My Zunivers

30 July 2005

I Should Have Stayed Home

Really, the only reason why I'm writing here tonight is because I am bored. So, that said, let me get started.

On second thought, this window has been open for over an hour and I haven't said anything.

Maybe you could leave this post on yourt screen for an hour while you just pretend that I'm talking to you or something.

29 July 2005

NICy Chicky

I have ordered a network card for Heidi. It was $10, minus a $10 rebate that I'll have to send, plus $3 for shipping, which makes it a grand total, in all, of $3. So, honey, that little monster will be out of your living room by, probably, the end of next week.

I need to get up early again tomorrow, for REU presentations. My advisor won't be in town, so he wants me to go to our student's talk, which is scheduled for 9:30. Sucks.

Of note, the Chicken Whopper is being replaced at the Burger King near you. I don't know when the switch will take place in your neighborhood, but in the Chicago area it's happeneing this week and next. This is sad for me, as the Chicken Whopper was one of my favorites and I've had two or three per year since the release. I can only hope that the new sandwich will bring me as much fast-food pleasure.

Speaking of Chicago, I was sad that I could not attend the Chicago Fire hosting AC Milan. Top notch stuff.

28 July 2005

Things I'd LikeTo Write About....

I was thinking about posting about one of a few things tonight.

Idea 1: An ode to the woman I love the most in all the world, and why I married her.

Idea 2: Why we can't abstract any moral issue from a cultural context to an objective context and still come up witgha valid conclusion to apply to the real world, which includes social and cultural contexts. Perhaps we could look at Marxism or something as an example.

Idea 3: More boring things on MBTI, specifically why some introverted types look like other types in some situations. The discussion would hinge on the difference between temperments and behaviors.

Idea 4: More about music

Idea 5: What I have so far of my post on Houston

Idea 6: Qualifications and such on my rather hyperbolc statement about why I am now liking Houston.

Idea 7: Something about sex, including perhaps comments on Lauren Winner's Real Sex. Or maybe just a few lines about having a penis.

Idea 8: One of my friends, and how the Rich Mullins song "Peace" has to do with him/her.

Idea 9: The Old Testament law, the New Testament saying we no longer live under the law, and the fundamentalist fascination with the Ten Commandments, which are a part of the law.

However, my ability to write a real blog post is gone for today. I have to get up at the hairy end of the buttcrack of dawn so that I can go to school for a 2:00 PM appointment.

If I wouldn't already know that I'd be really tired tomorrow, I would plan to work out just how much of a financial hardship having a second car would be. This would be a hard-figure calculation, excluding things like the cost of my or my wife's time being stuck places we don't need to be, the costs of not having the car for a period of time if it needs major repairs, etc. It would only include average vehilcle costs, including extra insurance, extra capital for the vehicle over the projected vehicle life, minus the fact that the wear and gas and such would be spread betwen two vehicles, minus projected depreciation.... you get the idea.

So, I don't have a post for you tonight.


27 July 2005

Wanted: Musical Experiences

Sometime I will finish my long post about my trip to Houston. I actually, for once, had a good time there. Quite a good time. In fact, I'm thinking that the things I didn't like about Houston were mostly things that have since moved away. I would need another trip to make sure.

For now, I'm toying around with the idea of joining a choir this school year. I don't want to sing in my church chior because they practice way too much to do way too poorly at singing way too little music that I am not interested in singing. If any of you have a suggestion of a choir in my area that would take poor old me with barely an audition and help me make something good out of my voice and work on my sight singing skills (which are, by the way, finally developing), I would appreciate your input. And the first person who suggests the Lehigh Valley Gay Men's Chorus, or anything having to do with the SPEBSQSA will get... Ta-Da! No Christmas card. Ever.

What's that? Yes, I will probably just stick to singing along with my choral CDs when I'm home alone. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Give a guy a chance to dream before you crush him like that, okay?

17 July 2005

Well, Call Me a Blowfish!

I took a nerd test, and my results were scary. I scored in 99th percentile of nerdiness. I am proud of these results and have, in a rather blashphemous way, placed my badge of Nerd-Godiness on my blog.

