Weekend Plans

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Mark and Jill talk about their weekend plans. They also discuss the addition of 6-month LingQ memberships.

Mark: Hello again, Mark Kaufmann here for EnglishLingQ. Jill Soles joins me today, how’s it going Jill?

Jill: Good, how are you?

Mark: …as usual, I might add. I’m good, I’m good, another sunny podcast day.

Jill: I think Wednesday was too or when your dad and I did it. No, maybe it wasn’t, yesterday was.

Mark: Maybe it’s only sunny when I do them.

Jill: Perhaps.

Mark: That’s the affect I have.

I guess what we thought we would start with today was just a brief update on the system, since it is Friday.

There hasn’t been that much done this past week at least that most of you would notice, but the one big thing is on the Account Page where we have now added the ability to purchase six-month memberships.

For most of you, of course, that doesn’t really matter because there is no break or deal or discount for doing that but, basically, we did it for people that don’t have credit cards.

Maybe Jill you can explain the different methods that they can now pay us by.

Jill: Because it takes a lot of time if people send us money orders or wire transfer money into our account — you know, there is stuff that we have to do – we don’t want to do that on a monthly basis to try and keep track of the people that are doing that.

All of that can be a little bit challenging, so that’s why if you don’t have a credit card you have to pay in advance for six months a certain amount of money, a lump sum and, basically, that allows you to pay through PayPal.

You can set up a PayPal account through your bank account.

Not every country can you do that in, but many, many, countries you can.

Mark: Quite a few and it seems to be growing all the time.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: I should also add that PayPal allows you to create an account with your bank account, but very often it also accepts a lot of European debit cards.

Obviously, they accept credit cards, but there are a lot of European debit cards and North American debit cards.

Jill: And does it accept the Japanese the JTB?

Mark: JCB?

I don’t think PayPay accepts JCB, but I could be wrong; I could be wrong.

I know, for example, in Germany there’s a very common banking debit card system that is very common in Germany and PayPal accepts that, so it certainly opens up a lot more payment options.

Jill: If you don’t have a credit card.

Mark: Yeah and, otherwise, you need a Visa or MasterCard to sign up in our regular payment system, so here you can pay through PayPal with your bank account or your debit card or whatever options they provide in your country.

I know that in Japan it’s common to pay directly into a Japanese bank account and so we do in Japan have a bank account which our Japanese members can pay into.

If you want to use that payment option then they would have to let us know.

Jill: They have to contact us, yeah.

Mark: Contact us and let us know I’ll be putting money in and we’ll watch for that payment and we’ll manually set up your account.

Jill: First we’ll have to give them the details and then they’ll put the money in and then we’ll set up their account.

Mark: Anyway, I guess the point is that we now have some options for those of you without credit cards, so please check it out on the Account Page and if you do have any questions just send us an email.

Otherwise, Jill, what’s shakin’ for this upcoming weekend?

Jill: Oh well, I’m supposed to go to a Christmas party tomorrow night, but I think we’re actually bailing on that.

One of Chris’ coworkers is having a Christmas party just for the sort of elite people in his company.

Mark: Okay.

Jill: Not everybody is invited.

Mark: Not the riffraff.

Jill: No, sort of just the senior people are invited.

I think he’s got a very nice home in a very nice area of Vancouver.

It would be quite nice, but I think we’re actually going to go over to the Sunshine Coast, which is a 40 minute ferry ride, boat ride, away from Vancouver and that’s where his sister and brother-in-law and two nieces live.

Mark: Chris.

Jill: Chris’, yeah.

Mark: I thought you had family over there.

Jill: My brother and sister-in-law and nephew did live over there as well until about a year and a half ago.

Mark: Oh, okay.

Jill: They moved back over here and, basically, when they moved over here is when Chris’ family moved over there.

Mark: Okay.

Jill: So yeah, we go over there fairly regularly, probably once a month anyway and visit with them and eat lots and we play cards at night.

Mark: Oh, that’s nice.

It’s nice to go over there, actually, because it’s not that far and it’s a nice ferry ride because there is a lot to see, lots of islands.

Jill: It’s a beautiful ferry ride.

Mark: It’s a beautiful ferry ride, yeah.

Jill: Especially on a sunny day.

Mark: Yeah.

Jill: It’s just gorgeous and there are a lot of people over there who actually work here in the city.

Mark: Right.

Jill: They commute every day.

Mark: Because it’s only 45 minutes, I think, the ferry.

It’s a lot nicer than the ferry ride to Vancouver Island, which is like an hour and 40 minutes and it’s pretty much open water most of the way, so there is not as much to see.

I mean not that it’s not nice, but it’s just more fun going up the Sunshine Coast.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: Well that sounds like fun.

