So, about that language exchange.

September 11, 2010

Alright, I told you just a few days ago that I was digging around for a new language exchange site to check out. I mean, even if I were to find a new language exchange partner in the middle of this, it would still be useful information to have for my little site.

So, after hours of searching through a rather sad collection of shutdown pages, and a surprisingly large number of places that charge money, I found only a single site to try. Sad, I know, but what else could I do? Well the site is called, “The Mixxer”, and if you’re interested the link is http://www.language-exchanges.org/.

So, what did I think about this page? It wasn’t very good. I’m kind of surprised to say this, but I think the other site (that I can’t think of the name of, and we all know I’m too lazy to look it up) that I have in my links section really kind of spoiled me. So, what’s wrong with this site?

Well, first you have to make an account before you can look through the profiles. I can understand the reasoning, but it’s a hassle, even if I wanted to be a member. I mean, who wants to log in every time they want to see if there’s a new, interesting, ad up? Speaking of creating an account, it was kind of strange. It had first name as a requirement, but doesn’t show that on my page anywhere, what’s more, it asked for my e-mail, but didn’t put it in my profile, or even send me a “creating account” e-mail. I find this odd, because it’s been years since I’ve registered somewhere that I didn’t have to load up my e-mail and click some link.

So, in truth, as a bit of a warning, I’m somewhat concerned about spam from them. I mean, if it’s not in my profile, and you don’t need it for authenticating my account, why ask for it? Still, I haven’t received any yet, but people might want to be a bit cautious about it. I always use a junk account for stuff like this anyway, so it really doesn’t matter to me, but other people might care.

So, during this account creation I had two fields I could fill out at the bottom, “Description” and “Comments”. Being the lazy sort that I am, and since I was mostly just checking out how the page worked before I actually got into any serious account creation, I chose to leave these blank. I mean, who wants to click on my junk profile anyway? Well, what it doesn’t tell you is that this section seems to be used for your ad. I’m not sure which of the two, but given how they have them setup, I believe it’s the description portion.

So, on the right you can put in what language you speak and what you want to learn, then it’ll put up a list of all of the people who share your goal (or rather, the opposite, but you get what I mean). You can actually detail it a little more, by putting in a country that you’d like them to be from, and I think one other choice, but I wanted the broadest options possible, after all, I’m here to see how busy the site is too.

Now, the strange thing about this is it asks me what language I want to learn and what my native language is, considering that’s in my profile, and I have to log in to even access this search, that seems a little bit tedious, but I can forgive it, because I could see someone wanting to maybe expand their horizons every now and then.

So, I filled it out and got 20+ pages of different ads, all stacked in a neat little line. Each page had something like 15+ people on it, but in truth, I didn’t count. This is where I really had a bit of a problem. Since this thing is based off of people’s descriptions (or comments) I got some really strange results in the search, and I got even more results that were just plain blank. Course, the one that really got me was when my first result was a Chinese woman, who wanted to practice English and Chinese, with no mention of Japanese in her ad or on her page. O.o

Now, some people did actually list things like their interests in their ads, and most people did seem to figure out how to fill out the ad portion, so at least other people would know they exist. This is great, but it has the worst sorting method I’ve ever seen. It defaults to sorting by the date that you last logged in. So, if you’ve been a member for 2 years, but logged in 5 minutes ago, you’re at the top of my list. Why is this bad? Because I have no idea if you’re still looking for a language exchange partner.

Since this page offers things like blogs that people can correct, and groups that people can make for helping students, these people could be logging in, already having many language exchange partners, and they just simply forgot to change their description. Or, maybe they really are still looking for more people, but it’s pretty much impossible to tell.

So, will the site work? Yeah, you could probably find a language exchange partner from it, but it’ll take a lot of work on your end. Between no baseline listing of interests, and the worst sorting method I’ve ever seen for something like that, it’ll be a bit of a pain to use.

And now, for a bit of a personal rant. First, why do so many people put up their full names and pictures on sites like these? Maybe it’s just me and my paranoia, but I’d never be willing to do that (and I know it could easily be fake information, but if you’re gonna fake it, why bother putting that up either?). As though that question wasn’t interesting enough on its own, I have another one. When did tennis become so popular? I went through 15 pages on that site and at least half of the people that actually wrote down interests wrote down tennis as one of the first things on their list! Don’t get me wrong, I had a little fun with tennis during Gym class at school, but it’s not usually something I hear about very often, so I find such a large collection of people listing that as an interest/hobby… interesting. =P

Wow, 1,076 words just for that. I guess I was feeling a bit talkative this evening. =P おやすみなさい! =D

-Felirc-


A very long, but enjoyable day.

