A Day in the Life

Every day a different life,

A different job, a different strife.

With every day that I get old,

A new piece of me retold.

Location: River Grove, Illinois, United States

Friday, September 30, 2005

Today, a Mathematical Poet

I have decided that from now on I will put my poems and such on my blog. Perhaps any short stories as well. I figure that since there's that little copyright jargon at the bottom it's safe from thieves, but what do I know. Anyways, you have to know a bit of freshman algebra to get this one. And please excuse the odd spacing between lines. Blogger is acting up. Also, I'd really appreciate your interpretations of this. Enjoy.

Of Xs and Ys

By HKNorla

Who am I to say who I am?

x = y

You are me.

x^2 = xy

You are part of each of us.

x^2 - y^2 = xy - y^2

And we are each less without each other.

(x – y)(x + y) = y(x – y)

But are we not each separate?

x + y = y

Look beyond, and we are the same.

2y = y

You will then see who I am.

2 = 1

Who are you to say who you are?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Today, a Handyman

For the record, anyone who says I'm not resourceful; go suck a lemon. You all know I am. I'm an engineer (almost). This post is going to be a quickie as I have a CS 173 test tomorrow and I need to keep studying.

Carl came up to me with the proposition of helping him fix his window. It was raining earlier and water was dripping into his room from the top of the window. Of course, we didn't have any caulk or anything, not that it would work in the rain. Besides, how many college students have caulk? I then had a wonderful idea; we'd chew a bunch of gum and fill in the gap on the outside until maintenance came. So, we did, in the rain, and the wind, with the mud.

However!, (note the awesome exclaimation mark/comma combo) my plan did work, and well. So next time you need something fixed and don't know where to turn, drop me a line.

(In case you can't tell, I'm proud of my little achievements.)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Today, a Poet

Yeah, that's right. It's the second post of the day. It's a Monday though, so anything goes. Before I begin, I'd like to note that I try to use semi-proper English in all my posts. Now there's a bug that wants to just go nuts. I think I'm going to let him out for a while. Excuse me.

OMG OMG. WTF man!!!!!!!1 U R HAXXORZZZZ!!! 1337 MAN!! UR P03MZ R teh BeSt EvErS!!!11!!11 I <3 U! LoOk I cAn TyPe LiKe tHiS!!1!!

Ok. Sorry about that. Now, onto more somber notes. This poem was inspired by "Philosophy" by Ben Folds Five. Anyone who's heard the song knows what I'm talking about.

Out Alone
by HKNorla

You've never been out in the woods alone.
Heard the song bird chirp or the West wind blown
Through the trees, knowing that rain would soon be near.
The flip flap flutter of the small one's fear.

You've never been lost in the woods alone.
Tried to find just which way the moss has shown
On the trees, or marked the spot of the sun.
Magnetic North and true navigation.

You've never been hurt in the woods alone.
Felt the strain of the pack, knew the roots grown
By the trees would soom become your downfall.
No one was there to catch you after all.

You laughed at me for going out alone.
You spoke to me, that same demeaning tone.
But to me, the trees, the grass, the river,
The shrubs, the animals, to me, are home.

Today, a Technology Victim

It's happened to everyone who owns a computer; your wonderful device decides to stab you in the back over and over again. Yet, until this point my compy has been absolutely wonderful in performance. I haven't had any real problems albeit the occasional popup. I even surprisingly never seem to get any viruses or lagging in the system. But yesterday, it all took a turn for the worst.

I was setting up our new internet connection, which required us to run the entire thing through one cable outlet, into a modem, further into a wireless router, and then to each computer. So I went out and got a Linksys router: a brand which I know works from experience. I then followed all the steps in setting up the entire system.

I first ran the Insight Broadband CD, which required a couple calls to tech service, at which point they gave me an IP that no one else was actually using. I don't even know how that happens in the first place. Finally I got through with that first CD, which wasn't too bad.

Next came the modem CD. This thing was given to us by Insight, and I don't even think it has a brand name or anything, much like that digital box they put on our TV in the living room. I popped the CD in my compy, and the first thing it told me to do is plug the USB connection into my computer. Then it said that a new menu would just pop up. It never did; why would it? Why would anything work like they say? So I tried searching around for a couple hours but couldn't fix it.

