Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Modern Times by Bob Dylan, etc.

On Tuesday I had a drink with my friend, who was going to quit his job soon, at Beer restaurant in Kawaguchi, Saitama. We always talk about music. When I came home I found an airmail from Amazon USA. Yes, I received "Modern Times(Deluxe Edition With Bonus DVD)" by Bob Dylan, A Jonathan Demme Picture "Neil Young - Heart Of Gold". Dylan's DVD is region free but Neil's is Region 1, so I have to play on my region free DVD player for Neil's. I didn't have enough time to see all DVD yesterday but taking a look at Neil's Heart of Gold, it is great live! Further more, my friend gave me a bootleg of Linda Ronstadt's "Live at Copa Room Sands Casino, Atlantic City 1984 with Nelson Riddle Orchestra" and her new album , "Adieu False Heart". I got 3 CDs and 2 DVDs yesterday. Oh, I forgot to tell you that last week I also got a DVD of The Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang Tour in Japan at Saitama Super Arena on April 2, 2006, which my friend in Sapporo, Hokkaido gave me. Thanks a lot!

Monday, August 28, 2006 - NTSB: Crashed jet used shorter runway - Aug 27, 2006 - NTSB: Crashed jet used shorter runway - Aug 27, 2006
It is terribly sad to hear 49 people including 2 Japanese died in crashed jet on Sunday morning. This jet left Lexington for Atlanta which I will visit for my new assignment this October. One of media companies made a phone call to our company this morning because we have a subsidiary in Atlanta, asking whether we had casualties in this crash, but luckily we didn't.

I made an appointment with US Embassy Japan

Last week I got original I-797 approval notice and copy of I-129 petition from lawyer in US. Then I made an appointment on September 7 for interview in US Embassy Japan to get L1 visa. Everything can be done on website. I made DS-156 application form, made an appointment and paid application fee through pay-easy, all on their website.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Buddist memorial service for my late Mother

I took a day off on Friday and went to My Father's home in Hiroshima with my son. My brother also joined us with his son, and we went to Nishiki Palace Hotel in Sozukyo Gorge in Yamaguchi Prefecture. I enjoyed a hot spring there. We had Buddist memorial service fo my late Mother in Saturday morning at Saiunji Temple. My Mother's grave is in far countryside in Nishiki-cho, Iwakuni-City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, which is in the west end of the main island of Japan. I will leave Hiroshima today for my home with my son. This post is written in my Father's home.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Google Japan Blog: 日本の皆様にGmailを公開しました

Google Japan Blog: 日本の皆様にGmailを公開しました

Today's Google Japan Blog reports that Gmail is available to Japan without any invitations. I started to use Gmail in May and has been really enjoyed its convenience. To be honest, I struggled to get a invitation and to setup at that time.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006 Maps Maps
", Inc. researches and builds innovative technologies to improve search experience for e-commerce applications. A separately branded and operated subsidiary of, Inc., opened its Palo Alto, California, doors in October 2003.’s technology will power search on and other web sites.", they are saying in thier website. By this explanation, we don't understand what they are doing. But if you look at thier map service, you will be a A9 enthusiasts. I'm sure. They have a lot of street level images of major cities in the U.S.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer

I finished reading A Child Called "It" and following 2 books by Dave Pelzer. I don't have to explain this series, because they are already best sellers some time ago. I have a lot of respect for the author on his way of thinking and lifestyle. I'm interested in these stories due to the location of the stories. It is Northern California where I have lived from 1999 to 2002. I don't think I abused my children by physical force, but I asked myself again and again whether I did it verbally or not.

Google Sightseeing

Google Sightseeing

I didn't know this very interesting site. This is real cool.

Tokyu Seven Hundred Club

I don't keep my score in these days. The reason why I don't keep my score is not to care about scores and to concentrate each shot. But I can remember my score or my friend keeps my score. Today's score at Tokyu Seven Hundred Club West Course was 45-42. 80s is the first time in these 5 months. The course is very good for average golfers, flat on both fairways and greens. My putting today was only 29. I didn't make 3 putts.

