Saturday, December 29, 2007

Spoiled??? Who? Me???

Mama and papa have been adding chicken breast to my food for the past few months. Since we were running low, papa made me some chicken today. First he boiled the chicken, then he tore the breasts into small, bite-sized pieces by hand. As you can see, I was very helpful in supervising him...
After that, he divided them into small, 1 day packets which are frozen and thawed out as needed:

Papa calls me spoiled because I get hand made food and he says that I eat better than him. I doubt it...

We've been having so many problems with Windows Vista lately. It is so user unfriendly...the usage is often counter-intuitive and the only parts that have improved are the parts that Microsoft ripped off from Apple. The world would be a much better place without Microsoft so that everyone would use either Linux (papa uses Ubuntu Linux) or Apple. We especially love how Vista corrupts priceless photos when downloading them from a camera and saving them to an external hard drive. Anyhow, papa is going to upgrade mama's laptop from Vista to XP.

Anyhow, time for a nap. I can't help feeling that I might have fleas or ticks...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Season's Greetings!!!

We hope everyone has a very happy holiday season and a healthy and prosperous new year! I had a good Christmas this year and got a lot of presents! Mama and papa bought me a few shirts and sweaters, and my aunt in Canada sent me a stuffed animal toy to play with. I love the toy and wouldn't let anyone touch it for the first hour I had it until I broke it in. Anytime papa came near my new toy, I growled at him and then ran away. After all, what's mine is mine...and what's not mine is still mine :-)

I plan to get a lot of sleep over the holidays and spend time with my friends!!!

Papa is off work for 2 weeks now and he promised to take me for long walks and also to dog runs to play with other dogs.

2 days ago, mama's parents came over for turkey. They really like turkey but it is not really a popular dish in Japan. The turkey was 3.5 kg and was almost as big as me. In fact, I was worried that papa would make a mistake and I would end up in the oven.

Last evening, mama and papa went to visit their friends who just bought a new condo nearby. They said the place was really nice (on the 12th floor) and a lot of the furniture was new and looked great. As for me, well, as you can see, I just chilled at home and caught up on my sleep...

Papa has a new hobby. He has started making his own tsukemono. Actually, nukazuke to be exact. It's only been a few da
ys but papa seems very excited about it. He got the nukadoko from his mother-in-law and has already made pickled carrots. Because the nukadoko is new, the carrots were very salty so papa has to adjust the timing. Today he added more carrots and some cucumber. Tomorrow he is planning on adding eggplant and cabbage. I don't think mama believes that papa can take care of the nukadoko because it has to be cared for daily by mixing it to oxygenate the base and keep the nuka-bed ‘live’, meaning that it contains a culture of active single-celled organisms, mostly lactobacilli and yeast. If papa doesn't care for it daily then the nuka-bed can go bad and get moldy.

Here is a fashion show featuring...ME!!!

Sporting a casual velor jacket embroidered with a skull featuring the words "Bone Eater"...

Wearing a knit sweater to keep me warm on those cold Tokyo winter days...

Looking cool in a gangsta style hoodie...hey, you lookin' at me??? I said HEY, YOU LOOKIN' AT ME???

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I Love NY...but not in winter...

Papa's back from his business trip to NY. He went to meetings in upstate NY and then stayed for a few days for meetings in Connecticut. Unfortunately, the hotel he stayed at in upstate NY was terrible. Most of the people present couldn't believe that the company would make them stay in that miserable place. There was barely any hot water and some of the windows wouldn't close all the way...not a good thing when it's about zero degrees Celsius outside.

In NY city, he stayed at the Muse Hotel which he said was excellent!!! Every evening between 5pm and 6pm they have a free wine tasting in the lobby. The decor was modern - very similar to a W Hotel. He had dinner last Thursday at Kittichai (beware that this restaurant's site is extremely slow) and Friday at Cipriani Dolci in Grand Central Station. Both restaurants were very good. Kittichai was a Thai/American fusion restaurant with a good wine list and an interesting menu made up of American style dishes with a Thai twist. Cipriani Dolci had a good selection of traditional Italian dishes but, even with a reservation, papa and his friends had to wait 15 minutes.

After dinner on Friday, papa and his colleagues went to see the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. It was nice to see the tree and the people skating in front of it, but it was so cold that they could only stay for a short time before retreating to the warmth of the hotel. For a Canadian, papa doesn't handle cold weather very well.

Earlier on Friday evening, before dinner, papa and his friend went to see the window displays at Macy's and a few other department stores. They are getting more and more sophisticated.

And finally, a word of warning...never, ever ask papa how his flight was...unless you are ready to get an earful. Usually, papa flies on United Airlines to North America but this time, the flight to and from NY on American Airlines left no doubt in papa's mind why the airline industry in the US is in trouble. On the way to NY from Tokyo, papa was upgraded from business class to first class. Unfortunately, first class on American Airlines is far inferior to economy class on Singapore Airlines (and most other airlines for that matter). The seats were broken and uncomfortable, the so-called entertainment system was pathetic. After choosing from a very limited movie list, you have to request an 8mm video tape from the flight attendant and play it in an archaic system that fades in and out at random. The movie was not clear and often skipped parts in between the static. Papa thinks that as a cost savings measure, AA has its employees go to movie theaters and use video cameras to record the movies for the flights. That fits in with their strategy of using 30 year old technology to play the movies. Such was the quality of the movie. We won't even begin to talk about the "food" on the flights. Papa was so disgusted he said it wasn't even suitable for me...whatever the heck that means...

And if things couldn't get any worse, they certainly did on the way back. Papa didn't get the upgrade to first class so he was in business class where the "food" was even worse. He was told that "dinner" was beef but what they didn't tell him was that the "beef" would have the consistency of chewing gum and the taste of...well...nothing...but papa is very grateful that at least he didn't get food poisoning.

Papa could not believe that any airline, even American, would offer such a poor level of service and such unacceptable facilities. The US based attendants were incredibly rude and abrasive, the food was not even fit for me (apparently), and everything from the seats to the entertainment system was not even close to what one would expect even in economy class. Papa would not recommend American Airlines to transport horse manure let alone people. That was the first and last time papa will ever use American Airlines...what a disaster. How could anyone ever be proud to work there???