I had a strange dream in which I was reading a book about a man who had put his own body back together after he had technically died or was killed. He had carefully set up an extremely elaborate series of eventualities for how muscles would be attached to his skeleton, tissue would be put on those muscles, and so on. Actually I didn’t do much reading (though I often find myself, oddly, doing that in dreams) rather skimmed through the book in a few dream minutes, but it had eerie diagrams of the body in various states of construction. The last steps, when the body was mostly complete, were the hardest to perform, because the whole process was about constructing something from the inside out. Like folding in the last corner when you’re interlocking the flaps of a cardboard box, but a million times harder. This is all difficult to describe, as in dreams you often just know things about your dream world which are inconsistent or highly abstract (and often illogical, yet you never think to question this), or which take the form of images or feelings, which you can never directly show to anyone else. Is this how great minds sometimes conceptualize theories? Like Special Relativity or Wave-Particle Duality. String Theory. Or even something more basic like electron orbital shells. I don’t mean that this has anything to do with dreams, but that it seems likely to me that in these cases, a scientist understood something in a conceptual way which was very difficult to explain to others. Richard Feynman used to think this way, from “what I’ve read”:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0679747044. He would lie on the floor and curl up or move around in strange patterns in order to feel as if he _were_ an elementary particle, or a mass, or energy, or whatever subject he was trying to grasp, and try to understand from the inside out what made it work, what rules governed it’s behavior and motion. What it would “see” and what it would “think”. So his ideas were no doubt in the form of images and sounds, the kind of thought which is hard to communicate with others, although he was very good at conveying his non-verbal-sense ideas, but still, a lot must have been lost in the process. So that was quite a sudden segue, yes. From dream to reality at the snap of a finger, or a thumb. I know what my dream means, or rather, why I had it. Because there is no meaning. But there is a cause, or rather many different causes, below the images which comprised it.
“A Bad Dream” by Keane from their album _Under the Iron Sea_.
Just downloaded this after hearing it on “KCRW”:http://www.kcrw.com. This station is a model for how things should be done: Complete playlists are available listing songs up through the very most recent one played. What I do when I hear something I must have (which is usually while driving) is send a text message to my email address, which arrives time-stamped. The message is then a reminder to look up the song and add it to my “songs to get” textfile, or to just get it right away.
Is the rest of the album any good?
I have a CD player in my car that plays MP3-CDRs. I’d like to burn a few of the songs I’ve purchased from the iTunes Music Store in MP3 format to a CD-ROM. Can’t do that, of course. I could burn an audio CD, rip it to MP3 files, then burn the files, but that’s a lot of steps and wasted CDs.
I know there are CD-ROM emulators out there (which trick programs into thinking that an image file mounted from the hard drive is a real CD-ROM drive), but can one of these fake a CDR drive and fool a program into thinking it’s “burning” data to the disc (when really it’s writing into the image file)? Will that work for burning music in standard Audio CD format? That could be a good solution. Burn to and rip from a file. Still a lot of steps, but at least no physical disc is wasted. I guess that’s my main hang-up — CDR media is cheap, but on principle it’s stupid to have to waste physical discs because of an artificially imposed block on rights I should have by virtue of having purchased something. I abhor artificial barriers like this. Granted, I know what I’m getting into by purchasing music from iTMS, but the absence of an as-convenient alternate choice means that to _not_ conveniently purchase music online because of the aforementioned artificially imposed barrier is to succumb to it, and I’m all about not doing that, on principle.
I sit here and drink coffee and Coke and eat PowerBars all day. That’s probably not too healthy
Hmm, maybe I should actually start using “Ruby on Rails”:http://thomas.pixelmud.com/archives/2006/07/wowjustwow.html and stop thinking of it as “yet another framework”. In the worst case, I won’t end up using it after putting in the time to learn it, but since it seems to be a very well structured and “elegant” framework, I’ll pick up something I can incorporate into other projects.
(Tuesday after midnight, but it still counts as Tuesday.)
One mile at 7.0 mph. Two miles at 8.5 mph. 1/4 mile at 4.0 mph. 1/2 mile at 9.3 mph. 1/4 mile at 4.0 mph to round out 4 miles.
How long did that take? Math exercise for you. Nah, don’t bother. But here’s another math problem / brain teaser to solve:
bq. How many minutes is it before six o’clock if 50 minutes ago it was four times as many minutes after three o’clock?
