|November 13, 2008|
Well, this will be the last entry on this page (page 20), then I'll start a new page of news. Today I thought I was sending all these lovey-dovey text messages to my girlfriend, Chung-hee (not the dictator), when I got a miffed call from her after 4:00 PM. She said I hadn't sent her anything. I insisted I had sent her numerous text messages, but she checked her phone and couldn't find any.
Then I realized that I had been sending all sorts of sweet nothings like "Darling, have you woken up?" to my army friend, Rick Carlino. Oops. All parties involved had a good laugh out of my blunder, and Chung-hee (not the dictator) no longer seems to be miffed.
In an unrelated story today, I was riding the #9 town bus from Mangwon back to Shinchon, and the bus passed this store that specializes in custom signs for businesses -- the name of the store is (translated from Korean) "The People who Research Signs." There was a group of three high school girls in front of me on the bus and one of them scoffed (in Korean, I'm translating) "what kind of people research signs?" I chimed in from behind them and said "I research signs. I study the science of sign research at Yonsei University." They fell silent in shock. A few seconds later, I was like "IT WAS A JOKE." Then they got it an laughed. I asked if they had actually believed I was telling the truth, and yes, they did. They thought they'd offended a real-life sign researcher. Asians can't tell when I'm being sarcastic.
November 9, 2008
I have an appointment in Noksapyeong today, as well as an appointment near Sungshil University. After that, it's off to meet Chung-hee and her friend in Jonggak. Her friend works at a western restaurant and can get 50% discounts, so we're going to get a big steak and split it and hit the salad bar to fill ourselves up. It's kind of a confusing plan and I don't know exactly how much this is going to cost, but it's been a very long time since I've had a steak.
To help out Mijung, I'm going to be here at the guesthouse until 3:00 PM. I have a few things I need to get done. I need to make sure I've showered, need to upload all my current C++ files to my /Game_Institute/ directory on this site so I can access them at home, and most importantly, I need to get something for Chung-hee, because Pepero Day (Korea's holiday devoted to long, bready sticks coated in chocolate) is on 11/11 (if you need a better explanation of what Pepero Day is, look at last year's entry under 11/11).
Aside from that, what else do I plan to get done today? Maybe I can finally finish C++ Chapter 5. That Chapter is taking ridiculously long -- certainly far longer than the 10-12 hours predicted by the Game Institute. Writing code into their text RPG game takes a long time. Yesterday, I tackled adding magic points, maximum magic points, magic points that increase randomly in a weighted fashion (depending on whether the character is a wizard or cleric or a weaker class, magically-speaking). I also added some spells, but to save time, I made them all behave exactly the same way (since the textbook didn't specify required behaviors). I also added random encounters while a person is resting (so if you rest thinking you can recover 100% HP and MP, there is a 25% chance you'll end up in a battle before being well-rested). I also viewed the whole lecture for the chapter. All this consumed a matter of hours, and I'm still not done with the chapter yet. I still need to add a store, items, and multiple enemies -- no small feat! This chapter is taking forever and bogging me down, but supposedly the next chapter will only take 6-8 hours.
Well, I'd better get started on my day and stop typing this out. Bye! Step count for November 5, 6, 7, and 8, according to my pedometer: 43,509 steps.
November 6, 2008
I just don't get why pretty women have plastic surgery. It makes no sense that those who basically already control everything want MORE power through enhancing their looks. I mean, I'm sure there are lots of quality guys who would date her already even if she didn't look model-perfect. Maybe she's getting it for employment purposes. There's a lot of that in Asia.
This is not to say that I object to plastic surgery, I'm just surprised at who always ends up receiving it. Personally I'd think the vast majority of plastic surgery recipients would be unattractive men who were making a last-ditch effort to find a girlfriend -- guys who were 40 and still virgins. I mean, should someone be doomed to a life of romantic failure just for being born ugly? People who are disfigured or unattractive are probably denying themself happiness if they don't go under the knife, because a life of constant solitude because you are simply to ugly too get anyone to love you really is absolutely horrible. However, any semi-attractive woman (and she was better than just semi-attractive prior to this operation) has men throwing themselves at her constantly.
