Aug 20 2005
I have gone ahead and added a Guestbook to the website. We are seeing more and more traffic from people we don't know and thought if folks found some useful information on the site they might want to leave a record of their visit.
Aug 14 2005
Hello. Well as you may have noticed, we have moved into our new domain space, http://www.themercers.ca.
It was a bit of a trick moving over all the data, as I made a lot of changes to the backend of things (to the mySQL database for you techies). It required me to rebuild the Osaka Photo Gallery (now retired as of 2012) from scratch, but I needed to update a bunch of the pictures anyway. In particular, I doubled the amount of pictures from our wedding, this was because when I originally did up the website we were still having all of our pictures converted to digital.
The Forum moved over quite well although there might be a couple hick-ups so if you see something funny please drop me an email to .
Last but not least, Kana and I are working on a section called "Craig & Kana's Crash Course for Canadians in Kansai"…kinda rolls off the tongue doesn't it? Basically it is a collection of articles on how to do different things in and around Osaka, from buying a computer, to finding foreign food, to finding a nice place to go for dinner on a Friday night. We just felt we might be able to help other folks in a similar situation to ours! Hope it helps.
Aug 5 2005
Expat Express is an online ordering company based in Utah, USA. Their website says they have service representatives in Japan, and will ship to a whole host of countries. Their product selection is wide (as one would expect since they are based in the USA).
We have not personally used them so sorry we can’t be more specific about Expat Express.
Aug 5 2005
If you are not close enough to drive or take a train to get your fill of foreign foods, then why not try a little online ordering?
The Flying Pig uses Costco for their product selection, and it is fairly good. They not only carry foods, but all the usual Costco goodies, electronics, camping supplies, books, videos etc. You can order and have the items delivered to your doorstep in 3 days.
Aug 5 2005
The Foreign Buyers’ Club was started by Chuck and Kelly in Kobe over 12 years ago. They now have in addition to the USA club, British and Aussie websites.
Just place your order online and your goods will be on your doorstep in 5 to 7 days. They also offer learning materials, books, videos and offer special support for International and English schools. Of course if you are in the area you can visit their Rokko Island store in Kobe.
See the website for more details!
Jul 31 2005
One of the best things to help you keep sane while living in Japan is staying in contact with family and friends back home. If you are like Kana and I then that means having a decent computer, a web cam, a digital camera and a highspeed internet connection.
If you are looking to buy a computer or build one yourself there are plenty of options in Osaka. You need look no further than Den
Den Town (aka Nipponbashi) , however you can order anything you need online as well and have it delivered to your house the next day.Read more…
Jul 29 2005
Well the weather report in Osaka these days is HOT. Hot, hot and more hot with a warm hot front moving in.
Seriously though, Osaka is over 30 degrees most days and the humidity is rather harsh, but you know, when in Rome.
Kana and I are both doing good. I think she is starting to show which is amazing and we have another checkup at Kaizuka Hospital in 2 weeks, so we may find out then if the little Mercer is a boy or a girl.
Last weekend Kana and I were able to visit some friends that I met on the train. It all started one day when I was taking my guitar to work to play for the kids and a couple of older Japanese gentlemen (Shigeru & Yoshio), seeing I was struggling with my guitar and backpack, offered to help me stow my guitar. What started that day was the beginning of an amazing friendship.Read more…
Jul 1 2005
Hey Everyone. Kana and I wanted to wish everyone back home a great big HAPPY CANADA DAY. I was commenting to some friends that this is my first Canada Day not being in Canada which is weird. I've got so many good memories of Canada Days, from Dad's BBQ get togethers, to fireworks off Clover Point to way back when Adam became a Canadian Citizen on Canada Day…GOOD TIMES.
We hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday weekend.
Jun 11 2005
Thank you so much for all your emails of blessing to Kana and I! We have really enjoyed reading them and hope to be able to respond to most of them soon.
Of course the biggest question on everyone's mind is: “When is the little Mercer due?“. Well God willing and all that good stuff, the Doc figures that Kana is due on December 30th. So sounds like a New Years Baby if all goes well.
The second biggest question is “Where are you having the baby?”. We are planning to have the baby here in Osaka.
Kana's morning, afternoon and evening sickness has been pretty brutal and we are hoping that like all the research says, she should start feeling better by the end of week 14….which means only 3 more weeks to go…FRICKA FRACKA!
I knew being pregnant was not easy but I have a new found respect for all Mother's. Thank You Moms.
Okay, that is a little quick update on what is happening. Hope you all are doing awesome.
May 29 2005
Craig mentioned earlier I'm going to tell you more about “being pregnant”. What can I tell? Well, it's been pretty tough. I get nauseous in the morning and the evening, when I am hungry and when I am full. I mean I haven't been able to eat that much lately. Actually I've lost 3kg in 3 weeks. I eat a little many times a day. I'm in my 9th week now and one of the nurses said to me, “You will be okay maybe around week 15” on Saturday when we had the 2nd visit to the hospital. Okay, 6 more weeks. NICE!
