Wow, how interesting the past week has been. Job stuff and school stuff and music, oh my!

In a cool twist of events since failing to be hired for the last two (poor) jobs I've applied at, I've gotten a (wicked cool) deskie job in my university's CS labs. Instead of busting ass and destroying my car to deliver pizza to angry suburbanites, I get to sit in a comfy chair behind a huge monitor and do relatively little work. It's the epitome of a good college-kid job, I can do my homework at work and put "Sysadmin" on my resume! I'm staying on at Papa John's working Sunday nights, though, since that extra $60 of tax free cash can be pretty useful. Still, I'm happy simply to not be permanantly trapped working at that bastard store any more.

Also, I enrolled for my Spring 2002 courses. Nice deep stuff, too. Towards my degree I'm taking Computer Graphics 672 and Advanced Data Structures 560, both senior-level classes, which is good because I've been a senior (by credit hours) for a while now. Towards my mathematics minor I'm in Linear Algebra 590, which is a nice hardcore-sounding-but-easy offering from the math department. Strictly for personal enrichment I'm also taking Masterworks of Music 136, a fun sounding introductory music history class.

Unfortunately, I seem to be enjoying my Computer Science major less and less the more of it I complete -- which is to say, I've been hating it more and more. I'm sure this happens to everybody in every major, but it still sucks to go through. Anyway, I only have about twelve (out of sixty total) credit hours of work left before I can get the degree, so I'm pretty much locked into the engineering program death march. Oh well, soon I'll graduate, get a nice job, a nice car, a presentable wife, a green lawn, and become everything I hate, just like everybody does. Grr, I'm angsty.

Finally, easily the best part of this week, the music. About two years ago I figured out that minimal techno was one of the most interesting and exciting musical forms I'd thus far experienced. This realization was fueled partially by hearing good stuff at raves, but more by listening to random findings on Napster, which included lots of one particular artist, Richie Hawtin. I was in awe of his skills after a few listenings, and really wanted to see him live. Unfortunately, he costs the world to book and has a hectic schedule that keeps him from playing out much, so the chances that he'd play out in my area's little scene were slim to none. I resolved to wait as long as was necessary to find a performance somewhere close, and jump on the travel opportunity when it arose.

At any rate, last night (Thursday) myself, my girlfriend, my roommate, and a buddy drove four hours both ways to St. Louis to see ...

wait ...

not yet ...

it's coming ...


... perform live on two turntables, a TR-909, a laptop, and other sundry instruments. The show was everything I expected and more, utterly mind-blowing without the aid of any chemical enhancements. It didn't matter that the venue was tiny, it didn't matter that there were pissed off fratboys (I paid $20 for this beepy shit!?) everywhere, it didn't matter that the party would be over by 3 am. All that mattered was intricate, powerful rhythm, throbbing bass, and endless post-cyclic movement -- pure futurism, in music form.

Go see and/or download some of his music right now, I promise you won't be disappointed.

After a week in Guaymas, Mexico I've almost returned to my regular routine. There remains just one meeting left before I can try to put the whole trip behind me. Far behind me. During the trip I was at first frustrated, then angry, and finally just embarassed.

I may cause one of my co-workers to be fired - something I've never done before. It was really his trip, I was along as a last-minute addition. Unfortunately for him, I have little tolerance for incompetence, less for deceit, and none at all for those who expect me to be complicit in their dishonesty.

In my work there are certain things every job requires; equipment, accessories, tools, and procedures. Before we left I asked my co-worker if all these had been shipped in advance. He assured me he had taken care of everything. He has nearly twenty-five years experience, there was no reason to doubt him. Still, I was uneasy. As it turned out, I had good reason to be.

I traveled 2150 miles only to find that I didn't have the right equipment, had to borrow accessories and tools from the customer, and had to make up procedures on the fly. In nearly twenty years of field service I've never been to a site where we were so unprepared -- we must have looked totally incompetent.

If this lack of professionalism wasn't bad enough, my co-worker suggested I just fake the test results. He's a retired Naval officer. I spent four years in the Army. In either branch of the service, just making the suggestion that someone should fake test results would likely lead to court-martial and dishonorable discharge.

