Sunday, December 31, 2006

Relax

Sunday, December thirty first, two thousands and six

This article may be the last post of this year on my blog space. Yesterday my brother's family came to my house to make some rice cakes by hand. These days most Japanese people make rice cakes by machine or buy them at supermarkets or somewhere like those. Since we are the families who think Japanese traditions and customs are very important, we make rice cakes by hand at this time every year.
I was really tired yesterday due to my busy job, and making rice cakes wore me out as well. However, I have 3 kids, so my wife often tells me that I can't work too hard. :( I'd like to escape somewhere! Anyway, let me relax during this holidays to recover from my fatigue. I've just come up with a good idea! I'll go to the massage shop where I sometimes have a massage. The cost is a little expensive, but it's worth every penny. That's because there are some nice masseuses in the shop. :)

May the coming year bring you health and happiness.


be worth every penny: それだけの価値がある
masseuse: 女性マッサージ師

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Teachers Running

Tuesday, December twenty sixth, two thousands ans six

Do you know "師走(Shiwasu)" means? In Japan, December used to be called "Shiwasu". 師(Shi) means "teachers" in Japanese. "走(wasu)" is also read as "hashiru". "Hashiru" means "run" in Japanese. Most Japanese people tend to be so busy in December, in order to prepare for the new year. And teachers used to be well-respected by everyone in Japan, so most people used to think teachers never run in their lives. That's because big men are apt not to run even if they are so busy. For example, have you ever seen the Emperor running because of his busy job before? Even if you have such a experience, it must be a super rare case. If I saw him running due to his busy job, the scene would knock my socks off.
I mean, everyone is as busy as even teachers must run due to the pressure of work in December. That's why the month used to be called "teachers running(師走)". I wonder if you could understand what I mean.


be apt to do something = tend to do something(?): ~する傾向がある
knock one's socks off: (人)をひどく驚かせる

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Pre-Xmas Party

Sunday, December twenty fourth, two thousands and six

I visited my Australian friend's home with two of my children yesterday, to have a little Christmas party. My wife dropped us off at the place, so I was able to drink alcohol, however, I had to go home earlier than my friends had expected because I went to the party with my kids. That's why I don't have a hangover today. haha.
When I was drinking some beer there, a Canadian guy came to the party. Actually, the Canadian used to be the roommate of Daniel, who is a nice American guy and used to be one of my English teachers. What a nice surprise! :) Apparently, the Canadian guy have been studying Japanese at the same volunteer school as my Australian friend.

with a nice Canadian guyLet me upload the picture taken in the party, but a little out of focus, though. I personally think it's OK that the photo is out of focus, because it's sort of his personal information. He and I respectively show up in the right and the left.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Jam Finger

Saturday, December twenty third, two thousands and six

blood blisterWhen I was working in my factory yesterday, I was really being pressed for time because of malfunction of the machinery. So I was operating the pressing machine when I jammed the middle finger of my right hand in the door of it.

Ouch!!!!!

I have got a blood blister on the finger. (ToT)


malfunction: 故障、異常、不調
jam one's finger in something: 指を~に挟む
blood blister: 血豆

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

New Car

Wednesday, December twentieth, two thousands and six

a new truckYesterday a brand-new car came to my factory. The vehicle is a small truck with an engine size of six hundreds and sixty six.... NO! NO! That's the number of the beast! Six hundreds and sixty cc(cubic centimeter)!
This car has automatic transmission and power steering, so it's very easy for anyone to drive it. Now that my father is over seventy years old, it's a little difficult for him to drive a car with manual transmission and without power steering. That's why we decided to buy a new small truck. Since the engine of our previous truck was five hundreds and fifty cc, I felt a stronger power when I drove it for the first time.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Wish List

Sunday, December seventeenth, two thousands and six

Yesterday, one of my English teachers, one of my study buddies and I discussed our wish lists, in order to ask Santa Claus to get us those stuff.

I really want a lot of hairs... These days I've been extremely worried about getting bald. Many of my friends and acquaintances often say to me, "You can't complain because you're already on the wrong side of 40. There's no way you could get a nice girl friend if you had much more hairs." That's true... I can't help getting old... orz

If Santa Claus got me something nice, I would ask him to present me much more time. Since I've been pressed for time lately, I don't have enough time to practice my English. I'm anxious about getting bald as I've written above and besides, I'm really worried that my English skills are getting worse. Plus I'm not able to recover from my fatigue completely nowadays due to my hard working... I can't help getting old... again.... haha-!

Anyway, I have no choice but to study English at my own pace.


I can't help getting old: 年を取るのは仕方ない。-> 年には勝てない。
be anxious about something = be worried about something(?)
recover from one's fatigue: 疲労から回復する
have no choice but to do something: ~するしか(選択肢は)ない。

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Music Festa

Wednesday, December thirteenth, two thousands and six

I forgot uploading the pictures and videos I took in the kindergarten my daughter goes to. I was forced to take those pictures by my wife in the music festival held there last Sunday. Let me introduce the cute work. :) Ah... it's about time to leave for work... bye.

music festa





be forced to do something: do somethingを(強制的に)させられる。
it's about time to do something: そろそろ、do somethingする時間だ。

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Suffer From New Customer

Tuesday, December fifth, two thousands and six

Our factory has got two new customers in Kanto area, eastern Japan, after the business trip I had the other day. One of them is such a good customer that we decided to sell our products as soon as the company ordered. The company's financial situation is really excellent. That's why we judged the customer is good. However, the other company's finance seems to be comparatively bad, as far as we investigated. On the other hand, the company wants to buy our products at the highest price even though it may not have enough money. We have been really bothered by the customer if we should sell our products or not, because it looks like a pie in the sky. Anyway we don't have sufficient stock in our warehouses as of now, so we'll have to decline its order with apologies for the time being.

Talking of 'pie in the sky', Japanese people say as below:
"rice cakes painted on a paper(絵に描いた餅 e ni kaita mochi)". This Japanese phrase has the same meaning as 'pie in the sky' has.

someone is suffering from A = someone is bothered by A (?)
He is such a good customer that we decided ... = The customer is so good that we decided ...(?)
financial situation: 財務状況
pie in the sky: 絵に描いたもち、うまい話だが実現性に欠けるもの
as of now: 今のところ
decline one's order: (丁重に)注文を断る、辞退する
with apologies: 謝罪の念を持って
for the time being: 当分、差し当たり
Talking of = Speaking of: ~と言えば

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Must Work

Sunday, December third, two thousands and six

I'm about to leave for my factory to work a couple of hours. One of our suppliers made a call to my cell phone when I was having lunch yesterday. He asked me on the phone if it was OK to bring some materials to recycle into my factory today. Of course I replied "Yes, it's my pleasure.", because there aren't sufficient chemical materials to recycle in Japan nowadays due to Chinese. In fact, recently the people have been trying to buy up(corner) tons of the ones in Japan, so we must get as many chemical fibers to recycle as possible. That's why I must work today even though it's Sunday... (ToT) I think it's not fair to do business with the nation at the almost fixed exchange rate.

To change the subject, today my cute daughter is going to take part in the musical event at the piano school she attends. Needless to say, I'm going to see it in the interval of my work. I've been tied up with not only my work but also my private.... orz

buy up(corner): 買い占める

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Get Bald

Saturday, December second, two thousands and six

These days I'm really worried about getting bald. According to a famous TV program, it can be effective against getting bald to cut down on drinking. My wife told me the details of the TV show the other day, actually. She advised me to reduce the amount of alcohol I drink everyday, because too much alcohol tend to cause liver problems and the internal organ has the capability to generate protein. I mean, hair(strand) consists of protein fibers, so it's a good way for my hair to decrease the desire of drinking.

cut down something = reduce something = decrease something?
internal organ: 内臓
protein fiber: タンパク質繊維
consist of something: ~から成る、構成される

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bad Decision

Wednesday, November twenty ninth, two thousands and six

It's comparatively warm for this time of year, so I often break a lot of sweat in my factory. The strange weather must be caused by the global warming. I'm really anxious about the planet's future, so I hope our industry can help it from my heart.

