I taught a mini class on the KK Phonetic alphabet that is commonly used in Taiwan. I have used an online service (or really a combination of several) to post a presentation, complete with audio (some Chinese included) on the material, and I will also post some exercises and their answers. Check it out!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I taught a mini class on the KK Phonetic alphabet that is commonly used in Taiwan. I have used an online service (or really a combination of several) to post a presentation, complete with audio (some Chinese included) on the material, and I will also post some exercises and their answers. Check it out!
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Greetings, fellow Earthicans! Aroo!
I have found a unique site that allows you to arrange for rice to be donated to the UN; it is then given to areas that need food for starving people, and, presumably, their pets. It takes the form of a vocabulary exercise where you try to pick out the synonym for the featured word. I have provided so far a couple of bowls of food for somebody, I guess. I'm glad to help and I bet you'll enjoy the feeling as well. The quiz matches itself to your evident vocabulary level, setting itself at a suitable difficulty based on the words you can and cannot match. I assume it's on the level, and even if not it could only waste time, as there is no signup or other material to connect you to the site. I'm offering my students bonus points for participating.
Also, I have started a new blog that will focus on discussions of voice actors and relating my own voiceover news, in hopes that I'll actually get some more. It's here:
First Class Service teacher's book 1 to proof. Hope I can get it done fastly. Don't you?
I hope you will enjoy it all.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Furthermore, book 1 of my revision (with my suggested title) of the textbook First Class Service: English for the Tourism and Hospitality Industry 1 will be coming out on Oct. 26th, with the second book emerging shortly afterwards.
There's a tale to tell with the recording last Friday of the first book's 2 CDs, along with darling daughter Coral, but I want to report it first to my family. It went well and I was delighted. I want to be a professional voice actor (surprised?). I may have a chance (Surprised??).
Best to all organisms!
Friday, September 28, 2007
Also, my dissertation is being considered in a prize competition (for best dissertation/thesis of the last school year) at Sun Yat-sen University.
Many thanks to my advisor, Rudy, for both of these!!
Friday, September 14, 2007
Monday, September 3, 2007
Hi. This new post has the same movie, but it may look better when you watch it from YouTube.
You can also see the video at its own page, from which it can be watched in "fullscreen" mode:
Thanks. . .
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Then we got up around 6 AM for Coral's Tae Kwon Do competition; this was a county-wide one. There were visitors, blackbelts from Jordan, doing demo tussles (See Fig. 3). Coral had two events: the board-kicking thing, and a sort of choreographed TKD routine. She won trophies for both of these events! One for 3rd place and one for 2nd! As a two-trophy winner, she was asked back for another set of competitions today on Sunday morning, and she isn't yet back from that. I'll let you know later. She was very excited by her accomplishments yesterday, as were we all; Coral was up shortly after six today, an hour earlier than we wanted to get up, full of vim. We were rather less vimful. However, we're very proud of her and will soon have a video of her board-kicking event. It kicks plywood! (See Fig. 1)
The demo inspection of Amy's school was imperfect, but not too bad, and it's done; however there'll be much more to prepare for as the real inspection is coming up some time. . .I'm not sure when. And now Amy has more reports and stuff to do for school.
With her I am planning to do a new class at her school, along with an e-learning, web-based course thing for next semester. Listening and speaking and intonation. You'll have the link when it's ready. Sounds like lots of preparation time, but worth it for the experience, I hope. You can see my Google teaching homepage and the schedule for next semester if you are full of sounds and curiosity.
All the best to all of you!
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Actually, this entry is really about the busy week I've been having. Amy's school is going to be reviewed by the ministry of education and if they are approved they'll be upgraded from a "Institute of Technology" to a "University of Science and Technology;" they'll graduate, in effect, or be promoted. The chairperson of her department has been left basically all to herself to prepare for the departmental review, so Amy and I have been giving a hand most days this week. The mock 'practice review' will take place tomorrow morning.
The normal teacher is out today and tomorrow so I took her place here at our school, and then five hours of English classes. . .
No, wait, my evening student's mom just called to say that the kid was again in a bad mood and wouldn't come to class!
Amy's still at work and it's 7:45 PM. . .
On Sunday we were both at Transworld and I was able to get most of two new "Hueis" (practice tests) for the GEPT project. Also I was teaching Amy's classes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at Transworld.
This post is adapted from one at my C'est Huat? blog at Yahoo.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Late Monday night Amy got a message from our modeling agent friend who said there was an op for Coral to audition for an ad. So Tuesday Grandma took her, Eowyn, and cousin Tina up north for the audition. After they all got back safely, (I drove the rickety VW in constant apprehension) we got a message. An O'Brien got the job. . .but it was Eowyn, not Coral!!
So we may go back up on Friday to do the job, though the fee will be very low--1500 NT dollars--less than the cost of transportation. Then again we may just blow it off as it's hardly worth the income.
Amy and Chris have been coming to Transworld every day to help prepare for the upcoming Ministry of Ed's inspection, translating lots of things and doing endless scads of paperwork. I've been teaching Amy's classes too. Exhausting work and boring too. And the swine students are hardly worth the pearls of learning I'm casting to them in scoopfuls.
Wish us all luck!
PS. I finished City of Night, the 2nd Dean Koontz's Frankenstein book and it was . . . good reading but not too eventful.
Now starting "The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson about the 1893 Columbian Exposition. No real opinion yet but seems to use a similar approach to The Professor and the Madman and The Map that Changed the World.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Hi all, greetings from stormy, ill-weathered Taiwan. It's typhoon season and it's dreary; has been for a week or so. Yush. Also I'm working on a standardized test of EFL and wanted to share some improvised and possibly fragmented paragraphs I worked up for practice with oral skill for Taiwanesish youngsters.
