Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2008 Accenture Escape from Alcatraz

Congratulations JOHN BRANDERHORST,

You are one of the lucky triathletes that have been selected as a winner
the December 15, 2007 random drawing for a slot in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon to be held in San Francisco on June 8, 2008.  

On June 8th, you will get to jump off a perfectly good boat into the frigid
water of the San Francisco Bay, swim with 1800 of your best friends from
Alcatraz to Little Marina Green.  You will climb out of the water and run
(with or without shoes) one half mile to the transition area, jump on your
bike and ride 18 miles (most people say that it is all up hill) and then
run 8 miles (under the Golden Gate Bridge, through the sands of baker beach,
up the infamous sand ladder and back to Marina Green to the finish line.
What a great way to spend your life.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Boston Marathon

cheap flights?

We'll all probably be getting on a plane in the next year and will definitely want to find the best deal.  This article checked out which site worked best for a couple different scenarios.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Denied at walgreens number 2

The 2nd walgreens i tried wasn't a long wait but i had to use an
adapter b/c the photo booth had 2 disk slots that were broken and mine
just happened to be the type. Even with an adapter, my photos
wouldn't come up. Hopefully third time's the charm... don't you love
mobile blogging. I'm on the bus headed to the next walgreens.

John Hayato Branderhorst

45 minutes later

Well, i just wasted 45 minutes of my life waiting in line at the
Walgreens phot booth. 1 crazy lady decided to crop and print every
photo she's ever taken. Her ' I am only going to be 5 more minutes'
response to my question of how long she would be was a blatant lie.
After a while it becomes hard to leave b/c maybe just maybe she's
almost done and I've all ready been waiting 15, 20, 25... minutes. The
45 minute mark is the number that broke the camels back. Been a while
since I've felt the feelings that are festering right now. Time to
breathe. serenity, serenity, serenity...

John Hayato Branderhorst

Thursday, December 13, 2007

So who wants to see some cute elves dancing? Which one is the cutest?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Happy Holidays!

Non-Crappy Starring You! eCards on JibJab

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Some interesting news (to me)

Are you willing to pay more this holiday season for "greener" products? According to a new report from Forrester (costs $ to read), there's an emerging market for "greener" consumer electronics, both energy-efficient and more environmentally friendly. The article isn't all good news as 41% are concerned about the environment but aren't willing to pay more and 47% aren't concerned yet...

So you're out in the city and need to go to the bathroom. Well, worry no more as there is a mobile service that will tell you where all the toilets are. Mizpee, a location based mobile service that tells you where to find the nearest bathroom, publicly launched today. I'll leave you with the facts as there are probably a ton of bad and dirty jokes that can be written...

"The (subpoena's) chilling effect on expressive e-commerce would frost keyboards across America. Well-founded or not, rumors of an Orwellian federal criminal investigation into the reading habits of Amazon's customers could frighten countless potential customers into canceling planned online book purchases. ... The subpoena is troubling because it permits the government to peek into the reading habits of specific individuals without their knowledge or permission. It is an unsettling and un-American scenario to envision federal agents nosing through the reading lists of law-abiding citizens while hunting for evidence against somebody else."

-- U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker, in a recently unsealed ruling that led federal prosecutors to withdraw their subpoena, made in the course of a fraud investigation, for the identities of 24,000 people who bought used books on Amazon

Friday, November 30, 2007

Last week I ran in two races. The first one was in
Sacramento and about 23,000 people participated. It was on
Thanksgiving day. My cousin, Kyle, and I ran together and
my dad and my cousin, Kevin, started together. Kyle and I
ran it in 21:38 to improve upon last years time by almost a
minute. Kevin finished just behind us but probably would
have kept up if he had started with us instead of in the
back. My dad ended up taking the scenic route when he
missed the 5 km turn. That meant that he ran the 10 km as
there were two distances to choose from. He had never run
that long of a distance before and finished in a
respectable 50 minutes.
On Sunday, I was back in San Francisco and ran a race
called "California Academy of Sciences' - Run Wild! 5k/10k!
" People are encouraged to dress up and participate. Most
people don't but I didn't know that before showing up in my
monkey costume. Overall, I had a great time running but by
the last mile was starting to get pretty hot. I finished
in 19:40 to be deemed the First Costume Finisher.
Just follow this link to my photos:

If the link doesn't work, try copying and pasting it from
this email into your browser's address bar.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Take a picture & Zoobilidoo it's on the web

So you want a memory card that will automatically upload your pictures from your camera?  Well, here's what you've been waiting for.  It's called the Eye-fi and it holds 2 GB.  It apparently has an antenna and wi-fi built into it.  I haven't done much research besides reading the NY Times article ( but my one concern is what if I take a bunch of pictures and a couple of them aren't pictures I want put on the web.  I'm guessing that they've thought of this and look forward to hearing about what people think after using it.  For now, I'm ok with the strenuous and time consuming work of connecting a USB cord to my computer and dragging my photos.  If you're going to buy it, I guess it costs about $100.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Running with Music

Read an article in the NY Times today regarding banning use of music during races.  I started reading the article with an opinion all ready decided and that hasn't changed.  When it comes to training for a race, I'm all for listening to an ipod.  But during a race, you will never see me listening to music.  This might be the most controversial thing I write but I consider it rude to listen to music while people are volunteering to cheer you on, provide you with drinks, gels, and snacks.  Music might help you get through those tough times during the race but I tend to feed off the energy of the spectators, other runners, and the atmosphere.  There are times when there aren't people on the course cheering you on but to me that's when you have to dig deep and show what you're made of.  Go ahead, read the article, and form your own opinion.  You know where I stand.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

1 Year

I have officially been working in San Francisco for a year. Where did the time go?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

2007 Nike Womens Marathon

先週の日曜日、今年の3回目のフールマラソンを走りました。ゆっくり走る予定でしたので、時間はあんまりきにしなかった。でも、2キロぐらいから、アキレス腱が変なかんじでした。やめるぐらい痛かったけど、ハーフまで頑張ろうと思った。今まで、やめるの気持ちが経験なかったから、びっくりしました。ハーフのところは1時間55分ぐらいかかって、最後まで走るを決めた。最後の18キロ、知らない可愛い女の子と走りました。そういえば、このマラソンはNike Womens Marathon でしたから、ほとんど女性でした。2万人の中男性は500名ぐらいしか走らなかった。この可愛い女性と走って、Janelって言う人は今まで早い時間で完走しました。


This past weekend I ran in the Nike Womens marathon. I was treating it as a training run since I'm hoping to do well at the California International Marathon in Dec. It was a bit awkward as out of 19,000 plus runners, only a couple hundred were guys. My achilles was really bugging me from the start and I considered dropping out but decided to at least push it to the halfway point. By mile 13, my achilles was feeling better so I decided to finish the race. I ended up running with a nice woman from San Diego for the last 8-9 miles. The only problem is now my achilles has been acting up and I also have shin splints on my left shin probably due to change in running style during the first half of the marathon. I'm getting it checked out this Friday and will be taking a couple days off from running. I do have a triathlon in a couple weeks and the marathon in December so I'm a little nervous about it all.

PS, I probably shouldn't have worn a "Strongman" shirt to a womens marathon but it's my racing shirt so friends can find me in the crowds. Oh well, nobody gave me too much grief about it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Team Goya

So Team Goya is an elite triathlon club in Okinawa.  I was wearing the shirt at an event in San Francisco and a friend took a picture of the shirt (and me).  She's pretty good with photoshop. 
Love it.

John Hayato Branderhorst

Friday, October 12, 2007 on MSNBC Article: Giving Peace a Chance

I'm not sure what the effects of the letter that Muslim leaders wrote to Christian leaders will be but I believe that it's a good start.  I tend to be a bit idealistic when it comes to some of my views and I know that just writing a letter isn't going to bring about change unless the words are followed by action but if it brings about even a smidgeon of peace then I consider it a success. 

Giving Peace a Chance
In an unprecedented letter, Muslim leaders across the globe invite the world's Christians to the table.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007 Okinawans Protest Japan's Plan to Revise Bitter Chapter of World War II

My friend Pat told me about this article and I thought I'd share. 

The New York Times E-mail This

Okinawans Protest Japan's Plan to Revise Bitter Chapter of World War II
In new high school textbooks, the Japanese government is now denying that Okinawans had been coerced by troops into committing mass suicide during World War II.


Copyright 2007   The New York Times Company | Privacy Policy  

John Hayato Branderhorst

Friday, September 28, 2007

NY Times Article

Interesting article explains how body types are designed for different sports/activities.  So what you're trying to say is my short self wasn't made for swimming? 
HEALTH / FITNESS & NUTRITION   | September 27, 2007
Personal Best:  Bigger Is Better, Except When It's Not
Understanding why body size matters in certain sports can open your eyes to other possibilities, exercise researchers say.


