Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We interrupt Bob's second post to bring you this important announcement

If you live in Japan, you've undoubtedly heard that starting last week, ALL non- Japanese need to be fingerprinted and photographed the next time they re-enter Japan.

This is a something that has been brewing for quite a few months, and any background I could give here is best explained at debito-san's site or a good write-up by the NY times on the subject. (And yes, I only gave you a general link to Arudo Debito's site, because it is worth reading everything on it if you haven't already)

My 2 Yen on the subject:
My reaction to this entire fiasco has been disappointment, not precisely anger,but getting there.

As everyone that knows me knows: I love being here: I have a great career here, a great family here, I love just about everything about living here day to day, and it's crap like this that turns those Great feeling into Shitty feelings:

no "Great" to "Good" to "So So" to "Hey, it's better than" to "I don't know about this" to "Damn this stinks" to "Shit".

Straight from "Great" to "Shit" (and you can quote me on that!)

Yes I know the US does something similar: my wife has to go through it every time we go back- but A. we don't live there, so she doesn't have a "visa" other than her passport, and B. I don't agree with that either but at least we can go through the same line.

It's things like this that make you wonder how to raise your child:

Do you do the activist- "this is all crap that mommy or daddy has to go through" speech every time they pass through the border, or do you just shrug it off in front of them so they get used to living in a world where when they go to one of their "home" countries, one of their parents will be treated as a criminal...

(Although my daughter's still so small, she'd probably want to do the fingerprinting thing with us just because it looked fun!)

Re-entry Japan's got a great start on at least something to do! There is also an online petition that you all should sign (yes, I've never heard of an online petition before either, and also semi-doubt its effectiveness- especially in Japan- just don't be the idiot that signs it anonymous) but at least if you're not happy also, you have something!

Oh and also get your T-shirt now! and fight the power!

Meanwhile, I have half a mind to simply just not leave the country for a while- they can't get me if I don't leave to have to come back, right? (I say to myself with tongue in cheek)

Back to more day to day cool- life things: the next post will be more about the above picture:

But trust me both he and I are not amused about fingerprints!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I ran until my veins pumped battery acid... then I ran some more...

Yes, it is Bob, back with a new blog.

Just got back from the Tsukuba marathon, where I ran the 10km race. Yes me, beer-belly-Bob runs. I even have the Nike+ module with my ipod and have logged over 100km so far (running off and on since this January)For not running for a while I think I did well- 1hr 7min 58secs net time including a pit-stop from eating too much leftover Thanksgiving turkey the night before...

The day itself seemed doomed from the start though. I woke up on time and drove to Tsukuba (apx 1hr away) leaving myself plenty of time to register. However traffic was backed up trying to get to the parking lot and not moving at all. The 10km race started at 10:20, but registration ended at 9am, and I was still still 2km away from the parking lot at 8:30. "My first actual race since gym class in high school and I'm going to miss registration and have to sit on the sidelines" I'm thinking to myself.

(for those of you that are just tuning into my life- I've never been a runner- I preferred a combination of Shaolin-kenpo, Kendo, and shooting guns- i.e. I've always tried to be the guy that DOESN'T NEED to run...)

Then for some reason I wonder if I will have to pay for parking and decide to get my wallet out since I don't have anything better to do.

That's when the day got worse...

Because my wallet was not in my pocket, it was sitting back at the apartment on the computer table. My wallet that has my driver's license in it (so I'm driving without a license), my wallet that has my money in it (so I'm TSOL if I want to buy a sports drink or something), my wallet that has my foreigner registration card in it (so if a cop stops me on a BS gaijin-check I can contribute to the "rising foreigner crime rate" by not carrying it, in addition to possibly getting arrested).

That's why it's great to be married: the bride had money, her driver's license so she could take over, she didn't have my registration card but I figured I'd chance it and everything was good again.

Except for that whole 30minutes until registration closes and stuck in traffic thing.

With the bride at the wheel, I decided to let her park the car and I took off (what else?) running to get to the race on time. Registered with 5minutes to spare.

All and all it was a good warm-up for the race and now have my first official time.

When is the next race you ask: February 3rd at the Ome marathon- next time 30km!!!