Yard farm in sleep until next spring

This year, 10 plants of taro have been grown in the yard farm. Several years ago, I have failed growing this kind of veggie maybe due to lack of good watering in the mid summer. This time, well irrigated, they have grown pretty well. Each fruit was not so big but prosperously grown. The last 5 plants have been harvested today. 

I have simmered taro and chicken seasoned with sweetened soy sauce. Peeling each fruit was a bit tiring. Fried well before being boiled, they have been cooked soft and tasty. 

For the harvest next spring, there are dozens of onions and 10 garlics in the farm. Cabbages and broccoli are still growing and might be harvested before frost comes in here. 

We have enjoyed a lot of eggplants, green peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, potatoes and sweet potatoes this summer. I feel they are blessings to us from the Nature. Sorry but we should give up collecting the fallen chestnut fruits this fall. Too much work load to get them peeled and cooked. Appreciating those products, I will have yard farms go into rest. Until next spring. The yard farm will be in quiet sleep for a while.

Everything is going on around a year, seemingly, in the same manner. Carefully watching how they go on, I could find subtle but steady change every year. In the activities of the Nature, I am still a part of that. The Nature won't go on in the same way, exactly speaking. So will I. Working in the Nature, just part time in my case, tells me I belong to it and won't stay in the same manner. 


A nice day at a park in Tokyo

It was a comfortable day yesterday. I have spent a few hours at a park named Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. To join a small ensemble practice outdoor.

The mild sunray has shown through the leaves of the trees, turning colorful, over there. I was concerned about how string instrument sounded like outdoor without any reverberation. It sounded great as if the trees surrounding us had resonated with it. As if the instruments came back homeland of forest. 

It is becoming more laborious to drive down to Tokyo. I may not have many more chances to go there for such a get together. Every chance for such activity is treasured for sure. 

It was a place where I had a fieldwork in med school days. I can't remember what work we were involved in but still have a photo taken with a couple of class mates there. We, three young guys, are smiling innocently on the photo. They must have retired by now. I wonder how they are getting along. I have not joined the class reunion which has been held in a few years' interval. I should attend it and see how they are doing.

Again, deadly tired but still satisfied, I drove back home. A blessed day.


PCR tests should be widely performed

I have one of the alumni from the same medical school in a city nearby. He is much younger than me. I don't have personal acquaintance with him. He has been actively working for the patients with and those suspected of COVID19 at his office and has regularly shown up in mass media. His efforts as an infection specialist is highly respected by many people, including myself.

He announced in the twitter that he would introduce the PCR measuring equipment to his office and start to perform the PCR test for Sars CoV2 by himself and a colleague. It is all because the government won't be willing to increase the number of the test to cover possible cases in the clinical setting. The minister of MHLW and the head of the advisory council have clearly told they would restrict the cases to be tested for only those with symptoms. 

What the authority thinks of for this outbreak is that COVID19 is generally a self limiting mild infection with low mortality rate in our country. Running the economy is much more important for them than to make diagnosis at early stage or for the asymptomatic cases. Identifying asymptomatic cases, which comprises more than half of the cases, would be a burden, economical and practical, to medical care system in their point of view. 

Such an administrative attitude toward this infection is wrong in multiple ways.

Firstly, it is a kind of practicing herd immunity theory as the public administration. It would not be evident if it is achievable or not. If it should be realized in the pragmatic administration, it would cost a lot of victims and frequent lock down, generalized or localized in our country, which results in more economic loss in the society. From medical point of view, it is noted the immunological memory should be hardly obtained in actual infection as well. The history as for how the governments like that in UK or in Sweden, which started aiming at the herd immunity, have acted for the past several months shows it is almost impossible to achieve it at present. 

Applying generalized PCR tests in the society, especially for those of essential workers or for those working to people in face to face, should be alpha and omega to deal with this problematic new virus. There is, however, an erratic saying or a fake in our society that PCR test would cause a lot of false positive cases so that it is not good to widely implement the test among people. It is what the authority, intending to keep the test cases lowered in number in the beginning of the fight against COVID19, would spread among people especially through the internet. PCR tests has been proved highly specific. The specificity is exponentially defined. If the test employs n pieces of genes, the specificity is related with one in 4 to the power of n-th. If the false positive is questioned in certain cases, it is always due to contamination in the test process but not a defect of this testing procedure itself. 