- Stop jumping on the radio, Terry.
- Now it's time to hear the latest news.
- What should you do when your sink is broken?
- Do you think my nose is too big?
- Why do you keep looking at your watch?
- Is there anything I can do to help you?
- Don't throw your gum at the lion, Lisa.
- Try to talk more slowly and put the cat down.
- Take a minute to review your notes.
- I don't want any carrots with my apple pie.
- Please wait for a moment while I sleep.
- Can you possibly fix my car before lunch time?
- Are you sure you want to have beer for breakfast?
- There are no sharks in my pool, I think.
- I might need some help moving my sofa.
- I don't really like listening to good music.
- Why are we really taking this test?
- Can you give me a pencil?
- What movies are playing at the theater this evening?
- This is a story about a toy cowboy and a toy pig.
- Tell me the truth--I can't believe you really are George Bush's father.
- Swimming is easier when you don't wear ski pants.
- Salads are always more delicious with candy in them.
- What are you going to do with that huge pillow?
- I can't understand how to make math classes fun.
Many people who used to feel tired of watching TV programs every day have taken up a hobby. There are many hobbies you can choose from. Some people enjoy building up collections of coins, stamps, CDs, or bottlecaps. Other people prefer to build model cars, ships, or airplanes. Some like knitting or making clothing. Whatever you choose will certainly be more interesting and more useful to you than endless hours of cheap cartoons, so try to get involved in some kind of hobby today! Stop wasting your time and have fun!
The other day, I ran into my old friend Steve. I hadn't seen him in several months. It was great to see him, but I don't think he was so happy to see me again. In fact, he appeared to be angry about something, though he was still polite enough to me. He said that he'd lost his job last month and that he was still looking for a new one. He also said that he had to move out of his apartment and live with his parents again. Also, he said that I now had his old job. I hope he was just in a bad mood, and that he's not really angry at me. I still think he's a great guy.
Drinking beverages--it's a fun and easy way to cool down in the summer and to get toasty warm in the winter. Here's how to do it. First, get yourself a delicious drink--why not start with something easy, like a glass of cold water? OK now, pick up the glass with one of your hands. Be careful, because glass breaks very easily. Next, bring the glass close to your mouth with the same hand you used before. Then, with your lips, hold the BOTTOM edge of the top of the glass and tip the glass towards your face slowly. If you go too fast, you could get your shirt all wet! Open your mouth a little so the water can fall right in. Don't forget to swallow it, or your mouth will quickly fill up. After a few seconds, tip the glass back to level and swallow all the water in your mouth. Put the cup down and smile, because I'm sure you'll feel wonderful! Isn't that fun? You can have a drink any day, and even at night! Go on, have a beverage soon and make it a habit for life!
I found a dog outside my apartment the other day. It is a tiny little puppy, orange with white stripes. It is very cute. Nobody was watching me, so I took the puppy into my house and gave it some yummy food: corn soup. I called the puppy "Turf" because that's the little sound he makes when he's hungry. Today I dressed Turf up in a cute dress and took photos of him with my web camera. Then in the afternoon I got a message on my homepage from the police. They said that the dog belongs to somebody else, and that I have to give my Turf back to my neighbors or go to jail. That made me angry, so I decided to run away to Canada. I'm leaving now, Mom, and I'll miss you very much. Please tell the police that Turf loves me and doesn't want to go home. I'll see you when I am an old man!
Lots of love,
The subway will not be open this week, from Tuesday to Friday, because all the trains are being repainted black. The seats and curtains will also be replaced with black ones. This will make the trains harder to see at night and also in the underground stations. We don't want any bad people finding our super trains and taking them away, so remember not to tell anybody else about the new color. Also, please tell everybody about the change so that we can protect the trains. Thank you for your cooperation and we'll see you again on Saturday with the secret black-colored trains! Have a great week driving in the city in your car!
--The City Hall Planning and Secret Train Office
The other day, I was walking down the street on my way to school. I suddenly noticed a man's wallet lying on the sidewalk outside the post office! It was quite a surprise. I looked around and tried to discover if anybody was looking for the wallet, and also to see if anybody was watching me. I couldn't see anyone doing either of those things, so I picked up the wallet and put it into my book bag. When I had some time to myself, I examined the wallet. It had 3700 NT dollars in it, as well as several credit cards and a driver's license. I decided to bring the wallet to the police station after school, but I kept the cash as a reward for myself for being such a good person.
Last night at 9:25 PM a man was injured in Taipei when a motorcycle fell on him, breaking his wrist and three ribs. What is strange is that nobody was riding the motorcycle. In fact, the man, Mr. Alva Lin of Kaohsiung, was taking out his umbrella because of the rain. The umbrella hit a parked motorcycle next to Mr. Lin and this caused the cycle to fall down. Unfortunately, Mr. Lin was kneeling down right next to it! Today, Mr. Lin has been treated at the New Life Hospital in Taipei and is expected to be just fine after a month or two. The owner of the motorcycle has not been blamed for the accident. This is Thomas Chen, reporting from Taipei.
That night, Telly went to the shop secretly with a long box under his arm. He was wearing a tall opera hat and an old high school jacket, and on his feet was a pair of yellow socks. The shop appeared to be deserted, but when Telly knocked on the door in a specific and unusual pattern, the door opened silently. Telly looked around to make sure that nobody was watching, and then he stepped inside the dark shop. He pulled out a heavy piece of metal from his pocket, expecting to need some sort of protection from the man who waited within.
