PEAEB Weekly Update #002

Quote Of The Week

Whatever it is that you think you want to do, and whatever it is that you think stands between you and that, stop making excuses. You can do anything.

Katia Beauchamp, Co-founder and CEO, Birchbox

Assorted Fish Highlights

Precious Strawberry Haichu

Seasonal flavor of one of my favorite Japanese candies 🙂

Homemade Okaki

Made from New Year’s omochi!

Indian Summer Saison

Dondo Yaki

The Japanese tradition of burning New Year’s items to ensure good luck, health, and success. This little bonfire took place at a shrine near my home.

Pizza Hut

Can you guess how much this ‘L’ sized pizza cost (which really amounts to an actual small sized pizza by American standards) — 3500 yen (mindblown). But sometimes you just simply need a pizza in your life, even if it’s priced like premium Apple product.

Africa Pale Ale

A very much needed EOW (end of week) beer.


Tiring week! The raging snow here in Sapporo is enough to drain my energy levels. All the snow shoveling involved is killer. I thought shoveling snow in our last couple apartments were bad…

The house we live in now does have a car port, so I’m spared from having to clear snow off of that. However, instead I now have all this real estate in front and behind my house that I gotta shovel snow for. EVERY. DAY.

I suppose what makes it bearable this time around is that I can creative with all this snow piling up here. I’ve already made quite a large snow mountain in our backyard (still continuing to grow in size) mainly for Keimei to play on.

On a somewhat relevant note (soon to be the first of two small rants), I do realize with all this snow to shovel, eventually you’re going to run out of room to toss it.

Round 1

The other day my wife and I noticed what was clearly tossed over snow from our neighbor’s side. Like, really? They’re a senior couple that live next to us, and I was just helping out the husband the other time shoveling offering to shovel snow for him, and this is what he does when we’re not around? Not cool. We don’t need extra snow piling up in our yard!

For the record, we’ve never had any negative history with each other, and I’m gonna give the old man the benefit of the doubt and guess that he probably shoveled snow over on this side when our house was vacant before we moved in. Well, there’s folks living here now and that’s not gonna fly.

If I see this same thing happen, there were going to be some words.

This week I didn’t go out a single day, and worked from my sofa which faces directly toward the area of our neighbor’s house and our’s. And sure enough one morning this week, while I was pounding out tickets, I see a figure slowly emerge from the corner of my eye, and snow being pushed over to our side of the house. Literally, right in front of me.

I approached our glass door making it appear like I was naturally just checking outside, but really I just wanted to make my presence known. And indeed it was. Mid-shoveling he realized I was standing right there and we met eyes. I didn’t need to say anything, I just nodded my head the way Japanese people do when they see each other to say hi. Except, I put an added slowness to the nod to differentiate it this time around, and that this was not a ‘hi-neighbor-how-are-you-doing-today-on-this-lovely-snowy-morning’ nod. Nope. Oh no. This was more of a ‘no words need to be spoken to let you know what I’m thinking’ kind of nod.

And at that point, we understood each other. I watched as he skedaddled away. For good measure, I continued to work in clear view of our backyard for the remainder of the week. I noticed the days when he’d come out to shovel snow, and he’d notice me (most likely confused why I’m not at ‘work’). But since that day, no more unwanted snow on our side.

Round 2

As for the other rant I wanted to mention, I’ll keep it short because I generally don’t like ranting to begin with.

TLDR; I stepped down from a parking lot quarrel today. Parking lot battles, don’t we all love them.

I was circling the lot, a space opened up right in front me, then before moving in some old man comes up from behind, honks his horn, and gets out of his car to tell me it was his spot since there was a line waiting out back and that he was the first in ‘line’.

I know quite well that there’s no system in place for waiting in lines (in this particular lot at least), you wait only if you’re sharking a certain area, however it’s common in Japan to follow behind others like lemmings, in both a literal and figurative sense.

Aside — when people wait in the subway, they’ll line up in single file line even though there is a clear sign written on the platform to stand and line up in two columns for each side. At any rate, I could go on about this weird phenomenon at a later time.

Getting back to the story, I was simply here to get Keimei to his swimming lesson. Even though Kosato and Keimei had already entered the building, and were not with me at the time, a time when I could have flipped a switch (something my twenty-something-year-old self would have done), I did decide to just be the better man and give the old man the spot.

Senior citizens. Sometimes you folks are a handful. Really.


PEAEB Weekly Update #001

Quote Of The Week

People respond well to those that are sure of what they want.

Anna Wintour, editor-in-Chief, American Vogue

Assorted Fish Highlights


This portable gas stove that I received as a wedding gift from a former superior has been a true gem! We use it almost every day. Even for sukiyaki!

