Saturday, January 13, 2007

Just ramblings...

It's been a few days since my last post and this post is mostly just about a few miscellaneous things that have been going down lately.

Earlier this week I had an appointment with the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at VCU. Essentially, this School allows the under grad. to create their own degree. You map it out from beginning to end and then you have to sell it to the school.

The idea is that you follow some basic guidelines and credit structures then you take that idea and apply to BIS. There is a 6 panel counsel made up of the Dean's for the other Schools of VCU, they read over your objectives page and your planned degree and vote as to whether it's a valid course of study or not.

On a side note, classes start this upcoming Tuesday, hopefully this semester is much better than the last. I'll definitely need to be more on point with staying at VCU and studying, instead of falling into the trap of coming home and falling asleep.

Next, I finally got my first Xbox, nope, not a 360, but just an old Xbox. It was used and from Ebay. $175.00 got me the system, 4 controllers, and 10 games. I'm psyched as I've been waiting to play Halo for years now! I guess I'm just a little behind the times, right? After all, Halo was introduced in 2001/02.

Lisa and I also made plans this week to head to Douthat for a weekend in the near future. I'm excited about that, it's always great to get away for a few days and chill in the mountains.

Yesterday I finally got around to heading to the Y to drop-off my app. It appears that the Y has financial assistance for those who make under 60k a year, something that I certainly do.

It normally costs about $44 mo for the Y, students get a rate of $18, I'm hoping between $10-15. This will be the first time that I have been part of a gym and it's sort of exciting. They also have a pool too, which will be nice since I have not been in a pool for about 10 years now.

I really want to work on getting some running, cycling, chest and arm workouts in, as well as work on some swimming skills for this upcoming spring/summer.

I'm getting old fast, so I need to nip getting fat in the bud, before I wake up and find myself well into 200+ lbs for good.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Kiss my ass MS

As a old pc user I have to admit that Mircosoft for all it's issues certainly had something to bring to the table too. They made product that was IMO fairly easy to use. Now I am talking about stuff like Office and moving around the OS, not artsy stuff or line-command crap.

Even though I never had an issue with my pc, over the summer an Apple iMac grabbed my attention one day, next thing I knew I own an Intel core-duo 2.0ghz Apple. Loaded to the hilt and all 20" of display surrounded by that wonderfully simple white casing. Simply to gorgeous to ignore.

So fast forward 6 months, the Apple has been pretty good to me so far, but certainly not the mindless non-hanging computer that people rave about. Sure, I've been virus free for 6 months and I don't have to use Anti-virus protection to be that way, but at what cost??

Well, for starters, all my old software needed to be replaced with that which will work on a MAC. In the windows world there are a lot of quality free software programs, especially for web design. On the Mac, good luck with that! No problem, right? Hand coding is good for the sole. It also takes a lot of freak'n time.

So how about other programs? Well, finding one that works as seamless for Java as JCreator is pretty tough. This made my programming class twice as hard as I had to learn how to connect the IDE & the compiler.

Of course, being in college I also need to have an Office suite, so I buy MAC2004, MS's office for Mac. It comes with Word, Excel, PP, & Entourage. I think great, It'll be familiar and being that I have so many docs and emails on the pc to move to the Mac, this will make life easy!

Yeah, Bullshit! I think MS sells stuff for Mac just to piss on those that buy a Mac. They certainly aren't doing themselves any favors or creating any new clients by selling their Mac version garbage.

Yes, the install was easy, but so are all installs on Mac. A simple drag-N-drop for most things makes installs painless! That said, MS Office looks and acts nothing like Office on a pc. Sure, it's a Mac, but still have some backbone MS, if someone is buying your product over an Apple equal, it's for a reason and that is called familiarity!!

So one day I go to get a template online for Excel, that is until MS sends a pop-up to the screen telling me that my OS does not support their downloads! What the fuck?? Don't I own MS Office? I think I fucking do! So this is my first FUCK YOU MICROSOFT!

So, the best part is when I want to grab all my Outlook data and move it to my Mac. Surely this won't be an issue, right? WRONG!! As Microsoft waves the big middle finger at me. For some reason, despite some 5 million lines of code and 1000's of programmers working for MS, they can't make it so that MS OFFICE and MS MAC2004 can talk to each other! Every attempt to import to MS Entourage from my Outlook export ended in a heaping file of shit on my desktop!

After researching this issue, I found a program that can convert the Outlook files to files that Entourage can read. Yeah, a 3rd party figured it out and sells the program for $10.00. I figured, why the hell not. It did work, but sadly it still didn't import as smoothly and seamlessly as promised. Data was certainly lost and most of that was via my contacts. I'm glad I was not a business!

