12.13.2018

09.23.2005

Rejected — 17:31

I will not be serving jury duty anytime soon. My name was never called.

American Women’s Conference

Filed under: useless @ 17:27

I received in the mail today two (2) complimentary VIP tickets to the American Women’s Conference (each a sixty-nine dollars ($69) value!) to be held in Pasadena on October fifth (5th). There, attendees will learn how to:

  1. Use the seven (7) keys to build lasting relationships at home and on the job.
  2. Apply the twenty-one (21) secrets of self-discipline to always look and feel young.
  3. Be recognized and rewarded for their efforts.
  4. Buy Real Estate for thirty-one to forty-eight percent (38%-48%) below market value.
  5. Rapidly expand their circle of influence.
  6. Develop opportunities for networking.
  7. Use the top money-making secrets millionaires are using.
  8. Improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
  9. Use the essential principles of highly successful women.

Additionally, those attending the conference will see featured three (3) of “the Nation’s Greatest Celebrities” in person.

I won’t be attending, but if someone else wants to (I imagine the ratio will be good), let me know and I’ll give you my tickets. Hurry, though, seating is limited.

09.21.2005

1950

Filed under: a group of folks,food @ 12:38

You may be thinking this post will be about the Korean War or American suburbia. You’d be wrong.

Last night, Jeff, Paul.za, Greg and I hit up two modern classics of the fast food industry: Del Taco’s Taco Tuesday and McDonald’s’ Tuesday McNugget special. A total of twenty-one tacos and forty-two nuggets were purchased and devoured (by no means a record), eight and twelve by me; over a period of approximately thirty minutes I consumed about 1950 Calories (for Ariele’s sake, I won’t do the math of Jeff’s intake).

I say this not as a means of instigating competition (which I’d surely lose) but rather to point out how strange it is to consume a day’s worth of caloric content in a single meal. Me: “I eat because I can.” Starving kid: “I eat when I can.”

I’d feel bad about my gluttony except Greg came up with a nice inductive proof allowing for the consumption of an arbitrary number of tacos/nuggets without sin.

09.20.2005

Caltech pub crawl take three

Filed under: a group of folks,shenaniganity @ 21:06

For the third year in a row now I hit up the Caltech pub crawl hosted annually by the GSC for new student orientation. This year, the event was organized by Will (and some girl I don’t know) who did an admirable job dealing with all the jackasses that come out of their respective holes whenever free beer is mentioned.

Highlights of the night included (but were not limited to) the aforementioned free beer, Amy riding a mechanical bull with the aforementioned unbeknownst to me girl, ditching the 35er upon its inundation by the pulsing throngs of the aforementioned jackasses, and hitting on Michelle.

09.16.2005

I don’t mean to point fingers — 14:28

Look, all I’m saying is that the mint plant was doing just fine until Greg chose to water it with orange Fanta.

I pledge allegiance to the flag

Filed under: a group of folks,thoughts @ 14:25

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the republic for which it stands
insofar as that nation, ruled by its people,
champions its ideals of liberty and justice for all.

A federal court has ruled, again, that reciting the pledge of allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional on the grounds that its words require the reciter to state a positive belief in the existence of God. I agree. The government, being made of the people, will naturally be influenced by religion, but it should avoid influencing people’s beliefs back (these are personal beliefs of mine not necessarily supported by constitutional arguments). Requiring citizens to pledge their respective troths to a country they are forced to admit is ultimately subject to God’s authority does just that.

My thoughts on this infamous “under God” phrase got me further thinking about the rest of the pledge. Does reciting the pledge bind me into supporting every aspect of America’s foreign policy? Discussing that prospect with Greg, we decided we didn’t have any desire to give that sort of unconditional support. Greg suggested something like the opening rewrite of the pledge above and I took to its message immediately.

Subsequently, however, I realized that that rewrite can be redundant depending on one’s interpretation of “allegiance” and “republic”. The rewritten version serves to illustrate a point but is unnecessary as long as one espouses the (arguably more robust) interpretation that, in reciting the (“under God” stripped) pledge, one is allying oneself with the ideals meant to be represented by the republic if not the actual instance of the republic itself.

