Actions needed for those children with abnormal thyroid gland findings

In this blog, I have mentioned a report on the incidence of tumorous lesion found by the ultrasonogram in the children in Fukushima. It was 36% whic is seemingly abnormally high. Two professional doctors, Dr. Caldicott in Australia and Dr. Haugen in the US, have commented as below;


Dr. Caldicott insists them to perform biopsy in every case with the abnormal findings while Dr. Haugen tells to do so for those with nodular lesion(s) larger than 5mm in diameter. At present, it is not clear whether is right. At least, even if they follow the latter strategy, there should be dozens of children who need undergo biopsy. It is not usual to have this high percentage of children show abnormal findings in their throid gland. The article abstract I quoted in an earlier post tells those children with nodular lesion are fourfold more prone to occur thyroid gland cancer. If radiation involves in it, it could be even more probable, I am afraid. They should hasten further survey and treatment if necessary for those children.

The administrative group in Fukushima Pref Med Univ and the governmental authorities seem to be performing the same examination as those done in Fukushima for the normal control in the different areas. It should be blamed too late. In scientific survey, such normal control is required without any exception. I doubt they are serious at this issue.

The authorities won't reveal the findings to the public. Even the parents of the children with abnormal findings in screening survey were told "almost normal" by the doctors responsible for further study in Fukushima Pref Med Univ. They should publish the data and ask for the proper strategy for those children as soon as possible. The administrative agency should not be involved in this issue, which makes the problem too much complicated to be resolved.

The professionals in the field of thyroid gland medicine and radiology etc should announce any comment on this issue. Without such action, they should be blamed for non committment in the future. So far, nothing has been heard from them. I won't insist there are definite relationships between the radiation of I131 by the nuclear plant accident and the abnormal findings in the screening survey in high percentage. But it won't excuse any delay for further step for those children.


Until that time

Forgetfulness is often inevitable to most of us when we get aged. In pathological condition, it is diagnosed as dementia by gerontologist. We should be ready for that when we reach certain age.

In ham radio, some aged people operate in so called rubber stamp style. No comment to those who used to talk to him on the radio in the past. I am afraid it is a symptom of dementia in some cases. I could not forget a famous ham in Hawaii, who used to be an intelligent ham with worldwide fame, operated in that style in his last years. The operation was perfect with a keyboard but lacked anything human. I won't blame him at all. But it could be due to dementia. He might try to get in touch with the past in that way even though his memory was totally lost. It is a sad fact but a reality.

We might see someone on the air, whom we have known well and shared the fond memory together. But he or she might not show any interest to you and might go on rubber stamped QSOs to anybody including us. We should leave that situation quietly just with our fond memories of the QSOs in the past which light brightly in our mind.

And we, ourselves, should be careful for that problem. We could suffer from that in the future. Maybe, some intellectual activities may slow down its progress. Reading, listening music or any social activities etc. Stimulation to our brain in various ways may be of some help.

Lastly, we should be ready for the time of dementia for ourselves. We could be helpless in that situation and may need someone's help. In that case, I would close down my station. I won't make sadden my friends realizing that I have lost memories of my friendship to them. I would tell my family to do so for me and for my friends.

Until that time, I would go on enjoying this hobby most human in the world.


Children in Fukushima under the risk of thyroid cancer

A recent news told that the screening test for thyroid gland tumor in Fukushima had revealed that 36% of the cases had nodule(s) or cyst(s). They urgently plan to do the same test for normal control in the other areas. So far as a report found in Pub Med tells, the incidence of thyroid gland nodule in the normal population is only less than 2% as shown below. There was another report by Prof. Yamashita responsible for the administration of the follow up for those children in Fukushima, which gave almost the same figure for the incidence of nudular lesion in the normal population of children. This figure seems epidemiologically accurate even before the on going study gives a result.

The paper quoted below says that those with nodular lesions are fourfold  more prone to develop thyroid cancer. In the case of children in Fukushima, it is clear they have had radiation of I131 due to the plume immediately after the accident. I am sure they are even more susceptible for thyroid cancer. They have not made the scintilation counter exam in time to detect the ingested I131 for the children. In the exam performed in the end of March 2011, too late to detect I131, 45% of children were found to be radiated with that substance.

So far, the prefectural government et al won't give any further examinations to those with the tumorous lesions in the thyroid gland except for the planned next ultrasonogram in a couple of years. The pople won't be given any further info. It is reported that this strategy is mainly determined in the socioeconomical standpoint. I am sure they are wrong. Those children should undergo closer observation.

Pediatr Endocrinol Rev. 2008 Sep;6(1):14-23.
Thyroid nodules and cancers in children.
Josefson J, Zimmerman D.
Division of Endocrinology, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL 60614, USA. JJosefson@childrensmemorial.org
The incidence of thyroid nodules in children is estimated to be 1 to 1.5% based on clinical examination. Children with thyroid nodules, compared to adults with thyroid nodules, have a fourfold greater risk of developing malignant thyroid disease. Differentiated thyroid carcinoma is the most common pediatric endocrine tumor, constituting 0.5-3% of all childhood malignancies. The thyroid is one of the most frequent sites of secondary neoplasm in children who receive radiation therapy for other malignancies. Thyroid carcinoma has been studied extensively in adults. However, the pediatric literature on this subject is much less complete, owing to the rarity of its diagnosis. This article reviews the predisposing factors, genetics, pathology, pathogenesis , clinical presentation, detailed treatment and follow-up management of children with thyroid carcinoma. Additionally, a discussion regarding the controversial aspects of radioiodine therapy in children is included.


JBA meeting in Tokyo

A CW club named Japan Brasspounders Association has been formed in 2008. Actually, we have not had any club activity excepr for a site/BBS for the members. There seem to be 22 members in this club. Just before the Tokyo Ham Fair being held in Tokyo, a meeting was planned for this club in Akihabara a couple of days ago. I have always felt reluctant to attend such a meeting. But since I retired and became old enough to see friends in eye ball, I decided to join it.

