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.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE
A busy weekend with some free time. It went like this.
Saturday:
1.Up early and NO RINRI. It's a holiday.
2. Wash three house windows and screens.
3. Violin practice at school.
4. Read Great Expectations.
5. Study bridge.
6. By car to Kenkatsu for two adult lessons.
7. VACATION! Drive to Echigo-Yuzawa in Niigata.
8. Drink at a local pub.
9. Stay one night at a ski resort.
Sunday:
1. Take a bath in the hot spring.
2. M drives to Nikko on the ROMANTIC KAI DOU.
3. I drive home.
4. Relax with beers and TV.
Kids studying ay RAM English

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Puzzler Hints

Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for November:  受け身(the passive voice)
 
have +目的語(~を)+動詞の過去分詞
誰かにお願いして「~してもらう」という意味になります。
 
1. He had his house painted. 彼は家の塗装をしてもらった。
2. The student had the sentences translated into Japanese. その生徒はその文章を日本語に訳してもらった
3. She has her nail manicured once a month. 彼女は1ヶ月に1度マニキュアをしてもらう。
4. I will have my photo taken. 写真を撮ってもらうつもり!
 
あまり馴染みがないかもしれませんが、よく使われる表現です。
Please try it!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Puzzler

Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for November:  受け身(the passive voice)

have +目的語(~を)+動詞の過去分詞

誰かにお願いして「~してもらう」という意味になります。
1. He had his house painted. 彼は家の塗装をしてもらった。
2. The student had the sentences translated into Japanese. その生徒はその文章を日本語に訳してもらった
3. She has her nail manicured once a month. 彼女は1ヶ月に1度マニキュアをしてもらう。
4. I will have my photo taken. 写真を撮ってもらうつもり!

あまり馴染みがないかもしれませんが、よく使われる表現です。

Please try it!

Last Tuesday's sunrise




Friday, November 22, 2013

Dodge ball

I went to the Higashi Kindergarten to teach as usual last Tuesday at 10AM. When I arrived there four mothers were waiting in the playground. The teacher informed me that this day was a parents and kids "dodge ball day". I was teaching the Nen-chus. It was a BINGO day. It was their first time to do BINGO. To tell you the truth BINGO is the most popular lesson I teach to all my kindergarten classes. And since it was their first time it took them a while to get used to it. Only about three kids out of 25 got the hang of it. (understood it) by the time we were through. Of course I was watching the moms and dads playing dodge ball outside. Between lessons I took the opportunity to go out and snap a couple of photos. How do you like my framing?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

GO Lions!

 The Detroit football Lions are tied for first place in their division. They defeated the Chicago Bears two weeks ago. Then they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. I thought they were going to win that game. The Steelers however, are resurgent (coming back to life = getting stronger after a slump) recently. In the meantime, the rival Chicago Bears won a tough (difficult) game against a strong team, The Baltimore Ravens. That means that the Detroit Lions and The Chicago Bears are both 6 wins and 4 losses right now. They are tied for first place in the Central division of the NFC. The Lions next game is against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I think the Lions will win easily. At least I hope so. Go Lions!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New arrival

Our house is on the outskirts of Ageo. It is in a farming community. We have rice fields everywhere and many people have kitchen gardens. Some grow vegetables and others grow flowers. There is also a small river that runs behind our "Fujinami Danchi". This Danchi is about 150 homes all in one area. As I said, there is a river behind us and in front and along side are rice fields. There are also some small forested areas. They are home to many kinds of animals. I am sure I saw a raccoon recently and I saw a weasel down by the river during my bird watching days. At that time too I discovered a pheasant and his territory. It was back by the river. Now it seems he has moved to the field in front of our house. I saw his chick just last Saturday. I took the pic from my car.
SUPER SCRABBLE ANSWERS: quoted/mounted  jeans  expanse/scalp  action

