In the end of the year.

I have already sent a greeting mail to some friends of mine. Here I would like to extend my greetings to all of you visiting here with hearty thanks for your friendship and concern toward me. I would like to write about a few thoughts and opinions on the things around me here for the greetings.

First of all, it was a year of full retirement for me this year. I am still ambivalent about my decision. It is a question if I should go out the step into retirement at this age. Have I worked much enough to be worth of the training I have had in my young days? No one might be able to answer to such a question. It is still the time for me to go forward. Remembering all the lovely patients I have cared for, I would step out forward.

                              My former office I have had taken over
                             by another doctor 2 years ago. All my
                             efforts and loves are packed there.

                              This is the desk of the outpatient ward
                              I have worked for the past 2 years.
                              Nice staff and good payment.
                              Unfortunately, there  was little human
                              relationship with the patients, which
                              urged me to quit there this summer. 
I am becoming more a perfect house husband now. Enjoying gardening, farming a small farm, doing house chores and cooking. I know what a pleasure it is to to see family enjoying the dishes I cooked. Struggling with the mannerism of recipes, I am trying to add new recipes to my repertoire. Farming is another deep world. I have so many things to learn from my experience. The right time to plant and how much nutrient I should give them and so forth. Maybe, I will do better with tomatoes, which i have made a bit mistake in growing them this year.


Ham radio has still been my love and first concern. Unfortunately, it looks deteriorating to me. No real human communication but only game like exchange of meaningless symbols. The absolute activities on HF bands are declining as whole. They may try to compensate it with such as contesting or special event activities. These may enhance the activities on the radio but only for a short while. It may result in even more inactive states on the rebound.

On CW, there are two kinds of communications. One is doing with meaningless symbols. The other is a tool for real human communication. The former seems to prevail compared with the latter. In my observation, the former won't give us real pleasure in CW communication, which we could feel in the latter. Taking the meanings of the messages in the communication is the origin of the pleasure. I would summarize what goes on in this process very soon. It was what I wrote in my New Year's resolution last year. Ideas might be more ripened as time goes by.

I would go on enjoying good quality of communication from now on. But I won't spend time with calling CQ purposelessly for a long time. It won't deserve spending time in that way. Look for me and go on telling your story to me.

I found it more difficult to read score now. I should take the surgery for cataracts sooner. And I didn't want to bother my ensemble partners now. I have put an end or a pause to our piano trio. The other two are busy young professionals, so that I wanted them to spend time for the other activities. I would go on practising cello despite the pause of that ensemble. I am still trying to record some pieces with a video camera with PCM recording function.  Since my wife has been an enthusiast for flute for over a year, I might have a tiny trio together with her and our daughter, a violinist, soon. We should be patient to each other since there could be quarrel in the family very easily. It would be, however, a big fun for me.

Joe AJ2Y at my messy shack.

I am much concerned about the future of this country. The present government is trying to transform our country from a pacifism to a warlike country. The Prtime Minister won't hide his intention for that purpose at all. Our country has started exporting armaments to overseas freely. It would ruin the past history of our country after WWII as a pacifist one. I would protest against this movement especially for the next generation.

The econofinancial policy by the present government seems to turn out to be a total failure. The average wages is not going on declining while the inflation has started. The QE is only a monetization of the debt, which would result in bad inflation in the very near future. Our government is trying to distribute cash to the local governments, which may have only a brief lifting effect. These policies must aggravate the resultant inflation. Through the collapse of the economy in the near future, out country may revivie. It is the question who would govern it and what end of the country we would choose in the future. the bureaucracy should be fundamentally reformed and the policies should be based on and for the people. There could be so much difficulties and pains for the people to realize it. I am fearful of the process. But we have gone over the point of no return now.

May your holidays be blessed with many good things as well as good health. See you on line or on the air. Thanks again for your warm and courteous attitude toward me.

Shin Onisawa


A friend of mine with the early onset type Alzheimer

My sister has sent me a letter reporting on an old friend of mine. It enclosed a copy of his wife's writing submitted to some journal. He had worked as a neurosurgeon and, with his firm belief in Christianity, had been served as a doctor staff of JOCS;Japan Overseas Medical Cooperative Service in a few developing countries in Asia. Three or four years after he had been assigned as a professor at his mother school, the faculty of medicine in the Tokyo University, he has been found to suffer from the early onset Alzheimer's disease.

