Older blog entries for Phoon (starting at number 100)

29 Nov 2001 (updated 30 Nov 2001 at 03:00 UTC) »
Very Early Morning.

hi mom

Apparently my mother reads these now. Hi Mom!
DjDanny: I don't give a shit about your ability to take one. Nor do I find your attempts at humor funny.


Thank you. (Sheesh, even as annoying as mirwin and compiler are, at least they connect their posts to Open Source...)

Stopped by the public library and picked up Samurai Chess and Applied Cryptography.

Samurai Chess is really interesting... it doesn't really say anything specific that I didn't already know, but it ties it all together very nicely, unifying it all into one philosophy instead of a myriad of disassociated ideas.

Who's had time for code? I'm too busy getting all of my assignments done.
I have to create a book in Spanish. Of course, I'm doing mine in HTML, which allows for interesting things like "create your own adventure" storylines.

I'll put it up once I'm done.

Update: Here it is.

Well.... it's not confirmed yet, but I think I'll be graduating in May. May 3, to be exact.... my brother's birthday. Boy, is he going to be irked at me, stealing his thunder... hey, I'll take him to Disney World as a birthday present...
phi theta kappa for dummies
I, and the rest of my Phi Theta Kappa chapter, have a bone to pick with one of the editors of the school newspaper. He published an article claiming that a person can join Phi Theta Kappa without meeting the established GPA requirement, and obtain all of the benefits.

There are two major problems with this. First, while we were considering establishing a "provisional membership" program, we haven't. We would have to change our bylaws first, anyway. Second, even if we did have that program, a "provisional member" would not be considered a member; (s)he would not have the privilege of wearing the honor cord or having the Phi Theta Kappa seal on their diploma.

Anyway, we're going to have a talk with this guy. I wonder if it would be better to tar and feather or draw and quarter...

Off to bed...

virgin wool... ugly sheep



Apparently, someone found a machine I had logged into this site with, and used my account to certify me as 'Master'.

I am not a Master, nor do I claim to be.

Just wanted to clear that up. Sorry for the confusion.



Took the AMATYC test today. I think I did fairly well... I ended up answering 13 out of 20.

However, my calculus test wasn't so fun... I made a 78. Joy.

I'm sitting here burning a Mandrake ISO for a friend.
Turns out I may not get the new computer after all. It depends on a large number of factors, not the least of which is whether Dad's hours get cut back.

I might just upgrade piecemeal... I wonder how much of my current system I can upgrade without requiring the mobo or new CPU... or how much I would have to upgrade in order to upgrade the mobo and CPU... (RAM, etc).

Yep, still at it.

I think I'll send his fiancee a semi-anonymous email.

I spent this past weekend at a Phi Theta Kappa convention in Orlando. It was interesting, to say the least... but I'm still bummed I didn't get laid at the luau. (Did I say 'laid'? I meant 'leied'. My bad. ;-)
I weighted myself today for the first time in weeks... 292 pounds. Ouch. I guess that's my penance for lazy eating. (I sat down yesterday and ate 90 grams of fat worth of canned beef stew. That's just an example of the crap I shovel into my body.)

It's back to rice and beans for me....


"I have an average golf score that would make most bowlers proud."


smell of roasting plastic

I just learned that the computer lab here has a machine with a CD-RW drive. I also have access to a (fairly) fast network connection, on this machine.

I've needed to upgrade most of the stuff on my Debian box for a long time. Now's my chance.

i can feel the power already
I'm probably going to get a new computer fairly soon... I even get to build it from parts, which means I know exactly what's in it and how it's put together. (Then again, I've disassembled my current box so many times, I already know that about that... ;-)

I'm likely going to get all the parts from TCW, a fairly-local mail- order company. (I'm going to save myself six dollars and a week of waiting by driving to Tampa to pick it up myself.)

Dick and Jane are still going together. Strangely enough, though, apparently Jane's friend, Jill, is getting together with Dick. Jill has a fiancee of her own.

Boy, these people deserve each other.

I talked to one of the Powers that Be about the PHP weblog system I'm designing. Here's the basic result:

  • The PHP design is not likely to be approved as-is.
  • They're afraid that once I leave, if something breaks, they won't be able to fix it. (I countered this with the GPL argument, but I doubt they bought it.)
  • They don't want the professors involved to have to learn both my setup and FrontPage.
  • However, he wants me to continue to work on it, because supposedly they're trying to take more of their web resources in that general direction.

