packbat: Leaning on a chain-link fence, looking to my left (your right) with a neutral expression. (spectator)
Does anyone know why, when a MacBook Core 2 Duo running 10.5.8 crashes hard - so hard that even a Vulcan nerve-pinch is ineffective - that the iTunes will keep playing until it finishes the song?


Aug. 21st, 2008 09:08 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (wtfcu)
Sign up to battle by...

Seen on Facebook on Thursday, August 21st at 11:45 a.m.

No, really.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (wtfcu)
Interesting (in a very whiskey-tango-foxtrot sort of way) fact of the day: Sunny D contains canola oil.

Best, [ profile] packbat


Mar. 15th, 2008 09:01 am
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (swing dismount)
Dagnabbit, I was shaving the wrong yak, and Apple doesn't even seem to have the right one for download any more (10.3.9 here). Fortunately, although weirdly, I had started shaving the right yak I-don't-know-when and I just found the fleece, so I might be able to continue anyway.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
DeviantArt just added a feature where you can sort your "favorite" deviations into boxes. This is a box.

If you can figure out what it's a box of, I'd appreciate.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (twisty little passages)
Remember my entry last Monday? Did you know my house is just about 4° off compass?

Yeah, I didn't either. Can I get a "not cool"?

Let's start with my door, shall we? Bedroom door, closed at night because the light on the corner of the industrial park shines right down the hallway, and it's aligned just about like this:
     ___---\ ,
\*---       '
(The asterisk is the hinge, the dashes and underscores are the door, the backslashes and periods and commas and primes are the frame. Yeah, I'm no ASCII master.)

Now, during rotation, the door remains constant length, right? And length is measured by max(x,y), right? Therefore, rotation goes like:
|      /:
|...../ :
|    /: :
|.../ : :
|  /: : :
| / : : :
|/  : : :
...with the end sliding north first, then west.

Now look at the diagram of my door again. Think about it for a second. Odds are you'll draw the right conclusion.

Welcome to my day.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to see if my digestive system is less pooched than the plumbing. Oh, and mop the bathroom floor.

Wish me luck.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (wtfcu)
Pharyngula just linked an item by [ profile] jwz on the latest Orangina mascot and advertising video (and I say latest for a reason).

I have only one thing to say:


Edit: Okay, so I guess I have more than just *one* thing... )

Edit #2: The redoubtable (and doubtful) ^z suggests this could be a fraud - checking the DNS registry, he has found that (the official site) is registered to Schweppes, but (which forwards to) is registered to some address in Paris. He hastens to add, however, that he has doubted and been wrong before (notably, regarding rumors of Bobby Fischer's 1992 Spassky match he heard in '91).
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (wtfcu)
I just woke up from a dream starring PeeJee and Davan as the B and K vectors of a SISO full state feedback control system.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (wtfcu)
...are dangerous and scary places, respectively.

Beginning with the first of the two: yesterday, I went with my friend K and his family down the Gunpowder River (or "Little Gunpowder Falls" - I don't know which bit it was, although I think we passed under I-83). Just for a change, his father decided to start a little further upstream than before so we could go through a little of the Class III rapids. In spite of K's mom's reservations, I, being the guest and not experienced with the river, decided to go along with it.

Actually, correct that. I, being not experienced at all, went along with it. For what it's worth, K capsized first (and since his boat had the lunch and the dog, that was quite a major deal). That said, I capsized twice, and the second time ended up traversing the fourth of the four sections of Class III on foot. It cost me, first, my prescription sunglasses, and second, my watch and one of a pair of socks (the one with the smaller holes).

Other than that, though, it was a pretty nice day. Besides, the glasses were cheap, the watch old, and I was planning to get new socks anyway.

Thus segueing to the second item in the title: going to the mall to buy socks today. Remarkably, the 'socks-buying' bit was fine (although finding U.S.-size-16 socks was a bit of a hassle). It was coming out of the sock shop that I got in trouble.

