Good chats with old friends

Twenty meters was quiet last night. It was empty as usual. RBN told me it had been open to both NA and Eu at the same time, though. Having repeated calling CQ for 2 or 3 times, I was called by several statessides in a row. Mostly old friends.

Among them, a QSO with Frank K0EJ was most impressive to me. He told he had moved to Fla where he could put up a small tribander on the roof. With barefoot, he seems to believe he is running only a tiny station. I could feel how excited he was being able to work with a JA with his set up. He seemed to quit as soon as he had finished sending a series of messages stereotyped as a rubber stamp to me. I told him his small set up was doing fine and I could read him perfect. Then he told me he had worked me many times as KA0GGI when he was in Missouri, I was not sure of his former QTH. Yes, this call sign sounded familiar and, since my PC log won't cover QSOs that long time ago, I looked it up in my index notebook. It told me we had first met in 1990. A long time ago. We were pleased to have this reunion after that long hiatus. In the end of the QSO, his signal was with deep and fast QSB and QRM, which made it a bit tough to read him. Until the very last moment of the QSO, I could understand what he had felt with this QSO. A really rare occasion of pleasure on CW nowadays.

The other QSOs with those like K4DGJ, W2MV or W9AC etc were as impressive as this one with Frank. It is always good to know how they are doing and to renew our friendship. It was a bit funny that most of them complained of lowered activity of CW. No exception. Yes, FT8 has brought some activity of CW into it. No competetion nor dislike with/for this new mode. Those who has been interested in this new mode must have operated CW in order to get as many entities as possible. They are not those interested in conversational CW.

Last month, I knew Erik SM0AGD had gone SK. He used to be active from various rare ones between 1970s and early 2000s. It was always fun for me to chase him those days. He sometimes added a few words to stereotypic report even from those rare countries. I have met him on the air only once or twice when he operated from his aprtment in SM0 land. I still respected him for his proficiency of operation and his personality. I have met him in person at a DX convention in Tokyo around 1990. He was what I had imagine about. A real great person. Hearing this sad news of his SK, I realized again most great operators like him those days had gone SK or inactive now. Like VK9NS, ZL1AMO, DK7PE or G3SXW etc. The latter two are still alive, I know. But the good old days have gone away now.

Treasuring every QSO last night, I was thinking of this declining of CW or even of ham radio. The great days have been going away.


How they are governing our country

This is a photo of the congressmen/women of the ruling party, LDPJ, surrounding our prime minister. They are enjoying Sake and foods together.

When do you think they have held this party? 

It was in the evening of July 5th. It was the time when  the torrents were starting causing terrible flooding/landsliding in the Western Japan. A few hours earlier, the meteorological agency has warned devastating disaster due to the torrential rain. It has victimized more than 100 people and 60 missing so far.

And it was the day before they would execute 7 convicts of death row. They have been sentenced to death years ago for their terrorism belonging to a cult. The terrorism issue has not yet elucidated clearly. Our prime minister and the minister of justice sitting right to him, a lady, had known of the execution the day after.

This shows how they are governing our country.

They are not concerned of the people or of the serious decision of execution. All they are concerned of is how to keep seats in the Congress and to maintain their power there.

Father's 14th anniversary

It was the 14th anniversary of father yesterday. Looking up the posts on his anniversary in this blog, I found a few of this topic. What shall I add to them as a token of this day? Detailed memories on him seem to be fading away little by little. It is what time works on us, that is, an inevitable phenomenon for everyone.

Something good and warm about him still remains in my memory, while shortcomings in his personality is going out of my view as time passes by, though. I have reached his age when he spent his last chapter in his life living with us here. I feel I could understand what he thought, wanted, worried and thrived for in his life those days. I could have done much more for him at that time. But it is relieving me a bit to remember he could spend peaceful days with us at this place. It was his dream to work with me at my private practice since he had worked at various medical facilities throughout his life. It came true even though he worked only part time there. I still feel there was something I could do for him, though. 

Among the last several generations in our country, it is only us who have never experienced any war. We have lived in the peace and prosperity even during the cold war. That fragile peace under cold war has gone away. We won't experience the same total war like in WWII as my father's generation did. But, candidly, we might have some serious difficulty in the coming years, that is, in the last part of my life. Now decreasing birthrate and aging population are in progress at enormous speed in our country. Both would reduce national power and wealth in the coming years. The monetary easing, quantitative and qualitative, must leave much more debt to our country. Social security may be reduced in the near future. Or even default of our government finance may happen as well.

