Music bonds us deeply

In the practise of the piano trio this afternoon, as planned with the pianist, I and the pianist have played the song for Happy Birth Day without letting the violinist ST know that. At the beginning of the 1st movement for the 2nd time, we did it. ST opened her eyes wide and, at first, puzzled at it as if she would say to us that the tone was different. Yes, Mendelssohn starts D with cello while we started C at that time. And as the tune went on for the wellknown melody of Happy Birth Day, ST became full of smile on her face and told us thank you so much. Nothing was better for the birth day present than this performance, as she said.

Playing together some music bonds ourselves in the most profound place. Music comes from the deepest portion of our hearts. That may be why. When we starts playing some piece together, we inspire the air together at the same time. It is not only a technique to synchronize our performance but also to share something from our lives together.

ST used to have lessons from the same teacher as my daughter did. She was so good at it that she has chosen music for her profession. She went for a music university in Tokyo and then has studied violin in Germany. I know how tough it was for her to go on studying in Germany. Since her university days, I asked her to play music together from time to time. We played quite some of chamber muics together. I am quite happy to enjoy ensemble with such a good and reliable player. She is a pretty and tender girl as well. Unfortunately, my daughter has lost interest in music. But ST has become my "2nd daughter". I always feel thankful for ST's kind and generous attitude to me. Until she gets married someone away from here, I would like to enjoy ensemble with this daughter.


One of the regular recipes at our home is this Kimpira. Radish and burdock root are cooked with sesame oil etc. The recipe is here. One of the most popular family dishes in Japan.
I will cook rice with chesternut this morning. The problem is how to get off the shell of chesternut. I am using a pressured saucepan. It eases to do that process. But not perfect yet. I am wondering how they peel chesternut for marron grace. The art of cooking is really deep.
Later on, I will join the piano trio. I am concerned about playing "Happy Birth Day to You" for a surprise to the violinist more than the trio itself. It has been a few months since I met those girls last time. It is another fun.


A new farm

I have plown a corner of the yard yesterday. It was not so large in size as shown in this photo taken in the morning. Plowing the soil and taking away anything like roots of weeds or small stone etc. Even sifting the soil to get rid of those things. It was not an easy work for me. I was sure I had been doing a perfect work.
By chance, while doing the work there, I looked up in the sky. It was close to the noon. There was a big gingko tree making shades on the farm! The sun runs nearer to the horizon for now. That is why there become unespected shades there. I was much disappointed at that.
This morning, another idea lit in my mind. The leaves of the gingko tree will fall by the winter. Then, I won't need care for the shades any longer. I was encouraged by that idea and have started the work again. Strawberry, lettuce or cabbage etc were planted there. Let's keep fingers crossed for their successful growth in this farm this winter. It is not easy to be a yard farmer.




Mendelssohn Piano Trio d minor 1st movement

This week end, we will practise this piece. A romantic and a bit sentimental melody. I have played it for a few times but have never felt satisfied with them. I have been eagerly practising it while wondering if I could make any progerss.
The pianist gave me a mail telling it would be the violinist's birth day next Sunday. She proposed me to play "Happy Birth Day to You" without telling the violinist before that. We might abruptly start playing "H.B.D.Y" while practising this piano trio. After the general pause when the piano is supposed to reproduce calmly the 1st theme. We would do it with serious face. What would the violinist say?
In this Youtube piece, Tortelier plays the cello. An old fashioned style. Not very fast. He sings a romantic song with cello. In contrast to him, Hua, the violinist, plays it in sharp and decisive way. How much could we come close to them?


