Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Still trying to learn French

I am having problems with the Pimsler French program. The problem is me, when I put the CD in and begin to listen to the lesson I fall asleep. The next thing I know I am waking up and the CD is off. This is not helpful when your trying to learn a language. I don't know how I am going to fix this problem. Maybe it is just the delivery method that needs to be fixed.

I hate to think that I will have to spend the money for the RossettaStone program. It just goes against my grain to spend that much money. I have checked and there is no way to buy it second hand and get it to work. Damn.

Well, the good thing is that if I have trouble sleeping all I have to do is play the French CD and I'll be out like a light :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Project Learning another Language

Those of you who have followed my other blogs know I spent a great deal of time, money and energy learning Spanish. I had a good time learning Spanish in Mexico and cherish the experience. I didn't become fluent, but learned to communicate to some degree in the lingo and customs of dear Mexico.

Now I have a new quest; I am learning French on my own. I have scoured the Internet and book stores looking for a reasonably price program to learn French. I have tried out several programs and have found fault with all of them. I tried Rocket French and it has its good points, but didn't ring a bell with me. I tried 200 words a day and found it didn't inspire me and soon lost interest. I tried Immersion French that claims to be the same as Rosetta Stone without the expense, I was disappointed and again gave it up. Now I am trying the Pimsler French learn in ten day program (ya sure). Between all of them I will learn some French, but will it be enough French to communicate? We shall see. One would ask why not RosettaStone?
Well those that know me know I am .... cheap so the expense didn't give me a warm fuzzy the other thing is my computer runs on Vista, and I hear that RosettaStone has issues running on the Vista platform and is not known for support with fixing the problems. So, I am holding this program in reserve.

Aha, I hear you asking Why French? Well, I have always like France and the vision I have of France in my mind that was put there by books like Toujours Provence, A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle and several short trips to France when I was station in Germany in the early 60's also a trip to Paris in the 70's that was a hoot. It poured rain like the proverbial rains that floated the ark in the bible. I stayed at a small Paris hotel the Atlantic on the top floor with a view of the picturesque Paris roof tops that you might see in the old time movies of Paris. the bathroom was so small that it was hard to turn around and the hot water wasn't hot. But, it was wonderful I was there with someone I was in love with and it is all I needed to make it magical. The vision lasted the relationship didn't. Well as the saying goes "We will always have Paris".

I have often said that if I won the lottery (the big one) I would be in Provence France within days of getting the money, whether I spoke french or not. One can always hire tutors to learn there. One other reason for learning a foriegn language is it keeps the little grey cells in your brain alive, they love a challange.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Weekend 09

Here it is Labor Day weekend. For most of my life I have worked holidays and seldom got a holiday weekend to myself, now that I am retired it is a common occurrence. Somehow something I yearned for, for so long has lost its importance. I guess circumstance is everything, on occasion I hear the song "Is that all there is" . Most holidays and weekends don't mean much when you don't have a job to go to. Don't get me wrong retirement is great; the best thing I ever did was retire. Going back to work does not appeal to me at all. Besides I don't think I could do it physically, just don't have the stamina anymore. Now If I feel like taking a nap or sit in a chair and daydream I can do it. If I want to stay up at night and watch the late late show there is nothing stopping me unless I fall asleep of course.

I guess I am feeling a little melancholy lately, the passing of people of my era like Ted Kennedy and the illnesses of dear friends and relatives and my own struggle with health issues have gotten me down. The down side of getting older is you lose a lot of friends and relatives and in the back of your mind you know that your own expiration date is getting closer. Not a pleasant thought. The mundane chores of life don't give enough distraction to take your mind off of these things so one tends to get .... well melancholy.

I remember what my grandfather said, as he was waiting to pass on about his own life, "what the hell was it all about ?". He didn't have an answer and neither do I. I guess this too, shall pass and I will back to my old feisty self soon enough.

I enjoyed our little trip to Florida, it was sort of a little adventure. Life should be an adventure. One of the reasons I like travel to new places is the adventure and discovery of things, places and people that I have not experienced before. I guess I was born under a wandering star sort of like the song in the musical Paint Your Wagon. Those of you who have not have had the pleasure of hearing the song sung by Lee Marvin in Paint your Wagon here are some of the lyrics

I was born under a wanderin’ star
I was born under a wanderin’ star

When I get to heavenTie me to a tree
Or I’ll begin to roamAnd soon you know where I will be

I was born under a wanderin’ star
A wanderinwanderin’ star

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Trip to Florida

We took a trip to Florida for about ten days and had a great time ate great food and went to the beach with the dogs and took the dogs with us to dinner! There are restaurants that have a special license to have dogs on the premises while serving food, usually outside. The weather is so nice that the experience is wonderful.

Friday, July 17, 2009

July Update

I have had a rough summer so far as I have had health issues. I came back from a visit to family in Idaho with a type of flu. I also noticed even before my trip I was moving rather slowly and couldn't work outdoors for more than a few minutes at a time and had significant upper back pain. On July 4th weekend I ended up in the hospital with chest pain. An EKG showed I had a blockage and I was referred to a Cardiologist and he sent me to Baylor hospital in Dallas for an angioplasty where a stent was placed in the front artery of my heart. I have been relieved of the chest and back pain still some what tired,, hopefully I will get more stamina as time goes on and my body gets adjusted to the new blood flow. So it has been a hell of a summer so far.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Sorry, it has been a while since I have made an entry on this blog. I have excuses of course and my first was that I took a trip to Idaho to visit my grandchildren. My grandson was graduating from high school and I was invited to attend the ceremony and enjoy the festivities. It was wonderful watching him graduate and enjoy the rewards for achieving a high school diploma.
I also got to spend a lot of time with my granddaughter which was a joy. She only ten years old but has a lot of personality and character. Seeing the world and yourself through the eyes of a child is most interesting and in some ways humbling. I had a wonderful time with her.

After returning home I came down with flu like symptoms and it just got worse and worse so I went to see a doctor. I got several medications and it has been five days since starting to take the medications and I am just now starting to feel a bit better. I don't know if the medications are helping or this old body is fighting off the virus all by itself. Just glad I am feeling a bit better.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

And then there were five

New Mother and the tripletes
The other Mom waiting for hers.
When I went to bed last night there were two goats in the goat pen and this morning there were five. Three little kids crying for their mother and Mommy goat making cute little light grunting sounds over her brood.
The other goat was just looking things over as though she were thinking " so that's what mine will look like?".