Invierno porteno by Piazzolla

Piazzolla has become a cosmopolitan with his works starting from Argentine Tango. It is not a work of localized culture but of general human culture. I love this one. Winter from Four Seasons in Buenos Aires.


Neuroscientific understanding of CW reception

This article is interesting to me. It may paraphrase to CW reception mechanism.

It says the neuroscientific research revealed this way of communication is involved with the right hemisphere as well as with the language center in the left hemisphere. Such communicating method might be different as for the process in the brain from the usual verbal communication.

I feel CW reception is unique neuroscience wise. It might be related with the unique function of working memory. This function is known to work in the second language acquisition. From its simplicity, CW reception study may give a clue to our congnitive function.

If I were a bit younger and were in the faculty of medicine, I would start studying it with the modern devices like functional MRI. At least, I will follow the papers published regarding this theme.

It is to understand why CW has attracted me for such a long time. Was it worth spending so much time and energy for CW throughout my life? I would confirm it and would deliver the knowledge to the next generation.

The form of the fist with key

Even though I might mention on this topic in the past, I would repeat it here. Regarding how to handle a paddle or a bug key.

Our hand/fingers should be as if it were grasping something fragile like an egg. The finger joints as well as hand joint should be relaxed in half flexion position. It is in order to have the fist respond promptly to any required movements. If the fist is in tension with extended joints, it won't respond to any requirement quick enough.

This form of fist is the same as that holding a string instrument bow. We need to have the hand and arm move quickly as well as flexibly in string instrument performance. The same form is quite necessary for that purpose.

If you find it difficult to control especially dots, consider of the form of the fist holding a paddle or a bug key. Is it ready to respond to required movements?

Just for an information.


Faure String Quartet OP121

Bringing a cup of coffee into the shack, I have watched around the bands earlier this morning. Ten and 15m were dead except for some Asians. Twenty was pretty good for NA. I felt a bit relieved to hear that even though I won't be on the WW CW contest held this week end. There is still remnant of a contester in myself.

I would spend this week end for reading, listening to music and practising cello. On Monday, I have the rehearsal of the orchestra I am attending to now. The Roman Carnival Ouverture by Berlioz is an obstacle for me depending on the tempo while the 8th symphony by Dvorak and the 38th by Mozart are accessible to me. I need to hustle practicing mainly Berlioz.

I have been reading a book regarding the history of the joint-stock companies and the analysis of the problem in the modern capitalism. It shows the idea of endless economic growth is not possible, so that we need to shift the pradigm from perpetuating pursue for profit to stable as well as sustainable economy. It is really inspiring to me. Very interesting. I would go on studying on this issue.

Well, here is one of my favorite chamber musics. The very last work by Faure. String quartet in e minor OP121. Faure is told to have refused composing a music in this genre until the very last in his life. He seems to have thought he could never overcome the overwhelming quartets by Beethoven. The latter must be like high mountains towering before him. This latest work of him is composed of flows of beautiful melodies. It engenders the atmosphere of cord characteristic for his music. As the late string quartets by Beethoven,  this is free from ostentation or excess. In that respect, this quartet is along the stream of Beethoven's works and even overcame them, I believe.

I used to listen to this music when I was in the dorm at the med school prep course. It was a square shaped room with concrete bare wall all around. There were a couple of speakers set on the sides of the entrance door. I listened to various music with the room mate in the dorm. Both of us have just joined the orchestra. He was a oboist while I chose cello for my instrument. Listening to a variety of music, we chatted until late at night. Only laughter and talking voices in low intensity were sometimes heard. Otherwise quiet and dark. I felt that time would last eternally even though I knew it would pass soon. This music sure brings me back to those days and recall the atmosphere in the room so clearly.

In the latter half of his life, Faure has suffered from hearing abnormality. The higher range of audio was heard lower while the lower range sounded higher to him. What an agony it was to him! Actually, he has refused the proposal by his friends to play this piece. This music has born and developed in his mind. We could never be compared to such a genius as Faure. But this story might mean we could experience and even produce something even in our last chapter of life when we are gradually losing various mental as well as physical functions.



38th anniversary

It was 38th anniversary 3 days ago. I have mistaken counting the number and have posted an article saying 38th on the same day last year. My wife has corrected that. It is 38th this year.

No deep emotion for this anniversary yet. I only wonder how we could get along together in good health for such a long time. I have come along to a different way than I expected in young days. But I should thank my wife to live together with me for this length of time. No complaint nor regret for the past.

At our wedding party. I was seduced to play cello there since it would be the only chance for us to force the attendees listen to us. It was "Apres Un Reve" by Faure. I haven't known of the poem Faure composed for. Later, when we knew what it sang, we laughed a lot. But, at this time in life, the content of the poem won't be so far from what I am feeling, honestly speaking.

