Over the Border

“I don’t know, let me see what my schedule looks like.”

Okay, I have an enormous programming assignment due in 4 days that I havent started– for a class I’m almost failing. Um, what else? Oh, I have that 4000 word term-paper I knew about all semester, yep, still haven’t began (you know, I think it may count for 30% of my grade). What else? Oh, There’s that other project, in that other….

“Yeah, sure Nick. I’ll go to Canada.”

And that’s how it all started. lol

(to be continued…maybe)

* read the comment 😉


When I was 18 years old, I was so excited about computers and programming. I used to spend tons of money purchasing O’Reilly computer books on Amazon.com, and even the computer section at Barnes Noble would leave me misty-eyed, like a little kid in a candy store. I even looked up the Best VPN Reviews to protect my computer. I would plan out my next purchases– what new comp-sci technology should I invest in next? PHP, XML-RPC, ooo… wow, they just got a new Advanced Perl Programming book. Then I met Linux. It was a match made in heaven, metaphorically of course. Computers came easy for me, and my passion for them, I thought, would endure unabated.

Then I went to college, and decided to major in my passion. That was a mistake. Nothing has made the thought of computers, and hacking away for hours at a computer more repugnant then my 4 years of computer science at URI. There I learned about all kinds of crap, carefully crafted with a curriculum so carefully planned out, to provide the most excruciating, skin-pulling, irrelevant course load possible. There is CSC402, Compiler development, the first lines of the teacher: “This course will teach you about compilers. Most of you, if not all of you, will never have to write a compiler in your life. However, during the course of this semester, you will learn every excruciating pedantic detail about compilers, and a few other things we’ve made up to make the course near impossible to pass”. Then there was CSC 211, where I met my first all-nighter, and of course many more to come. There you learned that programming assignments should always be started immediately and also that the phrase “I’m done”, has no place in computer science, only “close enough”, or “Screw this, I’m handing it in!”.

Then of course, as we all know, computer science and math are intimately entwined– they sleep in the same bed. And it is no secret that in addition, math has a hot passionate love-affair with Physics, and not the easy tawdry physics, no no… the mysterious, dark, complicated physics. As CS students, we’re caught in this love triangle, thereby forced to take these hopelessly esoteric courses, ad nausem.

I don’t know how I did it. But my 4+ years in the CS curriculum are coming to an end; I will be graduating very soon. And in these 4+ years of higher education I have learned one thing, and I tell this to every new impressionable freshman I happen to meet: “Whatever you do, don’t get into computer science.”

Laughter, the Best Medicine

Today, after church, someone gave me a newspaper clipping of a joke they had particularly liked. Who doesn’t love a good joke now and then? I was on my way out, so I tucked the clipping in my front shirt pocket and headed for the door. As soon as I got outside, I quickly retrieved it from my pocket and continued for my car, trying to read this joke while walking. It was titled:

“Laughter the Best Medicine”

A person went into a bookshop to buy a sympathy card to be sent to one of his friends who had a bereavement in his family which the friend had not been able to attend.

He had been looking high and low in the shop going to almost every shelf for a sympathy card but having failed to find one inquired from a shop assistant as to where they stored sympathy cards.

“Oh”, the shop assistant replied, “In this shop we put them under wedding cards, because most sympathetic events follow family life.”

You probably didn’t laugh either. I read the first paragraph twice thinking it was just my thick-headedness impeding comprehension, but then after getting through the second obfuscating paragraph, and then to the third, I was left baffled. What a terrible joke. Who would take the time to cut this out? Okay, let’s try to maybe piece this together. The death cards are behind the wedding cards, and that’s funny because family events have death in hmph okay let’s not do this. I can recognize a futile endeavor when I see one.

Monday Minutiae

Okay, true it’s not Monday, it’s technically Wednesday. But really, Monday and Wednesday are pretty much the same day. I look at the days of the week like being alone on a derelict ship in the middle of the ocean and trying to make it for shore. Some how, you get stranded in the middle of the water, with no clear sign of land anywhere, this is Monday.

