• • Trucksess.com • •

Journal 2002-02

Current entries

2002-02-28, Thu (Day 581, temperature at 10:00: 18.8°C, difference: -4.7°C): I woke up hungry but didn’t have any non-snack food so I went to the Co-op. I didn’t find ‘on the go’ bars that would be good for my compressed morning breakfasts but I did find granola bars. When I got them I remembered hearing from others that granola bars aren’t that good so I was cautious but I still needed to try.

I went for a walk following lunch and before going to class I worked on The Phoenix Online loadpdf.php script. Semantics was enjoyable for me today but self-control was less so since I was getting tired by then. I continued working on the loadpdf.php script when I was in my room, not finishing until after 01:45.

Doing this very simple script which logs the PDF request and then passes on the requested file took so long since I really wanted to send a server-side redirect to the PDF. However, with a server-side redirect Internet Explorer would set the filename of the PDF to loadpdf.php instead of the name of the PDF itself. If I sent a client-side redirect it did work like I wanted it to. I just had to convince myself that no server-side redirect code would work and it took some time to try the different possibilities.

I went to The Phoenix editorial board meeting at 19:00. I talked with Nathan following the meeting so I didn’t get back to my room until 00:00. Nathan updated the startup and shutdown scripts on the publications office client machines to keep trashed items for ten days and write the IP addresses of the client machines to files so I can exclude them from logging and/or the stat pages.

2002-02-27, Wed (Day 580, temperature at 10:01: 23.5°C, difference: +1.0°C): I dream I am at lunch with one session in the Sharples big room. The tables are positioned so I am sitting at one of the tables near the center facing up the hill. I am sitting with a few other people of mixed genders. I am talking about professions both social and not. I also talk about geeks that get affirmative action since they are less inclined to go into social fields.

The second session of lunch in my dream was in the small room. I was facing up the hill but I kept turning around as some woman was sitting at the table behind me.

In the afternoon I attempted to catch up on Gnutella forums posts but didn’t get through all of them. I went to the visual perception lab in Papazian at 15:00 for a different psych experiment from the one on 2002-02-24.

I was still reading posts before the first Phoenix deadline so I went up to the student publications office after 17:00. I got back from the office at a reasonable time but I still wanted to update the page templates to include document size logging and search engine content exclusion. I also wanted to write a PHP page that would load a PDF and log the request in the process.

While looking up a manual entry for a PHP call I noticed there was a critical security update for PHP. I e-mailed the SCCS about it and they acted very rapidly but in the process they disabled PHP, which caused havoc for The Phoenix Online. PHP pages wouldn’t parse but would instead trigger a save dialog that would lead to a file containing the source code. Worse I needed to do this week’s issue.

I complained and the SCCS turned PHP on again after 23:00 with a configuration change to work around the security problem. In the meantime I temporarily redirected the top page to the 2001-12-06 issue since that was the last issue that was exclusively in server parsed HTML.

A few minutes before 22:00 I put up a pretty weird early edition that contained just news and while the file names ended in .php they actually were server parsed HTML. I made two .htaccess changes to pull this off. The rationale behind doing this was I didn’t want to break early edition file names when PHP got fixed. I couldn’t just put up .php pages without the .htaccess changes since I didn’t want .php pages, even ones that didn’t contain code, to trigger save dialogs. Meanwhile my stress level was escalating to a level not recently seen.

I didn’t leave the office until after 03:30 due to all of the complications. I put up the print edition cover, sent the headlines e-mail, and then went to bed.

2002-02-26, Tue (Day 579, temperature at 10:00: 22.5°C, difference: +1.0°C): I ate lunch with Jeremy, Derrick, Andrew, and Ani. I started my semantics problem set in the late afternoon after psych of self-control. I finished it at 21:00 following Phoenix mini ed board at 20:00. For the rest of the evening I read Gnutella Forums posts outstanding since Sunday. I had so many days to cover I didn’t finish. I got tired earlier also so I needed to stop soon after 02:00.

2002-02-25, Mon (Day 578, temperature at 10:00: 21.5°C, difference: -0.8°C): I had a rather unpleasant dream seeing the World Trade Center towers fully in flames but the building exterior was intact, which kept the smoke from leaking out the sides. It looked like a very hot fire.

After going for a walk following lunch I finished the art and formatting for last week’s Phoenix issue. I went to an Iranian film in LPAC Cinema at 18:30. The movie “Leila” was part of a class component. This film was incredible. It showed how marriage is a constantly changing relationship and can be tested by the persistent desires of those in the relationship and people related to the partners. The wife Leila finds out she can’t have children and while this doesn’t upset her husband, his mother is bothered by it and convinces him to marry an additional wife. This plan however has unintended consequences.

