Archive of May, 2004
May 31, 2004:
Because I really want to see this.
May 28, 2004:
Got in four laps at once today; the first true mile I've run since I started. I took a quick water break then walked a lap, then tried some more running. Ran out of steam after one more lap. Did it, though. Now I need to work on either getting my times down (at a rough guess I'm averaging 3:00-3:30 a lap), or getting in a second mile.
May 27, 2004:
Just wow. I have nothing to add.
May 25, 2004:
... someone could get this guy's ideas to really happen, maybe Episode III will be worth watching.
Ah, who the hell am I kidding; everybody and his brother is still going to line up to see the thing, if for no other reason than to see the final nail in the coffin. Hey, why do you think so many people saw Nemesis?
May 24, 2004:
I just bought a relatively new 19-inch flatscreen CRT for the computer. I think this makes the monitor more powerful from a computational stanpoint than the P2/266 it's connected to.
Anybody need some freelance Web work done? Proceeds will go to the "Buy Jason a Computer that Doesn't Date from the Paleolithic" fund.
May 21, 2004:
A pretty big storm apparently came through early this morning. I had to close the windows because I was getting misted -- my bed is about 6 feet from the window -- at 5:30 this morning, and I doubt it just started up then. There were a couple downed trees on the way to work, and I passed a cop speeding into the Hill (where I'm pretty sure power was out). And of course there was the bunch of idiots who don't understand that non-functional traffic light == four-way stop.
And I forgot to pack a lunch lat night, necessitating a trip to Subway this afternoon. D'oh.
Edit: In an effort to provide at least some content for today, I give you a somewhat pissed-off Bill Cosby. Nice to see one of the old greats enter crotchety-ol-man-dom with a bang instead of a whimper. Wish I could find a sound file of it.
May 20, 2004:
May 18, 2004:
There seem to be a lot of them. Just about everybody who's familiar with the Star Trek franchise knows that Paramount skipped straight from IV to VI with nothing in between. The Highlander series similarly jumped from the original to III, from what I hear, and I know a few people who are disappointed that Lucas never got around to making those Star Wars prequels he's been talking about for so long.
Well, I just caught The Matrix on TBS. Aside from a couple silly cuts and the fact that it wasn't being piped through my surround system, it's still a good movie. So I think I'm just going to decide that the Wachowskis never got around to making any follow-ups, and most assuredly didn't create a festering pile that made the "Neo == Jesus" metaphor even more blatantly obvious.
Ahh, revisionist history.
May 17, 2004:
When I went for my run at CMU on Thursday the setup for graduation was almost complete. The stage was set up and about half of the chairs were in place on the field. I know a handful of the HCI masters students so I'm going to attend this one, the only one I'll have been to besides my own.
Five and a half years ago I said I'd never set foot in a classroom again. Now I'm not so sure. As much as I enjoy doing what it is I do, I feel like I've been stagnating recently. I'm learning new things, like C++, the old-fashioned way (via an O'Reilly book) so I can expand a little bit. But I want to do more.
I'm thinking I want to go back and get a masters degree, probably in HCI. Of course I can't do it just yet, due to the debt I incurred during my 13-month impromptu vacation, but it's one of the things I have my sights set on. Hopefully I'll get a few more freelance jobs to knock down the debt a bit, and get a better-paying job next spring, when I want to move to the DC area. Then I can start looking.
I'm not sure how easy it will be, though. I've been out for more than five years now, and it'll probably be at least 7 when I can afford to do this. And my grades weren't exactly stellar during my undergrad (2.2 cumulative). But I'll have several years' worth of practical experience, and that should count for something.
God... I just realized this is one of the first actual goals I've had for myself in a while. (I don't count "get a job" to be a goal, as that was a necessity unless I wanted to go on the Ethiopian diet. The only other one I can think of is/was Atkins.) Now I just have to get myself to live up to it.
May 14, 2004:
I still get out of breath when I'm running, but I can tell I'm getting a little faster. I think my body's remembering this whole "exercise" schitck and starting to get back into the rythym. I may take a watch with me in a couple weeks and check my half-mile time. Can't do it now, because CMU has the stadium blocked off for commencement, so I've been doing laps of the IM field.
And no, there was no real point to this. This should not come as a surprise to you.
May 13, 2004:
Just got off the phone with Pep Boys (Walter's is closed the end of this week, and all of next, so I couldn't get inspected there). They seem to think my car needs $1000 worth of repairs to pass its inspection.