Some of them who speak ill of this test would say it is too costly to test all suspicious cases. But if they take the method of pooling specimens, it would cost only a few dollars per a specimen. It won't be too costly at all. Considering the possibility the economy undergoes smoldering wax and wane for a long time, it could cost much more than that for the test.

Without wide spread use of the PCR testing, this outbreak won't be controlled. I would like to approve what that doctor is going to do at his office despite of much economic as well as contagious issues. 

If you feel sick listening to it...

I was scared watching this video. I dared do that a few days ago after almost 2 weeks since playing it. It was a small concert for a piano players club held at a hall in Tokyo on Oct 3, where I played the 1st movement of the cello sonata together with my niece. We have planed to play it there this spring. The COVID 19 outbreak has prevented us from practicing it together only twice. My niece has spent quite hectic days as a chief nurse at a COVID patient ward of a truncal hospital in Tokyo since this spring.  

A lot of accidents! Accidents in pitch and rhythm. Bowing is not fully done. Much regret and reflection for this performance. 

I am still pleased to join it with my niece. It is a memorable piece which has lead me into the cello world in my med school days. Playing with my niece whom I have known since her babyhood was another joy. From 15' 53";


If you get sick listening to it, I won't responsibility for that.


FOC Sponsors

FOC is a CW fellow club established in UK before WWII. As you may know, in order to be a member, you should get sponsored by 5 different members in, at least, 2 continents, including one UK member. You could stay in nomination list for only half a year. It was supposed that you didn't know of that sponsorship for you until you get invited to the club. It seems that rule is loosened for now even though solicitation or political movement for yourself is not welcomed.

When first nominated back in 1988 or 1987, I could not get sponsors other than those in the USA. Merle K6DC was the first person who recommended me for a member. At that time, I had least knowledge of FOC. When I knew of being sponsored for the club, someone even whispered to me not to join it for it was only an old men's club. In the next nomination, I was successfully able to join the club in 1988. By that time, I knew it was a historically renowned society with the limited number of members, that is, only 500 members in the world.

Ever since, I have had much fun doing with the other members all over the world. It has already been 32 years since joining the club. I have been proud of being a member and have got acquaintance with many members, old or new, on the air and sometimes in person. It was a really fond memory for me and my wife to attend the W7 FOC dinner in Seattle in 1992. I have mentioned of this trip many times in this blog. You may find a short travelogue in this blog in August 2012. 

I often regretted not having recorded my sponsors. As I told above, I remembered Merle K6DC used to be the first sponsor for me. Another Elmer K5BGB, Rod, and JH1WIX, Taroh, were among them. Chris, G4BUE, was only G member who kindly added sponsorship to me when I told him my nomination was being expired without any G member sponsor. In a thread for the obituary for Roger, W1AX, who had recently passed in the mailing list of the club, I uttered I wondered if I could know all of the sponsors for me, since I remembered Roger used to be one of the sponsors in the first nomination. A few people have given me personal response to that question. The previous issues of the News Sheets could be looked up in the club's site. They have given me the list of the sponsors in the 2nd nomination as follows.


What fond memories of those guys! If I remember it right, W1HZ, K4II, W6OV and W6TD have all gone silent keyed. These calls have surely brought me back to '80s when ham radio was more vivid thing with much dream for me. 

FOC is just a small club of small number of the members. It might not be known to most people even if they are in this hobby of ham radio. It has occupied a big part in this hobby in my mind for the past 32 years. Even if I eventually resign in the future, it may remain a treasure in my memory. I thank again for sponsorship to all of them. Their calls will be kept in this page of blog and in my memory, not so reliable any longer as before.

It was a touching event for me to get those sponsor calls.



A park I used to walk with fellows in the school days

In this season , I have a place to remember. It is a small park close to my mother school in Tokyo. It's named Kinka Park.

In the evening, after laboratory courses or classes, we gathered in groups of twos or threes at the club room. It was located as semi-basement in an old building of the Dept. of Dentistry. Our school had two faculties, medicine and dentistry. In the long corridor, dark and quiet, before the club room, we often practiced own instrument. The high ceiling corridor made of stone and concrete caused much reverb, which made us feel as if we got better with instruments. Sometimes, we had instant ensemble with the fellows there. One of the standard piece we played was the 1st contrapunctus of the Art of the Fugue.

