Bach by Gould and Menuhin

Bach has left charming sonatas for violin which won't require us so much concentration and strain as the famous unaccompanied sonatas/partitas. I have loved this one since student days. They say the theme of the 1st movement in the style of Scicillienne is much like the alto aria "Er barme dich" in Matthews Passion of the same composer. A feeling of yearning for something as well as a sorrow sounds to be in the melodies at the same time. This ambivalence in the spirit of music seems characteristic fot Bach. I could figure the other examples in his vast works.
This combination of players sound also very attractive. Menuhin plays orthodoxical Bach while Gould's touch is so light as droplets of dew shining in morning sun ray. Gould even sung playing this piece. No pedal use at all.
I used to listen to this music quite often at the dorm of med school. It was when I started cello. This performance has brought me back to those days. I remeber a dull room with a bed and a desk. The music flew like a song relieving me. The audio set and cup full of tea. Moreover, it reminds me of what I was thinking of those days. Music surely works in the deepest portion in our mind. 



A Season's Greetings

Again, it was a year of drastic change for me this year. The most prominent thing was that I had finished my private practice this spring, which I had managed as the president for 17 years. It brought me to the state of semiretirement. The reasons to go for this change were multiple. I got eye problem and the other health problems, even though they were not serious. I wanted to go for travelling etc before I got too old to do so. I was fed up with the laborious and often meaningless negotiations with the administrative offices, which had been governed by bureaucracy. Without it, I might have gone on working at my practice a bit longer. Lastly, there was a doctor who would like to take over my work. Even though I still feel lost due to this change, it might be one of the best chances for me to have it taken over by that pediatrician.

I have been asked by ham friends how I had felt in retirement. It has still been a difficult question for me to answer. In a word, I am still ambivalent about it. I feel being lost in a place where I don't belong to anything like own practice. It was anothe big loss for me not to be able to see my old patients. Some of their parents used to be my patients years ago as well. It is comparable to loss of family members that I felt at the loss of patients. At the present part time job in a hospital, most patiens are just new to me. I won't be able to get in close touch with them at all. Being a doctor, especially a pediatrician, must end up in this way.

On the other hand, I could enjoy gardening, doing house chores and preparing dinner almost every day. I realized how little I had done for the family in the past. I would catch it up for now. It has been a pleasure for me. When I feel time passing quietly while working at home, I am sure it would be another chapter of my life for now.  It makes me satisfied. In some time, this satisfaction would replace feeling of loss described above.

It is unforgettable memory that I and Chiaki have visited the West Coast in this summer. It has given me a great pleasure to see friends, either old or new, in person. One highlihgt was meeting old Kemp K7UQH, whom I had known since 1960s on radio and had met for the very first time in eye ball. Another old friend, Bob W6CYX and his family as well as Steve N6TT and his family have treated us nicely. The schedule was so tight that we could visit only few places. However, this experience of travelling abroad may hopefully have us plan another one in the near future. As Jim W6YA told me, Visalia in 2014 might be another target. Since I met some new friends in Seattle this summer, each QSO with them like John AK4Z makes me feel more pleasant than ever.

Our country has had the election the other day. It seemed the people were disgusted at the former government. Some of them haven't even gone for the vote. It resulted in the winning of LDP, the conservative party, which had been beaten by DPJ 3 years ago. LDP seems to aim at changes toward the "traditional" conservatism in Japan. In my view, they won't examine themselves for what they had done before they fell down from the dominating party position. As I already told here, they would establish a nation which goes for war abroad in alliance with the US. They would override the fundamental human right of the people, which is the fundamental idea of the modern constitution in the world. In the economy, they are increasing the budget for the civil engineering constructions and aiming at the targetted inflation issuing more national bonds. They won't care for the large amount of the debts of the country. I am afraid it won't go well for us if these policies come true. Just watching what happens.

I have been practising the first piano trio by Mendelssohn with the same violinist and pianist. Our trip and the other chores have prevented us from doing that in regular interval. Since they kindly offer me to go on practising it together, I would go on with it even though my pace is so slow and unstable.

Our family is doing well even though each one has own problems. I am happy to tell you everyone will welcome a New Year being blessed with good health.

I wish you all very best for the holiday season and a New Year as well. My gratitude to every friend for your friendship this year. See you on the air or on the line.

Shin Onisawa


Comparing CW sending with playing music

It seems interesting for me to compare sending CW using a key with performing music with an instrument.

For the first process, we consider what to send with CW using a key and what to perform with the instrument. For CW, the topic and the way it should be sent might be of concern. The topic might be variable from the QSO formula to self introduction etc. We choose the way how to send it, slow or fast, strictly controlled or freely composed and so forth. In music performance, we should determine what piece we would play. How about the tempo, the rhythm, the tonal quality and so forth. These factors could be changed within a music. Without that changes, the music sounds colorless and expressionless. We might image of any particular sender or the player when considering of the way how to send or how to perform.  He or she might be the one whom we yearn for their ability in expressing themselves in CW or in music.

Then, our higher center in brain orders the motor center various things. The latter may choose the way of motion as well as the background tension of each muscle involved in that motion. Prior to have this process realize, we need to obtain the intrinsic memory to do some complicated motion for a purpose. That is why we need to practise hard to enjoy CW or playing music. Practice makes it possible to perform the motion without being conscious of the motor function every time.

Depending on the order from the motor center, the parts of our body try to move purposefully. The interaction between the key/instrument and our body produces beautiful CW or music in a successful case. Our body should be in a relaxed position and could move freely as the motor center orders. It is needless to say the key/instrument condition should be optimal for the operation/performance.

During operation/performance, we should go on listening to the codes/music we are sending/playing and check if it is right in the tempo and quality. If it sounds out of order, we should feed it back to the higher center. It will instantaneously modify and improve the CW and the music in the same process descibed above. This feed back is quite important for us to improve our skill in sending CW and in performing music. This will enable the operator or the performer improve his/her skill. It is often difficult for some beginners to do this by themselves. Thus, there should be a reason why a teacher or an elmer is necessary for them. In complicated culture of music, the presence of a good teacher is essential in learning  instrumental performance.

Thinking of the relationship between CW and music, I again realized how complicated instrument performance is compared with sending CW with a paddle. CW sending is a simple and easy motion, even though reception of CW requires much exercise. Anyway, for now, I am going to grasp my cello much more often than a paddle, even though I am not so optimisstic for my future with it.


The result of the election

The election turned out apparently to be a big victory for LDPJ, the conservative party, which had lead the country for the most part of the post WWII period except for the last 3 years. As the media report it was not their victory but the selfinflicted collapse of DPJ. Because the latter has done what they didn't promise in the manifesto but has not done what they promised. The absolute number of voters to LDPJ has not increased at all. Those being dissatified at DPJ have voted to the other small parties than both LDPJ  and DPJ or have not gone for vote.

This phenomenon means that quite some people have lost interests or rather faith in politics. Even though there are so many issues urging us to solve, they don't seem to be involved in politics. It was particularly impressive that they seem to have lost interests in nuclear power ngeneration issue. Those parties who claimed of independence from that energy source did not get much approval. I wonder if they won't learn that even 54 nuclear power plants are placed in our country where earthquakes frequently occur. The quake activity is increasing at present. Most nuclear power plants are getting old and vulnerable to quakes now. In the begininng of this election campaign, the power companies have applied for the raise of power cost with an excuse that they need it due to the high cost for the fossil fuel to compensate the stopped nuclear power plants. It might negatively influenced on the votes to those anti nuclear power plants parties.

