Tuesday, February 28, 2006

We did it !

February 28, 2006

Yesterday we operated the freshly reorganized production line in our factory for about 10 hours. Yeah ! We did it ! It worked very well ! The production efficiency has increased around 10%. We can save time from now on ! Till last week we had to work at least 12 hours a day, but we actually expect the working time per day to be 10 or 11 hours. So I'll be able to take 2 days off over this weekend and be able to take lots of English lessons.... Wow ! Wait ! I forgot an important thing ! I have to attend the wedding of an ex-coworkers this Saturday ! I really have a bad memory... SO SORRY to forget that. m(_ _)m I'll surely attend the wedding ceremony on the day !

By the way, I've just studied an English phrase thanks to an e-mail magazine. That phrase is "I aced it !" Sounds cool to me ! So I've just changed the title of my previous article to it. I really wanted to shout out the phrase again in our factory yesterday, "We aced out !"

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Aced it !

February 25, 2006

It's an entrance exam season now in Japan, to enter high schools, colleges, or universities. I saw some English exams to enter public high schools in Osaka prefecture on yesterday's morning paper, so I tried answering the questions. Hooray ! I could answer almost all of them correctly ! I aced it ! It's too easy for me ? haha... Anyway, I've just acquired confidence to teach my eldest son English, who is going to enter a junior high school this April. He will take exams to enter a high school someday, so I'll be able to help him. :-)

Today I took off some machines from the production line in our factory with my younger brother and the maker staffs of the machines. And then the staffs carried them to their factory in order to improve the ability. Today's work luckily finished earlier than I expected, so I went to the English school that I usually take some English lessons in order to take some free conversation English classes after a long time this afternoon. It's a good stress release way for me to have a chat in English. :-) Some teachers and students made me relaxed so much. Thanks a lot !

Tomorrow we have to set up the improved machines and have to test if they work well or not. I really wish from my heart they work very well.....

Friday, February 24, 2006

Pull one's leg

February 24, 2006

I studied myself a phrase a couple of days ago when I was typing an email to one of my friends. When someone say to me some jokes, I always reply "You're kidding." I found out another phrase which expresses the same meaning. According to my dictionary, the phrase "pull someone's leg" means "kidding".
That's interesting ! There's a Japanese idiom like that, but the meaning is so different. When Japanese people say the phrase "pull someone's leg(足を引っ張る:あしをひっぱる)", it means "ruin someone's efforts", "disturb someone's working" or "cause trouble" in Japanese.

For instance:
An employee broke down a machine in our factory yesterday, so I had to work overtime due to his error ! It's been one of those days ! I really wanted to shout at him angrily, "Don't pull my leg !(足を引っ張るな!:あしをひっぱるな!)"

As a matter of fact, the employee often cause trouble("pull my leg" in Japanese) in the factory. That's why my legs are very long. Sorry, just kidding. I have a Japanese typical figure, short legs and a long trunk. haha.

By the way, I had a steak for my last night's dinner as the following picture. But the steak was very thin because it was really very cheap one ! It was as thin as my hair. (ToT)

a steak

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

SNS - mixi

February 22, 2006

Do you know what SNS is ?

a screenshot of mixiSNS stands for "Social Networking Site". It's been one of the most popular Internet services in Japan lately, especially "mixi(みくしぃ)" is the No.1 SNS in Japan. Actually, I have an account of it, but I don't access it these days due to my busy job.
Aditionally, I know "Myspace.com" is the most popular SNS in the States. I also have an account of it; however, I rarely access it because I suppose the UI(user interface) is a little confusing and there're so many advertisements on the site.
When I had more spare time, I would often access the site of mixi. I have many nice friends on it. We sometimes exchange our opinion on our respective diaries and some communities. I participate in lots of communities - such as "English Only" and "Sushi". There're so many native English speakers on mixi even though the site is built in Japanese. I guess they are very interested in Japan. As a matter of fact, I got to know some friends on it, who are native English speakers. I'm still tied up with my work as I posted recently on this site. I have to reduce the time of surfing on the Net in order to work so hard and to have the time of my English study. That's why I don't access mixi these days. I'm sad not to see all my friends on it. But, I'll get back to mixi as soon as this busy season has finished.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Reorganizing, Make conversation

February 20, 2006

I'm still tied up with my work. We have to operate our machinery so hard(at least 12 hours a day) weekdays in order to manufacture tons of our products. On the other hand, we have considered how to increase the production efficiency(生産効率, せいさんこうりつ) for a couple of weeks. So we finally decided to reorganize reorganize our production line this Saturday and this Sunday(on Feb. 25 and 26) even though those days are usually our days off. One of those days ! Of course our employee is going to take his days off on the days.(We have just an employee. Our factory is sort of a family company.) I have to reorganize it with the maker of the machinery and my younger brother. We hate to spend any extra money, so our employee is really very lucky, I suppose. :-)


