March 30, 2004


Have you ever had that vague, distracted feeling that Time is not only a sentient being, but is laughing at you?

Allow me to demonstrate. After I got back from lunch, I laid down on the couch to read my book, knowing full well that I would fall asleep. I did, and it seemed like I had a large number of strange dreams when I woke up and looked at my watch. I had slept approximately 5 minutes. I drifted back to sleep, and thought I'd only closed my eyes for 5 minutes when I woke up and noticed that I'd had a 45-minute nap.

What makes it more interesting is that I then proceeded to fall back into a semi-catatonic state I sometimes find myself in. In this state, I am able to look at my watch, but entirely unable to hold together any sort of cohesive thought structure. When it's time for me to get up and go to work, despite the fact that I have not looked at my watch recently, I suddenly become wide awake.

Either there's an alarm clock in my head that can warp time around it, or Time is laughing at me. I'm really not sure which.

Posted by Ardith at 01:49 PM | TrackBack

March 28, 2004

Op-Amps and Virii

Once upon a time, there was a bright young student taking Electronics II. As part of the course, she was required to find 3 "useful websites" pertaining to an assigned topic. She learned several things during the process:

1. 'Op-amp models' is a vague term. Vague terms are not nice for assignments.

2. The majority of links brought up for such a search term in Google are PDF files. Unfortunately, these do not by the broadest stretches of the imagination qualify as 'websites', although they may be quite useful.

3. Finding the third website takes an equal amount of time to the sum of the squares of the first two times.

In other bright and happy news of the day, there's a clever new little virus making its way around campus. It says something to the effect of "You have been using your email account improperly. It will be terminated. Read the attachment for further information." Because, clearly, you can say things in an attachment which you cannot say in an email. These precious little things are even signed by "the team". So endearing.

Unfortunately, the happy little attachments are now being eaten up by the big, nasty LU network email scanner. So sad. And they tried so hard to make it in this cruel world, too.

In fact, this whole situation is incredibly applicable to the internet as a whole. One thinks of all the poor, down-trodden spammers who get their innocent little comments blocked by blogs all over the world. And then there are the noble and intelligent script-kiddies who are stopped in their tracks by vicious firewalls, intent on blocking their every means of entry. Last but not least, there are the poor Nigerian nationals needing only a little help, and desperately trying to send emails to everyone on the earth 5 times in order to get it, who are cut off without even a hearing by email spam filters everywhere.

It almost makes me want to break down and cry.

Posted by Ardith at 11:57 PM | TrackBack

March 23, 2004


Funny how the minute I get back from spring break, everything possible lands on my head at once. Two tests, paperwork to finish, decisions to make about summer courses, a gigantic mess concerning moving down the apartments next semester to sort through, and other things which I'm sure I'm forgetting.

And that's just this week. I think I'll go find a nice, quiet insane asylum to hole up in for a month or two.

Posted by Ardith at 03:57 PM | TrackBack

March 21, 2004


There's a storm coming.

Darkness streaked with light. The wind whistles in the trees around you, and you feel, if only for a few brief seconds, as if it will catch you up in its arms.

And then the rain comes. Just a few drops at first; the heralds, bringing fair warning of the deluge to come. But not much warning. Only a minute or two more, and then the heavens open. The fury and the anger that is a thunderstorm crashes and flares around you. The might of the heavens above, sent down in the form of rain, and thunder, and lightning, that we might know how small we truly are.

I think I'll go outside and watch it come in.

It calls, you know.

Posted by Ardith at 01:20 AM | TrackBack

March 19, 2004

The Wanderer Returns

I come back from break, and what am I greeted by?

Comment-spam, of course.


Much better. And now off to the really paranoia-inducing news like this:

Microsoft thinking about buying AOL?

Bother. And just when I'd run out of tinfoil, too.

Posted by Ardith at 05:27 PM | TrackBack

March 17, 2004

Contemplations on a Sunny Afternoon

You know, it's really quite a pity that Spring Break is only one week long. I think I could easily manage to live like this for an entire month.

I've finished Saki, and have decided that he probably should have stuck to short stories. The novels are pretty good, but one gets the impression that he had a rather difficult time dragging a plot out that long.

Ooh. That reminds me. Someday, when I have a house of my own, it will have a backyard with a hammock. This is an absolute necessity. It's rather difficult to spend luscious spring afternoons lounging outside in the hammock with a book if one has no hammock, after all.

