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Self improvement is masturbation. Now self *destruction*...
 
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in appleshampoo's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, December 24th, 2011
9:04 pm
Some Christmas eve poetry...
A Visit From St. Who?
by Arnold Snyder, from The Big Book of Blackjack
(for Kenny Uston, with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

'Twas the night before Christmas,
And all through the pit,
Not a player was betting,
Not even one chip.

The dealers stood waiting
With frowns all around,
In hopes that some high-roller
Soon would sit down.

The house chips were nestled
All snug in their racks,
With visions of buy-ins
For reds, greens, and blacks.

The lights on the crest
Of the new dollar slots
Gave the lustre of riches
To all the have-nots.

The boss in his bow tie,
The waitress, the shill,
Had all settled in
For a long night of nil.

When out in the lobby
There rose such a clatter,
The boss sprang to his phone
To see what was the matter.

Then what turned his Visine-soaked
Eyes into gawkers,
But a high-rolling drunk
With eight gaudy streetwalkers!

A ten-buck Havana
Cigar in his lips,
The smoke it encircled
His arms full of chips.

His belly was full
From far too much feasting,
And it shook when he laughed
Like a chorus girl's g-string.

The shift boss grinned,
In his heart felt a rush.
He knew in an instant
It must be some lush!

"On dealers! On floormen!"
He called them by name,
"On runners and doormen,
Let's hustle this lame!"

The drunk spoke no word
But went straight to a table,
And filled all the spots
To the max he was able.

Then laying a finger
Aside of his toke,
He won every hand
'Til that table went broke

The boss's face went white
As some new fallen snow,
Not once, but three times,
He saw that rack go!

The gray-haired old guard
Watched it all with a grin.
"That's no drunk" he said,
"That's the ghost of Saint Ken!"

"He comes back each year
On this eve for a scuffle,
To clean out some bastard
Who game him the shuffle!"

And that spectre exclaimed
As he split with his crew,
"Merry Christmas to all
Who can count down a shoe!"

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Monday, November 8th, 2010
12:05 am
Should I start a new blog?
LJ is pretty much dead. My friends page has been empty for months 'cause all my LJ friend stopped posting. Blogger/Wordpress is the new hotness.

I briefly toyed with the idea of starting a new one, but I still kind of like LiveJournal for its simplicity and Web 1.0 feel (</3 Web 2.0). Also these posts automatically get imported to Facebook anyway, which is from where I figure 90% of the readership will come.

Since my last post on July 1, 2010, let's see...
  • Changed Ultimate teams again for Fall League back to Boom (FKA South of the Border). If you count it as a different team, that makes 5 teams in just over 4 years in Seattle. Yeah, I'm a slut.

  • Went to a few tournaments (Potlatch, Babes 'n' Hats, Kleinman, Spawnfest)

  • Saw a couple of different shows: Slayer and Megadeth (AWESOME) and Lady Gaga (ALSO AWESOME, in a completely different way of course)

  • Briefly flirted with getting back under 215 pounds again (I think my lowest was 213), failed miserably to maintain that

  • Quit my job and have been funemployed for a month. I have grand plans to travel next year, just need to plan

  • Had a blast at RHIT Homecoming '10. You may have seen my most notable exploit...

Next up: Hawaii for 11 days: Hopu Ka Lewa and the Big Island Hat Draw. Just need to find a cat sitter and buy a new tent and sleeping bag before Thursday (oh and pack, I guess). Boom.

(1 bruise | I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Thursday, July 1st, 2010
12:06 am
I am but one small instrument


I finally bought a real copy of Jimmy Eat World's Clarity, after having a burned copy I got from John back in high school for years. Usually I don't care about burned copies, but I made this copy with a really ghetto old external USB CD burner, and a bunch of the tracks got the last few seconds chopped off, so I was glad to get a real copy. This is probably my favorite album of all time. It's amazing. It's probably too emo for a lot of people, and I can't really describe what is so awesome about it since I'm not great at writing about music.



I wish I could say that I knew about this album before JEW went mainstream, but sadly I didn't find out about it until Bleed American was already all over the radio, so I didn't get in on the ground floor.

I wish I had known about the Clarity x 10 tour. I totally would have flown to one of the cities to see one of those shows.

