Life is short. Therefore every moment should be appreciated.

German Iris is in full bloom in our garden.

 It was my mother's 4th anniversary yesterday. Our parent's home is still there. Their mattresses were sunbathed even though no one would sleep on them any longer.

 My wife has been to Shikoku to see her parents for a couple of days. She told me vividly last night that they had had Hamburg dinner with a glass of beer. Father in law aged 90 years, living in a nursing home with his wife in severe dementia, has started walking outside again recently. We have presented him a stick and a pair of walking shoes. 

Life is short. I would appreciate every moment we are allowed to be being.


Ambiguous "?"

I have posted about the problem of "?" message to CQ at a group for CW operators in Facebook. As soon as finishing calling CQ, I often hear someone sending only "?" on the same frequency. In my view, it should never be responded since it is ambiguous and not understandable what the sender means. Some people have approved my opinion while the others tell me it is obviously meaning to send my call sign again.

The ambiguity of that "?" could be as follows;

1)The sender most likelily want me to repeat my call sign since he could not copy it completely.

2)He might wonder if I am calling CQ or not since he has just heard the very last part of CQ.

3)He could just kid me with "?".

4)He is just seeking a rare one. Recognizing me as a JA, he would quit there without saying anything to me. This is related with the situation 1). Too often I encounter this situation.

5)He would call the other station close to my spot.

2) to 5) are not pleasant cases. I would ask him to listen carefully or to quit from me.

In the case of 1), he should send me the part of my call sign as he incompletely copied.

I could smell a kind of autistic tendency, or monologous attitude in this "?" sending. That may be the main reason why I hate this kind of behaviour. CW is for communication. Why not communicating on this mode? It is not an inhuman game but a real communication between human beings. You should express your intention to give me a call in this setting.

 To this "?", I would not reply anything. There is a decent and courteous manner for such a situation, which has been established by the forerunners.

A miraculous path over the north pole

The bands have been messed with a few contests at the same time this morning. I still enjoyed several good contacts mainly with NA. Tom K5RC came through with S9plus signal thanks to his 24el in stack. But I felt it was the time to close the shop here.

For my last CQ, Villi TF3DX/M has called me. Crisp and skillful fist. A pretty big signal for mobile as well. S7 when beamed toward him. It was 01AM in TF land. He said the band could black out due to aurora from time to time but rarely opened this way. He has sneaked, as he said, to the beach for radio while his wife enjoyed TV at home.

A miraculous path over the north pole. Surprising work of ionosphere! Such an experience keeps me staying on the radio even if I am often depressed or disappointed much there. He has made my day!


A beautiful season

Dogwood trees along the street are in full bloom. Flowers are coming out one after another. A beautiful season.

I won't feel bored with gardening at all. Under bright sun, I have spent almost all day pulling the weeds in the garden.

It is the season which reminds me of my parents. Sometimes, when something falls or moves with wind, I look at the house where my parents used to live. I still feel as if they were still living there. In a second, I realize it is the past.

Azalea along the entrance is also starting to bloom. Caring for this tree and others, I still recall having worked together in the garden with my father. It was not until age of forties that I got interested in gardening. It was not too long that I had worked with him in the garden.
Some friends of mine tell me I am too pessimistic for life. But I still feel a life is only a blow of wind. Only for a moment. Working in the garden, I always feel that. Strangely enough, it is a moment when I feel most peaceful at the same time.
In 6 days, the 4th anniversary of my mother will come.


Teriyaki of yellowtail

Teriyaki means broiling with soy sauce and sweetened sake. Yellowtail is often broiled together with soy sauce and sweetened sake. In that recipe, yellowfish tends to become tough.

In this recipe, after being dealt with salt, yellowfish is wrapped with aluminum foil and is broiled as it is usually cooked. Soy sauce, sweetened sake and sugar are cooked while fish is getting grilled. Sliced ginger is added to the sauce. Finally, the viscous sauce with ginger is put on the broiled yellowfish. Yellowfish remains soft and tasty.

I bet this recipe will enable you enjoy one of the first quality yellowfish dishes, which you could enjoy only at a traditional reataurant in Japan.


Tomato plants getting through cold front

After warm daytime, we have got hail with wind bringing cold atmosphere here now The forecast said we would have cold front passing by this area this evening. I have slighted it. It also says it will get cold down to 2 deg C tomorrow morning.

I have planted 5 new young plants of tomato in the garden farm today in spite of those forecast informations. I hope they will survivie this weather. I went out and looked the plants which were alive so far. These plants are like family members.

 Farming is really similar to medicine in respect of dealing with lives. In medicine, we could never correct any failure. Failure leads to death of patients in the worst case. Even infrequently, we still face to such critical situation. In this respect, farmers should be respected as much as medical doctors should be.

