We’re Back… with a Giveaway

The Absence

It’s been a whirlwind three months. And they’ve been a great three months.

I took an unplanned (but understandable) break from blogging for a while due to the birth of our first son. He was born in mid-December, and is doing smashingly well. The last month of my wife’s pregnancy, and the first couple months of his life have found me without much Internet time, except for answering emails from family and friends, and looking up baby info. Somehow, diapers, dishes, laundry and back massages seemed to take priority.

I would like to give a special thank you shout-out to Arjun at Investing Thesis for sending me an email making sure I wasn’t on my deathbed. I appreciate the concern.

It’s still a pretty busy schedule, but I’m starting to get into a groove of managing my business and family. As such, I think it about time to add blogging back into the routine.

Things will probably still be sporadic, but I am aiming to get about two posts per week.

The Giveaway

Aside from teaching in the public school system, I run a growing and, in my terms, successful private teaching business. My students are from all walks of life, and a good number of them are working adults. I also have company classes where I go into a boardroom to teach employees business based communication.

Having this kind of student base means that I am gifted many schedules, day planners and calendars  each January. I have my one preferred schedule that I have been using for 5 years, so the majority of the items that I receive I pass along to others. This year I thought I would pass them onto you.

The Giveaway is simple. Just leave a comment below indicating that you would like to receive one, and I will contact you for address details. No bonus ballots for subscribing to the blog (though I would appreciate it) and no bonus ballots for linking to this post or adding me to your blogroll (though I would appreciate that as well).

As it is already February and I want to get these out, the giveaway is first come first serve. Feel free to indicate if you have a preferred prize. In total I have 12 items to give away. None of the companies are sponsoring this… it is merely that one or more of my students have a connection to the company in question.

They are (items crossed off have been claimed):

  1. A desk planner from BNP Paribus (European Bank) featuring daily planning from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., some memo space, and a colour atlas in the back!
  2. A standing desk calendar from Otowa Electric Co. featuring beautiful colour photos of lightning.
  3. Two simple monthly desk calendars from Oracle Japan.
  4. A pocket schedule from Yuasa Tech Engineering Co., with a simple monthly design, memo pages and an address book.
  5. A pocket schedule from Kokusai AM (Japanese fund company) featuring monthly and daily scheduling space.
  6. A simple daily schedule from Mitsubishi Technos (machinery and equipment) featuring graph paper and address book. Japanese national holidays are written in English as well!
  7. A yearly and daily pocket schedule from Kajima Corporation (construction company).
  8. A yearly and daily pocket  schedule from Singapore Airlines featuring an index of all national holidays in the world!
  9. A monthly and daily pocket schedule from Mitsubishi UFJ (Japanese bank) including memo paper.
  10. A yearly and small daily schedule from BNP Paribas (European bank) including large memo area and address book.
  11. A monthly and daily pocket schedule from JR Kyushu (Japanese rail company) with memo pages, address book, and a map of the train routes of Kyushu!! (This is the schedule I’ve been using every year since 2007. I love the layout)

Remember, the majority of these items are in Japanese, but what a great conversation starter!!! Imagine whipping out your Kokusai AM schedule to set up a meeting, and your counterpart says “Where’s THAT schedule from?” Or imagine when someone sees the amazing photos of lightning from Otawa Electric on your desk, and you can say “Oh, yes. Quite nice, isn’t it. An acquaintance from Japan sent it to me.”

If it sounds like I’m touting the benefits, it’s because I am… I have a newborn, and need all the space I can get. 😉


16 responses to “We’re Back… with a Giveaway

  1. Congrats on the new addition into the family! I was also wondering about your absence; good to see you back!

  2. Welcome back and congrats on your baby! I thought we lost another blogger. Many lose interest within 3-6 months, so good job getting back at it.

  3. Hey Mike,

    Congrats on being a new dad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That’s really generous of you to offer the planners. People should be sending you gifts instead of the other way around.

