Monday, March 31, 2014

Super Scrabble

I have to hurry this BLOG because Miwako and I have to leave soon or our bridge competition and then go to Atami for two nights. Yeah! It's March 31st, the final day of drinking for a month. Please look at the Super Scrabble board. You can make it bigger by clicking on it, or by a right clock. Anyway. some cool words are: poky  mettle  haze  quota  zeal  apostle. And now, can you figure out the blanks? Answers are down below. Please scroll down to see them. BYW Have you ever played Super Scrabble?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
fried/freed  homeland   photo   barged
 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Puzzle Answers

Please check out the my corrections from yesterday's BLOG. Your answers may differ. We can discuss it the next time we meet.

Hello. How are you?
I work as a personnel manager in a well-known organization.
We are currently looking for capable and reliable trustworthy (capable, reliable and  trustworthy) employees who couldrepresent (could represent) our company in in? your city.

You don.t (don't) need any special skills or any investments to begin our
partnership. In the beginning of your cooperation there is a  (an)educational (orientation)
period of 3 weeks.
During this learning (training)you will learn how to put together the documents, prepare contracts and conduct negotiations.
You will also receive a certificate on completing (upon completion of) the training in the framework of our company.In the process of our work together you will take part in useful
seminars and career enhancement training. In just two years you will
learn how to manage a group of staff members and will become the head
of a branch office.

in (In) the first (few/several) months your salary will be 9,650 Euro per month plus
monthly premiums. Your work schedule will be completely adjustable.
Altogether, you will not spend more than seven hours a week.

We only make this offer to the people who were suggested (referred) to us. Do not
miss your your? opportunity of becoming a director in an (a) well-known
company. All details you can obtain (can/may be obtained) by writing us to (at) the following
emailaddress (e-mail address) : ReginaPetersson@yahoo.co.jp

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Puzzler

The regular Puzzler is on vacation this weekend. I got this e-mail. Of course it is phishing. There are several mistakes. Can you find them? Answers tomorrow.

Hello. How are you?
I work as a personnel manager in a well-known organization. We are
currently looking for capable and reliable trustworthy employees who
couldrepresent our company in in your city.

You don.t need any special skills or any investments to begin our
partnership. In the beginning of your cooperation there is a
educational period of 3 weeks. During this learning you will learn how
to put together the documents, prepare contracts and conduct
negotiations.

You will also receive a certificate on completing the
training in the framework of our company.
In the process of our work together you will take part in useful
seminars and career enhancement training. In just two years you will
learn how to manage a group of staff members and will become the head
of a branch office.

in the first months your salary will be 9,650 Euro per month plus
monthly premiums. Your work schedule will be completely adjustable.
Altogether, you will not spend more than seven hours a week.

We only make this offer to the people who were suggested to us. Do not
miss your your opportunity of becoming a director in an well-known
company. All details you can obtain by writing us to the following
emailaddress: ReginaPetersson@yahoo.co.jp

Friday, March 28, 2014

Drinking Party

And finally after the Graduation Ceremony and Teachers Party came the Drinking Party. There must have been 50 or 60 people there. I arrived a little early so I led off (began) with a couple of draft beers and yakitori at the counter while I was waiting. The party started at 7PM. I had an early AM RINRI meeting next day so I couldn't stay late (Cinderella Rick!) or drink too much (heavy sigh). I had my nails done just for the event (see pic). Well, it was a fun time here, too. I must say the moms were rather subdued (quiet) compared to the Drinking Party I attended seven years ago. Also there were less smoking moms. I talked exclusively (only) to the other female teachers, not the moms. Actually there is one guy teacher. (see pic) I planned to exit (leave) at 8:45 but when I asked the time I was told "9:15". Shock! I went home by bicycle quite safely though. Thanks everybody.
 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Teacher's Party

