||coming soon - more Blah Blah Blah!
||Seymour, Aso, Sleep
Happy belated New Year. We are off to Hawaii on Feb 12 for
9 nights in Waikiki.
YouTube video of The Spa in Koh
Samui here. Taken by Neil of all us buds detoxing.
Japanese Prime Minister Aso
deservedly gets bashed some more
I am working to reduce the amount of time I need to sleep.
Since the new year I have been waking between5am and 6am giving
me more time to study, work, stretch, etc. So far, so good.
I have actually been more energetic during the day but the
results are early and I am not sure if I will hit a wall soon
and get super tired. However I eventually will make this work
because it is so excellent to have more time. I read that
Bill Clinton would sleep from 3am - 6am while in the Whitehouse
and be full of energy the other 21 hours. Here is the plan
1) Reduce sleeping time.
2) Increase the Quality of sleep.
3) Gain more energy than ever had before.
4) Eliminate all feelings of drowsiness / inability to concentrate
during the day.
5) Reduce Daily Stress Levels.
Time is the most precious commodity we have in our lives!
"Don't try to use what you learn from Buddhism to be
a Buddhist; use it to be a better whatever-you-already-are."
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
||Ambassadors, Aso's Weakness, John Munson,
Useless Projects, Fat Minnesotans
Obama Gives Political Ambassadors Their Pink
The article states that the Ambassadorship to Japan is the
most important for the US after Britain, which is true. The
US / Japan partnership contains the world's two largest economies
and their military pact has resulted in a stable, peaceful
East Asia for 50 years. Why did W Bush appoint as ambassador
to Japan a nobody businessman, Thomas Schieffer, who helped
him with his loan to buy the Texas Rangers? I am sure the
political power brokers in Japan were dismayed at the posting
of an ambassador so lacking in political ties in Washington.
The message was the US does not think Japan is important.
Look at the heavyweight Ambassadors directly prior to Mr Schieffer;
Howard Baker, Tom Foley & Walter Mondale - all three undeniably
major polital heavyweights for many decades.
The choice was not nearly as bad as W Bush's choice of Harriet
Miers for Supreme Court Justice! What was Bush thinking? Wikipedia
writes "In mock sessions with lawyers, Miers had difficulty
expressing her views and explaining basic constitutional law
concepts. Miers had no experience in constitutional law, and
did not have extensive litigation experience; at her Texas
law firm, she had been more of a manager." This is the
person Bush "the Decider" decided on for the highest
court in the land. Wikipedia adds " The nomination was
met with opposition from both sides of the political spectrum".
Oops, bad decision I guess Mr Decider!
Next, let's tackle the idiot Prime Minister of Japan, Aso-san.
The previous 2 Prime Ministers and Aso-san have just been
shredded by the media, most of it deservedly, especially for
Aso. Why would anyone want this job? All three guys wanted
to be prime minister so badly, and all 3 have been thoroughly
and publically humiliated. The Taipei Times writes "Support
for gaffe-prone Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso tumbled by
a third to 31 percent". He has trouble reading basic
elementary school level Chinese characters. When he tried
to show a cool side by constantly bragging he is a manga (comic
book) geek he was firmly chastised by world famous Academy
awarding winning animation film director Hayao Miyazaki. "It's
an embarrassment," the filmmaker said at the Foreign
Correspondents' Club of Japan when asked about Aso's manga
mania. "That's something that should be done in private,"
he added. The UK Guardian noted the super wealthy Aso "has
risked offending the country's 40m pensioners after he described
them as tax burdens who should take better care of their health"
Anyway, this loser is in way over his head. He was only elected
in September 2008 and will not last much longer we predict.
Get ready, next PM could be Ozawa
(Oh No!). Actually I think the entire population of Japan
is convinced the next Prime Minister will also be a dolt.
Too bad Koizumi
the Lionhearted is retired and gone, he is the only real leader
in the whole country.
MA grad and buddie John Munson update
Airport Without Planes Shows Japan Hooked on 'Useless
Minnesota slips in healthiest state
Palin is more qualified for national office than Caroline
||Chicago on the BIG STAGE, Hizzoner
Harold Washington and Mirth & Girth
I was watching BBC International in Tokyo on Nov 6, at the
very beginning of the broadcast they stated "it is 7am
in Chicago and 11pm in Beijing". I was a little shocked
to hear Chicago mentioned, it appears Chicago is back on the
big stage internationally. When I got to Sweden in 1984 I
was greeted by folks saying "Chicago ... Al Capone, Bang
Bang". In Japan in 1991 I got the same greeting (famous
man, Mr. Capone), although in the mid-1990s thanks to Michael
Jordan and the Bulls, Al Capone was most forgotten and Mr
Jordan became the face of Chicago. Well Hussein Obama has
blown all that away. Internationally he is half rock star
and half Hindu god. Chicago is back, and so is America. Being
American overseas with Bush/Cheney sucked. Mr. Obama is here
now to provide high paying jobs to all, fix our banks, and
resolve all International conflicts and wars.
Along with Lincoln winning the nomination at the Republican
National Convention in Chicago in May 1860 and Barack Obama's
acceptance speech in Grant Park in November 2008, here is
another highlight in Chicago politics - Mirth
& Girth is a portrait painting by School of the Art
Institute of Chicago (SAIC) student David K. Nelson, Jr. "Mirth
& Girth", a "full-length frontal portrait of
a portly grim-faced Harold Washington clad in a white bra
garter belt, and stockings". Nelson stated, "in
Chicago, at this time, Harold Washington is like an icon.
He's like a deity." In particular, Nelson painted the
portrait after seeing prints of "Worry Ye Not",
another poster that depicted a smiling Washington with a blue-robe
adorned Jesus Christ, looking down on the Chicago skyline.
Nelson later testified that he had based the iconoclastic
elements of the painting on a rumor that doctors at Northwestern
Memorial Hospital had discovered female underwear beneath
the suit Washington was wearing at the time of his death.
Further fuel for rumors came from alderman Edward Vrdolyak,
who at the height of Chicago's Council Wars, often insinuated
that Washington was gay, imitating Washington's demeanor,
fluttering his arms and saying phrases such as "Pretty
please?" in falsetto to mock Washington. Hey, Fast
Eddie Vrdolyak is going to Jail!!
Did anyone notice Canada held a national election in Oct?
Can you name the incumbent who was reelected? Stephen
Harper. I wonder if Canadians can name him.
Very good and very cheap (JPY 7,000 for 2 hours) Thai Massage
I am off to Thailand next week to visit a good friend in
a valiant fight against cancer. Gotta keep a positive state
of mind and keep moving forward. We will stay at The
Hey Minnesota people, I was reading the Star Trib online
and what a shock ? Sid Hartman is still alive. I thought he
was about 70 years old when I moved to Japan 18 years ago.
Say No to Franken!
God bless you all & God bless the United States of America.
||Various Ramblings About Japan &
Japan ranked 18th out of 180 countries and territories in
a global corruption perception index in 2008, according to
the Berlin-based NGO Transparency International. Denmark,
Sweden and New Zealand were the countries seen as the least
corrupt, while Somalia was rated the dodgiest.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co, which is changing its name
to Panasonic as part of a rebranding strategy, announced that
it also will do away with its National moniker. In my book
Matsushita is superior to Sony, but it has always been much
less famous. The man who started the company, Konosuke
Matsushita was a total stud. In Japan he is known as "the
god of management".
After tabulating the results of an online questionnaire, the
Japan Draft Beer Association chose gold medal swimmer Kousuke
Kitajima as the "person who looks best with a beer."
An artificially inseminated, 12-year-old female giant panda
named Tan-Tan gave birth at a zoo in Kobe, but the cub died
three days later.
Britain's Chambers Dictionary announced that dashi
was one of the 956 words added to its latest edition. It is
an English word now, learn it!
Just plain weird here - A Japanese record company has released
a CD featuring US pop star Cyndi Lauper narrating a story
about Tokyo zookeepers who had to kill their animals during
World War II.
