2007 September 29 Saturday.

This afternoon I had the first of a series of 30 lessons, with 4 new students from 13:00  until 14:30.   

These four people all work at the same company here in Asahikawa, which does a lot of import and export type of activities.   

These 4 new students want to improve their ability in daily conversational English, NOT Business English.   

I was relieved to hear this because if you can't talk with people in a normal everyday setting, how do expect to go over and discuss lengthy business contracts?   

Anyway, today among outer things, I used a page from a textbook I am writing about word associations. 

It goes like this;  "What do you think of when you hear the word _________?"   

There is a list of 30 words on the page, broken down into 6 sections of 5 words each.   

When it came back around to my turn, I asked one of the young ladies;  "What do you think of when you hear the word small?"   

Her reply both shocked and amused me at the same time.   

She said; "My HEART."   

I softly laughed for a moment, and then said;   "No, that's not true.  You really have a big heart.   Here, let me show you."   

I stood up and walked over to a bookcase where I keep a stack of self-made gifts that I always keep at the ready.   

The gifts that I made can be seen in the photo above/left.   

It is my brush calligraphy of the Chinese ideograph for the Japanese word KOKORO.   

It means HEART,  in the spiritual sense of the word.   

One time every year, usually just after the winter solstice, as the sun is once again rising up from it's lowest point in the winter sky, I get a big bottle of Japanese Rice Wine, a big brush and plenty of black ink, and I draw about 100 of these pages, all using the same word .   

Less than half of them survive the final inspections, and the survivors among them are stamped with my katakana name chop ノーマン・ディレーニ, and then I give them a laminated finish.   

The only reason I laminate them, is so that it will easy to place them on a bookshelf, a wall, or even on a coffee table.   

Even if you spill your drink on it, it won't be ruined. 

Besides, I myself enjoying viewing other peoples' brush strokes, and this is the only kanji that I practice writing with a brush so, what the hey!   

I can Enjoy myself, and help the other guy have a Happy day.   

It's simply from the heart.   

No strings attached, except  for that one very thin, red line. 

********************************

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2007 September 18 Tuesday.

I know I promised myself that I would be reading the Master of Hokkaido Tourism Handbook everyday, until November 23, when I will take the written examination, but today I just couldn't keep myself away from reading more and more, of the first English edition of the Fukudoku Hon 副読本, a basic textbook covering the philosophy of Kongo Zen  金剛禅 which is used as the basis for the training of the practitioners of ShoRinJi KemPo 少林寺拳法.   

I have never called myself a Buddhist, but the more I read of this book, the more I can see that my way of looking at life and the world around me, is 99.9% the same as these folks.   

PURE GOLD.    It is literally blowing my friggin' mind!     Today when I read about the concept of Dharma, I realized that it is just another word for UNIVERSAL LAW.   

Yes, I know many things about COSMIC LAW and I strictly obey it at all times, but now I have a new name by which to call it.  Dharma.   

The textbook defines Dharma as follows; It is the fundamental source of all order and phenomena in the universe. 

It is through Dharma that ALL HUMAN BEINGS and EVERYTHING in the UNIVERSE are created, given life, and developed.   

Makes perfect sense to me. 

Another way to label it is as;  The Life Force. 

The textbook goes on to say that;  Although ultimately we are born of the Dharma, each of us receives our physical body directly from our parents. 

It is in this physical body where our mind, our spirit 心, dwells.   ]

To express the gratitude we feel for having received our spirit through Dharma and our body from our parents, we train ourselves to act with RESPECT for the nature of our spirits. 

This disciplined training is the PATH to developing an indomitable spirit and a strong and healthy body so that we can gain self-discipline and become capable of serving both others and ourselves.   

In other words, creating a WIN WIN SITUATION, where NOBODY LOSES.   

Everybody GAINS. 

There are no losers. 

Everybody is happy, and therefore there is NO WAR.   

Gawwwwd Damn It!!!   

Why can't everybody on this Tiny Earth SEE and UNDERSTAND that???   

The answer is stunningly simple. 

