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State of the Gaijin 2017!

Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer StaffRPGamer Staff
edited January 2017 in Miscellaneous
Normally I'd be doing this via Japandemonium, but well... yeah. Happy New Year! For added punny fun, this is the Year of the Rooster and Heisei 29, which can be jokingly written as 酉二九, or tori ni ku (chicken meat). Kentucky Fried Chicken has been making hay with this in their ad campaigns.

The earthquake damage is mostly repaired now, though it'll take at least a decade to finish fixing up the castle. The last of the uninhabitable buildings are finally getting torn down, and some landlords are deciding whether or not to make repairs while they can still get compensated for quake damage stuff. Unfortunately, my landlord decided last month that the benefits of fixing the remaining problems with my building did not outweigh the cost of the repairs, so come April, my apartment's going to be a parking lot. We're moving in three weeks.

In happier news, I managed to fulfill my main 2016 resolution and put a book up on the Amazon Kindle store.


This is the better-edited version of what used to be linked in the Saving Throw forum, with the second and third episodes to follow soon-ish. Fourth episode's going to be my project for February, and hopefully I'll be editing the sixth or seventh by the end of the year. And in case anyone wonders, I went with my wife's maiden name as a pen name because my own is about as common as dirt. I wanted something that could actually be found on a web search.

So if you're interested, then please check them out. If not, then enjoy a free baby picture as well :)



  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Y'know, the thing I maybe miss the most about JP is the intro sections where I could just ramble on about something random for a while. Let's keep doing that. Here's something I put on Facebook earlier this month, but still fun.

    Japan has a lot of quasi-traditional TV shows that air only on New Year's Eve/Day. One of these is "Ultraman Dash", which posits bizarrely comedic situations that can only be resolved by a heroic effort on the part of a guest athlete who just happens to be handy. Here's a video that shows part of one of the many Ultraman Dash episodes I saw that weekend:

    The scenario is that a shopping mall's food court left its front doors open too long in the cold winter weather, and now the floor's frozen over. But there are still customers to serve! So they hire former skating world champion Daisuke Takahashi to be their emergency waiter.

    The actual event takes place on a skating rink set up with all the accoutrements of a food court, including mannequins waiting in line, tables, barriers, and a children's area strewn with toys. Daisuke has to maneuver around all obstacles while delivering extra noodles for a customer's ramen and salad (with dressing), then take care of a fussy baby, and finally make someone's birthday memorable.

    So, do you think the Tokyo 2020 Olympic committee should consider hiring the Ultraman Dash producers to plan some of the major events? Let's make those things REAL challenges
  • TheAnimeManTheAnimeMan Member Full Members
    We miss the JP thread man we do.

    28 years of gaming and still going strong
    and now a mostly annoyed Father with first son. And now a father again to a second son :D

    Winner of the 2015-2016 Fantasy gaming Pool
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Japanese word of the day: oya-baka

    This is one of those random Japanese portmanteaus that they come up with over here to provide quick and accessible labels to people. In particular, this one means "parent-idiot", as in a mom or dad (or both) who dote on everything that their child does and insists on sharing with everyone.

    In other words, my wife and I.

    On Tuesday, little Reina successfully managed to roll over onto her stomach for the first time, but my wife was out of the room at the exact moment it happened. The next day, they were visiting my classroom, and Reina did it again where we could see. All the excited clapping that followed startled her so much that she cried for a couple of minutes. Poor little girl... her parents really are baka sometimes...
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    This past weekend was a busy one. On Saturday, we had to move to a new apartment. Of course, the moving company had to delay it by three hours. More than enough time to walk with my daughter to the supermarket and drug store and back :)

    So, once we actually got everything piled up in the new place (I'll let you know when the unpacking is finished), we had other things to do. Sunday was the best day I could manage to go to the ward tax office. Unfortunately it was also the best day for a lot of other people to do it too. We got there at 10, half an hour after it opened, and we got waiting card #444. They were calling #350. I ended up leaving at 3 in the afternoon, though Non-chan and Reina left an hour before that because there were some other things that needed to be taken care of.
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    OK, time for some updates! The month of March is a hectic one in Japan, since it's the last month of the academic year, and the space between terms is all of two weeks for the kids (far, far less for the teachers). Let's start with something cute!


    March 3rd is the Japanese Doll Festival (Hina Matsuri), which is more-or-less the national holiday for little girls. Since this was my daughter's first time, it got a special title, hatsuzeka. Her grandparents paid more than I'd care to imagine for a nice hina-dan doll collection.

    Hina dolls are THE charm for good luck when it comes to healthy little girls who grow up to marry well, and make all sorts of appearances in Japanese culture. Among other things, they're the inspiration for the anime title Love Hina, and there was one early episode of Pokemon where Misty and Jesse battled in a tournament for a complete set of the things. My sister-in-law found this cute little outfit somewhere online, and so our little girl got all dolled up for the day.

    In other news, after five years my private classroom finally closed its doors. Even before the earthquake, it was just squeaking by, but student numbers never had a chance to recover. I am now working seventeen classes a week at a high school. Pray for me.

    Finally, for the new quarter, we have a new episode of the Pizza Princesses available.


    The first episode is on a special deal starting tomorrow, if you haven't checked it out yet. For episode 2, check here .
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    Wow, it's been two months already?

    Reina-chan is doing great, and is even figuring out how to pull herself up. Pretty soon she'll get the hang of this walking thing...

    In other news, I started this blogothing a couple weeks ago as a spot to put up some of my writing. Specifically, there's a story heavily based on the game Meremanoid and another that was inspired by the DS branch of the Atelier series years ago. I also occasionally ramble on about old games that no one's ever heard about, but what else is new?
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    One of my bigger weak points is that I have trouble putting myself forward or advertising myself too much. It just feels embarrassing and disgenuous to shill my own product -- whether it's a story, a service, or just me as I am -- on social media.

    Well, I need to get over this somehow, and as a first step, I've decided to make the first Sunday of every month my personal shill day. Whatever accounts I have online, be it Facebook, Tumblr, or many various website forums, will get this message and links for the shilling.

    So, items 1 & 2:

  • SlayerSlayer Member Full Members
    Thank you for sharing!
  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    I probably should have kept this going more diligently >_>;
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