Monday is particularly bad, since it is the first realization of your unfortunate predicament, and your inexperience leads to a pile-on of unmitigated responsibility and chores. Tuesday, is more of an acceptance of circumstance, although it will offer a few snags. Having been without food and starving since yesterday, you decide today, on Tuesday, that you will have to do “some” kind work and find “some” type of nourishment. Tuesday is less bad as Monday, but the future is still ominous. You usually end up finding a herring or two, and end the night Tuesday with a partially satiated belly.

Wednesday morning you wake up to a blissful dream that you are happy; you’re home, on land, and everything is just peachy. Then you wake up. And Wednesday becomes a facsimile of Monday. You again become aware of your abysmal situation, out in the middle of the sea, with no sign of land or people. Suffice it to say Wednesday is a lot like Monday.

On Thursday, you wake up to hear the melodic cadence of a distant albatross, floating through the wind. The albatross, this auspicious omen, portends good tidings, land must be near. It is in your reach, you double your efforts to make it for home as soon possible. If your a college student, you usually somehow make it home on Thursday, you spot land and before the night is through, your chugging back a half-dozen long islands at the Bon Vue. But, if you’re not in college, Thursday is not the end.

Friday is here. You take pride in your tenacity, who would of thought you’d last this long. You take a nap at your desk… I mean ship. You wake up to find your craft is not moving. What’s going on? You stand up, to find yourself beached on land. Home! A blithly momentous occasion, Friday is ever so sweet. Saturday you spend the entire day playing halo 2 at your friends house. Then on Sunday you decide to go fishing with your dad. It is a pleasant day to be fishing. Then, a giant tuna grabs your line and you simply cannot, with all you might, hold on. You’re pulled in. It’s Monday.

The Buzz

It’s decided. I think I’m going to make the leap and get a buzz cut. Having medium short hair has been such a nusiance. You fall into the vicious haircut cycle. See, a guy with medium-short fairly-thick hair like myself has hair that only looks good about one week after a haircut, and this lasts for about 2 days, 3 if your lucky. After your 2-3 days or so of bliss, your back to where you started, bad hair. You then have to wait an additional 2 weeks with crappy hair before you get another haircut, and start the process all over again– lest you get it too early and you really mess things up. Your hair won’t look good for 8 weeks then! This has been my miserable life for some time now. And, I’ve decided to vindicate myself from this quagmire, and defeat the enemy from the source; Take out the Hair! I’m gonna buzz it all off.

Halo 2 Terms


After three arduous years of waiting, Halo 2 has finnally been released. I remember living in Green Hill (South of RI) about three years ago with three good friends: mark (who we call mardigan), and mark (who we call laboss), and of course Nate (who we call nate–and sometimes by his full name: Nasty Naked Nate Fischer). Well, the three of us used to skip school (maybe not laboss) (what a school girl, lol), and play Halo all morning and all night, until it came to a point where we couldn’t see straight or make a ham sandwhich without tossing it and ducking for cover. Yeah, it got that bad. Anyway, Halo 2 just came out and we’re right back at it. For today’s post I’m listing some terminolgy our gang uses when playing halo… you know, just in case you want to play us.

Quilting : A person who takes on a defensive position and waits for others to land in their tactical vantage point to begin firing. This person has to essentially ‘wait’ for others to appear in his line of sight and therefore has the ability to take on another project while waiting, we suggest, quilting (cause your obviously a pansy)

Force the Blue : No one wants to be the red team in a multiplayer game. The red color brings about too many negative connotations like, menstruation. The technique known as forcing the blue is when a player/team switches their color to blue before the game starts. If both teams are blue, the game will not start. Until one team concedes, and changes their color to red, the players must wait. It is pregame test of patience– similar to Yoga.. or Zen

Zamboni : A person who intentionally waits till another player is weak from another fight to go in for the easy kill. Usually a bunch of people will be duking it out with each other, and at the moment when everyone is at a point where shields drop, a zamboni will come in and ‘clean up’ .

Tickling : Think of being tickled, although frightening at times, it doesn’t really ‘kill’ you. It is exactly the same way with the covenant gun the ‘needler’. This term 9 out of 10 times will refer to the feeling of being hit by the needler, although it may apply to the assault riffle, covenant pistol, or any gun for that matter in the hands of a bad player.