On another subject, today someone I know was again insisting that I am very arrogant. To the offended: I'm sorry if I come across that way. If your valuation of you or me hinges on whether or not one of us expresses whether or not we are more or less nerdy than the other, you have some issues to work out for yourself before you worry about me.

And remember, people, arrogance has to do with self-worth and self-importance, not intelligence. My opinion-- I hate myself, I'm rather unimportant, and I'm freakin' intelligent. You decide....

15 July 2005

How I Feel

I'm feeling much better because today I took off of working for about three hours and wrote a few letters that needed to be written. I sent something to each of my parents, telling them each some things on my mind. Not the same things, of course, as they are different people and therefore I covered different subject matter.

Once done with that I felt much better, until I got depressed that after four years of graduate school I have gotten nowhere in terms of research. Part of that is lack of satbility in topics that my advisor and I toy with doing. Another part is my lack of motivation to work. In one way, I'm learning a lot of things. For doing theoretical physics that has to count in soem way, but it's not why you get a doctorate. You get one of those for actually Doing Something. I'm really bad at Doing Things. I can't even use the normal tricks like "make a schedule and follow it." I don't have enough respect for schedules.

Every time I run into a problem I pat myself on the back for finding it, and then don't do anything about it for two weeks. When I do finally think about it, I figure out the solution to the problem and then, of course, I take another three weeks to motivate myself to work on implimentation of that solution. I don't know why it's so hard. All I have to do is write a few things down and push a few buttons. How hard is that? It isn't. Motivating myself to do it is the hard part. I need to break out of my habit of losing interest simply because I conclude that I do or don't understand something. I have to work on solutions and their implementation-- Doing Things. And I don't know how. For thsoe of you who do Get Things Done, your first reaction is probably "Well, you just do things." But it's really not that easy. I have the same thoughts. They get lost on the way to the motor neurons.

This evening, or morning, as it were, or is, I am going to re-read a few papers. I hope I can understand them, at least a little bit. The stuff I've been having tossed at me recently isn't stuff that I really understand, partly because I don't see the point and partly because the middle of the story isn't a place to start. When you're getting into colloid literature, vast as it is, the middle is about the only place to start because the field is boundless. I will survive, I guess.

14 July 2005

Mudhole Moment

Today was pissy day. Period.

I'm going to go wallow while the rest of you just keep on doing whatever you're doing.

13 July 2005


No, this isn't going to be very coherent.

I don't think I'll ever run out of things to say about music, though. I really like music.

One thing that you'll find, if you analyze the music I listen to (and you usually can't, because I don't listen to music very often when other people are around, so you'll have to take my word for it), is that the music I choose reflects my mood more than the other way around.

Right now I am very bothered by the Newsboys, and I'm going to change albums at any moment. The song "Beautiful Sound" is excellent, but I'm not very much in the mood for "Love, Liberty, Disco" right now. Now that "Beautiful Sound" is over, I don't feel like going any deeper into this wonderful album. It's good stuff. I'm just not into it right now. So I'm going to switch over to the beginning of Michael W. Smith's album This Is Your Time and see what that does for me.

Very good so far.

This past Sunday on the drive back from my mom's place I actually turned on a classic rock station. I was in a seriously pissed off mood, and I wanted to be surrounded by heavy beats and sucky lyrics. Not knowing any 80s stations I went for classic rock. Classic rock... I knew this guy named Dwight when I was at Wheaton. We often had the following conversation:

"What up, Nate? Say, what kind of music do you listen to?"

"Mostly classical."

"Classical. You mean like Floyd?"

I wonder what ever happened to Dwight.

What posessed me to listen to Amy Grant's Behind the Eyes when I took a long drive? Honestly, I think it wsa the weather. I was in a great mood, but my mood was being dampened by the hot day. So why not some fairly happy music that has a bit of melencholy? I was also feeling nostalgic, and so I wanted to listen to something from my past. Of course, this is a sick anaylysis, because on that particular day the choice was an impulse choice. I'm simply talking out my butt about my subconscious. Worse things come from my butt.

Back to my current music, the song "Worth It All" has become annoying enough to skip. I call this song the the bad workout song of the 90s that got misguided on the way to Buns of Steel 17 and ended up on a CCM album instead. I'm skipping ahead to "This is Your Time."

