*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Friday 30 May 2014

Celibacy and teen-male rage

The former isn't meant to excuse the latter.  Let it be understood that stalking, much less assault, rape or homicide, is never excusable.  I do want to address the toxicity, however.  Relationships between genders among adults is toxic enough, but between teens, that much more toxic.  As ever, all of this should have gone better with gun control.

An old friend sent me an email which got me thinking about the crimes committed by Elliot Rodger.  It's heavily changed, for the usual reasons, as is mine which follows.
The disturbing part for me was how he talked about how lonely he felt, and blamed it all on the pretty girls who wouldn't sleep with him. For this kid, the only way to break out of loneliness would be for a hot girl to have sex with him. This is exactly how I felt at times during those years.  I'd guess that many men feel that way at one time or another, and have to grow out of it. I'm hoping that there's some way I can steer my son to avoid that trap... 
My response:
I had my own version of murderous thoughts in teens.  Some of the type you say, but more at my parents and 'peers'.  If I'd been any more angry or had better weapons...  Going to have to teach my boy physical and emotional self-defence, because humanity sucks.  Also, instead of telling him how he should be, get him to recognise who he is, and how to work with it, and how to quickly identify what others are.
It seems* Elliot Rodger was a mess of psychological issues, racial sensitivities, and social-climbing envy; what I had shared with him is family issues, and a poor grip on my nature as an introvert.  He's also a murderer and the lowest kind of asshole.  I'm not.

That makes it no less true that our society creates socioeconomic classes, lauds those at the top no matter how they got there, and scapegoats those at the bottom no matter the reasons they are there.  It also makes it no less true that both the boys and girls whose parents got them advantages are more likely to act, or be, sociopaths.  I expect there's as much nature as nurture in that, and some socialization added.  Who didn't want to kill someone in high school?!  You think it was only us losers who did?  The sociopathic** kids didn't?  Or only didn't because they didn't have to.

Sex: having it or not having it, as a teen.  It's not just about the sex, but also about physical loving contact.  Many teens get very little of it..  So do many children and adults, but these ages are not as emotionally volatile, nor is your success at 'getting some' the main part of your social identity, one hopes.  Humans need touch, and go off without it.  There were years at a stretch in my teens that I had none, and it did me harm.  Of course it added to the harm in Elliot Rodger.  More so in a sexualized culture: which the entire culture is, was very much so for teens in the eighties, and can't be any less now.  Whether we should be desexualizing the mass-media I doubt, so shouldn't we be emancipating teenage sexuality from the toxicity in it, and the negative consequences.  A school is more toxic because the student body nails you on your race, look, wealth, and who'll have you.  Not that teenagers should all fuck more, but should learn to love a person, not the symbols attached to them, and that there should be enough birth control around that the freedom is there when they decide it's something they will do.

Do not kid yourself: people fuck for status as teens, and as adults: 'arm candy', 'a good provider'.  Men fuck pretty when they can, and women money: the archetype tells that status is what we are after at our basest.  That much Elliot Rodger got right.  The best of us do a little better than that, but it's always part of the trade-offs.  Wealth and superficial physical beauty have always been eroticised, as has race.  Though which races have status can change, for some, but never for certain races it seems.  I wouldn't have the energy to swing, though I have no issue with anyone who does, or any acts between consenting adults (or teens with other teens).  'Free love' should be the ideal, if not an indiscriminate practice.

*Because I only have shabby media reports to work with.
**Acting or actual.

Wednesday 28 May 2014

AI Japan

The Turing test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human... If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test
This may have been done, but the idea came unbidden to me while in commute this morning among the Borg.  I emailed a friend.
If I wrote science-fiction, with failed AI which misses the Turing Test, I'd model it after the Japanese.
Friend replies:
Hmm...  Not bad.
I continue:
Because even translated, they wouldn't understand the put-down.  Helping to prove the point. 

