packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
When you read this, you're tagged! Take a picture of yourself in your current state - no changing your clothes or quickly putting on makeup, and absolutely no photo-manipulation. Show your F-List the Real You!

(caught this today from a post by [ profile] ladibug21 a few days back)

packbat: Wearing my custom-made hat and a smirk. (hat)
[personal profile] alchemi recently posted a self-esteem meme based on an earlier post from [ profile] finding_helena, here (who cites an earlier post on another blog - warning: language). In the introduction, alchemi quotes the opening paragraphs of finding_helena's post:

We all, particularly women, tend to downplay what we're actually good at. When somebody compliments us, we demur. And I definitely include myself in that. I don't want to seem too vain in accepting a compliment. And it's true, I think, that bragging can go too far.

And I do feel a little silly taking credit for things that come really easily to me. Like if somebody is impressed with, oh, my ability to tell you what note you just played to me. Seriously, that's just a little quirk of my brain that I have nothing to do with. It's like complimenting me on having pretty eyes... I mean, glad you appreciate them, but I didn't have anything to do with the process of them being so.

BUT. There are things that I've worked hard on and am good at.

Now, I think there's something interesting to be said about what you can and cannot take credit for, and what taking credit should mean ... but in the meantime, some things do I take credit for )

I'm sure I could say more, but at 1:05 in the morning it might be better to stop here.
packbat: Leaning on a chain-link fence, looking to my left (your right) with a neutral expression. (spectator)
As a number of people have noted, Livejournal placed into their software for a period of time code which would do two rude things:

1. Alter links to ecommerce sites to forward users to a particular company's URL.
2. Replace affiliate markers on such links with a different affiliate marker.

...and do these things on every link on Livejournal, regardless of context. [ profile] shatterstripes looked into this from the technical side, and made a series of relevant informative posts, but the implications are clear: they were mining money from everyone on Livejournal without telling anyone that's what they were doing.

I personally like my Dreamwidth+crosspost solution, and have three invitations on hand, but I'm not going to remove all my LJ content. If you are staying on LJ, I will still be paying attention - if you are migrating elsewhere, please let me know so I can find you there.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
[ profile] ladibug21 has asked me questions five, and answers five I bring!

(If you'd like me to ask five questions of you to know you better, just say the word. Yes, this is a meme.)

1. Given your answers to the recent LJ Question of the Day, what's your favorite breakfast? Are you a savory or sweet breakfast person? Where is your favorite breakfast place?

Some day ... some day ... I will find the breakfast-spot where they know how to cook an egg over medium instead of over easy.

For the meantime, I believe hotcakes, eggs, and bacon at the Vienna Inn are pretty good, when I get the chance. Hash browns are a little much.

2. Are you a fan of the winter Olympics? If so, which is your favorite event? If not, why?

Not a big fan, really - my interest in spectator sports seems to start with baseball and pretty much peter out there. I think it would be cool to learn cross-country skiing just because it's useful, but, given my current lattitude, a ham radio license would be a higher priority.

3. What's your favorite comic or printed cartoon?

Online right now, it's just about a dead heat between Kaspall (a very metafictional fantasy suspense novel) and Dead Winter (a post-satirical zombie apocalypse bildungsroman). Offline, I would have to decide between my childhood love, The Adventures of Tintin, English translation (a bit of a wandering-the-earth series), and the books I've become interested in more recently, such as Sandman Mystery Theatre, Transmetropolitan, and Invincible.

I think I would go for Dead Winter and Tintin, respectively, and would hate to choose between the two.

4. What do you plan to do once you're done with school?

I think at this point it is abundantly obvious that teaching is in my future.

5. What are your feelings on Valentine's Day?

Is that today?

On the one hand, I don't like obligations, but on the other hand, I tend to forget to do things I should if I don't have a reason and a date. On the gripping hand, I'm single (sighs!).

...well, that's all. Now to throw on some clothes to rush for the library booksale!


Feb. 9th, 2010 11:45 am
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (quarter-rear)
bliumchik i.e. [ profile] maggiebloome had a tasty, tasty post+links about the sort-of self-destructive anti-ego thing which a lot of women do to avoid seeming too self-confident establish their femininity ...

... and that reminded me of an entirely different self-destructive anti-ego thing that I do, when I don't get things done that I wanted to have done. The thing is, I have this self-image of this feckless, flaky ass who blows off important assignments and mooches financially and emotionally off everyone he meets ... but the whole basis for this persona is that I'm ADD. I don't concentrate well, and I don't have the tools established to work around it (other than "be so clever that you can solve the problem in fifteen minutes or less"...). And given that I'm the only person I have ever met who has given any weight to the ass-hypothesis, I suspect the truth is closer to "my organization skills need a little work".

The self-destructive part, then, is whinging about being a horrible person who deserves to die (a total lie, for the record), rather than doing that little bit of work. Because I can - I have the technology - and everything else is just that I haven't, yet.

Abrupt transition!

Reply to this post, and I'll tell you one reason why I like you. Then repost this [if you like] and spread the love.

Except! Amendment!

Reply to this post with something you like about yourself. No cop-out complinsults please! I know you've got it in you! And if you don't I will still do the original meme above, so no pressure or anything, but try. For me.
packbat: Leaning on a chain-link fence, looking to my left (your right) with a neutral expression. (spectator)
From a couple people:

You know how sometimes people on your friends list post about stuff going on in their life, and all of a sudden you think "Wait a minute? Since when were they working THERE? Since when were they dating HIM/HER? Since when???" And then you wonder how you could have missed all that seemingly pretty standard information, but somehow you feel too ashamed to ask for clarification because it seems like info you should already know? It happens to all of us sometimes.