By the way, If you have been studying English language, what are you doing for your study when you have nothing particular(special) to do ? I always make some English conversation in my head when I have nothing to do - such as driving my forklift and taking a bath. I think it's a good way to improve my skill.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sukiyaki party

February 19, 2006

I had a sukiyaki(すき焼き, すきやき) party with my friends, their families, and my family at home yesterday as the following pictures.

beef cooking sukiyaki
sukiyaki my friends
my friends, my wife and me my friends and me

They really look delicious, right ? :-)
One of my friends lives in Kobe, so he brought some kobe beef, very expensive beef in Japan, for the party. Exactly delicious ! I had a super great time ! I'm very lucky to have such a nice friend.

I'm kind of a strange Japanese, so I spoke to my friends and their families in English when they got to my house, though, all today's guests are native Japanese speakers. :-p

I spoke to them:
Hello, you guys ! Long time no see ! How have you been ? Oh, I heard from you that your daughter, Miki-chan, was sick yesterday. Hi, Miki-chan ! Are you OK now ? Are you feeling better ? You fine ? Sounds good ! Come on in and let's have sukiyaki !

They laughed out and rolled their eyes. haha.

By the way, I know another meaning of the word "beef" and the meaning of "beefy". Since I ate a lot of beef last evening, I would be much beefier ! I actually want to be a "beef".
"a beef" - a slang word that means "a guy who has a lot of muscle(brawn)".

In addition, I've ever learned the following phrases before.
Those are sort of my practice:
Actually, I'd rather have yakiniku(焼肉, やきにく), which means "Korean barbecued beef", than sukiyaki.
I prefer steak to(rather than) sukiyaki.
I'd prefer not to have the sukiyaki that cooked by using chicken instead of beef.

(I would often have it when I was a little child, because beef used to be one of the most expensive foods in those days. So my mother had used chicken instead of beef sometimes when she cooked sukiyaki.)

Today I had to take some English lessons even though I had a hangover(二日酔い, ふつかよい). :-p

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Friday, February 17, 2006

My daughter's birthday

February 17, 2006

my daughter and a chocolate cakeMy daughter's birthday is February 15...... Holly cow ! I forgot posting about her birthday on my blog ! She's just reached the age of five. We had a small party for her at home on the day. Since she likes chocolate cake so much, my wife bought a chocolate cake for her. For me, tasted a little too sweet because I got some chocolate from my wife as a present of Valentine's Day. (In Japan, it's common that women present men some chocolate on Valentine's Day. It's said that the custom is a strategy planned by candy shops.) I had to have such sweet foods for two days in a row.

By the way, my daughter will present her boyfriend some chocolate on February 14 in the future. But she will soon be able to receive something good from him, because her birthday is February 15. :-)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006


February 15, 2006

There are no wrinkles on (the surface of) one's brains.
(のうみそにしわがない。Noumiso ni siwa ga nai.)

Do you understand what I mean ? It's a Japanese common saying and means "stupid." It's similar to the slang word, "airhead", I think. Sorry to post such a filthy(rude or dirty) slang word. :-)
In Japan, it's said that the wrinkles on brains make people smart and clever. So if there were no wrinkles on someone's brains, the person would be unsmart. Of course there never are such people, though. :-p

I actually heard from a Japanese female student on the last English free conversation class that she's always worried about her crow's feet(the wrinkles/lines/creases at the outer corners of her eyes) though she's so young. I came up with the idea of posting this article then.

Monday, February 13, 2006


February 13, 2006

I have to say "So sorry" to an English teacher and a Japanese female student, who sometimes take some English lessons with me. But I think they would probably allow me because the teacher is a very nice and friendly guy and the student knows my personality.

Let me tell about the reason I have to say "So sorry."

I took some free conversation classes last Saturday. The teacher likes having hot dog(American food), so a Japanese male student asked the teacher, "How many hot dogs do you usually have ?" I forget what he replied...
Then I came up with a joke. I asked the teacher, "How many hot girls do you usually have ?" , though it's still afternoon, and though there was a female student in the room. Oops ! What a dirty question ! I noticed I asked such a stupid question after that, but it's too late. I was so embarrassed. (ToT)
Do you understand what I mean ? The word, "hot", is a slang word for "sexy", isn't it ? :-)

Let me introduce a Japanese idiom instead of apologizing.

I've just written, "It's too late." as above. I can also write like this, "I noticed I asked such a stupid question with the wisdom of hindsight." Japanese idiom, "後の祭り(あとのまつり ato no matsuri)", is very similar to the phrases, "it's too late." and "the wisdom of hindsight." My explanation is probably correct....