I tried to bypass this BS by forwarding all important emails from my Outlook to my email accounts, then logging in via my MAC and retrieving the info that way. This approach took a while, but worked where I needed it to.

In the end, I have learned the both MAC and PC both have their strengths and weaknesses, but I can tell you that MS has really lost my respect after the shit they have pulled with these completely lame duck programs.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

(disclaimer: This is hell of a lot of rambling.)

Sometimes my thoughts consume me, but not in a way that they take over how I act in the physical world, but more less make me wonder how others think, or how others would feel if they knew what I was thinking.

I often think that the thoughts in my head can be dark, maybe even downright sinister. Is this normal?? If the difference between "psychos" & normal people only the ability to not act on impulses and thoughts?

Talk about hanging on a thread! This realization is more scary to me than the thought that everyday we drive at obscene speeds in automobiles with only painted lines separating us.

I guess that despite having "Best" friends during my life, I never got to know many people in such a way that we spoke about dark thoughts. I certainly knew that some of my friends were capable of acting in such ways.

To elaborate a little, I have been (at times) able to put myself in situations (by thoughts only / daydreaming) that might be considered taboo by societal standards. Let's say that the news was on and I heard about a rape/murder, on a totally subconscious & which later moves to a more conscious level think about how I would have reacted in a situation like I just heard about. What might I have done if I was the victim? Would I have survived? How would I have acted if I was the person committing the crime? What would've driven me to commit such a horrendous act?

These thoughts keep playing over and over in my head until I exhaust what I perceive to be all possible scenarios. I wonder what the fuck is wrong with me? How can I put myself in these positions ( no matter how imaginative) and still feel like a person? Is this part of human predisposition or some strange way to cope or come to grips with how others act; maybe it's an attempt to make some sort of understanding as to why others act out in such strange ways.

During an Anthropology class a few semesters back, we learned that we are not the only animals to commit murder. Sure other animals kill, but murder is about intent to kill for no other reason than to kill. It turns out that during a study of some Chimps, the researches witnessed and caught on tape a group of chimps that actually communicated and organized a search for an ousted member and once found, they all participated in kill him. Using rocks, hits, and twigs until he no longer lived. It was an eye opener, these acts are completely "hard-coded" into our brains.

All of us hope that we can overcome nature and instincts through laws and societal norms; but how long can it last? How far can we push and suppress what has brought us to the place we are today. It's taken modern humans 160k years to get here and our ancestors millions. We certainly were not the strongest or largest animals, so how did we make it to the top of the food chain? Through use of cunning which came out of the development of our brain. Certain thoughts and processes have become ingrained within us and passed along as "instincts".

Instincts are developed over millions of years as responses to actions against our forefathers. How can we be expected to control these instincts in a blink of an eye. Sure, most of us can suppress the urge to kill, maim, or rape; but their are still other ways by which we move throughout our daily lives committing crimes almost as grave. How about war for land? Stealing? Watching others suffer from homelessness, not having a piece of food to eat or a drop of water to quench their thirst?

How is it that society and it's social norms stopped at violence crimes, but looks at crimes against humanity and turns the other cheek??

Where the first laws against violence created by those that did not possess the power to actually kill their enemy? Was this humans using their brains to win the battle instead of brawn?

So I guess in the end, my thoughts on my thoughts are they are possibly natural, because it's part of who we are and has helped bring humans to the forefront of life here on earth. I think that we are only a thought away of killing each other off too. Lucky for us, about 95% of us actually consider what we think and cooler heads prevail before we act.

Monday, January 08, 2007

1sec World.

During my YouTube.com experiences recently, I came across Miaarose and IMO, this girl has got something good going for her. Depsite singing into a weak room microphone, her voice just jumps out at you; and her looks aren't too shabby either.

I admire all these folks that have the drive or self-image enough to go out on a limb and take a chance. So I have linked to two videos that I liked, but she has a few more to view as well.

This is her own song.




Lastyear was the year for MySpace, this year YouTube. It's amazing to me how a few tweaks of the internet content can transform how we all communicate. Miaarose is an example of someone showing off singing talent, while others create videos to show off their acting, directing, or artistic sides. Still others just create to simply do just that, by creative. It's really a cool concept to think that so many can use outlets like MySpace and YouTube to promote themselves in ways that only a few years back would've taken years to do, if it would've happened at all.

People can become famous the world over in just the time it takes to upload a blog, video, etc.