Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We are good but bad as well.

One of the great things of having a blog is that it has fervent and loyal readers put comments.
But even more fantastic is to receive e-mail messages from fervent, loyal and concerned readers.
They choose to communicate in a more private setting and they enjoy the privilege to receive always a reply.
Logically, many questions asked in the e-mails concern issues not explained in the postings of the blog.
This hits a fine line that exists between the private life and the life as presented on the blog.

Because it must never be forgotten that there is a difference between the personality created on a blog and who that person is in reality.
The life as explained on the blog and the life as lived in reality.

Recently a fervent and loyal blog reader commented: “You are a good person”.
This is absolutely true.
However, it is true for the person as is presented on the blog.
Because in reality, there is not one person in the world who is good only.

We can be good persons, but we always have other, less good sides also.
There are no angels and saints.
To believe there are angels and saints among us is a dangerous fantasy.
To believe to be an angel or saint oneself is a mind out of control lost in delusions.

It will be an interesting exercise to not only publicly make known what a great person one is, but also explain what bad things one has done.

Public persons who have a most hard time to perform this exercise are politicians.
They have the belief that if they admit wrongdoing, this will influence negatively their reputation and will lower their chances to be voted back in the position they have.

But on a micro level the same phenomenon occurs.
Nobody introduces oneself to a new person explaining also nasty habits.
They are to be discovered later.

This explains why often we are disappointed in others.
We believe in the positive presentation of a person to discover later the negative sides.

This is the nature of the interaction between human beings.
The tendency to wish to present oneself in bright sunshine while keeping the dark clouds out of sight.

Therefore it helps to always keep in mind that there are neither saints nor angels.
To realize each person has two sides and to have the openness to deal with both sides and accept them.

So, this humble servant of all fervent and loyal blog readers is not a saint.
And certainly not an angel.
But neither the devil.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Fuso Santek 6

Building the FUSO SANTEK expedition vehicle is going ahead full speed.
Today work was done on the connecting system of the camper box to the chassis.
This will be with U-clamps and rubber parts.
The holders and upper rubber parts were installed today.

When the other side is ready also, a forklift truck will take the whole camper box off the FUSO SANTEK expedition vehicle.
This to enable to mount underneath the fresh water tanks.

Meanwhile the refrigerator has arrived and has been put in front of the FUSO SANTEK expedition vehicle.
Waiting until the camper box will be back on the truck.
Probably this fridge can only enter through a window opening.
It is a Dometic 8 cubic feet two-way refrigerator. Operating on propane and 120 volt.

What also have arrived, all the way from Europe, are the two roof vents.

Enormous windows of clear acrylic with build in curtain and bug screen.
These windows can open in different positions and are designed to be open even when driving up to 100 kilometres per hour.
Which happens to be the maximum speed of the FUSO SANTEK expedition vehicle.
These windows, made in Germany and called Seitz Heki 2, are not available in the USA and have been flown in especially for the FUSO SANTEK expedition vehicle.
Responsible for this great job was brother in law Jacques Kalle.

Meanwhile the Tempur-Medic mattress is waiting:


Another item purchased is an atomic clock.

At Fry’s, the electronic store, these clocks are very reasonably priced while serving greatly and being sophisticated.
The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology-Time and Frequency Division) has an atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado. This clock is hooked up to a radio transmitter in Fort Collins, Colorado and transmits the exact time.
The clock is basically a radio receiver and able to show the received radio signal as the time and the phase of the moon.
Clock made by La Crosse Technology.

Also at Fry’s a radio and cd player for the FUSO SANTEK expedition vehicle was purchased.

The Mitsubishi Fuso FG came without a spare tire, no tools for changing tires and no radio.
Beforehand research was done on the Internet to find adequate car audio equipment but concerning car audio it is a jungle out there.
In the end it was decided to go for the car radio with the biggest and brightest screen, besides the option of having a front Aux input to be able to plug in directly with a cable the XM Satellite Radio-receiver.

Step by step the FUSO SANTEK expedition vehicle is coming together.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

KO and OK

The San Clemente State Beach Park has a small gate in the back from where one has access to the real world.
From there one can cross the bridge spanning Highway 5 to where is a grocery store and a bicycle shop.
But because the grocery store sells bread which is 5 days overdue, better is to continue walking to another grocery store about 20 minutes away.

On a walk to the second grocery store to buy the Los Angeles Times and whole wheat bread some remarkable observations were made and a weird meeting took place.

First observation was the sign for a motel.
Rather decayed. We must hope that the rooms of this motel are not in the same condition as its sign. But what is puzzling about the sign is the word “English”. It is a motel in the United States, in California itself, so why did they ever choose to put the word “English” there?
There is one well-known English hotel, called “Fawlty Towers”, but the sign looks older than this hilarious 1976 TV-series of John Cleese and Connie Booth.

Second observation was a palm tree being broken and having support of the bed of a small pick up truck.
A sad sight, a palm tree broken. The result of an act of vandalism ? Could it be fixed? Or will it die?

Third observation during the walk was a car that very recently had its window smashed by a burglar to steal what was inside.
A sad sight as well.

Not far from the grocery store a young woman, blond, sleek and attractive, a big brown bag in her arm, came out of an apartment building and approached the servant of the loyal and fervent blog readers.
She said: “Let me hold your hand”.
That surprises any man.
But the normal procedure for holding hands with a lady is that one should have developed particular reasons.
Who holds hands just out of the blue?
With a total stranger meeting in the street?
She made an effort to grab the hand but by turning away while keeping looking at her this could be avoided.
A conversation was started with this strange woman.
A confusing story followed.
Kicked out.
Pneumonia.
Alcoholic.
A bag full of problems impossible to solve by holding hands.

There is a link between the three observations and the meeting with the attractive blond woman.
Decay.
Something fundamentally going in the wrong direction in the reality of the society.
A depressing thought.

But then another remarkable thing happened.
After buying the Los Angeles Times and bread the walk back to the San Clemente State Beach Park was completely uneventful.
Nothing happened and nothing exceptional was observed.
This brought everything back in balance.
The pepper and salt.
The black and white.
The Yin and Yang.
The front and the back.
The North and the South.
The KO and the OK.

When will we ever learn ?

When walking south on the beach in front of the San Clemente State Beach Park, first Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base is reached.
The beachfront of this army base is made available for army veterans and their guests to have their RV’s right on the beach including hook-ups.

