Friday, November 30, 2007

"Please spare my life"

I think it's fair to say that I am a veteran of most things Japanese, there really isn't many things that really tears me out of my bed, bitch slaps me and kicks me out the door anymore, but this video that I was recommended by my lovely ex-colleague The Hag did just that. As an avid synthpop fan the catchy melody and corny synths makes it even better. I have also heard from reliable sources that Mia Farrow is a fan of this video.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What the hell did I do last night...?

What the hell did I do last night...? Wait...? No... no, I didn't, did I?

I'll have another one of those!

Well... Unless you know a little about Japanese (and/or Chinese) food I guess you won't really make sense of this one, but trust me, it sounds pretty bizarre... A gyoza is not supposed to be like this...
Queazy as I am about bizarre foodstuff I did not personally try this, but it sounded worse than it looked...

Please forgive me!

I've now kept up this blogging for soon a year and I am still a bit torn about the whole concept. I mean, I do find the blogging a relatively amusing distraction and it also has the benefit of something close to that of a diary in that I write down some of the interesting things that have happened to me when it's fresh in my memory. On one hand I do this to keep my friends up to date what's going on with me (but since I don't mention too many details, I guess it's not too useful anyway) and I also partly do it for myself, but then it's also really pleasant when people I don't know find this place and makes themselves comfortable here and find my adventures amusing.

However, since this blog is pretty scattered in that it mainly covers Japan, consulting and my general life (with references to serial killers and obscure music intermixed), I do understand that it can be difficult to get in to and that most of the readers probably are more interested in one subject and less interested in another. But since I don't do this with any intention of making money or becoming enormously large or anything I guess I can afford to keep it a bit scattered and hope that some of you find all of the subjects interesting to some degree.
But coming back to the title of this post, I am registered at a number of different blog places with the intention of making it easier for people to find my blog. However, I am not personally a blog hound, I only follow a very minor number of blogs with any kind of real dedication and most of those are written by close friends. Granted, if a new and interesting blog really throws itself in my face I will probably follow it, but I do not actively spend time seeking out new blogs to follow or involve myself in the blogging community.
So to all those people who have added me as "friends" or something similar on different blog search pages, please forgive me and I can promise you that I have at least visited your blog once and probably with a very short attention span that didn't do your blog justice! But I do appreciate the add and please forgive me!
(Hmmm... this was neither particularly funny or interesting, I'll try to work on it!)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Is anyone going to have that last Pizzasausagedanish?

Going back to ancient history, but one of the first topics that I touched upon in this blog was the interesting combinations of food that can occur when Japanese taste clashes with Western foods. I have grown used to seeing these sometimes strange new things and I now rarely react to some things I would probably have reacted to ten years ago. However, today I encountered one of the most disgusting looking combinations ever. The product in question is called a "Pizza-Sausage-Danish" and quick thinkers will quickly realize that this is a combination of pizza with the cheese and tomato based sauce, a hot dog placed upon a danish. Click the picture to see a larger version of the horror!

Now, if this combination does not make you flinch with disgust there are other factors that also need to be considered. This product is not stored cold, it's stored in the bread section of the store and imagine the number of preservatives that needs to go into this product to keep the sausage edible after several weeks of storage in room temperature...

I dare you to eat one of these!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

An imaginary project for an imaginary company

We recently just finished a very stressful project for a very interesting company. The company is a start-up company created from a partnership of Japanese and American investors and the company itself labels itself as a "Speciality Car accessory company" (I hid the real industry here), catering to some nice areas that have high growth and require special considerations. The companies have invested a lot of million US$ in this company and expect triple the return within 5 years, so their plans are very ambitious.

There is only one catch with this...; The company is completely imaginary and consists of a number of small people sitting in a room, having no products, none of the infrastructure in terms of regulatory affairs and quality assurance necessary for selling these type of products. Neither do they have a salesforce that could potentially sell any products if the company actually had any. Neither does the company have any R&D resources or capabilities to develop products that could contribute to the Japanese market. There is no business plan behind what they are doing and the label "Speciality Car accessory company" is completely made up since they actually do not have anything to sell and the company could equally truthfully label themselves a "Extreme sex toys company" since they don't have any products in that area either.

For these people we have just finished a project, taking a quick look into the nice area that they are thinking of establishing themselves in. With no time to speak of and very little money and resources we managed to throw something together that we hardly have any idea about ourselves, but it met the deadline. I would go as far as saying that this was an imaginary project for an imaginary company.
The pain you ask? The pain was very real and I've got the scars to prove it!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Sport of Kings

Hooking up with Ms. Sunshine also means that I've hooked up with a former ranked pretty serious tennis player, and I've decided to take up the challenge of trying out this sport, not without some fear of this wakening her comeptitive instinct and playing the crap out of me, forgetting that she's suppossed to teach me how to play this sport.