A couple of eye balls

For the past few days, I have had a couple of friends visiting my home. On two different days. I have known both guys through ham radio.
The first one was still pretty young person aged around 50 years. He has been involved in education. In conversation with him, I realized that the English classes in Japan had been very problematic since our young days. We have been taught the grammer at school. The grammer was composed of strict rules with number of exceptions. We were expected to remember all boring marshaling of rules. The rules were still systematically organized. But, as told above, there were so many exceptions. It won't center on the nucleus of the language. If we should concentrate on the latter, it must be much easier and much more interesting to study English. The grammer should have been lively in such study.
In English study at schools, we have been forced just to remember the vocabulary in addition to the grammer. It is even torturous to students. The visiting friend told me the university exams were changing requiring another capability in English, that is, understanding an amount of sentences in English, rather than knowledges of the grammer itself. It might influence what they teach at high schools etc. Those already having finished their education might stay hatred for English after all those boring study. They won't open a page of English literature or critics after graduation.
It might be related with paucity of japanese hams who enjoy ragchewing on CW. If reading and writing capability is highly related with head copy and sending on CW, we should brush up reading and writing in English. It won't mean we look on our mother tongue as lower language at all. English has become a lingua franca for now. We should do that in order to do with the other peoples all around the world not only in ham radio but also in our routine lives. 
The other guy is a little bit younger than me. A retired engineer. He has spent many years abroad at various places in the world. I have known him for over 40 years. A long time has passed. I have met him only several times in about a decade interval in our lives. He could go on working if he would at the time of retirement. But he wanted to get away from the heavily crowded commuting train etc and to do what he would like to. In retirement, he has been enjoying operating radio at his newly built station in a countryside. He let me see a photo of home brew PLL for TS830. He has put up two towers and big beams on them.
It seems he was much concerned about the nuclear power plant problem. I shared with his worry about the used fuel at the 4th reactor. It is an enormous amount stored in a watered pool there. If it were destroyed by any natural disaster, that amount of radioactive substances, much more than the contamination on 3.11, would fly over here. It could never be handled or repaired at all. It forces them give up controlling the other reactors at the same nuclear power plant or even the adjascent ones due to extremely high radiation level from the freed used fuel. The situation would be uncontrollable then. It would mean we could not live this area including Tokyo any longer. The government or the mass media would neglect it. Nevertheless, we should be always aware of that, as he told me. I agreed him completely. We need to know any informations hidden by the authorities. After talking for a couple of hours without pause, he has left for home.
Interesting meetings in fact. 


Revision of my idea for contesting or DXing

In the post titiled "Contesting in my view", I did not intend to offend the contesters or the DXers themselves. Reading it back carefully, I noticed, it might be taken that way. If it has hurted any contest or DX lovers' feeling or if it was read as an article to deny the contest or DXing irself, it was not what I wanted to say. Maybe, I should have been more careful in revising it. I would thank a few friends having commented here or in the other site, who tried to make me notice of that. It was not my purpose to insult or to hurt the contesters.

I was questioning about something like an ethos in ham radio. It should be based on the sturdy intention to communicate with the other people. I mean a strong will to converse with the others and to understand them. But it should not be just a tool to play with, where the other hams are regarded just as means to get own pleasure. I am afraid there has been a change from the former to the latter in ham radio in recent years.

With the appearance of the internet and the other communication technologies, the HF radio communication has declined its status in the end of the last century. It has brought about drastic changes in ham radio as most of us know. Nowadays, in contests or DXing, the purpose seem "only" to compete with the others or to get a rare entity. It is just like a game without the definite will to communicate with the others. They often just look at displays for a rare one or any good ones they need. It is the time for them to turn off their  radios when the contest or the pile up is over. At least, I won't enjoy such a thing for a life long hobby at all. Ham radio should be a hobby to communicate with the others, where we could experience the others' lives together.

Someone insisted that contests were the only chance for him to get a rare DX with a modest set up. I fully understand it. For I have enjoyed it with a barefoot and a simple antenna for many years. The difference from him is that I have had definite and strong will to converse with the others by ham radio since my teen age days even though I scarecely could do that with limited knowledge of English and the very small set up. There has been another seemingly persuadable discussion that any kind of activity in ham radio could be of help to maintain itself. I could kinda understand it but still wonder if they know that most of contesters or DXers would turn off the radio as soon as the game is over. They won't show up any longer until the next one starts. Tolerance to the other ways of enjoyment, whatever it might be, should still be a basic attitude. It is not a debate or a struggle between religions etc. I am ready for that. 

Yes, I am still tolerant to the other ways of enjoyment. I join some pile ups by myself. Or, in such as BW QSO Party by FOC, I enjoy it as well. There are a few contests like WW CW or AA CW etc, where I watch the bands carefully and would give some points to my friends. But I still could not help thinking what is going on under those activities. We should be aware of things behind the reality.    



