Well, most of the holidayness is over, with just newyears left in a few days. Power tools are a lot of fun. Jackhammers wielded by overweight gentlemen at 7am is NOT a lot of fun. So Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Easter, Thanksgiving and Canadian Boxing Day et cetra. More to come soon.

Upgrade = Downgrade

It seems like every time I try to upgrade the software running on my webserver, I always break everything. I decided I was going to upgrade my web server on Monday. By Monday night, the server was completely useless. It wouldn’t serve web pages, the database was down, encryption was being flaky, basically it was nightmarish. And it took about 20 hours of work to get it to where it was actually working correctly again. Granted it’s “better” now, but from now I’m going to try to be more careful with what I upgrade and when. More to come soon.

Negative Space

I took a drawing class once, many years ago, in which the instructor talked about “negative space,” or drawing the empty space around the object as a way of drawing the object. In a more philosophical sense, it’s sometimes easier to see who we are by identifying what we’re not. I’m not a very good gardener. I have trouble understanding people. These aren’t things that necessarily need to be fixed, they’re just glimpses into my character that are perhaps easier for me to see than my “positive space” qualities. What negative spaces do you see around yourself? More to come soon.

The Summary

A in Japanese, B in programming, C in ethics and D in physics. Nice spread, and all above F. I’m happy. In addition to that, I saw the Return of the King Extended Edition DVD last night. A bunch of stuff was still missing, of course, including huge chunks of the Shelob story, but overall it was pretty good. The 50 minutes of additional footage was almost exclusivly character development which I really enjoyed. It doesn’t make up for the utter ruining/villanizing of Faramir in The Two Towers though. I’m still bitter about that. More to come soon.

And There’s Your Answer

Well, it’s finally over. The only final I know the grade for yet is physics, which I’m as close to ecstatic about as I can be while this tired. I think the rest of them went pretty well; we’ll see. My tire has supposedly been replaced, maybe I’ll get it back today.... more to come soon.

So Close I Can Taste It

Tire plugged a second time, but I haven’t been outside yet to see if it’s flat like I thought it might be based on last night’s driving performance. I got back the results of my physics final, a 51.7%, leaving me with a 65 in the class, which means I’ll never have to take physics again. Praise God! Japanese written final is this afternoon, last one. More to come soon.


2 more finals down, 2 to go, yayish. I think I may actually pass all my classes for once! Wouldn’t that be something. The tire that got plugged yesterday is flat again today, another chance for my spare to prove its usefulness. Sigh. More to come soon.

One Down...

... and 4 to go. Physics is an evil subject. I could have gotten anywhere between an 89 and a 2 on that final. Now to go get my tires replaced. More to come soon.

The Straightaway has Speedbumps

I was involved with the production of a movie a bit ago, and since I’m the tech guy, I was called upon to help the guy doing the score to play the DVD with the video footage on it. He’s using a mac. I hate macs. That was speedbump one. Two was when I went out to get in my car to drive to my physics final study session, and found I had a flat tire. I hate driving on my spare. I’m getting a ride to the final tomorrow. So much studying left to do, so little time! More to come soon.

Just the Straightaway

Just finished my last class of the semester. Now all I have to do is take my 5 finals. “But!” I hear you say, “you’re only taking 4 classes!” Right you are. But Japanese, being a language class, has both a written AND a verbal final. But it’s not Japanese I’m worried about, except the written part, and the verbal part. It’s the rest of them! More to come soon when I’ve studied more.

Almost Over

3 days of class left. My previous estimate was a bit exaggerated it seems. Getting it all finished in time is still going to be a stretch. Late night ahead! Hopefully over thanksgiving I’ll be able to put up more of my Japan pictures. More to come soon.

The Remainder

9 physics homework assignments, 1 physics test, 1 systems homework, 1 systems project, 1 ethics paper revision, 1 ethics homework, 24 pages japanese homework, 1 japanese presentation, 27 classes and 4 finals left this semester. I posted a countdown clock on the left. More to come soon.

stickBit = true;

Well, one physics homework down and physics test done, 4 pages of Japanese homework finished, and my last physics lab done. Too bad for me the test was on different chapters than the ones I studied. But I think I did ok anyway. I’ve even got about half of my paper written! Second physics homework starts now, more to come soon.

The Straw that Broke the Camel’s Back

This week, I have 3 physics homework assignments, a physics test, a 10 page paper on national ID cards, a systems programming project, and 16 pages of Japanese homework. And yet somehow I have time to post this note, and add a day to my Japan trip. Be sure to check it out, it was one of my favorite days! More to come soon.