This is getting really fucking annoying. That car ain't worth more than three grand, and a quarter of that cost is for a single OEM-only part that Honda won't let anyone make a knock-off of. I originally wanted a second opinion on it, but once they were able to explain what was going on and show me the parts list I calmed down a bit. I'm still pissed off, mind you, but I don't think I'm getting El Shafto Grande from Pep Boys any more.
Nine hundred sixty goddamn dollars. Unbelievable. Sure, some of it's brakes, which I haven't had worked on in two years, but still. Nine hundred sixty dollars. That's almost as much as I saved by getting the body work done at Littlehale's. Looks like it's a good thing I did.
Christ. In the last two years this car's had:
- a cat-back
- new tires
- body repairs
- new windshield
- new distributor cap
- new starter (that one was my fault though; Pep Boys replaced what I told them to)
- new driver's door window
- two new stereos
And now it needs a new control arm (part of the suspension) and a shitload of brakework.
Atkins is tough when something happens every other day to make you need a beer.
May 11, 2004:
My car's getting inspected, the new stereo is on its way, the windshield is replaced, and the body is fixed. All that's left is to inquire about the trim piece on the left rear door that snapped off a couple winters ago, and it'll look like a non-beater.
Shit. That means I'll actually have to start taking care of it.
May 08, 2004:
Well, I officially joined the Brotherhood of Pissed-Off Car Owners today. Was it the $428 of body work that did it? No, I've been wanting to take care of that for a long time. The $258 windshield replacement? Nope, that wasn't too big of a deal either. What then, inspired my membership? By what means was I initiated into the esteemed Brotherhood?
Some assfuck stole my stereo, that's fucking what.
The stereo I just bought in January to replace the broken one. Some shithead was wandering through my apartment's parking lot, and decided to help himself to it. The rest of the car is fine, sure, but he stole my fucking stereo. If I ever find the guy, he'll be lucky if all I use on him is a shovel. I'd probably opt for something that hurt a little bit more, like hydrofluoric acid. That'd teach the motherfucker a thing or two about taking shit that doesn't belong to him.
Hey, if you see a guy anywhere peddling a Kenwood dash unit, be sure to bash him one for me. Go ahead, you have my permission. Get a group involved; this is a great way to create community togetherness. Beating the shit out of some theiving punk. Makes you into one big happy family.
So now I get to call Crutchfield back up and buy a replacement, and go out to Best Buy and grab a new copy of my Bruce Springsteen CD. (To the thief: Hope you like Born in the USA. Dickhead.)
That's all for now. I'm gonna go grab a beer.
Update, May 10th: Grr. They don't sell the KDC-2022 any more; the cheapest one they have that'll talk to my changer is the KDC-2025, which costs $130. Throw in a new changer cable (they damaged the clip at the head unit's end yanking it out) and shipping and the tally comes out to $180. Now all I need is a clock tower...
May 07, 2004:
Nothing today; I'm feeling too sleep-deprived to think of something to write. I've been waking up half an hour earlier so I can catch the bus, walk a mile once it gets close to Duquesne University, then show up for work five minutes late. All this means I'm down two and a half hours of sleep, compounded by the fact that I'm usually run down on Fridays anyway.
And yes, I would like some cheese, thank you.
May 06, 2004:
In the interest of fairness, I yield the floor to the counterpoint of the Atkins debate.
May 04, 2004:
Well, my car's down at Littlehale's in Bridgeville, so I can get the rust holes repaired and pass an inspection. Or, pass an inspection once I call Safelite and have them fix the windshield, since I've been driving around with a cracked one for about nine months. Then I have to head over to Walter's for an inspection, since it's technically illegal for me to drive my car right now.
Oh, and all this has to happen soon enough for me to challenge the citation I got for driving on an expired inspection. I'll probably lose anyway, but it's worth a try to get out of a $100 fine.
May 03, 2004:
Well, after a week of running, I've noticed one thing: Goddamn am I out of shape. Granted, I haven't run much of anywhere in the past 6 years, but that track is kicking my ass. It's not even my muscles that are bothering me; after two laps (half a mile) I just don't have any air left.
Anyway, my goals for now are breathtakingly modest. Step one: Run laps 3 and 4 one after the other instead of taking a break in-between. Step two: Combine the first and second half-miles into a single one-mile run. Sounds easy, doesn't it?
I'll let you know if I keep it up long enough to succeed.