As many of experienced women know, I tend to like to have a meal cold not warm nor hot because I smell the stuff. Once I got pregnant, I found I got very sensitive to the smell, anything. I haven't had any meat for almost a month now, I just can't handle it. Right, ladies? What I like to eat, I should say what I can put in my mouth are water, popsicle, maybe tomatoes, it's strange tomatoes were only food I could eat a couple weeks ago but they are not anymore. In this couple of days, I got to be able to eat toast with cheese on it. I even had a piece of cake this afternoon. YAY! Yet, I have no idea what is my favorite food going to be tomorrow.
Of course, there is a great thing being pregnant. When I first saw a little heart was beating on the screen, that was the fantastic, most amazing moment ever! Just a tiny little thing but it is alive. I can understand why women can endure many tough things during the pregnancy. I have two hearts and I can't explain how this is the wonderful thing. Sure, the morning sickness is quite a thing to deal with, however, if you knew there is one little thing in your body trying to get bigger and taller, we should get something happening to our body.
Now I really appreciate what have happened to Craig and me. There are hundreds of thousands of things I should learn about and I am happy to do it. We will tell you more later.
May 29 2005
Hey All. Kana and I have been keeping some really big news quiet but it is time to let it out…KANA IS PREGNANT! I know, I know, we both said that we were going to wait until we returned to Canada to start the Mercer clan, however, God has a way of deciding when these things happen. They say the birth control pill is 99.9% effective, well I guess Kana is the .1% where it is not! So yeah, we got confirmation yesterday with an ultra sound and in the picture below you can see that the little Baby Mercer is already 2cm long and has a head and a heart beat.
Kana and I are just heading out to Nara to visit her best friend Tomo, with Ai and Rie (the other KaToRiShiA gang members) but I will make sure Kana posts some of her thoughts when we get back.
May 3 2005
Craig and I went on a day trip to NINJA Village on May 3rd with Ai my best friend, her boyfriend Junya and our new friend Toni from West Virginia, who has been in Japan for 4 years now. We got to know Toni when Craig was looking for a job and she gave him lots of good information on how to do that.
We all got together at Tsuruhashi Station before 9:00am and headed to Iga-Kambe Station (on Kintetsu-line) where we switch a train to the final destination. I tried to book the seats for an Express Train to Iga-Kambe as we need to ride on a train for about 2 hours, however I was a bit later than other people and couldn’t. I had totally forgot that there is the Aichi Expo 2005 on and Ninja-mura (village) is on the way to Aichi! So we had to ride the rapid train instead and fortunately, the train wasn’t as packed as we had expected.Read more…
Apr 26 2005
Just so everyone back home knows, Kana and I are okay. The train accident happened in Amagasaki which is just east of Kobe, about an hour west from where we live in Osaka. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families who have lost loved ones in this terrible accident.
Apr 26 2005
On Sunday night (April 25th) Kana and I had the opportunity to celebrate Anzac Day with some Aussie friends from work.
For those of you who don't know, (like me until I did some research) April 25th or Anzac Day (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_Day) is one of the biggest holidays for Australia and New Zealand. It is a day to remember the Australian and New Zealand Corps (ANZAC) who fought (and lost) in the battle of Gallipoli in 1915 during the First World War. Although the Aussies and Kiwis fought very bravely, they and their British and Indian counterparts could not win the battle and were forced to withdraw. This ANZAC Day marked the 90th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign.
Anyways spirits were of a lighter nature at Tin's Hall where we went to hear Daniel who is the significant other of Narelle, one my friends from work (both from Australia). Daniel who is a really good guitar player and singer plays at different bars around Osaka. He was awesome on Sunday night (and like me broke his G sting in the middle of his set) and Kana and I had a great time.
It was good to raise a pint of Victoria Bitter and remember with our Aussie and Kiwi cousins the victories and defeats of years past. Cheers Mates!
Apr 17 2005
People. Now Craig is like one of the most popular English teacher in Osaka.
One of my high school friends Kyoko who runs a talent agency, she asked Craig to do some "English Class" for kids over a month ago. What Kyoko asked Craig to do was spending some time with kids maybe doing gymnastic stuffs 2 Saturdays a month and he said OK. After that, as everyone knows, Craig got a job at Kindergarten. Kyoko did let us know what age group of kids will come to Craig's Saturday class and we knew there some adults joining as well.
Right, having kids (2-6 years old) & adults both at the same time in a class sounds pretty odd. What kids would enjoy doesn't make adults being satisfied. Despite of Craig's anxiety, I asked him to do this things for my sake, for friendship between Kyoko and me.