I guess in Asia, people are already so busy, they've maxed out every single thing they can. They're already working maximum hours, studying up to the highest degrees they can afford, and even use their friends and lovers to their advantage when it suits their purposes, because the competition is so stiff it turns people into manipulators. Plastic surgery is really non-labor-intensive. You go in there, they operate, you pay your money, and you come out having improved your external appearance. It doesn't take years or even months, the way learning a new skill does. So I guess that for employment purposes I can see why people do it, especially if the job is something like a model or actress where appearance is key.
This post doesn't really say that plastic surgery is good or bad, I'm just questioning why it is that pretty women have plastic surgery to look even prettier, and yet it's quite rare that an ugly man who has never gotten laid in his life doesn't go under the knife. I've seen so many regular-looking women fly into Korea and get a boyfriend right off the plane without even speaking Korean, so it's obviously not that difficult. I finally have a girlfriend, but I have frequently gone six months or more wishing that some woman would pay attention to me. And to get a girlfriend, I had to become a master of the Korean language. I can see why a man would take a drastic measure like plastic surgery, but women, especially young women, have it so damn easy in the dating world (well, if their standards weren't so high).
Of course, it was probably for employment purposes.
November 5, 2008
1. He's a socialist, and I'm a student. So maybe he'll help me out by letting me get bigger student loans. Right now, the freshman Stafford loan amount is only $3,500 (of course I can get marginally more in the following years, but still not enough). Try to put yourself through a year of school on $3,500. It probably won't even work if you're living in Cambodia.
2. He's African-American. It's refreshing to see how non-racist America is. Korea would never elect a non-Korean president in a million years. Plus, now that we will have a black man in the White House, the minorities' arguments that American society is oh-so-racist are kind of invalidated. I mean, I can see a future conversation going something like this:
3. Foreigners like the Democrats' foreign policy more. This means there should be a little less anti-US sentiment that I have to deal with. Koreans wanted Obama to win. Now maybe they'll be marginally happier with the USA and I'll get more high fives from random ajeosshis in the street.
So I don't really like it, but it's not the end of the world. Sure taxes are bound to go way up to fit his socialist agenda, but I won't be paying them, because overseas Americans are tax-exempt up to a certain (very high) amount.
Now Gyeong-seok needs to use the computer, so I'd better go. Bye!
November 4, 2008
As for the election, today is election day, and I'm not voting. It is simply impossible to vote, because I waited too long and didn't get the appropriate form to vote absentee, and the various absentee deadlines fall before the actual election. This may seem bad, but I'm sure the world will keep turning. I wanted to vote for McCain, but maybe it's better that I didn't vote for anyone -- after all, last election, George W. Bush's platform made me his supporter, and look where we are now -- the US is trillions of dollars in debt, there are still millions of abortions in the US every year despite our "pro-life" president, and Reporters Without Borders has ranked the US lower in freedom of speech than some former Soviet states! So I would probably have voted for McCain (especially since Obama tried to cut funding to the NASA Constellation Program [something I strongly support] to fund public education [something I care relatively little about, my high school was quite highly-funded, but didn't even have an Asian language program]).
Yes, that's right voters, keep in mind that Obama tried to cut funding to NASA's Constellation Program, and only backpedaled at the last moment when voters were angry about it. NASA takes up less than 1/150th of our national budget, but is the source of inspiration for so many Americans, and the source of useful technologies, and may possibly pave the way for the future of the human race. So even though I don't think McCain will change any American social issues that I'd like to see changed, at least he won't cut funding to NASA if elected. I'd love to see humans colonize Mars in my lifetime, but I think if Obama becomes president, he will fail to find a way to keep NASA's employees employed for the five-year gap between the end of the current space program and the moon mission, meaning NASA will basically have to start from scratch. So please vote for McCain.
This site is not about politics. Since both American political parties are basically the same (one party wants to change something but is too apathetic to do it, and the other party doesn't want to change it, resulting in both being the same), politics bore me. So onto my lovely girlfriend, Chung-hee!
I guess I have to ask her first whether I can broadcast to the world that we're going out. Then maybe she'll let me tell you all about her and maybe even put up a picture to show you all how lovely she is! I just wanted to update my readers that we are indeed going out and that it wasn't a translation error. :-)
November 2, 2008
Initially, I just invited Rie, but she invited one of her friends (a Japanese woman named Asako), who in turn invited two more people. The result of this was four people -- no longer an intimate Halloween get together, but a full-blown party when you factor in that several guesthouse guests were involved as well.
