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2017/ 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

3/01  Ossan Rental

5:16 p.m. Have you ever heard that there is such a thing as "Ossan Rental" in Japan?

I came across this article in the Japanese version of today's Yahoo! News about a 45-year-old woman who ordered an ossan (literally meaning, middle aged man) through a rental service, to attend her surgery of total hysterectomy.

I never knew there was such kind of services to rent ossans. Not to mention I went googling for "Ossan Rental" after I read the article.

The End

Caterpillar

3/02  My Assistant

5:09 p.m. Cow is busy filling in forms on his software for the final income tax return that he is not helping me a bit. Not that he does even if he wasn't working on it.

I wonder if I could rent an ossan who can design web pages, speak both English and Japanese, can cook lunch, keep company with my clients while I cannot be with them, take phone messages and call races as my assitant?

Oh. It would be even better if he has a carrier as a manga (Japanese comic) editor.

The End

Caterpillar

3/03  Season Changing

2:32 p.m. The barrier draw for Yayoi-sho has been announced. Yes, the season is changing. Spring calssic races will be starting in a month! And we'll also be having a new G1 race this spring, Osaka-hai, though I fear the entering members will be G2 class except for Kitasan Black.

Before Yayoi-sho that runs on Sunday, there will be Tulip-sho, a prep race for Ohka-sho on Saturday. Soul Stirling will be coming out and I would love to see how she would perform. It must be an easy win if Mr. Fujisawa (her trainer) has done his job.

The End

Caterpillar

3/04  Yayoi-sho 2017

2:54 p.m. My key horse for tomorrow's Yayoi-sho is Globe Theatre. Yes, he'd lost in Hopeful Stakes, but this time I think he can do well after some refreshment. That is, as long as he's had proper training.

On the wheel would be Best Approach, Satono Max, Komano Impulse and Cadenas.

Unfortunately, I cannot watch Soul Stirling running Tulip-sho real time as I've got a meeting to get over. But will check out the video later.

The End

Caterpillar

3/05  Key Horse For Ohka-sho

11:27 p.m. Soul Stirling has performed just as I'd thought in Tulip-sho. And she still hasn't shown all her strength yet. You can tell that by the way Christophe pulled on her reins to slow down when they hit the wire. The key horse for Ohka-sho has already been decided.

On the other hand, Yayoi-sho turned out to be a dull race of ready, get set, go. The lap was slow, almost tedious. So you wouldn't have to consider about the horses that lost big today as competitors for Satsuki-sho, unless they had clear reasons for such poor performance.

We'll still have to wait and see the Spring Stakes, another prep race for Satsuki-sho to measure the strengths of male 3-year-olds, but if tougher horses won't be coming out, Soul Stirling could beat them all.

The End

Caterpillar

3/06  Venting Out Stress

3:26 p.m. Ugh. I hate it when column layout doesn't work. I managed to display the right column next to the left by using "float," but part of its contens drops down to the lowest position possible that there is a huge gap between the first and the remaining contents.

My words of apology for those who read this as gibberish, though I just needed to vent out some stress.

The End

Caterpillar

3/07  Unfair

4:10 p.m. A couple of weeks ago, I suddenly felt like I wanted to listen to a particular song. I knew it was in an LP album that I'd bought decades ago, but to listen to it on my portable devices, I had to somehow take the media into my computer in other words, digitalize the song. In order to make that possible, I had to : a, buy an audio cable to connect a record player with my lap-top, or b, buy the whole album on CD, or c, buy the song via iTunes.

Any way, I had to pay some money. It seemed so unfair to have to pay again for something I'd already bought, just because the times have changed and a song was on different media, that I just gave up on the whole idea.

The End

Caterpillar

3/08  The WBC

3:35 p.m. The World Baseball Classics has begun!

Our boys have done a good job and luckily, we were able to win our first game of the championship. Tsutsugo has performed as he was expected to, Charao(Sakamoto) has done his part of the job, Atsuo(Matsuda) has also done his job to score 3, triple-three-Yamada, well, he was just a bit unlucky, but you can't blame the kid for catching the ball, he's just a kid. Blame whoever adult that brought him there if you will, for not instructing him well enough. Was a bit surprised at Sho-chan(Nakata) stealing the 2nd base, though. It only shows how much they wanted the game.

