Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year's Eve

It is the final day of 2018. I enjoyed the year. How about you?

Hibiya Park



Sunday, December 30, 2018

No Puzzler Hints

Not yet. Keep watching.

Hibiya Park

Saturday, December 29, 2018

No Puzzler

It is the end of the year. Next Puzzler will be January 5th. Watch for it.

Waiting in line at stage 2.



Thursday, December 27, 2018

Emperor's birthday address

My Tokyo adventures continued. It is interesting. The more I go to Tokyo and explore, the smaller Tokyo is becoming in my eyes. The most amazing thing to me is that there are so many, many shops! On Monday I went to the Imperial Palace to hear Emperor Akihito's birthday address. Unfortunately I was too late. I got in line just after10AM. The news reported that there were about 80,000 people. That was because it was the final birthday address by this emperor. (The average is about 50,000 I heard.) While I was waiting in the first line, I watched as many, many people exited (left) the palace grounds after the first speech. It took about 20 minutes. We finally started to move in, but there were two giant rows of people in front of me. We got to the check points. First there was a bag check and then we continued to the body scan. I passed both with "flying colors". Then we waited again. I could see the crowds starting to enter the palace grounds waaaaaaaaaaaaay in the distance. By the time it was our turn, the police officer announced that it was too late to hear the speech but we could enter the grounds. I gave it up. I couldn't wait any longer. I had to pee.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Neko Tsuzura by Eiko

I made a Neko Tsuzura. It is also called Neko Chigura.
Do you know that? That is a small cat’s house.  It is made of straw.

People kept rice in the warehouse in Japan long ago. There were a lot of mice there. So They kept cats to get rid of the mice. And put the NekoTsuzura in the warehouse for the cats.
It is popular for cat lovers now.
A course to make the NekoTsuzura was offered at the Culture Center near my house. I went there from July.

To make the Neko Tsuzura is to weave the straw. I completed it in 7classes. I enjoyed making it. I like the smell of straw.
I weaved it hoping that my cat, Mike would enter inside of it. I was very happy when my lovely Neko Tsuzura was completed in November. At that time though, we were already using the Kotatsu at home. Oh, Mike chose the Kotatsu over my love and effort.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

So this is Christmas

Indeed! It is Christmas 2018. Our family exchanged gifts last week. Around the world friends and families are giving and enjoying the holiday cheer. Of course, not everyone is so lucky. So, let's give thanks and count our blessings. The following is info from the Internet.

Christmas is also sometimes known as Xmas. Some people don't think it's correct to call Christmas 'Xmas' as that takes the 'Christ' (Jesus) out of Christmas. (As Christmas comes from Christ-Mass, the Church service that celebrated the birth of Jesus.)

But that is not quite right! In the Greek language and alphabet, the letter that looks like an X is the Greek letter chi / Χ (pronounced 'kye' - it rhymes with 'eye') which is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Christos.
The early church used the first two letters of Christos in the Greek alphabet 'chi' and 'rho' to create a monogram (symbol) to represent the name of Jesus. This looks like an X with a small p on the top: ☧



Monday, December 24, 2018

No Puzzler Answers

I have no Puzzler activity for you. Below is a Nativity Scene from the Christian religion. This one is in the Carnegie museum of Art in Pittsburgh.




Sunday, December 23, 2018

No Puzzler Hints

No Puzzlers yet. Keep watching. Below are some decorations from the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


Saturday, December 22, 2018

No Puzzler

It is the end of the year. Next Puzzler will be January 5th. Watch for it. In the meantime enjoy the holidays with family and friends.

White House Christmas decorations




Friday, December 21, 2018

Don't blow your horn, please Part 2

The Internet report that I saw gave various reasons to NOT blow your horn. Some of them are as follows:
1. The Japanese Road Traffic Law states that a vehicle horn should be used only in an emergency OR in a dangerous locations where there is a signpost.
2. a vehicle hron is often used to warn pedestrians that the car is approaching them from behind. Such horn use violates the law.
3. There is concern that the effects of a vehicle horn on people outside the vehicle including pedestrians and residents who are living in neighborhoods with narrow roads may be serious. 

4. Long honks and horn use to gain another's attention or to alert another to dangers often aroused negative psychological reactions in listeners. These reactions were more remarkable for pedestrians.
5. Some people found horn use  to be "startling", "noisy", or "irritating.
6. People at home reported hearing vehicle horns and were actually annoyed by the horn sound.
More good reasons to NOT blow your horn. I suspect (think) that it is also stressful to the HONKER as welll as the HONKEE.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Don't blow your horn, please Part 1

Some people in Japan honk (blow) their car horns. They do so for a variety of reasons. In my home country, the US of A, horn blowing is all too (very, very) common. People do it for different reasons. I also saw on the Internet that in some countries people do it all the time. So, it is not too bad here in Japan. However, we debated the issue in several of my classes. Why? 1. I dislike horn blowing very much. I can say that "It is my pet peeve." That means that I dislike it more than any other dislike of mine. So, Miwako told me that she saw a guy on Japanese TV who said that it is illegal (against the law) to blow your horn in Japan, except in hte mountains where there is a sign posted when you must blow your horn (see pic). Some people blow their horn to say "Bye bye" or "Hello" or "Thank you". These are all illegal. Some people do it to warn other people that there is danger. But, I think that in that case, if you see danger, you should stop your car! Why? Because it is dangerous. Some people blow their horn when they are angry. Please, don't blow your horn.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tai-yaki

