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Just a few thoughts to round off the quarter


The title page to the 1611 first edition of th...

Happy 400th birthday to thee

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we are at the end of another quarter, known in the mouth of the people as Q3 – 2011.  You can call me a typical accountant if you like, but I always tend to be aware of these quarter ends and I tend to have certain aims and goals for what I like to achieve both professionally and in my hobbies each quarter and so days like today are an opportunity to take stock of where I am.

Doing so generated just a couple of thoughts which I thought I’d like to share with you.

I had a nice long time in the UK, and was supposed to be taking time off, but in the event work kept me fairly involved even though at a distance, and I made little progress on the writing projects I had in mind, especially the Goldlist book and the workbook for the Huliganov Russian course. Hence these are not really ready to show yet, apologies to those of my viewers and readers whom I may have led to hope that they would be. Work has to come first, I have to be able to look after my family.

It’s also three quarters through the 400th anniversary year of the KJV and I also didn’t get far with the readings of the KJV I wanted to do – this is all in the last quarter now if I’m going to do it at all in this year.

In Japanese I made a slight breakthrough while discovering a way to adapt goldlist principles to working through the Heising book and getting the best of both worlds – more on that when I get further on with it. In any event I registered for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, level 5, which is on Decmber 4th in Warsaw, which is a target to work towards,

World events seem to be leaving something to be desired, with hurricanes in the UK, people defrauding UBS out of money that makes Nick Leeson look like a small timer, and the continuing threat of the EURO going down the tubes at the hands of defaults by Greece and other weaker countries, as well as a few nights of crazy behaviour in the UK by vandals and malcontents out for some fun at the expense of working people have made the last quarter a very strange time. We are edging nearer and nearer to a precipice. Winter will draw in soon, the nights will be longer, the days colder, and we are going to be in for a long and hard winter.

Last winter I wrote an article explaining to UK people and others from places where the winters are normally mild how to go about surviving a Siberian style winter. I recommend you read this once again and think about it.

https://huliganov.tv/2010/12/16/huliganovs-winter-hinters/ is the place to go for it.

Many thanks again to my loyal viewers and readers, which here on this blog currently number 96. Thanks especially to those of you who join in on discussions, I hope for more of that. If I am sometimes slow in getting to moderate them, sorry. I have to keep the mod thing on because otherwise a lot of spam will get on, which thanks to the new technology is not the case at the moment, and sometimes I don’t have the ability to go online every evening.

Every comment is valued, even if I don’t have anything to say back to some.

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DND – End of January


Shōgun (novel)

Image via Wikipedia

OK, I got to the end of January making a post each day so at least one month of the resolution has been achieved.

However, instead of driving views, the regular postings seem to be actually diminishing the daily views, and my stats have actually shown less in January than they did in December, in the time before daily posts.

Is the readership telling me that less is more? By all means let’s have your comments on whether you welcome the Postaday challenge being followed by this vlog, whether you’d prefer less width but more quality, or whether you don’t care either way.

I wanted to say just a couple more things to you today as we come to the end of January. Firstly, this is the month in which I have piloted a couple of new ideas, mainly ones that I planned to do, some that came along unplanned and I will just re-write my plan to include them as I would have done if I had known about them earlier.

One planned thing I piloted was to listen to the Michel Thomas Method Greek Course, which I have nearly completed 6 CDs of.  It is very good, as have been all of the new courses made by MT acolytes.

One unplanned thing was that I discovered the website http://www.readthekanji.com – it is a very well constructed staged repetition system including all the cards and materials and all the research done, really the ultimate resource for learning Japanese and once you get the hang of it very addictive. I am seeing how far you can go with the free sample – it’s given me a good twenty hours’ worth of drilling so far, and I don’t think I’m even a half way through what you can get on the free trial so that seems very fair – I already made up my mind to buy a proper annual sub as they really do deserve it, but in the mean time I just wanted to see what happens if you just keep going until the JLPT 4 vocab is all at 100%.

It seems to be fairly close to Ebbinghaus compliant as far as the repetition algorithm is concerned. I’m not sure if there is a bit of supermemo style code in there or not.

So I am quite happy to admit that it is a good alternative to the gold list method for Japanese. The only advantage that the Goldlist might have here is that you don’t get your hand in, you type Romaji and the Java interface magically turns all the answers into Hiragana. Sometimes you have to watch out to make a double n for “n”, and care needs to be taken over some of the bya, cha, etc characters (the ones with the small soft vowel following) as the way I was expecting to write them different from the way the programme accepts them, but you can always see the right answer if you get it wrong the once.

So January seems to be a good month for piloting. Now is the last day and after three months of not using my car I also got it back today and paid a huge amount for the repair. But I will need to drive it tomorrow, and I needed to get it working.

So I’ll pilot my own car, as well.

I also started reading Shogun this month, which tells the story of a pilot they called Pilot, or anjin-san, as they could not pronounce “Blackthorne“.

And “Lost” final series started to show on Polish TV – all in all a month full of pilots.

So it reminds me of the song by the group Pilot about January, from way back in 1975:

When I was 11 years of age, I thought that the lyrics “January, sick and tired, you’ve been hanging on me” was all about how this dingiest month of the year seemed to go on forever.

Now that I am old I assume that the lyrics refer to a woman, but I still don’t fully understand whet the poet is getting at.

I think I’ll stick with my initial interpretation.

January is now nearly over, and a good thing too.  The days will be getting longer day by day and there are only four weeks of February to go until it’s March.

February and March are both quite capable of delivering challenging conditions in Poland, but we will have to see how we fare. November gave us one of the earliest starts to a really tough winter, so we are now I’d say just over half way there. We have to just grit our teeth and work hard and not notice, and soon Spring will be here. I’ll be able to go and use my terrace again and the pleasant days will be here again.

And I have to use every opportunity to walk and lose weight, which was the idea of not repairing the car in the first place, but now I have places to go that aren’t well served by trains.

Let’s see how it develops. Please give me feedback on whether to keep up with the daily postings.

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