Saturday, April 30, 2005

Happy Birthday to No-one in Particular

Weird, eh? I was trying to think of a title and that's the first thing that popped into my head. Sometimes I wonder about the state of my own sanity. Ah well. If I were going to go insane, it would have happened long before now.

So anyways, I'm back home... the two weeks that I thought I was going to get a break; nope, I'm working in the factory again. AGAIN. I hate that place, and last year when I left I thought I was rid of it. But nope, I come home and my dad says "so I got you a job working at Autotube again", and all I can say is "uhh... thanks.... that's great..." Believe it or not, they made me come into work TODAY. A SATURDAY. I don't care WHAT planet you're from, that's not even right. Randall had the right idea... "I wasn't even supposed to *BE* here today!"

But god forbid that I would get two weeks off. Oh no, I wouldn't possibly need a break after those hellish exams. Not that this job is particularily taxing in either physical or mental respects; the problems with it are much simpler: 1. it's mind-numbingly boring, and 2. it eats into my sleeping time. Seriously though, after coming in this morning at 6:00... it was horrible. Then the CNC tube bender (I just call it "Bender") that I was working on actually threw a tube at me while I wasn't looking. Call me paranoid, but the damn robot was supposed to just DROP the tube on the floor... I was standing too far away for it to have bounced, and it hit me in the back of the leg. Then it tried to bite me; I was reaching near its arm (which wasn't supposed to be moving) and it jerked back and tried to take my hand off. @&*(&*(!!#()! machines....

Jeez I have to stop talking about that. What to talk about... I suppose it doesn't really matter. This blog has faded into the obscurity which 99.99% of all blogs fall into. Not surprising really. Do people actually read these things? Bah.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

HL2 photomosaic

Monday, April 18, 2005

Why Living in the Country is Better Than Living in the City

So I was on MSN, having a discussion with a friend about which was better, living in the city or the country. Since I am clearly right, I would like to take this opportunity to post her arguments, my rebuttal to those arguments, then several other points that makes the country superior.

Her points:

-shopping malls are within walking distance
-more ppl[sic]
-more people[sic] = more guys = more hot guys
-harder to get lost
-less ewy stuff
-you can wear flip-flops on the street

Now, it's clear that these few arguments are rather poor, but I'll rebut each one seperately.

1. "Shopping malls are within walking distance."

I have an interesting vantage point, as a country boy currently living in the city. Where I live here, the nearest shopping mall is about a 20 minute walk away. Where I live in the country, the nearest shopping mall is a 20 minute drive away. Sure, you might argue that it's more environmentally friendly to walk, but if you're patronizing such a paean to consumerism and capitalism as a shopping mall, then you're hardly concerned for things like that. Besides, who likes walking? Driving is far more fun.

2. "More People"

Well, okay, this one is pretty hard to argue with. It's a statistical fact that there are more people in the city than in the country, and if you're looking at population densities then it's a matter of definition. I suppose it could be said that it's a quantity vs. quality issue - people in the country are far more neighbourly and friendly (in my experience) than the average person in the city. But why is the existence of more people an advantage anyways? I don't particularily enjoy crowds; I prefer to have lots of space to myself. Which is hardly ever the case in the city. This line of thinking brings me to her next point:

3. "More people = more guys = more hot guys"

I'm not interested in guys, but you could say the same for girls. It's true that with an increased number of people comes an increased number of attractive ones (of either gender). However, if you look at the average group of friends of a person in the city and a person in the country, you'll see that the size is practically identical. Thus you stand about the same chance of meeting someone attractive whether you live in the city or not.

4. "Harder to get lost"

Not true. Cities are invariably harder to navigate in. And now, with GPS systems becoming common, it's even harder to get lost in the country. Here's an experiment. Take a GPS unit in the city and see how often it actually picks up a satellite. The tall buildings make it very hard to get a signal. In the country, it's nothing but clear skies (and trees, but radio waves pass through them easily). Even a GPS system augmented with an inertial navigation unit will do more good in the country than in the city.

5. "Less ewy stuff"

Now, here, I'm assuming that "ewy" is referring to those substances that are sometimes thought to be gross - dirt, mud, etc. Well, a little mud never hurt anyone. Whereas the "ewy" stuff in cities (hoboes, garbage, etc) have a much larger chance of causing harm. And this may be a matter of personal preference, but I much prefer getting a little mud on me than to be attacked by a hobo or get covered in toxic waste.

6. "You can wear flip-flops on the street"

You can do that in the country too; we do have *paved* roads, much to the amazement of some city folk. But why you would want to do such a thing escapes me entirely.

