Sunday, May 28, 2006

Takoyaki Party

May 28th, 2006

A takoyaki(タコ焼き たこやき) party was held at the bar yesterday which I occasionally go get a drink. Takoyaki is sort of octopus dumpling. We tried to make some strange takoyaki. They weren't exactly real takoyaki, maybe strange dumpling. We put some kinds of foods in the dumpling instead of octopus - such as cheese, umeboshi(梅干 うめぼし pickled plum), rice cake. I've just remembered I posted similar article on this blog last year. Here is the article.

Some of my friends, including some of my American friends, attended the party. We had a huge amount of strange dumpling and a good time! The party was held at the bar about which I've posted. Here is the details of the bar.

And also, here is the details of takoyaki.

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Saturday, May 27, 2006

Real Reason of Windows Vista delay

May 27th, 2006

It's said that the release of Windows Vista, which is the next version of Microsoft Windows, is apparently late. And MS delayed it many times. I really don't know the real reason of it, but I guess it's late due to Apple Computer, Inc. I don't mean Apple disturbs MS, don't get me wrong. :) Apple released new Macintosh with Intel chip as you know. After that, MS is required to refine Windows Vista, I guess.

Actually, I used to be a computer programmer of the OS which is designed for an embedded device. From my point of view, Windows looked so heavy even though most of PCs are installed fast CPUs, plus the reliability used to be very poor. On the other hand, MacOS X is based on UNIX and used to be the OS for NextStep. It was brought to Apple by Steven Jobs when he came back to Apple, if my memory serves me correctly.

To be honest, the design of MacOS X is more excellent than the one of Windows, as an ex-programmer for OS. If the performance of Windwos Vista is poorer than the one of MacOS X, it's the proof MS designed wrong. Because both OSs should be able to be installed in the same hard ware environment.

I suppose the designers of Windows Vista are trying in a mad rush to refine it in order to achieve the performance as well or better than Macintosh with intel chip. That's the real reason of Windows Vista delay. haha. Just kidding.

I'm personally worried about the security of Windows Vista, because I guess they are arranging the kernel of Windows in order to speed up. If so, I'll have to wait and see for a while, and I'll never buy it until they release "Service Pack 2 for Windows Vista". hehe.

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Friday, May 26, 2006

Before Breakfast

May 26th, 2006

I found out some interesting English idioms - such as "No sweat." and "It's a piece of cake." Sounds exactly interesting to me.
The meaning of those idioms is "a thing that is very easy to do", according to OALD. In Japan they say, "Before breakfast.(朝飯前 あさめしまえ asameshi mae)" It means that they are able to do the thing easily even though they are so hungry - such as "before breakfast".

Anyway I'll try to talk about those idioms in the next English lesson I intend to take this evening. :)

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Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Hooray! Holly cow!

May 23th, 2006

I often use "Gmail", the free Internet email service provided by Google, in English edition to practice.
It offers us a powerful spam filter, so most of spam emails are sorted automatically into the spam folder of my email box.
When I pressed the button of "Delete forever" to delete all spam emails, the following message always comes up on the screen.

"Hooray, no spam here!"
According to my dictionary, "Hooray!" means similar to "Great!" "I'm so happy!" as an exclamation. Hmm... interesting. Let me write a composition with the word.

My wife: Papa, I'm going to my home town with our kids in order to see my parents this Sunday. Can you stay at home?
Me: Hooray! I've never been happier! I'm going to be single on the day!
My wife: Don't cheat on me with another woman!
Me: Yes, sir....

And also, I've seen the word "Holly cow!" before. It apparently means similar to "Oh, my god!". Anyway, I'll write another composition....

My wife: Sorry, papa. My parents are busy this Sunday. We are staying at home with you.
Me: Holly cow! I was about to make a nice plan to spend my free time on the day.
My wife: What? A nice plan? What's that?
Me: The plan is.... Oops! I have to go to work right away. See you, mama!
My wife: Hold on! Don't escape from me!

If these sentences aren't interesting, give me a break. :)

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Google Video

May 22th, 2006

According to some news web sites, Google has just released "Google Video" to the public, but they require us to have a Google account to try it. It's said that they used to release it to only journalists(newspeople).
It supports almost all formats of videos. Actually, the videos which I take with my cell phone are saved as ASF format. I tried to upload some videos on it as a test.

