Older blog entries for Phoon (starting at number 105)

28 Dec 2001 (updated 28 Dec 2001 at 22:29 UTC) »
Noonish.

ho ho humbug

I'm still bummed that Christmas is over.
disney (again)
Another trip to MouseWorld a couple of days ago. Started out in Epcot, stayed for a half hour or so, then hopped over to the Contemporary Resort to visit the arcade.

Beat the snot out of my friend in air hockey.

Played a boxing game that senses your movements. You grab these huge red glove-looking things, and actually swing at the screen. Thing is, though, I forgot to take my vest off, and it was hot anyway... I played through two rounds, until I mercifully lost, then I staggered over to a seat and tried to regain control of myself. I'm sure everyone's felt nauseated after overexerting themselves; thankfully, I was able to will myself back to normal.

Finished off the day in the Magic Kingdom, but left before the fireworks.

All in all, a mostly decent trip.

In other news, I'm probably going to be at the Adventurer's Club at Pleasure Island this Saturday.

gifts
I received some nice gifts this year, not the least of which are a JamCam digital camera and a portable CD player from Mom and a Premium Annual Pass to Walt Disney World from Dad.
new year's eve
If all goes well, I'll be in Epcot for New Year's. I was there for the past two, but it's likely going to be more difficult this year.

First of all, my primary advantage, access to the Cast Member overflow parking lot, has been blocked. This means that I'll have to join the crowd and wait in line. Actually, I'm not worried as much about getting in the park as I am about getting out. There are always traffic jams long into the morning. If you're going, remember to fill up your car, because people actually run out of gas while waiting for the jam to clear.

Also, I'm bringing a friend with me. This ought to be interesting.

certs
Apparently OpenSourcesJapsEye certified me. Is there any way to reject a certification?
later
Gonna go run some errands.

like a slinky on an escalator

23 Dec 2001 (updated 23 Dec 2001 at 09:04 UTC) »
Very Early Morning.

dsl or lack thereof

Holy crap, this has been a frustrating week.

In the past week I've recieved no less than three separate telemarketer calls claiming that DSL is available in my area. The first two have been from Verizon, who provides my phone service.

I was wary at first, knowing that I had been too far from the CO the last time I tried to order DSL. So I specifically asked the sales droid if my phone line was close enough to the CO to receive service. Of course, she said yes.

However, I called back the next day to see when my installation was supposed to take place and the guy who answered (after many trips through their automated system and a long hold time) told me that I was too far from the CO. So not only was I bummed, I was angry that I had been lied to.

That wasn't enough to stop the telemarketers, though. Verizon called me again to advertise their service. Then I called Time Warner, to check on the availability of Roadrunner. Of course, I live in the one part of BFE that doesn't have digital cable yet.... and of course, they call to advertise.... and sent junk snail mail.

Today, DirecTV DSL called about their DSL service. I explained to the sales droid, as patiently as I could, that I was too far from the CO to receive DSL. "But we use a different set of signals than Verizon!" she said, trying to convince me that it would, in fact, work (and probably earn a commission).

I kept explaining to these people that yes, I would sign up for their service if I only could....

diz-nee
Thursday, I went to Downtown Disney. I soon found out why that was a bad idea.

Unbeknownst to me, Thursday night is a sort of traditional "gay night" at Pleasure Island, Disney's nightclub area. Disney is famous for being very pro-gay, and there are many gay Cast Members. I, however, am straight. At least it was fairly discreet; I saw a lot of same-sex couples holding hands or dancing, but nothing that a heterosexual couple couldn't do without offending people. It's not like most people make it out to be.

Anyway, I spent most of the night in the Adventurer's Club. Everyone should spend at least an hour in there, just to get the hang of the place... it's a laugh riot if you're in the right frame of mind, and pretty damn funny even if you're not.

gifts
Dad and I have been exchanging gifts gradually; we're both too impatient to wait until Christmas. He had already given me the Disney Annual Pass. Recently, though, he let me unwrap a new bookbag and a mirror. ("Uhh... thanks?" I'm kidding, I actually needed a mirror. It's one of those things you don't typically think about, but comes in handy.)

He had given me a variety box of Jelly Belly jellybeans, but ate about half of the licorice ones. When I realized that they sold them at Pleasure Island, I bought a small bagful of licorice and cherry ones for him... so he wouldn't keep eating mine. ;-) I also got him some Old Spice. I think he knew that one was coming because he didn't buy any when he ran out.

jerks
Sad news. Dick's father passed on recently. I think I'm just going to forgive him... even assholes don't deserve this much punishment.

However, I'm not deleting the evidence I already have, just in case. I just hope I never have to use it.

recent events
The constitution signing slash holiday party was a success. Lots of food, lots of camaraderie, and no one messed up while signing the constitution.

