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


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?)


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


Loose Tooth

Tuesday, May twenty second, two thousand and seven

I lost a tooth yesterday.... No, just pulling your leg.
A capped one on one of my right back teeth was removed after having lunch yesterday. The recent job makes me work late, so it was quite difficult to go see a dentist on weekdays. I applied to the dental clinic about the ending time of reception. According to her it's usually 7 pm, therefore I had to go there as soon as I called it a day and took a shower. The time I get there was 6:55 pm. I could make it somehow. Since it was just gotten off, the treatment ended much earlier than I had expected.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Modest Japanese Businessman

Monday, May twenty first, two thousand and seven

Some of my customers always tend to be modest to me, although I'm just one of suppliers for them. But they ask me unreasonable demands sometimes, so I don't think that too modest business people count for a great deal in business these days. Since there are tons of orders from all of the clients, I might have to make a choice, I mean, I'd like to deal only with good business partners. On the other hand, my factory's business scale is quite small, therefore, we need to deal with as many companies as possible for a rainy day. Um... quite difficult to decide...

modest: 控えめな、腰の低い
count for: ~の値打ちがある
(They count for nothing. : 取るに足らない連中だ)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Finished ZONE-E

Sunday, May twentieth, two thousand and seven

The review of all ZONE-E lessons, which I took at NOVA two years ago and last year, has just been over as the following picture. But I haven't put all of the contents into my mind yet actually.
notebookLet me start brushing up them from the beginning again with reviewing ZONE-F lessons, which I took last year and this year. I also have to take ZONE-G lessons now and review them but I can't start reviewing them unless I haven't finished ZONE-F lessons' review. It looks so far to finish it because I'm no spring chicken. :)

"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
no spring chicken: used to say that someone is no longer young - used humorously

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Farewell Party for American

Saturday, May nineteenth, two thousand and seven

This evening a farewell party(送別会 soubetsukai) for an American friend of mine was held in the Japanese style pub(居酒屋 izakaya) that's managed by one of my second cousins. My family, friends and I organized the party for him because he leaves Japan very soon. Actually he's a history teacher in the US, therefore he's very interested in Japanese culture and history. That's why he came to Japan, I suppose. As far as I know, he has to renew his teacher licence and get a job as a teacher in the States. So he need to get back to his country for that, I guess. Since I have a Japanese traditional style house, I occasionally invited him over to introduce our custom. It was quite difficult but fun for me to describe Japanese culture in English. I often tried to do that as he brought me a lot of good chances. Anyway, I want to improve my English skills much more until I have a reunion with the nice guy. Of course, that's pretty tough for my old noodle, though. I bet his Japanese skills will become much better than my English ones then, because he's much smarter and younger than me. X(

Friday, May 18, 2007

My Factory on Textbook

Friday, May eighteenth, two thousand and seven

textbookTwo years ago a publisher emailed me if it's OK to list the contents of my factory's web site on a textbook for Japanese high school students. The company was planning to publish a textbook that mentions recycling industry so that students can learn social skills. Of course I replied to him it was my pleasure.
I'd forgotten the email for a long time but he sent me the printed textbook yesterday.
Great! I'm so glad to look at the pictures of my factory on it. The fact doesn't bring me any money, however, I'm very excited now! textbook

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ranking Second

Thursday, May Seventeenth, two thousand and seven

When you google with a keyword in Japanese related to a recycling industry my factory belongs to, my factory's web site comes up as the number 2 or 3 on the result list. But when searching with the keyword on the search engine provided by Yahoo! Japan, it used to be ranked as the number 20 or so in spite of the SEO I implemented into it. Actually Yahoo! Japan search engine is more popular than Google in Japan. Therefore I've been considering how to make the web site rank up for a long time.
Today I tried to check its ranking on Yahoo! Japan. I was so surprised at looking at the result because it was ranked as the number 2 although I haven't done anything special. I guess that the system has been changed recently. I've just realized that's why we've got many emails lately.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Pretty Busy