Speaking of music, I feel a camp story coming on.

Our first night at camp, before the campers came, the staff decided to organize aWal Mart trip. I was at camp to be at camp, not to go to Wal Mart, so I decided not to go. My sister decided the same thing. Everyone else piled into the vans, leaving some sibling time with my sister. As the sun went down I showed her the guy's cabins and then we took a walk to the back part of camp.

As the twilight gathered the last light and the moon rose to greet us, we sat on the front hill, near the flagpole, and talked about music. We talked about singing music, and how she is a soprano and I am a baritone. That topic invariably lead into discussing church music, which very quickly lead to discussign Contemporary Christian artists. I went on for a while about Rich Mullins, telling my sister some of the things that I've thought about the rich themes of nature in his lyrics.

I talked about the night I first heard "Nothing is Beyond You" and how I think that although it is not one of those popular "praise songs" it is definitely a model of what one should be. It has raw emotion, deep meaning, and sung in a key that you don't need to be a tenor to sing. She told me it was one of her favorites, too. My wife said the same thing about that song.

For the curious, I am now listening to the Newsboys song "Million Pieces" from the album Thrive. Although I feel guilty about buying an album just for one song, so guilty in fact that I don't ever do it, I don't mind if my wife buys an album and I listen to only one song (especially when she no longer listens to the album at all). That's how I am with Thrive anyway.

I feel alienated by the CCM world these days. Innovation is lacking in most areas. Granted, innovation on the level of Carmen's video of "R.I.O.T." will not be welcomed ever again. I never want to see an old man wearing a construction helmet and dancing around a steel mill in big boots and suspenders while swinging around a hammer and singing about God with his nipples showing. That's Carmen's nipples, not God's.

Seriously, though, all of the talent seems to be funneling into either pop/hip-hop/hard rock styles or into trite "worship albums." The former are styles I don't prefer, and the latter contain either new "worship" music that sucks or "classic"worship music that I would think the average Christian would be sick of hearing by now because it sucks as much as it did when it was written twenty years ago. As the deer what? What's the deer doing? You'll have to tell me because I stopped paying attention to the deer roundabouts 1996.

I think I've rambled enough now. But what kind of mood makes one listen to Francis Cabrel singing "Samedi Soir sur la Terre"? (here) I don't know, but I'm in it.

12 July 2005

PVS and All That

For peopel who had major emotional issues with Terri Schiavo, I suggest skipping this post.

Today I read this article today in The Morning Call. As a side note, I want to point out that I don't know how long the article will last at that link.

The reason this article drew my atttention is that the term "persistint vegetative state" has become a sort of media buzzword in the past six months. Like terms such as ADD, the mass media has gotten hold of a term that has existed for years and is presenting it to us until we puke and the medical community stops using the term. Anyway, I've noticed a trend in reports that contain this term. Ever since Terri Schiavo died, all of the reports that I've seen involving PVS patients, half a dozen maybe, follow a similar story line-- someone was declared to be in PVS and then got better. I have a couple of problems with this.

First, we don't hear the stories of all the people declared to be PVS and either don't get better or get unplugged. I know that it happens, but nobody seems to be talking about it. I'm not trying to imply that every day hundreds of PVS people have their feeding tubes removed or anything like that. But I am saying that Terri Schiavo's case did not contain only once-in-a-lifetime circumstances that we never could have seen before and that we will never see again.

From a small amount of discussion with health care providers I already know that when there is no disagreement among family (or the appropriate decision makers) about ending the life of a person who is declared PVS then the deed simply gets done with no more fanfare than, at most, a rubber stamp from a hospital ethics committee. And for a person who is being kept alive, as long as there is funding to do it, any ethics committe does no more than change the names and publish it as a case study. The important thing is that these sorts of PVS situations are, if not commonplace at one location, at least routine overall. But you would never know it from the narrow spectrum of situations covered in mass media.

My second problem is that these new reports may play inappropriately on people's emotions. Look at all these stories of PVS people who came back. There are so many more of them than there are PVS people who never get better or have their lives ended. Could we have done the wrong thing with Terri?

