Hey all, Andy here.
I’ve become an active G+ user over the past year. Please follow me over there!
This site will eventually be returned, maybe turn into a resume-site or something. I used to use this place to post thoughts on Japan, my latest Finance stuff, etc. But G+ is a lot easier to maintain, so I’m dropping this site. Will likely kill the database as well, you can always use the WayBackMachine if there was something I said that you found interest in.
Wow. Been meaning to update for a bit. But strange things happened since my last:
* Right after the last post, I got sick for 10 WEEKS. First a viral bronchitis, then a standard cold, then the flu, then ??? I was able to recover, but by then it was mid-winter. A cold, harsh winter that also left me listless but inactive.
* Then I got busy on projects, namely finishing up the last of Tenra Bansho Zero, an RPG project I’ve been working on for almost six years now.
* I got a huge promotion/job shift at work, which basically moved me from a Rodeo Cowboy to a Rodeo Cowboy on a Tyrannosaurus Rex in a lake of fire and electricity. Awesome job, but VERY involved. Some 19 hour days (sometimes followed by 4 hour days, so that’s nice).
* Then I went to Japan to visit family/friends and travel for almost a month.
* Then I came back with a nice nasty ear infection. And allergies.
* Oh, but I’m learning classical guitar now! That’s new!
Man, I really don’t get sick all that often. In fact, 2009 I don’t recall being sick more than around the Winter-Spring change of seasons. But the last six months I was wrecked, more than once.
Anyway, getting back up to speed. Been in a state of both active and not active (depending on which area of life you look at).
More to come soon!
Been a while: I’ve been doing a lot of my micro-blogging from Facebook. Getting slowly back into longer updates for friends and acquaintances.
But here’s what’s been happening to me lately;
School: I passed on two high school and one college reunions, but I damn well made sure I went to my social group (think “Frat lite”)’s twenty year reunion. It was a real trip.
– Spent several days hanging out with my best friend Nikolai, and seeing the wonders of Milwaukee. It’s a far cooler place than it has any reason to be. Between the FUEL coffee house, the Urban Ecology Center, the music scene, green building, etc. Great stuff.
– The reunion was cool too: I basically went up with the target of meeting some friends, reconnecting with others, and staying away from everything else. Mission accomplished. Even reconnected with a friend that has the same hobbies as me after all these years (anime, games, etc).
– At night, after walking some folks to their rooms/taxis, I did one last late-night tour of the college campus, stopping off at every single building at the campus that I lived in or had a class in. So many memories came flooding back: Most of the buildings are made well, so are in great shape even after 13+ years. Old friends, old relationships, old mistakes, old victories… college is so weird, but then again for four years, including the summers, I pretty much lived and worked and studied and socialized within the same square mile of buildings..
Sick: After coming back, I promptly caught some kind of bug: defenses likely worn down because of stress at work and Green Bay weather, then the viral tube AKA airplanes set off the rest: Sickest I’ve been in about two years (last time I went to the doctor was over two years ago): Massive viral infection, fever, and weird side effects like dizziness and hiccups for the most of four days. I think I’m getting better now, but man I hate to be gone from work for a few days, only to have to take a week off. Friends at work mentioned that entire departments are getting hit by bugs, with people being out sick, the people sitting next to them out sick, and so on. So I guess I’m glad I didn’t push too hard.
So as not to have too much tl;dr, I’ll save the second half for tomorrow.
So when I was using Wikipedia to look up Cee-lo (the musician, after the release of his awesome new video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAV0XrbEwNc ), I instead found links to the Cee-lo game, a classic Chinese dice game:
Interesting. I was looking all over the place for the rules (in Japanese, even) for the old Japanese/Yakuza dice gambling game “Shigoroku”. And there it is.
Got back from a convention, finishing a writing project, getting deeper into a work project, and restarting my fitness and finance/investing goals.
Gonna be an interesting year.
