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Amelia's blog posts


::purrs contentedly::
Found a good-quality MP3 of the acoustic version of Linkin Park's "Numb", performed, apparently, by the guy who created the acoustic music for the song, credited as Modist. Oh, so good.::more purring::

I has a rearview mirror again! Well, almost. The button has been glued on, and I'll attach the mirror to it tomorrow morning when I head to work.

Hmm.../me is sleepy.

::curls up and sleeps::

No, I'm not OCD (much)

OK, so, yeah. First, I wanna say that that last post was NOT meant to worry anyone--it was definitely more along the lines of me blowing off steam and losing emotional energy than anything else. I prolly ought to have made it private, but I forgot, and there you have it.

On to the more interesting stuff. I got back to my grandparents' house this afternoon after picking up our new house key from the realtor, and found myself, a few hours later, sitting here on the couch catching up with the world as it rains outside, having:

  • Finished and put away three loads of wash.

  • Cleaned up my room and packed up the stuff I'll be moving to the new house over the next week or so.

  • Started a load of towels in the laundry.

  • Cleaned the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms.

  • Made every shiny surface and item in the house is as shiny as it can possibly be, and clean to boot.

  • Vacuumed all the carpets.

  • Swept and cleaned all the non-carpeted floors except the basement concrete.

  • Oiled the hinges on a door that's been bugging me.

  • Balanced my checkbook.

  • Sharpened all of my pocketknives.

I maintain that I am not OCD. I am also not becoming Hannelore. I just started by finishing up last night's wash, and then things lead to each other, and so...

But I am of the firm belief that shiny things MUST be shiny, and sharp things MUST be sharp. Seriously. Haven't you ever looked at a shiny thing, like the faucet in your sink, and thought, "My, but that faucet used to be shiny and lent life and openness to the room. Now it's dull and drab, and the room is just kinda sad and dreary like this..."? Don't lie, you have. So, you know what I'm talking about. Shiny things need to be shiny or there's just something that isn't right in the world (besides papercuts, terrorists, dust mites, people on the internet, etc.,), and you're forced to fix the situation.

There's actually a more logically-valid (as if the above wasn't logical and valid enough) reason for sharp things to be sharp. In fact, there are three particular good reasons, and they are important enough that I'm gonna bust out the HTML:

  1. Effort: Sharp things are easier to use if they are sharp.

  2. Safety: Sharp things that are sharp allow you to use less force and have more control.

  3. Recovery: Sharp things that truly are sharp cut a much cleaner path, thus allowing any inadvertent wounds to heal much more quickly and cleanly, frequently without scarring (Why do you think surgeons use obsidian scalpels? When it cleaves, it does so in such a way, and along such angles, that the resulting edge is really, really, really fucking sharp.)

Now, obviously, most people who deal with knives (well, OK, I'm pretty much only talking about the BSA here) don't really acknowledge that last one. However, it makes intuitive sense. It also may just be me and my mildly fatalistic ways (I figure that, IF I'm gonna do something stupid or risky, I wanna make sure that the only injurious possible outcome leads to an instantaneous death. I don't wanna lie around as a vegetable for the next thirty years, uh-uh.), but then again, it may just come from having been around knives and sharp things for over a decade (heh, it's so fun to be able to say that!) and having developed a keen (no pun intended) respect and understanding of them. It also probably helps that I carry one or two reminders of what a sharp edge can do to a body on my own person, and they are testaments to the rapidity of healing when dealt a blow by a truly sharp edge.

Bon Jovi is at the palace tonight, and no one told me. ::sad kitty::

On the other hand, there's no way I could justify the expense of tickets coming out of my own pocket (notice how I left it open for someone else to pay? ::clever kitty bats at a fresh ball of yarn::), so I guess it's good enough that 'CSX is apparently playing their entire collection of Bon Jovi hits tonight.


