*we put the "mmm" in communism


This is the personal blog of Tim. Here, Tim writes on anything he has enough inspiration to finish a post on. That usually ends up being matters of science, pop culture, technology, religion, and philosophy.

This blog is around nine years old, which is over a third of Tim's current age. Back in 2003, it was called "Of Tim: Tim's life - or lack thereof", and it was as bad as you might expect the blog of a freshman in high school to be. Tim hopes that his writing is a little better, these days.

Tim welcomes any input that you, the dear reader, might have. Comments are very much appreciated, especially if you have a dissenting opinion. If you'd like to learn more about Tim, you might want to see his facebook or google+.

Also: Tim is a very avid consumer of various sorts of music. You may be interested in his playlists!

Nobody Loves You!
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No blog posts for five whole weeks. No design tweaks. No nothing. I'll start up again if I have above a 3.2 on my report card at the end of the semester. If not, you'll see me at the end of the year.

Woo change!

EDIT: You know what, screw that. 3.8. It's completely plausible.
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Exquisite Taste
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Music a really strange thing. More for me than most, I've realized, because I don't listen to what's good, I listen to what I feel like. Most of the time, that's techno, but it took me about an hour to figure out what to listen to just now.

Music is one of those things that can really boost my mood. I've come to kind of depend on it while at home, but it's a big distraction if I don't make the right choice. I can't focus while I'm reading if I enjoy the music too much, or if it's too varied in tone. Like just now, I've been reading Catcher in the Rye. Music for the mood? Classical. I don't often pick up the classical stream, but it's pretty nice for times like this. Soothing.

And, in honor of the sign above my monitor that states "I SHALL NOT BE LAZY. :)", I return to my reading.


New pair of glasses: ~$200.
New copy of Starcraft: ~$10.

LazyAmy77: at least you didn't have OWL glasses for six years
LazyAmy77: erg
salandarin: i did, actually
salandarin: but you'll never know that
LazyAmy77: sure I won't
salandarin: dude
salandarin: those pictures
salandarin: top secret
LazyAmy77: mine are in yearbooks all over Ithaca
LazyAmy77: and embarassing
LazyAmy77: ugh
salandarin: mine...aren't!
salandarin: haha
LazyAmy77: rawr
LazyAmy77: i look like a librarian midget on crack
salandarin: right, but what did you look like THEN?
LazyAmy77: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
salandarin: OH NO HE DIDN'T!
LazyAmy77: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Totally, totally priceless. I found that super amusing, anyways.
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The Core of the Hard
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The Olympics this year have not been of Olympic quality. The figure skating is outright boring. Whatever controversy spawned this new scoring system has created a demon child that's definitely not worth watching on TV. I had high hopes that NBC would do a good job of not flooding the television with biographies and whatnot, but nay, they've done just that. Don't get me wrong - I like a few now and then, of interesting people that have interesting lives. But I honestly do not care about the life of every single American athlete. I really don't. I absolutely HATE how EVERY reporter asks an athlete for their favorite olympic moment, or what it feels like to win. All of this reminds me of college mail.

This college mail is insane. Tons of it, all over the place. I've gotten at least thirty letters, and the last time I checked my inbox I had sixty-two unread emails (fifty were colleges). It angers me. What's that, Baldwin-Wallace? You have lots of stories to share with me? Well, I have lots of I-Don't-Care to share with you! No, really. All of these emails and letters are EXACTLY the same. These can't seriously actually be effective tools. Maybe it's a lot less exciting since I'm going to TC3, but, honestly, this stuff is exactly like the Junk Mail program I wrote not a month ago.

So, I hate defending my choice to go to TC3, but I had to do it again.

I had a little argument with Matt and John over TC3 versus Cornell. I stand by my choice not because it's my only choice in the first place, but because I think it's the right one anwyays. Both of them projected the idea that Cornell somehow gives a better education. Define "better", please. Brilliant professors that are only at Cornell for research purposes, and not to teach? Honestly, when I look at some guys, I see people who are working themselves to death. Yes, they're smart. But are they taking three APs (pretty much the max for junior year, unless you're Ryan) because they're that interested in US history, chem/physics, and computer science? Chances are, they want the college credit.