At around 8 PM, we often went to a restaurant for supper down in the town named Kanda. It took us 10 minutes one way. I can't remember what we have talked about. Still a lot of pleasant talks each other. Maybe, what piece we should play in the next orchestra concert, rumors on the other members, especially on the girls of the other university we cooperated for the orchestra or our favorite music. We felt as if that period of our lives lasted eternally as young people often misunderstood. 

On the way back to the club room, we often sat on a bench or a swing at that Kinka Park. It was surrounded with high buildings away from truncal roads. So quiet. Staying there for several minutes, we headed to the school. Street lamps were shining around the park. This is a photo of the park which I found in the internet. It seems to be preserved now as it used to be. The fellows going to the restaurant together have scattered all around the country. I haven't got in touch with most of them. They must be old enough to retire by now. I really hope to meet them and to walk this park together again not too long from now.  We might lose such a chance of reunion very soon.

As for walking here now, there are dogwood trees along the main street. They have turned to be red now. Some seeds were fallen beneath around such a tree. I thought I would collect some of them and plant them in the garden. But realizing that it would take 20 years or, at least, 10 years for them to grow, I have given it up. No one might take care of our garden by that time.

The leaves might be falling soon. Talking of the fallen leaves, this song sung at the theater of Olympia by Yves Montand comes up in my mind. Even though it was uploaded in this blog, let me do that again. It deserves to listen a lot of times. This song, even though not related with a memory of a sweet heart, expresses what I feel with that small park in the medical school days. 




A small concert was over

 Yesterday, I have played the 1st movement of the cello sonata in e minor by Brahms with my niece. It has been a project since several months ago. Due to the out break of COVID19 and to niece's work as a chief nurse at a core hospital in Tokyo, where she has been allotted to the newly organized ward for COVID19 patients, we have practiced it only twice prior to the concert. 

We still have had great time at a hall. The audience was very few since it was an informal event for the piano circle my niece belonged to. I have had a trouble with the instrument 2 days before the event, which I have never experienced in the past. With help by a luthier nearby, I could manage it.

No complaints about the tiring drive to Tokyo. Every year, I am feeling more and more tired to drive down there. The traffic is terrible and the narrow roads are too complicated for me to drive to the destination.

It is a good gift to me to have played it with my niece, whom I have known since her babyhood. As I have mentioned of the memory with this piece elsewhere, the sonata was the music which had driven me into the world of cello in my med school days. Remembering all of them when performing it, I was quite happy and almost moved by myself even if the performance was just in the level of an old amateur cellist. 

I would go on playing cello, possibly, with this niece and others. I thanked her and her mother, that is, my sister. Since I am in the latest chapter of my life, I should enjoy every moment with music.


Salmon steak with tartar sauce

 Salmon steak with tartar sauce. By chance, I found salmon on sale at a supermarket. It was a natural product, not cultured, in Hokkaido. I have cooked it for steak. It has brought us back to the days of travel to Seattle for FOC dinner. At a pier, we have had gorgeous lunch together. The menu we ordered was salmon steak. On the way to the restaurant, Red, K5ALU, has driven us on his truck. I was working with a guy on CW on the way. I knew how Red had operated /M. Walking to the restaurant, I have talked to Alan AC2K. So many familiar friends were there. Too sad some of them are not active on the radio any longer. Alan and Bill W7GKF have moved out of Seattle area to Tucson and somewhere in Florida, respectively. For the past 8 years, what drastic changes of life have occurred to all of us. I scarcely hear the other Seattle guys like Steve W7QC or John W7FU. The only exception is Fred K1NVY still active on the air. I have met Vic WA6MCL on 40m recently after several months absence. I have never heard Bob W9KNI any longer. Memories are staggering. It is a fact that we have enjoyed visiting there so much. My wife still misses that trip. Eight years have passed since that travel.

My wife still remembers of the big salmon steak and the waiter who spoke fairly good Japanese. She often speaks of that lunch with them.

We were lucky to have been there at that time.