Monday, December 24, 2007

On Learning Japanese

For about the 50th time, I've started to put more time and effort into learning Japanese, with a view to improving my comprehension and also passing the level 2 Japanese Language Proficiency Exam in December.

It would seem that all over Japan free(or very cheap) Japanese lessons are provided for non-Japanese. When I lived in Japan previously, I attended lessons run by the local government. The lessons were very bad, but at least I didn't have to pay.

Anyone learning beginner's Japanese should watch the anime series "Ocha Ken". Each episode if 3.5 mins long, and 26 were made. Ocha Ken means "tea dog". All episodes can be downloaded here:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Dead And The Dying

I gave in to the 'flu this morning. Basically I took some medicine, sat in a chair and waited for time to pass. Although I was doing almost nothing, the time passed quite quickly. After a few hours I got bored of watching my life go by so I watched a talk given by Kathy Wang on the HoneyClient project. Later I watched a talk on hardware reversing given by Bunnie Huang.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Watched a bunch of hacker documentaries:
Hippies From Hell
New York City Hackers
Unauthorised Access

Some videos can be found at others can be found at

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Circuit Training Is Amazing

Did a little bit of circuit training this morning. Felt great all day. I've been greatly inspired by Crossfit and Parkour and shall be working towards regular training in both disciplines. My current aim is to be able to run a marathon in the summer. I have a LONG way to go, but I know Crossfit is the only way I'll get there.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Going To Ginza

Attended the Apple User's Group meeting in Ginza. There was a talk on podcasting again. It was pretty good although the guy got carried away a bit. There was also a great talk on basic network hacking which I enjoyed greatly.

After the Apple meeting I hung out with Scott Lockman, which is always time well spent.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Quake Is Coming

Friends came over for a meal. It was my first chance to do some real cooking. The food turned out well, and the conversation was fantastic. You know the company is good when the topic of conversation moves effortlessly from high protein diets to marathon running to earthquakes to offshore bank accounts to gold.

It's strange to think that one day Tokyo will be completely destroyed by an earthquake, which will cause the collapse of capitalism. It's not a case of if, but when. The big quake is 30 years late already...

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tokyo 2600

This evening I attended the first meeting of the new Tokyo 2600 group. In attendance were myself and one other person. We talked for several hours on topics ranging from hacking to cracking. Not a great start, but not a complete failure.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Trout Mask Replica

A large desk arrived for the reception area of the language school. The delivery guys were clueless. They gave the impression that they had never dealt with large furniture before.

I received a copy of "Trout Mask Replica" by Captain Beefheart for Christmas. I'm sure that when I get used to it I'll love it. Until that time, it's a rather challenging album to listen to.

Watched the Woody Allen film "Bananas". Definitely one of his best.