Jill: And then I think we’ll make sure we come back early enough on Sunday that I can actually go and buy some pants that fit me.

Mark: Yes, Jill is finally admitting defeat to her pants as her tummy grows in size.

Jill: I’m tired of being uncomfortable now, so I have to bite the bullet and get some of those ugly maternity clothes.

Mark: Yes.

Well, you’ll probably use them again, right?

Jill: Yeah, I’m sure, several times maybe.

Mark: Exactly, at least four or five times.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah, well that’s good.

Jill: Yeah. I know you’ve got a really exciting weekend planned.

Mark: Well yeah, I’m glad you asked.

I have a hockey coaching clinic, seminar, whatever you want to call it, yes, for coaching my son’s hockey.

I have to go for a two-day seminar all day Saturday-Sunday.

Like I don’t give up enough time I now have to go for two full days.

My whole weekend killed for this seminar.

It’s just mind boggling to me.

Jill: What time in the morning does it start at?

Mark: It starts at nine.

Jill: And goes until …?

Mark: Five.

Jill: Wow!

And you get an hour break or something.

Mark: Something like that.

The way it works in Canada for the most part, for younger age groups, is that all the coaches are volunteers.

Probably that’s why we have so many kids that play hockey and play sports in generally is that most of the coaching is done by parent volunteers and so the participation is much higher because it’s cheaper and yeah, you don’t have to pay for professional coaches.

I know in Europe when I was there and I think in Japan too for hockey, all coaches were paid professional coaches for kids.

Jill: Oh really?

Mark: Oh yeah, so I think for that reason they have fewer kids playing.

Now maybe at the younger age groups that isn’t the case.

I don’t want to speak for everywhere, but from what I saw they just didn’t have sort of a volunteer coaching-type system that we have here, at least for teen sports.

Jill: Which is maybe both good and bad.

Mark: It’s good and bad.

Like I think because the European coaches are professional they probably on average are better and per capita develop more skill.

Certainly, if you’re a swimmer or a gymnast you’d never have a parent coaching you here.

Jill: Right.

Mark: I don’t know why it’s okay for teen sports, but that’s how it is.

At any rate, to try and help with that issue of better trained coaches they have these coaching seminars.

I mean they’re good in a way because they do teach people who don’t know about hockey but, quite frankly, I do know; more than the people running the course having played professionally for 10 years.

There is no sort of allowance for having that kind of experience, which is mind boggling.

Jill: That’s what I don’t understand.

Okay, maybe it is a good idea to have these courses because there are parents out there — I know even with my sister’s baseball team and whatever team sport — that really don’t have a clue and never played that sport, but why is there no gray area so that if somebody like yourself who knows the game better than most people, why should you be forced into this?

Mark: It makes no sense.

Really, if the issue is you wanting to get knowledgeable people involved then you should be removing barriers to entry for people that are qualified.

And yeah, that’s fine, if somebody didn’t play a little bit of hockey as a kid and doesn’t know much about it yeah, sure, put him through the course, hopefully, he’ll be a better coach at the end of it but, otherwise… There are so many ex-hockey players in Canada, like ex-professional hockey players.

There are relatively a large number of people that have played professionally at different levels and you should be encouraging those people to join, you know, rather than putting up impediments.

You know, yeah, okay, I want to coach my son, but if I wasn’t coaching my son there’s no way I would do all this stuff.

Jill: No.

Mark: So anyway, whatever, I’ve got to do it; it will be a long weekend.

The most irritating thing is it’s already a very large commitment to coach.

Jill: I know.

You’re up at six in the morning some days.

Mark: Yeah, like it’s four days a week; two practices, two games and, you know, it’s a big commitment already and then they’re going to kill my weekend.

Jill: Yeah.

Mark: It’s just amazing to me. Anyway, I’d rather be on the Sunshine Coast.

Jill: Yeah, I can’t say that I envy you or would like to trade places with you.

Mark: No, no, not many people do.

Not many people would but, hopefully, this will be the last time I have to do this.

Jill: You’ve done something before.

Mark: I’ve done a couple before not as long, but this one…I think if I do this one I won’t ever have to do another one, so.

Jill: Just get it over with and that will be it.

Mark: One other thing we were talking about before we got on was we were talking about the news and I guess different topics that are in the news lately, but I mentioned the fact that I’m not getting the newspaper anymore and that I cancelled my subscription a couple weeks ago.

I was commenting earlier today how it’s great, I’m not irritated by the news every morning.

I’m in a better mood.

Well, you never did get the newspaper and read it.

Jill: No, no, I listen to the news in the morning on TV, but I don’t read newspapers very often.

Mark: I mean, in a way, I like the newspaper; I like to have something to read in the morning.

I get up and read something and at lunch, whatever, throughout the day, but also I kind of feel like I should read it because I’ve got it now.