Design Is Business

Meanwhile, at a local bookstore located in the northern frigid parts of Sapporo Japan, I spot from the corner of my eye a familiar face. Sitting, quite literally, under the business magazine section on the cover of Forbes

My Go-to Starbucks

Google Maps As always, hot chai tea latte + salad wrap to start my morning.

Starbucks ‘Grand Hotel’

Google Maps

Avocado Cheeseburger

Google Maps Brooklyn Parlor, one of my favorite casual not-cheap but not-expensive food spots.

Tenshi no pankēki

Google Maps Maruyama Pancake — one of Sapporo’s finest establishments for getting your souffle pancake fix!

Maruyama Pancake

Google Maps Great place for some fine pancakes and a quick work session.

Shiga Kogen Ales

As a gift for my contribution to furusato nozei, I recently received this amazing craft beer set 🍻

Miyama Blonde


Welcome to the first, of hopefully consistent, personal weekly updates. If not weekly, then bi-weekly at the very least 🤞🤞🤞

I was inspired by the idea after a series of somewhat linked events. For starters, I’m already required to do weekly updates (basically a summary of what I accomplished over the week) for my current job, and in doing so, I’ve developed the habit of consistently keeping track of the work I do on any given day. I log significant events that fall into certain criteria, then include it in my weekly update to share with my team at the end of the week.

I took the same workflow concept and applied it in my recent Assorted Fish venture, and after seeing that was something I quite enjoy doing, I figured compiling a personal weekly update using highlights I posted in Assorted Fish over the week wouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

Additionally, to spice things up a bit, I thought the structure of my weekly updates would also include a quote and some other weekly overview context that I may not have otherwise highlighted in an image. So here it is!

  • I went out almost every day this week with the exception of Friday. I stayed home that day to watch Keimei because he came down with a super random fever out of the blue, nothing serious, but has since dwindled down to a common cold. Hopefully I haven’t caught it myself — starting feel a bit sniffly at the moment.
  • Had quite a few gifts come through from contributing to furasato nozei, those craft beers being one of them. I received some locally raised chicken (frozen) from Okinawa, and the other was an octopus from Kobe. These aren’t random by the way, Kosato went ahead and chose them from the list of gifts we were eligible to receive.
  • Maruyama Pancake was a nice change of pace. I don’t usually go out of my way to search out for sweets cafes, but I do enjoy pancakes. Unsurprisingly, these weren’t the fluffy bready kind I’m accustomed to, although I expected this and it’s fine. These soufflé pancakes were super delish in their own way. And most certainly instaworthy.
  • Had a nice side conversation with the manager of the co-working space I go to, Space Kante.
  • Ordered and received a new book I’ve been wanting to read, one that Kosato has also been raving about for the past few days, Rich Dad Poor Dad.
  • Became a first-time backer on Indiegogo for a product called Vinpok Split. Ads for this product were being displayed everywhere for me — IG, FB, on all my favorite tech sites. I resisted for a couple weeks I think before I finally gave in and let them take my money. This will now be the most painful wait of my life because note to self, Indiegogo ≠ Amazon… (all I ask is that it’s delivered to me sometime by the end of this year)

So why weekly updates instead of standalone posts? Well, these would be a supplement to my standalone posts. To be honest, I feel I don’t really have many things to write about to begin with, or the time and energy to put in the effort to produce well-written standalone posts on various topics. What’s more is that my site is not really targeted to a specific audience, so therefore doing personal weekly updates commenting on the micro-updates I made over the week seemed more suitable for me.

And that’s where I’ll leave it.

If this is your first time reading one of my posts, I usually write about remote work, Japanese food (and just food in general), my daily life living as an expat in Sapporo, and my occasional traveling around Hokkaido and the rest of the world. If that’s your cup of tea, by all means, please follow 🙂

Assorted Fish

A More Or Less Async Feed Of What I’m Up To

I made quite a few modifications to my site since my last changelog.

  • Published/updated some pages
  • Added new menu items
  • Removed some irrelevant social media links
  • Nixed the IG feed at the bottom of my site
  • And replaced the above with what I’m now having lots of fun using — portfolio projects, more on this in a bit!

I’ve been constantly searching for a way to integrate a feed of images into my site. Images that, for the most part, represent daily moments I think are significant. I of course know ways and workarounds to achieve this:

  • IG Feed — a straightforward method but limiting. First, the feed is coming from a third-party platform. Secondly, I like to keep my IG account exclusive to only my close circle of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances of my choice. Almost everything I share here is not free for the world to view. So in other words, no bueno.
  • ‘Image’ Posts — I tried this a while back as a microblog experiment during my last team meetup. The thing about doing this is it doesn’t quite capture the essence of the type of ‘micro’ publishing experience I’m looking for.
  • Manual Updating — This is publishing a static page with images, then when I have something new, I’d go back to that page and add the new images. This is too stone age for my liking.

