Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Let it snow

It snowed last week Monday. I was able to go by car in the morning to teach my kindergarten class in Kitamoto. However, I got a ride to our school in the afternoon after my visit to the gym. From 3 or 4 PM the snow began to fall heavily and it continued all night and into the following (next) morning. My last two classes Monday night were cancelled as the students couldn't come because of the snow. So, I left my school earlier than usual. That was at 7:30PM. There were no taxis and our car has no snow tires or chains. So, how did I get home? Well, I walked. When I ride my bicycle to and from our school it takes about 12 minutes. It took 30 minutes on foot. I must say that I enjoyed the walk. I had to be careful to be sure (of course). I was prepared though. I had my snow shoes. I had lots of clothes to keep me warm. There were some paths in the walkway from previous walkers but not many. I walked at a good pace and non-stop till I got home. Needless to say (naturally) there were not many people or cars out. The wind blew strongly in a couple of places. I kept my balance by keeping my back straight and choosing the safest path. It was just like winter back in my hometown of Michigan.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

the old and the new

Nope. I do not want a smart phone. Why not? Because I am almost always (90% of the time) in my school where I have a computer. Actually I have three computers in my school. One is exclusively (only) for our LED sign. Another is for two things. One is my weekend puzzles. And I need it to make sentences using a software for listening practice. My main computer is the one I use for everything else. That includes e-mails, checking the news, sports scores, train information and looking up things in general. The bad news is that I cannot use my old cell phone. Why? Because it cannot be charged. I really liked that one. So, I got a new cell phone. It's OK. I like the color. But it is a little heavy and it is a folding type. It is a bit difficult to write e-mails with one hand. And, I am having trouble using the "software" in the phone. Of course it is all Japanese which is a minor problem, but I don't have the instructions. They are "Gone with the wind". Anyway, I will use my new cell phone as a phone and a clock. No worries.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

Back to work. How was your weekend? If you get a chance, please talk about it at your next English lesson. 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。













































EQUIP                   DRINK/DRANK/DRUNK               GUILT             CAME/CAMP/CAMS

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Puzzler Hints

It's time to start cleaning up the house. It is earlier than last year but I want a head start! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HP (Home Project) for January
比べる;比較級。
bigger than = より大きい lighter than = より軽い   more expensive than = より高い
1. Today is colder than yesterday (was). 今日は昨日より寒い(です)。
2. I like vanilla better than chocolate. チョコよりバニラが好きです。
3. They are much older than we are. 彼らは私達よりずいぶん年上です。
NOTE: 比較するときは、be動詞をよく使用します。

We went here last Sunday for some ice crem. Very tasty!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Puzzler

I have no party tonight so I'll go to the gym. My muscles are now stronger than before! Puzzler. CLICK HERE.

HP (Home Project) for January
比べる;比較級。
bigger than = より大きい lighter than = より軽い   more expensive than = より高い
1. Today is colder than yesterday (was). 今日は昨日より寒い(です)。
2. I like vanilla better than chocolate. チョコよりバニラが好きです。
3. They are much older than we are. 彼らは私達よりずいぶん年上です。
NOTE: 比較するときは、be動詞をよく使用します。

Moo.



Friday, January 26, 2018

Party Quiz

I told you yesterday about the party with the students last Saturday. I also told you that  we did a quiz. I want to explain to you about the quiz. I went to the Internet and printed a list of the states of the USA. There are 50 US states. ALABAMA is the first one in alphabetical order. Do you know what the last one is in alphabetical order? It's WYOMING. How many states do you know? Well, at the party there were 13 students. I split them up into 3 groups. A group; had 4 students, B group had 5 students. C group had 4 students. We started with A group. They had to name (say the name of ) one of the 50 US states. If they could, then I put an 'A' next to that state on my list. Then it was B team's turn. They had to say the name of one of the states. If they could, then I put a 'B' next to that states name. And then it was C team's turn. We continued in this way until all the states were named. In the end, only one states was left unnamed. It was Rhode Island. In the end, C team won. But, there was no prize. The final results were: B team 21 A team 15, C team 13 .That was fun.