In the BW QSOParty this week end, at the very begininng, Pat N9RV has caught me with a hard uppercut, asking me, an anti contesting fundamentalist , if that was an ordinary QSO or not. I enjoyed many QSOs with old friends.

I could finally thank Bill W7GKF and his wife, Ann, for their perfect hospitality for us at W7 FOC event this summer. AA3B Bud would ask his barber to stay scissor on his head for the ordinary time even if there were nothing to do there. Ken GW3KGV told he had been too busy caring for his old XYL to enjoy radio. And many more especially from G land. Thanks to everyone who worked me this week end.

I was just going to kid around them in BW QSOP for a while. The good condition and activities have let me enjoy it for several hours.

I hope these activities will continue after this week end.


Contesting in my view

This is a view of a ham who hates contesting. If you are an avid contester, please omit reading it.

I  used to enjoy contesting in the beginner days in '60s and '80s/ '90s. It was a time for me to test my set up. For a beginner teenager ham with a 6AQ5 TX with ladder line fed dipole, it was a real thrill to work abroad anywhere in contests. Later, I was chasing DX in contests as well as trying to get high score at the same time.

I became to know it had been impossible for me to compete with the big guns in contests. I also lost interests in DXing since it was only a rat race full of trickery. I saw XU8DX, which was operated by a native girl, had been forced to go QRT by a behavior of an undisciplined egoistic DXpeditioner.

At almost the same time, I felt contesting could not be a real origin of our pleasure. In contests, we handle the others as means for our pleasure. Not an objective. The others whom we work in contest could be replaced to anyone. No human relationship with the others. In the real QSO as a communication between humans, the others should be the objective themselves. The others are not replaceable to anyone in that case. The directions which contesters and non contesters are heading to are quite opposite in my view. 180 degrees opposite.

I am sure contesting could be substituted to computer game in the very near future. It is not worthy to have such a big set up for only contesting. Too costly. I am sure young people won't spend much money for that costly humanityless thing any longer. For the past decade, we have lost almost all activities in contesting by university clubs in Japan such as JA7YAA, JR1ZTT, JA9YBA , JA2YKA ans so forth. The last one, JA3YBK, was not heard recently any longer. This loss of activity by young people means that contesting is on the downhill at least in Japan. I am sure those contesters have become computer game freaks.

Any CW clubs need something to attract members to the club. They often give that role to contesting. I am sure it is wrong. It will eventually lessen the other activities in clubs than contesting. I sincerely hope the CW clubs won't be contest oriented.


Fried Scallop


After treated with flour, fried in salad oil with soy sauce, sugar and sweet rice wine. Good even after getting cooled. Tasted rich sweet salty.


In the fall

Our garden looks like early fall now. I am, however, still busy at pulling the weeds, watering the lawn and cutting it once in a while. The vegitables are almost over. The persimmons are getting ripe too early before they become big enough. It might be due to the lack of rainfall in the summer. On the other hand, the chesternuts are pretty promising. It will be the season of harvest and beautiful leaves very soon.

It is the time to listen to Brahms now. There are a couple of my friends who insist that there are no music after J.S.Bach. I could not, however, spend fall without listening Brahms. This is the piece which made me attracted to cello so much when I was a med student. At the end of the summer camp of the med school orchestra, we used to have a small concert. Cool breeze was coming through the windows of the hall in a foot hill of high mountains. It was already early fall. A cellist, 1 or 2 years older than me, played the 1st movement of this sonata by Brahms. I might have mentioned about this piece before. It is still unforgettable one for me.

The first movement starts like murmuring in low voice. Melancholy as well as longing for something remain the basic tone in this music. In the refrain, cello sings the 1st theme softly in the same tonality. This representation of the 1st theme is unusual for a sonata. Then, the piano accompanies cello with beautiful arepeggio. It sounded like droplets of dew. The sunray streamed into the hall through leaves of trees around the hall. There were only the cello and piano singing the song. Nothing else. I could recall the scene as if it were yesterday.

