the real John Doe  

December 31, 2008

Things have been happening. I got a letter from Blue Cross saying that they weren’t going to cover my hospital stay, and a bill for over $20,000. I knew it was a mistake, but it got me down for about a day. Then I got over it, and I called Monday, and it was actually not that they weren’t covering my operation, but the hospital stay afterwards. The doctor is going to talk to them, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to get resolved. Drama. In other news, Christmas was pretty good. Was definitely full of holiday cheer the whole day, really. And the parents gave me two email addresses of even more chicks to get in contact with. Alas. But that’s the way the ship will sail.

As far as the project goes, there’s a quote that keeps coming back to me: “Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise.” [Bertrand Russell] And in fact, I thought I had had it back a year and a third ago, until I actually tried to pin down what I meant by the little theory I had written down. And it’s still happening: I think I do have a producer pattern, but the consumer pattern is having a hard time keeping still while I try to nail it down. Progress, sure, but man, it’s frustrating. (But really rewarding, too, I must admit, when I do get things implemented and all.) I have January to pin it all down, at least, as full time work. But you know, everything works out for the best, even when it doesn’t. Maybe it’s just me.

I’ve been more social of late. Did that hanging out and conversating day after Christmas, hanging out with the brother and his chick here and there in NYC, and been kind of active in Facebook. I’m hooked on this one game, called Metropolis, which is sort of a lame version of SimCity, that which was my favorite game when it first appeared in the world. And in still other news: I get the feeling that something is going to happen. I don’t quite know what, but something rather big is going to happen at some time close, or relatively so. Mark my words — I’ve been right about these “feelings” twice before. Last time was about a month and a half before Eun Hye contacted me in 2007, out of the blue. But I get ahead of myself. Occupational hazard, I suppose.

In which the puzzle is not made of its pieces, just like a dream.

December 30, 2008

For Fans of the City
This guy scouts locations in NYC for feature films. Catches what most of us are too much in a rush to notice in the Big Apple.

Lies we tell kids

December 29, 2008

Me Again
At a get-together day after Christmas. In case you forgot what I look like or some such deal.

Click on pic for larger version.
1 comment

December 28, 2008

Da Shiz
95 Old School Games You Can Play Online

Whoda Thunk?
Our unconscious brain makes the best decisions possible

December 27, 2008

Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days.

– A. W. Tozer

December 26, 2008

What type is that blog? Apparently, I'm an artist. Heh.
1 comment

Cool Code
The Knight's Tour, in Python.

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!


December 24, 2008

i flew here before
when spring was young in the world
some things do not change

December 23, 2008

More Retro
Video Game Systems of the 1983 Sears Wishbook

When Jesus met Buddha

December 22, 2008

I am going to have another go at implementing the thing today. I have a producer and a consumer as far as an operating context goes, and hopefully, an organization principle by which these may function correctly. I may be at the brink before the flight or fall, but I have thought about plan b, as well: if I do not have something working by the end of January, I am going to find full time work. Let us hope it does not come to that, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it did. In other news, I am pretty much recovered from my operation and finally am drug free for the first time in I don’t know how long. Life is good. Perhaps one may not always be able to see it thus, but thus far, I have been blessed to be able to say this whenever. Peace be with you.

December 21, 2008

Font with Holes
Ecofont: designed to use less printer ink!
1 comment

First True P2P BitTorrent Client

December 20, 2008

Animals in Thailand #3
Crocodiles! At a croc park, where they do a show.

Click on pic for larger version.

December 19, 2008

Some natures will endure an immense amount of misery before they feel compelled to look there for help whence all help and healing come. They cannot believe that there is verily an unseen, mysterious power, till the world and all that is in it has vanished in the smoke of despair; till cause and effect are nothing to the intellect, and possible glories have faded from the imagination. Then, deprived of all that made life pleasant or hopeful, the immortal essence, lonely and wretched and unable to cease, looks up with its now unfettered and wakened instinct to the source of its own life — to the possible God who, notwithstanding all the improbabilities of His existence, may yet perhaps be, and may yet perhaps hear His wretched creature that calls. In this loneliness of despair, life must find The Life: for joy is gone, and life is all that is left; it is compelled to seek its source, its root, its eternal life. This alone remains a possible thing. Strange condition of despair into which the Spirit of God drives a man — a condition in which the Best alone is the Possible!

– George MacDonald

December 18, 2008

I Love #1
The periodic table of Awesoments

Photographs of old computers

December 17, 2008

The Operation
Last Wednesday I woke up with a small pain in my stomach. Nothing too disturbing, but very constant and persistent. I ignored it, for the most part, and thought I’d just sleep it off. Thursday I awoke at 6am, and the pain was quite worse. I thought it might be something that might be solved with a little Gas-X or such. So I waited a couple hours, popping in and out of sleep, and went and bought Gas-X, Immodium, and Pepto Bismol, and took all three. They did nothing (well, the Pepto made it a little better, but not really). I ate an orange, and that made it worse. So I called the doctor I normally go to, who said they had nothing open that day, so I made an appointment for the next day at 9:30 am.

I lay in bed, in and out of sleep for the first couple of the next several hours, and the pain just got worse and worse. So at about 4pm, I had had enough, looked online for a hospital nearby, and went out and caught a cab. It was raining, and someone was waiting at the closest corner for a cab, the street packed with cars, so I crossed the street and found an available one, lucky enough. I went into the emergency room, did some waiting, and when a doctor came and examined me, the upper right abdomen was particularly sensitive. He brought an ultrasound, and pronounced that I had gallstones. A lot of them. And if the gallbladder was infected, they’d have to operate.

