Merry Christmas!

Why I’m up at this hour working on reinstalling and restoring 1.9 gig of files to a friends laptop I’m not really sure. Particularly since I have to be up tomorrow for usual Christmas morning and church, too. It’s the spirit of Christmas, I guess.

And last night, of course, I was up till 3:00 (am) getting schroeder fully upgraded. He’s been needing a good apt-get dist-upgrade for a while, not having had the chance since early May. But, of course, I had to pick a slow day for RoadRunner(tm) and had to do other stuff all afternoon, so the morning was spent watching him download (1.5 gig of packages to DL – at 30-80kB/s) and the late evening and wee hours babysitting the rest of the process. Fun fun fun.

Aside from that, however, this week has been remarkably relaxing and productive. Cleaned out my pack and filed (most of) my junk from this semester, hacked up an A/V connector and tested my $15 Nintendo 64 (it works! Goodwill rocks), got my Flickr thing going, spent a bunch of time getting acquainted with LibraryThing, fixed the powersupply for my Boss multieffects pedal (broken wire), reassembled a friend’s Digitech RP-2000 and fixed the powersupply for that (two broken wires), whacked together a dual head linux config for my cousin, updated schroeder, completely dissasembled the old iMac (dead analog board, but PS & mobo still fine – build a linux firewall/router box, I think), slept in a lot, and did a whole lot of research on website pre-processing tools. I think I’m going with tt2site for now, I just have to figure it all out and migrate NateNet over. More fun for the Holidays. No school until January 17th, though, so plenty of time to work on Things In General(tm), read and see if I can help Dad get more of the basement organized. I need more boxes to put stuff in…

After the Holidays. I’ve got a solid week of goofing off to do with family, the other stuff can wait until post-New Years.


Killing Father Time

I’m learning (or at least realizing) just how time-driven our society/my life is, and I hate it.

In the three weeks I spent at Tauernhof’s Upward Bound program this past summer, we weren’t allowed watches while we were out on tour. It was awesome. Our leaders took care of waking us up and keeping us on schedule. We got up when someone yelled “Rise and shine! Brekky in half an hour!”, we didn’t know how many hours of sleep we got and didn’t worry about it. Minutes were no longer important. Everything was somewhat flexible.

Now in contrast, these last two weeks of school would be fairly normal except that my church’s annual Dessert Theatre production is next week – so, added on to the normal routine, I have to finish the lighting before this weekend and we have four performances next week. The last two weeks of school. Since my school schedule is pretty much a fourty-hour week, I usually do a bunch of homework on weekends. Now I have setup, dress rehearsals, and performances on weekends, on top of the usual midweek activites that take up a couple evenings.

I recalled this summer last week while putting together a robot during Lab – I happen to enjoy working on stuff like that and suddenly realized that I had been happily working on Olaf for an hour and a half (say that five times fast), oblivious to the rest of the world. That’s when I realized I don’t like time. Those three weeks with I spent mostly time independent and it was the proverbial breath of fresh air. (And I’m sure being in the Austrian Alps didn’t have anything at all to do with it. 😉 Regardless of where I am, I don’t want to have to care so much about scheduling and time management and making sure I have enough time to do all my homework for PreCal. (And that’s the kicker – I’m slightly behind and it’s not because I don’t understand the math. It just takes so much time to crank through all the problems.)

This is why I hate time: it waits for no-one, we can’t kill it, all we can do is waste it (to borrow the cliches). But at the same time if we try to pack as much as possible into our minutes, we end up wasting ourselves instead. Which is really better?

Going for the Polls

We return for a special broadcast on the weirdness of CNN. On the front page today is a poll with the blaring healine: Most doubt Bush has plan for Iraq victory.

Initial reaction: then what in tarnation is this?

After reading the actual poll article, we find some interesting things.

(CNN) — As President Bush launched a new effort Wednesday to gain public support for the Iraq war, a new poll found most Americans do not believe he has a plan that will achieve victory.

But the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Wednesday night also found nearly six in 10 Americans said U.S. troops should not be withdrawn from Iraq until certain goals are achieved.

Just 35 percent wanted to set a specific timetable for their exit, as some critics of the war have suggested.

White House officials unveiled a 35-page plan Wednesday to achieve success in Iraq, and Bush used a speech at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, to tout what he said was progress in getting Iraqi security forces in place to protect their own country. (Full story link)

The poll conducted Wednesday does not directly reflect how Americans are reacting to Bush’s speech, because only 10 percent of the 606 adult Americans polled had seen it live and two-thirds had not even heard or read news coverage about it.


Among poll respondents, 55 percent said they did not believe Bush has a plan that will achieve victory for the United States in Iraq; 41 percent thought he did.

Bold text mine. Now, we would like to point out that the percentage of people polled who think that Bush has a plan for vicory (41%) is higher than the percentage (33%, derived from the 2/3rds figure above) who have heard coverage of President Bush’s speech Wednesday.

How can this be? Assuming that those who have not heard any news coverage (66%, the 2/3rds figure above) also have not heard of of the plan (released Wednesday), I personally would count those poll numbers to be out of date.