We set the place up pretty damn well. We turned out all the lights, I bought a six-pack of candles at the supermarket and we put them at strategic intervals, we covered the acupuncture dummy in toilet paper to make him look like a mummy, and we made a ghost by placing a sheet over the wall fan and giving him two black eyes. We topped it all off with some scary music and sound effects.
The guests came, and we led them in, and they were indeed spooked, and congratulated me on the decor and preparation.
Those Japanese women went WILD with carving the pumpkin. There was no stopping them. They decided they were going to give it actual stick-out horns, so they removed sections of the pumpkin and anchored them into horn position using toothpicks. The result, while not like a traditional jack-o-lantern, was rather astounding. I don't think any of them had made a jack-o-lantern before nor really knew anything about traditional jack-o-lanterns, which meant they were more creative and uninfluenced by convention.
After making the jack-o-lantern, we watched 30 Days of Night and drank beer and goryangju. The girls thought it was very scary. I'm a little bit regretful about showing a scary movie (actually it was Keith's choice), but hey, it's Halloween. Personally I didn't think it was that awful -- just very violent and bloody, especially when the people retaliate against the vampires with axes.
Then the party guests had to go home. Riding high on goryangju and beer, I started cruising and hitting on Kimiko's Japanese/Korean bilingual friend (who is Korean), Chung-hee. Yeah, I'm not kidding, she has the same first name as the famous dictator, isn't that so cool? So we "hit it off" as the cliche goes and may now be -- dare I say -- "an item?" Hahaha, who knows where this is headed. I won't go into more details until I know this is going to last for more than 48 hours.
Tijn, Jorn, and Petra are leaving tomorrow morning. They will be missed.
October 31, 2008
I learned how to make pajeon (a "Korean pancake"). Here are the steps, mainly for my reference, as relayed to me by a total of three different ajummas and Jin-gwang:
Using this recipe, you can possibly make enough pajeon for entire entire day's worth of personal eating, provided you don't share it with anyone. Of course, the joy is in sharing it, though.
October 29, 2008
Now that I've finally hunted down all the bugs (I think) and gotten all the code in the right place (I think), the text-based RPG seems to be up and running pretty well. You can select four character classes with their respective stats, and battle four types of enemies. Of course, I can't be too proud because I just figured out how to get all the code into the right place and debug, not write the code myself. However, it was still a monolithic project and I'm so glad to be done with the putting together of it. I still need to work with it, but from here on out, it should be almost 100% code that I write (so I can write it comprehensibly).
My homework for Chapter 5 is to write routines and classes to allow gold, character races, leveling up based on the class, MP, random encounters during rest, a store, items, and multiple enemies in battles. That's a lot of code and a lot of time, but on the other hand, I'm sure it won't be that miserable. I mean, they're telling me to write a ton of subroutines for an RPG, and that's my assignment, and it leads indirectly to college credit. I can do that. :-)
On an unrelated note, there are going to be a lot more people at this Halloween party than I had previously expected, because Rie's friend is inviting two more friends. However, I said I wasn't going to approve any other guest beyond them, because this could become a word-of-mouth party. Then hundreds of people could show up and the police could come. Which is a problem because I'm going to be dressed as an ROK police officer. Then I would get booked for impersonating a cop. And that would be bad.
October 28, 2008
I invited Rie, and she in turn invited her Japanese friend. We'll be holding the party on Saturday, not Friday when Halloween actually is, but I don't think it really matters that much. I'm not sure if they're going to wear costumes or not (kind of doubt it) but I have a backup plan in case they do. I have an ROK police hat I salvaged from the trash last year, a black shirt, a black pair of pants, and I can easily obtain a police baton, so being an ROK cop should be too difficult. All I need to do is ask for bribes and walk past every establishment with a double barber pole without batting an eye and let every driver run red lights, and I'll be just as good as the real deal!
Although I had hoped we could have the party at the goshiwon, I'll be at the guesthouse that day, so it looks like we'll be having it there instead. It's okay, the more the merrier when it comes to parties, sometimes at least. Let's just pray that the grandmother next door doesn't steal our pumpkin and use it to make pumpkin soup like she did last year.
