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Fakin' it Thu, Apr 28, 2005
[I realize now that I should've written more while I was in school.  I keep writing after I come back from my 1 class because it's the only time that I have to sit around and do nothing but listen to some dude talk.  Since I don't learn anything in class, I let my mind wander].  I realized another thing about myself:  I've pretty successfully faked my way through life, which has consisted mostly of school up to this point.  At some point in the future, I'll be able to say that I faked my way through school, not all of life.  But at this point, I've been in school for about 19 of 23 years in my life, so I consider my life to have consisted primarily of school.  But I digress.  I've realized this concept before.  As I was sitting in class listening to how much other people actually understand (which is a lot at times), I realized how very little I understand.  Even the questions that people ask when they don't understand something have more knowledge of the subject than I do.  Yet somehow, by the grace of God, I manage to get by.  And not only that, I do pretty well, praise God.  My secret is this:  don't try to learn everything.  Or anything.  Just figure out the pattern.  All classes are based on a pattern.  Different teachers have different ways of giving tests and different ways of grading, but they all follow a pattern.  You don't need to master a subject to pass a class.  You need to pass the tests to pass a class.  Note to younger readers (if there are any, ever):  don't listen to me; do your best, learn all you can, because you don't want to waste all the time you've spent in school.  I would like to take my own advice, but I guess I just have a little trouble basing my life on my career in school.  It means nothing.  It's just a way for me to get a job and make some money so I can do the things I really wanna do, like drive to Vermont for the weekend to go snowboarding.  Or go to Disney World with my wife.  I have a skewed perspective. #education

Insurance Thu, Apr 28, 2005
What's the deal with insurance?  Who thought of it?  Honestly.  What lunatic thought, "Hey I know.  Let's collect money from people before accidents happen so that when they happen, we'll pay for them."  Why don't we just pay for stuff as it happens.  Wouldn't that be cheaper?  You say, "No Dave.  Look at your medical bills.  It would cost several thousand just for a routine cleaning at a dentist."  Here's my objection:  It wouldn't be several thousand if insurance wasn't involved.  The only reason medical expenses are so high is because insurance companies can pay for them.  And it's not like it's hurting insurance companies.  What business in its right mind would overpay for services for its members?  None!  The billions of dollars they collect from us gets paid out in hundreds or thousands to dentists and doctors and autobody shops.  If people couldn't afford medical care, doctors would be forced to charge less (this argument probably isn't valid because rich people can always afford things...supply and demand doesn't really apply).  But I think that things wouldn't be so expensive if people just paid for things as they happened, instead of unnecessarily pooling their money into health insurance and auto insurance companies, only to [maybe] use it later [or maybe not]. #money

Communism Wed, Apr 27, 2005
Uh oh, Google.  This doesn't look good.  Based on your Site-Flavored Google Search, it sounds like you're participating in a little information control.  "Want to offer your visitors search results that are tailored based on your site?"  So in other words, do you want people to only find certain things when they search?  For example, if your site is "flavored" guns and knives and a visitor searched for baseball, they'd find guns and knives with baseballs on them?  That's what it sounds like to me.  I think this has been tried before.  Oh yes, in Communist-run China.  I do believe that the Chinese government filters the internet for its beloved people (read here).  I'm sure that helps them keep an open mind about what's going on in the world, and I'm sure Chinese people fully understand how good Communism is. #technology

Weblogs.us (2) Tue, Apr 26, 2005
So apparently, there's this site called Weblogs.us that gives you 1GB of hosting space with WordPress installed.  And all this for free.  There must be some sort of catch.  Maybe there's a bunch of ads or popups.  Maybe that thing about "sign here to pledge your soul to the devil" was real.  I guess I'll find out. #technology

School Fri, Apr 22, 2005
As I was walking away from my grad class during the break in the middle, I realized something again (most things are realized more than once before they're blogged):  I learn nothing in class.  In any class.  Ever.  Nothing.  I only learn things on my own, when I do the homeworks or read the notes myself.  No teaching is required.  This is how I felt through most of college too.  I'd sit in class and waste my time, only to learn everything on my own when I did the homework.  The only time I ever thought class was useful was when I was taking certain calculus classes and I took huge amounts of notes.  Especially if Maz was the professor.  He'd always do tons of example problems, and the homeworks were just like the examples.  I usually found the book to be relatively useless, and all my learning was done while doing homework and looking back at example problems.  Another useless (and this time completely useless) book was called "Fluid Mechanics" by Frank M. White.  Utterly useless.  It's like trying to learn Japanese from a Chinaman.  The book assumes that the reader/student already knows everything.  So it just talks about all kinds of crazy fluidesque topics without introducing them or explaining them.  I was glad to be done with that book and that class, just like pretty much every other class I've ever taken in my whole entire life.  What, would I actually miss a class?  I don't think so.  I don't really have feelings.  And I especially don't have feelings for classes that beat me and dragged me through the mud.  But anyway, what really kills me about this class I'm taking right now is that one of the books is that same stupid fluid mechanics book.  I was mildly excited to learn that I'd be getting books that were included in the price of the class (thanks to you, Joe Taxpayer).  But when I found out that it was this worthless fluids book, I was quite disappointed. #education

