Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Working world

For those of you in the working world... I hope you've experienced the exhilaration that accompanies using your education in your work. It's a fantastic thing. Today I used Parametric Equations, which I remember learning about in highschool pre-calculus, and used a lot in College but I never thought I'd remember or use the concepts in the real world. It inspires me to go back to my books and see what else I can apply to my work!

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I Just did my taxes, and I thought that since the internet is nothing but a huge popularity contest, I should say I found to be a relatively painless process. Federal filing is free, state filing is $10 which is as good as you're going to find anywhere. I'm not sure if it supports the more complicated deductions like home businesses, but I was able to get tax credit on tuition I paid last semester and all the regular charitable donation stuff you'd expect is supported. The best part is that I finished in 45 minutes (including two W2s and figuring out what I paid for tuition) and sent it electronically and I should get my refund in about a week :) On the topic of taxes, here's a fun fact: I have more taken out of my paycheck for state/federal taxes, medicare, etc. per hour than I made per hour a year ago. w00t California!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Recipe for dinner

Tonight I was cooking dinner, and the spirit of Jessie was flowing through me so I decided to go nuts and make up a sauce for the leftover spaghetti noodles I had in the fridge. It turned out quite well, so I thought I'd share.

I buy my chicken ice-frosted in a bag because it's so much easier to cook with than those styrofoam chickenbreasts which (in my mind) leak salmonella juices everywhere. So when I cook dinner, my modus operandi is to skillet one frozen chickenbreast and when it's thawed, add some chopped up onions. I typically add some other stuff and serve with rice or spaghetti but tonight I looked in my fridge and saw my unused bottle of honeymustard that looked so tastey in the store. I put about 3 table spoons of that in a measuring cup with equal amount of water and about a teaspoon of basalmic vinegar. I stirred it up and it looked thin so I added some corn starch and threw it on the cooking chicken. I tasted some of the sauce with a spoon and it was good, but just didn't have the kick I wanted. So I added some ground mustard I had (it's spicy, usually used with a drop or two of water to make a wasabi-like paste) and some red cayenne pepper. I let that cook for a minute so the corn starch could thicken and put that on my noodles. The honey compliments the chicken, and the mustard compliments the onions.

Cooking is fun if you have the right spices and random ingredients!

Serves one, prep time 30 minutes.
1 chicken breast
1/4 onion chopped
some olive oil for cooking chicken and onions
3 tablespoons mustard
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon basalmic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
cayenne pepper

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Learning by doing

There are three types of learners. Those who learn by hearing - auditory, those who learn by seeing - visual, and those who learn by doing - kinesthetic. I think a recent trend in education has focused on kinesthetic, because most people are best suited for it. I myself am much quicker to pick up concepts when I write a line of code than when I hear or read about it. But today, sitting on the toilet I had a revelation. I learn by doing because my whole life has been hands on. The trend toward kinesthetic learning is perpetuated by the trend toward kinesthetic learning. And now, as I enter the "Real" world I recognize the fact that I need learning skills that I don't have. I need to be able to sit down, read a paragraph and apply it to the world around me or listen to a two hour description of a solution and be able to apply that to the current problem. I haven't been taught how to listen to lectures, I've been taught how to take notes. I do a sample problem and score pretty well on a test, but what about those problems where there are no samples? The worst part is, future teachers of america learned by doing, so they will inevitably teach... by doing.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Political Thoughts

Despite a lingering hesitation of making this a "political blog", I'm going to take the plunge. I've decided to write about my politics for a couple reasons:

  • I have a glimmer of hope that someone cares what I believe politically

  • It's a blog, therefore I've got a duty to the "powers that be" to mention it

  • I have a comment feature now

  • It's not November

  • It's Saturday night in a city I don't know well and I'm waiting for the water to boil for tea. My first political belief is that nothing worth discussing politically is worth discussing unless you have absolutely nothing better to do.

I'm going to post the page separate from this post, so it doesn't muck up the alignment on my webpage and so I can go back and modify it whenever my opinions change (yes, I'm a flip-flopper.)

With that, let's begin

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

When I drove to California, I had lots of time to think. One of the ideas I came up with related directly to driving. While I driving down the road in my U-Haul, I realized I see a whole different class of cars when I can't go that fast as when I'm speeding along in my regular car. I see much less slow cars, and much more fast cars. This led me to think about life in general... When you're traveling along in life, you tend to meet up with people going either much faster than you or much slower. These encounters are short lived and generally ill fated, because you aren't moving at the same pace as the cars around you. This is a lesson for a lot of the girls in my life *coughsharonhannahaliceheatherlizcough*. They are all expecting to establish meaningful relationships while they're speeding along, finishing school, going to grad school and pursueing a professional career. They need to realize that the people they meet are moving much slower than them, and they can't lower their standards just so a slow moving vehicle can keep up. Is life doomed to passing cars left and right until the police pull you over? No, I think we all find our correct road eventually. Some people exit to the residental life and mosey along at a slow pace and others find themselves on the Autobon. Either way, you end up with people going the same pace as you, and when you look around they never pass you or drag behind. It's just a matter of time before you finally find the group of people you can keep pace with, and those are the ones you should create meaningful relationships with.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Good trip, but it's good to be home. When talking to Jessie today, we came to the decision that happiness is not a tank to be filled, it's a binary output based on the sum of all inputs. What that means is, we could be happier together right now, but being apart doesn't mean we're automatically 70% happy like turning in an assignment late with further deductions based on how much you suck at life. It also doesn't mean that time will cause happiness to leak away or slowly build up over time like rain in a bucket. It's something so unnatural in nature to be able to reverse so quickly. It's good to realize that although any one thing might crush your day, moments later you might experience the most beautiful thing in the world if you only keep your eyes open to see it. I'm pretty sure that covers it, but I may have to write more in order to explain it fully.

Anyway, I don't have the links working right if you're seeing this on If you want to post a comment, click here to do so.