* Riding bike to work still, however I did take a few days off last week because the heat index made it 105, a humid 105 at that. I biked to work once, before the real heat kicked in, and it totally kicked my ass: The AM is fine, with temps in the 80 range, nearing 90 as I pull into work. But the ride home is in 95 degree range, heat index pushing it up to 105 or so, and on top of that a constant hot, humid wind blowing in my face the entire ride home. I rode into work the other three days, did some biking at night.
* Haven’t been keeping up with non-bike exercise (yoga, weights, etc) lately. In the middle of some work projects and writing: When they’re done, in about two weeks, I plan on plunging again into fitness, and keep it up this time.
* Tenra Bansho writing is drawing to a close. Editing begins in full this week, with a major hump this weekend. It still looks like I can meet my goal of “done by GenCon”.
* GenCon begins for me in 8 days. Looking forward to it, but wish I had just a little more time to prepare. The time I need to think up scenarios and sample characters will be spent doing last-minute editing.
* As I suspected, insomnia was pretty much directly related to computer use at night. I really need to start disconnecting an hour before I plan to go to sleep, and read a book, listen to music, etc. Only hitch is that this week I’ll be up late each night with prep.
* Thank you, CREE, for all the money. See you again next month for yet another round of covered calls!
* I’ve learned to relax more at work: Keeping my wits about me more, responding calmly to stressful situations, etc. Combination of experience/skill, focus, and emotion. Keeping up my production, with less stress and pressure. I wish I could go back in time about four years with my current mindset.
So, my current favorite manga series, “Sore Demo Machi Wa Mawatteiru” (“And yet, the town continues on…”, it’s kind of a trick on an old expression): I just found out that it’s going to become an anime soon. It’s a slice-of-life manga about an average high school girl, her average friends, an average town, but the characters are interesting, the stories are feel-good and innocent, and very, Very fun.
Huh. On one hand, that’s a good sign: That means that it is then likely that someone will pick up the rights to release the original manga in English.
On the other hand, it’s likely a bad sign: Pretty much all anime from the past several years is total shit.
A previous series that this happened to: “Sumomomo-momomo”. The manga is great, funny, action-packed and dramatic. The anime was total shit. But, because of the anime release, the manga is now slowly coming out in English so my friends can read it, too.
The studio behind it, Pony Canyon (looks like a subsid of TBS or something?) isn’t really in the anime biz, they’ve only released like 1-2 other anime (one of them, “K-On!”, is otaku-flavored drivel). Maybe that’s a good sign, better than a gutter company with a long history of crap.
So on my week(oid) of vacation(ish), I was thinking to myself, “Hey, now that I’ve got this awesome new bike, I ought to bike to the library to do some Japanese translation hobby/game work that I’ve been working on! A change of scenery might shake me out of some funk!”
Great idea, because scenery changes often do shake funk loose.
There are only a few problems:
* Biking to the library, vigorously. I took the long/scenic route to get some exercise. It was nice, even in this ungodly NC summer 95-something degree blast.
* Unfortunately, by the time I hit the terminal, I was covered in sweat, and sweating more and more as my heartrate hadn’t totally reset yet.
* And then I remembered that, while I can get to JDICT (basically the academic bastion of All Japanese for English speakers, including Kanji lookups and the like) and see displayed Japanese, I can’t type Japanese on this PC without jacking the profile and installing software.
Oops. Well, when my heart resets I’ll take a breather and ride home, do the work there. Maybe hit up the coffee house near my place for an hour with my laptop for a change of scenery.
If you have Netflix Streaming, you need to watch:
Departures (Wow. Simply wow.)
Archer (Sealab 2020 folks at it again)
The Orphanage (the best “Silent Hill” movie ever made)
Adam’s Apples (Mads Mikkelson: Great, as always)
If you have access to Japanese films in any legal or quasi-legal capacity, I highly recommend:
The Shonen Merikensack “The Brass Knuckle Boys” (hilarious, if apparently a bit overhyped in Japan)
Summer Time Machine Blues (imagine if Primer were a lazy-day slow paced feelgood teen comedy)