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Monday, March 15th, 2010
9:04 pm
Bad Poetry
the cubicle suffocates me
fluorescent lights lead
to ghostly pallor unending
where shall I go?
not home


(inspired by #2 here)

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Saturday, February 20th, 2010
2:15 am
Blink 182 - Man Overboard
So sorry it's over
So sorry it's over

There's so much more that I wanted and
There's so much more that I needed
Time keeps moving on and on and on
Soon we'll all be gone

Let's take some time to talk this over
You're out of line and rarely sober
We can't depend on your excuses
Cause in the end it's fucking useless

You can only lean on me for so long
Bring the ship about to watch a friend drown
Stood out on the ledge
Begged you to come down
You can only lean on me for so long

I remember shots, without a chaser
absent minded thoughts, now you're a stranger
Cover up the scars
Put on your game face
Left you in a bar
To try and save face

You can only lean on me for so long
Bring the ship about to watch a friend drown
Stood out on the ledge
Begged you come down
You can only lean on me for so long

So sorry it's over
So sorry it's over

There's so much more that I wanted and
There's so much more that I needed
Time keeps moving on and on and on
Soon we'll all be gone

Man on a mission
Can't say I miss him around
Insider information
Hand in your resignation
Loss of a good friend
Best of intentions I found
Tight lipped procrastination
Yeah later
See you around

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Friday, October 16th, 2009
11:20 pm
x
My LJ has a big black hole from fall '04 to January '06. I deleted it all, but I did save a backup in a LiveJournal archive file (.lja). I would now like to reinstate all those posts, or at least get them in a readable manner, but I don't remember what software I used. Damn. All the comments are there too. Reading through the binary file as best I can, I forgot how much we all commented on each other's blogs back in the day ("the day" being my last 2 years of college-ish, "we all" being mostly DSPs 2 years ahead of me). The reason I deleted it all? Girl problems I was having at the time, which probably only applied to 20% of the posts anyway. There's a lot of good history there. Especially B. Ross's response to one of my posts about needing a girlfriend..."Today, I assume the persona of a caveman..."

Every time I look back at old blog posts, I think "wow, I sound different back then." It's always an interesting window into my previous self. So I should really write more. But I think there is also a place in my life for an actual private journal, stuff I wouldn't really want anyone to read. But how to keep it...old school style with an actual notebook/journal? Flat files on my laptop backed up somewhere? Some kind of private blogging software? Private, not-even-friends entries on LJ? Huh.

In conclusion, my life is becoming alarmingly similar to my prediction in this post. Here I sit in front of my computer on a Friday night, enjoying a crisp Natty Light. Damn you social anxiety.

I have been thinking about moving back to Boise. Seattle has kind of lost it's allure, and I do have a lot of good friends there. I have a decent enough amount of savings that I wouldn't mind not working for a while, and the bonus is that if I took those savings with me to Boise, they would actually last longer than living here without a job, given the cost of living difference. It would be fun to check out spring training down in Arizona next year.

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009
1:20 pm
Ping.
 

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Friday, September 11th, 2009
1:40 am
You know what really grinds my gears?
AHHHHHHHHHH

So I just loaded a 2.7M JPEG from Gmail in a Firefox tab. I then try to save the damn image into my home directory. And Firefox starts DOWNLOADING THE DAMN THING AGAIN FROM THE SERVER. IT'S ALREADY ON MY FUCKING HARD DRIVE SOMEWHERE, CAN YOU PLEASE JUST TRANSFER IT FOR ME. Okay. Breathe. This is so incredibly stupid I can barely think.

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009
3:22 pm
Dilbert archives
I just noticed yesterday that the archives on the dilbert.com website now go back all the way to the first strip in 1989. I think I tried this a few months ago, and the archives cut out somewhere in the 90s. It's pretty cool, considering that Scott Adams is probably losing money from people who might otherwise buy the collections. Of course, I'm sure he sleeps on a pile of money every night anyway.

So I'm going to start reading through, from the first one forward. Long-time Dilbert fans will remember that the older strips focus more on Dilbert's home life, and include a lot more strips with Bob and Dawn the dinosaurs. I enjoyed this era as well as the early-office era. Recently (most of the 21st century) the strip has gotten pretty stale, telling the same jokes over and over. But the last few months I've been reading it have been pretty funny. I think the failing economy has given him some fresh material.

EDIT: Arg, they seem to be missing random strips here and there. Oh well.
EDIT 2: Ah, I see, they are missing the really old Sunday strips.

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
12:12 pm

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Sunday, July 5th, 2009
10:17 pm
Books I have started but didn't finish
(in the past 3ish years I think)

Children of the Mind
The 4th book in the Ender's Game series. Lost interest, even though I enjoy the story about Ender...need to re-read this, or maybe start back with Ender's Game because it's so awesome.