Anyway, I've been pressed for time lately because of our busy season. There were some irritating things yesterday, so I had some cigarettes for the first time in three months. I know it's a terrible decision, but I was able to cool down after that.
On second thought, I'm not going to get addicted to smoking again, but sometimes it might be necessary to smoke once in a while, in order not to get stressed out. However, I'll never have any cigarettes in front of my children because I don't want them to have nicotine addiction. I won't smoke again unless my job is killing me. :) I'm really exhausted... Could someone help me?

To change the subject, I've just decided to take more time to review all of the English lessons I've taken before. I won't be able to have the time to take English lessons until I finish the brushup sufficiently.


for this time of year: この時期にしては
be anxious about something: ~を心配する
be pressed for time: 時間に追われている、忙しい
for the first time in three months: 3ヶ月振りに
On second thought: 考え直した結果
get addicted to something: ~の中毒になる
sufficiently: [adverb]十分に

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Event and Phrases

Sunday, November twenty sixth, two thousands and six

My wife asked me to take two of our kids somewhere to make our eldest son concentrate on his study this afternoon. Actually, he has to take the final exam(term-end examination) that is going to be carried out next week. When it comes to our children's tests, my wife become the most education-minded mother on the planet. :-p

Anyway I had to take them somewhere, so I went see the International exchange event, that is held in Rinku Town, a town which is very close to Kansai international airport, at this time of the year, with my third son and daughter. Plus we got together with an Australian friend of mine there. There were so many foreigners in the event place that I had to speak a hundred languages. :)

After I got back home, I saw a couple of interesting English phrases on the email newsletters that I often read on my cell phone. Let me introduce them to you.

Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, and half shut afterward.

Marriage halves our griefs, doubles our joys, and quadruples our expenses.


Very funny! But exactly true! Sounds fascinating! I'm so curious about such interesting and useful English phrases, actually. As for me, I'm often said "Act your age! You're more trouble than a child!" over and over again by my master, who is what is called my wife..... haha.


concentrate on something: ~に集中する
when it comes to something: ~のこととなると、
at this time of the year: 毎年この時期に
afterward: [adverb]後で
halve one's grief(s) : 苦悩を半分にする
quadruple one's expense(s): 出費を4倍にする
fascinating: とても面白い、興味をそそる
be curious about something: ~について知りたがっている
As for me ....: 私といえば...
Act your age.: 歳相応の振る舞いをしなさい!
be more trouble than a child: 子供より手がかかる
over and over again = many times(???)
what is called something: いわゆる~

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Governor of California

Saturday, November twenty fifth, two thousands and six

I took some English lessons today as usual. There were some American teachers who are from California, so they tried to have some special topics related to the state. The most interesting word for me was "Governator". It means the governor of the state, who has just been reelected lately and used to be a very famous action movie star as well. I laughed out loud to hear the word as well as the other students in the lesson room. ROFL

If you don't understand what the word "Governator" means, I recommend you to click here. I bet the web page is very helpful for you. :)

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving and Go on Diet

Thursday, November twenty third, two thousands and six

Today, November 23rd, is 'Labor Thanksgiving Day' in Japan. It sounds similar to 'Thanksgiving' in the USA.
According to some web sites, 'Labor Thanksgiving Day' was established as a national holiday to spread the importance of labor in our minds, appreciate all workers, show respect for labor. And also, this day used to be called 'Niinamesai' or 'Harvest Festival' until the end of World War Two. New crops, such as rice and sake, were offered to Amaterasu-Ohmikami, the Goddess of Sun, and the other Shinto gods with gratitude by the Emperor while he eats and drinks. This tradition became standard in the 7th century and is still performed in the Imperial House.

As for me, I wasn't honored by any family members of mine today, though. (ToT)

To change the subject, it has been about three months since I quit smoking and I have gained weight like most people who quit smoking. My body weight was 65 kilograms before I quit it; however, the current one is 71 kilo!!!!!! Hoooooooooly Coooooooow!!!!! Hell's bells! Darn it! Damn it! I've just decide to go on a diet for real! Let me become a nice middle. :)

establish = become standard (maybe...)
Labor Thanksgiving Day: 勤労感謝の日
do something with gratitude: 感謝を込めて、do something
the Imperial House: 皇室
honor(verb) someone = show respect for someone (perhaps...)
To change the subject: 話は変わりますけど・・・
like most people who did something: ~した人のほとんどがそうであるように・・・
Holy Cow!!!!! Hell's bells! Darn it! Damn it!: なんてこった。(Damn itは、rudeらしい。)
for real : seriously(真剣に)

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Return Home, Good Business

Saturday, November eighteenth, two thousands and six

The business trip I had from the day before yesterday to yesterday extremely wore me out! I got back to home from Tokyo in the midnight of yesterday, so I'm really exhausted now. But on the other hand our factory has just got a good customer in Tochigi prefecture. A couple of months ago he sent me an email and asked me to sell our products, recycled chemical fibers, at a high price. I'm so lucky! :) I can't work too hard!

Actually, I hadn't thought we had got any customer in Kantou region, eastern Japan, because our company is located in Kansai region, western Japan. I mean, the shipping cost(transport cost) is so expensive that we hadn't thought we had been able to meet their demands in costs. But there aren't sufficient recycled chemical fibers in Japan due to China making a corner in oil-related products. That's why they want to buy our products even though it costs a lot of money.

something wear someone out: someoneをひどく疲れさせる
can't work too hard: 働き過ぎることはできない。-> いくら一生懸命働いても、働きすぎということはない。
shipping cost(transport cost): 運搬費
meet someone's demands in costs: 価格面において、someoneの要求に応える
sufficient: 十分な(enough)
make a corner in ~: ~を買い占める
it costs a lot of money: 金がかかる。経費がとてもかかる。

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Schedule killing me

Thursday, November sixteenth, two thousands and six

I'm going to leave for Tokyo tomorrow morning. I'm supposed to get on the Shinkansen which departs from Shin-Osaka around 7 am. And I MUST visit three companies during the business trip, which are respectively located in Tochigi prefecture, Ibaragi prefecture and Gunma prefecture. I expect to get home in the midnight of the day after tomorrow.... The schedule is killing me! Hell's bells!

respectively: それぞれ
Hell's bells!: なんてこった!畜生!(アメリカ・口語)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

SoftBank would Lose

Wednesday, November Fifteenth, two thousands and six

I've heard of a lot of news related to new businesses of an information-technology industry giant lately. The company is famous for software supply and managing a famous portal web site, Yahoo Japan, and also has a professional baseball team in Fukuoka prefecture.

The organization has started some new projects in networking service category recently.

One of them is cell-phone service that was set up by the acquisition of vodafone's subsidiary. Actually, the number portability system has just started in Japan though a little too late. The cell-phone service provided by SoftBank seemed to get a number of new customers on its new cheap fee structure at first, but they caused a serious accident on their network system built for contract of the service.

In addition, they launched a social networking web site in Japan, a Japanese edition of Myspace, by tie-up with News Corp. In Japan, mixi is the most popular, famous, and multifunctional SNS, so I personally think the Japanese version won't succeed even though Myspace is the most largest SNS service in the world. The reason? It's very easy. Anyone who works in IT industry is expected to know why I think so.

acquisition: 買収
subsidiary: 子会社
though a little too late: 遅まきながら
a number of: 大量の(many)
tie-up with: ~との提携
be expected to:~するはずだ、 ~すると期待される

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My Phone Die

Tuesday, November fourteenth, two thousands and six

When I was working in my factory yesterday, I tried to check whether there were emails from our customers or not by cell-phone. But it didn't work! The cell phone did give up the ghost out of the blue! The terminal had a huge amount of information, actually. For instance, phone books, email address books, my schedule, my to-do list, bookmarks, and received email news letters for English study.... Of course I went to a cell-phone retailer in my city as soon as I got through the day's work. According to a clerk, it might need two weeks to fix it completely. Since I must make a business trip to Tokyo this weekend as I've posted an article on this blog space before, it wasn't not acceptable even though the repair charge was free... I mean, I can't make it without the data in the handset.

After all, I bought a new cell-phone and asked the salesperson to copy as much data as possible to the new portable device. The cost of this purchase was about 10,000 yen. (ToT) However, I'm lucky to get a new machine because the input method of English is more convenient than that of my old one.

give up the ghost: 死ぬ、壊れる(=die)
out of the blue: (=suddenly) 晴天のへきれき?
get through: finish
acceptable[adjective]: 受け入れることができる

Monday, November 13, 2006

Enjoyable Local Festa

Monday, November thirteenth, two thousands and six

the opening of the festaA community event was held in the junior high school that my eldest son belongs to yesterday. The event is called 'The communion of heart with heart in Torihiga junior high school's network'. (Torihiga is the abbreviation of the school's name.)

