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Archives for Japanese

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 […]


The SuperMemo ideas don’t seem to be leaving my head, and I’ve finally gotten my todo backlog under control, so I think I’ll take a shot at implementing them. Some notes: What algorithm should I use to schedule the reminders? I’ll work under the theory that each item that I want to remember is best […]

paris 2008

As I have, perhaps, alluded to previously, we spent the second half of April in Paris. Notes: It’s the most wonderful place in the world, but I’m actually not feeling particularly compelled to visit it again any time soon. Some of this has to do with the fact that I’ve been there eight times; some […]

wozniak the memorious

Jim pointed me to this article a few weeks ago, and I’m annoyed to say that I can’t get it out of my head. It’s about a guy who claims to have an algorithm (implemented by a computer program) to help you remember a lot more stuff a lot more solidly than you can with […]

go buy okami

In honor of the release of the Wii version of Okami, I urge all of you who own a Wii (or a PS2) and who haven’t played the game yet to go out and buy a copy. More here, but the short version is: it’s an adventure game based on Japanese mythology with a beautiful […]

caught up on japanesepod101

Wow, I haven’t been blogging much recently, have I? Sorry about that; I do most of my blogging on weekends, and the last few weekends have been pretty busy. (And much of my weekday free time in the evenings has been spent watching Twelve Kingdoms.) Fortunately, I have not been slacking off on all of […]

eternal sonata

Eternal Sonata is a quite good Japanese RPG for the Xbox 360. Unfortunately, the main lesson that I’ve learned from it is that I don’t particularly like JRPG’s; I won’t say I’m swearing off of them forever (in fact, I’m glad I played this one), but I won’t give them the benefit of the doubt […]

217 down, 1728 to go

I’ve now hit the 200 kanji mark in my quest to memorize all 1945 Joyo Kanji. Where by “memorize” I mean that, if my memory is working well (which it usually is), I can write down the first 200 characters (actually, the first 217 characters: I’ve been procrastinating on writing this blog post) in the […]

almost caught up!

For the first time ever, or at least since the dawn of time, I listened to an episode of JapanesePod101 today that showed up in my RSS reader earlier this same month. So the end of that backlog is in sight! I’m not quite ready to declare victory yet—at my current rate, I still have […]

over a hump

I’ve been going through some changes recently in my Japanese study. I finished the Manga-based grammar I’d been reading sporadically, and finished going through the characters in Read Japanese Today. Which I recommend (both of them, but I’m thinking particularly of the latter here): in my experience, you need as many methods as possible to […]

a third of a way through the textbook

Sorry I’ve been so quiet recently; I spent most of my evenings for about three weeks playing Mass Effect. (Which I quite recommend, incidentally.) But I’m done now, so I finally have a bit of time to get back to blogging. (And to catch up with reading the things.) I’m a third of a way […]

low energy for japanese

I’m going through a low energy point in learning Japanese right now: I’m on the ninth chapter (out of thirty) in the textbook, I’m going at a rate that makes it pretty clear that I have at least a year to go before I’ll be done with the book (a year and a half looks […]

throw everything at the language and see what sticks

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but learning Japanese continues to increase my sympathy towards kids who are learning to read and misread words in ways which seem inconceivable to me. My brain is pretty much incapable of looking at a word in English and not reading it immediately; the same is far from true […]

learning japanese: a month and a half in

I’m on the fourth chapter of my Japanese textbook now, enough for a new set of difficulties to surface. All of which ring vague bells from a decade ago; I’m trying to do things right this time, which means that I need better strategies for facing these difficulties than I had last time. One problem: […]

boston trip notes

Some random notes from our recent trip to Boston and its environs: T tokens are no more. Which made me a little sad, but I was very happy that, when arriving Tuesday evening for a trip where we’d be leaving the next Tuesday morning and would spend three days outside of Boston, there was a […]

learning japanese: initial hiccups

I pulled out my Japanese textbook over the weekend and read the first chapter. All stuff I knew, so it went really fast – no big surprise. So I pulled out my box of blank vocabulary cards, and started writing down words. At which point I felt like I was stuck in molasses. Basically, my […]


Now that I’ve finished my book queue, my next major queue to work through is my backlog of JapanesePod101 episodes. I first subscribed to that podcast just a few months after it started, but it took me several months after that to start really paying attention to it; by the time I got hooked, I […]

what to do next?

I’ve finished the last important code cleanups from my dbcdb code: I removed some proxy objects that had been used for lazy loading. I was really surprised to see how much that cleaned up certain aspects of the code: my Entity objects’ constructors got a lot cleaner, useless attribute setters/getters were removed, and in general […]