a ba'b'ian journal

old stuff

I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?
London bridge is falling down falling down falling down
Poi s'ascose nel foco che gli affina
Quando fiam uti chelidon
--O swallow swallow
Le Prince d'Aquitaine a la tour abolie
These fragments I have shored against my ruins
Why then Ile fit you. Hieronymo's mad againe.
Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
Shantih shantih shantih

yuck. shannon had a cold so i didn't want to talk to her. too grumpy. or i figured i would just bother her. ok, maybe i did want to talk but i decided against it.

at the cognitive science seminar, victoria was presenting a paper and i was trying to help her go through it. the article was about lexical approaches to syntactic ambiguity resolution, and the whole seminar is about connectionist approaches to language. It seemed to me that the point of those guys was that in a connectionist system, you wouldn't have a parser that takes data into its workarea and manipulates it, that's just not how connectionist systems work. But this has become kind of an issue for me now, because we really do seem to do some type of parsing and we handle structural and mapping info in the brain, but we don't have connectionist systems built up that handle that sort of thing. And it is human brains that have language ability, from some sort of structure specific to us, something in the connectivity pattern. In pattern recognition, there are statistical classifiers, and there are parsers, two completely different kinds of things, and so far as i know, neural nets are just a way to do classification. i am really wondering how you could do parsing with a neural net. Parsing is a really serial operation, and neural nets are parallel. i guess you could just match against particular templates, but that loses the the universal recursive generality of parsing. Ok, maybe i can think about it. The issue perhaps for me is how a neural net can represent the output of a parse, which is a parse tree i suppose. That's similar to the issue of how a neural net can represent any kind of a graph, which is related to how it could store a (topological) map. hmm. The way these are always stored is by having nodes and links and for a neural net, i guess you could just have a link just be the tendency for the next node to be triggered by the first.

somebody was shot and killed in the parking lot outside of denim & diamonds. ouch. maybe i should find another place.

i asked bianca about finding someone to practice german with, and she suggested the german table and there are some discussion groups. she said she'd find out for me. i was really sounded pitiful when i asked her. wimpy. it's like no one ever does anything for me, and i can't even ask them, or maybe that's why.

i wither.

and i still haven't gone back to Dr. Garzon about my project. hopefully i'm a little more settled. when i last left it, there were some little bits that didn't quite fall into place.

sean penn is a fat ugly ego (on 60 minutes), but he said something interesting that i wanted to write down, as i'm writing this, though, it has slipped my mind. i remember, in talking about his marriage to madonna, he said he might have confused a good date with a wedding partner. yeah, i think there are some people i'd like to be with for a little while, but not permanently. maybe an example, people are interested by people different from themselves, and have the most potential for new experiences, but being similar makes people more compatable and easier to get along with. tension is fun.

put the gear stops on my on car. it took me way longer than it should, i guess, and was basically pretty easy.

ok. that was too trippy. i went dancing again, and this time a cute blonde woman asked me to dance, and silly me, i said no. and i can't dance very well with others at this point, because more that one tried to dance with me, but i didn't engaged them or whatever, and it didn't work. actually, the cutie that asked me was with another woman, and they cornered me a couple times, trying to get me to move first. maybe i'll be more aggressive later. i'm trying to buld up to ask some specific people out.

specifically shannon. school started this week. wednesday was the first day of classes for me, and i had a class from 10:20 to 11:15. after that i went to the cognitive science lab to see how everyone was doing, and as luck would have it, shannon was there and she gave out her general invitation if anyone wanted to go to lunch with her. i said i would, and i think she's used to me now. and sonja (just back from holidays at home in india) went with us. Bianca wanted to go with us, but she had various errands she needed to do, and things to drop off, so there was a little waffling discussion about that. Some guy mike was in there trying to escape from wherever he was supposed to be, and he introduced himself to me, since he didn't know me. Shannon actually said she never knew how to introduce me, and she waid i was stranger than all of them (thanks a lot, shannon). but dude was cool, and had actually worked as an aerospace engineer, but they didn't let him design rockets. now he's in some kind of psychology (non-cognitive, he said the cognitive people were strange). The group of us were following Bianca down dropping stuff off, and we dropped mike at his office. And sitting around at the copy room. Bianca decided to go on ahead, because of her errands, and shannon, sonja and i went on to the tiger's den. at lunch we talked about indian food and i asked what it woould take to make a machine understand language. they must think i am very weird, but they were nice. and sad for me, i had noticeable armpit sweat, ick. It took a while for bianca to show up, and then it was almost time to go. i had to go tell her that we were thinking of leaving, and bianca was just gabbing with folk. When she looked at her watch, she did give an "ohmygosh" look, but we went on without her. Shannon complained that she has to drag bianca along sometimes, (but she is otherwise very dear). And, of course, shannon had to smoke a quick cig. she had quit for two weeks, but school was too much, i guess. she and bianca have started ballet and tap dancing, and since the smoking and exercize don't fit so well, she might quit again. Now i'm thinking i need to ask her to go out dancing, but i feel i need to get to know her better first, or vice versa.

