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My dad met the kids. Better late than never. I miss him… which is odd because I’m not really sure what I’m missing. How do you miss something you never had? If you’d never seen another human, would you be lonely?

(Am I writing this when I should be sleeping so I can go to work in the morning? I think so!)

Cheating at Blogging

What’s new with me, in pictures:

my kids are very cute.
only the physics building would have a sign with 35 words when 7 would suffice. (“Ok, now assume the building is a sphere…”)
as a prelude of what was to come, it was snowing on highway 17 a few weeks ago. Last week, we got a couple inches of hail.
I got to test drive a smart car. It was very cool, except for a really wierd feeling when the auto transmission shifts.

Birth Order

So it’s pretty well established that birth order does make a difference in personality; the ‘firstborn’ will be different than the middle children, who are different from the youngest. I’ve read that children who are more than 5 years younger than their next oldest sibling exhibit the qualities of a ‘firstborn’ as well, meaning that with a 5 year separation, new children are effectively a new set of children, not significantly influenced by their older siblings.

All of this means that if my boys are going to have any more genuine siblings, their new sibling must be conceived in the next year.

Then again, I’m sure it doesn’t matter. ;]


I’ve been thinking a lot about my priorities in life lately, and where I’m headed. Given that I’m intensely curious (about everything), and want to do everything I can, it’s hard for me to pick a direction. I’ve recently narrowed down the things I want to be doing right now, and identified some of the things that distract me from them.

Things I want to be doing with my life right now:

  • Playing with my kids (parental responsibility)
  • Studying Physics/Astrophysics, including my research (academic responsibility)
  • Practicing Aikido and Bike Riding (physical exercise)
  • Playing Go (mental exercise)
  • Maintaining my personal and professional relationships (social responsibility)
  • Writing & Photography (artistic exercise)

Things that distract me from doing these things:

  • Netflix & the DLP Projector
  • {Use,Point}less Gadgets (GPS, weatherstation(s), excessive clocks, &c.)
  • Excessive Furniture (quantity and size)
  • Household Disorder / Too much random stuff (read: crap, junk, &c.)

I must work on getting rid of the excess distractions. This is perhaps a problem that I can throw money at, but I expect to recoup more money than I spend in order to have a better situation. It’s a win in all aspects.

Birthday Wishes

I’m 27 today. I gave someone a piece of advice that I strive for myself.

Be the kind of person you want your kids to grow up to be.

It’s stupidly simple, but it’s rather powerful, especially for those with children.

MSG Obesity

Monosodium Glutamate, I’ve recently learned, is used in the laboratory to cause obesity in animals. So, for instance, if you need obese rats to do your research, you feed them MSG, and they become obese. This is all fine and good for the lab, but when you realize that a significant portion of commercial food contains MSG, our epidemic of obesity begins to make more sense. Google “MSG Obese”.

Congress is now, of course, trying to exempt food manufacturers and their trade organizations from obesity liability. All else being equal, I’d agree, but the issue is muddied when noone knows that one of your ingredients increases appetite and causes obesity.

“… a widely used nutritional monosubstance – the flavouring agent MSG – at concentrations that only slightly surpass those found in everyday human food, exhibits significant potential for damaging the hypothalamic regulation of appetite, and thereby determines the propensity of world-wide obesity. We suggest to reconsider the recommended daily allowances of amino acids and nutritional protein, and to abstain from the popular protein-rich diets, and particularly from adding the flavouring agents MSG.” – Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Aug 31 – Obesity, voracity, and short stature: the impact of glutamate on the regulation of appetite – Hermanussen M, Garcia AP, Sunder M, Voigt M, Salazar V, Tresguerres JA (link).


I’m going to make a concerted effort to write more often. It’s quite good for me. Chances are most of the time it will be completely and utterly pointless.

Been playing a fair amount of Dominions 2 the last couple of days, had a good friend up for the weekend, we got our geek on.

Only class of note this quarter is Astronomy/Astrophysics 113 – Physical Cosmology – A physical examination of our evolving universe: the Big Bang model; simple aspects of general relativity, particle physics in the early universe, production of various background radiations, production of elements, tests of geometry of the universe, and formation and evolution of galaxies and large-scale structure. This is actually very exciting for me, it’s my first astro class ever, even though I’ve done a lot of reading in the subject.

I’ve been itching to code lately, of all things. I’m going to start working in earnest on my physics research (IDL/C), as well as rewrite some system administration scripts that need it badly (perl). Read a lot a few days ago about LISP, which I used about a year ago in a class titled “Music and Artificial Intelligence”. Apparently LISP is about the highest level language there is, which makes it quite powerful. Don’t let all the extra parenthesis fool you.

I’ve found two companies lately that I want to get stickers or some such from: Western Truck Fabrication (WTF), and the Object Management Group (OMG).

I’m 27 in two days. I can barely bring myself to care. My thoughts are mostly concerned with simplifying my life. I have so many things to think about I don’t really get any good thinking done. I’m going to start cutting things out of my life that aren’t worth thinking about. If I could have a clean mind for my birthday, I think that would be the best.


Got my LSAT score back. Took it on 12/3 on a whim.

We pay so little attention these days to individuals. Everything is about mass production. Even our legal system, which used to house a larger portion of the intellectual elite, has become a haven for industrialists and assembly-line agents.

All we have to show for it now is a pathetic little test that screams that little Johnnie is going to be a fantastic lawyer and will be able to support his parents in the manner to which they’d like to become accustomed.

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