a ba'b'ian journal

old stuff

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

if i try to take on the values of others, values that i haven't lived by, then certainly i won't have succeeded in attained what is good according to them, and will feel a failure and i won't have the experience to pursue those things. when what is really true is that i just didn't want those things. what i did want was different.

i was playing freecell and i noticed how my skill in it had disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. it makes our view of ourselves very tricky and tenuous if we can't see ourselves learning.

i think i need to pursue real programming, and maybe i should finish out that phoneme recognizer, and apply some feature analysis techniques, and maybe some clustering algorithms.

results cascade exponentially up to the limits of resources. You drain until you are empty, faster and faster until all is gone, or you speed up, faster and faster until terminal velocity (or you break up), so you need to be sure to start in the right direction.

it looks like that littleton deal has triggered a wave of incidents. maybe it was empowering.

i was thinking about the air caopaign in yugoslavia. it is thought generally that air power isn't enough to win a war. it hasn't eyt, but it hasn't been thoroughly tried. one of the problems with it is that when you kill civilians, you just make people angry and they won't give up (cf the bombing of britain). but the generals know that this is the problem and we are spending oodles of money on smart bombs to avoid collateral damage, that may allow an air campaign to win. If we do succeed in winning through air, it will mark a unique change in warfare. almost a bloodless war for the one side.

also, they are rationing down to 20 liters per month per person, 5 gallons. a third of a tank. in the us, society would screech to a halt, so i wonder how they will handle it there.

dancing at d&d. i got a bud and a shot of tequila, but i couldn't shoot it, so i sipped it over a longish time, while watching these three cute young girls. i should have been dancing with them, but when i was done drinking, they had left. then when i was dancing some wonderful creature came up to me and danced with me for one song. she was wearing a white sport coat and had a tattoo on her upper left chest. something about seeing her black lace bra was nice. anyway, that's all she wanted, and she went back and sat in the corner with whomever she was with. still, it was nice, if short.

i went to the cog sci meeting. generally pretty boring. end of the semester. i got the feeling that it was right that i liked shannon, and i don't really feel bad about it. it just didn't happen.

"it's right that you should suffer" from godfather 3, something some cardinal said to don Michael. yeah. i dig it.

my brother freddie has annouced that he is getting married. her name is grace li. chinese. sometime in july.

they seem to be elevating the victims, like they weren't just average. maybe that's part of the attempt to demonize the shooters

and they want to blame hollywood. yeah right.

excellent x-files episode. written and directed by david duchovny. funny.

their diary said they wanted to take out 500 people, the car bombs didn't go off.

60 minutes had a deal about how video games make kids into killing machines. andy rooney said there wasn't a big mystery. it was the kids' fault (and the parents a little)

i got a catalog from firequest that includes a lot of specialty ammunition, and a couple of grenade launchers. they sell brass knuckles as paper weights. sounds to me like some kind of fbi sting or something.

some psychologist pointed out that wanting to improve the world or thinking it will be a better place is a sign of being disaffected. i guess i am disaffected.

the cafeteria bomb wasn't set off. they didn't get the big score they were looking for.

my mom bought a new car today. a camry. she wanted to trade in my car, but they didn't want it, and only offered to part it out for $50. Now i have to try to sell mine, and i can split the money with her and get her car.

i joined match.com. why not? costs less than a dance. and what i get from it is a sense that there are actually some women that i like, if not very many. Also, it helps me to think about who i might be looking for, and it's interesting to see what they are looking for. tall, witty, intelligent.

of course, i am still procrastinating for my project

i dug a little further and i think i saw the page about how to make a bomb from those two guys. they talk about how they won't be able to report the results. anyway, the bomb described is a simple gunpowder pipe bomb with no blasting cap, such a waste of good material. To go over the theory again, a bomb made like this works because the pressure of gas from burning powder inside the closed pipe builds up until it is strong enough to break open the pipe. While this is a fair amount of pressure, certainly, it is only maybe a few thousand psi. In a real bomb, cap initiated, the fuel detonates instead of simply burning, which is a different process. A wave of high pressure moves along the material, the reaction triggered by the pressure and not the heat. Detonation pressures are usually on the order of a million psi, which is a lot more violent. I'm wondering what would have happened if those boys had been just a little more sophisticated. Actually, the page does mention "caps" but only refers to the things that screw onto the ends of pipes to seal them.

