podcast, skype, weather, etc

I started a new podcast that I hope to be able to keep up at least twice a month if not every week.  After 9 months of fiddling around I finally got Skype working with video and audio.  It still doesn’t work on my laptop but the Mac version worked on reinstall and adding a program?driver? called macam.  Tested with my friend in China :-).

It is now, hot here.  Today is nice and cool at least up to now, so that’s refreshing.  From here on it’s just going to be rainy, humid, and annoying.  I probably prefer the cold and lack of insulation and central heating, but at least I’m getting outside more.

I’ve been frustrated by my inability/reluctance to full on resume my Japanese study, so I’m trying to change it up a bit.  I tried switching to Anki for kanji study but the interface is really frustrating to me and much less easy to manage their flashcard decks than I feel it should be.  For the time being I copied the 2000 everyday use kanji list into an .ods spreadsheet and am going through adding the meanings for the ones I know and writing ToDo by the ones I don’t know.  Then I’ll go through and write mnemonics for all the ToDo’s.  After that I might enter them back into Anki or smart.fm but for now I’m just sticking to the spreadsheet.  I like that I can leave it in my Dropbox folder and access it at work or home, without being limited to the crappy functionality of Google docs spreadsheets.

For my adult Eikaiwa class I finally had some requests, which is awesome.  I told them a bit about VA last night after reading a translation of the original Red Riding Hood story.  Just did a basic primer on Virginia history and geography.  The time after next and the time or two after that I think I’m gonna bring in the Disney Pocahontas movie and A New World and we’re gonna have a pseudo-historical Virginia movie watching series.  If you have any other recommendations for VA-oriented movies please let me know.  Next time however, we’re going to look at some real American conversation, in IM chat log digital format, because it’s easier to read than conversation analysis and still provides some insight into typical American English language patterns that don’t show up in a textbook.

These days in the FOSS community Ubuntu 10.04 is out, it’s in my opinion a poor update, Linux Mint 9 is built off that and is also out now, and Fedora 13 will be released tomorrow.  I’m using Ubuntu 10.04 as my primary laptop OS right now and have pretty much tailored it to my needs, though I must say it is full of issues out of the box.  I had several bugs that I “think” I fixed with patches.  There’s flaky “features” that are nowhere near as easy to use as Ubuntu would like you to think that are waved in front of your face and aren’t actually that easy to completely remove because they stick around in your gconf settings even if you remove the packages, namely the Gwibber and Ubuntu One interface.  I’m sort of indifferent to the notorious window close/min/max button movement but it seems like an unnecessary and dramatic UI change which is never a good idea.  On the bright side I approve of the new themes, they’re very polished and provide much better high-contrast and dark back/light fore options for folks like me with screwy vision and annoying floaters.

In other news the Blender project’s feature length film is nearing completion and they’ve released a short teaser trailer to whet your appetite.  Check it out at http://durian.blender.org/ They’re doing the whole thing with FOSS, it’s astounding.

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