silver lining

every cloud has a silver lining.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Why Debate?

*Debating is fun.

*Debating is a sport of the mind and voice.

*Debating is controlled by you.

*Debating creates the skills you need for success.

*Debate can give you the power to change things.

*Debating is not just for geeks or nerds.

(From The Code of the Debater at Debate Central)

I cited these words because I could say the same thing for Project Work class in the English school I go every weekend.

Anyway, this site has everything about debating, a rich source of infomation!
Japanese version is here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Notice (again)

I spend too much time on this blog, so I decided again not to write something everyday. It seems I can't stop it without saying so.

I tend to reduce my stress by reading and writing when I'm too stressful, but I know I have much more important things to do now.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Class Reunion at Porupoya

Yesterday after taking TOEIC test, I went back home and joined in a Gotemba Nishi junior high school reunion party at Porupoya. I expected to have around 10 members of volleyball club at that time, but much more, over 30 members including a teacher were there! Wow!

It has been 12 years since we guraduated from school and we've never had such a big reunion party until now. Long time no see! I wonder why I haven't known this, but almost all members live in Gotemba now. Half of them has married. Some have changed much, some are as they were and it made me laugh.

Every face took me back to those days. Down memory lane!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Farewell Party at Takara-tei

Yesterday after work, I joined in a farewell party for colleagues who will quit in August at a Chinese restaurant, Takara-tei. This time five female members including me are going to leave the Gotemba factory. Even though my company is a foreign affiliated company which is often said to have many employee movements, it's not common that 5 workmates quit almost at the same time. Every person has every personal matter, but for person who remain it seems hard to lose so many colleagues at once, as I wrote a Carol King's lyrics, "Doesn't anybody stay in one place any more?".

As a matter of fact, I worked for Takara-tei as a cook and waitress before I joined the company. There are few friends I know of, and I talked with them for the first time in two years. Time flies!

These days I have a lot of parties. Today also I'm going to join a junior high school class reunion party. I have to lose my spare tire...

Friday, August 18, 2006


I worked from 7 am to 7 pm yesterday.
Today also I have to go to the office in the early morning.
Now I teach the work to my successor during the day.

It's hard, but it's not bad to teach someone something new.
Because it tests my ability to explain easily and clearly, and above all, I can quit this job in the end!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Witty remarks 14

*Hope for the best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We're un-rehearsed. (Mel Brooks)

*If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths rather than travel the worn paths of accepted success. (John D. Rockefeller)

*Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm. (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

*Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence. (Sholem Asch)

*It is not how much we do, but how much love we put in the doing. (Mother Teresa)

*The most exciting happiness is the happiness generated by forces beyond your control. (Ogden Nash)

*Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run. (Mark Twain)

*Men who wish to know about the world must learn about it in its particular details. (Heraclitus)

*Every man's work, whether it be literature, or music, or pictures, or architecture, or anything else, is always a portrait of himself. (Samuel Butler)

*You never want the one you can afford. (Murphy's law)

*It's better to have a horrible ending than to have horrors without end. (Murphy's law)

*The one time in the day that you lean back and relax is the one time the boss walks through the office. (Murphy's law)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Last Saturday after schoool, I joined a party at a Turkish Restaurant, Üsküdar.

One of the members of last English writing class invited me to join it. Thanks!
Actually, the teacher didn't appear due to his study at guraduate school. Maybe we can have another party with you soon.

Üsküdar is a name of east (Asian) area of Istanbul. Turkish cuisine is know as one of the best cuisines, big 3 with French and Chinese one in the world. We enjoyed Meze, Lavash, Kebab, and so on.

The last train for me is 21:31 at Shinjuku, so I had no time to try that famous chewy Turkish ice cream, Dondurma. Next time I want to try it!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Junior Butterfly

Now the 2006 Festival Puccini takes place in Italy, and a Japanese sequel to "Madam Butterfly" was staged on August 3 and 9.

The Japan Times: Japan sequel to 'Madam Butterfly' takes flight in Italy

"Junior Butterfly" is the first non-Puccini opera ever to be performed at the festival. Its libretto was written by Masahiko Shimada and its music was composed by Shigeaki Saegusa. I wonder why I haven't known it until now.

This is a story of Junior Butterfly, a son of Cio-Cio-san and Pinkerton raised in US. He comes to Japan as a US embassy staff just before World War II. He falls in love with Naomi and get married with a son. And the war breaks out. Their love ends in tragedy when Naomi dies in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

This opera was peformed on August 9! It must be played in Japan again, and I do want to watch it at that time.

