Chances are good that most of us who live here aren’t surprised at all by these high marks. While Japan may not get anywhere near the top ten in categories like Rest & Relaxation and Natural Beauty, when it comes to doing business and competing with the world in the areas of quality and technology, well, Japan just does a whole lot right. And of course the nightlife is pretty good, too.
So, fellow expats, while we’re waiting to feel the effects of the global financial crisis here let’s enjoy a little optimism. Like the FutureBrand report says, we could be doing a lot worse…
I just discovered there’s a “media book” and an entire website dedicated to my speakers, the stellar Soavo-1s by Yamaha. Meet the designer! Read the story of their development! Gape at naked speaker innards through a cutaway shell! Who would have thought such entertainment possibilities would be available? Thanks, Yamaha!
These speakers sound incredible at practically any volume. Accurate across the full range of frequencies, the bass extension and treble smoothness set these speakers apart from the crowd. And they look dead sexy. Retro, edgy and muscular, they offer the kind of presence that makes you stand up and take notice. Love ‘em, but at 300,000 yen for the pair don’t know how I managed to afford them…
On Friday we unveiled a new design for our webshop, the Petit Tonneau Online Wine Boutique. Overall it’s much more clear and bright that the previous design, and also benefits from a reorganized global navigation menu and a newly-built “top page” for wines. We’re adding news wines and food pairing recipes all the time, so drop in and have a look if you haven’t visited lately.
Just added this Online Wine Buyer’s Guide today and will be updating it periodically. I’ve included the well-known English/Bilingual sites for now and will follow up with Japanese sites later. Enjoy!
One of my favorite restaurants here in in the Miyamasu-zaka end of Shibuya is RESPEKT, yet another offering from the good folks over at Cafe Company. Like many of their other restaurants, RESPEKT is a true multi-use space that works equally well for lunch/dinner, business meetings, hanging out with friends, or dining alone. The menu is varied, with food and drinks available all day, meaaning you can enjoy a meal, coffee, tea, beer or a glass of wine, just about any time.
Now, to be honest, the lunches were pretty dodgy at first. They looked pretty but lacked a certain depth. And flavor. And attention to detail. I mentioned this to 矢野さん the manager one day, reminding him that a mediocre lunch can spell death for a place in this neighborhood, and it seems like he took it to heart. I came back after a bit of a hiatus to find that the food had taken a turn for the better. Now I’m never disappointed with the food there, as it’s always creative, well-prepared, nice-looking and priced to please.
What else? Free WiFi. Free PCs. Funky, creative Shibuya-types. A great staff with very low turnover. Good wine list. How often do you run across a place like that? For me, it’s about once or twice a week.
These are some of my favorite books on wine:
A fantastic resource for educating oneself about wine. Broad in scope, well-written and very informative, this is one of the best wine hooks I’ve read.
Windows on the World Complete Wine Course: 2009 Edition
When you just want to know everything about everything about wine, this is the book. Heavy lifting required.
The Oxford Companion to Wine, 3rd Edition
Excellent collection of wine pairing recipes you’ll want to try at home. Includes an excellent overview of the senses involved in enjoying wine and general, easy-to-grok food pairing guidelines.
Perfect Pairings: A Master Sommelier’s Practical Advice for Partnering Wine with Food
On Octoner 30th Google announced a new Service Level Agreement for many of the Google Apps applications for Premier Edition customers. 99.9% uptime is now guaranteed for all of the business-critical core apps, including Gmail, Calendar, Sites and Docs. Full details on the new Google Apps SLA available on Google site.
I don’t remember installing Windows Desktop Search (WDS) on my notebook but one day it was there. I think they maybe slipped it into the installer for a trial app or something I tried and then dumped for being crap. The trial app went away but for some reason WDS stayed.
The two things I noticed after it appeared were the new Search Desktop input field hogging much of the Taskbar and the new searchindexer.exe process hogging most of the CPU. The mostly nonstop churning of disk activity also suggested something was amiss.
Troubleshoot, isolate, try different settings, pray: I tried all of the standard steps one tries when trying to get buggy MS software to work properly, but all to no avail. Finally I disabled the service and will remove the thing altogether in a few minutes. Thanks, Bill, for another couple hours of wasted time.
To summarize, if you’re looking around the net for info and reviews of WDS and found this, take my advice: don’t bother with it. There are better desktop search options out there, use one of them instead.
I noticed the new Promote and Remove buttons alongside the search results in Google’s SERPs and it gave me a bit of a fright. Some poking around revealed that these are part of the SearchWiki functions that were added by Google on November 20th. If you don’t know about this already I suggest you start here for an overview and then have a look at the official announcement. Clever, creepy, or both, I’m still not sure…
I’ve moved all of the “private” and family content offline for general privacy-protection reasons and to keep the amount of Google-stored non-public content to a minimum. I also plan to start using the blog for more work-related writing and things, and so it makes sense to go ahead and hide the assorted off-color and family stuff.
Consequently, family and friends that are interested in reading the personal stuff will need to login in order to see any of this content. Please use the Register link at the bottom of the right navigation menu to create an account, or I can create one for you here if you prefer.
Congratulations on finding my personal blog. It's been around in various incarnations since 1997, which is before blogs were called "blogs." See if you can top that.
My name is michael, and denbushi (電武士) is the now-dorky-seeming online name I made up back when I thought (ever so presciently) that some kind of unique nickname for the interwebs might be handy. Just for the record, it IS unique (even today!) except for this jujitsu variant/dojo in Puerto Rico which co-opted it without even asking me. If I had to cage-fight them for exclusive use of "denbushi" chances are good they'd win. But I'd still do it.
These days I live in Tokyo and mostly use my real name. A few years ago I founded a design and marketing agency called netwise. We do web and internet stuff. We're pretty good at it.