Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The last day

It's December 31st. 2013 was a pretty good year for me.
1. Business was good. I made Homework for little kids and Eiken kids. This worked out very well. Blogging and Homework for the adults went well also. New kindergarten lessons went very well. The private Monday lessons started out rough but I have found a groove teaching them.
2. Violin: I can't believe how cool it is. I am so glad that I started. And now I must practice, practice, practice. I'm also fortunate to have so much support from many people.
3. Bridge: Getting better. I know where my weaknesses are so I have to work on strengthening them. For example, bidding and counting cards.
4. Family: Eri is back form Canada. Rina continues to work at her company. Yumiko is slow, but sure. Miwako is the greatest. Probably need more communication which means  I should say less.
5. Drinking: Very, very challenging for me. It has its ups and downs.
6. RINRI: I'm doing my part but not much more. I still enjoy the 6AM Morning Seminars.
7. Jogging: I jogged 210 times. Each time 3 kilometers. Stretching for 10 minutes every Am.
All in all a happy, healthy year. We look forward to 2014. Cheers!

Monday, December 30, 2013

A message from home

My brother sends me a lot of e-mails. This one is interesting. It is only for the USA so don't worry.
I thought all should know! REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public this month. REMINDER..... all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sales calls. .... YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLS
To prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone: 888-382-1222.
It is the National DO NOT CALL list It will only take a minute of your time..
It blocks your number for five (5) years.
You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked.
You cannot call from a different phone number.
HELP OTHERS BY PASSING THIS ON.
It takes about 20 seconds.
Please forward to family and friends.
Gottit?
Last week Wednesday 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday December 29th

Sunrise last Wednesday
We are still in Mie. I wonder if we will encounter any snow. (meet: in this case "encounter" is the best word. Meet is usually only for people or accidents.  And in that case you would say "I met with an accident." Gottit?) As you may or may not know. we bought Yeti Snow Nets (chains) for our car just in case it snows. I put them on last month when they arrived. However I wanted to practice so I watched the instruction DVD once more and then so did Miwako. Then we went outside and while she was in the driver's seat she gave me directions on what to do. She had the waterproof instruction sheet. It's pretty simple actually. After putting them on we took a 200 meter test ride. While we were moving we heard a strange noise. We stopped the car. I made a mistake. I corrected it. It was good that we practiced once more. Now we are ready for anything.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday December 28th

1 year olds on stage
There is no Puzzler this weekend. And, of course, there will be no Puzzler Hints tomorrow and then naturally there will be no Puzzler Answers the day after tomorrow.  Miwako and I are travelling to Ise in Mie prefecture. While we are vacationing there I won't do any blogging. So, I will print something now. Actually, it is Thursday night, 7PM. I just got back from my school. There were no lessons today but while I was there I made some new Homework for the little kids in my school. Of course, I practiced the violin, perhaps 90 minutes. Miwako is practicing the piano right now. I will take a bath soon and then have supper. I will then watch the remainder of Benjamin Buttons. I hope to sleep at 10:30 or so. Pretty boring, eh? 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Hoikuen Christmas Party

We send a teacher to teach the kids English at the Yoshino Hoikuen in Kawagoe. It is about 20 minutes by car from my house. Last Tuesday AM they had their annual Christmas party. The regular teacher couldn't make it, so I went to do a performance with the three year olds. There are large cards on stage with animals and fruits and other drawings on them. I say one of the words on a card and the child has to look at all the cards and find that one. When they find it they bring it to the center of the stage and announce "ANT" or "BANANA" or whatever the picture is. I went to the Hoikuen three weeks ago to practice with the kids. Some didn't get it so we "rigged" their performance. That is, we chose which one they will "find". Anyway, all enjoyed. During my introduction  I told the audience that it was a "shutter chance" for me. Then I took their picture!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Urawa English Speaking Society Christmas Party

The UESS (Urawa English Speaking Society) holds annual parties in the summer and winter. Last Saturday night I attended the Christmas party at Isetan in Urawa. Actually, I was honored by being asked to make the toast. Good job, Rick! Anyway, while I was there, I met a handful of my students. There were two from the Kenkatsu LSE group and four from the Wednesday Seibu group. There were 15 or so foreigners in attendance. During the party I got to speak to almost all of them. The most fun is when the food arrives in the center table. People can't wait to eat! They come rushing to the table and the food is gone in a matter of seconds! During the party this year they had some entertainment.  There was singing and some ukulele players. All had a good time. Thanks, UESS!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

