Sunday, February 29, 2004

My face is very red and very soar today. I love snowboarding!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2004

Ahhhhh! I feel completely liberated! It was a beautiful day to be out on the slopes. My face got burnt and I didn't need a hat. There's not much more I could ask for. If snow didn't melt before 55 degrees, it would have been a perfect day. An extra bonus were the two girls who decided to do some boarding in their bikini tops. I had no complaints. Although, I've never wanted to push someone down in all my life. I had the opportunity to spray them with snow from behind without them even knowing it, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. The most humorous part about it was the entourage of about five to seven 12 year boys that followed them all around the mountain for the afternoon. Oh the joys of The Knob . . .
I'm getting ready to do some boarding at The Knob for the first time this year! Look out Stembogan! Wooooo Whooooo!

Friday, February 27, 2004

More pulling data out of my a** today. Only there was a side benefit today. It come to a few people's attention at The Workplace that I am capable of doing just about anything. So today I was offered a new position as a Java programmer. I would no longer have anything to do with VB.NET or production plants. I turned them down. Although I was appreciative of the compliment in my ability to learn very fast, I could never just sit down and code all day all the time. I need hands on stuff to work on. My boss was very understanding and then gave me a 10% raise. All in a day's work! I know!

Thursday, February 26, 2004

To continue patting myself on the back, not only was I told tonight that I always have the right answers, but I was also told (by another person that I don't even know) that I'm a genius. Aren't you privileged to be reading from a genius' blog?
I ran for the first time today in months! It felt great! A little painful, and a little out of shape, but it's all good! Hopefully there will be many more running days ahead.

I had a meeting today with the other programmers and programmer managers at The Workplace today. It made me feel good about not being a general programmer. There were more acronyms tossed around in that meeting than there are footballs in a New England Super Bowl. Acronyms such as IBM, CITRIX, CMS, .NET, VB6, DB2, SQL, FTP, IDE, MSDE, IE5 and PDA just to name a few. If you can tell me what even half of those stand for I'd be impressed. We also discussed something called a China Wall. I still don't know what this term means, but it apparently gives freedom to people at the meeting to speak freely and "not cast blame" on other for problems. Did you pick up the sarcasm? It was nothing too exciting, and I'm glad a lot of what I do doesn't fall under some of the general programming guidelines. All in a days work I guess.

I'm slowly becoming a master at Web programming. Heck I could generate an SQL command and pull data out of my a** with nothing more than the web, a melon, and a coat hanger. You might as well call me Jimmy-gyver.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

I am a coding machine! It appears that I'll be sitting in front of my PC at work developing this truck web app for a few months. I really don't mind it too much actually. And I must say, this is going to be just about the coolest web app ever! In other news, I see the temperature is supposed to break the 50 mark this week. I'm not quite sure how I feel about that. I've gotten accustomed to not seeing the grass thru the few inches of white snow that remains on the ground. Although I must say, If you've never gone boarding (or skiing) in 50 degree weather I'd highly recommend it. It not as slick as the 12" of new snow, but it is quite the experience. Plus you never have to quite and go get warmed off. I will recommend that you not wear too many layers. You get real hot real quick. But also, try not to fall. You get real wet real quick too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Since Andy brought up the topic, I will elaborate. Indeed I am a tree hugger and was ready to cast my vote for Ralph "Droopy Eye" Nader last election, but forfeited my vote to my good friend Ryan who failed to get his registration in on time. This time, it is a little different. Although I am pleased to see old Palphie running again, I think this time, more so than the last, his odds of winning even one state is slim to none. Does this mean I will not vote for him this time around? Maybe. I'm waiting to hear some more speeches from the President himself and awaiting the outcome of the Democratic primaries. Despite my love for tree huggers, I will vote for whom I believe to be the best presidential candidate. No matter whom that may be.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Obituary of the day: (This is straight out of the newspaper. It is for real!)

