Friday, August 26, 2011

A New Game... New to Me, I Guess




Living in the heart of Little Saigon, I actually enjoy exploring the different businesses that we have out here. I went to the grand century shopping mall found all kinds of wonderful businesses. Though when it came time to find food most of their food court was businesses that demanded cash only. That can be kind of limiting at times. As a person who likes to keep track of everything he spends,it's a bad temptation for me to start walking around with cash on me...

I don't know what point you can claim that there is some level of market saturation herein our little neighborhood.I can't count the number of noodle houses, herb shops, or beauty shops that we have in the immediate vicinity got a wonder how much we get out before they start diluting, and knocking each other out of business. I personally love the community here, anything that they can do to pull business away from Target and Walmart is fine by me.


So I look back to Vietnam town. It's grand opening was still on June 18, and now, were at the end of August North Vietnam town still not open yet. Everyday I come pass here I regularly visit the people at powder face coffee shop drinking my Americano coffees, while watching those glass doors and windowws installed as small pieces of evidence that business will eventually wake up inside the complex.
Outside of the occasional workman, all I see at that shopping center are men who set around drinking coffee drinking beer and sit huddled around game boards playing a game I am told is called Chinese chess. I've asked the men their and they told me that businesses here are expected to open probably in September at Vietnam town.

So these moments sits and they play their Chinese chess often with groups of 5 to 10 people each sitting around two or three game boards enjoying the facilities while the rest of us wait for the businesses to open. most of the moon there speak very limited English, and the images on these Chinese chess pieces are not the same from gameboard to game board. But, some of the men of offer to try and teach me how to play this game, and I have a friend overseas insists that his same easy game to learn and it is much much similar to international chess. I remain unconvinced.

I think the saving grace of international chess is the fact that each piece looks like something that you can identify real-life: a knight looks like a horse, a queen looks like a queen, a king looks like a king, bishops typically look like something Freudian, and out of all of it you can piece together some image of which are trying to accomplish. There is this movement of these images across the board each one with a carefully defined pattern of movement. The different gambits have been studied and learned throughout the centuries.


It is not to say that this same isn't true about Chinese chess. But in order for this game to have the same life that international chess has for me I have to be able to look at the Chinese chess board and create the same tactics the same story the same visions that make it possible for me to play international chess. Still, I do like the challenge and I do find it interesting the think that I could play this game along with these gentlemen. Many of these men can play for hours. Maybe ill see if I can learn

Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Classes Begin Soon!

A lot of times passed since I detailed my end. In the realm of teaching. Despite the absence of our ESL classes, across San Jose, the people that I like to Sacred Heart community center have informed me that there offering English class for immigrant mothers and children. Even though the structureless classes go be a little different than the one that you excited for the opportunity to help in this capacity, again.

The teacher of the class to me in e-mail a request to come in and set up a schedule with her. I will come in tomorrow. It's a strange thing this wanting to volunteer. I know many people who volunteer who do jobs that they don't particularly like are will say here, give me some work. And they want desperately to just be useful someplace. Maybe there's something wrong with me that I waited for this opportunity.

Still, I get to meet a new teacher, and learned new solid teaching. I get the opportunity to teach English again. I'm seriously looking forward to this class opening, which will be in September. So, I will keep everyone posted see how things are progressing.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

As For Tomorrow

A woman recently sent me an e-mail where she detailed a plan to create a smart phone app or online role-playing game that could be used, I guess, for weight loss,and health related purposes. Her plan sounds smart, seems inventive and if she markets well could be very popular product. I guess for me this is no longer about a game. I don't even think I need to know how to make this health process entertaining. There seems to be a moment in time where an idea just germinates. I'm looking for that idea. I'm looking for that moment, and I'm looking for that time.

So, I look back to things that I've said in my blog in years past, and much of it seems defeatist. I said at one point in time that I would make you guys, my readers,my accountability group. That just seems silly. If I didn't want to do something I would just ignore it or not even talk about it. For now, I guess the one goal I'm going to share with you, is that I will look in my goals. Success speakers across the world have said that the people who make the greatest progress in life have written goals. The people who accomplish most of life have written goals.

One of my friends works in the teaching organization, and in that organization. Everyone is well-versed in the concepts of Stephen Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. I was not terribly shocked when I found out that Stephen Covey's organization happens to be one of the sponsors of their school. Piece by piece. I listen to the different concepts contained within a book. I've read the book. Now, it's as if many of these ideas are congealing with me, and my need to turn everything into a game just seems to fall away.

