On Sunday, July 21st, in the wee hours of the election day in Japan, before polls opened, I wrote in: My Serious Commentary on Today’s Japan Elections (And Some Hot Babes!):
Today there is a big political election going on in Japan (look for the Nikkei 225 to start dropping after today’s election is over!)
Several local stock brokers and the like blasted me about how great “Abenomics” is, etc… They also took umbrage at the utter idea that the Bank of Japan and the Japanese government would collude to manipulate stock prices…
I just wonder what planet these people are living on?
The results a week after the election? Well, I think a 3.78% drop in a week is a pretty poor performance. See for yourself:
The fact of the matter is that Abenomics is doing all sorts of cosmetic things to make the economy look better, But the main and goal of creating a trade surplus in order to turbo-charge the real economy is a complete disaster.
Exports indeed increased 7.4% in June, unfortunately at the same time, imports jumped 11.8%, and the balance of trade stook a 180 degree about-face from surplus in June 2012 to a deficit of ¥180 billion ($1.8 billion). The data doesn’t lie: http://www.customs.go.jp/toukei/shinbun/trade-st_e/2013/2013064e.pdf
Axel, a regular reader wrote in and complained to me. He wrote: “Why has this column/blog recently morphed into a self-help book? What happened to astute and witty observations on life in Japan?”
Axel is completely right.
My excuse: Starting in April, I became the producer, director, engineer, writer, song selector, news person and promoter of a new radio program. I am doing the job of 4 people (at the pay of one). The show is called, “WTF?” (“What the Friday” and it is on 761. InterFM):
I’m not complaining (too much).
The radio station seems not too interested in promoting our show so I have taken that responsibility by myself completely. So now I do the job of 5 people for that show.
The job that takes the most of my time is promotion. The show is an unheard of 5 hours long live show on Fridays. This is a problem for promotion. The reason being is that if you want people to look forward to a show that is only on once a week, you’d better stick in their minds for the other six days a week.
This is the reason I have not found the time to blog too much. Axel, my friend, the self-help posts are recycled old material.
I spend at least at least two hours a day, everyday writing information for our “WTF?” Facebook page. This is the way, I think, that people can “stay with us” everyday of the week and I can ready them and get them to remember and look forward to our Friday show.
Frankly speaking, it is exhausting. I never consistently spent two hours a day on my blog!
By starting this Facebook promotion, I began to get very interested in seeing what kind of posts draw huge numbers of reactions and views and what posts do not. This is incredibly valuable information that cannot be found in books, they can only be found by experience.
I have to say that I’ve learned a lot in just 10 weeks. I also have to say that blogging and my past experience with SEO work helped me greatly in figuring out the fast track way to do this.
The results? They are awesome! In less than ten weeks, our WTF? Facebook fan page has garnered over 2000 “Likes.” (We average well over “15,000 People Reached” daily!) This is incredible when you consider that the station’s Facebook page is nearly 4 years old and they have about 9,700 Likes.
So a show that is on for 5 hours, once a week, garners over 2000 Likes in 10 weeks while a station that is on 24/7 and has a Facebook page for over 4 years “only” has 9,700? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that this is an awe-inspiring feat. I thank our listeners and fans…
Yet, people need to be motivated to click. I want my WTF? Facebook page to give everyone something to look at and think, “That’s interesting” or “That’s funny” if even for just one minute a day. It keeps us fresh in the minds of the people. I want us to be what the daily newspaper was for me when I was a kid: I didn’t read the newspaper my dad got; I only looked forward to reading the comics everyday – if even for only one minute. It was just one more small thing to look forward to everyday.
That’s what I want the WTF? FB page to be for you, our fans and everyone else!
So it’s the WTF? Facebook page, my other job at the research company (we just had a shareholders revolt and they fired the CEO!) and my bad habit of drinking too much that just, pardon my French, mind-f*ck me so much that I haven’t the time nor energy to get back to serious commentary and blogging.
But I will very soon, Axel. I promise.
