Friday, June 29, 2007

Team Substitution

I'm planning on heading back to my hometown this summer, and think I'm hoping to manage to possibly meet up with some of my old friends that I've not seen in much too long. Somehow it helps that there's a reunion this year. As part of the reunion, there's a list of questions to fill out. And as one of the questions, I'm requested to list my accomplishments.

I think that it's an accomplishment to get up in the morning, every day. And every day I do so, I find myself amazed that I'm up yet again. And every day, my goal for the day is to make it back to bed that night. Possibly not my own bed in my own apartment, for sometimes I travel, but always back to a bed wherein I can get some sleep. Possibly not a full night's sleep, as I've never been known to sleep the whole night through except possibly for after a week of working 20-hour days chasing around a billion or so children at camp, but at least enough sleep that I can repeat the process again the next day.

It may seem like a trivial accomplishment or a silly goal. It may not sound like much to anyone else. And it may be silly to put down on the reunion form. But it's my accomplishment and my goal none-the-less. Without that, though, what other accomplishments are worth mentioning? Eating lunch every day? Well, almost every day? Visiting the ocean on occasion? Perhaps I should make some up, for I doubt anyone could disprove that I saved the world from self-destruction by going back in time and giving a homeless orphan a yo-yo for his sixth birthday. Nor could anyone disprove that I prevented the greatest economic crash the world's ever known by not eating breakfast on August 27th, 1998. Or even that I crashed a name server for a third of the country. Except, perhaps, that one I actually managed to do. Completely on accident, of course.

But no matter what I put down, I still prefer my true accomplishments and goals. And am very proud of the fact that I've got better than a 50% success rate. I could do even better, if only they'd get a different goalie!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Creativity and Electrolites

I want to make something, but I don't know what. It's why I got into computer science, why I love Lego bricks, and why I have a blog. The problem with wanting to make something is that either you have to have someone else give you set of plans, in which case you're basically a glorified factory worker (not that there's anything wrong with factory workers, it's just not what I want to do), or you have to have some amount of creativity.

I used to have some creativity. I think that I used up most of it that year we had a haunted house in my grandpa's attic. Jury-rigging ghosts to the door so the room came alive (or un-dead, perhaps) as the door opened, I still think that the thought and engineering that went into that was fairly creative. But I fear I used up all of my creativity when I was young.

Anymore, I get halfway through writing a story and can't figure out where to go from there. 'Sure, he fell off a cliff to certain doom as the lightning crashed around and his body cascaded toward the piercing rocks below. But what happens /next/?' It's such a pain to try to figure out where to go from there. Obviously I could have the magical albatross swoop in and save the day, but really, how believable is that? Everyone knows that magical albatrosses gallop, not swoop.

So I find that I'm stuck, without a speck of creativity left. Unsure of what to do, but still filled with a huge desire to create. A need to build. A thirst for anti-entropy.

Which honestly would make a pretty darn good sports drink. Anti-Entropy, with added specks of creativity. Now in fruity lime!

Labels: , ,

Friday, June 22, 2007

More than Infatuation

Math has always been one of my great loves. Not my only great love, of course, and certainly not that which I love the most, but it ranks pretty high on the list. The way numbers can be juggled and moved, how starting from a very simple base one can build huge impressive structures, and how Fermat didn't have quite enough room left to finish off his proof.

With this love of math, my view of the world is changed. Sometimes I see things as sets, sometimes I find myself counting (sometimes in binary), occasionally I wonder about the number of M&Ms in a jar, and find myself trying to integrate over the jar in different ways to find the best approximation. Then there're the times that I find myself proving the obvious, simply so that I know it's something that, given my axioms, I can know to be true. This also, of course, explains my love for physics.. physics is obviously just math, but less theoretical.

And as my view of the world is changed, I find that I sometimes have trouble understanding other people. I don't know how they can't see what I find to be obvious, I'm not sure where our understandings differ. Perhaps they never had that third-grade teacher that had puzzles and games instead of book exercises. Perhaps they never saw that math could help them win party and carnival games, so opted instead to focus their efforts on poetry and wine.

Perhaps they're simply not me. Perhaps we're all different, we each have our own unique gifts and character flaws. Perhaps I should have taken more psychology classes in college, but they didn't generally have enough math. And perhaps I'll consider mathematical aptitude to be my superpower. It and EMP generation, what more could a guy ask for? Well, those, and the real, true love of his life.

