Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Guess where I'm going.....

After deciding to go to Australia next year the plans has changed slightly.

We are still going to an english speaking country...well in fact The English speaking country, finally all those english classes at Tauranga Boys will finally pay off.

Plan to go end of February!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

About Schmidt star - Jack Nicholson

With work mates like these...!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Reflected off a piece of artwork - check out the shiny white round thing!

Me (not Becks) and Etsuko down at the park after playing some Soccer

Dinner at Robs House. Pictured - Steely Dan working its magic on (yet another) bottle of vino

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Warning Will Robinson!!!!!!!!

Scary Stuff....this is the map of the Typhoon that is heading our way. Well actually it may have already past. I cant really tell. In fact not so scary after all.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Copy of Email Sent

Greetings everybody!

For you non internet savvy people I though that an email would be the most effective method of way of contacting you. For those who have been keeping up with my adventures on My Diary ( ) you probably have some idea of some of the content of this email.

It is summer in Japan at the moment and is pretty hot….but I don’t think it is as hot as last year, most of the time. The temp has only just been cracking 30 degrees most days staying in the low 30s is almost tolerable. Last and next month have saw and will see my family visit me. Mum and Dad are popping in for a whirlwind tour…although I think they will take a plane rather than whirlwind…it is much more reliable.

Anyway…the big news from my corner of the world is that I and my lovely girlfriend will be departing this corner of the world on 30 November and heading to NZ. (Arriving on December 1) The tickets have been bought and paid for (well the deposit anyway). I hope the weather in NZ is kinder this December than last!

The plan is to do a bit of catching up and sightseeing around NZ over the summer and then after Dave’s big day head to Australia for a bit of a look-see.

So I will in due course be handing in my notice at my two jobs and will probably work right up until 29 November before taking some well deserved rest (by playing tennis, golf, hiking and other restful activities!)

I apologise for being rather remiss with the emails over my time here but hopefully we can have a catch-up over the summer! Therefore if you are planning any social event (or tennis)…please don’t forget me (especially you mum and dad!!)

OK so I will leave it there and as always please fill me in the news from your place. Especially you EJ lot…you have been suspiciously quiet….probably plotting something I guess.

Oh and cheer up Bruce..Brash might still get the numbers (yeah right!!)


Friday, August 19, 2005


Today Etsuko and I decided to take Etsuko’s nephew Kosuke (4 years old) to the movies. This involved carefully choosing a movie that he would like. Ultimately he wanted to see an animated movie about a character called Anpanman. Anpanman is a character made from a type of bread, as are many of his comrades – as you would expect. The other character in the movie is called Baikinman which is literally “Germ-Man”. Boy was I excited that I was going to see this spectacular of fun!

Going to the movies in Japan is a slightly difficult and expensive proposition. Firstly we had to traipse across the other side of town to buy a discount voucher. Upon completion of this task we went to the movie theatre and bought drinks and popcorn etc. Then we came to the movie theatre and it was at this point that Kosuke developed a morbid fear of one of the minor characters, and the cinema was too dark for his liking.

I noticed that stubbornness would appear to be a family trait as no amount of cajoling, bribery or trickery would get him to change his mind about watching the movie. Unfortunately due to the method of ticket purchase we were unable to get a refund so we spent close to an hour trying to persuade the young fella to no avail.

I can understand his anxiety as I recall a movie called The Dark Crystal,
in which one of the actors removes his eye. Now that is frightening! Of
course the more cynically minded will argue that the actor was a muppet, but that has no bearing on the matter.

We settled for going to a game arcade where he happily sat in the 100yen powered kids ride. If only we had started there!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

It is now Wednesday 17/08/2005 at 10:45:38 p.m.

Event: Arrive in New ZealandScheduled For 1/12/2005 11:45:00 a.m.

3 months 14 days 12 hours 59 minutes 22 seconds or
15 weekends or
106 days or
2,532 hours (1,688 waking hours) or
151,979 minutes or
9,118,761 seconds

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Etsuko and I went hiking yesterday. Was very nice in the morning but soon became very cloudy. The summer haze didn’t offer much of a view. Unfortunately we both had different opinions about how far we should walk. Etsuko wanted to do a 2-3 hour walk but I had a course in mind that was slightly longer than that.

