Obama Not Ruling Out U.S. Military Action In Congress

About time, really.

Who knew that Idaho would be a key element of successful diplomacy between the U.S. and Russia?

So John Kerry gave his Russian counterpart an Idahoan potato:

On Monday, Kerry made his latest overture in his budding romance with the Russian foreign minister, offering Lavrov an unusual gift: two sizable Idaho potatoes.

Amid some chuckles and giggles, Lavrov called the starchy tubers “impressive.” Puzzled? Apparently the last time the two officials met, Lavrov had mentioned Idaho potatoes — potatoes, of course, are a basic ingredient of Eastern European cuisine. Kerry, like an attentive suitor, took notice and brought Lavrov some spuds as a show of affection ahead of a meeting in Paris as part of the run-up to peace talks in Geneva next week aimed at bringing the Syrian civil war to a close.

It always give me a thrill to see Idaho punching above it’s weight.

Happy, uh, New Year?

I blink and we’re two weeks into 2014 already!

The year has started out strong. The Eminent Spouse has settled in to teaching and I may have had a breakthrough with Korean. I’ve really struggled with language production even though I have very little issues with the conceptual side of the language. I think it is due to the similarities between Japanese and Korean and it’s proving extremely difficult to overcome my natural inclination to create high-level sentences.

Because the grammar is so similar, my brain wants to use Korean in the same way I use Japanese. In the long run this is going to be a big boon, I believe, but for the first few months its been excruciating. I just don’t (or didn’t) have the grammar currency in Korean to cash the checks my brain was writing. It’s getting easier as I’ve learned more of the essential grammar and now its a matter of learning sufficient vocabulary and getting the grammar tools down in rote memory so they can just pop out instead of being explicitly processed every time.  Last week I had a few class sessions where I felt that I was understanding the teacher’s side of things and producing my half of the conversation without too much delay or relying on help from the teacher. It was fun and hopefully portends well for my performance from here on out.

Other than school, the Eminent Child has been assigned as a Printer for their colonial life social science module. We had to go pick up some rubber stamps at the craft shop for her project demonstrating the work of colonial era newspaper printers.  Fun stuff.

Not much else of note, I suppose.  We did start watching Malcolm in the Middle on Netflix. Good stuff, but I had a parenting self-check when I realized that Netflix censors MitM from under-12 Kids’ accounts. I don’t know if our family enjoyment of the show makes me a good or bad parent.