Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shinko Ojisan and the delicious green peppers


Celebrated the New Year in Okinawa, Japan.

A commercial maybe not seen in the U.S. Brad Pitt in a commercial for a Japanese cellphone provider.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mom and Yuzuki

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Beware of scam artists/ spoof emails when using ebay or craigslist.

So I'm using ebay for the first time to sell an item and the winner was a user in Nigeria. I did some research before agreeing to send anything and the emails are all fakes. Here are two of many that I have received from the winning bidder. Be careful out there. Spelling errors usually are a sign that they're not real.

Spoof email # 1

Dear john.hayato,
         We are to let you know that the payment made by our client ,for your eBay item is confirmed and it has been deducted from the buyer's account which will be credited into your account as soon as you provide us with the transfer information.
         We have received the money which is pending in our database and we will like you to provide us with the following information as requested by PayPal for verification to protect their customers from fraudulent business transactions.

         Kindly make the transfer progress within 48 hours in order to release the money into your account for the transaction as we can not accommodate any form of misappropriations and we have a reputation to protect and do all that is possible to
increase our business relationship with the international PayPal,

         As soon as you notify us about the package shipping status, we shall
deposit the said amount into your account immediately.
         The address you are requested to ship the item to has been confirmed by us.

This is as a result of new safety measures that has just been adopted by us to safeguard all our customers against any internet act. 

Thank you for using PayPal online services,

PayPal Team.        

Spoof email #2

Dear john.hayato ,

     It is important we know the status of the item bought otherwise, legal action may be taken against you since you refused to ship out the item bought from you from eBay by the buyer over time.

    We believed you entered into agreement by confirming the payment made to you by your buyer through PayPal, and by non response to the payment confirmation made to your account you have violate the eBay and PayPal agreement. However the buyer has already contacted us in other to make report about your non response.We are ensuring to make PayPal a safer place, therefore we need to set confidence on our users.
    We want you to get the item shipped in the next 2 days  and forward the Shipment Tracking Number to us for verification and we will release the money to your account immediately ... If we do not received the  Shipment requirement within the specific time limit, We will have to Suspended and Vold your Paypal account and   forward your PayPal Registration Name and Address to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)  for legal action to be taken .

    We request for the valid shipment info and the Tracking Number to prove postage of the item in less than 48 hours and we will fund the money into your account or face the consequences of LEGAL ACTION.

     This is done in other to protect both the seller and buyer.

------------------------------ ------------------------------ ------------------------------ -------------------------
Thank you for using PayPal!
The PayPal Team
------------------------------ ------------------------------ ------------------------------ -------------------------
PayPal page.
PayPal Email ID: PP304

Baachan part 1

A short explanation of what's going on.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Hi everybody,
As many of you know I am doing Ironman New Zealand in March 2009. Another tidbit of information you may be familiar with is that I raise money once a year for a charity in conjunction with a race. For 2009, I am raising money for the New Zealand Cystic Fibrosis organization, Breath4CF. Here is my fundraising page:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Union Square in SF

Cupcake from Tammy

My roommate, Tammy, left a cupcake and card
Christmas relay race

Over the weekend, I participated in a Christmas relay where there were teams of four people each running 4.5 miles. My triathlon club had 2 teams and we had a very enjoyable time even though the weather wouldn't exactly cooperate. It turned out to be quite the nail biter as we finished just a few seconds apart. I was the third leg on my team and ran the loop in about 28/29 minutes.

Hope you have a "Peace"ful 2009!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday night full moon

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Here's an article I read at InformationWeek. It may help you save a couple bucks while you shop during the holidays.

Six Great Ways To Save On Holiday Shopping

Posted by Allen Stern, Dec 7, 2008 09:02 PM

Most people that know me know that I am a deal hunter. I've been this way for years and refuse to shop online without some sort of discount code. Here are six methods I use to save money when shopping online. I hope you find them beneficial during this holiday season.

FatWallet -- This is my absolute favorite resource online for finding discounts for online purchases. I've been a member of its forum for many years and still find it valuable today. FatWallet has two areas I'd suggest you spend time looking at. First it has a community where forum members post discount codes and other sales from across the Web. The other part of FatWallet is the cashback list where, when you start your purchase at FatWallet for a listed merchant, FatWallet pays you. I've received several hundred dollars over the past few years.

Other great discount forums include SlickDeals and Spoofee. Both have forums but also offer a simple view into the best deals of the day via their home page. I always suggest checking both each morning to see if a hot deal appeals to you as you want to grab the deals as early as possible.

