Saturday, February 28, 2015

Puzzler

The final February weekend. Actually, it is the final day of the month. How was your February? Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for February

"later" あとで、~後に、その後
ある時間や状況より、あとのことを表します。
But, 具体的な時間や期間を表したいときの(ex.20分後、5年後)未来の文には使えません。

1. I'll call you later. 後で電話します。
2. I got there at ten, and she arrived a few minutes later. 私は10時に到着し、彼女は数分後に来ました。
3. He graduated high school and two years later he had his own company.彼は高校を卒業し、2年後自分の会社を持った。
4. I got an idea a little later.しばらくして、アイディアが浮かんだ。

See you later, alligator!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Mon Cheri

One of my students at the Kenkatsu Center Saturday afternoon lesson owns a cafe. It is called Mon Cheri. It is open for lunch. I went there by bicycle last week Thursday for lunch. I had promised to go there the week before but I was under the weather at that time, but I knew I would go there sooner or later. I finally made it two Thursdays ago. And I am glad that I went. First of all, I like the location. It is in an area without many houses. As a matter of fact the owner, Yuko-san, said that her place was just an open field when she built it. Secondly the lunch was delicious. Yuko makes her own bread. We had a beef stew type of lunch in a bun. And finally, to my surprise, three other students from the class showed up (came/appeared). We chatted and enjoyed lunch together. We all said how lovely the restaurant was. There is a patio with some well kept plants in pots and some trees. The building is only 6 years old. It is very modern and made mostly of wood with large wooden beams overhead. I recommend it highly.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Endoscopy

I had an endoscopy done last week Friday. I had some stomach pains for about a month. They would come and then later they would go away (disappear). Miwako convinced me to go to have an endoscopy. I finally went. It was not so bad. The preparations took 20 minutes. The procedure took less than five minutes. Then I had to wait about 30 minutes until the drugs wore off. Two hours later I was teaching the kids at Mida Kindergarten. I watched the monitor during the procedure. It was cool! I will get the results in a couple of weeks.
DEFINITION: An Upper endoscopy is a procedure used to visually examine your upper digestive system. It is done with a tiny camera on the end of a long, flexible tube. A specialist in diseases of the digestive system (gastroenterologist) uses endoscopy to diagnose and, sometimes, treat conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach and beginning of the small intestine (duodenum). The medical term for an upper endoscopy is esophagogastroduodenoscopy. An upper endoscopy may be done in your doctor's office, an outpatient surgery center or a hospital.
 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A night out

"A night out" means to go out of the house and have dinner and/or drinks at some eating establishment. It can also mean going out to the movies or to do some singing at the Karaoke place or a dinner cruise on a ship in Tokyo Bay. There are many kinds of nights out. M and I had a PM bridge session on Sunday so we had the AM off. We made reservations at the Royal Pines Lounge in Urawa for Saturday night. We had been there once before for lunch. This time it was purely to relax. And relax, we did. The food was good but I was more interested in the cocktail menu. I knew there would be a variety (many kinds) of whiskey on it. We ordered a cheese dish, a vegetable dish with a garlic dip, and oysters. Miwako enjoyed her favorite drink...draft beer. And I got to (was able to) try four different kinds of Irish and Scottish single malt whiskeys. Yummy. On top of all that there was live music; A piano and the viola. What a treat for us! It was a fantastic night out.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bridge

The bridge results were so good that I must tell about them ASAP (As Soon As Possible). We got our latest MP count by mail. I now have 12.25MPs and Miwako has 12.77MPs ( Master Points). We went out Saturday night for some R and R (Rest and Relaxation). I didn't want to drink too much. It was impossible! But the tourney was in the PM only so we managed quite well. There were 13 teams and we played 22 boards (games). We had the top score of 5 on five boards. And our score percentage (%) was 60. That is very good for us. It was an Under 50 tourney so I think that it was basically our level. Of course, we made some mistakes but only a couple. We had some bidding miscommunication (mistakes/miscues). Naturally, we also had some good games. I made a couple of hard (difficult) games and Miwako made two of our top scores. We played solid (very good/strong) from beginning to end. That is why we tied for third place. We are very happy with these results. We are also looking forward to next week's Under 20 sessions.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Puzzler Answers

Well, it's later, alligator. How are you? I'll tell you yesterday's bridge results later this week. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
A not-so-busy weekend.