It has been a long time since I visited this downtown famous for electrical items, nowadays for PC and related items. In my teenage days, there used to be many tiny stores in rows there. Some in a building and the others beneath the railway truck structures.  I used to go there once a month grabbing small amout of money my parents gave me. It was a real fun to see around even if I did not have any plan for shopping.

The town didn't hold any trace of those days at all. High buildings with flashy advertisements. Many restaurants as well. Young people who, I believe, look to be the last ones to be a ham were loafing or walking in a hurry on the streets. Quite different from old days. I knew there had been such a change occurring in this town. It was still a kind of disappointment to a radio nut.

At the meeting held in a nice restaurant, 14 people have gathered from all over Japan. Literally, from Hokkaido to Kyusyu. I have ever met 10 of them in person in the past. In a few minutes since I had sat on my seat for the 1st one, Takeshi JA4IIJ came in the room with full smile on the face. It was our 1st eye ball after all of nice ragchewing for the past years. He seemed to have been busy at his work. He is supposed to retire next spring. His location and antenna won't allow him enjoy radio fully at present. He seemed to dream of a remote shack in a mountain in the future. There were the others coming in around the time of opening of the meeting.

I could not omit expressing my pleasure seeing Taka JA1KIH who used to be my company since our teenage days. On his request, as he said in his speech, I have sent a circuit of an electronic keyer on a post card those days. Good electronic keyers were not available in the market yet. I guess a flip flop circuit useing a 12AT7 or something. A saw blade paddle for the keyer. The relay was often broken since it was forced to run the cathode current! He has reminded me of those good old days. He has visited me in Tokyo thosedays and later on at the dorm of the med school hospital in 1980s. He has already retired and has got a nice house in a countryside, where he operates radio for a few days in a week.

Leo JJ8KGZ, the head of the club, and Atsu JE1TRV have made some speech. Leo told us to have the same meeting once a couple of years and to activate the regular schedule on 40m very soon again. Atsu made a speech aredently to activate ourselves on the air. Do not just listen but call CQ. We all gave him amen.

Some of them like Hoz JL1IRB, Mukai JF1TTN or Isao JQ2SFZ expressed their problem that they could be embarrassed when they won't understand a single word in a sentence they receive. It makes them stop copying in head after that. This is what any operators, non native in English, often experience in CW communication. I am not an exception for this problem. But I just told them to forget it! or to ask the other what the word meant. In the context, we should try to guess what it means. If we won't reach the meaning and could guess it is not essential in the context, we could forget it. In case it seems crucially important in the contest, we should ask the other what it means etc. The other may express it in another way or explain about it in more detail.

Each of the attendants have made own speech. How deeply and seriously they have been involved in ham radio and CW! Most speakers have spent even 10 minutes or so! Maybe, some alcohol has made them so eloquent. It was a fun to hear all the stories they have told of. I was encouraged to know they had been trying to enjoy communication through CW, not just 599 QSL QSOs. It is a pity that there have been much less "elmers" on CW especially from the west coast in the US, where we could most easily work with as DX. I have posted on this paucity of elmers in the FOC reflector but no response so far. Most old timers are not seemingly interested in raising those newbies by themselves nowadays.

Some guys at the meeting told me they would like to work with Steve N6TT whom I often chat with on 40m at night. As sson as we finish a QSO, however, he often calls QRZ?. It is just to encourage those listeners to call him. But that "QRZ?" often discourages them to call him, as they said. It might be comparable to ths situation that when a boy decides to say hi to a fascinating lovely girl whom he has yearned for a long time. After hesitating for a while, he decides to say hi to her. At the moment, he hears her saying hi all of sudden. What a surprise to him! Last night, I have told this fascinating guy with beard, not a sexy girl at all, not to call QRZ? but to call those guy's call sign one from another after our QSO. It may ease or force them to answer to him. It is a kind of desensitization to them. Anyway, I hope more experienced guys would do with those newbies in CW ragchewing from now. Isn't it what they have owed to their elmers in their novice days?

I have had a couple of glasses of beer, which were too much for me. A bit staggering, I went back to a hotel in a building next to the restaurant. I was happy to have met those old friends after all. Thanks to Atsu who has organized this meeting together with a lot of his duties for the other clubs in the Ham Fair.

In front of the restaurant;

From left to right;
the back row; JQ1BWT, JA3AVO, JA4IIJ, JA4MRL, JA1NUT, JA1KIH
the intemediate row;JP1BJB, JJ1TTG, JL1IRB, JK7UST
the front row;JQ2SFZ, JF1TTN, JJ8KGZ, JE1TRV


PC logging thereafter

Thanks to Atsu JE1TRV, I could make an access to a variety of PC logging softwares. So many softwares available. It is difficult for me to test every one. I decided to start with Logger 32. It is pretty simple and easy to put the data in even though the remarks space is still too small for my purpose. I summarize and simplify the remarks so that I could put it into that space.

I still realized that it required me an enormous amount of efforts to make the QSO data memorized. I have got over "100 notebooks" for the paper log since I came back in 1980. I have never counted the number of QSOs yet. An astyronomical time and energy are necessary to do with all the data.

Maybe, we should put the data in real time with the QSO or, at least, as soon as finishing the QSO. It could be a problem. I always enjoy relaxing ragchews and don't feel like to touch with the PC while in QSO. A lazy operator. I don't want to be like at work with the PC.

It may take me long time to do with the PC logging. But I should start with it now. Why won't someone program a PC logging application easier to store the data? No fancy functions needed. From now on, amateur radio will be a hobby for aged people. There is a market in it.

Radiation dose measured with a whole body counter in Fukushima

Tsubokura et al have published a paper regarding the title above in the recent issue of JAMA. I have not read that published paper yet but have already read the same content in japanese. It concludes, overall, the radiation dose in the population examined by a whole body counter have been decreasing and remain low. This is seemingly somewhat a relieving finding to us.

However, there could be a few issues in this study. First, as the author points out, the people under study voluntarily applied for the study. They could not represent the general population. Since the examinees could be radiation issue conscious, they could be careful for external as well as internal radiation exposure in their lives. There could be a bias toward low value. The study should be performed for the group statistically identical to the general population.

