The observations and opinions of a person who has no discernible insights or ideas.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Stereo Typing 

Yesterday, I took a typing test. I typed 72 words per minute in five minutes. That’s 360 keystrokes per minute, or 6 per second, and that doesn’t take into account the number of times I had to backspace and fix typos. I also had 9 mistakes that I didn’t catch and fix, which took my score down to 63 wpm. I wonder why I lose five words for every mistake I made. I typed 70 correct words each minute, but instead of being docked five keystrokes for every mistake, I got docked 25. That’s 225 strokes that were cruelly taken away. In any case, I’m happy with 63 wpm. It’s faster than average, and it’s far faster than I usually type.

Which brings me to my point. I can type pretty fast, but usually it takes me an hour or so to compose a page of writing. Even if it’s just something light and fluffy, like a letter to a friend. I figure that my speed is closer to 10 wpm. And it’s all because I have to stop and carefully choose my words. I work carefully to get the spelling and grammar to acceptable levels, and to avoid being too repetitive. It’s hard work sometimes, especially when I start considering how my intended audience may interpret my remarks (and end up cutting paragraphs or even pages of good material). At least once I have the right words, I can type them up quickly enough.

Hypothetically speaking... 

A very heated debate has been going on recently over whether or not gays should be allowed to marry. This is an important issue that, thanks to recent events in San Francisco and Massachusetts, will come to a head in the next few months. I feel rather strongly on the issue, but curiously, I don’t feel like publicly arguing my position. I occasionally make comments related to it, and they often lead to people completely misinterpreting my position. My point is that you shouldn’t try to take what I say to mean any more than exactly what I say I mean. If I mean to be clearer, I will be clearer.

(Enough about the actual debate. Bring on the fun!)

I was recently asked about, if I were gay, who I would be attracted to. After listing a few celebrities (Viggo Mortensen is just dreamy), I realized that I was leaving out two very important people.

First, there’s Lance. He’s a neighbor of mine who I haven’t seen for a while. And I miss him terribly. He’s a nice guy, and if I were a girl, I’d be totally freaked out by him. But I’m not a girl, so I’m free to appreciate this lovable teddy bear of a guy. I also have his computer (and have had it since about Thanksgiving), so even though he’s been in hiding lately, I’ll have to see him again sometime. The system is supposed to be optimized for gaming. Who can turn down a guy like that?

Where Lance drops off, Henry picks up. He was a neighbor of mine at school, and for a young, scrawny, hairy guy, he’s irresistible. Seriously, if you met him, you’d understand. More than that, he’s an uber-geek who has four computers and more toys and videos than almost anyone I know. The best thing about Henry was that we didn’t have any of the hangups that a lot of people have. He could go on dates or spend all his evenings with his girlfriend. As long as he came back to me, I was okay sharing him with other people. And it’s the same the other way. His girlfriend was another story. She was insanely jealous of me (the insanity being because I didn’t mind letting her have as much of him as she wanted).

But Lance has disappeared, and Henry’s an hour away. I guess I’ll have to go marry a girl now. They usually have better figures anyway, even if they don’t have nice computers to go with them.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

EUREKA the Immortal 

Tonight, I played Half-life with a couple of friends. They have always been much better than me, sometimes outscoring me by about 50%. This time, I was on a roll. I was getting kill after kill after kill. It was a fun, fast game where the average life span was less than a minute. In the end, I had about 52 points, with one friend at 50 and the other closer to 40 (I also died a lot less than both of them). It felt good to finally win a round. I’m expecting severe retaliation the next time we play.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Cutting it close 

I got my hair cut today. It had been about ten weeks since my last cut, which is about standard because I usually don’t feel like getting it cut again until it becomes irritatingly shaggy. In this case, it was about two inches on top, and just way too long on the sides. There are two things that I love about having a new hair cut. First, I get the sides clipped with a #1, which is a 1/8" guard, and the short stubble it leaves behind is not only cool (temperature-wise), but also fun to rub. Second, usually getting a haircut means that, while I can comb my hair, it won’t make any difference for about two or three weeks. This time, I got it cut to an inch an a half on top, instead of just an inch, so that dream is already over.

Also, in response to a request, I’ve been growing out my sideburns for the last little while. I hate them, but I agreed not to shave them off until after I got my hair cut. So, in the next few days, they’re history.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

My Civic Duty 

I’m getting very anxious to have a new car. My current vehicle serves me well enough, but it’s 15 years old, and even if it were in top shape, it’s missing some important things like 4 doors, air conditioning, cruise control, and a fifth gear. So, I’ve looked around, and I’ve found a dream car. I want a Honda Civic Hybrid. It’s a gas/electric hybrid car that has the same body and general specs as the traditional Civic, but it gets about half again better gas milage.