This reminded me of my daughter who had started career at an ICU as a nurse. When I called her on the phone a few days ago, she told me she got worn out after work in the evening but was still vivid. The critical situations which she might face to at ICU would give her good lessons, so that she could work at any ward in her life. She did not seem to thank my words at all. In the future, she might know what I meant.

May my lovely tomato plants stay alive tomorrow. Of course, I won't mean to compare them to the patients at all.


Matt N7EG SK

Lat night, Dave W7AQK let me know our mutual friend, Matt, N7EG, passed away last week.

I have known Matt for several years since he had his former call signs of KA7PKG and then K7PEG. He often called me on 40m with his swinging bug early in the evening in our time. He used old Atlas transceivers with a bit of chirp and drift, which have improved later. Like his keying with the old bug, he always made witty jokes and quit soon. I loved his way of operation so much.

Once, when I saw him sitting at his shack on the photo in QRZ.com, I told him he looked like an old prophet in the bible days. He liked that saying very much. I was surprised to find an Astatic mic standing on the table. I was sure he would had been a CW only operator. He told me he had been involved in the emergency communication net on SSB. Later, I knew he had been on some other net on 40m, where he talked to friends of mine as well.

I was surprised to hear that he had been working as a volunteer counsellor at a hospital there. Since he was a veteran from WWII and suffered from alcoholism, he has worked for those with alcoholism mostly due to their service in Iraq etc. It seemed his life work. I have not expected such an activity in his career which looked quite different from his way of operation on CW. Dave told me he had been kind and generous to the others all the time. At this time I heard of his volunteer work, I have respected him not only for a proficient CW operator but also as a human being.

He seemed to be 90 years old. It was a great loss for us that he passed away and his key went silent. However, he might have lived a great life for himself as well as for the people around him.

Rest in peace, my friend.


Try tomatoes grow earlier

In Japan, it is the rainy season from June to July. Tomatoes are apt to get sick during that period unless chemicals are given to them and/or rain is avoided in green house. Earlier growth is risked by frost which could occur until the end of this month.

I wanted to try to have them grow without any chemicals earlier. Seeded in small pots, they have been germinated successfully. They still need much sunray.

I would purchase some grafted young plants of tomato later as well.
Nothing is more tasty than fresh tomato.
Yes, I have become a temporary farmer as well as a cook since retirement.

A Tragedy at Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria

EighteenThirty thousand refugees with 3500 children in it are reported to be involved in the battle at Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Syria. The antigovernmental factions make conflicts there while the regime side is attacking there from outside. The refugees lack food and water. Some news source says there are victims not only due to the conflicts but also to starvation. A news source


UNRWA has been supporting them with food/water. But it is not enough. UNRWA requests us to donate for them at the web site.

The western countries should do with the flow of fund to both the rebel and the regime. Most of the fund go through the religious schools in Pakistan to terrorists, as reported. There should be the merchants of death, who sell armaments to both sides, in the developed countries as well. I wonder why they won't do against such things which cause and aggravate the crisis. Such acts should be the real war against the terrorism.


The litmus test

Something has lighted in my mind this morning.

I will call CQ. Then someone calls me. I quickly respond him/her exactly in this way;

599 NO QSL

If he/she goes away giving me a report, that means he wanted that type of QSO.

If he/she wanted to know more of me, he/she is a ham who enjoys conversational QSOs.

Of course, my response could discourage such a ham. But ther are too many who do only contest style QSOs. I would discourage them not to call me any more. They are too many like white ants eating a wooden house.



The last hot pot cooking this season

A hot pot dish with fish and vegetables. It might be the last one in this season. It is a pretty easy recipe. After preparing stock, put vegetables like chinese cabbage, tofu and fish like salmon and cod.

The boss at the Dept of Pediatrics where I served residency gave us this pot for the wedding gift. He might know how busy we would be and the hot pot cooking were handy for us.  
Ever since then, this pot has occupied a corner of the table in winter every year at hour home. It has been several years since the boss passed away.


Boredome with radio or pursuit of real communication

I have recently expressed something negative or pessimistic for radio communication in this blog or elsewhere. A good friend of mine has written to me that i might had been so active with radio that I became bored with it. he gently advised me to slow down with radio.

He has a point in my case. I have operated radio 3 or 4 times a day, even if not continuously for long hours. Maybe, I should spend time for the other things than radio as he suggested. But it is still true that I could happily switch off the radio when I could have a meaningful contact with someone through radio.

Today, I have had such a conversation with an old friend of mine, Jim K6AR. He told me he would start attending another class at a university like that last year. The class has a theme of comparing a company with the others regarding the cash flow. I know he is concerned about such a thing for his investment activities. He also honestly told me he had been going on learning something like this due to an anxiety for the future. The anxiety concerns with aging. If not quite the same as he has, I could share the same kind of anxiety as his. It urges me some intellectual acitivity believing such a thing would help me to avoid or slow down aging process in intellectual ability.

