A story of cats in a family

Eighteen years ago or so, my wife has got a cat from her colleague person at the office she was working those days. This cat, named Aichan which stood for "Lovely", was one of the kittens an ownerless cat had given birth in the colleague's garden. She had been trained for toiletting etc there. She was told to have been most friendly to people. That was the reason she was named as it was.
Aichan was a smart cat. She won't be easily accoustomed with her new environment here as if she had been taught not to be by her mother. In the begininng, she won't come in our home. It was a week or so later when she came into the living room. An even more tiny kitten was following her. Of course, it was not her baby. Aichan was only a few months old at that time. That kitten was tiger patterned with grey brownish hue. It was so small as a sparrow. It was a male kitten and was named Suzume at first, which meant sparrow in Japanese. Later, being afraid people around us might be confused to hear us call him as Suzume, we have shortened the name as Suzu. He was a real astray cat descendent and has been educated by Aichan for some time. Aichan was a mother substitute for Suzu for a year or two. They have been good company throughout their lives. Suzu has been a real pet for our daughter.
Aichan in 2008. She always loved being in a narrow space like this box.
Aichan in 2007. A smart cat that was very good at grasping what was going on around her. She was loved by everyone very much.

Aichan and Suzu in 2010. They were son and mother, family members and good company throughout their lives.

One day in 2007 or so, we have made a regular evening walk around here. We have come across with a kitten on a street. Crying badly, she was limping. At first, she came closer to us. When embracing her with arm, she cried even worse. She seemed to have been injured, which later turned out to be a pelvic bone fracture, possibly due to a traffic accident. When I placed her on the ground, she was slowly leaving us somewhere. In a second, she turned back to us again as if she had made up her mind to be with us. It was the moment when we decided to add her to our family. She was named as Mitchan.

In 2007, Mitchan on a chair. She grew to be a fatty cat later. But her voice has been charming throughout the years she was with us.  Our son has loved her so much. She was like a dog in character. Whenever we did something in the garden, she was always around us in a radius of 1 meter. She would never go out of the property to the street. Seemingly, she could not forget having had the bad injury on a street.

They have lived with us over ten years. Really good family members. Parting with them has come for the past 4 years. At first, Aichan, suffering from some kind of respiratory tract problem, has gone somewhere at the moment she got quite ill. I first knew a cat would disappear from us when she/he knew it was the time of passing for her/him. She would not stay home by any means. We let her go out. It was the time of farewell with her. Mitchan was curious at anything narrow or closed. She disappeared from us abruptly one day. It was when a man of transport industry visited our home on a truck. We later suspected she might jump on it when we were not aware of that. It is our hope she is still spending happy life somewhere being loved by some family. This summer, Suzu has passed away. He was 18 years old and has gradually lost weight. He has vomitted if he took as much food as the other cats ate for years. Later, he got some kidney dysfunction as well. It seemed he learned it was the time to say good by to us.

Without them, our home is really empty. It could be kept clean. But something has been lost since they went away. They have been with us watching what went on in the family. Children have grown up and got out of the home. My parents have got old and ill. In an interval, both of them have passed away. Both I and my wife have been left. I would thank those lovely creatures having been with us for that period.

Since a new cat would live longer than ourselves, we decided not to keep anyone any longer. We still miss these three cats so much.

Three of them have made our lives more pleasant and even meaningful. Farewell to our beloved beings until we meet again!

An ancient tomb site

On the way to my old office, there is an old tomb site named Bentenzuka. Driving to the town there, I have stopped by the tomb. I don't know when it was constructed. Maybe, 6th or 7the century. This is rather a compact in size. Compact ones were always constructed in later era. Such tombs were constructed for the men of power those days. It is surprising there are more than ten such tomb sites in this city. This area is not necessarily more abundant with such historical monuments than the other areas. They are pretty common everywhere.

What it touches me is that it has been maintainted by the people around this area. In our tradition, we have worshiped our ancestors as gods. I am still moved by the fact there have been generations of people having taken such tomb site as an important monument and having cared for it as it is now. It is still a primitive religion. But the ancestors have had faith in some being supreme beyond our knowledge. It is touching me a lot. It is a relief for me that we have had those ancestors with religious mind.