It is because most sheeple are LOOKING OUTSIDE OF THEMSELVES in a useless attempt to understand themselves, and what is really happening all around them. 

They have it all,...    Ass Backwards.    

Turn off the TV.   

Watch less Hollywood Driftwood washed up on the shore beach tar rubbish Movies and DVDs.   

What is really needed, since long long ago,   is  A TOTAL RETURN TO THE HEART 心. 

Especially NOW,  in the present state of this  目茶  phucked up world.    

IT begins with ME, and with YOU and YOU and YOU TOO.    

The time to look inwards is NOW.    

It is always NOW.      

Start TODAY.         PLEASE!      

Help yourself WHILE helping others at the SAME TIME. 

********************************

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2007 August 18 Saturday.

Another photo that I took at the Jomon Culture, Ohfune Site 南茅部縄文遺跡群 国指定史跡 大船遺跡. 

This one shows the ChuuKuu DoGuu 中空土偶 hollow clay figurine, which was found by KoSaka Ae 小阪 アエ, on 1975 August 24,  while she was digging around in her vegetable garden!   

It was designated as an Important Cultural Asset on 1979 June 6. 

And, most recently, this DoGuu was designated as a National Treasure 国宝 on 2007 March 13. 

An important thing to remember about this clay figure is that it is HOLLOW inside.   

If it was just a solid chunk of clay, even I could have made it.   

But the very fact that it is hollow, shows a rather high level of realism and artistic skill.   

By the way, what you see in the photo above/left is only a replica of the real thing.   

The real thing is put on exhibition, both in Japan and throughout the world, and is stored at a much more secure location, somewhere outside of Hokkaido. 

The real figurine was made about 3,200 years ago, and is the largest  one of its kind, to have been found anywhere in Japan, or the entire world for that matter.   

In its entirety, the Jomon Culture lasted from about 12,000 years ago, until about 2000 years ago.   

As far as I know, this is by far the oldest and most long lasting single culture on the face of this earth.   

Therefore, it is important to learn more about it. 

And not just for me, but also for as many other people as possible.   

In other words, the Jomon Culture was a 10,000 years long reign of PEACE, in this part of the world.   

I mean think about it for a moment, they had; Free food, free housing, free "witch doctors" to chant over the ill, and free child care. 

Of course, they had to work the land very hard, to get it all and as a result I'm sure that there was the occasional homicide here and there, for various reasons, but there were NO STANDING ARMIES, constantly training to wage war 365/24/7.   

It was a completely different MENTALITY from that which this sorry-ass world has today.    

Back to Jomon.

縄文人のを学びましょう。

********************************

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チャゲアスでニフニフ動画デビュー

ニフニフ動画の存在を知り、早速挑戦してみました♪

先月、札幌の厚生年金会館でCHAGE and ASKAのコンサートを
見てきたばかりなので、まだ余韻がイッパイ残っていて
コンサートが終わった後、2回もASKAの夢を見ました♪

もう、CHAGE and ASKAとASKAソロは、語らせたら止まらないくらい
Natukiの大好きなアーティストです。

で、ニフニフ動画の記念すべき?初投稿は、当然われらの
愛すべき“CHAGE and ASKA”しかない!と
いうことでお二人の懐かしい動画をセレクトしました。

Chageandaska

私は、この頃の二人の活動や曲は、ほとんど知らなくて
シングルリリースしてヒットした曲しか知らないんですよね。

当時の曲も、すごく良いのですが、どちらかというと
自分がファンになった頃の曲調が好きなので
25周年記念に発売された、CD全集は買ったので
CDはあるのですが、やはり聞きたくなるのは
もっと後の楽曲で、大ファンのわりには、抜けていますね(; ̄ー ̄A アセアセ・・・

CHAGE and ASKAは、コンサートのたびに
全身全霊で歌うので、そのうち口コミで
チャゲアスはすごい!っていうことが広がり
コンサートチケットが入手困難になってきたと聞いてます。

