Hola! Feliz año nuevo! Hablo un poco el español! Me llamo Roberto!

Man, it has been a time since I have been able to make it over here! My work week is almost fifty hours and is not going down anytime soon.

As you can see, I have decided to learn Spanish. I had tried a few languages before, but the effort always languished for want of someone who spoke the language. I just didn’t know anyone who spoke German, and I didn’t know anyone who spoke Latin. Not saying it is impossible without that ingredient, but it certainly makes it harder. There are plenty of people at my work who do speak Spanish so I am opting to do that.

I went with the Ouino Spanish language program for several reasons. One, their price of $97 was not to be beat; two, the sheer mass of material they offer for that price; three, the holistic approach they use is above the other offering (and they usually at three to four times the price). You practice speaking in recorded drills where you speak into the microphone and train your ear to speak properly, each section has multiple tests that test understanding in listening, writing and reading. You have access to over 60 short stories with gradually increasing difficulty and length. There are listening drills where you listen to a short, medium or long sentence spoken at normal native speed and you try to arrange the words spoken in the correct order by dragging each word in the right sequence. There is the variation where you write out the spoken sentences.

The sheer number of modules is impressive. You can scroll for a minute to get to the bottom of the screen of offerings.

Also, when you buy the program you can have it on any device you own; so I use it on the laptop at home, my phone at work, my iPad in bed, etc.

I bought some reading material to work up to. The first one is a children’s book: Curious George (loved him as a kid) or Jorge el Curioso. Then maybe some easier mid adult books. I hope to work my way up to some Jorge Luis Borges – this time in his native tongue – and the Sagrada Biblia Catolica. After that, we shall see.

I am really impressed with this program so far. I do find the need to take notes the old fashioned way. The material still remains trapped in a computer and I am still more comfortable, ultimately, when I can refer to the written word.

If this goes successfully, I plan on tackling their Italian program next. And then I think I’ll see what I can do with a little more Latin.

Books on the read right now…

Lord of the World

The Cries of Jesus from the Cross: A Fulton Sheen Anthology

And, last, but certainly not least. We bought a house. The loan just came through yesterday. It is a beautiful old home built in 1931 and in very good condition. Being an old house it has enough projects to keep us busy without being a Money Pit.

Pictures to come after closing.

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Story Generator

Toying around with some story generator I found online. Hilarious. My favorite is the paragraph with the two burping uncles. Enjoy!

The Red Mallet
A Short Story
by Thoyd Loki
Gregory Blacksmith looked at the red mallet in his hands and felt furious.

He walked over to the window and reflected on his sandy surroundings. He had always loved wet sea side with its squashed, slimy sand. It was a place that encouraged his tendency to feel furious.

Then he saw something in the distance, or rather someone. It was the figure of Carla Parker. Carla was a brave brute with tanned toes and muscular fingers.

Gregory gulped. He glanced at his own reflection. He was an Angry, sad, beer drinker with skinny toes and pale fingers. His friends saw him as a squashed, slimy saint. Once, he had even brought a cruel back from the brink of death.

But not even an Angry person who had once brought a cruel back from the brink of death, was prepared for what Carla had in store today.

The blizzard teased like humping pugs, making Gregory frumpy.

As Gregory stepped outside and Carla came closer, he could see the determined glint in her eye.

“I am here because I want death,” Carla bellowed, in a tenacious tone. She slammed her fist against Gregory’s chest, with the force of 3174 goat. “I frigging hate you, Gregory Blacksmith.”

Gregory looked back, even more frumpy and still fingering the red mallet. “Carla, I love you,” he replied.

They looked at each other with hysterical feelings, like two faithful, flabby falcon singing at a very pugnacious New Year’s, which had opera music playing in the background and two stern uncles burping to the beat.

Gregory regarded Carla’s tanned toes and muscular fingers. He held out his hand. “Let’s not fight,” he whispered, gently.

“Hmph,” pondered Carla.

“Please?” begged Gregory with puppy dog eyes.

Carla looked insane, her body blushing like a black, bumpy boat.

Then Carla came inside for a nice drink of beer.

