Thursday, August 30, 2007

Curry with summer vegitables

As we grow some vegitables, I tried to make some curry with them harvested now. Maybe this is very unique. Curry with egg plants, tomatoes, green peppers together with onions, carrots and potatoes! With this way, you can take a lot more vegitables when you get tired with hot and humid weather in big cities. A recommended one at this time of the year.

Hayaokidori website

Making a layout #44 --- maintainance : replacing a midgetlamp

When I turned the lights in my layout on today, one midgetlamp wasn't turned on. The first midgetlamp I had to replace :(

Fixed layouts look cool with full of sceneries but if it comes to maintainance, it's not easy at all.

I needed to go below the basement boards to reach the electric terminal to control lights around that area. The second couples of terminal were for the light I had to replace.

Cutting the codes to get them apart from the fitings for a terminal. Therefore I can pull the codes all the way out of the basement boards.

Pulling the lamp and codes all the way out of the basement boards. Then, needed to get a pair of codes of a new midgetlamp into the boards.

Parts for this work. Have to get all apart from others so that I can find a correct one easily.

Done!!(^^) Perhaps you might think it's very easy to complete, but it's not if you drop the parts when you do the job, if your eyes were far sighted ones like mine lol.........., sometimes they are not good at focus the objetcts :(

Hayaokidori website


See this YouTube below.

At the time around 18-20 seconds from the begining, you see a couple of couplers. Couplers for European trains are very different from them for Japanese trains. I hear couplers for Japanese trains used to be the same with European trains but there were many accidents by being pinched by buffers when engineers connected the couplers. Also it needed much more time to connect than American type couplers so Japan decided to replace all couplers into their own couplers only in a couple of days.
Trains in Europe were very comfortable when I travelled there in early '80s. But European couplers look just like hooks. Now I wonder the couplers are never gotten apart if they are like that!?!?

Hayakidori website

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Harvested oregano

We have some oregano pots in our place and sometimes need to harvest them. This is the third time for me to harvest oreganos this year.
It helps to make them stay away from humidity. Need to wash them to dry to stock.
We can use them for cooking. I think we will havest them again at least one or two more times by winter.

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

By ourselves

Recently we often have thought about what's safe to eat and where we can get them. But the more we thing about it, the more we get consensus that the only way for it is to grow something by ourselves lol...... I know we can not do everything we need though. Hakuba provides comfortable weather, so it's not so tough to keep working to grow something even in summer.

Cabbages. As we don't use any agricultural chemicals, bugs show up and eat anything a lot, so it's like battles with them everyday lol.... Weather here in Hakuba goes pretty mild and cool, so it's not so tough to work some in the sun. But usually we avoid doing anything in strong sunshine in daytime.

Broccoli. Looks similar with cabbages. They are a kind of buddies in taxonomy.
Did you know if you get some fresh broccolies you will find a lot bugs showing up when you boil them?. They keep hiding themselves somewhere inbetween even when you wash them.

What we call "edamame". Good for beer :-) Hakuba might provide comfortable weather for them, they grow good.

Shimonita leek(right). They are unique ones, usually leeks in Japan are not that thick. Local people in Hakuba usually eat what we call "Shironegi" or "Naganegi" which is long one and almost white except some top part. We are originally from Kansai region ( Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe ), so we eat green thinner one.

What we call "sunny lettuce". I think they grow too good. ( Feel a bit rough in my mouth when I eat some )

Cucumbers. When they grow as they like, they will never be all straight.

Carrots. Their leaves look sensitive and beautiful.

Tomatoes are getting red now. Hakuba might have less sunshine than they need. :(

Russian red beets. We can cook some Russian dishes with them :-) I am not sure how much else I can buy for them here in Hakuba though.
When we grow something to eat, they are definately not good looking as you see lol.... but anyway safe, no poisonous.

Hayaokidori website

The final stage for old train cars.

Found some when I rearranged stuff.

I don't remember what this serioes was. Maybe one of Kumoha 32 , 41, 51, 61 something like that. Anyway old JNR EMU train cars were unique each. It was also fun to learn which was which and what was different.

Local trains on Keihanshin-kanko line (Nishi-akashi <--> Kyoto) at the Yodogawa river railroad bridge.

At that time, Keihanshin-kanko line local trains were already 7 train cars ones. With this type of old train cars, usually they made it 4+3. 4 at Nishi-Akashi side and 3 at Kyoto side to make 7. Sometimes I found all the 7 had control rooms at either side. In short, I guess they cared the control room of the 4th train car was forwarded Kyoto side and one of the 5th train cars was forwarded Nishi-Akashi side but didn't care others lol... It was fun to see for a kid. Old train cars at that time were all unique. Some had toilet, some had benches for people to be face to face in a limited space along window side. (We call it "box" sheet here in Japan) And some older ones showed a lot of rivets at their surfaces. Some had 4 doors on their side and others had 3. So wonder how they showed where the doors would be at the platform at that time. Can not check it as time has passed so long :o
As some short run train which ran from Koshienguchi <--> Suita were only 4 train cars, I guess they needed to make 7 with 4 + 3 to adapt it.
In both pics above, a Kuha79 is at the head. Depends on when they were made, their exterior and interior were slightly different as you see. I guess following cars were Moha72 etc. They didn't hang signboards to show their destination, did they?
This kind of old train cars had been replaced into 103 series commutor cars since 1969. If I remember right, they were completely replaced around 1977-1978.
I think these 2 pictures above were taken at the same date with the one of 481 series red skirt "Shioji" limited express train I showed while long ago, probably it was around 1972-73. Because 481 series was not in charge for "Shioji" limited express train in 1971 or before when 181 series train stayed in Mukomachi train cneter.

