Monday, January 30, 2006

Come out of the blue

January 30, 2006

I studied a new idiom, come out of the blue, by chance last Saturday. It's interesting ! It sounds similar to Japanese idiom, 青天のへきれき(せいてんのへきれき - seiten no hekireki). And they have the same meaning ! The meaning is unexpected surprise, right ? Though there are so many differences between English and Japanese, they have a lot in common. I always get excited whenever I find such interesting things in English.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Shout out !

January 29, 2006

Last night there was a farewell party at the neighboring town of my city. One of our American friends is leaving Japan at the beginning of next month. About 20 people attended the party. It's the proof of he's exactly a nice guy, I suppose.
We had lots of foods and beer at a beer hall in front of Izumisano station close to Kansai international airport. Then we went to a karaoke bar. I shouted out so loud when I sang Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's favorite song, "Forever Love". The burned calories was about 20 kcals ! I'm still a young man !?
I had at least 10 mugs of beer last night, if I remember correctly. It seems a little too much for my tired liver. I felt a little headache when I got up this morning... It's sort of a hangover ?

Tonight I have to visit a bar in order to say thanks to the American friend again. The master of the bar is one of his best friends, so he's going to give a party for his friend at his bar. But I'm not going to drink alcohol there. Because I usually never drink alcohol every Sunday to make ready for this week's work and go to bed around 10 pm. In addition, I'll have to drive a car tonight. Though I don't know why I automatically wake up around 4 or 5 am on weekdays, it might be a good way to keep my health and surf on the Net comfortably. It's the reason I go to bed early at the previous days I have to work.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Get married

January 26, 2006

I've just got an email from one of my ex-coworkers, who lives in Tokyo and works for a computer service company. Actually I used to work for the company until 2001 and would often go for a drink after work with him.
His email extremely surprised me ! He's going to get married this April ! Yes ! He's actually still single even though he is almost the same age as me. (I'm 43 years old...) I'm worried if he is a gay or not.... haha. I'm just kidding, of course.
By the way, he's getting married with an nurse ! Wow ! Sounds terrific ! I'm jealous !

The email is exactly the first nice surprise of this year for me. And also, I'll be able to get on a plane, see my ex-coworkers, and visit Tokyo after a long time. I'll have a great time with the other ex-coworkers in Tokyo. I can't wait !

Congratulations on your engagement ! > Mr.M

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

TV appearance - an artist

January 25, 2006

There was a nice TV program this morning. One of my friends, who is a great rattan(cane) artist, appeared in the TV show. I haven't talked to her face to face before, but we occasionally exchange some emails. We got to know each other on "mixi", the most popular SNS in Japan. (SNS stands for Social Networking Site.)
She is a nice woman how I'd pictured !

Many of her works were introduced on the show. I know some of them. All of them are very interesting arts. She's definitely one of the greatest artists in Japan !

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Runny nose

January 24, 2006

I might catch a cold again. I actually caught a terrible one at the end of last year. But I don't think this feeling is a cold. I have a runny nose and my eyes feel a little itchy. It might be a sort of allergy. I sometimes have cedar pollen allergy but it's unusual and too early for this time of year to have the allergy. According to the pollen information of weather report, there're no cedar pollens in Osaka. That's funny... I bet I use tons of tissues to blow my nose tonight.

Anyway it's extremely cold ! But I'm a perverse person, so I'll loudly shout out "That's a brisk breeze !" against the cold weather tomorrow !

Monday, January 23, 2006

Self-sealing tires

January 23, 2006

our forkliftThe self-sealing tires have just been put in our forklift today. We ordered them a month ago because the tires are often punctured. They're never punctured since they are made of only rubber and no air inside them. They are much more expensive than normal tires. For cheap us, it's unusual purchase. hahaha.

Sometimes there's a bit of waste metal in the fiber material to recycle. It's why the tires are often punctured. We considered about the problem each time we fix them because it seems like waste of time. Then we decided to buy the new tires even if they are very expensive. We'll be able to save the time thanks to the self-sealing tires ! On the other hand, the forklift became uncomfortable and tough ride. (ToT) Because there's no air inside the tires.....

Sunday, January 22, 2006


January 22, 2006

One of my friends, who is a nice American guy, is going to leave Japan soon. Next weekend the party for him is going to be held at a bar. I'm not sure if I can make it on the day because nowadays I'm very busy. So I'll maybe show my face for a short time even though I'm not able to drink alcohol on the day. Because I'll have to go to the bar by my car.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Interesting podcasting

January 20, 2006

One of my friends who lives in Toyama prefecture of Japan has an interesting blog, even though it's written in only Japanese.
She always posts lots of amusing and useful information on her blog, especially her podcasting. She sometimes podcasts about Toyama dialect of Japan.

