Friday, October 31, 2008
Sent: 31 October 2008 12:54
Subject: Health Check up - 2008 Check Items
This year's health check up will take place from mid November. Specific schedule is followed in due course.
Below it the check up items and things to note.
(1) Height, weight, waist measurement, hearing, cardiology test, hand power test
(2) Urine related tests: Check for blood in urine, Ketonbodiesinurine, glucose, urineaurobilinogen, protein, and PH test
(3) Blood Pressure
(4) Cavity thump tethescope diagnosis(test conducted after thumping parts of cavity)
(5) Blood related tests: RBC/Hb/WBC/Ht/GOT/GPT/gummer-GTP/T-BIL/TTT/ZTT/ALP/BUN/CRTN/UA/AMY/LDL-C/HDL-C/TG/GLU
(6) Direct Chest X-Ray
(7) Stomach X-Ray using Valium
(8) Cardiovascular test
(9) Echo test on the liver, pancreas, gall bladder, ect.
(10) Eyeground check
(11) Feces check for blood
Note: Please finish your meal before 8:00pm on the previous day to your testing. Please do not eat or drink liquids (water, coffee, or tea) before the test on that day. Please also do not smoke before the test on that day.
If you wear corrective contact lenses, you will need to take them off for an eyeground check so don't forget to bring your contact lenses case.
From: Knott, James
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 2:09 PM
Subject: RE: Health Check up - 2008 Check Items
"(7) Stomach X-Ray using Valium"
"(11) Eyeground check"
Interesting.. new Japanese procedures?
Sent: 31 October 2008 14:25
To: Knott, James
Subject: RE: Health Check up - 2008 Check Items
We had this last year, too. Did you skip it ?
Thursday, October 30, 2008
John Hodgman: The force of a single roundhouse kick from Chuck Norris=one American Chuck.
In England, however, they use the old Imperial Chuck, which is the equivalents to 1.34 American Chucks.
That is all."
Author and "Daily Show" Resident Expert John Hodgman was online at the Washington Post to discuss his new book, "More Information Than You Require."
"Hodgman, a self-described "famous minor television personality," is also author of "The Areas of My Expertise," a frequent contributor to Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and the radio program "This American Life," and is perhaps best known for his portrayal of "PC" in a series of commercials for Apple Computers."
Snow settled on the ground in parts of the capital last night as temperatures dipped below zero. A Met Office spokeswoman said it was London's first October snow since 1934.For greater south-east of England it was the first October snow since 1974. High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire had 3cm (1.2 inches)." guardian
I lived just outside High Wycombe as teenager, and went to school there for a number of years. Global warming? Ride a bike.
"The Fed’s half-point cut in its Fed Funds target does not address the leverage and credit issues in the banking system. Indeed, by penalizing savers it worsens the economy’s supply/demand imbalance for funding. The cut doesn’t solve short-term problems and worsens long-term inflation worries.
The banking crisis was not caused by over-high interest rates. Its two main causes were large and unknown housing-related and other credit losses and an urgent need for banks to reduce their leverage. Those problems are being addressed by huge Fed liquidity doses and plans to directly inject $250bn of new capital into banks via the Troubled Asset Relief Programme. Reducing already low interest rates will have no significant effect in alleviating the causes further.
With the consumer price index up 4.9% in the last year, savers have been receiving sharply negative real returns. The Fed cut potentially worsens this problem. Such low interest rates discourage saving and encourage borrowing, precisely the reverse of the appropriate prescription for the US economy. Much higher rates, giving savers a real return and bringing supply and demand for funds into equilibrium, are needed in the long term.
The Fed has avoided addressing the significant inflation in the US economy, and now appears to think that problem has solved itself. Yet its rate reductions late last year amplified an unprecedented commodities bubble, which has only been reversed by the current global downturn. With monetary and fiscal policy both wildly expansionary, there must be some risk of the commodities bubble re-inflating.
There’s nowhere now for rates to go but up. The sooner the central bank can reverse course, the better." breakingviews
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
"Volkswagen briefly became the world’s largest company by market capitalisation on Tuesday after an extraordinary share price surge that raised fears that hedge funds and other traders could collapse after betting on a fall in the stock.
