9/24/2018

Chestnut tree story

I am struggling with several baskets of chestnuts harvested from a big tree of that fruit in the garden. The fruits peeled the hard shell only are sorted for chestnuts boiled with the astringent inner skin seasoned with sugar. Those which the inner skin is taken away are for the rice cooked with chestnuts. Considering of the heavy work to get them, it is surely worthless. I still go on doing this. The reason is that the chestnuts are products of that big tree. It has been planted by my father when he was settle down here over 30 years ago. The tree has grown to be a real big one.



It is a part of the family history for us.

My father, as I repeatedly told in this blog, was a survivor of WWII as a soldier. I bet he has been threatened with starvation when he was in China as a soldier. That experience might make him like trees with fruites like persimmon or chestnut. 

When he was working in the sanatorium at the very same place as we live now, he used to go for studying farming with those fruit plants far away in Shikoku. I was a toddler or a bit older then. After a few days long absence, he came home. Appearing from the woods in front of the sanatorium, I found all of sudden, he was carrying  a tiny tricycle for infants. What a surprise and joy to see him again for me! I still remember of that moment seeing him smiling at me with that present to me. 

Ever since that event, he has planted fruit trees at various places when he could do that. This big chestnut tree is a heritage of his love to the family. With this note, I have sent some of them to my brother and sister. They were impressed at the gift as well as the story of my father.

I have cooked pretty large amount of chestnuts harvested with sugar, The fruits were boiled with sugar, which had the astringent inner skin. It's a taditional cook named Shibukawani. Elegantly as well as profoundly sweet. The problem is who would enjoy this amount of this chestnut cook. 


Fall is deepened in this way here.

  

9/20/2018

Bill N4AR/8

Yesterday, I have run across with an old friend of mine, Bill, N4AR, operating from his 2nd house in Michigan. He has moved there 20 miles away from his old house there. Despite of the modest condition on 20m, his signal from a Yagi up 35 meters was pretty loud accompanied with slight polar flutter.

I have already introduced him once or twice in this blog. We have met often on 40 meters in our evening/his morning hours. He was booming in here with his big 3 elment Yagi at home. Before that, we have met when he was K4GSU, a med student at Johns Hopkins, when I, in my late teen age days, was not aware of majoring in the same speciality a few years later.

In the end of QSOs in '80s/'90s, I used to tell him I wished the inpatient ward be peaceful since I knew he would make a round there as soon as he arrived at the hospital. There could be a lot of tough happenings there.

In this QSO, he told me he had not been bored with retirement, which he made 2 years ago after a long career, and won't care for the ads of new biological meds on TV he saw even if they were not familiar to him. He was happy not to be called on the phone from the hospital and to rush to the ER at 3 AM any longer. I fully understand what he felt about those changes in life. Even though I am still a bit concerned about the new findings especially in pediatrics. I often look up about them into a textbook or Pubmed.

I knew he had had a bad ice storm which destroyed his antennas years ago. Ever since, together his interests moved into dreessage, he has not been active in ham radio. He told me he regained interests in the latter and would spend only 30% of time for the former from now. Our activities wax and wane from time to time. It seems he has returned to this hobby now.

He also told me he had just turned to 80 years of age. He made me smile saying he had not planned for that at all. I still have the image of him in the photo below, which Aki JA5DQH took in his visit to him in Kentucky back in late '80s. He seems to be physically as well as mentally active and would let me hear that N4AR booming in here on 40 meters early in our evening hours again.


9/18/2018

Young talents and military conflicts

There are young talented artists coming up in the world from one to another. Like stars in the sky, they are shining with their talent and much efforts. They will join and form the flow of our culture together with the audience. It is a great joy to see such young artists performing with excellent virtuosity as this video clip shows;


Any war or military conflict woud destroy the flow and heritage of culture by those artists. They may die in the war or may be handicapped with injuries. Even from this standpoint, in addition to that regarding the possible victims of ordinary people, military conflicts should be strictly banned.

Our government has done a military exercise operation by Maritime Self Defence Force in the South China Sea where territorial disputes are going on among the countries around there. Japan won't do with that at all. This military action may aggravate the tension in the area.

Troops of Japan Ground Self Defence Force are planned to be deployed in the Middle East, where Israel is still bombing Palestines. Without diplomatic intervention to lessen the conflict there, any military presence won't solve the problem. 

I firmly believe we should leave the world in better situation. Less military conflict and more action toward peace. Without such efforts, this exhibition of brilliant talents in the world will be meaningless or won't exist.

9/16/2018

The most hectic and hot day in Tokyo this summer

Before forgetting what I have done in the end of last month...

It was a hectic and hot day on the day with respect to both the content of activity and the weather. I have spent the whole day in Tokyo. The purposes of this trip there were to meet 3 of old ham friends who were medical doctors and to join an ensemble.

