Tuesday, December 25, 2007

ISP(ZAQ) in Trouble

I tried to surf the Internet this morning when the network environment seemed to be in a bad condition. I wasn't able to even email my friends! Holy cow! The problem must have been caused by my Internet service provider, ZAQ, or heavy traffic because of this Christmas season. I have no choice but to study English with books at that time. (>_<) I might have been lucky to have concentrated on the study though. :D However, I wasted some spare time to find out the cause anyway.

Speaking of lost time, I saw an interesting remark the other day.

"Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever."

That's exactly true! Give the time back to me!

今朝、インターネットを使おうとしたら、どうもネットワーク環境がおかしい。電子メールを送ることさえできない。なんてこったい・・・OTL このトラブルは、私が加入しているZAQというISPによるものか、クリスマスシーズンによって引き起こされたに違いない。仕方がないので本で英語を勉強するしかなかった。(>_<) 勉強に集中できてラッキーだったかもしれないけどね。(^^♪ でも、原因を解明するのに、少し時間を無駄にしてしまった。

失われた時間と言えば、先日興味深い名言を目にしました。

『失った富は努力によって、失った知識は勉学によって、失った健康は節制することや医療によって取り戻せるが、失った時間は永久に失われたままだ。』

正に、その通り!俺の時間を返せ~!

Monday, December 24, 2007

New Printer

my new printer

When I was trying to print out some bills three days ago to send my customers after having made them with EXCEL, my printer didn't work! What a shitty machine! Actually I bought it 10 years ago or so, I couldn't help but to get a new one as soon as possible, because I had to print out not only the bills but also new year's greeting cards.

After I took some English lessons at NOVA two days ago, I went to an appliance store near the English school, whose name is Yamada Denki, to buy a new printer. I was going to buy a simple functional one at first, but I've gotten a high-spec machine against my will. (^_^; Because that one was so cheaper than I had expected in spite of high capabilities. It can work as not only a printer for computers but also a color copy machine. Besides, it can print out photographs from SD cards independently, I mean, without turning my PC on. Plus, I got a bunch of free photo paper then. I must have made a great buy! :D Actually, one of the lessons I took at NOVA before I bought the printer was how to negotiate in English when buying something. What a coincidence! (^^)

三日前、お客さんに送る請求書をEXCELで作った後、それらを印刷しようとしていたら、プリンタが動作しない!このポンコツめっ!実は、このプリンタは、10年前か、それくらいに買ったもの。それで、新しいプリンタをできるだけ早く買わざるを得なくなった。だって、請求書を印刷するだけでなく、年賀状も印刷しないといけないから。

二日前、NOVAでレッスンを受けた後、新しいプリンタを買いに、NOVAの近くの『ヤマダ電機』という電気店に行きました。最初は、単純な機能のものを買うつもりだったのだが、意志に反して高機能のものを買ってしまった。(^^♪ そのプリンタは、高機能にも関わらず、予想よりもはるかに安くかったから。そのプリンタは、コンピュータのプリンタとしてだけではなくて、カラーコピー機としても使える。さらに、SDカードから写真を単独で印刷できる、つまり、パソコンの電源を入れなくても、ということ。また、無料の写真プリント用紙を沢山もらった。いい買い物をしたなぁ。(^^♪ 実は、その買い物の前にNOVAで受けたレッスンの一つは、買い物のときの交渉に関する英会話だった。なんという偶然。(笑)

Friday, December 14, 2007

It Hurts!

The day before yesterday I cut myself in my factory actually....
My left middle finger started bleeding terribly, when I was trying to cut an old carpet to be recycled with my big sharp scissors, which is a special handmade one for textile workers. I didn't realize what happened to me at first because of my too busy job. After a few seconds, I found out I had cut the skin and flesh off with the shear(big scissor). X( I lost at least 100ml blood but I think I was very lucky.
As a matter of fact, the scissor can cut human fingers easily, that's to say, my middle finger fortunately wasn't taken off in the accident. Besides, letting my blood off made me feel comfortable because I haven't donate my blood for more than one year. Actually, blood donation is a kind of my hobby although you think I'm strange... haha. I often have a stiff neck but I don't feel it after blood donation, that's why I like letting my blood off. I guess my blood circulation will become much smoother by losing some amount of the blood. Thanks for the good fortune! How lucky I am! :D

実は・・・一昨日、工場で怪我をしました。
リサイクル用のカーペットを大きなハサミ(特別な手製のもので、繊維関係の仕事用)で切ろうとしてしたとき、突然左手の中指がひどく出血。忙しい最中だったので、最初は何が起こったのか気付かなかった・・・数秒後、皮を肉がえぐり取られたいたのに気付いた。(>_<) 少なくとも、100mlくらい出血したけど、とても幸運だったと思う。
実は、そのハサミは、人間の指を簡単に切断できるのである。つまり、私の中指は幸運にも、切断されることはなかったのです。さらに、出血することで、とても心地よいフィーリングがした。なぜなら、1年以上献血に行っていないから。実は、献血は私の趣味みたいなものなんですね、皆さんは変に思うかもしれないけど。(笑) よく肩がこるのですけど、献血の後は肩がこらないんです。だから、血を抜いてもらうのが好きなんですねぇ。私が推測するに、多少の血を抜くことで、血液の流れが良くなるのでしょう。幸運に感謝!俺ってついてるなぁ。(^^ゞ

my left middle finger's injury

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Lessons at New NOVA

This morning I took a couple of English lessons at NOVA for the first time in about two months. As of now, the school doesn't have so many students because almost all old NOVA's student have to take an interview to renew their contracts actually. However, so many old student came to the branch at once, so it's quite tough for the staff to deal with such a large number of customers at a time. So they have to make a reservation to take their interviews. In my case, I went there on the first day and it wasn't so crowded there, therefore I was able to take an interview as soon as I got there. How lucky I am!
One of the lesson I took today is how to make a speech(propose a toast) with a nice Japanese lady. :D And the other is luckily one-on-one lesson, so I asked the teacher to give me a ZONE-F lesson if he doesn't mind. Actually I can take only ZONE-G lessons because of my level(level-3), but I was eager to take an easier lesson as I wanted to review old lessons I've taken before through real lessons. The teacher was surprisingly from the place IRON MAIDEN was born in! We both had a great time through a lesson about important status symbols for some kinds of people-such as young guys, high money earners, retirees. After the lesson, I asked him whether or not he gave me a recommendation for becoming a level-3 student if I had been a level-4 student. He replied to me like, "Why not? You are a real level-3 student." Can I have a strong confidence?:D

今朝、約二ヶ月振りにNOVAで2つのレッスンを受けてきました。今のところ、そんなに多くの生徒さんがいないんです。なぜなら、前のNOVAの生徒さんたちは、契約を更改するには、面談を受けなくちゃいけないから。でも、非常に多くの生徒さんたちが、一度にそのブランチにやってきたんですねぇ。でもスタッフが一度に、彼らに対応することはできません。だから、彼らは面談の予約をしなくちゃいないんです。私の場合、開校初日に行ったときそんなに混んでいなかったので、着いたらすぐに面談を受けることができたんです。俺って、ツイてるなぁ!(^○^)
今日受けたレッスンのうちの一つは、スピーチの仕方(乾杯の音頭)で、素敵な日本人女性と一緒でした。(^^ゞ もう一つは、ラッキーマンツーマンだったので、先生に、もしかまわないなら、ZONE-Fのレッスンをしてくれないか?と頼みました。私は今はレベル3なので、ZONE-Gのレッスンしか受けられないのですが、以前に受けたレッスンを、実際のレッスンを通して復習したかったんです。驚くべきことに、その先生はIRON MAIDENが誕生した町の出身でした。私たちは、ステータスシンボルについてのレッスン(たとえば、若い人たちにとって重要なもの、お金を沢山稼ぐ人、定年退職した人など)を通して、楽しい時間を持てました。レッスンの後、その先生に『もし、私がレベル4の生徒だったら、レベルアップの推薦状をくれますか?』と質問したら・・・『もちろん!君は本当のレベル3だよ』と言ってくれました。俺・・・強い自信を持っていいのかな?(^^ゞ


P.S.
先に英語を書いて、後から日本語に翻訳していると、なぜか不自然な日本語になってしまいます。(笑)

Saturday, December 08, 2007

PC Broken!

Saturday, December eighth, two thousand and seven

My desktop PC has broken down.... The PC wasn't powered on right after I installed 1 Gbps LAN card in it. Actually, I ordered a high-speed Intenet connection service the other day. Today I tried to get much speed by installing the LAN adapter and a special-spec cable. However, the try backfired on myself. X(
The PC maker offers me free fix service, but apparently it takes one week or so to fix the power supply unit.
Therefore, I have no choice but to use my old laptop, whose OS is Windows98, for a while. Surfing the Internet with junk PC is totally too slow and drives me bannas!


2007年12月8日(土曜)

私のデスクトップPCが壊れた・・・1ギガbpsのLANカードを組み込んだ後、電源が入らない。実は、先日高速インターネット接続サービスを申し込んだのです。今日、LANアダプタ・特別なLANケーブルを組み込むことにより、もっと速くしようとしたんです。でも、それが裏目に出てしまいました。(>_<)
パソコンメーカーは、無料で修理サービスをしてくれるけど、どうやら1週間かそれくらい電源ユニットの修理にかかるそうです。
それゆえ、私は古いノートパソコン(OSはWindows98)を、しばらくの間使うしか選択の余地がない・・・このポンコツPCのインターネット接続は遅すぎて・・・私を困らせてくれます。(*_*)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Funny Proverb

Friday, December seventh, two thousand and seven

An interesting saying made me laugh the other day. That was said by Anton Chekhov, a Russian author.

"If you are afraid of loneliness do not marry."


