Monday, February 28, 2005

Mostly Names and Faces

Here I make minimal if any attempt to explain. That will come later as I have the chance to mentally process.

Jillian and Juanita

Me and Julia

Dad & Mom


Jonathan and Jillian

Juanita and Tim
Erica, me, Mom, Dad
No comment
Tim & Caleb
Amy Jo, Marita, Jon, Juanita

High-Flying Adventures

Note: This post was written on Thursday night. I never did find any WiFi, so I didn't get to post it until now.

Well, I made it. No, I’m not there yet. I just made it to my gate. There aren’t any open access points at this airport and I’m certainly not paying Cingular or Wayport just so I can post this live. I’m typing this into Word; I’ll copy it to Blogger when I get the chance: possibly in Detroit or Buffalo.

I say “adventures” because of today has been eventful. I say “high-flying” because I’m cynical. I worked 9 ½ hours today, which really isn’t that bad, except that I didn’t stop for lunch, so all I had to eat until I got home was a banana and some package oatmeal. I did finish what I was doing, it’s not “done” done, but I got as far as I can until more components become available, and in theory it should work perfectly once they do.

Once I got home, I ate and started packing. Once I finished, I took a shower and then my roommate drove me to the airport. Yep, right to the “Arrivals.” Once I found the check-in counter (located near the “Departures” area) I checked in, and, after much walking, three escalators, and a train, found my gate. I am currently in my seat on the plane, next to a little two or three-year-old girl named Mazie and her father. She has pink dinosaur slippers (with claws) and matching jammies, as well as a bankie and a stuffed bunny. I should have brought A Snoodle’s Tale. I’m not sure she would appreciate Napoleon Dynamite or An Ideal Husband (and even if she would enjoy a south park episode, I’m sure her father wouldn’t, and I would never expose an innocent child to it. Well, maybe the Mormon one, but never the Lord of the Rings one, and those are the only two I currently have on my laptop’s hard drive. The rest (thanks to one of RFH’s former roommates) are on my external drive). Oh, well, we both need some sleep anyway. It’s only 10:30 and I’m already tired. This is because yesterday morning at 6:00 AM the inhabitant of the room directly above me decided it was a great time to play music. Really loud. With lots of bass. I called security and left a message. I also went up and knocked on his door. Finally, at 8:00, the noise subsided, so I decided I would sleep in for another hour. My usual arrival time to work is 9:00-9:30 anyway. You might ask why I’m so tired if I show up to work so “late,” but only if you haven’t been paying attention to the times of my blog posts. Traffic clears up at around 9:00, so it actually saves time to sleep in.

I didn’t play volleyball today, because I knew I wanted to finish what I was doing, and I had to pack, so I e-mailed my team captain when I got in to work to let him know. We have a decent team; I’m at about the median skill level (or maybe slightly higher), for those of you who know what my game is like. We’re at cruising altitude, and it’s boiling hot on the plane. Normally planes are cold, and so I usually dress warm. I’ve long since doffed my jacket and I took my shoes off too. The air vent is all the way open. I’m thinking I should follow Mazie’s lead and get some rest. Kids are smart.
“Dum dum dum dum dumb…"

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I Am Ender Wiggin

I have this to say to 6 Foot, Judge Judy, Maximus, and Don Efrain: j00 4|2 pWN3D!0

So if you're wondering who Ender1 is and how it's possible for me to have such l337 5NYp|2 5|<!11Z2, you need to read a book by Orson Scott Card entitled Ender's Game. It's about a kid genius who gets sent to a battle school in orbit along with various other child prodigies. The purpose of the battle school is to produce battle commanders capable of defeating a race of insectoid hive beings who tried to wipe out the humans seventy years ago. A large part of their training in battle tactics involves a game best described as zero-gravity laser tag. Orson Scott Card is a great author and if you're at all interested in science fiction I recommend reading this book. There are two tracks of sequels to Ender's Game: one that follows Ender's interplanetary (and very long, due to time dilation) travels, and one that follows his battle school friends' exploits as they influence global politics. One of the purposes of all (good) science fiction is to construct an artificial relaity and use it to examine real-world political/social/personal/philisophical/whatever issues and how they work themselves out in a projected future.

0 l337 Translation: "You are owned!"

1 Tonight I played laser tag for the first time ever with the Tacoma YP. I chose the alias "Ender." We played two rounds. The second round I got 2nd place. It seems the guy who got first place spends his life there (he wasn't part of our group). Anyway, I, a total n00b, pwn3d everyone else.

