February 1 Planned to go up to the city with friends. Unfortunately, I got up 3 hours earlier than they, so spent the morning instead trying to find MPEG2 -> QuickTime conversion tools for MacOS X. If they do exist, they're certainly well-hidden. Finally, in midafternoon, we headed off to San Fran. To avoid traffic, we parked in Daly City, and took BART the rest of the way. This worked surprisingly well, and we had a nice walk around Chinatown. New year's festivities were a bit on the light side. Then up to the Castro, to eat a quick dinner and watch (for me the second time) John Junkerman's "Power and Terror: Noam Chomsky in Our Time." It was almost better the second time through. While Chomsky remains, there's at least one voice of reason left west of the Atlantic.
February 2 Woke up late (another Risk match last night, took almost 3 hours...). Went on a walk up to the (radar) dish in the morning, with my camera. A beautifil spring day. My dad got to try out his medium-format camera, I to try and see if I still remembered anything about taking pictures. We shall see. In the afternoon, returned to the dorm, picked up my work, and ran off to the library. Seven hours spent doing homework. Finally realized it was late around 11PM, and left to grab dinner. At most of a 12 inch pizza myself. Should I be proud?
February 3 Up. Tried to stay awake through Physics. Six hours isn't really that much sleep :-) Math lecture was unusually interesting, and also quite applicable to the homework I sweated over yesterday. Afternoon 'til 4PM spent in library. Most of the way through math now. Yay. Flute choir was the evening's activity, and then back to the library for more reading.
February 4 Started the morning by oversleeping. After IHUM lecture, which I was largely sensible through (a major improvement), managed to eat lunch at the regular time. And life is off and going again. Afternoon spent in the lovely environs of the library. I'm actually becoming fond of the library now though, especially after finishing math homework. Made it back to the dorm. for dinner. Tonight was Chinese New Year night, which meant an incredibly long line. So it was back to soup and salad. And then back to orchestra, where I finally managed to stay in tune for more than half the piece. Got sidetracked into attending the SCLU meeting. Thus my clever scheme to do physics homework was foiled. Went to sleep too late.
February 5 Made it to all my classes today. Not too impressive. Returned Physics midterm started the day off on a sour note. American history was watching a Civil War documentary. I had no idea that the 4th of July wasn't celebrated in Vicksburg between 1864 and 1944. Math was multivariable change-of-variable formula, a topic which I've always been quite fuzzy about. The afternoon turned out much more pleasant than I expected. IHUM section worked out well, and Physics homework was almost straightforward. Wow. Much of the evening was wasted in attempting to set up successful junk-mail filtering on my mailboxes. Wasted I say, because I really should be getting started reviewing for the IHUM midterm Friday.
February 6 Flute practice. History section. Flute practice. Flute lesson. The practice appears to have paid off. Instead of sounding horrible like last weak, I sounded half-decent. Must practice more often. Spent afternoon trying to do work. Sort of did. Same with the evening. A long, unproductive day.
February 7 Are the entries getting kind of grey and repetitive. I think so. I'll try to remember not to do that. Stuck to the hot-chocolate-and-bagel breakfast, and skipped morning classes to do a bit of work. Disliked IHUM midterm. Writing an essay on the impact of money on medieval western Europe just seems, well, broad. In the evening watched The Red Violin. Tried to get a room in the History corner, but that was occupied by high school debate teams. Boo. Found a room in Wallenberg hall instead. Afterwards, explored the building thoroughly. Motion and light detectors in every room. Whee! 2 hours, half a Risk game and 8 math problems later, I slept.
February 8 Yawn. I woke up in the morning. I had some sort of a plan, but it didn't get too much of my attention. In the early afternoon, I ran off to see the ol' high school's quiz bowl team compete on T.V. Felt strange to be in the audience after 3 years in a row on the stage. Guess I'm getting old... Resisted the occasional urge to shout out answers, and instead tried to be loud and encouraging (like the cameraman said he wanted the audience to be). Lots of fun with the orange pom-poms! The match was a good one, in that HMB won. Guess they make it to round 3. Hope they do better than we did last year. Came back in the afternoon, met with some friends for dinner and then Risk. En route, picked up the original Mac version of Myst for $1.90 ($2.06 plus tax) at Fry's. Cheapest game I've every bought. Wow.
February 9 I also woke up this morning. Funny how that happens. Wasted the entire morning, and then added part of the afternoon. Did go to the library to study for my American History midterm. Realized that I am not made to write essays. I cannot for the life of me connect ideas. Dreams of maybe being a history major start to evaporate. Next goal: IHUM reading. The trial of Galileo. Boy, there's a lot of it. Guess the schmucks who ran the Inquisition weren't quick on judgments. Did very little in the evening before going to bed around 2AM. Circadian rhythms? Guess we've a bit of work to do.