The other worry is that our country could be involved in military conflict occuring far away from our country. Affirmation of collective self defence, which had been denied by the governments before Abe administration since WWII based on our constitution, was approved by the present government a few years ago. It would lead us to military conflicts abroad or to terrorist attacks in our country.

My father used to be concerned about the problem of war responsibility for WWII. His concern might be due to his compulsory service in WWII for 6 years in his twenties, when he has experienced all absurdity and violence in the army. I have written about it in the other posts. He would have protested against the present government for their belligerence from authoritareanism. I would do the same way as he might do in this situation.

Lately, not too often, my father shows up in my dream. He used to have stern look in it but nowadays looks gentle and warm to me. It might reflect my self justification, maybe. I still believe he would say to me "Don't worry, we could do only little, just love family members and stay faithful to the people around you." I won't be too anxious about the present situation. As my father used to live in his last years of life, I would live in faith and good will to the others.

Oh, I have talked too much of myself. I still spent today thinking of my father who used to quietly do with the garden almost everyday. My heart is full of gratitude to him for his help, support and faith in me. I won't forget him. I would spend the last chapter of my life as he did.

Have I uploaded this photo before? It was taken at the small sanathorium for tuberculosis back around 1950. My sister with them.

Twenty four years ago, their anniversary of golden wedding at a restaurant in a city nearby. All 5 members of the family. My sister used to work as a nurse while brother is still working as a psychiatrist. It might be one of the best time for my parents in their lives.


Seeing old Drew VK3XU

I have mentioned about Drew VK3XU especially in relation with Tim VK3IM for a few times. http://nuttycellist-unknown.blogspot.com/search?q=vk3xu I have talked to him once a few months in the past. His slow and steady CW sure reminds me of good old days. One of the operators who still have the charcter of those old operators.

I was called by him on 20m early this evening. It was a real pleasure to see him after having called CQ in vain for some time. It was in May when I met him last time and was told that he had had an accident causing fractures on both legs. He answered to my inquiry about it that he had recovered well now and could walk as before. He also told me his doctors had been quite good to him. It was a public hospital he had been treated for the fractures which required no cost for the treatment. I was really surprised that such a system of socialism was working in Australia even though, as he said, it was proposed to be privatized there.

Tim seems to be doing well. Drew told me he had met him from time to time even though not regularly. Tim has also given him land line calls. Tim has been a good friend of ours for last decades. Due to his health issues, he has not been quite active on the radio for some time. It was a good news he had been coming back on the radio now. I told Drew to pass my best wishes to this monk in Mt. Eliza, that is, Tim. Drew has enjoyed this naming to Tim.

Drew told me he would be 70 years of age this year. Yes, all of us are adding years to our age. I still have his image of his forties or fifties. All of us are still getting older. May we have healthy and fruitful aged years.

I have enjoyed seeing this old friend of mine. Sadly enough, such a QSO is becoming quite rare at present. I will keep my ears open to the down under from time to time.


Already seemingly in mid summer

On the way back home from the city south of here, I went through by the ancient tomb named Bentenzuka, which I have posted about before.

It stood among rice paddies as it used to. It was very fine with some clouds flowing in the sky. The clouds were typical for that in summer. Rice seemed to grow well. Very quiet place.

Rice paddies were spreading like green carpet. Again, cumulonimbus clouds were accumulated on the horizon. It is a bit too early for us to see such clouds here. The summer solstice is close for now, though.

My sister has given me a postcard, which has told she and her spouse would have the golden golden wedding anniversary next year. They are planning a ceremony at their home. She also added it had been only 23 years ago when we celebrated our parents' golde wedding. Time still goes by quietly as well as steadily. When I cut the weeds in the garden with a long sickle, I remember my father used to do the same thing only 20 years ago. I feel as if I could hear the sickle making ticking sound he made hitting the ground.

In 3 weeks, we will have the 14th anniversary of father's passing. 


Garden in the rainy season and the detente process in the Korean Peninsula

It is still in the middle of the rainy season even though a bit cooler than usual. If this cool wind coming from Kamchatka and Alietian islands, it may damage crops especially in the northern part of our country. It is called as Yamase, which has worried farmers in the area. The forecast says it will get quite hot very soon. And Yamase won't last too long. Crops might not be damaged.

