Friday, December 26, 2008

Stages

My late night photo editing project can be seen here.


Friday, December 19, 2008

"Christmas Letter" Blog Entry

As was so aptly pointed out to me, most Christmas letters begin with "I can't believe another year has gone by already!" or something to that effect. But mine shall not.

This has been the longest year ever. For the universe is slowing down, extending time that is measured; and, in addition, it was a leap year, 366 days. A lot has happened in those 366 days. The biggest events were my graduation from college with my degree in Industrial Engineering and minor in Business Administration; being hired by the world’s largest technology distributor and a leading technology sales, marketing and logistics company as an Industrial Engineer; and the purchase of my first home.

The whole concept of a Christmas Letter seems strange to me. I suppose that historically they were written to update a large group of people on a yearly basis with the past events of said year. This letter would be sent to close friends and family, but was primarily directed towards those that one might only communicate with once a year, via the Christmas Letter. And so it seems strange to me to communicate with people only once a year, as this is the computer age. Activities are updated on a daily basis via Facebook, Myspace, Blogger, LinkedIn, or any other variety of online forums. And so, close friends, close family, distant friends, distant family, complete strangers can have insight to every one of my actions that I share with the world.

Regardless, as in general Christmas Letter format, I shall expound on the large events of my life. I graduated on May 17th, 2008. The ceremony was held outside on the dell, and it was significantly warm in the traditional black robes. I did the "walk across the stage," the announcer said my name correctly (they go through everyone's name prior to the real ceremony), and received my college diploma.

About a month and a half earlier I had interviewed with Ingram Micro. The interview went well and I was impressed with their operation. I received a job offer a little while before graduation and I accepted their offer. The company does warehousing, shipping, internal logistics, and third-party logistics work for their own inventory as well as for some major corporations. My job title is Industrial Engineer and I work on a number of projects to improve layout and product flow efficiency. One of the major projects I am working on is the implementation of a labor management system, used to improve employees productivity.

I completed the home buying process on June 30th. The entire process went fairly quickly I'm told, though I thought a month was a long time. But I suppose buying a house isn't quite like buying a hamburger at McDonald's, at least not yet. My house is just over 1300 square feet; 1.5 baths, 3 bedrooms, 2 car garage, shed, a small yard. I use one of the bedrooms as an office where I have my computer and all my books. I sleep in the master bedroom and maintain one of the other bedrooms as the guest room.

So I have obtained my Engineering degree, an Engineering job that I am very happy with, and a very nice home in a nice area with nice neighbors. I have my Ford Taurus that is still running well.

I have good friends in many different places. However, no new romantic developments. Which, for the most part, may be a good thing as I will be traveling approximately 32 weeks out of the 52 next year. But that's for next year's Christmas Letter.

-Adam


Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Tree x2

I now have two Christmas trees in my house. Both have lights. Ornament decoration is scheduled for Saturday.

Pictures here.

Also, all the gifts for my immediate family have been delivered. Now I just need to wrap them.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Snow

Crazy global warming.

Pictures here.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

1 of 3 = me

One of three equals me.

More explanation via Blogger = never.


Monday, November 10, 2008

3RLOD

On how to descend a hill on a bike. Video.

Last night my Xbox 360 experienced the Three Red Lights of Death (aka, 3RLOD). So today I attempted to fix it using the X-clamp removal and repair method. Pictures here. I completed all the steps in about three hours.

I plugged everything in, overheated the Xbox to re-solder the GPU/CPU to the motherboard, cooled it off, and attempted to turn it on. The 3RLOD were gone!

However, my Xbox 360 then experienced what I would call the One Red Light of Death. The lower right quadrant was flashing. I queried this error, and it is apparently due to a bad ANA chip, or something related to the video output of the Xbox 360. So apparently, every component in my Xbox 360 decided to fail at once.

So all in all, I got to see the innards of the Xbox 360, bought a cool new screwdriver set (complete with Torx T6 through T25 hex heads), and corrected the 3RLOD. But alas, it still is broken. Tomorrow I will be buying a new Xbox 360 and the newly released Call of Duty 5: World at War. At least I can buy a cheap Xbox Arcade and upgrade the harddrive. As long as my old harddrive isn't broken too.

Yay for technology.

And my phone wasn't working today either. I had to call IT so they could fix the Enterprise Activation so I could send and receive network email.

