People are like this

Sinfest 03/12/04 Sorry, the comic had to be shrunk or it simply would not fit. Since it is pretty much unreadable, I recommend clicking on it, reading the comic and then reading this post. The post makes less sense without the context of the comic

It's actually kind of sad how many people there are that take a position like the one that Percy is taking in this particular Sinfest comic. People are almost invariably unable to admit their own weaknesses and faults, especially to those that are best able to help them (such as their good friends). I will admit that I have suffered from this fault just as much as many other people do, and some people will note where it has gotten me.

I do think that I am getting better about it and I certainly hope that there is some way that I can convince the the people I like that they should do the same. I think that everyone can take a good lesson from AA, even if you don't drink: the first step is to admit you have a problem. Even if your problem is that you're stuck in a tree like poor Percy is. If you can't admit to yourself that there is a problem, then you can't solve it and if you can't admit it to someone else, then you can't get help.

Maybe I'm going too far, but I think that there are a lot of people in the world that won't ask their friends for help, even when they need it. It's a sad world in which friends don't ask friends for help. To that end, a good friend should pry deep into the psyches of those that he or she cares about and make sure that there isn't a little cat stuck in a tree somewhere.

Whiteface and Passaconoway

I set out yesterday to climb Mount Whiteface and Mount Passaconoway up in that New Hampshire state thing. I planned it as a two day hike where I'd get as far as I could, set down with my sleeping bag, sleep and then finish. I had myself loaded out with altogether too much gear because I wanted extra weight such that I can go about beating myself into shape faster.

At any rate, I got to the parking area at around 11:30a yesterday and got going on the Whiteface bit. Along the way there were a few places where the melting snow/ice was flowing down the trail (sometimes under ice sheets) and it was absolutely beautiful; pleasant sound as well. The path had a fairly low grade for a while and then nearer the top it got pretty steep. The steep bits were pretty icy at times and I had to use trees to haul myself up a couple of times. There are a number of rocky ledges on the upper parts of Whiteface that afford some spectacular views of the region. I could see Washington at a few points and that's an impressive looking mountain (well, not just looking if you know anything about it). Eventually I reached the southern summit of Whiteface, which has a great view south and is mostly just a rock face (probably where the mountain name comes from). From there I proceeded across the real summit and over to Passaconoway. I started up the last bit of Passaconoway at about 4:30p and then stopped at Camp Rich (just a snow covered tentsite) at about 5:00p. I dropped anchor, so to speak, and hopped in my sleeping bag for a long night. I'm not quite sure why but I wasn't able to sleep and at around 2:00a I decided to go on. It was a full moon so there was plenty of light to go by, and I had a flashlight for the hard bits. I finished up Passaconoway, which has a pretty disappointing summit, and headed down. I made it back to the car by 5:20a, an hour before sunrise, and then got home just a little after 8:00a.

I would rate Whiteface as pretty good with some fun scrambles and some great views. Passaconoway would likely get a rating of not really that great unless you just want to hike in the woods uphill. Also, hiking by moonlight is really quite nice.

That's two four-thousand-footers down and forty-six to go.

Classical vs Quantum Fingernail growth rate

So, myself, Max and co. hop on the subway and head towards Porter Square to get us some sushi at Kotobukiya, this marvelous inexpensive sushi place at the Porter Exchange. Along the way, Max and I start to discuss issues of fingernail growth; following is an approximation of the ideas that we came upon:

Max suggested that if his fingernails were to grow twice as fast he could bite his nails twice as fast. From this, I disagreed saying that he could bite his nails twice as often. There was then agreement that the nails could not be bitten off twice as fast, but Max introduced as an alternative that they could be bitten off in chunks twice as large in size. From these two methods of dealing with nails that grow twice as fast comes a simple theory. Suppose there is a frequency with which nails may be bitten (we'll call it w because it's like a little omega) and suppose that there is a size, or amplitude, of bitten off nail chunks (we will call this a), then we can say that their product will be a constant (say C, just because) that is proportional to the rate of fingernail growth. This theory can be written in the form w*a=C; this is what we will call the fundamental theory of classical fingernail growth.

Max then theorized a non-classical form of fingernail growth when he stated that he would like to have quantum fingernails. This led to a discussion of how quantum fingernail growth would work. Our best theorization of the matter is that since everything is a probability distribution you can never know how long your fingernails are or how fast they are growing unless you bite them. As such you will not know how long your nails are until you bite them, but then you will not know how long it will take until you need to bite them again.