I'm walking down the hall, minding nothing in particular (hey, I'm sleepy!), when suddenly I am accosted by a short, vaguely East-Slavic looking (not that I can judge ethnicity) woman who steps in much too close to me and asks if I'm married.

I, being too dumb to flee, reply with the it-seemed-clever-at-the-time "I'm busy."

She asks again. (Or maybe she asks if I have a girlfriend - I am an Unreliable Narrator™.) The scent of chocolate on her breath is both evident and oddly disturbing.

"Uh, who are you?"

She turns to her accomplice and pronounces that This Guy (meaning me) Is Funny. She then drags me over towards the table to offer me a demo of some plastic-and-thick-wire contrivance that looks vaguely like the ribs of a basket, and, in my bewildered state, appears inexplicably threatening.

"Uh, hey, I have to go, and I'm not buying anything..."

She insists that this is a free demo, and throws some lump of fabric into an inexpensive recent-model-year microwave that is incorporated into the cart-stand-thing.

I continue babbling ineffectually as the whatever-it-is nukes. Then, as she opens the microwave, I spot the box of aromatherapy pillows (or something) that this obviously is one of.

I announce I am leaving as I back away. (Aromatherapy, like chiropractic treatment, is as a rule too easily adopted as a cover name for pseudoscientific practices. It is a reflection of my lack of experience in the 'hard sell' that it is this that leads me to suspect chicanery, rather than the patently nonkosher actions of the salesperson.)

She thrusts the pillow in my face. (Literally. Physical-contact-with-nose-and-mouth literally.)

I, still babbling, flee.

And so I have two new rules.
  • When boating, everything you value should be either tied to you or tied to your boat. (My pack, which was the latter, survived wet but intact.)
  • When someone accosts you to sell you something, leave. Don't say anything, don't even break stride, leave. Even if they're zaftig.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Bumper)
Legendary Creature - Philosopher....

Design courtesy of Magic: the Creation.

(Many thanks to [ profile] glitchphil for the link and correcting the text.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (swing dismount)
Okay, so I got two phones: the old, prepaid, cheapo Nokia phone, and the new, camera-enabled, flip-open, Verizon Singular phone. It should be obvious which one's better, right?

Except the new phone is kinda fragile (I bent the cover for the power socket yesterday), with an inferior user interface (more features, but less resolution on both battery life and reception), no decent games, a camera that keeps photographing the inside of my pocket, unintuitive call-waiting, &c., &c., &c.

The old phone? Snake II (i.e. Snake with bonus features), and, as I just discovered, an honest-to-goodness flashlight.

Great Ghu! A cell phone with a flashlight!
packbat: Wearing a open-frame backpack, a pair of sunglasses, and a wide, triangular grin. (hiking)
Too little stuff for a complete update*, but a few funny things:
  • The guy (vaguely African-seeming, but I wouldn't really know) who said he was 'good at math', but needed help with 'translations'. 'Translations', in this case, being along the lines of:
    Fill in the blank with the appropriate word phrase: "a - b" means b ______ a.

    I begged off, saying I had to finish my art assignment, and gave him directions to the mathematics building.
  • My ankles hurt so much afterwards, I could barely move.
  • What does the question of whether you can know something absolutely as a truth have to do with abortion? No, I'm serious, I still can't figure that one out.
  • If a bank can lend out 90% of the money deposited therein, adding $100 to the bank's lending stock adds $1000 to circulation by a simple geometric series (r = 0.9) ... if all the money in circulation is redeposited deposited in the bank. So, what is the point of this exercise, exactly? And why are the business students still being tested on it?
  • "At schema yourself resemblant". There – now I've posted a nonsensical spam subject line too.


