May 30, 2006

don’t need no purpose when i’ve got cartoons

whoop his ass!

They call it a battle of the bands, but were are the Lieutenants rockin’ the mic? Where are the trenches filled with roadies? Whatever happened to matching olive green outfits?

At least they still have booze…

May 23, 2006

jeff wears birkenstocks

I’m interviewing to be a College of Engineering Ambassador in order for a shot at a sweet polo, and was informed by one Ms. Elise that the attire would be “business casual.”

Now, there is a major disconnect between between CSC and the rest of the college of engineering with regard to the definition of business casual. Beards and ponytails are not uncommon, ties are sacrilege, and a work dress code that denies shorts is reason enough to work elsewhere in many elite circles (note: I don’t wear shorts. But I am considered “weird”).

In that context it’s not so strange that when I was told that I needed to wear business casual, I immediately panicked. “Shit,” I swore to myself, “I don’t own any Birkenstocks.”

May 22, 2006

sorry mitch

I don’t like bumper stickers, but I don’t know how to convey this information in a contextually appropriate manner.

no spoilers

The Da Vinci code has been panned by both critics and friends, though I think many of them are hopping on the “Dan Brown’s Overrated” train. I argue that the train itself is overrated.

Now, I’m not saying the movie is in my personal top 10, it isn’t. But it is being grouped in with other films, such as National Treasure, which are in the same category of “bad conspiracy theory”. However, I find it hard to believe that either The Da Vinci Code or National Treasure are as bad as everyone makes them out to be. They’re empirically superior to those comic book movies everyone seems to love. Call me straight, but I just don’t find movies with full grown men hopping around in spandex all that enticing.

Except for the new Superman movie. Kevin Spacey as Lex Luther?

best… casting… ever…

May 16, 2006

the greatest of sins, indeed

Me: Does java RMI not give you “pass by reference” semantics for arrays?

Dr. Keen: It does not.
Dr. Keen: You have dispelled the wizard’s illusion. Please leave Oz at once.

May 14, 2006

Surprising Eponym – Ampere Angstrom Alfredo Sauce

On occasion I come across something which causes me to laugh hysterically and uncontrollably, though it occurs to me that what I’m reading is in fact stupid. But then I wonder if I am completely alone in finding such a thing amusing:

“I did once write a column on a different subject, but my magazine never ran it. It was on ultrahot hot sauces. By this, I should say that I mean very spicy, and not boiling hot–an important distinction of the kind a professional food journalist sometimes has to make.

An example of an ultrahot sauce is “Dave’s Insanity Sauce,” which I ate on a little cracker once, and then my head hurt, and then I had to lie down. And then I was crying for a day or so.

Dave’s is actually on the milder end of the ultrahot hot sauce spectrum. There is an entire category of ultrahot hot sauces that promise death. Most of them are packaged in little coffins. Some go so far as to promise not only your death, but the obliteration of the earth. I am not a person who fears death. But I could not bring myself to endorse death by ultrahotness, which is perhaps why my magazine found my piece ‘overly gay.'”

-John Hodgman, The Areas of My Expertise

How ’bout it. Hot or Not?

May 10, 2006

on pedants

Semantics | Sem*an”tics |
n. sing. or pl. Gr. shmantikos having meaning, from sh^ma a sign.

1. the study of the meanings of words and of the sense development of words; — formerly called semasiology.

The phrase “arguing semantics” is a new pet peeve of mine, as arguing semantics literally means “arguing meaning,” which is exactly what one should be arguing, as far as I can tell. Especially on topics such as abortion, where the semantics of “life” and “person” are the entire argument; in this case, if you’re arguing semantics, you’re just paying attention.

Most people seem to think that “arguing semantics” is some how analogous to being picky. Perhaps a better phrase is “arguing pedantics,” where to be pedantic is to be “overly concerned with formal rules and trivial points of learning,” though common sense and my spell checker tell me you can’t just add an s to an adjective without serious repercussions.

May 7, 2006

significantly fewer

In general I’m not a big fan of watching graphic deaths, seeing people in pain is not my idea of a good time out. Before anybody jumps on this bandwagon, I don’t object to violence in entertainment in general, for example I enjoyed Fight Club quite a bit, the humor resulted in an ultimately redeeming cinematic experience. However, movie producers of the world must realize that if a large enough percentage of the movie is graphically violent and in no way amusing, I’m probably not going to watch it. This could potentially cost the move industry tens of dollars in the next year alone.