A man was spotted wearing a cap with in bright golden letters: “Vietnam Veteran” and we may wonder if in 30 years time a man will be in the same place wearing a cap “Iraq Veteran”.
And we may wonder what will be on the cap of the man there in 60 and 90 years time.

A song heard this morning on XM-radio’s “Fine Tuning” channel inspired this thought.
Written in 1961 by Pete Seegers and made famous by Peter, Paul and Mary.
The lyrics are:

WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONE


Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

The lyrics of this song are also applicable for a situation encountered South of Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base.
Right on the beach is the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
This nuclear power plant generates 20 % of power to more than 15 million Californians.
Owned by the Southern California Edison Co. and the San Diego Gas & Electric, it is an old nuclear power plant.
Build in 1983 and 1984.
For this reason two reactors have been stopped being too old.

Recently, in Tokyo, Japan, the leading authority in nuclear energy was met, Prof.Dr. Takaya Kawabe, who explained that the only option at this moment in time we have to produce energy in a relative environmental friendly way, is nuclear power.
Nuclear power plants do produce nuclear waste but it is expected that in the future we will develop ways to deal with that.
Meanwhile nuclear power plants now do not pollute.
This is, when a nuclear power plant is managed well and kept in perfect condition.

The San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station takes its cooling water from the Ocean.
And returns it after use back into the ocean.
The enormous amount of 1.6 million gallons (6 million litres) per minute are dumped 8.600 yards (7.8 kilometres) into the ocean.

This is all very well if everything is operating as it should inside the nuclear power plant.
However, in the case of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, it has been discovered that it is leaking.
Meaning that radioactivity is contaminating the cooling water.
16 times above safe levels.

Of course the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is not stopped to fix the leaking. California cannot be without the 20 % of her need of electricity.
Economic reasons dominate also in this case the concern for the environment, the local population and our future.

When will we ever learn?
*****************************************


To learn more about the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, click on:

http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/news/homepage/article_1246083.php
http://www.sce.com/PowerandEnvironment/PowerGeneration/SanOnofreNuclearGeneratingStation/default.htm?goto=songs
http://www.animatedsoftware.com/environm/onofre/index.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Onofre_Nuclear_Generating_Station
http://www.aaenvironment.com/GreenNuclear.htm

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Tea party

At Santek Trailers in Riverside, California, USA, the crew works on Saturday as well. They work 6 days a week from 6.30 am to 3.30 pm. And having observed the crew for some time, the conclusion is that not only are they very skilled but very, very hard workers as well.
Impressing and inspiring to see them work.

Today they are finishing a huge truck that has been build for a film production company.
To serve as dressing, powder, make-up and bathrooms.
All the hard workers make a great effort for the customer to be able to pick it up today, therefore the FUSO SANTEK project is on hold.

Opportunity to leave the industrial area of Riverside.

Next to the buildings of Santek Trailers is an animal refuge. Lost and abandoned animals end up here. Day and night the desperate barking of dogs can be heard. They feel lost. Sad.
And this gets on the nerves of anyone having to hear this for days and nights at a time.
Also fresh air is needed. The industrial area of Riverside has polluted air.

Because the last time it has been such a pleasant experience, this weekend is spent again at San Clemente State Beach.
A one hour drive from Riverside.
It is a well organised and clean RV and tent-park where it is peaceful and next to the ocean.

Last time some magical things happened on the beaches of San Clemente and fervent and loyal blog readers will certainly remember this.
Far away from each other people had been drawing hearts in the sand with initials that were magically connected.

Yesterday, on the first beach walk, the magic continued.
First, a remarkable situation was observed. A man was intending to parasail but instead of being on the waves, he was just sitting there on the sand.
Obviously, he was stranded.
The wind was strong, the waves were wild and he just couldn’t handle the circumstances anymore.

Some distance from this stranded man, for a seabird the circumstances had been too extreme as well.
Dramatically posed on the sand was the body of a seabird.

Now we may ask ourselves why, when we see those two images, the seabird makes us have pity and the parasailer makes us laugh?
Both stranded: one dramatically, one ridiculously.

Tomorrow, Sunday February 24th, 2007, a major event will take place.
Every fervent and loyal blog reader is invited for a cup of tea around 4.30 pm.
This tea party takes place in the San Clemente State Beach Park in space 130.
For GPS users, the coordinates are 117.6002 W and 33.40294 N.
For driving directions, click on:
http://map.datastormusers.com/user1.cfm?user=3297

There will be a choice of black Lipton tea and Mexican Damiana tea.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Fuso Santek 5

It is really the great thing of publishing a blog like this that it offers the freedom to say whatever you want.
That is something to highly respect.
It is a privilege.
But privileges are dangerous if not shared.
It is an old wisdom: “Do not have. Share”.
This is why that any fervent and loyal reader has the option on this blog to publish a comment.
Based on the same terms.
This blog publisher expresses what he wants freely and so can his loyal and fervent readers.
Contrary to other blogs, where comments are censored, here anybody can say and express whatever a fervent and loyal reader wishes.
Even in an anonymous way.
This creates a balance between publisher of blog and reader.
A fervent and loyal blog reader might not always like what is being published.
Having the option to comment, optionally in an anonymous way what creates an opportunity to really go for it, creates an open platform where opinions can be expressed freely and openly making us demonstrate what democracy really means.
Blog publisher is not claiming to be 100 % knowledgeable nor being always right.
He is in the first place a human being.
Being criticised is always considered seriously and as a part of a learning process.
Being encouraged is always considered as a part of the learning process as well.

This connects to a conversation occurring today with Paul Westphal, the owner and manager of Santek Trailers building the exciting Santek Fuso expedition vehicle.

A product is a result of how minds are focused.
Paul Westphal has this amazing mentality that nothing is a problem.
Everything is a challenge.
An opportunity to learn.
Because he has total confidence that the Lord will take care of everything, his ego is not in the way.
Obviously, building a custom expedition vehicle, many issues have to be confronted.
It is pioneering.
Presenting a possible solution to an issue has a high chance of being of value only if it is disconnected from ego. The possible solution has nothing to do with the person presenting the solution but everything with the common cause which is to build a damned good expedition vehicle.
It is this chemistry with Paul Westphal and Roberto, the engineer of Santek Trailers, and Gayle in charge of logistics, which is fascinating to experience.
And resulting in a damn good Fuso Santek.

