Tuesday, January 31, 2017

My plant

The photo is a shot of the RAM English school's plant. It is a kind of mascot. Do you know what a mascot is? mascot = an animal, a toy, etc. that people believe will bring them good luck, or that represents an organization, etc. So, in our case, this plant represents RAM English School. But, probably only to me. I don't think other people notice it. We opened our school 17 years ago. At that time my friend, Matti from Finland, and his wife presented us with this plant. It was a gift for our school opening. I give it water (I water it) at least once a week. I water it more in the summer.  It always sits in the same spot (place) by the window on the slipper stand. One day a boy knocked it off the stand. The pot cracked. I got  a new pot. I have changed the pot three times in total. The last time was last summer. I think the plant has beautiful flowers. What do you think?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

It's a new week and I feel fine once again. I will be back at the gym, too. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

スーパースクラブルパズルは200ピースのタイルを使って単語を作るゲームです。
それぞれのタイルにはアルファベットが書かれています。参加者が(リック先生のアドバイスを受けながら)順番に、ボードにある単語に手持ちのタイルで作った単語をつなげていきます。

完成したパズルがこちらです。ご覧のようにたくさんの単語ができました。
この中に何も書かれていないタイルが4つあります。クイズです!この空白のタイルに入るアルファベットはなんでしょう?わかりますか?

答えは一番下にあります。スクロールダウンして(ずっ~と下まで見て)チェックしてみてください!













































AMEND                TALON/DANCER                  AGAIN                   ABOUT                   

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Puzzler Hints

It is Super Scrabble Day here at my school. I wonder who will come. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for January 2017 :  比較級

A とB  どちらが正しいと思いますか?

A.  He is taller than I.
B.  He is taller than me.

B も会話では使われますが、文法的に正しいのは A です。
“than” は接続詞なので、後ろには主語述語を含む完全文がきます。
つまり、“than” の前後で比べる対象の文型をそろえる必要があるということです。
(ただし、同じことの繰り返しは省略される傾向にあります。)

1.  He is taller than I (am).
2. Today isn’t colder than yesterday (was).
3.  The color of this rose is much more beautiful than that one (is).
4. He can run faster than she (can).
5.  She has as many CDs as he (has).

Mr. President

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Puzzler

Well, that was a challenging week. Thankfully, I have gotten over my flu and cold. Back to normal now, whatever that is. Puzzler CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for January 2017 :  比較級

A とB  どちらが正しいと思いますか?

A.  He is taller than I.
B.  He is taller than me.

B も会話では使われますが、文法的に正しいのは A です。
“than” は接続詞なので、後ろには主語述語を含む完全文がきます。
つまり、“than” の前後で比べる対象の文型をそろえる必要があるということです。
(ただし、同じことの繰り返しは省略される傾向にあります。)

1.  He is taller than I (am).
2. Today isn’t colder than yesterday (was).
3.  The color of this rose is much more beautiful than that one (is).
4. He can run faster than she (can).
5.  She has as many CDs as he (has).

Mr. President

Friday, January 27, 2017

Quarantine Part 2

So, my quarantine started on Sunday. It was my day off anyway. I could stay home all day without missing work. My fever was much higher than it was on Saturday. I dressed up warm, wore a mask and stayed in bed. That got boring so I brought my blanket to the sofa in front of the TV and stayed there watching movies and the news for the next three days. In the news Trump is Trump. That means it's always interesting. And I watched some of my favorite movies twice. 'No Country for Old Men' 'Titanic' 'Wolf of Wall Street' and 'August: Osage County'. I also saw 'Cuckoo's Nest' and some others  on the cable. I got to watch two NFL football playoff games. I had no appetite for the first two days. I ate porridge and toast. I coughed. I had diarrhea. I sweated a lot. I finally had a delicious meal Tuesday. I couldn't practice the violin so I cancelled my Thursday lesson. I also cancelled three kindergarten lessons and one private student. The pic is bass fiddles at Suntory Hall Jan 2.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Quarantine Part 1

