Small talk in English 英語で話そう!

2013-01-16 What’s happening to me? このエントリーを含むブックマーク

It's been some time, again, since I wrote last. In the meantime, I was going through something of a predicament.

In the middle of November last year, when I was talking with my clients at a meeting, I felt a hot flush in my face. I didn't care so much then, but when I went to the restroom and looked into a mirror, I found red rashes in my neck. "What's this?" I wondered but forgot about it until I was back home. The moment I took off my undershirt to take a bath, I was shocked to see the rashes spread all over my body. Something was definitely wrong with me!

The next day I went to see a doctor, who told me there were three possible causes for this type of rashes, the last one of which shocked me.

"Something might be wrong with your internal organs."

"What possibly might it be?" I asked him. Instead of answering my question he said.

"You look thinner than I saw you last. Don't you?"

"Now that you mention it, yes, I somehow lost my weight by 1 kilo in a matter of a month without doing anything special."

"Hmmm, You need to take a blood test."

"For what?"

"For something like liver functions and......"

" and what!!!?"

"And cancer markers."

suirensuiren 2013/02/01 07:22 Are you doing ok now?

suirensuiren 2013/02/01 07:22 Are you doing ok now?

hirokohiroko 2013/05/07 20:02 What happened to you!!!!!!?????
I want to know!!!

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2012-11-01 Now three of them このエントリーを含むブックマーク


Here are 3 electronic book readers. Bred itself? Here's the purchase history.

It began when I bought Rakuten Kobo-touch on the day it was launched. It really enlightened me and opened my eyes to the world of a new reading life. But this particular device had problems I mentioned in the last post. I consulted Kobo help-desk staff on its terribly slow response. After several suggestions over one thing or another which I tried all in vain, they decided to replace it with a new one. However, as I talked with the Kobo staff and got tired of it, I gradually wanted to give up on the use of this Kobo tablet.

In the meantime, Sony released a new book reader, type PRS-T2. I was quick to buy one before Kobo staff sent the replacement. It was 2 thousand yen more expensive than Kobo-touch but it turned out worth it. It was simpler and faster in sorting downloaded books, its firmware and PC application software far faster and easier to use and it came with a stylus pen (It doesn't have to be this pen. You can use anything with a pointed head, while Kobo cannot). I liked it, so much so that, looking at my indulgence, my wife wanted another sony too ( the red one with a stylus pen and book cover). Then the new Kobo-touch came (middle in the picture), this time without a slow response problem. So... I can use it too.

In conclusion Sony PRS-T2 is better than Kobo-touch in every respect but one serious drawback for me. The e-book store run by Sony (named Reader Store) does not deal with English e-books. What a shame, considering that the reader tablet has a good English-Japanese dictionary (when to use it if there's no English contents?). Kobo e-book store boasts a broad range of digital book contents in English (Perhaps because Rakuten bought a Canadian company the name of which was Kobo). Unfortunately and naturally, the books downloaded on the Kobo tablet cannot be read with Sony readers (the reverse is also true).

So I am using both of them. The three readers are all needed after all. Now I'm reading Somerset Maugham. "The hero" was really good. You can download his books from Project Gutenberg for free^^;

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2012-09-06 Since then このエントリーを含むブックマーク

Almost a year has passed... already.

At age 63, I'm still working, reading some scientific papers, going to the office twice a week, taking a walk, sometimes jogging, regularly eating, sporadically speaking... In short, I live.

I bought an e-book reader named kobo. Despite its insufficient functionality, incredibly slow response, and the who-can-use interface of the ebook store, I find it unexpectedly handy. Yes, I like the gadget. It's light to hold, the battery lasts a week, and the letters displayed on the screen are sharp and clear almost like those printed on a sheet of paper (they call it e-ink) so that I feel no eye-strain during my terribly long-time reading.

Since the day it was delivered to my house, I've been hooked on it and read more than 30 books including 3 English paperbacks in a matter of weeks. I am into Japanese classics partly because I wanted to know how my perception of the same books that I read in my youth has changed as I grow older, but mainly because those books are free. Sure, I got to read classics more deeply with a shallower motivation.






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2011-09-23 Autumn Equinox このエントリーを含むブックマーク

So the summer has ended. This time it doesn't seem to come back again soon.