What in blazes was he to do otherwise? All the wedding plans had been laid out in strips and the event was coming like a snail shot out of a buskin. A revelation of that kind during the season would be devastating for his father, his fiancee, and the flower girl, and the flowers themselves. . .well! It was hardly thinkable.
He retraced his thoughts to the morning before when he'd been greeted by an affable Arnold, who'd challenged him to a footrace to the entrance of the Memorial. Arnold raced to the door, and
The Turlock continued to stalk unevenly towards the bleeding Arnold, who let out a muffled shriek of dismay. It shook its shaggy head and large drops of pus and vinegar sported out in rays, tainting a circle of land around it. This assault was going well, it mused as it loomed closer to the boy, but where was the thrill of violent mauling that so soothed his nerves of old? Ah, the ennui was returning, the Turlock sighed to himself as it troubledly raked its jagged and musty claws in random patterns through Arnold's mangled flesh and organs. Perhaps a vacation . . .? Arnold raced for the door and
Perhaps the Turlock has a wife and several baby Turlets?
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Hi everyone, I'm back from Kaohsiung with a diploma.
We left home at around 9 AM: Amy driving, and Eowyn and Chris in the car too. Made good time--about 2 hours to the city. Made it on campus at about 11:10, with 50 minutes to finish all the paperwork if we were to finish by lunch break time. Well, I sweated like mad but got the diploma and did all the other required hoopery. They got my name on the English diploma as "Chris O'brien" so I asked them to fix the B. They'll send the fixed diploma. The Chinese one is OK. I will scan it for my dear family members in the US. It is small and rather unimpressive looking, but it's real and with that and the paperwork I am now officially an ex-student, almost for the first time since I was 5.
We also visited Ikea and got info on the bookshelf material they have available. Our walls are in an unusual shape, being located in the attic area, so it's a but complex for "F in math" me. We had a splendid meal in Kaohsiung's 4-month-old restaurant, the Outback Steakhouse. Let me say again: SPLENDID!!
They said that there would be a typhoon today so we hurried home, but there is still no typhoon today. Just jerking our chains, I guess.
Lots of hugs and friendly waves to all you devoted readers who never write comments.
Hee hee hee
Monday, August 6, 2007
Last Sunday (a week before yesterday) my advanced student gave me her copy of HP7 to read and I did so that day and finished it on last Wednesday. It was really great.
But a few days before the official first day of sales of the book, there were many spoilers and fake versions, it was said. I found one article that said so and downloaded the link it had. The PDF file there is certainly not the real version, but I'm about 400 pages into this piece of fan fiction--a full-fledged novel--and it's quite good. I have some criticisms about it which I'll give here soon--such as using some idiomatic British phrases such as "hacked off" and "over the moon" too frequently--but it's got some good and ingenious ideas and I recommend it as an interesting and enjoyable read, even though it is obviously not 'canon' and not licensed either.
I found it at an article that quoted its clumsy phrase "stared morosely at the familiar visage of number four, Privet Drive" and you can use that to search for it on Google.
Love to discuss it with you, and its points of comparison with the real Deathly Hallows book.
Please note that the PDF I am referring to is 569 pages long and has the phrase mentioned above on the first page. If you find a dedication "THE DEDICATION OF THIS BOOK IS SPLIT SEVEN WAYS" then it is probably the real version. Please do NOT download or read that version. Buy the book. It is a treasure worth keeping in its authentic and paid-for version!
Though Ms. Rowling (the name rhymes with bowling and not with howling, according to one article, though Emma Watson rhymes it with Howling in one interview and Jim Dale rhymes it with Bowling) is richer than Queen Elizabeth, she has worked hard to earn her royalties. The writer of the fan fiction (he or she makes "A/N" author's notes from time to time in the text) is a talented and probably untrained "by ear" amateur making no money from his or her novel and deserves some encouragement for the effort, though not for 'scamming' fans of the real 'canon'. Let this person either try some work that is labeled as fan fiction, I say, or try something original for publication. I'd like to know who it is and give that person some credit, but possibly we'll never know.
UPDATE: this seems to be the source of the fan fiction: http://www.phoenixsong.net/fanfiction/story/3517/
It is specifically posted there as fan fiction, not intended as a ripoff or fake version.
We went swimming yesterday after my class and Eowyn made real progress, enjoying dipping her face in the pool and even walking around in the shallow area (she's just tall enough to reach the bottom of the pool with her feet).
I'm going with Amy to Sun Yat-sen U tomorrow to hand in my diss and "leave school" officially, and pick up my diploma. We'll also go to the new Ikea store to get some DIY bookshelves for the fifth floor study area.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Hi, I discovered that the first time I uploaded the PDF of the dissertation, there was some kind of problem with the file or . . . not sure what exactly the problem was. Anyway, I tried and tried yesterday and finally confirmed that it was OK. Now I need to wait another three days (till the writing rage cools off) and I'll be able to go back to campus and finish the process of leaving school as a diplomaed graduate. I picked up all 17 copies of the dissertation that were printed (delivered to the printers last Sat) and they look great! Just now have to confirm that the asst. will really be there next Weds. when I am planning to go. . .
UPDATE: Yes, the assistant, Rosa, will be there and so I will go. I got the Graduation photo in the mail today--the one I paid $100 NTD for--along with a CDR of photos. Not bad.