And then I discovered the beauty of Portfolio Projects. I know I’m not using it exactly for its designed purpose, but it’s working how I want it to.

When it comes to publishing posts, I’m inclined to writing in long-form. During my microblog experiment in Shirahama, I still ended up writing short descriptions to accompany my image posts, but these were literally just fleeting thoughts that I still felt didn’t deserve a post of it’s own or belong in the Reader feed.

I just wanted to highlight a picture like the way I would on IG, but not have it published in the Reader. Like I mentioned previously, if I publish something, it’s going to be long-form.

That’s where portfolio projects come in. Using a combination of adding projects, my current theme design, and portfolio shortcode, I was able to achieve an IG-like feed at the bottom of my site.

In Rosalie’s ‘pre-footer’ widget area, I have it setup so that ALL recently added portfolio projects will display. The maximum amount of projects that could be displayed are 6 at a time.

The whole idea stemmed from when I created my Office Today page.

The shortcode above includes attributes that achieve the following: remove any content from displaying, only my ‘office today’ projects are shown, remove the project type from displaying, show the most recent at the top, and finally columns are set to 2.

On this page, I wanted to have a gallery of featured images I’ve taken at my various ‘offices’, but at the same time I also wanted it to dynamically update whenever I added a new one. I also did not want or need these updates to be in the Reader. The portfolio functionality + shortcode seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

And then I thought, if I could do this on a single page, what if I could do it in the footer of my site? Sure enough, using a text widget in Rosalie’s conveniently placed ‘pre-footer widget area’, I was able to place the shortcode there to display all projects which would go on to serve as my ‘what I’m up to’ feed.

I created some basic project types for common images I usually post on i.e. food, office today, places, things.

Since portfolio projects function the same way as posts, I’m also able to add additional content to my liking.

The icing on the cake would have been if the mobile app had the ability to publish portfolio projects, then that would have been oh so sweet money sauce… I might just need to send that idea to our developers.

In the meantime, if you are interested in staying ‘in the loop’ with what I’m up to with this current experiment (although I think it’s here to stay), the only way to check is either by visiting the front-end of my site to see if I posted something new (portfolio projects don’t get published in the Reader), or by perhaps following my Twitter, the only social media account I have that I’m willing to Publicize these updates on.

You might actually find me posting more of these micro updates than I would for actual posts like these now 😅

Moving Forward

One year ago from today I achieved something great — a success that would allow me the freedom to make up for lost time, space, money, and even joy.

And although I’m proud of all the blood, sweat, and tears I put in to getting where I am today, my struggle is not over. It has never been, and it never will be.

Continue reading “Moving Forward”


December 10, 2018

  • Switched theme to Veni
  • Switched Homepage Settings from Static to Blog Posts
  • Set default fonts
  • Set featured posts for homepage slider
  • Wanted to feature posts in a specific order, so I installed ‘Post Types Order’ plugin as recommended by the theme author
  • Switched the main editor to Gutenberg
  • Set 3 featured pages on homepage
  • Assigned featured images and cleaned up some post formatting

December 12, 2018

  • Noticed alignment was off for the image in my last post
  • Went to check in the editor that it was indeed center-aligned, but looking over at the frontend, clearly the formatting was not getting applied
  • Tried adding an actual image to the post (non-gif) -> Preview -> image is not displayed in the Preview
  • Went on to just Publish -> image is now seen on the published post (but still not aligned properly)

Therefore, decided not to move forward with Veni. While my goal was to have a site that mirrored Veni’s design, I also want it to work seamlessly with a theme compatible with Gutenberg.

December 13, 2018

  • Switched theme from Veni to Rosalie
  • Realized sites on a BIZ plan like mine will have certain widgets removed. In this case, one of the theme’s featured elements, the IG feed which is controlled by the IG Widget.
  • Downloaded the recommended workaround plugin ‘Instagram Feed’
  • Mucked around for a good 20 minutes trying to get the builtin account authorization to work to no avail.
  • Downloaded ‘Instagram Feed by 10Web’ and used that as an alternative solution for now
  • Modified a bunch of pages
  • Set frontpage from static to latest posts -> modified number of posts displayed on the frontpage to 6 posts
  • Added and modified an ‘About’ widget
  • Added MailChimp Subscriber widget
  • Added and modified menu items

The Revamped Site


I had a lot of fun with this little refresh project! I realize that there’s still clearly much more improvement that could be done in regards to making a theme setup more intuitive. Although, that topic could be saved for a whole different post.

Basically, not everything is as easy to setup as it seems. I happened to have got it done relatively quickly because I work with these common theme issues on a daily basis. But even with that, I still found myself yelling at certain limitations I stumbled upon.

After all, technology is suppose to… just work, right?