lest i be thought of as a "mopeygoth" (vs. a "perkygoth" which i much prefer), i have to point out that there is a use for this knowledge of explosives that doesn't involve hurting people: fireworks. I'm sorry, but blowing stuff up and making loud noises is fun, and it doesn't really hurt. I haven't been able to make good basic firecrackers simply from gunpowder. there's something about how the paper has to be wrapped tight. But add a little bit of primary explosive (which isn't that hard to make) and a good loud cracker is really easy. fun for the family. bugs the neighbors, though, so i usually have no place i can use them.

what holidays do we have that celebrate violence? 4th of july, of course, but also halloween (tricks), easter (?!) (death by crucifixion, well, ok, good friday at least) MLK's birthday (let's be real, he only has a holiday because he was assasinated), president's day (george and abe were serious wartime presidents), cinco de mayo (for those who celebrate it), bastille day (ditto), armistice day, memorial day.

There is also a long bit about how oil and gasoline make the best napalm, and any other types are just a waste.

and it all happened on hitler's birthday. i'm no fan of hitler, myself. he did a little too much amphetamine and got excessively paranoid.

man, i couldn't even get online yesterday.

i just went through some serious unpleasantness about a piece of paper i lost. i am pretty shaken up.

dylan klebold and eric harris weren't bad people. everyone has a potential for violence. they were even somewhat bright supposedly. klebold was a computer guy and harris was into philosophy. these guys were like me. i even lived in denver for a couple years. and violence is actually pretty fun. it sounds like a positive act of violence. people have to die anyway. i thought it was interesting that the bombs didn't really do much. supposedly the killing was all from the bullets, but it did delay people and possibly someone bled to death because of the strategy. They even had a propane tank bomb, but they didn't set it off. I'm wondering about the details of the bombs. were they cap initiated? what explosive material did they use? They mentioned little co2 canisters with gunpowder at the top. people want to make sense of the thing and try to control it, but maybe they should just accept that it's life. stuff like that happens. i was going to say something about how it makes sense if you've gotten that look from people, that look where they are thinking they don't want you around, but it turns out they the kids weren't really unpopular. I've seen a lot worse. There was conflict between them freaks and jocks. But also these guys were used to getting caught up in yer violent video games, like doom and quake. and they played with real guns and bombs. seems like those two (at least) played on each other until they made their dreams a reality. why not go on a spree? what else is life good for? overall they seemed more like doers and the event a positive thing. at least they took action and did what they wanted and believed in than just sitting in quiet obscurity. people are trying to demonize them but they actually gave their victims meaning. and come on, we celebrate violence in this country. maybe there could be more love, but humans do have violent bits to us.

twin dragons, the jackie chan release, was a rip. it must be just a repackaged old movie. no outtakes at the end.

i saw the whole godfather sequence

i guess i should make more time to write. i'm not much of i writer, i guess.

denim & diamonds is still open and selling beer. i don't know what that was about in the paper. i've noticed an evil thing, i think i like the stuff placed in the line-dancing country section more on average than the r & b in the disco area. They play country-fried rock sometimes. my taste in music is pretty much totally shaped by rock 103 here in memphis, so it's actually nice to be here and have it to listen to. for a while in california, i was shifting to alternative, but the classics are still in my heart. i'm not sure why i 'amy'. they played 'tequila' like twice, and i've heard them play 'devil went down to georgia'. It was eery one time when they played 'copperhead row'--a song totally about lawlessness where people line up to move in unison like robots. I despise the sheep dancing. Like i've said, i don't go to dance with any of them, though maybe i should. the kids there are kind of skanky and stupid. but they are nice to look at. i don't really know how these kids start dancing with each other. do they just go up to each other. i think there is usually some type of nonverbal exchange going on that i am missing out on. well, today, after last call, there was this girl dancing on a speaker, and i was dancing in front of her, giving it all the rest of what i had, and there were some other guys and we were sort of competing, it was kind of funny. it always seems like the boyfriends come out. anyway, she got told to get down, and then she actually came up to me, and we bumped and ground, but only for like i half a minute, i do something wrong, because i always lose them after a few seconds. i don't know the right thing.

doug is pushing for this aes thing. it's a lot of work that needs to be done by may 13. doug actually suggested that i use java, which might be good, except that then i would have to do all the work, and doug wouldn't even do anything. still, it's reasonable. it may happen. i need to finish the speech thing this weekend, then.