Nose to the Grindstone

From electronic voting to national ID cards, physics to hardware interrupts, my nose is pretty well glued to the grindstone. I managed to poke at my car a bit more, but my skill at soldering is pathetic, so the carputer doesn’t quite work yet. Hopefully that’ll be adjusted tomorrow, when I call in the experts. I managed to throw up another day of my Japan trip, so be sure to check that out if you’re so bored you’re contemplating ripping your own eyes out for some excitement. But you must be bored if you’re here, so I guess that works out well! More to come soon.

A Little Breather

Little being the key word. First a correction, I had midterms last week. The breather part came from my fall “break” which consisted of Monday and Tuesday off. Gee, thanks Tech, 2 whole days! Everyone else I know got 5 days off between 2 weekends, and went to Florida. Ah well. I did pretty well on my midterms, and am happy with the way the semester is shaping up.

So this afternoon, while taking a short break from studying, I went outside and re-installed the power supply for my carputer project. 1 reel of solder later, it seems to be installed correctly, but one of the wires is too short so I’m going to have to undo some of my handiwork to get it positioned properly. If I ever get my camera fixed maybe I’ll take a few photos and start up a projects page. More to come soon.

Odds and Ends

A few quick notes. I’ve tweaked the css on the site again, hopefully it’s bearable. I kinda like it this way. Added a day to my Japan trip log as well, so be sure to check that out.

I’ve got finals this week, so I’ll be pretty busy. More to come soon.

Miscellaneous Ramblings

You didn’t think I could spell miscellaneous, did you? Well, I couldn’t, I had to look it up. But that’s not the point. One side of our country has earthquakes, the other has hurricanes, and right down the middle come tornados. There is no safe place to live. Which brings me to my first point: Life is full of risk. Sure, this may seem obvious, but if you think about it, you knew (or figured out) what you were getting into when you signed on for this. The unexpected happens, so you better get used to the idea. Which brings me to my next point: Expectations begets (not bigets nor begits) disappointment. This has been a recurring theme in my rants. But there’s my final tie-it-all-together point: Unfulfilled expectations are simply wrong expectations, and/or a faulty understanding of the situation. God will ultimately leverage everything to His glory, so that’s what we should be expecting. We shouldn’t be expecting life to go perfectly, and we shouldn’t go around blaming God for when our faulty expectations aren’t met to our satisfaction.

Wow, my rant ended up having some kind of coherent logical structure. That was certainly accidently and unexpected ;) More to come soon.


God is full of interesting coincidences.

Afraid of Commitment

No, not that I’d be committed to an assylum or anything. “The state of being bound emotionally or intellectually to a course of action or to another person or persons.” Maybe it’s not so much that I’m afraid of it as I don’t get along with it very well. Whether it’s a new car, a new house, a new school, a new major, a new city, a new job, a new computer, a new anime, a new anything fills me with a certain excitement and expectation of wonderfulness. Failure to have these expectations fulfilled leads to a sense of cabin fever, like I’ll be trapped in my current circumstances for the rest of forever. Maybe it’s a fear of bordom; of monotony. I don’t know. But I’m starting to feel the walls creaping in. It’s time for a change.

More to come soon.


Yeah, I can’t think of anything to write except this. More to come when I think of something.


Yeah. Wow. Just like the Dish Network commercials. Wow is the best word to describe it. Maybe great..... but NO. WOW. Holy cow. Looking at my last post, you’d rightly surmise that I had high hopes and expectations about Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. Let me just tell you. This movie was everything I had ever dreamed it could be and more. It was the best animated movie I’ve ever seen, and maybe the best movie period. It’s above the Matrix, if that’s any indication. It was absolutely increadible.


More to come soon, after I wipe up this puddle of drool...

8 Years Later, 4 Days to Go

8 years ago, Mamoru Oshii released what’s been called “the film that defined anime.” I agree with that description. I’ve watched it many times, most recently this afternoon. The film is increadible, thought-provoking, beautiful, and certainly one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen. It’s called Ghost in the Shell.

Now, 8 years later, after waiting so long, he’s releasing a movie composed on an unlimited budget, with almost the entire cast the same, many of the same animators, and a whole lot of experience and finess added on to one of the most brilliant production companies operating out of Japan, Production I.G. And, to top it all off, it’s being co-produced by Miyazaki’s brainchild, Studio Ghibli. This is gearing up to be the best movie of all time.

And it’s coming out this Friday.

SLTI $v0, $a0, 25

Semi-continuing my previous post, seeing the world from a computer scientist point of view isn’t always bad. For my CS classes, thinking like a computer can be a real asset. SLTI stands for “set when less than immidiate,” and isn’t easily implemented with the instruction set we were given, but I managed to do it. More to the point, the solution was obvious to me, because when I looked at the problem I knew exactly how a computer should go about figuring out the answer. So while there are times when thinking like a computer scientist frustrate me greatly, there are other times that being able to solve a problem quickly and efficiently give me great pleasure. The metaphysical question that results is, does the pleasure of solving CS problems outweigh the frustration of everything non-CS that doesn’t conform? More to come soon.

