Again Coffee

Today I was writing an article on the web all day. It was an additional information for my computer book which I had published years ago. Since softwares are changed in time, my explanation in the old books sometimes goes invalid.
I cannot follow so frequently such changes against my every book. Sometimes a reader writes me that he has trouble with my book. It is for me a good chance to look over my own book once again. I must apologize him that I should have done it before he had a hard time, though…

Anyway today I wrote such a page. It took me for a long time. I always encourage myself telling, “It’s good that I take a long time for explanation, because that means my reader can save the same amount of their time!”
I really wish so it would.

During the work I took some cups of coffee time to time. After the work was done, I took the last cup of it for today. Off course this one tastes best.

I put some powdered milk in it. It makes the taste softer, but not go further to make it sweet. My cup of coffee is not bitter, nor sweet, of nor course salty. The taste is hard to explain with words. Nevertheless its taste goes deep into the tongue, overall the mouth, through the throat, and to the heart. Coffee is a wonder beverage.

Coffee

I like coffee.
I sometimes confuse how many letters of f or e should be used to write this word, but I like it.
It was when I was 11 years old, that I was permitted by my parents to drink that matter, the exact ceremony of which I don’t remember though.

To make coffee I usually use instant powders.
Some people likes to grind coffee beans in the mill and get the extract through the filter, with elaborately adjusted temperature of water and the intervals of poring. Those people say the time they take for making coffee itself makes them relax. I respect for those people and like to hear their talk very well, but I myself are too rough-and-ready person to do it.

I even don’t use a spoon to put powders in the cup. I just tilt the glass bottle of coffee powder and tap it on the edge of the cup. Sometimes I make too much powders fall in the cup, but in most cases I know the suitable parameters of the operation(the angle of the bottle or the intense of tapping).

I especially like a brand named “Gold Blend” by Nestlé. Until recently I had thought it was a special brand for japanese market, but it was wrong.
I am so insensitive to taste, but I can tell this brand from others – just between the “instant” products, though.

I put cream powders but usually no sugar in the coffee. As for the type of cream I don’t mind.

I once had thought coffee would do harm to stomach, because I often felt pain in it after I drink coffee so much. But later I found I feel similar pain also after coffee without caffeine. Since I quit the former job and started to work at home, I had scarcely felt pain even by more than 4 cups of coffee a day.

But today I felt one. Interestingly, it was not while I was so busy to write, but just after I found my work had almost finished. Anyway, today I will drink no coffee today.

Christmas Party in Childhood

Tonight, in this silent night, I planned to write various things that happened and go on happening this year – but I quitted that. I don’t want to cast a shade on your celebrations. Merry Christmas, dear people. Have a good time!

Instead I’d like to recall a typical Christmas party that I had when I was a child.
I lived with father, mother and a sister, three years elder. Every year we had a party with us alone, in supper time. Alone – my father worked until 7-8PM, so we started the party among the three. Then father came home with a box of christmas cake.

It was a living room in my house, that I can remember. it was one of the two rooms our house had.
And it was so small as another.

The living room of my house, in my childhood

I might have to explain about the items here.
(1) Kotatsu. A typical heating facility in Japan. Under the blanket(the orange figure in the picture) stands a table which has an electric heater at the top plate. The blanket, which covers the table, was fixed by a heavy board (the red quadrilateral) , on which things are put on.
the below is a vertical cross section of kotatsu. The red hemisphere pointed by a black arrow is the heater.
Vertical cross section of kotasu

(2) Cusion. One sit on it and put his legs into the blanket of the kotatsu.

(3) Television. At that time, it needed a supplemental antenna, which had a shape like stretched heart.

(4) The Christmas tree. It was made of plastic. After the Christmas it was decomposed and put in a case.

(5) Cupboard. It was composed of two parts, upper and lower. The upper part has a glass door and tea cups and saucers of japanese type were in it. My mother was fond of collecting such cups. The lower part had drawings and wooden doors, and stationery or other tools were in it.

(6) Tatami.

(7) Christmas cake.

(8) Stove. Because I had forgot to draw it in the picture, it seems to be located too close to the blanket of the kotatsu. Of course, it was located at more separeated place. Moreover, there was a wire cage to prevent any contact with flammable things.

Items for School

One of the funs in studying is to use various tools for writing.
I often used a mechanical pencil when I was young, but now I’m fond of using a pencil.

This soft plastic grip helps me to hold a pencil tight, without pressing the wooden surface directly onto the finger. And the transparent color is beautiful.

Soft plastic grip for a pencil

A manual sharpener. I like it because it doesn’t make the tip too sharp. Of course, It’s so small that I can take it to the classroom.
Manual sharpener

I keep using each pencil, in an extender, until it becomes so short.
A short pencil in an extender

A small package of cocoa cakes with strawberry cream…
Seems like a cookie package

Indeed, it’s an eraser. It gives a sweet flavor of strawberry. Why this package simulates a cookie box? Because girls like sweets!…and I used to be a girl, too.

