Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween

I went to MIDA Kindergarten last Friday (after my RINRI speech) for the annual Halloween party. This is my second year. There are a lot of kids in this kindergarten. My job at the party is to hand each kid a "treat". It is a bag of goodies. The kids come in a group. I say the usual GOOD MORNING. HOW ARE YOU? They reply GOOD MORNING. I AM FINE.  And then they say TRICK OR TREAT.  I hand each child their bag and we have our regular conversation. HERE YOU ARE. THANK YOU. SURE. We then all pose for group photos. It takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Can you spot me in the picture here? CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT. (Make it bigger). These kids are Nen-shous.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My speech

I went to Omiya last Friday morning to make a RINRI speech. I decided to change the contents of my speech. I usually talk about how I have improved my relationship with Miwako through RINRI study. But this time I talked about my father. He passed away in 2007. I made a list of the stories he had told me over the years.  He told these stories to me over and over. I then included my thoughts and feelings about him. It brought back some fond memories. I also read the story to a couple of my English classes. On top of that I had to write an essay for the Urawa English Speaking Society and their Christmas party. Of course I used this speech for my essay. The picture is the Minuma-ku group. The gentleman in the front right took me to the top of Mt. Fuji with his son three years ago. That is a fond memory, too.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bless you

In the USA we have a lot of customs. One is that when someone sneezes we say "God bless you." or simply "Bless you." It comes from long ago and is of course a religious term. In Germany they say "Gezhunheit". It has the same meaning. In Spanish speaking countries they say "Jesus" (pronounced HEY-ZEUS). They all ask God to keep you in good health. The sneeze is a sign that we may be sick. i.e. perhaps you are coming down with something; a cold or the flu. Last week we went to the Hikawa shrine in Omiya to get our new car blessed. It's the same idea basically. We ask God to keep us safe when we are driving. I asked that our car be kept free from nicks and scratches. I wonder if that is OK or not.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Puzzler Answers

I was busy drinking way too much this weekend. Here's how it went. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
Saturday
1. DON'T go to Rinri. Slept in as I drank the night before.
2. To school to teach three kids lessons.
3. To Kenkatsu to teach two adult groups.
4. Back home to Fujinami HanChou Kai.
5. Home to drink with Miwako.
Sunday
1. Sleep in.
2. Wash the car.
3. Watch some World Series baseball on TV.
4. Practice violin at school.
5. Got to bridge practice with Miwako. I make several mistakes.
6. Home to BLOG, Spanish week review and TV.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Puzzler Hints

I have a little free time this AM. Violin Practice!!! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE
HOME PROJECT for October:  漠然とした数量を表す
a lot of , lots of, many たくさんの,   a dozen たくさんの, 12またはその位の
a handful of  一握りの, わずかな,   several いくつかの,
a few, a couple of  少しの
1. There are a lot of (lots of, many) fish in the aquarium. 水族館にはたくさんの魚がいる。
2. I have a dozen questions about it. 私はそれについてたくさん質問がある。
3. She gave me a handful of candy. 彼女は私にキャンディーを少しくれた。
4. The students visited several famous temples. 生徒たちはいくつかの有名な寺院に行った。
5. He went out a few ( a couple of) minutes ago. 彼は数分前に出かけた。
 (a few  several  a lot of)  
数に関する多数の質問をお待ちしています。コメント欄に書き込むか、またはレッスンの時に!
Good luck!

 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Puzzler

It's a short weekend for me. I hope it doesn't rain too much. Weekend Puzzler CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for October:  漠然とした数量を表す
a lot of , lots of, many たくさんの,   a dozen たくさんの, 12またはその位の
a handful of  一握りの, わずかな,   several いくつかの,
a few, a couple of  少しの
1. There are a lot of (lots of, many) fish in the aquarium. 水族館にはたくさんの魚がいる。
2. I have a dozen questions about it. 私はそれについてたくさん質問がある。
3. She gave me a handful of candy. 彼女は私にキャンディーを少しくれた。
4. The students visited several famous temples. 生徒たちはいくつかの有名な寺院に行った。
5. He went out a few ( a couple of) minutes ago. 彼は数分前に出かけた。
 (a few  several  a lot of)  
数に関する多数の質問をお待ちしています。コメント欄に書き込むか、またはレッスンの時に!
Good luck!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Detroit Lions also Lose


