See you on G+ !

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.

Thanks!

-Andy K

Wha Happen?

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!

A random Saturday update

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.

Music to Japanese Classic Games

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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cee-lo

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.

Projects, projects, projects…

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.

More later.

Thoughts on a Monday

* 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.

Bike: Achievements Unlocked!

I’ve been tracking my progress a little recently. This AM marks the 50th mile (actually closer to the 60th) on my new bike I got last week at The Bicycle Chain in Apex.
My first two times I clocked in at almost exactly 45 minutes from leaving my kitchen to parking my bike in the lot/checking time in the 1st floor gym. Today, the same route only took me about 35 minutes.
Loaded up on water and pre-surge, too, to get a little more out of the morning workout. We’ll see if I end up crashing come 10:00 or not (particularly today: Only got a little less than 4 hours of sleep).  Luckily, the 10 pounds of Yerba Mate tea I ordered arrived, which will combat the effects of Not Being Wired.
-Andy

SoreMachi…

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.

Mike Stanislowsky Update re attack on Afghanistan

This is a shout out to his friends who might not be in the loop. I don’t think he’d mind sharing this info:

—–

Dear Friends and Family,


For some of you this is not new news, for some others it will be.  I was injured in an attack on the DAI/USAID compound in Kunduz early last Friday, July 2nd.  I sustained injuries to my left eye and left arm during the approximate 7 hour ordeal.  I’m currently in Dubai with Desi (who as you all know as the most caring, loving and beyond supportive wife any lucky fella could ever have) and will be heading to New Jersey on Sunday.  The fact that I’m writing this email tells you that I am both very lucky (most already know this) and beyond  thanks to the four security personnel who lost their lives, as well as the other two who sustained serious injuries to their legs and arm.  I have had two surgeries to my left eye and will most likely need more.  Lost my vision in this eye but am optimistic that it will be regained with some time and healing, as well as some assistance from modern medicine.  The plan is to get better, no other plans at this moment.  Desi and I will be staying with my Mother in Whiting, New Jersey which if you do not know is an amazingly traquil place, perfect for such a recovery.  I thank all who have already sent me their thoughts and prayers.

I will not be forgetting nor regretting my work in Afghanistan and can only hope that it continues on and hopefully bears some fruit.  I do regret not having had sufficient time to achieve any lasting results.  As said, no plans, but for sure I can emphasize that there are no plans to return to Afghanistan anytime soon.  Looking forward to lots of time with the family.

Love,

Michael

———-

Take care, bro. Praying for your speedy recovery.

OK, That wasn’t thought out very well

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.