Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Little Appetite, Japanese Plum(Ume)

Wednesday, February twenty eighth, two thousand and seven

After I had the flu last week, I have had little appetite and haven't wanted to drink alcohol so much. Usually I have some beer and Japanese sake after work, but have only small ones these days. I might need to take a checkup. Anyway, this busy season is expected to end within a month, let me take it after that.
Today I saw Japanese plum blossoms in my garden. That means spring as good as has come. This winter is relatively warm, but I'm really looking forward to spring coming.

Japanese Plum(ume)

as good as: ~も同然

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Politicians are good at wasting money

Tuesday, February twenty seventh, two thousand and seven

Whenever I read a newspaper, I can't help but think nobody are better at wasting money than politicians and government official. They are very good at wasting not only money but also time, I think. Any news related to political problems drive me furious and make me feel losing the motivation for hard working. I'd really like them to spend our tax effectively from my heart. Apparently, they don't know the proverb, "Time is money.", because they aren't aware of the difficulty we make money.
Speaking of politicians, the mayor of my city always have on a wig, according to one of my cousins who used to work for the city hall. No wonder his hair style is always perfectly the same. :) Actually, the mayor often appears on local TV programs. Whenever he is taken his pictures, he allegedly indicates the photographers the angle of pictures, left diagonal 45 degree. What a funny mayor. :) But his political ability is much more excellent than that of the previous mayor, I bet. In fact, he often says, "All the city hall staff must offer good services for this city's residents. We belong to a service industry, so it's important for us to be service-minded staff!" He tend to have a big mouth in front of people, though...

furious[adjective]: 激怒した、憤慨した
be aware of = know(?)
allegedly[adverb]: 伝えられるところによると
diagonal[adjective]: 斜めの

Monday, February 26, 2007


Monday, February twenty sixth, two thousand and seven

Let me post an uninteresting picture for a change.
Just because ... I have no idea to write my diary today. :)

when I was a comuter system engineer
This picture was taken by a woman in a coffee shop close to the computer system company I used to work for. That's secret who took the picture, of course. :p
I had a very short hair at that time, about 10 years ago. This picture reminds me of some good memories...

distraction: 気晴らし

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fear of the Dark

Sunday, February twenty fifth, two thousand and seven

I suppose those who often read my blog know I'm crazy about IRON MAIDEN, one of the greatest British heavy metal bands. Actually, I can't catch most words in their songs, because the lyrics tend to be difficult and have lots of messages and information. Since I'm not a native English speaker and not good at listening lessons, it's too hard for me to catch the meanings. But only one song I can catch clearly. The song's title is "Fear of the dark", the title track of IRON MAIDEN's ninth studio album. The lyrics sound similar to a lesson that I've taken before at my English school and they are relatively easy for one of the band's songs. That's why I can catch them clearly, I guess. Let me quote a part of them;

"Fear of the dark... Fear of the dark... I have a phobia that someone's always near."

Those who study at the same English school as mine probably know the lesson that sounds similar to the part. It's "ZONE-E03". Since I haven't finished reviewing all ZONE-E lessons yet, this IRON MAIDEN's lyrics helped me review "ZONE-E03" lesson the other day. I'd appreciate it, MAIDEN! :)
Now... I've just finished reviewing "ZONE-E26" lesson, actually. Twenty four ZONE-E lessons still remain, I have to review... And, all ZONE-F lessons from scratch as well. How lazy I am! I should've reviewed them as soon as I took the lessons, even though I often tell off my children saying "Don't procrastinate!" X(

from scratch: 最初から、ゼロから
tell off: ~に小言を言う、~をしかる
procrastinate: 引き延ばす、ぐずぐずする、遅らせる

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Might As Well Work?