Louis Casimir, Jr.,Lewisburg
LEWISBURG -- Louis J. Casimir Jr., bought the farm Thursday, Feb, 2004, having lived more than twice as long as he had expected and probably three or four times as long as he deserved.
Although he was born into an impecunious family, in a backward and benighted part of the country at the beginning of the Great Depression, he never in his life suffered any real hardships.
Many of his childhood friends who weren't killed or maimed in various ways became petty criminals, prostitutes, and/or Republicans.
He survived three years overseas in an infantry regiment in excellent health, then university for four years on the GI bill, and never thereafter had to do an honest day's work.
He was loved by good women, had loyal friends, and all his children were healthy, handsome and bright.
For more than six decades, he smoked, drank and ate lots of animal fat, but never had a serious illness or injury.
His last wish was that everyone could be as lucky as he had been, even though his demise was probably iatrogenic.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 43 years, Judy.
He is survived by his brother Jack of Houston, Texas; and his children, Randall Kent of Brunswick, Ga., Louis John III (Trey) of Lewisburg, Thomas Bettis of Lewisburg and Edith Austin Wheat of Austin, Texas.
Lou was a daredevil; his last words were "Watch this!"
A memorial service and barbecue will be held on Labor Day at Lou's place.
Donations may be made in Lou's memory to the Union County Public Library, 205 Reitz Blvd., Lewisburg, PA 17837.
Funeral arrangements were by Shaw Funeral Home, Milton.
Well the weekend flew by and although all memories of last week were not erased, it was still fun none-the-less. I didn't get to go snowboarding this weekend so perhaps I'll go later this week. Maybe Wednesday, or tomorrow if it winds up snowing some tonight and tomorrow.

Work today went pretty fast. I was very pleased to not be making popcorn. I got a decent amount accomplished on my web project. Turns out, I'm a pretty fast learner when it comes to programming languages and web applications. Let's hope the next couple months continue to be as development-easy.

Freddy says [On my voice mail]: I don't have any emergencies today guys. I just wanted to let you know that the end is near. [End of message]

Saturday, February 21, 2004

It was brought to my attention that there is a need to know why. Not why anything in particular, just "why." I remember someone once told me the answer to this universal question was "why not?" You know who you are. Although this isn't really far from the true answer. In fact, there is no answer to why. Because there is no question of why. At least there shouldn't be. Despite what we want to think, our lives are completely out of our control. There are infinite different factors that determine the outcome of our lives every day! No matter how hard you try, you can never control it all, and see it all. I believe everything happens for a purpose. Maybe not the little pointless things like why is the wind blowing at 25 MPH and not 23 MPH. There is some randomness in Nature that has no effect, but there is so much that does happen for a reason. Bad things happen to good people for a reason. Good things happen to bad people for a reason. And some of us find us stuck in the middle of these scenarios for a reason. Perhaps it's not a question that need be answered, but a faith in the outcome that need be obtained. At times it's hard to have faith in God. We wonder "why" He does what He does. But we shouldn't. Who cares? Through the passage of time we can see reasons for events in our lives and other's. Why is not important. Through faith and time, you will find your answers without even having to ask a question.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Vocabulary limited tonight. Very long day today. Very long. 13 hours. Watch popcorn pop. Empty popcorn silo. Sweep mess. Over and over. I hate popcorn. Want to kill it! Expo over tomorrow. Yay. Will drink all memory of week away. Not kidding! Wish we had keg under popcorn table at expo to start early. Friends coming this weekend. Yay. Hope I'm not trashed by the time they get here. I'm not really a drunk. Just want to sleep. Will probably dream about popcorn. I hate popcorn. Want to kill it. Brain slowly fading . . .

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Well today was the longest 5 hours of my entire life. The Expo started today and I helped out from 12pm to 5pm. I've lived weekends shorter than this timespan. At one point, I think I saw a snail grow up and have little snails of it's own. The bad part is I work at the Expo from 7am to 8pm tomorrow. That's 13 hours of non-stop popcorn making "fun." I don't know if I'll make it out alive. Oh well. I get lots of free stuff. There's free food, and today I picked up a sunglass holder, a stress ball, a cool pen, a key chain and a whole bunch of candy. I tried my luck at the X-box game. Of course I beat the fastest lap, however the game decided not to show my lap time. Since that was the case I decided to not get my name card stamped. That means I can still race two more times. So far the lap record is 49.7 sec. I did it in 49.4 sec so maybe I'll beat even that tomorrow. I'm thinking about waiting until the last race and cap off my victory then. In any event, I'm expecting a win and with a win comes an X-box, and 4 steering wheels. Look out Dale Ernheart!

