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smb

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Everything posted by smb

    'Sounds like a lot of work!
  1. smb

    mermaidembrace

    The background is fine... I would have been tempted to put a couple of long, straggly bits of seaweed in there. A bit corny, I know - but then that's just me!! 😄
  2. On my Thai vocabulary flashcards, I write the Thai words using a colour-coding system to indicate the correct tone to use for each syllable: The system is based on the traffic light principle, which I stole from this book: The book uses traffic light colours to indicate the different consonant classes. I use a modified version so that I can indicate the correct tones on my flashcards, without having to work-out the tones using the Thai language tone rules. (Lazy, or what?!! I am still struggling with the Thai language tone rules. I just prefer to learn new words with the correct tones...) Anyway, I use: Red for High Tone syllables Plain black for the Mid Tone syllables Green for the Low Tone syllables Light Green for rising tones. The tone is rising up from a low (dark green) tone, hence the light green? It made sense to me! and Pink for falling tones. The tone is falling from a high pitch, hence the colour should be a bit "less" than pure red?! For the transliterated Thai to Roman Alphabet script, (which tells me how to pronounce the words,) I use the fairly standard: High Tones - A Combining Acute Accent (something like an "/" on top of the syllable) by typing 0301 after the letter over which I want the accent to appear; highlighting this - and then clicking on Alt + x Low Tones - A Combining Grave Accent (as above but sloping down from left to right) by typing 0300 after the letter over which I want the accent to appear; highlighting this - and then clicking on Alt + x Falling Tones - A Combining Circumflex Accent (like a little ^ on top of the syllable) by typing 0311 after the letter over which I want the accent to appear; highlighting this - and then clicking on Alt + x Rising Tones - A Combining Caron (as above but the other way up) by typing 030C after the letter over which I want the accent to appear; highlighting this - and then clicking on Alt + x It took me a while to figure out just how to do that, so I just wanted to share, as they say. (Well, if nothing else, it will provide me with a reference as to how to do it, in case I forget the codes...) The above works fine with StudyMinder Flash Cards
  3. In March 2015, I started seriously trying to learn the Thai language - including, (or especially,) the writing system. When I started trying to learn Thai, I was desperate, for personal reasons, to be able to understand and communicate in the written language. Fast forward... Obviously, when you are learning a new language, you need to accumulate a massive vocabulary of several thousand new words before you can even start to be able to "get by" comfortably in the language. Acquiring a massive new vocabulary in the shortest possible timeframe? Or, at least, keeping a record of the new words that you have learnt so that you can refresh your memory from time to time - before you end up forgetting them all?! Well, obviously, if you could make your own electronic flashcards, they would make one ideal tool for this. (Aside from continuous practice in reading and communicating in the language at every possible opportunity.) After a lot of research and a fair bit of trial and error with other software, I finally settled on the highly customisable StudyMinder Flash Cards I am not going to describe all the features and benefits of the StudyMinder Flash Cards electronic flashcards software here. You can just as easily check out the link above to find out the details. I will just summarise what I personally like about the software: 1. (And most importantly:) A one-time fee allows you to use the software for life. So there are no recurring subscription charges. 2. The software works offline. You just download it to your Windows-based Desktop or Laptop PC. 3. Of course, you can make your own cards with whatever information you like, on whatever subject you are trying to learn. The cards are very easy to make and they are highly customisable. 4. The software uses the Leitner Method of Flash Card Study (or the "Learning Box" system, as It is sometimes called.) This is basically the crux of any flashcard system - paper-based physical cards or any other kind. You need to be able to jumble up the cards and you need to be able to progress them through the learning boxes. Basically, what you end up doing is concentrating your limited available time for study in the most effective way. You concentrate your time on the cards in boxes 1 and 2. They are the ones you haven't learned very well yet! As the cards progress through the boxes, you spend less and less time on them. But do check the ones in Box 5 from time-to-time as this helps to improve your long-term memory retention of the information on the cards in question. The important thing here is that ANY TIME you get a card wrong, WHATEVER box it is in, it MUST go straight back to Box 1. EVERY TIME!!! (You just have to be religious with this, as the software will not do it for you...) 5. Oh... And this is the really neat thing that I like: Sharing the card sets that you have made with anyone else, (provided that they have the StudyMinder Flash Cards software installed on their own PC,) is an absolute breeze!! All you need to do is to take a copy of the .xml file for the card set in question - and give it to them! Sorry... I am not getting any commission out of this. I just wanted to share! The screenshot below shows the StudyMinder Flash Cards software that I am currently using, with a new set of cards for the Thai language that I have just started working on. (I generally start a new set, every time I get to around 300 cards in the previous set. ) Hmmm... 20 sets with, let's say, 250 cards in each set? That must be about 5,000 cards that I have made over the last four years. All I need to do now is to learn all of the contents!! One small suggestion for improvement: It would be nice to see an Android app. version of StudyMinder Flash Cards for mobile phones and the like?
  4. smb