Amazonia
A book by one of the first employees at Amazon (something like employee #50). At first it was interesting, then got boring since he was an editor and not really into the tech side. Might go back and finish it.

The Cheater's Guide to Baseball
Sort of interesting, I got bogged down in the chapters on steroids. I would like to finish it. Although I enjoy the author's blogging work at USS Mariner, I didn't like his style in this long form as much, and there were enough grammar/punctuation/editing errors to annoy me.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Was amusing enough at first, then just got boring. Maybe I'll finish it later.

I'm not sure if Heart of Darkness counts since I only read the first 4 pages in the library with John and Wendy and kept falling asleep. But I would like to read this one eventually.

I think that's it, at least recently. I kind of hate this habit I have of starting books and not finishing them.

(1 bruise | I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Monday, June 29th, 2009
11:05 am
Lyrics
Almost anytime I hear a phone ring I think of this song now.
Say Anything - Wow, I Can Get Sexual TooCollapse )

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009
12:31 am
Apparently not as tired of being fat as I thought I was
About a week after I posted that last entry, I had already lost a couple of pounds. Now I have doubled back and am around 222-223 (I'm sure you all want to know exactly how much I weigh).

I have a bad habit, in the afternoons at work. I will go down to the C-Store that's in our building and buy a king size bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms and a Rock Star Juiced. I do it so often the guy behind the counter has the glint of recognition in his eyes every time I come in. The thing is, I want to pass out when I finish both of them, so the Rock Star is pretty pointless.

I did get into Verns league, so there has been some Ultimate...and honestly I was surprised that I wasn't getting completely p3wnd on defense. I was not playing lockdown D or anything, but I was getting by. I guess it's Verns.

But anyway, this is like the most stereotypical LJ post ever, with pretty much nothing interesting, and just the lame details of my life. I hope you enjoyed it!

(1 bruise | I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009
9:32 pm
Being a book nazi, with a book that doesn't even have a movie (Snow Crash)
I'm reading Snow Crash right now; I'm not enjoying it as much as I thought I would, but it's still good (268 pages after just 5 days, so it must be okay). But there's this stupid thing that's bugging me about it.

A major part of the plot of Snow Crash is the Metaverse, basically a big online virtual world, kind of like Second Life, except with fewer giant penises walking around. And, you put on goggles and are basically there, as opposed to looking at the world through your monitor.

Naturally, transmitting that much data to your computer and back takes a lot of bandwidth, but it sounds like most people in the future are on fiber connections, so they can handle it. But whenever someone goggles into the Metaverse on a slow, public connection, their avatar shows up in grainy black and white. Makes sense: the connection is slower so their computer can't transmit a nice crisp image of them. BUT, the descriptions of what these people see themselves while in the Metaverse are just as detailed and intricate. Which is totally wrong. If you're jacked into this place from a slow connection, you're going to see everyone else in grainy black and white, just like they see you in grainy black and white.

Anyway, it bugged me. Especially when the book was describing one character seeing an intricate water drop refracting light while goggled in from a public pay-as-you-go terminal at a truck stop.

Still a good book, although this little detail has taken some of the fun out of it for me. Just like when the elves showed up at Helm's Deep in the movie version of The Two Towers. There was exactly one elf at Helm's Deep: Legolas.

(3 bruises | I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
1:10 pm
Tired of being fat
I weighed myself this morning and I was right at 220, which is the heaviest I've ever been in my life. This is not a surprise, since I haven't done anything athletic (other than a short sprint to catch a bus every now and then) since November, and my eating habits have actually gotten slightly worse.

So, today I went for a run. Not a long run, only 1.5 miles, but it felt good to be able to keep up a jogging pace the whole way. I didn't time it, but I was probably on about a 9 minute mile pace. I could feel my fat jiggling, which is not a pleasant feeling.

I'm going to try to cut out the stupid things that I know I don't even need that much - candy, ice cream, soda, energy drinks. One of my problems is that I eat my way through stress and depression. Review season at work required several pints of Ben & Jerry's (yes, I know I am pathetic). And there was that 40oz bag of Reese's Miniature cups (at least I didn't eat it all at once). Anyway, I'm a little depressed that it's Cadbury egg season, but I'll power through somehow. For caffeine, I'm going to try to stick to the free stuff at work (coffee and tea). As for regular meals, I would say I will try to stick to more sensible portions, but one thing at a time here.