I told you yesterday that my home town baseball team, the Detroit Tigers, lost their bid to go to the World Series. My hometown Detroit Lions also lost. They are in mid-season. Their record is 4 and 3 (4 wins and 3 losses.) I thought they could have won their last two games. Their opponents were tough. But, I thought my Lions were tougher. It seems not so. The have an excellent young quarterback. He is the leader of the team. He passes (throws) the football. They also have a very tall, athletic wide receiver. He catches the football. This year they picked up (signed to a contract) a very good halfback. He runs with the football and the other team tries to tackle (stop) him. He is good but a bit old. I still have hopes that the Lions will make the playoffs come January. I'm rooting for them.  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tigers lose


My hometown is Detroit, Michigan. The pro baseball team there is the Detroit Tigers. For three seasons in a row they won their Division. It is the Central Division in the American League. The other league is the National league. This year they won the first round of post season competition by beating the Oakland Athletics. But they lost 4 games to 2 to the Boston Red Sox. The Boston Red Sox had the best record in the American League. They also have two Japanese pitchers. They are relief pitchers. (They used to have Daisuke). Uehara won the MVP for this series. He had 3 saves and one win. That is quite an accomplishment. Good luck Boston against the St Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The Tigers? Next year!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bridge Competition

Well, well. Congratulations are in order. Miwako and I went to Yotsuya on Sunday to take part in a bridge competition. We went by car, of course, and there was plenty of rain. It was raining cats and dogs on the highway. We got stuck in a traffic jam for 20-25 minutes. At one point it looked hopeless so we considered going back home. (We didn't think we would be on time). But, suddenly all was clear and we made it with 10 minutes to spare. 14 teams competed. It is for novices. There were some players that we have met before and there were a handful of beginners. We played 22 games. We had a couple of very good games and some not so good ones. HOWEVER we came in 3rd place! Thank you!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

RINRI

I am on the ChouRei Committee this year. It's my first time. I was on the Morning Seminar committee for half a dozen years. So this will be a change of pace. I couldn't go to the first meeting which was on a Friday night last month. Basically it was a drinking/get acquainted party. As you can see in the picture the chairperson and assistants are all young. They work hard and party hardy. At our first regular meeting October 6th we got an orientation (introduction) to the committee: what are the goals? what will we do? what is expected of the members? It will sounds like work. And that is OK. Of course, I have my regular schedule to consider also. For example, I had to leave this meeting 30 minutes early as M and I had a bridge lesson. I'm sure all will work out in the end. Wish me luck.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Puzzler Answers

That was a short but sweet weekend with good news and NG news. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
Saturday
1. Early RINRI Morning Seminar
2. To school for violin practice and teach 3 kids lessons.
3. To Kenkatsu to teach 2 adult lessons.
4. Back home to jog.
5. M and I go to Shoya to drink and eat and drink.
Sunday
1. Spanish review.
2. Violin practice.
3. Drive to Yotsuya in typhoon for Bridge Competition.
4. To Kurumaya for dinner.
5. Home to BLOG, relax.

Getting my sake.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Puzzler Hints

We will get the car blessed and then on to another bridge competition. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE
HOME PROJECT for October:  漠然とした数量を表す
 
a lot of , lots of, many たくさんの,   a dozen たくさんの, 12またはその位の
a handful of  一握りの, わずかな,   several いくつかの,
a few, a couple of  少しの
 
1. There are a lot of (lots of, many) fish in the aquarium. 水族館にはたくさんの魚がいる。
2. I have a dozen questions about it. 私はそれについてたくさん質問がある。
3. She gave me a handful of candy. 彼女は私にキャンディーを少しくれた。
4. The students visited several famous temples. 生徒たちはいくつかの有名な寺院に行った。
5. He went out a few ( a couple of) minutes ago. 彼は数分前に出かけた。
 (a few  several  a lot of)  
 
数に関する多数の質問をお待ちしています。コメント欄に書き込むか、またはレッスンの時に!
Good luck!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Puzzler

I WILL DRINK TONIGHT. I just hope it's not too much. Puzzler CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for October:  漠然とした数量を表す
 
a lot of , lots of, many たくさんの,   a dozen たくさんの, 12またはその位の
a handful of  一握りの, わずかな,   several いくつかの,
a few, a couple of  少しの
 
1. There are a lot of (lots of, many) fish in the aquarium. 水族館にはたくさんの魚がいる。
2. I have a dozen questions about it. 私はそれについてたくさん質問がある。
3. She gave me a handful of candy. 彼女は私にキャンディーを少しくれた。
4. The students visited several famous temples. 生徒たちはいくつかの有名な寺院に行った。
5. He went out a few ( a couple of) minutes ago. 彼は数分前に出かけた。
 (a few  several  a lot of)  
 
