Saturday, October 30, 2010

Chick-fil-a Challenge

I ran the Chick-fil-a Challenge at gatech today.

Basically, its a 5k, but you also eat two chick-fil-a breakfast biscuits in the middle.


it was very interesting to run. I ran the farthest that I have run with my bare feet. I was the only one running barefoot, about two-three more people running with KSOs.

I felt pretty good, ran it in about 32:20. Thats not really fast, but then again, I stopped to eat two chicken biscuits.

I only felt like puking right after eating them and then at the end when I was sprinting. The sprinting felt good. I was running with a guy that was wearing ksos right before then end. Then I saw the finish line, boosted, and passed a few folks, which always feels good.

Anyway, I had fun, and everyone should go with me next year.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chick-fil-a Breakfast


I always wake up on Sunday morning wanting a Chick-fil-a breakfast biscuit combo with OJ, ketchup, and a packet of honey. mmmm peanut oil!

but alas, Chick-fil-a is closed sunday morning.

Perhaps that is why I have the craving.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Need opinions on posting commit logs

It seems like it is really easy to make your version control software put a log of commits online.

Anyone have any thoughts to whether it is a good idea or not to have commits posted to twitter or something? (currently debating making a hook for git to send the last commit message to twitter)

People can see what you are working on and if you are working

People can see what you are working on and if you are working

(note: thinking of personal type repo with school work and little utilities, not some big open source project)

I am normally bad at commit comments, the last 20 for me most recent last(which turns out to be hard to read in that order):

stupid update to a file, doesn't matter, but I wanted to make
|->stuff consistant
updated some sources
fixed the script
new notes
slock and wmname first post
dwm updates
updates to dmenu
suckless stuff
added a paper with a definition for the word model that I liked
Started on the paper again
added a count words function to my emacs file
added thesis stuff to my resume, need to remember to add my real
|->abstract when I make one
new resume
gah, forgot these
made some sweet ssh stuff happen
I would improve commit comment quality (I hope)

I suppose I could just use github, but I wanted something that I controlled a bit more. for personal stuff.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Cop comments while running

So, I am still running barefoot, doing about 81% of my run that way right now.

There is a lot of construction on this road that I run on. The construction is using these really small stones that are covered in tar. They tend to stick to bare feet.

I was running past a cop that was directing traffic around some of the digging machines/workers. As I was passing him, I got one of those stones stuck in my foot, so I hopped on one foot and removed it. I regularly see Cop #1 on this run in the morning.

Cop #1: "That's what happens when you run barefoot! ha! ha!" with a sort of weird expression on his face in a loud and boisterous voice.

Me: breathlessly run by but smile and nod

...the scene continues 200 ft down the road at the end of construction ...

Me: running by cop at the end of the construction

Cop #2's radio (Cop #1): "I am on Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee"
Cop #2 hopes that I didn't hear the radio.

Ha, maybe I misheard it. I suppose it would get really boring directing traffic around some dudes... then again, who uses that for an excuse to get high? Atl cops, it seems....

Friday, August 20, 2010


Everything seems to be going mainstream.

Castro went completely crazy (maybe he was before, but this is a new level), and now the mainstream reads his blog too.

Barefoot running has "howtos" on the front page of yahoo. Whats next, CNN?
They are advocating shoes (fivefingers style), so maybe I am safe as an actual barefoot runner.

there were others, but I can't remember them now.

Where is Indie Rock Pete when you need him?

Friday, August 13, 2010

About to go camping...

And I forgot my boots!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fourth of July Weekend

The following is from an email that I wrote to a friend, I realized that I wouldn't mind teh goog keeping a version of this for me.

Fly in Thursday night 7/1

Friday: 7/2
Early morning, head out to Michigan City, IN. The marina is pretty easy
to find. I am pretty sure that we sailed into Michigan waters. was always
visible. We could see Chicago in the distance.
We had lunch on land, then headed out to sail for the rest of the day.
We went northeast up the coast, then back down. probably about 4-5 knots
average speed. Sara and I both were in charge of the tiller for a bit,
and hoisted the different sails at different points on the trip. (Main
sail and jib). We never pulled out the spinnaker. We stopped when we
turned around and pulled all of the sails down, went swimming. The water
was cold, but very very clear... NOTHING is out there. cept flies.
Back to land (used the motor a bit as the bahama mama sausages were
calling us.
Bbq at the marina and we walked out to the lighthouse.
Getting into and out of the marina is exciting, especially when there
are a lot of people. Fireworks were being set off up and down the coast
that we could see.
We slept on the boat that night, Sara and I in the v-berth.

Sat: 7/3
Early morning run on the beach. Quick cereal breakfast, the sailing!
Sailed, sailed, put the sails in opposite directions for lunch. Went
swimming first, then had lunch on the boat. Sailed back, again, due to
time constraints, used the motor a bit at the end. Napped while sailing
:-). Got back to a very busy marina, then left :-(. Stopped at a dairy
farm for fresh chocolate milk. That evening, we went out into the
cul-de-sac for fireworks by the local crew of drunkards. It was funny to
watch, but I was outside of the blast radius and sometimes behind a car.
Good thing energy goes down with at least what, r^3? Some of the ones
that were supposed to go up, exploded on the ground with people 0-few ft
away. One guy at the end of the night drunkenly was telling his wife to
take him to the hospital cuz he couldn't hear.

Sun: 7/4
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra concert on a hillside, with accompanying
fireworks, synced to music of course (very professional, unlike the
night before). Lots of patriotic and fun music. Fun times for all, we
brought a picnic.

Mon: 7/5
left in the evening

Friday, August 06, 2010


Walking around campus today, I noticed that thry have relabeled the trash cans. Instead of "trash" they now say "landfill".

The other option is to put aluminum and plastic containers (ONLY!) into a recycle bin.

Labeling a trash can with "landfill" sure makes you feel bad about that ice cream snadwich wrapper...

well, until you start eating your ice cream sandwich.

Might have made a difference

I might have made a difference in someone's life yesterday, I'll keep you posted if it works out for him.