i am not very experienced (read "mature") when it comes to dealing with other people. that's the breaks, i guess.

i saw nancy again, when she came by the office. she has some land and is putting up a log cabin. she is very beautiful, long blonde hair, and the body of a thirteen year old. she's really a country girl and grew up somewhere off exit 126 on I40 (our farm is off exit 93). She works at the department of agriculture as an inspector and we really don't have that much in common, but i really like her. i hope i'm not just kidding myself, but i think that what i really like about her is her good attitude. she works hard, and is conscientious and very sweet. she just doesn't like when people do things wrong. Too many people just don't care. I care. and she seems to too. A weird thing though is that i am attracted to her, but i don't feel like i love her, i just like her. I could probably change pretty quick, though. We'd have to get to know each other better, but i'm pretty sure it would be obvious that we are "meant for each other". maybe though, we are mature enough to just have fun without being serious.

i have succumbed to the evil big-brother food corperation conspiracy. My mom gave me the little key-chain copy of her kroger card. I didn't want to carry the full-(credit-card-) sized one, because i have an extra small wallet, but i took the little dinky one. And i bought 4 marie callender's pot pies. for $2 each, the lowest price i've paid. is my soul worth that little to me? but they are good, and very convenient. I think that when i make my own fod, i eat more, so it even helps me to eat less. i wonder what i can get for 39 pieces of silver.

searching for happiness is like climbing mountains to reach the sky. there's more than one to try.

what i mean to say, is that achieving the most happiness is like any optimization problem (something that is studied in computer science). There is no easy way to find the best solution other than trying everything, because you just try to climb up, you only get the nearest mountain, and it may not be the tallest. Having lots of people all trying to climb is like a huge search, and if the information is communicated, then everyone can benefit. And then there is trying to build a tower to the sky (the myth of babel). I'm not so sure about the idea of "infinite" happiness, but it we follow this metaphor, it is possible to "go up as far as you can go". Up into space you is as far as you can go. If you think of happiness as something like being free from things pulling you down (levity, perhaps) then it is actually reasonable to be completely, 100% happy. The problem in the world, of course, being that there are always more things pulling you down. (Buddhism actually says something like this, and points out ways to relieve their weight.) Religion is generally a way to lift the wieght of the world.

sex is one of those hills you can get stuck on. and really, there is sort of a landscape, such that it's one of the one's you see first, before you move on. a foothill, as it were.

the matrix was really cool. life as people interacting as brains in vats. similar to the idea of holorooms, but absurdly sinister, as if to explain human angst. and software agents that look like secret service agents. AI as evil, trying to take over the world. and yet the baddest agent is just disgusted by the whole human thing. unhappy that people couldn't accept a happy world, but preferred to live in a crappy one. A remarkably philosophical film, actually.

the voice rec project is not coming along, i can't get samples. i could be in trouble

at the last minute, somebody bailed out and i got to go to the rolling stones concert. It was very professional, like they'd done it a million times. And mick was a wild man. But i noticed that the singer babe on gimme shelter did not go for the high notes. And i was not sufficiently jolly for lee, and he came over and tried to liven me up. They didn't play "Satisfaction". We were sitting in the very highest row, 248w, next to the chain link at the top. And i didn't drink enough.

denim and diamonds is going to have it's beer license suspended for 40 days because of their troubles. too much violence. i didn't go by today.

bruce wants to work on a big project for the census. i can barely balance our books.

star wars isn't going to have any fuzzy characters, because digital fur hasn't been perfected. aw, too bad

i'm studying phil (he goes by philip, but what i call him is my choice, not his) greenspun's book on how to create database backed web pages. i'm a little concern on how useful it is, considering that he spends $1,000,000/year. but he makes money, so maybe there is something. he says the money is in the consulting, hourly.

i need to make some connections at FedEx. maybe i should try to work there, or do some consulting.

I need to find some bookish girl. It was suggested that i put an ad in the memphis flyer.

i need to work at being charming. it takes work, and i just never put the time in. maing people feel special. or as they say in indiana--"spatial".

and maybe i will finally make it possible to put comments in here. greenspun has some tools available for that, though really i like having to build my own content. i keeps me tinking.

and Eve popped up again. recently she was mentioned in the ISPE, QV mail list. and she's like greenspun's girlfriend (or one of many, i don't know). and the original time i saw her had something to do with Gia. I think it was that the guy that gia was interested in was interested in eve. bonk.