The garden in early summer.

It has been dry and warm, that is unusual for this season in a year. It seems beneficial to the plants and trees in the garden. It may last for a week or two until we get into the rainy season.
Radish has been germinated. It is good for salad as well as cooked dishes.
Cucumber is already ripe. It has been a material for morning salad. Fresh and kind of sweet. It is fun to see it growing its vine and attaching to the net with the tendril. It may be harvested everyday for sometime.

Lettuce and sunny lettuce have been growing rich. Since it is not cool, lettuce won't become spherical. It still tastes fresh and good. Regular material for salad as well.

Tomato. It is the kind I have been struggling with for years. They are vulnerable to various illnesses especially when it is wet. In the wetter weather, we might need a green house to raise them. As told in the beginning, it has been so dry that tomatoes are growing uneventfully this year. About 20 plants of tomatoes are growing. We might have so many tomato fruits every day very soon. Ripe tomatoes are one of the best things we could get from garden farm.

I have seeded marygold, cosmos and okra in the garden. Marygold has been germinated. The other two are also growing. I love these flowers much. They may please us from summer to fall.

Strawverry has been so ripe that we could harvest this bowlful strawberry once two days for the past few of weeks. They are rather small but still taste freshly sweet. I have planted this strawberry at a corner of the garden a few years ago. Without having had any care, they have grown to a few sq meters in size and have gone through the brutal winter. I am going to given them some fertilizer this year.  

I still have a bit of neck pain but am still on the steady recovery from that head injury. I am grateful to my life that keeps me busy and feel delighted.


My 66th birthday and the day after.

It was a terrible day today. I went to an electrical item shop, where I was delivered the ordered stereo, a product of Sony, this afternoon. It was for my wife. She wanted a good quality audio system for herself at her room.

A staff has brought the item to my car on a cart. I was hurrying up leading him to my car. All of sudden, I felt I had flown in the air. In a second, I bumped my head badly on the ground. I tripped with a car stop block to fall on the ground. A dull thud. Sharp pain. Some oozing on the parietal region. The shop staff has given me a towel to hold down the injury. I haven't had any neck pain at that time. In a couple of hours, however, dull muscle pain on the neck has followed, which is aggravated with rotating head.

It may be impossible for me to go for the 2nd practice of the ensemble. Too bad. I have been looking forward that so much. This pain seems just muscular in origin but not due to cervical spine problem etc. It may subside spontaneously in a few days. Maybe, God tells me to be quiet at home since I turned 66 years of age yesterday.

Yes, it was my 66th birthday yesterday. Through Face Book or e mail, I have received birthday greeting from many friends. Every greeting words has penetrated my mind in depth. Especially, a card from Cathy and Bruce Elbert has made me almost crying. It told me they reckon me as an important person as I am. I thanked all of the greetings. This accident surely warns me that I am getting older and I should behave in the way suitable for my age.

The 1st practice of ensemble

On last Friday, I have been to the ensemble practise with my wife and daughter. It was the very 1st practice for the ensemble as well.

My wife has come back home around 5PM, that is, surprisingly early for her work. We drove up to the city where the practise hall was located. It was an hour drive. It was the road where I used to drive to the orchestra practise about 10 years ago. The person organizing this new ensemble was conducting that orchestra. Remembering of me, he has given me an invitation to the new ensemble.

My wife seemed to be excited anticipating joining such an ensemble fixed by the steady members for the 1st time in her life. She has been talkative on various topics all the way. I realized she had never been involved in such a social activity other than those related with her profession and with the local area. Several minutes before arriving at the place, our daughter has given us a phone call. She has already arrived there. We have brought her violin and a small gift, that is, some strawberries freshly harvested.

It was a room in a public hall there. Getting already dark outside, there were only us at that facility. Including ourselves, there were 11 people at the room. Most of them were known to me even if I have never talked to them in person. They were in the same orchestra 10 years ago. We were a bit late for the start. They bhave started practising the overture of Bach's 1st Orchestral Suite. Introducing ourselves, we have joined the ensemble.

This piece sounds more like those by Handel. No passionate tunes nor fugue which makes us feel something profound. It is contrastive to the Orchestral Suite Nr2, which sounds much more emotional and appealing to our mind. But still a grand music suitable for court. Anyway, I have enjoyed playing it with the company.

On the way back home, we have had sushi dinner at a restaurant. Another enjoyable time with family. Being content with the ensemble with wife and daughter, I drove back the straight road in darkness back home.