September 10, 2010

Well, today was BUSY, what with me walking a good 9 miles, half the time carrying quite a bit of stuff. Tiring? Very. Boring? A bit. So, why was it an enjoyable day? Honestly, because of OSRIC. I’ve been trying to get some people together for a 2nd edition AD&D game, but it’s been hard getting everyone in place. So, the new plan is to do a play by chat, and since they don’t have access to my 2nd edition books, I’m going to use OSRIC, which is basically a System Reference Document for 1st edition AD&D. =D

I know, not much to be excited about for you guys, but I love stumbling across great rules systems, it’s one of my greater joys in life. As far as the Language exchange page is concerned, I did check it out, but I don’t really feel like typing it up. I know, I shouldn’t be so lazy, but darn it, I’m a tired man! =P

Alright, that’s all you get for tonight, and tomorrow I’ll let you know about my new language exchange page. おやすみなさい! =D

-Felirc-


Not (entirely) my fault! =P

September 8, 2010

So, I didn’t manage to get a post on here last night. I actually have a pretty good reason for this, my Internet cut out, and I wasn’t about to stay up to see how long it was going to remain like that.

So, what did I spend my time doing? I actually did what I said I would! =O I spent like 5 hours digging around online looking for another/a better language exchange website. Don’t get me wrong, the one I use now works, but I really need to open up my options a bit. Well, having spent a considerable amount of time digging, I can say that I found only one potential place.

Every other site I hit either had that section die and had it removed, or charged money just to be able to write to people. I understand that people enjoy making money, but this is the Internet, you’d think I’d be swimming in options, but there are surprisingly few out there. Now, I did a search like this not all that long ago, but not for nearly as long, I pretty much just spent half and hour goofing around and didn’t manage to find much, but this is just sad.

So, the only place I’ve found so far seems to have a heavy focus on Skype (which I have, so that’s not too big of a deal), and I’m going to have to become a member to see anything other than blog posts. I’ll make an account tomorrow and give it a try, but I’m not gonna put up a link to the site yet, at least until I’ve checked it out a bit more. I do try to be careful of what I link to on this site. =P

It’s that time again! That’s right, the time where all of my readers gather together to wish me an amazing night(day?) of sleep! Admit it, you know you want to! =P おやすみなさい! =D

-Felirc-


Time for bed. =D

September 6, 2010

Which is always a good things, especially when I’m tired. Well, I’m in a little bit of luck. Since I only have to do some stuff around the house tomorrow, I’m gonna start digging on the internet again.

See, I’ve been looking for a language exchange partner for a while now, but I really only use one site. Now, there are plenty of people I could do language exchange with, but I still think it would be a good idea to find someone I have more stuff in common with, so I’ve been skipping over plenty of people in hopes of finding a better “match”. Alas, after this long, I either need to give up on that dream (which I don’t want to do, I hate trying to force conversation with people, even if I’m pretty good at it) or start broadening my search pool again.

Now, I know I’ve had some trouble finding some decent language exchange pages in the past, but I can’t let this stop me. Well, I can, but I’m not going to. =P So, with that, and some more work on my review, hopefully everyone will be made happy tomorrow. =P

For now, it’s off to bed. You know, when I was younger, I didn’t like sleeping. I was one of those “6 hours at the most” kind of kids, always wanted to stay up later, didn’t matter how early I was going to have to get up the next day. I’m not saying I’m entirely different now, as I do love to stay up too late for my own good, but I’ve finally gotten to that point where I love to sleep. What can I say? It’s one of the many joys of my life. =P おやすみなさい! =D

-Felirc-


Headaches, gotta love ’em.

September 4, 2010

And that would be what prompted me to go to bed without posting last night. I kind of went early, and didn’t really have anything to type about. Course, as my luck would have it, sleep did me no good. Now, I have been woken up in many uncomfortable manners, including having ice cold water dumped onto my face (it was my cat that did this, oddly enough), but I personally consider the worst way to wake up is with a headache.

Alright, that might be a bit of an over exaggeration, what with things like someone breaking into your house, or something equally as horrible waking you up, but my reasoning is based on more mundane annoyances, rather than something that is an actual serious threat.

For what it’s worth, my headache did finally go away, about 4 hours ago. So, at least I did get part of my evening in peace. What’s that you say? Avoiding a subject I mentioned last time by talking about a headache? Why I have no idea what all of you are referring too, perhaps I’ll know better once I get some sleep… =P

Alright, I admit it, I didn’t do the work on the review. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Go on, I’ll wait… Yep, didn’t think so. You do know this is why I started this blog in the first place, all this proves is that I need something structured like this to ever get something done, and I hate to say it, but forcing myself through writers block is not one of my favorite pastimes, even more so when I have a pounding headache.

Now, I’ve got a busy day tomorrow, but I will force myself to sit down and spend at least some time on it (I know, I’ve said it before). But look at it this way, I might actually do it this time! =P Alright, that’s enough for me, it’s time to pack up my pretzels and head to bed. おやすみなさい! =D

-Felirc-


Busy two days!

