zeborah: Zebra with mop and text: Clean all the things! (housework)
I go through phases. There are Reading All the Things phases, and Writing Every Spare Half Minute phases, and Sewing Sewing Sewing phases and Teaching Myself Latin Yes Again I'm Using A Different Textbook This Time phases.

I recently found myself in a lull between phases but it's important for me to keep achieving things or I start feeling guilty for being useless and then I get the blahs. I find it easier to prevent the blahs than to get out of the blahs so try to pay attention when I feel the urge to sit on my couch and read fanfic for too many days on end. Fortunately they don't need to be spectacular achievements: doing the dishes often works.

This most recent lull has lasted longer than usual though so although I've read/written/coded almost nothing in my spare time for weeks, I have:

  • cleaned and tidied like my entire house. Not actually my entire house, the spare room is turning into storage and there are Certain Cupboards, but definitely like my entire house. (Much of this was achieved while watching Star Trek Next Generation on the laptop or I'd have been super bored.) The floor is cleared and cleaned! Mopped even!

  • done so much gardening. Spring is awesome, you put seeds in the ground and they start growing food! (I have asparagus and lettuce and celery and silver beet and spring onions, and am working on courgettes and pumpkins and tomatoes and bok choy and lemons and strawberries.) On the downside, other things propagate themselves by root and next minute you've got a forest of plum shoots and ivy. Over the last couple of weekends I've been sawing down and rooting up eight years' worth of plum-and-ivy growth. The ivy goes into the green bin to be dealt with Elsewhere, the plum growth gets cut up to as much as possible go back on the garden. The parts I've achieved look awesomely tidy!

  • sewed the handle for a carrybag back on! This is an awesome grocery shopping-sized rugged zebra-pattern bag which I've had for ages and the handles broke once but Mum fixed them, and then I carried too much in it and it's been sitting around broken for possibly years and now I can use it again!

  • started going to a regular "speaking Māori" date with some once-strangers! My first week I started off all "What is kupu how do I reo???" and then after an hour I was talking to them about my Master of Library Studies research project. Really badly but communication was happening! Similarly today actually (ended up talking about my current research into open access and conference papers). I need to learn more kupu. Also more grammar but especially more kupu. I might start writing a diary.

  • invented a dessert. I'm working on the name but something like "Jellytip slice" / "Jellytip cupcakes". First you make a base out of biscuit crumbs and butter. Cool it. Separately make jelly but with half the water, and cool that until it's starting to set. If you don't cool it enough then when you pour the jelly on top of the base, the jelly will sink in and the biscuit will float up and it'll still be delicious but it won't be what you wanted. Then you put them back in the fridge. When completely set, you melt chocolate and spoon a thin layer on top of the jelly. This is the part I was most nervous of failing but it's really easy; don't dawdle about smoothing it out but you're not really on the clock even. Then back in the fridge until dessert time. Cut up / remove from muffin cups and serve with vanilla icecream. My friends approved of it last night. Their 4.5 year old son refused to eat anything but the icecream but that's normal for him and meant more for us.


I am now about to go to bed on time so while I'm sleeping it's your turn: in what way have you been awesome recently?
zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (New Zealand zebra)
(Cross-posted from my not-so-secret identity's blog because I can't be bothered coming up with different wording. I trust all my stalkers won't use this against me.)

So sometimes (especially during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori) I'm reading stuff on the web and come across a kupu hou I don't recognise and want to look up. I used to select this, open a new tab, type in http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/, wait for it to load, and paste the word in.

Then I went on a javascript bookmarklet spree and among the simple bookmarklets I made (aka created in a Frankensteinian mashup of at least two other people's unrelated bookmarklets) was this one:

<record scratch>

Oh, Dreamwidth doesn't let me post javascript in a link. This is annoying albeit understandable. Fine then, you'll have to go to my not-so-secret identity's blogpost. Stalkers, behave yourselves.
zeborah: Zebra against a barcode background, walking on the word READ (read)
Digital TV is awesome. So is being on holiday. Unfortunately Chinese TV (WTV, channel 28) doesn't have any readily discoverable programme, but I talked to a colleague at work and she's told me all the timeslots she knows of that have Korean sageuk. <bounce>

The channel also has a learn-Chinese segment at 2:40pm which is... actually way too advanced for me: I've never been at a stage where the words for "pumice" and "sinkable wood" and various east Asian trees are the most important gaps in my knowledge and I couldn't follow the conversations at all. The 这是不是。。。呢 and 这会不会是。。。呢 structures they briefly touched on were more my level. OTOH it does bring back a few of the words I learned at uni, so. I'll probably keep watching for the rest of my holiday, but don't think I'll bother recording it after that.

After that segment is over, I change the channel to Māori TV for their 3pm learn-Te Reo segment, which is just about perfect for my level. At one point they mentioned homework and going to the website; I went to the website and couldn't find the homework, but I did find the video summaries of the previous 200+ episodes of the series, and I'm now downloading them to my iPod for revision (one by one; there doesn't seem to be an rss feed; oh well). Yesterday I also watched Te Kaea (news) which is in Te Reo with English subtitles. (Oh, and a bit about the building of the marae at Waiariki Polytech, which ditto. And sidebar: I'm now trying to work out what the excuse of the opposition was for resisting the addition of a kitchen. I'm not surprised that there was Pākehā resistance in the slightest, but what excuse could they possibly come up with? A marae without a kitchen seems to me like a building without a doorway. When you welcome people onto the marae, you have the pōwhiri and then you eat. If the marae didn't have a kitchen, how would the tangata whenua feed the manuhiri? Does not compute!) This is also about right for my level: it keeps me following along enough to familiarise me with the words I just recognise, and confirm/correct my understanding of their meanings, whereas without subtitles I wouldn't know what was happening so would get bored and tune out.


In other learning-something-new-everyday news, I've taken up scambaiting again. (It's a lot more convenient now that Google lets you be logged into three accounts at once. Also I'm on holiday, so I don't know how long I'll keep it up once I'm back to work, we'll see; though I hope I can, because the first week of a scam hardly wastes any of their time since they're just running off a script still anyway.)

Anyway this morning I got an email stating that:
my sister [...] will be coming with me to your country because i am her father and the only family she has now
which, once I switched out of the "mock the mugu" headspace that makes fighting crime so much more efficient, I decided must mean something like "male head of household / legal guardian" or somesuch.


The only problem with the Freeview digital decoder is that when it's on standby it makes a quiet whirring noise which sometimes you don't notice and sometimes you can't not notice it and it drives you up the wall.

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