Arcade updates made today.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Tomorrow is our employee expo at The Workplace. I can't say I'm real excited for this event. Today I spent the entire day setting up computer and carrying boxes. Again, nothing I really got excited about. For the next 3 days I will be operating a blacktop plant that makes popcorn. This may sound cool, but I've been working it for a month now. I have tons of popcorn everyday! I'm getting tired of smelling it, looking at it, and yes, even eating it. I'll be very happy for Friday to come and take that darn blacktop away. Unfortunately I'll be tearing down computers and moving yet again on Friday evening. Hopefully I'll be moving a new X-box and four steering wheels to go with it as well. That would definitely make the expo worth while.

And by the way, there's STILL snow on the ground here with no hope yet of a blade of grass. I'm amazed. An easy 8 inches still lay outside on my yard.

Monday, February 16, 2004

What is the point of using a drop down list if you can ever only get the lowest ordained index? How will I ever know what the user selects if I cannot get the selected index? If you're a programmer in Visual Basic .NET you might have a clue what I'm talking about. I seem to be stuck at work with this problem. I have no problem if I'm writing a Windows application but don't dare try it for a web application. At least, not until I figure it out. I'm amazed at how similar coding a web app and a Windows app are getting. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if in a few short years, there will be no difference what-so-ever. Ahh the integration of Microsoft in EVERYTHING!

Sunday, February 15, 2004

What a weekend! As I have said before, there's nothing better than spending time with your friends and just hanging out. Even if you do have to wait at Outback for 2.5 hours just to get a seat. Oh well, I guess that's what bars are for. Today my friends and I went to church and had lunch with my family. That's always an interesting event. Earlier this evening I hung a drape bar for Kate in her apartment. I was amazed at the fact that someone had previous hung the exact same bar in the exact same spot at least once before. I knew this because holes already in the wall matched exactly where I was going to put holes in the wall perfectly! What really made this situation is unique is that the location of the drapes bar is right inside a door frame . . . What are the odds?

The drive back home wasn't as interesting as the ride down there on Friday as my neighbor and her friend were not there to entertain me this time. Oh well. Luckily I found a station that has Delilah from Carlisle all the way to Breezewood! If only I could get her in my house radio, I'd be all set.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Today's ride to work stunk! No really, I must have passed 3 or 4 dead skunks that had been struck by a fast moving vehicles since I left work the previous day. Most people would dislike this event because I've seen the way some people react to the scent of skunk. Perhaps the most disturbing thing about me is that I really don't mind the smell of skunk. Actually I think it's sort of an intriguing scent. Now I'm not saying that Kate should go and spray skunk all over herself. I prefer the smell of girl over skunk any day.

Work today consisted of me reading. Since my next project involves Visual Studios .NET with a web application, I had to read up on the matter. So far, things look okay, but I am definitely going to need a few more books and a lot more time.

Arcade updates made today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

What a relief! My hairs have been growing since the beginning of January and I finally got them cut today. I like getting my hairs cut. Most people see it as a pain, but I think it's kind of nice. Someone washes your hairs for you, and it feels good. Nothing beats the old trimmer down the back of the neck. Oooo I get goosebumps just thinking about it. I get my hairs cut by Lisa in at Shear Techniques. She has been cutting my hairs since, wow, before I can remember. She's very nice. Usually, I don't say a whole lot. I just sort of sit there and let her do her thing. Today we started talking about orange juice for some reason. Then the topic quickly changed to V8 and then to eating junk. Before I knew it, I was involved in what I like to call "Girl Talk." Usually Girl Talk is meaningless babble conversed usually one-on-one or in groups by women. The conversation has absolutely no point and it will never EVER influence your life in anyway. But as I sat there I thought, "Hmmm, why am I having this conversation. This is Girl Talk. I'm getting a little scared. What's happening?!" And just like any typical girl involved in Girl Talk Lisa was getting all excited and happy over futile topics; orange juice, V8 and junk food. Although I left Shear Techniques with a great haircut, I couldn't help but feel my masculinity was violated as I walked out of the door . . .

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Roman said he has a bat in his basement. It was once believed that a bat in your home was a sign of good fortune, or good things to come. If you want my opinion Tim, just let it live in your basement. It's not going to hurt anyone. In fact, it could be quite a conversation starter. "Hey guess what?? I have a bat in my house!" They might give you the one-two pitch, but hey you have a bat in your house!

In other news today I worked on my arcade from the time I got home up until about 30 minutes ago. It's nice to finally have something to do around here.

Arcade updates made today.

