04 August 2009

The War of the Toasting Device.

There is currently a war going on in my house. It is an intense war that has our kitchen divided. The war has caused the creation of allies and along with long conversations related to the pros and cons of the situation.

This war is over:

The use of a toaster oven or a toaster

This is a major issue with in the house and has been an unresolved issued that has festered until my toaster died. This is when the war broke out. First Casey bought a toaster oven. Providing a source for not only making toast but also cooking small meals with out having to heat up the large clunker that it sits next to.

But then Dustin made his move, the purchasing of a toaster. A simple, sleek device that takes up little counter space that provides a simple function: toasting things. That is it. A unitasker.

Now, each device provides excitement to the cooking experience. The toaster, taking a unix approach to the cooking world, provides a single service, and it does it well. The toaster oven, taking what I feel is more of a windows approach to the cooking world, does a lot of things OK. I have only had a couple of experiences with the toaster oven, some of which end every badly.

I'm not sure what the out come of the war will be, but I will say that this point in time is that I will not take sides, until there is some sort of epic battle in the kitchen between the actual toaster and toaster oven.

Day to Day. Task to Task.

From time to time, everyone sits down and looks over recent activities, interactions and events, and reflect on the experiences. Comparing and contrasting the goods and the bads. Find things to improve upon. Things to change. Ways to change the outcomes come to mind, and you start playing the what if game, seeing if there was something that you could have done to change the out come of some event or interaction.

Currently, I find myself sitting here taking a general look over the things that I have done, and the current state of where I am in the world. I ponder if this is where I want to be. Am I heading in a direction that I want to go in? Am I taking in the things that I want to take in? Am I taking time to appreciate the things that I do, and the environment around me? These are things that I currently wonder about. Wonder if they are things that need to change.

The day to day is the day to day. Taking each day just as time in which to fill with tasks. Each days has an emptiness to them that causes one to wonder what they purpose is. To attempt to see where meaning can be injected into the emptiness of the day to do in hopes that something exciting will come out of filling the void.

Scheduling and planning each day only seems to provide for the opportunity to speed past things, fostering the potential for more emptiness because of the changing of activities all the time. From the same point of view, one could obtain more from this changing of activities because of the potential for diversity in the subject matters. But what happens when your schedules tasks and activities don't provide diversity and you seem to continuously tread water. This is where I have found myself.

Forward movement is something that everyone wants to achieve. It provides a way to measure where you have been and the things that one has accomplished. Moving forward, breaking out of the norm is a challenge. Moving forward means change, and change can be a dangerously feared thing. But I find myself wanting to move forward, wanting to expand the horizons and conquer new things. But there is something that sits in the way of doing this. Time.

A friend said that a lack of time shouldn't be an excuse for not completing something, but not the time that it takes complete, but also the time to do background research. There are many different things out there that require a level of background knowledge, and there is also the time to keep up with the information that comes out, but this gets in the way of the other activities that are required, but bring emptiness to the world.

Ther are many different things that are interesting, but there is just no time to get into and get up to speed so that it become second nature.

But at this point in the game, I just want the feeling of moving forward.

Please also note that Google needs to fix it's source code input system. Just because I put a line break in, doesn't mean that I want a actual line break in displayed form. Please fix and let me know.

25 July 2009


his year has provided me with a lot of challenges. Questions have a risen that have brought me to the edge of completely changing my career path or lack of one; how I interact with the people around me; and what constitutes me. I have always had a problem with excepting me for me, and always trying to attempt be someone else just in attempt to fit in with the people around. I have been doing this for so long, that I have lost who I am. Not feeling comfortable to be me, taking medication to normalize myself and get things done. Recently events have brought all of this up again and has shed a new light on the entire thing. I apologize to those that I have hurt during this ordeal, as I have not intentional mented and just trying to figure everything out and to be comfortable in this world.

The concept of self is interesting to one that doesn't know ones self. One that is always attempting to be something else, and not always the most comfortable with himself. The question of it means to comfortable with one self comes to mind. Some might say that it could be dancing in the streets at 2 in the morning. Some might say that is doing what you love even when everyone around you says that it can't be done. Some might say that it is walking up to a girl you like and strike up a conversation in hopes of something exciting coming out of it.

I have never really sat down and examined myself to the fullest extent. Never come to ponder the kind of people that I want to be. I have always just live in the moment, the situation in hopes that some would come out of it. Experiencing new things are said to help with becoming comfortable with one self. I have experienced many different things over the years, but yet I sit here on a bus to Dorney Park in turmoil trying to figure this out.