My aunt asked me during lunch today if I mind spending so much time by myself. Not that I really do; I sleep all morning while everyone's off at the school, either teaching or being taught, and then I spend a nice relaxing afternoon reading and napping. By the time everyone comes home, I'm ready to be around people again, so it all works out quite well. I think I shall be ready to be back around my friends by the weekend, though.

We went for a walk yesterday evening, just before supper. It was gorgeous weather, and the flowers and landscaping around this part of Tyler are really quite nice. Then, to top it all off, it started raining just as we were getting back. Not raining very hard, but with lovely huge drops. And I'm starting to sound like a English heiress with far too much time on her hands, and not nearly enough to do. That'll be quite enough of that.

I suppose it will be good for me to get back to my studies, after all.

Posted by Ardith at 02:03 PM | TrackBack

March 15, 2004


Today has been a truly wonderful day.

I started it off by sleeping in blissfully until 11:30 this morning. After going to bed at about midnight. I think I shall endeavour to keep this up for the entire week.

Having rolled lazily out of bed, I spent the remaining hour before lunch reading Saki. After lunch, I read more Saki, until I fell asleep on the couch. Having enjoyed a lovely two-hour nap, I continued reading until supper.

Supper, being home-cooked, not SAGA, and made by my aunt, was wonderful. After supper, I read more Saki. If anyone is picking up a common thread here, you are absolutely correct. At this moment in time, I have managed to get through all the short stories, and the first 2 chapters of "The Unbearable Bassington". Which already seems quite promising, by the way.

So, yes. In a nutshell, my entire break thus far has consisted of eating, sleeping, and reading Saki.

Oh, and posting this on an iBook. Working on an iBook is a special experience indeed. Every IT professional should do it at least once. So they understand the truth. The truth being that it isn't really any easier to use than a PC, just different. As evidenced by the fact that I had to ask my uncle how to turn the Airport on.

Oh, well. Such is my life.

Now, the question before the House is, what should I read after I finish The Complete Works of Saki? I have access to P.G. Wodehouse and Dorothy Sayers. As well as various other wonderful things which I haven't read yet.


Life is great.

Posted by Ardith at 10:31 PM | TrackBack

March 08, 2004

Papers and Such

I had some sort of vague idea for a post last night, but since I didn't do anything about it, it promptly slipped away.

Oh, well.

Life continues to be amusing. Over the course of the last week, I have managed to do quite a few things. I gave a presentation on the Anthropic Principle, complete with a short discussion on why what we observe now cannot have any effect on the beginning of the universe, as well as entertaining questions on whether the idea that the universe tends toward the existence of life, especially mankind, is Biblical. And I do mean Biblical with a capital 'B'. All quite fascinating indeed.

I also managed somehow to climb a tree for the first time in probably a year. One of the nicest parts of going to school here in the South is the fact that spring is in full stride at the beginning of March. I love it. It's so nice to be able to walk around in sandals on a regular basis.

Let's see... other notable happenings of late...

Ah, yes. I submitted my paper to a conference, and it was accepted.

I feel quite important now. Or maybe that's just the after-effects of finishing off the box of baklava that my mom sent me for midterms.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes. The paper. It's not terribly long, as I'll have to have it read in about 15 minutes or so. But I did put a lot of work into it, and I'm rather proud of it. Plus, it gave me an excuse to reread "That Hideous Strength" several times. And that's always a good thing. And while I was at it, I volunteered to help out at the conference itself, thus allowing me to skip over the registration fee and get excused absences from all my classes. I'm kind of excited.

All this is very strange, of course, since I'm a Computer Science person. A Computer Science Engineering major, to be exact. And thus the whole 'writing is fun!' thing is still taking awhile to seep into my brain. But writing can be fun, given the right circumstances.

*hunts around for appropriate ending to a thoroughly random post*

Ah, yes. This is the last school week before spring break. I am Officially Happy about that.

Posted by Ardith at 06:37 PM | TrackBack

March 01, 2004

Whatever Works...

Observe. A little-used, quite underrated open source communications protocol.


Obviously, this should be implemented world-wide as quickly as possible.

Brought to you thanks to the Jargon File

And I should clearly get back to writing the outline which is due in Speech tomorrow.

Posted by Ardith at 10:00 PM | TrackBack