2008 December 24 Wednesday.

2007dec24blog

T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. 

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. 
In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there. 

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. 

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. 

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too. 

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound. 

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night." 

Poem by Clement Clarke Moore

Reading Voice  by Norman Delaney       
Piano Music  by Liz Story

CLICK HERE to LISTEN      

Reading Voice recorded on 2006 December 24 

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2008 October 27 Monday thru October 31 Friday.

Ghoul_slidingdoor

The final countdown into the month of November. 

As such, the rain is getting colder, the wind is getting stronger, and the snow is beginning to fall onto the streets of this city.

November is a season between seasons.   

Not enough snow at the ski grounds yet to have any fun, but just enough snow on the streets to make driving dangerous.

The key word for winter driving is GO SLOW.   

It is easy to drive fast in the snow, but it is not possible to stop in time, to avoid a fender bender.

I got my tires changed from summer to winter on Thursday. 

I let my friendly TOYOTA dealer in SueHiro 末広 take care of that for me.

I have neither the tools nor the time to do it myself.   

I leave it up to the experts, to get the job done right.

Not only did they change the tires, and store them at their location, they did a full chassis and engine inspection including oil change, plus a car wash both inside and out.

The only thing they don't do, is windows, from the inside.

I can't complain.  I'll do it myself someday, when I finally get around to doing it.

As you already may well know, October 31 of every year, is known as HALLOWEEN among urban dwellers. 

The origins of Halloween are pretty much an open secret, but if you haven't thought  about it for a long time, you might enjoy reading my essay while listening to a PODCAST of me, reading out loud the very same essay.

When I was a kid, I loved Halloween more than Christmas.

Why was that?  Because there is FREE CANDY!!!

If you are an adult and reading this BLOG, your candy may be different from the sugar laden crap that most young kids like.

Your favorite CANDY might BEER or Japanese Rice Wine.   

Or, whatever.If it tastes good, eat it.   

If it smells good, drink it.   

If it feels RIGHT, do it.   

Are all slogans from the not too distant past, but it is ALWAYS TRUE, because that's just the way IT IS.

See ya again soon, on the POWDER SNOW side of the HILL.   

The Crystal Hill.

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2008 February 15 Friday thru February 17 Sunday.

After the huge dump of pure white powder snow, taking place over the past three days or so, the temperatures are getting above freezing during the daytime.   

As a result, the black asphalt of the streets is showing through, from under the ice and snow.   

This does not mean that spring is just around the corner, but it does mean that IT is getting closer every day.   

On Saturday morning at 10:30, I had a private lesson with a little lady that I haven't seen in about 4 or 5 years.   

When she and her mother first came to my classroom,  this little girl was still in kindergarten.   

Even at that time, I was very impressed with her abundant enthusiasm for learning new things.   

The only problem we had at that time, was that she was much more interested in the many decorations that are on all of the walls and tables in my classroom, than she was in the actual lesson.   

She could only focus on her English Lesson for a short time.   

However, when I met her again today, I was pleasantly surprised to discover  that she still has that same powerful enthusiasm AND she now has the ability to concentrate 100% upon her English Lesson.   

This is the kind of student that every teacher dreams about having.   

A student who will listen to each and every word, and follow along with the lesson plan, every step of the way.   

After about 60 minutes, I called an end to our scheduled 50 minutes lesson, and told the mother that her daughter's English Language ability in all of the 4 BASIC skills, Listening, Speaking, Reading, Writing, has improved dramatically since the last time, we had a lesson together.    

Her mother replied that she was very happy to hear that.   

I then asked if she had been studying English at home by herself and/or going to some other classrooms.   

Her mother replied; "Both.   

We have been using the Disney English Learning Materials, and we also went to one of the Big Name English Conversations Schools that has classrooms throughout Japan.   

Or, HAD classrooms throughout All of Japan, is what I should say.   

Yeah, there IT IS again.   

When you have seen the rest, you can always come back to the best.   

That was confirmed to me, AGAIN TODAY,  when the mother asked me if she and her daughter could come to my classroom EVERY WEEK for the foreseeable future.   

Yes Please!   

I would be honored to have the privilege of helping your very able daughter, to master the basics of English.      

BINGO!   Right down the middle, STRIKE.   

Not only am I looking forward to guiding this enthusiastic young lady, who will become a 4th Year Elementary School Student in April of this year, but also this gig is a private lesson.   

Yeah, that's right.   

I work almost full time on the week days, and part time on the weekends.   

I seldom have to leave my classroom.   

The best students in Asahikawa, come to my place.   

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!      

Thank YOU SO MUCH!!!!      

From the RAINBOW OF MY HEART.   

Broadcasting from Hokkaido.   

SNOW RADIO HOKKAIDO 147.

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

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2007 December 24 Monday.

2007dec24blog_6

T'was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. 

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care. 

In hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there. 

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads; And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled down for a long winter's nap, When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. 