Please copy the topics below, erase my answers and put yours in their place, and then post it in your journal! Please elaborate on the questions that would benefit from elaboration. One-Word-Answers seldom help anyone out.

first name: Robin. I, like my siblings, have a gender-neutral name, and like (at least one of) my siblings, that means occasionally getting mail with the 'wrong' honorific. (As you can see by my scare quotes, I 'care' about this. For the record, the correct honorific is "Mr".)

age: 770 Ms - or about 24 years 5 months, if you like the merely standard units of measure.

location: Near DC on the Maryland side - convenient to the bus lines and Metrorail, which explains why I don't have a driver's license. (Which explains why I have disposable income - can you say "car insurance"?)

occupation: Graduate research assistant at the University of Maryland, College Park, doing research in two-phase cooling for power electronic systems. From the back forward: "power electronic systems" are, for example, the thing that turns your AC into DC or vice-versa; "cooling" is taking the waste heat off the device (it's not 100% efficient) so that it may be dumped into (probably) the air somewhere else; and "two-phase cooling" means doing the above by making a liquid boil, later to be condensed elsewhere. This is something which is an active area of research because it's kind of a messy problem (like turbulence in fluid flow) and the best solutions are of the plus-or-minus-30% strength. Which works in steam power plants, but not in microelectronics.

partner: Romantic? None so far.

kids: In light of the previous question, I am quite glad that the answer here is "none" as well.

brothers/sisters: One each. The sister is a twin, and yes, I've been asked if we're identical. I don't get it either. (The brother is older, and makes me look boring.)

pets: None. My parents had a guinea pig when I was young, and my sister had a rabbit some time later, but I've never been responsible for another living being. (I did quite poorly just caring for a plant!)

3-5 biggest things going on in your life: Largest is the research project, presumably, and second is my schoolwork. (I'm actually pretty stressed these days thanks to an incomplete from last semester I'm having trouble tying up. The class I'm in now is pretty chill.) There on down, it gets pretty minor-scale - the novel I started for Nanowrimo is the biggest thing, and I'm ... not really diligent about working on it.

parents: Both living, and both with a Web presence. I'll mention my father's (done!), as he comments on this blog from time to time. Oh, and is a fierce blogger himself. Pretend that I said that when I mentioned him.

some of your closest friends: There are a couple from my Scout troop that I've been absolute rubbish keeping in touch with (K and W), and then there's several from school with whom I'll banter in the ASME lounge, exchange books, and occasionally play board games (particularly J, J, and T). Other than that, I get on decently with my parents, hang out with my brother, and exchange communications with quite a few people on the Web of Lies (as my mum would call it).

I believe that's better than one-word answers, anyway! Toodles!
packbat: Wearing my custom-made hat and a smirk. (hat)
From across the blagocube:

Comment here and tell me something you did recently that you're proud of and I'll comment and tell you that you're awesome and I'm proud of you. And if you see anyone comment and you know them (or understand why they'd be proud of that thing), then you comment to them and tell them why they should be pleased with themselves.
packbat: Wearing a open-frame backpack, a pair of sunglasses, and a wide, triangular grin. (hiking)
Memesheeped from [ profile] stagemanager.

1. I finished writing the summary of events in Issue #1 of my Truth & Justice campaign. (Linked post was not xposted as it was posted with iPhone app.) (Technically, this was last Evening, but clock-time was today.)

2. All my transfers this morning (boarding the train near my house, switching trains downtown, and catching the shuttle to school) went quite well.

3. Tasty, tasty co-op burrito! Also juice.

4. Had a great rambling convo with some dudes in the Lounge of the ASME. Among other things, we concluded that Maryland is, in fact, a Southern State, despite the facts that (1) Wikipedia disagrees and (2) the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area is generally more cosmopolitan.

5. Air conditioning! Yeah, it's probably ecologically unsustainable, but it sure is nice!


May. 21st, 2009 12:32 pm
packbat: Coming into the finish line after a mile race - the announcer can be seen behind me. (running)
Stolen from [ profile] active_apathy, who swiped it from [ profile] laurenmitchell:

  1. Choose an episode of anime or television series you have on your computer. Make sure you're certain you want that one, you cannot change your mind once you skip this step. DO NOT TELL YOUR FLIST WHAT YOU CHOSE.

  2. Make note of how long the episode is here: 59:59

  3. Ask your flist to choose a time between 00:00 and whatever the length of your episode is. Be specific - e.g. 21:09, 02:42, 36:50. (No guarantees that times more precisely than the second will be respected, but feel free to try!)

  4. Make them an icon using THAT FRAME ONLY no matter what it is. And remember, you can only use that ONE episode you chose previous, even if the person posting isn't familiar with it.


Apr. 29th, 2009 06:54 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (darwin has a posse)
Inspired by [ profile] active_apathy:

This is the evolving Internet meme. Copy this text, change it in any way you like, and then repost it on your blog. Then come back here - - and post a link to your new version so we can see how it's changing!


Apr. 27th, 2009 11:53 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (twisty little passages)
Coming from the [ profile] maggiebloomes and the [ profile] active_apathys, with appropriate edits/redactions1:

The first ten respondents to this post making the request shall get probably-crappy sketches from me, word- or pencil-. However, they have to make a similar offer on their own blog, or be forever2 dubbed a freeloader.

1. I suppose I could leave the whole "of a pairing" language in, but (a) I have no fanficcing experience and (b) my fandoms pretty much comprise, first, the original Dragnet series with Jack Webb, second, most of the Hal Clement canon, and third, Castle.