Haha-! Could be true. That's exactly why I often go out to get together with my friends, including young ladies and native English speakers. :p
Speaking of get-together, we are having the year-end party(bounenkai) on the fifteenth at the Japanese style bar(izakaya) managed by my second cousin in Sennan city actually. I invited some friends, including native English speakers and Japanese nice ladies to the party. :D In Japan, it's kind of tradition to have bounenkai in December in order to forget all bad things they had that year and think about happy things they will be able to have next year. That's why the kanji of "bounenkai" consists of "to forget", "year", and "party." Anyway, as of now, three Americans, two Australians, one New Zealander and one British person are coming to the party. Let me paint the town red with the crazy guys. :D


2007年12月7日(金曜日)

先日、面白い格言を見て、笑ってしまった。その格言は、ロシア人の作家アントン・チェーホフが言ったもので・・・・

『孤独が恐ろしかったら、結婚するな。』


ぎゃははははははは _(_ _)ノ彡☆ばんばん! そうかもしれない。だから、ワシって、しばしば友達と集まるために外出するんやね、もちろん、若い女性と英語のネイティヴスピーカー達と一緒に。(^_^;
集まると言えば、15日に、私のふた従兄弟が泉南市で経営している居酒屋で忘年会をする予定です。日本では、12月に忘年会をするのは、ちょっとした伝統みたいなもんです。その目的は、その年にあった悪い事全てを忘れて、新年には楽しい事があるように祈ろう、ということ。だから、『忘年会』という漢字は、『忘れる』『年』『会』という漢字で構成されているのですね。とにかく、今のところ、3人のアメリカ人、2人のオーストラリア人、ニュージーランド人1人、イギリス人1人がパーティに来てくれる予定です。面白い友人達と、大いに盛り上がろうっと!(^^♪

Monday, December 03, 2007

Level Check & Fat Pig

Saturday, December third, two thousand and seven

I took a level-check test yesterday at a new NOVA's branch, which reopened two weeks ago in front of JR Higashi Kishiwada station. Actually, I'd like to review old lessons I've taken before as a level-5 and level-4 student through real lessons, so I wanted to let my level down, from 3 to 4 or 5. That's why I took the check although I don't necessarily have to take it.
The teacher who checked my skills were an Australian teacher and used to be a teacher of mine when I belonged to old Kishiwada NOVA school. He knows my level.... It's meaningless to check my skills because he knows my real abilities very much. Plus I wasn't able to pretend like a level-4 or 5 student. X( Of course, he assessed my capabilities as high. After all I'm going to take level-3 lessons(ZONE-G) from next week.

To change the subject, a unique phrase, "fat cat", made me laugh actually. My dictionary says that it means "someone who has too much money, especially someone who is paid too much for their job - used in order to show disapproval." In Japan, they say "fat pig" as the same meaning expression. And also they say "to give cats money" or "to give pigs pearls" as "to waste assets." The former NOVA president, stupid Sahashi, was totally a fat cat or a dead duck. According to my dictionary, "a dead duck" means that a plan, idea etc that is not worth considering because it is very likely to fail. I guess the meaning sounds like useless and needless stuff. I don't know whether or not my guess is correct though.


『レベルチェックと太った豚』
2007年12月3日

昨日、新しいNOVAの支店(JR東岸和田駅前に再オープンしたところ)でレベルチェックテストを受けました。実は、実際のレッスンを通して、レベル4または5のときに受けたレッスンを復習したいんです・・・そのためにレベルを落としてもらいたかった。(3から、4または5) だから、レベルチェックを受けたのです。必ずしもレベルチェックを受ける必要はないのですが・・・
レベルチェックをしてくれた先生は、オーストラリア人の先生で、かつて私が所属していた旧NOVA岸和田校の先生でした。彼は、私のレベルを知ってるやん・・・・チェックする意味が無い・・・だって、彼は私の能力をよく知っているから。そして、私はレベル4か5の生徒の振りをすることができなかった。(>_<) もちろん、彼は私の能力を高く評価してくれたので、結局、来週からレベル3のレッスン(ZONE-G)を受ける予定。

話は変わって、面白いフレーズ"fat cat(太った猫)"を見て、笑ってしまいました。私の辞書によると、その意味は、『有り余る金を持っている、特に多すぎる給料を持っている人。不満を表すために使われる』ということらしい。日本では、『太ったブタ』が同じ意味の表現にあたります。そして、また、日本では、『猫に小判』『豚に真珠』というのは、『財産を無駄にする』という意味になります。前のNOVAの社長『アホの猿橋』は、まさに"fat cat"もしくは、"dead duck"ですね。私の辞書によれば、"dead duck"というのは、『考慮するの価値の無い計画、アイデアなど。なぜなら、おそらく失敗しそうだから。』私の推測では、役に立たないとか、不必要なモノといった意味のような感じがします。私の推測が正しいかどうかわかりませんが・・・。

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Open Day

Sunday, November twenty fifth, two thousand and seven

There was a cute event in the primary school two of my children belong to the day before yesterday, a national holiday called "Labor Thanksgiving Day" in Japan. Parents visited the school to see the students' performances, such as chorus and musical performance, that's to say, it was an open day. Let me upload a couple of pictures and a movie below. :D

『授業参観日』
2007年11月25日

一昨日、つまり日本では『勤労感謝の日』の祝日、可愛いイベントが、私の二人の子供が所属する小学校でありました。親達は学校で生徒たちのパフォーマンス(例えば、合唱や演奏)を見るために、学校へ。つまり、授業参観の日だったのですね。いくつか写真とビデオを以下にアップロードしますね。(^^♪


open day
open day

video

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Help NOVA Teachers & Interviewed

Saturday, November twenty fourth, two thousand and seven

Today, my friends and I are having some English conversation classes in the music studio owned by a study buddy of mine in Izumisano city. He and I had been considering what to do for NOVA teachers, especially for a teacher who is paying his mortgage, for a couple of weeks, and we decided to hold some free conversation English classes, like NOVA's VOICE, there today, as a trial. If today's trial goes well, we are going to hold the classes every weekend as well.
I actually tried to gather as many people as possible for today's classes in mixi, the most famous SNS in Japan. After that someone asked me if it's OK to interview us in the classes, in order to introduce our trial in the newspaper, which is going to be published next week or so, as a good event for NOVA teachers. The writer who belongs to the newspaper company emailed me that Japanese mass media has reported a lot of bad news about NOVA recently, on the other hand, many NOVA teachers and students have positive thinking although they are victims of the English school's bankruptcy, therefore he wants to issue some articles to cheer up the teachers and students.
So I'm having not only English classes, but also being interviewed as a member of the event today. If our event is put in the paper, let me write another post here later. :D


2007年11月24日(土曜)

今日、友人達と一緒に泉佐野市の音楽スタジオ(私の勉強仲間が所有)で、英語のフリートーククラスをやります。彼と私で数週間、NOVAの先生達(特に住宅ローンを抱えた先生)に、何をしてあげるか計画してました。そして、今日、NOVAのVOICEのようなフリートーククラスを試行の一つとしてやることにしたのです。さらに、もし、今日の試行がうまくいけば、毎週こういうクラスをやっていくつもり。
実は、mixi(日本で最も有名なSNS)で、できるだけ多くの人を今日のクラスのために集めようとしました。その後、とある人物から、そのクラスを、NOVAの先生達のための活動の一つとして新聞(来週くらいに発行される)で紹介したいから、取材してもよいかどうか尋ねられました。その記者からの電子メールによれば、日本のマスコミはNOVAの悪い面を最近報道し続けているけど、一方で、多くのNOVAの先生、生徒さんたちは、破綻による犠牲者にも関わらず、前向きな考えを持っている、それゆえに、先生と生徒さんを元気付けるような記事を書きたいらしい。
そういうことで、今日、英語のクラスだけでなく、イベントのメンバーの一人としてインタビューを受けます。もし、私たちのイベントが新聞に載ったら、別の記事を書きますね。(^_-)-☆

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NOVA to Reopen(NOVA再開)

Tuesday, November twentieth, two thousand and seven

According to G.communication's web site, which took over NOVA's business the other day, about 30 NOVA schools are going to reopen soon, including a school near my house, but not so close. :( The school's name is "Higashi-Kishiwada SATY school". "SATY" is a Japanese big supermarket chain's name as many Japanese people know. Actually NOVA built up many branches in supermarkets and shopping mall recently. Its promo word is "Study abroad in front of stations" but I think "Not only in front of stations but also in shopping malls" is correct these days. :D
"Higashi-Kishiwada SATY school" is also located very close to JR Higashi-Kishiwada station. The new management staff must have thought it's effective to reopen the school because students can come there easily by not only train but also car and parents can go shopping while their children are taking English lessons in NOVA KIDS classes. I mean, the brains must have considered that it's the most important to gather as many customers as possible and ASAP in order to make as much money as possible soon so that other schools can reopen. Do you think my thought is correct?
Anyway, I'm going to move to the branch reopened next week or so and ask the staff to let my level down. :) To be honest, I'd rather review ZONE-E and F lessons through real lessons than take ZONE-G lessons.

2007年11月20日(火曜)

ジー・コミュニケーション社(先日、NOVAを引き継いだ会社)のWebサイトによりますと、約30のNOVAのスクールが近く再開されるらしい。私の家の近くのスクール・・・といっても、それほど近くはないけど・・・(ToT)・・・とにかく再開されます。そのスクールは、『東岸和田SATY校』。SATYは、(大抵の日本人は知ってると思うけど)日本の大きなスーパーマーケットチェーン店の名前です。これまで、NOVAは、多くのブランチをスーパーマーケットやショッピングモールの中に作ってきました。そのキャッチコピーは『駅前留学』ですけど、『駅前だけでなく、ショッピングモールの中も・・・』が最近は正しいのでは?と思います。(^^♪
また、『東岸和田SATY校』は、JR東岸和田駅のすぐ近くに位置しています。新経営陣は、生徒が電車だけでなく車でも容易に来られる、また、親たちは子供がNOVA KIDSで英語のレッスンをしている間、買い物ができる、といった点から、このスクールを再開するのが有効であると思ったに違いないです。つまり、彼らは、できるだけ多くの顧客をできるだけ早く集めて、できるだけ多くのお金を稼ぐ・・・他のスクールを再開するために。私の見解、正しいと思います?
とにかく、来週くらいに再開される東岸和田校に転校しよう。そしてスタッフにレベルを落としてもらうように御願いしよう。実は、ZONE-Gのレッスンを受講するよりも、実際のレッスンを通して、ZONE-EとFをもう一度復習したいんです。

Monday, November 19, 2007

Personal Connection(人脈)

Monday, November nineteenth, two thousand and seven

Some people occasionally say to me that I have quite a few personal connections and I'm an activist. However, I actually don't think so. Now that I'm a factory worker working in the countryside, I don't have many relationships related to my business. In fact, when I was a office worker, I used to have a lot of human networks compared to now. I'd like to make much of my private personal relationships against my few business networks. That's one of the reasons I often use mixi, the most famous SNS in Japan. As a result, those who know me personally may think that I'm an activist or have a lot of networks.