My adult students have many hobbies and travel a lot. In our lessons we often exchange information. Some times it is about travelling. Sometimes that travel is local, and sometimes nationwide and sometimes foreign. When I have the chance I tell my stories. Recently I got a pamphlet about Saitama's two major train lines. They are the Utsunomiya line and Takasaki line. This pamphlet introduces a variety of eateries. One is in Kitamoto. I decided to visit the place. IT is called AKABA Cafe. Their specialty is Tai-yaki. I like Tai-yaki. I was free one afternoon so I got on the train and took the three minute ride to Kitamoto. From the station I followed the map and found the place easily. It is small. There were two customers when I entered. I sat at the counter and ordered one Tai-yaki and an Earl Grey tea. It was 500 yen. The owner was a friendly guy. When I showed him the pamphlet he gave me a 50 yen rebate (money back). That was cool. He also pointed out (showed me) the BINGO game on the back of hte pamphlet. If I go to a place on the Utsunomiya line I can BINGO! There are several kinds of presents you can get. I see that there is a Parfait Cafe in Toro. Will I go? 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Dewars

This is the PR on the box of Scotch Whiskey. There is some interesting vocabulary. Check it out.

EST 1846
Dewar’s
-True Scotch-
Aged 12 Years
The Ancestor
The Dewar family has lived in rural Perthshire, Scotland for generations. John Dewar, born 1805, founded his business in 1846 and pioneered the art of carefully blending up to 40 single malt and single grain whiskies together to make scotch that was fine, smooth and never varied.
We’re proud to have been suppliers to the Royal household for over 100 years and in that time we’ve become the most awarded blended scotch in the world.
Over 100 years ago Dewar’s pioneered the technique of allowing the single malts and single grains to “marry” together in vintage oak casks for several months after blending. As any expert on blending will tell you, this process makes our Scotch incredibly smooth, with many subtle layers of flavor in perfect harmony.
At Aberfeldy in the heart of the highlands, John’s sons built a distillery to make the Single Malt that shapes the honeyed, rich flavor of our scotch. There’s gold in the water source…but that’s another sorry.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Puzzler Answers

And now, the end is near....Yes. Puzzler  andfriends can rest for  afew weeks. They will be back on January 5th. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

以下はスーパースクラブルパズルです。よく見ると、4つの空白のタイルが見つかります。 空白のタイルとは、何も書かれていないタイルのことです。それら空白のタイルは、ある単語の一部です。空白のタイルに、どの文字があてはまるかを考えてください。おわかりですか?答えは、ページを下にスクロールして下さい。GOOD LUCK

Below is a Super Scrabble Puzzle. If you search carefully you will find four blank tiles on it. BLANK means that nothing is written on it. But, they are part of the word. Try to determine what letter the BLANK tiles are. After you have your guess you can scroll down the page to find the answers. As always, GOOD LUCK.









































WAVE /WAVY               CRASS/CLASS         HEAD/EMPTY          CRITTER



Sunday, December 16, 2018

Puzzler Hints

actually, this is the final Puzzler for 2018. I have enjoyed them all. How about you? Did you find them interesting? Entertaining? Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

December Home Project
interesting (面白い)VS. interested (興味を持っています)
「interesting」は「(物が)(人にとって)興味深い、面白い」、「interested」は「(人が)(物に)興味がある」という意味の形容詞です。
主語に注意して以下の例文で違いを確認しましょう。
例:My brother is not interested in golf. But I think that golf is very interesting.
私の兄(弟)は、ゴルフに興味がない。しかし、私は、ゴルフは大変面白いと思う。
I am interested in ~ 私は~に興味がある。
He is interested in ~ 彼は~に興味がある。
They are interested in~ 彼らは~に興味がある。
ALSO boring / bored, tired / tiring, surprised / surprising, amazed / amazing confused / confusing.
これらの例を、ブログの中から探してみてください。皆さんも、それらの単語を使って会話をしたり文を作てみましょう。Good Luck!

Pola Museum. This is glass.


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Puzzler

Now it is Saturday.  The yearend is closing in. I'm getting happier and happier. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

December Home Project
interesting (面白い)VS. interested (興味を持っています)
「interesting」は「(物が)(人にとって)興味深い、面白い」、「interested」は「(人が)(物に)興味がある」という意味の形容詞です。
主語に注意して以下の例文で違いを確認しましょう。
例:My brother is not interested in golf. But I think that golf is very interesting.
私の兄(弟)は、ゴルフに興味がない。しかし、私は、ゴルフは大変面白いと思う。
I am interested in ~ 私は~に興味がある。
He is interested in ~ 彼は~に興味がある。
They are interested in~ 彼らは~に興味がある。
ALSO boring / bored, tired / tiring, surprised / surprising, amazed / amazing confused / confusing.
これらの例を、ブログの中から探してみてください。皆さんも、それらの単語を使って会話をしたり文を作てみましょう。Good Luck!

from Pola Museum Hakone. This is glass.




