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Presidential Candidate Matches?

Apparently, this is a cool thing to do now.

I suckered into it, and surprisingly, the results came out pretty close to what I think, based on how I feel about the main competitors in this race...

85% Mike Gravel <--(Who?)
81% Dennis Kucinich <--(Who?)
79% Chris Dodd <--(Who?)
78% Barack Obama 77% Hillary Clinton <--(Wrong!)
76% John Edwards 75% Joe Biden <--(Who?)
64% Bill Richardson <--(Who?)
44% Rudy Giuliani 33% Ron Paul 33% John McCain 26% Tom Tancredo <--(Who?)
23% Mitt Romney 23% Mike Huckabee 13% Fred Thompson
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

New Hardware!

So, yesterday I purchased an 80GB WD hard drive and a 1000VA UPS from one of the guys who is helping start up PSG. The two items (and a Belkin 4-port powered USB 2.0 hub glued to the top of the UPS) cost me around $50. The difficulty is that the UPS is currently missing a battery (they die eventually) and the data cable that connects it to a computer to handle ACPI functions (slightly more critical, but the guy says he knows he has it, likely back in his storehouse where he lives), the USB hub is missing the power adapter (fairly critical because it's not a standard 5VDC requirement, but 7.5VDC...) and the data cable (not critical--standard USB-A to USB-B cable, of which I have many). The hard drive is fine, though it was unformatted, and the UPS was under regular use before the guy got a bigger one, so I suspect that once I get a battery in it, I'm golden. A 12VDC rechargeable battery oughtn't be too extremely expensive, and--given MTU's current ability to maintain power--is a necessary thing, 'specially since I'm starting to use my desktop more and more as a server. Since the USB hub was entirely a bonus ("Hey, I glued it to the top because this was the main cable hub for my systems for a few years. I don't need it, you can have it for free. Good luck getting it off." [rubbing alcohol and some..."mechanical persuasion" worked wonders...]), I'm not too worried about it either. So, all in all, it was good doing business with him, and I likely will ask him in the future if I have a hardware need. A little backstory on the guy--he's brilliant as hell in a wide variety of technical fields (he's created an algorithm for cryptography based on Rubik's Cubes that is essentially unbreakable, he's worked on a recent GE supercomputer project harnessing the power of thousands of parallel procs, he's created a "Theory of Reality" that no one on campus has been able to poke holes in and makes hella lot of sense...need I go on?), he has been doing computer stuff since an age at which I was learning to read (which, for general information, was a fairly young age compared to normal), and has one (or two) entire storage spaces filled with computer hardware scrapped out of old machines. He has a very small subset of this vast hardware Shangri-La here on campus, but it's sufficient to supply pretty much anything one might possibly want, for a relatively low price. Hard drives are around a quarter per gigabyte (though that may depend on size, quality, condition, and current available funds in your wallet), other things are priced in a similar fashion.
Needless to say, even if I weren't interested in PSG, I'd continue going to the meetings just so I could maintain a connection with this guy. Fascinating person to talk to--spent almost five hours last night in his room, sitting on my newly-purchased UPS, talking about anything and everything. (Then, of course, like any responsible student with a 0900 class the next morning, I went upstairs to my house, and spent another couple hours watching a Star Trek movie, also sitting on my UPS--surprisingly comfortable seat, that).


Hi, my name is Andrew Meyer, and my roommate is a gaming addict.

Seriously. Yesterday, he spent all day on Runescape (Heh, at least it's not WoW) and TeamSpeak, urging his gaming partners to "Bind him, bind him... Meet at the graveyard... Oh, I'm binded..." (bound, dammit, bound)

Well, I don't have an issue with that. Everyone has their own little quirks, right? What bothers me is that he came back to the room at around 01:00 last night, and to my surprise, started up his computer and began playing Runescape again with TeamSpeak! At 01:00!

That kinda annoys me, but I kinda fell asleep before I could think of something to say.

This morning, around 03:30, the snowplows came through. How do I know this? My roommate has gotten into this thing where, just before he goes to bed, he opens the window and turns up the heat. I haven't figured this out, but it doesn't ordinarily bother me except when the plows come through.

I went back to sleep like any sane person at that hour of the morning, fully expecting another five hours of sleep.