Wednesday, May sixteenth, two thousand and seven

Very unusual for this time of year, I'm kind of tied up with my work these days. Basically, we are busy only in winter but unexpectedly have a lot of orders from our customers. Because we've got some extra materials to manufacture our products somehow, we can produce as many output as the clients want. Let me cut down on the amount of time to use the Internet.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

37 people

Tuesday, May fifteenth, two thousand and seven

Ten days has passed since I started providing email newsletters related to English study, but the number of the readers are only thirty seven people so far. (^^; The purpose I decided to do that is to review the English lessons I've ever taken before actually. I'd just like to share interesting topics with them. It's fun for me to make such contents on the Internet. I might be able to be an English teacher for Japanese someday as well. Eh? It's impossible? I think so, too. :p

Monday, May 14, 2007

Take Kids To Swimming School

Monday, May fourteenth, two thousand and seven

My wife sometimes tells me that it's too often to go get a drink once a week but I actually don't think so. Yesterday she mentioned it again but I didn't want to quarrel with her any more, so I've decided to reduce the amount of my English lesson time and take my kids to swimming lesson every Saturday morning instead of her. She will get some shopping time during they are in the swimming pool. Besides I'll be able to go for a drink every Saturday night freely. :) If she don't allow me to do that, I'll hold out for her leaving me alone.

hold out for something: (要求などが通るまで)がんばり通す

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Sunday, May thirteenth, two thousand and seven

An American friend of mine is leaving Japan soon and another American friend's birthday comes soon, too. So the facts made me go shopping today. I got the Americans some Japanese traditional items in a big shopping mall. When they come to their parties, I would say to them, "It's not much but I hope you like it." or things like that. I'm looking forward to having the parties with them and other friends. But on the other hand, I'm a little afraid of my wife's anger against my going get a drink every Saturday. :) What do you think? Is going for a drink once a week too often?
Anyway, let me do as I like as often as possible. :) Whenever I asked my master if it's OK to go out alone, she replies, "Suit yourself!" though.

Suit yourself!:好きにしなさい!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Takoyaki & Hit Bar

Saturday, May twelfth, two thousand and seven

I was going to hit a bar right after taking some English lessons, but my wife didn't allow me to do that. She asked me to have a Takoyaki party with all family members this evening and then go to the bar. But when I got home after the lessons, the party already started and there are almost no Takoyakis I can have. Apparently, my children couldn't wait to eat Takoyaki, so she decided to start the party much earlier than I had expected. Their impolite behavior to the breadwinner in my family totally drove me mad!
Anyway, I visited the bar I sometimes have beer and found two Americans. They are very funny. They tried to teach me Spanish. Actually, the bar's master, a young Japanese lady, can speak not only English but also Spanish, besides, the American guys have studied Spanish in their school days. I had a great time thanks to them and promised to get together sometime in the Mexican bar near the bar we met tonight.

"Salud!", which means "Cheers!" in Spanish.

"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
breadwinner: the member of a family who earns the money to support the others

Friday, May 11, 2007

Too Much Garlic Bothers Me

Friday, May eleventh, two thousand and seven

I was going to take some free talk English lessons this evening but I changed the decision due to some reasons. To begin with, my physical condition is sort of bad. I guess it's caused by the this week's strange weather, sometimes hot and sometimes cool. I'm under the weather because of the funny weather. :) Secondly, my mom has just prepared nice fish for our dinner actually, so I want to have it with my whole family tonight. However, I'll have to compete with my kids to eat as much amount of the dish as I want to, because they have been growing by leaps and bounds. (^^;
Anyway, the dish is lightly-roasted bonito served with sliced onion and some garlic. Since I'm taking a couple of regular English lessons next morning, I won't be able to have it with a lot of garlic. If I have garlic too much, my teachers and study buddies will hate me in the cause of the bad breath.

by leaps and bounds = dramatically, rapidly
lightly-roasted bonito: カツオのたたき

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Phone Call Drives Me Bananas