I went see the event with my family. There were much more stalls and games than I had expected. This event is held at this time of the year by staff of dozens people who work for the junior high school, the elementary schools or kindergartens near the junior high school. Most of the students who attend the elementary schools or kindergartens are to go to the junior high school in the future. Of course my 8-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter will go there someday.
Talking of my daughter, she took part in the opening ceremony as a member of the dancing and singing team. I took some videos of their performance. Let me show you them on this blog space. Must be cute. :) The last song is a song that is originally presented by 'Bay City Rollers' a long time ago, if my memory serves me right.





communion of heart with heart: 心と心のふれあい(According to 英辞郎)
stall: 露店、売店、屋台
at this time of the year: 毎年この時期に
staff of dozens people: 数十名の職員
are to go to the junior high school: その中学校に行くことになる
Talking of: ~と言えば(=Speaking of)

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thief Sneaks into My House

Sunday, November twelfth, two thousands and six

Yesterday I took some English free-conversation lessons at the NOVA's branch where I often go on Saturday. At first there were two other students in the room, both of who are nice ladies. :) I'm so lucky! hehe. However, after we took 2 classes, they left for home to prepare dinner. Apparently, the women are homemakers. After all, I had to take the remaining terms alone. How lucky I am! :) I was able to talk a lot with native-English-speaker teachers one-on-one! On the other hand, I got tired and felt a comfortable headache, though. So I hit the sack as soon as I was through eating dinner last night.

I actually expected to visit another big branch located a little far away from my house and go for a drink after the lessons on the day. But I couldn't do that due to fear of the dark. Last week a thief tried to come into my house but the security alarm I implemented myself last year detected him or her and rang loud. And then, the stealer escaped somewhere in surprise. Two days later, I heard from a neighbor of mine that somebody got into a small community hall very close to my house. I thought that my city isn't so safe nowadays. I live with my parents but they have been taking a trip since two days ago. I mean, there are no adult men in my house when I'm out. Therefore I had to get home before getting dark yesterday. That's why I took the English lessons at the usual place near my house.

sneak into: 忍び込む
homemaker: housewife or househusband
hit the sack: go to sleep
in surprise: 驚いて

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Business Trip to Tokyo

Saturday, November eleventh, two thousands and six

Some people emailed me last month after they took a look at my factory's web site. Apparently, they googled with a technical word related to recycling industry. In fact, the web site I made myself comes up as the No.1 site anytime you google with the keyword in Japanese. Since I used to be a computer system engineer, I implemented SEO in the site. SEO stands for 'Search Engine Optimization' and means a kind of techniques so that web sites are ranked in the upper levels of Search Engine sites - such as Google, Yahoo.

Anyway, the people who contacted me on the Internet last month have just become our customers and want to buy lots of our products at high prices as well! We've got a couple of great business partners! So I decided to make a business trip to Tokyo next Friday(November 17th) to go and see them. Besides, I'm planning to go for a drink with some of my friends who live in Tokyo after the visiting.

I'm super lucky to get new customers and be able to have a reunion with my friends as well! :)

optimization: 最適化
implement: 実施する、実装する
so that: ~するために、~するように
buy something at a high price: 高価でsomethingを買う
as well: おまけに、その上
have a reunion with: ~と再会する

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The global warming

Wednesday, November eighth two thousands and six

Since my factory belongs to recycling industry, it's sort of my responsibility to watch the status of the global environment - especially the global warming. According to The World Meteorological Organization(WMO), the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere - such as carbon dioxide, reached a record high last year. And an environmental research is warning that the amount of Australian wine production would come down by 40% in 2050 and most products of the sea might go extinct in near future. In addition, a Japanese newspaper announces that Japan won't achieve the aim of Kyoto protocol if nothing is done.

It's autumn(fall) in Japan now but it's comparatively warm for the season. I bet the global warming causes the recent strange climate. Besides, a neighbor big country has been manufacturing tons of industrial products without any green actions and brought about environmental pollution. According to my book, it's not acceptable to export chemical recycling materials to such a silly nation, which is called "world factory". :-p I personally think Japan should trade with the nation on the condition that they equalize the exchange rate.


WMO: 世界気象機関
carbon dioxide: 二酸化炭素
products of the sea: 海の幸
go extinct: 絶滅する
if nothing is done: このままでは
comparatively: 比較的
climate: 気候
green action: 環境対策
bring about: 引き起こす(cause)
According to my book: 私の意見としては
on the condition that: ~という条件で
equalize: 平等にする

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy Birthday

Tuesday, November seventh, two thousands and six

Today is my eldest son's thirteenth birthday. Actually, he is an ADHD child. ADHD stands for 'attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder'. What a difficult technical word! In Japanese, the disorder is called "注意欠陥過活動性[多動性]障害"... Wow! Sounds super hard to read for me even though I'm Japanese. :-p

His scholastic ability(achievement) is usually above the average of his junior high school. In fact, he often gets full marks(perfect scores) on his English tests thanks to an excellent home teacher, whose name is plow7010. :) But he sometimes has panic disorder and he is occasionally hurt by himself. He takes 'Ritalin' almost everyday to improve his concentration. On the other hand, the medicine have potential of side effects. Frankly speaking, I don't necessarily agree that he often takes it. Because, from my point of view, it seems to be sort of a drug. However, my wife is often so nervous with his behavior that she offers him taking the tablets whereas I often wonder if we should stop giving them to him or not. Nobody knows the best way to take care of him.... Anyway, I have no choice but to think "What will be, will be." (なるようになる naruyouni naru) (^_^;

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sea Food BBQ

Sunday, November fourth, two thousands and six

the beachThe day before yesterday I went to "Pichi Pichi beach" near my city to have a barbecue with my mom, children and their mother. Their mother is sometimes called my wife, though. :) My dad went fishing on the day, actually. He apparently would rather go fishing than eat three times a day.(三度の飯より、釣りが好き sando no meshi yori turi ga suki)
In Japan when Japanese people mention those who are crazy about something, they say "三度の飯より、somethingが好き". I hope you understand what I mean. :)

Anyway, we had tons of meat and seafood - such as beef, pork, turban(top) shells, scallops. Let me upload some pictures I took there.

bbq bbq

Ahh... I have to visit a relative's home today, in order to attend a Buddhist memorial service, that's going to be held for one of my uncles who passed away two years ago, when he was eighty-eight years old.

Friday, November 03, 2006

IRON MAIDEN in OSAKA

Friday, November third, two thousands and six

Me in front of Osaka Jo HallI went see IRON MAIDEN's concert and Lauren Harris's opening act in Osaka Jo Hall this past Monday(October 30th). I was too busy at work on the day, so I wasn't able to change my clothes to get there in time. But I think it's OK to go see the show with my dirty working costume. Because, after all, I had to break a lot of sweat during hard head banging. :)

The greatest heavy metal band on the planet played all songs of their new album as I've heard of the rumor before. I realized the powerful potential of the CD "A Matter of Life and Death" again. Besides I was all choked up when they played "Fear of the Dark" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name". Needless to say, we harmonized those songs as much as possible. They gave us an impressive and aggressive performance and played music with hardly any rest, even though they are almost 50 years old.

Osaka Jo HallLauren Harris, the eldest daughter of Steve Harris(the leader of IRON MAIDEN), sang some songs before her father showed up. I was so surprised when she started singing "Natural Thing", which is a famous song of "UFO". (UFO used to be one of very famous British hard rock bands as a great guitarist "Michael Schenker" joined it.) The sound reminds me of my old happy memories.

And now, as far as I was able to catch the words Bruce Dickinson(the vocalist of IRON MAIDEN) said, they are planning to come to Japan soon(next year?) and play many songs of their early days at that time. In addition, he asked us to bring many friends of ours to the live show. :) Plus apparently they went for a drink to a terrific bar in Osaka the previous night. (^^; I want to find out where the bar is somehow.