I did reading in the McCabe second floor lounge following the movie and went back to Worth at about 22:30. Upon walking down the hill between McCabe and Willets I noticed a large white halo around the nearly full moon. I eventually started reading last week’s Phoenix Online articles so I could switch backup drives as art support files were on last week’s backup drive. I didn’t get to bed until after 05:00 since I needed to do a bunch of things after reading the articles.

2002-02-24, Sun (Day 577, temperature at 11:39: 22.3°C, difference: -1.7°C): After eating lunch I went to McCabe to finish my econ problem set. In the mid-afternoon I interrupted my problem set to go to the visual perception lab in Papazian to take the first part of a two-part psych experiment.

In the evening I found another bug in The Phoenix Online most requested articles page that had to do with counts not being expired properly. On a new request I was inadvertently setting the cache expire time to the newest request instead of maintaining the original old time. As long as an article was requested at least once every 24 hours it would continue to accumulate requests without expiring any of them.

I fixed this problem and then started the art and formatting for the most recent edition of The Phoenix. I didn’t finish that so I went to bed going into next week without having finished what was for last week. The primary reason why I have such a great event debt is getting the most requested articles page accurate is taking a lot of time.

2002-02-23, Sat (Day 576, temperature at 14:23: 24.0°C, difference: -0.5°C): I thought before I went to bed about putting my phone on do not disturb since I would be sleeping during the day but I decided not to since I don’t get many calls anyway. Nevertheless my phone rang at least twice while I was sleeping. The first call was on campus and the other one was off campus. I think I stayed up after the second call but I didn’t have any new voicemail meaning those callers didn’t leave messages or I dreamed that my phone was ringing when in fact it was not.

I took a shower, did the laundry, and monitored the most requested articles page. I also updated my journal for the week finishing in the evening. I went to the Jump Rhythm Jazz Project performance at 20:00. There weren’t any good seats in the Pearson-Hall Theater lower level and while the wall was down no one was sitting in the cinema at the moment.

I looked up to the balcony and it looked empty. Since I had never sat in the balcony on the sides before I figured to give it a try. I sat on the right side in one of the boxes. My view wasn’t significantly obstructed and I thought the sound wouldn’t be as good but it seemed better than the floor seating. I also felt different sitting up there and I was more emotional since I wasn’t around as many people. I had the same cool feeling that I get when I look out my Worth window from the third floor over a large area.

I ate lots of food at the reception following the performance primarily because it was good but I also expected to stay up late as usual.

2002-02-22, Fri (Day 575, temperature at 10:00: 24.5°C, difference: +1.1°C): After a long lunch ending with Jeremy and Andrew, I went to the mailroom to get a package. I went through my package this afternoon.

I needed quarters and I wanted to cash my Phoenix check for last semester yet the end of the workweek was quickly approaching. I went to the bank for both of those items since the two change machines on campus provided no help yesterday. The one in Parrish seemed to not even be on and the one in Willets was out of change. It was easier than I thought to exchange a 10 for quarters at the bank.

I went to Lang for a performance of “For colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf” at 20:00. I wasn’t able to get a seat on the ground level mostly since a number of those seats in the rear rows were marked off. I think I figured out why as the performance started in an area of the stage that would not be visible from those rows. Any performance could potentially have activity in that area so I was surprised that I hadn’t realized that before. I sat in the upper area instead. I was glad to see that not everyone in the audience stood up at the curtain call even though virtually all of the audience members did give a standing ovation.

Upon returning to Worth I finished cleaning up the code for most requested articles and then I realized soon after 01:00 that I had no good way of knowing which articles were moving up or down in the listing unless I remembered the order of the old page. I decided to add arrows pointing up or down indicating how many positions an article changed from the last update. I made most of the changes rather easily as I was thinking in a code minimalist fashion and the code was just cleaned. I then ran into difficulty getting the ranks to maintain between refreshes within the update time window. After fixing that I had problems returning the proper rank change when article requests expired from the time window.

The first problem wasn’t too difficult to fix but the second one took at least an hour if not two to solve. It took so long since I got really tired near the end, which made it difficult to concentrate for longer than a few seconds at a time. However I really wanted to fix this page before going to bed. Reason being I was tired of putting up “This page is temporarily unavailable due to maintenance” and not displaying the article listing, which I needed to do for large parts of the past two days. It was necessary to disable default display since if I were to make a coding error while I was making modifications I might display too much data.

I did get rank reporting to work properly but the sun was about to rise with it being 06:30. Since I don’t have class on Saturday I went to bed without my alarm set.

2002-02-21, Thu (Day 574, temperature at [N/A]: [N/A]°C, difference: [N/A]°C): I expected to get up at 11:00. However, my phone rang to wake me up at 13:09 and at that point I realized I wouldn’t have a good seat for philosophy and that I almost overslept that class again. Problem sets in that class are due on Thursdays and aren’t accepted late, which makes being reliable at this point of the week necessary. I got dressed as quickly as I could and went to Trotter. I found a loose seat in the back but it seemed apparent that I was expected to take my typical seat far from the door.