The cellist in this video clip, Camille Thomas, plays this piece with much emotion. She puts emotion into every note and phrase. Maybe too much emotion from time to time. Brahms was still pretty young when he composed this piece. A feeling of longing should be heard in this piece as well. Melancholy should not end in despair. The music should sound with not only melancholy but also yearning for something in the future. Thomas is inclined to stress the tenderness of this music. She seems to be indulged in the fragile tenderness in youth. I believe Brahms in his young days would express something more than tenderness. It is difficult for me to critisize such performance by words. Something different from what I feel from this music. Is it coming from her performance style? She still plays it very well. This performance is a pleasant one for me.

My best performance for this piece is that by Janos Starker with George Seboeck. This couple realized yearning melancholy which Brahms must have had in his young days. Starker's cello sounds clear and vivid despite of the gloomy tone in the music. It surely expresses idea and emotion in youth. His technique is perfect even compared with the other major performers. What I felt with Thomas might be because I have compared her with Starker without beng conscious of that. If so, the difference belongs to pretty a problem of individual taste. Considering of that difference, it might be fair to appreciate Thomas. Still, I love Starker's performance best.

Secretive attitudes of the administrative agencies

I have watched a TV program on the Apollo 13. It was impressive that the control crew at NASA has published what was going on in real time after the crisis happened those days. It is a real contrast to TEPCO and the administrative agencies in Japan which have hidden the most infos on the nuclear power plant accident. They won't disclose everything yet. They are trying to handle everything in the closed circle.

I have recently received a bill to pay to a local government. It was for the services to a couple of patients whom we used to make before closing my office this spring. In Japan, the most medical services are paid by the public insurances. One of the insurances insisted me to pay back the money due to a reason not disclosed to me. Inquiring them about the reason, they reluctantly answered that the patients had changed their insurances from one to another. I asked them who had been responsible for that. At first, the patients should have shown the new insurance cards to us in their visits. and the insurers themselves should have told them to do so after asking them to send back the old insurance cards. We were not responsible for that at all. I have been doing with those administrative agencies in this way for the past 17 years while I worked for own practice. That was enough for me. They seem not to let us know it but just to have us rely on them.

My experiences were small troubles compared with that in the nuclear power plant. But we have rights to know what goes on there and rights and responsibilities to comment on what they and we should do for this crisis. The secretive attitudes toward us of the administrative agencies and the power line company is not allowed.  It seems they would like to have things go toward the way they want to. Disclosure is quite important to get our approval for their policy.


Something the market could not deal with

I deeply agree with Prof. M.J. Sandel of Harvard. He says that the market has been dealing with education, medical serivices and so forth, which it should have never done with. How long will it take us to fully learn this? There are things we could not buy with money.

The market fundamentalism is dealing with anything. They believe it will increase the productivity and activate that field. Unfortunately, there are so many aspects of life which the market could not deal with. The market will get it more uneven and unfair. For example, sick or handicapped people could not strive in any competition. Forcing them to live in competition is itself unfair.

Capitalism has beated communism around 1980 to 1990. But at present, when the financial sysytems are acting up everywhere and there have become more gaps in living among the peoples or in a country, I believe, we should seek some regulated system to overcome this difficulty. After having worked in the medical services being invaded by the market fundamentalism and the bureaucracy for years, I strongly feel that.

The discussion for fairness in the field of philosophy by such as J. Rawles or Sandel etc has been made in the US, where the market fundamentalism has overwhelmed is really welcomed. I see something healthy in its movement in the US. We should be ready against the rage of the market fundamentalism.


My wife's birthday

It's my wife's birthday today. She hates having that. But I would tell her it is good to get old. We could be more and more free from various desires as we get older. We could see things as free as birds flying in the air from now. I will go for shopping her birthday present today. It is good having one year added to our ages. Let's get older together, C!


As the epilogue of J-C told

It was the day of part time job today. Two events have occurred to me. They were closely related in my inner world.

The regular health check up for myself has reavealed that cataracts had progressed more than expected.  Sooner or later, I need to undergo the surgery. And I got a bit hypertensive. It was a kind of inheritance from my mother. The lab exams may reveal something wrong more. Old age is coming on me for sure.

