Monday, March 26, 2007


Today was a fun day, even with its length. A lot got accomplished at work; that always feels good. Also, Dawn took me out to eat after work today, a place called Myrna's on the east side of Stamford. I always groove with these smaller shops; usually the owner is there to wait on you, and is very nice to boot. Dawn always picks out the best Mediterranean restaurants, and it was a perfect choice. I even yielded my coffee fast today to have a little Lebanese coffee, which is similar to Turkish but "brighter".
Anywho, other cool things about today:
1) Feel a lot more awake without coffee than I usually do. I guess that's what anxiety will do for you. ;) I'm trying to reduce to cold turkey, but I'll be smart this time and go slowly. This way I can enjoy the buzz when I need it, and only then.
2) The new Modest Mouse is great: Florida is one of the best MM songs I've heard in a long long time. Even as I had left Florida, far enough, far enough wasn't far enough. Unbelievably brilliant. I felt that way about Texas as I was leaving it. I may send a copy of the album to Adam, he's still in Florida. Poor dude.
3) Expert systems are really hard to put together. Mine is coming together very slowly. I'm using it to start coding up some example Wumpus problems, and then use it to solve Nurikabe puzzles.
4) Almost finished with Survival of the Sickest. What a strange book; it is the first time I've seen the use of evolution as a route to prognosis and diagnosis.
5) I am at 714 stars in my DS Sudoku game. Soon I will be at 1000 stars and will have no reason to play Sudoku ever again. Yeah, right. :) At least I can say I'm good at it. I can solve the Easy puzzles in 3 minutes now.
6) I will sleep well tonight.
It's about damned time I start thinking positively.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


I have not been this tired in my entire career. This was one of the most exhausting weeks I've been through. I am so ready to just crash this weekend.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I had no idea how tired I was at 1am writing my blog entry. I didn't get enough sleep and am rectifying that tonight. More to write tomorrow. It's amazing how a lack of sleep can make you feel more disconnected than you do in your dreams.

Sunday, March 18, 2007 is addictive

I spent the last 5 hours adding books that I have read to Scary. Some would feel squeamish about telling everyone what they like, but since Amazon already knows my purchasing habits, it might as well be in an accessible form.

I really can't call it addictive, considering my last long post. I don't think it was a waste of time, because other people who meet me will read over my lists and get an idea of the kind of reader I am. Okay, so it was a little bit of a waste of time, or maybe I don't know. I've really been concerned with the time wasting nature of most videogames nowadays. Are they addictive? From my last post I have to consider the possibility. Dawn is playing Sims 2 right now. She's been playing it all day, after I upgraded her machine last night. Tomorrow she'll break down, telling me that she regrets spending all that time playing that game. This won't alter her decision; she's told me all this before. I've gone on gaming purges in the past, and they rarely last. I was going to go on one recently, and Dawn stopped me. I got a Wii recently, and realized what I really wanted from gaming was something more physically and mentally challenging, or maybe I'm just coming up with more excuses to continue my habit.

Some of my gaming is good for my brain. I have Sudoku on my cell, my iPod, my DS, and in books. I do play it on breaks or before I go to bed or if I'm in line waiting. I find it mentally stimulating, and studies have shown that playing games can stave off mental decay. However, I don't condone long game-playing sessions, especially if they get in the way of living. Odd that I say that, since I have a PS2, a Wii, a DS, and my computer which has lots of games on it. I think the answer lies in moderation.

Now, only if I can develop that habit.

A story about "Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra Book)"

by Neal Stephenson

I first read this book last year (2006) as an audiobook. It felt like a book written recently. I was so impressed at the foresight that this book exhibited, which is amazing considering that this book was the most fun I’ve ever had with a sci-fi book.

A story about "Welcome to the Monkey House"

by Kurt Vonnegut

This is without a doubt one of the best collection of short stories I have ever read. Period.