Let’s see some images of activities happening with the Fuso Santek today.


Here we see how the boxes on the driver's side are welded to the main structure.


Building the tanks on the passenger side. The fuel tank has been moved more to the front. Because boxes underneath the camper will not go lower than 15 inches (38 centimeters), part of the tanks will be in the floor of the bathroom. These are two tanks: one on top of the other. Grey and black. Each 30 gallons (114 liters). Fresh water tanks totalling 65 gallons (246 liters) will be mounted later between the chassis.


Today also the floor covering was selected. Matching the maple colour of the walls.
Lining will be in the same colour.


Driver's side. This box will carry the batteries and the propane tank.


Meanwhile the hard working SANTEK crew has already build the cabinets. At a strategic moment they will be put inside the FUSO SANTEK.


The boxes are welded behind the wheels. The angle these boxes have has to do with off-road conditions.


Lower tank soon to be joined by upper tank.


Before to put in the metal floor in driver's side box.


Inside much work has been done already. To the right the little door which will give access to plumbing of bathroom. Important in case a problem arises later. Right in front the access to the storage space underneath the bed.. To the left the space where the water heater will be located behind the 8 cu. feet Domestic fridge.


All wiring has already been put in place.


Roberto has put a floor plan and instructions on one of the walls of the FUO SANTEK.
Remark duck tape is used for this...



Please remember this image in less than two weeks...

Mission Inn in missing

Good friend Jochen came to terminal 4 of the Los Angeles International Airport for pick-up in his 12-year-old Toyota Camry.
He has about 76.000 miles on his car and it is still running and of service without any problem. Of course design-wise it is dated but who cares?
Nor does it matter what the neighbours and others think of keeping a car for as long as it serves well.
Trying to impress others with a fancy car is acting like a child and demonstrating irresponsibility towards our environment.

Jochen wanted to have lunch in the Mission Inn, a hotel restaurant in Riverside, California.

The Mission Inn is a place with a high reputation.
It used to be a place where Hollywood stars would go to lodge and dine and have their wedding parties.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan married in the Mission Inn.

The Mission Inn calls itself a Hotel and Spa and a “National Historic Landmark Hotel”.
It all started when a man called Christopher Columbus Miller build in 1876 a two story 12-room boarding house.
It was his son Frank who really expanded the place into a hotel with shops, a music room and even a chapel.
In 1913 they build what is known as the Spanish wing. Designed by Myron Hunt it tries to make us believe we are in the courtyard of a Spanish castle.
It was here good friend Jochen wanted to have his lunch.
The courtyard is not a replica of any Spanish castle.
It is persiflage.
Like a movie set.
Make believe architecture comparable to the buildings to be found in Disneyland.
But amusing and understandable in a country where a 1913 architectural anomaly is considered a historic landmark.

In the patio of our Spanish castle in Riverside, California, nice tables and chairs are placed with metal umbrellas in which gas heaters keep the diners warm.
It is a nice ambience and a popular place to have lunch or dinner.

Walking into the courtyard there was confusion if one could just go and sit at one of the many free tables or that a host would come to greet and guide.
As professional and experienced diners we spotted even two hosts and waiting at the entrance of the patio it was expected that one of the two hosts would approach us warmly shortly.
But the two hosts ignored the newly arrived completely.
When one of the hosts passed by closely, she was addressed with the request for a table to have lunch.
Amazingly, the host simply ignored us and went inside.

A door was open where the waitresses were getting the food to serve where we asked how for heaven’s sake one could get a table in this restaurant.
The procedure was to have to go inside, announce oneself at a reception desk after which the host would guide the persons to a table.
Inside the same host who had ignored us outside before was now available to guide us to a table.
And no, the bad mooded host replied, the tables in the sunshine on this cool day were not available.
Although those tables were not reserved.
Although they were not hard to reach for the waitresses.
Host had simply decided nobody was going to sit there.

We were ready now to ask to see the manager.
To complain about the unwelcoming attitude of the bad mooded host.
But why spoil the appetite and the nice ambience?
Let her go to hell.

Now Tamara approached our table.
A warm and more than well-proportioned woman obviously not very experienced in waiting tables.
Forgetting what was ordered and having to ask this several times.
Tamara asked later how the Merlot was tasting as she had become insecure because the glass was not touched.
It was explained that while good friend Jochen was washing his hands somewhere else the wine drinking would only start after his return to the table to be able to cheer and share.
“You’re from Europe?”, Tamara asked.
And when confirmed she had another question: “Is it considered impolite in Europe the waitress takes away an empty plate while another person is still eating?”
Yes, this is considered impolite in Europe.
“Well, you see, not over here”, Tamara responded, “My boss tells me to clean a table as soon as a plate is empty”.

Although not a good waitress, Tamara was a warm woman with who one feels comfortable and whom is easy to chat with.
But that is not exactly the idea of a culinary expedition.

We were ready to come to our conclusions about our lunch in the Mission Inn.
Great place.
Nice ambience.
Very good food.
Lousy service.
That is a pity because a place can be very nice but when service is bad it influences the whole experience negatively and makes one writes a posting on a blog.

It is also unforgivable that a glass of wine in the Mission Inn costs $ 7.50.
The delicious vegetarian Pasta Athena was costing $ 14.00
Jochen took the buffet, all you can eat for $ 20.00
But the two glasses of wine consumed were a staggering $ 15.00
******************************************

To learn more about the Hotel, Spa and Restaurant "Mission Inn" in Riverside, California, click on:
www.missioninn.com

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Boeinging from Tokyo to Los Angeles.

Returned from Japan into the Lazy Daze motor home, located in Riverside, California, USA, to be seen behind is a trail of impressive events.

The last day in Tokyo was spent with the beautiful Tomomi and it is such a privilege to be in the presence of a Japanese lady like she is.
So attentive, so considerate, so sweet, so high style, so good of heart, so generous, so lovingly, so unselfish.
Fervent and loyal blog readers may ask if the successor of the Princess has been met but this Japanese Empress should not loose her time with this pioneering and globetrotting photographer.
The Empress deserves much better.
And this thought and conclusion made the lunch a depressing experience.
Having met in Tokyo an exceptional person like Tomomi, so good a human being and so beautiful a woman can be, but having to realize that a life of coming and going never makes it possible to learn in the longer term what it truly could all mean for both. It is like falling off a steep cliff.

