Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Looking for love

This mail came to me last week. I get these these kinds of mail every once in a while (sometimes). The women are always looking for a good man. Of course I never reply (answer). The good news is that I never get any e-mail from men. Do you ever get such mail? If so, please tell us about it. Also, she needs some English lessons.
good Day... how are you?everything is ok?
My name is Yana. I am single lady and look for relationships.. So that is why I am writing to you:) If I right you are single man too and looking for right woman. Thats true?
Well, now something more about me: My age is 30 years,I am from Russia,and I am medical worker. I am single and I never been married. I enjoy every day of a life and have many different ways to spend spare time. My main wish is to find serious relationships and love. So thats little about me. I will be glad if you will respond me and say more about your personality. Hope to get reply from you soon. bye.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Puzzler Answers

It'll be July in a couple of days. Are you ready for the heat? You can cool off here by checking out the Super Scrabble board. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.
 
Cool Words:  FOIL       HUSH      SKIMP     IFFY    WAD    ADAGES
 
And how about the blanks? Can you figure them out. The answers are way down below.
 




























QUILT    PRANCED/DEUCE     ZERO/RING    FRONT/FORT

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Puzzler Hints

Back at the bridge table today. And, I wonder how Japan did in Canada. I'll check later. In the meantime; Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

Home Project for June 2015: 教えてください。 "tell me"  "show me"  "let me know"

普段の会話の中で 「教えて」 という機会は多いと思います。

"Please teach me." を使っていませんか。
"teach" は先生から生徒へというように、知識や技術などを伝える時に使います。
 
1. Please tell me your last name. 名字を教えてください。
2. This is a new computer. Please show me how to use it. このパソコン新品なんだよね。お願い、使い方教えて。
3. Let me know how much I have to pay. いくら払わなければいけないか教えてください。
 
If you have any questions, just ask. I can tell you the answers.

Doesn't that look like fun?!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Puzzler

Ah, the weekend. I'll be busy though. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

Home Project for June 2015: 教えてください。 "tell me"  "show me"  "let me know"

普段の会話の中で 「教えて」 という機会は多いと思います。

"Please teach me." を使っていませんか。
"teach" は先生から生徒へというように、知識や技術などを伝える時に使います。
 
1. Please tell me your last name. 名字を教えてください。
2. This is a new computer. Please show me how to use it. このパソコン新品なんだよね。お願い、使い方教えて。
3. Let me know how much I have to pay. いくら払わなければいけないか教えてください。
 
If you have any questions, just ask. I can tell you the answers.

"My rice field" is growing

Friday, June 26, 2015

Bridge

I was off three Sundays ago and then back two Sundays ago. At that session I played poorly. I didn't forget how to play, but I didn't get into a good rhythm. Plus I made some silly (easy/stupid) mistakes. Miwako was as sound (good) as always. Then last Sunday we played in a PM session only for Under 100HP players. We played 21 games. We came in 4th place so we will get more MPs. We also scored 53% which is good for us. Actually, we discussed some strategy the night before. We remembered some but forgot some. Of course the more we play the more we encounter (meet/have a chance to see) different situations. It is exactly the same as studying English. In this case, what do I say? In that case, how do I respond? The best way to learn this English sentence or bridge play is to put yourself into that situation. You do that by practice and then trying. To try, you must make (create) an opportunity. We can only play once a week. How often do you try to use your English?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

House Clean-up

Has my clean up campaign at home finally come to an end? Let me tell you the story. It began several years ago. 1) We live in Japan. + 2) I am an English teacher. = 3. We live in a small, but comfortable house. I try to make the house bigger by throwing things away. It started maybe three years ago. I remember we threw away our old tool shed outside, one glass end table, a towel rack and a big clothes chest. I threw away many clothes and shoes as well as my old baseball stuff. Most recently we got a new kitchen cabinet replacing the old one. Then two weeks ago we got rid of the cabinet in the living room. And now the little cabinet on casters is gone. I called it "R2-D2". It contained batteries and nail polish and paper and magazines. We threw away half of that stuff and put the rest in my dresser which I cleaned out. I dismantled R2-D2 screw by screw and took the pieces to the garbage on Monday. He is gone. Is this the end? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Solstice