This election should have been the choice for what nation we would make. The market dependent globalism or the social overhead capital oriented society? The nation which will resort to war or not? Is it due to immaturity of our society? Or are those problems hidden by the mass media? It is too bad if they won't realize them without any painful experiences. The matured capitalistic countries won't, anti neoliberalism economists say, make drastic growth of the economy. I am inclined to believe it to be true. There could never be an endless rise in demand as the market fundamentalism insists even if it is persistently stimulated.  We should be ready for slowed growth of the economy and take the social overhead capitals as important thing in our lives. It leads to the policy not to be involved in the hegemony by any nations in the world. We should keep the rule of the present constitution.


Restoring faith in people and future

Jim W6YA has sent me a mail as follows. It is for BCC mail and could be published here.


If you could use a little boost during this holiday season, here is your
chance. This should put a smile on your face and restore your faith in

Jim McCook



2012 is going over soon leaving many things behind. I sometimes felt to have been beaten down by the events this year. I don't want to be so pessimistic for the future. However, my personal as well as public situation are not so promising to me.

This performance in the video clip was of course produced there somewhere in Italy. But it still gives power to restore faith in people as well as the future itself as Jim says in his mail, even though the 4th chapter was arranged and curtailed. I was really toughed by this clip.

My season's greetings to you will follow soon.


CW sending and health condition

Last night, as ususal, I had a nice chat with Steve N6TT. When he called me on 40m, he surely sounded fine and in great shape. His CW sounded like a superman flying from over the buildings. Fast and steady with the spaces between words being just right and having to be in that way. No errors at all. I knew he had had good sleep before he mentioned about that. He often has had a problem of insomnia, as he said. As I expected, he told me he had taken good rest the day before.

Steve and Jim W6YA in Steve's shack. Before his collection of keys.

CW sending is deteremined by many factors like the set up, the keyer and the key etc. These are always constant and not varying from day to day. But health condition or amount of sleep clearly makes up the quality of sending CW as well. If the operator has had good sleep and in good health, sending could be so smooth and reflects directly the sender's ability. It is changeable from day to day.

I sadly remember the last days of Steve Eichman WA6IVN, who has had a malignant lymphoma since his young days. We often talked in 1980s when I came back on the radio. He sounded to fill his life with as many things valuable as possible. Boating, hiking and ham radio. It seemed as if he had hurried up living his life. Both contesting and DXing have occupied his mind at first. But later, when he had got another cancer and has gradually lost his physical strength, he seemed to enjoy chatting on CW.  We routinely chatted on 40m CW those days. In sometime, as his condition deteriorated, he became inactive. In 1991, just before my 3rd trip to the Bay area, he has given me a call after some interval. His fist was not like before. Sluggish, staggering with improper and inconsistent spaces between words. I realized how he felt as soon as I heard him calling my call sign. I was so sad to hear him in that way. I could not remeber what we talked at that time. But his fist at that time still remains in my memory.

So, so far as we could enjoy the vivid and pleasant CW, we should do that. I would enjoy each QSO with friends like Steve N6TT all the time. We could tell our health and mental conditions from keying. We should be more aware of that. And  we should be considerate and gentle for the other people, I believe.  It is what I tell to myself.


In the warm sunshine

We have a small house behind ours in the same property, where my parents used to live. It is a humble house in japanese style with low ceilings. Yesterday, it was so sunny that I ventilated the rooms opening the windows. Everything remained at the same place as it used to be when our parents lived there. When I was in a room there, I was caught by an illusion that parents had been standing at the corridor. They were wearing the same casual jacket and smiling at me from behind. The same appearance of the room may make that illusion on me.

I recalled how long it has gone since they passed away. 8 years since my father gone, while only a year and a half since mother left. The length of the time is only a blink when looked back, while it is eternal in the prospective view. I am not sure if I could see them at "that time". It is for a second as well as an eternity for me. All I could do is to go on live my life recalling of them as good old being for me.

Standing still there for a while, I was thinking as described here.

This photo was taken one month ago, when I had their matresses sunbathed on the velanda of their house. My father used to do this when he was well. I sometimes find myself doing the same thing now and could not help smiling at me.


An anachronism

Our LDP has published a plan for revised constitution. I was surprised to read it over last night. That plan deletes the article of the fundamental human right from the present constitution. It adds a new artilce that the people should obey the constitution, which is not in the present constitution. This is actually against the philosophy of modern constitution that the constitution is to prevent the power of the nation from violating human rights of the people.

This is a terrible anachronism. We have been betrayed by the politicians for recent years. Some of us are apt to have extreme ideas of politics now. One of the extremitism is for the changeover back to the era before WWII. I am sure this revision reflects that movement.

I know a nation needs a kind of religion or a religious idea where the people is united. We could never as well as should never return to the era of Emperor and the military dictation before WWII. LDP seems to aim at the nation which centers Emperor. Emperor centered nation, which worked as a kind of religion, has treated the people as slaves. It has also victimized the peoples in the neighbor countries. Haven't we founded our nation with regret for that history at the end of WWII?

The present problems we are facing to won't be solved by such an easy anachronism. I feel almost angry at those politicians who neglect the value of fundamental human rights which the people one or two generation(s) prior to us have achieved with sweat and blood.


A trip to Shikoku

I and my wife have visited my wife's parents, that is, the parents in law for me, on Sunday through Monday. Since both of them are older than mid 80s and mother in law is suffering from Alzheimers now, they have decided to enter a nursing home in Shikoku recently. I haven't visited them for several years now. I sure owe them a lot.

It was a fancy building that the facility is located in. A new care facility for elderly people. The facility is equipped with fancy furnitures and gorgeous lights on the ceil. The private rooms were not too small with a bed and least numbers of furnitures necessary for daily life. It didn't smell anything of the active normal life, though. Fortunately, the all staff looked cheerful and kind. For father in law, like the other care recipients in the facility, it is not allowed to go out without any accomapnying person. He did not mention of that but must felt it a bit of strain to himself.

Mother in law has had a fracture of femur head and could hardly converse with anybody. My wife told she had nodded to her when my wife greeted to her. She uttered a few syllables of thanks, as wife said, and finally teared a bit. In a few minutes, she seemed to be so tired that she fell asleep again. She, together with father in law, had worked hard as an officer at a local governmental office as well as a house wife for over 40 years. They have raised two daughters. As soon as she retired, her mother, that is, my wife's grandmother has needed care for daily routine. Mother in law has served and cared for her for about 10 years until grandmother passed away. It won't take only a few years when she could enjoy things for herself like travelling, making dolls and careing for flowers in the garden etc before she  developed dementia. She used to be a sharp person who planned and executed anything by herself for every family member. She was quietly lying on the bed at present without anything reminding us of her several years ago. It seemed to me she was living the present time, not for herself, but for the family members who should say farewell to her. I could hardly think of anybody like her who had lived for the other people throughout her/his life.

Yesterday, we, father in law, my wife's sister and her son, my wife and me, have taken a nice lunch at a restaurant. We headed back home thereafter. I would return there oftener. Aging is not the others' problem but is own for sure.

It was stormy last night. Most of the gingko tree has had leaves fallen on the ground.


A gift from heaven to us

I have had good contacts with Alan AC2K and Bill W7AAZ on 40m around 0530Z this afternoon. It is still 2 hours prior to sunset. The signals won't be so loud but, without much noise, are always easy to read. In an hour, the path will be open to Eu through the long way over the south Pacific. It is always attractive to me since the condition is on the uphill. Signals are always coming up as time goes by.

It reminded me of good old days. I was a beginner in ham radio. When I finished my school early in the afternoon, I always ran back home. I turned on home brew receiver, a double conversion hetrodyne, and strained my ears for weak signals from overseas. Sometimes, stations in Guam or Hawaii were working with the homelands. It was a real pleasure for me to catch someone from the US and to exchange some extra words other than the routine contents.