Working on the GEPT items. 2nd Elementary Hui.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Amy and I are on vacation in Taipei, attending a "happy summer English camp" thing organized by the ministry of education, a series of courses on how to use the Internet to teach English in our college classes.
Coral and cousin Tina are also in Taipei attending a 'young model' camp. It's lovely to be done with my dissertation. LOVELY!
Amy is great!!
Sunday, July 8, 2007
Hi, sorry it's been a while. It's been (as usual) an intense time. But I have graduated, and the oral defense is over successfully with a score (my adviser says it's a good one) of 88. I'm working on working up a final version of the diss to submit to the school; then I will be able to get my diploma. I am shooting for either this coming Friday or else the following Tuesday, and I hope Amy will come with me!
More later. . .
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
My adviser very quickly helped me to make the adjustment to the article I wrote for his book, due to be published this year. That was great!
We had a very exhausting and busy weekend. Monday and Tuesday count as part of the weekend in this case because of the odd holiday "Dragon Boat Festival Day" which was on Tuesday. We did lots of home improvement, including installing a new floor in this room where I am now: it's just tile, but to look at it it resembles the kind of old wood floor I used to have in previous homes. Amy did most of this while I panted to keep up. The girls also helped. The weather has been very warm: 33 degrees centigrade the other day, and very humid.
My graduation ceremony--the small departmental one, as opposed to the school-wide one--is this Friday at 4 PM local time. I'm working on the draft and plan to meet my adviser Friday to get one last talk before the defense, which is next Weds. at 2-4 PM.
Gotta keep at it. . .
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The Oral Defense date is now set clearly: it's June 27th, two weeks from today, from 2 to 4 PM. This is after the departmental commencement, which will be on June 22nd, 9 days away: next Friday. There's yet another school-wide commencement on the 30th. Amy, Coral, and Eowyn will be there for the first of these. I have to finish up my lovely and complex Works Cited page and the appendices I wish to include in the final draft. There were many small improvements etc. that I wanted to incorporate, but now that the impetus is mainly off and the diss. copies have been sent out, I am much less motivated to tackle such possibly-superfluous projects, though I really ought to incorporate them into the final submission. Anyway, if ever get this published I'll have to, and also I'd probably restore many of the minor analyses I've cut out. . .or have them published as journal articles, perhaps.
Dad caught my mis-use of the adjectival form of "synecdoche" which led from my mispronunciation of the noun form; I've been using "synecdochal" for years but "synecdochic" or "synechdochical" are legitimate, whereas mine was not. I have fixed that for the dissertation but for the "Gypsy Scholar" book I hope I can also get it fixed in the "synecdochic" form before publication.
I've got to let the textbook people know of the graduation date so they won't want my voice recording session then...nor on the OD date!
Cups and Cakes
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Hi! I printed the dissertation at my office on Sunday night, had it bound on Monday, and mailed it out, five copies, to my reading committee on Tuesday morning at 8 AM. I think that the department will get the copies today, as they don't seem to have gotten it yesterday. My adviser says that the defense will probably be from 2-4 PM on Monday, June 25th. Whoo hoo!
Exhausted but pleased. . .
Best wishes to you all.
Friday, June 1, 2007
Hi guyses. I had a pleasant visit with my adviser on this Thursday--my gosh! it was yesterday!--and got the go-ahead to print and distribute the newest version of the dissertation to the reading committee. I have some minor changes to make yet, but tomorrow I am teaching all day and Sunday will have to be the last day of changes for this draft, because I'd best be sending it out very soon. I have to have the draft to the readers 3 weeks or more before the defense committee, and Dr. Lai will be leaving the country after July 1st, so there is just no time to spare, if I'm to follow the 3 week rule. However, we'll just have to go with what the committee decides, follow or no, I'm thinking, because it'll be tough enough to get all five of them together for the meeting that insisting on one more stricture will be possibly too demanding. So I am thinking about printing the mess on Sunday from the office, and then on Monday morning just having a copy shop simply staple or bind the printed pages, so that I won't have to wait for a day or more to pick up the bound copies...making it even more impossible to satisfy all these rules.
But anyway, it can stand basically as it is, and that's a very satisfying thing in itself. I got myself a grand meal at TGI Friday's that evening, with great tunes playing on the stereo and a margarita and a draft and great apps and NY cheesecake and ahhh it was glorious!
But now I'd best get to bed. Rather pooped!
Lots of lots!
Friday, May 25, 2007
I have finished revising chapters 3 and 4, as my adviser advised. It's already been sent out to him, and I plan to meet him next week. . .Thursday, probably, but Wednesday if it works out for him and for me. I have to check and fill in all missing citations, adjust for MLA style standards, add and subtract here and there, and polish, so that on the day of my meeting I can make whatever further adjustments my adviser suggests, and have five copies of the full draft printed for the Defense Committee. They need three weeks to read the draft, at least, before the Defense, so that would make the date June 20th at the very earliest...and probably more like the 22nd.
However, the 22nd is also the date of the departmental graduation ceremony! I am still waiting to hear from the department whether that is gonna cause big troubles. Pray for me, or think happy thoughts!
I have been looking through my printed full draft, v. 4.0, and discover that the number of missing citations is relatively few. I have already caught most of the ch. 4 citations. So I'll have more time to restore missing parts and insert some new ideas, and refine my argument. . .
I'm really sorry that my family in America cannot attend my graduation. Think positive thoughts for them, too--we all can use some help in life, I guess!