Whoops! I almost missed the 2015 summer solstice. Here are some facts about it.
1. The June Solstice in Tokyo, Japan was on Monday, 22 June 2015, 01:39 JST.
2. In the Northern Hemisphere the June Solstice is also called the Summer Solstice. In the Southern Hemisphere, on the other hand, it is known as the Winter Solstice.
3. Solstice comes from the Latin words sol, meaning 'Sun' and sistere, meaning 'to come to a stop or stand still'. On the day of the June Solstice, the Sun reaches its northern-most position, as seen from the Earth.
4.Even though most people consider June 21 as the date of the June Solstice, it can happen anytime between June 20 and June 22. June 22 Solstices are rare - the last June 22 Solstice in UTC time took place in 1975 and there won't be another one until 2203.
5. You might think that since it is summer in the Northern Hemisphere, the Earth is closest to the Sun during the June Solstice. But it's the opposite - the Earth is actually farthest from the Sun during this time of the year.
6. The summer solstice is not the hottest day of the year. Why? Because it takes time for the oceans and landmasses to warm up, which allows for higher air temperatures. This phenomenon is called the delay or lag of the seasons.
Enough? Me, too. Get ready for the heat!
Midnight Sun by the sea on the island of Vaeroy, Norway.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

More violin practice

It is less than one month until our Big Event at Kenkatsu Center. Are you ready? Of course, Miwako and I are busy with preparations for the event. There are many things to do and then many updates and corrections. One thing I am preparing for is to play the violin on stage. I will play in three ensembles. One is with Mari. She is a piano/electone teacher. Did I tell you that she is also my English student? She has been my student for 5 years here at my RAM English school. She is a very kind person and very earnest about her studies. We have played together twice at Viento in InaMachi. I played poorly both times with some slight improvement the second time. But, Mari allows me to keep trying my best. She likes to play jazz. Her piano is so smooth. We had a practice last Thursday. That was our second time for this event. We will have another one next month. Thank you, Mari. I am definitely looking forward to it.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Puzzler Answers

I have four more weeks of Kindergarten classes and then I don't have them again until September. I can't wait! Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Super Scrabble COOL WORDS:  

BUNGLE   CHEERY   POSSE   MIGHT   STRAND   JUT   DANGLE  

And how about the BLANKS? You will find them  way down below.
 



































CHAIN       SKATED     YOU     NIECE

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Puzzler Hints

Ah. Sunday! Weeding and then bridge. What a life. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

Home Project for June 2015: 教えてください。 "tell me"  "show me"  "let me know"

普段の会話の中で 「教えて」 という機会は多いと思います。

"Please teach me." を使っていませんか。
"teach" は先生から生徒へというように、知識や技術などを伝える時に使います。
 
1. Please tell me your last name. 名字を教えてください。
2. This is a new computer. Please show me how to use it. このパソコン新品なんだよね。お願い、使い方教えて。
3. Let me know how much I have to pay. いくら払わなければいけないか教えてください。
 
If you have any questions, just ask. I can tell you the answers.

Sakura-chan. My accompanist for 7/19

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Puzzler Hints

Finally some bridge after a week absence. I wonder how we fared? Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.


Home Project for June 2015: 教えてください。 "tell me"  "show me"  "let me know"

普段の会話の中で 「教えて」 という機会は多いと思います。

"Please teach me." を使っていませんか。
"teach" は先生から生徒へというように、知識や技術などを伝える時に使います。
 
1. Please tell me your last name. 名字を教えてください。
2. This is a new computer. Please show me how to use it. このパソコン新品なんだよね。お願い、使い方教えて。
3. Let me know how much I have to pay. いくら払わなければいけないか教えてください。
 
If you have any questions, just ask. I can tell you the answers.