Photos from Brightroom

Photos from Brightroom
Originally uploaded by john hayato
I also found a photo on their website of me after finishing the swim. i don't look very happy which goes against my rules for racing.
Rule #1 Don't do it if you're not happy.
Rule #2 If anybody is cheering, smile and say thank you.
Rule #3 Two rules are enough when you're concentrating on doing well in a race.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Revised results

revised results
Originally uploaded by john hayato
The results have been revised as I didn't run 10 km at a 6:09 pace. Someday maybe...

2007 Santa Cruz Sentinel Triathlon Results

Sentinel results
Originally uploaded by john hayato
So here are the results from my race. It appears that there were a lot of FAST people at this race since I finished 178th. Right from the start. As I was running into the water my left hamstring gave me a painful sensation. The swim definitely killed me during the race and when I was getting out of the water it felt like both my legs were going to cramp up. That is not normal as I don't use my legs much during the swim. I had trouble getting my breathing down during the bike and my feet were numb until about the halfway point of the run. Overall the weather was great for the race and I did a lot better than my first olympic distance triathlon (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, and 10 km run). My only real complaint about the race is that there was a portion of the bike that was a narrow access road full of potholes (big ones) and it just happened to be a turnaround area so bikers are coming from the opposite direction, bikers also passing each other, and bikers trying to avoid potholes. I'm surprised I didn't hear about any horrendous accidents. The goal for this past year has been to qualify for Boston which explains my strong run. I took 10 minutes off my bike from my previous olympic distance but my swim was slower. Could be because this swim was in open water where there are waves, currents... and my first olympic was in an enclosed harbor.

Video from Santa Cruz Sentinel

Find more videos like this on Your Santa Cruz Sports

Monday, September 24, 2007

This video of the swim is a couple minutes after my wave (group) went. So at this point, I'm 10 minutes into the triathlon being caught by people who left 5 minutes after me. I'll be posting personal pics from my camera and also how I did in the next couple days. There was also an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel today. Here are some cool pics from the website.

Find more photos like this on Your Santa Cruz Sports

Never a Dull moment.
Sept. 21, 2007 - Lunchtime

Friday, September 21, 2007

Happy Friday!

So today is not only Friday but it's also PARK(ing) Day.  Here's some background, "On November 16th, 2005, REBAR opened eyes worldwide by transforming a metered parking spot into a park. Locating a site that was underserved by public outdoor space, we installed a small, temporary park that provided nature, seating, and shade. By our calculations, we provided 24,000 square-foot-minutes of public open space that afternoon." (
Today as I was going to work I noticed people "setting up" their "parks" in parking spaces.  There was one that I had heard of that was located about a block from my office and on my way back from a meeting, I decided to check it out.  The spot was sponsored by a massage business, a pilates studio, and a virtual health community called TauMed.  I walked by and as it turned out, the people who had signed up for a massage were no shows so I was pencilled in :)
The massage really rejuvenated me physically and mentally.  One more meeting to end Friday and then it's off to Santa Cruz for a triathlon.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Good Karma, Bad Karma

What wonderful weather we had this past weekend.  With a triathlon coming up this Sunday, I spent sat. and sunday working on swimming, biking, and running.  On Sat. Pat and I went for a mile swim in the bay and then a 30 minute run.  We would have run for longer but I had a work bbq to go to in the afternoon.  Sat. night, my apartment had a little party with a theme.  People were supposed to dress like executives and secretaries.  So a bunch of people stopped by in their monkey suits while a lot of my friends decided to come in what they had been wearing all day.  I bore no ill will and actually told them that it was fine.  For s&#ts and giggles, I wore an actual monkey suit, with a tie of course.  The party lasted long into the morning but I called it a night after 2 glasses of wine around midnight.  Had a big training day planned for Sunday and those of you familiar with me know that exercise comes before partying, esp. when a race is coming up.  Woke up bright and early Sunday morning to an apt. that looked like a frat house and went down to the bay to get a 45 minute swim in with my triathlon club.  Lately seals have been known to bug people as they swim and it's not unheard of for a seal to nip at you.  This scares the crap out of me and felt blessed to not encounter a seal although there were a couple close by.  After a coffee break, a friend and I got on our bikes, headed over the Golden gate bridge, and whilst going down a hill I hit a pot hole with both wheels.  Soon afterwards, my back tire went flat and start fishtailing a bit.  Luckily my front tire didn't go flat right away and I was able to brake to a stop.  It was my first time having both tires go flat at the same time and I hope it never happens again.  Well, that was my weekend in a nutshell with little tidbits of private information left out.  Pictures of it all will hopefully follow soon enough. 
I have an Olympic Distance triathlon coming up on Sunday and although I've done quite a fews tris over the past couple years, this will be my second olympic distance one.  My first ever triathlon was the Ishigaki triathlon which was also an olympic tri.  I just looked up my splits and time.  My goal for this triathlon will be to improve upon all 3 areas.  So for your reference and mine, here are the stats from my first one.
Swim: 30:28, Bike 1:18:00, Run 0:52:22 = Total 2:40:50 ( 1.5 km, 40 km, 10 km)