2. Length of forever may vary. Offer not valid in parts of Alaska south of 51° 15' 43" north latitude. Limit one per customer.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (pale blue dot)
Dead At Your Age (hat tip to [ profile] shatterstripes):

You are 23 years and 266 days old today.

That’s exactly half the life of somebody famous. In another 23 years and 266 days, you will have lived exactly as long as Fernando Pessoa. He was an innovative poet and creator of heteronyms, imaginary characters who write in different styles [sic] who died at the age of 47 years, 170 days of cirrhosis of the liver.

Fernando Pessoa lived twice as long as you have, but other notable people have died at about this age.

  • You've outlived Booker Little Jr. by more than 2 months. He was a trumpeter-composer who co-led a quintet with Eric Dolphy. He died on October 5, 1961, 24 years before you were born.
  • Bonnie Parker was about 3 months younger than you when she died by homicide on March 23, 1934. She was a Depression-era outlaw who joined Clyde Barrow in a bank-robbing spree across the West. She died 52 years before you were born.
  • You've outlived Jacques Herbrand by more than 3 months. He was a mathematician who introduced various theories of mathematical logic. He died in a mountaineering accident on July 27, 1931, 54 years before you were born.
  • Ernie Davis was more than 3 months younger than you when he died of leukemia on May 18, 1963. He was a football halfback for Syracuse University and the first African American to win the Heisman trophy. He died 23 years before you were born.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (swing dismount)
From [ profile] baxil, with his modifications:

Comment to this post, and I will list five things I associate with you. They might make sense or they might be totally random. You're encouraged to post that list, with your commentary on each item, to your lj (or just add a reply back at me).

Extra Baxilian addition: If you have a mental association with me that nobody has mentioned yet, add it to your five-things request and I'll write some bonus commentary.

Swing Sets

I like swings. I would consider this a fairly awesome date.

I'm not sure when or where my earliest experiences were, but I know we had a swingset in the back yard of the family house when I was a kid, and I seem to recall a swingset at the park down the street, too. I think both of them are gone, now. So is the swingset in the icon, at K's house, but the swing in the icon - the brown thing I'm holding on to is the seat of a tree swing - is still there and still a lot of fun. Without the swingset to climb on for extra height, though, it'll be a little harder for me to fall off at the highest point off the ground and knock my wind out. Again. Pity.


n. Not believing in any gods.

Now, this is not the definition you will from Messers. Merriam and Webster, should you ask of them - they will tell you that it is the positive belief that there exists no deity (and yes, they use the singular). It is also slightly different from the definition common at the once-IIDB, now FRDB (Freethought and Rationalism Discussion Board) - while that definition may be worded identically through sloppiness, strictly speaking, they refer to the negative belief, lack of belief, that any gods exist.

That said, provided that you interpret all three of these definitions reasonably, by which I mean avoiding the stupid, stupid idea that beliefs have to be infinitely certain, all three apply to myself. I positively believe that no people with power over the laws of nature exist ("in my opinion nothing occurs contrary to nature except the impossible, and that never occurs" - Sagredo, "Two New Sciences" (1914 translation), Galileo Galilei), and I decidedly don't have faith in any such creatures.

I made a post for [ profile] convert_me a while back talking about the history of my opinion - I won't bother to repeat it here.

Magic: The Gathering

My dad, my sibs and I got into MtG early - not beta-early, but Unlimited Edition and Arabian Nights expansion early. Back then it was a great game, a lot of fun, though I stank at it - now, with the tremendous backlog of expansions and extra rules and so on that it has acquired, not so much (though I stink much less, now).

Still my favorite collectible trading card game, though.

Writer's Block*

* The LJ thought-prompter, not the creative affliction.

The LJ Writer's-Block feature quite often has interesting prompts - certainly better than Sturgeon's-Law percentages. Today's, for example, is "What do you think happens to us when we die?", a question of deep interest to many people that normally wouldn't occur to me to answer.

I normally don't put a great deal of effort into answering the Writer's Block questions, though. I expect if I were answering today's I would merely reiterate my support for the physicalist position - that you are (mostly) the operation of your brain, and if your brain data is destroyed, so are you. A more thorough response would invoke some of the evidence for the position - from Phineas Gage to the neurophysiology of near-death experiences and hallucinations.


I've always been a bit of a rules-lawyer and I've always loved paradoxes (growing up, we had both of Martin Gardner's Aha! books, and at least one Raymond Smullyan - The Lady Or The Tiger? - I read all three often), so when I first heard of the game of Nomic (probably through my older brother), I was hooked. A game where you could change the rules! Nay, a game where you were encouraged, nay, required to change the rules, not just one where there was no-one to stop you! The very language of Suber's Initial Ruleset appealed to me.

And, of course, no-one in my circle of meatspace acquaintances was interested in playing. So the desire persistent, unfulfilled, until that fateful day when [ profile] active_apathy decided she wanted a game. And by January 23rd, there was [ profile] nomicide, and we've been off and running (with occasional stumbles) ever since. </plug>

Edit: That's January 23rd, 2007, for reference - over two years, now!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (butterfly)
If you see this, post a favourite poem.