Eventually, I gave up on that one and decided to move on to the Linksys CD, the last one. This was the best, best meaning the worst, and worst meaning worst thing ever. I put it in compy and followed the directions for a while until it started asking me info about my IP and stuff. I ran DOS and figured out numbers I know weren't right, but continued nonetheless. I just figured an error message would pop up and that would be it. But no... It then asked me to set up the wireless options, like the name and password and stuff. I did that, and set our channel number to 9, whatever that means.

At that point the entire universe collapsed upon itself. I have no idea how, but my screen turned blue and gave me an error message. I restarted compy but the blue only came back. I then restarted it again, but this time in "safe mode" by hitting F8. Actually, it prompted me to use safe mode, which you know is a major problem when you've hit that point. I used system restore to bring my computer back to Sunday morning settings, but it gave me the big blue finger again. I think restarted it AGAIN, opened it in safe mode, and brought it back to Saturday. And as you guessed, F*$&ED again!

At that point I just unplugged the Linksys and restarted compy, at which point everything worked just smoothly. Now you know, when the universe explodes, I'll have plugged it back in and tried again. I guess I'll be spending a lot of time with tech service this week. Oh well.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Today, a Sociologist

In honor of Gender and Sexuality in my Sociology class, I'm devoting this post to something close to all of our hearts. As I walk around campus, I notice a group of people which seems to grow ever steadily. It may just be the fact that I've never payed attention to it, or it may be the way society has changed over the years. Or maybe it's just the fact that the gays draw all the attention away with their popped collars and strangely colored polos. Perhaps even it could be the capri pants they wear (yes, the guys). The group I'm talking about is the virgins. Not the regular I-just-struck-out-too-many-times virgins; I mean the soon-to-be-40-year-old virgins.

I've compiled a list of traits and comparisons one could use to identify these people. Use at your own discrection; I don't want to hear that the powers of evil have gotten hold of this.

If you see a guy on the quad with a collared shirt - virgin.
If you see a guy on the quad without a shirt - not a virgin.

If you hear someone discussing sorting techniques regarding computers - virgin.
If you hear someone discussing sorting techniques regarding alcohol - not a virgin.

If you hear a girl bragging about kissing boys at parties - virgin.
If you hear a girl bragging about kissing girls at parties - not a virgin.

If you see someone who's excited to buy whipped cream - virgin.
If you see someone who feels awkward buying whipped cream - not a virgin.

If you hear someone giggle when the number 69 is said - virgin.
If you see someone space out when the number 69 is said - not a virgin.

If you see a guy bring pepperspray to class - virgin.
If you see a guy bring pepperspray to a restaurant - not a virgin.

If you see a girl wearing guy's athletic shorts to class - virgin.
If you see a girl wearing sweatpants to class - not a virgin.
(You all know what kind of sweats I'm talking about.)

If you see someone wearing a soccer jersey to class - virgin.
If you see someone wearing a football jersey to class - not a virgin.

If you see someone wearing a turban - virgin.
If you see someone wearing a toga - not a virgin.

If anyone has any addendums to this list, I would much appreciate if you left them in the wonderful comments section. Or just scream them really, really loudly. That works too.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Today, Competant

Once again, unless I personally am in charge of everything, nothing goes right. Today, like most days, it was dinner that went wrong. I shouldn't really complain; nothing that bad happened. It was just a series of small pet peeves that got me angry.

First off, I was talking with Simon about dinner plans. I suggested hot dogs, and he suggested brats. We had some queer number, like 5, brats, so that was out. I figured that we could make a packet of 8 hotdogs, which I knew we had. When dinner time came about, I put a pot on the stove with the built-in strainer and boiled water in it. I put just enough water in it so I could use the bun steamer without soaking them. Of course, when I get back to the kitchen, I find the hot dogs boiling on the stove with the strainer in the sink. God forbid something be more convenient than otherwise. It's like these people are afraid of what they don't understand, however simple it may be.

I then proceeded to turn off the stove, as the best way to boil hot dogs is to boil the water, put them in, then turn off the heat. Eventually they were done; I took two buns and prepared to steam them since they were incredibly stale. I drained a ton of water, but the level was screwed up since the strainer was out. As I'm sure you've guessed, my hot dog buns got soaked, ruining the whole experience. I happen to take food very seriously.

