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Journal Journal: "My Wild Bulgarian Rose" 2

I suppose it doesn't have the same lilt to it as some other songs, but still, a song somebody needs to write down. BTW - when a beautiful Bulgarian rose asks you where you're sitting for dinner, say "wherever you are." I'm going to miss her, come May.

Nobody comments in my journal- frequently. Either an Anonymous Coward, or Nobody ( In some ways, this was always comforting, but lately, I feel alone- and Nobody, often some of the best of company, isn't always sufficient. I stopped by Cam and Chase's, on a whim (see next entry). It was 1:00, and they were the only people up that I felt comfortable calling. Handy that Chase is Nobody, I suppose.

Lately, I've been sick- and sleep seems to be the only way to keep me feeling anywhere near good. So I sleep- and now I feel better. I also missed the entirety of Friday. One of these days, this issue will resolve itself peacefully. Ugh.

You want the Good Life
You'll Break Your Back
You Snap Your Fingers
You'll Snap Your Neck
--- Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck,

User Journal

Journal Journal: Goodnight, Rainer Maria Rilke 2

At bottom, no one in life can help anyone else in life; this one experiences over and over in every conflict and every perplexity: that one is alone.
All companionship can consist only in the strengthening of two neighboring solitudes, whereas everything that one is wont to call giving oneself is by nature harmful to companionship: for when a person abandons himself, he is no longer anything, and when two people both give themselves up in order to come closer to each other, there is no longer any ground beneath them and their being together is a continual falling.
There is scarcely anything more difficult than to love one another.
--- Rainer Maria Rilke, Of Love and Other Difficulties.

It's a Southern kind of heat-
The shadows crack and start to creep,
Conversation drags its feet
I wish we'd both been more discreet
Like light
that is caught between Night and Day,
You've stepped , between
Me and my-

Me and my Big Ideas.
Won't wash away your tears
No one else seems to mind
That I'm not that kind

Well they love you when you're weak
Bet they hate to see this winning streak
It's that thing we call control
There's a deep frustration in their soul
Black Thoughts
That get stuck between someone's ears
Like Me
And my Big Ideas
--- Me and my Big Ideas, Tears for Fears

How many times must I say
Life is not a cake to separate
What do I have to do
To save you from worry
Cut off my nose
To spite my face
--- Sorry, Tears for Fears

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Complex Plane and George Saunders

Time enough has gone by- time for an update. I've recently finished reading "CivilWarLand in Bad Decline," by George Saunders, a collection of short stories and a novella. If you have not already done so, I suggest reading it at your earliest convenience. I was recommended to read it after a friend of mine likened his style to mine in a short story I'd recently drafted. The title of my story is the definition of a complex number, in purely mathematical notation. Mostly, it's about the Vietnam war, and a high school math teacher who's coming to grips with the fact that one of his students is the daughter of one of his unit members. She's in an abusive relationship with another student of his, and he's getting ready to solve that. At least, that's what it was in my head. On paper, it's a hell of a lot more confusing.

But I digress. The story will sort itself out as time goes on. Comments by my friends were many and varied, and so I have to do what's best for me with that. I re-compiled Mozilla with cryptographic support. Note to self: always ./configure --enable-crypto , then gmake. Saves another 2 hours of compiling random packages again.

It's freezing rain here. Still, Slivken managed to convince me to go see "The Time Machine" over at the Death Mall (which is the Mall of America, for those of you out of the Midwest[Hell]). A solid movie - about what you'd expect from Hollywood, with the sci-fi aspects not glossed over too much. It's only great fault was how it was only 1.5 hours long. Jeremy Irons (the leader of the Moorlocks) has completely redeemed himself from Dungeons and Dragons, in my eyes anyway. Can't tell you how much it resembles the book- never read it. But Alexandru has, and he's awaiting my review with bated breath, or perhaps baited breath. Never can tell with those cagey Rumanians.

My Dutch naval trenchcoat is falling apart, and this rain isn't helping any. If anyone knows a keen place to get Dutch naval trenchcoats, let me know. I'd greatly appreciate it. It's pretty frigging cold here.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Small Goals to Larger Ones

You get things done by setting small goals to reach larger ones. If I make a piece of toast, it might lead to a sandwich, or, eventually, to my own space program. -- Steven Wright

Baby steps . . . combinatorics, capstone alpha, capstone beta, sociolinguistics, programming, creative writing. Argh.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Grandma/Cancel that Modest Proposal

Turns out that Gentoo Linux (jen-two) and Sorcerer Linux are both in pretty usable states. I suppose the main priority right now should be Grandma-level usability.

Which is an odd thing for which to ask. Personally, my maternal grandmother can be a twisted, passive-aggressive nightmare. Which makes me wonder what sort of "usability features" I would add to a stock RedHat CD to freak her out. See, a computer for my maternal grandmother needs to be several things- a CD Player, a classical musician, well-versed in the apologetics that technology is not the devil, and, in a worst-case scenario, a seasoned hostage negotiator.

So until a rather large number of open problems in Artificial Intelligence are solved, Grandma ain't getting squat from the Linux community. Hargh.