They say this course is for business entertainment. We can see a lot of famous VIPs on the member board. They also say members are only from corporations. The course has 36 holes but our caddie said only 50 parties were on the course today. In most of golf courses in Japan, 1st party starts at 7:30 am in the morning but this course, 8:30 am even in this mid summer. In my experience in the U.S.A., even in private courses or resort courses like Pebble Beach Golf Links, 1st party starts at the dawn or even just before the dawn. I think golf courses in Japan are only for the golf courses themselves, not for the golfers.

Above pic is 13th hole, 144 yards, West Course

Friday, August 18, 2006

Visa to the U.S.

My next assignment will be for sales subsidiary of our company in Atlanta in the U.S., as I told you before. In the U.S., a lawyer prepared and submitted the application to get approval of my L1 visa to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Today I was informed by the lawyer that he got approval and would send original I-797 to me by airmail. Then I will prepare application, make an appointment and go to the Embassy of the United States in Japan for interview. I may get visa in the middle or the end of September.

Since I came back to Japan from the U.S. in 2002, I haven't had any idea to go back to the U.S. because I couldn't expect any position overseas at my age in that company. However my dream to go back to the U.S. became very real when I decided to change my job. The biggest reason why I changed my job was actually high possibility to go to the U.S. My life and experience in Silicon Valley from 1999 to 2002 and people I met had great impact to my way of thinking. I will soon go back to the U.S. again, and meet a lot of people all over the U.S. and play golf everywhere from east coast to west coast. I really appreciate that the company gives me this fantastic opportunity.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

My daughter left for Campaspe, Austaralia

Today is the last day of my summer holiday from August 11. On August 11 and 12, I went to Yoro Valley Hot Springs Resort. On August 14, I went to play golf at Funabashi Country Club. I really enjoyed my holiday, reading books, listening to music, playing golf and drinking beer, which are most favorite interests in my life.

Today on August 16, I went to the City Hall to see my daughter off. This evening She is leaving Tokyo International Airport for Shire of Campaspe, Australia as a member of exchange students. Our Shiroi City, Chiba has official International Friendship Agreement from February 13, 1998.

According to Campaspe's website, the agreement is on the basis of :-
* mutual exchange programs in education, economic development, tourism, culture and other activities of mutual benefit to further enhance the scope and depth of the existing relationship.
* these programs shall endeavour to contribute to the friendship between Japan and Australia and to world peace resulting in prosperity and long lasting friendship for all.
The friendship agreement is the culmination of a growing bond that has been formed between the two municipalities over many years, fostered through the highly successful Kyabram Secondary College student / teacher program established in 1991. The program has been an outstanding success, and is an excellent way of strengthening cultural ties with Japan.

My daughter, 14 years old, has been studying English for almost 10 years since she came back to Japan from Hong Kong in 1996. After all she got a chance to go abroad to try her English skill. This is a 11 days trip to Campaspe and Kyabram Secondary College, staying with host family. Campaspe is in Victoria State, 204 km north west of Melbourne. I hope she can get a new idea of the world and broaden her knowledge.

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Foundation and Earth" by Isaac Isimov

I finished reading Isaac Isimov's "Foundation and Earth"(1986) in Japanese. The fifth novel in Asimov's Foundation series. Councilman Golan Trevize goes in search of legendary Earth, all references to which have been erased from galactic libraries. Finally he found the Mother Earth and met 20,000 years old robot, Daneel Olivaw! Foundation series is a long story. Asimov wrote "The Caves of Steel"(1954) and Robot Daneel Olivaw appeared first time. Yes, Daneel was the real key person (robot) in Asimov's long novel of vast univers.