Phoenix ed board was at 21:15 due to the Sherman Alexie talk, which gave me an early evening block of time to continue working on the stat page. Even though I made a presentable version early today I realized later on that I had no way to expire entries from the cache so the counts wouldn’t be a 24-hour rolling window but would steadily increase. I needed to add another field to the cache. I continued working on this project today until after 04:00.

I had the cache entries properly expiring by 01:30 but the request time for popular.php increased several times from about a second to three seconds. A normal article page usually loads in a hundredth of a second. Worse the slowness on the stat page was noticeable. So I cut another version to optimize and clean up the code. I did the optimization first, which primarily entailed breaking foreach loops when a match was found and there only could be one match. I got halfway through the code cleanup and then I couldn’t stay awake anymore so I went to bed at around 04:30.

2002-02-20, Wed (Day 573, temperature at 10:01: 23.4°C, difference: +0.9°C): This afternoon was event filled. I quickly finished my semantics problem set in McCabe and went to Kari’s office to go over my first problem set. Getting these two things done left the rest of the afternoon to work on most requested articles. I didn’t make the display page until after 15:00 and being tired most of the day made it difficult to consistently work efficiently fast. I went up to the office following the 17:00 and 22:00 deadlines to maximize time spent writing the scripts. I put up the early edition without the cover after 20:00 while I continued working on the stats.

I didn’t have a working version of most requested articles to present on the site until after 05:00. Following that I sent the headlines mail, put up the most critical art, and handled e-mail before going to breakfast at 07:30. I didn’t feel too bad after leaving Sharples compared to past weeks partly because it was warmer but I definitely needed to get to bed. I went to bed a few minutes after 08:30.

2002-02-19, Tue (Day 572, temperature at 10:00: 22.5°C, difference: 0.0°C): I dream I am sitting in the Sharples big room facing towards Parrish beach, the northeast. Claire, sitting to my right, talks about how she doesn’t have a Mac anymore. The people at the table ask about my Mac and I tell them that had I got a PC, doing The Phoenix Online would be different like how Brendan would do it when he was online editor.

Around lunch I continued working on The Phoenix Online error page. Following afternoon classes I continued on that page finishing in the evening. After mini ed board at 20:00 I continued working on the error and logging project. I didn’t get all of that stuff live on the site until after 00:00. At 01:30 I switched gears and worked on the most requested articles page. I made good initial progress with the engine, namely the script that parses the logs and writes a cache file, which the display page would read.

2002-02-18, Mon (Day 571, temperature at 10:01: 22.5°C, difference: -1.9°C): I worked on PHP logging in the afternoon. In the evening I made a custom HTTP error page in PHP that has an e-mail form and gives different responses to the error codes besides the default messages. I went to the SWIL movie at 22:00, “After Life.” Hardly anyone was there and the SWIL non-member that started the movie left before the movie started.

“After Life” is a Japanese movie about the period following death surprisingly enough. The premise is in order to enter the after life you need to think of only one memory that you want to take with you. The organization in the film takes the memory and uses a stage set to make a movie with that memory. The difficulty for the individuals is which memory to pick.

Following the movie I continued with the error page. Unlike the author mail or image PHP scripts, the error page needs to have a high level of quality since an error on the error page would be quite bad. Despite the need for quality I hope that not many visitors need to use this page so the time cost per person is quite high.

The nice thing about PHP logging and the error page is now I can get all requests for pages instead of just the browsers that request images. Also, the error page can return HTTP status codes so now I can find out when people click on broken links. I can’t log redirects though because having an error page doesn’t supply the Location: HTTP header to give the redirect and I couldn’t find what environment variable the new address was stored in to send a Location: header from the error page.

Even though I am only logging pages that are in PHP and only the newest pages return document size, any error on the site such as a 404 File not found is logged since the error page is in PHP. Already I saw requests for broken images on the archives. I also saw requests presumably from the archive for /org/phoenix/index.html where in fact it is index.php. This is just not best case coding. Index pages don’t need the filename and if anything, giving a shorter URL means it is more likely to work in the future. Therefore /org/phoenix/ is all that is needed.

2002-02-17, Sun (Day 570, temperature at 10:00: 24.4°C, difference: +1.4°C): I read nearly a week’s work of Gnutella forums posts in the first half of the afternoon and worked on my semantics problem set due Thursday for the rest of the afternoon. I went to Sharples an hour later than usual for the Willets 3d south reunion dinner at 18:00.

I spent the rest of the evening up to 23:00 in the McCabe second floor lounge on the econ problem set due Friday, which was then rescheduled to next Monday. It is a good thing that I started early on this set as not only are there more problems but the level of difficulty has taken a jump from last week and I spent most of the evening in a state of confusion.

