Friday, March 31, 2006

Another week just about over...

I've never started a post with a picture before, but I thought this one deserved it. This was the view this morning as I crossed the street and went right about a hundred meters from my apartment. Low and behold this bugger had blossomed without telling me! Students tell me this temple is know to have some of the earliest cherry blossoms in town. Lovely place it is... and a great way to start the day off.

After scoping out the sakura, I headed down to old Tully's where the tradition of the morning coffee is slowly being revived with the return of spring. I am glad to report that both Matt and I are doing well in our hiragana memorization, and have 3 out of 5 groups down pat... not bad for just a couple of days of work.

For anyone trying to learn this lovely thing they call kana, you should check out this site, which is really great practice help. You can randomize the characters on the screen so they're not in an obvious (a,i,u,e,o,ka,ki,ku,ke,ko...) order, then just listen to the sound clip and hit the proper symbol. Once it has cycled through the groups you've selected, it'll display a blue, red or yellow star depending on how well you did and will start another randomized loop. Very cool! And a great tool to use to learn. Now I think I'll spend the weekend solidifying the ones I've got before taking on the second half of the basic characters. If things continue at this pace, I should be reading stuff in no time.

People have been asking me about this controversial topic I mentioned earlier this week... but I've been in too good a mood to blog about it.... lol Guess this spring thing and the additional sunlight has gotten me out of the winter blues I must have been under. Let's leave the topic of right-wing nationalism in Japan to another day for now... maybe after the blossoms have fallen off the trees.

Anywho, here's the same tree, but different... gotta love Japan in the spring. Too bad these buggers just hang around for a couple of weeks at the most.

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