After a dream

Finally, the last week of my office is starting now. I am in the last stage for retirement. I have been clearing all the items which have been accumulated for the past 17 years. There were even drafts of medical papers which I wrote in my med school hospital days. Quite a few personal letters or photos also appeared from the mess. About 70% of the mess is now cleard up. An old short timer will hustle toward the end.

As I have repeatedly written, I still have ambivalent feeling toward retirement. I still could go on working as a pediatrician at own clinic. Now, when I decided to go for retirement, I fully understand what my work has meant to me. My life, my love and raison detre itself. Yesterday, I was given a beautiful bouquette by a patien's mother in the outpatient, who had thanked me for my effort for her daughter for years. I was almost crying. It was difficult for me to answer to her. I only told her it was me who thanked a lot. Not so many but quite some patients and their family members showed their sincere thanks to me. I appreciate their words. But it was me who had been made alive in communication with them. I feel that way.

Now it is the time for me to depart for a new life. I will run through this week. On Saturday, we will hold a small luncheon at a local Italian cuisine. I will play "Apres Un Reve" by Faure there. It was the song I played with my wife at our wedding party. What the song tells was not necessarily appropriate fot such an event. But this is the case it fits to the situation. It has been a sweet and enjoyable dream working at own practice with all the satff, rare people of talent and kindness, for the patients. With real appreciation to them, I would play this lovely piece before the staff and a few invitees.

What will come on me after this dream?


A neighbor friend

Last night, getting bored with the rubber stamped QSOs on CW, I was listening 80m SSB. There were
a few couples of JAs chatting leisurely. I feel I came back to the good old days there. Not so many guys there, however, as decades ago. When I knew 3535KHz often used by Koreans was vacant, I decided calling one of my old friends, Lee, HL2DC, on that frequency. No schedule with him. He had given me a phone call at home a few days ago when I was absent there. I was wondering what made him call me. I knew Lee often got on that hang out spot chewing rag with his friends.

After calling him a few times, Shin, HL5FHR, broke in me. He told Lee had been there some time ago but seemed to have gone QRT then. In a min. or two, Shin has given me a call again telling me that he had made a phone call of long distance, 400km away, to Lee. Lee answered to Shin he would come on in a min.

Lee has come on that frequency soon. I thanked to Shin a lot for his kindness. Lee told he had wondered when I would visit Korea. I have told him I would visit there with my wife for many times. I let him know I would retire in the end of this month and may visit Korea very soon as promised years ago.

I first met Lee when both of us were teen age boys. Almost 45 years ago or so. He was a student at a university in Pusan with a call of HL9DC while I was studying mechanical engineering at a college. I don't believe we have chatted much on CW. But I still remember exchanging pictures each other. A handsome tall guy was there.

While I was a med student and was serving residency, as often told before, I was not on the air at all. Coming back on the air, I ran across with Lee. He was an engineer of a big electrical company. Soon, he came to stay in Tokyo as personell of that company in Tokyo branch. He used to visit our family for two times with his wife and two children. Since he spoke pretty good japanese, we could enjoy conversation much. I felt we share the same characters, which may mean our ancestors were not very distant each other. Intimacy, modesty or chyness. Maybe, I am not typical for that but these may be characteristic for the people in Eastern Asia.

In our QSO last night, I knew his son, now aged 37 years, had one child, that is, a grandchild for Lee. His son and his family are living in Tokyo as Lee used to years ago. Lee has turned 64 years for now and enjoys his retirement with his wife and three dogs near to Seoul. I surely feel we have shared the same thing in our lives together even if we lived apart. The same age and the same area. I told him we would like to visit Korea not too long from now. We should see in eye ball in addition to many QSOs on the air.

In Japan, right winged hooligans speak ill of our neighbor countries including Korea. They won't consider the history between those countries and Japan. It is not very easy for us to overcome the historical problems. We should know the people themselves before being indulged in selfish and monologous propaganda. I am happy to have such a nice friend in our neighbor country.


Insanity on the air

A few days ago, I had watched 15m before having come to the office. The band was almost dead for anywhere. Very few were coming from Oceania and North America. Al, DU1/W7XA has been one of them actively calling CQ. A guy has been, however, nastily jamming him sending "BAKA" which stood for nuts or fool in japanese. He seemed to be a japanese south of my QTH judging from the search by beam direction. This guy was so persistently stalking to Al. I have given Al a call and told him sorry for this stalker from Japan. Al told me he had had skeds with his friends in W7 on that frequency. At that time, he was on a little bit lower spot without that jammer.

