a ba'b'ian journal

old stuff

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Credit go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

studying java. there are lot's of basic bits that i didn't know about,though i knew a large amount.

i have one of the new monopoly money twenty dollar bills. quite a silly looking piece of paper. maybe i should burn one.

shit wants to be free

cooked a pork roast. there wasn't any juice for gravy, i guess i cooked it all away, only a large amount of grease.

paid bills. i don't balance my check book, and i wrote 8 checks. life with only a couple of credit cards in use was much simpler. I need to get busified. i have been each month pretty much not spending more than i put into the bank, so i have built up a balance from the leftover, which really would have gone into one of the cards if i knew how much it was exactly. i now have two times a month i need to pay bills, instead of only one, so i have to leave a little.

another dancer said she liked what i was doing, i should find a real girl.

i may have to get an extension on the complex systems project, if i don't decide to just quit.

finding a problem is much harder than fixing it or understanding it once it's found.

shrinking, thinking
i remember dying in the sand
the pain of the cut
bleeding away
the moments that make up a dull day

today was really awful. i'm considering quitting school. i need to just get a real job and quit wasting time.

i got a 68 on the qualifying exam. pretty bad, but dr. deaton said it was ok, and basically a pass, though other committee members might be concerned over some of it. next i need to do a comprehensive, which is an essay type of deal about my knowledge in my specific area of work, in a couple of months, if i am still there.

suddenly on friday i had to switch from the j++ to jdk 1.0, and the whole speech routine got dropped, since it wasn't integrable. along with that i had to add threading stuff that i didn't handle quite right instead of using events and a timer, and i needed to integrate somebody's module that was written in a very non-standard way.

i want to to a project integrating input from multiple sources, sound+vision

and the stupid text to speech engine has started crashing on me. it can't change the speed or some such nonsense. and it looks like many of the psychologists have started learning to use the product from microsoft, "say it now" so that's probably the one i need to get.

i am really unhappy with myself. i had my laptop in it's big suitcase (which was a christmas present last year from my employer then) and my black leather bookback (which my mom gave me). so i was laden. And i got to the top floor of the psych building for the autotutor meeting with about 5 minutes to go. and as i'm walking down the hall, a meeting breaks up that was in art's office, and of course, shannon was one of the one's in it, since she's in the group that presented today. or whatever. They are actually blocking the hall, so i'm standing there, and she says to holly that she's going downstairs, would she come with her. I was standing maybe 4 feet away, and all i had to do was to ask if i could come along too, but i had just walked up, and i was laden, and i really didn't want to leave my stuff (my computer is my most valuable possession and i still have a don't let it get out my sight attitude about it). I was just stuck. Torn. it's too late, i'm already torn. After the meeting, as she was rushing past for the after meeting i asked about her broken computer, and she said she was going to bring it in to a computer guru around there 'bill' and i really wanted to offer to look at it, but i didn't get another chance to say anything.

ok, so maybe i'm not such a good java programmer, or much of a programmer at all. poor organizational habits.

i wasted the weekend on this silly driver program. much because of the newness of j++. and it really splits away from sun's classes. they have their own incompatible versions of all the graphic objects, so it's impossible to use it for real java programming. but i need it to access the voice stuff easily. maybe i should just do the voice stuff the hard way.

'W' more of a double 'V' than a double 'U' i felt unusually sluggish this morning. i think it was the air pressure. i was better after lunch, and wound down again at 5. i can't seem to getq j++ to handle the database stuff the way i want.

more programming work on the tutor stuff. i have speech output, and i need to create a driver to run some graphic objects based on script inputs. part of the fun thing is that someone else is writing the routines to do the drawings, and i just have to call them up. Dr. garzon is on about threading, but i'm not sure how significant that is. Any animation needs it's own thread. What we want is an ability to trigger an action at a particular time when a certain word is said.

talking to bruce about how kate wouldn't let kim go on a sleepover until she finishes a history project. I realize how procrastinating in me has actually been positively (sort of) reinforced. It simply is a lot more exciting to wait to the last minute and work under pressure. People go to amusement parks for that sort of thing. And sure, i never can do a really great job when i don't spend as much time. and when i've been late, and they still accept it, there is the bonus feeling of getting away with something. One of the things i'm trying to do in school is to break those bad habits and get more productive ones. Uncovering the hidden benefits of procrastinating probably is going to help

So i typed out some notes from wednesday. I always wanted to do that, to go back and retype notes. I never have done it before. And i really take a lot of silly notes that i can't understand later, more of a nervous habit than a productive one.

