tuzemi: (Default)
During the week I've been trying to minimize general Internet wasting-time, instead opting to read. Most were books I picked up when we visited Milwaukee over Memorial Day weekend. (I never got a good time to write up on that trip, but it was just a nice 4-day trip to Racine, Milwaukee, then Marquette, and finally back home, with a few stops along the beaches. And of course a very nice drop into Downtown Books for an hour, complete with two cats!)

Technogenesis was the first I read, and pretty good in general. I really liked the Witch and wish she had had about 5 times as much going on. Like some of the reviewers, a few plot points were predictable, but the end result was pretty good.

Next up was The Witches of Karres. OK, I'll admit to a shameless crush on kid Goth and am looking forward to The Sorceress of Karres where we see more of her as young woman Goth. Fun space opera that would be worthy of a television series in after the 1960's-era Star Trek.

Then came Superman: Red Son. Oh yeah, the Ukrainian Man of Steel rocks. Wonder Woman and Batman make their own appearances and are awesome. Other characters too, I don't want to spoil anything, but it's very very cool. I'm looking forward to a few more recent DC's like Superman: Earth One.

Last up we have Signal to Noise. Not bad at all, with some twists that were really unexpected and a whole world that is well-built and scarily feasible at first. And I want a Bubble, but not necessarily a leaky implant or the NSO.

In life news, work's been OK. Hit a lot of milestones all of the sudden which is good. But ... man, I'd love to retire someday. Or just have a summer off to work on my own stuff. I've been itching to hole up and start writing code again. My next project will be a modern re-telling of the [community profile] bbs concept blended with darknets. Imagine Dreamwidth, Reddit, and Facebook rolled into one, with everything encrypted end-to-end and on disk (so who cares if your PC is confiscated?), pseudonyms instead of real names, and utilizing really big hard drives so that everything is at local-network speeds. Email your buddy a Blu-Ray and they get it whenever. Killfile a spammer and never see their crap again, and if enough people killfile them they vanish from the site entirely. Yeah, that would be cool.

Anyway, I'm just in a mood where I'd love to slow down at work and get more going on at home. I'm so tired of being broke too. I take home a lot, but almost 70% of it all goes to debts. It'll be two years before that ends, just before I turn 40. On one hand, the census stats say that my wife and I are right on the 50% mark nationally; so why is it that almost everyone we know seems to have soooo much more money than we ever have? It's gotten so old now.

Ah well, let's get off the depression train and on to bed soon. I've got a great thermo problem to work out tomorrow morning that is like the best parts of grad school, and I need to get the equations put together in Maxima...
tuzemi: (Default)
I saw Prometheus this weekend. As a movie, there was a lot of Fridge Logic which others have gotten into on Reddit's /r/movies, but the visuals were really decent. I dunno, people love to say things like "breathtaking" and "groundbreaking" on new movies, but in today's CGI world can one really say that visuals are starkly different or better than even The Phantom Menace which came out in 1999? I saw stuff in The Avengers just as "new and amazing" as anything in Prometheus.

So people have also been saying that Prometheus is good enough to be worth the 3D. Having seen subtle nearly-nonexistent but well-done 3D (Tron: Legacy, and given that world it makes a lot of sense what they did) and not-so-subtle almost-a-headache and provides-zero-story-benefit (The Avengers and Prometheus), I am now convinced that there is no way to make 3D "worth it". Prometheus in particular was guilty of numerous scenes where they threw some non-focused object at the extreme foreground for no good reason other than to be annoying because real eyeballs filter that crap out so you don't even see it.

I'm sure I'll see the occasional film in 3D due to going with other people, but from now on I will be seeking only the 2D versions of any films. On the bright side, I'll never be tempted to get a 3D TV at home now, so that's an extra $1000 in my pocket.
tuzemi: (Default)
Taken from [personal profile] brisus...

Bold the ones you have done. Don't judge!

