A blog about the many neat things in life, along with the many other things that are lying around. Categories include: political things, philosophy things, design things, template things, garage things, music things, and lots and lots of other things!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

QotD Things

Me: You shouldn't tease him about having a covered Bible, dude.
Brian: He should be used to it! He sits next to me in organic chem. I didn't know he was religious, though... Man, I've said a lot of bad things, then.

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Monday, October 24, 2005

Journal Things

I've read in a few places about time-sense acceleration recently. Many years ago, when I was in middle school, life was really a drag. Time went by very slowly. I counted the days 'till Christmas and kept my eye on the clock, and an hour seemed like a long time. That is certainly no longer the case.

Throughout high school, time sped up. Days became shorter, then weeks, and eventually almost months. Last year (freshman in college), I had a lot of problems with remembering the order things were happening in. I couldn't remember if I saw that movie on Tuesday (before we went out for sushi) or on Friday. When had I read about that? A week ago? A month? It got very blurry.

This year is not as bad; mostly because I don't have as much of a personal life. I've spent many more nights this year alone in my dorm doing homework, so it's been a little easier to keep everything straight. Still, I tend to go all-out on the weekends and cram in as much social time as I can, so I thought I should start a journal.

Livejournals or personal diary blogs are pretty good for this, but when I tried it last year I found it too much trouble to outline everyone I did things with, and spend time talking about all the events I was hitting. It wasn't rewarding enough for me to justify investing and extra half-hour to an hour before bed working on journaling my own life. Especially when I'm stumbling into the room at 5:00am after getting four hour's sleep the previous night. I think that's still true this year; it just takes too much effort to write a full-out journal about these things.

Enter TracksLife, a system designed to help you keep a daily log of things. Daily expenses, weight loss, whatever you want to keep track of. I was initially going to use it to keep track of my daily caloric intake and exercise (something which helped me get a little more fit over the summer). But, I found that to be exceedingly difficult, especially when my university doesn't see the need to get me the calorie information for the food I buy from them. So instead, I'm trying to make it as easy as possible to use: instead of asking for anything specific, I have two questions to answer at the end of each day.
  1. Did your diet go well?
  2. What was the main event?

The diet question is an exceedingly simple yes/no combo box, and the other one is a 255-character max answer field. It occurred to me that for my log to be most effective, all I need is an average of which days I dieted well on; if I had ice cream, or anything outside my markedly smaller-than-normal meals, that disqualifies me. It's easy to say "yes" or "no." With the main event question, all I need to put is a bullet point for each of the things I did during the day. "Serenity with James." "DDR with George." "Zombies with Kyle." It's quick, to-the-point, and helps me remember just what happened when. I could have chosen a paragraph-style answer and outlined my whole day, but I realize now that I need it to be quicker than that.

Trackslife allows you to make your entries public. You can link to them from your blog. I'm not going to, because this is for my private use only, but if you wanted to use it to keep your blog topical and your diary seperate, that would be a good way to handle it. Also, the last thing I made sure of, Trackslife allows you to export your entries in XML format. So if you ever decide to quit, they make it easy to do.

That's my solution, but virtually anything will work for this method. A quick wiki stub would make it easy to enter during the day. A database or spreadsheet would do. Even a plain text or rtf file would handle the job well. But I highly reccomend some kind of journaling procedure, if you're looking for a way to keep your life in line.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

DDR Things

DDR TI-83:
Some Texas Instruments graphing calculator enthusiast has ported the dancing videogame Dance Dance Revolution to the pocket calculator.

This makes me happy. Also, this Friday, I'm hosting a DDR Tournament in my dorm. Anyone's welcome to come, but only residents can get a prize for winning. I know there are a bunch of people at Purdue than can wipe the floor with my DDR skills, but I'm wondering if any of them live nearby...

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Language Things

My roommate and I are engaged in a lively game of Pump it Up when we hear resounding through our hallways, "Whoa, NIGGER!"

The word came floating down in a very ebonical accent. If Eminem or Tupac had said the word, it would be pronounced the same way. I conclude, perhaps erroniously, that some of the wanna-be thugs from down the hallway had shouted it in surprise at something or other.

Roommate (laughing): Am I the only one who finds that hilarious? That makes me a horrible person, doesn't it?
Me: Actually, I would think the person who originally said it is a horrible person.
Roommate: Ah?
Me: Well, let's think of it this way. As a gay man, I wouldn't walk into a room full of homosexuals and say, 'Yo, what's up, my faggots?"
Roommate (laughing): Wow!
Me: 'Hey faggots! How's my faggots be in tha izzle? Who, FAGGOT!'

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Vacation Things

Okay, I've finished craploads of schoolwork, which is why I haven't been blogging. Speech yesterday, turn-in of a portfolio project, and some other graphical nasties.

The non-blogging trend will continue for the next few days as I head home and visit my family for the first time in about two months. Hopefully I'll get some pictures to post or something, but no promises -- I've had enough on my back the last week or two, so I'm not giving myself any obligations for this trip.

Since everything is wrapped up schoolwise, and I've decided to put personal projects on hold (unless I get bored and feel like doing something), I feel extremely relaxed and ready to go. David Allen said that's how we should feel all the time; and I have to say, even though this last week has been stress, I never felt overwhelmed. I always knew what I had to do next, had a clear estimate of how much time it would take, and how I would do. I think I'll have met my expectations exactly.

Anyway, I'll consider doing some vacationblogging. Laterz!

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Quote of the Day

Marvin: "Okay, so I got this new external hard drive. I'm gonna fill it up with three things: anime, porn, and anime porn."

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DDR Things

DDR Extreme 2: a preliminary review.

So far: this is what Extreme 1 should have been.

Looking at the songlist, it appears to have most of the stuff I thought Extreme 1 should have had. Paranoia Survivor Max, Sakura, Twinbee, Un Deux Trios, Daikenkai, Cartoon Heroes... lots of good Konami originals. The American songs are pretty cool, too. Fatboy Slim's "Wonderful Night" is a really fun song, even if the steps are ridiculously easy for a 9-footer. The Chemical Bros.' "Block Rockin' Beats" is a great song, with pretty decent steps. Get Busy, My My My, Play that Funky Music; lots of fun stuff.

Instead of holding the start button to get to options, they have an options selection below the difficulties. Strange, but I like it overall.

My one big annoyance so far is the new unlock system. Basically, you play songs in Free Play Mode (better version of event mode), or complete missions in Dance Master Mode, and you earn points. You can spend points to buy new songs, information, characters, etc. in the shop. Only thing is, you have to play through Dance Master Mode to unlock stuff to buy in the shop -- if you just play songs in Free Play mode, you get tons of points, but there's nothing there to buy.

Dance Master Mode appears to be ridiculously easy. All the songs so far are on beginner difficulty. Admittedly, I'm only on the second area, but seriously. After playing enough In the Groove, I don't want to wade through a bunch of annoying Beginner mode songs to get to the good stuff in the game.

The music videos are a step up from the usual DDR stuff. They have some trippy action going on in some of the random visualizations, and the video for Get Busy is rap-tastic. I haven't been paying too much attention to them (as it should be), and they're not competing with Pump it Up's videos, but they seem nicer than the same old spikey balls of doom.

So overall, a vast improvement over DDR Extreme. They keep to the DDR formula, and improve on it very slightly with some cool new features. If you liked Max 2, you'll probably like this.

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