Too tired to go to practice tonight.

debauchery in roppongi

We meet Kevin right at 10pm at Mogamobo. It's still early and the crowd is thin. Ed and Ako, a cutie he knew from Texas, appears. Eventually a group of people Kev knows shows up. Another group of women shows up, dressed in black cocktail dresses and sporting eyemasks, bubble-guns, party poppers, and baloon art. They each have a button declaring them member's of "Jo's Hen Party", making every guy in the bar desparately wish he was "Jo".
Stevie's girl Eriko brought a friend but, arriving on time and seeing Stevie nowhere, went next door to dance to bad 80's tunes. Finally Stevie and Kyle appear, Stevie going "Where's Eriko?"
By now the place is reasonably packed, the hen party is in full bubble-making/party-popping mode, and the music is loud. Just as we spot Lee's plaque on the wall (second over, second down from the upper right corner) my cell rings: Lee calling from New York. We chat, we toast, we refuse to ring the bell in his honor unless he provides us with a credit card number.

Ed knows another place (there's ALWAYS another place in Roppongi) so we hike around the corner and up the street. Before getting incoherent, Steve calls his wife, and then into the basement we go. The music is better, the air-conditioner is more effectice, the dartboard is crap, and the tvs are playing some bad gangster movie starring Sharon Stone with 80's hair. Kyle gets freaky in the corner. Kevin shows us how the sport of the beer-drinking pot-bellied white man is played. Steve is humbled. Stevie is Stevie. Stevie's girlfriend is also, unfortunately, Stevie.
At some point, several hours after the carriage has turned back into a pumpkin, we emerge to street level. Fighting through waves of offers for massage and other services, we put Steve in a cab pointing vaguely back towards the Hotel Okura, say our good-byes, and I stumble back home, glad I live within walking distance of the armpit that is...Roppongi.


Friggin' Microsoft and their assinine OS. I've gotten over 100 mails with the virus yesterday and am still getting them today. Virus scrubbers on the firewall have killed them all before the mail gets into my inbox, but it's still annoying. Now what's worse is that some infected machines are using my email address as the from/reply-to, so now I'm getting bouncebacks as well.
Do not assume Microsoft or your ISP or anyone else will keep your PC clean. It's your machine, and it's your responsibility. You don't have to write your own anti-virus software or configure your own firewall, but at least use some industry standard software and keep it in proper working order.
It's kind of like your car. You don't have to change the oil yourself, but you do have to remember to have the oil changed regularly. No one comes over to your house every month to check your oil without even bothering your about it, right?


Ran through the fundamentals at practice, and after Tanaka-sensei showed up I took the two beginners and continued to drill on the basics. About 7:30 Niina-gosoke showed up and made everyone do the first kata, shin. Seems that recently there's been some mis-information about this first and most important kata. The first cut is a standard 45 degrees rising diagonal. The second cut is a diagonal into the base of the neck and through the body to the waist, above the hipbone. The angle is most definitely not 45 degrees. Also, the position of the hands after the second cut isn't set in stone. Depending on arm length, sword size, etc. the hands could be in front of the left knee, or above it, or beside it. The key is the angle of the cut; into the base of the neck and down through the body, along the line of the collar of the uniform. Also, the upper body should not be leaning too far forward.
The best thing to do is first try the kata standing. Right foot out rising diagonal. Retract the left and ready the sword, then left foot out and diagonal cut. In that position, drop the right knee to the floor and check the upper body position: should not be leaning too far forward, just slightly.

my brother got a real job!

To quote:
"I’m the new Web/Marketing designer here at Globus and Cosmos for a real live salary and everything."

Does this mean he'll pay me back all that money I loaned him for those high-risk Florida real estate investments?

gallery of unfortunate subtitles

Some magical gems of bad translation.

mano-a-mano (again)

By 6:30 no one had shown up for practice, so I got in front of the mirror and starting drilling myself of the fundamentals, and then the kata for the national tournament next month.
A little after 7 Kasahara-kun showed up, so I stood him in front of the mirror and schooled him for an hour until he could draw and cut without making all kinds of clashing clicking noises; drawing smoothly so that his blade completely cleared the saya (scabbard) without chewing it up. I think he was finally starting to get it, and the last couple of times he drew and cut it looked pretty good for a beginner, so there is hope, both for him and for my teaching!

However, every now and then my right shoulder would twinge in pain. Not the usual right shoulder pain I feel; it's just under the collar bone, kind of a stabbing pain, that goes as quickly as it comes. First started feeling it when doing forms, but didn't hurt at all during warmup and basics. A strange thing, the human body is.

zero day

Cousin Dave's first full-length feature film Zero Day is opening at Film Forum in NYC (209 West Houston) on Wednesday September 3.
Buy tix online and see it.


Tanaka-sensei took the two new guys and Kanai-bashocho was instructing the two others, leaving me in the back to practice on my own. I went through the five kata for the upcoming national tournament and immediately felt a sharp pain in my right shoulder, just like on Wednesday of last week. So I took it easy and the pain went away, but it made me kind of jumpy, so I was in terrible form all night. In such a situation, I usually just slow down to about one-quarter speed and go through everying in slow motion. I try to exaggerate all the movements, paying attention to one thing like foot position, then repeating again and paying attention to something else like hand movement. Repeating 5-10 times for each form, I slowly speed up to about three-quarters normal speed, now focusing on flow more than individual movements. Doing this I tend to find the parts where I'm doing something unnecessary; hand is out too far, head is bobbing, hips aren't aligned correctly, so I attempt to smooth out the bumps and minimize the extraneous. Out of the corner of my eye I was watching Kanai-bashocho teaching and I realized that I will have a very tough time indeed at the national tournament.

computer programmer

In a computerized society...

health checkup results

The results are in:
All A's across the board, except for the EKG a B because of supposed sinus bradycardia, most likely because I have a standing heartrate of 45. As a child I was diagnosed with some sort of heart condition (mitral valve prolapse I think it was.)
Anyway, weight and BMI are down: 76.7 kilos, 27.1 (not quite 25, but considered by build, I could only get down to 25BMI by cutting off a leg).
Blood pressure is good: 120/80, despite genetic tendencies on mom's side towards high blood pressure. Low standing heart rate is from my dad's side, FYI.
Lack of drinking and smoking and daily sword-swinging seems to be paying off. I must be an life insurer's dream.

the wise words of greg palast

POWER OUTAGE TRACED TO DIM BULB IN WHITE HOUSE --- The Tale of The Brits Who Swiped 800 Jobs From New York, Carted Off $90 Million, Then Tonight, Turned Off Our Lights

And some interesting political use of Flash animation: Grand Theft America.


Ok, I wore my stylish and warm Volcom snowboarding jacket (thanks Tony!) to work today, because it was so rainy and cold. Hello? Middle of August?

For those that need the latest and greatest on Japan, check out Tokyo DV. Thanks Arne for the link!

happy fun rightists

This weekend is the anniversary of the end of WWII, a perfect time for the right-wing imperialists to drive big trucks real slow, wave big imperialist Japanese flags, and blare on loudspeakers against the liberalist policies of a weak-willed and unarmed Japan.

The photos aren't great because I took them with my phone, in the rain, but there were at least fifty trucks going down Meiji Dori.