Saturday, April 29, 2006


shibuya, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Friday, April 28, 2006


truck, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Fancy a Cuppa?

I haven't installed this as yet, but it is on the list.. Cuppa
via Lifehacker and only for Macs.. so if you havent got one, get one.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

a new perspective on roppongi hills

Dance Like a White Guy

(Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice)

Christopher Walken.. one cool dude..

via GVOD

Monday, April 24, 2006

Comparitive Views on Oil production

from the Economist, "Steady as she goes"
and from The Oil Drum, " An Economist Response.."
via The Mess That Greenspan Made

hmmm, what do you think?

and then kind of in the same arena, I thought this was an interesting insight into Toyota's Hybrid marketing and sales..

Hybrids are a waste of money.. if you want economy, buy a Diesel.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Mount Fuji

fuji2, originally uploaded by Knotty.

following David on the bike Saturday, we came round a corner and were presented with a fantastic view of Fuji in all its glory. Unfortunately neither of us had a decent camera with us and the Nokia cameraphone had to suffice.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

1000yr old trees

1000yr old trees, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sponsor Me

I have added a link to the right for anyone interested in sponsoring me on my July slog in the French mountains..

I chose a charity to benefit dogs.. 'cos I like dogs me.

fridays roundup..

It's housing or the dollar or both, but "the dollar is going down" baby..
the Dresdner "financial heretic" analyst says go scuba diving instead of buying that ferrari..
a classic monty python sketch via GVOD..
i want an Audi RS4 but not really, well maybe, kinda sorta..
and from The Economist (go buy a copy)..
on Rumsfeld "Every day he keeps him in his job he compounds his mistake and weakens his presidency"
on Credit Derivatives "Panic is an understandable reaction for buyers who suddenly find that their insurance contracts are worthless"
on Oil "the oil market is set for an unnerving period"
have a good weekend, we'll be at the beach, and i'll be climbing hills on my bike..

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Charlie Chaplin meets Steven Spielberg

via GVOD

How to put on a Band-Aid so it'll stay on ALL day..

via Lifehacker

Liquid investments

The Coming Oil Crisis
"The problem today is that oil companies are too short-sighted, the environmentalists too far-sighted, and politicians only concerned with being elected. As a result, there will be a gap between the end of oil and a conversion to less destructive forms of energy. In this gap, all hell may break loose."
A bit extreme, but most of this article rang true to me.. long Oil (or Powershares Dynamic Energy for less volatility) is safer than short Oil methinks.

Investing in Liquid Gold
"Water may be one of the richest investment opportunities of the next few decades."
I have read this sentiment in a number of places this year.. and will buy Powershares Global Water too.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


aoyama, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Hoop Dreams

So so good

via GVOD

first in

first in, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Happy Easter

from GVOD

Saturday, April 15, 2006

mush mush

mush mush, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Cycling back from Takao-san and Jimba-san climbs on Saturday afternoon this husky towing his owner at up to 30km/hr! He kept looking over at me and accelerating to keep up.. great fun.

atop jimba-san

atop jimba-san, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Jimba-san (or Mount Jimba) is about 70km from Tokyo. It is one of the higher peaks in the first mountain range west of Toyko. My current training cycle is a 150km ride that in corporates a 10 minute climb up the more well-known but less high Mount Takao. Then round the reservoir on the backside before getting off the main roads and setting off up the longer, much harder (at times 13% gradient) Mount Jimba climb. The peak is not very scenic. There is a cafe and car park. The views are found after a climb on foot up a prepared 'staircase'. Funily enough I have never had the inclination to get off my bike and go to the top. Maybe its the thought of the 70km I have to do to get back home!

Friday, April 14, 2006

more of the same..

"The emerging confrontation between the United States and Iran is "the Cuban missile crisis in slow motion""

"The Bush administration has demonstrated, in too many ways, that it's better at starting fights than finishing them. It shouldn't make that same mistake again. Threats of war will be more convincing if they come slowly and reluctantly, when it has become clear that truly there is no other choice."

from The Washington Post found via Economist's View

"I don't trust this administration to play the game Kennedy played and win, but I'm afraid they'll try."

