March of spring flowers

Japanese apricots are coming out. White ones followed by pink ones. Daffodils are budding out. In a month or less, magnolia will be fully out. In a month, cherry blossoms will decorate the playground of the junior high school nearby here. This march of spring flowers is realized in the same manner as usual. It is still impressive to us.

I am starting to plow the soil for vegetables in the garden now. Tomatoes, potatoes, beans, eggplants and so forth. 

It is the days of living things. 


A corner toward nightmare

Our government is submitting a bill of the law against organized crime preparation. They insist it is to do with the terrorism for the Olympic game in Tokyo in 2020. There is, however, no "bill fact" to hasten legislation of this law. The appearance of this bill is a law against terrorism. Terrorism preparation could be, however, well managed with the existing laws, as criminalists say.

The aim of this bill seems to be maintenance of public order. Since Abe and LDPJ have been trying to revise the system of our country back to that before WWII, they must have thought it was a good chance to legislate for maintenance of public order. Public order means the regime of those revisionists. When the law for maintenance of public order was introduced to our country before WWII, the government insisted that it was to accuse and punish rebellious traitors. Actually, it was interpreted in an extended way, so that a lot of innocent people who seemed to have any idea against to the regime were accused based on that law.

In this context, they are going to revise our constitution in the near future. They aim at the authoritarian regime based on the cult of nationalistic Shinto. There is an ultra right group named Japan Conference on the back of those revisionists. They would deny the basic human rights and drive the people away to be only subjects under Emperor but not individualized citizens. This idea of nationalistic Shinto includes a kind of elitism which says our country is a selected one among the others owing to the unbroken imperial family line. Even though this dogma is historically a clear falsehood, those revisionists believe in it or pretend to do so for the sake of their own political power. This may lead our country and neighbors to another nightmare.

We are at a corner to that devastating future.


Continued from the previous post

Continued from the previous post. 

There have been many photos showing the garden here. Since my father moved here from Tokyo back in early '80s, he has enjoyed farming a small farm and keeping the garden as he wanted. A lot of flowers and a number of trees were growing. Some pets or even chickens were kept as well. He has spent very hard time in WWII in his young days and has worked hard to raise us in Tokyo after having moved here in '50s. However, he could spend peaceful retirement with us, even though it might be a bit tough thing for him and mother to care for our children. He could make it come true to work with me as a part time clerk at my clinic for a few years. It was what he had dreamed of, I know. I am feeling a bit satisfied to be able to help him and mother live their peaceful days here.  

Arranging things my parents have left

For the past several weeks, I have been busy with a number of family affairs as well as the political situation in Japan progressing to nationalism. I have been writing articles about the latter in my Japanese blog. It doesn't mean I have forgotten about this poor blog yet. I would still keep renewing it as a kind of memorandum for me.

One thing having kept me busy was discarding things unnecessary at my parent's home and arranging things in order there. Thousands of books, tons of photos and dozens of their clothes etc. For the last few days, I have been involved in sorting out the photos for each person taken or related with. I will distribute them to each person soon.

I once thought to discard most of them. It might be a trouble for them to receive those old low quality photos, I thought. While looking them through, however, I felt they were testifying that my parents had lived their lives on the earth. If they have any value to the people related with the photos, I thought, I should send the photos to each of them. It was a fascinating idea to scan and digitalize all the photos, I thought for a while. But I had to give it up due to too many numbers of the photos.

Some of the photos from my parent's albums;

My parents with my sister on mother's lap. It was taken a year or two after the WWII when they got married and settled down at the tuberculosis sanatorium as workers. It is right at this place where we live right now. A wooden cottage is seen on the back, which was used as patients' room. Such tiny houses were scattered around this place with pine trees between them. A quiet and peaceful place for those patients who had waited for the last time without any treatment. They have had firm belief in Christianity. My parents, of course partly thanks to their young age, look hopeful and positive from this picture, despite of their poverty. It also seems to be attributable to their belief. However, with antibiotics effective for tuberculosis being invented in a few years after this photo was taken, this facility was destined to lose its reason de etre. It was the time when our family departed to Tokyo. 