Saturday, February twenty fourth, two thousand and seven

I slept in today for a change, to recover from the flu completely and relieve my fatigue. After I got up, I expected to relax and study English by myself. But my wife often nagged my eldest son to break his neck to take good results on his tests conducted at his junior high school next week. So I wasn't able to do anything I planned this morning. Luckily I had to go to my factory at about 11 a.m. to drive a forklift, because a truck came there to take on lots of our products. I was able to escape from the terribly noisy house, actually. I might as well work out if I can't relax at home. :)

sleep in: (意図的に)遅くまで寝ている
nag: 口うるさく小言を言う
break one's neck: 全力を尽くす
conduct (a) test(s): テストを実施する
take on: 積載する
might as well do something: ~する方がマシだ

Friday, February 23, 2007

Getting Better

Friday, February twenty third, two thousand and seven

Thank God, It's Friday! This week's work has finally ended! I had the bad flu but I'm feeling better now, thanks to some excellent medicines - such as beer and Japanese sake. :) However, I've decided to stay at home over this weekend, to be on the safe side. Actually, the musical event is being held in my daughter's kindergarten tomorrow, so I was looking forward to seeing it with my wife. But I won't be able to go see it, not to give the flu to anyone. Besides, I'm not going to take any English lessons over the weekend. Let me review some lessons I've taken before during the days.

to be on the safe side: 念のために

Thursday, February 22, 2007

No Even Energy to Drink Alcohol

Thursday, February twenty second, two thousand and seven

I must have caught the flu my eldest son had. I have a lot of terrible joint pain, awful cough, and a horrible diarrhea. In fact, I've just exhausted a huge amount of liquid sh*t. X(
Tonight, I don't have even the energy to drink any kinds of alcohol. Let me take some medicine and go to sleep. Anyway, I've decided to cancel the English lessons over this weekend and to stay at home to get better much sooner.

joint pain: 関節痛

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Articles, a and the

Wednesday, February twenty first, two thousand and seven

Finally, I seem to have caught a cold or the flu, I have a runny nose and a cough now. Talking of "the flu", I don't understand why people usually say "I have the flu." and "I have a cold.", the difference between "the flu" and "a cold". Let me ask my teachers the usage of articles, "a" and "the", next time.
Anyway, let me have a good sleep to get better soon with listening to IRON MAIDEN. I cannot help but listen to the excellent music before I fall asleep well these days. The music makes me feel energetic.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Money and Dishes

Tuesday, February twentieth, two thousand and seven

I've just made some bills with Microsoft Excel to send our customers. Some of them require us to send bills on the twentieth of each month, and the others require us to do that on the end of each moth. For Japanese companies, it's very common that the cutoff days of each month are either the twentieth or the end of month.
Anyway, the business result of this month is very good so far. We've just gotten such a big money that we would be able to take a trip after this busy season, like a hot spring trip or a ski trip. And my wife wouldn't complain about our household economy with this phrase for a while, "I have to cut corners this month again...."
Ah... Talking of my wife... she still has the flu. In addition, my mom and my daughter have just caught the flu! No wonder my mom told me this morning that she had a bad headache. Anyway, almost all of my family members have the flu now! Holy cow! I'd better evacuate to another house, like, my another wife's house. Of course, I absolutely don't have such a place so far. Umm???? so far??? What does it mean?
After all, I had to make dinner myself tonight, and do the dishes as well. Since I used to be a part time sushi chef and live alone when I was working as a computer programmer in Odawara City, it's a piece of cake for me to do such housework. They are so lucky to have such a nice guy!

cutoff day: 締め日、決算日
household economy: 家計
cut corners: 節約する、切り詰める
No wonder ... : 道理で~なわけだ。

Monday, February 19, 2007

Spread of Flu

Monday, February nineteenth, two thousand and seven

I had to work fourteen hours today due to some malfunctions of our machinery. I've really kept my nose to the grindstone recently, so I expect something good to happen to me. :)
As I posted an article the other day, my eldest son has the flu now. Today, not only my wife but also my third son seem to catch the flu. Since I live with my parents, almost all of the housework will be done by my mom instead of my wife for a while. It sometimes bothers me a lot to live with my parents because of the generation gap and something like that, but it's very helpful in such an emergency case. Anyway I must be careful not to catch the flu, because nobody can act for me in my factory as well as my younger brother. I can't for the life of me take any days off on weekdays now.

