I can’t believe the lead story on NBC Nightly News today was “deflate gate” where the Patriots coach gave a press conference with the results of tests they did simulating the weather conditions during the game, and measured the same deflation in the footballs. Which was later verified by NBC with an independent interview with a physicist. (I also can’t believe I’m posting a sports story.)

Anybody who has a bicycle knows the tire pressure goes down when it’s cold outside.

Jibun Ginkou

I got my “Jibun Ginkou” (Jibun Bank – card today by registered mail. It really seems like a good deal, especially for AU members (my cell phone carrier). This will save me at least 1,200 yen per month in service charges.

For AU members, all these ATMs are completely free for deposits and withdrawals: Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank (it’s a tie-up between that bank and KDDI AU), Post Office ATMs, 7/11, Lawson, Family Mart, Daily Store and others.

Even better, all furikomi (electronic bank transfers) in whatever amount, to whatever bank are completely free. Currently if I pay my rent, for example, to my landlord’s bank there is a 420 yen service charge when I do it online. This and all other furikomi will become completely free.

I think I’ll start using this instead of my Mizuho Bank account. I can’t think of any reason not to.

For non-AU cell phone users it is also a bargain over usual banks. To and from Jibun Bank and Mitsubishi Tokyo UFJ Bank, the furikomi charges are always free. To other banks it is 174 yen for transfers up to 30,000 yen and 278 yen for transfers to other banks over 30,000 yen. So that is still much less than regular bank furikomi fees.

But for AU users all the charges are free. A great bank deal in Japan? Who would have thought!


2020 days until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics!

I just saw that on the news, with banners unfurled to mark the start of the big countdown to the Tokyo Olympics.

Also, recently in the news, Boston was chosen as the U.S. candidate city for the 2024 Olympics. Their major competitor is Rome. I personally can’t imagine the Olympics being held in Boston. I mean – where would they put it? And can you imagine the congestion and traffic? Even on a good day Boston is almost impossible to drive around. But apparently everybody in Boston is excited about it.

Anyway, the countdown begins. Mark your calendars.