Photogenic Kitty

I’ve gone almost two weeks posting every day and today I didn’t have anything in particular to post about. Well, I did test drive the Subaru BRZ today, but I spent the evening with my family instead of on the computer writing up that review.

Since the internet is devoid of cat photos, I decided I might start a new trend here by posting photos I took of our cat, Rosalie. I recognize this may change the internet forever; it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

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American Holy Land: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

This weekend, I quit procrastinating long enough to go through some stuff that needed to be cleaned up. It’s the sort of stuff that gets hauled along with you every time you move because you just don’t seem to ever want to do anything with it. I’m not overly sentimental, or at least I seem to have a statute of limitations on sentimentality; a lot of stuff got thrown out, thankfully.

But tucked in with all the junk that got tossed, I found a couple of my old mobile phones. On one of them, I found photos of my trip to California in 2010, and among those photos are the pictures I took at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, a track I consider nearly as holy land as the Nurburgring. It’s American motorsport Holy Land anyway.

My brother was stationed in Monterrey when I went out there for my best friend’s wedding, so after the wedding festivities, I flew up the coast to crash with my brother and his family for a bit. At the end of the week, he and I went out to the track to wander around for a bit.

The famous/infamous Corkscrew:

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I think my brother can be serious. I’m not sure because I’ve never seen it:

Ich Lerne Deutsch

I am learning German. Using a couple of different resources, I’ve been studying German for the last three months or so. I have enjoyed learning languages in the past: in high school my Spanish teacher skipped me into Spanish 3 from Spanish 1 because I was bored in class. When I joined the Marine Corps, it was with the intent to be a Russian linguist. I think my success with coding is that the various tools are typically referred to as languages.

The tool I’ve spent most of my time using is called DuoLingo. I can’t recommend it without a few warnings, though: DuoLingo’s schtick is learning through gamification. Each lesson rewards you with ten to thirteen points tallied as XP. Accumulating a certain amount of XP will increase your level. If you make three mistakes on a lesson, you’ve used all your ‘lives’ and you have to start over.

The problem is that there are precious few explanations. I’ve found myself using a few other resources in addition to DuoLingo because there have been days where I’ve been furious with it. There are several words that, when you highlight the tool tip, the word they want isn’t listed in the hint. Also, there are several idioms that DuoLingo doesn’t warn you about before marking your response wrong and taking one of your lives for the lesson. In other words, they don’t game fair.

Sometimes the forum area is helpful, but more often than not it’s simply a bunch of confused people wondering why their answers are wrong. On the upside, there is active development of the site. Sometimes the changes suck (like the flashcards). But they are in touch with the user community: twice I’ve had suggested translations accepted. Another plus is the methods of learning: voice, hearing, and writing from English to German and vice versa.

That said, however, I’m still scouring other sites for the grammar rules to make sense of the material presented by DuoLingo. There is a quasi-useful site at About.com. There’s a lot of explanation behind idioms there; I suspect that site will become more useful as I get better acquainted with the different tenses in German.

Also useful is the Learn German courses at Deutsche Welle. The explanations of the exercises are in German, though, so keep the Bing translator site handy. I try to stumble through some articles there as well; it’s handy to use because you can switch back and forth pretty easily.

I’m far from fluent, but I feel I’m making good progress (when I don’t feel as if DuoLingo is actively working against me). If anyone knows a really good vocabulary building resource, I’d appreciate being able to expand my vocabulary.

Bye Bye Kanye

I recently saw an article stating that Kanye West is leaving the country because it’s too racist. I have one thing to say to Kanye: buh bye now.

Kanye West doesn’t rank very low on the Major Asshole Scale as it is. But recently, allegedly, he’s punched a teenager because the kid (allegedly) dared to call Kim (Kardashian) a “nigger lover”. So because this kid has expressed his constitutionally-protected right to his opinion Kanye punched him (allegedly, of course, but with Kanye’s history of outbursts, we all know better, right?).