As for exercise, I will eventually get back into Ultimate. I tossed a bit at RH practice last Friday and was disappointed at how bad my throws were - guess that happens when you don't touch a disc for 4 months, sucker! I was hoping Vern's would be my "ease back into it" time, but since I didn't make the lottery, I will perhaps look for some pickup before summer starts. For summer, eh, we'll see what happens.

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009
1:14 pm
More inspiration from Wally


s/watched TV/bummed around the internet/

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
12:15 pm

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
3:17 pm
FAIL



Except that when they called, I had to confirm my order number, name, email address, and full billing address. Whoops!

(8 bruises | I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Friday, December 19th, 2008
12:24 am
Lightning and thunder
Last night, I'm pretty sure a lightning bolt struck very near my apartment, or at least closer than I've ever been to lightning. The thunderclap was so loud I jumped out of bed and ran out the front door (still half asleep), looking around to see what had blown up. All the car alarms on the street were going off, adding to my general confusion. It happened one more time before I crawled back into bed, and while I didn't see the bolt directly, I saw the windows light up out of the corner of my eye.

There was almost no delay between the lightning and the thunder, and it seemed like the clap lasted for five seconds, and it was deafening; I can't remember hearing anything that loud. I'm not ashamed to say that I was also really scared, probably because I was half asleep and wasn't sure if it was actually happening or not, and I kept imagining lightning striking my apartment directly and lighting it on fire.

I went online looking for any neighborhood blogs mentioning it, and found this post on a Beacon Hill blog. So I guess it wasn't necessarily right by my apartment, but loud enough that many in my neighborhood had the same experience.

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
6:11 pm
Reqs, Specs, Design, etc.

Note: This is cross-posted from my blog at work, edited for some Amazon-internal content

Officially I got a bachelor of science in Software Engineering, although for all practical purposes at the time, it was the same as a CS degree except more limiting for graduate studies. Meaning that with a BS in CS you could easily do graduate studies in CS or SE, but with a BS in SE I think you'd probably have a hard time getting into some graduate CS programs, given the lack of theory requirements. Either one seemed to be fine for pursuing a job in industry.

But anyway, the nominal purpose of a SE degree as opposed to a CS degree is to get more experience in the areas listed in the title of this post, as opposed to a straight curriculum of coding, coding, and more coding but in a different language. The idea was to get your feet wet in some industry techniques, and to be better positioned to jump right in to a job in the industry working on software projects (at least, that was my impression of it, you can read the RH CSSE curriculum descriptions here (CS) and here (SE)). Specifically, there were 6 core SE classes:

  • 371 Software Requirement and Specification
  • 372 Software Project Management
  • 373 Formal Methods in Specification and Design
  • 374 Software Architecture and Design
  • 375 Software Construction and Evolution
  • 376 Software Quality Assurance
371 and 372 were required for all CS and SE majors, while 373-376 were required for SE majors and were actually blacklisted for CS majors (with the justification that the CS majors should be more diversified in other areas of CS).

So did the degree achieve its goal? I was in only the 3rd graduating class of the SE program, so it's fair to say it was still in its infancy. I think 371 was valuable and gave a good insight into some of the basics of gathering requirements and writing specs. I barely remember 372, other than the giant book, and generating Gant charts. 373 was, in my opinion, completely useless unless you were going into research on formal specification methods. I also barely remember 374. 375 and 376 were my favorites out the 6, because they both involved hands-on software work in the context of the subjects being learned. The other 4 classes involved no actual coding, just writing docs and the like. From talking to some professors after I graduated, I think they are trying to take this approach with all of the courses now, which I think is a good thing, although I'm sure it's challenging to fit in all of the same content and add programming at the same time.

So where am I going with this? I'm supposed to be working on the design piece of a pretty big refactoring/migration project that my team will be embarking on next year. It's a great project, something I've been wanting to do since about 3 months into my Amazon career. We could never get the project resourced on my old team, but when my current team was formed the project was given priority.

So why can't I get my brain engaged on it? I've been working on it for most of December and have very little to show--I need to have something for our external dependencies (both ways) to look at pretty soon, and it's pretty far away from being in that state. I show up at work and I just don't want to work on it. Notably, this is the first large piece of non-coding, planning/designing work I've been tasked with at Amazon, and these skills are key to moving up the SDE job ladder. This is the kind of stuff I got an SE degree for, and I can't seem to get excited about it, or even apply myself marginally well to it. And here is where my stream of consciousness seems to run out. I'll get back to you when I figure it out, or just trudge through it.

( I want you to hit me as hard as you can.)

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