Amazon Gold Box -- Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) offers a variety of deals each day in its "Gold Box". This can always be hit or miss, but is worth a daily look. Deals are typically available in a variety of Amazon categories.

WhichBudget -- This is a great resource when traveling. Basically what WhichBudget allows you to do is find budget airlines for your travel destinations. The service is free to use and saved me several hundred dollars during my last trip to Europe. WhichBudget has airlines and travel discounts for more than 100 countries. Sometimes WhichBudget can be great to find a one-day trip during a holiday vacation. They just launched a Facebook application, making it even easier to find flights.

Microsoft Live Cashback Search -- Depending on how good of a searcher you are, you can find some very good cashback deals on the Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Live Cashback Search. There have been reports of 35% cashback on eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) along with many other merchants. Microsoft is currently testing an immediate cashback program with eBay, but the majority of the cashback selections will take 60 days to complete.

ExpertFlyer -- This is a bit of niche discount, but for anyone in your life who travels a lot, it's well worth it. Basically what ExpertFlyer does is help you travel in the air smarter. The service helps you find the best pricing (which sometimes means splitting up a ticket) along with the best seat. There's also extensive help with finding ways to use your airline miles to get the most out of them. Currently, ExpertFlyer offers a holiday gift certificate for $20 off the normal price.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Kappa maki

When I order a cucumber roll, please don't "American size" it. If I
order something as simple as that, keep it simple!

Funny because there's points that actually remind me of Japan.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Christmas Spirit. Rocking a pink shirt with green sweater. And of course the red Starbucks cup.
Disclaimer: I don't work for Starbucks, I just drink a lot of their coffee.
Lately I've been getting quite a few unknown numbers calling me. I usually don't answer them as I don't feel like talking with somebody I don't know who wants me to sign up for something, pay money to something, tell me my Acura is late for its tuneup (I don't own a car)... so I now instead google the number after I get a call. It's worked wonders as there are a couple sites out there that are providing forums for this type of problem. Surprisingly quite a few people have received calls from the same numbers I receive calls from. So next time you don't recognize the number, don't answer it, and just google it. Chances are it's some sort of telemarketer.
Who needs a job? I know where you can go? Read on...
"Our problem is that everybody thinks that it’s a cold, miserable place to live. They’re wrong, of course. But North Dakota is a pretty well-kept secret."
BOB STENEHJEM, Republican State Senate leader, on the difficulty attracting workers to fill a surplus of jobs in his state.

Friday, December 05, 2008

In Japan, I didn't hear of this issue very often but it's good to see some reform happening (baby steps yall)
What disturbs me is they take measures to prevent fraudulent cases but what if the Japanese dude says it isn't his kid? Will they do the DNA testing on him or is the kid just screwed.
Article was found in the IHT. Or read the original here:

Japan extends citizenship to out-of-wedlock babies
The Associated Press
Friday, December 5, 2008
TOKYO: Japan approved a law Friday that will grant citizenship to all children born out of wedlock to Japanese fathers who acknowledge them, regardless of the nationality of their mothers. All children of Japanese women are automatically granted citizenship. Before Friday's revision, however, those born out of wedlock to foreign women could claim citizenship only if their Japanese fathers acknowledged paternity before the birth or later married their mothers. The new law expands the ability of those children to claim citizenship, stating that they need only to be acknowledged by their fathers before a claim is filed.To prevent fraudulent claims, the law stipulates that violators will be fined of up to 200,000 yen($2,170) or sentenced to one year in prison. The law also requires the government to study the feasibility of introducing DNA testing.
The revision came after 10 children born to unmarried Japanese men and Filipino women demanded citizenship. In June, Japan's top court ruled in their favor, saying that the previous restrictions on citizenship violated constitutional guarantees of equality.
The plaintiffs are among the offspring of thousands of Filipino women who came to Japan as entertainers beginning the 1970s. Many had children with Japanese men who already had wives. The suits were filed in two waves in 2003 and 2005 by their Filipino mothers who had proved the fathers of their children were Japanese. There are no reliable data on the number of Japanese-Filipino children, with experts estimating there may be anywhere from 10,000 to 100,000. Nationality in Japan is determined solely by bloodline, not place of birth, though foreigners may apply to become citizens. Japan has long been reluctant to host outsiders or grant them nationality for fear of disrupting its tightly knit society. Despite increasing immigration, foreigners still make up less than 2 percent of Japan's population of 128 million, compared to 12 percent in the United States.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

See more Jack Black videos at Funny or Die

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tis the season

Embarcadero buildings all lit up