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the Trev Report (2004-12-8)

the Trev Report (2004-12-8)

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Hello all and welcome once again to your monthly dose of Trev. Wherein
lies what's up with me and all stuff like that. And now on with the

Trev's Lovelife

The big news with Signe (http://signerose.org/ ) and I is that we will
be going to Palau (http://visit-palau.com/ ) for winter break! Signe has
always wanted to go there, and I am really excited about going as well.
It will be our first tropical Christmas. I am really looking forward to
visiting some South Pacific islands. I have been fascinated with small
islands since I was a kid, and I can't wait to finally experience one
for real!

Trev's Work

I couldn't be happier at work. The students I teach are wonderful, the
teachers I work with are polite and understanding. I really lucked out
with this placement in the JET Programme (http://www.jetprogramme.org/
). Our town is merging with the town next to us starting 2005-1-1 and
that will mean a few changes for me. The BoE is being moved to the next
town over, so I probably won't be visiting it as often. In my idle days,
I will be at the JHS instead. I also have to stop writing my monthly
bilingual article for the town communique. I really like writing it, so
I might ask to have it added again, but all the people in the town
office are being shuffled around, so there is a new person in charge of
the communique. Speaking of shuffling, my supervisor, Mr. Osaka, will be
getting a new job as well. I will have a new supervisor. I really like
Mr. Osaka, so I am bummed about that, but I know that the new guy will
be great too. The TV Show is going well, Ms. Kawashima and I are getting
zanier and zanier as the months pass by. She will leave in April, so I
am bummed about that too.

Trev's Japanese

Well, the CLAIR (http://www.clair.or.jp/ ) Advanced Daily Japanese
Self-Study course is going well for me. The book teaches Japanese IN
Japanese, so it is a challenge, but it is easy to learn from, so I am
enjoying it. I still get the Nihongo Journal
(http://www.alc.co.jp/jpn/learner/index.html ) as well, and it is quite
a blessing. Again, I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone interested in
studying Japanese.
The big thing with my Japanese is that I have started putting up the
diary I write everyday on-line (http://jumex.blogspot.com/ and
http://trevmex.livejournal.com/ for you LJ-lovers) in Japanese and
English. I also put up a daily kanji. Check it out! Actually, I have
been writing in my diary in Japanese for over a year, but have just
recently started putting it on-line.

Trev's Computers

Again, the biggest news is that I have started blogging in Japanese and
English (http://jumex.blogspot.com/ and http://trevmex.livejournal.com/
for you LJ-lovers). I got annoyed with messing with the formatting
every time to get the posts pretty like I like them, so I spend a day or
so making the HTML+CSS just right, and then I wrote a Perl script to
auto-format my posts from a web form
(http://www.trevreport.org/blogForm.shtml ). I am about half-way done
with writing an auto-poster in Perl (http://www.cpan.org/ ) as well. The
auto-poster I have written works in Blogger (http://www.blogger.com/ ),
but not in LJ (http://www.livejournal.com/ )yet because they don't
support WSSE auth. (http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/12/17/dive.html ), so
I have to use HTTP-Digest auth. (http://rfc3310.x42.com/ ). That is the
only code I haven't written yet. I am using ATOM
(http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2003/10/15/dive.html ) and XML
(http://www.xml.com/ ) to post, and it works great.

Trev's Anime

AniKi (http://trevreport.org/aniki/wiki.pl?AniKi ) keeps on truckin',
thanks to a couple people that are adding context to it. Thank you to
you guys. I have started reading Afternoon (http://www.afternoon.co.jp/
) again. Mainly for Oh! My Goddess!, but there are lots of other good
comics in it as well. I also still subscribe to Newtype, so although I
haven't been watching too much lately, I at least know what is going on.
Although I DID watch "Howl's Moving Castle"
(http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/howl/ ) in it's opening week. The
theater was PACKED on a workday afternoon if that tells you anything. I
loved it, and will be buying it as soon as it comes out on DVD.