I was using a very simple set up while the statessides scarcely used big antenna even though they often ran a KW. My transmitter was only 10W, later at most 50W. The antenna was a dipole fed with ladder line feeder and a ground plane with a few radials. The full size and the floating radials must have been effective. But they were still a small set up compared with the present one. I would encourage the younger hams to get on 40m around this time of a day in this season. Unfortunately, there were less night owl hams in the west coast in the US, who would do with the beginners in JA. There could be chances for good conversation on CW at this time. It is a gift from heaven to us.   


The process of sending CW

I feel comfortable when sending CW synchronizes with the tempo I am thinking. Too fast QRQ sounds like an acrobat to me. Flowing conversation on CW without stagnation is ideal to me. Stagnation occurs when sending CW is too fast or too slow keeping pace with thinking. There seems a certain tempo which makes me happy in conversation on CW even if it may vary according to the situation.

I wonder what is that synchrony, what regulates that speed in sending and what is the rate limiting factor. The process of sending CW seems to be complicated, even if not so much as that in receiving.

In my view, the process of sending CW could be subdivided into the following four proceses.

1; Thinking what I should send in the context of the conversation going on.

2; Translating it into English. Or materializing the thought into sentences. Keeping the keywords in mind.

3;  Converting the sentence/words into CW codes.

4; Voluntarily moving arm, hands and fingers to send the codes.

All processed, especially the process from 1 to 3, are dependent on the clear consciousness. If I am not conscious or awake enough feeling sleepy or taking to much alcohol, these processed are highly disturbed.

The process 2 goes on smoothly or sluggishly depending on the topics. I could translate pretty freely when talking about personal experiences or, of course, about medical issues. In case with such as economy, politics or religions, it requires me a wide and profound range of knowledge. I could be slow in expressing my idea. Or even the process 1 is slowed down as easily expected.

The process 3 proceeds without any impediment. Of course, it is not the case with beginners. This could be the rate limiting process for them. In my case, this process goes on without being conscious of it. I could not boast ot this because I have had career on this mode for half a century.

The process 4 has been discussed in the previous article. For th smooth movements, the relevant arm and hand should be free from unnecessary tension. The elbow and hand/finger joints should be in light flexion. It enables them move freely and instantaneously.

Consciousness is composed of multple layers at a moment and, in the time course, is essentially a dialogue in ourselves. Since most of these processes proceed in our consciousness, there could be feedbacks and resultant modifications as the process goes on. When we think of what to say, we look for some keywords for that.  In the process 3, we always ask ourselves if that expression is proper or not.  If it doesn't seem right for our intension, we get back to the process 1 and start modifying message.  All these reflect the multiple phases of our consciousness.

 The rate limiting process depends on consciousness level, inteleectual ability, CW knowledge or motion capability. Non native speakers without much knowledge of English must have the process 2 for the rate limiting process. The process 3, as already told, might limit the rate for beginners. When aging disturbs fine movements of arm/hand, the process 4 should be determine the rate. In my case, small capability of inntelligence may limit the rate at the process 1.

As for me, the process 1 and 2 are important to enjoy conversation on CW. If they work out well, I feel very comfortable at the conversation. It depends on, in another words, the topic and the other person whom I talk to. When the CW speed just fits the tempo of thinking, it brings forth a pleasure to me. In case of too fast sending, even if I could do that phycically, it sounds restless to myself and the content could be flippant. The flow of thinking is always disturbed in that case.

I admit  there could be enjoyment with QRQ, so fast as seemingly far out of human ability, for some people. I won't go that way but on my own. 


Myaskovsky Cello Sonata

My nightcap recently has been the cello sonata Nr2 in a minor by Myaskovsky. It was performed by Warner for cello and Nuzova for piano. I got the CD recently. You may listen to it in Warner's site here;


A long lasting theme appears in cello with piano accompanying with beautiful arpeggio. It sounds like dreaming in melancholy. Warner, one of my favorite cellist, plays it in deep emotion. I love her cello for the profound expression of emotion. When it runs high, it could not stop moving me a lot. In the mellow and soft tune, I feel it is coming into my mind directly as if it were whispering to me.

I used to ask her if I could access to her performance of Brahms cello sonata in e minor. I had ever listened it somewhere in Youtube. It was a daringly strong and appealing performance. I like it also very much. The small piece of Scryabin, transcribed by Piatigorsky, is also attractive. I don't know if she put this clip in her site after I had asked about it. But it is very good of her to add it to the collection. I hope her to record and publish it soon. It deserves recording.

Such a proficient musician as her won't show up in the mass media, at least, in japan. It is too bad. I hope she as well as Nuzova attract more audience everywhere. Her warm and deep sound of cello cakms me down when going to asleep even though late romatic pieces often wake me up. So does it for you.


Reminiscence of a tree and flowers

A magnolia tree looks golden yellow and burning in the garden. The leaves will fall in a week or two. Then a real winter will be here.  My mother used to like this tree in this season as well as its flowers in spring.
This is a cluster of chrysanthemum planted by a helper lady who used to work for our parents years ago. My father loved these flowers so much. In late fall, there are several clusters of those flowers coming out at the same time. 

I still feel thankful to the helpers for my parents. Most of them have done very good work for them. Some of them have visited my parents when they were off the duty. This beautiful flower reminded me of those days.


Mushrooms highly contaminated far from the destroyed nuclear power plant

The latest issue of Asahi Shinbun in English version reports that wild mushrooms harvested at various places in the eastern Japan were contaminated with radioactive Cessium. It reports as follows;


Cesium levels have also risen in various areas compared with last year.

According to tests requested by the central government, the highest levels recorded this year were 120 becquerels in Aomori Prefecture, up from only 60 becquerels last year; 2,100 becquerels in Nagano Prefecture (1,320 becquerels last year); and 3,000 becquerels in Tochigi Prefecture (134 becquerels last year).


A researcher commented in this article that mushrooms could absorb Cesium easily for they were fungi. And those raidoactive substances attached to tree trunks or leaves in mountains might have been washed away by rain and eventually have been absorbed by mushrooms.

On the other hand, Fukushima Med Univ. has announced that they would establish a research center for irradiation problems spending 7.5 million USD. 600 people are supposed to be engaged in the medical research work there. This university is located about 80km west of the nuclear power plant and has been doing with the research work for the people in the contamnated area in Fukushima. The university staff have been announcing the irradiation is not of serious problem. If the issue won't be of such gravity, why would they found such a big research center?

It must mean the irradiation issue has been wide spread and serious at many places. The above mentioned mushroom in contamination may tell us that vast land of our country has been evidently contaminated by this accident. The contamination may be left as a curse to our country for a long time. We must, I believe, never have this happen again.


A vow after a shameful QSO

Yesterday, around the sunset, PT0S was coming here very loud on 40m. The path was again over the South Pacific. I misunderstood it was from PY0T, which I used to work years ago. But it was actually PY0S. I needed it for the last entity in S. America on 40m CW. As I repeatedly wrote, I have graduated from DXing some 10 years ago, when I completed all entities except for P5 on CW. 40m CW was my main concern where I needed TN, S0 and this PY0S, I guess.

When I heard that loud signal from PY0S, I felt blood was boiling a little bit. I started  calling him. The pile up was extending over 10KHz. I was a lazy caller staying on a fixed frequency. No answer to me for over 30 min. I started listening my calling frequency with my FT2000. Setting the audio at appropriate  level on both frequencies, I concentrated on finding the spot in QSO. Too many JAs calling him even though it was early in the evening, when most workers should be at their offices. "Are these callers from JA all retirees?", I uttered. Anyway, I went on tuning around the spread spots looking for the lucky guy who caught him while going on calling him.

"....1NUT...", PT0S answered. Yes, it was me who luckily got his reply. My! At that moment, I have already moved up from the spot I got his answer. Not remebering that spot. In my hurry, I came back to the spot which looked like the right one, which I was not confident in at all!, and gave him the report. In a very small delay, he answered to me "JA1NUT TU TU". I suspect he might not have recognize me giving him the report.  He might have given me a giveaway. Sorry for such a poor operation. I should have been much more concentrated on it.

