At a domestic concert in the univ. orchestra camp back in '70s

Classical music, especailly chamber musics, used to charm me so much. My mother used to seriously worry when I kidded her to quit the med school and to enter a music univ. for study in cello. I started cello when I entered the med school and was not good at it at all. But, since I have changed my speciality from mechanical engineering to medicine no so long before that, my mother was anxious to know what I would do next! A sweet mother.

In the end of summer vacation, the med school orchestra used to have a camp in a mountain area. We have spent a few days devoting ourselves to practising orchestral works. It was a real fun and an enthusiastic time for me. At the end of the camp, we used to hold a small concert for the club members. Since I was oriented to chamber musics from the beginning, I always asked friends to play some chamber music and "forced" them to listen to us in such a concert. The photo above was such a scene in '70s. I can't recall what piece we played. Maybe an easy piece of Mozart etc. It doesn't matter me. It is more important to me that, from this piece of old photo, I could listen the sound of the breeze coming down from the mountain as well as could see the mellow touch of sun ray coming through the window of the hall.

Like a kaleidoscope

Last night, I have enjoyed working with the entire north hemisphere on 40m at the same time. It was a fun to hear G4FOC doing with a pile up from the Europeans while the East Coasts with modest set ups were talking each other. I felt as if watching the kaleidoscope. Even in the plateau of solar activity, we scarcely experience this condition. The inosphere makes us feel united each other all over the world.

Pete W1RM, listening me working a number of Europeans, has given me a mail telling about the 9th symphony  of Beethoven. I don't think he has intended to say this but believe this feeling of bonding across the borders of nations is as precious as the poem of Schiller which used to recite in the begininng of the new era of citizenry when the world requires cosmopolitanship.

By the way, the only thing I was not very happy with is that some operators finish their transmission with "BK" omitting sending each other's call sign. Do they save sometime of their lives with this type of operation? I feel hurried up by him. I always tell him that he seems to rash somewhere so I won't hold him any longer. I am discouraged to finish the QSO very soon. Meeting someone on the air is only a happening by accident. But once we meet on a band at sometime, we should take it an important thing in our lives. Why not making QSOs in a courteous and fruitful way? Isn't it against the modern trend to do things like a computer game?


The garden in fall

The backyard and the entrance in the beginning of this month. Ginko trees, hedge trees named Dohdan or azalea and an apricot tree were all changing their colors. The leaves of some of them were already fallen by now.


We don't have a habit of taking Chirstmas holidays in Japan. It was a quiet and peaceful weekend for us. I have seen a few patients in emergency at the clinic. Norovirus infection is in a moderate outbreak here. This highly contagious virus is making a rash course of vomit and diarrhea in many cases. Except for that, I spent relaxing days on the last weekend. The only thing special for the season was just listening to the Mass in H minor by Bach. I have made a terrible mistake in spelling of this music as "the Mess in H minor" in some QSOs. A really shameful messy mistake.

I am still pretty active on 40m around 13Z and on 15m around 22Z. Forty meters around sunset used to be  my favorite band years ago. It always sounds very vacant these days. Very few signals of night owl from statesside or early birds from Europe. It is not the case on 40m around the sunrise in US. There are a number of guys getting on and sometimes giving me a call in a row. It was like attending a Christmas party at a friend's home last Saturday. I have had very good conversations with a number of friends from statesside. Fifteen meters is pretty stable for DX, which I like much. I like listening the hollow sound of CW coming over the north pole. I am finishing a day with QRQ contact with the usual company like Steve N6TT on 40m around the sunrise time in the West Coast.

I am often told or asked about my plan for the trip to Seattle next July. The answer is definitely yes, so far. I have confirmed the doctor to come and take over my office a few days ago. He said affrimative and is getting ready for the move now. My wife has alrady taken the passport for that trip. I should do many paper works for this transition. I guess everything will go on smoothly. I could not help, however, smiling to hear someone rumors about my trip to Seattle. I should have kept it a secret, maybe.

