Elbie at Trig dot Net

Fri, 29 Apr 2005

The future as we know it.

I look back and reflect on things a lot. Today was the last day for the co-ops here at my job, and so we all went out for lunch as a group. During lunch, and the subsequent fire alarm, the subject of being an adult came up, and what our poor, deluded co-ops had to look forward to as an adult.

There was some question of what being an adult entailed, as there is sort of a hazy grey area where one could be or might not be considered an adult depending on context. As far as I can tell, this grey area extends from somewhere around the age of fourteen until the time of death.

Really, though, you can clearly delineate the point in one's life which may not actually be the moment of transition, but clearly after that point, there is no question that you are an adult. If this description is confusing, think of it sort of like jumping the shark.

That point: owning an appliance.

Technology has come a long way since the invention of fire. Since then, a lot of things have entered our lives to help make things easier for ourselves. Not all of them can really be considered appliances though. So what is an appliance?

Merriam-Webster defines an appliance as "any device meant for indoor use that's too heavy for a single person to lift under their own power".

This is fairly straight forward. A stove is an appliance, but a television is not. A television is instead classified as "Home Entertainment", or possibly "Audio/Video" depending on which FutureShop you walk in to.

A washer/dryer is an appliance, but an electric lawnmower is a "tool".

A refridgerator is an appliance, but a toilet is a "fixture". Come to think of it, a ceiling light is also usually referred to as a "fixture". Makes you wonder, doesn't it?

Anyway, as our technology advances things like televisions are going to continue to get larger and larger. How is this going to affect our definition of appliances? Surprisingly, it isn't, for two reasons.

First, the volume occupied by a television has stayed the same over the years. This is actually a scientific phenomenon known as the Neilson principle. These new high definition 40" screens are actually incredibly thin, and thus do not weigh all that much more than in your great great grandparent's age, when tv screens were only 3" corner to corner, but had to be encased in lead shielding in order to protect the Earth from destructive radiation.

Second, humans are still evolving. As a species, we are getting bigger and stronger, meaning that any actual weight increases in non-appliances will be negligible to our larger offspring. By the same token, these behemoths will need to eat more and wear larger clothing, so appliances will have to increase in size and thus mass in order to service these child-like monstrosities. It all balances out.

I can't remember what my original point was.

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Wed, 27 Apr 2005

A long day

So yesterday I was at work for about twelve hours. I've put in longer days before, but yesterday felt like longer than other days. One of the high-load mail servers was having disk problems, and I was asked to do what I could to salvage the situation. Well, I didn't do enough. While I was working on it, it basically became totally finished.

So yeah. Long day. That was yesterday. Well most of yesterday. I had planned to see Kung Fu Hustle with some friends. We just managed to get into the theatre in time to see the late show. Damn was that worth it after a long day of pain.

Today, I'm mostly just tired.

Update: Speaking of movies that are worth it, the trailer for Firefly: Serenity is out. Go watch. Only 156 more days until it opens!

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Fri, 22 Apr 2005

Not a good sign...

A friend has been pestering me for some time to try Eve, a massively multi-player blah blah blah. (Emphasis on massive here.)

So fine. I finally caved and downloaded the client. It's very pretty, and though the UI takes some getting used to, it's not that bad. And the game play is alright, and oh, I'll do one more mission, and what bloody time is it? Whoa, it's late. Okay only one more mission after this one...

This morning, I wake up at my usual time, and my cat is there to great me, waiting less than patiently to be fed, and all I can think of when I open my eyes and focus on this big orange thing staring at me is "why the hell isn't my heads-up display working?"

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Thu, 21 Apr 2005

All my troubles seemed so far away.

Yesterday was a particularly good day. First off, I got a good night's sleep the night before. Something that happens infrequently these days. A good night's sleep is something to be treasured. To cradle lovingly in your arms and nurture into a full blown catatonic state where you are blissfully unaware of the goings on of the world around you.

I was reasonably productive, which is always a good thing. Plus, I caved in and ordered some Zome Tool. There's a site that provides free UPS shipping in the US, and I had it shipped to le Chapeau who's coming up this weekend anyway. As of right now, the package is "out for delivery" according to the UPS Tracking thingie.