Secondly, IRPA published a data that the children in Chernobyl had high rate in chromosomal abnormality even though they were normal as for the radiation dose measured by a whole body counter in comparison with the normal control in Finland.


This data might mean one hit by radiation could cause sequelle for the genetic as well as chromosomal abnormality which are related with carcinogenesis in the future.

There have been a few reports on the relationship of Cessium accumulation in urinary tract epithelium and possible carcinogenesis there. Here is an example;

2009 Nov;30(11):1821-31. Epub 2009 Jul 30

The whole body counter could not measure the content of radioactive substance in each organ. If Cessium could specifically accumulate in urinary tract epithlium, the whole body counter is not appropriate for its measurement. How do they answer about this limitation of the whole body counter? This is the 3rd question.

Since the data in Chernobyl is not complete as for these issues, we are getting into the world nobody has experienced in the past. We should not conclude the radiation issue is so serious or it is an easyproblem until we could reach any scientific conclusion. Careful and scientific observation is mandatory.


A good PC logging info wanted

A couple of days ago, I heard WA6HJN on 40m. It was him, it lit in my mind. I gave him a call and went on QSO talking about his business trip to OKLA etc. Halfway in the QSO, he shouted again and again that it was Shell, Shell. No, he was not the person I thought I had been talking to. It was Jack WA7HJV in my mind. What a shame! I could mistake someone for another but have never gone on QSO for sometime without realizing my mistake. I apologized Shell for taking him for another person. He told me no problem and anybody made such a mistake etc. I must admit this could be a sign of aging for sure.

At night, I feel a bit less conscious than usual. It is not sleepiness but a rebound phenomenon to shallower sleep. We should accept and adapt this phenomenon by some means. We should activate our brain when awake. It might be necessary for us to have deeper and more sound sleep. But, after all, we should do with this aging procerss.

I would like to have a good PC logging to memorize the QSOs in the past. I don't need anything like award supports or contesting or linking to cluster etc. I need the QSO date and the remarks space. I always fill the remarks with what I talked in the QSO. The remarks space should be large in my case. Another point is that it should be maintained in the range of 10 years or so.

I have tried Win log 32, which turned out to be too complicated. Too many functions. Logger 32 was a simple logging soft. The only problem was that the remarks space was too short. Only several words could be put in there.

Any info regarding such soft ware will be appreciated.


Water melon

 I have planted a few young plants of water melon in a corner of our garden this spring. Some were connected with another kind of plant at the roots. Before I knew that, the latter, but not water melon, has grown bearing some fruits, which disappointed me so much when I knew it had not been water melon. And the water melon has grown much ivy all around on the ground while I did not care for them so much. It was like a jungle. But so happy to have found a few water melon growing this summer. Fortunately, crows haven't found these jewel fruits yet.

This is a harvested one. So rich with fresh and sweet juice. We, both me and my wife, have had much every evening. Nothing more luxurious for a dessert. I will do better with it next summer. Experience may make me a better farmer. 

Latest news on our old friends

Three friends' latest news.

Gary W0CGR;
I  heard from Red K5ALU when staying Seattle that Gary went through the chmeo for his esophageal cancer. The side effect occurred on his hands. He could not use the paddle. He may get in touch with the others through email. I have sent his a post mail. But no reply so far.

Peggy K5DQ;
Even since she lost her husband Don K5CA recently, she has been doing well, as Tom K5AX told me. Tom has put up a multiband dipole for her. We might expect hearing her fist again soon.

Tim VK3IM;
A source told me he was getting back on the air only on 30m. He is still in difficulty. Let's look for this great CW operator on that band.

As time goes on, there are many things happening to us. Let's keep in touch anyway.


Why our leaders could not cease the WWII earlier

On Aug 15, the day of defeat in our country in WWII, NHK TV has made a program regarding the reason why our country had not been able to decide ceasing war earlier before the devastation occured in Okinawa or in Hiroshima etc.

Recently, they say, a number of telegrams sent to the mother ministries those days by a few military officers at the embassies in UK or Switzerland have been found. Those telegrams have informed them that Soviet Union would join the war against Japan. They were dated from early 1945. It means, at least, the ministry of army or of navy used to know what Soviet Union intended to by that time on the contrary to the present historical view that the leaders had not known of Soviet Union's attack plan until they attacked the northern part of China. The ministry of foreign affairs etc went on planning to ask Soviet Union to mediate with the allied countries for peace negotiations until very end of the war. The minister of army went on expressing aggressive attitude toward the enemies while there were movements toward to the peace negotiations in the ministry of navy etc. The former has had louder voice in the conference where a variety organization leaders discussed on the perspective and strategy of the war. It was based on the fanatic young officers in the ministry of army those days. The latter was crossed out by the higher personel who won't do anything without same kind of precedent events.

The army and the navy were the ultimate form of bureaucracy. The bureaucracy could not realize what went on in the reality nor could do with what happened to even in the crisis. The sectionalism, the self centered idea  and the rigid way of thinking to rule out anything precedent events had not covered. These characteristics of bureaucracy have ruined our country in that way in 1945.

In my opinion, this rigid system has been projected onto the present bureaucracy in our country. In reality, under GHQ governing our country after WWII, the bureaucracy system was taken over and was utilized for governing by GHQ. At present, the bureaucracy won't do anything even facing to the issue of the nuclear power plant generation, the deflation in the economy, the big earth quake and tsunami events and so forth. They seem to be eager only to preserve own system.

Again, I believe, thorough as well as fundamental reformation for the bureaucracy is unavoidable to go through this serious situation. We should clarify what and who was responsible for the WWII as well in relation with this issue. The process our country went on in the end of the war, despite of the devastating damages, has become the foundation of our country later on. But it won't recur for the present crisis.


Reformation is necessary but how?

Tens of billions USD in the budget for reconstruction of our country after the big earth quake was channeled into a variety juridical persons in Japan. These juridical persons are not involved in reconstruction at all. Quite a number of high officials have gone into those organizations after their retirement from governmental agencies. They have been supposed to get much money for a few years of work there. Those juridical persons were determined to be downsized by the present government a year or two ago. But they are stealing budget taking advantage of this devastating disaster. What a shame! What corruption!

