jump to navigation

Failure to Post November 21, 2010

Posted by Matsu in Family, Friends, Other, Random, Weblog.
5 comments

Hello, my name is Matsu and I am an inconsistent blogger. I haven’t posted anything in four months.

I feel like I should begin with that confession as it has been far too long since I have logged into my blog site, much less posted anything new. I almost feel guilty about it, not because I have something important to say that the world has missed out on reading or learning about, but instead because of the number of visits I get each day — far more than I would have ever expected. It’s embarrassing that I am not providing new content for the many readers who check in from time to time.

I have failed to keep up a reliable schedule of posting new content the past couple of years for several reasons, but mostly it’s because of a sharp increase in all that I must do at work (both reading and writing) and a significant change in my personal life. Ironically, it seems that while I have pulled away from this blog site (neglecting my responsibilities for its care and feeding), I have done the same thing with many of my other relationships. It is almost like I have had a case  of Rip Van Winkle — only I’ve been sleepwalking through life, instead of sleeping under a tree in the woods.

Right now I have 23 different blog posts in various stages of pre-post drafts. All of them are from this year. That’s 23 blog posts I’ve started but not finished and published. For some reason I just wasn’t ready or wasn’t willing to post them. It’s time I change that. It’s time for me to wake up and smell the coffee. It’s time for me to reengage life. I think I’m ready. At least I am ready to try.

Hello, world. Today is a good day to be alive. And, to my readers, I’ll be back very soon. Much sooner than four months from now.

Last Thoughts of the Year December 31, 2009

Posted by Matsu in Christmas, Random, Weblog, WordPress.
add a comment

This will be my last blog post of the year 2009. And, if it wasn’t for the WordPress App on my iPhone, I wouldn’t be able to submit and publish this last post because where I am I can’t use my laptop and there is no WiFi network or Internet access. This is all being done with my iPhone.

This has been an especially difficult year for many people, including myself. Much of my stress was work related, which is of course a blessing because I have a job (unlike many millions of people around the world). And, while it has been a difficult year, I have learned some valuable lessons and have seen people get back to the essentials of life.

One of the lessons is that you should be kind to everyone you come into contact with because you never know what they are going through. I know that when I’ve struggled this past year a kind word from a friend or coworker has really picked up my spirits and encouraged me. While I have not always done that myself (intentionally taking a minute to encourage someone with a kind word or action), I intend to make it a priority this coming year.

To state it in a more formal way, I resolve to be a kinder and more understanding person who takes time to help others and encourage everyone I come into contact with.

{Someone is knocking on the cabin door… I will be right back.}

Okay, it looks like I’ve just had my first test. Just as I finished writing my New Year’s resolution I had a neighbor stop by and ask me if he could “borrow” a roll of toilet paper. He and his friends are renting a cabin next door to my cabin and they ran out of toilet paper. So, as you might guess, I had a spare roll and gave him one. I even smiled and wished him and his friends a Happy New Year.

It’s nice to know that in this self-centered and self-absorbed age where everyone seems to be focused on their own happiness that we can still help each other.

I challenge you, dear reader, to look for opportunities to help someone, whether it be friend or stranger. It will make a difference for us all. And, you will be glad you did.

Good bye, 2009! Welcome to Earth, 2010!

Happy New Year, everyone! See you on the other side.

Reached a major mile stone on the road less traveled November 11, 2009

Posted by Matsu in History, Information Technology, News, Technology, Web, Weblog.
add a comment

Matsu Blog StatsI am reaching the end of my fourth year blogging on WordPress.com and I just realized, or actually discovered, that this off-the-beaten-track blog site just reached a major accomplishment: over 100,000 page views (visits?). However you slice that statistic, it’s far more visitors than I expected, ever.

Granted, the past year I have not posted as often I had in the previous years. Life has just gotten too busy and keeping a digital presence with friends and family is accomplished with posts to Facebook and Twitter. But, now that I am less active, I have more followers than ever. In fact, I average about 120 visits per day. As you can see by the stats, my best day ever was only 1,000 hits, but that’s not bad for a guy that is on a less-traveled (and hard to find) road. It amazes me that the less active I am, and the more time that passes, the greater the number of hits to this site. I can’t say why that is, exactly. As far as I know, my mom is not running up the stats by visiting throughout the day hoping that I will have posted some new and fresh content.

Not that the number of visitors or page views matters, but at the current rate this site will reach 200,000 page views in only two years (half the amount of time it took to reach the first 100,000 visits/page views). I guess I should put something useful up here so people won’t regret dropping by from time to time.

If you are a new visitor to this blog site, welcome! And, if you are one of the readers that browse this way from time to time, thank you for your attention and interest in what I have to say. I hope that I have both amused you and informed you over the past several years. And, I hope to continue do that for several more years.

 

 

Practice Poll – Tell me your favorite season December 5, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Open Source, Software, Technology, Web, Weblog, WordPress.
add a comment

WordPress acquired a simple web polling product called Poll Daddy (sound familiar? GoDaddy?) and released it on WordPress.com for all of their bloggers to try out. So, I’m trying it out.