People loved the pickle wraps I brought... I made them because the dinner was potluck and I have absolutely no skill at cooking.

For your hors d'oeuvre-creating pleasure, here's the recipe:

Ingredients:

  1. Dried beef
  2. Cream cheese
  3. Kosher dill pickles
  4. Toothpicks

Directions:

  1. Slice a pickle into quarters lengthwise. (You can buy them presliced but this is cheaper.)
  2. Spread cream cheese on a piece of beef.
  3. Wrap a quarter of the pickle in the cheese-coated beef. (The cream cheese should be on the inside, touching the pickle.)
  4. Insert two toothpicks and cut pickle in half.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the remaining quarters of the pickle.
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 until you run out of something.

Mom taught me how to make these, a long time ago. Thanks, Mom!

projects
I haven't even touched the weblog project yet. I did, however, write a tiny script to turn Advogato's diary.xml files into long HTML files, almost suitable for printing. The fact that each entry is already in HTML made things a lot easier.
school
My Chemistry 2 class got cancelled. Luckily, they moved me into one of the day classes, since they realize that this is the only class I need to graduate.

However, the class goes from 10:00 to 10:50 AM, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the lab is from noon to 3:00 PM on Wednesday. My job is scheduled from 11:00 to 11:50 AM Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, on that campus. (It's the same time, Tuesday and Thursday, on the other campus.)

That simply means that I'll have to haul ass from place to place three days a week. I think I'm up to it, and I'm sure my Chem professor won't mind me showing up a few minutes late to lab if necessary. The two days I'm on the other campus, I have at least an hour to get from one campus to the other, a fifteen-minute trip, max.

arrangements
I rearranged my room a little bit recently. All I really did was rotate my bed 90 degrees and raise it up about 6 inches. However, it makes a huge difference in the available space. Hopefully I can find a decent desk to set one of my two workstations on, so I can get it out of the kitchen.

Why do I keep using my lowly 350MHz when I have a 1.33GHz? (Answer: all my files are on this box, and the OS is already set up nicely. Linux is a bitch to configure, but once it's set up, it stays that way perpetually.)

network woes
For some strange reason, my LAN doesn't like games. The client always seems to get disconnected rapidly. Also, when the player on the server fires a rapidfire weapon (in UT, think minigun or pulse gun), the other client can't communicate with the server.

It's a simple 100Mbps network, with a hub and three connections: two workstations and a firewall/gateway. All three boxen can communicate with each other under normal conditions.

I'm really getting confused, and no one I've spoken to has been able to make heads or tails of it.

trolls
OpenSourcesJapsEye: People like you are the reason I suggested negative certifications.

I don't want to say, "I don't believe he deserves certification", I want to say, "I believe he does not deserve certification." There's a subtle difference there, but a difference nonetheless.

By the way, you're not funny. You're simply disgusting.

car
Took my car in for its scheduled maintenance. Turns out my lower engine mount had broken, my front brake pads were down to less than 5% of their original thickness, and my wheels needed to be balanced.

Well, replacing the engine mount fixed a problem I had been having with the car "bucking" when I shifted into drive or reverse, and the mechanic machined the rotors, eliminating the pulsating brake pedal problem.

However, my car still hops at about 55 MPH. With a vengeance. Maybe it was originally this bad, but since the engine mount was broken, that absorbed the shock?

sleep
Sleep is good.

God's last name isn't Dammit

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

school

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.

work
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.

events
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. ;-)

gifts
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. ;-)

projects
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) »
Afternoon.

certs

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.

food/spanish
Hoy, iré a un restaurante para un examen para mi clase de español. Podré hablar español solamente. No creo que sea fácil, pero...
projects
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

pills
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.
school
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) »
Night.

music

Green Day - International Superhits
skewl
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.)

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

Yee-haw.

diet
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.)

hair
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.

documentation
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.

routing
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.)
food
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!
irrelevance
DjDanny: I don't give a shit about your ability to take one. Nor do I find your attempts at humor funny.

PLEASE GO AWAY.

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

books
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.

code
Who's had time for code? I'm too busy getting all of my assignments done.
spanish
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.

graduation
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...

sleep
Off to bed...

virgin wool... ugly sheep

Afternoon.

quickie

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.

Night.

math

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.

coasters-r-us
I'm sitting here burning a Mandrake ISO for a friend.
com-poo-turds
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).

dick
Yep, still at it.

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

ΦΘΚ
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. ;-)
diet
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....

coding
None.

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

Afternoon.

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
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.

weblog
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.

gimp
I don't find the name of The GIMP offensive.
amatyc
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.

ltns

Two weeks? That's like an eternity!
jerks
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?
coding
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.

caffeine
Just started drinking caffeine again, but a lot less than usual. Hopefully the "penguin mints scenario" will never happen again.
sleep
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."

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