Saturday, October 01, 2005

Meet my new favorite toy, the LIVE WEBCAM at LänsiAuto Areena (yes, that's spelled right). That's the home of the Espoo Blues, where Neil Little is playing this season, and thanks to this webcam, I can actually see glimpses of home games. So far, the Blues are 3-0 during games when I've had the chance to take a peek at the action via the webcam. They lost their first home game via a shootout, but that was before I discovered the webcam.

My study of Finnish is coming along, though way more slowly than I'd like. Actually, what I'd *really* like is to be instantly fluent, and that's not realistic. But even so, it's turning out to be a LOT more time-consuming than I'd expected to have to look up nearly every freaking word in news articles, and that slows down comprehension. Using the textbook gives a more structured approach to learning the language, but since there are no hockey-related words in there, it's not helping me learn the vocabulary that I'm placing the highest priority on. It IS helping with the grammar and numbers, though -- both are hugely important, obviously. But the challenge in tracking down the vocabulary words I REALLY want is driving me crazy.

I found one huge time-saver this week, thanks to the Finland forum on hfboards.com (a hockey discussion site). They posted an online dictionary that I can use to copy and paste the words from online articles. Bingo -- instead of paging through a dictionary, I get an instant answer regarding what the word is, or what it most likely is (since dictionaries show root words, minus suffixes and prefixes). That's a huge help in maintaining my train of thought between the beginning and the end of a sentence. Now, reading the online articles goes more smoothly, though it's still slow and tedious compared to being able to just READ it.

He's gotten off to an OUTSTANDING start over there... his goals-against average is 1.27 (extremely low = very good) and his save percentage is 95.38 (extremely high = very good). He's played in all 7 games that the team has had so far. Other starting goaltenders on other teams have played a comparable amount of time, so his position close to the top of the goalie standings is well-earned. (The only guy ahead of Neil has played in only two games. That's not entirely comparable, IMO, to the stats of someone who's played more than three times as many minutes and earned similar stats.)

I've tried to send some game pics, taken by me via the webcam, to blogger via email, but I got error messages. I'll have to set up some other method of getting those game pics on here. I'll figure something out. :o)

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