Monday 26 May 2014

Bottle cages: stainless steel, King Iris

I have had the worst trouble with bottle cages, and spent a small fortune in trial and error.  Let me save you some trouble: use King Iris Stainless cages.

If you drink from plastic bottles, you can use just about anything, but even if you do not worry about petrochemicals in your water, water kept in them tastes like hell.  I use stainless water bottles, and unless I have the right cage the rattling is annoying, or the cage breaks.

Aluminum cages break eventually, as do plastic (and carbon-fiber I should imagine): the latter especially in the cold.

Titanium cages should not easily break, but are as likely to rattle as stainless.  I wouldn't know, because I'll never spend near a C-note for a bottle cage.

I have had poor luck with this shape: noisy.

I can't imagine it would be any good for frame-paint to use an open-backed cage.

I have had decent luck with Arundel Stainless; Salsa Nickless cages would be similar; Nitto cages should work as well, but cost a small fortune.  I got a Japanese knock off of the Nitto, but they are poorly sized.

I have had the best luck with the King Iris Stainless cage, and am almost as happy with Velo Orange Retro Cages (without tabs).  I imagined, wrongly, that the 'tabs' extension is needed to keep the bottles off the frame, but it isn't so: my frame doesn't get marked up using King Iris Stainless or Velo Orange Retro cages.

What puts the King Iris ahead is that even when your bottles are not precisely the same diameter, or the bottom of a bottle is poorly rounded, it will work: other much less so.  The similar VO Moderniste may work as well, but I bet the thinner wire doesn't hold as well, or last as long.  Also, the bottom support is not on the side the bottle will first come to rest at, but the Iris' is.

Another thing: use low-profile cage bolts.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Ishihara Shintaro, 'stopped clock'.

I expect a stopped clock is right as often in a day as Blinky's been correct in his career: banning diesel from Tokyo,* and this:
Despite being known for xenophobic remarks, Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara claims he welcomes an increase in foreign residents and says Japan should allow more immigrants to live here.
Since we are a mixed people,** whether the number of foreigners increases or not in Japan is irrelevant. (The increase) is a very good thing,” 
“Japanese must enact a new immigration law so it will allow us to bring in many immigrants,” said Ishihara, 78, referring to forecasts of labor shortages as society rapidly ages.
Of course, the purpose is to save the Japan that people of his perverted golf-club have profitied from, but it's the most open idea I have heard from the idiots who run the place.  Too bad decades late.  Nobody's going to come in numbers when needed: they can find out how their predecessors have been treated, and the economy's circling the drain; when 'the big one' happens in Tokyo, it'll be shotgunned.  Cannot get enthusiastic about what he's said.  He's still a cock, if not about everything, and he's kept some dodgy company.

Worse than that, most Japanese are more conservative than he is.  Try it on.  Ask your 'internationalized' Japanese friends, even those married to non-Japanese, if they don't agree:***
- the Japanese are mixed descendants of continental and island peoples, just like the British
- Japan's only hope is to increase immigration from SE Asian countries, because nobody else would come now
- kanji's fucking stupid and inefficient, so do as Vietnamese has done****
- maybe if everything wasn't run by corrupt men in adult diapers it would be a good thing
- women should have the socio-economic rights of those in Nordic nations, adequate leave, etc.
- Japanese productivity per hour worked is about half that in the US
- 'The Rape of Nanjing', and 'comfort women' happened
- play better with S. Korea, because the US can't protect you from China forever
- your wonderful 'Peace Constitution' was imposed by the people who kicked your ass
- which was only delayed until they killed Yamamoto, beat competent generals like Rommel and Guderian, carptet-bombed on multiple fronts, controlled the oceans, landed an army across an ocean against prepared positions, supplied Britain and the Russian front, created the atom bomb, held your people in a stalemate across the world's largest ocean with supply-lines far longer than yours, and then wrapped you up in a few months

Let the wind-sucking begin!  Followed by failed attempts by the Japanese person to say something valid, logically or historically.

