Hey there! It has been a couple of months since my last update. Not much has happened here, though that isn’t a defense for my slackness in posting. I will attempt to post more regularly. On a good note, one of the locals that I have befriended has prompted me to get me back into a blog schedule. Shout out to Nikki!
The weather of late has moved between windy to still, hot and dry, to muggy or wet. The birds have been busy, with many making short work of the fruit from the various mango trees along the creek behind the house. The finches, sunbirds, crows, parrots, magpies, etc… all like mangoes apparently. I find it interesting to see how many critters make use of the fruit and/or tree. The usual collection of Pee Wees, Willy Wagtails and and Plovers have been around, though the cockatoos, pigeons and doves seem to be hanging out more on the other side of the creek these days. “Turkey Joe” the Bush Turkey occasionally pokes his head up for some noms, but I think that it might be getting too hot even for him. The cranes and storks have been hunting in the creek along with ducks and water hens. Not much activity in the way of the several raptor species that live around here, and I believe may be hunting closer to their nests. Given that I haven’t gone for a walk down to the campsite, no new sightings of the brolgas. I might go for a walk again sometime next week.
Anyway, I suppose that I should tell you what I’ve been up to.
FILM & TELEVISION
Hubby and I watched the new Star Wars on Christmas Eve. We found it to doing a great job of emulating the original mid-trilogy.
We’ve been working through the episodes of the heavily thrilled yet oddly addictive show Blacklist. We watched and I mildly enjoyed the first season of Vikings, but I found myself easily distracted. We also finished up Heroes: Reborn as well, a series that had so many easily avoidable technical errors and plot screw-ups. We are currently up to date with Elementary, a show that I finally got hubby back into after a six month hiatus. When we first started watching it, he was a little distracted by the show Sherlock. Although Sherlock is good, there is something oddly charming about Elementary that makes me more inclined to watch it over Sherlock which is also a good show. I couldn’t quite get hubby interested in Lost Girl or Unforgettable, in spite of myself enjoying the first episode of both shows. Expanse, Billions and Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands are all promising for their own reasons. As for The 100, I found it to be a bit too focused on “attractive teens” then deal with some of the plot problems that crop up. Even the apparently starving and air-deprived people tend to be in good condition. I am considering getting back into Grim at some stage, but I doubt that I’ll go back to Sleepy Hollow as the first episode was exceptionally weak in my personal opinion.
As for anime, we finished the first seasons of Overlord (an odd quasi-fantasy series, but it has neat characters and a solid storyline), One Punch Man (epic superhero silliness that is freaking hilarious), Tokyo Ghoul (the main character is a little whiny, but it has some nice world-building and a solid storyline to make use of some really neat characters) and No Game No Life (weird, but brilliant funny series). We are now watching Terror in Resonance, a show about two young terrorists in Japan that stole a nuclear weapon months ahead of the beginning of their campaign of terror. It touches on the reasons behind their hatred, time spent at an institution. We see the story partially through the eyes of a troubled girl that has been forced to join them or die after noticing one at the site of their first bombings. As for anime series that I am currently considering watching next, I am currently thinking Fairy Tail, Parasyte: The Maximum and Karneval.
READING & WRITING
Not much in either department actually. Some mild edits of plot layouts, but I still haven’t moved my work over to onenote for better organization of my work. Its funny that I have been talking doing so for months but still haven’t done it. I suppose that it is simply linked to old habits. On a good note, OneNote 2016 looks awesome and my computer is having a lot less issues since moving to Windows 10. BTW, I am really digging Windows 10.
As for reading, I have been spending more time reading non-fiction articles predominantly related to language learning. I did make some headway on a LibriVox recording of American Indian Fairy Tales by Larned and Schoolcraft as read by Chip from Tampa Bay in Florida. I have listened to some of Chip’s narration before and enjoy his voice. I have a few more stories to go before I am done, but seriously need to up my reading if I want to get anywhere near my reading challenge target for the year. Last year’s result was atrocious, but understandable given the move and other stuff that happened.
What have you working on? Been reading any good books?
I haven’t done much “formal” (def. formatted for institutional use) study in the last few months, my momentum and subsequent enthusiasm being stilted by the hot weather and Christmas break. It has been a little annoying, which is odd given that study was meant to augment my understanding of the world rather than to become a chore. That being said, I still have some genuinely interesting self-paced MOOCs on medieval text (scrolls, books and printing) by Harvard at EdX waiting to be completed.
That being said, I did finally bring out the Duolingo app on my Windows phone a few weeks ago and started using it. I haven’t done any lessons since early last year, but some of the words were still familiar to me. I became addicted to the lessons, even ignoring the computer game RIFT until two days ago. I am predominantly focusing on Portuguese and Dutch at present, two languages that also tie in well with other languages. Dutch and German use a lot of similar words, whilst Portuguese has a lot in common with Spanish. Having some mild background in both, Dutch and Portuguese seemed like good choices. Of the two, I have taken a real liking to Dutch. The only issue is that I sometimes use the German equivalent of a word by mistake. At least I don’t have to I originally decided to give Portuguese a run because of a recommendation by Jose “StrawHatRican” Morales, a gamer, youtube, writer friend of mine when I asked about alternatives to Spanish.
In lieu of my renewed focus on language learning, I have enrolled in “The Bilingual Brain” at Coursera, a course that I started a while back but wasn’t able to finish due to some personal stuff that came up. I have also started using OneNote for lecture notes. This method will likely not be as useful when I start learning a language with different script as adding symbols from a vastly different language can be a real pain in the ass. I have done some research on websites from which to learn either Korean (top pick for reason of the logical script that was implemented a decade or so ago), Cantonese, Mandarin (Man- Darren) or Japanese. However, I want to become somewhat proficient in something that I am currently learning before moving on to something different.
What have you been learning of late?
As mentioned above, I have been playing a lot less RIFT of late due to language learning. It feels odd actually, though it feels more like a chore logging in to my account these days. Though I also have Black Desert Online, I suspect that I probably won’t be playing much in the upcoming year. I don’t believe that this is necessarily a loss.
Which games have you been playing recently?
DIET & EXERCISE
Have I been exercising as much as I’d like to say that I do? Nope. I did add some calf raises and inverted situps into my infrequent 10km on the treadmill, but have found my recent attempts to do push-ups to be an issue due to a bung right wrist. As for diet,
How are your own health and fitness goals panning out?