At one time, when I was a office worker, my senior staff said to me, "Human networks can't be bought by money, therefore, it might be the most important thing to build them up."
There is an adage(proverb) in English, that's similar to the above saying, "It's not what you know but who you know."
Exactly! I think it's true! There's no more exciting thing than meeting new interesting people in my life. Making friends with nice guys could bring me a purpose of life. For me, English language is nothing but one of the ways to meet new people.... Um... My English teachers would be mad at me to hear that. :D


2007年11月19日(月曜)

たまに、人から言われます。『あなたって、人脈が豊富ですねぇ。また、活動家ですねぇ』と。でも、そんなことはありません。今、田舎の工場労働者ですから、仕事関係の人脈は非常に少ないのです。事実、サラリーマン時代は、今よりも沢山の人脈がありました。でも、今は田舎の労働者。仕事関連の人脈が少ない分、プライベートでの人の繋がりを大切にしたいのです。私が、SNSのmixiを使っているのも、その理由の一つだと思います。その結果、私のプライベートの部分をご存知の人から見たら、『活動家』とか『人脈豊富』に見えるのかも?

昔、会社の先輩に言われたことがあります:『人脈はお金で買えない。良い人脈を構築することは、人生で最も重要なことかもしれない。』・・・と。
英語でも、次のような諺があるらしいです:"It's not what you know but who you know."(大切なのは何を知っているかではなく、誰を知っているかだ。)
まさに、その通り!!!と思います。人との出会いほど、面白いものはない。良い人との出会いは、私にとって、生きがいと言ってもいいかもしれない。英語は、そのための一つの手段に過ぎないのです。・・・こんなことを言ったら、英語の先生に怒られるかな?(笑)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Teacher Accessed My Blog By Chance

Sunday, November eighteenth, two thousand and seven

There was a small party held at a Japanese style bar in front of JR Wakayama station last night. I attended the party with some NOVA teachers, staff and students. One of my friends organized it, so I'd like to say to her "I can't thank you enough."

Right after the party, I passed my name card, which has my email address and blog address, to a teacher who is from England. He said to me that he's had a look at my blog recently when he was googling about NOVA, as soon as I gave it to him. I was sooooooo glad! What a coincidence! Good job, Google! :D

That was exactly a great time to hear he's accessed my blog before. It's my pleasure to hear someone browsed my sites. I hoped he came here and left his comments someday....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Look Like Something the Cat Dragged in(だらしない)

2007年11月17日(土曜)
Saturday, November seventeenth, two thousand and seven



上の写真は、工場で仕事中の私の顔です。疲れて、風邪をひいて、無精ヒゲをはやしてます。
だらしくなく見えるでしょ?
実は、昨日、面白いイディオム"look like something the cat dragged in"を某メルマガで読んだので、写真をアップロードして、この記事を書くことにしました。(^^♪

The above picture was taken when I was working in my factory. I was tired, caught a cold and have stubble.
I look like something the car dragged in, huh?
The idiom "look like something the cat dragged in", that I saw in an email newsletter yesterday, made me write this article and upload the photo actually. :D

Friday, November 16, 2007

To Tighten My Belt(=財布のひもを締める?)

2007年11月16日(金曜)
Friday, November sixteenth, two thousand and seven

昨日に続いて、違う英語の表現について言及してみます。(^^♪

英語で"to tighten one's belt"というと、私の辞書(ロングマン)によると、以前よりもお金を使わないようにすることを意味するそうです。この意味は、私にとって簡単に推測できます。別の辞書では、このイディオムは、飢えているときに気を紛らわすためにベルトを締めることに由来している、と書いてます。
日本語では、(非常に有名なイディオムなので、ほとんどの日本人が知っているに違いないのですが)出費を減らすときに、『財布のひもを締めよう』と言います。

余談:あかん・・・風邪ひいて、しんどい。今夜は、ヒロシさんという友人宅で、英会話喫茶のオープンについて、打ち合わせをしなくちゃいけないのに・・・どうしよう?(ToT)


Following the previous post, let me mention another English expression, kind of an idiom. :D

In English "to tighten one's belt" means to try to spend less money than someone used to, according to my dictionary, LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English. The meaning is very easy for me to guess. Another dictionary says that the idioms derive from tightening your belt to take your mind off when you are starving.
In Japanese, they say "Let me tighten my purse strings" when they have to cut down on expenses, which is such a famous idiom that almost all Japanese people must know about it.

Gee..... I'm under the weather now to catch a cold. However, I have to discuss a new English cafe with my friend whose name is Hiroshi at his house tonight. How can I help myself? :(

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nine Days' Wonder(=人も噂も75日?)

2007年11月12日(月曜)
Monday, November, twelfth, two thousand and seven

日本語と英語は全く違う言語ですけど、ときどき似たような言い回しを見つけるときがあります。それは、そうです。言語は違えど、同じ人間なんですから、根底にある感覚はやはり似ているのでしょうね。
先日、"nine days' wonder"という英語の表現を目にしました。私の推測ですが、これは日本語の『人の噂も75日』に近い表現だと思います。日本では、『人の噂(話題)なんて、せいぜい75日もあれば消えてしまうもんさ』というような意味ですが、英語では『大騒ぎするのも、せいぜい9日くらいなもんさ』みたいな意味なのでしょうか?9日と75日・・・大きな差があるのは、なぜなのでしょうか?日本人のほうが、つまらないことで大騒ぎする傾向が強いからかなぁ・・・う~ん・・・そうかも。(笑)

Even though Japanese language is completely different from English, sometimes I find similar expressions between them actually. That's understandable because those people use different languages but they are the same human being, so the underlying senses would be similar, I guess.
The other day I saw an English term "nine days' wonder". The way I see it, it means similar to this Japanese one "人の噂も75日(hito no uwasa mo nana juu go nichi.)" It means rumor and popular topics will disappear within 75 days at longest in Japanese, but on the other hand, does the English one mean it will continue for 9 days at longest to make a fuss about small things? I don't know why there is a big difference, 9days and 75 days.... I suppose that Japanese people strongly tend to make a big deal about minor things. Umm... Could be. :D

Sunday, November 11, 2007

NOVA経営破綻の責任(Responsibility of NOVA's Bankrupt)

2007年11月11日(日曜)
Sunday, November eleventh, two thousand and seven

NOVAの事業の一部を引き継ぐ企業が決定しましたが、30万人とも言われる生徒全員の救済、元生徒に対するレッスン料返還は、期待できそうにないみたいですね。

新聞によると、このままでは、戦後最大の負債者を抱えた倒産になるらしい。

今年の春、経済産業省は、NOVAに業務改善命令を出し、一部の新規契約業務を停止させた。そのとき、こういった事態になることは予想できなかったのだろうか?NOVAが赤字経営であったことは、周知の事実だったし、業界最大手であることから、万一経営に支障が出て、当時40万人だった生徒に影響が出ることはシミュレーションできなかったのか?『食料品メーカが、不正行為をしたので、営業停止にする』といった処置と同じではないのだ。その会社の事業には、40万人の国民が顧客として関与していたのである。

もちろん、NOVAを経営破綻させた最大の原因は、前社長の猿橋氏と経営スタッフによる、超低レベルの経営マネジメントにあったことは疑いのないところであるが、国(経済産業省)にも、少しは責任があるのではないか?特に、雇用面(外国人教師、日本人スタッフ)・生徒サポートの面で、もっと国はサポートしてもよいのではないか?何しろ、"戦後最大の負債者集団"なのである。過去、不良債権を抱えた銀行に対して、国は公的資金を注入した。これと同じ考え方は、できないのか?今回のNOVAの経営破綻は、30万人がお金を預けていた銀行が破綻してしまったようなものである。国民の30万人が不良債権に悩んでいるのである。これは、不公平ではないか?政治は公平であるべきではないのか?

そういう国、特に政治家に対して、英語の名言を授けてあげよう。

Government is too important to be left to the politicians.
(政治家どもに任せておくには、政治は重要すぎる。)
(=政治はとても重要なので、政治家に任せることはできない。)
by Chester Bowles US diplomat & economist (1901 - 1986)


国だけでなく、マスコミにも責任があると思う。今回のNOVA問題だけでなく、とかく悪いニュースは取り上げやすいので、マスコミはそういうニュースを安易に取り上げる傾向がある。マスコミ各社は行政処分を受けた直後、NOVAたたきに動いた。NOVAの悪い面ばかりをニュースにしたのだ。NOVAの生徒という立場から見ると、経営面は確かに悪い点が多々あったが、少なくとも私にとっては、週末のNOVAでレッスンを受けたり、VOICEというフリートークルームで、英語でおしゃべりすることは、普段の多忙な生活を忘れさせてくれる絶好の気分転換の場であり、週末の楽しみでもあった。不平・不満は言いやすい、ニュースにとりあげやすいであろう。しかし、肯定的意見も取り上げて欲しい。この不平等な対応は、いかに日本のマスコミが怠慢であるかの証明といっても過言ではない。

少なくとも私にとっては、NOVAは生活の一部、週末の楽しみと言ってもよいほど、重要な場であったのだ。お金うんぬんよりも、そういう重要な場所を奪った、旧経営陣の面々、先見性がなく平等性に欠ける国と政治、とかく無責任なマスコミの対応・・・全員を恨みます。

ともあれ、今回のNOVA破綻を機に、英会話を楽しめる場を、自分で事業として地元に立ち上げてしまおう、と思いつきました。将来、この夢が実現できたら、これは前述の馬鹿モノ達のおかげですね。そのときは、『ありがとう。あなたたちの馬鹿さ加減に、深く感謝します』と申し上げましょう。(^^♪

■余談
mixiに、新しいコミュを作りました。『大阪泉州で英会話を楽しむ会』
できれば、英会話喫茶などを立ち上げて、お金に困っているNOVAの先生達の役に立てたらなぁ、と思ってます。

According to the newspaper, a Japanese company, which manages English schools and cram schools for children, is going to take over part of NOVA's business, however, it's nearly impossible to help out all 30,000 NOVA students and won't refund the lesson fees to them.