30.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Saturday Bike Ride Adventure

Today I drove myself and my bike to the Colebrook trail head of the Lebanon Valley Rail Trail (LVRT). On the way, with my window down, I was thinking that I perhaps should have brought along a sweatshirt, but when I arrived and saw hunters en masse I was glad I had not, and was only wearing my bright yellow T-shirt.

My trip can be viewed here. Pictures are here.

I began by heading west on the LVRT. I passed by what looked to be a hiking trail, and decided to turn around and take a closer look. The trail was labeled as the Horse Shoe Trail, which is a part of the Mt. Gretna network of trails. I had read about this trail online; it was rated as a beginner level trail, but the many comments said that it was more of an advanced trail and the rating was completely wrong. Regardless, I decided to take the Horse Shoe instead of the flat, packed-gravel LVRT trail.

The trail definitely wasn't beginner; there were loose rocks the size of baseballs and steep hills. The first section shown on the map (the little part that goes directly south) was probably the hardest part as it was the steepest hill on the trip (turn on the terrain feature on Google Maps). After that, there were some ups and downs, but it was relatively easy except for one small steep section right before reaching the road.

After crossing the road, I rode through a field like area. Once completing that section, there was a steady incline to the point that I decided to turn around at a trail split (this is also where I saw around 10 orange vests walking around with high powered bows). Total one-way ride distance = 3.15 miles.

The trip back was more intense since it was almost all downhill. It was extremely bumpy due to all the rocks, and I almost flipped my bike once when I hit a large loose rock hidden in the leaves (in retrospect, having only one close call was pretty good). Going back down the steep hill I encountered during the start of my trip was pretty fun. I nearly had my chest on my seat on the way down to maintain some balance.

Once reaching the bottom, I returned to my car, had a drink of water, and continued east on the LVRT a little bit. Overall, it was a good trip. Though I really ought to exercise more.

Next trip, Governor Dick Hill?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Checkpoint!

There are certain points in one's life when one checks on the status of said life. It makes me wish that Pure had been built with checkpoint functionality. But nay, it is track oriented, and whenever you went off the "track" the game made you crash and would reset your ATV. I would have much preferred the game if it had built similarly to Smuggler's Run for Game Cube and PS2. In Smuggler's Run, the entire environment was navigable, and the races were accomplished via checkpoints. I must say, Pure pwnt when it came to a track list.

1. There is no plan.

Check. This I wholeheartedly agree with and am living as such. While I do have a loose plan, I realize that it is all subject to change. Now that I will soon be living in a Blue nation, who knows what will happen (the same could be said for a McCain nation as well though).

My job is comparatively secure, but even if it's not I feel confident that with my experience and skill set finding a job would not be entirely difficult. I have all my options laid out in front of me, and will progress, all while at least preserving the status quo.

2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.

Check. This is something I've somehow developed into doing my entire life. I like what I'm good at, I do what I like, I'm good at what I like to do. And repeat. My entire career has actually meshed very well with my strengths and likes. Though one could argue my career choices were based on my strengths and likes. So which came first? It actually doesn't really matter which came first, only that I know #2 and preserve the check in this box.

3. It's not about you.

Check, sort of. Sometimes I forget this. Though honestly I think other people forget it more often. Everyone seems so concerned about preserving their own life, their own job, that they will do everything in their power to preserve said things: lie, cheat, make excuses. But I've come to realize that for the most part if first attention is given to the collective, the company, the team, others, that this is respected far greater than the best excuse in the world.

I try to live my life now following rule sub 3: Never make excuses, even when at fault. There is normally no reason that it would ever benefit someone to make an excuse. Most times excuses are readily recognized as an excuse. If one makes a mistake, admit it, fix it, and move on.

4. Persistence trumps talent.

Check. While I may be talented, there is nothing more important than persistence. Even the hardest of problems can be solved when consistently persisted at. Plus, anything is possible with Excel, unless you have more than 65,536 lines of data.

5. Make excellent mistakes.

Check. Though I really try to avoid making mistakes altogether. It's not so much about making mistakes, or even making excellent ones. It's about learning from them; what went wrong, how can that be avoided next time.

6. Leave an imprint.

Working on it. So far so good.

