Monday, August 27, 2007

Ahhh! Run Away! It's School Again.

Okay, be calm and take a deep breath. If I finish then I will be done as it follows logically. I think that my job won't conflict. Hmm... what if I take one more class? It could destroy everything. Well, maybe not but it is close enough.

It is a great day to go back to school: Cool, cloudy and with intermittent rain. Perfecto. It looks as though the semester should go smoothly if I don't just sit here and waste all of my time describing my travails to my faithful readers. Maybe I could go into commentary about national politics and how I am glad that Gonzales is leaving his position at just the right time not to allow a recess appointment, whew. Although my political views may lean left at the moment I tend to just not like the people that somehow made it into office against everybody's better judgement. So I will stop complaining about that and complain about something else.

The school, UWyo, has some new construction projects that they started just in time to be extremely well placed to be in the way of most of campus. The projects have take over nearly an entire parking-lot's worth of spaces of around 100 to 150 spaces and made travel extremely hard unless you travel on the north or south edges of campus. One of the projects used to be the old honors house where I lived for two years and they tore down weeks ago. The other project is right in front of the union where the heaviest foot traffic usually occurs on a normal school day. The old Anthro building is being torn down for a new wing to the library. That's all and good except the part where thousands of students have to circum-navigate the huge site. Okay, need to go eat lunch and get more things done. Wish me luck with the Fencing Council at 3 o'clock, it should be politics as normal, which should never be in fencing period, never.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Um, so Summer?

It is nearly gone and what I did this summer was fun, and made money but I really needed to make more and have more fun. An interesting problem no doubt but now in the past.

I am finally moving into my own room. As Paul says I might suffer a bit from agoraphobia, not really. Actually I am currently suffering from how-much-junk-do-I-have-and-where-do-I-put-it-all-phobia. In other words, boxes that have been packed for the past few months are disgorging objects that I know I have but now need a place to store, in a box?

The nice thing about the apartment I am living in is it being on the third story. The third floor is the top floor, that means no people with drunken parties over our heads at 2 in the morning. Also another good thing is that my roommates are all reasonable people or if one isn't the other two can help convince them otherwise, hopefully. We also have a huge south-facing window! That means plants can thrive, and grow, and be green, and well grow green. We have four plants from the Honors House that was torn down this summer. A seven foot tall ficus, a huge monstera, a dumbcane of some sort and a huge rubber plant. I also have my jade plant, spider plant and a rhododendron of some type, if I spelled it correctly. One of my roommates has at least 5 other plants in the apartment currently and could bring more. Hmm... Jungles come to mind after listing all of those plants.

I also read recently about the numerous types of possible bonsai and ficus family had a few that could be grown into bonsai. So looking at our tree carefully I might mark some possible branches for pruning and then stick them in dirt and make them grow to be one small cool tree.

Of course there is school. I think I mentioned what went down, but that along with my complaints about all of UW's construction plans and how they are going about it will come later.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Remember children, look before you cross...

The street is a dangerous place for those on foot. Especially foor feet, black fur, and didn't look both ways. Enough with the intro though I want to get this down in a fresh state rather than trying to remember it some other time.

I was walking along a street in Laramie just trying to focus, or let other focuses go when a black dog came up behind me. I didn't think of it much as it ran by me and I looked back for an owner. I didn't see anyone but they might have been ahead of me. I was going to the park that happened to be on the other side of the street. Now a sort of clarification, the road curved a little bit so I was crossing from the corner of one block, the inside of the curve to the sidewalk on the other side. I was crossing and got about three quarters of the way across when I thought about what the dog might do, this of course being about the time I heard a car. The dog started crossing as the car came about the curve. At first I thought the dog had enough clearance but that wasn't the case, the headlights lit up the dog's side and a horendous crunch ensued. The dog cried and moved toward the sidewalk I was standing on. He was favoring a leg the way he was limping but I couldn't see very clearly. As he came up onto the sidewalk I grabbed his collar and he pushed his head against my leg and stopped whining.

