Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Japanese Word of the Week- April 12- 19, 2009

This weeks word: acceleration, encouragement
Pronunciation: sokushin
Kana: そくしん
Kanji: 促進

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Spread The Stupidity

Only in America...

...do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front of the store.

...do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries and a diet coke.

...do banks leave both doors open and chain the pens to the counters.

...do we leave ours cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

...do we buy hot dogs in packs of ten and buns in packs of eight.

...do they have drive- up ATM machines with braille lettering.

Ever Wonder...

Why the sun lightens our hair but darkens our skin?

Why women can't put mascara on with their mouth closed?

Why you don't ever see the headline "Psychic wins lottery"?

Why "abbreviated" is such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what they do "practice"?

Why lemon juice is made with artificial flavor but washing up liquid is made from real lemons?

Why a man who invests all your money called a broker?

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called "rush hour"?

Why isn't there a mouse- flavored cat food?

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Why are they called apartments when there all stuck together?

If con is the opposite of pro, then is Congress the opposite of progress?

I hope you had a good laugh (or even a chuckle)!

Chinese Horoscope

As some of you might already know, this year is the year of the ox. (Also the year I was born in). Here are the years of the ox that have already happened. See if your birth year is there

Here are some cool stuff that might happen to you if this is your year:

Ox Overview

The Ox can do well this year through steady progress. There may be a number of experiences that will provide great joy for the Ox. One area, in particular, is the Ox's personal life. You may see an addition to the family. You will be surrounded by those who care. Look for the early summer months to attend many social occasions, providing many new faces in your social circle. One area of focus is to be open to the advice of others, as you tend to keep your issues to yourself. Overall, your own year can be one that you will look back on with pride and a genuine sense of achievement.

Ox Rating

52% (3 favorable 5 neutral and 4 unfavorable months)

Ox Career

In 2009, the Oxen will be given many opportunities to further your plans and goals, as well as consolidate your position. Steady progress is the position where the Ox is most comfortable and that is where you will find yourself this year. You will also have a chance to impress and gain support from those around you. This is a good year to enhance your skills and add to your repertoire with added training or study. You will be satisfied in knowing that anything you do this year will repay you in this year and the years to come. The months of May, late August and September may mark a change in your career.

Ox Relationships

2009 will be a year of personal happiness. For the single Ox, there may be a chance to engage in new and meaningful friendships, romance, and possibly even marriage. Others will take comfort in their domestic and social lives. Being an Ox year, this is one that will provide enjoyment for you as long as you allow it. Beware of your strong will and do not allow any minor disagreements to escalate and put a damper on a fine year. May is a month that will highly favor a chance meeting or a heightened level in a relationship.

Ox Health

Health matters don't seem to be too much of a concern for the Ox this year, as you are good at implementing some sort of physical activity into your routine. The Ox's discipline does well to carry over into your health. It never hurts to find ways to improve in this area, so don't discount anything that will improve the quality of your life. Even though there may not be any large issues, stress can be a surmounting factor to be aware.

Ox Wealth

The Ox could enjoy an improvement financially, but you may face a number of large expenses over the year. To maneuver your budget through the year of the Ox, exercise care and sensible spending. It would be wise to seek professional advice when it comes to any speculative ventures or risky investments that create some sense of doubt.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


You might be wondering why I haven't been putting many blog posts on lately. Well, the answer is simple... "crash". My computer crashed. My NEW laptop. So my dad decided to put some program on the computer to fix the hard drive. It was all running smoothly until when it was about 57% completed. It took 6 days to go from 57%- 61% then kept running smoothly. It's finally finished and I'm very happy to have my laptop back. And as my mom always says (if you read her blog - heatherveale.blogspot.com - ) "Isn't technology wonderful?"

And by the way since I was gone I've missed some events so I need to catch up on things:

~Happy birthday to my dad -Tony Veale- (April 3rd)
~Happy birthday to my uncle -Martin Veale- (April 4th)
~(I think my computer was up and running but I might have forgotten to say it) Happy Anniversary to my parents -Heather and Tony Veale- (March 23rd)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Poll Results- What language would you like to speak?