September 2, 2010

Yeah, it was expected, but it doesn’t make me any less tired at the end of it. Heck, I’m going to bed three hours earlier than I did last night, and that’s pretty rare for me! =P

Well, my games came, along with the glorious pretzels. They are exactly as I remember them! So thin and delicious, there just isn’t anything like them on the market. Still, I offered some to a couple of friends of mine (after all, they’ve been hearing me rave about these things for the past week or so), but they seemed less than impressed. I guess it’s just a pretzel lover’s thing. In truth, I feel sorry for all of you people that think that all pretzels are the same (seriously though, with a bit of help, pretty much finished off a box in one sitting, they are just epic)! =P

Well, the good news it, I got to play a couple hours on my games, and I enjoyed every minute of it, I’m gonna have a great couple of months with these. =P Alas, I didn’t dedicate too much time to my Japanese studies today. What do you expect a tired person to want to spend their free time doing, playing some new video games, or learning a language? =P

But, in an effort of great self control, I have a rather easy day awaiting me tomorrow. While I could spend all day playing video games, and rather enjoy myself while I’m at it, I will force myself to sit down and try to finish off that review. I’ve been putting it off for far too long now, and I can’t guarantee when I’ll get my next day of nothing to do, so hopefully you’ll all have to look forward to tomorrow night. =D

As for today, honestly, aside from some basic review, I just looked around to see if I could find any new Japanese music that I liked. Despite the hour or so I spent combing through the various Youtube music companies, I didn’t find anything that I really liked. Granted, music isn’t directly related to my language learning, but I think it helps with things like keeping my ability to pick out words that I know from sentences, etc, etc. That, and I really enjoy music, of just about any origin, so I always enjoy finding a new artist I enjoy. =P

Alright, this tired learner of Japanese is going to go curl up under a blanket. おやすみなさい! =D

-Felirc-


Busy but delicious days coming (and also, haircut).

August 31, 2010

Well, I’ve got a busy couple of days coming, but it’ll all be for the best in the end. While my game didn’t arrive today, it should be showing up tomorrow, just in time for me to have other things that need to be done. =P But, in addition to that, I should be receiving, what I hope to be, very delicious pretzels in a quantity that is, quite frankly, ridiculous.

With active days coming again, I guess I should really try to hammer out that review. I know, writers block isn’t a great excuse, but it’s what I’ve got! =P I’ll see what I can do, and that’s the best I can promise you. =P

In more personal news, I need a haircut. Seems like a rather straightforward thing to need, but my circumstances have actually changed in regards to this. You see, my mom has been cutting my hair since… well, forever. I don’t believe I have ever gotten my hair cut by anyone else. But, with her in a wheelchair, and me just generally being large and rather inflexible, managing to make it so she can comfortably reach my hair is somewhat difficult. So, I find myself in need of a solution.

Now, in addition to my mom doing my hair since I was a pouchling (I love that term), I have actually had the same hairstyle since then too. I mean, it works on me, so why bother to change it? But, not really having an official “name” for my hairstyle makes it kind of hard to convey to a barber, especially since I know absolutely nothing about cutting hair. To make all of this even worse, nobody I know goes to a barber anywhere near here. I know someone who has his sister cut his hair, but she’s away at college, and another person I know goes to his aunt, who lives out of state, etc, etc, etc…

So, my options at this point are actually fairly open. I could go and pay about $15-$25 to get my haircut at someone I don’t know, and they might manage to do a good job, or I can take another option that has presented itself. Now, I’m not big on change, but let’s face it, if I have to try something new and possibly completely crazy, I might as well choose the most interesting option. What’s the most interesting option you ask? Buy some clippers and learn to cut my hair myself!

I know, it sounds downright crazy, but as it turns out, many people have managed to do it, and come up with some interesting hairstyles along the way. Granted, I could look really stupid by the time I’m done, but the same thing could happen from a visit to a barber I don’t know too. Then, of course, there’s the advantage of cost. Even if I screw up this time, it’s a one time cost of $40 for the clippers, which is just two visits to the barber, not a bad deal at all (and I’ll have until the day those clippers die to come up with a hairstyle that actually works).

I might be somewhat insane for trying it, but at the same time, I’ve never been much of a person to care about how I look, so worst case scenario I wander around for a month or two looking like an idiot. Course, and this could just be the fact that I’m tired and typing this up, it could end up working out very well, and I manage to solve my newly arrived hair problem on the first day, living happily ever after never having to worry about who is going to do my haircuts.

Yep, I must be tired. Alright, time for me to head off to bed, it’s late, and I’ve got stuff to do tomorrow. おやすみなさい! =D

-Felirc-