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Last update: 2012-04-04

Thankfully, my site got hacked yet again.


Last night I discovered that every file in every blog I run was infected with malware. While decontaminating, I found a long-lost directory full of site backups. So there's good news: The Japlish Podcast is back online! There are no new episodes, but the old ones still work. I thought they were gone for good. [...]…


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Site got hacked


Make sure your version of WordPress is up-to-date and that you're making frequent backups. Hackers wiped my databases and got the sites ready to use as link farms. They must have gained access to wp-config.php and found the DB password. I wasn't making backups of Herro Flom Japan or Japlish Podcast and I lost a [...]…


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Door-to-door Condom Sales in Japan


I found this interesting fact in my Twitter stream yesterday morning. My first reaction was, “I call bullshit.” I’ve lived here for over 19 years and not once have I ever heard of condoms being sold door-to-door. In fact, I can’t see why they would be sold that way seeing as how every convenience store [...]…


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Posted via web from richpav's posterous…


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Swine flu fails in Tokyo


It's the middle of the week already and the only extra masks I'm seeing are on service industry employees–convenience store cashiers and people working in restaurants mostly. I was expecting to see a repeat of what it was like in Osaka a few weeks ago where it looked like 9 out of 10 people were [...]…


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Lightning strikes!


Last night while the rest of my family was at a soccer match, lightning struck about 100 meters from our house and blew out our TV, VCR, Wii, phone, wife's PC and fried the network card in my PC. Luckily the fridge, washer and air conditioners were spared. On the bright side, with nothing left [...]…


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Swine Flu: Welcome To Tokyo


No surprise at all, but the Flu of Death officially has arrived in the Kanto region–one case in Tokyo of a 16 year-old girl who recently came back from a mock UN in NYC, and another student in Kawasaki, west of Tokyo. Seems to me that constant bombardment of government and media-inspired panic of the [...]…


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APORKALYPSE!! What to do


These helpful suggestions come from a commenter at www.inforwars.com, where I like to get my news not only completely unfiltered by the media, reality or logic, but also completely unhinged. (Note: The original author wishes to remain anonymous, because he has irrefutable proof, which he's not at liberty to reveal at the present time, that [...]…


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I just realized this


When I was doing podcasts and vlogs, I wanted to be like Fred Rogers. Honest, open, accepting, and I wanted my message to be beneficial to others. But I lost my confidence.…


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I would do a podcast but…


1. It's been so long since I've recorded one that I have no idea where I put my microphones. If you saw what my bedroom looks like, you'd understand. The last time I did a podcast, I was 39 years old. I'm 41 now. 2. My parents listen, so the topics I can cover are [...]…


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My Kids and Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories


I have two boys, 8 and 11 years old. Tony, the 11 year old, loves video games. He has a Sony PSP which he plays a lot. Far too often in my wife's opinion. He's constantly blowing his allowance on buying and selling games at a second hand store down the street from our house. [...]…


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Gayle "Obama is an Arab" Quinnel: End of story?

2008-10-27 :: Rich Pav

Sorry for being so political all the time, but I'm genuinely obsessed with this election. Like, I need to check myself into a twelve-step program. If Obama wins, you'll read about me in the papers for exuberantly and singlehandedly overturning cars in Tokyo and setting them on fire. On the other hand, if McCain wins, [...]…


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Unknown arm-twister to House: "Pass the bailout bill or else"

2008-10-06 :: Rich Pav

Democrat Brad Sherman of California last week said on the floor of the House of Representatives that "someone" (he won't say exactly who) threatened that if the House didn't pass the revised Wall Street bailout bill, the US could be facing martial law. Whoever threatened martial law isn't bluffing. As you may know, on October [...]…


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Horse Meat



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My good deed for today


I'm supposed to blog when something interesting happens to me, right? This morning as I was passing through Shinjuku Station, I saw a woman take a dive down a short flight of slippery stairs and lie crumpled on the wet ground with a quickly expanding pool of blood under her head. (That freaked me out.) [...]…


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Open mic gaffe: Conservative pundits speak their minds on Palin

2008-09-03 :: Rich Pav

I'm going to go out on a limb and declare this clip will become part of US Presidential election history, like that humiliating photo of Michael Dukakis driving a tank. Huffington Post has a transcript of the dialog if it's difficult to hear. My favorite quotes are Peggy Noonan saying "It's over," and, "The most [...]…


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WHAT in GOD'S NAME was McCain Thinking?