Friday, December 14, 2018

the desk

I was home alone last Sunday. And, I had a plan. I saw on the Internet about all the illuminations in and around the Yamanote line. (By the way, that is where I got the idea for tomorrow's Puzzler.) I considered (was thinking about) visiting a few of those sites in the evening, BUT, it was a little too cold and I had a task to do. What was that task? I had to take apart the desk in one of our adult children's room upstairs. It didn't look difficult but I knew it would take time. So, I gave up on the idea of going out and got to work. At this time I was home alone. So, I could work at my own pace. I got my tools; two screwdrivers and a hammer. I also got gloves and a mask. I knew it would be dusty so I wanted to protect my lungs. (I often do that when I weed.) To make a long story short, I worked for three hours and removed lots and lots of screws; long screws, short screws, silver screws, copper screws, fat screws and slim screws. I used hte hammer to break off the sides of he drawers. I started to bundle the pieces (with string) in order to throw\ them away the m\next day. But I got tired. So I gave it up. The next morning I found that M and E bundled them up. Happy!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Santa Claus

I was Santa at the Kitamoto Kindergarten and Houikuen on Monday. This is my third time. I got there at 9AM. First I had to get my Santa suit on. It has red and white top and pants. It has a red and white cap. It has  a black belt and black boots. The whole suit was there when I took over the teaching duties three years ago and I am lucky that it fits me well. This is my third time so I am pretty good at it. At first, I meet all the kids at the Houikuen. There is my dramatic entrance. There are bells ringing as I pull my sleigh full of presents for the kids. Then there is an interview. Finally I hand the presents to the kids one by one and then we take group photos. Next I exit and then sneak over to the Kindergarten. I meet there with 5 or 6 2 to 3 year-olds for a "quickie" meeting. Then I sneak over to the hall where I am waiting on stage with the curtain closed until their party is over. Then, the curtain is opened. After another interview there is some singing and dancing. Then the kids come on stage to get their presents. More photos and finally I leave at 11:30. It's fun.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Glass no Mori Museum

We got to our hotel and checked in. It was quaint. That means comfortable and cozy. I wanted to relax. However, M had another idea. That was to visit the Glass no Mori Museum which was not far away. The hotel staff was there so I said that I wanted to drink some whiskey. He said that they do not have whiskey. What!? I didn't want to drink beer. I didn't want to drink sake. I didn't want to drink shochu. I wanted whiskey! BUT, they didn't have any. Mama Mia! Then Miwako had a brilliant idea. She said we could go to the Museum and buy some whiskey on the way back. I agreed as I wanted to drink some whiskey. So we put on our shoes and drove to the museum. It only took 15 minutes. (I spotted a Lawson's and a 7-11 so I planned my purchase.) Most of the displays are outdoors. They are a white glass and really beautiful. It was fascinating. We only had about 45 minutes to see everything as they closed at 5:30. But it was not very big and only a few illuminations to see. Then we spent 15 minutes in the souvenir shop. I bought...a whiskey glass, of course. M boufgt a beer glass. On the way back to the hotel I got my whiskey and we were back in time for our dinner. All's well, that ends well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

POLA art museum Haokone

Two weekends again M and I visited Hakone. It was an overnighter form Sunday to Monday. We left early as we planned to visit the Pola Art Museum in Hakone before checking into our hotel. I drove us there. Traffic was very light. We went through Hakone Yumoto and then up the slopes of the mountain. We have been to this museum a couple of times, and on this day we had plenty of time so we could see (view) all of the exhibtions at our leisure (slowly/take our time). We saw three exhibitions. The main exhibition was by French artist Odilon Redon. The second was by Leonard Foujita. The third was a collection of glass works by; a. Louis Comfort Tiffany b. Emille Gallee c. the Daum Brothers. All that we saw were fascinating. We also veiwed some works by Monet, Renoir as well as Picaso. We were at the museum for three and a half hours. It was drizzling (raining lightly) outside. We had a sandwich during the visit and then lunch when we were ready to leave at 3pm. We made a visit to the gift shop too. There were not many people visitung this day so it was wonderful for us. We then went to our hotel.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Puzzler Answers

It's Monday and I'll be Santa Claus at one Kindergarten today. Please don't tell the kids though. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

以下はスーパースクラブルパズルです。よく見ると、4つの空白のタイルが見つかります。 空白のタイルとは、何も書かれていないタイルのことです。それら空白のタイルは、ある単語の一部です。空白のタイルに、どの文字があてはまるかを考えてください。おわかりですか?答えは、ページを下にスクロールして下さい。GOOD LUCK

Below is a Super Scrabble Puzzle. If you search carefully you will find four blank tiles on it. BLANK means that nothing is written on it. But, they are part of the word. Try to determine what letter the BLANK tiles are. After you have your guess you can scroll down the page to find the answers. As always, GOOD LUCK.









































