(no subject)


I am attempting to recreate my eye with the help of a miniature camera implant in my prosthetic / artificial eye. The intraocular installation of an eye-cam will substitute for the field of vision of my left eye that I lost in 2005 from a car accident. While my prosthetic is an excellent aesthetic replacement, I am interested in capitalizing on the current advancement of technology to enhance the abilities of my prosthesis for an augmented reality.

Totally. Hot.

I'm going to out myself right now as a transhumanist. I say outed, not because I think it's anything to be ashamed of, and not that many friends don't already know it about me, but because most people look at you kinda funny when you confide that you could live with the amputation of a limb if it meant that you got a replacement that was more functional than the original. I regret not having the mind for advanced science, because I've often fantasized about where and how I could incorporate today's technology into my body without having to amputate, and without being at the whim of someone else to code/fabricate/embed the stuff.  It's true, this is the stuff of science fiction, and I suppose in that regard I'm in the company of nerds the world over - the difference is, we're also in the age of science fiction becoming science fact, and I'd give anything to be at the forefront of it.  Maybe I can nab a career in HCI (Human-Computer Interfaces) if I stick with psych and pick up some biology/engineering/coding along the way.

(no subject)

Writing is, for me, like sneezing.  The urge arrives urgently and unbidden, a vague tingling that may very well pass if ignored; yet, when focused on, may easily culminate in an abrupt expulsion of great magnitude.  Followed by the urge to pee.

I looked in the mirror this morning, and told myself, "You're going to be 24 soon."  A face blinked back, scruffy and sleepy, not seeming to grasp this simple concept. I repeated it again. "You're going to be 24 soon. Mid-twenties." The face got wide-eyed, as if to say, "But! I was just 21 yesterday, and 18 the day before that." I shrugged, then looked myself up and down, noting physical improvements I wanted to make; toning here, muscle there. I'm faced constantly with the feeling that I haven't really grown up, never have, never will - I think a part of me believes if I shape myself into more of an "adult" body the status might follow, as if the ability to do a hundred chinups with a single arm is intimately tied to maturity and responsibility.  My only consolation is that I'm not alone in wondering when I'm supposed to feel "ready" for the world:

There is no such thing, the older you get the more you find out everyone is just faking it.
Oh, how I hope that's true; even though it would mean I can't shake the feeling, it would hurt less to be in some good company.

I was accepted to CSUCI for the spring semester; hardly a surprise, not because of my own scholastic achievements but because pretty much anyone in this county can attend provided they possess a signature.  I won't be accepting congratulations for beginning something I should have finished years ago, either - when I get my Master's, then maybe we can have a little shindig.

I didn't cry when Obama won. I didn't riot, or holler out the window. It's hard to get worked up about something you've been predicting for months, regardless of how much you want it to happen. He wasn't my first choice, which does take away some of the excitement, but I do believe him to be the best one for this stage of the game. My main concern is that we're too far into the rabbit hole for any one man, any one term, to see us through it. The most we can hope for is 4 years of slowly undoing damage, righting wrongs, and building a climate of change for the next candidate (or maybe the same one, who knows) to actually take us in the right direction.

Of course, the main reason I was not as buoyed by the election was that in the very same night, the world darkened considerably.  I've always been proud to be a Californian, and I identify personally with that designation - a foolish decision, perhaps, considering we host rural and fundamentalist populations equal in their ignorance and intolerance to any backwater glade in the South or Midwest.  It was these examples of medieval thinking that asserted themselves on November 4th, relegating our gay friends and neighbors to second-class citizens.  I'm especially perplexed by the large bloc of African-American voters who, while achieving an historic victory, nevertheless shamed themselves by pushing another minority to the back of the bus.  It's not just them, either - the various churches that urged their parishes to "do the right thing," the people who voted for change with one pen stroke and senseless discrimination with the next - the whole thing sends me into a vitriolic spiral of rage and depression, and I won't be speaking any more about it.

I'm starting to take a little more control of my financial situation - I'd like to claim it as a sign of maturity, but budgeting to the penny is really the only way I can afford to provide Christmas gifts as well as eat and drive.  I'm hoping it's a trend I can continue into the new year, hopefully dragging my endebted ass kicking and screaming all the way to a half-decent credit score.

I feel like I have more to write. But the urge has passed and I should probably get back to work.

Parking Fairies

What do you do when you and Shannon accidentally discover that one of the local college parking permit machines has a glitch that dispenses a $1 permit when you insert a nickel?

Put in a dollar's worth of nickels and spend an hour handing out free permits to students.


by the way, if you go Moorpark, try the nickel trick.  It's the machine at the entrance to the large parking lot.

(no subject)

Things can change pretty quickly.  The past couple weeks have been busy; we moved out of the place in Camarillo, and are now kickin' it Ventura style. It extends the commute to work by 20 minutes, but I prefer the culture greatly (Camarillo is prettier but way boring) and my friends are closer too.  Plus, Shannon's less than 5 minutes from school now, which is a boon.

It's heating up at work as well, with tons of projects falling into my lap.  I'm continuing to learn a lot, but it's pretty stressful.

I feel really bad for Ender, the "outgoing one" of our cats.  He used to be a total outdoorsman, but since we moved he's been cooped up indoors.  We're trying to keep him from crapping up the new place with dirty outdoor paws, and hopefully I can resist his adorable kitty-face long enough for him to get accustomed to not being outside anymore.

This is kind of an update for the sake of an update.  I'm not putting a lot of thought into what I'm writing and I think it shows.  I'll try to come back with something more interesting soon.

It's like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

I'm pleased to see Obama... what's the word?  He's finally saying the things that you wish every politician you liked would say whenever their opponent lies about them.  Instead, more often than not they let the big things slide right on through and niggle over tiny details, leaving the blogs to come up with proper rebuttals that never get proper exposure.  He's been lying down and taking it lately, and now it looks like he's ready to fight back a little.

I'll be the first to say that he wasn't my first choice (Kucinich gets that distinction), but I'll also say that it's nice to have a candidate that shows at least some promise of being more than just the lesser of two evils.


It's 10am on a Wednesday morning, and I'm not in the office.

No, instead I'm ensconced in a huge papasan patio chair, tunes flowing through headphones, barefoot under a cloudless sky with perfect California weather and two loving kitties gamboling around me while I work from home.

Days like this I understand why people go through the stress of becoming their own bosses.

I've been holding off from LJ posting for awhile, because I wanted the additional "cred" of hosting and updating my own blog. Many moons (and scant updates) later, I'm beginning to realize that my thoughts tend to fall into the dichotomy of too complicated and rambling for a journal, or too casual and superficial for a blog, and finding a mix between the two winds up being too self-censoring. So I think I'll start posting here regularly again, and keep a blog confined to my more scholarly interests.

I have a new hero. His name is Marshall McLuhan, and he's been dead for 28 years. He was a teacher, scholar, philosopher, and - more importantly - a Canadian, and he started some very important thoughts about the cultural-technological intersection that I become more fascinated with every day.

I don't want this to turn into a five-page update, so I'll quit here, and try to get back into the groove slowly.

(no subject)

I just watched a man on TV propose to his girlfriend.  After practically losing on the game show Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?.  By not being able to multiply 12 x 12.  And she said yes.

Somewhere, Darwin's rolling over in his grave.