This weekend, I will go to my parents in law place in JA5, where all family members gather. My father in law is taking a cardiac catheterization at a hospital as a regular check up while mother in law staying at a nursing facility. Both of them are supposed to be back home by the weekend. I haven' seen them so often in the past. I should apologize them for that and do anything I could for them.

So, my friends, look for me on the above mentioned band/time. I will be very pleased to hear your voice on CW.


Season's greetings to you!

Around this time of a year, it has been a routine for me to extend the season's greetings to my friends by a mail and, later, a post in weblog. Here is another greetings to you all with some news of my life.

It has been a year of drastic change for me.

First of all, my mother has passed away at the age of 96 years on Apr 29th. She was born and had grown up here in a country side. She married to my father at a sanatolium for patients with pulmonary tuberculosis where she had worked as a nurse. My aunt had managed that facility with her firm belief in Christianity when tuberculosis remained a fatal illness. A few years later, when tuberculosis won't be fatal with the appearance of antibiotics and, eventually, such a sanatolium was not necessary in the society any longer, my parents have decided to leave for Tokyo. My mother has worked very hard as a nurse while father as a blue worker at a hospital. I still have a fond memory of my mother in nurse uniform working vividly at a Salvation Army hospital in a suburb of Tokyo. When she retired from her work some 30 years ago, she came back here to live together with us. I and my wife owe much to my parents to raise our three children here. In the last decade of her life, she gradually suffered from dementia. Fortunately, her personality has been preserved pretty well until the very last moment in her life despite of losing recent memory. She was always smiling at us except when asking repeatedly about our father who had passed away 8 years ago. Despite of her serious illness since last fall, she has not stopped smiling us and was even asking about my family when I saw her. She passed away so quietly as if a candle was being put out. I believe it was a blessing to her that she had spent her last days in such a peace. She has left us some time to share memories in our lives and to let us get prepared for her passing away. According to her wishes, she was sent to my mother med school in Tokyo after being worn a nurse uniform. She has lived one of the best lives as a wife, a mother and a nurse throughout her life, even though it was not an apparently successful life from common viewpoint.

I was shocked at the earthquake as well as the nuclear power plant accident in Mar 11/12. It looked as if a TV drama had been going on when I watched the video of tsunami repeatedly on TV. The nuclear power plant accidents have been of much interest to me. More than an interest. It seemed to jeopardize our own exisitence in the world. I had been apathic for a week or so after the disaster occurred. The sequel of the accident tells us that the authorities in the administration has not been reliable regarding what is really occuring there or what will occur there in the future. I am sure most of the japanese people learned we should go on without the nuclear power plants. Together with the difficult situation in the coast areas suffering from the tsunami, this accident will go on being of my concern from now on.  I have been thankful to all the words of concern or encouragement from my friends all over the world.

It was a year when I realized of my age. It was immediately after the earthquake when I was diagnosed to have cataracts. I was standing on a parking lot of the ophtahlmologist helplessly watching the power line poles or the other structures swaying heavily. On the other day, I fell down on the stairs and got a bad sprain on my left knee. With carelessness, I have met a traffic accident. And so on. I am not proud of these aging phenomena. But I knew it was the time to downsize or quit my work. If I should go on in the same way, I might make a mistake or an error irredeemable in my private life or in my work. That was the main reason why I decided to retire by next April. Fortunately, a pediatrician would take over my business. I would go on working in parttime at this office. What would wait for me in retirement? Travelling, gardening, cooking or studying social sciences. Whatever it may be, I am sure I will enjoy it. Yes, I am planning travelling to Seattle with my wife next July, where W7 FOC event will be held. I am looking forward seeing old friends there.

In addition to my retirement plan, I am still hopeful for my family in the future. Our children, two of them studying medicine and nursing, respectively, are getting on their own way. The elder son is rehabilitating for social life after having had some mental problem away from home. Our daughter, a nursing student, is coming home every weekend and is a cheering flower to us. The second son is still studying medicine in Fukushima despite of the radiation problem. He is struggling with the the voluminous knowledge of anatomy etc for now.