Friday, September 14, 2007

So I live and work in a pretty expensive area. To put it into perspective, here is the median price for a house for both:
94105 San Francisco CA $785,000
94109 San Francisco CA $759,000

I guess if I plan on staying out here I'll be a renter for life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Okinawa related Greenpeace Msg

A friend of mine forwarded this to me. 

Save the Dugong, Stop the Airbase

What do you do when you have only 12 individuals of an endangered species left in a country? Well, according to the U.S. military, you destroy their last remaining habitat and ensure their demise. That's what the U.S. Marines are proposing to do in Japan, home to a cousin of the manatee called the dugong. The military is planning to pave over a coral reef on Okinawa Island to build an airplane landing strip and expand its airbase.

Take Action! Tell Japan to say NO to the marines, because airplanes don't belong in coral reefs.

Time is running out for the dugong and thousands of other creatures, including three species of threatened sea turtles, who call the reef and the adjacent seagrass bed home. But it's not too late.

Right now, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the airbase site is open for public comment. It's crucial that you tell the Japanese government to put a stop to the plan for airbase expansion in Okinawa. And please, be sure to tell your friends to write too.

The local people of Okinawa have protested these plans successfully for years, but now they need your support too.

Your friend,
John Hocevar
Oceans Campaigner



I made Japanese curry on Sunday in preparation for the week to come. I made enough to last a couple days. Even if you can't understand Japanese, you can probably figure out that I think it tastes good.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Japan related website

Not sure if it's of any interest but found a blog on Japan that I found "fun" and yet informative.
Let me know if you know of any others that you frequent.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Plane catches fire at Japan Naha-airport - August 20, 2007

This happened a couple weeks ago but all that I'd seen were pictures. For those of us who lived in Okinawa, this is pretty freaky since we took China Air flights all the time.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

An explanation of my last two posts.

Goya is a bitter tasting vegetable that is eaten regularly in Okinawa. I've seen it sold in the area but it's a little different, both in texture and taste. My mom grows the"Okinawan" kind in the summer in Michigan and asked me if I would like her to send me some. Naturally I excitedly replied yes. The video was taken on my cellphone (hence the poor quality) and is me going on about how good Pat and I's goya champuru tastes. In the champuru, "stir fry or mix", is goya, spam, eggs, bean sprouts, and tofu. By the way goya is also known as a bitter melon or gourd ( think) and in Japanese is called Nigauri.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Goya Champuru

If the video's not working for you, you can go to:



Monday, August 27, 2007

This is really how it's like :)

Friday, August 24, 2007

MP3 powered by Sugar


Why eat it when you can use it to power your MP3? Huh? I'm talking about sugar (glucose) powering your MP3. It's not the most aesthetically pleasing battery but it's a start. Better than the lithium ion batteries Sony had in their laptops last year. In case you forgot they were the batteries that had to be recalled due to a little problem called fire.

To learn more about the battery, you can check out the
Sony site

This site will give you a chance to brush up on your Japanese also as there's no English.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A work of art

One of my ex-roommates, Kristina, has had her art exhibited at Bloomingdale's in San Francisco for the past couple weeks.  It's taken me too long to go check it out but during lunch I took a stroll to check out her work.  I'd seen a lot of her paintings before as she had them up in the apartment when we lived together but to see it up in an exhibit setting was really cool.  I'm not an art critic but I felt that she put her show together very well and it really did wonders to make the area much more visually exciting.  You can check out her work on her website:

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm still young, right?