Update: If you are reading this, its not about you.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Backpacking: Cost vs Weight

So, after seeing the prices for the top of the line low weight camping gear, I have mostly gone toward cheap, rather than light weight. I haven't been missing that much stuff, but I have tended toward simple/heavy/cheap rather than whizbang/expensive.

For example, rather than a 60$ wool t-shirt, I went with a 7.50 polyester (quick dry type blend) t-shirt from walmart. (although that one isn't a weight issue)

Any thoughts about where you should draw the line? (what stuff needs to really save the ounces?)

My tent stakes are steel (I hated bent tent stakes as a kid).

My stove should be light, I made it myself out of aluminum can bottoms (2x) and a penny, but the fuel (alcohol) is heavier. I borrowed an ancient propane stove from my Dad, which might be lighter overall for longer trips.

Sleeping bag isn't the lightest, I might need a new one also.
Just bought a thermal pad (thanks Andy!)

Any thoughts on water? I have 64oz + 50 oz + 32 oz + 32 oz = 178 oz, 5.25 L, 1.4 gal. worth of containers for personal use. I might get another 64 oz water bladder. No water filter yet, going to use iodine tablets, but I have been thinking about the new SteriPEN style, using UV light, that seems like a winner.

Tent is a square dome tent, I am sure its not light weight.

Improved a first aid kit that I bought.

I'll try and get everything together and weigh it, hopefully its not too bad. I like to carry a lot of stuff.

I need to get a good tarp, not sure on that one yet. That is one of those that you really consider cost vs weight. I will probably get a cheap one and modify it for usefulness.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Inception Movie

So I watched the Inception movie, I liked it.

I had this blog post in my head but forgot it, then saw this comic, , and remembered it.

I just wanted to comment on the fact that the movie seems to operate on a variant of Gödel's first incompleteness theorem. (from wikipedia:)

Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory
I am not sure (though I should watch it again), but I don't think that there is enough information in the movie to have a definitive answer to the ending. We are only told information from the movie, and sometimes while in a dream, which may or may not be consistent.

At the end of the movie, I heard a lot of "[it ended how I wanted it to], right?, right??!, right??!!!!". People wanted validation of their pet theory pretty strongly.

I was originally mad at Nolan for the ending, but I found an explanation that works for me that makes it work out.

I can't figure out how to work making a fold in my post, Andy and Bloger's help's advice don't seem to work.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bottled the wine

I bottled the wine,

And had a glass.

I ended up with 4 bottles and some left over (leftovers in the fridge... maybe it was meant to be consumed cold?).

Not really sure what to think of it, my wife called it "manbearpig".

I hope that it mellows out a bit in the bottles.

Its not the greatest (duh!), but I seem to be able to drink it.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Scooter troubles

So, I was going home on Friday, and there was this change in sound, and I knew my scooter had something wrong with it. A good friend helped me get it home by putting it in his truck.

So, when I started taking it apart, I found that the spark plug was out of the cylinder.

I took a before picture so that I could attempt to hook up the hoses correctly.

Sorry about no "action" shots, seeing the valves/cam/cam chain and everything is pretty cool. My hands were pretty greasey whenever it would have been a good idea to take a picture.

I adjusted the valve clearance while I was in there. (where do you measure! (between the valve stem and the rocker arms)). I also reset the cam chain adjuster (just to see how it works). My cam chain adjuster is "automatic" because it uses a spring to move a ratcheting piece against the cam chain plate.

I took off the exhaust (pain in the ass!) and just finished painting it with some bbq paint after sanding away (most) of the rust (no more rust for meeeeee (hopefully)).

Interesting to figure out where top dead center is, the spark plug is not at the top of the cylinder, so you can't just stick something (chopstick?) into the hole to figure it out. Turns out there is a marking on a flywheel like piece that has a "T" which is evidently for when you are checking timing stuff. I also verified it by reasoning through the sequence of valve opening/closing.

So, the bad news:
One or both of the following threads are done for:
the sparkplug (easy, just buy a new one)
the sparkplug hole (hard, must tap the hole for larger threads and install inserts)

If the sparkplug hole threads are dead, then I am hoping that I can install a helicoil without taking the engine block out (suggestion is fabric jammed into the cylinder through the hole, some grease to catch chips, then heavily greased tap to also catch chips).

Any of the spark plug work is going to have to wait until after the 4th of July. I might order a battery also, my current one has been dead since at least last summer. Stupid walmart doesn't carry my sparkplug nor my battery.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Well, no dog it seems

We decided against getting a dog for the time being.

Relieved and disappointed at the same time.

Relieved: Allergies with the dog hair, needing to worry about his bowels all of the time, boarding the dog while on trips.

Disappointed: No squirrel/rabbit dog in my future, no dog to run with, more fun than a cat.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yeast experiments

I had picked up an old book on home wine making at the library (they have donated books that they sell for really cheap) and decided I would eventually make some wine.

I finally got off my butt and started a gallon batch of wine.

I bought an airlock,

I used a glue gun to attach it to the cap of a milk jug in a pressure holding manner.

And used an old milk jug to hold the grape juice (3 concentrate cans + 6 cans of water), 1/2 cup of sugar, and some champagne-like yeast. I started the yeast using the directions on the packet.

Primary fermentation should be about finished by this weekend, I am thinking of racking it over the weekend. Some people say that in primary fermentation you should not use an airlock but loosely cover it, I decided not to listen to them. I agitate it a bit every day. The plan is to rack this weekend (end of 1st wk), then re-rack three weeks later (end of 4th wk), then 3 months later(end of 4 months) it should be ready to drink (I am not sure when I will put it into wine bottles, maybe at the 4 month mark?).

The yeast seem to be doing their job.

remember kids, every thing that you use for wine needs to be VERY clean. I used diluted chlorine bleach (although, the book actually has a line that told you explicitly not to use it, because most people do not rinse enough and it kills the yeast).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stuffed to the brim

So my family went to a buffet lunch place (Rusan's) for lunch today.

We all ate so much, then we went home and had ice cream.

