Sunday, March 31, 2013

No Puzzler Hints

It's Sunday and as I am free all day I decided to have a Super Scrabble event at the Kenkatsu Center. I am sure that all attendees (especially me) will enjoy the relaxation. Have a nice day!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

No Puzzle

It's the fifth weekend this month so, No Puzzle. Here are the Super Scrabble answers though.

joined  boast/fart  phrase  texted

Friday, March 29, 2013

Super Scrabble

For a vocabulary enhancer (level upper) I will show you the Super Scrabble game we did Wednesday night and I finished yesterday morning. Boy, I love this game! Anyway, the students were all JHS 1st year except for one 6th grader. Actually the 6th grader was the best as she made 4 letter words by herself, which is impressive. The coolest word is wigwam. It's cool because I only had the g and the other five letters in my tray made the word. A minor miracle!
infant = baby, comely = attractive,  shear = cut the wool off a shear, swig = take a quick drink of alcohol. oasis and humor, you know, eh?
So, what are the blanks? Answers tomorrow.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Birthday

I first met Kazunori Nemoto (see pic) about 25 years ago when I moved to Hasuda from Chigasaki. I moved there to work at a company called BOSTON English Academy. I did several lessons as I commuted from Chigasaki to Koga (2.5 hours) and the Academy owner then asked me to move to Hasuda. I began to work full time for him. I became a teacher for his Academy and he set me up in an apartment. It was next door to Nemoto's. We became close friends. I made a speech at his wedding 12 years ago. He now lives in Utsunomiya with his wife's family and they have one daughter, Yukari-chan. Her birthday was March 19th. They came to a restaurant to have a B-day party for her. We took them to this place last year. The party was a surprise for Yukari and Kazunori brought his mom. We all had a good time.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Money

March
Sun
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Thu
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This year March has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays. This happens
once every 823 years.
This is called money bags. So, forward this to
your friends and money will arrive within 4 days. Based on Chinese
Feng Shui. The one who does not forward.....will be without money.
My brother sends me e-mails alomost every day. This is one of them.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Kindergarten Farewell Party

The Mida K had their farewell party for the oldest kids (Nenchou) two weeks ago. It was on a Friday and as I usually teach there on Fridays it was natural for me to attend this fun occasion. There are close to 150 Nenchous. They came to the hall in the Kindergarten and the other kids were there to cheer them on. When I first arrived I wasn't sure what to expect. So, when I was asked to jump rope on stage as a competition between 5 teachers I agreed. It was disaster. I used to jump rope for exercise when I first got married 20-something years ago. But, I hadn't jumped rope for fun in a very long time. Needless to say, I was the first one eliminated. That is, I stopped jumping first; almost immediately. The rest of the day was fun. See pics.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

My weekend went like this:
1. 6:30 AM starts with our RINRI Morning Seminar. I had to make the President's greeting as our regular pres was absent. I played my Higashi K speech for them.
2. 3 kids lessons at my school.
3. Two adult lessons at Kenkatsu.
4. Surprise birthday party for Yukari-chan. She is ten. We all attended her parents wedding: I made a speech and my family sang and danced.
5. Sunday AM free: work at our school.
6. Impromptu bridge party at our school.
7. Neighborhood meeting.
8. Finally to sleep.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Puzzler HInts

Today M and I organized an impromptu bridge party at our school and then I have a neighborhood group meet at night. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for March 2013: This month please try to use “for the first time in”for the first time in(ある期間)
~ぶりに
(久しぶりに何かをした場合、久しぶりに何かが起こった場合、またこれから久しぶりに何かをする場合、役に立つ表現です。
“ for the first time “ , これだけでは初めてという意味ですが、直後に ”  in +(ある期間)をつけると(ある期間)ぶりにという意味になります。)

For example:
1. My cat came back home for the first time in 3 days. 猫が3日ぶりに家に帰ってきた。
2. He drank for the first time in 2 weeks. 彼は2週間ぶりにお酒を飲んだ。
3. I went to the dental clinic for the first time in half a year.  私は半年ぶりにその歯医者に行った。
4. They met their relatives for the first time in a long time. 彼らは親戚にひさしぶりに会った。
 


Daily practice is the key to improvement.
Good luck.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Puzzler

Saturday! I have my Rinri MS at 6:30am then I've got 5 lessons and then I've got a birthday party tonight with some old friends. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for March 2013: This month please try to use “for the first time in”for the first time in(ある期間)
~ぶりに
(久しぶりに何かをした場合、久しぶりに何かが起こった場合、またこれから久しぶりに何かをする場合、役に立つ表現です。
“ for the first time “ , これだけでは初めてという意味ですが、直後に ”  in +(ある期間)をつけると(ある期間)ぶりにという意味になります。)

For example:
1. My cat came back home for the first time in 3 days. 猫が3日ぶりに家に帰ってきた。
2. He drank for the first time in 2 weeks. 彼は2週間ぶりにお酒を飲んだ。
3. I went to the dental clinic for the first time in half a year.  私は半年ぶりにその歯医者に行った。
4. They met their relatives for the first time in a long time. 彼らは親戚にひさしぶりに会った。
 


Daily practice is the key to improvement.
Good luck.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Vocabulary

Here are some words I picked up during last week's lessons.
1. crawl = to move forward on your hands and knees with your body close to the ground. ex1: Before they learn to walk babies crawl. ex2: I was so drunk I had to crawl to my bed.
2. sway = to move from side to side. ex: The branches were swaying in the wind. ex2: Rick was drunk and he swayed and fell.
3. hangover = the headache and sick feeling that you have after drinking too much the night before. ex: Since I didn't drink last year I didn't have any hangovers. ex2: I have had at least one hangover a month this year.
4. recover = get well again after being ill, hurt, sick, etc. ex: I still haven't recovered from her dumping me. ex: I usually recover from a hangover by noon the next day.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring Equinox

An equinox occurs twice a year (around 20 March and 22 September), when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun. The center of the Sun is in the same plane as the Earth's equator. The term equinox can also be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, night and day are about equal length.
Another meaning of equinox is the date when day and night are the same length. Times of sunset and sunrise vary with an observer's location (longitude and latitude), so these dates likewise depend on location and do not exist for locations close to the Equator. The pictures shows an equinox on Saturn.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ohigan

Higan is a Buddhist holiday exclusively celebrated in Japan during both the Spring and Autumnal Equinox. It is observed by nearly every Buddhist sect in Japan. The tradition extends from mild weather that occurs during the time of equinoxes, though the origin of the holiday dates from Emperor Shomu in the 8th century. People who normally worked in the fields had more leisure time to evaluate their own practices, and to make a renewed effort to follow Buddhism. Today, special services are usually observed in Japanese Buddhist temples, and Japanese temples abroad, based on the particular Buddhist tradition or sect.
The etymology of higan means "the other or that shore of Sanzu River", which is a common euphemism used in Buddhist literature to refer to Enlightenment. One crosses from this shore of ignorance and suffering to the other shore of Enlightenment and peace. In the Heart Sutra of Mahayana Buddhism is the mantra:
gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā
Gone, gone, gone beyond, everyone gone beyond [to the Other Shore], Enlightenment Hail

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kindergarten speech

I'm a pretty lucky Gaijin, I always say. I live in Japan which has all this delicious food and drink, all this beautiful scenery and beautiful people. I also thoroughly enjoy my business. As you know, I am an English teacher for adults and kids. One of my coolest jobs is giving a congratulatory speech to the moms and dads and guardians and kids at the Higashi Kindergarten here in Okegawa. I have done it for 7 years. As the kindergarten is small (59 graduates) there are only 3 speakers. One is the principal, one is the director (father and son) and the other one is me. My speech is cool because I get to do it in Japanese for the parents and then in English for the kids. If you want to hear it CLICK HERE.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
So, how was you weekend? Mine went something like this:
1. My usual RINRI Morning Seminar at 6:30 AM Saturday. Nice speaker.
2. Then all my school lessons were cancelled so I could attend the Higashi K graduation ceremony.
3. Then to Kenkastu to teach two adults lessons.
4. Then our monthly Okegawa Rinri staff meeting including dinner. BUT I DID NOT DRINK!
5. Sunday 6:30 AM Kawaguchi Rinri MS.
6. Back home to listen to Spanish week review.
7. Then jog and nap for one hour.
8. Bridge practice with Miwkao at the Kenaktsu Center 1PM to 5PM.
9. Back to Okegawa for dinner and drinks...especially drinks!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Puzzler Hints

Sunday? Got a special RINRI meet in Kawaguchi early this AM and then  bridge with Miwako in the PM. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for March 2013: This month please try to use “for the first time in”for the first time in(ある期間)
~ぶりに
(久しぶりに何かをした場合、久しぶりに何かが起こった場合、またこれから久しぶりに何かをする場合、役に立つ表現です。
“ for the first time “ , これだけでは初めてという意味ですが、直後に ”  in +(ある期間)をつけると(ある期間)ぶりにという意味になります。)

For example:
1. My cat came back home for the first time in 3 days. 猫が3日ぶりに家に帰ってきた。
2. He drank for the first time in 2 weeks. 彼は2週間ぶりにお酒を飲んだ。
3. I went to the dental clinic for the first time in half a year.  私は半年ぶりにその歯医者に行った。
4. They met their relatives for the first time in a long time. 彼らは親戚にひさしぶりに会った。
 

Daily practice is the key to improvement.
Good luck.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Puzzler

It's Saturday. I will make my annual speech at the Higashi Kindergarten graduation ceremony this morning. Wish me luck! Puzzler: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for March 2013: This month please try to use “for the first time in”for the first time in(ある期間)
~ぶりに
(久しぶりに何かをした場合、久しぶりに何かが起こった場合、またこれから久しぶりに何かをする場合、役に立つ表現です。
“ for the first time “ , これだけでは初めてという意味ですが、直後に ”  in +(ある期間)をつけると(ある期間)ぶりにという意味になります。)

For example:
1. My cat came back home for the first time in 3 days. 猫が3日ぶりに家に帰ってきた。
2. He drank for the first time in 2 weeks. 彼は2週間ぶりにお酒を飲んだ。
3. I went to the dental clinic for the first time in half a year.  私は半年ぶりにその歯医者に行った。
4. They met their relatives for the first time in a long time. 彼らは親戚にひさしぶりに会った。
 

Daily practice is the key to improvement.
Good luck.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Trainee

I have a new job at the Mida Kindergarten in Kounosu. I teach on Fridays and the new job will be an after school lesson. I will teach 12 kids at 2PM and then 12 kids at 3PM. There are over 50 applicants right now. So, I will make two more classes on another day. The problem is that I cannot teach them. So, I need a teacher. I believe my best choice is Alicia. She has been my student for a long time here at my school. I also know that I can teach her how to instruct and control a Yochien class. She came to the Higashi Kindergarten where I teach on Tuesdays. She was observing and I let her help a little bit (see pic). She said that she is looking forward to teaching BUT she needs some coaching and instruction from me. Right now she is checking out my on-line training videos CLICK HERE. I have one month to get her up to snuff. Wish us luck.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Neighborhood meeting

I live in Fujinami Danchi in Fujinami-ku. Last Sunday there was the first meeting of the new year for our Fujinami-ku (See pic). About 150 residents attended. The Fujinami Danchi is a residential area separated into 7 Hans. I am 6 Han-Chou (leader of the 6th Han). I am also the environmental leader of the Danchi. They told me that I have to make a greeting before and after we clean up an area. There are three or four clean-ups a year. The meeting lasted about 90 minutes. Then we had a feast. There was sushi, chicken, beer, sake and assorted soft drinks. Over 100 people were there. Then we cleaned that up and had another meeting of the leaders. I attended. It was cool. This was all going on during the wind storms. No one was hurt.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Drivers license

I renewed my driver's license February 27th. My old license expired after 5 years. I am GOLD again this time (10 years ago I was BLUE). They sent me a letter saying that I had to come in within one month on either side of my birthday, March 6th. That means from February 6th to April 6th. So, I went to the Ageo Police station at 8AM. There were 3 people already waiting. I got in line and did the following:
1. Turn in my old license.
2. Fill out some forms.
3. Take an eye exam.
4. Listen to a seminar on traffic safety (the guy spoke really fast!)
5. Saw a video on traffic safety.
6. Got my new license.
The whole process took about 40 minutes. Some traffic violators had to stay longer. Please drive safely everyone.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Vocabulary

I have to change the BLOG a bit. Monday will be the Puzzler Answers plus a recap of the weekend. Tuesday will have vocabulary. I hope to put cool vocabulary I picked up during the previous week's lessons. Weds Thurs and Fri will be my BLOGs. Sat and Sun will be the Puzzler.
1. income = the money that a person, a region, a country earns from work, from investing money from business, etc ex1: Tourism is a major source of income for the area. ex2: My father's income was high because he always worked overtime.
2. forest = a large area of land that is thickly covered with trees. ex1: Fires destroyed a large part of the forest. ex2: This forest is a national park.
3. ample = enough or more than enough. ex1: We have ample time to catch the train so you don't have to hurry.
4. stir = move a liquid around with a spoon in order to mix it thoroughly. ex: He stirred his coffee with a pencil!

AND SUPER SCRABBLE EVENT!!! CLICK HERE.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Puzzler Answers and Homework: CLICK HERE

I had a busy, satisfying and happy weekend.
1. I started a new Saturday 9AM lesson for kids. The 10AM class overflowed.
2. Had an oh-so-cool B-day party from the O-san's 13 group. Cool gifts and lots of warmth.
3. Washed the car.
4. Practiced the violin twice.
5. Jogged Saturday night.
6. Had a neighborhood meeting. I am the new environmental committee chairman.
7. Did Spanish review.
8. Drank Scotch whiskey (M's B-day present) at home Saturday night.
9. Drank sake at home Sunday night.
10. Watched Japan crush Nederland in baseball.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Puzzler Hints

Sunday, and plenty to do. Of course, I will not go to church. Sorry, Mom. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for March 2013: This month please try to use “for the first time in”for the first time in(ある期間)
~ぶりに
(久しぶりに何かをした場合、久しぶりに何かが起こった場合、またこれから久しぶりに何かをする場合、役に立つ表現です。
“ for the first time “ , これだけでは初めてという意味ですが、直後に ”  in +(ある期間)をつけると(ある期間)ぶりにという意味になります。)

For example:
1. My cat came back home for the first time in 3 days. 猫が3日ぶりに家に帰ってきた。
2. He drank for the first time in 2 weeks. 彼は2週間ぶりにお酒を飲んだ。
3. I went to the dental clinic for the first time in half a year.  私は半年ぶりにその歯医者に行った。
4. They met their relatives for the first time in a long time. 彼らは親戚にひさしぶりに会った。
 


Daily practice is the key to improvement.
Good luck.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Puzzler

First, the answers from yesterday's BLOG: zest  avoid  header  zip/diving

Next......SATURDAY! I had to open my 9AM free time to four kids today who will study Eiken 5 at my school. So I am a little busier. But, hey! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for March 2013: This month please try to use “for the first time in”
for the first time in
(ある期間)
~ぶりに
(久しぶりに何かをした場合、久しぶりに何かが起こった場合、またこれから久しぶりに何かをする場合、役に立つ表現です。
“ for the first time “ , これだけでは初めてという意味ですが、直後に ”  in +(ある期間)をつけると(ある期間)ぶりにという意味になります。)

For example:
1. My cat came back home for the first time in 3 days. 猫が3日ぶりに家に帰ってきた。
2. He drank for the first time in 2 weeks. 彼は2週間ぶりにお酒を飲んだ。
3. I went to the dental clinic for the first time in half a year.  私は半年ぶりにその歯医者に行った。
4. They met their relatives for the first time in a long time. 彼らは親戚にひさしぶりに会った。
 

Daily practice is the key to improvement.
Good luck.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Super Scrabble

Once more, I and my students had a game day. This group was the Thursday 8PM class. There are 5 students but only three showed up. There were two young ladies, 17 and 18, and one lad, 15. I have been teaching the boy English since kindergarten. The 18 year old girl has been coming to my school since first grade. The 17 year old just got married last week. They are all pretty good at Super Scrabble even though it is very difficult for non-native speakers.
How about you? Do you want to try? I will have a SUPER SCRABBLE Festival.
WHEN March 31st, Sunday 9AM to 4:30PM
WHERE Kenkatsu Center Ina Machi
Participants up to 23 players/guests.
Donations of 500yen or more will be accepted to help the victims of 3.11.
CLICK HERE for details OR contact Rick at RAM English Service.
Cool words: grunt  jilted  cleft  squib  wring  Can you guess the blanks in the puzzle? Answers tomorrow.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Book Report

Moby Dick. What a fantastic story. It took one month to finish it but it was well worth it. The author, Herman Melville, had the misfortune of dying before his masterpiece become popular. In the novel there is:
Pequod: the ship that they sail on and chase Moby Dick all over the world with.
Ahab: the captain obsessed with killing Moby Dick. Some years earlier Moby Dick bit off Ahab's leg. He now walks around the ship on a peg leg. He wants his revenge.
Ishmael: the character who narrates (tells) the story from beginning to end.
Queequeg: a south sea islander, pagan and a cannibal. He is a harpooner and becomes Ishamel' best friend.
Strabuck: the first mate who finally turns against Ahab in his mad (crazy) quest to kill Moby Dick
Moby Dick: The great White Whale that no one can kill. The Leviathan that destroys all who hunt whales.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Happy Birthday to me!

