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I split my Post pool into 8 hits, first is at -8
Goal for Wednesday: 15 papers, and the Tuesday Practicals. A tab ambitious, but I have all evening. Just need to not play Zangband or watch any movies. Should be doable.
Exalted on Saturday this week. I think it will be a good session, probably not as long as the previous two. I'm excited.
Bought a car parking space. It's in a bad spot but it's always there. I'll investigate getting a better one when I can.
Shorter Lloyd: My brother told you so!
Shorter economy: at least I'll have great stories for my kids. I think it's bad enough to impact academia though, so I'm gonna be scrounging for a while
Thesis proposal should cruise once I get the rest of the papers. Litsearching is a taxing thing for me so ti may not get done until sometime next week. Ah well.
Doomwalker now at Level 42 and 150% asskicking. Still need another 8 levels, +15 speed, and probably a better weapon
Deep Thought: I don't really engage in fiddling, whether or not major cities are burning, but somehow these things all catch up at once anyways.
Winter Quarter Musings
Only taking two classes again. Need 45 units including thesis, so 36 class units, and I've already taken around 29 (assuming I pass all classes this quarter, har). So I'm way on target to graduate. I'm not even working for that, it will just happen since my Master's Thesis will run through next year. What I'm really wanting is a Certificate of Applied Statistics, which not only looks awesome on a resume but will also grant me full mastery of statistics for biology work (the first class I took, Intro Biostats, was already helpful in Animal Behavior).
Also gonna teach GS again, don't think it will be too hard. And I just accepted a teaching position for a BIO1000 Lab. An extra $400/month, and I think the additional work load will be acceptable. Monday/Wednesday will still be open for subbing, which is a lot of stretch time for when deadlines loom.
Will probably also be taking thesis units assuming I get my proposal written. I have all of December. Yee ha.
Need to get a gallery going for my Master's Thesis section of the site, since I just took some more pictures of the site. I'm thinking it might get put off to when I get my new compie (probably Christmas season, maybe even New Year).
So Sunday was the first session of the new Exalted campaign I'm running with Jennifer and Jason. It was super duper awesome and stuff, and I think I'm gonna make a campaign writeup page using a clone of this weblog engine, same as my thesis blog (which has been moved, btw, to here). I expect the campaign archive will be at here.
So what's Exalted? It's an RPG from those wacky guys over at White Wolf. It has a very thorough and intricate world setting, which suits my tastes perfectly since I like involved and long-running stories. It also consists mostly of over-the-top heroics, which I also enjoy.
Time to go make the exalted blog, then eat dinner, then do Animal Behavior homework until I fall asleep. Thrilling, I know.
Grind grind grind
Holy crap, man, this quarter is ramping up hardcore.
Fortunately, GS is done and done a week from today, which is pretty key since Animal Behavior is about to take off bigtime, and there's still the final drafts of the lab papers to grade. Fortunately those should be good since I personally interviewed every *single* student (except two who haven't caught up with me yet) on how to make it all better. Should be okay.
I wrote a letter to Senator Feinstein last week regarding Joe Lieberman using her senate.gov contact webpage. Guess it didn't help. Oh well, I have the letter here.
Yeesh. I still need to make the GS student evals. Oh the humanity! List of things to do tomorrow grows. Also includes: e-mailing Prof. Opp about the key, asking Dr. D. about someone's practical grade, and updating lab grades.
One of THOSE weeks...
Three things need doing poste haste:
- Thesis! - All of Tuesday
- Teaching GS on Thursday - Wednesday night
- Grading papers for meetings this week - Tuesday and Wednesday nights
I've always been quite an admirer of Ronald Reagan. That's not to say I'm a "Reagan Democrat", as my parents have always been opposed to his policies and I've picked up on that. I don't approve of his ideas and I think we're seeing the final repudiation of their full implementation.
I also don't think there's anything especially admirable about his personal history. Actor becoming a politician is the next best thing to an everyman becoming a politician, a mild fantasy we might all entertain about unlocking our hidden ubermensch and saving the country. It denigrates the raw reality that being president is hard and requires more keen intellect and sturdy pragmatism than good ol' fashion blood-and-guts. I wouldn't trust the bravest and hard-headedest soldier to be the general of the army, I'd trust the cleverest and most patient. A certain bias of mine, of course, since I value patience and intelligence so highly, but there it is. So no I don't think Reagan was a Great President or a Great Man.
What I do have a deep respect for is his ability to foster unity in the country. Heck, you'd have to go back to a time when my great-grandparents were building the farm to find a time when another President won so many Electoral Votes as when Reagan ran for reelection (all but Minnesota I believe). Absurd to contemplate, given our current state of division.
Note that Reagan had a hard-fought election against the incumbent Jimmy Carter. It was his re-election that was so amazing, given how tough a sell he had in the first place.
This is why I've been considering Obama to be "our" answer to Reagan, a real uniter with real good ideas who really wants to see them seen through, with a certain optimism even in the face of doom and gloom.
If all goes well, in four years Obama will win every state for reelection and we'll be on the road to recovery.
On another note, I'm wondering whether when Exxon finishes raping the planet will it have enough money to buy a new one.
Sunday is my "day off" these days, mostly because Jason wants to game and I decided a day off was so successful in overworked Mudd it should probably be kept whole, etc.
Not to say I don't do *any* work on Sunday, since I updated my thesis blog (fresh and new here!, exciting!). I have high hopes for my thesis blog, even higher hopes than I did for this blog here which has alternatively been a bit of fun and a mild disappointment.
At least I've coded it all myself ^_^
Anyways. Time to shop for food and then game until the nighttime!