数に関する多数の質問をお待ちしています。コメント欄に書き込むか、またはレッスンの時に!
Good luck!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Volkswagen GOLF

Well, it finally arrived. We got a call one week ago from the dealer in Ageo. Our car wold be ready this week. There are some instructions and explanations about the car so it will take some time before we could drive away. Wednesday at 3PM was the earliest and best time for both Miwako and me. However I did have to teach at 4PM. AND a typhoon had come in the morning. But it worked out well. I was worried because I bought the car without much research or comparison shopping. Our salesperson, Mr. Iba (see pic) gave us a lot of instructions and a manual. He told us to read it. It is so thick AND in Japanese! To make a long story short it is one cool car. I must be careful not to speed!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

At the zoo


I was free last Sunday so I went to Ueno zoo. I had to go to a party at night (6PM) in Omiya so I considered going to Taka-O Mountain. But I drank the night before. So I wasn't able to catch the early train. I took my time at home and watched baseball and football on TV and did some work. I left my house just at noon. I got to the zoo at 1:30. There was a large crowd of people. There were thousands of kids and parents. I had to wait 20 minutes in line just to buy my entrance ticket. After I got in I saw all the animals: tigers, lions, bears, gorillas, monkeys, dozens of birds, lizards, turtles, snakes, alligators, hippos, rhinos, giraffes, flamingos, penguins, kangaroos, etc. Did I miss? Don't you just love the zoo? I do.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sports Day Festival

I have been teaching at the Higashi Kindergarten in Okegawa for seven years now. It is work and of course I enjoy it. I get to play with the kids and entertain the young lady teachers at the same time. If possible I attend the annual Sports Day Festival. They used to hold it outside here and there. Sometimes it was very windy and sometimes it rained and sometimes it was very hot. They recently moved it to inside the Sun Arena. Now, they don't have to worry about (be concerned about) the weather. I could only stay for an hour or so this time as M and I had to go to our Bridge Competition. Lots of moms and dads and plenty of grandmas and grandpas were on hand to enjoy the activities. I am sure that all had a good time.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bridge

 Of course, I mean contract bridge.  This is the hobby that Miwako and I do together. We study twice a  month for 4 hours at the Kenkatsu Center. Since we are partners we have an advantage to discuss and review our play at home. Contract bridge is a complicated game with lots of rules so I will not try to explain here. We arrived at the site in Shibuya early so we had a mushroom salad and coffee at an outdoor cafe. Then 3 hours of bridge competition. There were some 15 teams (pairs). We played 22 "boards" or games. The first top 6 teams received Master points. We came in 7th place just "out of the money". Sigh. We will try again next Sunday in Yotsuya. The best news is that we don't argue anymore.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Puzzler Answers

I had a good weekend. Relaxing and another Monday off. Enjoyable but now I have lots to do this week. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
Saturday
1. Early RINRI Morning Seminar
2. To school for violin practice and teach 3 kids lessons.
3. Got to KenKatsu to sub for one teacher BUT he is there! Suddenly free.
4. Go to see new car at VW dealer. Will pick it up Wednesday.
5. Violin practice at school.
6. Home to jog.
7. Drink like a fish.
Sunday
1. Watch Detroit Tigers beat Boston Red Sucks 1-0.
2. Go to Ueno Zoo.
3. Go to Teruko-Party.
4. Home to sleep.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Horses

I made a rather difficult puzzler a couple of weeks ago. It was about the parts of a horse. When I made it I accidentally found some info about horses. I think it's pretty cool. Please take a couple of minutes to check it out. The horses have different markings on their bodies. One set is on the face. Look at the pic on the left. All the markings have names. They are STAR, BLAZE, SNIP, BALD, STRIPE. The other set is on the legs. Look at the pic on the right. They are CORONET, HALF PASTERN, SOCK, STOCKING, HALF CANNON. Owners and horse people use these handful of names to identify horse and describe them. I didn't know that. Did you?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Gaijin

So, I went to see who this Gaijin was. I could hardly believe that among all these Japanese people at our countryside festival there was another foreigner there. I found him immediately. I went over to introduce myself. He did so too. His name is Douglas Miller. He is 50 years old. He is from Wisconsin. This is the state next to my home Michigan! What a coincidence. He lives in Saipan now. He is a medical assistant. He helps patients with life threatening illnesses. He likes the weather and tax system (hardly any taxes paid) in Saipan. He also likes to drink. And drink. And drink. I am dry so he was happy to drink my portion. His wife is from Fujinami so they come back in planting and harvesting season to help on the farm. He always attends this festival. I enjoyed talking to him and a Japanese guy who spoke English very well. BTW  His son is 4 years old. His name is Michael.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Aki Matsuri

