Learning German with Duolingo

Duolingo 

I mentioned that I found my father’s family and I discovered I had a brother who happens to have been born in Germany, and he is currently living in Germany in the same city he was born. Luckily he speaks English, so there is no communication issue, but I am interested in learning German so if the day ever comes when I can visit him, I would like to know the language so I won’t be lost in translation if I decide I want to do some sight seeing when I visit. I also have an aunt and uncle who suddenly switch to German every now and then, and it does get frustrating when you’re the only person in a room full of people speaking German.

So I went to Google a little over a month ago to find a website or a program I could buy that would teach me German. I thought for sure I would find something that was overly expensive, but I was surprised to find Duolingo was free.

I’ve learned “Basics 1” which was pretty easy. “The” which I think I’ve finally really mastered. There are certain times that I’m still learning when to use certain “the” words, but I’m getting it. “Basics 2” was a little difficult, like there are some words like we are that translate to wir sind, you are which translates to ihr seid, they are which is sie sind. They also taught ich trinke, du trinkst, er/sie/es trinkt, wir trinken and ihr trinkt. These all mean like I am drinking, you are drinking, he/she/it is drinking, we are drinking and you are drinking. These are still a little confusing because there are 5 ways to say that someone is drinking lol. I have to keep in mind the different ways, which brings me to accusative case which teaches not just drinking, but eating bread and read a book or newspaper. This stuff is hard. Phrases added several new words which I finally learned, and learning words is easier than learning the many different ways to say a verb. Then I did Intro which teaches many different ways to say the word speak, understand, is called (meaning like He is called Karl) and someone is from somewhere.

Learning a new language is hard ya’ll! But I’m more than happy to learn a new language. I have a learning disability, so I have to do the practice lessons for several days after I master a section, because even though I have the golden icon, I still haven’t really mastered those sections. I also have to speak into the microphone in these lessons so they can tell if I’m saying the words or phrases correct. So not only do I have to learn how to spell German words, and learn the words and what they mean, but I also have to learn how to pronounce them correctly so I don’t sound like I’m saying the wrong word(s).

I could learn any language they have to offer, and a lot of people I’ve spoken with on the website are learning multiple languages at the same time. If you thought learning one language was difficult, try learning 5 or 10 lol. Yeah, I think I will stick to one language for now.

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Print Screen Not Working for Windows 10 (FIXED)

 

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Update: I’ve actually discovered new information. You see the image above? You see the double cloud icon on the left in the task tray next to the network icon? You want to right click on that and go into settings, then click the settings tab and click Start when Windows starts, otherwise you will have to go through this every day…

I have a Logitech MK520 keyboard mouse combo. It has a Print Screen button located above the arrow buttons just below the volume buttons. You press that button and it brings up a window (above) saying a screenshot was saved to your OneDrive. In the past when you took a screenshot, it went into your clipboard and you had to hurry and go into your paint program to paste it so you could save it, and with Windows 10 you can now enjoy all your screenshots all the time with no extra effort.

The last few days has been hell for me because I haven’t been able to take a screenshot. I Googled for the answer and I couldn’t find one. I just figured it out, and here is the answer.

So, when you press that Print Screen button it saves your screenshots to OneDrive, right? If your OneDrive suddenly isn’t letting you see pictures you haven’t already downloaded, then it’s because you probably aren’t signed in to your OneDrive anymore. I went to the Microsoft OneDrive website and clicked Download, then the next page let me know that I was already running OneDrive so I clicked Start OneDrive and another page opened and I got a pop up window saying Open Microsoft OneDrive, so I clicked it and got this image. Basically, just type your email address and it signs you in. I’m sure there is an easier way, and I’m sure you will find it. Just basically sign in to your OneDrive and press your Print Screen button and see the glorious screenshots being saved once again.

I hope this helps someone.

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Update: Ok so I seem to have new information. I discovered that OneDrive has given me this issue daily. Every day when I turn my computer on I have to go through this and I have discovered that at some point it

Weeks 12-14 Weigh In Day

I am very disappointed in myself for the last few weigh in’s because I haven’t been doing the hard work that I have supposed to be doing. I have been eating my Weight Watchers and Lean Cuisine like I should, but I’ve also been saying yes to the tortilla chips and the candy because of Halloween, and I’ve paid the price in calories. I also haven’t been doing the work I need to do at the gym to help me to lose weight.