Well, that about covers that, so I'd like to enumerate some things that make the country a superior place to live:

-clean air
-you can see stars at night
-lots of space
-you can have big lawns! and pools! and other stuff of that nature.
-farm animals are awesome
-I have my own forest. How cool is that?
-as of a couple of months ago, high speed internet is available out where I live, which eliminates the last possible bad point about not living in the city
-You can drive a tractor to the highschool prom and nobody cares
-Bush parties >> indoor parties
-you can set off explosions and nobody will notice
-in the winter, it's almost guaranteed that there will be a hill big enough to sled on, somewhere on your property

I could go on, but I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that living in a rural area beats living in the city, any day.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

I <3 Photoshop

Yep, so I did a little photoshopping of a picture of myself, and it boosted my rating on from 4.5 to 7.2 literally overnight. I didn't do much - just took out a little acne, changed the shape of my jaw, got rid of the lines under my eyes - and my rating goes up by 2.7 points. I love technology.

Edit: Rating is now up to 7.6!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Absolute Insanity

I don't know if I'm being malnourished or what (which probably isn't a bad guess, I haven't eaten a fruit or vegetable in months), but my body has been stubbornly uncooperative lately. I'm tired all the time; and yet at the same time it takes me hours to get to sleep at night. Last night I promised myself I would get up at 10:00 to study for my chem exam, and I didn't end up waking up until noon (and even then, it took a supreme effort of willpower to get out of bed). Convincing myself to study has been difficult too; I'm pretty sure I just failed chem. Oh well. I'll put it down to malnourishment, in which case it will be swiftly cured once I get home. But for now it's kind of scary that I match all the symptoms of mercury poisoning. I've been drinking tap water lately; hopefully there isn't *too* much mercury in there. Besides, where I live at home, our tap water is pulled from a river that literally had pure mercury coating the bottom not even 30 years ago. Fun stuff. Then there's "Safety-Kleen" (or Clean Harbours, as it's called now), which is some sort of hazardous chemical disposal facility; it's some two minutes from my house. Whenever you get rid of batteries, that's where they go. Real nasty place, it is.

Anyways, as I mentioned, I just had my chem exam, which I'm pretty sure I failed. Ever look at an exam and think "holy crap, I don't know any of this"? Well, that's about what I did. But I suppose, I thought the same thing about the midterm, and I passed that. So there's still hope. In any case, I only have to get about a 40% on the exam to pass the course. Not that I'd want to cut it that close, of course.

Remember those couple of photomosaics I posted here back in October or so? I've got an idea for a new one; it should be pretty cool. If I can get the photomosaic software working, that is. Last time I tried it, it got stuck at 3% and was there for about 15 minutes before I got mad at it and shut it off. Admittedly, the mosaics take a crapload of time to complete, but not quite that long. And really, you can only rationalize so many trillions of operations before it just gets out of hand (speaking of which, I calculated how many floating point operations my computer has contributed to the protein folding thing: it's on the order of 74,000,000,000,000,000 or 74 quadrillion operations)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


So, I don't have class tomorrow until 1 in the afternoon, and I'm done at 2 - that's the great thing about this week - all the tutorials are finished. Of course this also means that exams start soon, and indeed they are soon. My calculus exam is next Monday - six days from now. I really should study....

Saturday, April 02, 2005

My Love/Hate Relationship with Technology

For those of you who know me, you know that I'm somewhat of a gadget freak, as well as a computer nerd. My gadgets are all becoming rather outdated, mostly due to the fact that I spent way too much money on this computer. It's a sign of greatness that nearly a year after you purchase a computer it's still pretty much cutting-edge technology. Sure, I could do with more RAM and a bigger hard drive, but my AMD Atlon 64 3400+ and GeForce 6800 GT are pretty much future-proof for now. Yes, I love my computer.

Where the hate comes in is when something doesn't work right. Think of the printer from "Office Space". In my case, my computer has been slowing down due to the accumulation of junk with no reformatting, my Palm Pilot cradle won't communicate with the USB port any more, and just now I tried to buy a drink from the vending machine and it ate my money. Grrr....

I still believe, of course, that technological progress is for the better (and while I could get into a huge philosophical debate about this, courtesy of my "Science and Social Issues" class, I won't). I just hope everything is a bit more reliable once we enter the nanotech age. What happens when whatever smart-fog object you're currently using crashes and turns to dust? How about when your medical nanobots contract a virus of their own and shut down your heart? Well, these are problems for the future (the near future, but still the future).

Oh, that "poem" I posted a couple of days ago wasn't written by me; what, you think I actually write poetry? Poems are for goths and self-absorbed arts students, of which I am neither. Actually my computer wrote it, after I fed a bunch of old chat history files into a natural language parsing program. Fun stuff.
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