Older blog entries for Phoon (starting at number 103)

16 Dec 2001 (updated 16 Dec 2001 at 15:04 UTC) »


Woohoo! The semester's finally over!

I have my grades. I got a B in Wellness Concepts (for some reason, nobody does well in that class), a B in Calculus 3, and an A in Spanish (although I could have sworn I was headed for a B in that class too). I currently have a 3.800 GPA at my current school, and a 3.235 overall GPA. I'm finally recovering from all the goofing off I did at my first college.

I think I have a job for next semester. It's just a few hours a week, but it's easy work, and it's right on campus.

Basically, one of the professors is teaching Calculus 2 as a "telecourse", meaning it's sent from one campus to the other via dedicated video link. Anyway, she needs someone on the other end to do things like give out and collect tests, answer questions, etc. Since I'm done with Calc 2 (and 3), I figure I'm as qualified as anyone.

Today, I went to a Phi Theta Kappa picnic.... only about seven people showed up, including the two advisors.

Tomorrow, the PCC International Circle is having its Christmas party slash constitution signing. I'm basically under strict orders to attend, or else. ;-)

Man, have I been lax.... I haven't really gotten anyone anything. I got my dad some Old Spice, and my mom something (I can't say because she reads this). I already know what I'm going to get my brother, if I can find it.

Dad gave me one of my gifts early; it's a Premium Annual Pass to Walt Disney World. Basically, it's an unlimited admission ticket for a year (plus 100 extra days, due to a special they've been running). I also get admission to the water parks, Pleasure Island, and DisneyQuest.

I'm pleased. ;-)

With the long Christmas break, I hope to finish my weblog system for PCCIC.

do not taunt happy fun ball

4 Dec 2001 (updated 4 Dec 2001 at 21:36 UTC) »


CryoBob: As far as I can tell, self-certification is so other people can see what you consider your community status to be. For example, I certified myself as 'Apprentice', because that's what I consider myself.

Because of how the trust metric works, self-certification has no effect on your actual rating.

Hoy, iré a un restaurante para un examen para mi clase de español. Podré hablar español solamente. No creo que sea fácil, pero...
Things aren't looking good for the new website design. People aren't catching on to the power that PHP would bring, nor do they realize how much it'll be easier for everyone involved, not just for me, if the new system is installed.

Honestly, if we can't figure out a way to automate this process somewhat, I'll be forced to resign my position, just because of the time pressure. And I really don't want to do that.

I just had an epiphany... we can have the people who write event reports upload them directly to the website. However, since the advisor must approve anything being posted, the message will be held until (s)he can look at it and approve it. This should cut down the time needed, and reduce errors in transcription.

Ain't I just a genius? :-P

One side effect of these ephedra pills (Metabolife knockoff) is an incredible amount of sweating. And I mean incredible... I very rarely sweat, and not nearly so much during such cool weather. However, I'm practically dripping right now.
I need to speak to a bunch of people about a bunch of things. I think I'll get started.

o/~ You could hear some reindeer on your rooftop, / Or Jack Frost on your windowsill, / But if someone's climbing down your chimney / You'd better load your gun and shoot to kill... o/~ -- "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Christmas at Ground Zero"

3 Dec 2001 (updated 3 Dec 2001 at 04:15 UTC) »


Green Day - International Superhits
Registered for classes for next term today.

Yes, I know it's Sunday. Somehow, someone at my school became enlightened and created an online registration form. Small miracles.

Anyway, I'm taking General Chemistry 2, Second Year Spanish 2 (aka Spanish 4), and "JavaScript Fundamentals". That last one actually sounds interesting... from the description in the catalog, it might be more than just JavaScript:

COP 2800 JavaScript Fundamentals
3 hrs., 3 credits. Prerequisite: COP 1006 or CGS 1555
This course introduces scripting languages used to enhance Web documents. Focus is on the use of scripts and how they relate to the Web environment. Students will develop applications using a scripting language such as Visual Basic, JavaScript, or Perl.

I hope I can do a lot in Perl... I'm already reasonably competent in it. Also, I wonder how much PHP I can use.

Anyway, I have about a month to learn JavaScript... I like to enter these classes already knowing the basics of the language, and preferably most of the specifics. (Stumping the teacher is fun. Helping other students with problems that have stumped the teacher is even more fun.)

So far so good... the only class I have to take is General Chemistry 2, and I'm signed up for it next term.


olandgren: I only weigh about 130... kilograms. Heh. (For the metrically impaired, that's about 285 lb.)

I've decided to try the lose-weight-by-taking-stimulants idea. I got a bottle of "Metab-o-Lite", a ripoff of the famous Metabolife 356 supplement. Basically, it's "speed lite"; it's ephedra, a stimulant, which is supposed to burn calories by increasing metabolism... but it increases metabolism by making you bounce off the walls. Yay.

But, it's worth a try. Hey, it can't hurt too much... and if it does, I'll quit taking it.

(They say it's "thermogenic"... I've noticed that I'm warmer than usual and have been sweating a bit more. Hopefully that means it's working.)

Bought mousse yesterday. Maybe that'll help my hair stay where it's supposed to be.

If not, it'll be time for the "bulletproof head" hair gel solution. But I'd prefer to stay away from that if at all possible.

I'm up to seven full binders of documentation, plus a handful of hanging folders with tiny printouts (less than about ten pages or so per printout, too small to justify binding).
jerks, redux
Remember Dick? Well, he's still at it.

Hmm.... I have his fiancee's email address... I'm tempted to use it.

Also, on one hand, I don't want to hear him bragging about how far he's gotten with Jane... but on the other hand, it's evidence.... and fuel for the fire.... maybe if I get mad enough I'll actually send the email.

Actually, here's my plan... Since he insists on telling me about his bedroom exploits (over AOL Instant Messenger), I'll just use an AIM client that supports logging. Boom, case closed.

Yes, it's personal.

For some reason, my OpenBSD firewall/NAT box kept scrozzling its routes. Now I clear and reinitialize the routes before starting my PPP connection. (Yes, I have a firewall on a dialup. So sue me.)
Subway's running a deal down here... 2 foot long subs for $7, in the evenings and all day Sunday. I bought two today; I ate one and am saving the rest for tonight or tomorrow.
phi theta kappa
Apparently the botched article was simply a misunderstanding on the part of the editor. They'll print a retraction in the next issue and everyone's hunky-dory.

o/~ Question everything / Or shut up and be the victim of authority o/~ -- Green Day, "Warning"

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

94 older entries...

New Advogato Features

New HTML Parser: The long-awaited libxml2 based HTML parser code is live. It needs further work but already handles most markup better than the original parser.

Keep up with the latest Advogato features by reading the Advogato status blog.

If you're a C programmer with some spare time, take a look at the mod_virgule project page and help us with one of the tasks on the ToDo list!