• Christmas was interesting as usual at my house. I played Santa again, and that means I got to ride the fire truck! I ran out of candy a little early this year, but I think we made up for it at the "Sit on Santa's Knee" event.

    Luckily, that was before I caught the cold. That laid me out for a week, even though I was treating it aggressively. I probably caught it from Melissa; however, the doctor said she had a sinus infection, which shouldn't be contagious.

    Eri got me a bicycle fender rack and saddlebags! I can start riding to work AND bring a lunch! That should help me get fit, along with tracking my intake on myFitnessPal.

    I still haven't published my first app. I'm sidetracked trying to make money on oDesk. Thus far, I'm not impressed: it's a lot of work for very little reward. Still, it's spending cash.

    It wasn't enough to keep us out of the hole, though. Christmas and Hanukkah used up all our cash, and now we're limping along, paycheck to paycheck.

    Well, time to go wake the youngest. It's her first day back at school after the break. Here's hoping it's a good one!

  • My daughter tripped yesterday while running down the driveway; she scraped up her knee really badly, ripped open a big flap of skin on her foot, and scraped her elbows and hip.

    I figured we'd be heading to the after-hours clinic, and I was right. They referred us directly to the emergency room, saying they weren't confident in stitching up the flap because it wasn't straight, and they didn't want to check for tendon damage.

    I don't know why we even have an after-hours clinic.

    The emergency room was empty, so we were admitted immediately. It took an hour or so to get to us, though. Since it was too painful to stand on, they x-rayed the knee and foot.

    Nothing. In fact, when the doctor came to look at it, she asked, "Did they see something I'm not seeing?" We should've cleaned it out ourselves; nothing was done that we couldn't have done just as well at home.

    Except the x-ray. It is nice to know that there are no internal injuries.

    Continue reading "Silly After-Hours Clinic"

  • Yesterday my wife took the bike to a nearby bike shop and fixed the flat. Since the wheels were dry-rotted, she also got a new tire... but only for the flat back wheel.

    Everything else was really expensive, so no rack, no saddlebags, and no bike carrier for the car. I'm stuck with my laptop bag until further notice.

    BUT! Today I got to work in under 30 minutes, with no significant pain. And then I did it again on the way home!

    I'm starting to think a decent bike might be a good investment. It is Christmas time; maybe Goodwill or a pawn shop will have something. Then again, maybe I should leave that for some kid who wants it more.

    Biking again tomorrow. We'll see how it goes!

  • Remember how I said I'm climbing down the vehicle prestige ladder? Well, I think I've just hit the bottom. My bike got a flat.

    Of course, I have no repair kit. This bike is more than 20 years old; the steel wheels are RUSTING. I have no desire to spend money on fancy bits like an attached repair kit. On that note, it has neither rack nor saddlebags; I have to carry my change of clothes in a laptop bag, and it only barely fits. There's no space for a repair kit.

    I have no idea how I'm going to get to work the next time my daughter needs the car. What's below "beat-up pink female bicycle" on the vehicle prestige ladder? Roller skates?



  • I've always loved anime, and I've picked up a couple of Japanese words from watching. Then I got Obenkyo for Android, to help me learn the hiragana and katakana. (Seriously, folks, Obenkyo is awesome.) Now I can read Japanese, but not understand it; nevertheless, it's always interesting to find the hidden English words in Japanese videos.

    Six months ago or so, my parents found a Pimsleur Japanese CD set laying around, and brought it over for me.

    Today (see how my spare time goes?) I started listening to it, with my daughter, on the way to the grocery store.

    It's pretty neat. The only problem is that you're getting actual native speakers, so sometimes what you hear is different from what you're supposed to hear.

    For instance, "English" sounds like "Eigo" on the tape. But later, when they introduce "Japanese" (Nihongo), the narrator talks about the "ng" sound. Then he asks if you heard it in "Eigo".

    Well, no. No, I didn't. But now I think I do! Is it there or not?

    Continue reading "Watashi wa Nihongo go Skoshi Wakarimas"