Trick's Blog

Be curious, not judgmental - Ted Lasso

Junio continua

For the month of June I've focused on learning Spanish, I'm calling it 'Junio.' We're just over halfway in so it's a good time for an update on my progress.

During this, my two main tools are Lingvist + LanguageTransfer.

LanguageTransfer is a series of lectures about learning Spanish. Though, I must admit, I've fallen off taking the lessons. I've done the first 20 of 90 lessons in the series and I don't think I've listened to one in 4 days. I am going to get back to listening to them and taking notes today.

Everyday I do between 2-4 sets of flashcards in Lingvist. Each set is 50 words. So far this month I've spent nearly 10 hours using the app. The app estimates I know 1,285 Spanish words. I like their spaced repetition and that it shows dots that symbolize how many times you've gotten it correctly (up to 5, which is where it considers you having learned the word.)

With over two weeks of use, I can tell you my main criticism of Lingvist, which is it treats each form of a word as a unique word. So an adjective that is modified to match the gender of the noun, 'mismo'/'misma' both mean 'same' and each are counted as unique words for me to know in Lingvist. I would rather have it be a single word. Same for verbs, I don't want each conjugation to be its own word. And for the singular or plural form of nouns.

I get that for English speakers where this is their first language learning experience that the way they do it is probably preferred. But, having taken Latin in high school, I have a better understanding of linguistic grammar and a mental model. So I find myself preferring to know the base word and make the modifications needed for the right usage. It is approaching a point where I am getting more and more frustrated and annoyed by it. This is largely because of irregular words. For example, the verb 'sigue' means 'I continue' or 'seguir' means 'to continue' - We continue? 'Seguimos.' But not solely. I also have come to think that knowing the base forms would enable me to better identify linguistic connections which would further my learning and understanding.

So, as is my custom, I've begun considering making my own tool for vocab learning. I don't know if I will, or if I'll just make my own word list for use in Anki (another more generic memorization app.)

The other thing I am trying to do is think about translations in my day to day. If I turn on a light, I think 'luz.' When I watch soccer ('futbol') and I see a forward ('delantero') kick ('tiro') the ball ('balon').

There is still much to learn, but I am getting there.

6/16/2021 7:24 am - Updated: 6/16/2021 8:21 am
Tags: monthly project, spanish

Woke up with the inexplicable urge to build a whole new PC. I won't. My main one is perfectly serviceable, even if it is long in the tooth. But yeah, sometimes I just get the urge to build a new one. Guess I'm watching PC YouTube channels today.

Last night I crawled through the Internet Archive's archive of my old blog, ronincyberpunk.com, and I grabbed about a dozen posts to import here, as you'll see there are now posts in the archive from the 2002-2007 era which is when I used that blog. I opted not to import them all for a few reasons:

  1. It wasn't a complete archive anyways - I was getting random day snapshots from when the Internet Archive had snapped the moment of time.
  2. My writing was largely banal - So much life logging or self-important writing as a young man who thought he knew everything

It was fun though to remember things I had forgotten, it was also gut wrenching to see the recurring theme as I struggled with college and repeatedly bemoaned it without ever really figuring it out.

I intend to do the same for other writings from various blogs or websites over the coming weeks, months, perhaps years. We'll see.

Also, as I did this, I have become aware of some bugs I need to fix, and features to add for Glowbug. So, after four months without touching the code, I'm coming back to work on it in the near future.

6/14/2021 12:07 pm
Tags: site update, archives, ronincyberpunk

Paul Miller: Offline (theverge.com)

Through a rabbit hole of looking at blogs, I came across a link to this archive of articles from 2012 on The Verge. Nearing 10 years old, it's an interesting look at one guy's attempt to live without the Internet for a year, back in the early days of smart phones. I'm about 1/3rd of the way into the archive and enjoying the reading.

6/13/2021 7:43 pm
Tags: internet

Oregon School Shooter, Kip Kinkel, is interviewed for the first time (huffpost.com)

This article is a long one, as I post it on the blog I'm only about a 1/4th of the way into it. So far it is a recounting of Kip's childhood, as far as I can tell it's almost entirely based on Kip's retelling of it and some corrolating notes or research by the author. The article touches on a number of topics, including mental health, prison reform, and gun control. I don't know enough to take any position as it relates to Kinkel, I only vaguely recall his shooting incident. Enjoying the read and getting a look inside his head, even if it has to be taken with a grain of salt since it's coming from him.

6/13/2021 7:30 pm
Tags: gun control, mental health, prison reform

This occurred last night while driving to a friend's house with my wife.