Hydrangea are coming out in the garden as they always do in this season. They bloom at several places in the garden. Again, they have been a gift by my father.

I have sown seeds of Marie gold harvested last fall at many places in the garden. They are budding now and may bloom very soon. They last until the fall. 

I am moving the strawberry plants from the former farm to a new place in the garden. The extended runners are pretty strong and would be settled down any places. Hopefully, they would bear so many fruits as they used to at the former place.

I am on a process of harvesting potatoes. Pretty good ones. I have given some of them to friends of mine, including the violinist friend who used to live in Germany for study of the instrument for a few years and has enjoyed potatoes over there. Possibly with a bit of lager as well.  

By the way, the US vs NK summit in Singapore left skepticism about its result. President Trump seems to deal with the dictator of NK for reputation for the election while the dictator needed to negotiate for acknowledgement of their regime and possibly for economical support. Denuclearization and the detente in of the Korean Peninsula won't be an easy process. However, this first stem toward it. There have been any other choices than this agreement however unreliable and unconfident it may be. 

I am so pleased to have the news mentioned above for my friends in Korea. For example, Lee HL2DC living near to the DMZ who told me he won't refuge anywhere even if another war started between N and S Korea. The people in the peninsula have experienced too much agony during and since the war there. It is the time for them to start for union of the same people again. I have a few more friends whom I have known through ham radio for the past decades. I would pray for further progress of detente process over there. It is a prayer for the real friends living there.

So far, I am not very active on the air. Something has changed in my mind. Even though I have craved for radio for years, I won't feel that way any longer. I don't know if it is a transient mood or a lasting change in my mind. Let's see. I would, however, spend an hour or so every few days. If you hear me somewhere, give me a buzz. 


Scores stored and unrealized for years

Having slept long last night, I woke up in the bright sun shine early this morning. The atmosphere was crisp and cool. What a nice day! As I always do in the morning, I went out to see how the vegetables were growing. Everything looked fine. Tomatoes might be ripened soon. I have watered some of them which required water. It will be the time to harvest potatoes very soon. Corns were growing steadily. Sweet corn will be on the table not too long from now.

Very soon, there will be an off line meeting for ensemble held in Tokyo, which I have joined for several times. The piece they will play is OP3-6 Violin Concerto, one of the concertos "L'estro Armonico" by Vivaldi. I am not very enthusiastic for that piece for myself but have ever played it years ago. It seemed there were one cellist participating it and I thought I would go there if things permit me.

I remembered I had the set of part scores of this piece. It must be somewhere in the boxes I stored all part scores I had owned. They were kept in the storage house built by my father some 25 years ago. It is comparted to 3 rooms. One of them are for keeping books, old letters, QSLs and the other things. I found it there.

There were a lot of scores packed in these 4 boxes, sorted after the composers or the genres. I used to buy and collect them from score shops when it was not possible for us to download freely scores from IMSLP. Until over 10 years ago.

Some of them were obtained back in my med student days. I used to walk down to a score shop named Academia near to our school in lunch time or after classes. I forgot time passing while looking for any good score there.  

It is surprising that there were a lot of important works of chamber music at least  in the classic and romantic age among the collection. For example, in the genre of piano quintet, those by Schumann, Brahms, Shostakovitch and Faure. Two piano quintets of Faure. 

Only very few have been realized for performance. Each opportunity I have played them with friends was really jewelry memory for me. One of them was playing the famous d minor piano concerto of Mozart, KV466, rearranged for quartet and a flute by Czerny, with a good friend of mine since the med school days and the other company. It was in Shinshyu more than 10 years ago. Her cadenza performance for this piece was really demonish, which astonished us all. 

I must say, however, the others, mayb 80 or 90% of all the scores, have not been realized at all. I have got each of them hoping I would play it in the future. But most of those dreams won't come true because of lack of my technique or of company to play with. It is not only the dreams in performance of cello but in the other areas of life which would remain unrealized throughout our life. Our life may be a chain of such events which has not come true. We have dreamed and yearned for those things a lot. They would left not done, though.

I find it more important for us to do what and how we try to realize them. The results are only results. The process of efforts is more precious and important. With such a view, I would go on practising some of the scores unrealized yet even if it won't come true. It is the life.

And I should also look for someone who takes over these scores in the near future. Hopefully, they would give someone more dreams of performing them.