Monday, September 26, 2011
First of all, I should apologize for the lack of posting recently, it looks like September might hit an all-time low in number of posts for a given month... Really sorry about that and rest assured that it's not because of a lack of ideas, inspiration and willingness, these last few weeks I have had to do some travel in Japan for business where time to blog has been quite limited.
Yesterday I arrived to the USA for a week of meetings in the corporate head office on the east coast. A time difference of 12 hours gives it a slightly surreal feeling as the days have turned completely upside down.
So far I am already getting slightly annoyed with the cheery waiters/waitresses and gotten served a portion of food large enough to sustain 4 Japanese salarymen for the better part of a month. I've also gotten ripped off by a taxi driver who sensed that I was just fresh off the banana boat and getting annoyed with the tipping custom here in the US... More to follow later on....
Thursday, September 15, 2011
|Now I'm old and withered|
- Going to the Museum of Natural History with my father and brother at age 4 or so and standing fascinated staring at the collection of mutated specimens pickled in formaldehyde, the siamese twin baby and the two headed snake I strongly remembered and how I wondered why they didn't just make the whole museum about that stuff (I do still wonder actually)
- Reading a Moomin comic at age six or so and realizing that I had my first pre-pubescent crush on the Snork Maiden (that has passed, the later crush on the Smurfette remains a little)
- Around the same age when Dad brought home our first computer (a ZX81 home computer) and letting us play a video game where you were hunted by an invisible monster in an invisible labyrinth (yeah, no graphics at all) but I've been hooked on games ever since
- When my brother played a tape with a Pet Shop Boys song that he had recorded from the coolest radioshow at the time (we only had three channels in Sweden, one played classical music, the other was all boring talk and the third one sometimes played pop) and getting so fascinated by the sound of electronic music (that never really let up either)
- Reading the last Superman Story "Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow" before they rebooted the whole DC universe at age ten or so and feeling oddly emotionally moved by the story (this was the time when no one died, the girls didn't have huge boobs and Superman mostly fought with a cowboy on a winged horse or some gay looking guy with thigh-high boots, and hardly carried any emotional weight). It remained with me so much that once when I was visiting home from University I spent the better half of a day digging through the childhood comic collection to try and find it and see if it really was as moving as I remembered it. A few years later I found it and realized that it was written by Alan Moore who I had been a long time fan of, so all the pieces came together
- Visiting Japan for the first time with my mom at the age of 15 and almost immediately getting the odd feeling that I had somehow came home, in a place I hardly knew
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
|It's pretty great!|
Thursday, September 8, 2011
|You know where this is from, right?|
Salaryman: (slightly puzzled) Hey, for this, what level of urgency should I pick? It's not that urgent, but it can't take forever either?
Assistant: (cheery) Mark "urgent", we always do that since they never get to it otherwise.
Salaryman: (slightly hesitant) You do that? But isn't there a risk that other more really urgent stuff gets delayed then...?
Assistant:(still cheery) Everyone always do "urgent" so it just gets done in the order it comes in.
Salaryman:(feeling the pull of the corporate void) Oh, I see, maybe they should divide "urgent" into "urgent", "very urgent" and "extremely urgent" then instead?
Assistant:(thoughtful) Hmmm... Maybe that would be good actually.
Salaryman: (getting into it) Yeah, and then they can just remove all the options except the urgent ones since no one uses it anyway
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
|However fake beer is not good for kids|
Most people reading this blog might already be quite familiar with Japan and know of this nasty little bastard half-brother of real beer. For the record, I should probably say that I generally like the regular real Japanese beer. The three big brands Asahi, Kirin and Sapporo make quite good light beer comparable with good European brands. When it comes to darker, heavier beer the Japanese have some ways to go though, but I don't particularly mind since I prefer the lighter beer in any case.
"So, what's the problem then?" you might think. Well, let me tell you what the problem is, although the quality of the fake beers has considerably improved in the last decades (ten years ago they were pretty foul), they still carry with them an aftertaste that you don't get with real beers and they give a hangover that's not in adequate relation to the amount of beer consumed (granted, this might have been improved upon in later years without me knowing since I avoid the fake beer like the plague since many years back).
When I have guests over at the salaryman base of operations, I always make a point of buying the real deal and not cheaping out with fake beer. The problem is that sometimes when visiting friends you get these fake beers shoved on you with the words "here Salaryman, have a beer!". Sadly enough, it seems like these fake beers have become the norm for most people at home and the times I get offered a real beer is getting more and more rare... Thankfully you still get served real beer at restaurants and bars, even though some extremely cheap "drink as much as you want" sometimes are suspected of not serving the real deal...
As a Salaryman, it goes without saying that I like beer (it's almost a requirement) and I try to stay as far away as possible from these fake beers as I can. Sure, there is a smaller financial gain in switching to the fake beers, but before I do that there are other less essentials corners that can be cut, such as lowering the quality of toddler Sunshine's food and removing non-essentials such as Mrs. Sunshine's massage therapist and her visits to the hair salon. It's all about priorities and I've got mine straight!
Monday, September 5, 2011
Maybe this is actually worth a separate label, but since I've just done a few posts on the subject of my favorite words in Japanese I can't really be bothered...
This particular way of sitting works very well with a cigarette in one hand and a cheap Japanese "fake" beer (the happoushuu stuff that is very close to beer but can avoid the higher beer taxation through a lower malt percentage in the brewing). It just reeks of class, I'm working on it but haven't yet nailed it down perfectly but will keep working on it!
|The way it's done!|