Funabashi Country Club

Funabashi Country Club was established 44 years ago, designed by Mr. Tomizawa Seizo. Long, flat, separated by tall trees, beautiful course in Shiroi City, Chiba, my home town, 10 minutes walk. But I'm not a member because membership is too expensive. In Japan there are so many private courses (membership courses), but visitors can play if tee time is available. Many courses accepts that. So I can play this old private course with my friends, non-members. Today we played twilight front 9 holes. Play fee was JPY6,000(about US$50! Wow! In United States I can play 36 holes if it is a municipal course!). My score? I don't keep my score recently if it is a private round. But I can remember, 3 double bogeys , 6 bogeys, 1 Par, so 47 on 9 holes. Above pic is No.1, 388 yards, Par 4, from the teeing ground.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Manai Hot Springs Resort

This evening, I went to hot springs again together with my wife to Manai Hot Springs Resort in Inzai City, which we have next to my home town and only 3 minutes by car. There was a revision of the hot springs law in Japan and thousands of hot springs started several years ago. This hot spring bathes are much larger than those in Yoro Vally. My wife drove the car, so I had a beer after out door hot spring bath. I could soaked away my stress in hot tubs for these 3 days.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I changed my default browser again. I used to use Internet Explorer and Opera, but recently I downloaded Firefox Japanese version and started to use it. It is better for me than Opera because Opera doen't support some functions of Google's Blogers or Gmail. Tab function or others are almost same as Opera, I suppose. It will be a matter of preference to use Opera or Firefox. IE is out of the question.

Yoro Valley Hot Springs Resort

I went to Yoro Valley Hot Springs Resort in Chiba from Friday to Saturday with my family. It takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes from my home to the resort by car. We stayed in Hotel Iwaburo, which was 50 years old hotel and had an experience of Japanese imperial family's staying. However, this hotel was too old and completely behind the modernization. Hot spring of the hotel was good, not large but chocolate coloured water seemed to work for my body. I went to 4 hot springs in total for these two days. To be honest, Takimi En is best place to stay here (of course one of the most expensive hotel in the valley).

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bubba Gump Shrimp

I went to Bubba Gump Shrimp, Tokyo to have a dinner with my friends last evening. I also have been to Bubba Gump Shrimp in Monterey, California before. Foods and atmosphere are good, almost same as in United States , but one thing I have to comment for Tokyo is "beer". Tokyo has only Budweiser and Japanese beer. It should serve local beers in United States because Tokyo intends to have same concept as United States.

All my friends yesterday were those who had been in Silicon Valley, California at the same time in or around 2000-2002. We get together a few times a year for golf or drink. I like these guys very much. Friends who I met overseas will be very good friends known each other very long time for me.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Finished reading "Foundation's Edge" by Isaac Asimov

I finished to read Isaac Isimov's "Foundation's Edge" (1982). For last few months I have been reading Isaac Isimov only for novels. The Publisher describes "At last, the costly and bitter war between the two Foundations had come to an end. The scientists of the First Foundation had proved victorious; and now they return to Hari Seldon's long-established plan to build a new Empire that the Second Foundation is not destroyed after all-and that its still-defiant survivors are preparing their revenge. Now the two exiled citizens of the Foundation-a renegade Councilman and the doddering historian-set out in search of the mythical planet Earth. . .and proof that the Second Foundation still exists. Meanwhile someone-or something-outside of both Foundations sees to be orchestrating events to suit its own ominous purpose. Soon representatives of both the First and Second Foundations will find themselves racing toward a mysterious world called Gaia and a final shocking destiny at the very end of the universe!" This is written 30 years after the "Foundation Trilogy" of the author. I really enjoyed this book and go into the final, "Foundation and Earth".

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Kyo Country Club

I went to Kyo Country Club, Shibayama-cho, Chiba today. Players are my classmates of my university. Very hot today, maybe 34-35 degrees. The course is not long but very tough, because fairways are narrow and rolling, greens are like potatochips. Maybe my score today was more than 100, although I didn't keep scores today as the round is private and we didn't bet. I have to practice hard this weekend because next round will be on Aug 14 and 19. Above pic is 9th hole from green.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Tiger Woods' "Miracle Chip-in Eagle" Plate

This is the picture of Tiger Woods' "Miracle Chip-in Eagle" Plate on the right side rough at 18th hole of Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course, which my friend sent me. I didn't know he took the photo at final hole yesterday.