We turned on the tv, started watching the Brazil/North Korea game, and everyone except me and my mom (who was reading upstairs) fell asleep.

Anyway, we all ate too much and are sleeping it off.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Some puzzles we did last night

My sister bought some puzzles at walmart when I was looking for other stuff.

I haven't done a puzzle in years!

We were pretty quick at these, we were watching random stuff on tv and managed to get these two done.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fun birthday bbq by the river

We went to a local picnic/hiking/kayak landing area inside the perimeter for a birthday bbq.

I think everyone had fun. So much fun though, that no pictures have survived.. (except from Elizabeth? I'll try and get some).

We grilled pork chops, brats, hot dogs, burgers, chicken wings, and other things. I used the lump charcoal, non of that clay + carbon dust briquette crap. It took me a while to start the fire though. I finally learned my lesson and set up some twigs over some paper towel then layered the charcoal on top of that.

We went swimming in the river, which was a lot of fun. I messed around pretending to fish, but it was mostly standing around talking to people (the fishing). Skipping stones, and all that.

Anyway, it was nice to be outside and forget about stuff that we have to get done.

I am going to try and get posts up about what I have been up to the last month, I will probably write those tomorrow, but then have them come out staggered over next week.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Trust: People don't have any in me

As I am writing my proposal, I realize that a lot of it is based on trust.

You write so that the people above you will trust you. Since they don't trust you at all, any statements you make should be backed up by saying "well, that guy (reference journal paper) says what I was going to say, so your beef is with him, not me."

I am learning very quickly that any reasonable (and some unreasonable) statements that you want to back up with a reference can be readily backed up. Its more a question on if you can find that guy's (or gal's) statement quickly.

Once you get to "expert" status, then you can say whatever you want[ok, within reason], people will publish it, then someone else can use you as the person that everyone trusts.

Can't we all just go out and get a beer together to build trust instead?

(I suppose that's whats conferences are for)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Even my cat

Hates me for spending less time with him.

Well, one way or the other, the proposal will be over in 13 days.

Chapter VII

I have a chapter in my proposal entitled "Research Plan"

The epigraph for the chapter is below:

No campaign plan survives first contact with the enemy
[Simplified English translation]
-Generalfeldmarschall Helmuth Graf von Moltke

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

not the good idea, but an observation

I noticed that I don't type with the ring finger and pinky of my right hand (I used them on my left).

The reason I noticed is that my hand was hurting at those two fingers.

Turns out that I hold them up and out of the way when I type so that my pointer and middle finger on the right hand can type all of their keys.

I have been typing alot, so the muscles are sore.

When I get this damned proposal done, I am going to work on putting those fingers to work.

crap I forgot

I had a quick idea to post about.

and I did something and forgot it.

It feels like it was really wise or something.

so its bugging me.

So this one will have to do instead.

Don't worry, I will eventually document the lake trip, the shuttle trip, a range outing and the soon to occur Warrior Dash.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In a van... outside my window

There is this weird older (45-55?) man that sits in his van right outside my window.
Its past midnight and he is sitting in there with a beer and talking on the phone.

Doesn't always move, sometimes you think he is dead.

So, what is he doing?


Calling his long distance woman?

Listening to soccer games and talking smack with his buddy?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Boxing match two weekends ago

One of my friends was in a boxing class and for the last class they all spared.

About half of the class promptly forgot all of the training and just randomly swung at each other in a whirlwind fashion. You could see the instructor's disappointment from across the room.

My friend and his sparing partner actually boxed. The other guy looked like he was a bit scared of my friend, which I think made him make poor decisions. His stance was also pretty bad comparatively, which ended up being his downfall.

The first round was exciting, but we did not get a video of that. Both sides got in some good hits. The second round was more boring in the beginning, as they had sort of figured each other out and were just looking for an opportunity. My friend got in a good hit once, which slightly fazed the guy. A bit later, the other guy tried for a good punch, but it was mostly blocked. He was off balance due to his stance and had to move back. In that opening, my friend got in a really good punch with ended the fight. (not a knockout). The other guy was hit in the nose which promptly started gushing out blood. In the other fights there were some nose bleeds, maybe nose 'dripping' but not like this.

Anyway, so it ended up with a very bloody nose for the other guy. My friend didn't want to hurt him, it just ended up that way (they were boxing).

Boxing is pretty intense, both athletes were profusely sweating after the fight which was only about maybe 3 minutes 30 seconds? I doubt I will watch boxing on tv or anything, but it was exciting to watch a friend box. It was also weird watching a friend get punched and not being able to help out.

Friday, May 07, 2010

OK so I lied

Posts didn't follow.

Its going to be busy busy busy for a while.

I do have some neat lake pictures and a story about a boxing match coming up.

for now, I ran into this on yahoo


Skepticism after Russia says pirates freed

Russia's claim that a legal glitch forced it to release pirates seized near Somalia is met with doubts. Darker fate feared


Darker fate?


I mean, they are PIRATES... !

Its pretty hard to be like "woah woah, what evidence do you have?"... What exactly do you do in the trial?
They are found at sea, on the boat that is not doing what they normally do, and the crew is detained in some way. You pretty much know they are guilty.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Sick last week

I was sick last week with a cough, it sucked.

Also had allergies, which I don't think helped.

Posts to follow.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sporting Clays: More Data

Due to popular requests (ok, it was 1 request), I have summarized performance in a different way.

I don't know what conclusions you can draw.

Andy seems to have trouble with Station 10 (one of the shots is a relatively fast left-to-right).

I was less stable this time around. I either "solved" the station, or I did not. Station 4 gave me trouble both times, and stations 2,4,7,11 were "unsolved". Every third station I did well, except the last one on this most recent outing (which wasn't the last one that I shot).

Cumulative chart is interesting, for 4/12 we were together until about the 5th station(being generous to me), then Andy pulled away. On 4/3 he pulled away at the third station.

Note to internet: Do not give me data. I will plot it and look for conclusions.

Sporting clays: Fund Raiser

So we went back to the sporting clays place to take part in the GUCA fundraiser for scholarships.