Another thing was that when I examined a baby at the outpatient of the hospital, one month old almost newborn, I was caught by an idea that this baby was on a flow of continuous life. A flow from me to him. I used to love the epilogue of "Jean-Christophe" by Romain Rolland. It encourages us to go after some great being, possibly Jean-Christophe himself, or any great soul in the world. Go over him and live your own life, it also told. In my young days when I repeatedly read it, I was on the side to be told to do so. Now, I felt I was on the side to tell the baby to live his precious life. That part of the great novel has come in my mind. I have scarcely had that idea coming from the deep emotion while I worked for children as a doctor. Or even anytime.

Being conscious of my own age, I think I have reminded myself I should deliver something good in life to the next generation, actually the baby in front of me today. It was a kind of religious feeling which appeared to me without any forecast. I felt I were told to be ready for the time.


Reading with the ears

Reading with the ears.


2010 Jul 1;51(3):1234-41. Epub 2010 Mar 24.

Distinct patterns of functional and structural neuroplasticity associated with learning Morse code.


Department of Neurology, University of Regensburg, Germany. tobiass@med.umich.edu


Learning is based on neuroplasticity, i.e. on the capability of the brain to adapt to new experiences. Different mechanisms of neuroplasticity have been described, ranging from synaptic remodeling to changes in complex neural circuitry. To further study the relationship between changes in neural activity and changes in gray matter density associated with learning, we performed a combined longitudinal functional and morphometric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study on healthy volunteers who learned to decipher Morse code. We investigated 16 healthy subjects using functional MR imaging (fMRI) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) before and after they had learned to decipher Morse code. The same set of Morse-code signals was presented to participants pre- and post-training. We found an increase in task-specific neural activity in brain regions known to be critically involved in language perception and memory, such as the inferior parietal cortex bilaterally and the medial parietal cortex during Morse code deciphering. Furthermore we found an increase in gray matter density in the left occipitotemporal region, extending into the fusiform gyrus. Anatomically neighboring sites of functional and structural neuroplasticity were revealed in the left occipitotemporal/inferior temporal cortex, but these regions only marginally overlapped. Implications of this morpho-functional dissociation for learning concepts are discussed.

A thyroid cancer case was found but...

The authority in Fukushima conducted the study of thyroid gland abnormality in the children over there announced they had found one case of thyroid cancer out of eighty thousand of cases examined. We should carefully watch what follows to this. It may be not related with the radiation of I131 or could be the beginning of inferno.

I am deeply sad to see those innocent children being exposed to the risk of the radiatiion related illnesses due to the nuclear power plant accident. But I am not for the opinion to have them evacuated from the area without the conditions provided for them to do so. I131 has already decayed. It has caused the possible radiation in the first week or two after the accident. Evacuation is meaningless as for the radiation from I131 for now.

They still have their lives with families over there. Maybe they have the other reasons to stay there. It is not advisible only to propagandize them to evacuate somewhere else without any actual back up for their lives. They and their families are worried enough about the situation.

Any thoughtless agitating view for their situation won't be of help to them at all. It will only add more anxiety and worry to them. We should be based on the scientific point of view and strongly blame those who carried out as well as are trying to carry out the present nuclear power plants system. Spurring the victims with incorrect thoughts may only make them worried more. It is of no use.


The Bill Windle award

In FOC, we have this program titled above. It is to compete how many other members a member could work every month and eventually in a year. I was not interested in this award at all. Because anything like award should not be, in my view, our objectives. But it should be only a result of our activities. Secondly, we, the members in the Far East, have quite tough competitors in the Middle East like 5B or 4X land in the same category of Asia, since they are fairly nearer to the european members.

Since I retired this spring, I have become much more active working more members now. I logged in the FOC web site and tried to fill out the BW sheet by Excel. The total point was up to 240 while the unique QSOs were about 130 so far. Not very bad. I will go on tracking my log from now. Maybe a good competition with the 4X guy running ahead the top at present!

I noticed a few interesting things in this record. Firstly, it is still very tough for me to work with UK and the East Coast over the north pole. Especially, the QSO with UK is small in number. Some told me they have been fairly active on the WARC bands. They might be on when the bands are open to the US, another area with large number of members. It won't be favorable to us in Asia. The UK stations are always equipped with smaller set ups like a barefoot and a wire antenna. That may be another reason why their signals won't come through the heavy QRM in the East Europe. I hope they will be active when the bands are open to Asia. They may say the same thing. There are only few members, mostly not very active, in Japan. It is the reason why they won't be on when the window is open. I would just keep active when the bands seem to open to UK.