* Says the guy who just posted a one-line update consisting of a single link.§
† Which means this probably occurred Sunday afternoon.
‡ He'd actually started off asking for directions, then asked me if I could help him solve the problems. I carefully refused to sit in his car out of the cold while I looked at his stuff.
§ Which, incidentally, has both shown me a whole lot of tracks I might be interested in, and that I know nothing about electronic music at all. Neither of which surprised me. I was glad to see that "synth pop" was the correct category for Eurythmics, though.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (swing dismount)
At IHOP this evening, I was filling out a comment card when I observed the following (quoted from memory, emphasis added):
Quality of food:
  Flavor of food
  Appearance of food
Temperature of food: Hot food Hot!
Cleanliness of restaurant:
  Cleanliness of exterior
  Cleanliness of dining area
  Cleanliness of restrooms

packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Well, it's official: [ profile] nomicide will be the LJ comm. for my and [ profile] active_apathy's Nomic game. Everyone who wants to play ([ profile] kevinpease, you said you were interested?) should answer here.

In other news, [ profile] crisper has reminded us that January 27, Rabbit Hole Day, approaches. This Saturday. As the man said, take a break from the Every Day and write about your Rabbit Hole Day. Your normal life will be waiting for you when you get back.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (challenge)
Second LifeChicago.

(Or, excluding people who've been absent for more than 60 days, Second Life equals San Jose.)
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (swing dismount)
Wow, one of my poems actually got plagiarized on a webforum last week.

I feel like I've passed some sort of test. "See! I'm a genuine web artist! People have even stolen my work!"

(Of course, I met that criterion when half a Physics II class was turning in my old lab reports, but who's counting?)


Oct. 16th, 2006 10:40 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Don't be like Spoonless Joe – buy a spoon today!

P.S. I got my laptop back!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
Okay, a little weird observation made while shaving today: my eyebrows don't completely stop at the brow. There's fine little hairs continuing the line of the eyebrow downwards along the perimiter of the eye socket and approaching the nose. They're almost invisible from any distance, but they're there.

Am I just weird, or do other people have this?
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (challenge)
Is it just me, or are posts vanishing?

I'll check [ profile] news et al. in a minute, but this is weird.

Edit: Nothing in [ profile] news, nothing in [ profile] lj_maintenance, nothing in [ profile] status. Curiouser and curiouser....
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Bumper)
[ profile] the_gneech is probably best known as the creator of the webcomic Suburban Jungle, which I don't read. (Yet.) However, he is also the author of a series of vignettes about two characters named Brigid and Greg.

These things are wicked funny. My fav., so far. One of its successors. Yet another sample. Awesome.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
I think I mentioned Making Light a couple times before in other contexts, but the recent Open Thread 59 is really something. Just in what I've read so far, there's been:

  • Discussions of the effects of vacuum on unwrapped bars of soap (the original subject of the thread)
  • Discussions of the effects of unwrapped bars of soap on vacuums
  • Discussions of what sort of music a 12 to 14 year old kid at computer camp in 1980 would listen to (Kraftwerk seems to be among the likely candidates)
  • Discussions of explosive decompression in general, ranging from the modern consensus on what would occur to popular depictions in sci-fi (esp. the famous sequence in 2001 that I've never seen), including the comment which triggered this post:

Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: January 30, 2006, 06:30 AM:

Hmm. Question for Jordin and Graydon: do you suppose you could reduce or stop the O2 loss through your lungs, if you knew you were going to be spaced, by drowning yourself first? I'd expect a couple of lungs full of water would take quite a while to empty in vacuum, and while there's water in the way the diffusion rate is going to be a lot lower -- same pressure gradient, but the exposed surface area goes from something like a couple of tennis courts down to a couple of square centimetres.

Of course, recovery afterwards (when they hook you out of the airlock) is going to be a bitch ...

I gotta start reading these Open Threads more. Just ... whoa.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
[ profile] nanakikun pointed out that Puzzle #2 isn't solvable – sorry! I must have misremembered it, or else whoever made the thing erred. I went through (whited out - highlight to see) Door #2 myself. EDIT: You can read the whole day of my adventures in Escherland here (credit to [ profile] chanlemur for the name).

Incidentally, to drop out of character for a moment, here are the Rabbit Holes among those journals I read:

EDIT mk. 2: And, of course, don't forget [ profile] crisper, the brave founder of our tradition, whose posted five entries here.