Saturday
1. Violin practice.
2. Make BLOGS
3. Teach two kids lessons at Okegawa school.
4. Violin practice.
5. M drives me to Kenkatsu for two adult lessons.
6. I go by New Shuttle and train to Urawa.
7. M and I relax with food and drinks at Royal Pines Lounge.
8. Home by train and taxi.
9. Sleep.

Sunday
1. Discuss bridge tactics/strategies.
2. Bridge at Takadanobaba. PM session only.
3. Under 50 tourney and come in tied for 3rd.
4. Return for dinner at Ishizuka with Yumiko.
5. Review bridge.
6. Wind down (relax) by watching the movie GHOST on TV.
7. Sleep.
Orange time



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Puzzler Hints

As I said, our bridge session today is in the PM only. It is for Under 20 players. We have to win! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for February

"later" あとで、~後に、その後
ある時間や状況より、あとのことを表します。
But, 具体的な時間や期間を表したいときの(ex.20分後、5年後)未来の文には使えません。

1. I'll call you later. 後で電話します。
2. I got there at ten, and she arrived a few minutes later. 私は10時に到着し、彼女は数分後に来ました。
3. He graduated high school and two years later he had his own company.彼は高校を卒業し、2年後自分の会社を持った。
4. I got an idea a little later.しばらくして、アイディアが浮かんだ。

See you later, alligator!
Winter White Chocolate...not bad.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Puzzler

Last weekend I had ichigomiruku ice cream at BR. I wonder what I'll get this time? Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for February

"later" あとで、~後に、その後
ある時間や状況より、あとのことを表します。
But, 具体的な時間や期間を表したいときの(ex.20分後、5年後)未来の文には使えません。

1. I'll call you later. 後で電話します。
2. I got there at ten, and she arrived a few minutes later. 私は10時に到着し、彼女は数分後に来ました。
3. He graduated high school and two years later he had his own company.彼は高校を卒業し、2年後自分の会社を持った。
4. I got an idea a little later.しばらくして、アイディアが浮かんだ。

See you later, alligator!

This mornings frost




Friday, February 20, 2015

Bridge, of course

We are definitely improving. If you look at the results here, you may not think so. But, it is true. We are counting cards a little more. We are understanding card positions and hand layouts more. However, we are weekend warriors. That is a term used for typical 40, 50 and 60 year old guys who play sports (softball, soccer,etc) on the weekends. They may practice during the week but not much. They probably also celebrate their efforts afterwards by drinking. Many bridge players have the luxury (good luck/fortune) to play on weekdays. They can hone (sharpen) their skills then. So, M and I have to be content (happy) with the progress we make, little by little. Last weekend we played in an Under 50/Under 100 tourney. That is over our heads (above our level). Afterwards we decided to limit our play to Under 20 sessions. That is our level as we have 11MPs. Also, these sessions are sometimes in the afternoon only. In that case we can go out Saturday night and enjoy some relax time. Like this Saturday for example.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Shopping

I do not go shopping very often. I don't have the time. It seems to me that shopping requires (needs) patience. You have to try clothes on. If they don't fit or don't suit you (look good on you) you have to try another one. If you are looking for an item you may have to go to several places to look at the same thing. It takes too much time for my money (for me). However, last weekend I was not drinking. So, I had the time. I went to BBW (BeNiBana Walk) to look at clocks. I need a new one. On my way to that area I encountered (met/came upon) the men's clothes shop. I checked some out. As usual the Japanese sizes are wrong for me. I tried a few items on to no avail (no success). It was then that I happened upon (found by accident) men's formal wear. I do need a black wedding/funeral suit. I looked at the prices. The cheapest was 18,000en. The more expensive was 27,000en. I tried one of those on. Perfect fit! And it has a adjustable waist. Great! I bought it in the wink of an eye (instantly/on the spot). I will pick it up tomorrow. Lucky. By the way, I never did buy a clock.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Party

My favorite restaurant in Okegawa is Futaba. I learned of it during a conversation with some Okegawa students. I recommended one restaurant to them. They went there. They didn't like it. They told me about Futaba. I went there I loved it! It used to be a fish retailer. They changed it to a restaurant and 15 years later it continues as such. It seats 25 to 30 people. There are seven seats at the counter around 20 on the raised tatami deck. The place is old and, of course, very clean. There are three owners: one gent (the sushi chef) and two sisters who cook and serve. Besides the fish plates, they make a variety of salads. And the atmosphere is friendly. Two Saturdays ago, 9 students and I went there to wine and dine. The same members got together last year for a similar party in Omiya. This time there were four new members. As expected the food was DE-licious. Fortunately there were 3 gents who are sake experts. They steered us in the right direction as far as choosing alcohol. I am quite sure all enjoyed. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Job?