My favourite poem, as I have mentioned, is modern and under copyright - it is called "The Voice You Hear When You Read Silently" by Thomas Lux. In lieu of that, I would have posted another favorite - "The Tree", by Ezra Pound - but that, although less recent, is still modern and under copyright. Therefore I will offer this, which is modern but not under copyright:

         Sara Teasdale
 Interlude: Songs out of Sorrow

   II. Mastery

I would not have a god come in
To shield me suddenly from sin,
And set my house of life to rights;
Nor angels with bright burning wings
Ordering my earthly thoughts and things:
Rather my own frail guttering lights
Wind blown and nearly beaten out:
Rather the terror of the nights
And long, sick groping after doubt;
Rather be lost than let my soul
Slip vaguely from my own control
Of my own spirit let me be
In sole though feeble mastery.

- from "Love Songs", 1917.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (butterfly)
Saw this "genre fiction" (how I hate that term!) book list on [ profile] hmmm_tea's journal - made a few inconsequential alterations to the rules myself...

1) Look at the list, copy and paste it into your own journal.
2) Marks: read one or all of, intend to read (or reread, or finish), loved, hated.
3) Feel free to elaborate wherever you like, whether on the books, the rules, or the list itself.

In no particular order:

100 items long, for whatever reason. Be warned. )

Obvious lacunae - Richard Adams (at least "Watership Down", and I'd add "Shardik"), Hal Clement ("Needle", "Mission of Gravity", but probably not "Still River", however much I love that book), Vernor freakin' Vinge ("A Fire Upon the Deep", I haven't read "A Deepness in the Sky", "True Names"), Edgar Allan Poe (anything, for cripe's sake), Bruce Sterling ("Islands in the Net", for one), Bram Stoker ("Dracula")...
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (butterfly)
A quick survey of the readership. Post your replies below if you so desire! Hat-tip to [ profile] joee_girl, who got it from one [ profile] composingliger...

1. Name:
2. Date of birth:
3. Where you live:
4. What makes you happy:
5. Currently listening/the last thing you listened to:
6. Do you read my journal?:
7. If yes, what makes it especially good or bad?:
8. An interesting fact about you:
9. What do you love at the moment?:
10. Favourite place to spend time:
11. Favourite lyric:
12. The best time of the year:

A. A film:
B. A book:
C. A band, a song, or album:

I. One thing you like about me:
II. Two things you like about yourself:
III. Look at my friends-list and tell what you like about one of our mutual friends:
IV. Put this in your journal so that I can tell you what I like about you.


Dec. 14th, 2008 05:36 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (music)
Yeah - should be writing a paper, way behind on my flist, but this old meme [ profile] active_apathy did looked fun.

Put your MP3 player on shuffle, and write down the first line of the first twenty songs. Post the poem that results. The first line of the twenty-first is the title.

So, I present:

This flower is scorched, this film is on )

At least it's short.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (twisty little passages)
In response to [ profile] shatterstripes, [ profile] ceruleanst, and [ profile] tracerj simultaneously:

  • Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
    • I mean it. Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the closest.
    • ...straight line to the centroid of your head, if you have to ask.

  • Turn to page 56.
    • Count if you have to. Start on the first page (including the title) of Chapter One, and remember to count both sides of the page.

  • Find the fifth sentence.
    • No, a colon doesn't end a sentence.
    • Yes, a question-mark ends a sentence.

  • Post that sentence along with these instructions on your LJ.

"All part of the show."

(Dag, two fifty-plus word sentences to start the page and I hit the five-word? The book is Rhyme's Reason, John Hollander.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (pale blue dot)
Original to me, for once:

Most people have the same religion (or lack of religion) as their parents. That something this large in the life of an individual should even appear to be so much up to chance invites the question: what would you be like if you changed that one variable? And how would you interact if you met?

If I were a Christian:
  • I would play Christian rock. (But possibly good Christian rock, if my church were liberal enough to give me my Joni Mitchell et al.)
  • I would go on missions to third-world countries and donate generously to charity.
  • I would play by the rules with a passion, and deplore the hypocrisy I see in others, also with a passion. (Probably to excess on both counts - I would still cross at the crosswalk were I the last person on earth.)
  • I would debate theology for fun - possibly even go to seminary.
  • The Man Who Was Thursday would still drive me nuts.

If real-me met Christian-me:
  • We'd get in long arguments about the justifications of belief and foundations of morality.
  • We'd exchange mixtape-CDs. I would be very nervous about putting anything anti-religion or anti-Christianity on them.
  • He'd badger me to take up playing the piano again. I would promise, and then forget.
  • He would be appalled that I could lose my Eagle Scout for being an atheist.

God bless, as he would say, and wind to thy wings, as I would reply.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Earth:Harmless/WikiGuide)
Via [ profile] demiurgent, a little meme in honor of our dear Alaskan governor:

The Rules: Post info about ONE Supreme Court decision, modern or historic, to your lj. (Any decision, as long as it's not Roe v. Wade. Preferably your own country, but SCOTUS acceptable.) For those who see this on your f-list, take the meme to your OWN lj to spread the fun.

(Full disclosure: I looked up the decision on Wikipedia. It's mostly my own wording, though.)

One of the most important decisions in the battle over the wall of separation between church and state is Lemon v. Kurtzman. This decision is famous for being the source of the well-known Lemon test, requiring that any measure involving the government in religious matters meet three simple criteria:

1. There must be a compelling state interest secular purpose,
2. It must not have as its primary effect the advancement or inhibition of a particular religion, and
3. It must not result in excessive entanglement between state and religion.

Reposted to [ profile] peri_renna.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (darwin has a posse)
Because I just haven't posted enough today. (;

[01] Do you have the guts to answer these questions and re-post as The Controversial Survey?


Cut for politics. )
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (swing dismount)
(I wonder if anyone else sang that camp song?)

Anyway, the rules:

Take a picture of yourself right now.
don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair... just take a picture.
post that picture with NO editing.
post these instructions with your picture.