EDIT III - Son of Edit: My Rabbit Hole Day '06 memories list – I'm putting my favorites up there .
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
"To the Day Side", said the sign.

I stood outside the door, looking at it and feeling ridiculous.

"No-Puzzle Fee: $15", said the sign, in smaller type towards the lower half.

Well, that made things simple.

I walked in.

In the lobby, there was an elevator and another door. The elevator was behind a subway-style turnstile, with a cash slot in it, blinking cheerfully. "Puzzle Bypass - $15" was emblazoned boldly above. The door, on the other hand, proclaimed, "Puzzle Gate - Trivia: Monday/Thursday, Math: Tuesday, Riddles: Wednesday, Logic: Friday. Closed weekends." A smaller paper sign said, "JAN 27: LADY & TIGER PUZZLE - Choose the right door (there is only one!) to advance".

I was lucky, indeed. Raymond Smullyan's books had adorned my house before I was born, and it showed. With a grin plastered across my face, I opened the door and turned down the hall.

Room 1: Three doors, each with a sign. No numbers, but I could see they weren't needed. The three signs said,




...all in nice clear block letters.

I copied these down for your entertainment, so I won't spoil it for you. Suffice to say that I solved this one, and proceeded onwards, into another hall.

Room 2: Three signs, three doors, again. Reading them off in numerical order:
  1. "All the wrong doors have signs that lie."
  2. "Door 1 is the right door."
  3. "Door 2 is the right door."
Piece of cake.

At this point, I found myself at the base of a handicap ramp leading up to the next floor. I wondered momentarily why there wasn't a stair, but I realized that they must have wanted to accommodate wheelchairs. I was somewhat surprised at this modern touch, but then I remembered the wireless internet and continued up.

...where I encountered a fellow taking down the signs. We tried to talk, but he didn't speak English – eventually he just opened a door for me and shooed me through. I guess they were closing up. Awfully disappointing.

Anyway, I wasted no time, having gotten through. Straight back down (and I knew it was day – it was bright out), out the door, around the corner and into the church...

...and into a concert. A string quartet was playing something I didn't recognize, right in front of the door I needed. So I sat, to wait out the concert, almost tempted to tap my feet in my impatience. Fortunately they were very good.

(By the way, I think it may have been a Mozart-only concert – I did recognize a couple pieces, and all of it sounded like a similar style. It wasn't all strings, either – a fellow who looked like the pianist from the pub played something on the organ as well.)

The concert ran very late, or so it seemed to me, and the people took quite a while to file out afterwards. Eventually the crowd dispersed enough to let me through, and I rushed into the back room.

The lizards were moving! They were! I didn't stop to watch them, though – first thing I did was look for the exit. Standing up against the table, I caught sight of it – eight feet overhead. Fortunately, the table was right there, and I was able (by dint of very careful balancing) to throw my bag through first, and then leap and catch the edge. A pull-up, another gravity tilt, and I was on my bed!

...right on top of my backpack and all the books from my shelf. Ouch. Climbing off, I turned around.

The posters were ordinary. It was over. Suddenly, I realized that I had no evidence of this ever happening, besides a missing five dollars.

And, if I'm lucky, a few posts on LJ.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Nothing. Three hours walking, and nothing.

I walked easily at first, just went straight away from the river on a nice thoroughfare, but nothing happened. I walked past a house after the first couple corners, and past a windmill at a distance of a couple hundred feet after that, and then I was just in the middle of the fields. I walked through them for an hour before I began to get suspicious, and after two hours I turned around.

The river was right there. I might as well have been on the Red Queen's raceway – it took me all of forty minutes to get back to the public house from there. No point in trying this anymore – next step, I don't know. I guess I'll walk around town again. Maybe the sun will come up in a few hours, I don't know.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Silhouette)
My next move was to walk through the town. I did leave five dollars as a tip – probably overgenerous, and I only have a dollar left, but I did. Anyway, it was a miniscule town, though it had a lot of trees – there was another canal running between the public house and the bulk of the town, and there were a bunch of boats tied up to the shore there.

