Wrong about Japan...

If you got a minute. Have a look at this article in the Guardian taken from the new book "Wrong about Japan". Well written, well done. A good couple of minutes for escaping. Have fun!

Wrong about Japan


For Final Fantasy Fan Falcos <*O.O*>

Oh my fucking god! Or rather godess! I have seen lame Rikku's (mostly US/EU) already, but this is perfect! Posted by Hello

writing reports

This is an empty page. It is really really empty. Very empty indeed. It is not that empty anymore, but now it is filled with content that is really empty. So in a way it is still empty. I should get back to work…


So true... and an Economist theme for four issues running!

I did enjoy the following reader comment to last weeks article of Germanophobia in the Economist, which followed two earlier ones. Here the whole scoop.

Don't mention the war

SIR – Your article on Germanophobia in Britain reminds me of when I first moved to Britain from Munich (“War bores”, October 30th). I was perturbed to be authoritatively informed that my highly cultured home is, in fact, “full of Nazis”. The British insistence on clinging to outdated stereotypes of the Germans as Nazis (and to outdated notions of themselves as a great power) is a constant source of both amusement and frustration. And it does a great disservice to the civilised, tolerant and enviable state of life in modern Germany. Rather than telling the Germans not to forget their history—something that they have never sought to do—the Daily Mail and its readers might do better not to lose sight of the present.
Nathaniel Kent



Great Vacation

... well actually I just hopped over to my hometown of Hamburg for two nights last weekend, but it was great (although bitterly cold, I should add)!

I left straight from work to go to Stansted and unusually so, there were no problems, waiting-lines and other such niceties that I have come to expect from the likes of Ryanair, to deter me. Once in Hamburg we had my favourite meal as a child close to mid-night ("Heaven and Earth"... something with liver... don't ask, just eat). On saturday we explored a bit of the town, had some good food, met my old friends and in the evening went to the Dom (amusement park/carnival) until half past twelve. On Sunday we had a good (and icy freezing cold) day relaxing in Hamburg and seeing a bit of Luebeck (and eating the rest, incl. a delicious Currywurst!), before going back to London.


The axis of evil keeps spinning and - cool! - a page about me...

After already moonlighting my views on Bush's new appointments for State and Attorney General, having posted comments on Pat's Blog articles "Farewell Mr. Powell" and " Mr. Ashcroft, you should be a member of another government", now that POTUS's new playfriends have been appointed, I shall add my two-pence. BTW. Patrick, please do fix your blog - your archives don't seem to be working properly.

Not only will the US and the world have to come to terms with "that bitch" in charge of State, another Vulcan as the head of the NSC, an attorney-general who does not appear to believe in due process of the law, but also the last vestiges of "compassionate conservatism" in Agriculture, Energy and Education leaving the cabinet to make way for more yes-men.

True to form, the CIA also follows the trend from hell to worse that I have observed in other arms of government so far, as toothless-Tenet was replaced by the worst of both worlds, a tree-hugging neo-con.

You might remember this colourful ex-CIA operative from having breakfast on the morning of September 11 2001 with General Ahmed of the ISI (Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, which was then heavily involved with the Taliban and even bin Laden's group directly) in a top-secret conference room on the fourth floor of the U.S. Capitol. This came after having met the Afghan ambassador in a meeting in Islamabad a month earlier.

All in all, don't hold your breath for the emperor to discover his new clothes...

"And now to something completely different"(tm), browsing the web, I accidentally found a short and incomplete overview of my time jobbing for Squaresoft
Square Auto-CV

They forgot about a number of games, but I think it is pretty cool to find info about myself on the web. ^.^


The weirdest thing...

Just as I published my last post a few seconds ago. Gmail has introduced POP access! Hurray for Gmail and those mysterious forces in the universe...



P.S.: The configuration is so easy - even Patrick could do it! ^.~


A 3G phone finally - a why it took me one and a half years to get it!