Andy and I were only two, so we played with the guy in charge of the scholarship group, Billy. We had a fourth team member, "Jake", where we took turns playing him for each station.

Anyway, on to results. Andy:62, Me:42, Billy:57, Jake:54. Jake's score was actually very close to the average of our scores (53.67). If we swapped out for Jake's score when we played him (and it was better than we did for ourselves), it was Andy:65, Me:44, Billy:57 (Billy didn't improve).

We started at Station 8, with Andy starting as "Jake" then me, then Billy. Station 2 gave us all some trouble. We all did well on station 9. I felt like some of the stations I "solved", then I would hit them. Getting 8 feels really good. I got all 8 once for myself and once for Jake.

As you can see in the running total, station 2 really stopped my progress. My slope was still lower than the others, but it wouldn't have been that bad with a few more in station 2.

Overall, I improved this time (42 vs 35). There was only one other guy there with a pump shotgun, he seemed to believe it was a handicap. I don't think it mattered. Sometimes I would leisurely pump it, but in general I was fairly brisk with it. In general, I bet if you spent the money on an over/under, you shoot clays (thats about all they are good for (I suppose they ARE a shotgun, but for the money you wouldn't get one if you wanted it for other things)). Most other people had semi-auto shotguns. I think Andy was the only one with a side by side. I think I had the largest magazine capacity, people seemed to enjoy the ol' side by side from Andy (comments like "Take care of that, my grandfather gave me one like it" and "I am scared to shoot my old shotgun that looks like yours"). I got comments more like "Where does he live, Grant Park?"[evidently a high(er) crime area of Atlanta (historically?)] and "He can fit a whole box of ammo in that magazine" (I wish! (actually, I don't that would be really heavy)). Its amazing what a black parkerized finish and some black plastic can do to change people's mind about an action.

Note: Reading back over this, I found many typos. Ha, tell me if there are more! I am getting sloppy in my old age.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spring cleaning! and weekend

I just noticed that all of my titles suck to my posts.

Titles are hard.

Anyway, back to the regularly scheduled post.

Saturday, we cleaned the house. I think it was the first time that we really cleaned the house, all the way through. I even reached along the side of the fridge (who knows, maybe not even touched since the last tenants!), it was gross. If something fell there, we just let it fall into the puddle of poison and grossness and left it hoping that some bug would eat it and die.

It felt really good to get that done though (cleaning the house)[I exaggerate a bit about the sides/under the fridge, but not much]. I bought a new set of shelves, I was very impressed. We were in target to get some other things, these shelves were on clearance, $15. Veneer on particle board, but it seems like it will work for now, and now I have room in my room (no more random stuff just stacked in a laundry basket).

Sunday we went to Medival Times. It was pretty fun for a dinner and a show, as long as you let yourself have fun (the plot is for kids). The horse-work was pretty cool.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I entered into a sweepstakes this morning.

FIVE minutes later, I got a call from them asking if I wanted a trial membership, of course, only pay shipping and handling. Then its 60$ a month after that (I assume if you don't cancel).

I quickly gathered this information from the nice sounding dude and then told him that I wasn't interested.

Amazing how fast telemarketers can get you!

So, is it a good trade to enter into a sweepstakes, but then have to deal with things like that?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Attention to detail

I was reading this article "Why time stands still at 9:42am on iPhone" while killing time when I should have been working.

Basically, the time is at 9:42 because that's the local time of the launch of the product, with 40 minutes of lead up to the product from when the presentation starts.

Love apple or hate apple, what I got out of the article was a culture committed to detail.

You plan out your presentation so well (and far enough out) that the static images in your presentation are synced with real time.

Shooting Clays

Andy, Emma, Ben, and I went shooting clays last weekend.

The game was 12 "stations" of two clay launchers (at different speeds/angles) in each station.
Stations 1-10 we shot 8 shots in sets of two, the second clay was launched on the sound of the first shot. Stations 11-12 were 10 shots. We went to Cherokee Rose in Griffin.

Anyway, here is a summary of the performance. Andy did much better than Ben and I. Ben and I had basically the same slope. Andy was about double in performance per station. Station 4 gave Ben and I problems. Station 8 gave Andy and Ben problems. Station 10 gave Andy and Ben problems, but I did my best on that one (I think it was relatively fast, left to right). I tended to do better with fast clays (I suspect I was over-leading).
It looks like Ben got tired at the end, but I think it was just that I did very well(for me) in station 10, then just 1 clay better on the last two.

We were practicing for a fund raiser event where Andy and I are going to be on a team of some sort. I hope that my lines look better next time.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Yellow coatings

The pine trees have decided to coat everything in a yellow 'dust'.


Rain is coming, or so they say.

The front will need to pickup some moisture if it is going to have much of an effect here.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Leaked videos and what you get out of it

I just watched the wikileaks video that came out today about how some reuters camera people were killed back in 2007.

Its fairly graphic but also shows the trouble that the fog of war can cause.

Wikileaks leading up to the release of the video described it as "indiscrimate" "slaying".

As I watched the video, I was struck by how I probably would have fired in that situation. It seems (based on quotes in the video itself) that gatherings of males in courtyards was typically done by people that wanted to attack the US military. The way that the guys were carrying their cameras made it look like they were shouldering rifles (it wasn't like the camera was resting on their belly). There was a problem with timing, as the camera man pulls out his zoom lens camera as he pops out behind a corner to check out the street. At the angle of the helo-camera, it looks like something about rpg sized that he is poking out from the corner. If the helo-cam (was it a helo?) was 180 degrees off from its position at that time, they might have been able to tell it was a camera.

I guess my point is, with the resolution of the camera, the lighting, the building occluding stuff, I could see how the mistake was made. They followed all ROE it seems though, as they kept asking for permission to take shots. I can't imagine being in a shaking helo starting at a little screen trying to tell if a black smudge is a zoom camera lens or an RPG that is going to shoot down my helicopter.

Its sad that those people died. Its sad that they had their kids in the van. It seemed to be a mistaken identity rather than an "indiscrimate slaying" of civilians.

