2005-04-01 Message from eBay Member Regarding Item #7309600572 Dear fhben, Hi. Just wanted to let you know your check arrived today and I will be shipping your violin first thing tomorrow. Thanks again for making this a pleasant transaction.
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2005-04-01 Er... So there's a minor bug that occurs when there are no entries at the first of the month, but I don't have time to fix it just now....
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2005-03-30 Squid-Talk In other news, cuttlefish are cute and cephalopods have awesome mating rituals.
I think it's especially neat that the male can turn one side of his body into an aggressive "back off" display, while keeping the side that faces his mate "a sexually suggestive uniform gray". Uniform gray, ooh la la!

Finally, this sentence makes me want to be a squid:

“It could be that if Sepioteuthis puts stripes on the side of the body, and then puts gold... more->
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2005-03-30 Conversion Experience? Part II So here's the link between a wonderful God Experience and Atheism.
To start with, I was trying to see the world based, more or less, on logical rationalism. The only faith-based reasoning I allowed myself was to answer skeptics claims that my cat doesn't exist.
Logically, therefore, unless there is sufficient evidence to disbelieve a proposition, how can one discard it? Thus my agnosticism. I can't prove anything about the Holy Wo... more->
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2005-03-29 Conversion Experience? So this big thing happened / is happening to me, but Spring Break is over now and I don't have very much time to write about it. I might just write a little bit and then update this later.
So, for a long time now I've been a proud Agnostic. I wasn't ever going to stoop so low as to reject anyone's belief unless and until I had good evidence. A while ago, however, I began to suspect that this ultra-rationalist view of the universe was a little lacking, and I began to envy people who had Faith. It seemed... more->
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2005-03-25 Brief Post About Money I'm late to this party, see. If I remember, I'll fill this post out a little more on Monday.

I owe the IRS a grand. That's from 2003, and it sucks. However, the IRS rocks, and I'm paying them back $25 a month.
Last night, however, I got a letter from the IRS saying, "You have defaulted on your agreement to pay us. We hatess you. Now give us a thousand dollars by tomorrow." or something. Very scary letter.
I called them on the phone today (finally, it took a lot of will-gathering) and foun... more->
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2005-03-25 Good News Well, the second, less exciting piece of good news is that I lost some weight. For four months now I've been going to the gym three days a week, and I've been really good about it. I didn't expect the pounds to come flying off, but I did think that a change in my excercise habits would reduce my weight... not at all. For three months I stayed exactly the same weight, no matter what.
Then I gave up sweets for "a period of time equal to that of Lent" (actually I started a week late, but whatever). I hadn... more->
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2005-03-23 Violin
I had my first individual violin lesson yesterday, and it went really well. The teacher was really nice, and had a lot of good advice. She has a lot to say about the basics, which I never really got to at the Old Town School.
Because of this, I barely played anything, and spent most of the time without even holding the violin. She showed me how she was trained to hold the bow:
... more->
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2005-03-22 I really enjoy coding. Well, sometimes. Sometimes it's just really annoying, and I don't usually have as much time as I'd like. Just now, for instance, I made a major break through with my code but I can't stay to work on it because I've got to rush off to violin lessons. More on that later.
At any rate, the new old page would store up all of the changes in a big, clunky variable, and then when the user hit "submit" it would update the database. The newmore->
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2005-03-22 Programming Woes This may not be interesting to anyone. I was asking Fuzzy for some help with something ('cause he's awesome) and I wanted to give him some background. I've been working on this character sheet for changeling for forever.

I have a database with all of the stats for a changeling character. My first version worked this way:
It would build a character sheet, and put "empty" glass beads for all of the stats
Then it would run through and "fill them up" according to the number of each s... more->
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2005-03-21 Kimono In other news, I went kimono shopping with Katya on Saturday. I've been trying to find an alternative to the plain, black suit jacket, but it's hard to find formal wear with enough pockets for my taste. After losing my wallet last week (after trying out a new way to carry it that wouldn't rely on pockets so much) I'm more committed to them than ever!
The wonderful thing about kimono's, however, is that they are mad pocketful! In addition to the obi, which has plenty of space for pockets, like a stylish... more->
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2005-03-21 Gender There are plenty of things to say about gender inequality, and if you hang around me long enough I'm sure I'll tell you. I'll tell you about my partner, who was raised as a woman, and has struggled with that, and I'll recommend Raising Cain, which details some of the ways in which male lives have been sever... more->
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2005-03-21 Holy Rabbits! Alternate title: Me Smell Pretty One Day

I just got my package form Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. Woot!!
I have no real idea what to do with perfume, so I put (perhaps too much) on both wrists, the base of my neck, and behind each ear. Does that sound right? I'm not used to being able to smell strong scents on myself (and my nose isn't that great to start with) so I can't tell if I over did it. More on this later, or in another more->
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2005-03-18 Flickr Everyone knows about Flickr. Now I do, too.


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2005-03-18 V.G.N. from B.P.A.L. Very good news. Perfume on the way. More later.
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2005-03-18 Chat. Chapeau.