Anyway, all songs from the new album sound more exciting and much greater to me than the recorded ones. I'm enjoying listening to the numbers now as I'm remembering the concert.... I've got an ultimate power!!!! Thanks MAIDEN! I had a great night thanks to you all!


SET LIST:

[All songs from "A Matter of Life and Death"]
Different World
These Colours Don't Run
Brighter Than a Thousand Suns
The Pilgrim
The Longest Day
Out of the Shadows
The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
For the Greater Good of God
Lord of Light
The Legacy

Fear of the Dark
Iron Maiden

[encore]

2 Minutes to Midnight
The Evil That Men Do
Hallowed Be Thy Name

Monday, October 30, 2006

Learning language not mean learning only one thing

Monday, October thirtieth, two thousands and six

According to a newspaper, leaning another language helps you acquire benefits - such as improved mental agility and problem solving skills, as well as a deeper understanding of your own and other cultures.

I 100% agree with the newspaper article! Wouldn't you say? In fact, I've got a lot of knowledge and information I hadn't known. I sometimes have chances to talk with native English speakers on private business. Whenever I have such opportunities, I have to introduce Japanese custom and culture, you name it. Of course I can acquire their own ones as well. To be honest, talking with them in English is no bed of roses for me. And also, I'm such a honest person that I cannot make a wild guess. In addition, I'm so particular about English grammar as to often use my noodle much harder.
Besides, I was able to make friends with some nice Japanese people at the English school to which I belong and I could quit smoking as well. :)

Studying English has brought me lots of effective stuff. Therefore I cannot help studying English and cannot study English too hard.(^_^;


I'm so particular about English grammar as to often use my noodle much harder.
= I'm so particular about English grammar that I often use my noodle much harder. (?)

I cannot help studying English.
= I cannot help but study English. (?)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Reason I like IRON MAIDEN

Sunday, October twenty ninth, two thousands and six

Yesterday I went to the English school to which I usually go Saturday. I was supposed to write down this article yesterday before I visited there. After I told an English teacher of mine that I'm going to see IRON MAIDEN's concert tomorrow, he asked me why they are my favorite rock band. I thought at that time that I should have written this post yesterday morning. Because if I wrote it up, I could have been able to explain adequately the reason I love IRON MAIDEN so much. :(

Let me note down the points I like them below.

First of all, I respect Steve Harris, who is the leader of IRON MAIDEN and a member of the founders. Most of their songs was written by him. From my point of view, he likes reading novels [which are] hard to undestand very much. Therefore almost all of his lyrics have a lot of difficult and hard-to-understand information and messages - such as contemporary serious themes and social problems.
And next, all of their songs never fade out. I mean, the songs end properly to play good performances on live shows, although many rock'n'roll songs tend to fade out when they are recorded, just in my opinion. Besides, the rhythm of their music changes abruptly and dramatically by means of drastic methods.

Anyway, I'm going to Osaka-Jo hall(Jo means "castle" in Japanese) very close to Osaka castle tomorrow, in order to see their great play. It must be exciting! According to some web sites, Lauren Harris, who is the eldest daughter of Steve Harris, is going to support her father's great rock group as the opening act. And apparently, the greatest heavy metal band on the planet is going to play all songs of their new album, which was released last month and ranked in the top ten of the Billboard album chart for their first time. I've never heard of such a big try, playing all songs of an album in a concert. As far as I know, it's the maiden attempt in recent rock music scene.

To tell the truth, I was longing for seeing them. I can have a reunion with them tomorrow! I'll have a hard time falling asleep tonight. :) Anyway, I intend to upload my impression of their Osaka Live this week! (^_-)-☆


Besides, ....
= In addition, .... (?)

I was longing for seeing them.
= I was looking forward to seeing them. (?)
= I was being eager to see them. (?)
= I was being keen to see them. (?)

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sleep on Hallway

I expected to go to the English school yesterday at which I usually take some free conversation classes on Saturday, but I wasn't able to go there because of a big hangover. Let me introduce the reason I had the terrible one yesterday to you. Maybe funny. :)

The day before yesterday I asked my wife to do me a favor but she refused my request without thinking. I got furious(raised the roof) at her! After I quit smoking, I tend to get angry soon, actually. I might have become a short-tempered(impatient) person.

What? Do you ask me what the favor is? Sorry, I can't tell you the details because it's sort of our personal information. :)

Anyway, I went get a drink alone after the fight. Actually, I tend to drink alcohol too much whenever I go for a drink alone because nobody can't stop me. So I drank a little too much as usual. hehe. But not so much, I suppose. When I got home, the entrance of my house was locked! "I'm locked out! Holy cow!" Usually my wife put the key on the secret place outside my house, but she didn't do that on the day! However, I finally got into my house somehow.
And then.... when I was about to go to bed, there wasn't my futon(布団) in the bedroom! "Darn it! Where in the world(on earth, the f**k) is my futon!" I found it out on a hallway(corridor, passageway?) close to the bedroom. So I had to sleep in the futon on a hallway through the night, thereby I wasn't able to have a good sleep. That's one of the reasons I had an awful hangover yesterday even though I didn't drink so much. If I slept well, I probably wouldn't have the bad one, I think.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Phonics

I came across an interesting web site(found an interesting web site by chance), "Genki English", when I was checking out what "phonics" means on the Internet the other day. Especially this web page, http://genkienglish.net/phonics.htm, is so useful in that it can pronounce words you select with a mouse, I think. I was able to know this marvelous site thanks to google, which is the most powerful search engine on the planet. Since I used to be a computer system engineer, I'm curious about interesting web applications like this site.

Anyway, I wanted to know what "phonics" is at that time. Apparently, most native English speakers have learned it at school as children. It appears to be useful to master correct pronunciation in English as a good method. However, the method doesn't necessarily support all of how to pronounce, it seems.... According to some web sites, it supports about eighty percent of English words. I think it's adequate ratio. What do you think about the method?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Illegal? Yaguras in Intersection

Yaguras in IntersectionI forgot to upload a picture I took at the intersection in front of an entrance of Hanwa highway last Monday. The police here tend not to be so strict during this Yagura festival. In fact, we went around and around with our yaguras for about 15 minutes in the intersection in front of some police officer's eyes. Of course all cars around the intersection had to wait for going around to end, though. :)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

PE festival at Kindergarten

This morning I visited the nearest elementary school from the kindergarten to which my daughter belongs, in order to see her and her classmates' PE festival.
Actually, the playground of their kindergarten is too small(narrow) to hold such a big event because of the large number of kindergartners. As I've posted an article on this blog space before, their kindergarten merged with two others due to the budget deficit of my city and decreasing number of children. That's why the field is very small even though there're so many kids in the preschool.

opening ceremony
my daughter and her friends

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yagura fetival

The Yagura festival was held in my city over the last weekend. It's one of the most dangerous festivals in Japan, I suppose. As far as I know, this festival derives from wish for a good harvest as well as the Kishiwada Danjiri festival.

my friends and me in front of a YaguraIt had been fine for all days of the festival, so we was able to have such a wonderful time. On the last evening of the festival I invited an Australian friend and an American friend to my place for seeing the festival together. Let me upload the picture of the three of us my wife took on the day. But I reduced the image not to be recognized who they are because it's kind of their personal information.

Anyway.... I'm so busy these days, due to the recent festivals - such as PE festivals and the Yagura festival, that I have few time to study English. Those events are killing me! I'm really worried that my English skills have dropped down drastically. Because I couldn't speak English so well with the native English speakers I spent the last evening of the Yagura festival together. :(

Friday, October 06, 2006

PE festival at Junior High & My Wife Got a ....

junior high sports dayLast Saturday I went to the junior high school to which my eldest son belongs, in order to see the PE festival, which was held in good weather. I got suntanned thanks to the good sunshine. :)

Now that my eldest son is a junior high school boy, he didn't want us to come there. Because most parents who have junior high school students tend not to come to school events - such as PE festival and cultural festival. However, my wife was eager to go see his PE festival, so I had no choice but to obey her order, because she is what is called my master. :)
Anyway, he won the first prize on the footrace(running a race) which he competed with 5 other students.
He seems to succeed his mother's fast footwork since I'm a slow runner.

I was surprised to see my study buddy's car at an intersection in front of the junior high school when I returned to the school after dropping my third son and my daughter off at the swimming school to which they belong. What a coincidence!