I doubt that any of the people in the helicopter are proud that they fired on reuters camera men and onlookers (although at the time, given that they thought they were the enemy, they were proud of the work). In fact, they probably have problems with grief over it.

I suppose I am worried because I think you can take what you want out of the video. If you believe the US military is mostly evil, this video can reenforce that. If you believe that the military is mostly good, you can also reenforce that.

Side note: Anyone else think that wikileaks has/had some nation state sponsoring it?
Might not even be overt sponsoring, but more like enabling (in terms of seed funding)? Once the ball is rolling, I bet it wouldn't take much to get it self sufficient.
I dunno what to think about them, but they seem to have an agenda on the really big stuff. I don't advocate classifying material to bury controversy, but I also will not advocate releasing classified info just because you want to. They seemed to have strayed from their original goal of exposing corrupt regimes in asia and africa (focusing on gitmo, US in Iraq/Afghanistan, banking corruption related to the subprime and nation debt, and etc) [I like the info about nation debt and banking deals though... ] Might just be the stuff that is submitted to them, who knows.

Movie predictions

I have a friend (name begins with a 'T' and ends in an 'odd') that has been pretty good at predicting what movie will make #1 for that week.

Two recent movies that I have been sort of "meh" at, thinking that they would not do too well have done very well. Alice did well and last weekend was very good for Clash of the Titans. He was pumped about both of those movies, like, visibly excited.

New heuristic: If I am "meh" on the movie and he is totally pumped about it, I should be prepared for it to do well.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Spring time

Its spring time!

I was hot yesterday for the first time since fall, where it wasn't because I was running or something.

I need to figure out a way to make slides in my head sleeping in a hammock...

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Still working on new glasses...

Gah, glasses all look very similar.

Yet, they seem to make a big difference.

I'd probably be better off just rolling some dice and not wasting time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Mosin upgrades

Due to my poor performance on the Mosin Nagant, instead of working on holding it more steady, my breathing, or my trigger work I decided to 'improve' it. You won't really be able to tell the difference from the outside, but inside stuff is changed.

First thing I did was polish all mating surfaces in the trigger group. There were huge (small) gouges (scratches) that made it feel rough, or so I was told. Went to 1500 grit sandpaper in the end.
The inside of trigger:

The sear, where it catches the cocking knob:

The sear, where it rubs on the inside of the trigger:

The cocking knob, where its held by the sear:

I also added some shims to where the trigger spring/sear attaches to the receiver. This reduces the trigger pull, but can be dangerous if you do it too much. I did not do it too much. I did not test the trigger before the mods, but post polishing, the trigger pull was about 5lbs (which is a bit low for a stock mosin, maybe I accidentally bent the trigger spring while polishing?). After shimming the trigger spring, it went down to 3.9 lbs. I tested the trigger pull in a (mostly) inaccurate way. I used a gallon milk jug and added or removed water until the trigger just barely tripped when I used a rope to hold up the jug using the trigger. I measured the number of cups of water in the jug and converted that into a weight.

Second, I hoped to make the barrel more consistent. I cut some (three) squares from a coke can to put under the front of the receiver (where its screwed in). This raises the receiver and barrel a bit from the stock. (the Finns used brass) Then I sanded the stock where ever the barrel was touching, so that it was free floating. I had heard on the internets that the mosin barrel is a bit thin, and warps with the increase in temperature, so free floating completely is not a good idea. I put some cereal box cardboard under the barrel at the front of the stock. This puts pressure on a known location of the barrel, often people use cork, and its called "corking". So, the barrel was free floated from the chamber to the front of the stock. Then, the handguard was putting pressure on the barrel (the top of it), so I added some cardboard shims to the bottom of the handguard so that the barrel was floating within the handguard/stock except the front of the stock where I wanted the pressure to be.

I also did some cosmetic work on the sling. I also had some problems with my original idea to hold the sling. The "button" (which wasn't really a button but sort of worked like one) slipped out once while I was out in the woods, and I had to eat a pb&j so I could use the ziplock part as a piece of strong rope. Anyway, I made some "dog collars" to hold the sling on, using some old boot leather and an old coat hanger (with some dental floss as thread).
As you can tell the one on the left was made second. They fit perfectly.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

St. Patrick's Day 2010

I started my morning with green eggs and ham (and cheese and toast in sandwich form)...
(add blue food coloring to yellow eggs for green...) (similar for beer!)

Lunch was ramen noodles with green food coloring, which got some attention at work.

Dinner was brats and green beer.

I went over to visit some friends that I haven't hung out with in a while. They had brewed some green beer which was interesting to taste. I have been debating making a small (gallon?) amount of wine in a fairly ghetto manner (but sterile and clean!)

I tried the starcraft II beta, it doesn't seem like too much changed... I guess thats a good thing though. I got owned.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bowling scores and interesting water

We went bowling on Sunday, two games. The second game was a bit rushed. Since I forgot my awesome scores over the winter break, I am recording these here.

First game - 141.
Second Game - 122.

We went to this greek place on Sat and some of us got waters.

It was interesting, when you stuck the straw in the water, it turned blue.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Sara and I went to a painting class at Sweetwater Creek State Park. It was a very well run park, they have a neat little visitor center. I want to go back and check out all of the trails when it gets a bit warmer.

A small bit of cash and the park provided paint, paper, and scenery. We went to an old civil war era cotton/textile mill. The mill was burned during the war and never rebuilt. They moved the workers to the north and would not allow them to return until after the war. There was nothing to return to, so it might have been for the best. There was a protective fence, but we got to go inside to paint. In the 1970's, some good ol boys would go down there and get drunk and shoot at a wall. None of the bullet damage to the brick was from the civil war.

I made a pencil drawing of this arch that had wood supporting it (which I later found that the wood was only there so that it would not collapse, it was open in civil war times). The water that ran the mill came through the hole in the wall from the arch. Its "backwards" in the sense that I am used to drawing boxes from the outside (perspective is wrong). Although, it would be right if the tree was on the outside, and we pretended that I was sitting outside of the ruins and looking into a mirror.

