Oh this isn't good: after four years of having the same credit card, I just recalled the number from memory for the first time.
So here's the list I made before last semester started. Let's see how I did.
- I didn't read House of Leaves (because the person I was borrowing it from asked for it back before I got to it), but I did read The Last Hero, Ready, Okay!, Big Trouble, the first three Harry Potter books, and a few other books which are slipping my mind at the moment.
- Getting Bs in all of my classes counts as "stumbling through without failing" by my standards
- Gah, I still haven't played Metal Gear Solid, let alone Metal Gear Solid 2... Though I think MGS and MGS2 are the very next items on my list. Didn't get to Xenogears either, but Xenosaga is still a distance off.
- Games I did play included Final Fantasy X, Super Mario Advance, Mario Kart Advance, Advance Wars, Luigi's Mansion, Rogue Leader, lots of Smash Brothers Melee, a fair amount of Wave Race Blue Storm, and a moderate amount of Super Monkey Ball.
- The release of the Gamecube didn't disrupt things too much, though I could have been better prepared.
- Still no overhaul of that other site... sigh
- My desktop computer is a little more sensibly assembled now, though I still need to organize the remaining parts into that computer for my brother.
- I am now set to stay at Berkeley for at least one more semester, if not a whole extra year.
- My progress with finding a life outside of work ebbed and flowed, but in the end I'd say I've made progress.
- My room shelves are now much cleaner, thank you. And I even reorganized the placement of my bed and desk.
- I've got several new ideas for The Stew, but I've been busy and haven't had a chance to implement anything.
Well, when I write out the list like that, last semester doesn't look so bad. And yet, at the time, I felt like last semester was one of my worst ever. I suppose that's just the past being colored by my present perspective...
So after posting that last entry, I looked at the page only to find this error:
Warning: exec() has been disabled for security reasons. in path/entrylist_linkstew.hdr on line 18
D'oh, I wonder how long that's been broken... I'm not sure when the last time I even looked at the site was after that post on Tuesday... How embarrassing! ::grumble::
What's the most irritating about this is the page sources are actually kept on my desktop at home, and so without net I can't properly fix this, so once net at home returns I'm going to have to carefully make sure I get the fixed copies back into the repository.
So pardon my silence, but not only have I not had net at home, but servers have also been blowing up at work. And part of servers blowing up involves rebuilding them, which I was lucky enough to get to help with (because... don't get me started), and as part of this rebuilding we discovered problems with the backup scripts that were written long before even my time.
The backup command was doing `find $BACKUP_DIRS -xdev -not -type d -print | $TAR --create --verbose --files-from - --file -`. The thing is, that "-not -type d" in the find command meant it didn't include any directories at all, and the "-xdev" kept the find spanning file systems. The problem with this is, no directories were backed up, so when we untarred the backup, every directory was created when it was needed, which meant that the permissions on every directory on the system were wrong, and also that any empty directories weren't backed up at all (which has caused problems with emacs and postgresql, so far). So at one point in the last week, I took a list of every directory on the system (`find / -type d`) and with the help of a couple of other systems we had sitting around got to spend several fun filled hours manually reconstructing the ownership and permissions of 18,000 directories.
So uh, don't exclude directories from a find command you're piping to tar. It'll bite you in the ass later.
Hopefully I'll have net at home again soon, so I can resume my normal "post at 4 am from bed" habit.
Pardon the silence, but last night, when I had intended to be doing my 188 homework, I suddenly got mysteriously sick, and huddled under my covers alternately shivering and sweating. And I stayed there, with a wicked headache and drinking water and too cold and too hot and feverish, for the better part of 18 hours.
And so not only did I not work on my 188 homework, but I missed my first folklore lecture all semester. Let alone was I feeling up to updating the sites.
I feel like I just lost a day. I effectively did. Though I've been up since 2 today, I've just been sitting in bed in a daze.
But tonight, despite a still lingering headache and fever, I've got to do the 188 homework.
The upshot of all this is that I just found out that the 188 midterm got pushed back from this Friday to next Wednesday. Woohoo!