So the gym. I’ve been going to the gym every other day, and I stopped building muscle, but I haven’t been able to do the extra work on the treadmill because every time I get on the treadmill, within 20 minutes of walking I have to urinate, and you’d think I was holding it in for an hour. I have to hurry up and enter the time, calories and distance to the Noom app and run to grab a towel and soak it with Planet Fitness’ cleaning solution and wipe the bar down that I touched during my workout, then walk very fast to the locker room so I can pee. I thought the problem was going away, but it didn’t, and yesterday it actually caused me pain. My life partner Googled the symptoms and he says it sounds like I have a urinary tract infection. I’ve never had that problem before. Am I drinking too much water? Because I don’t drink anything but coffee in the morning and then water throughout the rest of the day, but is it the tap water that is causing the problem? Who knows. I’m going to start buying filtered water.

I think my biggest problem is that I am not getting enough sleep. When I lost 70lbs in 2013 I was sleeping, like a lot because I broke my arm, so I was sleeping for several hours during the day as well as at night, so I think that had a lot to do with my weight loss rather than diet and no exercise. This time I thought the weight gain was coming from building muscle, but I don’t think muscle has anything to do with it now, I think my problem is lack of sleep, so I think I’m going to make sure I take the time to take a nap and see if that helps.

The main reason I haven’t blogged the last couple of weeks is because I don’t think people really care about my weigh in blogs. So, I think this will be my last one unless something miraculous happens.

So if you have been reading, thanks so much for reading my weigh in blogs.

Week 11 Weigh In Day

It’s been one helluva week for me, so I honestly don’t even care that I didn’t lose weight this week, but instead I gained about 1.2lbs.

This week I bought 10 days worth of meals from Albertson’s because they were on sale for $1.69 each, but they aren’t the Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers Smart Ones, they are Signature Select which is a generic store brand. They taste good, and that’s really all that matters.

This week I also found my paternal father’s family and I found my brother, which I blogged about, so I’ve been celebrating and I have eaten things I shouldn’t have eaten, and honestly I just don’t care because I’m so happy right now.

The stress of trying to find someone is just unbelievable. But, I have closure now, so I don’t need to worry about being stressed out over trying to find my father. Right now my focus is getting to know my big brother. The weight will continue dropping as I continue eating healthy and continue going to the gym.

Yesterday at the gym I just felt like I was starving to death for some reason. I had to get off the treadmill after 35 minutes and I was going to go to Barnes & Noble next door to buy a croissant from the Starbucks, but then I noticed Planet Fitness had this big display with cookies that they were selling for $3. I didn’t care that it was that expensive, I just needed some food in my belly. I also didn’t care that it was 200 calories for just half of the cookie. I ate the whole damn thing. Deal with it lol. I also bought a box of generic organic nilla wafers and they were good, deal with that too lol.

I FOUND My Brother

I cannot believe it, but I found my brother.

After I did the 23andMe and didn’t really find any useful information about my family, I decided to go to Ancestry and figure out how to populate my family tree. I started out with my mother’s side of the family, then with the help of a friend we narrowed down who my father was to one man who was born with his name in California in the 1940’s, and I actually found my father, but I wasn’t sure it was him. I discovered from a document that he had a son, so I went on a search for him, and contacted many people with his name on Facebook, that didn’t pan out. So I went to Google and a website called MyLife had information, including his name and birth date, age, and where he lived in the 90’s and it had an email address, so I emailed him.

After I emailed him I finally got a response from someone on Ancestry who told me that I had the right family, as you can see from my previous post I FOUND My Paternal Family. They didn’t know where my brother was, so I continued to wait for him to respond to my email, and a couple of days ago he finally responded.

My brother said in his reply email that the picture was small, but it did resemble his father, so we connected on Facebook and he was convinced that someone was trying to scam him or steal his identity, and who can blame him? I mean, there are so many scams out there, you literally can’t trust anyone. He wanted me to convince him before he would even talk to me, and I guess I did convince him because he acknowledges that I am his brother. I’m not going to ask him to take a DNA test, although I did take a DNA test with Ancestry and with 23andMe, so if he wants to be 100% sure, I will pay for the test, but I don’t think he will worry about it, but I will still ask him if he wants one.