Oh wait I've just been conscripted to be in Audrey's movie. Yee ha. I should wear a hat for it lols
Two days to weekend.
Two weeks to the election.
Two months to Christmas and new lappy.
Two quarters to summer applications for whatever may come.
Two years to Ph.D. program. Possibly.
How far can you see?
I've also been thinking about liveblogging my thesis somewhere, maybe I can set up a parallel blog engine this weekend. Shouldn't take long, just copy a few files and change a few names. It might be fun! ^_^
I think it also might tie into the multimedia folks' work (I'm collaborating with some people from the Multimedia dept on their Master's Thesis). We shall see!
Also, I'm reading a *lot* of DailyKos. If you want to see where my thought processes have been meandering lately, just find out for yourself.
(Really now, I don't agree with everything they say... it's quite fascinating to see how there's this dichotomy between dependence on facts and desire to make everything Us vs. Them, the latter amplified by the fact that that has been THE Opposition's philosophy for coming up on two decades).
My lappy died :(
And when I say "died" I'm being fairly literal. As in, the hard drive is nuked. Seriously now. I'm sad.
Fortunately, I didn't lose much, my music and characters and stories are backed up on my iLamp, and my work is on flash drives. Actually the only thing I really lost was a couple of my letters to myself. Sad :(
The other tragedy is that I don't have the money for a new laptop, and not even really for a new hard drive. And my iLamp can't run WoW and has problems with the internet, so I'm saving my nickels and dimes now for a new one
I can't look away!
So I've been following the politics much, much more than usual (typically alternating between MSM websites and political blogs, mostly of the liberal persuation). I've actually devoted a large portion of the last couple days.
I think it's mostly because I can't look away from this entire Palin ridiculousness.
I'll not go into it overmuch since changing minds isn't my business (or else I'd be in business or politics myself), but the Palin move seems by most accounts to have been a hasty, blunderous decision that is now being defended with loud yelling by the hardcore conservatives who are probably wishing she were the Presidential candidate instead of the VP.
Meanwhile, a careful examination (from liberal media sources, granted) indicate she is wildly unqualified to be anywhere close to the Presidency. I can't stand any of her (exceedingly few) actions and policies.
(Not linking up my statements, they're everywhere for you to find anyway, everywhere.)
I guess I'm also "spinning" on it because I'm light on schoolwork and haven't had any sub calls yet. I feel like once work picks up I'll settle down a bit.
zomg zomg zomgI'm engaged!
Crazy, isn't it. Yeah. Totally crazy. Still having trouble really believing it myself eh.
So, I have what, three and a half weeks or so still until the fall quarter starts. I'd like to fill it up with subbing, but of course sub calls don't really start in the first week of school. I wouldn't really want to be in teh classroom on a first week anyways.
So! More hanging out, more stuff of all kinds, need to neglect the website a bit less, maybe I'll do that tomorrow. Seem to have enough free time and all.
Oh and happiness, Jennifer is coming to live with me, yays ^_^
Zomg Zor is back!
Yeah yeah, I know I was overdue for a post or two, I was actually posting fiarly regularly once a month or so. But I was teaching summer school since July 1, which tends to sap me of all energy for doing fun things. Here, lemme see whether I posted on my weblog last summer.
Yep, didn't think so XD
Wow, all of a sudden all sorts of things flood back to my memory. I'd love to turn myself and shake me a few times to get them all out, but that seems awkward. Eh.
So, Zangband update: I've won with Dawncry and the Queen of Diamonds (the latter while teaching, you can see how I was decompressing!), not sure who's next. I have three characters in various stages of beginning, the most advanced one is a warrior but I just played a rogue, so hitting things seems dull. I suppose it'll have to be one of my magey-types.
Other stuff: this website, for example. I guess I have a few things I'd like to do. Here lemme list them.
- Add some sort of # tags in the archive engine so I can link to previous entries.
- Reboot the archive, probably for 2009. I'm thinking of making this a yearly event, but this will be made much easier with some sort of engine overhaul (see previous)
- Add summore stuff to ac.prionspace.net, and also to ac.prionspace.net/wow
- Getting vanya.prionspace.net running more interestingly
- Adding a frontend to the picture site at prionspace.net/content
- Adding a new musing or two.
Oh, I've been posted in an actual blog entry in the blogosphere! Vanya made me do it ^_^. I'm like, official now. Sort of. I wonder whether *anyone* reads angry cows, I kinda doubt it. Need to get my scanner fixed mans!
Hmm, what else.... well my life has suddenly become vastly less interesting (I slept until 1 today, then went to the DMV, forgot my checkbook, and had to make an extra round trip home for it, bleh). Yeah see that's not so interesting.
As much as I complained about my job though, it was a lot more pleasant than last year, especially because I made some friends amongst the teachers this time, especially the three 9th grade English teachers. We had some good times! Funny how big a difference that makes (well that and only having 15 kids instead of 35).
Oh one last thing: The Fail of Galadriel! XD. Gotta make an AC about that, with apologies to Calamarain.
I'm back, I'm back. The wireless at my apartment no longer works, and for a while I had to use the ethernet on my laptop for internet. Guess where my weblog and its scripts are stored! If you guess my laptop, you're wrong!
So yeah, now that my iLamp is on the downstairs wireless I can post again. Now that all the good ideas have gone out of my head of course. Sigh. Oh well, I've been too busy anyways
Oh but I did complete some awesomeness HERE. It's awesome! But you need to be familiar with both Angband and World of Warcraft to get it. :)
What's ac.prionspace.net? AC stands for Angry Cows. It's where I put silly comics and the like. Yeah, go me, I have like 100 gigerbytes of space so I decided I'd use it for more than a 2k website and 3k blog
It is a thingie!
Shamelessly stolen from Kass's weblog. It's a personality test thingie. Let me see if I can embed it in this weblog.
Thursday is looking to be terribly bad. Oh man.
Background: I'm taking 19 units which are concentrated, with a single exception of a monday 3PM class, all on T-W-R. This leaves me free to work some Monday jobs, and all Fridays. I've filled up virtually all the spare hours from morning till evening on those days with tutoring (7 hours) which is more of a hobby and a good work than an actual source of income since it's only $11.41/hour.
So Tuesday and Thursday, I typically go to morning Capoiera (which is a crazy workout), have an hour of tutoring and an hour to get changed and eat lunch, then solid class until 8PM.
This Thursday, however, that crucial morning hour is gone, replaced by a 2hour training session for tutoring. No guarantee on it yet since there's a chance it will be postponed, but I'm in the habit of hoping, not planning, for such things. Without it, I have to bring my backpack and a change of clothes to class, and carry my PE clothes around all day.
Arguably bad enough, but I also have two midterms that day, and tests are almost the only thing I'm being graded on in all my classes this quarter, like all put together.
New layout. It took me *sooo* long to design too. Well, not really. But it did take me forever to actually get around to making. The funny thing is I really like CSS, I'm just lazy.
Or in school. They have the same effect on side projects.
The Musings page isn't made yet, but some of the musings already exist. I just need to make a page that organizes them. Probably won't need to automate it.
Gonna blitz the rest of my Masters. The original plan was to work enough every month to pay rent, food/etc, and tuition. This is rapidly turning out to be much more difficult than anticipated.
Problem is that this time last year Hayward was in a sub crisis, and I got work every day. I figured it was relatively sustainable. Several things made it less so.
One, Hayward combatted its sub crisis by instituting a pay raise (I was hired like a monthy after the raise) and then hiring all comers until there were 300 subs by the middle of fall semester. This means less Hayward work, big time.
The other problem is after I was hired to work at CVHS I foudn it was a lot more fun, rewarding, etc to work there. THen there was a little hitch in January (not going into the details) which curtailed my CV work drastically for a time. So, I have $6,000 in my savings and I'm only making enough for food and rent. Tutoring helps, but tuition is another beast entirely.
My father strongly recommended against taking more student loans, but digging eternally into my savings until it runs out or I graduate makes me nervous. I may bite. We'll see
Good luck to Jason, old high school friend of mine off to do 9 months in Iraq. As a prison guard. Joy.
Getting really into Travian, probably a bit too much. I feel like when a restart comes by I'll try to be head of the line, since I'm at such a disadvantage where I am. Sometime. Dunno. It's fun where I am for now.
Gonna try to do some freelance tutoring on campus. We'll see whether I get any takers. Could use the money to make up for Christmas, etc >_<
Happy Turkey Day
Yeah, gonna spend this one with my parents and brother and uncle. Will be cool.
On another note, gonna revamp the website sometime soon, and made a new page for your viewing pleasure. Inspired by Kass's old Links Heap thing.
Well, I'm now out of natural grandparents. My mom's dad passed away yesterday morning.
It's different from when Damien or Z3nn died. In the former case I never really got the chance to get to know him better, in the latter case I just let those chances drift away. With Ted it's more like we were part of different worlds. My parents really didn't have much to do with him and so I didn't either.
I feel a tinge of regret for not hearing his old WWII stories, but I've been there before and regretting things not done burns me up. I have to let it go.
Also, my speeding ticket is now a mandatory court appearance -_- At least I can make a trip to Mudd for Halloween. Good planning is finding the silver lining.
Oh yeah, and I got a 10/10 on my first assignment for grad school. Plus, The first test was easy. Good odds I flattened it XD
Hmm. I don't like to update too often because I update infrequently so when I *do* write something good I want it to stay up for a while. That's pretty circular, eh. I guess I should improve the website code. Though I like it the way it is, except that I'm thinking about adding a sidebar. Idunno, I guess if I thought my reader(s) checked the archives I'd update more on my own whims.
Still writing to an audience even when I think it isn't there, eh XD
I've been at my apartment for a month now (or will be as of Monday). I think in that time I've already adapted to the solo life (though I think I was already fairly well-adapted in advance). I've eaten a lot of casseroles and beans for dinner, and had many hot dogs, polish sausages, and canned soups for lunch. I feel healthy and energetic.
My thinking in certain lines has already altered, of course. Conserving money has become a major priority (especially with a certain unpleasant circumstance), but I still think of things I want/need. Fortunately I have prevented any impulse purchases, so I'm now pondering how to go about getting these things in time.
- Beanbag chair or some other comfortable sittingthing
- Shelves for kitchen gear
- an ant farm (prefer with a queen damnit)
- season 3 of Voyager ;P
Beanbag chair, because my awesomechair that I sit in is broken. It is still sittable just fine, but the sitting part is no longer screwed onto anything, and thus sitting comfortably is a bit harder. A comfy chair or couch would be nice for reading (since I don't like to use my bed for things besides sleeping), and a beanbag chair is a realistic compromise.
Shelves: my parents have some extras which I'm thinking of taking, or I can also make my own (I have a hammer, saw, and nails in my toolkit). Right now my cooking stuff lies on the floor in a far corner of the room, disorganized.
I've been idly thinking about getting an ant farm. My parents have an old empty one somewhere. Sadly, it's illegal to ship queen ants in the US ( >:| ) but I was thining of maintaining some "little farms" (with no queen) until next summer when I can go out into the field and pick up my own queen from a wild nest. Such things could be costly if I let them of course... but as a biologist I demand interesting pets XD
It is my ultimate goal to collect all 7 seasons of Star Trek Voyager. However, there is no time limit. Season 3 will happen when it happens.
