PHP 10.0 Blog

What if…

Seven things

Posted by Stas on January 10, 2009

Unusually (for this blog) non-technical post.

Generally I don’t like mass actions, chain letters and stuff like that. That is probably because of my contrarian spirit and general stubbornness  – if many people do it, why I now have to do it? Hell no. But this thing seems to be interesting, so thanks Andi for tagging me. So here go the seven things about me:

1. I speak Russian (my native tongue), English and Hebrew. I understand Ukrainian but probably couldn’t speak it now without making people laugh hysterically, not enough practice. I want to learn Latin (working on it) and Arabic (not working on it). I also studied German for 3 years in school, but when I switched schools I had to study English instead, so I spent summer trying to catch up with 3 years of school program I missed. I overdid it a bit (or maybe the program sucked)  so I could slack off next couple of years in English classes because I already knew all that stuff. I wish I didn’t forget the German in the meantime, but I did, so now I remember just random words and phrases.

2. My first programming experience was the Soviet B3-34 electronic calculator. If you think assembly language programming is hard, try to program this baby. And to think people actually programmed interactive real-time games (albeit requiring a lot of imagination) on it! (Bonus point for guessing how to do game controls without any keyboard inputs, etc.) I didn’t reach that level, but I did some simpler stuff before moving to computers with such luxury as actual multi-line screen (alphanumerical). My first paying job of course involved computers. I can’t imagine what I would do if computers weren’t invented. Probably I would be a linguist.

3. I have absolutely no talent for music, which I discovered the hard way after unsuccessfully trying to learn to play a guitar for a year. Same goes for most of other creative arts (painting, sculpture, design, poetry, etc.) and I severely envy all people that have such talents. I do like the music though, and while as youngster I was of course a rock-music fan, now I increasingly getting to like the classic music. I feel I need much more education in the area before I can really appreciate it though. I rarely listen to music while working, because if I like it it distracts me and if I don’t it it pisses me off.

4. I can’t understand sports. I.e. I get the theory, but why these people are getting so excited is completely beyond me. I can kind of figure out the “nice” sports like figure skating or gymnastics – people doing cool and beautiful and complicated stuff, etc. – but things like football or baseball I don’t get. Why anybody would spend so much time and money on that?

5. A year ago I started to learn Aikido. I think I like it. Got the blue belt (which is very very initial stage) and I hope sometime in the future I’ll be good at it.

6. Once I wrote a letter to leading Soviet’s newspaper for children – Pionerskaya Pravda (Pioneer’s Truth). It was published. I was about 8 or 9 then. I never wrote letters to newspapers since then. Surprisingly, I just learned that the newspaper (unlike the founding Pioneers organization) still exists.

7. I enjoy discussing politics a lot, especially online, and spend way too much time on it (a bit less now, but still). My political conviction is libertarian. I don’t expect to have any political party I would want to vote for to exist in my lifetime.

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6 Responses to “Seven things”

  1. Vincent said

    4 and 5 are a bit contradictory ;-)

    Anyway, you can’t really explain why people like sports. The adrenaline just feels good.

  2. Stas said

    Vincent, I see how it can seem so, but they are not. I like practicing aikido, and probably would be interested watching people doing it because I could learn or appreciate it, to the extent I could with my limited knowledge :) But most of people watching, say, basketball don’t play it – they are just “fans” and they “support” or “root for” their team and sometimes get really excited about it. That “rooting for” thing is what I don’t get.
    On the other hand, I don’t mind being contradictory once in a while :)

  3. Michael Johnson said

    I completely understand you on 4 (and 5 for that matter). In recent years my parents (especially my mother) have become huge college football fans, to the extent that when my 2 year old showed up at her house with a team shirt (my sister sent us) that was a rival of her favorite she booed him. I do not understand – plus it’s downright rude!

    As for akido (and other martial arts), is a one-on-one skill-based ‘sport’. You advance yourself, without depending on someone else. It is also highly technical in a lot of ways (like your example of figure skating). Team sports are not so much.

    Vincent, yes, adrenaline just feels good. But that doesn’t explain the non-participant dedication. Or vindictiveness.

  4. Moazzam said

    Great post.

    If you were fighting someone and you didn’t hurt them. Wouldn’t they keep on attacking you until one of you reaches the limit of your stamina?

  5. Michelle said

    I am blessed with many talents.
    I sing beautifully,play the keyboard,love designing,Good at art too.
    At present I am programming with PHP.

    I thought all of us are blessed with such talents.
    It’s sad to hear that U cud not learn the guitar.

    I have never heard of people making efforts, but not achieving results.
    It’s really sad.

    M really bad at politics and I hate it.
    May be it’s all ur interest in the subject that matters!!!

    Dont know!!!

  6. codeandtag said

    Good things.!!!

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