At 07:00, I heard an amazing sound--that of my roommate's computer turning on. I opened one blurry eye and peered over, and--lo and behold--he was sitting there, opening up a browser and putting on his headset. He then proceeded to inform his gaming partners and I that, "We totally ought to schedule a clan war tonight some time." NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! I'm going to have to talk to him this afternoon--this is unacceptable. He may not be attending his morning classes, but I am, 'specially this close to finals! (also 'specially since I haven't ever skipped a class in my life without illness or academic contest as a reason)


So you cut all the tall trees down,
You poisoned the sky and the sea.
You've taken what's good from the ground,
But you've left precious little for me.
You remember the flood and the fall,
We remember the light on the hill.
There should be enough for us all,
But the dollar is driving us still.

The river runs red, black rain falls, dust in my hand.
The river runs red, black rain falls on my bleeding land.

So we came and we conquered and found
Riches of commons and kings
Who strangled and wrestled the ground,
But they never put back anything.
Now I'm trapped like a dog in a cage
Wherever the truth is pursued.
It must be the curse of the age
What's taken is never renewed.

The river runs red, black rain falls, dust in my hand.
The river runs red, black rain falls on my bleeding land.
The river runs red, black rain falls, dust in my hand.
The river runs red, black rain falls on my bleeding land...
...on my bleeding land.
The river runs red, black rain falls, dust in my hand (my hand).
The river runs red, black rain falls on my bleeding land.
The river runs red (river runs red), black rain falls (black rain falls), dust in my hand (my hand).
The river runs red (river runs red), black rain falls on my bleeding land...

--Midnight Oil, "River Runs Red"

I love Midnight Oil. They're a rock/alternative group which is very, very green. Green as in environmentalist. I'm pretty green myself, though it is hard not to be when one has been an outdoors enthusiast like me for as long as I have. This song gets me every time, because, though it's about the current state of Australia's environment, it speaks for the world as a whole. Corporations are so focused on short-term profits, so driven towards the bottom line, so short-sighted when it comes to treating the Earth well, that they cannot see that what they are doing will quite possibly make the Earth uninhabitable for humanity in an altogether too-short timeframe. It is heartbreaking. I'm almost tempted to join Greenpeace, but I don't believe that their politics and methods are the right way to do things. I think, as with many things, the best way to effect change is to get into the inside and work from there. It works for virii, both organic and electronic), psychology (hey, if a therapist isn't getting into your mind, thenthey aren't doing the job assigned), and marketing (although that's really the same as psychology); why not the corporate world?

I took a couple of environmental impact quizzes: = 12-acre footprint = 15 tons CO2 emissions a year = 2.36 tonnes CO2 per year

I try my best most of the time to minimize my impact, but I'm not quite there yet. It does help, being a college student who walks, bikes, or skis everywhere.


Where's the church, who took the steeple?
Religion is in the hands of some crazy-ass people,
Television preachers with bad hair and dimples.
The god's honest truth is it's not that simple.
It's the Buddhist in you, it's the Pagan in me,
It's the Muslim in him, she's Catholic ain't she?
It's the born again look its the WASP and the Jew.
Tell me what's goin' on, I ain't got a clue!

--Jimmy Buffett, "Fruitcakes"

One day, my third grade teacher said that we were going to have a party at the end of the week, probably for Halloween or Christmas or some such holiday. One of my best friends at the time (I am reasonably sure her first name was Amanda, but time has not been kind to my memories of my life that far in the past...) turned to me and said, "I'm not gonna be there."
"Why? You'll miss the party!" My young mind went through all the reasons I could come up with for her to have to miss the was a very short list.
"My family is Jehovah's Witnesses. We don't believe in parties or holidays."
"Wow...that seems like a dumb religion," I said.
"Holidays aren't Christian, my parents say," she told me.
"Well, I'm Christian, and we celebrate holidays, so there," I retorted. I can't recall where the rest of the conversation went, but I do know that she did in fact miss all of the parties our class had that year, all of the parties the next year, and all of the parties during fifth grade. Then I left the school to go to standalone middle school, and lost track of her for a while.
During eighth grade, our school had a grade-level trip to D.C. On one of our tours, we ended up mingling with another tour group from a different school. There was a girl there who looked familiar, but I couldn't place her until she turned slightly and I saw her nametag. I called out her name, and she turned to look at me. Apparently, she recognized me on sight. The only words she said to me were, "You were right."