Somebody must have visited the grave. Yellow flowers had been already offered in front of the tomb stone on which our family name was engraved as "○○家".

Lilies... Lilies. We guessed who.

"Yu-chan". I said.

"No, the flowers are definitely not her taste." Mom said a tad adamantly.

But when we saw the ground all weeded out, she settled for the conclusion

"Well,... might be".

On top of the flower a gray slimy thing was crawling. Slug. I picked him up and put him on the ground outside our family grave lot. He must have been eating the flower. but how could he find the flower here? Had he just randomly moved about and accidentally come across the flower? Or did he smell the flower and make his way straight to it? Perhaps the latter because he was not the only one. Four of his friends were found near the flower. His antenna, which we call horn "角", were fascinating. Just as I tried to touch it, he retracted it nicely and perfectly into the head. When my daughter fanned the smoke of a mosquito coil toward him, he also quickly pulled it back into the head. In spite of the smoke attack he seemed to try going back to the flower.

By the time we finished trimming trees, cleaning and sweeping the lot, he is back on the foot of piled stones that terraced the 15-square-meter lot of our ancestors' final resting place 50cm above the ground level.

We, one by one, stood in front of the tomb, poured a ladle of water on top of the gravestone, closed the eyes, put the hands together and remembered the dead. My father, grand-pa, grand-ma and my brother...

The slug finally made it and was now on top of the terrace, crawling toward his favorite flowers. He was alive and perfectly immaculate. We left him alone.


suirensuiren 2011/09/23 23:42 We visited the grave (my husband's family grave) today. (Yesterday I also took my parents to 母方のお墓).
My husband's father loved lily, so I always select lily for him:)
As for slug, there are many slugs in my garden too. They love beer, right?^^
I like snails, but don't like slugs...

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/09/26 08:55 hi suiren,
The grave I visited is of paternal ancestors'. This year I met many slugs crawling around the tomb stone. Perhaps the stormy weather was favored by them.
I didn't know snails love beer. How did you know that?
You don't like a slug? It's just a snail without a shell^^. Maybe you can't touch the slimy surface. If you pick it up, that goo is not easily removed from your finger.

suirensuiren 2011/09/27 08:40 I have no idea why slugs love beer, but it is said so. Once I put a tin of beer near the plants in my garden at night, I got a several slugs that had curled up with a hungover^^;

>Maybe you can't touch the slimy surface.
So..you have touched them?

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/09/28 10:32 So you had a can of beer with slugs? ^^;
Actually I picked them up with my fingers and that slimy thing stuck on my fingers. It's not easy to remove the slimy thing unless you rub your fingers on a rough surface of concrete or alow it to dry and then rub your fingers against each other.
There are always something you will never understand without touching.

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2011-09-17 Sound of existence このエントリーを含むブックマーク

5:50, Saturday.

As the sun rises and begins to color dull orange the east sky over the beige building, more songs of birds can be heard. But, listen hard, in the background of the merry soprano chirp, there is a gut-resonating bass noise echoing through the town. That may be the sound of people's activity, how prevailing and penetrating.

Last week I went to Osaka and heard a similar noise in a hotel room near the station. It was so faint and at such a low pitch that it felt more like a vibration. But somehow it seemed like trying to reach somewhere in my soul, so familiar and nostalgic that I felt as if remembering what I heard before I was born.

Not long ago, somebody told me that the word "Aummmmm", when pronounced at a very bass tone, is exactly like the sound of the universe.

A sound that thrusts through 13.6 billion light years of time and space, through the stars, the Sun, the Earth and every one of us. That's grand to imagine. If there were such sound, it would definitely be like what I'm hearing now.

The sound of existence. If only I could hear it.

suirensuiren 2011/09/23 23:53 I want to say that..."スケールの大きな話", but don't know which word I should use. Spacious? Majestic?  I've got the impression something like timeless(transcending time) feeling when I read this post.

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/09/26 09:03 I would use the word "grandiose" in this case. 大きな話だけどなんか嘘っぽいというニュアンスをこめて。
If you would like simply to say 壮大な, "grand" may be the word.
majesticは立派なとか堂々としたっていう感じ(だと思う)のでmajestic cathedralという風な使い方が普通だと思う。

suirensuiren 2011/09/27 08:25 Thank you very much for your help!
あはっ...Is this post 嘘っぽいstory?^^ I don't think so.
Your story also reminds me of that everything is made of energy.