Trev's Games

Zol (Bernie Gonzales of Masuda) has been wanting me to jump back on
Achaea (http://www.achaea.com/ ) as of late, which is a great game, but
I just haven't had the time lately. As for other games, I am am still
really interested in getting a copy of Once Upon A Time
(http://www.atlas-games.com/product_tables/AG1001.html ) because it
looks really fun. I've really been in the board game mood these days.
Although I have been logging some Nethack (http://www.nethack.org/ )
time lately as well. The coolest thing I did was finish playing
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
(http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/gbadvance/game/35534.html ) which is a
GREAT GBA game! I'm looking for another GBA game as cool as it...

Trev's TV/Movies

I watched "The Incredibles" and really liked it, as well as a couple
other movies though the power of BitTorrent (http://www.suprnova.org/ ),
but most of our time lately has been consumed with watching Stargate
SG-1 (http://www.gateworld.net/ ). Signe and I are on season 4 right now
and moving fast. REALLY good stuff. I am really enjoying this show, and
if you like SF at all, I highly recommend.

Trev's One-Point Japanese Lesson

So you want to learn Japanese, huh? Cool! How about numbers!

1 - ichi
2 - ni
3 - san
4 - yon
5 - go
6 - roku
7 - nana
8 - hachi
9 - kyuu
10 - juu

Good luck with your studies!

Well, that is about it for this month's fun filled Trev Report. Until
next month keep having fun, and drop us a line sometime or comment on
the blog (http://jumex.blogspot.com/ or http://trevmex.livejournal.com/

Take care,

  • Juu-ni gatsu, hachi nichi, sui-youbi...

    I love your Daily Kanji, though I am only a beginning student. Is there somewhere you are collecting these all permanently, so we (I) can go back over them again at some later date when I (we) am (are) a more advanced student(s)?
    • Re: Juu-ni gatsu, hachi nichi, sui-youbi...

      Well, it is archived on LJ here and at http://jumex.blogspot.com/ as well. I am pretty sure that niether service deletes old posts, so there you go. :) I'm glad you like it!
  • I have been writing in my diary in Japanese for over a year,

    You are way awesome! I kept a weekly diary for a couple months (and had my tutor check my grammar) but I kind of lazed out. I bet your brain can already think in Japanese without realizing it!

    Your Kanji of the Day is a great idea. Studying kanji is actually the thing that has made me see the most progress in my Japanese (since sometimes I can't tell if my speaking is improving at all - sometimes I think it is getting worse, though it's probably my imagination). I used to do four a day out a book that listed them in school grade order, now I use this fun kanji memorization method (which I'd be more than happy to expound upon if you don't mind me babbling), but however one does it, it is amazing how suddenly recently-studied kanji pops up everywhere - on signs, at the store, even on the exercise bike display. I get way excited when I see a kanji and realize That's One I Just Learned (even if I don't remember what it means right away, heh.) I'm somewhere around 650 with kanji, though I don't know all the readings. I love it, though. Yay for Kanji. :)

    most of our time lately has been consumed with watching Stargate

    Stargate SG-1! I LOVE SG-1!!! I saw almost all of third season (Yay for "Urgo"!) way back when it came out, but I've had nothing to feed my addiction recently. I already watched the whole, whopping three tapes available at the video store in Miyoshi, where did you get yours? Buying, borrowing, downloading?? I'm jealous! I don't suppose I could borrow?

    • I would love to hear your kanji learning method! I have lots of different ways. I am probably at a solid 400 or more right now. I can write all the level 4 and 3 kanji and are currently working on level 2 kanji. I have learned from all kinds of things, flashcards, manga (believe it or not! that is how I learned 警察暑 from アキバ暑 in アフタヌーン), and just looking around.

      As for SG-1. We started a 56 GIGABYTE download of SG-1 seasons 1-7 and it took a MONTH! but we got it all. You can come over anytime if you want to watch. We'd love to have you. :)
      • ONE MONTH! You're patient! And the computer didn't crash at all?? Or is a month how long it took after multiple restarts?! Rock! I'd love to come over! If you and Signe are having a SG-marathon over the weekend sometime, let me know, I don't care what season it is -I'm used to watching shows completely out of order anyway. (Though I'm leaving next week so I probably won't invade visit until January or so.)