The Dutch Governess during childhood used to sing:

“Oh was ik maar dood,

die ik liefheb die krijg ik toch nooit”.

“Oh, I wish I was dead,
The one I love I will never get”.

Tomomi emphasized her sweetness by offering a present.
An earth ware goblet in the traditional Japanese style.
From now on, every morning, the strong black tea will be served in this gift.
To vividly remember her.
And feel flashes of strong sentiments.

Goodbye was at Ueno station.
In a way unusual for Japan.
In between all the many Japanese persons hurrying here and there, an embrace in a delicate but forceful way that was wished to last forever.
It brought to mind the unforgettable words of the David Bowie song “Heroes”:

I

I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins
Like dolphins can swim
Though nothing, nothing
Will keep us together
We can beat them
For ever and ever
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
I
I will be king
And you
You will be queen
Though nothing, nothing
Will drive them away
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be us
Just for one day.

I
I remember
Standing
By the wall
The guns
They shot above our heads
And we kissed
As though nothing could fall
And the shame
Was on the other side
We can beat them
For ever and ever
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be
Heroes
Just for one day

From Ueno station is a train to Narita airport.
Intimidated by life, after the forceful but cruel goodbye of Tomomi, and therefore almost in tears, an incredible thing happened.
These days, a book by Ernest Hemingway is deeply enjoyed called “For whom the bell tolls”.
A fabulous book.
Every word, every sentence drinks like nectar.
In this train to Narita Airport a Japanese man enters, opens his bag, takes out a book and starts to read.
It is Ernest Hemingway’s “For whom the bell tolls”.
How high is the chance for this to occur ?

Checking in for the American Airways flight at Tokyo’s Narita Airport to Los Angeles a barrage of questions asked by the ground stewardess.
How long to stay in the USA ?
Having a return ticket to Europe ?
Proof of owning a motor home ?
Mr. S. P. (serious paranoia) laughing in the background inspiring thoughts like being refused entry into the USA and being sent back but to where?
Having to be in limbo for the rest of the life maybe?

Things got worse when seated in the fully booked American Airlines Boeing 777 next to an American woman who is the wife of a US soldier recently based at US military facilities in Okinawa, Japan.
Imagine that in the United States there would be German soldiers having military bases in let's say 9 different States.
Coming and going as they please.
Being above the national US-laws.
Having the weapons as they like, including nuclear bombs.
That would be totally unacceptable.
The USA is a democracy.
Is independent.
No foreign troops would ever be allowed to have bases on American territory.
Japan being a democracy, Germany being a demcocracy, Italy being a democracy, why is it politically tolerated that American troops are based there ?
In Germany for example there are 9 American military bases with over 100.000 military personnell.
In Japan there are 6 American military bases with over 40.000 soldiers.
The facts are that in 135 countries worldwide the USA has troops on over 294 military installations.
In Japan continuously there are strong protests against the continuing presence of American troops.
The same goes for Germany and Italy.

Obviously, the wife of the American soldier stationed in Okinawa is aware of the controversy and the delicate situation she is in.
Learning that the passenger sitting next to her originates from Europe made her immediately defensive and agressive.
But soon something magical happened.

The stewardess had already come by to inquire if a vegetarian meal was indeed requested.
A few minutes later she returned to inform that more to the front a very comfortable seat was available.
The wife of the American soldier occupying Japan was said goodbye and a window seat immediately behind bussiness class with miles of leg space, low noise and the neighbouring seat unoccupied made the flight like a bussiness class experience.

It was then that it was realised that things in life had turned for the better.
Already Mr. S. P., responsible for the serious paranoia about having immigration trouble entering the USA, was seen moving away.
It was believed everything would go without a problem.
And so it did.

After a most comfortable flight of only 9 hours, arrival was in the well organised terminal 4 of Los Angeles International Airport and Officer O'Donnell was on duty.
"Good morning !"
"Good morning, how are you today ?"
"Very well, had a comfortable flight. How about yourself?"
"Good, good. You are coming to the USA for bussiness or for pleasure?"
"For pleasure"
" OK. Please put your left index finger on the scanner. Now the right index finger. OK. Your picture. Fine. (Stamping passport) Enjoy your stay in the USA !"
"Thank you, officer O'Donnell".
Without any problem and in all friendliness and respectful courtesy a visa was obtained to be able to enjoy the USA for the next 3 months.
Bravo Officer O'Donnell.

Within 30 minutes after getting out of the plane good friend Jochen could be called to arrange the pick up.
For this the information counter was approached where a most friendly young man made the telephone available to call Jochen.
"You don't need to go to a pay phone. Let me call the number of your friend for you".
Welcome to the USA.
The man of information was from the United Kingdom and supersweet. The long chat which followed was about life and its essentials and parting was with a warm handshake like friends.
Amazing experience after having been in Japan where people keep much more distance.

It is good to be back.

****************************************


For more information about the presence of American troops in foreign countries, click on:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/usarj.htm

http://www.germany.info/relaunch/info/publications/infocus/bases/bases.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance8.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4292269.stm

Monday, February 19, 2007

This is very wrong in Japan.

There are temples and shrines in Tokyo. Where people go to pray.
But there is one shrine that is very wrong.
It is called the Yasukuni-Jinja.
Which means “For the Peace of the Country Shrine”.
It is in memory of the war deads Japan sacrificed: more than 2,5 million people who died in combat.


Yasukuni-Jinja is not only a temple and a shrine where people can go to pray and pay respects to the deceased.
Next to it is also a museum, called the Yushukan, devoted to the violent history of Japan, most particularly the Second World War, which they call “The Greater East Asian War”.

In 1979, at Yasukuni-Jinja, were enshrined the remains of war criminals.
That is one thing but more serious is that leading politicians, including the former Prime Minister, Junichiro Koizumi, developed the habit of going there annually to pay respect to these war criminals in front of the world press making huge controversy.

Mr. Koizumi is no longer in office and the current Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is not repeating this inappropriate habit of honouring war criminals.

But what remains an issue is that in the Yushukan Museum the Second World War is presented as a victory.
It is shocking to see in that museum how subjective history is presented.
Japan was forced to start the war by the colonial powers: they were and are not responsible. That is the message coming from the exhibition.
Attacking the American fleet at Pearl Harbour was an act of self-defence.
The massacre of Nanking in China, starting on December 13, 1937 and lasting for 6 weeks where the Japanese Army killed over 300.000 civilians, is called “An incident”.

