Bill N4AR

I have met an old friend of mine, Bill, N4AR on 20m this morning. I have introduced him in a previous post in this blog. Here.

He told me he had finally retired 8 months ago. It was a hard time for him to leave his patients. He has worked hard as a cardiologist for decades. No wonder his patients were sad to farewell to him as well. I could sympathize, or I should say, shared his sense of loss in his situation. Because I have had it almost 4 years ago.

Doctor-patient relationship is or should be based on the purest form of human relationship. It is  not to give any knowledge or skill of medical procedure at the cost they determine for that. Without faith in each other, that relationship is hardly achievable. It may sound a kind of ideological thought. But, in reality, the relationship should be in faith and sympathy as human being. Sympathy may sound like a paternalism but could be replaced to a german word, Mitleiden. It is a cooperative work and process between a patient and a doctor. It is the characteristics of this profession which attracts many young people who would be a doctor. Even though the socioeconomical situation makes it hard to maintain such a relationship in the real medical practise, I believe, most doctors are struggling for that. I thought Bill had been one of such doctors. I would say to him he has lived a wonderful life as a doctor and it is the time for him to step out a new stage in his life.

As told before, his big antennas were all destroyed by an ice storm several years ago. He was going to rebuild them soon. It might not be an easy work for him to put them up again. I advised him to count his age twice before climbing on the tower. I still look forward hearing his big signal on 40m early at night here. He used to tell me he would quit radio and go for the round at the inpatient ward when we finished a QSO on 40m in his morning hours. From now on, he won't tell me that way but would tell he would enjoy riding horse etc.


In the end of this year

It has been some time since I made the last post. Sipping a small glass of beer, I would write a bit how I have been doing.

We have had a quiet peaceful Christmas here. No guests etc. Humble dishes I prepared and a small cake I bought at a super market were on the table. My wife came into the New Year holidays today and kindly prepared dinner for me. For the sake of her honor, she used to cook from time to time before I started cooking. Not so bad a chef but just not fond of cooking.

This year, I have learned that we are based on the history in the past. It sounds like a too natural thing. But I am afraid we are liable to forget this truth quite often. In Japan, the revisionists are trying to lead our country back to the regime before and during the WWII. At the end of WWII, a couple of systems were preserved in our country, which should have been greatly changed. One is the emperor system and the other the bureaucracy. Some people based on these systems seem to try to return to the ancient regime, which was turned out to be total fault in the history.

The other event on going right now that seems to be related with the recent history is the conflicts in the Middle East. It seems to have originated from the artificial borders among the countries which were determined by the western countries after WWI. Together with the dibersity of the religions, this artificial borderlines seem to have caused the present mess there. The western countries are responsible for the refugees in this respect. The military commitment by the developed countries in the more recent years has given rise to the Muslim extremists as well.

We are inexorably bound to the history in this way. We should learn more of the history and try to find a way to resolve the problem however complicated and tough it might be.

There have never been a year when I felt there was absolute decline in number of the CW operators enjoying conversational QSOs. Calling CQ on various bands always has turned out to be failure throughout the year. People explain this fact from the prevailing texting through the internet, the decrease of the number of CW operators and so forth. I must add to those causes that the CW operators are getting older and are unable to make QSO in dialogue. Aged people including myself are apt to make monologues. It also make QSOs less interesting, I should say. I think it is the critical period which determine if conversational CW could survive or not. It is crucially important to have younger hams join this category of ham radio. We are asked if we are enjoying conversational QSOs by ourselves. If we are not, how could young hams be interested in it? I will fully enjoy this category of enjoyment in ham radio, even if my CQ will be to no avail.

I feel I could make progress with cello a bit even at this old age. I started practicing it using a tuner. I realized what a terrible scale I was on with it. The tuner, even if ti is only the well tempered scale, gives good lessons for the right scale. Returning to the basic training, I am enjoying to brush it up. Due to my vision problem with cataracts, I had to take off from the ensemble. Fortunately, the piano trio partners kindly told me they would wait for my surgery, which is planned next month. I would start the ensemble again soon next year. Music, especially in ensemble, seems something profoundly related with our lives. It is similar to gardening for me in a sense.

Well, that's about it. Beer is almost run out. I would say good night to you. Thanks for visiting this blog even though it won't give you anything valuable or informative. Your concern will encourage me to go on this blog. I appreciate it very much.

Have a very happy new year!


The terrorism won't be ceased by military power

News tells us the UN has determined to apply more sanctions to IS. It seems they will do military attack on them. Those terrorists should be punished, I understand.

