A true to life drama of a Jamaican male, living and working in Japan since March 2008.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

13 Absolutely Worst Types of Men to Date / Strange Japanese Fetish !

Day 2248 (Thursday, May 15, 2014) – Day 2254 (Wednesday, May 21, 2014)

Funny/Weird Photo of the Week:

Day 2248 (More Jamaicans in Toyama / 80% of Japanese Women Experience Flirting)
(Thursday, May 15, 2014)

Had dinner with some Jamaicans around this area. It was at an okonomiyaki shop, one of my favourite foods in Japan.


80% of Japanese women report being hit on by strangers

A new Japanese poll has found that 80% of women have been hit on by strangers on the street at least once.
It’s really not surprising given that most guys have tried the random on-the-street approach at least a few times in their lives, either because of peer pressure or through a fleeting, spur-of-the-moment impulse. It seems to us as long as you’re polite and not overly aggressive, it doesn’t hurt to try, but apparently Japanese women disagree, since the poll also found that 65% of women reject those proposals outright. Why?
It seems a lot of it has to do with… let’s be honest here: guys not exactly being the most charming individuals around when they decide to make their move. Some women relate their specific experiences in the poll, and it’s kind of cringe-inducing.
“Some drunk guy hit on me in Shinjuku (a location notorious for guys trying to pick up). He clearly wasn’t used to it and had zero confidence. I was 100% sure that I wouldn’t have a good time if I went along with this loser.”
“A guy riding in a car yelled to me while I was walking on the sidewalk. He asked me where I was going. When I told him I was on my way home he said he’d see me off. Totally creepy.”
“A lot of guys try to hit on me from inside their cars. Sometimes it’s a whole group of them, which feels even more dangerous.”



Day 2249 (Back in Yokohama for the weekend / Husband Gives Wife a Piece of his Lung)
(Friday, May 16, 2014)

Had 2 classes then had to wait until 4:15 to leave the school. The principal at the school called me in his office and said “Dave, I’m really really happy that you decided to stay here in Toyama until March… thank you very much. All the teachers are really happy as too.” Well I’m happy that they are happy. Even though I am still getting the weird stares from a few teachers, which is totally normal in Japan.

I wanted to leave earlier to catch a 5:00pm flight back to Yokohama but head office said it is better to stay until 4:15 so as to not cause any trouble with the school.

So I took an 8pm flight back to Yokohama after work. Would it be seen as nit-picking if I asked for a 3000 yen taxi fare reimbursement for going to the airport? I planned none of this, why am I still paying for transportation? I arrived at Haneda airport at around 9:30pm, then headed back to my apartment. It has been only 1 week away, but it feels like much longer.

I notice that all these flights between Tokyo and Toyama are filled with Japanese business men. I mean it’s one of the huge 3 row planes and 90% of the plane is filled with men in suits. I think I counted like 7 women. Why are so many business men going to and from Toyama, this country side prefecture?


Husband gives wife a piece of his lung in a revolutionary transplant with the help of a 3-D printer

After having difficulty breathing, a Kansai area resident went to the hospital where she learned that she had an irreversible case of pulmonary fibrosis (firming of lung tissue). The doctors told her that if she didn’t receive a transplant for her left lung she would die. Luckily, her own husband was found to be a suitable donor.
However, although his blood and tissue matched, there was a problem with the size of his lung. So a team of doctors at Kyoto University came up with a creative solution.
If someone has a failing lung and requires a transplant, one option would be to take an entire lung from a recently deceased donor. Although the patient can get a whole intact lung, the waiting lists are difficult and may require intensive surgery at a moment’s notice.
The other option would be to take an inferior lobe from two separate living donors. A healthy person can live a normal life with the loss of a single lobe, so the donors generally recover without issue. Although this situation is less urgent, it is understandably more complex for the person receiving the transplants.
In the case of this particular woman, an entire lung was needed but the only available donor was her husband. However, since time was of the essence, they would have to use only his one lobe to replace her entire left lung.
Unfortunately, the man’s inferior left lobe was truly inferior and too small to be used in such a way. A human’s right lung is about 20% larger than the left one which also has to share space with the heart. Therefore, while the man’s inferior left lobe was inadequate, his inferior right lobe was more than up to the task.
The challenge here is in attaching a piece of right lung into the place of a left lung. Given the opposite sides and positions, it becomes a dangerous puzzle to try and connect all the arteries and bronchi (blood and air passages) correctly.