Today is Japanese anniversary of the end of World War II.

Links in Japanese:

Monday, August 14, 2006

Current Affairs 3

1. British police arrested 24 suspects for smuggling explosives onto airplanes. They attempted to blow up those jets in mid-air between Britain and the United States. Many of the suspects are in their 20s and mostly Muslim men living in London. They disguised liquid explosives as drinks which is easy to explode in compressed air like inside of aircrafts. US Homeland Security Secretary said this operation was suggestive of an al Qaeda plot. The US government raised its terror alert level to the highest "Five" for flights from Britain to the US for the first time. The teacher said the militant Islam must give younger a brainwash. I took this news and most of the classmates seemed to choose this topic. First come, first served!

2. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited to Mongolia for talks with Mongolian Prime Minister to support developing energy resources there and call for cooperation in dealing with North Korea. Mr. Koizumi also visited to a war memorial in the suburbs of Ulan Bator for some 1,600 Japanese who died during Soviet internment after the end of World War II. This time he did nothing special like riding a camel in the Jordanian desert just weeks ago and visiting Elvis Presley's mansion in Memphis in June.

3. Supermarket giant Aeon Co. (not that English School AEON!) will start charging customers 5 to 10 yen per plastic shopping bag this year to become the first major retailer to implement the fee system. A number of smaller supermarket chains are already charging shoppers for the plastic bags, but Aeon's introduction will be the first by such a large company. Ito-Yokado Co. is planning its own fee system for the bags. The sad thing is that many customers pay those fees because it's cheap. BYOB (not beer, but bags)!

4. The United Stats plans to give South Korea wartime operational control over Korean troops within three years. Korean President Roh Moo hyun said that Korea can withdraw wartime control of its troops from the U.S. any time, and this remarks provoked fierce criticism against Mr. Roh. He is often said undiplomatic. He needs a media trainer, perhaps.

We read the article from The Guardian; "Portugal's men taken to task". It says that Portuguese, Greek and Spanish men are the top of the household layabouts’ ranking. The survey was conducted only in European countries. If it was done around the world, Japanese men are the top without doubt! I have to admit that my dad never lift a finger at home. I'm afraid he doesn't know even how to make a coffee.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

What a Big Hailstone!

Yesterday there were big thunderstorms and lightenings in Tokyo arond 3 pm. At that time I was in a coffee shop, and I couldn't leave there due to that heavy rain. I gave up taking Intensive Input class earlier.

Things seemed to be same in Gotemba. When I arrived home, my mother showed me hailstones which fell to the garden yesterday evening. Wow, those are as big as candies!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Going to Okinawan Islands!

On Thursday after work, I visited one of my best friends to see her pet, Sakura, and consider our plan of trip overseas in September. At first Sakura barked at me, but she remembered me and sunuggle to me. I was really happy!

For some reason or other, we decided to go to Okinawan Islands intead of going to Asian countries; Thailand, India or Cambodia. She strongly insisted to go there, so I didn't disagree. Anyway I'll be busy around then with moving to Tokyo and preparing the presentation, so it's better to trip in Japan for me, too.

Well, where shall we go?

Friday, August 11, 2006

♪Loco Roco & Super Mario Bros.♪

I've been wondering what language LocoRoco, one of Sony PSP games, uses in the TV commercial. Its lyrics and music are so "kawaii"!

The title is "LocoRoco's song", and its lyrics go like this;
♪pacchonbo-moinoinoi chakaretapatton pankorakettonto-n♪

Actually, Tsutomu Kouno, LocoRoco Game Director, created LocoRoco language himself and wrote the lyrics in order to keep the same music across the world. You can check the lyrics and music here!

One thing more relating to games. As I was surfing the net, somehow I found "The Super Mario Bros. Audiosound Super-Synthesizer".
Oh, that's it! I guess my generation which played Super Mario Bros. a lot as they were young can enjoy this jukebox without money!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

IHCSA's program

International Hospitality and Conference Service Association (IHCSA) has a program dispatching of personnel to Japanese diplomatic missions overseas.

Wow, it seems a challenging program for me! Who can apply for it?

*People aged between 20 and 26 on the day of application deadline, Oct 16, 2006.

You don't say! My birthday is Oct 12 and I turn in 27! Almost!