Iran, The Nuclear Row and Oil

A lot to contemplate in the continuing row over uranium enrichment in Iran.  There is a nice summary article of the current state of play in The Economist .  I do not disagree that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, having nuclear weapons at his disposal would appear to be a very scary scenario.  He has shown a propensity for aggressive rhetoric and we logically assume that would follow through to something much worse if provoked.  However, how can we argue that Iran cannot develop their own nuclear abilities when they have witnessed a nuclear power invading their neighbour - unprovoked, I am sure, in the eyes of the Iranian people after no WMD were found in Iraq?  Don't they perceive the US president in the same light as we perceive their leader through our media?  Finally we all assume that Iran is rushing headlong to develop weapons.  They probably are.  They are rightly scared shitless that some nutter in the White House will take a dislike to their beliefs and values and decide to change it all in the name of democracy.  But also, are they aware that oil reserves are not in fact what we believe or have at least peaked and that the future isnt oil powered?  Maybe Nuclear capability will be required to keep the lights burning in Iranian homes?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


via the Kirk Report

Why Oil At $70 Would Have Serious Negative Effects on U.S. and Global Economic Growth
"In conclusion, if oil prices rise above $70 and stay there for the rest of 2006, it is highly likely that the U.S. and global economy could experience a serious growth slowdown and a policy meaningful increase in core inflation. Of course, if the tension with Iran were to seriously escalate and a military confrontation becomes highly likely oil could easily spike above $100 and we would experience a global recession rather than just a global slowdown. But this latter scenario is a totally different story that may have to be picked up and fleshed out at some later stage...."

How Google Grows.. and Grows.. and Grows..
"This is what it's like inside Google. It is a joint founded by geeks and run by geeks. It is a collection of 650 really smart people who are almost frighteningly single-minded. "These are people who think they are creating something that's the best in the world," says Peter Norvig, a Google engineering director. "And that product is changing people's lives."
Rule Number One: The User is Change.
Rule Number Two: The World is your R&D Lab.
Rule Number Three: Failures are Good. Good Failures are Better.
Rule Number Four: Great People Can Manage Themselves.
Rule Number Five: If Users Come, So Will the Money."

Inside the Strategy of Soros and Buffett
"A Master Investor:
1 Believes the first priority is preservation of capital.
2 As a result, is risk-averse.
3 Has developed his own investment philosophy, which is an expression of his personality. As a result, no two highly successful investors have the same approach.
4 Has developed his own personal system for selecting, buying and selling investments.
5 Believes diversification is for the birds.
6 Hates to pay taxes, and arranges his affairs to legally minimise his tax bill.
7 Only invests in what he understands.
8 Refuses to make investments that do not meet his criteria. Can effortlessly say 'no'.
9 Is continually searching for new investment opportunities that meet his criteria and actively engages in his own research.
10 Has the patience to wait until he finds the right investment.
11 Acts instantly when he has made a decision.
12 Holds a winning investment until a pre-determined reason to exit arrives.
13 Follows his own system religiously.
14 Is aware of his own fallibility. Corrects mistakes the moment they arise.
15 Always treats mistakes as learning experiences.
16 As his experience increases, so do his returns.
17 Almost never talks to anyone about what he's doing. Not interested in what others think of his investment decisions.
18 Has successfully delegated most, if not all, of his responsibilities to others.
19 Lives far below his means.
20 Does what he does for stimulation and self-fulfilment - not for money.
21 Is emotionally involved with the process of investing; but can walk away from any individual investment.
22 Lives and breathes investing, 24 hours a day.
23 Puts his money where his mouth is. For example, Warren Buffet has 99 per cent of his net worth in shares of Berkshire Hathaway; George Soros, similarly, keeps most of his money in his Quantum Fund. For both, the destiny of their personal wealth is identical to that of the people who have entrusted money to their management."

The Sabotage Workout
"Never confuse activity with achievement" & "Many people don't realize it's called a workout because you have to work for it."

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Maiso Pedestrian Bridge, originally uploaded by Knotty.