Chinese- 1 vote (12%)
French- 2 votes (25%)
Italian- 1 vote (12%)
Russian- 2 votes (25%)
Spanish- 1 vote (12%)
Other- 1 vote (12%)

Japanese Word of the Week- April 5- 12, 2009

This week's word: tendency, movement, attitude
Pronunciation: doukou
Kana: どうこう
Kanji: 動向

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Boston Aquarium

Last weekend my family and I went to the Boston Aquarium. It's a very nice place and has all sea creatures imaginable, from penguins to sea lions to tiny little fish that look almost invisible! One thing that I really like is that in the center of the aquarium, there is a humongous tank filled with water and many types of fish like sharks, manta ray's and turtles. But the best part is that it's on a spiral walkway that goes around the tube so you can see what fish live at different depths and see things from different angles and around the tube are little (sort of) enclosed areas that you let you lean on something and look at the fish go by without being part of the crowd. This aquarium is extremely clean, extremely informative and extremely fun to explore.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You've got to be joking! #1

Some lame jokes that hopefully will keep you entertained for a while
~Beautician: Did that mud pack I gave you for your wife improve her appearance?
Man: It did for a while- then it fell off.
~My sister is so dumb she thinks that a cartoon is a song you sing in the car.
That's nothing, my sister thinks that a juggernaut is an empty beer mug.
~Boy: What's the biggest any in the world?
Girl: My Aunt Fatima
Boy: No, it's an elephant
Girl: You obviously haven't met my Aunt Fatima

~Witch: Have you ever seen someone who looked like me before?
Girl: yes, but I had to pay admission
~A man walked into a police station and said, "I've got 3 big brothers and we all live in the same room. My eldest brother has 7 cats. Another has 3 dogs, and the 3rd has a goat. I want to do something about the smell."
"Are there any windows in your room" asked the officer.
"Yes of course there are!" said the man.
"Have you tried opening them?"
"What, and lose all my pigeons?"

~"Doctor, doctor, I've just swallowed the film from my camera."
"Well, let's hope nothing develops."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Notes on Learning Japanese

Here are some notes that will help you learn Japanese that you might find interesting (even if your not learning Japanese or even if you can't understand them)

~Japanese uses 4 alphabets, Romaji which is the English alphabet and used for mainly pronunciation (like on the words of the week), Hiragana which is used to write native words such as "sushi" and has 46 characters that aren't letters, but sounds like "ka", "ki", or "ku" except for the 5 vowels and the letter "n", Katakana which are the same sounds as the Hiragana but look different and are used for cognates such as "terebi" (television) and are more angular than Hiragana characters, and Kanji which are from Chinese origin and are used to tell apart words that are the same.

~There are believed to be over 50,000 Kanji but they only teach 2,500 in school because that's how much you need to know to read a newspaper

~The word "desu" goes at the end of a sentence and can mean either "is", "am" or "are"
~The Japanese have no different words for present and future tense- ex. 私は食べる can either mean "I eat" or "I will eat"

~"desu" can be changed to "masu" if there is a verb at the end of a sentence
~Japanese don't use spaces

~The word order in Japanese is SVO (English is SOV)

Japanese Word of the Week- March 23- 30, 2009

This Week's Word- design
Pronunciation- dezain
Kana- デザイン
Kanji- (no kanji)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My New Cell Phone!

Just the other day I got a new cell phone. It has a camera! That is pretty much how much I need to say about my new cell phone but if I ended the blog post here, that would result in a very short and boring blog post so I'll tell you about why I got my cell phone. So, last summer my grandparents came out (like any other summer) but this time they decided they wanted to get a cell phone that works in America. The next day they went to the store and got a very infancy, inexpensive, pay as you go cell phone which actually looked pretty cool. When they went back to Wales, they left the cell phone here (because it doesn't work in the U.K.) and instead of just letting it sit around for 11 months of the year, they gave it to me but a few weeks ago I destroyed it. I'd accidentally left it in my jean pocket and the jeans got washed. So, since this wasn't my phone I had to replace it so I thought "If I have to get a new phone, I might as well get a cooler one", so I did! It looks like this (see picture).

Poll Results- How many continents have you steped foot on?