A North Korean official said that Japan should never be allowed
a permanent seat on the UN Security Council because it "beautifies"
the massacre of millions of innocent peoples in Korea and
other Asian countries. Soon after, Japan decided to extend
economic sanctions on North Korea for another six months.
North Korea is a mess, how long can they muddle on like they
Staff at Kinosaki Marine World in Hyogo have put all 19 of
its performing dolphins on a low-fat diet of white-meat fish
after discovering that the animals had become too fat to jump
through their hoops thanks to eating fatty mackerel.
A new mobile phone by Sharp can unlock car doors and let drivers
start their engines, all without using a key.
The defense ministry will let female members of the Maritime
Self-Defense Force serve aboard destroyers starting in 2009,
lifting a ban that had been in place since the force was established
way back in 1954.
File this one under the Devoted, Yet Creepy: A 56-year-old
man was arrested for leaving his wife's dead body in a suitcase
in a room at the Shinjuku Washington Hotel. Police think the
woman died from an illness; her husband was quoted as saying,
"I carried her body around because I wanted to be with
her as long as possible."
According to a survey by the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, 57 percent
of South Koreans rated Japan as their "most-disliked
country," up from 38 percent last year. Anti-Japanese
sentiment apparently rose in the aftermath of the squabble
over a couple of rocky islets called Dokdo or Takeshima, depending
on whose side you take. In the same survey, the US was named
the "most-liked country" by 18 percent of respondents.
A survey conducted by a Japanese NPO and the China Daily found
that 60.9 percent of Chinese people believe that relations
with Japan became "much better" or "relatively
better" an increase of 10.4 percentage points from last
year. However, just 10.3 percent of Japanese hold the same
view, with 43.7 percent saying that relations between the
two countries became "relatively worse" or "much
worse". Overall the Olympics were great for helping bring
China a step closer to being a normal country.
It was reported that only 35 percent of the public believes
that Japanese people will "continue to exhibit a hardworking
diligence, the kind that has sustained the country's economic
development". When asked the same question in 1984, 59
percent of respondents believed Japan would remain hardworking.
Our friend Penny Poe is just finishing up a 10 day fast which
consists of lemon juice and maple syrup, and she will start
another 20 fast soon. Details of the "The Master Cleanse"
fast are here.
And Yes, the conservative leaning Buddhist Libertarian website
mckellin.com is endorsing Barack Obama for President of America
in 2008! The spirit of Abe Lincoln lives on!
||Palin & Obama in Fukui, World Cup,
Wild Monkeys in Shibuya?
After it was discovered that Republican vice presidential
candidate Sarah Palin's distinctive eyeglasses are manufactured
in Fukui Prefecture in Japan, local officials began posting
photos of the Alaska governor. However, local allegiances
are torn because the prefecture is also home to a city called
The bakeries in Obama Japan flog "manju" (sweet
red bean pastries) stamped with "I
Love Obama" and a caricature of the Senator's face.
Speaking of Black leaders and Japan. Do any of you remember
the story of the Black
Shogun who came from Africa and became the first Shogun
of Japan in the year 797? You decide if it is real
It was revealed that FIFA has "sounded out" Japan
about hosting the 2010 World Cup in the case that the intended
host, South Africa, is unable to do so. Would be awesome to
have the World Cup here again.
Researchers from Oxford University announced that Japan has
the highest-quality broadband service of 42 countries surveyed.
The US came in 16th and India last.
eludes dragnet at Tokyo train station. Shibuya station
is the main station nearest our house and one of the busiest
stations in the world. Several years ago there was a large
wild monkey living in our neighborhood and tried to climb
up the outside of our apartment a couple times. Wild monkeys
can actually be quite scary, strong with big teeth. You do
not want to piss one off.
||Obama's history in Chicago, Yoga, DoCoMo,
Dope at Customs
Great article in the New Yorker magazine on Obama's
relationship with Chicago politics. Anyone who has lived
in Chicago will enjoy this.
Yoga is the fountain of youth. You're only as young as
your spine is flexible
"The primary aim of yoga is to restore the mind to simplicity
peace, and free it from confusion and distress. This sense
comes from the practice of yogic asanas and pranayama. Unlike
forms of exercise which strain muscles and bones, yoga gently
rejuvenates the body. By restoring the body, yoga frees the
the negative feelings caused by the fast pace of modern life.
practice of yoga fills up the reservoirs of hope and optimism
you. It helps you overcome all obstacles on the path to perfect
and spiritual contentment. It is a rebirth."
NTT DoCoMo is seeing smaller rivals such as Softbank
erode the company's dominance in Japan as its market share
is now 52 percent compared with nearly 60 percent in 2001.
Operating profit continues to decline and international investment
opportunities aren't so hot. The company's recent blow was
Softbank becoming the exclusive provider of the Apple iPhone
in Japan, which is considered a marketing coup for Softbank.
planted on Narita passenger - Apparently an unwitting
passenger passed through customs with a packet of cannabis
that had been planted in his bag by a customs officer as a
"test" for a sniffer dog. The only problem is that
the officer who planted the marijuana lost track of his test
subject, a business man who made it all the way to his hotel
before noticing the baggie! He apparently turned the package
in to the police.
||Trip to USA, Peru Embassy, Obamamania,
McKellin published in American Chamber of Commerce Journal
||My girls and I were in the US for most
of July and had a great time. Thanks to all the relatives and
friends who took time to meet up and party. Mucho Gusto! Would
write more about the trip, but a picture is worth a thousand
words! Go to the front of mckellin.com and you will see highlights
of our trip.
McKellin.com was lucky enough to attend a Pisco
party at the Peruvian
Embassy this last Thursday night. The food
was among the best I have ever tasted, perhaps the best food
I have ever had in my life (Not Kidding!). My sponsor, the
American Chamber of Commmerce Japan, promoted the event as
- "This will be an excellent opportunity to network,
develop relationships, exchange information, and celebrate
Peru's Independence Day (7/28) all while enjoying warm company
accented with Pisco cocktails, delicious Peruvian food, and
a traditional Peruvian performance. Attendees will be greeted
by Ambassador Hugo Palma." The Ambassador was a very
cool guy, wish I had my camera for mckellin.com content!
In January 2004, The Economist said that "Peru can lay
claim to one of the world's dozen or so great cuisines".
Thanks to its pre-Incas and Inca heritage and to Spanish,
Basque, African, Sino-Cantonese, Japanese and finally Italian,
French and British immigration (mainly throughout the 19th
century), Peruvian cuisine combines the flavors of four continents.
Pisco is 80 proof booze made from grapes, a clear liquor
which suits me well. The Embassy served the Pisco straight,
in mango smoothies, with a lime mixture similar to margaritas,
and many other varieties. The Embassy is in the heart of Shibuya,
and is surprisingly large for a middle-sized country. However.
Peru and Japan are both Pacific countries with a long history
and numerous Japanese emmigrated to Peru in the early 1900's.
Perhaps many of you remember Alberto
Fujimori, a Peruvian and Japanese politician who served
as President of Peru from July 28, 1990 to November 17, 2000.
Obama is on fire. Can you imagine how boring a 4 year McCain
administration would be? As Carolyn McKellin says about Obama
and the Presidency "It's his to lose".
McKellin published in the
American Chamber of Commerce Journal, July 2008. Starting
on Page 40 with a picture on Page 44. Title - "Mobile
Latest - Deregulation signals end of oligopoly"
Lake Michigan Surface Temperature HERE!
||Pandas!, Neil Young, Earthquakes
Japan is without a panda for the first time since 1972. The
last Panda at Ueno Zoo, Ling
Ling, died. Luckily for us just a couple weeks back Anna,
Alice and I went to Ueno Zoo and saw Ling Ling walking around.
Usually a trip to the Panda house results in seeing an empty
cage as Panda's sleep for something like 22 hours a day and
spend the other 2 hours eating bamboo. Here
is Carolyn McKellin with Ling Ling a few years back. Carolyn
said "I always wanted to see a panda and never thought
it would happen". Now it is up to the Japanese gov't
to be nice to the Chinese to get some replacement pandas.