I must admit such insane guys have been often observed anywhere from time to time. These people may want to get someone upset and reacting him with rage. They might have a personality deviation from normal or even disorder, that may require some psychiatric intervention. Such problem in personality is, however, difficult to deal with. Of course, in the world of anonymity, we could hardly recognize him. Even if we knew him in person, we might do little for him. The best way to deal with such an insanity is just ignoring him. No response nor emotional words to him at all is the rule of thumb.

Recently, I have heard from a good friend of mine that he had such a stalker sticking to him. That stalker pretended my friend giving intentional QRM to the buddy of my friend. My friend knows how to do with such an insane guy. That was total ignorance to that jammer. I used to be a target of jamming for years by a guy presumably in the West Coast. It persisited intermittently for almost 2 decades since '80s. I could recognize him with his keying. In the beginning, I was upset and, together with old Sam W6TSQ, tried to kid that jammer. It was what that guy wanted us to do. It was my fault. Later, as soon as I heard him starting jamming on me, I switched off the gear and did never give him any response.  I even thanked to him for having me pay attention toward the other things than ham radio. Now this jammer has gone or might have lost his big set up. Anyway, there is peace on 40m again. I would do the same way whenever I may have the same kind of insane person on the air.

The prevalence of such insanity might be due to the view of "Ich und Es" by the famous Jewish philosopher, Martin Buber, prevailing among people in the world now. This issue will be considered further somewhere again. It is beyond this post. 


An eye ball promised a quarter centuries ago

An old friend, Kemp, K7UQH, has given me a letter. It says that he has met, Glen, NN6T, our mutual friend recently who told him I would attend the NW FOC event in this summer. His letter has relieved me a lot. In our last contact, he used to tell me his IC750 had got some trouble from time to time and when it finally acted up, it would be the time he quit radio. He was still on the radio if not so active as before. I used to hear him often in our sunset, that is, past midnight in the West Coast. However, I haven't heard him any time at all for the past couple of years. He seemed not to have been active on the radio for some time.

I have commented on him here;


We used to chat in the big round table QSO in '60s hosted by old Ed, K6NB, as stated in my previous post. The most participants of the round table were experienced CW operators while Kemp and I were young new comers. I was in the teen age while Kemp was a few years older. Those old timers used to kid us, or at least, me while letting us stay in the round  table. It was a real fond memory for me.

In '80s, when I came back on the air at a resident house of a med school hospital, it won't take so long before we met again on 40m CW. His bug remained the same as those days. I used to talk with Kemp about that great round table over the Pacific Ocean. He was a R/O aboard on commercial ships those days. I learned he had met a japanese girl on 15m SSB and had married soon. In his last years of voyage as a R/O, we have promised seeing each other somewhere in Japan. I could not remember what an eye ball scedule was fixed, which did not come true by some reason.

He eagerly told in his letter that, since he lives near to Seattle, we should make the promise of an eye ball come true after that interval of almost a quarter centuries. I would answer yes and would meet him and his wife over there. I also hope to hear his old fashioned bug soon again.


The reasons for less activity of CW conversation

As John, 9V1VV, says in his comment to my other post in this blog, conversations are seldom possible on the radio nowadays. Of course, we talk about conversation on CW. I have been concerned about this for a long time. What has made amateur radio changed this way?

There must be two aspects defining amateur hams' behaviour. The external as well as internal factor. Both factors might be related each other as follows. One of the major external factors is how busy a ham should be due to the other routine activities. He is too busy, as always excused for their inactivity, to spend time for conversation. The work load might not have been changed at all. It could not be the reason. Now there are more and more hams retired who could spend more time for ham radio. If his busyness might be related with this lower activity for conversations on the air, it is an issue of choice. He might spend more time for the other hobbies or activities than ham radio. In this respect, it could be related with the internal factor.

Lack of proficience of code reception, in CW communication, could be another point. Since the licence exams won't impose this ability everywhere for now, this could limit the licensee for conversational ability. If the licensee does any SWL acivity before getting on the air by himself, he might enjoy the vast world of communication. However, such a new comer is really exceptional. To brush up reception ability with SWL etc may be from their motivation, again, another factor in mind.

