What is Wrong With America? / Japan's 10 Best Places to Live / Japan's Boob Squeeze Challenge Video

Picture of the week:

Day 2353 ( MUFJ Visa Debit Card / Bicycle in Toyama Stolen)
Thursday, August 28, 2014

My manager in Yokohama told me I could get the day off today to pack and head to Toyama. The foreign boss for the Toyama area initially said I should report to work in Yokohama pretty much with my luggage and leave from there for the airport !! I guess he was sticking by the books. I have too many bosses. On paper now though, I am assigned to the Toyama area... Not Yokohama.

Anyway, while at home  the delivery man came with my MUFJ Visa debit card. Finally. It would be good and bad if I had it while on vacation. Good because I could buy more stuff but bad because when I get back to Japan my money would be slowly depleting lol... So I guess it came right on time then....

I finally finished packing in the evening and had to walk a bit in the rain to go to the train station with my luggage. Aah bwoy. 

While at the airport, I saw another trainer with the Toyama branch. We took the same flight because we both have a meeting tomorrow. So now this makes my 8th flight between July 25th and today. I was lucky to have seen that trainer, because another person working with the branch was there waiting on him with a car. So they dropped me back to my apartment. We were speaking about all manner of company politics and gossip while we were heading to my apartment. When I got there, my beloved bicycle was missing in action !!! Stolen in TOYAMA !!!! 

Goodbye Betsy



Day 2354 ( Where am I? )
Friday, August 29, 2014

Woke up this morning not having a clue where I was seriously.

I looked up in the ceiling and wondered if I was in Atlanta



Or Toyama

Then it finally hit me that I was in Toyama and I have a meeting in 2 hours. I got ready and had to walk for about 20 mins to the tram station then take another tram, then walked to the meeting location. It took about 1 hour in total, which would usually take me 25 mins if I had my bicycle.....

I told them at the meeting about my bicycle situation and they said they will look into it!! ... Ha. .. Well I guess it's really my fault and not their responsibility at all....So I'm going to have to purchase a new one.

After the meeting, I went to the police station to report the theft, then went to the Jamaican restaurant to purchase a party ticket. There will be some sort of reggae party in Toyama on the 13th.     

Afterwards I bought a sofa at Nitori. However I won't be getting it until Sept 8th. I eventually got in my apartment at about 8pm. 



Day 2355 ( What is Wrong With America? )
Saturday, August 30, 2014

Today was boring. Stayed in, slept, watched anime and that was it. 


What is Wrong With America?

For the second time since April, the N.B.A. has been rocked by a disclosure from a team owner that the presence of blacks at games negatively affects the bottom line.

Bruce Levenson, who had a controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks, sent an email in August 2012 to the team’s general manager, Danny Ferry, and other members of the club’s ownership, complaining about the team’s struggle to “get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season” tickets. 

“My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a significant season ticket base,” Levenson wrote in the email. 

Levenson, who announced Sunday that he would sell his stake in the Hawkscomplained that his franchise was drawing an “overwhelmingly black audience.”

He complained that most of the Hawks cheerleaders were black, that the music played in the arena was hip-hop or gospel, and that “there are few fathers and sons at the games.”

Now I understand why the N.B.A. did not want the Donald Sterling case to go to trial. Why the league did not want to follow the truth to where it really led.

Now it should.

In light of this second embarrassing disclosure, N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver should conduct an investigation to find out how many other Donald Sterlings and Bruce Levensons are among the league’s owners and top executives. Who are the racists, the sexists, the homophobes? Throughout the Sterling ordeal, I maintained that the best thing that could have happened to the N.B.A. — to all of us — was for the case to go to trial. To push Sterling — who was forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers several months after an audio recording in which he was heard making racist comments was released in April, — to acknowledge what he knew about the deeds and misdeeds of other owners and top executives in the league.

Instead the case was settled. The Sterling saga ended last month when Steve Ballmer, the former chief of Microsoft, completed a $2 billion purchase of the Clippers. Levenson will most likely make plenty of money from the sale of the Hawks, as well.

But the deeply rooted problem of racism will persist and again rear its head somewhere down the line. “We all may have subtle biases and preconceptions when it comes to race,” Levenson said in his predictable letter of apology.