In a city like San Francisco, you meet a lot of interesting people.  It's quite a diverse city but I've noticed that a lot of people went to tier 1 schools for undergrad and grad school.  I've never really thought too hard about where I fall in the whole smart & successful lineup but it can be a tad in your face here.  In Okinawa, my friends and I (for the most part) were all doing the same thing, getting paid the same, and living in the same types of apartments.  It was a very comfortable, non confrontational existence.  I pretty much put my life on hold careerwise, unless I move back to Okinawa and teach, and now find myself playing catch up.  I'm not bitter, actually most of the time I'm quite the opposite.  The adventures and experiences I've had in my 20's will be cherished and I've made some wonderful friends all over the world.  But in this dog eat dog world, it can be tough keeping your priorities straight.  I notice the guy who drives the really nice car to the really nice apt, and sometimes I notice his really nice looking girlfriend.  It sounds nice but up until this point, I've decided that there needs to be a line where I leave time for myself and not overwork.  This has come in the form of exercise in my case.  I spend 2-3 hours a day, 6 days a week training for marathons and triathlons.  I've gotten faster over the past couple years and this year has culminated with me qualifying for the Boston marathon.  I enjoy all this exercise and I was planning on doing an Ironman next year, after Boston.  But with pressure to succeed careerwise, I find myself torn between my training and taking the GMAT and business classes.  After thinking about my choices, I think I've come to the conclusion that I'll do Boston next year, but I'll start taking classes in International business this fall.  When I moved back to the states after 5 years in Japan, everybody told me that my international experience and language skills would be enough to get me that great job.  I am happy but I think it's time that I took that next step towards being more marketable.  Who knows where my thoughts will be in a few months but for now, you know what I'm thinking.  By the way, my thoughts have been summarized a great deal in this blog entry.  If you really want to know how I got from point A to point B, feel free to ask me. 

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A sad realization

Well, I shaved my head before my last tri and have been growing it back since.  I've fallen back into the faux hawk style (spiked towards the middle).  It's occurred to me that I really don't have much choice as on either side of the faux, my hair has become a tad thin.  I'm in no rush to post a pic so you'll just have to wait. ;)

Rule of thumb

If you're not sure you can bench press the weight on the bar, then make sure you have a spotter. 
Guy at the gym dropped the bar on his face yesterday.  Had a nice bar mark across the side of it. 
He looked ok besides the big red line and humiliation.  That's why I only lift my own body weight, ie. pull ups and dips.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Identity Crisis

With all these new reality shows coming out, I've got one where I can be the contestant.  Not sure if it's been done yet as I'm pretty behind on the whole popular shows front but we'll call my show "Identity Crisis."  I'll be the contestant, bachelor, single guy and there will be 20 women.  Half of the women will be white and the other half will be Asian, I guess Japanese in my case.  The show will be PG-13, I won't be making out with all the girls!  My grandma might watch and so I'd like to keep it "children" friendly.  We'll mix it up and keep it interesting by having Survivor type contests.  I don't know about you but that sounds like fun to me. 

Friday, August 03, 2007

Do you know how good you have it?

We've all seen in the news lately how the bridge in Minnesota collapsed or troops dying in Iraq.  Such stories are the subject of conversations when we talk of death or destruction but we don't really talk about what's going on in other parts of the world.  Did you know that there is massive flooding going on in South Asia?  Here are some highlights from a story I just read on ( :

  • Millions affected in South Asia by what U.N. calls "worst floods in memory"
  • Officials say more than 1,000 killed or injured
  • India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal all hit by rising waters
I can't imagine what those people are going thru.  I know that we have the same natural disasters here in the states but we truly are lucky to have assistance in such cases.  It never even occurred to me that along with landslides and disease, they also have to worry about snakebites. 
Really puts things into perspective. 


Went to the Asian Art Museum yesterday for a special on Tezuka Osamu Manga (comics).  I wasn't aware of all the different comics he had done and a lot of them weren't "children friendly"  There was also a wood block exhibit that was interesting but the manga portion was the part I enjoyed the most.  There was also some performance art going on where 4 people were "dancing" in different parts of  the museum.  It ended with them slowly going down the stairs, rolling on the ground towards the exit for about 10 minutes, and then slowly walking out of the museum with a hand raised like how Japanese kids raise their hands when crossing the street.  When they reached the street, they just kept going.  By chance, a cab was driving by and stopped in their path because he thought they were trying to catch a cab.  It was a very funny moment.  I didn't get pics of it but here are some pics I did get.