The paper says that the bankrupt will bring the largest number of creditors in Japan after the World War 2 if nothing is done.

This past spring, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry gave NOVA business improvement order and suspended a part of its new contract business. I can't believe that the civil servant wasn't able to suppose their decision could cause such terrible situation. Anyone knew NOVA had been suffering from being in the red and was the industry giant. It was easy to guess that 40,000 NOVA students of that time would be in trouble if the company goes under. This case isn't equal to the case that Japanese government suspend its business when a food producer act wrong, because 40,000 citizens were involved in NOVA's business as its customers.

Of course, I bet the principal factor responsible for NOVA's bankruptcy is due to the poor business operations of the previous president Sahashi and board members, but Japanese government and the ministry also have a part of the responsibility for the bust-out, especially in the employment(for foreign teachers and Japanese staff) and the support for the customers, because the number of creditors would be the largest one in Japan after the World War 2. In the past, Japanese government decided to deploy government money for some big banks that had a lot of bad loans. Why don't they do that again for NOVA's teachers and customers? This bankruptcy is like a bank's collapse in which has 30,000 people save their money. 30,000 citizens are suffering from the credits! I absolutely think it's unfair! Politics must be fair!

Let me give an English witty remark to such stupid government and politicians.

Government is too important to be left to the politicians.
by Chester Bowles US diplomat & economist (1901 - 1986)


And also, I personally think Japanese mass media has a part of the responsibility because they often picked up the bad sides of NOVA and hardly picked up the good sides, such as....

すいません。m(_ _)m
これ以上、前述の日本語を英訳するのは、私には難しすぎます。あきらめます。(ToT)
とにかく、私はNOVAでのレッスンやVOICEが大好きです。

Sorry.... it's too difficult for me to translate all the above Japanese sentences into English. Let me give up......

Anyway, I LOVE English lessons and VOICE at NOVA SOOOOOO MUCH!

P.S.
I've just made an online community in mixi, the most popular SNS in Japan, that's called "The community of having fun with English conversation in Sensyuu, Osaka."
If possible, I'd like to start a new English cafe around here and help out NOVA teachers who are hard up for money.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

米の由来(The Origin of RICE)

2007年11月7日(木曜日)
Wednesday, November seventh, two thousand and seven

どんな言語でもそうですけど、沢山の言葉の由来がありますよね。実際、それらの起源を知ることは、私にとって、とても面白いです。今日は、日本の面白い雑学を紹介します。(^^♪
『米(こめ)』という漢字を知ってますよね?この漢字は、『八』『十』『八』の三つの漢字が組み合わさって出来ているそうです。その昔、農業が発達していない頃、米を育てるには非常に手間がかかりました。その手間の数が88だったそうです。詳しくは知りませんが・・・(^_^;
『米』という漢字が、88を意味するところから、日本では88歳になったとき、『米寿』という長寿のお祝いをします。『寿』は、『お祝い事』とか『おめでたい事』といったような意味です。
実は、私は現在44歳。ちょうど、88歳の半分ですね。(笑)


In any language, there are lots of interesting derivations of words. It attracts me to find out the original of any word actually. Let me introduce an interesting Japanese general knowledge today. :D
You probably know this Chinese character(=Kanji), "米(kome)". It is said that the character consists of three kanjis, "八(hachi)", "十(juu)" and "八(hachi)". "八十八(hachi juu hachi)" means eighty eight in Japanese language. A long time ago, when Chinese or Japanese agriculture was less well-developed than it is now, people used to take a lot of trouble over growing rice. I hear the number of procedure to grow rice was eighty eight. I don't know the details though...
Anyway, since "米" signifies 88, Japanese people celebrate their friends' or families' long life when they reach the age of 88, that's called "米寿(beiju)". "寿" means "celebration", "happy event" or the like in Japanese.
Actually, I'm 44 years old now. So... just the half of 88.


derivation: 由来
general knowledge: 雑学
be less well-developed than ~: ~より発達していない
take a lot of trouble over something: ~に手間がかかる
signify: 表す、意味する
or the like: または同種のもの

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

うんざり(I'm tired of ...)

Tuesday, November sixth, two thousand and seven

日本語と同様、英語にも似たような表現が沢山あります。どうも、私の悪い癖なんでしょうけど、似たような表現・単語があると、『どう違うねんっ!?』と悩んでしまう。まだまだ初心者の私の場合、こんなことに悩む必要はないのでしょうねぇ、きっと。(>_<)
ちなみに、今日悩んでいるのは、次の表現・・・

  • be tired of something
  • be sick of something
  • be fed up with something
  • be weary of something

English language has a lot of similar expressions as well as Japanese. I know it could be my bad habit to bother with similar expressions and words like, "What's the difference!?". In the case of beginners like me, it's not necessary to worry about such kind of questions, I bet. :<
Incidentally, the following terms bother me today.

  • be tired of something
  • be sick of something
  • be fed up with something
  • be weary of something

incidentally: ところで、ちなみに(情報を付け加えるときに使う。by the wayと同じ)
[sentence adverb]
used to add more information to what you have just said, or to introduce a new subject that you have just thought of [= by the way]

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Autumn appetite(食欲の秋)

2007年10月28日(日曜日)
Sunday, October twenty eighth, two thousand and seven

日本では、『食欲の秋』『読書の秋』そして『スポーツの秋』と言われます。だから、最近、私の体重が増えているのは、仕方のないことなのです。だって、秋には日本全国に美味しい食べ物が沢山ありますから。さらに、次の日曜、日本人の友人達、外国人の友人達と一緒に、海岸かどこかでバーベキューパーティを計画中です。大量の肉のせいで、全員が太ってしまうに違いない。(^^♪

In Japan, it's said that autumn is a good season for eating, reading and sports. In Japanese, they say "Syokuyoku no aki", "Dokusyo no aki" and "Supo-tsu no aki". "Syokuyoku" and "dokusyo" means appetite and reading respectively. So it can't be helped to gain my weight these days because there are so many kinds of delicious foods in autumn all over Japan. Besides, I'm planning a barbecue party on the next Sunday with my Japanese and foreign friends at the beach or somewhere. Everyone must put on weight then because of tons of meat. :)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Wedding and NOVA(結婚式とNOVA)

2007年10月27日(土曜日)
Saturday, October twenty seventh, two thousand and seven

今日は、親戚の娘さんの結婚式のため、大阪市内に出向きます。大阪はあいにくの雨模様ですが、若い人の門出を見るのは、とても新鮮な気持ちになるので、年寄りの私にも良い気分転換かもしれません。(笑)

ところで、私が通っている英会話スクールのNOVAは、昨日、社長を解任し、「会社更生法の適用」を申請しました。1ヶ月以内に支援企業が見つからない場合は、破産手続きをするそうです。仕方ないですね。既に支払った私のレッスン料がどうなるか不安でもありますが、それ以上に外国人の先生達・日本人スタッフの方々の生活が心配です。彼らになにかしてあげることはないか、日々頭を悩ませています。もちろん、それは私の仕事ではないけど、先生達と一人の生徒という関係以上に、とても仲良くなった人もいるので、何かしてあげたいのです。一番よいのは、私自身が新しい英会話スクールを経営する、というアイデアかもしれませんね。(^^♪ 土地と資金は、なんとかなります。一番の課題は、その運営と内容でしょうねぇ。事業計画をまとめる時間をなんとか作りたい。日本の諺に、『災い転じて、福となす』というのがありますが、そんなにうまくいくわけないですよね。(^_^;

I'm going to Osaka city today in order to attend a wedding reception held for a young lady of my relatives. It's a pity it's raining in Osaka now, however, it will make me feel fresh to see a departure of the youth, so it would be a good change of pace for old me. :D

By the way, an English school NOVA, at which I sometime take English lessons, removed the company president and applied for "assistance under the Company Resuscitation Law" yesterday. If the company can't find supporting organizations within one month, they will commit an act of bankruptcy. It can't be helped. I'm anxious about my lesson fee already paid but really worried about non-Japanese teachers' and Japanese staff's livings more than my money. I have been considering what I can do for them everyday. Of course it's not my business but I made friends with some of the teachers, I mean, the relationship between us isn't only the one between teachers and a student. That's why I'd like to do something nice for them. It might be the best idea to manage a new English private school by myself. :) I guess I can prepare the fund and the land somehow. The most important issues would be how to manage and the contents. I want to make the time somehow to write up the business plan. A Japanese proverbs says "Wazawai Tenjite Fukutonasu", that means "to turn the potential disaster to one's advantage", "to turn a misfortune into a blessing", or something like those, however, the new plan would never go well like that. :p

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Yen Doen't Make Sense

Sunday, October twenty first, two thousand and seven

Although I had booked a couple of lessons at NOVA for yesterday, one of them was canceled because many teachers didn't come to the school due to its recent bad financial situation that the company hasn't paid them the paycheck yet. Besides, there weren't enough substitute teachers, so it can't be helped... However, I went out with some teachers last night actually. One of my study buddies, who is 65-year-old Japanese guy and has studied English for nearly 10 years, invited them and me to his house, which is very close to the school, because some of them are going to get back to their respective countries soon. It's kind of his tradition to invite them over before teachers' leaving Japan. After that, some teachers and I hit a bar near his house without him as he had to work in the night. Since I made a pun with the word "yen" yesterday, I asked the native English speakers if the sentence makes sense or not. According to them, they have never used the word "yen" as "a strong desire" before and didn't know the meaning. So I realized that the word "yen" is a correct English word because it's contained in my dictionary, but that's not to say it's used by native speakers. I mean, all words in dictionaries of any language aren't necessarily used in real life. At the end of the conversation they taught me another word that has the similar meaning of "yen". The word was.... "yearn".

yearn: 熱望する

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pun with Yen

Saturday, October twentieth, two thousand and seven

Since I'm Japanese, I've thought "yen" only means the currency in Japan for years. However, I found out another meaning of the word "yen" the other day.
As far as I know, there are many expressions that means "to hope strongly" in English - such as "be eager to", "be keen to", "be anxious to", "crave" and "long" etc. I saw an article written about "yen" has the same meaning as those words last week. That's interesting! Let me make a pun with "yen".

I have a yen to earn a huge amount of yen! :D

Thursday, October 18, 2007

IRON MAIDEN Coming!

