Off the beaten path Japanese 3


⁃ 余裕 (yoyū) room/space of an ample nature

⁃ 余計(yokei) extra, sparing, useless

余裕 is rather commonly used, but since i never bother looking it up so i had a vague idea when i hear it. Often natives like this word because its very hacky. Imagine getting to work or class ten minutes and being able to use the toilet. You have five minutes left, this leftover time is 余裕 describing in unspecific terms.

新車を買う余裕はない。I don’t have enough money to buy a car and live (eat and/or pay rent, etc).

Often I’ve heard this when people are drinking (alcohol). People start to seem drunk or buzzed, then when accused of being drunk people have responded “まだ余裕” to indicate “I’m not drunk and I can still drink (maybe a bit or more).”

余計 might seem similar to 余裕 but has a more negative tone over the positive/neutral tone 余裕 has. I heard this word recently in a cosmetic commercial with a woman saying 余計なことを体に入れない (I don’t put 余計things in my body). Somehow i interpreted 余計 as “doubtful.” I might not be wrong, its a possible translation. More likely its interpreted “useless” yet it goes further like “having side effects” or “ineffective” and many other possibilities.


Mind your own business! Or, Don’t do anything not required of you!

こんな余計な機能、なんで つけたんだろう?

(Why was this extra/needless function added?) 機能 (kinō) function. I imagine this might be talking about the useless or irritating apps on a smartphone. A meme i saw recently had a software update that included “advertisement apps” and this was the word I immediately thought.



Off the beaten path Japanese 2


⁃ 世話 (sewa) caring or hospitality most often in verb form (ni naru/suru)

⁃ 手数をかける (tesū wo kakeru) to cause trouble

いつもお世話になっております is a common greeting especially in business writing, expressing a harmonious cooperation. I see it mostly at front of emails after greeting the addressees. This is a very tacit lost-in-translation phrase like most greetings in Japanese without an equivalent in english. its a very fluent phrase to use. Usually お世話になります is used for new people while above is for established relationships.


My brother takes care of the dog.

The above sentence might likely be the common encounter as its more translatable in english.


”We take of each other”

手数 trouble, かける to sprinkle. This phrase like the one just above is probably considered a business one as well. When you’re asking someone to do something for you and you have nothing to return for their trouble you might say this. Im not sure why “numerous hands” means trouble but it could mean the requested person would have to get other people involved to fulfill the request.


I am sorry for the trouble


I left my keys on the table. Could I trouble you to bring them to me?

Off the beaten path Japanese


⁃ 身につく (mi ni tsuku) to master something or retain knowledge

⁃ 気がする (ki ga suru) to realize

身につく身 body, 付くto turn on. This means to master, learned, or gotten a grasp of something. This idiomatic phrase is nice like other similar Japanese idiomatic phrases like 気 phrases. Its hard to translate but the point is very concisely and efficiently given. Mind you 身につける also exists.


Everyday I studied Japanese very diligently, but I don’t remember much.


It is difficult to reach native levels in languages not learned as a child.

The 気 are an interesting part of japanese, translated usually as spirit. I imagine some flowing abstract thing that causes stuff to happen. Of course, think of your favorite 気 phrase, but i think my favorite is 気がする for some reason.


I realized I’ve been here before.


RMarkdown Test: Hiring in the US

Labor Hiring in US

Collecting, Cleaning, and Graphing

I used the following packages for this data venture.

The link to the data is shown below at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

download <- ""
jt.hires <- read.csv(download, header = TRUE, sep = "\t")
jt.hires1 <- jt.hires %>% 
  filter(period == "M13") %>% 
  group_by(year) %>% 
  summarise(value = sum(value))

“M13” is the annual data: this figure is mixed with the monthly.

Plotting Hiring through the years

## `geom_smooth()` using method = 'loess'

The data includes a linear model using ggplot.

new_lm <- lm(jt.hires1, formula = value ~ year)
## Call:
## lm(formula = value ~ year, data = jt.hires1)
## Residuals:
##    Min     1Q Median     3Q    Max 
## -52287 -16214   4881  21976  36740 
## Coefficients:
##              Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
## (Intercept) 1509311.0  2780152.4   0.543    0.595
## year           -617.5     1383.8  -0.446    0.662
## Residual standard error: 27950 on 15 degrees of freedom
## Multiple R-squared:  0.0131, Adjusted R-squared:  -0.05269 
## F-statistic: 0.1991 on 1 and 15 DF,  p-value: 0.6618
years <- c(2017, 2018, 2019)

Create a prediction model

Using a Linear Model, predict for years 2017, 2018, & 2019.