I was born 61 years ago this day. It was in Detroit, Michigan in the USA though I don't remember it. I have an older brother, Gregory, who is 2 years my senior. I also have two younger sisters. Denise is 2 years younger than I am and Cynthia is now 53 years old. My father passed away 6 years ago. My mother lives with my sister. My family consists of my lovely wife, Miwako and our two daughters, Rina, 23 and Eri, 21. My mother-in-law lives with us. We are very fortunate to have her. Her name is Yumiko and she is 21 years older than Miwako. We also have a cat named Leo. I have lived in Japan since 1984. In three years I will have spent half of my life here. I have no misgivings about my decision to make my home here. I couldn't be happier. Thank you, Mom, for having me.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The birds

Have you ever seen the Alfred Hitchcock "The Birds"? It is a classic old movie and I didn't really like the leading lady, Tippy Hepburn. But that is my opinion. But, speaking of birds, I had a nice experience last Wednesday. I was waiting in my car to take Rina to the station when a female Ruribitaki landed about four meters in front of my car. She was there less than a minute but,  no mistake, it was a good omen for the day. When I got back from the station 20 minutes later a Joubitaki (see pic) landed on our fence not two meters in front of me. He was so close and very beautiful. Then I got on my bicycle to go to my school. As I started out the neighborhood pheasant flew directly in front of me as I passed by the dry rice fields. I haven't been birding in a couple of years. I think the birds miss me.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Vocabulary Monday

Nice weekend that was. Now for some new vocabulary. I want to use mis- words. Please check them out.

1. misunderstand = fail to understand something correctly. ex: I completely misunderstood her meaning. So, I bought the expensive one.
2. misbehave = to behave badly. ex: The boys were misbehaving during my lesson so I had to scold them.
3. misfire = to fail to have the effect that you intended. ex1: I tried a joke in Japanese but it misfired. Nobody laughed. ex2:  His plan misfired badly and the company had to close.
4. mislay = to put something somewhere and then be unable to find it again. ex: I've mislayed my glasses...again! Where are they?!

Puzzler Answers

And now back to the pleasures of teaching English here in Japan. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for March 2013: This month please try to use “for the first time in”

for the first time in
(ある期間)
~ぶりに
(久しぶりに何かをした場合、久しぶりに何かが起こった場合、またこれから久しぶりに何かをする場合、役に立つ表現です。
“ for the first time “ , これだけでは初めてという意味ですが、直後に ”  in +(ある期間)をつけると(ある期間)ぶりにという意味になります。)

For example:
1. My cat came back home for the first time in 3 days. 猫が3日ぶりに家に帰ってきた。
2. He drank for the first time in 2 weeks. 彼は2週間ぶりにお酒を飲んだ。
3. I went to the dental clinic for the first time in half a year.  私は半年ぶりにその歯医者に行った。
4. They met their relatives for the first time in a long time. 彼らは親戚にひさしぶりに会った。
 
Daily practice is the key to improvement.
Good luck.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Puzzler Hints

And now for Sunday. Relax in the AM, Rinri at 9:30, bridge at 1:00 then a drink party at 6PM. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for March 2013: This month please try to use “for the first time in”

for the first time in(ある期間)
~ぶりに
(久しぶりに何かをした場合、久しぶりに何かが起こった場合、またこれから久しぶりに何かをする場合、役に立つ表現です。
“ for the first time “ , これだけでは初めてという意味ですが、直後に ”  in +(ある期間)をつけると(ある期間)ぶりにという意味になります。)

For example:
1. My cat came back home for the first time in 3 days. 猫が3日ぶりに家に帰ってきた。
2. He drank for the first time in 2 weeks. 彼は2週間ぶりにお酒を飲んだ。
3. I went to the dental clinic for the first time in half a year.  私は半年ぶりにその歯医者に行った。
4. They met their relatives for the first time in a long time. 彼らは親戚にひさしぶりに会った。
 

Daily practice is the key to improvement.
Good luck.