Perhaps. But we’re not all multibillionaires whose wealth and power can transform dinner-table bigotry into large-scale policy and practices that affect the course of human events.

Levenson, 64, is a sharp operator who knew exactly what he was saying and why he felt the need to say it. Silver said in a statement Sunday that Levenson notified the league in July of his 2012 email. The N.B.A. subsequently started an investigation into the context of the remarks. But on Saturday night, without prompting from the league, Levenson decided the best move would be to sell the team.

Silver’s statement added, “Prior to the completion of the investigation, Mr. Levenson notified me last evening that he had decided to sell his controlling interest in the Atlanta Hawks.”

Silver commended Levenson for self-reporting and for cooperating with the league’s investigation. And, of course, he criticized Levenson’s remarks as being in “stark contrast to the core principles of the National Basketball Association.”


I’m curious to hear how Ferry responded to Levenson’s email. Did he agree? Disagree? Was Levenson chastised within the organization when he made the remarks, for sending something so potentially explosive? Was there general agreement among the recipients of the email that the content was O.K., or did they simply decide not to voice their thoughts in writing?

Because the email was so open and earnest, it is likely that Levenson believed he was not being racist but was simply addressing a problem that seemed obvious to him.

Indeed, the vast majority of those who self-identify as white in the United States rarely find themselves continually in situations where they are outnumbered by blacks.

Whether it is where they live, where they work, where they worship or where they play, “whiteness” is the norm. How do whites respond in a situation in which they are not the majority? Do they stay away from that situation, and not attend a certain event — say, a Hawks game, as Levenson suggested in his email?

In his 2012 email, Levenson wrote that he thought that “Southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority.” “Racist” is an explosive, sometimes imprecise word that conjures up images of night riders on horses with hoods and torches.




Day 2356 ( Ordered New Bike / Japan's 10 Best Places to Live )
Sunday, August 31, 2014

Another boring day, did the same thing as yesterday. Slept and watched anime. Also ordered a new bicycle for about US $140. This time I have to stand the full cost. 


Japan's 10 Best Places to Live

The idea of living in a high-rise condo in downtown Tokyo makes for a nice daydream. Between the high cost of housing and the inescapable hustle and bustle of Japan’s capital, though, when it comes time to actually pick a home, many people decide they’d rather live in one of Japan’s other cities, or one of Tokyo’s suburbs at least.
Underlining this trend are the results of a survey by newly formed magazine Aene which asked Japanese housewives which town they’d be happiest living in. Central Tokyo failed to crack the top 10, although the No. 1 pick isn’t too far away from the capital.
As part of the survey, Aene created a set of parameters it dubbed Happy Quality, which evaluated the towns based on their family-friendliness, economic factors, food and health conditions, access to entertainment, and overall convenience of daily life.
Perhaps as a result of focusing on the opinions of people who don’t work outside the home, only five of the top 10 were rated as having local economic conditions above the survey average. On the other hand, all of the highest-rated towns performed extremely well in the other four categories, with study participants showing a particular fondness for areas with parks or other natural environments, good schools, and historical significance.
When asked what specifically was indicative of a convenient place to live, the second-most common response was proximity to a train or subway station, which was given by 28.9% of the women in the study. Far surpassing this, though, was the 47.8% who answered that what they really wanted was a large mall, supermarket, or shopping street.
The reason behind this is a little more complex than just “Women shop a lot,” as shopping is often connected to several of the parameters in Aene’s Happy Quality index. Toshio Noguchi, a professor of marketing at Japan’s prestigious Waseda University, points out that how and when Japanese consumers shop has changed, giving the activity a different role in family dynamics. “Until recently, it was the norm for housewives to do shopping each day at local retailers. Now, though, we’re seeing more families going shopping together at larger centers on the weekend, buying in bulk. Necessary shopping itself has become a form of leisure, and malls are becoming a place where communication within the family happens.”
So, which towns in Japan ranked the highest in the survey? Let’s start with number 10.
10. Hiroshima City (Hiroshima Prefecture)