The continued surge – triggered by the revelation on Sunday that Porsche had a much larger interest in the carmaker than many traders had realised – sharpened criticism over the level of disclosure and regulation in German capital markets.
VW’s share price rose 82 per cent to €945 following Monday’s 147 per cent jump, leaving it with a market capitalisation of about €287bn ($370bn), making it the world’s second-largest company ahead of Wal-Mart, General Electric and Microsoft.
At its intra-day peak of €1,005, its market capitalisation exceeded Exxon, the US oil company. This has raised fears over a “squeeze” on traders betting on a fall in Volkswagen shares through short-selling – the practice of selling borrowed shares in hope of profiting by buying them back later at a lower price and returning shares to the lender.
A manager at a large hedge fund said: “The losses will be extreme. I don’t think it is going to bring down a big fund, but it will probably bring down some small ones.”
There was widespread expectation in the markets that the huge rise would push some fragile hedge funds – who bet on VW’s shares falling – to collapse with losses estimated at €20bn-€30bn.
Bafin, the German regulator, repeated its comments from last week that it was monitoring, but not formally investigating, the share movements."
Basically Volkswagen, a mediocre company in fundamentally the worst auto industry environment in decades, quadrupled in value to become the most valuable company in the world. Why? Hedge funds were all on the wrong side of a short trade. Porsche has been messing about in VW shares for some time trying to get a majority holding. The HFs would have been short given the economic outlook. Porsche popped up at the weekend and basically said 'by the way we have loads more shares than you thought we did', the HFs realised they were playing in a much smaller space than they had originally thought (the' free float' of tradeable shares was smaller than they thought given Porsche's holdings) and got out. It would seem at any cost. Ouch. This isn't over. The regulators will have to have a look, but keep an eye on Porsche's profit this year..
In election news..
Charles Barkley to run for Alabama Governor in 2014. When asked if he was serious, the former Philadelphia 76er said, "I am, I can't screw up Alabama." He added that his native state could only improve. "We are number 48 in everything and Arkansas and Mississippi aren't going anywhere."
Iceland's central bank raised the benchmark interest rate to 18 percent from 12 percent.
(that would change your monthly mortgage bill a little bit)
And finally.. if you wanted to know what the market did today, click here.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
A German police source said: “The number plate is not enough. We need clear evidence of who is driving the vehicle too.
“But because this is a British vehicle we can never get a decent picture. The driver has obviously worked this out because he has placed a large puppet in the passenger seat.
“The driver has been caught on camera on several occasions and the puppet is on the passenger seat every time. We suspect he positions the toy deliberately before accelerating past the camera.”"
For instance, Mr. Hank Paulson will have to answer why his own firm of Goldman Sachs set up a special unit to short its own issues. It will be edifying to see how they answer.
The new president will have to be Franklin Roosevelt on steroids, with some Mahatma Gandhi and Florence Nightingale thrown in."
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Left home just after 6:10am, met Ben in Hiro-o, Bryon and Dominic at Ebisu, then off out to David's house. Straight down the Tama as usual, said bye to Dominic around 7:30am who was on kid watch duty and had to get back home, an hour later we were at the Seven-Eleven in Takao, not too shabby at all. Raining however! We set off to do the Otarumi TT. What started as a half-hearted attempt became far more serious as Ben took on the pacemaking at the halfway mark providing an excellent wheel to hold onto. I only fell away in the last few metres, but we both held our own against a couple of local (and much lighter!!) domestics. I timed both from the Family-Mart at the Takao Crossing and at the Seven-Eleven further up the road, stopping the clock at the brow of the hill. 20:09mins 7.39km or 15:20mins 5.35km. We re-grouped and headed back to Takao. My brakes are really rubbish in the wet, scary almost, the 'cork' blocks on carbon rims give me no confidence whatsoever, but made it back down with no drama, if a tad more slowly than my companions. After another quick pitstop in town, we headed for home. One final quick stop for more fuel at the Tama Seven-Eleven and then back along the river. One flat for David, quickly changed in just a few minutes and we were back at his house before you knew it. Back up Komazawa dori for the rest of us, I was home at the strike of midday. Perfect. Garmin download is here.