Of course, like [ profile] fadethecat, I'm perfectly fine with people skipping this one. It's not really that important.

Me! )
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Earth:Harmless/WikiGuide)
Still truth.

(#13 - "It is always wiser to side with an overwhelming expert consensus than with a celebrity endorsement" - is new since I last looked, but decidedly true.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (twisty little passages)
From [ profile] the_zaniak, who got it from [ profile] stephanie_bean, although I see [ profile] joee_girl has done it too:

These are the answers. To see the questions, leave a comment promising to complete the meme. I'll send you the questions and look forward to seeing your update in the near future.

1. [ profile] the_zaniak, certainly.
2. Would saying [ profile] zhurnaly be cheating?
3. Mmm ... hard, but maybe [ profile] alun_clewe or [ profile] wingywoof.
4. [ profile] acesifda?
5. [ profile] toya121!
6. Sorry, but I gotta go with [ profile] nanakikun.
7. Wow. Um, [ profile] ladibug21?
8. [ profile] alchemi.
9. Several people - [ profile] wyvr, perhaps?
10. [ profile] annechen67, 'natch!
11. [ profile] ailado.
12. Oh, cruel question! [ profile] kadyg.
13. [ profile] demiurgent, no question.
14. I object!
15. I ... object somewhat less! (Also, [ profile] the_zaniak.)
16. [ profile] happydog.
17. [ profile] the_zaniak (again).
18. Ugh, another of these ... I'd say [ profile] alchemi.
19. So many choices ... [ profile] baxil.
20. [ profile] majoru. No question.
21. ...what? *Googles* EeennhI'mnotansweringthisone.
22. Ditto, of course.
23. My literal mind refuses to answer this question.
24. Err, no.
25. ...what, five in a row?
26. Six in a row!?
27. [ profile] ailado.
28. [ profile] chanlemur.
29. [ profile] bourgeoisify, but I don't want to impose.
30. Party on, dudes. Be excellent to each other.

...and that's all, folks!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Earth:Harmless/WikiGuide)
[ profile] goblinpaladin pointed it out here, and I managed to track back a step to here, but I don't know who actually wrote it. It doesn't matter, though. It still needs saying.

Cut for triggering potential. )
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Earth:Harmless/WikiGuide)
From [ profile] wingywolf in a locked post...

Casting Call:
It's inevitable that as we read each other's journals we create mental pictures of each other. Post this on your own journal to find out who your friends see when they read about your life.

Two Rules:
1) The person must be in movies, TV, video games, advertising, comic books, or the like (but doesn't have to be an actor/actress - but "Joe from work" is out!). The person can be specific to a role (e.g. Jennifer Elhe's Elizabeth Bennet) or just the person themself.
2) Post (or link to) a picture!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
(Yes, I'm trying to start an intermeme again. So sue me. ^_^)

1. Copy these instructions and the Story So Far. Add a link back to the previous player's post.
2. Scroll to the end of the story. Delete the ellipsis at the end and add your LJ account name (or other blog name) with asterisks [*] on either side. (Example: "You'll never take me alive!" the villain said. "I'll ... wait, where's my gun?" "You mean this?" asked *Peyton*.)
3. Continue the story, leaving a 'hook' (trailing ellipsis in the place of a name) for the next player. Omit the stars if you refer to any old names. (Example: "Peyton! Look out!" shouted Casey, but it was too late! A shape came out of the shadows and struck Peyton down! "Ha ha!" shouted the villain. "You fools forgot to incapacitate my accomplice, ...")
4. Comment on the previous player's post with a link to your contribution.

-- The Story So Far --

One bright sunshiny day, *Packbat* was walking down the street to the grocery store when, coming the other way, he saw ...

packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Bumper)
From [ profile] cdave on [ profile] snarkoleptics, here, alluding to David Morgan-Mar's 2000th-comic milestone commentary:

Instructions: Look at the list and...
1) Bold those you are reading.
2) Italicize those you have heard of before recognize from the name.
3) Underline *Star* the ones you LOVE.

(Yes, I'm already screwing with the meme, and I'm only one out from the originator. Hey - I wanted to keep the links, and those have underlines already!)

(Also, I've seen "Dragon Tails" somewhere, but I don't recognize the name.)

Tune back in for commentary, later!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (butterfly)
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
packbat: Wearing a open-frame backpack, a pair of sunglasses, and a wide, triangular grin. (hiking)
Via [ profile] zwol and his friends-list:
  • Post 3 things you've done in your lifetime that you don't think anybody else on your friends list has done.
  • See if anybody else responds with "I've done that." If they have, you need to add another!(2.b., 2.c., etc...)
  • Have your friends cut & paste this into their journal to see what unique things they've done in their life.

This should be a hard one for me, as I can never remember anything, but I'll try...

  1. I started college when I was fifteen. (Bet this one goes first...)
  2. I earned my Bachelor of Science without a high school degree or any equivalent thereto (that being the G.E.D. where I am, in the U.S.).
  3. I started out on a fifty-mile hike (possibly even the one pictured) carrying in my pack, among other things, three gallons of water. Plus a liter in my water bottle.

Bring on the originality!

P.S. "Current Music" was originally listed as "Szerencsétlen - Rossz Csillag Allat Született", but Rossz Csillag Allat Született is actually the album title - sorry!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
From here, with minor edits:

If you choose, look through the following list of books and:
1) Bold those you have read.
2) Italicise those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE.
4) * Put a star next to the ones you've only partially read.
5) Strikethrough the ones you refuse to read.
6) Reprint this list in your own LJ.