As I told you yesterday the Mida Kindergarten Sports Day Festival was rained out (cancelled due to rain) last Saturday bit the Fujinmai Aki Matsuri was not. This was an all day event. I am an area leader so I was required to attend this event to make rice balls and serve the guests and help with set up an clean up. I arrived at 3PM and stayed till 9:30. As it turns out I did hardly any work at all. The rain forced the event to be held inside the kominkan. This festival began way back in 1667. It celebrates crop harvesting. I was surprised to see the performance inside the kominkan. There were lots of elders there and also several young people playing flutes. It seems the tradition will carry on. As I said, I didn't do much but my turn came up when one guy told me "There's a gaijin over there."
Really? I went to check it out. Continued tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sports Day Rehearsal


As I said yesterday the Mida Kindergarten Sports Day Festival was cancelled due to rain. They will try it again next Saturday. However I did go there to see the rehearsal last week. My English lesson is on Fridays. But they had the rehearsal on that day so, as I didn't have to teach, I took the time to watch them practice. It was pretty cool. I sat behind the guy who controlled the music. I liked to watch as the teachers lead the kids. The athletic teacher was in charge of a lot of the action. Two dozen parents were there too. They were watching from behind the fence. I stayed for a couple of hours and then went back to my school.

Friday, October 4, 2013

American Football


Lions QB Mathew Stafford
Football is the most popular sport in the good old  US of A. Of course, we have professional baseball, hockey and basketball but football is tops. The season starts in September and ends with the SUPER BOWL in February. There are 32 teams around the country. Of course there are no teams in Alaska or Hawaii. My home town is Detroit, Michigan. There are four teams in this Central division: The Detroit Lions, The Minnesota Vikings, The Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Every team plays 16 games a year. The Lions will meet each of its three divisional rivals (enemies) twice. The Lions have been a bad team for many, many years. But this year they are pretty good. I am sure they will win their Division and then go on to the Super Bowl in February. I will update you regularly. Wish us luck!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thank you CAMRY

We moved to Ageo form Omiya in 2006. We lived in a Japanese mansion so we needed a bigger place. When we moved it seemed only natural that we buy a new car. The old one didn't look good next to the new house. So, our Toyota dealer came running! We had a choice between a CAMRY and a MARK X. We chose the Camry. It had lots of room inside which we needed for five family members. It was also fun to drive. We had one big accident (no one was hurt, thank God) and we drove to a lot of places. Usually it was only Miwkao and myself. For example, we did one overnight trip to Sendai and then one to Nagoya to watch Giants games. But the most memorable trip of all was GOLDEN WEEK 2011 to Nagasaki. 11 nights and 2300 kilometers. CAMRY was a great car. We will miss her BUT we look forward to the new car. Thank you CAMRY!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dominoes

The end of every month we have GAME DAY at my school. The easiest game is BINGO for the littlest kids (6, 7 year-olds) and the most difficult is Super Scrabble, as you may already know. For a lot of the older kids DOMINOES is number one. That is played with 28 "tiles". Each tile has two numbers on it. However the numbers are not INTEGERS. They are dots from no dots to six dots on one half of the tile. Four players are best to play this game. The first player is decided by each player drawing one tile. The player with the highest number goes first. The object of the game is to get points. Points are 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 or 35. Each player gets seven tiles to start. You have to match the numbers and connect your tile to the row of tiles played. It is very difficult to explain but a lot of fun to play. PS. I played a lot when I lived on Maui.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Osumo Part 3

The final story of O-Sumo is a trip to the Takadagawa stable for  dinner. We were treated to Chanko Nabe. This stable opened 7 years ago and has a very young group of wrestlers. I visited here  New Year Day also. They had a "mochi-tsuki" event so I went with my friend Claudio and Rina. That started at 7AM. The wrestlers are all in their teens, 20s or early 30s. They are big guys! There was one group of four sisters who came from Yamagata. This is their 3rd time to the stable. They were cool. They are in their 70s and 80s. There was also one TV talent there. I asked the Sumo guys some questions. 1. Where do you buy your 4L clothes? (anywhere). What do you do immediately after wrestling? (Go back to the stable). Do you own any suits? (No). What kind of shoes do you wear? (SETTA). Do you speak English? (No. We dislike studying so we are Sumo guys!) I'm looking forward to my next visit there.