Puzzler

What esle? Bridge. This week it's an Under 100 in the PM only. It should be Dif-Fi-Cult! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

Home Project for June 2015: 教えてください。 "tell me"  "show me"  "let me know"

普段の会話の中で 「教えて」 という機会は多いと思います。

"Please teach me." を使っていませんか。
"teach" は先生から生徒へというように、知識や技術などを伝える時に使います。
 
1. Please tell me your last name. 名字を教えてください。
2. This is a new computer. Please show me how to use it. このパソコン新品なんだよね。お願い、使い方教えて。
3. Let me know how much I have to pay. いくら払わなければいけないか教えてください。
 
If you have any questions, just ask. I can tell you the answers.
Summer is just around the corner

Friday, June 19, 2015

Finished

I rent space to run my school. It is in Okegawa. It is a two-story building. I rent the downstairs, or first floor. There is an apartment upstairs on the second floor. We opened fifteen years ago and I must say we have been very fortunate. We are friendly with the landlord and his family. Actually their son was my first student for a couple of years. Anyway, three weeks ago the landlord told me that they would be doing some minor repairs to the outside of the building. He owns five buildings in this area. At first he said that they wouldn't do my building. But, he changed his mind. So, they put up scaffolding and a huge net over the building. It was there two weeks. They had some delays due to (because  of) the rain (inclement weather).  Actually they made no noise at all. I never even noticed that they were there. There was only one small inconvenience. My bicycle space was blocked a little. They finished work last week.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Recycle

Do you see that tall cabinet in the picture.? It used to be in our house. It Is gone now. Let me tell you about it. We moved to this place 9 years ago. We brought a lot of furniture. This piece fit nicely just under the air conditioner against the wall. Unfortunately under the A/C means that it partially (maybe 50%) blocked the flow of the A/C. That is, the cool air in summer, or the heat in winter, could not come down directly. Also, I am always looking for things to throw away. I have been campaigning to get rid of this piece for about a year. But it was not easy to get rid of this furniture. It is large so we cannot take it to the recycle shop. However, the Ageo recycle people will came to pick it up for free. But, they need three pieces of furniture to make the trip. We found two more things in the house to throw away. This is like a dream come true for me. Or, you could say it is a "success story". Anyway, I unhooked everything and got it to the veranda and slowly took it outside. I wonder what we can throw away next.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Violin practice

At our Special Event 7/19 at Kenkatsu Center, I will play the violin three times. One is with one of my students, Sakura. She is ten years old. She plays the violin. Why? This is an interesting story. Let me explain. When I first picked up the violin I looked for a teacher. I checked around Okegawa. All were inconvenient by the location or the time. By chance, Sakura's mother is a piano teacher (see pic). One of her friends is Megumi. She is a professional violinist and she also teaches violin. I contacted her and we agreed to a violin lesson for me. It is twice a month. That started three years ago. Two years ago, Sakura started violin lessons with Megumi. We have our lesson on the same day now. Sakura's mother is a piano teacher. So, the three of us will play on stage 7/19. We had our first rehearsal last week. I went to their place and we practiced for an hour. I am the main player (perhaps because I am the tallest). Sakura plays the accompaniment and her mom, Yukari, keeps beat with the piano. It should be cool. Don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A bad bridge day


We were back at the bridge table on Sunday. We didn't do very well. Let me tell you about it. This was the first time for me in two weeks. I went to the Reds game last Sunday, so no bridge. M went last Sunday and did very well. This time there were the usual players so it was nice to see all our regular opponents. We did one strategy meetings during the week and one the night before. I thought we were well prepared for the day. We played two sessions. We did poorly in both. You don't really know how bad or how good you are until the scores are posted. The results were disappointing. After we got home we checked the bridge center's site. They post the results of everyones play. All the teams play the same cards so, it is easy to see who was good and who was bad. We will have to study harder. I'm not sure which is more difficult: the violin or bridge. But it doesn't matter. We will continue to do our best.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Puzzle Answers

Another week begins today. Are you ready for it? Me, too. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Here is a Super Scrabble Puzzle. Please check it out. I'll tell you some cool words:

METEOR     GROPE    DAZED   QUIP    GENTLE    OATH
 
And the BLANKS? Down below, you go!