I am at the entrance of senior age now. I should be ready for that. A poem by Robert Browning, "Grow Old", could be a motto for me at this time of my life. I don't believe in God as Christianity advocates but still believe in the existence of supreme power in the universe.

Grow Old 
Grow Old
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith 'A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all nor be afraid!

I wish you all the best for the holiday seasons and the upcoming new year.


Unreasonable announcement by our prime minister

Our prime minister has declared that they have achived the cold shut down at the crippled nuclear reactors. It should be criticized in that it doesn't express the real situation of the nuclear reactors and it could deceive the people into unreasonable optimism for the future.

The cold shut down describes a stable controlled state of nuclear reactors where the nuclear fuel is cooled down. The intact reactor is prerequisite for that state. The reactors in Fukushima are not, of course, intact at all nor under control. The present conditions are far from the real cold shut down. Even though the announcement carefully avoids using the term of the cold shutdown itself, it could mislead the public into believing the situations are drastcically improving as well as stabilized. Actually, the mass media are reporting the news as the achivement of the cold shutdown.

It may be difficult for them to deal with the nuclear fuel being melt through the containments. The contaminated water, about 90000tons in quantity, could be poured into the ocean, that results in further pollution of the sea water and, eventually, the sea products.
This article on this isssue in the NY Times seems to keep to the point.



Contaminated milk in the market

A formula milk product made by Meiji Dairies Corp. has turned out to be polluted with Cs137. The level is about 30Bq/Kg at the max that doesn't seem to be harmful to the babies. It was caused by a process to dry the milk by air. The raw material milk was produced in foreign countries before the nuclear plant accident. This milk product was manufactured at a factory in Kanto plain area about 150 km southwest of the nuclear power plant during Mar 14 and 20. The air drying the milk is suspected to be contaminated with Cs137. MDC is taking back the milk products in the market, even though most of them have been already consumed.

There are a couple of serious issues in this trouble. First, it was not MDC but a NPO which has pointed it out. MDC told they had not detected any contamination even though they checked it in a specimen of the lot produced during the period once a month. MDC or other major dairies corporations are told to have been reluctant to reply in detail to inquiries about contamination by their consumers. The contamination of radioactives seems to extend to large areas covering most of the eastern Japan. We should be prepared for that. And the food manufacturers should be ready for publishing any data concerning the contamination as soon as they get it. Not only the manufacturers but also the related government offices should realize that hiding those data or even not being willing to open them to the public  may injure themselves badly. Opening them to the public is the first step to solve the issue.

Second, the air in this area seemed highly contaminated for a week or two after the nuclear power plant accident. It should have been alarmed by the government. Those vulnerable to irradiation such as infants, toddlers or pregnant females could have evacuated indoor etc if they have warned it at proper timing. The government has not done what they should do. The bureaucracy and the government offices haven't worked at that time. I wonder if they have reflected on this fault in risk management. The system should be reformed to cope with such serious accidents.  So far, unfortunately, any actions toward this way have not been noted yet.


Odes to the great bug users

Bug key, it is an accompaniment to land line and, eventually, radio communication. It has lived since the days of ham radio pioneer together with us. Its simple structure produces musical code. The dots are so powerful  that it pushes on codes while the dashes calm down the energy from the dots. Both of them comprise the music of Morse code. It sounds like highly individualized music. There is no way the same keying in the world. Unfortunately, nowadays, there are less bug users on the air. Especially much less proficient bug users now. It seems like a perishing art. It might be worth remembering those good bug operators like instrument virtuosi in music in the old days.

Robin ZS5KI used to be on 40m at midnight in our time back in 1960s. He used to work with the West Coasts such as Merle K6DC at that time.  He used to send fluent code from his bug. Not very loud but still very fascinating to me, a beginer teen age boy.  Unfortunately, I heard he had had health problem and had gone SK not so long after those days.