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below, When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer, With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. 

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name; "Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall! Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!

" As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky, So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too. 

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot; A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack. His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow; The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath; He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself; A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread; He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk, And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose; He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night." 

Poem by Clement Clarke Moore

Reading Voice  by Norman Delaney

Piano Music  by Liz Story

CLICK HERE to LISTEN       

Reading Voice recorded on 2006 December 24

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

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2007 September 19 Wednesday.

2007sep20broadcastingtower_01

Broadcasting From Hokkaido Japan.    Hokkaido 147.      Snow Radio.       Snow TV.       NOW ON AIR...   

Tune in anytime.

Yeah, here I am again, staying indoors on a rainy day.   

Not cold, but dark and cloudy.   

As usual, I have straight classes from 15:00 until 20:00, but during the other hours of the day, I can do as I please.   Please let me read more of the ShoRinJi KemPo Fukudoku Hon.   

So, I did.   

Again and again as I read this book, I reconfirm more and more of how I think about myself and the world around me.   Human Potential is AWESOME.   

But you must become 100% Certain, that you can depend upon yourself.   

NOT others.  YOU yourself.   

If you can take care of yourself, you most certainly can take care of other people, as well.   

Self Reliance.   

Don't wait for someday to come, make it happen NOW.

One of the things that I read again today, is how the human body, and indeed any living body, be it plant or animal, is among many other things, a bio-chemical, electro-magnetic, TRANSMITTER and RECEIVER  unit.   

A water balloon of chemicals, if you will.

 

I am not making this stuff up off of the top of my head.   

Countless numbers of people have written about it.   

This knowledge is everywhere, and all around you, at all times.   

There are no hidden mysteries when it comes to COSMIC LAW.   

Only ignorance of, the many complicated and extraordinarily beautiful variations, which ride upon the BASIC LAW.   

Learn IT and learn to LIVE with IT.   

Go with the flow, or fight an un-winnable battle forever more.   

It is your choice, and mine as well.

During my reading and internet research related activities, I stumbled upon one video about ZEN BUDDHISM that said something like; The Mind Must Be Clear.  The Mind Must Be Empty.   The Mind Must Be Free of INTENTIONS.   

Say What???   

A mind with no intentions, has no PATH upon which to walk.   

No intentions?   NONSENSE.   

Have Good Intentions at all times, and you will always be in paradise.   

Even if IT is only the lonely gazing upon the DASHBOARD LIGHTS. 

A Cheeseburger in Paradise, is also a possible option.   

Savor your Flavor.   

It IS happening NOW.   

And YOU are in control of YOURSELF.      

That is the TRUE meaning of FREEDOM. 

Liberty and Justice for ALL.

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

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Snow Radio 1/27のブログに追加しました

こんばんは。 ナツキでございます(*^^)v

スノーマン先生の1/27のブログに
音声がつきました。

是非、ブログの文章を見ながら
音声も聞いてみて下さい!(^^)!
http://snowmanjapan.cocolog-nifty.com/amejapa/2007/01/2007_january_27.html

Snow Radioを聞くには
追加した日のブログの文章の一番下に
CLICK HERE to LISTEN と書いてある部分があるので
そこをクリックするか

下にある、URLをクリックして下さいね。
「Snow Radio」にリンクします。

SNOW RADIO

Check it Out!

 ↓  ↓  ↓  

Snow Radio 2007 January 27 Saturday.

引き続き、スノーマン先生の英文ブログを
よろしくお願いいたしますm(__)m

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

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明日もほんわか~と更新します。

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Snow Radio 1/29のブログに追加しました

こんにちは。 ナツキです☆彡

スノーマン先生の1/29のブログに
音声がつきました。

よろしければ、ブログの文章を見ながら
一緒に音声も聞いてみて下さい!(^^)!
http://snowmanjapan.cocolog-nifty.com/amejapa/2007/01/2007_january_29.html

Snow Radioを聞くには
追加した日のブログの文章の一番下に
CLICK HERE to LISTEN と書いてある部分があるので
そちらをクリックするか

下にある、URLをクリックして下さいね。
「Snow Radio」にリンクします。

SNOW RADIO

Check it Out!

 ↓  ↓  ↓  

Snow Radio 2007 January 29 Monday.

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

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2007 January 29 Monday.

My first gig of the day started off at 13:00 with the 神楽公民館で英会話を楽しむ会.   

Today, almost everyone showed up for the class which was good. 

However, I found out that the total number of members in the group had dropped from 14 to 8 people. 

This is nothing to be alarmed about, it is simply a common wave pattern of this type of community circle, that I am a part of.   

When there were 14 or more members in the group, I voluntarily extended the class time from 60 minutes to 90 minutes, with no demand for any extra pay. 

Now that the number of members is back down to 8 people, 60 minutes may be enough time for everyone to say what they want to say. 

However, I will leave the class time at 90 minutes so that nobody will ever feel rushed during their presentations. 

