Monday, October 09, 2006

Act of Desperation

North Korea. Who would've thought that a cardinal direction slapped in front of a divided country could have such an effect on the listener. I guess it must have been the same for Germany. I remember hearing East Germany in school and imagining a Stalinist, steel-like place with dismal weather. That the sun never shone over there. And in the West, it was all green pastures and tulips and wooden shoes. Oh wait, those last two are indicative of the Dutch. Well the green pastures conveys my point well enough.

In mentioning South Korea, I feel a rather modern vibe. They are the most avid cell phone users in the world and have some of the best internet connectivity from what I've heard. Then there's North Korea. Are you getting vibes from each of these countries I'm stating? Cold, desolate and Kim Jong Il. Since he's about all we see of the North Koreans, he's about 90% of 90% of the public's view of the country, including mine. I saw a special on Cinemax once about North Korea (I'm always tempted to use the phrase "the regime" like the media has pumped into me). People were starving. They were on TV eating clay and tree bark and grass, because there was simply no food. When you're hungry, you're hungry.

Now they have apparently tested a nuclear device. I will remain skeptical until the US or South Korea has irrefutible evidence that the test was nuclear. But this is not what the media would have you believe. "Nuclear or not, still unconfirmed," if they even mentioned it, is merely a footnote in most articles I've read. The fact is that there is no confirmation, thus nobody except Kim Jong Il-ville knows for sure.

I gotta say, the US did a bang-up job on this one. Let's just freeze him out and hope he goes away. The man wants to be recognized as a country and is not going anywhere. Look at his father, who posthumously was made Eternal President of the country. He wants bilateral talks and we should give it to him. Sit down like human beings and work out a solution. Maybe a little dinner, port and conversation. The US criticized him after agreeing to normailze relations. Then after seeing what President Bush does to "regimes" (ok, I said it) like his (Iraq), he kicked out weapons inspectors. I would have kicked them out too. I would have kicked them out like yesterday's trash.

But don't get the wrong impression. I'm not agreeing with North Korea's weapons policy. But I will not agree with the "act of desperation" theory. Acts done out of desperation are usually done spur of the moment. Somehow, developing nuclear weapons for 10 years and detonating one as a test somehow doesn't seem all that desperate. I believe it was a well planned act of propogand, nuclear or otherwise. If Saddam Hussein had detonated a nuclear weapon (or faked one) and test fired missles, like some malfunctioning bottle rocket super-pak, I guarantee that we would be working out a diplomatic solution, and Saddam would still be living between his many palaces. The US did invade because of 1 reason, and that was because they knew Iraq could be easily toppled, the oil under control and an a US-friendly government installed. That's why the US uses democracy to push elections. The sons of King's usually aren't subject to much pressure. It's a lot easier to manipulate a democracy than a monarchy. I'm off point on my stance against North Korea. Point is, if they have tested a nuclear weapon, they ain't gonna give it up. Not by US pressure, China pressure or sanctions.

We don't need sanctions, that'll just effectively decrease his population. We need to figure out how to nuclearly coexist.

Thanks for reading^^^^^^over^^^^^^

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Today it was raining again.......

Most of the day. It really is a pain in the rear to get to work when it rains. I can never figure out why there are more people on the train when it rains. Its not like they live close enough to walk to work and decide to take the train when it rains. In San Francisco I could understand when the buses got crowded when it rained. The city could fit on a standard globe. It was almost comical the distance that people would take the bus there. I live about 12 minutes walk from the nearest station. That translates into about a 4 minute bike ride. Riding a bike with an umbrella is not the most effective way not to get wet. I think the wetness level achieved by riding a bike is the same because with a bike, you're forcing the rain onto you, where as walking it falls naturally. The time exposed is longer with walking, I'll give you that, but it just seems like by making so much more contact with the rain, aahhhhh, forget it. Either way ya get wet. I miss Wisconsin because the only contact you had with rain was limited to the time it took you to get to your car from the office/grocery store/Citgo/breakfast joint and vice-versa.

I got a DVD burner today from Yodobashi Camera in Akihabara. Its nice, it reads and writes DVD and CDs, which should come in handy. Also, all these Noah videos gotta find a home by Grandma and Grandpa. Its got that new laser etching thing called LabelFlash. Kinda cool, but the quality in the pictures is a lot better than the actual result. Now I can finally take over the elusive DVD bootlegging world. Kinda like Plankton and the Krabby Patty. Any electronics dork would love that store. 8 huge floors of all electronics and electronic-related stuff (notebook cases, etc.).