A tiny bit of critical analysis with those who get better shows us that these cases don't really answer that question because the situation is different between Terri and the othePVS cases I've seen. The cases I've seen, like the one in the story, never discuss people who were in PVS for many, many years with no improvement and then suddenly started to improve. They all involve people who gradually improved over a period of time that includes soem good imrpovement during the first year or two (in the case of the article I linked to, a year). And I'm sure that if you look at the recovered people's brains, you will find them mostly intact, unlike Terri's.

Unfortunately, most people I know probably do not consider the differences, and that leaves the conclusion that Terri was treated wrongly. I'm paranoid enough to think that the journalists who work on such reports actually mean to induce such feelings.

Anyway, it's a good reminder that it's easy, especially as third party gawkers with fourth hand information, to philosophize about rules until the philosophized outcome fits rather than choosing an outcome that fits the rules.

As sad as I was about Terri's case, it fit the rules. No argument that you give about her husband's relationship, Terri's money, playing God, starving to death versus other means, and such will convince me that she was a thinking, working human being rather than a shell in the form of an organic machine. And you won't convince me that her husband didn't spend a good number of years, many more than the normal time for even simple amounts of recovery to take place, trying to help her get better before he gave up on her. Likewise, based on the conclusion that she wasn't "there" and wouldn't be coming back, there is nothing abnormal (and probably nothing wrong because I don't hear monthly outcries against it in any other cases) with letting her life end. That decision doesn't belong to whoever is on the side of our emotions, it belongs where convention for such situations says that it belongs. My accepting, rather than opposing, the decision that was made is not the same thing as me failing to care about the persons involved.

A Post

This is the first blog post that I have ever written using Herr Axel. For those of you who don't already know (and where have you been if you don't?) Herr Axel is my PDA. I adopted him last fall, as my gift for learning to drive. He was my faithful companion until about two weeks later when I sat on him. As I mentioned recently, more than six months later I have finally been able to get his screen fixed.

Although I do have WiFi, I'm not doing anything cool like posting directly from him. The physics building has only one wireless router, and since the school doesn't allow private wireless setups I don't expect that to last. When I have Herr Axel plugged into Chelsea, I can access the internet through her, however, so this post is coming directly from Herr Axel.

After my busy days, I still haven't gotten much done. I've slept very little for the past few nights and so I am very tired. I need to get some dummy programs running on the Beowulf cluster, so that I can practice using the control software before I need to do real research work. I have a few papers that I need to read but the printers in the physics department have gone wacko, so I don't have hard copies. My eyes aren't much in the mood for screens when I'm tired. (This dim little PDA screen, by the way, is different. I basically use one eye at a time on it, a skill that I picked up in vision therapy when I was a teenager.)

I have a little family stress right now, and that isn't helping. I just wish that people would make their bad decisions and then get it over with rather than waiting for their consciences to fluctuate into calling the decision acceptable.

It's a sick, sad thing to watch people slowly undermine their principles in order to fit their desires. It's a failsafe way to make yourself feel good about any moral choice-- tailor your morals to the outcome you want, and then choose the desired outcome because it is "right." It's too bad that others among us have to watch this kind of horrible degradation because we're not falling for it. The lack of humor begins with simple things like noticing lies and then moves on to more grand moral principles.

Speaking of more grand principles, I may make another quick post tonight about a local newspaper article that contained the words "persistent vegetative state." I have to keep that separate from this post, and I'm mentioning it here only to remind myself to write it.

10 July 2005

Amy Grant and Herr Axel

I've gotten a comment or two about the driving experiences I discussed a few days ago. I want to assure you, you certainly did not want to be with me. Why, you ask? Because before the long drive I fixed the CD player adapter, and I used the drive to relive my suitemates' room freshman year by continually repeating a dusty old copy of Amy Grant's Behind the Eyes. Where the heck we got it from is beyond me. I didn't know we had it until the other day when I was picking CDs to take with me for the drive. Anyway, it was not something that most of you would have survived, I am sure. And Niblack, if you're out there, let's get together and drive sometime, okay?