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SLAVES/SHAVES     FIELD/CENTER     RUST/RUNT
 
SEAM/SHAM/SLAM/SPAM/SWAM   MARKED/DRANK




Sunday, June 14, 2015

Puzzler Hints

I'm finally back at the bridge table. It's been two weeks. I hope I can remember everything. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

Home Project for June 2015: 教えてください。 "tell me"  "show me"  "let me know"

普段の会話の中で 「教えて」 という機会は多いと思います。

"Please teach me." を使っていませんか。
"teach" は先生から生徒へというように、知識や技術などを伝える時に使います。
 
1. Please tell me your last name. 名字を教えてください。
2. This is a new computer. Please show me how to use it. このパソコン新品なんだよね。お願い、使い方教えて。
3. Let me know how much I have to pay. いくら払わなければいけないか教えてください。
 
If you have any questions, just ask. I can tell you the answers.
A sea of Red

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Puzzler

That was a good, busy week. I did a lot of violin practice and work for 7/19. I am really looking forward to it. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

Home Project for June 2015: 教えてください。 "tell me"  "show me"  "let me know"

普段の会話の中で 「教えて」 という機会は多いと思います。

"Please teach me." を使っていませんか。
"teach" は先生から生徒へというように、知識や技術などを伝える時に使います。
 
1. Please tell me your last name. 名字を教えてください。
2. This is a new computer. Please show me how to use it. このパソコン新品なんだよね。お願い、使い方教えて。
3. Let me know how much I have to pay. いくら払わなければいけないか教えてください。
 
If you have any questions, just ask. I can tell you the answers.

Action at the Reds Game...check out the Goal Keeper

Friday, June 12, 2015

Rainy season

The rainy season is here in Japan. I hope it rains a lot. Why? Because we need water. I love water, don't you? The following info will tell you about the rainy season.
1. In early summer, most parts of Japan get visited by a rainy season. It is called tsuyu (or baiyu) It means "plum rain", because it coincides with the season of plums ripening.
2. The rainy season is caused by the collision of cold northerly and warm southerly air masses. This results in a bad weather front over Japan for several weeks.
3. In most of Japan, the rainy season lasts from the beginning of June to mid July. It affects the islands of Okinawa about one month earlier. Only Japan's northern most main island of Hokkaido gets barely affected by the rainy season.
4. During the rainy season it does not rain every day. In fact, Tokyo has only an average of 12 rainy days in June and 120 hours of sunshine are recorded. The rain varies from days with intensive (heavy/hard) downpours to other days with occasional (light) sprinkles.
I have my rain gear and rain shoes, because I ride my bicycle to work and back every day. The hot summer is just around the corner. This is our last chance to stay cool for a while. Let's enjoy it.
 
Region
Start
End
Okinawa
May 8
June 23
Southern Kyushu
May 29
July 13
Shikoku
June 4
July 17
Kinki (incl. Osaka, Kyoto)
June 6
July 19
Kanto (incl. Tokyo)
June 8
July 20
Northern Tohoku
June 12
July 27

Thursday, June 11, 2015

More weeding

I did two clean ups on the vacant lot next door. Hmmm. I need a name for this place. I call the rice field in front of our house "My rice field". What can I call this vacant lot with all the weeds that doesn't belong to me and the owner doesn't take care of it so I have to place? If you have any ideas (suggestions) please tell me. Anyway, The more I weed and cut there, the better it looks. And, the better it looks, the more my family and I can enjoy it. Example 1: Every morning I open the shutters and curtains in our living room. I then look at the field. It is nice. Example 2: Last Sunday before I went to the REDS game I watched TV. I was lucky. There was a live broadcast of the Ice Hockey Finals from the USA. I opened the curtains real (very) wide so I could see the field and watch TV. It was very satisfying. Example 3: I check the field almost every day to see where I can attack next. Perhaps this field clean-up will become part of my routine.
Can you see the kitty-cat?