2008-08-31 :: Rich Pav

Seriously, I get heart palpitations when I imagine Sarah Palin as second in line to a 73 year old president whose father and grandfather both died before age 72. She's in waaaay over her head. Three years ago she was the ceremonial figurehead for a small town in Alaska. Three years from now she could [...]…


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Squid Chips


It's Friday, I'm starting on my way home and I was hungry for a snack so I bought a bag of tempura fried squid. They look like potato chips or some other salted carbohydrate snack. Apparently, if you're not eating them, they don't smell so nice. I was eating them out of the bag when [...]…


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Monkey on the loose in Shibuya Station

2008-08-20 :: Rich Pav

Don't know how it got there, but it sure livened things up yesterday.…


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Street view for Tokyo on Google Maps


As is already possible for other major cities around the world, you can now use Google Maps to virtually drive around Tokyo and enjoy 360 degree views of the cityscape. Here's Shibuya Crossing.…


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Sunni vs. Shi'ite: Learning the difference


Here's how I keep them straight in my head. I start with Iran by remembering the phrase, "She is from Iran." Iran is Shi'ite. I recall the mistake McCain made saying that Iran was training al Qaeda. That is incorrect because al Qaeda is the opposite, Sunni. Osama Bin Laden is from Saudi Arabia, which [...]…


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Subliminal Advertising



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Obama, McCain and The Surge


First, let me appease those who come here for news about my family and me. Last Sunday while Tony had a soccer game, I took Andy to a local 子ども会 and brought my new camera along. (Seeing as how I bought the thing, I ought to use it once in a while.) A kodomo-kai isn't [...]…


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Tokyo is back to normal


As of yesterday evening, the omnipresent police have completely disappeared, put back into cryogenic storage, ground up into tasty hamburger meat or maybe they were never police to begin with, and they've been given back their tattered homeless rags. It's a good thing too. By the last day they were all looking pretty bored. I [...]…


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Mainichi shuts down WaiWai


This is pretty old news by now, but I just found out about it. I don't spend much time surfing websites about Japan. When I still lived in the US, I hardly ever followed local news either. I've always been a Time/Newsweek/US News & World Report kinda guy. For years and years, the English language [...]…


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Tokyo Lockdown


Twitter friends were right, the extra security is due to the G8 Summit in Hokkaido. It says so on these out-of-order garbage cans. Mystery solved.…


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Something's up in Tokyo this morning


I noticed a policeman posted at the exit of the Ginza line in the Aoyama-ichome station this morning who's normally not there. He was watching people carefully and had his baton in his hand, in addition to the pistol strapped to his belt. Then when I passed by the garbage cans near the exit of [...]…


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Suicide in Japan


A few months ago when I was posting random tidbits of stuff from the Japanese news media to this blog, I came across an article about a group suicide that happened in a hotel less than an hour from where I live. Three people–two men and a woman–packed into a bathroom, sealed the door with [...]…


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A Family Update


Andy last week decided that he really wants a dog, and he wants to buy it with 50,000 to 100,000 yen of his own money, made 100-150 yen at a time by helping around the house. He has suddenly become the model son, helping out washing dishes, vacuuming, and housecleaning without being asked, but extorting [...]…


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This guy keeps writing me.


