Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Unorthodox Moving Preparation

I suspect that I may have to move soon. Now, my lease is good for a few more months, but given what's happened to everyone else, I am expecting that my rent will jump.

Being the obsessive compulsive that I am, this means I need to start getting ready. My first unorthodox strategy: moving all textbooks to my office bookshelves. That's about two boxes that don't have to get moved in the heat...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dustin Against the Techies

For reasons best not explained at this juncture, it's to my advantage if I use Matlab on three different computers (my desktop, a Citrix server, and a Sun server called "venus").

As you might imagine, the worst part is maintaining three versions of my code.

After about 8 hours of fun, involving a distinct lack of permissions to do anything, an inability for any two computers on the network to recognize each other, two versions of Windows and one of Unix, and some dumb luck, I have managed to complete the great Matlab Unification.

I later learn that there are a few faculty members who want to know how to do the same thing, but haven't bothered to figure it out yet. Hmmm...I think the real reason we have to write a thesis is because we do things like this to put it off...I've just been exploited!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I Like This Guy


"Those who practice charity in the church's name will never seek to impose the church's faith upon others. They realize that a pure and generous love is the best witness to the God in whom we believe and by whom we are driven to love."--Pope Benedict XVI


One of the things I have seen that disturbs me most, at a basic, basic level, is when Christians look on charity as nothing more than evangelism in sheep's clothing. But no, love comes first. Christ said that "all men will you are my disciples if you love one another as I have loved you." That includes utter humiliation. That includes death. That includes service. You can't rationally prove faith. There will always be doubt. There will always be uncertainty. But if we love like noone else can, then even the most skeptical might say "maybe there is something to that faith thing."

The gospel is not political. It's not "our God" versus "their god" (caps are significant there). It's not an argument to be won. It's the message that the runner brought about the victory of Marathon. It's the news that you are free. It's joy. It's the promise of life. It's about being free from the mistakes you've made. It is redemption.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

TV Show Descriptions

This morning I was browsing through the various forms of entertainment available to me, and I stumbled upon "ICC Cricket World". The synopsis? "Sports non-event"

Harsh dude. Just harsh.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Good Week

This was a good week.

My advisor said that I did something right, my committee told me that my research was virtually done, I turned 25, I solved a programming issue that's been dragging on for months, and I actually feel motivated.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

It's My Birthday!

Today, January 15th, is my birthday.

Now, the nice thing about having Martin Luther King day as your birthday is that you usually get a holiday somewhere around that time.

The bad time is that no matter what you do, you'll never get a federal holiday named after you...

Friday, January 13, 2006

How to make a grad student happy

Tell him that he did a good job the Friday before a long weekend, at 3:30, on the Friday before a long weekend which happens to include his birthday.

That can make even a really cynical one chipper...

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Tonight on The Office they had someone take all of the metal and electronics out of his pockets just before walking into the room with a CAT scanner...

*Shakes head*

Mark of a Bad Class

Today someone asked me about what we covered in a class I finished last summer.

I stared there for two minutes, and I failed to name a single topic.

That is when you know the class sucked.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Sweet Embrace of Improbability

And so it came to pass that Dustin got a speeding ticket.

I was going 60 in a 55 zone, which is unheard of. But all the more amazingly, the cop did a u-turn across a grass median to get me...

Le sigh...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Another Great Mystery of Life

Why do people doing commentaries on DVDs, both in movies and television, continually say "now, if you've seen the movie..."

Is there anyone out there who watches the commentaries without seeing the original? Bueller?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

End of Tranquility

Well, vacation is almost at an end, which I can only suppose means that I shall soon return to my darkly sarcastic self. Okay, so I've been flippant here as well.

So have I mentioned that my brother has been away at college? And he stays up late. This means that he stays up late here, as well.

This means that he gets the munchies, late in the evening. A couple of evenings ago he made popcorn well after midnight. I sleep on the couch, one wall away from the kitchen.

The sound haunts me in my dreams.


pop pop pop

and just when you think it's over


It's enough to drive a man mad. Really, really, nuts! Honest.