If you are interested in the dialect of Japan, I recommend you to access and listen to it. I always have fun with listening to it. Thanks a lot, my friend ! I'll someday try podcasting like you if I'll have more spare time. I actually have to get used to speaking English before that.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Oil shower Again ?

January 19, 2006

The oil machine of our factory broke... My brother and I have to repair it next Saturday but our employees are taking their day off. We hate spending any extra money, so usually don't order them to work on their holidays. I'm afraid of taking an oil shower again ! Actually I've taken it before. That was exactly awful !
By the way I usually take some English lessons every Saturday morning, however, I'm not able to take them the day after tomorrow. I'm going to take them next Sunday morning instead.

I'm tied up !

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


January 18, 2006

Today I worked so hard ! 14 hours ! Sounds awful ! When I was a computer system engineer, I would often work from 12 hours to 14 hours a day. But my former job was a kind of deskwork. It's too hard for me to work 14 hours a day as a factory worker. I possibly just get old....haha.

By the way, when you were a child, what kind of housework had you ever helped before ? I used to clean up the house before getting off to school. And I would often work from 2 hours to 4 hours a day at my father's factory after school.
In my opinion, today's Japanese children should help around their house a lot more. My eldest son, 12 years old, clean up the bath everyday before getting off to school. It's sort of children discipline and necessary so that they grow up rightly. Because they can study that working is responsibility of everyone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Google in trouble ?

January 17, 2005

I think the site of Google was funny this morning.
I tried to connect up to the web site so as to research something related to my job. But I wasn't able to connect. Something was wrong.... So I researched it on the site of Yahoo! Japan instead.

Then I checked out the ranking of our factory web site on Yahoo! Japan in passing. Wow ! The ranking when searching with a technical word has moved up ! Great ! It's a result of the SEO that I've ever given to our site.

Thanks Yahoo! Japan ! But, your blog service in Japan is absolutely awful.

Monday, January 16, 2006

A terrible mistake - I'll never go.

January 16, 2006

I've just found my terrible mistake in the e-mail which I sent one of my friends the day before yesterday !

I told him that I might go to the bar which a New Year party was going to be held on the day, and I was about to go there. But I decided not to go there because I wanted to have dinner with family. Actually, nowadays I'm not able to have it with my family on weekdays due to my recent busy job.
So I told him in an e-mail, "I want to have dinner with my family today. So I'll never go. Sorry." But I should have told, "I won't go today.", I think. The sentence, "I'll never go.", means "I decided not to go in the rest of my life.", right ?
I have to apologize to him, however, I think he will excuse me because he knows I'm still an English beginner.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Eat a horse ?

January 15, 2006

I've found an interesting English phrase on the Net. It's "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse." Wow ! I've never heard such a phrase before. Sounds a little scary. But I occasionally eat some sliced raw meat of horse. I like it ! :-) When I visited Kumamoto prefecture in Japan, I had tons of sliced raw meat of horse, which is a very popular food there. However, I cannot eat a horse because it's too much for everyone to eat a whole horse, of course.
In addition, I found another phrase, "You eat like a horse."

I guess a horse was one of the biggest animals in English-speaking countries. On the other hand, they never eat horse and horses eat so much. I suppose that's why these phrases were exaggeratedly generated.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Kinds of crab

January 14, 2006

Today I took some English lessons today at the school which I usually take them. I told an American teacher that I bought some queen crabs the day before yesterday from one of my friends, who got to know each other on mixi, which is the most popular SNS in Japan. (SNS stands for Social Networking Site.)
But he wasn't able to understand what I said because he's never heard the word "queen crabs" before. In the USA, they say "snow crabs" instead of saying "queen crabs".

Queen crabs and snow crabs are called Zuwaigani in Japanese. But they are also called Echizengani or Matsubagani. It depends on the locality to call them which one.
And also king crabs are called Tarabagani in Japan.