But if they won't make efforts to pursue and solve the causes why such a radicalism has been given rise to there, it sounds quite inconsistent to me. Where is the funds coming to them from?
How do they purchase the weapons? I know the situation is complicated in the Middle East. But we should remember the diplomacy of the developed countries immediately after the WWi and WWII are responsible for an arbitrary boundaries among the peoples as the borders which have caused the conflicts ever since. It should also be not forgotten that the military intervention to Afghanistan and then to Iraq and Syria by the developed countries has left the Muslim extremists.

From this standpoint, the attack by unmanned aircrafts should be stopped. It eventually causes victims in the civilians. For those civilians in the Middle East, it is comparable to the terrorism by Muslim extremists.

Terrorism would penetrate through the borders. They will threaten our lives and try to mess them. It is their aim to separate people each other with anger and fear. It is impossible to eradicate terrorists with the ordinary weapons which they rely on for the nation to nation war. Imagine the situation when those terrorists get the portable nuclear bomb fot self suicide attack. They may utilize the chemical weapons as well. It will be a nightmare. The chain of hatred and fears should be cut at present.

What paddle is the best?

What is the ideal paddle for CW operators? I think the following conditions are the requisites for that. In a word, it should be like our own fist. The only thing we require it to return quickly, even quicker than our fist. Anyway, this is my dogmatic opinion on the ideal paddle.

1)Weight of the paddle.
Whole weight should be heavy enough not to be moved with manipulation. On the other hand, more importantly, the moving system should be light enough as if we won't feel we are handling a paddle. It should be like a part of our body. It should have some tactile sensation that tells us we touch the finger pieces.

With these description, you might wonder if the touch keyer could be the best. The touch keyer has two problems. One is the rebound sensation at the touch portion. Even though I have never used it, it could jolt or rebound to keying, I am afraid. The other point is that it could be difficult to send QRQ compared with the ideal paddle. Thanks to the spring/magnetic return tension, the lever of a paddle might return quicker than our own fingers. It might be a problem when the sending exceeds certain speed.

2)Tension of the lever(s)
The tension is to move back the levers to the rest position. When we hit the finger piece for dash or dot, the tension should be minimum. On the other hand, it should enable the lever return the rest position as quick as possible. For this purpose, magnetic seems superior to spring. The magnetic for tension won't cast no weight so that the lever could move without any inertia. The tension spring that is very light as well as powerful for the size may be comparable to magnetic. So far, I have never used a paddle with tension spring better as for the quickness of return than magnetic tension.

3)Feel of keying
We have various impressions of feeling in sending. It is partly a subjective finding. It is often difficult to describe that feeling with a paddle. Assuming this difficulty, if we would describe the feel of keying, it would be the best that the paddle feels like a part of our body. Such a paddle is hardly available, though.

Actually, we often have the sensation of rebound for the keying feel. As soon as we hit the finger piece and the contacts are touched each other, we could feel some vibration feeling at the finger piece. In my view, it is an unnecessary vibration of the lever due to the relative small weight of the non moving parts comapred with that of the moving parts. The latter should be big enough to absorb the unnecessary vibration of the moving parts. John, K1JD, expressed this sensation as jolted. He thinks it is due to the non linearity of magnetic tension, which I could hardly agree with. I believe it is a problem of absorbing the unnecessary vibration of the moing system.

So far, the products of Begali seem to be highly estimated as for those characteristics. But there are different opinions as for the keying feel. John recommends me Stelath model while the others, like Bruce K6ZB, tells me Leonessa is the best. Atsu JE1TRV is using Sculpture.

Maybe, before choosing one of them, I should visit Begali to test each by myself. Or I should go on with my Mercury paddle compromising the keying feel. Never ending dream for an ideal paddle.

Pork wrapping apple and sweet potato

This is the main dish for dinner tonight. Stick shaped apple and sweet potato are wrapped by sliced pork. The soup is tomato. Seaoned with red wine, soy sauce, consomme and salt pepper. Laurel leaves are added. Cooked for half an hour. Pretty good.



Tsugaru-samisen performance. This genre of samisen used to be played by visually handicapped people, oppressed in the society, in Tsugaru area, the most northern area in Honshu Island. In snowy field, they have wandered in order to get a chance to perform samisen. It was for living.  

Couldn't you hear an elegy in this performance? When I first listened to it, I was struck feeling there was some sense buried in our consciousness carried on from our ancestors.

This piece is an original work composed by a modern samisen player.  Performance style is typical for Tsugaru-samisen.


Piano Quintet by Shostakovitch

This music starts with a movement adopting counterpoint which sounds like a magnificient architecture. The slow movement expresses most harrowing sentiment. I have never listened such a beautiful music. The counterpoint technique is again used in most impressive way. The last movement pokes our surprise. It is a light touched music. What has Shostakovitch thought when he put such a movement for the last? Has he tried to balance the too grave emotion throughout the movements prior to it or had any political meaning as he has often confromted to? 

