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!


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.  


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.


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.


Late fall in our garden

It is getting cooler day by day. Expecting another big typhoon, I prepared protecting plants and vegetables from gust and harvested some vegetables.
This is cosmos naturally grown from the seeds derived from the planted cosmos last year. Seeing them swinging in the breeze, I feel the fall is getting deepened.
Fully grown basil. I should have used it for material of a sauce or something else. Maybe, it will grow again from the seed of these plants next year.
 Enkianthus in front of my parents' house. It could have shown more bright color. It has grown to a big tree.
Callicarpa japonica with purple fruits. It was also naturally grown at a corner of our lot.
The fruits in close up view. Clusters of elegant and beautiful fruits. I guess I have already introduced this plant before. It is named as Murasakishikibu after a famous novelist in Heian era who wrote the famous novel titled Genji Monogatari.    
Some tomatoes are finally ripened. Those planted before the rainy season were mostly failure. The plants were infected with some virus or mold. After the rainy season, it has been successful. It resulted in these good fruits. Very juicy and thick in taste. I knew those sold in supermarket had been harvested while they were not ripened. I have learned a bit how to raise the tomato now. Maybe, we might enjoy more of these ripe tomatoes next year. This was the high light in our garden this year.
Our lot looking from the entrance toward the east. The left is the house my parents used to live. The front is a storage house. Whenever I look this, I still feel as if, in this scene, my father was busily going somewhere and my mother was smiling at me. Time is passing.
The west side of our lot. It looks like a small forest. Or jungle?