Please have a look at the following video, but I'm speaking Japanese in it, though. :)

According to some people who know so well about Internet services, YouTube is more popular than Google Video.

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Saturday, May 20, 2006

Checkup, Massage

May 20th, 2006

Our busy season ended last month as I posted the other day. But my brother and I are worried about our health because we had to work our fingers to the bone. So we decided to take a checkup a couple of weeks ago.
Today we went into a hospital for a complete physical(medical) examination(checkup). There wasn't a long line in the waiting lounge, so we was able to take it as soon as we arrived.

The doctor told me I didn't have any serious problems so far, but I have to wait for the results of my blood test and barium contrast x-ray for my stomach. After that, the doctor gave me some laxative pills to exhaust(discharge?) the barium I had a lot. I exhausted a huge amount of s**t in 10 minutes. It looked white-ish and I did 4 times in 2 hours. It's called "diarrhea", isn't it ? Sorry to write such a dirty topic. :)

After the examination, I went for a massage. There's a nice relaxation space(shop) nearby. The hospital I took the checkup is next to the shopping mall in which my English school is, and the relaxation space is in front of the school. The reason I say it's a nice space is..... many young female masseurs! :) Feel great! Comfortable! Excellent! Amazing! Actually, I often have a stiff neck these days due to the bad flow of my blood. I had been tied up with my job till last month, so I didn't have time to go to donate my blood. I personally think blood donation is a good way to make the flow good and relieve stress, and also it's sort of my volunteer activity. In fact, I always never have a stiff neck for a while after blood donation. For me, blood donation isn't a way of "Getting 2 birds with one stone. (一石二鳥 いっせきにちょう)", it's a way of "Getting 3 birds with one stone(一石三鳥 いっせきさんちょう)". haha.

Friday, May 19, 2006


May 19, 2006

My English school staffs recommended me to take a TOEIC test the other day. But I haven't so far wanted to take any exams before. The reason I study English isn't for exams, it's for having good communications. Plus, if I take a TOEIC test, the result will depress me heavily. (^_^; In my case, study for exams is boring, not fun.

On the other hand, I'll take some TOEIC or TOEFL tests when I want to judge my ability. Of course I'm not going to prepare anything before the exams, in order to know how my real skills are. I don't know exactly when that time is. Looks so far.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Universal Studios Japan

May 16th, 2006

USJ objectI went to "Universal Studios Japan" with my family for the first time the day before yesterday(this past Sunday). One of my wife's acquaintances gave her some free tickets as a present.
USJ was built in Osaka, Japan 5 years ago, but I haven't visited there before. Because we live in Osaka, so I'd thought we could make it easily anytime.

The place wasn't as crowded as I expected. The longest waiting time was about one hour to see the attraction of "JAWS". We needed to wait for just about 20 minutes to see most of the attractions. I guess the reason we didn't need to wait so long was that the day was the Sunday right after Golden week holidays(holiday-studded week).

USJ entranceFirst, I went see "BACKDRAFT" because there wasn't a long line. But the decision was a huge mistake. All my children got scared due to a lot of fire. So we could go to only "BACK TO THE FUTURE" after that. I wanted to go see and ride some more attractions. (ToT) Anyway we walked around in USJ, to see lots of buildings and some street performances. I got extremely tired...

We dropped by a cheap Chinese restaurant to have dinner on our way home. We had a huge amount of Chinese foods.

My 12-year-old son:
1 bowl of boiled rice
2 servings of jiao-zi(餃子 ぎょうざ steam-baked meat pie)
6 pieces of deep fried chicken
some meat

My 7-year-old son:

1 bowl of fried rice
1 bowl of Ramen(Chinese noodle)
1 servings of jiao-zi
2 pieces of deep fried chicken

2 mugs of draft beer
1.5 servings of jiao-zi
6 pieces of deep fried chicken
some meat and vegetables(left on my children's plate)
1 serving of double cooked pork(回鍋肉 ホイコーロー)
1 bowl of fried rice for dessert :)

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Farewell party for NICE LADY

May 14th, 2006

A farewell party was held at a bar in Osaka city yesterday. It's for an Australian nice lady who is leaving Japan soon. I went to the bar, which is called "Tins Hall", in order to have a good time with her. The inside was a little bit noisy, but I'm used to hearing too much noise, because I have three loud kids and love to listen to Heavy Metal. Just one thing I was a little sad. I couldn't catch so well most of words that the native English speakers in the bar said, due to the loud noise.