EDIT: as i read the above paragraph over, i kind of noticed i forgot that whole "two years" bit. i meant to imply that the education at TC3 for the first two years is almost as good as Cornell's. hah. whoops.

I have nothing against making life easier, but seriously. Some people take college WAY too seriously. Maybe I don't take it seriously enough. And if I don't, that's my loss.

New design should be done before break is over.
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We Kill Because We Care
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I bring to you another creation in my Blendventures (get it? Blender + adventures = Blendventures!). I had meant to put our little friend amongst his colleagues in the ocean, with a real ocean floor, maybe seaweed, and realistic water. But then, I figured, let's just go with Seaworld. So, here's our friend, in Seaworld.

As I've told a few of you, I got this new chair yesterday. As all of you should know, my previous chair was, in fact, not a chair. The back had broken off and left what was, essentially, an adjustable stool with arms. I shudder to think of what four months of sitting on that thing has done to my posture.

But now, the solution has arrived, in the form of a giant leather managerial chair that my dad found on super sale at Staples.

"Sometimes, all one can do is step back and laugh at the absurdity of it all. However, the jury will note that a fire extinguisher was within easy reach."
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The Parabola of Life
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She's dying.

8:14 AM, February 11 (6 days ago):
"...I just got off the phone with the Falls Home. Mom fell or collapsed (not sure quite how to describe it) in the dining room this morning. The staff roused her and she was talking. They called the paramedics who are taking her to the hospital. They assume it is cardiac related -- her blood pressure was slightly elevated. I will go over a little later this morning to check on her and report back. Meanwhile, let's entrust her to the Lord's strong and wise care."

10:44 PM, February 11(6 days ago):
"...I talked with the primary hospital care physician late this afternoon. He gave me all the time I wanted on the phone to ask questions and talk through mom's situation.

While she is stable now and a-symptomatic, and while the EKG showed little change from the EKG they had on file from last year, the cardial blood work showed evidence that she did have a heart attack this morning. The doctor will not have a clearer idea about the exact severity of the heart attack until some add'l test results come back probably tomorrow. Given the nature of what mom is facing and given a certain degree of possibility of further heart failure (because of her age and her Alzheimers), the doctors wanted guidance on what kind of measures to take to care for her. Jim and I agreed that we should sign a DNR (Do Not Ressusitate) authorization, and we directed the doctors to supportive but non-invasive measure to respond to any further developments. (sigh)

Mom was pretty upset this afternoon while I was visitng her. She didn't know where she was, couldn't understand that she was in the hospital, couldn't remember she'd collapsed and been brought to the hospital in an ambulance, kept jerking the oxygen hose off her face, kept trying to shove tissues into the non-existent pockets of her hospital gown, swatted the hand of the nurse who patted her arm, and generally kept telling me how cruel I was for keeping her imprisoned in this place. So, the nurses were going to check with the doc about upping some of her sedatives to get the old girl to calm down.... which apparently had happened by the time the doctor called me late this afternoon...

...Thank you for your prayers.

8:39 PM, February 12 (5 days ago)
"It's Sunday 8:30pm and I went over to see mom this afternoon. She was a lot calmer today. She was so wired yesterday, I'm sure they had to get out the tranquilizer gun to get her to be still.

I did not talk with the doctor today, but I did go over mom's charts for the day. She had some more chest pains last night, but none today. It looks like she'll be in the hospital for at least one more day unless some more symptoms flare up.

One bit of concern -- she will have to be evaluated before being readmitted to the Falls Home. The evaluation is mostly related to mobility and self-awareness. My hunch it that she will be fine and show enough physical stamina and flexibility as well as mental ability for
self-maintenance (can brush her teeth, dress herself, take herself to the bathroom, etc.) to enable her to return to the Falls Home... but we'll see.

Thanks for your continued prayers.

7:22 PM, February 13 (4 days ago)
"All was quiet today with mom. She reported no chest pains, and nothing alarming showed up on any of the heart monitors... which apparently she managed to keep attached all day. No small miracle.