When I finished this "QSO", I felt calmed down. What a shameful QSO! I have vowed myself not to go into such a pile up any longer as well as not to bother the DXers who are much more serious chasing those rare ones.


Twice a day

I have met Tof DJ6ZM twice a day on 40m yesterday. The first one was a QSO through short path at 21Z. The band was not necessarily very good. But his signal controlled at home through the intenet came through on the very quiet band. His signal was 589 with a bit of flutter. Almost nothing was heard from the western Europe.

Before sunset, around 07Z on the same day here, Tof gave me a call with mosquitto signal when bemed to NA, that was, off side to him. Again, he was at home. He is an excellent listener to have found my signal with 339 at first. With my beam being pointed to him, his signal built up to 569. Still clear cut rise and fall of ths signal typical for that through long path. It sounds mysterious to 40m lover like me. I seldom meet a guy in the western europe twice a day on the same band.

His remote controlled signal has had some problem of choppy keying. He said it was due to the delay in the internet. The dots sounded irregular at this time. Later, this morning, when I met Alan AC2K who used to work him twice since this July, Alan told me his keying had sounded good. Is it dependent on the speed of the internet varying from time to time?

Needless to say, I have met Tof in Seattle this summer. It was not difficult for me to imagine that he operated with a PC at home. He has had much fun when he operated ths same kind of system at the Hilton Inn in Bellevue in July. He seemed even to be proud of operating radio with such cutting edge technology.

It was not such a good condition as we could leisurely ragchew. Maybe, in some time around the winter solstice, we might have a big opening on either way. I would ask him if he has retired from his business completely and has his daughter taken it over.

It is still tough for us to find friends in the UK. For Tof's signal from a KW iwht 3 ele reachs here in this way. Not a pipe line. I hope to catch some of them in the plateau of the condition, as I used to do with G3FXB or G4BUE and so forth on 40m long path. 

The climate change

This morning, the good condition on 15m has let me talk a few friends in the US again. One of them was Alan W2MV. Since he has been a harpsichord player since young days and has loved Bach or the other baroque composers, I have felt him close for the past few years.

After he told me he would have a nice Thanks Giving with the family, he went on a surprising report that he had had power line outage for a couple of weeks due to Hurricane Sandy. The fallen trees and the damaged transformers have caused it for that long time. He could get it through a generator, which intermittently gave them the power. We have ever had the outage for a couple of days here in the terrible earth quake last year, which made a big trouble to us that time. I could hardly imagine what would be like to have the outage for 14 days. even though the generator might help them a lot.

I asked him what was the cause of such big hurricane there. Wasn't the global warming related with it? He answered that it was due to addition of another storm to the hurricane as well as to the change in jet stream. Just by chance. I have not doubted his comment but was so curious to know about the cause that I googled about it. The Scientific America has the following artile regarding this issue.


There could be arguments on this weather problem. For it is a highly complex and multifactorial  system which determines the real weather. But, in addition to a report that the depth of ice in Arctic area has been lessened so much that the ice itself might disappear in a few years from now, this article seems to have made the point to me. we should seriously consider of the climate change probably due to the global warming. The countries which produce carbon dioxide and related warming gases should be responsible for this change in the climate.


A small spring day

It is already past the beginning of the winter according to our traditional calendar. It is so warm late in the morning today that it should be called as an Indian summer. This term could be translated to "a small spring day" in Japanese. I prefer the latter. It reminds me of a warm day when I lay on a futon, a japanese mattress, on a velanda for sunbathing in my young days. There is a sense of family union in it. On the other hand, it foresees the stormy or gloomy weather in the future. It may reflect our lives. In sometime, when the peaceful life is gone, we should do with the hard time again. The peace in warm sunray itself forecasts the disastrous future.
At present, we are blessed with the peaceful time of joy. Let's have fun and get united more with the family and the friends. It is a real blessing to us.
My friends, happy Thanks Giving to you all. 

Our small garden seen through the window of the shack.


"Decommunication" on ham radio

Around the sunset, 40m sounded good for the east hemisphere. It could be open to Eu through the long path. I tuned on 7026KHz. Asking if the frequency was occupied, I could not hear any reply. then I started calling CQ for a couple of times.

All of sudden, a big signal told me like "Nut QSY". No identification or explanation why I should move that frequency. I asked who it was and why he required me to move. Silence. I repeated that again. Then, he answered only his call, UA0**. Yet no excuse for his requirement. Someone else told me "PS0T PS0T". I finally understood they were waiting for this station from this isolated isalnd in the Atlantic ocean around the frequency. At first, they have just watched what would go on after my calling CQ. Once they knew that I would go on calling CQ again and again, they wanted me to go away and to clear that spot for possible appearance of this pretty rare one.

I used to be a DX chaser in '80s through '90s. I knew how valuable that island was for them especially on this band. As soon as I understood the situation there, I quit that spot. That UA0 should have told me why he required me to quit. I have called CQ after asking if the frequency was busy or not. No pile ups were going on at that time. They should have courteously explained the reason.

Nowadays, most of those DX chasers could not communicate on this mode. They sound as if pushing the button of their memory keyer or PC keyboard when operating radio. The memories must be their own call and 599TU. Isn't it deterioration of ham radio? Ham radio is originally communication. It seems to have been lost for now.

Some time later, that PS0T has showed up on 7025.5KHz through the path over the south Pacific. Very weak. Recalling that PS0T used to be one of the last few I needed to complete the Top Honor Roll on 40m CW in my DX days, I have given a few calls without success. I also remembered having worked it while I needed PY0S. I haven't felt so excited to be in the pile up that I left that mess in several minutes.    


A new audio rack

I have made a new wooden rack for the audio in the living room.
This audio system, not a high end one, has been in my room at the office for a few years. In the big earth quake last year, they fell down on the floor together with TV or cello etc. But, fortunately, they were all intact even though this speaker boxes got some injuries on the surface. Some scooped injuries on the beautifully finished surface. But no damage on the speakers etc. At first, I was inclined to leave this system at the office for the doctor taking over the office.  The injuries on the boxes, however, seemed to tell me I and the boxes had been "fellow soldiers" at the office.  When I asked him to let me bring them back home, he generously answered yes. That's why they are in the living room now.
The cheap wooden rack I used to set them on was gradually deformed due to the heavy weight of the amplifier. At a do-it-yourself shop nearby, I found wooden columns grooved for shelf boards. Purchasing them and finding the electric screw driver from the junk box, I have built this in an hour or so. Not painted yet. Not a fancy rack but still my favorite. 
So I could listen to music when I cook in the kitchen. It is a part of the living room. Now, piano trios of Schubert and Zemlinsky are always accompanying my task in the kitchen every afternoon.


A large cohort study on the effect of low dose protracted radiation on the leukemia in Chernobyl cleanup workers

It has not been elucidated clearly yet that chronic low dose radiation could cause leukemia. The following report from NIEHS seems to definately confirm that hypothesis. Those leukemic cases who have started treatment 2 years prior to this study won't agree with it as the authors said. It must be further studied in the future. Even if they are included in the study, it gives the same result.

IAEA etc has confirmed only thyroid cancer of childhood in relation with the radiation in Chernobyl. They should correct their lack of understanding about carcinogenesis, or at least leukemogenesis, of radiation other than this thyroid cancer in such a nuclear power plant accident. The event in Fukushima is not, of course, exceptional for this problem. This teaches us an important lesson for those irradiated in Fukushima due to the nuclear power plant accident. We should follow and back up those people in a long perspective. Especially, those who have had accumulated radiation in protracted course should be closely followed by proper medical facilities.

