Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Year 6 Anniversary

Time is weird. At any given moment it feels like it's going by really slowly, but when I go to bed at night it's like the day just vanished in a blink. And now, another year has swept by for this blog.

Stat-wise, I've reached 2,175 entries, with well over 20,000 photos and 560,000 page views. I really wish I could figure out the view counter thing; blogspot says that I'm getting anywhere between 350 and 500 views a day, but when I look at the individual page stats, most pages have only been visited 18 to 30 times each. I don't know how to translate the numbers into "the number of people actually reading the blog". I think it's more than 2 a day, including me, but maybe I'm being overly optimistic.

The main anime-manga news has been the ending of the Gegege no Kitaro DVD magazine series. That was a lot of fun to watch, and represented a lot of work in writing up the "History" page translations. Haven't been watching any other anime, and I'm not going through as much manga as before because I've caught up on the 2 series that I had been following - C.M.B. and Q.E.D. I'm only reading Kongo Bancho used, and Book Off only has books 1-4 and 7 right now. I may get #7 out of sequence, or I may wait for 5 and 6 to surface first. Not a lot of other manga holding my attention at the moment, though.

On the electronics front, I built 2 synthesizer kits, the PAiA Fatman and the Hackme Rockit. Both of those are fun, and I have some smaller stuff, like the 2 Korg emulators running on the Gameboy, and the Gakken Pocket Miku Singing Keyboard. I've been using some of this gear, mainly the Korg Kaossilator Pro and the Behringer mixer, for recording the readings of Kory Merritt's shorter stories. That's been fun to do, along with my synth video reviews and beginner synth tutorial, but most of that stuff seems to be flying under everyone's radar. I did get slammed by Gershon Kingsley for the review I did of one of his CDs, so that was interesting, anyway.

Other kits include the Otona no Kagaku stuff, and my own LED projects. I still have over 200 LEDs to play with, so there'll be at least one more matrix project coming up. Gakken's been a disappointment, though. They've kept pushing back the auto writer kit, so it's 7 months behind the original announced release date. It should come out at the end of July, though. No idea what the plans are for the kit after the auto writer, but I'd like it if something comes out in October and December of this year.

As I've been complaining off and on, the weather in Kagoshima has been uncooperative for a long time now. The sky is almost never clear, making for substandard photo taking conditions. This means that I haven't been taking as many long walks as I'd had a couple years ago. The main exceptions have been for Yakushima, and the Myouenji 20-km event. I want to try getting up into Kirishima, which is about an hour train ride north of here, where many of the bigger mountains are located, for at least a day-hike sometime this summer. Hopefully, during Obon week in August.

Otherwise, there have been quite a few events in and around Kagoshima, especially free music concerts. Most of the good ones are in the fall, with Japanese jazz bands. The audiences are really small for the fests in Central Park, though, so I don't know how much longer the city will justify putting them on. I hope, for at least another year, in any event.

Last year, there had been several activities put on by local people for bringing foreigners and Japanese together, including the bus ride to Aira, the kiri-e classes and some other stuff. But I haven't heard from those people much at all in the last 6 months. I don't know if this is because of a general lack of interest in the activities, or if I've been removed from the mailing lists. I need to check on that.

I have gotten some moderate visibility in the funny pages, though. Won a few free print contests on GoComics, won a complete-the-caption contest on Doc Rat, got my photos used in Zippy the Pinhead, and had one of my suggestions used in Human Cull. Even got the blog mentioned over on the Last Kiss blog after I'd mentioned here that I'd won a Last Kiss print from GoComics. Additionally, Greg Craven's Hubris strip finally ran the "Skanky Creek Fest" storyline on GoComics a year after it appeared on Greg's own blog, with a small cameo appearance by me. Nothing really earth-shaking, but it's a start.

Nothing new to mention regarding work. Still teaching conversational English, and still looking for more students.

As for the coming year, not a lot of plans. As stated above, I want to go out and take more outdoors photos, and get up into Kirishima a few times. Work on some more kits, play with my synthesizers and record a few more readings of some kind. Get more English learning students. Try to avoid making big purchases because of the stupid sales tax hikes. That sort of thing.

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