Tee hee and le sigh.

Twenty Questions (courtesy of Mark)”

You are an SEDF–Sober Emotional Destructive Follower. This makes you an evil genius. You are extremely focused and difficult to distract from your tasks. With luck, you have learned to channel your energies into improving your intellect, rather than destroying the weak and unsuspecting.

Your friends may find you remote and a hard nut to crack. Few of your peers know you very well–even those you have known a long time–because you have expert control of the face you put forth to the world. You prefer to observe, calculate, discern and decide. Your decisions are final, and your desire to be right is impenetrable.

You are not to be messed with. You may explode.

I just thought this was cute. I don’t know about that “hard nut to crack” thing. I think I’m pretty simple to figure out, on most fronts. I also don’t know about that “expert control” of my facade. Yeah, I’ve got a facade, but it’s no more or less ironclad than anyone else’s, I think. I’m going to leave off a comment on those last two sentences.

In other news (because I don’t feel like making another post), I’m already tired. Socially, I am strained. Circumstances are conniving to make me socially active all day, keeping up chatter and conversation seemingly constantly. By the time I get to be by myself at the end of the day, it’s late and I’m ready to go to bed because I’m just so tired of being incessantly cheerful and interested in all the people in lab. I just want to work, quietly and efficiently to best get the job done. We’ve been doing pretty mindless work around the lab so far (cleaning glassware), and rather than me getting to think my own thoughts while I’m rinsing glassware nine times each with Milli-Q water, there’s constant jibber-jabber I’m being included in simply because I’m present.

But when we get done in lab and go home (after we workout, after I cook lunch for the next day(s), after things quieten down in the house) is when my real work (coding this app) starts. Last night, this was 23:30. Things just are not getting done. I hate to be grumpy and bitchy (which I know I’m being, already), but it is unbelievably frustrating to not being able to concentrate or do any real work because of constant interruptions. Every time I get my headphones on, or get in a significant bit of code, or get part of the way through testing a module, there’s a social interruption that kills my train of thought and causes whatever epiphany I was working through to fizzle out. I am drained of patience and pleasantness.

So it’s Wednesday of Week 1 (of 7), and I’m already a grump and looking to escape socially. Our professor hasn’t returned from Alaska yet (she was supposed to be back this morning), and Jenn and I have run out of things to do. I’m hoping nothing untoward happened during Dr. M’s trip home, and that the jet lag simply did her in for the day, but she’s been incommunicado all day (as has Mr. Dr. M).

Don’t know what we’re going to do if this nothingness continues into tomorrow. I’m already going to be paid two weeks late because Dr. M didn’t sign off on my timesheet for this week, which hurts the ol’ bank account pretty damn bad, since rent was due when I arrived, and I hadn’t gotten a paycheck from my school-year job for a few weeks. I’m going to be bumming money off Nikolai if I so much as stub my toe and need a band-aid.

Very few, if any, updates for a minute

So I’m the Haute, living it up in this hellacious house with Jenn (I am so scrapping together the money to rent this house my junior year). Life is good. I have ready transportation, I have a nice job, the ability to workout on campus most days, and I can chill with moderately cool people during the day.

I do not, however, have Internet access except for when I’m on campus. I can check e-mail during the lulls at work, but I really spend lulls working on the Java conversion of the UV/VIS data analyzer app. And reading sex tips in the latest Cosmo, courtesy of Jenn. But thus far I’ve been working rather consistently, because there’s a fair amount to do.

The lack of Internet at the house, however, means that there will be very few, if any, updates on this here site until there’s a serious lull at work or until I spend all night here doing a photobleaching experiment.

But I’m alive and kicking and thinking and active and having fun.

So guess who’s qualified to drive anyone’s car now?

I learned how to drive a stick today. Actually, since I learned, it’s been more like, “OhmahgodIlearnedhowtodriveastick!” but we can leave off some of my enthusiasm.

To say I’m qualified to drive anyone’s car is an overstatement, of course, given that I only drove said stick for about an hour, and that I didn’t get actually good at it until the end. But really, given my ever-growing love of driving, I will take the time to learn someone’s car so I can drive it. I’m just sick like that.

I got a call early this afternoon from grungy-Chris, who’s a cool guy in a bad way and who doesn’t currently have a license. He needed a ride to his church, then to his parents’ house to get a financial aid form signed. He also mentioned idly that we could try to swing by his brother’s place of employment to borrow Chris’s car so I could learn how to drive a stick.