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Party

Once again, the very ambitious and studious folks from the Kenkatsu Saturday English lesson had a party. Of course all could not attend, but the 13 members who did come enjoyed eating, conversing, drinking and a quiz. After the party four of us went to sing at a nearby Karaoke place. I must say that I had a very good time and I am pretty sure everyone else did so, too. Thank you all very much. Actually the party was held on the east side of Omiya station. Usually we have the party on the west side. And, it was on the north side of Route 2. That is on the north side of DaiEiBashi. So, Kenny and I had to go to different "standing/drinking" place. It was my first time here. Also it was my first time to drink something called "Hoppy". Kenny said that it is not beer. It is only the hops. You mix it with Japanese Shochu. It was pretty tasty. We had a couple each and were primed for the party. However when we left the bar we went in the wrong direction. We went back to Omiya station! But we corrected our course and arrived earlier than most other students. And what a party! I think the quiz was a success. I will tell you about that tomorrow. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

once but by fast move by Kazuko

I have two grandchildren as you may know. My grandson Ryuya is 5 years old and my granddaughter, Rica, is one and a half years old. They stayed at my house during the new year holidays. One day, they were at home with me as their mother went out to see her friends. They were watching a Pinocchio DVD in the living room while I was cooking in the kitchen. After a while I went to see what they were doing. To my surprise only Ryuya was in front of the television. 'Where is Rica?' I thought. I looked around the room and found her sitting in a corner. She was sitting with her back to me and doing something. What was she doing? Wow! She was peeling and eating a mikan by herself. But she couldn't peel a mikan that morning. It was the first time that she did it. Once she learned how to peel mikans she peeled them one after another. I felt the kids are learning day by day and grow up fast. I'm always moved by everything that they do. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A trip to Atami

We had a good opportunity (chance) to spend some time in Atami. We left Ageo at Saturday night, January 6th, at 6PM and arrived at the resort mansion at 8:30. We returned home the following Tuesday at 9AM and arrived Ageo at 11:15AM. We stayed three nights. We stayed at the resort mansion because we are very lucky. And what did we do there? Well, we relaxed. There is a complete gym so I went there Sunday and Monday. The view is of the ocean...so cool! I did my full course of exercises on Sunday and just running on Monday. There is a pool but I didn't use it. We rented the karaoke room for one hour on Monday. I read my book and did sudoku down in the very big lobby. We also drank a beer there while playing Othello (M won 33 to 31. It was a good game though.) We had lunch for the first time at a small soba shop up the mountain. (see last Saturday's pic). We went to Atami to have lunch and use the on-sen at a hotel. (This was a gift from a friend.) We had seafood dinner and drinks at a delicious restaurant near our mansion. It is called AJIKURABE. We have been there 7 or 8 times. It was a very relaxing holiday for us. (pic is sunrise from the mansion lobby)

Monday, January 22, 2018

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

That was a long week. It is the time for students to come and go from our school. I hope more students come than go though. 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。






































QUICK/HULK                         ABOUT                          ENOUGH                  RATION

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Puzzler Hints

I had a great party last night with some wonderful students. Thank you all! Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE

HP (Home Project) for January
比べる;比較級。
bigger than = より大きい lighter than = より軽い   more expensive than = より高い
1. Today is colder than yesterday (was). 今日は昨日より寒い(です)。
2. I like vanilla better than chocolate. チョコよりバニラが好きです。
3. They are much older than we are. 彼らは私達よりずいぶん年上です。
NOTE: 比較するときは、be動詞をよく使用します。

Thi is the sunrise form our room in Atami, Jan 7th.



Saturday, January 20, 2018

Puzzler

RAM English will administer (give) the EIKEN exam for 28 of our students today. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HP (Home Project) for January
比べる;比較級。
bigger than = より大きい lighter than = より軽い   more expensive than = より高い
1. Today is colder than yesterday (was). 今日は昨日より寒い(です)。
2. I like vanilla better than chocolate. チョコよりバニラが好きです。
3. They are much older than we are. 彼らは私達よりずいぶん年上です。
NOTE: 比較するときは、be動詞をよく使用します。

We had lunch here for the first ime. It's in Atami.





