[d3v0 lifeblog]

A blog of the newly hedonistic d3vo.

Rundon (London)

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"You are travelling to Rundon today?" enquired the Japanese native woman at the checking counter for Leufthanser. "Yes" I replied with a quirky smile.

The day had started early in Nogizaka at mr_foodies place. I got up early, bid him an early farewell. Workers in Japan don't sleep much as far as I can tell. It was very early morning and 24 degrees celcius.

I bustled to the local station, then across a bit of central tokyo from Otemachi station on the Chiyoda line to the Nariata express line which is in Tokyo station. Got on the train with a minute to spare in a mild stress and exersion induced sweat.

At Narita airport I got into the short slow-moving queue for the checkin counter. The helpful assistant tried to help me do the self checking thing but the machine couldn't make any sense of my "cledit-cardo".

I slept most of the way between Narita and Frankfurt, then zombied my way onto my flight to Heathrow. Somewhere over the english channel I changed out of my shorts and into some jeans to deal with Londons daytime temperature of 13 degrees celcius.

The immigration and customs path through Heathrow took almost no time at all, a very short physicial path, perhaps a fifth the distance at Wellington??

I met ms_english_aunt at the gate. She is looking extra blonde at the moment, the kind of hair cut and colour that would delight a Japanese woman. She drove me back to her cute little flat in Kensington and Chelsea. We talked lots about our family last night, great stuff.

It will be a few days before I'm over my zombie inducing jet lag state, but I woke up around 6:30, pretty good for a first day.

Tokyo Blur

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It's midday on the my last day in my week long blur in Japan. Feeling a bit confuddled at this point.

Thursday afternoon I went to see sumo wrestling. It is good entertainment, and as it was a weekday a few days before the end of the two week tournament the crowds were light.

I ordered my first thing using entirely japanese from the snack bar "sumemasen, ume shu ga arimaska" which means "excuse me, do you have plum liquor?". I've been drinking a lot of fortified plum wine, it's good stuff.

Thursday evening I went with some drink with mr_foodie and we wandered through some of Tokyo before heading in early.

At about about 5:30 or so we got up and headed to the Tokyo fish market. It was a scary and busling place, I had the constant feeling I was about to be run over. Lots of fish mungers running around in their "mighty cars", kind of motorised trolley things.

We order a bunch of delicious fish for breakfast, bite sized bits of cooked eel, tuna as soft as butter. I struggled with the raw spear squid, it was very chewy. Washed down with Nihhon cha.

We navigated some trains to get to our shinkansen. We took a trip equivalent from Wellington to Auckland via train. Took about 2 hours. At peak time a shinkansen left the platform we were at every six minutes.

The shinkansen was about a dozen carriages, each holding about 70 people or so. I lot like an passenger jet interior.

I dozed a bit on my way to Kyoto. We got there late morning and found our hotel. Very polite hotel staff.

We got a bus and went to see a Buddhist temple nestled amongst a bamboo forest. Very calm except for the mosquitoes.

I grabbed a competent filter coffee while we waited for a bus back to town. It wove through little streets that are normal in Japan. We headed out to another large temple in the middle of town.

Higashi Honganji temple was huge, consisting of two large temple buildings. I meditated in the temple for a while, the place had a nice warm happy spiritual feeling to it, much more approachable than a catholic church.

Later we headed to the 'downtown' district of Kyoto. We went to some bars and chatted to a few people. The bars are tiny, really tiny, about the size of my bedroom. We went to a jazz bar, a barred called swing top, a ramones themed bar and a french styled cafe. We taxied home.

We got up just before checkout, checked out, checked some baggage and headed for a castle. This one had been build to a shogun as a giant bling castle.

The shogun had wanted to out bling the emporer at the time. This meant using lots of gold. Gold covered ceilings and walls. Also, the paranoid shogun had made all his floors squeaky so that you couldn't sneak up on him. Nightingale floors.

We went back to the french cafe for a late lunch. It was a good walk through bits of inner kyoto. Lots of little streets and mini-businesses. We ate tapenade, bread, ham, pomme frets washed down with a house red for me and a fancy euro beer for mr_foodie.

I dozed a bit on the shinkansen back to Tokyo. We watched some rugby and got to bed at a reasonable time in anticipation of a monster next day.

Up earlyish I helped mr_foodie to tidy his house. For a tokyo house mr_foodie has a huge place. A complete spare room with double bed and a small deck, separate water closed and bathroom, it is a good sized apartment in any city.

We got the placed squared away and went and got 10,000 of ice, which we would latinise as ¥10,000. All that ice went into mr_foodies bath, which he then filled with local and imported boutique beer.

About 3pm guests started arriving, and the place filled steadily until 5pm when we started to barbeque things.

mr_foodie had about 4 cubic feet of lamb, tai style chicken, blacked fish, lamb chops, tender loins and local sausages. All demolished by the crowd.

Oddly to me someone turned up with a dozen bananas and I took it upon myself to bbq those too. This meant a trip to the hanamasa store "sumemasen, aru foiru ga arimaska".

Into foil squares I put peeled split bananas, brown sugar, maple and brandy. Twenty minutes over dying embers and we dished them out with french vanilla icecream.

Then it was midnight Tokyo time and we watch the All Blacks game in glorious HD television. Pitty about the game, the all blacks looked bored and the Scottish has given up before they had started.

Then it was 2pm and a small group of us went out to Roppongi, a short taxi ride. We went to a Kareoke building. Apparently the word means empty orchestra. mr_foodie is alergic to kareoke, although it did look like someone might have left their shoes behind.

The building was eight stories high and full of private kareoke rooms. We got a room for five and started ordering drinks. We were in the 11pm to 5am slot. Fixed price per person, all you can drink. Our first order was something like 5 long island ice-teas, a campare and orange and some ume shu.

Our little room had a tv and a kareoke machine and a pair of 700 series bose speakers. There was booth type seating and a couple of little matching roller chairs. It was easily the U2 songs I knew best.

I headed out for a last couple of drinks at 5am, to what appeared to be a Russian mafia bar that claimed it was an aussie bar, go figure.

I walked home at about 6:30am back to mr_foodies, it felt good to try and walk off some of the alcohol.

That made Monday hangover day, cleaning up and grabbing a nice dinner at a place where all the staff know mr_foodie by name.

I've been reading and lazy this morning but I'm going to go for a big walk this afternoon, I'll head over down the boulevard that has the Prada store on it, then find some interior design stores to drool over.

Nogizaka

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I have made it to Nogizaka, my travels have begun!

Driven to airport then WLG-AKL then AKL to Tokyo airport. Got the NEX train to tokyo station, met mr_foodie and then onto another line to Nogizaka, a short walk down the road from mr_foodies place.

Last night we went to a resteraunt a short walk from his place. We walked down his street to get to the main road to our destination. Along the way we passed a vending machine about every 150 metres. The place is a kind of Japanese tapas bar, we ate lots of yummy things which I washed down with a class of sweet plum wine, not unlike sweet vermouth.

mr_foodie is a good friend from my days back at Unisys. He has got a sweet pad with a spare room, part of his deal with his employer. He has high speed interneto and even get a western style double bed!

This morning I'm going to wander around and take some photos, then try to catch some sumo restling early in the afternoon.

Tokyo is pretty hot this time of year, in the late twenties. I slept under just a sheet. When I woke up it felt like I had forgot to turn off the electric blanket.

My plan to rehydrate myself is to drink a lot of something called POCARI SWEAT. It is a lemonade coloured cloudy liquid. I'm going to try some right now. Tastes like flat lemonade with added electrolites, yum!

Free Beer and Pop

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Rumpusing makes me sleepy! Nice party though guys.

I've got beer and pop left over that I want to give away. I'm about to go on holiday so it will be months before I can use it at another party.

Come to my place and grab some beer and pop from my garden shed. Careful, some of the boxes got wet and aren't very strong. In exchange you will buy me a cherry beer sometime.

D.

Rumpus 07: Today!!

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The Rumpus is today. I can confirm the following DJs:
- DJ Ristofunk
- DJ Sammyh, smooth progressive trance
- DJ Big R, 80s
- DJ Woteva (ms_who), R&B all mixed up
- DJ Apologise
- DJ Andrew Fantastic, 80s
- DJ d4vo (me), house/ trance

See you tonight, it will be huge, my biggest, loudest, craziest party ever!

Rumpus Ho

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Rumpus preparations are well under way. DJ practices are scheduled for this week. Room number one is prepared, with good progress made towards the others.

See you in 6 days for the Rumpus.

Microsoft vs Apple

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Read a couple of intesting articles today. One from metafilter which I read each day and another from slashdot which I have read each day for over a decade.

Today I read an article about Apple. They are releasing lots of cool new products today. There are new ipods available today for order which are replacements for their old products. These new ipods are clearly better in many ways than the old ones.



Click here to read if you want to go and watch the hour long keynote about them. I recommend the first 10 minutes to those of you that are curious about how the media world is shifting.

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The other story I read today is about Microsoft attempting to buy the vote of an international standards organisation called ISO using bribes.

ISO is a standards body. Its standards get used all over the place. One of their standards is used to define the country letters on the end of domain names. This needs to be a well maintained, carefully guarded intellectual jewel so that things like the internet keep working. ISO have done a great job of this for ages. There are more than 400 countries with two digit codes in that standard.

This article goes a long long way to showing that Microsoft has bribed the governments of corrupt countries to support it in its bid to make office file formats an international standard. They call it OOXML.

The problem with OOXML is that it is not implementable. The standard as currently defined by Microsoft is a junk standard. Microsoft wants to do this to maintain it position as a convicted monopolist in productivity software. It made the standard junk so that it can have no meaningful competitors for the file format.



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One of these companies wants to have a positive impact on the world and the other doesn't. What I don't understand is why choose the evil path and follow it with such verve?