So, browsing through the XKCD archives, and came across this gem, transcribed below:

XKCD #137: Dreams

Guy1: You should be more careful what you write. You never know when a future employer might read it.
Guy2: When did we forget our dreams?
Guy1: What?
Guy2: The infinite possibilities each day holds should stagger the mind. The sheer number of experiences I could have is uncountable, breathtaking, and I'm sitting here refreshing my inbox. We live trapped in loops, reliving a few days over and over, and we envision only a handful of paths laid out ahead of us. We see the same things each day, we respond the same way, we think the same thoughts, each day a slight variation on the last, every moment smoothly following the gentle curves of societal norms. We act like if we just get through today, tomorrow our dreams will come back to us.

And no, I don't have all the answers. I don't know how to jolt myself into seeing what each moment could become. But I do know one thing: the solution doesn't involve watering down my every little idea and creative impulse for the sake of someday easing my fit into a mold. It doesn't involve tempering my life to better fit someone's expectations. It doesn't involve constantly holding back for fear of shaking things up. This is very important, so I want to say it as clearly as I can:

Tooltext: In Connor's second thesis it is stated 'There is no fate but what we make for ourselves.' Does the routine destroy our creativity or do we lose creativity and fall into the routine? Anyway, who's up for a road trip!

I cannot possibly agree more, other than actually becoming Randall Monroe, but that would just be weird. It has been mentioned to me in various contexts that I should think about what I'm doing now, so that I have a better chance of $activity in the future. I am of the opinion that, if the $activity was actually interesting to me, then it probably doesn't care about whatever I'm doing right now. If it does, then I'm probably not interested in it. And, I realize that this thinking could end up getting me into a tight place someday, but, dammit, we live in a country that, at least on a theoretical level, grants us the right to reasonable free speech and expression, and I'll be damned before I give that up to fit myself somewhere that may or may not exist in the future. As someone who studies probability and statistics, the expected value from such sacrifice is significantly less than whatever was sacrificed. Mathematically speaking, it doesn't make any sense. From a different perspective, it doesn't make sense for someone who has, for many years now, actively fought for human rights across the globe, including (and these times, especially) in the US, to give up the selfsame rights thatthey are fighting for for others in order to conform to a potential future standard.

These days, what with all the shit going on in the government and the world, as well as a growing realization that I am not as young as I was and the perception that I am losing much of the spontaneous creativity that I once had (OK, yes, I'll only be 20 in December, but, dammit, I've been a kid with a mostly adult mind for the better part of the last decade, and so a lot of the time it feels like I'm much older), I find myself grappling with this kind of issue a lot. Maybe it's just a perception, or that I'm bored and don't have enough to do to keep my mind occupied, or perhaps it's just part of growing up (like the settling of the daemons in Lyra's world in the His Dark Materials trilogy) that one just needs to accept, but I have much difficulty nowadays just sitting down and creating things out of nowhere. I used to be able to sit down and pull elaborate worlds out of the ether, via drawing or writing. Now, I sit at my desk, and look at a blank piece of paper, and sigh, and the webcomic that I have been trying to start has thus far not had even a single, solitary line drawn to paper. Instead, it seems my creativity has either vanished or had some form of unwilling transformation put on it, locking it to one form much different from it's previous fluid nature. Perhaps this all is just me finally going through the insecurity of adolescence, having put that all off in order to better server those I lead during the normal time for such development. Mayhap it stems from having been at school, on my own, relying on my own skills to make it through life and running my own schedule, looking back on high school and feeling an uncrossable gap back to those days. It may be related to the fact that I currently have no real home, my roots having been pulled up in a sense, not belonging in Milwaukee anymore, not being at school, and feeling lost in a new place over in Michigan, most familiar things either changed or gone entirely. Perchance it has something to do with going to a Cub Scout camp and spending a few hours watching the kids and wondering at the thought that I once was that small and full of boundless energy. Whatever it is, I'm not sure, and I'm even less sure as to how to go about fixing it or coping with it. I suppose I will get through it, on my own skills and with the help of friends and family.