After we returned, the owner of our company stopped by and asked me how the trip went. I told her. Bluntly. She was understandably agitated. I'm not sure if her concern is with the attitude and actions of one of her employees - or the possible loss of business from the customer in Mexico. The three of us were supposed to meet and talk about the trip today - but the owner didn't make it in.

I was heavily recruited for this position last year. I declined. They came after me again this year and I took the job - starting just over a month ago. I really hate being put in this position so soon after starting with the company, but the only alternative was to ignore it and be complicit by my own silence. And that's an even worse way to start.

Today, I got this in my /msg list. I would like to discuss it:

2001.10.26@01:33 Klaproth says I ate your writeup "Albert Einstein Quotes" because it's a quote node, which we are trying to eradicate. It will soon rest in Node Heaven.

Don't think I'm ranting and raving, or even angry. I just find it dismaying that we would find something not worthy of existence here because someone else said it. I would ask any one of you who finds that this particular quote, listed below, is not worthy of its continued existence on e2 to go look at your own personal list of nodes. Find one or two that are less worthy. I'm sure that if you honestly evaluate your nodes, you will.

I'm relatively dismayed that some of my own nodes which talk about such trivialities as my dog getting lost, or how I used to get my Atari games to work again, or how I used to be a lot thinner, or even my complaining about XP are allowed to continue to exist. Is someone else going to find the fact that I was once thinner much more interesting than the fact that Einstein quite succinctly explained the difficulty in explaining abstract concepts using a simple language. I also believe in the idea that by annotating a story, you often ruin the effect of the story. I could point you to several koans that explain why (I would also refuse to annotate them).

Perhaps the title of the node was poor, in that it was indexed by Einsten's Quotes. That may be, in which case I will happily put the node somewhere else. If that's the only thing preventing this node's continued existence, I will scratch my head and find a more accurate title. The difficulty with noding a quote is that it doesn't actually have a title. A good quote is often just as long as a story, but a piece of fiction has an easy to identify title. The quote below is longer than many stories, which I'm sure very few of you would agree should continue to exist.

I do not wish to offend any of you, but I am positive that if this place were to become merely a repository of the words of our assembled userbase, with no quotes from the outside world, we would have a nearly useless database. If we're not quoting the outside world, we're going to at least talk about it. What is the purpose of e2? I had believed, in some part, it is to become a repository of that which is interesting to the userbase. I've used it in the past to look up obscure pop-culture references, it's utterly amazing for that. In browsing, I have found out things I wasn't looking for in the first place. It increases knowledge.

Many times, a good quote serves the same purpose. It generally causes you to improve yourself, by thinking in a new fashion. A short, "quote" from a well spoken individual will teach me more effectively than a longer essay. I've spent more words arguing for the existence of quotes, and probably had less of an effect on your thinking than the quote below has, regarding its own subject.

And for those who would argue against quotes because it's NFN, keep in mind that the quote below was part of my little mini-project to inject a little bit of zen into the database. I looked through my books, and did a little bit of internet searching, so that I could put in things that influenced my own thinking. I found a quote from Einstein in one of my books, so I put it in. I put it in an existing node, rather than create a new one for it. But, during that same "Let's node short bits of fiction that show zen thought," I ran across many other nodes written by some of the biggies of our little world. In fact, a few of my nodes got nuked because they duplicated nodes by these people, which at the time, I was unable to find... after requesting those nodes to get nuked, I did a bit of softlinking. I did it with the intent to add knowledge to the database, I acted in good faith as a citizen of e2 to softlink instead of node, when possible, and to only create nodes which added knowledge. I am a very "old" user here, but mostly a lurker. I might be accused of NFN, but I don't see myself as doing such.

So, thank you, have a good day, do not think of me as whining, I am merely trying to convince you of my viewpoint. If I fail to do so, I will continue doing what I enjoy doing on e2, and should someone ask me to stop, I will. No threats, no asamoth behavior, no ultimatums, no requirements on you, the reader, or the editors, or the gods. I am merely one user with a relatively strong opinion, and a high regard for at least one little speech given by Einstein.