Now, on to another matter. Six months after the Great Sit-Down, my PDA is now fixed. For a bit less than the price of a new PDA screen, I purchased a complete non-wireless version that requires the same screen. I swapped the screens, did a hard reset, synched up to the old stuff on Chelsea, and Herr Axel is now back in business! I also have a complete extra set of cables for school, as extra case, an extra battery, an extra stylus, a new 128MB SD card, and best of all a unit (the "new" on with the "old" screen) that can operate as a battery charger! I love it. I don't love the price, though, and I should get a hard case soemtime. PDA screens are expensive. Don't break them.

09 July 2005

Warning: Depressed

I am thoroughly without a life. Seriously. This is more than just a physicist versus the world problem. It's more of a sleep versus the world problem. I am rather sick of spending long days with often little people interaction and then spending long nights with the same. It's so incredibly boring.

I'm going to re-watch one of the movies I rented, since they need to go back this weekend. I would like for my wife to be able to see them, but since she'll be in bed before or just after my kid brother for the rest of the weekend, that's not going to happen.

I would also like to get some work done. Fat chance.

And it would be nice to have a few quiet days to recover from camp and the conference, since I still haven't really had that. Fat chance again, at least until next weekend.

Oh, goody! I can recover just in time for my all-too-long trip to the eighth level of climatological Hell!

Life sucks.

08 July 2005

A Few Short Things

No, I'm not talking about your willy. Rather, in the style of Andy Rooney, I have a few short things to say today.

I am getting around this summer. Today was completed with a surprise trip to my mom's place in Montgomery county. She was in the hospital for a day with a very nasty form of strep throat that has left her tonsils ruined and possibly in need of removal. Anyway, my kid brother needed a place to stay for a few days, so that mom can recover. We volunteered.

To the PennDot district that handles route 63 through Lansdale-- I pay tax money to you people. Can you get some decent paint for the lines in the road? I knew it was too much to ask, but thanks anyway.

I need to be frank for a moment. Having a sex life and sharing a one bedroom apartment with a five year old are mutually exclusive.

My blogging universe is back to normal. I made a couple of long posts while my college friends have disappeared from the internet.

Physics is hard, expecially when you have more incoming graduate students than you have office space. I am worried about how many students are going to be put into our now spacious office. I mean, I can handle the amount of room I have right now. I can't handle much less. I think that the experimentalists, who take up huge gobs of building space for labs, should have smaller offices that theory students, who have no other place to call their own. I'm sure I'll hear lots of positive comments about this one....

When I take my antihistimine pills, my insect bites disappear. That makes sense, but it's strange to realize that it happens. Being all drugged up is good for something.

CFC containing athsma inhalers are being banned in the US. I'm glad to know that it's athsmatics, not big businesses, that are ruining the environment with evil air pollutants. I'm sure we'll get substitute inhalers that cost more, because new delivery methods mean new patents, and are less effective, becasue that always happens.

Why does my optical mouse cursor spontaneously jump to the corners of the screen sometimes?

I haven't brushed my teeth in over a week.

07 July 2005

Rant Required....

It seems that our Fearless Leader participates avidly in a very country-club version of "mountain biking."

Read here.

Either he's only really good under pressure or he doesn't ever leave the pavement. Either way, it's incredibly WASPy.

Another Drive

Although most of you will probably find it boring to hear about, I spent a long time in the car today.

My wife was camping with her family, and I was volunteered to pick her up at their house in Maryland. So this afternoon I went to get her.

My wife apologized a few times about making me drive.

Rubbish. I like driving.

I don't like all driving. Driving to an appointment is a pain. Will I be late? When should I get there? When should I leave so I get there? Which roads should I take? Will I be late? Did I already ask that?

Driving with less of a schedule is much more pleasurable. Today I ended up being an hour late. I left half an hour late, and I was stuck in some construction and traffic. The consequences? None.

I was alone, and I picked my own route. There was no best way to go. There was construction on all the major roads I could choose. I chose the familiar roads from Allentown to Reading to Lancaster to York. The going was a bit slow, but I had fun driving that way. The roads change back and forth between limited access highways and large, multilane streets. Given a choice between such changes and the monotony of the less direct interstates (whcih take the same amount of time), I'll take changing roads. When the 222 corridor is completely finished from Lancaster to Allentown it will be less fun, although faster than the interstates, and I'll probably take back roads. But I'll most likely be moved away before then.