I have known him at a church where I used to attend in my late teenage through early twenties days. Being 2 or 3 years older than me, he has just started learning medicine. He was a very intelligent person confident in himself. He has been kind to me since I was turning my way from engineering to medicine those days. I could not forget a circle for reading after the church on Sunday afternoon, where both he and I joined together. We have read together such as a work by Bonhoeffer. A quiet and intellectually stimulating time was shared with him and the others. He has taught me how to prepare for the entrance exam for med. universities as well.

We have worked at the same med school hospital near by herein '80s. Since both of us belonged to different departments, we scarecely met and talked each other. Whenever we met on corridor etc, we exchanged a few words with smile. One time, fallen on icy road in a mid winter, my father has got pretty severe subdural hematoma dut to trauma on head. He and his colleagues have eagerly treated him. My father has recovered without serious sequelle thanks to him and the other doctors. I am still thankful to him. As written earlier, he has come back to his mother school as a professor. I guess he has had many projects to conduct as a boss there. But the illness has deprived him of that chance.

About 6 years ago, he has publicized of his own illness through a newspaper. I was surprised to see him doing that. It could never be done without his courage. With his wife's loyal support, he seemed to have made speeches as a patient of the diseas at various places. The above mentioned writing by her told me he had had the illness gradually progressed and had lost chances for most of the social activities. Since he has been a man of independence on the side to help the others, he seemed to have difficulty to be helped by the others. It seems God might have him learn how to be helped by the others, as his wife wrote.

I was shocked to read her sentence. I should have visited him before . Why does God give such a trial to such a good person? Why him but not me? I might ask his wife if I could do anything for him.

Clarinet trio by Brahms

The clarinet trio by Brahms has been one of my favorite chamber musics since student days. Maybe, I have already quoted this piece somewhere in this blog. I clearly remember as if yesterday when I listened to this music for the first time. It was at a hall in a temple near to my school in Tokyo at some late afternoon.  When the cello played by Sumiko Kurata in her young days started singing the first theme in solo, it has fully grasped my mind. I have imagined how Brahms had felt for his last years in his life. A passion in loneliness. Compromise and resistance. It was attractive to me but was just a thing away from me.
It was natural that it was difficult for me, in my twenties, to understand this piece in its depth originally Brahms had intended to express. Now I could fully appreciate the passion in the loneliness in the last years of his life, which Brahms might intend to represent with this piece.
In addition, I listened a kind of clarity in this piece. Its style and ensemble both sound clear and transparent. Not like his earlier chamber musics. Of course, it might be due to the number of the instruments playing it. However, whether the composer has intended to do that or not, this sounds simple and clear. It won't ruin the deep emotion and thought proper to the age Brahms composed it at. Through the simplicity and clarity of this piece, we could sympathize it even deeper. 
The cellist, Hagen, from the Hagen Quartet, suppresed vibrato on the most parts except for the solistic melody line in his performance. This style in his performance also contributed, I believe, to express the clarity of his piece.
Aging is not bad. We could become to understand more of such music as this one when we get older.


Meeting an old friend of mine again, Tim, VK3IM.

Tonight, I happened to meet one of the oldest friends in ham radio, Tim, VK3IM, whom I had known since early '80s. Exactly speaking, I used to work him as VK3AZY in '60s when both of us were teenage kids. He had just given me a comment in this blog several days ago. I have written about him there.

                             I have uploaded this same picture before.
                             Tim on his "old" Mazda van in '80s.
                            A whip with a top hat is on the roof carrier of
                            the car. He was teaching statistics at a college
                           those days.

He was working with Rod K5BGB, another old friend of mine, who used to be one of the sponsors for FOC in late '80s. Rod went into QRP operation years ago, so that he has been rarely heard for the past years at this end. Rod had a good signal as well as Tim did this evening. I wondered if he upgraded his set up. Or did the condition make it? I was perplexed at the question which one I should call. Since it has been a long time since I talked to Tim, I decided to give him a call.

Tim was using an deformed inverted vee at the max height of 30 ft. The radio was old FT897, which he used to use for mobile operation. Despite of such small set up, his signal was coming here very lound and clear. Most surprising was that his fist sounded quite the same as years, I should say, decades ago. In addition to his keying, his story proved that he was still very sharp. It surprsed me a lot that he was about 10 years older than me. Everything has not changed a bit except for the slight chirp from his old FT101B.