I came upon this article by accident. (I hope you don't mean that literally. -ed.) Don't you realize that although you did your civic duty, you also stopped the practiced skills of an art form. Chikan can indeed be considered an art form. Where else can one find throughout history that an entire culture has [...]…


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Four Day Weekend, Day 4


In the morning, Tony and Andy played together. In the afternoon, Tony had soccer practice and Andy played with his loudmouth friends. While watching him and his friends play together, it made me realize that Grand Theft Auto is the adult equivalent of smashing trucks together on the living room floor. Me, I scanned more [...]…


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Four Day Weekend, Day 2


On Saturday morning (day 1) I drove my wife to work so we could have the car to go to Navel Park. That was the plan, but when I got home I crawled back into bed and didn't wake up until the crack of 1pm. I felt refreshed, but guilty for shooting our plans for [...]…


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Four Day Weekend, Day 1


It turns out we have a four day weekend, not a three day one. Saturday was Constitution Memorial Day (kenpou kinen-bi), today is Childrens' Day (kodomo no hi), tomorrow is Greenery Day (midori no hi) and Tuesday is a freebie because two of the holidays were over the weekend. That freebie didn't show up on [...]…


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Our new washer/dryer


Previous Next Close Gaze at the splendor of our new FREE washer/dryer. I'm well aware that there can't possibly be anyone besides my wife and me who gives a rat's ass, but here's the story anyway. About 6 or 7 years ago we were in the market for a new washer and dryer. Back then [...]…


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Welcome back feed readers


I just realized my RSS feeds have been broken for probably a long, long time. I think they're fixed now.…


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Holiday Photos


This week is Golden Week, when a slew of national holidays fall within days of each other and the entire country takes off work en masse. Unfortunately, this year next Saturday and Sunday are two of the four holidays, so the only days I have off are yesterday and next Monday. It's better than nothing, [...]…


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Photoshopping lousy pics into art


The original photos are here. Previous Next Close HDR, LucisArt Previous Next Close HDR, LucisArt Previous Next Close Holga Script, LucisArt, gaussian blur overlay Previous Next Close Loma-like effect Previous Next Close Loma-like effect Previous Next Close HDR, gaussian overlay, LucisArt Previous Next Close HDR, gaussian overlay Tutorials, etc: Fake-LOMO Adobe Photoshop Script Faking the [...]…


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Weekend Photos


On Saturday while the boys were taking swimming lessons I spent around 45 minutes walking around the neighborhood in search of stuff to shoot with my new camera and lens. It's been so long since I've used anything other than a point-and-shoot camera that my eye for photos is not what it used to be. [...]…


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Musical Interlude

2008-04-25 :: Rich Pav

His cover of the Rolling Stone's Brown Sugar is pretty good too. An excerpt from his blog: Even though I'm a ukulele player I don't own a Hawaiian shirt. It's not like anybody made a rule that if you play the ukulele you have to wear one. I never wanted one so I've never bought [...]…


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360 degree panoramic photography


When QTVR came out in the mid 90's I was really into it. I took many cylindrical panoramas in my free time and also for clients of the web development company I worked for at the time. The technology has changed only a little since then, but the big advancement is that it's now possible [...]…


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First Pics!


With the money I just received from my parents for last Christmas (we're a pretty laid back bunch), I bought a Canon EOS Kiss Digital X camera, also known in other countries as the EOS Digital Rebel XTi or the EOS 400D. It's the most popular model among users of Flickr.com, so choosing it over [...]…


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Sold out everywhere


Every store in Shinjuku & Akihabara is sold out of Bimoji Training.…


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Bimoji Training for Nintendo DS


Finally a new "game" has come out for the Nintendo DS that will make me start using it again. Last night I was surfing the Nintendo channel of our Wii while putting off going to bed and came across an advertisement for 美文字トレーニング, a program that helps you improve your handwriting in Japanese. I downloaded [...]…


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Japanese Only

2008-04-07 :: Rich Pav

A link to this video showed up on BoingBoing today. In the 18 years I've lived here, the only establishment I've seen that refused foreigners and wasn't a shady pub or run-down love hotel in a neighborhood full of foreign prostitutes or massage parlor-type place was a pachinko parlor on the outskirts of my hometown. [...]…


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Online stalk everyone with Spokeo


Spokeo is an amazing website/online app thingie that imports your contact lists from your email, webmail and social network accounts and creates a comprehensive list of what everyone you've ever been in contact with is up to. My God, for a quiet, lonely hermit, my life is quite an open book online.…


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Spoils from Costco raid


The only good thing that comes to mind about living a spartan life limited to home, commuting and work is that it doesn't take much at all to make me happy.…