At York, I deviated form the regular route and instead continued on Route 30. I followed Route 30 to Adams county, where I passed through more traffic circles than ever before in my driving history. (Two)

I left Route 30 in one of my favorite towns, one I don't often get to see, called Gettysburg. I haven't been there for 12 years but I rememebred my way through town to the battlefield area. I took a swing by the Pennsylvania monument, just because I had forgotten how big it was until I saw it from a distance, and then went off to find Devil's Den.

It wasn't hard to find. I remembered how to go. Sure, I don't know the park roads, but the battlefield map is buried in my mind, making my educated guesses for me. From Taneytown road I saw a sign that alerted me to an intersection ahead, and I slowed and turned onto it. It was indeed Wheatfield Road. Yes, I knew, this is the one I need.

I came around into Devil's Den and drove up the hill. Just past the intersection I parked the car beside the road. My reason for visiting Gettysburg was just ahead of me. I walked up the stony, mulchy path to the site of the 20th Maine's stand as the left flank of the Union lines. I had never been there before, but I knew exactly where to drive and where to park and where to walk to get there (even before I saw the sign pointing toward the site). Sort of strange, actually.

Once there, rocks, trees, stone walls, and a steep hill. That's what I found. In the center of it all is a monument, and a small one at that, worn and in need of some Maine money for its repair. Two sides the stone list the members of the 20th Maine who died on the hill July 2, 1863. As you should know, the name of Sgt. Buster Kilrain is not listed, but I remember one of his memorable lines, "Well, man may be an angel. But he damn well must be a killer angel." I would like to have stayed a bit longer.

After that, I escaped Little Round top and found my way back to Taneytown Road. That section of road was some of the most fun driving I've done. It was curvy and hilly and absolutely beautiful to see as the sun sank into the smeared clouds and the haze thinckened to hold back the air from cooling. I never saw a sign that said I had entered Maryland. Taneytown simply appeared from the trees; the only warning given was a sign saying "Reduced Speed 25 Ahead." The road name had changed to Harney Road.

I could have continued having fun driving on the Maryland back roads had I not run into Maryland cars, so insistent about driving well below the speed limit and too dim to turn on their headlights in the dusky gloom. Duh, people. Some of us are trying to have fun on the roads.

In the end, though, I got to my destination all too soon. An hour late was nothing. I got a bathroom break, and ten minutes of standing time. My wife insisted on beginning the return trip, so I let her drive to the Pennsylvania border. I continued on the interstate to York, and then I retraced my earlier route. My wife slept in the passenger seat.

We arrived home 300 odd miles and 8 hours after I left. My legs were happy to escape, but the two breaks they had taken were quite enough.

I enjoyed the drive.

05 July 2005

My July 4th

I got to spend July 4th on my own, sort of. Let me tell you all about my day.

At around 11:00 I woke up and decided to get out of bed so that I would be awake whenever my relatives came to visit. I cleaned up the kitchen and then wasted an hour or two online. Around 1:30, my brother, sister and dad arrived. My sister's eye infection was getting better, my brother is still scrawny and hyper-talkative, and dad went straight to the kitchen to cook the lunch that he brought. After lunch we went to the park for an hour. Upon returning from the park, around 4:30, my family left.

Having nothing to do, I decided to read some things, which I did, and take a nap, which I did.

Around 7:30 I woke up and decided that since I easily lose track of cash, and since I don't have much right now, I might as well do my non-food spending as soon as possible so that I would know how much would be left over for food. So I put on my shoes and headed to Blockbuster, where I picked up Office Space and Good Will Hunting.

Not having anything else to do, I decided that Monday would be the best day to go to see War of the Worlds, which my wife would probably not enjoy. I feel less creepy going to a movie alone when I'm home alone than going to a movie alone when my wife is at home. There was a 10:30 show at Hoyt's, which I had looked up that morning, so I figured I'd go there.