Graduated High School.
Kissed someone.
Smoked a cigarette.
Got so drunk you passed out.
Rode every ride at an amusement park.
Gone to a rock concert.
Helped someone.
Gone fishing.
Watched four movies in one night.
Gone long periods of time with out sleep.
Lied to someone.
Snorted cocaine.
Failed a class.
Smoked weed.
Dealt drugs.
Been in a car accident.
Been in a tornado.
Done hard drugs.
Watched someone die.
Been to a funeral.
Burned yourself.
Ran a marathon.
Cried yourself to sleep.
Spent over $200 in one day.
Flown on a plane.
Cheated on someone.
Been cheated on.
Written a 10 page letter.
Gone skiing.
Been sailing.
Cut yourself.
Had a best friend.
Lost someone you loved.
Shoplifted something.
Been to jail.
Dangerously close to being in jail.
Had detention.
Skipped school.
Got in trouble for something you didn’t do.
Stolen books from the library.
Gone to a different country.
Dropped out of school.
Been in a mental hospital.
Watched the “Harry Potter” movies.
Had an online diary.
Fired a gun.
Gambled in a casino.
Had a yard sale
Had a lemonade stand.
Actually made money at the lemonade stand.
Been in a school play.
Been fired from a job.
Taken a lie detector test.
Swam with dolphins.
Gone to sea world.
Voted for someone on a reality TV show.
Written poetry.
Read more than 20 books a year.
Gone to Europe.
Loved someone you shouldn’t have.
Used a coloring book over age 12.
Had surgery.
Had stitches.
Taken a taxi.
Seen the Washington Monument.
Had more than 5 IM’s/online conversations going at once.
Overdosed.
Had a drug or alcohol problem.
Been in a fist fight.
Suffered any form of abuse.
Had a hamster.
Petted a wild animal.
Used a credit card.
Gone surfing in California.
Did “spirit day” at school.
Dyed your hair.
Got a tattoo.
Had something pierced.
Got straight A’s.
Been on the Honor Roll.
Known someone with HIV or AIDS.
Taken pictures with a webcam.
Started a fire.
Gotten caught having a party while parents were gone away.
tuzemi: (Default)
Last week was busy at work and busy at home. I was on a code sprint with my pet project and stayed up to 3am Thursday night working on it -- and I did great! It gained a key feature for the Windows version, and I am sooo tempted to just cut what I've got as a release and park it for a while. But still: 3am on Thursday. I had planned on working from home Friday but that didn't happen.

Instead, I moved almost everything around the townhome. Two desks, the elliptical, treadmill, weights, bed, dining room table, cedar chest, wood stove, small chairs, filing cabinet, fire safe, lots of boxes, and some shelves. Along the way I also vacuumed the entire floor. It was about 8-10 hours of work and I'm still sore. But the home is so much better now. We have a real study that encourages me (finally!) to read my books. We can exercise easily in the living room now. I've got plenty of room for sitting Zen too.

That was Friday. Saturday I sat Zen for a few minutes, cooked up a bunch of food for the week (two salads, boiled eggs for tuna salad, a pork loin, vegetable stocks for soup, and have some chicken in the freezer for later). Today I walked about 6 miles outside, had a pretty decent day on food (oatmeal, pork, sauteed mushrooms, and a medium-size cashew chicken lunch at a nearby Chinese restaurant), and saw The Avengers for the second time in the last few days. I also called my mom briefly, and am now doing laundry for the week. Once I clean up a bit (I need a shave BAD) I'll either read or do more sitting.
tuzemi: (Default)
I finally saw the LOTR Extended Edition just now. And I mean really just now. :)

Started watching I think around 9pm last night, got all the way through the Battle of Pelennor, and then had to sleep around 6ish. There were a couple bathroom breaks and the pizza delivery. Got back up around 10:30 this morning and just finished it.

I had seen the original cut in theatres, but it was so long ago I had forgotten a lot of details. I liked the extended edition a lot though.

Spoilers for a decade-year-old film... )

The movie really makes me miss the pre-911 world. Some of that is classic get-off-my-lawn: Liv Tyler is basically my age so seeing a young Arwen is remembering a young me too. But other stuff too: this was a movie made by an awesome crew of film and fantasy geeks, and you can really see in the performances that these actors grew real friendships along the way. I imagine what it would be like to be part of that project with so much energy being put not into making money or being sexy but in telling a story as epic as the Illiad.