Perhaps it says I should do finish university firstly as I planed without hesitation. Maybe...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

To do list in August

I worked from 9:00 am to 9:30 pm yesterday. I felt tired...
In the evening I saw a notice on the bulletin board in front of the canteen that said a new support staff will coming from next Tuesday. Well, that is my sucssessor. Some of my colleagues have already know that I'm going to quit, but the rest members must be surprised it, especially Production Engineers of TB line.

I've got a lot of things to do these days. Let me list up those tasks to prioritize them.

*Input manual
I have to make a input manual to conlude the handover smoothly. But these days I work overtime to help the new staff. I'm wondering I could do it in this week.

*Correspondence course studies
These days I tend to neglect my correspondence studies; English writing courses by DHC and Basic System Administrator by TAC. I decided to take Basic Sys-Ad test in October instead of the Eiken test, so I must study for it.

*Essay writing
Now I prepare papers to apply for a university correspondence course, and I leave only an essay. I have to write a book review which must be related to my study in the future.

Of course I have to write a script for our dramatic debate class, now I have only a few idea, though. I must read two more books at least...

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Here's looking at you, kid

It was me who took ASEAN gala news at the Current Affairs class. I'm interested in Taro Aso, not Rice. It seemed that Japanese delegates performed a time travel drama, a parody of the film Casablanca, in which Taro Aso played a role as Humphrey Bogart, wearing a hat and a trench coat, saved the earh from epidemic. HOW???

I found a parody of this silly drama. It made me really laugh!

Akapy: What do you think about Tomita's memorandum?
Taro: That's so long ago I don't remember.
Akapy: Will you go and worship at the Yasukuni shrine?
Taro: I never make plans that far ahead.

Taro: (To Rice) Here's looking at you, kid.
I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The second one is a kind of black humor...

I'm wondering Mr. Aso is a talentd person or just a shame to perform such a drama. This reminds me a silly Japanese ardent fan of Elvis.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Current Affairs 2

1. A MSDF petty officer was accused of copying and keeping classified documents and repeatedly travelling to China to see a woman at a karaoke bar where another woman involved in a scandal over a Japanese diplomat commiting suicide once worked. Wow, it's like James Bond or Richard Sorge! It' a sign of World War 3? ←this is what the teacher said.

2. Lawson Inc. opened a new store, targeting older customers, in Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture, where people aged 65 or above make up more than one-third of the population. It has products such as hair dye and food for diabetics, which are not usually carried at convenience stores. I heard "Natural Lawson" for the first time. I've never found it, at least in Gotemba (of course not!).

3. JAL and ANA announced the status of booking during Obon vacation. About 307,000 people booked international flights among which routes for China and Southeast Asia are popular. About 3,035,000 people booked domestic lines which is same as last year. The teacher said that many British people go to Spain for their summer vacation looling for the sun!

4. Koki Kameda won WBA tiltle against Venezuelan Juan Landaeta in controversial decision. To all eyes but the judges' Landaeta dominated the fight, but it was Kameda who became a world champion. I'm not interested in it because it's ridiculous. It's just a show, not a sport. I heard that TBS hired judges. I'm sure it's a fix. Don't believe the media hype just for high ratings.

5. At the gala of ASEAN Regional Forum in Kual Lumpur, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice played piano, 2 pieces of Brahms sonata, and Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso performed a parody drama of Casablanca. I'd like to know how it really was with Ultraman and Lobster Baltan.

This time we read the article from TIME; "Oh, That Mike's Open ... When policitians get a better hearing than expected". By the way, why English has a lot of insulting slungs such as imbecile, dickhead, bastard... Japanese doesn't have that kind of slungs so much.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I'm ashamed to say that our dramatic debate team are still struggling to settle the proposition. Eh? You're supposed to be in a period of making a script, right? What have you been doing until now??

I know. We have to make a script at least in August. I know that the main message is also important when we make a drama. But things are more serious than that. In the case of dramatic debate, the proposition decides the range of the debate, what we should say and what we should not say.

You can find a lot of data, but when you really make a script for a debate, you have to make a structure with the supporting evidence of data just for the proposition. No matter how much you prepare data, you can be refuted if they are pointless. You can be said like it is not true, not always true, not necessarily true, not relevant, not significant, or easy to solve.

Once I thought that the subject "we" was good because it made the audience really think about our debate as their own problem. But now I think the good debate is the one in which the affirmative and negative are evenly matched and difficult for the audience to decide which is better.

