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Struct's Solipsism
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in struct's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, July 3rd, 2010
9:35 pm
One blog closes, another opens
In case you weren't aware, this LJ has died and gone to Facebook. I will not be syndicating, but old posts will remain for the time being.

Current Mood: hopeful
Wednesday, April 29th, 2009
10:55 am
Veni, vidi, vi-C++
Chapter 3 of my life is coming to a close, and it is long past due for a retrospective.

I ended Chapter 2 of my journey depressed and directionless, flailing about as a starving artist. Ungrounded in quotidian concerns, I engaged in scattershot creative endeavors when healthy, and lay paralyzed in bed when not. Yes, there were moments of transcendent brilliance performing improvisational theater under the limelight, but there was also a good deal of epic failure. A 15% success rate combined with a 25-50% availability rate was simply not cutting the mustard.

My next epoch began with the audacious notion that I, an artistic wretch, could reinvent myself as a rational, practical scientist, yet not lose my cherished quirkiness and creativity. So I dipped my foot in the tide-pool of technology, waded into the currents of Computer Science, and swam into the swirling sea of software engineering (could I be any more alliterative?).

And by golly, I've pulled it off, stunningly. Straight A's, academic honors, CS Lab Assistant of the Year -- the whole megilla. Now I am an artist, and a computer scientist, and technical, and creative. In short, I am an engineer, and to my astonishment, I excel at it. So lift a glass of Tab and Mountain Dew y'all, and drink to the late bloomers, Zod Bless Us Every One, for though we suffer through the fiery furnace early in life, we might just get baked into better angels in the end.

I can't wait to see what Chapter 4 brings.

Current Mood: accomplished
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008
6:43 pm
A connecting principle, linked to the invisible
So I'm ambling down Guadalupe (the one in San Marcos, not the one in Austin) en route to a cheap, unhealthy lunch, musing about how it's too damn expensive to eat well. I connect this in my head to Socioeconomic Darwinism, and bemoan yet another inverse correlation of Survival of the Richest with Survival of the Fittest: If net worth is an impediment to eating well, then heart disease must be (and in fact is) more prevalent among the poor, ergo it's the rich and not the bright who are probably being spared by American Fast Food Culture.

I snag an egg salad sammich and some sunflower kernels at the 7-11, and as I'm sitting down to eat my poor man's luncheon, a guy pokes his head out of a storefront and comments to me:

"Look at those punks heading over to the tanning salon. We're all working our asses off, paying four bucks a gallon, and those rich kids pull up in their SUV, park in our space, and go run off to get a tan. Idiots."

At which point I smile and sing to myself: "With one breath, with one flow, you will know, spiritus mundi..."

Current Mood: amused
Tuesday, July 1st, 2008
7:33 am
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion!
BAD BAD BAD BAD BAD! This really infuriates me. My tax dollars should NOT be supporting organizations that "hire and fire on the basis of faith."

Boy, this is just wonderful. So far I agree 100% with one of McPain's major policy initiatives and disagree 100% with one of Obama's. Dogs and cats, living together...

UPDATE: False alarm, sez here that the program will in fact conform to Title VII. Still, a watchful eye needs to be kept on this one. See I analogize government and religion to oil and vinegar. Every so often you can combine the two correctly and get a nice vinaigrette, but most of the time it's done wrong and you get sludge.

Current Mood: annoyed
Monday, June 23rd, 2008
8:10 am
Fuck of the mountain! I am fuck!
Boy oh boy am I going to miss George Carlin. "A Place for Your Stuff" is one of the most insightful and apt satires of capitalism ever written, and I still crack a smile when I think of "We're gonna' fuck ya' now sheriff... but we're gonna' fuck ya' slow...." and "Quick, snatch that pussy and put him in a box!" from the infamous "Seven Dirty Words" routine. Sigh.

Current Mood: sad
7:58 am
Your classic Good News, Bad News
The Obama campaign has come out with yet another brilliant idea, calling for "a swift conversion of American vehicles away from oil" and proposing a five-grand tax credit for the purchase of a zero-emissions vehicle. Wow, another masterstroke for Senator Oba-ah-ha-WHA??? This is a MCCAIN PROPOSAL?!? %$&*#!

Balls. Well, at least I'll get a nice hefty tax break on my '09 Aptera. :-<

Current Mood: confused
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008
10:01 pm

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, June 4th, 2008
5:57 pm
The agony of sheepery
Whilst acquiring some arcane tomes on Human-Computer Interface Design at UT's Perry-Castañeda Library, I actually heard a woman aver the following:

"These people who are voting for Obama, they're voting on emotion, not on who the most qualified candidate is."

Five minutes later:

"I may just have to vote Republican in this election. I simply don't like Obama."

This left me Dumbfounded. Flummoxed. Flabbergasted. Maximally Nonplussed. I mean, wow, just when I thought American society couldn't get any more Orwellian, wham, I get hit over the head with evidence that bullet-point regurgitation really has supplanted logical reasoning and rational discourse. Ugh. As loathe as I am to buy into the Republican stereotype of the "liberal elite," boy howdy am I seized with the urge to grab me a shotgun and mow down every uneducated, jack-asinine, racist, Clinton-supporting moron. Argh.

Meantime, for want of a kinder, gentler cajolement, I urge this sage message upon Senator Clinton, courtesy of Ludacris.

Current Mood: angry
Monday, June 2nd, 2008
12:53 pm
Thesisland, a dark and scary place from which some never emerge...
I suppose it is a Good Thing that I haven't posted in months, since it seems like the number of posts I make to my LiveJournal over a given period of time is in inverse proportion to the quality of my life over that same period. Life has indeed been good lately:

* I'm now living with my LadyFriend. Ostensibly we're living together on a trial basis, but so far so good. Our cohabitation occurred not so much as a choice than as a de facto happenstance: We tried our damnedest to keep separate spaces, but we couldn't bear to be apart at night, and it got to the point where keeping two apartments was simply a waste of money.

