Seven things

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.