So, I'm going to continue revamping bplog to fit my needs. Maybe I'll have more than a snowball's chance in hell of getting them to use it. Then again, maybe not.

I don't find the name of The GIMP offensive.
Well, the AMATYC (American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges) test, round 1, is coming up next week. I had to arrange with one of my professors to take class on an alternate time, but I'll be there for the test. (I won last year, so I'll probably do well again.)
phi theta kappa
This weekend I'm headed to Orlando for the Phi Theta Kappa Regional Convention. Hey, it's free, including meals and a hotel room... why not? Besides, it sounds like fun.
explaining bill gates
This is an old one, but it's still good...

We all know that Knowledge is Power.

knowledge = power

But Power is also Work per unit Time.

power = work / time

Combining these two, we get:

knowledge = work / time

There's also an old adage that says that Time is Money.

knowledge = work / money

Rearranging, we get:

money = work / knowledge

Therefore, as knowledge goes to zero, money increases without bound. Q.E.D.

29 Oct 2001 (updated 30 Oct 2001 at 14:14 UTC) »
Early Morning.


Two weeks? That's like an eternity!
This happened late last week. Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

  1. I tell Dick, "I'm probably going to ask Jane out, if I see her today."
  2. I don't see Jane anytime that day.
  3. The next day, I see Dick again. He says, "Guess who I went out with last night. You know the girl you were going to ask out? Her."
  4. I say, "Well, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to shoot you."
  5. He says, "Right-oh, sir."
  6. I shoot Dick. "What a senseless waste of human life."

OK, maybe that last part didn't really happen. I was tempted, though.

This... Dick... has a fiancee. And other girlfriends. Why do scumbags always seem to hook up with whoever they want, while us nice guys always 'finish last', as the adage goes?

linux users of the world unite
I met another Linux user at school recently.... that makes... uhm, five?
I've been reimplementing bplog to suit my needs, partially to learn PHP and partially to reduce my workload as webmaster of the PCC International Circle.

The similarities between PHP and Perl are both comforting and annoying; it's bad when you forget which language you're in, and type "sub" instead of "function", or vice versa, for example. At least most of what I've learned from Perl transfers right over.

just a-swingin
I won a nice swing in a raffle last week. The International Circle raffled it off originally on a Saturday, at a school function. However, one of the faculty members in charge of the club won, so we raffled it again at the function we held on Wednesday. Lucky me; my name was drawn. (Ironically enough, I was pictured sitting on the swing earlier in the day, so the school paper already has a photo of me with my prize... I'll post it ASAP.)

Anyway, I had to transport the thing home. Saturn station wagons were not meant to haul extremely large objects. It would have been fine if it had disassembled properly, but it didn't; one of the screw

heads stripped out. So, I was stuck in the parking lot with a giant wooden assembly that I somehow had to strap to the top of my car. Even after getting the screw out (which involved ripping it out of the wood), my dad had to help carry part of it home.

It's not assembled yet. I've been too lazy.

Just started drinking caffeine again, but a lot less than usual. Hopefully the "penguin mints scenario" will never happen again.
Better than usual, lately. I'm going to go get some. (Sleep, that is.)

seen above a urinal: "we aim to please. you aim too, please."


since my last post

The caffeine-withdrawal headaches have started. Just in one day, I've noticed my thoughts becoming clearer, though, so it's worth it.

By the way, Tylenol and Advil have worked on the headaches.

Why I'm quitting: Monday night was hell. I took too many penguin mints, and didn't sleep. Not only could I not sleep because of how wired I was, but also because I became extraordinarily paranoid. I thought every car that passed by was instead a helicopter coming to blow up my house, and that the train that passes by every night was instead heading toward me. I went for a walk, and saw a flashing light eminating from one of my neighbor's yards... I thought it was an agent signaling his counterpart on my roof. Turns out it was just the light from the security lamp reflecting off of my neighbor's pinwheel. Heh.

Anyway, I decided to stop using caffeine, for at least a few weeks, if not longer.