When I tell people this, I’m often asked why I don’t want to get a VW diesel car. They get similar milage, and these days diesel fuel is cheaper than gasoline. That’s not the point. The point is that the hybrids are cool, in a profoundly geeky way. This car has an impressive instrument panel that tells you just how much the batteries are being charged or drained.

And most important, it has four doors and air conditioning.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

An Identity in Crisis 

I’ve had a title for this page for months, even though it took me a while to remember that. When I first set it up, and until just a few minutes ago, I had it titled "Confessions of an Egregious Mind" which is utter nonsense. I wasn't happy with this, and so I just remembered something that happened a few months ago.

I was playing pool with some friends (feel free to sing about trouble, with a capital T...), and having a great time making witty comments and talking trash, as we always do. Well, as we were putting things away at the end of the evening, someone tossed the chalk onto the table, inciting an inquiry to whether or not it came up 'snake eyes.' Amid a brief discussion on whether or not that expression can apply to a single die, I managed to mix biblical symbolism with a wise expression, and said something that I thought was quite clever. Immediately everyone in the room busted up laughing, and almost as immediately, I realized what I had said. To make a long story short, that day, I decided on a name for this page, even though this page didn't exist yet. Now my ramblings have a proper title to work under, and not some silly perversion of an already ostentatious movie title.

Welcome to the Garden of the Blind.

For the record, the subtitle has been around from the beginning. At least I wasn't totally off when I created this thing.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Quiddle me this 

This evening, I was looking for a game to play, and ended up with Quiddler. It’s a game I got for Christmas, and had only played once. The game consists of a deck of cards, each bearing one or more letters (common letter combinations like QU, ER, and CH are put on cards). The object is to use all of your cards to form valid words of 2 or more letters. It plays very much like rummy in that respect (or like Phase 10, for those who don’t know where we got that game). Christmas morning, my brother and I sat down for a game, and quickly discovered that, while the game has a wonderful concept, it doesn’t work well in practice. It turns out that it’s far too easy to form words with all your cards. For example, a random dealing of 10 cards gives U, B, F, Z, O, V, A, L, A, and W. For my turn, I draw a Y, and then form the words OVA, FLAW, and BUY. I discard the Z, and my turn (and the round) is over. It’s disappointing to see a great idea not work out, but it turns out that it’s just way too easy to play. Of course, there is scoring involved, and that adds a (small) element of challenge and skill to the mix. The game is made by the creators of Set, which is a wonderfully simple and yet complex game. Maybe I'll get it next year.

Friday, February 13, 2004

How to be a very boring person 

I just realized that my life is really boring these days. I don’t get out of the house, except to go visit a friend. Perhaps the worst part is that I don’t mind. I’m quite happy with how things are going, except that I’m unemployed and penniless. It’s not really a fairy tale existence, but then I’ve never really believed in fairy tales. I should remember that for almost an entire year, I only left my apartment for school and other types of necessary activities, and I usually only left my room for eating-related purposes. I wear shorts year round, and yet my legs are pasty white, with no discernable difference between the thighs (where no sun ever shines) and the calves, which are always exposed.

On a related note, my plans for Valentine's Day this year include spending a quiet evening with my significant other, and her parents. I've had complaints that it's not romantic, but when they turn their backs, I mock them for not having a broad enough sense of what's romantic. I'm really not a romantic sort of person, but somehow I've convinced her that I am romantic. I also hate dogs, but the family dog loves me. Maybe I'm just not the person I think I am. In which case, I must lead a very exciting life.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

An Alarming Introduction 

I've tried to make regular contributions to an online corpus, but I found that I didn't have much time to write the kinds of lengthy entries I would make (not even once a month), and it was awfully hard to try to be funny without being hopelessly pathetic. Having given up on that, I've finally broken down and started a web log. I suppose that's a common sort of story. At least I've heard it before. Now, I can write shorter entries and tackle all those things I've wanted to rant about, even if I don't have enough to say about them to make for a decent entry in my old system.

This morning, my sister was moving, and my mother was trying to get me to wake up and help. She took this really loud personal alarm (the kind that women carry to scare off rapists), and set it off outside my door. I got up and got dressed, and decided that it wasn't really that loud after all. So, I crawled back into bed and covered my head with a pillow, so that the sound was just a loud throbbing instead of a piercing shriek. I was almost back asleep when she finally came down and turned it off. Then, I got up. My two points were that first, I won't be forced out of bed (a point which I didn't really make that well, since I got dressed anyway, which I wouldn't have done without the alarm going off), and second, I have a much higher threshold for enduring annoying noises than most people.

Of course, if my sister would just have the common decency to move in the afternoon, we wouldn't have had to endure any of this nonsense.

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