Originally uploaded by renfield.


First of all, it's just too goddamn hot. 'Nuf said.
Went to check out a couple more international pre-schools for the Tonchalizer. Big schools, small schools, English schools, Japanese schools...lotsa options. Guess the most important things are:
* does the schedule work for us?
* do they have room for her?
* are the teachers cute and from New Zealand?
My daughter's education is massively important, obviously. The carnage I can imagine her doing with a box of pencils and a bottle of glue...she's got my genes, so I'm sure she'll be one of those unique kids who requires lots of "quite alone time" in the corner with the restraining belt.

Speaking of carnage, who pulled the bottom out from under the markets? Man I haven't seen it this ugly since the post Y2K internet bubble popped and I was sitting on some really expensive Cisco and Yahoo. Nikkei dropped like 2.4% today, which isn't too bad because it was never really up all that much. But yikes the rest of the world is feeling it.
This isn't any subprime fallout, this is your basic, run-of-the-mill over-reaction stupidity. All the talking heads on CNN and BloombergTV tell everyone the subprime shakeout is squeezing the big lenders and for some reason all the couch-traders and soho day traders think it's somehow relevant, and start selling out of everything, chasing the bottom.
Ah, but we can't blame retail, because the "professionals" have been caught with many a pant leg around the ankle, eh. The intelligence of crowds, they say?
At least I bought some reasonably cheap dollars...could have done better but I don't exactly sit around all day watching the FX tickers and punting currencies. I sit around all day reading Japanese securities law and punting term sheets and product descriptions and making little charts with arrows.
It's actually kind of fun, the whole "product structuring" thing; if only I actually knew what I was doing. I think my main job is to keep all the interested parties in the room from killing each other, find the one thing we can agree on, and drill on that until we have a workable product that
a) makes money for us and the client, and
b) keeps everyone out of jail.
Of course a is easy if you ignore b, but all that money isn't going to buy you much more than smokes and tv privileges in prison.
I honestly believe that the law is meant to be followed. Just sometimes the rules are hard; incomplete, a bit vague, kinda out-dated. All the more reason to scrub it down, figure it out, do the right thing, and come out shiny. Clients love it, regulators love it, and I can proudly tell my mom I am not perpetuating vast evils and carnage.

At least not at work.

crab, king of the ocean

Ah, the joy that is traditional gift-giving in Japan!
Every summer we send various people who have done us right a traditional summer gift, usually some tasty katsuo. In return, Momo's mom and P's childhood friend sent us a huge case of frozen, boiled king crab legs.
Oh, the mighty feast that ensued. Masa came over to help eat, and I diligently separated flesh from shell, resulting in a huge pile of crabby goodness.
After stuffing ourselves, we still had a massive pile of crabmeat leftover, so I made up a huge pan of crab fried rice for later.

Post-dinner I was feeling the food coma and dozed off on the couch for a bit. Crab power!


At Roland's behest, I spent the day in Akihabara with Madeleine Brand (and her posse) host of NPR's Day to Day.
They were working on a story about Japanese manga and anime's portrayal of environmental issues, and I took them around the hood to see all the standard stuff. Akiba was in full Sunday swing, with cosplay kids, street singers, cafe maids, custom doll shops and awesome action figures, robots and PC parts, comics and eclectic electronics.

With a mic in my face and the odd probing question, I waxed non-eloquently about a variety of anime and manga topics, so on some show in the future, I may very well make my radio debut!