There are less numbers of elmers of CW communication for the beginners in the world. Or they are hidden to the beginners, if the latter won't seek for their elmers. Most beginners learn how to QSO in the internet etc but seldom take lessons from elmers. Conversing on CW requires much skill and is hardly learned in the internet. CD practise won't teach how to do in a on going real conversation. It won't emphasize how important it is to learn head copy for fluent conversation. It rather requires the beginner to write down what he copies. So little chance for the beginners to meet possible elmers could be attributed to lack of the beginners' motivation, another internal issue.

Those without motivation for real communication are lead to contesting or DXing only. We should not quetion about those latter ways of enjoyment. Very few tell the beginners how to reach the ability of conversation on CW. That is the problem.


The day of the tragedy

It is the day of tragedy in a year. I have written a long post here. But it was lost by accidental false keying in all of sudden! I don't have time and energy to revive it.

Just remember twenty thousand people have been killed in the disaster. Hundred thousands of people are still refugees. About eighty thousand people are still evacuated from the nuclear power plant area. Some of them may lose home land forever due to the long lasting characteristics of the radiation issue.

The nuclear power plant accident seems an artificial event. It is caused by the "safety" myth advocated by the parties which have gained much profit from this power generation. The myth itself prohibited the people involved in it from taking actions against the serious accidents. What an irony!

All I could do is to "mitleiden" for the people suffering from this disaster and accident. My 2nd son is still studying medicine in Fukushima. It is a peaceful and beautiful place I have loved so much. It is not an issue of the other people. But it is still mine. For the rest of my life, I would be with them and do for them by some means even if it is only a small thing.


How I am getting along recently

I have been too busy to renew the blog at present. A lot of paper works and discussions with the new doctor to have the office transfered to his clinic starting on Apr.1st. Packing the books and papers etc is another big task for me. I should make the space to store them in my home. Hundreds of CDs and the audio set must find a place to be settled down at home as well.

I have enjoyed giving a point to some US guys in ARRL contest on phone. I was asked if I had ever operated radio on phone. The condition on 15m has been terrific for NA last week end. I sure may miss that conditions for a few weeks, I am afraid. Nevertheless, I may spend some time on 40m CW when it opens to the US.

I should fix the trip plan to the US in July/Aug. The main purpose is to attend the North West FOC dinner in Seattle in the last week end of July. And our trip should end in Los Angeles, where we fly back to Japan in the next week end. Nothing is determined between the beginning and the ending of the trip yet. I would visit the Bay area and Sedona Az. And, if possible, Arcata Ca. in the meantime. The problem is that I might have problem driving on a rental car all the way by myself. And my wife might complain that she won't go there only seeing my old friends. Hopefully, I will get things determined by the beginning of Apr.

Sorry for leaving memorandum in this blog. I am still doing well while struggling with packing things, paper works and doing with the influenza patients.


Don't fight against sleep problem!

I have met Cap W0CCA in the SW corner of Colo on 40m at alittle bit later than sunset in our time yesterday. His old Tentec with SB220 amplifier into a vertical put out a great signal. The 60 radials buried in the snow must make the antenna work so efficiently. The background was so quiet. I have enjoyed almost an hour long QSO with him.

He told he had got up very early in the morning there and could not fall asleep again. I was impressed at his attitude toward this sleep problem. He repeatedly told me he won't fight against this insomnia. I totally agreed with him telling that, at our age, we are apt to get up early once a night. It is a physiological phenomenon.

It is a good judgement for hime to get up for some time and spend an hour or so with radio etc. Then he might get sleepy again. It is not advisible to struggle against this sleep disturbance by taking alcohol or by going to bed earlier etc. In case you need to get good sleep for limited length of time, you might take a sleep pill. Don't forget it is an aging process which could not spare us at certain age.

We have talked a lot on our lives, works and language studies etc. It has brought me to the old good days. I bet there were those in the US or the other countries who could not sleep well and turned on their radio in early evening in out time and very early in morning in the North America those days. But I scarecely hear those lately. How do they do with the sleep problem nowadays? Anything better than radio now?

I advised Cap to stretch his legs and arms laying on the bed. Then he might feel his limbs warmed and heavy. It is the time for him to go back to the land of dream again. I hoped my CW to have sounded like a lullaby to him.

He said "Yes, it is a lullaby. I feel sleepy again." and then went back to his bed.