Even though the damaged areas still need much financial support, the budget for reconstruction was not fully spent yet for them. Our prime minister used to compare those high officials, who get extraordinary amount of money from the juridical persons, to termites. The prime minister promised to get rid of those termites from our country. But, in reality, they are giving much honey to them in stead of insecticide. There should be a kind of underground mutualism between the politicians and the bureaucrats.

Our bureaucracy system has been preserved from the regime before WWII. It used to work out well when our economy was growing more year by year. But, since the era of "Japan as number one" was over, it has acted up for now. Even though, as Max Weber pointed out, bureaucracy is necessary to realize democracy, our system needs to be reformed. Of course, we need to get through more tax and less public services to lessen the national debt up to 260% of GDP. Public opinion says we are ready. But, unfortunately, it is not possible for us to believe in this system of bureaucracy. It is frustrating to us that we don't know how to do this reformation. The politicians should have done that. But every change in politics has disappointed us. the present government of DP Japan is quite guilty to have deceived us as for this reformation. It seems the people wait for a man of charisma. Is it possible for such a politician to do that? There are some politicians rumored for such a charisma. For example, Mayor of Osaka, a young attorney, is deemed to go into the stage of national politics. So far as I know, he is only a populist. He is essentially very conservative and changes his view according to the situation. I can hardly believe that he could do this reformation.

How could this frustration be dealt with?



The season "Obon" has been over. It is the few days in the mid of August. We accept the souls of our ancestors in this season. It is based on Bhuddism but has been influenced by the local native religion and manipulated by the government in the era of Edo. "Obon" means a dish to serve foods to the souls of the ancestors.

It is actually the time of summer vacation for the people. A large number of people move from the big cities to their home town in the countryside. There have been long rows of cars on the high ways leading to countrysides. There have been so many passengers in trains bound for countrysides as well. It is a time for family reunion. They visit to the temples or the graveyard. They worship their ancestor's grave there. It is a kind of ceremony to identify ourselves belonging to certain local area and people. It is a religious as well as a self identifying event for us.

I am in a countryside where my mother's ancestors used to be. No need to go down to hometown in this season. It is when I do shopping at the supermarket nearby that it is the time of "Obon" arriving. There are more number of people purchasing many foods and some flowers. The latte is for the grave they visit. They might have pleasant family reunion in the evening.

And it is the time they head back to their homes in the cities now. They start normal routine tomorrow or the day after.

As for our family, our daughter came back to the apartment near her university. No other kids at home. I would prepare evening meal for my wife and myself. A quiet and peaceful life starts again.

It is not so far from fall for now.


Hatred exploited by politicians

Here we have a problem with a neighbor country going on. The president of Korea has landed on an island which each claims to own. He is reported to require our Emperor to beg forgiveness if the latter wants to come to his country. It seems an abnormal attitude as a president to me. A soccer player has shown a card telling that the island in territory issue belongs to his country.

In Japan, it seems so many people are getting mad at their behaviour and saying. Hatred to each other is burning up. Is it a good thing for each of us? I scarcely belive so. Our emotion is often exploited by someone who benefits from those battles against neighbor people. The modern history indicates it repeatedly. We should be calmed down. We should not leave it to the politicians.


A new friend in Russia

It was so hot early in the morning today, as we won't run the air conditioner at night, that I got up. It was still dark outdoor. The only thing I could do was to go into the shack and to turn on the radio. 20m was pretty well open to Eu, even though not so loud as for the past few days.

I ran into an interesting russian guy. It is Victor RN3ZB. He told me he could read me with his PC. At first, I thought he had been a trendy guy operating radio with only a code reader. It was not such a case. He used it as a helper in reading. I ran about 35WPM in QSO with him.

He started introducing himself. He is a retired police officer aged 62. Being asked by me how about his pension, he answered it was big enough. His story was surprising. He was sent to Chernobyl one year after  the accident for police job. That was why he had been paid well for pension. Though the radiation level was told to have dropped, he developed some health problem. I could not ask him about that in detail. He won't answer to me about the character of the work, compulsory or volunteer. Or was he informed that it had been contaminated with radiation etc? I don't know if he was not allowed to answer it or not. Or it was just because he could not understand my inquiries.

I told him that I lived about 120km south west of the accident site in Fukushima while our 2nd son still studied medicine about 80km west. So we were much concerned about Chernobyl as well. He was interested in this story. He gave us best wishes for our future. I felt we had been a kind of united as for this problem. 

He told me he always enjoyed chatting on CW. He complained there had been very few in JA to ragchew with. He seemed to be delighted to talk to me. Of course, so was I. The world might be changing if there were more numbers of hams across the borders of countries enjoying this type of QSO and understanding each other in the world. The war is always a complicated phenomenon involved in economy, religion or other social problems. But a people's enthusiasm based on hatred pushes the politicians into decision for war. The hatred is often closely related with misunderstanding or ignorance for the other people.

A peculiar manner of calling

There are  a number of CW operators calling someone in a peculiar manner. They send only own call for onece or, at most, twice. It seems those in this style is increasin in number. It frustrates me a lot.

One reason is that it is not only legitimate according to our law, which tells us to give the other's call before own call, but also not very courteous. I feel as if called, all of sudden, by an unfamiliar person.

From practical standpoint, I am not always assured to be called by that guy in that manner. When the band condition is good, there could be another calling CQ on the same spot or close to me and the guy could call him. Or there could be a pile up spreading to my spot. And the guy was in the caller group who started calling at the same time.

This phenomenon may be related with contesting habit. In contests, they are trained to call with only own call. I have ever experienced doubled QSOs at the same time in contests. Not so often but not so rare. When I call someone with own call only, not only the guy but also another one close or on the spot answer me at the same time. Eventually, I could make two QSOs at the same time. Ridiculous.

And those guys calling in this manner always finish their message with "BK" in each transmission and the content is limited to 599QSL style. I hate it.

I sincerely hope this bad habit should be shut out soon. Or we might be "in contest" all the time. Then it is the time I put my key away into a junk box.

An Indian lilac tree with flowers

This is a tree of Indian lilac close to the gate of our home. It is a flower in late summer.