The semester is winding down now and the graduating class's last week is this coming week. The high school kids' last week is one week later. What will I do with all my free time while the committee is reading my draft?? I'll find something. . .actually there are many more projects waiting for my attention, and many papers to grade. And my assistant is waiting for some answer keys so she can help me grade some more.
It's so intense. I really, REALLY need a vacation.
The girls are all doing well. Coral got a 100% in a poetry recital test today, and is getting ready for a dance recital too. Eowyn's always improving her language skills. Amy attended a conference today and probably persuaded a new acquaintance to buy my book for her classes next semester. By the way, it's going to be renamed First Class: English for the International Tourism and Hospitality Industries, Books 1 and 2, Teacher's Guide and Students' Books.
Have a gravy day.
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Well, it's over. . .that deadline at least. I sent out the full drafts of book 2 on Monday evening, 5:40 PM, and for Book 1 at 9:15 the next morning, hopefully before the publishers checked their morning mail. I got their contract in the mail too and will sign it and send it back soon. It was very intense but I did it (*pant, pant*).
Now I'm for finishing up my dissertation revisions within a week. Hard to concentrate, though. Wonder why.
I tried to insert a bunch of family and friends' names, dates, lucky numbers, etc. into the textbook drafts. That part, at least, was fun.
I'll be doing voice recording for the books next month, too. That's what I really wanted all along!
I'm working up on the 4.5th floor, the "attic" space, far from most distractions or other such enjoyable stuff. It's been great for concentration mostly.
I discovered that most of the drama from January is still safe in digital media! Only part of act II scenes 1 and 2 were lost. I will be burning this material, and also the 2004 drama, for my darling family soon. Not bad!
if all goes smoothly,
Which it should!!
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Worth1000.com | Photoshop Contests | Are you Worthy™ | contest
In passing. . .
This is a great site if you like such stuff. Community participation. . .so why are they still using Photoshop instead of an open source equivalent?
Friday, April 27, 2007
Hiyo. I had my practice defense presentation yesterday--thanks to those who attended, and hello~! --and it was OK I guess. I am determined now to finish up the revisions of chapters 3 and 4 this weekend--
and I have good reason to hurry, as the publishers are breathing down my neck for real. They insist on having the whole enchilada finished and to them by May 7th. . .ten days away. Aside from unit 3, which I did as a demo chapter, I haven't done anything for book 2, which will have 16 chapters in all. So. . .time's a-movin! Once I'm done with the dissertation revision, I'll have to throw myself into the textbook revisions till they are all done and proofread and shiny clean. Then back to hunting down dissertation citations and making sure the format and "style" is all done plopperly.
Wishin' you all well. Don't let the Bumsteads get you down.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Glory be! URU is back and I didn't know until today. Get info here. But I have no time for that!
Actually, I have no time for this, either. Back to the diss, foolish mortal!
Oh boy oh boy oh boy!! I REALLY WANNA PLAY!
This is a great piece of salvaging, it seems, of the Cyan Myst series' successor, the online game set in D'ni. The original games are fantastically fantastic.
By the way, our school got a copier--our first--at a good price. Grooviness.
Open Source » Blog Archive » Passion: The Theremin(-)
A family favorite! (Yes, what a family!) This instrument sounds great in the Tiomkin (I think) score to Forbidden Planet and the The Simpsons's "Treehouse of Terror" episode introductions.
CORRECTION: Information on the score of Forbidden Planet provided by users of the Internet Movie DataBase:
- First mainstream film to have the music performed entirely by electronic instruments.
- Louis Barron and Bebe Barron worked on the electronic soundtrack music "tonalities" for only three months, the length of time given them by Dore Schary, head of MGM. He authorized the studio to send them a complete workprint at Christmas 1955. They received the complete 35mm Eastmancolor workprint at New Year's 1956, a week later, still with many visual effects sequences missing and timed in with blank leader by editor Ferris Webster. From January 1, 1956 to April 1, 1956, they worked on the soundtrack score in their Greenwich Village studio in New York City while the film was in post-production in Culver City. The score was completed and delivered to MGM on April 1, 1956, and the film was released for a studio sneak preview soon afterward. The musician's union, however, objected to the soundtrack, and blocked the Barrons from being credited as "composers", hence the term "electronic tonalities".
- Apart from the electronic tonalities composed by the Barrons, the music score known to many as "Forbidden Planet Fanfare - Parts 1 & 2" on the original 1956 theatrical trailer was composed by André Previn, and pieced together seamlessly by an MGM music editor. The music was originally written by Previn for the MGM films Scene of the Crime (1949) and Bad Day at Black Rock (1955).
Thursday, April 19, 2007
I’m working on my dissertation pretty well today, which is good, though I really SHOULD have sent out the finished draft of the revision (called draft 3) of the 3rd and 4th chapters to my advisor.
But I’ve been busy in more ways than one today, and here’s my first post from the built-in blog agent in the Flock browser. How’s it look, everybody?
I’m getting really interested in trying out Linux: either Debian or Ubuntu. Will keep you up to date on that. Also, using Greasemonkey in Firefox. Groovy browser!
Well, let’s see how she flies, Orville!
Saturday, April 14, 2007
My advisor emailed me to let me know that he's signed and returned the Defense Application Thingy (official title) to the Department office; I'm committed now to finishing the degree this semester. . .no more delays! So I have got to get this turdiform "bovine theses" all titivated up and shoved out the scholastic vomitorium before cockshut time, or it's "Arnold raced for the door" for me!
Chapter 3 I think is in for a radical laparotomy today, as I cut off most of its header material. I will cut to the chase and focus on dear old wonky Borrow.