You have not done your homework? Then you must fight the bear!
Kargan's .sig (uid#250092)

"You were amazing back there Corny!"
"No Duckman - I just did what any other classically-trained pianist slash hostage negotiator would have done in my shoes."
Duckman and Cornfed, Duckman

User Journal

Journal Journal: Smells Like Teen Spirit

I have a problem with people telling me to do extremely stupid things- especially when I am paying them to do it. One of my professors has assigned a paper on the sociolinguistic implication of Wilson's 14 points. If he had mentioned anything that he wanted out of it, it would be a good assignment. At this point, though, I have neither the will nor the ambition to write it. The worst part is that I have homework for Combinatorics due later today, and I've been working on that instead. I like Combinatorics - but most of Sociolinguistics is turning out to be the worst kind of soft-science bullshit I've ever seen.

There is definitely something to be said for my lack of maturity in not writing it (as of yet - I need clarification, not absolution/martyrdom). I understand that. But this is a bad weekend for this kind of busy work altogether. What kind of person am I becoming?

In my head right now:

With the lights out it's less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us
-- Smells like Teen Spirit,
Words by Kurt Cobain, Performed by Tori Amos


Journal Journal: Bootstrap Linux - A Modest Proposal

Okay. After four hours of compiling "stable" GNOME from source, and hunting down libraries from every which-where in order to build Mozilla and get XMMS working, all I want is a Linux distro that bootstraps a compeletely native code base onto a box from a "working" kernel, and maybe someday I'll get this out of Sorcerer GNU/Linux, but I'm angry now, dammit.

Okay, here's how it goes. Developers for a major codebase, say, GNOME, KDE, GNUStep, whathaveyou, write a SINGLE script that takes the code they have, compiles each individual package in the right order, and emits a DETAILED list beforehand about which dependencies need to be applied before construction begins. None of this crap about installing an ISDN subsystem so I can get libgtop to compile- nothing about assuming I have an infinite-precision calculator like bc to compile libgtop, and nothing like refusing to build libgtop anyway, just on principle.

Start with a base system- the CD can have m68k, i386, MIPS, PARISC, and sparc binaries on it. Bootstrap from binary glibc and gcc all the basic binutils and networking options again, then redo gcc and glibc. From this point on, everything else is, as they say in StarCraft, "crawling up the Tech Tree." Want to install XMMS? Set your phasers to Mp3 and Ogg goodness, and fire away as glib and gtk+ are installed by default. Decide you want GNOME after that? You already know where you are in the Tech Tree- maybe you have to crawl back down again for some reason, but you can always build back up again. People, this is FREE CODE- all you need is time, and if Walters can do it on his 226MHz Pentium box in FreeBSD by typing "make world," dammit, I'm willing to give it a shot. For right now, just a whole lotta bitchin, but I think this is definitely the way to go for the future of Linux. If nothing else, automating the construction of an entire operating environment is a good proof of concept that Linux is well-organized enough, and its code mature enough, to be ready for the mainstream. End rant, in 5, 4, 3, . . .


Journal Journal: COMAP MCM Over, 9 Dead, Countless Injured 1

ST PAUL,MN -(AP)- In the wake of the COMAP Mathematical Contest in Modelling , experts estimate that "fatalities are hanging steady at 9, what with the three teams and all, but countless more are injured." This quote comes, of course, from Phineas Phogg, of Phogg Research, who has been studying the mental and physiological effects of 96-hour problem-solving competitions on adult humans for the last 23 years.

"I can't believe the wounded are still responding to human contact," said a dazzled Phogg, upon examining the shell-shocked body of an Art History Major who accidentally glanced at the perl code of the late W. Owens, a team member attempting to solve Problem B. It is estimated that in the first 48 hours alone, E. Slivken, N. Lindgren, and W. Owens lost 4.5 pints of blood each, entirely through the sweat glands in their forehead. Loved ones and acquaintances of all levels of closeness were affected, ranging from N. Lindgren's mother, who can no longer pronounce the letter B, to O. Landgren's pet rat, which has spontaneously assumed vampiric powers.

"They will be missed, but their hastily-thrown-together-at-the-last-minute report will echo throughout eternity," said Phogg, wearing an arc-welding mask to shield his pathetically human eyes from the insanity-inducing font and bright text selected in the 11th hour by the team of Macalester seniors.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Math Modeling Contest, Day 3.5 1

So here we are, our final results due in less than 36 hours, and things are finally beginning to take hold. Like this caffeine rush. Ahhh . . . endorphins.

Not much to report on, lately. Odd that. Trying to solve the airline overbooking problem (Problem B) has occupied most of my time, when Slivken isn't wailing on my ass in chess, and I'm not doing my usual "wake up, lumber out of bed, experience existential dread, take medication, drink coke, surf web, class stuff, eat something, more class stuff, eat dinner, work out problem with stupid Linux users, contemplate my own mortality, read Lensman, adjust headphones, sleep" thing. Pretty much the norm right about now.