Its flower in close up.

When these flowers come out, we know fall is not so far.

But it is still muggy here.


A trip to the west coast; the chapter five

The day before departure back home, we went for shopping in a shopping mall near by. A shuttle bus took us there. It has brought us up to the top of the hill. The driver was a retired person being employed in parttime by the hotel. He told us he had been from UK and had lived there with family for years. The real estate prices, as he told, used to be astronomically high in the bubble economy. It had been settled down and went on at reasonable ranges so far. The economy seemed to be in good shape. It was sunny and hot in the sun. Under the shades, it was pretty cool. It was a shopping mall for the local people. Not crowded. We have enjoyed shopping for an hour or two.

Around a fountain in a pateo, a few toddlers were playing in the water. They were so lovely that I recalled my former patients with a faint sensation of pain missing them at the outpatient clinic.

On the day coming home, we have packed everything in bags, not to forget something like camera. I have given a call to Al N6ZI to say thanks and everything was going on well. Everything really went on smooth for us. We were ready to go back home.

The taxi driver was a cheerful and sociable guy originally from Trithoria. He told us he used to own 25 vehicles for his company but reduced the size of business to 12, 13 cars. He was the president of a taxi company. On the way from the Hilton Bellevue to the Seattle airport, we took a taxi whose driver was from Ethiopia. That Ethiopian guy told us the economy was getting better mainly thanks to the financial support from China. He would go back to Ethiopia with his family very soon. On the other hand, this driver named Joe was satisfied at the life in the US and would raise his two children over there. Joe strongly supported the Republicans saying those who worked hard should be rewarded. The present government were spending too much, as Joe said, for the social security. On the way to the LA airport, he had a phone call from a customer, seemingly an old lady, who reported him her folk's passing away. It seemed he had had close relationship with some customers. He has handed us a name card and told us to call him for transportation in next visit. A good driver and president.

I got a bit of pain in legs while checking in and boarding on. But we finally settled down on our seat of UAL Boeing 777, which were quite good compared with those in the flight to the US. We could lie flat even though the space was limited. The display and the audio devices were perfect. I was so happy to have found the violin concertos of Bach in the repertoire. I have been so excited and stimulated by many meetings and experiences during this stay. It was really fun. But, at the same time, it was too much burden to my mind. I felt I had been mentally very tired. These musics sounded into my mind like water being absorbed in the dry soil. I felt much relieved with them.

Bob Locher, W9KNI, gave me a book titled "The Complete DX'er" which I placed below the display in front of me in the plane. As he told me to read it on the way in the flight back home, I have read it over by the time the plane landed at muggy Narita. This book tells us as if an elmer told every hint and tip in DXing to newcomers. There were a lot of familiar calls in it. It might be because that this book has been written and revised while I was a nutty DXchaser in '80s. In the preface of the 3rd edition, he honestly expressed his losing interests in DXing due to the prevalence of the DX cluster etc. But it was QRP DX which had reactivated his interests in DXing, as it said. This was what I had been thinking of the ham radio. In DXing, when encountering a DX is less probable, it gives us more thrill. The cluster or the internet has given us handy tools for DXing. But, on the other hand, it has worked to make it much easier to work some particular DX. Convienience has ruined pleasure in DXing. Bob has returned the world of DXing with QRP, which lessened the chance of encounter to DX and made DXing more pleasant and full of thrill. DXing is a fun. But it has an end or a limit. We should be aware of this while spending much energy and time for this hobby. I dared to tell Bob, in my mail of thanks to him, to add another chapter regarding enjoyment of ragchewing in the future revised edition.

A pleasant flight brought us back to Japan. Very comfortable. What a muggy weather there as soon as we go out of the exit though needless to say! A limousine bus brought us back to the station near to our home where our daughter was waiting for us. The scenary of deep green rice paddies convinced me that we had made it and finally got home.

Before I left for the US, I had a chance to read over many mails in the PC mail box which I had received from my friends  in the US in March of 2011 immediately after the big earth quake and the nuclear power plant accident. What friendship and fraternity they have expressed in those mails! I could never forget them. It was the time I could see those friends and shake teir hands. Even during this short trip, many people have proposed us for help. I won't forget them in my life. I am sure so does my wife. Thanks again, my friends.

I and my wife would like to return over there in the future. Maybe, with our son or daughter.

Wishing Ed K8RD's wife, Cathy, who could not attend the event in Seattle due to her accident, full and quick recovery. I missed you, Ed.

Thanks for reading these lengthy posts on our short trip. I will keep my fingers crossed for the QSO  and the eye ball with all of you in the future.

Any comment will be appreciated on this blog or by mail.


A trip to the west coast; the chapter four

On July 31, we left San Jose for Los Angeles, where another friend of mine, Steve N6TT, waited for  us. It was a short flight. We landed on the LA airport in sunny and dry weather. Steve stood at at the exit waiting for us. His appearance was exactly what we were familair with from the photo. A short pants and a T shirt. His gentle smile with beard face has welcomed us there. He took us to the hotel named Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes. It was about 40 min drive. In some time, getting through the residential area near LA, we could see some resort facilities. Houses with light beige wall and bright colored tile roof along the road. Between those houses, we could see the shining ocean of the Pacific. Finally, we arrived at this gorgeous hotel.

At the reception, I have made the check in procedure. A pretty receptionist has given me a couple of card keys to me telling us to stay at a bungalow. Since we were relieved to come to the destination, we did not care for that at that time. I didn't realize it would make me worried a lot later.

The hotel was composed of a resort hotel and the other types of facilities like our bungalow. The houses were scattered among beautifully cared lawn on a slightly sloped land. There seemed to be a couple of golf courses there as well. Steve went back home after he had seen us being settled down there.


The bungalow had 2LDK with a washing machine, a cloth dryer, a refrigerator and a system kitchen etc. What a gorgeous facility! Later on, at night, I was worrying that it could be a mistake for them to let us stay there! When I asked about it, the receptionist could not understand what I was worryig about. I asked Steve to tell them about my worry. Steve helped us to do that on behalf of me. But they won't give any answer to him due to a privacy issue. The day after, when I asked a concierge about it, he told me they had upgraded the room to a bungalow at check in. It won't  be charged more than the fee for the booked room! They should have explained about it at check in slowly and clearly to a foreign visitor. Is it common that they upgrade the room at check in without proper explanation? A poor retired pediatrician from Japan has worried about it much!

