6/26/2016

Belated Father's Day

Our daughter has come home yesterday. It was after several months long hiatus since her last visit. Needless to say I have prepared a special dinner featuring home grown tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables. We have had a great dinner together.

She said the work as a nurse at the emergency ward had kept her so busy that she could scarcely have time for herself except during holidays. It was her only complaint that the patients whom she had been in charge of for sometime would move to the subacute inpatient wards as soon as they got better enough for that. She could not see them fully recovered and discharging from the hospital. I told her they must be most thankful to the staff who cared for them at the most critical period in their illnesses. Having the training at such acute care ward, she could work as an all around nurse in the near future and would see many patients who discharge from her ward.

Her colleagues seemed so friendly that, as she said, it had been comfortable for her to work at the present ward. I know the societies of nurses could be sometimes quite harsh with hierarchical relationships. The origin of nurse is in the war and has left military like hierarchy in its system. Considering of that, I was full of thanks to the staff and the nurse manager. Our daughter has started studying law at a university in Tokyo but has eventually dropped out. Having spent a few years in the quest for identity, she met this calling as her grandmother and aunt did. I am pretty sure she would live in this profession throughout her life. Gratitude and joy have overflown in my mind.  

She has brought some gifts for the Father's Day. A rosin for cello bow, a shirt with elegant design and my favorite confection. Wonderful gifts!


Even though I sometimes feel tired of practicing cello alone, this rosin may encourage me a lot.

My wife and she have gone for a ballet concert in Tokyo. I could not help smiling at her wearing the best dress for that event. It is held in Ueno, where I and my wife used to spend our engaged days. It is a pleasure to remember those old things, not with regret, but with thankful feeling.

6/24/2016

Visiting a hot spa nearby

It was the day when the gardener came to our home and did his job for us. It was overcast and sometimes drizzly. I won't do gardening with him and decided to go for hot spa. I have never gone such a place for months.

With the GPS on the car, I found a hot spa in Yasato, which was located on the foothill of a mountain range south east of here. It was 20 or 30 miles from our home in direct distance. On the way there, I drove through a small mountain range. The cedar trees grew thick. Being only a few hundred meters above sea level, it might be pretty muggy there. The foothill spreading on the southeastern side of the range had a lot of orchards. Some of them were for tourists who would enjoy picking fresh fruits up. Since it was off season, there were very few people visiting there, if not at all. 

When I started residency at a med school hospital and took the driver's licence near here, I could not purchase a car for myself. The salary was surprisingly low. My father took me to his brother, that is, my uncle, who kindly told me to give his used car. On the way there, I drove this way to his home. I remembered of that drive clearly. What have we talked about? I was concerned about only own future. I am afraid I have concerned least about him or uncle. What has my father thought about me then? Time has passed.

There used to be a patient and her mother attending to my office on regular basis for some time. She has had some kind of school refusal. Her mother was dominating her. It was an illness of the mother but not of the daughter. I was wondering how they had been doing. The daughter should be around mid twenties of her age by now. Has she grown up and started own life? What could I help her at that time?  

It took me an hour or so to drive there. In this area, if digged out anywhere, there would be spa found, they say. Our land is the land of volcano and hot spa. In '80s, the government foolishly has subsidized cohesive money to each local government all over our country. It was a pretext to stimulate domestic demand. It was, if I remember it right, due to the request by the US government at one of the Japan US Impediments Initiatives. Our government should have prepared for the aging society we are right now in. The local governments have been puzzled how to spend that big budget. Some of them have constructed such a hot spa as this one. Having written up this way, I looked up how this hot spa was started. They say it was 16 years ago when it started in the web site.  This facility could be built by some private company but could be sold from the local government as well.     

It was a beautiful flat place on a foot hill surrounded with farms and orchards. On the horizon to the west, a range of mountains was running from north to south, even though it was not very high as told above. Flowers were planted at a corner of the hot spa. 



Only a dozen of people were there. No wonder it was the daytime on a plain week day. 