To change the subject, my wife has just got a part-time job! She had been keen to work outside for a long time because she had been bored with housework(chores) and wanted to keep her youth by working with many people. Now that all our kids basically require less care, I'm all for her working.
Anyway, she has just started to work as a part-time cook in the cafeteria of a company near Kansai international airport. Her job is great in that her co-workers and she can bring home the cooking ingredient left. Now that our children eat us out of house and home, it's efficient for us. Actually, she was very lucky because there were 20 applicants for the job even though the company had recruited 2 employees. How lucky she was!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Rock ON!

Since it was raining cats and dogs yesterday, I wasn't able to take my kids to the Yagura parade held in front of the nearest station from my house.
Here is the related article which I posted last year.

Therefore we decided to stay home, but it's so boring for me to stay home that I went to the English school to which I belong this afternoon in order to take some free conversation classes. There are some nice ladies in the room. How lucky I am! Only me is male! hehe....Needless to say, I rocked on the situation. :)

"rock on" means "have fun so much", according to my dictionary.

By the way, now that I'm a level-4 student in NOVA and have already taken almost all lessons for level-4 students, but I haven't gotten the recommendation to become a level-3 student. However, I don't care about that. I know my weakness so well - such as vocabulary and the speed of speaking.

Anyway.... I've just set up an immediate goal. Let me introduce it to you. I'm eager to become a high level student after taking some VOICE classes today, actually. I can't explain exactly why I hope so. Frankly speaking.... I'll become a level-3 student within half year, and then get at least 800 points on the TOEIC test I'm going to take for my second time next Summer, of course without special preparation.

The above isn't joke. I'm serious. Ummm I'm sooooo cooooool. :)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Lose a tooth

I've lost a tooth the day before yesterday when I was having supper! Holy cow! Damn it!

dropped of my tooth

Sorry, I've just pulled your leg. :)

As a matter of fact, my implant(false tooth, artificial tooth) just came out. I had felt the tooth would drop off for a week, actually. When I was eating dinner last Friday night, it came off out of blue. :) It had been in my gum for only 3 years... My gum might become weaker than before because I'm already on the wrong side of 40. :( I asked the dentist who has cured the tooth before on the phone if the retreatment is easy or not. According to him, it's a piece of cake and will finish before you know it. Needless to say, I was relieved to hear that. I intend to go see him tomorrow after work.

I wanted to post an article about this incident at once but I wasn't able to do that, due to the trouble of Internet connection. In fact, the connection gave up the ghost out of a clear sky when I tried to post this article on my blog space. Of course I made a call on the customer service as soon as I noticed the problem. He responded me that they would find out the cause and try to fix it. Now I can use the Internet comfortably as usual.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

IRON MAIDEN motivates me

I often listen to the new CD of IRON MAIDEN these days, to prepare for the concert that is going to be held in Osaka on October thirtieth. They are reportedly going to play most of the songs in their new album, so I have to memorize them before I attend their performance.

I saw interesting lyrics in the first number in the CD, whose title is "Different World".

I would like you to know...
When you see the simple things...
To appreciate this life...
It's not too late to learn...

This phrase consists of only easy words but it makes me feel alive, especially, the last part "It's not too late to learn" sounds great to me.

It's not too late to learn, I'm already on the wrong side of 40, though.

I've just got an exciting news! Apparently, LAUREN HARRIS - the eldest daughter of STEVE HARRIS, the IRON MAIDEN leader and one of founding members - is going to support the greatest heavy metal band on the planet on their Japan tour with her solo band.
Sounds super great! I've just been presented an unexpected pleasure! Here is her myspace address.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Result of TOEIC

Result of TOEICYesterday I went to the English school branch I belong to, in order to take some free conversation classes and get the result of the TOEIC test I took last month.

The score was better than I expected, actually. As I've posted an article on this blog space before, I guessed my points would be 500 at best. However, my teachers told me that I could get more than 600 points before I took the test. They guessed right! Only professionals could do that! Anyway my listening skill is still bad as the mark indicates me the ability. In fact, I often feel how bad it is because I can't catch most words in IRON MAIDEN's songs, even though I'm used to listening to them and they're my favorite rock band. :(

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Return to Analog

loose-leafI've just decided to write down "review of lessons", "collection of words and phrases", "collection of expressions", and "collection of idioms" in an ANALOG METHOD. I mean, I'll write them down by hand in a notebook. Of course I have to type English sentences when I send emails and post articles on my blog, though.

I bought a loose-leaf notebook the day before yesterday after a long interval, which I often use in my school days. Let me write down a massive amount of contents in the notebook from now on!

I've just realized my writing is worse in both English and Japanese than it used to be after I wrote down some sentences by hand after a long time. Besides, I can't write down some Chinese characters(kanji) so I have to use Japanese dictionary.... haha. However, it's also a good way for studying Chinese character to write down sentences by hand.

Yeah! That's a way of "Killing two birds with one stone."
I'm so lucky! :)

What? You ask me, "Why have you decided to return to the analog method?", don't you? Actually, I feel I can't memorize any words and phrases by typing them into my PC. It's convenient if all contents are in my PC when I want to search them out, though. In addition, I sometimes see a nice guy in my English school who often write down many sentences in a notebook and looks so cool, so I want to copy the person. :)

I would be happy if I could build up my supreme notebook. Anyway, as the proverb goes, slow and steady wins the race. - In Japanese, 急がば回れ isogaba maware.

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Monday, September 18, 2006

Cool Picture

BBQI had a barbie, which means "barbecue" in Australian English according to my dictionary, with some of my ex-coworkers, who are a newly married couple, in the garage next to my house, which used to be my factory.

Umm.... nowadays my sentences tend to be longer than they used to be.


Anyway, we had tons of meat and shellfish - such as top shell and scallop. We had a great time. :) It was comparatively COOL in the last evening thanks to the typhoon No.13. :)

Talking of COOL, I took a cool picture this morning. Let me introduce the story to you. :)

My mom came to me with a blue face and said, "Ta, Takashi! I need your help!"
Apparently, there's something near a fence around my house...

a snakeWow! I found out a cool animal, a kind of reptile! :) I rarely see them these days. In fact, I saw a snake last week but seeing it is the first time in a couple of years.

It looks about two meters long. What a cool experience! It's so cool to see it in such a hot summer. :)
I took some pictures of the snake as driving it off... Perhaps I might be strange. haha. I should have taken some videos of the cool guest.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Great! MAIDEN!

The new CD of IRON MAIDEN has just been ranked in the top 10 of Billboard Album Charts.
Great! IRON MAIDEN! You made my day! I have few words to say any more....

MAIDEN the Great

Friday, September 15, 2006

As, as, as! and a paper tiger

I feel I'm still a low level English learner once in a while... no, no... very often. :)
To tell the truth, I'm often confused about the usage of articles(a, the, no-articles) and which I should choose, the singular form or the plural form. Besides the usage of the word "as" is very difficult for me because it has so many meanings and the part of speech often changes - such as adjective, adverb, and conjunction. However, I may as well tell myself that I don't have to care about those things. If the sun were to rise in the west, I wouldn't become a native English speaker. :)

Anyway, I'm extremely busy this month and next month because of so many festivals!

For instance:
The sports day(Field day, PE festival) in my daughter's kindergarten(preschool)
The sports day(Field day, PE festival) in my third son's elementary school(primary school)
The sports day(Field day, PE festival) in my eldest son's junior high school
The yagura festival in my city - a kind of harvest festival

They are killing me! But I'm a little bit lucky since my job doesn't wear me out as of now.

By the way, let me write down an interesting expression I found out on the Internet or somewhere recently.

A paper tiger:
According to my dictionary, it means that an enemy or opponent who seems powerful but actually is not. Sounds interesting! In Japan, we have the similar expression, which is "張子の虎(はりこのとら hariko no tora). hariko is sort of a doll made from paper. I also found out the similar one, which is "have no teeth". Apparently the meaning is the same as "a paper tiger".

Sunday, September 10, 2006

New CD of IRON MAIDEN

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH by IRON MAIDENI've finally gotten the new CD of my favorite rock band, IRON MAIDEN, whose title is "A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH"! They are reportedly going to play all songs recorded in the CD in their concert. I MUST put this CD on loud as many times as I can, until they come to Japan!

