#Geekhouse Grand Opening

Cali&Yukari

Some of you might remember that I traveled to Japan with John P. and Cali Lewis from Geek Beat TV two years in a row. Since then, we’ve become pretty good friends, and I’ve been checking out their shows and occasionally join in the chat room. This year, I went to Japan with ANA again when they launched Vancouver-Haneda route, but this time I went without them and I was missing the Geek Beat guys. So you can imagine how thrilled I was to receive an invitation to their Geek House’s grand opening party on August 1st in Dallas, TX. I knew they bought a big building (times bigger than their previous studio and they now have an entire building) and been working so hard on setting it up for the big daySo I flew to Dallas to see it with my own eyes. I arrived at the Geek House around 2pm. The first thing I did was to sign this wall… guest wall #GEEKHOUSE After a few minutes of mingling, Cali and John started Geek Beat Live in the studio situated in the very back of the building. studio I’ve seen their “live” setting many times, but it was neat to see it actually happening in front of me. It was live streamed with “live with a studio audience” setting and I believe this might be the first time they did it like that. Usually we’d be all commenting and chatting on their 24-hour chat room when Geek Beat Live is on, (and of course we had it going on during this livestream so that fans around the world could comment) but it was such a fun experience to participate live. After the show, Cali and John moved out of the studio set and the party started. Philip Nelson performed for us while many fun items (worth over $10,000!) were raffled off. Here are some of the cool features and highlight from the Geek House.

Samsung 78 inch Curved UHD TV

curvedtv The second thing you’ll notice when you enter is the massive 78-inch Samsung CURVED UHD TV. I repeat, this TV has a curved screen!  It’s amazing.

Instacube station

instacube If you post onto Instagram with #Geekhouse hashtag, it will automatically be shown on this Instacube. KreepyKitty photobombing optional.

Posters

The entire Geek House is decorated with Geek themed posters, such as these. I’m a HP fan, so the one on the left was my favourite.

UpDesk Central

Geek House was full of UpDesks. These are meant to be used standing up, and as you can see in the photo in Cali’s office, she uses it with a treadmill. (I think I’m too clumsy to do that….I’m sure I’ll trip!) Of course, these desk height is adjustable, so you can use it as a regular desk. It’s big, sturdy (as you can see in the photo on the right), and with a custom cup holderI think I want one myself.

Han Solo

stormtrooper This part of the wall was covered with a cloth and what was underneath was revealed in the middle of the night. It’s Han Solo in carbonite!! Apparently, their first version was punctured by a folklift (Ouch), so this was the second one that was made. We had a friendly Stormtrooper there, too!

KEF Blade speakers

These massive, beautiful loudspeakers are $30,000 KEF Blades. We got to listen to a few different tracks with them. The amazing thing was, there was a nickel standing on top of one of the speakers, and it didn’t even flinch while music was playing. Stunning.

Deep Eddy Vodka

Lovely ladies from Deep Eddy Vodka was pouring cocktails for us all night long! These are all natural flavoured vodka from Austin. I particularly liked the sweet tea one. Mixed with lemonade, it tasted so refreshing, and dangerously smooth. (Unfortunately, this is not a permanent feature at the Geek House. Boo!)

Giveaways!

My friends at cheero provided some goodies for the raffle – like their signature battery Danboard Power PlusDanboard Mini or REVOLTECH (on the right).

CEABots

Perhaps the coolest toy in the Geek House, was the CEA Bots – you can set up an ipad on this bot, and download a software on your other tablet and you can control the bot remotely. There were people from UK “joining” us at the party. So freakin cool!

Daria Musk

daria Highlight of the night was when we had Daria Musk join us on Google Hangout for a special live for us. She is incredibly talented and seemed super friendly. I enjoyed her music very much!

Laser Harp

Steve Thompson came all the way from UK to showcase his laser harp skill! This short clip is where he’s playing Doctor Who theme song. He also brought a special autographed poster for Cali and John from David Tennant, the Doctor Who himself. Cool huh?

Photo credit: Gord McLeod

 Chevy Corvette Stingray

Handsome Chevy Corvette Stingray was on display as well. In fact, they also had two other vehicles- Escalade ESV and Cadillac ELR. What a beautiful car.

There was so much more happening that night I could barely write everything down. We had a fantastic meal, a cake, and a Livid Lobster cocktail, photo shootthen more.

I’d like to thank Cali and John for having me there, and also to the Livid Lobster team for the great night. If you ever find yourself in Dallas, be sure to stop by at the Geek House.

30 Day Vlog Challenge

Mark and Yukari

Some of you might remember, but I have tried blogging every day for 30 days. I failed miserably. Although I enjoy writing, blogging every day was really hard for me, not because of lack of material or motivation, but for pure lack of time. When I have my kids at home, I just don’t have that kind of time. Sadly, I fell of that wagon and had to raise a white flag.

I have also tried working out every day. Now, in this context “working out” is more like “Do some sort of physical activity” and this, I managed to do it more than 30 days. I lost count, but I did around 40 consecutive days. Then I left for Japan and there was no time for anything.

Right when I came back from Japan, my life has been a little hectic, trying to catch up on all the things I’ve put on hold while I was away. Now that things has settled a bit, I thought I should get back into a positive routine. Then I happened to read my friend Masatake Hori’s post(in Japanese) on “Simple habits to make positive change”. He has started podcasting every day for 30 days using Soundcloud. Podcasting has been on mind this year as well, but video comes much more naturally to me. So, I decided to vlog for 30 days. I asked my husband Mark to help, and before I knew it, we are doing a vlog together! In order to do it every day for 30 days, I needed the bar to be quite low.  It’s more of a video dairy than a show. We are using his iPhone 5. No other special equipment. (yet).