Monday, February 09, 2004

I fail to see the all the hoop-la about Outkast. Personally I think they stink. I could write better songs that actually have a tune and I consider myself musically challenged. Luckily I missed their performance last night on the Grammy's, but I'm sure they played that obnoxious new song of theirs that seems to be the greatest thing since sliced bread for some reason. From what I saw of the Grammy's, they themselves stunk pretty bad. Maybe they should just gather all of today's artists and put on a 2 hour long concert. I thought there were supposed to be awards given out at this thing?

Sunday, February 08, 2004

After I caught up on my sleep this morning, I decided to put together the elliptical machine my dad and I picked up yesterday. I nearly died getting it into the house yesterday, but luckily, no death resulted. My dad pulled his shoulder muscle a week ago so could only lift with one hand. I was supposed to be "being careful" since my spleen could rupture. This puppy ways a few hundred pounds. It was in a box about 75" long. Once we dragged it basement door, things moved a little more quickly. It nearly ran me over at the bottom of stairs as it slid way to quickly for me to stop it. Anyway, once we took the arm-rail off the stairs, we got the box nestled snuggly onto the basement floor. The assembly of the beast was simple. Attach a few hand-rails, a screw here a screw there and you're done. I've tackled much worse. However, the much worse I've tackled didn't have sharp plastic. I decided to see how a potato feels like when it's skinned as I sliced about an inch of skin right off the top of my left index finger. Two bandaids were needed to cover that badboy up. It looked pretty ugly. A few minutes later I decided to slice my thumb on the exact same piece of plastic. Luckily this one wasn't as bad but i wasn't too happy. I finally finished about 30 minutes later and things worked great. It only cost me an index finger and thumb. Luckily the arcade assembly wasn't as painful.

Arcade updates made today.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

What a day! Yesterday I got home from work and suddenly the phone rang. I picked it up, and who was on the other line but none other than Amy! What a surprise! She told me I was to come down to Messiah to watch the last episode of Ed. What can I say? I'm a big push over. 2.5 hours later, I'm at Messiah eating pizza and catching up with old friends. Then, it was time to watch Ed. We all gathered 'round the TV and were mildly shocked by the mysterious sound issues happening to NBC. It sounded like talking Sims, only worse. Funny, the other channels were perfectly normal. We frantically searched the radio waves to see if NBC was simulcast on any station but we were out of luck. All we were left with was closed caption. However, 2 minutes into the show we realize the people of Ed talk WAY too fast and we couldn't keep up. Then, we had a great idea! We called up Roman, and after me yelling at him on the phone, we talked him into holding his phone receiver up to his TV speaker the whole episode while we listened to Ed via speaker phone. What a memorable night. There couldn't have been a better way to end an era of great friends, great times and a great TV show.

After Ed, we took off to TGI Fridays for some after-Ed drinks. Amy got the kiddy drink, while Kate, Vikki and I got REAL drinks. Ultimate drinks in fact. But boy was that car ride hot!! Four of us were crammed in the back seat with the heat blasting! But it was a great time. Didn't get much sleep last time as we talked until about 3 AM catching up on life. Nothing beats spending time with friends who mean everything to you. Even if you're doing nothing.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

They're saying it's the ice storm of the century! Not hard since this century only started 3 years ago (that's right, centuries start on year 1, not 0!). The weather people say 4 inches over night, then 1/4 inch of ice in the morning. Then rain the rest of day. My pet spider monkey threw a Typhoon today. Perhaps I should get him a new dartboard. Needless to say, I'll believe the hype when I see it.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Link is up! Check out Jimmy's Arcade for info on my new do-it-yourself-project!
I have just been told I should keep a blog for the new arcade I'm making. A great suggestion. Look for links very very soon!
I know you couldn't sleep last night because you were wondering what in the HECK spin networks are. OK, lets face it, this whole quantum crap bores the heck out of you. Too bad. To define a spin network, lets have some more imagery here. Picture in your mind a cube. Now at the center of the cube is a dot. For this example (as well as many others) lets call this dot, a node. This node represents the volume of the cube. So lets give the node a number which correspond to the cube's volume. Next lets draw lines from the node to each side of the cube. You should now have a dot with 6 lines coming out of it. These lines will also have numbers associated with them. Only these numbers will represent the area of that side of the cube. Ta daaa! You now have a representation of a quantum volume. Now, make that cube a volume of space the size of one Plant volume, and you have one quantum of volume. If you want to network this volume with another quantum of volume, you draw a line connecting the two nodes that would represent the sides of the two volumes that are touching. If you really wanted to, you could draw a spin network for the entire universe. You would only need about 10184 nodes on your diagram. You may need a few pieces of paper to map that one out. Now, add a third dimension to this network (the lines become planes and the nodes become lines) and you have just added Time to your spin network. Now, by jumping down the time axis by the Plank Time, you can see how volumes will react with other volumes through the course of time. This is it. From this spin network, you can see how space and time and be affected by other space through time. It's quite fascinating really. Well, I think anyway.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Another foot of snow, another day out of work early. Someone tell me why I didn't move here years ago? Since I have a short day, I can continue my talk about Loop Quantum Gravity.