Respondents were impressed by the kind and friendly attitude of Hiroshima’s citizens. Being the prefectural capital means it’s a developed city, but not nearly as crowded as Tokyo.
9. Nihama (Ehime Prefecture)
The first of two towns on the island of Shikoku to make the list, Nihama offers both job opportunities with local industry and proximity to the Inland Sea and its delicious seafood.
8. Moriya (Ibaraki Prefecture)

Moriya’s Happy Quality was balanced across the five criteria, with special mention given to its modern shopping facilities.
7. Ikoma (Nara Prefecture)
Ikoma is essentially a suburb of Nara City, being just 30 minutes away by train. Its high ranking was due in no small part to its proximity to the many culturally and historically important temples of Japan’s former capital.
6. Fukuoka City (Fukuoka)

One of the most populous cities in the top 10, Fukuoka got a boost from its local food scene which includes delicacies such as spicy cod roe, hot-pot, and pork stock ramen.
5. Matsuyama (Ehime Prefecture)
Back in Ehime again, living in the relatively cozy prefectural capital still provides for a laid-back lifestyle, plus proximity to some of Japan’s best citrus fruit and one of its oldest hot springs, Dogo Onsen.
4. Mitaka City (Tokyo)
Technically still part of Tokyo, Mitaka lies outside the metropolis’ 23 main wards. Easy access to central Tokyo, the lush greenery of Inokashira Park, and the nearby Ghibli Museum all contribute to Mitaka’s elegant and sophisticated vibe.
3. Nishinomiya (Hyogo Prefecture)

Situated between the much larger cities of Kobe and Osaka, Nishinomiya lets residents enjoy the fantastic food of each, including Kobe beef, takoyaki, kushi katsu, and the wonders of Kobe’s Chinatown. It’s also the home of Koshien, Japan’s most storied baseball stadium that hosts both Osaka’s professional team, the Hanshin Tigers, and the country’s twice-annual high school tournament championships. It’s also become a bit of a shopper’s paradise due to its numerous malls.
2. Inagi City (Tokyo)
Lying just outside the 23 wards, Inagi has a shocking amount of greenery if your only image of Tokyo is the Shibuya Scramble intersection. It isn’t limited to parks, either, as the town is also where you’ll find the Otsuka Farm. Life in Inagi isn’t completely bucolic, though, as the town also has its own branches of Costco and Ikea.
1. Fujisawa (Kanagawa Prefecture)

Taking home the top spot is Fujisawa, the coastal city in Kanagawa which includes Enoshima Island. Fujisawa combines the relaxed atmosphere you’d expect from a beach town with extremely convenient public transportation, as a train ride from Enoshima Station to Shinjuku, in the heart of Tokyo, will take you less than 30 minutes. Add in centuries-old temples, colorful local legends about fearsome dragons falling in love with beautiful princesses, and breathtaking sunset views of Mount Fuji, and it’s easy to see why Fujisawa is loved not just by housewives, but by anyone who can appreciate nature, history, or just the relaxing sound of the waves.



Day 2357 ( The Best Tea in Japan / Boob Squeeze Challenge)
Monday, September 1, 2014

First day of work in the school, but had no class. Spent the day pretty much watching the students practice for their sports day which will be this coming Saturday.

After work, I posted some tea to my home. I brought back this tea to Jamaica just to see if my family would like it like I do. I think they finished it the same day or in 2 days. This is the best tasting tea in Japan.... Just try it.


Boob Squeeze Challenge for AIDS awareness. 



Day 2358 ( New Bicycle / Escape Plan )
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Got a new bicycle today. 

I preferred the one before because of the big tires. But this one seems faster. What should I do if I spot the person on my previous bicycle ????


Escape Plan

Watched this movie, Escape Plan today after work. Initially I thought it was going to be madness. But it was actually pretty good. The main antagonist wasn't the best actor tho. 

But it was pretty interesting overall. I give it a 7/10. 



Day 2359 ( Lone Survivor )
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Another "nothing to do but watch the students practice for sport day" day at work. Jeez ... It's boring here !!! Help.... I need something to do. Toyama and Yokohama is like night and day. It's either really busy or absolutely nothing. What to do what to do? Oh I know what I will do!!! I'll tell you next week.   

When I got home I watched a movie called Lone Survivor, based on a true story. This was a really good movie showing the continuous war on the Taliban. I give it a 7.5 / 10.  


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