I usually don't talk too much about other people here. At least, they don't always know it. It's the same with the rest of life- set up hoops, watch others jump through them, smile with amusement. There's more to it than that, but I have a strange feeling that this is a peculiarly INTJ thing to think. And I have such nice hoops.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Venlafaxine HCI Blues

No you don't know the one
Who dreams of you at night;
And longs to kiss your lips
And longs to hold you tight
Oh I'm just a friend.
That's all I've ever been.
Cause you don't know me.

. . .

Afraid and shy, I let my chance go by.
A chance that you might love me too.

-- You Don't Know Me,
Ray Charles
User Journal

Journal Journal: I have the POWER 3

to HALT PRODUCTION on all TEENAGE SEX COMEDIES!!!!! This was one of the random fortunes that /. spits out at the bottom of each page sometimes, and oddly enough, it sounds like something a trashy Bond villian might say. Or Gunn, in "Before I kill you, Mr. Bond," which is a game she likes to play. Whole lotta sleepy, I'll tell you.

Decided not to do a radio show this semester. Too much time, which I don't have. Even now, writing in diary, should be preparing capstone pages for advisor. Writing like PKD in The Man in the High Castle. Japanese in book abandon articles, focus on nouns, verbs, modifiers - less focus on connectives, interjections, particles. Stream of consciousness feeling obtained. Heh, heh, heh, said the Big Bad Wolf. (crew member reattaches wolf fur to dachsund)

Spent a whole lot of time listening to people speaking Japanese yesterday- over at Japan house, in the lab (Slivken and Walters), and at MacAnime. Which brings me to my next point - Shinji, from Evangelion . . . what a fucker. Seriously- I can't but help being pissed off at him and sorry for him all at once. Devin didn't shut up about it, and almost had to be lead out- kindof funny really, how much somebody can yell "pussy" or "fucker" and make it a different insult every time. Heh, heh, heh, said the Big Bad Surrealist Wolf. (Giraffe grip readies two blue giraffes, while Best Boy prepares the melted peanut butter in the bathtub, and Key Grip holds the light bulb)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Absorbed by the Void - Childhood Vengeance

I've been wreaking vengeance on childhood goals. Obliterating all of those indomitable, invincible enemies that stood before me. Yes - Castlevania I and II, Final Fantasy I, and Zelda II have all finally been defeated. Okay, now on to other things.

I don't know what it is about those games from when I was ten - something about my brother erasing my party that was minutes away from attacking Chaos (FF-I), or the entire game killing itself right before Link's Shadow (Zelda II); regardless, the final eradication of these games has been one of the most freeing experiences of my life. Oh, and Castlevania I is just too damn hard. Thank you fceu, thank you.

In other news, I am apparently an INTJ personality type- wow, is that appropriate.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Final Fantasy

some people turn to pills and things
to help them through the day
to take them up or down or just
to ease the blues away
but me i really want to feel
the ups and downs of life so real
happy or sad emotions reign
my tears flow just the same
-- lamb
, i cry

This is what I've been doing for a long time. More later.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Magister Ludi Infinitus

Nobody has responded with the final part of the current game yet. For those of you reading this who are playing the game, you'll get a clue into the whole enchilada. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, The Story Collage Game, in brief detail:

  • Phase 0: Construct a mix CD or tape of your choosing. For those constructing their own games, choose evocative songs that suggest action or drama- if you choose lyrical (in the oetic sense) songs, the game will be much harder to play later. Make a dozen (or so) copies of said CD/tape. Choose equally evocative album name and/or artwork. (Artwork optional)
  • Phase 1a: Give a copy of the mix to each of the participants. At your whim, supply them with a track listing of said mix (I've only done it without a track list, YMMV). If you don't give them one, sometimes it's fun to see what people think a song is.
  • Phase 1b: Each participant must construct a platonically ideal track list. This sounds a lot more complicated than it is: if we know November Rain by Guns and Roses, and we can both agree in our heart of hearts that November Rain is one of the shittiest names for that song, and that Guns and Roses isn't that great a name for a band, then- in a perfect world, where the essence of meaning is actually captured by language- what is the name of the song, when it stands alone and sings to you?
  • Phase 2: This is the part of the Story Collage game that becomes interesting. Now, the only instructions left for each of the participants is that they must try to determine what story the mix is trying to tell, given everything that they know about the album as a whole (album title, platonically ideal track list, lyrics, tempo, dynamics, style, album artwork, etc.). If you want to give limits or structure to the form of the story, be my guest- if they have to write a sestina, they'll hate you forever, and these people are presumably your friends.

Then, share the stories. Learn about the other people. This is why we have games.

And by the way, James P. Carse is wrong when he says that there is only one infinite game. Heh heh heh. (Okay, so he's right- who cares?)

I came up with the idea for this game on my own after reading aforementioned life-changing book (Finite and Infinite Games), and if you decide to play it (it really takes a long time) and it goes well (or doesn't), if you think it's a good idea (or it sucks) let me know. E-mail (which should be possible for humans that understand spam-proofing) and comments welcome. And for all of the address-harvesters out there, someday you'll be capable of cognition, and then you too can send me an e-mail. Until then, you have no idea what I just said.

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