Notes on the State of the Union: .posted by ben on Sep 16 at 18:03

Cheap port isn't as bad as I would have thought.

Better to be a poor Miller than a poor Orwell.

Next time, taste soba before adding more pepper oil.

Fight the good fight, but always remember the good fight is hopeless by definition.

Crazy Poles may say things like "Love is cancer." It's best to assume they are lying.

Beck lyrics may frighten prep school kids and their mothers. Avoid the song about the squirrels.

Overcooked soba is a lot like pad thai.

The wisdom of charlotte: If you don't eat, not only do you have more money to spend on coffee and booze, but they're more effective to.

Too much coffee makes it difficult to type, but not difficult to read... I don't get it.

Schwarzenegger violated his work visa when he came to this country and now he wants to keep others out.

|<f,g>|^2 <= <f,f><g,g> (this is actually a truly clever pun which no one will understand, not even Collin).

Light bulbs that aren't burnt out are nice. Clean sheets are better.

It'd be easier to live in Paris if I knew some French, any French.

"You can't write if you can't relate, trading cash for the beat, for the body for the heat..." whatever that means. I'm gong to continue to side with Balzac as far as this is concerned.

My connection has been really slow lately, and I'm convinced the latency is because carnivore is eating my packets. I'm scared. No, really.

Rather be in Paris: .posted by ben on Sep 16 at 18:02

NetHack isn't as much fun as they say it is, in fact, it's a lot like Gauntlet, and Gauntlet was truly boring.: .posted by ben on Sep 15 at 18:33

In order to have the loan that I already applied for and got, I had to take an "exam." The questions were on the order of " Answer True or False: When you are out of school magical pink pixies will repay your loans with money they have collected selling dryer lint."

My little brass ball: .posted by ben on Sep 15 at 15:14

Graham was kind enough to furnish me with a picture of my beloved brass RP70. I have posted it here so you can all bask in its brassy glory. It is now hard at work in the bowels of my faucet, and if it performs as I imagine a brass RP70 would, I don't imagine I'll see it for more than another 12 years.

Goodbye little brass ball.

I'm currently leaning toward dropping the networks class. I'm drawing moral support from the look on Devin's face when I told him we don't read papers in that class. Of course, it's irrelevant right now because the accounting people think I haven't paid for this semester and won't let me drop courses. They also have conflicting forms over whether I signed up for $10,000 in unsubsidized student loans (I didn't). If they continue to screw that up, the interest payments will be the death of me.

All this sitting in a dismal computer lab at mines with my happy little iBook and headphones. I am out of place.

in other news: .posted by ben on Sep 14 at 20:12

I now have an RP70 made of solid brass.
Freeform Haiku like thing that would annoy Amanda: .posted by ben on Sep 14 at 20:11

I just saw amanda
and if she was there
shelving soap at target
she looked exactly the same
There was no need.: .posted by ben on Sep 14 at 18:56

From Truman's 7/18/45 Diary Entry:

"P.M. [Prime Minister Winston Churchill] & I ate alone. Discussed Manhattan [atomic bomb] (it is a success). Decided to tell Stalin about it. Stalin had told P.M. of telegram from Jap Emperor asking for peace. Stalin also read his answer to me. It was satisfactory. Believe Japs will fold up before Russia comes in. I am sure they will when Manhattan appears over their homeland. I shall inform Stalin about it at an opportune time."

The bombs were dropped on 8/6/45 and 8/9/45... almost a month later. The Japanese terms were to keep the emperor. After the bombs fell, they kept him as a figurehead, something I imagine could have been negotiated without so much death.

Truman should have been a plumber.

RP70 ate itself.: .posted by ben on Sep 14 at 18:04

The kitchen is like it was when I was younger. The faucet is in pieces all over the counter and various tools are beside the pieces they disassembled. If I turn the faucet on, I'll have a geyser reaching to the ceiling and beyond. It's tempting.. I'm curious how it would look... maybe if I had a wet/dry vac...

