Monthly Archives: April 2006

Leaving Whistler, one year hence

In a moment of reflection whilst cooking dinner today (Pepperonchino, as best I could remember it), I realised that it was a year ago today that I left Whistler to continue my Canadian experience in beautiful Vancouver. My immediate, and clich├ęd thought was of how much is different now, i.e. what’s new. It would seem quite a lot is different! There’s a funny parallel in the time of year in that I’m about to move to London now having spent the past 8ish months back at home, whereas before I was moving to Vancouver after 7 months in Whistler (wow, bet you guys needed me to spell that out for ya), but apart from that I think there’ve been a lot of developments, particularly recently.

I’ve been trying to finish off my “dilemma” post detailing career paths etc, but the long and short of it is that I’ve been forced to plan quite far ahead, although I still have no idea where I’ll be this time next year :) in an ideal world I would have moved to London in January, spent 10 or so months there and then taken off for a year in Japan/rest of Asia. It seems that this ideal has been usurped by a duality of career development pressure and the law of IT projects (the actual length a project will take to complete – take your worst case estimate and double it), hence I’m only just moving now, effectively 5 months overdue.

The problem with this situation is that 6 months in London doesn’t give me a great deal of time to accomplish anything. This would be fine if I had nothing to accomplish, but I feel like I should be making some advancement somewhere at least. I figured before that financial IT would be the way to go in the short term as it’s probably the best thing to go on my CV ahead of what I want to do next, but my diminishing interest in IT development has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works. This, combined with my social collective’s renewed anxiety about life direction has forced me to question my next steps, and the best solution I can come up with is to keep my options as open as possible! To effectuate this, I’m going to have to apply to all my potential career areas, which at time of writing are solicitor, investment banker, strategy consultant and musician. I suppose I should thank Tiff’s friend Tom, as it was he who first forced me to explain why exactly I needed four lifetimes to fit all I wanted to do in. There’s the answer, anyway, in black and white (or even dark charcoal and white, until I get bored and change the CSS again).

Unfortunately, I think my plan of a half season in Hokkaido this winter is going to have to be sacrificed :( gutted. The reason being that graduate intakes for (at least) investment banking begin recruiting in October, which will mean the application process overlaps my intended departure date. If I did head out for the latter half of the season, it would be the wrong half to try and find employment, as you really want to be there at the start. I dunno, perhaps I’m being overly pessimistic, I’ll look into it more and see how difficult it would be to find work from February thru April.. As an alternative, I suppose I could weigh up the possibility of conducting interviews over the phone, but given the penchant for “assessment days” in graduate recruitment, I can’t see that that would do me any favours!

Anyways, in Canada I had none of this hassle. Sure, I occasionally questioned where I was headed, but never really got into it in any detail. Any thoughts like that were quickly quelled by a 5 minute stroll down to the beach! Ah, the West coast vibe… Comparing home (Gloucester) to there is like comparing Mozart to the Cheeky Girls (I’m loathe to even give them the honour of capitalization :)) still, it’s on to new things once again, and I can’t pretend I’m not both excited and extremely relieved to finally be moving on..

Migration

Moved the site over to a new webhost yesterday, so hopefully everything will zip along faster :) it wasn’t actually that painful a process once I realised that 90% of my database table dump was from stats tracking! After removing that the sql file dropped from 20MB to 0.8MB. Slight difference.

Will hopefully be getting some free time in the coming weeks to sort my life out! I have loads of drafts to finish off, music to record, projects to finish up and [even] more photos to organise. More soon..

Takeshima, or is it Dokdo?

Silly Japanese and silly Koreans are still quarrelling over an island (which is basically a rock in the sea) located between their respective lands… This isn’t new news, but it would seem that the problem keeps escalating.

Japan have actually put quite a few people’s noses out recently – not just [South] Korea but China as well, both in their treatment and account of WWII history and Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s penchant for controversially (and unconstitutionally, according to some) visiting war memorial shrines.

In the first linked article, Satoshi Amako, an Asian Studies professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University states, “Since Koizumi came to power, Japan’s relations with East Asia have reached their worst point” – surely not good for their long term economic rebuilding, especially given the progress made recently with pushing through contested reforms.

Perhaps more disconcerting is this article, which features results of a survey conducted (in South Korea) by Super-J Channel of Japan:

Answers to the question “what would you do if America attacked North Korea without the Permission of the South Korean government?”

31.2% – Support America

47.6% – Help North Korea

21.2% – Attack Japan

If you check the links in the bottom of that article about the anti-Japanese media or the anti-Japanese education system though, I guess it’s not THAT surprising.

I’m pretty appalled that history is distorted in such a way as to inspire racial hatred between the two nations – not just in Korea but in China too. I wonder if in Germany they’re given a detailed account of atrocities commited by the Nazis during the holocaust, or if it’s glossed over as in the Japanese accounts of the massacres in China… Perhaps it’s time they get over it, don’t you think?

5 albums you need

The Knife – Deep Cuts
Jose Gonzalez – Veneer
Garden State OST
DJ Hell – The Japanese Gigolo Inferno
Miss Kittin – Electroclash

These represent some of my most played albums of the past 6 months. There’s many, many more I could list too, but perhaps I’ll list some favourite tracks in a later post instead.

A couple of tracks on each of the first three albums are nothing less than seminal; it’s easy to lose yourself in the music. For example ‘Heartbeats’ by The Knife, which is now gaining notoriety through a certain Sony Bravia advert featuring a cover of the track by Mr Jose Gonzalez, a track I first heard on the snowboarding DVD ‘afterlame’. The song is so perfect for a number of occassions. ‘Pass this on’, too, with its steel drums, is just a beautiful track.