This year after the graduation ceremony I was able to attend the Teacher 's Appreciation Party at the kindergarten. In Japanese they say "ShaOnKai". As I said yesterday I can't always attend these parties because of my teaching schedule. But this year I made it. Have you ever been to a ShaOnKai? It is lots of fun. The teachers get to relax. The mothers do all the work and throw a really good party. Of course, we all have a deluxe Box lunch. And there is a slide show of all the kids. There is a quiz about the teachers. (We all had to answer a questionnaire beforehand) And then teachers are asked to make a small speech. There are games and songs and the kids all participate. There is also lots of tears and crying. This year they let me play my violin as part of the entertainment. I was so-so as always. Maybe that is why the teachers were crying. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Higashi Kindergarten Graduation

On Tuesday mornings I teach the little kids at the Higashi Kindergarten. They had their graduation ceremony last Friday which was a holiday here in Japan. Usually it is on a Saturday. That means that I have to take the morning off from my school lessons in order to attend. But this time I was free all day. At this ceremony they allow me to make a small speech to the moms and dads and then to the kids. The speech to the parents is simple. I tell them that we all should support and love our kids whether they are small or big. And then I get to address (talk to) the kids. It is all in English. It is popular amongst the people. They all know it is coming, but it always gets a big laugh. I practice with the kids at the regular lessons by asking "OK?" to which the kids all reply "OK!". I use this in my speech. Of course no one knows what I am saying, especially the kids. But it is a tradition now here at the Kindergarten. I hope it continues for a long time.
 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mida Kindergarten graduation

Last week Wednesday the Mida Kindergarten in Kounosu held there graduation ceremony. I'm sure all of you have attended one of these. But, have you ever been to one and sat on stage? I'm a lucky Gaijin when it comes to that. I now teach at two Kindergartens so I am invited as a guest and get to (am allowed to) sit on stage. It's pretty cool. The view is excellent. At this ceremony, I am introduced as a guえst. I rise up from my seat and say "Congratulations" to all in Japanese. Then I add some English. I say "Good morning" in a loud voice. The kids respond "Good Morning". Then I ask "How are you?" Of course they reply "I am fine!" It gets a laugh form the moms and dads in attendance. The ceremony takes 75 minutes. It is a thrill and an honor to be up on stage. Thank you Mida Kindergarten.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Puzzler Answers

A weekend with no bridge is like a day without sunshine. But, I did other stuff for a change. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Saturday
1. Go to RINRI meet after three weeks absence.
2. Heard a Japanese Bush Warbler singing!
3. Three lessons at my school.
4. Two lessons at Kenkatsu Center.
5. Played my violin at Kenkatsu during both lessons. I hoped to concentrate more. The second group critiqued my playing. A good lesson for all, especially me, I believe.
6. Back to school to practice violin.
7. Home to watch TV and relax.
Sunday
1. Up early and go to the car wash. Clean the GOLF inside and out. I even wax the tires.
2. Go to Mormon church for Sunday services. What?
3. To school to take care of some business and practice violin.
4. Back home. Everyone went to a Disney movie. So, I was home alone.
5. Watched a Japanese documentary on how the earth evolved.
6. Watched Eddie Murphy in "Beverly Hills Cop" 1 and then 2.
7. Drank
.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Puzzler Hints

Today you can see last week's losing bridge results below. Puzzle Hints: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for March 2014 “Have you ever…?”

Have you ever 過去分詞 ~ ?

(今まで)~したことがありますか?

いつものニュースを、このフレーズから始めてみませんか?

1.Have you ever seen a comet? Last night there was a meteor shower in the sky.

I went out at 2AM to watch it. And (流星群を見たことがありますか?)

2.Have you ever tried skydiving? I planned it as a celebration of my 50th B-day.

My kids were like, unbelieving. However (スカイダイビングをしたことがありますか?)

3.Have you ever held a koala in your arms? They are so warm and cute.

This was my first trip to Australia. So, (コアラを抱っこしたことがありますか?)