This memory came to me during my meditation just before I went to bed last night. It renewed in me the feeling that organized religion as religion is a very odd concept. (Organized religion as a social gathering, I agree with. But the line stops there.) The Campus Crusade for Christ, or CCC, held a meeting last night entitled "Is Christianity Credible?", seemingly aimed at drawing members away from the MTU Pastafarians and reestablishing the CCC's reputation on campus. (It seems that many people on campus tend to laugh them off, because a lot of the time, they're so sincere and frank about trying to save your soul--at least the members I've talked to--that one just feels like giving them a pat on the head and a cookie. I don't mean to sound patronizing, but...we're in college. If people don't have religion now, they likely won't have it until they're much older, if at all.) The answer is, no, Christianity isn't credible. But, that's not the issue. If you need a religion to be credible for you to believe in it, you aren't going to be able to believe in a religion. Religion is based on an individual's personal faith in something, nothing more, nothing less. There's no "credibility" involved. Religion isn't a scientific theory--it's a group of stories that people decide to put faith into. Faith != credibility.

That's essentially my view on religion. If you couldn't guess, I tend away from religion altogether. This is not to say that I'm completely atheist. Nor do I feel I'm agnostic. Rather, I feel very spiritual, especially when outdoors in the beauty of nature, and I think the native Americans had the right idea.

I also feel that the other purpose of religion that people state--that being a way of moral living--does not apply to me, because I am a Scout. I have taken several oaths (the Boy Scout Oath, the Eagle Scout Oath, and the Order of the Arrow Obligation) and try at all times to adhere to the Boy Scout Law. Thus, I feel that my life is as moral as others'.

In conclusion, I suppose that my philosophy on religion is much like that stated my Jimmy Buffett in "Fruitcakes". It isn't simple, and is very much an individual thing.

Dinner Musings

So, I was at dinner a couple hours ago (taco bar++, 'specially with fresh strawberry rhubarb pie for dessert!), and I realized halfway through my first taco that the table behind me was full of a large group of Asian girls (a quick estimate yielded around ten) chattering away. However, my fogged mind wasn't clicking very fast, so it took me a few more bites to realize that they all were chattering in very fast, very fluent Spanish, all with very good accents. This struck me as odd, and I'm afraid I stared a bit too long, and they all dropped into their native language when one noticed me looking and listening. I suppose it was odd because most of our international students speak their native language and English, and nothing else--English is their foreign language for the most part. I finished my tacos and pie (mmm, good pie) and went back upstairs for a while before the guy in charge of bike storage came back to his office, and mentioned this incident on the LUG IRC channel. Byan asked if I was sure it was Spanish and not Mandarin...I won't go into the IB Spanish program in detail, but suffice it to say that, after going through it, I can usually detect the subtle differences between Mandarin and Spanish...

/me wants more of that pie...


So, every night, my roommate comes in at around 00:00-01:00, sets his alarm, plays Flash games on his gaming computer for a while, and goes to sleep. Every morning, his alarm goes off at 08:50, he wakes up after five minutes of beeping, gets out of bed, turns off the alarm...and gets back into bed and goes to sleep. Now, none of this bothers me in particular. If he wants to skip his 09:00 class, it isn't my business to comment. However, it strikes me as particularly pointless to set the alarm if he's going to essentially ignore it anyway. I haven't figured this out yet, but I'll probably post about it when I do.

It's snowing again. We have around a bunch of snow right now. Yes, "a bunch" is now a scientific quantity. IIRC, I heard a number of around 58 cm. It's also getting colder, though it's so dry I hardly notice that it's now -10C instead of -3C.

I'm sitting here in my Perspectives class, looking out the window at people slipping about in the new snow and listening to my instructor tell us about how to make money in real estate. It's interesting, but real estate's not really my style. I'm more of a stock/ETF kind of guy. Good stuff, ETF's are. Traded exactly like any other stock, they're shares of an entire index. So, you buy into a NASDAQ ETF, or an S&P500; ETF, etc. The nice thing about this is that, unlike a single stock, it takes an enormous amount of badness to make an ETF go down significantly. Because they're based on hundreds of companies' stocks, ETF's tend to rise due to the fact that, almost all the time, there are more stocks going up than there are going down.


It sure seems like there's lots of little gaps between my classes this semester. Little as in, like, 30 minutes. Not long enough to walk back to my room, too long to meditate through. So, I sit in various places around campus, talk on IRC and IM, and post to LJ.