Yep..... but I gotta make sure I get work every day to pay the bills first, then I can think about spending money on things I want but don't need.
The Caffeine Conundrum
I spent a lot of time pondering lately. Well, a lot of time for me, which I guess might have been a couple hours. That's a lot for me I guess.
First, the background science. Caffeine is a drug, a neurostimulant of some classification I'm too lazy to look up at the moment. When caffeine goes into the bloodstream (and subsequently into the brain) it heightens neural activity. Everyone knows this. Duh.
The kicker is that regular doses of caffeine (e.g. morning cup of coffee every day) creates a chemical dependency. The brain's activity is depressed in the absence of caffeine. It can get to the point where the caffeine boost only cancels out the caffeine dependency.
Now the situation. When I was young and foolish (at HMC) I had free reign of the campus cafeteria, and I often drank Dr. Pepper, because I like it. Unfortunately, I didn't bank on its caffeine content. I managed to develop a caffeine dependency. How much, not sure. Can't be too much, but it's there. I can feel its pull in different ways.
How to deal with it?
Well, for one thing, millions of people live with a caffeine dependency and it doesn't seem to cripple them. I don't actually have anything to fear from a caffeine dependency, rationally. And it's not like I'd even be developing a serious one, since I don't like coffee.
So the problem isn't one of rationality at all then, is it? I think in my ever-escalating quest for more awesomeness, I seek to avoid all weaknesses. I don't want a lack of caffeine to cripple me at any juncture. Silly, I guess. But that's me.
So if embracing the dependency isn't on the table, the alternatives are to defeat it or control it. Defeating my caffeine dependency completely would probably require going cold turkey. I feel like I could do this, but it would be a pain for a couple reasons. First, I still like several caffinated drinks, and chocolate. I have to consider whether it would adversely affect my enjoyment of life if I willfully denied myself so many things I like. I guess I could be smug about it, but I don't especially like smug kosherists and vegans, and would rather not be hypocritical about it.
Another reason is that I have no compunction against using drugs for single-use advantage. If I need to stay up late or I have a long drive I'd like to have the option to drink caffeine to make it easier. Cutting myself off is just as limiting as embracing a dependency, it seems.
So the conclusion is I have to regulate my caffeine intake. I keep track on my calendar of how often I drink caffinated drinks, and am thinking about once a week being the limit. Might work.
I crave caffeine sometimes (I even drink coca-cola for it, which I never liked prior to my college days). I can beat that, though. I've changed other habits and desires by sheer force of will, this shouldn't be any different.
I did not need this...
Didn't get into grad school at Cal State East Bay
I'm starting to run out of magical changes in plans that rescue everything.
Keep on believin', though....
Saturday is Moving Day!
Yeah, I'll be movin' out. Crazy.
I'll be renting a small room at Wimbledon (right next to CSUEB). My roommates are all Chinese students (like, raised in China and everything). I ate dinner with them once at their place, the fried rice was very tasty ^_^
I considered moving out for so long, the means and necessities, that once I made the agreement and all i hardly had to worry at all. But now it feels like I'm not worried enough. I haven't even finishd packing, yo!
Well it's all good. Hopefully a sign of mental preparedness rather than unpreparedness. Or something.
I really ought to finish packing >_>
I HAVE A CAR!
For those who care, it's a '96 Toyota Camry, 4door, gold, 116k miles. The dealer had just replaced a number of engine parts so I'm sitting pretty I think. And yes I bought it exclusively with my own money ;P
Now that I have a car I can talk serious turkey about moving out. I haven't really packed, but all the important stuff packs quickly and easily. Many of my possessions (cooking gear, favorite textbooks, and duct tape stuff) are still in boxes.
Well once I find a place, moving will happen pretty quickly.....
It's actually very scary to think I could call a different place home by this time next week o_o
Well I'll figure it out ^_^
Back from the dead
Notice I haven't posted since right before I started.
My job was harsh, and not very rewarding. I spent many nights playing WoW to recover, then crashing. Jennifer was visiting for a lot of my tenure, which was nice, not having to cook every night or keep the house clean alone.
Already, the memories are splitting into hazy notions and stark moments of unfortunate clarity. Probably a tiny taste of what people go through after REAL traumatic experiences.
But that's over and done. My checks are in the mail and I'm not working for more until September. In the meantime I still need to prep for moving out. Procratination on that, just a bit, but I'll be ready when CSUEB says they've accepted me.
They'd BETTER accept me >_>
A gnawing sense of urgency
On short notice, I was finally called up to teach Geometry at Hayward High School for the summer school session.
Nervous? Yeah, a bit. I'm sure every teacher ever made felt this way before their first class, so I'm not unsettled by this feeling. It is a little worse than for your average teacher since there's SO MUCH material, and while I understand it all, being able to teach it coherently will take more work than I've done since I presented my thesis over a year ago.
Craziness! Yeah, really.
Wish me luck!
Yep, just livin'.
School ends this upcoming Thursday. Then summer money will be hard to come by unless I get hired to teach summer school. But it should be fine since I'll still be living at home. I will probably only need to earn enough to pay for summer food (which would work out to one sub job per WEEK, which seems plausible when split between CV and Hayward).
In the meantime I'm still improving my cooking a bit. The real trial by fire will be in July when my parents are out for the month and I'll be cooking every day (or as often as I want, technically, but why waste money on pizza when I can just COOK).
Oh man, Jennifer gets back tomorrow XD Excited, me? Perish the thought
Sigh... still so many little things to do, never the motivation.
Kara today! ^_^
Yeah I'm excited!