The ideas that stick in my mind , the habit that sticks in my mind, is being proactive. In the world of time management, I'm learning how to take care of things that are important but are not urgent. (That's called quadrant two). It took a spark of genius on my part to understand why this stuff is important. Some days I just don't figure things out very well. So I sit here in front of my computer, sipping green tea, my latest beverage of choice, and I tried to cultivate a seriousness, a firmness of mind that would help me complete my plans.

Anyway, the fine people at the YMCA downtown called me and left a message on my answering machine asking me if I was going to follow up on this tour that they gave me throughout their facility. And old ranchero named Manuel talks to me every day in Spanish. (for that reason alone I understand only about half of what he tells me) But he was real clear about one thing: he is thinking that my belly's getting awful big.

Selective attention is the nature of the human animal. I thought of these two events at the same time, because it's time to think about these events, so my plan tomorrow is simple: Return the phone call from the people at the YMCA. Hop on a bus. Get my membership started. Now I can call my mother let her know that the bathing suit she bought me is going to get some use.

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dragon NaturallySpeaking is Serving me Well


I remember a movie years back. It was a Star Trek movie, and in that film. They traveled back in time so that they could poach a whale and bring it back in the future. But during the time when they're in the 1980s, there's a scene where Scotty asks for permission to use a computer and he stands there talking to it and talking to it, and addressing it, waiting for the computer to respond.



While Dragon NaturallySpeaking is pretty wonderful -saving me the trouble of having to type these little blog posts- I'm very excited that this program also makes it possible for me to navigate my computer with very limited use of my hands. I can command windows to open and close. I can select computer programs to open. But, as I look at the potential of this computer program, there is an eagerness to find out exactly how much I can do with it.

According to Wikipedia, the prototype for Dragon software began in the early 1980s. It just makes me wonder how much headache,how much programming has been done over the last three decades to make this program is useful as it is for me today.

I suppose if I was to look it Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I would probably understand better this this obsession some people have with the buying things when they're new and clunky. I always said that I wanted technology only if it's about five years obsolete. Although I'm a little more progressive now, I still don't see any purpose to buying something that's not had some of the bugs worked out of it.
it seems funny that when a product is at its worst, it's when it costs the most.

So, if I'm going to continue in this journey, I suppose I'll continue to embrace products that are old, still highly functional, enjoy a certain level of practicality that comes from not being very rich.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Birthday Present


I think I'm just looking for the proper word. To say that I'm suffering from" writer's block" would seem to be a misnomer. Right now,I am trying to become competent using this program called Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking. with this program I am able to talk to my computer and it will print anything I say. The amount of instruction. I need is very limited.

With this program I am able to talk to my computer very natural, standard pace of speaking, and the only thing that limits me is my ability to put words together in a way that doesn't sound too awkward. It even makes it possible for me to be able to correct the mistakes on the screen without having to use my keyboard. If it types something that I don't want it to, I can just command it to correct itself. Even with all of the stuff that I heard about this program, it never occurred to me that it would work as well as it does, nor that I would find it fun.

The software comes with its own headset and I spent a few hours working with it, so that the program would come to know my voice, know my way of speaking, and after various corrections is even come to learn how to spell my friends names how to spell my web addresses, and I don't have to pull my hair out with mistakes being repeated over and over again. I guess the thing is, I don't know how to give up very easily. My own family offered me this a long time ago, and in some ways, I thought maybe would be a good idea, but I guess for me it is like getting used to having bad eyesight. You just get used to squinting all the time.

Understanding the application that is being offered to me is not the same as seeing how the application can change my life. I finally think I understood when I was listening to a commercial where man was typing very slowly, and it sounds like he is losing his train of thought as he was tapping on the keyboard. it was then that I realize that's exactly what I do, that typing with just two fingers slows me down, and I completely forget what I'm trying to say.

So, my mother encouraged me to accept this gift. I now realize what an incredible program it is, and this July, I had a great birthday. But, I can never say that I have writers block. I do not write anymore. And in conversation, I have no trouble speaking, so I guess you can't even say that I have talkers block. But for now, I'm just starting to get used to talking to my computer and it's amazing how easy it's becoming. I just let this software sit in the box for an entire month before even entertaining downloading it into my computer.

I now see that this will help me express my ideas faster and more easily and more naturally than ever before