The whole message of the exhibition is that as a Japanese you can be proud of this war.
The message is: OK, we lost but in fact we won.
Shamelessly proud of the battle ships and U-boats and planes having been used.
Pretending that in fact the Japanese were superior: technically and morally.

The truth is very opposite to what the visitors of the museum are made to believe.

What is so dangerous of this Yasukuni-Jinja is that it still brainwashes the many Japanese visitors into wrong beliefs.
From where only more massacres may come.

What we need to understand, including the Japanese people, is that in a war there is neither victory nor defeat.
Nobody is a winner.
Everyone is a looser.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Visitors in Tokyo

After experiencing the Tokyo Blues, during which several loyal and fervent blog readers were responding by sending messages of encouragement and not to give up hope, suddenly many visitors have come by.
It is like life wants to show another colour Tokyo is able to have.

A visitor who is here for more than 24 hours is Mr. HAC.
He is the consequence of a visit yesterday to an ecological friendly house in a suburb of Tokyo. In this house a couple was living very aware of the environment.
They had the Japanese version of an “eco-home”.

Rainwater from the roof was channelled into a large tank and this water was used to flush the toilets.
Heat accumulating under the metal roof of the house was forced by a ventilator into the house where it came out from grills in the floor.

Meanwhile outside, the weather was awful. Rain and cold.
Yesterday was also the Tokyo Marathon and the thoughts were with all the athletes weathering these icy conditions.
But icy conditions were also dominant in this “eco-home”.
Outside the temperature was 5 degrees Centigrade (41 degrees Fahrenheit) and inside this beautiful house 15 degrees Centigrade (59 degrees Fahrenheit).
The friendly couple living in this house seemed not to be bothered by this uncomfortable temperature inside.
But the visitors slowly noticed the cold getting into the feet, into the skin and eventually as deep as into the bones.
Incapacitating the body. Making the movements like in slowmo.

Obviously you need to be a long-term professional ecologist to be able to enjoy living in such cool circumstances. Or an Eskimo.

Unavoidable consequence from this visit is Mr. Hac moving in. HAC stands for: "Have A Cold". Nose running, coughing and tears welling up and not of the Tokyo Blues.

Another visitor on Sunday was the new Japanese friend already introduced in the posting called “Sleeping in the future”, Ms. Tomomi Kanetaka.
She was the best remedy life could offer to chase away the Tokyo Blues.

The posh neighbourhood Shibuya was visited were “tout Tokyo” comes to see each other and the many shops, gambling houses, bars and restaurants.
An immense crowd circulates the streets and it is a spectacular and unique experience.

Ms. Tomomi found a relaxed place for a cup of tea and a chocolate cake on the 5th floor of a building overlooking the main square in front of Shibuya station.
To see the thousands and thousands of people like ants looking for sugar.

Later they were joined to have a taste what it is really like.

Dinner was on top of the high tower near Ebisu in which shadow is the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography which exhibition program is booked full for the next 4 years. Impossible to learn there what is contemporary and current photography but in general, managements of museums look in the first place how to make it easy on themselves.
Overlooking the night skyline of Tokyo a dish of sashimi was shared as well as a dish of tofu and intense and delightful conversation.

It is the tradition in Japan that the woman keeps an eye on how empty the glass of sake of the man is, to immediately fill it up when level gets too low.
It offers the opportunity to experience how women in Paris feel when the man serves them again from the bottle of wine.

Last visitor, Mr. S.P., is almost a permanent resident these days.
It has to do with the return trip to Los Angeles on Tuesday and the prospect of having to go through Immigration.
S.P. stands therefore for Serious Paranoia.

It might go smooth and without trouble obtaining a visa for the necessary 3 months.
But a bad mooded, obnoxious, macho immigration-officer could decide to refuse entry into the USA completely being a too frequent visitor.

Mr. S. P. and Mr. HAC are unwelcome, uninvited visitors refusing to leave.
What a great fortune Ms. Tomomi remains until the last hours in Japan.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Tokyo blues

Readers of a blog of a person reporting on the daily life are getting a totally deformed impression of what is in fact life really like.

This is partly the result of the subjectivity of the person reporting.
Every person tends to present oneself publicly in a more or less positive way, consciously or unconsciously.

It is also partly the result of the way of communication.
It is one way.
A monologue.
And limited to words and images.
This is a poor form of communication compared to meeting a person in reality when many more aspects play a role to understand and feel the other person.

This is therefore a serious warning to all the fervent and loyal readers of this blog and any other blog frequented: the persons writing the blogs are in reality very different from the impression one gets reading the silk words and seeing the soft images on the blog.

One likes to have heroes. Persons doing what one is not having the courage to do oneself. But the reality of a hero is very different than what’s imagined.

A band called The Kinks did a great song on this subject.
Here are the lyrics:
Everybody’s a dreamer and everybody’s a star,
And everybody’s in movies, it doesn’t matter who you are.


There are stars in every city,

In every house and on every street,

And if you walk down Hollywood Boulevard

Their names are written in concrete!


Don’t step on Greta Garbo as you walk down the boulevard,

She looks so weak and fragile that’s why she tried to be so hard

But they turned her into a princess

And they sat her on a throne,

But she turned her back on stardom,
Because she wanted to be alone.


You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard,

Some that you recognise, some that you’ve hardly even heard of,

People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame,

Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.


Rudolph Valentino, looks very much alive,

And he looks up ladies dresses as they sadly pass him by.

Avoid stepping on Bela Lugosi
cos he’s liable to turn and bite,
But stand close by Bette Davis

Because her’s was such a lonely life.

If you covered him with garbage,

George Sanders would still have style,

And if you stamped on Mickey Rooney

He would still turn round and smile,

But please don’t tread on dearest Marilyn
cos she’s not very tough,
She should have been made of iron or steel,

But she was only made of flesh and blood.


You can see all the stars as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard,

Some that you recognise, some that you’ve hardly even heard of.

People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame,

Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.


Everybody’s a dreamer and everybody’s a star

And everybody’s in show biz, it doesn’t matter who you are.


And those who are successful,

Be always on your guard,

Success walks hand in hand with failure

Along Hollywood Boulevard.


I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show,

A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes,

Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain

And celluloid heroes never really die.