Kikuchi has saved Ishikawa with a super play, all the pitchers have all done their best despite the ball they aren't familiar with and the order of pitching they are not used to. I'm proud of you all just being in the team around this time of year, while our domestic penant race is just about starting and many big players are declining to focus on their career. But it's only the first leg, boys. It's gonna get tougher. You're aiming for the champion, then don't let me down. Lez go, boys!

The End

Caterpillar

3/09  Putty Rubber

5:46 p.m. I was talking with my client from an art college, who already knew that I have been in to drawing manga (Japanese comic) lately. The topic took its course to how to handle putty rubber.

I told her that it was only recently that I'd learned putty rubber should be kept in a zip-loc so that it doesn't dry off and become too hard to use. To this, she suggested, why not try wrapping it in wet paper towel and a wrap film and microwave it like you do with sweet potaoes when you cook them? Perhaps the hard rubber might revive.

Aw, that never occurred to me before. Must try and see as the piece I'm currently using is getting hard.

The End

Caterpillar

3/10  Kinko-sho

5:42 p.m. Kinko-sho, a G2 race will be run tomorrow.

The funny thing is, there has also been a Kinko-sho last year on December 3rd. So some of the horses have a career of running Kinko-sho, Arima Kinen and entering Kinko-sho again. This strange situation has been caused because the race Kinko-sho has been moved, originally from May to December, then to March this year, probably due to Osaka-hai being upgraded to G1. I'm sure new horse race fans will be confused, wondering why there are so many Kinko-shos.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to call this race properly as I have work to do, but the members are interesting. Perhaps Lord Vent d'Or might make it to the top three?

The End

Caterpillar

3/11  Nakayama Mare Stakes 2017

2:53 p.m. Since Kinko-sho will be run today, I will call Nakayama Mare Stakes.

Although a G3, it's a handicapped race so things won't go nice and easy. Taking that into account, my key horse is Tosen Victory. She would probably have a better chance if Primera Azul takes the lead and she could follow. On the wheel would be, Queen's Milagro, Magic Time (for insurance), Frontier Queen and Pearl Code.

What about Meisho Mambo and Denim And Ruby? I admire their vitality, but nah.

The End

Caterpillar

3/12  Adrenaline Rush

11:17 p.m. Aw. The Netherlands have caught up and we're tied by 6-6 in the first game of the second leg of WBC. We've entered the 10th inning and I'm tired of being on an adrenaline rush.

By the way, my suggested Lord Vent d'Or came in 2nd in Kinko-sho and Tosen Victory, Magic Time and Queen's Milagro came in 1st, 2nd, 3rd respectively, in Nakayama Mare Stakes. Congrats to those who won.

The End

Caterpillar

3/13  A Lifetime Asset

4:13 p.m. It was a nail-biting game. Eventually we won, but it was an exhausting game both for the players and the fans. Luckily, we have a day off, so that might be refreshing. Our next game is against Cuba (again!) tomorrow.

The game was tough indeed, but I'm sure this expereience will become a lifetime asset for the players.

The End

Caterpillar

3/14  Tonight

5:04 p.m. Tonight. We're fighting the game against Cuba. It's going to be THE big game of this leg.

It's an usual working day so I cannot watch the game on real time basis. But I've been lucky enough to be born in the time of the Internet. I can follow the game with the WBC official scoreboard on my smartphone.

The starter today will be Sugano, as we already know. I'm sure the Sugano and Kobayashi battery from the Yomiuri Giants will do a good job. Must charge and get my smartphone ready. The game starts from 19:00 Japan Time.

The End

Caterpillar

3/15  Daily WBC Report

6:11 p.m. It seems this "Murmur" has become a daily WBC report, though I can't help that since Samurai Japan is performing such great games night after night.

Tonight we're having the last game of this leg against Israel. If we win, we're going to the Dodgers' stadium for the final round as the first out of Pool E. If we lose by more than 5 points, we're bound for the play-offs against the Netherlands and Israel.

Win or Lose. I'm sure Senga will prove to be a great start off pitcher tonight, though it's still thrilling to follow the game.

The End

Caterpillar

3/16  Los Angeles

6:12 p.m. We won. We're going to Los Angeles!

Senga's performance was brilliant as I'd expected. The hitters all worked hard to hlep the pitcher. Nice job well done, boys. Despite all the tough games that might have turned out otherwise, we haven't lost a game so far even wtihout great pitchers who play in MLB, like Tanaka, Darvish or Maeda. Ohtani scratched off from the member. Still, this team has brought us to the final round.