私は、「SAY YES」がブレイクする前からのファンなので
かなり昔からのファンなのですが、当時から一般販売では
チケットは完売で取れなくて、即効ファンクラブに入会しました。

今は、その頃よりは、少しチケットが入手しやすく
なっているかもしれませんが、ファンクラブの優先販売は
やはり欠かせないですね~。

また、CHAGE and ASKAの曲は、ご紹介したいと思います。

『歌いつづける』 Song by CHAGE and ASKA

********************************

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DOUBLE Music DOUBLE

アーティスト:CHAGE and ASKA
販売元:ユニバーサル・シグマ
発売日:2007/01/24
Amazon.co.jpで詳細を確認する

DVD CHAGE and ASKA CONCERT TOUR 2007 DOUBLE

販売元:ユニバーサル シグマ
発売日:2007/08/29
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|

2007 June 25 Monday.

Another beautiful day in Hokkaido. 

My first gig of the day didn't start until 13:00.  It was at the  神楽公民館で英会話を楽しむ会 a mere 10 minutes walk from my classroom, if I walk slowly.   

Again today, I talked about the ridiculous invoice とんでもない請求書 that Charles Hamel and family had received after spending only 6 hours in a hospital emergency room ER in Houston Texas, for the sole purpose of passing kidney stones.   

I told the class that I had received an email and also looked at his blog called HOKKAIDO BOUND where the details of the hospital invoice are posted.   

All in all, the bill was for $12,559!!!   

Converted into Japanese Yen using the currency converter at  http://www.ratesfx.com/   that comes out to 1,553,950 yen!!!!   

Remember, Charlie didn't even stay one overnight at the hospital. 

He went back home after only 6 hours and his loving Japanese wife took care of him for the next 3 days at the family home, until the kidney stones finally passed out of his body.   

Again, everyone in the class just couldn't believe what I was telling them. 

I can't believe it either because it is so phuckin' ridiculous.   

A person could buy a new economy car for that price!   

What indeed is a civilized society, anyway?   

I know what one is because I have lived here in Hokkaido for more than 17 years.   

This place is ultra-modern, civilized and close to nature.   

What else could a person want?   

The neon lights of a big city?   

You can get all of that in Sapporo, and even in downtown Asahikawa as well.   

Hokkaido Has IT ALL.   

I am a happy camper who has no plans EVER, to live anywhere else. 

Take a trip and visit other places?   

Sure, why not.   

I will learn something from that quest.   

But it is always good to come back HOME to my own private Hokkaido.   

Underground like a wild potato.   

Anyway, after that class was finished at about 14:40, I hurried back to my classroom for lessons from 15:00 until 20:00.   

When that was all out of the way, I got onto the World Wide Web to see what else I could learn about playing the vertical flute (recorder).   

During my information quest, I stumbled upon a blast from the past that reminded me of a song called RUBY TUESDAY performed by the ROLLING STONES in 1967. 

Brian Jones plays a larger wooden recorder in this video, and the sound is both nostalgic and refreshing. 

To see the music video, click here.   

Time to practice the flute some more. 

I guess I had better close the windows for now.

********************************

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2007 June 18 Monday.

My first gig of today was a 90 minute "class" at the 神楽公民館で英会話を楽しむ会。

Today, I brought along three new plastic vertical flutes with me, that I had just purchased at the Kagura Daiso at about 13:00 yesterday afternoon.   

Three colors;  Pink, Yellow, Blue.   

I picked up the blue one and played a simple major scale and mentioned how I have been enjoying playing the flute either at home, or down by the riverside.   

I encouraged anyone in the group who so desired, to take a blow on one of the flutes and play a simple song or two.   

Only one person, accepted my invitation, although I am sure that most of the members of this group can play a scale or two.   

My next topic of the day, was Medical Health Insurance issues with a focus on the different systems used in Japan and the USA.   

I specifically brought up the situation of Charles Hamel and Family, and asked the members of the group;  "How much do you think it cost him to go to the hospital for 3 days and pass kidney stones."   

Most people came up with an estimate of $500 or $600  dollars, to be paid by the patient.   

