Content from 2010-08

Work and School
posted on 2010-08-30 15:16:37
It's been 3 weeks since my last post and that is starting to become disappointingly normal. Summer has drawn to a close and the first week of school has flown by. I also got a part-time job during that first week. Friday was my first day and was pretty fun. I'm on a team of six in a company of ten so things are informal, productive and unbureaucratic which is nice. I'll be working about 20 hours a week mostly in PHP and Javascript writing Drupal module extensions. I'm not thrilled about the PHP but needing to use Javascript, CSS and SQL more while working on production web software can only do me good. I've been putting off banging my head against web development for some time now. Hopefully 20 hours a week is the right amount for work/school balance.

As for classes, combinatorics has a good teacher and students but I'm already a little behind. Last week was kinda crazy. My CS courses have been...um...disastrous but I've tweeted about that and don't particularly want to recount it here. Short version: I was told in a 4000-level CS Upper Elective that I should withdraw because there "wouldn't be very much programming" and heard my software engineering professor describe using Save As as "version control". Finally, I have a Chemistry course and lab which is predictably fine. Should be a pretty standard semester.

I didn't code much over the summer but I did fix a few paktahn bugs and just last weekend made a bugfix release with Leslie (0.91). Of course, I've already found and fixed another bug. When no network connection is present and name resolution fails, a usocket:ns-try-again condition gets thrown and the user sees that error message and goes "huh?". Presently, our restarts only catch usocket:socket-error conditions which is a separate condition hierarchy. I lined up a fix in 5 minutes but there's a very little bit of code duplication that's bothering me. I'll come back to it in a day or two and either find a better way or commit it. On the bright side, Leslie says my lisp style is improving. Here's hoping. There's always so much more to learn. :)

I've been in a pretty heavy coma since breaking up with Teresa, not that it's all or even mostly attributable to that event. I've just been burnt out. Cooking, entertaining company (i.e. movie parties), listening to music and skateboarding are the main things I seem to be able to enjoy and make myself do lately. I've been trying to work my way out of it lately and, thanks in part to certain friends, looking at the metalevel of how I can be more organized, productive and happy. My friend Will, for example, sent me a copy of Getting Things Done by David Allen which I've gotten in to the last week or so. There are very valid points in that book about energy, motivation and time management along with ideas that I'll try to apply in the coming weeks.

I can't think of much else to say for now. There's tons of high-level big stuff going on. Oracle is suing Google in a move that can only hurt everyone, Paul Allen apparently can't build working products with billions of dollars and bunches of patents but can sue half the tech world for violating them, etc. Privacy is still going in the trash, Religious Freedom may be in the gutter already as many Americans hopelessly believe that all Islamic people are violent extremists. The programming language world is busy as always with interesting activity I'm aware of in Factor, SBCL, Clozure, Clojure, GHC and more. I could tell you about the good things I've been listening to like Laura Veirs and the Morning Benders. But right now I need to stop and recharge a bit. Cheers.
On my birthday
posted on 2010-08-07 04:04:40
It's getting harder and harder to post. I'm done with summer classes. Two A's and a C, so Fall will have to be better. The C was in my easiest class funny enough. I've got 16 days of freedom left. Today was my birthday.

I felt compelled to post something...and I settled on poetry since I don't have my own words handy at the moment. I grabbed Neruda because I post too much Milosz and the page happened to fall open to this. It wasn't what I had in mind....but I might have to give up and just let it be.

The Son


Ah son, do you know, do you know
where you come from?

From a lake with white
and hungry gulls.

Next to the water of winter
she and I raised
a red bonfire
wearing out our lips
from kissing each other's souls,
casting all into the fire,
burning our lives.

That's how you came into the world.

But she, to see me
and to see you, one day
crossed the seas
and I, to clasp
her tiny waist,
walked all the earth,
with wars and mountains,
with sands and thorns.

That's how you came into the world.

You come from so many places,
from the water and the earth,
from the fire and the snow,
from so far away you journey
toward the two of us,
from the terrible love
that has enchanted us,
that we want to know
what you're like, what you say to us,
because you know more
about the world we gave you.

Like a great storm
we shook
the tree of life
down to the hiddenmost
fibers of the roots
and you appear now
singing in the foliage,
in the highest branch
that with you we reach.


PS: The more I read Stephen O'Grady and Charles Stross (and I've only read Accelerando and Halting State...and his blog over the last 3 months) the dumber I feel and the more I'm aware of how much I don't know but want to know.

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