3 continents- 2 people (33%)
4 continents- 4 people (66%)

*Remember to keep voting on the new polls and tell your friends :-)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Step Two of the Braces Procedure

Today I went to the orthodontist (yet again) and got spacers! For those of you who don't know what they are, they are little blue rubber bands that go in between your teeth and are supposed to widen the gap so that braces can fit nicely. Anyway, I thought they were going to be some really painful metal things but it turns out that there only little blue rubber bands that go around your teeth. They don't really hurt which is good because people have told me that they're the most painful part of the entire procedure. But before they could put the spacers in they had to take some molds of my teeth which were disgusting. They had to hold a bunch of bright blue slime in my mouth and wait for it to harden. Yuk! But at least step two in my braces procedure is complete.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

As you all know today is Saint Patrick's Day (unless you have to cross the international date line to get to me) so I've decided to share with you some Irish facts. Even though I'm not Irish, I like to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day because I live in America and that's what Americans do. We celebrate every holiday for every religion so that we can go to Godiva and buy ourselves a box of chocolates and sit there eating them, not feeling guilty because we know that it's for good reason. Any way onto the facts.

~Saint Patrick was actually Welsh (like me) and Saint David was believed to be Irish
~Saint Patrick was kidnapped by the Irish and enslaved for 6 years!
~After 6 years he escaped and moved back to Wales
~Later in his life he moved to Ireland again (Which was probably pretty stupid considering he was enslaved there)
~The color of Saint Patrick's Day used to be blue but green is the color mostly associated with Ireland so they changed it over time

Monday, March 16, 2009

Braces are a pain in the Neck!

This Saturday I went to the orthodontist to get my teeth checked out before i get my braces (April 2nd). I had been through it all before so I knew what to do. They had to stick a piece of wax in your mouth that makes you gag, take some photos of you and take some X- rays. While they were doing the X- rays I had to put on a really heavy vest to protect against the harmful rays (hence the name "X- ray"). I had to do this one X- ray where some plugs go into your ears and the plugs are on a piece of plastic that is attached to this machine. I think they were just there to keep me still. Anyway, the machine was a little low so i asked the lady that was taking the X- rays to higher the machine a little. When she did higher it, it really hurt because it was too high but before I could say anything she scurried out of the room and I was left there for about 2 minutes with my head feeling like it was being pulled out of it's socket. When I got home I started to notice my neck hurt. The pain just kept growing and growing and growing! It's been like this for 3 days now (including today). I've even had to skip school today because of my neck injury and all day I've constantly had to have a hot buckwheat pillow (a pillow thing that you heat up in the microwave) up to my neck to keep the muscles relaxed. Isn't getting braces fun?


What is the only place in Massachusetts that you can watch a chef cook your teriyaki chicken on a grill in front of you with 4 foot flames, and an onion volcano? It's Marlborough's very own Fuji Steakhouse. As you sit in the row of chairs with your chopsticks in hand you see your very own Master Chef come to your grill with his spatula and ready to amaze you. He then starts banging his spatula against the grill and flipping it around, making you think that it's got to be an illusion... but it's not. You then realize that this is not your ordinary Japanese restaurant. The chef next spills oil on the grill, lights a match and before you know it, 4 foot flames appear on the grill. A bright orange light fills the room and the intense heat covers your face but before you know it the flames are gone. You now wonder how the chef keeps the flames so under control. Now is when the chef starts cooking. He spins and raw egg on the grill and bounces it around on his spatula and after he shows off a little he gives it a toss and cracks it on the side on his spatula. After he has thrown some fried rice on your plate he takes the rings of onions and stacks them like a volcano. You start to imagine what kind of trick he'll do now, when 1... 2... 3... he pours oil into the center and lets it on fire making an onion volcano! The chef has now left you with a full plate of food, an empty stomach and very enjoyable experience.

Japanese Word of the Week- March 15- 22, 2009

This Week's Word: to hear, to listen, to ask
Pronunciation: kiku
Kana: きく
Kanji: 聞く

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Word of the... week?

Yes, you people who have been following my blog must know that I (used to) do the "Japanese Word of the day", But frankly everyday, that's pretty hard. From now on I'm going to do the "Japanese Word of the Week" (because that's much easier to handle). And anyway, unless your a freak-a-zoid, geeky, "still lives with his mother" kind of guy your probably not going to go to my blog everyday to see the word of the day. So overall this is better for me, because I can easily find time once a week to do a "Japanese Word of the Week" and it's better for you because you can probably find time once a week to catch up on my blog and extend your knowledge with another Japanese vocabulary word... (especially if your a geeky, "still lives with his mother" kind of guy).

