Support Tohoku Earthquake Victims!

Do you want to support the victims of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and at the same time know exactly where the money goes? The Tohoku Donation page was created to do just that, support the victims of the earthquake/tsunami but also enable donators to track where the money goes.

25 Million

Met Koichi-san from Kobuchihama and Sachi-san, Shiho-san and Toru-san today. We talked about many things, but most of all about life after 11.3.11.

If the great earthquake of Tohoku and the following tsunami would never have happened… Then we would not be sitting here together. In fact, we would probably never have met. Though the earthquake was a disaster, there is always something good coming out of something bad.

Also got to know that the small, private volunteer group we joined have collected donations and arranged flee markets to collect a total of 25 million yen. All of it went into things for Kobuchihama and Fukukiura.

EXPLOSION… Of Sakura

Since I’ve been away on a business trip the cherry blossom (sakura) has gone from nothing to full bloom. It was wonderful to ride the bike to the office in the morning. Like floating under clouds of flowers. Forces you to be happy, even though you are heading for work :-)


Cherry Blossom

BizTrip to San Francisco, Napa and San Mateo

Departed Narita on Sunday afternoon and arrived in San Francisco on Sunday morning. First thing I did was to put my bag in a locker and jumping on the first BART for San Francisco’s Union Square. The weather was great and I enjoyed walking around, relaxing and soaking in the atmosphere.


Union Square
By 4:45 pm I was back at SFO and had arrived at the rental car offices. There I met two of my work colleagues as we had planned, they had arrived later than me.

Once we got a rental car we were off for Calistoga in Napa. That’s where this year’s Open Source Think Tank was held. But before arriving in Calistoga we had a stop in Napa where I had a Buffalo Burger – tasted just like a normal burger though :-(

The Think Tank was good, but not as good as the previous years. However, I attended a side track the first day – Community Leadership Summit by Jono Bacon. Great!

Tuesday in the afternoon of the second day there’s usually a social activity and I had signed up for the bike ride. However, it was raining so it was cancelled. Instead I went out for a run in the Napa valleys. Beautiful run. Though I had a plan to take the Oat Mill Hill Trail but I decided not to when I read the sign at the trail head… Warning rattlesnakes may be on the trail and mountain lions may attack humans, don’t go out on the trail alone. Well, I was alone and though it was not a day for rattlesnakes to be sun tanning on a trail I kind of thought it was best to take a safer route. And so I did.

After a 7-8 km run and a shower I was back at the conference where I joined with my case study group to finalise our presentation on the role of open source in the Internet of Things for Automotive.

At 6 pm we all were loaded into busses and shipped to a nearby vinery where we had dinner. The vinery was built as a castle in an old Spanish style, though it had an Italian name (Amoara or something like that) and many of the staff spoke English with an Italian accent. The food was great and I had a chance to talk lot with a super-long distance runner (50-90 km) from Red Hat. Nice guy and interesting talk!

Oh, across us were a Korean couple. She was a teacher back in Korea, dinner etiquette teacher. Perfect for us simple people as we could ask her how to use all the forks, knifes and spoons that they had lined up at each table seat :-)


Vinary
Wednesday at lunch time the Think Tank was over. We spent some more time at the conference place to talk with Black Duck Consulting about an assignment they are doing for us. Good meeting and we decided to meet the next day in San Mateo for lunch so that we could finish the discussion.

Before heading to San Mateo we had a lunch in Calistoga. Then a 2.5 hours drive passing by Oakland, Coliseum (home of the Oakland Raiders) and the Half Moon Bay Bridge. Once checked in at the hotel we had a quick dinner at Redwood Shores, then back to the hotel for some sleep.

Thursday we spent at our office in San Mateo that is now at the same buildings as PlayStation. So there’s a lot of monsters hanging around the complex to promote PS games :-) Most of the day we spent in meetings. Very good meetings.

However, the evening we had off. And we headed to Stanford Shopping Center for some serious shopping. Well, I did actually not buy anything for myself but I bought a lot of things for Chie. Just as it should be, according to her ;-)

Friday morning I headed to the airport again. Spent some time in the Delta Lounge, eating breakfast and watching some videos on my tablet. Relaxing. Then it was a looooong flight back to Tokyo, without much sleep.

Saturday evening and I am back in Tokyo again. Arrived at home and was welcomed by Japanese hoe cocked food. Life is great!

It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll (But I Like It)

Quit work early and met Chie at Roppongi 1-chome station. We had dinner at Paul and then continued to Tokyo Dome for a show with the Rolling Stones.

Rolling Stones in Tokyo Dome

Though they are all now around 70 years old they can still rock! And tonight they played only good songs:

  1. Start Me Up
  2. You Got Me Rocking
  3. It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)
  4. Tumbling Dice
  5. Angie
  6. Doom and Gloom
  7. Silver Train (tonight’s fan voted song, with Mick Taylor, first live performance since the 70:s)
  8. Honky Tonk Women

Introduction to the band

  1. Slipping Away (with Mick Taylor)
  2. Happy  (with Mick Taylor)
  3. Midnight Rambler (with Mick Taylor)
  4. Miss You
  5. Paint It Black
  6. Gimmie Shelter
  7. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
  8. Sympathy For The Devil
  9. Brown Sugar

Extra songs…

  1. You Can’t Always Get What You Want (with Mick Taylor)
  2. Satisfaction (with Mick Taylor)

A Day Off

Both Chie and I had a day off to visit Tokorozawa. Chie had some business to do there and I used the day off to shovel some snow (yes, still piles of snow) and walk a newly groomed Coco.


Johan and Coco

In the early evening we drove back to Tokyo. Had dinner at KFC in Ebisu before Chie dropped me off at Wesley Center for a meeting. Kick-off for Global Leadership Cafe IV – Our Relationship to Time. We had some new faces there that joined to talk about collaboration for some events that they are planning in May when they are brining Lynne Twist to Tokyo.

New Friends at Bravo Chicken

After a busy week we had no energy to cook at home. Instead we walked all of 150 meters to Bravo Chicken. At Bravo Chicken we had good food and met some new friends, two girls of 6 (Jemma) and 8 (Jean) years old. They were sitting next to us and got interested in Chie’s ear rings that she bought in Shinjuku.

At the end the older girl got one of the ear rings. The younger one found out and came back to us, looking the cutest she could (probably practices a lot on her dad), pout her head slightly tilted to the side on her folded hands (resting on the bar stool), and said “ii~ na~,” an expression that is almost impossible to correctly translate. In this situation, the way she said it and blah blah blah… Roughly translated and to the core of the meaning… “I want one too” but really not at all that selfish and direct. Leave a comment with a question or two if you have no clue about what I just tried to say and want to know more.


New friends at Bravo Chicken