A week of important decisions and output

There is something about the corner of this 50-storey building that thrills me.

It’s so sharp. So determined to cut through the air. So confident. You can’t help but admire an attitude like that.

sexy corner

It’s the corner of a building bordering Hamarikyu Gardens, photos of which you’ll find below.

But before we get into that, I have a favour to ask of any readers connected with the University of Sheffield (my uni) – my kohai (person in class below me) Alice is a lovely girl, and has entered a competition to help promote the university. To win, she needs a decent number of views of a Youtube video she and several other of my kohai made – so please go and watch it – it’s here (don’t be fooled by the black opening) Thank you.


I’ve got podcasts coming out me ears this week.

First off, I’m really enjoying my private podcast (that’s the one that shows up to the right of the Daily Mumble). In particular, this one got some attention this week. It’s about my renewed determination to improve my Japanese.

I’ve since restarted my personal Japanese podcast (feed links in sidebar of The Daily Mumble), and am using that to update my long-neglected Japanese blog.

With language study, I firmly believe that if one is meeting repeated failure due to a ‘lack of time’ etc, you have to figure something out that fits in with existing routines. This does for me.

I’ve also finally got the sumo video out, which underwent a major re-write following a private viewing for *Twinkle*!! This is not meant to be taken seriously.

(If you subscribe to Japan Podshow you’ll find this in the feed.

Then accompanying that, we have episode 11.5 of Japan Podshow. I don’t feel this is up to standard, and think this is mainly due to the fact that it was recorded outside of the studio where we were limited in what we could do. Still, that’s OK.

I drew the artwork on the Hibiya and Ginza subway lines, in case you were wondering. I do enjoy drawing elephants!

I just have to finish off the full interview with Nathan of Hear Japan for Making it in Japan – should be able to do that tomorrow.

I’m determined to start running again – and have run for the past two days, and will again tomorrow (GPS route with embedded photos of this morning’s jog here, courtesy of the iPhone).

I was happily surprised by how the iPhone handled this spider (which incidentally I blogged about this morning over on Dannychoo.com).

Japanese Spiders

After the run it was off to Hamarikyu Gardens with *Twinkle* and a friend visiting from Madrid. I blogged this photo too.

Hamarikyu Gardens Tokyo

Here’s a shot of Tokyo Bay from above, with Hamarikyu in the foreground (taken on the iPhone again. In fact all of these were).

Hamarikyu and Tokyo Bay

Also this week I met up with dear friend Paul P back in Japan for a quick visit, with CNet / Japan Times journalist friend Rick to discuss Augmented Reality apps (he might use some of the info I provided in a JT article next week), oh, and continuing to correspond with Ian the documentary maker regarding film-making. Who knows what the future holds.

The day job is going OK.

Eyes are tired though, and the Macbook needs to be seen to – the sound card seems a bit dodgy, i.e. all system audio turns into loud static pops after lengthy editing sessions. Not good. Just need to get to a time when I don’t need it for video editing all the time, like the beginning of November when Japan Podshow is done.

Things are good though. Exhausted, but excitement and motivation levels are high. Gotta make the most of the time we’ve got!


Shinjuku’s Cocoon building, and speaking Japanese

cocoon building shinjuku_5631

This is my favourite building in Tokyo at the moment. It’s the IMode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, winner of the prestigious ‘Skyscraper of the Year Award 2008’. I wonder if it attended the awards ceremony or just sent a video message explaining it was a bit tied up that night.

cocoon building shinjuku_5632

On Saturday George and I recorded episode 9 of Japan Podshow on the 45th floor of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building – from there we had a great view of the cocoon – and the reflection of another skyscraper in it’s multi-story eye near the top.

I liked that.

cocoon building shinjuku_5642

cocoon building shinjuku_5640

Today’s been quite a productive day. Following my voluntary work updating a section of the local city hall English website this morning, I returned home and set about editing the podcast. I’m quite happy with it.

At 5pm I went to meet Kat McDowell whose first album is out on the 28th August. The interview (for Japan Podshow) was recorded at Sony Music, and she was accompanied by her management team of 3. It was a little intimidating, as they all sat across from me like an interview panel might – could I please explain what the podcast was and why I wanted to interview Kat?

I thought afterwards just how grateful I am that I put all that effort into learning Japanese. Had I not been able to explain myself, I feel it all would have been extremely awkward, and I would have felt like a right idiot. But as it was, it was cool. I could do it almost without thinking. (Although I realised afterwards that during a quick conversation about American Idol I inadvertently referred to her management team as ‘things’ instead of people!)

Kat, incidentally, is incredibly talented, and I reckon her album will be a big success when it’s out (I’ve had it on repeat play). We’ll be doing a Japan Podshow special on her.

Anyways, the next stage of production awaits – best get on.