Somehow the prediction shows a dip from 2017 levelling through 2019.

## # A tibble: 6 x 2
##    year   value
##   <dbl>   <dbl>
## 1  2015 286010.
## 2  2016 291497.
## 3  2017 300594.
## 4  2017 263854.
## 5  2018 263237.
## 6  2019 262619.
pred2 <- filter(pred2, year > 2014)
ggplot(pred2, aes(x= year, y = value)) + geom_line() + labs(title = "New Graph with Predictions for 2017-2019",x = "Year", y = "Hiring Total") 

As per above there is trend downward in the prediction. Yet current data is showing that the economy is reaching full employment.

Also, the error of this model is that date is in integer form which I assume is an error affecting the model. Per the summary of the prediction model, it shows a really bad r2 number so the prediction is probably not reliable.

I should have used a time series model, but for my first RMarkdown this is just learning.



Arrival in Cologne

I saw it, I said to myself. I am here. After being held up in Louisville due to mechanical issues and missing my flight in DC, I finally was here.

The afternoon I left for Europe, it was an easy-going day: I talked with Greg and the team before leaving at roughly noon.  The talk was nice and it was about the lighter things.

I arrived at the airport early like a good traveler. The shuttle plane arrived late.  The delay in Louisville caused me to miss my flight to Zurich. I was able to get to Washington DC a bit later in eventuality.  In DC, I was booked on a flight, which I thought was to Frankfurt, but when I arrived at the gate, the flight was bound for Munich. How strange the situation it was.

I was already off target for my plans in Cologne.

Having survived my first trans-Atlantic, I arrived in the City of Monks (Munich). The old city’s airport gave me a glimpse of German industriousness with their sleek modern design exhibiting every surface of their airport. Everything smelled, felt, showed, and softly whispered: Europe.  Or Germany in this case.

Though it was the only airport I was already getting acquainted with German ways. The workers at the airport shops were some quite different. They immediately spoke German, but were rather quick to change to a number of languages. Very stern and direct in their approach I felt a lesson on my shoulder creeping into me.  The woman at the register barely looked at me and not a hint of a smile she asked me for a euro and a half.  After a split second of hesitation to respond, she re-instructed in English.  I poured out a bill of some amount of euros from my hand and wallet.  The change came swift.

The flight to Cologne was quick but not quick enough. My anxiety was now becoming somewhat apparent. We touched down and all passengers shuffled down to the baggage claim. Cologne-Bonn Airport was a rather small airport no bigger than Louisville’s. It had a rustic nature to it, but charming with a less refined nature to it. At one time this airport must have been on the map for being the capital airport as Bonn was the former capital of the Federal Republic. Yet it was not as polished as Munich in its stature.  It had a lot of charm and grit to it.

I followed everyone through the customs gate and came out looking for the train. I found it. I went down trying not to look as confused as the foreigner I was. There were many others using the set of automated ticket dispensers.  Fathoming the instructions in English was difficult and my German was just not up to par to get through the instructions.  I finally succeeded in figuring the fare out with sweat on my brow and a little embarrassment, which I self-contained.

The platform was down a long escalator from the airport terminal.  It was a like a bunker hidden beneath the airport as if there was some need for it to be protected.  The concrete channel was rather intimating and it gave me a feeling of claustrophobia.  I looked around at other people, and then turned my attention to the signs.  Some in English with no meaning that I can find and most in German with no more meaning than anything I knew thus far.

A man I assumed that was probably from Africa was along the platform trying to understand how to get somewhere by asking in a rather attention seeking manner. I looked around for reactions, but there  were not many at all. Many looked like they had not noticed.  A few people helped to explain to this man, but the man’s somewhat attention-seeking method may have been giving the locals some ire.  I think he eventually got an explanation.  Of course, I would have liked to help him but I was not in troubleshooting mood after the long and confusing travel I experienced.

I boarded the train.  Hasty and a little awkward I found a spot near the door and nestled in.

I felt strange in the train. I was looking around and watching all the scenes pass me by. The first thing I noticed was the graffiti on many of the flat vertical surfaces. Even on the somewhat old walls and structures there was hardly a surface not kissed by the artificial colors of a spray can.  Rather different than in the US where we find that only these art forms on inner city areas abandoned and left for no one else to see.  The art was in full view of everyone and it was in the most obvious places.