*Anything banned in Tokyo is effectively banned in all of Kanto, about half the economy of Japan.  Thus all of the islands, because what business is going to buy a truck it can't use in the biggest market?
**Misplaced the link, but in the interview he said something about Japanese having come from East Asia and Oceania, which seems true: morphology, pigment range, language, traditional architecture and agriculture.  Even this emperor evasively alluded to historical links of the throne to Korea, which is as obvious.  DNA analysis is the ticket, but you won't get a Japanese organization to do an honest one: Nihonjinron.
***I escalate in this order, as I get more stupid answers, which is too say the vast, vast majority of the time.
****Romanize for both vowel length, and inflection; why is inflection never accounted for in any script for Japanese?

On camera, cager!

If you've been wondering where to point your Go-Pro, or other on-bicycle camera, do it to the rear: 40% of deaths are from the rear.  In the report only 88% of reasons are known.  If one includes the 'right-hook' and sideswipes for another 10% of deaths, a rear-camera would catch 50% of all deaths, and a minimum of 57% of deaths of known cause: more, as with a camera there would be fewer without documentation.

I hope none of you want to die; nor do I.   I'd love my family's lawyer to have video to sue the bastard for every last penny, and the city for even more for Canada's poor infrastructure; however, it'd be more proactive for craven drivers to know they are on camera.  Much more likely to work than this whiny jersey.  Never say 'please' for what is yours by right.

These are much more useful to put the fear of the law in drivers.  Need some custom jerseys and jackets with a symbol that can be understood at speed, like one of these, or go with the text, very large.

                ON CAMERA                  

The only thing that's going to make the streets safe again in N.America (before self-driving cars) is appealing to drivers' base emotions: self-preservation in this case, rather than malice.  Too bad we are not a civilized people, like the Dutch.  For your own driving, not a bad idea to have an automobile dash-cam, videoing fore and aft.  Make sure to drive carefully, unlike what we see on Russian dash-cameras, and to be discrete about who knows you have one in case you screw up.

Product plug: the Shimano Sport Camera looks like the best thing going if you get an action-camera.  It even makes Japan look pretty.

Saturday 24 May 2014

百名山: 'Hundred Famous Mountains' (of Japan).

So you've only heard of Fuji.

No, I have not hiked them all.  I started when here on JET, and it's now twenty years later (I have been out of Japan most of that time).  When last asked if I am trying to hike them all, I answered:
Yes, but at this rate I'll finish with my children in their twenties, who are now babies.

Guy on this Facebook page is hiking the 'Hundred Famous Mountains' of Japan, linking by bicycle. I've done a third... by train and bus. Real problem would be season-matching cycling the plains and hiking the heights, avoiding extreme heat or snow pack. North to south, September through December would work, but he seems to be doing it in this season.  That could work south to north, but it's tricky.  You have to hit the higher mountains in Chubu late enough for the snowpack to be gone, but early enough to avoid the heat and rainy season there, and in Tohoku.  That's a narrow window in the first half of a year.

Links about the 百名山, 'Hundred Famous Mountains' (of Japan):
Hyakumeizan (日本百名山)
The Highest Mountains in Japan
The Tozan Tales

Friday 23 May 2014

Tolerance as more INTJ, partially INTP?

I am going on about this, but I could have been saved decades of making an effort at getting along with the humans if I'd known sooner: I can't. 

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Extraversion (E) (I) Introversion
Sensing (S) (N) Intuition
Thinking (T) (F) Feeling
Judging (J) (P) Perception

Extroverts are at best insincere, and at worst sociopaths.

Sensors cannot access intuition, or abstract thought much at all, so are like watching someone use manual for the first time, every time.

Feelers prefer it to thinking, because they can't.  Please.  I can feel; however, an adult reserves emotions for entertainment.