When I wrote the number $4,100 on the blackboard, everybody's jaw dropped to their knees, and they had a totally blank look on their faces.   Yeah, in a nutshell; they couldn't phuckin' believe it.   

I could, but then again,...    

I lived in the USA for about 33 years.   

I know what it's like to live there as a hard working middle class kind of guy.   

Because the USA has no Universal Health Care Plan for all of its Citizens, regardless of income level, a person who suddenly finds themselves unemployed for any reason, may suddenly have no more health insurance.   

That's the real bottom line.   

One thoughtful member of our group asked me the probing question;  "What happens if an uninsured person gets sick?"    

I looked at her straight in the eyes, smiled in an evil sort of way and answered;  "They must either heal themselves, or die."  

Everyone looked shocked.   

Another person made the comment that roughly translates into;   "What a heartless society."    

You can say that again my friend.   

I've been there and seen that.   

I choose a different world, a CIVILIZED WORLD, where   WA   和 is the name of the game.    

After that gig was finished at 14:30, I walked back to my classroom for straight lessons from 15:00 until 20:00. 

When all of my lessons were finished for the day, I sat down to check my email, and several other websites including HOKKAIDO BOUND.   

What I saw in the blog for this very same day, Monday June 18 TEXAS TIME was an update on the real COST of a SCREWBALL health care system that always puts the  BEAN COUNTERS  first.   

If you have a huge appetite for bullshit, click here to see the gory details.    

Xrist!    JeeeeezUS!   

How much does it take!!!   to get out of this place?   

Whatever it takes to get off the ground, and start flying, pay it forward and make your move NOW.   

I can't phuckin' believe it.   

Life DOES NOT suck. 

Living in a house of cards is what sucks.   

And so does an old vacuum cleaner that doesn't suck anymore.   

Useless things MUST be thrown away.   

Useful TOOLS must be retained, and carried with oneself at all times.   

Certain knowledge, and a vertical flute are an easy,....     and enjoyable way to get started.      

A vision quest can happen at anytime and anywhere, but only if you can visualize nature as you have already observed it,....   

COUNTLESS TIMES BEFORE.

********************************

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2007 June 16 Saturday.

Are you all ready for a HORROR STORY?   

A scary story which is absolutely true?   

Here's how it goes,......   

About one year ago, I received a long distance telephone call from a man in Houston Texas by the name of Charles Hamel.   

Actually, I wasn't at home when he called me, so he left a message on my answering machine 留守番電話.   

In his message he said that he and his family were seriously considering moving to Hokkaido, on a more or less permanent basis, and that he would like to ask me some questions about life in Hokkaido as an American, married to a Japanese.   

He told me his email address and we have been in touch ever since.   

The reason he called me is because he had found this website on the internet while looking for information about Asahikawa and Hokkaido.   

Since that time he has started several websites of his own, including the one called HOKKAIDO BOUND which you can see by clicking here.   

This website has been very useful for me in keeping track of his and his family's trials and tribulations, as they do what they need to do, to make the big move from TEXAS to HOKKAIDO. 

In his latest blog dated June 12, he tells about an expensive trip to the hospital.   

As he tells it, he woke up one morning in excruciating pain in his lower abdomen and back. 

His car is at the dealership for repairs, so he took an ambulance to the hospital.   

When he arrived there, the doctors told him he had kidney stones.   

So, he remained in the hospital for three days to let the kidney stones pass out of his body.   

When he checked out of the hospital three days later, he got a bill for a whopping $4,100  (about ¥492,000).   

This exorbitant price does not even include the ambulance 救急車 ride to the hospital!   

MY GOD!   

Please forgive me for passing gall stones!   

Unlike Japan, the USA does not have a universal health care plan that covers all of its citizens, regardless of income level.   

In Japan, there are several systems that everyone must pay into according to their previous year's income.   

Basically, it's a sliding scale tax.   

Right now, Ikuko and I must pay about 17,000 yen per month, every month, and we do.   