The summary and the URL of the paper are given as follows;

Background: Risks of most types of leukemia from exposure to acute high doses of ionizing
radiation are well known, but risks associated with protracted exposures, and associations
between radiation and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are not clear

Objectives: To estimate relative risks of CLL and non-CLL from protracted exposures to lowdose
ionizing radiation.

Method: A nested case-control study was conducted in a cohort of 110,645 Ukrainian cleanup
workers of the 1986 Chornobyl nuclear power plant accident. Cases of incident leukemia
diagnosed in 1986-2006 were confirmed by a panel of expert hematologists/hematopathologists.
Controls were matched to cases on place of residence and year of birth. Individual bone marrow
radiation doses were estimated by the Realistic Analytical Dose Reconstruction with Uncertainty
Estimation (RADRUE) method. A conditional logistic regression model was used to estimate
excess relative risk of leukemia per gray (ERR/Gy) of radiation dose.

Results: A significant linear dose-response was found for all leukemia (137 cases, ERR/Gy=1.26
(95% confidence interval 0.03, 3.58))
. There were non-significant positive dose-responses for
both CLL and non-CLL (ERR/Gy=0.76 and 1.87, respectively). In our primary analysis
excluding 20 cases with direct in-person interviews <2 years from start of chemotherapy with an
anomalous finding of ERR/Gy=-0.47 (<-0.47, 1.02), the ERR/Gy for the remaining 117 cases
was 2.38 (0.49, 5.87). For CLL the ERR/Gy was 2.58 (0.02, 8.43) and for non-CLL ERR/Gy
was 2.21 (0.05, 7.61). Altogether, 16% of leukemia cases (15% of non-CLL, 18% of CLL) were
attributed to radiation exposure.

Conclusions: Exposure to low doses and low dose-rates of radiation from post-Chornobyl
cleanup work was associated with a significant increase in risk of leukemia
, which was
statistically consistent with estimates for the Japanese atomic bomb survivors. Based on the
primary analysis, we conclude that CLL and non-CLL are both radiosensitive.


Repeating the same thing in QSOs

Yesterday, around the sunset, I have met Don N7EF on 40m. He is a kind of DX chaser who used to ask me to go to P5 for DX pedition. Of course, it was a kidding to me. It is, however, a fact that he badly needs P5 for the last entitiy. On the other hand, he is a very nice ragchewer as well. He used to tell me to bring cello to P5 and play something for Kim Jong Wong, the Guru of the country. I answered that I would be brought to the labor camp as soon as I started playing it. Yesterday, he was pleased, as he told me, to know that I had not been sent to the camp yet.

Don told me he could not sleep long as in young days. He got up in 4 hours after falling asleep at night. Then he would go on being awake for 2 or 3 hours until he feels sleepy again and takes 2 or 3 hours sleep again. In the meantime, he often shows up on 40m in our sunset time. I told him how to fall asleep. It is the autonomic training method famous for a treatment for insomnia. Surprisingly, he answered to me he had remebered that since I taught him that 2 years ago. What a shame! I have totally forgot telling that to him before. He told me he had practised that method which worked out fine for him. I didn't dare to ask him if he had not tried that yesterday yet. Anyway, that sleep pattern is quite normal for our age. Wishing him good sweet dream, I gave him 73.

I was stunned to know that I had repeated the same thing to the other in QSOs without being conscious of it at all. Of course, aged people often do that. I could accept it without any problem. But it is a bit embarrassing that it has happened to me. I have realized that I was already in the old age. I should be careful about that. But I could not avoid it at all. I should ask friends for making such a trouble to them. Don was kind enough to emphasize that that method had been helpful to him but not that I used to tell the same thing before.

Maybe, I have done the same error in this blog. I should say the readers to forgive me in advance.


A trip to Fukushima

The day before yesterday, I headed to Fukushima to see our son there. Bringing some souvenirs like cooked rice with chesternut, I ran the highway up to north. The trees looked colorful. This ginko tree at a parking area looked like burning with golden yellow.
The other trees with reddened yellow foliages.
I met our son at the campus of a med school over there.  He has had a problem at school. We have discussed about it taking lunch at a restaurant. Though it was not resolved at once, it seemed he had known how to do with it for now.
On the way back home, just before getting on the highway, I have taken this photo of the peaceful countryside in Fukushima. Who could know from this scenary that there had been that nuclear power plant accident occurring about 80km east of this area 1.5 years ago? It has contaminated this area. Many people are still groaning being deprived of their mother home town or their works. It should not be forgotten however long it might have passed since that event.
It is the area, where I had taken the entrance exam to the same med school when graduating from a college over 40 years ago. Without any preparation for that exam for myself, it turned out not to be a success. Now our son is studying medicine there. I was full with gratitude for this to someone supreme, even though I am not a firm believer in God with personality. Remembering those things, I went back home.




An bio.

I was born right at this place 63 years ago between a couple who used to work at a sanatorium for tuberculotic patients. It was a small and poor facility that my aunt has started in the faith for Christianity before WWII. My parents had worked together and had known each other there. It was a quiet place surrounded with forests all around. My first memory in my life was a hymn in accapela flown througth the pine trees in the garden. Before WWII, tuberculosis was an untreatble illness which people were scared and hated for. This aunt was a person whose family and folks believed in as their backbone.

It won't take so long before the anti tuberculosis treatment was available for those patients however poor they might be. My aunt has decided to close down the facility since it has finished its role in the society. My parents have also decided to go to Tokyo, where they might have chances for work and education for their children. I still remember our parents working so hard. My father has become a house keeper at a hospital while my mother has got a position at a Salvation Army hospital in a suburb of Tokyo. They have worked hard from early in the morning. My mother used to go for work early in the morning and came back home for a while in a break to care for us preparing for the schools.

Accidentally watching a TV drama which ham radio was the main theme, I got interested in this hobby. I was aged 12 years then. I went to Akihabara, the famous downtown for electrical items, once a month when I was given a small amount of money. There were rows of small shops of electrical items and parts over there. I have purchased parts for radio little by little. At age 13 years, I got the licence and was issued this call sign. My set up those days was a single 6AQ5 transmitter and tubes single conversion superhetrodyne receiver. The antenna was a dipole, half wave for 40m, fed with a ladder line feeder. As an article in a magazine told, I have fried chop sticks with wax, which turned out not to be so effective against rain and sun outdoor. In the beginning, it was difficult for me even to work with JA. However, later on, as I have upgraded the rig to 6146 transmitter and double/triple conversion receiver, all home brew, I could work with all over the world.

In the beginning, I could work the other hams only on CW. That was the reason why I got on CW so much those days. Though that situation has gone on throughout my teen age days, I have become more interested in communication on this mode. As I already wrote, I had got acquaintance with Ed K6NB and his group on 40m CW. Ralph Multon WB6BFR was another elmer for me those days, as I also wrote. What an excitement I have had with them those days! They have lead me into the depth of the enjoyment of CW those days.

I was told to go for a college, that is, Kousen in japanese, a unique school system composed of a high school and a college, where we could learn engineering without going for universities. My parents later told me they could not believe that I would study for the entrance exams for any university since I was a real nut for ham radio then. I have spent a leisurely student days in the college. But I was not very interested in mechanical engineering I specialized. Finishing that college, I decided to be a MD. It took me a couple of years to enter a faculty of medicine at a university in Tokyo. A new world has opened to me then. At that time, ham radio did not take any place in my mind at all.