Big whopping list... )

Read - 11
Planned - 10 (Edit: +1)
Loved - 6
* Begun - 10
Abhorred - 3

That was ... a surprisingly sloppily-executed list - I count at least two partial-duplicates. But I did score over the estimate [ profile] joee_girl says "the Big Read" makes, which is six read!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (RZ Ambigram)
From [ profile] padparadscha, who got it from [ profile] chairman_wow, here:

Comment on this post and I will choose seven interests from your profile. You will then explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so that others can play along.

ambigrams - you can thank [ profile] ceruleanst for this one; quoting from his excellent page of ambigrams: "An ambigram is a word or words lettered so as to be legible from more than one vantage point." One common form is rotation - for example, my userpic on this post is an ambigram of my initials (RZ) intended to be identical when turned upside-down. (It isn't, quite - I'm not a horrible artist, but I'm rather sloppy in the execution.)

Thanks (I believe) to their appearance in successful books and magazine columns - e.g. by Hofstadter and Dan Brown - the Wikipedia page on Ambigrams is fairly good. At least right now.

cognitive dissonance - now, I'm not sure I really warrant this one, but as a confirmed disbeliever and member of the Internet Infidels Discussion Board, I'm contractually obliged to include it. As far as I can recall, it has something to do with the mental gyrations one gets stuck in when a strongly-held belief or set of beliefs is patently irrational. One ends up with the most fascinating rationalizations therefrom.

interactive fiction - either more or less interesting than it sounds, this term refers to 'games' written in a form which allows the 'player' (I leave these terms in scare-quotes because IF, like comic books, has transcended its nominal genre) to alter the flow of events, often by controlling the actions of the protagonist. Zork and Advent (the Colossal Cave Adventure) are famous early examples of the genre - the latter being the source of the "maze of twisty little passages, all alike" - but avid IF designers like Emily Short abound to this day. There's an LJ comm, too - [ profile] int_fiction - created four years ago this Wednesday.

linguistics - one of the many fields which, had I but world enough and time, I would devote long years to the study of. (I even used to be a member of [ profile] conlangs!) Alas, I have not even spent the time to learn more than occasional words in any language but English.

scrabble - the ancient older-than-I-am game of wordy strategy by Alfred Mosher Butts and James Brunot, now owned by Hasbro; to a lover of vocabulary such as myself, a marvelous way to spend many an afternoon. I often played it with my dad ([ profile] zhurnaly), with a highly-generous dictionary (you pretty much have to go to stoor to find one defined anywhere on the Net that wouldn't fly), until we lost a letter from our set.

(P.S. Book recommendation: Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis. Excellent storytelling, plus a lot of good history.)

solipsism - strangely compelling, for something as vacuous as it is. For those of you not already familiar: solipsism is the worldview in which only one person exists (the solipsist) and all other entities are figments of the solipsist's imagination. There are many arguments against it, of course, but naturally any of them may be ignored by a sufficiently determined arguer.

Of course, solipsists still look both ways before crossing the street, so I generally feel safe enough doing the same.

symmetry - is entertaining, especially when you don't expect it. See "ambigrams", above.

(Wow, I started writing this ninety minutes and two bowls of veggie chili rotini ago...)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
Via [ profile] the_zaniak here and [ profile] failegaidin before him:

Put your music player of choice on shuffle (all music, or at least your Top Rated playlist), and wrote a story for the first ten songs that played. You can only write for the duration of the song. Concept, execution, final draft - you have between 90 seconds and 10 minutes to write each story. (depending on how long your music is, of course.) If you want to fix up the writing, post it separately - this is to show quick, raw work.

For once, I'm not editing the meme text - it sounds pretty good already. Raw writing, ho!

Song 1... )

Postmortem: Oh, for another thirty seconds apiece! But I think it was a good exercise.

(Humorous: the very next song - see the current music line - is 8:08.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
From [ profile] explodingbat, a little game: do the following quiz, ignore the Forer effected output, and use the profile matching feature to find not the complement to your personality but those most similar to it. Tweak the age and circumstances to be as close to your own as possible, then look through the list of your parallel universe siblings.

I've got a classic starving left-wing artist, a old-school game nerd/hacker (as in comp. sci student, not as in hooligan), some MySpacers with uninformative profiles, and another computer scientist (but this one a guitarist and proud furry).

My Personality
Openness to Experience
You are sensitive about what others think of you. Your concern about rejection and ridicule cause you to feel shy and uncomfortable around others. You are easily embarrassed and often feel ashamed. Your fears that others will criticize or make fun of you are exaggerated and unrealistic, but your awkwardness and discomfort may make these fears a self-fulfilling prophecy, however you feel enraged when things do not go your way. You are sensitive about being treated fairly and feel resentful and bitter if you think you are being cheated. You lead a leisurely and relaxed life. You would prefer to sit back and smell the roses than indulge in high energy activities. You tend not to express your emotions openly and are sometimes not even aware of your own feelings. You do not like to claim that you are better than other people, and generally shy from talking yourself up, however you are not adverse to confrontation and will sometimes even intimidate others to get your own way. You often say or do the first thing that comes to mind without deliberating alternatives and the probable consequences of those alternatives.

Take a Personality Test now or view the full Personality Report.

The best Buying Pet Gifts.

packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
From [ profile] maggiebloome:

Everyone has things they blog about. Everyone has things they don't blog about. Challenge me out of my comfort zone by telling me something I don't blog about, but you'd like to hear about, and I'll write a post about it.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
The Five-Question one again - this time inherited (with modification) from [ profile] maggiebloome, who got it from [ profile] backinblack:
  1. Leave me a comment. You may take one of two tacks, here: (a) complete insignificance - for example, song lyrics, sandwich recipes, videogame reviews ... anything, really, as long as it's completely meaningless in context, or (b) a specific request for participation, with the specifics up to you. (But not completely up to you - I do still get to choose the questions.)