Loans of giant pandas to American and Japanese zoos formed
an important part of the diplomacy of the People's Republic
of China in the 1970s. This practice is termed "Panda
Diplomacy". By the year 1984, however, China began to
offer pandas to other nations only on 10-year loans. The standard
loan terms include a fee of up to US$ 1,000,000 per year and
a provision that any cubs born during the loan are the property
of the People's Republic of China.
Dick Morris has been hit and miss over the last 15 months,
but he really nails the Clintons here.
The Clintons don't yet realize the damage they have done to
themselves. The Republicans have always hated them and now
a large part of the Democratic party hates them. According
to the Clintons, the nomination should be hers. She wants
it. She and Bill are sure that she'd be a great candidate.
Mckellin.com likes Obama on the Democratic side as he has
the magic, however we will stop short of an endorsement due
to the anti-Capitalist, anti-Free Trade rhetoric of Mr. Obama.
As our superior friends at the Economist wrote May 8 edition.
"Barack Obama deserves the nomination. It is not yet
clear whether he deserves the presidency". If he does
win it all, Mr Obama will bring home some bacon to Chicago
which is great for every American.
Young teams with geeky Silicon Valley company Sun MicroSystems.
The first sentence of the article states "Rebellious
rocker Neil Young hates the sound of compact discs."
Neil later adds "CD quality is very low resolution, maybe
a step above MP3s. It was a crime to make that the standard
for so many years," With Neil's grungy sound and sloppy
guitar playing who can tell the difference? Hey Neil, why
don't you try tuning your guitar sometime? Mckellin.com says
thank you to Mr Young for your awesome jams over the decades.
We were awoken two times two nights back by a pretty decent
series of earthquakes
that had our house shaking in the early morning. We have chimes
that hang in our bedroom and they were-a-ringing. A BIG one
is a coming.
I was at Tokyu
Hands in Shinjuku tonight enjoying myself and it dawned
on my why I like Tokyo so much. And the answer is because
Tokyo is such an ultra-cool f-ing place. Ask anyone who has
Olympic Stadium is near my house and I have been running
to the park and then doing a 2km loop on the track that surrounds
the grounds. The Tokyo Olympics were held in 1964 and the
place feels dated, but it is still awesome and magical. There
is a great energy around the place and almost everyone I see
there at any time is in a jolly mood.
My old company Visto
takes a direct shot to the groin in a patent loss to RIM in
Here are Bikram's hot yoga postures
Release all power struggles in life, you'all
Keillor on the demise of
||Miyamoto Musashi's Samurai Code
would cause human gridlock: study.
Walking home from
the station last night I saw a pharmacy with different brands
of toilet paper named Due, Cute, Naive Lady, and Penguin.
The Cherry Blossom
season this year was a little short, but long on enjoyment.
We got out almost every day or night to enjoy nature.
For those of you
who wish to live by Samurai code, below is "the Way"
from legendary Samurai Miyamoto
is the Way for men who want to learn my strategy:
not think dishonestly.
- The Way is in training.
- Become acquainted with every art.
- Know the Ways of all professions.
- Distinguish between gain and loss in worldly matters.
- Develop intuitive judgment and understanding for everything.
- Perceive those things which cannot be seen.
- Pay attention even to trifles.
- Do nothing which is of no use.
heart transplant story
l 570 Denny's
to close in Japan I McDonald's
Porn I Stupid US
sailor kills Japanese taxi driver I
Critic Archives I
Japan - The creator of James Bond fell in love
with Japan, he was enchanted by the delicacy, the politeness,
the astonishingly delicious food.
||Sorry for the delay
||Hi you'all, sorry for
the delay in updating mckellin.com. I had quite a few complaints
about the delay which means there are actually folks out there
who take a look at the site from time to time. Here are some
with ugly wig at girl's school - A 39-year old man was
arrested after he tried to enter a girls high school dressed
in a girl's uniform and a long wig. Students screamed and
the man fled -- only to be caught by a school clerk further
down the road! Nutty stuff. (Source: reuters.com, Feb 22,
Chicago now highest
taxed city in the USA .....
According to an article I just read in the Economist property
values between 1997 and 2007 rose by 156% in the US, and fell
by -32% in Japan.
The cover of the February 23 International version of the
Economist declared "JAPAiN: Why you should be worried
about the world's second-biggest economy"
It was reported that parents in Okinawa are afraid to let
their children walk alone to school after a 14-year-old junior
high school student reported that she was raped by a 38-year-old
Had a great trip to Hawaii as you can see in the pictures.
Next year will be bigger and better, start your preparation
Yen is at 98 to the dollar!!!Wow!
||London World's Capital, Kasumigaseki
- the Washington DC of Japan
Article with photo and quotes from McKellin
London barely nips NYC to be named the World's Capital.
However it is a UK newspaper (The Independent) that did the
study so there could be a little bias, but we can go along
with London at #1 and NYC at a close #2. London really has
come on strong over the last couple decades to become a financial
powerhouse and beacon of capitalism within Europe attracting
top talent from around the world. mckelln.com is very happy
to see Tokyo at #4 and Chicago at #5, both cities are well
deserving. Chicago is world-class and has many strengths,
but often gets overlooked. Sports Illustrated asked MLB players
which roadtrip city they most liked, and which they least
liked. Chicago was most popular and Milwaukee least popular.
Chicago's main strength in my mind is that overall it is a
friendly city inhabited by friendly folks. Here is the top
15 list from The Independent:
2. New York
7. Washington DC
8. Los Angeles
10. Mexico City
12. San Francisco
My current office with Visto is in Kasumigaseki, which
is the location of the Diet
of Japan and the Prime Minister's residence. I can actually
see the Prime
Minister's residence from my desk. Built in 1929, the
building is a two-story mansion and heavily influenced by
Frank Lloyd Wright who lived in Japan for 6 years. A new five-story
addition was completed in April 2002.
||Life After Death, Randy Moss
Some good pictures of Japan here
Stories of NDE (Near Death Experiences) here.
A little creepy but fascinating. I found this website after
doing a search for Thomas
Benedict who had a fascinating NDE and was mentioned in
Deepak Chopra's book Life
After Death. Anyone who will die should read Deepak's
book, and that probably means you. Death is not the end, but
the next phase and this book paints a pretty positive picture
of what happens after we move from this current phase of existence.
Deepak's tone is written in simple language and is reductionist,
he gives us the universe, cultural history and directions
to Nirvana in a nutshell. He poses the question "Why
are most people only concerned with what is to happen to them
after they die" ......... Deepak suggests we ask instead
.......... "Where did we come from?" Personally
I feel more comfortable and less scared about moving to the
next phase of our journey than before reading this book. We
are alive, therefore we will die. This is the simplest, most
obvious truth of our existence, and yet very few folks have
come to terms with it and are ready.
"Plan for this world as if you expect to live forever;
but plan for the hereafter as if you expect to die tomorrow."
- Ibn Gabirol
Think Big and Kick Ass (title of Donald Trump's new book).
The Four Hour Work
Week is here!
On RANDY MOSS - New England quarterback Tom
Brady said "He's a great teammate, a great player. He's
very coachable. He's selfless. He's a great worker. He leads
by example. He's got a bunch of great qualities."
"When Randy got here, everyone saw his work ethic,"
Patriots safety Rodney Harrison said. "Everyone saw his
ability on the field but I think maybe a lot of people questioned
what was going to happen with him in this locker room and
he's fit in perfectly. He's been a true gentleman. He's worked
tremendously hard and he's done everything he's had to do.
He's making plays on the field so that doesn't hurt."
||Trip to SFO, Various Ramblings
I just finished a 4 day business trip to San
Francisco. I am beginning to like this city more and more.
I have viewed this area negatively in the past as I had met
several "California Nationalists" who thought they
were somehow cooler, deeper or worth more than an another
human from say Iowa or Seattle just because they happened
to be born in the Bay area. The Bay Area I experienced on
this trip was one of first class restaurants, intelligent
people, courteous drivers and over-all a very sophisticated
vibe. Enuf about SFO, after several glasses of free white
wine in the Northwest lounge, here are some rambling thoughts
on a series of unrelated topics -
The Apple iPhone is a pretty hot product.