Day 2250 (But I’m speaking Japanese!)
(Saturday, May 17, 2014)

Packed some of the stuff that I think I would be needing while in Toyama. Lots of stuff. Then sent off some money via western union for my little side business that is going to suffer greatly because of this country side gig. My company have no idea how much I stand to lose, including my livelihood. There is hardly anything to do in this area.

I went to the Jamaican restaurant in Shibuya to meet another person from the nomadness facebook tribe group. He is here on some business trip for his company. He is some sort of top notch pharmacist.  

Before I met up with the nomadness tribe guy, I was speaking to this Japanese selector/DJ who is in to reggae/dancehall music. He said he visited Jamaica once. So here I was speaking to this guy in Japanese, and he was struggling to answer me in English. Not sure why he was answering me in English while I was speaking in Japanese. Anyway, about 10 mins into our conversation, the dude stopped and asked me, “Can you speak Japanese ?????”  The question shocked me so much I paused for a while. So I answered him in Japanese saying, “Wasn’t I speaking to you in Japanese all this time?” to which he repeated the question in English “Can you speak Japanese?”, totally ignoring what I asked him in Japanese, ….. I again answered him in Japanese… to which he said “Oh sorry I didn’t realize you were speaking to me in Japanese!!!” … bro seriously ????  

--- It reminds me of this Youtube video !! ---



Day 2251 ( Heading Back to Toyama )
Sunday, May 18, 2014

Had to re-pack one of my suitcases, because it was way too heavy… and the wheels on it aren’t working so well. After packing and re-packing, I visited one of my friends and chatted for a while. Before you know it, it was time to head to the airport. I struggled with the heavy, broken suitcase. I haven’t used it in a while, so the handles were dry rotting as well. I started wondering if I was going to make it in time to the airport.

Recently I try to limit mentioning my xenophobia experiences but this one I think is worth mentioning. So, I entered a train on my way to the airport. A lady, her husband and child in a trolley were seated comfortably. Then enter Dave with his heavy luggage. I sat a bit away from them… no close contact or anything of the sort. I was at least 2 meters away. As soon as I sat down, the lady got up….. made some excuse to her husband who agreed, and they came out of the train and went into the other cart.. hmmm. I am wondering if I followed them to the other cart, what would they do.   

Anyway, when I got to the airport, my suitcase was overweight by 5 pounds, plus my other suitcase. I had to pay 3500 yen extra … Not too bad really. But I shouldn’t be paying any money to move !! that’s already 6500 (US $65) of unplanned expenses !!! This 10 months in the country side better be worth it….  



Day 2252 (13 men not to date)
Monday, May 19, 2014

Had only 1 class then started falling asleep around the computer. Thankfully they gave me a computer. But that doesn’t prevent me from falling asleep.


13 Absolutely Worst Types of Men to Date 

Dating is a hard game and there are some types of men who are best avoided, if you are ready to settle down that is. What are these types? Let Lillian Blue help you weed out the bad with this list of worst types of men to date!


While seemingly a normal, possibly timid guy, things can go extremely wrong when he finds out your true feelings. Men like this aren't mature enough to handle relationships, so they avoid them at all costs. For example, he may show signs of sharing your infatuation, but when talk of commitment comes up, he acts as if you've never even met. If this man comes into your life, don’t beat yourself up over his sudden change of heart. He’s simply a scared little boy, not the man of your dreams.


Also known as the ever elusive «player». He has dozens of women on the backburner and possesses a constant hunger to string more along to fulfill his insecure mindset. When you spot this man, don’t let him get to you. You can bet those charming one-liners and suave winks have been used many times before to his advantage. You’ll always be an option, but never a priority


This man has no trouble setting plans and organizing dates. In fact, he is usually the one that routinely lights up your phone every Friday night. He wants to have some fun this weekend. To make sure he isn’t left alone, he schedules numerous «dates» and weighs his options. If you’re not top on his list, you’ll probably get the «Oh, sorry I’m not feeling so well» text or possibly no response at all. Don’t let it bother you, he wasn't worth your time.


This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Does your man spend more time getting ready than you do? Does he constantly check his hair in every mirror he comes across? Is he seemingly more in love with himself than in you? Are his interests limited to his own idealistic opinions and profound theories? Yeah, he’s head over heels. With himself. Ditch the Ken doll, you shouldn’t have to put up with someone so plastic.


