Posted Jan 14, 2010
Hello, anyone who might hear this! Howdy!
Wow. I just logged in so my account will survive some great migration that agcBen let me know about - thank you, Ben. How's everyone doin'?
The last time I was here, I think was about six years ago when I lived in Portland, and was in graduate school. In 2006, I moved up to Seattle and finished my M.S. thesis from there. Just the other day, I heard from my adviser in Portland that someone has submitted a paper to a journal, in which they cite my thesis, and prove a conjecture that I made. Pretty cool, huh?
In Seattle, I played in a band, taught at a high school, and became the regular at a certain bar in the U District who sat down at the end, by the matador painting, studying number theory and working on bourbon and hot wings. Those were good times.
After 2 years in Washington, I was ready to go back to grad school, and I decided to return to the old homeland in Texas. I found a professor at UNT in Denton who studies areas of number theory that I'm curious about, so I applied there, and started in August 2008, after an epic rock and roll road trip that may have shortened my life by at least a week.
Sometime around then I gave up cigarettes after 15 years. Yeah. I cough less now. (I still shamelessly self-mythologize a little, and I'm working on the nail-biting. I'm close, I'd say, but that's a hard one.)
Texas has been good. It's nice to be within 1 hour's drive of both Mother and Sister, and I'm learning lots of math. There's a band I've joined (alt-country a la Gram Parsons, Ryan Adams, Son Volt), and I hope we play shows before long. No name so far.
I still work on Wikipedia, where I've been an administrator since the end of '05. It's good fun, and I'm proud to be one of the few who worked on a first generation web encyclopedia. You know, h2g2 is a lot of things that the wiki upstart will never be, and it was a lot of things for me for 3 crazy years. Just now, it feels really good to be typing here, bathed in the soothing, blue classic goo background...
Long time, no journal
Posted Apr 17, 2004
Apparently, it's been close to a year, and a year of RL adventures it's been, largely detached from this online world, which was once my dearest home. It appears that my last posting saw me having just arrived in Portland, Oregon, starting back to school. Well, I'm happy to report that my academic career seems to be going well - I'm actually on track to receive a Masters degree in math in about a year. The current round of courses: Ordinary Differential Equations, Linear and Multilinear Algebra, Topology, and Combinatorics!
Lovely, rainy Portland is home to me now, but I'm currently back in Texas, for my sister's wedding. She and her hubby-to-be have chosen to tie the knot at Scarborough Faire, a popular Renaissance Festival in Waxahachie, a town south of Dallas. We just did a rehearsal and dinner in our 21st Century garb, but for the real deal tomorrow, we'll all be in costume, made up into lords and ladies, knaves and wenches. I've got some sort of burgundy and gold and green oddity, which should be lots of fun.
I haven't contributed any writing here in some time, but I've not entirely given up on my online encyclopaedist calling. At Wikipedia, my handle is the familiar one, so if anyone's interested, I make some kind of edits or additions there roughly weekly, and I'm easy to find. There are a couple of h2g2 projects I'd still like to work on, but it's a question of time, really - I've become a busy man.
That seems to be acceptably concise yet thorough. It's bedtime in Texas, and tomorrow I shall gain a brother-in-law.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Guess who I met? (overdue)
Posted Jun 13, 2003
There was a time when I had 42 names on my list of 'h2g2 researchers I've met IRL'. I'll get there again, because I've made an executive decision that it's cheating to list people I already knew IRL and convinced to get h2 accounts, especially when they seldom log on.
That put my count under 40, but I've added two more names in the last few weeks.
I drove out to San Diego on March 14, and then flew to Dallas around the 4th of May, only to drive back to California starting around the 7th of May. That would make it.... 10 May, 2003, when I phoned up Blatherskite the Mugwump, telling him I'm on the interstate passing by his town. He gave me some directions and I drove to his home, where I met his lovely wife and charming sister-in-law. We all went out for brunch, and had a bit of a pow-wow. If a meteor had struck that restaurant, what would have become of the FFFF? One shudders to think. The shrimp Caesar salad was delicious, and I made it to work on time that afternoon.