Let's try and level up our presentation and conversation skills!
 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Puzzler

What?! No bridge this weekend?! Shock! However you can see last weekends winning results below. Puzzler: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for March 2014 “Have you ever…?”

Have you ever 過去分詞 ~ ?

(今まで)~したことがありますか?

いつものニュースを、このフレーズから始めてみませんか?

1. Have you ever seen a comet? Last night there was a meteor shower in the sky.

I went out at 2AM to watch it. And (流星群を見たことがありますか?)

2. Have you ever tried skydiving? I planned it as a celebration of my 50th B-day.

My kids were like, unbelieving. However (スカイダイビングをしたことがありますか?)

3. Have you ever held a koala in your arms? They are so warm and cute.

This was my first trip to Australia. So, (コアラを抱っこしたことがありますか?)

Let's try and level up our presentation and conversation skills!



 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Vernal equinox

Have you ever thought about how the earth spins (rotates) on it's axis and how this affects the weather and changes the seasons? Well, neither have I. But I do know one thing. Today is the vernal (spring) equinox. Here is some information from wikipedia.
  1. An equinox occurs twice a year (around 20 March and 22 September), when the plane of Earth's equator passes the center of the Sun.
  2. On the day of the equinox, the center of the Sun spends a roughly equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on the Earth. So night and day are about the same length. The word equinox derives from the Latin words, aequus (equal) and nox (night). In reality, the day is longer than the night at an equinox.
  3. When Julius Caesar established his calendar in 45 BC he set 25 March as the spring equinox. Since a Julian year (365.25 days) is slightly longer than an actual year the calendar drifted with respect to the equinox. So, the equinox was occurring on about 21 March in AD 300 and by AD 1500 it had reached 11 March.
Confused? Me, too.
This is NOT an eqinox celebration.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

RAM English goods for sale

These kindergarten kids concentrate on ABC BINGO.
I have been teaching in Japan for over 30 years. After we got married, Miwako and I formed our company RAM (Rick And Miwako) in 1994. We opened our small school in 2000. I then started teaching kids. I didn't know how or what to teach them. I tried this and that. It was all trial and error. Then in 2004 I found that I had to teach Eiken classes to keep my kids from quitting my school and going to Juku. It worked! And then I created my program for little kids. It is a pre-Eiken course. It took three years to perfect it and perfect it, I did, I believe. M and I tried the first presentation of our educational materials on Monday. Five ladies came. I forgot several things. We weren't very prepared but it was an excellent experience. Have you ever wanted to teach English to kids? We have everything you need!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fujinami Danchi Officers Meeting

The president brought snacks.
I am the #6 Han Chou. My area covers 14 homes in our Danchi. I had this position last year and I will do it for one more year in 2014. There is not much responsibility. I have to pass out info to the homes sometimes. At the same time I am the "environmental director". We had a "get to know you" meeting last Saturday night. There is a "Clean Ageo" campaign every year. In our area we meet to clean around our Danchi. Last year about 80 people participated. As director my job is to make the opening greeting, explain simply what we have to do and then tell them that there will be free tea for all afterwards. Then before all go home I tell them thank you for your cooperation and see you next year. There are several vacant lots an several vacant homes in our Danchi There a total of 15. They always need cleaning outside. Last year we found two bee hives,. We have to be careful.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New convenience store

Have you ever wondered just what the heck is going on? Our neighborhood is full of rice fields and kitchen gardens. Homes are here and there and several large companies are off in the distance. So, when I saw the construction beginning right on our doorstep (at the entrance to our residential or "Danchi" area) I wondered "What's this?" This area had been all rice fields forever and then 3 years ago they stopped growing in this one area. And now construction has begun. I saw it several days in a row. No one in my family knew what it was. So, I stopped and asked one of the workers last Thursday. He told me that it is going to be a, what else, convenience store. I forgot the name. Miwako says it will be good for Yumiko-san. It is right on a curve. I am little concerned (worried) that it may be a cause of traffic accidents. I hope not because we always use the entrance right across from it. We shall see.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Puzzler Answers

