Friday, December 31, 2010

Chikara CrossFit

"CrossFit workouts are comprised of constantly varied, functional movements, performed at high intensity.

So what does that really mean? It means that with Chikara CrossFit you will not find rows of stationary bikes and weight machines. Instead you will find pull-up bars, kettlebells, barbells and wide open space for squatting, running, jumping, climbing, lifting and throwing – moving your body the way it is meant to be moved. It means that all your workouts will be comprised of exercises that mimic movements performed in day-to-day life or sport. You would never do an isolated bicep curl to pick up your child, so why would you do it in the gym? We focus on improving functional movements that are necessary and common in your daily activities.

It also means that you will never get bored. With our constantly varied programming you will rarely do the same workout twice in any given year. You will never have to program your own workouts or spend hours in the gym. Instead, each day a workout will be provided for you that is scalable to suit your fitness level. And because our workouts are never longer than 1 hour they can fit into even the busiest schedules.

Our fitness programming aims to improve your capacity in ten recognized fitness domains: cardio-respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. The result is comprehensive physical fitness and restored vitality."

Intro class done this morning. I have a couple of private classes next week before jumping into the Group sessions. Gulp. The timing clashes with the Master swim program, but I want to do more than just swim or cycle and this type of training program appeals to me. We shall see.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How to Wrap a Cat.

Doesn't work on dogs.. we tried.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2 million feet with Greg Hill

UPDATE: "He did it! Today, with only one day to spare, Greg Hill completed his mission to climb and ski 2 million vertical feet in one calendar year. He hit his mark at Revelstoke." The Goat

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Renting Sheep

"Sue Foster knew what she needed to do when her border collie, Taff, was expelled from puppy school for herding the black Labs into a corner.

She rented some sheep.

Once upon a time, Americans got dogs for their sheep. Now they get sheep for their dogs.

Herding experts—yes, there is such a thing—say it's increasingly common for people who get border collies as pets to wind up renting or buying sheep just to keep their dogs busy.

Border collies appear willing to herd until they drop. In fact, they never appear to grow bored of organizing sheep. If they do, for an extra $5 dogs at Fido's Farm can also herd ducks."

In a Tale That Wags Dog Owners, They Rent Flocks for Bored Collies - WSJ

Wall Street Bull Crocheted

"NYC’s Crocheted Olek (a.k.a. Polish-born Agata Olek) hit up the Wall Street Bull and encapsulated it inside crocheted neon. “It lasted 2 hours,” she tells HFA, “but it was there…” She writes that it’s “a tribute to the sculptor of the bull, Arturo di Modica, who in another guerrilla act, placed the bull on Wall Street in Christmas of 1987 as a symbol of the ‘strength and power of the American people’ following the 1987 Stock Market crash.” And there it was. Since the bull is fully visible, and not horn-tip-deep in snow, this happened before the storm." via

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day Ride

Left Ebisu at 8am, back at midday, after a relaxed 75km loop with Dave. Out on the far side of the Tama, quick Yomiuri Land climb, Hospital hill, loop back to the river, then into Shinjuku on Route 20 for a change, Gaien Nishi dori, Starbucks in Hiro-o for a hot drink, then home. 3C when we left, 9C back at home. The usual bright blue, clear, sunny skies of a Japan December's day. Glorious.

The new Garmin Edge 800 - a present from my wife - worked perfectly. I likey.

Get stoked

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We are now in the future

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Arthur C. Clarke

Merry Christmas

Father Christmas delivered

Now.. anyone looking to buy a used 705?

Friday, December 24, 2010



1. “Spain is not Greece.”
Elena Salgado, Spanish Finance minister, Feb. 2010
2. “Portugal is not Greece.”
The Economist, 22nd April 2010.
3. “Ireland is not in ‘Greek Territory.’”
Irish Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.
4. “Greece is not Ireland.”
George Papaconstantinou, Greek Finance minister, 8th November, 2010.
5. “Spain is neither Ireland nor Portugal.”
Elena Salgado, Spanish Finance minister, 16 November 2010.
6. “Neither Spain nor Portugal is Ireland.”
Angel Gurria, Secretary-general OECD, 18th November, 2010.


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Emperor's Birthday

Day off so 100km, 4hr ride up the Arakawa. Headwind up, tailwind back. With Dave.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tech issues

If Past is Prologue

via PragCap

Meanwhile everyone else I speak to expects good things in 2011...