This particular class is very unstructured in the sense that I do not actually teach a lesson, centered around a certain topic of conversation, or a certain point of English grammar. 

The purpose of this class is to allow the students themselves, to have complete freedom in talking about whatever it is that they want to talk about. 

If they aren't sure about a certain vocabulary item or a certain phrase or common expression, I will answer their questions and guide them towards a more easily understandable way of expressing themselves. 

For those students of English who want to attend a lecture where the teacher does all of the talking, this is not the class for you. 

I can certainly do it that way if necessary, but this class has been going on for more than ten years, and some of the original members are still with the group. 

I feel that we have reached a higher level of communication throughout the years, and it would be a shame, NO,  a waste, to take it back down to the "false beginner level."   

There are many other places that offer that kind of passive lesson style. 

This group is unique in that every member actively prepares a topic of conversation on their own before class, and then tell everyone about it and discuss it with the other members of the group. 

I act mostly as a moderator, although I do make my own presentations from time to time. 

This is the real deal, folks.   

Actively using Spoken English as a TOOL for real communication.   

It doesn't get any better than this.  Sometimes the students don't have enough time to actually prepare for the class beforehand, and they have to talk about something, off of the top of their heads (impromptu). 

This is also a valuable language skill, in and of itself.   

Not only that, if any of the members of this Kagura Kominkan English Circle are totally out of ideas about what to talk about on any given day, you'all  can always read this blog anytime you choose. 

It might stimulate your thinking enough to come up with some type of, off-the-wall and unexpected topic of discussion. 

No really, I am happy to listen to anything ya'll wanna talk about,....   so,....   

Please use this blog.   

I write it for all of you. 

Even for the people who read it that I have never met.   

This exact same message is clearly written in BIG RED LETTERS at the top of this page.   

Please look again, just to make sure for yourself.   

Yeah, it's THE REAL DEAL.

★★Snow Radio(ブログポッドキャスト)★★

  CLICK HERE to LISTEN

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

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2006 November 18 Saturday.

I didn't have any classes until 13:30, so I sat around reading various materials.   I sit around a lot these days.  I need more exercise.   

I don't really have time today, to take a walk.   Well, that's not quite true.  I do have the time.  I'm up and awake.  I could change my clothes, dress up real warm, and set foot outside my door.  I do in fact have the time. 

Maybe I should,.......   Naaaaaaaaah!  Maybe tomorrow.

Today, I'm a blogger in a foxhole.   I need to keep my head down, and my spirits up.   I need to write.  Write whatever, for whomever, for whatever reason in order to,  THINK.   

  But seriously folks, it is getting coooooooooold outside these days.   Ya need to think twice, before you take a hike.   Dress appropriately, or feel the harsh air of late autumn in Hokkaido. 

Mother nature doesn't screw around.   She dishes it out, and you take it.  The best way that you can.   Fortunately, I live in a very civilized society here in Asahikawa, and there are very very few truly homeless people in this city.   

There are about 2 or 3 people I have observed from time to time, who live under the Chubetsu Bridge, not far from my classroom.   This type of thing was much more common in 1945, not just in Asahikawa, but all over Japan as it was trying to figure out how to make sense of the world, from the nuclear fallout and firebombed neighborhoods, laying in ashes for miles and miles.   Homeless. 

In 1945, you would be lucky to find a bridge to sleep under.   The Asahikawa of 2006 is a much more comfortable place to live than it was just 60 some years ago.   Hmmmmm,..... let's see, that was about 10 years before I was born in a small city in Washington State.   

How did I end up here?    Simple, I made the choice.   I have long wanted to live in Hokkaido, and now I do.   Since about 16 years ago.   How do I like it?   I LOVE IT!!!!!   Thanx for asking.   

CLICK HERE to LISTEN

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2006 November 16 Thursday.

A very cold day with light and fluffy snow falling softly from the sky.  I didn't have to go anywhere today.  The students will be coming to my classroom, starting at 15:00 with the 3 young ladies who attend Kagura Elementary School.   

Again today, they kept telling me how much they wanted to have a small Xmas Party during their last class before winter vacation, which will happen on December 21.

So, I rewarded their persistence with the promise that we would have a special little Xmas Party, just for them, on that day from 15:00 until 15:50.  We decided to have a small gift exchange, along with some drinks and snacks.   

Also a small Xmas Tree and some extra illumination in the room were deemed to be in good order.   I too am looking forward to this little event, but I know that the next group of students who come at 16:00, will see what is going on, and will want to do the same thing too.

  I must think about how to handle this situation in the best possible manner, so that nobody feels like they have been left out.   Maybe I should have a small Xmas Party for almost every children's class during the final week before winter vacation starts. 

Hey, that might be a very good idea.   Everything starts with an idea, but what will happen next, is anybody's guess.   One thing I know for sure, I won't be giving the children any Coca Cola to drink during the party.  It's not good for them.

CLICK HERE to LISTEN

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