From past relationships I’ve learned that the majority of these boys have been total primadonnas. You’ll know you’ve met this type when he freaks out if you show up five minutes late to a date. You can be sure he’ll fan every little disagreement into a full-blown argument. It’s not worth the stress. In my experience, this type can’t handle sarcasm very well, either. Their serious attitudes tend to translate humor very literally.


Now, I know giving some roses and chocolate once in a while, or on special occasions is a great gesture, but what about when the gifts and compliments get out of control? Constant flattery can seem fake after a while, and while endless gifts sound nice; they ultimately result in an awkward situation. If all of that mushball behavior is one sided and we girls end up on a pedestal, the relationship can often become unbalanced.


This man is most often seen sporting a cheese puff-stained shirt; lying on the couch in his mom’s basement. If for some reason he leaves the house and you two end up talking; you’ll find him very light on the activities aspect of life. But who knows? He could be a driven, hard-core gamer and if you’re into that sort of thing then you’ve met your match! But if he’s just a no good couch potato, it’ll take a lot longer for you to try and change him then it will for him to finish off another bowl of Cheetos.


This type of man has a need for control. Over you, and everything else in his life. If he starts ordering you around or trying to manipulate you in any way, get out of this relationship. He’ll only continue to build power by wearing you down. In order for a relationship to happily function, both sides need to share authority. He isn’t the boss of you; you control your own life.


Everyone hates a know it all. If you find yourself with this man, you’ll become aware of your situation very quickly. You’ll probably be told you’re incorrect more frequently and you should prepare for the flood of «extensive knowledge» your partner is going to heap upon you. The information you’re being bombarded with is this man’s way of looking smarter or trying to impress you. It’s not impressive, it’s downright annoying.


It’s one thing to people watch. It’s another to point out every flaw in those around you. This type of man can spot someone unique and different from a mile away and has this conformist need to cut them up and express his dislike of their differences. They’re incredibly shallow and don’t have the capacity to dig deep and really get to know anyone out of the ordinary. You don’t want to date a mean, un-understanding man. So, find someone who can accept people for who they are and is secure with himself.


This is the guy with who has no job and no plans on ever getting one. What's worse is that he's got champagne taste on a beer budget and knows how to manipulate his way into your wallet to support the lavish lifestyle he desperately wants. He might seem like a super nice guy who is going through some tough times, but he's only concerned about what you can do for him. Don't let this guy charm him way into your heart or your wallet!


If a guy can't make a decision without his mama's input, it's a deal breaker. It might sound harsh, but I'm not talking about consulting his mother on life-altering decisions here. This is a guy who needs his mom's advice on clothes, his job, car, even what he eats! Take a pass on this type of man unless you're ready to play second fiddle to his mom.


I know some women run away from a guy who's married, but some aren't aware of his relationships status or they find out after they've already fallen for him. In either case, don't get caught up with the married guy. He's obviously unable to stay faithful to the woman he made a vow to be with, but he also manipulates his situation so that you feel sorry for him and fall for all of his lies. He might lead you to believe that he's trapped in a loveless marriage and that he's going to eventually leave his wife and children for you, but in most if not all situations there's very little chance that he's going to change for anyone.


Day 2253 (Yes Jamaica has Computers!)
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 (6 years … 2 months)

Aah I’m back in the country side… I have to remind myself or else I’m going to start spewing fire at these country people.

 Today a teacher finally decided to brave up and asked me where I was from. Before this, she appeared at one of my classes, telling the students to ask me my age and what not. So yeah she got some courage today. So when I told her that I was from Jamaica, she then asked, what did I do there before coming to Japan. I told her that I was a computing teacher at an academy. Almost all the Japanese in the vicinity was like “Reallly !!!” … The music teacher and the same teacher that asked the question was like “wow I never knew Jamaica had schools that taught about computers !!!” WTH ??Then they asked if it was fine to go to work without violence etc???? I answered by saying, well there are a few dangerous places but if you don’t go there, then chances are you will be fine. Pretty much like anywhere else in the world….The music teacher again asked…. “no one will attack you or anything like that while going to work” … I said NO!!! … By this time I was starting to get agitated. Because here in Japan that they perceive to be so safe, they need special train carts for ladies only at certain times of day in order to ward off the perverted Japanese men who prey on them. Hey, and several women here in Japan get fondled on lonely roads, Japanese and foreigners alike. So stop with the bull already.........