I’ve paid for it and I’ve got to read it before I can throw it out, so for that reason it’s also nice not getting the paper.

On Saturday they delivered it for some reason, I guess by mistake.

He’s used to delivering it Saturday, so he just delivered it.

I flipped it open and, you know, on the front page there’s a big serial murder trial going on in Vancouver.

What’s his name?

Jill: Pickton. Robert?

Mark: Robert Pickton? Willie?

I was going to say Willie.

I don’t know what his first name is.

Jill: I think his full name is Robert Willie or Willie Robert Pickton or something.

Mark: Oh really?

Jill: I can’t believe we don’t know; this is a huge story.

Mark: Yeah, it’s a huge story.

Anyway, this guy he liked murdered I don’t know how many prostitutes in downtown Vancouver over the years.

Jill: He’s only being charged with… I shouldn’t say only, but he’s being charged with six, but they believe he’s responsible for 30 to 40.

Mark: I mean it’s an unbelievable situation.

Jill: Over a 20-year span.

Mark: He had a pig farm and they figure he got rid of the bodies at the pig farm.

Like the pigs were eating them, is that not… I don’t know exactly.

Jill: Yeah, like he had them all…I won’t…

Mark: It’s just a gruesome story.

At any rate, I have no interest in hearing anything about it ever and the front page is all about the Pickton trial, this and that, and I’m like, you know, that’s why I don’t get the paper.

I don’t care.

I know the guy did it, lock him up, hang him, I don’t care; I don’t want to hear about it.

I don’t need the details and so I was thinking, you know, I’m kind of glad I don’t get it anymore, not to mention all the… I don’t know how best to describe it, but there’s just a lot of stuff in the newspaper that I just don’t agree with.

Whatever particular ax they have to grind they just put it in your face all the time and you get sort of only one point of view all the time and it irritates me.

So yeah, anyway, my point is that I think I might just cancel it permanently.

I suspended it for a month just to see what it would be like because I’ve always got the paper and I must say, I like reading the sports and I like reading the business section.

Just internationally trying to stay up on events it’s nice to have it, but because so much of the local paper that I was getting is local news most of which…

Jill: You really don’t care about.

Mark: Yeah or the dramatic headlines: “Global Warming will Flood Vancouver” or whatever.

I don’t believe that stuff.

How do you know?

You can’t tell me what the temperature is going to be tomorrow, how are you going to predict what percentage of Vancouver is going to be flooded by global warming.

It’s just totally not credible and yet they write it with total authority, like we know.

You don’t know; you think.

I think something different, whatever.

Jill: It is always very one-sided.

Very rarely do you see an article where there are two different opinions presented and then you sort of form your own opinion.

Mark: Which is only natural. Anybody writing an article they’ve got an opinion of their own.

Jill: Of course.

Mark: So they are going to look for facts and data, maybe not necessarily facts, but supporting information for what they believe, so at any rate.

Jill: No more paper for you.

Mark: I think so; I think so. I’ve been using Google Reader or Google News, which then you can sort of input.

In Google News you can input, you know, I want to follow the news in Vancouver.

I want to follow the Vancouver Canucks, which is the local hockey team.

I want to follow business news in Canada.

I want to follow world news, so you input the types of news you want to follow and then it shows you those kinds of stories.

I can subscribe to that in my Google Reader, which then gives me just the headlines in a long list and so then I can go through them very quickly and only look at the ones I’m interested in.

It’s just better; I’m kind of liking it.

Jill: And it’s free.

Mark: And it’s free.

Jill: I mean not that a newspaper subscription is a lot of money, but still.

Mark: It’s free. I don’t have newspapers building up at my house that I’ve got to get rid of. I must say, I’m kind of liking it.

Jill: You’re converted.

Mark: I am; I am. Now if I could only somehow have that in a form that I could access while I was eating breakfast, you know.

Jill: Yeah, unfortunately, you have to be on your computer to see it.

Mark: Like Amazon came out with this E-book reader device called a “Kindle” recently, which allows you to subscribe to online newspapers and blogs and so on.

It’s like a hand-held thing and you can read and, apparently it’s much nicer to read on that then it is to read from a computer screen.

Jill: Oh really.

Mark: And it’s portable and all your stuff is there, so maybe it won’t be long before these kinds of devices will replace paper newspapers.

Jill: Well and it makes sense too, just from the paper point of view, just from not having all that paper all the time and having to throw it in the garbage or recycle it or whatever.

Mark: Exactly, it’s a lot of paper generated; although, as we like to joke around here, we want to support our brothers in the pulp and paper industry. That’s right.

With that though, we should probably wrap it up.

I think we want to stay within the time of a regular commute or session on the step master machine, so we will talk to you all next time.

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