The center of the town was dominated by a big church. I considered for a moment, and then went in.

I wasn't disappointed. There was the vaulting ceiling, the pews, the altar and the podium, and it was magnificent. The wood was rich – it must have been very old, but it glowed. Also the paintings were impressive, and the stained glass. No-one was there, but the lights were on. I went into the room in back.

And was shocked to see Reptiles.

I do not mean I saw reptiles, I saw "Reptiles", the etching. The table was the same – the cactus, the package of cigarette papers with "JOB" written on it, the drawing, the open book, everything. The only flaw was that there were no moving reptiles.

Someone spoke behind me, in a Germanic language. I don't know what he said – when I tried to write it down, he looked over my shoulder and wrote for me, "Sie ziehen während des Tages um." I said "Danke schön" to him, I think he was speaking German; he replied "Bitte." I walked out, and returned to the public house to think, and to post the entry.

I don't know what he said, but I think "Tages" has to do with day – "Guten Tag" and all that, you know. If I really am in "Night and Day", that means that maybe I should be trying to get to the Day side. I think they were side-by-side in the picture, with the river running on the outside edge each time – that means that if I walk away from the river, maybe I'll find it.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
Having dressed, I took a minute or two to decide which picture I should enter.

I have four Escher prints on my walls: Night and Day, Reptiles, Three Worlds, and Puddle. (That last one is the one with (surprisingly enough) a puddle that has the tire tracks and footprints running through and past it. I honestly forgot the title – I had to look it up myself.) Now, while I could enter any of them, a moment's thought revealed to me that (a) Night and Day is looking down from rather a dangerous height (hence the breeze), (b) Reptiles shows nothing but a table, so it might be difficult to get anywhere, and (c) Three Worlds is perched above a substantial body of water. That left (d), Puddle. Having thus decided, I carefully cleared the bookshelf under the poster, climbed onto it, and stepped into the picture.

Do you remember that scene in Monsters, Inc. when the main characters are jumping through all those closet doors? Remember that one where they jumped through the door that was horizontal and falling, and when they got out they fell sideways, because that was now down? Well, it wasn't that severe, but the change of gravity did hit me, going through the poster. I did manage to land on my feet, though.

I stood and looked around. Comfortingly, the frame of the poster through which I entered was still present, hanging with a cheerful indifference to gravity some seven feet above the ground. The road on which I stood was muddy, just as depected – it passed through tilled fields, but I could see little else. It was night.

A sudden impulse caught me, and I looked up. Gleaming, in the air, I saw a triangle of bright white birds flying by, their brightness all out of keeping with the dimness of the night. "I'm in Night and Day", I realized, happily. "Hofstadter was right; they are all connected behind the scenes." With this to fortify me, I paused to take notes (I want to make this as complete a narrative as possible), and set off down the road, towards the sounds of water and the distant birds.

I walked for about half an hour before I reached the outskirts of the town. I passed through a few more fields before crossing a bridge – I could see a river from there, but the bridge was over a feeder stream. Actually, it was probably a canal – streams aren't that straight.

Anyway, the road paralleled the river for a distance, with fields on the other side, until it made a sharp turn in front of a pair of buildings. (There was a line of ships steaming down the river – I feel I should mention those.) Fortunately for me, the one I approached seemed to be some sort of public house or inn, and I was able to go in.

Um, Escher was Dutch, I think. And I was reminded of this, very strongly, when I discovered that all the signs were in Dutch or German or something. A few minutes of gesticulation with the bartender served to inform me that (1) I could get a glass (well, mug) of water (I tried saying "wasser", because I thought that was the German for it), and (2) no, it wouldn't cost anything. This was most fortunate, as I had no Dutch money. I guess I'll have to leave American dollars as a tip.