keep one's nose to the grindstone: コツコツ働く、身を粉にして働く
for the life of me: どうしても

Sunday, February 18, 2007

First ZONE-G Lesson

Sunday, February eighteenth, two thousand and seven

I took a couple of "ZONE G" English lessons, which are the highest level ones at the English school, for the first time this afternoon. There were tons of difficult words as I had expected, but most phrases weren't so hard for me to figure out. Since I write my diary in English, the way might help me to increase the number of English phrases I know. In the second lesson, we had to talk about international conflicts or something like that. So I introduced some contents of my English diary , like, Indonesia could lose about 2,000 islands by 2030 due to climate change according to a news website. Yeah! I'm very lucky! I was able to have a nice lesson thanks to my diary. (^^;

Anyway, I took the lessons with two women today. I'm lucky? They aren't as young as I want to get together, though. X(

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Flu and Party

Saturday, February seventeenth, two thousand and seven

When my eldest son got back home from his overnight school trip yesterday, he looked so tired. This morning he told my wife he was under the weather, so she checked his temperature. It was over thirty nine degree Celsius! She got him to see the doctor right away, of course. Apparently, he caught the flu that is going around in Japan. Anyway he has to stay at home for at least five days, not to give someone the flu, according to the doctor.

To change the subject, I joined a party this afternoon at a study buddy's house. A young woman of our study buddies at the English we belong to introduced her fiance, who lives in Guam, to us. That's why we had a party today. Both of them look head over heels in love.

be under the weather: 体調が悪い
go around: 蔓延する、流行する
head over heels in love: 大恋愛中で

Friday, February 16, 2007

Need Energy

Friday, February sixteenth, two thousand and seven

Thank God, It's Friday! .... I wanted to say from my heart... But I have to work tomorrow morning to change the production line in my factory into another mode. And some trucks are going to come to our place with tons of material to be recycled as well.
However, I'm going to have a BBQ party tomorrow afternoon with some nice study buddies who I often take English lessons with. One of them, a female student, is going to get married this year, so she invited him to the party. I'm eager to have a chat with him, because he's a native English speaker and she asked me to talk with him in English, even though he's good at speaking Japanese. Let me try to speak to him in English as having a huge amount of beef and beer! (^^; I really must get so much energy that I can't help but pig out at the tomorrow's party.

To change the subject, my eldest son has just come back home from the school trip for taking some ski lessons. Apparently, he had done pretty well on the lessons as far as he told me today. I don't know exactly how he did that, though. :) Anyway, I'm sure he had a good time and has got an excellent experience.

.... I'm so tired now, I could sleep for a month!!!!

study buddy: 勉強仲間
pig out: ガツガツ食う。

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Happy Birthday, My Cute Angel

Thursday, February fifteenth, two thousand and seven

mt cute angelToday is my daughter's sixth birthday. My wife prepared a hand decorated cake and いくら(ikura), salmon roe, that's one of my daughter's favorite foods. Actually, I had to work twelve hours today because of a huge amount of orders from our customers even though today is one of the most important days, her birthday. However, she allowed me to be late for the party, and kissed me as well. (^o^) There must be no cuter girl on the planet than her! なんちゃって・・・

To change the subject, my eldest son was off to Okudaisen in Tottori prefecture with his classmates and teachers to take an overnight school trip. He and most of his classmates are taking some ski lessons for the first time there. As a matter of fact, they were going to have the trip last month, but it was put off due to the warm winter of this year. He tends to be terrified of speed and heights, so I can't help but be anxious about his first try.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

St. Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February fourteenth, two thousand and seven

In Japan, it's very common that young girls present some chocolates to their boyfriends and male acquaintances on February 14th, Saint Valentine's Day. When I was a office worker, I got a huge amount of chocolates.... No.... a few ones, actually. (ToT) Now that I'm a factory worker and there are no female co-workers in my factory, I didn't get any chocolates today. Only my wife gave me a small one. Those kinds of gifts are called "義理チョコ Giri-Choco", which means "chocolate out of courtesy" in English and which is given from kind of a sense of duty. Of course, if girls want to tell someone how much they love him, they present the guys "本命チョコ Honmei-Choko", which means "chocolate for someone special" in English.