This is an outer space Christmas Tree
"It's the happiest time of the year." That's what one song says. In America it is true. Lots of people and families get together for parties and good times. Plenty of food and drink and laughing and sharing. Of course we also exchange Christmas gifts. The gifts go under the tree. Even adults are excited about opening Christmas presents on either Christmas eve or Christmas morning. Each family has their own custom. In my family here in Japan, we drew names to determine (decide) who gives a gift to whom. I drew one of my daughter's. I bought her a one year diary. After she opened it she said that she tried to write a diary before. But she stopped after 6 months. This is a chance for her to try again. I have a five year diary and this will close my third year in it. It's pretty cool.
Merry Christmas everyone! And during the holidays please drink sensibly. I'll try to.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Eri's home for Christmas

I'll be home for Christmas
Miwako and I took Eri to Narita airport April 30th. She then boarded a flight for Winnipeg, Canada, via Chicago. She went there for about eight months on an English language program through her university. She studied with Koreans, Chinese, Polish, Russian, Mexicans, Saudi Arabians and even one female from Quebec. She stayed at a professor's house with his family. But they didn't have much interaction I heard. At first she was in a program with all these foreign students. However the final three months of her study was in an all English class. She said that it was rather difficult but while she was in these classes she learned a lot of English. Eri came back December 18th. Our place became more crowded but I am very happy that she is home. I can't say that I missed her but it is cool having her back. Welcome home  Eri.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Which brings us to the last Answers for the year. That was fun! Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

My last weekend went something like this:

Saturday:
1. The final 2013 RINRI MS at 6AM.
2. Jog
3. Violin practice.
4. Teach two lessons at my school.
5. Teach two adult lessons at Kenkatsu Center.
6. Go to UESS (Urawa English speaking society) Christmas Party.
Sunday
1. Jog
2. Got to Yoshino Houkuen Christmas Party. Star is "Let's Paly English" with 2 year olds.
3. Drive to Shibuya with Miwako for bridge competition.
4. Home for violin practice.
5. Sleep early.
UESS Christmas Party



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Puzzler Hints

 
And now for your final Hints. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.
Sunrise this Winter solstice

HOME PROJECT for December 2013:  while”  vs  “during”
 
どちらも「~の間に」という意味ですが、後に続く形が違います。
while +主語+動詞
during +名詞句  となります。
 
1. I feel happy while I’m taking a bath.  私はお風呂に入っているときが幸せ。
2, I feel happy during my bath time.
3. She called me every day while she was staying in Canada.  彼女はカナダにいる間、毎日私に電話をしてきた。
4. She called me every day during her stay in Canada.
5. His vehicle broke down while he was taking a trip. 彼の車は旅行の途中で壊れた。
6. His vehicle broke down during his trip. 
 
間違えやすいところです。この機会にきっちり覚えましょう。
This is your chance to try!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Puzzler

 
This is the final Puzzler for 2013. I hope you enjoyed them. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for December 2013:  while”  vs  “during”
 
どちらも「~の間に」という意味ですが、後に続く形が違います。
while +主語+動詞
during +名詞句  となります。
 
1. I feel happy while I’m taking a bath.  私はお風呂に入っているときが幸せ。
2, I feel happy during my bath time.
3. She called me every day while she was staying in Canada.  彼女はカナダにいる間、毎日私に電話をしてきた。
4. She called me every day during her stay in Canada.
5. His vehicle broke down while he was taking a trip. 彼の車は旅行の途中で壊れた。
6. His vehicle broke down during his trip. 
 
間違えやすいところです。この機会にきっちり覚えましょう。
This is your chance to try!

Friday, December 20, 2013

The winter solstice

The winter solstice occurs on December 23rd. This is the day with the shortest (least) amount of sunlight. So  the sunrise is very late. Of course this has been happening for one month now. And this is my favorite time of the year. Ever since I moved to Ageo I have been able to see very awesome and at times dynamic sunrises. We now live in this farm community. There is one open space in front of our house which faces east. It is a perfect place to see sunrises. They start here at the end of November. The sun has "stopped"  (solstice means Stop in Latin) and now will return towards the north. So, I can see replays of the sunrise for one more month. The skies are cold and clear so this gives us the best sunrises during the winter. I can see these sometimes while I am jogging, too.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