In the painting, the perspective is correct. Without the black lines, the painting would suck. I should have used darker shades to delimit the objects instead of black, but I suck at mixing paint.

I took some pictures of the scenery, it was a pretty neat place to visit.

And a picture of the ruins, from the outside. The wooden arch is on the left.

We had lunch at the end of a trail, overlooking the "falls" (rapids).
The rest of the day was also awesome, we went to the melting pot for dinner. We were so stuffed that we prompted fell asleep when we got home.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hiking (and pretending to hunt)

I did a bit of outdoors stuff during the end of Feb.

I went to the Allatoona Lake WMA (attempting to hunt squirrel). I did not find any squirrels, but did see some cool herons, falcons, and bats. Nice scenery though. Some of the roads were closed, and it was very hard to figure out where I could go.
(camera phone = suck)

I went to visit some friends with my parents and their dogs, we took them out into the woods. One of the dogs found a deer antler which it promptly started gnawing on. I again pretended to hunt squirrels, but only saw a deer.

The week after that (squirrel season was a closing, and I am a procrastinator), I went to Charlie Elliot WMA looking for some squirrel. It was interesting to figure out how all of that works. Turns out, check in is only for deer time. I was fairly confused as to where I could go, but I eventually figured it out. I messed around in the woods again and ran into some deer. I just sort of went out, so it was good practice for going out into the woods off trail and being able to find your way home. The pictures are from a dove field after I exited the wooded area.

So, the moral is:
If you hunt for deer, you will have squirrels as loud as elephants taunting you.
If you hunt for squirrels, you will see many deer.

I think I want to go hiking on WMA's when its not the hunting seasons and practice not getting lost. Seems like it could be fun to explore some woods without being on a trail.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New plants

So I haven't posted any pictures of the plants. Its sort of hit and miss, I don't know where to put the light.

Mid Feb, when they were just sprouting...

And March 1st.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Rainy day thinking

Don't spend a rainy day thinking (and learning on wikipedia) about computability, incompleteness, recursion, infinities, towers of meta-circular interpreters, and etc.
(don't fear, I didn't spend much more than an hour)

More posts will follow, I have pictures and stories to tell about the last 2-3 weeks. The upcoming weeks should be mostly fun too.

Stay dry.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ever expanding web

I am in the phase of my research where I am documenting a few things.

Its sort of overwhelming because every source you find leads you to new ones. And it doesn't seem to end!

So I am acquiring new sources faster than I am integrating them. Which is normal, but I want to be done acquiring sources so I can get to my work!

and !'s seem popular in this post for some reason.

I have some nice wholesome fiber-filled fat-free C code that I will post soon, no one seemed to like the lisp...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Slide Title Extractor Part 3 of 3

I hope this post is better than the last one. I assumed in the last post that you knew common lisp and could follow along. The lines were also long, so some stuff might have been clipped.

Instead of posting the code, as it flows, I am going to try and post it in a way that makes it easier to understand, so I am going to show missing code as "[...]"

I wanted to make it a stand alone executable, so I used ECL, a common lisp that makes it relatively easy to do so. Stand alone is sort of a misnomer, as you always need libraries. If you have them though, it is a very small executable.

Here is the boiler plate stuff, which is actually at the end of the source code, to take the names of the input and output file from the command line and form a stream that we can pass to extract-frame-titles. I have some code that attempts to see if you are testing the code or actually running it from the executable. Next, I use the input file name (*infile-name*) and the output filename (*outfile-name*) to open some streams that I will be pulling chars from or pushing a string into (write-string).

The outline of extract-slide-titles is as follows. I make a scope using the let to hold the output string (out-paragraph). Then I define two helper functions, get-next-chars which gets the next n characters from a stream, and add-char-to-out which appends a character to the variable out-paragraph. Next, I define the three functions that step through the characters in a state machine like manner. decide-next-step is used to decide what to do next if you are not currently checking for a frame title (check-for-frame-title), in a comment (throw-away-until-newline), or storing characters (store-char). At the end, I start the process off by calling decide-next-step.

Ok, so now I need to actually define those functions. I will start with the helper functions.

get-next-chars is really simple. I concatenate the next n characters into a string and return that. The loop returns a list of characters.

add-char-to-out is also very simple. I just append a character to the end of the string.

Now that that is all out of the way, I can define the fun stuff.

decide-next-step is the main loop. I have four things that can happen.
1) I am at the end, where I just add a newline to out-paragraph
2) I am in a comment, therefore I throw-away-until-newline
3) I am at the beginning of a command, so I check if it is a frame title
4) I just need to keep going (decide-next-step)

check-for-frame-title. I check the first two characters to see if they are "f" or "r". I use the and to then check if it is the frame title command. I split that up into two parts, because if the command is "\frame" then I might eat up some characters that I don't want to throw away. If its a "\frametitle" then I store-char, otherwise, I go back to decide-next-step.

store-char just puts the characters into the string until it gets to the end. It does not handle nested commands, but that is where you would add it.

does exactly what you would expect.

Thank you to tail call optimization, for without it, I would have clobbered the stack many moons ago.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Plants update for 2010

I planted some herbs (not herb!), tomatoes, beans, peas, and a radish in my garden this year.

The picture is of the radish with two bean plants in a pot.

The next two are the pea plants in the soil with the herbs. The two plants "above" ground are the tomatoes which I am planting into a soil-less mixture.

Since I get no sun here, I am going to try to do this growing indoors with a grow-light.

Slide Title Extractor Part 2 of 3

So, I was unsatisfied with my last snippet of code. I had been reading a lot of common lisp, but not writing any. I rectified that with this poorly written code to get the frametitles out of a beamer slide that uses latex.

so, my first lisp version which I was not happy with. I am not going to comment much, as I want to spend more time on part 3.
I am going to just go down the code, with some comments as I feel like making them.

This is the main function, extract-slide-titles. I use a let to hold some variables common to the functions that are coming up.