I just noticed that they have wireless internet here. I have no idea if it's the same Internet as back home – for all I know, it could be that the school's Internet can cross the border of the poster. But on the off-chance that it is, I'll go ahead and post this now. Then I'll see what else I can find.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
I awoke this morning to the distinct impression that a breeze was passing through my room. I knew it was impossible – the window was shut, as was the door – until I opened my eyes.

I had four Escher prints on the wall when I fell asleep last night. Somehow, they'd all opened like windows to the worlds within.

I've read Gödel-Escher-Bach; I know what I have to do. I'll put on my boots and long pants, I'll fetch my ... drat, I forgot my digital camera! Well, I'll bring my computer, anyway. I promise you all an entry as soon as I'm back.

Confused? Check here for an explanation of Rabbit Hole Day.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
So, I attempt to look up the word aperçu, yes? This is what I see.
The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search box to the right.

Suggestions for aperçu:

1. aperçu
2. [...]

packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (RZ Ambigram)
One week from today!

Edit: Official one-week reminder.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
I apologize for the previous post. There are, in fact, only two people who know the reason for it, which, surprisingly, is not the simple self-referential commentary on my periodic posts of word definitions.

In the interests of making this post worthwhile, I will offer a selection of the things I currently intend to post here in the near future:

  • Lord Alfred Tennyson's "Tears, Idle Tears" in words of one beat.
  • A sampling of the notes-to-self I have written on sheets of the memo pad I kept in my pocket over the past semester.
  • Some comments on A. J. P. Taylor's "The Origins of the Second World War", and some of the more interesting and/or amusing passages thereof.
  • Various story ideas which I have picked up from various places.

Whether all (or any) of this is actually posted is up to the Moirae. Wind to thy wings!
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Silhouette)
We already knew that [ profile] demiurgent, a.k.a. Websnarker #1, a.k.a. Eric A. Burns, was a genius, but this proves it. Read the best blonde joke I have ever seen. Do it.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
[ profile] crisper has posted an announcement reminding all and sundry of the upcoming Second Annual LiveJournal Rabbit Hole Day.

Check the comments, too – [ profile] crisper posted a couple links to Rabbit Hole entries from last year.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
My friend, Gabriel Osborne, came up with a brilliant idea one day, after having pulled an all-nighter, and told it to us when we visited him today yesterday (hey, it's past midnight...). He said that, you know how there are four food groups? Well, in college, there are different four food groups:
  • Chicken,
  • Hamburger (Sandwiches for the liberal, but truly, Hamburger is better),
  • Caffeine, and
  • Cereal.

Like all great ideas, it was at first met with great skepticism. "What food group does Asian food come under, then?" Gabe was asked. "Chicken", he replied. "What about ice cream?" "Cereal." Sprite? Caffeine (by association). Soup? Chicken. Chili? Hamburger.

This is an idea whose time has come. Pass it on.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Silhouette)
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's birthday is one month from today, on January 27. The man is best known as Lewis Carroll, and as Lewis Carroll he is best known for his two books about Alice, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass – wondrous books, and widely loved.

In honor of his birthday, [ profile] crisper instituted the Annual Livejournal Rabbit Hole Day, to occur on January 27. It is a day for Livejournalists to post blog entries from other universes, for everyone to take a dive through the famous Rabbit Hole to land in another universe. Here's one collection of links to such entries from last year, just as examples of what has been done.

January 27. Spread the word.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
I just found out that there was/is a group on the Net which strives to speak only in words of one beat. They have a page of poems made thus here, with an FAQ here.

I think this is a fine fun thing to do (though I know it to have been done ere this). I thought to give one of old Lord Alf. Tenn.'s works a try, or Bob Frost's, but they proved too much for me; I did not know them. In spite of that, I will try a bit of E. Pound. Not a lot of long words in this one in the first place.

The Tree
I stood still and was a tree in midst of wood,
To know the truth of things not seen before;
Of Daph. and of the green tree's bow
And those gods'-hosts, that love-pair old
That grew elm-oak in midst of wold.
'Twas not ere when the gods had been
With grace bid come, and been brought right in
Straight to the hearth of their heart's home
That they might do this awe-made thing:
Yet I have been a tree in midst of wood,
And swarms of new things known as good
That had no sense in my head's sight before.

