August 22nd, 2003


Guinne Ceapag

Today, at work, I got an email from someone in Britain, aKarli Gunn, looking for relatives in the states. I caught themon AIM, and we chatted for awhile. It was interesting, but I don'tthink they're by any means a close relative, and surprisingly, Iknow more about Clan Gunn than they did... We talked about politics,and a few other things, briefly, and then I got back to work. One thingthat I didn't find out was if Karli is a female or male name -- it'scertainly not a name that I've heard before, to my memory.

I've been recieving an absolutely incredible amount of spam recently,with at least half of it being mostly a rather large attached PIF.I'm imagining this is a work of some virus passing around theinternet... too lazy to research it. Fortunately, with about 6 linesin my filters, I've blocked about 900 messages over the last 3 days.I've been meaning to upgrade psmail though.. I want to make the filterssmarter and faster, redo the GUI version or maybe do a curses version,and perhaps add MIME support. I'd like to model the interface after PINE..

After work today, I went to Coffee Tree, and from 17:55 to 23:40, learnedmod_perl and rewrote POUND into a module that works under it. Overall, itwas a wonderful experience -- there was a lot of code duplicated betweenthe seperate CGIs, and also, once all the code to manipulate the databasewas in one place, it wasn't too hard to add some new features. There's alsosome (not presently hooked up to anything) code to implement customcolour schemes. On the downside, either the documentation for mod_perl reallysucks, or I really suck at reading documentation.. or maybe the documentationset in RedHat 9.1beta1 is incomplete. I didn't find the $r->uri() methoddocumented anywhere in there. I'll probably make the changes live tomorrow.After I do that, google will be able to index everything. Huzzah.

Yesterday, I noticed, during a lab meeting, that one of the screensaversin the xscreensaver package, barcode, is definitely not appropriate forpublic display. It has some words in it that came up on my screen, thatcompelled me quickly to disable that particular module. Sometime, I'llgrab the source (the words are compiled into the binary .. *sigh*) andmake a somewhat less offensive version. Not that I would mind if I didn'thave my laptop at work/school .. Fortunately, I don't think anyone elsesaw. It was a fun meeting -- Anya, someone from my group at CMU, gave asummary of a conference she went to, and some of the talks sounded reallyinteresting. I'm probably going to see if I can grab some of the papersand see if I can wrap my brain around them. And that's a nice segue intoanother topic.. I've been thinking about the situation at work.. and I'verealized that I'm really kind of jealous of a lot of the people in theprogram here. I think it'd be really cool to go on all the neat, math-geekyconferences that they're all perpetually going on, both because they'reinteresting, and because I think that a lot of people at work wouldprobably be cool to hang out with. I don't think I really can be a partof that ... I'm not really 'one of them'. Our group is mostly grad students,and everyone but me and one other person is doing really advanced coolstuff with math, and that other person has an advanced math degree anyhow.I mean, sure, to toot my own horn a bit, I'm a really really good programmer,learning new things quickly and well, and I have the habits and interestin making maintainable code. I can massage the hell out of data in Perl, andhave a skill set that doesn't overlap with anyone else in the lab.. but Istill feel left out.... like a minor character in a novel. It probably doessay a lot about me, or where I work, that I care so much. And even now, I'mrealizing that my plan to sneak through most of grad school as a non-degreestudent means that I'm missing out on the grad student experience. This alwaysseems to happen to me -- I find alternate ways through life for things, waysthat seem better, but I miss out on experiencing a lot of the things that Iwish I could experience.. What am I to do with these conflicting desires toforge my own path, and to belong... I always feel like the simpler paths inlife are there, beckoning me, and if I wern't so *me*, I could make differentdecisions and be more happy...

On that topic, I'm a bit nervous about classes starting next monday. I need to makesure that the first PUSH meeting happens, and that we can get more people.I'm also worried about workload.. Will I really be able to manage 40 hourswork plus two classes? Zets? PUSH? Will I have any time left? I've updated my online schedule... and it's scary. Mondays, when I'll want to try to lump as muchof the make-up time from work as possible, are not going to be at all fun..If that old rule of thumb for an hour out of class for every hour in holds,then I'm in for a 56 hour workweek.

Unrelated: Banning bums?


Real things are for the weak

From IRC:<dl-hurley> what do you expect me to do but say random things on irc?<michael> i dunno<michael> say real things?<dl-hurley> bah<dl-hurley> real things are for the weak

I head back to Brecksville tonight, for a family reunion of mymom's side. It'll probably be fun, but the timing is weird, withclasses starting next week. Ideally, I'd be spending this weekendin the woods, far away from other people, maybe with my tent.Oh well.

For some reason, I'm feeling really distant from Zets recently.Perhaps it's partly my dislike of N, who I once had a crush on,but later found out to be dishonest and selfish. Perhaps it'sthe thing with K that didn't turn out like I expected it to.Perhaps it's just my current dissatisfaction with things in general,or something else I'm not seeing right now.

I've been having my strange geometric nightmares again.. and it alwaysis strange, waking up in absolute terror, and realizing that the thingthat brought you to that state wasn't something that should've beenfrightening in the least..

I'll be moving my blog over to mod_perl later today, I think.The new URLs will be better to bookmark than the old ones -- I'llkeep the CGIs around for awhile, but at some point, they'll begoing away.