6.30.2011

Daily Twists and Turns of Life

In a previous post entitled "Sinking the Navy to Go Army" I described our military entrance circumstances and how we had left the Navy recruiter to greener pastures at the Army.  Needless to say our circumstances have changed!  After a period of nearly a month and with no return phone calls reality began to set in.  We subsequently set our sights on new opportunities, none of which has been successful to date, but we are very hopeful that something or even multiple somethings will open up for us.

Last week, nearly two months after we began talking with the Army someone called and told me there were no jobs for what I wanted to do, that is, Crypto Linguist.  He did, however, have some encouraging news and referred me to the Navy recruiter who could promise me a job.  We have officially left the Army to talk with Navy recruiters (again) and could have a result this week, Lord willing.

For anyone and everyone interested in becoming a linguist in the military: be prepared to wait, especially if you have traveled extensively, have a foreign wife, a mother who was conveniently born in Canada, and a broken metacarpal with no supporting medical documents.  This is not a good time to be looking for employment, especially if you are seeking a job which requires a security clearance.  We're being a bit choosy but it just so happens to be one of our dreams so I think it's important to stick with it.

...[a few days later, but before the post was actually published]
I have been sent to Raleigh MEPS and while en route was called and told that something had been messed up and that I would need to come straight back on the van and go again at a later date.  Fortunately for me, I have been thrown around quite a bit and almost expected something of this nature.  We had been told on multiple occasions that we were going to go to MEPS and then cancelled before I ever got on the van; this time I was actually on it and had to come home.  Next week I hope to make it all the way to Raleigh, stay the night, and swear in to the military.  Let's cross our fingers and see what happens.

Who would have thought it would be this much fun to join the military?  Is anyone else out there trying to join the military, be it in the USA or in another country?

6.25.2011

Cueva del Pirata, Part I

Located in Quintero, Chile, Region V (1 of 15 different regions), we find this gem that I visited with my Chilean family in 2005.  This is another trip from the Study Abroad program I did in the Summer of that year, and am I ever glad that I took pictures AND video.  It is still as stunning today as it was 6 years ago!  One conundrum I always faced when snapping a lot of photos was: "If I take this many photos, am I really enjoying the landscape?  If I take fewer photos will my memory preserve the true scenes better than the actual photos?"

I don't think that the answer is ever simple to something like that, however, I do know that you are not able to see posts of what's inside my head.  Without further a dieu:



My Chilean family, minus Mima! From left to right, back to front: Margarita, Ronnie, Valeria.
 



The ground-level view of the two previous photos. 







Chilean sunsets and whitewash.
Entering the cave.










Sources:
Wikipedia: Regions of Chile, Region V: Valparaíso.
Google Maps: Quintero, Chile.

6.14.2011

La Campana, Chile

Way back in 2005 I was on a study abroad trip with my school, UNCW, visiting Valparaiso, Chile.  While there we were fortunate enough to visit a national park, approximately 60km from Valparaiso.  The official title is: Parque Nacional La Campana, meaning roughly "The Bell National Park".  It derives its name from the shape of the mountians, or one in particular that looks like a bell.

It shows a great deal of the biological diversity and contains one of the last Chilean palm tree forests.  That means that it's an awesome place to go and if you are in Chile and don't take advantage of it you're either short on time or lack brains.  Hopefully you can just go and avoid falling into one of those two categories.

An interesting fact is that Charles Darwin visited this park, before it was actually a park, during the second voyage of the HMS Beagle, which lasted from December 27, 1831 to October 2, 1836.

All photos are dated 07/11/2005 and are taken by me, excepting those I could obviously not haven taken :0

Quintessentially 'La Campana'.

Eerie, but beautiful.




Me, back in 2005.


Can you see which one is 'La Campana'?

Exemplary palm trees en masse.



Not as small as you think they are!

Naturally occurring phallic symbol.




Joe with his hands up, Charlene in fuchsia, Valeria Rider in front!

Dan entertaining a dead animal.  Oh, Dan!



Sources:
Wikipedia: Parque Nacional La Campana (English, Spanish).
Wikipedia: Second Voyage of HMS Beagle.
Wikipedia: The Voyage of the Beagle, book by Charles Darwin.
Wikipedia: Chilean Wine Palm (Jubaea Chilensis), (English, Spanish).

6.12.2011

Clearance Issues

 Never gone shopping, apparently.


Obviously an accident, this fine work of art will probably not cause any long term problems or confusions.  I do not believe anyone will disregard it and drive his 12' truck underneath simply because it is spelled incorrectly.  Well, let us hope this is the case.