In the university, I was crazy for music. In the orchestra, I have chosen cello for my instrument and have started learning it. It was a club together with a women's university. It was a hell as well as a heaven for me who had never experienced studying together with girls. I have devoted myself to its activities. Most friends always retired from the club at the 5th grade or so. But I had gone on playing cello at the orchestra or at some chamber ensemble group until graduation. I still regret as for how to have practised instrument. That is, I have not spent much time for the basic training so much. But I always wanted to play in ensemble. At young age, we should concentrate on the basic activities, whatever it might be. Anyway, I have had unforgettable years at the orchestra. There were a girl friend whom I could hardly forget throughout my life as well.

On graduation, most classmates would stay in the mother university belonging to some speciality. I have chosen serving residency at a med school in this area together with my wife, where a professor whom I had known of in person  held a lab. of pediatrics. It was that time when I remembered of ham radio, being away from the orchestral activities. It took me a year or so to prepare a small set up at the dorm over there. It was late in fall in 1980. Most of you might know how I have been doing with the radio.

I could not brag nor even affirm that I have spent good life as reflecting it for now. But being born in that sanatorium and being involved in music in student days are not anything I should regret at present. I am thankful to my fortune for that. I don't know if I could close my life with gratitude and satisfaction yet. But with the pleasure of ham radio and music etc, I would spend days which I won't regret at that time.



I had a chance to talk to my old friend in Korea, Lee HL2DC, recently. I have known him for 47 years through ham radio. When we met for the first time, he was a student studying electrical engineering in Pusan. I was a young student specializing mechanical engineering then. His call was HM9DC at that time, I believe. At that time, we have exchanged photos. After a long interval for about 15 years, we met again on the air in early '80s. He used to work for Sansei Electrical Eng, later LG Electronic Co. In mid '80s, he had been in Tokyo with his family for a couple of years when he was working at the branch there. He and his family used to visit us here twice. He was a tall and handsome guy who spoke pretty good Japanese.

He has already retired from a subsidiary of LG for a few years, where he had worked as the president. He has been settled down in a suburb of Seoul. On my inquiry about the territory issue, he told me it was not a serious and important matter for him as well as his neighbors. It would be settled down as the ongoing Presidential Election was over, as he said. He meant it had been risen in relation with that election. We agreed to have it solved by patient negotiation of diplomacy, not by patriotic ardor. He also told me, when I mentioned about the very hard situation our electrical companies were located at, we, Japanese, tended to take our small flaw or problem as a serious trouble. In his opinion, we should rather esteem ourselves since we have diligence and intellectuality. It might mean just a bit of encourragement to me. However, I still felt thankful for his words.

He approved the FTA with the US. It is not a positive approval. He seems to think they should accept it as the globalism is inevitable not oly to Korea but any countries in the world. He thinks those against the FTA are left winged people. He told me with subtle smile that 60% of the stock owner of Samsung is from the US. It was already globalized, as he told me. But I could notice a bit of cynicism in his smile. He also added that Korea should do well in economy with the US because they need the military back up by the US against the North Korea. I didn't dare to tell him what the globalism causes in the world. Korea is in a really critical situation. When North Korea collapses, it could be a huge burden for Korea to care for the refugees from there. There could be a possibility that the military party in North Korea goes mad and resorts to force if it is negligible. The domestic economy is not very promising as well.

We have talked about families, retirements and even health problems. Whenever we meet on the air, he always invite us to visit Korea. Korea is an important neighbor country. And we have such a good friend as Lee. We should consider visiting him in his home land not so far from now. Promising seeing him in person soon, I gave him 73.


A Late Quartet

A fascinating movie seems to be released very soon. It's titled "A Late Quartet". The caption says as follows;

"Members of a world-renowned string quartet struggle to stay together in the face of death, competing egos and insuppressible lust."


A quartet is the most stable and perfect style of music performance. Four voices compose a cosmos. Nothing unnecessary nor lacking. The trailer of this movie features Nr16 Quartet of Beethoven, I believe. It sounds great.

The actors or actress seem quite amateur for string instruments. But they are playing nicely. According to the trailer, the cellist seems to be suffering from Parkinsonism. There seems to be a crisis in the couple of the members. It is most plausible for a quartet of aged players. I would like to see how he and the rest of the quartet struggle for such a problem.

I am looking forward to watching this movie soon. I should install the display and DVD player in my room... 


A drive on the Reiheishi Highway to Nikko

  Today, after finishing a chore in a city north of here, I drove up to Nikko, the area famous for the shrine deifying the first Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa who started the era of Edo in the 17th century. Nikko is further north of here located among mountains.
A road named the Reiheisi Highway leads form south to Nikko. They say some religious missions have been sent to that shrine on regular basis. The name of this Highway means that. There are beautiful cedar trees along the road in some portion of the Highway. They are hundreds years of age.
I used to work at a hospital in Nikko as a part time doctor when I became a doctor in 1980s. Sometime, I ran this road on the way to and from that hospital. In the winter, the road was often frozen and slippery those days. When I finished my duty for a whole day at the hospital early in the morning, I used to purchase freshly baked bread for souvenir to my family at a bakery near the hospital and hurried to the dorm at the med school hospital. It has been sometime since I drove there.
I forgot bringing my camera. In stead, I found this video clip in Youtube. It was taken in a morning early in spring. There was sunray shining through those cedar trees planted on each side of the road. It looked almost the same today even though sunray came in from the opposite side. It was late afternoon today. Not much traffic exactly in the same way as this video shows.
Ieyasu Tokugawa was deified by his family and the government because such a being to unite the people was needed for governance of the country. There have been examples of such deifications of leaders all over the world in the history. Politics necessitates such deification anywhere as well as any time in the history. So is it applied to the present world. I was thinking of such a thing listening to the hollow address of our Prime Minister at the Congress through a radio program. We don't need a dictator but a real leader. In the world populism dominates, is it possible for us to have a real leader? It is not the problem of the capability of the leader candidates but rather a question on our side. Could we evaluate a leader properly and esteem him as a real leader?  


WW SSB Contest 2012

It has been a fabulous conditions on the bands this week end. Not much activity on CW made me watch around the WW SSB Contest.

For several years, I haven't heard all of the SSB portion of 15m has been full with contesters on Sunday morning. 10m was also very active with the contesters spreading up to 28650KHz. This might mean we are on the height of the sun spot cycle. On 40m, I barely heard any East Coasts. It might be a coincidence or not but I have heard only very few calls known to me.

In Japan, there were pretty many guys in the contest. But again there were only few I knew. A remarkable change was that there were very few university clubs participating it. So far as I heard, only JA3YBK and JA7YAA were pretty active. Of course, because I have listened the bands only for limited time, there should be the others in it whom I have not accidentally heard. It has been some years since I heard JA7YAA last time. It was an unexpected pleasure for me. The university clubs used to be very active in major contests and was a cradle for new comers in ham radio in Japan. It is important that the clubs are activated for whatever.

There were much activity from China and Indonesia. Chinese operators were mostly not experiened in contesting. But in a few years, they would be a big party making world top score. It sounded they had had difficulty to work with NA, especially, East Coast. The window opens only for a short while, I know from the experience of operation as XU0JA in 1991. Is it a rainy season in SE Asia? There should be a lot of static noise over there as well.

Feeling a bit sad that there were only very few familiar calls in the contest, I still gave a dozen of them a call and my number on 40m before switching off the gear.


Clem W1EVT

Clem used to be the only East Coast I could hear with my wire antenna in 1960s. I could not forget his wobbly signal on 40m coming over the north pole. Since I came back on the air in 1980, I had had good QSOs with him at first as NY1N and then as W1EVT again. I used to try visiting him with Bill K1YT in Stow when I stayed at Bill's home in 1991. But we could not find out the entrance gate there! Numerous high towers were standing there. Ladder lines were coming into his home. But no entrance found there.

For the past several years, I have not heard him on the air at all. He used to show up on the air in the long path season but never came through here in any season for these years. However, on 10m this morning, I met Don K1DC who told me he had met Clem in eye ball a month ago. Don used to be in Boston area and moved dwon to Ala. a year ago. He seemed to have met Clem at some ham convention over there in Mass.  

