Dreary Worlds

Fun with Language

I've been missing foreign languages lately. I haven't really spoken French since my last class at BSC. I wish I could get back into it, but it's entirely very difficult not being around anyone that speaks it. Watching movies in French could probably help, but I don't watch a lot of movies more than once, and unless I'm already familiar enough with it, I'm not good enough to get it the first time. I've been trying to figure out a way to ease back into it a bit at a time.

A funny thing happened the other day, though, that sparked some fun. Megan updated her iPhone to the newest firmware version, and a known issue is that your music library disappears. Looking up the solution, we found that it was to change your language, start your Music app, and change your language back. Well, Megan happens to have taken French in school as well, and we're both still passively interested in brushing up, so she decided to leave her iPhone in French. I did the same thing. After laughing about the cognates faux-cognates for a while, I realized I probably know my way around my phone well enough that I don't need to change it back.

Then, something else happened. The Facebook app detected that we were using French as our system language and changed its localization as well. Well, after using it for a while, it became kind of fun. So we switched our Twitter and Facebook accounts on the real internet to French as well. I've started changing all the social networks and apps I use one by one. I also found where you can change Firefox to "prefer" French language versions of web pages as a default, but after a little while with that, I decided I'm not ready yet.

But I'm learning some new verbs and vocab that in a familiar environment is not only fun, but probably more applicable to what I do day-to-day than the types of vocab we learned in school (train station jargon doesn't do a lot for you here in the states). I figure at some point I can start trying to read web pages such as news stories, but it'll be a while until I get back to that.

Of course this doesn't nothing for listening/speaking skills and there's a lot more I need to brush up on than vocab and phrases (tenses and moods, for example), but it's a start.
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I Miss Livejournal

I just happened to come here yesterday and check my Add/Remove Friends page, and noticed that my friends Chris (chris462) and Alex (dododopoetry) have both deleted their accounts. Between that, Joe (bjbass) and other AMRDEC friends being unable to reach it anymore, and the general fact that everybody else seems to have abandoned it for Facebook/Twitter/Dreamwidth/Tumblr/Blogspot, Livejournal's emptiness has made me incredibly sad. So I've come here to complain, wax nostalgic, and otherwise speak directly into the void.

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Dreary Worlds

Negative Calories

I hate it when people say things like "Celery has negative calories."

First off, nobody subtracts the calories it takes to chew their food from the calories contained in the food. If it takes 2 calories to eat a cheeseburger with 300 calories, you don't say it has 298 calories. So you shouldn't take celery, which has near 0 calories, and subtract the 2 calories it takes to eat it. It still just has 0 calories.

That is all.
Dreary Worlds

Writer's Block: Holiday cheer

Do you tend to get nostalgic during the holidays? Depressed? Giddy? How do the winter holidays make you feel?

This time of year always seems to bring a blanket of cheerfulness with a couple holes of stress. The winter season being my favorite season plays a large role in my feelings about this time of year. I've always loved bundling up and running from one oasis to another. I even like being outside perpetually, provided I'm dressed for it. The comfort of heat in the car is akin to being under the covers at home. There's something inherently pleasant about it. Aside from the cold, getting together with family brings me happiness. It used to be seeing my grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins on each side of the family that I looked forward to, but now it's my immediate family that I "visit" since I don't live with them anymore. And at home, I have a wife that fully embraces the decorative and magical aspects of the season (tree, stockings, wreaths, lights, candles, food, and other various household seasonal knick-knacks :P). We even have stockings for the dogs, which we usually fill with rawhide bones, canned food (a rare treat for them), etc.

The really stressful aspects of the season are few, as I don't have three kids to have to shop for like my parents did (do, actually; for some reason they still insist on buying things for us). Things get pretty busy, and making sure we have time to get everything done is tough: getting the tree early, but but for a decent price; getting it decorated; stringing the outside icicle lights (which I have failed to do this year unless I hurry); buying gifts; dropping off/mailing gifts; making it out to Galaxy of Lights; making it to any parties people have; etc.). And then there's the money aspects of the season. Between gift-giving and the charities that pick the worst time of year, financially, to ask for donations, it's hard to keep the bank account positive. But most of these things end up working out, and the good parts of the season overshadow them.
Dreary Worlds

Writer's Block: Top ten playlist

What is your top-ten song list? What was it when you were a kid? Is there any overlap?

