Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rain stopped play

Woke to cold and wet weather in Tokyo this morning. Checked email and as previously discussed all would-be participants had sensibly cried off and gone back to bed.

Following my CTS Field test the other week, the overdue follow-up is a verification test.

"Field test verification is a crucial step in determining the most accurate ranges for your workouts based on your current level of fitness. We start by establishing your SteadyState intensity range [from the recent test, my HR range is 150-155, power range is 220-232]. To verify that your field test was accurate we take the calculated SteadyState range and have you perform a 10-minute interval at this intensity. A recovery period follows the first interval and then we add 10-15 watts to your SteadyState range and have you do a second 10-minute interval. It’s no surprise that the effort feels more difficult, however if an athlete can complete this second interval we start to consider raising his or her calculated heart rate or power range for training. Finally, following a recovery period, there’s one final 10-minute effort at 20-25 watts above the prescribed SteadyState range. If an athlete can accomplish this interval then his or her ranges definitely need to be increased.
What we are looking for here is a breaking point. Where does an athlete’s ability to sustain the intensity drop off? If an athlete can accomplish all three efforts, then they most likely could have worked a bit harder on the CTS Field Test."

Cycling: CTS Field Test Verification Workout Explained -

Results as follows:

CTS Field Test  - 2x8min
AvgHR 163  160
MaxHR 170  168

AvgPWR 264  251
MaxPWR 311  301

CTS Verification Test  - 3x10min
AvgHR 155  162  157
MaxHR 161  168  169

AvgPWR 227 (target 220-232)  251 (target range 230-247)  257 (target range 240-257)
MaxPWR 244  308  311

One important difference. The initial test was done on a turbo trainer, whilst the follow-up verification test was done on rollers. I was expecting the rollers to be more difficult, they are, but I have no idea what kind of effect, if any, they should have to the final scores.

Any (useful/educated) comments?

Higher average power, lower average heart rate for the last interval, plus accomplishing as instructed definitely means my Field test scores were too low in terms of setting future training ranges. I am aware that there is somewhat of a learning curve for the Field test, but it definitely looks like I could go harder. I think I am pleased with that actually.

An interesting exercise on a rainy Tokyo Sunday.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

John Mayer has a TV show

I thoroughly recommend you take the 20minutes or so to watch John Mayer has a TV show - he's a funny dude.

"Hello ladies.."


Friday, February 26, 2010

3 Seconds

"Teams practiced pit stops and it looks like we will see stops of around 3 seconds this year, now that there is no refuelling. Pit crews have been doing a lot of fitness training in preparation for the season and now the serious drills start. It will be crucial as there is an advantage to be gained by pitting first in a straight race this year and every second will count."

Barcelona Day 1 – It’s all about the wings -


Click the picture then which way is this dancer spinning?

A: Clockwise (to the right)

B: Counterclockwise (to the left)

If your answer was A, the right-hand side of your brain was dominant.
If you selected B, the left-hand side of your brain was dominant.

Left Brain
Right Brain
Sequential Rational
Looks at parts
Random Intuitive
Looks at wholes

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Toyota recall

"Toyota suffered yet another setback today, as it was forced to recall all remaining models due to faulty chick magnets. "We have received numerous complaints regarding the complete lack of arousal induced by our dependable, fuel-efficient vehicles," said Shotaro Kamiya, a spokesman for the beleaguered automotive company. "The panty-dropping capacity of our products falls far short of our standards, and for that we apologize." Owners are urged to bring their vehicle into their local dealership, where technicians will replace lithium-ion batteries with hemis, apply "Peeing Calvin" decals to back windows, and affix Truck Nutz to the underside of pickups. "No deaths are attributable to the defect," Kamiya added, saying that the recall was entirely voluntary. "But as no one has every gotten laid in the backseat of a Yaris, no births are attributable either. We regret this senseless loss of life.""

Toyota Recalls Remaining Models Due to Faulty Chick Magnets - Defective Yeti

Olympic Curling

Watched Japan vs. Sweden last night at the Trader's Bar with Joli. Then onto women's figure skating. All far more exciting and interesting than you would imagine. Although I am sure the alcohol helped. Hic.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kirsten Dunst - Akihabara


Hiding in plain sight

"We are agnostics living deep in the heart of Texas and our family fakes Christianity for social reasons. It’s not so much for the sake of my husband or myself but for our young children. We found by experience that if we were truthful about not being regular church attenders, the play dates suddenly ended. Thus started the faking of the religious funk.