Thursday, October eighteenth, two thousand and seven

IRON MAIDEN, my favorite British heavy metal band, is going to come to Japan in February of next year as a part of its 2006 world tour, which is called "SOMEWHERE BACK IN TIME", according to the official web site. However, they are planning to hold some concerts only around Tokyo. Since I lived in Osaka, it's sort of expensive and tough for me to go to Tokyo and see their gig, that's nearly impossible, I guess. (ToT)
The web site says that they are going to play the songs that they released in 1980's. I'm anxious to see the performance but I won't make it unless they modify their decision. The way I see it, the reason they are going to have concerts only around Tokyo would be that they wasn't able to make a good profit last year in Japan. I'm terribly sad to hear the news. (ToT)(ToT)(ToT)(ToT)(ToT)

be anxious to do something: ~することを切望する。
(= eager, keen???)
(cf. be anxious about something: ~のことを心配する。)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Why don't I quit NOVA?

Wednesday, October seventeenth, two thousand and seven

Many NOVA students are eager to quit NOVA and be refunded their lesson fees, but apparently the stupid president's company cannot afford to pay them back the money so far. Some friends asked me why I don't quit NOVA soon actually. However, I won't quite it as long as the school exists. One of the reasons is that there are many nice teachers at the branch I belong to now, and another one is that I tend to behave differently from other people, that's to say, I'm sort of perverse. (^_^) The other one is that I'd like to observe how NOVA would get through the recent tough business situation if the airhead could. Actually, I'm in charge of my factory's business management, so I might have such kind of serious circumstance someday, I mean, I'd like to learn lots of ways to get by in poor business environment. I must be lucky that I'm a NOVA student now, because I can study not only English but also how important corporate managements are!


perverse: ひねくれた、あまのじゃくな

Monday, October 15, 2007

Half-body Bathing

Monday, October fifteenth, two thousand and seven

These days Osaka's climate is cool and comfortable for me, that's easy to work hard, but on the other hand, I sometimes feel a little cold at night actually. So, I take a bath for relatively longer time nowadays compared to summer. Some experts in human health say that half-body bathing for at least 20 minutes would help us get healthy and maintain the skin's youthful appearance, that's to say, the way could help me look younger. I recommend that you guys, especially women, take a half-body bath as a good habit. Let me go on the custom for a while.

half-body bathing: 半身浴

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Got Lessons at New Place

October fourteenth, two thousand and seven

Since I had to move to NOVA's another branch because of Kishiwada's closing, I took regular lessons at Wakayama for the first time yesterday. One of five lessons I took there was about humor - such as puns, satire, and anecdotes. Because I like "Oyaji gag", which means "Middle aged men's jokes" and tends to play on words, the lesson made me happy, that's to say, I had a ball with interesting teachers at the new place. Besides, there are at least four female teachers in the branch actually and many cheap restaurants and Japanese style bars nearby. How lucky I am! I'm eager to visit the place very soon. Let me check out whether the bars near the school is suitable for dating or not, in case I get a nice girlfriend. :p
Speaking of friends, right after I had had dinner at home, a femail friend emailed me why I didn't show up at the bar we often go get a drink. Since I'm kinda her slave, servant, or subordinate, I had no choice but to obey her order. :D As we were having much alcohol in the bar, she was getting smashed and behave a lot of something funny. I had a ball not only in the English school but also in the bar yesterday. (^^♪

pun: 駄じゃれ、語呂合わせ
satire: 風刺、皮肉
get smashed: べろべろに酔っ払う

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Early Bird

Tuesday, October ninth, two thousand and seven

I usually wake up naturally at the crack of dawn, therefore many people say I'm definitely a morning person(early bird). When I was young(Should I say "when I was younger"? :D), I was a night owl(night person) as most young people are. Since I'm already on the wrong side of 40, maybe it can't be helped to awake early morning. Anyway, the time from when I awake until when I leave for work is an important for me to study English actually. However, too much noise made by my kids and the mother of them often gets in my hair, especially her loud screaming toward the kids really drives me bananas. Some of my friends say, my wife is so nice that I must be very happy. In a pig's eye!
Anyhow, they usually get up around 6 am, so I came up with a good idea dealing with the matter, that's is being off to my factory around 6 am with some books, that's to say, I can study English at home from when I get up until 6 am and at my factory from 6 am until when I start working.

"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
get in somebody's hair (informal): to annoy someone, especially by always being near them
in a pig's eye [American English] (spoken, informal): used to show that you do not believe what someone is saying

Monday, October 08, 2007

Sports Day

Monday, October eighth, two thousand and seven

It's a national holiday today in Japan, which is called "Sports Day". It was established to commemorate "Tokyo Olympic Game" held in 1964. The holiday used to be October tenth but was changed into the second Monday of October after "Happy Monday Law" had been enacted, that's instituted to make consecutive holidays.
The harvest festival , which is called "Yagura Festival, is held on the previous day of Sports Day and the day every year. There's an interesting video on my home page in MySpace. Take a look at it if you have interests with the festival.
Although today is Sports Day and the festival's day, I don't want to use my body that much because of a terrible backache. I'd better just watch the festival with my children or else I won't be able to work as hard as usual from tomorrow. :<

"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
commemorate [transitive]: to do something to show that you remember and respect someone important or an important event in the past
enact [transitive]: to make a proposal into a law
institute [transitive]: to introduce or start a system, rule, legal process etc
consecutive [adjective]: consecutive numbers or periods of time follow one after the other
without any interruptions

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Relatively Cool

Wednesday, October third, two thousand and seven

Finally this autumn has just come in Osaka, Japan. Since it's cool compared to last month, I can work in my factory sort of comfortably and feel little stress. I have tons of back-orders still, though. :-<
Anyway, autumn could be the best season for any activity - such as sports, hiking and having a BBQ! I'm dying for having a BBQ or else I wouldn't have enough energy to live! Actually these days I can't have dinner with my family on week days due to the recent busy situation. Honestly, I really like to see my children eating with a smile. Because I'm the breadwinner, it's a responsibility of mine to work for feeding them. Anytime I see them digging in, that makes me think working hard is worth it and pays off. On the other hand, it's one of my pleasures to go out alone for a drink. If my physical condition allows me to go out this Saturday night, I WILL go get a drink after chatting in English at a branch of NOVA!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Branch to Closed

September twenty seventh, two thousand and seven

NOVA, the most biggest private English school in Japan, has a big financial problem now as many Japanese people know. I saw an article in the newspaper, that mentioned the company's future. According to the newspaper, the school was planning to close some branches to slash expenses. I hoped that Kishiwada branch, which I belong to now, wouldn't be shut down. Against my expectation, one of my study buddies, whose name is Hiro*** and who studies English at the same branch, made a phone call the day before yesterday to let me know the branch is going to be closed next month. Holy shit!!! .... Pardon my French. m(_ _)m
Anyway, I have to move to Namba branch or Wakayama branch soon. I'm going to move to Wakayama branch so far. The reason isn't just because it's closer from my house than Namba. Actually I visited there the other day as I've post an article here before. I like the atmosphere in the lesson rooms, the teachers and the stuff. They looked very friendly at that time. Besides there are many amusement spots around there - such as bars, bars, bars and bars.... :D

Monday, September 24, 2007

Got Hair Cut

September twenty fourth, two thousand and seven

It's still too hot working in my factory, so I finally decided to have my hair cut short as the following picture. Looks cool? :D
Actually, I'm going bald terribly now, especially the top of my head. I wanted to do something effective against the problem somehow. I came up with a counter measure last week, which is getting a hair cut; that's to say, I had my hair cut short so that the bald patch doesn't stand out. :)

hair cut

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Go to Wakayama

Sunday, September ninth, two thousand and seven

Every Sunday I usually have to do something nice for my family instead of spending my spare time freely on Saturdays. Fortunately, I can visit Wakayama branch of NOVA today, however. Actually, my eldest son is completely crazy about playing "Syougi(Japanese chess)" and "Go". So he asked me to take him to a big competition hall of that kind of games in Wakayama. Since he seems to want to play those games for hours, I had to figure out how I kill time while waiting for him there...
After a while I came up with a great idea, that's to attend some free conversation lessons in Wakayama branch of NOVA. I actually know some teachers who belong to the branch because some of them had come to the small branch I used to go to as substitute teachers(= help teachers?) before I moved to the one I belong to now. I'm looking forward to having a reunion with them.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Letter From Canada

Saturday September eighth, two thousand and seven

I got an email from Canada today. It was sent by one of my study buddies in the English school we often go to. She seems to have arrived in Canada and be having hard time with her study. Actually she doesn't have a job now and all her children have already grown up, that's one of the reasons she can afford to study abroad. To be honest, I'm envious of her trip.
As far as I know, she's going to stay there for three months. When I have a reunion with her, I bet she will be able to speak English super fluently. So I'll go to pieces then, I guess. :D

Anyway, her email reminded me of an old Japanese song, which is called "A love letter from Canada." Of course, she isn't my lover though. :D

"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
go to pieces: if a person or what they do goes to pieces, they are so upset or nervous that they cannot live, work, or perform as they should
(= go nuts?)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Employ New Face

Friday, September seventh, two thousand and seven

My brother and I have finally hired a new employee lately. The new face is coming to work from next Monday. Since he has some experience to work in the recycling industry that my factory belongs to, we expect him to make an immediate contribution to us. If he lives up to our expectations, we'll be able to have more spare time weekdays. I'd like to read English newspapers or something like that. As a result, I could improve my English skills and may be able to have fun with my foreign friends a lot... I really hope so, but that depends on how hard he works in my factory. :)

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Using English-English Dictionary

Wednesday, September fifth, two thousand and seven

These days I'm into using the English-English dictionary made from paper as the following picture actually. I know one of my weak points in my English skills is the poor vocabulary, so I had been looking for a good way to increase it. As a result, I realized that it could be a good way using dictionaries made from paper, especially English-English ones. Electronic ones are so useful that I can check out any word's meaning quickly, but the way tends not to be memorable through my experience. Honestly, one of my study buddies, who is a female high school student and who passed an exam of a high level English test in Japan which is called "英検準1級(Eiken Jun Ikkyuu)", recommended me that way. On the way, I'll be able to understand all new words in English, not translated in Japanese. If there're some words I don't know in the explanation of the word I want to know the meaning, I would have to check it out to find out the exact meaning of them on the other pages. Anyway, Let me resume writing my English diary from now on. The contents aren't interested for anyone though. :p

my dictioanry

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sea Bathing Nearby

Tuesday, August fourteenth, two thousand and seven

I took my third son and daughter to the beach near my house to swim in the sea. Because my wife-in-law(^^) and eldest son refused to go there together, I had to take care of the two kids alone. X(