February 10 Mondays are always tough. Skipped Physics lecture (again) to study unsuccessfully for history test. Essay topics were my two least favorite. In retrospect, I wrote about the wrong one (gender roles instead of freedom, come on!), but it probably didn't matter too much. Was rather impressed how much writing I can crank out in an hour. Math lecture was pretty cool though. It's strange, but all the physics concepts make more sense when presented in math class. Not hard, when they never make sense in Physics class! Afternoon was spent in the library. Was going to skip dinner, but a friendly face dug me out of hiding. Evening of flute choir was fine, save I was quite sleepy. Then to the library to study again. Started falling asleep, so returned to the dorm, and completed the task.
February 11 Another not so good day. Made it to all my morning classes. Also made it to orchestra. On the other hand, utterly failed to accomplish anything else of note during the day. I now know (1) I dislike physics. (2) I really dislike physics and (3) I hate the physics book(s) I have. Okay, enough ranting :-) On the other hand, after orchestra, the 3 hours spent in the library allowed me to finish reading of Galileo's trial (and one of his defenses of heliocentrism). As always, my opinion of organized religion sank after these revelations.
February 12 Today it rained. Or poured. Metaphorically and physicslly. Began making it to physics through a small rainstorm. Discovered my bike seat is way loose. Went to all morning classes, lunch, and my afternoon discussion. My primary comment about that is the fact the we seem to spend a good chunk of time talking about stuff which nobody has historical evidence to back up. I'm all for opinions. But in a history class, facts are nice too. Even the dry ones. Flute practice. Was about to embark on homework, when I learned a co-worker of my dad was close-by, so I rushed off to a seminar on "Education in 2010" and met him afterwards. Discussed compilers, computers, education, a bit about history, and so forth. Came back for a quick dinner, and then working on homework. Spent an ungodly amount of time discussing drag. After the house meeting (where we were introduced to the J-Ram, our newest dorm acquisition), spent a while complaining on the phone. Then checked my e-mail and realized things hadn't been as bad as I thought. There's always room to go downhill.
February 13 Waking up was tough this morning. As Still, after getting up, playing flute, and making it past lunch, decided that Thursdays have their merits. After turning in math homework, returned to the dorm, to discover that there was a talk on "Education in 2010." Nothing too new described there, but some good points made nonetheless. For dinner, a bunch of folks went off to FroSoCo (Freshman-Sophomore College) for variety. Definitely found variety. The dining hall had a nice atmosphere, which made up for the so-so food. After dinner, managed to almost finish physics homework. A friend needed a ride to the airport, so it was off to Oakland in the evening (in a borrowed car). Made it back to dorm in one piece (my first experience driving in a borrowed vehicle...), and slept the sleep of the dead.
February 14 Got up at 5:20. That's AM. Took a quick shower. Dressed in my best (and only) dress clothes. At 6:10, all the guys in the dorm (minus 8 or so) went upstairs to wake up the girls. Then music in the lounge. Then the Mendicants. After the Valentine's Day festivities, talk turned to the folks who hadn't gotten up. All I can say is some doors got tied shut with climbing rope, and I had a lot of fun with a water gun. By 10AM Physics, I was barely awake, and after-lunch IHUM was an interesting test in self-denial. Woke up enough by late afternoon to resume programming for the first time in many months. Managed to create a non-functional linked-list before dinner. Went to see "The Recruit" after dinner. Was pleasantly surprised that the movie actually had a modicum of plot and acting. Came back, and debugged, late into the night.
February 15 Did not get up at 5:20. More like 9. Spent nearly two hours doing more debugging. My optimization attempt actually pessimized the program, so better luck next time. Went off for a walk with my dad at Foothill Park in the morning. A very nice morning, during one of the few months which much of the area looks green. I was always partial to green myself. Went home in the evening, during the onslaught rainstorm. Dinner, followed by math homework. Some of those math problems actually are interesting. I don't know when I went to bed, since my I've left my watch in the dorm (and our house is noticably devoid of clocks).
February 16 A nice relaxed day. No "tyranny of the watch." Long slow breakfast, long morning of math problems, long afternoon of physics problems, etc. Resurrected the ol' PowerBook 5300 to check on e-mail. 32MB of RAM just doesn't go as far as it used to. Found a copy of Netscape 0.93 beta. Discovered it was a lot faster than Netscape 4.8. And a lot smaller. And it crashed real fast, but I digress. Listened to some interesting radio programs, before bed.
February 17 Slept late again. Had my first pancakes in many moons. Odd how I haven't gotten to try them at the dorm. Yet. All morning, and most of the afternoon, was spent on physics. I'm achieved a sort of vague understanding of most of the stuff. Now it's just a matter of filling in a lot of gaps this week. Didn't realize how late it was 'til the sun started to go down. Headed back to school immediately, had a quick dinner, and the flute choir. Evening was spent in the library. Can't really say the day was a success though, despite successfully locating MSIE for Mac, 2.0beta (I'm developing an old browser fetish).