Checkpoint complete.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Living Room


Album of my living room complete with new coffee table, end table, and lamp stands here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Value

I really enjoy my work. Maybe too much. Perhaps it's because I feel as if I am fulfilling my duty, or because it adds purpose to my life. But I feel like I have dedicated my life to my work, though I think I've always been that way to some degree.

Progress is beautiful
.

I am satisfied with where my life is now.

I have a job that I love; that keeps me busy. I work alongside other smart, dynamic people. I work for a business that is moderately stable in the current fluctuating markets. My car is doing fairly well considering how many miles are on it. I have a house. Many people would agree with me that I am comparatively successful. But that is nothing new to this blog.

And yet, there are those that would perhaps find changes were necessary, or at least suggested, in order to make me more complete. Or make me more complete in their eyes. In order to add value to me. Or to them?

But what is value even defined as? I recently went to a seminar where a multi-millionaire said that every person inherently has value. This I don't disagree with. But value is much more than that; value is in the eye of the beholder; one man's trash is another man's treasure; and so on. Are the changes proposed to my life adding value to me? Or are they adding value to the person to which is beholding me (and actually detracting from the value that I consider myself worth)?

I don't have a girlfriend. I have no prospect at marriage. I have no possibility of kids. At this moment.

Those facts don't bother me that much.

I have a linear income job. I like what I'm doing. I have no desire to change my source of income. At this moment.

Those facts don't bother me at all.

I am continually learning and improving myself. I am making excellent mistakes. I am successful. At this moment.

Those facts are what I expect. So at this momentary instance, I'm good. Right?


Sunday, September 07, 2008

LBI

Pictures from Long Beach Island, Labor Day weekend, are uploaded here.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tables in August

I built a table for my lamp today. I got the directions for said project here. Completed project pictures are here. I think mine actually looks better than the website's. I took a little more time on mine, and actually counted every ten pages so everything would be even. The magazines were old mechanical engineering magazines that I had received from one of the engineers at R.H. Sheppard during my internship there in 2006.

I'm considering trying to make a coffee table via a similar method. I would create a one-layer magazine legs and then set a piece of cut glass on top. It's surprising how sturdy paper is when it is layered properly. Though I need more magazines for that project. Perhaps I could find some old issues of National Geographic at the library for sale or something. Or a yard sale.

And of course there is the option of using vintage books.

August has been good. I went to Minneapolis for a week of training for work. The weather there was amazing, at least during August. I've heard it gets pretty cold there in the winter though. The only other travel I have planned right now is two days in Philadelphia for AutoCAD training. I might being going to Toronto for work sometime later this year, but not sure about that yet.

Work continues to go well. I'm pretty much constantly busy at work, which is nice. And I still love my job. I certainly am gaining a lot of experience.

My house is good. I still need to fix a few things, like the tub faucet is leaking now, and the toilet still runs randomly because of a leaky fixture within the tank. The kitchen needs some grout or caulk or something between some of the linoleum tiles. I need to install the towel rack on the bathroom door.

I did lots of paperwork today. At least 80% of all the stuff I went through was junk mail. I paid my second mortgage payment and some other bill. I also changed nearly all of my billing methods to online, so the junk mail to real mail ratio is bound to get worse. Though maybe I can change all the important stuff to online so the only value-added mail that I get is Netflix.

My car is running good. As is my computer though I've been having problems with my screen savers not working properly when AIM is running, which is strange. I would like to get a new computer, but I'm gonna worry about paying some of my college loans and short-term debt first.

That's the update on all basic aspects of my life except one.

Purple Door was good. My favorite band was probably The Foxhole. I bought their two CDs that they had available, though I liked their live stuff better. It's good music to just zone out to though. As for bands that have that "rock out" factor, my favorites were either Inhale Exhale or Disciple.

Post Purple Door was even better though.

Time for bed.

π * 10 - 1.189927113691392.




Sunday, July 13, 2008

May and June 2008

I haven't updated in a long while, mostly because I was without access to my desktop computer for a while due to me moving and living in a hotel for three weeks. My trip to Santa Ana was amazing. I got introduced to the corporate headquarters of Ingram and the employees that work there.

I also got to do some sightseeing and some restauranting. Pictures are on my Picasa. I also got to try sushi for the first time, and I loved it. I've only had sushi once more since the trip, but I'm thinking it's my new favorite food. I stayed in a very nice hotel, and my rental car was a 2008 Chevy Malibu LTZ. So it was a pretty awesome trip and further confirmed that my job is perfect.