2 l337[gamer slang: "elite"] sniper skills

Monday, February 14, 2005

Between the Chicken and the Blog

I need a shower. My hair smells like barbecue. Up here in Washington, or maybe it's just an apartment thing, but I've noticed it a lot more up here than down in CA--anyway, up here in Washington, they rely more heavily on electricity than gas for cooking and heating, and up until this point in my life, I have always lived in a house with a gas stove. I am also a pyromaniac, so while I was settling in I bought one of those little Smokey JoeTM barbecues. I use it occasionally for cooking steak or chicken (or bratwurst: mmmmm). My roommate thinks I'm crazy. Today I went to the grocery store, and I got some chicken. I barbecued half of it, stuck the other half in a ZiplocTM bag--oh, wait, I think it was the knock-off store brand--anyway, I put the uncooked meat in the freezer in an air-tight, zipping, clear plastic bag, ate half of the cooked chicken with some cream corn, stuck the other half in the fridge for later this week, and in the process of cooking the chicken, my hair, sweater, and jeans all ended up smelling (deliciously--but not socially-acceptably) like barbecue chicken. I needed to do a wash anyway, so I just started that before starting this post. Now I need that shower.

*Takes shower /*

Ahh... refreshing. My hair is non-charcoal-ified. It's also stripped of much of its oils0, which means that in the morning I will resemble Albert Einstein, minus the moustache. Thank God for gel. I think I need a haircut too. Normally my mommy cuts my hair, although my last haircut was at the mall.

*Transfers wash to dryer /*

RFH1 left his wash in the dryer. I don't call him that for nothing. Yesterday I discovered that my efforts to get him to actually put dishes in the dishwasher in stead of the sink were finally paying off. Unfortunately, the way I discovered this was that there was a marinara-laden fork in with the otherwise clean dishes. I had run it the night before. He also has the habit of leaving his stuff everywhere. For weeks at a time. And doesn't move it when I repeatedly mention it to him and he says he will. His idea of taking out the trash is to leave the bag (which he filled up by placing a non-flattened (recyclable!) diet coke boxes in it) right next to the trash can. For over a week. "But it's cold outside." Boo hoo! Talk about over-mothered. Ladies, if you love your sons, and you pity your future daughters-in-law (more accurately: if you want future daughters-in-law), don't pamper your little boys!

This evening (between the chicken and the blog) I went to hear a guy talk at one of my churches2 about Islam. Most of the information he covered I had already been exposed to, but it was a good refresher, and I learned some things. For example, Muslims believe that Jesus didn't die on the cross. Seriously. They think it was Judas, or someone else who looked like Jesus. They also think that Christians think the Trinity is the Father, Mary, and Jesus3. There was a time for questions at the end, and one that I asked4 was in his experience, what was it about Christianity that had attracted the former-Muslim Christians that he knew. It's been said that we all have a God-shaped hole in our souls that only Jesus Christ can fill, and I was wondering what the biggest gap in this hole Islam leaves. What he said was, Jesus Christ: What he taught, what he did, who he is. Comparing Jesus Christ vs. Muhammad, Jesus Christ vs. the Quoran, Jesus Christ vs. the five pillars of Islam, Jesus Christ vs. Islamic law.

It really is all about Jesus Christ.

Another5 reason I was glad I went was that afterwards I got to spend some time with the Max-kids, and talk with Dr. Dave & Dr. Larry (although I see the latter more often, as he goes to my other (the one at which this wasn't) church).

I think everything I've tried to organize up here so far (with the exception of the Great Halo Party) has been a colossal failure. Today Tonnski and I were planning on going to see Bride & Prejudice, wich is a Bollywood take on P&P in a way analogous to the way in which Clueless was a valley girl take on Emma. Anyway, so, like, I call up Tonnski on the phone, and I'm like, "Hey, like, how's it going?" And she's like, "I'm like totally gagging over here." Okay, enough of that. She was sick, so she couldn't go. I then proceeded to attempt contact with OtherTim, Wednesday, Kat, and Shourt, none of whom could be reached. I finally did get a hold of Kat, who, as it turns out, was driving back from Pullman, and therefore couldn't make it. I decided to give up, so I called Mrs. Cuervo (who had expressed interest) and told her the sad news. Hopefully this will all work out and we'll be able to watch it, possibly this Friday, provided (a) they aren't all offended by the pseudonyms I just gave them or (b) they remain blissfully unaware of said pseudonyms because they don't read this.

The morrow approacheth.

0 For those of you keeping track of the sequence of events here, please note that I here engaged in a half-hour-long discussion with beck about the proper use of the semicolon.