Have you  ever tried something completely new? Miwako and I have that challenge before us today. That's why I couldn't drink...too much... this weekend.  Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE

Saturday
1. Do not attend RINRI early AM meeting. My cold still lingers a bit.
2. Violin practice 8AM.
3. Three kids lessons at my school.
4. Two adult lessons at Kenkatsu.
5. Violin practice back at my school.
6. Home and then go to Fujinami Danchi officers meeting for one hour.
7. Home to 30 minutes of violin.
8. Cut my hair. (No one noticed!)
9. Dinner and relax watching the boob tube till 11PM. NO DRINKING!

Sunday
1. Up early to BLOG.
2. M and I go to Yotsuya for 2 bridge tourneys.
3. Reurn to drink a little at Shoya and rehash the day's bridge.
4. M and I plan for our big day tomorrow.
Rion plays my fidlde

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Puzzler Hints

Miwako and I have two bridge tourneys today, morning and afternoon. Question:Will I drink a little after that ? Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for March 2014 “Have you ever…?”

Have you ever 過去分詞 ~ ?

(今まで)~したことがありますか?

いつものニュースを、このフレーズから始めてみませんか?

1. Have you ever seen a comet? Last night there was a meteor shower in the sky.

I went out at 2AM to watch it. And (流星群を見たことがありますか?)

2. Have you ever tried skydiving? I planned it as a celebration of my 50th B-day.

My kids were like, unbelieving. However (スカイダイビングをしたことがありますか?)

3. Have you ever held a koala in your arms? They are so warm and cute.

This was my first trip to Australia. So, (コアラを抱っこしたことがありますか?)

Let's try and level up our presentation and conversation skills!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Puzzler

I MUST abstain from alcohol this weekend for a number of reasons. Sheesh! Puzzler: CLICK HERE

HOME PROJECT for March 2014 “Have you ever…?”

Have you ever 過去分詞 ~ ?

(今まで)~したことがありますか?

いつものニュースを、このフレーズから始めてみませんか?

1. Have you ever seen a comet? Last night there was a meteor shower in the sky.

I went out at 2AM to watch it. And (流星群を見たことがありますか?)

2. Have you ever tried skydiving? I planned it as a celebration of my 50th B-day.

My kids were like, unbelieving. However (スカイダイビングをしたことがありますか?)

3. Have you ever held a koala in your arms? They are so warm and cute.

This was my first trip to Australia. So, (コアラを抱っこしたことがありますか?)

Let's try and level up our presentation and conversation skills!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Do you want to be a millionaire!?

Greetings!
I am Sarah T. Cole the Personal Assistant to a Director of one of U.K's biggest bank based here in Scotland-United Kingdom. My boss{Name Withheld} has advised that i should contact you on a multi-Million business-deal transaction. It will be mutually beneficial to all parties involved.

Please be re-assured that everything about this business will be done through the Legal channels. Your involvement in this business will not breach any local or international laws. We have all legal documents to back up the payment of this money into your bank account in a very short while.

We shall be obliged to give you full details of this business and also the web link to see my boss resumes and profiles. Meanwhile we urge you to keep this offer very secret. For a start, send to us by e-mail the following:-

1. Your Full Names:- 2.Contact Street Address:- 3.Age:- 4. Profession:- 5. Nationality:-
6. Your private e-mail address:-

As it is said the taste of the pudding is in the eating, so give this business a positive consideration. Please reply Now.