So, INTJ/P as I am, not only are 94.6% of people a trial to me, but my I, N and T are each the minority case!  Well that explains a lot.

As for my poor 'luck with the ladies' in my youth: how can they endure the feels that much (below)?  Hell, I battened down my emotions, because I dislike enduring my own (more like, coping mechanism to an emotionally abusive, sometimes physically abusive, narcissistic father, and total refusal to be like him at all).  Is the female weighting of E over T by disposition, inclination, or socialization?  From where I sit, more emotion is more reason to control it better.  I've long thought women are socialized to be emotive because it doesn't end up in a hospital or police line-up, unlike men.  Not a few times teachers in staff rooms have wished girls bitching at each other for a few years would get it over with in a dust-up, like boys.




















Lesson to me is to stop making an effort.  Not going to go out of my way to be a prick, nor refuse compatible relations, but since 19/20 are incompatible I am best served if my default with anyone I don't know is to stand off; on the other hand, I keep sifting through many people because I need a large sample size to fish that 5% from.  My conundrum:

Thursday 22 May 2014

Japanese, or not?

An acquaintance of mine's family plays a less offensive version of the 'Jew or not?' game.  Still offensive?  They are Reform Ashkenazim by way of Argentina to Toronto; they play it with paired objects, not with people.  He says he can make it work with most anything.  'Pork or beef' is too obvious to be interesting.  Better played with something like 'butter or margarine', 'fried or steamed', etc.

I suggest you can do it just as well 'Japanese, or not?'  I'll start this.

Tits or thighs?

Salt or spice?

Mizuwari or neat?

Stride or shuffle?

Bar-fight or platform-puke?

Fixed-gear or singlespeed?

Take it away!  If you can't be nice, be equitably misanthropic.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

INTJ, not a common @$$hole, please...

So I'm not fun at parties.

The Myers-Briggs test calls me INTJ and hits the nail on the head hard enough I see all of these as virtues*:
- rarely doubt themselves or care much about their perceived social roles, expectations etc. 
- ruthless when it comes to analyzing the usefulness of methods or ideas
- could not care less if that idea is popular or supported by an authority figure
- see most other people as irrational or intellectually inferior.
- have little patience for things they consider illogical, e.g. decisions based on feelings, irrational stubbornness, emotional outbursts etc.

I am also too honest not to note my own narcissism.  I am the "most independent"!
I was an INFP child, but you humans bullied me into an INTP teen; I've become INTJ because I now have your number.

I am often thoughtless, but never cruel; I only seem cruel because of flaws in your 'thinking'.

I suppose that's little consolation to you, stuck in your feels.

I wouldn't mind so much, even that you do not listen to my far better thought out ideas (as in, thought out), except "when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, [you] get down on your knees and pray for" the INTJ.  Then afterwards deny ours was the best option and that you'd lost your shit: ergo we should always be the leader.  On the other hand, I do not want to be a leader of your 'ship of fools'.

I'll be here in my head until you want an adult conversation.

*I am cynical of psychology, which fits INTJ rather well, but the description of INTJ fits me too well to discount it entirely, scholastic alchemy though psychology is.

Saturday 17 May 2014

Great knowledge overview TV series

There is a place for middle-brow overviews in series form, before and after the Internet, so long as they neither condescend, nor misrepresent both a subject, and its complexity.  The Guardian recently had an article on Kenneth Clark's series 'Civilization'.  It's one of the good ones, if dated and plummy.  Not all are worthwhile: I do not like the Ken Burns series, and Attenborough's are worthy, if thin of content for my tastes.