…but the quality as an eraser is not so good. The letters A and M are still visible. I could not use it in an examination. It’s just a toy.
Can't erase a writing so clean ...

Finally, a book band. All that I need at school is bundled with it.
A band to bundle everything

I remember in my schooldays, there was a boom for using this band. Students thought it cool to hang on the shoulder only a few books with this band, instead of carrying heavy bags. Teachers banned to the bands (banned the band…), because the corner of the books would collapse. But now I put the whole bundle in a bag and carry it. I just don’t want the each item to go somewhere.

Tomorrow I will have the last classes of the year. I’m glad now I’m pretty well to go out.

Best Song for Christmas

There are many christmas songs that are sung in America and Europe and then has been translated into Japanese. Popular, or Carols.
Among them the one I like best is titled in Japanese Morobito Kozorite. I recently found in japanese Wikipedia that its music is the christmas carol “Joy to the World” but the lyric is translated from another one.
The japanese lyric is as follows:

Mo ro bito ko zo ri te (People all together)
Mu ka e ma tsu re (welcome and celebrate)
Hi sa shi ku (For a long time)
Ma chi ni shi (We had waited)
Shu wa ki ma se ri (The Lord has come)
Shu wa ki ma se ri
Shu wa shu wa ki ma se ri

The lyric is classical Japanese, which I could not understand when I first learned it in my childhood.
But I loved the melody and the sound of unknown words, as if they were of a foreign language.

Especially the last refrain “Shu wa ki ma se ri” has been always my favorite.
We sing it more likely as “Shoe wacky mass say lee.” (There’s no difference between r and l in Japanese)

As for “Joy to the World,” I also like the popular song of this title by Three Dog Night.
I liked the band very much in the year of ’70s, when I was 10 years old or so.
I often listened to their song “The Show must go on”, “Old Fashioned Love Song,” etc.
Then my favorite music changed to progressive rock and now heavy metal. But it’s not related to christmas songs, sorry.

Guitar

There is another thing that I practice every day. It’s the guitar, rock guitar.
I practice it also for four years or so, but yet I am below the level to which a high school metal kid would reach in a week from a complete novice.

The first reason is I cannot take so much time for practice. An hour, it is the limit.
The second reason is my fingers are anything but clever. There has been no screws or pins which did not drop from between my fingers.
As the third reason I may claim that my hands are so small, that the length from the top of the middle finger to the bottom of the palm is 17cm, that of the Thumb is 5.2cm and the little finger is only 4.8cm. But one should not attribute the difficulty to his natural character.

So I present as the third reason my lacking of physical strength. Rock guitar requires not only cleverness but also physical strength, especially for gripping and pinching. On the left hand, moving some fingers on the fingerboard, one must keep the neck of the guitar fixed in the hand with the rest fingers. On the other hand, one has to hold a pick between the two tips of the fingers, Thumb and forefinger, while other fingers are used to keep open strings from undesirable resonance.

So I’m training myself for those strength also in daily life. In Japan, used PET bottles are recommended to be collapsed into lower volume, before collected for recycle. While people would do it usually by stamping a bottle on the floor, I do it by each single hand, left or right. It would be preferred if I could collapse them only touching them with fingertips. When I make a knot with the rim of a plastic bag to seal the content, I always make it tight, so when I have to loose it again I have to concentrate my power onto the fingertips (and it will forge my patience, that’s good, too).

Anyway it’s fun to play music with any instruments. Nowadays I manage to play the rhythm part of Metallica’s “Battery”, though quite in a lower battery mode.

Thermos

It was one evening in the last summer, that my husband found a little bug drowned in his coffee.
I am a person not to care about such things so much. He is. “I would need a coffee cup with the cap,” he said.

The next holiday we went to by such a drinkware. What he selected was the one so called as vacuum flask.
“It does have a cap, but it is to keep the temperature of the bevarage. Will it really fit your need? ” I asked him.
“I know, but there are no such container with the cap but with thermal insulator.” was his answer.
Finally we bought it.

From the next morning on, I found a problem on serving coffee for us. My cup was an ordinary type as I had used before, and his new one had an excellent thermal stability. Thus, when my coffee was being so cooled as to taste worse, his was still very hot. What is worse was his mouth is more sensitive to the heat.

There had been only one solution, which the next holiday I made in practice – I bought the same flask for myself.

This time I found these flasks very much convenient. In the morning, I could prepare coffee in a very early hours, which was kept enough hot as the breakfast table got ready. Moreover, I could carry the two flask in a pocket, when the tray in my hands was full of other things.

Later I found ours were products of TERMOS, which was so famous a brand that was described in Wikipedia.

Vacuum flask

The label TERMO