I check my weight and temperature every morning. I then log it (write it) in my diary. Last Friday my temp was 36.4. It is usually 35. 5 or so. I went to work as usual and then to the Mida Kindergarten to teach the kids. One room was very cold and I was sitting near the windows. I felt a chill. I knew it was too late. I got home that night and found my temperature to be above 37. So, I called my friend Charlie and asked him to do my Saturday Kenkatsu lessons. He agreed. I taught my AM classes at my school and that was the last lesson I taught until yesterday afternoon. I stayed at home all day Saturday from noon watching TV and watching my temperature soar to 38.5. The next day, Sunday, Miwako took me to a hospital in KitaAgeo. The doctor diagnosed me with Influenza A. I got the medicine and went home. Eight white tablets got my fever to go down. And two small bottles of nasal inhalant got rid of my Influenza. The doc told me I couldn't be in contact with anyone until Wednesday. "No teaching?" I asked. He replied "No teaching." OMG.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Isolation

I have influenza A so the doc (doctor/physician) said that I have to stay (remain) in isolation. That means that I cannot be in contact with anybody. So, I cannot teach. Boo Hoo.
This medicine will make me well again.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Influenza A

Have you ever had influenza A? I don't recommend it. I have it now so no blogs for a few days. Sorry.

This is the doctor who saw (treated). I know him from his own clinic. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Puzzler Answer and Super Scrabble

Here you are. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

スーパースクラブルパズルは200ピースのタイルを使って単語を作るゲームです。
それぞれのタイルにはアルファベットが書かれています。参加者が(リック先生のアドバイスを受けながら)順番に、ボードにある単語に手持ちのタイルで作った単語をつなげていきます。

完成したパズルがこちらです。ご覧のようにたくさんの単語ができました。
この中に何も書かれていないタイルが4つあります。クイズです!この空白のタイルに入るアルファベットはなんでしょう?わかりますか?

答えは一番下にあります。スクロールダウンして(ずっ~と下まで見て)チェックしてみてください!




















































WORTHY              AMAZE/PRIZE                 DUMBER                DEVICE              

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Puzzler Hints

I got up way too early today. I am sleepier than (I was) yesterday. Yawn. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for January 2017 :  比較級

A とB  どちらが正しいと思いますか?

A.  He is taller than I.
B.  He is taller than me.

B も会話では使われますが、文法的に正しいのは A です。
“than” は接続詞なので、後ろには主語述語を含む完全文がきます。
つまり、“than” の前後で比べる対象の文型をそろえる必要があるということです。
(ただし、同じことの繰り返しは省略される傾向にあります。)

1.  He is taller than I (am).
2. Today isn’t colder than yesterday (was).
3.  The color of this rose is much more beautiful than that one (is).
4. He can run faster than she (can).
5.  She has as many CDs as he (has).

Karaoke

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Puzzler

Week 3 and I am as dry as a bone. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for January 2017 :  比較級

A とB  どちらが正しいと思いますか?

A.  He is taller than I.
B.  He is taller than me.

B も会話では使われますが、文法的に正しいのは A です。
“than” は接続詞なので、後ろには主語述語を含む完全文がきます。
つまり、“than” の前後で比べる対象の文型をそろえる必要があるということです。
(ただし、同じことの繰り返しは省略される傾向にあります。)

1.  He is taller than I (am).
2. Today isn’t colder than yesterday (was).
3.  The color of this rose is much more beautiful than that one (is).
4. He can run faster than she (can).
5.  She has as many CDs as he (has).

