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Archive for October, 2009

More chaos and some order Oct 30

How the hell did I accumulate so much stuff!  It very scary how much stuff you have!

I’ve started the process of putting it all away, but not at all happy about the layout.  My first thoughts on it were totally stupid and i wasn’t thinking it through.  I think some assumptions based on my old place come into mind.  After sitting and looking at it all, then pulling out the measuring tape I came up with a new plan.  I also wanted to get a nice big TV as lets face it 42inchs of TV is awesome.  There was however no way i could have the dining room table, my desk and tv in the same room.

I toyed with idea of putting the desk into the small room, but after talking with a friend I came to the realization that I spend alot of time at my desk working on stuff, and also like to have the TV on with something mildly interesting to watch (as I am now).

So thinking outside of the box I got to thinking how often do I really use my dining room table.  Trust me I’m not getting rid of it.  A solid English oak table, its not leaving my possession ever!  I love that table!

The movers have arrived. Oct 29

I’ve taken two days of work to do the move and 9am on the 29th October they arrived (or more specially 9:05am!)

They have started packing everything up, and its now just pack it all and clean behind them.  The moving company was Crown Lines and while I guess it was not the cheapest prices i could have gotten it is the mover of recommendation from my company and they have a good reputation. 

I covered what was involved in the actual move before and given that time was short I didn’t have time to go looking for other quotes and have also heard from a couple of other people who used the ‘cheap’ movers and would not recommend them.

Tonto was around for the first hour of the move and found it a wonderful experience having other people in the house and so many things moving around.  He got into everything and just a little underfoot!  I did however arrange for him to goto doggy day care at Dog Inc (web link to come) and when Yamada-san arrived he was more than happy to go off to play with his friends.  Dog Inc really came through as well and picked him up from the old apartment and dropped him off at the new one!  (washed and groomed!).

The moving team were brillant and finished the pack up at about 2pm.  I had time to go and pick up the new key, get back for final rough clean of the place, then be back at Shibaura in time for them to begin the unload.  Then the chaos began….

 

Moving Around Oct 21

Haven’t said much online for a while as I’ve been rather busy with a new project.  Basically finding somewhere new to live!

Its not quite as drastic as it sounds.  The lease was up on my apartment and normally its just fill in a form and its renewed for another 2 years.  I had however been exploring alot of locations and had found Shinagawa seaside which has lots of parts and is next on the Tokyo bay.

An aside and little unknown fact is that Tokyo has loads and loads of canals!  Having explored quite a few of them now it could have been fair to call Tokyo the venice of the east, but alas instead of celebrating this opportunity nearly all of the area’s around the canals has become industrial!  Like major industrial.  I’ll write more on this into another entry.  More below the fold.

Panasonic 3D TV – wow Oct 18

While walking back from the Roppongi Hills today we passed the demo centre for the new Panasonic 3D TV. As i had been looking at TV’s today Pete and I thought it would be a bit of fun.

Well blown away was the answer.  More details here.

The sequences of the Olympics Opening Ceremony were stunning and you felt like you were standing on the field!  The soccer game and golf were also just brillant.  Die hard sports fans will be queuing to buy this.  Its a killer technology.

 

More soon.

Its Official – I’m moving Oct 15

The last details of my new apartment came through i the last couple of days and I’m moving to a new home.  Today the moving company rep came and did a full assessment of my stuff.  Apparently i have 500cubic feet (or 14sq metres) of stuff to move!

I think that the assessment was done on a very broad basis as they are going to just come in a pack it all and move it with little compression of stuff.  But thats okay the company came back with a very fair price that is acceptable.

The moving cost will be approx $1400 USD for the accessed 500cubic metre’s and before you say that’s expensive let me outline exactly what will be included and will happen.

1.  They will turn up on the day and then line the entrance of the building to the lifts with plastic siding, and the lift and from the lift to my apartment.  This is to ensure no damage occurs to my stuff or the building.

2.  They will then pack everything in the apartment for me.  Taking apartment that stuff which is to big for the lift.  I have asked for boxes to pack a few things myself, but the overall service is everything i have moving (inlcuding my bike).

3.  When they arrive at the new place they will line the pathway with more plastic siding to ensure no damage.

4.  They will move and assemble everything back to where i want it.

Its also the same company that moved my stuff into the current apartment and I was totally impressed with all the care they took 4 years ago so quite happy to use them again.

Seeing movers in Japan is quite something as the care these teams take with you stuff is quite something.  After seeing the way the UK movers moved my stuff to the truck and the damage they caused to the house Japan is light years ahead.  Obviously I’ll comment back if things go bad, but this is a large company that specialize in this stuff.  They also provided a very generous discount given that while its a company to company apartment I am footing the bill for the move.

A very brief explanation is that I live in a house which the company has the lease for.  I pay all the bill’s so this is no expat deal.  The reason for this is as a gaijin in Japan trying to secure an apartment/home is not easy as there are so many requuirements you must meet.  Where as if the company holds the lease the rental people are very happy.  Again I want to stress this is not an expat deal or anything like it. 

It was only a matter of time Oct 09

I find already as the American right wing wakes up they find fault with the nobel peace prize.

 

I would like to ask Michelle Maulkin and the others, what could he do that makes you happy?

Apparently there are other parts of the world that don’t agree with you?  How long are going to hold onto small minded lies before you figure out, that maybe just maybe there is another choice, and its not that bad!