Node presented as below as transcribed by me, late at night. Forgive the complete lack of links and the possibilities of typos or formatting errors. The one that will soon rest in node heaven, doesn't yet rest there. (UPDATE: This node is now at The difficulty of explaining abstract concepts.)

Not long after his arrival in Princeton he was invited, by the wife of one of the professors of mathematics at Princeton, to be guest of honor at a tea.-Reluctantly, Einstein consented. After the tea had progressed for a time, the excited hostess, thrilled to have such an eminent guest of honor, fluttered out into the center of activity and with raised arms silenced the group. Bubbling out some words expressing her thrill and pleasure, she turned to Einstein and said: "I wonder, Dr. Einstein, if you would be so kind as to explain to my guests in a few words, just what is relativity theory ? "

Without any hesitation Einstein rose to his feet and told a story. He said he was reminded of a walk he one day had with his blind friend. The day was hot and he turned to the blind friend and said, "I wish I had a glass of milk."

"Glass," replied the blind friend, "I know what that is. But what do you mean by milk?"

"Why, milk is a white fluid," explained Einstein.

"Now fluid, I know what that is," said the blind man. "but what is white ? "

"Oh, white is the color of a swan's feathers."

"Feathers, now I know what they are, but what is a swan ? "

"A swan is a bird with a crooked neck."

"Neck, I know what that is, but what do you mean by crooked ? "

At this point Einstein said he lost his patience. He seized his blind friend's arm and pulled it straight. "There, now your arm is straight," he said. Then he bent the blind friend's arm at the elbow. "Now it is crooked."

"Ah," said the blind friend. "Now I know what milk is."

And Einstein, at the tea, sat down.

Saturday mornings seem to me to be the best daylog times. They feel like no other mornings. The clearheadedness of enough sleep, the quiet and light of the house that I usually miss because I'm off in a fluorescent-lit classroom somewhere. The blessed second cup of coffee. Serious coffee, fresh-ground French Roast. Today I also get KALX on the radio, boyfriend in the shower, and kid baking coffee cake. Fall is the best season.
So as I look back on the week, the world has gone crazy, but the regular thread of daily life weaves along. The District decided, after seven years, that I don't have the correct credential to be teching Middle School. They've lost all my transcripts and need to convene a Peer Review Board to grant me a waiver to continue teaching the curriculum they paid me to write for them. Ahhh yes! Bureaucracy in action!
Meanwhile, I contemplate anthrax, train the new aide, finsh the web page and cereal box projects, prep a presentation on instant messaging for the parent community, and try to figure out when I'll have time to spin some records and relax for a night or so. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with the woman who decided she had a crush on my boyfriend, and spent the better part of two months trying to seduce him before I finally called her on it and caused all hell to break loose. She's a drama queen, not a good friend, but someone I'd like to know better, though this episode has quelled that feeling pretty well. She's mailing me with 'can we still be friends?' messages and I'm just not feeling much like responding.
The house grows warmer as the oven heats up. That second cup is ready now.
Kiddo is going to take her bass over to The Boy's house this afternoon. He plays guitar and they have been getting together to play pretty regularly. He's still in eighth grade, and she's a freshman, so they don't see each other at school anymore. They talk online every night, email all the time, but she insists he's just a friend. This is fine with me, and I've made clear to her I've got no pressure to put on her about having a boyfriend. Lots of her friends' folks seem to feel a great need for their kids to be hooked up with someone at this point. I just want her to be happy... man! I know what I was up to at her age, and she's nowhere near as needy as I was, and has far more self respect than I ever did. Social and commercial pressure is so huge at her age. I am so relieved that she seems to be happy to be who she is and is not striving to be who she thinks others want her to be. I admire her a lot, in fact, for her drive, her individuality, her sense of fairness and her openness. I admire her poetic sentences, her loony humor and her sense of style. I'm plain lucky she came to live with me.
Horus asked me to be the best man at his wedding next summer. I've been wondering for years if he'd ask me when the day came, cause I am, after all, a woman. Given the singular nature of our friendship in the first place, I kind of assumed he'd ask me, but I expected the fiancé factor had to come into play as well. I didn't know if she'd go for the idea, though she and I are great good friends as well. I shouldn't have doubted her though, another lesson learned. And, I get to plan the bachelor party, and make the toast at the reception! It's exciting, really, because I can use this as an opportunity to help bring in elements important to him. I've been compiling song lyrics and Crowley quotes to weave into a toast of congratulations, and its satisying me greatly.
Fabulous looking strusel, I've been given a preview! Cinnamon smells float through the house. I really ought to get dressed.

