I haven’t gotten enough sleep in the last few days. Also, I drank a fair bit of pop in the last two days after dropping it cold turkey sometime in the last six months. End result: I am simultaneously exhausted and wired.

(For perspective: I drank less than two Big Gulps, in volume, of Pepsi and Mountain Dew over the weekend. Back in the day I would drink a Big Gulp of Mountain Dew daily, at work.)

So weird.

Project Shinji-Dog III update: 18 episodes of Umineko no Naku Koro ni watched (3 of 4 story arcs). Five present for the first two arcs; four present for the third. A whole lot of beer and pop was consumed.

I believe that Nate and I have cracked the mystery of the first arc, and the second arc appears to be rather straightforward if you don’t believe in magic. I’m still puzzled by the third arc, though Nate has a partial theory.

The runaway hit of the day, however, was a random pre-game show that Nate somehow stumbled across: Sexy Commando. It’s not what you think it is—it’s so much more.

Was at work this evening until 10 pm, updating twenty-ish computers running XP service pack 2. This was a three- or four-step process: update to IE7 if not already updated (IE8 doesn’t work quite right with some software we use), update to service pack 3, install the 77 updates that were released after SP3, and then install the handful of updates that only appeared after everything else is installed. (Again, all that times twenty.)

If I ever install SP3 again it will be too soon.

On the up-side, only one computer had a fuck-ton of viruses on it. Not coincidentally, that computer also had a copy of Limewire installed.

Some idiot actually worked around the internet restrictions our real IT guy put into place (I’m the cheaper update monkey, not the Real Deal), and used that power to install frickin’ *Limewire*. On their work PC.


Wherein I gush about dancing

A one-time (barring overwhelming demand) waltz variations class was offered this term at OSU. It’s been a bit over five years since I’ve taken a dance class, so I figured what the heck and you should pay for experiences, not things and whatever else I could tell myself to justify the cost, and signed up.

The thing about taking a credit of classes, these days, is that there are comparatively huge fixed costs involved—and those get halved, per-credit, if you take a second credit. So I also signed up for west coast swing II—a course I had taken at the end of my college career, which was both appropriate and far too early in my west coast swing experience to be wholly useful.

Thus my Tuesday and Thursday nights this month (and next) have been shot. Wednesday night is still, of course, the weekly dance practice… and suddenly the middle of my week is packed. With awesome.

After a little-too-sweaty first week, I determined that I should exercise after I danced. I’ve also been trying to make notes about the various moves I learn (Marin tells me that this is very much something I would do), immediately after class, because I have a terrible memory for physical motions—not just dance, but sports in general—until I do something a few gajillion times. End result: I’ve been exercising around the midnight hour in the middle of each week (witness the awful timestamp of this post). This has thrown pretty much everything else in my life out of whack.

It’s been worth it, though. Five years of casual dancing with no instruction has made me a sloppy dancer, and now I’ve been getting called on it. My waltz and west coast are cleaner than they were before, and (get this) I can spin the other way when waltzing now.

I’ve only been spinning in one direction for ten years, now.

Even better is that my plantar fasciitis, which had benched me for the latter half of 2009, appears to have finally cleared up. (Knock on wood.) The first two weeks were a bit dicey—I was icing my foot every evening, hoping that it wasn’t going to give out—but the last two weeks have been the most pain-free my foot has been in ages.

Barry and Meredith are in my waltz class. Poor Sarah is in both waltz and west coast, which means she sees me three nights a week. That’s fun for me, but maybe not so much for her.

Work’s been me staring at my computer screen in anguish as I attempt to redesign a website; I now have an idea where I want to take it—I just have to finish the job. Like, say, tomorrow. (Er, today.)

This week Apple announced the iPad, of course. (I still wish they had gone with “Canvas” instead.) Andy, Farm, Webb and I gathered in a virtual huddle over email to enjoy the revelations; at the end, pretty much the only response was Andy’s “well, it’s cheaper than I expected.” (Save yourself some time and just read Steven Frank’s commentary on the iPad; I wish I had some sort of brilliant insight like that every once in a while.) I have some PDFs—and maybe (oh) some Kenichi manga—that the iPad might make pleasant to read… beyond that, though, I’m rather underwhelmed so far.

Brian came down and visited last weekend, and he, Nate, and I wound up watching the Higurashi Rei OVA and the first five episodes of Saki. Saki is mahjong anime crossed with light lesbian romance, and is pretty darn entertaining. I had previously informed Andy about who my favorite Saki character was, prior to watching any of the show.

Andy’s response? Gratz on picking the worst Saki character.

After actually watching the show, I can safely say that my runner-up favorite character is the mahjong club president who plays everyone like pawns.