the pattern recognition class seems pretty easy, except that the projects have to be group projects, and i don't know any of the people. grr.

the speech recognition class just barely stayed together, with 3 people, though one guy was talking about quitting. This guy has only been in america for a few weeks, and seems a little lost. The teacher, tim wilson, actually worked on speech recognition at MIT, though his area is really acoustic signal processing. he wants to meet for 3 hours on monday instead of on both monday and wednesday, and his plan is for the students to lead 50% of the class. Because of this heavy participation, it was necessary to have as many students and possible, and with this few, it could be tough. lots of preparation is the key. this is definitely a phd class, where the patrec class is clearly masters level.

i got a really very different book--the multi-orgasmic man. the intriguing premise is that it is possible to separate ejaculation from orgasm, and by eliminating ejaculation (which takes away all of your energy) have lots of orgasms. The stuff is based on ancient taoist ideas, and to me seems a little flaky and unscientific, but it's supposed to work for some people. There is some kundalini kinds of things in it, and the practice is supposed to fill you with energy instead of draining you like ejaculatory orgasms do. There is an exercize to strengthen the muscle down there that is just a matter of stopping and restarting peeing. A lot of the technique is meditative, involved in cycling the chi up along the spine. I actually have several books from the author, mantak chia, about some of these chi techniques, but i really have trouble believing all that stuff. The whole thing is supposed to take a few week to a few months to learn, so we'll see.

and i have found that carlos came out with a new book last year, and it seems to indicate that he has moved on from this world. The Active Side of Infinity actually seems pretty interesting, unlike magical passes which to me appeared just to be rehashed chi gung, so i didn't read it, though i have a copy. active side contains significant personal stories from carlos, not so heavy on the mysticism

i saw the thin red line. lots and lots of actors in short little bits. it's about an assault on some pacific island in ww2. guadalcanal i think. it really seemed buddhist instead of western. shame that i don't think much of buddhism anymore. do you think things will be better because you believe in goodness?

i went dancing friday. good exercise. i still don't especially dance with women but it was a little better. There were lots of pairs of women, but some single guys were out there. There was this black guy, who actually pulled me in to dancing with some older women. I was at least face to face with them, but he had his arms around them and i wasn't touching. There were also a couple of younger cuties, but it was a little more distant.

And there was this one girl, a tall thin blonde. She was nice just to watch, and i hung out maybe 6 feet away. She was one of those that just stands way out, way more beautiful and vivacious than anyone else in there. angelic. she was with two friends. a girls night out. they just danced together, even doing a lot of that there line dancing

i'm watching dead man walking. blah blah blah. make me cry. i just can't forgive sean penn for marrying madonna.

at the strip club, there were some police, and none of the women got naked. but when they left, it got pretty wild. lot's of women tipping, and lot's of girl-girl contact. and an unusual thing happened. i was sitting there by myself, and one of the women from the audience came up to me. she told me she worked for an escort service. she asked me if i have a girlfriend. and she would have given me her pager number, but i didn't have a pen.

just a lazy weekend

went to the gym on saturday. i don't take showers in public, i never did in high school, which was pretty nasty i bet. but it's a nice club, and i finally broke down and took a shower there. it's progress for me.

suddenly i'm having trouble getting into reverse in my car, so i'm going to have to do a real repair. ick. i hate that.

thunderstorms this evening. and there were some tornadoes around here.

the x-files episodes took a sinister turn. skinner was infected with a nanotechnology poison. radio controlled, even. grr. sure, nanotechnolgy could tie together all of the x-files stuff and make it actually possible. but i think nanotechnology is cool and i hate to see it being made out as some secret force of evil. grr.

i pulled out the power plug while trying to move the laptop. it used to be that this had no effect, but with the battery dead, i was suddenly faced with a blank screen. argh. and when you shut windows off like that, it has to run scandisk, and sometimes loses info

double argh. the stupid machine froze up after i had been writing for 45 minutes without saving. why doesn't this program autosave every 10 minutes?

i'm resisting an urge to go look at naked women.

sometimes it doesn't matter what you write. the act itself is important. and isn't everything pretty empty in itself?