In this ensemble, Jansen, the most famous performer among them, is playing the 2nd violin part. It is unusual. Of course, the 2nd violin occupies the important position in this chamber music. But she could have played the 1st violin. Nevertheless, all members, including Jansen, seem to enjoy playing this piece. Jansen sometimes smiles at the other players during playing it. It must be a fun for them to play it, not just a work. They show how enjoyable it is to play chamber music together. As the tiltle of this video tells, they must be personally good friends as well as good company performers.

Enjoy this!    


A blessing in our life

Last night, I ran across with Larry W7CB. I have seen him a few times for the past several months after a long hiatus. He used to be a school principal long time ago and now 87 years old, if I remember it right. He excused on his fist for poor sending. But he did very well and, if it is not rude to him to mention about his reception ability, he has become very competent at it compared with the old days in 80s. He was always careful of what I had thought on any topic. No way two way monologues. It was a fun for me to spend sometime with him.

He told me he could not sleep so that he watched the band, that is 40 meters, for any DX. I hoped my CW would sound like a cradle song to him. I asked him how he would spend Christmas. His answer was moving me a lot. He would have a big family members getting together at his home. Fourteen grandkids and 8 great grandkids. Including their parents, there must be over 30 people coming to stay with Larry and his wife. His wife will prepare cookies and cakes for them. An old cat, Pete, will welcome them as well. They will bring sleep bags and sleep on the floor.

What a fun time they will have there! Imagining of the scenary there on upcoming Christmas, at first, I was smiling but, in a few seconds, tears came up on my eyes. Is it only a characteristic of elderly to be moved easily? I don't think so. It will be a great blessing to Larry and his wife to have such a big family and to have them attend the celebration at his home. Larry and his wife have loved them so much that they have delivered something important in life to them all. That may be why all the members are gathering now. They have  achieved one of the most important things in our life and have been rewarded in this way.

When I told him what I had felt hearing his plan for Christmas, he also seemed to be happy  and told me he would tell about it to his wife. He quit the radio then.

I wished them from the bottom of my heart all the best for this season.



Sukiyaki is one of the feast dishes at our home. A friend of mine has given us good beef for Sukiyaki as the year end present today. I decided to prepare that for the dinner. Very simple. Sliced beef cooked at first then the other materials are added to the pan. Seasoning is the mixture of soy sauce, sugar and sweetened sake.

All family members have enjoyed such a feast dish together. All around the dish on the table are my wife and myself now. Time has passed. I must thank for having meal together at present.

My wife will bisit her parents in Shikoku this week end. Father in law told her he was looking forward seeing her. My wife seems a bit more cheerful and active than usual. 
Ii will have simple meal this week end.


Three dogmata

Three dogmata of mine these days;

1)Those putting enough spaces between words are proficient operators. On the contrary, I will finish QSO as soon as possible if the guy who makes less spaces. We read the sentences on CW based on each word. So the spaces between words are crucial in undersanding what they say on CW. Good operators try to send CW which is readable to them. If they could  do that, it proves their proficiency on CW.

2)Those who could enjoy dialogue are intelligent and deserve to talk to. Monologue speaker always has some defect in intelligence. I will quit QSO with such monologue speakers. Unfortunately, aging brings this character to us. All we could do is to be aware of it and to try to listen more to the others. I still like listening to elderly speaking on their unique experiences.

3)There is a clear distinction between the pleasure contests give us and that conversation does. They are exclusive each other nowadays individual wise as well as the whole population wise. It may be because of the aging in ham population and the internet media prevailing everywhere. So the ragchew lovers are becoming the minority of the minorities.

Me? It is impossible for me to judge subjectively on that question.

These are still my own dogmata. Not more than that.


A letter from an old patient

I have received a postal mail from a guy. I could not recall him at once. KI in initial. Who was he?

He told I had taken care of him for bronchial asthma at my clinic from his elemntary school to college days for years until I told him he had grown up enough from that illness and had no necessity for follow up. It was a few years before I closed clinic when he left my clinic.

I clearly recalled of him, his mother and his younger sister. A bright boy. He was always cheerful at the outpatient clinic. He went to a college nearby. In his mid teen days, he seemed to go through the rebellious age but still got in touch with me. The college he went to was a school where the students are trained for professional speciality in engineering for 5 years from age 15 to 19 years. I had been to a school of the same system in Tokyo before going to the medical university in Tokyo. I felt even closer to him since he entered that shcool. I might have double imaged myself on him. In the first 2 years, he was immersed in rock and roll music, so that he was precarious at his study and was on the edge of drop out from the school.