Sorry :-(

Sorry, followers of this blog (if there are any left). I've been very busy with things over the past few weeks that I've forgotten about the blog. How could I forget about my fellow bloggers? I can't even use words to describe how ashamed of myself I'm feeling (so I'll use a picture)

Any way, I'm going to start trying to put in more blog entries soon so look out for them.......... coming soon

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Japanese Word of the Day- Feb 28 2009

Today's Word- indemnity, compensation
Pronunciation- baishou
Kana- ばいしょう
Kanji- 賠償

Poll Results- What is your favorite color?

Red- 2 votes (18%)
Orange- 0 votes (0%)
Yellow- 2 votes (18%)
Green- 0 votes (0%)
Blue- 4 votes (36%)
Purple- 2 votes (18%)
Pink- 1 vote (9%)
None of the above- 0 votes (0%)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Japanese Word of the Day- Feb 27 2009

Today's Word- victory or defeat, match, contest, game, bout
Pronunciation- shoubu
Kana- しょうぶ
Kanji- 勝負

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Japanese Word of the Day- Feb 26 2009

Today's Word- importance, stress, serious concentration
Pronunciation- juushi
Kana- じゅうし
Kanji- 重視

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Japanese Word of the Day- Feb 25 2009

Today's Word- understand
Pronunciation- wakaru
Kana- わかる
Kanji- 理解する

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Facts about Japan

Here are some facts about Japan if your interested:
  • Japan has 192 volcanoes, of which 58 are still active.
  • Japan has an area slightly smaller than California and has a population of 126 million, making this country the fifth most populous in the world.
  • The five main islands of Japan are Honshu, Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido and Okinawa.
  • English-speaking policemen wear a red armband.
  • Shintoism, Buddhism and Christianity are the main religions practiced in Japan.
  • The three largest corporations in Japan are 1) Mitsubishi, 2) Sumitomo, and 3) Itoh.
  • Japan's unemployment is about 3 percent.
  • Tradition says that the eldest son and his wife have the major responsibility for caring for his parents.
  • Most Japanese have studied English in school, but their studies were geared toward passing exams, not holding conversations. As a result, many hesitate to speak English, but may understand more than most Americans give them credit for. They may therefore be offended if spoken to in broken English.
  • There are approximately 250 colleges in Japan, with 80% of them located in the Tokyo area.
  • Very few Japanese appreciate being called mama-san or papa-san, so forget what you've seen in the movies.
  • The Japanese consider it inappropriate to show affection in public.
  • The average female marries at age 24 and the average male at age 27.
  • In most homes and some restaurants, you'll have to remove your shoes before entering.
  • Green tea is the national drink of Japan.
  • Japanese drive on the left side of the road.
  • Water is safe to drink, except in the most remote areas of the country.
  • Hashi (chopsticks) are the normal eating utensils. Using them is easier than you might think.
  • Some restaurants and nightclubs might be closed to foreigners; it's best to check before you enter.
  • It's not unusual to hear Japanese slurp as they eat ramen or other noodle dishes; but, it is impolite to smack your lips, speak with your mouth full, or use a toothpick in public.
  • Many Japanese restaurants have plastic or wax food on display in windows or cases to show passersby the types of food served.
  • Bar snacks are not usually free.
  • Japan is the largest importer of food in the world.
  • Tipping is not an accepted practice in bars, restaurants, taxis, etc.
  • Travelers checks and credit cards are not accepted in many restaurants.
  • Bargaining in Japan is not generally accepted. The price listed is the price you pay.
  • Japanese do not use personal checking accounts, so personal checks are not acceptable payment outside of U.S. facilities. U.S. dollars must be exchanged on base or in a Japanese bank prior to making purchases off-base.
  • Stores are usually closed Jan. 1-3 to celebrate the New Year.
  • Sumo is the national sport of Japan, despite the popularity of baseball. Sumo wrestlers are often 6 feet tall and weigh more than 300 pounds.
  • If you visit a public hot bath, remember the tub is for relaxing, not cleaning. Shower before entering the tub.