Friday, January 19, 2018

once but by fast move

The three boys were good friends. They were now 11 years old. Only three months separated them. That is, the oldest boy was born in September while the other two were born in October. They were all very athletic. And they liked to run. This day they had a race to see who was the fastest runner. They were all very fast, and they had this competition three or four times every summer since they were 9 years old. They went to the park by the library. There was a traffic signal nearby. They used that as a starting gun. Of course no one could move until the light turned green. The youngest was the tallest and had won this race only once. He was very determined to win this time. The race was 40 meters. They lined up as usual. They watched the traffic signal and decided that the next time would be the start. But just before the light changed to green the oldest boy moved! They all stopped. They would have to try again. They lined up and chose the next time to begin. The light turned green and they all started to run very fast at once. The youngest boy tried his best but the older boy was too good. By the finish they were all tired and laughing. The youngest boy would have to wait until next time.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Karaoke

During the holidays Miwako's sister was in town from France. She lives there with her Japanese husband and two sons. They are 12 and 7. The four of them, our family of four, and M's other sister and her family (minus her husband) all met at a restaurant in Ueno. We had a luncheon party. I was the driver this day so I didn't drink. It was January 2nd. So, I had drunk enough the day before. M's two sisters are younger than she is, however the second sister is a grandma. Her grandson was among the group. Let's see...there were 12 of us. The lunch was only so-so. We were lucky to find any place open on this day for lunch. After lunch we went to a gorgeous Karaoke place for a singing festival. We were there for three hours. We ate and drank some more including dessert. Everyone sang! I started it off by singing the American national anthem. And then we all took turns. The youngsters (younger members) were all very good. The elders (opposite of youngsters) tried their best but sounded weak and out of tune. Finally, Miwako's two nephews from France sang the French national anthem. All had a great time.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

To the Movies: STAR WARS

We went to see two movies during the New Year holidays. One was Star Wars and the other was Murder on the Orient Express. Let me tell you about Star Wars. It is, of course, a very famous and popular movie series. I had only seen the first Star Wars "A long time ago in a country far, far away... " That was my home in Michigan, USA. The movie premiered  (was first shown) May 25th, 1977. That was 40 years ago! I went to the theater with several friends. It was pretty cool. I have since seen it several times on TV. The movie that we saw December 28th. 2017 was very, very different. The theme was the same and the CG (computer graphics) were fantastic. However, I did not enjoy this movie. Why? Because: 1. It was too noisy. 2. Too many characters kept coming and going. I could follow the movie but I didn't enjoy all those characters. 3. It was typical USA movie so the plot was too easy. One friend asked me "Which character did you think was the cutest?" That was an interesting question. Unfortunately I had no answer for him. I have decided to watch the original Star Wars again in the comfort of my living room. Did you see new Star Wars?

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Suntory Hall Concert

My elder daughter works for a company in Tokyo. We get some nice "bennies" (benefits) from her and her company sometimes. For example, I have been to a Sumo stable to pound Omochi with the Sumo wrestlers.It is always early December 28th. I take the first train from Okegawa. I also took a couple of my buddies with me, too. And for the past 4 new years, M and I have been to Suntory Hall for the New Year Concert there. We get complimentary (free) tickets. This year was no different. We went January 1st as we had to entertain relatives (M's sister and her family from France, etc.). We went to Suntory Hall and met our daughter and her beau there just in time for the start of the show. As usual it was great. Actually I think it was better than last year. This is our fourth time. There is a symphony-orchester Volksoper Wien from Austria, The conductor is Austrian. There are four ballet dancers. Their first performance is comedic (like a comedy). But then they become serious and dance divinely. There are also a Baritone and soprano singer. All the music is rather gay. It is really a lot of fun and excellent music. We are pretty lucky.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

I am back on a full schedule from this week. It will be harder than the last three weeks, but that is OK! 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。



































BANANAS                  SWAMPY                   INVEST                CREATE

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Puzzler Hints

I am free this day. I will watch American playoff football all morning. This the season. Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HP (Home Project) for January
比べる;比較級。
bigger than = より大きい lighter than = より軽い   more expensive than = より高い
1. Today is colder than yesterday (was). 今日は昨日より寒い(です)。
2. I like vanilla better than chocolate. チョコよりバニラが好きです。
3. They are much older than we are. 彼らは私達よりずいぶん年上です。
NOTE: 比較するときは、be動詞をよく使用します。