It seemed silly but it’s all very serious business down here. We don’t go to church or teach or children one belief is “right” over another. We expose them to every kind of belief and trust that they will one day settle in to their very own spirituality. However, for the sake of friends and neighbors, we pretend we are Christians. We try not to lie but rather not to disclose unnecessary information."

“We Pretend We Are Christians” - Freakonomics

Seen in comments.. "The Church of the Apathetic Agnostic - We don't know and we don't care"

Electric Light Orchestra

"The Roadster is a rolling proclamation that defines you as a futurist. It's not a toy, but it's a geek's plaything. It's not a track tool, but it's capable of unparalleled performance. The same could be said for a countless number of past, current and future exotics. And above all else, it works, something that can't be said for many erstwhile supercar upstarts. Factor in the (near) zero-emissions thing and the total tally for juice (around $40.00 for the week, maybe less if I was on a different power plan) and the Roadster rises above the hype to solidify its place as a proper sports car. Could it be lighter? Certainly. Could it be cheaper? Most definitely. But today, in this world, in this climate, it stands in a segment of one. That makes it something to aspire to. And aspire I will."

Living with the Tesla Roadster Sport - Autoblog

Nothing will ever beat the howl of a flat-six, but I'd have one of these in a heartbeat.

Cost of Home Ownership

"However, the most important ratio — median annual Income to Housing costs — shows that prices still remains elevated."

Cost of Home Ownership - The Big Picture

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

William - Perma Japan Bear - Pesek

"Truth is, Japan still has no strategy for growing without the help of massive borrowing and near-zero rates. Hopes that Hatoyama’s election win in August would bring new thinking to old problems have been dashed.

The upshot is more of the same -- debt sales and a return to the quantitative easing policies the BOJ scrapped in 2006. All the while, reforms needed to raise Japan’s competitiveness amid China’s rise are being put off. Expect ever more debt, higher yields and less growth.

Even if Japan isn’t the next Greece, its debt trajectory is anything but pretty. That’s grim news for investors."

‘Next Greece’ Search Is on as Hedge Funds Circle: William Pesek - Bloomberg

The post title aside, it is hard to argue against his view here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


"German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s constituents hate bailouts, because they know that it is they who will be doing the bailing. They oppose anything that smacks of European political integration.

But Germany is not innocent of responsibility for this crisis. It demanded an extraordinarily independent and unaccountable central bank that is now running an excessively tight monetary policy, aggravating the plight of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain). Germany’s enormous current-account surplus aggravates their problems further. Germany has also done too little in terms of fiscal stimulus to support the European economy.

Germany has benefited enormously from the creation of the euro. It should repay the favor. It should push for the creation of an emergency lending facility, and for political integration to make that feasible. It should provide more fiscal support. And who better to press for a more accountable European Central Bank?

The Greek crisis could be the Trojan horse that leads Europe toward deeper political integration. One can only hope."

Europe’s Trojan Horse - Project Syndicate

"None of this should come as a big surprise. Long before the euro came into being, economists warned that Europe wasn’t ready for a single currency. But these warnings were ignored, and the crisis came.

Now what? A breakup of the euro is very nearly unthinkable, as a sheer matter of practicality. As Berkeley’s Barry Eichengreen puts it, an attempt to reintroduce a national currency would trigger “the mother of all financial crises.” So the only way out is forward: to make the euro work, Europe needs to move much further toward political union, so that European nations start to function more like American states.

But that’s not going to happen anytime soon. What we’ll probably see over the next few years is a painful process of muddling through: bailouts accompanied by demands for savage austerity, all against a background of very high unemployment, perpetuated by the grinding deflation I already mentioned.

It’s an ugly picture. But it’s important to understand the nature of Europe’s fatal flaw. Yes, some governments were irresponsible; but the fundamental problem was hubris, the arrogant belief that Europe could make a single currency work despite strong reasons to believe that it wasn’t ready."

The Making of a Euromess - Krugman

"Paul Krugman's point is that some of the countries, e.g. Spain, were not behaving in a manner that was fiscally irresponsible. It was the bursting of the housing bubble and the fall in revenues combined with the increase in spending necessary to fight the recession that put the countries into the red. Those countries need access to an emergency funding mechanism, but anything that appears to penalize them punitively -- and allowing outsiders control of the budget will be viewed in this way -- will be strongly resisted by countries who don't think they did anything wrong. This will require that countries like Greece, where there were fiscal problems due to bad government behavior, be treated differently than countries like Spain. But (just as with US states), some sort of bailout mechanism is needed in both situations."