So uh, more later, when I'm not busy and delirious.
Not only am I suffering writers block, but apparently I'm also kind of busy.
- cs 170 homework due Wednesday at 4pm.
- anthro 160 midterm Thursday at 2pm.
- cs 9e assignments due Friday afternoon.
- cs 170 homework due next Monday at 4pm.
- cs 188 homework due next Wednesday at 10 am.
- cs 188 midterm next Friday at 10 am.
- more cs 9e assignments and quizzes next friday afternoon.
- cs 170 homework due next next Monday...
Basically, I've got at least one thing due every other day for the next two weeks (and I haven't even looked beyond that, so who know's what's lurking out there...), not even counting work.
And yet, looking at me right now, you'd never know it. It's almost 2 am and I haven't started the 170 that's due in 14 hours. Though to my credit, I have started studying for the folklore midterm, but that's not worth much, since I've already been to every lecture in the class, and I've already done about half the reading.
I've been going through this semester with my eyes closed, doing as little as possible to get by. I've been lethargic and apathetic and unmotivated and generally lazy. And this applies to not only school, but also to work, and even to the sites.
Translation: I now have more excuses than just "I'm a lazy bum" for not writing a good update.
"I would suggest jamming the frequency. I doubt it is quite legal to make a device to do this by FCC rules so the easy solution is just to bring a microwave to class and leave it running. :-)"
--Eric Rosenberry on the resnet mailing list, on preventing cheating via 802.11b on open-laptop exams
Speaking of which, I've got a midterm in exactly 15 hours, but it's not open-laptop, let alone is it open calculator. Anyway, I'm in the middle of studying, so pardon the uh, radio silence. ;-)
Wow, I've been keeping myself so busy that I haven't even been reading any of the sites I read regularly, let alone have I had time to write. I guess I'm just trying to get this out of my system before I have to go back to school in a week and a half. Ugh... I need to buy books, and clean my apartment for my new roommate, on and on.
I should be at Anime Expo right now.
Clearly, I'm not. And why?
Well, there are lots of reasons, I guess. I'm really busy at work, as always. I can't really afford it, as I have a new security deposit to make. And my bastard "friend" hasn't paid me the money he's owed me for two years, and yet he's going to Anime Expo himself.
And well, I'm less than impressed with the current faddishness of Anime. As I've attended Anime Expo over the years, I've seen the event grow and grow and grow. And it'll likely be even bigger this year, because of things like Cartoon Network's Toonami, and so on.
And finally, Anime seems to have become part of the me that I'm trying to leave behind.
And so, I chose not to go this year. I wouldn't have minded spending the time with my friends from Bakersfield, but... At times I feel like I should even leave them behind. I could have gathered my ducks in a row, and made everything work, despite the financial and vocational issues, but I didn't want to. I hemmed and hawed for weeks, telling Pi I'd let him know if I could make it, but in the end I just didn't say either way. I didn't want to make the decision, but in my indecision, I had decided.
Back in January, I set some goals for things I'd like to get done during the semester. I'm just going to run down the list and report on how things went.
- I completed Chrono Cross, Vagrant Story, and Pokemon Silver, but I'm still plugging away on Zelda 64. In addition to those, though, I also finished Zone of Enders. My comments on all of those but one are still forthcoming.
- My attempts to reinstall my primary desktop was thwarted when my computer failed to boot off of my Debian CD-ROM, and since I couldn't find a floppy to save my life, I gave up, since it still works.
- I own four computers. I went from having files scattered across all four of them to having files only on my Linux desktop and my Mac OS X laptop. I didn't get very far with re-deploying my desktop machines, though, because I found out the hard way that the PS/2 ports on my Win2k machine no longer work. The machine doesn't even have a booting operating system anymore.
- Instead of finishing Science of Discworld, I got distracted by Thief of Time.
- Well, I certainly worked on LinkStew this semester. The main thing I did was add old content, but I also created The Stew, where it's possible to examine related entries. I also finally added the Image Galleries. The categories are working much better as well, now, and they're much less visible. The code behind the site really needs to be overhauled now, though.