It turns out we're sufficiently awesome and numerous enough (there are currently 10 lvl70s in play, plus a few who aren't on yet) to raid Karazhan. And by "we" I mean my friends at Mudd.
I suppose I'm very lucky Jennifer and I started this guild together. If it weren't the case I'm not sure how I'd be in touch with my friends from Mudd. I'm very activity-oriented, and "just chatting" with someone is not really ever a good way to cultivate our friendship.
But this way we're running instances most nights, having PvP fun, so forth. It's really good times.
Also, Patroklos and I are still pwning at Arena. Just yesetrday we beat a two-warlock team that was ranked 2010 last week. And I had no idea they were that good. I solo'd one warlock myself (WITHOUT my demon around as he was on the other one) before heading over to crush the other one (the one that was failing to kill Pat). Then we won and gained 25 rating O_O yes, really.
I still need CSUEB to accept me. I'm reluctant to go roommate hunting with "I've only applied", as it sounds a little weak. I may have to though, the window is closing.
I guess it's visit old profs week.
Monday was a teacher I didn't know, but Tuesday was Cavalieri, today (part of it) was Tierney, tomorrow is Tierney, and Friday is Anderson.
Yes, I had all those teachers. Awesome, eh
And I'm STILL not getting calls from Hayward. *gumble* At least CV is closer, easier, and more convenient, even if the pay is lame in comparison.
But oddly, today was one of those wrestling with teh students days and I was higher energy than some of the sit-there-and-do-nothing days. I think it's because ImmunoFlow has stalled again and sitting there isn't a mental workout.
Strike is settled
Yep. Good thing.
Final amount of lost money: $1575 (minus taxes, etc). Sucks, but not crippling. I'll make it through.
I stopped by an apartment place in Hayward. Looks like the sort of place I will be moving into thsi fall, but I'll be needing a roommate. When a place is $900/month for a one-room, it's kinda upscale. When that same place has two-bedroom sets for $1100/month, this is encouraging. One roommate should cut out all major financial problems (aside from those caused by teacher's strikes, etc).
Watched Ultraviolet recently, an action movie. Was pretty good, but I think it suffered from the staggering series of tactical failures the extras endured, resulting in there only really being one good mano-a-mano fight. Every other fight scene involved dozens of enemies crowding around Violet and all being killed at once (often even when they had GUNS). Shame, that.
Not that it's too exciting to me, but I guess anything novel counts as exciting for a second.
Hayward finished its first full non-vacation week of strike. Looks to be getting worse not better, so I'm working on my app to Castro Valley district for work. Better than nothing I guess.
My computer game is starting to take vague form. It will be a long time before I can actually play it but it looks pretty reasonable now. It's what's been taking up a lot of my time lately.
Talked with my old friend Matt Brinker about living in Hayward. He's going to CSUEB now so I can draw on his experience when I start school there. Did I mention in this forum that I'm applying to CSUEB? Yeah. Didn't get into any grad schools, it's official. Not that it really bothers me, in reflection I'm not really focused enough for a Ph.D. A Masters will help on that front.
Yep. Now back to programming!
It works! It WORKS!
I can now start building a graphics engine. I have polygons, buttons, text, and .gifs and .jpgs. Oh, and images that are also buttons. For the win. ^__^
Woot woot woot.
If you want to ask what I'm building it FOR, well, that's for me to know and you to ask XD
I often think of myself as being an extremely healthy human, a perfect example of human biology. And I guess it's not unwarranted. My eating habits are pretty reasonable and I get lots of exercise even when I'm not actively running around. Karate has increased my strength and power considerably, and I can still run long-distance (a holdover from my cross country days) even though I'm fairly cerain I'm mostly white muscle.
Sidenote: Humans have two kinds of muscle fibers: white and red, also called fast-twitch and slow-twitch. White muscle uses up all its resources quickly to produce a lot of power, red muscle can only use some at a time but as a result can keep going a lot longer. The typical example is a 10-second sprinter vs. a marathon runner. I was born high white-muscle which means I can generate a lot of force with my muscles in bursts, but I've increased my red muscle content from four continuous years of cross country running, which also had the side effect of making a mile seem like a really short distance to me).
However, this notion of myself neglects (and is in spite of) my many physical problems, most notably severe allergies, exercise asthma, and terrible vision, which my glasses can't seem to keep up with. My mom also pointed out that I have very low arches in my feet (apparently they never bothered to tell me this when the doctor first told them that). This would explain a lot about why my cross country career was so pathetic at first, but I'm glad they didn't tell me at the time because I overcame it and became pretty good eventually (my last race time on a 2mile track was literlly half my first race time). If I'd just gone around blaming my bad feet I would have felt better about myself at the time but I also wouldn't have pushed myself so hard to be "average".
(According to wikipedia, having low arches in the foot improperly distributes shock along the foot, which of course makes running very awkward)
Additionally, having mixed parentage protects me from most racial susceptibilities but it seems likely I have inherited psoriasis from my father (an autoimmune skin disorder). It may explain why my skin seems to heal so slowly, and may begin to rear its ugly head later on in life.
Yet somehow, on a day-to-day basis I never notice these weaknesses, and instead seem to focus on the fact that I'm still brimming with energy, ready to explode outward at any moment required (whenever the phone on the other side of the house rings I can be there in 2 seconds flat ;P ). And really, mind over matter does exist as long as "matter" means your own body, so is it a self-fulfilling prophecy that I see myself as a powerhouse and a survivor? Maybe so.
At least, I'd like to think so ;)
Good day today! Yesterday, not so much
Yesterday was bad. I thought I was gonna have the 6 students in my class who weren't going on the field trip. As it turned out, I got the other 6 3rd graders who also weren't going on the field trip. 12 3rd-graders, each of whom was a different kind of discipline problem. It was bad. If my mom hadn't been on hand to help it would have been a complete disaster, as it was it was mitigated into only a headache.
