1/27/2015

Visiting a friend dentist

Owing to a crown on a teeth coming off, I headed to a dentist in a town nearby yesterday. He has been a friend of mine since the university days. Even though we were not very close each other those days, we talked a bit from time to time. He was a gentle fellow always smiling and a basket ball player.

Years later, when I started my practice near to his office, he and his wife visited me at the clonic bringing a bouquet and a clock for the reception room. Their kindness was impressive to me since I was doing with everything alone. He has taken their children to me at the clinic when they had any health problem. In a sense, it was another support from him to me. When I closed my office almost 3 years ago, I visited him to report that. He has accepted me with the same smile at that time.

His children have grown up and, as a rumor said, have gone to Department of Dentistry at some universities. I thought his daughter in her late twenties of age now might already have taken over his clinic.

He has busily asked what happened to me. I wanted him to make another crown on the teeth. While he was doing the procedure, I asked how his children were doing. I also added that his daughter could have worked at his clinic by now. In low voice, he answered that she had married and got a son. Her son, that is, his grandson had some chronic neurological problem. Seemingly a degenerative disease. She has been occupied with caring for him, so that she could not come to take it over or even to help him at present.

I did not know how to respond to him. In a few seconds, I told him he should go on working as a grandpa for a while. I could not see how he looked since I was laid on the dentistry chair. He told his son might come back there soon. His wife, working with him, has greeted to me saying thanks for my visit 3 years ago. A slender beautiful lady with the same smile as a couple of decades ago. It was her who always took their children to my clinic.

Such a thing could happen to a family of good will. A kind of cruelty in life. As a pediatrician having experienced with many cases of those handicapped children and their families, I have learned those family members  could unite each other strongly. The mothers with handicapped children always look bright and positive for life. Of course, there could be various difficulties in life for them. Despite of that, they are always bright and positive as if they were living the happiest lives in the world. It is a mystery but still a fact. I really hope that he and his family get bonded even stronger and would prove another example of that miracle.  

1/24/2015

Our government has known the hostage issue in the Middle East since last fall.

Kouji Tsuneoka, an Islam and a journalist, has given press conference at the Foreign Correspondents' Club in Japan.

He has been invited to the Islamic court of ISIS for the case of two japanese hostages by them in last Oct. At this time, ISIS has told him that they would judge the case according to the Islamic law and won't require ransom nor kill the hostages. However, the Public Security Bureau of the Police has investigated him regarding the case of a university student who had been told to express his desire to go to Syria in order to join the battle of ISIS. That case was unlikely to be a serious case. On the investigation, the police has seized Tsuneoka's PC and so forth. It has made him unable to get in touch with the head of ISIS.

Since Prime Minister Abe addressed on financial aid to the countries in the Middle East in his recent visit there, which could be taken as an expression of hostility toward ISIS, ISIS has menaced for ransome, in case of no payment of that, murduring both hostages. This has been reported by mass media and has become a serious issue here. The government has finally established the countermeasures headquarters. The time limit was only 3 days, which has already passed now.

This means that the government has known of the hostage problem at least since last Oct. They have disturbed a civilian to get in touch with ISIS. So far, the government or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not asked him to negotiate with ISIS.

Knowing of this situation, Prime Minister Abe might have made that address likelily taken as an attitude hostile to ISIS in his visit to the Middle East recently. I could not help suspecting he might utilize this situation to send JSDF troops to the Middle East according to the right of collective self defence. Or he is not eligible for a leader for foreign affairs. he proves himself to be a stupid politician.

Our mass media won't report this issue yet so far.

1/21/2015

The curtain is getting raised

Two hours before sunset, 40m opens to NA pretty well. Very quiet. Less jamming than later hours. Even with a barefoot and simple antenna, signals from NA, mainly the West Coast and the Mid West, come through here as if they were greeting before going to bed. Even with marginal strengthe and deep fading, they are gradually coming up.

I have had a nice chat with Pete AB0WW in Livermore CA. He told me I had been his very 1st JA in our 1st QSO 6 years ago. What an honor! I used to visit K6TS in Livermore in '80s. Pete did not know him since he had moved there from MN only 6 years ago. Livermore was a lovely town where those commuting to SF lived in.

Pete has retired from cardiac pace maker business last year after working in that business for 40 years. Pete has remembered of my profession and told his elder daughter is serving residency in pediatrics in the East Coast. I agreed with him telling me it was not easy to serve residency for her. His 2nd one is a college student holding a Technician ticket. Pete must be very proud of them.

Signals are getting louder as sun is setting here. Dramas are starting from now on the band. The curtain is getting raised now. What stories are waiting for me? We could experience the other people's lives far away from here. I could not help feeling thrilled to listen to them talking on their lives. It is the condition on my beloved band I have enjoyed most since '60s.

Now fully satisfied, starting preparing supper haha.

1/20/2015

DXing is a thing of the past for me

This morning, I got up at 5:30, an hour before sunrise. As I always do,  prepared breakfast and a cup of coffee, I went into the shack. Even though it is the Coldest Day throughout a year ,called as Taikan in Japanese, today according to our traditional calendar, it was not too chilly this morning.

