Wednesday, January 16, 2008

online classes

are really hard to concentrate on.

Monday, January 14, 2008

screen flicker

this screen flicker on my macbook is driving me insane. It makes my computer almost unusable. I took it to the apple store to get it fixed, and they were going to send it out to get fixed, but they were going to keep it for a week, and I need it next weekend for my dad's memorial service, and didn't really trust that they were only going to have it for a week, since it seems that generally people who have posted about problems of this kind as well as repairs have had reported that they got their computers back after about 3 weeks. As soon as I get back into town, it's heading right back to the shop. 


It's 10:30 in the am, and I am in the library at school between chem lecture and chem recitation. I was reading an article about today's scheduled flyby of mercury by the Messenger probe, that will send back 1200 images of mercury, the first images since the mid-1970's.

"It will take more than 1200 images during the flyby, providing views of the planet that were never seen by Mariner 10, which imaged only 45% of the surface. "The first thing that most of us want to see is what the other 55% of the surface looks like," says mission member Faith Vilas, director of the MMT Observatory in Arizona, US.

"The flyby will even offer views that will not be possible when it begins to orbit the planet in 2011. That's because the spacecraft will pass over the planet's equatorial regions during this and its subsequent Mercury flybys in October 2008 and September 2009. When it goes into orbit, however, it will fly over the polar regions and will thus not get the same close-up perspective from its flybys over the lower latitudes.

"All seven of its scientific instruments will be used during the flyby to try to understand why Mercury is such an "oddball", says Sean Solomon, the mission's principal investigator at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in the US."

At nasa's website, they have a summary of the mission, as well as countdown clocks. To my surprise, there's 25 minutes until the flyby. How cool is it that in the 21st century we can get up to the second updates of missions in space? There's even a countdown clock to when the probe will begin its orbit of Mercury in 2011.
I don't think that I should rule out astrobiology as something that I should aim for.

here's the site for the countdown clocks:

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Samuel J. Hedstrom  
Samuel J. Hedstrom Age 64, passed away on December 30, 2007 at his home in Pacifica. Born in Redding, CA, Sam earned a degree in civil engineering from San Jos� State and served in the U.S. Navy Civil Engineering Corps. He was project executive on several noted construction projects in San Francisco, including the Palace Hotel and War Memorial Opera House renovations. As an engineer he worked on the San Francisco Nikko Hotel, as well as the first convention center in Jakarta, Indonesia, and the Jakarta Mandarin Hotel. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Sat, January 19 in the French Parlor at the Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery Street, San Francisco. The ashes will be scattered at Sam's favorite abalone hole in Mendocino this April. Memorial contributions to Ducks Unlimited or the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation have been suggested by the family.
Published in the San Francisco Chronicle on 1/13/2008.


I was checking my $$$ account balances here online and there was a thing that said "convert your account to a rewards account" (right now I get cash reward with resulted in a cool 5.60 being deposited in my account this month!) If i opt for the rewards, I get a point for every dollar spent. What can I buy with points? Check this out!

3,500 points: clock radio
35,000 points: Duffel bag or kitchen aid mixer
70,000 points: bose radio

are you fucking joking me? since this is a new card, my limit is $2,500. I couldn't get these prizes if I wanted too! Plus, if you are stupid enough to take the duffel bag over the kitchen aid, God help you. A portable DVD player is 60,000 points! They totally under value the mixer. The next time somebody says they are using their card to get points when I ring them up, I am going to ask them if they have ever looked into actually reedeeming them. Enjoy your clock radio unless you spend more than 30 grand on food per year, fatty. Holy shit. At my cash rate, with the cash rewards, I could buy the clock radio in 3 months. And I just realized that the cash back was my debit card, so i'm not even paying interest to get that five bucks. I should print out the points-catalog-PDF and keep it in my pocket, so I can show it to them and watch their heart sink.

Brain Bogglers

You know what I enjoy after a hard day of not thinking at my job? Slylock Fox! Sometimes, they are really fucking hard! Give 'em a try! I am pretty sure that S.F. hates poor people, though. He's always seeming to "give them the business".

update: they are never hard. fun anyway. This may actually be part of the University of Phoenix's "Forensic Science" curriculum I saw advertised on television, between ads for injury lawyers and AARP commercials during the wholly awkward "The Price is Right" with host Drew Carey. If you need any crimes solved ask me because I am really good at these.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

new blog

speaking of new blogs, noel has a new blog where he swears a lot more than the last one. so far so good:


-chris h. 

Back to school

After a wonderful holiday break that ended on a sad note, I am back at school. This semester's schedule has worked out great though, as my tuedays and thursdays are totally free, that is. I don't actually have to be anywhere for them! i am taking two online classes which means that I don't have to put on pants to be there. This is great news since last term I had class every single day. My new writing teacher seems to have a lot of emphasis on blogging as "informal, low stakes" writing that is beneficial for practice as well as the ability to reach an audience. I used to be a blogging superstar, but not so much anymore. Ah well. We actually have to post or comment on the class blog twice a week as an assignment. I wonder how many blog enteries are about blogs? She had us read an article called "Entering the blogosphere." I gotta say, I really hate that word. My brother and I were talking about how news channels use blogs as new sources. As much as I love the internet, it's certainly given nobodies a power they don't deserve. All of this will make excellent material for my class. 

In case you didn't hear, my dad passed away on Dec. 30. I figured I would write something about it, but I don't really know what to write. Most of the week I spent in california was spent going through his stuff and deciding what's important. Immediately upon getting home, I started looking at my own belongings and thinking that I really need to simplify things. My dad didn't really have all that much stuff either. Going through his things and looking for things that I wanted to keep for myself made me feel weird and greedy. I have a lot of photos to scan for his memorial service. I'll probably just use iPhoto for the slideshow. It has nice transitions, and a default background music of a guitar version of Bach's "Jesus bleibet meine Freude" which is a popular song for alarm clocks. 

Tomorrow I am taking this laptop to the apple store at pioneer place to get this screen to stop flickering. I hope they have it briefly or let me take it how while they wait for parts, if it comes to that.