24 Dec 2013, 12:00pm
greeting personal


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good holiday

I’m about to embark on my annual cooking adventure.

christmas dinner

(it won’t look like that)

As well as cooking, I’ll be doing a special extensive reading workshop for Tohoku University staff on Thursday, so hopefully we’ll have a video of that up by the end of the week.

I’ll also be doing my annual review at some point over the weekend. Very much recommend this exercise if you don’t do it already.

Enjoy the holidays and keep checking back here: I’m planning to keep to my Tuesday-Friday posting schedule and you wouldn’t want to miss any of my pearls of wisdom 😉



5 Nov 2013, 8:18am
expectations personal


Building habits (restarting from scratch)

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
(Bill Gates)

As long-time readers will know, I broke my ankle in March. It still hurts from time to time, but I think it’s pretty much as recovered as it is going to get.

empty barbell


On Friday, I went to the gym for the first time in about nine months.

I’m going to restart the program I was using before, so did a series of exercises with an empty barbell.

It felt great.

The real challenge though is going to be doing the program consistently. It’s designed as a three-times-a-week program, but with my weekly schedule twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) is going to work better. Showing up, week in, week out, on rainy days and days when you are tired or when you are busy is really hard.

Doing things consistently is the key to success in any venture, and I am going to write about my weight training on here from time to time to keep myself accountable.

Of course, this same principle is true in saving, investing, work, writing, and pretty much any other field of endeavor. I suspect building up self-control and seeing success will transfer to other areas of my life, especially as historically I have not been great at doing things consistently (this blog is a nice exception to the rule!).

What do you want to achieve?

8 Oct 2013, 8:45am
blogging personal

1 comment

50k: thank you


This blog passed 50,000 views last week. Thanks for reading!

Hope to be of value to you in the future.

25 Sep 2013, 5:59pm
blogging personal

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A change of scene

Koh Nangyuan

I am away from my desk this week, enjoying a change of scene. It hasn’t been very productive so far, but it has been relaxing.

We’ll return to regular service next week.

iPhone 5S in Japan

iPhone 5s

So we have a new iPhone coming out today, one that has finally achieved full market penetration -it will be available on all three major networks in Japan.

I have owned two iPhones (a 3GS back in the day, and a 4S that I’m using at the moment). I will have paid off the 4S in a couple of months, so have been thinking about upgrading.

I’m on Softbank, and they are running at least two special deals that may affect this decision:

1. they will pay off any remaining payments on an iPhone 4 or 4S if you upgrade to one of the new phones
2. they will set your monthly data charge at 4,500 yen for a year (a saving of 1000 yen or so off the standard rate for the LTE network)
3. they will buy back your phone (I think mine is worth about 14,000 yen according to their program)


Another factor is that I upgraded my 4S to run iOS 7 yesterday, and so far I am very happy with it. The battery seems to be holding up fine, it runs fast and does everything I want it to. I really like the new operating system, and it seems to be happy on my old phone.

The new iPhone 5S has had some pretty good reviews, and is technologically interesting, but basically is not going to improve my life. The only thing it does that my current phone does not is provide an internet hotspot (like the iPhone 5).

Doing some rough calculations, upgrading to a new phone is more or less cost neutral, at least for the first year or so. After that it will cost me about an extra 2000 yen a month.

Verdict: undecided. I am going to wait a bit longer and see what the new phones are like. Quite a few people around me are planning to upgrade. I’ll also go in and talk to Softbank and get some accurate numbers off them.

Has anyone got an iPhone 5S yet? Is it worth it?


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