Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's full autumn here and the leaves are already turning red.
Nice weather most of the time although a little bit cold.

Changing topic a bit my ipod is getting weird and cannot sync properly.
For a 3 years old ipod it is performing very well but maybe showing it's age...
The ipod touch is very nice but 16g is still quite small. I guess since they named the old ipod "iPod classic" there will be a new ipod that have a harddisk and touch screen.
I should wait for that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


The hottest site in town lately is definitely Facebook and I am hooked.
I found many of my high school classmates that have lost contact for quite a while.
This is wonderful.

But the "applications" are rather annoying.
You are getting requests for them all day long and many of them are rather meaningless.
Facebook will be even better if I can block all those junk.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bobo's latest video

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Family Trip 2007

My family come over to Japan and visited me for a week. We spent some time together in Hakone and the lake area near Mt. Fuji. Weather was great on the first day but later with the arrival of the Typhoon No 9 we faced some pretty heavy rain. It seems the typhoon has decided to come after me whenever I travel within Japan. Should gotta travel at Winter when there is no typoon.

More photos can be seen here.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sumida River Fireworks

There are a couple more photos here.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

2007 Sumida River Fireworks

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I have got my license!

After a lot of work I have finally got my driving license. I took one day off to go for the paper test and I passed it on the first try. The results was announced within 10 minutes after the test is completed and they announced it in a very funny way. Everyone have a seat number and there is a TV in the front. The TV will show the seat number for those who have passed and for those who didn't the number won't be shown but the block that reserved for that number will stay. Once that is done HALF(!) of the people in the room left. It's an amazing number of people that failed but you can register for the afternoon test immediately.

I rent out a car immediately on the 2nd day. The rental shop staff looks quite surprised after looking at my 1 day old license but still manage to lend me the car. The car is relatively new.. only about 2100 kilos... I think he must be quite shocked. Anyway, no question asked so I must said their service is quite good.

I have returned the car in pristine condition. No bumps, no scratches. Still not manage to park in one shot...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Driving test passed!

It has been 3 weeks since my last post but after two dozen classes taken during the weekends, I have finally passed the driving test! The driving test is not terribly difficult. Drive 2.5 kilo under the direction of the examiner, and also 2 kilo for a self directed route. They will give you the goal X and you will need to drive there by yourself. In fact for the self directed route there was a couple suggested routes that was practiced a zillion time. So you do not really need to decide anything.

After you have passed your driving test they will give you the graduation certificate, with that I do not have to take the driving test at the examination center. I still have to go for the paper test before I can get my license.

One highlight during the course was a 3 hours lessons to the highway. There are two main purpose of this lesson, 1-Although I am learning to drive using manual transmission they have allocate a couple of hours for you to drive using automatic transmission (given the majority of cars are using AT here). 2- They also want the students to experience what it feels like driving on a highway. The lesson was shared by 3 students so you only get about 50 mins to drive. But for my school they took you from Tokyo to Yokohama and it really felt like driving! The weather was really good that day and I can even see the Mt. Fuji. It was so nice.

It was a nice experience to go to a driving school in Japan. Probably this is one of the most difficult place in the planet to get a driving license and there is a very strong emphasis on safety. Close to 40%-50% of the lessons are on safely alone. I hope I can drive safely in future too. My advice: if you are a foreigner, don't have a license and want to drive at Japan. get your license from your home country. Depends on your nationality you might be able to convert it into a Japanese license. A time and money saver!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

I am a bit tired this two weeks.

My driving lesson is now on phase 2 and I have completed most of the theory lessons. I am now driving on the streets and it's not as difficult as I have imagined but still there are some dangerous situation once in a while. In phase one even you have two consecutive lessons you'll have a 10 minutes break in between but once you are on the road you will have to drive 100 minutes in total.

They have one session that ask you to design the route between two destinations. While they said you are free to go what ever route you like, they also suggest some of the "easier" route so in other words you don't really need to decide anything.

I even completed my first ever 3 hours first aid course. Not too detail but nevertheless a good introduction.

Tomorrow I guess I will learn parallel parking.

Theory: 25 hours (1 to go)
Practical: 24 hours (12 to go)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fourth Week of driving school in Tokyo

I am almost done with my first stage of driving school. The goal of the stage 1 lessons is to get the temporary license so you can drive on the road and not on the course inside the school. In order to do that you will need to complete 15 hours of practical lessons and 10 hours of theory lessons. Plus a final check of both your driving skills in a pre-defined course and 50 multiple choices paper test.

I did rather poorly in driving the course so I decided to pay an extra hour for a revision. My problem is over frequent engine stalling when turning, going slow and stop a slope. It seems when these 3 come all together the engine always stall. Finally I realize that you need to change to low gear before you do all of them and it seems not stalling anymore! To my surprises, my driving in the test is smooth as ever. Stopping on slope is not an issue anymore. S-Curve, trunk course are all ok. No big mistake so I passed without problem. But I am sure if I didn't pay for the revision I will have the same problem when during the test.

After the driving test they will sent you for the paper test... which is 50 multiple choices and you have to score 45 of them in order for a pass. You won't know the result until tomorrow so I cannot declare victory for my stage 1 now... hopefully it will be ok. I already know I did 1 wrong so the tolerance is only 4 now.

In any case they allow you to take the stage 2 theory lessons now so I already took 3 of them. 12 to go.

Theory: 13 (12 to go)
Practical: 17+1 (2 over, 1 revision - 19 to go)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Mii...