January 1, 2018 sunrise



Saturday, January 13, 2018

Puzzler

Well, it's back to work for a while. But, we certainly enjoyed our vacation and free time. Which is better...vacation or work? I enjoy both. Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HP (Home Project) for January
比べる;比較級。
bigger than = より大きい lighter than = より軽い   more expensive than = より高い
1. Today is colder than yesterday (was). 今日は昨日より寒い(です)。
2. I like vanilla better than chocolate. チョコよりバニラが好きです。
3. They are much older than we are. 彼らは私達よりずいぶん年上です。
NOTE: 比較するときは、be動詞をよく使用します。

Last year O-YuGiKai at Okegawa ShiMin Hall



Friday, January 12, 2018

Sudoku

Do you know Sudoku? It is a kind of puzzle. These days I am crazy about Sudoku. It is a puzzle with numbers. There is a big box on the page. Inside the big box there are 81smaller boxes. There are 9 rows of boxes across and 9 rows of boxes up and down. So, there are a total of 81 boxes in the big box. The object is to put the numbers 1 through 9 in each row of boxes and each column (up and down) of boxes and each set of nine boxes. They can only be in one order and each time it is different. There is a degree of difficulty for each puzzle. There are ten levels. Level 1 is the easiest and Level 10 is the most difficult. I started with Level 4 and I am now doing Level 5. I read the directions. It explained a bit about how to solve the puzzles. It is difficult. You have to use a lot of logic and reasoning. I used to do Sudoku long ago in Michigan. My sister does Sudoku when she is waiting in line at the bank or post office. I did it when I while I was waiting at the clinic with a cold last year and when I have lunch and after dinner. One of my 2018 resolutions is to read more. I do that but Sudoku is more fun. Have you ever tried it?  

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Rick vs. Oki Part 2

I took out the toner cartridges. They are in a rack. I can pull out the rack very easily. It has had to handles on either side. Then there is a heater. It also comes out easily with two locks. They are easy to open. And finally there is a belt unit on the bottom. It was my first time to take that out. It was a little difficult. I must be careful not to break anything because they would be expensive to replace. So, I need patience when repairing this machine. I tried to print on both sides of the paper. There is a setting in the print software for this. I set it. But the paper jammed twice so I took out all the units from the printer. I took out the jammed paper. But I couldn't put the drum tray back in smoothly. The machine said many times. "Error. The drum unit is not set properly." I tried maybe 10 times. No luck. Finally I found the small piece of broken plastic on a ledge. This made the drum unit out of place. I finally fixed it. But, the locks were hard to close. But then, success!  I printed again. But I forgot to change the "Print on two sides" setting. Again "PAPER JAM!" Twenty minutes later all was well. I learned: 1. I cannot use the "Print on two sides" setting on the software. 2. Patience is a virtue.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Rick vs. Oki Part 1

I had a very relaxing and enjoyable vacation from December 28th to January 3rd. Of course not everything well smoothly but there were no major problems. However, there was one minor hassle (difficulty). That was with my printer. I have an OKI C531dn printer. It can print 40 pages a minute. The print is always professional. It can print in color. And it can print on both sides (front and back) of a page. It is my second one. The first one lasted 5 years and now this one is 3 years old. I bought it on line and I did not purchase any insurance or warranty. So, I need to do all repairs and maintenance. It is a very simple machine. I do have a manual so I can do some repairs. During the holidays I came to my school to make some texts. They need to be printed on both sides of the page. I them laminate them. I thing they are very professional looking. HOWEVER, OKI had a problem. There were several paper jams. I have had these before, so I know how to fix  the problem. But this paper jam was different. I couldn't find the paper that was jammed. I considered buying a new printer. Thy are about 100,000en. I called OKI company but they only sell to outlets. I finally fond a new one at BIC Camera. But before going there I tried one more look at the manual. (Continued tomorrow.)

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Coming of Age Day


Yesterday was the "Comoing of Age" day here in Japan. The folks turning 20 (years old) this year can now vote, drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes. They all look cool and gorgeous. Good luck all you youngsters. Here is the info from the Interent.

Coming of Age Day is a Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January. It is held in order to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached the age of majority (20 years old) over the past year, and to help them realize that they have become adults. Festivities include coming of age ceremonies held at local and prefectural offices, as well as after-parties among family and friends.
Coming of age ceremonies have been celebrated in Japan since at least 714 AD, when a young prince donned new robes and a hairstyle to mark his passage into adulthood. The holiday was first established in 1948, to be held every year on January 15. In 2000, as a result of the Happy Monday System, Coming of Age Day was changed to the second Monday in January.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Puzzler Answers and Super Scrabble

Only (365 - 7 =) 358 days left in 2018. Are you enjoying this year? We, 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。































BANANAS            SWAMPY               INVEST          CREATE

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Puzzler Hints

Tomorrow is the "Coming of Age" day here in Japan. I hope to have a special reportlater this week. ITM Puzzler Hints: CLICK HERE.