Sarah T. Cole.
{Scotland-U.K

Thursday, March 13, 2014

International Drivers license

I called my mother Monday morning. She has had a cold for a week or so now. First I talked to my nephew and then his mom, my sister, and then our mom. My mom didn't sound good at all. She was weak. And she was fatigued (tired). She is 92, after all. I hung up the phone then went to my school. I was free all morning. So, on the spur of the moment, I decided to go to Omiya to get an international driver's license. I get one every year just in case I have to fly back home quickly as in an emergency. So, I went back home by bicycle, got my passport (it is necessary to get this license) and the old, expired license. I then went to Sonic City 4th floor. There I paid the 2,700en fee for the license, got a photo of myself at the photo booth and then filled out the form. Very simple and done in about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bridge

I was a little under the weather (sick) last weekend. As a matter of fact, I'm still coughing and sneezing. But that didn't deter me (stop me) from going to play bridge with Miwkao on Sunday. I lazed in bed till 9AM. We finally left home at 11:15, arrived at the center in Shibuya at 12:30 or so. There was another group already started. This as a "Ladies pairs" group (see pic). We got ready, met and talked to some people we have become familiar (friendly) with and then started to play. There were 15 teams. We played 2 boards (hands) with each team and sat out (didn't play) at one session. The results were surprising. We came in third again. As usual I made a couple of strange (uncommon) bids and was able to succeed with one but failed with the other. We both played good, solid defense. I do believe I am becoming addicted to this game. I am looking forward to next Sunday's play.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy Birthday to me!

Have you ever had a great birthday? Well, I certainly did this year, the 62nd year of my life, 2014. From my family I got cards from everyone (with lots of love). I got a new glasses case plus shochu and gift certificates and a really fine bath towel. From students I got shochu, sake and beer as well as post cards and some home made cup cakes and a 7,000,000,000en fan. There were two surprise celerbations. Both at Kenkatsu center. I had no idea that they were coming! At one, when I entered the room I spied (saw) a violin on one chair. Then the students all got up and started singing, as one student played "Happy Birthday". Then each student came one by one to my desk and dropped off a bottle of Kawagoe coeda beer in three flavors. Both celebrations were firsts for me. Thank you all very much. I hope I can continue to meet your expectations for our English classes. BTW the picture is of the two people who made me possible, my mom and dad. Thank you.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Puzzler Answers

The weekend is gone, gone, gone. I enjoyed it. How was yours? Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Saturday
1. I caught a cold so I didn't attend my RINRI meeting.
2. Three lessons at my school. The second class was C-R-O-W-D-E-D!
3. Two lessons at Kenkatsu. The first one we played one of my favorite games. "Who has the...?"
4. At the second class they threw a birthday party for me! What a surprise!
5. Back to my school for violin practice. (I didn't have a lesson on Thursday. My teacher was busy)
6. Home to relax: eat, drink and be merry. Happy B-day to me!

Sunday
1. Sleep in.
2. Bridge in Yotsuya with Miwako. We came in tied for third place. We certainly are improving.
3. Home to review bridge and relax.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Puzzler Hints

And today...what else? BRIDGE. I just hope I didn't drink too much last night. Puzzle Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for March 2014 “Have you ever…?”

Have you ever 過去分詞 ~ ?

(今まで)~したことがありますか?

いつものニュースを、このフレーズから始めてみませんか?

1. Have you ever seen a comet? Last night there was a meteor shower in the sky.

I went out at 2AM to watch it. And (流星群を見たことがありますか?)

2. Have you ever tried skydiving? I planned it as a celebration of my 50th B-day.

My kids were like, unbelieving. However (スカイダイビングをしたことがありますか?)

3. Have you ever held a koala in your arms? They are so warm and cute.

This was my first trip to Australia. So, (コアラを抱っこしたことがありますか?)

Let's try and level up our presentation and conversation skills!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Puzzler

I will definitely drink tonight at my B-day party. Cheers! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.
 