Economist's View

"Greece’s newly-controversial currency-swap is by no means a new story: Risk magazine covered the deal as far back as 2003.

That European Union authorities have only now requested information about the deal presumably tells us more about the inner workings of Brussels than it does about Greek finances.

Indeed, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou was quick to point out there was nothing untoward or illegal about a sovereign government taking out an exotic financial instrument with a Wall Street counterparty, especially not back in the heady days of 2002.

In fact, the practice was so prevalent that Standard & Poor’s covered the issue in a note — published in 2002 — entitled “Accounting for Innovation: Treatment of Off-Balance-Sheet Public Sector Financing Operations”.

As they rather presciently observed, “efficient” accounting was just as much the norm on a government level as it was a corporate one back then."

EU leaders: only 8 years behind the curve on currency swaps - FT Alphaville

Monday, February 15, 2010


Bought Joli a Kindle for her birthday.. cool stuff. iPad? We're waiting. via Time

33 America's Cup - Valencia - Race 2

"BMW ORACLE Racing become the first American team to win the America’s Cup since 1992 when America3 defeated Il Moro de Venezia off San Diego.

San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club become the 28th American Defender of the America’s Cup.

Russell Coutts, CEO of BMW ORACLE Racing, has now won the America’s Cup four times, twice with his native New Zealand, once at the helm of the Swiss Alinghi team and now masterminding the success of Ellison’s American team.

In the evening twilight the giant black and white trimaran USA speared across the finish line off Valencia, a long way ahead of the Swiss team who first won the America’s Cup in New Zealand in 2000 and then successfully defended it against Emirates Team New Zealand in July 2007."

The best of the quotes from the two press conferences BMW ORACLE Racing and Alinghi.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

33 America's Cup - Valencia - Race 1

Challenger BMW ORACLE Racing Team (USA) scored the vital first win in the best-of-three race series that is the 33rd America’s Cup off Valencia, Spain.

The American team, sailing under the flag of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Yacht Club, were quickly able to overturn an early mistake when they were caught flat footed on the wrong side of the start line.

Despite an initial deficit when they crossed the start line of 1 minute and 27 seconds, the trimaran USA, with its massive 68 metres wing sail were able to pass the Defender’s catamaran Alinghi 5 after around 15 minutes of the 20 miles windward leg.

BMW ORACLE Racing Team’s final Race 1 winning margin of 15 minutes and 28 seconds is the biggest in the history of the America’s Cup since the 27th edition in 1988.

Karine Falck-Pederson

Born and raised in Norway, Karine Falk-Pederson spent her college years racing for the Denver Ski Team. Last season she initiated her big-mountain competition career, placing fifth place overall by the end of the season. Filming with Warren Miller and competing keeps her traveling all winter, only spending a few weeks back in Norway each season. Luckily, she just started using a helmet cam, so everyone at home can live vicariously through her videos.

CTS Field Test

Looking forward to doing this again in a few weeks..

The Ski Journal

Just renewed my Ski Journal subscription.. four issues per year in limited edition.. amazing photography.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic Winter Games Opening Ceremony

Canadian Embassy Tokyo. Burger and beer fest!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I need a pet duck



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Colour Career Counselor

"The Dewey Color System® is now the world's most accurate career testing instrument.
This report based on your personality traits indicates your two most enjoyable day-day-day occupation skills. It’s a summary of the full report, the Color Leadership Evaluation 5.0."

Best Occupational Category


Self-Control, Practical, Self-Contained, Orderly, Systematic, Precise, and Accurate
These conservative appearing, plotting-types enjoy organizing, data systems, accounting, detail, and accuracy. They often enjoy mathematics and data management activities such as accounting and investment management. Persistence and patience allows them to do detailed paperwork, operate office machines, write business reports, and make charts and graphs.

2nd Best Occupational Category

You're a CREATOR

Nonconforming, Impulsive, Expressive, Romantic, Intuitive, Sensitive, and Emotional
These original types place a high value on aesthetic qualities and have a great need for self-expression. They enjoy working independently, being creative, using their imagination, and constantly learning something new. Fields of interest are art, drama, music, and writing or whether they can express, assemble, or implement creative ideas.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


Been a fair while since we had a Star Wars reference here...