Have you created your Mii on your Wii?
After playing Wii sports for 2 hours the favorite game on my Wii is to create the Mii. You get bored easily after playing virtual tennis for a couple of times and I don't really want to repeat the game. I think the DS lite is quite fun but the Wii is only so so... The funniest game I think is to create the Mii. How does my Mii looks?!

Friday, May 04, 2007




Thursday, May 03, 2007

Third week of driving lesson in Tokyo

So after two frantic weeks I have completed all the theory lessons of stage 1 and 7 practical lessons.

I can now drive on the course in the school reasonably well. Left turn, right turn, and even starting on a slope is ok now.

I failed my first practical lesson and couldn't coordinate my legs very well. I actually asked to repeat what I have learn the first lesson so I got a small delay. Anyway I will finish the first stage by next week and there will be a couple of skill testes on both practical and theory.

In this speed I think I will probably get my license at late June or early July.

Lesson Count:

Theory: 10 (15 to go)
Practical: 7(29 to go)

Saturday, April 21, 2007

今日フジテレビでめっちゃ感動しましたドラマを見ました。介助犬ムサシ ~学校へ行こう! 綾野まさるさんの小説(介助犬武蔵と学校へ行こう)の元に撮影されたドラマです。 なかなかかわいい犬でした! でもちょっと悲しい結局は惜しいですね。 みんな小説も読んでみてね。
First week of driving class

I have taken 6 theory lessons so far. In Japan they are divided in two streams, the theory lessons which teach you the regulations, common practice...etc. And the practical lessons which actually teach you how to drive. There is also an aptitude test which test your responses and your character as a driver..etc. You don't have to take the theory lessons in order so what I have learned so far are:
  1. Passing cars
  2. Driving signs and symbols
  3. Right and Left turn techniques
  4. "Keep left" rule
  5. Tips for getting your license
So I am learning how to pass other cars before I know how to turn right or left... hmm.

My first "driving" lesson will start at Sunday and the very first two will be driving on a simulator! Sounds like TV game to me.

Lesson Count:

Theory: 6 (19 to go)
Practical: 0 (34 to go)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Driving School

I have signed up for driving school today. I always want to get my license but for various reasons I didn't take it, in particularly when I was in Hong Kong which is much cheaper. When I travel around and you found yourself without a car you are very limited in the form of transportation you can take in some places. Hopefully I can get my license in about 3 months....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007



Sunday, April 08, 2007


After 3 years living in Tokyo I have finally bought a bicycle. It's great to go anywhere you like and Tokyo is a nice city to ride. However it's terrible to ride thought the shibuya center street... there are just too many people. Walking is actually faster if you want to go thought the center street.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


いつも自宅で焼き魚をやってみたいから、やっと今日やってみました。 家のコロンは一人暮らしタイプなので、魚焼きのものがついていないので、スーパーで金網グリルで焼いてみたら~~~ものすごく煙が出できました、換気扇つけても煙がなくなりない・・・もうすぐキッチンを燃えそうな感じです。


Monday, March 12, 2007

Sakura 2007

Because of the warm weather we have this year the Sakura was available much earlier than usual. The offical projection is around Mar 18th but there are already some Sakura in the Sinjuku Gyoen. Japanese have a deep fond of Sakura, and it's the symbol for Spring where you have the new school year, fiscal year...etc. In some company the first job the new employee get is to grab a place under the Sakura for viewing by their colleagues at night! We call this 場所取り (basyo-tori). More photos are available here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


昨日大根もちを作ろうとしたけど、失敗しました・・・ なんかねばねばして、 香港の大根もちとまったく違うね。 しかも日本の大根すごく甘くて、 普通の大根もちはあまくないだから、 変な味にしました。 またレシピを改良しないとだめですね・・・!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Global Warming is hitting Hong Kong

This year's chinese new year is the hottest ever recorded - 25 degree. I have never remember spending the first day of the new year in short sleeves and visiting relatives. I thought we are in winter but it actually feels like summer. The days before the new year was not as hot as today but still it's rather warm. Multiply by the number of people in the street it is a challenge to shop around. Better start to reduce CO2 before it's too late.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

5 hours flight to HK

I was flying to Hong Kong from Narita airport for Chinese new year celebration. The usual flight time was about 4 hours but this time it took 5 hours 10 minutes! The onboard announcement in English was saying 5 hours 5 minutes and I thought it must be a mistake. Turns out the same announcement in Japanese say the same thing. There was very strong wind at almost 300km/hr during the flight and reduced the speed of the plane to something like 600km/hr. I was expecting strong turbulence but I have a peaceful flight.

CX opened a new lounge in Narita after their move to terminal 2. The new lounge was crowded.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

アメリカのクラスメイト AND Mac

アメリカで博士を勉強しているAさんがMacBookを貰ったっていう知らせが来ました。元々熱心のマックユーザーの私にすぐ思い出したっていう。10年前私初めてのマックを買いました。 まだWindows 95の年代なので、マックはWindowsよりかなり使いやすいだった時代です。マックが高いから今使ってないけど、いつも買おうと思っています。 でもやっぱり10年前みたいの熱心がなくなりました。

Aさんは私の同級生ですが、アメリカもう7年目です。今年博士になるらしいので、これから Dr.Aって呼ばなきゃいけなくなります。 たまたま彼のHPを見たら、 私も大学で研究をやっていた時代を思い出した。 今は十分違うことをやっているんですけど、 昔私も同じことやってたなぁ~~ っていう感じ。 

Monday, January 15, 2007



Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy new year!
Wish you a productive and healthy 2007.