It was found just outside the DMV / Highway Patrol Station on Market Street, Ogden, North Carolina.

Something I learned while researching this--the rules for correct spelling are not as clear cut as I thought.  I searched dictionaries for words ending in -ance and -ence and the result was very close.  According to information gotten from http://www.die.net/, there are 796 words ending in -ance and 773 ending in -ence.  Some, however, are not true matches, i.e. France, fence.

This is an easy one to mess up for some people, so I will provide some useful information that will help us all spell it correctly in the future:

    6.09.2011

    Comparatively Cooler

    COOLER


     
    NOT AS COOL.

    Doritos used to be cooler. Don't you remember the days when you could pick up a bag of Cooler Ranch chips? Well, they are slightly less cool now with the loss of the -er.

    Did you know that -er has quite a few uses?  It's used to make all sorts of words, such as: New Yorker, four-wheeler, fifth-grader, one hander, greener... Well, this is what was stolen from 'cooler ranch', I guess we could say it lost its dignity:

    -er
    1. (added to certain adjectives, now especially short ones) more; used to form the comparative.
      longer, bigger, faster, sooner, simpler
      --Wiktionary: -er entry.





    Thank you for reading.


    Sources:
    Taquitos.net: Doritos Cooler Ranch
    The Onion: Doritos Celebrates One Millionth Ingredient.
    Wiktionary: -er suffix.
    Wiktionary: Comparitive.

    6.06.2011

    Korean To Go

    Image Source: Wikipedia.

     Since my wife Olivia and I have come back to the USA we have noticed that there is Korean everywhere.  We even play a little game: When we see the signs, we yell it out and the first to say is the winner.  How so, might you ask?  Even in the most common places we can find our beloved Korean alphabet, Hangul: on the road.

    Many of you, however, could probably not pick out Korean if you saw it, and you should not feel bad for it.  We simply do not have the exposure.  My friends and followers, if you did not know it before today you will, and you will learn to recognize it while driving about, pronouncing it aloud for all to enjoy.

    Ieung, precedes vowels, having no sound, or at end of syllable having 'ng' sound.


    First, you need to know what Korean looks like... If you have a vowel that is not preceded by a consonant then it will always have the 'ㅇ' first.  The 'ㅇ' makes no sound when a vowel follows, but if it is at the bottom of a syllable then it will have the value of our 'ng' in English.  This letter is called 'ieung', and you can see it above if these appear as strange blocks on your computer.  [Above image source: Wikipedia.]

    Now, the following are the Korean characters, and their approximate English pronunciations--or simply a Romanization, not necessarily having a perfect correspondence to the English pronunciations.

    Hangul, Image Source: Advanced Language Translation Inc.

    When you are driving down the road you cannot help but notice the following signs:

    Korean letter: pronounced 'ah', 아.  Image Source: http://www.audriving.com
    Korean letter: pronounced 'oh', 어.  Image Source: Wikipedia.
    Korean letter: pronounced 'oo', 우.  Image Source: http://www.audriving.com

    If you are creative, or perhaps if you're just a clever little language learner you might be able to find more, and I encourage you to do so.  If you do, please post them here for everyone to enjoy and I'll add them to the post and credit your awesomeness.  Next time you're driving down the road, why not show off your cultural knowledge and shout out these characters for all your friends?  Thank you for reading.


    *If something on here belongs to you and I have not credited you properly, please Contact Us and it will be taken care of.

    Sources:
    My Genius Korean Wife.
    Wikipedia: Hangul.
    Wikipedia: Road Signs in Brazil.  
    Advanced Language Translation, Inc.
    Australia Driving: Traffic Signs.

    6.04.2011

    All Your Base Are Belong To Us

     If you recognize the title from an awesomely translated Japanese video game from back in the day it has absolutely no connection with what I am going to tell you in this post.

    I have bought a small piece of real estate on the internets, some of you might call this a domain name.  What does this mean for most of you?  Probably not a lot since Google does it all for me.  I just want everyone to know that this is "...one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

    In case you were wondering: http://halfkoreanspanishlovingamerican.com is where you will find me from now on.

    Thank you for reading and I hope to surprise everyone with some new changes in the near future.  And, please, join in with all the celebration: I encourage you to pop open that bottle of wine.  Please practice responsible driving if you plan on celebrating more than one bottle. 

    Sources:
    Neil Armstrong's Amazing Quote.
    All Your Base Are Belong To Us Website.
    All Your Base Wikipedia Entry.