Saturday, October 27, 2007

Voulez-vous apprendre une langue avec moi ce soir?

I get the impression that you, like me, are beginning to feel that itch that means it's time to start studying a language intensively again. Perhaps we should join forces?



Admit it, your language of choice is totally on one of those lists. I'll await your e-mail.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Stridente purum

Well, I've finally done the thing I've been threatening to do for an age and a half, which is to scour the hell out of my bathroom. Gone are the bizarre pink stains in the tub, gone the multiplex layers of whisker sedimentation on the sink from shavings beyond number. I would post a photo, but it would just be a blinding flash of white from all the shiny clean surfaces.

Definitely seems like something worth doing at least every two to three years.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hooray for free reeds

In honor of that amazing instrument which is the accordion in all its myriad forms, I present to you the following examples of mind-bogglingly wonderful and inspiring playing.

First we have a French tune being performed on a Castagnari G/C diatonic accordion. I am blown away by how beautiful this is:

Then we have this melody on an Irish-tuned "diatonic," perhaps in B/C? Note that this style of playing doesn't use the basses. Aren't his ornaments amazing?

Changing genres a bit, we have a Cajun (single-key diatonic) accordion, playing a two-step:

And for something completely different, a Russian bayan with free basses being used to perform a fugue by Bach. I can't believe how much this sounds like an organ:

Now my job is to somehow learn how to do all this before I go to bed tonight.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Solution: Funny Pants

I'm feeling rather pleased with myself at the moment, having taken what seems like a first substantive step into the world of full-time bicyclistdom with a combined total of about 30 miles cycled today. The surprise is how much I'm enjoying this, and how little it feels like an inconvenience.

Backing up just a touch, I'm now riding a Dahon folding road bike rather than my recumbent, which I've decided my life (and square footage) is not quite ready for despite its comfortableness. Comfortability. Something. Have you seen this strange beast yet, though?

In any event, I got up early today and rode over to Lake Merritt to buy bagels for breakfast (I think this one is closer than the Noah's in Rockridge, but my cycle computer is apparently on the fritz and keeps resetting itself so it's hard to be sure). After a few of those and a dose of the ol' X-Files, the day called out for something more ambitious.

A little while ago, while trying to find a way of navigating the space between Amelia's house and the Bayfair BART station without being smooshed by every passing motorist, I ran across and particularly liked the look of the "Fun Sunday morning ride" someone had posted there. It being Sunday morning this Sunday morning, the time seemed ripe.

Here's a map of the route. The idea is to curve around Lake Merritt, skirt downtown Oakland, ride along the Embarcadero (a borrowing into Spanish from Mixtec*, by the way, meaning "ugly deserted industrial wasteland") to the Fruitvale bridge over to Alameda, then down the coast onto Bay Farm Island thereupon to describe a wide waterfront circle. This last bit in particular was gorgeous and wonderful.

So there's something new for me. I definitely think I will need to buy some goofy cycling shorts, though, as I undeniably have some soreness in the...whatever you call that area in which you develop soreness after biking long distances without goofy shorts.

And now:

*An abject lie. But you knew that.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Esperanta Mistraduko de l' Tago #2

Tiun ĉi vorton mi havis multajn okazojn por pripensi dum mi estis universitata studanto, kaj ankaŭ instruis E-on. Ju pli mi uzis ĝin, des pli ĝi min ĝenis pro ĝia tuta miseco.

La vorto estas ĉi tiu: DORMEMA.

Ni senprobleme havas ĉi tie la radikon dorm-, kaj la sufikson -em-. Pri la radiko verŝajne estos nenia konfuzo, sed kio pri la sufikso? Emo estas io, kion oni faras multe aŭ ofte, kaj normale kio ŝajnas sufiĉe grava parto de la personeco de la homo, kiun ni priparolas. La plej ofta ekzemplo de la uzo de tiu sufikso estas parolema, kiu priskribas personon, kiu multe aŭ/kaj ofte parolas. Aliaj ekzemploj:

ofte aŭ multe atakas, korpe aŭ vorte
konsentemulo multe aŭ facile konsentas
multe, ofte aŭ senkverele laboras

Kaj tiel plu. Ĉu do dormemulo estas homo, kiu ofte aŭ multe dormas? Eble, sed ne normale. Se mi diras, "Mi estas dormema," la dezirata signifo ne estas "Mi estas persono, kiu dormas multe." MALE, mi verŝajne estas persono, kiu NE dormas multe, almenaŭ laste! La signifo de la vorto, kiel oni efektive uzas ĝin, estas "sentanta la bezonon de dormo."

Kial do la signifo de -em- diferencas kun tiu ĉi unu radiko? Logiko certe mankas.

Mia celo ĉi tie ne estas solvi tiajn problemojn, sed nur montri, por ke ni ĉiuj pli bone konu nian lingvon. Eble estas pli bona maniero por esprimi tiun ĉi ideon, kaj eble ne. Tre interesis min aŭdi vian opinion, sed bonvolu tralegi antaŭe la unuan artikolon el la aro.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Felis silvestris catus

So the question is, do I need a cat? I am led to believe that they are warm and snuggly, which would certainly be a boon. Any opinions?