After 23:00 I worked on PHP logging and found out some interesting stuff but also ran into some design difficulties along the way. I worked on this project until at least 03:00. I still took a shower so I went to bed at 04:00. I got to hear my computer backup if that’s even remotely exciting.

2002-02-16, Sat (Day 569, temperature at 10:03: 23.0°C, difference: +0.7°C): I dreamed I was having a discussion with Mom about this method she got to protect against radioactive lithium. I told her that radiation releases are more than just lithium but also iodine, cesium, and other elements.

I made The Phoenix Online columnist and reporter pages and following lunch with John I read the Phoenix articles this week. This step took the rest of the day partly because there was more copy and I also was interested in more of the articles.

I went to the 19:30 showing of “Casablanca” in LPAC Cinema and before I went I had the feeling there was going to be a lot of production problems and attempted to draw a parallel to “Goldfinger” (2000-03-31). Sure enough the two commercials before the feature were difficult to play in that the sound was garbled and the projector kept shutting off. The movie itself started out OK but then the sound would periodically cut out. The picture also cut out a couple times around reel changes. For the third reel the right projector bulb had blown and the left projector was sparking. So the projectionist had us go to Kirby to finish watching the movie.

There were fewer problems over in Kirby but the initial start had some glitches. I was contemplating during one of the earlier projector failures tonight that each year the number of projector failures increases. By the time I’m a senior the movies will probably be unwatchable due to the number of failures.

I went to bed after 03:00 but I have been staying up late enough that this time doesn’t seem that big of a deal anymore.

2002-02-15, Fri (Day 568, temperature at 08:00: 22.3°C, difference: 0.0°C): I dreamed about Sept. 11 victims and the World Trade Center.

I am realizing that I need to eat three meals a day considering how many hours I stay up and the intensity of my work. Therefore I need to get up earlier for breakfast but I also like to work late to minimize wakeup lag time so I am trying to find a better schedule. At the moment this means having one alarm set for 08:00 and another for 10:00. I get up at 08:00 and then go back to sleep for the next alarm. Today I got up at about 09:15 since I thought I might oversleep my first class. I found out The Phoenix Online search engine wasn’t updated so I e-mailed Adam about that.

I don’t know if the backup script on Milhouse, the student publications server, worked properly unattended since Milhouse was not on the network today.

I worked on the art for The Phoenix Online this afternoon and since the paper was large this week I didn’t finish this step until after dinner. I went to the Vagina Monologues at 20:00 in Lang concert hall. I found a seat in the ground area where there is more room compared to the stepped seating area. However, the ushers ran out of programs so I had to vons (take a leftover) off someone who left his program behind.

I worked on optimizing the loop portion of the author page PHP script and was going to make reporter author pages but the SCCS went down at 01:00 and when SSH started working at 01:20 the public key had changed. I was reluctant to log on until later in case there was a security break. So I went to bed.

2002-02-14, Thu (Day 567, temperature at 08:01: 22.3°C, difference: +1.1°C, Valentine’s Day): I didn’t wear red on purpose this Valentine’s Day as a passive snub towards the holiday. I stayed up starting at 10:00. I worked on the art for The Phoenix online edition around lunch. The afternoon was a drudge with the usual classes and also a psych colloquium at 16:15. Judith Rapoport ’55 from the National Institutes of Health talked about brain development in normal children, children with ADD, and children with schizophrenia. She seemed very knowledgeable but the Q&A period got off to a slow start since the material was very understandable but difficult for the average person to formulate questions for.

Following dinner but before going to ed board I started my econ problem set due tomorrow morning. I finished the problems after leaving the office for the meeting and also talking with Nathan. The backup script that Nathan wrote in October stopped working a few weeks ago, which we knew about at least since last week but took no action. Now we realized the error of our ways. So we set out to fix the backup script and improve the logging capability to log the text of the error message also.

Following the problem set I made changes to selected Phoenix pages to send different content to the site search indexing server, which should have recrawled The Phoenix Online early Friday morning.

2002-02-13, Wed (Day 566, temperature at 10:00: 21.2°C, difference: +2.7°C): I went directly to my room following lunch since I needed to finish the author mail function. The Phoenix was going 28 pages this week and with the server problems, most data was located on Troy McClure but PDFing was still done on Milhouse. Due to the volatile situation I didn’t feel I could proof the PDFs like I normally do and I really needed that extra hour writing the author mail PHP script. So I went up to the office after 17:00 and they were over deadline. I did manage to export the pages to XML in a half-hour and eat dinner at the office more quickly so I left for Worth at about the same time I normally do.

Even though I was on par I still needed to work on the author mail. As a result the early edition showed up at 20:00, which would be an hour later than it would have otherwise. To maximize time and since the rest of the PDFs didn’t show up until right before the second deadline I went up to the office closer to 22:00. They were over deadline again but I continued to work faster to not continue the time loss.

I left the office at around 02:00 since I needed extra time to copy the art off of the servers since I felt that they might go down overnight. I worked until 04:00, finishing for the day by sending out the headlines e-mail. Eudora had this bug where in the headlines recipients it would replace my Swat address with someone else’s even though she isn’t in my address book.

2002-02-12, Tue (Day 565, temperature at 10:01: 18.5°C, difference: -4.1°C): I dreamed my top right (actually left) drawer was not opening properly. I contacted workbox and this lady showed up in my room quite quickly to fix the problem.

I also dreamed that I was riding an elevator down in a large skyscraper. The elevator was large and brightly lit and mostly white inside the cab. The elevator stopped at B3 even though I wanted to go to B7. After getting out at B3 I rode that cab but not on the current call down to B7. After reaching that floor I rode the elevator to the top with someone else.

After afternoon classes I started my semantics problem set. I finished it this evening after an econ lecture in Kirby at 19:30. I get back to my room at around 22:30 and Nathan left a voicemail within the hour that Milhouse was corrupting Phoenix files. I went up to the publications office to join him and Jeff.

We ran Norton and TechTool and while they did find things wrong with the other partitions, they didn’t find any major problems with the Phoenix partition. Dee did restart the server this afternoon but it didn’t help the problem. Essentially the problem I noticed last night of failing to copy files turned into a much more severe problem.

Between dinner and the lecture and after returning from the office I worked on the author mail PHP script that involved upgrading various portions of the workflow. I needed to parse the e-mail in the XML files and place them in the HTML with Sablot backup, add extra code to the article page templates, and write the mailer page itself. I ran into a wall extracting the e-mails from pages for the mailer form and due to my tiredness I went to bed after 03:00.

2002-02-11, Mon (Day 564, temperature at 10:00: 22.6°C, difference: +0.6°C): After going for a walk I read a nuclear fallout shelter survival guide that I printed out early this afternoon. Following dinner I did some reading for class before I went to the monthly Swarthmore borough council meeting.

This meeting is the first time I saw the new borough council in action. It seems more diverse but council also seemed more rushed although the hurrying didn’t seem to save them much time. Eck Gerner, former council president, is now the mayor. The meeting ended soon after 21:00 so I returned to Worth to finish my reading and then I went to Kirby for the SWIL showing of “Return of the Killer Tomatoes.” This was another silly 1980s movie but I thought “Wizard of Speed and Time” was better.

Following the movie I started reading Gnutella Forums posts but I took a brief digression to update a file on Milhouse. Saving back to the server crashed my computer, which has been up since Thursday. I still had problems saving back to the server or copying to it. The copy would get halfway, stall, and then the server would disconnect. I called the publications office and warned them about the situation.

I then began to get an e-mail this author feature implemented for The Phoenix Online but I started falling asleep at around 02:00 so I went to bed disappointed.

2002-02-10, Sun (Day 563, temperature at 09:03: 22.0°C, difference: -0.6°C): I took a shower this morning and went to breakfast at 11:00. I ate lunch (and also dinner) with Jesse. I went to Mertz at 12:00 to meet Kevin to go into Philly to see the Mütter Museum. Jeremy met us at the train station. We got off at 30th Street Station and walked into Center City on JFK Blvd. We then cut down to the museum on 22nd street.

The museum was not very large but it was crowded especially near the end of the exhibits. The way the exhibit space was laid out had the end of the displays ending in the basement but to leave you had to exit the way you entered all the way through to the beginning. This pattern would not work for a high traffic museum. The Mütter Museum essentially displayed medical oddities and specimens. The photos weren’t too disturbing but the specimens in jars were often unsettling and strategically located at the end of the exhibit path.

After leaving the museum building Jeremy, Kevin, and I stopped by the outdoor herb garden, which is part of the museum. Since we had almost an hour before the next train we then walked towards the center of the city stopping by a Dunkin’ Donuts. I got hot chocolate and a doughnut and while it was good the hot chocolate burnt the front region of my tongue. I didn’t realize I got burnt until some time later.

We took the train back at Suburban Station just as it was starting to rain. We got back to Swarthmore before 17:00. After dinner I spent most of my time reading Gnutella Forums posts, as I hadn’t done so since Monday. I got caught up at about 00:00. Following that I read and added links to the Phoenix articles from last week. That didn’t take much more than two hours, which also was reasonable. I went to bed slightly after 04:00.

2002-02-09, Sat (Day 562, temperature at 08:18: 22.6°C, difference: -0.7°C): I got up at 08:00 for the McCabe achievement award interviews at 09:00. Only two other current McCabes were there, Caitlin and Megan, both freshmen. There were 11 candidates, which were more than before due to the geographic widening of the award. Jim Bock, Dean of Admissions, told me the Delaware County award was expanded to include Chester and Montgomery counties so there could be more potential candidates.

