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Jason

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(no subject) [Dec. 8th, 2016|09:08 pm]
Jason
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Finally back to normal again today, buncha interesting discussions at work.

Free time is still getting eaten up by Learning Things I Don't Really Have Any Direct Need For But Hey Why Not, with the topics-du-jour still being mandarin and verilog for some reason. Most recent mandarin puzzle is the sentence
他中午一点的时候回家了
which my flashcard deck says is "he returned home at 1pm".
The part that is "returned home" = "回家了" presents no difficulty, but there are two things I'm confused about: one, why on earth is it 中午一点 and not 下午一点? Isn't 中午 noon and 下午 afternoon? Is 一点 close enough to noon that it's kind of optional?

Two, why is that 的时候 there at all? Why isn't it just 他下午一点回家了 I'm told you translate "when X happens, Y happens" as "X + 的时候 + Y", (which by the way feels a rather natural and proper isolating-language decomposition of the issue --- "at the time (=时候) of (=的) X, it occurs that Y") so is this drawing more attention to the time? "When it was 1pm, he went home"? In English that phrasing definitely does have a subtly different feel, so if it's capturing that, it makes sense, I guess.
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(no subject) [Dec. 7th, 2016|08:56 pm]
Jason
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Woke up early feeling more or less great, went to work, got about a half an hour in and acquired a massive migrainey headache, went back home and was pretty much dead to the world for the entire day. A full day's worth of mostly sitting in bed and 200mg of ibuprofen later I was feeling better, but still no fun to be knocked out for so long.
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(no subject) [Dec. 6th, 2016|08:55 pm]
Jason
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Still kind of sleeping badly, but at least woke up at a reasonable time.
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(no subject) [Dec. 5th, 2016|08:05 pm]
Jason
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Slept terrrrrribly last night, don't know why. Woke up about 1-2am, and felt an increasing hard-to-break cycle of anxiety, stomach feeling like crap, and feeling oversensitive about every stupid noise in the apartment; hearing neighbors cough or snore, pipes clanging, etc.

Somehow felt okay most of today, but starting to feel really sleepy about now. Had a fine and productive day at work. Went and saw a little Louise Fili exhibitlet at SVA with K, tried to go to a mediterranean restaurant we'd been to once a couple years ago, but found out it had closed.
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(no subject) [Dec. 4th, 2016|08:02 pm]
Jason
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K's mom's back in town now, so we had a little thanksgiving me and her and both her parents. K did a great job of the turkey (breast, not entire bird, because SENSIBLE) and assorted other fixins.
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(no subject) [Dec. 3rd, 2016|07:59 pm]
Jason
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Pootling about today looking at Chisel again. Apparently people who are really into high-level synthesis (in the sense of writing, like, C-ish programs and trusting the clever compiler to turn it into hardware) think it's total nonsense, but as a software person, I find it naively rather appealing. RTL as an abstraction isn't that hard to grok, and layering on top of that "ok, now you get to write a program that outputs RTL, but the language/library/framework has a useful type system for building coherent, predictable abstractions over that" seems pretty sensible. Anyway. I am popcorn-gif-ing hard while reading forum threads with people at each other's throats over this kind of thing.
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(no subject) [Dec. 2nd, 2016|07:20 pm]
Jason
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Mandarin curiosity of the day: I came across the sentence

wo3neng2qu4ni3jia1wan2ma?
Icangoyouhouse???[yes/no question]

in an anki flashcard deck meant to teach to the HSK Level 1. Google translate says this is "can I go to your house?", and this mostly makes sense to me, except for that 玩 which by itself is "play with, joke, enjoy". Best I can guess is that the more idiomatic translation of the sentence is more like "can I visit your house?", as in, making a enjoyable social call, not just literally am. I. permitted. to. enter. your. dwelling. This thought based on I think seeing somewhere (but can't find it anymore) someone translating "I'm going to visit Beijing" as

wo3hui4qu4bei3jing1wan2
Iwill/cangobeijing???


So I guess the pattern "去 + destination + 玩" is something like "to go to destination for the purpose of enjoyment, not just literally going there"?
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(no subject) [Dec. 1st, 2016|06:09 pm]
Jason
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There's something about the preposterous difficulty of language learning that I occasionally find paradoxically relaxing.

So, obviously, what I am doing is watching more of this playlist of videos meant for learning esperanto if you already speak mandarin, and try to backport from my knowledge of e-o to pick up on patterns in chinese. It's super fun because I have such incredibly low expectations; I don't expect to, like, understand whole sentences of (spoken) chinese very often. But rather I get excited when there's like one or two syllables that sound familiar enough that I can run to google translate, do trial and error a few times on educated guesses for what I heard (since there are a lot of vowel and consonant pairs that sound really similar to me; easy to confuse chi and che, for instance, and easy to mistake xiang for shang, and given this particular narrator, I've misheard shang as shao, even --- never mind hearing tones wrong in rapid speech, which I do constantly) and I actually succeed once in a while. Correctly hearing 下次 xia4ci4 "next time" just as one video was wrapping up was really fun, since I was familiar with the morpheme 下 xia4 down/next/under/below, but had never seen 次 ci4 before, which I guess is "time" in the sense of e-o "fojo", like --- occurrence.

Anyway it makes language learning feel a lot more like puzzle-solving than flashcard-memorization, and therefore much more fun for me, at least. I don't have any real goals around being conversational or reading texts, so the puzzle-solving game is just fun unto itself.
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(no subject) [Nov. 30th, 2016|06:00 pm]
Jason
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Another long day, but good progress on things. Got some bluetooth speakers to attempt to use cellphone as white noise generator for sleeping with, but somehow the audio keeps glitching every once in a while, which serves the exact opposite purpose.
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(no subject) [Nov. 29th, 2016|06:37 pm]
Jason
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Didn't sleep well. Long day of work. Dinner with akiva at hanamichi.
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