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Super Scrabble


Last Wednesday four girls came to the 7PM lesson. They are all 1st year junior high schoolers. Two of them took the interview test for Eiken 3. I am pretty sure they passed. Anyway, I decided to have a game day for them and Super Scrabble suits (fits) them best. We got a bit of a late start as I first asked them about the interview. After they left one junior high school boy came for the 8PM lesson. One girl was absent. He tried the interview, second time, for Eiken 2. He and I continued the SS game for 30 more minutes and finally finished. We then talked about this interview. He is pretty confident (sure) that he passed. COOL WORDS: DOTING OZONE SALUTE ASHAMED Now can you guess the blanks? Answers tomorrow.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE Another great weekend. It went like this:
Saturday:
1. 6AM Rinri Morning Seminar. I make Kai-In speech.
2. 3 kids lessons at school.
3. To Kenkatsu by bicycle to teach two adult lessons.
4. Back to school 35 minute violin practice.
5. Home to jog.
6. Drink like a fish. I just had to!
Sunday:
1. Wash the car.
2. Spanish week review.
3. Bridge as usual at Kenkatsu. (We decided last night that it was too time consuming to go to Ofuna. It is four hours round trip.)
4. Home to review bridge.
5. Blog.
6. Read Great Expectations.
7. Watch TV.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Puzzler Hints

New neighbor
The bridge tourney today is for high level players but we will try our best. We have been studying hard!
Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for November:  受け身(the passive voice)

have +目的語(~を)+動詞の過去分詞
誰かにお願いして「~してもらう」という意味になります。
1. He had his house painted. 彼は家の塗装をしてもらった。
2. The student had the sentences translated into Japanese. その生徒はその文章を日本語に訳してもらった
3. She has her nail manicured once a month. 彼女は1ヶ月に1度マニキュアをしてもらう。
4. I will have my photo taken. 写真を撮ってもらうつもり!
あまり馴染みがないかもしれませんが、よく使われる表現です。
Please try it!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Puzzler


Sunrise Thursday

It's Saturday and I have to hold off drinking for one more day as we have a bridge tournament tomorrow. Wish us luck!
Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE


HOME PROJECT for November:  受け身(the passive voice)

have +目的語(~を)+動詞の過去分詞
誰かにお願いして「~してもらう」という意味になります。
1. He had his house painted. 彼は家の塗装をしてもらった。
2. The student had the sentences translated into Japanese. その生徒はその文章を日本語に訳してもらった
3. She has her nail manicured once a month. 彼女は1ヶ月に1度マニキュアをしてもらう。
4. I will have my photo taken. 写真を撮ってもらうつもり!
あまり馴染みがないかもしれませんが、よく使われる表現です。

Please try it!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Anniversary

I came to Japan in 1984 from Hawaii. I wanted to learn the Japanese language and then return to Hawaii. There, I intended to be a translator, guide or do something where I would use the language. However it took a long time to learn Japanese. (I'm still studying!) In the meantime I got married and consequentially never returned to America. I have made my home here in Japan. My lovely wife, Miwako, was a student of mine. The company I worked for had a classroom  at the SOGO department store and I was teaching there. Miwako was a student. We met there and married November 13, 1988. That was 25 years ago. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary two days ago. I have a cool wedding picture but I can't get it out of the frame to scan it. It's stuck! This pic is from our honeymoon in Toyama. Thank you, Miwako.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Yono Park

I told you on Tuesday that Miwako and I went to Yono for Mari's musical extravaganza last Sunday. We left home very early so as not to be late. However the streets were not crowded at all so we arrived very early. We decided to stop in at Yono Park. Do you know this place? I used to bring my lovely daughters here about 15 years ago. At that time we lived in Omiya, Mihashi 3ChouMe. This park has a large Rose garden. It has a playground for kids with swings and slides. It also has a pond. It also has a mound in the very center of the park. You can climb up and down it. There are three public toilets to boot. It was chilly this day so M and I stayed for about twenty minutes before heading to the show. There were some roses in bloom. I must say, there certainly are a lot of different kinds of roses and so many names! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

RINRI meeting

As you know, I attend the Okegawa RINRI Morning Seminars every Saturday morning. They start at six and finish at seven. I am also a member of the RINRI ChouRei committee. So I attend the monthly meeting on the first Sunday of every month. That lasts a couple of hours from 9:30AM to 11:30AM. Actually I am the Leader of that committee for our district, the KenOu group. It includes Okegawa, Ageo and Kounosu/Kitamoto (they combined this year). I have to report what went on (what took place OR what we did) at the committee meeting on Sunday. I have to report it to the KenOu group at that monthly meeting. That was last Saturday night. After the meeting there is a delicious dinner and drinks. Eating and drinking is easy for me. Reporting is a bit difficult. If I studied more perhaps it would be easier. Hmmm.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Musical