Motorola, Nokia and other handset makers are truly scared
according to industry insiders I met with this week in
Silicon Valley. The game has changed, no longer can the
traditional handset vendors just add a couple new features
to their existing phones, but they need to reinvent the
whole idea of what the experience of using a mobile device
is from the ground up. I remember when the iPhone was
announced, Steve Jobs brilliantly spoke for one hour with
no props about how kick booty his phone is, then some
fat-ish, old, CEO from AT&T got up and read from cue
cards in his hand about the relationship between the 2
companies. What a buzz-kill that speech was, it just highlighted
how kick butt and dynamic Steve Jobs is. Brilliant. Apple,
Pixar, iPod, iPhone (what's next?). Great track record,
he will go down in business history with all the great
ones like Henry Ford as guys who changed the world.
Henry Ford said, if I would have asked
people what they wanted, they would have said a faster
The next versions of iPhones will just
continue to get better and better. We won't see one in
Japan at least for a year while we are waiting for a 3G
Around Union Square in San Fran I met
the most confident homeless people I had ever seen. They
were not just begging for money, but demanding it with
absolutely no sense of shame at all in their plight. Their
attitude was like "this is a profession I have chosen
just as you have decided to be a lawyer or salesperson,
there is nothing wrong with it, now you must give me some
money". Later away from Union Square near Mission
street I saw some really destitute homeless who were really
down on their luck or with some psychological issues.
Homeless in Japan are full of shame as they feel they
have failed the social system, they will not look you
in the eyes and almost never ask for anything.
The #1 industry in San Fran is tourism
You've got to let love rule!
I just read a review of a new book that
lists the White House as one of the most haunted buildings
in the US. Reportedly, almost every president has experienced
the spirit of Lincoln in one form or another inside the
White House. Spirits are real and among us, it is those
who are sensitive enough to the energy of the spirits
than can feel or see them. These powers are strongest
in young children and diminish as we age.
On the plane to Tokyo I just watched Die
Hard 4, this is a movie that did not need to be made.
The story was entirely implausible. Computer hackers running
around with laptops take over every major system of communications
in America from our power grids and water supplies to
controlling individual air force fighter jets. Despite
the major flaws, the movie was mildly entertaining and
was helped by engaging acting by the "Mac guy"
from the Apple TV commercials who played the hacker hero
in the movie. Bruce Willis was trying hard, but the movie
lacked the mojo of the previous Die Hard flicks. Die Hard
5, Bruce saves the nursing home he is in from terrorists.
Speaking of nursing homes, how about Harrison Ford in
the next Indiana Jones flick.
If you haven't noticed, Louisiana, home
to some of the most down-home, good ole boy crooked politics
anywhere, has just elected a Generation X, Hindu Indian,
Catholic convert, Republican Governor. A crisis can bring
about major change. The mismanagement of hurricane Katrina
was the catalyst for change, just like the crisis of a
looming civil war in 1860 allowed for some geeky, hillbilly
lawyer from Illinois to go all the way to Washington and
get elected president.
President Hillary? I guess there is a
good chance it may happen, I just get the feeling it won't
I went to Target and K-Mart on this trip
to SFO. K-Mart really sucked. The people were very friendly
which was pleasant, but they were also rather incompetent
when I asked them for help. The layout of the store sucked
compared to Target and overall product selection sucked.
K-Mart food sucked. Target had Little Caesars and Starbucks
which are valid options. Easy to see why Wal-Mart and
Target are kicking the poo poo out of K-Mart
I had a much worse experience at Toys-R-Us.
I went in looking to spend quite a bit of money on some
specific items and didn't find anything I wanted. A worker
there told me about a specialty toy store called Talbots
in San Mateo which got $70 of my money on items like 1st
grade level reading books and balsa wood airplanes. Again,
it is easy to see why Wal-Mart and Target are kicking
the doo doo out of Toys-R-Us, there is little difference
between the toy section and Target and Toys-R-Us. Toys-R-Us
should offer more specialty and unique toys rather than
the standard ones that Target and Wal-Mart are hawking.
Did you ever wonder about what the world
would be like if there were no islands east of China and
the country of Japan never existed? People would never
have thought of eating raw fish, the G7 (now G8) would
have been all "Caucasian" countries, and our
TV's would still have big knobs on them. What if there
was another set of islands even further than Japan, what
sort of cuisine and cultural influences are we missing
from that phantom country that never existed?
Japanese ballplayers are playing major
roles in MLB this post-season. Japanese baseball will
continue to turn into a minor league feeding system for
Major League Baseball. You could almost call it AAA+ ball
or JAA ball. Trust me, these Japanese ball players are
much happier in the US than playing in Japan where teams
treat them like they are in the military.
We had a major blow-out Halloween party
at the mckellin abode in Meguro-ku the day before I left
for San Fran. 50 folks invited 22 adults and 28 kids.
Tons of fun. At dusk the kids went trick or treating tearing
around the neighborhood at predetermined friendly neighbors
we stocked up with candy. The adults went through 9 bottles
of champagne (among other booze) led by Andy Anderson
of Eden Prarie Minnesota who must have drank 3 of the
bottles himself. Kyoko was Hannah Montana and Yoshie Nobu
was Troy Bolton from High School Musical, good humor.
Once again I was a Thai Buddhist Monk which is easy and
always a costume I feel comfortable in. Anna and Alice
watched me get my haircut to 3mm earlier in the day at
a barber shop to help make the costume look more authentic.
I never get tired of AC/DCs Back in Black.
I think it sold 35M copies which would rank it in the
top 5 albums ever. There are a lot of good videos of AC/DC
with Bon Scott on You Tube.
Miyoshi Umeki recently died
She was the Japanese actress who became the first Asian
to win an Academy Award for her role as Red Buttons' wife
in the 1957 film "Sayonara". She was 78. Umeki,
was also known for playing the housekeeper on the TV series
"The Courtship of Eddie's Father". Can you remember
the theme music to that show? Hum or sing it quietly to
yourself now please "People want to tell you about
my best friend
I can't think of anything for this bullet
point so I will just write this sentence.
Heads up - my girls will be in Hawaii
from Feb 19 and I will arrive Feb 22, we will return to
the Megalopolis on March 1. Carolyn, Jim, Keimei &
Atsuko will also come, and you, my dear, are personally
invited to join us. We always have great weather for swimming
thanks to Aunt Barb so make your reservation now.
Michigan will probably mess up Big Ten
football again this year. First they lose to APPALACIAN
STATE to ruin their season, now they will probably get
fired up and beat Ohio State ruining any chance for a
Big Ten National Champion.
- We'll, it is now 3 hours and 28 minutes until I arrive
at Narita airport. I am gonna drink some water and take
a nap. Goodbye
||ICA President Message, WirelessWatch
quoted in Wireless
||Longevity, Tiger Takes PGA, Rudy G, Visto
& PTS Press Release (Again!)
oldest person dies in Japan at 114. Japanese women are
the world's oldest living people, in what experts attribute
to a traditionally healthy diet and high standard of medical
care. Their life expectancy was a record 85.81 years in 2006,
according to the government. Japanese men are the world's
second oldest with a life expectancy of 78.8 second only to
men in Iceland who on average live to be 79.4.
humor and smarmy inside news here, daily - bookmark it
if you give a sh*t
How about that Tiger Woods? Winner again! The PGA is definitely
#4 in stature out of the Majors in golf. It is the Ringo Starr,
Zeppo Marx, and Shemp of Major golf. If I were British I would
feel insulted that the PGA, as one of the four "majors",
is somehow considered an equal of The Open. In rankings, The
Open is definately #1 with the Masters slightly ahead of the
US Open for the #2 spot. The PGA is a sorry-assed, distanced
#4. Still, hurray for our boy Tiger to get #13! Good on yah
McKellin.com's preferred candidate Rudy
G showing strong support. Don't underestimate this man
to successfully take on Hillary head-on. He has been licking
his chops to devour Hillary since May 19, 2000 when he decided
to withdraw from the Republican primary for NY Senate due
to prostate cancer. Americans must decide whether the man
who saved New York can also govern America. The fact that
he is alienated from his children and has a foul temper is
worrying, however the man is a leader and has proven it under
duress. Managing NYC is definitely not an easy job and he
left the city better than when he found it.