Oh, I found the one-word thing linked here. I left the poem on the post there as well.

Ed.: The [ profile] wordsofonebeat comm. I joined it – it is still small, though.

Ed. 2: E. Pound's work can be found not changed here, here, and some more spots I lack the space to name.


Dec. 2nd, 2005 01:36 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
Quick question: You're me. You're walking back from playing not-DDR at the campus video arcade, when you see a few pieces of paper flip by, being carried by a gust of wind. What do you do?

Why, you pick them up. You pick them all up, or as close as you can get, and deliver them to the person who lost them.

Technically, I didn't get them all, of course. Some of them probably blew far enough that I couldn't get to them, some of them probably blew in the direction I didn't explore, and some of them blew into some of those odd trenches in front of or behind buildings which serve to let light in the lower-floor classroom windows. Actually, I did retrieve some of these last papers, including three which required me to climb an eight-foot high concrete step to reach, and I did get the papers in the bushes around campus. Also, three people helped me; two gathered a few pages for me, and a third looked up the address of the professor who lost them while I was fetching the ones on top of that step. But I was the one who did most of the work.

The professor will probably just throw them away and print the files out again, of course. But it was fun, nevertheless.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Silhouette)
I stink at The Game. Badly. This was not entirely unexpected.

The Game

Nov. 15th, 2005 09:42 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
I just went on a class field trip to the state prison where the executions take place. It was cool, despite our not being able to actually see the execution chamber, but that's not what I will talk about. I will talk about The Game.

In the van on the way back, the fellow next to me announced that he had just lost The Game. Then he explained: one loses The Game whenever one thinks of The Game. You must announce this when you lose; then, you have fifteen minutes to clear your mind before the next round.

This is brilliant. Counterintuitive, ingenious, simple – it's manna to a geeky mind like mine. It makes me think of "doublethink" from that novel I never read, of Mr. Slippery in "True Names" by Vernor Vinge, even of the old joke "Don't think of a pink elephant!" The idea of making one's goal not thinking of something is just unbearably clever.

By the way, as you can infer from the above, I just lost a round of The Game. Well, fifteen minutes from now is 9:57; I guess I'll see how it goes.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
This afternoon, I was traveling to the dining hall with my roommate. On the way there, I came upon a slip of paper, in the distinctive form of a fortune-cookie fortune, lying in the leaves. I picked it up and read it.

You will be traveling and coming into a fortune.

...well, it amuses me, anyway.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
Okay, so here's the deal. I don't have a Halloween costume. I don't have the materials to make one. So, what should I dress as?

Or something else? Any suggestions?
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
You are likely familiar with the classic adage about technology and magic? Here's a similar law which just occurred to me:

Any sufficiently pronounced stupidity is indistinguishable from malice.

(This is, of course, inspired by the famous unattributable proverb advising one not to blame on malice what can be explained by stupidity.)

Brian Eno

Jul. 31st, 2005 06:46 pm
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Half-Face)
Reading the page about Brian Eno, I discover that this CD I'm listening to ("Here Come the Warm Jets") is Brian Eno's "first solo project". I also discover that it is probably of the genre called "prog rock".

Listening to the album, I discover that it's weird.

Intriguingly enough, however, Mom has shown me that Moby, of all people, shows clear Eno influences, despite a score of years separating them. She suggests that his parents may have had this album. As for music I've actually heard, though, the closest thing I can think of is some of the more outré Beatles tracks, although "Driving me backwards" is far stranger than "All the Lonely People" and "Come Together" are.

I guess that's why he's called "experimental". Because he is.

P.S. More than one track was playing as I typed this entry. This is a common occurrence – usually I put the last track before I hit [Spell check] in the Music field. This time, I put the track I liked best. The other track would have been "On Some Faraway Beach" from the same Eno album.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Green RZ)
Link to [ profile] efw. Explanation of purpose of community through use of examples. Generic statement of praise for community. Recommendation to investigate and join.