Update: Delivered! I wanted to find le C to tell him, but he's not on IM. I think he's playing with my toys before I am, the lucky bastard.

Also, I called back the Lance Armstrong Foundation, because they cancelled my order the day after I placed it, saying they didn't have enough address information. I'm pretty sure it was just a screw-up between the Yahoo Store service and their site. I'm getting pretty pissed off at their ability to do business, but I called, and they said they'd straighten everything out, and I wouldn't have to re-place my order or anything. We'll see.

Other than that, I had a very fun evening climbing at the Grotto in Guelph followed by a very yummy dinner at the Cornerstone.

Nothing else really noteworthy, though I was just sort of giggly-punchy all day. Weird.

Today I'm back to my usual sluggish, non-productive self. I really need to get a good night's sleep more often.

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Fri, 15 Apr 2005

Not bad, but not great.

A middling week. My mood is better, though I was still feeling a bit recalcitrant at work. The end result was pretty much that I was less productive than I would have otherwise been. But the weather has been really nice. I got a good amount of exercise: climbing on Wednesday and squash this morning. Maybe it's just endorphins, but right now, I'm in pretty good spirits.

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Tue, 12 Apr 2005

Getting back in touch
Sprung is springing

This morning was crisp and clear. I brought my camera to work with me for kicks, and got a few good pictures of things in the park, including this shot of buds on the young maples outside the Perimeter Institute. The weather has been helping as much as possible. Today I was in good spirits, coming in to work, and although I'm overly tired, I'm still doing reasonably well.

On a whim, I went to the Lance Armstrong Foundation to see if they'd sorted out their credit card payment problems, and they had. So yay! I bought some Live Strong bracelets. I have extras if folk are interested. It looks like they're becoming a bit trendy. I don't know how I feel about cancer awareness being trendy, but it is exposure, which is good I guess.

I have these giant headphones at work. The kind that block out a lot of external sound when you're wearing them. The kind that remind you of the seventies. The kind that will keep you warm on a cold day. Anyway, I'm finding more and more that they're of a higher quality than I would have expected originally. When I just want music, but don't want to block out the world, I let them sit around my neck, and just turn up the volume of my mac to full. (The only thing I use it for is for iTunes. No one really feels it's justified to buy me a new machine, and it's a bit sluggish to use for my day to day duties.) But still, the range of sound I get from them is quite good. There's very little distortion, and I get both base and treble fairly clearly.

That's about it. Sorry for the apparent randomness.

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Mon, 11 Apr 2005

Out of touch.

I've been a bit bad at updating the blog of late. I found a half written entry from over a month ago, and put that up. Now I'm writing something new, and trying to think of everything that's been happening in the last... well, long time.

Spring has come. And sure enough, we got a nice snow storm in the first week of April, though it wasn't quite as bad as the ones we've had in recent years. On the other hand, yesterday the weather was fraction of a degree short of 20. I went outdoor climbing for the first time this year at Bottle Glass, and it couldn't have been nicer. Plus, I got an e-mail letting me know that a friend who's been very sick for a long time is less so, and people are sounding very optimistic.

The day before that, I hung out with some of my friends from my last job, and a few others, and played board games in the evening. The afternoon was spent just killing time with another friend, I hadn't seen in far too long. All in all, my weekend was quite enjoyable.

Work has been less enjoyable. I'd forgotten how hard it can be, when the only time that people want to talk to you, is because there's something wrong. On the whole, those people tend to be rather good about it, but lately, it's been less so. That combined with a bit of inter-office politics has made me seriously consider whether or not I want to stay here.

The one nice perk about my job, is the ability to take courses for free. So I've finally taken advantage of that. This spring/summer, I'll be taking CO342 and JAPAN101. Just like the last time I took courses for fun (... seven years ago, wow!) it will be one math course, and one not. I'm totally looking forward to it. Though it does mean committing to my job at least until September. Maybe by then, things will have settled down a bit. We'll see.

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