Also, while probably not of my actual cat, this is clearly Wh's evil doppelganger:



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2005-03-18 "It's bad to use drugs for bad reasons. There's a reason why we get sleepy." For those of you who don't know about it, there's a drug out there called modafinil. It seems to make people not need sleep. I want some!!
I mean, I like sleep a lot, and given the option I'd probably sleep ten or eleven hours a week, but there are other things I like more. I like programming and poetry and puppets, as well as video games and art and things that don't start with a 'p'. Sometimes I'd like to curl up and sleep in a nice comfy bed, but a lot of time... more->
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2005-03-18 Gaiman on Tolkien I just read a really good essay: http://www.mythsoc.org.nyud.net:8090/gaiman.htm
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2005-03-18 Concerning the Matter of Poisonous Teddy Bears


I really wanted to post this to adorablog, but I don't have a type pad account.
At any rate, apparently the Slow Loris is a darling, distant relation: a prosimmian, like a sloth. They also have poison glands in their elbows. They suck on th... more->
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2005-03-17 Binary Fiction They aren't really very good, but these Choose Your Own Adventure style stories are very interesting...
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2005-03-16 "Lure the players into being creative" I want to play this game RIGHT NOW!!

Will Wright, the person behind the Sims, &c., has a new game concept.
This is the bit that got my attention:
Wright led his tiny microscopic creature around, eating little green cells and avoiding brown cells or black cells that tried to eat him. "This is kinda like Pac-Man," he explained. After he ate enough, he was rewarded with the ability to lay an egg -- which he did. ... more->
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2005-03-16 Kaiju Origami


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2005-03-16 Interesting... Scientists have long been fascinated by what happens to people who fall from great heights without a parachute. Unsurprisingly, most of them get killed; perhaps surprisingly, a few don't. A prime example of the latter was a 17-year-old male who in 1979 leaped off the Golden Gate Bridge from a height of 250 feet. According to one report, "he recount[ed] a slowing of time initially, and mid-fall, when fully realizing the oncoming impact, strove to adjust his attitude to the vertical feet-first position. An al... more->
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2005-03-14 I'm less agnostic than ever! I've been reading Bishop Spong's book, A New Christianity for a New World, and it's affected me more profoundly than I realized.
Spong writes about the death of Theism, and how Christianity must adapt and survive in a world where no rational person could really believe in a literal, leper-healing, dead-reviving, evil-smiting Living God. He sa... more->
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2005-03-14 TGIM! Well, on the one hand, I had an exceptional weekend. On the other, it was awful. Which is to say, some bad things happened, and I was too stressed out by them to really enjoy the good things (most of which, in fact, counteracted the bad).
  • On Wednesday, I ran the lights for Old Times, and thought that it was my best design ever. There wasn't ever a place, as there always is, when I though, "Damn, I really should have put some fill in there, she's all dark now".
  • But on Thursday, when the s... more->
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2005-03-11 Oooh! I want one! I've never heard of a pocketbike before, but if they all look like this, I want it. Of course, the ad promises "true 35mph+" and specifies "lightweight rider", so maybe this isn't the best way for me to get out to Triton College.



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2005-03-11 ok to transmit this posting into outer space New service on Craig's List.

I guess there are worse ways to make Contact...
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2005-03-11 Arcata, CA Wednesday, March 2 3:13 p.m. The blithering bellower du jour first howled at customers at an I Street cooperative supermarket, then stationed himself at Ninth and I streets. Police had a low volume chat with him.

Everyone else one the 'web probably knows all about this paper, presumably genuine, and its police log. I just found out about it today.
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2005-03-09 Zogg Fuzzy just sent me this link to a wonderful children's book all about the Zogg.



(I'm probably just recycling the same link that a hundred other blogs are recycling, like a bad chain letter... I realize this, but cannot help myself. I should just put up a link to Memepool every day)
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2005-03-08 Aaaarrrggghhh. Too much input, too much stress. And then the visiting speaker disappears, only to re-appear just when I'm about the explode...
And Dedre doesn't help, with emails like "Have you found out yet whether i am registered for the conference?", when the deadline for registering for the conference was last month.
I mean, it's nice to know, and I certainly don't mind her asking, but I damn near had a heart attack afore I called and found out that yes, indeed, she has been registered for this conference fo... more->
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2005-03-07 You are not a Stranger Here, but Hope Is My boss just lent me Adam Haslett's collection of short stories, You are Not a Stranger Here. I didn't like it.

This book is undeniably well written, and indeed this (his debut) was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize. However, I believe it to be a monumental waste of time. Consider: If life can be good, and there is the chance of hope, then these depressing an angst-ridden stories are all lies. Why should I waste my time reading lies about the world?
On the other hand, if these stories a... more->
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2005-03-04 I've wanted to do this forever! Improv Everywhere

"Eventually I avert my eyes, but pants keep landing on my head. For the last guy I walked away and tried to ignore him but he came up to me and put the pants in my hand."
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2005-03-04 Tragedy? A year ago a pupil, addicted to videogames, killed a video saloon attendant in downtown Riga to get a few lats (dollars) to continue the game, which ended in tragedy.

Man, he committed murder just to continue his game, and it still ended in tragedy. That sucks.
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2005-03-04 Wow.


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2005-03-04 New Computer(s)!! So I haven't had a computer at home for about three months. For me, that's a really, really long time. It's been really weird to come home from work and... sit around. Read the New Yorker. Play no Nethack.
Then, on Wednesday, my co-worker showed me the Computer Recycling Staging Area Place in the basement of my office, where old computers go to die, and where people can just pick stuff up and take it home with them. Like my new IBM Thinkpad 600, in perfect working order!!!

... more->
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2005-03-02 Brilliant Idea of the Day A text-adventure (Zork, &c.) that is dynamically generated.

So, I'd need a strong natural language generator, but those are really getting pretty good now. It would take a short description "The Long Room" and generate a full description of it, complete with exits, randomly. Each exit would lead to a new randomly generated room based on the short description given of the exit ("To the north is a long room").
There would also often be various obj... more->
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