October 24, 2008
October 23, 2008
This drags my average for the class down to a 76%. Actually, this is arbitrary since the proctored exam I take at LaserGrade will COMPLETELY override the grade I get in the class initially (essentially all these exams are just practice exams, and the one taken at the LaserGrade center is the real thing). However, if I take the exam at LaserGrade and get a 72%, that's going to transfer as a C, and that's not a good thing.
What really bothers me about the test is there was basically nothing where I kicked myself and said "I should have studied that harder." I think a lot of this stuff was simply never covered in the material or the exercises. I was given long listings of program code and had to know ideosyncracies of commands that had been barely covered at all in the unit (usually just once, or in one sample program). How am I supposed to know if the const in a parameter can be reset or not? I was taught a const could not be reset, but we hadn't learned about it (that I remember) in the context of parameters. So unless I had done a ton of programming with C++ outside the course, I probably would not know this. Even if I had done a ton of C++ programming outside the course, I probably still wouldn't have known it because I don't consider the const a very valuable data type and probably would have never used it. So the midterm test seemed very unfair.
I hope the final isn't as hard. If I did so badly on this test, I can only imagine what a true beginner to programming would get. As you can see if you click on the "Programming" tab on this site, I have been writing complex graphical games and publishing them online since I was in seventh grade. I hope this exam was just a fluke, and I hope my grades go up to reflect that I DO know how to program.
October 22, 2008
It's actually not a particularly easy course, it's just that I enjoy spending long hours studying for it. The last chapter was on references and pointers and was rather difficult (and a little bit dry), but the preceding three chapters were very interesting and informative. I hope to finish this course by the end of October.
Excelsior College recognizes this course (which was only $125, with all books included in the cost) as 4 credit hours. So if it actually recognizes it as it says it does, it'll be $31.25 a credit hour. That's cheaper than universities in poor parts of China. Yet the course is actually decent. I've learned a ton about C++ and can now write some decent programs (still DOS-like console applications, but they do cool things like playing slots with betting, or solving quadratic equations for both solutions with imaginary numbers as well).
I guess my main pet peeve with the course is that it's basically just a regular computer science course, with very little focus on gaming. We are learning almost exclusively programming theory and testing it in console applications, not in Windows or using any kind of graphics, really. Supposedly all the Windows stuff will come in Module II. Anyways, for $125, I can't complain too much -- I'll hopefully get 4 credit hours and I've already learned A LOT of C++ (and will continue to learn more).
I think I'm going to have a complete moratorium on the more expensive NOVA courses until the beginning of 2009. I want to just take 15 credits of game development courses (C++ Programming for Game Developers - Module I, II, Graphics Programming with DirectX9, and Game Mathematics).
This may seem risky in light of the fact that I just got burned by Yonsei which also claimed to be accredited and wasn't, but let's look at the costs: 246,666 won per credit hour at Yonsei (not actually accredited), and approximately $31.25 per credit hour at the Game Institute (which Excelsior College claims to accredit). So you see, compared to Yonsei, I'm not losing much money, and even if these aren't really accredited, I'm still learning a ton of C++.
October 21, 2008
It's not like there are even any classes to keep me motivated, or trainers who actually give helpful advice. The only way I could possibly remedy this is by joining a more expensive gym (like 100,000 won a month range, sure, like I can afford that). Besides, as I've learned from the girl who called my body fat percentage "dangerous," they often don't even know what they're talking about. I don't think I need a fitness instructor. I mean, did Vikings have fitness instructors?
When I look down the exercise chart they gave me, I realize that many of those things can be easily duplicated outside the gym. The treadmill can be eliminated by going along the road of Yonsei campus leading from the front entrance to the Korean Language Institute and around the outside x amount of times in an hour (the route is about 2 kilometers). We have both small barbells and the bench pressing equipment on the roof of the goshiwon, which is a big thing right there. Things like crunches don't need any equipment at all. I'm still finding ways to duplicate the other things, but I'm sure I'll find them.
It's just that I'm so sick of the trainers' condescension, and think I can duplicate most of the things in that gym for less than 70,000 won a month.
October 19, 2008
My exam score for that section was less than desirable but passing. It doesn't really matter though, because these are all just practice exams, and the only one that matters is the proctored one I will take at the LaserGrade company. I just need to make sure I have my C++ down by then.