Well I'm rambling, better wrap up soon. I think another nap and then I'll be ready to do my other geeking for the weekend: consolidating all of my Unix-y stuff into a single netbook and then backing it up as my default image.
tuzemi: (Default)
Dear Michigan,

Sometime you have such gorgeous weather. Could you please someday bring on the beautiful sun and skies say on Friday night instead of Sunday night? That would make lovely even better, thank you!

Weird, TX

Mar. 12th, 2012 07:25 am
tuzemi: (Default)
In no particular order:

1. iPads have come to my family like a tsunami. 20 years ago I was strange for liking computers rather than being outside. Today EVERYONE has either an iPad, laptop, or iPhone. And most of those are set to Facebook. Who are these people and what have they done with my relatives?
2. Politics: yes I follow most of the big stories, but I have about zero expectation that my vote makes a difference or that being a junkie is good for me. Makes me wonder if being "mainstream" in Texas where their candidates have won most of the time (absurdly easy to do here - the GOP could run a corpse and it would take 55% of the vote) gave them the illusion of control.
3. Many more children than I have seen. Toys everywhere, lots of squealing etc. Cute but also a little disorienting.
4. Most people seem stressed. Like we all know why we are all here. Every day Gramma gets better, then worse, then back. Mainly it looks like she can't get off the machines without going into a tailspin.

Today will be hanging out at the hospital. But first I think a good long walk outside and doing laundry.
tuzemi: (Default)
There is a greater-than-zero chance that my Gramma is on the final stretch. Maybe it will be two weeks, maybe two years, but it is clear that she is ... changing. Right now she is in the hospital and recovering from the most recent round of "stuff." My wife found a cheap ticket for me and I am doing my annual trip to Texas several months earlier than planned. I feel about 80% like this will be my last trip to see Gramma alive. Others seem to feel the same: we are going to have nearly every one of her blood kin here by Monday, including an uncle living overseas and another in Boston, plus of course me in Michigan. I haven't seen this much family in one place in about 20 years.

So far the trip has been OK. I spent some time today with a friend from college. I was best man at their wedding and they have a super-sweet/cute almost-2-year-old girl. That went really well. I have also seen my entire immediate family and all of the pets including a new dog.

Tomorrow is a lunch with Most Everyone, and then an hour or so with another close friend of mine. Monday is hanging out in the hospital, and Tuesday I head back home.

Weirdly, this trip seems to be the generational turning point. My mother looks like my memories of Gramma. My dad fully looks like an old man now. My brother and cousins look like my uncles, and my uncles look like old men. The great-grandchildren are our old selves. It is one thing to know intellectually, but quite another thing to see it.
tuzemi: (Default)
Master: The Tao is the Un-Nameable.
Student: Do you mean the Tao is the NULL pointer?
Master: The NULL pointer is 0x0. It has a Name. It can be de-referenced on some architectures, or throw an exception. The Tao is the Un-Nameable.
Student: Is it SQL NULL?
Master: SQL NULL can be manipulated and filtered with IS NULL. The Tao is Un-Nameable.
Student: What then is Tao?
Master: Tao is possibility, inevitability, and absence. It is the data represented by the NULL field, the memory behind the NULL pointer. It is All and Not All. No opcode can locate it yet it resides at all levels of the instruction pipeline.
tuzemi: (Default)
1. Stitches came out easily and OK. (Had a mole excised.)
2. Almost finished with Dr Who series 6. He speaks baby, and it is hilarious. "Save your tears for later."
3. We are planning on getting an inflatable boat and paddling up and down the river many weekends this summer. The gratitude is that we live so close to water this is not only feasible it is cheaper than other forms of entertainment.
4. Discovered how to use MS Project to great effect at work.
5. Sun and snow outside our door this morning is pretty.
tuzemi: (Default)
1. Found cheap ticket to visit family back in Texas. Though I'll likely be stressed and whatnot, going in March will be very preferable to going in the actual summer. If all goes well, this may be my only plane trip for the year too.
2. Just about have a puzzle solved at work. Can't talk about it here, but getting to the answer meant I got to learn how to use Aspen Dynamics which could be a huge thing in the future. Plus if I am right then I am already on the path to fixing a major headache for my operators and saving the company several times my salary for next year.
3. The last benefit on our relocation package is helping my wife with her job search, and as soon as I asked they jumped on it and contacted her that same day. They'll help with an updated resume, some local contacts, etc., and (cross fingers) will help her feel more confident about getting out there again. It's also nice that their main office is out of Texas too, so even less cultural barriers to helping her.
4. Did a nice walk yesterday morning on both elliptical and treadmill, and so far have no hurt in my hip socket. (I discovered that any soda, diet or regular, will now cause inflammation and pain in that socket which made it hard to do my typical cardio for a few months.)
5. Current Netflix TV show: Black Books. We're in Series 3 now, it's been rather good so far.
6. New music: wrapped up Hot Chelle Rae's current album on iTunes and enjoying a couple tracks for the exercise and general stuff.