Currently, I'm trying to download a LaTeX program, so I can read the documentation for the LUG server. This is necessary because it crashed--again--last night. It appears that our frontend has bad caps on the motherboard, so we'll have to replace either the whole box, or at least the mobo. It's not too big a deal, actually, because NUXI brought up a bunch of old IBM Netfinity hardware a few weeks ago. It looks like we'll be using one of the 5600's for our frontend, and the two drive boxes for storage. The current backend will stay that way, and we may bring the old backend online again if we can find a decent power supply that will power all the drives we want in it. Currently, the PSU in it is only rated for 220W, and we want like twelve drives in there. Also, we need another power splitter.

Anyway, back to the file. It's only around a 560MB file. I know, only, eh? See, /me is used to downloading Linux ISOs, which tend towards the 680MB range. So, I'm downloading this file while connected to Rovernet, which may be part of the problem, but it's coming down at 5.5KB/s...grr...'specially since, while I was helping Dark and Christian work on the server last night, I was trying to download the same file from the same 200+KB/s. The reason that failed was that, at around 22:10, the border router dropped off and thus connections to the outside world disappeared until 22:35. At which point I basically said, "Screw it," and pushed it off until tomorrow (ie, today). That was a mistake, apparently.

So, I stopped riding my bike, because I decided that it would be better for the future operability of said item if I put it into storage now. I haven't decided whether the derailleurs aren't working due to ice or rust. I'm hoping that it's ice, because that will be easily fixed...rust, not so much. Of course, this means that I will have to walk up to the ATDC tonight after EE lab ends at 18:00, and walk back down to Wads G04 by 21:00 for the PSG meeting. Why do I have so many organizations I belong to?

Hmm...still waiting. And the file is only 4% done. Bugger. Well, I can always set up another of my many server accounts to run IRSSI, so if my desktop goes down over break, and some tragedy hits MTU and decimates some of the servers, I will still be able to talk on IRC. Actually, I probably ought to do it on isis, because that's the off-campus one. Yay! I know what to do for the next ten minutes!

Yay! I now have four (count them, four) instances of IRSSI running on various computers around the Midwest. I will not be disconnected from IRC! Of course, that begs the question of what to do now...

5% on the file...I hate to hibernate now, but maybe I can get a different server if I retry the download. /me hopes and crosses his fingers.

I'm Bored

So, I'm sitting here in Diff Eq. I'm bored, on one hand, because my professor is less than interesting most of the time. On the other hand, I'm worried (a lot) because I discovered, a few weeks ago, that he had begun speaking a different language, and I have not had a chance to make up the difference...On the gripping hand, I'm highly annoyed at whoever is responsible for not listing this class as having a prerequisite of Calc 3, as my prof said he's been asking for for several years. Grr...
I have a presentation in Perspectives next hour. It should be fun. We had to form groups and create businesses with our groups. There's four groups in the class, and from what I've heard, our business is the most thought-out, concrete one in the class. This is good, because the prof will be grading us based on whether he would invest in us...we're totally gonna dominate. The four of us are gonna be dressed sharp, the PowerPoint is clean and simple, we're familiar enough with the business by now (several weeks' work does that) that our presentation flows smoothly from one to another of us. I'm really excited about this.
Thinking about things, it kinda is nice to have this LJ account, because it gives me something other than defragmenting my hard drive to do in class when I'm bored...


December 10 2007, 14:42:51

Just as a follow-up:
Our group got a 98 on our presentation. Rumour has it that other groups got 80s. So, we did well.

First Entry

I suppose it is uninspired to make an entry called "First Entry". Bah. I don't feel creative right now.
Ooh! My lappy has finished backing up it's hard drive. That's good. (Yes, I can be ADD at times, but so can we all).
So, I started this LJ mostly because I felt like having a blog somewhere that I could occasionally rant at. I used to try to do this just by creating files on my computer, but seeing as I like to keep my hard drives clean...I figured I'd use someone else's disk space! Besides, I'm feeling a touch out of the loop now that I'm at college, where it seems that all of the people in the organizations I'm in, have a LJ account and a Facebook account. I haven't decided whether I ought to get a Facebook account yet. We'll see. It isn't like I really need another way to waste my time on the computer. I mean, IM, email, and IRC are enough as it this will likely be a place where I dump all my insanity when it piles up too high. There might be story fragments, discussions of experiences I've had, descriptions of how I really do hate computers...and other stuff.

But, as with many things in my life, this will likely not be updated regularly. C'est la vie.