...Prove Their Worth...

"Problems worthy of attack
prove their worth
by hitting back." - Piet Hein

A kind of running diary and rambling pieces on my struggles with assorted books, classes, and other things, as they happen. You must be pretty bored to be reading this...

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

So, I was messing with Gentoo Linux today, trying to install it and simulatenously tweak it so that prelinking works. I made some stupid mistakes, and for about an hour I'd thought I managed to totally fuck over both gentoo and windows, AND the MBR. 'Twas exciting. In the end, what I learned was a) don't try to install experimental versions of portage b) if you do, for the love of all that is holy, don't let the portage install script nuke gcc and associated goodies and c) figure out how grub works before messing with it.

So, a) combined with b) meant that I really did nuke my Gentoo install. That wasn't really a disaster, though, since I was just playing with it, and had nothing important in it. It's fixed now. Lesson c) means that Windows is fine, but hard to get to - I still haven't persuaded grub to throw up a boot menu, so I have to type arcane commands to get anything to boot up at all.

Merry Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hannukah, "Atheist Children's Gift Day", and other seasonal celebrations I don't really celebrate. (Except New Year's Day, which in my family corresponds to the 'gift day' mentioned above.)

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Oh my god. I'm currently reading what might be the neatest thread ever: What if LoTR had been written by someone else? Milton and Seuss and Twain imitations, oh my. Go read it now!

I'm going to have to remember to skim the Straight Dope message boards every once in a while.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

I just came back from a Brazilian restaurant. It was very tasty. Particularly memorable was the caipirinha, probably because I've never had one before. It's really good.

I guess I haven't written anything about academics in the last month or too. I'm afraid this won't be changing with this update, because my fingers aren't obeying me as well as they ought to. Currently, I'm concentrating on my real analysis and linear algebra texts, with periodic dips into geometry and Baez and Munian. Fun stuff, but I'm taking it all rather seriously lately, by which I mean I put in a lot of hours. The payoff is that I'm progressing at a satisfying rate.

Friday, December 13, 2002

So. Some motherfucker somehow stole my credit number, and went on a bit of a shopping spree, from New Jersey, to Texas, to Minnesota.

Thankfully, I won't have to pay for any of it, except with inconvience and annoyance. I now won't have a credit card for a week or two. This may also result in me not getting to see the Two Towers movie on opening day, as I bougt said tickets on Fandango, and to actually pick them up, the credit card is needed. But maybe it'll be ok.


Thursday, December 05, 2002

Oh baby. I love snow. I hate driving in it, mind you, but I love messing with it, and walking around in it, and falling in it, and shoveling it... 6-10 inches forecast for the Wash. D.C. area. Woohoo!

So I had a rather amusing time buying groceries yesterday. I got into a checkout line, having piled "Paul Newman's Virgin Lemonade"* and lots of other goodies into my shopping cart. In front of me was a middle-aged dude. He was smiling way too much, and winking at everyone whose eye he could catch. He was buying eggs and milk. Then he proceeded to strike up a conversation with me.

Spotting the word 'virgin' on my cartons of lemonade, he went all Beavis-like**, going "hehehehehehe" (literally, like that), and starting talking about how the lemonade couldn't really be virgin - because after all, the lemons had to have been pollinated by some insects. "Hehehehehe". And another. My role in this 'conversation' was to emit monosyllabic grunts and smile non-threateningly. The dude then launched into an abbreviated yet passionate critique of feminism, then informed me that women are just impossible to understand. More grunts from me, along with the discovery that I was now trapped - someone else had gotten in line behind me.

Then the dude looks at my lemonade cartons, emits another "hehehehehehehehe", and loudly and proudly informs me that virgins are rare, and tha the only virgin he ever knew was his wife, when they got married.

I stifled a guffaw, grabbed a snickers bar from the "last chance to buy teeth-destroying stuff" shelf, and started mentally alphabetizing the ingriedient list, to look busy. At about this same time, the guy shifted his attention to the cashier, and started talking at length about eggs.

Now, my initial guess is that the guy had smoked a bit too much weed, but eggs and milk aren't the stereotypical 'munchie' sort of food, or so I think. So maybe he was just crazy. Or crazy and a smoker.

Regardless, that was an unusual grocery run.

* - Don't laugh! It's the best mass-market lemonade I've found!

** - by the end of the 'conversation', I would not have been shocked had he pulled his shirt over his head, bugged his eyes out, and proclaimed that he was The Great Cornholio. Hell, at that point, I might well have chimed in with a loudly emphatic (and urgent!) "I need TP for my bung-hole!"