strange coupleAnyway I had a good time thanks to the nice people who joined in the party. I tried to dance with her and some Japanese friends in spite of my age. I got up this morning when I had a bit of backache. I felt my age... To tell the truth, I'm already 43 years old even though they say I look younger for my age.
I took a strange picture of a Japanese lady and an American guy in the bar. I never post any pictures which is realized who they are, because those pictures are sort of their personal information. But I think everybody never realize who the couple in this picture is, except the people who know them. I think it's OK to post it on my blog, plus I've gotten their permission.
ぎゃははははははは _(_ _)ノ彡☆ばんばん!

After the party, I could catch the last train somehow but there was a small problem. I got to the nearest station from my house when there were no cabs and there was a long line! So I decided to get home on foot for my health even though it takes about one hour. It's OK for me to walk a long distance with listening to Heavy Metal in my MP3 player. And it's a good way to sober me up. Actually, I have to take my kids to USJ(Universal Studio Japan) today, so I can't have a hangover. :) I got home at about 2 am... and I woke up around 6 am automatically from force of my habit. To be honest, I'm suffering from lack of sleep now... pretty sleepy... haha. That's OK! I'm used to having lack of sleep! I can take my kids to USJ today without any problems! No sweat! It's a piece of cake for me!

To get back to my original point, I said to the Australian lady, "Here's looking at you." I studied this phrase myself the day before yesterday to say something nice to her. Sounds too lovely ? She looked so impressed, I suppose. Let me say another phrase! "There's always a next time." And see you on the Internet!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Tired from Skype

May 13th. 2006

I'm extremely tired today. Actually I installed Skype on my desktop PC a couple of weeks ago. This morning I tried to speak to a huge number of non-Japanese! - such as Americans, British, Italians, Koreans, Chinese etc. So I had to speak a hundred languages at that time! It's definitely hard for me to have communication at once with many people who speak different languages. That's why I'm extremely tired today. haha. Just pulling your leg. :)

In fact, I occasionally try to have a chat with my friends on Skype. It's the most useful and convenient software I've ever used. Thanks a lot, Skype!

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

[ Study ] Talking about health and lifestyle

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

- Talking about health and lifestyle
(What advice do people give for healthy living and a long life?)

A:I think It's really unhealthy to get stressed out. What about you?
B:Yeah, that's right. I think so, too. Do you have any ideas to relieve your stress?
A:As a matter of fact, my wife and I often get stressed out.
B:Oh, you do ?
A:Yes. So we sometimes quarrel with each other.
B:That's too bad...
A:No, no. Quarreling is kind of the way to relieve our stress. We often try to do that.
B:Your wife and you are exactly a strange couple, I suppose.
A:Strange? If you ask me, I think we are unique!
A:Ah, do you get stressed out and want to quarrel with me in order to relieve it ?
B:......Be my guest... I can't keep up with you.....
A:OK! Let me try to quarrel with you!
B:Have done!

* New Words

couch potato
starchy food

* Others(Tips etc.)

If you ask me, ....(when saying opposite opinions)

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Wednesday, May 10, 2006


May 10th, 2006

I'm going to have a BBQ party tomorrow evening at my acquaintance's house, who is about 60 years young(not "years old", "years young" - according to him) and sometimes takes some English lessons with me. He decided to have the party for a woman who is leaving Japan anytime soon.

I had a call suddenly from him the day before yesterday. But he can't know my phone number as far as I remember. Why does he know it? That's strange. Ah! I've just remembered I passed my name card to her last week. I guess he had a look at it and then he called me up. Oh, wait! There're the addresses of my blogs on my name card! He MUST look at my blogs! He is a much higher level student than me! He might point out my errors in my English when I meet him up next time. I must get so embarrassed, but on the other hand it's OK for my study. haha.

Anyway, the start time of the party is 6:30. I have to be off there without taking a shower as soon as I get home after work. However, I think it's OK , because I will be black as soot after the BBQ party. So there's no use taking a shower. haha. I suppose I definitely smell sweaty then. I must be disliked by everyone who are going to come there.