HOME PROJECT for March 2014 “Have you ever…?”
Have you ever 過去分詞 ~ ?
(今まで)~したことがありますか?
いつものニュースを、このフレーズから始めてみませんか?
1.     Have you ever seen a comet? Last night there was a meteor shower in the sky.
I went out at 2AM to watch it. And (流星群を見たことがありますか?)
2.     Have you ever tried skydiving? I planned it as a celebration of my 50th B-day.
My kids were like, unbelieving. However (スカイダイビングをしたことがありますか?)
3.     Have you ever held a koala in your arms? They are so warm and cute.
This was my first trip to Australia. So, (コアラを抱っこしたことがありますか?)
Let's try and level up our presentation and conversation skills!
 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Bridge

Have you ever made a good mistake? Well, we did last Sunday. There were two bridge competitions that day. We planned to play in the Novice one. That is for players "under 5" which means under (less than) 5 competition points earned. We have 2 points. But it started at 1:30. The Under 50 competition started at 1:00. Luckily for us we arrived too early as we thought we would start at 1:00. One guy told me that the Under 50 has better players. i.e. players who make fewer mistakes. I considered the time and decided that we would take part in the Under 50 competition. It turns out that the players were better but they still made some mistakes as did we. But, the hands (card set ups) were more interesting and more fun.  M and I played well, bid well and our defense was stellar (very good). There were ten teams. We came in 3rd place. Excellent mistake!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

India Part 3

And finally,
About food It's delicious! We ate several kinds of curry: beans, chicken, mutton, fish, vegetables, cheese (mild) and Nan with every meal. I loved them all.
About water We can't drink it. If you drink it you have trouble with your stomach. That is, you get diarrhea.
About sightseeing
  1. In Delhi we saw "India Gate", Humayun's tomb" Qutb Minar" and "Red fort".
  2. In Jaipur (Pink City) we saw "Hawal Mahal", Amber Palace" , "Jantar Mantor" (an astronomical observatory) and "City Palace",
  3. In Agra we saw "Fatehpur Sikri" "Agra fort" and the "Taj Mahal".
About traffic It's very difficult and crowded. Many kinds of vehicles are running. rikusha, auotrikusha, bicycles, motorbikes. Some people were pulling bicycles with trailers. Buses which had broken windows were carrying many people. Some people were hanging outside trucks which looked like they would break at any moment. I always heard car horns. I could never drive there.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

India Part 2


This is the second installment (part) of Hiroko's trip to India story.
   I thought India was a chaotic and exciting place. I had some mixed feelings. Most people are poor there. The world heritage sites were amazing. But most local people have to live as hard as possible (struggle to live). When we went sightseeing many children who seemed very poor, pestered (bothered) us to buy their goods, like (such as) small wooden elephant statues, ballpoint pens, post cards, clothes, etc. I said "No, thanks." many times but they never gave up. One woman was holding her baby in her arms, begging me for money. I was perplexed with them. Our guide said, "If you buy the wooden statues from them your wooden house will collapse." That is because the statues have harmful insects in them. "If you buy ballpoint pens from them, the ink will leak during your flight home." That mans that they have inferior goods.
   Tomorrow's final installment includes About traffic and About food.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

India Part 1


My student, Hiroko, went on a trip to India with her husband. She wrote the following story.
NAMASTE! Have you ever been to India? I went there for five days (actually three days). In India, Hindi and English are the official languages. So, I'm happy to learn English. May I ask you a question? What are the best three phrases I used in India? 1. "No, thank you." 2. Thank you." "Can I have...?" We went to Dehli, Agra and Jaipur. We saw many sights. They were amazing. Especially, the "Taj Mahal" was so beautiful. It is made of marble. It is a tomb. The fifth Emperor of the Mugaru Empire, Jajaham, built it for his wife, the empress. The cost was enormous. QUESTION: When the Taj Mahal was completed. what did the emperor give the architect and the stone masons? The answer is that he had the architect executed (killed/put to death) because the emperor didn't want anyone to build another TM. He also had the masons fingers cut off so they couldn't build again. Terrible, but true! BTW Look at the picture of the bathroom. Of course, you can see the toilet. But, can you see the "washlet"?