Whenever the bands seem to open to UK, I try to call CQ "WEST EU". But undisciplined Eastern Eu boys flocked at me. John 9V1VV who might have experiened the same thing with rather worse conditions wished he had got any other common call than 9V. But the situation is the same as withe the most common JA call. i am inclined just to look for G members but not to call CQ. I hope they would try to call CQ ASIA on behalf of us from time to time.

There seems two kinds of members who have been active all the time. One group seems to be concerned about mainly this award but not ragchewing etc. They show up once a month but make only QSO in a rubber stamp style. The other group enjoys each QSO so much. They won't end it only with reports and weather info etc only. Needless to say which one I always enjoy with. Of course, it depends on the conditions etc. But I would enjoy conversation on CW even if I am conscious of this award in every QSO.

Finally, any awards are secondary to me. I would welcome any QSOs leading us to pleasant conversations.


A special omelet

This omelt doesn't look very beautiful. However, it is still very good. The key is its sauce. The sauce is made of ordinary sauce, tomato ketchup, butter and a bit of red wine. Red wine, sweet one, gives a flavor of fruit. The ratio is 3:6:1:1. Warm them on a pan until it gets fluid. A secret recipe at our home was published here. Try it.


SNS in Japan and the US

I join face/book for SNS. My frIends in f/b are entirely in Japan and the US. I have noticed they use it in different ways.  The US people often appeal their belief in some religion or in some political party while japanese scarcely do that way but post on something interesting or amusing around himself/herself, that is, if I could say in this way, something trivial. Of course, there are many exceptional cases in both countries.

What has made this difference? So far, it seems to be because of the heterogeity of the society or the preference for the homogeity in the society. The US is often told as a melting pot of races. The heterogeneity is a prerequisite for life. In such a society, it is recommended to appeal own idea or belief. On the other hand, Japan is believed to have been a homogenous society as for the race. Of course, there has been an argument against such a simplification. There have been a variety of minorities in the society, who are believed to be suppressed even at present. As a historical tradition, however, our society has regarded the homogenousness as a virtue. We have aimed and behaved to share somethig together but not to express own opinion different from others.  This seems to be the reason for the difference.

I don't know which is right or appropriate. Both might have their reason. I feel that our society is now getting more freedom in expressing own opinion even though it is not so obvious  as in the US is not recommended at all. I don't know if it is the right way to go or not. At least, we need to be trained to discuss openly here in Japan. Expressing own opinion different from the majority often is inclined to be taken as insanity or, at least, being out of the "atmosphere". The open mindedness to the minority seems quie insufficient. Maybe, it will be changed little by little. On the other hand, so far as I read in f/b, the appeal of own idea or of belief in the US is often too direct or too conclusive to accept the existence of the other ideas or beliefs. It doesn't seem to allow any further discussion. Especially, religious matter sometimes makes me sick.

SNS such as f/b is not suitable for a tool for thorough discussion. It seems to be the case that we scarcely could make any detailed discussion in any internet media like f/b or twitter etc. There seems to be rasion detre for such as blog or even conversational CW on the radio. Me? Of course, conversational CW comes first. But f/b as well from time to time. Couldn't it be the first step for further discussion? Does it still remain an inner circle especially in Japan?


Comparison of CW with phone

It has become more like fall now. The sun is not burnig bright but more tender to us. In the shades, a cool breeze blows. It is not so far from the season of harvest here. In such an afternoon, listening to h moll overture of J.S.Bach, I would consider a bit more about CW conversation or conversational CW as John WA9AQN indicated.

CW conversation is sometimes compared with conversation on phone. CW is too slow. It is only for a ham with humble set up. Such art as CW requiring us much time and energy to train ourselves will fade away soon. Phone will replace it then since the latter is more handy and easy to communicate with. Some tells those who could not put up with the sluggishness in CW would go to phone. It might mean CW operators are a little bit more stupid than phoners.