Let me upload two pictures I took at the beach.

swimming in the sea close to KIX
swimming in the sea close to KIX

You can see Kansai international airport, where the second runway has just come into operation, behind my kids in the first photo. In the second one, you can see a big shopping mall in the back. Actually, I used to be a student of the NOVA's branch in the mall.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Watching DVD with my kids

Saturday, August eleventh, two thousand and seven

Last night my eldest son and third son asked me like, "Dad, we would like to watch the DVD you often watch!" I didn't understand what DVD they want to watch at first, actually.
No way! Adult DVDs????? NO! Honestly, I DON'T have such a kind of DVDs!
They went on like, "Rio... whatchamacallit...."
I realized what DVD they had mentioned; that is to say, they wanted to watch the DVD that is called "Rock in RIO" and that is presented by IRON MAIDEN.
Like father, like son! They seem to like the DVD. Generally, IRON MAIDEN is categorized as "Heavy Metal"; in fact, they are still one of the greatest British heavy metal band.
I recommend watching the DVD to anyone who usually doesn't listen to heavy metal. Whenever watching the content, I don't think they are older than me through the energetic performance. There are some melodious numbers; on the other hand, they are sometimes excited with the Brazilian audience. In my case, I MUST watch the DVD at least once a week. :)

Rock in RIO - IRON MAIDEN

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Doing The Dishes

My 6-year-old daughter is doing the dishes for the first time to help her mother. Her figure in the movie is super cute, isn't it? (^^;

The Dog Days

Saturday, July twenty first, two thousand and seven

In Japan, this year's dog days(土用 doyou) has just started. It's very common in the country to eat eel during the period, especially on July thirtieth, which it's considered that is the hottest day. Actually, I'm sometimes asked from non-Japanese why Japanese people like to have eel during the dog days(midsummer). Whenever being asked that question, I reply to them as below.

Because it's been so muggy during the dog days, they need to have nutritious foods to get through the awful climate, I mean, in order not to suffer from the summer heat. In Japan, it's believed that eating eel makes people energetic. In fact, eel has many kinds of vitamins and other nutrients.
And also, it's common to eat 土用餅(doyou mochi) in Kansai region of Japan during the muggy period, which is a kind of rice cake covered with bean jam and which tastes sweet.


What food is common to eat during summer in your country?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Typhoon No.4 Hit Japan

Sunday, July fifteenth, two thousand and seven

A big and powerful typhoon caused rainstorms almost all over Japan yesterday. Now it already passed by Osaka and is going near Tokyo. Fortunately, my family and I didn't have any serious problems. I personally think most typhoons tend not to bring terrible damage to Osaka, so we are very lucky. :) However, Kyusyu area, the southern part of Japan, got damaged seriously, according to the newspaper. As far as I know, the part is tendency to sometimes have heavy rain during typhoon seasons. Apparently, two people, including an elementary school student, were killed due to the flooding in Kagoshima prefecture, which is one of districts in Kyusyu area. I'm really worried that many of the recent typhoons could be bigger and more powerful than they had because of global warming.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

10th Anniversary

Tuesday, July tenth, two thousand and seven

Today is one of the most unforgettable days for me actually. Ten years ago today my second son passed away because of his terrible heart problem, and he also had Down syndrome. As is well known, those who have Down syndrome tend to have heart problems from birth. Let me visit his grave after work today to pray for his soul.

There are some web pages for him that made by me years ago. Access them if you like. The contents are written in Japanese though.
http://www.geocities.jp/prowler7010/naoto/index.html

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Star Festival

Saturday, July seventh, two thousand and seven

It's The Star Festival, which is called "七夕(Tanabata)" in Japan, today. Tanabata bases on a Chinese legend as far as I checked it out on the Internet. According to the legend, a god in space separated a couple of stars that were lovers. Vega(織女星 Weaver) loved Altair(牽牛星 Cowherd) so much that she goofed off her weaving job. The god got angry at her attitude so much that the god couldn't help but put the Milky Way between them so that she can concentrate on her work. However, the god allowed them to see each other only on the night of July seventh because of their strong wish.

It's a sort of romantic story, isn't it?

Anyway, the festival has been held since the Edo period in Japan. Japanese people, especially children, write their wishes on strips of colorful paper, tie or hang them on the branches of bamboos, decorate them outside at night, and pray for their wishes to come true like Vega and Altair.


"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
goof off[phrasal verb]: to waste time or avoid doing any work

Friday, July 06, 2007

My Own Pace

Friday, July sixth, two thousand and seven

As a matter of fact, my physical condition has been still a little bad because of the recent muggy weather and my age, 44 years old. :) That's exactly why I don't often write my English diary that I used to.
Anyway, I don't have enough time to study English nowadays, so I have just decided to post articles here only when I came up with interesting ideas and had amusing experiences. In addition, I can't master a lot of knowledge at once because of my tough noodle if I try to write English journals with new words. But I want to try a new approach here. Actually, I sometimes read English newspapers these days after some teachers recommend me to do that so that I can improve my skills. Let me post my opinions here after reading news if time permits. To be honest, it's the most significant to get back my health as soon as possible because my friends and I are planning to have a big BBQ party next weekend. :)

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Old Nail Comes Off

Saturday, June thirtieth, two thousand and seven

Last night the old nail of my left little finger fell off after I had been waiting long for that. The new nail hasn't come out completely yet but I'm so happy now because I wont' suffer from the pain any more that occurs when the old nail is caught in something.
The finger looks so strange that anyone who takes a look at it would say like, "Yuck!", "Grotesque!", "Ew!", or something like those. (^_^; Let me upload the picture below.

grotesque finger

To change the subject, serious flooding occurred in Texas, according to the English news I sometimes read on my cell phone. Since an American guy who used to be an English teacher of mine lives there, I couldn't help but ask him if he is OK by email. Although I haven't gotten his reply yet, I hope he doesn't have any serious problems from my heart.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dad's 76th Birthday

Friday, June twenty ninth, two thousand and seven

I decided to write my English diary everyday at the beginning of this year as a new year's resolution, but my recent health condition doesn't allow me to do that. My job really has worn me out lately. That's why I was absent from this blog space for a few days. Besides, I've been suffering from a terrible backache as I mentioned it the other day. It's been one of those days! Frankly speaking, I can't help but feel that I'm no spring chicken. (^^;

Taking of "one of those days", one of my American friends taught me the phrase while he was in Japan. It is used to say that everything seems to be going wrong, according to my English-English dictionary. Whenever I use the phrase in English conversation, it reminds me of his face and nice memories. Nostalgic... (^^;

Anyway, today is my father's 76th birthday. My family already had a party with my brother's family last Saturday, which combined with my third son's birthday party. Next year we'll have to hold a big party for him. He's going to be 77 years old on the same day next year, which means that he's going to reach "喜寿(kiju)", one of special birthdays for Japanese people. Those who reaches 77 years old are mostly celebrated by their families for having the long life. The Chinese character "喜" used to be written with three "七"s in Japan, "七" means "seven" in Japanese, and also "寿" is a formal word to describe happy things... maybe. That's the reason 77 years old is also called "喜寿" in Japan. Even though "喜" used to be written with three "七"s, "喜寿" doesn't mean 777 years old. (^^; It's impossible for anyone to have such a long life as you know!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Manipulative Treatment

Monday, June twenty fifth, two thousand and seven

I've been suffering from a terrible backache for weeks actually, so I went see the doctor last Saturday who my mom recommended me the other day. According to him, my pelvis is distorted probably because of the recent busy work and it needs fixing up as soon as possible, otherwise I'll have more serious problems in the future. This evening I'm visiting his clinic again besides got to go see him regularly from now on. I'm worried that my evening-drink time could be shorter... (ToT) It might also be good for my health though. (^^;


manipulative treatment: 整体術
pelvis: 骨盤
distorted: ゆがんでいる

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lazy Diary

Sunday, June twenty fourth, two thousand and seven

Today I'm under the weather, so I can't write long English sentences. Let me just upload some pictures I took during my third son's birthday party yesterday.
I'm going to take a shot nap to get rid of my fatigue and go out alone to take some English free conversation classes this afternoon.

my third son's birthday
my third son's birthday
my third son's birthday
my third son's birthday

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Son's 9th Birthday

Saturday, June twenty third, two thousand and seven

It's my third son's ninth birthday today. As I wrote an article here, we are having a BBQ party at home. Let me pick up tons of food stuff this afternoon. But before that, I have to go see a doctor because of my terrible backache and stiff neck caused by the recent busy job, I guess. I'm going to have a massage and electric therapy or acupuncture treatment. Therefore, I can't take English lessons today as usual Saturday. Let me take them tomorrow instead. I MUST speak English a lot more! In fact, these days I feel like my English skills are turning down(going down?) actually.

Anyway, I'll post some pictures of the party later if I can take nice ones.


electric therapy: 電気治療
acupuncture treatment: 鍼治療

Friday, June 22, 2007

BBQ For 2 Birthdays

Friday, June twenty second, two thousand and seven

It's my third son's 9th birthday tomorrow, and besides, my father's 76th one is June 29th. We were planning to have a party on June 30th but have just rescheduled it. My brother's family and us are having a BBQ tomorrow at my place to celebrate their birthdays. We are having a party with my brother's family after a long time, so it will become a kind of crazy party because of many noisy kids! Actually, each of us has three kids. They are so energetic that I'm afraid of my house being crashed by them. Anyway, let me prepare tons of meat! Plus I have to.... NO! MUST prepare lots of BEER! There's no more delicious one than cold beer in such hot weather. I can't help but swallow a huge amount of beer! In fact, on a day like recent hot climate, I would do anything for cold beer!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cram School Unnecessary

Thursday, June twenty first, two thousand and seven

When it comes to our children's education, my wife is prone to be an extremely education-minded mother, actually. She asked me if it's OK to have our eldest son go to a cram school. In Japan most junior high school students are often go to cram schools in order to enter high-level high schools. Frankly speaking, I don't think it's a good idea for kids to often spend time studying that much. Therefore, I replied to her, "In my opinion, your idea is a sort of waste of money and time. He has a lot of things to do such as playing outside and help me work in my factory. Those things are real study cases, I think."


be prone to = tend to (?)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Happiest Person

Wednesday, June twentieth, two thousand and seven

I personally think....