A Kenkatsu Party Photo

Friday, January 20, 2017

Part 2 Karaoke

All the parties with my students are fun. This one was, too. At first, I sat at the middle table and eventually migrated (moved) to the end table. There was some talk of Trump and travelling and English and such. Two hours finished in the blink of an eye (suddenly). It was time to go to the Karaoke place. It was very near the restaurant. Ten of us went. There were regular members as well as two new people. That was cool. We started at 8:45 or so. The room was small so it was quite cozy. It was also difficult to maneuver (get around) the room. We got "All you can Drink" service. But, I didn't see many people drinking. However we all had soft cream. Everyone sang except one. I sang 5 or 6 songs. We did have a small problem with the remote control though. The two hours was up (finished) but we stayed on for 30 more minutes. I was pooped (very tired) so I left just before the end. I waited only three minutes for my train at Omiya station. I went to my school in Okegawa to change to warm clothes then bicycled safely home. Thank you all very much!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Part 1 O-sans 13 Party

There are year-end parties and New Year parties with the groups that I teach. I have three parties this month. One was two Sundays ago, January 8th, in Omiya. Then last Saturday the Kenkatsu students and I went to Omiya to celebrate the New Year. It was cold last Saturday. Ken and I missed the bus so we were afraid that we would have to walk to Uchijuku station. When suddenly, Yasu gave us a ride (drove us) to the station. Hooray! Thank you, Yasu. We just made the new Shuttle. On the train we found Kenny. The three of us went to a "standing/drinking" place in Omiya before the party. It has become a tradition with us. However, I am on the wagon. But I was standing just fine. They have some very tasty dishes that go with the delicious sake and shochu here. From here we walked in the cold to Minami Ginza where 14 of us met and had dinner and drinks. (Me? Ginger Ale). Everything was De-licious! And of course the atmosphere was gay and lively. There was lots of chatter and some students spoke in English. But, after a couple of drinks everyone was in Japanese mode. Tomorrow: Part 2 Karaoke.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Suntory Hall

Miwako and I attended the new year concert at Suntory Hall January 2nd. We get free tickets from our daughter's company. That's cool. This was our third time. The conductor is really cool! He even looks a little like me. Only he is taller and slimmer and has more hair. (So, maybe he doesn't look like me, eh?) Anyway, it was great! Check out the info from the Home Page below. As you can see, there was opera and ballet also. It was a lot of fun!

Performance starts at 14:00 (Doors open at 13:00)
Conductor & Violin   Ola Rudner
Performers
Soprano:Siphiwe McKenzie
Tenor:Miroslav Dovorský
Symphonie-Orchster der Volksoper Wien
Dance: Ballett Ensemble SVO Wien


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

USA Federal Holiday

I checked the Internet. There are nine (9)  Federal Holidays in the USA every year. One was yesterday, January 16th,. It is Martin Luther King Day.
Martin Luther King Day celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr. It is held on the third Monday of January. MLK Jr. was an influential American civil rights leader. He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States. I have a dream is his most famous speech.
Martin Luther King Jr. (born Michael King Jr., January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights.
On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

And now back to work. How was your weekend? Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

スーパースクラブルパズルは200ピースのタイルを使って単語を作るゲームです。
それぞれのタイルにはアルファベットが書かれています。参加者が(リック先生のアドバイスを受けながら)順番に、ボードにある単語に手持ちのタイルで作った単語をつなげていきます。

完成したパズルがこちらです。ご覧のようにたくさんの単語ができました。
この中に何も書かれていないタイルが4つあります。クイズです!この空白のタイルに入るアルファベットはなんでしょう?わかりますか?

答えは一番下にあります。スクロールダウンして(ずっ~と下まで見て)チェックしてみてください!





























































TUBA    TUNA         DAME/MAKE       DATE/TAKE     DARE/RAKE    QUIZ     FUNNY

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Puzzler Hints

What day is today? Sunday? I'll bet I am up early and fresh as a daisy! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for January 2017 :  比較級

A とB  どちらが正しいと思いますか?