We have to decide the proposition strictly before making a script. But we have no time...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Current Affairs 1

I'd like to review the Current Affairs class here once in a week.

1. Retail prices of regular gasoline rose above 140 yen per liter. This hike is from Middle East problem and high demands in China and India. What a pein in the neck!

2. Yuko Matsuoka, the Japanese translator of "Harry Potter" is suspected to avoid paying tax. This kind of person is called "tax exile" or ""tax expatriate" (a rich person who has left their own country and gone to live in a place where the taxes are lower).

3. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has taken his former secretary as his new wife after his former spouse died two years ago.

4. The Japanese goverment gave the go-ahead to resumption of importing US beef which has been stopped concerning BSE, the mad cow disease.

5. California is suffering record high of heat wave, and production of milk in California, the number-one dairy producer in the nation, is down.

6. Israel continues air strikes against Hizbollah, a terrorist group in Lebanon. US supports Israel because there are many powerful Jews in America. UN is too weak and America is too strong.

We finished reading the article "Infantile Japan seen redlining cute gauge" on the Japan Times. Somehow the teacher chose the topic related to our dramatic debate class in which we discuss the matter of Japanese subculture, Otaku cultrure!

I think the word "kawaii" can't be translated as cute or pretty. Japanese tend to be harmony with others and "kawaii" is an easy and useful word for them becuase it doesn't hurt others, just indicating having a similar feeling and understandings.

The techer said Otaku culture is a kind of escapism (an activity, a form of entertainment, etc. that helps you avoid or forget unpleasant or boring things).

Now I seek for the article written by Takashi Murakami on The Issues for Japan (日本の論点) 2004 in which he insists that Japanese childishness could be advantage. I read somewhere that Shoji Kokami, a Japanese playwrite and director, said around late 80's that it's only manga, game and dance that Japanese could take pride in as Japanese culture after the war. Is he a man of foresight really?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Recipe for Lemon Cheese Cake

Let me explain the recipe for the lemon cheese cake I baked yesterday.
First you need these utensils & ingredients below.

round cake pan 18 cm in diameter
cookie sheet
electric mixer
2 bowls

250 g cream cheese
170 g sugar
30g melted salt-free butter
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream
squeeze of 1 lemon
grated rind of 1 lemon
50 g soft flour
bit salt-free butter for pan

1. Melt butter for pan and spread it inside the pan with the brush
2. Put a cookie sheet onto the bottom of the pan (no need to the side)
3. Soften cream cheese with microwave for about 1 min 30 sec
4. Beat the cream cheese with mixer, put 140 g sugar and beat again
5. Put the melted butter, egg yolks, sour cream, grated lemon rind, lemon juice, and flour to a bowl in order and mix them up
6. Put egg white and 30g sugar to another bowl and beat it with mixer
7. Put merienge (6) to 5 and mix them softly
8. Put the paste (7) to the pan and bake it for 40 min at 180℃

Yesterday after she put her affairs in order and finally loaded all of her belongings, lots of gifts, cakes, bouquets..., we said good-bye each other. She and I joined this company almost at the same time, work for about 2 years, and leave almost at the same time. She is a breadwinner with her daughter, her son, and her parentes. Good luck! I never forget your smile with tears.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Baked Cheese Cake

Today is the last working day for my workmate and friend sitting next to me, so I made a baked cheese cake for her this morning. I always use the recipe from "101 happy sweets" by Reiko Yamamoto. I like it because it's not only sweet but sour with lemon taste.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Witty remarks 13

*I'm an optimist because it does not seem too much use being anything else. (Winston Churchill)

*You're either part of the solution or part of the problem. (Eldridge Cleaver)

*Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought. (Henri Bergson)

*Two persons cannot long be friends if they cannot forgive each other's little failings. (Jean de La Bruyère)

*You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him to find it within himself. (Galileo Galilei)

*The first half of life consists of the capacity to enjoy without the chance; the last half of life consists of the chance without the capacity. (Mark Twain)

*There are two types of knowledge. One is knowing a thing. The other is knowing where to find it. (Samuel Johnson)

*To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe. (Anatole France)

* The music that can deepest reach, and cure all ill, is cordial speech. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

*Emphasize finding the right question rather than the right answer. (Miguel Rivas‐Micoud)

*I prefer the folly of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom. (Anatole France)

*Doesn't anybody stay in one place any more? (Carole King -So Far Away)