So with those goals accomplished, I can start spending more time wondering... how exactly /do/ you decrypt PGP without the key? And why /does/ a vase just want to keep doing whatever it is it's doing?

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Fresh Air and Late Mornings

I happened to be coming in to work late, and as I walk, I have time to enjoy the smell of freshly-cut grass, the sounds of birds chirping in the trees, the sights of a car stopped in the middle of the road with the driver running around it madly. And the sights of the tiny dog, running around the car just as fast, just a few feet in front of the driver. Sights I certainly wouldn't have seen, had I made it to work at my normal time. Or if I'd driven in, as that leads me down a different route, down a path more-traveled.

Maybe if I were to walk in later more often, I would have a more interesting morning commute. Maybe tomorrow there will be a boat floating down the road, or a tree dropping things on random passer-byers. Money grows on trees, you know. And parrots eat nuts and fruit. Maybe I should change my schedule, and begin to work later days, if only for the more interesting commute.

But then, I'm planning on working later. Planning on coming in later, staying later, waking later, sleeping later. Which I've done before, but this time, I'm expecting to do so without changing timezones.

Somehow, though, coming in later then will be different. I will no longer be walking in then; I'll be in a car. And I doubt I'll have worked for a couple hours before deciding it's time to actually come in to work. Oh, and the dog's been returned to its owner, so no more cars should need to stop so their drivers can chase it. But maybe I'll get lucky. Maybe next time it'll be a parrot.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Conservation of Energy

It's getting hot out. Not that that should really surprize me, but somehow I suppose that it does. So it's getting hot out, and I'm not really sure what I should do about it. I could try walking around with a refridgerator strapped to my back, but I don't think I'd manage to get very far. And even if I did, I'm not sure that would really end up helping the heat any, unless I also hauled around a power supply. But that'd probably have to be gas-generated, since batteries are really heavy. And gas is so expensive now that it's probably worth living with the heat instead of hauling around a gas-generated refridgerator's power supply around with the refridgerator simply so I can get a glass of cold water whenever it's a bit on the "too warm" side of the scale.

I guess then that I just have to live with the heat and try to head for cooler areas when it starts to warm up even more in a month or so. But still, with all this heat, there's got to be something that can be done. And given that I've apparently decided that I can't really keep myself cool, I'll simply have to remember that for the back half of the year, it's going to start to get too cold. Much too cold, and the apartment enjoys leaking like a screen door on a submarine. But at least it makes a lot more sense. So maybe I can simply attempt to conserve the heat until a rainy, cold day.

It's much too hot out right now, but as soon as I perfect my heat-bottle, that won't be a problem any longer. I can then capture the heat, protect the heat, and use it to warm up my home when it's twenty-seven below outside. If the bottle's big enough, perhaps I can even keep it from being twenty-seven below outside.

But then I'll probably be outlawed in some congressman's attempt to win votes by stamping out global warming. Outlawed and stepped on with a really big boot. Or at least smacked with a really big rubber smiley-face stamp. All because of the heat. But at least then I'd have other things to occupy my mind.

How /do/ you remove that much ink, anyway?

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hungry, Hungry Sock Puppets

I missed a whole month. I'm not sure how that happened. Sure I've come close before, but still, a whole month? Three birthdays, an airplane ride, lots of running around in my car and various other activities. Not enough sleep, too much work, and generally remembering to brush my teeth. But add all that up, and it can't come anywhere near the time that's passed since last I tested the waters. Add all that time up, and it can't be more than a day or two.

I missed a whole month, and I'm not sure where the time has gone. It's flying by, it's speeding through, it's gone way before it was ever here. I try to catch it and realize I'm grasping at the shadow it's leaving as it flits its merry way along past a streetlight three towns away.

But it's a streetlight in a town three towns behind me. For time's only flying by when I look backward... when I turn my gaze the other way, things seem to get stuck in a bog of molasses mixed with some quick-drying cement. The next month seems to stretch out as if it were a decade, and time, instead of flying by, is a turtle carrying the weight of the world on its shell. A turtle that was frightened by the time flying behind me, and is now hiding inside of the shell that's covered in the weight of the world. A turtle that, frankly, isn't moving very fast.

Yes, time would be crawling, if it decided to speed up some. It'd speed up and pass. But that doesn't help me answer the question of what happened to the month that I missed. I've even looked between the cushions of my couch, and it's not there.

I'm starting to fear it's been eaten by a sock.

Labels: , , ,