To Mike K5TRI

I was going to reply to your comment. But you seemed to have deleted it already.

Don't hesitate to ask me to slow down. If you should have missed anything I sent to you in the QSO, please ask that to me as well. Dialogue is qualitatively different from monologue. Only the former would bring us pleasure. It will be a pleasure for me to go slow if you would enjoy a conversational QSO. The worst is QRQ in rubber stamp hi.

Fiftenn meters has been on a plateau for the past few days. Since the splar activity is declining for now, we may not have such a good condition for years. Let's do not miss it.

Thanks for the QSO. See you again for a longer one soon.


As a free person

I have been asked by my wife to help her to draw blood from a few patients twice a month. It was the very first day today. As promised, I arrived at her office at 9:30 in the morning. It has been almost 20 years since she started her own practice in a building close to a railway station as well as to the med school hospital where we served our residency. Checking the syringes etc for venipuncture, I was looking around the small clinic. It has become a neat and comfortable place. In a few years since I started my own at different place, I told her to get hers started there. We have designed the layout and the interior etc by ourselves. She has added a lot of things to the original since then.

She used to employ a nurse some time ago, who was very good at drawing blood. Since she quit her job at her clinic, my wife asked the other clinic to do the lab test necessary for her patients. But it has been much inconvenience to the patients. That's why she decided to do the lab test at her clinic. The arrow of honorable blood drawer position shot me.  

In some 20 minutes, the first patient was called in. Venipuncture was successful. However, I have failed with the 2nd one. Though his blood vessel was large enough, I could not puncture it. I don't know why. My wife has comforted me saying his vessel wall was a bit hard to be penetrated. Yes, she has done it successfully later. I was supposed to do the procedure to another patient. I have, however, given it up and quit there. It seemed it had been a pretty tough procedure for my wife. But I was sure she would do better than me. I have fired myself for this honorable position.

It was a peaceful mildly overcast day. Warm and peaceful. I remembered it had been over 15 years since I often did blood drawing at the own clinic. I have lost the technbique of the procedure. Blood drawing is a kind of pediatrician's speciality. I used to do the procedure for VLBW infant when I was working at a med school hospital. The vessels were much smaller in caliber than those of grown ups . Again, I realized my days of being a doctor had been over. Without any depressing feeling, I understood that evident fact again. I have stepped out to a new phase of life.

At an electrical item shop, I have ordered a new stereo which my wife had wanted for some time. She deserves that for her busy work. It is a high tech audio system with digital amplifier. My wife may listen to good flute music with that audio system.

On the way back home, I drove beside the ancient tomb named Bentenzuka, which I posted about in this blog earlier. It still stood quietly in the same way as before surrounded with watered rice paddies. It is the way I commuted to my own office as a busy doctor. Now, I was driving the same way as a free person. Or as a free house husband.


Garden growing

This unusually warm weather seems to help plants and vegetables to bud faster in our garden. This is Mary Gold germinated from the seeds harvested last fall. I love this flower, so that I would have many of them bloom in the garden. They will last from later spring until fall. 
These are baby plants of the cosmos which I also taken from them last fall. I like this kind as well. When they are swung by breeze in early fall, I feel relly soothed by the scene. I would proliferate them more year by year.

We have decided to remove the Ginko trees as wrote elsewhere. The entrance looks simple now. The lawn might get healthier having much more sunray. It means I should hustle cuttinng it there. Unfortunately, the plum along the street has suffered from some kind mold, which has disturbed the fruits growing this year. Maybe, with more sunray and ventilation at the tree, next year, it will bear as many fruits as a few years ago. 

Some flowers in the garden. I would modify the layout and the kinds of flowers from now. I have kept it as my father used to care for years ago. It is my turn now. I would plant more German Iris there. On the back, I would make more small farms.
It is a kind of relief for me having breeze touching me gently when I care for the plants and flowers in the garden. I sure feel I am connected with the flow of lives at such a moment. The eternity at a moment, I should say.


Family ensemble

Last night, I have played Gavotte of the 1st orchestral suite by Bach with my wife. It is the only piece she could play at present. No wonder she could play only that because it is only a year and half since she started flute. We could go through the piece even if she has had breath problem or unstable tone etc. It was a fun. Only wish she could start flute 20 years, or at least 10 years earlier. But we could never go back to the past. Let's go on enjoying ensemble together even if she could play only a part of it.