    I was just looking around our school for a planner with some space within each date square/section that would let me write the exercise I did for that particular day. I would love one—perhaps the one with the most writing room per day!
    I collect my mail at the school: Andrew Hallam, 40 Woodlands St 41, Singapore, 738547

    Most importantly, congratulations on the birth of your son!!!!
    I’m off to Northern India today, so I’ll be away for about 8 days. Thanks!

  4. My apologies on the name mispelling! It must happen a lot….which is all the more reason for me to get it right!

  5. Kevin – Thanks for the congrats.
    Ya, rather than being a couple, family is the important word now.

    Good to be back. Still not entirely sure of scheduling, but I’ll try to fit posts in between bottles and diapers 🙂

  6. Tom – Thank you!
    No, no. You didn’t lose me, I was just on sabbatical 😉
    But yes, I have said to myself that I would write that post for a few days now. Now that it’s out of the way, the momentum is hopefully in my favour.
    I’ve been itching to write these three months…

  7. Andrew – Thanks for the kind words
    You are right. People should be sending me gifts. My address is…

    Just kidding 😉

    I’ve got the PNP Paribus desk planner wrapped for you, and will drop it in the post later today. Should be waiting at your school by the time you get back from your trip.
    It has a lot of daily space, plus a memo area for the week. And hey… Colour Atlas! Perfect for tracking your classes and anything else.

    No worries on the spelling. When I was in grade three I was a hardliner about the spelling. Now I think “meh”… At least you can pronounce it. Here in Japan everyone calls “Maiku,” with the occasional “Mawku.”

  8. Hey Maiku,

    Congratulations and best wishes on the birth of your son. I can’t imagine how you’ll squeeze in 2 posts a week as I’m sure junior Maiku takes up every second of any free time you might have. But kudos for setting a lofty goal.

    As for the giveaway Myke, I imagine it will cost you a pretty penny to ship anything to Vancouver, so how about this, if you want to send over a something (let’s say the JR Kyushu monthly and daily pocket schedule), I’ll owe you a coffee or tea when you finally make it here. Does that sound fair? Maybe a coffee and a scone?

    Cheers and congrats once again to both you and the mrs.

  9. Cheers for the congrats, Arjun. I appreciate it.

    You’re right about the free time, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.

    Thanks for the offer. I accept. It’ll be a few years yet before we are out west, but looking forward to the chat.


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  12. Congratulations! Babies are amazing in many ways, including their ability to fill up your schedule. 🙂

    I’d love the Mitsubishi Technos item (#6). I’ve married into a Japanese family, and would like to learn about the Japanese holidays. Seeing them on my calendar will be a good reminder.

    Congrats again, and welcome back to blogging.

  13. I just read the comments above and realized that it will indeed be expensive for you to send items to Canada. If you wish, you’re welcome to bundle items for other Canadians together with mine, and I will forward them via domestic mail. I have drawers-full of Canadian stamps and would be happy to use them for a good cause.

  14. Hello Marianne,
    (I’ve got Leonard Cohen running through my head now…)

    Thank you very much for the kind offer! I appreciate the thought. The only problem is that requests come in over time, and I like to get packages out as soon as someone asks for something. I won’t be able to ship your package out until Monday, so if someone else in Canada makes a request over the weekend, I’ll keep your offer in mind 😉

    Your selection is perfect! Being able to learn the names of the holidays here will certainly earn you some points, and you’ll also be better able to understand the culture. (I’m in my ninth year here, and I still find it fascinating that the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes are national holidays… as is Ocean Day!)

    Thanks for your comment, and your congratulations. I appreciate them very much.

  15. Hey Myke!

    Thanks for the planner. I’ve already started putting it to good use. Thanks!!!

  16. Hi Andrew.

    No problem! Glad to hear you are back safe from your trip, and that you are getting some good use out of the planner.


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