This isn't something is going to come to me overnight. Something that is going to appear in an "AH HA" moment like every hopes it will. This is going to be something that I will have to continue to write about while evaluating my interactions with the people around, people that I meet in the future, and situations that I find myself in. After I have gathered a collection of thoughts, reflections, and other things I will head off a remote place and figure it all out hopefully while camping or torturing my body on my bike in some remote location.

Interactions with people has never been my forte. I can't always take Sam around with me to translate "Charles" into "everyone else" speak. While this make handling some situations easier because he understand my thought process and how I interact with people, he can't also be there. I have never been able to hold relationship, both love interest and non love interest very well. Before coming to college, the longest standing friend ship that I can thing of was with Jacob for 4 years before his untimely death. Since then, I have not really had many long term friendships with my peers and people around me.

But over the last couple of terms (months for you non-Drexel folk), I had have trouble in the relationship department. Part of it has spawned from me, and I believe part of it has spawned from other people. This has presented a confusing mess for me to be in. I'm not the kind of person that reads between the lines. I'm not the kind of person that picks up on subtle hints of winks and nods. I'm just not that kind of person. I don't play close enough attention to my surrounds to pick up on these things. People have to basically slap me in the face with the ugly truth no matter what happens. While I won't always take it in the best way, I normally end up sitting down and taking it all in, then taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture. While this isn't always the best way to handle situations, it is best way that I have been able to handle things.

I see all of the friendships around me, new friendships form, and wonder. I have seen members of one friend group interacted with another and form deeper friendships than I have with either side. I see people have deep friendships with other people and long to have the same thing with the same people and other people. While attempting to form these deeper relationship, I jump into it quickly. I'm a people pleaser and the expense of my own health and mental stability. And I will bend over backward to become friends with them. Basically what it comes down to is that I just try to hard to form friendships. Guess that it is time to back off and slow down, but I wonder whether that is a good thing. I wonder if people will come to me and start something.

Social situations have always been a problem for me. these situations have always presented a level of awkwardness to me. Not knowing how to interact with people. Say thing the wrong thing. These have always been fears of mine. I have come to cope with them by committing my self to other activities, even it was socially acceptable. This has including making a pie at a halloween party, baking, or reading a research paper on rumor mongering on a network at lunch. I have even left events. It is something that I do to remove myself from the awkwardness.

Also part of the problem is balance. Balance is something that every needs, and I feel that it is something that is needed to maintain mental sanity in life. But you don't have to just balance between a social, personal and work life, one has to balance with in each of the categories. With in a social life, one must balance between all of the people around him/her. Attempting to spend the right amounts of time with everyone proves to be a challagne, because one also balance this with a blending ones own personal interests.

I don't like feeling like a burden. I don't like just going to someones house. I just feel like a burden. I someone has an open event, I don't like to go over. I prefer to have an explicit invite. It is just wait I like. It makes me feel more comfortable.

Other stuff
There are other thing that currently sit in my mind. School work. Post graduation. What for dinner tomorrow? What I am going to do at work from now on? I have always just taken things as they come along with little planning for the future. I have always pondered about the what ifs. What if I had actually applied to different schools? What if I hadn't changed majors? What would it be like if I actually knew what I wanted to with the rest of my life.

Every thing is in an undetermined state in the DFA of life, with no paths that lead to a final state. I just wish that there was a final state. A section that is stable, and you have a the ability to look ahead before taking a step forward. Even to be able to do a depth first search would be great.

I am a computer man. That is just what I am. I mean come on I just related my life to a DFA for goodness sake.

16 July 2009

Down the River

Today, I read an interesting article regarding the affect of technology on humans ability to critically think. It was an interesting read. No conclusions were drawn in the article about the positive or negative affects, but there were some things that got me thinking about myself, and my approach to doing things and how I have gotten by over the years in this world.

The Article
You can read my notes about this article on my wiki. The jest of the article related to how humans have the ability to think out side of the box, and that we cherish it. The article goes into some information regarding how the reading of literature over the years has declined and the explosion of visual media. There is also some discussion related to the act of reading and building an imagination, increasing thinking, and building vocabulary. Also, the explosion of visual media has lead to decline in the reflection and analysis of the content. The end of the article ends with this quote:
"With out CT, we create trivia. We dismantle scientific models and replace them with trendy or wishful ones that are neither transferable or testable."

Staying a Float
As everyone knows, when you are working on your education the material that you learned yesterday is needed today. Today's material will be need tomorrow. Now if you take that idea and stretch it over many different classes, over many different years, you get a cohesive education. As my education has progressed, I have noticed that in previous classes I was just staying a float, and not really absorbing the material in the manner that I needed to use it down the line for future classes and activities. Now, 4 years into college and it is starting to come back to bit me in very subtle ways. It has also become harder to stay float at this point. I have also noticed that I have started to lose my ability to solve problems in an easy effective manner.