QUEEN               WHIRLED                DIRT/ROUGH                QUART/AMOEBA


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Puzzler Hints

IT's eraly Decmeber and I am really lokoing forward realxing during the upcomng year end. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

December Home Project
interesting (面白い)VS. interested (興味を持っています)
「interesting」は「(物が)(人にとって)興味深い、面白い」、「interested」は「(人が)(物に)興味がある」という意味の形容詞です。
主語に注意して以下の例文で違いを確認しましょう。
例:My brother is not interested in golf. But I think that golf is very interesting.
私の兄(弟)は、ゴルフに興味がない。しかし、私は、ゴルフは大変面白いと思う。
I am interested in ~ 私は~に興味がある。
He is interested in ~ 彼は~に興味がある。
They are interested in~ 彼らは~に興味がある。
ALSO boring / bored, tired / tiring, surprised / surprising, amazed / amazing confused / confusing.
これらの例を、ブログの中から探してみてください。皆さんも、それらの単語を使って会話をしたり文を作てみましょう。Good Luck!




Saturday, December 8, 2018

Puzzler

We were relaxing in Hakone last weekend. This weekend we have some housework to do. I amy go ot Toyko. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

December Home Project
interesting (面白い)VS. interested (興味を持っています)
「interesting」は「(物が)(人にとって)興味深い、面白い」、「interested」は「(人が)(物に)興味がある」という意味の形容詞です。
主語に注意して以下の例文で違いを確認しましょう。
例:My brother is not interested in golf. But I think that golf is very interesting.
私の兄(弟)は、ゴルフに興味がない。しかし、私は、ゴルフは大変面白いと思う。
I am interested in ~ 私は~に興味がある。
He is interested in ~ 彼は~に興味がある。
They are interested in~ 彼らは~に興味がある。
ALSO boring / bored, tired / tiring, surprised / surprising, amazed / amazing confused / confusing.
これらの例を、ブログの中から探してみてください。皆さんも、それらの単語を使って会話をしたり文を作てみましょう。Good Luck!




Friday, December 7, 2018

Benibana Furusatokan by Kesako

On Saturday, November 24th, I studied English at the church in the morning. After lunch at Tobu Store Main, I went to Sogo department store. I bought two pairs of shoes. One is casual shoes and the other is walking shoes. I also bought a bag.
On the next day, Sunday, the festival was held at Benibana Furusatokan in Okegawa. It is an annual event. A lot of prefectural associations and groups took part and sold their goods and special products at booths. It was a sunny day without wind. So, it was more crowded than usual. My husband joined a Gunma prefectural association and sold YakiManju. Have you ever eaten it? YakiManju is roasted Manju with sweet miso paste. It smells good! I went to the festival with my friend and had a lot of fun. Do you know the Benibana Furusatokan in Kanou? It is a cultural facility that was donated by a citizen. The building was rebuilt into a private house 100 years ago. There are Soba and Udon shops there. Some shops sell local goods. By the way (BTW) the actor Masahiro Motoki, also know as (AKA) Mokun, has been here several times and wrote some calligraphy as gifts. Mokun's parents house is nearby. Mokun is actor KikiKirin's son-in-law.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Halal

As I wrote yesterday, I had lunch in Shibuya at a restaurant. It was down a stairway and the name is Waterman Fish Market...maybe. I entered and there were about 20 customers. I got my seat and looked at the menu. There were a lot of seafood and meat dishes on the menu as well as salads and drinks. It looked like a typical menu. Next to me were four young Japanese girls carrying on a loud and happy conversation. I then noticed several ladies who were wearing Hijabs. These are one of the traditional head wear for Muslim women. Then I noticed the restroom door. BUT...it wasn't the restroom! I put on my glasses and looked at the symbol on the door again. It was two women in praying positions. It was a prayer room for Muslims. I ordered my lunch. It was pretty good, but a little bland-"not having a strong or interesting taste". I talked to the manager on my way out and he told me that this eatery served food specially prepared for Muslims. That is, it is HALAL. I later checked the Internet and found that there are such restaurants all over Tokyo. I also read some material about Halal and the Muslim religion. They have rules and laws and beliefs according to their God. I will not convert to (become) Muslim but it was interesting reading.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Shibuya experience

Two Fridays ago, November 23rd, was a holiday here in Japan. I was free all day and I went to Tokyo with Miwako and Rina. We visited Omotesando in the morning. When we were finished they were keen (eager) to go to a museum and then to a movie. That didn't appeal to me so, I said "Tootde-loo" and walked down the Meiji Douri to Shibuya station. I wanted to see the famous Hachiko statue and the street crossing. I also wanted to see what there is to see around the station. It was a fine day and I walked at a leisurely pace (easily).I became hungry so I stopped into a restaurant called The Fisherman's    Market. It was very interesting and I'll tell you about it in tomorrow's BLOG. After lunch I got to Shibuya and crossed over to the east side of the station. I found several scrambled crosswalks before I finally found the real one. There were hundreds of people there waiting. They all crossed the street when the light turned green for them. It was FASCINATING!. Lots of foreigners were talking selfies and movies of it. Then I went to Hachiko, the dog statue. Again, lots of foreigners were posing with him and taking pics. I then cruised around the station while looking at my map trying to orient myself. I was pretty confused.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A visit to Bannaji Temple by Kazuko