I sit and look back through what I have written here, not editing it but for typos and awkward phrasing, and I think that it looks much more depressed than I actually am. To be sure, there may be bits of that there, and I may yet have to deal with that, as there is a family history of that. However, I personally feel that I am not depressed, just retrospective, approaching a milestone in my life at a time in which very little is sure. I have found out information about people close to me that I did not and do not care to know, and things are a little weird at times. It also doesn't help that there have been a number of sources of strong emotion around me recently, and I have not had many chances to relieve myself of the absorbed emotional energy of those encounters. Nevertheless, I am starting to find myself a stable footing, I think, and perhaps fro there I can figure out exactly what I need to do to either repair my spirit or adapt myself to make more realistic expectations of myself.

Like a small boat at sea, I suspect the underlying trouble is that I have partially lost the strong guiding factor in my life: a purpose. For many years, I was a leader in my Boy Scout troop, and heavily involved in school groups and academia. I had a vision of what I intended to do with my life, and I had people who looked to me to help them develop their own visions and set their compasses to point a true line. Then, the troop began to falter, for one reason or another, and I had to pull much harder to keep the troop, myself, and those under me together and heading down a steady course. Eventually, I found things going easier, and I could let go a bit. I focused more on my studies and activities, earned my Eagle rank, and graduated high school. I adjusted my vision a bit to account for my means, and continued on. I worked at a Boy Scout camp as the director of an area as only a second-year staff member. The work was fun, I know I helped many boys find a path for themselves, and I hoped that I had, at least in some small way, shown them how better to live their lives. However, it was a bit much, and I was a bit burned out by the end of the summer. I found myself at college, and, like many of my newfound friends and others in my situation, I had to essentially recreate myself. Gone were many of the institutions that had defined me in the past, and so I found new ones to replace them. I still had a course laid out, and I felt I could branch out a bit. I ended up with much, much more on my plate than I had ever had before, and things started to get skewed a little. Some of the perspective I had once had was gone, as I had to focus an increasing amount of attention to the immediate moment and significantly smaller amount of attention on the overall picture, the future, the distant shore, my destination. I heard over the year about the initial successes of the troop I had pulled through its darker days, the positive growth of various activities I had been involved with in high school and the school itself, and I felt buoyed up by that. However, then, about the same time it became apparent that I had perhaps stretched myself a little thin at school, one by one, those successes began to turn sour. The troop was falling apart, colliding against the rocks of stubbornness and tradition. Various organizations at my high school seemed to be losing their purpose that I had once admired. Things, as they are wont to do, were changing. In dealt with it all, but, looking back, I was beginning to question the path I had chosen, so long ago, which had been held so firm in my mind until that point. Around that time, I finally came up with what i thought was as accurate a descriptor of my sexuality as I could possibly get, and I essentially came out to a select number of people. Response was positive, and I thought I might have regained my footing again. School ended, however, and suddenly I was running full on, with nothing but ice underneath. My father's job hung in the balance of stubborn, seemingly heartless people so incredibly far removed from my family that I may as well have been a piece of lint they brushed off their expensive suits. My financial situation, while still within acceptable limits for the time being, was considerably worse than I had expected it to be going into my first year of college. Things were not going to plan. At this point, naturally, my repressed (not sure this is the right word, but it's the best I can do) adolescence, with all its insecurity, uncertainty, and confusion hit. I had too much time to think and not enough to think about, like driving a Ferrari and hitting a patch of ice--too much power and too little control, spinning wheels with no effect. Things have finally started settling down, but I have yet to find a chance to work through all this and figure out what the hell is going on.

I'm thinking that I have ranted long enough now. I'll make it through, though I realize that's little consolation to someone who has read all of that above here. I can assure you that, whatever, I end up deciding, will have been decided with logic and much thought behind it. And, I look towards the future, and I see the sun rising again, just starting to peek above the horizon, and so I think, "Hold on, hope, we're gonna be all right soon."