By the way, let me tell you a kind of joke. :-)

Do you know blue crabs, which are called Watarigani in Japanese ? They are sometimes called swimming crabs. On the other hand, my children usually take some swimming lessons at a swimming club on Saturday. Well, it's difficult for me to pronounce correctly any English words. So I'm always worried about my mistakes - such as "My children often take some swimming lessons at a swimming crab." What ? That sounds too funny ! :-p

The photos of king crabs
The photos of snow crabs
The photos of blue crabs

Friday, January 13, 2006

Pollution by pigeons

January 13, 2006

I hate pigeons ! Because they often leave their poop in the warehouse of our factory !
They often bother my father, my brother, and me, especially my father always get upset due to his short temper.
Recently we have tried lots of methods in order to drive them away, but we haven't been able to do that.
Today I researched how to drive away the pigeons on the Internet. I've found a method to do that. According to a web site, you can drive them away easily by using strong magnets. Birds can know the direction they want to fly with magnetic force, can't they ? So I ordered some strong magnets which are called "Birds Killer" on an Internet shopping mall. We're going to try them next week. Of course we can return the goods within 8 days from the date of purchase if they don't work well.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Let sleeping dogs lie

January 12, 2006

I've just studied an idiom on the Internet. It's "let sleeping dogs lie". Sounds interesting ! In Japan, we have very similar idiom to that. It's "let sleeping babies lie". I suppose this Japanese idiom has the same meaning of the English one. Amusing !

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Female queen crab

January 11, 2006

female queen crabI've heard from one of my e-mail friends, who manages a fish wholesale firm, that yesterday was the last day of female queen crabs fishing. Since I haven't actually had them in this season yet, I asked him to send me a number of the crabs ! I paid afterward the cost of them through a bank transfer , of course.
My daughter shouted out when she's looked at them, because she's crazy about sea food very much - such as crab and sea bream. They tasted really great ! Thanks, my friend !

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

New Year's Writing - Kakizome

January 10, 2006

kakizomeYesterday, my third son tried Kakizome, special New Year calligraphy, at the calligraphy class which he usually take on Tuesday. In Japanese, "calligraphy" is called "Syodo".
Although he is only 7 years old, did a great job ! ... It's just in my opinion. :-)

Some Japanese people write Kakizome in order to express their New Year's resolutions.

By the way, today is the birthday of one of my friends. Happy birthday to Kei-chan ! But I don't know how old she has turned. No, no. I actually know how old she is. But it's dangerous for me to mention about her age. (^_^;)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Birthday, Ebessan

January 9, 2006

It's my 43rd birthday today. I've got old.... But I think I'm still a young man. he-he.
In Japan, it's also a national holiday, Coming-of-Age Day. It celebrates young people who have just reached the age of 20 as new members of society. In Japan, from the age of 20, people have the right to vote, drink alcohol, and smoke. Actually, Japanese government, in 2000, changed this holiday to the second Monday of January so that people can have a long weekend. So my birthday isn't always the same day as Coming-of-Age Day. :-)

Shito shrineShito shrineShito shrine

Shito altarAnd also, in Osaka, the days from January 9 to 11 are called "The Days of Ebessan". "Ebessan" is a Shinto god for business, so lots of Osaka people go to Shinto shrines in order to pray for their success in business. Of course I went to the Shinto shrine which is in my hometown, too. Most of the visitors buy a lucky charm made of bamboo, then decorate it on their household Shinto altar.
If you can access web sites written in Japanese, please click the following link.

IMAMIYA EBISU Shinto shrine in Osaka city - a very famous Shinto shrine.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Nice dream !

January 8, 2006

Yesterday, I took some English lessons after a long time. I haven't been speaking English for 2 weeks. So my brains didn't work well first, even though I've been writing my English diary all that time. In addition, I had to maintain the machinery of our factory, and had to send our customers a lot of our products on the morning.
I always prepare to attend my English classes in order to change my brains into English mode. But I didn't have enough time to change them. I was so embarrassed at the lesson.
After 2 regular English lessons, I took much longer free-talking English lessons than the usual ones I take. I was so irritated with my tough brains. I wasn't able to catch most of the English words which some teachers said. (>_<)
After the English lessons, I went for a drink to a bar. I had some beer and a good time there. Then I left the bar to catch the last train home. I was able to catch it but there're no taxies at the nearest station from my house. Oh, my dear ! So I had to walk home and it took about 30 minutes. Terrible ! But it's a good way to keep my health though. :-p

But there was a great thing last night !

