Archive for December, 2008
OK, it’s actually already Boxing Day here, but at the Product Creation Labs, we celebrate Christmas and the holiday feeling right through New Years. I hope you’re taking some time off to appreciate life and your family.
Christmastime In Japan
Here, Christmas is not the important holiday that it is in Christian countries. It’s gotten more popular over the years since I arrived here, but mainly it’s Christmas Eve that’s important as a dating night for young couples.
On Christmas Day, families don’t do much of anything different. It’s not a public holiday, so the father still has to go to work. We actually have December 23rd as a national holiday, as it is the Emperor’s birthday.
There usually aren’t Christmas presents, but the family will have a nice dinner together — or even go out for Christmas dinner at a restaurant. Then, it’s time for Christmas cake. This is a big time of year for the patissieres, as they hawk a ton of decorated Christmas cakes. Below is one of the fancier ones.
No Harried Present Buying
It is one of the many benefits of living in Japan. Since we don”t have the Western world’s obligation to buy tons of Christmas presents, Rieko and I can truly enjoy the time leading up to Christmas. We only buy each other a small present. No rushing around. No fighting our way through the crazed crowds fighting over some toy that their children won’t appreciate anyway.
Christmas Eve At Our House
A nice, quiet time together. This is when we put out our decorations. Not much, just a few homemade decos we created years ago.
And, it’s time for some Christmas baking. We created a Gingerbread House. The first attempt did end in a disaster that had us laughing uncontrollably and total sticky with icing. Being an ex-builder and engineer, I should have taken gravity into consideration.
But, after a few adjustments we created a tasty little cabin that now tempts us to nibble.
Christmas Day At Our House
Totally lazy. Since we’d stayed up late watching such wholesome Christmas fare as “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, we slept ’til noon and then opened pressies in the futon. And that was Christmas. Dinner won’t be until tonight, as we have family coming down from Tokyo.
We both wish you a very Merry Christmas, with lots of cheer and a houseful of joy.
All the best from Kevin & Rieko
I just got a thank you note for all of us who participated in the IM Dream Team giveaway event. It came from the folks in Mustang, Nepal and they sent 4 pictures of the kids who you helped with your involvement.
Thank you so much for helping these kids get a better education. Imagine the difference you have made in their lives.
As you can see by their present schoolroom furnishings, $3417 is going to make a world of difference here.
May even one day get a little more playground equipment.
Have a very Merry Christmas knowing that your promo efforts put some happiness and hope in these kids’ lives.
Again … Thank you!
Today, Dr Mani Twittered about the nostalgia of the early places he hosted his websites. This reminded me of my first commercial venture — AutoNet.com. Don’t look for it, it is long gone. That was back in 1995, and I set up the domain through Island Internet (a small Vancouver Island provider set up by my neighbour’s son).
A Sea Of Grey
In those days, all backgrounds were battleship grey (who came up with that smart idea?), and I made my own red horizontal rules. All pictures were basically limited to 150 px to avoid super slow loading times.
Gone By 1996
The website — along with another one called SurfShack — lasted less than a year. I closed them all down when I was asked to build houses in Japan. Then, I fell in love with Japan … never went back to Canada … and for the next 4-5 years had little to do with Internet.
At The Y2K
Next, came EarthLink — where I built an adventure travel site called ExploreClub.com. It was pretty cool for the turn of the millenium. A graphic side navigation bar and a few bitmaps for navigation. Even had rollovers. I’ve actually forgotten how to code those.
Tell Your Story
What was your earlest site on the Internet like? Post it on your blog and then put a Tweet on Twitter (with #myfirstweb in the Tweet)
The IM Dream Team giveaway event is over. The money counted and shipped to Japan. After the dust settled, we found we had raised $3417 to give to the Mustang Development Services Association. That converted to 318,100 Yen which yesterday was donated through the Takamatsu Post Office and is now on its way to Nepal, with a note to earmark this money for the school kids.
Thank You Everyone
If you were involved in the IM Dream Team event in any way … you helped make this happen. You did MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
I just put out a brand new guide. This one shows you how to make extra cash instantly — without laying out any cash of your own.
You can get it now at the 12 Days Of Christmas giveaway:
GET IT … USE IT … MAKE MONEY. (It’s that simple)