I'm still trying to figure out how to get the Windows version installed to Zip, or if it's even possible. Same thing with XEmacs, preferably, or even GNU Emacs...
Ended up with an 89 on the calculus test. Not bad.
more perl
I loaned my copy of Perl in a Nutshell to someone in my calculus class. Suggested he check the llama book out of the library.
The same guy said that he works with a language called "ABAP" in his normal job. However, I haven't been able to find any information on it. What is it used for?
We lost more than 5000 Americans in the attacks on 11 September. Now they're worried about losing four Afghanis.

During Vietnam, people talked about being "hawks" or "doves". I guess I'm an ostrich... I'd rather just stick my head in the sand... but I will peck your eyes out if you mess with me.

o/~ well, there ain't no time to wonder why, whoopee! we're all gonna die o/~

Very Early Morning.


I need to figure out how to install a Winblows version of Perl onto a Zip disk so I can use it on school machines without having to install it to the hard drive (which is forbidden). Problem is, it can't depend on the registry or on anything non-standard being on the hard drive... everything has to be on the Zip, including the GTK libraries.

In other Perl news, I've been getting around to writing more code; I'm trying to break the slump I'm in. I haven't written anything substantial in months.

Had a calculus test last night. I think I did well... it's a good sign when I begin to feel lightheaded midway through a test; it means I'm concentrating, but not being frustrated. Actually, the only time I remember going into Deep Hack Mode is during a math test... I was chewing gum the whole time... and I completely forgot about it until after the test...
I think it's time to stop drinking caffeinated beverages again. I've noticed that I have absolutely no attention span anymore, and my nervous tics (leg bouncing, mainly) are beginning to become more evident.

I should drink more Sprite and root beer, and more orange juice, definitely. And if all else fails, I could drink water...

first person shooters
Man, I suck.

I started playing Quake 3 again... playing on Q3DM17... I ended up with a negative score, against bots at the default difficulty. I guess it's the time spent playing Rainbow Six that sapped my score... I move too slowly now.

Then again, that wouldn't explain me falling off of the edge so often...

"I'm not going to fire a 2 million dollar missile at a 10 dollar empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive." -- George W. Bush



I can't think of a song that fits this. Sorry.
So, we bombed Afghanistan.

And supposedly Russia lost a number of "suitcase nukes".

Now I know how it must have felt to live during the Cuban Missile Crisis... nuclear annihilation possible at the drop of a hat.

Oh well. There's nothing I can do about it, so I'm not going to worry.

Bought the Perl CD Bookshelf, version 2.0. I've been spending most of my time reading Perl in a Nutshell (the one that comes in dead-tree form as a bonus), but I'm starting to get into the Camel book.

I didn't know how little I know.

I haven't done a thing with ithought in months. Maybe I should... but I don't know what to do. There are no outstanding bugs that I can find, and no ideas for new features....

Honestly, all I use it for is to post my Advogato entries, since it's nice to be able to stop and restart editing. Maybe I should look at DaVinci instead....

Later: Finally got DaVinci to compile, after much hassle. And it's still not quite as nice to use as ithought. Then again, it can edit old entries...

Yesterday I bought a tin of Penguin Mints. Today I ate most of them. Tonight my head hurts. Gee, I wonder why.
Test tomorrow. And I think I'm ready. I think.
I think I'll do the projects I mentioned earlier in Perl instead of C... it just seems easier to me. Besides, I need the practice.

"If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith." -- Albert Einstein

30 Sep 2001 (updated 30 Sep 2001 at 07:03 UTC) »

music to soothe the soul

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship for everyone
Though the mountains divide and the oceans are wide
It's a small world after all...
(Robert Sherman and Richard Sherman, "It's a Small World")

I apologize to those of you who will fight for hours to get the music out of your heads...

I finally found a copy of The Eye of the World. I've been tempted to read the others in the series, but I wanted to read them in order.
I can't believe that I'm burnt out... I thought you had to actually be doing something to burn out.

The checkin kiosk project is... well, it can be best described as 'stillborn'. I can't find a reasonable way to do it without knowing at least a little bit about how the database info is stored, and that's apparently secret. This also means that I can't figure out how to make it general, which means that it won't really serve any purpose to anyone other than the school I'm at.