The happiest person in the world is the one who believes themself is wise, although themself is the most stupid person.

The unhappiest person in the world is the one who thinks themself is stupid because of being often bothered by the happiest person, although themself is much wiser than the real stupid person.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Telemarketers Annoy Me

Tuesday, June nineteenth, two thousand and seven

Do you like taking phone calls? Actually, I hate doing that while I'm working. Of course, it's OK with me that my business partners make calls to me anytime, but most of the calls I have to take in my factory tend to be from salespeople after accessing my factory's web site such as persuading me to make a better web site with them. Since I used to be a capable(maybe...) computer system engineer, I've already implemented SEO(Search Engine Optimization) into it! In addition, the cost they offered me are mostly ridiculously high! I don't need such silly presentations! I have no idea why they contact me by email. Don't bother me any more! Ah... I must have a short temper...

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Equipment

Monday, June eighteenth, two thousand and seven

A new machine has just come to my place. Not to my factory, to my house actually. (^^;
As my two sons have been getting fat lately, my wife decided to buy an exercise machine at a shopping mall for them as the following picture. Besides she can do exercise inside the house in order to lose her wight, but I don't think she is fat. It's true to be getting fat only around the lower belly though.

an exercise machine
What do you think about that? Do children have to do exercise with such kind of equipment? I actually don't think so. They should play sports or something like that instead of using such a ridiculous machine. I bet it's a waste of money, of course. What a stupid idea! I really want to make them work in my factory if they have the time to do such a silly thing. They will be able to lose their weight, and I'll be able to get through a job much earlier as well. That's killing two birds with one stone!


lower belly: 下腹

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father’s Day

Sunday, June seventeenth, two thousand and seven

In spite of my expectation, no one in my family gave me something nice today. I had thought they didn't do anything for me though. It's already been thirteen years since I became the father of my children, sadly, I haven't been presented anything before. (ToT) It's OK with me that they didn't got me any good stuff, however, what I don't forgive them is having forgotten today is Father's Day. In fact, my wife said just now, "Ah... It's Father's Day today. I forgot that." I personally think it's a sort of responsibility for her to tell our children when Father's Day is and what they should do on the day. Anyway. it's almost over today, so it can't be helped. I could be nothing more than a worker bee. What a life!


be nothing more than something: ~に過ぎない

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Usual Saturday

Saturday, June sixteenth, two thousand and seven

I took three regular English lessons and four free talk classes at a branch of NOVA this afternoon, I had a headache after that. It might be quite tough for me to take regular lessons and free talk classes on the same day. Let me focus on either one from now on because I'm no spring chicken. X(
As I posted a journal the other day, NOVA is in a jam now. Therefore I couldn't help but encourage the staff, saying "Hang in there."

After NOVA, a couple of my friends and I hit a Japanese style bar as usual. I expected to go to the bar in Kishiwada city that my friends recommended me to visit the other day and that serves so many kinds of nice fried foods, but it was too crowded when we arrived there, so we couldn't help having alcohol at another bar actually. Anyhow, doing something with young people makes me feel young anytime we have a party or something like that. I'd appreciate their kindness from my heart.

Friday, June 15, 2007

ADHD Son Bullied

Friday, June fifteenth, two thousand and seven

This evening my eldest son's home room teacher came around to my house right before I got home from work. Apparently, the son was bullied by some his classmates at the junior high school. Since he has ADHD, which stands for Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, many of them can't understand why he sometimes behaves strangely. Luckily, some of them told the teacher that my eldest son had been bullied and the details.
According to the teacher, it wasn't so serious, however, he scold severely the students involved in the bad conduct as soon as he heard the report. The purpose he visited my house was to let us know the fact. Besides, he told us other small things that happened recently at school. He says that we can be relieved because there are some nice classmates and he intends to pay attention to not only my eldest son's behavior but also other students' one.
He is really an amiable person, I think. In addition, he has a lot of knowledge about disabilities as he used to work for a school for disabled children. My eldest son must be happy to have such a good teacher. Of course, I asked him to watch the bad bays so that they won't bully the nice students in revenge(retribution?) for having been reported their bad deed.


amiable: 好意的な、感じの良い
in revenge(retribution) for something: ~の仕返しに

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rainy Season

Thursday, June fourteenth, two thousand and seven

Apparently, the rainy season of this year has just started in Japan. As the temperature in my factory was relatively cool today, I felt comfortable in today's job. In addition, rain sometimes makes me feel relaxed because of the negative ions generated by the weather.
Speaking of "negative ion", Japanese people often say "minus ion" instead of "negative ion". According to my dictionary, "minus ion" is a strange English word made in Japan and "negative ion" is correct. Actually, tons of strange English words made in the country often drive me bananas these days. Since I was born in Japan, it's no use complaining though.


negative ion: マイナスイオン(minus ionは、和製英語)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

NOVA in Trouble

Wednesday, June thirteenth, two thousand and seven

According to the newspaper, the Japanese government has just given some business improvement orders to NOVA, the most biggest private English school in Japan. The newspaper says that the school often told lies to the new customers when they contract with NOVA. Since some consumer affairs bureaus have been swamped with complaints related to the agreement between NOVA and its students. I'm worried about taking my English lessons in the future but I'll go on studying English there as long as the staff provide sincere services. To be honest, I don't want to mention this affair any more. I really feel sorry for the teachers as they might be at a loss in spite of their leader's blunder.


business improvement order: 業務改善命令
be swamped with complaints: 苦情が殺到する
consumer affairs bureau: 消費者センター
blunder: 失態

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Exhausted...

Wednesday, June twelfth, two thousand and seven

I'm so tired I could sleep for a month...
I'm worn out...
I'm exhausted because I had to work my fingers to the bone today...
I need having a BBQ with a huge amount of beer to get over from my fatigue...
I've been suffering from lack of energy...
I almost die...

I wonder if there are any other interesting expressions I can say when I'm extremely tired. (^^;

Monday, June 11, 2007

Nintendo DS with English Game

Monday, June eleventh, two thousand and seven

These days my eldest son is into studying English actually. But the way is using a video game, whose name is "英語漬け(eigo duke)". It's one of the most famous programs for Nintendo DS in Japan. If I translate the game's name into English, I would say "cramming English."

English game
The 13-year-old boy told me the other day that his level was "D" then, however, I don't know whether the level is good for his age or not. Does anyone tell me if it's good or bad? Should I study English with the game as well as he does?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Wonder If Taking TOEIC Again

Sunday, June tenth, two thousand and seven

Now that I'm a factory worker, I don't have to get any qualifications and good scores of English tests. To be honest, the purpose I study English is to have a lot of good times with interesting people, not for my work. However, I took a TOEIC last summer in order to know how bad my skills are. The score was six hundred and forty, which was better than I had expected, actually. Since one of my Australian friends presented me a study tool for TOEIC the other day, I want to use it and give it a try again this year. So far I haven't decided when I'm going to take it, but it will be this September or so if my job isn't killing me. There's just one thing that must be true. I mean, it's certain that I'll never study too hard. :) Anyhow, let me try it at my own pace. That way is the most important for anything I try to do.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Wearing Grove

Saturday, June ninth, two thousand and seven

As I posted an article here, a new nail is coming up under the old one of my left little finger now. The old one is going to fall off naturally anytime soon, and I expect to have an excellent virgin one, not pierced nail. :) These days I'm kind of worried about having terrible pains if it's caught in something actually. So I decided to put on a grove as the following picture until getting the new one otherwise the pain would be killing me, I bet.

my left hand with a grove
Since I was having a grove on my left hand, everyone who I met today at the English school and the bar I sometimes hit Saturday, such as my English teachers, study buddies and friends, asks me why I was wearing it. After all, I had to explain the reason one million times today! However, they gave me a good topic for today's diary. (^^;

Friday, June 08, 2007

Once-a-week Drinking

Friday, June eighth, two thousand and seven

Since I decided the other day to go for a drink once a week, usually Saturday nights, I have to go out tomorrow night. It's a kind of responsibility of mine actually, so I'm considering now where I should go. I wonder if I should hit bars once in a while that I haven't been to before. Anyway, I feel fatigue and a lack of energy because of the recent busy work and hot weather, so I think it's a good idea to have hearty(nourishing or nutritious?) meal, such as eel bowl, somewhere before having a drink.


"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
hearty [adjective]: a hearty meal is very large
nutritious [adjective]: food that is nutritious is full of the natural substances that your body needs to stay healthy or to grow properly
nourishing [adjective]: food that is nourishing makes you strong and healthy

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Come On Rainy Season!

Thursday, June seventh, two thousand and seven

This year's rainy season will begin anytime soon in Japan, I suppose. I usually don't like rain but rain in hot weather makes me comfortable actually, especially when I'm working. It makes cool down the temperature around the machinery in my factory, so I expect we won't sweat that much. I can lose my weight easily by sweating a lot in hot weather though.
ANYWAY WE NEED RAIN! The temperature can't be too cool!


can't ~ too ...:いくら...しても~し過ぎることはない。

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Daughter Sprains Leg

Wednesday, June sixth, two thousand and seven

The day before yesterday my 6 year-old daughter was playing with her friends at school wearing sandals when she twisted her left ankle. We guessed she just sprained it but the doctor who examined her yesterday told my wife that she has a cleavage fracture in her ankle. That's not so serious injury but I feel sorry for her, of course. Besides, she has to stay away from swimming school classes for at least three weeks, the doctor said.
Talking of "cleavage fracture", I hadn't known the word "cleavage" has such a meaning, I knew that it means the space between a woman's breasts. :)


cleavage fracture: 剥離骨折(=avulsion fracture, chip fracture, sprain fracture ???)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Manner an Manners

Tuesday, June fifth, two thousand and seven

newspaperI hadn't known the difference between "manner" and "manners" until I read this week's newspaper issued for English study. I'm so ashamed of my lack of knowledge. When the word is used as a singular, it means similar to "way". But on the other hand, when it's used as a plural, it means similar to "behavior" as far as I've understood.

