Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December Notes

Bengals

So they finally won a prime time game and, alas, my travels will prevent me from seeing the next two Bengals games.  Argh!  Perhaps though, the secret to the Bengals success will be me not watching them in their playoff appearance, though more likely their success will be related to how much they can get away with not having the inconsistent Andy Dalton throw the ball.  Yeah Marvin Lewis isn't as good as the NFL coaching elite and Dalton certainly isn't as good as even near-elite quarterbacks, but they sure go to the playoffs a lot.  A special thanks to Mike Brown for not pulling a Dan Snyder and firing everyone because the team didn't go 15 and 1.  That's a recipe for eventually going 1 and 15.  (If they manage to beat Pittsburgh on Sunday night, something I that doubt will happen, the Bengals will have won four AFC North titles under Lewis, which is four more than the Browns over the same time frame, which is even more remarkable given how many Super Bowl wins his division opponents have racked up).

Chinese

Yeah the Chinese language is it's own special form of screwed up.  The grammar isn't automatically intuitive, but isn't bad (and is forgiving if it gets goofed), the vocabulary is limited since it lacks noun/verb conjugations (for the most part, certainly nothing like the screwball 'past pluperfect/action verb' combinations needed in Spanish for something like "I was going to the store yesterday because I was going to buy some meat for tomorrow, but then I changed my mind and decided that I would get it next week.").  However what it does have is tones which even those who know nothing of the language are passingly familiar with due to recurrent jokes ("You'll ask for water in China and get in trouble because you actually asked if their mom is a horse, haha!").

It's not so bad since (hopefully) since context should clue natives into the desired word, but the problem is that the sentence structure needs to be (mostly) correct so that the context can be properly ascertained.  There's a few examples (the derivations of 'ma' are rather notorious) however even something as simple as water (shuǐ), whom (shuí), and sleep (shuì) can get confusing, especially since (and this is really hard) one has to remember NOT to put the English tones on the word (for questions, etc.) since they're the same.  Oh well, not quite sure why I'm bothering since I'm sure I will forget it all shortly, except for the word for beer.

International Womanizing

Along those lines, it seems that every piece of language training software circles around the idea of the salaryman sitting in the bar ("Ask the woman if she would like a drink/Ask her where she would like to go to get a drink/Order two beers/etc.").  Really?  Does that crap work?  "Hey baby, I can barely speak your language, but let's forget about that and go get wasted at the hotel!".  I need the domesticated version with fun stuff like "I need to do laundry", "Please cook something that walks", and inevitably, "I have dysentery".  I guess that kind of thing won't sell too many volumes though.

Man Cave Game Review

I didn't play that many games of note this year.  I guess if I had to pick one winner out it would be Borderlands 2 since I sunk some serious time into that game (though it only really shined when I was playing online with people who aren't jerks, which can take some doin').  I'd like to speak for a moment about game called Bulletstorm, though.  In fact that Wikipedia article sums up the noise surounding the game when it was released some years ago:
[T]he game was targeted because of its profanity, crude behavior (examples of which including the game's skill-shot system, which has a move that rewards players for shooting at an enemy's genitals), and sexual innuendo. [Foul language as well].
When playing through the game the reason for such hatred became obvious: they hated it because it was a game unabashedly targeted towards men, heaven forbid!  I could describe the following scene that sums the game up nicely, but it's best to just check it out yourself, crank it up!

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