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Bad Words


Last weekend, like most weekends, Tony sat in my lap while playing Counter Strike on my PC. This is our bonding time. I use it to teach him new words and phrases in English, and when he play CS he seems to think in English more than usual. I asked him, "Do you know any [...]…


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Squid Ink Spaghetti


It smells like a bonfire made from burning tires on a New Jersey beach at low tide on a hot summer day. Guess which family resturant. Easy question for anyone who's lived in Japan.…


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Chain mail causes headache for Japan Red Cross, Tokyo Hospital


There's a chain mail message making the rounds in Japan claiming that a three year old girl with leukemia at the Showa University Hospital in Tokyo can't receive a life-saving operation because there isn't enough type B rh negative blood. Both the Japan Red Cross and the hospital have been receiving so many calls that [...]…


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Obama' Secret Service Detail Deserves the Axe


Somebody better get fired over this. In happened in of all places, Dallas. Doors opened to the public at 10 a.m., and for the first hour security officers scanned each person who came in and checked their belongings in a process that kept movement of the long lines at a crawl. Then, about 11 a.m., [...]…


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US Marines in Okinawa still at it


This is getting ridiculous. The first incident was intolerable, what are we up to now, four in the past month? Details are sketchy, but a Philippine woman living in Okinawa claims that she was attacked by two US marines in a hotel on the night of the 17th. Police are investigating, and the two marines [...]…


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How many kanji do you need to know?


There are a number of official lists of kanji. I'm not an expert by any means, I'm just going by information gleamed off the net. 教育漢字(kyouiku kanji): The 1oo6 characters students must learn by grade 6. Essentially, knowing these characters is a good start, but you're far from finished. 当用漢字(touyou kanji): A list of 1850 [...]…


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Free Tickets!


Garrett from Trans Pacific Radio wants me to post this. (You owe me a beer.) Black Stripe Theater, a team of independent artists, performers and technicians based in Tokyo, will be performing David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize and Tony-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross (in English) from Friday Feb. 22 through Sunday Feb. 24 at Theatre Iwato [...]…


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Another US marine in Okinawa arrested


As if relations weren't bad enough already between the US military and the citizens of Okinawa, a 54 year old resident of Nagoshi City found Corporal John Cody Jake passed out drunk on her sofa at 4 am this morning and called the police. They're not sure how he got into her house, but after [...]…


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Pinhead posts death threat for LOLs, gets arrested


I don't know how many people are familiar with popular websites in Japan, but 2ch is the most widely used online forum. The interface is absolute crap, but that's par for the course when it comes to Japanese websites. Check out the Wikipedia article for more info. It's pretty interesting, especially the story about Densha [...]…


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Kanji Box


If you're a Facebook user and are learning Japanese, give the Kanji Box app a whirl. And no cheating by using Perapera-kun or Rikai-chan at the same time.…


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Guy hoping to die hits taxi driver with hammer


Early this morning a 31 year old unemployed man sneaked up behind a 41 year old taxi driver taking a wizz in a public toilet at a shrine in Shinjuku and whacked him in the head a few times with a hammer. Two guys passing by heard the driver's screams and held the attacker until [...]…


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Drunk guy falls off Yokohama Bay Bridge


A 40-something year old guy riding in a taxi last night told the driver he was going to be sick and had to get out of the car while they were driving over Yokohama Bay bridge. He fell off. Authorities don't know who he was and haven't recovered a body. Link …


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It's random news week!


The reason I haven't been updating this here blog so often lately is because I'm spending all my free time reading and trying to learn as much Japanese as anyone who's lived here as long as I have ought to know already. I've been here nearly half my life, I just turned 40 and my [...]…


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Tony & Andy's favorite YouTube video

2008-02-15 :: Rich Pav

I can still remember when Tony was a baby who only knew how to drool, eat, sleep and poop his diaper. Now he surfs the web all by himself. He even knows how to switch the keyboard to Japanese input mode and type out words in romaji. I have no idea how or when he [...]…


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Okinawa is mighty pissed off


