Archive for August, 2007

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

The Five Love Languages

My primary love language is probably
Physical Touch
with a secondary love language being
Words of Affirmation.

Complete set of results

Physical Touch: 11
Words of Affirmation: 7
Quality Time: 6
Acts of Service: 4
Receiving Gifts: 2


Unhappiness in relationships, according to Dr. Gary Chapman, is often due to the fact that we speak different love languages. Sometimes we don’t understand our partner’s requirements, or even our own. We all have a “love tank” that needs to be filled in order for us to express love to others, but there are different means by which our tank can be filled, and there are different ways that we can express love to others.

Take the quiz

… worst enemy? …

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

So, recently I’ve been playing with this theory.. okay, so I play with it repeatedly and excessively, but recently I’ve been taking it to new heights..

I think I’m my own worst enemy.

Time and time again, I see places where I could have achived far more than I did, but I failed because I sabotoged myself. I mean, we start out with some of the more obvious things, like assuming that anyone in the ‘real world’ (as opposed to the network one) that tried to pick me up when I was single was actively hostile towards me, intending to make fun of me, use me as a foil for some really nefarious plot, or worse..

then we look further, to all the progress I could have made on the battery management project (and still can..) if I wouldn’t keep losing momentum right before a key/breakthrough point..

Then we look at my constant belief that I will be fired from any and/or all of my jobs at any time..

Well, okay, so that’s more expecting awful things to happen.. but sometimes it seems like I (inadvertently or not) go out of my way to make bad things happen, and I don’t want to.. I also don’t want to be so negative about everything.. recently, I was complaining about a rebate not being honored because one of the requisite pieces of paper wasn’t included because it wasn’t given to us at the store, and I mused aloud about whether the Sprint employees got bonuses for every rebate that couldn’t be collected because of missing paperwork, and a friend asked me if I got paid extra for every paranoid theory I came up with.

Well, maybe.

But, really, I find it really frustrating when people have nothing good to say about anything, and yet, I’m one of those people who never has anything good to say about anything. And I don’t like it, but I don’t really know how to change. Just once, I wish I could spend a few hours honestly – not self-kiddingly or because I thought it would protect me from the wrath of some higher power – looking at my life and appriceating the beauty, and the good spots, etc. I mean, I have wonderful toys, I have friends to play with (admittedly, I don’t see them very often, but..) there’s a good chance someday soon I’ll have a dog, or a cat, or both.. I’m even slowly getting my life to where it doesn’t bowl me over whenever I look at it funny.. but still, like Mr. Tanner, I only see the flaws.

I don’t want to be so negative any more.

Pay it forward..

Monday, August 27th, 2007

[stolen from Cori]

Pay It Forward: I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment here on my blog. I don’t know what that gift will be yet, but you will receive it within 365 days. The only thing you have to do in return is “pay it forward” by making a similar agreement on your blog.

[And you have to let me know an address where I can mail your gift and/or drop it off. Since your gift will likely be informational (i.e. a poem, song, story, or some custom software) rather than tangible, you should probably give me a email address.]

Of nightmares and dreams..

Monday, August 27th, 2007

So, for the last six months or so, I’ve had pretty much nonstop bad dreams. They occasionally have good elements, but there aren’t any that you could call unilaterally good. I had hoped that changing the sleeping medication I used would fix it, but while the nightmares are less intense on the new drug, they’re certainly not gone.

My next experiment, which will not make me popular with anyone, is probably not going to be using any sleeping drugs at all.

I feel kind of like people assume that I’m lazy because I don’t get up at 8 AM with everyone else. My responses to this are varied.. from questioning why it would matter whether or not I was lazy – I mean, honestly, of all the things one can be, is lazy really that bad? .. to resentment, because I know lots of people who put less energy into  life than I do, but think they’re better than me because their biology happens to happily coexist with following the sun in a ‘normal’ phase.

Anyway.. that’s not what I came here to talk to you about today.

A longtime dream of mine has been to get airplay for some of my music. A friend recently asked me why I wanted to make other people listen to my music.. to make them happy? Self-aggrandizement? Something else?

And I have to admit I have no idea. Until fairly recently, I didn’t even think any of it was that good. So why would I want to force my mediocre talents on the world? And I don’t really have a answer for that. ‘Because I just do’ doesn’t raelly seem like a rational argument even to me.

In other news, I’ve been carrying on a email conversation – which I plan to someday publish, because I think it’d make interesting reading to some people – with a card-carrying republican. One of e’s comments is that people don’t value things that they don’t earn – that we couldn’t have a unlimited-resource universe in which everybody has everything they want because they wouldn’t value it. He also insists that if people didn’t have to work for a living, no one would. [I don’t think that’s true – people *like* working. They just don’t like working in pointless and/or useless jobs, and they don’t like living in fear of being evicted/starving/whatnot the day they stop working].