Merle K6DC, formerly W6ULS, was one of the regular big guns who used to work with ZS or europeans through the long path on 40m at midnight in our time. A real big gun. Always S9 plus. His bug was weighing a little bit heavily and flowing smoothly. A warm hearted guy with a good sense of humor. He used to break in me telling go to bed when I stayed up late at night in 1980s. An elmer for me.

Kemp K7UQH was a great bug user as well. His bug sounded orthodox with crisp dots in fairly slow speed. His code was always constant. With his warm personality, it has always relieved me a lot whenever I heard him with bug. He has been a good friend of mine since 1960s. He knew very well of each model of Vibroplex. He used to send me cloth to clean the contacts of bug. a few years ago. He has had a problem with his ICOM gear and has told me it was the time of QRT when his gear acted up. It was not so long before I could not hear him any longer. No reply to my inquiry by mail.

 AH2G Joe has sent a crisp and beautiful code from his bug. It was in 1980s when I used to chat with him. He used to tell me he won't need any QSLs for he has received boxes of cards already. A serious and interesting guy. I surely miss his beautiful bug CW.

Sam W6TSQ was a keen DXer. With his S line, his bug sounded powerful and fluent. S line produced a bit of chirpy signal but the tone sounded mellow and pure. He was a ragchwer as well. I have visited him at his home on a hill. His wires were set among high trees around there. His warm and mellow signal is surely missed.

Del W8KJP, formerly HL9DC, was a great bug user. He operated with a perfect bug in Korea around 1990. High dot dash ratio code. So neat and constant. He is still active from Fl but his health problem won't let him use that bug any longer. I surely remember of his beautiful bug.

Me? Out of any objective of ode. I am just practising it to be a real bug user after those old friends. A long way to go. Nowadays, there are less and less real good bug users on the air, I am afraid. Is there anyone who would make a record file of those great bug user's signal?


In the univ. orchestra in 1976

It was 1976 when I was on the stage of the university orchestra in Tokyo. The main program was the 1st symphony of Brahms. I was on the top side of celli part. It was only 3 or 4 years after I had started learning cello. The performance as well as my mind was burning. It was exciting to be in the flood of music.

Long time since I met this company. Time has passed. The memory is, however, shining brightly  in my mind as an ever lasting star.

I am scanning old pictures before they deteriorate. This is one of them. Just recalling good old days. 

The earthquakes in the time course

Someone has posted this clip to Youtube. It shows where earthquakes with the magnitude more than 3.0 have occurred in the time course around the devastating one on Mar11 in Japan. It depends on the official data and seems quite reliable.

From this clip, we intuitively notice that there was an increase of frequency of earthquakes in the area on the day before where the deavastating one hit on Mar 11th. It could be a prodrome of the big one. During the devastating earthquake, the other parts of Japan has spared with earthquakes. Was there any suppresion mechanism working ? There has been definite tendency of increased frequency of earthquakes going on in Japan after that on Mar 11th.

We should be prepared for the ongoing period of increased number of earthquakes for some time from now. Tokai area in cetral Japan facing to Pacific ocean, where a big earthquake has been predicted to occur, seems a little bit silent as for earthquake activity. This makes us feel rather worried. We should be prepared whatever happens there.

It is nonsense to live depending on the nuclear power plants which could be destroyed by an earthquake resulting in a devastating damages and pollutions to the adjacent vast areas.

The conclusion is clearly that only decommission of all nuclear power plants will save our country and innovation of new energy strategies other than nuclear power generation should be encouraged. No other choice.

The clip is here;



Melt through at the nuclear reactor

The Tokyo Electric Power Co., TEPCO, has estimated the extent of the melt through of the nuclear fuel at the crippled reactors. It is based on the simulation by computer. The worset case seemed to have occured at the first reactor. According to their analysis, the melt nuclear fuel got through the reactor vessel down to about 13 feet above the the outer containment base.

Hydrogen explosions have occured at three of five nuclear power plants, which has definitely caused the terrible fallout all over. It is not known how hydrogen produced at the nuclear fuel surface has gone through not only the reactor vessel but also the outer containment, that was prerequisite for the explosion. I guess the fuel melt through those structures, which could release the hydrogen gas freely into the room, and it has also caused the acclereation of the hydrogen production. Of course, the tubing structures around the reactor must be destroyed by the earth quake before that. It might facilitate the release of hydrogen gas as well.