This custom is started as a sales strategy of confectionery makers in Japan a long time ago. So, "Fujiya", a big confectionery maker in Japan, must be so sad now because they aren't able to sell any sweets due to the recent incident caused by their dishonesty. Japanese customers won't buy their products for a while even if they could restart selling the stuff soon. Speaking of "sell", our products, recycled chemical fibers, have been selling like hot cakes!

courtesy: 礼儀、作法

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

NOVA Should Provide Web Services

Tuesday, February thirteenth, two thousand and seven

I personally think NOVA, the biggest private English school in Japan, should offer Internet services, such as the reservation system for taking English lessons. All students have to apply for lessons by phone or at the reception desk of the branch that the student belongs to. Sometimes I feel irritated when booking my English lessons on the ways. NOVA's reservation system looks like an old-fashioned one. Since I used to be a computer system engineer, I think it's not too difficult to build up such a reservation system on the Internet. It's very common to have such a system among service industry because customers can access the systems easily on the Internet or by cell-phone. Besides, the companies that have those systems can cut down the costs of reservation service. I can't understand why NOVA doesn't develop the system for the life of me.

for the life of me: どうしても

Monday, February 12, 2007

Horrible Climate Change

Monday, February twelfth, two thousand and seven

Recently the global environment has changed for the worse. According to a web site(, Indonesia could lose about 2,000 islands by 2030 due to climate change, because sea levels are expected to rise about 89 centimeters in 2030. So about 2,000 mostly uninhabited small islets would be submerged.

Holy cow! Nobody can say, "Whatever.", against global warming. I work in a recycling industry, so sometimes watch those kinds of news not only in the newspaper but also on the Internet, actually. Japan is the country held the international conference on the environment ten years ago, and the Kyoto Protocol was constituted at that time. I hope that many countries try to fight global warming under the Protocol and strongly hope that all advanced nations join the Protocol and make efforts for the planet's future.

Ah... The airport near my city, Kansai international airport, might be submerged in the near future as well as Indonesia's islets.

climate change: 気候の変化
change for the worse: 悪化する
uninhabited islet: 無人島
something be submerged : ~が水没する
Whatever. : どうでもいいよ。
constitute something: ~を制定する
the Kyoto Protocol: 京都議定書
advanced nation: 先進国
make efforts for something: ~のために努力する

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It's a small world

Sunday, February eleventh, two thousand and seven

I'm pretty tired now, so I'm not able to use my noodle well. Whenever I'm in such a shape, my English journal(diary) tend to be short as today's one. :)
Today I took some free conversation English lessons at my former regular branch of the English school. In the lessons, there was a young lady who works for the city hall of my city. When I asked her which department she works in, I found out she works in the same department as one of my cousins used to work in, and apparently the cousin was the first boss of hers when she got the job. Yes! she used to be one of the cousin's subordinates! Amazing! I couldn't help but say to her, "It's a small world, isn't it!?"

use one's noodle: 頭を使う "Noodle" is a kind of slang word for brains.
subordinate: 部下

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Saturday, February tenth, two thousand and seven

Since my brother and I had to work today in spite of Saturday, I had my eldest son help us in our factory this morning. Now that he's twelve years old, he is much more powerful than he was. Thanks to him, we was able to increase the production efficiency today. His help is kind of discipline and study, actually. He can learn the importance of working to live, and can do exercise as well. He also has another job at home, which is washing up the bathroom everyday. I personally think all parents should make their children have such routine works. I bet the works help them develop their future. From my point of view, all most all Japanese children must have much more discipline. So my children must be so happy, because my wife and I often make them work at home. :)

Anyway, my eldest son worked so hard and did a good job. No words can express my thanks, Yuuji(my eldest son's name)! 何とお礼を言ってよいかわからない。

Friday, February 09, 2007

Thanks! Machinery !

