10/25/2014

Reception for Jim N3JT and Nina

Last night, I have met Jim N3JT and Nina who were here on a tour in Japan. It was not so easy for me to catch them. I have arrived at the lobby of the Hotel Monterey Akasaka in time as promised with Jim. But they did not show up even some time after the promised time. I asked the front personnel if they were staying at the hotel. He told me their names were not on the list. What is wrong?!, I uttered to myself. In addition, Atsu JE1TRV, who kindly arranged the party, won't reply to phone call. Sitting on a sofa at the lobby, I was desparately wondering if I was in a deliberate trick.

In a few minutes, Jim has called me on the cellphone. It was the Hotel Monterey Hanzomon near to that of Akasaka that they were staying at! Needless to say, I rushed to that hotel on a taxi. I was supposed to bring them to the reception place. Coming back to Akasaka with them, where the reception party was planed at a restaurant, I found there were too many restaurants around there. It was a kind of amusement area with many bars and restaurants in high buildings. The illuminations were so bright but were confusing me enough again. When I called the reataurant of the reception, I finally could catch Atsu who had already arrived there. He came to bring us to the restaurant. My mission was finally copleted! Is it my age which has made such a mess? I used to do such a mission much easier years ago.

There were already all the attendees at a cosy small room in the restaurant except for three of us. From left to right, Nina, Jim, Dan WA6URY as well as 7J1ABD.

 
 
From left to right, Atsu JE1TRV, Hiro JA7QLP and Kazu JA1GQC.
 
 
Various kinds of Sushi. As expected, Jim was curious to know the names of sushi material. Atsu has brought a list of such items. Jim has enjoyed much sake named Hakkaisan. I hope he has not hang over this morning.
 
 
I have known Jim since mid 80s, I guess. He has been a man of great deal of topics and curiosity for anything in the many QSOs on CW. In this first eye ball, I have had the same impression with him. He looked young and sociable as well.  
 
 
In the various topics in the discussion, I was impressed to hear he had thought decline in ragchewing activity on CW was related with prevalence of the internet. We could get in touch on it easily. And e mail would got the role of ragchewing on CW. That was his idea. I know he was aware of my thought of criticism against contesting and he has emphasized more importance in contpeting activity on CW in the discussion with me.
 
I should have discussed about this issue in depth. But the mood of the party and lack of my debating ability in English have prevented me from doing that. Maybe, in the near future, I should write an article regarding how important ragchewing is on CW communication and how it has been affected by contesting activities. Nowadays, both of enjoyments in CW communication won't exist in parallel but are in the phase of confliction each other.
 
Jim was curious to learn things in Japan. Especially, japanese characters or ham radio license system etc. A sharp guy. Nina was a warm hearted lacy as I expected. I have learned where they were from and what they have done for jobs. It seemed they have enjoyed the meeting so much. It was my joy as well. It has passed over 3 hours since starting the party when we realized how late it was. Hiro has taken both of them to the station close to the hotel they were staying.
 
I won't go back home last night but stayed at a hotel in the other area of Tokyo. There were crowds of people in the amusement area. I felt a bit of dizziness among them. It was not the place for me to live any longer. Getting up early in the morning, I came back to this peaceful countryside.

I wish Jim and Nina a wonderful trip thereafter.

10/19/2014

Ensemble is living together.

Ensemble is a communication sharing our lives. We breathe together when we play an ensemble. Needless to say about wind instrument, even string ensemble requires us to synchronize breathing in the beginning. It is one of the communications based on our life.
 
Music itself is something difficult to be defined. It won't stay anywhere for a long time. It passes away somewhere as soon as it is played. It covers our entire being for a moment. It enters deeply in our emotion and mind. It is a world present apriori. It is closely related with, or rather, expresses the universe as a cosmos. In ensemble, we confirm and please ouselves to be living in the cosmos together. Playing ensemble, we live the eternity through the moment.
 
Nevertheless,  ensemble won't exist as an ideal thing from time to time. Last night, after we finish our dinner with our daughter coming home, I could hear some note from my wife's room. A violin and a flute. Daughter accompanied my wife playing flute with her violin. Our daughter used to practise violin for years in her childhood but quit it at age 15 years. She seldom opens the violin case any longer. I don't know why but she has taken the violin and started playing it for a while.
 
I and my wife wanted to play an ensemble at home some day. It has not come true. But in some years, maybe, we could play some simple trio sonata or something. Hopefully, our daughter would enjoy her violin when she finds sometime free in the future.
 
Music far away from its ideal form would go on sounding at my home until that time.
 
 
 
What a mess in this room!
 

10/18/2014

Seeded Marygold

Marygold has been my favorite flower. It is lively even in cold or hot weather. It lasts for months from spring to fall. It has occupied a corner of the garden this year again. This photo was taken in this August.
 
 
A few days ago, seeing the flowers dying in the garden, I was going to pick and discard them. I found flower heads with a lot of seeds within them. Every flower head contained dozens of seeds. The photo below shows the seeds in a flower head.
 
 
I have collected the seeds. So many seeds. I would keep them in refrigerator and seed them in the garden next spring.
 
While collecting them into vinyl bags, I was amazed anew that life had been succeed in this way from a generation to the next. It is the same as with human being. Those tiny seeds looked lovely to me.  
 

10/17/2014

Ebola in the past, at present and in the future.

According to C. Duncan and S. Scott, there have been a number of epidemics of viral hemorrhagic fever, including Ebola viral infection, in the past. In 5th century BC, at Athens. In 14th century, in whole Europe. And in London and Italy in the 17th century. Pest has often been attributed to those epidemics as the pathogen. But the above mentioned researchers found the findings they could trace from various records are not suggestive of pest but are rather compatible with that of viral hemorrhagic fever.