RINRI Monthly Meeting

Our monthly RINRI meet includes three groups. They are Ageo Okegawa and Kounosu-Kitamoto. We are the Ken-Ou block. At this monthly meeting information is exchanged and updated. For example, how many members are currently in each group, and when each groups next big event is, and how is each group proceeding with recruitment. There are also several committees in our organization. I belong to the ChouRei committee. We practice the proper way to stand, read, bow, hold the pamphlet and many other basics. I give an update on what we did during monthly committee meeting. That is, I relay that information to our KenOu monthly meeting group. This time I wanted to leave early to put up our Christmas tree with Miwako. So, I left those gentlemen working hard as I headed home at 6:30PM.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Rehearsal

I told you in yesterday's BLOG about the music extravaganza at Viento. I also told you that I played two songs with Mari the music teacher. We have rehearsals at her house. I have been there maybe ten times over the past year. For this event I could only go twice. Of course I practice on my own and have my violin lessons with an excellent teacher who comes to my school to give me lessons twice a month. Naturally I have improved since I took up (began studying/playing) the violin. During the lessons I try hard and I must admit that it is difficult. While I was playing at the event my mind went blank. I lost my place in the song, Moon River. Another student comes to the event. She sings like a bird; so sweet, so soft. She came to the last rehearsal I had at Mari's place. They also rehearsed some tunes. Her name is Miyuki. I now see (realize) that I should practice singing too. Let's Karaoke!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Veinto

On Sunday a big music event for me was held at the Viento Coffee House in InaMachi. The owner is Hiroshi. He is one of my students. He is such a cool guy. He plays the bass fiddle and bass guitar. He has drums and a piano in his place. He has open music sessions sometimes. He invites all different types of musicians to come and perform. Because I am his English teacher he lets me come and try to play the violin on stage. It is a very humbling experience as I am not very good. Another student is a piano teacher. She lets me rehearse with her. This was our third time there. This time we played Moon River and Joy to the World. I made a recording and listened to it last night. I was pretty bad and while I was playing I lost my place in Moon River. Joy to the World was a little better. I actually finished and some notes were correct. THANK YOU Hiroshi and Mari and everybody!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Eri comes home this Wednesday! I am really looking forward to that! Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

My weekend went something like this:

Saturday
1. Rinri
2. Practice violin at school.
3. Teach three kids lessons.
4. Teach two adult lessons at Kenkatsu.
5. RINRI Monthly KenOu meeting.
6. Home to put up Christmas tree with family.
7. Drink beer.

Sunday
1. Jog
This AM's sunrise
2. Wash GOLF.3.
3. Practice violin.
4. SHOWTIME at VIENTO!
5. Home to relax.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Puzzler Hints

It's show time at Viento today. Am I nervous? Of course! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.
HOME PROJECT for December 2013:  while”  vs  “during”
どちらも「~の間に」という意味ですが、後に続く形が違います。
while +主語+動詞
during +名詞句  となります。
1. I feel happy while I’m taking a bath.  私はお風呂に入っているときが幸せ。
2, I feel happy during my bath time.
3. She called me every day while she was staying in Canada.  彼女はカナダにいる間、毎日私に電話をしてきた。
4. She called me every day during her stay in Canada.
5. His vehicle broke down while he was taking a trip. 彼の車は旅行の途中で壊れた。
6. His vehicle broke down during his trip. 
間違えやすいところです。この機会にきっちり覚えましょう。
This is your chance to try!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Puzzler

Another weekend as the New Year approaches. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.
HOME PROJECT for December 2013:  while”  vs  “during”
どちらも「~の間に」という意味ですが、後に続く形が違います。
while +主語+動詞
during +名詞句  となります。
1. I feel happy while I’m taking a bath.  私はお風呂に入っているときが幸せ。
2, I feel happy during my bath time.
3. She called me every day while she was staying in Canada.  彼女はカナダにいる間、毎日私に電話をしてきた。
4. She called me every day during her stay in Canada.
5. His vehicle broke down while he was taking a trip. 彼の車は旅行の途中で壊れた。
6. His vehicle broke down during his trip. 
間違えやすいところです。この機会にきっちり覚えましょう。
This is your chance to try!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Early AM planets