To top off the experience, the milk was more curdled than cottage cheese, which is disgusting in itself. I have to do laundry tonight and a bunch of homework. I'm tired, and therefore incredibly cranky. I miss Annie, which is pathetic seeing as it's Monday. Not to mention, her friends are SO much better than mine. It's easier for girls to become friends with guys than vice versa. Chicks always think you're hitting on them unless you somehow describe your girlfriend who you've been with for a very long time and love very much. Today sucks.

Addendum: When someone says "let's have hot dogs and chips for dinner", but there are no communal chips, and he just brings his own to the table, that pisses me off.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Today, a Karma Trader

It's really what I was meant to do: Karma Trading that is. The basic principal is that I exchane good deeds. Recieve fortunate events, and in return cause some. In other words, try to be a nice guy.

Yesterday, Carl found a cell phone on our balcony. Probably the last thing I would have expected. So we waited for the person to call, but it never happened. I figured that it must have belonged to one of the girls' upstairs, seeing as there really isn't another logical explaination. Finally today, after getting about 5 phone calls from various people who each sounded less intelligent than the last, the owner showed up. Well, he didn't as much show up as I had to walk a half block in the rain and bring it to him because he couldn't figure out how to find West. He actually asked me if the apartment was at the corner of Green and John (two East-West streets).

I kind of owed it to the world though. Last night I got an early copy of the new Final Fantasy movie, Advent Children. Let me give you all the brief, brief explaination of this movie. If you have never played Final Fantasy or watched anime, don't go anywhere near it. If you have played a Final Fantasy game and have some interest in anime or awesome computer graphics, you might like it. If you have played Final Fantasy VII, arguably the greatest game of all time, then go see this movie as quickly as possible. Albeit, it was a bit short, one has to understand that those graphics do not come about easily. Also, the plot is impossible to follow and holds no meaning what-so-ever if you haven't played FFVII before.

The FFVII script is actually a wonderful story. It would make a fantastic book. The main character, Cloud, struggles to learn the truth about his past while trying to secure the future of the planet. The twists are absolutely amazing. There's love, loss and a lot of kick-ass fighting. If you ever have a chance to read it, pick up the script. Actually... Hold on a sec...

(Searching online for the script...)


Well, that's about the best I could find. It deserves all the credit of all who have played it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Today, a Heavy Sleeper

Anyone who knows me also knows that nothing could wake me from much needed sleep, save the occasional apocalypse. In my defense, however, I am able to tell myself as I go to bed whether or not I want to wake up easily the next morning. Don't ask me how; it just goes with the territory.

Now, I'm sure that you've already assumed that this story was told to me by others, specifically my roommates. Last night some time around 3:00 the power went out around the apartment, including the wonderful Bromley Hall. Next door to us is this building that appeared to be a residence hall for handicap student. (Cripple Shack for all you people-lovin people) Right outside this building is a giant green box, that looks like some kind of transformer (not the robots, stupid). Anyways, according to my roomies, this thing kicked in when the power went out. They said it was like an enormous chainsaw, or something to that degree. It was their backup generator, and was located very near to their windows, mind you. They all woke up and started walking around; none could sleep.

Carl said that when he walked into the living room, he saw someone holding a flashlight and thought it was a robber or such. (It was Simon.) Ian said that he actually wanted to throw a cripple into a ditch for revenge. And according to them, they went outside to investigate the source of the problem, finding an electric crew working a half block away. They weren't too happy to hear that I didn't so much as roll over during this whole encounter.

On a wholly different note, Simon's parents came here last weekend for a surprise we-think-our-son-is-an-alcoholic visit. They also bought us a lot of food, which was very nice of them. It was nice, except they didn't bother to open the freezer and see that it was already full. All the extra food that got stuffed in there blocked one of the vents and caused the entire thing to shut down over the course of a couple days. I called the U-Group maintenance guys and asked them to come and check it out. They brought us a whole new fridge! Granted, it's about half the size of the old one, it's BRAND NEW and slick as hell. We're waiting to see if the old one kicks back in. Even if it does, we're not letting those plumbers steal our new fridge. I'll buy it if I have to.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


I would like to add this article to the previous post. When I first came to this apartment, we did not have an internet connection. It took the good people at Sky Networks almost a week to drag their fat asses over here and set it up. Even when they did, it ran sluggishly. I have gone through several days where the internet has literally "crapped out" for no apparent reason. Since I have gotten to school, I have not been able to enjoy one full game of Warcraft. That's all I'm asking for: just one FULL game. I joined two today before I lagged out. The first lasted 2 minutes 30 seconds. The second game lasted a whopping 4 minutes 45 seconds. This is what I found on the Sky Networks website when I checked it out.