I sometimes stopped by there on the way back home from work. I felt a kind of relief from this old tomb.

The rice paddies were already harvested. It stood quietly in the crisp atmosphere in the farms.

Re Ebola virus disease again

CDC has published the risk factor guide line for Ebola virus disease quoted below in this post.

We should avoid any contacts with symptomatic patients without appropriate protection. At the front of medical services, it could be difficult for the staff to observe these instructions once there is an epidemic occurring in the community. Quarantine is of limited power as well.

At present, the biggest issue is that China could be the source of the outbreak world wide. There is a close relationship between China and African countries including the epidemic area. There is heavy traffic of people between these two areas. It means EVD could be transmitted by them into China. The secretive politics as well as undeveloped medical system in China might reinforce the possible outbreak there. In such an epidemic world wide, it could be quite tough to do with it since the infrastructure of medical system could be destroyed at first anywhere.

We still should be careful about what goes on with this outbreak. Much more support should be given to the Western Africa in the outbreak now.

From CDC web site;

The following epidemiologic risk factors should be considered when evaluating a person for Ebola virus disease (Ebola), classifying contacts, or considering public health actions such as monitoring and movement restrictions(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/monitoring-and-movement-of-persons-with-exposure.html) based on exposure.
  1. High risk includes any of the following:
  2. Some risk includes any of the following:
  3. Low (but not zero) risk includes any of the following:
    • Having been in a country with widespread Ebola virus transmission(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/distribution-map.html) within the past 21 days and having had no known exposures
    • Having brief direct contact (e.g., shaking hands) while not wearing appropriate PPE, with a person with Ebola while the person was in the early stage of disease
    • Brief proximity, such as being in the same room for a brief period of time, with a person with Ebola while the person was symptomatic
    • In countries without widespread Ebola virus transmission: direct contact while using appropriate PPE with a person with Ebola while the person was symptomatic
    • Traveled on an aircraft with a person with Ebola while the person was symptomatic.
  4. No identifiable risk includes:



Piazzolla is a mysterious composer. His works are mixture of tango, jazz and classical music. Based on his native tango, they go beyond it over to the cosmopolitanism. It may be related with the fact he has been grown up in Argentina, educated in Europe and worked in the USA. His works won't belong to any of these genres, even though the outlook is still that of tango, but they form a unique genre themselves. Various emotions and feelings are heard from his music. The basic one is, I believe, sorrow. It is not a transient emotion but something flowing  on the bed of our lives like basso continuo.
This piece, Concerto para Quinteto, is my recent nightcap. Fuss spreads. In the midst of boisterous rhythm, a tender and heartfelt melody is sung by the violin solo, folowed by a song of sorrow by the accordion.


Susan W7KFI/KH6

When have I met Susan W7KFI for the first time? Maybe, on 40m CW in early 2000s. She was sailing the west coast from SF to Mexico. Since that time, I have talked to her in maritime mobile once or twice in a year. This morning,she has given me a call on 15m, where there were very few stations on CW with the SSB portion getting hot with WW SSB, from USS Missouri club station KH6BB.

She told me she would enter a nursing home for retired soldiers in Wash DC soon. She used to tell me she would go to KH3, V7 and T32 etc after leaving Hawaii. She is now 79 years old. It seemed she had given up sailing in solo in the Pacific Ocean for now. There seem she had a few good friends in Hawaii, who would help her to get ready for her move.

As written above, she has dreamed croussing around the islands in the Pacific. When I asked what she would do after the journey was over in a QSO in 2007, she answered me "Who knows?". She must have hoped her dream cruise might last forever. But it is the time for her to put an end to her cruise.

She told me she could set up a ham radio station at the facility in Wash DC. I am anxious to know who would help her to set up her station there since she told me she hadn't had any friends around there yet. There are a number of kind and great CW operators in that area, so that she might find some people who would help her there.

She is stepping into a new phase of her life now. I wished her very good luck and pleasant retirement over there.

Visit her page in QRZ.com as well as her own web site: http://www.w7kfi.com/


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.


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!