Uber : Another way of referring to the ‘overshield’ power up.

Uber Whore : Someone who repeatily gets the ‘overshield’

Naked : Concealed with the ‘active camouflage’ powerup

Boomstick : Another, cooler, name for the shotgun

Bitch Grenade : Just before your about to die, or in expectation of your death, one will sometimes go down “Jap style” and bounce a grenade near you. This will obviously kill the thrower when it goes off, but it will also take down the person that is attacking you. This grenade is known as the ‘bitch grenade’.

Cricket : The covenant pistol is sometimes referred to as a ‘cricket’ , Like the gun in the Will Smith movie ‘Men in Black’. Its small and dinky just like the one in the movie.

French Tickler : I think my friend Mardigan made this term up after I mentioned I’m doing this list, it is ‘supposedly another name for the ‘needler’. (Between you and me… it’s still the needler)

Moral Issues

Curiosity prompted me to type in marriage in the mirriam-webster online dictionary, and the result was pretty interesting:

a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

Now, It has been speculated that moral issues were the biggest reason why Bush won reelection. But among this subset of issues, one in particular seemed to harbor the most dissenting opinions, Gay marriage.

The bible is the primary reactionary tool that opponents cite when bashing gay marriage, which for me does not seem relevant. Soon, these hot-button issues that have polarized our nation will have to be addressed, but governmentally, is it sound to base our rationale on the spiritual teachings that represent just one of the myriad religions practiced in this country. In India, Hinduism and Islam are dominant religions, would it make sense for that country to simply pick one of these religions and base law simply around the more popular of the two, without any representation for the others? Would this be fair? Sure, I am Christian, and I do believe in the bible and it’s spiritual merit, but I just don’t feel that my beliefs should be forcibly imposed on another of differing convictions. Recently, I had asked my friend Nick about his opinion on these issues, and he brought up a really profound, rhetorical point, “Wasn’t this country founded for religious freedom?”.

As Chief Justice Reinquest’s deteriorating health condition, threatens vacancy in our supreme court, let’s pray Dubya does the right thing.

Rock Paper Scissors

My friend Beth had sent me this little blurb, that she herself had taken from another friend. I’m not sure who wrote this yet so I can’t credit this to anyone. It’s just a bit of Insight into the game we all know and love, the bet settler, “Rock Paper Scissors”.

I understand that Scissors can beat Paper, and I get how Rock can beat Scissors, but there’s no [expletive deleted] way Paper can beat Rock. Paper is supposed to magically “wrap around” Rock, leaving it immobile? Why the hell cant paper do this to scissors? Screw scissors, why can’t paper do this to people? Why aren’t sheets of college ruled notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they attempt to take notes in class? I’ll tell you why, because paper can’t beat anybody, a rock would tear that [expletive deleted] up in about 2 seconds. When I play rock/paper/scissors I always choose rock.Then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper I can punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say, oh , I’m sorry I thought paper would protect you, you [expletive deleted].

What time is it?

We had a small power outage last week and now my alarm-clock wont stop flashing the wrong time. No, it’s not broken, it’s just that I’m so god-damn lazy.

It’s now past mid-semester, and I have almost completely checked-out. I can’t fathom how some people can keep the good-student pace for more than 3 or 4 weeks, never mind 13 weeks. Wow. A semester is 13 whole weeks! And it’s not just once a week; it’s like 3 days a week, 1 hour a day, 10 hours of homework, an endless docket of reading then multiply by x number of courses and divide by 3 or 4. God I hate school. Serenity now!

Conversational Haitus

Hey guys, Derick here. I realize it has been a week or so since I’ve written anything new –actually, more than week since we had Chris guest bloging. Anyway, I have been sick since halloween, and then just when I was starting to recover, I think I got a little worse Novemeber 3rd (for obvious reasons). Something about being sick really fuddles with my mind, and it becomes a real nightmare for me to concentrate and form cogent sentences. With that said, catch me in a few days.

.. when I get better