(defun extract-slide-titles (stream)
(let ((out-paragraph "")
(steps-left 10)
(command-string "")

Decide next step is the first subfunction that is called on the stream. Depending on the current character, it decides to do different things. I use the variable cur-state to hold the next function to call.

(defun decide-next-step (c)
((not c) (setf out-paragraph (concatenate 'string out-paragraph (string #\newline)))
(return-from extract-slide-titles out-paragraph)) ;end of file
((char= #\% c) (setf cur-state #'throw-away-until-newline)) ;comments
((char= #\\ c) (setf cur-state #'check-for-frame-title)) ;look for latex commands
(t ())))

check-for-frame-title works when we know that a latex command has been found (when you have a "\" character. Then it checks if the command is the same as "frametitle".

(defun check-for-frame-title (c)
(setf steps-left (- steps-left 1))
(setf command-string (concatenate 'string command-string (string c)))
((char= #\{ c)
(setf steps-left 10)
(setf command-string "")
(setf cur-state #'decide-next-step))
((eq 0 steps-left)
(setf steps-left 10)
(if (equal command-string "frametitle")
(setf cur-state #'store-char)
(setf cur-state #'decide-next-step))
(setf command-string ""))
(t (setf cur-state #'check-for-frame-title)))

Here, I store the characters that I want to output to a string, until I reach the end of the latex command which is signaled by a "{".

(defun store-char (c)
;here is where to add support for nested commands
((and (char= #\ c) (char= #\ previous-char)) ())
((char= #\{ c) ())
((char= #\newline c) ())
((char= #\} c)
(setf out-paragraph (concatenate 'string out-paragraph ". "))
(setf cur-state #'decide-next-step))
(setf out-paragraph (concatenate 'string out-paragraph (string c)))
(setf cur-state #'store-char)))
(setf previous-char c))

As before, I need to get rid of comments, so this just throws everything away until it hits a newline.

(defun throw-away-until-newline (c)
((char= #\newline c) (setf cur-state #'decide-next-step)) ;end of line, switch back
(t (setf cur-state #'throw-away-until-newline)))) ;keep going, throwing out c

Here, I start this thing by setting the cur-state "pointer" to the first function that I want called. Then I start the loop which will read characters from the stream until the end of the file. It will apply the function that cur-state refers to to the current character.

(setf cur-state #'decide-next-step)
(loop for char = (read-char stream nil) do
(funcall cur-state char))))

This is just to get the file into lisp, and to print the output to the screen.

(with-open-file (infile "test.tex" :if-does-not-exist nil)
(princ (extract-slide-titles infile)))


Like I said, this code is ugly. I cleaned it up and hopefully made it clearer in the next iteration. The code for extract-frame-titles is much shorter the next time around.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Slide Title Extractor Part 1 of 3

This is a three part series about how I went about solving a very small computer problem.

I wanted to extract the text within the \frametitle{} tag in beamer (a latex slide making platform).


\item Note 1

Where I would pull out the title "Notes".

My first attempt was a bash script using sed, tr, and more sed.


#remove comments and get mostly frametitles
sed -n -f ste.sed $1 > $1.1

#remove line endings
tr "\n" " " < $1.1 > $1.2

#make new line endings
tr "}" "\n" < $1.2 > $1.3

#remove any lines with latex commands left
sed -n '/\\frametitle{/p' $1.3 > $1.4

#fix spacing
sed 's/[ ]* / /g' $1.4 > $1.5

#remove the \framtitles and put in periods and spaces
sed 's/ \\frametitle{//;s/$/./' $1.5 > $1.6

#remove line endings
tr "\n" " " < $1.6 > $1.7

cp $1.7 $1_summary.txt
rm $1.*

where ste.sed was:

s/.*\n}/ /

Which I thought was inelegant. So I decided to rewrite it, which is part 2 and 3 of this series.

If anyone knows the regex to get it to work without all of my gymnastics, I would love to see it.

Jan 23 range report

I brought four targets back from a range trip in Jan. We traveled light (two rifles each + pistols). I was going to shoot my Marlin 795, but I forgot the magazine. A while into everything we realize that I could put a round in one at a time... NOPE, its got a magazine safety (LAME).

Anyway, on to some pics, 5.56 62gr steel cased wolf ammo...

25 yards, with el cheapo red dot sight, 6 shots, fairly rapidly, standing
1.7 inches wide, 3.8 tall:

25 yards, 10 shots, sitting, red dot, fairly rapidly
1.25 inches wide, 1.9 inches tall:

25 yards, 10 shots, sitting, iron sights, fairly rapidly
2.1 inches wide, 2.0 inches tall:

Not really that great performance, that means I can hit an 8x8 inch plate at 100 yards with 10 shots shooting rapidly. Seems huge.

We met this interesting guy at the range and he let us shoot his guns with his ammo. He was into matches so had quality versions of what I was shooting. (match grade 5.56, "tighter" rifle).

I shot at one of his targets at 75 yards at a shoot-n-c target that was about 12 inches wide. It had a red circle that was 3 inches wide that I was aiming for. He said that he might sight differently that I did, as my shots all landed high on the target. I shot 10 shots, but we only found 9.

I was shooting slowly using iron sights, 2.75 inches wide, 2.45 inches tall. Out to 100 yards that would be roughly 3.67 inches wide by 3.27 tall. Much better than 8x8! I think I called the one on the far left as being a flyer. I was experimenting with different trigger pulls as I may have figured out why I pull the rifle to the left when I shoot. I am going to change my trigger pull on rifles to use the tip tip of my finger and see if stuff changes.

I also shot my new P-3AT, using the impossible to find ammo that I ordered. No problems, except that the cases would bounce off of the ceiling onto you sometimes. We were shooting at paper plates at 25 yards. I would hit the very far right part of the plate sometimes. I need to shoot at closer things to see where it is zeroed (fixed sights, but I might just use a hammer?). The trigger pull is one of the longest and heaviest that I own, so I also move it alot during the trigger pull.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Last Hurrah

We went out with a friend last night before he leaves for the cold northern lands. He had moved away, but was able to keep coming back for football games. This time, he will be far enough away that visiting is probably going to be 1-2 times a year, if that.