I have known for several months that Rudy can, and, will
perform confidentially, convincingly and Presidential on the
big stage. Currently Hillary still enjoys her cocoon of sycophantic
groupies and Bill's star-power. Next summer she will need
to leave her safety corner and enter the center of the ring
to take on Rudy G mano-a-mano. This is will when will learn
who has the bigger cajones, and who can elevate their game
to convince Americans they can lead. Leadership is what Americans
will value in this election after our current leadership vacuum
with our Texas President and Congress with an unheard of 18%
approval rating. How do we know there will Presidential debates
producing giant political fireworks in the Summer of 2008?
The Tao! - The way that events naturally unfold will lead
to these debates and some seriously good political entertainment.
Rudy vs. Hillary Rodham Clinton - Classic, historic, important,
and coming soon!
launches new service in Japan English
Japanese - Nikkei,
English - Yahoo,
||David Beckham, New England Sports, Visto
Partner Site Press Release
BECKHAM AS PETER SELLERS - I have finally begun to
understand the why there is always so much hype around little
David Beckham. He is like the Peter Sellers character, Chauncy
Gardener, in the movie Being There. Beckham is just so incredibly
empty that there is something very pure and innocent about
him. Both Beckham and Chauncy Gardener are illiterate, simple-minded
and harmless. The story of Beckham in the US is pure fluff,
but better than the continuing negative stories of Bonds,
NBA officials, etc. At the end of the movie, Chauncy walks
on water. David Beckham will have a higher chance of walking
on water than building a Pro Soccer league in the US. Soccer
is a great sport if you are watching the English Premier League
where the level of play is high and teams have long histories
and rabid fans. The hype surrounding the LA Galaxy will die
down very quickly from the flash-in-the-pan heights 3 weeks
back when Tom Cruise and Will Smith held a giant A-list Hollywood
welcome-bash for Becks and his trashy wife Posh. She is empty
too, but not in such an innocent way as the saintly Becks.
Pretty little St. Becks, dashing around in your own silly
spotlight in L.A., doing no harm, creating content for People
Magazine and The Sun.
NEW ENGLAND SPORTS - I have always been a Midwest
and West Coast guy, never much interested the East Coast or
it's sports teams, until now. With my man the (still) electric
Randy Moss on the Pats, and Garnett on the Celts, suddenly
Boston area sports is very attractive. Now let's add in Matsuzaka
on the BoSox, when he pitches in the post season it will be
must see TV. Who can cheer for the lowly Vikings in 2007?
VISTO LAUNCHES NEW SERVICE IN JAPAN - Visto Japan
just launched a new service here in Japan. (actually a more
of a new channel to market) The Press Release says it all
here in English
Nikkei BP - good article comparing us favorably to Blackberry
Nikkei BP IT Pro - article favorably comparing us to Blackberry,
screen shot of Japanese screen
Fuji Sankei - good summary of release
Yahoo! Japan News - summary article based on Fuji Sankei
Mobile Crunch - 3 paragraph summary of the release
Yahoo! Finance - straight copy of release
Business Week - one paragraph summary
Wireless Developer Network - straight copy of release
SysCon Media - straight copy of release
Symbian One - straight copy of release
TMCnet - summary of release
Global Investor.Com - Summary of release
ArriveNet - Summary of release
Unstrung - summary of release
NewsBlaze - straight copy of release
||Fake Steve, Paglia on Newt, Beaches
Have you seen this blog by the Fake
Steve Jobs? It is incredible, written for guys with a
wicked sense of humor and some knowledge of the Valley. Steve
hammers on Bill Gates, Novell, Bono, Larry Ellison, Michael
Moore, etc. Fake Steve talks about getting buzzed and then
crank calling John Scully and telling him he wants John to
come back and run Apple because Steve is so busy with Pixar
and other things. Funny and sharp content. There is a lot
of content so you can scroll down quickly to see who he is
Fellow journalist (you know we are just kidding here folks!)
Camlle Paglia is alive and well and elquantly writing about
American politics and society at large. Her most recent articles
For those of you rushed or too lazy to click on Ms Paglia,
here are some quotes from the article I will paste for you.
Paglia's assessment of Bush and Gingrich are so 100% accurate,
that it is difficult to imagine articulating it better than
In my view, the president has shown
terrible judgment in choosing advisors (from the vice president
on down), who have not served him well. My lack of confidence
in the president's managerial ability is based on his weird
reluctance to fire anyone, no matter how mediocre. This is
not the trait of a strong, capable leader who claims to serve
a higher cause.
How about this mastery of the English language when discussing
Newt Gingrich -
I find him to be overall a depthless
thinker, spewing out an endless stream of bright but disconnected
"ideas" whose main function is to advertise his
own putative brilliance. He's showy and narcissistic, with
a smirky adolescent precocity.
Bonds Hits 756! - Who cares? SF folks are pretending to care
and ignoring that this event is seriously tainted. Good buddy
Bernie Lincicome wrote a good piece on number 755 and the
whole stupid chase here.
Top Beaches in Japan
1 - Kamakura - close to Tokyo. Many pretty girls.
Great beach houses with drinks, food, showers. Water can be
a little gamey at times for swimming, but a great beach to
see. Kamakura is also one of the best historical sightseeing
areas in Japan with numerous temples and the famous Kamakura
Buddha. Great day trip, even if you are alone. Good hiking
or just the beach.
2 - Onjuku - Great white beach with giant waves,
wide-open ocean. Totally clean. Comfortable Express train
from Tokyo is 1.5 hours and drops you off at Onjuku. Sister
city of Acapulco believe it or not.
3 - Chigasaki - Birthplace of surfing in Japan
and hometown of Kyoko McKellin! Great veiws of Mt. Fuji and
laid back atomosphere
Kamakura Buddha Here!
We are not human beings
having a spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings
having a human experience.
||With my girls enjoying life with their
cousins in the US, I finally have had time to give a facelift
to mckellin.com. I will join them shortly and we will return
to Japan on July 16. From now on I should be able to update
the site "on the fly", so you can expect more frequent
updates the Commentary section you are now reading. As always,
thank you for your patronage!
Hawaii Governor Lingle / Gay Republicans
Along with other business leaders at the American
Chamber of Commerce in Japan, this week I was honored to have
lunch with Governor Linda Lingle from the great state of Hawaii.
She is the real deal, eloquent and intelligent, and she has
great plans to expand the Hawaii economy beyond just tourism.
Against all odds she was elected Governor. Born in Missouri,
Jewish, rumored lesbian and Republican in a Democratic stronghold,
she won her first term in 2002. Wikipedia mentions in it's
bio of Lingle
"The state Democratic Party was accused, although there
was no evidence, of launching a whispering campaign that alleged
that Lingle was a lesbian, and that because she was Jewish,
she would abolish Christmas as a state holiday." WOW!
Speaking of gay Republicans, the Log
Cabin Republicans have an awesome platform - "We
believe in low taxes, limited government, strong defense,
free markets, personal responsibility, and individual liberty.
Log Cabin represents an important part of the American family-taxpaying,
hard working people who proudly believe in this nation's greatness."
Why do so many stupid Republicans waste their time attacking
gays - Let Freedom Ring! There is no party for those of us
interested in fiscal responsibility and total freedom. Fred
Thompson is not the real deal, lets hope his campaign implodes.
To me he looks like another guy not ready for the Big Time,
just like our current President.