'Civilization' I learned of only because in 1988/9, my very RP-speaking, canon-centric, though otherwise quite excellent professor of 'Survey of English Literature', assigned it to us to make up for the lacunae in the experience of we North Americans, as we would not have had the pleasure of, as he put it, being able to visit a "10th Century mead hall" across campus.  He sounds a worse snob than he was.  He was right.  When I got to visit England, the nearest to the Stendahl Syndrome I have experienced was entering the National Gallery, and finding the Elgin Marbles, the Rosetta Stone (thanks, Kamo) and Persian Lions all in the first few rooms.*  Paul Peeler at McGill was the professor, I recall.  No sign of him on the Internet, as he must have retired long ago.  According to a girlfriend who became an assistant to him, he was sidelined in the faculty for paying too much attention to teaching.  "And so it goes..."   My father had the book made from the series, which I did look through (though rather doubt my father had).  I did not watch much of the series, both because I then thought Clark a precious ass, and because one had to make time to go to the a/v room on campus, if you can imagine that, as one did for learning language, which I only once did for Japanese the time the prettiest Hong Kong girl in class asked me to join her.

On science, I was impressed with the few parts of Bronowski's 'Ascent of Man' I was able to catch on TVO, and always meant to go back to watch the balance.  You could do worse than to watch the conclusion.

You may see why I falsely remembered Bronowski having committed suicide, whereas it was a character he played in 'Hannah and her Sisters'.  It would have been a great complement to one of the most memorable courses I took: 'History of Science'.  Cannot remember the professor's name, but besides teaching, for the most part, the history of European cosmology and introducing me to fascinating characters like Giordano Bruno, Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and Koestler through his book 'The Sleepwalkers', he had a habit of confronting us with what you could call rhetorical-challenges:
- "Koestler committed suicide with his wife, when he decided it wasn't worth living.  What do you think of that?!"
- "Milton said, "'What is truth?', said Pilate jesting, and would not stay for an answer.""
- He brought in a lecturer from the Sorbonne, and made us sit though an hour of Parisian French half of us could not understand, being Anglos at an English university... in a French province.

Within more recent living memory, what parts of Simon Schama's 'A History of Britain' I saw I found put the pieces I knew into better order in my mind, if the images of burning caltrops on beaches was a bit overwrought.

If I were going to include radio series and webcasts: 'A Short History of Progress' about the Ponzi-scheme that is every civilization.

Do you have any other suggestions for me to subject my children to in a decade?

*The other time was in The National Treasure Museum in Taipei, as I am an EA Studies minor.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Entrepreneurship, Canadian Style

So I'm supposed to support my LBS (local bicycle shop), eh?  Not at a 50% Canadian premium I won't, nor with attitude.

I found a good deal on a wheel set in Japan, where I am, but I thought I'd give my 'local bicycle shop' in Toronto the opportunity to come up with a decent, even if not matching, offer.  I emailed:
I have a touring bike from your shop that's about six years old, and I'd like to replace the Open Pros on it with the Deore/Mavic A319 combo, for wider tires.  However, that's $407 CAD with tax on your website; I am in Japan and can bring back the same for $275 CAD.  I'd rather not have to take them on a plane, and I have been happy with service and purchases from your store.  Since they are for an a bike bought from you, is there any possibility of a discounted price for the retrofit? Thanks.
I would have gone for it if they'd split the difference: $340.  Somebody responds, getting my name wrong
The wheels we have in stock are handbuilt (sic) in the USA which warrants the higher price tag. I am afraid we cannot offer a deal on those wheels at this point in time. However, if you are a student or Cycle Toronto member we can apply the 10% discount on them.
No bone thrown worth speaking of: $407 could become $366 if I were a member of two things it's unlikely I am, as I stated I am in Japan.  Nothing for someone who'd bought a bike there for over $1000, and much else besides.  I'm supposed to be impressed they're brought in from the States?  Just means they don't do the work themselves, and I can get them from the States or even from the UK.  They get them from the States, after all, managing that way to get the duty on parts from Taiwan/China into the US, and then from the US into Canada on top of that!  I had to respond:
Um, why did you even bother to reply with an offer like that?  You think I'll pay that price rather than the Japanese one, or get them myself from the States?

