Hi mom! I hope you guys enjoyed camping!
Nothing too much new. Just in case any of you were wondering just how much of a geek I am, I thought I'd let you know. The other night, I dropped into bed at about 11:00 or 11:30 or so, intent on doing nothing but falling asleep as quickly and soundly as possible. As I lay there, I started thinking about programming languages, and how easy or difficult it would be to get my computer to understand a new programming language. I still regret not being forced to write a compiler at Georgia Tech, so every now and then I read a bit about it, but so far it just hadn't started to click. Well, unfortunately, it started to click at about 11:30. Truly, I wanted to go to sleep, my brain just wouldn't let me. (This happens with other things too, not just programming.)
The really sad thing is, this kind of occurrence makes me happy, since it convinces me that my mind is gradually recovering from my previous, numbing job. For a while there, I could actually feel myself getting stupider. Having eaten a fair amount of beef while in Britain, I couldn't help wondering whether the first sign of your brain turning into a sponge is that you start getting less and less sharp?
In the keeping-your-brain sharp vein, I highly recommend the book Seeds of Change, by Henry Hobhouse. It's the story of five plants — quinine, sugar, tea, cotton and potatoes — and how they affected history. The more I read, the more narrow and one-sided I realize my history classes have been.
That's it for now. I have to bake some brownies for the coffee house at church tonight, and prepare for playing music at church tomorrow. My method of figuring out which songs to play is half trust, half work, and so far it seems to come out more or less okay. I think brownies take less of both.
Yeah! I just got back from running 3.6 miles (I drove it one way in my car on the way home). Unfortunately that's still more than two and a half miles less than what I'll have to be running on the fourth of July. Fortunately, there's quite a bit of time left. Being the geek that I am, I opened up my computer's spreadsheet program, Gnumeric, and created a quick table to lay out a plan of distances and dates. Looks like I need to add just over 3 tenths of a mile each week to hit 6.3 miles two weeks before the Peachtree. Not too bad. I might even be able to do better than that - if I can hit 6.3 miles earlier, then I can start working on getting my speed up. I think the trick is to run a route where I have to get home to finish — laps just don't seem to work for me!
... "fire" does not matter, "earth" and "air" and "water" do not matter. "I" do not matter. No word matters. But man forgets reality and remembers words. The more words he remembers, the cleverer do his fellows esteem him. He looks upon the great transformations of the world, but he does not see them as they were seen when man looked upon reality for the first time. Their names come to his lips and he smiles as he tastes them, thinking he knows them in the naming.
-- Roger Zelazny, "Lord of Light"
Okay, so I promise to post more than bi-monthly. Sorry about all that - I've been busy.
What provoked me to post today was an article on kids and computers and India. Read it!
In other news, I'm afraid I've been geeking out horribly lately. I have the latest version of Linux installed on my computer, I've networked all the computers in our house to the DSL, and I've been learning about fascinating but esoteric computer science principles like continuations. Don't ask.
Oh, and I've actually been exercising. Something possessed me to sign up for the Peachtree Road Race (10k = 6¼ miles). Although I don't know whether I sent my application in on time, I nonetheless have to be able to run the distance by the 4th of July. Almost every time I've run in the past 3 or 4 years, it's been the 2.2 mile loop around my neighbourhood. I think I've trained my body to run exactly 2.2 miles and no more. When I pass my house again, it's all over. I think I need to find a different route!
The other thing I've been thinking about a lot lately is my reluctance to become close to people. I don't understand it, but I'm tired of it. I think it's partly still holdover from our family leaving everyone we knew behind in 1992 to come to the States. Partly still holdover from being engaged — and then disengaged. Partly still holdover from being misunderstood by not a few people at my old church.
Nothing that isn't common to mankind, I know!
So, that's probably my number one thing to pray about, and trust for, and work on. Being close to folks, and being close to God. And in Atlanta it sure does take work!