It is quite ridiculous, I know, to compare those modes. They are quite different in nature. Either is better than the other. But the comparison may reveal how fascinating CW is. CW is actually too slow as a communication tool. However, in reception process, there are multiple tasks going on in our brain at the same time. Modern brain physiology tells our consciousness is not a single place located at a particular center in the brain but something like an overlapped filters in the brain, that is, a kind of network system which works together. In that system, we copy each letter and try to reach a word/a sentence. In that process, we also expect the next letter/word/sentence to come making use of the content already received. Of course, in this process, we recall our knowledges and experiences we obtain in our lives in the past. All is to understand the message itself. It is quite important and unique in this mode that the process coincides the rate of our thinking. It is comparable to reading in this respect as well. This synchrony between the reception process and the thinking gives us a kind of intellectual pleasure. I believe it is the point we are fascinated with this mode so much.

From the standpoint of CW lover, phone is too redundant and too talkative and too gossipy and....oh, it is not the purpose to compare them in this way. The music is now Musikalisches Opfer being played. This philosophical nature of the music might lead me to meditation.

CW is forever.


Process of head copy

Here is a draft or an outline of an article to analyze the process of CW reception. It involves various aspects of our auditory, intellectual and psychological functions. There have been few reports on this process. One reason is that CW has become a mode of communication in the past. But it is still a vital issue for amateur radio operators how to improve our skills. Understanding the process of CW reception must be of help to do so. Analysis of the process is necessary to understand it. It may contribute to brush up our skills efficiently. Another interest is in the fact that CW composed of very simple symbols, that is, dash and dot, could provide findings in human epistemology. It may reveal, in my imagination, how to recognize any symbol or even language through understanding about this process. That is why I have planned this article.

Of course, I am not a professional student in this field at all. But there have been a few scientific studies on this process using functional MRI for now. Very interesting. My description and primitive analysis is still far from science at present. And it is still imcomplete. But in the future, I would like to describe this analysis in scientific words and findings. Any critical or supportive comments are welcomed.  It is sometimes difficult for me to express on the processes in English. Any correction or inquiry in expression is also appreciated.

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At first, I would like to discuss why head copy is superior to writing down copy. It is almost clear but it is sometimes disputed, at least, in Japan. This dispute is because there have been ex radio operators leading CW education in Japan. Commercial operators have been required to copy every letter accurately. It was not a matter what the message means to the R/O. There might be the same situation in the countries where they speak other than English for their mother tongu and ex R/O hams lead the education of CW. Copying every letter is not required in CW communication.

In writing down copy, the process is as follows;

1)Listen CW codes
2)Convert a code to the corresponding letter
3)Write down the letter
4)In the meantime, understand the meaning of the word or the sentence, frequently after all the sentences were sent.

In the process (3), we should concentrate on the motion of writing down. It is always hard for the receiver to understand what the word/sentence is meaning. It could be a serious defect in conversational CW communication. Merle K6DC used to ask the reader in his autobiography why we wrote down every word in our conversation. The motion of writing down is not only an unnecessary but also disturbing process.

Of course, when learning each code, it might be helpful to write each letter corresponding a code. But, if you go on writing down every letter, you could be dependent on the motion of writing itself. You would feel very anxious about not writing it down. It causes a kind of anxiety neurosis. You won't stop writing down even if you are trained for receiving code enough. Unfortunately, there are still such cases on the air. So leave writing down every letter as soon as possible.

On the other hand, the head copy is much more suitable for conversation on CW. The process is as follows;

1)Listen CW codes
2)Convert each code to letter, which comprises a word and subsequently a sentence.
3)Take the meaning of the word/sentence

It is quite important that, in this process, the process (2) and (3) go on alternately or at the same time. While taking the meaning of particular word/sentence, you would expect the word/sentence which follows it. In the next moment, you could confirm if your expectation was right or not from what comes next. This persistently ongoing process of communication in the brain will reveal the whole meaning of sentences or a paragraph in the message. It is a highly intellectual process. You should be accoustomed with this process in reception. It won't be possible without head copy.

How to train head copy is the next question. The popular training method of Koch is involved in the process (1) and (2). It won't train the process (3) or the communicative process stated above. I would point it out that this reception process is equivalent to reading process. I have quoted a medical paper in a previous article in this blog on this issue. It said the fMRI study had shown that CW reception is comparable to reading. In another words, reception of CW is most likelily performed at the center of brain of reading. For a non native ham, the process (3) is accompanied by the other difficult factor,
that is, translation of English into mother tongue. The training of reading in English is very important for them to brush up the skill in CW conversation. Koch method must be of help to the beginners in non native countries but is of limited value for those who would like to improve their skills after having learned code.