HDR shot from last Saturday morning..


this is THE internet source for plastic action figures demonstrating ashtanga yoga

added to the my rss reader.. can't wait for the next in the series..

found via the excellent dooce..


Free downloads (with commercials) of Lost, Desperate Housewives, Alias and Commander-in-Chief from next month on a revamped ABC website.  It is great to see a move away from the traditional TV network distribution model.

Tokyo news for April

taken from The Economist Monthly Cities Guide for Tokyo

" Tall tales

Not to be outdone by the mighty towers in Taipei, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, Japan's capital has unveiled plans for the New Tokyo Tower. The 610-metre structure will include at least two viewing platforms and carry the television broadcasting equipment of six companies. By the time it is completed in 2011, it will be 57 metres taller than the CN Tower in Toronto, but shorter than the proposed Burj Dubai tower in the United Arab Emirates, the exact height of which remains a secret and which is due for completion in 2008.

The spot chosen for the tower is an old Tobu Railway shunting yard in Sumida ward. This is close to the Asakusa district, whose serene temples and rowdy beer halls already make it a prime tourist spot. The competition for the tower was fierce among local governments, and a bidding war between Sumida and Saitama wards grew ugly. These rival bidders worked to persuade the tower's adjudicatory panel that the other location was more earthquake-prone.

Cry me a river

Tokyo households have become so skilled at conserving water that municipal authorities are preparing to "punish" them by raising rates. The trend towards careful water husbandry is enabled by appliance manufacturers, such as Toto, Matsushita and Sharp, which produce washing machines, toilets and dishwashers that use a fraction of the water of their forebears five years ago. As a result, over those five years average water consumption in Japanese homes has fallen 10%, and water bills have tumbled, since most water use is metered. Consequently, Tokyo and Yokohama residents now face possible water-price hikes of 20%.

For the past two decades, the local water boards have been engaged in an expensive frenzy of dam-building and other engineering projects, to ensure a healthy water supply. The local governments never reckoned that people would use less water, and they still have to pay for these projects. Even after a recent government crackdown on unnecessary dam construction, there are 200 live projects at any given time nationwide.

Pollen plea

Those who are bemused by financial penalties for water conservation may also be surprised by Tokyo's decision that it has too many trees. From early February to late spring, the capital's growing number of hay-fever sufferers endure an annual onslaught of cedar pollen. The pollen is coming earlier, which meteorologists blame on climate change and a spate of warmer summers. And there is more of it too, because Japan's forests are slowly expanding. These forests are the legacy of a reforestation drive following the second world war, which did not take account of the allergenic properties of the fast-growing cedar tree.

So, on the insistence of its hay-fever-struck governor, Shintaro Ishihara, the metropolitan government is hitting back. It has begun asking the nose-running, eye-watering masses to donate ¥1,500 ($13) each to a project that would see 1.8m cedar trees felled in a forest west of Tokyo. These trees would then be replaced with a species that produces less pollen.

Of the shoppers, by the shoppers, for the shoppers

Toshiba, an industrial conglomerate, is preparing to unleash a piece of software that will "democratise" shopping in Tokyo by linking mobile phones to internet weblogs. The software, which will work in any handset equipped with a digital camera, will let users scan the barcodes of an item in a shop, then call up assessments of the product on the internet. The phone connects to a central Toshiba server that can both identify the barcode from a database of 1.5m products and then sift through all 6m Japanese weblogs for any references to it. A more complex algorithm then decides whether the reference is broadly positive, broadly negative or neutral, and within about ten seconds the product's reputation gets a numerical value on the handset.

Tokyoites have already shown an appetite for insight into what other shoppers are thinking. The Toshiba invention goes one step further than RanKing RanQueen, a chain of highly popular shops in the capital where everyday items are ranked in order of their national sales."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

cycling views on sunday morning

cycling views on sunday morning, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bits n Pieces

This Leica digital camera is rather nice indeed. Unfortunately with the "Leica" price premium and the fact that I already have a perfectly acceptable Sony digital camera, any camera upgrade cannot be justified until wireless photo download is more widely available.

