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Bass guitar chronicles   

Hello everyone!

As you may already know but I like to play the bass guitar and early this year I got this idea of making a bass guitar. There was one specific model that I always wanted to buy but the price was a bit out of my reach so I thought to make a copy of that model. "It's just a piece of wood and strings, how hard can it be?" I thought so I bought some hard maple and mahogany, frets, abalone inlays etc., all what's needed to make a complete guitar. The guitar I set to make was neck-through type bass guitar. This means that the guitar is basically one big piece of wood with the neck going all the way from the top to the bottom through the body of the guitar.

My wood crafting skills are from elementary school but armed with confidence I set to work. First was to glue the pieces of maple and mahogany together (already pre-cut). Once glue was cured enough I routed the channel for the truss rod using a router. Next routing the headstock, piece of cake! Well, not actually. It's been harder than I thought but finally it's starting to resemble something of a bass guitar.

I'll keep you posted on how it's going.



Bass guitar chronicles_e0169998_152123.jpgBass guitar chronicles_e0169998_15224195.jpg

by chitchatcafe | 2013-09-25 15:24 | 英会話 プライベート レッスン

Not looking forward to winter!   

Hi everyone! Please excuse my long absence from the blog!

It was summer's fault: the wonderful weather and sunny days led me outside, camping, going to the beach everyday, I was so busy having a great time! ...right? No, not really. It's been a very busy summer for me, and only recently I completed one of my recent projects, a collection of all my past published comics that will come out in November! I'm very excited for it but I'm afraid it won't come out in Japanese or English, sorry!

Sapporo instead seems to be preparing for the autumn at last, but I'm quite relieved that the weather is still warm. Well, at least warm enough to keep strolling around on my bicycle!

I'm going to be very sad the day I have to part from my bike like last year, put it in the garage and bid her farewell for a few months. But at least, when I take it out again next year I'll go for a long trip with her. More details about that in a future update!

Sapporo, stay warm as long as possible!

Sio (Italy)

by chitchatcafe | 2013-09-21 16:56 | 英会話 教師 札幌

Sweet tooth-Cream tooth-Foreign tooth   

You must have noticed chit chatters that I love eating, I love good food espacially desserts and cheese! However you may know that sometimes I do miss my French food... Mind me I love Japanese food and believe it or not but I missed it while I was away in France for the summer! But let me explain you why I really miss French food!

Well, this is what happened to me a few weeks ago... I was shopping in Sapporo station for over 2 hours and started feeling a bit peckish... Lucky me, there are hundreds of bakery-like shops around sapporo station and so I thought to have a bite while resting for a few minutes. I picked one place and had a look at all the danish displayed... My eyes stopped on a "pain au lait". All ignorant I am I bought it without giving it a second thought ! Happy, mouthwatering, I took a bite in my "pain au lait" and stopped straight when sweet milk flew into my mouth... This is what "pain au lait" means in Japan : a danish stuffed with condensed milk... and silly me, I was expecting unsweetened bread cooked with milk... Unfortunately I don't like condensed milk...

You see, I've been in Japan for over a year and a half now but shame on me I can still get fooled! haha! Everyone knows here in Japan that there is nothing more appetizing than desserts or cheese with a french name. You know of course "croissant" and so have you most probably come across "pain au lait", "mousse au chocolat" or even "camembert"...
This is where the shoe pinches... You see, as a French person, sweets and cheese is like sushi or ramen for Japanese. I mean, whenever you hear sushi or ramen you picture succulent fresh raw fish or a steaming bowl of noodles in a full-flavoured soup filled in with this just-right cooked egg and this delicious slice of pork. Each bite is a bite of heaven...

Well whenever I hear "croissant" I imagine this yummy puffed pastry crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, whenever I hear "pain au lait" I picture this tasty unsweetened loaf of bread cooked with milk, whenever I hear "mousse au chocolat" I can see this mouthwatering chocolate light and fluffy cream made from egg white that melts in your mouth, whenever I hear "camembert" I can smell it, I can see each piece melting.... And most of all when I think of a cake or a pie or any other kind of French desserts I DON'T see any fresh cream!!! In fact in France we rarely use fresh cream in pastries but mostly as a decoration on a top of cakes or on the side. This is where I get really confused! Here in japan it seems that wherever you go, french or european desserts are turning into fresh cream... Unfortunately I don't like fresh cream...

However this is what makes the experience all the more interesting! You see, you have very little surprise in your own country when talking about cuisine... but for us travelers surprises make our day!

And sometimes you come across a divine speciality and for me it is named Sweet Red Bean Paste (Anko)!

What about you traveling chit chatters? Have you ever tried Japanese food abroad? Or have you ever compared foreign cuisine in Japan and abroad?

I look forward to hearing about your experiences next time you call in!

Claire (France)

by chitchatcafe | 2013-09-20 15:07 | カフェ 英会話 札幌


"I'm so happy the summer is almost over". These aren't words I ever expected to hear myself utter. Frankly, it had never occurred to me before that there could be such a thing as "too much summer". But then I came to Japan.

I have always had wonderful summers as a boy. My parents are both from cities on the opposite side of the country, so summers were spent on the back of our car, travelling from one relative to another, usually ending the trip at my mother's parents' town which is very close to the Black Sea. That meant I had a few good weeks of beach-going. Wake up early morning, get your beach towel, make a few sandwiches for lunch, a watermelon or two, some melons, water and lots of books. Pack all that in tightly and get in your car. The trip usually takes 40 minutes during which you go trough gentle hills smiling with the year's harvest of sunflowers, wheat and corn. You weave your way down to this year's favorite beach location, find a nice shade to park your car under and head down to the half empty beach. Rinse and repeat.

I miss summers in Bulgaria.

Slavi (Bulgaria)

by chitchatcafe | 2013-09-12 17:34 | カフェ 英会話 札幌

Room for Olympic growth   

So earlier this week, it was announced Tokyo will be the host city for the 2020 Olympics. After seeing speculative reports on the evening news for weeks leading up to the IOC's final decision, I personally wasn't surprised, considering the popular animated film from the 1980s, Akira, predicted the games being held in Tokyo almost thirty years ago. I hope the real festivities don't turn out like the movie!

Many Japanese people are proud, and rightfully so: winning a bid for the Olympics is no simple task. It requires immense planning and investment, not just in the preliminary proposals, but in the ultimate follow-through as well.

Perhaps because of this great expense, I've read that some Japanese people are not so thrilled about Tokyo getting the games; some believe that all of the money required to host such a spectacle should be invested elsewhere in the country, such as the still-recovering Tohoku area and Fukushima, or any of the other places in Japan that do not get the kind of infrastructural attention and development that Tokyo receives. Opponents also argue that economic benefits from the spike in tourism surrounding the games will again only benefit Tokyo, and perhaps other cities should have been proposed.

Since I am not a citizen, I don't have much of an opinion beyond favoring the options that will give the greatest benefit to the whole country, especially starting with places that need attention the most.

Perhaps a bit controversial, perhaps overreaction…what do you think? Stop in to chat with or enlighten me anytime!

Aaron (USA)

by chitchatcafe | 2013-09-10 14:16 | 英会話 スクール 札幌