I was really happy to see tht the driver of the caar had stopped and came back to see what happened. That action right there, just coming back to take responsibility, I can do that and I know many other people can too, though I have seen a lot of people just keep going. A guy that had been riding his bike came over too to see what was happening, the people who owned the house we were in front of came out as well offering to call the police and the vet so that this could be taken care of correctly. I was really glad that these people came out or back to help rather than just turning a blind eye. O fcourse the first thing they asked me as they all appraoched was if it was my dog. No, of course not, but there were no tags except for the s-hook that is supposed to hold a tag.

The lady from the house brought out one of her dog's many blankets to help cover the dog. Once covered by the blanket the dog wanted to lie down and so I made sure that the leg he was favoring didn't twist wierdly as he lay down. A little whining and he was lying down with a blanket to keep shock from settling in. I just squatted there petting the dog and talking to him to get a response every so often sort of like how they train you to deal with human shock victims, except he was much quieter once he settled into a position. Now we waited for the police to come because there were no animal patrol people out and about during the night.

Before the blanket was put over him the three of us, the bicyclist, the driver, and I assessed the damage to be a dislocated left hip because he couldn't quite pull it up if it had been an injury lower down the leg. He wasn't bleeding as far as we could see however later on we found out that he had a little bit of an abrasion on the ribcage. Now interestingly he had been hit on the right side, the side of the abrasion, but the dislocated hip was on his left side. This doesn't really make sense until you think that the dislocation probably came about because the far leg, or the left leg probably went underneath the body and was pulled from the socket. The right leg had just been reconfirmed by the collision and it stayed intact, however if the car had been higher clearance or a truck the dog probably would have been dead.

The police came, a young officer that pulled up and got out. Rather than just turning around after seeing that it was just a dog he said that he would help get it into the truck that the guy whose house this was in front of provided. Unfortunately for the kid that had hit the dog the police officer gave him the usual accident information please... license, what he saw, how to get a hold of him. Probably all very unecessary but still good procedure. The officer did a check that I know but forgot about, shining a light into the dog's eyes to see if they react to the light, they did, a good sign that the dog wasn't in shock.

The officer and I had gloves on and so we lifted near the head while the bicyclist got the rear-end. We got him into the truck. The bicyclist and I rode in the back of the truck out to the vet's. We had a conversation out there, when we got there we unloaded the dog and the vet got him up on a table. The dog, anyone could tell was in pain, but stood on the table patiently as the vet took a look at him. The dog it seems will be fine and if no one claims him it seems that the bicyclist may keep an eye on him if not adopt him.

I got a ride back and now know a few more of the Laramie residents, really nice people here, a lot willing to help a dog. And what a dog: after getting hit, settling down right away, not biting those trying to help him even under so much pain. Even though it was not a nice experience it was a good one. Although it doesn't have to happen again, remember: look both ways, all of you.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Taking Tiny Break

I really have to buckle down, but right now I just sit here and wait for half a second ........ okay. Well maybe I will say that Wyoming weather has landed us with some serious precipitation. This morning was nice and clear, and warm which meant that nearly no one had a jacket for this afternoon's very long rain, almost like being back in Japan except a bit colder. The birds were even singing this morning: Chickadees, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Robins, and a few others with not as nice songs. It's really starting to feel like spring in Wyoming, just a couple more snowstorms and we will be in summer. Anyway got to go.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Two more weeks

Just posting for no apparent reason. I just thought that I would have some time. Wrong! Now with deadlines piling up I can see the end but it is through a tunnel built of a whole ton of crap to finish, it could easily collapse in other words. I will be careful though, maybe I will even finish.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

50th Post in Over a Year and Over 306 Visitors

I didn't realize I have had this thing for this long. It is nice to get my thoughts down every so often, this week more than others. One of my friends calls it self-justified drivel or something to that affect. I believe that if you want to view it that way fine go ahead. I don't write about politics the way some of my other friends do, it is more self centered, more chronicling what I have done every so often with some of my own opinions thrown in. Statistically the Blogosphere has stopped its explosion and has settled down, hopefully enough that the technology for finding fakes and destroying them gets rid of all that garbage that probably contributed to the explosive growth.

Again, as I have said before, I really don't know who reads my blog. I know that I have contributed between 20 and 30 different IP addresses because of all the computers across campus that I have visited the blog with, including this one with dual LCD screens that allow me to ignore the other screen while I type on this one. If people other than Thomas would comment once in a while it might give me a better idea of who is reading my self-centered observations. Thomas, you can still comment, I am not setting a ban on your comments, I would just like to see who is all out there.

The weather, oh the weather! It is Wyoming, however, it does not need to change so drastically between days, much less hours. But that's enough complaining. I need to go eat now, maybe do some homework afterward, maybe.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Hardly. Although I was able to concentrate for five hours yesterday on one single project. So maybe I do feel different about being 22. I've applied for jobs and am looking forward to graduating. So far, maybe a lot different.

I got an alternate position for the JET program teaching English in Japan. That means I don't know if they want me or not for a few months up till middle of October. From now until then I need to be doing something to make some money so I can start paying more bills. That is why I applied for the Brunton Design job. I would get to design outdoor equipment, or at least help in most of the processes with a team. One bad thing would be the location: Riverton. However Riverton with the possibility of the Wind River Mountains outside of town, a cool job, and the possibility to continue some of my sports wouldn't be too bad, actually it might be really nice. So now I have to wait for that as well. I can't wait, I can't wait...

Now how much fencing can be done in one weekend? Without killing oneself? With tournaments you might wear yourself out over two days, but that is off and on fencing. With a seminar where something is demonstrated and then the guest coach expects you to do it for about 6 hours on a Saturday... It was fun, though, I really enjoyed it and I think I learned quite a bit. There were a few questionable things that he told us about weight distribution but overall it was a very helpful seminar. The most important thing I learned was about the Sabre right-of-way which says that as long as you are moving forward before the other person and have not attempted and attack or been parried, then it is your attack until the first is finished. Well at least it is clear in my mind now, yo can rest easy. Bruce, the guest coach, also had quite a few suggestions for the recruitment and retainment of members for the team. I really can't worry about that for UW seeing as I don't know where I will be in the next few months, but if I get the Riverton job I might be able to start a feeder fencing team at the community college there. He also told us to call him down in Florida anytime if we had questions about drills, membership, or anything else.

I celebrated my birthday with my family and then came back for Monday, my actual birthday to go about my usual business of trying to complete school satisfactorily. Monday birthdays have to be the worst. Oh well, I think now I will do some mindless cleaning of some code.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Slowly Passing, Quickly Past

That's how it seems anyway. The days while playing themselves out are eternal, especially when not doing anything, or working on things that aren't quite fun. And then it comes to pass and I am left with a feeling of missing something or undone. It's great. So I will keep this short.

There is a fencing seminar this weekend with a couple coaches from the University of Florida. They expect to cover all three weapons in about 15 hours for about 50 dollars apiece. Not bad considering some of the amounts I heard from some people about 50 dollars for 20 minute lesson in some big cities. Come out to the boonies, fence cheaply. I don't know of any regular readers other than Thomas but if anybody wants to and is around, come to the University of Wyoming Education Gym 5 p.m. Friday with 50 dollars. Ah plugging for stabbing, fun!

Alright, better work now.

Monday, April 02, 2007

1 Week

I will be 22 then April Ninth, what changes? Uh, not really anything, other than getting ready to graduate. Other than that though there really is nothing different. I guess I should get a job. You know the thing that pays people for doing work also without the homework that is so irksome in college. Think about it, when done with work from sometime in the morning to sometime in the afternoon, going home or wherever not worrying about what's due tomorrow. What is due tomorrow? Hmm... Not quite everything, but a good portion. If I stop procrastinating now that would be good. Okay, it's not working, still procrastinating.

Reading a good series of books by David Brin. He is an excellent author although the end of this last book is getting a little weird. I haven't finished it though so it might end with a satisfying ending, or it might cliff hang so that he can write a trilogy of trilogies. I don't know yet. Have to finish so I can do more homework.

Ah well, nearly time for embedded systems again. Fuzzy logic, it's great fun, and soft too.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Snow and More Snow

What is white, falls from the sky, is watery and does not require updrafts from warm ground? Snow. We were so lucky here in good old Laramie to get enough precipitation to close the University down at 3 in the afternoon. So I had no class yesterday. So rather than waste too much time I helped my friends make some mead. According to rough estimates and calculations it should be done just in time for Finals Week. Perfect timing. Let's just hope that is rots correctly, otherwise it could be quite dangerous to even try some. We do have one friend that can attest to a good batch because she has taken a brewing class here at the university before.

Other than making alcohol for making a good finals week I have about 4 projects that need completing some time in April. Most of them are with groups so that we can remind one another of what needs done and when. Solo is really hard since it is just you making sure that just you are on time. I need to get much better at that sort of stuff. Motivating me is like trying to pull something out of the mud that would rather just wallow. If I could ever find where I put my real motivation then everything would be much simpler.

Those projects that need doing include a robot simulation of search and destroy, finding enemy artillery by using topographic algorithms and the tendency for humans trying to make things look organized to draw lines of search patterns out from the previously found artillery pieces and track down the next set. When that doesn't work then the planning is set up differently so that the next pieces are found much more quickly. Another project is putting a real physical robot through a maze using fuzzy math and small or simple path-finding algorithms. Once we get rolling that project should be extremely simple. A third project is to filter certain noises or changing tones in a music file for Digital Signals Processing. It is an adaptive filter, which I have never dealt with before, but I don't need to worry. This is because I am on;y working in conjunction with my lab group. They are programming the filter while I program a feedback into the supporting desktop computer so that we can see the filter and its component parts move in correlation to the tone that it is filtering out.

Unfortunately today the University opened up again because the skies went clear and no more snow threatened to fall and block more roads, most of which are open down here, so I am again looking forward to the weekend rather than able to relax quite yet. I guess I should get some more useful things done at this juncture, seeing as if I don't...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Fun of Few Days Left

What does anyone want to know of the bowels of Bearaucracy? Let me tell you that you need awfully good excuses to get any consession out of anyone who thinks that the rules apply to, well, everyone. Sure they do, but not when you twist the rules. Remember, power is not as good as it seems, in fact it tends to corrupt, and absolute power... If you have a chance to quash hopes and make money at the same time why not exercise that little bit of muscle that lower down higher-ups are allowed. Let's just say that I ruined a perfectly good spring break, a chance to work on my projects, by having to plumb these oily, nasty depths. Now I am so far behind that the entire fight over graduating with all requirements met might fall through because I couldn't finish a project, which means utter failure and no graduation.

So in other news the weather is swinging, just like it should, from warm (60+) to cold and snowy with several inches of accumulation and back. That was over the span of two days, the rest are pretty stable temperature if windy today. Grand!

The Cowgirls have been beating down other teams for the basketball WNIT tournament and that means the fencing club has been working consessions where there are nearly 12000 fans in the stands and we work nearly constantly. It will be over this Saturday, one way or another.

I saw a career opportunity with Brunton that is a designer position. Brunton is a outdoor equipment company, compasses, GPS units, camp stoves, power supplies, and a whole ton of other things. It is for all majors listed in the career services and seeing as I have design experience and also experience using equipment as a Boy Scout having the Rank of Eagle Scout. And also its not all engineering necessarily, or at least no the circuits idea. A big plus might be helping design things correctly so that they don't have stupid flanges or other delicate parts that break easily. I really hate products that are not meant to last while being used continuously in the way they are supposed to be used.