I/O Bus Error

Lately it’s been on my mind how much I see the world through the eyes of a computer scientist. I remember as I grew up, people would talk about “points of view,” but the world was just the way it was, and that was that. But now I see that’s not exactly the case. Now, when I think about the people that come to my lan parties, I think of a breadth-first search of a bidirectional graph. When I work physics problems, I do it the same way I’d write a computer program: get an answer, see if it’s right, if not go back and fix bugs. The only problem with this approach is that physics tests don’t let you go back and fix things, they have to be right the first time. This incompatability in “viewpoint” frustrates me frequently. The obvious solution is to make everyone see things the way I do, as it’s obviously the correct way. Like Randy always said, “be the computer.” More to come soon.

Long Weekends

Well, the LAN party lasted 2 out of the 4 days. Not bad. The most people we ever had playing at one time was 11, which was a ton of fun. Hanging out with friends is always a great way to spend some time off. Thanks to all that showed up! We’ll have to do this again sometime. More to come soon.

News from the Front

Back in my youth, I got into assembly just a tiny bit. I would use the old DOS debug command and play around with it to see if I could get it to do anything. I’ve looked around at various assembly sourcecodes and could do a lot of the stuff they did, but I never understood why any of it worked. That’s changed some over the years, but not as much as it did yesterday doing an assembly homework assignment. There are some things that just become clearer in a formal environment (even reading a book) than they do with straight experimentation.

Labor Day Weekend is coming up, and to celebrate I’m having a 4-day-long LAN party. Get directions by clicking on the LAN link above. Hope to see you there! More to come soon.

Anti-Progress is Made

So I ripped all the cabling in the car out and rebuilt the dashboard as well as I could with all the holes I’d cut. Why? I thought I was selling it to buy a car with a stickshift. Silly me. Cabling goes back in tomorrow. This project may eventually get finished but school is going to eat way too much of my time for it to get finished soon.

Speaking of school, I don’t like it. Normally there’s a period at the beginning of a semester where I’m really excited about at least one class I’m taking, and it takes a while before it wears off. Not this time. All of it is horrible and should die.

On a side note, a small sampling of my Japan trip is up, check the link at the top of the page. More to come soon, of course.

Progress is Made

The power cable for the carputer has finally been run and wired correctly. Getting a hole cut in the engine compartment wall was a pain, and getting the stiff copper wiring to curve around the innards of my steering column was likewise painful, but all in all it is very beautiful and awe-inspiring. I may even be able to plug my laptop in for the ride to school in the morning. Hopefully the rest of the project will get finished up in the next few weekends between bouts of homework.

Speaking of homework, it sucks. I hate it a lot. Whoever wrote it was not overly intelligent. A lot of the questions are ambiguous, so we’re given 5 tries to figure out what they’re actually asking for. Of course, with each wrong guess, your score goes down, so if you don’t figure it out quick, you’re in trouble. More to come soon.


Well, I was right to an extent. School is evil and so on. What I didn’t count on was not having a car the first week(ish). You see, my car doesn’t like me. This may have something to do with me nicknaming her “insufficient,” but you never can tell for sure. Anyway, she decided she was going to ruin herself, and so I’m having to spend a huge chunk of money to fix her. As in, it probably would have been cheaper to buy a new car. I was trying to install a computer in her! So ungreatful.

Anyway, classes have started. At least a few look interesting, though not what I was expecting. More to come soon.

It is Very Very Early

I am awake. It’s before 9am. This is bad. I hate it when school starts.

I was having a very weird dream when I was so rudly awakend by my alarm clock. A kid had stolen a bunch of katchup packets from the restaurant I was in, and ran out and immidiately got hit by an ambulance. That made all the katchup packets explode, so it looked like there was blood everywhere. One of the paramedics fainted. What a way to start the school year.

Also note that this blog will no longer have ANYTHING interesting on it, and will consist solely of me ranting about how terrible school is. Well, maybe something interesting occationally. More to come soon.

Odds and Ends

LAN party saturday! Finally. Dates got shifted around, but I think all three states can make it. We’re starting whenever people get here, and the more the merrier. I’ve been looking forward to this for so long.

School starts Monday. This is very annoying. Summer was too short, even with a huge trip to Japan in it. I still need to clean up the pictures from that. So much to do. Girls are weird! More to come soon.

Site Update

Well, I played around with the site a bit more today. I added support for automated account creation. So now all you people who have been dying to post comments and replies to things you’ve read here can now do so without having to send me email etc. Of course, if you want to send me email, go right ahead.