I’ve been thinking.. do I think that I would value the things I have less if I had not worked for them? I can’t think of any good way to answer that question short of winning the lottery (either metaphorically or literally), although it occurs to me that there are some things I have that I didn’t work for, and it’s true that I don’t value them as much as some.. things like intelligence, and life.. 😉

(not that I’d want to be unintelligent.. I considered the possibility, and decided it probably wasn’t what I wanted. What I really want is to be happy without hurting anyone else. Thus far I haven’t found a workable path, but I remain cautiously optimistic.)

(One could probably make a case that the mental effort I’ve put into designing the perfect universe over the last few years isn’t likely to increase my happiness, since clearly the universe we live in is a long way from perfect. Ironically, I think that it may get that way by trying to average perfection for all users, when apparently users fall into a number of diametrically opposed categories)

Actually, as long as I’m ruminating on that topic, I’ve been thinking.. one of the great evils is thinking that you should be able to force others to live by what you consider to be right and wrong. I will grant that there are some exceptions.. i.e. no one should be allowed to kill, or steal something that doesn’t already belong to us all. (You will note that I don’t really believe that digital media can be owned, any more than the number 2 can be. Look elsewhere in this blog for more on that topic than you’d ever want to learn, and yes, I know that not everyone agrees with me, and a lot of those who don’t own guns. I point to this as one more inperfection in the current universe. ;P)

Hm. That whole paragraph kind of fell apart. Let me try this again. I don’t think that you should be able to tell me that X is wrong, where X is a action that doesn’t hinder your freedom in any way.

I was reading the wikipedia article on Radio Caroline – for those of you who aren’t familiar, you might want to take a gander. This is how far governments will go to try and squash people who are breaking rules that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

I think governments would be far, far better if they didn’t have unilateral ability to spend tax dollars however they wished. One can imagine a democracy in which individuals were required to put a certain amount of money towarads the common good, but were given a lot of flexibility in how the money would be spent. Combined with a somewhat expanded Bill of Rights and a design that deliberately left the federal portion of the government majorly underfunded, this could go a long way towards improving the current situation.

Anyway, before I went off on that tangent, I was going off on the tangent that in general, to become a police officer, fed, what have you, you have to start out with the basic mentality that you should be allowed to tell other people what to do. This seems like the basic root from which abuse of power would rapidly grow. Now, I know there are (at least reletively) good cops out there.. in fact, I’ve probably met more good cops than bad cops – so perhaps I’m oversimplifying the whole situation. I think the cop I hate is the hypothetical one who has not thus far materialized to bust me for any number of crimes that I’ve knowingly committed.

Interestingly, though, I haven’t believed that any of them were wrong when committing them, and I still don’t believe that any of them are wrong. I wonder, if I ever do something that I know is wrong, will a bad cop show up to bust me? Just how reactive is the universe to our thoughts about it, anyway?

(For those of you who wonder, no, I haven’t been indulging in recreational.. anything.. for quite some time. So this level of strange is just naturally me. I can see how you would worry, though.)

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

I’m feeling a little poked at.

I’ve been on Ebay buying supplies for a rave that needs to be held a considerable distance from the generators – (I’m kicking the 220 from the gennies up to 440, sending it down 10AWG wire, and dropping it back down to CT’d 220 – i.e. 110 – at the far end. I’m currently guessing about 2000′ of wire, and we’re sending 5kW.. I’m starting to feel like the power company over here.. )

Anyway, ‘my ebay’ has a picture of a locomotive and a banner ‘Grown up? Sell it.’. Ouch.  I will admit that I probably should spend less time playing with trains and more time working on my EV project – but I doubt if anyone would label either of them a ‘grown up’ thing to do.

(What I’m  supposed to do, they tell me, is have children. The problems with this are many, and I won’t enumerate them here only because I don’t have time, but look for a future article entitled ‘why I don’t want children’. We recently added a new item to the list: the presence of babies causes me to have panic attacks. I knew that I was frightened by them, and made very uncomfortable by their presence, and hated to look at them – but I had no idea that when seated next to one that kept groping me on a airplane, this would proceed to full-blown inability to breathe and desire to shrink as far away from the child in question as possible. Luckily the mother decided to move after seeing my reaction… I dislike thinking about the possibilities if she hadn’t.)

Lately I’ve been trading emails with a conservative that I decided to harass after reading a discussion page of a article they had worked on quite a bit on the wikipedia. (I was impressed with their skills in argument, and also found myself agreeing with most of what they said.) We obviously have quite a few differences, but the discussions have still been interesting. They wrote a wonderful Craigslist article (I understand that many of you won’t find it wonderful, but I do:

I need to find some religion that I can start feeling positive about. I’ve about had it with my own negativity.