Anyway, I've found a better project to start: a replacement for the "Food Processor" program I mentioned earlier. Maybe I'm in over my head, though... the kiosk was something whipped up by some guy at the school I attend... Food Processor is a commercial, supported application.

It doesn't really look that complex... obtaining the food info would be the hard part... and the hairiest, legally. Once that's available, the rest looks simple. Maybe I should provide it to owners of Food Processor, since they already have the food databases.

a o hell
I hate AOL. I hate AOL. I hate AOL. And I don't even use it.

I hate AOL for making these people who can only use AOL think that they're internet geniuses, even when they can't figure out the basics. I hate AOL for making my life miserable when they call me and bitch at me because I 'broke their computer' when AOL kicks them off every five minutes. I hate AOL because it really should have an IQ requirement for joining. Never mind... AOL would have maybe five subscribers if they did that.


Sleep cycles have been strange again... stay up until 5 AM, sleep until 2 PM, stay up until 3 AM, sleep until noon...

I wish I could just do one or two all-nighters and be done with it, but no, either my neighbors or my school decide to monopolize my afternoons. For example, today I took two of my friends to the mall... I had to go to Sears anyway to pick up a wrench Dad needed to replace the motor mounts in his car.

At least I managed to get Quake 2 set up on one friend's machine so we can deathmatch. He royally sucks at FPSes, by the way... I should let him be the server so he'll stand half a chance, given my crappy connection.

Mis amigos y yo fuimos al restaurante del Rey de Hamburguesa esta tarde. Cuando estamos alla, hablé con una amiga de mi primera clase de español. Nos charlábamos hasta llegamos al cajero.
(My friends and I went to Burger King this afternoon. When we were there, I spoke with a friend from my first spanish class. We chatted until we arrived at the cashier.)

"parallel lines meet at infinity!" / Euclid repeatedly, heatedly urged / but then he died and so reached that vicinity / wherein he found that the damned things diverged

27 Sep 2001 (updated 27 Sep 2001 at 18:54 UTC) »


New wars for old... new wars for old....

Look at you, soldier boy now
With that big gun in your little hand
As you patrol this foreign land
Hear the mine that clicks beneath your feet
(heyheyheyheyhey, oh)

Now do you see the light
Fading while your world is crumbling
(Out on patrol!)
And all you can do is sit and stare
What revelation have you now
What culmination to your speck of life
Your moment in time
(The Offspring, "Out On Patrol")

I have bad news and worse news.

Bad news: I have a problem with my jaw, known as a TMJ disorder. Recently it became fairly painful.

Worse news: My dental insurance specifically excludes TMJ disorders from coverage.

In other words, "No check for you, clicky!"

food processor
I just had the misfortune of having to deal with "Esha Food Processor". It's a nutrition analysis program with a horrid interface and an out-of-date food database. Not to mention its braindead design choices.

For example, it only allows saving to three places: a preprogrammed location on the C: drive, or on A: or B:. And when you save to floppy, it takes over the floppy, dumping everything into the root of the drive. There's no reason they can't let the user decide where to place the info.... I would have preferred to place it onto my Zip disk, instead of having to go out and buy a floppy.

I'm probably going to try to write a clone for that, too... hopefully it'll advance more rapidly than my still-unnamed checkin kiosk program.

Two tests back recently: 97 in Spanish and 96 in Wellness Concepts. Not too shabby.

Calculus is still a bitch, though.

I'm going to need an oil change in... about... 2000 miles ago. Yeowch.

I can actually notice a difference in how the car feels when the oil is old... along with the corresponding drop in gas mileage. Plus I'm getting a noticeable wheel hop at about 60 mph... which means I need to have the tires balanced. Oh, joy.

love bugs
They're back... little annoying flying pieces of crap that fly into any orifice and eat away paint when splattered against a car. I'd say they rank about #3 on the list of Florida's annoyances, after hurricanes and before tourists. (#1 is New Yorkers, by the way.)

Let me clarify that... not all New Yorkers are annoying... only some of them. The ones that I gripe about are those that learn bad habits (especially driving habits) in NY, and bring them down here, where life is slower. It seems that every time I get the finger it's from someone with NY plates.

Not too much... mostly dealing with the e-mail database I maintain for the PCC International Circle. I've had to re-learn some stuff in Perl, plus libpq (C) and DBI::Pg (Perl).

murphy was an optimist

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