My son visited us from Osaka last Friday. We had no plans in particular when we decided to go on a day trip the next day. My husband looked up the destination on the Net. We left home shortly after 7:00 Saturday morning. During the three day weekend, the expressway was not crowded. Nice! It was crisp fall weather and the day was perfect for a drive. About two hours later we arrived at Mt. Horai in Sanno city, Tochigi. According to the website he autumn leaves were at their peak. We expected that a lot of people and cars would be there on that day. But it was not crowded at all. We enjoyed different shades of autumn colors in solitude (quiet). After that (From there) we visited Bannaji Temple in Ashikaga city. It is famous for its big (large) Ginkgo trees. Even though I'm from Tochigi I didn't know that. Have you ever heard about it? It was a sunny day and all the leaves glittered in the sunlight. The contrast between the Ginkgo gold and the Maple red was amazing. Then we had the specialty of Sanno, Sanno ramen, for lunch. My husband and I talked a lot with our son for the first time in a long time. All in all, it was a wonderful day.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Puzzler Answers

If all went well, we should be in Hakone this day. They said it would be cold. I worry that it might snow. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

以下はスーパースクラブルパズルです。よく見ると、4つの空白のタイルが見つかります。 空白のタイルとは、何も書かれていないタイルのことです。それら空白のタイルは、ある単語の一部です。空白のタイルに、どの文字があてはまるかを考えてください。おわかりですか?答えは、ページを下にスクロールして下さい。GOOD LUCK

Below is a Super Scrabble Puzzle. If you search carefully you will find four blank tiles on it. BLANK means that nothing is written on it. But, they are part of the word. Try to determine what letter the BLANK tiles are. After you have your guess you can scroll down the page to find the answers. As always, GOOD LUCK.




































DEFACE             OATHES              COUNTRY/SWUNG            ORNERY

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Puzzler Hints

The year end is near. I hope it gets colder. I really do! I prefer the cold in winter. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

December Home Project
interesting (面白い)VS. interested (興味を持っています)
「interesting」は「(物が)(人にとって)興味深い、面白い」、「interested」は「(人が)(物に)興味がある」という意味の形容詞です。
主語に注意して以下の例文で違いを確認しましょう。
例:My brother is not interested in golf. But I think that golf is very interesting.
私の兄(弟)は、ゴルフに興味がない。しかし、私は、ゴルフは大変面白いと思う。
I am interested in ~ 私は~に興味がある。
He is interested in ~ 彼は~に興味がある。
They are interested in~ 彼らは~に興味がある。
ALSO boring / bored, tired / tiring, surprised / surprising, amazed / amazing confused / confusing.
これらの例を、ブログの中から探してみてください。皆さんも、それらの単語を使って会話をしたり文を作てみましょう。Good Luck!

Sky Tree

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Puzzler

The real news is that I DID drink last weekend. I just couldn't wait! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

December Home Project
interesting (面白い)VS. interested (興味を持っています)
「interesting」は「(物が)(人にとって)興味深い、面白い」、「interested」は「(人が)(物に)興味がある」という意味の形容詞です。
主語に注意して以下の例文で違いを確認しましょう。
例:My brother is not interested in golf. But I think that golf is very interesting.
私の兄(弟)は、ゴルフに興味がない。しかし、私は、ゴルフは大変面白いと思う。
I am interested in ~ 私は~に興味がある。
He is interested in ~ 彼は~に興味がある。
They are interested in~ 彼らは~に興味がある。
ALSO boring / bored, tired / tiring, surprised / surprising, amazed / amazing confused / confusing.
これらの例を、ブログの中から探してみてください。皆さんも、それらの単語を使って会話をしたり文を作てみましょう。Good Luck!

SenSouJi Asakusa


Friday, November 30, 2018

My November

November was a good month. I didn't drink...until last Saturday and Sunday. Things were going so good that I just had to drink. Of course, I enjoyed it. Other than that it was work, the gym and Tokyo. Work was good. And as it is nearing the end of the year I had some extra time off when the kindergarten cancelled some lessons. That's cool. I went to the gym 14 times this month. That is a new record for me. As a matter of fact, the gym is going very well. I got some tips on training form the trainer. It seems that I was doing some things incorrectly. My Tokyo visits were plenty. I visited Meiji Shrine, Roppongi Hills, Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Marunouchi, The Imperial Palace, The Japanese Diet building, the Supreme Court building, Ginza, Omotesandou, Asakusa, Kappabashi and Sky Tree. I learned a lot about transportation around the capitol for Japan. There are many subways and I now know a few. I am became more familiar with the trains, especially, of course, the Yamanote line. I had lunch at several places including several hotels. Back home I am busy with work. The best news is that the vacant lot next door HAS NO WEEDS! Hallelujah! So, I have some extra time to enojy myself. I guess that's it. I am looking forward to December and some more time off, hopefully with my family.
The vacant lot next door...Be-a-u-ti-ful!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Chiyoda-ku