I've now worked a full six weeks with Ingram, though it really has not felt that long. I love every minute of my job. Furthermore, I'm going to get do some business traveling. I'm going to their facility in Tennessee for four days. I'm also going to Minneapolis with the other engineers for training. But that's all I shall write of work for now. It's easier to just simply not write about work than worry about what's proprietary.

My new house is awesome. I have nearly everything unpacked. I think I have six boxes of stuff left to unpack in the room. I've also completed a bunch of little projects to fix up the house and get everything setup the way I want it. My dad and I installed a new lock in the back door. That project required cutting (more like grinding) a hole in the metal-plated wooden door. The mudroom to which the door leads still smells a little smokey. We also installed a new lock in the garage.

I fixed the garage door. Both of my garage doors have openers and the one side that I use for my car was broken. The door was braced with steel on the top of the door, to which was attached the garage door opener, as it was supposed to be. The problem was that the brace had broken, apparently more than once. So that actually took a while to unbolt all the broken metal, use the scrap to build a new frame, and replace each bolts to the newly configured frame. Not to mention the garage is like a sauna.

Gardening: I weeded the front garden, planted little grassy plants, and mulched. Then AJ and I weeded the side garden. So now my yard is 95% weed free. There is a little patch of weeds near the deck. This was a big project since the previous resident had not weeded in over two years, according to my neighbors. I still need to figure what I want to plant in the garden. I'm thinking that I might go with some shrubbery and garden rocks, or something.

Rewiring: I ran coaxial cable all over the place. So now my computer, AJ's computer, and my Xbox 360 are all Internet capable. This required drilling holes in the ceiling and floors and all over the place. I still need to tack the cable to the window frame so it looks good.

So those were the larger projects. I still have some little projects, like fixing the grout in the kitchen.

I have a grill and used it three times in one week. Made sausage to go with spaghetti, burgers, and pork chops. I love making my own food.

More updates later? Probably within a sooner time frame than last time.

30.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Adventures of Johnny Bunko

1. There is no plan
2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
3. It’s not about you.
4. Persistence trumps talent.
5. Make excellent mistakes.
6. Leave an imprint.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Growing Up


Above is a picture of a Porsche Panamera, a four-door Porsche. I knew it was a Porsche as soon as I saw the picture; it has Porsche lines and profile. It just looks fat. And the spoiler definitely needs some work before they begin production in April 2009. More pictures here.

More pictures here as well. I've uploaded nearly every picture I've taken with my digital camera to Picasa, Google's Web Albums service. All the albums are geotagged. I've also started geotagging each individual picture on Google Maps. This takes a little while, since for some reason there isn't any way to connect Picasa tagging with Google Maps tagging, at least as far as I can tell. The start of my individually tagged photos is here. Navigation can be done by clicking on the place markers or clicking on the links on the left (one link per picture).

I'm growing up.

I have a degree in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Business Administration. Four years of college are complete, and I have the diploma to show for it.

I have a full time non-summer job with the world’s largest technology distributor and a leading technology sales, marketing, and logistics company. That's a quote straight from a wikipage about the company, Ingram Micro. Initially, I'll be helping to work on this project. I leave this Sunday for a week at their corporate headquarters located in Santa Ana, CA. There I'll be training, learning about projects, and meeting people that work at the corporate headquarters. Air travel, hotel accommodations, and rental car are paid by IM.

I have a house. Well sorta. I signed all the paperwork, and put a $1000 down so far. The seller has agreed to my offer. Pictures are in the slide show in the previous post or in the album here. The house is located in Lebanon, about twenty minutes from work. Settlement is slated for June 30th. The house is 1323 square feet and semi-detached, and has three bedrooms. It has a front porch, a back deck, new roof, new furnace, and new water heater. It also has a shed in the back yard, and a detached two car garage.

I have a car. My parents gave me the Ford Taurus as one of graduation presents. I have the title in hand, though it still needs to be transferred. My parents are pretty cool. It's cause of them that I was able to have an amazing credit score, which qualified me for my home loan. They allowed me to have a checking account and bank card as an early teenager. Plus I had a credit card at a ridiculously young age.

People seemed surprised that I am graduated, have a full-time job, a car, and am buying a house. Given, I was slightly concerned that I might not have a job straight out of college (I knew I would have one eventually). And graduating was not a concern for me. The house is the next natural step in my mind, after graduating and securing a full time job.