As a follow-up on my earlier rant on my frustration with UK mobile businesses and how they keep ripping me off - Bastards! - I can now happily report that I am the proud owner of a 3G mobile phone on a contract. The only snag is that this took me over a year of pain, high costs and wasted time and effort to acheive. Moreover, this is not even the best deal that is out there, but for finally being able to get anything at all, I decided not to waste any more time and just take it.

In other news: Bastards! (II - the return, or sth.)

Microsoft has decided to finally scrap its best (and practically free, due to the ubiquitous nature of Windows) piece of software: Outlook Express. In a badly-executed move of revenue-grabbing (admirable that MS gave some of its stash back to shareholders..., but!) they have, without warning!!!, suddenly stopped supporting free Hotmail accounts to be accessed from Outlook Express. Since gmail.com (Google mail) offers a well working, clutter-free 1GB mail-service and soon will introduce free POP-access with probably IMAP-access coming later, Hotmails grip over eMail should hopefully be broken and not allow MS to milk customers further by exploiting yet another monopoly.

Take this:
Efficient and effective browsing
(Don't forget to get the plug-ins!)
Gmail - also get the Google desktop search - It is fantastic!




Ethnic-based parties in multi-ethnic nations...

... does it work?

Although I certainly do not share Adam Yoshida's views at all, I do enjoy reading his blog occasionally and he has stumbled (and misinterpreted) a very important piece of news that I was not aware of. Death of Europe

Reported more comprehensively by the BBC here at Court rules Vlaams Blok is racist, apparently the party, which is built around the concerns of the Dutch-speaking Flemish majority in Belgium that feels dominated by the French-speaking Walloon elite, has been banned for its xenophobic ideas and separatist ideology. The banning of which Patrick might approve of, considering its similarity to the PQ in Canada - safe from the fact that Dutch-speakers are actually the majority of the population and occupy nearly half of the country. (Belgium is legally a bilingual Dutch/French-speaking country with a 10% German speaking minority, which has its own media and officials in the east - the numbers for French and Dutch natives are Dutch 58% and French 32% respectively)

The VB point of view can be found here at Vlaams Blok.

While I believe that they should be forced tone down their xenophobic populism (you should be able to nail prominent members for inciting public disturbances), a democratically organised party that expresses the concerns of its voters and does not espouse violence, nor other illegal acts, should not be forbidden. What do you think?




finally a full manager

Hey everyone!

I have just - on the by - been informed that I was promoted to full investment manager (sic - it should be investment promotion manager, but who am I to argue...)officially now and will get my new cards when we move our office to the Kiwis, but more about that when it happens. It will not change much on the ground, although I am hoping for some goodies, as i have been using that title already towards clients, as no CEO of a billion dollar-turnover corporation wants to talk to an "assistant" about potential investment projects. This coupled with the perfect weather (sunny and crisp), some good meetings and a chance encounter with an old friend makes this an excellent day. Keep up the good work, Life!




some more proof

Everyone knows that there is a lot of shit on the internet, but apparently there are also a lot of people want to know about shit over the internet. Or to be more exact, how to shit. The now famous and often excellent wikipedia free online encylopedia project has finally publised an article that we have all been waiting for. An in-depth study of the Japanese toilet! From its humble beginings during the Yoyoi cultures period of Japanese pre-history to the funky modern apparatuses that freak out first-timers to Japan, you can find out you ever wanted to knwo about the Japanese way of crapping. Enjoy: Japanese toilets!




That's it.

This day I have finally decided, that I will not continue in "hell". I will not bore you with a rant about the many serious misgivings I have for taking this decision, but suffice to say that my idea of doing business differs vastly from certain government officials.

This means that I can look forward to the time after my exams in early December (JPLT and hopefully GMAT) for all the hope and hard work that goes into applying, which will be sweetened by the fact that I will go to Japan over New Year.