i went to pay for classes today. there was a cordon divider with an arrow pointing left saying cashier and an arrow pointing right saying financial aid. there was nobody on the left side, and several short lines to the right, so i got into the leftmost line on the right side. plus there was a cute woman in business attire at the end of that one. I remembered very long waits and was expecting as much, so it didn't occur to me that there might be no one waiting to pay. there were even two cashier sitting there doing nothing. finally someone walked right up and paid. i had to face it. i was in the wrong line. and not even the wrong line, i was waiting in line when i shouldn't even have been waiting in line. and the sad thing was that i think that's happened to me before. so, slightly embarassed, i went over to the right side (or the left, as it was) and was out in about a minute, well less than time served.

when i went to pay for parking, the credit card machine didn't work. luckily, in an act of precognition, i had brought my checkbook, even though i never pay by check (for me checks are only for stuffing envelopes). $57 to the u of m.

two books for $150 and one of the classes (speech rec) looks like it's going to be closed. only two people in it. the teacher actually discouraged a couple new people, because it really requires random signals and is a phd level class.

talked with dr. deaton about my comprehensive exam. i have to finalize a topic with maybe 3 areas and write a literature review of the areas to submit to the committee. the committee will then ask a few questions and i will have some time to write out answers. The topic i'm looking at it distributed intelligent pattern recognizing agents in java/corba. I need to find a specific application, and i'm thinking something along the lines of a user interface to controlling some system. not sure yet.

bruce has started trying to bottle up emotions instead of just being straight with people. or something. but that's the way i usually am. and i think his way was working better for him, but maybe he was getting too many complaints business is doing well, though.

there was a nova episode on the loch ness monster. it almost certainly is not a pleisiosaur, and there have been a lot of fakes, but the team they showed got some big moving object on sonar, but no pictures. there isn't much food in the loch, so probably nothing stays there, but the most likely explanation is that occasionally things swim in from the sea. probably a bunch of different things, but people have grouped them all together.

style is created by limitations


got the video ram in, so now my video card has 4 meg. with this i can run tomb raider III, but i had a lot of trouble installing it. the first problem was caused by a smudge on the cd. ew, i hate that. most of the rest of the problem was not having the correct drivers, and the thing would install them automatically even though they were on the disk. i had to install from windows properties thing. but the s3 virge card works pretty well, though there is some random glitching in the graphics. There is a surprisingly low frame rate on this game, and i think it's one that tests computer systems. maybe time for an upgrade to a p2 400+. yummy :)

sunny warm weather. very nice.

and what's with that goofy little john guy not sleeping with the hot blonde on ally mcbeal? that's just not right.

and kate mulgrew (captain janeway) is going to try to quit the show. maybe they will just quit the whole thing. to be with her family. tired of 80 hour weeks.

attached the license tag securely to my car. a minor repair, but something. i need to make a list of all the problems. the most disheartening is that the odometer doesn't work. i don't really know how many miles it has on it, though it says 70k.

i'd rather just sleep than write. at least dreams are entertaining.

jumping rope just seemed too boring today, so i just went for some basic, unsupervised aerobics. it was much more interesting. and maybe a little dancing. just keep moving, i guess that's the important thing. the rope hurts my toes, too.

at some point, i could hit my relatives up for a loan. or maybe i could just get a debt consolidation loan. i wonder what kind of return they are getting. the stock market is doing so well. or i could just stay poor.

i downloaded some old classic arcade games. galaga and phoenix and gorf. i just didn't have as many quarters back then as i would have liked, and i felt left out, compared to all those rich kids. i mean, just quarters. it was just sad. being poor is just a state of mind. so i've been burning lots of time with them.

i have my desktop sitting at my mom's desk next to the kitchen facing the TV. it was there to give freddie convenient internet access, and maybe mom will eventually start using it like my dad already is. I hooked up my laptop to it using a special parallel cable that is talked about in the windows help under direct cable connect. It transfers info at 500kb/s which is pretty fast but no ethernet. I finally realize, though, that it doesn't give me a little tcp/ip network as i would like, and which i need to play multiplayer quake. so the whole thing is pretty much a waste. And on top of that, it crashes fairly often, locking up my laptop. grr. so now i'm going to have to break down and get some ethernet capability. doug said he has a pc card ethernet that does both twisted and coax. i need one that does coax because it's the type of network we use at work. (10 base 2) it seems like most of the cards i've seen don't do that, though. i need to get a baby network going so i can set up some network programs. i know i'm repeating myself. i just need to make it a priority.