Japanese Word of the Day- Feb 24 2009

Today's Word- not very, not much, remainder, rest
Pronunciation- amari
Kana- あまり
Kanji- (Does not have Kanji)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Japanese Word of the Day- Feb 23 2009

Today's Word- middle school
Pronunciation- chuugaku
Kana- ちゅうがく
Kanji- 中学校

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I just found out that for April vacation were going to Arizona. I'm really excited and the cool part is that my friends are going to Phoenix as well but not on the same day. It would be cool if we got to meet up with them. Anyway I was looking at stuff to do in Arizona on the web and I saw this add that was advertising Arizona so I clicked on it and it said that I could print a booklet of things to do. So I signed up, put in my e-mail address, clicked on the one I wanted and write after i confirmed everything, a note popped up saying that I should expect it in my mailbox about 2- 4 weeks from now (Rip -off). I'm still surfing the net for stuff to do in Arizona on our vacation not that we desperately need to find stuff to do before the trip. I mean we could always just find stuff to do when we're there, but just in case, if your reading this post, comment on a place that was fun to go to or something that you thought was fun there. One of the things I heard you could do was horse back riding which sounds really fun. The last time I road a horse was when I was about 4 or 5 and I was at the farm. It wasn't even fun because the little ponies were chained up and forced to walk around in a circle all day with kids on their backs (poor horse). All in all, I'm looking forward to it. (And don't forget to comment if you've been there)

Japanese Word of the Day- Feb 22 2009

Today's Word- noon, mid- day
Pronunciation- shougo
Kana- しょうご

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Timeline of Japan's History

A brief history of Japan...
10,000 B.C.- 300 B.C.
Jomon Period; Skillful fishing developed; Clay figures made; Basic agriculture began; Government structure began
300 B.C.- 250 A.D. Yayoi Period; Bronze tools first appeared; Permanent farming villages established; Cloth woven
250 A.D.- 538 A.D. Kufon Period; Highly aristocratic society; Armor and weapons common
538 A.D.- 710 A.D. Asuka Period; Arrival of Buddhism; Significant artistic, social and political changes
710 A.D.- 784 A.D. Nara Period; Capitol of Nara established; Efforts to document history and literature began; Widespread of written language
784 A.D.- 1185 A.D. Heian Period; The peak of Japan's art, poetry and literature; Considered a high point in Japanese Culture
1185 A.D.- 1333 A.D. Kamakura Period; Said to be the Beginning of the Japanese middle ages
1333 A.D.- 1336 A.D. Kemmu Period; Three years in between the fall of Kamakura Shogunate and the rise of Ashikaga Shogunate
1336 A.D.- 1573 A.D. Muromachi Period; The early years are known as the Nanboku- cho Court Period and the later years are known as the Sengoku Period
1573 A.D.- 1603 A.D. Azuchi- Momoyama Period; This Period is named after their castles, The Azuchi Castle and the Momoyama castle
1603 A.D.- 1867 A.D. Edo Period; Beginning of the Edo
1600 A.D. Battle of Sekigahara
1707 A.D. The eruption of Mount Fuji
1868 A.D.- 1912 A.D. Meiji Period; Japan started modernizing
1912 A.D.- 1926 A.D. Taisho Period; The period of "Great Righteousness"
1926 A.D.- 1989 A.D. Showa Period; Emperor Hirihito ruled Japan
1941 A.D. December 7th Japan attacked Pearl Harbor
1945 A.D. August 6th First atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima
1989 A.D.- Present Heisei Period; Japan's current period named by Emperor Akihito after the death of his father, Hirohito, the Showa emperor
...or maybe not so brief. :-)

Japanese Word of the Day- Feb 21 2009

Today's Word- Stone
Pronunciation- ishi
Kana- いし

Who is Robert Veale?

Konnichiwa bloggers. This is the first blog I've done so it's probably not going to be the best blog you've ever read (Hopefully I'll get better at it as I write more). Anyway, as you know my name is Robert Veale. I'm a 12 year old boy who was born in Wales and moved to America at a very young age. Now, you might be wondering why instead of the basic "Hello" or "Welcome" I put "Konnichiwa" at the beginning of my blog. That's because I'm teaching myself Japanese. I've just always wanted to go to Japan (and I can guarantee that some day I will go). I think I'm getting pretty good at it. I could probably have a very basic conversation with someone in Japan just to figure out how to get places or to tell how much something is or even read a menu. There is actually an article on how I'm learning Japanese on my Mom's blog. http://www.heatherveale.blogspot.com/
My other family members are my younger sister, Emma, and my Dad (and my two cats), but that's enough about me for now. Be sure to look for my other posts coming soon (as soon as I can think of something else to write about). ~Robert