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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Paul Berry's LiveJournal:

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Monday, March 9th, 2009
11:33 am
Doctor recommendations, anyone?
Anyone in Portland have a doctor they want to recommend? I found one right quick when I hurt my back, but he doesn't really suit my style. I'm hoping for someone who's a good communicator--who takes the time to listen to my questions, who is willing to explain things to me, and who helps me make informed decisions about my health, rather than telling me what to do. My current doctor meets none of those criteria, and I'm kind of dreading the next time I get sick and have to go in to see him again.
Saturday, March 7th, 2009
11:12 pm
Back to normal
As some of you know, I threw out my back in the middle of January. It was pretty bad--I couldn't do a lot of the stuff I enjoy for over a month.

But I seem to be muchly much better now. On Thursday I went for my first bike ride since the injury, and tonight I went back to roller skating again. My back seems to be fine with it. I'm so happy right now. Physical activity seems to be a necessary ingredient for Pauls when it comes to mood. Funny how much of life I went through before figuring that out.

Now, on to other backbone-requiring activities!
Thursday, March 5th, 2009
1:08 pm
From Mindset, The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck:

Even now, when something goes wrong or when something promising seems to be slipping away, I still have a passing feeling of powerlessness. Does that mean I haven't changed?

No, it means that change isn't like surgery. Even when you change, the old beliefs aren't just removed like a worn-out hip or knee and replaced with better ones. Instead, the new beliefs take their place alongside the old ones, and as they become stronger, they give you a different way to think, feel, and act.

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009
11:21 am
I love that I can recognize most of my friends by their laughs.
Monday, March 2nd, 2009
4:43 pm
And in other news, the Dow dropped below 7000 today
Burgerville cashier: That'll be seven hundred dollars and ninety cents.
Me (handing over $10 bill): Here you go.
Burgerville cashier: And two hundred and ninety-one dollars is your change.
Monday, February 23rd, 2009
6:08 pm
5:39 pm
Of interest only to Portlanders and airline freeloaders
My hot tub just had new buttons installed on it. Sleek, sexy buttons that cause lights to light up and stimulating bubbles to issue forth. If you want to come over and manipulate said buttons, a perfect opportunity would be tomorrow evening. Say around eightish.
Sunday, February 22nd, 2009
8:24 am
Mmm, noodles

Last night a bunch of people came over to watch Tampopo and eat homemade ramen. Here's the recipe from the second batch (the first was too salty):

  • 1 lb Chukamen (raw Chinese noodles)
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Chopped negi (looks like a large green onion, about 2 feet long)
  • Nori (dried seaweed)

Heat sesame oil in a deep pan. Saute chopped ginger and garlic in the pan. Lower the heat. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add sugar, salt, sake, and soy sauce. In the meantime, boil water in a large pan. Add chukamen noodles in the boiling water and cook for a few minutes. Drain the noodles. Serve the noodles in individual bowls and ladle soup over them. Garnish with negi and nori.

Makes about 2 servings. We quadrupled it. Twice.

Adapted from here.

The party was lots of fun. I took a few pictures.

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
9:31 am
All I want to blog about these days...
...is silly internet videos, apparently.

Alternate lyrics to Carmina Burana (via steuard):
Friday, February 20th, 2009
7:29 am
No comment...
"And who did you first hear it from?"
"From one of these presidents out here"

(Thanks patrissimo)

UPDATE: now available here: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/2a581f2f2c/president-replaces-n-word-on-the-news
Wednesday, February 18th, 2009
11:48 pm
Marie wants to be a firefighter
My stupid cat successfully put out a candle flame with her paw today. She's been licking and shaking that paw ever since.

I also noticed just now that she has a few singed whiskers. Oh, my adorable cat.
Thursday, February 12th, 2009
4:48 pm
Fucking bastards
God damn it. I just signed up with timebridge.com, an online calendar aggregating service designed to help people schedule meetings. In the course of signing up, it asked me for my google password so that it could download my google calendar contacts list and connect to my friends' calendars. I allowed it to do this.

Then it offered to send invitations on my behalf to everyone on my google calendar contacts list. Since that's a fairly small group of people, and most of them I believe would be interested in this service, I told it to go ahead. But that's not what it did. Instead it sent invitations to everyone in my entire gmail address book. Which is a huge list of people, many of whom are professional contacts. Some of the entries in my gmail address book aren't people at all--they're mailing lists or bug tracking systems, and they've automatically recorded my spam for posterity in communities where I am trusted and respected.

I'm embarrassed and royally pissed off. In addition to misleading me about who they were going to e-mail, they sent the e-mails in such a way that on some e-mail clients, they appear to come from me, rather than from the timebridge service. As far as I'm concerned, they took advantage of my stupidity to make me an accomplice in sending spam. This happened minutes ago, and I have already had one phone call and a few e-mails from people who are frustrated that I spammed them. To all the people I spammed, I am sorry. I would apologize to you all in person, but I don't want to send out another mass e-mail.

To the smaller group, who was considering using timebridge to schedule a meeting with me: I am so upset that I want to cancel my timebridge account immediately. Can we find another way to arrange our meeting so that I don't have to keep an account with an organization that I am so angry at?
Sunday, February 1st, 2009
11:38 am
For your entertainment
Here's a nice tennis ball routine, courtesy of sometime Portland Juggler and all around good guy David Kha:

Friday, January 23rd, 2009
12:39 pm
Rock band at my house tonight, 7pm.