A few weeks later - consulting a calendar, I make it 22 May - I got together with HenryS at Stanford University. I'd been staying with a friend in Oakland, and I visited the University before leaving the bay area to head north. Henry showed me the campus and we talked about Maths and Graduate Studies. He gave me some good advice, and I'm already registered to take some 300-level classes at PSU over the summer (Intro Group Theory and Number Theory! )
That's nearly 42 h2ers I've met, and I've no intention of stopping!
San Francisco show and tell
Posted May 19, 2003
Kudos to anyone who recognizes the lyric from which I took the subject text. "Drink Kirschwasser from a shell, San Francisco show and tell..."
I'm in Oakland, actually. There are night herons nesting on Lake Merritt, just down the street. Night herons are some damned funky looking birds. (first pic on <http://www.wildflowers-cdrom.com/birds/birds.html>
Oakland is just an in-between place, in-between San Diego and Portland, just like Los Angeles and San Fernando were in-between San Diego and here. It's beginning to appear that the real reason I moved to San Diego, back in March, was so that I'd more clearly realize that I should move to Portland, Oregon in May. Retrospective teleology is easy!
Meanwhile I'll recommend both of the books that I'm currently reading: Catastrophe Theory, by Castrigiano and Hayes, is entertaining and at least approachable for anyone with a solid background in Linear Algebra and an interest in the foundations of Chaos Theory. Notes of a Dirty Old Man, by Bukowski, is the most appropriate bit of literature I've ever enjoyed while staying in a crab-and-convict-infested motel in a down-and-out area of town while waiting for auto repairs that I can't afford to get done.
The van's doing fine; it just needed a new clutch. When you need a new clutch, try to notice somewhere other than the fast lane of a freeway during rush hour in Burbank. The new clutch is nice. Very tight.
I've spent very little time at h2 lately. I still update the rosters at FFFF and Maths Lab, and post to the 'back again' thread, but that's about it, until I'm settled somewhere reasonably permanent, with a computer of my own. A couple more weeks maybe? Who can say? I can't see any farther into the future than the end of this sentence I'm typing, and that part's hazy.
I had no idea I'd wander off into the other room to check on 'farther' vs 'further' in a dictionary, and end up watching 5 minutes of some British sitcom between the last paragraph and this one, for example. I loathe television.
Now I just thought of something else I really ought to be writing, and I'm about to hit 'post,' I think. It'll be about the criminal justice system, and how it's illogical. Gotta
has GTBacchus gotten off to?
Posted Mar 23, 2003
You may well ask.
So, to whom it may concern, interest, or leave utterly indifferent, here is an update.
I've been offline long enough to be considered having "left the building", for the first time since Rupert. The reasons for that are numerous.... most significantly, I began spending most of my time in Dallas with a very good friend, about whom you may hear more later. If you're good. I basically moved into said friend's apartment, and we were having a lovely time. Then one day, my friend decided to ditch the whole Dallas life and go out west, and I was in complete agreement with that plan. We loaded up the van and hit the road within 24 hours of having the idea. The trip was.... epic, and I won't say more about it than that.
No, that's not true. I'll say this: If you've travelling on the 8, between San Diego and Tuscon, for God's sake, buy gas in Yuma, Arizona!!! Don't just assume you'll find another station a few miles beyond in either direction! I don't care if you had food poisoning the last time you were in Yuma and would just as soon avoid the town, fill up your f***ing gas tank unless you want the nightmarish situation of running out of fuel somewhere in the godforsaken desert! Just do it. I don't wanna hear any excu-... just shut up, and buy gas in Yuma. Now.
There, that's off my chest. So, now I'm somewhere in northern San Diego county, chilling out with my friend's family, and looking for a job. I'm being pretty mercenary about it, and hoping to get really well paid for being good at math and computers. Although, I might try to get teaching work at a charter school that is just opening up, as that would give me the summer months off, which I'd love. I suppose I'll also try to find a University that'll let me work on my Masters degree by correspondence, or at nights and weekends, and settle into a bit of a life here.
So, that's where I've been. I will attempt to log on more often, now that I'm in a reasonable place with a reasonable 'net terminal for a reasonable period of time. I do not make any promises about reading the backlog. I do however say, with a glad heart, that it's nice to be back, basking in the good ol' classic goo background, and contributing a few more words to the Guide.
love to all,