"Sky Networks has worked with several local landlords to provide dedicated high speed internet access to many apartment buildings in the Champaign - Urbana area. Our network provides your building with a dedicated - always on - connection at T1 speeds... over 30 times normal modem speed. Our system is similar to what students are familiar with from the dorm networks -- just plug in your network adapter and go."

I have many, many problems with this. First off, I'm not sure what "dedicated high speed means", but our speed has never been close to high. And dedicated! WTF does that even mean!? Again, they use the term "dedicated", this time right next to "always on". That's just plain old bull! It was off most of Friday. Then, immediately after that, it says "connections at T1 speeds". For anyone reading this that doesn't know what T1 means; it's computer jargon for very good. Another blatant lie. I think you all get the point. (Anger level: 30/10)

For anyone at a UofI apartment who has even considered getting internet with Sky Networks, now you know. I have warned you. The reason we got it was because with Comcast we needed a wireless router, which I now realize is a worthy investment for real internet. I'm going out now; I don't even want to see a computer for the rest of the day.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Today, a Computer Engineer

The term "Computer Engineer" is an interesting phrase, to say the least. It basically describes 2 groups of people. The first is the group who is interested in the innerworkings of the modern pc and chooses to earn his/her degree in order to study, maintain and improve these amazing devices. The second group is make up of people who are interested in the innerworkings of these machines which, ironically, never seem to work and further study them with the good end of a baseball bat. I happen to fall into the second group.

If anything computer related would go right for one day I would just cry out in joy for the heavens themselves would open to all. I wake up when Annie calls me to give her directions to this building. That was simple: mapquest, call. Then, after I actually got out of bed for the day, awesome Sky Networks broke our internet. When I called they said they were updating the systems. (Anger level: 4/10)

I then had to drag my laptop all the way across campus to my CS lecture so my friend could help me finish my homework and submit it. It would have been so easy if the stupid thing didn't have to be done in UNIX!!! I couldn't edit the files on my computer without corrupting them, I had to change a huge section of my code because the output wasn't EXACTLY perfect, and I had to write four lines of comments for every single line of code! (Anger level: 7/10)

Luckily, my friend Ian got me through the entire ordeal without too much drain bamage, and I actually got the homework in on time. Let me just warn you all; if you ever hear the word "unix", run far, far away. (Anger level: 2/10)

Between lectures I went to my old suitemates' apartment (note: I accidently spelled it "sweetmates" before realizing it) and played a bit of Halo, which was fun. (Anger level: 0/10)

When I finally got done with classes, I headed back to the apartment to finish my CS 173 homework. (2 CS classes = 2 many: the law of twos) The original plan was to write my homework on paper, scan it, then email it to my TA as an attachment. I figured that I had to do this seeing as there is no key for an upside-down 'A', or a backwards 'E', or a broken minus sign, or a real arrow... So I wrote everything out, then put it in my scanner and pressed scan. Nothing happened. (Explative deleted) I tried again but no such luck. It just printed a page displaying the color properties. Lotta help HP. (Anger level: 8/10)

At this point I knew that I had to type everything out in Word and send it in via something. I typed it, which was a blast, and opened up compass. I tried to attach the document as my teacher described, but that didn't work. I finally just had to paste the entire thing into a text box that could very well be anything. I have no idea what's going on with the stupid internet. (Anger level: 10/10)

After all this, I looked back on the past couple days. The things that first came to mind were the random points of uber slow internet, and the fact that I had to buy (my parents had to buy) a remote for CS 173 so I could voice my electronic opinion in polls. Not to mention everything in the world is overpriced. (Anger level: 15/10)

And as I sit here, my left arm tingling, shaking with rage towards the world, I have the sudden feeling that I will one day be the one to fix all computers everywhere. I will use my knowledge of processors and GUIs to make the most user-friendly PC ever. That, or, I will use my knowledge of baseball bats. Whichever seems right at the time.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Today, a Sex Mathmetician

This is another one of those situations I have to put in perspective before I begin. I walked into my CS 173 lecture, and I swear to god my teacher was talking about sex. Now, she wasn't, but just keep that in the back of your mind as you read this. If your mind isn't already in the gutter, throw it out now. These are actual quotes from the lecture, not modified in any way.

