December 12

Dragged myself out of the suite around 9 to do some errands. Fry's return policy is fortunately quite liberal (the "it's incompatible with my computer" worked quite well). Made approximately 0 progress on anything else until well after lunch. Discovered a post office box overflowing with holiday junk. And a nice message from the university telling me I've satisfied the general education requirements. Thanks... but I knew that over a year ago.

Made it up to the practice rooms to do a bit of flute practice, and then it was off for the evening's gig. Gig? Yes, Magic Flutes was invited to play at some important people's gathering. The place was way the heck back in the Los Altos h(H)ills, an apparently recently constructed neighborhood of obscenely large houses. Aside from my almost starting on the wrong piece halfway through, the performance went fine. An enterprising fellow with some type of Nikon DSLR took pictures throughout, which amused me for some reason.

Then, back to the dorm, where in the space of about 3 hours, most of my remaining midterm work got finished. Went to bed tired.

December 11

I was going to do something interested during the day, but decided against it. Rather, I managed to further disorder my room (in the process losing, hopefully not permanently, a letter of recommendation), and catch up on more of the week's exciting news. I was less successful trying to find a web-design app that doesn't turn my laptop's hard disk into a banshee. I've nothing against Dreamweaver, it's just that the sqealing of the disk makes it very hard to concentrate.

Soundness and completeness of propositional logic accompanied a close-reading of the latest from the Iranian foreign office (currently in the process of redefining 'unpredictable'). The food at dinner was bought pizza. Guess they didn't get anybody to volunteer. Ugh. Oh, and Stanford's service workers are striking tomorrow. I wish them well, but after a misleading e-mail from the Dean of Students, opinion has definitely gone against them here. Our generation lacks the necessary skepticism (and contempt) for authority.

December 10

Late night, late morning. Our T.V. has gone bonkers, which means nobody will be watching "Law and Order" for a while. Good for productivity, bad for morale. Explored the blogging world, worked on the logic final, and really didn't do much else. Dinner at CPK was extremely crowded. Despite having a reservation, we still didn't get seated for 20+ minutes. Then again, it was a lot better than dining hall left-overs (which are, all things considered, not too bad themselves).

December 9

Had a frantic session of stamping and addressing envelopes this morning. The last of the grad. school applications is now safely on its way (oh wait, I forgot one, damn...). Met with a prof. to discuss my application essays. The advice was the usual: move the important stuff to the front. Oh well. Guess I know better for next time. Spent a couple of hours in the afternoon making astonishingly little headway on the logic final. After dinner, there was an attack of insight on a few of the problems, so it wasn't a totally wasted effort.

Wanted to go see "Syriana" too, but of course, the theatre we went to was sold out. So we ended up going to another theatre, and waiting a good hour for the next showing, which was nowhere near full. Good movie despite the hassle, especially since I picked up a few words of Arabic and Farsi. Still don't know any Urdu though. I just object to the cliché of a merely ignorant, or even genuinely benign American policy in the region. Most of the time, it's ignorant _and_ malign. And no, FYI, the word Syriana is not mentioned in the film, at least not that I heard.

December 8

Today felt, well, frantic. First in the morning, there was the flute practice, followed by a quick lunch, dropping off my Arabic final, more flute practice, a flute lesson, and finally a brief pause. From mid-afternoon on, I was at flute choir practice, eating a late dinner, watching half an episode of "Law and Order", starting the logic final, and finishing up 3 more graduate school applications. Went to sleep pretty late.

December 7

Last real day of class. Somehow managed to be up and off to logic class on time. Today was all about Godel's Incompleteness Theorem, and it was nice to get a somewhat less handwavy explanation than the previous time I'd seen it (summer after 11th grade, in another philosophy course at Stanford). Afterwards, did a bucketload of Arabic studying before class. Class was mostly discussing the quarter (not in Arabic), and eating food (which, since I'd already had a big lunch, was not too enjoyable). Received the take-home final, and promptly went home and did it. Received a second opinion on my 'statement of purpose' so spent most of the evening customizing my generic essay to the various programs I am applying to, and actually went so far as to submit 4 of the apps. Yay! Oh, and happy Pearl Harbor day to America. All things considered, I'd say the Japanese have recovered well from that blunder.