We got a call out of the blue (suddenly) two weeks ago. It was form the Kitamoto Higashi Kindergarten. They need an English teacher and found our home page. They checked it out and gave us a call. I went to meet the owner. He's a nice guy. The Kindergarten is small. It seems they lost their English teacher. They said the English school company cannot work the same time schedule anymore. So, I went by bicycle last week. It takes about 15 minutes from my school. We talked and he later checked out my demo videos that I have on-line. We arranged a time for me to do a sample lesson. There are over 30 Nen-chous for one hour. My only free time is Monday mornings. Actually, this is my only free AM so this lesson is a 50/50 proposition (choice) for me. If I do it that is fine. If I don't do it that is fine, too. The sample lesson went well. I prepared a contract. Now I have to wait and see if he agrees to the terms. If all goes well the lesson starts in April. So, we have to wait a little longer.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Puzzler Answers

Not only did I get chocolate for Valentine's Day, I got some apples and Japanese Sake. How about you? Get your Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

In this Super Scrabble board we have the COOL WORDS of:
POTTY   VEND   EXIST   MORN   CHEEP    DUNCE    EXERT   SLASH.
And, can you figure out the blanks? Scroll down for answers.













RETIRE     ODD      JOLLIES/P     BIDE/BIKE/BILE/BITE

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Puzzler Hints

I feel much better and am resting the bod this weekend. I hope to back at full strength sooner than later. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for February

"later" あとで、~後に、その後
ある時間や状況より、あとのことを表します。
But, 具体的な時間や期間を表したいときの(ex.20分後、5年後)未来の文には使えません。

1. I'll call you later. 後で電話します。
2. I got there at ten, and she arrived a few minutes later. 私は10時に到着し、彼女は数分後に来ました。
3. He graduated high school and two years later he had his own company.彼は高校を卒業し、2年後自分の会社を持った。
4. I got an idea a little later.しばらくして、アイディアが浮かんだ。

See you later, alligator!
Sunrise today





Saturday, February 14, 2015

Puzzler

Definitely NO alcohol this weekend. Bridge? Of course. Puzzler? CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for February

"later" あとで、~後に、その後
ある時間や状況より、あとのことを表します。
But, 具体的な時間や期間を表したいときの(ex.20分後、5年後)未来の文には使えません。

1. I'll call you later. 後で電話します。
2. I got there at ten, and she arrived a few minutes later. 私は10時に到着し、彼女は数分後に来ました。
3. He graduated high school and two years later he had his own company.彼は高校を卒業し、2年後自分の会社を持った。
4. I got an idea a little later.しばらくして、アイディアが浮かんだ。

See you later, alligator!

The friendly staff at IL Cuore


Friday, February 13, 2015

IL Cuore

As I told you yesterday, I was under the weather recently. As a matter of fact, while we played bridge last Sunday I had pains in my stomach the entire (whole) time. On Monday I did way too much. I had the special Urawa CC lesson in the AM and then my Mida K after school lessons. I walked to the school instead of taking a taxi. I also had  a wrestling match with 5 Nen-chous. (I won). Then back in Okegawa, I went by bike to Omori clinic. It was 20 minutes each way. And then two lessons and finally home at 9:30PM. The next AM I had the fever, etc. So, we cancelled our bridge and I rested at home all AM. I went to my school to practice violin and do some simple tasks till 4:30PM. Then M and Eri and I drove to visit Yumiko in hospital. One hour later the three of us went to Il Coure restaurant in Omiya. It is part of the Alpino restaurant  group. We have known them for over 15 years. We went there Wednesday night to enjoy dinner. The food is DE-licious and the atmosphere is superb. I highly recommend this place.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Under the weather

Under the weather is an expression in English.It means not feeling well or to be sick/ill. Well, I have been under the weather for a while now. From mid January till now I have had stomach pains. They would come and go. There would be no problem for a couple days and then two days later they would start again. I got an annual check up in November at Nakazuma clinic. The results showed that I had weak kidneys. The doc said I need to drink more water. So, I am doing that. My stomach even felt better! But, then the pains returned. I believe the cause (reason) is I drink too many cold things and eat too fast. So, on Monday I went to Omori Gastro-intestinal clinic and got an appointment for a camera scan of my innards (stomach, etc) for next week Friday. Then suddenly Tuesday AM I awake with a fever and feeling weak. Then, I went to Ishibashi clinic to get looked at (checked up) and get some medicine. I had to cancel two lessons. However, the medicine has helped. I am sure there is no need for worry. I feel much better today and I look forward to the camera check up next Friday.
Even with stomach pains a second place finish