His mail told he had been given some advice by me, which helped him a lot. I can't recall what i have told him then. I was crazy for ham radio at the school as well and was almost dropping out as well. From that experience, I might have advised him something, maybe. For the last 2 or 3 years in the school, he has been in the top 10 among all the students as for the study. He has succeeded in the entrance exasm to JR Tokai. It is the rail way company of the bullet train from Tokyo to Osaka. He has been assigned to various projects in the company where he has been treated as an engineer comparable to the colleagues of 4 year university graduates and even of the postgraduates there.

He thanked to me for caring for him and giving him the advice, as I told, which I totally forgot of! Anyway, his letter has brought tears in my eyes. He has ended the letter proposing me to have meal together some time. Oh, yes, it will be my pleasure. With such a letter from him, I felt rewarded in my life. My heart was full of gratitude to it.  


Fried tomato

As announced before!, I have harvested and fried green tomatoes yesterday. Courtesy to Terry WA4AMG.  It has lacked much sweet this time but was still sour fresh and a bit sweet. My wife has brought some to a friend family of ours together fried shrimp, mackerel, smelt and sweet potato. They seemed very pleasant to have this present. For return, they have given some veggies to my wife.


Our garden in early winter

In the garden, I found some cluster amaryllis are blooming. It may be due to the Indian Summer for the past few weeks. They are supposed to come out early in fall.

The petals are kind of shrunken due to the low temperature. It gets frosty in the morning here.

PS; After having uploaded this post, I asked my wife, a bit better gardener than me, about this flower. She answered me it was "Diamond lilly", which ought to come out in this season. It might be planted by my father. Apology and correction!

Winter has surely started here. Magnolia tree has had a half of its leaves fallen. It might get ready for beautiful flowers early in next spring.

Poor tomatoes are going to die soon. In 2 or 3 days, I will harvest these immature fruits and try to fry them.

I have cleaned the dead Cosmos and Mary gold in the garden. Seeds have been taken. They will revive in the garden next spring. A couple of apple trees have been planted. It seems we should care for them to be grown to be abundant with good apples. When could we crop them? As my parents left the plum tree for us, I wonder if anyone will enjoy the fruits from these trees in years.


Fishing efficiency

Since I have fewer callers nowadays, I am always experimenting to achieve more efficient way of calling CQ. Of course, I also watch the bands carefully as well. Hearing nothing, I start to throw fishhook with a bait. Various kind of baits are available. In my experience, each bait has more efficiency in this order.

1)Hand key nearly equal to bug key or side swiper

2)Electronic keyer manually sent

3)Electronic keyer automatically sent, that is, memory keyer

It seems our ears love something fluctuating. It might be related with the variable heart beat. Some people may say it is a memory in uterus of the maternal heart beat.

I know 1) is most efficient as a bait. But it makes me tired and bored. I often compromise with 2) category. i put an accent before giving my call. That is putting a small pause before my call. It may give an alert to listener that something important will be sent.

I must admit I sometimes surf the internet while sending CQ, because I have too few callers on the band. In category 2), I am apt to repeat CQ for many times without being conscious of that. Even worse, I forget calling CQ with category 3) and realize that transmission has been on due to the quietness. I should apologize to the callers in such occasion if any.

Anyway, I have scarcely considered of the efficiency of the bait some years ago. From now on, however, I need to make tricks to augment the efficiency of each bait. As if fishing on a lake where very few fish is in.  


We should advocate CW to young new comers

I have posted twice in the reflector of FOC yesterday. It was regarding the difference between contesting/DXing and ragchewing. Ragchewing should be described as ordinary conversational communication on CW. Based on the article I introduced here,  I would like to say these two genres of CW activities are handled at different areas in the brain, if partly overlapped, so that the resulting pleasure or sense of rewarding must be different each other.

Even if we should admit of the diversity of the way how to enjoy CW, we should be aware of this distinction in CW operation. Judging from the overall activity in each genre, I should say contesting/DXing is occupying the most portion in the club activity. Some members have endorsed me either on the reflector or by personal mail. But it seemed those having priority in contesting/DXing were the majority in the participants of the club.

We should learn how different they are each other if they use CW for the tool. Understanding it, we should know which we stand on. It will cause quite a big difference which standpoint we are on. It may determine the ethos of the club.

This morning, while talking to a member in the West Coast on 15m, who told me the new members would get inactive for ordinary QSOs but get on only for contests, I realized it was the problem of aging. When we get older, we won't be interested in the others. Aged people won't have the inner energy or lose some kind of intelligence to understand the others. It should not be blamed. It is a natural course of human being. Due to the indifference to the others, they may not communicate to understand each other. But they just enjoy CW as a tool for the games. 

Otherwise, it is quite difficult for me to understand the trend for contesting/DXing prevailing in the world of CW. We should advocate CW to the younger new comers or CW may vanish sooner or later. FOC is not an exception even if it has the calling to maintain and convey this mode for real communication among people to the next generation.