Day 2254 ( Strange Japanese Fetish )
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Someone who works part-time with my company, brought me to look at a potential apartment today after work. It is a nice apartment actually but its about a 30 mins walk from the school. Or a 30 mins bus wait. Well If I run to catch the bus I heard its only a 5 mins walk from the school. However in winter, I heard everything gets delayed and I’m going to need some winter boots, cause the winter here is miserable I was told !!! it is in the same general region where the winter Olympics was held in Nagano back in 1998 I think… yes the winter Olympics !!!... I told her if they can find another one near to a train station it would be best but if there are no others then I will work with this one.


Man says he stole schoolgirls' gym uniforms because he wanted to wear them

Police have arrested a 53-year-old man who broke into a school in Gifu and stole two schoolgirls’ gym uniforms.

According to police, the suspect, identified as Koichi Hirose, works at a technical college in Wakayama Prefecture. NTV quoted police as saying that Hirose broke into the high school in Gifu at around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday and stole two uniforms from the changing room in the gym.

Police were alerted after a resident reported seeing a suspicious vehicle parked outside the school for a long time.

Hirose, who was apprehended on the school premises, was quoted by police as saying he wanted to wear a girl’s gym uniform.


Monday, May 19, 2014

Types of Japanese Girlfriends and how to know them (ha) / Japanese Taxi Guy With A Weird Fetish

Funny/Weird Photo of the Week

Days 2241 - 2247
Thursday, May 8 - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Ok so a world wind of stuff took place last week. And again for privacy concerns, I can't mention too much. I tell you, my life is like an epic adventure.

Day 2241 ( Heading to Toyama )
Thursday, May 8, 2014

Woke up early to go catch a flight to Toyama (a rural prefecture in Japan where our Jamaican spring ting event was held last year http://davecollyjap.blogspot.jp/2013/05/jamaicans-in-japan-spring-ting-2013_9.html). My company asked me to do a special teaching assignment for a week here, all expenses paid. The flight took 1 hour and the landing was among the worst that I've ever experienced because of strong winds.

When I got to Toyama, I met up with some big wigs in the company. I was wondering if this was some sort of trap....Why on earth would these guys be all the wayy out here??? Anyway, I met with the Board of Education in the area as well as some peeps in the school that I would be teaching for the week.

They then put me in a hotel, where I would stay until next Friday evening.



Day 2242 ( Discount For Bald Customers )
Friday, May 9, 2014

Did my first 4 classes at the school today and I was falling asleep at the desk. All of the classes went well with the students asking for more and more. What I like about this school is that I get school lunch. And it cost only like 300 yen (US $3). When I saw the smiles from the teachers and students, I had no doubt in my mind that they were gonna want me to stay a while longer.....


Tokyo pub offers discount for bald customers

Remember this AKB girl

A Japanese pub deep in the heart of white-collar Tokyo wants to help out their customers whose heads are showing the consequences of too much stress and hard work (and perhaps a bit of genetics too).
The restaurant hopes that instead of covering their heads with a complex comb-over or taking a cue from monks to shave it all off, “salarymen” white-collar workers treat their thinning hair as a badge of honor and proof of their dedication to help the struggling Japanese economy. And to show their support, the restaurant has announced a generous “balding discount.”

“Otasuke,” which translates roughly to “huge help,” opened earlier this month in the Akasaka district in central Tokyo, and has grabbed national attention for their customer outreach efforts. A sign outside the shop declares their full support for “hard-working fathers losing their hair” over their stressful jobs.
Restaurant manager Yoshiko Toyota said that she and the owner came up with their business idea after volunteering in the recovery efforts to rebuild the Tohoku region in northeastern Japan. Toyota saw how the hard-hit area was being helped economically by the rest of the country and wanted to find a way to support those white-collar workers who in turn are helping to rebuild Tohoku.



Day 2243 ( Jamaicans in Toyama )
Saturday, May 10, 2014

Went to a Jamaican restaurant in Toyama tonight... yes a Jamaican restaurant even in these parts !! Some of these people I met at the Jamaican Spring ting event last year.

Jelly's Jamaican Restaurant in remote locations

The Owner of Jelly's, Kanda san
 This guy went all over Jamaica and fell in love with our culture, so he decided to open a Jamaican restaurant.

Met Mari at Spring ting last year

The one wearing the 76 is actually from Nigeria hey but she looks like us lol



Day 2244 ( Short Community BBQ And English Conversation Thing / Shark Eat Shark )
Sunday, May 11, 2014

One of the ladies I met at spring ting last year, invited me to a small community BBQ they were having in a community called Kamiichi in Toyama.