Anyways, we had the first Saturday class yesterday. We got there to the classroom at 10:00 and everybody including kids and adults were already there. I could tell kids got so excited when they saw Craig at first. Kids were just running around the classroom and looked so difficult to make them calm. Then Craig began his class.
Craig introduced himself, me to begin with and asked everybody to introduce themselves. To our surprise, some of the adults (middle aged women) spoke pretty good English. Actually one of them told us she had been to Victoria. I've met quite a few people who has been to Victoria and it is amazing. Telling you the truth, I on the other hand, had never heard of City of Victoria before I thought of going there. What a SHAME!
Getting back to the subject, oh, kids weren't listening anything, which might be totally expected things, however it was horrible. Honestly, some of them were violent and weren't listening to Craig at all. I guess I should use "Gong Show" to describe the scene.
But people, I'm telling you Craig has something, if you don't know that. As he paid attention to all of them and tried to make them feel they were having a good time, he suggested to play some games, songs and stuffs. Although it took some time to make those violent kids into the mood of attending a classroom, through playing games Craig got them. A kid who was too shy to speak loud at first, he laughed and talked happily at the end. Other boy who was also shy, he showed us his interest toward English from the beginning though, started to answer to Craig's question with making eye contact which he couldn't do at the beginning.
Craig was impressed by how the kids got to understand games and stuff so quickly even they hadn't study English before and told them how they were smart and did so well at the first class. Kids looked so happy to hear that and I know that gave them confidence and some more interests toward learning new stuff.
Adults also looked enjoy the class but we though we need to come up with some better things for them to do for the next class which is going to be on Next Saturday.
We had a great time with people and will have another wonderful time with them next week.
We'll update about Craig's Saturday Class as well from now on.
Apr 14 2005
Cherry Blossom (Sakura) viewing is a big deal in Japan. Every spring when the Sakura trees come into bloom almost everyone in Japan will go to a local park and sit under the trees and “take time to smell the roses” as we say.
Because the first rain washes the blossoms off the branches makes Sakura so precious, and this fact is not lost on the Japanese.
People of all ages, from all walks of life take time out to gather with friends and family under the trees and reflect on life (and for those not so reflective to have a few beers).
Kana and I were so busy last Saturday that we didn't make it to Sakura, and it rained all day on Tuesday washing all the blossoms away. Oh well, maybe we can make a video next year.
Mar 27 2005
I'm starting a new job tomorrow.
Some of you have known that how my former job was boring and I hate that. Well, things have been changed by “the power”. If there hadn't been a power, I don't think everything would have worked just fine like this.
Well, Brent Conkle whom I met when I worked at DHL and whom I call “Big brother” runs his own company in Tokyo. He offered me a job opportunity and I'm working with him, for him. What they do is providing English learning curriculum and native teachers to Japanese companies. So there are native teachers whom I'll work with in Osaka.
He is in Tokyo, head office is in Tokyo so I guess you think “HOW???” I know that is the question most of people would ask me. Well, Craig has already set up a small office space for me at upstairs in my parent's house and I work here. Yes, this is the greatest part of my new job, isn't it?
Basically I will be in charge of administrative work and maybe will do some other things such as recruiting native teachers or little bit of managing stuff eventually.
It's going to be a big challenge for me, that's for sure. It's also an exciting stuff, needless to say and I think will be able to tell you more about my new job soon.
Mar 26 2005
Hey Everyone. Sorry for being so long between updates but life has been hectic.
I just finished my third full week at Royal Kids. The kids are now on Spring Break with the new school year (the school year in Japan runs from April to March) starting in a couple of weeks.
I am now the official teacher for the Kindergarten Class (ages 4-5). I am taking over the class from an English fellow named David who is helping Royal Kids get their new school up and running in Nara. My Japanese co-worker Madoka and I will have 12-14 kids in our class and start using a new curriculum in April. Should be good times and I will try to get some pics up in the Photo Gallery soon.
Kana just landed a new job but I will let her post some news about that.
There is also two REALLY important announcements for the Puritch family….first George & Kristen have welcomed a new member into their family, little baby Madison Elaine Puritch joined the clan on March 16 who weighed in at 7 lbs 6 oz
The second big news item is that Cousin James and his girlfriend Yvette got engaged. Note to James: get us the date asap so we can begin looking for cheap flights.
Huge congrats to George and Kristen on little Madison, also to James and Yvette on their engagement and of course to Kana for her new job which starts in a week.
I am working on a couple more videos of our recent excursions and hope to have them finished in the next couple of weeks.
Mar 15 2005
Alex Kerr’s deconstruction of Japan. In it he seeks to shed light into how the world’s second largest economy could have the greatest debt and how in a country known to be lovers of nature they could manifest this “trait” by concreting over thier rivers and coastlines at break neck speed.Read more…