He is living on alone and by himself. He is driving to a shopping center near by by himself. He was even climbing on the roof to fix one leg of his antenna fallen on the roon. He is living with company, a young cat named Joy, 4 or 5 years old. he would outlive her, that is, for 10 or even 15 more years! as he said. She is keeping him home. He has had a health problem for the past several years. As he told me, he was almost bed ridden one time. Through his eager rehabilitation, however, he has returned home now.

I remember he has been operating CW all the way from the office in Melbourne back to home. It took him more than an hour, I believe. As soon as he arrived home, taking his FT101B in the shack, he used to start the other session from home. How often we have had such a long QSO! His company was vermouth with dry ginger, as i was told this evening. This QSO has reminded me of those good old days. Both of us were a bit younger and ambitious for lives. Much water has flown under the bridge since then. We still, however, have love for CW and intersts in each other.

With the condition being on downhill, we have got QRM from a pile up. I told him we had better wrap it up tonight. hopefully, he will keep himself in good condition and active on the air. I would catch him often as I used to in '80s. He has taught me to connect the radials of the vertical put up at the dormitory of the medical school hospital to the metal roof structure. I have just started ham radio there again after 10 years of hiatus. It was a real fun for me to experiment such a thing following his advice. Our QSO will bring back us to those good old days.

I realized that it had passed even 80 minutes since we started the QSO.

Happy Birthday to Tim in advance! He will add one year to his age on 26th this month.


Shrimp and vegetables seasoned with nam pla

Shrimp and various vegetables were seasoned with nam pla and oyster sauce. Pretty good. A new recipe for me.

The government aiming to have our country to be that of merchant of death.

In this April, out government has decided to permit the armaments industry to export some of their products, which had been strictly banned since the end of WWII.

Now the government is subsidizing them. It seems our government has given up the respectable position as a pacifist country in the international society. It has turned our country to that of merchant of death.

Together with the use of the collective defence right abroad, this decision should have our country confronted the risk of terrorism. It seems the government would trad the economical benefit of the armament industry with the peace of the people as well as the position of the country of pacifism.

Of course, the politicians in the government will get kick backs from the companies involved in this export.  What a shame and disgrace! When will the people learn about such a diathesis of the present government? I wonder if they won't realize it until they have any damage or victims.


The QE is a total failure.

The QE by BOJ is aimed to prevent the price of the natl bond from falling down. Most of the money from QE is deposited at the checking account of BOJ, not circulating in the market. It is monetization of the debt but not a financial policy to activate our economy at all.

It will be followed by the severe inflation like after WWII. The people was not informed about it. They are deceived of this fact by the government and the mass media.

The real wages as well s the GDP have been declining for some time. It means our economy is in the process of recession. The budget for civil engineering construction is not actually increased, as the government insists. Our budget has no room to increase that item. It was operated with replacement of items in the budget.

The QE will aggravate the injury to the economy when it collapses. It is not the question if it would occur but when it would occur is the question.


The time of hibernation.

It is close to the winer solstice even on the air. The path to DX is open mainly that to south from here. Not very good for the paths over the arctic areas.

Early in the evening yesterday, I could hear the QRS net in VK on 40m. I have made a short QSO with the boss Garry VK4YA. The others were hardly copiable here. It seemed they had made very simple QSOs with Garry. The others might run QRP. Compliment to Garry handling such a net for the beginners in VK.

Later at night, there was a big round table of bug users, WB6BEE, K5KV, W0VTT and NN6T going on. All FOC gang as well. They were not loud enough for me to break in. I just listened and then beamed to Eu. Worked a few Eu in rubber stamp, I went off the air. Only northern and eastern Eu were coming in. Not so loud as well. Kjell SM5CCE, with KW and 2el, was only 559.

I seldom heard any USA on 15m this morning. By 9 AM here, the band has returned to total quiet. I could hardly believe there had been a number of statessides, like canned sardines, coming in on this band until noon a few weeks ago.

This condition may last for a while until it gets like spring on the air. In the end of Jan. or the beginning of feb. 20m might start opening to Eu at midnight. It would be the earliest sign of spring's arrival.

it is the time of hibernation.


Joining an ensemble in Tokyo with my wife.

I have been to an ensemble meeting in tokyo with my wife today. It was for instrument beginners to play easy pieces. I got out of my house 30 minutes before the train bound for Tokyo departing at a local station. Unfotunately, I have missed that train. I was forced to realize how far it was from my home to the station nearby.