Mind you, this is the same store I had made a similar offer of price-matching a couple years ago, for something that would have cost $450 in Japan.
The wheel would be a custom hand built wheel.
Alfine 8 speed internal hub retails around $360
The rim can range from $50 to well over a $100, depending on what you would go with.
Spokes are $1 per if you want to use DT Swiss straight gauge silver spokes
Labour for the build is $45.
J-tek 8spd shifter - around $100
To install the wheel - $20
To install/adjust the shifter - $25
I was just as convinced to make the purchase then as now.
Well... that's $700 for one mediocre wheel.  This is why people shop out of Canada. 

University: 'get paid!', kid.

Well, nobody on either side of my family had gone to university in their youth.  I'm in my forties, but I know enough what I did wrong to know what my children should do in a few decades.

The way it's done:
- when you go, you are too young to know what to study
- and are too young to know that your course load is nothing compared to working a real week
- on the other hand, taking a full course load in the first year is a bad idea for your marks
- as is isolating yourself on campus with all the other precious snowflakes
- you can't make any real money in the summer, just as everyone else is glutting the market
- besides, what are you going to do with your room/apartment if you go out of town?
- don't pay rent out of town for the sake of it
- finish in as few years as you can
- 'study what you love!'

The way it should be done:
- get accepted in your last spring of high school, and defer it for a year
- work, travel, volunteer, what have you
- know something about the real world first
- forget the eight-month school year, four-month summer
- take summer courses
- but take fewer fall/winter term courses to keep the balance
- use the extra time all year to keep the same part-time job through the whole year, living in the same location, making more than the amount in a year you would in just the summer
- you'll learn more about life and where you live, if you are not only with privileged jerks
- use the money saved on rent out of town to backpack somewhere interesting the weeks left off school and work between semesters
- finish with as little debt as you can
- 'what you love!' doesn't pay; minor in it

If I'd known a fraction then what I know now...

Friday 9 May 2014

Just why is Japan an automotive super power?*

Day road trip to Chichibu from Tokyo:
- 250km return
- 13000円 for the rental, and insurance, of a Mazda 5
- 3500円 for the gas
- over 7000円 on tolls

A return trip for an adult would be something like 5000円 on express trains, so only with five adults in the car do those costs become worthwhile: we were three adults, one child  under five, and another under two.  Never mind how tiring the driving was, and never mind how much slower it is than the train, most of the time: I have been in twelve hour traffic-jams twice, both in Japan. I can take the 25% premium over Canada on the cost of the rental and gas per litre, especially as you never drive as far to use much gas.  However, that extra 7000円 on tolls, WTF?

No, in fact the tolls don't bother me.  I'm pro-urban, pro-transit, and better informed than my Canadian compatriots on the real costs of driving, so toll-charge away.  I just can't see why anyone in Japan would own a car if they had any way to avoid it, and they sure have more than North Americans: there is a train network in Japan.  Has to be more than half of Japanese owners do not even commute with them, but leave them parked all week, to drive in traffic jams come days off work, of which they have little flexibility.  This is fun?  This is a status symbol?  This is worth paying how much from your gross income?  In Canada it's more than $9000 annually, on average; it has to be 150% that in Japan with more expensive gasoline and parking, and the additional costs of shaken and tolls.  

Shopping?  This is also a country where you can get anything, from groceries to consumer products to drink delivered to your door on your own schedule, for no more than in store, and often less.

As ever, 'WTF are you thinking, Japan', morphs into, 'Are you fucking thinking, Japan?', into 'You bunch of fucking Deltas, Japan' - electrocuted in the flowerbeds.

Twelve more weeks...

PS: The rental seemed to have some kind of recording device, which was given away by it scolding me, albeit in keigo as if that makes it less annoying, every time I had to brake or swerve more quickly than it liked, to avoid an accident.  I shouldn't be surprised by that, nor that we weren't informed, because the Japanese have never had rights, much less lost theirs as we have.