I realized on the drive home from Blockbuster, however, that there was enough time between Blockbuster and Hoyt's that I could swing by the Bethlehem fireworks show. I mean, it's basically on the way, right? So my plan went into action. I honked my way through masses of cars that can't read Yield and Stop signs at the end of the Hill-to-Hill Bridge (I honked enough, in fact, that the sidewalk crowds were cheering for me) and then parked near the physics building so that I could avoid traffic on the way to the theatre. On the drive to the physics building I saw some friends from church walking toward the event, and I waved but they didn't see me.

I figured that one of the only things creepier than going to a movie alone is going to fireworks alone, so I decided to strike out and find some friendly face to keep me company. I also wanted one of the coveted spots near the center of the Fahy Bridge. So I walked to the bridge and started across... and at the center I found a few people from school and enough space for an extra body to lean on the railing. I joined them and we mocked the pre fireworks fireworks being set off by crowds on the railroad tracks below. Yeah, you know, the active rail line?

Anyway, we had a good show. The wind was stronger than expected, and it was carrying some of the fireworks nearly overhead. The debris were, thankfully, blowing more northward. The wife of one guy in our group called us to tell us that they were taking ash fall at City Hall. I was reminded of the time I walked through the parking lot section at Veterans Stadium that had been used to take the debris from the fireworks. I smelled like a Civil War reenactment.

Having been treated to a wonderful show, we exited the bridge and, as my pals went to drink the night away, I went back to the car to get to the movie. After taking a wrong turn at every possible place from the physics building to the top of the mountain, I managed to get to the theatre and see the movie. War of the Worlds is, by the way, disturbing for sensitive viewers. I figured I'd tell you, just in case you didn't know.

After that show I was hungry, so I went to Giant. Not having my "bring it so we don't rip you off" card, I bought the essentials only-- muffins, cereal, and onion and cheddar perogies. I then went home and proceeded to eat dinner at 1:30AM. Not daunted, and needing to burn some sugar, I watched Office Space and was impresed by the happiness of it all (although disturbed by the gratuitous breast). You should definitely see it. The movie, not the breast.

I then set the alarm clock for 10:15 and went to bed.

Since I've eaten most of the foodstuffs purchased yesterday, I must make a return trip to Giant tonight. I'm really impressed by how much fun shopping can be at 1:00AM, when there are like three customers in the whole store and about 20 employees. It's really, really relaxing compared to, say, 10:30 on a Friday morning when the store is filled with slobbering, screaming, diaper-wearing shoppers and their toddlers. Imagine the joy of having a store's entire collection of shopping carts sitting unused outside! Rapture! And I thnk that the chicken breasts will be cheaper than at Aldi, so I really can't resist a return trip.

Total cost of Bachelor Days-- $14.00 in movies ($8.00 will be shared with my wife), $8.00 in food from Giant, $1.00 to park today since I did go to school, and $5.80 for Chinese buffet for today's lunch. $8.00 of that, by the way, was food purchased on a credit card, so my total cash in my wallet is... about $2.50.

Not bad, but less than the cost of the gas that I wasted taking a five county joy ride on Sunday evening after the church pig roast. Confession time: I wanted to keep in under 100 miles, and I came up at 100.4. So, honey, if you really could just ignore the car and money parts and instead focus on the sheer fun I had, I would really appreciate it. I mean, we're still only paying just a bit under 10 cents per mile on gas. And drivng from Bethlehem to Palmerton to Lehighton to Jim Thorpe to Nesquehoning to Tamaqua to The Greater New Tripoli Area™ to Leaser Lake to Steinsville to Eckville to Kempton to Krumsville to Whitehall is just really fricking fun! In fact, it's the best ride home from church that I've ever had.

Thanks for understanding.

03 July 2005

The Empty Post

My blog has been rather empty recently. That's because I've been really busy and really busy recovering from being really busy. I've had a week at camp to smash up my body followed by a week at a science conference to smash up my brain. Happily, I've made new friends in both places. There were great kids at camp, and some great graduate students at the conference. In both cases, I got to know the people fairly well in an isolated environment.

Anyway, I'm not in the mood to rant, for once.

Enjoy the silence. I'll be back to my normal self sometime next week.