Rent or Buy? For me the numbers plugged in were:
Monthly rent: 900
Home price: 115,500
Down payment: 5.25
Mortgage rate: 6.375
Property taxes: 1.23

The results? With the default 1% home appreciation and the 3% rent increase, I only need to live at my house four years in order to break even in terms of throwing money away on rent. Which is pretty close to my calculations that resulted in five years.

People are also concerned that I won't like my job and then I'll be stuck with this house. To which I say, many people hate their jobs. Plus I am nearly completely certain that I won't hate my job.

Industrial Engineering degree
Job
Car
House
Something else I want
Computer

Etc

30.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Done with College

As of 11:33:20 AM EST on May 6, 2008 AD, I have completed all college classwork. I am done with college.

/celebrate


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ramblings

My last semester of college is almost complete. I have done a lot in these past months I suppose. Three major projects: The Arena simulation competition, the collaborative Hershey project, and my own library work flow analysis project. Plus all the stuff for classes, such as a major group project report, individual competitive strategy report, and major group project presentation. And speaking of presentations I've done quite a few of them. Eight to be specific, all related to my three projects.

And after all that I've seriously come to realize that it's all for naught. I didn't get paid to do these projects, in fact, some cost me a little bit of money (entry fees and the like). After all these four years of learning, doing projects, gaining experience I'm not that much farther ahead in the world in terms of financial standing, political power of any sort, or in a position to apply my knowledge.

Which is what it comes down to: it's not how much you know, it's who you know.

Today I followed up on one of the jobs for which I interviewed. The position is no longer even a position. They said they'll keep me posted if it becomes a position again, but I was throughly disheartened since that was the job that I wanted the most out of anything I've interviewed so far. Right now I just want a job, even if I hate it. I'm young, and my generation is predicted to have eight to twenty careers in one's lifetime.

But back to school. I have a keyboarding final tomorrow. Bach's Minuet in G from the book of crazy easy minuets he wrote. I also have a theory test for that class on Tuesday. Finally, I have a take-home final for Geophysics due on Monday or something. I have essentially twenty-six days of nothing. I wish I could just start working full-time right now.

But speaking of back to school. Maybe I should consider going to grad school or pursuing my MBA. Who knows. I do know that it is significantly late in the application process for anything like that.

Actually, after looking around, I'm completely wrong. I could go to Drexel for example for Masters in Industrial Management or MBA. They're on a weird three semester schedule and the deadline for summer term is June 6. Though I don't really want to live in or near Philadelphia. Drexel's online MBA would cost around $41,040. Not bad. Or there's always Quality Engineering Six Sigma at Villanova.

Still, I sort of want to be done with school. I want to go work full-time and make money. I want to buy a house and buy a Porsche. But in the short-term I need to find said job (or investigate further into more school), buy double AA batteries for my Xbox controllers, and pick up my car from the shop (state inspection and emissions).

Decrease variability, increase control. Narrow scope, escalate focus. Efficiency is beauty. It's all what who you know. 30.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008

To do

Items to complete before the weekend:

finish bsg report
finish prelim data for arena hershey
read netflix case
finish crafting library presentation
begin crafting arena sim comp presentation
3 classes

gah.

Currently listening to Dance of the Manatee by Fair to Midland.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Five courses

Somone that goes to the same college I do (or at least to go here, some details point that she may have dropped out earlier) committed suicide on April 4, 2008. A notice was sent out via email today along with the appropiate condolances. That makes this the second suicide at my college in two years. I didn't really know either of them, though I think the most recent used to make me sandwiches in the caf. She seemed chipper enough then, but that was over two years ago.

I still need a job.

I also need to finish all these projects I've been putting off. There's my "second senior project" that I'm doing. I need to finish gathering data, run the data in simulation, compile the results, and make a pretty presentation.

I then need to finish the three projects for one class: Help write a group paper on a simulated company we ran during the semester; help research Netflix and then craft a presentation regarding its current strategy and where it should go from there; and write an individual report on a company regarding the same subject matter.

Geophysics is just a bunch of reading and one small presentation project. At least I don't have any finals except for keyboarding, which continues to go well.