 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Japan Constitution Day

Constitution is the system of fundamental principles by which a nation, state, corporation or the like is governed (ruled). Constitutions explain or define the way the country, etc is run. I checked the Japanese Constitution on line. There are 11 Chapters and 103 Articles. Here are a few.
Article 1. The Emperor shall be the symbol of the State and of the unity of the People, deriving his position from the will of the people with whom resides sovereign power.
Article 19. Freedom of thought and conscience shall not be violated.
Article 23. Academic freedom is guaranteed.
Article 30. The people shall be liable to taxation as provided by law.
Article 42. The Diet shall consist of two Houses, namely the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
Article 81. The Supreme Court is the court of last resort with power to determine the constitutionality of any law, order, regulation or official act.
Article 88. All property of the Imperial Household shall belong to the State. All expenses of the Imperial Household shall be appropriated by the Diet in the budget.
Article 91. At regular intervals and at least annually the Cabinet shall report to the Diet and the people on the state of national finances.
Have you ever read it?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Short Course Part 2

One point about the short course adult lessons is that the students do not have to pay. And many times they would sign up only because it was free. Then they didn't come to the lesson.  I put together  (made) a text book for the adults students. They had to buy the text book. That way they had to pay a little money to join the "free" class. They had to come. I also got a small profit (and still do today) when the students purchased (bought) the books.  I also made a text and CDs for kids at my school. It is a listening and pronunciation practice. I made short courses for kids using these CDs. I sold several lessons using a Japanese teacher. We don't do these lessons anymore, but we still get calls for kids lessons. I have been to many, many, many  places looking for new lessons. I was a salesman. At one time I considered (thought about) Going into Tokyo. I got as far as Akabane. I thought I had a lesson there but it didn't happen. They called later to say "No, thank you." In the end, all my footwork and text/CD creating still pays off today.
Sunday 2/8. We came in 3rd by the skin of our teeth in the AM session.
 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Puzzler Answers

It's Monday and the start of a new week. The good news is that this Wednesday is a holiday. What will we do? Play bridge of course. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE

Below is another recent Super Scrabble board for your perusal. COOL WORDS: ASHORE  SNOUT  GRIME  BRONCO  NODDY.
Now, can you guess the blanks? Answers below.














LEARN    QUIT    ADAPT/DUTY    OXYGEN









Sunday, February 8, 2015

Puzzler Hints

We had some fun last night. I hope I'm in good shape for today's bridge.Wish us luck! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for February

"later" あとで、~後に、その後
ある時間や状況より、あとのことを表します。
But, 具体的な時間や期間を表したいときの(ex.20分後、5年後)未来の文には使えません。

1. I'll call you later. 後で電話します。
2. I got there at ten, and she arrived a few minutes later. 私は10時に到着し、彼女は数分後に来ました。
3. He graduated high school and two years later he had his own company.彼は高校を卒業し、2年後自分の会社を持った。
4. I got an idea a little later.しばらくして、アイディアが浮かんだ。

See you later, alligator!

Mr Sun is defnitely heading north.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Puzzler

Another weekend! Thank goodness. The main event will be a dinner/dink party with the Kenkatsu students tonight. Then all day bridge tomorrow, with a trip to 31 sandwiched somewhere in between.
Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for February 2015

"later" あとで、~後に、その後

ある時間や状況より、あとのことを表します。

But, 具体的な時間や期間を表したいときの(ex.20分後、5年後)未来の文には使えません。

1. I'll call you later. 後で電話します。
2. I got there at ten, and she arrived a few minutes later. 私は10時に到着し、彼女は数分後に来ました。
3. He graduated high school and two years later he had his own company.彼は高校を卒業し、2年後自分の会社を持った。
4. I got an idea a little later.しばらくして、アイディアが浮かんだ。

See you later, alligator!

Eri;s bike was all ice yesterday AM.




