AL 2 - Return to Noheji

05/28/15 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts

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The End

04/20/10 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts

After seven years of running I think the time has come to call it quits. Since returning from Japan, getting married, buying a house and getting a proper job I can't hardly say that I'm still avoiding life, can I? Over the years this site has steadily devolved from a popular and innovative video blog about life in Japan into just another random pile of links to stuff. I think from now on I'll save the link posts for Facebook and Twitter and leave this site as a reminder of the amazing times I had for three unbelievable years in Aomori prefecture. Anyway, if you're thinking that avoiding life might be just want you need then I highly recommend signing up for JET Programme. It was certainly one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. I would even go one step further and recommend that you request Aomori prefecture and maybe even Noheji Town where I lived as your #1 desired location. Just make sure to get a really good dehumidifier if they stick you in my moldy old apartment.

The End.

In Japan geeky Gaijin character 'Mr James' loves McDonalds

08/22/09 | by silverso | Categories: McDonald's


A new McDonald's advertising there campaign centers on one Mr. James, a bespectacled idiot who tortures the Japanese language and is quite literally crazed for McDonald's burgers


I spent three years in Japan teaching people about North American culture, and until now I wasn't really sure if I had left a lasting impression on anyone. All I can say now is that I've never been prouder. I only wish they had asked me, the real Mr. James, to do these ads instead of hiring this imposter.

Thanks Kate for the link. Here's another link for more info, and here's Debito's predictable response.

Note to Debito... Mr. James is not a stereotype.. he's real! I'm living proof. If you have a problem with Mr. James, then you have a problem with me buddy boy!

My Old Noheji Home

12/03/08 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts


My nice old aparto in Noheji before the mold killed it
I stumbled across this interesting blog belonging to a couple of JET Programme ALT's that have taken over my old job and home in Noheji, Japan. If any of my faithful readers from back in the day are still reading this, you may notice a number of similarities between my old blog posts and theirs, such as posts about climbing mount Eboshi (mine here) or the battle of man vs. mold. From the looks of this post, mold has completely taken over my old apartment! As anyone who visited the place while I was there can attest, the mold smell was really quite bad despite my best efforts to eradicate it. The school even half-offered to move me into another building because of it, but my supervisor suggested that I turn down the offer as they were just being nice offering it to me and didn't actually want to give it to me. So there I stayed for three years, and while I miss Noheji and might have stayed longer if I could, I'm kind of glad I got out of there before the mold completely took over!

Awesome Aomori Train Videos

12/12/07 | by silverso | Categories: Trains

I found a bunch of Aomori train related videos on You Tube that perhaps only I would find interesting. For what it's worth, here they are...

There's lots of fun techno music videos about the trains of Aomori. Here's some of my favorites...

Seikan Tunnel Trains

My personal favorite Aomori train, the Heat 789.

Train Cafe

12/08/07 | by silverso | Categories: Trains

Who needs Maid Cafes when there are train cafes?

Passion comes to Toronto!

05/30/07 | by silverso | Categories: Pro-Wrestling

Passion, the last of the Salseros, dances the Bomba with local Toronto indy wrestler Don Paysan at an awesome UWA vs. Toryumon event in Mississauga this past Saturday.

Passion also faced Larry Sweeney in a dance-off on night one of the event.

For more exciting photos from this momentous event...

Full story »

Vlogs then and now

04/01/07 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts

When I first started this website way back in 2003 you could probably count the number of video blogs on the web with your fingers and toes. Since there were no websites for broadcasting videos free of charge I had to pay to host everything. It wasn't an easy or cheap thing to do back then, but in almost no time that totally changed. Today, according to MeFeedia, there are over 20,000 vlogs on the net, and a good number of them are being hosted for free on such sites as YouTube, Daily Motion and BlipTV.

Since I'm trying these days to break back into the online video biz, I thought I had better get up to speed with all the various video hosting services that are out there now. I thought that the best way to do this would be to upload a video to each and every video hosting site I could find and compare what features they offer. This has however proven to be a very daunting task indeed. I uploaded some of my videos to the following services to see what the results would be like:

Full story »

Cutest Robot Ever

12/30/06 | by silverso | Categories: Links and Articles


This is Paro. Paro is a "Seal type mental commit robot for psychological enrichment" or STMCRFPE for short. It's supposedly "the world's most therapeutic robot" and is intended to have a calming effect on patients of hospitals and nursing homes.

From Wikipedia:

The robot has tactile sensors and responds to petting by moving its tail and opening and closing its eyes. It also responds to sounds and can learn a name. It can show emotions such as surprise, happiness and anger. It produces sounds similar to a real baby seal and (unlike a real baby seal) is active during the day and goes to sleep at night.

Paro isn't mass produced like its robotic cousins Necord or Nearme, so if you want one it's gonna probably set you back a few grand. A cheaper alternative are Sega's dream pets. While in Japan, Kate and I picked up a couple of Yume Inus (Dream Dogs) for about 1000 yen each. They are really cool! They can't walk, but they can produce a cute mechanical bark, stick their tongues out, as well as turn their ears and heads. They also have sensors in their eyes, feet and on their backs so that they can react to you. They were once pretty expensive, but soon after the Chihuahua fad ended the bottom fell out of the market for robot dogs. I think they have now been discontinued, however Sega Toys seems to still selling the Yume Neko. Grab one now before it's too late! Take it from me. There's no better way to calm your nerves after a hard day than playing with a furry robotic friend!

Toronto's First Maid Cafe

12/04/06 | by silverso | Categories: Deep Thoughts

Attention sukebe otaku of Toronto... your prayers have been answered! Toronto now has it's first Maid Cafe at McNicoll and Kennedy.

It's called "i maid cafe" and it doesn't look any different from the scores of maid cafes dotting Akihabara in Tokyo. Could Meflexology be far off? [From BoingBoing]

Update: CBC's The Hour ran this story about iMaidCafe.

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Avoiding life and teaching English in Noheji, Aomori, Japan


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