I had a very strange dream last night. I dreamed that I was in a hotel in Yanbian. Then I dreamed that I was back in South Korea. Then I dreamed that I could travel from South Korea to Japan on a train. Like, in the dream, there was this part of Japan (that does not conform to real-world geography) that was literally just a stone's throw away from Korea. It was so close, there was this train-like vehicle that could skim passengers across the tiny gap very quickly, to Shimonoseki. In reality, there is actually a hydrofoil that goes between the two, but they are not as close as in the dream, and no part of Japan lies between Korea and Yanbian the way it did in my dream. Okay, and this is the strangest part of my dream -- there was a giant squid in the water, and I kept on falling in and nearly getting devoured by the giant squid. I actually know where the giant squid came from. Yesterday when I was out with Rie, I saw a bizarre marking on the pavement on Yonsei campus that reminded me of a giant squid. That somehow incorporated itself into my dream as one of the characters.
I don't need a dream interpreter to figure this one out. Japan is quite literally Japan, and the small channel of water that can be crossed very quickly symbolizes how easy it would be for me to pool up all my money and go over there within the next year on a student visa. However, the giant squid represents how if I don't make that short crossing (perhaps the time when I'm not yet allowed to work, which is a privilege granted after one term of study), I will go under and get devoured by bankruptcy (the proverbial giant squid). I don't know what Yanbian symbolizes. Perhaps it being farther away geographically from Japan in the dream symbolizes my awareness that strict Chinese visa regulations brought in place around the Olympics make working in China practically farther away than working in Japan.
Well, I ought to get to bed. It'll be a busy day and I need my rest.
October 16, 2008
I also had a nice lunch with Rie. I went to the communal kitchen and found her there dialing some number on her phone. Which turned out to be my number. She was trying to call me and tell me to get some chicken soup she was making (Korean, but NOT samgyetang). Well, I just happened to be in the kitchen anyway. She did a good job, it tasted good.
I got my grade for ENG 111, surprise surprise, it's an A. So I got all A's this term (14 credit hours, all A's, that's a full-time load with all A's). I wonder what I'll get for it besides just the satisfaction and the higher GPA?
I also went to the gym and burned 255 calories and did some weight machines. The pounds are coming off. When I started, I was 77 kilograms, making me *almost* overweight (but not quite). I have since burned over a kilogram by putting in some good treadmill time, so hopefully I will never experience what it is like to be, *gasp* overweight. I'm just going to burn about 250 calories a day on average, which is half a pound per week, and I should get rid of that beer gut in no time. Avoiding being overweight isn't that hard (the treadmill is addictive since I can see my progress on the meter and since I can watch TV), it's building strength that's really an issue. My legs are great compared to my arms. I can do a completely normal load of weights on my legs, no problem, because they are in good shape since I walk all over the place just as a habit. My arms are pretty atrophied, though. I actually felt weaker today than I did the day before yesterday. The machine where you have to push up while sitting is really, really tough. I can't wait until I can do it on 10 kilograms -- then I won't have that embarrassing moment of the next person asking me "where's the pin?" When it's their turn to use the machine (because I took out the pin and am using the machine with no weights, because that particular muscle is so atrophied).
I have to say, I don't really like this gym, for four reasons, and plan to change next month for the following reasons:
So all in all, I'll stick it out at this gym until the end of this month, but I might change to another gym next month. Anyways, I'm learning C++ and working out. These are two things I've been saying I was going to do officially for literally years. So at least I've taken a first step.
October 14, 2008
In an effort to get myself back up on my feet academically, I soon plan to sign up for 14 credit hours for the fall semester. Two will be remedial computer courses (which I will just take because they're easy credit). Two will be C++ for Game Developers courses. I am really looking forward to the latter, which are also dirt cheap ($135 a four-credit course, which basically comes out to $33.75 per credit hour, incredibly cheap).
I am starting to theorize about moving to Japan super early (in less than one year) and getting a student visa, which would allow me to work there for 28 hours a week. From what I've seen, certain language schools have tuition in the US $4,000 per year range, which is not that expensive. The big problem is getting the student visa. In theory you need to show a bank balance of $30,000 to get the student visa, but I've now talked to multiple Americans who said they were never asked to show proof. So I might get lucky and get such a visa without showing the proof of financial viability. This is something that apparently is only asked for for people from poor countries like China. Long ago, I had planned to move to Japan in October, 2009. Then I postponed it to October, 2010. However, the funny thing is, I might end up going there in September, 2009 or even sooner. I will just simply go without my bachelor's degree and earn that while I'm there, when I'm allowed to tutor up to 28 hours per week. How's that for a plan?