Friday, February 6, 2015

Short Course in Uwara

I was fortunate (lucky) to get two new jobs this new year. They are both 5-week courses. They are, of course, English lessons for adults. Let me tell you how I got these lessons. One of my businesses is to send teacher to teach at different locations. Some of these lessons are my "old" lessons. I couldn't teach them anymore so I hired someone to take my place. However, the lesson still  belongs to (continues to belong to) RAM English Service. Therefore, the students pay RAM and RAM pays the teacher. There is a small profit and additional bookwork, but everyone seems happy. In order to increase these types of lessons I began looking for new lessons some 20 years ago. I got a couple of lessons as gifts from a RINRI friend and one acquaintance from way back when. At that time I was a member of the Omiya YEG-Young Entrepreneurs Group. As this was a good set-up I decided to look for more lessons. How? Tune in next Tuesday.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Setsubun

I am fortunate (lucky) because our family keeps many Japanese traditions. Miwako sees to that. One is Setsubun. So, on Tuesday night three of us sat on the living room floor and tossed beans outside and inside. We chanted the words. We ate the beans. I didn't dare to eat as many as my age. I just ate supper. And there wasn't enough time.
(From Wikipedia): Setsubun is the day preceding risshun that is the first day of spring according to the old Japanese calendar, or the so-called lunar calendar. On the day of Setsubun, there is the custom of throwing roasted soybeans while chanting "In with Fortune! Out with Evil" in order to prevent evil ogres from entering one's house. It is believed that the ogres are warded off by throwing beans, and that good fortune will then come to one's home. On this day, events with entertainers and athletes are held at shrines all over the country. According to Japanese tradition, if you eat the same number of beans as your age, you will enjoy a year of good health.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl 49. This is the 49th Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is the final game of the American football season. This year it was in Arizona. It was broadcast live here in Japan on cable network. We have that. But I couldn't watch it live because I had to teach. I started a new 5 week course at The Urawa Community Center in the Parco building in front of Urawa station, east side. It starts at 9:45AM while the Super Bowl started at 8:30AM. I looked at the schedule and found that I could make a recording. I did that then went to teach all day Monday. I checked my e-mail at work in the AM and then didn't look again. I didn't want anyone to tell me the result of the game before I saw it. I finally watched the first half of the game at 9:30PM. I then woke up at 3AM the next morning to watch the second half. It was a very exciting game. The New England Patriots beat (defeated) the Seattle Seahawks, 28 to 24. Both teams played hard, team football. I will definitely watch it again. The man in the picture is Tom Brady. He is the quarterback of the victorious (winning) team, the New England Patriots. He was voted the MVP of the game. MVP means Most Valuable Player. He is also Kenny's favorite player. Congratulations Kenny!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

School Mascot

We opened our school in the year 2000. That was 15 years ago. I tried once, a long time ago, to be a "salary man". I worked at a company for three years as a computer technician and then a computer programmer. But, as I was lazy and  very stubborn it didn't go well. I eventually left my home in Michigan and moved to Colorado for one year. I was still lazy and stubborn. Next, I moved to Hawaii and was still lazy and stubborn. After five years in Hawaii I moved to Japan to learn the language. Of course, I was still lazy and stubborn. Then I got married and settled down. That was 25 years.  I was still stubborn but I couldn't afford to be lazy any more. I needed to support a family. I was very fortunate in my marriage and business. We started our business soon after we were married. When we opened our school one friend presented us with this cactus plant. It blooms in the winter. Look a the pic. Do you think I need to trim the plant? That is, should I shorten the branches to make it grow more flowers? Please let me know what you think. Thanks.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Puzzler Answers

And now we are into February. Will I drink? Yes, of course. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE

I did a Super Scrabble Puzzle with some students. I completed the board the following (next) day I used all the letters. Very rare, indeed.
COOL WORDS: GROAN   TRAIL   THRIVE   IDIOT   DOLT
And...What are the blanks? ANSWERS BELOW!


BLANKS:  QUIT   ONYX    WAG   YACHT

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Puzzler Hints

I finished reading one bridge text book. I am now rereading it. Study! Study! Study! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for January 2015: " look + α"

"look"は「見る」という単語ですが、後ろにつく単語によっていろいろな意味を表します。

look for = 探す、 look after = 世話をする

look into = 調べる、 look forward to = 楽しみに待つ

1. Are you looking for a job? 仕事を探しているの。
2. He looked after the baby all day yesterday. 昨日、彼は一日中赤ちゃんの世話をした。
3. The police are looking into the cause of the accident. 警察が事故の原因を調べている。
4. I'm looking forward to my trip next week. 来週の旅を楽しみにしている。

もちろん、他にも : " look +α" はあります。

Look for them all in Rick's Daily Blogs!
More snow flakes