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse

"In case you couldn’t stay up all night and watch it, or you are someplace where it wasn’t visible, here is the video of last night’s lunar eclipse. Four hours of moonlight are compressed into two minutes. The video was captured over Gainesville, Florida by professor William Castleman." via

"Space shuttle Discovery waits to roll back from Launch Pad 39A to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the early morning hours of Dec 21, 2010, with the beginning of the total lunar eclipse clearly in view." via

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


"Mavis is a primordial beast, sturm und drang on wheels, but it's also a history lesson, a mechanical panegyric to war-time heroics and those brave exponents of the Brooklands outer circuit such as John Cobb, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Parry Thomas and Count Louis Zborowski. It's beautifully engineered and built, and a credit to Williams and his group of helpers."

Christmas road test: Packard-engined Bentley - Telegraph

Monday, December 20, 2010

White Christmas anyone?

The M25 comes to halt as snow causes travel chaos across the UK Photo: TOMMY HINDLEY

Traffic queues in the snow on the A3 near Guildford Photo: REUTERS

Snow brings travel gridlock on busiest weekend before Christmas
Snow showers cover Heathrow Airport in West London Photo: PA

Blizzard conditions left Britain gridlocked as major airports closed, roads became impassable and train services were cancelled on what should have been the busiest weekend before Christmas.
Vehicles come to a standstill on the M4 Photo: REUTERS

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Went on a pre-opening tour of the new Tokyo American Club development this afternoon. A big project with impressive results. We worked our way down from the uppermost floor - the rooftop pool - and I had to leave as we reached the ground floor, so missed some of that and the Ballroom etc on B1. All in all, as impressive as we have all been expecting. Looking forward to going in the New Year.

2010 Movies

Friday, December 17, 2010

What would you do?

Siblings Share Genes, But Rarely Personalities

"For most of history, psychologists thought of the study of siblings as backwater: Parenting was important — siblings were not.

Then in the 1980s, a researcher named Robert Plomin published a surprising paper in which he reviewed the three main ways psychologists had studied siblings: physical characteristics, intelligence and personality. According to Plomin, in two of these areas, siblings were really quite similar.

Physically, siblings tended to differ somewhat, but they were a lot more similar on average when compared to children picked at random from the population. That's also true of cognitive abilities.

"The surprise," says Plomin, "is when you turn to personality."

Turns out that on tests that measure personality — stuff like how extroverted you are, how conscientious — siblings are practically like strangers.

"Children in the same family are more similar than children taken at random from the population," Plomin says, "but not much more."

In fact, in terms of personality, we are similar to our siblings only about 20 percent of the time. Given the fact that we share genes, homes, routines and parents, this makes no sense. What makes children in the same family so different?

There are three theories, Divergence, Environment and Exaggeration.

Theory One: Divergence
The first is a view popularized by a Darwin scholar named Frank Sulloway. In Sulloway's view, competition is the engine that pushes evolution — just as in the wild. Therefore, in the context of a family, one of the main things that's happening is that children are competing for the time, love and attention of their parents.

Theory Two: Environment
The second theory has a slightly confusing name; it's called the non-shared environment theory, and it essentially argues that though from the outside it appears that we are growing up in the same family as our siblings, in very important ways we really aren't. We are not experiencing the same thing.

Theory Three: Exaggeration
The final theory is the comparison theory, which holds that families are essentially comparison machines that greatly exaggerate even minor differences between siblings."


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Panda Bonanza

"Researchers in southwestern China's Sichuan province are working to reintroduce giant pandas into the wild. To prevent the captive-bred cub from identifying with humans, the panda researchers dressed up like giant pandas. A 2006 attempt to introduce a male cub into the wild ended in tragedy when it was apparently killed by other pandas. The scientists hope to avoid a similar fate for a four-month-old cub with costumes."

Panda bonanza - Washington Post

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Beware of the Doghouse

via Terada-san

Repaint a plane

13 days condensed into 4 minutes.. I like the new red.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


"I don’t understand how he can even sit comfortably in a kayak with such huge balls." via The Goat

Some Notes on the Grammar of Curry

"But how to explain this fetishism of particular signifiers, this combinatorial generation of a menu from {chicken, lamb, shrimp} and some handful of sauces, these ungrammatical and unpoetic culinary utterances? How to explain the same sauce applied, with minor variations, to produce aborted versions of the same dish under many different names. What drives such promiscuous corruption of the understanding? Whence such systemic violence?"

Some Notes on the Grammar of Curry - 3quarksdaily

Certain Death?


Monday, December 13, 2010

Three Way Split

"THIS year has turned out to be a surprisingly good one for the world economy. Global output has probably risen by close to 5%, well above its trend rate and a lot faster than forecasters were expecting 12 months ago. Most of the dangers that frightened financial markets during the year have failed to materialise. China’s economy has not suffered a hard landing. America’s mid-year slowdown did not become a double-dip recession. Granted, the troubles of the euro area’s peripheral economies have proved all too real. Yet the euro zone as a whole has grown at a decent rate for an ageing continent, thanks to oomph from Germany, the fastest-growing big rich economy in 2010.