And I put too much pepper oil on my soba and it burns.

The moral of this is that I have to go out to Louisville to get RP70, which will probably cost more than a new faucet. The woman at Home Depot said: "I have something called Replacement Part 70, but I can't find anything called RP70." I'm proud of myself for not saying anything cruel.

And this is all very mundane.

I am currently leaning toward dropping the evil networks class against the advice of everyone I know. I'd rather be reading.

It has come to my attention that I don't know how to spell. In defiance, I've decided "adopt" looks better on the page spelled "adobt."

Indulgence.: .posted by ben on Sep 13 at 18:35

If Kafka hadn't spent years on accounting would he have been a better writer?

Thoughts to ben.
Gentle Philip: .posted by ben on Sep 13 at 17:04

Kristian and Tucker and all of them used to call me gentle Ben. At the time they were mocking me, but now I think I'd take it as a complement. I've been reading Philip K. Dick stories for a few days now. They're not anything like his novels. Instead they are happy little tales where everything turns out fine, where everything has purpose. And while I suspect purpose is a lie, it is still comforting to see it. One of my favorites was about a machine that could create creatures from musical scores and vice versa. It made little Bach beetles, a fanciful Schubert animal, and the malicious Wagner wolf that ate everything else. Wagner always bothered me.

I've had this sick feeling the entire time I've been reading these stories that Dick was too kind, and that's why he ended up mad and talking to God in orange county. Apparently he was in ROTC at Berkeley, and got a dishonorable discharge when the army found out the gun he had been carrying on marches and such had the firing mechanism removed. The man even wrote a story about hyper intelligent non corporeal hamsters. I think he has me beat as far as the gentle part goes... and the crazy Gnostic revisionist part too...

I should probably read some real literature though, since the only other thing I'm seriously reading right now is Goethe's autobiography.. It's annoying, he'll fall desperately in love with someone, and then she'll kill their relationship and move away before they've so much as held hands for propriety's sake. I don't care for propriety very much...

Dinner tonight will be colorful.: .posted by ben on Sep 12 at 19:21

I will be Shakespeare to juju.: .posted by ben on Sep 12 at 19:18

Satanic Juju.(n.) 1. Something more evil than can be properly described by the phrase "bad juju" 2. A headset composed of both threadless and threaded parts 3. The sockets assignment
Japan sounds depressing.: .posted by ben on Sep 12 at 19:09

I got the bright idea to read Stained Glass Elegies by Shusaku Endo. I've read one and a half stories, and I'm not sure I'll be making it any farther. Sure, the stories are written well, but they're too damned depressing.

The one I just finished culminates in a myna bird freezing to death on a patio. And if the dead bird weren't enough, it's all some terrible metaphor for how ruined the protagonist's life is. I don't need this. I need nice happy literature. I think I'll get back to the Goethe instead. Why am I looking to the Germans for cheer?

The BLF has been updated. It has a picture of Graham's Bianchi now.

I'm trying to decide if I should drop my networks class. In favor of dropping the class, I just got my ass kicked on the last assignment (OpenSSL and sockets), I'm not particularly interested in memorizing API stuff, and I'd rather be reading. Against dropping the class I have the issues that the teacher is my advisor (the reason I took it in the first place), at this point I'd get a "W" on my transcript, and it would be admitting failure relatively early in school. It also appears that a somewhat significant portion of the class got screwed on the assignment. And future assignments are going to be in Java instead of C, so at least that would be easier, since I actually know Java.

36 credits Required for CS Masters
9 - from grad classes at CU
9 - this semester
12 - thesis credits (don't have these yet)
3 - required OO course (haven't taken this yet)
3 - one elective (networks if I don't drop it)

I've barely started, and I can't believe how little there is left. Typing this up I used the wrong slash in all my tags. Hallo Spaceboy.

Sleep decreases the juju.: .posted by ben on Sep 11 at 12:01

Word of the day:

Enjujufy: (v.) 1. To increase the inherent juju of an object. 2. To adobt for the purposes of the revolution. 3. To destroy.