Thursday, May tenth, two thousand and seven

This morning one of our customers made a phone call to me. He asked me to load our products onto the truck arranged by him this Saturday afternoon. I was going to take some free talk English lessons then but I have to work in my factory in order to live up to his expectation. How nice of me.... :) Anyway, I'm taking some regular English lessons this Saturday morning. However, I'll have to go back to my factory as soon as the lessons end. To tell the truth, he often drives me nuts(bananas) asking too much. I can't help but have a lot of alcohol due to the annoying demand. Let me hit the bar I sometimes go get a drink this Saturday night. Actually the bar's master is a young Japanese lady, so I expect to have a good time with her. :p Besides, time permitting, I'll go to the English school I used to belong to tomorrow night so that I can practice my English in its free talk lessons instead of the lessons I was planning to take this Saturday afternoon.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Too Hot To Handle

Wednesday, May ninth, two thousand and seven

It was too hot today. I couldn't help but break a lot of sweat during today's work. I guess I'll be able to lose my weight easily.... NO! I downed as much beer as I wanted to drink today, so I might have gained weight. Anyway, working in such a dangerous environment is TOO HOT TO HANDLE! Speaking of "Too hot to handle", it's one of UFO's songs, which used to be a famous hard rock band in the UK.
To become a nice middle aged man, I have to cut down on alcohol somehow. Let me turn over a new leaf.... it seems to be almost impossible though. :)

"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
down [transitive]: to drink or eat something quickly
too hot to handle = too difficult to deal with
turn over a new leaf: to change the way you behave and become a better person

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Something Wrong in My Left Hand

Tuesday, May eighth, two thousand and seven

I have felt something funny in my left palm since I hurt my left finger. Whenever I work in my factory and try to hold something with my left hand, I feel the gripping power had gone down. I can't say for sure but the cause should be the injury.

Not to change the subject, but I've been trying to post my English diary everyday. But, in the back of my mind, I always feel doubtful about the effect on my study. In fact, waking or sleeping, my poor skills, especially speaking skill, are on my mind. That might be the cause I can't sleep tight nowadays. haha... Just kidding. I wanted to make some sentences with the new words I mentioned above. :-p Only my left hand's problem is true. The strange feeling in my left palm is really on my mind.

I can't say for sure: はっきりとは言えないけど
Not to change the subject, but... : 話は変わるけど
in the back of one's mind: 心の片隅で
waking and sleeping: 寝ても覚めても
on one's mind: 気にかかっている

Monday, May 07, 2007

Worry About Personal Information

Monday, May seventh, two thousand and seven

A friend of mine asked me yesterday whether western people tend not to be worried that their personal information is leaked. Actually, most Japanese people don't open their real names and photographs of their faces(facial portrait) on social networking sites or something like that, but lots of western people do that. I guess the reason Japanese people don't open their real name on the web sites is that it's easy to find out their other information by googling with their real names written in Kanji characters. In fact, when you google with my real name written in Kanji, my factory information comes up. As a matter of fact, it's kind of rare that someone has the same Kanji name as a Japanese person has. On the other hand, it's relatively difficult to get western people's detail information by googling with their real names even though Google is the most powerful search engine in the world, because their names are written in English or other alphabets. I hope you understand what I mean, although my guess might not be right.
Anyway, there are quite a few bad networkers who often try to find fault with other people in Japan, that's why Japanese people tend not to open their real names on the Net.

"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
find fault with: to criticize someone or something, often unfairly and frequently(~のあら捜しをする、けちをつける)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Distribution of E-Mail Newsletter

Sunday, May sixth, two thousand and seven

I distributed the first email newsletter of mine this morning somehow, which contains some information for English study. It was my first time to produce such contents by the email service which is called "MiniMag" in Japan.

Actually, someone emailed me about the misspelling in a Japanese sentence of the email newsletter with some advice as soon as I put it out. I actually don't know who he or she is, but I think I'm lucky to get such an email from my heart. Whenever I get emails with good opinion or things like that from anyone unknown to me, I'm glad to have used the Internet.

Anyway, let me have lunch at home from now, and go out to take a massage in order to prepare this week's work. There is a nice massage shop in front of the English school I used to belong to. The reason I say it's a nice massage shop is that there are many young masseuses(female masseurs) in the shop. hehe.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

I AM Single Today

Saturday, May fifth, two thousand and seven

Today my wife took all of our children to her parents' home. Actually, she takes them there once in a while to make herself comfortable, because her parents(my parents-in-law) take care of them so well whenever they are in their house. Once they left home, I can spend my private time for myself today. I'm kind of single today, so let me go out and try to get a new nice girlfriend instead of my wife. :) haha.... Just kidding.