The higher bands were still quiet. Looking around 40m, I found a couple of DX getting some pile ups. Though I have left DXing long time ago, I have had nothing to do on the band open only to the Eastern Eu and the Middle East. I would just play with those DX for a while. One was JY5HX, a station in Jordan, who was handling the pile up on the same frequency as he transmitted. A few JAs were calling him but could  not get through the pile up from Europe. I believe those frustrated callers from JA might be using a wire antenna or a vertical. When I used to use a vertical, it was really tough for me to get any Middle East. QRM from the Europe must be so intense. After a few calls, I could get him successfully. I wished him to realize he had been called by JAs.

The other was EP6T, seemingly certain isaland in Iran. He was dealing with a bit more callers in split operation. It seemed he was going up and down at regular increment/decrement of frequencies. I tried to call him on the expected spot. But no success. Though he announced only JA and up, there were a lot of callers acting against him mainly from Europe. It took me some 15 minutes to get his coming back. As time went on, I got more and more frustrated. I have remembered that feeling, which drove me for further DXing 2 or 3 decades ago. If one of my neighbors got the call earlier, I would be most frustrated at it, if I was not aware of that or not. Even when I got back the call, I only felt the frustration was calmed but nothing pleasant. Joining in pile ups is just making frustration for myself. When I learned this fact, I remembered, I lost interests in DXing soon.

I still understand it is a big challenge for DXers to chase and get new entities. I won't comment on their way of enjoyment. It was, however, obvious that it was not the area I stayed on any longer. I again realized that and quit the mess of pile ups.

One more thing on DX. If a DX operates in split, there could be police on the DX frequency who tirelessly go on announcing "Up". They must intend to give notice to those calling on the DX frequency. A quite common scene in DXing. But I wonder if their good intention could rewarded. If that caller on the frequency is doing it without being aware of that, he or she won't realize of own mistake even listening the police"s announcement. If it should be an intentional jamming with calling on the same frequency, the jammer won't care for any notice. If you would let the caller on the frequency know of his/her mistake, you should give the particular call of the caller before giving the  notice. Such careless caller may not understand that he/she is given that caution. If your police action won't work once, don't repeat it any longer. Just leave it go on. Or your announcement would cause further mess on the frequency.

Anyway, it was a morning when I realized again DXing is a thing of the past for me.

1/18/2015

Sukiyaki

This was the dinner yesterday. A special meal for our daughter visiting here once 2 weeks. My sister, whose husband is a veteran doctor, sends me good beef in the end of every year. It is a tradition of year end gift in Japan. I cooked that beef for this dish. A little bit oily. We are accoustomed with cheaper beef available at supermarkets. Anyway, we have had good time surrounding this pot last night.
 

1/14/2015

Go against terrorism

What the terrorists in France has aimed is separation and conflict between Islamic people and the others. We should go to the way opposite to them. From that standpoint, Prime Minister Merckel was quite right when she announced that Islamic culture belonged to Germany.

What is going on in Europe or in the Middle East is not, I believe, an issue unrelated to us. For example, the riot in Syria is reported to be partly due to the drought in the farming area in Syria. About one million prople, who could not live in the devasted farming area due to the drought, have gone into big cities, where there had already been the same number of refugees owing to Iraq War. In those too densely populated cities, there happened conflicts and struggles among people due to the poverty, the lack of food, the different races, the different religions/factions or the other problems. The drought is most likely to be due to global warming. We could not be being unrelated with this issue.

With the right of collective self defence permitted against our constitution by the present cabinet, our government is likely to send the JSDF to the Middle East. They say it won't be involved in any war there. Even if their operation is limited to the logistic support to the other country's military, the JSDF must be regarded as an enemy to the opposite side, most likelily some Islamic country or organization. It would be much more probable that JSDF might be involved in war and we would be the target by the terrorists even in our country.

We should behave against the terrorist's aim. There is room for the islamic radicalism infiltrates among the people in the Middle East. It is necessary to disentangle the problems multilayered over there in one by one fashion. In doing so, we need to respect each other in religion, philosophy and political ideas. It is no use to try to destroy the other completely. It would cause the vicious cycle of hatred. I would strongly approve Merckel's announcement and the other movements in various countries to appeal for the integration of the people as the same human being.

In a morning

I came in the shack pretty late this morning. At 01Z, 15m was already dead. On 20m, nothing was heard on CW portion of the band. On 14195KHz, there was the beacon from W7, that is, W2NQ/W7, calling CQ checking the propagation for DX as he announced as usual. Someone was kidding him running the recorded material of his CQ on the same freq. He has NEVER QUIT as he phonetically announces his suffic.

Assured of the path open at least to the West Coast, I called CQ which was answered by N2NA in Maine. He was pretty loud here. No one else than him was heard. We have had a nice chat for half an hour until he was called by his wife. As a matter of fact, the overall activity is ... the rest is omitted since I have already spoke of the same thing many times.

On 40m, JAs are exchanging peculiar numbers as if it were their job. The numbers are of course for various awards. It seems the kinds of the numbers are proliferating. Many hams must have finished the awards already published, so that they might need something new. How many awards would they go on establishing? No, it is not my business.

We might be going through an era when ham radio is losing its fundamental power and activity. One of the origin for ham radio activity was a yearning to know someone far away through the radio. It is being forgotten.