Anyway, the past is past. We should make new steps ahead together.  


A step out of pacifism

JSDF dispatched to Southern Sudan has given a new mission "kaketsuke-keigo". It is to deploy a strategy to help the non military personnel of NPO etc or, though in this case this is still excluded, the military of the other countries upon request. It will be none other than military involvement in the civil war actually getting worsened since this summer. The government and the Ministry of Self Defense are cheating the people with this strange term written in Japanese. JSDF is supposed not to be involved in any battle action as our constitution says. It is the reason for this weird deceptive terminology.

In Southern Sudan, there is a chaotic civil war going on for the profit with oil. Two major factions have agreed ceasing fire but, as told before, it has been thrown into waste basket since this summer. The actual situation is a civil war 63 tribes join. More than one million people have been evacuated to the other countries and are in critical situation for foods and sanitary.

What the developed countries should do is to support those refugees with foods and the infrastructures necessary for them. The other point is to ban the import of arms into this area in conflict. Some sources have traded with them between oil and arms. In UN, the USA has finally lead the discussion to ban that arm import. It should be strictly done as soon as possible. It is surprising that they haven't done it yet.

Our JSDF, dispatched as PKO of UN there, has done construction or road maintenance for a few years. However, the government has turned its mission to involvement in the civil war itself. They say it is to join the Horn of Africa strategy by the USA, which is intended to keep in concession there with military presence against China. Our government is aiming to drive the people into revision of the constitution. Yes, they would like to renascent the nationalistic regime before WWII.

JSDF is recruiting young people into it. The tuition for university is getting more expensive while the students' parents are getting smaller amount of salary. The grant they get during studying should be refunded after starting working. It amounted up to 4 million yen. The percentage of the irregular non full time employment among all employed after graduation is about 30%. This situation makes some of the graduates attracted to JSDF. Isn't it the economical conscription?

Anyway, this change may be a significant step out of a country of pacifism into a ordinary country which makes military battle abroad.


Chicken, Oyster and Vegetables with Tomato Soup baked in Oven

Still cooking almost every day. In this cold season, we have hot pot cooking quite often. Today, I have cooked chicken and oyster with tomato sauce. In addition to this, pumpkin stew will be on the table. 

Fresh salad featuring persimmon will be added. 

I might be too sentimental but could not help wishing my parents had been with us at the table. My mother who enjoyed anything tasty would have smiled at these dishes for sure.

Dinner is ready. Just waiting for my wife from her work.


Flowers coming out

Chrysanthemum is fully out now. Bundles of them have been planted at various places in the garden by my father. It is been so vital for years that it has proliferated and spread all over.   

Another clump of the same flower. It is not showy at all but still lovely. 

Camellia is bloominb as well. It tells me we are in the winter. Four days ago, our traditional calendar said it had been in the winter.   

Beneath the apricot tree in the lawn, a tiny young tree of the same kind, about a foot tall, was growing. I have transplanted it to a bit more sunny corner. Hopefully, it may grow and will bear many fruits in years. Again, I smiled to myself thinking it may outlive myself. Who would enjoy the fruits? Anyway, it was what my father used to do for us.  

I have kept almost everything of my parents at this small house as it used to be when they were alive.  I thought I should dispose things like their dresses etc and eventually clear this tiny house. Or our children may have trouble to do with these things in the near future. 

Flowers are coming out as if the same season were starting. But there is no same season repeated. We should get ready for the final chapter of our trip of life.


Regarding Trump phenomenon

It was a real surprise for me that Trump won in the presidential election in the US. Here is my primitive impression and question about this result.

Trump seemed intentionally to take the tactic of exclusion or elimination of minorities in the campaign. He insisted that political correctness was of no use any longer. It seemed to synchronize with the hidden dark side of the middle income class. This has destroyed the value of the US approving the diversity in the society. How will he, as the president, restore this cleavage in the society from now? I am afraid this cleavage in the society is so profound that it is quite difficult to overcome. 

In the past mass consumption society in the US, they have issued massive USD to import items from oversea. In turn, selling the national bond, they have that funds circulated back to the US. After the failure in Vietnam and Middle East, it was impossible for the US to go on playing the role of the leader in the international society. The financial capitalism since 1990s has experienced collapse at the Lehman shock in 2008. The economy in the virtual reality seems quite unstable. In this circumstance, the globalism has deprived wealth and sense of security of the middle class in the US. Trump seems to support the financial capitalism while he would go on with the policy based on isolationism. I am afraid his economic policy, if it is run as it was announced in the campaign, would rather relegate them to the predicament.