The tub was large. There were various forms of bathes including the outdoor one. Dipping in that large indoor one for some 15 minutes or so, I got it out. On the way back home, I came to a Sushi bar in the city where I used to work. A very nice treat to me. But if I go on this kind of life, I might get some serious illness of old people soon. With a souvenir to the gardener, I headed to home.  

6/23/2016

How I am getting along lately

Boy, it has been 9 days since I updated this blog last time. I am still doing fine and spending pretty busy days with hamming, gardening, playing cello and cooking etc.

Most striking thing in my life recently is a book regarding the relationship between Japan and the US. When our constitution was enacted after WWII, they have hypothesized the presence of the UN Force under the UN Security Council in function. But with the cold war and the war in Korea starting, the spirit of the constitution has metamorphosed to the present contradiction between the original pacifism and the presence of the US military/JSDF in Japan. Our country is under the war state under occupation. This contradiction should be resolved by some  means in the near future. We should resolve the problem of the responsibility of WWII by ourselves as well.

In ham radio, I am still enjoying pleasant chats with friends. Last night, 20m was pretty good for NA. I have met Andy K2LE after some interval. Actually, we scarcely have had conversational QSOs for years. He has been always active only in contests from the station in VT away from home and as P40LE. He was really excited to operate the big station in VT with remote control. He has thanked to Gerry W1VE and the group who have done with the soft ware for remote control. He has had a vertical at home in NY, which has not worked well with much local QRN. Like Ellen W1YL, he is enjoying the cutting edge technology for remote control operation. I could understand what he was feeling. Hopefully, I could make chats with him much more than ever.

Summer VE5SDH has given me a call with her beautiful fist. Bug key should not necessarily sound like a keyer. Her bug sounded like an electronic keyer in the beginning, so that I even asked her if she had changed the key from her Vibroplex to a keyer. It was her old bug key. Stunningly neat and beautiful. It was a sad news that her guide dog, Lake, had turned out to have cancer not treatable. It means she would lose her guide not so far from now. It seems it takes her a year or longer to have another guide dog. She must go through a hard time parting her loving dog and having to spend with a cane for some time in the very near future. I only hoped she could undergo this hard time in her life.

This week end, our daughter is coming home. It has been several months since her last visit here. What a joy! She told us to go for a performance of British Royal Ballet in Tokyo. I am not very good at such concrete type of art. My wife would go for that with her in stead. We may have a nice lunch together somewhere in the downtown of Tokyo on Sunday.

Tomatoes in the garden are getting ripe.


Fresh tomatoes as well as cucumber, lettuce and/or beans harvested in the morning or the day before are the ingredients of ths salad in the morning.



We have asked a gardener to care for our garden. I have mentioned about him in the previous post. A really great person with love for his profession and capability in it. The back yerd, which looked like jungle, has been cleaned and trimmed beautifully as the photo shows. 

It has passed the summer solstice. We might have the better condition on the air in a month or two. My ham radio friends, let's make nice chats as if our lives were interlaced each other.
  

6/14/2016

Joe DL4CF

It was in late '80s when I often worked Joe Y62QH, later DL2HQH and presently DL4CF. It had been 2 or 3 years before the iron curtain between West and East Germany was pulled apart. As with the other old communism countries, most hams in East Germany used to make only rubber stamps those days. Joe was a bit different from them. Possibly being young, possibly in his late teen age at that time, and brave, he often talked to me something other than that stereotypical QSO. I haven't asked about that to him yet. The censorship of ham radio might be loosened since the communist hegemony was being lost over there. Anyway, this young guy in East Germany was remarkable with his freedom in operation as well as his great fist.

A few years later than I did, he joined FOC. We have talked even oftener at that time. As soon as the two Germanys were merged, he told me he would visit the US. I was surprised to hear that because it might not be very easy for him to travel abroad at that time. He would, however, go out of the country and see things in the western countries as soon as it became possible, I believe. I have introduced him a good friend of mine, Bob, W6CYX in San Jose. Joe has visited him and stayed there for a week, if I remember it right. Bob is located on a foot hill of Mt. Hamilton overlooking the entire Bay. I am sure they have become good friends.