We have enjoyed a dinner at a casual Mexican food restaurant. The dishes are much bigger than those in Japan. It might be the energy source for American people to fight in the Olympic games. We have had a glass of wine for each, which made my wife a little bit drunken. We have had a good walk along the cliff. It was pretty late but still slightly bright outdoor. Cool breeze was coming over the ocean. There were a number of plants along the promenades, which looked like native in the area. The soil was sandy with rocks made of white sand.

The peninsula viewed from a promenade. Steve told us there used to be the famous big gun, Don W6AM, on the hill over there. There must be a number of rhombics set for various directions there. Don was an elmer for Steve when he started radio in '60s. Steve often tells me of good old days when Don gave him lessons and let him operate his big station. In early '80s, I used to listen to Don's big signal on 40m as well.

The day after our arrival, Steve drove to the hotel and picked us up to his home. Jim, W6YA, another old friend of mine, was supposed to come to his home. At almost the same time, we arrived there. A beautiful house. There was a big crank up tower with a 3 elements for 40 and a Steppir on it. It took Steve, as he said, a couple of years to get the permission to construct the antennas there.

Steve's wife, Linda, his 2nd daughter Hannah and a dog named Sadee welcomed us as well. Jim has been a big star in DXing for years.  We used to hear his big signal in any pile ups. And he was always one of the forerunners in them. Since I became an FOC member in late '80s, I have enjoyed nice chats with him from time to time. He told us he would go on working for another 4 years as a dentist. He seemed to love his work so much. He has been caring for patients for 3 generations in families. I fully understand him for it was a great pleasure for me to see patients, children of the parents, who used to be patients years ago as well, even though I have never seen 3 generations in any family. Jim was a bright and intelligent person with diverse interests. He used to send me a video clip from a scene in Nabucco, an Italian opera, which was very impressive to me as well.

It was very 1st ever eye ball for Steve to see him after 45 year long QSOs on the air. Steve was also excited to see him there. They seemed to have shared the same friends each other.

Linda was also a brilliant lady, who seemed to make plans for the family by herself. She has started studying about counselling at a college recently after having been interrupted for that for many years with raising three children at home school. Steve told she would finish the master degree course by next year. She thanked Steve for his support. Hannah was a lovely girl who was fond of dancing. They have let my wife look around their house.

Here is Steve's castle in the basement. Is there anything else necessary for ragchewing on the air other than these equipments? He has recently approved to be another FOC member. I have talked with John K1JD in NM from this station for a while. He has recently movend there from RI. And his temporary antenna scarecely sent his signal into JA. But at this station, his signal was like a neighbor.

Steve took us to a restaurant in a sea side place for dinner. Again, big dishes in American size! Looking at the young people enjoying some kind of marine sports on the ocean through the window, we have had a great time. Jim has gone home while Steve and Linda drove for us to the hotel. We promised seeing again somewhere in the near future when we bade farewell. Wishing each other's good healthe and Steve's fruitful retirement in the near future.

The last chapter will follow soon.


A trip to the west coast; the chapter three

On July 30, we got up at 7:30. The hotel served us a great smorgasbord for breakfast. It seems there are pretty large number of tourists or business people from Japan staying at the hotel. They have provided cooked rice as a menue. My wife pleasantly took it. There was a pateo in the breakfast restaurant. In the shaded area, it was cool and dry, which was unusual for this season in Japan. We have had a nice breakfast there.

It was just 10:30, as we promised, when Bob and Takie, his sister in law, have come to the hotel. We headed to the Henry Cowell Redwood Stete Park in Felton near Santa Cruz. On the way, we drove across the El Camino Real or Alpine road, which had been familiar to me. The peninsula mountains were full of green thick trees. Bob explained the clouds from the ocean make much rainfall there, while the wind blown eastwrd gets very dry after that rainfall.

The park was so large that it took us almost an hour to walk around. Bob and me in front of the monument of a cross section of a 2000 year old redwood tree. It is almost unbelievable a tree could live so long as since the birth of Jesus Christ. The small museum for the visitors explained that the redwoods contain much tannin which prevented them from insects like termite. It was another reason why they look red in surface color. Bob was repeatedly amazed at their long lives.

The characteristics of redwoods were suitable as lumber for houses. Many redwoods had been provided for housing industry. This park seemed the only place where old redwoods were left. It was donated to the state by the family Cowell and became the foundation of the park as Bob told us.

There were deers, squirrels and the other animals in the park. A quiet and peaceful place. A steam engined loccomotive ran on a side of the park between the park and Santa Cruz. Some teenages or families have walked around.

Another big redwood tree. A portion of the root was burnt by lightning hit. There were dozen of those old and high trees up to 300ft, if I remeber it right. The special tour to the redwood tree area Bob had planned for us on our request has satisfied us so much.

Takie and my wife looked alike as real sisters. The ancestor of Takie and Mariko family came from Awaji Isalnd, which was not far from my wife's birth place. Who knows their ancestors could be folks in the past? Takie was a really gentle and quiet person typical for the ladies in Japan in the past, maybe, before WWII.

We drove down to a seaside of Santa Cruz. I used to drive down from San Francisco to this area on a rent car in mid '80s in my 1st visit to the US. I remebered taking a cup of coffee at a cafe somewhere along the Rt 1. Of course, I could not recall that place. There were a lot of people in the streets, who might be enjoying swimming in the sea or playing at a thema park there.

We had a good lunch at a restaurant on a pier there. Nice cool breeze was coming over the ocean.