The question now is whether 2011 will follow the same pattern. Many people seem to think so. Consumer and business confidence is rising in most parts of the world; global manufacturing is accelerating; and financial markets are buoyant. The MSCI index of global share prices has climbed by 20% since early July. Investors today are shrugging off news far more ominous than that which rattled them earlier this year, from the soaring debt yields in the euro zone’s periphery to news of rising inflation in China.

Earlier this year investors were too pessimistic. Now their breezy confidence seems misplaced. To oversimplify a little, the performance of the world economy in 2011 depends on what happens in three places: the big emerging markets, the euro area and America. (Yes, Japan is still an economic heavyweight, but it is less likely to yield surprises.) These big three are heading in very different directions, with very different growth prospects and contradictory policy choices. Some of this divergence is inevitable: even to the casual observer, India’s economy has always been rather different from America’s. But new splits are opening up, especially in the rich world, and with them come ever more chances for friction.

How much does this parting of the ways matter? The divergence between the world’s big three will compound the risks in each one. America’s loose monetary policy and concerns about sovereign defaults in the euro zone will encourage capital to flow to emerging economies, making the latter’s central banks reluctant to raise interest rates and dampen down inflation. Over the next five years emerging economies are expected to account for over 50% of global growth but only 13% of the increase in net global public debt. Rather than rebalancing, the world economy in the immediate future will skew even more between a debt-ridden West and thrifty East.

The West avoided depression in part because Europe and America worked together and shared a similar economic philosophy. Now both are obsessed with internal problems and have adopted wholly opposite strategies for dealing with them. That bodes ill for international co-operation. Policymakers in Brussels will hardly focus on another trade round when a euro member is about to go bust. And it bodes ill for financial markets, since neither Europe’s sticking-plaster approach to the euro nor America’s “jam today, God knows what tomorrow” tactic with the deficit are sustainable.

Of course, it does not have to be this way. Now they have splurged the cash, Mr Obama and Congress could move on to a medium-term plan to reduce the deficit. Europe’s feuding leaders could hash out a deal to put the single currency and the zone’s banking system on a sustainable footing. And the big emerging economies could allow their currencies to rise. But don’t bet on it. A more divided world economy could make 2011 a year of damaging shocks."

Three-way split - Economist

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Another sunny Sunday ride

Beautiful weather again, and back at the designated time... score!

Just looked at the year's totals.. 4515km.. not bad?  Certainly more than I have done in either car!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Spot the Fuji-San

Taken from the top floor Haneda International parking on a very clear, cool morning. Off to HK.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Road Train

via Wired Perfect for the Shimoda run methinks..

Got Gold?

via GH

Gold surges to all-time high - CNNMoney

2nd Test

"OVER 92: AUS 286/8 Just two more wickets to take for England. "This is chuffing brilliant," writes Tim Fox, and so saith every England fan looking forward to an early night here. Rain? Bring it on! The ball is ripping and gripping and turning and churning for Swann here, and after struggling to lay bat on ball for a little, Siddle defends the last ball, it spins back and crashes into the stumps! And the bails stay on! Unbelievable! Never mind, though, here's Jimmy on a hat-trick..." The Ashes Live

286/5, 286/6, 286/7, 286/8, exciting stuff.


Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Lesson

"THAT is the lesson..." via Sheldon

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Shinagawa Bike Porn

Stable update, as per Rule 4, Rule 11 and Rule 12. Non-bike geeks look away now.

Klein, BMC, Trek

Trek Madone 6.9 Project One
Vittoria Open Pave Evo CG on Reynolds DV46C UL Carbon clinchers with Powertap SL+
Shimano Di2 with Rotor chainrings

Hutchinson Fusion2 Road Tubeless on Bontrager XXX-Lite Carbon clinchers
Shimano Dura-Ace Triple

Klein Quantum Race
Vittoria Open Pave Evo CG on Mavic Ksyrium ES SL clinchers
Shimano Dura-Ace, Flat Bar conversion

Silly season

Following a week of excess, it was with great delight that I managed to rope in Shane and Quinn last night at our TAC Masters swim dinner for a quick ride this morning. We met at 8am in Ebisu and did the usual Starbucks loop. We were treated to a beautiful morning of sunshine and perfect riding temperatures. It would have been a distinct error of judgement to have missed it. Wore a Rapha team issue jersey ("clearance" item) over a long sleeved Under Armor compression jersey from Wiggle. Perfect combo.

Saturday, December 04, 2010


Same rack, different car, different bike.