By the way,that Aum shinrikyo comes from this Aummmm sound,I wonder?

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/09/28 10:50 You are right. That cult named after the sound of the truth.
But this sound is comfortable to hear when pronounced by good-voice monks.
You can hear an example of Aum or OM in such as
That's music in a way.

suirensuiren 2011/09/29 06:50 I've visited the site and listened to that music!
Amazing!! Thank you very much for letting me know this!

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2011-09-08 Last minute preparation このエントリーを含むブックマーク


I woke up this morning with a to-do list in mind. After breakfast, I have to pack my things up for the 3 day trip. Then I will make reservation for two seats on a shinkan-sen train leaving Shin Yokohama around 9 am today for Shin Osaka. Don't ask me why I didn't do it yesterday. It's just a question of personality and for no other reasons, which my mom hated.

My wife is calling me. The breakfast is ready. She is going to go with me for sightseeing in Osaka and Kobe while I am at a conference. So I have to finish the meal extra fast so that she can make her last-minute preparation for the trip. Yes she is my type^^;

I've just asked my daughter to take care of her grandma while we're away.

"Oh, leave it to me, rest assured. " said she.

....Okay.... Assured.

hirokodhirokod 2011/09/13 00:27 おかえりなさーい^^
I prepare everything perfect before travel last night. I can't sleep if I don't prepare.

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/09/16 06:56 Oh, sorry I overlooked your comment. I am back now.
>I prepare everything perfect before travel last night.
Did you travel to somewhere too?
It's not easy for me to believe that you are the type who doesn't like things unprepared by the day before your trip^^;
Enjoy your trip anyway^^

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2011-09-06 Awe このエントリーを含むブックマーク

6:30, 23C,

Autumn is clearly in the morning air. Feel happy for finding no words to describe the sky now, other than chaotic beauty. Any description is so cheap but I can't help.

This summer is ending. Clouds in all colors and shapes are flowing north, like belt-conveyed cotton candies, toward the eye of the typhoon a thousand kilometers away.

The typhoon has strayed off Tokyo for Hokkaido and we had a little rain last night. It brought a brief respite to us in the midle of the boiling heat and disaster to western parts of Japan. Nature does not care our convenience. Its nonchalance is even irritating and exasperating. And, look, we have never, even once, conquered her and will never be able to. All we can do is live with her, and that's if she allows us to.

Clouds are breaking here and there. I find myself adrift in a thought. If nature were something we could fully control, possess, or conquer, where would we look to to find beauty? We will never really be awestruck by anything we can get our hands on or we can think of or imagine in our brain. There's only a razor-thin difference between awe and beauty, or most probably they are about the same feeling in different words. Then how about awe and dread?


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2011-09-02 Baton このエントリーを含むブックマーク

6:40, Clouds in all kinds, dynamism governs the sky. The typhoon is coming closer and has brought this moisture in. Good, we could use a little more rain. The magnolia tree, which my mom got planted in front of the gate last year and had been thought almost dead, has put forth some young leaves at last as the temperature got down. With its roots yet frail, it needs water.

Going to be a busy day. Two days ago, my paper was finally published in the Journal of Applied Physics. A young guy in my client company will make a presentation on it next week in an international conference. I checked his speech script and corrected all but the title. In fact, I rewrote it from scratch. He is supposed to read it and give me some feedback today. Perhaps too long sentences for him to memorize. He wants me to listen to his rehearsal by way of Webex, an Internet meeting system. How easier it would be if I could make the presentation all by myself! I could save all the trouble. But it's a part of my job to let a client take some credit and not bad at all if I could help a young guy grow competent.

He wrote the speech draft in Japanese first. One of the problems is he outsourced the translation. The translator apparently is not familiar with this field of science. In many parts the translation was wrong or meaningless. When I go back to the original Japanese, sometimes it is written ambiguous and might as well be mistranslated. The Japanese language may not be so much for science as for poetry. But still it strongly depends on translator's background and translation skill.

This will be my last paper in my life. Strangely I do not have any special feelings or attachement to it. Rather I am surprised to find myself feeling happy that I could help this young guy with his first experience of speaking in English in front of big audience.

The baton being relayed.