I went jogging Wednesday morning at 5:55AM. I first headed south for 300 meters and then east. While I was jogging, I saw one bright, white object in the sky just above the horizon. It had to be a planet, not a star because the sun was rising. Then when I headed back west I found three more white, bright objects in the sky. I was sure that they were all also planets. So, I checked the Internet to get the scoop (information). Sure enough, in the east was Venus. Those three objects in the western sky were Jupiter (the largest) Mars and Mercury. 5:30AM is the best time to see them as long as the skies are clear. When I got home, during my bath, I decided to write this blog.
http://freestarcharts.com/index.php/the-planets-this-month

The sunrise Wednesday AM. Sorry, no planets


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Year end party #2

On Sunday, I went to a year end party with a group of students. They are the adults who study at the Seibu Cultural Center in Omiya. It is right near the West Omiya Police Station. I go there every Wednesday by train from Okegawa. The group started more than ten years ago, I believe. There is only one original member left. She came with us to Oregon on a home stay 6 years ago. The other members took part in the skit that RAM English held on stage at the Kenkatsu Center, maybe five years ago. We have a New Year Party annually (every year) and we usually go to a Karaoke place. This year we went to lunch at TokuJuAn in the Chu Ou department store in Omiya. Yummy! Thank you all and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Snow chains

We bought snow chains for our car. Since our car is foreign (not domestic) we had to get special ones. First of all, the wheels are 17 inch. That is not usual. Then our car is front wheel drive. That is no problem. But the only choice we had was the "YETI Snow Net" made in Scandinavia. They fit GOLF and VOLVO cars. They were 50,000en. But, the ever economical Miwako searched on-line and found them from 41,790en. We bought them, got them. We also talked about a set of 4 snow tires and wheels. There was some doubt as to my ability to put them on. But we couldn't send them back. The company said NO. So, Sunday at 9AM I watched the DVD that came with the nets. Then I read the instructions. Then I went outside and  put them on. To tell the truth it is a minor (small) miracle that I did it. We hope to go to some snow covered hot springs in the near future.    


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Year end party #1



It's December and, as everyone knows, it's time to party. There are plenty of (many) "Year-end" parties to go to here in Japan. In America we have Christmas parties which are more social gatherings for families. So, we also have "New Year" parties for friends and families. The New Year parties are more like Japanese Year End ones. My first party of the season was for Han Chous. I am the 6-pan Han Cho. I am the leader of 20 or so households in our neighborhood. There are about 40 Han Chos in all in our Fujinami district in Ageo. Only 15 attended this party and that includes the president and accountant and supervisor. It was a pleasant gathering with mostly old guys, like me. We ate and drank and talked from 6p.m. to about 8:30. We went by micro bus. It was fun. While I was at this party I had our picture taken. During the party no one sang Karaoke.   


Monday, December 9, 2013

Puzzler Answers

That was a good weekend. I'm a little sleepy, but I shall survive! Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Saturday:
1. Early AM RINRI meet.
2. To school. Violin practice.
3. Three kids lessons.
4. By bicycle to Kenkatsu to teach two adult lessons.
5. By bicycle to JiChi Kanikan.
6. By micro bus to Fujinami-ku HanCho BouNenKai.
7. Home to discuss bridge with M.
Sunday
1. Jog.
2. Blog.
3. Wash GOLF at the house.
4. To school to do work and pratcice violin.
5. Year-end party with Seibu students in Omiya.
6. Home to watch football replay.
7. Drink and relax with TV.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Hints

 And now it's Sunday. Had a party last night and one one this afternoon. Shall I wash the car? Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.
 
HOME PROJECT for December 2013:  while”  vs  “during”
 
どちらも「~の間に」という意味ですが、後に続く形が違います。
while +主語+動詞
during +名詞句  となります。
 
1. I feel happy while I’m taking a bath.  私はお風呂に入っているときが幸せ。
2, I feel happy during my bath time.
3. She called me every day while she was staying in Canada.  彼女はカナダにいる間、毎日私に電話をしてきた。
4. She called me every day during her stay in Canada.
5. His vehicle broke down while he was taking a trip. 彼の車は旅行の途中で壊れた。
6. His vehicle broke down during his trip. 
 