On the way back to San Jose, Bob told us interesting stories about the Carmel Bach Festival, which he and Mariko had been attending to regularly for many years. The theme was h minor mass by Bach. They have listened to from the rehearsal. Bob was brave enough to propose the conductor in the intermission that, in Bob's opinion, the tympani should play last note of the last piece with a roll, which made better effect for the finale and so forth. The conductor gently replied "No" to him. Then, he met the tympanist smoking outdoor. Bob told him to do what he had proposed to the conductor. The tympanist, from SF Symphony Orchestra, answered him that he could do that. But, after they finished performance, the conductor might walk to him and should tell him "You could do that. But, next time, get my permission before doing the same thing". What a sense of humor! And what a man of bravery Bob is! I scarcely do that by myself. Bob has been interested in Bach for years. He told me he had been studying his works with the scores. A couple of decades or so ago, in a QSO, he happened to tell me he had listened to Matthew's passion at the same festival. The conductor was Helmut Rilling, who used to teach music in Oregon those days. Rilling was the conductor who gave me an overwhelming impression for this music at a concert in Tokyo in my med student days. This episode made me feel closer to him.

I am afraid Bob was so tired from that long drive. Our gratitude to him. We have enjoyed our stay over there. My wife was impressed at Bob, his family, five doggies and the garden.

To be continued.


A trip to the west coast; the chapter two

I should not forget giving our thanks to those guys plus Fred W7FU not shown on this photo. Their elaborately planned meeting was not possible without their self sacrificing efforts. From left to right, Bill W7GKF, W7GKF XYL Ann, AC2K Alan and W7QC Steve. So far as I know, they have prepared the meeting spending long time, offered lunch at their homes and gave some attendants transportation and so forth. They have set up K7FOC and W7QC/P at the hospitality suite. The latter was operated by the remote control of W7QC through the net. It was a day before starting this event when President Obama had stayed at the same suite room. Bill sighed saying it was good Obama had gone, which made me smiling. Bill was a sociable and bright person who took the role of the moderator at the banquet. Alan was a young and kind guy who cared for us at various occasions. Steve was what I had imagined before meeting him, a quiet and brilliant guy. I already mentioned about Fred in the last chapter.

In addition, I would thank to Al N6ZI. He has helped me to reconfirm the flight ticket at the lobby of Hilton in the evening before flying to San Jose. Handing over a piece of paper with his phone number, he kindly told me to give him a call whenever I had any trouble during our trip. Fortunately, I haven't needed calling him throughout the trip. I was, however, quite thankful to him for such a kind offer in the country unfamiliar to me.

The day after the banquet was held, we left the hotel for San Jose early in the morning. It was not until we arrived the airport of San Jose and was told by Bob W6CYX about it when we realized that we had forgot my camera at the hotel. What a shame! Rick N6XI has brought it to Bob's home on the way back home. Thanks a lot, Rick.

The airport building of San Jose seemed renewed or newly built since I had transitted there to the east coast 21 years ago. A little bit warmer but still cool air over there than in Seattle. My old friend, Bob W6CYX, has waited for us in the lobby. It has been over 20 years since I met him in person last time. A little bit more grey hair. But his appearance was almost the same as those days. Active, sharp and eloquent talks and much kindness. He took us to a hotel near by. It was not a kind of gorgeous resort but a very comforatble one. A quiet and nice room, hearty service as well as good foods! The hotel named Moorpark Hotel was what Bob had recommended us to stay.

Bob has taken us to his home in the foothill of Mt. Hamilton later, where I used to visit for 3 times if I remember it right. He, Mariko, his wife, and Takie, his sister in law, have welcomed us there. Oh, we won't forget the 5 doggies as well there. The house looked the same as years ago. On the other hand, the garden looked quite different. There were new trees, high redwood trees and various fruit trees, growing. On the ground, there were various kinds of flowers and plants growing thick in the spacious sloped garden. It was a big contrast to the surrounding fields which looked brown with withered and dead plants on it.  Mariko told us she and Takie had cared for them every day.  I have remembered that Bob and Mariko used to hold a party at the pateo over 20 years ago, where I had met good old friends, mostly passed away, like Steve WA6IVN or John KD6SU etc.

Bob and the family have served us some champaigne and wine. A Brandenburg concerto was on the background. The sun has set. There was a wonderful scenary spread below through the window. It has amazed me a lot when first visited there. My wife exclaimed this as well. We could see the Silicon Valley down there and even San Francisco in the north.

Bob has served us a big and fresh lobster. Very good one. He was eagerly argued against the present government and the bureaucracy. I could not agree with all of his conservatism for a smaller government. But as he took us Los Altos or Palo Alto area before checking in the hotel, I learned the real estate seemed not in a kind of devastation, something like most houses in "for sale" but the people seemed to be enjoying stable lives, although I have seen only a part of the peninsula area, where the economy goes on pretty well. He wanted to stress that point to me. I agreed with most of his anti bureaucracy idea. I have experienced the same thing by the bureaucrats, even if the system is not the same between our countries. I and my wife were smiling to see Bob calling them as junk yard dogs! The pleasant time has passed very fast. Bob took us back to the hotel pretty late at night.

We were scheduled to go to a big red wood tree park in Santa Cruz the day after. To be continued.


A trip to the west coast ; the chapter one

Was it last fall? One of the Seattle FOC guys told me to join the NW FOC EVENT they were planning this summer. I used to be told or even to be invited for such meeting in the past for several times. My work as the owner of private practice has prevented me from attending those in the past. It was a little bit different from the past then. I have made up my mind to quit my work by this spring. I was inclined to say yes to them.

I and my wife decided to go there. The main purpose was to attend that meeting. I still had some other ends for this trip. I have a number of old friends in the west coast. I have met some of them in the past but have some friends whom I have never met in person. I thought it was a good chance to see them and renew our friendships.

Since we have started our residency as soon as we got married, we have not gone for a real honey moon except for a very short trip to JA2 at that time. After having spent over 3 decades with my wife, I thought this could be another honey moon, even though my wife's work still limited the length of the trip to pretty short one. She was pleased to hear of this trip plan and agreed with it without any hesitation.

The last reason why I made this trip was to confirm by myself that my chapter of working in my life has been already over and I should go on into a new chapter of life. 