This photo shows me and a good friend of mine at the college days. Somewhere in Kamakura, I can't remember. Both of us were around 20 years of age. We used to be together all the time like sweet hearts! We have talked a lot on literature, philosophy and so forth. Also grumbled a lot on our specialty, mechanical engineering. Later, he has gone to a faculty of philosophy while I have chosen the way to be an MD. It has been decades since I last met him. I should look for him by some means. 

Our family taken some 20 years ago. My parents used to celebrate certain anniversary at this time. My sister now aged 70 years has been working as a nurse while brother 63 years now has been a psychiatrist. We owe so much to my parents who have given us chances of professional education. I have never heard them complaining of that burden on them at all. Now I know what it has been for them to raise us. They are surely missed.

Again, the thought how fast time is passing comes up in my mind. These photos will be forgotten by any folks in a few decades. Of course, it is due to oblivion of ourselves by them. It is not a pessimism but a reality. We are apt to forget this fact very easily. We are just travelers on the earth for a while. It is true that the more transient our lives are on the earth, the more serious we should be at living. However, at my age, I feel I should get ready for the end of life. Filled with good fond memories of the past in my mind, those photos showed to me, I still felt that way. I am a traveler on the earth.        


A Hustler Mobile Whip story

Coming back on the air in 1980, I started operating mobile on HF bands in mid '80s. The antenna I was using then was Hustler Mobile Whip. It was an intermediate loading type with the total length of about 2.4m. I set it at the rear bumper and operated CW with a paddle on the lap and FT757GXII on the side seat. 

I have had a lot of fond memories with this mobile whip.

In the mid '80s, I was busy at the work in the medical school hospital. I was constrained at the hospital for a long time. Once in a week or so, I was on the night duty for the emergency clinic. Parking my car with that mobile set up, I sneaked operating radio there while I didn't have any patients. The guy I often talked to on 40m was Steve, WA6IVN, whom I had known since '60s. Having had many impressive QSOs and vigorous outdoor activities, he passed away in early '90 due to complications of long lasting malignant lymphoma. I have admired him for that energetic activities. He might be, however, trying to fullfil his life with them. He let me know the whip made a bit of gain, S1 or even 2 units, toward the heading direction. I still remember Steve's QRQ CW flowing beautifully. We have talked too much, so that the loading coil got a bit hot when I touched it after QSO with him. Together with QSO with Steve, I have often met Bob W6CYX, whom I accumulated QSOs over 1200 times for now. Bob kindly invited Steve and his wife to his present home in San Jose at the reception dinner for me. Soon after that, Steve has passed.  

While commuting to the med school hospital from '80s through '90s, I used to operate 40m or 20m from the mobile set up quite often. One of the QSOs which I regularly made during commuting was a round table on 40m with JA3ASU and JE8MFG. Both of them were MD, the former a physician and the latter an anesthesiologist, as well and were also commuting to their hospitals. It was quite thrilling for us to have a round table with mobile. It has lasted only for a few months from spring to summer possibly in mid '80s. I have met JA3ASU in person in his home town Kyoto when I went there for an academic conference. He kindly took me a gorgeous restaurant for japanese dishes there. I haven't heard him since around 2000 or so. He might be around in his late '70s for now. I have met JE8MFG on UHF repeater for the first time when I went there near Sapporo for a driving tour. Ever since then, we have had regular contacts once a year or so. He is already in his early '70s and is planning to retire in a couple of years.   

It was when I was operating the mobile station on the way to the med school hospital that I met John K5PKA, later WG3U and W1ITU in around 1990 after over 20 years long absence. I have posted about him earlier in this blog. It was exciting to make such a QSO after so long since the last one. Without this mobile set up, we might have not met each other.

In '80s, when I was working at the med school hospital, I used to go for an extra work at another hospital once a week. On the way to and from there, I used to again operate CW from the mobile. I still remember having worked Kurt N5VV and Shido AH6JF on 20m. Kurt was a very active proficient CW operator. I always enjoyed listening to his excellent and elegant CW. Shido is a Japanese being licensed in Hawaii. We talked on japanese Morse code then. It was a fun as well as an excitement for me to talk to them on mobile with manual transmission those days. Both of them have not been heard for years. I only hope they are doing well.  

