A new and possibly the last one for my wife

After having run more than 130K meters on her last Prius for the past 13 years, my wife has bought a new car named "Fit" of Honda yesterday. A lovely compact car. A lot of high tech in it made her a bit embarrassed. She is never a luddite in IT at all and may get used to it soon. In my case, it sure will trouble me a lot. This car might be her last one in her life. At our age, when we purchase any durable consumer goods like this, we should consider how long we will use it. From the end of our lives, we estimate how long it is durable.

We won't own luxurious cars like BMW but have had such popular car like this Fit. 

For the very first car, we have given an old Mitsubishi sedan from an uncle in our resident days. I guess the battery was needed to be replaced at that time. The engine has often stopped when stopping at a crossroad. It was still a fun to drive on that rag car. It was because we had had a lot of dreams in the future.

I taught her how to drive in the atheletic ground in the med school campus at mid night when there were no one around there. She was pregnant with our first child then. She has got the driver ticket when she came back to work in a few months. 

Ever since for the past over 40 years, we have driven a few models. At first, mostly used ones. Later, we could afford new ones pleasant to drive even though not luxurious at all. 

And we finally reach possibly the last model. Hopefully, we won't encounter any accidents with them until we withdraw from driving.


Recent harvest and dishes Smoldering outbreak

The garden farm is getting flourished with various vegetables. Freshly harvested string beans and tomatoes were the materials for the salad. Being covered with the other materials, tomatoes are not visible in this photo. Well ripened tomatoes are the leading part in the garden farm and will be provided for salad until the end of summer.     


One of the most popular dishes at our home, hamburg, was the main one. Boiled potatoe was garnished. Carrot glace, planned first, was abandoned due to shortage of cooking time. The sauce is another common recipe with wine, tomato ketchup, sauce and butter.

With the effective reproduce number over 1.0 for the past almost 1 month, the outbreak of COVID19 is still smoldering especially in Tokyo. Reopening economy may aggravate the outbreak. The economy is drastically dropping with the social distancing and substantial lock down they have had in April through May. The balance between these two goals, settling down the out break and activating economy, is conflicting each other. In either case, information disclosure is essential to achieve those goals. But our government seems reluctant to do that. The epidemiological data in our country is not mostly reliable. The advisory board has tried to publish a problem that the authority has interfered with what they would announce. The authority hated to let people know of what was going on. When the advisory board held the press conference to announce it, the minister responsible for the infection control announced they would disband the advisory board and invite professionals for a new committee. I don't know if it was just a coincidence or a plot by the authority. At least, the government seems to try to control the scientific findings by their power, which is quite impossible and ridiculous. Science should lead the situation but should never be controlled by the politics.


A hobby becoming extinct at present

Earlier this morning, I have been on 20 meters for a while. It seemed to have been open to all over the world even though the signals were not loud. The main opening was for Eu. It sure reminds me of a start of the new solar cycle. What is different from the previous cycles, there are too few on the air, especially, on CW.

I have run across with Tom DF7TV who operated from a university club station in Stuttgart. When I heard him operating that station, I was excited expecting a young fellow on the key. It was not the case. He was a graduate of the university but was 59 years of age now. He told me there were very few young students interested in ham radio even though they had been holding events to introduce it to them. CW must be the last as well as least thing they were fascinated at. 

This observation has been universal all over the world. In Japan, there are very few youngsters coming into this hobby. It is like finding a jewel in the sand of beach to have any young fellow interested in CW. They could communicate in the internet without any training and spending much money for the set up. To be honest, exchanging meaningless numbers/symbols on CW is comparable to computer game. Nothing human in it. Of course, I know how blood boiling they are for some people and won't deny they have been aspects of ham radio for decades. But it won't satisfy young people who look for something more human and ever lasting pleasure in life.

We should express what has fascinated us to CW. We need to objectify what and how it has attracted us for a long time. That may help young people to be absorbed in this hobby. Letting them see how we enjoy it is another point. But it is not enough, I believe. Description of the process CW communication giving us pleasure and/or rewarding sense is quite important to convince them that it's worth spending time/energy for this hobby.

But most old timers are not aware of this. They just complain withdrawal of CW test in the ham ticket exams was the reason why CW had become inactive in ham radio. They treat digital modes like an enemy and predict they would lose interests in that modes and come back to CW in some time. I am quite suspicious of that. When they get bored with digital modes, most of them may leave ham radio but won't come into nor return to CW.

In this situation, unfortunately, I could not help feeling pessimistic for the future of CW and possibly of ham radio. The consciousness of old timers won't catch up with the trend. I won't say this in order to deny someone but it is only my observation of this hobby for 57 years. I hope it is not correct but it seems the things are going in the way I prospect.

I would live and enjoy the very last era of this hobby becoming extinct at present.


Hydrangea in the garden

Hydrangea is coming out in the garden. There are a few big trees of hydrangea here. They have been planted by my father. As iterated in this blog, he has loved caring for plants and flowers. Most of them in this property were planted and grown by him.

Early in mornings, he often cut the weeds with a sickle of long handle in the garden. Ticking sound caused by sickle hitting the ground came from the garden then. Getting so old as he was those days, I could share what he thought and felt in his life. He could have turned to be 101 years of age next month if he were still alive.

Hydrangea seems to require much humidity in the soil. This rainy season is pretty dry. I should give water from time to time as he used to do. 