Trump seems to be concerned only about the profit to the nation. Alliance to the countries which the US has shared the same value for decades might be minimized while he would go hand in hand with such as Putin in Russia. It might give rise to the drastic change in the international society. Our nationalistic government would try to arm with nuclear weapon even though it is of no use to pacify the situation in the East Asia. The same thing may occur at many places in the world. I hope it won't lead us to the Apocalypse.

There seem to so many partisans and/or politicians with nationalism, isolationism and hatred toward minorities getting power in various places in the world. What is it bringing about to the world? What is the reason for such trend? Could we survive in such a situation?   


The inflation target is failed

The president of BOJ, Kuroda, will have resigned next year without any success for the inflation target policy he has advocated since taking his position at BOJ 4 years ago. Except for in 2014 when the sales tax was increased, the consumer price index has continued being lowered since he became the president.

This means that the "grand experiment" of the quantum theory of money has been failed in Japan. It was well expected since the global economy would transfer items and money over the bordrs almost freely. The quantum theory of money is valid only in a closed circle without such movement of items/money.

What will result from this massive quantum and qualitative easing will be a bubbled economy. Actually, the asset such as stock or real estate is being increased in our country. The banks are tempted to loan for them at present as BOJ announced several days ago. The asset not reflecting the actual economy would collapse at certain time. It would be another raptured bubble, which would influence the world economy. Since the finance of our government is critical with enormous amount of debts, the government won't be able to support the bank. With the increased interest rate, the government itself won't go it through.

Mr. Kuroda won't mention when they would take off from this quantitative easing. As soon as he mentions about it, the malignant automatic movement of hyperinflation would start. He won't announce of that but could not tell about it.

"Building A House in Santa Barbara"

I have been given a book titled "Building A House in Santa Barbara" by one of my elmers, Merle, K6DC, formerly W8BWC and then W6ULS. I have already told about him in a few posts in this blog such as this one.

He has been one of the elmers for me since my beginner days. He was essentially a DXer but was still enjoying the other aspects of ham radio. As written before, he used to enjoy ragchewing with his friends in Europe or Africa throuth the long path on 40 meters back in '60s. I have been listening to him at our midnight when he was working them with a huge signal. I could not resist breaking in him in such occasions. He was kind enough to let me in such a round table or for a QSO. 

In my first visit to the US on business, as I have again written about this encounter elsewhere in this blog, I happened to have found his house in San Carlos and to know the door of his house. There was him appearing at the door. I have told him on my trip to the Bay Area but have never fixed a schedule to visit him. It was really an encounter by chance. He kindly accepted me there and took me for lunch at an Italian cuisine then. Ever since then, I have visited him and Marjorie, his wife, in Santa Barbara, where they moved in late '80s. Once with Hide JH0FBH and on the other time with Eric W6DU. Each visit was a really fond memory for me. He was not a very talkative person. But a very kind and sometimes humorous person. 

In 1995, he has sent me a book titled above. I was very sorry but have read only a part of this his autobiography when I have lost it somewhere. I accidentally found it in a book shelf several days ago and read it through. The title sounded a bit strange to me at first. But I understand building a house in Santa Barbara was a dream for him and Marjorie who had grown up and spent young days in Michigan icing in winter around the Great Depression. Working hard, they have made it come true. Together with their much effort, it might be possible in the good old days when the USA was in great growth in economy. Along with the story of moving to Santa Barbara and construction of a house there, it is a really nice autobiography of Merle himself. I felt I had been listening to him telling about this story in his living room. 

This is the cover of this book. It shows the house they have built in Santa Barbara. I realized it was shortly after they had built this Nr4 house along Alston Rd Santa Barbara. I have been there twice as told above, once in 1987 ant the latter in 1991, I believe. This was the eastern side of the house. On the opposite side, there was pretty steep slope toward the Pacific Ocean, where he used to set a fixed wire beam of 4 or 5 elements for 40 meters to the west, of course, it was for Europe and Africa via the long path.  

He has kindly given the words of acknowledgement to me in the Forward page. When I found this hand written words saying "To my best long time friend in japan.", you may know how much I was moved at it.

Even though the photo is blurred, this shows them in '90s. How deeply I miss both of them!

Late fall has been here

I accidentally found the leaves of the Katsura tree in our garden, which I had mentioned in the past post, turned yellow. Some of them were already fallen.

In close up.

The fallen leaves on the ground.

When we moved here from the dorm of the med school hospital in 1984, this tree was as small as 3 or 4 meters. It was a naturally grown tree here. It seems to be higher than 15 meters now. It tells us how far we have come from those days. This tree has seen my family growing and some members passing away. It will for sure outlive me. I wonder how it will bear testimony on us living with it.

I have harvested a few tomatoes this morning. They won't hue red but are pink possibly due to the cold atmosphere. In a few days, we might have frost in the morning here. Having cared for them with much enthusiasm, it is tough for me to pull the plants. But in a day or two, I should do that.