        ANYWAY, here is my nifty, secret kanji memorization method. (Lots of Babble to follow.) I got the idea from a hard-to-find book called "Remembering the Kanji" (not to be confused with another book called "Remembering Japanese Characters" which I also have because it talks about the lineage of each kanji).

        Basically, you assign every radical (and every radical-like symbol that comes up repeatedly in kanji) a simple word or phrase. Then, when you come across a kanji, you take all the radical bits and make a story or image out of them and fit them into the meaning of the kanji as a whole. (basically, Consistent Mnemonics - you can look at a kanji and instantly know the elements the mnemonic is made from. The story or image you use to connect the sometimes wildly differing radicals is often strange/funny/vivid which makes it stick in your head.) The author of the book does a lot of this for you, but I found it effective enough to make up my own.

        Here's a couple simple examples:
        相 's radicals are "tree" 木 and "eye" 目and the meaning is EACH OTHER, MUTUAL, or MINISTER. My mini-mnemonic is "The trees have eyes, but only can see each other... and the Minister" (And I drew a little picture with trees with eyes and a bald minister guy in the forest to reinforce the image)
        悔 is "feeling" and "every" 毎 and the meaning is REGRET. So, "Regret is what I feel every time."
        恥 is "ear" 耳 and "heart" 心 and the meaning is SHAME or EMBARRASSMENT. "He's so embarrassed, he can hear his heart beating."
        砕 is "stone" 石 and "fraction" (which I made the "nine" 九 over "ten" 十 symbol to mean) and the meaning is CRUSH or BREAK. This one was easy. "Break a stone into pieces a fraction of the size"

        The hardest (and fun) part is making up mnemonics for radicals that don't already have a meaning (or only appear in a very few kanji). However, the more personal you make them, the more fun it is. (I have a non-standard radical whose mnemonic I made Middle Earth (because it looks like 中 and 土 put together: as seen in 貴 and 遣 ( <-- hard to see when they are so small...) )

        It helps to draw a little picture of the mnemonic. I always remember the image faster. However, just learning what all the mini-radicals are (I'm still finding them) has dramatically improved my recognition. I don't think I've ever come across a radical-like symbol that only appears in a single kanji.

        THIS ALL BEING SAID, I have two friends, who both recently took the 1kyuu, that swear by Manga as a way to learn, so that works too. :) (Notice that my way doesn't take the readings of kanji so much into account.)

        • I own Remembering the Kanji! I was a little annoyed that you had to buy the second book to get the reading though. I like to learn the readings and the meaniong together. Actually, I first learned the kana from "Remembering the Hiragana" and Remembering the Katakana." Great stuff.

          I will totally start doing that with radicals as I learn them now. Thanks for the advice.
  • Holy Crapola man! 57 gigs? Thats an amazing download. Every time I catch SG-1 on tv, I watch a few minutes until I realize I have no idea what is going on and shut it off.

    The daily Kanji idea is a stroke of brilliance by the way. I read them, but have yet to memorize any but the most basic of them. My mind is still spinning with integrals and color relations. One guy managed to make primary red look painfully bright (like super neon) just by placement of other colors! He's my hero for the day.
    • I know. That was an INSANE job...57 GB...

      Thanks about the kanji. You never know when you might need to know how to say tympanitis in Japanese!

      I had no idea you could change the way colors look, I guess it makes sense now that I think about it. Crazyness!
  • oh nice! i hope you two have a great time while you're on vacation. that sounds heavenly!

    SG-1 is the bomb! matt and i are just drooling waiting for season 8 to come out. we've got all the seasons except for the first one, which i need to get.
    • I'll post all about Palau after we get back!

      So, you are buying the DVD sets, right? Are there any cool extras on them?
      • Oh they do! My favourites are the featurettes that I think come out with the 5th season and on. They show behind the scene stuff and the making of the shows. Cool!
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