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Friday, October 24, 2008
But Dobson isn't finished. He has a follow up. This must be what hell feels like."
She is just awesome.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
- Cash-strapped consumers are buying baby formula at the start of the month when they are more likely to have money. In the past, he said, the chain hadn't noticed such surges in formula sales.
- A double digit decline in the use of credit cards in the second quarter. "Credit has been declining dramatically," said Castro-Wright, the Ecuador-born executive who has run Wal-Mart Stores USA for three years. "That decline in credit means people have to make choices about how they spend their hard-earned money. "They have maxed out on their credit limits."
- 80% of consumers surveyed by Walmart say "personal financial security" is their top concern. Formerly, it was the price of gasoline. More consumers worry: "Will I have enough to put on the table so my family can eat?" Castro-Wright added.
- Purchases of generics have doubled.
- Shoppers are changing how often they visit the store. Some come more often because they have less money and can only afford small purchases. Some come less often to save gas.
- Walmart now sees a 2.5% sales increase in the middle of the month, when paychecks are handed out, implying more consumers are living paycheck to paycheck.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Let's assume you reside in Japan (tick), earn your wages in Yen (tick), have a Euro 300,000 mortgage for a European property (tick) then at the end of this summer that mortgage would have needed about Yen 50 million to repay it.
Today, you need Yen 38 million to repay it. 24% less. That's great. Shame the property value is surely a lot more than 24% lower. Bugger.
The stock market here just collapsed after at the start of the afternoon session.. NEC Electronics (Japan's 3rd biggest chipmaker) announced that instead of 'probably' breaking even that they would lose about USD 80 million this year. Nice one. So everyone questioning forecasts and results again. Plus, as above, the currency crosses are falling out of bed which means the export driven economy of Japan will fair worse. It's all a load of old cobblers really.
Schizoid |||||||||||| 42%
Schizotypal |||||| 26%
Antisocial |||||||||||||||||| 78%
Borderline |||| 18%
Histrionic |||||||||||| 50%
Narcissistic |||||||||||||||| 66%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 46%
Dependent |||||| 22%
Obsessive-Compulsive |||||||||||||||||||| 82%
Click for Personality Disorder Test
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Deflation Scare the Perfect Camouflage
Why Warren Buffet is Right (and Why Nobody Cares)
Iceland poised to announce $6bn IMF-led rescue
In poll position
UK House Prices Down by 40%
Bank Offers Home Loan at 8x Joint Salary
The Meltdown (Part IV)
Updated with another..
Pay and bonus deals equivalent to 10% of US government bail-out package
When and where will the revolution be?
Monday, October 20, 2008
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I look forward to at least an excursion to Takao soon and hopefully a Wada soon after.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich as bun top
Four-ounce beef patty
Bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich as bun bottom
You're thinking it can't get better than that.. you would be mistaken.
The Double Bacon Hambuger Fatty Melt.
Bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich as bun top
Four-ounce beef patty
Bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich as interstitial bun (a nod to the Big Mac)
Four-ounce beef patty
Bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwich as bun bottom
The 'autopsy' shot - literally!
* Now you can go axel to axel with two of these built-for-speed beauties, intricately reproduced to Shelby standards
* They zip around the 63-3/4 running feet of track, hugging every twist and curve thanks to super-strong Neo Dymium ground-effect magnets and extra-long guide pins
* High-conductivity phosphor bronze shoes and a 22-volt power pack deliver the speed you need with a bulletproof chassis that ensures if you spin out, you won't have to retire
* Set includes track, power pack, two cars, two controllers, grandstand and pit
* Available to ship December 1
I think she'll love this right? What 3-month old girl wouldn't?
