We meet again, WordPress.
Well, hello there. Welcome to mike-check.net, a site that has been a long time coming. Most of you visiting here are probably coming from a link on my Twitter account, @MikeChkOneTwo. Those of you who have followed me a good while know that I’ve been contemplating opening a blog for some time, and the moment has finally come. It’s something I’ve never been able to get 100% behind, but I thought I would sacrifice some money and finally just give it a try, and here we are!
For those of you who are less aware, let me fill you in just a little. My name is Mike, obviously. Those of you who play games with me or have known me for some time might know my long-running Internet identity of Datalanche. I’ve since taken to using my first name on Twitter and whatnot. The “Mike Check” branding is a play on words first inspired by Q’ulle’s song “Mic Check One Two”. It’s not the most clever word play out there, but it works. I still use the old Datalanche alias for my gaming and related platforms, as well as Discord. I still also use the name on Internet forums, although my accounts on those are long inactive. My age is not something I often bring up, but I have no issue admitting that I’m in my early 30’s.
Most of you know me through the hobby of Japanese idol groups, a hobby I have long been a part of. My origins with idol fandom date back to early 2001, where I became a fan of the then-megahit Hello! Project empire. In the many years that have followed I have since become a fan of numerous idol and general J-Pop groups, even expanding into the Korean pop realm in recent years. AKB48 made quite the splash from me from around 2007 to 2014, but while I still consider myself at least a casual fan, that empire has kinda fallen to the wayside in favor of other things. Basically, Asian music is a big part of my hobby set. Not quite the typical focus of your average rural white Texan.
This isn’t my first rodeo on the blogging circuit, with pretty much all of my past work beind involved in the above hobby. Those who have been around a while will know I appeared on a few Selective Hearing podcasts. Following that I had a nearly year-long stint at New School Kaidan on the podcast “The Evening Show”. Most recently I wrote a “PV Roundup” column on Garry’s site, Idol Is Shit. I’m really glad to have been a part of all of these previous projects. I learned a lot from each of them and grew as a contributor, not to mention the friends I made along the way. Me starting my own project is by no means a poopoo on anyone else, but I just feel more comfortable with my own thing. I often hit a wall contributing elsewhere where I feel like I’m not doing enough, and I start stressing myself to force out material when it’s just not there. I already have a full time job. I just want writing to be fun, and I think my own site that I pay for myself will allow me that freedom in my head space. I hope it does, anyway. We’ll see.
My other hobbies consist of a few other fairly nerdy things. I’m a gamer, with my focus being almost entirely on the PC at this point. Lately I am pretty engrossed in playing Overwatch, but I’m also a fan of Elite Dangerous, Cities: Skylines, Kerbal Space Program, American Truck Simulator, and Rocket League to name a few. I’ve done some streaming on Twitch, but I’m by no means a “streamer”. I’m also a fan of anime, which was the origin for my interest in J-Pop. In recent years I’ve watched very little of it, but I’m starting to hop back into that bandwagon. I’m a big fan of technology and all the fun it can provide. I have a lot of passion for it despite making it my career. Everything is always more fun when it’s not a job, right? And finally I’ll mention I’m a bit of a geek for all things space. It’s fascinating to think about what’s out there, and sometimes it’s fun to fantasize being thousands of light years away from Earth. Heh.
My intentions with this blog are fairly simple. For starters, this blog is not an idol news/reviews site. I’m sure that idols will come up often here, but I definitely do not want to take on the role of being someone who tries to bring you every latest and greatest aspect of Japanese pop culture. There’s already plenty of people out there who are great at that and I wouldn’t be. Like I mentioned above, I just want a little spot on the Internet to throw my opinion around and share with people the things I enjoy. Idols, TV shows, random life blogs… this site will be a bit of a wild card. Reviews and “hey look at this” posts will be common I’m sure, and I’ll also do any kind of blogging I feel like doing here. This site will in fact be inaugurated in the coming couple of weeks with my recap and stories of my Japan trip that I took this past month. There’s a lot to say and I hope to make it an interesting read for you guys. But yeah, that’s the plan. Nothing fancy. Updating once a week would be pretty good, but I’m not going to promise anything. As I said, I want this to be purely fun and not a job in any way, so I’m just gonna go with the flow and see what happens.
As you can see the site is a bit barren right now. I’ve bought what looks like an awesome WordPress theme, but it’s really hard to get it set up and looking “nice” when there is no content in it. Once this post is up, I plan to start tinkering with settings and see what all it can do, but in the meantime do pardon the dust of my newly constructed home. Feedback and comments are more than welcome. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu!