Showing posts from October, 2015

What is Heritage

What is Heritage
We went to an Oktoberfest on the 24th of October in Staunton. And while the music was good and there were many food offerings by local shops of somewhat German cuisine, it was smaller than expected. Fortunately the location was quite interesting itself.
The Frontier Culture Museum is quite similar to a museum that we visited in 2012 in Norway, the Norsk Folkmuseum. It seems to be a favorite type of museum for Jessie, and I quite enjoyed wandering around as well. Looking at the houses brought in from around the countryside and talking to the recreators made me think about how we interpret history, both culturally and personally.
Since the festival was based on a royal marriage in Munich, Germany, it is definitely a German festival, though often people love it for the beer. I am about half-german with my mother’s side mostly German peoples, or nearby as I have learned from my mother. This certainly influenced my decision to take German in Junior High and High School.
Did my…

Write a Novel

This is just as an addendum to yesterday’s post. The reason why I was talking about time allocation and routines is because I want to write a novel. So here’s the math for a 50,000 word novel for Nanowrimo or National Novel Writing Month:
50,000 words really isn’t that large a novel. Assuming 300 words per page it comes out to about 167 pages. So it isn’t anywhere near some of those Russian behemoths that people either love or could leave resting on a shelf, but it is still a substantial amount of writing for a single month.
November is 30 days, and for one of my friends, yes the Thanksgiving is on Thursday this year. But that brings up a valid point. If I was to write every day then I would need to write about 1667 words every day. Yes I rounded the number in both cases if you are keeping track of the math. But I won’t. Even with a routine I will need to write less some days and possibly not write at all others, such as the one that requires a bit of cooking.
But let’s see what amount o…

Doing Math

There are so many things that I run calculations on it is weird when I can’t because there are too many unknowns.
For instance a budget. Really no problem. Figure out how much we are bringing in, plan for expenses, keep extra money for unknowns, done. No sweat, other than just getting it done. But for some reason planning time is drastically more difficult. In fact my ability to waste time has probably hindered my growth; there are plenty of things on the internet to look at and read. In fact if I am so lucky, you are reading this now.
The problem with time is that you can’t really keep a reserve in an account, it’s use it or lose it, and now. Many people will sacrifice one way of spending time, friends, family, sleep to get ahead or play more games. But that’s just what it is at that point: a sacrifice. In order for an unforeseen time commitment to get its necessary commitment for getting done, it needs sacrifice from some other activity for the push to actually happen.
But there are pe…

Balance Humbleness and Credit

What is more sought after? Praise from someone who seems to praise you at every turn or praise from someone who seems to always be at odds with you?
My wife often praises me for many things, and it isn’t a bad thing, but sometimes it just feels like I would have done it anyway, so I don’t need praise. However, I would rather her continue to offer praise then to cut it all short because I don’t think I deserve it, as in quite a few situations I feel loved because of her words of affirmation. I have to admit that I sometimes am seeking praise from her, but not too often.
On the other hand I have a coworker that often greets my ideas with scoffs or sarcasm. The usual story goes that I would be seeking praise from him because it would be more awesome than anything, but that isn’t true. That is why his praise earlier today caught me off guard. It makes me think of how I regard people, I know that they are probably deep and complex, but really they are just a caricature drawn from my interact…

Fall Photos

Jessie and I went out to the National park to take photos of fall and waterfalls. She mainly took pictures of falls, and me, fall. So here are some of my favorites from many more. The main ideas were hiking, photographing, and enjoying fall on the Blue Ridge.

Just fun to get out there and fiddle.

Wellington and Django

There are few things I like more than learning, though Jessie did make a splendid Beef Wellington this evening. Learning has much longer lasting effects than just a perfectly executed dinner that came from me joking that I wanted it for dinner. Okay, dinner was awesome, now to more serious matters.

Seeing as the Django project has been out for the last 10 years, it isn’t really anything new to those who have been developing websites with Python by any stretch of the imagination. For seven of those I have been working on telescopes, not websites, so I only knew of it tangentially when I started to explore Python.

After finishing my previous projects at work, after a big project that took a bit longer than expected, I was given an administration project, using an Admin interface that had been an R&D project for two of our interns over the summer. They are both still around, working part time, so it wouldn’t be nice just to tear up what they had been doing all this time, especially sin…

Risk and Reticence

One of my favorite topics is technology. I work everyday with technology, I read news about current discoveries, and I drool over new inventions (and some new products), and dream of the possibilities. Why? I may be a pessimist, I prefer ‘realist’, about situations and being prepared, but I am optimistic about technology and that it can improve our lives.
I was talking to a friend and neighbor the other morning. He was kind enough to give me a ride as my car is in the shop and Jessie is out working. I have been thinking about conversations in general with people and realize that almost all of the conversations fall into complaining about things that will never change incrementally, or being excited by forecasted advances in technology. And I am tired of complaining without result.
The issue came up that technology removes the need to interact on a human-to-human basis. Specifically, self-driving cars will remove the need for us to interact with friends and family that need a ride becaus…

I do not do what I want to do

I do not do what I want to do
If you do not recognize this, it is okay, you are living life to its fullest. You can move on and ignore these thoughts. However, I do invite you to ponder:
This is part of a longer, pretty confusing, passage in the Bible written by Paul in Romans 8. Maybe it’s just because I am contrarian and like things other people have a hard time dealing with because I also enjoy Ecclesiastes. Despite all of this talk of the Bible, I think that it is extraordinarily practical, even if some claim may that it can only be understood in a religious context.
One more thing before I dive into this and its application. Many people will claim that many parts of the Bible are impractical to be applied in someone’s life outside of being a Christian. In Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis contends that we either have to take Christ as God, or a raving lunatic, never just a “good teacher.” While I agree that believing in salvation through the sacrifice of God is certainly a tall order and…


I am sure that no one has ever questioned their chosen path. Ever, in the history of simple reasoning. On that false assumption, let me be the (very-large-number)th.

I probably just failed my class, on a midterm no less. It wasn't that I didn't know the material, rather I knew most of it, the problem was the proctoring system. I am certainly not a fan. I make one mistake, reloading the proctoring software because it took me to the wrong page, and it goes south from there. I won't say what was on the test, but by the time everything was figured out, I had 30 minutes to complete a 90 minute exam. Not a good position to be in.

I am sure I caused it, but the software did not help at all in that regard. But enough about that. I am looking at dropping the class and taking again at some other point. Life has been going a bit too quickly and I really haven't been keeping up with it like I need to, so if this pretty much makes it unlikely that I can even attain a B, then I will…