• It won’t stop raining. We’re now at 48.71 inches. Normal is 30.39.
I’m not a geologist, but I have a theory. If this rain continues, it’s only a matter of time before the entire town of McKinleyville turns into a Cream of Wheat-like substance and dissolves into the Pacific.
Well, maybe not. But sometimes it seems that way. Enough with the rain.
• I attended a meeting last night. There were a few notable things about it.
1.) Under the current zoning and building restraints, my town can accommodate 923 additional residential units. But the county would like my town to accommodate approx. 2,300 units. That means that the town plan, which was completed a couple years ago after a decade of deliberations, would need to be tossed out. Pastures and hillsides would be divided up into cookie-cutter subdivisions. The county could decide this, not the people who live in McKinleyville. Wow!
2.) If all the roads in Humboldt County were almost brand spanking new, the county would need about $7 million per year to maintain them. But the roads aren’t new. They’re crumbling away and there’s an estimated $100 million in deferred maintenance. There’s a budget of about $1 million a year to maintain these roads.
• We’ve got big plans for the garden this year, which I’ll write about later. It’s just too early. Suffice it to say that we’re ready to rock when Mother Nature says it’s time. We won’t be purchasing much from the produce section this summer other than pineapples, blood oranges and red bananas. (After you’ve had a red banana, you can’t eat a regular banana.)
• I’m kind of tired of Natalie Portman’s publicity tour for her new movie. Wait... that’s not really a honest statement. I’m not tired of her at all. She’s welcome to appear on any show that I watch to shlock her movie.
• Speaking of TV, what’s not to like about the first episode of the Sopranos? Best series ever, hands down. How about the gangster that wanted to move to Florida? And Junior.....
• Learning Spanish is slow and tedious, but I’m actually making some progress.
It makes we wonder what, if anything, I did all those years in my high school Spanish classes. It seems as if I only learned a few words and phrases, which understandably disappeared after two decades. I take most of the blame, but I also question the teaching method.
Today I graduated from Learn In Your Car Spanish Disc 1 to Disc 2. Well, kind of. I’ll have to go back and listen to Disc 1 again and memorize a few more things, but I’ve got good portions of it programmed into my brain.
I don’t think it’s a good idea to get hung up on a single disc. Doing so could increase the boredom factor, which could result in turning off the CD player and flipping around the radio.
So I’m shooting for about 9O percent on each disc, with some of the words and phrases to be revisited at a later date. In short – listen to a disc, memorize most of it, move on to another disc, return to the old disk, go back to the second disc, and so on.
Here’s a summary of what I’ve learned on Disc 1:
1. The Spanish equivalent of basic words like I, you, they, good, yes, sir, etc.
2. The Spanish equivalent of basic phrases like “I want”, “Where is?” “How much?” “At what time?” etc.
3. The Spanish equivalent of transportation nouns like car, bus, boat, bus stop, airport, etc.
4. The Spanish equivalent of transportation phrases like “I want a taxi,” “Where’s the bus stop?” “Which number” “no smoking,” etc.
5. Money words
6. Hotel words
7. Important words like police station, drinking water, suitcases, etc.
8. Directions like “turn right” “straight ahead,” “the corner,” “the other side,” etc.
9. Restaurant words
10. Shopping words like bigger, small, more expensive, cheaper, etc.
11. Time of day
12. Questions, like who, why, when, where.
Last year when I tried this I got bogged down remembering numbers, my Achilles’ heel. So I came up with a new strategy this time – screw the numbers.
I can stumble my way from number one to 20. The other numbers I’ll put on the slow track and pick them up over time.
I’m also having a difficult time with the Spanish equivalent of words like here, over there, this one, that one and that one over there. It’s a mental thing. I can visualize and memorize “a table” or “the car,” but what do you do with “here”, “there” and “that one”??
Although progress is being made, the list above is pathetic when it comes to trying to communicate. The characters in my “Spanish Mangler” blog are nearly catatonic. They can barely communicate, and when they do they’re limited to phrases such “I would like water” or “A table for two, thank you.”
(Warning: Some of the phrases on the blog may even be incorrect. Consider it a second-grader’s worksheet.)
On Disc 2 I will learn a bunch of verbs, which are fairly easy to memorize with repetition.
More to come....