Continued Frequent Posts: .posted by ben on Sep 9 at 23:28

I still don't have encryption for my stupid sockets assignment. I can't find the book anywhere in Boulder, so I guess I'll be doing it from man pages. I was hoping I'd finished with this kind of busy work in college. But, I don't imagine it ever ends.

I'm very busy, but it's very boring. School isn't interesting, it's just more of this mind numbing labor. Even the MRI stuff... I'm not doing anything original, just applying someone else's work.

The worst part is that my friends are even more depressing than I am. Sitting with Collin and Josh, I get this feeling that there is no joy or change possible in the world. I may give up on Prufrock's. It is really depressing there. The major issue is the quiet, it used to be full of music and people and, most importantly, friendly baristas... and I don't get free food anymore. The Trident is worse though, it's always the same 30 something crowd that has lived in Boulder forever with no jobs, no ambition, and no hope. The Bookend doesn't have the same stink of despair, but it's annoying on the other end of the spectrum... a bunch of mindless yuppies.

My cats like me, or maybe it's the wool sweater. It's very lonely here. My dad is probably moving back, but somehow I don't think that will solve the lonliness issue. And since I didn't get the TA position I was told I was getting, there's no hope of paying for an apartment.

Unbearably Light Bowler Hat: .posted by ben on Sep 9 at 03:20

singing beowulf round the campfire: .posted by ben on Sep 9 at 03:04

The idea of studying art being work is not new. Even the really repetitive classics (the Iliad comes to mind) were once enjoyed. But, they got branded as classics, and people were forced to study them, and stopped enjoying them. People used to enjoy Chaucer. At some point Bronte was considered recreational reading.

But, the 20th century gave us a new form of literature: the novel that never had its time, the novel that no one ever enjoyed. Unfortunately I can't think of any novels to support my thesis at the moment, so I'll cite film instead. Stan Brakhage is the obvious example. Even if someone says they enjoy his film, they must be lying. Sure, I accept 5 minutes might be interesting, but 90? I think not. Art for the sake of art is not art. Art ought to be beautiful. Platonism keeps sneaking up on me.

I need noodles for pad thai.: .posted by ben on Sep 9 at 01:07

Encase in lucite and start chopping...: .posted by ben on Sep 9 at 01:01

Apparently Andres took my offer for a bludgeoning seriously.. somewhat seriously. Relatedly, it sounds like trust is not an attribute.

I only have two DS9 episodes left. The next one is called "Body Parts." I have no idea what it's about.

No one will give me MRI data. I have two pictures that I segmented myself. The ANN can't tell them apart. I'm supposed to segment my own data from some videos, try to segment a ball and background, or something like that. It's not as gruesome as the lucite derived slices of people at least.

What does this song mean?: .posted by ben on Sep 9 at 00:56

I know you're rich in
Good clothes and little things
Your mind is fancy
(and your car is bitchin')

Is she weird
Is she weird, is she white
Is she promised to the night
And her head has no room
And her head has no room

Your heart is ripshit
Your mouth is everywhere
I'm lyin' in it

Is she weird
Is she over me
Like the stars and the sun
Like the stars and the sun
Is she weird
Is she weird, is she white
Is she promised to the night
And her head has no room!

No more of this girl cryin'
I'm here, your big man
You're mine

Is she weird, is she white
Is she promised to the night
And her head has no room

The Pixies - Is She Weird

Some things aren't my fault.: .posted by ben on Sep 8 at 14:32

I just spent the last two hours looking for a bug in my C for my stupid sockets assignment. Turns out the problem was file system updates not being passed from the development environment to the terminal. Two hours. I used to rant and rave about how I didn't want to become a programmer because they spend all their time looking for missing semicolons. This is worse... This isn't even my fault, some programmer at Apple is to blame.

And I still have 2.5 hours until my next class, sitting here at Higher Grounds in Golden with no one to talk to, because engineers don't speak to one another.

And now for some patriotism...

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
     -Samuel; Adams



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