Diesel cars for express train. Kiha 65

Thought this one below would be a kiha 58 Diesel car but...

I guess there's a description which says "Kiha 57 4" at its side. Kiha 57 series was made to pass the Usui summit, this kiha 57 series DMU were phantoms and had air-suspensions at their boggies while their "buddy" series kiha 58 / 28 series didn't. If thr green car ( 1st class passenger car ) in the pic of kiha 65 were kiha 27, this DMU was an incredibly high percentage air-suspensioned one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tobu trains running layout

A friend of a regular poster to our Japanese blog came to stay in our place the other day with some of his HO gauge train cars.

An ex express train cars 1800 series. In service for express train "Ryomo" etc painted in red. When this series of trains were converted to commuter trains, they didn't make extra doors for commuter train usage, just replace the reclining seats to box type of seats ( 4 persons face to face in a "box" area ). But only 6 sets of the "box" seats were left in a car, not so many passengers had chances to sit down when they got on this series train cars. So, it still looked as if it were express train cars by their exterior. This series was made in early '60s, so they had some airconditioners on their roof which look like mashrooms. Those mashroom looking airconditioners were trend at that time.

1800 series (left), unknows (center), not exixt one ( right). As I am not good at private railways around Kanto region, I thought they were Odakyu train cars when I first saw them.

Hayaokidori website

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hydrangea in Hakuba

I thought hydrangeas are flowers in bloom mostly in rainy season as they were in bloom just around the rainy season when I lived in Osaka.
But here in Hakuba, they keep blooming even in August like this above.
Until when hydrangeas have been in bloom where you live?

Hayaokidori website

Making a bed

All the guest rooms in our property have some beds in each, we make beds sometimes with some yelling like "Yokkorasho! ( Hard to translate into English :o ) as the base, mat are heavy.

We make beds like this. So now I show you how we do this....

First of all, I put a pad on a mat.

Put a sheet on them to get the lower edge to meet the mat edge. I always ask them to deliver good starched sheets though nowadays no starched sheets seem demanded to decrease the cost. I think starched sheets are "must" to provide comfortable sleep but I may be an old fashioned guy :(

Fix the head side of this sheet like this below as if a piece of paper folds up a caramel.

Put another sheet on it to fix the upper edge to meet the mat edge there, then put the lower side inbetween the mat and the base as if the sheet holds the mat. With these way, sheets are fixed.

Put a blanket in summer, two in winter on it then fix everywhere to complete the job.

Done!(^^) It takes roughly 5 minutes for me to make a bed, so however hard I try to make beds, it's like 12 beds in an hour. Also, it's not like just 2.5 minutes required if 2 persons make a bed.
I am just careful not to hurt my waists by setting a corset around them as I need to lift the mat up and down, move it back and forth. A lot hard work than supposed.

Just a tiny bit of a back stage :-)

Hayaokidori website

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Emergence of a cicada

Found a cicada emerging this morning. Look at the color - white and green. I guess it was just after getting out of the shell. They need to stay that way for some hours to dry themselves out to start flying away. But it's the dangerous time for them because ravens, cats etc try to catch them. I just tell people to pay attention not to step on it because it stayed around the front of my house.

Hayaokidori website

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Joint sound

Cut the rails to get some particular joint sounds. Snow rapid passing through.

My old inside gear system with horizontal motor DMU passing through.

Ever heard this joint sound!?

Hayaokidori website

No more Hiroshima, no more Nagasaki

It's a bit special week now for Japan and Japanese.

August 6th : No more Hiroshima day.
August 9th : No more Nagasaki day.

As you know, 2 nuclear bombs were dropped and exploded in Japan 62 years ago.
I am not a good editor or a writer, so if you have some time, please refer the links below.

Hiroshima Peace Declaration 2007
Hiroshima city website
Former sailors, kamikaze met after 62 years' interval and shake hands

No more Hiroshima, no more Nagasaki. As only nation in the world that got nuclear bombs, I do wish no one will never have the same in the future.

Hayaokidori website

Sunday, August 5, 2007

"Thunderbird" running around the layout

A customer who stayed in our place the other night broung about 50 model train cars, enjoyed driving his model trains in our layout.
Fisrt of all, JR West 683 series "Snow Rapid".

Second, 681 series "Thunderbird" and 683 series "Snow rapid" passing through. Long trains are nice!!

JNR/JR 201 series commuter train running around the layout.

JR West 221 series fast service train cars that are active in kinki region.

A steam locomotive D51 pulling two 50 series passenger cars

It was fun time to see trains that I usually don't see.

Hayaokidori website

Rainy season is over

It seems that the rainy season for this year was over for this area as well.

Probably new borb baby swallows for this year. Their parents still raise
them up by giving something to eat so often. They have to fly roughly 3,000 kms to Soouth in autumn.

Hayaokidori website