Don told me Clem was now 93 years old and was not very active on the radio. But the big arrays of his antenna are still working OK. Clem told him he was cooking by himself. Clem used to work with Uda at MIT who had invented the Yagi Uda antenna system with Yagi. He has been a person of testimony for the development of ham radio. I really hope him to live long and to operate radio if possible.

It was good to know about Clem from Don this morning.


The reason for the shorties

The reason why the shorties are so prevailing on ham radio seems interesting to me. Even more than interesting to me because it is related with how to enjoy radio and with the way of my life itself.

I can not help pointing out that there is a liking not to be related with others so much but to enjoy as many QSOs as possible. Of course, we should admit such as QRP operators should go on in the sorty style owing to their limited set up. But it is an exception. The basic trend is to get satisfied with making as many QSOs as possible.

It is like in contests or DX pile ups. Contesting and DXing might be leading to the prevalence of this QSO style. They might learn to work with others as short as possible. Reports and promise exhchanging QSL cards are good enough. More than that should be too much. It might seem cool to get QSOs finished as short as possible. I am sure this trend is the same as contesting and DXing. The latter is strengthening the trend as well.

I repeatedly told that it was a problem of balance. It is getting imbalanced. Some contests are being held all over the world almost every week end. Now a 10m contest is going on on 10m while AP Sprint is on all bands at present. Contesting and DXing are fun events for hams.  Those activities are getting more and more planned as there are less general activities on the air nowadays. Some clubs are trying to maintain the members' activities with those events. Awards are the same kind of thing to arbitrarily stimulate activities of hams. But They won't give us the real pleasure communication gives us, I believe. Contesting and DXing are the peripheral events in ham radio activities, even if not the least things, in my point of view.

Another point I should clear is that the hams might not have "room in mind" to enjoy onversations. Time wise as well as psychologically. In conversation, we should have mental energy to get involved in the others. Haven't we lost that kind of energy even when we are ready to operate radio? And aren't we too busy at the other things than communication on the radio? The others behind the head phone and the keyer must be a kind of automatic replying machine. I am feeling that way sometimes. I am trying to pull the big switch in such a case. It is not good for me as well as the others to carry on QSOs without any interests to the others.

As John 9V1VV has clearly demonstrated in his comment for the previous post, there are too much pauses and silences in QSOs. I really would like to fill my mind with good conversations.


As a probable peasant descendant

My ancestors must be peasants somewhere in old ages. I could concentrate in gardening and farming in the garden. My old genes might make me feel that way.
In a corner of the garden, after having cut and pulled the weeds and their roots, I plowed the ground to make a couple of small farms. Very tiny but good enough for my purpose. Kneading the neutralizing chemical and the compost into the soil there, I have planted the seeds of spinach in the farm in front. Cabbages may be planted in the back one later. 

I have felt vivid myself in the garden since my forties. I had not been interested in gardening/farming at all. It was my father who took care of the garden those days. Gradually, I have taken over his work, even though I could not do it perfectly at all.

At the time of the nuclear power plant being blasted last year, I was eagerly caring for the lawn at another portion of the garden. I felt the plume bringing the radioactive substances here might endanger our lives from its base. Fortunately, it turned out not to be too bad in this area. I could not, however, forget the feeling that our being itself was in peril at that time. I have become strongly against the nuclear power usage for any purpose then. It might come from the instinct within me as a probable peasant descendant.

Anyway, it is good for me to work in the garden under shining sun.

Tad ex JA1KFN/J2KN

Recently, I don't know why but have often remembered an old timer, Tad, ex JA1KFN/J2KN.

I met him on the air in my newcomer days. He used to be a good friend of Ralph Multon WB6BFR. Ralph was a kind old timer and used to work with me quite often on 40m CW. Ralph was an elmer for me. When Ralph and his wife visited Japan in mid '60s, Tad has planned a reception party in Tokyo. I applied for that meeting.

Though I was not able to converse with Ralph so much or even the other japanese old timers there, he and the company used to welcome me there. It was a beer garden of Kanda Seiyouken at Ueno. A muggy summer evening, I believe. Tad was a kind guy aged around 50 years or so at that time. He was a not tall but thin guy. With a kind of high pitched voice and good sense of humor, he has played as the master of ceremonies there. It was not only a ham meeting I first attended but also the very first social activity among adult people for me, a teen age boy, studying mechanical engineering at a college or even before that. He treated me as a grown up at that time.

It had passed over ten years when I ran across with Tad again on the air. It was around 1980. I was very happy to have found him with the same old bug. He have retired by that time and was quite active on the air. We have conversed on CW with simple English. He won't operate SSB or CW in Japanese Morse Code. When 20m was dead for any DX late at night, we often had slow but enjoyable chats on CW. His unique bug keying is still very vivid in my memory. We have exchanged New Years' Greeting cards for several times. But no other means to contact with him. His slow and a bit deformed bug was the only way to communicate with me. Despite of the limit in conversing abilities on each side, he had the definite will to communicate with CW. It was a joy to talk to him. He must be already over 70 years of age at this time.

In  several years, I had a letter from his wife, telling me of his passing away. He used to be a pioneer ham as J2KN in Japan just before WWII and had been an active ham thereafter. I have known how he had lived from the correspondence with his wife for some time. I surely missed him and felt a great time of ham radio had gone for me.

I would ask myself if I had been so kind to the others, especially to the beginners, and fulfilled my life with the joy of ham radio for myself and for the others. The fruit of our lives become evident to ourselfves in the last days of our lives. I should be aware of this. Recalling Tad, I contemplate of my own life in the past in this way.  


Variations of Brahms

Brahms has composed a number of impressive variations. String Sextet Nr2 is one of the examples. The 4th movement of his last symphony could never be forgotten. This is another variation which touches our heart. This trio performs one of the bests for this variation. The cello sounds heartfelt.


The tempo is fairly slow compared with the other modern performers. They play each variation in the thorough way the composer would express it. The last variation starting with cello solo could not help making audience feel touched a lot. What emotion they put in this pianissimo!

Last year, I have played this trio at a small concert. I was so happy to play it even at practice. I felt rewarded spending hours for the practice.

This is one of the best tunes Brahms has left for us.

The shorty ones

The conditions are getting better on the air. So quiet and open to the areas over the pole. I have been working several East Coasts on 15m this morning. Again I have met a few guys calling me only their calls. When they call me a bit off the frequency as well as off the timing, I am always perplexed and wondering if I should reply to him/her. It could be often misleading. They sound as if in a pile up or in DX contest. Such guys always finish QSOs with the report and name only. Very busy people.

I don't believe it is a good habit to omit the other's call or DE before own call. So I won't reply to those calling me in that style. If I respond them, it means I admit their way of operation and help it to prevail in CW communication.

Those guys always go away as soon as they finish exchanging the reports and the names only. They must be thinking that they have spent time effectively. As I repeatedly tell, it is meaningless for me to make contacts in this way. I would let them do in that way with the same kind of guys. I would not do that.



A short trip to a hot spa

One way or another, I have been a little bit busy at chores. Away from those things, I wanted to go for a short trip to mountain area north of here. Yesteday, when I finished lunch, I ran my car toward the mountain area. It was fine and cool. It could not be better for such a drive. Despite of solitude on car, I felt pretty good on the way. In half an hour, however, I found there were thick clouds covering that area I was heading to. I have changed my destination to a hot spa nearby as the GPS navigator instructed.

It is a pretty flat area where we are living. But, running north for sometime, we could see hills in ranges between plain areas. These hills are ranged from the high mountains in Fukushima. It is a farming area. Sparsely populated. The rice was alrady harvested. Very few people on the roads.