When I started my own practice a quarter centuries ago, he was still well and came to the office to help us almost everyday. One of his works was to irrigate the plants and the trees in the garden, even though the land was not large at all. I still feel thankful to him for his help. On the other hand, it could satisfy him a bit. Because he has wanted to work with me for a long time. He has worked at various hospitals and clinics as a house keeper or a clerk. He has dreamed of working with me. He has not told of that too often. But I felt he would work freely as the father of the director. I haven't expected it to come true. But things have made it come true. If that co-work at my office was realization of his dream, I feel content with that. It was one of the very few things I could do for him. Yet, I could not thank him more. I still remember seeing him, through the window at my room upstairs, going slowly across the parking lot to his car dragging his painful legs after he finished his duty at the office.

This hydrangea brings me back those days. Wondering if I could have done more for him while he was alive.


Light and shadow

Honestly, I thought the US had fought the largest number of wars in the world in the name of collective self defense after WWII, whatever the reason might be. The history of the US has always been tinged with light and shadow. It must have not been avoidable since the US has been a big military power and has had to play the role of the leader of capitalistic countries. I still feel bitter to see what the US military has done all over the world, especially, in the developing countries in the past.

The following news of General Milley has, however, told me there was still conscience in the military. He has clearly told as the top of the US military they should obey only to the rule of democracy and the spirit of the constitution for the people. So far as such a person takes the position of the chief of staff in the US military, it would stay intact.


I am impressed at his statement.

On the other hand, our bureaucrats won't care for any misconducts or corruptions by the government and even obey them striving to be first even if it is criminal or even against the constitution. 


Japanese Italian dishes

Home brew sushi. It is difficult for me to mold sushi in proper size. It is apt to be bigger than ideal. It is still good to have sushi at home.

It has started to be the season of harvesting potatoes. I have grown much more potatoes than than usual. I have already given some to a friend of mine, the violinist whom I have asked to perform chamber music together for years. She has been educated for music at a music university in Germany and is now a house wife with two children. She is fond of potatoes. As expected, I have found her very pleased to have fresh potatoes from me.

It is a task for me to find out how to cook the potatoes which are supposed to be harvested for the coming weeks. For the simplest recipe, I cooked it with microwave and put some butter on it. It was great. It has brought me an idea to cook them with pizza sauce and ham on it. It was potato pizza. Simple and good.

With fresh salad, the japanese italian dinner is completed.


Harvest and corruption in politics and economy

With warmer and wetter weather, the vegetables in the garden farm are growing much faster now.

The 2nd lot of potatoes and the last harvest of snap beans.

Freshly harvested potatoes are good material for potato salad. It has been a year or two since I cooked it last time. I was glad I had still remembered of the recipe. 

The garden work is still keeping me busy. As written in the last post, the only problem with it was that I got lower back pain when sitting on a small chair. It is getting better day by day now. I was seriously wondering how and who would take over this work. I should consider of that when it comes that on us.

I may expect to have potatoes by ten times of this amount. It will be a pleasant project to whom I would send some of them.

In this calamity of novel Corona pandemic befalling on people of socially vulnerable and of small sized self employed, the government and the crony around it are planning something evil as the projects to financially support those vulnerable. That is, they are disintermediating the budget for that financial support subcontracting it to several smaller related companies. Subcontract seems to be composed of several echelons.  It is sure disgusting. The ongoing economic panic itself is a big disaster to us. But this scheme of corruption in the cronyism of this government is almost despairing us.

The government is issuing a big amount of deficit bond to finance this economical crisis. Later on, the people should be burdened with more tax and less social security service, especially, in the medical care. If the deficit exceeds certain point, there could be hyperinflation occurring in the near future.

We should be ready for that secondary calamity after the pandemic is gone.


Mowing and reasoning policy implementation

Not sparing myself at pulling weeds in sitting position, I am feeling much better with the back pain. I decided to cut the lawn with a small engine powered mower. The lawn has been invaded by various weeds without herbicide use. It was not an easy task. But I have done with it without much stress on back.

Very few people pay attention to this lawn. I often ask myself for what I am doing this work. Possibly, only for habit. I used to ask someone else to do this but was not happy with the way they had done. 

So far as I could continue it, I would do that by myself. After completing the work, I am always so pleased to see it becoming neat and beautiful. A simple thing. But still an important aspect of life in routine. A daily routine habit since my father's days.

By the way, the effective reproduction number, Rt, remains higher than 1.0 especially in Tokyo. The infected cases are increasing. It seems the medical and nursing facilities are the targets of cluster. Of course, there are people in high risk and medical staff/care givers at such places. Even if the outbreak remains only small cluster, it is an ominous phenomenon. Without tracking infected cases and taking maneuvers against outbreak in those facilities, it might be difficult for them to control infection.

I have found, from a report from the advisory board dated on May 1st, on April 7 whe the government has declared the emergency state regarding the outbreak, the Rt was much below 1.0 and the infected cases were peaking out by that time. For what have they issued that declaration which accompanied business shutdown request to the people? On what basis? The government or the advisory board has not explained that enough. They just told us to keep social distancing by 80%. Without clear scientific reasoning for the emergency state, the society would be messed up badly. Actually, the economy has been desperately falling leaving so many people in distress and poverty. The government has not provided any support policy for them in the beginning. It makes me suspect they have not taken it serious as it was. The scientific reasoning of each policy and of its implementation is important. 


Effective reproduction number still rising

Effective reproduction number (ERN), which means how many people an infected person would infect the virus to in certain time, is still rising especially in Tokyo. It has risen to 1.8 in Tokyo and to 1.22 in the whole country on May 30th. The rise is steady and sharp for the past 3 days after it had stayed below 1.0 for the past month.

Even though the time span since the withdrawal of the emergency state declaration is a bit too short, this rise could be due to the withdrawal.

So far, the government or the mass media has not mentioned of this rise of ERN. At least, the advisory board on the COVID 19 pandemic or its member should have warned about possibility of recurring outbreak.