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Urawa Reds

This was my second time to go to Saitama stadium to see a Urawa Reds game. Five or six years ago, my friend, Kazunori, and I went there. This time I went with him and his wife and their 13-year old daughter. He bought tickets and we had good seats. They were the 8th row and near the corner of the field. We went by bus from Urawa station. We arrived one hour early. The weather was perfect. I must say it was very exciting. The players are fast, and very tough. Both teams played hard. It looks to be very hard (difficult) to score a goal. The players are always running. And many times they crashed into each other. It looks dangerous! I especially enjoyed the fight songs that all were singing. I didn't know the words so I made up (created) my own words. I think Kazunori was a little embarrassed. As expected, the food was terrible. But, the atmosphere was electric (exciting) and I am glad the home team won. The Urawa Reds beat Shimizu Espresso, 1 to nil. Thanks, Kazunori. Let's go again!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bridge

I didn't play bridge Sunday as I went to see the Urawa Reds soccer game. I will post that BLOG tomorrow.  In the meantime, let me tell you about our bridge play two Sundays ago. There was only one session. It was in the afternoon. My feeling was that we should pay cautiously (carefully) in order to get HPs. So, in the beginning I made some poor choices. I bid a bit recklessly (not carefully at all) and we lost that game and got negative points. All the other teams scored positive points. Two games later I played too cautiously and scored very little points while the other teams got high points. At that time I decided to play as usual. From there, we played well as partners. We had very good communications. I also concentrated harder. So, I made several difficult hands and got high points. M played her usual solid style and made some difficult hands. We were very surprised with the results. We came in first place! On top of that, we scored our highest percentage ever! Thank you very much.
 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Puzzler Answers

I went to the Urawa Reds soccer game yesterday. It was Ex-Ci-ting! And, yes, I had oodles of fun without drinking. This may become a habit. Puzzler Answers:CLICK HERE.

Super Scrabble Cool Words:      DEVOTE  AVERT  BLUSH   KNOTS    VEER

Now, can you figure out the BLANKS? Check out the answers down below.























































ENJOY      SWAN    ZOO  VOICE/EDGY

















 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Puzzler Hints

No bridge for me today. I am going to an Urawa Reds soccer game with my friend Kazumori and his family. It should be oodles of fun even without drinking. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

Home Project for June 2015: 教えてください。 "tell me"  "show me"  "let me know"

普段の会話の中で 「教えて」 という機会は多いと思います。

"Please teach me." を使っていませんか。
"teach" は先生から生徒へというように、知識や技術などを伝える時に使います。
 
1. Please tell me your last name. 名字を教えてください。
2. This is a new computer. Please show me how to use it. このパソコン新品なんだよね。お願い、使い方教えて。
3. Let me know how much I have to pay. いくら払わなければいけないか教えてください。
 
If you have any questions, just ask. I can tell you the answers.

Cat vs Snake Battle Part 2

 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Puzzler

Can you believe it? I still ain't drinking. I am fresh as a daisy every day. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

Home Project for June 2015: 教えてください。 "tell me"  "show me"  "let me know"

普段の会話の中で 「教えて」 という機会は多いと思います。

"Please teach me." を使っていませんか。
"teach" は先生から生徒へというように、知識や技術などを伝える時に使います。
 
1. Please tell me your last name. 名字を教えてください。
2. This is a new computer. Please show me how to use it. このパソコン新品なんだよね。お願い、使い方教えて。
3. Let me know how much I have to pay. いくら払わなければいけないか教えてください。
 
If you have any questions, just ask. I can tell you the answers.