One of my students is Mari. She is a piano/electone teacher. She is also kind enough to let me practice the violin as she plays the piano. Her company (Yamaha) held a special concert on Sunday. Mari gave us two tickets so Miwako and I attended. It was a kind of recital. The teachers peformed and many students were also on stage. Some played the electone and many sang and danced. They also played the recorder. They played pops, gospel, classic pieces. There were four electones on stage. The place was the Saitama Art theater in Yono (old name, presently Omiya ward). I estimate that 300 people came. I suppose lots of family members and friends. For the final song the audience participated. We kept beat with our hands, did a simple dance at our seats and shouted "Yeah, yeah, yeah" along with the singers on stage. We enjoyed it all very much. Thank you, Mari.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Puzzler Answers

Sunrise last Friday
Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
I had a good weekend. How about you?

SATURDAY
1. RINRI Morning Seminar.
2. To school. No 9AM lesson. BLOG, VIOLIN, e-mails.
3. There is a special event at the neighborhood elementary school so I have only two students in the 10 and then 11 o'clock class.
4. Two lessons at Kenkatsu. Very good, me thinks.
5. RINRI monthly KenOu meeting.
6. Home to drink with Miwako.
SUNDAY
1. Up slowly with the earthquake.
2. Clean the car interior.
3. Go to Omiya for music show.
4. Home to jog.
5. Spanish week review.
6. Bridge practice with M.
7. Read Great Expectations.
8. Sleep.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Puzzler Hints

And now it's Sunday. M and I will go to see Mari-sensei perform in YONO today. I will wash GOLF if it doesn't rain. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for November:  受け身(the passive voice)
have +目的語(~を)+動詞の過去分詞
誰かにお願いして「~してもらう」という意味になります。
1. He had his house painted. 彼は家の塗装をしてもらった。
2. The student had the sentences translated into Japanese. その生徒はその文章を日本語に訳してもらった
3. She has her nail manicured once a month. 彼女は1ヶ月に1度マニキュアをしてもらう。
4. I will have my photo taken. 写真を撮ってもらうつもり!
あまり馴染みがないかもしれませんが、よく使われる表現です。
Please try it!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Puzzler

Ah, the weekend. I am busy with RINRI twice. On Sunday we will go to Mari-sensei's concert.  Puzzler CLICK HERE.


HOME PROJECT for November:  受け身(the passive voice)

 
have +目的語(~を)+動詞の過去分詞
誰かにお願いして「~してもらう」という意味になります。
 
1. He had his house painted. 彼は家の塗装をしてもらった。
2. The student had the sentences translated into Japanese. その生徒はその文章を日本語に訳してもらった
3. She has her nail manicured once a month. 彼女は1ヶ月に1度マニキュアをしてもらう。
4. I will have my photo taken. 写真を撮ってもらうつもり!
 
あまり馴染みがないかもしれませんが、よく使われる表現です。
Please try it!
November 5th, 2013



Friday, November 8, 2013

World Champions USA

The Boston Red Sox beat (defeated) the St. Louis Cardinals in the American World Series of baseball last week. The Red Sox won 4 games. The Cardinals won 2 games. We call this a "best of seven series". That means that the first team to win four games is the champion. The Boston team won their third Championship in 10 yeas, That is pretty impressive. There are two Japanese players on the Boston team. They are Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa. Uehara won the MVP when they beat the Detroit Tigers (my team) to advance to he World series. Of course, everyone remembers Matsuzaka Daisuke. He was an excellent pitcher for a couple of years with Boston. Then he got fat and lazy, I think. Americans called him "Dice-K".