Then, the train came to slow and began a slow stride with a jerk. I had a qualm come across me that I had not felt in a while. Something climatic was about to happen: we crossed the Rhine.

The bridge showed the historic rust of brown and rouge with the addition of the graffiti. I saw the locks of lovers hung along the pedestrian walkway’s fence on the bridge as I had read somewhere one would see this. The water beyond all this was blue with a little tainting from modernity of brown.  It was a river, but not a strong or weak one: I felt like it was saying something.  If I imagined what it would say, I think she would say: “I am here, and so are you.  You are not the first nor the last to cross me.”  I crossed the Rhine with the least amount of attention, but there was something special here now in me.

Rivers and large bodies of water affected me somehow. The Ohio River seemed so magical every time I crossed it. Crossing the Pacific Ocean had a similar effect, but not since traversing the Shikoku inlet to Osaka on the ferry had I felt this way before. The ferry ride on the Himawari (or Sunflower) was epic every time: the bridges and the lights along the channel were amazing on a giant ferry.  Seeing the fishing boats and other vessels traversing next to the giant machine was belittling with the wind and spray off the ocean.  This strange feeling was the reminder of how small I am compared to the world and the universe. The World was moving and its machinations were constant and not receptive to the small trivial humans within it.

The Rhine is an old river and the history of her had been pivotal for European civilization. Why, of course, had Cologne existed at all without her? The Rhine has its place in history along with the Danube. The Western Civilization can find itself here. Perhaps this was part of my journey here and why I was pulled to come here.  Germany (Deuschland   in its people) has contributed – as well as continues – to world civilization.  Weber, Freud, Kant, Marx, Hilbert, Wagoner, Nietzsche, Goethe and the others of Germanic descent gave things I think the world might not never had without those hard thinkers.

The platform of the Cologne Central Station was old but updated. Some photos I have seen from the older times still guide to the station’s originality. So down the tunnel of people I walked. I was confused; I went down a lesser-used exit. I found an exit and walked out to, a Starbucks. Then I walked further and before I could to search for it, the Dom (Cathedral) appeared before me.

Like seeing a dragon rising before me I saw 500 years of awe and antiquity before my eyes. I got goose bumps trying to fathom what was in my eyes. The towers were so high from my point of view that it was bewildering how humans could have possibly made this structure happen. The dark grey coloring on the walls spoke the time and its occurrence on this area. I stood and stared at this structure straining my neck just to see all of it. The thought reminded of seeing the giant wooden temple in Nara, Japan where the giant golden Buddha is held.  The intricate designs and just the size does not allow words to explain properly.

The Dom was so distinctly large from what I had seen before that it took me back to the castles and dragons I remember fantasizing about when I was a child.  The people around the area awing as I was, made the scale apparent: it was beyond large.  I was accustomed to large, but this was different in its appearance and nature like seeing a dragon for the first time.  For instance if a dragon was real, it would shock reality into anyone.  Football stadiums and skyscrapers did not have the same effect on me.

People were everywhere in the square. They sat before the Cathedral on the steps from the train station. The variety of people standing and watching was stark: Muslims, Chinese, Caucasians, darker skinned people, and fairer skinned people. I had not quite the same feeling as I did when I was in college when I saw many different in a Japanese setting. Yet it caused me to pause and consider where I was: Europe.  This was the Europe and nothing of it could prepare someone who had been living in small town outside a big city.  I was treading waters that I had never felt before.  Canada, nor California, nor Kansai were like this.

I decided to use Facebook to check-in. I did it passively; I did it to milestone this point in time. That did not matter so much I thought though.

I stood there thinking about being in the moment for a while before getting through my next task: finding the apartment I was to stay for the next two nights.  I smoked my cigarette looking at the main entrance and all around.  I remember watching Tageschau a few months previously and I watched a report on a sexual assaults (by immigrants and refugees of Middle Eastern origin) in the very area I was standing.  This was winter when that happened, and now it is May.  I was watching that newscast replay in my mind and listening without much understanding of sexual assault victims.  I think those events were unfortunate and repulsive.  Yet I find myself feeling like I was standing in a battle after all the blood was washed away.  I kept those thoughts as well as the feeling of exhaustion and gladness for having arrived.