- I never even opened my php user account scripts in an editor, let alone thought about changing them...
- Same for the community game site.
- I caught up on one comic on the way to Tahoe, and since then I've been reading one other regularly... But online comics just don't hold my attention these days. Thanks to Neil Gaiman's Sandman, I've been looking at the longer kind of comics again these days.
- Then, of course, there was this important point I neglected to work on...
One notable thing I did this semester that took time away from meeting other of my goals was reading Neil Gaiman's entire Sandman collection... all 2000 pages of it. It's an incredible set of stories about stories, and I'll have more to say about it later as well... But it takes more than a few minutes to read.
Considering what else happened this semester, I'd say I fared reasonably on meeting my goals. If anything, I set too many goals, but when push came to shove (with one notable exception), I did the important things before I dealt with my moderately self-centered list of goals.
I got my last midterm back today -- I've been waiting to vent for a week, now, so that I could blow it all in one post, and then I won't have anything to bitch about for awhile, I expect. All that's left besides finals is random homeworks, a cs project, and a small in class essay. But I'm not really worried about that, because it's pretty spaced out, assuming I actually start the CS project this weekend -- it's a bit of a biggy.
So, my midterms...
- History of Technology
- My Grade: 15.8/20. "C".
- My Excuse: I didn't keep up on my reading earlier in the semester, so when the time came, I wasn't prepared. Or, "The first in class essay was open book, why the hell wasn't this one??"
- My Grade: 29/50. 58% in a class where the mean was in the 80s and the lowest score was 50%.
- My Excuse: I was at a funeral 24 hours before the midterm, got back to Berkeley 15 hours before the midterm, and when I got home I found out I didn't have a book to study with. I mailed my professor, but he still hasn't responed.
- My Grade: 81/120. They haven't figured out a mean or anything yet, but that's 67.5%...
- My Excuse: The test was too fucking long, and I approached a too long test in the wrong way. They dropped the question with the lowest score, but I got a 15/30 on two questions. One of them was a two part question, and I could have easilly done both halves, but I did the first half, went on to the rest of the test, ran out of time, and in my rush review I evaluated the question as "There's writing there, it's done." The other question I didn't spend much time on, because originally it was worth 20 points, but when they adjusted the test, the question became worth 30 points. The upshot of this is that I have an 81% in the class, which, according to my calculations, is the highest grade I have in any of my classes right now...
- My Grade: 71/100, with a mean of 70-74.
- My Excuse: I overanalyzed one question -- I wrote comments accounting for why I did things the way I did and I specified why I did things, but I still lost 10 points for leaving things out there. And there was another question on which I had no idea what to do. This one is really my fault -- I had plenty of time to study for this test. Oh well. But I got the mean, so I'm not too upset.
That's it. I'm done bitching about grades and my worst semester ever until June, I promise. And even then I probably won't care about it and won't mention it. I barely care about most of these anymore anyway -- I've had enough time to stop being mad about them. It's amazing what a little cool down time can do.
Bitch, Benjy, Bitch.
I've had better weeks in every possible way. This is the sort of week that I should probably go out and get drunk over, especially now that I'm 21 and all... but I won't, because it's too much effort.
Next time I have a test right after spring break, remind me to plan on my grandmommy dying... because then I would have known to study for my midterm after spring break before spring break. As it was, I didn't get to start studying until 12 hours before the midterm, and even then, my book was MIA, so I couldn't study very well. All things considered, the 58% I got on that midterm could have been worse -- For example, I was a whole 8% above the lowest score on the test!
Oh, and next time I'm taking a linguistics class, remind me to consider enrolling in that "How to take a two hour linguistics test in one hour" course they advertise on Sproul... Because no one finished today's linguistics midterm early. I certainly felt less than stellar about my performance on the test, and Kevin said he felt about the same way. So I shouldn't feel too bad, because even if I'd been totally prepared, I would have still needed a lot more time to do well on the test.