Today on August 5, I stayed my home almost whole of the day, listening to the music, posting to blog, checking Google Reader, reading a book, now, Isaac Asimov's "Foundation's Edge". Usually on Saturday morning I go to driving range to practice my golf swing, but I couldn't today because I sent my caddy bag by delivery service directly from Gotemba to Kyo Country Club, where I will play tomorrow.

Neil Young with Linda and/or Nicolette(6)Freedom

"Rockin' in the Free World" in Young's 1989 album " Freedom" revived again in 2004 at ending song of Michael Moore's movie "Fahrenheit 9/11". In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine selected "Rockin' in the Free World" as one of the 500 greatest songs of all times. The newspaper USA Today has called the song:"a savage attack on the policies of Ronald Reagan and the first President Bush ... (and) anything but a celebration of democracy." I don't want to go to detail. You can refer thrasher's page here for more detail for this song.

In this album Linda Ronstadt is on back vocal on 4.Hangin' On A Limb and 6.The Ways Of Love. Both are beautiful songs.

"Freedom" by Neil Young

1. Rockin' In The Free World
2. Crime In The City (Sixty To Zero Part I)
3. Don't Cry
4. Hangin' On A Limb
5. Eldorado
6. The Ways Of Love
7. Someday
8. On Broadway
9. Wrecking Ball
10. No More
11. Too Far Gone
12. Rockin' In The Free World

Friday, August 04, 2006

Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course

Today I went to play golf at Taiheiyo Club Gotemba Course. It takes more than three hours from my home to the course by train and play fee is JPY30,500 (US$265). Wow! This is very expensive and almost same as Spyglass Hill or The Links at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach, but this is one of the best courses in Japan. Many Japanese or even foreigners want to play here, because there is Japan Golf Tour tournamnet, the Mitsui Sumitomo Visa Taiheiyo Masters in November every year. Also the course has become well known in 2001 EMC World Cup, where the pair of Tiger Woods and David Duval catched up Ernie Els and Retief Goosen after Tiger made chip-in eagle at 18th hole. (At the play-off South African pair won.) There is a plate in the right side rough of 18th green, saying "Tiger Woods, Miracle chip in eagle 2001 EMC World Cup".

This is third time for me to play here and I always made not bad score. Caddy is well-trained, service is excellent and foods are very well. I like this course very much. Anyway, today my score was 45-47 from regular tee. Not bad for me after several rounds of more than 100 in Vietnam. Mount Fuji is beautiful in above pic but today we couldn't see her because she is always in clouds. One of executives of Taiheiyo Club tells me that I can see Mt.Fuji if I play 5-6 times here (but I don't have enough money to buy membership.)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I'm a Bemindful user. Bemaindful is "a free positive affirmations web service. It contains quality articles and hundreds of searchable positive affirmations that are categorized by keywords (tags) Signing up to bmindful allows you to create a list of selected affirmations and add your own personal ones. This list is available online at any time or you can print it out for offline access throughout the day" according to their websaite.

Anyone can post any affirmations. Some affirmations are useless, but it is alright if I can find a few good one which I like.

I'm a Googler

I'm a Googler because I can't live without Google. I wake up in the morning and log on to Gmail. If I have a time I post an article to my blog by Blogger. In the office I often check Google Personalized Homepage, Gmail, Google Calendar and Google News. When I come back to my home, I log on to Gmail again and check Google Calendar, Google News, Google Reader, sometimes use Google Earth to watch something around the world. Before I went to Vietnam in May, I terminated NTT's OCN email account and changed to Gmail. I can read any message from around the world where I can access internet. I also like Google Toolbar, which is very useful when surfing in web, Mouse-over-dictionary, or spell-check function are good, Google Desktop, Picasa 2, digital photo manager are also my favorites.