Anyway, so we have talked with each other yesterday and today and he lives in Germany, so I can only talk with him from 8 am my time until 12 pm my time because he’s 9 hours ahead of me. I am very sad that we couldn’t be closer, but who knows, maybe one day I will be able to visit him in Germany. I’ve always wanted to go there, so maybe it will happen one of these days. But for now we will use Skype to communicate. It’s free and it’s not text, it’s a phone call where we can see each other. There might be a delay, but we will figure that out.

I am absolutely over the moon. Not only did I not know I had a brother, but I found him. I just can’t ask for anything more. I feel like I have accomplished my goal of finding my father, even though he has passed from this life. I feel like my brother and also the discovery of cousins and aunts and uncles is a bonus. I spent most of my life looking for one person, and I found many. I couldn’t be more happy. My search is finally over.

I FOUND My Paternal Father’s Family

After 33 years I finally found my paternal father’s family. Unfortunately, my paternal father has passed, he passed away a couple of years ago, but I found his family.

I’ve been searching for years. My aunt told me his name in 2002, but she didn’t have the correct spelling, so I was looking for different spellings of his last name. I have called people and asked if they had any information, but no one could give me anything, and they didn’t want to give me their email address so I could send them a picture.

Earlier I mentioned doing 23andMe and that didn’t really give me any information about my father since there were no siblings or 1st cousins who had done the test. I thought 23andMe was the most popular test, so that’s why I chose that one, but apparently AncestryDNA has even more people who tested their DNA because I was told you will find way more people there. So I did AncestryDNA, but the results still haven’t come back.

I was on Ancestry populating my tree and I started searching for my father through Military records. I was told by someone that the uniform he is wearing in this photo was a ROTC uniform by someone who is currently in ROCT at their school, so I just assumed that my father may have lied about going to Germany in the military, but that’s wrong, he was in fact in the military, but I couldn’t find any record of him being in the military.

I found a guy who was born in California in 1947 and he had a mother in California and the father listed for him was Stanley. I contacted the person who had listed Stanley as the father, and they told me that is false, and then they directed me to a document on Google Books that shows who his father and mother were, and even showed he had a son. So, I thought ok, well I’m pretty sure this is the guy, but I’m not absolutely positive. I corrected the parents and contacted the person who had his actual father listed on September 25th and she contacted me today, October 1st and she told me that I do have the correct family, that Ronald Leland Shurtleff IS my father. She asked me to email her the picture and to call her, so I emailed her and then I called her and she kept saying I was his son, but I kept asking her to look at the picture first to make absolutely 100% sure she could verify that the picture I sent her was Ronald Leland Shurtleff, so she looked and said Oh yeah, that’s him and your grandmother.

You have no idea how hard it has been not knowing who my father was for 48 years of my life. I knew my step father wasn’t my real father, I just knew it, and my mother told me the truth when I was 15 that I had another father out there in the world. I’ve felt like I had a hole in my heart and soul that could never be filled until I found him.

Not only do I have a father, who by the way isn’t alive, which I was prepared for, but I have a brother and a sister and a whole bunch of cousins. The woman I spoke with was so happy to finally hear from me. You have no idea how that feels for me to finally fill this void. Or maybe you do, I don’t know you lol. I can hear someone say “you don’t know me!” lol.

Anyway, the woman I spoke with today said she was going to email me pictures of my father, and she’s going to contact some other family members and give them my number to call me, so I am waiting for that so I can get more information and so I can connect with as many people who want to connect with me. I especially look forward to hearing from my siblings.

I am so happy, nervous and very emotional.

Week 10 Weigh In Day

I am not very happy that my weight is going down as slow as it is, but, I am glad that I am still losing weight. At least I am losing weight, and that’s all that matters right now.

I have been eating less and doing more cardio than I was doing before. I was walking on the treadmill for 2 hours a day, but it was causing more stress on my knees and giving me blisters on my right heel and my left foot below my toes, so I had to knock it down to 1 1/2 hours per day. It has also caused me to have more pain in my spine. I have Scoliosis, so it’s probably not very good to do that to myself. They say no pain, no gain, but I don’t think they mean in my spine or the bottoms of my feet lol.

Weight loss is important to me, but not at the expense of my joints and my feet, so I will start doing other cardio exercises, like 1 hour on the treadmill and then 1 hour on the exercise bicycle. I’ve tried the elliptical and that is just as hard on my legs and my back as walking on the treadmill. I think sitting on the bicycle is probably better on my legs, feet and back.

I will persevere.