On Storms

from life import dealWithIt
if (no_power and well_water):
  if (solo):
    dealWithIt('mild_curses', 10)
    dealWithIt('SEP', 4)   

At least I took my shower last night, instead of this morning like I was going to.

Driving this week has been fun, as there's no traffic. Driving today was even more fun, because there was literally two other cars around me the entire trip. Which is a good thing, as I've been noticing just how much I actually rely on my rearview mirror for lane position, speed, and spatial awareness, and it's currently not attached...but I'll be fixing it tonight, I hope.

/me needs to remember to put his

  • water bottle

  • Gerber multitool

  • sunglasses

  • parents' garage-door opener

into his checked baggage, so he doesn't get arrested.

Thoughts on solo living, day three:

  • losing power sucks (see above)

  • being an Internet-based person, and not having teh intartubes available (or phones, apparently the phone lines went down too) is teh sux0rs.

  • being the first person to work in the morning when it's raining and cold is kinda annoying.

  • complaining about petty stuff makes it seem much worse than it actually has been.

  • I will not, ever, be a hermit. I like people too much.

::sleepy kitty wakes up, yawns, stretches, turns in a circle a few times, curls back up, and goes to sleep::


The Challenge:
- 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.

  1. I have worked as a Pioneering merit badge counselor for two years at a Boy Scout camp in the northern part of WI.

  2. I have successfully gone nineteen years without a drivers' licence.

  3. I have decided that it isn't worth the endless confusion to try to define myself to others in regards to religion, sexuality, political views, or computer language of choice.

On Driving (and other things)

So, driving to work is fun. I have a pretty short route (13.6 miles), much of which is 50mph or higher. It's a good route, because I'm heading the opposite direction of much of the traffic both ways I go, so it's a fast route. It's even better this week, as it's a holiday week and there's little traffic on the roads at all, and the traffic that is there is going much faster than normal (case in point: M59 East this morning from Crooks Rd. to Mound averaged 85mph in the right lane).

However, it can be an annoying route, too, as Mound tends to be a bit congested heading north after work, especially around 16:15-16:45. There are always the weird drivers on M59 (example: following a guy going 45 on M59, go to pass him and he floors it to around 85. I drop back behind and he panic-brakes to 45 again. Rinse and repeat from Mound to Crooks...), and the turn from M59 to Crooks is almost invariably bad. Best yet, the turn from Crooks onto Avon and then onto Lynndale is exciting, because I need to get into the center turn lane fairly quickly past the intersection, but there's almost always some idiot (and always in a big SUV or truck) who decides to get into the turn lane a block down the street and drive in it until the intersection of Crooks and Avon. I'm sorry, but there is no way in hell that I'm gonna play chicken with someone whose vehicle outmasses mine by a factor of two or I kinda straddle the line and just try not to get clipped.

Anyway, so, it's always fun to walk into work and be greeted, as you're coming up the stairs to your area, by your boss, who says, "Hey, so, there's a couple new guys coming in, and I'd like you to bring them up to speed on Scorpion by the end of today. Oh, and, by the way, I'm not entirely sure that one guy is coming, but you should wait around and be ready to start any time now, between now and 09:00." Good thing I've still got the tutorial files and such, and the knowledge of two weeks' fiddling with and cursing at said software package.

Oh, and, I just found the most bad-ass picture of Susan (character from EGS) ever: Bad-ass Susan!
Yes, I suppose the hair might be a little excessive, but...if I were able to grow my hair that long, I'd totally do it. Alas, mine has stopped halfway down my back, and there it sits.

Ooh! I just got news that I can, in fact, take off the 17th and 18th of July! Berserker, here we come!

Thoughts on day one of solo living:

  • Having leftovers is wonderful, both for lunches and for dinner.