October 4, 2008
Basically, I tried to transfer Yonsei's credits (39 credit hours) to my university in the United States. NONE WERE ACCEPTED.
I'm not kidding. One and a half years of full-time study, all for NOTHING academically.
Before you, Mr. Tough Guy, say "it's your own fault, you should have researched their accreditation," I DID. They say all over their materials that they are accredited at the university level, and claim to have all these transfer agreements with various colleges (several of which I called last night and denied having said agreements).
Basically, if you go to Yonsei University Korean Language Institute, good luck on getting credit for it in the US or Korea.Because I cannot transfer the credits to my US school, it means I need to find some other way to come up with the credits (which probably means taking 39 credit hours [1.5 years] more classes). It also means I cannot work in Korea.
Yonsei screwed me, and they could screw you too, plus they are not accredited by the Ministry of Education in Korea, so for now, I do not recommend anyone go there until they cease their dishonest practices and apologize and compensate those whom they wronged.October 1, 2008: UPDATE 2
HOLY SHIT. I just went to the gym, and my muscles feel so weak I can barely take off my own shirt, and I was so weak at the gym, it was truly humiliating.
It seemed fine at first. They had recommended that I start off on the treadmill (to burn off all that "dangerous" fat that make me a heart attack waiting to happen, LOL). It is true, I do have a little bit of a beer belly, so I thought "sure." They didn't really tell me when to get off the treadmill, so I spent over an hour on it and burned 600 calories. That was so easy. There was even an LCD TV on each treadmill with headphones and Fox. So I just watched Will and Grace and burned off more than three jjajang pouches worth of calories. Finally I figured I'd burned enough for one day (and felt pretty good). I decided to hit up the trainer for some exercise machine lessons. That's when the humiliation of being a total weakling started.
The first machine was at least possible. I had it on the lowest setting -- 10 kilograms. I was able to do two rounds of 10 upward pushes each, and with a rest, a third one. The next machine was the killer.
You're supposed to sit on a bench and push weights up. I had it on what I thought was the lowest setting, 5 kilograms (however this does not count the weight of much of the apparatus). I simply couldn't do it. Believe me, I really wanted to, but I would just hit a wall at a few upward pushes. Then I realized I could take out the pin and do it with no extra weight attached at all -- STILL difficult, though. I managed to do ten upward pushes, but DAMN. By that time, my muscles were extremely fatigued, and I simply could do no more. They told me to call it a day and come back tomorrow for machines that exercise different muscles (because as we all know, the muscles I exercised today are going to need a long time to regenerate).
Oh, and I found out that I was accidentally wearing women's exercise clothes -- I had failed to read the sign and had figured they were unisex. They looked almost exactly the same, which is why I had no clue. The manager informed me, and I thought "shit, I've been jogging on a treadmill in women's exercise clothes for over an hour."
Will I be able to lose my beer belly? Of course. The treadmill is dead easy. I could have jogged on that thing all day if I'd wanted to. The weight-lifting machines, on the other hand -- HOLY SHIT. My army friend once told me that if you work out for an hour a day, four times a week, you will have great results, but I doubt I did five minutes on the weight lifting machines today. In that brief period of time, they completely exhausted any energy my muscles had. I hope I can actually work out for an acceptable amount of time sometime soon. I wonder how far behind the curve I am.
Tomorrow, I will go back and try some new machines for new muscle groups. It was miserable and humiliating at the end and I feel like I currently fail at my male biological function to be physically strong, but I'm not going to improve by continuing to be sedentary. I just hope I'm not so far behind the curve that it takes me months to get to where the average male is. I can't even do three rounds of 10 upward pushes on the second machine WITH NO WEIGHT. It's like I'm not even on the map. ARGH. At least I'll sleep well tonight.
It's painful, but I have to keep doing it. You don't just give up on things because they seem damn near impossible at first. Bettering yourself as a human being is not about only studying the things you know you can get an A in. Otherwise you end up with a degree in something pathetic like Psychology or English, have a pathetic average job, and have an fat, bitchy wife who divorces you. This working out business is really tough right now, but hopefully if I'm one of the few who sticks with it, I'll reap the rewards in about a year or so, if what they say is true.