A story about "Light"

by M. John Harrison

This book is phenomenal, and I intend to read it again in about a month. It really stretches your mind on how a sci-fi book should be written. It really extends beyond current science fiction, further in scope than Dune, written in a fractured form similar to Hard-Boiled Wonderland, and oddly enough it makes you feel happy at the end. My only complaint is that the book is a little too sexual, and in the end it will turn off some readers.

A story about "State of the Art"

by Iain Banks

I guess that it’s worth it. It’s one of the strangest series of stories that I’ve read in a while. I read this book because of The Wasp Factory. Totally different type of fiction. I am very impressed that both books could come out of the same author, and I plan to read Complicity really soon. If you don’t like science fiction you WON’T like this book, but don’t avoid this author, because his writing is amazing. Definitely check out The Wasp Factory if you get the chance, and check this book out if you like sci-fi.

New habits...

Dawn introduced me to Covey's 7 Habits book, and I was looking carefully at the Venn diagram on Habits last night during my reading session. There are the three main circles of Skill, Desire, and Knowledge, and of course Habits was in the middle. Mathematicians draw these diagrams to contemplate what happens in each of the 7 regions, which leaves all of the two-without-one regions. Oddly, it made sense to label these three regions with negative monikers:
  • Skill^Knowledge^~Desire=Procrastination
  • Knowledge^Desire^~Skill=Ignorance
  • Desire^Skill^~Knowledge=Addiction
This makes total sense to me. If you know why and how to do something, but don't want to do it, that's a natural definition of procrastination. If you know why to do something and you want to do it, but you don't know how, this is ignorance. If you want to do something you know how to do, but aren't sure that you should be doing it (or are willfully ignoring the consequences), this suggests addictive behavior.

Some questions naturally occur with this line of inquiry. If you don't know why you are doing something, is this the same as willfully ignoring the reason? I would suggest yes. You should have a moral reason to do the things you do. If reasons to possess a certain behavior are proven wrong later, you have a reason to change your behavior, and not taking this action shows dependence on the behavior. Does the broaden the range of addiction? Sure it does; even people who take vitamins after the suggested benefits are disproved are showing an addiction to the habitual action (and possible placebo effects of) that behavior. Isn't there a fine line between procrastination and ignorance? I would suggest that the perfection effect (being paralyzed by inability to perfect the task you're attempting) is a struggle between procrastination and ignorance, and is really just using ignorance to cover for your procrastination. This is indicated by the ease in which ignorance is cured (by research) as opposed to procrastination (where said research turns into aimless wandering).

Finally, after looking at these negative conditions, doesn't the Venn diagram seem kinda lopsided? It could be an effect of the internet; the increasing ease in which ignorance is curable allows for the other parts of the diagram to dominate. Something to think about.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Finished edits...

Well I cleaned some stuff up and got the Twitter feed... now if I remember to update it all the time, it'll be good. Also got a lot of other stuff done today. It was mainly sponsored by the hard drive crash on my old machine. Now my new laptop is hooked up to my flatscreen, and I can do a lot of stuff at once now. Also did the dreaded iTunes transfer. Wasn't nearly as painful as I thought it would be. In fact it was totally seamless, save for a couple of crashes because iTunes wanted to convert my .wma files and Windows totally didn't want that to happen. :)
Also got my butt in gear and transferred my files into GTD format. I'm now in the system. All I need to do now is get a good task manager program together. If I don't write my own, I'll use something else. It'll have to be stored online; I can't tolerate being tied down to a single machine. This is part of the reason I played around with Twitter. I only wish I could consolidate all of this information in one place. Hmmm... this could be an interesting development project. I'll have to crack open my Java books. Could be a lot of fun.

Playing with Twitter...

Unfortunately I got sucked in. :P All good. It'll be a quick way to update where I am from anywhere. I'm adding the badge as I type... we'll see how well it works.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Totally unrelated note...

