Looking Down An Empty Glass

BAM! Well Niagara Falls was a resounding success.  I wish that I had more time to spend there looking at some of the sights and to enjoy another night at the Niagara Ramada Plaza.  It’s been over 18 months in the making but this project is finally moving forward.  I must admit that it feels really good to know that developing relationships with quality people is the best way to build a business.  I just wish that I had found the solution when the problem was presented to me.

I also hope that I’ll be able to attend the grand opening of the Don Cherry Sports Grill in the Ramada Plaza in March.  I think it would be fun to meet the guy who helped open Rob Ford’s inaugeration as the Mayor of Toronto.

Looking forward to the party tonight at Whalen’s Gate for the High Park Demons.   I miss the team and I’m looking forward to a summer of hard work and celebrating wins.

I almost forgot – Happy Birthday Mye!  I’m sorry that I wasn’t in Sendai to celebrate it with you.  I’ll raise a pint in your honour tonight and eat as much food as I can get my hands on.  And Jamie I’m sorry that I couldn’t help you celebrate your birthday in Niagara Falls last night.

Alright time for some serious socializing!

And The Answer Is…

Yes, but not yet, well maybe or maybe not.

I’ve always been one to eschew drama.  If I want drama in my life, I’ll download a soap opera or watch a snooty chick flick.  Or better yet read a tabloid of someone trying to deal with the drama of being in the limelight.  I’ve tried to be someone who stays away from drama and at this point in time I feel like I should just say “No.

It would be so easy to let it all go.  Let someone else solve the problem.  Let someone else establish the benchmark.  Let someone else take all the risk and reap the rewards.  Let someone else dream up a vision for the future and work aggressively towards realizing their dream.

All I would have to do is say “No.” and the drama would end.  No more gossip.  No more murmuring and whispering.  No more talk of the subject.  Just the lingering thought of what could have been.

I’m sitting at the kitchen table looking at the snow wistfully saunter through the cedar trees comforted by the fact that there is an insulated wall between me at -20C.   I have an afternoon of driving for meetings in Burlington and then in Niagara Falls, staying overnight in a hotel and then back to Toronto to meet up with friends and reconnect with the High Park Demons (www.highparkdemons.com).  After that back to Alliston and life goes on.

I guess the best part is that I don’t have to make a decision now.

I can’t wait for Australian Rules Football to start in May.  I only hope that I will still be in Canada.  That’s it for now!

Decision Date

Well January 15th is the self imposed due date to make a decision.  But that may be pushed back a few days due to the amount of time it has taken to recover from jet lag and being sick.  Also through in the fact that I’ve had to translate almost 50 pages from Japanese to English and it’s slowed things down quite a bit.

The night before I left I had the distinct pleasure of losing 1,000 yen and learning an important life lesson about how quickly things can change.  Of course I hadn’t packed yet and the airport limo was coming at 6:20 am, so I didn’t climb into bed until 2:30 am and was wide awake at 5:30 am.  The ride to the airport was beautiful – it had snowed during the night and the whole city was covered in a thick blanket of snow on a cool Sunday morning.  There was very little traffic and driving through the downtown core made me a little nostalgic.  It’s weird how easily you can become accustomed to certain things and start to take them for granted.

The Sendai airport is like any small airport found around the world.  I walked in and stood in line – got my checked luggage scanned before I made it to the desk and realized when I was next to be served that I had not checked in, did not have a ticket or my electronic authorization number – just my well worn passport that I spilled some non-descript drink that caused some pages to stick together and tarnish the nice red finish.  Fortunately the young lady at the desk took one look at my tired face, said something in Japanese that I did not recognize, saw the surprised look on my face and switched to English.  I just handed her my passport with a sigh as I didn’t understand what she said in English either.

Anyway, I was worried for no reason at all.  They had already printed my boarding pass for both flights, weighed my luggage, slapped the stickers on it and that was that.  The flight from Sendai to Tokyo (Narita airport) was uneventful aside from the obese Japanese man that smelled of cheap Chinese cigarettes, quick landing and being very quickly ushered into the check-in line at Narita for Interational flights.  Turns out that I should have not checked in first as there are very little options for drinks and food once you check in.

Anyway, for the next 22 hours I slept for 30 minutes just before the plane landed in Toronto.  For the next five days I managed to get 4-5 hours of sleep a night.  Fortunately, it will get a lot better this weekend and I should be able to slide into a routine starting on Monday.

Well that’s it for now.  I have an hour to get some work done then sit in a car dealership as they do some general maintenance on the car.  I’ll post something on Monday at the latest on a few decisions that have to be made.  Until then have fun!