    (Okay, somebody needs to take out a restraining order against me on use of the word "completely". I mean, d-mn.)

  2. Receive five questions, chosen so as to allow me to know you better, in a reply to your comment. They will likely not be excessively personal, so as to Avoid Internet Drama™.

  3. Update your LJ - or, if the thought of contaminating it with mere Internet memes gives you fits, reply to my comment - with the answers to the questions.

  4. If you chose the former: Append (or prepend) this (or a substantially similar) explanation to your answers. When others respond with desultory comments, ask them five questions. (Each, that is.)

  5. If you chose the latter: Write an appropriately brilliant and witty diatribe about the pointlessness of copying these idiotic things across the Web as if they're somehow valuable, then throw it away as being nearly as annoying as the things themselves.

Anyway, the five questions, courtesy [ profile] maggiebloome:

1. What's your favourite extinct reptile?

Mmm - I don't know nearly enough extinct reptiles, let me think.


Y'know, I think I'm going to go for the obvious and vote tail-spikes. Stegosaurus, I choose you!

2. If you could pick an Era to live in apart from our own, which would it be?

Well, being as I'm obviously of (mixed, but including) African descent, it would seem of questionable wisdom for me to dwell in the near past. Further, I am quite ignorant of any language other than my own and quite enamored of modern medicine - thereby eliminating the far past (and the near past, really). On top of that, environmental degradation and the expenditure of Earth's natural resources (not to mention the ever-present hazard of warfare involving weapons of mass destruction, or even garden-variety epidemics) would seem to discourage proceeding into the future.

So, recognizing that I have no good choices, I expect I would either choose the latter half of the nineteenth century in London or the latter part of the reign of Caesar Augustus in Rome. My ignorance of history is mighty, but neither of those places and times seem too offensively intolerant, and both are associated with a great deal of magnificent literature.

3. Deserted island. You are Tom Hanks. Volleyball, basketball or ping pong ball?

I think I'll have to go with the canonical answer, here - volleyball seems like the most durable.

4. How would you prefer to die?

Heart attack might be nice. A stroke, perhaps. Quick and clean is the way to go, I say - none of this long painful decline into death, and a minimum of gross bodily harm. Basically worst, in my opinion, would probably be a car accident followed by long, unsuccessful medical intervention. (Not that I'd refuse treatment - I'm just saying: pain? Seriously uncool.)

5. Which work of literature has changed you the most?

Slaughterhouse 5 was pretty sweet. The Gate to Women's Country made me think a lot. The Dispossessed was fascinating. I'm not sure that any book changed me radically, though.

Wait. Gentleman's Agreement by Laura Z. Hobson. Despite being black (by American standards), my visceral conception of racism was, to a large degree, unformed until it was informed by that book. It was a good movie as well, but I feel that the book was more subtle about it, and so more satisfying. (However, I am also obliged to mention - although this is my mother's observation, not my own - that the beginning of the book is somewhat slow. Take it as you will.)

...Okay, how are you supposed to wrap these things up again?

Ask Me

Jan. 18th, 2008 12:30 pm
packbat: Wearing a open-frame backpack, a pair of sunglasses, and a wide, triangular grin. (hiking)
From [ profile] happydog:

Because we never really know each other as well as we think, in response to this post I'd like you to ask a question. Anything about which you are curious, anything you feel you ought to know about me. Silly, serious, personal, fannish. Ask away. Then, if you want, copy this to your own journal, and see what people don't know about you.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
[ profile] crisper reminds us once more that Sunday the 27th is Lewis Carroll's birthday, and we all know what that means. To quote the original post: Let's have a day where nobody's life makes sense anymore, where any random LJ you click on will bring you some strange new tale.

Remember also the LJ comm [ profile] rabbitholeday - some people post their day there, I usually just link it.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Silhouette)
Intermeme courtesy of [ profile] active_apathy and [ profile] goblinpaladin, edited because I have no friends for better verisimilitude:

1. Set $media_app to random.
2. For each question, press 'next' to divine the answer.
3. Write down that song, regardless of silliness. Silliness is kind of the point.

Questions and Answers! )
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day - Friday, December 7th. (Or Saturday the 8th. Depends on when you hit the forum - they changed the date at some point.)

Incidentally, [ profile] waywind suggested 'time-traveling' in teams. Pass it on.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Classes started.
  • ENME605: Ahh, controls. The fine art of damping dangerous vibrations. Now with more realism!
  • ENME673: 'This isn't the class that tells you how to do FEM modeling - that's ENME674. This is the class that tells you how to rewrite your equations in a form where it's possible to do FEM modeling.'
  • KNES155N: Tennis! (No, we haven't done anything yet. We never do anything first day of class.)
  • PHIL282: I talked about this already. Amusingly, though, the prof. is writing his thesis on the exact subject of the class.

Anyway, now for the fun bit - from [ profile] alchemi, with minor modifications:

If you comment I'll tell you: 1. Why I keep you on my friends list, 2. What I like about your writing, 3. I'll point out a favorite entry and say why I like it and 4. Write you one of those one-line tribute things you can put in your profile.

Caveat: If you partake of the memeage I will expect the same points answered in return.
Caveat2: Offer only good for people with whom I have been LJ friends for at least 3 months.
Caveat3: Offer only good for people who post entries (not necessarily LJ entries).

