General life update

Golly, been a bit taciturn lately haven’t I? I would have thought that, placement having concluded I’d have all the time in the world for computing and blogging. But it seems that when I have free time the last thing I want to do is jump on the computer. I tend to stockpile things to look up on google, watch on youtube, respond to on facebook, read on someone’s blog and process through email. Usually when I sit down, I’ll be working intensively on the computer for hours, trying to get as much of this stuff done as possible, will exhaust myself with only a few things accomplished, and then give up and play video games. And I’m pretty okay with that.

 

Speaking of video games, I’m right into Dragon Age Origins at the moment. In truth, I’m utterly delighted with how much gaming I’m getting done these holidays. I’m a bit annoyed that the games I pick tend to take like, 40-200 hours to pass though. Most recently, Mass Effect 3, Fallout 3, Dragon Age Origins, The Last of Us, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds and so forth. I kind of enjoy playing eight hour flings, but in the end it seems I keep coming back to deep stories with moral choices, adventures and unlockables. My character in DAO is a super beefy warrior with sword and shield, a paladin of justice, a paragon of virtue and an all-round tank. I also had the pleasure of trying mage and rogue characters, which surprisingly I enjoyed once I gave them a chance. Totally different mindset, but I’m glad I tried different character types so I better know how to balance and make use of my party. Massive crush on Zevran, by the way. I think it’s the accent.

 

I recently had the very good pleasure of going to the 50th birthday/housewarming party of the head of my martial arts school. His new property is in Mundaring, bordering a national park. The drive in was absolutely magnificent at sunset (though the road is only big enough for one car at a time!) and the grounds are just stunning. He has his own granite quarry with a functional crank-winch (that sounds like a rather obnoxious name for an unpleasant lady) and a small dam with canoe. For the party, his wife had also organised an adult-grade bouncy castle with giant foam mallets for battling, and a live band. As you’ve no doubt guessed, all the martial artists jumped in there and mercilessly attacked each other until we were exhausted. Rob and I also took the canoe across the dam to admire the forrested grounds on the far side, and as we wandered I saw a flash of someone running around the bank. Anticipating that someone was trying to steal the boat while we were distracted, I urged Rob to jump in and push off. Unfortunately I unbalanced us as I climbed in afterwards and we capsized. The water was warm and muddy, and I laughed and laughed and laughed. Beth laughed too, so hard she cried, as she and Rob’s girlfriend watched us from afar. I borrowed some clothes from Kancho and took my phone apart and headed home a little while later. The phone was soaked, and a night in rice didn’t provide the miracle cure others had insisted it would. I later learned that you’re never supposed to turn a water-damaged phone on after it’s been soaked, but nevertheless I got the speaker replaced and the handset dried out for the very modest price of $68.

 

Now onto the important thing: Today, I’m going to Japan! Or, if I can say this correctly, “Kyou wa Nihon ni ikimasu!“. I’m up to Lesson 10 in Pimsleur’s Japanese 2, a highly recommended resource for learning a new language. I’ve done 20+ hours in total and my Japanese is still not good enough to follow along with shows aimed at toddlers, but it’s certainly a start. I’m pretty much all packed, just a few last minute things to sort out like loading ebook reader with Percy Jackson books and so forth. But otherwise, expect to hear from me in the not-too-distant future from Osaka! Well, see you soon my friends!

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