It's freaking  May !! Why is there still snow on the mountains?!?!

Afterwards, we had a 2 hour English conversation thing. They do this every Saturday.


Shark shocks Ibaraki aquarium staff by swallowing 

another shark 

With only about 20,000 residents, the city of Oarai, in Ibaraki Prefecture, isn’t exactly bursting with entertainment options. If you do find yourself with some time to kill there, though, you could stop by the Aqua World aquarium, where aquatic life including sea lions, jellyfish, and dolphins are on hand to greet visitors. The facility is even home to a number of sharks.
On a recent morning, one of the Aqua World caretakers was checking on the aquarium’s residents. At around 11 a.m., his rounds took him to the multi-tank Sea of Sharks exhibit.

The tank reserved for the largest creatures is home to a 1.6-meter whitetip reef shark, as well as a 2.8-meter sand tiger shark. Recently, the staff had been concerned by the latter’s lack of appetite, although the animal’s condition seemed to be improving.

Judging from the sight that greeted the caretaker that morning, the sand tiger shark is completely ready to start eating again, and in large quantities, too.

At some point when no one was looking, the larger of the two sharks unilaterally decided to change its smaller brethren’s role from “tank mate” to “breakfast.”

But while the sand tiger shark has the sharp teeth you’d expect from an animal with two apex predators in its name, it still wasn’t able to bite entirely through the hard skin of the whitetip. So the sand tiger switched to Plan B and tried to swallow the smaller shark whole.

This was easier said than done, though, and after about 40 minutes of struggling to choke the whitetip down, the sand tiger shark eventually gave up and ingloriously spat the deceased creature back out. The aquarium staff promptly removed the smaller one, worried that if they didn’t do so quickly, the hungry survivor might be tempted to try again. Sadly, the whitetip later died from the injuries it had sustained.

- See more at: http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/shark-shocks-ibaraki-aquarium-staff-by-swallowing-another-shark?utm_campaign=jt_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_source=jt_newsletter_2014-05-03_PM#sthash.W52ET9Mm.dpuf


Day 2245 ( Types of Japanese Girlfriends and how to know them  )
Monday, May 12, 2014

Did 2 classes at the school today. In the afternoon, one of the top guys in my company gave me a call, basically asking if I can stay for the year in Toyama !!! The first thing that came to my mind was "Are they turning me back into an ALT and asking me to step down from being a trainer, PLUS move from town back to country?!?!"
But I was re-assured that this will not be the case and that I would maintain my trainer contract but would be doing the job of an ALT. I would also still have my apartment in Yokohama. After about 2 days of negotiating, I decided to stay here in Toyama until March 2015. But its still not 100% final......


What type of girlfriend are you? Wait a minute, let me check your bangs

When you’re a little unsure about your love interest, what or who do you turn to for advice? Most of us have read one of those horoscope love readings at least once in our lifetime. In Japan, many people believe that a person’s blood type has influence on their personality traits. This may sound slightly silly, but blood type is a factor some Japanese consider when choosing a date.

Recently, however, a new personality prediction trend has been getting popular among girls in Japan. It seems that the way a girl styles her fringe (or bangs) gives away hints about her relationship personality. Guys, you might want to pay more attention to your love interest’s hairstyle from now on.
1. Bangs of average length and thickness (photo top left)
This style suggests that both your mind and body are satisfied. You seem to take initiative not only in relationship matters, but also in other activities such as your hobbies. It might be an understatement to say that you have a strong desire for love. A man who can also be your playmate or hobby-mate might be the best match for you.
2. Thick, straight-cut bangs that cover your forehead (photo top center)
Hiding your forehead suggests that your heart is closed and you are passive towards love relationships. You also secretly wish to be seen as a lovable lady by the people around you. Perhaps you have experienced some sort of trauma in the past, causing you to shut others out. It would probably take a determined, patient man who wouldn’t mind taking the time and effort to slowly pry open your heart in order to be with you.
3. Left-side parting - often seen on idols such as AKB48 (Photo top right)
The left side of our body is said to be the “female side”, thus this style suggests that you are inclined towards a feminine thinking process and tend to switch between putting up a front and speaking from your heart. Instead of putting yourself on the line, you prefer to take on supportive roles. You guard your heart carefully and tend to be timid when facing love relationships, which could be why you have difficulty in finding a partner. However, deep down inside, you harbor a desire to gradually bridge the distance that isolates you from guys.