HP (Home Project) for January
比べる;比較級。
bigger than = より大きい lighter than = より軽い   more expensive than = より高い
1. Today is colder than yesterday (was). 今日は昨日より寒い(です)。
2. I like vanilla better than chocolate. チョコよりバニラが好きです。
3. They are much older than we are. 彼らは私達よりずいぶん年上です。
NOTE: 比較するときは、be動詞をよく使用します。



Action!




Saturday, January 6, 2018

Puzzler

Here it is. This is your first Puzzler for 2018! Is everybody ready? Let's GO! Puzzler: CLICK HERE.

HP (Home Project) for January
比べる;比較級。
bigger than = より大きい lighter than = より軽い   more expensive than = より高い
1. Today is colder than yesterday (was). 今日は昨日より寒い(です)。
2. I like vanilla better than chocolate. チョコよりバニラが好きです。
3. They are much older than we are. 彼らは私達よりずいぶん年上です。
NOTE: 比較するときは、be動詞をよく使用します。

Santa looks tired!


Friday, January 5, 2018

Foreigner Search

I went to Ueno Park with one Japanese friend. Everyone calls him Mark (cool guy). We made a date to go somewhere together and drink. But I didn't want to just drink. I suggested that we go to Ueno and speak to the foreigners there. I now call it "Foreigner Search". He agreed. We met at Ueno station and went first to Hard Rock Cafe for  a beer and a sandwich (see pic). It was a bit expensive but it is a cool place to dine. Then we went to Ueno zoo. The bad news was that the zoo was closed. So, we just walked around the park. And just as last time, we met many foreigners. My approach was the same: "Excuse me. Do you speak English?" and then "May I ask where you are from?". All went well for the next two and a half hours. The first group was six college students from New York City (Ron, Niko, Max, etc). We had a very nice chat for ten minutes and took some pics. Then we met folks from Portugal (Ricardo, Ricardo, Beatrice, Ana, Anita), Spain, Russia (Galina, Natalia and Igor), Denmark (Helena and Christopher) South Africa (Alice) Vietnam (Dan, Nadar, Tui, Raban) Sweden, Australia,  Holland (Vischy), Utah (Celene) and Canada (Emma). It was a very successful Foreigner Search.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

My New Years

Well, it's back to work today. I had an excellent vacation. I...
1. drank
2. didn't drink.
3. Met the relatives for a New year party in Ueno.
4. Watched the Ekiden on TV ... (I planned to go and see it live, but that didn't happen.)
5. Saw "Star Wars" at 109 Cinema in Millage.
6. Saw "Orient Express" at 109 Cinema in Millage.
7. Went shopping at Millage. I bought a couple of sweaters.
8. Had lunch at Hard Rock Cafe in Ueno station with a buddy.
9. Went to two Tachi-nomi-yas with same buddy.
9. Did Gaigin Hunt with Ma-ku in Ueno Park (The zoo was closed.)
10. Cleaned the upstairs verandas.
11. Cleaned the windows and screens downstairs.
12. Rearranged the school a bit.
13. Watched several of my favorite movies on TV.
14. I read eleven short stories from "50 Great Short Stories" paperback.
15. Did 5 crossword puzzles.
16. Did lots of SUDOKU puzzles.
17. Did NOT do a jigsaw puzzle.
18. Went to the New Year Concert at Suntory Hall.
 How about you? How was your New Years?





Wednesday, January 3, 2018

January 3rd

Yesterdays Ekiden was fantastic! I'll be back at work tomorrow. So, I will be resting and reading this day. It is my last chance to relax. How were your holidays?


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

January 2nd

We went to a New Years concert in Tokyo yesterday. Today I'm following the Ekiden from Tokyo to Hakone. I hope it's nice weather for the runners and me!


Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year

It's 2018 and I'm still alive! Hooray! My new years' resolution? I will read much more. I also want to study maps. How about you?