 Everything for preparation of the trip was new to me. Application of the passport, arranging the transportation and booking the hotels and so forth. I have never known of ESTA, a new security system for the US through internet etc. It might be difficult for us to go through those process without my retirement. Some friends like Bob W6CYX or Steve N6TT were helpful to us. Red K5ALU and Bill W7GKF told us to come to see us at the Seattle airport.

As I told before, it was our first trip abroad going together. We might seem like a teenage couple before the first trip ever abroad. Full of excitement and hope for foreseeable enjoyment in the trip. A shuttle bus has brought us from a stop near by our home to the airport of Narita after 3 hours ride. Not bad. My wife was sending an e mail to our daughter, who was supposed to go with us but had givenn it up for caring for our old cat while our absence.  It was at the United Airlines lounge at Narita immediately before departure of the flight.

We had a little bit hard hours flying to Seattle. The seat was not very comfortable. It turned out to be due to the plane model. Boeing 777, the newest one, I believe, which we took on the way back home, has served us a much more comfortable seat. We might have flown to the moon on that seat!

Anyway, in the morning of July 27, we arrived at the Seattle airport. Bill W7GKF and his wife Ann have welcomed us at the exit. A paper showing "NUT" on his hand has made me smiling. In addition to their effort arranging the meeting and the nice lunch at their home, I am really thankful to them for their hospitality.

The Hilton Bellevue was located near to the downtown of the city. The streets had beautiful lawn and trees along the side walks. The attendants were out for the lunch at W7QC and then for a tour. We decided to stay at the hotel taking some rest. It regrettfully meant I had lost a chance to taste the home brew beer by Steve, which he kindly brought a bit to me later. We could refresh ourselves by the time a dinner would be held in a pier restaurant in Seattle.

A great mobile operator, Red K5ALU together with his wife Linda, has taken us to the restaurant. His set up was a simple but quite efficient one. He told me his big amp etc had been burnt out at one time due to RF feed back and set this present TS480 in stead. He has shown how to QSO in mobile with K5TF on 20m. It was the station which I had worked so many times from all over the states.

It was still bright outdoor. It told us how high in latitude Seattle was located.

There were so many people at the restaurant. It was a little bit funny that almost all of them were known to me with their call signs even though it was the first eye ball to most of them. From left to right, W7QC, AC2K, N9RV XYL, N9RV and W9KNI.

From left to right, K6XG, DJ6ZM a big gun from Germany, DJ6ZM XYL, W6IJ XYL and possibly K5ALU XYL.

The dish I took was a king salmon. Already half done! Very fresh and good.

I have not seen Tommy W6IJ for over 20 years. He looked so young and healthy. His wife Deana told me what she had done as a registered nurse. It was amazing for it was what a resident is doing here in our country. Rita, N9RV XYL, originally from Germany, told us to go for a Mozart Festival held in northern Germany. Vic WA6MCL, whom I had never expected to see in eye ball, was there. A sociable and cheerful person. It was a little bit different from what I had expected from his style in operation on the radio! Old friend, Jim KF7E, was there also. We used to talk when he was on the way from night shift work to home. Years ago. Anyway, we have had a lot of interesting conversations with a number of people.

The day after, we woke up early in the morning. We took a walk around the hotel. On halfway, Fred W7FU, has joined us there. It seemed my wife and he had had the same interests in gardening, their same profession and travelling. A gentle nice person.

In the hospitality suite, Dave K6XG has shown his performance with his brand new soprano recorder. Warm and soothing tune. It amazed me that he was using an i pad for score of music. It was a foot switch that he turned pages of the score. A new style of performance. I would enjoy ensemble with him with my cello some day. The audience has enjoyed his performance much.

PS;Dave has let me know it was not an i book but an i pad. I really don't know how different they are yet hi. Thanks, Dave.

Alan AC2K has brought us to W7GKF's home for lunch. It was 20 min drive from Bellevue, I guess. A quiet and serene place. Neatly cared lawn, flowers and trees have welcomed us there. A nice house. I have seen a typical prosperous side of the US in his property.

A pleasant and good lunch was prepared and served for us. I have had nice conversation with Vic W9RGB, Cliff K6KII or Rick N6XI etc. It was surprising that Rick had a liberal idea on social security etc, that looked pretty rare among the people there. A relaxing and enjoyable afternoon there.
From the lady foreground in clockwise, K5ALU XYL, K5ALU, W6IJ, K6ZB and an unknown person. N5AW. PS: Marv let me know it was him. Sorry for forgetting him. We have talked about our mutual friend Gary W5ZL in the elevator. We have lost Gary in this winter.

Bill's home was really fantastic. In the garden, there were also beautiful lawn and flowers. They said the antennas were all wire set among the trees behind. Steve used to use a bow to set them. There was a brook running through the trees, which might make the soil wetter and good as the radio ground. Or his big signal into JA could not be explained.

In the afternoon, I had a promise to see one of the oldest friends in ham radio. i had to cancell the tour to Boeing factory. He is Kemp K7UQH, who told me he would come to see me with his wife from Bellingham after a couple of hours drive. I have mentioned somewhere in this blog on him as a friend since '60s. We were company of a panpacific round table on 40m old Ed K6NB had kept for years.  It was the first eye ball with him and his wife after all 45 years long friendship. He looked very young and vivid. He has told us about his young days as a beginner ham and later a radio officer on a LNG carrier and so forth. A lot of old fond memories. Junko was a charming lady originally from Japan, who had known Kemp through ham radio, What a romantic couple! In some time, there were some others joining our conversation looking into the album Kemp had brought there. He seemed to be a little bit inactive for the past few years. He told me he was more engaged in trombone performance in a big band. He is still active from his car with this antenna. He and Junko have left there after a couple of hours visit. It was one of my high lights in this trip.

A banquet was held in the evening of July 28. I have had an enjoyable time there again. It was Fred K1NVY who pleased me most in this event. He is an avid CW operator and is an enthusiastic ragchewer as most of you know. He told me he won't join any club ! I often feel the same way for any social events. That's why I feel close to him, even though he is not happy to hear that ! A nice guy who enjoys his lif in his own way.

I am writing this together with another post. It may take me some more time to go on the next chapter. Be patient. To be continued. Sorry for easy going writing.