This weekend was the school's Junior/Senior Dance Banquet thing. I heard it wasn't all that great; at least the food wasn't. I didn't go since it was too expensive and I knew it wasn't going to be all that great, so instead we had our own Junior/Senior in the quad. We all dressed up, had some other people over (11 total to be exact), and had a great meal. My roommates and I made a five-course meal consisting of:
  1. Appetizers of stuffed mushrooms and jalepeno poppers.
  2. Garden Salad
  3. Choice of either Seafood Linguine (Linguine in a white-wine sauce served with topping of scallops, mussels, clams, and shrimp) OR Chicken Parmesean over linguine.
  4. Dessert choice of Chocholate Cake with Peanut Butter Chocholate Icing with a vanilla pudding center OR Baked Apple Cobbler with vanilla Ice Cream
  5. Coffee

    30.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Arena Complete

The Arena models are complete, executed, and data collected. Report and Executive Summary are complete. Models and Report have been sent.

Now I just have to wait until April 10th until I find out if I'm going to Vancouver.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Arena

This is probably going to be a disjointed post.

The Arena competition is nearing completion. Models are built and work for the most part. Now we just have to get the data and put it into the proper parts of the report. Finally, we have to make a final recommendation and write up the executive summary. It's due in approximately 26 hours.

The other Arena project is still underway and proprietary.

I have 3 reports/presentations due for one class before the end of the semester.

At least Geophysics and Keyboarding are easy. Playing the piano is relaxing.

I'm afraid that once the Arena project is done that I'm going to lose all my time management framework of mind, and I'll play video games all day. O well.

Disturbed's new song "Inside the Fire" is cool. At least in terms of vocals, rhythm, and music. The lyrics are a little foreboding. It's a song about David, the lead singer. According to interview transcripts, when he was younger his girlfriend threatened to kill herself if he broke up with her. He did so and she actually ended up killing her self. The theme of the song also speaks of the Devil telling him to do the same. Interesting, nonetheless. Link above is to Ruckus download.

I'm more philosophical at home. Perhaps it's the lack of music, lack of games, lack of work, lack of other outlets for my thoughts. Perhaps it's the presence of other philosophical people. Maybe a combination of all the above.

Is anyone really content being single? Were people in history, at the time of the Mayflower, Revolution, and so on, happy with their relationships? Obviously human experience spans generations, but the modes and speeds in which these experiences present themselves have changed drastically. One large difference that one could point to is that of arranged marriages. To have your parents ascertain the person best suited for their child before desire for a relationship event presents itself. Parents often know what's best. After all, maximize control and minimize variability, inconsistency.

Shock
Denial
Anger
Sadness
Acceptance

Since it's March Madness and all: Rebound.

As signified by the checkboxes above, I think I'm good. There stand the five stages of grief. I will admit I was definitely was looking for someone to fill the void of not having someone to call at 2am any morning if I needed to, to be completely myself around, to hug and hold, and so on and so forth. But being in a relationship is so much more than those little things. Not that the little things don't matter. "Catch the foxes for us, The little foxes that are ruining the vineyards." Ref.

Back to the topic of happiness based on relationship status. Everyone, for the most part, wants to be in a relationship. I am no different. But I've reached the point that I'm content without being so. Apparently the one month of rebound per one year of the relationship was surprisingly accurate. I don't think I have anything else to write now.

30.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Different - The Idea


Watch the movie titled "Different - The Idea" here.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cayra

Cayra is a pretty awesome program. It allows you to quickly make "mindmaps."

  • A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindmaps

Now I can easily make non-linear to do lists!

Cayra is free to download, though you need to have Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 installed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Personality Profile

From a personality questionaire that breaks the population into four groups:

Congratulations, Adam, you are a RED personality. The Core Motivation that drives you through life is "Power". Power means the ability to get things done, to go from A to B as quickly and directly as possible. The word power was derived from the Old French poeir meaning "to be able." Often what is perceived by the other colors as insensitive is simply a pragmatic sense of urgency to accomplish a given task.

As a RED you naturally seek productivity and want others to see you as intellectually strong. As REDS want their own way, you like to be in the driver's seat and are willing to pay the price to be in a leadership role even in an intimate relationship. However, you can get frustrated when your partner cannot think for herself or make intelligent decisions on her own. As a RED, you tend to value whatever gets you ahead in life, whether it is at work, school, or in your personal relationships. What you value, you get done. You may be a workaholic and enjoy it!. You will, however, resist being forced to do anything that doesn't interest you.