The plan pays for 70% of the medical costs, and the patient pays the other 30%.   

That's the basics.   

I very rarely go to a hospital, but Ikuko does from time to time.   

On those rare occasions when she has to pay more than 5,000 yen or so, she will complain that it was expensive.   

Babe, you don't know HOW EXPENSIVE medical care can become when, the needs of the patients are mostly the last thing on the minds of the Hospital Administrators.   

Make a profit, is the bottom line for the BEAN COUNTERS.   

Count away my friends, there is no limit on numbers. 

Especially if it is merely paper money or blips on a computer screen in the accounting office.   

Count yourselves to death, office slaves.   

The chain around your neck is now that  1,000 dollar silk necktie you just bought at that glitzy mall.   

A necktie chain that cost the maker in CHINA about 2 dollars to produce.   

HA!   SUCKERS!    Get a real life.   

Move out of the city.   

Get back to your roots as a biological vehicle, with complete freedom of thought and complete freedom of movement.   

Financial Independence DOES NOT EQUAL Financial Freedom.   

Financial Independence REALLY MEANS Financial INTERdependence.   

It's a HOUSE OF CARDS, credit cards.   

DON'T USE THEM.    Pay it forward instead.   

Come on Charles and Family, you are almost ready to fly.   

Do it now.   (Don't forget to click on the top frame for one more look at your new home.  Remember?)

********************************

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2007 March 21 Wednesday.

Today is the Vernal Equinox. 

Or rather, the Spring Equinox in more modern terms. 

春分の日 is also national holiday in Japan, and the wife thing and I took advantage of the occasion by going for a drive towards Biei and Kami Furano.   

We were well rewarded. 

The air we could breathe in out there in the fresh mountain wind, was delicious.   

One thing that I don't like about living in a city, any city, is that the air just ain't right.   

Even if you move just 10 or 20 kilometers away from a city center, you will notice that the air smells completely different.   

I think you all know what I am talking about.   

It just tastes and smells better in the great outdoors.   

It's still a bit cold however, so dress up warmly. 

By the way, the photo that you can see in today's blog was taken today, during our 2 hour  drive. 

The photo that you can see in yesterday's blog, was also taken today.    

Time slips, are easy.

********************************

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一言多いって!

私が教室の他で働いている販売系の職場に
一昨年、入ってきた女性がいる。

年齢は、四捨五入すれば50歳の女性。

若く見えるし明るくてハキハキした物言いで
決して印象は悪くない。

職種からいって、仕事中始終接触のある人と
それほど接触がない人がいて
仮のその人をTさんとすると、Tさんは後者の方だった。

職場は制服着用なので衣室で一緒になることがある。

だから自然と話をすることになるのだけど、Tさんと
話をすると、なぜかいつもスッキリこない
不愉快な気分になった。

最初の頃は、なんでかな?と思っていたんだけど
だんだん、Tさんは会話の中で、相手を不快にさせるような
(あえて言わなくてもいい)個人の感想だったり
意見を必ず付加えることに気がついた。

よく一言多いという言葉を聞くけど
いざそういう人に出会ってみると
本当に嫌なものだ。

適当に相槌をうつのではなく、それだけ
人の話をちゃんと聞いているとも言えるが
結果はどうだろう?

軽く立ち話して、じゃぁ、また~みたいな
会話って、日常誰にでもあると思うけど
そんな話でさえ、したばっかりに気分が
悪くなるんだから、もうTさんとは
話をしたくないと思うようになっていた。

でも状況が一変し、今年からTさんは、私が仕事で
一番接触する職種に変わることになってしまった。

去年、超わがままで自己中なオンナが退職して
忙しいながらも、和やかな雰囲気になっていたのに…。

昨日、病欠の人が2名も出たので
私がフォローで入ったところ、Tさんの話題になった。

やはり毎日働いている人は、一言多いことに気づいていて
すでに何度もイライラしていると言う。

仕事も注意力散漫で教えてもメモをとらずに
何度も間違え、憶えられないらしい。

これから、繁忙期を迎えるにあたって
憂鬱になってきた。

Tさん達が接客で忙しいと、私がフォローに
入らなくてはならない。

あまりいくつものことが出来ない人だと
すぐにSOSが入るため
今度は、私の仕事が出来なくて
結局、残業する羽目になってしまう。

取り越し苦労だといいんだけど
私がTさんのフォローで、出来なくなった仕事を
残業して片付けようとしている時、何事もなかったように
颯爽と定時に帰っていく、Tさんの姿が目に浮かぶようだ。