This is one of the pre-designed polling templates they provided:

What do you think of the polling software? Impressed? Not so impressed? And, what do you think the distribution for the answers will be? Evenly distributed (25% for each season)? Or, do you think that winter will get frozen out and people won’t choose it as much as they will summer, spring, and fall?

I guess we will see over time, as visitors answer the poll. If you haven’t, please give it a try so I can have some real data to work with.

See your reflection in others July 2, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Family, Friends, History, Humor, Japan, Photography, Weblog.
3 comments

Dr. Bacchus ReflectionIt is interesting how much one learns of themselves by interacting with others. Yes, by interacting with people around you it helps you see yourself better and therefore you end up knowing yourself.

In the past several years I’ve worked with a person who has brought into focus the amount of influence my upbringing has affected my personality and character. I grew up in Japan. In fact, I spent most of the first 18 years of my life there, with the exception of three times when we lived in America for a year each time while on furlough. Well, the oriental influence on me is inescapable. And, this co-worker has been like a highly reflective mirror and given me a better view of myself and how I’ve been shaped by the oriental influences of my childhood.

One of the characteristics of oriental society is subtle communication. So, when I saw this photo posted on the Kyoto Daily Photo blog, I laughed out loud. It typifies how subtle the Japanese people can be, and by extension, how I am at times. The theme for the July 1st daily photo blog photos is “no.” The assignment is to take photos of signs that say “no” or “not permitted.” So, the photo of a walking path of large stepping stones with a single smaller stone sitting atop the first step means, “do not enter,” in the social language of Japan. That is a wonderful example of how small and subtle communication is in Japan — and while it’s subtle, I find it also to be crystal clear and almost obvious. But, that’s just because I think in those same terms.

So, thank you Bert for giving me a better view of myself and through that awareness, making this photograph that much more meaningful and amusing.

Disclaimer: The photo used in this post has nothing to do with the Kyoto Daily Photo blog. I wanted to use the stone path photo, but I didn’t have permission. Therefore, I found a good friend’s photo on the Wilmore Daily Photo blog site and used it without his permission. Hey, what is a friend going to do, sue me? Oh, oh! He seems to be tight with the local police. Maybe I should reconsider my attititude!

Jay Leno makes fun of Yellow Pages April 1, 2008

Posted by Matsu in Business, Humor, Random, Web, Weblog.
17 comments

A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post about the new telephone books arriving — with Yellow Pages — and referenced some statistics I read when surfing an article on MSN about the same topic. I had no idea I would be visited by the editor of the Yellow Pages industry website, YP Talk — his name is Ken Clark.

I don’t know if my quotes of the MSN article bothered him or it was the number of people all over the world cutting back on their use of the phone book (including Yellow Pages), but he definitely seemed upset when he left me a comment here. Then, on his website he wrote:

“Bloggers continue to tell everyone that will listen to them that THEY NEVER USE A PRINT YELLOW PAGES, and are astonished that any Cretan would ever need one.”

I get the impression that Mr. Clark doesn’t like bloggers who share their opinions or observations. That’s too bad. It’s unlikely that they will stop sharing their thoughts any time soon. I would think that fighting the bloggers would be a losing battle. But, that’s just this bloggers opinion, which isn’t worth too much.

Phonebook on door stepSo, back to the title of this post… just a few minutes ago Jay Leno made a funny joke on the Tonight Show (NBC). He was making fun of the Yellow Pages and said, “Yellow Pages is for the three people who don’t have the Internet.” Then, he went on to say, “And, who doesn’t like picking the phonebooks up from the driveway after a week of rain?” Apparently, it’s not just my opinion that phonebooks are used less and often abandoned at the front door.

My guess is most of those phonebooks are not picked up because they are not needed nor wanted in some homes. Eventually, they are moved from the driveway to the trash can, never entering the house. Again, that’s just my guess. Of course, I’ve done that myself and just this week I watched my neighbor do that. I took the photo in this post before they threw away the phone book. It had been sitting there for more than a week.

It seems things are pretty bleak in the phone book advertising industry. Mr. Clark also wrote…

“Guess that Armageddon has finally arrived in the Yellow Pages Industry. Time to fold the tent and move on to a new industry, new jobs, a new life. Be honest, many of you believe that don’t you? If so, you best stop right here, go find a job in another industry because we really don’t need you here.

My guess is that people who sell advertising for Yellow Pages are seeing declines in the effectiveness of advertising in phone books and agree with Mr. Clark so they are quickly running to another industry where they might be able to make more money. It would seem that the only people making money are the printing companies that get paid for all of those phonebooks that are never read and sometimes are thrown away before they enter the house.

Mr. Clark, don’t take yourself too seriously. My previous post was meant to be amusing. And, I took the facts from a reputable source (well, mostly reputable), so I’m not sure why you have a problem with me… take this up with MSN if you disagree with their findings.