November 4, 2008
Simplifying the menu
At work this afternoon a friend brought in a bag labeled simply "Quarter Pounder". Our office is out in Shibuya, and randomly what used to be McDonald's turned into some random post-modern simplified version of McDonald's called simple "Quarter Pounder". I guess they are promoting the Quarter Pounder coming to Japan (wasn't it always here?) by changing two shops, one in Omote-sando and one in Shibuya, into Quarter-Pounder only joints. I stopped by for dinner more out of curiosity than anything else. I actually really like the idea as a short-term thing: it addresses the concerns brought up by The Paradox of Choice
The interior is all black, with nice modern (well, modern from the point of view of the 80s) furniture, and everyone has black uniforms. It reminds me of some sort of Clockwork Orange view of restaurants of the future. The menu is great: Quarter Pounder with Cheese, or Double Quarter Pounder with cheese. You get a medium fry, and a choice of Coke, Coke Zero, or a hot coffee. All for the low price of 500 or 600 yen. You also can get them without cheese, which is awesome.
While I like the idea of simplification, I don't know realistically how long that place will have customers with such a sparse menu. I did notice more people than usual getting take-out from there today, but I think, like me, they were drawn in by the novelty factor.
Also, I can't believe how many people they had out there holding signs and proclaiming the arrival of "the number one most popular burger in America now available in Japan!" I'm sure this will be all over the ex-pat Japan blogosphere (Marxy at least already posted about it in the Meta-no-tame blog.)
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Hey I have a question. If you work 12 hour days, where the heck do you find time to blog so much?!
..oh, you must not play video games.... ;)
Wish I had registered to vote before the deadline. But luckily Obama won anyways. hooray!
Can you list some of your favorite expat blogs?
By the way, was the quarter-pounder any good? The simplistic menu selection reminds me of In-N-Out burger, which I am really craving these days.
I haven't had the time to blog at all. :( There are at least a few other things I've been meaning to write about, but I just haven't had the time. I got a new phone that has a million functions, but the interface is still terrible.
Ex-pat related blogs I read (throw these into Google Reader or something:)
http://community.livejournal.com/expatsjapan/data/rss Livejournal community (good usually for laughs due to helpless newbienes and optimism, but sometimes interesting stuff comes up)
http://clast.diamondagency.jp/en/?feed=rss2 clast blog (marketing social focused stuff)
http://feeds.feedburner.com/JapanProbe Japan Probe, usually pretty bad
http://japanmanship.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default Japanmanship an excellent blog written by a game developer in Japan - really, really interesting stuff
http://feeds.feedburner.com/jeansnow/feed Jean Snow's blog. Mostly art stuff
http://blogs.sun.com/jimgris/feed/entries/atom Jim Grisanzio's blog. Mostly about Solaris
http://feeds.justhungry.com/justhungry Nice Japanese food blog, but a bit too advanced for me
http://www.kirainet.com/english/feed/ A geek in Japan, usually good
http://littlegaijin.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default Interesting software developer in Japan
http://smt.blogs.com/mari_diary/atom.xml Mari's diary - written by a Japanese person, but kind of hard to understand, so I usually just skim it
http://meta.neojaponisme.com/feed/ Meta No Tame more David W. Marx stuff, usually good, but long reads
http://www.pliink.com/mt/marxy/index.xml see above
http://feeds.feedburner.com/NihonHacks Random living in Japan hacks
http://memoirs-of-a-gaijin.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default Of Rice and Zen (used to be interesting blog by a Nova English teacher, now more of a boring Magazine)
http://westfearneon.com/feed/ The Westerner's Fear of the Neonsign (defunct? Strange regardless)
http://www.wordpress.tokyotimes.org/?feed=rss2 Tokyo Times (almost always lame pictures)
http://www.tokyomango.com/tokyo_mango/atom.xml Tech Japan stuff, sometimes the author's dog
http://www.victorymanual.com/feed/rss Victory Manual (interesting Japan / Korea personal blog)
http://feeds.feedburner.com/WhatJapanThinks What Japan Thinks (just translated surveys, kind of interesting.)
I had a few more personal blogs of Nova teachers, but I think they are all defunct now. I have no idea how I found these things. Maybe google reader suggested them to me. I usually read the Japanmanship stuff, see if Jean Snow has any interesting art stuff going on (Tokyo Art Beat is good for something to do on the weekends too) and read the David W. Marx stuff if I have time, and/or pay attention to the music he suggests. The rest of the stuff is just skimming and looking at pictures.
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