In other news, this week will be a bit killer as I discovered that the only way I'll be able to overcome the DOMS I get from kettlebell swings (which basically make me a cripple for 3-5 days after a 20-minute workout) is to overtrain legs and do it again through the pain, until I can manage to do 2 or 3 workouts a week, after my body will adjust to that and the DOMS will fade out. So I am about to go do my swings exercise and planning to do it again Monday morning. Pain here I come...

Elantris

Feb. 21st, 2012 02:48 pm
tuzemi: (Default)
I just finished reading Elantris last night.

Some comments behind the cut... )

In general though, not bad at all.
tuzemi: (Default)
So we bought a car today, a brand new Subaru Impreza. We liked the manual transmission, the all wheel drive (now that I have driven through a blizzard it makes a lot of sense), the mpg, and the overall it-fits-us-rightness. While filing the paperwork the dealer gave us our credit scores and mine is now well north of 800.

Here is the thing: I really can't pay bills to save my life. She does that and does it excellently. This credit score is really hers to claim, not mine. Yet I have the job so the car must be financed in my name and not hers. I feel in some respects like a fraud or a lucky victim of identity theft. Honestly, at least 100 points of my credit score I think is a direct function of my job title.

But onto my point. We are taught that money is a unit of value exchange and nothing more. But truth be told money is created wholesale by our government and allocated by way of tax incentives and legal decisions to turn it into the great game of micro-economics. If we desired a different game with different victory conditions we could create one; we might consider a game in which the objective is to minimize human intervention in the economy ("Star Trek economics"). But in today's game, the rules get stupidly easier on you the further you go. It is like hitting the Boss level two minutes in, and then working your way down to a roomful of stupid plodding sprites ten levels later when you've got the BFG. Money is used not to optimize value or time but to alleviate the suffering of those deemed necessary to keep the system running; the lack of money is deliberately wielded against the poor to create subservient class climbers (engineers, doctors, etc) to replenish the ranks of the dwindling middle classes.

It is late, I should probably write this up with better citations later, maybe after I have read some Marx because I'm sure this is all amply spelled out somewhere. But this is what I observe in my own life. I am on track to finally achieve at age 38 what some of my friends had laid out for them at age 23. The moral is not "why did they get it" but rather "why didn't so many other people equally deserving get it?"
tuzemi: (Default)
My new treadmill record: 13.1 miles, 2750 cal, 25.5 aero points, 4 hr 28 mins with a few breaks in between. In which I learned my treadmill is awesome and does not stop even at 4+ hours. Now for breakfast and the blisters on my feet to begin healing.

Boo-ya! )

Sick day

Feb. 10th, 2012 11:29 am
tuzemi: (Default)
Ugh, either my allergies finally succumbed to the dozen or so teeny-to-middling snow showers we've had this year (way more than I've ever experienced before) or I managed to catch the cold bug that's been floating around everywhere. Regardless, I felt like crap yesterday and figured I'd likely stay home today, and managed to sleep 10 hours which is maybe 2-3 times a year for me?

Finished up Middlemarch a couple nights ago. It was quite faithful to the novel, I was impressed. It reminded me a lot of older US westerns where the violins just kick up something serious, and of course one wonders why all these Victorian people feel so strongly about stuff when they barely even see each other or communicate when in the same room. The period dress was gorgeous though, and I'd love to get me a suit and tophat and try to manage it at work someday. It's also had the good effect of keeping me off the asshole sides of the Internet. I was very proud a few days ago that I did absolutely zero extra computer time at home: breakfast, to work, then to home, and finally Netflix and reading.

