Today was the quarterly party for the bowling league. The night was spent drinking and eating nabe amongst the wisps of tobacco fumes while we gossiped and slung stories of bowling and life back and forth. I had the pleasure of sitting next to one of my old team mates. I had either forgotten to ask previously or plum forgot, but he works for JR (Japan Rails) and has been doing so for over 30 years. Mr. X, surprisingly, has been heavily involved in a project going near to my home and work place. JR is in the process of elevating one of the train lines over about a 10km… Continue reading Untitled
It was fun while it lasted, but having a blog feed on your page that is dynamically inserted with jQuery doesn’t do squat for SEO, so I removed it. I’ve now gone over to using the SimplePie library to parse the XML feed in PHP and that’s working wonderfully. A bit surprised that the download was 400KB right out of the box, but it all worked the first time with no errors, so let’s hear it for SimplePie!
An ad for the Hammacher Schlemmer web site was haunting the banner space of a site I recently visited and they are, for sure, the source of all that useless gadgetry and nick knacks that you find in airplane magazines. Just a few of the gems on the site include: An upside-down tomato garden thingy…. A voice command operated R2-D2 that beeps and blurps out the annoying cantina song in addition to shivering at the mention of Darth Vadar. Woooo. The guy bopping his head to the catina music was priceless though. And just in case you have a few extra cubic meters of space laying around… “The Stainless Steel… Continue reading Ridiculous Collection of Junk – 4 Things I Can Live Without
I picked up “Walden”, “Into the Wild” and “Slaughter House 5” at the book store today. On the train I began Walden. Something about nearing 30 and trying to decide what to do with my life, I was obviously drawn to a group of books that were tackling similar issues. Only this time, I left Murakami on the shelf. Complaining about the foreign book selection in Japan is equivalent to whining about the lack of good salt water fish in Iowa, but one tends to get spoiled when English is your mother tongue. I stood in front of the single shelf of foreign books at Book First within the bowels… Continue reading Post Revolution, Pre Civil War
Must be that time of year again when I feel inspired to write in the blog. My new year’s resolution is to be more environmentally friendly and report on the types of environmental activities that are going on in Tokyo. For those interested in environmental issues within Japan I hope I can provide bridge between organizations between the Japan and the US. I just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbra Kingsolver. I think I could begin helping with my new fund environmental desire by helping them redesign their web site, a few tweaks here and there wouldn’t hurt. Speaking with my Dad this evening we discussed the role that culture… Continue reading Bootup
Longitude is a great topic for a book and, better yet, the title for a book. While the book “Longitude” certainly tackles the issue of finding out who first (John Harrison) could measure longitude correctly with great enthusiasm, it lets itself become too biased to what amounts to the hero of the story. It seems that John Harrison, shamefully the first time I’ve heard of him, got the short end of the stick in his lifetime (late 1600’s to late 1700’s) in terms of recognition, having belongings stolen from him and worse yet having to remake those very items he lost. The man certainly had an admirable amount of dedication… Continue reading Getting my bearings
Vacations are good for refreshing your mind and altering your perspectives. This is now my second weekend back from my trip to Tanzania and I have yet to get back into the habit of drinking coffee. Coffee, while it smells great and I’ve acquired a taste for it, still feels wrong to me; I decided to significantly cut back on my coffee rations. I was at about 2 cups a day and I may go back to that once the stress of work and life gets back into my blood stream. For now, I am content to see how far I can take my little experiment. I’ve also shifted my focus from… Continue reading Experiment
I hate fucking posting because no one ever comments. So here’s a question for you. With so many Bushism out there, it’s hard to keep an objective perspective on what the President has to say. I mean, he’s said so many dumb things. “is our children learning”… “there’s no doubt in my mind, that we will fail”… “fool me once…” But let’s turn the situation on its head a bit. What if the president was to come out with a crazy, stupid sounding phrase like… “the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”. Given how badly he’s screwed up his image, would this revered phrase be just written off as… Continue reading Pointless?