Friday, February ninth, two thousand and seven

Today my machinery was working so well, so I was able to have lots of alcohol after work tonight thanks to them, actually. But, I think the production line need to take some days off as well as us. These days I've been feeling sorry to the manufacturing line, because we have made them work so hard due to the recent busy job. So I can't help but feel so sorry to them even if they are just machines. Now that I'm a factory worker, the production line is sort of one of my co-workers. So the line must be one of my best friends. Ah... I'm drunk right now, I cannot write English sentences any more. :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Doing Me In

Thursday, February eighth, two thousand and seven

Today the production line in my factory luckily worked sooooo well! Thanks, my machinery! But the orders from my customers are really killing me! Speaking of "killing me", I guess it's the some meaning to say "They are doing me in!" when they bother me so much, according to my dictionary. Stop nagging me to manufacture tons of products, all of my customers!

Holy cow! Today's diary might me the shortest one in my life. :(

do someone in:(人)をへとへとにさせる、完全に疲れさせる
[ = wear someone out? ]
nag someone: (人)に口うるさく言う、小言を言う、~を絶えず悩ます

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Wash My Hands

Wednesday, February seventh, two thousand and seven

I saw an interesting English idiom, "wash one's hands of something", in an email newsletter that I received on my cell phone, when the production line in my factory was working well. The idiom sounds similar to a Japanese idiom "足を洗う(ashi wo arau)" - means "wash one's legs of something".

In Japan, people say like this - "I've just washed my legs of gambling", when the people have quit gambling. Especially, when Japanese Mafia's members(やくざ yakuza) quit their jobs to be serious men, they say "I've just washed my legs, so I'll never do criminal things."
Don't you think those similar idioms are interesting? Even though western people and eastern people were born in the different areas, I strongly think the feelings are very common.

Today, I had to work 14 hours due the malfunction of our machinery, but I couldn't help but wash hands because of lots of oil spots. Besides, I cannot help but write my diary even though I'm exhausted, because that kind of interesting idioms have me activate. Since I'm drunk now, there are tons of mistakes in this English diary, I bet. :)

Anyway, I've been really worried how long the malfunction lasts(continues).... (ToT)

wash one's hands of something: ~と手を切る、~から足を洗う

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

What does Spam mean?

Tuesday, February sixth, two thousand and seven

I often get a lot of "spam comments" on this blog space these days. They write down just "Nice Site!" or something like that, and leave some links to other web sites on my blog - such as adult web sites. That's sort of a proof that my blog has become more famous than it was. :)

Talking of "spam", the word originally means a trademark of cheap canned meat made mainly from poke. But these days, you know, the word tend to be used to mean annoying advertisements on the Internet - such as "spam emails", "spam comments", and "spam trackbacks". Do you know why the word "spam" is used for the way? I know why, actually.

At one time in the UK, BBC broadcasted an comedy TV program, which is called "Monty Python's Flying Circus". In one scene of the comedy TV program, when a married couple went into a restaurant, they heard another customer was shouting out "Spam! Spam! Spam!" over and over again. So they couldn't help but order some dishes with "Spam meat", although it's few and far between for them to have "Spam meat". That sounds like a subliminal effect, doesn't it? :) So, the customer's shouting was kind of an attack to make them wants to try "Spam dishes", even though they don't want to have the menu that much. That's why tons of annoying emails are called "spam emails" as far as I researched.

Hope you understand what I mean...