I know there are the other factors responsible for the aging process such as exercise or eating habit. These factors might work in certain epigenetic mechanism. I should admit, however, some genetic factor may ultimately determine our aging. We have been destined as for aging in a sense.

After we make best effort to prevent intellectual deterioration, we must live as the New Testament says; Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:34). I am not a religious person but believe in this words. Jim has agreed with me. I was pleased to find a person who lives with the same worry and anxiety there.

After such a QSO with Jim, I feel satisfied and won't seek any more QSOs.

It won't be necessarily regarding with such a serious matter. But I appreciate something related with our lives in our conversation of QSOs. It is still quite difficult for me to find such a QSO. However, I still pound the key looking for such a QSO.


To our daughter

My daughter, you have started your career as a nurse at a hospital nearby this spring. It has been a bit late for you to do that. You have started studying law at a university in Tokyo at first. You found it was not her calling in your life in a few years and spent moratorium for a few years. Coming back here, you began attending to a nursing course at a university nearby. With pretty good scores, you have graduated from it this spring. We are proud of you, our daughter.

On April 3rd 24 years ago, our aunt has died due to a traffic accident at age 87 years, I believe. It was her who had started working in the medical and nursing field first in our family.

She has suffered from tuberculosis when she was studying in Sendai some years before the WWII. It was an illness destined to death those days.

A teacher from the US, named Mary Schneider, has helped her materially and morally. Aunt has been founded with the belief in Christinaity by Mary's guidance. Mary has supported our aunt giving everything she needed. In several years, aunt has made the illness stabilized and decided to help Mary.

Mary has answered, however, aunt should love and help people who needed them. Love should go round from a person to another. She told aunt not to help herself any longer. Mary has died of cancer at age 42 years. Our aunt decided to live for those who needed her help.

After she had trained herself at a sanatorium of leprosy, she settled down at very this place where we have been living for the past 30 years. This place was neighbor to our aunt's, that is, your grandmother's home. She has started a small sanatorium for a tuberculosis patient at a very small house. It has grown a bit to 12 beds at most later years. The patients were those helpless in the society and their families. Those who could help the others have done their work. Aunt and the others have farewelled to dozens of patients to the heaven. Even though I am away from Christianity, it is surprising how hopeful and gratified they have spent the last days at this poor outlook sanatorium. I was born at that sanatorium where my parents, that is, your grandparents had served for the patients. Your grandmother has started working as a nurse right here. It is not an honor on the earth. Our aunt and her enterprise have almost been forgotten by the people. It was not even recognized properly at that period of twenty years. Remember our family's backbone was in the memory of this aunt's sanatorium.

Time passes so fast. The sanatorium has been closed when antibiotics was curative or controlling the illness. Our aunt has moved to a place totally unkown to her and has spent her last years of life teaching children and testifying her belief to the people around there. It is only for a brief period that you could work for the patients. But, remembering how your aunt has worked here, go through your work from now. Work hard for those need your help. It is worth doing. It is your turn. 

Our aunt and the patients in the sanatorium days.

it is snowing here

When I came downstairs earlier this morning, my wife told in a surprised tone that it was snowy. I could barely believe that because I hadn't felt so cold getting out of bed. Through the window, it was surely snowing. A bit wet snow. Some are already left on the ground and the trees.

It was quietly snowing. No birds were singing from the forrest nearby.

Half sphere shaped trees in the garden were also snowed. Some of them are supposed to bloom soon.

Daffodiles were as if frozen with the stalks bent down.

This snow might be, hopefully, the farewell greeting of the winter passing away.
I will spend the day indoor with ham radio, cello and chores today.


Spring is full blown here

As a usual week end, my wife has come home early in the afternoon. We have worked together in the garden. The weeds are growing fast now. Before they get ripe enough to seed, we should pull them. Time is passing gently as well as peacefully.
My wife asked me to take supper enjoying cherry blossoms under cherry trees somewhere as ordinary Japanese usualy do. Taking a camera, I went to the junior high school next to our property on the west side. The cherry trees are fully blooming now. Noone in the campus. Quiet and calm.
The plum tree in our garden at the exit with the cherry trees in the school next to our home. The fullblown flowers are getting replaced to fresh leaves. A partner tree was dead due to a kind of mold a few years ago. I just woder if this tree could be fertile without it. Looking forward that it will prolifically bear many fruits in the summer, I would go on caring for it.

The flower bed in our garden.

I have wondered if it was worth or meaningful to keep this blog or not for the past weeks. Without confidence in myself and in my life, I could scarcely have anything to be published in such a small media as this blog. I am still thinking of blogging in that way.

With force of habit, however, I would go on for a while writing what is happening here and what I am thinking of. Hopefully, no strain on myself.