Here are the first three episodes.

Mark and Yukari Discuss Their Marriage

Mark and Yukari 30 day Video Challenge #2

Mark and Yukari Discuss How To Not Make A Video

What do you think? Leave a comment and make sure to subscribe to Mark’s YouTube channel to see the latest vlog.

We Fly 1st – Boeing 787 Dreamliner with ANA

(This is part 2 of 3. You can read part 1 here.)

Adventure continues in Tokyo. We got to visit ANA’s Maintenance Center and Cabin Attendant Academy In Haneda International Airport.

Here is a GeekBeat.TV episode from the maintenance center tour, so check this out.

After the tour, we got to fly on the amazing new aircraft, Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

If you didn’t know how special the 787 is, read this page –  but basically the 787 is the lightest, most sustainable aircraft currently available in the world. And the amazing thing is, ANA (and many other Japanese companies such as Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, Toray, etc) worked together with Boeing to build this aircraft. It is said that this aircraft was “Made with Japan” (Yeah, this is where I got all misty while watching the documentary on the plane)

Saw this outside subway station.

I love their copy “We Fly 1st” – well, because, they did!

ANA is the first airline to fly 787 in the world. And we as the Brand Ambassador team got to fly to Okayama on Dreamliner!

Ambassadors on 787!

First thing you’ll notice on board is how roomy it is inside. Interior had a very high ceiling and calming color with LED lighting. Of course, everything was brand new.

High ceiling with huge overhead bins

I loved the big windows, with electronic “auto-dimming” shade – there was no sliding shade you’ll see in regular planes. On 787, all you need to do was to push the button under the window to darken or lighten the glass. You know, sometimes you want the full view of outside, but don’t want all the light, or your neighbour is asleep? This window will solve the problem.

Of course, each seat was equipped with its own screen, complete with seat-to-seat text messaging system and an USB port.

Drink holder OUTSIDE of tray table, USB port and window dimmer

 

 

 

As I looked outside when we were taxing to take off, I saw something heartwarming. Couple of people in uniform on the tarmac, were lined up side by side, and were waving at us! (Well, not to us specifically – but to the aircraft. You know what I mean.) I was so excited I had to let John, who was sitting in front of me, know right away. I wish I had a photo to prove this. But that is Japanese customer service, in my opinion. Extreme attention to details. This reminded me the simple fact that it doesn’t take much to make people – your customers – feel good.

See the Rolls Royce logo? They made the engine

We had a wonderful flight to Okayama, and a quick tour in Kurashiki.

Be sure to check out Dreamliner when you have a chance!

(To be continued in Part 3)

 

 

Adventure Begins with an A…ANA

Welcome drink on board

What is the first thing that come to your mind when you think of Japan? Sushi, Kimono, or Ninja?!

As part of the social media campaign for their latest service, “Inspiration of Japan”, my friend Neal Schaffer and I became their Brand Ambassadors for ANA – All Nippon Airways.  Neal and I have been working since November on this campaign, and it was finally time for us to fly to Narita with an IOJ.

I’m writing this post from consumer’s perspective. I’ve written about it in my first post about IOJ, but as a frequest flyer to Japan from North Ameria, the comfort during my trip home is very important. I love traveling and flying, but let’s be honest, flying takes so much toll on you. I flew back to my home town of Sasebo last month and I was exhausted.

So I was very excited to try this new IOJ services. Our seats were called “Business Staggered“- Because each seat was staggared and every seat has an aisle access-I love that.

You can rest your tired heet there

The cabin for IOJ was amazing. Plenty of room to store your personal items, like your laptop or a purse. There are a deep pocketed foot rest under your entertainment system so you can fully stretch your legs with your shoes off. (Of course, they provide slippers, shoehorn, and a bag to take your slippers home!) You have a side desk other than your normal tray, so I got to keep all my magazines, camera and water bottle there. There are USB port and iPod jack, so you can enjoy your own media if you get tired of all the entertainment available on your personal screen. (I actually watched a short documetary on how their latest aircraft Boeing 787 came together and got a little misty. True story. I will be writing about 787 later.)

Here’s a quick video of me experiencing IOJ. (Sorry it’s a bit noisy)

Neal wasn’t the only partner I had on this trip. John P. and Cali Lewis from GeekBeat.TV were also the ambassadors, and they flew in from San Francisco. Unlike Neal, who has lived in Japan for 15 years and speaks fluent Japanese, this was John and Cali’s first time in Japan. I got to spend a lot of time with them in Tokyo, and not only it was fun, but it brought me a lot of insights. I got to see Japan through first time visitor’s eyes, and that was definitely a cool experience.

Cali, John and me

One of the things John said and it stuck with me was “There is so much attention to details!“…Of course, I knew that. I have always been proud to be Japanese and proud to offer extreme attention to details. But by spending time with John and Cali, I rediscovered many things with a lot of attention to details, and of course, IOJ was no exception.

The food and presentation was amazing

I have flown to Japan many times before, but the minute you board ANA flight, it just feels different. When I sat down, my Cabin Attendant came to me to hand me a warm steamed towel and introduced herself that she would be taking care of me today. She soon came back to ask how to pronounce my name, so that she can personally address me as “Ms. Peerless”. I really wish I got her name and took a photo of her, as she was the best CA I have ever encountered.  She quickly figured out what kind of drinks I like and made some excellent recommendations. It sure was the highlight of my flight.

I got to use the full flat seat to have a nap on the flight, and soon we arrived in Narita, Tokyo, where many adventures were waiting for us.

(To be continued in Part 2)