THE END

New Acquisition

I’ve always to make a good study into proper pronunciation and grammar, but never started. I found the above at an antique shop in Franklin, NC when we first arrived in March. Just pulled it out of storage/packing today.

Learned something on the first lesson. I have always mispronounced err. Instead of like the urr in purr, I’ve always pronounced it it as err in error.

The book predates the second world war (early thirties) so it should be free of modernisms mostly.

As always you have to, if you want to remain unstained, avoid the falling of civilization’s curtain in the late sixties.

What? Where Have I Been?

I am having a hard time connecting my life to this blog. I go weeks forgetting about it altogether. I think it is a general disconnect from moving shock. After all, outside of family and friends, there was no continuity with my other moves (Arizona to Wisconsin, Wisconsin to Washington). This, my blog, would be a continuity.

I am still adjusting to living in North Carolina. It is a bigger cultural change than I have done before.

Although Asheville, NC is really just a small version of Portland Oregon. They have the drum circles, the unbathed hippies, the homeless, the skanky vegan chicks, the hoity-toity eating and reading establishments. And it is so “woke” in its bullshit progressiveness. Indeed I think this place may be more wretched than the posh districts of the Seattle area and Portland. After all, it was not until I moved here that I encountered bumper-stickeres that read “Vaginatarian” That would be someone that EATS PUSSY. The cars are not owned by men.

It is actually just the downtown area that reeks so. I live in the south end of Asheville. More normal. There are a few things I like about the area. The thing I like most is the Basilica of Saint Lawrence Deacon and Martyr.

Current reads are Bishop Barron’s: To Light a Fire on the Earth. Thomas Ligotti’s: Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe. G.K. Chesterton’s: Father Brown Crime Stories: 24 Short Mysteries.

And, lastly, Chris Fox’s Six Figure Author. This last one is interesting and worrisome. It is sort of exciting that one could actually write and steer their own career. but if one reads it closely, one gets the feeling you hit this level of sales by being mediocre. The starving artist inside me rages against the indignity of being a barometer for what other people want. It doesn’t seem to be a formula for success.

That depends, though, on how we define success. If it is measured merely by the means of money, then being the middle of any ground will get you there. And then it will get you out of there as the crowd moves on. And what are you stuck with then? Not a work of soul. Then again, the popular entertainment hasn’t moved in over a decade so maybe the same old shit sells as good today as it did a generation ago. Things appear to be in a hold and repeat pattern. Just look at all the remakes or reboots.

Post Christmas Rant: Weaving Two Tales of an Objectivist Christmas

[This post originally appeared in December of 2013. Time passes and I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I threw Rand overboard. This isn’t a very well written post, but I found I burned out on beating up on Peikoff’s “essay” every year. Although I may beat up on Edward Cline’s (see link below). I hadn’t realized then that the link was to a truncated version of his “essay.” The full “essay” is a tour de stupid of Objectivist thinking.]

 

First, a belated Merry Christmas to my few readers!

Today, this first day after Christmas, we are going to be visiting two articles by two Popular Objectivists (one is a semi-successful Randian author (and reads like it) the other is the Grand Pooh-Bah of the orthodox Objectivist movement (the orthodox Objectivist movement is the group of Objectivists that dare not contradict the Grand Pooh-Bah)).

The Randian author is Edward Cline and his article is The Ten Commandments Rationally Examined. The Grand Pooh-Bah is Leonard Peikoff and his article “Christmas Should be More Commercial.” I hated this article when I was one of his drones. And that this thing hits the internet every year, one has to wonder a single thing about the article’s title, “how?”

“How could it possibly get more commercial?”

Dr. Peikoff has some ideas about that Continue reading “Post Christmas Rant: Weaving Two Tales of an Objectivist Christmas”

NaNo Days 21 & 22

Catching up with my slower week today and yesterday.Posted 2639 yesterday and 1703 today. I have a grand total of 36319 words with an average needed of 1521 per day here on out to finish on time.

Scrivener says my project right now stands at 94 paperback pages taking two and half hours of reading time.

I can’t wait to cross the finish line. Not only for the accomplishment. But also because now that I am this far in it I am certain how I want to write it – and in ain’t this way!