Anyway, I came up with the idea of this article thanks to a nice lady and a number of spam comments. I appreciate you giving me this idea, Ms. M.

at one time: かつて
over and over again: 何度も
few and far between: めったにない、とても稀な (=rare?)
subliminal effect: サブリミナル効果

Monday, February 05, 2007

Lost Weight

Monday, February fifth, two thousand and seven

My weight was 72 kilograms at the beginning of last month due to having too much food and alcohol during New Year's holidays. I weighed myself after a long time last Saturday. My weight was 67 kilo!!! Amazing! I've lost weight 5 kilograms a month! I might be so lucky to have the recent busy work! Actually, I tend to lose weight in winter, my busy season. I think I'll lose weight 5 more kilograms till the end of this March. After that, I won't be as busy, and "the beer season - summer" is coming soon, so I cannot help but gain weight due to a huge amount of too delicious beer. Those are sort of my annual events. :)

weigh oneself: 体重を量る
weigh: (人・物の)重さを量る
measure: (寸法・大きさ・量などを)測る

annual event: 年中行事

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Fun Review

Sunday, February fourth, two thousand and seven

Although I just became a level-3 student after the test I took yesterday, I have reviewed the lessons I took when I was a level-5 student, actually. Needless to say, I'm going to review all of the lessons I took when I was a level-4 student as well. It's occasionally kind of stressful for everyone to brush up on their studies at home. In my case, it's, of course, sometimes stressful, but on the other hand, the review of old lessons reminds me of nice memories. I mean, I can remember the nice teachers' faces, voices, and lectures whenever I brush up on their lessons. In fact, I sometimes review the lessons with smiling because of their nice memories. I wish I could have a reunion with all teachers someday...

Today I have a touch of cold still, but I have to prepare for the Doll's Festival by my wife's order. Any order from her is killing me!!! ...Just kidding.:)

hina dolls

remind someone of something: (人)に(何か)を思い出させる
a touch of: 軽い症状の~、少量の~、わずかの~
(have a touch of cold: 風邪気味である)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Pass Test and Setsubun

Saturday, February third, two thousand and seven

I took the level-up test this morning at the English school's branch I belong to. I could pass the test somehow, so I just became a level-3 student at the school. But the teacher who tested my skills told me I have to do my best on increasing my vocabulary and improving the fluency. Since I know my weak points, I'm so lucky to hear the comment that describes exactly what I should do from now on.
Anyway, it looked so far for me to become such a high level student when I entered the school. Because I started as a level-7B student, a primary student, I couldn't imagine that I'm able to be a level-3 student at that time. Anyway, I bet I'll feel like a fish out of water when I take a high-level English lesson next week or the week after next.

To change the subject, it's Setsubun today in Japan. If you want to know what day Setsubun is, I recommend you to take a look at the web page I posted last year.( Of course, there are some(a large number of ?) mistakes in English, though... :) When I was a part time sushi chef, I had to make at least a hundred sushi rolls an hour! That's one of my bad memories...

feel like a fish out of water: 場違いに感じる

Friday, February 02, 2007

Haven't Done For Long Time

Friday, February second, two thousand and seven

I made out some bills to send our customers yesterday. Since I raised the prices of our products, the total amount of the bills is much higher than that of this time of last year. I've just made a huge amount of money! But, on the other hand, my hands are really dirty and rough due to the recent busy work. However, I'm proud of these dirty hands because those are kind of a proof that I'm a really hard worker for my family and customers.
As a matter of fact, I've been suffering from having a backache lately due to the hard work and my old age, so I couldn't do anything even if some nice young ladies were beside me. In fact, I haven't done with anyone this year. When I was young, I would do that at least twice a week with my ex-girlfriends or by myself. :) Sorry to write such a dirty topic. m(_ _)m

make out a bill: 請求書を作る

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Thursday, February first, two thousand and seven

Japanese Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa came under criticism for calling women "birth-giving machines" in a speech last Saturday. Many lawmakers urge him to resign, but he don't have the will to do that, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that he intends not to call for the minister's resignation.
Let me make a sentence for them.

Politicians are the "money-wasting and time-wasting machines".