For those of you who have yet to see the new
TV show Lil Bush, you need not wait until it's next broadcast
on Comedy Central. If you go to YouTube you can see the key
parts of the first three episodes. The show has a great premise
and some good moments, but ultimately it is just not that
funny (unfortunately). One item I found amusing is Little
Cheney snarls and makes noises like the penguin in the first
Batman movie, it is pretty funny. However this show is a swing
and a miss and the premise seems limiting and should soon
get tiring. (NOTE: added June 25 - Comedy Central has blocked
Lil Bush on You Tube)
We just measured Alice's height at 3 years old
and she is 2 centimeters taller than Anna at the same age.
The kid is a giant.
Competitiveness / Casinos in Michigan
The results of a global
innovation study by the Economist has found that Japan
leads the global rankings for innovation, followed by Switzerland,
the USA, and Sweden. The study looked at the per capita number
of patents a given country has made as well as executive opinions
about innovation in general. The study found that Japan has
3.5 time the per capita submission of patents visa vis the
USA. I think a lot of these Japanese patents are Univ research
patents and less with a specific business need. I have a good
buddy who is now searching Japan for undervalued patents and
selling the rights globally.
Can you believe the Blue
Chip Casino in Michigan City is investing $300 million
for expansion? Also New
Buffalo is getting the Four Winds Casino Resort on Aug
1st. Economic studies predict the casino will support 3,500
new jobs in the community, including 2,000 at the casino.
In addition, it should provide the state of Michigan with
an estimated $20 million in annual revenues and provide more
than $4 million a year to local governments and agencies.
At an estimated cost of $160 million, the 52 acre development
is expected to draw more than four million visitors a year
to the New Buffalo area. Future phases of the project include
a 160-room hotel and a special events center. WOW! Big time.
Shorewood property prices are only going to go up!
Everybody should have the right to live within
one hour of a decent casino.
All the news one needs from Michiana is here
at the Red Arrow
Who ever knew this kick booty waterpark
was in Porter IN.
Who doesn't love a good mojito! Here is the
Will Cuba once again be the party hotspot of the Caribbean
- or not?! Yes it will! And in our lifetimes, soon!
Hey Todd Mitchell, we hope to see you in Bethany
in early July!
Ramblings / Sarkozy & Blair / Macau
Japan goes Supersize! - Mega
Mac burgers become a big hit - four meat patties layered
between three slices of bun with cheese and lettuce.
Croquet tournament confirmed for July 10 at
the Ken Olsson Croquet Grounds in Chicago. Top seed Rob Haley
will make an appearance and mckellin.com is poised for an
South Park Creators Making G-Rated 'Giant
Monsters Attack Japan!'
Should Paris Hilton spend time in Jail? You
French Toast! / Tony Blair
We can all toast France on electing Sarkozy
to the Presidency. The election was interesting, but now that
Sarkozy has actually won French politics should become even
more entertaining. We will see if Sarkozy can actually make
a change. One change bound to come is Americans around the
world can stop eating Freedom Fries and start eating French
Fries (no super-size, please) again.
While Sarkozy storms to power in France, Tony
Blair limps out of office in the UK to the relief of most
Britons. Blairfs dalliance with Bush damaged him dearly no
doubt, and, if he would not have sent his troops to Iraq,
Blair would have probably been able to hold on to his much-loved
job a while longer. Blair didn`t know the war would end up
being so poorly managed, and that eventually he would have
very little (or no) influence over Bush. There is no doubt
he is a master politician, and he will continued to be loved
in the US where his popularity is much higher than the UK.
It is a similar situation for Bill Clinton, he is a rock star
in Europe but a bit tiresome to the American public. Poor
W Bush has a 28% approval rating at home (that is low, low,
low), and overseas it is probably less than half of that.
When W finishes his term he will be loved nowhere on this
planet. Some are saying W is worst president in American history.
I don't know, we Americans have had some pretty poor leaders
amongst our Lincolns and Jeffersons.
Hong Kong / Macau
I am writing from the train on my way to the
new airport in Hong Kong to return home to Tokyo. The train
is easy to use and fast, I do prefer the old airport though
which was right in the city and left one just a 15 min taxi
ride to their hotel. It is amazing there was never an accident
at the old airport with airplanes landing between the high-rise
apartment blocks of densely populated Kowloon. I met up with
good buddy Eric Helfer from Cisco and he showed me some of
the party hot-spots in town. Hong Kong is a very happening
place and lively. Business is booming and the city is a lot
of fun. Given the right deal, I could live here.
On Saturday I took a day trip to Macau which was great. After
the 50 min jetfoil boat ride from Hong Kong, my first stop
was the Sands Casino where I quickly learned that it was not
going to be my lucky day. However, I knew that a little poor
luck at the Sands would not deter me from having a great time,
which I did. Macau has become a bizarre, but wonderful, mix
of Chinese, Portuguese and Las Vegas. The old Portuguese streets,
buildings and Cathedrals have been restored and are a pleasure
to stroll about. The new construction taking place in this
former backwater is astounding. China took control of Macau
in just 1999. In 2002 China opened up the casino business
to outsiders, and in 2007 Macau passed the Las Vegas strip
in gaming revenues. With all the new casinos coming online
shortly I predict Macau will double it's gaming revenues within
4 or 5 years. The Venetian, which opens shortly, will have
3,000 luxury suites, each one larger than the size of the
average 2 bedroom apartment in Hong Kong. It will have 1 million
square feet of luxury brands shopping space and more gaming
tables than any other casino in the world passing the current
record holder the Macau Sands. Macau is made up of 3 islands,
and all the land between the islands of Coloane and Taipa
is being reclaimed to make room for the Venetian and other
ventures. On a tourist scale of 1 - 10, I rank Macau a 9.8.
I don't give Macau a perfect 10 only because it is not kid-friendly
for those with little ones, and you may get hit by a car walking
the narrow streets by one of the aggressive drivers. Otherwise,
Macau is a great destination for a day or two (or 3 maximum),
but there is no real reason to spend several days there.
Macanese history is interesting and I will share
with you 2 remarkable episodes. The first takes place many
centuries ago when the Dutch started to wrestle control of
the Asian trade routes from the Portuguese (can you imagine
these 2 teeny countries where once the main world powers?).
The Dutch attacked Macau in 1604 and 1607 but were thwarted.
However the profits of the silk trade were so huge that the
Dutch just could not give up. In 1622 the Dutch sent a superior
force of 14 war ships and 800 soldiers who were able to catch
the Portuguese by surprise with no warships for protection
and only 150 garrison soldiers. The Dutch were overly-confident
and brought their ships right next to Macau island to pound
the lone fort with artillery while Dutch troops started to
land in the north of the island. What happened next was either
pure luck, or an act of a benevolent Catholic god. In the
face of the advancing Dutch, the Portuguese soldiers began
to panic and abandon their posts when a Jesuit priest who
was visiting, fired a lucky cannon shot which somehow directly
hit the gunpowder ship and a tremendous explosion followed
leading to more ships to be sunk. The Dutch had no more ammo
to attack and they left Macau alone after that. The new strategy
for the Dutch and English was to just bypass the Portuguese
in Macau. The Dutch where able to secure a monopoly on trade
with Japan using Batavia (present day Jakarta) as a post and
the British set up in Hong Kong next door to Macau to trade
with China. A single, lucky cannon shot changed the course
of history and allowed the Portuguese to stay on in Macau
for almost four more centuries.
The other historical event took place in 1974 when the Portuguese
government was taken over by a leftist military coup. The
new government decided it was a terrible thing to be a colonial
power and they quickly cut loose all overseas territories
with little or no preparation resulting in disaster for some
former colonies such as East Timor and Mozambique. When the
Portuguese moved out of East Timor, Indonesia quickly, brutally
and illegally annexed the former colony resulting in a civil
war that left over 200,000 dead prompting a UN peacekeeping
force to be deployed. When Portugal tried to hand Macau over
to China they got a surprise from the Chinese who said "no
thanks, we don't want it, please go ahead and administer the
territory in perpetuity". How do you think the Macanese
must have felt? They were about to lose their Portuguese passports
and fall under the rule of the nutty Red Chinese gov't fresh
off the dismal failure of the Cultural Revolution. Both governments
basically said "we don't want you". From that dark
moment, things have gotten considerably better for the territory.