So I picked him up and drove him around, making sure to actually go inside his parents’ abode with him to attempt to forestall an attack by his father. Now, I don’t like Chris’s father: I don’t like his body language; I don’t like the way he talks to people; I don’t like the way he’s treating his son who’s just trying to fucking go to college and do something more with his life than he might otherwise have done. So I went in the house with Chris, thinking that surely this man wouldn’t be such a bastard in front of one of Chris’s friends. I think being a girl in this situation usually helps, even if the parents don’t know enough about me to think I’m a good influence on their spawn. Both of those are cards I will play, if I think it will help. At any rate, suffice it to say the man was still belligerent, even if he didn’t do anything particularly dick-ish while I was there.

So then we hunted down his brother’s place of employment, which took a while, since we didn’t quite know where it was. Then I learned how to drive a stick in his sexy, loud ’89 Prelude with a hole in the muffler. I swear, he spent 45 minutes teaching me this slow way of getting started that I could barely get to work for me; there was, of course, much jerking and stalling and rolling backwards. I kept dropping the clutch too fast, or letting off the gas when I should have held it down, and eventually we had to pop the hood to let his car cool down.

In my defense, it was also a pretty warm day, and we were never going fast enough to give his car a chance to cool down. Yeah, that’s it. Right.

And then he taught me a better way–let up on the clutch until the RPMs begin to drop, then give it gas. And that I got on the first time, most likely because it required less coordination of foot speeds than the slower method. (This is the girl that gave up on trying to play piano because she couldn’t make her left hand do something different from her right hand at the same time.) I got it on subsequent attempts as well, although I didn’t get to practice for long because the temperature gauge was heading into the red.

I must have driven Chris nuts all the way home, thanking him for teaching me and squealing that I could drive a stick now. I got the feeling he was quietly laughing at me, though, when he said, “I see how it is. IB diploma after all that work? ‘Eh.’ Learning how to drive a stick? ‘Eee!'” Yeah, just a little laughter there.

Have I mentioned how much I love to drive? Anybody’s car, wherever they want to go.

My next car (if I have a reasonable choice in the matter) is so going to be a stick.

Interesting linkage–some old, some new

  • “Unfairenheit 9/11” – A review of Michael Moore’s latest. (link courtesy of Mark)
  • Max Thrane’s “Why I hate Gmail” – An interesting complaint (with hilarious examples) on the hype that has sucked up bloggers regarding Gmail. (On a geeky note, that is a very sexy color scheme/layout on that site…)
  • “UPN, blackspoitation of the 21th (sic) century” – Written by a Rose student (should this be advertised?), this is commentary on (as the title suggests) UPN’s choice of programming, complete with a proposed, ah, “solution”. The first half of the post has a good point, anyway. The second half is a little over the top.
  • “Donor Eggs and Stupid Names and Anal Temperatures, Oh My!” – Hilarious for the stupid names portion, in the second and third paragraphs. Actually, the whole thing is interesting and intelligent (as is the rest of the site, for that matter).
  • “Chappelle lets rude crowd have it” – Damn. Some folks are rude. It must be some kind of tiring to be in Chappelle’s spot–everywhere you go, someone is quoting your worst one-liners, as though you’ve said nothing intelligent or that was actually commentary. Now, I haven’t watched enough of Chappelle’s show to know if he makes intelligent commentary (I’m a George Carlin girl, myself), but I think I can understand Chappelle’s frustration with the “rude crowd”. (link courtesy of Sexy Short Stuff, also known as Steve)
  • Anybody need a reading list? (This is the good one, not the “Reader’s” list.) Where to find some of those books, if your local university library is so crummy as to only have technical books? Project Gutenberg, of course. Or at least, I found James Joyce there.

Unfortunately, the difficult part is tomorrow…

So I’ve been working on this app for Dr. M–the UV/VIS number cruncher. I’ve got it working and all that good stuff, but I need to redesign the GUI, and that gets saved for tomorrow, with all the joys of fighting with Visual C++. The big thing was getting it working, and quickly, behind the scenes.

I ran into an interesting dilemma where the app ran so slowly it was unbearable. It took twenty to thirty minutes to crunch about seventy thousand pairs of wavelength/absorbance data (a 1.3 MB comma delimited file). It took the old DOS version about a minute. It obviously wasn’t any of the algorithms Mr. Dr. M wrote, since the DOS version worked fine.

Two hours and much research on file streams in Windows later (my initial suspicion was that using the old iostream class to perform file IO in Windows was killing the app–but again, the DOS version does), I found two lines where I used an ass-backwards, convoluted way of clearing two vectors and inserting data into them again. And those two clearing statements are executed for every single sample set (26 * 4.5 = 117), and the two statements to assign the data are executed for every single pair of wavelength/absorbance data. See about about 70,000 pairs being in this particular file.

A quick fix to the four lines in question gave me a sexy fast app. It’s about damn time. I love this stuff, though…

Now I must read and unwind so I can sleep, which should be easy since Dublab.com is playing Will Smith’s “Summertime”.