Unrelated Thoughts

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Formula 1 in Indianapolis

Two weeks ago Ferrari won its first race this year… among only 6 cars! I cannot say I’m sad about this, but I’m not thrilled either. At least I’m happy I didn’t keep awake until 3am (Japan) to watch this strange race.

There are only two tire manufacturers working nowadays on the F1 world: Bridgestone and Michelin. Bridgestone works with Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi, and Michelin with the other seven teams. During the practices before the race Ralf Schumacher -Michael’s brother- crashed his Toyota and luckily escaped having a serious injury. Analyzing the accident, Michelin told its teams that the tires they supplied were not suited to run on Indianapolis, so the seven teams withdrew the race after just one lap.

Of course people felt swindled and now are asking (as usually happens in USA) for a monetary compensation (do I see you coming, Erin Brockovich?), and some are even asking for Formula 1 to withdraw from USA tracks!

Last year everybody was blaming Michael Schumacher for making Formula 1 a boring sport to watch. Will anyone blame now with the same anger at the Michelin teams?

I just hope that the day I go to Suzuka (because I cannot be in Japan and not go to Suzuka for a F1 race!), I don't get to see just 4 cars running...

Friday, June 24, 2005

Sleepy Analysis

Ahum… I’m so sleepy today… I had a very boring teacher this afternoon so I had enough time to analyze Japanese classes. Let’s see:

  • Classes are not participative. Even at a Masters level, professors think that they know it all, and that students should just listen to them. No questions are made whatsoever, so classes are usually a monolog…
  • Attendance is registered by signing a list, but nobody checks it out. I counted 26 people on today’s class… and the list had 50 signatures!
  • Attendance is expected, but paying attention is not. Half of the students are always sleeping, and professors seem as if they just don’t care.
  • Some classes have more than one professor through the month. And they don’t talk to each other! Each one uses different terminology and mathematical variables to express the same ideas, so it’s hard to us to follow them. That’s why everybody is sleeping!
  • There’s no limit time to enter the class. Some even come to the classroom when there’s only 15 minutes left… to sign the attendance list!

How do they learn? That’s a mystery to me. Maybe they just call the Operator and ask by cell phone to have the “geophysical urban management” knowledge… and voilá!

Am I the only one who has to study to learn?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Short Sighted Monkey

Why is it that while some people can take amazing pictures with a pocket digital camera, I can’t take a single decent photo with a semi-pro one? There’s a saying that goes like this: aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda. A monkey wearing silk is still a monkey! Gosh! I’m going to be a short-sighted monkey my whole life…

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Welcome to Japan!

While my work trips were to Huaraz, La Oroya and Cerro de Pasco in Peru, a friend of mine is going to be sent next August to Japan to visit his suppliers. Lucky him! So now, let me give him some little advices so he can enjoy his trip better…

  1. August is summer. And by summer I don’t mean the usual 28ºC (82ºF) that we enjoy on our summers in Lima. No. That’s a Kyoto spring. The climate here is too hot and humid… You should bring at least on baggage full of underwear (unless you want to use the hotel laundry every single day…)
  2. Dollars are worthless here. Leave them all in the hotel and carry only Yens. Without Yens, you’re nobody here.
  3. Leave the credit card at the hotel safe vault. Or in your night table, which is as safe as the vault. In Japan you can use the credit card only in to pay the hotel bill. Or maybe in some expensive restaurants. But cash is the king. Period.
  4. Don’t worry about pickpockets. Japan is a safe country. You’ll enjoy the feeling.
  5. There are many good beers here. Just don’t buy any Happoshu. They’re horrible!
  6. Leave you’re porn magazines at home. You could get yourself arrested at the airport! Besides, you can buy new ones here. On any convenience store!
  7. Forget about tipping. You don’t need to give a single penny to anybody.
  8. Come determined to enjoy your spare time after job. Japan is a very expensive country. Granted. But it’s worth the trip…

Yokoso! Japan
Welcome to Japan!

Monday, June 20, 2005

The simple mind of a bachelor guy...

I don’t have anything against bachelors. I was one myself once. But I can’t really understand how a bachelor friend of mine can’t (or doesn’t want to) understand me. Or maybe I’m the one who doesn’t understand him! Who knows?