Sunday, February 12, 2006


February 12, 2006

my daughter and her pianoMy daughter often practices her playing the piano at home. It sounds tender and sweat to me. And the figure definitely looks so cute. And she's actually a considerate girl, I think. She always kisses me before I go to work and before she goes to bed. haha...
She usually takes some piano lessons at a piano school in front of the nearest station from my house on Monday evening. Many of Japanese girls take piano lessons since they are little. I don't know if it's common in the world.

By the way, I'm luckily and unusually fine today ! Actually, I'm always extreme tired due to the hard working at our factory. But I'm so fine today because I was able to take a catnap this afternoon after a long time. In my case, taking a nap is a good way to keep my health. On the other hand, it sounds rude to often take a nap, right ? :-) Since I occasionally take it, I've just noticed that I'm not rude. :-p

I've just studied some new words on today's regular lesson. I challenged a high level lesson because the staff of the English school that I usually take some lessons recommended me to take it. It was too difficult for me ! But it was amusing. :-) What ? You ask, "Why was it amusing even though it was too difficult ?", don't you ? The reason is very simple. I could take it with 2 nice women.... That's why it was amusing. haha... Just kidding. :-)

Today's new words:

isolated incident

I can imagine the meanings of some words - such as "impatient" and "disrespectful". Because I know the meanings of "patient" and "respect".

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My business

February 11, 2005

Let me introduce my business to you today. I'm a factory worker, you probably know. The factory is a kind of textile mills to recycle chemical fiber. Our machinery can take out tons of chemical fiber from nonwoven materials - such as rejected carpets and used ones made from polyester or polypropylene. Our industry is good for the global environment, especially effective against the global warming, I think.
Our product, recycled chemical fiber, is mostly used for levee(bank) construction in order not to break easily. And it's also used for the insulators which are inside cars to reduce the noise of cars' engines, and used for beds or mats to be springy.

Do you understand what I mean ? I'm not sure my explanation is correct. :-)
It's too difficult for me to explain correctly about my business. But I want to build our factory's web site in English some day...

By the way, I've just studied some new English phrases as the following.

It's none of my business.(俺の知ったことではない。 - おれのしったことではない。ore no shitta koto dehanai.)
It's been one of those days.(ついていない日だ。うまくいかない日だ。- ついていないひだ。うまくいかないひだ。 tsuiteinai hi da. umaku ikanai hi da.)

Only easy words ! But so useful for me. Let me practice !

If my wife often get angry against me, it's none of my business. :-p
I had to do maintenance on our machinery to be trouble-free this morning even though it's my off day today. It's been one of those days !

Could someone correct me if I'm wrong ? m(_ _)m
The face mark, m(_ _)m, means bowing one's head(おじぎ ojigi) in Japan. The character, "m", is one of one's hands. The characters, "(_ _)", is one's head with closing one's eyes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


February 9, 2005

How old do you think I am ?

As a matter of fact, I'm sometimes looked young for my age. Some people say I look about 35 years old. But my real age is 43, though....
When I was drinking some beer at a bar last week, an Australian lady told me I looked 32 or 33 years old. Sounds so young ! (^o^)/

a little baldI came up with a great joke at that time !
I told her, "It's a proof I'm 43 years old !" , with pointing the top of my head. :-)
She laughed out ! I'm so happy whenever my any jokes are understood.

However, most Japanese people look young for western people. I think it's why I was looked so young then. haha....

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Short-circuit and a phrase

February 8, 2006

The cutting machine in our factory shorted out this Monday. When my younger brother was trying to fix the emergency stop button of the machine, it suddenly caught fire ! Sounds exactly dangerous, right ? I went get some fire extinguishers immediately. But it was "no big deal."

Actually, I've just studied the phrase, "no big deal", thanks to one of my American friends. I sent him an email to apologize for little things. Then he replied, "don't worry. no big deal." The phrase is very easy but useful for a low level learner of English like me. Thanks a lot, Mr.F ! Talk to you soon !
To tell the truth, I'm not worried about my poor vocabulary. It's more important for me to catch on a lot of phrases than increasing my vocabulary. I cannot speak many difficult English words, but can try to explain what I want to say with easy words instead. The purpose I study English isn't for exams. I'd like to have a chat smoothly in it. My vocabulary will naturally increase as long as I continue to study English... Maybe.... Just my opinion. haha.

Anyway we spent about 3 hours to repair the cutting machine this Monday. We had to work 14 hours on the day. (ToT)

Let me introduce our cutting machine to you. :-)
The machine has 2 cutter blades and can cut off about 500 kilograms materials an hour, which are textiles to recycle, by rotating the blades so fast.

a cutting machine
I had curry and rice for my breakfast. It was so delicious on the second day after making. :-) Oops ! I have to leave home right now ! It's time to work !

Monday, February 06, 2006

Keep going !