So what big project do i want to work on? I want to work on a distributed system of recognizers that acts as a general control system. And what does a recognition system have to do with control? Well, it has to do with trying to satisfy goals. A basic control system in engineering typically has simple goals that in essence get hard-wired into the machine, roughly as certain signals that are to be maintained at certain desired values. Howsoever the system is different from the desired state, you kick in the control values to push it in the direction toward the desired values, just a simple type of feedback. The system is pretty much completely understood by the designer. But in a general system, you can't necessarily tell everything that is going on, so it would help if were able to automatically recognize the relationships between actions and results, and to recognize different states and how far you are from them, based on the limited knowledge you have. Satisfying goals is the problem, and intelligence is a tool for doing that.

56k modems are just so much faster than 2400 baud modems

discover magaizne had an article about a theory about network interconnectivity explaining the six degree of separation phenomenon. it's easy to show that even if most of you're connections are in a little click, just a few random distant ones can tie together the entire population.

Dr. Art got a call from wired about LSA, so university of memphis might get mentioned in it.

and the control system needs to navigate and handle maps, semisymbolic

"it's just so useless!"

armistice day. or veterans day if you feel trendy. i finally tried to deposit the check from U of M for the psych experiment, but oops, bank holiday.

had a weird vibe in the morning. not wanting to get out of bed, or do any of the afternoon stuff.

J++, which is very far from java, is starting to grow on me, since i could easily add the voice output object. i wonder if adding speech input is going to be easy. also, the database stuff works directly, instead of through the odbc bridge, so it is faster.

so i was hanging with shannon as she was smoking, and i really didn't have anything to say to her. boo. and her computer still isn't working right. the modem keeps saying modem in use. it sounds like a problem i was having on my pc, i think. i don't know. and while i was standing there, she said hi to every guy that walked by. But she didn't seem so fidgety as one time i was talking to her. I mention that, because later, she was talking to TJ, and both of them seemed kind of nervous like that. They were talking for a long time. And to me it seemed fairly empty for a while, but then then got to talking more about themselves, and they seemed to calm down.


fixed the broken key. rearranged bookshelves so there are almost no books sitting on the floor anymore. Threw away maybe 50 pounds of old catalogs and magazines. there are still books in boxes that could be swapped with books on the shelves.

that rimmer guy got convicted of murder. it was really swift, just five days. the picture in the paper was of folks smiling. not really something to smile about, but at least justice worked quickly. You compare it to the OJ trial and the insideous truth comes out. Dude wasn't rich so dude goes to prison. Po' man's justice. but he certainly did it.

upgraded the modem from k56flex to v.90. it connects twice as fast now.

something freakish. the vcr works now. fixed itself. probably just some dirt caught in the heads was dislodged when i was moving it to fix it. yay!

that sucked. the qualifying exam. it was closed book and i was thinking it was open book, so i was expecting to be able to follow through some examples. the problems were simpler than i expected, but i wasn't as ready for them. i left the electronics question blank, and i blew the calculus question, since i didn't even practice a little bit. This all means that i will probably need some remedial classes. And i was surprised that the c code wasn't so familiar, and i might have messed up on the programming question. but at least it's over and i can move on with my life.

changed a couple light bulbs. had to go buy them.

did i mention my new java program on my java page to assist in solving cryptograms?

one of the keys on this laptop is busted. the key, bottom left, which is a special function key only for it.

rachel was working in the psych lab today. people shouldn't work on saturday and she told somebody else that shannon was supposed to meet there but didn't show up. probably out partying with bianca, who took the gre. bianca is a native german speaker, and the gre is rather unfair to her.