Postscript: I do not encourage biting one's nails; personally I use nail clippers. Nail biting was just the context that the conversation took at the time.

Introductions all around

Mr. Tickles I don't know that I've actually gone through the proper introductory things between the two of you, so here goes. Internet, meet Mr. Tickles; Tickles, meet the internet. There, that's not so bad now is it. I'm sure that you'll make great friends, afterall you see me at the internet enough Tickles, and you don't really give a damn about anything internet.

What, no internet, I was not calling you a slut.

No, I won't take it back because I didn't actually say it. You really need to calm down internet; it's not actually all that important.

Ok, fine internet, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, it was not my intention to insinuate that you had loose sexual morals, but you have to admit that you do have a lot of porn.

For the love of monkeys, shut the Hell up internet; this is Tickles' moment, so just let everyone look at the picture and be happy.

Wow Scrubs, just wow

I just finished watching the most recent episode of Scrubs (episode 314) and I've got to say that it's really something, something powerful. As minutes pass and I have a chance to think about the episode, elements of the episode are falling into place in my mind. The ending was superb and the foreshadowing and character development were marvelous. I would not expect this much from a show in its third season. This was probably one of the best episodes of Scrubs that I've seen.

Trial by Fire

In addition to being the title of an old Sierra adventure game that I used to be quite fond of, the term Trial by Fire applies pretty well to tomorrow. Those of you in the know will understand perfectly, those of you not, believe me when I say that I am not looking forward to tomorrow.

That having been said, let me tell you a little about Trial by Fire, the game. Trial by Fire was the second in the Quest for Glory series of games. Quest for Glory was somewhere halfway inbetween your standard Sierra graphical adventure game (most of which were beautifully artistic pre-VGA games) and a modern computer role-playing game. You wandered around talking to people, getting items and using them in the right places, going through an elaborate and immersive story, but there was also combat. The combat, although simple by modern terms, was well designed and reminded me a great deal of fencing the time I decided to be retro and play old Sierra games a few years back.

I have good memories of when David Caloccia and I used to sit around playing old Sierra games on my Dell 286 or on his Tandy 1000. Ah the good old days of early elementary school. It was pretty darned hard back in those days when neither of us had a very large vocabulary and the games forced us to interact with the game environment through textual commands. I blame my early reading development, at least in part, on those Sierra adventure games.

As a quick summary of the good ones, I thought that the Space Quest series was exceptional, the Quest for Glory series was quite good, and the Leisure Suit Larry series was also quite good (I suspect moreso now that I would be able to understand the sexual humor). I never really liked the King's Quest or Police Quest games all that much and I don't really remember any of the others.

Just as a short diversion from Sierra, but still on the topic of adventure games, I would also highly recommend Infocom's Zork series, the Legend of Kyrandia series by Westwood and LucasArts' Monkey Island series. Those and Sierra's Space Quest series would be what I would suggest if someone came to me and said, "I'm bored and want to play a good adventure game, what do you suggest?"

What's a nightwalker?

Taken directly from The General Laws of Massachusetts: Chapter 272, Section 62

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Chapter 272: Section 62 Third conviction of being a common nightwalker

  Section 62. If a complaint charges a person with being a common nightwalker, and it is proved at the trial that such person has been twice before convicted of the same offence, such person may be sentenced to the house of correction for not more than two and one half years or if a male, to the Massachusetts reformatory, or if a female, to the reformatory for women.

Encino Man

So, we just watched Encino Man in Happiness (433) and I'm not really sure how to put it. Most people would probably call it a bad movie, maybe a very bad movie, but me, I was amused. Let's see if the cast gives you any idea of the quality of the film: Pauly Shore, Brendan Frasier and that guy that plays Sam in the Lord of the Rings.

Synopsis: (spoiler warning) Guy likes girl. Girl doesn't like guy. Guy digs up caveman. Hilarity ensues. Guy gets girl.

Hey, if it's got Pauly Shore, then it's got to be good right? I mean, look at such unforgettable classics as Bio-Dome, Jury Duty or In the Army Now.

(subconscious == impressive) == true

The subconscious or unconscious mind does some pretty fancy stuff when you aren't looking. If you take a look at some of the things that you do without thinking, I bet that you will be pretty impressed; I sure am.

Honor, dignity and whatnot

There are a lot of things that people talk about as being particularly important character traits; things like honor, dignity, confidence, skill, and plenty of others. I've been doing a lot of thinking of late and I have to say that honor has got to be the most important character trait of all.

If you have your honor then you have everything. If you do not have your honor then you have nothing.