So that’s settled; on to the fools. Interstitial comments of mine are in [bracketed italics].
Read more…

09.12.2005

It is finished — 14:51

As of 11:30 this morning, I have officially passed both of my physics quals.

Dual head action: part II

Filed under: a group of folks,neat!,slice @ 14:34

Blogging for the man

I was contacted in mid June by a representative from FaucetCenter.com, an online purveyor of water related fixtures, about the possibility of being sent free stuff. I said yes.

It seems that amongst their cornucopia of offerings, one of FaucetCenter.com’s products is the 57-004C Chrome Dual Shower heads set with adjustable arm (“Double the fun, two showerheads in one”). I was informed through an email conversation that they were “seeking bloggers who have expressed interest in such a product to be reviewers” since they “recognize blogs as an avenue for word-of-mouth promotion that has a potential for huge organic growth”. Apparenly, their marketing department googled around for “dual shower head blog” or some such and found an old throwaway post of mine about _Greg_’s shower. Apparently, also, they didn’t look around much at the sort of stuff for which this site is apparently known.

They offered to send me a free 57-004C. All that was asked of me was to link back to their site if I liked the product. Well, this all sounded like nonsense to me. FaucetCenter.com didn’t (just) want word of mouth; they wanted word of search engine. But, as I noted above, free stuff = “yes”.

The bulk of the product arrived fairly quickly. I say “bulk” since the package was missing a piece. I contacted their customer support staff who said (to paraphrase), “No. The piece is there.” I responded with, “Trust me; it’s not here.” to which I was told, “OK, we’ll send you another one, but you were probably wrong, and you can purchase the requisite bit at you’re local hardware store anyway. Apologies for the inconvenience.” Indeed.

Time passed. About a month later, I finally received the final bit, but I was in no rush to install it after customer service’s assumption of ineptitude and my having to wait so long; more time passed.

I installed it this past weekend, and it does, indeed, have two shower heads. Unfortunately, one of those heads was permanently set to ‘laser’, so I replaced it with the one that had been in place before. Also included are a plethora of joints, swivels and valves for near complete customization of spraying angle (any control theorist out there want to come over and give it a go?).

All in all, it makes for an interesting showering experience: a decent (if slow to arrive) product. I’ll let Paul.za chime in as he sees fit.

Anyone else want to send me free stuff for odd reasons?

09.09.2005

Bottle Rocket — 18:35

If anyone wants to watch Bottle Rocket, I have it until Monday noon.

09.02.2005

I can feel me getting smarter

Filed under: a group of folks,neat!,thoughts @ 16:07

As of last night, Greg and I are officially “so much smarter than you”.

In an ongoing effort to make minions of all the world, we took it upon ourselves to enter a moment of introspection. Dictatorial control of the globe requires certain qualities of a person, and how can the self be made better if not through careful consideration of its faults? Upon peering into our souls and minds, we discovered something: we’re not that smart.

Let me offer you my perspective; Greg’s mileage may vary. Over the past several years (perhaps since senior year of college), my attention span has been diminishing (thankfully, only algebraically). I blame only myself and my lack of rigour. Nevertheless, my lacking in the powers of concentration has severely limited my ability to perform certain tasks like determining a tight bound on spatial quantum search, understanding the nuances of quantum pattern matching, or shaving.

Greg claimed to be suffering from a similar fate and, clever man that he is, suggested a solution: Chess.

He posited that the competitive spirit the game inspires would offer tangible incentive for concentrating on and rationalizing about one topic on a timescale of order greater than dekaseconds. In short, chess would, over time, reinculcate our respective abilities to think.

We started last night with a rousing (and, truth be told, embarrassing on both sides) game, mano a mano. Greg took me to town, but I feel a better man for it. Anybody willing to throw down the gauntlet is welcome; my brain can only thank you. For the record: Greg’s pretty good and I’m fair to middling.

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