So what I want to know is this: will Kanye be taking his disaster of a wife with him when he leaves the country? Will the country get a two-for-the-price-of-one blessing when they leave? Or is he going to take his unfortunately-named child and leave together, leaving Kim to continue to punish America with her face and presence?

I don’t listen to what passes for Kanye West’s “music” and I don’t have an excrement to throw at his wife. But if he’s serious about leaving the country, I will gladly volunteer to pack his bags and burn his passport.

Of course, we all know he’s not going to leave and we’ll continue to be stuck listening to his incessant whining. The airwaves will continue to be polluted by images of Kim’s face, and I’m going to have to continue to work hard to avoid hearing about this ridiculous couple.

If only he were enough of a man to follow through with his threats.

Tidbits And Random

So we drove down to Colorado Springs for a couple of errands and a trip to Salsa Brava, a Mexican restaurant we like down there. On the way down, we saw this Redneck RV:

I’ve talked about our apartment complex in the past and how wonderful they are. We recently got a notice because we were leaving our valet trash bin outside by the front door. Well, now our front door looks like this:

But they’ve left this organic monument to their brains out on the porch for over a week:

I guess they have to have priorities, right?

Despite the ridiculous nature of Alliance Residential Company and its selective enforcement of policies, I took these photos the other night at a park near our apartment:

Sick of Hearing About Racism

I recently read the whining, puling comments of Danny Cohen the Director of Television at the BBC regarding Jeremy Clarkson. Like all leftist whiners, Cohen can’t comprehend that someone else might have a different opinion than his socialist, progressive views. Diversity, the cornerstone of progressive leftists, is nowhere to be found in practice.  This is totalitarianism of the worst brand, an invasion of your rights more sinister than physical abuse: this is the rape of your mind, of your thoughts.

The leftist progressives cannot sell their ideas to anyone because they simply don’t work in the free-market economy of ideas. So they preach diversity and tolerance but practice conformity and punishment for not marching in lockstep with them.

The cry of racism over every little comment that doesn’t fit with someone’s view of the world has made me immune to cries of racism. Leftist whiners have cried racism like the proverbial boy who cried wolf, and now I’m no longer willing to examine the merits of their argument. I simply don’t care anymore.

Granted, I haven’t ever been malleable to be shaped into the good little socialist that society wants of me in its best Orwellian fantasies. So I can’t say that I’ve ever been too concerned with whether or not my opinions or views made someone else happy.

But the cries of wolf – that is, racism – have come so fast and so frequently that I have built up an apathy even beyond the normal tolerance one builds up to infections and diseases. Sharpton speaks? I don’t care and I simply sigh at his obvious attempts to rile up those easily angered by his brand of race baiting. I think it shows a rather depressing lack of education and intellect that people still fall for it. It doesn’t make any sense to me that these people attack their neighbors and burn down and loot their own neighborhoods, but that’s what they do when someone who isn’t losing his house or neighborhood tells them to.

And that’s really the difference. People who love freedom aren’t threatened by different opinions.

People who hate freedom succumb to the charge of racism and get worked up over whether or not a sports team continues to use the term Redskin. Or that a TV presenter (whose show brings in a lot of money for the BBC) doesn’t see things the same way as some upper-level bureaucrat (who wastes the money the presenter makes).

Leftist whiners are damaging the causes they claim to care about by overreacting to everything. The Outrage Industry is hypersensitive and ready to go from story to story; there’s no ability or desire to defend anything. It’s trendy fad Outrage, mass marketed and priced to sell. And it flies off the shelf because too many people are too afraid of standing out from the mindless majority; they swallow the lies and embrace the hypocrisy.

The First Ever BMW M4

BMW released a pretty cool video of the new, first-ever M4.

I don’t like this color and I’m not a fan of the new face on the M3/M4.  There is  a special blue for the M-spec cars that is really nice; I’m not sure why they couldn’t have used that one instead of this ugly yellow.