And hey , all positive comments welcome.  The no answers is just well 2009!

10 year vs 10 Minutes. Oct 09

Now for something more real and to me far more important.  Tonight I phoned and old friend from the UK and had a chat.

We knew Nady when i worked in the midlands and we got on really well.  Then I left and did the whole big travel travel thing.  Came back and Nady and Tim were there as good friends still.  Went to live in Ireland, and did trips back to there place for there whole slow dinner thing we had started before i left.

 

Then i moved to London and we still did things together, but well time passsed.  The last time i went back to see them the first child was on the way (brillant) and then work just seemed to get in the way of things.  But you know what it didn’t really.

We kept in touch and tonight we had a long catch up chat, 10 years after we met and it was the most natural and easy conversation of old friends.  We still need a few more good long phone calls to get all the stuff done, but this is what I love about my old friends.  We can do this!

Travelling the world as I have done you meet some amazing people who travel.  You also meet some amazing people who are there.   Tonight was a really wonderful reminder of who i really care about and love.  10 years to 10 minutes, thats a friend!

 

An update to this is that a really old friend from school has been in touch with me!

The fight against Tyranny and Freedom Oct 09

Actually two different concepts, but i”m going to stay on topic for one message.  That of freedom!

Over the last year I’ve followed American politics and learnt a great many things.  I’m not an expert but think i have a good handle on the basics.

The right wing TV channel (aka Fox News) is always going on about the fight against both topics and will basically do anything to find fault with the current administration in the US.

They say the fight for freedom is a core aspect that everyone should oppose the changes to everything going on.  I would just like to focus on one very specific area of that.

Within the healthcare system of the US you really only get health insurance if you are working.  And for a fair part those people with good health insurance don’t really care about the reforms being proposed.

But!  What about all those people who are afraid to leave their current job because it will result in them leaving the health care plan!  And lets not be delusional here there are many many people who are stuck in jobs they don’t like but won’t leave because of the healthcare insurance paid for by there employer.

Where is the freedom in that?  Thats not freedom!  If you want to put it into another English language word its called servitude.  You can’t leave the job because of certain reasons.

I think many people have lost the difference between capitalism, free enterprise and being trapped by it.  I have no issue with either.  But if you don’t want to leave your job because of certain reasons such as healthcare benefits are you not trapped in the job you have to work in?

This is just an outsider looking in, but I would ask don’t keep going on about freedom as you do because for those of us who live in countries with good health care systems we just see you as plebs to the big insurance companies who take you money and will find every opportunity to deny paying out.  I don’t have to give examples, just go ask your friends on when they were denied a claim. 

Have a think about it, then put your support where you think it might be better placed.

 

d

Putting it into place. Oct 03

Today was supposed to be a full day of just organizing everything, but the weather and a friend had other idea’s.

Curtis phoned as asked if we would be interested in heading upto the imperial palace for a walk around it (and him a 4km run) as the day was just a wonderful mid autumn day with sun shining it was a brilliant idea.  Tonto and I took a cab up there and then we spent a wonderful morning walking around the palace and just enjoying being outside.

We later headed up to Akihabara for some television buying.  As i now had room for a nice big flat screen i was ready to buy one.  Curtis was along as my interpreter (the store does have English speaking staff, but its generally easier with a fluent speaker along).

It all was going okay with me picking the Sharp model I had seen before, but after saying I wanted the Sharp model i took another good long look at the Panasonic model right next to it and really looking at it the Panasonic did have a deeper black picture.

I have spent alot of time reading reviews of HD tv’s and will confess its so confusing.  A techo geek i know here had just brought a new TV and didn’t like the Panasonic brand, but every review online I have read always puts them in the top five.  When last at home Dad also had me help him get a new flat screen and it was a Panasonic.  On the plane back i oddly read a review of flat screen TV’s in NZ and the one he got was listed as the top model!  So after the shop guy had presented all the paper work for the Sharp i changed my mind! $300 extra change my mind, but he was happy about that as he still had the sale and more money.

We Lost the Olympics. Oct 02

I just read now that Tokyo lost the bid for the 2016 Olympics.  I read the statement made available to why it should come here.  I cannot agree more on them.

Knowing Japan as i currently do they are probperly one of the few cities that can not only host the games, but also turn a profit from it,and also make it amazing.

It would be 15 years ways, and given Japan it would take probably 5 of them to sort out how to do it.  But never underestimate my host country.  When they decide on how to do something I really know nothing would stop them from making them the most amazing games ever.

did i mention they weill make a profit from it.  not because they will cut corners, really its because they know how to do things.

Lets put a few facts up here 3 years ago my countries population was a little larger than 3 million people.  Just a starting figure.  The Shinagawa rail/subway station deals with that number of people on a daily basis.

To make it clear ONE of the major railway stations here in Japan can process and move the entire population of my country in one day.

To make it really clear an evident that just the daily turnover for that station, then add in  all the other commuters who go through other stations. You get the gist.

If Tokyo had to deal with all visitors from the olympics it would just be  busy day to them. 

I’m sad to hear that Tokyo will not host the games as i really think they could show the world something about how it can be done.  My colleagues and team here are some of the best people I’ve ever worked with.  Give a clearly defined process and its done.

To expand thou more sometimes a set procedure wont’ work.  but that a part of the wonder of living here. 

I’m really sad that Tokyo won’t host the games. As a resident here I think they missed something amazing and an opportunity to show just how amazing Japan is and getting things done.

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