And now, I have a plan to go get a drink this Saturday night. I'm worried that my wife get angry due to often going out to get a drink. I'm really scared... Ummmm but I'm supposed to go to "Universal Studio Japan" with my family this Sunday. Spare me, Honey... (^o^)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

[ Study ] Keeping in touch with friends

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

- Keeping in touch with friends
(When was the last time you heard from a friend?)
(How did you get in touch ? Did they have any news?)

A:Have you heard from your ex-coworkers lately?
B:Yeah, my friend Shinji sent me cell phone email last week.
A:What did he say?
B:He said that he loved Matsuyama. He asked when we were coming to visit.
A:How long does it take?
B:It takes about 1 hour by airplane. But these days some of Japan's airline companies sometimes don't do maintain rightly. So I can't make it.
A:By the way, any news from Masaaki?
B:No, not even an email.
A:Ah, I've just remembered I got an email from Takae. She asked me a favor.
B:What did she want ?
A:She apparently wants to visit Osaka with her family and go see "Universal Studio Japan". But...
B:But? Are there any problems ? Go on.
A:Actually, she was asking if she could stay with you or me. But my house is too small for them. Because there are 12 in her family ! I WAS WONDERING IF I COULD ask you a favor...
B:No way! I can't make it, even you ask me politely! My house is much smaller than yours!

* New Words

be off to : leave for
How's it going ?(friendly)
so far(till now)

* Others(Tips etc.)

CUL8R:See you later
R U go 2 party ?
TTYL:Talk to you later
TTYS:Talk to you soon
BCNU:Beeing seeing you

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MAIDEN project ?

May 7, 2006

I took some English lessons yesterday morning at the English school that I usually attend.

my dictionarySome of male teachers asked me if I like IRON MAIDEN when they had a look at the sticker which I put on my electronic dictionary.

There were no other students in the class so we talked a lot about IRON MAIDEN - such as the first vocalist and the first drummer. They look much younger than me but they know so well about the band. The band is more famous than I expect, I thought then. One of them went see the band on the stage of Reading Festival, a very famous ROCK festival in the UK, last year. I envy him.....

Anyway, we weren't in no hurry to start English lessons because we prefer talking about IRON MAIDEN. haha
In my case, I'd rather have a chat about our common interesting things. I can always take lessons easier after chat. After 10 minutes chat, we started the lesson. But any new words are too difficult for me....(ToT)

Actually, it's a sort of my strategy to put my favorites things on conspicuous places so that I can make the opportunity to have a chat with native English speakers. The effect is much larger than I expected! Hooray! (I'm not sure the usage of this word "Hooray!" is correct.)

I'm so lucky I could be like Bill Gates someday! - This exaggeration is made by me. It's similar to "I'm so hungry I could eat a horse!".

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Friday, May 05, 2006

Friend, Teacher, Bar Cinquecento

May 5, 2006

Yesterday I went to Amagasaki city in Hyogo prefecture, Japan in order to meet my friend lives there. We haven't talked in person for a long time. We got to know each other about 10 years ago on an online community. Actually his eldest son has Down's syndrome and my second son had it, too. We sometimes have a chat on the Net, though my second son already passed away due to his terrible heart problem when he was 11 months old. He looked so tired and getting old that I felt sorry to him. I promised to invite him into mixi, a very famous SNS in Japan.

After that, I took some free conversation English classes at the NOVA branch in Amagasaki city. A teacher who used to work in the NOVA branch near my house works in the Amagasaki branch now. That's one of the reasons I went to Amagasaki yesterday. We could happily talk a lot after a long time. I promised to visit her branch again. :)

CinquecentoAnd then, I went get a drink alone to a bar in Osaka city. My American friend who used to live in Osaka recommended me to visit the bar "Cinquecento" because the bar has a nice atmosphere. I was drinking some cocktails when some native English speakers came in. Of course I tried to talk to them in both English and Japanese.
I had the best time I've ever had thanks to my American friend ! Thanks a lot !

Here the more information about "Cinquecento" is.

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006


May 3, 2006

I bought a webcam with a microphone in order to try "Skype", a free Internet phone software, and to try voice chat on MSN messenger. Let me upload my video on my video space in It's my first time to upload my video on the Internet. I'm so embarrassed that I couldn't speak English without sunglasses. haha.

Please let me know if you aren't able to watch it.