1 Roommate From Hell

2 One of them only meets about two Sundays a month, plus a weekly mid-week home Bible study. This was the other one.

3 This is either laughably ridiculous, or the most pointedly apropos criticism of the giant syncretism that is the Roman Catholic Church.

4 I think I asked about a quarter of the questions, including a clarification of the aforementioned dying on the cross bit.

5 Another? What was the first reason? Shut up, left lobe! I'm tired. Besides, it should be obvious that I thought the talk and subsequent discussions a worthwhile affair.

Friday, February 11, 2005

One Long String of Links

...because it's my prerogative to abuse a little pulpit to the world when I have one, and because you have nothing better to do than to sit there and read it.

First, a couple of sweet /. sigs:
  • I prefer the "u" in honour as it seems to be missing these days. ~ WindBourne
  • Support bacteria! It's the only culture some people have. ~ melted
I found this while playing with this Firefox extension. I also hacked a couple of extensions so that they would work on version 1.0.0 I just (finally) upgraded Firefox from 1.0PR to 1.0, mostly because I discovered that Flashblock was available for this version. On 1.0PR I had Flash Click to view and was unwilling to upgrade from the preview release to the full release if I had to see a bunch of flash ads all over the place.

Other cool extensions: Adblock, CuteMenus, FoxyTunes, Gcache, Image Zoom, Add Bookmark Here, Image-Show-Hide, Nuke Anything, Download Sort, Favicon Picker1, FlagFox1, Work Offline1.

And yes, I am plugging Firefox, if you hadn't noticed. I'm sorry if it's uncreative. If you want something more Tim-ish, beck just sicked me like a pit bull on this blog.

0 One of them has a typo in it that makes it good for versions 0.9 - .10, so I merely corrected that one to 1.0. The other, I just arbitrarily changed from 0.9 to 1.0. A pretty simple hack, actually. I ended up disabling them, though, because the sound events don't correspond to the ones I want. Oh, well. It was fun and I got to brag about it.
1 If you want these, you'll have to whitelist the server the first time you click the install link. They're Dutch, so they're cool.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A Minor Update

This isn't going to be long, or deep; just an update on my life.

Time has been flying by for the past week. Right now I feel slightly depressed. I'm not used to being depressed. It's as puzzling/foreign to my rational mind as it is explicable, and predictable. Lately at work, although I know I'm making progress, I've been under a lot of stress. I've been dancing around some seemingly unsolvable roadblocks to my finishing one of the components that I'm writing. The thing is, I know it's possible to solve, and the knowledge to do so lies in the brains of one or more other programmers in the building. The problems are (1) this knowledge can be difficult to track down (2) these people are busy with their own work, and (3) programmers, by and large, are not hired for their superior communication skills. It's not like I'm sitting at work staring at my computer screens and banging my head on the desk0; there has usually been something else I can work on, and I am (slowly) making progress, but these problems are looming around the corner. Last night I dreamed I got fired, which was totally irrational and bizarre, but it betrays my frustration. I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything.

It sounds counterintuitive, but I think part of the reason that I feel a bit down is that I spent lots of time hanging out with my friends and acquaintances. I'm an introvert, which means that (in contrast to an extrovert), my "batteries" re-charge by spending time alone, and the energy is spent interacting socially with people. With notable exceptions, I don't feel like I "mesh" well with the people my age up here. That, and they're so tight-knit/related, which leads to social gender polarization, in which groups of members of the opposite sex have nothing to do with each other, even when spending hours in the same small apartment, and even while playing the same group game together. Their natural state of equilibrium is two "circles" of conversation, a few feet apart.

Hence, I am frustrated at work and with friends, and this week I spent a lot of time playing video games, which you might think helps an introvert, "cause it's a 'man-cave' activity,1" but doesn't really re-charge me, as it is largely mindless. That, and a lack of sleep all adds up to an anticlimax in my mood. I feel like I relate to so few people up here, at least people my age, and the ones I do are never around, or have gone galavanting off to other countries.2

Speaking of gallivanting off to other countries, I just bought tickets to fly to Buffalo, whence I will ride in a car to Cambridge for a weekend later this month. My parents will be there too, so that's a nice bonus.

0Well, at least not all the time, and there is Slashdot.
1This has nothing to do with introversion, and a lot to do with male unwinding, and that merely according to some pop-psi book. It is a great way to escape reality, but then so is beer, and the two are equally good at actually fixing the root problem.
2Not that I blame any of them in the least. I'm just relating how it has effected me in my emotionally fragile state *sob*