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31 Mar 2006: Level Up

I went to the dentist this month for the first time in ten years. Really, there is more news this month than I have space for.

Employment Corner

My current contract at JP Morgan Chase expires mid-April but I will join the company as a permanent member of their number in May, for a completely different team. In fact, I will be working on interest-rate hybrid derivative pricing applications for the traders. I said that all in one go simply because I could. This was precisely the kind of job I had been trying to nab in 2004 when Aki and I relocated to the UK, but had been thwarted by a depressed job market at the time. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again (sometime later).

Japanese Achievement Corner

For most of last year, virtually all of my spare time was expended on Japanese study. I was desperate to pass my Level 2 Japanese Language Proficiency Test examination. I am pleased to announce that I was successful in this endeavour. I passed! Woo-hoo!

Hammerport Corner

Now that my Japanese studies have completed I have turned my attentions to those of English. Some of you may know that I have a deep interest in writing, and that it is something I have been doing off and on over the years. You may also know that I found Japanese to be a hinderance to writing decent English sentences.

In January, I established a personal writing web project called Hammerport which I now feel comfortable unveiling to the world. It is a web site that will carry new words weekly.

Hammerport has a theme, which will be obvious if you visit. It also has direction, which will only become clear over time.

If you are tempted to try, please have a read. All constructive criticism is welcome. Just watch out for the profanity and sex scenes. (I lied about the sex scenes, but maybe it'll get me some well-deserved traffic, huh?)

The following stories have been published on the site to date: Family Planning, Reductio Ad Absurdum (12), Autophagy and Crutch (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).


I asked 3 for the PAC code so that I could transfer my number to a mobile service that actually worked and only tried to decieve me a little (a tease, not a cheat), but they managed to keep me talking for ten minutes with their persistent "but are you reaaaally sure you want to give up our grrrrreat service"; oh I'm attending some physiotherapy at the moment, the physio is considering a steroid injection into the coccyx joint, and amazingly she still expects me to tell her the truth in the next session when she asks the question "are you sure there's been no improvement"; good god, I thought the trailer for Basic Instinct 2 was for a parody... until I realised they were deadly serious, what the heck passes for a movie these days; talking of trailers, we saw the trailer for Half Light, a new Demi Moore vehicle, that gave away the entire film's plot points in under two minutes, thus removing any necessity to attend an actual screening; ah, Brokeback Mountain, which was worth the time and money we spent in the cinema.

Bonus Pictures

We're doing a tad bit better on the Japanese web log this month.