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I’ve been putting the standard “jōyō kanji” in my collection of items to memorize, adding seven a week; this week, I finally reached the end of the list. I’ve skipped the occasional week, but not very many; that suggests that it’s probably taken me about six years. Long enough, in fact, that the list was […]

speaking japanese

It’s been a month since I got back from Japan, and I still haven’t written about my trip here! Which isn’t a sign that it wasn’t a great trip—it was, I’m very glad we went. That silence is instead more a sign that I’m not a travel blogger; it’s also a sign that I’ve been […]

japanese lessons

It has been clear for a while that I would benefit from Japanese lessons: I’ve been getting a lot out of self-study (with assistance from books and JapanesePod101), but that self study means that I’ve never been in a situation where I actually had to produce Japanese. Which isn’t the end of the world—there’s nothing […]

taking stock of time

Every so often, I get somewhat dissatisfied with an aspect of how I’m spending my time; these days, it generally involves rethinking the way small actions fill time. I’m in the middle of one of those periods right now; it was kicked off by me running into a thought-provoking article about (temporarily) quitting Twitter right […]

where should we go in japan?

We’re visiting Japan for a couple of weeks in April; does anybody have any recommendations as to where we should go? It’s our first time there, we don’t have even the basic outlines of the trip planned yet, let alone any details.

super hexagon

Miranda’s elementary school was a parent participation program, so I spent a couple of hours there every week for several years. And one of the most peculiar aspects of that experience was watching kids learn how to read. I have been reading fluently and obsessively for most of four decades by now, so I am […]

ni no kuni ds

I was really excited to play Ni No Kuni DS for three reasons: 1) Studio Ghibli; 2) the book; 3) to improve my Japanese. And, when I started, I was happy for all reasons: the packaging was better than anything I’ve seen in decades, the Japanese in the manual and the game was at a […]

games and my soul

I’ve always been an unconventional video games blogger, because of the low volume of games that I find time to play, but that’s become much more the case over the last year. I was surprised to look at my recently played games list and realize that I didn’t finish any games for five months solid […]

ni no kuni ds unboxing

I’ve had my eye on Ni No Kuni DS ever since it was announced: I love Studio Ghibli, I generally have a favorable impression of Level 5, and the book sounded wonderful. I’d been idly waiting for news to trickle out about a U.S. release of the game; recently, there was an announcement that the […]

yakuza 2

There was a time towards the end of 2008 when it seemed like everybody in my twitter feed was talking about Yakuza 2. It was apparently a Shenmue-style action RPG (also published by Sega), but (as Steve Gaynor so eloquently outlined in the 2008 holiday confab) filled with delightfully quirky side missions, missions that added […]

change of focus

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been finding enough unusual projects imposing on my time that I think I’m going to have to shuffle my priorities, albeit temporarily. I’ve been wanting to do more programming at home than normal recently: aside from improving the memory project, I want to spend a bit of time getting […]

update on learning japanese and memorization

It’s been ages since I blogged about learning Japanese, so I figured I’d give y’all an update. I finished the textbook I was using last November, which raised the question of what to do next. I have some manga around and even a couple of collections of essays/stories, but I wasn’t sure I’d be up […]

random links: april 12, 2009

I’ve been meaning for ages to write about Jim Womack’s article on Respect for People, but I don’t seem to be getting around to it, so I’ll mention it here. A TED talk on underwater astonishments; if the beginning doesn’t capture your fancy or you’re short on time, go to the 4:20 mark. Everything you’d […]

letter order in words

From Pragmatic Thinking & Learning, p. 102: Cna yuo raed tihs? Aoccdrnig to rscheearch, it dseno’t mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are; the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses, and you can sitll raed it […]

memory project is deployed

I’d been intending for a while to write a program to help me memorize stuff, most notably Japanese vocabulary. I’d been kind of goofing of for a while, reading much of the Rails book and taking the first few baby steps towards creating the Rails app, but nothing serious. Which is a problem, given that […]

new japanesepod101 season

As regular readers are aware, I’m a big fan of JapanesePod101. On the off chance that any of my readers are thinking about learning a bit of Japanese, I wanted to let you know that they’ve just started new seasons of most or all their shows: in particular, they published the first episode of a […]

japanese input under linux

I spent a little while yesterday poking around with getting Japanese input to work on my home Linux machine, since I’ll need that for entering vocabulary cards into the memory program. To make a long story short: largely, it Just Works. (At least under Ubuntu 8.04.) I was a bit confused at first by the […]

two-thirds of the way through the textbook

I’m now two-thirds of the way through my Japanese textbook, and the second third went much more smoothly than the first third did. All but one of the chapters took two weeks each; that one took three weeks and, if you throw in the two vacation weeks, it only took me 23 weeks to go […]

nlp, motivation, success

I read a book on neuro-linguistic programming recently. It’s basically a way to reprogram your brain (e.g. to strengthen motivations or weaken phobias), using techniques like visualizing the trigger in question, then changing the way you visualize the scene. (Moving the trigger object farther away from you or closer to you, adding colors, adding theme […]

go tournament as 1 dan; japantown

I spent the day at this month’s Bay Area Go Players Association tournament. It was my first tournament in recent memory playing as a 1 dan; I had a record of 1 win and 3 losses and got the impression that 1 dan is a more accurate rating for me than 1 kyu, but that […]