my dad came back from houston with a new black cowboy hat that he got from his terminally ill friend, buddy. some type of neuro-degenerative process. we went to red lobster. i did not have the lobster, but some grilled chicken and crab alfredo. lots of cheese noodles, and it could have been sushimi instead of crab for all i knew. The biscuits were good. i had to fill up because mom (with dad oc) is leaving for the farm tomorrow and no more free food for me. to tell the truth i'm getting tired of all this food. when i cook for myself, the food is not as good, but it is closer to being exactly what i want. and really i like being by myself. or maybe my mom is just nosey.

ok, so my prose isn't very fluid. i like to think i just have a lot of thoughtful breaks in the flow. balanced with silly run-on sentencing. nobody is gonna read it, so it doesn't matter, anyway.

the high blood pressure is really depressing. the critical thing to me is making it to the singularity, and some fair estimates predict it for maybe 2070. So i would have to make it to a hundred and three. with problems already, i'm getting the feeling that i'm not going to be able to make it, and a kind of fatalistic gloom is setting in. I think it's probably the same kind of feeling that everyone has that they are eventually going to die, but the sad thing is that it probably won't be like that too much longer. real, long-term optimism. but i may not be able to keep it together.

Greek is actually pretty strange, but not too much worse than Latin.

so edgar fixed the wiring on my car, bypassing the melted wires. I hope i can get it to run ok.

The problem for me wasn't so much having the car not work, it was the stress involved in it not working. I was going to have to arrange for it to be fixed, and it was gonna cost a lot of money, and i'm somewhat hurting after the christmas holidays. And i guess it is a lot more about the emotional turmoil of having it and then it suddenly break down tragically and painfully. instead of having a new motorized baby-carriage i had something making me nervous.

registered for two classes. speech recog and pattern recog. tried to go pay, but last name wasn't in the correct range.

i subclassed the Format.java object, anonymously and innerly, to create a formatter that just passes strings through from an entry blank (textfield) to a storage object. For date and number objects i use the number and date formatters, and i was going to have to do runtime-type-checking with instanceof, but with this simple Format object, i can just use polymorphism as you are supposed to in object oriented thingies. Creating the appropriate formatter initially, unfortunately, uses instanceof, but i kind of stole the ideas from JTable and its celleditor stuff, and they use it too. The code is pretty clean and neat.

doug is really into the perl stuff, and has gotten a deal to put his database on somebody's site. i need to do something like that.

I really need to get an ethernet pc-card, with 10-base 2 (coax), for my laptop. my pc-card modem has a semi-busted connector such that i have to push on it with one hand to get it to work. I can check e-mail, but ircing and surfing are a pain. If i get a local ethernet setup i could finally get some really network stuff done, and maybe some of that corba stuff. and maybe some ham networking even.

yesterday was horrible. a battery cable shorted out in the car and now some of the wiring is slag. smoke was coming out of the engine, and it was raining. we didn't put all the cables back on right when replacing the battery. a new harness would cost maybe hundreds of dollars, though maybe bypassing a few wires might do it. I am not going to try it, though some people think it's an easy thing. I am just going to have the thing towed to the dealer and fixed at great expense. I was going to bring it in this week for a 70k checkup, anyway. it's too cold to work on it, anyway.

and the battery in this laptop died. it costs like $150 for a new one. the power went out. i think maybe it was the power going out that killed the battery (i keep it plugged in to the charger). maybe it was a surge or something. And the light bulb in my lamp burned out. electricity is turning against me.

It snowed today. yippee

freddie left. his plane left late and we spent like 3 1/2 hours at the airport before we left, and it still hadn't left. There was a cute blonde girl sitting next to us with her cat. Poor kitty was having a terrible time stuck in the little box for so long. The four-eyed girl was a graduate student in biological oceanigraphy or something like that, and had lived in houston. She really wanted to teach, but not high school, because they are very anti-establishment and don't want to learn (julie is a grade school teacher). when i said i didn't like teaching, having tried it in grad school, she added that her roommate also didnt. She doesn't like the politics of research. She seemed really lonely sitting there at the airport, stuck. or at least was very talkative

there are a lot of cuties out there.

started studying greek

freddie got the car fixed and i drove it back to mempho. it still has some trouble starting, but i'm getting used to it.

been thinking about her and how foolish it all was. i saw her a couple of times in holidays past, and it reminds me. all i can do is try to remember who i am. i'm just some guy, ya know?

there was a christian group called the gnostics that called for introspective self-knowledge as the way to spiritual happiness. The group that won out (constantine was in there somewhere) was the one that emphasized the sacrifice as the important message. blech. pretty horrible, but i guess it works for folks. christianity was most successful because of its program of social welfare, eg. taking care of needy people.

i need to get a music keyboard and an organizer or palmtop.