Saturday, July 16, 2011

Byebye Year 3...

Today marks TSOJ's 3rd anniversary. Thanks to everyone who's stuck around since the beginning (echo... echo... echo...) Lately the numbers of visitors per day have been dropping from the one-time high of 300 to around 130. I'd like to think that's due to people being on summer vacation, but it may be related more to the shift from anime and manga to Kagoshima history and sightseeing.

Highlights for year 3:
Hit 1000 posts, 100,000 hits and 7000 photos.
Finished the write-ups on Garo, Moyashimon and Geobreeders
Discovered the joys of shochu and visited 2 separate shochu factories
Started teaching English privately and picked up 5 students here in Kagoshima
Did a lot of hiking and sightseeing around Kagoshima and Sakura-jima, wearing through 2 pairs of jeans and 5 pairs of socks
Lived through the scariest earthquake of my life

Scariest earthquake broke my TV
Had to leave Tokyo because of Fukushima reactor leak fears
Had to give up stable employment left behind in Tokyo
Had to give up my bike in Tokyo
Had to give up the easy access to manga and anime from Akihabara
Failed the JLPT level N2 test
Had to pass on retaking the N2 test in July

Expectations for year 4:
Not a clue. I really need to find new work, or run the risk of having to return to the States by the end of the year. If I can find stable income, the first things I'd do are to buy a new camera, a new bike and a synthesizer. But it would mean less time for sightseeing and posting photos to the blog. I would like to retake the JLPT test in December, and if possible return to Izumi in January to see the cranes wintering there. Other than that, no clear goals. On the other hand, I'm along the ferry line down to the islands between Kyushu and Okinawa, and I'd at least like to visit one or two of the islands that way (Okinawa itself is a 14-hour ferry ride one way, so not really practical). And I want to get to the opposite side of Sakura-jima to watch the ash clouds spew out.

As a last-minute note, I have also fallen in with a bad crowd. 3 weeks ago, while wading through the regular titles on GoComics, I happened across one new strip that really caught my eye. Called "Endtown", it's a post-apocalypse comedy adventure featuring the survivors, many of whom have been turned into furry animals. Just by accident, I ended up in contact with the artist, Aaron Neathery, and as a result I volunteered to create some papercraft and origami stuff for him for free. Things got a little out of hand when I felt compelled to write up a wiki entry on the comic, but I think I'm on the wagon now, having weened myself from it for the last 2 hours. The Wally (cat) and Holly (mouse) figures have been officially accepted, and Aaron has drawn up some artwork himself for them. Al (human) and Gustine (rhino) are works in progress. Aaron also supplied official artwork for the Checker origami, which I'm treating as a "photo cube".

I need to go back to my Japanese studies and looking for work (or at least for more students), but I have ideas for at least 2 more Endtown figures in the short-term, and 2 others when Aaron's new storyline includes them in the plot (but that may not be for another 6 months).

(Photo cube.)


bartman905 said...

Congratulations on your blogs 3rd year in operation!

TSOTE said...

Thanks, bartman.

Saptra Studio said...

I may be late for this, but congratulations!

Even though I drop here for geobreeders and various manga at first, but I enjoy your sightseeing. Not many sites give that many sightseeing articles like you did and with good pictures. It helps me discover more about Japan and not only their tourist spot.

I have good and fun times reading article like 'couple' cafe, coffee shop, and many others that not everyone willing to take and write them because they are 'ordinary' and not beautiful tourist spot.

I love that 'ordinary' and your reviews, though I may not comment much on them. So keep them coming as many as you can, I will swallow them up! ^^

TSOTE said...

Thank you, Saptra. I appreciate the good comments. I'll try to keep posting things as long as I can.