I made a trip to Tokyo two Saturdays ago. I went to see the Japanese Diet building and the Supreme Court building. The Japanese Diet building is where the Japanese lawmakers work. The Japanese call ti their "DIET". These two buildings are located in Chiyoda Ward, very near the Imperial Palace. I checked my maps. I found that the nearest station was Asakusa Mitsuke. I got on at Okegawa and changed to the Saikyo line at Omiya. This took me to Shinjuku where I transferred to the Marunouchi subway line. I avoided a big mistake by NOT getting off at Ikebukuro. I saw that the Marunouchi line starts there but it goes around to Tokyo before heading to AsakusaMitsume and then Shinjuku. Anyway, I finally arrived and started looking for the place. Of course I was immediately lost. I found some street maps and used them. There were hardly any people on the streets. But, I did see cops (police officers) at every corner. They looked so B-O-R-E-D! I reached my destination, the Diet bolding and then on to the court house. Pretty easy actually. Next I visited the Hotel NyuOtani which has a display of Bentleys and Rolls Royces. I checked them out but didn't buy any. Finally I took the METRO Nanboku line one stop and had lunch at Hotel Okura. Very good....and expensive. I was back home before dark. 

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Timing

This was interesting. I woke up about 4:30 AM yesterday. It was a bit early but I got up anyway and went downstairs. I opened one windowshade and looked outside. It was still dark. I switched on the TV. I found CNN news. It's my favorite thing to watch on TV. The lady newscaster was talking to two people about...of course...Donald Trump. They were talking about him lying again. I did a couple of things while listening to that news when suddenly they changed the scene to a new story. It was a live broadcast form USA NASA Mission Control in Pasedena, California. There were 50 or so people sitting in four rows at long counters. They were all wearing purple uniforms. They were counting down a landing of a probe called "Insight"on Mars. One woman announced: "gravity turn, 300 meters...200 meters...80 meters...60 meters...50 meters...40 meters...30 meters...20 meters....17 meters....standing by for touchdown....................................touchdown confirmed! Insight is on the surface of Mars." Then everyone started applauding and giving high fives and cheering and hugging. It was a happy and proud moment for all. I was pretty lucky to see it live. 
You can see it here.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiufjRUmndE 


Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Strange

There was a strange bug in my school last week. I don't know what it was. It suddenly appeared on the floor. Let me explain.
The floor in our school is off-white. So, anything dark is easy to spot (see). That includes dirt. After one lesson, at 6PM, the students left and I saw a small, dark thing moving very slowly on the floor. It was maybe 2.5 centimetres long. It was dark grey and had many black legs. It had a pointy front. It looked harmless (not dangerous) so I got an old piece of paper and placed it in front of the critter. It continued to move onto the paper. When it was completely on I took it outside and placed it in the grass next door. I did some computer work. When the next student arrived we saw another of the same kind of critter walking along the floor. I got the same paper and took it outside and deposited it (put it) in the same place as its twin. When this student left I returned to my office space and found another one crawling of the floor. This one left a brown slime behind it as it advanced. I took this one outside and again left it with its friends. At 9PM I went home. The next day when I came to the school I found two long pieces of that slime on the floor but no critters. I cleaned that. Since then I have not seen these critters again. Strange.
I couldn't find a picture of he bug, so I used this one instead.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Puzzler Answers

I was dry this month so I'm scheduled to begin drinking again next weekend. But, will I? It will be interesting. Puzzler Answers: Click Here.

以下はスーパースクラブルパズルです。よく見ると、4つの空白のタイルが見つかります。 空白のタイルとは、何も書かれていないタイルのことです。それら空白のタイルは、ある単語の一部です。空白のタイルに、どの文字があてはまるかを考えてください。おわかりですか?答えは、ページを下にスクロールして下さい。GOOD LUCK

Below is a Super Scrabble Puzzle. If you search carefully you will find four blank tiles on it. BLANK means that nothing is written on it. But, they are part of the word. Try to determine what letter the BLANK tiles are. After you have your guess you can scroll down the page to find the answers. As always, GOOD LUCK.









































DEFACE               OATHES             COUNTRY/SWUNG           ORNERY 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Puzzler Hints

Now, this Sunday I will visit Tokyo. I will go to Asakusa and Sky Tree, perhaps. I'll know Sunday. ITM Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

December Home Project
interesting (面白い)VS. interested (興味を持っています)
「interesting」は「(物が)(人にとって)興味深い、面白い」、「interested」は「(人が)(物に)興味がある」という意味の形容詞です。
主語に注意して以下の例文で違いを確認しましょう。
例:My brother is not interested in golf. But I think that golf is very interesting.
私の兄(弟)は、ゴルフに興味がない。しかし、私は、ゴルフは大変面白いと思う。
I am interested in ~ 私は~に興味がある。
He is interested in ~ 彼は~に興味がある。
They are interested in~ 彼らは~に興味がある。
ALSO boring / bored, tired / tiring, surprised / surprising, amazed / amazing confused / confusing.
これらの例を、ブログの中から探してみてください。皆さんも、それらの単語を使って会話をしたり文を作てみましょう。Good Luck!

