The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘learning’

Du Spreche?

Recently I decided to take my German learning attempts to the next level. That is, LEVEL 0.2. My current level is doing Duolingo every day (or close to that), which has been going well.

I thought for next steps two things might make sense – a pen pal or reading children’s books in German. I’m anti-social enough that the pen pal idea lasted about one second.

panama 1For the children’s books I googled for German children’s books to learn German and what do you know – handy results came back. Great! I ordered three books:

Morgen, Findus, Wird’s Was Geben (Tomorrow, Fundus, Will Give What … That can’t be right, but I have no idea what it is)
Eine Woche Voller Samstage (A Week of Saturdays)
Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama (Oh, How Beautiful is Panama)

I looked forward to my three books with great anticipation. When they arrived I happily took the package home, opened it, and was immediately filled with … Whatever word means the emptying of ambition. These are no children’s books! These are more like elementary to middle school books! I wanted to be treated like a 3 year old having a book read to me! Dang it!stamstage

Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama is the one I will start with. It’s the easiest of the three. In this book a bear and a tiger (adorable) are on a journey to visit Panama (super adorable). I don’t know why, or if they succeed, my German isn’t that good. And, frankly, at this point I basically open a page, type word for word what I see into Google translate and then say ‘ohhhh, ok, I knew three of those words.’

Wish me luck on my likely fruitless endeavors.

Also, lesson learned, Germans do quotes differently. For example, in Oh, Wie Schön ist Panama they use these guys: << and >>.

<<Wer wusste?>> (Who knew?)

(I have no idea what’s happening in this book … but I’m excited to stumble through it 10 years from now.)

Attn: Ellen (2/15/17)



Back (apologies for my handwriting!)


The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

A month ago I learned Wien means Vienna in German. And yet, it wasn’t until I was ordering Wiener Schnitzel that it all clicked … Wiener means Viennese! Knowledge, huh? Now if I could just visit every city in the world I might be intelligent. Please sponsor my intelligence? I’ll send postcards!

OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

Adventures in Colorado-ing

My wife and I are the proud new owners of fancy bicycles. This is a big step towards us being classic Coloradoans.

My new bike is fancy, and expensive (in my mind – to a true bicyclist, it’s on the lower end). But it is MUCH nicer than my last bike, which was one of Wal-Mart’s finer road bike offerings.

While at the bike shop the guy helping us/selling us on all things biking would occasionally throw out some bike lingo. We would nod before realizing what he just said was gibberish as far as we know.

“Yeah and it’s good to have a spare tube in case you run over some goat heads and get a flat.”

I laughed because this guy clearly has a delightfully weird sense of humor. But wait, no, he wasn’t joking. Are there a lot of goat head skeletons around here that are pointy and cause flats? That’s a thing? Why doesn’t someone clean them up? Better yet, why are there so many dead goats? Should I be concerned about the dead goat population?


After a bit I asked, “so … what are goat heads?” He laughed and said, “oh let me look it up,” then he began typing into Google and got a little afraid, “… I hope this returns pictures that aren’t …”

But no, it returned a picture of what my wife calls “sticker burrs” and what I call “those thorny things” or just “stickers.”

We took the bikes out for a nice 10 mile ride today and high-fived over the brilliance of bike shorts with pads for the tushes. Ah, comfort.

%d bloggers like this: