Miura peninsula, starting near Yokosuka around the other side to Ei-no-shima. It will probably only take two days even if I go slow and stop for fishing often. If it takes longer It's not like there is any real wilderness in Japan, so I can climb out anywhere and be home in two hours. It takes alot of imagination sometimes to feel like there is any adventure.

I'll be leaving here at 5:00 am so I think I am going to go to bed tonight instead of work on the site.

***

I also finally found some gas for the little camping stove I got for Christmas. That brand is not so popular here, so the stores nearby didn't have the right canisters.

Gotta get my head outta my butt

Well, I had expected Jon to come tonight and then to climb Fuji Saturday, but when there was no call I began to worry. After staying home all night (giving up an invitation to nice drinking and eating) I re-read the email from Jon. Oops... he is coming next weekend.

***

Japanese people aren't the only ones with long life spans. I met an old lady who has an old dog. When she takes the dog for a walk she has to carry it becasue it can't walk anymore. It's tounge hangs out because it has no teeth! To top it all off, the dog is blind.

I ask the old woman the secret, and she said the dog drinks lots of tea.


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Tokyo Ladies Hash

If your here looking for the photos you can find them if you scroll down down down down.

***

The Hash House Harriers is a world wideFind a hash in any country in the world club of people who like to drink, but unfortunately have an addiction to running.
There are so many places where you can get background informationThe Hash Bible on the hash it would be a waste of time for me to write that.


***

I'm a member of the Tokyo Ladies Hash in Tokyo (of course). I don't know the official statistics, but the Ladies Hash seems to be made up of about 50% Japanese and 50% foreigners, of the foreigners, there are probably 10 countries that are represented on a regular basis, and I'm sure there are alot more who just never come. We gather around a different train station in the middle of the city every Wednesday night 'round 7:30, change our clothes in the middle of a crowded restaurant next to people who are trying to eat, grab some chalk, and take off running through the crowded streets of Tokyo yelling, screaming, blowing whistles, pushing old ladies, darting across busy intersections, and marking up public property with chalk and flour.

After about 45 minutes (sometimes shorter, but often much too much longer) we wind up in a park or deserted alley, or even in the middle of a trendy shopping district, where we dink some beer to cool off, sing some songs with naughty language, and say mean things to make the organizer of the nights trail cry.

Some people can't take much more excitement and disappear around this time. Most people however continue on to an unsuspecting restaurant where we complain about not having enough beer or food until the waitress starts to cry. Once the waitress is crying, that looses all it's fun, so we start singing more songs and try to make each other cry, or at least get real drunk. Nine times out of ten no hashers start to cry, but we still take great pleasure in the fact that we have ruined the night for any surrounding tables full of business men and college kids who went out for some beer and fish with no idea they would be sitting next to a loud, swearing, group of sweaty, smelly foreigners.

It's actually all quite jolly.

I myself was actually introduced to the Hash by my little sister who ran in Kyoto. After hearing all about it for her, I decided that when I moved to Tokyo a few years ago without a job or place to stay, all I really needed to do was join the Hash. I was right, and through the Hash I was able to find a job, a place to stay, a TV, an iron, and alot more. At one point I wound up as part of the mismanagement team for about a year (I still don't remember ever volunteering). Anyway, when I started my current job, further from the center of Tokyo where most runs are, I started going less and less until poof, I disappeared totally for about a year. A couple months ago I realized I was bored, so I started going east of Shibuya more often. Because I am always trying to get as much use as possible out of my expensive digital camera, I try to take alot of pictures...



  • 2003/05/28 Oosaki (Part I) Hare: Imaculate Cherry
  • 2003/05/28 Oosaki (Part II) Hare: Imaculate Cherry
  • 2002/07/24 Meidaimae Hare: ME!!!!
  • 2002/07/17 Shinbashi Hare: Dew Drop
  • 2002/07/10 Azabujyuban Hare: Puck U
  • 2002/06/19 Ebisu
  • 2002/07/03 Ebisu Again
  • 2002/06/19 Ebisu
  • 2002/05/29 Shinagawa Hare: Imaculate Cherry & Ulala
  • 2002/05/22 Ikebukuro Hare:

  • 2002/05/15 Shirokane-Takana-blahblah Hare: Monkey Spanker?

  • 2002/05/08 Akasaka Hare: Morning Glory

  • 2002/05/01 Nakano Hare:Nuke of Earl
  • Making Progress

    In case you havn't noticed, I have been making some progress on this site. I have now added two important sections that every site has to have. Truths about Kevin and About the Bastishnet. I also really must get the login function working since hashers may be coming soon to see the photos.

    ***

    I have found that reading other peoples sites can be quite rewarding. I found a great cd, Rufus Wainwright: Poses based on a recomendation from What Do I know. At the Rufus site you can hear samples of the songs... check out Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk. I ran out and bought the cd the next day, then the day after that loved it so much that I bought Rufus Wainwright's first cd also.

    ***

    Interview and studio playing of Rufus Wainwright on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

    ***

    I was checking out the site of Ideo and found a great interview with the general manager there and Terry Gross from Fresh Air. This is a great find for me since I really loved that Fresh Air back in Michigan. I used to waste gallons of gas driving around listening because the Interview wasn't over and I didn't want to stop the car. Last time I checked the NPR website though, they didn't have past inerviews available online. NOW THEY DO!!!!

    I also really loved readingThe Art of Innovation, a book about Ideo and how they do what they do. I often wonder though if it is for real... The way they develope and Innovate sound great, but I can't see it happening like that where I work.

    Cant escape the alumni associations

    I went to the hashThe drinking club with a running problem tonight. almost left early, becasue I was so dang tired, but wound up staying. I met two new guys who are members of a club in Tokyo for people from Michigan. I don't know what they do at the club when they meet... must talk about lakes and cabins and fight about who is better, the Wolverines or the Spartins. Anyway, one of the guys was actually on the Michigan boat about 10 years before I went to Sakaide. Aparenly alot of the club is made up of ex-JCCers.

    ***

    I may very well be climbing Fuji this weekend, despite the fact tha tI was sure I never would. From what Jon Southwell tells me, and bsaed on the link about Fuji he sent me, during the off-season, when fuji is offically closed, there are no old ladies pushing and shoving, and it is actually adventuresome... perhaps too much for me. I may wind up going and not even makiing it to the top because I dont have the special spikey shoes.

    ***

    I just found out there is a new Survivors Japan seriies on here. It is the same idea, but with Japanese people. Suddenly Survivors has alot more value than ever before. This will be a great way to compare and study how Japanese people act compared to Americans. How will it be different for a "group orirented society"?

    ***

    I put one of these online advert links up a few days ago, but now found more. If you have sound on your computer, check these out...

    Winter
    New Years This ones great!
    Fall I dont quite understand this one.

    If you like these, there are even more, but it is a pain in my butt to put them all here, so if anyone wants more, you know how to contactContact form me.

    TLH3 Nakano

    Short hash in Nakano, long distance between beer near and actual beer. Some guys fro mthe Michigan Alumni club had the carried the Hash Shit, and his buddy recieved it later. Hockey lover Puck-off was named.


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