Normally, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal to me, as I tend to avoid such movies, but it’s been a long term goal of mine to watch the top ten movies as listed on, and quite a few of these movies are indeed graphic. I’ve seen eight eight of the top ten movies, and there is a definite tend towards graphic depictions of unsightly acts. In fact, I can confidently report that every one of these films displays one or more actions in the following four categories: Jew Killing, Mass Homicide, Anal Rape, Dismemberment. It’s a bit complicated keeping track of them all, so I’ve come up with a handy list for reference; I’ll probably print these on business-size cards for use at parties:

  • Jew Killing: The Godfather II (Hyman Roth), Schindler’s List (*cough*), Casablanca (Nazis everywhere, also I think they killed Curt Bois’ character by the end, and he’s Jewish.)
  • Mass Homicide: The Godfather I & II (There’s a reason Italians have big families), Lord of The Rings (Just because you’re born evil…), The Seven Samurai (Haven’t seen it, but I’m willing to bet there are significantly fewer than Seven Samurai by the end), Star Wars (Sucks to be on the death star or Leia’s home planet.)
  • Anal Rape: The Shawshank Redemption (The Bull Queens), Pulp Fiction (Marsellus Wallace, though he got even), Lord of the Rings (implied. Them Hobittses gets nasty at Samwise’s expense.)
  • Dismemberment: Star Wars IV & V (Lucas has a dismemberment Fetish, which he ultimately fleshed out to its furthest extent when he “Black-Knights” Anakin in Episode 3.), The Seven Samurai (Just a guess. There are swords, I predict at least one flying head before the end.)

May 5, 2006

File->Quit, /part #cplug it’s just a week

Everyone has something that helps them procrastinate. Some students watch a lot of TV, some students (and professors) play video games, some students learn a new programming language or construct too many “sweet proofs” when they should actually be studying.

The number one thing that cripples my productivity is chat programs. It has literally gotten to the point that when I’m not logged on, there’s a slight anxiety. “How will people reach me?”, “What if somebody puts up a particularly amusing away message, and I miss it?”

I have decided to give Internet chat the chop block for a week. No logging into any instant messenger network or Internet relay chat from today at 2:44pm until next Thursday at the same time. I imagine it will make me slightly more productive, but as is usually the case, I suspect another vice will creep in to take its place. Perhaps I’ll update this thing more often…

May 4, 2006

decisions decisions

I’ve only got seven classes left until I graduate, which should make for a 16 unit quarter and a 12 unit quarter, resulting in a March 2007 graduation. That was the plan anyway; Two of the technical electives I’ve been planning on taking won’t be offered again until Spring of 2007 (read: after March), meaning I’d have to be around at least that long if I decide I absolutely have to take those classes.

There are several possibilities here:

  1. Don’t take the Operating Systems series. I can always take other classes to fulfill graduation requirements, but this is a series that I’ve wanted to take for quite some time, and is difficult to give up.
  2. Find a job for the Fall quarter, taking the last two quarters of school in the Winter/Spring. I would get more work experience/money under my belt, but I would feel derelict in my duties as CPLUG president.
  3. Convince the Computer Science department to move the Operating Systems series to Fall/Winter. This isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds at first. I’ve already mentioned to Dr. Haungs that moving the Operating Systems 2 to Winter would increase enrollment in the Operating Systems Graduate class, and he said he’d look into it.
  4. Just stay in school all next year. I could take 12 units/quarter and still fit in two extra classes beyond what I need to graduate. There are a couple tech electives that I simply don’t have time to take that I feel I should have some experience in before I graduate with a Computer Science degree. This would give me that opportunity as well as allowing me to stay the whole year to fulfill my Presidency as the Cal Poly Linux User’s Group.

Currently I’m leaning towards either 2 or 4. Job experience and money can always be justified as I make my self a more valuable graduate heading into the workforce and allow myself to go out for sushi more often. I’ve already interviewed at CustomFlix (recently bought by Amazon) for a position in the fall with positive results. This has the advantage of being here in San Luis Obispo (close to Lauren), as well as having Amazon/Apple/Lockheed on my resume.

On the other hand, I’ve never taken a class in Graphical User Interface programming or Databases, both of which I feel I should have some experience with before I graduate. Also with Derek and I rocking the CPLUG executive board, it looks to be a fun year.

This has been bothering me recently, but after typing it all out, none of the options look particularly bad. Next year should be a good year regardless.

Go me

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