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Otto's blog

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New Balance

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New Balance
In addition to adding* small wheels to my folding bike, I also added* a DIY handle, which improves the balance when I pull it. An added** benefit is that it is more comfortable to hold. In addition, it can be moved to fit neatly (きちんと,すっきり) on the rack. I`ve made a few additions*** to my folding bike recently. I`m looking forward to going riding & testing them.

Vocabulary:
- In addition (to ___),... = とは別に
- * to add (動詞) = 付ける, 付け加える
- **added (形容詞) = 追加, おまけ
- *** addition (名詞) = 加算, 付加,追加

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Let`s Stroll!

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Let`s Stroll!
Compared with (と比べて) other folding bikes, mine is not so heavy. However, if I have to carry it on my shoulder (肩) to, for example, a distant (遠い) train platform, it`s a hassle (めんどくさい). So I attached small wheels into the bottom of the seat post. They are originally from an old baby stroller.

Vocabulary:
- stroll = そぞろ歩き, あてもなくぶらぶら歩くこと stroller = ベビーカー

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¥100 Handlebar Grips

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¥100 Handlebar ...
The handlebar grips on my folding bicycle looked old & felt bad (& smelled bad? probably), so I replaced them with the black grips from a stretchy exercise thing from Daiso, which fit perfectly. They look like real bicycle grips, don`t they? And they feel good. Nice.

Grammar:
- look/feel/sound/taste/smell + 形容詞
- look/feel/sound/taste/smell + like + (形容詞 +) 名詞

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Halloween Guest

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Halloween Guest
Just in time for Halloween, I found this small orange moth in my classroom. The pattern & contrasting colors are nice, aren`t they? This week my school is celebrating Halloween by giving candy to students who say 'trick or treat' to staff. (In contrast, if I say 'trick or treat' to staff, they tell me to go back to work. It`s not fair.)

Maybe it`s a Light-ribboned Wave moth (Leptostales rubromarginaria), but I`m not sure.

Vocabulary:
contrasting = 対比的
In contrast, = それに引き替え
(It`s) not fair = ずるい
#虫

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Happy Hopper

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Happy Hopper
I have lots of Japanese Rice Fish (メダカ), and a few goldfish, which I keep in several fish tanks (水槽) outside. The last couple of nights, I`ve been hearing a frog there. Today I spent a couple of minutes looking for it, and found it on the edge of a tank. Haha – he seems to be smiling. I hope that means he`s happy.

Vocabulary:
a couple of ___ = 2 or 3
a few ___s = 3/4/5
several ___s = 4/5/6/7
lots of ___(s) = many
#動物

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清洲人と清洲ジン飲みたい

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清洲人と清洲ジン飲みたい
I live in Ichinomiya, Aichi. When I found out about this gin made nearby, in Kiyosu, I was like*, "Cool, I wanna try it!"

I like** gin & tonic, but tonic water is a little difficult to find in Japan, so I don`t often drink it. Also, tonic water in Japan isn`t like*** tonic water from countries like**** America & Australia, which contains a kind of medicine called quinine ( キニーネ ). Japanese tonic water doesn`t contain quinine, so it`s a little sweeter.

I have a friend from Kiyosu. I want to drink this gin with him, so I can be like*, "今清洲人と清洲ジン飲んでいます!"

Vocabulary:
* (be) like, "___" = 「__」と思う/言う [very casual style]
** like = 好き
*** (be) like = 似る
**** like = ような、例えば
#グルメ #趣味

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Pentax Spotmatic SP

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Pentax Spotmatic SP
I bought an old (1964–76) Pentax Spotmatic camera on Yahoo Auction (ヤフオク). It was pretty cheap, so I wasn`t surprised to find that the internal light meter didn`t work. However, I could fix it. Yay.

I don`t have film yet, so I haven`t taken any photos yet. Actually, I`m not sure how to use this kind of camera yet; I`ve never used one. I will watch some Youtube videos to find out (= learn). Also, the lens is a bit (= a little) dirty inside, which is a common problem in old camera lenses. To clean it, I need to buy some ethanol & purified water, so I haven`t cleaned it yet.

So, I`m not ready to take photos yet, but after I take some, I`ll show you the results.

Grammar
- I`m not sleepy/hungry yet: まだ眠くない / お腹空いていない
- I don`t have/know yet: まだ持ってない / 知らない
- I haven`t decided/finished yet: まだ決めていない / 終わっていない
- I`ve never used...: 使った事がない
- "I`ve never...yet": WRONG
#趣味

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Old Chisel

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Old Chisel
I found an old chisel at the site of a demolished building. It looked in bad shape (= condition) but I took it home, washed it, sandpapered off the rust, spray-painted the metal parts, & put varnish (ニス) on the wooden part.

It looks pretty good & it works well. I`m glad I picked it up.

Vocabulary
ニス is not English, but it comes from the English word 'varnish': バーニッシュ --> ワニス --> ニス
#趣味

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They Did It Their Way

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They Did It Their Way
I gave each of my kids a model airplane to make during their summer holidays. I let them choose their own colour schemes.

The one on the right is German, the other two are Japanese. What do you think? Which one do you like best?

Pronunciation:
- scheme: 「スキーム」 (「シェーマ」 is German)
- theme: 「THィーム」 theme park: 「THィームパーク 」(「テーマ」is German)
#趣味

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じゃあ...s and Bottles

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じゃあ...s and Bot...
An old house in my neighbourhood (近所) was demolished (潰れ) recently. My son and I looked around the site and we found some ceramic insulators (ガイシ) and some jars & bottles. The tall one on the left at the back is a milk bottle, the clear one on the right is Yakult, the clear, short one at the front on the left is for ink, and the small, dark blue one is for eye drops. I`m not sure about the others. Do you know?

Grammar:
- ON the left/right
- AT the front/back
- IN the middle/centre
#趣味

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