Last Night’s Leftovers

Saved my own butt. I recorded a short one last night after finishing work but didn’t get around to uploading it. See, when I got home, the PlayStation controller jumped out of the drawer, stuck itself to my hand and wouldn’t let go. By the time it finally gave in, I was too traumatized to have anything more to do with computers.

Then today I pulled a 12 hr. shift, but I can’t complain because the boss was already there when I arrived and was still there when I left. I don’t know how he does it. He’s a really good guy. But as I was saying, I was too tired to record, so here’s last night’s attempt.

Today’s Recording

Ya’ll must getting tired of me ripping on my own podcasts, so I won’t. Just let me say that putting out a recording I really want to redo is downright painful. Under extreme duress, I’m limiting myself to one take. Spalding Grey used to record, listen to and critique his soliloquies over and over until he had them down just right. To me, that’s the proper way. As you might guess, I can spend weeks doing that, and I have to stop. Or at least cut down.

I do like the last two videos a lot, though. I’ve watched them over and over and made my family watch them too.

Soundseeing in Akasaka

Warning: This episode is neither work safe nor podsafe. It will corrupt your children and jeopardize your career. And if that weren’t bad enough, it’ll probably hurt your eardrums too.

Last night I had fish & chips with cider at an English pub in Akasaka, took a stroll, talked with a few kyakubiki (customer pullers), and finished up the evening with karaoke. Recently I showed off some photos of me when I was younger, and a friend told me I looked like Freddy Mercury when I was in college, so I chose a song from Queen to sing.

Rich “Freddy Mercury” Pav

Back Behind The Wheel

This will either be interesting or it will be the podcasting equivalent of sitting through a slide show of vacation photos. We’ll see. I’m still figuring this stuff out.

Someone mentioned that my podcast reminded them of the weekly public radio program This American Life, so I decided to check it out. For the past two weeks I’ve been listening to it eight hours a day at work. So for this episode I decided to try to take a lesson from them. No way is it anywhere near as good as This American Life, but then again they have a team of 10 professional producers working full-time on every episode. And there’s no background music in mine. Too much trouble.

Update: I fixed the broken link to the MP3 file.
Update: The last minute or so of the file didn’t get uploaded. That’s been fixed too.

Show notes:

  • There are accompanying photos in the gallery.
  • Calpis (Not “cow piss”)

The HairCutCast

Wow, youse guys are so lucky! Two and a half podcasts flom Japan in one weekend! Oh how I envy you.

There are photos in the gallery. The truth is they’ve been there for quite a while.

Some of the topics of discussion I had with the woman who cut my hair:

  • I am a podcaster. That’s why I took all those photos while I was waiting, and it’s also why I have microphones in my ears.
  • She never heard of podcasting, but she knows about MP3 players.
  • She said, “So this is kind of like watching a video clip filmed while riding a roller coaster and feeling like you’re there, eh?”
  • She’s still using Windows 98. Needs to upgrade but not looking forward to the pain of transferring all her programs to a new computer. The other day she cut a guy’s hair who said he has three PCs that are still running Windows 95. I said he must really like it.
  • Until 8 years ago, it was illegal to run a shop like QB House because of strict sanitary regulations. Also, the minimum price for a haircut was regulated. ($30-$40 minimum) In fact, the association for hair cutters still requires members to fix their prices. QB House isn’t a member.
  • The 300th QB House in Japan will open soon. There are stores in other countries too. She mentioned Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.
  • You get to keep the comb.

QB House links:

  • Business is booming. The number of customers is in orange, the number of stores in blue
  • The “service unit.” Nice and sterile sounding, eh? You can hold your mouse over areas of the image to see explanations most of you won’t be able to read. But it’s cool because it’s in Japanese, right?
  • The next generation cutting station will include a video monitor to bombard customers with advertisements deliver various information to customers.
  • Employment info. Full time employees make about US $22-45,000 a year. Part-timers make $10/hr and up, which means the company is really raking in money, but keep in mind that rent and electricity here are quite expensive.

Herro Flom McDonald’s

If the lack of commentary in The Frogcast made you pine for the velvety smoothness of my voice, you’re going to love this episode. It’s blabberific! (TM) And every time I say “um” you have to take a drink. (Or come to think of it, maybe I should take a drink.)

Show notes:

  • My toy collection:
  • Otofuke’s website
    • Listen to more of their songs
    • Photos from their street performance in NYC
    • Photos of them performing on the east side of Shinjuku Station (The side Kabukicho is on.)
  • If you like playing with digital photography, definitely check out AutoStitch. I have a gallery of images I made last night and today.
  • Ani-Zoo (Pronounced “Zoe”)
    • His official, under construction website
    • Page with a photo of him
    • I forgot to take a photo of the place where I saw him perform. So sue me.
  • Learn all about Golden Week just like I did. Until now I never bothered.
  • If you were to download my humble carp streamer photo and use it for your desktop wallpaper, I would be most honored.
  • The sad sad Planet’s website

My podcasting hat

The Frogcast

Pretty self-explanatory, this one. Last night I attached my earbud microphones to my glasses with rubber bands to minimize the “cranial backwash,” walked outside to the rice paddy next to our house, sat there quietly for about 10 minutes or so then went back inside.

I recommend listening to it with headphones on–your best pair–and in a very quiet setting. The detail is incredible, if I do say so myself. You can hear exactly what I was hearing. Try picking out the two times I scratched my head.

It loops very well. I feel asleep listening to it and dreamed I had little vicious frogs stuck in my hair. No joke.

I’m using the NYU Distributed Network to cache and distribute this podcast. Please let me know if there are any problems with it.