My work is going well. I’m actually very slightly ahead of where I thought I’d be on my software dev project. My ‘day job’ is doing interesting things I don’t fully understand – I was their open source sysadmin, and now the database engines have all been moved to AIX and career admins hired to care and feed them.. which is why I’m posting blog entries at work. I’ve sent a list of the things I think they might want me to work on, and heard nothing other than ‘Don’t worry, hang in there, we’ll find something for you to do’. It seems pretty clear that they aren’t firing me outright, and I will admit that if the dev project I’m working on gets funded to where they can afford to pay me what my day job does – or even 20% less – I’d be happy to just work for them, as it’s more interesting work – but I do worry idly. Partially I’m worried that I will end up unemployed right before I get all my debts paid off (by best estimate, this will happen around December, so if I can just get $COMPANY to hang in there another 4 months…)

I really like the idea of not owing anyone anything. I’m trying to decide, though.. I’ve been watching E-Bay for a blue Honda Insight with a manual transmission, air conditioning, and <100,000 on the clock – nothing has showed up yet, but if one does, I’ll be tempted to pause my debt-reducing operations while I purchase it.. alternately, I could get my current car’s air conditioning fixed.

Oh, that reminds me.. (goes off to do some stuff)

Platform 9.75

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

We discovered that the U.K. edition of Harry Potter 7 has different artwork and is much better bound, more compact, and in all ways superior. So we tried to buy a copy in Oxford while we were ice skating, but we ended up leaving it in a café. I was sad about this at the time, but it led to us buying a copy at Kings Cross station, which just felt way too appropriate. I’m actually somewhat thrilled to have a copy of a Harry Potter book that was purchased at Kings Cross.

My favorite photos from the trip: – cow! – castle! – church – huge – magic roundabout, around two ways – a pentagram of tiny roundabouts making one huge one

I visited the U.K., and all I got was this purple kilt…

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Okay, for those of you curious about such things, we are back safely in the U.S., having visited numerous internet peoples, the Edinburgh fringe festival, Swindon, London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, and driven around through northern Scotland. The last week feels like about a day to me, and as you can tell from me being awake at 8:22 am, I’m somewhat jet-lagged. But I will manage.

Pictures soon..

Two thoughts

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

1) My web page front ( still pulls from – so as a result, this post will ping-pong from my wordpress, to LJ, to my homepage. Maybe somewhat wasteful, but oh well.

2) I prefer not to think of it as death, but rather as logging out. Given infinity and eternity, chances are we’ll all get together again somewhere, sometime. (Or, as Manaj said.. sometime, when it’s the right party..)

3) I know I said 2. But I need to find a party with obscenely loud anthem trance. If none are forthcoming… (looks towards his garage and snickers) – ten friends, a generator, a car full of speakers, and all of the Great California Desert. Just have to wait a few more months for it to get cool enough.

4) Obviously I don’t know when to stop. Yesterday was a friend’s 5th anniversary of not smoking. I wish I could remember when I stopped, so I could have some clue what anniversary I’m on. I’m pretty sure I’ve stopped for good, because the smell of smoke now makes me unhappy, and even when peer pressured I don’t light up. No big loss – it sucked money out of my bank account, made me feel miserable in the mornings, and wasn’t as effective as coffee in making me alert. And I’ve learned that it’s acceptable to wander around talking to coworkers *without* anything burning

5) In other, less exciting news, 210 days.

6) I hate money. I hate corporations that care more about money than the well being of their employees or customers. I hate that anyone should go to sleep in a gutter, or have no food, because of stupid little pieces of green paper. I feel guilty that I appear to have drawn one of the longer straws, and that I don’t do as much as I should – but I also feel like I will be able to do more if I get out of debt before I start seriously looking for places to spend my money that will help feed the dogs, cats, and humans of the world. I also hate that donating anything results in many organizations sending flurries of letters your way – which makes one wonder if donations aren’t counterproductive because the energy you send in just gets used to send letters to more people

Hm. I’m not in the best of moods this morning. I think I’ll go back to coding.

Twilight zone occurence?

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

I have observed in a system of mine a phenomenon that I’m hesitant to even try and classify.

This system is a older AMD64.

I can run a certain very-high-cpu-using process at nice 0 (normal priority) and the system core will rapidly heat up to 64 degrees C (it used to go considerably hotter and then go into thermal shutdown, but I put it in a case with a obscene number of fans, and even added a couple of extra well-placed CPU fans, and now it stops at 64).

Or, I can run the same process at nice 19 – getting almost the same amount of work done – the process still gets 96% of the CPU, and still performs it’s task at very close to the same rate (maybe 15% slower) – and have the CPU sit at 40 degrees C just as it does when the system is idle.
Can anyone explain this? Does that last 15% really cost that much?