What I’ve Been Up To

Hideho everybody.  Its been about a month since I updated the blog, which as you’ve probably surmised means I’ve been pretty busy with real life.

Day Job — We have about 7 non-Japanese speaking Indians arriving from our sister office.  They’re here to learn Japanese business practices and be better able to lead our outsourcing efforts in India.  Given that I’m the only person at the English who speaks English and doesn’t answer to “Mr. President”, it looks like I’m going to end up being their manager one way or another, so I’ve been doing preparation for them so that they can both get some work done once they get here and enjoy their stay.

Bingo Card Creator — Answering emails and not a whole lot else.

Next Project — Doing some research.  Its a long, long way off at the moment.

Bonnie Lass — Going through some adjustments, particularly as she just started working.  I’m torn by a desire to be supportive when she says “I was grading homework until 6:30 last night!” and a desire to remind her that I’m a Japanese salaryman and that 6:30 is practically a day off.  (Speaking of which, did anyone see the NYT article about Japan having a shortage of engineers?  The NYT blames cultural factors and malaise.  I have a simpler explanation: there is no pay premium for engineering over a normal college degree, which means that the starting salary for a computer programmer is about $24,000, and you’re more or less required to work 12 hour days at a minimum.)

Hobby — The last several years I’ve seen my interest in video games declining, but Senjou no Varukyuria (Battlefield Valkyrie) has brought it right back.  Its difficult to describe… let me try: its World War II Europe in an alternate universe where the I-can’t-believe-its-not-Japan country that looks more like Holland has an army populated by bread bakers who moonlight as Norse goddess killing machines.  That is actually pretty close to normal for a Japanese game.  Despite the heaping helping of weird, the plot and characterization is better than anything I’ve ever seen in a game or movie (I was crying at one point), and it actually functions really well as a game.  (Its hard to describe — strategy RPG with FPS elements, whose boss fights resemble intricate ballet, with bullets being exchanged.)  Plus the entire thing looks like its hand-drawn in colored pencils despite being full, gorgeous 3D.  I promise you, you’ve never played anything like it.. 

So basically, when I get home at midnight and have two hours to kill before going to bed, its generally been here instead of the ISV.  But I’m on the last mission so things should be getting back to normal soon.

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4 Comments on “What I’ve Been Up To”

  1. Anthony Says:

    “when I get home at midnight and have two hours to kill before going to bed” => May I ask what time you wake up in the morning? How can you not be tired when you get home at that time?

  2. Patrick Says:

    I generally get up about 8:00 in the morning (my company has flex time, which means I can get in as late as 10:00 without causing any issues, assuming I work late to make up for it — and since I work in a Japanese company every day is late by default). Yep, I am generally pretty tired every day. On the plus side, the sole benefit of a 1.5 hour commute with 45 minutes of train is that it means 45 minutes of extra sleep each way.


  3. Hello Patrick,

    “Next Project — Doing some research. Its a long, long way off at the moment.”

    If you call a long, long way off : getting a product ready to be sold with in 30 days, it surely means a lot of sleepless night and that your super-duper productive (considering you do have a full time job)

    I’m also trying to ship a product, but the 30 days deadline is a bit too agressive for me. I’ve sent you an E-mail about my project, I look forward hearing from you

    Best Regards from France,
    Tarek

  4. Patrick Says:

    The project I was considering as “a long way off” is separate from the one I am using for the June whirlwind of developing goodness. The one I’m implementing is smaller and within my immediate capabilities, so I decided to light a fire under myself. I may come back to the grander idea at some later point.


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