On another note, I’m in the process of upgrading the server’s internet connection, so stay tuned for more bandwidth! More to come soon.


I know I already talked about expectations and how when they don’t line up with reality it can really be annoying. I expected to have a LAN party this weekend, but people from 3 states ended up with other things they had to or would rather do. While I don’t blame them at all, it is kind of sad. It feels like the shifting of an era. Where once I could make a call to a few friends and spontaniously go see a movie, now we have to plan ahead, coordinate schedules, etc. School and work seem to hold a higher place of prominence, demanding more time and attention than they did before, with a result of less time spent with family and friends.

I’m guilty of this too, sadly. As little life as I have, I still find things to do and make plans relating to work or school that I wish I could break later in preference of hanging out with friends, but then I’m not being “responsible” and “grown up” and “dependable,” these things that society has drilled into me as the core values of a good upstanding citizen and adult. I question these underlying assumptions. Is it really better to keep commitments you don’t want to keep? To be consistant rather than spontanious? Is it right for work and school to think themselves so high and mighty that they can demand and expect that of us? More to come soon.

More Babbling

It’s been a while since my previous post. I’m hoping that I don’t only post when I have philosophical crap no one wants to read. Two things have been bugging me over the past few days. First, wanting things I can’t have. Is it wrong to do so? Does it depend on the nature of the thing being desired? If it’s bad, what can be done about it?

The second is losing interest in things once we have attained them. It seems as though the possession of the item isn’t as fulfilling as we think it will be, and thus it almost seems more enjoyable to desire a thing than to have it. Does that make sense? I’m having trouble putting it into words. Ah well, it’s just babbling after all. The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of a mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one. Thus sayeth Wilhelm Stekel. More to come soon.

There and Back Again

I also don’t take it too kindly when everything seems to be going according to my expectations (see previous discussion), and then suddenly everything changes to be completely out of line with expectation. In addition to the lack of correct order in the universe, it feels almost like a personal betrayal, having correctness torn away for no dicernable reason. It’s treasonous. Life can be that way.

And things masquerading as things they aren’t. Like this “I Robot” movie. It had nothing to do with Issac Asamov except that the name was the same as his short story and it had three laws in it. The laws weren’t even the same! What the heck?! More to come soon, though perhaps not so philosophical and thought-provoking.

The Here and There of It

It seems to me that theres a strange distinction between reality and its perception. And aside from that, between perception and expectation. There are some things in this world that should just be a certain way. But they often aren’t. This frustrates me greatly. In fact, I’d say a good chunk of life is spent attempting to make reality conform to expectations. But where do the expectations come from? And what if they differ from person to person?

It fits into the anime I watch too. I find that I watch anime that portrays reality in a way that fits closely with my expectations. Anime that doesn’t seem plausable (characters have no depth, or don’t behave correctly) I don’t seem to enjoy as much. Wow I’m all philosophical and stuff. Heh. More to come soon.

Trial and Error

Giga-byte motherboards are terrible. The one I received wouldn’t turn off and had issues with the RAM, and the right audio channel didn’t work. It’s being sent back. I’m getting myself a nice Asus board. Maybe then my computer will work correctly.

I think I may open a business fixing peoples old computers. I was working on one this week for a friend, and it had virii and popups like you wouldn’t believe. Now it’s clean and fast and up-tp-date. I could even do hardware upgrades and vacuum out the dust and cobwebs. That’s be cool. It’d be Really cool if people would pay me for it. More to come soon.

All Play and No Work

makes jak a tired boy. Build Kevin’s computer, fix lee’s computer, reinstall everything on my laptop, build Britt’s computer, build my new computer. Lots of fun projects :)

I am getting a new computer. And it’s going to be very very nice. I’ll be quite happy. Fedex needs to get their collective act together and stop delivering our computer parts to the stupid infinity dealer. What the crap?! More to come soon.

Some Progress Is Made

Well, now there are user profiles, which I think is kinda cool. Maybe I’ll get around to writing some useful functionality into this stupid website one of these days. More to come soon.

A Moment in History

After years of losing game after game of monopoly, I finally won a game tonight. Two, actually. And a year after it’s construction, I finally got to sign my name on the monopoly board table, under Income Tax and Reading Railroad, second teir. For a while there I was thinking that I wasn’t a loser anymore, since I finally had my name on the table, but then I realized that only people with no life would make a monopoly table. But it’s not that bad. I’m still very happy about it. More to come soon.

Back In Action

Well, after a lot of hard work, I have some semblance of a working website again. The old one’s harddrive bit the dust. And of course, being such a forward-thinking individual, the last backup I made was over a year ago and thus compeletely useless. I kinda like the way this one is shaping up though. More to come soon.