Ambiguous "?"

I have posted about the problem of "?" message to CQ at a group for CW operators in Facebook. As soon as finishing calling CQ, I often hear someone sending only "?" on the same frequency. In my view, it should never be responded since it is ambiguous and not understandable what the sender means. Some people have approved my opinion while the others tell me it is obviously meaning to send my call sign again.

The ambiguity of that "?" could be as follows;

1)The sender most likelily want me to repeat my call sign since he could not copy it completely.

2)He might wonder if I am calling CQ or not since he has just heard the very last part of CQ.

3)He could just kid me with "?".

4)He is just seeking a rare one. Recognizing me as a JA, he would quit there without saying anything to me. This is related with the situation 1). Too often I encounter this situation.

5)He would call the other station close to my spot.

2) to 5) are not pleasant cases. I would ask him to listen carefully or to quit from me.

In the case of 1), he should send me the part of my call sign as he incompletely copied.

I could smell a kind of autistic tendency, or monologous attitude in this "?" sending. That may be the main reason why I hate this kind of behaviour. CW is for communication. Why not communicating on this mode? It is not an inhuman game but a real communication between human beings. You should express your intention to give me a call in this setting.

 To this "?", I would not reply anything. There is a decent and courteous manner for such a situation, which has been established by the forerunners.

A miraculous path over the north pole

The bands have been messed with a few contests at the same time this morning. I still enjoyed several good contacts mainly with NA. Tom K5RC came through with S9plus signal thanks to his 24el in stack. But I felt it was the time to close the shop here.

For my last CQ, Villi TF3DX/M has called me. Crisp and skillful fist. A pretty big signal for mobile as well. S7 when beamed toward him. It was 01AM in TF land. He said the band could black out due to aurora from time to time but rarely opened this way. He has sneaked, as he said, to the beach for radio while his wife enjoyed TV at home.

A miraculous path over the north pole. Surprising work of ionosphere! Such an experience keeps me staying on the radio even if I am often depressed or disappointed much there. He has made my day!


A beautiful season

Dogwood trees along the street are in full bloom. Flowers are coming out one after another. A beautiful season.

I won't feel bored with gardening at all. Under bright sun, I have spent almost all day pulling the weeds in the garden.

It is the season which reminds me of my parents. Sometimes, when something falls or moves with wind, I look at the house where my parents used to live. I still feel as if they were still living there. In a second, I realize it is the past.

Azalea along the entrance is also starting to bloom. Caring for this tree and others, I still recall having worked together in the garden with my father. It was not until age of forties that I got interested in gardening. It was not too long that I had worked with him in the garden.
Some friends of mine tell me I am too pessimistic for life. But I still feel a life is only a blow of wind. Only for a moment. Working in the garden, I always feel that. Strangely enough, it is a moment when I feel most peaceful at the same time.
In 6 days, the 4th anniversary of my mother will come.


Teriyaki of yellowtail

Teriyaki means broiling with soy sauce and sweetened sake. Yellowtail is often broiled together with soy sauce and sweetened sake. In that recipe, yellowfish tends to become tough.

In this recipe, after being dealt with salt, yellowfish is wrapped with aluminum foil and is broiled as it is usually cooked. Soy sauce, sweetened sake and sugar are cooked while fish is getting grilled. Sliced ginger is added to the sauce. Finally, the viscous sauce with ginger is put on the broiled yellowfish. Yellowfish remains soft and tasty.

I bet this recipe will enable you enjoy one of the first quality yellowfish dishes, which you could enjoy only at a traditional reataurant in Japan.


Tomato plants getting through cold front

After warm daytime, we have got hail with wind bringing cold atmosphere here now The forecast said we would have cold front passing by this area this evening. I have slighted it. It also says it will get cold down to 2 deg C tomorrow morning.

I have planted 5 new young plants of tomato in the garden farm today in spite of those forecast informations. I hope they will survivie this weather. I went out and looked the plants which were alive so far. These plants are like family members.

 Farming is really similar to medicine in respect of dealing with lives. In medicine, we could never correct any failure. Failure leads to death of patients in the worst case. Even infrequently, we still face to such critical situation. In this respect, farmers should be respected as much as medical doctors should be.

This reminded me of my daughter who had started career at an ICU as a nurse. When I called her on the phone a few days ago, she told me she got worn out after work in the evening but was still vivid. The critical situations which she might face to at ICU would give her good lessons, so that she could work at any ward in her life. She did not seem to thank my words at all. In the future, she might know what I meant.

May my lovely tomato plants stay alive tomorrow. Of course, I won't mean to compare them to the patients at all.


Matt N7EG SK

Lat night, Dave W7AQK let me know our mutual friend, Matt, N7EG, passed away last week.

I have known Matt for several years since he had his former call signs of KA7PKG and then K7PEG. He often called me on 40m with his swinging bug early in the evening in our time. He used old Atlas transceivers with a bit of chirp and drift, which have improved later. Like his keying with the old bug, he always made witty jokes and quit soon. I loved his way of operation so much.

Once, when I saw him sitting at his shack on the photo in QRZ.com, I told him he looked like an old prophet in the bible days. He liked that saying very much. I was surprised to find an Astatic mic standing on the table. I was sure he would had been a CW only operator. He told me he had been involved in the emergency communication net on SSB. Later, I knew he had been on some other net on 40m, where he talked to friends of mine as well.

I was surprised to hear that he had been working as a volunteer counsellor at a hospital there. Since he was a veteran from WWII and suffered from alcoholism, he has worked for those with alcoholism mostly due to their service in Iraq etc. It seemed his life work. I have not expected such an activity in his career which looked quite different from his way of operation on CW. Dave told me he had been kind and generous to the others all the time. At this time I heard of his volunteer work, I have respected him not only for a proficient CW operator but also as a human being.

He seemed to be 90 years old. It was a great loss for us that he passed away and his key went silent. However, he might have lived a great life for himself as well as for the people around him.

Rest in peace, my friend.


Try tomatoes grow earlier

In Japan, it is the rainy season from June to July. Tomatoes are apt to get sick during that period unless chemicals are given to them and/or rain is avoided in green house. Earlier growth is risked by frost which could occur until the end of this month.

I wanted to try to have them grow without any chemicals earlier. Seeded in small pots, they have been germinated successfully. They still need much sunray.

I would purchase some grafted young plants of tomato later as well.
Nothing is more tasty than fresh tomato.
Yes, I have become a temporary farmer as well as a cook since retirement.