* Despite whipping my ass without mercy, my Formal Methods in Software Verification professor amazed me by giving me an A. So I guess it's official: I really can bend adamantium with my bare hands, solve P=NP in my sleep, and even go toe-to-toe with Chuck Norris. OK, not the last item: That's just CRAZY talk.

* I'm a full-fledged member of a faculty research group, with the right to call all group members by their first names (<Butthead>You said "member", huh huh, huh huh</Butthead>).

* I'm buying an iPhone2, by hook or by crook.

Now for the bad news: As of today, my ass belongs to my thesis. This will not be an ordinary thesis. Its scope won't be quite as big as a doctoral dissertation, but I've been told that I should be able to (and will be expected) to publish a workshop article AND a journal article based on my work, and that my thesis should/will run about 100 APA-style formatted pages in length (1" margins, double-spaced, 12-point type, among many other criteria). Gulp, gulp, gulp. My courage is feeling pretty damned unscrewed from the sticking place at the moment.

So given that I am relinquishing ownership of my soul for the next 1.5 academic years and 5/6 calendar years (or more), my next post might could very well be made on June 2, 2009. On that date, Zod willing, I'll get to sing the praises of President Obama to the heavens. Until then, true believers, nuff said.

Current Mood: nervous
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008
10:39 am
What's next, trademarking a number? Oh, wait...

Hey T-Mobile, I dare you to sue my ass!!!

Current Mood: amused
Tuesday, March 4th, 2008
11:39 pm
Just when I thought my civic duty was done
So I found out what happens if you stay through an entire precinct caucus... you get drafted to be an alternate delegate to the Hays County convention...

Current Mood: stressed
2:11 pm
Friday, February 29th, 2008
11:43 pm
Been neglecting the old LJ as of late, but I thought I'd just quickly mention that tonight, I had the high honor and distinct privilege of listening to a stump speech from, and shaking hands with, the next President of the United States, our generation's JFK, and my new man-crush, Barack Obama. I am enamored, folks, which is saying a lot – even with the politicians I like, I'm usually at least a tad cynical towards them. Obama, however, is a statesman, plain-spoken, principled, and a speaker of truth to power, and Zod help me, if McCain defeats him in the general, then I swear that I really will flee to Canada this time.

Current Mood: ecstatic
Monday, January 21st, 2008
8:42 pm
Musings on that which irritates the throat
So the sore throat which has been bugging me for two weeks transmogrified Saturday night into a full-blown head-and-chest cold, and for the past two days I've felt as if I've been dying a slow death from tsu-tsu gamushi fever. Tomorrow I'm going to get my throat swabbed to make sure that I do not in fact have tsu-tsu gamushi fever or some other non-viral infection like strep. It must be noted that Amanda has earned herself über-major Brownie Points for taking excellent care of me and putting up with my non-stop hacking cough. Bleargh.

Fortunately, I did manage to get in a showing of Sweeney Todd at the Alamo Drafthouse South before becoming infested with the Demon Microorganism of Sixth Street. Critique can be found after (pardon the pun) the cut.

Read more...Collapse )

Current Mood: sick
Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
9:37 pm
With a bullet
We're #1! Yee-haw! :(

Current Mood: aggravated
Monday, December 24th, 2007
9:39 pm
'Tis the Season... sigh...

Current Mood: blah
10:05 am
What I'M looking forward to on Christmas
If I had a TARDIS, I would jump forward about 30 hours so I could finally download and watch the Doctor Who Christmas Special 2007...

Current Mood: excited
Thursday, December 20th, 2007
10:11 pm
Resting on a step
Sometimes, when I think about making my way through life, I visualize hauling myself up a ziggurat. It's a metaphor for the alternating periods of intense struggle and quiet calm that seem to mark the course of my existence.

Today, as I mark the midway point of my fourth decade on Earth, I'm surprised to find myself in the midst of a calm phase. I'm actually pretty darned satisfied with my current state of affairs. I mean sure there's still a great deal to learn and achieve, but when it comes down to it, right now I pretty much have everything in hand that I want and need.

To put it in I ♥ Huckabees terms, at this moment, I have achieved a state of "Pure Being", but I will inevitably be drawn back into "The Human Drama", so I should enjoy the Zen while I can. Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooom...

Current Mood: calm
Sunday, December 9th, 2007
11:21 am
Holiday Shmoliday
Greetings from Application Testing Hell, where yours truly is carrying out the role he has been allotted by his Survey of Software Engineering team, namely breaking our application through scripted user actions (i.e., black-box testing). Just set a test script in motion, took a nap, and had a really funky dream where two teams were playing "covered wagon football" in a field. It was like normal football, except three players on each side were in, well, a covered wagon. The game kinda looked like something out of Ben Hur.

ANYWAY, I just heard this really sappy commercial for the Texas Lottery on the radio wherein a way-too-chipper chorus way-too-cheerily sings the song "We Are Holiday Elves". That's when it hit me: I tend to recoil from anti-secular pro-Christmas crusaders, but maybe there's some merit to their position? There's a lot to be said for disentangling all of the non-Christmas Winter Holidays from the syrupy sappiness that begins on Black Friday and ends when the Valentine's Day displays go up. Hell, let the gentiles have the tasteless displays and the tacky music!

Oh, and Holiday Elves, please be on notice: We're in Texas, and if I catch you anywhere near my menorah, I do have the right to blow you into the Holiday Elf Hereafter...

Current Mood: tired
Wednesday, November 21st, 2007
9:21 pm
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