Ah... My wife is telling me something.... What? Too loud? She seems to be angry at the loud music. I'm in trouble now, but I want to listen to this CD! Ummm... sort of a matter of life and death...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

How lucky I am!

a VOICE passI bought a two-monthly VOICE pass which allows me to take VOICE classes as many as I can. "VOICE class" is conducted in free conversation rooms called "VOICE rooms" in NOVA, a very famous English school in Japan. Actually, I prefer taking VOICE classes to taking regular lessons plus I'm not so busy at work this month and next month, in addition, the branch of NOVA to which I belong provides some VOICE classes every Tuesday evening, Friday evening, and Sunday afternoon of this month. So I decided to buy the pass to have many opportunities for my practice.
I took some VOICE classes when there aren't many students in the room. Only me, or a student and me! How lucky I am! I was able to speak much more than usual! Of course I spoke strange and funny English, though. For me, it's a little hard to take them after work because I usually tend to be tired at that time. However, I had a lot of fun! Let me ask my teachers to correct some articles on my English blog from next time if there're no other students in the room. I'm so lucky that I could improve my speaking skill easily!.... I wonder if it can be true... hehe.

To tell the truth, I'm a little bit worried that my wife get angry at me because of often going out alone. I speculate that she doesn't get angry as usual from now on. I haven't smoked for 10 days so far, luckily, she's been in a good mood. How lucky I am! I've just gotten 4 good effects thanks to no smoking. :)

I will be able to ...

  • keep my brains fresh.
  • get healthy.
  • save money.
  • often go out alone because my wife looks happy.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

What I decided to quit

I've post an article which has no contents before.
Let me introduce what I decided to quit to you. :) But I have to tell you a long story to describe the background. Thank you for taking your precious time. m(_ _)m

Last month I took a TOEIC test, a very popular and famous English test all over the world, in order to know how bad my English skills are. As expected, I didn't do well because of no preparation. I meant to know my real skills with no preparation, actually.
After the test, I realized my weaknesses - such as the speed of listening and reading, and vocabulary. Therefore I decided to study English MUCH HARDER from then on. But any difficult phrase or word passes through my old and tough brains as soon as I memorize. I had considered for a while if there are good ideas to keep my brains fresh as well as possible. So that's why I decided to stop smoking. I haven't smoked any cigarettes for one week so far, but I'm not sure I'm able to quit smoking perfectly. Ah... I also may have to cut down my drinking, though.... But I personally think it's a good way for keeping my youth to drink appropriate amount of alcohol everyday. hehe.
Anyway I must be so lucky! Because, not only I've realized my weaknesses but also I've had a good chance to quit smoking thanks to the TOEIC I took last month.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Educated Mother

Misaki park2This morning my wife asked me to take our third son and daughter somewhere so that our eldest son could get down to his study and she could look after him. She orders me anything as if she were a teacher of mine anytime she gets our children to study.

Anyway, I took them to a small amusement park in the southern part of Osaka prefecture, whose name is Misaki Park, while our eldest son was studying for the test which he's taking next week. I don't know why most Japanese women tend to be education-minded mothers. :(
Misaki park1On the other hand, we had a good time in the park today :) - such as dolphin show and seeing lots of animals, but we should have prepared swimming wear. Because I noticed that the swimming pool in the park had opened until today when I arrived there.

Speaking of education-minded mother, I saw an interesting English sentence on the Internet the other day, which is how to remember the order of our solar system.
That phrase is "My Very Educated Mother Just Serves Us Nine Pizzas." This is a mnemonic for the order of our solar system(Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto), according to some web sites. Now that Pluto, only one found by American, however, has deleted from the system, so there are eight planets in it as of today. Needless to say, this phrase is needed to change right now - for instance, "My Very Educated Mother Just Serves Us Noodle.", which is actually said by an English teacher of mine this past Saturday. (^_^;)

Here are some videos of the dolphin show I took in the park.








Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quit

August 31st, 2006

I didn't do well on the TOEIC test which I took a couple of weeks ago. I decided to study English much harder at that time. So I often try to memorize English words to increase my vocabulary. Now that my brains are older and tougher, I forget any word as soon as I memorize. :(

I've just decided to quit something.... Can you guess what I intend to quit? That's secret for a while. hehe.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Bar60 and Sushi

August 29th, 2006

Last Saturday I attended the third anniversary party of a bar in Sakai city where I occasionally go get a drink. There were many nice people in the bar. The master served all kinds of beverages for 3000 yen per man and 2000 yen per woman on the night. As for me, I had a huge amount of beer and syoucyuu(Japanese distilled spirit), so I don't remember clearly what I did and talked with the non-Japanese who I sometimes talk with.
Anyway, I made some sushi in the bar for the party because I used to be a part time sushi chef when I was a university student. Most of the customers were pleased and praised me as a good sushi chef. But I made a little mistake in making it, as I've already lost my touch due to a long absence. When they praised the sushi made by me, I replied to them like this - "Thank you! I'm so glad even if it's flattery. Flattery will get you everywhere! I'll give you anything you want." I know the usual phrase is "Flattery will get you nowhere." But I changed myself the last part(nowhere -> everywhere) to say a kind of joke. :)

By the way, I took some pictures there but I'm not able to post them on my blog space. Many people appear in the photos, so I think the photos are sort of their personal information. That's why I don't post them here. Therefore I uploaded them on my secret web space. If you attended the party, please ask the master or email me to let you know where they are and the password to access the web page.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Muggy and Study

August 25th, 2006

It's been really muggy lately in Osaka, Japan. I always break a lot of sweat in my factory, so I have to change my working clothes very often, plus need at least 3 towels a day to dry(wipe off) the sweat and have to drink at least 2 bottles of beer everyday. :)
Usually I wake up around 4 am naturally, but nowadays around 5 am at the earliest. I've decided to study English much harder - such as reading aloud, shadowing(listening and repeating) and grammar; however, I'm not able to do that sufficiently due to the fatigue, in fact, the recent hot weather is killing me! Anyway, I'm attending a party held at a bar tomorrow evening and trying to make some sushi for the master and his customers. I have to relieve my tired body for not only my study but also the party. Actually, you know, I used to be a part time sushi chef but I'm worried about having lost my touch after a long absence.

By the way, do you think studying grammar is important? Some teachers occasionally say that grammar isn't so important to speak English, and yet I think it's important. If I wanted to learn only casual English, I wouldn't care about grammar and it's correct what the teachers say. But I'd like to study any kind of English, so I intend to learn at least the grammar which Japanese high school students study at school. Besides, I may be able to teach grammar to my children when they study English to enter a university or a college.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Get IRON MAIDEN Concert Ticket

August 21st, 2006

an IRON MAIDEN concert ticketI've finally got a ticket of IRON MAIDEN concert, which is going to be held in the Osaka castle hall on October 30th! Plus, my seat is amazingly in the arena! I'm super lucky to get such a great seat by lot. And also they are releasing a new CD this September. Needless to say, I intend to buy the one as soon as it's launched.
IRON MAIDEN, one of the most famous and popular British heavy metal bands, is actually my favorite rock group. As a high school student(When I was a high school student), I was so excited to listen to their rhythm and became a huge fun of them right away. They always make me energetic! The concert day looks so far! I can't wait! They must give a super great time to us!

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

TOEIC

August 20th, 2006

I took a TOEIC test yesterday, in order to know how bad my English skills are. I didn't prepare anything before taking it, therefore I had to read its guideline at the beginning, which describes the question styles in the test. What a waste of time! :(
I should have checked on at least the style and the number of questions. After all, I couldn't do well as I expected. haha. My score will be less than 500 points. Some English teachers of mine said last week that I would be able to get around 600 points; however, I couldn't get such a score maybe.
Anyway, I've just realized my weak points which are vocabulary, listening skill, and reading speed. Thanks, TOEIC! I'll have to study from the beginning again and go on for good.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Drinking in the rain

August 18th, 2006

There was a funny incident at the izakaya(Japanese-style bar) where my Australian friend and Japanese woman friend were drinking this past Tuesday.

