Spring is starting here

The forecast says it will be rainy today or tomorrow. It has been too dry in this winter. Rainfall is really welcomed. I have started pulling the weeds in the garden. The lawn is not vivid green yet. But I have cared for it along tht street. There have been a lot of fallen leaves from the street tree and from those in the jr. high near by on the lawn, which I have cleared as well. Such work will keep me busy until next fall.

I was willing to go on cooking hot pot dishes for some time until the warmer season starts. However, there was a voice that said that kind of dish was enough. And I cooked beef with okra and eggplant seasoned with red miso. 

The newly harvested potato is available now. It was cooked to salad with cucumber and ham.

Spring is starting here. I will have a lot of things to do. Wondering what vegetables should be planted and where etc. It will be a fruitful season for sure.


Window-dressing by and for the government

I am surprised to know the long term interest rate has dropped to -0.045% in Japan. It is related with excessive buying operation of the national bond by BOJ. The amount of the national bond BOJ has gone over 400 trillion yen. They are reaching the limit of such operation in the market.

In this situation, BOJ could do little with rise of interest rate now. The lowered rate strikes the finance of small local banks. Some of them have gone into the red. When some of them go bankrupted, the finance system in our country would be in a great mess.

The so called Abenomix, the financial policy of the present government, has proved to be in total failure by 2015. Tampering the documents and/or the governmental fundamental statistics, the government has tried to do window-dressing to cover the failure. It has turned to be apparent right now.

Considering the size of the governmental debt, I could prospect only hard landing of the economy in the near future. That is, hyperinflation and much heavier taxation in addition to lessened social security would follow. The government has not explained that to the people yet. Our PM rather tells lies to them pretending that the economical policy is running well at present. But unravelling the process of the window-dressing regarding the economical growth/real wages increase in our country have been done right now.

Any companies undergone window-dressing won't last too long.

The issue is not if the collapse would be realized or not, but when it would be brought to reality.


The 1st anniversary of Prof. Isoyama's death

It was the 1st anniversary of Prof. Isoyama's passing 3 days ago. On that day last year, he has been injured badly on his head when he was on the way home from a vocal ensemble concours, where he played the role of judge. As I have written in the post relating his death last year, he has been a renowned researcher of Bach. I have learned a lot from his books on Bach's works like Matthew's Passion or H minor Mass etc.

His books are written for not only amateur music lovers as well as researchers. They have contained not only the well established knowledges but also the latest findings on the theme. Despite of his stand point out of the Chritianity, he has
approached in his own way to the world of belief in Christianity and of the bible as close as possible throughout his research life.

In his blog left even after his death, he has sometimes asked himself if it was possible for him to understand Bach's music as well as Christians do. He seemed to have been asked the sam question by others. Most Bach's works started with signature of Jesu Juva while finished with Soli Deo Gloria, which meant Bach had devoted to those works firmly on the belief of Lutheran Christianity. After all of the Prof.'s consideration of this issue, he concluded he could study Bach in religiosity where one could perceive and live under a supreme being even if it was only an intellectual approach to the religion. There could have been objections against his approach since belief in a religion should be an existential thing like the words "Quo vadis, domine?" St. Peters spoke to Jesus on the way escaping from Rome in the era of Nero who had persecuted Christians. St. Peters has lived his belief.

He had to spend his last several weeks without consciousness. Even in that condition, he could think of things in subconsciousness which modern medicine could not handle with. I just wonder what he has thought of the issue those days, even though it is, of course, impossible now. It is not a denounce to him at all. I fully understand his standpoint on this issue which he has done research work with.

Anyway, he has passed the life on this earth now, leaving so many good works on Bach. Feeling thankful fot that, I would concentrate on Bach and his works as Prof.'s books indicate.


Curry and rice

Honestly speaking, I love curry and rice as my mother used to. Simple and possibly high caloried! I cooked it with canned tomato and canned tuna and mackerel. It was seasoned with stock cubes in addition to ordinary curry roux. The secret seasoning was yogurt.

