Friday, November 11, 2005

Rememberance Day

I doesn't really matter where you are, I think it's important to pause and remember.

I dedicate this short blog entry to my Grandfather, and my Great Uncles.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Tokyo Motor Show

It was a whirl wind 4 hours - when I could have spent a whole weekend there. Here's what I got, it's not much....

My Thip

Well, after being sworn to secrecy for the last 6 weeks,
I'm finally allowed to let it out....




Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Japan's Addiction

Ok, I can't stand it any longer. It's time to rant about my number one pet peeve, frustration...hazard in this country.


This will be a multi-entry blog topic as there is just too much to put down here.

Let's start with some statistics, shall we...

These were taken from the World Health Organization:

  • About a third of the male adult global population smokes.

  • Smoking related-diseases kill one in 10 adults globally, or cause four million deaths. By 2030, if current trends continue, smoking will kill one in six people.

  • Every eight seconds, someone dies from tobacco use.

  • Smoking is on the rise in the developing world but falling in developed nations. Among Americans, smoking rates shrunk by nearly half in three decades (from the mid-1960s to mid-1990s), falling to 23% of adults by 1997. In the developing world, tobacco consumption is rising by 3.4% per year.

  • About 15 billion cigarettes are sold daily - or 10 million every minute.

  • About 12 times more British people have died from smoking than from World War II.

  • Cigarettes cause more than one in five American deaths.

  • Among WHO Regions, the Western Pacific Region* - which covers East Asia and the Pacific - has the highest smoking rate, with nearly two-thirds of men smoking.

  • About one in three cigarettes are consumed in the Western Pacific Region.

  • The tobacco market is controlled by just a few corporations - namely American, British and Japanese multinational conglomerates.


I've just gotten over a slight bout of food poisoning which I think came from some chicken that I ate last week. It started on Thursday with that all-over achy flu-like feeling. You know, the one where all your joints feel like they've rusted and your head could explode at any moment. That was my Thursday. By Friday I had graduated from 'achy' to 'flattened by a semi'. As I hovered over my toilet at 8:00 a.m. I debated the merits of using a sick day. Unfortunately, in this country the beauracracy tends to overwhelm me and I thought that it would be easier to prop myself up against a desk for 8 hours than deal with a sick day request. Besides, I wanted to go to Tokyo the next day and I thought it would look a little suspicious if I took a day off the day before -even though I was TRULY ill.

I made it through the work day - barely - in the last class of the day my JTE finally commented that I looked quite pale... - at least she noticed, right? I went home, went to bed and dreaded the 4:00 a.m. alarm I had set. Now some of you are thinking - 4:00 alarm? What the? -Here's where Tokyo fits in.

My friend Kaz and I had planned a trip to Tokyo to see the Tokyo Motor Show together. I was to get up bright and early (usually not a big deal for me) and drive to his place, then hop in his beetle and drive to the event - yahoo! Well, everything happened as planned, minus the yahoo.
thought I was feeling better when I woke up. In fact, I did feel better, but I had only gone from 0% to 50% -not even close to where one should be when embarking on such an adventure.
Food poisioning is not fun! Sheesh!

After getting home at 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning (I had spent a few hours huddled in my sleeping bag, in my car, in an expressway parking lot that night), I got in the door, shut off every electrical device in my apartment, covered every inch of window and literaly crawled into bed and SLEPT. I woke up at 5:00 p.m. - attempted a few menial tasks, ate a bit of food, slipped back under the covers and had another full night's sleep. By Monday I was at about 75%, Tuesday, 85% and yesterday was as close to 100% as I ever feel.

I am fully aware that I put this wretched weekend upon myself - it could have been avoided by a simple phone call to Kaz, threaded with explanations and apologies. I could have slept all day Saturday, rested Sunday and avoided the miserable day I had simultaneously fighting crowds and my urge to run to a toilet...

But then what would I have had to complain about this week?