Wrap your head around that one for a bit. Here’s another one:
bq. A kid has $2.16, and spends it on a bunch of candy bars. The cost of each bar divides evenly into the money he has, so he gets no change back. He realizes that if each bar were one cent cheaper, he could buy exactly three more bars (that is, the cost of each bar would still divide his $2.16 evenly). How many bars did he get?
From an email last year to one of my old roommates, who said something about searching for ways to regress, I think because I jokingly had said something along the lines of how we should all move back in again together, for old time’s sake:
bq. Ha ha, I don’t think we’d really have to “search” for ways to regress. It probably comes quite naturally. Anyway time does seem to go pretty quickly, these days. Although, I find rate of time flow is inversely proportional to amount of “mixing it up” I do. I.e., changing environments, jobs, making new friends, doing interesting things, travelling, and so on. It’s when things are the same that times seems to go by pretty fast… that’s what happened when I had a rather monotonous 9-5 for a couple years. Where’d those years go? So at the moment I have a freelance computer business, which has been working out pretty well. Pays the bills. I plan to go back to school eventually, though, and become some sort of professor. Or maybe not.
So I’m working full-time again, and almost another year has passed. This job, though, is very interesting and I’ve learned / grown a whole lot. I’m having doubts about the “going back to school” idea, too. Why not take a year off, and study or do what I like, instead of incurring debt to be told what to study? On the other hand if I did go back to school, I would put a lot more effort in and consequently get a lot more out than I did in the past. The working world has taught me that much, at least. And school needn’t mean an elimination of savings; with a TA-ship it ought to be almost or even completely subsidized. Food for thought.
Driving home today, I reached a powerless stretch of Western where traffic lights were out for blocks. Free-for-all intersections actually aren’t that bad. If you’re in a long line of traffic, you’ll move forward pretty slowly waiting your turn to cross the intersection, but if you approach from one of the side streets intending to cross a major street or make a left turn onto one, whereas under normal circumstances you’d usually have to wait minutes for the light to turn green, you’ll probably be first in line and need only wait a very short time for your break. Most drivers are extremely careful, and courtesy seems to be the rule.
The other morning, driving _to_ work this time, the light was out at the intersection of two very large streets, Venice and La Brea. Although the rule is that if a light is out or broken drivers should treat the crossing as controlled by all-way stop signs, that’s not very efficient, especially when heavy traffic comes from all directions and both or all streets have several lanes. There’s overhead involved in waiting for the intersection to clear so the directions of traffic flow can change. What’s interesting here is that despite the law drivers seemed to instinctively coordinate this, and alternated direction every few cars. I.e., in each lane, two or three cars would proceed across, and then two or three cars from each lane in the other direction would go, and so on.
I guess when L.A. drivers are forced to pay attention (for example in these situations where each driver has to look out for him- or herself, yet everyone has a common goal), they’re not that bad.
No warm-up. (It’s already plenty warm today, thank you very much.) 7.0 mph for 40 minutes. 3.5 mph for 5 minutes. 7.5 mph for 10 minutes. 4.0 mph for 5 minutes to round out the hour.
So that’s a little over 6.5 miles in 1 hour. Not bad, I say, for a start. I’d planned to go a steady 7.0 for the full hour, but got a stitch in my side around 35 minutes into the run that continued to get worse, so I needed to walk and rest for a bit.
Thanks to my friend “Mike R.”:http://www.runamok.net/ for all the running tips and advice. This fellow has nine marathons (and in highly respectable times, too) under his belt, so he has to know what he’s talking about, I’d assume. I’m going to keep a log of my progress here, so feel free to be inspired or uninspired or what have you.
I started reading //Even Cowgirls Get the Blues// by Tom Robbins. Now, I’m a Tom Robbins fan. The way he plays with language twists my own language-producing neurons into a maze of twisty little knots (not all alike), meaning, that I start speaking and writing in complex ways I wouldn’t have thought otherwise possible. His writing is incredibly enjoyable to absorb. But imagine my horror when, right after beginning to read this book, I encountered the following sentence (the second one below), on page //three//:
: Jelly is sitting in the outhouse. She has been sitting there longer then necessary.
Yep, that’s exactly how it’s written. I hate when books have errors like this. Encountering one degrades, in my mind, the entire overall quality of the writing and copy-editing. What’s odd is that this is the //fifth// edition of the book, originally published in 1976. Is my internal grammar-checker out of whack?