so, there's this guy rimmer here in memphis, who is on trial for killing some woman, maybe an ex-girlfriend or something. she had sent him to jail for rape. But the significant thing is that they went to trial but there is no body. pretty much i thought it was impossible to convict without a body, but the evidence against him is really strong. he said he was going to do it, and he bragged about having done it. There was blood all over his car, which matched the victim and blood that was in a bathroom where she worked where she was last seen (they didn't say if it was enough blood that there is no way she could still be alive). he was out on a traveling, spending spree (but got caught speeding), and tried to escape a couple times (which supposedly indicates that he felt guilty).

things to do:

  1. fix vcr
  2. get speech output program
  3. email faces expression site stuff
  4. read DNA computing proceedings
  5. consider electronic cell design
  6. catch up on science magazines
  7. rearrange bookshelves
  8. write java sound program
  9. add video to web page
  10. watch movies
there was just a commercial for basf, which makes plastics, but there wasn't anything to buy from them, why did they bother?

studying today. not as much as i'd like, but something.

on entertainment tonight yesterday, there was a report about a photoshoot with jeri ryan (who plays seven on star trek voyager) and lucy lawless, who plays Xena, the warrior princess. and when they stand side by side, you can see that jeri's chest is bigger than lucy's, even wearing the plate, which jeri playfully knocks on.

i saw a kid say "chair chair" when she seemed to be talking about more than one chair. and i remember daniel saying "ball ball" to talk about more than one ball.

blood pressure hovering around 170/105 today. and i did exercise, jumping rope for about 25 minutes (though i don't get too far without messing up) i found that after about 20 minutes, it didn't seem so hard. weird.

no more videos today. and i need to take some more photos. i seem to have lost the program to edit images, so i couldn't lighten this one.

long day. met in the morning with dr. garzon. he already had a facial expression program, and he wants me to integrate some speech into it. i still want to work at a pure java sound synthesis program.

i decided to upgrade my laptop to windows 98, and as a consequence, my little video camera is working. that will help me do some of the visual stuff. a sample avi which may or may not work for you. i will figure out how to add video on web pages soon enough

so rachel is married to some businessman named bill (i think). i think that's good. at least my sense of the well-orderedness of society is improved. she's the one that looks like a model and should have a team of slaves looking after her.

i sat in on a meeting of the autotutor project. i hope i don't get sucked in, but i was standing next to the whirlpool. To tell the truth, i was sitting outside, down some stairs, when shannon and rachel came outside for a smoke. (and i don't know what the deal was because rachel wasn't smoking, wasn't dressed very warm, and it was really cold, they must be buds) well anyway, i went over to see how they were doing, and it rolled around that it was time for the tutor meeting, and shannon asked me if i was coming, because it was time. Now, i'm not actually in the project yet, but i've been thinking about it. And it is a pretty natural reaction to follow along when someone cute asks you if you are coming. I kind of felt bad because i wasn't really supposed to be there, and i was disappointed that some people seemed to have the attitude that i wouldn't want to be their if i didn't have to. (i unlike them, i guess, am always looking for cool program stuff) But it was a short meeting, and they only established the schedule. and afterwards, i got to look at the state of the software, which was sort of not so impressive. Later, Dr. Garzon proposed that i work on a three week project to get facial animations. I'm going to talk to him tomorrow.

argh. the doctor said i have high blood pressure. i need to monitor it every day. today it's 150/100. and i weigh 181 lbs. she gives me a month to see if exercise and diet will help, if not, she will start the drugs.

studying is not progressing well, and saturday is the test. too many other things happening. but i do think i understand everything much better than i ever did before. i'm not sure how i wouldn't be confident, but i know the test is going to be very tough. i mean, i feel like i understand it better than when i was first taking the classes, but it's been a long time, maybe i'm just being fuzzy. it was all open book, so i had never especially internalized it. my circuits book, in like the last paragraph, talks about how all the stuff isn't good enough for real applications--that you need a computer program--but at least it will help you understand the computer program.

last week, the cog sci lecture went on about semantic primitives, the idea that there are a few basic concepts and all ideas and words are made from them. this is actually plato's concept of forms, and has been around a long time. but i think that just because we don't already have a clear list of those primitives that everyone agrees on, this lack of agreement indicates that probably it can't be that simple. it may have more to do with our ability to clump things together, than any actual primitives