Rick Cogley has been sticking out like a sore thumb in Japan since 1987! 日本語もOK. CEO & Founder, eSolia.
I family, our Shiba "Maru", coding & scripting, moving.
Yokohama ⇆ Tokyo

Last Modified: 2024 May 05

Now Professionally

eSolia has been in our "Work Styling" location for a couple of years now, after 10 years in Toranomon. We decided to move to a serviced office after having our office sit empty during COVID. Although our fixed office is small, it is fine for us because our staff are roaming around all the time anyway, and WorkStyling allows us to use their facilities all over the city.

As a professional services company, we need to increase our process maturity so our success depends less upon individual quality, rather having that quality built in by default. It was a sea change to move to a remote or mobile office situation, and we took advantage of the situation to really revamp how we do things. We migrated everything to Microsoft M365 early in 2023, and have been working hard on becoming compliant with ISO 27001 so that we have a solid information security program in place.

Initially we tried to implement workflow via Sharepoint, but it requires more development resources than we are willing to commit, so we are focusing on handling our workflow in our cloud database - PROdb - and using its mobile app to initiate much of our workflow. We use Sharepoint for what it's good at, which is to act as a basic intranet and file store, with version tracking. We also use the the truly excellent webhook.site to seamlessly integrate between our systems, updown.io for monitoring, and Fathom Analytics for website analytics.

Some superior services I'm working with recently are Postmark for sending transactional and broadcast emails, ImprovMX for flexibly receiving and forwarding email, Bouncer for validating and verifying email addresses, and Deno Deploy and Netlify for efficiently hosting websites.

Now Personally

For the past few months I have been so busy at work that I have not had time to do much personally. I feel like I'm behind, but I'm trying to stay positive! 🍀

A few minutes a day I enjoy watching some series on streaming services like Netflix or Apple. I really want to see Dune 2 in a theater. 😻

In May 2021, our Shiba "Maru" came to our home, and it'd been big lifestyle change with him in our lives. We have fallen into a rhythm with him, and have found a day care he loves to go to - Petcare House Green, in neighboring Fujisawa. Although of course we love him to bits, it's sometimes good to have a day to reset and not worry about walks and so on. We tried various other places, but he didn't take to them for whatever reason, so we are really glad to have found "Green". He gets excited when he gets to go, which is cut to see, and really loves the lady who comes to pick him up. He's always a little irritated when he comes back though, probably stress from being with some dogs he likes and one or two that he doesn't. 🙌🏻

Last year I got into hiking, after being cajoled into it by Daughter 1. I'd been hiking on some low hills around Kamakura, but she said "why don't we do some real mountain climbing". In June we went to Kurogi in Gunma, and although it kicked my butt, I got hooked and did a lot of climbing after that. It's great and not so expensive, so long as you don't go gear crazy.

Our new house is still holding up well, also it's a bit worse for wear with Maru sometimes trying to eat the walls or floor. 😮‍💨 Our renters had a small dog, and when they moved out we found out that it had bitten the door frames in several places. In the end we are selling that land so we have an easier time during retirement. Having land in Japan just means you pay tax on it, and have to maintain it. The bamboo forest behind us had been sold, and finally last May, a "SD Create" pharmacy / small supermarket opened up. The traffic has not been a problem, and it's super convenient to have it there in the backyard, practically. It's like having a big refrigerator next door.

I continue to be impressed with my Ultimate Hacking Keyboard 60 v2, a split design where one's wrists can be kept straight. It has helped with my wrist pain.

Wise Words

“Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone.”
― Joni Mitchell, "Big Yellow Taxi"

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past, I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune, "Litany Against Fear"

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“It’s probably not just by chance that I’m alone. It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he’s terribly strong. And if he’s stronger than I, I’m the one who can’t live with him. … I’m neither smart nor stupid, but I don’t think I’m a run-of-the-mill person. I’ve been in business without being a businesswoman, I’ve loved without being a woman made only for love. The two men I’ve loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice.”
― Coco Chanel

“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubt, while the stupid people are full of confidence.”
― Charles Bukowski

Our Shiba "Maru" at 3 and a half years
Snake Eye Sushi near the office in Toranomon Tokyo
Sweet "Sweet King Mikan" tangerines
Extra Slow Bikes on the Kashio River in Totsuka Yokohama
Kushi Katsu joint next to the office in Toranomon Tokyo
Cats sizing each other up in Yokohama
A very yellow building but you can't know that...
Uh oh, the rent will go up now in Toranomon
A very interesting pudding that comes in a latex sheath
Cute cable bite from my daughter