The basssoonist seems to quit the ensemble due to his work schedule. Unless they change the practise day from Friday to the other week end day, it seems I would be asked to play the bassoon part. I should hustle a bit more for the bassoon solo part.

Our daughter may join it as well. They have asked her to play the 1st violin part. I am wondering if she could get out of the work soon enough to be in time for the practice. If she could join it, it would be a dream coming true for me. How has it taken me to make it come true? I would treasure this opportunity of family ensemble however short it might be.

During dinner last night, the 1st orchestral suite performed by Stuttgart Bach Orchestra conducted by Karl Muenhinger have been on in the livingdining room.

Monologous QSOs

I have often called CQ looking for any conversational QSOs. Only 10 or 20%  chance of call to me. Most of callers are just wanting QSL. There must be only another 10 or 20% who would or could make conversation on CW.

I feel as if I have found gold in the sand beach. Unfortunately, the problem goes on. About half of these conversational QSOs are that of monologue. The person would go on talking about himself for several minutes. Often longer than 5 minutes. What a torture to listen to his monologue for that long time on noisy and messed band! If he/she was well known to me, that is another story. I am interested in what have happened to him/her and could concentrate on what he/she says however long it may go on. It is, however, a real torture for me to be forced to listen to what he/she says.

It often makes me fall asleep. Actually, I have ever experienced such a QSO as there was only noise when I woke up. Who could blame me? I am sorry I could not go on listening to him/her until the end of his/her story. But I could never do that.

No, I won't criticize anyone. At certain age, we could never get off such a situation making monologue to the others. It is my own problem if I could be conscious of making monologue. It is a serious problem for me if I could be conscious of own intellectual deterioration. Maybe, I should ask some good friend of mine to let me know of tendency to monologue by myself. It will be the time for me to quit this hobby.


Galapagosization is one of the most popular words in Japan. It stands for anything which won't work well any longer because of being behind the evolutional process of the age. It often means retrogression or degeneration which leads to the collapse of the society.

There are two things newly added to galapagosized things in amateur ham radio in our country.

One is the new licensing system. It is told new and comprehensive. When we apply for the station licence, they will permission to operate on all the bands/mode so far as they are allowed with the operator licence. The galapagosized point is that it is issued for each rig, not for the operator himself. We should apply for the guarantee of the rig for legitimacy to JARD or TSS. This guarantee is done on paper basis actually without any  technical check up. We should pay several tens USD for each equipment for the guarantee. It is not possible for us to modify the equipment without further gurantee by those organizations.

The other matter is that they have started a new "e learning" based operator licence for a higher class. We should take the exams to get any operator licences. For beginner licences, there have been classes prepared to get the tickets in stead of taking the exams. This licence taking class is extended to the 2nd class this year. We could get the 2nd class ticket without taking the exam. It is given with e learning, which may mean it won't take much investment for the class. This may sound good for amateur hams who would upgrade their licence. But the fee is incredibly high, that is, about 400  USD. JARD may be responsible for this system. They may get so much profit from this new licence system as they have had from the same system for the beginner classes.

There are always stories of concession by the bureaucrats accompanied with these galapagosization. These matters are not exceptional. JARD and TSS are supposed to provide appointments for retired bureaucrats. So amateur ham radio is another field of galapagosization.


Carpal tunnel syndrome

After having practised cello hard for several days, I got carpel tunnel syndrome on the left hand last night. I was surprised to find numbness on the index and ring finger while playing it for fast passages. Have never experienced it before.

Maybe, too much flexion on the left wrist holding bow in addition to the fast movement of the hand/arm. Tendonitis is common on the right hand but never this symptom on the left. I should keep it rested for a while.

In stead, I could pound brass?! It won't have median nerve work too hard, possibly?

It is not easy for us to spend our old lives. We might have to be transited from the creation value to the experience value by V.E.Franckle.


New drive way arrangement

I have had four of the gingko trees along the drive way removed. I have been thinking of this for some time. Those trees were good look and gave decent appearance to our home entrance. But they were getting very tall and hard to do with the fallen leaves. They have made too much shades for the lawn on the norhtern side as well.

The most important reason which had made me relucatant to do this was that I discussed to plant them there with my father about 20 years ago. They were only young plant about 2 meters high. Removing them meant losing some history we have made here.