This Hustler Mobile Whip has made my ham radio life in this way. Since I quit operating mobile about 20 years ago, however, it has been asleep in the storage room. I believed it could work well and recalled of a friend of mine, Aki, JJ1TTG/6, who is operating radio at an apartment with a short mobile whip. I asked him if he would use this whip, even though I knew he always likes operating radio with simple and small set up. This Hustler may give him a bit better result, I believe. Even though there are some problems for him to utilize this antenna at his place, he told me he was interested in this whip and would use it somehow. The whip has already departed to him yesterday. Hopefully, it may go on working for him soon as it used to be for me.

Before it departed;

The coils are for 40, 30, 20, 17 and 15m.


It won't take too long before spring comes

Yesterday, it has been snowy for a few hours. A bit wet and heavy snow has covered the ground. It has melted away on the sunny side today. It still goes on being cold today.

You may see the small flakes of snow falling obliquely on the left side of this photo. Such snowfall is rarely seen in this area. The 2nd time this season so far as I remember. 

Even though it is not a pleasant news, I knew recently a friend of mine, a younger doctor, had suffered from severe autoimmune disease since last summer. His new year's greeting card has told me that.

I have given him a phone call. He told me, in a morning last summer, it was difficult for him even to get up due to severe arthralgia on limbs. It has assaulted him all of sudden. Actually, he had known of the illness, with an prior accidental lab exam, in subclinical condition a few months before it developed overt. Despite of being in such a condition, he was still working at the hospital. He has good knowledge of the illness, natural course, treatment choices and complications due to the illness as well as to the treatment. He let me know of that as if he explained to one of his patients with the same illness. Quite serene and objective attitude as for the issue. Sometimes even chuckling himself. Who knows what conflicts he has had in his mind? Thorough knowledge of the disease calms him down? No, I can't approve that idea. Being a doctor may make us more perplexed than the non medical people since we could know exactly what happened to us and should decide the ultimate decision for the choice of the treatments by ourselves. I only hope some new medicine will lead him to remission and to enjoy retirement in several years. A medicine of the biological genre he started to take several weeks ago seemed to have achieved some good effect on him as he reported to me. I wished it would benefit him further.

I should also get ready for such a thing in my life. May my mind maintain serenity and quietness in the future whatever may happen to me.

I found japanese apricots' flowers were budding now. It won't be too long before they come out fully.



Yearning for something lost

I have never paid attention to such as plants or trees in my young days. It was the mid forties in my life when I all of sudden found they were very close to me. Their lives have become so vivid and intimate to me at that time. Looking back that experience, it was coincident to the occurrence of male menopause. Actually, I have had the symptoms of autonomic nerve dysfunction at that time. It meat that I won't have the vigorous energy for life as in my young days any longer. Loss of that energy has made me head toward the other living things. being with the living things, which might live longer than myself, is a kind of relief to me. I was not aware of that. But at the subconsciousness level, I have become more mature at least with this respect.

I sure feel almost the same thing about liking of music. I used to like serious and complicated music in my young days. However, I am inclined to love more of the simpler and lively music nowadays. A few days ago, when going to sleep, I accidentally chose the Nr 5 string quartet by Beethoven, OP18-5, which was composed in his late twenties. Honestly speaking, I have looked down or thought little of those works composed at the same time with the opus number starting with 18.

What a lively, vivid and beautiful music it was! Of course, not like the later string quartets, it was taken the form of the precedent great composers like Haydn. It still sounds vivid and full of joy of music, I should say, or of life. Except for the dramatic OP18-4, I have paid too little attention to the other 5 string quartets of OP18. Emergence of such early string quartets of Beethoven as an absolute attractor to me may be because of the same psychological dynamics, that is, the attraction of young, lively and energetic things being lost by such an old man as me. Just listen to this lyrical and lively music. OP18-3 D major.