A close-up of Mr. Farmer


 

 

Friday, June 5, 2015

My rice field

Of course, I do not own any rice fields. My rice field is the one in front of our house. The owner is a farmer who lives nearby. He also grows very delicious strawberries. One of his rice fields is across the road from our house. I see it every day. I pass by it on my way to work in the morning. I pass by it when I come home at night. In the winter it is just a large lot full of earth (dirt). In early spring the farmer tills the field. I have never seen him weeding but I am sure that he does. And now, after GW, as always, he puts the water in and then plants the rice seedlings. I have watched him do this for 9 years. Last year was a little different. He sowed only half the field. That was because he planned to build a house on the other half for his grandson. It is the half farther from our house. But, a new house would have ruined my view. Fortunately for me, he didn't get permission from Ageo city hall (government) to build a house. My rice field, and my view, is safe.  

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cat vs Snake Battle

After a very successful bridge session last Sunday we arrived back home around six o'clock. As usual, M got out of the car at the front door and I then parked the car. During this time, I noticed two cats sitting in the middle of the vacant lot on the north side of our house. (the south side vacant lot is my House Project one.) One cat was white and the other was brown and striped. The white cat was lying down and watching. The brown cat was pawing at something. I took a closer look and saw the snake. The cat kept (continued) pawing the snake's head very violently. He did it twice and then three times. The snake retaliated (fought back) by lunging at the cat. The cat sprang up and back a little in a quick jump. The cat then struck again and the same dance ensued (happened). Two/three paw strikes: one snake lunge: the cat jumps back. I watched for 5 minutes. The snake couldn't escape. He had to guard his coiled body. I am pretty sure he was cat dinner later that night. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Further Attack

My current House Project is beautifying the vacant lot next door. By beautify I mean to make it look pleasing  to the eye. Because the owner ignores his responsibility to maintain his property I have taken matters into my own hands (decided to do it myself). I first weeded. Then I cut the large weeds with a sickle. Then finally Saturday, after work, I borrowed the weed cutter from the neighborhood association. Of course, it is free but I had to buy fuel. It is mixture of gas and oil. It cost 89 yen. I then got some instruction from my neighbor on how to use the machine. I cut the area for about 45 minutes. I cut it once. Then I cut it again. Then I cut it once more. It was not hard (difficult). I talked to three different neighbors and all agreed; it is not necessary to gather the cuttings and throw them away. It is just as well to leave them on the ground. They said that it will prevent new weeds from coming for a while. Result: It took my time and energy but I can look at the vacant lot now and think: "Good job" instead of "When will the owner cut it?" This is called peace of mind.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Building maintenace

In 1999 we began looking for a place to open a school. It was a big step for our little company but it seems we never had any fear that we would not succeed. We lived in Omiya at that time and we first looked at a place in Kuki. We had a friend there with a vacant building. But, the price was way too high. We had another friend in Hasuda with a vacant building but the location was inconvenient. Then we checked along the Takasaki line. We visited maybe 8 places and finally found this one. It was convenient from our house and the rent was reasonable. Actually they just started building it so after I signed the contract I was able to work with the builder to choose the room layout. All went well and we opened in 2000. There were a couple of adjustments that had to be made in the beginning, but nothing major. The landlord passed away soon after and his son took over. He and I are quite friendly and all has continued very harmoniously. Right now they are doing some minor repairs. It will take about one week. We may never leave.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Puzzler Answers

It's Monday and I am raring to go! How about you? Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

Here's a Super Scrabble puzzle for your perusal.

COOL WORDS:  BLOWSY    COO   VENTED    IMPEDE   OBEY    RITZY    RANT

Can you ascertain the BLANKS? The answers are way down below.


















ISSUES                       JOUST                     ICE                    EMIT