Marker indicating editing. Indication of implied self-reference present in post. Statement of adoration towards Douglas Hofstadter, including Wikipedia link.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
Quick anecdote: We (^z and I) were at Taco Bell today, on way back from picking up [ profile] nanakikun. We were getting drinks (it was a hot day – still is) and ^z decided to get [ profile] nanakikun the not-so-new Mountain Dew: Baja Fresh.

Wait, Baja Fresh is a store. Maybe it was Baja Blast. Whatever.

In any case, when we returned to the car and gave [ profile] nanakikun the drink, he told us it was "Blue Raspberry".* I was mildly amused to hear him describe it this way, but I doubted that the description was accurate: he has described several beverages this way in the past. Besides, it was the wrong color: greenish, not blue.

Then ^z tasted it, and said it tasted like blue laundry detergent. That's when I knew that Mountain Dew: Baja Blast was truly Blue Raspberry.

* For those of you who have never encountered it, Blue Raspberry was one of [ profile] nanakikun's favorite Slurpee® flavors from 7-11 a few years back.
packbat: One-quarter view of the back of my head. (Default)
I blame [ profile] ljdq.

See, awhile back, I didn't used to have (or, at least, to remember) any of my dreams, and then I said so in an answer on one of their quizzes. Look where it's gotten me!

First ... and this all happened last night, mind ... first, I have a relatively innoculous dream in which I give my sister's rabbit some pieces of apple. Admittedly, I accidentally called the first piece "lettuce", but the dream itself isn't too strange.

But the last one!

Apparently I'm at some sort of summer camp. We leave our dorm. I was in a triple – not too unusual a circumstance, except that the dorm looked more like the coach buses that ferried me to Scout camp than like dorms, even down to having overhead compartments (although the actual 'rooms' looked more like booths in old railroad cars, a la A Hard Day's Night) – and I was out somewhere unmemorable with my two roomies. Well, on the way back, we see all these fire trucks and fire alarms ....

Wait. Sledding. We were out sledding. And I think for some reason I was female instead of male, as were my two roommates. In fact, I remember that we were all on a tobaggon going down a long slope towards the woods, and one of us three said that they weren't supposed to be. Then, we tried to stop by turning perpendicular to the slope, and ended up hydroplaning across some mysterious pond. This part actually happened twice: the first time, the pond was water (but we crossed successfully); the second time, the pond was ice (which broke, but we crossed successfully anyway); and the third time, we didn't try turning horizontal at all, so something else happened altogether (hence the "twice" instead of "thrice", above). So, continuing the third time above, we plowed through the woods (which were remarkably dense with two-inch [five-centimeter] diameter trees, and lacking in any other kind of tree), managed miraculously not to hit anything (and I remember remembering it being miraculous), and stopped ourselves by catching hold of the side of a house.

After we'd all disembarked, I noticed that the house was some kind of portable house (I thought "mobile home", but it looked more like a standard house), and proved this hypothesis to myself by lifting it and carrying it several feet. Then we started walking home.

Well, on the way back, we see all these fire trucks and fire alarms. Also, we saw some rattlesnakes. Also, some animals on fire, one of which (a rat, I think) I 'encouraged' to stop, drop, and roll.

Then, once we finally get back to our dorm, we look in the window ... no. My roommates (who had changed gender back at some point, unless I actually was sledding with other people and they swapped places while I was carrying the house around) went inside, and I went outside (thinking that I shouldn't walk in a building that was on fire) and looked in the window. Anyway, my room had apparently been destroyed in an explosion starting from the overhead compartment – there was a hole in the bottom of the compartment. Then I remembered that the overhead compartment was where my laptop (in its backpack) had been. I immediately began contemplating how I would recreate my webcomic bookmarks.

Then I woke up, and it was 7:50.

P.S. I know I was supposed to make a (real-life) summer camp report – it'll be here, I promise....


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

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