✱ My two week vacations finished this week, so last Monday was time to return to work. I feel blessed every single day for having the opportunity to work from home — only occasionally going to the office, so I cannot say anymore, for sometime now, that I had the opportunity to stay home, because I’m always home these days. Still, it was very nice to be able to spend 15 days resting from work. Although I couldn’t fulfill my goal of finishing the reading of two books I was reading, I used my time to help my son with all the preparations we could see about for his (hopefully) upcoming scholarship. This included a real marathon where we went to medical appointments, blood tests, hours spent at notary publics (again) and translating documents. Now, I know every person has their own notion of fun, but believe me when I say that all of this was fun for me, specially because I know somehow I’m contributing with my son’s future.
✱ In terms of work, getting back was… intense. I’m involved in a very important activity which will need to deliver results between the end of this month and the beginning of September, and from day one, right from when I logged in again, I’ve been dedicated to it. It’s been challenging, but in a good way, as it has allowed me to learn a lot, and counting on the help of good friends. As the week went by, I could properly direct matters in a satisfactory way, so I’m both content and thrilled.
✱ It’s true I didn’t advance with the books I had planned to finish reading during vacations, but that didn’t prevent me from starting to read two new ones (yeah, tsundoku, remember?), both related to Japanese. The first one is Making Sense of Japanese, by author Jay Rubin, which while not intending to be a book about grammar in itself, ends up doing a fine role of explaining the language. The second book is 80/20 Japanese, by author Richard Webb — which I started reading later but has proven to be very nice in terms of demystifying the language. Now, I’m not a native English speaker myself, and that could represent a problem to me, as both works are meant to native speakers, but they are very clear and I’m certainly profiting from the new knowledge I’m having access to. If you happen to want to start learning Japanese, I can recommend both books, at least from what I’ve read so far.
✱ I must admit that I’ve been getting used to (most of) the ひらがな (hiragana) syllables I’m studying. I’m mostly using the Maru Kana app on iOS now, which I’ve found the most funny and nicest way to practice. I’ve also managed to get well used to だくおん (dakuon), small differences in the sound of Japanese introduced when the ゛(dakuten, or ten-ten) or the ゜(handakuten, or maru) diacritics are added to normal syllables, making か becoming が, or は becoming ぱ, for example. I have almost com to the point of starting to practice かたかな (katakana), but I feel I’m still struggling with (actually, confusing) the N (na, な) and M (ma, ま) character columns, as I’ve highlighted in the image above. Not sure why I’m confusing them at this point, but I’ll certainly overcome this obstacle by keeping to practice.
✱ After many, many weeks in a row without playing anything at my computer, I’ve come back to gaming (even though it was only for a single day). And it all happened because of a new roguelike I came across while watching random videos from Olexa, one of my favorite youtubers when it comes to reviewing new games. The game’s name is Another Farm Roguelike: one could say it is all about farming, but it is not… unless you deliberately want to, choosing the farmer to start. You can also be a lumberjack, a beekeeper, a merchant, a wizard… or even a dog! In essence, all you’ve got to do is to survive for 5, 6, 7 or 8 weeks depending on the difficulty level you choose — what doesn’t change is that every 7 days you’ve got to pay an ammount of money (as if it was a rent) to continue. Failing to do so means game over. In order to get money you can plant and harvest crops, gather resources, raise farm animals, fish and mine ores, among other things. Everything can be sold in this game. And every week, the rent goes up. A lot. Anyways, I fell in love with it while watching the gameplay and, to my surprise, when I went to Steam to check its price, I found out not only it is a very cheap gem, but also that it was in sale, for 50% off. I paid USD 0.66 for it… a real steal!