Free stuff Fri, Apr 22, 2005
Ever since I've been using computers and especially since this newage contraption called the interweb, I've never been willing to pay for anything that's not a physical product that I can hold in my hand or can see in real time and space.  In other words, I've always looked for ways to get software/services, or do similar things, for free.  I signed up for free webhosting.  I got my free internet mail.  I stay away from shareware and always stick to freeware.  This is how I've been since the beginning (1998).  And even now, I'm totally into open source programs and stuff like that.  Firefox, Thunderbird, Wiki*anything.  I love it.  That's why it amazes me that I've actually been paying for some things recently.  I paid $5.99 for a domain name because I finally came to the realization that you just can't get a domain name for free, no matter what.  I bought Bible software for my Palm because I didn't feel right downloading it from "somewhere."  The last thing I bought that wasn't hardware was when I was a freshman in college (2000) and I bought Carmageddon TDR, probably the most disappointing game ever created.  Maybe that's why I don't buy things.  But either way, I'm increasingly looking at ways to do things for some small fee because I'm finding that there's almost no way to do everything for free.  This makes sense, of course.  How can anything be free?  The reason most things are free on the internet is because of stupid advertising.  But some things are just plain free.  Like FreeWebTown and Atspace, which offer free webspace.  The catch is that there are ads on their homepages, which is what you use to login.  However, there's a way around it:  FTP everything, which is free.  So essentially, there's no catch.  The shortcoming is that you can't host PHP and Perl and stuff like that.  That's where I'm at right now.  In order to use cool things like Movabletype or Wordpress, you need to be able to host PHP.  So this is where I am right now.  Although I have no idea how to use things like PHP and Perl, I'd like to have a webhost that hosts them so that I can find some cool, free, open source stuff to use on my site.  The geek journey continues... #technology

w.bloggar Thu, Apr 21, 2005
I just found this (somewhat) interesting program called BlogMan that says it can post entries to my blog from my computer.  I'm not sure I believe it.  It doesn't look like it can handle html.  But maybe I'm wrong.  We'll see.  But it makes it look cool.

And then I discovered the real deal:  w.bloggar.  I'm a huge fan of things that are simple and easy to use.  This is it.  As long as it posts to my blog (which I'll find out in a minute), I'm completely satisfied.  Forget BlogMan and BlogBuddy and all that nonsense.  This is the one:  w.bloggar. #technology

Counter Thu, Apr 21, 2005
I started using a new counter.  It's from this obscure site called SeoBlog.  The counter is simply and aptly called Blog Counter.  I was noticing that my old counter was taking too long to load, so I decided to look around for another one, though I simultaneously found this one by accident. #technology

Useless Wed, Apr 20, 2005
What's the deal with computer people at work?  They have one simple little job:  make my stupid computer work.  Yet somehow, they do the opposite of their job.  My computer works fine, so they go and change something about Active Directory.  And lo and behold, my computer doesn't work.  Not only this, but I couldn't even logon.  So their stupid little upgrades cost me about 2 hours of "productivity" (assuming that I would've actually done work during that 2-hour period of time, which is questionable).  Why do these people exist?  Why do they get paid?  It seems like they cause more problems than they solve.  Oh, and there's the "tech support" phone number.  Wow that's helpful.  "Hi, it's 8am on Monday morning and I can't login to my computer."  Thankfully they called me back.  4 hours later.  Yes, 4.  Super.

Hey how about Adobe Acrobat?  Why does it take a 75 MB program and 15 seconds of startup time to read some stupid little document file?  Maybe I'm naive, but it seems like someone could've maybe tried to make the program just slightly smaller and faster.  And then there's the fact that Acrobat is so full of useless nonsense (checking for updates, allowing copying but not editing, charging an exuberant amount of money to create some stupid little "portable document" file) that it takes even longer to load the program.  Great job guys.  Keep up the good work.

Or maybe I should take a look at weather.com.  Oh no, please no.  It's so full of ads and popups and flash animation that it takes forever just to get some stupid little information:  the weather outside my friggin window.  I've adopted a policy concerning ads:  I will never ever ever click on any ad on any webpage on earth.  This way, all those stupid advertising dollars are WASTED.  If I actually want to find out information about singles in my area, I'll search on google.  It's my way of screwing the system.  To avoid weather.com, I would recommend Weather Underground (which also has a lot of ads, but they seem to load faster), Google weather search (type "weather city, state"), and WeatherWatcher (a little program that sits in your system tray). #technology

Bathroom politics Tue, Apr 19, 2005
[Why does the subject of bathrooms give me so much to write about?]  I'd like to make a few little comments about bathroom politics.  Here at work, there are 2 bathrooms nearby.  One looks like a bathroom from a truckstop:  it's ugly, dimly-lit, is missing stall doors, has no urinal dividers, etc.  It's there to get the job done.  Nothing fancy.  The other bathroom is the executive suite.  It is home to big spacious stalls and nice clean urinals separated by dividers.  It has automatic sinks and toilets.  It has automatic air fresheners so that there's always a sweet smell of citrus.  It's beautifully lit and clean and nice.

Every time I go into the executive suite, it makes me realize how incredibly low I am.  I'm just a peon, a drone.  I have no purpose.  I'm unimportant.  I don't deserve amenities like urinal dividers and automatic flushers.  The average-joe bathroom should just be a hole in the ground.  We're lucky to even having plumbing.

Yet what I find extremely funny and ironic are these few little words inscribed on the executive bathroom stall door:  "Stinky poo poo".  How appropriate. #entertainment

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