But I am here. That mattered to me in the moment.

Job Search – 3 Jan 2016

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the unemployment office.  I assume it is to interview that I am actually searching for work and I am not just sucking the resources of the state while I do nothing.  I think the wording in the actual email was slightly different but that was the feeling I am coming away with.

The holidays make this especially hard to search for a job.  So for a week I had the luxury of not having people call asking me to apply for jobs that I am either not interested or are far out of my location that it would be a difficult move to make.

I am placing a lot of my hopes on a certain job mainly because it is fresh company to the area with a young company culture and exciting product lines.  They are European, which is a new market I would like to explore.

I have experience in the Tier 2 level of American automakers in addition to my experience with Toyota as Tier 1 supplier.  But Europe is a new idea and I do not much about European automakers and their quality.  Perhaps that is a good thing in that I do not know that they have much knowledge on their quality except for the Volkswagen emissions fraud.  Other than that, I do not know anyone who has a German car except for my relatives and friends in Europe.

Other than that, I have limited prospects.  Other opportunities are in places I would not go even only driving through on the way to some other destination.  One job prospect is in the middle of Tennessee.  Others are in Michigan and northern Indiana.

I just hope that this opportunity pans out and I can get back to earning a living rather than living off unemployment insurance.  I would rather have fill from my hard work than a hand-out.  While I take the hand-out graciously, I feel that it is not deserved.  I never wanted to leave my job and I am still confused as to why I had to.  Perhaps that is another post for another day.

A Thought on Norms

So yesterday I was at my favorite cafe doing my thing: learning German, reading my book, and just people watching like the person.

I had to sit at the bar, which is a three-seat section near the barista station where all the drinks are distributed.  The cafe was somewhat crowded and I was forced to choose this area since all the areas were either barely filled by other people.

So I sat at the end of this row of three watching the baristas make and hand-out drinks.  I placed my bag on the chair next to me as I sat myself.  These were bar-stools: they were high enough that placing my bag on the floor would be cumbersome to get off the ground.  I thought to myself that this would not be an issue since if the cafe had become so full I would just place my bag on the floor to sit in the remaining two stools.

I watched for people in need of both chairs: a woman who sat while she waited for her drink at the end stool.  Another person hovered around the stool later but never sat.

Then a couple floated to the area with some food bought from the cafe and appeared to wait for their drink.  The woman of this couple sat in the stool at the end while a man hovered around while looking at his phone.  I tried to make eye contact with them, but I was confused whether they were going to stay or leave.  The woman was walking here and there, and the man just seemed like he didn’t know what she was going to do next.  The man’s body language was communicating to me that he was disaffected by the environment.

I ignored them momentarily.

After a minute or so, I looked up again to find that they were still there and the woman now sat in the chair.  The man not facing me or the woman not paying attention to my attempts at eye contact showed now that they were staying.  I looked at them again to see if I could get any communication on their intentions, but could not in the end.  Seeing that the effort was not worth anymore at this point than just placing my bag on the floor, I removed my bag from the stool and lowered it lightly to the floor to the corner next to me.

I went back to my task at hand.

Surprisingly, in the next moment I heard and saw the stool moving away from my side as I had kept it close since my bag had previously been keeping it.  The man pulled the chair and sat facing away from me toward his female companion.  His shoulders were a wide expanse like the Wall of Jericho while his head hunched down to his phone.  I heard murmurs from beyond the wall, but nothing toward me.  I was not at all within their thoughts.

I did not receive any gesture of acknowledgement of my actions.  Not that I wanted it, but regular politeness would have afforded me something.  I am not upset by this, but it got me wondering about these things of politeness and in other ways, moral obligation.  This is supposed to be upsetting to a degree, but in a way I feel that this all but common and useless to ponder.  Yet to some extent I feel that this could be how the real world and how to improve it.

How can we communicate when we cannot communicate?  It is a timeless conundrum, and I felt I did the best I could to create some trust.

I see it from this man and woman’s side of the equation where it was a public establishment and because there was an opportunity I should not be wasting them the opportunity to be seated.  On the other hand, from my point of view, I had allowed them opportunity with effort: I could have ignored them and just assumed they were intending on staying.

I felt like I knew that man (and woman) somehow in their thinking that perhaps there is a sense of entitlement.  There is some of them in me when I think about it, and despite whether I am right or wrong I would like to improve the world.