Reconstruction of first moled space flight

Yes indeed. The world’s first Moled space flight. Captured on the Hibiya subway line.

So, it’s been a pretty full-on week this week. The day job has been hectic as we’ve had a lot of new contracts starting, and I’ll be out of the office most of next week teaching at a major electronics manufacturer. Still, it’s going much better than earlier in the year as it has been established that I know what I’m doing, and whilst I may occasionally make small mistakes I’m indispensable enough to treated with respect at all times (I don’t mean that to sound arrogant, it’s a true reflection of my reality of the situation). It’s good not being the office idiot.

Making it in JapanI’ve also been trying to get my new podcast, Making it in Japan off the ground. It took about 25 hours to get it to look and behave the same way as the one I had in my head at the start. That includes time spent designing and creating original images, adjusting the template layout / design, re-recording the audio intros and outros, getting the feed sorted and submitting it to the iTunes Store etc.

I’m quite pleased with the result. It’s the most minimalistic (wp-driven) website I’ve made to date, with deliberately few distractions and only a few things for people to click on. Very different from Japan Podshow which is all php whizzy bangs and html ferris wheels.

Check out the site here, subscribe in iTunes here.

The simple layout is echoed in the audio content. It’s just interviews. Interviews with inspirational English-speaking entrepreneurs and artists here in Japan. The idea is that it will appeal to those who don’t like long podcasts / don’t appreciate the humour of Joseph and George / just want to learn. Whilst most of the interviews will be repeats of those featured in Japan Podshow for the time being, those on Making it in Japan will be fuller in body, more detailed, and of course will continue past the end of Series 1 of Japan Podshow (episode 12 will bring it to a close in October).

By re-using content (in a way that I believe serves a different audience), I feel that I am not setting myself up for failure, as I am not having to do the main job of interviewing people twice over. I’m not creating a whole load more work for myself. I hope it’s a success.

I spent several hours today preparing for the next episode of Japan Podshow. This involved calling a stranger in London for an interview (successfully captured) – I can’t give any more details as it’s a surprise but I hope people enjoy it when it goes out. I also edited the interview I recorded with Kat McDowell at Sony Music – I find her very inspiring, and what a great voice (video).

Rocket-powered elephant

(note the note-book corners captured when the image was scanned)

I also began work in earnest on the Pepe photo / book project. This is something I’ve talked about for two long. Something that everyone says “ah yeah that would be great!” when they hear about it. And I say, “yeah, I’ll do it sometime”. I’m going to treat it as an experimental project, utilising all the online and offline tools I use all the time anyway (social networking sites / blogging platforms / photo sites / iPhone 3GS / MacBook Pro / Adobe Lightroom etc) I was looking at the cost of printing earlier today, and it’s pretty affordable now.

Also, this will be a bilingual project, meaning that I have another reason to use my Japanese. I hesitate to use Japanese on Twitter etc at the moment, as I’m aware that most people who subscribe are not able to read Japanese. However, the Pepe sites will be bilingual from the start. And of course being a penguin, Japanese is not his native language = mistakes make it more realistic.

I’ll announce the links etc when they’re all set up.

Speaking of Japanese, it was quite funny when I was editing the interview with Jeffrey Rowe for Making it in Japan. In that Jeffrey was asking me about learning Japanese, and I was talking about how much of a difference it made …and by the time I’d finished editing I’d re-sworn to study on a regular basis (I’ve since started using my iPhone flash cards again)! Wow! I really am a motivational speaker!

The week ahead looks interesting. Tomorrow I’m doing my regular voluntary work at the city hall – then meeting an old course-mate who’s just arrived in Japan. After that I’m meeting a chap from Australia who I’ll be helping out for an interesting little video project on Wednesday… more on that in due course. Then it’s back to Tokyo 2.0 for what sounds like will be a very interesting talk by futurist, blogger, digerati, writer, speaker and advisor Gerd Leonard. Thursday it’s my Japanese class time, Friday I may be interviewing the founder of one of Tokyo’s most well-respected media production companies, whom I personally am a big fan of.

Overall, things are progressing well. The one thing I’d like to change over which I feel I have little control is the workload in my day job. It’s set to become pretty stupid come the autumn when our main season starts. I guess I just have to remember that I can only do what I can do. It is not to take over.

Anyway, I’d best sleep.

oyasumi xxx

P.s. Music really is a wonderful thing.