*The opening made by the shit American automakers were selling in the 70s and 80s, and GM still is.

Monday 5 May 2014

'Plus ça change, plus c'est la même' Japon.

Or, 'same shit, different pile'.

Two articles in 'the Japan Times' match very well today: 'Number of children in Japan drops for 33rd year', and 'Kikokushijo: returnees to a country not yet ready for them'.

The number of children in Japan fell by 160,000 from the previous year, and has declined by more than 13 million since 1950 [over 10% of the population gone!].
Tokyo and Okinawa were the only prefectures that had more children compared with the previous year [the richest and poorest prefectures].
The ratio of children aged 14 and under relative to the overall population was the highest in Okinawa Prefecture, at 17.6 percent, and the lowest in Akita Prefecture, at 10.9 percent [half the children of Okinawa in Akita].
Children overall made up 12.8 percent of Japan’s population. That’s lower than 13.2 percent in Germany, 18.5 percent in France and 19.5 percent in the United States, the ministry said [half the children of the US].

Kikokushijo often face an intense re-acculturation period, during which they are expected to fall into line with Japanese societal norms [because there is no option but the Borg collective].
“As entrance into a prestigious university basically guaranteed entrance into a prestigious company, returnees were no longer considered as having ‘problems’ but were seen as those with unfair advantages [see previous point].”
Although MEXT (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) has been involved in the development, funding and promotion of special programs for returnees over the past three decades, no policies exist that directly relate the kikokushijo experience to our increasingly globalized world [but funded Amakudari dotage!].
“The American, Chinese, Korean and many European management styles are becoming more globalized now, so once you have the skills of doing business in, let’s say, an American business environment, the skills are transferable. But the Japanese way of doing business is very particular [How's that working for you since 1991, Japan?]
"The heart of the volunteer group is driven by the returnees who are used to seeing these kinds of groups overseas [Lack of empathy among the natives to out-groups?  You don't say?]”
Kikokushijo often face discrimination and bullying. This can exacerbate the returnees’ confusion about their cultural identity, when already, Taylor says, “maybe they don’t feel very Japanese when they come back [And why bother?].”
“It’s harder for me to get good grades in Japan,” Yoshii says. “I think of what would have happened if I had stayed in America — it could have been a different future for me [Your parents' ignorance has doomed you, kid].”
Let me see, Japan: you need children desperately, but you still dictate terms to the children and to women.  Japan: stick a fork in it, it's done, in short order.  When Kanto gets hit by the big one, it's done immediately and completely.

Sunday 4 May 2014

Yes, I'm a pussy but...

Why are marathons at the wrong time in the year?

Unless you are in better shape already than I have kept myself (um, gained 10% of my body weight) a typical running plan to 42km from less than 10km is about a half year.  Race day should be in May in Japan, to avoid the horrible summer humidity; in early to mid-November in most of Canada, to avoid much chance of snow, and any warm month apart from July or August.

Can't really complain about Japan, because I did not get my fat ass in gear to meet the May deadline, except that it pisses me off that every event has to be decided on by the participant six months in advance, or it is sold out.  Guess how many I have missed out on.

Toronto though, FFS: can't do anything right.

One marathon's too early in October, so you still have to train hard in the summer (fine, it's hardly a summer in Toronto); and one is in early May, but I do not see how you can be ready for that with the random number of snow days we get, and the fact that Torontonians are too fucking lazy to clear sidewalks: should be early November and mid-June.  Yes, there's one in Hamilton, but nobody goes there.  Mississauga?  Fuck Mississauga.  I have to work there.

The reason I'm so pissed is I cannot see how I can make a marathon before winter in Toronto, where I am returning, because I am stuck in Japan until the end of July: July is insufferable after sunrise, and sunrise is 4:30.  I could explain times zones and the history of daylight savings in Japan... ooh, FUCK JAPAN!