間違えやすいところです。この機会にきっちり覚えましょう。
This is your chance to try!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Puzzler

Puzzler: CLICK HERE.
HOME PROJECT for December 2013:  while”  vs  “during”
どちらも「~の間に」という意味ですが、後に続く形が違います。
while +主語+動詞
during +名詞句  となります。
1. I feel happy while I’m taking a bath.  私はお風呂に入っているときが幸せ。
2, I feel happy during my bath time.
3. She called me every day while she was staying in Canada.  彼女はカナダにいる間、毎日私に電話をしてきた。
4. She called me every day during her stay in Canada.
5. His vehicle broke down while he was taking a trip. 彼の車は旅行の途中で壊れた。
6. His vehicle broke down during his trip. 
間違えやすいところです。この機会にきっちり覚えましょう。
This is your chance to try!  
Sunrise last Tuesday


Friday, December 6, 2013

Espanol

Espanol means Spanish in Espanol. I had two years of Spanish lessons in high school way back when (= long, long ago). Then I took two Spanish courses during my university days. The university lessons were taught by a Spanish lady. That means everything was in the native language. I do remember the basics. In April, 2012, I started listening to the Spanish lessons on NHK radio. My goal was to hear and understand the language. And there was progress. But I had no real interest or opportunities (chances) to speak the language. It was only to keep my mind active and it was cheap. I bought one year's worth of texts and CDs I was able to use them again this year. HOWEVER I have decided to put more time and energy into my bridge practice. So, I have stopped (quit) the Spanish lessons. Adios, amigos!
My CDs and texts collection

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A trip to Brazil

I teach at the Kenkatsu Center on Saturdays. There are two adult lessons. The first one is a beginner's class. 17 or so students come every week. We do a lot of basic work. For example, questions and answers in turn around the room or reading from the text. On the other hand, the second class is different. Here, we have a group all of whom are interested in speaking and hearing English. So, when Ken said that he wanted to give a presentation of his recent trip to Brazil all the students were ecstatic. Our "technician" (and Jack of all trades) Yasu made arrangements and set up the necessary equipment including his own computer. Then Ken gave his presentation telling and explaining all sorts of cool stuff about his trip. Lots of students asked excellent questions. I must say, it was an interesting and unique lesson. You should have been there.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Miwako

Our wedding anniversary is November 13th. A mere two days later is Miwako's birthday, November 15th. Our policy is to go out to the restaurant of the Birthday persons' choice. That means that if it is my birthday I can choose the restaurant. Gottit? Anyway, Miwako's choice was WAIZU in Ageo. It is an O-konomiyaki place. The food is good. The atmosphere is cool. We have our own table which is surrounded by walls and no roof. So, our space is private. But, we can hear the buzz of the other people, too. I would say the atmosphere is electric;lots of humming and buzzing. We all drank (even Yumiko!) so we came home with the driving service. The next time we come here, this month, will be with Eri. She comes home the 18th. Can't wait!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Okegawa City Mayor

The mayor of Okegawa City is Mr Katsunori Ono. He is 44 years old. He made a speech at the Minuma-ku RINRI Morning Seminar. He is a member of the Okegawa RINRI so five of us went as a cheering team. He told about how he grew up. He didn't like school very much. He went to a low level high school far from his home (2 hours one way by train). Then he studied at University. After graduation he tried one year to work at a company but quit. He opened his own Security Company and had some success when his sister told him to try politics. He did and little by little gained popularity and a following. Now he is mayor. His vision is that the City is a ship. He is the captain. The city hall workers are the crew. He wants to make smooth sailing for all the passengers (i.e. citizens.)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Puzzler Answer: CLICK HERE.
A good weekend with two drinking nights, Friday and and Saturday. It went like this:
Saturday:
1. Skipped RINRI. I went Friday morning so I drank French wine with Miwako at home Friday night. It was a gift from Yumiko for our anniversary.
2. Violin practice at the school.
3. Teach three kids lessons.
4. Two adult Kenkatsu lessons.
5. Read Great Expectations at the school waiting for Rina.
6. Go to WAIZU O-konomiyaki restaurant for M's birthday party.
Sunday:
1. Rinri monthly meeting.
2. Bridge with M. Leveled up, without a doubt.
3. Home to review bridge and BLOG and watch TV,

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Puzzler Hints

We have a bridge practice today. We have really been studying hard. I'm looking forward to some excellent results. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.