I'm proud of them all and want to send them my words of praise. Except for Sakamoto's blunder in the last inning last night. What was he doing nailed toward the third base instead of being on the alert for grounders? Anyone could tell Makita was aiming for grounders to for three outs. If it weren't for Kikuchi the God Hand, it could have turned the game into a nightmare. Makita was apparently let down with that play and as a result, offered the extra two points. Sakamoto needs a what for.

The End

Caterpillar

3/17  Help

5:14 p.m. Samurai Japan has won their ticket to the final round.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Yoshihito Nishioka has put up a fight against Stanislas Wawrinka in Paribas Open, Kisenosato has turned into an unstoppable yokozuna lining up 5 wins in a row, and I'm bombarded with a mountain of work. Help.

The End

Caterpillar

3/18  Eventful Week

12:59 p.m. The past week has been eventful, considering WBC and Sumo wrestling. It's bound to get hotter next week, though. So before I forget, here's my call for this week.

For Spring Stakes, I'd key Satono Ares. I doubt if there's another horse that could beat him at this point. Etre Digne, Monde Can Know, Outliers and Win Bright might be good for the wheel.

As for Hanshin Dai-shoten, I won't go against Satono Diamond and Cheval Grand. There might be a chance for Reve Mistral only if the horse is well-prepared. For 3rd place, that is.

The End

Caterpillar

3/19  The Grandson

9:17 p.m. I did think there's a chance for Win Bright to slide in to 2nd or 3rd place to win his ticket to Satsuki-sho. But I hadn't imagined he'd actually win.

Win Bright has Stay Gold as his father and his broodmare sire is Admire Cozzene, one of may favorite horse. Thinking that Admire Cozzene's grandson is running in Satsuki-sho is quite touching. If he draws a middle to outer post or blessed with soft track condition, he might even have the chance to win it!

Ah, getting excited here.

The End

Caterpillar

3/20  Non-Smoking Dotour Coffee

5:59 p.m. Had to go out today and after I finished my business I dropped by a Dotour Coffee across the street from the nearest station. The good thing about chain shops are that they're usually close to stations, and they provide the same menu wherever you go.

I tried to order my favorite sandwich but the staff at the counter told me they didn't have it on the menu, so I reluctantly settled for a different one. As I searched for an empty seat I realized too late that this shop didn't have a smoking seat. Darn! I never imagined that there will be a complet non-smoking Dotour Coffee shop...

I sat at a table munching my sandwich grudgingly, when I finally noticed a non-smoking sticker on the glass entrance door. I stared it it regretfully for a while. Why did they put it on knee-high level instead of eye-level anyway? No one can notice that before they enter.

The End

Caterpillar

3/21  Feeling Good

3:14 p.m. Unlike yesterday when it was fine and warm, it's been raining since morningn today. Pity.

But that doesn't get me down with Win Bright quickly gaining attention as the would-be Satsuki-sho winner, our big match against the U.S. in WBC waiting for us tomorrow, and a breakthrough in my project which I've been working on for the past couple of months.

I'm feeling good. That doesn't save me from my sleep-deprived state, though.

The End

Caterpillar

3/22  Facing Challenges Unafraid

6:06 p.m. Yes, it was a let down to be honest, that we lost against the U.S. I don't blame the players, though. Even when the loss was from some small misses.

It was a close game. Both pitchers performed well, that's why it became a game of which team scores first? In such a tight game, misses are critical. But we're only human. We are allowed to make mistakes. It's what we do after the misses that counts. Whether we thrive to scceed better, or not.

Japanese tend to accuse mistakes and try to avoid them as much as possible. However, I always think that there's no Mr. Perfect. Mistakes can sometimes become the mother of invention. I hope this country to be more tolerant against mistakes so that we can all face challenges unafraid.

The End

Caterpillar

3/23  Cherry Blossom Viewing

5:18 p.m. The first five of this year's cherry blossoms have been announced to have bloomed, though the wind still remains cold outside.

They say we're going to have relatively cool weather for the next 2 weeks so that the cherries are thought to be in full bloom around April 2nd this year. Hmmm... that means we can enjoy them longer. More chances for cherry blossom viewing parties, though I'd rather have them indoors.

The End

Caterpillar

3/24  Starting Tomorrow

5:26 p.m. I ordered a light box to proceed on my manga a couple of days ago.