I decided to drive to Tokyo, not to take a train down there. It was to avoid walking in the cruel heat carrying cello. It turned out to be a right decision. I have never driven to the bay area along the gulf of Tokyo. It is a newly constructed downtown with a lot of highrise condominiums or high buildings where highways are running around. A really contemporary town. I was wondering, however, how they would maintain those infractructures in a few decades. It may cost a lot to do that when our country will have faced to the decline of national power.




The photo above shows the Big Egg Site in the back in such a modern town. It was the Ham Fair held there. I have been there for several times there for this event in the past. I have always had purposes to see friends, Japanese or from oversea. Jim N3BB or Dick K4XU was an example whom I met there. Not interested in the modern radio equipments they are advertizing there? Never!

As I told above, this time, I had promised seeing 3 of old friends who were or had been medical doctors as well as I was. I have arrived there an hour before noon, the promised time for that meeting, and have looked around the event. I have met Atsu JE1TRV, the boss of A1Club, who was welcoming the visitors at its booth. He told me there had been more numbers of hams attending that event this year. There were some young people but mostly old guys. There seemed to be few visitors at his booth. I was afraid it had meant declining of CW activity, that is, less hams interested in CW communication for conversation. I have met a few other friends of mine, whom I had not seen for a year or longer. Even if it was only for a very short time seeing them, it was still pleasant and has brought me back to the days when I was a real nut for this hobby.

At noon, I have met the guys I mentioned above at the exit/entrance of the event as promised. At first, Shin-etsu JS2KMK, aka, JQ1OQQ, has recognized me there. He has been a friend of mine since 1980s especially through a mutual friend, Sugita, JA1XKM, who was a graduate from the same med school in Hokkaido as Shin-estu was. Sugita, whom I have written about elsewhere in this blog, unfortunately passed away at his fifties about 10 years ago. Even though we have never met in person before, he was approaching to me with a big smile in a crowd. He might have seen me on some photo somewhere. He was a gentleman with shining eyes like a boy in teenage, still working as a surgeon for head and neck at a big hospital. After a long hiatus, he has come back to this hobby some years ago. The other two have arrived there in a minute or two. Hiro JA7WTH, a pediatrician, has been enthusiastic for CW for the past several years. He has been involved in constructing a new hospital as one of the headquarter staff. I believe he has been involved in the emergency service there as well. His duty might have been so tense and heavy for the past years. He told us he would retire when the new hospital construction is finished this fall. His outlook was a kind of aloof from the world like before. He has made us laugh a lot telling that he had told a guy operating intentionally rusty CW in Japanese to speak in the "ordinary" Japanerse but not in the "dialect" on CW. Sekiya, JJ1RZG, another pediatrician, has closed his business last winter. He told us how laborious it was to do all the procedures/processes for that. He seemed to love CW and DXing as well. He is still operating radio very early in the morning. I was impressed to hear he was learning English in the daytime when he had nothing to do. He was the oldest among us, in his eighties. He used to have trouble in walking 2 years ago in our last meeting. Now he seemed to be free from that and looked so healthy. The other two than Sekiya were in their seventies while I was the youngest among them. We have had much fun taking a great lunch at a restaurant in the event place. In an hour and a half, wishing them good health until next eye ball, I had to say good by to them in order to rush to the next destination.

It was an ensemble held by an amateur players' society named APA in a downtown of Tokyo. It was a kind of thrill and again a sentimental drive bringing me back to the days when I spent the med school period. Driving through along the Imperial Hotel, the Emperor's Palace, the Diet building and so forth, which had been familiar to me in my young days, I successfully arrived at a parking near to the place I headed to. It was right in the "no-tell hotel" alley. Very crowded with buildings. They looked the same with flashy blinking neon signs. Even though I used to come to the APA office to participate that ensemble some 15 years or so ago, I was totally lost. Carrying the heavy cello in the hard case, I was sweating a lot. I felt I could fall down on the street due to heat intoxication. In the burning sunshine, I was walking around for the ensemble place for some time. I have never regretted more not having smartphone with GPS than this time. I finally could get the phone number of the APA office with my cell phone and was told how to get to it. 

It was the same pretty compact room in a condo I used to visit. They were enjoying tea break. One of the organizers had turned out to be one of the alumnae of the university orchestra. When I gave her my intention to attend that ensemble by e mail some days prior to this event, she answered to me that she had already known me from that orchestra. What a coincidence! I could never recall her even though her premarital family name evoked a vague memory of her those days. She was 3 or 4 years younger me in the orchestra. A charming lady and a violinist. We have talked about some friends in the university orchestra whom we shared those days. Again it has brought me back to the good old days. There were about 10 people in the room. Mostly, violinists and violists. Most of them were quiet but once they started playing music, I felt they were passionate and enegitic for that. They told us it had been difficult for them to find a cellist. There was a proficient cellist in the ensemble, who seemed to join it on request by the other members. 

We have played Mozart, 3 or 4 of the pieces in his young days, Schubert, Bach and, in the end, Dvorak! Crazy program! I have never practised the 1st and 2nd movements of the famous quartet "America" by Dvorak and had to play it at first sight. Getting tired, I almost felt dizzy in the end of the session. What a pleasant time, though. It has reminded me of good old time in the university orchestra days. The only difference is that I have lost good vision and inexaustible energy in youth.