I think Noah is still awake. I can't do anything on the computer when he's in here. Takes the mouse/mouse pad, turns off the power (good thing it requires a good hold-down time) climbs on my lap. Its irritating, but when I think that he's just trying to learn and grow I feel kind of guilty for being irritated. He ate about a quarts worth of grapes, which were about the size of a half-dollar. Huge grapes. Just huge. He finally got filled up and (it showed) he didn't really slow down. As a matter of fact, it was something akin to feeding the flame. No more aloha shirts! Ooops, I didn't mean to type that last one. Really.

Now that I've spilt my piece, I'll let you rest. I know you can't stop reading the engaging tales of my life.

Thanks for reading^^^^^^over^^^^^^

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Yesterday the weather was fine, nothing special to complain about or admire. I worked until about 7, and went out for a few beers afterwards. I quit smoking on 5/30 of this year, but had a few smokes last night. That means I should stay away from alcohol for a while so I don't get the urge to smoke. Shouldn't be drinking anyway. I'd rather smoke one.

Our dumb travel agent won't reserve a hotel for two of our assessors at the Paris Airport. Sorry for the sudden change in topic, but I've asked him several times to reserve the rooms for them, but he just keeps saying "I'll think of something else." He keeps saying this because the hotel is expensive. I don't understand why he cares, it's my company that pays for it. I don't know why, but I always get the impression that there's more than meets the eye behind these kind of things. I don't believe that he's just thinking. It must be a conspiracy. It's all a conspiracy.

Now that I've vented my psychosis, I can relax. I took the morning off, slept on and off until 10:00 or so. Then I woke up, played with my son Noah for a while, took a shower and split for the office. On the way, I don't really remember thinking anything. The pottery school I used to attend lets me park my bike in their parking lot. It happend to be close to the train station. Usually its not open when I go to work, but it was open this morning because of my late start. Had to stuff the bike between a cement block half-wall and a sign because of the cars in the parking lot which aren't usually there. By the way, the "parking lot" has 2 spaces. The train ride was nice because peoples limbs weren't being stuffed into the cars by the attendants on the platform. What I mean is it wasn't crowded, thus, always a plus. Once I got off at Kamiyacho station (central Tokyo) I bought my lunch at Wako, a ton-katsu restaurant. I ate it. It was good. For a hunk of breaded pork. After that, I got the usual banter about what I did last night. I never seem to hear anything about other people, who they went drinking with or where. But for some reason, everyone seems to know about my stuff. Now, if it was a fairly common phenomenon, not only focused on my escapades, logically I should hear something from time to time about others. Not so. I take that back, I did hear about one guy who went to a horse track while on business in Niigata (western Japan, some serious snowfall). Just shows to go ya where people's priorities are.

My son was bugging to go outside this evening so I took him out for a walk. He drank grape Fanta for the first time. haha, I don't know if the taste of the bubbles made his face twist and distort the way it did, but he had me laughing. It almost looked like (stay with me here) he was biting a piece of aluminum foil or something. After a few sips, he was giving me the bottle and tell me to drink it. "I don't want this crap." He's some kinda wonderful, thats for sure.

Thanks for reading^^^^^^over^^^^^^

Monday, October 02, 2006

Japan has got to have possible some of the worst weather in the world. Rain, rain, piss hot, rain......then i get to work.

You may be familiar with the "old" system of corporate advancement in japan; based solely on seniority. Age respected and talent repressed so youngins don't outshine their bosses. Well these days, many companies are trying to change that, much to their credit. But the Japanese mind just can't do anything without a rigid system in place nor can they do it quickly, even with some of the most efficient management models in the world.

We are in the process of filling out our are bi-yearly performance sheets, which requires us to set goals for the coming semester. My level in the company is a 3 out of 8. This means that I'm late 20's, maybe 30 or 31. Supposedly, seniority is taken out, and performance factored in. As a 3 on the new "performance scale", I'm limited to what goals I may set. Such as making improvement to internal process and the like.

I will have saved $120,000 by the end of this year. But savings like that go to the credit of the boss. As a 3, examples of what i'm supposed to be able to do are: "concisely follow written and oral instructions" or "is able to read and accurately summarize contents" and "can to clearly and concretely communicate ideas orally, and in writing." Sounds like crap I did for 13 (well, 11.5 if you're really technical) years grades k-12. This is what my bonuses and raises are based on. Well jesus christ, call me Einstein, give me a yacht and crown me king of the retards because by their standards I must be a god-damned genius. Performance-based my arse.

thanks for reading ^^^^^^over^^^^^^