Driving through those rice paddies, I have reached the hot spa which I had destinated without knowing what place it was. It was on a top of a hill. But, unfortunately and inexplicably, closed. No one there. The facilities were vacant and ruined.

I didn't know of this hot spa as I told. But I am sure it was constructed in the era of bubble economy in '80s. Those days, our government was required to invest for public enterprises by the US. The investment was up, they say, to 80 trillion USD. Our government made a schema to have local governments invest for them with their local governmental bonds. The government was supposed to pay for that as subsidies to the local governments on yearly basis. The Prime Minister Koizumi has cut that subsidies to them all of sudden, which resulted in the financial crisis in quite some local governments all over Japan. In addition to higher proportion rate of elderly in the countrysides, it has made them fall into the present difficult situation. I am not sure if this hot spa was one of those investments, which have financially failed at many places. Anyhow, it has reminded me of those facilities or buildings built in those days which have been ruined thereafter.

From this place, we could enjoy a beautiful scenary over the hills.

I consulted to the GPS navigator again, which gave me another hot spa for a change. It is named Kurobane Hot Spa just south of the border to Fukushima Prefecture. I ran the country road without much traffic. I found a big tomb site in the ancient age beside the road. It is over 300 feet in length. There were pine trees growing on it. The grass was neatly cut there. It seemed to be prepared for sight seeing. Though I don't know exactly how old this tomb was, generaly speaking, such a tomb must be constructed by and for a local dominator in the 5 or 6th century. It is surprising that there are hundreds of such tomb sites in this area. It is mysterious why they have constructed such tombs for themselves those days. Maybe, primitive religion firmly believed by them forced them to do so. A book of history in this era told me it was a symbol to get the tribe united those days as well.

It has not taken me so long before reaching the hot spa. It was still on a hill just next to a athletic field. Fortunately, it has not been collapsed yet! But there were only few people in the facility. A gorgeous building and beautifully arranged garden.

The bath was a large one. One indoor, the other outdoor. The hot water is transparent without no sulfar odor. I soaked myself for some 20 min and got out of there.
When got out, I felt the cool breeze on my face. Relaxed enough. It was the time for me to go back home. On the way back, there were scenes typical for our countryside. I used to drive with my family as well as my mother in this area. So everywhere looked familiar to me even though I was not sure when I drove around a particular place. Much fond memories everywhere.
In a few weeks, the foliage might turn colorful. The sun was fast to set. Mother used to tell the sun was running down the horizen so soon in the fall. I felt as if she were on the side seat telling that to me.

Near to our home, I dropped in a supermarket where I bought foods for supper. I have returned to the normal routine again. Relaxing but a little bit lonely trip.

I have been listening the following musics on the way.
Mendelssohn Piano Trio Nr1
Brahms Piano Quartet Nr1,2,3


A plum tree

This plum tree is about 20 years old. My father used to plant it here at a corner of our yard. It had not grown much for the first several years. A small poor outlook tree. It was not until we sprayed insecticide chemical on it before spring that we knew that this tree was vulnerable to insects. It has become very healthy and has grown up taller year by year after insecticide procedure was done every spring.
In a few years, it has grown to this size. Full of leaves on the branches in spring. When I walked under the tree one day in spring, I felt something touching on my head. It was when I found it had bore hundreds of plums. The leaves had hidden the fruits. Needless to say we have had fresh plums for a week or so. A bagful plums every morning.
Unfortunately, it has been suffering from some kind of mold for the past few years. It went almost dead. I heard too abundant branches with leaves could bother to get it ventilated and the resulting high humidity within the tree made mold increased so much. This fall I decided to cut some branches climbing on a ladder. This is the tree with the unnecessary branches already cut. A hard work for me. Will it bear so many fruits next spring? 



Haiku mimics

Calling CQ on a band again and again
        Only RBN is replying to me through the internet

Listening a band for any DX friend
      Only beacons are coming through here

A friend of mine telling me that it will survive due to its inconvenience itself
       I am afraid its apparent vacancy in the content won't attract young people any longer

Expecting much fruitful discussion by the internet tool
      I still face to difficulty to be understood and to stimulate the others

Congrats to Prof Nakayama

I would congratulate to Prof Nakayama on being awarded for Nobel Prize. In Japan, he is the 2nd award recipient for the medicophysiological area in N. P. after Prof Tonegawa. Tonegawa has made a brilliant study in immunology. Since I was involved in some immunological study those days, I was thrilled to know of his accomplishment regarding the elucidation of the diversity in immunological recognition. Nakayama's work as for iPS cell is also epoch making to the same extent as Tonegawa. This technology might open the door for new regenerative medicine.

The biggest difference between two of them is that Nakayama was originally from the clinical medicine while Tonegawa was a graduate of the faculty of biology in Kyoto Univ. Medical doctors are always behind those from biology, biochmistry or pharmacology for the undergraduate degree regarding the research works. And he was a graduate from Kobe Univ. which is a pretty good and old school but is not given much research resources in Japan. Before he was invited to Kyoto Univ, he had started his research on iPS at another school in Nara, which was not given much funds for research either. Even at the present school, he seemed to need funds for further study. I have mentioned in my japanese blog that he was appealing for any donation for his study in the internet. He told there he would run a marathon race, his another hobby, and if he got good result, he wanted them to donate for his research. Maybe, from now on, he might be blessed with a bit more funds for the research and doesn't need to run in marathon for the fund any longer.

They say he often concludes his speech with the message that it is just the start for he has not helped any patient with his technology yet. He is surely oriented for clinical medicine. It is only possible for a medical doctor. He must be focusing on those patients who need help by regenerative medicine. I am so glad a medical doctor was awarded for this prize.  


Muscular tension in manipulating paddle

Steve, N6TT, published his operation on CW in the Ustream video clips here. He is a proficient CW operator. His CW sounds smooth and elegant. He has been trying to brush up his fist for years. I was really surprised to hear his fist reached a summit as CW operator when he changed his paddle from a double lever to a single lever. His sending has become perfect. That new Begali single lever has fit his fist for sure. And I was impressed at his never ending efforts to improve his capability as a CW operator.

Apart from that topic, here I would like to discuss about the posture we take when sending CW. I found one thing in his keying different from my style. He stretched his right elbow when he manipulated the paddle. In my case, that position of right elbow makes a bit more errors in sending.

I believe it is related with the basic tension on the arm/hand muscles. In extended posture of the arm, the tension could be rather high and could make fine and quick movements of the arm/hand a little bit difficult. I mean the elbow is the main part involved in the posture. If the elbow is flexed slightly, it is easy to keep the arm/fingers relaxed. It is comparable to the performance of cello. Cellists are taught to keep the arms/hands in slight flexion as if we hugged something when we play cello. This posture tires us less and enables any smooth movements of arms/hands necessary for the performance of cello.

I won't give a lesson to such an expert as Steve as for how to manipulate a paddle. In fact, his sending is always perfect even if he runs faster than 30WPM etc. Precisely observing him in the Ustream video, his arm is still very slightly flexed. He might be feeling relaxed in this posture, maybe. I should ask him about this in the next QSO.

One more thing. The accuracy of sending is closely related with our mental condition and/or alertness. It is interesting that whenever we try to make it perfect, we shall make more errors. Being nervous about the accuracy often worsens it. The relaxation in mind is always as crucial as the relaxed muscle tone. Nervousness may directly affect the muscle tone. It may be again comparable to the performance of musical instruments. In addition, being alert is another factor determining the accuracy in sending as well. Needless to say, the alertness is needed in any physical as well as mental activity. Steve often just watch the band in the morning hours until the java tea gets him alert enough! He spends those hours in right way. On the contrary, when lager or dark one makes me sleepy at night, I always pull the big switch soon saying good night to him, before my sending may sound like a brain storm to him.