Here We Go ‘Round The Mulberry Bush

…So early in the morning. Maybe we’ll take up blogging again. Maybe we’ll abandon it again after a couple months…we’ll see. I have this love/hate thing with blogs. It goes in cycles.

Anyway, my summer is pretty much over, and we now head full tilt back into the school year. I’m looking forward to getting into micros, I wanna learn how to program stuff. My current goal is to have a working parport DMX interface by Christmas. Not designed from scratch, obviously (so much work that someone else has already done for you), but still built and programmed. My other goal is to get my corner of the basement more organized, with more shelving and workspace, so I actually have space to set up shop with room to work and a computer or two. (Or six, we’ll see what happens there, as well.)

And, of course, this blog will be either the vent to the world or a silence resembling granite. It’s probably about as interesting to the rest of the world either way, so I won’t sweat it. The most interesting blogs to read are those of people you know.

The Super-Hero In All Of Us

One never knows what the evenings rounds may turn up. Now, thanks to this wonderful quiz (by way of Michelle Malkin), we may all put to rest those nagging fears about which of The Incredibles characters we are.

What? You do not suffer from these sorts of feelings?

Come to think of it, neither did I until I took the quiz. Apparently I’m Edna…which probably raises more questions than it answers.

Non-Frozen Precipitation

Awefully novel concept, after this winter. There are even bare patches in the back yard – puddles now, but still devoid of snow.

Anyhow, back from break and getting back in the swing of things after Easter. Six weeks ’till the end of school! That doesn’t seem possible, but it is. It’s really amazing how much one can not do over break, considering the time. In the course of last week, despite all good intentions, I managed to not do Physics homework, not do Algebra homework, and not do any reading for Circuits class. The biggest accomplishment of the week consisted of putting up bookshelves in my room, resulting in more organization and an increase in available floor real-estate. I also stayed up late and generally threw my schedule out the window. Profitable time, what. And, of course, I was so busy I had absolutely no time to post here.

And now, more later. Need to catch up on some things.

Spring Is Coming!

Really. I saw another Robin at church yesterday. And now I’m heading for bed so I can get up at five tomorrow morning and go shovel/snow-blow a foot+ of nice fresh white stuff down at church. Awesome, I tell ya. Absolutely awesome. Spent a couple-three hours outside this afternoon tunneling with siblings, and probably do some more tomorrow. Best banks we’ve had since we moved, I think – they’re all higher than the snow-plane of the yard, which is around three feet or so. If only I had a digital camera, I’d be photoblogging this…

Now on a completely random different topic, these things have got to be the best flower pots I’ve seen. (No! I’m not thinking of spring! Or I wasn’t…)

On to bed, then. A great prospect of a morning awaits. Really too bad about the lack of camera, it is.

The Manalo I Have Discovered

Stickman says, not of this world, the Manalo is. For the wearing of the shoes, Manalo has advice. The world of the shoes is the Manalo’s. But the Manalo does not talk all about the shoes, also he talks about the Poncho and the warmers of the legs and the song and dance. (And the other fashion advice, of course.)

The Manalo, he is possessing of the super fantastic sense of humour. Stickman says, the Stickman enjoys the Manalo. But the Manalo, does he have the Force?

Those Darned Feather Quilts

They must be needing some really good shakings this year. Yet another six-eight inches of snow, complete with high winds and cold temperatures. And busy days. It would have to dump last night, and of course school wasn’t canceled today.

The roads were pretty horrendous, as well. Before the cold front came in last night it rained for a while and then when the cold front got here, it froze. Which made things really slick. Like you could skate on Rt. 25 through Gorham kind of slick, especially once the morning rush had polished it. In fact, some people skated their cars off the road. The best way to stop was, literally, to steer into the shoulder and do your deceleration there because the snow had that much more traction than the ice did.

But spring is coming, folks! I saw three Robins at school this morning. Welcome to March in Maine.

After that wonderful drive in, I was one of five guys who showed up for class (out of about fourty). And some of those guys live in the dorms, for pete’s sake. Naturally, those of us who were there don’t.

Indeed, I truly admire the dedication of modern college students. Idiots. Don’t complain about your grades when you aren’t there 1/3rd of the time.

I Have A Lot Of Respect For Those People

Real bloggers are to be admired. I’m talking about people who blog full time, or even outside and around a day job and still crank out the commentary by the bucket. I cant really do that…besides having less to say on a great many given subjects, I generally just don’t have the time. Too much to do. School work to do, computers to work on, side projects, and a few other things. At the moment that includes resurrecting one of the old IBM towers for a windows box. (Currently an eMachine is filling that position, but it’s fan is dying and sounds horrible.) And once I’ve got a quiet windows machine back, I probably need to do a thorough overhaul of my area of the basement. It’s better than it was a couple weeks ago (I actually have room to work on things), but could use a little more work (since I only have room to work on one thing at a time).

Yeah, so anyway, I am a busy person. But not so busy I can’t kill time between classes at school surfing around and digging up clock hacks. Rather ingeneous, putting one in a G5 like that. Not, perhaps, the most tactful of mods, but interesting nonetheless. And I seem to be developing this thing for interesting clocks, but more on that later. Time to quit rambling and do something else.