So many writeups to write, so little time. Oh well, I guess I have myself to blame. Last week I started "work" on the project I'm (supposed to be) doing in school - a boring essay that has to be written about nobel prize winner Richard P. Feynman. The idea which the school has come up with is to just assign each group of students a famous person and then just not have any lessons whatsoever for two weeks, expecting us to have something to report at the end. Yeah, right. Give 300 high school students free hands to do whatever for two weeks, and 90% of us will just relax and then submit something we downloaded off the web after two weeks of boozing.

Not quite so for me - I'm not gonna be drinking (much), I am in fact arranging a LAN party with 29 of my friends. It's gonna be a blast, we're starting monday. It's been over 22 weeks since the last big LAN I went to. And after this week, there's DreamHack in november to look forward to. In case you didn't know, DreamHack is the world's biggest BYOC LAN party, ever. And I'm going! Woohoo!

On a totally different note, I've been leeching anime like crazy this week. There's just an endless stream of it, more to watch than I have time left in my life to ever watch. There's probably (literally) more anime produced per day than I can watch. Oh well, I suppose that goes for everyone else, too.

Last time I added to the daylog, I was pretty early - there weren't that many wu's before me. Today there are and I must say, a lot of people must be mistaking the daylog for a node whatever you want node where the rules don't apply. People node totally useless stuff, node while drunk, and generally whine and complain about all that's going on in their lives. I saw a really bad one today (it's probably somewhere above, if no-one's deleted it yet) where some luser was whining about having had his writeup deleted. And he tried to call it a discussion. And his home node says "node about RPGs and I will upvote and cool you". Pathetic.

Anyway, so as to cement the apparent truth that the daylogs contain mostly useless stuff, here's my playlist:

Hmmm. Actually, on second thought, the playlist is not entirely useless - it may give some of you advice on good music to download. Just remember, software piracy isn't stealing. Have a nice week 44 everyone! I know I will.

Today I spent so much time writing a node on Edward Ruloff that i completely neglected to do my homework that I had been putting off until now. Maybe it is bad for me that I spend so much time on E2 but I really feel like I am getting something useful out of it. I more fully understand the cultures of some Native American tribes that inhabited the area that I am from, I know more geography. I feel like I am learning more on E2 than I am in school because I am doing the research out of an intarest that is internal rather than a sort of pavlovian conditioning: the desire to get good grades. I also feel like my english skills are improving. I have a desire to communicate more eloquently that causes me to attempt to write better every time I create a new node; I have a long way to go but I am making some progress. I also put off my daily workout to continue research; once again geekdom wins out over good health.

Love is a weird concept ... I never really understood why and how it happens, nor what it means to say I Love You Too. What I do know is that I find love a great feeling - sure, it's quite confusing at times, but in the end we keep looking for a nice lap to sit on, two very pretty eyes to dream about, that tingly feeling inside when your thoughts once again wonder around longing for a romantic touch or a long kiss. I also don't understand why love enables people to do the near impossible: I could just look at her for hours on end and feel blessed, it makes you see details and experience things that would normally scare you, etc. Love seems to be some kind of filter that changes everything around you (and especially EVERYTHING around her) into something dreamy and positive.

When you are in love, saying I Love You Too actually means something - it changes you, few things other than that love matter anymore. Love hurts and can be quite frustrating to ... the waiting, the uncertainty and all kinds of fears you never knew or admitted you had. But, I say to you, love is a path best traveled together - meet many people and enjoy their company as long as the talk is good and saying I Love You Too actually means something.

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