If anyone would like to help me out by “Liking” our FB page, I’d sure appreciate it. We also, by the way, ran a charity for Children With Incurable Diseases and the FB page was a great help in promotion. Please help us out and “Like” our page! Please! https://www.facebook.com/WhattheFriday
One Easy Way to Beating Procrastination! (How to Do Better Work and Beat Deadlines Too!) – And Some Funny Stuff!
Do you find yourself fighting procrastination? I do everyday of my life. But, I can say, that (I think) I have a reputation for being very quick; for always getting good work done well and on time. I see far too many people who procrastinate all the time and become their own worse enemies. Procrastination causes much stress and I think that stress causes poor work quality in some cases and I know for a fact that stress causes poor health (some special people feed off of stress – weirdos!)
My secret to getting things done; preventing procrastination and alleviating stress? Well, it’s not much of a secret, but it’s more of following some common sense advice my mom gave me long ago whenever there was a huge job ahead of me. She said, “Whenever there is a big job, if you wait until near the deadline and then sit and decide to do it all at once, it is such a giant undertaking and will cause much stress and worry. Start early, and do it a little by little. Doing so will allow you to take your time and you will do better quality work and be on time. You will greatly lower your stress.”
My mom told me this because when I was a student in school, I would never do my summer homework. I got terrible grades. Were you that way too? I’d get an assignment to do over the summer holidays. I’d figure at the start of summer, “I have 3 months. No problem!” I’d do nothing. A month later, I’d think, “I still have 2 months summer holiday left. No problem!” More playing…. The nagging worry would begin in the back of my mind. Still, a month later, “I haven’t even started on my home work. Oh well, still 1 month. I’ll start next week. No problem!”
That “next week” would be ignored. Then it would be, “Uh, oh, two weeks of summer vacation left. I’d better start.” But I’d still be having too much fun. Then one week. Then 6 days. Then the worrying at night, before bedtime, would really kick in…
Then 5 days until school starts. Still no work on the homework. Then 4 days. The pressure is on! Then 3 days! STRESS! FREAKING OUT! TERROR! No homework at all… Then, with only 2 days left, I’d open the assignment and see the mass volume of the task…
“Wow! This is a big assignment. Oh, well. There’s only two days left before school starts. There’s no way to finish this work!” So, I wouldn’t even start!… Did I ever mention that I got bad grades in elementary school? I did? Maybe this procrastination could be one of the reasons why? (If the above few paragraphs make you nervous then I know you can relate!)
Even though my mom had always given me the advice, I didn’t listen. That is, until many years later when I started my own business. So now that’s what I do. I always start early and do a little by little.
A week ago or so, I had a deadline for a 50 some page business document… Worrying about it was stressing me out! But, well before the deadline, I started and worked on it for a few hours a day, everyday instead of waiting until the last day and having to spend all day and night doing it. As a result, I was one day ahead of the scheduled deadline and was complimented on doing quality work.
The entire point of this? Folks, waiting and doing poor quality work is all a part of procrastination. Procrastination offers you no benefits whatsoever. It causes worry and stress – and that can’t be good for your health. I see sick people at work all the time. Guess what? It seems to me that the people who don’t procrastinate are happier and healthier.
I believe there is a connection.
So, take my mom’s advice whenever there’s a deadline: “Start early, and do it a little by little. Doing so will allow you to take your time and you will do better quality work and be on time.”
It does greatly lower your stress!
And, on that note, to help you lower your stress on this workday, here’s some funny stuff I found on a wonderful website named Rocket News. The post is entitled: “Procrastinate”? “Calm Under Pressure?” Take a Page from the Pros
Time limit, cutoff, due date. AKA “deadline”. Of course the concept applies to any number of jobs. But let it be said that the real experts on the subject are cartoonists / comic book artists.
These professionals truly know the possibilities of pre-deadline behavior. Today, we present to you 99 ways comic book artists find themselves approaching, or avoiding, their day of reckoning. See if you compare…
*You have flashbacks of elementary school and the day before going back to school after summer break.
*You know for a scientific fact that the true deadline is 11:59 of that date.