Will turn on screening if you like.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (darwin has a posse)
Shamus Young suggested a question today: how long would you have lived if your life was in the Middle Ages?
Ignore all the general risks - like typhoid or the plague or cholera - that everyone would have faced in general. Let’s assume you were lucky and missed those. (Unless by some chance you actually DID face one of them in your life.) Also ignore the fact that your deadly injury might have been caused by modern technology, like an auto accident. Just pretend you were trampled by a horse or something. So, given the injuries and illness you’ve faced in your life so far: Did you make it? Would you have survived to your current age?

For the record? I'd be a definite Darwin Award.

ETA 20070718T0941-0400: Shamus Young has a live-dead count on his blog, now – for this one, we got:
IntactNone so far.
Bits Missing[ profile] packbat
Dead[ profile] hallan
[ profile] baldanders
[ profile] feech
[ profile] kirabug and spouse
[ profile] baxil
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (pale blue dot)
From [ profile] happydog again:

1. Leave me a comment saying anything random, like your favorite lyric to your current favorite song. Or your favorite kind of sandwich. Something random. Whatever you like.
2. I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be asked, you will ask them five questions.

Play if it is your will, do not if it is not.

1) Internment or cremation?

Possibly cremation. I don't really like the idea of wasting perfectly good organic matter in an airtight box six feet under, not to mention the real estate.

Of course, as I'll be dead, those remaining alive may supersede my thoughts in this case.

2) Name something from your childhood that delighted you. You spent hours with this thing. What was it?

It'd be cheating to say, "Richard Adams's Watership Down", yeah?

I don't know. I found the Magic 8-Ball pretty hilarious for a while, but Mom took it away because she thought we were using it too much.

3) Have you ever had a psychic or paranormal experience?

No. Not even with the aforementioned Magic 8-Ball.

4) How do you remove a splinter?

Using the nail of the index finger, I press on the skin just past the embedded end of the splinter, and scrape to push it out. Once it is sufficiently exposed, I grip with the index finger fingernail and thumbnail and pull.

(Unless, of course, I have tweezers. Sadly, while the Swiss Army Knife does, the Leatherman does not.)

5) Was Nicola Tesla more of a genius than Thomas Edison?

Geez, you ask the hard questions, don't you? :)

I'm inclined to say Tesla. Clever as Edison was, AC power transmission is much better than DC, and system-builders like Tesla have bigger historical effects than inventors like Edison, not in the least because systems lead to generations of new inventions (e.g. refrigerators, air conditioners).

Of course, then comes the question: was Thomas Edison more of a genius than Robert Moog? :D
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
I think I saw this from a couple people. 'Slightly' edited.

When you see this, choose a few quotations from your favorite writers to your journal. Write them from memory, mistakes and all, and post them in your journal.

"A scientist at least can hide behind the idea that he is merely seeking impersonal truth. The artist cannot. He cannot hide anywhere."
—Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed

"All war is deception."
—Sun Tsu, The Art of War, Lionel Giles translation.

"An hour is this:

A minute and a minute and a minute and a minute and a minute.

A minute and a minute and a minute and a minute and a minute.

Another minute. A minute. Two more minutes. A minute.

A minute. Two minutes. Then two more minutes.

A minute. A similar minute. Three minutes.

Three minutes. A minute. A minute.

That's thirty minutes.

Now do them all over again."
—Bruce Sterling, Islands in the Net

"I was twenty-one years when I wrote this song.
I'm twenty-two now, but I won't be for long –
Time hurries on,
And the leaves that are green turn to brown.
And they wither in the wind,
And they crumble in my hand...."
—Paul Simon (and/or Art Garfunkel), "The Leaves That Are Green"

"Here is a hand. Here is another. Therefore two objects exist in the exterior universe, and the universe exists."
—David Hume (I think)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
From [ profile] eclective, via no-one: randomly generate some words with sounds you like and then define them.

kur·sah: The setting of a popular (though badly written) teaching story illustrating a number of common logical fallacies. from Cource: 1. filled with fallacious reasoning. 2. Inf. leading to a false conclusion.


rE·'gas·t&rs: evaluations based solely on secondhand knowledge of the subject.


san·dis: arranged with empty spaces separating each group of related items.


sO·rahnt: intelligent; able to use language. Contrast with sentient, sapient.


me·'rin·d&r: the point in a philosophical paper where exactly half of the terms have been defined.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
If there are one or more people on your friends list who make your world a better place just because they exist, and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the internet, then post this same sentence in your journal.

Oh, and as long as I'm copying other people, here's one based on the idea of some Pharyngula commenter from months ago – if you were going to wear a sign with the following on it for a day, how would you fill in the blanks?

[Poll #1002174]
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
A brand new intermeme, for your amusement:

1. Read the portion of a story below.
2. Write a continuation of it – it can be a sentence, paragraph, six chapters ... as much as you like.
3. Post the continuation in a reply to this comment, and copy the "Link" URL to the comment with your continuation. (If you needed more than one comment, copy the URL of the last one.)
4. Repost:
(a) these instructions, pasting the link to your comment into Step 3,
(b) followed by the story (including your continuation – LJ-cut is optional)
(c) with the comments disabled (so we can keep the story in one place),
to your journal.

The story so far:

In retrospect, telling them my favorite word was "murder" was probably a bad idea.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (darwin has a posse)
Courtesy of [ profile] baxil, Lol's first law:

If your behavior overtakes The Onion's satire, YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING WRONG.

(Two guesses as to who we're talking about. No, not him, think 'greedy businesses'.)


packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)

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