As a RED, Adam, you like to be right. You value approval from others for your intelligence and solution-based, pragmatic style. You want to be respected even more than you want to be loved, and you appreciate admiration for your logical, practical mind.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Laser Elevator

Link post:

Laser Elevator from xkcd blag.

(Warning: link contains some coarse language)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Peacefulness

Walking back from work last night was very peaceful. A warm breeze was blowing from the south. The tall plants and trees waved back and forth, lazily in the night. A few passive raindrops fell from the sky, pitter-pattering on the pavement on which I tread. The wind brought the smell of a sweet spring rain. There was no one else around; lights from the town shone steadily while those of distant radio tower blinked on and off slowly. As I neared the end of my walk I heard the quiet sloshing of the nearby stream. I was in no hurry this night; I was nearly deliberate in taking my time. I took the chance to take in the sights, sounds, perceptions around me; to reflect.

I thought about how this peaceful scene I interpret could be seen in a much different way if the perspectives were different: A mother duck awakens to find her nest being invaded by a local denizen of feline variety. In the creek, a fish struggles for its life in the rain-swollen creek as it is dashed against rocks in the violent current. A young plant grapples for stability in the loose sod against the wind of the night.

And so I realized that our perception of the world's state of being is greatly effected by our inner state of being. In this night, I was at peace. And hence, the world I saw was at peace. The world I saw was peaceful. And therefore, I was peaceful.

While this may be surprising to some, to myself in fact, at that moment I felt completely content. Given, I was not focused on my search for employment, looking for a house, money. Nor was I worried about the duck, fish, or plant. But if I were given to worry, those would be the things I would worry about most. I feel content in all other areas of my life. After all, contentedness is being contented with your situation in life. Not everything must be in perfect order, in perfect place, in perfect health, in perfect condition in order for one to be content.

Perhaps next time I'll write on the balance of contentedness and mediocrity.

Also, I thought this was interesting. Facebook recently began placing ads based on personal information. For example, job searches for seniors, dating services for single people, etc. This recently appeared in my ad bar area:

Apparently Facebook even records the change in relationship statuses for advertising purposes. Freaky.

Currently listening to: Icon of Coil



Monday, February 18, 2008

Pain Avoidance

The following is something I wrote on paper some time ago. Unfortunetly it is not dated, but I'm guessing it was written sometime during Winter Break of 2007-2008. Enjoy. Another blog entry to follow tomorrow evening at approximately 20:00.

"

It's been a long while since I've written. And so I've decided to write. Writing frees the soul; perhaps that's why my soul has been so restless recently.

When I update on my blog, I feel it necessary to tell the world what affects me from the outside, perhaps allowing people to infer whit I feel on the inside. Such an allowance is dangerous; people may misinterpret said facts, thinking I'm sad when I'm happy, or happy when in fact I'm sad. Not that I would share my emotions anyway.

Who cares what words flow from this pen (or pencil even)? What makes anyone's words important? Do people read the Times to look important? Or read the Wall Street Journal just because their professors require it of them?

Nay. While there may exist these people reading for reasons impure, the majority read for one reason. Truth. The need to be in the know. Tabloids and made-up stories aside, people want to know what's going on around them, inside them. And accurately.

And hence, my words are not valueless. The human experience is generally the same. Situations, and the feelings that arise from these situations, span generations, civilizations, and space and time. It is a basic psychological premise.

The things I feel have been felt by many before me, and will be felt by many after me.

Pain without love. Love with pain. Pain.

In this unjust, imperfect world pain will be felt by all, be it physical, mental, emotional. I submit that people live their lives trying to minimize pain. People want a good job to make money to avoid financial hardship, financial pain. Everyone tries to avoid getting hurt, in basic nature. People avoid situations where they feel uncomfortable, or where they will be rejected. Sex does not drive people; pain avoidance is their goal.

People may even make others feel pain, just so they can avoid pain. Or people may endure more pain, so that another experiences less. When a society is added to the mix (friends, family, and all other human interaction), it becomes the matter of balancing one's pain avoidance versus an acceptable level of pain to others, or perhaps, in fact, pain-minimization of others.

Every decision made [is such], cost-benefit, pain-gain, and so it goes. A complex web of interactions, and a decision that will cause some pain, and others gain.

"

Friday, January 04, 2008