Anyway, I arrived at the ensemble place in a downtown of Tokyo an hour late after it had started. The place was a gorgeous music practise room underground at a public facility. I have known some of the members. It was not to musically accomplish much but to enjoy ensemble together. Three violins, one viola, three cellos and two flutes, including my wife, who has come there almost 2 hours later. A Christmas medley and the famous tune from the 4th movement of Beethoven's 9th symphony arranged for a string quartet. Sometimes discordant in tune as well as in rhythm. But it was a fun to make an ensemble with those comapany. My wife has never been to such an ensemble in the past. As soon as I asked her if she would join this ensemble, she has started preparing for that, which made me surprised. Because she is rather reserved and shy to attend such a meeting. She seemed to be even friendly with the gang.

I noticed my eyes' cataract has progressed much. It was difficult for me to read the score in the not very bright room. I should undergo the surgery very soon.

I have not gone out with my wife so often. I have enjoyed talking something and some attendees at the ensemble on the way back home. I knew how enthusiastic she was for flute and music now. We sometimes wonder if it is too late for us to practise instruments. However, I would believe it would never be too late. It is just for own satisfaction. Sometime, we could enjoy such an ensemble together. Ensemble is singing together. Singing is made of breathing. Breathing is our life itself. Our relationship is not so ardent and passhionate as in our young days. Through this same hobby, which is closely related with our life, we may have fun together for a while. It might be an Indian summer for us.

When we took off the train at the station nearby, it was really chilly. It might be around the freezing point. We felt, however, warmed inside. I would go out for such an ensemble with her as often as possible.     


The winter has arrived here.

In northern Japan, they have already had much snow. It is getting chilly here, even though we have luckily no snow yet. It is the real winter here for now.

It is the time when I should pray for my friends. Junko, the XYL of K7UQH, was supposed to have had a surgery today. Tom W6NLK, whom I have met on 15m this morning, will have a surgery tomorrow. Though I am not a Christian, I could not help praying for them least pain and quick recovery.

It is the time I should consider my greeting mail for the holiday season and the New Year. I should reflect what has happened to me and what I should do in the coming year. I am definitely thankful for the peaceful life I could spend.

The gingko trees in my entrance are getting colorful. Some leaves have already fallen on the ground.


WWCW 2014

I have looked around on 40 and 15m for a while last week end. It was the WW CW contest 2014 being held then. The band conditions were terrific especially on the higher bands. Fifteen m had been open to any DX except during midnight.

CN2AA seems to claim the world record score with more than 10K QSOs. It is hard to believe to make such a score. It seemed that, regardless of the set ups they were using, the contesters around the Atlantic ocean had had much more advantages over the other parts of the world. Of course, it is because of the high density of ham populations in the East Coast and Europe. On the other hand, the West Coast has a handicap since the number of japanese contesters have decreased in number for the past ten or twenty years, so far as I have observed. If you wish to win in such a world wide contest, you should move to somewhere along the coast of Atlantic ocean.

It was a fun for me to give some points to friends on 15m just before the contest was over. Japanese big guns have got some pile ups from the north America, while the latter has not necessarily had any pile ups from Asia. In JA, there were less club stations' activity, as in the other contests. Famout contesters were active. Some of them seemed to be operated by a few crew. It has been a year or two since I heard Aki JA5DQH, either in plain QSO or in contest.

It was the best condition ever for the past several years. Even with such a condition, there was only this activity. Considering together with the average age of the contesters, I would say this might be the last feast for the contesters in the history. As a used to be an avid contester in the past, I still hope such a major contest as WW CW would survive. However, the future of contests won't be so promising, I am afraid.

Another point I would add to this post is that there were literally no one left on the band after the contest had been over. There used to be some contesters who would talk about it after the enthusiasm was over. I was sorry to know that as well.

Sorry for negative and pessimistic view on the contest. But it was what I had felt in this contest. I am glad to have experienced this contest this year which might be remembered as a historical one ever in the future.

Talking like leaving our will to the younger people.

A philosopher, Tatsuru Uchida, told that, getting older than certain age, we are divided into two categories, those who just brag their past and the other who leave their wills to the younger generation.

Of course, I would like to be the latter, even though I know how difficult it is. At old age, we are apt to recall old things. It is a natural wisdom for aged to live their lives which they could not expect much in their future. We should allow ourselves to do so from time to time. Or life could be discouraging us too much. But, hopefully, it won't become just bragging ourselves. Filtering old  things in exaggerated way. It is not beautiful and making young people disgusted at us.

Talking like leaving our wills to young people. It is preferable way of living for me after my age.