According to Wes, when the award was setup beyond Delmarva in 1974 it also included Chester and Montgomery counties. There wasn’t much response from schools in that area so the award was narrowed to Delaware County a few years later, since those schools gave more response.

Despite this increase in finalists the admissions office was thin for most of the day due to fewer current McCabes and not all of the candidates stayed long enough to include lunch. Lunch was in the Scheuer room.

The last interview finished at about 15:00 and following that I returned to Worth to start the laundry. My time debt continued to grow, as I also needed to do a recycle backup to USB drive A and that meant I shouldn’t use my computer for those three hours.

After dinner I finished the laundry and then fell asleep while at the computer. I woke up to go to the faculty dance concert in LPAC at 20:00. Before leaving I started the recycle backup. Even though the concert almost sold out both seats next to me were empty. I found that really amusing.

I went for a walk after the concert and then returned to Worth. The dorm was noisier but despite the music downstairs and the music I played I still fell asleep while in front of my computer. I did catch my journal up before completely falling asleep.

I was too tired to take a shower and I didn’t want to slip into bed since I had changed the sheets for the week so I slept on the top comforter. However, I didn’t wear socks for the day and I did have all of them washed by the evening but I didn’t want to wear socks for such a short period of time. So I slept barefoot on top of the bed, which is very difficult since it was near 21°C in the room making my feet cold. When that is the case I normally stay awake but in this instance I went to bed after 00:00 and got up at 06:40 and then returned to bed to get up at 09:00.

2002-02-08, Fri (Day 561, temperature at 10:00: 23.3°C, difference: +0.5°C): I ate lunch with Kai and others, including Madalyn. Kevin and Jeremy yesterday in Mertz were exchanging a rotten pear like a hot potato and then Kevin threw the pear in Kai’s room. Kai retaliated by throwing the pear into Kevin’s room where it exploded and left a mess for Kevin to clean up.

In the afternoon I went to Adam Preset’s office to get the search engine for The Phoenix Online fixed. It took two hours since Adam was interrupted for other things during the period and we chatted a bit too. Webinator 2 didn’t do what I needed so Adam put Webinator 4 on the new college web server.

I got back to my room all giddy from getting the search engine fixed thanks to Adam, having a clearer vision of my future, and the walk probably intensified the just prior feeling. I sent Ivan and Nathan the good news and Nathan offered a wish list challenge for the search engine. One item was to configure search result display, which I responded to by offering a demo page after the movie tonight. I can send Adam headers and footers for the search results.

I went to Kirby for the 19:30 showing of “Rocky.” When there is a projector failure quite often it is due to something new. The first problem was the projectionist was having problems getting the keys to work so I tried among the numerous keys on the ring until one worked. The key tag on the ring was labeled DuPont projection booth. Mind you the DuPont projection booth was demolished last summer.

The next significant problem was the film snapped at the very beginning so after nearly a 15-minute delay the projectionist resolved to play the movie from that point. Near the end of the movie the bulbs on both of the projectors failed upon a reel change but after another 15-minute delay the projectionist played the last reel to finish the movie. By then it was 22:00, which is when the second showing was scheduled.

I went to bed substantially earlier than in the past two weeks since the Southeastern Pennsylvania McCabe interviews are tomorrow morning starting at 09:00. Also due to the interviews I took a shower and cut my very long nails before going to bed.

2002-02-07, Thu (Day 560, temperature at 08:48: 22.8°C, difference: +1.7°C): Oversleeping sort of unnerved me as I wanted to send out the headlines e-mail soon after 05:00 as Nathan sent it to me a few minutes before then. I took care of that immediately but I was interrupted by my state of general confusion and I got 13 Phoenix headlines subscription requests.

I went to breakfast but since I had actually gotten sleep beforehand I didn’t get tremors near the end like I had in the past two weeks. I worked on the art and formatting for the online edition for the rest of the morning. There was scheduled network maintenance today that disrupted Internet traffic but LAN traffic was fine.

I printed articles for psych of self-control to McCabe A before going to lunch but when I get up the hill both McCabe printers are out of order. Disgusted I go to Sharples for lunch. I try printing to Beardsley before going to my afternoon classes but I had a hard time finding my documents and when I did find them I thought they were incomplete but it turned out that they weren’t. This search and validation process added to time spent in the public area, which made it more difficult to have a good seat for semantics. I get to Trotter 301 and there is someone standing by a seat in the corner and there is a seat by the door. I immediately sit down at the seat by the door.

I worked on the online edition around dinner, went to ed board at 19:00 and then went to McCabe to do my econ problem set. Following that I put Brendan’s sports brief on the site and then placed an order for LimeWire Pro.