Like I was saying, Time is not continues. In the same sense, space is not continuous. Let's take a close look at a block of wood. From the human eye, it may appear to be continuous as all matter does. In fact, hundreds of years ago, it was believed to be so. However, now we know better. Wood, and all matter for that fact is made up of very very tiny objects called atoms. The smallest piece of wood you can possibly have is one molecule of wood. This molecule has a certain area and volume. You cannot EVER have a piece of wood with a volume or area smaller than that of one molecule of wood. Ergo, wood is not continuous. If you have many molecules of wood, there are spaces in between those molecules, again, not continuous. Because of this, you cannot have infinite possible areas or volumes of wood. You cannot have a volume that would fall between the volume of one molecule and two molecules. This is of course already accepted and proven by science. The theory with Loop Quantum Gravity is that space is the exact same. The smallest possible volume of space you can have is one Plank volume, or 10-99cm3. In other words, 1099 (or a google) Plank volumes can fit inside one cubic centimeter. Compare this number with the 1085 cm3 of volume in the visible universe! If my math is correct (and it always is) that means that in the visible universe there are 10184 units of Plank volumes. You cannot possibly fathom the vastness of this number. You may think you can, but trust me, you can't even come close.

Anywho, space being not continuous works the same as the piece of wood I spoke about earlier. There are not infinite possible volumes of space because you have a limit of how small you can go. Next time, we learn about spin networks and what in the universe they are!

Monday, February 02, 2004

This weekend was study weekend. You would think that since I'm out of school I wouldn't have to study any more. Well you're right. I don't have to study. I actually like to learn new things. This weekend I learned about the Loop Quantum Gravity Theory. A masterful theory that attempts to connect the Theory of Relativity with Quantum Theory. For those of you that are not familiar with these theories I will summarize very very very briefly. The Theory of Relativity was conjectured by the great Einstein. He was named after a popular element called Einsteinium. Anyway, old Einie said that space and time are intermingled and if you have an object with enough mass, such as a sun or black hole, it can distort both the space around it as well as time. Quantum Theory basically predicts the movement of particles and their spin. In simpler terms, Relativity does big stuff and Quantum does itty bitty tiny stuff. The Holy Grail of science is to find a theory that connects the two. This Loop Quantum Gravity Theory attempts to do that. Basically Loop theorizes that space and time are not continuous. For instance, when you go to the movies and watch a film, it appears that it's all one continuous movie. However, our eyes are very misleading. In fact, a movie is made up of 24 frames per second. If you've ever slowed your home movies down with the slow-mo button on the VCR you'll see that your movie is actually made up of thousands of still pictures. A movie must then have a minimum amount. A movie cannot be shorter than one frame. In the same sense, time as we experience it is not continuous. It can be broken into the smallest time unit possible called Plank time, or 10-43 second. Stay tuned for more terrific insight tomorrow!
With all the talk in blogs lately about the Super Bowl, I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Super Bowl Halftime Show. Indeed there was stuff shown that I don't think was meant to be shown. Last time I checked, the Halftime Show was supposed to be family oriented. However, what I saw last night was definitely R-Rated! Was that a star on Janet's boob? All I can say was that I was speechless when her Gay Singer Boy ripped off Janet's right boob protector to reveal, what else, Janet's right boob. Whoop, there it was, for everyone to see. Frankly I think Kate was traumatized since she just kind of sat there for a while with her mouth wide open. In the meantime I was trying to figure out what was all sparkly. The media says is was a sun-type piercing and that it was an accident. Funny, why would Janet be wearing a "sun screen" if she didn't know she was going to give the world a little free peepshow?

Oh well. The game was still good despite the "accidental" boobage. I hear they're calling for snow tomorrow. Let's hope it's the same 1 to 3 inches it was last time. Let's get Jimmy to the slopes this weekend!! Let's give him a day off tomorrow so he can go then instead!!