But it won't be so many years left for me and my wife to do with the garden for now. It is the time, I believe, for us to modify it as we think best. I am actively remodelling the back yard as well. I would have more German Iris and Mary Gold for the basic plants there. And more vegetable farms, however small they might be. I have planted tomato, ginger, sweet potato, okra, cucumber, egg plant, sunny lettuce, lettuce and water melon. Melon is also planned. Hopefully, we might have rich harvest this summer through fall.

Half seriously, I am getting ready for the possible hyperinflation upcoming not too far from now, when we should pay so much money to get food for a few years. I hope it won't come true. But our government, and possibly the people, have lost the fiscal discipline here. The net debt is almost ten billion USD. I can't find any other way to get out of this astronomical amount of debt than hyperinflation state. I wish  this guess could be only a kidding.

Anyway, it is a fun for me to modify the garden for practical purposes. I might have lost good poles for antenna in the future.


Invitation to dinner by our daughter

A couple of days ago, I and my wife have been invited to dinner by our daughter. She wanted to treat us with the first salary she had got for her job. She has started her career as a nurse this spring.
It was a nice Sushi reataurant in a countryside near to Mashiko, famous for the pottery. She booked a cosy room for us.

We were pleased to hear how she had started working at an ICU at a large hospital near to the university she graduated from. It seemed she had been worn out every evening when she got to the apartment. The staff and the system seemed to be pretty democratic even thouth the senior nurses have not been just tender to the new comer but pretty strict in instructing them.  I and my wife have known that, being established in the war, the rank of nurses was pretty rigid and severe. Wheter this democratic and flexible system is unique to this hospital or not, she is quite lucky to be trainted at such a hospital. WE were grateful to them.
Having started studying law in another university, our daughter has experienced a big disappointment and has spent some time for moratorium. But, after her grand mother or aunt, she has decided to study nursing. Since then, she has changed herself. She has become a real lady with her own end for life. She could sympathize the other epople now.  We could not be more thankful for her efforts to her and for support and supervision to everyone who has taught and has lead her this way.


I have had a big glass of beer while my wife had a small bottle of non alcohol beer like beverage. Daughter had only tea. We have toasted her career. May she become a good nurse who "mitleiden" those suffering from illnesses.
The course dishes was good enough. Salad, Sashimi, Cooked fish, Tenpura and this plate of Sushi. Desert and tea were also served. 
We kidded her to come back to this restaurant every spring. A satisfying evening.


Two pieces of good news

Recently, I have had two major events for music life. One it that I was invited to an ensemble by a conductor. I used to play at a local orchestra under his instruction almost 10 years ago. Still having some trouble reading score with the eye problem, I decided to join it. My wife would join it as a flutist as well. It is still a small group. Hopefully, with the conductor's warm personality, there will be more members gathering soon.

The piece for practise is the orchestral suite Nr1 by Bach. Compared with his other works, it sounds simpler and less smotional as if it had been composed only for the court. In the tonality of C major, it sounds grand and dignified. Though it won't necessarily be an easy task for me to attend the practise once every week, it would be a joy to make ensemble with good friends as well as my wife this time.

The other good news was that a violinist friend, Ms. T., whom I had played the piano trio or the other chamber music for almost 15 years would get married this fall. When I started cello again just before age 50 years after a long hiatus, I wondered with whom I would play any ensemble. Our daughter, who was a pretty good violinist, was busy with her studies. I remebered of Ms. T who used to play very good violin at a concert in her high school days. I impudetly asked her to play together with me. Surprisingly, she agreed with me. Since then, we have played a number of chamber musics together. The 1st movements of piano quintets by Brahms and Franck. The whole piano trio Nr2 by Brahms. The 1st movement of piano trio by Mendelssohn and so forth. She has enriched my music life or literally the early old age in my life. I could not thank enough to her for her effort and kindness to me. In the meantime, she has completed a music university and has been to Germany for further study of violin performance. Finishing a music university there, she came back here to do musical activity in performance as well as teaching.

Last fall, I proposed her to put an end to our piano trio activity mainly due to my vision problem. I also thought I would need to practise more to do with such a professional musician as her. She kindly told me to restart any ensemble any time in the future. What a sweet girl!

Several days ago, she has given m an email to let me know she would be engaged with a guy very soon. She would get married with him in this fall. What a good news! I have been concerned with her marriage. I was even trying to find a candidate for her husband as well. It was a pleasant news to me like that of own family member. I was asked to attend the wedding party and to play cello. It would be more than a pleasure to do so. Some chamber music may be suitable for such an occasion. Music has the power to unite people. I should practise cello even more for now.