The Portuguese began to take pride in their colony and throughout
the 1990's renovated many of the historic buildings, cathedralfs,
seminaries, streets and forts. The old historic districts
are beautiful and well preserved and a great place to walk
around. The economy and tourism are booming. Las Vegas Sands
chairman Sheldon Adelson, the world's fourteenth richest man,
said that Las Vegas should be called "America's Macau".
The 1999 handover of Macau to China brought
to an end 442 years of unbroken Portuguese rule. No other
colony, anywhere in the world, had lasted as long as this.
Hong Kong / Macau is a "must see" destination for
everyone at least once before they depart this life. Don't
wimp out, start making your plans now, and let me know the
dates you will be there.
/ Singapore Airlines / Movies / Anna in 1st grade
Hong Kong / Macau
May 9 I will fly to the magnificent and captivating
city of Hong Kong for some meetings. I have not been to Hong
Kong in exactly 10 years when it was still flying under the
under the Union Jack. I will spend my one free day in the
former Portuguese colony of Macau. Macau has a great history
and its own unique cuisine. Macanese food is a mix of Portuguese,
Indian, Malay, and Chinese, and it offers a unique and wonderful
eating experience found nowhere else on this planet. The big
news about Macau since the 1999 handover of power from Portugal
to China, is the opening of large Las Vegas-style casinos.
Stanley Hofs multi-decade monopoly on Macau casinos is finished
and the global casino kingpins have moved in. According to
figures released in January, Macau's gambling receipts increased
by 22% in 2006 to reach $6.95 billion, placing Macau just
ahead of the Las Vegas strip, previously the global leader.
No doubt the Chinese love to gamble big time.
The Las Vegas Sands Casino opened in Macau in
May of 2004, and it is now the largest casino under one roof
in the world. In September Las Vegas mega-operator, Steve
Wynn, opened a casino aimed at a slightly wealthier clientele;
it was followed in October by the Galaxy, intended for a less
affluent crowd. Macau is beating Las Vegas in gaming revenues
and the majority of big-name casinos have not yet even come
online! In the pipeline to open soon are:
- The Venetian Macao (2007)
- Four Seasons (2008)
- MGM Grand Macau (2007)
- Ponte 16 (2007)
- Far East Consortium Complex (2007)
- Grand Hyatt (2009)
- Galaxy Cotai Megaresort (2008)
- City of Dreams (2008)
- Oceanus (2008)
- Mandarin Oriental Lago Nam Van (2009)
WOW, that is a lot of big time casinos to open
in a short time! The number of visitors to Macau has grown
from 10m in 2003 to 22m in 2006 and Goldman Sachs estimates
the number will reach 45m by 2009. Count me as one visitor
for 2007, and probably again in 2008! Post-Macau report to
post in mckellin.com later in May, make sure to come back
Singapore Air / Recent Movies
It is mid-April as I write this and we are on
Singapore Airlines Flt SQ637 from Tokyo to Singapore. Singapore
Airlines economy class is very superior to any US carrier.
Great food, drinks and service. The coffee is really good,
the food is one level below restaurant quality which puts
it 2 levels above the average grub on United or NWA. 60 movies
on demand and there are some good ones. On the way to Singapore
I watched The Departed and the new James Bond flick, DiCaprio
is a superstar thespian. On the return to Tokyo I watched
The Queen which was fascinating and surprisingly engaging,
Helen Mirren deserved her statue. Now I am in the middle of
The Aviator which I believe is not quite as good as the other
3 movies, but still good. It is better for Marty Scorsese
that he won his statue for The Departed and not The Aviator.
Almost every scene in The Aviator feels a bit too staged and
forced, not as natural as The Departed or The Queen (still
DiCaprio is dreamy once again).
Regarding The Queen - Wow, how Tony Blairfs
stock has dropped since the early days of his reign when he
was like a breath of fresh air after John Major. The real
superstar of post WWII British politics no doubt is Maggie
Thatcher. Hopefully our friends in France will elect Sarkozy
and he will surprise us all by being an energetic proponent
of change in that stagnant country and by injecting some competition
back into the economy and society. The French 35 hour workweek
cannot succeed in a world inhabited by emerging powers like
China and India with their hard-working, talented populations
hungry for success.
Singapore is just north of the equator so it
is always warm and sometimes very hot. My taxi driver on the
way to the airport said if one is caught with a single bullet
in Singapore they will be put in jail for several years, getting
caught with a gun will result in hanging. Excessively harsh,
but definitely effective! Singapore always feels extremely
safe, and is extremely safe. When one looks at the state of
Singaporefs neighbors, there is no doubt Singapore is doing
many things right. I am beginning to like Singapore more and
more on each visit. Still I have no desire to live there,
especially compared to the giant, wonderful, (equally) safe
and (much more) lively Tokyo.
You may have seen our lone picture this year
for the Cherry Blossom season. This belies the fact that we
were out almost every day or night walking / eating / drinking
under the cherry blossoms. Overall it was a decent year for
Cherry Blossoms, we had about 8 decent days before the blossoms
started to blow away. We are a family that really enjoys this
glorious time of year in Tokyo.
Anna started her new, temporary public elementary
school in early April. She really likes it and is learning
more and more about what Japanese society is really like.
In June she will quit the school and fly to the US for 4 weeks,
upon returning she will start at a private Catholic school,
Seisen International School, not too far from our house. Education
at Seisen is in English. Hopefully she will be able to keep
her Japanese level near fluent moving forward, she will need
to work extra time to learn the 3000 characters required to
read. On her 4th day of 1st grade she decided she could walk
to school all by herself which she did successfully while
her Daddy stealthily following behind at a distance. She has
quickly adjusted into school life with a couple minor bumps
and really appears to enjoy the experience. I anticipate no
problem in the change to the international school, we talk
about it often and she appears ready for the change.
Our good friend Trent B from Mpls is in Waikiki
studying Bikram Yoga for 9 weeks, sounds great. Bikram is
a controversial guy who has patented his routine and claims
it as his own. Yoga is thousands of years old and it is difficult
to think that someone could own moves or techniques, but Bikram
is doing it. Obviously he has some good teachings and many
are finding their path through his program which he came up
with while he was teaching in Japan many years ago.
We will be in Michiana June 29 - July 11, then in MN. Hope
to many of you then.
/ Skiiing in Niigata
We are back from an exceptional trip to Hawaii
with Carolyn and Jim. Carolyn, Kyoko, Anna & Alice spent
2 weeks in Waikiki with Jim and I joining for the second week.
Bright sunshine ruled everyday and we hung at the beach and
numerous free hula concerts at Kuhio beach and in front of
the Imperial hotel where we stayed. We spent one day on Bellows
Beach in the wide open ocean with giant waves. Surrounded
by giant steep volcanic mountains it must be one of the worlds
most beautiful beaches. Anna and Alice got quite brave in
the waves and where crashing around pretty good. The girls
enjoyed playing with Grandpa and swimming with Grandma. Waikiki
is user friendly and lots of fun, we all had a great time
and are planning the trip next year already. It is a great
place to meet, halfway between Tokyo and the mainland.
I went skiing in Niigata (Uchiishi Yama) one
weekday before leaving for Hawaii and the mountains were gorgeous
as you can see in the
picture I took with my Nokia N73. While the mountains
are much shorter, they look like a miniature version of the
Himalayas. I had not been skiing in over a decade and was
a bit rusty. The rental skis where too short, unwaxed and
the edges not sharp at all so I was slipping and sliding around
a lot and could not go too fast. Still, it was a glorious
sunny day and great experience. There were great restaurants
all over the ski hill. I had an excellent Korean lunch of
bibinba and a superb salad. In the afternoon I went to a German
beer restaurant and drank some very good draft beer. The trip
by bullet train was only 70 minutes from Tokyo station to
the ski hill where a shuttle bus brought me to the slope.