We should remeber that the government spokesman used to announce repeatedly there had not been any melt down occuring there for a week or so after the accident happened. The TEPCO as well as the government have been revealed to be aware of the high possibility of the melt through phenomenon at that time. They have been inclined to announce their estimate of the situation in the better way than it really is.

We must suspect the melt through is going on in much worse way. The above mentioned estimate must be biased to the better way by TEPCO. Then we should consider the sequel to this worse possibility. I suspect there have been the melt fuel getting through through the base concrete structure. If not getting through, it must has been penetrating through the concrete or the cracks of the base. It might result in the contamination of the ground water. If this occurs in reality, there has been much contamination into the ocean going on. It is not reported how the underground water beneath the nuclear power plants are contaminated. It should be urgently investigated. If such contamination is suspected, any procedure to prevent it such as constructing metal wall underground should be taken.


A good thing not replaceable to anything in our life

This morning  the higher bands had generally sounded dead for the NA until I realized it started to open that way around 23Z. The signals sounded watery on the quiet background. I was called by Jim WB9VRP in South Bend Indianna.

We have done the typical shortyQSO. When we almost finished it, he told me we might had QSO long time ago. I have looked up my simple index note book, which is almost torn after over 20 years of use. Yes, it was Dec 15 1981 when we made the very first contact. He has a good memory.

It was at that moment when he sounded a little bit excited to know that. It is always amazing that we could notice the other emotionally moving through the keying. He has started to let me know what radio he used to use those days. He is only 52 years old, a young lad for me. I was also trying to recall those days, when I was at the dorm of a med school hospital, as I told in the other post. I told him I had upgraded my antenna from 14AVQ to 4 elements since then.

I was sorry I should get ready for my work soon and could not go on chatting with him. Coming across with such a guy as Jim after so many year absence, I could recall those old days and feel as if we shared our lives for that long time.

Isn't it a fun? It may not be so exciting or amusing but is still a good thing in life, which is not replaceable to anything. I will go on enjoying such a thing in the rest of my ham radio career.

Quiting CWops

I have quit the CWops.

A couple of years ago, Jim, N3JT, has given me an email telling me that he would establish an international club for CW enthusiasts and asked me to join it. In the begininng, I thought it had been his joke or kidding as he used to do. Having been involved in the conflict in the other major CW club, he and his company seemed to want to set up another club which they could do whatever they want. An international club to promote CW activities.

 I have written, in the previous post , about how an amateur ham radio club stands for. From that standpoint, I am sure now that the club has been oriented to the different way that I believe it should be. While the slogan says it is covering every aspect of CW activities in amateur ham radio, it is heading to be a contest club. And it is becoming a club for the US members as well. The posts in the mailing list concern mostly of contests and of local topics in the US. I won't blame that at all. I was feeling, however, a little bit discomfortable to be in the fellows who are contest or competetion oriented. As a non contest oriented member in Asia, I could not help feeling the club had been heading to be a local contest club in the US.

I have been asked by a couple of members at different occasions to help to promote their contests in Japan. I answered yes to them promptly. I have given them some ideas to internationalize the contests. Nonetheless, I have not had any proper response from them or have been almost neglected by one of them. They are concerned about only how to advertise their contests but not about how to improve it as international contests.

I know they might say there are many aspects of the club, not only the contest but also elmering the beginners and so forth. But so far as I have experienced in the club, it is not the reality. I won't blame the contest oriented people at all. They should enjoy it as they want. But I won't remain being a member in such a club any longer.

Now, it is over. I could enjoy ham radio as I want to. I won't be bothered to unwillingly join the contests or to be asked to promote the contests etc. I still believe in the founders' good will to establish an international club to promote CW activities. I wish it will come true in the future. I appreciate the members who let me in as a charter member and give me the directorship position in the club.