Pretty good with full bodies taste. Red wine tasted good with this curry.

It is getting warmer now. I should get ready for farming. Plowing soil and mixing it with mulch. When pulling weeds keeps me too busy, I often complain of the outdoor work. But working outside is a kind of blessing.


Pleasure in CW communication

As I have been writing here and somewhere else, the decline of the number of CW operators seems definite now. I know groups of CW are trying to advocate this mode to the new comers. Have they made any success at that? I am afraid they haven't reached any goal yet so far as to educate those who love it as a mode to communicate with others.

There are many kinds of communication mode in or out of ham radio invented and developed all over the world. Needless to say that the internet has changed things drastically. And the digital modes are handy enough to work a certain station far away in ham radio. Those other modes than CW won't require any training and are easy and inexpensive to set up anywhere anytime. The problem is if we could tell assuredly a young new comer it still deserves training CW or not. To tell that, we should know what pleasure we could have in communicating on this simplest way of mode and how it comes from in our brain.

I would relate what has been known about these topics in series, even though I have already written about them in the past posts of this blog. I would emphasize how important it is to know the pleasure of CW communication. It has been taken granted in the past when CW communication was the only or the major way to communicate with somewhere far away. Now we should verbalize it.


A good couple friends

A friend of ours has brought us "dried sweet potatoes" yesterday. Her husband and she herself, living pretty near here, have been good friends of ours for decades. Her parents in law used to be closely related with my parents when they were young as well. Even since the prewar era.

She said her husband had grown these sweet potatoes and had dried in the garden by himself. Nothing is more elegantly sweet than this one.

In the past, I have brought some dishes to them like chinese dimpling or fish dishes. They have been pleased to have such dish present from me.

In a morning, over 30 years ago, I used to be called by them on the land line, screaming for help to me. One of their children, one of the twin daughters, when she was a toddler, has fallen into the bath filled with water by accident. It seemed she was still weakly breathing despite of cyanosis on face. Heart was beating. After making resuscitation, I have taken her on my car to the university hospital I was working. She has left with cerebral palsy and a little mental retardation due to hypoxemia in the accident. But she has grown a beautiful girl. She also has attended to the ordinary school but not a school for handicapped. Whenever I visit their home, she comes to see me with brilliant smile. She is still going for work at a factory by herself everyday. I am sure her parents are proud of her.

Since this accident, we have become closer each other. The husband's father used to come to see me at the clinic for some treatment for his asthma. I believe he would help me financially at the new business. He turned out to be a radio operator in his army days in the end of WWII. Later, in the last days of his life, I knew he had been interested in ham radio. He told me he still remembered of Morse code in Japanese. I should have let him taken a ham ticket or at least let him listen to radio with a simple receiver. In his last hospital days, I have brought some magazine of ham radio. He has told me of good memories of R/O trainee days. 

All members of this family believe in Christianity. This younger couple has know each other when they were studying at a high school named Yamagata Christianity Independence High School, which had bee founded by a great teacher and priest in the WWII days. I have a few more people who have spent young days at this school. without any exception, they are faithful and good willed people. I don't know if it is the result of the education they have had at that school or those people would attend to the school. Anyway, it is unberlievable the graduates of that school are invariably such good people.

It is an honor for me to have an acquaintance with them. I would treasure our friendship. Not often seeing them, I still feel pleased to see each of them or the other family members.   


Attending to a restaurant

There is a restaurant where I go for meal once a week or so. An old couple, a few years younger than me, has been managing for more than 2 decades. They used to have a small restaurant within the hospital where I worked in my forties. I often took lunch there and knew them well. About the time when I quit there planning to start own practice, the couple had been compelled by the administrator to close the restaurant as well. They have started own business at that restaurant along a trunk road not too far from the hospital.

This is their only restaurant. They seem to have purchased the building from someone else. Pretty old outlook.