If you've seen in the news that Windows is available now on Macs and wanted to know more, then try this article.

Want a dictionary on your ipod?

Dog judo.. erm?

Car commercials

.. very clever.

and duly noted.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

japanese automated car parking

japanese automated car parking, originally uploaded by Knotty.

So the car slides sideways onto a lift which hides the car up the side of the building somewhere. Its all automated. Hoping its run on Microsoft software and that i get a Ferrari back..

Transparent Desktops

these must take an age to setup and do..

this is a pretty clever one..

now.. if only i can find the patience to do one in HDR...

Do you like to draw?

then click here

As Remarkable as One, Two, Three

By DAVID POGUE of The New York Times
"Late tonight -- specifically, 123 seconds after 1:00 a.m. -- the time and date, for the first time in all of humanity, will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.
And it will never happen again.
Hope you're doing something memorable at that amazing moment.  
P.S.--Thanks to reader Alan Forkosh for pointing out that this magic moment arrives only in the U.S. and countries that represent dates in month/day/year order. If you live in Europe, you'll have to wait about a month for the big moment to arrive.
P.P.S. --Reader George Grauke wrote to comment: "You are mistaken that this will never happen again. What about in the year 2106, 2206, etc.? And it also happened in 1906. It will happen whenever you use a 2 digit year."
He's absolutely right. Tonight's 01:02:03 04/05/06 date is not the first, and will not be the last.
I'm guessing it'll be the only one in our lifetimes, however."

so for any family reading from the UK.. you need to go buy your lottery tickets from a 24hr place on Thursday 4th May at 2minutes 3 seconds past 1 in the morning.. then your receipt would say 01:02:03 04/05/06.. those of you in the USA, looks like you'll have to wait until next century.. oops.

In Japan it goes year/month/date.. and then the years are actually based on the emperor.. so we are year 18 at the moment.. so this doesnt work at all here.. ho hum.

A Lot of Good (Finance related) Articles..

The Kirk Report

Anyone like this colour?

colour?, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Me Wife with Me Dawg

Me & My Dawg, originally uploaded by Joli Knott.

really like this self portrait from Joli..

Check your Breasts


Make your own Chevy Tahoe SUV commercial

Saw this on the interweb this weekend..

But I dont think this Chevy Tahoe commercial was what the manufacturer was hoping for?


I'd seen custom Nikes before.. but custom Timberlands now! 

Which reminded about custom M&Ms which should not be worn on your feet..

Blogging about Sleeping (or NOT Sleeping) Children

As a potential would-be parent and supernanny watcher I found this post from dooce and the follow-up from her husband at blurbomat educational.

The number of comments is impressive.  Being a stoic Englishman I cringe and squirm at the sycophantic stuff, but there are definitely some interesting views, ideas and opinions on a topic that I hadn't given much thought to at all.  Crikey.  Leaving your offspring to cry the night away is surely an impossible task given how difficult I find it listening to our pup Pepper crying in her crate sometimes.  I hope I have that strength when the time comes for my own health and sanity.

beautiful sunny morning

beautiful sunny morning, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Saturday, April 01, 2006


comfy?, originally uploaded by Knotty.

Scam alert

A friend emailed this to me! Be careful in Las Vegas; New scam

I don't know how many of you visit the MGM Grand Casino but this may
be useful to know. I have become a victim of a clever scam when using
the casino's car parking facility. This happened to me and it could
happen to you.

Here's how the scam works:

Two seriously good-looking 18-year-old girls come over to your car as
you are about to get in after leaving the casino. They both start
wiping your windshield with a rag and Windex, with their breasts
almost falling out of their skimpy t-shirts.

It is impossible not to look. When you thank them and offer them a
tip, they say "No" and instead ask you for a ride to another car
parking facility in the city.

You agree and they get in the back seat. On the way, they start having
sex with each other. Then, one of them climbs over into the front seat
and performs oral sex on you, while the other one steals your wallet.

I had my wallet stolen last Tuesday ... Wednesday, twice on Thursday,
again on Saturday, and also yesterday and most likely tomorrow and ...