After 6 and a half hours of walking and covering some pretty mountainous terrain we made it back to a station. At one stage Etsuko wasn’t talking to me….. I think that she was just trying to conserve energy though.
In the end we covered about 13km and conquered 4 peaks.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Kids Beer

You saw it here first!

(Kyodo) Kidsbeer, a nonalcoholic brew aimed at children, is catching on with young drinkers and is posting monthly shipments of 75,000 bottles, according to maker Tomomasu Co.

Shipments of Kidsbeer, a nonalcoholic brew aimed at children, are growing rapidly.
The beverage, one of whose ingredients is the Latin American plant guarana, sells for around 380 yen per 330-milliliter bottle. The bottles themselves are colored brown to make the drink look even more like its more potent counterpart, the company said.

The drink started out as Guarana, a cola beverage that used to be sold at the Shitamachi-ya restaurant in Fukuoka, run by 39-year-old Yuichi Asaba.

Asaba renamed the sweet carbonated drink Kidsbeer, a move that made it an instant hit.
Asaba outsourced its production to Tomomasu, a beverage maker based in Ogi, Saga Prefecture.
Tomomasu tinkered with the drink by decreasing its sweetness and increasing its frothiness, the company said. It began shipping the transformed drink in late 2003.

Though the initial shipment was only 200 bottles per month, the beverage was soon adopted by other restaurants and even by department stores, which began offering it as a gift package.
Asaba said kids and other people "can raise a glass with this, even if they cannot drink any liquor."

Satoshi Tomoda, president of the beverage maker, said: "Children copy and mimic adults.
"If you get this drink ready on such occasions as events and celebrations attended by kids, it would make the occasions even more entertaining."

The Kidsbeer label captures a nostalgic mood as it was modeled after classic beer labels.
"Even kids cannot stand life unless they have a drink," reads the product's advertising slogan.
The Japan Times: Aug. 6, 2005

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Is Particia a Robot?

This is the verbatim online chat I had with a representitive of a online hotel booking agency.

Please wait for an agent to respond.
You are now chatting with 'Patricia'

Patricia: Hi. This is Patricia. How may I assist you?

Chris: Yes I have made a booking for my parents when they come to Japan and I have received an email which requires me to fax a ID is 1373655

Patricia: I'm currently checking your booking and will be with you in a few minutes

Chris: I do not have access to a printer or a fax machine at my current address.

Patricia: When would you be able to send us the fax form ?

Chris: Well I cant as I dont have a printer or a fax.

Chris: I have been able to book a room through Asia with the same situation and there was no problem.

Patricia: I am sorry for inconvenience caused. Will you be able to send us the fax form within this month ?

Chris: No I dont have a printer or a fax machine. I could make a speical trip to a copy centre and pay to print the form and then pay to fax the form but it seems rather unnecessary. Is there a way this can be done without having to fax a form?

Patricia: I am sorry, but we do require the credit card fax form for this booking. Sorry for inconvenience caused.

Chris: Why do you require a faxed form when other companies dont?

Patricia: I am sorry, but this is our policy. All this documentations are required to support our local bank to protect against Credit Card fraud.

Chris: Well in that case I will allow my booking to 'auto-cancel' and book through This will save me the hassel and expense of going to a copy centre. I understand the reasoning for the policy but it seems to completely take the point out of booking on line if you have to go off and send a fax.

Patricia: I am sorry for this inconvenience caused.

Patricia: Would you like me to cancel the booking now?

Chris: I will make the booking through another company first then enail cancel once that has been confirmed. I dont want to burn my bridges.

Chris: sorry...I will 'email to cancel'Patricia:

Okay, so we will keep your booking. Chris: yes. thanks.

Patricia: Is there anything else I can help you with?

Chris: Do you sell fax machines ;-)

Chris: No thank you for your help

Patricia: You're welcome. Have a nice day.

Chris: bye

Patricia: Goodbye