 

Mission Accomplished

Well this is my last post in Japan.  I’m standing in the Google Free Wifi Zone at Narita Airport and the sun is slowly setting over the airplanes.  I feel pretty good considering that I’ve been up since 5:30am and my flight has been delayed by at least two and a half hours.  While sitting in the airport, I had the privilege of seeing my first sumo fight on tv.  I wish I could have made it to Tokyo to see something like this live, because those big guys fly at each other fast!  One thousand pounds flying at each other and jarring together – trust me there was no flab jostling as they tried to lift each other off the ground and out of the ring.  These guys could make a small fortune in the NFL (or an even smaller fortune in the CFL).  The best part is the winner keeps on going until all of the matches are done.

So the big question is has this trip been a success?

In some ways, yes I’ve found success, and in other ways not so much.  Let me count the ways:

Yes

Making money in Asia
Finding myself
New friends
Learn a new language (well starting to learn a new language)
Writing again
New purpose with my life

No

Potentially ruining a friendship
Not keeping in touch with everyone back in Canada as much
Not finishing all of the post cards

Now that I’m on my way back, I don’t have any detailed plans yet once I get to Toronto.  I will spend some time talking to my family and see what their expectations are.  Then it will be a matter of planning the trips into the city and to get what needs to be done.  Health card has to be renewed, taxes filed, passport renewed, things like that.  Alright time to get on the plane.  Sayonara!

Whatever Happened To Daytime TV?

I guess it’s been a while since I’ve sat in front of a tv during the day in Japan or in Canada for that matter.  I was sitting at the table doing some work with the tv going in the background (I was feeling lonely) and all of a sudden it’s gone from news to exercises to one of Chopin’s songs with three ladies in leotards performing a mix of tai chi, aikido and the chicken dance.  I sat transfixed for a good minute then I wished that I had my computer hooked up to the tv – I couldn’t make it up better myself.  Then in a flash it was back to the news report about a fire in Sendai.

Ok I have a few videos and pictures to post for everyone but to be honest at this point in time I can’t be bothered.  I have a pile of clothes on the table right now that has to be packed into two bags and set in the front room.  Yes I am procrastinating, but not to the extent that I want to upload all of the pictures, categorize all of them, name them, then attach them to links so everyone can see.

Tomorrow is an early start at 5am with a quick workout, then heading for a car ride around 6am.  After that my last trip to downtown Sendai to get a few last minute gifts, mail off the last of the post cards, back home, dinner with a few people, then sleep and a 6am pickup to catch my 8am flight out of Sendai to Tokyo (Narita Airport).  Then it is a six hour wait before I have to clear security and another 2 hours afterwards to board the plane.  Then a 14 hour flight home to Toronto.  In otherwords, 24 hours of sitting, walking, pacing, stretching in a confined space (yes the airport is big, but it’s still a confining space).

Alright, time to get on with packing.  I’m going to listen to some Seth Godin while folding dress shirts and pants and stuffing suits into cramped little bags.  🙂

I almost forgot.  Today’s dinner involved my two favorite foods in Sendai – Kanako (Sri Lankan inspired dishes) and then three plates of sushi.  Oh and the wind was so bad that it ripped the air out of your lungs and made your clothes feel like they were in tatters (just getting ready for Canada).

What A Day!

I’m in shock, total shock.  Today turned out to be one of the more interesting days that I’ve had here.  If you’ve ever seen the movie “Lost In Translation” with Billy Murray, I had a similar experience where the director was talking for a over a minute straight with all sorts of hand signals and the translation comes through as “He says more energy” – yeah something like that.  Overall the news was good and I’m one step closer towards achieving my goal and helping a friend launch a new business.

We had a quick debriefing at Starbucks, which as it turns out is across from the Apple Store, and reviewed a few things before I headed back home.  I got off the bus early and went into the local Best Western to inquire about conference room rates.  I’ve never seen a salesperson collapse so quickly on discounting their rates.  I’m really not surprised that I only ever see a few lights on at night at the hotel – it’s a fantastic facility but I don’t think there is an active sales force there.

Anyway, I’m exhausted and it’s time to start packing up.  I want to have my last day free from packing, so Friday is reserved for saying “Sayounara”, doing laundry, packing, and getting things finished for my exit from Sendai.  So hello sleep, goodbye world.

Zaaaaap!

Well in the final days to my departure, it looks like things are going to happen lightening fast.  With one phone call a kind young lady has propelled everything forward faster than I could have imagined – and it turns out that I was right all along.  Isn’t it great that feeling that you get when you’ve told everyone around you what your gut feeling is, researched, reconsidered all angles and then ZAP!

Validation.

Oh how sweet it is.  Now the hard work begins.