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
"This is the kind of fiasco that brings down governments, propels societies into revolutions, and starts wars. In a few months, America will be full of angry economic losers. We're not the same nation that crowded around the old radio consoles for Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chats. Back then, we were mostly a highly-disciplined, regimented, industrial society full of citizens who mostly did what they were told to do, and mostly trusted in authority. Today we're a nation of tattooed barbarian "consumers" with no impulse control, a swollen sense of entitlement, ruled by a set of authorities ranging from one G.W. Bush to the grifter-billionaire pantheon of Wall Street CEOs.
Nobody really knows anything. We construct our narratives to try and explain circumstances that are unraveling non-linearly before us, and some narratives are more plausible than others, depending on your vantage point. There are infinite narratives. This is nothing more than my narrative. The circumstances we're entering appear, for the moment, to take the shape of a compressive deflationary depression with the cherry-on-top add-on of a hyper-inflation further down the road -- meaning initially that jobs, incomes, and pensions are lost, but that later on even the little money that people manage to get -- perhaps mostly from government hand-outs of one kind or another -- steadily loses its value. Every way you jigger things, it just ends up meaning the same thing: a much poorer society. It certainly won't be a society of recreational shoppers plying the Target store aisles for scented candles and home accents. Hyper-inflation could make old debts meaningless, but it would also make credit meaningless and spending absurd.
The price of oil may be going down for the moment -- perhaps due to the deleveraging of hedge funds, banks, and invested individuals, perhaps combined with a perception of "demand destruction" -- but the geology and geopolitics of oil have not changed since June of this year when oil was at $147. Let's say US oil consumption is down one million barrels of oil a day. Within the next two years, we're liable to lose more than that in import declines from Mexico and Venezuela alone. The International Energy Agency's latest estimate is for only slightly less of an increase in worldwide oil demand than was previously posted. It's still a net demand increase. World oil consumption still exceeds world production now, perhaps permanently so. Finally, the current plunge of oil prices has suddenly halted the very capital ventures in exploration and development that were hoped to increase the worldwide supply of oil. All this portends an aggravation of oil supply and allocation problems in the five years ahead, and ultimately much more expensive, harder-to-get oil."
If you spray hair spray on dust bunnies and run over them with roller blades, they can ignite.
A 3 year old child’s voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded restaurant.
If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 42-pound boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape.
If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan and tie it to a paint can, it does spread paint on all four walls of a 20×20 room.
You should not throw baseballs up when the ceiling fan is on.
When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit.
A ceiling fan can hit a baseball a long way.
The glass in windows (including double pane windows) doesn’t stop a baseball hit by a ceiling fan.
When you hear the toilet flush along with the words “uh oh,” it’s already too late.
Brake fluid mixed with Clorox makes smoke (and lots of it).
A six-year old can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36 year old man says they can only do it in the movies.
Certain Lego blocks will pass through the digestive tract of a 4 year old.
Play-Doh and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.
Super glue is forever.
No matter how much Jell-O you put in a swimming pool, you still can’t walk on water.
Pool filters do not like Jell-O.
VCRs do not eject sandwiches, even though TV commercials show they do.
Garbage bags do not make good parachutes.
Marbles in gas tanks make lots of noise when driving.
You probably don’t want to know what that smell is.
Always look in the oven before you turn it on.
Plastic toys do not like ovens.
The fire department in my town has a 5 minute response time.
The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.
The spin cycle on the washing machine does make cats dizzy, however.
Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.
Sixty percent of men who read this will try mixing the Clorox and brake fluid.
Now.. what is the equivalent of Clorox in Japan I wonder?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Sting was so impressed that he had Ketola stick around for several songs, and, then, in the ultimate fairy-tale moment, asked her to join him onstage that night at the concert.
The stage manager later said, "I've done 60 of these sound-check parties, and I've never seen anything like it."
"Sting never shares a microphone," he muttered to Ketola as she waited in the wings before the concert. "So don't [expletive] up."
"STEEP is a feature documentary about bold adventure, exquisite athleticism and the pursuit of a perfect moment on skis. It is the story of big mountain skiing, a sport that barely existed 35 years ago.