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sano Outlet Mall

Miwako and I took a drive to the Sano outlet mall in Tochigi. One goal was to test drive our new GOLF. It performed very well. Using the speed control was especially fun. We could set the speed and the car would slow down and stop if the car in front of us slowed down or stopped. It took a little getting used to but it worked like a charm. I also wanted to buy a couple of shirts and a pair of pants. We searched in about 5 different shops. I almost bought a shirt for 10,000en. I'm glad I didn't. I found another store where I bought two for that price and a pair of slacks for 7,000en. We then went to the food court for a simple meal and finally some Baskin Robbins ice cream. Yummy! The bad news was that it took about 30 minutes to get out of the parking lot becuase of traffic. But we got home about 7:30PM without incident. A good day indeed.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Open House

As you all know Monday was a holiday here in Japan. I had the whole day off from work. However every year on this holiday the Kenkatsu Center has their OPEN HOUSE. That means that all guests are welcome at no charge. The guests are encouragd to come in an observe what the establishment has to offer. (In America we have OPEN HOUSE at our elementary schools. The parents are allowed to come and observe what goes on in the classroom.) Our bridge club is at the Center. We hope to get new members so we rented one room and set up the tables to play bridge. We were there from 10AM to 3:30PM. We played our usual round of bridge and members took turns entertaining guests. What a surprise! One of our guests was Makiko, her husband and daughter. Makiko is one of my students.

SUPER SCRABBLE answers: valley  master/root  pair  dash

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Super Scrabble

One of my favorite students has retired from our school. Her name is Mika. She had been with us  since we opened our school in 2000. She came as a first grader and now leaves as a university student! She passed Eiken 2 with us an has been studying pre-1 and of course conversation. She attended InaGakuen high school and played in the orchestra there. She played violin. Last year in April I decided to try my hand at music.At first I though about the guitar. Then, Mika let me try her fiddle (violin). It had a really beautiful sound. From that moment I decided that it was the violin I must try. Anyway, on her last day she decided we will play Super Scrabble. There were four students and I gave assists here and there to keep the game moving. Actually all played very well. Good luck at university, Mika. Cool words: SNITCH  ZANY  EXUDE  ZING. Can you guess the blanks? CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO ENLARGE IT.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Puzzler Answers

I had a busy weekend and now a free Monday. Yeah! Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
Saturday
1. Early RINRI Morning Seminar
2. To school and teach 3 kids lessons.
3. Kenkatsu 2 adult lessons.
4. Violin practice 2 hours! at the school.
5. Relax at home. No drink! Small miracle.
Sunday
1. Jog.
2. Wash car. Put film on windows. Wax tires. Cool!
3. RINRI meeting. I am assigned more work
3. Shopping at SANO outlet mall. GOLF performs well.
4. Home to watch a movie and DRINK! Yeah, again.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Puzzler Hints

And today I have a RINRI meeting and then a drive with Miwako. Should I drink? Nah. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for November:  受け身(the passive voice)
 
have +目的語(~を)+動詞の過去分詞
誰かにお願いして「~してもらう」という意味になります。
 
1. He had his house painted. 彼は家の塗装をしてもらった。
2. The student had the sentences translated into Japanese. その生徒はその文章を日本語に訳してもらった
3. She has her nail manicured once a month. 彼女は1ヶ月に1度マニキュアをしてもらう。
4. I will have my photo taken. 写真を撮ってもらうつもり!
 
あまり馴染みがないかもしれませんが、よく使われる表現です。
Please try it!




 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Puzzler

I will be busy today but we have the cool Happy Monday just around the corner. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE
HOME PROJECT for November:  受け身(the passive voice)
have +目的語(~を)+動詞の過去分詞
誰かにお願いして「~してもらう」という意味になります。
1. He had his house painted. 彼は家の塗装をしてもらった。
2. The student had the sentences translated into Japanese. その生徒はその文章を日本語に訳してもらった
3. She has her nail manicured once a month. 彼女は1ヶ月に1度マニキュアをしてもらう。
4. I will have my photo taken. 写真を撮ってもらうつもり!
あまり馴染みがないかもしれませんが、よく使われる表現です。
Please try it!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Detroit Lions

Well, my Lions pulled off a victory against a very good opponent. THAT MEANS that they beat a very good team. Some say that it was an upset. THAT MEANS that the Lions were underdogs. THAT MEANS that they were favored to lose the game. THAT MEANS that everyone thought the other team (the opponent) would win because the were much stronger than the Lions. Of course, I didn't think so. I thought the Lions would win. However they won in a stunning fashion. It was almost a miracle. At the very end of the game the Lions scored a touchdown. But, the quarterback fooled everybody. He even fooled his own team! The other team was devastated (very disappointed). I was elated (very happy). GO LIONS.