Japanese Diet Building in Chiyoda-ku


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Puzzler

We start the December Puzzler this week. That's because of the holidays coming up. Holidays? I can't wait!  Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

December Home Project
interesting (面白い)VS. interested (興味を持っています)
「interesting」は「(物が)(人にとって)興味深い、面白い」、「interested」は「(人が)(物に)興味がある」という意味の形容詞です。
主語に注意して以下の例文で違いを確認しましょう。
例:My brother is not interested in golf. But I think that golf is very interesting.
私の兄(弟)は、ゴルフに興味がない。しかし、私は、ゴルフは大変面白いと思う。
I am interested in ~ 私は~に興味がある。
He is interested in ~ 彼は~に興味がある。
They are interested in~ 彼らは~に興味がある。
ALSO boring / bored, tired / tiring, surprised / surprising, amazed / amazing confused / confusing.
これらの例を、ブログの中から探してみてください。皆さんも、それらの単語を使って会話をしたり文を作てみましょう。Good Luck!

National Diet Library




Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving

It's a holiday here in The Land of the Rising Sun. Labor Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday in Japan. It takes place annually on November 23rd. This holiday was established as an occasion to commemorate labor and production. It also lets everyone give thanks to one another. In America, Thanksgiving day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Why is it celebrated? 
The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in October 1621. The feat lasted three days and was attended by 90 native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. In New England the colonists always celebrated by thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought. 
When I was a kid we had a big celebration every Thanksgiving. As our family grew, more and more people, new husbands, wives and kids came to my parents house. My mom cooked all day. She made the turkey and apple pies and pumpkin pies and salads and desserts. We watched TV and played cards. It is a fond memory for me.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A trip to Hieizan by Kazuko

I visited Mt. Heii last week. You have heard that name, haven't you? But many people, especially those who live in Eastern Japan, don't know where it is. Mt. Hiei is on the border of Kyoto and Shiga prefectures. There are two routes to climb the mountain. One is from the Kyoto side and the other is from the Shiga side. I chose to climb from the Kyoto side and took the cable car and rope way to the top of the mountain. It was a little early for the Autumn leaves. But the view from the top was amazing as the weather was fine. Mt. Hiei is a sacred mountain. The Buddhist priest called Saicho, began to practice asceticism there 1200 years ago. After that, many priests have practiced Buddhism there. Mt. Hiei is roughly divided into three stupa areas that are collectively called Hieizan Enryakuji Temple. Many buildings are dotted around there so you have to walk a lot to see them all. And there a lots of slopes and steps. It was tough for me to walk around. Two hours later, I went down to Shiga side while viewing Lake Biwa. I was completely exhausted. Needless to say my legs were sore the next day. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

A trip to Tokyo Part 2

So, from Roppongi I took the subway (Tou-Ei O-Edo line stations) one station, E23 to E24, to Ayoyama 1 Chome. There I walked around. I went through one small park. There were a couple dozen people painting the trees with water colors. I then walked over to the Meiji Jingu GaiEn, and finally to the Ginkgo tree lined avenue. There were many people and a parade was brewing (getting ready). There were lots of people. There was a baseball game going on at the stadium and I could hear the crowd. I walked along when I got a call from Miwako. She had come by car to meet me. She was waiting in line to get into the parking lot. We got in and then went to a nearby cafe. It is called Green Cress. The other restaurants were full and people were lining up to get in. We ordered lunch and relaxed on the outdoor deck. We used the parasol to block the bright sunshine. It was a beautiful day! We chatted and watched the pedestrians stroll by. After lunch we started to go to Shinjiku Gyoen. It didn't look too far away, but it was getting late. And it was becoming cooler. So, we changed our minds and made our way (walked) back to he car. We went home. I slept all the Ageo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A trip to Tokyo Part 1

Two Sundays ago I took the train to Tokyo. Why? Because my new hobby is discovering Tokyo. On this day my plan was to go and explore Roppongi. I was considering (thinking about) how to get there. I looked at my Tokyo map and my Tokyo guide book. That guide book is my Tokyo "Bible". It has tons of (lots and lots of) information about Tokyo. I considered the train and then the subway. However one student told me that I could also walk from Ebisu to Roppongi. I chose that. I was lost as soon as I left Ebisu station. I checked the signs at the station and got oriented. I headed in the correct direction and found the huge sign that pointed to Roppongi. (Actually I asked two people for help.) I kept my eyes on Roppongi Hills Mori Tower. I got there and went to the observation deck on the 54th floor. (I got a senior discount after showing my ID.) It was a nice day so the views were good. I saw Tokyo station, Tokyo Tower, Sky Tree. Mieji Jingu, Aoyama Cemetery, Shinjuku Gyoen, Shibuya station area, Shinjuku station area, Tokyo Midtown, and even Tokyo Bay. I took a lot of pictures. I wanted to look at them later and get some info.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Puzzler Answers

Another week starts today. And...Friday is a holiday! A special trip to Tokyo is planned. Puzzler Answers: CLICK HERE.