*When your editor calls you for a status update, you tell him “80% done”, but you haven’t even picked up your pen yet. But the math works out because you’ll only put in 20% effort.
*You mutter to yourself, “So, the time has come…” and finally pick up your pen.
*You go on Twitter and Facebook seeking reassurance by checking what your fellow artists are doing at the moment.
*You have a few drinks to see if it’ll help. And discover (again) that it doesn’t.
*The thought occurs to you, “That deadline leaves a lot of room for error, doesn’t it?”
*You stop responding to your editor’s calls with any actual numbers, like “I’ll be done with this page in the blink of a jiffy lamb’s tail”.
*You try chanting, “Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate!”. And 3 seconds later you’re playing with your iPhone.
*You decide to pretend it’s all a bad dream.
*You think to yourself, ”If I were my editor, I wouldn’t hire me.”
*You procrastinate to the end, and you beat yourself up about it.
*You tell yourself to work nonstop and you’ll be able to finish by 5am, but 20 seconds later you’re surfing the net.
*And you repeat it all again for the next issue.
These are just a few of the hilarious comments from these cartoonists geeks... To see more click here.
Have a great day! It’s the weekend so you probably can procrastinate a bit, but, on Monday, GET TO WORK! Have a great weekend!
There is a kind of incense that the Japanese (and many Asians) burn that wards off or kills mosquitoes and flies. It’s called “Katori Senko” in Japanese. “Senko”means “incense.” “Ka” means “mosquito” and “tori” means “to take or kill.” Hence the name Katori Senko, “Incense for killing mosquitoes.”
I think that Katori Senko is wonderful. When I first came to Japan, I was so surprised to see such a product for the first time in my life. It was very pleasant smelling (I love the smell of incense) and it really worked! It was so pleasant not to have to spray chemicals on my body and face or spray them around the area where the children were playing.
I remember just hating the idea of things like “Yard Guard” that my father would spray around the yard when we were having a barbeque or the medicinal taste of some spray that my mother would spray on our faces to keep the mosquitoes off. Off course spraying chemicals on your children’s bodies or in the area they play in cannot be good for their health!
Western method of handling mosquitoes: chemicals
With Katori Senko, none of that is necessary. Just light a few coils and place them around the area where you plan to be outside and no more mosquitoes!
Katori Senko was first made in 1885 and is made of natural ingredients. It is wonderful and it represents, for me, some of the wonderful things about Japan that I love.
I also think that there is something else; a microcosm of the entire world represented in this small package. It is a mirror of our world and it greatly represents the difference in thinking between western and eastern peoples. Whereas, in the west, if there is a problem with food, health or insects, western philosophy and medicine are quick to react with chemicals; while in the east, a more holistic approach is taken to many of our problems. This is why things like Acupuncture, Tai-chi, and, of course, Katori Senko come from the east.
Of course, I believe that we westerners have much to learn about patience and a more holistic approach to our troubles from our eastern brothers and sisters.
I believe “Katori Senko type of thinking” – eastern philosophy – being more utilized in the west, especially in the United States, could greatly go to help cure many of our ills.
For more go to the company web site:
This is a great way to kill mosquitoes, a “mosquito killing incense” that kills them by blocking their air ducts, or whatever the nasty bugs breathe through. A famous brand since 1890!
As an alternative to the ubiquitous citronella anti-bug candles, these incense-like bug repellent coils (known as katori senko (or mosquito killing incense) will actually kill the annoying bugs by blocking their breathing holes with smoke particles. Has a nice blend of herbs and floral deterrents, including eucalyptus, that give off a pleasant aroma that is mild and non-irritative. This purchase is for a kit that includes 10 incense coils and a coil stand (burning it on a plate away from flammable materials is recommended). A great Japanese item with a cool retro Gold Cock packaging!
You just gotta love the retro packagaing AND the retro English! Very typical and cool 1980′s Japan! (Of course, for English, I suppose we could teach these good folks a thing or two!)
I love Katori Senko! Try it! You will too! The smell is summer in Japan!