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Thursday, September 30, 2010


First, I had a spectacular breakfast this morning at the Tokyo Westin:

The buffet was incredible.  I "just" selected a tossed green salad with Japanese dressing, two soups (Miso and beef/vegetable), a plate of bacon, pancake/apple sauce, french toast, spinach, mashed potatoes, arabiki sausage, sea bream, salmon, tofu, grated turnip, nine kinds of tsukemono, rice, tea and freshly squeezed orange juice.  The only breakfast that previously came close was at the W Hotel at Walker Hill in Seoul, but that one cost $110, while the Westin version was free (came with the room charge--internet also free--plus from 5:30-7:30 there is an open bar in the Executive Club with a generous assortment of soup, appetizers and the usual peanut/chips combination).  However the W did have all you could drink champagne and wines for breakfast.  You can very adequately survive in an Executive Club Tokyo Westin room without paying for any meals.

Tomorrow I'll hit the omelette bar, fruit smorgasbord and largest variety of breads and pastries I've ever seen in one place.  I keep telling myself that if I can avoid breakfast on this trip I will be able to maintain my present weight.

In the later afternoon I provided a seminar on the Blue Revolution to the Japan Marine Technology Society (MTS) at the headquarters of the Japan Agency for Marine Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).  Greetings from long time pal, Dean Toshitsugu Sakou, Chairman of the Japan MTS.   

Actually, he knew my older brother, who was a noted marine structural engineer, long before me.   It was nice seeing a bunch of other colleagues.

I should explain that I bought a gorgeous blue tie in honor of the Blue Revolution, and intended to initiate it at this gathering.  However, when I put on my dress shirt, I realized that I had forgotten to bring a set of cufflinks.  I'll need to find a 100 yen store at some point soon.  I must have at least 50 pairs at home and don't want to waste money on any more.  The last time I wore a shirt and tie was...I don't remember.  Actually, I hate to wear ties.  Retired professors are surely allowed this luxury of dressing as they want.  I wonder how formal they are in Qatar?  Maybe I'd better locate a pair just in case.

Apparently, the latest Mac portables now do not use Power Point, but something called Keynote, which cannot be translated by Japanese computers.  Thus, arriving an hour early to make sure things worked...nothing worked.  They tried half a dozen computers, but no luck.  I brought my Mac Air just in case something like this occurred, but the interface did not accept the standard media connector.  To the rescue came Professor Shinichi Takagawa of the Underwater Technology Research Center of Tokyo University, who got the brilliant idea of trying to find the right adaptor.  He somehow went out, found and bought the link that amazingly worked.  What a genius!  That's Professor Takagawa, second from the left, Dr. Yoshiaki Tsurugaya of NEC at the extreme left, me next to Shinichi, Professor Toshitsugu Sakou, Chairman of MTS Japan, and Professor Hiroyuki Nakahara, Yokohama National University, Research Institute for Ocean Economics and Auditor of JAMSTEC, who organized the event.)

The talk itself was okay, but the follow-up reception was great.  What a grand cornucopia of food.

Since I re-booted that Flag Counter on Sunday, in only four days, 43 countries have visited this blog site.  I find this astonishing.



Guy@NELHA said...

Looked like a great event. I'm surprised to see Sakou-sensei with a suit and tie. You must really be a VIP!

Only disappointment is that there was only Kirin and Asahi being served. Next time, somebody please remember the Sapporo!

Patrick Kenji Takahashi said...

You are very observant. Today, my Blue Revolution talk at Akita Prefecture University. My interest in talking there is that there could be a one in a million chance someone in the audience might be familiar with some folklore about a female samurai in the earlier 1800's.