A reflector for pediatricians

Here is a reflector for pediatricians in Japan. Even though I quit the hard work at hospital inpatient ward etc long time ago, I have been reading it. It is inspiring and making me think of many things as well. They are discussing about difficult cases or advertising some academic conferences etc through it. A case report of possible encephalopathy has attracted my attention recently. The doctor on charge wanted any suggestion on the etiology/pathophysiology. The case has gone on with a variety of symptoms and signs. He wondered how to understand what had happened to this case and how to treat her.

It was amazing the case report and discussion had continued during the week end. In Japan, any doctor on charge of a difficult case should not take day off even in holidays or in week ends. So have I done in my resident and med school hospital staff days. It was a quite usual thing that a doctor worked in that way. It reminded me of my trainee days that this young doctor eagerly worked for the case. I felt honored to have worked in the same way years ago. I felt it rewarded me with knowledge of clinical experiences. I won't boast my hard work. It was just a training as well as a work necessary for the patients. It was quite natural for us to work so hard as I had sometimes almost no sleep for 2 or 3 days in the hospital those days.

The only anxiety is that there are more chances for suit cases and also more absurd administration by the bureaucrats in the clinical scenes nowadays than before. Clinical services are based on the good will of Samarithans. But I am afraid that the modern trend might suppress it for those young doctors struggling for the patients. The bureaucrats intend to force doctors to work so hard as in trainee days even after finishing that. We could not expect rosy future in our career. We could be burnt out on the way. Reading the posts in the reflector discussing that difficult case, I could not help thinking of those doctors in the future. If they get burnt out, it would be not only their career problem but also a great loss in the society as well. I would approve those young pediatricians, working hard for their patients either on a day off or not, from the bottom of my heart.



Recently, I have had a couple of good ragchews with Kemp K7UQH on 20m. Even though his tribander was fixed, due to the rotator problem, to the east off to JA at only 6m of height, his signal was coming here very nicely.

Our topics always go back to the good old days in '60s when we spent one of the most brilliant days of ham radio. We have not had such a high tech radio as modern gears but have lived in the age when ham radio was more vivid and appealing to us young boys.

Kemp and I used to be on the great round table on 40m hosted by Ed K6NB and Trevor VK2NS as I have frequently mentioned in this blog. We shared old timer friends at that time. I guess we were the only hams still alive in that group. Sadly, most of the old timers have gone silent key for now. K6NB, W7ENG, VK2NS, VK2DO, K6PA, KL7CEX or KH6EFW and so forth. I told Kemp to write an article of that round table. He seemed a kind of reluctant to do that. For he has lost some of his memories. I should find out the old log in '60s and try to share the memories with him. It is too regrettable that such a memory of an event on the air is eternally missed. It was a really good old days.

Kemp told me SOWP had gone away for now. In the old days, the most good CW operators belonged to this club. As you know, it was composed of those hams with professional radio operator in their career. They were of course very excellent CW operators. And they enjoyed ragchewing as if they shared own lives together. They scarecely competed in such as DXing or contesting. Their way of enjoyment was oriented to the other way than quantitative competiton. I guess their enjpoyment was fairly qualitative, even if they should not have been aware of that. They were enjoying ragchewing all the time. And they were open minded to the new comers like me, too. Ed K6NB, who was the main person in the round table, used to be a member of SOWP.

I found SOWP was "merged into" another club named CHRS, another club for old days radio communication. It was a sad news to me but a reality. It means there were much less ex R/O in the field of ham radio for now. Even in '60s, those SOWP guys were always over 50 years of age. No wonder there were much less members active or alive at present. Kemp must belong to one of the youngest hams with the past history of R/O.

So where is the spirit of SOWP heading to? Is it gone away into the past history? I am sure the spirit has something essential in ham radio. Not just a 599 QSL game but some enjoyment to share our lives together. When it disappears in the ham radio, so does the ham radio itself, I believe.