Project Shinji-Dog III is slated to occur this weekend. We have yet to see if anyone (beyond Nate, Brian, and me) will attend, though—I still wonder if it’s been too short a time (only a year!) since the last Shinji-Dog.

I’m sad that I’ve known and lost touch with so many awesome people, though. I always assume the worst about humanity, but it’s hard (even for me!) to believe that when I start looking at the individuals that comprise the whole.

Made the mistake of poking around Facebook tonight (via fake account, in the traditional manner of my people). Daaaamn.

It was a shotgun blast of my past (old high school and old college names and faces) that coincided with another shotgun blast of updates to all of their lives, culminating in my brain exploding. I’m just not built to keep tabs on that many people.

On the upside: everyone I checked in on was healthy and seemingly happy. I’m glad for that, even though most all of us have gone our separate ways.


A few days ago, Brent Simmons (no relation) proposed that Mac developers should band together and create the high-power email client that the Mac has needed since time immemorial.

The main reason such a client has never been made, at least since OS X arrived, is that Apple’s Mail client is good enough—and it’s free.

Over the years I’ve used Eudora, Emailer, Outlook Express, Entourage and Thunderbird on the Mac; at work I use Outlook proper. (I have an ever-growing distrust of Google, which keeps me from keeping all my mail with them—though I have used the GMail interface a bit, too.) Out of all of those, Apple Mail (with the Letterbox plug-in) is the client I most like.

I don’t think Mail is The One, though. I don’t even know what’s missing, but I can’t shake the feeling that there’s gotta be something better than this.

And, today, no-relation Brent announced via Twitter that the “president” of the version 1.0 release of this new, open-source Mac email client (named Letters), will be John Gruber.

This is pretty much the open-source equivalent to putting Steve Jobs in charge of the project: you get the sense that the man is an opinionated ass, and you might barely be able to put up with him in person—but holy crumbs does he have the goods when it comes to delivering(/understanding what makes) a “Mac-like” product. I’m officially excited about Letters’ prospects.

Lucky me is facing down a redesign of my work’s *other* website. Late last week I learned of a good reason that I should get the site done sooner rather than later, and I’ve been pulling my hair out ever since.

I’m either going to redesign that site, or shoot myself in the face—and the difference between those two outcomes is a five-day waiting period.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi: luckiest unlucky man ever?

More sisterly commentary

I had been telling my sister about my office’s holiday party, where one of the white elephant gifts had been a Sudoku game machine. I mentioned hearing about some sort of algorithm you could use to solve those puzzles. (I haven’t actually been able to find that algorithm online, though, so maybe I was misinformed.) Lindsay stops dead in her tracks and says, “did you just say algorithm? You’re such a nerd!”

I then mentioned that I had a degree in math, so I couldn’t really deny the “nerd” bit, and Lindsay made a comment about wishing she could do math.

As I was describing this, I paused and wondered if I should take in my most impressive-looking math text and leave it lying around my desk at work. After perusing my options, I figured that the most promising one was Multivariable Calculus.

(The joke in this is that multivariable calculus is the easiest math class in the world, assuming you can do basic calculus.)

My sister then comments: “She couldn’t do that even if it didn’t have multivariable in the title.”

She then thinks for a moment, and then continues: “She couldn’t do that even if it didn’t have calculus in the title.”


A recent exchange with my sister

Sister: That’s retarded.
Me: I prefer to call it “awesome.”
Sister: You must be borderline awesome.

At the start of 2010…

Spent New Year’s Eve watching the end of Umineko with Nate. At midnight proper we were in the middle of The Legend of Koizumi, which you should watch immediately if you haven’t already seen it.

Best. New Year’s. Ever.

Yesterday I installed the fan-translated Umineko game demo; I’ve played an hour or two, and enjoyed it far more than you would expect from the look of the game.

It’s been an hour or two, and I’m not even on Rokkenjima (the island where the murders take place) yet. This thing takes time.

Tomorrow I start dancing again, though I still have some reservations about whether or not my foot is healed. I’ve been mostly pain-free over winter break—but I also haven’t been doing much to stress it, either. When I started practice-dancing this morning, things didn’t seem super-great.

That said, in December I made the mistake of listening to dance music at work on a day when my foot was completely pain-free. Somehow, despite attending almost half a year of dance practices as a gimp, the full hurt of not being able to dance didn’t really hit home until that day. If dance was food I would have been salivating buckets.

New Year’s seems to have thrown a wrench into the works that are my sleep cycle, which left me rather drained today. I managed to make it through the day without any major incidents (e.g. deleting irreplaceable data, or crashing my car into stationary objects), but I’m feeling it really hard right now. If I were the cyborg ninja and you were Snake I would tell you about how I’ve been waiting for this pain; since we are not, I will just go to sleep.


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