I've actually subscribed to a newspaper published by The Japan Times, Ltd. since this week. The paper teaches me a lot of new knowledge, therefore I would be able to learn much more from now on. But most of the contents seem to be more than I can handle. haha. Since I can bring it everywhere easily, I expect that I can kill time with it anyway and ask my teachers about the articles from now as well. Let me give them the third degree! (^^;


"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
give somebody the third degree:(informal) to ask someone a lot of questions in order to get information from them

Monday, June 04, 2007

Kill Two Birds With One Stone

Monday, June fourth, two thousand and seven

Finding interesting English proverbs is really interesting to me actually. I can learn not only English but also effective life styles through it. As everyone knows, there's a famous common saying, "kill two birds with one stone", in English. I had thought it derives from the Japanese one, 一石二鳥(isseki nicyou), for ages, so I asked an English teacher the other day if it derives from the Japanese proverb or not. He replied to me that he wasn't so sure because there are tons of common sayings among many languages.
After that, I tried to figure out the exact origin on the Internet. Against my guess, I realized in the end that the English one is probably original and it was translated into the Japanese one in Edo era or Meiji era. Besides the Japanese one was started using commonly in the country in after World War 2! Amazing! I guessed the English proverb derived from Chinese or Japanese language because of the ring.

By the way, the recent busy job is really killing me. I'm so tired I could sleep for a month...zzz

Sunday, June 03, 2007

New Nail Coming Up

Sunday, June third, two thousand and seven

As I posted an article that mentioned my left little finger injured, the finger has been having some small problems for almost two months. It has bled internally and swelled up since I jammed it into the door of the oil hydraulic pressing machine in my factory.
It's getting over day by day, in fact, I can see a new nail under the old shaky one as the following picture.

little finger

I suppose the old one will come off anytime soon. Frankly speaking, I'm kind of terrified of having an acute pain at that time, however, I rest assured that I'll get a virgin nail. Actually, the old nail was pierced by the doctor who tried to take out the internal blood under the one. That's why I call the new nail "a virgin nail", which haven't been pierced before. Sorry to describe it inappropriately. (^^; Ah.... I must be letch as you probably think. To be honest, I was too ashamed to type this story in Japanese. :p


"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
swell [intransitive] (also: swell up): to become larger and rounder than normal - used especially about parts of the body: (ex.) Her ankle was already starting to swell.
hydraulic [adjective, usually before noun]: moved or operated by the pressure of water or other liquid: (ex.) a hydraulic pump, hydraulic brakes
shaky [adjective]: weak and unsteady because of old age, illness, or shock
rest assured that: used to tell someone not to worry, because what you say about a situation is true: (ex.) You may rest assured that it will be ready on time.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Exercise (Sit-Ups)

Saturday, June second, two thousand and seven

Since two sons of mine are sort of fat now, my wife has just imposed doing sit-ups every day on them, actually. Although I've gained my weight recently, but I'm still the slimmest man in my family. That's why she doesn't give me anything to do. Even if she ordered me to do things like that, I would never obey anything she want me to do though. Because I'm the breadwinner in my family, I have nothing ordered by her. :p
Let me upload a video of my eldest son's doing sit-ups below. (^^;

Friday, June 01, 2007

What? Fat?

Friday, June first, two thousand and seven

When I met some ex-coworkers at BAR60 tonight after a long time, a couple of them told me that I looked like fatter than I was. SHOOOOOCK! Let me cut down on alcohol and go on a diet! I'm so depressed that I could sleep for a month. I can't write English sentences anymore... Let me hit the sack...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Go To Bar60

Thursday, May thirty first, two thousand and seven

A secret girlfriend sent me an email today to hit BAR60, where I sometimes go get a drink, together tomorrow night. Actually she lives in an apartment close to the bar and have alcohol with me once in a while in the bar. Let me have a good time with her! hehe...

Just kidding, of course. (^^; She's not my girlfriend, but an ex-coworker of mine who is an excellent computer system engineer as well as I used to be. :p Besides, she's getting married this autumn. The purpose she wants to get together is that she has me write down a message for an old man, who is my ex-boss when I was a computer system engineer. Apparently, he's now her boss and retiring very soon. Because I had a lot of works with him, not only she but also he want me to leave a message on a card which is going to be written down words by his current subordinates and ex-subordinates. Even though six years has already passed since I quit the job, both of them still remember me. I'm so happy and glad that I can't help but hit the bar tomorrow night with her! (^^;

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Best Way To Study English

Wednesday, May thirtieth, two thousand and seven

I don't mean to brag, but I can speak English a little bit actually. Therefore some of my acquaintances sometimes ask me what the best way to learn English is.

I personally think the method would depend on the person because everyone has different circumstances, such as school days and occupations. Since there are tons of private schools, books or something like those related to English study in Japan, it's quite difficult to choose the best one for everyone. To be honest, there's no way I can select it for those who want to improve their English skills. I mean, they have to find out the best way by themselves. In my case, I sometimes make English conversations in my mind when I don't have things to do, such as on a train and a bus. To tell the truth, I was practicing my English in my mind on a train the other day when I made a sound loudly and got attention from other passengers. Of course I didn't mean to do that, needless to say, I was extremely embarrassed then. X(

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Try To Cut Down

Tuesday, May twenty ninth, two thousand and seven

Since I'm kind of tied up with my work nowadays, I can't help but drink a little more alcohol than usual every night. Sort of alcoholic, I guess. I've realized that's a bad idea for having a good sleep and relaxing. As a matter of fact, I'm not able to sleep tight these days. I guess it's caused by too much alcohol. In fact, I tend to be fine on the next day when I don't get much beer. Let me try to decrease the amount I have beer on weekdays from now on. Besides, I'll be able to reduce time for dinner and do something else instead, for instance, listening to Heavy Metal , playing cards with my kids, and studying English... I'm not convinced of doing the last thing though. :p
Anyway, it's now or never to cut down on the amount of drinking! To be honest, I suppose it's really difficult for me to do that... almost impossible though.... X(
Just give it a try... maybe... hehe.


it's now or never: やるなら今だ。

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pick Up The Bill

Monday, May twenty eighth, two thousand and seven

As I wrote a journal here the day before yesterday, my friends and I had a birthday party for an American guy. The other American guy told me that he didn't have enough money to pay his share when it was time to pay the bill. Since I sometime see him at another bar, I replied to him, "Let me pay your damage, but you have to pick up the check next time I have alcohol with you at the bar we sometimes get together. Let's shake hands on it." As a matter of fact, he seemed to get a little drunk in the night, but we had a good time thanks to his funny talks at the party. I hope he remembers the promise. :)


Let's shake hands on it. : それで手を打とう。

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fishing

Sunday, May twenty seventh, two thousand and seven

Since my third son asked me to go fishing together the other day, I took him, my daughter and my wife to the sea today. But we got only one fish in spite of his expectation, so he was disappointed so much. I guess we couldn't get many fish because of today's bad tide. In my opinion, it's more important for children to have a lot of experience and knowledge than having good results. Talking of "tide", I've heard an English proverb before, "Time and tide wait for no man." Ah! I have to review all of the English lesson I have taken before!

Anyway, it's a good season to have outdoor leisure now, therefore I can't help but go out somewhere every Sunday. It would be much better for me to travel with her if I had a secret girlfriend, though. :p

Let me post some pictures I took during the fishing below. Ah, All of them are out of focus! Apparently, I took them with the close range mode. (ToT)

Time and tide wait for no man. 歳月人を待たず(光陰矢の如し?)

fishing
fishing
fishing

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Farewell & Birthday Party

Saturday, May twenty sixth, two thousand and seven

This afternoon I'm taking the last free talk lessons of the Canadian female teacher who is leaving Japan next week. After all I wasn't able to take her regular lessons before she leaves. I had been eager to take them from my heart because I've heard she is one of the most excellent teachers in the English school. Anyway, I'm going to present her a CD, which I sometimes give the teachers who leave Japan.

Besides, tonight I'm having a birthday party for an American guy at LONE STAR, that serves nice Mexican food and so many kinds of alcohol in Izumisano city, Osaka. He haven't been there and have wanted to go get a drink there as far as I know, so my friends and I organized the party actually. Since my kids asked me to take them fishing, I can't get drunk tonight and have a hangover tomorrow. :)

Friday, May 25, 2007

Shape up or ship out!

Friday, May twenty fifth, two thousand and seven

An employee in my factory often drives me nuts actually, so I often tell him, "Shape up or ship out!" However, apparently, he doesn't have the intention to quit his job. In Japan, it's quite difficult for company representatives to fire their employees.
Actually my brother and I are struggling to make ends meet, therefore we can't afford to hire new employees so far. But, the recent profit of our factory has been going up, so we'll be able to dismiss him soon for neglect of duty. To be honest, I'm looking forward to getting rid of him from my heart. Go fly a kite!


"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
shape up or ship out [spoken]: used to tell someone that if they do not improve they will be made to leave a place or their job
make ends meet: to have only just enough money to buy the things you need

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Subscribe To English Newspaper

Thursday, May twenty fourth, two thousand and seven

When it comes to casual talking, I'm kind of good at speaking English. But, on the other hand, it's quite tough for me to talk about difficult topics such as politics and economy due to my poor vocabulary. Some teachers recommended me to read English news the other day to improve it. Since then, I sometimes try to read English news on the Internet, for instance, BBC or TIMES. However, I suppose reading newspapers written in English could look cool when I'm on a train or somewhere. So I couldn't help but subscribe to a newspaper published by The Japan Times, Ltd. I'm looking forward to receiving it for the first time now. Needless to say, I'll take great pains to read it though.


"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
take/go to (great) pains to do something(also: take pains with/over something): to make a special effort to do something

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Got HairCut

Wednesday, May twenty third, two thousand and seven

It's too hot to work in my factory these days even though it's still May! So I couldn't help but get a hair cut after work today. Let me post my picture taken after having gotten a haircut below. Looks handsome? :) Actually, an American guy told me two years ago that I looked like a Japanese Russell Crowe. Since then, I introduce to anyone who I meet for the first time like, "I'm Japanese but might be a dead ringer for Russell Crowe."


"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
dead ringer [countable noun]: someone who looks exactly like someone else

haircut