Living a Memory…

Nov 8th, 2008 Travel Douglas 1 min read

We’ve now been in Japan for little over a month (with 3 weeks to go). This past week I had an opportunity to dance with the famed Tokushima dancers, cross accent rope vine bridge, journey in a small boat down a winding canyon river, sleep in a 200+ year old Japanese house, fish a remote stream, climb a treacherous footpath up a lush green mountain,…

Twist on Customer Service

Oct 13th, 2008 Travel Douglas 1 min read

Wandering through Mall in Hirakata and came across this store. You have to give it to them. It’s definitely a unique approach to customer service.

Bartering Osaka Style

Jan 18th, 2008 Family & Friends Douglas 1 min read

People from Osaka pride themselves in their ability to barter. While shopping with my father in law (“Otousan”), I was often struck by his aggressive haggling. Not simply going toe to toe with street vendors but any department store was fair game. Imagine walking into your local Best Buy and assuming the sticker price to simply be an opening bid in what would become be…

The Shoe Incident

Dec 11th, 2007 Work Douglas 1 min read

If only success could be measured in shoes… It all started when I was back in Los Angeles last week on work. Wrapping up a meeting with an important client, I noted that he had not been wearing his shoes the entire time he was in the conference room. He then explained they were new and uncomfortable. Motioning to the shoes, he offhandedly remarked you…

The Proud Yakuza Mamma

Oct 25th, 2007 Family & Friends Douglas 1 min read

In Japan, there is a term pronounced “oy-yo-baka,” which means stupid parent and used to describe people who brag about their kids. Our story involves one mother who was anything but boastful. As my father in law (“Otousan”) tells it, he was working at an ice cream store when the owner announced that he was going out of business, so Otousan raised money from family…

The Summer of Love

Oct 24th, 2007 Family & Friends, General Douglas 1 min read

It was the Summer of Love when Yumi’s dad, Yasuaki, made a decision that would forever change his life. The young man had vacation time saved up and decided to see the world. To live! Dressing the part, he bought a pair of black leather pants and jacket, greased up his hair, and jumped on the back of his motorcycle heading off for parts unknown….

Walking Wardrobe

Oct 22nd, 2007 Family & Friends, Travel Douglas 1 min read

Otousan arrived today. As is tradition, Okaasan stuffed his suitcases full of goodies for the kids. This time she may have gotten a little carried away. His luggage was so full that he actually had no room for anything else and literally showed up wearing four layers of clothing and sweating profoundly.

The Million Dollar Idea

Oct 19th, 2007 Work Douglas 2 min read

It was a “million dollar idea” and it belonged to me! But I wasn’t greedy so I shared it with a friend, who shared it with his boss, who then shared it with a global manufacturer and media conglomerate, who shared it with a television producer, who shared it a wireless carrier and a major cable network… And suddenly, this little million dollar idea was,…