Hmm... well I cannot make a well-thought-out top-ten list right now; It would take me days and weeks of thinking about and listening to every 5-star song in my library. However, I can think of a few songs that, as a "kid" (middle/high school count?), I thought were some of the best songs ever written, and as an adult, I still somewhat agree. I don't necessarily think they'd end up in my Top 10 were I to make one today, but definitely in a Top 100.

Billy Joel, "We Didn't Start the Fire"
Foo Fighters, "Everlong"
Counting Crows, "Rain King"
R.E.M., "E-Bow the Letter"

Those are the ones that stick out in my head. I'll come back and edit if I think of any more.
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A Mystery!

North Carolina fugitive caught in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE, AL - Sunday, Huntsville police arrested Kenneth Manning, 56, for driving under the influence after his vehicle was stopped for an expired license plate.

Sgt. Mark Roberts with Huntsville police said Manning had a warrant as a fugitive from justice from North Carolina.

Hmm.. how convenient that the only Mannings I know live in both Huntsville.. AND NORTH CAROLINA!

This one of you guys' relatives, bjbass/erdufylla?
Dreary Worlds

PC Gaming

I don't usually play PC games, for a number of reasons, but the biggest one is system requirements/compatibility problems. I recently got a copy of Fallout Trilogy from my good friend alruff. I was very excited to play it and installed it on inherentmalaise's laptop. Upon starting up the game, I got some color corruption and one time it froze on me. I reinstalled it (as it said to) and still the same problems. So I Google'd it and found a few things to try. It's late, and I don't have time to try them right now, but the point is I shouldn't have to go on a Google Scavenger Hunt every time I want to play a game. With Wii/360 games, I put it in, and I can play it. No crashes, no weird resolution problems, no color corruptions, no fucking with ini files. I mean, seriously. I can do this stuff because I'm a computer guy, but I don't WANT to have to.

From http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=948430

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And from http://www.sevenforums.com/gaming/8870-fallout-2-a.html#post109168

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Just thought I'd throw that beautiful crap in here. Can't wait to them it out tomorrow when I'm better-rested and perhaps more patient.
Dreary Worlds

My Tweets for Today

  • 09:57 >@BrianLynch: Heidi Klum is taking Seal's last name. Seal doesn't even take Seal's last name. #
  • 11:50 Libertarian Socialism has been making more and more sense lately... #
  • 16:00 I don't know why, but all of a sudden I'm in the mood for a burrito #
  • 16:01 What? Seriously, I mention "burrito" and Matt Lisk: Diet Guru starts following me.. WTF? #
  • 16:03 Now all I can think about is a Chapala Burrito with shredded beef, a warm tostada with sour cream, a flauta, and rice and beans... #
  • 23:19 Nooooooo you're being ignorant! That's ignorant! #
Dreary Worlds

"The right words... in time..."

I'm getting a little bored of Facebook. I keep blocking all of the "What [X] Are YOU?!" apps, but the one-line status updates are just kinda boring me. I do enjoy Farmville, though. But I've always liked games where your numbers go up.

I'm attending the second and third of five weddings this weekend. Trent and Melanie's in TN tomorrow, then Jack and Lauren's in Tuscaloosa on Sunday. Then a big break. Then a friend of mine's little sister's in November, then my brother's in December. After that, everyone will be married, right? Right. Shit, I should be against gay marriage; it means more weddings to go to lol.

Last night I got sick off of something; I'm thinking it was some iceberg lettuce we had. I got home from work and I was hungry, so I made a salad. The lettuce was brown on the outside, but I peeled those leaves off and it was greenish-white in the middle, so I figured it was ok. I put a boiled egg and cheese on it (healthiest salad ever..) and ate it. It tasted fine, but almost immediately, my stomach started hurting. When Megan got home, we went to get Chapala (our now-only-once-a-month Chapala Thursday) and I ate my tostada and a bit of my flauta, but was still feeling queasy. On the way home, I started to feel incredibly nauseous. I made it home, popped some Pepto Bismol, and laid down for a bit. I started feeling ok after that, and I'm fine today. I'm throwing out the last bit of that lettuce, though. It's cheap stuff, anyway, and I'm not taking any chances.