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japan with an ipad

forgot my camera so all pix were edited/taken w/ my ipad

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50 French words a day 2

Day 2’s activities were a great deal harder than day 1.  I was able to get 20 words solidly while at work, but I went to Starbucks after the gym to get the remaining 30 for the day, but I took a kickboxing class before and I was low on energy.  I was finding it difficult to use the major system to anchor down the numbers of the list.

I just tested myself and was able to get through all except 2 words.  The issue was poor anchoring in terms of the word number.

Things to think about:

energy levels, vitamins that affect memory/ imagination… also monitoring recall times, like speed tests…


50 French words a day 1

In an attempt to improve memory in general I’ve taken up learning 50 or so French words a day.  I’m using a French frequency dictionary as I think Tim Ferris and others have said, learning a foreign language can be tackled by learning the most frequently used words.  I think the 2,000 most frequently used words in a language account for Ferris’ 95% comprehension.  He then states that to get to 98% would take an additional 10 years or so of study.

My aim here isn’t really so much to become fluent in French as it is to develop out a taxonomy that I can access quickly for general memorization.  So I’m learning the first 2,000 most frequently used French words as a bit of an experiment.  I’m also learning their actual order as well, so for example it’s not enough for me to know that “celui” means “that” or “him”, I also need to know that it’s the 45th most frequently used word in the French language.

I’m borrowing from the major system for pegging, and then using the linkword system for actual word/definition association.  Using/learning two systems simultaneously takes a lot of focus and I kept thinking my head was going to explode yesterday, but I was able to learn the first 50 fine and also each word’s place in that list.  I tested myself this morning and was able to recall all 50 in order easily.  

50 words a day for a few weeks should be fine, but I’m already seeing an improvement in my speed from yesterday, so I’m assuming that I may be able to jump to 100 words a day in not too long.  The linkword system is pretty powerful, it just takes a lot of focus to lock words in, especially words like “le”, “un”, or “y” because unlike nouns/verbs there’s no real obvious image to associate with them.

I did end up developing a mnemonic system for letters as suggested by Josh Cohen, but I found it much too complex for learning foreign words.  It works great for learning strings of random letters.


Off the Bench

A month after Kamia and I returned from Europe, I find myself in a most odd predicament.  

I have a fulltime job.

After 3 or so years of running from fulltime jobs like they were a loud mouthed baby momma on the Maury show, I have a job… with benefits.

As I go look through my vinyl toys and try to decide which few inspire and define me as a design conscious mobile developer.  That’s right, without nare an app in the app store I got hired at an agency who does more background checks on its prospective employees than the CIA does its own.  The digital advertising landscape has changed so much since I first left for Brasil 3 or so years ago.  My breadwinning techonology, Flash/Actionscript has gone from being Jay-Z to Amy Winehouse.  Albiet the insensitive parallel, Flash for me is indeed dead.

Ever since Steve Jobs first went mega-public with his beef with Adobe two or so years ago, the desire for big Flash sites has seen a big decline, which has left my portfolio with award winning work on it all but obsolete.  Clients are now scared to commit to big projects using Flash and have jumped on the new HTML5 bandwagon, which leaves all of the Flash work really revolving around banners, and I despise banners.  For me it’s the equivalent of asking someone who is enviromentally conscious to go outside and start throwing trash everywhere.  They’re horrible; I hate making them and I hate seeing them.

I’d finally committed to doing mobile stuff, but without a resume supporting those aims, there was more likliehood of Sarah Palin becoming the next president of Iran than me getting a gig doing iOS stuff.  But, just like that I was able to nail a gig.

On to fortune and glory!

"It is the duty of the younger Negro artist … to change through the force of his art that old whispering “I want to be white,” hidden in the aspirations of his people, to “Why should I want to be white? I am a Negro and beautiful!"

Langston Hughes (via black-culture)

(via sed)


Roman Bath Sprint


"Soak in the culture!" I shouted back to Kamia as we scurried through the 2,000+ year old Roman bath house. 


With all the traveling that I’ve been doing for the past year, I’d not once signed up for a tour and it didn’t dawn on me whilst we were on this tour to actually follow the tour guide.  Years of trips with my father shunning tour guides and having us break from the pack to explore ourselves backfired on me on our trip to Bath.  


We’d spent the earlier part of the trip to the ancient city trying to find a bathroom and a coat for Kamia since it was colder and ranier than we had expected.  


So that left us with just under 15 minutes to rush through the normally 40+ minute walkthrough of the Roman bath house- which was quite fascinating, before the tour bus left us.


Soak in the culture indeed.



More pics here.


you should jump in

"You should jump in." She said and pointed towards the fountain in the center of the square where we sat, just south of Tower Bridge.  It was slightly chilly and had just begun to drizzle as we sipped our hot chocolates and she finished her blueberry muffin.

"Want to hear a funny story about your Dad?" I asked.  

Her eyes perked up and she leaned forward.  ”Sure.”

"We were young, maybe like 7 or 8 and I think it was Easter.  We had shirts and ties and Easter shoes on.  We were in the backyard of my house by the pond and there were these two other kids me and your Dad’s age as well.  

"Now you know your Dad was a trickster, always tricking me into doing this thing or that thing."

She giggles.

"So he had us line up at the edge of the pond, all four of us in our Sunday’s best.  ’Let’s jump in.’ he said.  

"Now, even though he had played a ton of tricks on me before, even I knew not to fall for this one.  He counted to three and acted like he was going to jump, and these kids actually jumped in!"

More giggles.  It starts to rain harder.  We get up and walk back towards the bridge.

More pics here.


A Million Billion Miles

That’s what we walked today.  Safe to say that tomorrow we’ll be taking it a bit easy.





More pictures here.