Saturday, May 12, 2007

Could I really be this lazy?

Wow, don't six weeks just disappear so fast? I couldn't believe it when I popped in here to realize that my blog has not been updated since March. Ouch..... Oh well, it's not like some big fan base is awaiting my next entry here.

At any rate, I've been busy. You just wouldn't be able to tell that from this blog. I've completed my 1500 pts of Dwarfs for the team tournament that I played in last month. I think they look pretty good. I've got to get around to photographing these and posting them up. It takes a lot of effort (for me anyway) to dig them out, set up the lighting, and get the pictures onto my hard disk. But I'll get to it. I''m aiming to complete the remaining 500 pts of Dwarfs over the next few months -- two bolt throwers, a grudge thrower, 7 more Longbeards, and 24 more warriors. Geez.....

So, my novel outline is done. I left a lengthy post last time about that endeavor. I added in story lines for two other characters to flesh it out and an outline for two others who I may or may not show. The great part of this outlining technique is that you can take things out or add them in without destroying the whole manuscript. Now I'm going to let it sit for a spell and then begin to write it starting on June 1st. That way I'll be able to track how long it takes to actually write it. I'll be shooting for six months -- so maybe the first draft will be my Christmas gift this year.

In other news, I've restarted my learning of Japanese. Not sure if I mentioned it here, but I can speak and read (to a fair degree) Mandarin Chinese. I hesitate to ever say that I actually "speak" the language. But I can carry on a conversation about stuff that interests me, and I can say things like, "Hey, don't point that gun at me," or "please stop punching me," you know, things that you need to survive. Of course, I lived in Taiwan for a while in the early 90s and my wife is Chinese. So I've been able to keep up my learning of the language. Some of those Chinese "historical" dramas for T.V. are actually pretty good. So watching those helps keep me sharp.

But how I've digressed! As I was saying, I am starting my study of Japanese. Years ago, when I was an ambitious young man, I told myself that I would learn both Chinese and Japanese. Then I got married to a Chinese, and the next question I asked myself is "why bother learning Japanese since I can't use it to pick up Japanese girls now that I'm married?" So that ruling logic held for something like 15 years. Then I realized that learning Japanese because I'm interested in their culture is also a noble idea. So I began to study about three years ago. Then work got busy, and excuses flowed like water. And now I'm restarting three years later. Had I kept at it by now I'd be speaking Japanese and understanding important shows like Cowboy Bebop in the original Japanese.

I'm using a combination approach of Pimsleur Japanese, which is a pretty radical way of language learning from my experience. But after just ten lessons I can understand a lot of little things in Japanese already. It took me like 6 months of Chinese study to get to that level. So Pimsleur is cool. I'm also using the sentence memorization method advocated at (How's that for a crazy url?)

OK, my fingers are tiring. I'll update again later. But just one note for music buffs out there. If you were ever into Black Sabbath -- the original 70s version -- you owe it to yourself to check out these bands that I've so recently discovered: Wolfmother, The Sword, Witchcraft, and Priestbird. These are all new bands recording stuff that will take you back a few years. The funny thing is I don't think any of these kids were in more than diapers in the 70s. So, they've obviously put a new spin on things. Anyway, check them out if you can. They're really good!