Well, they did a CAT scan, and it was indeed infected. They admitted me, and gave me painkillers. The next day, at 3pm, they came for me to go to the OR. The last thing I remember before the actual operation was them putting on the sedative mask and them telling me to breathe deeply. 2 breaths, and I was out flat. The next thing I remember was them wheeling me into the recovery unit. They put a catheter in me, and they had me under observation all night, later telling me that they had been worried, because my gallbladder was “gangrenous”. Really bad. The woman who looked after me all night was so kind, not complaining the least with all my unreasonableness. But everything turned out fine. They released me Monday morning, and here I am, one organ less.

In which I realized that I was not once worried in the slightest.
1 comment

December 16, 2008

Interactive Map of Springfield

After Steampunk
Now there's dieselpunk. (And I own

December 15, 2008

This Is a Gallbladder

I had mine removed last Friday. Details later.

December 12, 2008

This I Can Believe in
Save the planet! Why? Well, you'll just have to click.

Need some truly random numbers?

December 11, 2008

in the flurry of a snow veiled dawn, everywhere white
the painting of everything was finished as an untouched canvas
my eyes, as if born again, swept the vast, light newly whispered

December 10, 2008

Classic Games #1
Window Pong turns your browser into a game

Classic Games #2
Doom 1 in Flash — would like to learn Flash

December 9, 2008

Animals in Thailand #2
Elephants at a show, where you could buy bananas to feed them, so they came right up to us.

Click on pic for larger version.

December 8, 2008

Gilbert West and his friend, Lord Lyttleton, both men of acknowledged talents, had imbibed the principles of infidelity from a superficial view of the Scriptures. Fully persuaded that the Bible was an imposture, they were determined to expose [it]. Mr. West chose the Resurrection of Christ, and Lord Lyttleton the conversion of St Paul, for the subject of hostile criticism. Both sat down to their respective tasks full of prejudice and a contempt for Christianity. The results of their separate endeavors was that they were both converted by their attempts to overthrow the truth of Christianity! They came together, not as they had expected, to exult over an imposture exposed to ridicule, but to lament their folly and congratulate each other on their joint conviction, that the Bible was the word of God. Their able enquiries have furnished two most valuable treatises in favor of revelation — one, entitled "Observations on the Conversion of St Paul," and the other, "Observations on the Resurrection of Christ."

– C. H. Spurgeon

December 7, 2008

Tilted Twister
Lego project actually solves Rubik's Cubes
1 comment

Who Knew?
The atlas of true names
1 comment

December 6, 2008

My cold (and the associated cold medicine) has made it difficult in the last week to work, or even think straight. Here and there, the up and down of this experience has manifested itself in trying to discover very fundamental things, on the one hand — really deep research — and thinking about what I’d have to update on my resume to get a day job again, on the other. So far, the Lord has provided when it comes to money. With current funds, I can last a few more months, but come tax time, I’ll need several thousand dollars to pay the government, having withheld nothing in the past year. I don’t know how the story ends, even if this is not really an end at all. Let’s see what I can do.

December 5, 2008

Games Day #1
101 things we've learned from videogames

Games Day #2
IEEE Spectrum: Bots Get Smart

December 4, 2008

Animals in Thailand #1
River fish that swim near the surface to catch pieces of bread thrown in by tourists.

Click on pic for larger version.

December 3, 2008

all the songs in the world tell the story of my broken heart
as the days begin to blur by, my grasp on time withers
sometimes to touch despair at the bottom of my dreams
(all form is fleeting, and only love can survive without shape)
i have vague memories of crawling out of a deep, dark pit
the sunlight and its descriptive adjectives unfamiliar things
of these pasts i say: time can be a friend, even as it kills us

December 2, 2008

I Am Become Death
No Child Should Be Given That Much Power

Unbelievably Cute
A real life Bambi and Thumper — translated from German

December 1, 2008

There are times when I feel that I’ve solved everything, that if I would do the research into my own notes, I would find the resolution to any new problem that may come up as I try and implement this thing. I feel I am so close to getting a working prototype, right now. Been in a little bit of a holding pattern because of this cold I have, and that and the medication make it really hard to think straight. I have tried to work, anyway, but don’t know sometimes if I am just spinning my wheels. I really want to get something going. It is a pressing need. Let us see what the near future holds, to see if it all comes up roses, after all.

Being back in America is still a little weird. It actually felt somewhat more normal when I was in Korea. Like I was going to stay there for another couple years. My friends and my aunt asked me when I was going to come back, and the answer was simple: if I have the time, and if I have the money. Though I might only need the time, as my dad said that if I ever wanted to go back to meet women, he’d be more than happy to finance the whole trip. Heh. Yeah, they’re really desperate to shackle me down get me hitched. Have I told you that they mention that in every. Single. Conversation? Well, they do.

My aunt saved my old PowerMac G4 from the great purge when she moved to her apartment from the house where I had stayed those years back. So I was going to ship it back, but the Korean post office refused to send it. Then I found out that to send it UPS was going to cost like $225! Holy crap. So I took out the hard drive, video card, and RAM, and I ordered the exact same computer (that I had bought in 2000 for $3500) for $100 SHIPPED. (Also ordered a monitor when I was in Korea, which arrived today, and that cost $105 shipped.) Hopefully everything still works. We’ll see what happens.

In which I can almost taste it.

Tom Thomson

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