We stopped here for foot therapy and lunch on the  way to OkuNikkou

HOME PROJECT for December 2013:  while”  vs  “during”

どちらも「~の間に」という意味ですが、後に続く形が違います。
while +主語+動詞
during +名詞句  となります。

1. I feel happy while I’m taking a bath.  私はお風呂に入っているときが幸せ。
2, I feel happy during my bath time.
3. She called me every day while she was staying in Canada.  彼女はカナダにいる間、毎日私に電話をしてきた。
4. She called me every day during her stay in Canada.
5. His vehicle broke down while he was taking a trip. 彼の車は旅行の途中で壊れた。
6. His vehicle broke down during his trip. 
間違えやすいところです。この機会にきっちり覚えましょう。
This is your chance to try!


Saturday, November 30, 2013

Puzzler

The weekend with no special days off. However we bridge on Sunday. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for December 2013:  while”  vs  “during”
どちらも「~の間に」という意味ですが、後に続く形が違います。
while +主語+動詞
during +名詞句  となります。
1. I feel happy while I’m taking a bath.  私はお風呂に入っているときが幸せ。
2, I feel happy during my bath time.
3. She called me every day while she was staying in Canada.  彼女はカナダにいる間、毎日私に電話をしてきた。
4. She called me every day during her stay in Canada.
5. His vehicle broke down while he was taking a trip. 彼の車は旅行の途中で壊れた。
6. His vehicle broke down during his trip. 
間違えやすいところです。この機会にきっちり覚えましょう。
This is your chance to try!

Friday, November 29, 2013

NIKKO

After our one-night stay in EchiuGo-Yuzawa we headed to Nikko. Miwako drove. After going through the long, long Kanetsu tunnel (11.7 kilometers) we exited (got off) the highway at Numata. From there we got on route 120 which is better known as the Romantic KaiDo. There is one brand new tunnel and it saves a lot of time. Many other cars were on this road but they all stopped at the waterfalls. We continued on to a rest stop for lunch and to bathe our feet in the hot spring. I took over the driving duties from there. The road to Konsei pass had snow on it at places so I had to drive cautiously (carefully). But no problems. We went over the pass, past OkuNikkou, Lake Yu, Yu waterfalls, SenJoGaHara, Ryuzu falls, Lake ChuZenji and then down the Irohazaka. The road back home was smooth and we were fortunate (lucky) to see many beautiful, dazzling red and yellow leaves at their peak.
OkuNikkou and NanTaiZan from Konsei pass

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A trip

Last Saturday was a holiday here in Japan. It was Labor Thanksgiving Day. I am not sure what the Japanese do to celebrate on this day. But I do know that it is a day off for me. And while I closed my school the Kenkatsu lessons were on. I prepared a special lesson for them about numbers. After the lesson M and I left immediately and drove to Echigo-Yuzawa for one night. We stayed at M's brother-in-law's guest mansion. It's cheap. Last year when we went there we found a pretty cool Izakaya by accident. We went there this year again. It took a while but we finally found it. I drank sake (too much, of course) and M had her beers. We went back to the hotel with a Dai Kou service. The pic is the master his wife and two customers that we talked with until we left.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sunrise

I live in a farm community. So, there are not many buildings but there are lots of rice fields and kitchen gardens and farms and houses. The view of the sky is not blocked by tall skyscrapers or large office buildings. Directly in front of my house is "my rice field", as you may know. There is a view from our house that is just perfect for viewing the sunrise. It is an open area with a house on the left and trees on the right. The sun rises here from about now, continues south (right) until the winter solstice and then returns to the left. It takes about one month each way. So, Yumiko-san and I can enjoy this beautiful view  almost every morning. Lucky!
Yesterday's SS answers:  would/world  sang OR sing OR song OR sung when/newly  exact/cure

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Super Scrabble again

It's Game Day this week. So, the kids and I play BINGO (RAM English style), Chip-O (RAM English style), Dominoes, Go Fish, Chutes and Ladders and Super Scrabble on these days. Actually at my adult lessons we played BANANA. Have you ever played that? It's best with a large group, say, 8 or 9 or 10 or more. I have all the students stand at their seats. They then have to say the numbers in order; "1, 2, 3, 4 ... " one by one. The rule is that they cannot say any number that contains a "7". For example. 7, 17, 27, 72. 73, etc. Also, numbers that are multiples of 7. For example. 7, 14, 21, 28, etc. Instead of these numbers you must say BANANA. We go up to 100 and then back to 1. It's difficult but lots of fun. Now, look at the SUPER SCRABBLE pic. Cool words: LIMB  OZONE  SOBER  DOUSE. And now, can you figure out the BLANKS? Answers tomorrow.