4. Right-side parting (Photo bottom right)
The right side of our body is said to be the “male side”, thus this style suggests that you lean towards a masculine thinking process, often thinking about things in a straightforward manner. This shows that you are comfortable with putting yourself out there and taking the initiative when it comes to matters of the heart. However, being overly ambitious might cause guys to think that you are selfish and always want to have your way. You would probably leave a better impression on soft-spoken, gentle guys, or males who are younger than you.
5. Bangs that sit above your brows (Photo bottom center)
This style shows that you are confident in yourself, and suggests that once you fall for someone, you are likely to go all out to pursue that special someone. You are generally tolerant, but you have a strong desire to be understood by your partner, and that may be the cause of arguments. Due to such a personality, you tend to be attracted to mature guys who are skilful in handling women, or men who are broad-minded and accepting.
6. Center parting or exposed forehead (Photo bottom right)
This style suggests that you tend to take initiative in communication. You often find yourself setting the flow at mixer parties. Being overly aggressive in making conversation may result in you talking too much. That aside, you generally leave a good impression on guys. You have a soft spot for praises and flattery, and might easily fall for someone who showers you with such words.
Ladies, was it a bullseye for you, or do you think it’s just bull? There are people who stick with a style for decades, so who knows, this might be accurate for them.



Day 2246 ( Strange Taxi Dude - Get his kicks from watching women want to pee!!! )
Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The students are going nuts in my classes...Lots of laughter and enjoyment.....The teachers are equally having a good time.... Welcome to Dave's world !!! I had to do some renegotiating today when I realized how much fun the students were having.... ;) muhuhahahahahaaaa ...


Taxi driver held for drugging women with diuretics

A Japanese taxi driver who got a sexual thrill out of watching women desperate to urinate has been arrested for allegedly feeding passengers snacks laced with diuretics, police said Thursday.
Toshihiko Nishi, 41, lured women into long rides in his cab, in at least one case by offering a half-price fare, and then plied them with crackers covered in a substance that would make them want to go to the toilet.
Police who raided the man’s home told AFP they found videos that Nishi said were from a security camera inside the cab and showed around 50 women wetting themselves on his back seat.
One alleged victim told police she had got into Nishi’s taxi in Osaka in October last year, and been given a small paper cup containing water biscuits.
A short time after eating the snack, she began to need the toilet. But when she told the driver to let her out of the car so she could relieve herself, he refused and instead passed back an absorbent sheet on which he encouraged her to urinate.
“I got excited by watching women trying to withstand the urge to urinate,” the driver told investigators, adding he had “bought diuretics through the Internet, and crushed them to mix with crackers.”
Nishi has been arrested on suspicion of committing a lewd act, a police officer said.



Day 2247 (  )
Wednesday, May 14, 2014

So it is finalized. I will be staying in Toyama until March 2015. I will be in Yokohama/Tokyo area every now and again tho. I am falling asleep after lunch but I will work with it.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Racism Stubbornly Persists in America

Funny/Weird Photo of the Week:

Days 2234 - 2240
Thursday, May 1 - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Day 2234 ( Man With Bionic Eye )
Thursday, May 1, 2014

Went to Western Union to send off some cash then delivered some goods that I ordered to be re-sold.


Man among 1st in U.S. to get 'bionic eye'

A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision.
Diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa as a teenager, Pontz has been almost completely blind for years. Now, thanks to a high-tech procedure that involved the surgical implantation of a “bionic eye,” he’s regained enough of his eyesight to catch small glimpses of his wife, grandson and cat.
“It’s awesome. It’s exciting — seeing something new every day,” Pontz said during a recent appointment at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. The 55-year-old former competitive weightlifter and factory worker is one of four people in the U.S. to receive an artificial retina since the Food and Drug Administration signed off on its use last year.
The facility in Ann Arbor has been the site of all four such surgeries since FDA approval. A fifth is scheduled for next month.
Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited disease that causes slow but progressive vision loss due to a gradual loss of the light-sensitive retinal cells called rods and cones. Patients experience loss of side vision and night vision, then central vision, which can result in near blindness.
Not all of the 100,000 or so people in the U.S. with retinitis pigmentosa can benefit from the bionic eye. An estimated 10,000 have vision low enough, said Dr. Brian Mech, an executive with Second Sight Medical Products Inc., the Sylmar, Calif.-based company that makes the device. Of those, about 7,500 are eligible for the surgery.
The artificial implant in Pontz’s left eye is part of a system developed by Second Sight that includes a small video camera and transmitter housed in a pair of glasses.