February 6, 2006

One of my American friends is leaving Japan tomorrow. The last party was held last Saturday. The finished time was around 5 am. When I got home around 8 am, my wife got so angry of course. :-p We often quarrel each other but it's not so bad thing in my opinion. It's a good way to release our stress. haha. We'll never divorce....Maybe... Because we have a common sad thing. Actually, our second son died because of his terrible heart problem when he was 11 months old. We have to pray for him together as long as we live.

By the way, I think I'll be able to see the American friend again. I don't know why. Just my feeling. So I never say "BYE", just "See you".

I'll keep going ! Working at our textile mill and studying English SO HARD!

Saturday, February 04, 2006


February 4, 2006

It hurts ! I have a terrible backache. Actually, I have strained my lower back before. When I was repairing our machinery the day before yesterday, I felt a pain in my lower back. But I had to work so hard even though I had it. There aren't enough stocks of our product, recycled chemical fiber, in the warehouse of our mill.

By the way, I cannot see the difference between "a factory" and "a mill" due to my poor English skill. And also, between "a company" and "a firm", between "poll" and "vote". Let me ask my English teachers the questions today. :-)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Setsubun, an idiom

February 3, 2006

Do you know what day it is today ? It's Setsubun in Japan, which means the day between 2 seasons in Japanese. I think it's probably the lunar calendar last day of winter today.
Bean-throwing ceremony, which is called "mame-maki" in Japan, is done at home on the night of Setsubun. Japanese people scatter roasted soybeans inside and outside their houses in order to drive demons away and to bring them good fortune with shouts, "Fortune in, devils out." Then they eat the same number of beans as their age and wish for good health... Oops ! I have to eat 43 beans ! Too many ! Bean is "mame" in Japanese, and I've heard it also means "good health" before.
And also, they have some grilled sardines on Setsubun. Then they decorate the heads of sardines on the doorway of their house in order to ward off evil spirits. But many Japanese people don't decorate them nowadays because looks a little dirty.
In addition, nowadays they eat some not cut sushi rolls on Setsubun with turning their heads toward a lucky direction, which changes every year.

Ah ! I cannot explain this Japanese culture smoothly due to my poor English skill ! I have to look up lots of words in my dictionary ! I'm always irritated about my poor skill when I cannot explain my opinions in English !

By the way, I've just studied a new idiom, "wouldn't hurt a fly", which means "very gentle".
For example, "He is a nice guy; he wouldn't hurt a fly."
It sounds like a Japanese idiom ! Japanese people say, "wouldn't even kill a bug." - "Mushi mo korosanai(虫も殺さない - むしもころさない)." Very similar !
For example, "My wife looks never killing a bug, but she is really strict with me." haha... Does anyone knows my wife agree with my opinion ? :-p

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Additional purchase

February 2, 2006

Last Sunday I went to Rinku town, which is close to Kansai international airport, in order to see a staff of the English school which I usually take some English lessons on Saturday.
The staff asked me to buy some English lesson tickets last week. My remaining lesson tickets are about 30 points. I've thought of buying additional tickets this March. But the female staff asked me to get them before the month is out.(within January) I asked her why she was in a hurry because I didn't know the reason. I laughed out after listening to her explanation.
The business results of her school for this January was so bad. If the staffs weren't able to get results a lot more, they were called out to apologize to their manager and they have to be punished - such as writing some long reports to explain the reason of getting bad results and to develop how to get results from next month.
Though I laughed out at first, I felt sorry for her later even if her talk was a lie. (I think the talk isn't a lie. I know the English school's president is very strict.) Then I decided to get my additional tickets within January to help her. :-) Eventually I need to get them though there's no hurry. Anyway, I wanted to spend my money helpful if I do it at all. After that, she said to me a lot of times that she likes me. haha... Of course, I know it's sort of a sales talk. But I was glad to hear that because I haven't heard such sweet words for a long time. haha, again.... Was I tricked ??? No, no. I don't think so. She is really a nice girl. Maybe.... Perhaps... Probably... Uhm.... What's done is done ! Either way, I need to purchase the tickets.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New niece

February 1, 2006

My new niece was born early this morning ! Yes ! My younger brother's wife gave birth to a girl. He has just sent me an email about the news. Good job, my sister-in-law ! I'm so exciting !
Now, my brother has just been 3 children's father like me. Actually, the low birthrate in Japan is sort of a social problem nowadays. But I have 3 kids and my brother, too. We are really good citizens, right ? haha. So, Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi has to thank us, doesn't he ? (^o^)

Anyway I've not met my new niece yet. I'm really looking forward to meeting her. I bet she is so cute ! On the other hand, my brother didn't sleep well last night due to his wife's giving birth. So, I decided not to work at our factory today even though we are still so busy and have lots of orders from our customers.