Some of this I can contribute to the topic that is discussed in the article mentioned above. Technology and critical thinking. Upon further pondering of this topic manner, I have come to the conclusion that it does affect the critical thinking skills of people. It can affect people in different ways. Some people it as increased their ability to critically think. If you take for example the people behind the development of new technologies that we use on a day to day basis. But there is also there is also technologies that haven't helped with the increase of critical thinking skills. For example, there is a wealth of information online that has enabled people to just pull up the answer with out having to think about it.

Some might argue that because the Internet contains so much information, that people can use it to solve the simple tasks of life, and then move on to bigger and better things. But the question that I pose to those people is are you able to complete the simple tasks? I feel that if you aren't able to complete the simple tasks, then you really shouldn't be moving on to larger tasks.

Things to fix
Given all of this, I have pondered several area that I can work on to hopefully increase my ability to complete tasks, along with hopefully work on my critical thinking skills.

  • Doing one thing at a time - While multitasking can be good, it does provide for a certain lack of depth when working on something. It can probably be said that when you are working a series of small simple tasks, multitasking can probably help with the management of the task. But when a larger task comes a long, need to set a side time to work on them.

  • Reading - Something that I have never really been good at is the whole reading thing. It has always seemed like, while not pointless or meaningless, I could be doing something more exciting with my time. Something that would see more productive. I'm a slow reader. I will admit it. But something that I need to work on it actually reading. Besides that attempt to read for fun, there will also be a collection of papers that I'm going to read and keep notes on using the wiki.

These are things that I hope will help me to "catch" up over time, and become better in my field if any thing. Does any one have a good discreet math book for dummies book that I may barrow?

11 June 2009


I will have to admit that pondering the thoughts of life during a concurrent final is probably not the best thing in the world, expically for those of us with ADD. It is very distracting, and forces us to end up writing random blog postings regarding it. But, during this final (which I did complete) I started to wonder about thinking. Yes, people, thinking about thinking. It is probably hard to handle, but for those that know me, this is a normal think for me.

As I sat there trying to figure out the best way to been the people of Alpha and Beta on to the Enterprise while allowing Mr. Scotty to sleep between transports, I looked around the room at people working on their own finals. This is where the derailing of the train of thought happened. I wondered: How are people processing the information? What are people's trains of thoughts for taking an exam? How are people jumping from one question to the next in a logical mannger? This has always interested me. I sit in a room with people that are clearly smarter than I, and wonder what their thought processes are. I find it mildly interesting.

With all of this, I started to wonder about my though processes, and how I can up with answers and solved probelms. This, this was the bad point. At this point, I realized that I had no formal though process. Things just appeared in my head. I mean it is clear that the transporter site is suppose wake up Mr. Scotty. It is just clear. Well, to me at least.

Through out my schooling, there have been several attempts at teaching ways to approach problem, map your mind, and get your thoughs out on paper. I was never really turned on by these methods, or to say I never really found that they worked. It just always seemed like a lot of extra work to sit and draw out a map, fill in the little circles, and by that point my OCD would kick in, and well 4 hours later, I would have a half completed mind map that would be worthily of some sort of design award. But at the same time, I haven't gotten all of my ideas out. This is something that has always been true. I spend more time making it look pretty than actually getting the information down.

But there was something else that I wondered about: thinking in the head. I watched the professor change the first problem three times. Granted I wonder about his thinking processes because of a number of other problems in the class, but I sat there and watched him go through the problem in his head. Granted this was a problem that I had no idea even how to approach, but I wondered how he was going through it in his head. I was curious.

I guess this is forming the thought that things just pop into my head, and normally I try and give attention to those things. (Ex: grading midterms, assisting with homework, fixing the mailserver, and talking with friend all in the same hour and half. (Yes, I got it all done. Christine was impressed.)) But I wonder if there is a need to formalize the process of handling thoughts and approaching things instead of just raming it head on and working with the things that appear in my head.

Thoughs and comments are welcome.

04 June 2009

To Do.

Though out life, there are many different to do lists that are created. There are ones fo things that we need to do in school and at work. There are also the to do lists that we make for life. There are lists that we make for the next three hours. There are a lot of to do lists. To do lists are a great. The only problem that I have with them is that mine are continous growing.

I get a little obsessed with my todo lists. They get pretty detailed. Some times breaking a task down so much that it would form a good model for a requirements document for a complex program.

I don't keep a formal todo list. I have tried. Purchased notebooks to carry around with me. Random sheets of paper (these are easy to loose). GoogleTaks. Remember the Milk. All of these I have tried, and I end up either stop using them, or they become so large that it is just eaiser to ignore them :).