Day 2235 ( Trance Party )
Friday, May 2, 2014

Went to a meeting in Kawasaki, a city next to Yokohama where I live. My life now will be filled with random meetings all over this prefecture, at least 3 or 4 per month, sometimes more.

Last week, one of the persons from the office invited us to a trance music sorta party in Tokyo and he said we were all gonna be free. I decided to try it out because actually I've never been to one of these. So after getting lost a few times, I finally found the place. When I entered the premises, the people were asking me to pay 2000 yen (US$ 20), so I told them I should be on the guest list. Unfortunately, some how I wasn't on the list and I ended up paying 1500 yen. Which was fine but still felt a little weird because I heard initially that I would be going in free.

The trance party was a little different from anything I"ve ever seen but interesting nevertheless. One thing I can"t help but notice recently is that pretty much I'm the only black guy around. This party was no different. I decided that at this party, I wasn't going to act like a socialite but just stick to myself unless someone speaks to me. Pretty much my friend was the only one speaking to me every now and again as expected. I decided to go in observation mode really. Eventually some drunk dude came up to me and started chatting random stuff. He just came to Japan and is enjoying the party scene. The party was ok overall though.



Day 2236 ( Widow of dementia patient killed by train ordered to pay damages )
Saturday, May 3, 2014

Today was the start of Golden week - a string of holidays in Japan. Golden week is not really golden if it starts on a Saturday right? kmt... Anyway, pretty much stayed in all day being lazy and watching One Piece episodes and Game of Thrones. Man this Game of thrones thing is addictive, I can't stop watching it.

Later on, I ordered 5 suits for work. I realized that I didn't have many jackets. But hardly anyone notices these things.....Maybe.


Widow of dementia patient killed by train ordered to pay damages

The 91-year-old widow of an elderly dementia patient who went wandering outside and was hit and killed by a train in Aichi Prefecture has been ordered by the Nagoya High Court to pay compensation to the train company for damages incurred by the disruption of its services.
In the case, which occurred in Obu city in December 2007, a 91-year-old man suffering from dementia was killed after he walked aimlessly onto the tracks, NTV reported. JR Tokai sought reparations for the damages from the man’s wife and 63-year-old son, although the son had not lived at home with his parents for 20 years.
In its April 24 ruling, the court ruled that the wife bore some responsibility for the events leading up to the accident, but that the son could not have done anything since he didn’t live with his parents.
The court heard that on the day of the fatal accident, the wife who was 85 at the time, dozed off in the afternoon, NTV reported. The man managed to leave the apartment and began wandering around the neighborhood. He walked onto the train tracks and was struck by a train and killed. Following the accident, all trains along the JR Tokaido line were delayed for over two hours, and the entire schedule for the rest of the day was disrupted.
In filing a suit for 7.2 million yen in damages, JR Tokai argued that the man’s family should have predicted that he might go wandering off, as he had done so two times before, NTV reported.



Day 2237 ( Brief 2008 Interac Reunion / Racism Stubbornly Persists in America )
Sunday, May 4, 2014

Went to the Jamrock Jamaican restaurant in Shibuya to meet up with some friends who came with me to Japan back in 2008. I am one of a very few who is still working for the company since 2008.


Call me pessimistic or whatever you may, but I'm one person that believes racism will never totally go away in the US, Europe, Asia or anywhere else. I believe it is something we were all born with and it will either blossom or reduce depending 80% on our social upbringing. Take for instance small babies around 1 year old here in Japan, who stare at me none-stop,  some of them run away and cry...... This kind of behavior is not learnt.... It is totally natural. Now, depending on how his/her parents grow him/her and the people he/she interacts with, he/she will either become totally racist, tolerant, or have very little to no racist thinking.

So I'm always surprised that people are surprised when stories like the one below comes forth.  

Specter of racism still haunts U.S. sports

The furor surrounding comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has again cast an unfavorable light on racism in American sport.
Sixty-seven years after Jackie Robinson famously broke baseball’s “color line” when he went to bat for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the specter of racism still looms large over U.S. professional sport—from outspoken billionaire franchise owners to foul-mouthed players and bigoted fans who spew xenophobic nonsense behind the anonymity of Twitter avatars.
“Racism remains a problem throughout our society as a whole, and sports merely reflects that,” said Ray Halbritter, who has been leading a campaign for the Washington Redskins to drop their racially charged name.
“The good news in the Sterling situation is that everybody acknowledges that his statements are unacceptable,” Halbritter, representative of the Oneida Native American nation in upstate New York, told AFP.
Sterling, 80, has yet to apologize for a recording in which he reputedly asks a twenty-something female friend to stop bringing African-American friends to Clipper games and stop posting their photos on her Instagram feed.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?” says a male voice on the recording, which Sterling’s estranged wife has confirmed as his.
“You can sleep with (black people). You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it… and not to bring them to my games.”

