Brief Statistics

A few brief statistics from my life right now:

  • Number of countries conversed with today: 6
  • Number of team groups I am currently in: 4
  • Number of exams/quizzes due this week/next: 4
  • Number of times I’ve eaten dinner at home in the last seven days: 1
  • Number of times I’ve missed breakfast in the last seven days: 7

Busy and boring, the worst combination.

134 Free Academic Podcasts

A few months ago, I wrote a post on free education resources online. Today, I continue that post a bit as I ran across an interesting blog post that lists 134 Free Academic Podcasts. There are free courses on everything from Air Traffic Control to World Religions. Truly, this makes me wish I had more time to spend learning.

Unfortunately though, this list does not contain anything Japan-related lessons at this point but I will keep my eye out. In the meantime, here are my two favorite Japanese-related academic podcasts.

  • – Free online audio lessons in Japanese. Highly recommended.
  • – Brush up on your Japanese politics with this highly educational podcast from the University of South Carolina.


Hikikomori Video


My crawling for videos of Japan picked up something interesting today – a well shot mini-documentary on the social-withdrawal phenomena of Hikikomori. I’m not adding this as a video podcast episode since this is not original material, but definitely check it out. Hikikomori video.

I have to agree with one of the skateboarder interviewees with the thought that, in some ways, everyone is otaku. I have plenty of friends who I would consider business-otaku. I think I am music-otaku, or perhaps even photography-otaku. If not for the great shots of Japan at night, the video is well worth the guy rocking out on drums at the end. Give it a watch if you are in mellow mood.


Mixi Scandal

Got back from a little vacation and found a gem.

Again, I wanted to point out some excellent podcasting from Rich Pav and HerroFlomJapan commenting on the Mixi scandal (Mixi is somewhat like the Japanese version of and the dilemma of Web 2.0 and social networking. Then, he puts the icing on the cake with some killer Japanese blues music. Please, go check it out this episode, if you know what’s good for you. ^_^

Ajinomoto – Voices of Japan

I’m attempting to recover after a rough weekend of cruising to the Bahamas. I believe that I may have contracted something so I’m on the DL for the time being. Anyway, I ran across this which I thought was cute.

[gv data=”jnuULmbon14″][/gv]

This is an advert for Ajinomoto Stadium in Chofu, Tokyo. Other than being just a strange commercial, I thought it odd that there would be an advertisement for a stadium alone. Anyway, some great simple, funny speaking in there for those of you also learning Japanese. Enjoy!

150 days until Ebi-Filets!


I decided to get back on the audio podcasting kick with this post. Probably extremely boring for those who already know me. Plus, this was recorded in the car so there is a bit of road noise. Driving goodness for those who are interested in why this podcast exists.

Show Notes:

  • Why Finding Japan, Why a podcast?
  • Ebi Filet and Japanese service

Links Mentioned:

My Odeo Channel (odeo/93eb918637d93569)

Take That Trivia!

Drawing at Trivia

(click for full version)

Tonight we had some help down at trivia. The IMBAs held strong with second place, twice in a row. We made an amazing comeback, down nearly 7 points in the last round. Throughout the game, I was doodling on a piece of paper. Darrah has suggest I upload this as he though the guy with the gun captured the spirit of our IMBA program and upcoming round of finals quite eloquently.

The math is Darrah’s handiwork scoring us points for figuring out how many acres are in a square mile. I still can’t believe we got that one!

This next coming week will be filled with finishing up two more classes and preparing for finals. 69 days left until the end of the semester and 174 days left before I leave for 日本. がんばります!Push on!

Staying Synchronized


I’ve got a small confession to make. Graduate school is not that incredibly difficult – it is certainly not medical school. When it comes down to the subject material, given enough time and enough brain cycles, its all pretty elementary stuff. Even our country assessment models for international marketing are nothing but multiplication, addition, division …. the basics. However, finding time to stay organized when everything is flying past your head at 100mph and multiple assignments are competing for your precious thoughts, now THAT’s where it gets difficult.

Classes have slowed a bit down to a dull roar – just three simultaneously for the next two weeks instead of the six we have had for the last four weeks. I spent the better part of today synchronizing my work calendar with my personal calendar. I’ve never had such a large part of my life planned out like I have now. I think I pretty much know what I’m doing until January 8th. I suppose its comforting in one way, knowing where you will be and when, knowing exactly how much free time you think you have, and how much you really have – sometimes wishing I had never seen the latter.

Today, I was able to flex a little IT muscle as well. It felt good to bring out the skills I have used so heavily in the past six years of my professional life. Our admissions office is doing some data analysis so I’ve started the task of doing some data manipulation and data aggregation. It was a great time to take a look at open-source ETL tools.

All in all a good day.

… And Then There Were Two

Japanese Track of 2009

Actually, there have always been two. I’m talking about my program’s Japanese track candidates for this year. I was a bit surprised to learn that there were only two Japanese track students when I arrived on campus this July, but after getting to know Alex a little better and going through the Waseda application process together, I’ve come to like the close knit group we have with the Japanese track.

The remainder of the Japanese trackers (class of 2007) had returned in August. Last week was the first time we have actually caught up with them for an encounter more than just passing in the hallway or casually saying hello. Our advisor met us out for dinner at Inakaya where we had two large sushi boats of fish and plenty of beer.

Everyone in the track seems really friendly and have been willing to share their experiences an insight. As Alex and I return from Japan in the summer of 2008, I only hope that we can be as insightful and helpful as those who are helping us now. みなさん、ありがとうございます。

Rock, Scissors, Paper – MBA Style

MBA Rock Scissors Paper

Today was the famed Section 1 vs. Section 2 showdown of the IMBA Rock Scissors Paper competition. The prize? To see which section would be able to choose their time slot for the joint Marketing / International Management session. Section 1 was victorious and chose to take Friday at 10:30am instead of 8:00am.

The competition was intense with two false starts. Brad pulled through as Section 1’s designated rock thrower and pulled a sweeping victory out from John. You can see the intensity in frame two. For all of the photos, click here.

Section 2 leadership states that their preferred choice was Friday at 8:00am anyway, so I support this wasn’t a zero-sum game afterall. Time to sleep in on Friday!