A.  He is taller than I.
B.  He is taller than me.

B も会話では使われますが、文法的に正しいのは A です。
“than” は接続詞なので、後ろには主語述語を含む完全文がきます。
つまり、“than” の前後で比べる対象の文型をそろえる必要があるということです。
(ただし、同じことの繰り返しは省略される傾向にあります。)

1.  He is taller than I (am).
2. Today isn’t colder than yesterday (was).
3.  The color of this rose is much more beautiful than that one (is).
4. He can run faster than she (can).
5. She has as many CDs as he (has).

Irouzaki

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Puzzler

Well, that's two weeks dry. Only 50 more to go! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for January 2017 :  比較級

A とB  どちらが正しいと思いますか?

A.  He is taller than I.
B.  He is taller than me.

B も会話では使われますが、文法的に正しいのは A です。
“than” は接続詞なので、後ろには主語述語を含む完全文がきます。
つまり、“than” の前後で比べる対象の文型をそろえる必要があるということです。
(ただし、同じことの繰り返しは省略される傾向にあります。)

1.  He is taller than I (am).
2. Today isn’t colder than yesterday (was).
3.  The color of this rose is much more beautiful than that one (is).
4. He can run faster than she (can).
5.  She has as many CDs as he (has).

Check out the Aloe flowers blooming!




Friday, January 13, 2017

Family Get-together

Every new year our family has a get-together. "Our family" does not include any members from "my family" as they all live in America. My brother and two sisters and I send cards to each other during the year. I also talk to my mom once a week on the telephone. One of Miwako's sister lives in France with her family. Miwako talks to her regularly by phone. They also use skype. The other sister lives in Tokyo. That family visited. We all got together last November for a Houji (memorial service), but this time it was for a party. We called several restaurants and finally settled on (chose) Shoya in Okegawa. As I am on the wagon, (not drinking alcohol) I drove there and back. The other family came by van. We gathered at Shoya at 6PM and had lots of good food. I had a ginger ale (I LUV Ginger Ale when I don't drink) one lemon squash and a Calpis. We had a good time as 1. the one-year-old grandson was there and 2. the patriarch (male leader = Ojiisan) of the other family tries to speak English with me. He is not so good  and not so bad. He and all practiced English conversation with me for over two hours. Some fun. pic: Can you spot the brother and sister?

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Inatori Part 2

After cleaning up (straightening out) the room we left Inatori Angel Resort at 10AM. The plan was to go to Aloe Center, Irouzaki and then drive the west coast of Izu all the way up and then to Numazu to get on the highway and return home. The Aloe center is one goal because they have Aloe soft cream. Have you ever tried it? Yum-my! After the center we stopped in at the Irouzaki visitor's center. We bought some souvenirs, took some pics, and started the trip back home. I love driving GOLF on these winding roads along the coast or in the mountains here in Japan. There was a lot of beautiful scenery including the coast, the sea and Mt Fuji. We saw it many times around every curve. It also got bigger as we got closer. (The closer we got, the bigger it got.) We had lunch at a little soba shop somewhere along the way. It was pretty good. We also stopped at a convenience store that had parking for about 30 or 40 vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.) I drove all the way to the highway entrance. We made a pit stop soon and then Miwako took over the driving duties. It was an excellent vacation. The only bad part was when I decided to eat at Macs. There was no place else to go. It was much worse than I remember.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Inatori Part 1

Let me tell you about our trip to Inatori. Miwako and I went for two, nights three days. Her relatives have a contract with the Angel Resort Mansion there so we can stay quite cheaply. We left home December 27th at noon and arrived at 5PM. This was at the end of the year and I could still drink. I brought the CD player from my school and we listened to CDs. I had a bottle of Japanese sake and one bottle of shochu. The sake bottle was much bigger  than the shochu one and they were both delicious. The place is a resort mansion. So, we can cook in the kitchen. But, we also have to leave the place as we found it. It has to be is clean and no garbage left behind. When we do leave we wash all the dishes and silverware and cups and pots and pans. I brought all my own cups. One is for sake, one is for beer, one is for shochu and one cup is for coffee. We brought half a dozen drip coffee holders. The first ate in the room and the second night we ate at the restaurant there. We also made a 500 piece puzzle and played one Super Scrabble game until I got tired and crashed after all that alcohol. Pic: Inatori sunrise