Bob and his wife Mariko have visited Joe in 2 or 3 years since Joe's visit to the US. I can't remember who has sent this photo to me. It was taken at Joe's shack.


In winter, late at night in our time, 40 meters opens to both NA and Eu at the same time. I have had a big round table with both of them over the north/south pole for a few times. I guess Bob and Joe were through the long path at that time. It could never be a lengthy leisurely chat. It was, however, a big thrill for me to listen to both of them at the same time. Even though it was tricky for Joe and me what direction we should beam to.  

This morning, 20 meters was fascinatingly opened to Eu. An hour later than sunrise, Joe has given me a call with usual big punchy signal here. His call was not hit with my PC log which I had started using 3 years ago. It has been, at least, 4 years since we talked last time. For the past several years, he seemed to have been busy at work, which had prevented him operating radio too much. He seemed to ride, not motor bike like before, but bicycle now. He said it took 45 minutes one way from home to office on the bicycle. We have rumored about Bob as well. Joe told me he had not heard Bob for a while. I told him neither did I. He used to tell me he had been just listening the bands but won't call the stations he heard. When 40 meters starts to open between NA and Eu via long path, he could not resist giving us a call and we might make another big round table then.

Joe is now 48 years old. All of us are getting a bit older. 

6/10/2016

Beef and potato stew

Beef is cooked with potatoes, onions, carrots and snow peas. Potatoes and onions were the products at our garden farm. Potatoes were fresh while onions have tasted slightly sweet. 



I am still cooking almost everyday. The problem is that I tend to cook too much in quantity for a dish. 

6/09/2016

From a hospital staff in Syria

It is a real hell. It is not a struggle against illnesses but a never ending tragedy due to the conflict going on there.

There is no instant solution to this problem.

It must be, however, banned to export the arms to the countries in conflict or to anyone who would trade the arms to them.

Trading arms is a really profitable business, so that the politicians and the merchants of death won't get out of it. I heard that once the people in France knew the bombing air plane used in Syria had been successful and had been ordered by several countries in Middle East, they shut their mouth against the war in Syria. I won't blame them in particular. But if we won't be free from such an idea, there won't be ceasing military conflicts anywhere.

As I posted in this blog previously, our government has changed the policy of exporting arms from ban to encouragement. It is a real shame and disgrace. We have been proud of not exporting arms anywhere. Our government has unlearned that policy of pacifism.

Read the article linked above. What do you think of that?

6/04/2016

Japan US Joint Committee

I have recently learned about this committee for the first time. Maï½™be, it has been to my ears in the past. But I have never realized how it had worked on the politics/economy in Japan.

It has started immediately since the WWII was over. While japanese members of this committee are the top bureaucrats in Japan, the US side is composed of military people except for the US minister as the only non military diplomat. The meeting has been closed keeping the agenda in secret. The main agenda has been regarding the US base and its military operation. It seems they have discussed of diverse issues there. The State Department in the US has been repeatedly recommended the US military to convert the system to the ordinary diplomatic relationship. The US military has been denying that. One reason is that Japanese government won't agree to undertake the change. This system seems profitable for both US military as well as Japanese bureaucrats. Yes, the occupation of Japan by US military after WWII is still continuing. It has been over 70 years ever since.

"The collective self defense" our government has established against our constitution last summer has been based on the requirement by the US military to join military conflicts all over the world lead by the US military. Most likely, this requirement has been done at this committee. The other issues in relation with the US could be understood from the perspective of presence of this committee.

I wonder if our country is really independent under such a system. At present, unfortunately, we could not affirm of independence at all. Such a system would lead the relationship between Japan and the US toward undesirable way, I am afraid. I wonder how you Americans think of such a relationship like a suzerain and a colony. It is a reality that our Japan has enjoyed prosperity and no involvement in any military conflict or war thanks to this relationship, at least, partially thanks to it. But I think this relationship would be against fairness and equality.