You can see all the stars as you walk along Hollywood Boulevard,

Some that you recognise, some that you’ve hardly even heard of,

People who worked and suffered and struggled for fame,

Some who succeeded and some who suffered in vain.

Oh celluloid heroes never feel any pain

Oh celluloid heroes never really die.


I wish my life was a non-stop Hollywood movie show,

A fantasy world of celluloid villains and heroes,

Because celluloid heroes never feel any pain

And celluloid heroes never really die.


This is a fabulous song of The Kinks with great lyrics.
Coming to mind when returning again to the hotel room in Tokyo, home for almost two weeks now.
With only 7 channels in Japanese language on TV and no Internet connection in the evening nor space to invite someone and no place to go but cheap restaurants and vulgar night clubs.
Taking the celluloid away and feeling pain and ready to die.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Fuso Santek 4

While photographing all over Tokyo, Japan, more particularly the cherry blossom today, Santek Trailers in Riverside, Ca, USA, continues to build the FUSO SANTEK expedition vehicle and we are so fortunate to live in a time that communication is fast and easy.

An issue has come up now. Building a FUSO SANTEK is not from a blueprint based on others who have figured out everything already. Building an expedition vehicle is an expedition in itself and it is such a fortunate thing that SANTEK understands this principle. Paul Westphal, his chief engineer Roberto and the whole SANTEK-crew are open to face anything which comes up, put it on a stage, have the spotlights shine on it, to consider and see it from as many corners and perspectives as possible to eventually come to the best solution.

The issue to contemplate at this stage is that it was planned to have a custom made box mounted on the cabin of the truck.
This box was to be designed in an aerodynamic way with a side door to have the inside as a cargo space.
But more study by the SANTEK experts has revealed that the construction of the roof of the FUSO cabin is not strong enough to build a box on top of it when going off-road where it shakes and rattles.

What are the alternatives?
There is another FUSO expedition vehicle build where they used a roof rack on top of the cabin of the truck.

Looks good.
However, no aerodynamic advantages are achieved with this solution.
Another matter is that putting jerry cans and other cargo in that roof rack puts heavy strain on the roof construction.
To go off road with that weight on the cabin roof is asking for trouble.

Another solution is to put a “Roof Top Wind Deflector”.
This is often seen on trucks like the FUSO.

And for good reasons: MPG is increased having the “Roof Top Wind Deflector” on top of the cabin of the truck.
However, how ideal is it for a truck going off road?
Where are obstacles like branches of trees.
Which might hit the “Roof Top Wind Deflector” and damage it seriously.
And what will heavy vibrations of washboard roads do to the “Roof Top Wind Deflector”?
It is a fragile thing designed for highway use only.

While working in Tokyo today, a Mitsubishi Fuso was spotted with this solution:
The "Aerodynamic nose cone".

This is a very interesting solution.
One is that we must realise that to have access to the Mitsubishi Fuso engine, the whole cabin flips forwards.
This is why no cab over can be made to the camper box.
But this aerodynamic nose cone spotted today is designed in a way that the cabin of the truck can still be lifted open without being obstructed.
Interesting extra is that when this aerodynamic nose cone would be mounted on the FUSO SANTEK, an opening could be made in the sleeping area to have more cargo space inside this aerodynamic nose cone.
An “Aerodynamic Nose-Cone” is not fragile like a “Roof Top Wind Deflector”.
It is very well integrated.

Step by step the FUSO SANTEK is growing.
Interesting ideas come up, but next a lot depends on availability.
This "Aerodynamic nose cone" is a great thing, but is it on the market in the USA as well?
Anyone knows ?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bravo Honda

In Japan a perfect public transportation system is serving the public.
One of its best is the “Shinkansen”.
This is a high-speed train, also known as the “Bullet Train”, serving many cities in Japan.

It goes at a speed of 300 kilometres per hour (186 miles per hour), is very comfortable, luxurious, clean and on time.
The chairs are reclining with miles of leg space and there are large windows.
Nobody is using a mobile phone among other passengers but the persons who wish to talk by mobile phone retreat in suspiciously to the deck where we can also find clean and comfy toilets.
Friendly stewardesses pass by with snacks, drinks, ice-cream and food without being obtrusive and remarkable is that the staff of the train, including the conductors, will not leave the passenger-compartment or they will turn around, face everybody and make a deep bow.

It is a very special experience to travel on the “Bullet Train”.
It is this combination of sophisticated technique, the high-speed train, and the traditional level of hospitality and service.

Today was the voyage on the “Shinkasen” from Tokyo to the city of Hamamatsu. A two hours trip. Very spectacular because it passes by the Mount Fuji. This time of year the Mount Fuji is at its most beautiful. It is snow capped and in clean unpolluted air in bright sunshine.
Looking from the window is like seeing a postcard.


Why to travel to the city of Hamamatsu fervent and loyal blog readers will ask...

In Hamamatsu is the only factory of Honda where they build their outboard motors.
260 each day.
Most of them for export.

The visit was arranged before hand. It is in fact a long procedure to be able to visit a factory in Japan. Without credentials it is impossible.

Today Mr. Saturo Isano, Staff Engineer of Production Engineering, Bussiness Administration Division, Facilities Control Department, and Mr. Kazuhiko Yamagishi, Assistant Manager, Personnel Department, and Mr. Syoji Hakamata, Staff Engineer of Production Engineering, Power Product Plant, Planning & Coordination Department, were all waiting to receive the foreign visitors.
In a meeting room everything was prepared to explain on a projection screen how at this Honda plant part of their energy was produced by hundreds of sophisticated solar panels on the roof of the factory building.
Next, was the actual visit of the roof and the hundreds of solar panels producing the kilowatts powering the plant.
What a beautiful thing. Just panels in an angle towards the sun having a harmonious friendship with the energy the sun is giving us as a generous gift.

Awareness about environment can be found more and more.
Honda, who could make their 260 outboard motors per day without caring for the environment at all, chooses to manufacture them using solar energy and having on purpose the plant in a CO2 friendly environment of trees and plants.

Bravo Honda.

On the way back to Tokyo, with the “Bullet Train” again, it was considered as exciting to use the bathroom. Peeing at a speed of 300 Kilometres (186 miles) per hour.
But American Airways in its Boeing 777 to Tokyo from Los Angeles offered the opportunity to pee at 900 kilometres (560 miles) per hour…

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Posting 100

This posting is special.
Well, all postings are special but this is posting number 100.
One hundred times an effort has been made to write an interesting or amusing but always informative story. Quite a challenge and it has been such a good experience, not the least for the many comments of fervent and loyal readers posted and encouraging e-mails sent. Therefore, there is no whisper heard yet of stopping this habit.