But today was good enough to compensate. In the morning I finished debugging ImmunoFlow. Since yesterday I had cracked it open to add MHC functionality (just the variables, no initializations for them) today was finishing that up and I'm now ready to add the actual MHC1 and 2 code! I'm very excited because once that's done it will be about ready! (I already added and tested chemical binding, it works like a charm).
I also got some exercise and ate a big and indulgent lunch (and got some of that Starbucks chocolate chip beverage which is so very tasty). I noticed "300" is at the local theater and made plans to watch it tomorrow. And I hit 70 in World of Warcraft (I can flyyyy). I need to borrow 2500g to get an epic flying mount unfortunately >_< Not sure I want to do that yet, though Vanya made all her money available for borrowing before she left for China.
And now I'm watching Voyager! Funny how at least three of the episodes I remember and like best are on the first season. of course, it gets really juicy once you add the Borg in.
Speaking of the Borg, I was thinking about other possible simulation programs to write once I finish Phase 1 of ImmunoFlow. Currently I'm trying to decide between three options: an ecological simulator, a social insect simulator, and a computer game (in the MOO3 vein) about the Borg. The last would be the most fun but also the most work since my graphics in ImmunoFlow are nothing compared to what I would need. Well, we shall see. Phase 1 still demands MHC work, which isn't there yet.
I got the first season of Voyager on DVD. I'm planning on building the entire 7-season collection as time and cash allow (if I go to CSUH, that could be quite a while). I've already watched like 7 episodes (out of a total of 15) so I need to like slow down or something. But some of the early episodes were so GOOD! Gah.
It doesn't help that I can play Zangband on the iLamp while watching. Gairan still has a way to go but she is lvl44 and at dungeon lvl70. (Ghoul Monk of Life Magic, in case you're curious)
Oh, and I've been subbing 3rd graders for almost a week which means over 2 more. Those guys are a handful.
And I got a seocnd job doign after-school tutoring. It would be awesome if the company were organized (it's not) and the kids had gotten their work materials on time (they didn't). Oh well. At least I'm being paid $55/day for it.
Easiest Day Evar.
Subbing, that is.
Second day in a row in the same class, and this day, the student teacher wanted to try teaching completely alone. So for two blocks I sat and did nothing class-related (I worked out a lot of spiffy ImmunoFlow-related things, including cracking the secret of MHC2). And that's it. I also had two preps. In all, I was paid a full day's wage to sit there and do nothing for three hours and then go home early. Win.
In other news, the previous post seems pretty dire, don't it. I now have a solid backup plan should UT Austin and UW fail me. This backup plan is getting a Master's degree from CSU East Bay. Should be transferrable to a UC, plus I have an old friend going to CSUEB now and I could be an apartment mate with him. I don't get the free ride, but I can still sub for money that way, plus no free ride means I have more control over my degree and so forth.
So, no more panicking. Got things under control, one way or the other.
P.S.: If anyone wants to help me with the supremely obnoxious Fluid Dynamics portion of ImmunoFlow... uh, who are you and why are you more knowledgeable than me about biology, physics, *AND* computer science. I can do it myself, I'll just do everything else first ;P
Well folks, I didn't get into U of Chicago.
And my odds of getting into UW appear to be dwindling rapidly.
I'm now staring the possibility that I will not be going to grad school next year in the face. It's a very ugly possibility, because it leaves me with a few unappealing options.
FIRST: Stay for another year here at my parents' house while I try again.
ADVANTAGES: I can work another year of substitute teaching, free rent and food means I can build up more money, pay off loans, everything.
DISADVANTAGES: A second full year without *serious* work or school could be disastrous for my academic skills, even if I work on ImmunoFlow regularly (which is, by the way, stuck at the moment on a very tricky and physical-programming-related problem). Furthermore, there starts to be a severe stigma attached to living at ones' parents' house for years straight. Plus, I wouldn't be making good on what I said I would do which is...
SECOND: Move out to get a Biology-related job, at a University or company.
ADVANTAGES: Moving out gives me free reign over my life again. Additionally, moving lets me go where the work is, and my best chances of getting work hinge on using contacts from college (e.g. Brianna, who is now in Utah). So I could end up moving out of state to get work. Alternatively, I could go anywhere in California and still start up substitute teaching within weeks because of my CBEST Credential.
DISADVANTAGES: Moving out to start life on my own and getting a new job are both tricky, and juggling them might be more work than I'm prepared to take on. There's an inherent vicious cycle where I might not be able to get a job until I'm there but I can't be sure to go there until I have a job there. The alternative of living out of a car (note: I don't currently own a car) seems like it would be equally risky, and even more awkward.
THIRD: I buckle up and get a job that ISN'T Biology-related but is more secure and better-paying than being a sub. Enough to move out to get a place of my own for a year while I reapply for graduate schools.
ADVANTAGES: Adjusting to life on my own without the slippery business of getting a biology job (those are hard to find, ne) seems healthier.
DISADVANTAGES: A non-Biology job, unless it magically is a programming job that pays better than being a sub but only requires basic java/C++, would wear me down like there's no tomorrow. There's a very real possibility that with a bad job I wouldn't be able to muster the willpower and time to get into grad school at all, and then I'm reeeeally stuck. Oh plus it can't be in Castro Valley... housing here is too expensive.
FOURTH (and final backup): I go to CSU East Bay or somewhere similar for a credentialing program to be a K-12 Teacher. This would be in essence admitting defeat, that grad school is beyond my reach and that I should content myself with teaching high school.