Also, the publishers have allowed me a few more weeks to finish up the textbooks; I'm now shooting for May 7th.
I have read most of Peter Beagle's Giant Bones on the train and at school this Weds. and think it's the bee's knees. Now I wanna get the other books by him into my line of sight and within dreaming distance.
Now starting up The World Treasury of Science Fiction with general series editor Anne Fadiman's Dad. Its foreword is real good.
Also I finished obsessively reading the wonderful Eats, Shoots & Leaves, wonderful British book on punctuation, from the militant sticklers' angle. Put that with dear Anne Fadiman's Ex Libris and some other great book-loving works I'll try to add to this list. 'Tis true, though, that the book has made me a bit self-conscious about these "little marks".
Wishing you well and hoping you do the same-- Litmus
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I had to make an emergency visit to my PhD university, NSYSU, to officially get the official tiny little stamp on my official student ID in order to be an official student once more (though I'd already finished the official paperwork mountain long ago) so that I could officially get the official dratted permission to apply for my dissertation defense (officially) before the dead(official)line.
*Gosh,* how I hate paperwork and tangling with any level or type of bureaucracy. Kudos again to Douglas Adams.
Well, I did that, and applied for the defense (no clue yet when it will be though), and made sure of my own defense rehearsal (a demo talk of about 20 minutes' length): it will be on the 26th afternoon of this month.
Also, the school has nominated me for membership in the Phi Tau Phi Sholastic Honor Society. So I did that work too.
I've also asked the textbook company for an extension so I can first finish the revision (I meant to say, THIS revision, which's not the final one at all!) first, by next Weds., and then work on the textbooks. Hope they go for it.
Weather continues charming.
So tired. Hoo boy.
Best to all. As former VP Al Gore once adjured his listeners,
Peace out, y'all!
Saturday, April 7, 2007
OK, one more. . .not much in love with the seemingly inflexible Yahoo template. . .I'll give it a fair shake, though. This would be for the artist in me.
or, more specifically, the blog part (I hardly care about the main page)
Catchy, isn't it not?
Amy is safely home from her vacation and she had a lovely time. We all rejoiced!
Speaking of crunching, I am gonna try to finish up the dissertation (chapters 3-4) revisions today, as per Rudy's comments. This week of study has been pretty much a wash, but now I want to make a clean face of it and make it up. So I'd better quit blogging now. . .
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Splendid news from our first-grade daughter, Coral, today!
He chortled in his joy.
I've begun, mostly out of curiosity, a new blog on Wordpress, another free service with different sorts of options. Perhaps I'll finally merge the two. What I really ought to do is get back to work! I've got lots to do and very little time, and the past 9 days or so have been choc-a-bloc full of a pursuit of busyness--you grok?
Whereas this page is partly focused on one group of theoretical concepts I've been developing--the synecdochal fallacy and misconfirmed assumptions--the new one is to focus on the idea of neostalgia--creating personal items that confirm to patterns established by what you consider nostalgic or classic, resulting in what many call "instant classics." Both groups of ideas are involved with the interplay in the mind of perception, memory, expectations, and dreams.
Feel free to visit, though I warn you that Chanticleer might be displeased by the first post's title. Well, oh well.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
- revising the full draft of the dissertation, both chapters 3 and 4, and
- revising the textbook
- Teacher's Guide for Book 1
- Student's Book for Book 2
- Script for Book 2
- Teacher's Book for Book 2
Can He Do-it?
Powered by ScribeFire.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I've already signed up for the practice presentation and now I'm in the process of signing up for the defense itself--so I'm committed to completing the diss this semester. I sure wish I had more time. I've finished the full draft of the student's book (book 1 only so far) and a full draft of the audioscript too, and now working on the teacher's book for book 1 as well.
Coral complained of a pain in her left ear last night and after some time it was really bad so we went to the hosp to check it out. Turns out she has what Amy and I have both had before: acute otitis media, or, infection of the middle ear. After taking the medicine, she felt much better, though we still need to keep alert for fever, the pain seems to be over. Good news.
I've added my Google students' calendar to my Yuntech page if you love to see calendars.
Also, I found some new stuff on one of the family heroes, Paul Frees, such as a radio version of "The Most Dangerous Game" by Richard Connell (it's fawningly faithful to the short story version) with him as Sanger Rainsford, and a story of how Paul did the voice of "Josephine" in Some Like It Hot; I also found a movie with him and Sinatra online: Suddenly.
Well, I feel better now.
Put ze candle BECK!
PS, Kudos to the B-Movie Graveyard for their great writeup and mediafest of The Thing From Another World!
Friday, March 16, 2007
I had a meeting with my advisor yesterday at NSYSU about both of the new chapters--3 and 4. He mostly liked 3, aside from some sections that went into too much detail--which I fully expected!--and some stylistic stuff: I am, in drafts at LEAST, too self-indulgent with puns and archaisms, and playful assonance, xylophone, and similes . He liked chapter 4 less, and felt it was too different from the other 3 chapters, and also had some ideas which I appreciated for how to make the material more suitable for the revised draft. Since I have a 50% overage (see The Ice Limit) in the pages department, the best thing for the time limits in place here might often be just to kill anything that doesn't work, but some reworking really needs to be done for the 4th chapter anyhow, as some of it is just not helpful. Well, all right. . .but time is truly of the essence these days.
Speaking of deadlines, I'm supposed to send Thomson the finished first full draft of Book 1 today--another ~4.5 chapters to finish before close of business today, so let's get this party ended!
