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I have so much reading to catch up on!

Posted: - Modified: | school

This is good. I think I’m going to be an introvert for a while. So
many books and blogs to read, so much to write…

Random Emacs symbol: mapcar – Function: Apply FUNCTION to each element of SEQUENCE, and make a list of the results.

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Problems are easy to solve once identified

Posted: - Modified: | school

I felt frustrated by my continued lack of a good working environment.
Unreliable wireless access means that working online is a pain. I
can’t even fetch my mail because a large message is blocking the rest
of the downloads. Every time I try deleting the message, my network
connection times out.

I want to work on my thesis. I want to feel like I’m making progress.
I want to spend time with my family and friends, too, but I can’t
enjoy that as much if I don’t feel that I’m doing well. I’d like to be
able to focus on what I need to do, and then look forward to spending
time with them when we’re all ready to enjoy spending time together.

I talked to my dad. He listened to my frustrations and set about
solving whatever he could. They’re tracking an Ethernet cable to my
room. I will probably be based here more than Alabang because I need
to work, and I need to be able to choose what to do. This morning’s
traffic was frustrating. The Alabang house is not a bad house, but I’d
rather be downtown.

So we’ll see. I think I’ll postpone all of my hanging out until next
week. I *really* need to set up for work first. If I don’t have that,
it’s harder for me to hang on to being happy and to resist other

My first problem: unreliable Internet access. The Internet is slow for
everyone because the ISP still hasn’t fully recovered from the
earthquake, but this is aggravated by low wireless link quality. We’re
fixing that. Solved the wireless part by running a cable into my room
(hooray fake ceilings!). DSL is still down, but at least I don’t have
to worry about wireless link quality, and I can stay in an
airconditioned room.

Will plan on my secret research plan page.

Random Emacs symbol: apropos-print – Function: Output result of apropos searching into buffer `*Apropos*’.

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Argh. Schedule slippage.

| school

I can’t get into IBM’s VPN, which makes it difficult to work on the
prototype, so my schedule will have to slip. I don’t want to
recalculate all the dates. And it’s annoying, still not being *sure*
what I’m doing or why I’m doing it…

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Inflection point: on the up and up

| school

Two days ago, I was so frustrated by all the little things that were
going wrong. I think I’m past the inflection point now, because things
are looking brighter and brighter.

Yesterday, I had lunch and dinner with most of my barkada – my closest
friends. The jokes—in-jokes—laughter—craziness—wow! I’ve missed
this *so* much, and I hadn’t even realized how much I was missing
until I found myself laughing harder and longer than I had in the past
year. My friends in Toronto are wonderful, but they’re new. We have no
in-jokes yet, and no deep connections between each other. Here… Ay,
the way we joked around, it was as if I’d never left!

Things have changed, though, and they’ve changed for the better. My
friends are settling into life, finding their paths. I’m particularly
proud of Marcelle. His magic tricks have boosted his confidence. I
like Estelle, one of his new friends.

I was quiet towards the end, but that was because I was realizing just
*how* much I had missed them, and how much I want to spend so much
more time with them. I want to experience things with them, spend time
with them, be part of their stories, share the unbloggable things. We
have a long-overdue girls’ day out (maybe window-shopping one of these
weekends!). I want to walk around Intramuros and go to museums. I want
to invite people over for videoke and overnight chats. Fun stuff.

Seeing them again made me happy. When I’m happy, it’s easy to stay
happy, and to get even happier.

But the universe didn’t stop there. Last night, I gave up on getting
my wireless card to work with the access point over here. I texted
Simon, telling him that the fates were conspiring to force me to write
letters. He called on my cellphone and we chatted for twenty minutes!
Then we got Skype working and we talked a bit more… It was so great
hearing him again!

We chatted again during breakfast. We used speakers for a while, so
everyone could hear and chat with him. Quite a few stories! I enjoyed
that because that was a good way for my family to get to know him, and
vice versa. Then I plugged in the headset and chatted with him about
life, society, friends, culture shock…

Hearing about what’s going on in his life made me happier, too. No,
not because poor Shane is suffering from food poisoning, although I’m
glad that Simon’s there to take care of him. I’m happy to hear that
working at Roger’s office is working well for him, and that Simon has
spent lots of quality time with his family.

And with such a good start to my day, how can I not find it easy to be

The technology stuff still hasn’t gotten completely sorted out. My new
wireless card refuses to associate with the Netgear router. I still
haven’t been able to get into IBM’s VPN. I still have to talk to my
research supervisor and figure out where this thesis is going.
But the universe has made it easy for me to see that life is good,
and when I see that, then it can get even better…

I’m looking forward to catching up with my e-mail and sorting out a
few things. Thanks to my friends and to Simon for helping make it so
easy to see how life is good. =) Yay!

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-article-strip-all-blank-lines – Command: Strip all blank lines.

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Trudging along

Posted: - Modified: | school

Somehow I thought I’d be happier working on this, but it’s
frustrating. Inching along, bit by bit, trying to figure out something

I miss feeling brilliant. <wry grin> That’s part of it. It
frustrates me that I’m learning Rails bit by bit instead of
immediately being able to do what I want. I shouldn’t get frustrated
about things that are outside my control, like the speed of the
Internet (or lack thereof), but it’s hard not to get annoyed by my
lack of progress.

Still, the important thing is to keep moving forward, and I am.
Writing blog entries like this reassures everyone (and myself) that
I’m still alive, and will help me remember what this feeling is like
after it passes. It’s important to be able to keep working, and my
base work rate for estimation should be *this* instead of when I’m
in the zone.

Life varies. I’ll hit my stride again soon.

I’m giving a talk later. That’ll probably jazz me up.

Random Emacs symbol: eshell-pred-file-time – Function: Return a predicate to test whether a file matches a certain time.

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Hate is as useful as love

Posted: - Modified: | school

… sometimes even more so.

I’m beginning to hate the stress I feel about this thesis. The best
way to deal with it is not to fight a long, protracted war. Nor is it
to give up and walk away. No, the best thing to do is to finish it as
quickly as possible so that I can get on with the rest of my life.

Let’s make that happen.

Random Emacs symbol: gnus-article-strip-all-blank-lines – Command: Strip all blank lines.

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My alma mater is t3h c00l

| school

I heard from Gabby Dizon that Ateneo de Manila University will use the popular cross-platform roleplaying game Neverwinter Nights to help students learn programming (scripting, in particular).


Random Emacs symbol: hash-table-rehash-size – Function: Return the current rehash size of TABLE.

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