Me: Oh, that is a bunch of Amazon Prime vans!
Wife: What is their group noun? A flock?
*thinks for a moment*
Me: No, an Optimus. An Optimus of Primes.
Wife: I hate you.
6/13/2021 10:05 am
Tags: pun, joke, humor

Hank Green's - An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

I just finished the audiobook for Hang Green's latest book. I haven't read any of his other books, but this was overall an enjoyable listen. I won't say it is amazing, it feels for much of the book like a thin veil over the events of 2020 but it is still an enjoyable story. As with most books, I found the finish of the book a bit unsatisfying. I don't know if I simply have too-high expectations for books, if endings are that hard to pull off, or more likely a mixture of both.

I give it a rating of /

6/12/2021 11:10 am
Tags: review, book

Love this new Phone lockscreen

Credit for the picture, found on Reddit. I can't find it now, once I do, I'll link it.


6/12/2021 11:03 am
Tags: phone, dungeons and dragons

I have been using a FreshRSS install for a few months now, allowing myself to return to the realm of RSS feeds. And after those past few months I've dealt with a number of websites using truncated bodies of posts in the RSS feed, and occasionally clicking through to the full article on the website.

Well, last night I discovered a feature of FreshRSS that I had not known - and that is the ability to actually have it pull the full post body from the website through defining of the post body's CSS container. It's technically somewhat simple (I understand how to implement it, conceptually) but still having that function is amazing and has already made my RSS feed so much better.

6/12/2021 10:57 am
Tags: rss, programming, internet

I refuse to let ESPN market to me while they have announcers talk endlessly about the tragedy and what they don't know. There is need for better respect than sensationalizing this moment. This is someone's life.


Update: He appears to be okay, or at least awake and stable.


The verdict is in: No one pandemics like Seattle (seattletimes.com)

The news this past week that Seattle has become the most vaccinated city the first of the 30 largest U.S. metros to reach 70% fully vaxxed is just the capper to a curious 16-month odyssey. We started out as Ground Zero for an infectious disease outbreak, but then watched as it took off and slammed everywhere else much harder than it ever did here.

As exciting as that is, this is the most exciting for me:

On Friday, Seattle reported just four new cases. How have we, mostly, escaped?

The article then goes to ask if the Seattle Freeze way of life helped us beat the pandemic because we all hate gathering in groups already.

6/12/2021 9:48 am
Tags: covid 19, pandemic, seattle

Infinite, starring Mark Wahlberg, is not a good movie. Which is shocking, I know.

However, the IMDB trivia page gives me this, and I have to respect the hustle:

The movie made its what into Hollywood through crowd sourcing. The movie is based off the book "The Reincarnationist Papers" by D. Eric Maikranz. Eric found it difficult to catch the attention of a literary agent that would sell the book to Hollywood. Eric instead crowd sourced his agent hunt by offering a commission to his readers for anyone that could get his book into Hollywood. And by putting that commission on the first page of his book Eric empowered an army of readers to get his book onto the big screen. Eighteen months later Eric received an email from an Hollywood assistant director that found his book in a hostel in Nepal. In 2017 Paramount pictures bought the rights.

Killer drone 'hunted down a human target' without being told to (nypost.com)

No one should be surprised by this.

5/30/2021 10:42 pm
Tags: robotics

I have been rewatching The Knick, starring Clive Owen, and before rewatching it I would have told you watched Season 2, but would have been completely unable to tell you the core plot. Upon this rewatching it was confirmed that I watched it, but that my memories of the season were even more spotty with entire episodes and top plots completely forgotten.

Overall the show is... fine. I really enjoyed Clive Owen's performance, but the show is shockingly dark at times. If you enjoy history period pieces then you'll likely enjoy it, but if the first episode isn't immediately addictive to you - then you should abandon ship because it only gets harder from there.

5/30/2021 3:17 pm
Tags: television

Junio - Day 0

This morning's DuoLingo bit was a short jaunt through the very basics, reacquainting myself with the most basic forms of 'be' and words like hombre, mujer, nino and nina. Nothing of major note, I definitely have to reacquaint myself with the verb conjugations as that is what used up my lives for the day.

I also have found an interesting book from several decades go (in ebook form), "Madrical's Magic Keys to Spanish." I am just checking it out, but it looks interesting and I am hopeful it will prove a useful resource.

From the time man first began to learn foreign tongues down to the present time, language methods have relied on memory and not on the pupils powers of creation. Now the process is reversed. This book will teach you to create. The very first lesson will prove to you that you can create at least one hundred times more material than you could possibly memorize in the same given time.

Color me intrigued.

5/30/2021 11:34 am
Tags: junio