If you're a "lurker" here, please feel threatened into commenting sometimes. . .I am just starving for attention and forward march.
Thanks and so long for all the fish.
Friday, March 9, 2007
And from EC:
What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding?
PS. The cake WAS good!
Then I sent the full draft of Chapter 4 to my advisor, and the slightly changed Ch. 2 to the members of the reading committee (I've followed Dad's advice and switched to one space after periods, instead of two!).
Also, today is the celebration of Mama Chen's birthday (really it's next week). Lovely cake.
I say, old fellow, do you feel we're listing to port?
Reading "The Ice Limit" lately. . .enjoyable so far.
I still have to finish the two books of the travel text, plus the two teacher's books, with the tapescripts in between. I will be recording the scripts in Taipei with I don't know who else. Plan to send the full draft of Book 1 tonight or tomorrow morning, for the student book. Still waiting for comments on the first six chapters.
Kind of pooped.
I walked out of there eight years later. And by God, I was rich!
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Well, it's a week and a day before I'm scheduled to meet with my advisor on the last two chapters of my dissertation, so I really have got to finish Chapter 4 today or at least tomorrow so he has time to read it before the meeting. Wish me luck!!
If I can concentrate, it is possible.
Another school week is over, thank goodness. LONG days and short nights of sleep, but over in two days.
Well, I'd better get to it!
ALMOST DONE with this first full draft. . . .
Friday, March 2, 2007
I should finish Chapter 4 by next Thursday so I can send it out to my advisor at least a week before our meeting on the 15th. And the first book of the Tourism text should be finished and sent by the 10th! So why can't I get anything done, dude? Frequent interruptions continue, and I'm having trouble focusing. That's life!
Learning a lot about the digital lifestyle recently, though, and starting to live one, so that's not a total loss. But I've gotta snap out of it and get back to work.
And every day, classes!! Somehow I wonder if that's wise. . .
How about a band named Pandora's Boxers?
How come my students have so many difficulties with following my directions, anyway? Just curious. . .the writing students are all using English language weblogs for their online journals, running counter to my specific request, and a great many are not giving themselves the right sort of nickname on the Google Group, so they have to re-subscribe. English majors? Not so's you'd notice.
Sorry, turn off the mangled quotifier. Gotta . . . well, you know.Tricks, I say, like that mirage off the port bow. Say, is that a knife you and I see in front of each other?
"Knife," the Mac, just informed me that "It's six o'clock."
Thunderously Muttered by Litmus Paper at 6:03 PM
I can't get started! Grandma had me sawing wood and constructing beds yesterday so she can lurk in my writing room sometimes, for the purpose of leaping out whenever our new construction neighbors happen to try nailing stuff (mostly nails) into our wall outside. . .the room has a sort of porch from where she can shout vociferous complaints. Shattered my concentration all day!
Well, that's largely my fault too. The Internet is too darn interesting. I fluffed out my Google personal homepage, and went everywhere from that. Painfully, Wil Wheaton's musical taste is far too similar to mine for comfort. I started a Pandora account for similar reasons. Gosh! Must get back to my Disseration before the thrill is gone.
Now Eowyn has come by to see the fish screensaver and play, which is good BUT. . . Gotta finish about three books in two weeks!
Well, I am trying to post this by emailing my blog. Don't know if it will work, but if you don't see this post, email me!
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Hi, I've spent the first two days of the week on teaching stuff. . .setting up my Google Group for students, collecting exciting information, that stuff. . .
But yesterday I got going again on the Travel/Hospitality textbook (the first of two) and today sent off the first six chapters (out of 16 for this book) for their condemnation. . .I mean, consideration.
Today I hope to get the conclusion of the dissertation done. If I get stuck again, I'll switch back to textbooks.
Listened to Zappa's orchestral work yesterday. Perfect Stranger, LSO. Also Jazz from Hell and Ruben & the Jets. Mixed feelings about that.
If you know the song where Frank is sort of sprechstimming about "Albuquerque, New Mexico" please comment and tell me the song's name and what album it's on. . .
(very little hope of that)
More on Zappa to come.
Wish me luck!
Also, our new teacher's working out quite well! :-)
Monday, February 26, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Welllll....I didn't finish the chapter today.
I was quite bummed out last night (actually it counts as this early morning, de la madrugada) that I couldn't finish that Amy suggested I switch to revising the travel-industry textbooks today, and sort of digest the material so I can have a well thought out conclusion. So I've been plugging away at the early chapters of Book 1. I think I can probably sort of make it. . .(book one is due 3/10 and the other a week later). And still finish the 4th chapter this month, I hope.
- Darling Amy was so kind--she helped me to go to the copy shop in Dou Liu and got all the copies I needed for my reading committee and for my advisor, Rudy. And the in-progress stuff so far so I can see it without my eyes bleeding so much. Thanks, Amy dear!
But you know what? I AM SO BLOODY TIRED! When will the stress let up?
Oh, I know, when all my projects are done. . .hee hee. . .that means not real soon, bub.
One of the items I'm revising is discussing differences in handwriting in Europe and elsewhere, like the crossed-through Z, 7, and 0 (zero), and the 1 numeral that is written like an inverted V in Germany, etc. So I took a W-H-I-L-E to find a freeware font that would cover all these. . .and didn't find any, though I searched thru more than a thousand fonts. BLEAH! But I found several with most of the needed characters, and alternated.
Health, Wealth, and Chocolate Pudding, everyone.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Rejoice, for today is my older daughter Coral's birthday! Give five hurrahs; give twelve hip-hips! She is seven years old today. All are glad.