When we were having some beer, it suddenly began raining even though we were indoors! All customers were very surprised but nobody got angry. They said, "What a nice surprise!" or something like that and enjoyed the unexpected thing. The happening occurred because of the broken drain above the ceiling, according to the clerk. Of course he had us change our seats immediately. We had a great time thanks to the rain. :)


raining
raining

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Fishing

August 17th, 2005

fishingDo you know Izumisano fishing port in Osaka, Japan? Maybe, don't know.

I went there with my family to fish some small fishes this past Monday - such as horse mackerels and sardines. It was too hot on the day, so we got not only fishes but also suntan. :) It was the first-time fishing for my kids.
We fished a lot and ate them for dinner of the day. I actually have a minivan made by Toyota, whose seating capacity up to 8 persons. Those kind of cars are very convenient whenever we have outdoor leisure.

my carfishes

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What day?

August 15th, 2006

In Japan it's the anniversary of the end of the war(the second World War) today.
And also today used to be my second son's birthday. If he were alive now, he would be 10 years old. In a Japanese common saying, it's a negative idea to count how old one's dead child would be if he or she were alive, though...
In addition, it's the anniversary of my ex-coworker's passing. From my point of view, he seemed to have been struggling with depression for several years as well as me. That's why he decided to make away with himself, I personally think. His passing was one of the reasons I quit my former job, a computer system engineer.
It's a bon season that is one of Buddhist festival periods for passed people, now. Most of Japanese people think of their ancestors and the friends who passed away, in order to pray for the souls of passed people.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Playing piano

August 14th, 2006

I visited my parents-in-law's home with my family yesterday to have lunch, a chat, dinner. My daughter tried playing the piano which is in the house and used to be my wife's when she was single. I took some videos of my daughter at that time. Let me post one of them on the Internet! :)




Looks so cute! She must be a genius! I had a great time thanks to her. On the other hand, to be frank, I get bored whenever visiting my wife's hometown. Of course, my mother-in-law always prepare nice meal for us. Tastes great but I usually have to have a lot of boring talks with my parents-in-law. However, I can't complain as it's sort of my responsibility. :(

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cute Picture

August 11th, 2006

I took a nice and cute picture at home last night. :)

my daughter with some dollsMy 5 year-old daughter was doing something in a living room, which has some tatami mats. I was observing for a while what she intended to do. First, she lined up some stuffed dolls on the cushions. And then she covered up on the dolls with a small futon. At the last she got into the futon with the dolls.

I think she played a role as the mother of the dolls at that time. She has maternal instinct even though she's still 5 years old. Her act impressed me so much! She couldn't be cuter!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mozart

August 10th, 2006

I'm taking one week-long summer holidays from tomorrow! I have a lot of plans to do during the holidays!

By the way, you know, I usually listen to heave metal, particularly British heavy metal sounds great to me. However, I found an interesting web page the other day while browsing through some web sites.
According to the web site, it's said that Mozart is the best if you want to improve your level of concentration. Its moderate rhythm has the positive effect. It also has an astonishing healing power.
So I ordered some CDs of Mozart on the web site of Amazon.com. I guess my BGM will be Mozart for a while.
Actually, I have too much stress these days. That's why I need to relax. Let me get it off my chest. I have three kids as you know. They live off me, of course, so I have to work so hard to look after them as the breadwinner(in Japanese, 大黒柱 daikokubashira) in my family.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Eat us Out of House and Home

August 3rd, 2006

I've been considering how to make more money recently because of the huge amount of food cost for my family. I have two sons and a daughter as those who often read my blog probably know. My daughter doesn't have so much food but my sons have tons of meat and rice nowadays, especially my 12-year-old eldest son eats the same amount as I have or more than me. His height is almost the same as my wife's and the size of his foot is bigger than hers and almost the same as mine. When we eat out or have a BBQ, they eat lots of food out and out as much as they can have. They eat us out of house and home exactly! I might need to get another job anytime soon for the countermeasure(measure or provision?). Actually, I used to be a computer system engineer and used to have my finger on the pulse of the information technology industry, so I might be able to get a part time job in it - such as a web developer. However, I don't have the confidence to get it, actually. Since I quit my former job, a computer system engineer, 6 years ago, I've already lost my touch after a long blank(absence?) You know, the industry looks like a rat race and sometimes the progress is dog year. And the recent web technology is called "Web 2.0" as most of those who are into the Internet know. That's why I DON'T have the confidence. :(

I'm just kidding. :) I just wanted to write down an article on this blog space with those words I've just studied myself. It's true that my sons have tons of food these days, though. The Engel's coefficient of my family must go on increasing till they become independent from us. So my wife has just decided to get a part time job from next month, actually. It's OK with her to have it because she has been bored with housework for a long time. It's a good way for keeping her youth to work outside. Plus she might be able to get some secret boyfriends. If she cheated on me, I would be able to get divorced. I expect that it comes up truly. hehe. Sorry for kidding again. (^o^)

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Take TOEIC test

July 30th, 2006

Some of my friends are going to take various tests anytime soon - such as a test to enter graduate schools, a test for the qualification to look after challenged people. They motivate my intentions a lot. Their motivation may be what makes me tick. Plus I think I have become more confident when it comes to having a chat in English.
I've written on this blog space before that the purpose of my English study isn't to get a good score of exams, but I've just got interested in taking English tests. You know, TOEIC is the most famous one in Japan(in the world?), so I've just decided to take it next month. My English school give a discount to their students when they take it. The service is called "TOEIC IP test". I can take it cheaper! IP... stands for "Internet Protocol"??? Of course NOT! I usually guess IP stands for "Internet Protocol", "Instruction Pointer register" in intel 8086 processors, or "Image processor" because of my previous job, computer system engineer. haha. In this case, IP is the abbreviation of "Institutional Program", according to the TOEIC web site. I'm going to take it next month....maybe. :-p
Either way, I intend to take it without any preparation in order to measure my real English skills. In my case, it's no use getting a good score with hard study, as the purpose I study English is to have a lot of good communication.
There're nothing to lose. I'll give it a go! Ummm.. I'm too cool. :)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Paint the town Red

July 29th, 2006

I hanged out with some of my ex-coworkers last night and visited Cinquecento, a nice bar in Osaka, with them again.


We painted the town red!!! haha. I had 5 mugs of beer at the first place, also 2 mugs of beer and at least 3 cocktails at Cinquecento. I wasn't able to drink so much last night because I had to take some English lessons this morning; however, the teacher told me that I looked kind of in a jam(pickle) when taking an English lesson. I responded him I wasn't in a jam but just had a bit of hangover.

At the first place they brought along a nice lady to let me get to know her. She is one of the greatest ladies I've ever seen! Actually, she has a disability, cannot walk.... So she always has to go everywhere with her wheelchair but belongs to the ski club of the company which I used to work for, in spite of her disability. And she intends to take part in the next Paralympics(para-Olympics) with a gold medalist, who works for the same company. I had never heard of the medalist before, so it sounded exciting and amazing to me. I'm definitely so lucky to meet her and would like to have such a good time with them again. I'm right about keeping in touch with them, despite I don't work for the company now. She taught me without any words that it's the most important to try anything you want to do. I got much energy thanks to her. I intend to have much more time to study English from now on. I'll give it a go! I'd appreciate that, Ms.K.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Rainy Season Has Ended

July 28th, 2006

The rainy season in Osaka has just ended up! It had been humid but not been so hot during the season. So I could work easily in my factory but won't be able to do that any more. TOO HOT in it! I usually have a lot of beer after work, but need much more from now on!

And now, I have a nice plan today, which is going get a drink with some of my ex-coworkers in Namba, in the south part of Osaka city. All of them are still computer system engineers. Of course they are at home in computer and I used to be, but I've lost my touch.(ToT)
Anyway, I've been alive only for going get a drink this evening as the purpose of life over this week. I'm going to shoot the breeze with them and expect to have the very best time for us. I haven't seen them for one year or so, therefore we have such many things we want to talk that the party must be crazy and fantastic!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ability of Debate

July 23th, 2006

I suppose I've posted some articles like this on this blog before. But I'd like to post one more article about this theme - "Why are Japanese people poor at English conversation?"

Some intellectuals say that Japanese people tend to dislike too assertive and aren't used to debates. So they say Japanese education system needs to be changed, and Japanese children should practice debates earlier so that they get used to discussion and expression of their own opinions and claims. It's more important than studying English.