I've known him for about 23% of my life. Ha! a percentage that can only keep going up.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Superbowl pool

I finished this year's superbowl pool sheet since we now know who will be in it.

I haven't setup my web server just yet, so I am not going to have a link to the open office file if you want to edit it (or a pdf if you want to print it). Just leave a comment and I can get that to you.

I am going to setup my web server, I just wanted to get this post out before I forgot to set it up....

General Petraeus talk

General Petraeus came to campus and gave a talk last week.

It was pretty interesting, he didn't give a presentation, but took questions from the audience. He had some staff that would queue up the right set of slides to match what he was saying. It was pretty neat with a free form talk.

Nothing unknown was said so nothing to report there.

Going in, we were bugged by some american communist party people("Come join the reds") and some other damn hippies. They were giving us sheets of paper that had "hard" questions for him to answer about the wars. The people at my college are fairly well educated, so they basically ignored the 60 year olds. Everyone except this girl that was obviously from a former soviet state, who was like "Are these the list of questions that we can pick a question to ask from?".

I ended up crumpling the paper and giving it back to the protesters and asking if they recycled. They begrudgingly said yes.

Some protesters stood up during the talk, took off jackets to expose something on the backs of their shirts which they faced toward Petraeus. He either didn't see or ignored them. It was about 6 50-60 year olds and the crowd was not very happy, as all they wanted to do was see him talking. They were quietly escorted out for (I assume) blocking the view of people and blocking the aisle.

General Petraeus is a stand up guy, he seems to try and understand all issues from both sides.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

First of the year range report

Sorry to post all of these range reports at the same time...

This is a three shot string at 100 yards of .243 Winchester out of a Remington 700 with a short stock (for me, it belonged to someone shorter than me). The drop is 1.7 inches between the centers of the top and bottom shot. We used a bench rest, but heart/muscle twitches (all before you even pull the trigger) were probably moving it about .25-.5 MOA (more for the breathing ~2 MOA?). The horizontal spread is .22 inches, which I find reasonable at 100 yards ;-). So, about the vertical spread, are we going to call it velocity differences in the rounds? (I did some simple calcs, probably not) Barrel harmonics? My own tendency to have a 7x spread between horizontal and vertical? Maybe the barrel heating up? (it was about 34 degrees?)

I wanted to see my performance on the Marlin 795 standing at 25 yards, so I did an 11 shot string. Spread was 1.2 inches horizontally and 3.25 vertically. This was with the Thunderbolt ammo, which I previously did a .85 inch spread horizontally while sitting at 25 yards. My vertical performance was ~3x my horizontal performance. I am going to try and think about that when I shoot to see if I can correct it as it happened with two different guns and two different ammos that day that I was much worse in the vertical direction, whether standing or using a bench rest.

We also shot at balloons, at the end I shot a 5 shot string of .22 lr at 4 balloons at 100yards (maybe 6-8 inches wide?), I hit the first two with the first two shots then messed up the rest. I hadn't run any .22 lr ballistics, so I didn't know what the drop was going to be, I estimated I was holding over 3-4 inches, upon calculating it using a 50 yard zero it should have hit -6.5 inches, which would have hit the balloon.

December range outing (late range report)

This is a late range report of a long outing during December.

Many photos will follow, with some discussion/description on most. I think that I need to correct my trigger pull as I seem to have a tendency to pull to the slightly low left on many firearms.

1911 (.45 acp) at about 9 yards. I was aiming at the bullseye. Center of the group is to the left. Spacing of the rings is 1 inch with the center circle having a diameter of .75 inches. Not really the best group, can we call the extreme left and right flyers? I need to fix the front sight on my 1911, I bought some JB weld today to get it to stay.

This one shows a test where we wanted to see if the .38 special rounds and the .357 rounds shot to different places from the same gun. About 9 yards again, shooting the .38 special at the center of the target and the .357 at the lower x. I think that I shot 6 of each type of round, so one of the .357 shots is missing. I dunno what happened on that .357 flyer that was with the .38 special group. Andy also shot at about the 4:30 position on the outer ring with the .25 acp FIE Titan. I think he shot 5 rounds, he complained about the trigger. I don't think it was the gun's fault as you will see below.

This one shows Andy testing the .357 impact point vs a .45 acp (different pistols). The aimpoint for that test was the 3:00 position on the outer ring. The .357 did indeed shoot high and to the left. This target also has me shooting the Titan, 5 shots. From 9 yards.

The filename says it all, "mosin_sad.jpg". 5 shots sitting in a field position at 100 yards. I called 2 really bad flyers and 2 flyers with one good shot. Thats exactly what happened. Again, it was later in the day, but I have to stop making excuses.

This is 20 shots from the AR at 25 yards using the red dot. I shot 5 shots trying to get them into the center of the black squares. At that range, I have to hold high about 2 inches, so the red dot was held two inches high from the center of the black squares. Each black square is 2 inches square. I did them clockwise from the top left square. Fairly brisk pace, maybe 4-7 seconds for each string.

I bought a Marlin 795 (.22 lr rifle) on black friday (sales + rebate = happy). I bought two types of ammo, Winchester target hollow point and Remmington Thunderbolt (known for its cheapness, dirtiness, and actually in the manual as an ammo not to use). I wanted to see how they shot, so I shot ten shot groups (iron sights) at 1 inch black squares (with .8 inch white circles). I don't think you can comment on one being a tighter group than the other. Both shot to the left a slight bit (I think its me) but the Winchester shot about 0.5 inches low I would estimate. For a 50 yard zero for .22 lr like I had, at 25 yards it should have been .44 inches high. I really don't know where it is zeroed, I think I am going to zero it at the 50 yard zero, that way, from 0-50 yards it stays between -.4 to .5 inches. At 100 yards it would be -6.5 inches low. (heh, center of group, and in an ideal world)

Another 10 shot string of the Winchester Target hollow point. 2 inch group, so not really the best at 25 yards.