I'm especially glad because I believe that I can finish up Chapter 4, a full draft of it, today. Not bad, eh? I tried to do it last night but just ran outta steam. However, part I is all done, along with the introduction section, and it's time to evaluate the Romani Activists' strategies in view of the Gypsy Image. That won't take too long, I hope, especially if I fill in the quotes and references later. :-0
Then the final section, with my pretty-well-thought-out ideas for using the Image to help the Romanies, and using the media to change the Image, and also to articulate the differences between the Gypsy image and the Romani image which I wish to urge mediantics to promote. I want them to seize the public imagination and give them a new image that is HONEST and TRUE so that people can't go back and blame anyone of lying--thus reinforcing the old, false image: absolutely and virulently counterproductive.
Well, wish us luck. We also want to promote our own English teaching image today. What a time!
"Put down that frying pan."--Elvis Costello, Brutal Youth
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Hodie. Making progress on Chapter 4 now, I'm glad to say, working mostly on the part about the American perception of the Romanies these days. I found some outrageous examples that are perfect for the chapter--some from a law enforcement officer (note his definitions of special terms under "form") and more from a Florida crime journalist. (Please see my comments at the bottom of this page, if they haven't zapped them that is!--Note: you may need to click on "show comments" under the article!)
The bit that really went overboard was:
"What makes somebody a Gypsy? Well, the Rom is a race of people, sanctioned as such by the United Nations. The band of vagabonds left India more than four centuries ago and has been pretty much on the move ever since. The culture is based on duping the hell out of gadjes, their name for non-Gypsies, with fortunetelling cons, roofing scams, automobile rip-offs, and other schemes perfected over the years."
I have responded to both of these haters. They give a stereotypical impression of the Romanies and suggest that all Romanies are criminals. Ian Hancock is right: the press could not get away with saying anything like that about another racial group, but Gypsies are not perceived as a race. (see the comment by "A Tax Payer at February 4, 2007 06:16 AM")
I thought the Florida reporter might just misunderstand and not really be racist, till I read more. . .and the clincher was when he called the Chinese "Red bastards." (see the note for August 15, 2006--playing on the stereotypical Chinese--AND the "Commie" (which is no longer even accurate!) image--see the photo of "Shaq.")
However he was very offended at another newspaper's site's commentators' racist comments about Blacks.
Let's get our heads right before we speak or type, huh?
Friday, February 16, 2007
Chapter 3 is done!! At least a reasonably full draft of it. Pretty happy with it. Now on to the final chapter, Chapter 4. I'm already at about 208 pages, so I can't make it toooo long. I recently followed my Dad's advice to switch from two spaces after a period to only one, making the dissertation marginally shorter pagewise, I guess, though it won't change the word count. I have to finish this chapter in a rush because I still have the two textbook revisions to do.
Here is my introduction to Chapter 4, which I think is the right way to go.
Like their ancestors in the early 1400s, their descendants in the Renaissance, and their successors in the nineteenth century, the Roma of today continue to be misunderstood and mistreated. They are, perhaps inevitably, mistaken for the tradition- and media-propagated “literary” Gypsy, the characteristics of which are firmly held in most Western minds, for, as Ian Hancock puts it, “[i]t is evident that it is through literature especially that the ubiquitous Gypsy stereotype is sustained” (“Yoors” 12). This firm conceptualization of Gypsies leads to the usurpation of the senses by the imagination: the phenomena that I am referring to as the synecdochal fallacy and the misconfirmed assumption. The result is that Westerners tend to relate to the Romanies, when they are recognized as such, as if they were actually the people portrayed in popular books, movies, television shows, and so on. In my analysis, this is the most formidable and most fundamental obstacle to the fair treatment of the Roma and their culture. It is, and always has been, the root of both the “paraiah syndrome” recognized by Hancock, and the vicious cycle of poverty and crime that are central to the negative side of the Gypsy Image.
This final chapter considers the goals of current-day Romani activists and well-wishers, and their various suggestions for dealing with anti-Romany prejudice. It also considers the recent and current measures that have already been begun, attempting to evaluate and comprehend their efficacy, or the lack of it. I consider all of the findings presented in the previous three chapters, and the current factors related to the multiple ways in which the Roma are perceived today. Solutions are posited which are designed to circumvent the perceptual problems that lead to this prejudice and unfair treatment.
If the supposed participants in such campaigns as I suggest understand the roots of the perceptual problem, and if they put forth a concerted and united effort to achieve these goals, a more complete revolution seems achievable than the botched one that was attempted in the middle and late Victorian era. The opponents of these strategies are likely to include both deeply traditional Romanies, with a strong cultural self-image, and deeply prejudiced, who obsessively focus only on the negative side of the general image. Their motivations and possible tactics are also anticipated. I am hopeful that the achievement of these objectives will bring about a final split. When this happens, all will finally be able to see, understand, and most importantly, perceive the fiction-based Gypsy image as an image, and the Romanies as “human beings [who] have immortal souls.”
Let me know if you have any reactions to this approach. Thanks!
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Hi, well, I'm finishing up Chapter 3 of my dissertation and hope to finish it and move on to the final chapter (4) tomorrow. I had better hurry up and graduate. . .I got the confirmation from NSYSU that I'm officially re-enrolled as a student again, in SEVENTH grade of doctoral school. Geez!
Kinda stoked about getting to the last chapter though. I hope it will all go smoothly--this semester is relatively light in the working department, but got lots to handle in the projects realm.
Wishing all Romanies well--even if you prefer another name for your people. Hope I can help.