But I couldn't understand his Japanese.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Sunday, June 19, 2011
I'm currently making use of my first FON Internet purchase - and while I think 480 yen per 24 hours is theft and should be severely punished - at least it's not slow.
Sitting on an uncomfortable stool at a Starbucks (whatever happened to the big over-stuffed chairs?) and banging out some emails, blog entries, and whatever else strikes my fancy.
This trip we're staying at a Monthly Mansion (モンスリーマンション) near JR Kawasaki. There are a few companies offering places like this for short-term rent. They do not require "key" money (one of the stupidest concepts ever thought up in my opinion) which is great, and there's no "check-in" like a hotel. You pay up front for your stay (and you can literally make it any number of days you wish, with the price dropping for extensions in increments of 10 days (10-19 days, 20-29 days, etc.) and they send you an 暗証番号 (pin code or password) for an automatic lock on the door of your apartment. You just show up on the first day of your stay, punch in the code, and you're in.
I've gotta say that so far the apartment leaves much to be desired. You get what you pay for in Tokyo, and we didn't want to break the bank because our intention is only to use the place for sleeping and showering. We ended up with some tragic room-that-couldn't-be-rented-so-we-converted-it-to-a-monthly-mansion place. I'll take pictures. It's pretty humorous.
Life is all about experiences. This is yet another adventure for me and my family, and the truth is that experience is the only thing that counts when you're lying in your coffin. Can't take any of the rest of it with you.
I think towards the middle of August we're going to start hating it and mentally preparing to return to the US, but at least I have the opportunity at my age to literally run operations in a foreign country however I think is best for the company. Not a bad position to be in - I'm thankful and looking forward to pulling in some solid numbers these first couple months.
The only thing that will kill me is an unannounced 停電 if it happens. Power outages suck.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I'm really happy to be heading back (again). I never get tired of Japan...
This time we're focusing on Sales as the technology piece is firmly in place and chugging along. I'll be spending most of my time in Tokyo - but some in Fukuoka, Osaka and Kobe as well.
If anyone is in Japan and would like to meet up - I'd be happy to meet (as long as it's somewhere kid-friendly because I won't go anywhere without my daughter during my free time!)
I recently got a new tattoo of my daughter's name with Sakura blossoms behind it.
The kanji were written by my wife. I begged her for 20 months to write it for me because I wanted my daughter's name in her mother's handwriting. Finally she gave in - and here we have the finished product!
The characters are 結ぶ "to bind" 里 "native place" (your home) and 愛 which means love of course.
Two villages bound by love = super cute baby girl.
I love her name. It's a character longer than most names, and you don't even want to know how many names we gave her total, so she'll probably grow up mad that we gave her such a complex first name.
The mysteries of love sweetie. Daddy and Mommy couldn't come up with anything simpler than this!
I'm typically loathe to diss on Apple - but this year's back-to-school offering kinda sucks. They used to give away an iPod (I did that deal one year and gave the free iPod to my sister-in-law) which at the time was worth more than $100.
We're going cheaper - and we're using a method of "rebate" that will include some "forgetful" buyers that don't use the credit! Or perhaps a student will use partial credit but months into the term forget about their available balance.
Or perhaps there won't be anything on the App Store some of these kids want.
I think this is a departure from a really great program. I think you should sell them a Mac and give them $200 off an iPad - now that would be an effective deal.
Monday, April 11, 2011
Naturally, immediately after the news breaks in to regularly scheduled programming and we have video feeds of what it looked like near the epicenter within about 20 minutes.
Go go technology.
The TEPCO guys are on TV answering questions from reporters about how this latest quake affected the plant and the on-going work to secure the nuclear fuel.
Man I'm tired of these things. At this point, it's a conditioned response - I'm not afraid for my own physical well-being so much as I fear for my wife and daughter.
Where are they? Are they safe? Do they need help?
Questions always running through your mind. And with a few days respite - you start to think, "ok this part of the world has exhausted it's ire and another part of the world is up for the next round of natural disasters."
And then BAM. It hits you again.
The biggest question of all is always, "Is it just getting started this time?"
Earthquakes build. They don't hit with sudden force, they "wake up". I'm not a geologist, but I can imagine in my head that when two tectonic plates rub together, the shift that creates an earthquake is not a spontaneous lurching from position A to position B, but a grinding from start to finish. As the grinding begins, it makes logical sense that the intensity may pickup if the plates hit a small area of less friction or if the force of the initial movement literally grinds smooth a tiny portion of the plate, I could imagine how for a few seconds the newly freed (from friction) plates would slide suddenly and forcefully.
Regardless - the very beginning of an earthquake is always an awakening of the Earth in way that you know is natural on an Earthly-scale, but utterly foreign within the scope of our human senses.
The people here are very accustomed to earthquakes. They don't ignore them - ever, but there is a general sense of the Earth rolling from time to time being a part of life in Japan. That comfort zone is still very foreign to me. As soon as I feel the Earth begin to wake up, I start thinking "how big will this one get?" and automatically assume this time the ground will split open and all the denizens of Hell will descend upon us. And by "denizens of Hell" I mean a ton of molten rock and ash raining death upon the land. Hellish enough by any standard - Biblical or Scientific.
That particular experience is not on my bucket list.