Monday, February 08, 2010

Upside down Milly!

Fun with punctuation

Gotta like that

Altus kindly posted a shot and some video of yours truly ripping it up.. more of his excellent photography here.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Friday, February 05, 2010

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Did that just happen?


Forecast for Niseko for the upcoming weekend.. I fly up there tomorrow evening.. can't wait!

Staying here.. closer to the back bowls.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Pen sex


"There are two ways to fall out of a plane. The first is to free-fall, or drop from the sky with absolutely no protection or means of slowing your descent. The second is to become a wreckage rider, a term coined by Massachusetts-based amateur historian Jim Hamilton, who developed the Free Fall Research Page—an online database of nearly every imaginable human plummet. That classification means you have the advantage of being attached to a chunk of the plane. In 1972, Serbian flight attendant Vesna Vulovic was traveling in a DC-9 over Czechoslovakia when it blew up. She fell 33,000 feet, wedged between her seat, a catering trolley, a section of aircraft and the body of another crew member, landing on—then sliding down—a snowy incline before coming to a stop, severely injured but alive.

Surviving a plunge surrounded by a semiprotective cocoon of debris is more common than surviving a pure free-fall, according to Hamilton’s statistics; 31 such confirmed or “plausible” incidents have occurred since the 1940s. Free-fallers constitute a much more exclusive club, with just 13 confirmed or plausible incidents, including perennial Ripley’s Believe It or Not superstar Alan Magee—blown from his B-17 on a 1943 mission over France. The New Jersey airman, more recently the subject of a MythBusters episode, fell 20,000 feet and crashed into a train station; he was subsequently captured by German troops, who were astonished at his survival."

"No matter the surface, definitely don’t land on your head."

How to Fall 35,000 Feet—And Survive - Popular Mechanics via MR

Or. there's this (via Dominic)...

Buy the dips. Or don't.

"In a titanic call that the puking E-Trade baby could probably make with its eyes closed, JP Morgan comes out this morning with the conclusion that investors should buy the market unless things turn bad. Isn't that kinda analogous to an analyst saying if the Dow is at 36,000 on December 31, you should have bought. And vice versa. At least JPM analysts Mislav Matejka and Emmanuel Cau admit that investor confidence is slipping."

JP Morgan - Buy The Dips... Unless Things Turn South, In Which Case Don't - Zero Hedge

Is this the big one - FT Alphaville

Stay the right side of the line

"In the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, Anderson Cooper was reporting for the TV channel CNN at the scene of a looting when he witnessed a young boy being seriously injured by a flying concrete block thrown from a nearby building. The reporter hesitated for a few seconds and then rushed to the child's assistance.

Viewers of Cooper’s 360-Degree Show on CNN later saw footage of the anchorman carrying the small, bleeding Haitian boy.

We sae ITV’s award-winning international editor Bill Neely pass water to a severely dehydrated woman who had been trapped in the rubble for five days, helping to save her life before the rescue teams even got there. He also used his microphone to help to facilitate her rescue.

When the professional rescue teams did arrive, Neely was able to brief them about the condition of the trapped woman. This was filmed but Neely chose not to use any of the footage in his transmitted report.

Matthew Price, the BBC’s New York correspondent, shares that view. He was one of the first correspondents in Haiti and he too was drawn into the story when he took an unconscious and heavily pregnant woman to hospital in his crew car. “At a very basic human level,” he said afterwards, “we realised that we should help her. The cameraman carried on doing what he does, which is to film it, but I straight away said to him, ‘Don’t do any shots of me helping people. I don’t want us to be the story’.”

There is also a thin line between capturing the drama and becoming part of it. The challenge for TV reporters now — in the age of celebrity — is to stay the right side of the line."

Haiti and the reporters without boundaries - Times

Monday, February 01, 2010

Fitty Cent - funny dude


"There was something creative and artistic about a Saab that just wasn't there in the Austin Allegro. The father of another girl I liked had a Volvo 244, but that car merely gave automotive substance to his attitude towards my approaches to his daughter – square, edgy, overly concerned with safety. I rarely made it up the driveway, to be honest, because a Volvo just said no. The Saab father was more liberal. I've always liked a Saab."

Saab's saviour - James May - Telegraph