Archive for January, 2012

A Mom by Any Other Name

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Dyson has recently started experimenting with names. He usually calls me “Papa” since that’s how I refer to myself when I’m around him. But sometimes he uses my first name, since that’s what other people use.

I don’t have a particularly strong opinion about it one way or another. I do think it’s nice that somebody calls me Papa. But it’s also very cute when he says my name, too.

Anyways, one of my neighbors has her kids address her only by her first name and I wondered why that was. It turns out that it’s because she feels that the term “Mom” tends to be an all-encompassing identity, which subsumes any other identity.

Regardless of how you feel about kids referring to their parents by their first name, I think she has a point. When I tell people that I’m a dad, there’s sort of this understanding that it’s just part of who I am.

But I get the impression that telling people that you’re a mom involves so much more expectations. Even working moms are expected to be moms first. If something happens with the kids, they’re still the ones who get blamed for it. There’s been progress on that front, but I think there’s still quite a ways to go.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Ach, I almost forgot. Happy Chinese New Year! On Sunday, we were invited to a delicious Taiwanese hot pot party. It was similar to Japanese shabu-shabu but instead of a citrus or goma sauce, they use a sauce made of egg yolk, sesame oil, and soy sauce. It was sooooo good…

It was also an occasion to take the baby out again and although it’s still challenging to do stuff with Dyson, it’s getting more manageable. With every new stage he goes through, I reclaim a bit more of my social life.

Weekly Diamond

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Japanese business periodical, Weekly Diamond, is doing an article on the Walt Disney Company for their February 25th issue. It’s a huge company of about 156,000 people so they went to a bunch of the Disney companies, including mine, and talked to all sorts of important people.

But they also talked to me, presumably because they wanted to interview people who spoke Japanese and I was as close as they could get what with everyone else being so busy working on the next project.

So I spent lunch today talking with several Japanese journalists trying to answer questions that I think I understood about my company. It was a surreal experience.

I don’t know if they’re going to use any of what I say in the article, but my mom was pretty excited.

Mach Dice Updates vs In App Purchase

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

I’ve heard that approximately 1% of people who download free apps then go on to make in app purchases (IAPs). I was curious to see how this would compare to my 3.0 update to Mach Dice, which is a free update but includes a $0.99 IAP to create custom dice.

I figured that the conversion rate would be quite a bit lower because the IAP is to make custom dice, which is a pretty niche feature. But surprisingly, 1% turned out to be pretty accurate.

Another nice surprise was that the update seemed to have increased sales of some of my other apps as well (there was a big bump from Christmas, but it usually tapers off quickly after that). I’m not entirely sure why that would be but I put in a link to my website in the update (to get more custom dice) so I think that helped.

Death and Living

Friday, January 13th, 2012

I’ve experienced a fair share of death in my life. I’ve spoken at more funerals than weddings. The first funeral I remember was for my grandfather when I was a child. I missed him and I was sad, but I didn’t really understand.

In high school, I lost my piano teacher. She wasn’t just my teacher, but also a mentor and a friend. It was the first time I really experienced loss like that and I learned how death could take something from you that you always counted on.

Over the years, I lost the rest of my grandparents and also an uncle I was close to in the US and an uncle I was close to in Japan. And then my father. I learned how death was unpredictable and leaves behind a hole in your heart that never entirely closes.

But the most frightening experience was after my wife developed her heart condition. There was one episode where she ended up convulsing from multiple defibrillations. As she was rushed into the emergency room and operated on by people whose job it was to perform miracles, I sat there powerless and afraid.

I didn’t want to lose her. Even though I’d gone through losses before, I didn’t think I could survive that. Eventually, she recovered enough to come home, but that fear stayed with me. I didn’t want to feel that loss again, that pain. So I held back. I didn’t want to depend so much on her because I didn’t want to risk losing so much again.

But that’s no way to live. As hard as death is, it’s more important to keep living, even if it means increases the chance of losing more. Because life isn’t about mitigating losses. It’s about experiencing all the love you can while you have the chance.

Potty Training Journal: Day 6

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

An earlier attempt over a year ago.

The subject seemed resistant to all at reconditioning. Removal of spongiform undergarments had initially resulted in phlegmatic micturation in full attire or on the floor despite any cajoling, pleading, or gummy bears.

Eventually, urination was predominantly controlled but bowel movements proved to be more challenging. The results … were not pretty.

However, today, through constant vigilance and persistant application of buttocks to portable toilet device, we achieved a breakthrough: boom boom in the potty. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Custom Dice for Mach Dice 3.0!

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

It’s finally here! The update that I’ve slowly been working on for months has finally been approved. So download the update from iTunes, watch the video, buy the new in-app purchase and start making custom dice!

I didn’t really go into details in the video but you can email the dice you make to other people who have Mach Dice for their iOS device by going through Settings: Custom Dice: Your Custom Die: “Email Custom Dice”. You can also download more dice through Settings: Custom Dice: “Download Custom Dice from”.

Version 3.0 also makes Mach Dice a universal app which runs on the iPad and is enhanced for Retina Display. Download it now!