President Barack Obama, the first African-American to be elected U.S. president and also a well-known basketball fan, swiftly denounced the comments as “incredibly offensive racist statements,” while basketball legend Magic Johnson questioned whether Sterling was fit to own a National Basketball Association (NBA) franchise.
Sterling, a real estate mogul estimated by Forbes business magazine to be worth $1.9 billion, is by no means the first U.S. sports franchise proprietor to come under fire for racism.
In the 1990s, Marge Schott of baseball’s Cincinnati Reds offended just about everyone with her casual use of racist language, her mocking Japanese accent, her admiration for Hitler and her belief that men with earrings were “fruity.”
She sold her majority stake in the Reds in 1999, three years after she was banned by Major League Baseball from her close involvement in the team’s day-to-day operations.
More recently, in the U.S. capital, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has stubbornly resisted pressure from Native Americans and their allies to rebrand his National Football League (NFL) team.
“While Sterling has tried to retroactively disassociate himself with the abhorrent comments in question, Dan Snyder proudly defends his own continued promotion of a dictionary-defined racial slur,” Halbritter said.
In November, in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins suspended Richie Incognito over the racially tinged harassment of a black teammate, while in 2013 the Philadelphia Eagles suspended Riley Cooper after a video emerged of him using racially abusing a bouncer at a Kenny Chesney country music concert.
Social media has meanwhile enabled some fans to anonymously churn out bigoted sentiments, such as in July 2013 when chart-topping Latino singer Marc Anthony sang “God Bless America” at baseball’s All-Star classic.
“Welcome to america where god bless america is sung at our national pastime by a mexican,” sneered one of many Twitter mentions that overlooked the fact that Anthony was born in New York to Puerto Rican, and thus American, parents.

Debra Nixon, a professor at Nova Southeastern University in Florida who specializes in diversity issues, said racism in American sports, and indeed throughout American society, remains “a pervasive problem.”
“And it’s going to keep happening until we really begin to do something constructive (about discussing race in America),” she told AFP, “as opposed to just having someone apologize until somebody else messes up.”




Day 2238 ( Google's Driverless Cars Mastering the Streets )
Monday, May 5, 2014

A huge earthquake woke me up this morning around 5:00 am. This was one of the biggest I felt since I moved to Yokohama. I was wondering if I should run or stay inside.

The epicenter of the earthquake was very very close to Yokohama.


Google: Driverless cars are mastering city streets

Google says that cars it has programmed to drive themselves have started to master the navigation of city streets and the challenges they bring, from jaywalkers to weaving bicyclists — a critical milestone for any commercially available self-driving car technology.
Despite the progress over the past year, the cars have plenty of learning to do before 2017, when the Silicon Valley tech giant hopes to get the technology to the public.
None of the traditional automakers has been so bullish. Instead, they have rolled out features incrementally, including technology that brakes and accelerates in stop-and-go traffic or keeps cars in their lanes.
“I think the Google technology is great stuff. But I just don’t see a quick pathway to the market,” said David Alexander, a senior analyst with Navigant Research who specializes in autonomous vehicles.
His projection is that self-driving cars will not be commercial available until 2025.
Google’s self-driving cars already can navigate freeways comfortably, albeit with a driver ready to take control. In a new blog post, the project’s leader said test cars now can handle thousands of urban situations that would have stumped them a year or two ago.




Day 2239 (  )
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Another day of staying in and being lazy. I started cooking a lot more of recent times, in order to save money. But today I ordered food from dominoes.



Day 2240 (  )
Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Had to conduct policy training on 2 new employees today. I saw it on my schedule to do but I ignored it because I saw that I would be doing it with another trainer. Ha... I had to do it by myself but it went pretty well actually.

Later, I was asked by my boss to go to a country side prefecture for 1 week. I will be flown down on a plane and stay in a hotel for the week ;) I was thinking that this was too sudden.... But then I thought... hey why not? So I'm writing this blog from that location. I will be back in Yokohama next week.