    Welcome, to the Shinkansen

    I'm looking forward to some more of this again - soon!! (Hopefully...)
  5. A really heavy tropical downpour approaching the Limin Venture at anchor near Padang, Smatra in Indonesia.
  6. A really heavy tropical downpour approaching the Limin Venture at anchor near Padang, Smatra in Indonesia.
  7. From the album: Dogs

    Sara, one of my rescue dogs in the Philippines, making herself quite at home on the kitchen bench at the house that I rent in Imus, Cavite. My apologies for the slight blurriness of this photo but Sara is a bit camera shy and it is quite hard to get a decent photo of her. She has a very pleasant smile in this one, so I decided to post it anyway.
  8. smb

    Dogs

    A collection of pictures of some of my favorite dogs
  9. A tree frog sitting on the gate to the kitchen of the house that I rent in Imus, Cavite, Philippines.
  10. smb

    Killy

    'Looks good! And it's great to see you back in action!
  11. smb

    Night View of Malate

    From the album: Manila, Philippines

    The photo was taken from a high rise condominium in Adriatico Street, Ermita, Manila - looking out towards Malate with the Manila Yacht Club and the Mall of Asia in the background.
  12. smb

    Manila, Philippines

    Just a few photographs of street scenes, people, street-life, buildings, rooftops, on-going construction and other views in and around the City of Manila, Philippines
  13. From the album: Manila, Philippines

    The photo was actually taken on New Year's Day, 2019. They always have a chorus somewhere in the arrivals area at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila (MNL) around the festive season. And very nice it is too when you have just got off the plane!
  14. From the album: Manila, Philippines