Incidentally this blog site Hatena suddenly started to put ads here without any notice. I have no intention whatsoever to cooperate on the sales promotion of these items below^^

↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

hirokohiroko 2011/09/03 10:54 I am sorry. What is your paper? 論文ってことですよね。
You don't make presentation????
Anyway, お疲れ様でした。けどバトンタッチはまだ早い(そういう意味でしょうか?間違っていたらごめんなさい)
>Incidentally this blog site Hatena suddenly started to put ads here without any notice. I have no intention whatsoever to cooperate on the sales promotion of these items below^^

suirensuiren 2011/09/04 06:08 Will that be your last paper?
But you play a role for nurturing young people. That's a great job, isn't it!!^^

By the way, I feel translation is really really difficult, to me.>_<
It needs huge background of the field you want to translate,and maybe some sense, I wonder..? Once I wanted to be a subtile translator, but soon I realized it's too difficult for me^^;

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/09/04 23:00 hi hiroko
Thanks. But I'm not tired^^
hahaha, アフィリエートってやつ?お金に困っていることは確かかも...^^;

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/09/04 23:18 hi suiren,
I like teaching. So it's just fun to help young ones with improving their presentation in English and it's not such a great job^^;
And yes, translation is hard. But interesting too depending on what you translate. These days we have the Internet to consult about anything we want to know. It's like our extended brain and makes our translation work a lot easier.

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2011-08-28 Curry life このエントリーを含むブックマーク

6:40, Woke up in a daze. Feel cottony in my head. The sunshine feels too intense this morning... Went to bed 2:00 a.m., I remember. In the midnight, I was cooking curry for today's supper, my three-weekly routine and the very least I can do to thank my wife^^ for her everyday household chores.

Curry left to sit overnight develops, how can i say, some depth and richness in its taste. Time does some magic to this spicy ethnic food; through fermentation, chemistry or what. That's why I cook it the night before.

No urge, no meddling. Leave it to something you never know. Let it happen. Trust it. Then forget all about it and do your things. When the time comes, here you are, a change. Subtle and deep yet big.

I'm talking about your life. Why don't you let it sleep for some time?


hirokohiroko 2011/08/29 08:16 hello, toshi-sama,
you cook!!! I am surprised. It looks yummy!!!
I loooove curry. You can cook it for me too^^;
(Curry is delicious whoever may cook ^^;)
By the way, would you teach me what
"the very least I can do to thank my wife"
Thank you in advance

ハイカラホームハイカラホーム 2011/08/29 22:11 ハイカラです。
Do you mean three times a week? wow.
Beef curry, chicken curry, vegetable curry.
My wife doesn't allow me to cook. I wash dishes every night(笑).

suirensuiren 2011/08/29 23:15 Wow!! Smells nice^^
I wish I could have this kind of treat just once!
I don't say three times a week. Just only once! I allow my husband to cook or wash dishes anytime though...^^;
>I'm talking about your life. Why don't you let it sleep for some time?
I let it sleep always^^;

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/30 06:31 hi hiroko
>Curry is delicious whoever may cook ^^;)
I wonder if you can still say this after having my curry^^.
>"the very least I can do to thank my wife"

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/30 06:37 ハイカラさん
>Do you mean three times a week? wow.
No, three-weekly means "once in three weeks"^^;
No matter how much we like curry, three times a week would be too much^^
>My wife doesn't allow me to cook.
Why not? while she allows you to do the dishes.
Aren't you a bad cook^^

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/30 06:55 hi suiren
You too! it's just once in three weeks. My children and I take turns to cook Sunday dinner so that my wife do not have to bother thinking about cooking once a week. It just started this year^^;
>I let it sleep always^^;
Oh, suiren, I hope "it" is not "yourself" ^^

hirokohiroko 2011/08/31 08:29 Looking at curry picture and imagine its taste is the very least I can do^^;

suirensuiren 2011/08/31 22:35 >Oh, suiren, I hope "it" is not "yourself" ^^
I like your "Curry-life recipe" very much^^
Wisdom is the spice..., I wonder?^^

By the way,your curry looks really delicious. The rice is turmeric rice?
Do you have any other cooking repertoire?^^

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2011-08-24 Gestalt prayer このエントリーを含むブックマーク

6:30, Look up at the east sky and autumn clouds are hovering. Altocumulus, in meteorological term.

Before I know, the season is changing. The temperature is forgiving 25C. The sunshine has dropped its sharpest fang. The air carries some comfort in it with a trace of forlornness.

Suddenly I want to quit the blog ranking. That's enough. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks to all who supported my blog to push it up all the way to the top.

Here is a sort of prayer created by a psychotherapist Fritz Perls.

I do my thing and you do your thing.

I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,

And you are not in this world to live up to mine.

You are you, and I am I,

and if by chance we find each other, it's beautiful.

If not, it can't be helped.

How true. Chant it every night or not, caring too much about others' evaluation will lead us nowhere. After all it's our life.

And I found you by chance... It's beautiful.


hirokohiroko 2011/08/24 13:11 I wondered why no click button. You quitted!
せっかく一番になったのにー (>_<)
I am disappointed little bit.
This poem? is good! I do my thing and my husband do his thing^^;
I found you here too. Beautiful.

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/24 20:42 I'm sorry for quiting the ranking contest without your approval^^; And I really appreciate your earnest support.
It may be man's nature to lose interest once a goal is achieved^^.
>I do my thing and my husband do his thing

suirensuiren 2011/08/25 09:40 I think I understand your feeling about blog ranking^^

By the way, the above picture is the autumn clouds!
The clouds last several weeks were dramatic though.
From your new house, you can take a lot of beautiful photos of sky, I suppose!
I'm looking forward to seeing them^^

ハイカラホームハイカラホーム 2011/08/25 12:35 やめてしまったのですか。
I thought competition is not like you! Quitting is like you(笑)
I know I am I and you ar you by my head but it can't be helped(笑)

hirokohiroko 2011/08/25 13:26 Ranking by hiroko^^;
1. Once a summer was lived in an island
2. Castle of sand
3. On a train

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/25 22:29 hi suiren
I knew you would understand my feelings^^
Yes, 高積雲 or altocumulus.
you know, alto is for 高 like in altitude (高度) and cumulus is for 積む like in accumulate. Easy to remember?
I only take a few pictures of clouds when it looks so beautiful that I'd like to share with someone. But definitely less wonderful than real ones.

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/25 22:34 hi ハイカラホーム
Sorry for quitting, while you voted for me. It suddenly looked ridiculous.
Hard to do anything ignoring how others think of it. But how about praying every night? ^^

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/25 22:45 hi hiroko
Thanks for the ranking^^;
If I ranked them...I'm not sure, but, I might put the post about my dog (azalea) in the best three.
Your best three have pictures on them^^

suirensuiren 2011/08/26 05:48 >After all it's our life.
That's very true!!
Beautiful chant, isn't it?! I like it!

I can't describe well in English (even in Japanese,perhaps), but this (well..if I try to describe...your philosophy about life or..way to view life) has tempted me to come here^^
I can "accumulate" a lot of knowledge as well^^
Without ranking, many people will keep reading, for sure!

But I feel hiroko is so cute when she supports your ranking^^
The best supporter, isn't she? You're lucky to have such a supporter^^

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/26 11:45 >Beautiful chant, isn't it?! I like it!
Everybody knows it and try to think this way, like ハイカラ-san. I am I and You are you. But it's hard actually. We are so forgetful^^;
What's new about Fritz Perls is that he made it into a prayer so that his patients could remember it everyday and thus get it ingrained.
>The best supporter, isn't she?
All the supporters are bests^^ for me. But I agree hiroko deserves the best supporter reward (if there's any ^^) for cheering everyone up.

hirokohiroko 2011/08/26 17:07 Am I so cute? どこで見られたのかしら?^^;
I was too hot maybe. Becuse I am your reader long time

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/26 22:36 >Am I so cute? どこで見られたのかしら?^^;
>Becuse I am your reader long time
Yes it's been a loooooong time since you first came here. Thanks for your patience^^;

suirensuiren 2011/08/27 07:24 >>Am I so cute? どこで見られたのかしら?^^;
But true! Her cheerfulness is quite valuable!

hirokohiroko 2011/08/27 09:55 >>>Am I so cute? どこで見られたのかしら?^^;

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/27 11:32 >>>>Am I so cute? どこで見られたのかしら?^^;

hirokohiroko 2011/08/28 07:13 いつから日本語のブログになったのかしら?^^;

toshi4374toshi4374 2011/08/28 14:07 8/26 22 時頃からじゃないかなぁ^^

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