It’s been a while since I was actively blogging, and I feel conflicted about how to get back in the swing of things. So, as a step in a possible direction, here is what is up in my life:
I have been reading a lot. Most of the reading falls in a couple specific categories, one being mathematics. With a number of good libraries around me, not to mention some pretty good Kindle resources, I have found myself with a steady stream of set theory, graph theory, and number theory texts. Some I am still working through, some are of course completed, and then some are on the ever extending “to read” list.
Artificial Intelligence, neural networks and language acquisition make up another reading theme; I am not even sure how to sum this up as a category of my reading, but certainly I have been spending considerable reading time on vision systems, network approaches to consciousness, thought and problem solving. In some ways there is quite a bit of overlap with the math reading (modern approaches to linguistics having heavy overlap with set theory, for instance).
I continue to read a lot of language learning texts: French, German, Chinese, Cantonese, Japanese, Dutch (those in no particular order, nor exhaustive of the last year or so). I really enjoyed the “German Made Simple” workbook in the “X Made Simple” series of books, as I enjoyed the Italian version. I am still working through the French one as well, but it has been on back burner as I was focusing heavily on German with regular travel there a year back.
On a not-quite-reading-but-definitely-language-study note, I have spent a lot of time on Duolingo. I completed the full German set of activities. I have been working on Ukrainian, Turkish, and Dutch here there, as well. But I have been really excited for the release of Japanese for English speakers. So I am trying to spend some time on both German and Japanese everyday at this point – to keep the German chart completed (I am sadly behind at the moment) and the Japanese advancing.
And I guess the last major category of reading would be fiction, which I have read a lot more of recently. I am a third of the way through Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of Time” series. I read to Kim almost nightly, and we are currently reading Patrick Taylor’s “Irish Country” series, which has been quite enjoyable. And then there is a recent uptick in reading of “literature” that has eluded me, things like Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World (currently reading).
My brewing has definitely slowed down, but is still an active skill I am honing. Currently I have an English Bitter in secondary, which I need to set about bottling soon. I need to decide what is next up for the fermenter, also.
In related skills (those of making food stuffs in one’s own home), I recently picked some blueberries with the family, and plan on picking more this weekend, and the hope is to make a few batches of Blueberry-Basil Preserves. And, I just keep thinking about making cheese. There is no time for that, though.
At work, we’ve had a lot of changes, but for me the most notable thing is a change of focus. I still do a lot of .NET development, but I am heavily focused on SalesForce of late. I am not a SalesForce fanatic – there is plenty wrong with Lightning development, with the built in objects provided by SalesForce, with their enforced coding philosophy, etc. But I actually like the framework. I’m enjoying my current work. So that is good in my book.
My kids are growing up so fast. The 14-year old is desperate for both a car, and the privilege of driving. Neither is guaranteed. The 12-year old is so amazingly attached to the animal kingdom, especially bugs. But it is a joy to watch her enjoy nature. The 10-year old is growing at leaps and bounds, and can probably run circles around the 14-year old in the math arena.
Two of the kids, and my wife, recently (last week!) got their first black belt in Kuk Sool Won. I got mine last year. I am loving Kuk Sool Won, in so many ways. I’m not getting near as much Korean language out of it as I first envisioned I would. But the shared activity with family is awesome, the exercise is great, the awareness of locks, joints, body motion – altogether a thrill for this learner.
And that is enough for this post. Bis bald.