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Coming of Age Day

The Coming of Age festival (Seijin no Hi) is celebrated on the second Monday in January. Until 1999, it was celebrated on 15 January.
The day honors young Japanese who will reach the age of 20 at any point during the year. Twenty is the age of majority in Japan, and people who have reached this age gain the right to vote in elections as well as to drink.
Local governments usually have a ceremony known as a seijin shiki (adult ceremony) to honor the "new adults". The ceremony is held in the morning and all of the young people who live in the area are invited to attend. Government officials give speeches, and small gifts are handed out to the new adults.
Coming of Age day remains a popular holiday, but Japan's reduction in population growth in recent years means that fewer people are turning 20 - only 1.24 million in 2013 compared to almost double that at the start of the 1970's.
Coming of Age Day has been a holiday since 1948. The modern legal age of 20 as adulthood was established in 1876.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble Puzzle

Puzzle Answers: CLICK HERE.

スーパースクラブルパズルは200ピースのタイルを使って単語を作るゲームです。
それぞれのタイルにはアルファベットが書かれています。参加者が(リック先生のアドバイスを受けながら)順番に、ボードにある単語に手持ちのタイルで作った単語をつなげていきます。

完成したパズルがこちらです。ご覧のようにたくさんの単語ができました。
この中に何も書かれていないタイルが4つあります。クイズです!この空白のタイルに入るアルファベットはなんでしょう?わかりますか?

答えは一番下にあります。スクロールダウンして(ずっ~と下まで見て)チェックしてみてください!








































TREND             EDITION/WAIST              FUNNY/FIST                PARTED

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Puzzler Hints

I am on schedule to visit the gym 10 times this month. Did I tell you that I am now a GOLD member of the GYM? Whattaguy! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HOME PROJECT for January 2017 :  比較級

A とB  どちらが正しいと思いますか?

A.  He is taller than I.
B.  He is taller than me.

B も会話では使われますが、文法的に正しいのは A です。
“than” は接続詞なので、後ろには主語述語を含む完全文がきます。
つまり、“than” の前後で比べる対象の文型をそろえる必要があるということです。
(ただし、同じことの繰り返しは省略される傾向にあります。)

1.  He is taller than I (am).
2. Today isn’t colder than yesterday (was).
3.  The color of this rose is much more beautiful than that one (is).
4. He can run faster than she (can).
5.  She has as many CDs as he (has).

View from Inatori Resort mansion






Saturday, January 7, 2017

Puzzler

Well, this is the first Puzzler of the year. Enjoy! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

 HOME PROJECT for January 2017 :  比較級

A とB  どちらが正しいと思いますか?

A.  He is taller than I.
B.  He is taller than me.

B も会話では使われますが、文法的に正しいのは A です。
“than” は接続詞なので、後ろには主語述語を含む完全文がきます。
つまり、“than” の前後で比べる対象の文型をそろえる必要があるということです。
(ただし、同じことの繰り返しは省略される傾向にあります。)

1.  He is taller than I (am).
2. Today isn’t colder than yesterday (was).
3.  The color of this rose is much more beautiful than that one (is).
4. He can run faster than she (can).
5.  She has as many CDs as he (has).

This is this year's jigsaw puzzle. 500 pieces.