I 100% agree on their view. In fact, Most of my English teachers, all of who are native English speakers, often require me to express my own opinion and claim. So I think it's necessary for Japanese children to have not only English skills but also such abilities, in order to take part in international activities someday.

Therefore, the Japanese education system must be changed right now. - That's my opinion, my teachers! :)

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[ Study ] Getting help from strangers

The following is a kind of simulation for my review of the English lessons I've taken before.

- Getting help from strangers
* What might you have to ask a stranger to help you with?

(They are talking in Osaka, Japan.)
A: Excuse me, but ... I was wondering if I could use your cell phone. It's just that I need to make an urgent phone call to my wife.
B: Well... Why don't you use yours?
A: The battery of mine seems to run out. Would that be OK with you?
B: Maybe OK, but ... Could I possibly ask you a question?
A: Of course.
B: I'd like to know where your wife lives.
A: Ah.....
B: What's wrong? Is there any problem?
A: Actually... My wife live in the U.S.A.....
B: Sorry. I absolutely can't help you! BYE NOW!
A: (I should have told him that my wife lived in Osaka....)

*New Words

hesitate : [intransitive] to pause before saying or doing something because you are nervous or not sure
pharmacy : chemist(British)
prescription [noun] : a piece of paper on which a doctor writes what medicine a sick person should have, so that they can get it from a pharmacist [prescribe]
convince [transitive] : to make someone feel certain that something is true
interact [intransitive] : if people interact with each other, they talk to each other, work together etc. [interact with someone or something]
awkward [adj] : making you feel embarrassed so that you are not sure what to do or say [=difficult]
untie [transitive] : to take the knots out of something, or unfasten something that has been tied

*Others(Tips etc.)

Could I -> couldai
Would I -> Woodai
How convenient!
drag store : used in the USA ONLY
have got = have ex)I've only got a ten dollars on me. Sorry. ex2)I've got to = I have to

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Magic Word

July 21th, 2006

According to a Japanese book, whose title is "魔法の言葉(mahou no kotoba)" - means "Magic Words", it's the most important for having a good life to always think positively.
The book recommend you to say "Thank you. I'm lucky!" even if you have some terrible incidents or accidents.

For example:
You have just had a bad car accident and your car has just gotten a lot of damage. But you had better say "Thank you! I'm so lucky as I didn't have any serious injuries, even though I can't drive my car for a while and have to pay lots of money to repair it."

I saw some English idioms on the email newsletters which I often read on my cell phone.

One of them is "Every cloud has a silver lining." According to my English-English dictionary, it's used to say that there is something good even in a situation that seems very sad or difficult. I remembered the above magic words the moment(as soon as) I saw the idiom.
Another one is "That's water over the dam.(American) That' water under the bridge.(British)" It's used to say that what happened in the past should be forgotten.
And the other one is "batting a thousand" - means to be very successful.

Let me make a composition with those phrase to express "Magic Words".

This past Tuesday I had a terrible hangover; however, I had to take some English lessons. I had a lot of beer this past Monday with my friends.... I regret drinking too much whenever I have a hangover. But that's water over the dam! On the other hand, I was able to have a great time with my friends instead of getting a hangover. Speaking of "instead", every cloud has a silver lining! I'm so lucky as I had a great time and a hangover. :) Anyway, I took some lessons... I could speak English more fluent than usual! I guess the reason is thanks to the hangover, because there's no barriers in my mind [at] any time [when] I'm drunk or have a hangover. :) I was batting a thousand during my last lessons! Thank you! I'm so lucky! I could do well thanks to the terrible hangover! Plus it's Friday today. Thank God it's Friday! \(^o^)/

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hangover

July 18th, 2006

When I woke up this morning, I felt having a headache due to a terrible hangover. I had at least 8 cans of beer, 350ml, at the BBQ party which I had with one of my Australian friends and some of my Japanese friends at the garage next to my house where my factory used to be, if my memory serves me correctly. But I had a super great time thanks to them, especially a couple of nice women. :)
My Australian friend and I decided to invite some young girls when he sent me an email to have a BBQ party. He seemed to be worried about picking up other girls with my wife(missus) near. haha. Of course, it's OK for me.
Anyway I'm taking a few English lessons from now. I still have a little bit headache, though. I'm used to having a hangover, I could do well tody. :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

[ Study ] Talking about exciting sports

The following is a kind of simulation for my review of the English lessons I've taken before.

- Talking about exciting sports
* Have you ever tried an exciting sport? Which sports would you like to try?

A: Do you like summer sports?
B: Yes, in a way, I prefer winter sports nowadays.
A: Do you? Why is that?
B: Actually, I'm really worried about not only getting bald but also getting fat. So I don't show anyone my naked body and my hair wet, which is as thin as my wallet.
A: Oh, come on! Don't worry about those things. By the way, why is it OK for you to do winter sports?
B: Because I can have on a lot of clothes and a hat or a helmet in order to hide my ashamed parts.
A: ha-ha... ROFL. But I can't stand cold weather. Maybe I can't make it if you ask me to do the sports together - such as skiing, snowboarding. I love summer sports - such as scuba diving and paragliding.
B: Aren't afraid of heights and water?
A: No. I don't mind them. Have you ever tried them?
B: No never. I'm not afraid of heights, either. So I've tried bungee jumping several times. Would you like to try it?
A: No, not really.
B: Why not?
A: To tell the truth..... I'm worried about getting bald as you.
B: Heeey, you don't look getting bald. And also, what relations are there between getting bald and bungee jumping?
A: Actually... I'm really worried about coming off my WIG due to the strong wind when bungee jumping!
B: Wow! You're wearing a WIG! I've never noticed that for a long time!
A: But the wig is super great. It's OK to get soaked.
B: Awesome! I was wondering if you could tell me where I can buy the one. And then I'd like to do summer sports with you, Mr. m(_ _)m
A: That's more like it! (^o^)/


* New Words

snap : to break with a sudden sharp noise, or to make something break with a sudden sharp noise
encourage : to give someone the courage or confidence to do something
trapeze : a short bar hanging from two ropes high above the ground, used by acrobats
disposal : when you get rid of something (ex.)bomb disposal experts
quadruple : four times as big or as many
somersault : a movement in which someone rolls or jumps forwards or backwards so that their feet go over their head before they stand up again
plunge : to move, fall, or be thrown suddenly forwards or downwards
spectator : someone who is watching an event or game
despite = in spite of
death-defying : a death-defying action is very dangerous
cage : a structure made of wires or bars in which birds or animals can be kept
blow : an action or event that causes difficulty or sadness for someone (ex.)body blow
senseless : happening or done for no good reason or with no purpose
swallow : to make food or drink go down your throat and towards your stomach
regain : to get something back, especially an ability or quality, that you have lost [= recover]
overall : considering or including everything
landmine : a bomb hidden in the ground that explodes when someone walks or drives over it
grenade : a small bomb that can be thrown by hand or fired from a gun
glamorous : attractive, exciting, and related to wealth and success
assessment : a process in which you make a judgment about a person or situation, or the judgment you make
seasick : feeling ill when you travel in a boat, because of the movement of the boat in the water
glide : to move smoothly and quietly, as if without effort
bounce: if a ball or other object bounces, or you bounce it, it immediately moves up or away from a surface after hitting it

* Others(Tips etc.)

some similar phrases(be scared of, be terrified of, be afraid of)
S+(be willing to)+do : It's OK for S to do and S don't have no reason to not want to do it.
I could never do it. -> I cou neva do it.
Better you than me. : You are better than me.
when it's over : when it finishes
You're as white as a sheet = extremely pale

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Infinitive

July 17th, 2006

Sometimes simple questions bother me...

I found out a strange sentence for me in my dictionary when I was looking up the meaning of the word "be willing to". According to the dictionary, it means "prepared to do something, or having no reason to not want to do it". I can understand what it means, but had a little bit strange feeling after looking at the part, "to not want to do it".
In Japan, most English language teachers teach the children of their nation that the negation of "to infinitive(to不定詞 futeishi)" should be written down as "not to do". That's why I felt a little bit strange feeling at that time. After that, I searched out the correct usage of the negation with some search engines on the net - such as Google and Yahoo!, and realized that the form of "to not do" is correct in many cases and the Japanese education is wrong.
I'm so lucky because I could make sense of the correct English grammar thanks to my English-English dictionary.

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