以下はスーパースクラブルパズルです。よく見ると、4つの空白のタイルが見つかります。 空白のタイルとは、何も書かれていないタイルのことです。それら空白のタイルは、ある単語の一部です。空白のタイルに、どの文字があてはまるかを考えてください。おわかりですか?答えは、ページを下にスクロールして下さい。GOOD LUCK

Below is a Super Scrabble Puzzle. If you search carefully you will find four blank tiles on it. BLANK means that nothing is written on it. But, they are part of the word. Try to determine what letter the BLANK tiles are. After you have your guess you can scroll down the page to find the answers. As always, GOOD LUCK.







































MEANT/MEANING              LOVE                 FESTERED

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Puzzler HInts

Sunday! It's back to Tokyo this day. I hope the weather cooperates. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

November Home Project
今月のHPは、"be”を含む単語です。下記のように、”be”で始まる単語です。 
because ーだから
before 前に 
behave ふるまう
behind のうしろに
believe 信じている
below の下方に
beside の近くに
between の間に
beware 気を付ける
beyond の向こうに
もちろん他にもありますが、私のブログの中の文章もよく見てみてください。
みなさんも使ってみましょう。

I-chou Namiki

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Puzzler

Saturday! Well, I've been on the wagon for 17 days now. I will be dry unitl December. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

November Home Project
今月のHPは、"be”を含む単語です。下記のように、”be”で始まる単語です。 
because ーだから
before 前に 
behave ふるまう
behind のうしろに
believe 信じている
below の下方に
beside の近くに
between の間に
beware 気を付ける
beyond の向こうに
もちろん他にもありますが、私のブログの中の文章もよく見てみてください。
みなさんも使ってみましょう。
Aoyama Cemetery, Meiji Jingo, Shinjuku statioin area from Mori Building.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Veteran's Day at Arlington Cemetery


WASHINGTON - The 65th annual National Veterans Day Observance, to honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the U.S. armed forces during war and peacetime, is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery.
There will be a Presidential Armed Forces Full Honor wreath-laying ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It will be immediately followed by an observance program hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater. A prelude by “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band will begin in the amphitheater at 10:30 a.m.
Both the wreath-laying ceremony and the observance program are free and open to the general public. Tickets are not required to attend these events; however, space is limited to standing room only for the wreath-laying ceremony and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis in the amphitheater. Attendees are encouraged to arrive to designated locations no later than 9:30 a.m.
Free parking is available for vehicles at the Arlington National Cemetery Welcome Center’s parking lot from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. A free shuttle service will provide transportation to the Memorial Amphitheater beginning at 8 a.m. Walking to the amphitheater is prohibited. After the observance, shuttles will provide transportation back to the welcome center until 2 p.m.
Attendees will be required to pass through a security checkpoint to gain access to the cemetery and ceremony. Prohibited items include: large bags or backpacks, firearms and weapons of any type, laser pointers, aerosol containers, soda cans, umbrellas, coolers, picnic baskets, tripods, lighters, screwdrivers (or similar tools), air horns, personal protection sprays, and insulated beverage containers.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Baseball by Shogo

We had a game in Maebashi city last Saturday. It was the first round of the Kantou Kanreki baseball tournament. I left home with my wife around 8:30 in the morning and headed to the ballpark in Maebashi City. The game began at noon. Our opponent came from Yokohama City and they were a very good team. I thought that it would be very hard to defeat them when I saw them practicing before the game. The game went on 0 to 0 until the 4th inning. It changed in the top of the 4th when we got 2 runs, but then we gave up two runs in the bottom of that inning. Before you knew it, we were down by five when we gave up 5 more runs next inning. However, we came back with 3 runs in our half of the 6th. But our opponent got one more run in the bottom of that same inning. In the end, we lost 8 to 6. I was one for four in the game. I had four ABs (at bats). I had a ground out, a single, a strike out and a walk. I played short and made one fine play. Anyway, I thought I have to practice some more to improve my skills. But, my batting is improving. Our next game is tomorrow. I am looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Chichibu by Ima

There are 34 sacred places in Chichibu. I wanted to visit all of them so I began in October of last year, 2017. It's a kind of pilgrimage. I am not interested in temples or religion but, I like walking. I visited the 34th and final temple October 22nd. I completed this journey. The 3 temples are scattered here and there. Some are very near a station and some are far away from a station. Some were in towns while others were in the mountainside. I used the train and the bus, and then walking. I went to Chichibu 14 times. I had my "visited" card signed at all 34 temples. I went there 3 times this October. I also saw signs that said "Beware of Bears." (I always walk alone and I didn't  wear a bell that scares away bears. If I met (encountered) a bear, I wouldn't run away. I would move slowly back gazing at the bear.) At each temple the Buddhist priest wrote his message in my pilgrimage booklet. Fortunately I didn't see any bears. So, I came back home safely. I achieved my goal.