This week's news about a 38 year old US marine stationed in Okinawa abducting and raping a junior high school girl has overtaken the headlines from last week's frenzy about gyoza ("Dumplings." I hate that word.) imported from China that were contaminated with insecticide. In a nutshell, Okinawa wants the US military off their land [...]…


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I don't understand America


I can't understand why McCain and Hillary are leading in national polls. McCain thinks invading Iraq was the right thing to do, it's going well and we should stay there for the next 100 years? I hardly ever hear anyone agree with that, but then again I don't watch Fox News. Who's supporting him and [...]…


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A post from my Japanese blog


And no, I won't tell you where it is. It's super-secret. Every time I see a woman doing her makeup on the train, I wish I could pull a battery-operated shaver out of my pocket and do my face. That's an old joke, isn't it. But today I really did forget to shave. It got [...]…


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Thank God! Huckabee is broke


"The money simply hasn't come in at the rate that we expected," says the aide. "Florida is a $7 million commitment that we can't meet, and if we did, that leaves us exposed for Super Tuesday, where we have a lot of states and a lot media buys. We had to make tough decisions." Anybody [...]…


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Vader Sessions

2008-01-21 :: Rich Pav

I think this might be the funniest video I've seen on YouTube. Someone lovingly remixed a few scenes from the first Star Wars movie with audio snippets from other James Earl Jones movies. A lot of work must have gone into this, and the tie fighter scenes at the end are the best part. What's [...]…


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Happy National Hugging Day (Jan 21)

2008-01-21 :: Rich Pav

By far, the best thing about having kids is the hugs. It more than makes up for the all the lights left on, the water pitchers and ice cube trays left empty, and the pee left on toilet seats.…


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Dolphins create and play with bubble rings

2008-01-20 :: Rich Pav

This has to be seen to be believed. I wish the clip were an hour or two longer. Dolphin Play Bubble Rings…


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It's Happy Crap week!


This week, instead of continuing to be the silent, antisocial worker drone I've been of late, I'm going to (force myself to) post random crap that makes me happy. Most of it will have nothing at all to do with Japan, and I could care less. It's my blog, dammit, and I can post whatever [...]…


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Fetish Bar


Every time I pass this sign, I can't help wondering what exactly a "fetish bar" is and what people do there. Can you order a Tom Collins with a stiletto-heeled kick in the nuts chaser? If you ask for a bottle of beer does the waitress ram it up your ass? Alas, I will never [...]…


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Monthly Bloggers' Meetup in Tokyo


Still no news to report from me. I work, I go home, lather, rinse, repeat. Next month, I turn 40 years old. It's not fair. Not so long ago I was a teenager trying to grow a mustache in an attempt to look older. I can't figure out what I did that was so horrible [...]…


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And now for the big challenge


Thanks to a bout of nolo virus or salmonella or food poisoning I got from a plate of fried chicken about a week ago, I spent most of my winter vacation sleeping (and pooping), which provided the perfect opportunity to quit smoking for the 129th time. So right after I post this message, I, for [...]…


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Sofa King We Todd Did.

2007-12-27 :: Rich Pav

Sofa King We Todd Did –…


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An Open Invite


I'm turning into a workaholic hermit, it's been 47 days since I last did anything social, and I finally got paid today. Anyone in Tokyo up for drinks tomorrow night (Friday)? I wish I had something interesting or witty to say, but all I do these days is work, go home, tag base, then go [...]…


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Alive In Baghdad Correspondent Killed


I guess I feel an affinity for the people who put out the Alive in Baghdad vlog because they go through the same steps I do–filming, editing, subtitling, uploading–only they're a lot better at it, and they have to dodge bullets and bombs, and deal with the loss of loved ones far too often. Whenever [...]…


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Maitri, mudita, karuna, and upeksanam

0000-00-00 :: Rich Pav

The Buddhist definition of true love, which to me sounds a lot like true friendship. Maitri: Loving kindness; the ability to make someone happy. That "someone" can be: Yourself Someone you're very fond of Someone you have sympathy for (I forgot to mention…


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Herro Flom Japan (Podcasts & Videocasts)

Podcasts & videocasts from an American expat living the life of the typical Japanese salaryman.

Herro Flom Japan (Podcasts & Videocasts)

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