ADVANTAGES: Security. I know I can do this, it wouldn't even be all that hard. And being a K-12 teacher wouldn't be so bad, I've seen it, from being a sub. It has a sort of tame, simplistic appeal, especially being a science teacher.
DISADVANTAGES: I would feel forevermore like I gave up. I might not do this next year, but if I tried again for grad school and failed I might just have to lie down and lose, and I would hate feeling that way for the rest of my goddamn life. What happened to achieving whatever I want in life? What about research, and teaching people who want to be there? What the hell happened to those letters P., H., and D. I've been lusting for? Gone away, that's where. And I'm very reluctant to choose to lose.
You, dear reader, had better hope you will never face this sort of ugly possibility.
Note that I'm thinking ahead to bad times. I don't know for sure that I've been rejected from other graduate schools, but I'm starting to sense that I may yet have that problem very soon. Am I facing it with courage? I hope so.
To snow or not to snow...
So, I should know about my University of Chicago status (accepted or not) by Monday..... nyrrrgh. At least I'm not fretting too much. Eitehr I will or I won't and nothing I can do now will fix it. So this weekend is get-my-mind-off-it weekend. Also helps it's my first weekend relaxing home alone in like four weeks.
On another note I added a twitter thingie to my weblog. I was thinking of putting it on the main page, or somewhere else more visible, but then I remembered that since I made my own website for my own entertainment, my readership has dropped to very small. Not that I really mind, but it almost seems a waste of effort.
Well, I know better to think that it's *actually* a waste. I can use my website anytime I want to get organized (Example!). Plus I dream of a day when I will become unlazy and add more of a skeleton to the website structure. You know, pseudoframes using CSS. The thing is I like doing it old-school, with maximum control over everything. The scripts that create my website, for example, are extremely efficient, accomodating the entire range of pages I want to create with almost no keystrokes and only a few lines of script code.
Well it's just my way I guess.
Oh, and the twitter thing also means my iLamp gets additional use. Tee hee.
Got an e-mail a few days ago from University of Chicago. They're flying me there for an interview!!! I made it past their first round!!! XD
MAN I'm excited.
UChicago is my top academic choice. They have an awesome program and I'm really looking forward to visiting. They're flyign me out there, feeding and housing me for five days or something. I even get to go to a department retreat to see their program in action. It's so awesome.
I don't actually have any notion of how good my chances of getting in are. Logically it's a function of how much money they have. The more money they have to throw around, the more students they can haul out there for round 2 of free stuff and interviews. Sadly, UChicago is pretty wealthy so my odds are definitely not 100%, but it feels good. They're impressed with me, that's something.
This was early warning. I wasn't looking to hear from anywhere for a while. Well I guess they're trying to win students over by giving notice early.
UWashington is still my top social choice. My girlfriend will be living in Seattle next year, plus my friend Mike works at Microsoft so he's around, PLUS my other buddy Adam is applying to UW, and only to UW. So if he gets in anywhere, he'll be there.
I'm feelin' good.
Back from the grave AGAIN!
I suppose you have been wondering where I hav been, my imaginary reader.
Well I happened to notice that my previous entry came before break with a discussion of a new computer program I'd started. Well it's a bit farther along than having been "started" now, as it has graphics, thousands of lines of code, and whatnot, and it WORKS. It really really works, and it's beautiful. In fact I just compiled it again just now and it appears my latest addition has been bug-free (except for two typos, which might have been troublesome if not for my sharp eye). (Well okay one of them would have been a huge pain in C++, but this is Java, we're in the 21st century, or at least out of the 1960s).
I've been meaning to work on this website for which I am paying money, but my creative juices all go into this program now, and the everything else goes into WoW. And soon it will go into my job (won't be going into Macys anymore, see, neh).
And yes, life is in fact still good, somehow. BC this next week, I was sort of dreading it for a while but it's bringing all my old friends out of the woodwork and we're gonna play together. It'll be fun!
It works! It woooorks!
Yeah, I started my computer program of awesome on Sunday. And by "started" i mean "I doddled some pseudocode on the bus ride to work, and then I was obsessed with it all day".
The program, basically, will simulate the signalling of the immune system. Currently only chemicals are handled but eventually cells will be added that can respond to the chemicals by producing chemicals of their own (and even move around, develop, or alter the environment around them). It will be AWESOME.
And I got a new burst of excitement today because I finally got the program to open up a text file and read all the information inside it. This is for the constructor of the Chem class which stores the necessary data.
I haven't been this excited about code since I wrote the scripts for this weblog. And I haven't been this excited about something academically fascinating to me since, well, since my class.
Breaktime dragged on for a while. I haven't done anythign hard in months. But I'm back, and loving it.
Yeah, there's a bunch.
Uber out there projects at the bottom of the list are to make my own Angband variant (either make a working Team (Z)Angband or a Colorband), and relearn CSound to compose music of my own again.
Somewhat closer-range and yet more long-term is the pantheon of Zangband and Hengband characters I plan on playing through. I've beaten Angband 5 times, which is plenty. I have 3 ZAngband winners, 4 in some stage of play now, and at least 4 more after them, so this alone could take five or ten years. My interest comes and goes, after all. Hengband ... that could take me the rest of my life ^_^
Other fun ideas I want to see through include using my dad's uber professional computer and hand drawings to make music videos, finishing my novel "Human Sorcery" at some point, and making ever-more-elaborate pictures on my computer. That might require some more raw memory though....
And whatever else comes along. I can think back to all the projects I've ever wanted to do. Many never got finished, but a few did. I think it's keeping busy that's really important to me.
I saw a music video a while ago. Didn't know the artist or song.