February 18 Normal schooldaze. Morning's IHUM lecture was by a guest lecturer. Very well done. Am considering taking a course about the English Civil War. Made the mistake of attending Math section again. TA spent half an hour incorrectly explaining a homeowork probably. Wow. Spent the afternoon trying to read The English Levellers, a curious collection of pamphlets from the English Civil War. The Levellers are an awful lot like modern liberals, in their aims. Amazing how much of their suggestions made it into the constitution. Dinner in the afternoon, followed by orchestra.
February 19 Woke up. Went back to sleep. Repeated process a few more times. Nearly missed class in the morning. Aka a good explanation of why staying up 'til 2AM talking has its downside. Woke up full in time for math. Learned of another group of English radicals in the afternoon. "Diggers." Hmm... Managed to finish reading the "Leveller" pamphlets in the library. Very time consuming reading. But fun. If only John Lilburne were alive today. Freeborn John would have a think or two to say on this state of affairs.
February 20 I have physics homework to finish. An unpleasant realization. As such, today 'til 3PM was solid work. From 3PM on, didn't do much of note. Got MacOS 8.1 installed on BasiliskII for the umpteenth time. A number of other experiments were less successful. Including getting to bed early. Earlier will had to do.
February 21 Fridays are the times which try men's souls. Mine, anyway. Nonetheless, I behaved, woke up, and made it to all my classes. Watched a movie about the Diggers in IHUM. "Diggers" were folk who attempted to live off the English common lands during the English Civil War. Essentially tried to practice communism. Were brutally suppressed by local authority. As always, religious authority played far too big a role in this. I simply don't understand. If religion is supposed to help the poor, then why are they always helping the local authorities trample even more on the downtrodden? Silly me, I know, to question the word of god.
February 22 Went to the library early in the day. Left somewhat later. In fact, the sun had largely managed to disappear. How nice. Missed breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Bad habit. Became entangled in an attempt to build gcc 2.7 on MacOS X. Did not succeed. Later, tried to check a Monty Python DVD from the library (which did have them). Unfortunately arrived right after closing time. Instead, spent the rest of the evening trying to optimize ackermann using hash functions. Finally, discovered a copy of Michael Moore's "Bowling for Columbine" and saw some of it. My respect for the movie grows on second viewing.
February 23 Sunday. Need more be said? Well, maybe. Did a lot of physics review in the morning. And in the afternoon too. Around three, went out for a walk, and lunch. Didn't quite make it to the radar. A friend dropped over after that, so we wandered around downtown Palo Alto, and later around Stanford. The merits of various methods of cryptography and different ways to deal with classwork were key topics of conversation.
February 24 Oh gee. Spent six hours on the paper. Net result: 6 pages and one very large headache. Maybe spreading this out would've been a better idea. But that would make far too much sense. Headache was cured by a large dinner. First time that's happened. Started physics homework earlier than the night before for the first time in a while.
February 25 A kinda sorta mixed up day. Went to my first classes. Lunch was with the advising group at the faculty club. Good food. After lunch, ran off to talk to the instructor about my IHUM paper. Came to a number of potentially useful realizations. Guess that there is a distinction between arguing something which is arguable, and arguing something that's just plain wrong. I hope I didn't stray too far toward the latter.
February 26 Began the morning with Physics test. Wow. I actually know something. That or the test was ridiculously easy. A possible combination. I'm just thrilled that I had time to answer all the questions. IHUM section in the afternoon, gave way to a relaxed afternoon. In fact all was dandy 'til about 7:03PM, when I learned that orchestra dress rehearsal was in 10 minutes, and the concert was Friday night. I really should pay better attention to what's going on around me.
February 27 Ernst Bloch. Odd name. Oh yeah, music I'm playing. History class caused a lightbulb to go off in my head. If today is like the end of the guilded age, then is Bush like McKinley? And who'll assassinate him. I guess Cheney'll qualify as TR, in a twisted sort of way. After flute lesson, returned to the dorm. Spent considerably time cramming on math. Midterm left me feeling pretty good. Made the unwise comment to others: "It wasn't so bad, I finished about 20 minutes early." Oops. Orchestra dress rehearsal went fairly well. My counting skills are slowly returning. Returned to the dorm, and finished physics homework. Discovered a number of slightly irritated persons. Apparently they didn't share my opinion on the math... Note to self: keep big mouth shut.
February 28 Ouch. I can't wake up. Had the strangest dreams last night. Both Physics and Math entered one ear and exited through the other. Not a good sign, but heck, I'm tired. IHUM discussion went surprisingly well. I'm not the only one who thinks Poullain de la Barre is more than a feminist 200 years ahead of his time. Valiant plans to start homework in the afternoon degenerated to a series of distcc experiments. Dinner provoked a curious discussion of affirmative action. Then, off for orchestra concert. The Beethoven Piano Concerto was really long. Next was intermission followed by Stravinky where I made a number of boo-boos. Phooey. Finally was the Beethoven Choral fantasy which was quite impressive. My inability to find a bow tie (or a tux) didn't seem to have an ill impact. Went home for the night, and realized half-way home, "where is my absentee ballot?"