I took a couple of regular English lessons at the usual school this morning. All of them got in my hair(=drove me nuts?)! Too difficult! Especially, one of the teachers tend to like teaching us difficult lessons with tons of new words. I've got a little migraine but the lessons were good stimulation for my old and tough brains, I think.

I'm considering now how my spare time spend tonight....

"quotes from LONGMAN Dictionary of Contemporary English"
get in somebody's hair(informal): to annoy someone, especially by always being near them (人を悩ます)
migraine [uncountable and countable]: an extremely bad headache, during which you feel sick and have pain behind your eyes (片頭痛)
stimulation [uncountable]: thing to encourage or help an activity to begin or develop further (刺激)

Friday, May 04, 2007

No Fish

Friday, May fourth, two thousand and seven

I went fishing with my family by car today, but we couldn't get any delicious fish. Because there are too many people at the fishing spot and we are kind of beginners. Next time we have to check out other fishing spots and prepare good stuff. Anyway, I think it's more important to go out and do something new for my kids than to stay home. And there was one more bad thing actually. It was a really terrible traffic jam on our way home. It usually takes about twenty minutes from the fishing spot to my place but we spent more than two hours! I'm so tired that I could sleep for a month... (-_-)zzzz

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Outdoor Goods

Thursday, May third, two thousand and seven

Since I had a BBQ under kind of hot weather the other day, I've got a lot of suntans. It was really hot to have a BBQ under the sun without tarps. So I decided to get an excellent stuff to have a BBQ even under hot weather.
I went shopping to buy a new chair to use in outdoor leisure because the current one is really old and used-up. I bought a new chair and a small side table, in addition, a big tarp to keep the sun off. Actually I'm going fishing with my family tomorrow. I'm going to use the stuff at the beach during the fishing. This afternoon I practiced the setup of the tarp with my eldest son, in order to set it up quickly tomorrow. It was relatively easy but needs at least two people to build up.

used-up: ボロボロになった
keep the sun off: 日差しをよける

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Drank Too Much Again

Wednesday, May second, two thousand and seven

I went get a drink to a bar in front of Izumisano station. I wanted to have dinner with some beer slowly after taking a bath because today's work was so tough due to kind of hot weather that I couldn't help but break a lot of sweat. But my wife asked me naggingly to finish having dinner sooner in order to clear off the table. When it comes to housework, she tends to act rather bossy actually. Since I was a bit tipsy, I got upset and went out alone saying, "Let me go get a drink! Bye!" That's why I hit the bar. :)
I like the bar's atmosphere, so I visit there about once a week these days. When I was having some beer, a young female friend of mine came to the bar to have alcohol with me. How lucky! I enjoyed having a chat with her, however, I got drank too much. How stupid I was....orz

E-Mail Newsletter

Tuesday, May first, two thousand and seven

I've just decided to start providing an email newsletter for English study. Since there are so many such kind of newsletters in Japan, it must be tough that the emails become popular. But I've wanted to make a challenge to something new recently, that's why I'm going to begin the thing. Actually, a friend of mine has offered some email newsletters since last year, her effort has motivated me a lot.

I've been considering what kind of email is appropriate as my new service for a couple of months. I really hate to see too many advertisements in emails, therefore in the end(finally) I decided to offer the service over mobile phone networks and with almost no ads. In Japan, "Mini Mag" is the most famous and popular emailing service as many Japanese people know. I applied for an account so that I can provide email newsletters on the web site last night but haven't gotten the identification yet. I'd probably make short topics and put some links in them, which links some comparatively long sentences in my Japanese blog. Because the length of mobile email newsletters are limited, it must be up to one hundred two-bytes characters to support all cell phone carriers in Japan. Anyway I want as many people as possible to read my new one. I don't have the confidence that it becomes popular at all, though. :)