I believe there is pizza in my near future, so I am going to go sniff it out and eat it. I may write again, sooner than last time, possibly.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Sleep? Oops.

Remember, always have the correct amount of sleep to be able to function in the world you are living in. In other words, do not find a game and the correct hardware and stay up until 4 a.m. unless there is no school the next day, even then it is a bad idea. It took nearly a day and a half of looking for hardware drivers then a new card, which really isn't new, and then looking for drivers for it based on the fact that the chips and fan were set at a 45 degree angle to the board. It is quite the identifier in one line of graphics cards however within that line there is the GT line which all have the 45 degree offsets. So I got it running off of a driver that probably is lost in too much memory seeing as the driver was for a 6200 and the card could have been 6600. Oh well.

So once the card was running I got the game running, that caused this wild goose chase, in "safe mode" which is a whole hell of a lot better than anything my previous card could do. And now there are things due, places to go, people to meet, blogs to write, and many other numerous things that do not sound good, even though I have coffee and water in front of me and a machine that definitely won't run the game. (Using a school computer.)

So now I am writing about my project, or well writing this when I get stuck on something writing about my project. As seen above my mind is not what it should be today, or where it should be. It isn't even wandering, it's just laying there as though, well, insert a good metaphor here. And now back to write a few more sentences on very important document...

Okay, that was not fun, trying very hard to concentrate and finish, even this sentence. I paused right before "even this sentence" and could not figure out how to word it. I think I need sleep. But really want to write more, both for a grade and for this. Oh yes, and for stories, going to have to make a story timeline because write now my idea editor, Thomas, has no idea how I am structuring my thoughts, since right now I am just writing bits and pieces. I am really happy though to have somebody comment on, well right now, very scattered thoughts that make sense to me but obviously not to someone else. Seeing as he knows me better than say the public at large I would say that this is a good indicator that I need to rethink quite a bit of how I am going about writing the story. Thanks Thomas.

Last week, for those who aren't in Laramie was in the single-digits and teens for almost the entire week, add on 30 to 50 mph winds on top and you get well below zero apparent temperature. Today it should get to 45 or 50 degrees, a perfect summertime temperature. It's been nice that we have actually had winter this year so we might be able to enjoy summer, unless it gets too warm, this time though I have a basement, so it will stay nice and cool if we turn off the heater.

Finished the last game of concessions for the UW men's basketball season, they probably won't play at home again, and I'm glad. I was helping out the fencing club with fund raising and I had previous contacts so now the club will be able to replace just about all of the equipment and get a few new items that we haven't had before. Working food service makes you realize just how badly food is handled, we, as the club, actually were quite clean compared with some of the people that worked with us. So I am happy to be done selling very overpriced food and beverages to those who think they need it for such a short time. Oh well, we got free food in the deal, but the food left a lot to be desired after a few hot dogs or pretzels, even spread over a few games.

So, in conclusion, I need sleep. Otherwise I might faceplant while still writing this last sentence, must... hit..... publish....and log-off.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Long, long time, no write

If there are any of you out there that I scared away because of not writing, well then I must have an audience of some type or another. But I highly doubt that there are many people that constantly read my ramblings especially since the total deprivation for 2 months would have been catastrophic to any relying on my tantalizing story.

Just took a test that I am sure I didn't ace but certainly did well on, have to see though, could be interesting. If the weather gets any nicer than it will be considered summer here considering that 60 degrees F above the coldest temperature without windchill puts us at 40 degrees. At least we didn't get the New York snow, we still have snow melting from December and another skiff that just makes it brighter outside.

Lots of birds out there, Chickadees, Robins, Pine siskins, haven't heard any ruby-crowned kinglets yet but it feels like April already, well at least April before the drought. Saw a piece of crow wing with a bone slightly connected, maybe the raven that I saw flying around got it, or the 30 to a 100 other crows got it, who knows.

Anyway, off to class.

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John studied himself in the mirror as best he could through tears. Red, puffy eyes stared back at him, a running nose already leaked just a ...