  • Having a deck is really nice--sitting out on the deck, with me lappy in hand, was glorious.

  • Catnip is fun.

  • Things aren't so lonely when one has parents and then an aunt from CA calling in to say hi.

Thoughts on day two of solo living:

  • Not having a rearview mirror on one's car kinda sucks.

  • Paying $50.06 for 11.809 gallons of gas really sucks.

  • Having eaten all the leftovers means that one cannot be über-lazy, and thus the Ramen goddess descends.

  • Balls of yarn are fun.

So, yeah. Fun stuffs, and a flight home tomorrow! ::bats at a ball of yarn contentedly, curls up, and sleeps::

Edit (July 02, 2008, 19:05): And, I just got salmoned again, this time with the starter "This is the coolest, most awesome LiveJournal user ever:", but my opposite never replied. ::sad kitty::

Must be weird having your LJ be swarmed like that. Craziness.


OK, so, anything that makes me literally laugh out loud, especially first thing in the morning before I've started working, is more than worth a post. First, watch this, the new Discovery Channel video.

Then, read this, keeping in mind the structure of the commercial.

Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada...

...boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada...

Yes, yes I am

OK, so, I've set up a collection of my own personal little nerd things, just for fun.

  1. I work for 8, 8:30 hours on two computers at once (and some very expensive hardware and software), then come home and play with my laptop and servers for another 4-5 hours.

  2. My idea of fun? Not fragging enemies or racing cars but figuring out relations in series of data and keeping my personal numbers well-organized (accounting, life data, bicycle mileage, etc.).

  3. I can tell you more about the detailed workings of most technology than I could ever hope to tell you about the latest Hollywood news.

  4. This LiveJournal is "20% 'What's happening in my life' and 80% 'homg computers!! <3<3<3'" (thanks, frostcrystal ;-P).

  5. I'm currently sitting in a room with five (5, 0b00000101) running, in-use computers, and I'm connected to three others that I directly control and otherwise connected through or to seventeen others.

  6. I can count all the computers I'm connected directly to, connecting through, and working on.

  7. I do the above fairly regularly.

  8. I pass nerd tests with flying colors.

  9. I edit Wikipedia, and occasionally even add new articles.

  10. I run Linux.

In other news, I was salmoned last night. This is an occurrence that I have been waiting for, due to my posting of my AIM userid in a couple places. Not familiar with the term? OK, so, here's the deal:

  1. You post your IM userid (almost any protocol commonly used in the US now) somewhere, like on your LJ or deviantArt profile.

  2. A salmon bot goes out around the intarwubs, crawling for userids, and indexes your ID.

  3. At some point, at random, a salmon bot connects two userids together in an IM session, opening the conversation with some form of comment, such as "Prove the theory of gravity in twenty words or less."

  4. The bot anonymizes the conversation, showing the opposite person's userid as <something>Salmon, such as BashfulSalmon.

  5. You talk (or don't) with the other person as long as you want, then disconnect as normal.

Sort of fun, and harmless.

Undocumented code written by someone no longer working at your company really sucks, especially when it is your job to chase the gremlins out of said code. Compound this by having said code currently being used in a live situation, and make the two gremlins on the moderate part of the severity continuum. Yummy!

So, I will be flying home (Flint to Milwaukee) for the Fourth, as it wasn't much more expensive than taking the train and much simpler logistically than driving. Plus, a couple hours' trip is better than six!


June 26 2008, 00:47:42

Don't worry eventually you're on so many at once you can't keep count anymore :)

June 26 2008, 00:48:45

And that was me forgetting he wasn't logged in.

June 26 2008, 00:56:41

Heh. I don't think I've done that before, but it'll happen eventually, prolly.


| I am:

Samuel R. "Chip" Delany

Few have had such broad commercial success with aggressively experimental prose techniques.

Which science fiction writer are you?

So, took the test and came up with A) someone I've actually heard of and B) someone I actually enjoy reading and C) someone I actually sometimes agree with. Pretty classy!