That is all.
Tuesday, January 6th, 2009
8:08 pm
Best hack ever

Audacity on my Ubuntu laptop has been kinda feisty recently--it starts chatting with the X server and doesn't want to get any work done. Usually I can beat it into submission with a combination of restarting Audacity, restarting the X server, and restarting the computer. But today, no dice. Nothing worked.

So I installed sshfs and audacity on my Mac laptop, used it to mount the home directory off my Ubuntu laptop, and now I'm doing the audio processing on the mac. The audio processing I'm doing is to export the Audacity project as .wav, back over sshfs to the Ubuntu laptop. So the dataflow is:

Ubuntu filesystem > sshd > wireless > sshfs > FUSE > Audacity (MAC) > FUSE > sshfs > wireless > sshd > Ubuntu filesystem

Of course, a reasonable person would have just copied the files over a thumb drive or something. It would have been far easier and faster. But I'm rather proud to have come up with such a complicated technological solution to the problem :)
Sunday, January 4th, 2009
12:15 pm
Nerd post: meaningless python
Much of my spare time in the last week has gone to writing a parser for python (I like writing pasrers). I was inspired to work on this by this page about Top-Down Operator Precedence parsing, although I didn't wind up using that technique.

This is my most ambitious (and successful) parser yet. So far, it parses the complete grammar for Python expressions. 400 lines of Python code excluding the lexer.

I'm also using a cool technique to auto-generate the unit tests. The generated unit tests contain some cool Python expressions that are actually syntactically valid (albeit meaningless):

[ x for x in lambda * x : x ]
lambda x , x = x , : x
{ x : lambda : x }
x [ lambda : x : ]
( x for x , x in x )
x ( * x * x )
x [ x : x | x : x ]

I guess it goes to show, with sufficient determination, you can pervert any programming language.
Sunday, December 28th, 2008
6:41 pm
And now back to the regularly scheduled content of Paul's LJ...
...invitations to come over to my house.

Attention internet: come over to my house tonight and play rock band. I'm lonely.

That is all. You may now return to your regular browsing.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
6:45 pm
Smow plams
Tomorrow it's supposed to smow all day long (at least, according to current forecast). I have mever had the pleasure of using my hot tub while it was smowing. Won't you join me, gentle local readers? Let's say 7pm.

Now, I know what you're thinking, what if the weather fails to cooperate and it's 80 degrees and sunny? Well, if that happens we can hole up in the basement, turn off all the lights, put on some Pimk Floyd, and pretend the outside world doesn't exist.
Sunday, November 30th, 2008
10:26 pm
A beautiful moment
Tonight found me at roller skating, bouncing back surprisingly well from the latest setback in the Epic Girlfriend Search of 2008. My mood was aided considerably by the fact that the music was coming not from the speakers but from the rink's Mighty Wurlitzer. For an audio geek like me, that's a recipe for bliss. I think I may start going every Sunday night.

Anyway, I wanted to share with y'all a moment I had at about 8:15, relaxing on the sidelines during a couples-only skating set. The lights were dimmed, the disco balls were going, and two people in the practice area off to the side were wearing ordinary shoes (gasp!) and dancing. Meanwhile about 30 couples, aged from 15 to probably over 60, were gliding happily around the rink, some of them doing moves complex enough to compete with anything I've ever done in tango dance. The organist, who had previously been doing unironic renditions of Christmas carols (which I'd been appreciating unironically), switched to classic love songs. As he settled into a performance of Can't Help Falling in Love, I found myself looking wistfully across the rink, and suddenly everything else fell away and I was just filled with reverence. I couldn't have stopped smiling if I'd tried.

It made for a fantastic endcap on what might otherwise have been a rather melancholy weekend.
Wednesday, November 26th, 2008
8:26 am
On skill learning
Note to self: when learning a new skill, make sure I set aside enough time that I can practice it more than once a week. It was almost exactly a year ago that I got the first spark of interest in my roller skating hobby, and only four months ago that I started doing it about once a week, for two hours at a time. Last night was the first time I went more often than that--my previous time skating was Saturday night.

And man, it made an amazing difference. I had almost none of the initial instability that I usually have right after putting my skates on. I stopped needing to use my arms for balance. And I remembered the foot crossing-over trick that I had figured out a month ago and then forgotten.

About halfway through the evening I decided it was time to start learning to skate backwards (after all, I lack ms_nico_blue's clever "my health insurance doesn't cover this" excuse). I spent a while thinking about how to best go about the learning process. Some recent reading I've done about brain development suggests that when re-learning the use of limb after a stroke, one of the most effective techniques is to put the functioning limb in a sling (!) and then force the patient to muddle through everyday activities using the damaged neurons. Their motions start out awkward, spasmodic, and vague, but as long as they have some tiny measure of success, this technique frequently causes them to recover nearly all the grace and fluidity they had before the brain damage. So I decided to try a similar thing: to go to the practice area at the side of the rink, point my ass in the proper direction, and not let myself turn around until I had reached the other end.

In about 10 minutes, I made it, using a bizarre kind of body-flailing and foot-stomping that even the most generous lexicographer would not call "skating". I was exhausted and took a break, but I returned to it a few more times, and by the end of the evening I had made a grand total of 6 traversals.

I believe this hobby is entering the familiar "obsession phase". My current plan for tomorrow is to sneak off from Thanksgiving at 7pm and go skate some more :)
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