It was planned to start a blog for a long time but realizing this only made sense when being consistent over a long period of time, this responsibility and commitment stopped taking the initiative.
The courage and self-confident in the own powers lacked.
It was George Lehrer, better known by his self-created alter ego Tioga George, who had eventually the convincing influence and off the blog went.

Now it has become part of the recurring daily activities. Taking a shower, writing a posting, going to sleep. No big deals. Just a part of the daily routines that are a pleasure to perform.

Today was a meeting with Professor Doctor Takaya Kawabe of the United Nations University in Tokyo.
Mr. Kawabe is the leading Japanese scientist on nuclear fusion and the ITER-project.

What made meeting Mr. Kawabe so interesting was that he is not only a scientist but also a human being. He understands that science is not going to rescue the world because he believes we are creating a fatal future for ourselves.
His optimism comes from believing in our capacity to survive as we did in the past. The dinosaurs are not in existence anymore but we are.
This means it is all in our minds.
Our mental state, our spirituality decides eventually if we are to survive as a species or will evaporate in our self-created stupidity.
This thought is so interesting because our survival as a species is in fact in our own hands here and now.
What we decide now, on a macro level but on a micro level as well, is of utmost importance whether our children and their offspring have a future or not.
This process of making decisions about how we live now relates completely to our level of consciousness and our ability to take responsibility for what we know and realise this very moment.
Without opportunism. Without short time planning. Without guarding temporary advantages.
If we manage to think in an objective way and if we manage to live according to the conclusions that bring us, the future will look upon us favourably.
If we continue our dead end street foolishness, no one in the future will have the opportunity to look back on us.

100 postings on this blog. But only one earth to live on.

******************************************

To learn more about nuclear fusion, click on
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_fusion

To learn more about the ITER-project, click on
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fuso Santek 3

Paul Westphal, the owner and general manager of Santek Trailers, the company building the custom Fuso Santek Expedition Vehicle, had a few questions to ask and some pictures to send because while working hard in Japan, the friends of Paul are working hard on the Fuso Santek as well.

First issue were the reading lamps to install at the head of the bed. Paul was thinking of lamps like these:
Some research on the web found these lights:

They are smaller, more integrated and have a triple purpose. Paul is asked to install these lights.

For general lighting Paul's idea was to install halogen lights underneath the overhead cabinets, controlled by dimmers. Also 4 halogen lights above the bed. In the end it has been decided to install only fluorescent lights. From SunRay which are very nice of light and low on use of energy. One above the desk, one above the dinette table, one above the kitchen table and one for general lighting on the ceiling of the corridor.

Paul is also asked to install this:

With this panel levels in the tanks can be monitored, the voltage of the battery, the inside temperature and the water pump and water heater can be controlled.

Now we come to the pictures Paul has been so kind to send and he has authorised publication on this blog.

On the passenger's side we see here the construction of the space which will contain the bathroom. On the left we see the horizontal frame where the bed will be.

Towards the cabin of the truck we see more of the frame of the bed. Underneath will be storage space. To be reached from outside on the left and right by big doors. The space in the middle enters from a door inside the vehicle. In this space, the floor can be opened to have access to the engine of the truck. Very smart idea of Paul Westphal !

The bathroom walls. Here we also see the frames of the boxes which will be attached to the major platform underneath. The position of the diesel tank has been changed. It has been moved forewards to have more space available for storage.


The opening on the passenger's side of the storage area underneath the bed.

The frames for the storage boxes on the driver's side. The batteries of the truck, seen as a small white square on this picture, have also been moved more to the front to gain space. It is here that the 4 RV-batteries will find a place.

The two truck batteries and the frame for the storage boxes.

The storage door on the driver's side.

Bathroom entrance.

Notice the round corners of the camper box.

Opening has been made for the large window in the back.

Sleeping in the future.

In Tokyo the Japanese company Panasonic has built the experimental “Eco & Ud House” within the complex of Panasonic Centre Tokyo on the artificial island of Odaiba.

“Eco & Ud House”.
“Eco” stands for “in harmony with the global environment” and “Ud” stands for “Universal Design”.

The “Eco Ud House” is a real house made in a way Panasonic believes a house in the future will look like.

This morning the “Eco Ud House” was visited, by special appointment, and although there is a limitation on what can be reported about this fascinating place, because exclusivity is with others than this blog, it can be revealed that a bed in the future will massage you before to go to sleep. And the reading light is greenish because that colour does not stop the accumulation of melatonin in the brains, needed for a good night of sleep.
That is the good news.

But more scaring to learn is that in the future, according to Panasonic, a couple does not sleep in one cosy bed anymore.
In the house of the future the bedroom contains two single beds.
Also, we are scheduled to have only one child and surprisingly they predict that grandmother will also live with us.

The “Eco & Ud House” is extremely interesting because it demonstrates how technicians and inventors think and plan to surround people of the future with what is now advanced technology but who pay very little attention to sociological progression.

Another example of this lack of social prediction capability is that in the “Eco & Ud House” the woman is planned to have her own space that is a rather lost, dark corner next to the kitchen where she is planned to iron and repair the clothes. However, her husband has two extra rooms.
One is his entertainment room. Equipped with double doors and therefore totally sound proof where he can watch his DVD’s with super surround sound while the door is locked by his personal access code. We may wonder what he is exactly watching there.
Second room for him is his office. Equipped with the most interactive and sophisticated electronics available for conference meetings and other business activities.

It is predicted that the man is having this room, not the woman, and therefore he is planned to be the one in the future who works and brings in the money while his wife is ironing in her dark niche and probably making a cup oftea for Grandma while awaiting the child to come home from school.

The beautiful guide explaining the “Eco & Ud House” was Tomomi Kanetaka and when asked if she planned to be behind the ironing board while her husband was watching whatever in his locked entertainment room she accepted to have tea together on Saturday.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Do elephants read a book sometimes ?