Reading list thanks to Cameron: End of America – Naomi Watts – Enjoyed thoroughly – Plenty of facts to back up her opinions – Plenty of controversial points to make lunch time fun The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan – Enjoyed immensely and will have a life long affect on how I live my life – Seriously considering becoming a farmer. Should probably try out life on the farm first though. Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner – Enjoying (still reading), but writing style and degree of professional journalism doesn’t seem to match the calibar of the first two. Don’t know why. – Makes for great trivial pursuit material Also… Continue reading The freaky dilemma in America
Osechi, sipping spiced Japanese sake and the marathon sessions of watching TV made for a typical New Year holiday here in Kichijoji. Favorite shows during the holiday seasons include the first time shopping program in which parents send out there 4 or 5 year old children to brave the the meat stores and vegetables stands on their own for the first time. Amidst much bawling and confusion the children always manage to make their way to the designated store to purchase their wares. Another favorite is the world strongest athlete show where they pit professional athletes from a variety of sports against one another to see who can… Continue reading Welcome to 2008
This week marked the official end of league for this year. I’m sad that we won’t be bowling again until the 9th or, it’s amazing how addicted I’m becoming to this game. Now, if only I had the scores to reflect my passion. The end of year party was, just like last year, awesome. This time around the event was held at a hotel in Tsukiji on the 32F of the New Hankyu Hotel. One of the members of the league happens to be a part time chef at one of the restaurants there and cut us a great deal. Not only was the food good, but we had an… Continue reading Bowling end of year party and such
Talking with my coworker today we go on to the subject of sleep. The topic is one that has been perplexing me more and more recently due to a couple of factors. First, when I sleep to long I wake up with a rather sore back. This could be due to the bed that we purchased a few months back or maybe a lack of stretching and exercising daily or my bad posture as I’m writing this blog entry. Ok, that’s better. Nevertheless, it got me to thinking that too much sleep may be too much of a good thing. Looking around the Internet seems to justify this assumption. Taking… Continue reading When and how long to sleep
A pet pig on the right. It’s supposed to grow or do something based on what I type in this blog… but it is yet to be determined if it understands English. This is something that I highly doubt. So although this post has nothing to do with bowling or usual life, it does have everything to do with my new special little friend named ぬー (nu) on the right. Welcome to my blog ぬー and I hope we can be friends.
Today, I can say for the first time, that I have won a bowling event. It was by complete luck that it worked out the way that it did and I was extremely fortunate to have a wide range of talent, mostly towards the lower end of the bell curve there to take me on. I was asked to join the event by a coworker of mine. Turns out he and a bunch of his drinking / college buddies were putting something together. I didn’t blink an eye given the chance to go bowling so I took him up on the offer. As it turned out it was really an… Continue reading Bowling Event
I will no begin on a multi-part post on improving your bowling game. I have only visions of what this multi-part post may look like. Recently, I have found numerous strategies and points to help me in my bowling game. For any serious bowler these will be basic tips, but for a beginner, essential advice. Tip #1 – Shorten your approach If you suffer from a lack of control or consistency on your throw, then a primary flaw could be the length of your approach. With a length approach you have a lot more room for error. More steps equals more time to think about what you are doing (a… Continue reading Learning to Bowl
The wind blows strong from the south. The train hitches a ride upon the gusts and makes a stop at our apartment window. Scents of the south Pacific waft our way and with it comes the humidity and heat. Summer has arrived. The rainy season has ended. We will see relief when August and September have run their course. Then all will be cool again, with red maple leaves and wedding bells. Ssshh. Hear comes the wind again. I think I hear Nebraska.
Today a few pictures from the weekend. Went sign shooting around town. Came up with a few interesting shots. Also found a temple, thanks to my picture taking friend and tour guide. I thought that usually went with watching TV. This building was apparently that of a Buddhist sect. A rather far-right one. The temple.
Found out a farmers market is held once a month in Harajuku called the Earth Day Market. Was expecting there to be hordes or produce, piles of zucchinis and fresh bake d bread, but instead found fresh gathered(?) honey, a variety of beans and rhubarb. The rhubarb is already queued up for a rhubarb pie that we’ll make either tomorrow or the day after. The walk to the farmer’s market took us past a ton of street performers that I didn’t know existed. Meanwhile the bridge where all the goth people used to hang out is quietly being taken over people looking for free hugs. I think they are inspired… Continue reading Fresh Veggies
These are a few of my favorite things. Bought our wedding bands and krispie kreme doughnuts for the first time today. Wedding bands are more exciting, but they don’t arrive for another month so my instant gratification craving was instead filled with the hot, sugary goodness of krispie kreme doughnuts instead. They give out free doughnuts in the line in Shinjuku. Best to wait in line for the free doughnuts and then skip the remainder of the line to buy the 12 assorted or 12 plain glazed boxes… unless you’re the type that likes waiting 30 to 60 minutes to pick out exactly which of the sugar bombs you’d like… Continue reading White Gold Rings and Krispie Kremes