Friday, January 6, 2017

Medical check up

I went for an annual health check December 26th. I made the appointment in November. I prepared all the necessaries. There were two stools and a urine sample. I went to the clinic at 9AM. There were already some people there but not too crowded. First, I checked in and they took my temperature. They gave me my garb and sent me to the changing room. I then waited for a while in a small lounge. They called my name at each station to have some checks performed on me. I gave blood samples. They checked my weight. They checked my height. I got a chest x-ray. And then I got the dreaded (undesired) stomach check up. I had to drink barium. That coats the stomach inside so they can see the inside clearly. But, it wasn't such a bad experience this time. The equipment they use is very modern. I was finished in about 90 minutes. That was good because I was very hungry. Of course, I had to abstain from eating (eat no food) from 9PM the night before till the check-up. All of the people were friendly except for the doctor. She did the final check on me with her stethoscope. All in all, this time was much better that the last one.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Futaba

Futaba is a Japanese restaurant in Okegawa. It is on the east side just 7 minutes on foot from the station. We go there two or three times  a year. It is not so expensive. The atmosphere is excellent. Three people run the shop. The sushi man is Omuro. The two ladies are sisters; Tomi and Sumiko. I learned of (found out about) this place from one of my students. It is very delicious. They prepare 5 or 6 kinds of side dishes and display them on the top counter. There is a regular menu and it is seasonal. They have a good variety of Japanese sake and shochu. The draft beer is yummy. I knew this was my last chance to drink there for while so Miwako and I went December 24th. We went by taxi and came home by taxi. There are many locals who wine and dine there. Since I am semi-regular, I talked to a few patrons. I highly recommend this place the next time you are in Okegawa and looking for some fine dining. I also suggest that you call ahead to make sure that you get a seat.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Luncheon date

The end of the year was drawing near. I had two more days to drink. I didn't drink December 29th. I wanted to be ready for the final spurt. I woke up fresh on Friday the 30th. I took the train to Ueno. I had a date for lunch with my second daughter, Eri. I also wanted to buy some slacks. I went to AMEYOKO near Ueno station. There were so many people! I couldn't believe it. I tried on a couple of pairs of slacks. It was ridiculous. I was in this tiny space surrounded by curtains. No luck. Then I went to look at running wear. I needed some new pants here. There were mountains of them. I looked for about 30 minutes. No luck again. I went to a nearby UNIQLO. No luck here either when my daughter came at 11:30. We went to a very nice restaurant where she had made reservations. The place was quiet and elegant. It was very different than AMEYOKO. We had sukiyaki; Very delicious and Eri was good company. I was also happy when she did no take any pictures during the meal. I think that means that the conversation was interesting. The lunch was on me. Thanks, Eri.  

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Houikuen Christmas Party

One of my final lessons last year was at the Yoshino Houikuen. It was at their annual Christmas Party. Our regular teacher quit (resigned) two years ago. The location is 20 minutes by car from my house. So, I decided to take over the teaching duties myself. I teach the 2 year-olds then the Nen-shos Nen-chus and finally the Nen-chous. I use my regular program for each. The Houikuen also has some ideas that I employ (use). But, every year-end they have a gala (big) event. It is their annual Christmas Kai. So, each teacher and I arrange a performance for the kids. This is my second year in charge. The homeroom teachers are very eager to be successful so we all work hard. This year we did 1. Find the animals that Rick calls out. Two songs with the Nen-shos (Hokey-pokey and Noel), a self-introduction and a skit (ECHO!) with the Nen-chus and finally all conversation with the Nen-Chos. I must say all went well again this year and I personally had a very good time. I took the photo from the stage.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Year Resolution

It's a new year. In America and many other countries people start the year by making a New Year's Resolution. resolution = a firm decision to do OR not to do something. That means that you promise yourself to do OR not to do something. This year I decided NOT TO DRINK ALCOHOL. Really! I promise myself that I will not imbibe (drink alcohol). Why? 1. Lose weight. 2. Do more things. Five years ago I abstained from (didn't drink) alcohol. 1. I lost 12 kilograms. 2. I also started taking violin lessons. So, I hope for the same results this time. Not drinking for one year is very challenging. (hard/difficult). Why? Because I enjoy the taste and the high. Also when I do drink, I drink a lot. Usually too much. I have one major project at my school to do ASAP (As Soon As Possible) this year. And if I am always sober and not hungover I will challenge other things, I am sure. I will keep you updated during the year. Wish me luck! Cheers!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!