I also wrapped up Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Of the Narnia books I've read so far (all but The Silver Chair and The Last Battle), this one is actually my favorite of the bunch, and sets Narnia apart as very different kind of world (hint: it's not round). It also features very little of Aslan coming in to save the day: a little here and there but most of the action is in the children, which IMHO is much better than some of the other stories which are basically "I saw Aslan and he said X and you don't believe me and now we're screwed unless Aslan shows back up with a magical huge army to save our butts."

I think the rest of today will be a hot soup lunch, more reading, maybe another nap, some Team Fortress 2, but also a completely unrelated doctor's appointment around 4.

Unburdening

Feb. 5th, 2012 10:31 am
tuzemi: (Default)
My wife ordered this book called I Will Be Iron and I started preparing to get much better at kettlebell swings. For now I'm writing down how many I can do, I have a general goal of 100,000 swings over the next so many years. First day somewhat pathetic: I managed to get up to 100 but could only swing 20 before taking a breath. And then the DOMS kicked in and it was five days to the next workout, which I did better: 115 swings with 30 as my continuous max. DOMS came back much faster, so yesterday I started walking on the treadmill. I didn't have enough time to hit my goal, but I did manage a new record: 2+ hours, 6 miles, 1300+ calories, 10+ "aero points" (Pacemaster thing). During the walk I started to reconnect with myself I suppose, and made a new resolution: my Linux laptop is now packed away in the closet indefinitely.

Not because I hate Linux, actually I like it more than any other operating system, but the only purpose for that laptop is to wrap my open-source program, and if I can't find time or motivation to do that right now while my wife is traveling then I need to admit that that project is basically abandoned. It's not in a bad place though: it can be compiled for Linux, Mac, and Windows if you know what you're doing, it still has a few minor-ish bugs but it far exceeds my original vision in terms of features. But having its dev environment up all the time just leads me to worry and blame myself that it isn't done, and oh well I need to do better living in the now than waiting for tomorrow. This project was my own form of Casaubon's Key.

Tomorrow is today. I put away my glasses and will now wear contacts every day, I shaved my head back down to skin (my favorite look), and I'm going to start beating the crap out of my body.

It's not about doing "OK today", it's going for personal records every time I push my body. My goal with walking is to eventually walk "until I can't walk anymore". I did it once back in summer 2000: I managed 20 miles in one day, through rain and under bridges and along a stretch of corn fields on US-380. The next day, I had blisters between every toe, dried blood where my thighs had rubbed, and could barely walk with bruises on the soles of feet. It was glorious, and was one of those moments that separate your life Before and After.

Since I packed up the other computer, I feel great. Had some decent Chinese American food last night, made some pancakes this morning which I haven't done in years, listening to new music off iTunes, and getting laundry and other chores knocked out before I head to a Superbowl party tonight (I'm bringing Guiness).

For Auir!

Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:03 pm
tuzemi: (Default)
"I have returned."
tuzemi: (Default)
New Years post courtesy [community profile] thefridayfive:

Into 2012
1. Do you make New Year's resolutions? If so, what are yours this year?


Sometimes. This year I do have some:
1. Eat more veggies.
2. Spend less time on the computer.
3. Find a church, temple, hobby group, or something that will get us connected with a few people.

2. What are you really looking forward to in 2012?

Winter and snow. Seeing my school debt drop below $50k. The end of the Mayan calendar. The Avengers movie. Visiting Canada.

3. Did you have any life-changing experiences in 2011? What were they?

Many. The big one would be leaving East Texas and moving to Michigan.

4. What do you plan on waking up to on the 1st?

My wife and I in New York. Maybe with a hole in my memory. We will see tomorrow.

5. Do you have any particular traditions for New Year's?

It has been years since I could manage staying up to midnight. Usually I am working through the week in some fashion. Once though I stayed up to fill in my FAFSA online: got it in within 20 minutes of the new year, and scored a $1500 grant for the next year.
tuzemi: (Default)
I am at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and lookie here:

Ancient Jaffa Horus Guard

See that huge calf? That's more muscle than puny humans have, it's gotta be a Jaffa. Daniel Jackson was right all along.

(More seriously, this place is a Stargate fan's dream. I keep looking for Ga'ould neck scars.)

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