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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Neal's LiveJournal:

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Friday, June 13th, 2008
4:14 pm
Squared birthdays (and cubed, and more)
On Tori's 3rd birthday, I will be 36 and Lance will be 6.  This results in the following weirdness:

1) Lance will be the exact square root of my age (admittedly Tori's birthday has nothing to do with this)
2) Tori's age will be one of the factors of both Lance's and my age.
3) Tori and Lance's ages when written down in inverse numerical order will be 36.

This further validates my point of having a BIG ASS party for my 36th and Lance's 6th birthday, if only because it's the kickoff to one of the few years that all of our ages will have any sort of mathematical significance to each other (although I guess technically relation #3 is numerology, not math).

Interestingly, the ages required for being the square of a child's age (with reasonableness) are small.  Starting at expected puberty the parent must be one of these ages:

Which would make the child's age at the time of squaring be:

I question 72, but given the number of trophy wives out there, I suppose it's on the very edge of reasonable values.  In another 10 or 15 years, I suppose 90 (child 10 years old) might be there as well.

For CUBES of a child's age, you get only two possibles (parent's age at child's birth/child's age): 25/3,60/4

4th powers gives you: 18/2,81/3
5th gives you: 30/2
6th: 62/2
7th: no possible dates

Note that the only overlap is at 30.  Which means I missed a celebration chance already.  I KNEW I should have worked this math out earlier.  I honest-to-god am upset that I missed the first one.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2005
11:34 am
My Thesis begins, maybe
It turns out that no single person really knows how to do a thesis at Texas State University, at least in the CS department. I spent 3 hours Monday going from one end of campus to the other moving paper around. Hopefully this is not a harbinger of things to come.
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2005
11:41 pm
Lounging Lizards
We had an active weekend last week. We traded some time off with Jana during the week for a Saturday evening and went to see the Austin Lounge Lizards' 25th anniversary show at the Texas Union Ballroom. A nice time was had, although I still feel like I violated for the service charge the Texas Box Office charged. But I digress.

Sunday was a book signing at Book People for Alton Brown's new book I'm Just Here for More Food. I like Alton quite a bit, but Book People really screwed up this signing. First, they didn't allow signings of books not purchased at Book People. While I can understand this, I've spent many dollars at Book People, and I think they can let at least one book slide. Second, there wasn't enouhgh space to hold the crowd. There were people in line to the door for signing, and unless you really worked at it, you couldn't get close enough to the stairwell (he was upstairs) to hear him speak. In the past (and for speakers I hadn't heard of), they've piped the speaker to the PA system so everyone could hear the speaker. Not this time. Everyone was just screwed.

Oh well. He'll be around again, I'm sure.

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Tuesday, January 4th, 2005
12:07 pm
Amber got me these wonderful earphones for christmas. They block 15-35 dB of sound from the outside world, depending on how far you're willing to shove them in your ears. To give you an idea of sound reduction, the earplugs they use at construction sites do about 12dB.

At any rate, I never noticed houw LOUD the office is. I mean, I knew it was loud before, but it took the almost complete silence of the earphones to point it out. It's amazing.

Thanks Amber!

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Monday, December 27th, 2004
11:33 am
YES! It's like christmass, but with better food!
Alton Brown has a sequel to his book (I'm Just Here for the Food) called I'm Just Here for More Food. If you're inclined to buy me a gift, this would be the one to get me.

Alton's on tour promoting the new book, so I checked his touring schedule. What should I find?


Sunday, January 30, 3:00 PM
Book People
603 N. Lamar
Austin, TX 78703

Guess where I'm going to be on Jan 30?

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Sunday, December 19th, 2004
12:08 am
grades rule
I somehow pulled off an 'A' in my Formal Languages class. How that happened, I'm not sure. Maybe the chicken sacrifice at midnight under the full moon helped.

At any rate, I now have only one more "real" class to take, then a couple thesis classes, then I've officially got a Master's! Yeah! Double bonus: work pays 100% of the cost!

Triple bonus: My grade point is high enough to seriously consider some of the bigger CS schools for PhD work. Yeah. In like 15 years.

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Wednesday, December 15th, 2004
1:40 pm
On language and dialect
I stumbled on an interesting page that goes into incredible detail on German and the evolution of german grammar and pronunciation. On the difference between a dialect and a language, it has this to say:

There is no linguistic criterion to distinguish a dialect from a language. A dialect is a language if it is treated as such in a particular country. Or, as Max Weinreich put it: "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy."