I totally missed out on karaoke yesterday! The IT group at work went in my stead, and I guess they had a totally awesome time. Ugh. I guess there's always next week.

Random thoughts day...

In honor of the book Freakonomics, that great economics text that had no central point other than to express how economists think, here are a few random thoughts out of my own head.
  1. My neck hurts.
  2. I didn't start feeling better from my sickness until I went out with friends and threw back a couple of beers. Try to explain that Levitt!
  3. It's hard to be creative on a daily basis.
  4. I drink a whole lot of caffeine.
  5. Tomorrow is Ride the Fire Eagle Danger Day. Thanks to Zefrank for posting an awesome video podcast!
  6. My neck still hurts, probably from the way I type lying down in front of my lappy. I'm sure that Stephen and Steven have some statistics on that relating it to the Edo Period and literary development. To prevent them from writing another paper, I decided to sit up.
  7. Microsoft's mistrust campaign with iTunes worked. Apple claims that it is compatible, but because I'm fighting the urge to struggle against it, my iTunes library still sits on my older XP machine.
  8. I really love coding in Haskell. I hate reading Perl written by a coder who uses it as a fancy scripting language.
  9. I LIKE the name Worse Than Failure! Even so, I still like the reaction from coworker's faces when they see my WTF mug at work. :D
  10. For that matter, SELECT should be renamed GIMMIE. It seems that anyone asking me to use SELECT in my code is begging like a little child for something.
  11. Right now I think that the two Stephens should write an article about Open Source.
  12. I am now laying back down due to laziness.
  13. I know that I can come up with twenty of these.
  14. Doesn't Guinness give me hangovers? Isn't that what they say about dark beers?
  15. It's really flipping cold outside. Just thinking about it made me fart.
  16. I'm finally accepting the fact that I'll be living under my own power for the rest of my life.
  17. Fashion sense is a total mystery to me. So is South Park, but at least I enjoy that. Crap, I missed Lost last night. At least I have a DVR.
  18. I want to throw out half of all I own. Or at least give it away. I'm such a cluttered person, and I sure that the two Stephens would correlate that to my obesity.
  19. Kohina means white noise in some Scandinavian language.
  20. There is something cool about the glow of a black screen in a dark room.
There. I feel less creatively constipated now. Time to sleep.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Productively sick...

I've gotten over this unproductively sick mode I was in the last couple of days. I may still put off my karaoke for Thursday night, but oh well. I realized a few things today:
  1. Accept that you are sick and that you need at least some rest.
  2. Rearrange your living space when you are sick. This will make your body assume a different mindset and encourage healing. This includes being able to access necessary items from bed, such as water, food, communication.
  3. If not completely bedridden or in the process of recovery, clean thoroughly. You don't want any lingering germs to make you sick again. This will also make you feel better.
  4. Take off more time than your sickness. Make sure you are feeling okay before returning to work.
On other accounts: I wish I'd take my own advice more often. :) More in the morning.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Surprised there aren't more people...

...who are interested in doing karaoke??? It’s a blast and a great excuse to get drunk if you don’t mind making an ass of yourself, as well as a great excuse to make an ass of yourself if you’re planning on getting drunk. :) Seriously, we all need to blow off steam once in a while, and this is one way to do it.
In fact I plan to do some more on Wednesday.

Never liked being sick...

Man, when you're trying your hardest to become re-motivated it pains you to be sick. Essentially all this forward motion you've been gathering has been dealt this impassible snowstorm, and you are forced to stand your ground. But, you shouldn't ruminate. You should march forward. So what if I can't exercise right now? I can sleep better, and that is one of my goals , or at least a derivation thereof.
Haven't listened to Kohina in a while, and I missed it. They have a bunch more tracks, and I just heard this most amazing track, Solomatic Fly by Orcan, which just took me a long time to get to play again. Thank god for emulators! Anywho... I must get some sleep, will write more in the morning.