The bulk of it was about a man lying on the sidewalk. Coherent, awake, middle of the day. People asked him why but he refused to say. A crowd gathere. People grew more curious and more insistent, asking why he was lying there asking to be left alone. Finally, almost angrily, he acquiesced and told them. What he said, you can't tell, but the next thing you know everyone in that crowd is lying on the street next to him.
He knows what you might call a Terrible Truth. So-called because, quite simply, The Truth Does Not Make You Happy.
I have a Terrible Truth. I can't tell people, no matter how right I am, because truth is not beauty, and those who do not believe me will mock or pity me while those who do will join me in my lying on the proverbial street.
Please don't join me.
I will find my way.
Grad school apps are done, that feels good.
I'm one of our new raid guild's Most Valued Warlocks, complete with shiny new ToEP for the win. That feels really good.
I'm still going out with Jennifer. That feels best of all.
I still need to get it together and get on track for the November Novel (probably won't get done). Also need to beat ZAngband with Weltira sometime.
Also need to do a variety of little things like post the new desktop of Sangrecita and mail the grad school forms.
Oh yeah, and my campaign in a week. I can do that.
Now stop and look. How much of that was devoted to what has already happened, and how much was devoted to what will happen soon and what will happen later?
How long can I do that? How long is it safe to look ahead, to think more about tomorrow than yesterday?
Because someday there won't be a tomorrow.
Ah well. At least there's a reasonable chance the US government will change its game plan in the near future. I was quite literally convinced that if things keep going the way they were going fo ra few more yeasrs there weren't a whole lot of tomorrows left. Game over, kiss your love goodnight because it's lights out for all of us. Crisis is averted again, though more narrowly than before.
A fine waste, you might say.
Pay a monthly fee for some webspace, spend all that time writing the scripts for the weblog, then ignore it.
Well, life sure can throw you curveballs. I'm glad I have this website. Neglecting it is a very subtle way of acknowledging I can't just brush it off lik eI normally do.
He was one of my absolute best friends in high school. I hadn't seen him in over a year. Now I never will again.
Brianna once said, must not have been such a great friend if that's how you find out, from an obituary. I say to her, try it, then see if you still feel the same way.
I miss A-rab.
No point in asking why
We all pay for our mistakes.
The payment doesn't always include lessons we'd rather not learn, but this time there's no escape. I've learned mine for the day.
Yay for visiting!
In a week! Less, even.
Specifically, going back to Mudd. This time for almost a week. Fall Break is the 16th and 17th (Monday and Tuesday) so I'm flying down on the 12th (Thursday). This is so on Friday (the 13th, Oh Noes!) I can run around talking to professors about letters of recommendation. Which should be entertaining. Then I have the weekend (14th and 15th) and the actual break (16th and 17th) to visit Jennifer, as well as anyone who hasn't graduated yet. I should be sure to catch up with the Halo frosh as well as with Randy (last time when I visited for a short spell she wanted me to drop by but time was limited, plus I didn't know where she lived).
Also, getting my statement of academic intent done is good. It's nearly done now whee. I need it for my professors to write letters. At least Asai does.
And I'm still playing tons of WoW. Back down to 2400g after buying our engineer the schematic for a Flame Reflector. Whee
And I should get back to work on my letter. This weekend I'll mess with the website code more.
NaNoWriMo, and say that 10 times fast
So November is approaching, and I'm actually deeply considering trying the Novel Thingamajig. November is apparently National Novel-Writing Month. Everyone is encouraged to sit down and write their own novel (50,000 words, that's about 3 pages a day).
I've tried writing my own literature before, even had some measure of success, but I've frequently gotten bogged down by trying to include too much, or getting too focused on the wrong parts. For me, the best part of a novel, any novel, is the world-building (which is why I'm a big fan of scifi and fantasy, yet get tired very quickly of "the same old stuff"). Harry Potter is a good example of a series I've become less entranced with every time because the world is becoming complete (except for the question of what the rest of the world besides England is doing with itself, which J.K. Rowlings seems uninterested in discussing). The world-building of many of my other favorite works of fiction are equally detailed, from Firefly to Belgarath the Sorcerer.
So what changed? How do I think I can do it this time? Well I've read up a bit on Jungian archetypes, such elements of a story, and I think I can tell a proper story this time. My problem is I tend to identify with the Father character rather than the Hero or Protagonist character (that is, Obi-wan Kenobi instead of Luke Skywalker, Dumbledore instead of Harry Potter, Mal instead of River, Gandalf instead of Frodo, and Belgarath instead of Belgarion). But a story about the Father character isn't very interesting, because they already know their limits and those limits are more or less fixed. They don't develop the way the yougn hero does.
No spoilers! But I think I know what I'm doing this time.
P.S.: VI still rules, fewls. I'm such a terrible person XD
Testing the TITLE function now
In the final stages of debugging the weblog engine (where "engine" is defined as a few scripts totalling up to less than a thousand characters sitting on my iLamp). Life is awesome!
About bedtime, now that it's 3AM.
Note to self: add timestamp to the bottom. Should be easy, just more abuse of the date command.
P.S.: VI still forevah!
So I've been having tons O fun with messing around with Unix scripts. I'm now keeping this weblog running on my iLamp with less than 1k of texty scripts I wrote myself. All you multi-meg fancy processing systems, eat your hearts out. Go play with your calendars >_>
P.S.: VI forevah!
This is my first real weblog entry,
Not much to say though, since I'm also coding the scripts for this weblog. Also playing WoW with my girlfriend and my ex-girlfriend, who are also my co-officers of The Seven Scientists.
It's a good life.
This is what I think. Wassup.
This entry never existed. It was a test. A test! A TEST, I SAY! Yep.