It started in the 1970s in the mountains above Chamonix, France, where skiers began to attempt ski descents so extreme that they appeared almost suicidal. Men like Anselme Baud and Patrick Vallencant were inspired by the challenge of skiing where no one thought to ski before. Now, two generations later, some of the world's greatest skiers pursue a sport where the prize is not winning, but simply experiencing the exhilaration of skiing and exploring big, wild, remote mountains.
STEEP features many of the sport's greatest athletes including Bill Briggs, Stefano De Benedetti, Eric Pehota, Glen Plake, Shane McConkey, Seth Morrison, Chris Davenport, Ingrid Backstrom and Andrew McLean.
The man who is often described as the greatest big mountain skier of all, the late Doug Coombs, is the character at the center of STEEP. He died in a skiing accident in La Grave, France, in April, 2006, just days after being filmed for STEEP. His rich life and tragic death reveal the essential question at the heart of big mountain skiing: How does a skier weigh the risks versus the rewards of a sport where the possibility of dying is ever-present?
STEEP was shot on High Definition and on film in Alaska, Wyoming, Canada, France and Iceland."
And I'd like it as a Christmas present.. roll on February.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Time magazine says that the winner of the presidential election in Florida will be determined by voters under the age of 30. In case you’re wondering, the Florida voters under 30 are named Kyle and Stacy.
The TED Spread measures credit conditions directly. Bloomberg tracks the TED Spread here.
The TED spread is the difference between the interest rate banks charge each other on three-month loans and the interest rate on three-month U.S. Treasury bills.
The higher interest rate on interbank loans compensates for the fact that a short-term loan to a bank is riskier than a short-term loan to the U.S. government.
The TED Spread typically stays under 50 basis points (half a percentage point). Things got atypical in August 2007, when subprime mortgage troubles began making waves in the U.S. housing market. The spread moved above 100 basis points, climbing above 300 basis points in the more recent tumult surrounding the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.
Why the big spread? It's due, in part, to all of the toxic assets the Treasury hopes to soak up from the financial system with the $700 billion Congress freed up last week. Lenders in the interbank market need an exceptionally high interest rate to extend credit to banks that may be overexposed to bad assets, pushing the interest rate on interbank loans further above the rate on three-month Treasuries. The spread reflects falling yields for three-month Treasury bills as well as investors sought refuge in the relative safety of treasuries, paying higher prices for the three-month bills and accepting lower yields (even negative yields at one point).
If the Treasury's program works, it will remove a substantial bloc of toxic assets from the financial system and stabilize the prices for those that remain on banks' balance sheets. The stabilization should restore some confidence among both banks and financial markets in general. If so, we'd expect interbank lending rates to come down and Treasury yields to rise as investors stop worrying and start moving money back into equities, corporate bonds, money market mutual funds, and the like.
Thus, watch the TED Spread. If it falls back, then credit problems are easing, if not, more pain."
cribbed from bigmoney.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
They talk of competing in the worlds of science and medicine, technology and economics and yet present us with a presidential candidate who has repeatedly shown and even admitted that he knows very little about such things, has repeatedly voted against funding for education, but will repeat at every opportunity that he is an expert at winning wars, though he's never actually won one. They talk about teaching our children to compete in the global economy and international relations and yet they present us with a vice presidential candidate who has to memorize talking points and cynically condescend to us with winks and "doggonits" in order to conceal her astounding and terrifying lack of genuine knowledge."
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
"Intelligence is now viewed as a threat. Isn't that how Pol Pot operated?"
"Gold? That's not pessimistic enough. I've been buying rice."
"I'm not going to waste your time with a stock pick this week, because the odds are against me."
Investors must feel like they're watching a young Mathew Broderick in the movie War Games. Remember his computer talking to him in that monotone voice, saying: “Strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”
"John McCain showed up without running mate Sarah Palin, which is a shame because she actually has a lot of experience with financial matters. You know, she lives right next to a bank."
"Blaming fair-value accounting for the credit crisis is a lot like going to a doctor for a diagnosis and then blaming him for telling you that you are sick."
"Suspending mark-to-market accounting, in essence, suspends reality."
Plan B - like watching West Wing (unfortunately).