From the moment I left my door to the time I hit the slopes
was a little less than 3 hours.
at the Superbowl
Poor Rex Grossman, how is this guy gonna handle
the off-season? He has proven he will never be able to lead
any team to a Superbowl victory. He is damaged goods, and
now it has been demonstrated in front of the whole nation.
Chicago fans will never welcome him back as the Bear`s leader.
Trent Dilfer`s record as the worst QB to win a Superbowl is
safe for a while. You gotta be happy for Tony Dungy and Peyton
Prince was indeed princely in his halftime concert
playing parts of songs from Jimmy Hendrix (Bob Dylan), Ike
& Tina Turner (CCR) and Foo Fighters. The idea to use
the marching band as back up was genius, worked well, and
was a throwback to the old days of halftime entertainment.
Prince was all alone on stage and didnft rely on anyone else,
just pure confidence and showmanship. He didn`t just play
a couple hits like previous halftime acts, but actually made
a show by incorporated hits from others old and new, and a
bunch of his songs in the mix. The only other musician who
the music just flowed out of so freely was Mozart, both have
an incredible sense of rhythm and melody. Purple rain from
the purple people eater himself. Can they get Prince to play
the halftime show every year?
Here is a thought provoking interview from 1995
in Playboy with Camille
Paglia, who is sometimes referred to as an antifeminist
feminist, antigay lesbian and antiliberal liberal. She is
sharp and thinks outside the box. Many people in North American
society need a kick in the pants and she gives it to them,
especially the liberal elite.
||Slingbox / Presidential Election
A new day has truly dawned. As I write this,
I am watching cable TV from the US live on laptop here in
Tokyo through my new Slingbox.
Soon I will set up Slingbox on my HTC TyTN Windows Mobile
5 mobile phone I carry around in Japan. 16 years ago I had
to wait until the Tuesday morning newspapers in Tokyo to get
the NFL scores from the previous Sunday`s games. 12 years
ago the internet improved live sports greatly, however now
on my laptop anytime I can watch live LA Laker basketball!
And lots of other good stuff! Life has changed, forever. Amen.
Of the jokers out there, mckellin.com is coming
out early to endorse Rudy G. On the Dem side, watch out for
John Edwards to steal it from Hill and Obama. Hill is not
a natural politician and voters may never warm to her. Obama,
with only 2 years in the senate, is totally unprepared to
be president. We elected an inexperienced guy last time and
look where it got us. Hillary has the shrewdest political
advisor in Bill and together they have proven to be ruthless
political operators. The superior men from the Enconmist put
it gMr Obama is now standing in one of the most dangerous
places on earth - the road between Mrs Clinton and the White
House.h A presidential campaign is rough and brutal, and Obama
is about to get schooled. Hill has a better chance then Obama,
but I think John Edwards will most likely steal it. His strengths
are he is slick and he is not Hillary. He is a populist slick-willy
who will say anything to get elected. And, he is battle tested
by the presidential run he had with John Kerry 4 years ago.
Pretty boy. Again, we repeat, we like Rudy G.
||What is all this New Age bullshit?!? There are so
many flaky ideas and people running around it ills. There is
nothing New about the very best of the New Age philosophies
out there. Even today, the finest teachings come from Chinese
and Indian cultures starting over 5,000 years ago. India perfected
yoga, advanced breathing techniques and meditation. China invented
preventative herbal medicine, acupuncture, and Tai Chi / martial
arts. Everything needed to live to 100 with enlightenment has
been part of our communal knowledge for thousands of years.
Am I a big fan of New Age? You betcha, but it is a big field
and many of the people in it are whacked out. Do I believe in
Energy? Of course. The human body and spirit are interrelated
and constantly interact with the environment, any disharmony
in the external and internal condition of a person will create
illness and disease. Balance & Harmony. Stretch, breathe,
exercise, eat fruits and vegetables, keep your mind alert, don`t
||New Years in Chigasaki / Dali /
DJ Ozma & NHK / Jim & Carolyn 50th Anniversay Poem
Happy New Year You`all! We had an excellent
New Year`s holiday near the beach in Chigasaki at Kyoko`s
parent`s house. Anna and Alice`s cousins Shingo and Ayano
came for a couple days of high energy rowdiness. The weather
overall was good and there was no wind at all which made for
walks on the beach quite enjoyable, although there were no
waves for the surfers. This season always has wonderful for
clear skies as you can tell from the pictures we took of the
sunrise over Enoshima island and the sunset behind Mt Fuji.
To top it off we had a giant moon each night, Jan 3rd will
be the full moon.
Last week I went to the Salvador
Dali exhibition at the Mori Art Center in Ueno park. What
a mind trip! Dali is a master, and extremely entertaining.
Some of his pictures are like looking directly into someone
else`s dream. I am a huge fan and am glad I didn`t let this
opportunity pass by. I have really began to take pleasure
in art over the last several years, mostly due to the influence
of Kyoko who is a huge art fan. We got to see an excellent
Monet exhibition 9 years back with Carol Gonsky at the Chicago
Art Institute, and someday soon we will go to the Lourve in
Paris. Other places in Europe we want to go are Italy and
Sweden. I visited Paris 1 1/2 years back after a 20 year absence;
I had forgotten was a great and beautiful city it is. The
buildings and streets in Paris are glorious, at the street
level Tokyo is for the most part an ugly city. At least there
are lots of Japanese females around which helps the scenery
NHK`s annual Kohaku New Years party/concert
this year brought an unexpected surprise to that boring, out
of date, staid show. I only watched 10 minutes, but happened
to see DJ Ozma`s sing when his dancers ripped off their clothes
and started dancing topless
for many minutes. NHK and Kohaku is supposed be family friendly
TV so it was quite a scandal.
The one second of Janet Jackson`s nipple at the Superbowl
2 years back was nothing compared to this. At the end the
girls ripped off their skirts to reveal only a fig leaf covering
their privates with a phallic white ornament hanging on the
leaf. Quite entertaining, DJ Ozma pulled a fast one on NHK.
The real crime here is that NHK sucks so bad, and Kohaku,
which is supposed to be the year`s premier concert event is
so stale and the production quality has not changed since
the 1950`s it seems. I am sure there are some guys in their
60`s and 70`s calling the shots for the show. NHK should allow
MTV to produce the event once to show them how good it could
be. Ratings for the mighty Kohaku have dwindled from it`s
heyday in the 50`s, 60`s & 70`s. (UPDATED
Jan 13 - Photo
from DJ Ozma)
Sorry for the delay, here is Jim & Carolyn's poem
from the 50th wedding anniversary surprise party in Maine
CAN`T BELIEVE WHAT YOU KIDS DID,
AROUND, ALL THE PLANS YOU HID.
KEPT THEM FROM US, WE DONfT KNOW HOW
WE SAW YOU ALL, WE COULD ONLY SAY gWOWh.
ARE ALL SUPER GUYS YOU ALWAYS MAKE US GLAD.
JUST A TIME OR TWO WHEN YOU MADE US SAD.
THE BEST GROUP TWO PARENTS COULD EVER WISH FOR.
LOVE YOU ALL, WE CHERISH AND ADORE.
GUESS WE MUST HAVE DONE A PRETTY GOOD JOB.
KIDS, GRAND KIDS AND INLAWS, WHAT A MOB.
ORCHARD BEACH, UP IN MAINE, IT IS REALLY GREAT,
GATHER AND BE WITH US, TO HELP US CELEBRATE.
50 YEARS TOGETHER, SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY
THE PREACHER TOLD US THE WORDS TO SAY.
BEEN A GREAT RUN YOU HAVE MADE IT SUCH FUN
GET THE IDEA THAT THE GREAT RUN IS DONE.
STARTING OUT ON OUR NEXT 50 YEARS,
BE SHARING WITH YOU ALL OUR TEARS AND OUR CHEERS.
THANKS AGAIN FOR A WONDERFUL SURPIRSE,
GAVE US A LUMP IN OUR THROAT AND TEARS IN OUR EYES.
JIM AND CAROLYN
|2003 to 2006
||Commentary Archives: 2003
- 2004 / 2005
Feel with your head, think with your heart