2002-02-06, Wed (Day 559, temperature at [N/A]: [N/A]°C, difference: [N/A]°C): Due to my sleep deprivation incompetence I don’t have a temperature reading for today. I went to the McCabe lounge on the second floor this afternoon to do my philosophy problem set. Some Swatties were at my cluster and talking most of the time in an attempt to distract me but I was so rushed to get the problem set done in two hours or less I just concentrated on what I had to do.

I went up to the office soon after 16:00. I put the early edition up a few minutes before 19:00. I returned to the office at 21:00 and following the second deadline worked with Nathan to get the front page designed.

I got really tired after 02:00 so I set my alarm to get me up at 03:00 but I didn’t wake up until 07:30 when it started to get light.

2002-02-05, Tue (Day 558, temperature at 10:01: 21.1°C, difference: -0.7°C): I went for a walk after my last class for the day, which ends at 15:55. Mini-ed board was at 19:00, a time I can actually make compared to the older Monday 22:00 time, which is during the SWIL movie. I worked until nearly 07:00 on the author page project. I needed to finish before going to bed since I had to do a problem set Wednesday and do the week’s edition.

2002-02-04, Mon (Day 557, temperature at 10:00: 21.8°C, difference: +1.0°C): I dream that I’m in the kitchen at home and I walk into the dining room when Mom, sitting at the dining room table, starts talking to me about taxes. She refers to some unspoken but understood situation, which I eventually agree to after thinking about it. It seems like the situation has nothing to do with us as we were still fine but it had something to do with the returned general usefulness of the tax dollars we would be paying.

Today, heavy snow showers arrived right before Kai and I entered Sharples and near the end of my walk. Flurries continued during the afternoon. Madalyn who is in my social psych and psych of self control classes sat briefly with Kai and I in the Sharples big room. I did go for a walk after lunch, something I haven’t done in a week.

I read Gnutella Forums posts until after 16:00. I then updated The Phoenix Online pages to get an extended cutline with a swimming photo on the site. Nathan initiated the first of hopefully many online updates for the semester.

I left for Ridley High School a couple minutes after 19:10 for the monthly school board meeting. I got there at 19:40 and I was one of the first people to get there, a great difference from the December meeting where there was a mob of people outside and the room was filled.

When the meeting started tonight there still were a good number of empty seats. I was surprised that not many people attended since the teachers voted down their latest contract offer. I think part of the reason for the low turnout was due to the windy cold. It wasn’t that bad walking to the meeting but returning to campus was not very pleasant. The meeting moved expediently and ended at 21:00 for a duration of about 58 minutes.

When I got back I continued writing the PHP script to make columnist and author pages for The Phoenix Online. Before I started though I needed to get supporting files in order and I didn’t get that done until after the SWIL movie at 22:00 in Kirby. The movie was “3x3 Eyes,” an anime film that was good but since I was tired from steadily doing stuff throughout the day I fell asleep. Apparently there still is a problem as I kept getting bad dreams that I had to keep interrupting out of. Tom who was sitting behind me coughed whenever I woke up from one of them. When I dozed off in Lang during the Orchestra 2001 concert last night I also had some bad dreams but they weren’t as frequent.

I continued working on the author page project after the movie until 05:00. I made good progress but near the end of the work period I had trouble getting the recursive algorithm for a listing of all files and the get_meta_tags function to work reliably.

2002-02-03, Sun (Day 556, temperature at 10:00: 20.8°C, difference: -1.2°C): I dream I am looking at a crime scene model where an officer was killed along with some other people in an urban backyard. Some consternation was expressed by having a model of a dead officer in it even though that is what happened. The model was interleaved on the actual scene.

I did my econ problem set this afternoon and in the evening put The Phoenix editorial board photo online and then did the style guide. I also went to an Orchestra 2001 multimedia concert in Lang at 19:30. I sat with Liza.

I didn’t go to bed until 04:30 as updating the style guide took three hours, which is probably why I had been putting it off since September.

2002-02-02, Sat (Day 555, temperature at 10:01: 22.0°C, difference: -1.9°C): I had a dream I was traveling into northern Delaware. I had a wide view of distant power plants namely the Salem nuclear plant in New Jersey and the Exelon generation station in Eddystone. The locations of the buildings were in the wrong spot. The Salem plant was in the west-southwest and the Eddystone plant was in the north-northwest. They should have been in the east and northeast. Where I was in Delaware with my father it essentially was in the middle of nowhere with hills.

Doing the wash this morning went a little differently. The third washer was broken with a tub half full of dirty water and the first one was in use so doing the laundry would have taken longer. However, it didn’t take much longer to finish due to aggressive timing and not needing to dry all clothes for two cycles. Aggressive timing is where I make sure to start my watch timer to know when to return immediately when and sometimes before a load starts if it is a continuation of the same. I e-mailed workbox about the third washer.