    The queue for taxis at the Arrivals area of Terminal 2, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila, on New Year's Day, 2019 The photo only shows a very small part of the queue, which doubles back on itself. Based purely on past experience and the absolute paucity of taxis at the time, I would estimate the queue to have been about five or six hours long, at the time of this photo. (Around 23:00hrs.)
  15. I love the Philippines. Filipinos are, without a doubt, some of the friendliest, most fun-loving, outgoing and easygoing people in the world. And that is quite an awesome combination! I call Manila 'home' - and PAL (Philippine Airlines) also happens to be my favourite airline. I also quite like Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)... It's nothing special in terms of modernity or facilities but checking in, Security, Immigration, Customs and all of the usual rigmarole generally work pretty smoothly. You can even get a smile out of an Immigration Officer - sometimes! Now that is saying something!! And you always get a nice welcoming chorus somewhere in the arrivals area at Christmas time. But... (Moaning Poms!!) How long will it be before Watsons realise that they do need to stock up on antacid tablets before Christmas and the New Year? (Not in the middle of January.) IE, When the demand is bound to be higher and supply chains are always severely disrupted? Or, how long before suppliers in general start to realise that essential supply chains do need to be maintained over the Christmas and New Year period? ...Or that it is actually quite a good idea to have more than two or three taxis working NAIA, the main international airport, on New Year's Day? (Not just let them all take the day off because they have hangovers from celebrating on New Year's Eve?) Funny as hell, that! When I cleared Customs at NAIA (MNL) the other day and saw the state of the queue for the official airport taxis, I managed to bluff my way past the guard who was insisting on preventing people from going upstairs to the Departures area - (where you can generally hop into an incoming, non-airport taxi that has just dropped off a departing passenger) - even though the queue for taxis at Arrivals was probably about five or six hours long... Basically, I used the momentum of my heavy suitcase to get myself onto the escalator up to the Departures level. Then, once I was safely on the escalator and moving steadily upwards, I made a big show of looking for my onward domestic ticket... By the time the guard realised what I was up to, I was already halfway up and it was too late! There was no angry exchange and there were no hard feelings. I just lamely explained to the Guard that the queue for regular taxis was ever so slightly on the unbearably long side - and we both smiled as we said goodbye!! The Philippines! I just love this place! ❤️
  16. If you don't want to hear your neighbours above, below, left, right, behind or opposite you - then don't have neighbours above, below, left, right, behind or opposite you! That's easy!! 😁 So go and live on top of a mountain - or on a desert island or something? 😂 I'm not kidding... Last night - (or in the early hours of this morning, to be fair...) Sitting on my balcony, still jetlagged at around 01:30 Hrs. Lights on, of course! Quietly minding my own business and studying one of my books... I dared to cough?!! (Well, it wasn't really anything more than just clearing my throat. To the best of my knowledge, I don't have TB?) Oh, and I am not sure but it is not entirely impossible, by the way, that I might have committed the ultimate crime of the century, by accidentally dragging my chair? Just a tiny little bit? If I did - Sorry! It wasn't intentional. I am usually pretty quiet at that time of night. And I wasn't drunk. I didn't even have a single beer in the fridge. And if I did, in fact, scrape the chair around at all, I wasn't even aware that I had done so. OK? No. I'm pretty sure it was clearing my throat that was the final straw for my poor old long-suffering neighbours; a full 20, maybe 30 metres away from my balcony. Oh, you should have seen the commotion! On came their lights. The occupants - or at least, some of them - stood at their window gabbling away in Thai. Had they realised that I can get by quite nicely in the local lingo, they could have easily cursed me in their own language! But they didn't. (I wonder what would have happened if I had been a local? Probably, nothing at all...) Anyway; so instead of saying anything to me directly, they just closed their curtains again. Then, out of sight, all I could hear was a very loud: "Hoy!! 😕Well, sorry that I breathed then! ...I just finished the passage that I was working on, in my book; quietly went inside, and put the balcony light out... Now, I can understand one of my other neighbours not liking the smell of my cigars - so I don't smoke them on my own balcony anymore. (It helps that I can't afford the damn things at the moment, anyway...) But now, I am not even allowed to sit outside and get some fresh air after dark? Thailand - the "Land of Smiles!" 😀😀😀
  17. You can download the (free) original 2.1mb image file of this photo, in the artfreaks.com Downloads module at:
  18. Version 1.0.0

    8 downloads

    High rise buildings on the banks of the Jao Praya river - (or Chao Phraya, if you prefer!) Photo taken from the Saphan Taksin Bridge. I didn't have my tripod with me but, after many attempts, I actually managed to get this shot without any camera shake. 'Pure luck in the end - but quite an achievement with all the heavy trucks thundering by and shaking the bridge every few seconds! (I had a well-earned beer or six, after taking this one!!)
  19. From the album: Night Photography

    A bit blurred... I done my best to move the camera with the boat as it moved down river! Photo taken from the Saphan Taksin Bridge
  20. smb

    Night Photography

    Night photography, including Lights and colors reflected in water.
  21. From the album: Night Photography

    A rather fancy-looking tourist boat on the Jao Praya River in Bangkok. Photo taken from the Saphan Taksin Bridge
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