Maybe he’s just too young. I’m sure he’ll get it someday. Married guys are not absolute owners of their weekends! And of course I’m not saying that married guys should subordinate to their wives. Of course not! But once you’re married, you’ve got to make family plans for the weekend, and making family plans means to discuss them with your wife and then deciding what to do. Not coming to the house shouting “Velma! I want my food! And change your clothes that we’re going to have some beers with my friends!” No. That’s the perfect recipe for self-destruction.

I won’t ever pretend to say that once you’re married life is over. Kaput. No. I’m just saying that you should not decide what to do JUST by yourself, without checking first. You know why? Because it’s the same behavior that you’d expect from your wife!

I hope he’ll finally get to understand this.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Karaoke means "empty orchestra". In other words, karaoke is the music without the lead singer, and it's said that started in Kobe, Japan, in the late 1970's.

Originally available only on karaoke cassette tapes, karaoke moved into CDs, finally incorporating videos and graphic images along with on-screen text prompts of the song's lyrics.

It would be crazy to come all the way to Japan and not sing karaoke!

Enjoy a short video of my first karaoke in Japan! (and I hope you don't mind having your eardrums blown up by our melodious voices!)

Friday, June 10, 2005

Superb! Outstanding! Magnificent!

I didn’t realize I was living in the dark but now I know it for sure, for I’ve seen the light! Having been accustomed to listen to the rock & pop musicians radio stations decide you must like (as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Police, Depeche Mode et al), I was not prepared to the shock David Hasselhoff’s last CD caused on me. Oh mighty God! My prayers have been answered! The voluptuous, outstanding, dazzling and alluring music notes that my stereo gently poured on my (until then) unprepared naked ears simply disarmed me. My temper was tenderly softened by the soothing of his voice, while I could swear that my IQ was rising to unsuspected levels. Hasselhoff’s breathtaking voice is even superior (if that could ever be possible) than his performances in Knight Rider and Baywatch!

This man has opened the doors of Heaven, and I willfully will follow him.

Thank the Lord for this man!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

The Birds...

I bet all of you know about Hitchcock's “The Birds” but, most probably, not all have had the chance to watch it. In short it’s the story of how birds get angry with human beings, and start attacking them (well, us).

Last Friday I could swear I was on that movie, for I was attacked by an irritated crow!

Being myself a South American (Nanbeijin?) I have never been close to these birds (Really? Yes, we’re lucky indeed! Neither hurricanes nor crows in my beloved continent!), so I didn’t know what to expect from these ugly (but somehow extremely intelligent) oviparous animals. Most of the birds that live on my city are small ones: pigeons, doves, and similar. Large birds (as albatross or pelicans) don’t attack humans and usually fly away soon after you come closer than 50 meters.

So, this is how this Friday I met with a mad crow that assumed (I suppose) that I wanted to eat one of its offspring… Yeah, I arrived to the University and parked in my usually Bicycle Parking Lot just in front of my faculty building (yes, there’s no single car parking lot on Kyodai for students, but thousands of spaces for bicycles to park!), and immediately noticed a noisy crow on a close tree. Actually I found that strange, but nothing more… so once I locked my bicycle, I started to walk to the door of my building, using a small sidewalk that crosses just below another huge tree. First, the bird flown from one tree to the other, passing just inches above me… just to make a second flight hitting my head!!! Terrified, I took my umbrella and tried to scare it (giving myself some time to recover my soul), and then started to run to the door… Still in shock, I get into my office and checked if I was hurt. I put my hand on my head, and found a little bit of blood… Yes! Blood! Fortunately it was just a scratch so I decided not to worry anymore, and to start my daily routine…

Crows will never be the same to me. Now, every time I hear its squawk, I check everywhere to confirm it’s not the same one provoking me…

PS: I hope I don’t get the Mad Crow Disease…

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Furui Man

Check this page! A friend of mine is constantly surfing the Internet trying to find some funny and nice stuff... Sometimes he does, some times he doesn't. But Hell, he does try hard!

BTW, he loves comments... Don't forget to leave him one!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Peruvian Beauty

Some months ago, a Peruvian girl was crowned Miss World 2004. Yesterday, another Peruvian girl was among the Top 5 on Miss Universe 2005. Man! With those beauty genes flowing on my country... how the hell didn't I get at least one? I should be Bond, James Bond, on these Japanese lands... instead of being just Mr. Hyde...

I can only hope that I do have at least one recessive beauty gene that my daughter will get (as a dominant one) when she's born...