Being told to attend there again by the company, I was happily leaving there. It was a real busy and hectic day. But a really precious time for me.  Again recalling good old days, I drove back home. 


9/15/2018

Ten years from the day of Lehman Brothers crisis

Today, it has been a decade since Lehman Brothers crisis occured. It seems that economic circulation is heading to another collapse of the world economy and finance system. I am least scholar of economics/finance but am still concerned about what is going on in the world.

The Institute of International Finance announced that at the end of March this year, the total debt in the world is up to 247 trillion USD. It has increased by 75 trillion USD, that is, 43 % from that in 2008.

On the other hand, the increment of the total GDP in the world remained 24 trillion USD, that is, 37 % increase. It means the debt per GDP in the world has increased from 2.9 times to 3.2 times. The funds from the debts have been invested to the assets. The economic growth rate remains low. The investments to the assets have been handled by so called the shadow banks like hedge funds. The funds are travelling instantly throuth the internet for further profit. It would contribute less to the manufacturing industries.

This has caused the inequality of income among people. Without the economic growth proportinate to the debt increase, the process inevitably causes the economic disparity.

It seems the collapse of the world economy may arise from the developing countries or from the rupture of the asset bubble in the developed countries. I don't know or could not predict how it occurs. I am very afraid the credit crunch must be really disastrous due to the size of bubble. I don't think the governments won't utilize the quantity easing for such a situation any longer.

For the past several decades, economic collapses have occured in 10 year interval as you may know. Be careful about such that.


9/12/2018

Rice cooked with chestnuts

I have cooked the dish titled above. Chestnuts were harvested from the tree in our property. It has lived with us since we moved here. A very big and thick tree. This year, the chestnuts are entirely small in size. Maybe, it is due to the hot spell during the summer. The rice with home grown chestnuts tastes great. Sweet, not like sugar but delicately tasty. My mother used to love it.


The rice is from Hokkaido. It is also very good.

The only problem with this dish is that it takes much time to peel the shell! Looking forward this tasty rice, I have done that this afternoon.

We will have the harvest of chestnuts enough for this dish for 3 or 4 times. When we have this dish, it is the time fall is deepened.

9/09/2018

How I am getting along recently

Away from this blog for such a long time! I am trying to catch up with it. But things have kept me too busy to spend doing that.

Yesterday, I have gone to Tokyo for an ensemble. Yes, ham radio comes next to music to me now. I have enjoyed playing Brandenburg Concerto Nr 5 with a small company. Their skill including mine was not proficient at all. However, repeating playing the piece for 2 or 3 times, I could feel the ensemble sounded much better. So far, I am taking part in 3 groups including this one. I would go on playing with them until my health won't let me do that. I still remember of my father who has attended a bible class held in Tokyo once or twice a month until very last years of his life. It seemed like an origin for the energy of living for him. This music activity is the quite same for me as his bible class, even though the fields are quite different.

On the way back home, I took the route which I used to run coming back home from the med university lab. I have been staying in Tokyo while researching about HLA and immune response at a lab there for a few years. Late at night of Saturday, I used to drive back home on that route. The outlook of the houses/buildings around it was quite different from that time. It still had the same atmosphere as that old time. That drive was a real nostalgy for me. Yes, this kind of sentimental journey is a hidden pleasure of such a trip to Tokyo. Remebering of the good old and hectic days when I have worked and lived frantically. It has passed 30 plus years since then.

I am still working in the garden. Have planted such as broccoli, cabbage and raddish. Some new tomatoes have been added. This photo shows young plant of broccoli.



Chestnuts are falling down on the ground for now. They are not so big as usual. Again it should be due to the hot spell. I will be busy cooking rice with chestnuts or sugared chestnuts etc for a while.



This summer was tough for veggies due to its hot spell. I was quite sure this aberrant weather including the hard hit of typhoon etc was a result of global warming. The green house gases have been increasing drastically for the past 3 decades as you may know if you google the record of the average temerature during that period. It may release the methan in the permafrost into the atmosphere. Warming thaws the ice in the poles and increases the level of ocean water. There will be many big cities lost due to higher lever of ocean water, resulting in tens of millions refugees all over the world. The drought would bring forth poor crop harevest. Fishery may be badly influenced by the hotter temperature of ocean water. These last two may cause deficit of foods. Some scientists insist 21st century will be the era of poor food production. It may cause wars around the world. We should remember the conflict in Syria was caused, at least partially, by the droungt and famine around the metropolis of Syria.

These events have been well described and warned by many scientists in the past. But it seems the measures against that are too little and too slow to be executed. People living in the developed countries are mainly responsible for that. It was a summer when I realized this problem again and decided to do anything to leave a better world to the next generation.

I hope every friend of mine visiting this rarely renews blog would have a pleasant season of harvest at your place.