In Tokyo, the largest city in the world with 28 million inhabitants, there are many people having a very good income.
They like to shop and for this there are the Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, a shopping centre so exquisite, so luxurious, so extravagant, one must see it to believe it.
Forget about shopping in Paris, London, Munich and New York. The products are the same. Rolex watches. Gucci bags. Swarovski crystal. DeBeers diamonds. But the architectural environment, the super service, the perfectness of the experience, the high style, Roppongi Hills in Tokyo is the place to shop.
Bring a platinum credit card for the occasion because although it is the ultimate in shopping, it is also extremely expensive.

In this incredible situation we must mention that in Roppongi Hills is also a movie theatre and a museum.
The movie theatre is not having much allure, somewhere hidden in a corner, but the beautiful Mori Art Museum is on one of the highest floors of the 54-storey Mori Tower.
Obviously the name “Mori” comes from the real estate developer responsible for Roppongi Hills: Mori Minoru.

Although this Roppongi Hills is all very impressing it is not intimidating this observer.
There is more in this world than things to buy and to own.
From that position an observation was made.

In the movie theatre of Roppongi Hills one of the films showing was “An inconvenient truth” made by Davis Guggenheim featuring Al Gore.
This is a very important film because it makes clear how deep we are in trouble in our relationship of human beings with the environment.
At the same time, 54 floors higher, an exhibition was presented in the Mori Art Museum of the Canadian photographer Gregory Colbert.
A very good exhibition. Very professionally. High quality. But also very, very wrong.
Colbert is showing images of people with animals. He is not manipulating the images with a computer but obviously animal trainers were involved. It is all completely staged. Often ridiculously like a boy reading a book to an elephant. What it all makes so despicable is the suggestion these images bring us: that it all is more than OK between us and the animals.
It is a show which makes people feel wonderful when they get out but it is based on an untrue and false representation of reality.
Colbert, sponsored by Rolex, lullabies people to sleep and without any feelings of guilt they can continue on their shopping spree.
This in case they didn’t go and see “An inconvenient truth”.
************************************

To learn more about “An inconvenient truth”, click on:
http://www.climatecrisis.net/

To get informed about the work of Gregory Colbert, click on:
http://www.ashesandsnow.org/

To learn more in case planning to shop at Roppongi Hills, click on:
http://www.roppongihills.com/en/

For a platinum credit card, click on
http://www.creditcards.com/credit-cards/chase-platinum-credit-card.php

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Fishy


The postings on this blog have never the intention to be controversial although sometimes for specific loyal and fervent readers they are.
Today all the authority available is needed to justify the following statement and to avoid any friction when it is stated that the best food in the world is found in two countries only.
The world has been travelled many times over 36 years and everywhere food has been tested therefore we must consider this opinion as one from an expert.
The conclusion is that the very best food is found in France and Japan.
There we are. Now the comments and e-mails to this posting can be contributed.
It is of course a personal opinion but the strong point is that it is based after visiting and eating in countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, South America and even in the USA.
A person having had the opportunity to travel and eat as extensively will undeniably come to the same conclusion: France and Japan. That’s where the food is cooked and tastes the best.
Now some of us may say that the local hamburger from Wendy’s is juicy and delicious as well. This is true. But this opinion demonstrates how far away one has been eaten. A few more miles and that hamburger turns out to be inferior.

Experts know that the quality of the food is mostly a matter of what is served on the plate but we should not forget that the ambience is highly responsible as well for a good tasting experience.
Both in France and in Japan, besides the food, the atmosphere and ambience in a good restaurant is highly impressing and influential as well.
In Japan very often the cooks are working in front of the guests near the entrance door. It is an attractive melee of sounds because the cooks and waitresses wishing a warm welcome greet anyone coming in with a choir of loud voices.
Behind the cooks preparing the food is usually an aquarium in which the fish are swimming eventually destined to end their lives on the plates of the guests of the restaurant.
Last night in a restaurant one cook took a net on a stick, caught a large fish from the aquarium and got it out. The animal was fighting for its life making noises by flipping its fins and tail on the wooden board deafening the other sounds in the restaurant. But some good chops of the cook’s knife had another fish’s soul go to heaven and fresh fish-meat on some plates.
While observer was eating fish himself this was a rather weird spectacle to see. It brought the thought and conclusion to mind that animals do not like to die. Even not fish. And the reflection if those fish in the aquarium seeing the sushi and sashimi being prepared, had any clue that this was what they themselves were eventually awaiting.
Scientists have recently discovered that only elephants and dolphins can see themselves in a mirror. They know it is them. There is this shocking footage of an elephant in a zoo and they have put of white tape a cross on his head. In his cage they had put up a very large mirror and to the astonishment of the scientists the elephant was able to understand that the elephant reflecting in that mirror was himself. The prove was that the elephant with his long nose tried to take off the white cross.
Our beloved Deepak Chopra put it in another way. He said: “Human beings are the only species who are aware that they are aware”. Well, Deepak, elephants also what white crosses taped on their heads is concerned.
So the question is in how far the fish swim in the aquarium of the restaurant thinking their days are numbered. Or is their level of awareness so low that they just don’t get it?
While eating fish and seeing them swim in an aquarium, fished out and chopped to death, how reflective and sentimental should we be?

But what has this to do with the claim that food is the best in France and Japan?
As much as the accompanying image of this posting, a picture made in Tokyo today.
************************************

To learn more about Deepak Chopra, click on:

www.chopra.com

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Yuriya from Information


“My name is Yuriya Satou and I am from information.
What you wish to know, I can give you politely the right answers.

Yes, we are in Japan here. More particularly, in Tokyo. More precisely, in Aqua City. No, this is not a swimming pool but a shopping centre with many shops but also restaurants and you will be able to get massages here as well.

You like my uniform, you say? Thank you so much. But you don’t like what I wear underneath the uniform? What is showing of that? I am so sorry. Small mistake. Won’t happen again.

People ask me here many things. But nothing personal of course. Only things like where is a particular shop in Aqua City. In fact not many people ask me questions. I am happy you come by. Most of the time I am just standing here. Being available.

If I have a boyfriend? Hiruyuki is the son of my neighbours and I fancy him. But he is into work, work, and work. He seems not to notice me at all. So sorry. On my futon I dream of Hiruyuki so often and that he takes me in a violent way but then I hear my Father go to his futon and I quickly change my fantasies.

So sorry, but what exactly do you mean? Of course I know that nowadays there is a war going on somewhere far away. I remember our Japanese soldiers were involved for a short time but now they are all safely home with us, I believe.

I think this is not possible. Not allowed. To meet later after I finish."