Recharging the Batteries

Recharging the BatteriesIt’s hard to believe that almost a full week has passed since my last "freshly written" article, but here we are.

This month has been incredibly busy as Reiko and I put the finishing touches on our wedding ceremony and move into our new home. With all of the schedules and priorities, updating this site has become a secondary goal. Because of this, I’ve had to slow down the posting schedule and instead use up some of my non-date sensitive articles.

There are several advantages and disadvantages to taking a weeklong break from blogging while pre-written content is made available through scheduled releases and, now that I have nothing left in the queue, I’ll need to get some more stuff written for the next scheduled blogging break: Golden Week / Wedding Week.

A full ten days may pass between late April and the time I can get back to writing. To make matters a little more interesting, I’ll also need to start scheduling some "me" time every day or two so that I can put my (currently) hand-written blog posts on the interwebs.

I think I’ll start asking Santa for a new PDA or sub-notebook with some mobile internet.

Small World, Isn’t It?

Over the last few weeks, Reiko and I have seen further proof of the “small world” concept. It started last year when fellow Japan Blogger, Nick Ramsay, mentioned that he lived in the same city as my Reiko. What a shock it was to later discover that we actually live within a few kilometers of each other! Seriously … what are the odds of finding a wife who lives in a city 7300 km away, only to find that another person that you know living within walking distance of her?

I should have bought a lottery ticket that day.

Going a bit further, I had the opportunity to meet two people at work that live in the very same neighbourhood that Reiko and I will be moving to in May. Considering how I work at a language center over 30 kilometers from this new home, it’s quite a coincidence to not only meet these people at my work, but see them on my schedule for the afternoon as well!

They seem like some great people, so I’m sure that we’ll all get along great at the new place. Heck, after meeting just two couples from the neighbourhood, it feels like Reiko and I will get to make some new friends and enjoy the company of others quite often.

I can’t wait!

TheCarbonBlog Gains a Writer

One unexpected recent turn of events is the new addition to my niche ecological site, TheCarbonBlog. Johan DeJagr is an online acquaintance of mine who happens to live ten minutes away from the hospital I was born in Ontario, Canada. Though he is almost twice my age, we share (essentially) the same views and opinions of the world. After a rather heated debate regarding the recent environmental summit in Bangkok, Thailand, we decided to work together on TCB and discuss important news, companies, and solutions for the ecological changes and challenges we are all facing.

That said, I wonder what people will think if Johan and I discuss the very same topic and have two very different opinions on them…. Either way, so long as the facts are accurate, it shouldn’t be too bad. Depending on how well we can work together, and the popularity of the articles, the site will likely be redesigned to look a little more like an online magazine.

Johan’s posts will start to appear in the next few days, with the first being a direct rebuttal to something I had written a week ago regarding the Bangkok summit. Soon after, I plan to start an aggressive marketing campaign to spread a little awareness for the site. Naturally, since we’re thick in “The Lull”, I won’t expect too much in return, but it will be a great measure for the next marketing push that I’m planning (and saving) for the Fall/Winter ’08 seasons.

16 Days and Counting!

With only sixteen days and counting before Reiko and I tie the knot in the presence of our friends and family, we’re super busy getting everything ready in time. Yesterday we were at the reception hall doing some last minute arrangements, confirmations, and delivering some of the many materials and props that we’ll be using during the afternoon. After seeing it all lay out on a few tables, it’s difficult to believe just how much work has gone into preparing this wedding. Reiko has done so much to keep the momentum going and, while I’ve helped here and there, it’s obvious that Reiko has done over 80% of the work.

Gomen nasai, Reiko. I’ll make it up to you, though. We’ll rent a nice cottage somewhere and take an extended vacation :)

As it stands, we’ve currently finished about 98% of everything we need for the wedding ceremony and reception, and about 60% of everything for our new home in Haba. Aside from internet, the biggest thing we’re still missing in our first place together is the furniture. Quite a bit of it has been ordered, however, delivery is scheduled for the day after the wedding: May 2nd. I hope we can wake up in time to answer the door….

Although it’s not on the table, if Reiko and I ever move back to Canada, I’ll be sure to make it up to her and do 90% of the preparations in that country. The biggest problem I’ve had in effectively pulling my weight in this country has been the language problem. If I’m reading in Japanese, or being spoken to, I can usually get between 40 and 80% of the message, regardless the subject. While this might be useful in situations where I’m being given instructions, it doesn’t really help when I’m calling a utility or service to request an account or some kind of activation.

If only I had seriously studied Japanese when I started watching anime in 1996!

I’ll be posting as many wedding pictures (and perhaps some movies, too) after the ceremony and reception, so be sure to check them out. It might just be the last time you catch me carrying a katana in public!

Th-th-th-that’s All Folks!

These are the big things that have happened this week and, even though my writing schedule has been seriously thrown out of whack, it’s only a temporary measure. One of my guest posts on .jp domains has recently been published on Nick Ramsay’s site, and there are two more I need to finish for other sites before long as well. As it stands, I’m about a month behind schedule on these projects, and that just doesn’t bode well for someone who’s been trying to boost his readership.

On an aside, I’ve noticed that the ten people who have voted on the quality of my content are split between “Good” and “Excellent.” Thank you for letting me know that some of my material is alright, but could be better! That’s the next project I plan on tackling.

I have been analyzing the stats for in an effort to determine what works best, and how to capitalize on it. However, since this site doesn’t have one particular topic, it’s insanely difficult to see what actually works better. This is completely my fault, as the site was not supposed to be limited to just one topic, but it does make structured growth much more difficult.

I will not make the same mistakes on other sites!

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