The dream I dreamed last night was terrific ! In the dream, I was talking with some native English speakers. Of course, in English ! Great ! I was very lucky to take lots of English lessons in the dream ! (#^.^#)
Actually, I have a little headache now. I'm not sure it's caused by drinking too much or by using my brains too much. :-p

Friday, January 06, 2006


January 6, 2005

Excuse... I'll post about my work again today. m(_ _)m

After today's work, my younger brother and I discussed the issues of our factory today in order to avoid mechanical problems as far as possible. And then we decided to call the maker of the machinery tomorrow and to adjust it better. It's a kind of maintenance. So we have to work tomorrow morning even if it's Saturday, our holiday, tomorrow. And also we have to send 14 tons of our products, recycled fiber, on the same day.
And now, I have a little muscle pain. It's maybe caused by working after a week interval. I felt getting old, however, I've heard that it's the proof of being young to have such a pain soon after taking exercise. So I might be younger than I think and I also need to do the maintenance of my body. :-p

By the way....I might catch a cold again..... I'm feeling a little bad and fevered. But I have to work and to take some English lessons tomorrow. They are truly my responsibility, right ? :-) I'm going straight to bed. Good night.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Working !

January 5, 2005

It's the first day of this year's working today. The manufacturing line of our factory didn't work well first. I guess 7 days off is generally too long vacation for machinery like us. We aren't in no mood to work after too long vacation, too. :-p
It depends on the person or the machinery if 7 days off is too long or not, though. :-)
After some problems, we eventually managed today's work. The work was a kind of test. So we didn't have to work so hard today. But We'll have to work harder from tomorrow.

Actually, I got a little fat due to eating delicious foods too much on New Year's Holidays. Anyway, it's up to the hard work to get my weight down.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Driving license

January 4, 2005

My birthday is January 9. I had to go to a police office until February 9 in order to renew my driving license. I've never caused any traffic accidents and never violated any traffic regulations for 5 years. So I got the new one whose the term of validity is 5 years. In Japan, it's called a golden license. If I have caused the accidents or violated the regulations, I would have to take a couple of hours of course and the term of validity would be 3 years. I got the golden license through the efforts of driving safely. Safely ? No no. I've actually violated some regulations before of course. But I've never got any traffic tickets for the term. I was just lucky, right ? ha-ha.

By the way, I'm confused about the articles and plural form of English once again nowadays. I feel that I'm still a beginner of English. :-)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Visit Sumiyoshi Taisya

January 3, 2005

sumiyoshi-taisya-1I have nothing to do today but my children wanted me to take them somewhere. So my wife and I decided to go out. It's the 3rd of January today. I'd like to visit somewhere is appropriate for New Year. There is a very famous Shinto shrine in Osaka prefecture we live. It's called "Sumiyoshi Taisya" and known for one of the most time-honored Shito shrines in Japan.
We got on a train for a change. When we go out, we usually drive sumiyoshi-taisya-2out by my family car.

We left home around ten thirty. But I thought we should have left much earlier because it's too crowded there.
There were so many street stalls there as if a carnival. My third son tried to play smartball which used to be played as a kind of gamble in Japan a long time ago.
Anyway, I thought we might as well go out somewhere when we have nothing to do home.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Visit My Wife's Home Town

January 2, 2006

This is the second day of January. I'm visiting the house of my parents-in-law. I'm about to leave home. We usually visit there on the second day of January for New Year's greeting.
I always get tense when visiting their house. I suppose most people are the same as me. :-)
But I'll be able to have a lot of excellent dishes there. Yes ! They always serve us lots of delicious foods when we visit them. It's much appreciated if they would do it as always.
Of course, I have to take care myself not to drink too much. :-p

By the way, I've just studied a new phrase of New Year's greeting.

"May the new year bring you happiness ! "

It's a kind of optative sentences in written English, isn't it ?

When I greet someone in spoken English, I should say like the followings, right ?

"I wish you every happiness."
"I wish you a happy new year."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year !

January 1, 2006

hatsumodeI went to a Shinto shrine, which is in my city, with my family by car. It's not so far from my house but we were in a hurry because we had to greet some guests today.
There were many people there. I guess there are more people than last year. The reason there are so many people there is good weather.

By the way, many Japanese people visit a Shito shrine during the first 3 days of January in order to wish for their health and happiness. It's called hatsumode, the first visit to a shrine.

Then I came home and greeted my younger brother's family as our first guest. We had a lot of delicious foods at home - such as osechi-ryori. Of course, we had alcohol so much. :-p

osechiOsechi-ryori are Japanese traditional dishes which are had during the first three days of January. Most of them are prepared on New Year's Eve and cooked in order to be preserved for at least three days. So women don't have to cook during all that time. The dishes have several auspicious meanings. For example, kazunoko, herring roe, represents the prosperity of our posterity.

Have a nice New Year to everyone !