"Today we'll be talking about sets."
"The same sets I'll be talking about today are the same sets you learned about in third grade."
"What are some things you think about when you here the word 'sets'?" First response from the crowd, "Union!"
"It's not true unless that union is an element in the sets."
"There are many ways to define sets."
"Sets with repetition is silly."
"We're going to talk about how to use variables in sets."
"You may not have seen infinte sets since you were younger."
"We talked a lot about empty sets, which is an element of all sets."

And finally, for no real reason whatsoever, this analogy was on the overhead at the end of lecture.
"There is a town where the barber shaves all the people and only the people who don't shave themselves. Who shaves the barber?"

Is it just me, or is the entire world going insane?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Today, a Barber

For those of you (if any) who already know what I'm talking about, yes, yes I did.

It's been suggested to my balding self for quite some time, and I can't argue with the pros. It would be much easier, cheaper and possibly better looking. So, today, it was done. I shaved my hair off.

Now, before I go on, there are 3 main problems with that last sentence.
1- Carl was the one who did the actual shaving. The other 2 stood by and watched.
2- I didn't actually shave my head, just buzzed very short.
3- I ended the sentence in a preposition, and that's just plain old wrong.

Yeah, it's short, and my neck itches a lot. But overall I like it. I especially like the feel of short, spikey hair rather than that long shit. It's especially strange too as I'm already balding.

I really should post the pictures on this blog, but none of us has a camera. Hmm.... They'll be on the next one tomorrow.

Before I go, why were there 5000 old guys walking around campus handing out little green new testements? That was just odd, running into them every 6 feet on Wright St.

Ciao, world.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Today, a Psychic

For all you out there who don't believe in psychic power, and for those of you who have barely had enough math to find the number four, I've got a cool trick for you. I found this on eBaum's and figured out the trick. I pray that you aren't tricked more than once. If so, hit yourself in the head with a blunt object.

Choose any number between 1 and 50.

Now add 12 to it.

Add 19 to that.

Subtract 3 from that answer.

Add 23 to that.

Now subtract 8 from that.

Lastly subtract your original number.

Let me guess...

You're left with 43.

Yay for simple arithmetic! If anyone actually can't figure this one out, feel free to message me. I'll call an ambulance.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Today, an Alcoholic?

To start off, no, I never really have gotten drunk before. Very tipsy, yes, but never drunk. I really don't see the appeal in stumbling foolishly around the room, making an ass of myself, throwing up for several hours, and/or not being able to remember the previous night.

I have come to realize something though. I do enjoy being tipsy, in that, I enjoy the sudden and often unexpected giggles brought about by a drink or two. (or more if we're talking mudslides and pina coladas...yummy!) I have also realized that I most likely have the alcoholism gene somewhere in my body. I've never quite figured out where those things hide.

So, I'm left with a most troubling question; what to do? Do I ignore the fact that I might have this illness and just drink away? I think not. I have to accept the fact that I have limitations. Should I quit drinking all-together? Perhaps. It is the safest route, albiet it is the least exciting. Perhaps I should just limit myself to only a couple drinks every time I go out (which is still only a couple times a year). Yeah, I know, loser.

It's rough, you know, growing up and all. Sometimes maturity means being able to accept one's own fate, and sometimes it means being able to deal with it. I've already accepted the fact that I'm more than susceptible to alcoholism. I've seen what that stuff can do to a person. It ruins lives. On the other hand, in small doses it can actually make one a very enjoyable person. It's sad to think that having a few drinks actually makes me a happier person. Hell, I can count the times I've been happy on one hand.

I'll leave it at this; I've got my own battle to fight. Whatever happens, I'm not going to become some stupid drunk. As for you out there who have surrendered to the temptation, just try to make sure you don't let that stuff ruin your life or anyone else's. Please, don't drink and drive. Don't drink and operate heavy machinery either...or firearms. That just scares the shit out of me. I don't really care if people go to frat parties and drink and pass out and throw up. It honestly makes me sick to think that those same people are going to be the ones who will abuse their spouses and children verbally and physically. For the love of whatever god in which you believe, get some help as soon as possible. I already know some of my friends (using that term loosely) who will lose the war.

If at this point you even considered the fact that I might be talking about you, then you need help.

Pass it on.