The basics seems pretty easy, a ball comes at you and you hit the ball back to the other side, preferrably using the tool called "racket", fine, I think I can manage that. However, I forsee more difficult parts of this. It is my understanding that any good tennis player needs to have a very expressive "uh!" exclamation everytime they hit he ball and I am still developing mine. Also, the ball bouncing before a serve seems to be pretty important so I will need to refine that as well, currently I'm thinking of three bounces before serve, but it remains to be refined.

My current practice consists of playing Wii Sports tennis and working on my "uh!" and I think I will settle for something pretty obscene sounding.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

You come around here often?

I've recently noticed a surge in visitors and particularly some new regulars showing up on my radar and wanted to say welcome to all of you who have discovered this little place here on the Internet.

I usually have no problem at all with people that are reading the page without leaving comments, something I do myself most of the time, but I would also please invite everyone to leave some form of comment and any comments on what you like in terms of content here would be very welcome. If there is anything you want to hear more about or so, please let your voice be heard. Oh, and yeah, please participate in my stupid immature polls since I gain some amusement from that!

Also, thank you very much to the people who have started linking to me!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wow, he looks just like the real Chuck

I am soon ready to finally get over my trip to the US and get on with my life here as an ordinary foreign salaryman here in Japan, but there is one more thing I feel would be great to share with my faithful readers here.

You see, yours truly has a certain weakness for Wax Museums, the worse they are the more entertaining I find them and I found a real pearl in San Francisco in the Fisherman's Wharf area. Among the famous people portrayed (with varying degrees of failure), including such significant personalities as pope Jean Paul II, Britney Spears and Adolf Hitler, I found a model of Chuck Norris. One of the last great action heroes and worthy of sharing with you.

Fringe Benefits

Things have been pretty calm now at the work front with Mr. Salaryman spending a large amount of time after the trip to the US on the beach and taking it easy, working on going through all pages on wikipedia in alphabetical order. On the private side, I am currently keeping myself busy with Ms. Sunshine and enjoying it thouroughly. I've also realized the importance on keeping an eye on fringe benefits when chosing girlfriend, having a girlfriend that works in a brand clothes company generates the fringe benefit of free pimp clothing.

Just recently I met with a couple of my Salarymen friends (the real Japanese variant) over a few beers and a couple of Shōchū (potato based version, drunken on the rocks, obviously) glasses. The topic of girls came up and with one of my Salaryman friends being hooked up with a girl working at the Four Season, generating hugely discounted dinners and free stays overseas and me with Ms. Sunshine and the brand stuff, the remaining member of the little gathering seemed a bit disheartened since his lady works at an insurance company and generating very few fun filled fringe benefits.

Lessons learned here? Don't underestimate the fringe benefits!
(As I am writing this a minor earthquake is shaking things up a bit; just another day in the life here in Tokyo)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Everything I've ever used I have abused

I'm just back in Tokyo now after my trip to the USA and enjoying to be back home in my crib. All in all I can say that it was a pretty satisfactory trip without too much heavy lifting and relatively stress free and I got to see some of the area around California. Also, on my trip back I managed to get upgraded from business class to first class which further enhanced my quality of life on the flight back home.

However, everything was not fun and games. You see, yours truly is a user of the wonderful nicotine product called "snus", this is basically a very manly way of consuming nicotine directly in to the bloodstream through the gums instead of through the lungs. Your Salaryman directly imports this from Sweden and the supply chain has to be carefully managed in order to ensure that a gap in product supply does not occur. The few times it has happened it has been managed either through temporary smoking or finding a specialized shop that carry this here in Tokyo (usually old and dry, but better than nothing). However, during the trip to the US a slight miss in ordering of the products made it possible that a brief gap in supply could occur and therefore I took great care to not use more per day than absolutely necessary. However, then I discovered that similar products are sold in the US under the brand name of "Skoal" and to my joy I purchased quite a few of these boxes to try out.

I will say this only once, ok, they did the trick in that they managed to satisfy my nicotine craving but the disgusting artifical candy flavour still makes me shudder. This is foul. It is not a nicotine product for manly men, I can hardly see who would be suitable for this and if you are a user of this product I can only recommend you to try the real thing from Swedish Match.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

What the fuck is wrong with those people?!

I've now been in the great United States of America for about 4 days and so far it has been a relatively pleasant experience. However, one big issue stands out and it ties back to what I talked about earlier...
So far, I've been "mm-hmm":ed roughly 4-5 times and the pace has intensified the last couple of days even though my own research through a statistically significant poll shows that over 65% think that it's not an acceptable response under any circumstances. This is what's wrong with this nation, not the war or anything else, that's just symptoms of the disease!

Friday, November 2, 2007

In the City of Love

Now I have relocated temporarily to the City of Love, San Francisco, and I've already seen a heavily overweight middle aged male gay couple making out inside a Virgin Megastore, so everything is like it should be.

It's my first time here, but when I walked through the streets of San Francisco (I've been instructed that use of "Frisco" or "San Fran" is not acceptable) I realized that I recognized the city pretty well since I've droven around in it and shot innocent people with an assortment of guns here previously when playing Grand Theft Auto 4. In rare moments of clarity I sometimes think that perhaps I should try to widen my frame of reference, but it passes and I move on.
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