Um, let's see...

Working for Valentine Robotics is awesome. Seriously. They're not paying me to say this, and even if they were, you couldn't afford their stuff anyway you all aren't the type of customers they chase. I've been given a fairly major project to head up (team of one, from what I can tell) involving the automation of a process that is currently done manually, but nearly every manufacturer of, well, practically anything. This is in the R & D stage right now, but it's very exciting as it will be worth a fair amount. Since there are some issues we need to resolve before I get the equipment I need to start working on this project, I've been working on some other, smaller projects, such as 3D stereo vision for positioning and rotation measurement. So, overall, there has been much excitement and fun stuff to do (as well as drooling over the new laptops we got). And, the software I'm using, Scorpion Vision, is fucking amazing! (when it doesn't piss me off...)

We got a house! Well, OK, we haven't closed on it yet, but it's in the works. Also, we may have a buyer for our current house, so...much relief! Especially since we've been spending much monies traversing between Milwaukee and here every weekend, and everyone on this side of the lake is kind of starting to go a little crazy on one another (or maybe that's just me? IDK...).

My grandparents are going away on a long sailing trip starting at some point next week(end), will be gone for ten (or so) days. My family's moving back and forth briefly in there somewhere, but for the most part, I'll be all on my lonesome over here for a few weeks ::tear:: and will have to manage to feed myself without the benefit of a kitchen staff ::oh, noes!::

Brittany sent me an email yesterday to say that she's having a blast in Japan, and apparently is not, as I thought earlier (based on her very cryptic email--not my fault!) there on an exchange/study-abroad program but rather is working for a company over there, I think TDK. She won't tell me what she's doing, but, on the other hand, I can't tell her what I'm doing, either (hence why that paragraph above has little concrete details--NDAs are fun! [as long as one's NDA allows one to talk about the NDA, had one a while ago that I couldn't say that I was even under one...that was tough]), so all's good.

Old, flat Mountain Dew is really not very good. Seriously. Although, it is remedied slightly when poured over a large block of ice, which also keeps the level of comments regarding the drinking of antifreeze to a lower level than normal.

Hmm...let's see, what else...::rummages around in the fragmented FAT disc that is his memory:: Oh! I...


...nope, not coming.

Bugger all, I need to not do so many things at the same time after three four five glasses of Dew (but see note above) and one in progress. Typing this, on IRC, carrying on a conversation IRL, sort-of watching the Tigers lose, and trying to figure out a way to accomplish this task for my current small project for work. Ugh.

I suppose that's the cue to stop typing and turn off the lappy...

...bye all!

(Or, IOW, "You know how some people consider 'May you have an interesting life' to be a curse?" "Yeah..." "Fuck those people. Wanna have an adventure?")


So, I just got word that I GOT THE JOB AT VALENTINE ROBOTICS! ::dances around in frenzied elation::

OK, I'm done being excited. For now. I think. ::one last little dance::

OK, so, I recently started reading a most interesting and varied webcomic, El Goonish Shive, and I like it a lot thus far (yes, I've read the entirety of the archive...). Especially this one and this one, as they remind me of a friend of mine and my eternal hopes for freely expressed love between peoples everywhere, respectively. Note that the second of those two links comes after a really long time of hinting that Ellen (dark top, openly bi) and Nanase (light top, closeted lesbian except for a few friends) were going to get together.

Which reminds me of a blog I read this morning. I'm not going to dignify it with a link, though the userpic for this post reflects my feelings on the topic. The author went on for several pages as to why the recent really bad weather in WI and much of the Midwest is directly due to our merely having considered allowing gay marriage in our fine state (for those of you out-of-state, the referendum did not pass, unfortunately, which does make me sad). I'm not going to have a long rant here about those of us in the world with sexualities which deviate from the norm, but I think that a previous post ought to explain my position in that community better than I can, methinks.

Love is.