I guess that it is time to try something new. Time to make some sort of grand todo for everything. Maybe I will just write a program to do it for me which will then distract me from actaully doing the things on the list. I'm all in favor of this.

27 May 2009

The After Life

While I'm still a year away from graduating from this prison that they call Drexel, thoughts of the after college life have already started to run through my head. One of the problems that I have always had was the fact I just never knew what I wanted to do with my self. As a kindergartner would say "I have no idea what I want be when I grow up."

There are many different things that I enjoy doing. Many different things that I have tried. But none of them have sparked my interest to become hyper focus on. Something that I wouldn't mind spending my college career studying, with the potential for going for a masters or even a PhD in.

In attempting to try different things, there was a bit of hope that I would find something that peak my interest, something that draw me in to far that I would presume it as a profession or an area that I concentrate in. But alas, nothing has stand out. Some people don't seem to find this uneasy, but I do. I would even feel better if I had a general idea of what I wanted to do, but I don't.

There have been many different thing that I have concerned doing after college. Now before I start going through these things, and my thoughts on people knowing what they want to do, I need to give you my life plan. It is very simple. First stage, work somewhere exciting. Second stage, teach something exciting. Third stage, buy an RV and travel the nation building Habitat houses.

Now here are some options that I have presented to my self:
  • Farmer: Yes, a farmer with cows, and land, and large pieces of farm equipment. My family has a fairly large piece of land with no one to take care of in the future. I'm kind of partial to keeping in the family which requires someone to take care of it. Now, I have no idea how to be a farmer, and there is a lot of things that I would have to learn, beyond my current skill set. The plus side to moving and becoming a farmer is that there is a lot of areas to go biking. Yeah Biking!
  • System Administrator: This is an area that I have a lot of experience in, and continue to do part time. System Administrator proves with a different set of problems and activities from day to day. This is some thing that I like. I really don't like to sit and do the same thing all day every day and doesn't mix well with the ADD. The other thing is that it is something that I understand.
  • Developer: Now this is something that people would consider to be the track that I should be taking. There are some problems with this. The first one is that I don't always enjoy programming. Yeah, I said it. I don't always enjoy programming. It is hard to believe. There have been a number of different projects that I have worked on that have proved me with great interest, but in the overall scheme of things there is something that I'm missing or just not understanding. Hopefully entering my senior year will help me to gave a love to just write random code.
  • Teacher: Teaching is something that I have always enjoyed. It has always provided me with joy helping people to understand something. I have taught many different things over the years, mainly in the areas of programming, system administration and leadership skills. There are a lot of other things that I have taught but not in a large scale. I could see my self teaching subjects in introductory programming, system administration, or possibly high school math (, possibly).
These are just a few of the things that I have considered. There are so many other possibilities that could be listed: professional bicyclist, laptop repair man, project manager, dry erase marker tester, chef, lunch-truck owner, or one of many other random professions.

All of this stuff seems to be becoming more and more of a problem as I approach the end of my college career. At this point in time, I'm heading to After College Pergatory.

22 May 2009


While riding around this afternoon, I pondered things that needed to be done in preparation for racing next year for Drexel. Many different things came to mind including hill climbing, sprinting and learning to ride in a pack. These things are standard. Items that will help me to win a race.

But upon further thinking, while almost getting hit by a trash truck, I decided that winning the race wasn't the most important thing. There are things that are more important. Things, that while adventuring in to racing, I discovered about the ECCC. My goal for next year is to make in to the ECCC Survey results.

Yes, the survey results. Winning has it's place, but the survey results are more exciting, and I feel that they last a bit longer. (If you don't know what I'm referring to, take a look at the ECCC website.)

Here are some ideas that I have come up with:

Epic Crashes - Epic crashes while it does hurt, does seem to get people in to the survey.
Things caught on Finish camera - This is a guaranteed way to at least have something caught on film. Just need to make sure that I don't piss Joe off while doing it.

There are bound to be other things that I can do be gain a spot in the survey. Who knows, even this entry will make it into the survey. But that is just wishful thinking.


Hello all. This is my attempt at keeping a blog. While I can't guarantee that I will be posting to it regularly, I will say that I will write to when I can.

Just so that everyone knows topics on this blog can include, but not limited to:
  • Photography
  • Habitat
  • Bicycles
  • Turtles
  • Cooking
  • Drexel
  • Leadership
  • Computers
  • Shenanigans
So, there will be a large variety of topics, and I hope that I can provide meaningful information for meaningless topics.

Comments are always welcome.

Happy reading!