The doctor will give her another evaluation tomorrow as will the Falls Home to determine whether her independent mobility is significantly changed.

It's likely the doctor will prescribe nitroglicerin for her heart.

She slept a lot today for which the nursing staff was grateful.

And... that's the latest. I did not journey over to see her today since all seemed quiet.

Thanks for your continued prayers."

5:09 PM, February 14 (3 days ago)
"I just got off the phone with mom's primary care doctor and he gave me an update on mom's condition. He confirmed again that the episode on Sat was a heart attack. However, they are continuing to run blood tests and EKG's to determine if the continuing chest pains are an extension of that intitial episode or if they are caused by other things like acid reflux, angina, etc. They won't be able to come to any conclusions about that for another week after they draw more blood for testing.

Mom did have more chest pains this morning, and the doc gave her nitroglycerine to counter that again. If she is free of chest pain tomorrow, he hopes she can return to the Falls Home on Thursday.

If the Falls Home is not convinced that her physical condition fits within their guidelines for residential care, mom will remain in the hospital on "swing care." This is a 10 day - 2 week transitional evaluation period at the end of which the Falls Home can reassess her. If they reaffirm their position that she is now beyond their ability to care for her, then we will need to move her to a nursing home.

So, I guess that means that, given the possibility that she might need to move, I need to scout out some nursing home options. There is one possible location that I think is very suitable quite close to the house, and I will check there. We have one gal in the congregation who lives there as does the mother of another gal in the congregation.

I visited mom today, but she was kinda tired and dopey and not able to converse or concentrate at all, so it was a quick visit. I chatted with the nursing staff and they all seem to think she's doing fine, as long as she's not on a tirade...

...Thank you for your continuing prayers."

Considering that none of that is even reminiscent of my grandmother, I'm going to hope that my the grandmother I know (knew?) and love is up in heaven, and that what's still down here is just a shell of what once was. I feel like I already mourned the loss of Nana three years ago, when her Alzheimer's fully took over. Enough of this. I shall avoid comtemplation and reminiscing until her day is done.

It hurts.
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I Feel the Winter
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I'd really like to go to Italy some time. Ancient Rome is possibly one of my favorite subjects in history, and the terrain is exactly what I go for - hilly, lush, diverse. It's really the only European country (with the Scandanavians - Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway - as the exceptions) that interests me. Not that I would want to live there, but some day, when I'm rich and famous, I could go for it.

I'm really enjoying The Catcher in the Rye. I didn't like it at first, because it was just the monologue of an angsty teenager. As I've read on, however, I realize there's a lot in Holden that's extremely easy to relate to, but there's a complexity to the character that makes it hard to interpret. I had this really interesting discussion with a girl in my English class (as the rest of the class sort of sat there and said nothing) about whether or not Holden is, at heart, untrue to himself and just a coward, or whether he's really emotional/opinionated but unable to express himself in a way that others understand, and is thus forced to comply with the social norms to function. I argued for the latter.

The real point is, this is really the first book I've come across in the high school curriculum that approaches any level of intellectual complexity. Maybe I was just encouraged more by the fact that another person exists that even has the desire to discuss this kind of stuff in detail. I don't mean to say that we actually bothered to continue talking about it after our 45 minutes of class ended; Lord knows that will never happen. Only politics and religion could pull enough interest out of any given acquaintence to permit prolonged discussion.

Things have been very surreal. I've been watching people around me grow up - I've been carefully marking the point at which the line between us and Joe "sixpack" Smith on TV is blurred. I don't doubt my own maturity, but it is strange to watch everything around me continue to grow, but in a very, very demoralizing sense, not change. To illustrate what I mean, look at American histroy. We're discussing the "growth" of industry in the late 19th century in US History, the same "ideas" of the time are inescapably true today. We are owned by "the man", the corporations, "the system", as it were (this is so cliche). I understand why this is, and why this will never change, despite what illusions we may create. The knowledge that humanity is no different than it was at any point in time is very demoralizing, especially in the sense that I will not live to see "better days". Days with less blatant acts of sexism, racism, homophobia, or whatever discrimination of your choice, I will probably see. It will simply be traded off for another culturally acceptable evil that, in time, will morph from the norm to teh ev0l.

Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do, are doomed to watch as it is repeated by those who do not know it.

I could end the post here for dramatic effect, but I feel like noting the fact that nobody will comment on this post - whenever I make these type of posts, the numbers are very low, possibly because nobody can find anything funny to say to break the mood of the post, or because nobody feels like debating whatever I've said. Please, though, I do enjoy discussion. Write thoughts, if nothing else.
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Now Only One Question Remains.
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Benjamin informed me of the possible malcomparison of IIS to Apache. For those offended, I partially defend my comparison. It's not entirely unfair. I don't know squat about IIS, just what I saw as I cruised for the solution to my Apache problem.

And for those questioning the artistic talent behind my render, I want you to note that it is neither a depiction of anyone's obscenities, nor is it just a pentagon with cones. Please, if you will, note the following:
  • Waves. The water. It's wavy.
  • Reflections. They're accurate and wavy!
  • Stars! I originally made them multicolored, but Benjamin noted that it looked odd, so they're white. Just like me.
  • A fluent horizon. There's no awkward transition between the water and the horizon.
  • Textures, on both the water and the castle (yes, it is a castle). The water, if you notice, is actually the background for this very blog. It worked nicely. The castle's texture is a marble algorithm that comes with Blender.
The actual objects weren't super hard to make, although that hole for the door took me a while to figure out.

And yes, I do realize it's still not good, but there's no reason to be mean (COUGHZACHCOUGH).


Another topic I have not yet covered is the Gumball 3000. I've told a few of you about this event, but not most of you. Most of you probably don't care, but, it's this super awesome annual rally in Europe. The group that runs the Gumball 3000 works out deals with the local law and government to allow the cars enrolled in the rally to forgoe any traffic laws of the given country. The only country to deny this thus far is Hungary (the beauty of that one is that it was the first result from "dancing hungarians"), throughout 7 years of this rally. So, people fly in from all over with their street-illegal cars, and race 3000 miles across Europe. It's so much cooler than the crap you might see in movies such as "2 Fast 2 Furious".

Speaking of competitions, there's these Olympics. As you should all know, I dearly love the Olympics. Dearly. I enjoy the winter competition a lot as there's lots of skiing, which I'm actually good at, and can appreciate the skillz that I don't have.

With that, I leave you to celebrate.

And that is, what 'chu gonna do with all that junk? All that junk up in yo' trunk?
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Ringing in the New Year
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In the time I've spent vacationing away from you rainbow sloths, I've picked up some mad 3D-modeling skills. My first creation worthy of releasing into the public? Just look.

I did this using Blender, a masterful FOSS project to behold. If you venture towards using Blender, I'd strongly suggest starting with the tutorials. Note the word "strongly" in bold.

That said, other things must be done.
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I'm so white I can't even see.

I demand money. Lots, and lots.

I can't believe I do this for free.


For those interested in what went wrong, it was in fact Windows' fault. Apparantly something I installed triggered the desire for Windows to start the IIS services (Microsoft's version of Apache), which are highly magical and almost virus-like in the way they operate. They do not show up in the Task Manager's process list, nor do they display as using any ports in the command prompt. Yet, in fact, they were hogging up port 80, Apache's default port. After turning off the services and dozens of installs and uninstalls of Apache 1.3 and 2.0.55 (2.2 has no .exe available yet), Apache wouldn't add itself to Window's service list, probably after its run in with IIS.

I'm working on a bug with the PHP at the moment, but otherwise, things are just dandy. I may redo the graphicals over the break next week, but that is a mere pondering. Yes, a mere pondering.


Just like your mom.

EDIT: Just so none of you get this crazy idea that I like you fools, I didn't read anyone's blog unless they had an RSS feed. And even those times were sparing, as my lacking presence over at the place that's serving the roast duck, with the mango salsa, for those silly cavemen.

SIlly, silly cavemen.
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