The Ebola virus has been hiding themselves in certain animal. In such a long interval, it starts epidemic among the civilized society. All the society is threatened by this virus at present.

There are a few urgent questions to be solved at present.

1 Elucidate how this virus spreads among people. By only direct contact to the body fluid of the patient? Or is airborne infection possible? This will determine what precaution is necessary to prevent from further spread.

2They say RNA polymerase inhibitor could be effective against the virus since it belongs to the genre of RNA virus. The effect should be confirmed with experimental and/or epidemiological study. Any other agent or drug of efficacy should be searched for.

3The epidemic could destroy the infrastructure of the medical system. The panic and the increased number of victims among medical staff could make it fall in dysfunction. Support, financial as well as man power wise, for the medical facilities is essentially important to avoid such dysfunction.

4Needless to say, we should give much more support and aid toward the West African countries most suffering from this disease.

5In Japan, no lab could do with the virus itself. Level 4 lab which could handle with the virus should be prepared somewhere. It is necessary for proper diagnosis and for management of this disease.

We should not be in panic at all. But we should be awake and careful about any further consequences of this epidemic. It is a divide whether we would be regarded as defeated by the pathogen or would make triumph over it by the historians in later age.

10/16/2014

Hot pot cooking

Cooking in an earthen ware pot is very popular in Japan in winter. The materials could be a variety of fish and/or meat with vegetables. Chinese cabbage is a regular vegetable in any hot pot cooking. Cod or salmon is popular fish for this dish. The soup stock is always made of fish. Tofu is another material to be added to this dish. Taking advantage of the simplicity of this cooking, we always use some ready made soup. Warm the soup and put the materials from vegetables to fish/meat. Heat up them in an earthen ware pot until every material is cooked enough. 

In this cooking, I have featured a solid soup material named "Premium Nabe" manufactured by Moranbong. Nabe means earthen ware pot in japanese. This soup material is quite tasty as if it was served at a high quality japanese restaurant. It is much better than any kind of ready made liquid soup.  We could enjoy "full-bodied" taste with this item. Try it.

Ebola virus could be airborne

When I knew a nurse caring for the 1st patient of Ebola virus infection had become infected from the same virus in Texas, I wondered why and how it had happened to her. Hasn't she protected herself from the virus whici was believed to be contageous through direct contct to the patient? It was not answered yet.

But a group of Minnesota University has published yesterday that the virus could make airborne infection from pathophysiological as well as epidemiological standpoint. If this view is right, we are getting into a new phase of fight against this virus infection. Airborne infection is quite difficult to deal with. Separation of the patients as well as special set up as positive pressure respirator is mandatory in that situation. The nurse as well as the other who have been proved to be infected by the virus at the same hospital might be infected through airborne virus from the patient.

Then another question comes on. Why haven't much more people been infected arount the patient? In west Africa, there could have been more people suffering from the virus.

There should be certain percentage of the people are undergoing subclinical illness or inapparent infection. There must be some strains of the virus which may not make overt infection and/or there must be certain people who won't develop serious illness thanks to their immune response characteristics. This virus is told to occur mutations frequently. It may be another factor which contribute such mechanisms.

We should not get into a panic. But we should be careful about what goes on with this possible outbreak. We should make support to the people in west Africa suffering from devastating outbreak now. Hopefully, the authority would give financial and technical support to those working at the front of the medical system, who are working at the hazard of the virus.

The 5th anniversary of the death of a close friend

This Oct 6th was the 5th anniversary of the death of an old friend of mine. He was a ham, JH1HDX, named Mamo. 
 
I knew him through ham radio in early eighties. It was when I came back on the radio while serving residency at a med school hospital. He was a young engineer working for a battery manufacturing company. Both of us have had humble set ups. We used to talk a lot on 15m SSB.
 
Even though there were some intervals of absence, our friendship has lasted and we have been in touch each other since then. We have had a drive trip together to a mountain area one time. It was a fun trip dipping ourselves at a hot spa and visiting a ham friend over there. While having an intense personality, he was also a kind and tender person. He was a kind of a man of defiance to any authorities. It might be common to me. That might be a point which we had felt attracted each other. That personality made him look like a peculiar person in a sense. At the same time, he was sensitive in human relationship and was very tender to the others. 
 
In the spring 5 years ago, he abruptly gave me a phone call from a hospital. He let me know that he had been suffering from acute leukemia. For the next few months, he has undergone a few courses of treatment without any remission. It was a severe fight for him. I have visited him at least once a week and have tried to share hopes for the future with him. However, for the last 3 weeks, feeling too sad seeing him declining rapidly, I could not visit him. I still regret that. Wasn't it the time when he had needed me? I heard he had passed away being cared for by his family. 
 
His wife and daughter have welcomed me at a Soba restaurant over there. I haven't seen his daughter since  her elementary school days. She has become a lovely lady. His wife also looked fine. Even though there have been a few family event at her family for the past 5 years, all of them seemed to get along fine. Both of them in front of the restaurant. 
 
 
 Beside the restaurant, there was a brook running from a spring close there. A quiet and nice place. 
 
 
After enjoyable lunch with them there, we have worshiped his tomb near there. He was sleeping together with his father there. Praying that I was sorry I hadn't visited him for the past years, I left them there and headed home. On the way back home, I ran on Reiheishi Highway, where they had walked in order to worship Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa at Toshogu in Nikko.
It was the way I used to drive in my young days when visiting Nikko area as well as Mmo's home. It looked exactly the same as 30 years ago.