I called Kevin about going to Philly this afternoon to see an offbeat museum. Kevin returned my call a couple of hours later and said they were now planning to do it next week.

Since the weather forecast did not have precipitation for the next seven days I decided to clean my windows with window glass cleaner at about 14:30. My windows were really dirty which is why I even bothered to do this project although the dirt that was most unsightly came off easily.

It took the rest of the afternoon to finish in part due to my three windows each being split into six panes. Also, the edges of my windows were very opaque and difficult to clean as I think the caulking at one point covered those portions of the windows and now leaves behind a residue. In fact a closer look at my window structure shows they are falling apart where cleaning them removes some of the caulking, making the windows more likely to fall out of their frames or leak. It also seems like the outer frames are made out of brass making the window frames look like an oxidized Statue of Liberty.

I ate dinner alone. I called up John to see if he wanted to go to tonight’s movie, “Ghost World,” although I think I told him “Monster World” on his voice mail. I later learned from Jesse that John and him went to the Kimmel Center in Philly for an opera class concert. So I sat at the 19:30 showing of the movie alone. The sound was non-functional and the technician was unavailable so we left LPAC and went to Kirby. The sound played there but it was missing mid and high frequencies making conversations unintelligible. By this point it was after 20:00.

I tried to help by adjusting the base and treble settings on the amp and the projector but it didn’t make enough of a difference. At this point people are getting fed up and leaving. Kirby was essentially filled before the exodus. After leaving Martin, now I know first hand how those red people who are stressed out in SimTower feel when waiting for an elevator but it does not arrive in a reasonable amount of time or the cab fills up before you get in. After a while you just get frustrated and head for the stairs.

I could have gone to PPR Jazz Jams at 21:00 but I didn’t feel like going out there and I had enough entertainment. I also later learned from Jesse that the event was actually on Friday night as I misread both the Gazette and the Phoenix to-do page. I continued reading Gnutella Forums posts instead.

The Phoenix search engine updated like it did normally but none of the changes I asked Adam to do on Sunday took effect. Namely I asked to enable meta tag support, add .php as a page type, and move the update schedule from Sunday to Friday.

Before going to bed after finally have taken a shower I thought about how today didn’t really go as planned. A washer was broken, I didn’t go to Philly with Kevin and others, I ran out of paper towels while cleaning my windows even though I thought I had enough, and I didn’t see Jesse, John, or Tom at dinner even though I was only ten minutes late. Also, the sound didn’t play at tonight’s movie even though last night’s movie in the same room was fine. Some sound played in Kirby but it was difficult to understand so people left. In addition The Phoenix search engine was exactly the same even though I didn’t want the same thing, as now the articles for the current issue aren’t indexed because they are in PHP. Despite all of this I didn’t feel too bad as the good feelings I had last week are still there but I thought today was odd.

2002-02-01, Fri (Day 554, temperature at 21:18: 23.9°C, difference: -1.9°C): I did get up at 10:00 but neglected to get a temperature reading then. I ate lunch with Kai, Jesse, Renee, Kevin, and Jeremy in the Sharples big room. Near the end of lunch a comparatively large number of people in the big room were accidentally dropping cups so I dropped one on purpose. Then Kai knocks both of my cups over onto the floor. I then knock one of his cups over.

The Y100 morning show Thursday morning said that documents found in Afghanistan contained diagrams of U.S. nuclear power plants. President Bush also mentioned this finding in his state of the union address on Tuesday night. A look at my dream on 2002-01-20 shows probably when the information was found. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) sent a memo to nuclear power plants dated 2002-01-23 warning that hijackers may fly an airliner into a nuclear power plant. I did some more online news reading last night about these developments.

I am not within the ten-mile radius of a nuclear plant. Within those areas are radiation sirens that go off during a plant incident to warn people to turn radios on and possibly evacuate the area.

In the afternoon I intended to get vitamins, bring my journal up to date, and read Gnutella forums posts. I planned to get some stuff in addition to vitamins at Michael’s pharmacy so I wouldn’t have to go there again next week. I went to Michael’s and it took a long time to figure out where everything was and the selection was unhelpful at times.

I was walking back to Worth and the skies were much darker giving the appearance of a strong storm. I got up to my room and within a couple minutes it started raining heavily. This rain stopped after a few minutes and it was windy for the rest of the night.

I also needed to verify my PayPal account overall since I originally opened it for LimeWire Pro. So I verified my account and transferred funds to it. The transaction won’t clear until Wednesday so I have another delay.

John, Jesse, and I saw “Rush Hour 2” in LPAC Cinema at 19:30. The outtakes at the end of the movie were really funny. In the evening I caught up my journal and read AOL mail which I got much more of recently as spam is on the rise in general. I went to the Gnutella Forums site but I didn’t get through all of the posts since I was falling asleep. I went to bed soon after 03:30.


Journal 2002-01

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