December 6

Not feeling too good today. A combination of weather and last night's dinner, I suspect. Had the morning to practice flute, study Arabic, and work on research stuff. Had the afternoon to do more of the same, as well as grad. school application administrativia. One of my suite-mates had a soldering iron, so we successfully overclocked my slug (NSLU2) as well. 266MHZ of raw power (okay, my SSH transfer rates are up from 800KB/s to 1.4MB/s - not that fast, but a lot better). In the evening, made the mistake of wandering out to the common room, and was sucked in to watching several episodes of Law and Order. Which is a bit ironic since I'm about as anti-police as anybody can legally be. Television is indeed corrupting.

December 5

Got up early to finish logic homework. Finished. Sort of. Class was devoted to proving the completeness of propositional logic. Not especially intricate, but the introduction of yet more new symbols didn't exactly win my heart. Arabic class was mostly doing what we had planned for the week before, when the prof. was sick. He agreed to write a letter of rec. for my fellowship applications, so I distributed a good chunk of paperwork to him too. Had a meeting with my advisor as well, and then an afternoon of random business. Monday night Middle East Issues group met too, and despite the high percentage of no-shows (people who claimed they'd come and didn't) it went all right. I just feel bad discussing Egypt when nobody in the room really knew much about it. Folks did have ideas for improving the group, so hopefully we can do so next quarter.

December 4

Most of Sunday was spent trying to coax my slug (NSLU2) to boot off the 200GB disk. In practice, this meant I had to back up all the data, format the thing, and upgrade the firmware. Worse yet, the firmware upgrade required a Linux based installer, and that in turn required me to install Linux on my laptop. Still, OpenSlug 2.7 is now running zeta.myownlittleworld.com. Even managed to install a compiler and build hello world. Building pi_css5 was __slow__, and the resulting executable was even slower. Apparently the chip has no FPU. Dissected the slug as well, which was hard, since the case is all plastic with tabs, not screws. Yes, I actually did work too. Figured out all the details for my 7 fellowship applications, and have paperwork all set up to distribute. Plus almost finished the logic assignment (due tomorrow). And I thought induction was supposed to be easy (well, it is, except for when it isn't, like this case).

December 3

Another morning, another draft of grad. school essays. These ones were presentable enough to send off for comments. Hopefully, they can soon be dispatched on their merry way. Tried to go back over the last couple months worth of Arabic. It's actually a lot more than it seems. Which is why a lot of it still doesn't make sense. Grumble. Grumble.

December 2

Still cold and wet. Looks like a lot of the trees on campus have lost limbs, courtesy of yesterday's tempest. Arabic class was quite productive: we translated an entire paragraph (English to Arabic), and wrote it down. May not seem like much, but believe me, it took all period. We weren't supposed to use the books either, which meant that everybody soon learned who in class had a good grasp of vocabulary and verb conjugation. Vegetated for the rest of the afternoon. Dinner was uninspiring, but in the evening filled out most of the remaining grad. school app. questions. Now all that's left are the bloody essays.

December 1

Cold, windy, and wet. Sounds like fun, right? Stayed merciful sheltered in the morning (mostly in the music department's practice rooms). Getting to Arabic class was a wet experience, as was going to and from my flute lesson. The worst part was driving to flute choir though: traffic was horrendous, and the wind kept trying to move the car into neighboring lanes. When I arrived, I learned (of course) that practice had been cancelled. Instructor has the flu. Okay, so I could be worse off. Still grumpy though. Returned to the dorm in time for dinner. The suitemate who always leaves his window open came home to a very wet desk. What a day.

Send comments or questions to zdjahromi@zgmail.com (remove the letter 'z' from the address before sending).

Pages last updated: September 11, 2005

valid xhtml