こりゃー、私もストレスたまりますわぁ(ノ_-。)

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ふわもこは癒しの究極です

Bingo8_1

パンダ育児日記 Book パンダ育児日記

販売元:二見書房
Amazon.co.jpで詳細を確認する

私は、パンダとクマが大好きです。

あのもっこりとした姿、パンダやクマの姿を

見ると可愛らしさにクラクラきます(笑)

とは、いってもまだ、実物のパンダは見たことがないんです。

いつか、本物のパンダを見てみたいと思っています。

最近、二見書房から「パンダ育児日記」なるものが

販売されたようで、今一番欲しい1冊なのです!

クマはわが町自慢の旭山動物園で、ホッキョクグマ館があるので

その愛らしい姿をじっくりと見ることができます。

そして、うちには大きな白いクマのぬいぐるみがいます♪

去年の夏に温泉ホテルのビンゴゲームで、当てたクマです。

ゲームの商品の液晶テレビやDVDレコーダーに惹かれて

ゲームに参加しました。

たくさんある、景品の中にいた大きな白クマを見て

一目ぼれしました♪

まさか…あの子も景品?

でも、きっとすぐ誰かが持っていくなぁ…

置く場所がないって、ダメだって言われるなぁ…など考えていました。

私のビンゴ運は、まぁまぁで一昨年は、無料で配布された

ビンゴカードでDVDプレーヤーを当てたことがありました。

だから、今回もきっと何か当たるぞぉ~との期待のもと

ビンゴカードを購入しました。

「もしあの子もらえたら連れて帰っていい?」と聞くと

OKというじゃなですか~。すっかりやる気満々でした。

いざゲームが始まると、次々とビンゴになる人が出て

今回は、パッとしないなぁ~なんて思っていました。

なぜか皆、そこのホテル(温泉)の菓子折りばかり

持っていきます。

そして、ようやく私もビンゴに…

誰もクマを持っていかないので、なんだ飾りなのか~と

思いながらも、念のため商品引渡しのおねーさんに

「この白クマは景品じゃないんですよね?」と聞くと

「いいえ、景品ですよ。」というじゃないですか!

思わずガッツポーズをしてしまいそうな気持ちを抑え

涼しい顔でクマを受取った、その時

子供の声で、「あ~あぁ」と聞こえてきました。

やっぱり、子供は狙っていたんですね。

はははっ…ナツキおばしゃんは、立派な大人だけどクマが

大~好きなんだよ!:*:・( ̄∀ ̄)・:*:

その日から、子供のいない私には

白いクマがわが子になりました♪

パンダで、もしこの子のようにもっこりとした

姿を持つぬいぐるみがいたら…

もしかすると買ってしまうかもしれません。

ちなみに、この白クマ

名前を考えていると…

スノーマン先生が「BINGO」がいいと言うのです。

ビンゴゲームで当たったからBINGO…

かなり単純で浅はかな名前のような気がしましたが

BINGOになりました^_^;

最初、子供さんが可愛がってくれそうなので

教室にいつも座らせておこうと思っていましたが

白いので、すぐに汚れてしまうと思い直し

お披露目はしていません。

クマといい、パンダといい

あのもっこりとしたぽわぽわ~んとしたシルエットは

癒しの究極だと思っています。

実際は、見た目の可愛らしさとは違う獰猛な面も

あるようですが、いつも眺めていたい可愛らしさは最高です!

********************************

☆人気ブログランキング☆
明日もほんわか~と更新します。

応援のクリックお願いします。励みに頑張ります♪

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