I've made a list of tasks to complete the first several pages of my original manga, which consists of 11 stages as I am not good with huge chunks of workload. I'm working babysteps towards my goal and so far I've finished up to the 4th stage, which is designing characters. The next stage is called "naming," mainly laying out the bubbles that contain the words the characters speak or think. I needed a light box to move on to this stage, to check the positions of the bubbles so that they're laid out effectively, without interrupting the flow of the story or the pictures of the characters.

The light box arrived this afternoon, have finished the opening ceremony and my new light box looks great! Will get to my new tasks starting, well, tomorrow.

The End

Caterpillar

3/25  Takamatsu-no-miya Kinen 2017

5:44p.m. Yesterday, I was quite happy with my new light box. In fact, I even forgot to write about the barrier draw of Takamatsu-no-miya Kinen, although it's a G1 race. Today I'm drained.

My call for Takamatsu-no-miya Kinen is a trio wheel keying Melagrana. There is a risk, though. If she loses weight, that might be a danger sign. Last night's forecast had threatened it might rain in Chukyo, which would be a disadvantage to Melagrana. However, it seems it won't rain according to today's forecast... I'll leave it up to you which to believe.

On the wheel would be, Fiero, Let's Go Donki, Red Falx, Snow Dragon and Talking Drum.

The End

Caterpillar

3/26  Two Great Matches

6:57 p.m. Miya-kinen turned out to be a total loss for me. I'd expected a dry condition, but actually the track was soft so that horses that couldn't get good positions in the beginning automatically sunk low on the bulletin.

Instead, I've seen two great matches on the last day of the Spring Ozumo Tournament.

Kiseno-sato, the new Yokozuna had hurt his left shoulder two days ago, and has lost against Yokozuna Kakuryu, giving away the top position to Teruno-Fuji yesterday. Everyone doubted Kise's first win of the tournament after being promoted to Yokozuna, but he fought against it beating Teruno-fuji today to come out on top again, tied with Teru. Play off. The champion was going to be decided in the play off.

Against all odds, Kiseno-sato won the play off with a roaring cheer of the spectators! Tears streamed down his cheeks while the national anthem was played and sung in the winning ceremony. Those tears spoke for everything. Gee, you've become a tough sumo wrestler, Kise. I am so proud of you!

The End

Caterpillar

3/27  Putting Strain

5:39 p.m. Cold.

We're in the last week of March and the high today is 9 degrees Celsius.

Didn't they say that the cherry blossoms have started? Well it's true we annually have a set back around this time of season, but thrown back into mid-winter puts a strain on this aging body. Forecast says it will become warmer from tomorrow, so hope that will be true.

The End

Caterpillar

3/28  Entry Form

3:17 p.m. Because Cow isnsistently throws me questions involving Makahiki or Satono Crown, horses that are thought to run in this week's Osaka-hai, I went off course to take a look at the entry form.

According to the entry form, the rider of Satono Crown would be Mirco De Murro, while Christophe Lemaire is riding on Makahiki. Don't worry Cow, Hamanaka is not going to ride Makahiki. Now, my concern. Which horse is Fukunaga riding? Ah, Ambitious.

The End

Caterpillar

3/29  A Normal Life

2:40 p.m. Most schools have been in spring recess since last week and the kids seem happy. My parents who are both retired and are in recess every day seem happy to have grandkids visiting them every day.

Meanwhile I am driven by things to do without much sleep. How many times do I have to tell JoOsama that one cannot sleep with Aerosmith blasting off from the radio in the next room at 2:40 in the morning? I just want a normal life with quiet sleep, proper food and peace. Is that too much to ask?

The End

Caterpillar

3/30  No Kidding

2:40 p.m. Meeting has been cancelled and am unexpectedly blessed with some free time, yay!

Will try digesting some of my pending tasks making use of this opportunity. Surely, that must change this situation towards the bright side although slightly.

I've checked out the forecast feeling a little lighter than five minutes ago, and it's threatening we might have snow on Saturday... Hey, April is right around the corner and you're telling me it'd snow? No kidding.

The End

Caterpillar

3/31  As Usual

3:28 p.m. The barrier draw for Osaka-hai has been announced.

Mikki Rocket is in post number 1, Angreifen is in 2, Suzuka Devious is in 3, Staphanos in 4, Kitasan Black in 5, Sakura Empereur in 6, Satono Crown in 7, Lord Vent d'Or in 8, Decypher in 9, Mondo Intero in 10, Maltese Apogee in 11, Ambitious in 12, Yamakatsu Ace in 13 and Makahiki in 14.

Looks like Kitasan has drawn an inner post as usual.

The End

Caterpillar