Possibly, they have worked very hard and could own 5 restaurants in this area other than this one. I have heard of their success in business. The landlady, however, told me they had to close those restaurants when I visited there some months ago. The main reason was that they could find too few employees. In the week ends, the restaurant could be deadly busy with so many customers while it is not so on the plain week days. They should seek part time workers who would work only in the week ends. Since there were less people applying for such part time job now, they had to give up managing the other 5 places.

They serve mainly Italian dishes with reasonable price. This is a spaghetti with tomato sauce and cheese I often enjoy there. The fettucine, the broad kind of spaghetti noodle, fits well to the thick sauce of tomato.

I have already taken half of the dish. Very good. I won't get bored with this dish.

The landlady sometimes comes to me and we talk of the old days and those whom we both have known since the hospital days. I was surprised to hear the pediatrician who had taken over my position at the hospital died from cancer several years ago. I knew him in person. An eager and good will doctor. I was a bit shocked to know that. That news reminded me that his name had been withdrawn from the doctor list in the hospital web page some years ago. He must have worked hard at the hospital. It is a big loss.

We have known quite some of the nurses who worked with me those days. Most of them seem to do well at present as the landlady told me. One of them, as old as me, seems to still work at the same hospital. A nice lady with conscience. She never said yes to me as for any thing not good for the patients. I respected her so much. I wish I could see her and the other staff again.

Attendance to this restaurant may continue for some time.


Ume coming out a few days ago and snowing today

A few days ago, 20 or 30% of ume flowers were coming out.

However, it has been snowy today. Not so much snow on the ground as it was rather warm for a snowy day today. I am afraid there will be some snow left on the ground this evening.

Wet snow flakes are falling quietly. Nothing to do outdoor today. Listening to the Art of Fugue by Bach performed by Musica Antiqua Koeln, I spent the day with reading books and calling CQ without any takers. 

This cold spell would continue for a week. Then we might have real arrival of spring, hopefully.


An international comparison of pension system

An interesting international comparison of pension system. It is based on adequacy, sustainability and integrity. Surprisingly, ours is the 2nd lowest next to Argentina.

Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index.

It is remarkable the sustainability is evaluated particularly low in our system. I know of the prospect of sustainabity so low due to decreasing birthrate and increasing aged population. Owing to the astronomical amount of the debt of the government, they could not support the aged population in the near future. I fully knew of this fact. But it is striking to me when it is compared with the other countries.                                                                         

Our government is eager preparing military equipments and holding such as Olympic games. Our pension is slowly and steadily being reduced on the other hand. From now on, workers of irregular employment or of part time employment will retire so soon. Their pension won't cover the expense for the daily life and would require some social welfare. However much they need it, the government would not serve them or, exactly, could not do that.

The aged should lessen the economical burden the younger generation bearing the pension system. Our government is reducing the pension payment, which seems inevitable and reasonable. But they are increasing pension premiums. This change has been done without clear explanation to the people. Increasing pension prmiums may destroy the pension system. I believe increase of the corporate tax to the corporations which have accumulated so much retained earnings for the past 20 years.

Or, I am afraid, our country would be destroyed within the society itself.


A tiny strawberry flower

I have cleaned the garden. Burnt some cut branches of the trees. Raking fallen leaves among the strawberry plants with a hand, I found a flower of strawberry coming out.

A tiny flower in the shade of leaves, which might guard it from frost early in the morning. I don't believe it will bear a fruit. It is expected to bear fruits in April. Nevertheless, this tiny being has convinced me that time is flowing to spring now.

I have watched and called CQ several times on 40m late at night. No callers even though a number of the stations in the US has reported my signal between 20 and 30dB by the RBN. The band was noisy typical for snowfall. Looking outside through the entrance, I found small amount of snow had been on the ground. This afternoon, it was rather warm for this time in a year. I believed the forecasted snow won't lie on the ground if it ever snowed. A quiet and a bit chilly evening.

I have heard from Jack W8KR that the forecast had told them it would be minus 46 degrees C in MN. News also said 12 people had been killed by this cold snap. I hope every friend in the US would not be disturbed or even hurted by the cold weather.