Originally, I had also planned to go to Korea, but now I do not feel that there is any reason for me to go, nor do I feel the slightest wish to do so anymore. Instead, I will fulfill my childhood dream of going to a snow-covered natural Onsen hot-spring in the open isolated Japanese North-East on the Sea Of Japan (definition ... if you don't understand it, you don't need to ...) in Winter. I will stay there for three days over the new year and now that I will not go to Korea, I might just as well have a little more colour in my vacation plans by adding the pacific island paradise that is Okinawa, although if the dollar keeps falling, as I anticipate it will, I might change that to Guam.





Another item on the "Rip-Off Britain" list: Mobiles

Having been a good high-usage monthly paying customer at Orange for over 4 years now, one would expect that the telecoms over here would do everything to keep me. But no, this is Britain. Instead of having to fear loosing my custom to other providers, they apparently know that I cannot get any new mobile contract in this country. Despite having no debt, never having had any debt and nothing that could be negative for my application, and trying about a hundred times at every possible outlet, my applications are ALWAYS declined. So in the end, I decided to upgrade on my existing and very expensive Orange contract (as I later found out, an upgrade is exactly like a new contact, but if I would just make a new contract I could get double minutes and a better phone for free... darn), handed in my old mobile for buy-back and that was that. Not quite, the new phone was faulty, they overcharged me and now, even four month after the upgrade, I still haven't seen any of that buy-back money on my phone bill (when calling repeatedly, I got the answer after three days that they had "forgotten" to put it towards my bill, even though it is on the contract!). No wonder people are leaving Britain in droves. I shall soon join them.

No cheers,


Great night out!

Today was a good day. I haven't been out for so long that I can't even remember when I have last been anywhere new. But today, although in the usual unplanned manner of mine, I had a grand time. Yesterday on Friday, I was informed that instead of sitting at home doing some reading or playing, I would be taking part in my friends' birthday party in Soho. Shortly afterwards, I was told that I was furthermore expected to come to a great Guy Fawkes Day fireworks display at Alexandra Palace. As the birthday party was supposed to move there anyhow, we went directly (after the usual Falco-delay) to Alexandra Palace and it was great!!! I had never been there before and this was my first Guy Fawkes Day actually out and about in London. The birthday party aparently got so drunk in Soho, that they did not make it there and when I got back into the city I was not able to get in touch with them. Or to be more exact, when calling the birthday-girl (at 9pm...) she was so inebriated that she could barely utter the words "car...home...drunk" before passing out on the phone. So in the end we spent some more time at the Virgin store and looking at the crowds, before slowly returning home.

In other news, fighting frogs have been sighted in Western Africa. Stand by. More seriously, this is really quite unbelievable! I thought that Ivory Coast was finally turning for the better and now the gov't plays this rought? In this international climate? Against the French? Are they MAD? Anyhow, read for yourself at: http://www.newsisfree.com/iclick/i,59877735,1469,f/ . Good night!




Let's get back to business, shall we?

"It was a vote about freedom, about morality, about US business interests overseas, but - above all - about the security of every family in the land. No, not Tuesday's US Presidential election. As every Investors Chronicle reader knows, this should make no difference to their livelihoods (see IC 15 Oct 2004, page 50). I refer, instead, to Monday's vote on the UK Gambling Bill." - This is the welcome change in reporting that I have been looking for in a while and came unexpectedly from one of the magazines that I fortunately have to keep track of at work. The article continues to blast the conservative Daily Mail for its populist and misleading campaign against punting. This introductory piece is delightfully entitled "Die-regulation".

On a completely different subject, I am going to Germany today in two weeks and am looking very much looking forward to it! Not only will I get my nicer suits and maybe a new one there, but I will also enjoy the delights of a real mid-night Doener Kebab (not the crap that they sell here in the UK), or rather a proper Berlin-style Currysausage and, most importantly, my traditional visit to the Blockhouse restaurant near Hoheluft for the perfect Steak-dinner on Saturday evening.