In other news, my company is buying a company that does software devlopment in Austria. So maybe I'll be able to get transferred over there. Woot!

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Wednesday, December 8th, 2004
10:27 pm
Math/Computer humour
It's finals time, and you know what that means: avoiding studying!

While looking up information on the pumping lemma (if your masochistic, do a google search), I landed upon this little gem. Amazingly enough, it explains the pumping lemma very well, and in rhyming couplets, no less.

No back to your regularly scheduled, non-math-related, blogging.

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Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, November 16th, 2004
10:26 am
Wikipedia and document evolution
First, the professional encyclpediast's view of Wikipedia.

Now, some commentary. I understand where Mr. McHenry is coming from. I even agree with him to an extent, if only the point he makes in his final paragraph: as a document is editted more and more times, its quality will move not towards perfection, but towards average. But it's more than that. The document moves to the average of the group editting it. If the group of people editting the document is your average internet user of today, you'll end up with a document that is only slightly more intelligent than the average person. Why? Because the average person on the internet is slightly-above average in intelligence and writing ability.

But the reverse is true. If the group of editors consists of intelligent experts in a subject, the quality of edits will move the document towards perfection. This applies not just to wikis, but to any edited endeavour. Consider textbook production (hi Amber!). If the editors of textbooks were just pulled at random off the street, our textbooks would be in a bad state. But that's not what happens. Editors are "carefully" chosen to be bright, interested, and experts. As such, textbooks aproach perfection. Naturally, there are errors in textbooks. But the errors are small, and usually not consequential to the overall subject.

Enough rambling. Back to my documentation.

By the way -- my current music entry is orignally by Dire Straits. Their version is better (although Indigo Girls' version isn't bad either).

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Wednesday, October 6th, 2004
12:55 pm
Funny weather forcasters
One of my many low-grade hobbies is watching weather. I'm interested in weather like a kid. I don't really want to know all the terms and be able to make my own forcasts and all that (other than where that might match my higher-grade gadget hobby); it's more of a, "Cool!" hobby.

At any rate, I read the daily forcasts from NOAA often enough that I kind of have a feel for the forcasters. So it was with some suprise that I read this on today's forcast:


It helps to understand that NOAA uses a dozen or so different forcasting models along with some common sense to come up with their forcast for a period. So this "looking-out-the-window" model is funny.

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Monday, September 27th, 2004
1:14 pm
8:25 am
Write This
I can't really write particularly well. But I married someone that can. So, here's a writing excercise generator. Neato.

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Thursday, September 23rd, 2004
7:47 am
A while back, I was talking to a couple buddies at work about how cool it would be to be able to move my mou se from one monitor to another monitor, even if the monitor was connected to a different computer. "It shouldn't be too hard," I said. Of course, me being motivationally challenged, I never did anything about it. Enter Synergy, which does what I'm looking for. Cross-platform, even. Woot!

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Wednesday, September 22nd, 2004
11:57 am
Monday, September 20th, 2004
12:08 pm
Oddly sad...
I was reading a post by Nuclear Moose today that made me oddly sad:

Had it not been for the fact that I was laughing my arse off, I may have been a bit disappointed by that answer. Somehow, though, his sincerity convinced me that he had a good day. I got to stand there and laugh at the two of them; my sons…I think I will keep them, if only for a while…

It made me realize that I've only got Lance for 18 years (really only 17 years 9 months, but who's counting?).

I spent about 10 minutes this morning just watching him sleep.

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Monday, August 30th, 2004
9:04 am
porting code
When porting an application, one generally likes to have at least SOME portions of the code compile. the last thing you want to see is:
bash-2.04$ make
make -C ../objlib
make[1]: Entering directory `/d1/esvideo_db2/provls/vcom/objlib'
makefile:76: *** commands commence before first target. Stop.
make[1]: Leaving directory `/d1/esvideo_db2/provls/vcom/objlib'
make: *** [../objlib] Error 2

Come on, at least compile ONE of the source files. :( Throw me a bone, system!

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8:26 am
We were watching the closing ceremony of the olympics last night on the tivo. For some reason, there was a slight audio lag (the tivo's been doing that every so often. I'm not sure if it's the tivo or directv). It got VERY noticable right as they started interviewing Yao Ming. I found this hilarious in a weird ironic way, as it looked like they were using voice-over for his interview. His mouth would start moving, and a bout a second later his voice would start.

Of course, I find him unintelligable anyway, but that's got more to do with his thick accent than anything else.

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Current Mood: tired
Friday, August 13th, 2004
9:43 am
Julia Child died
For some reason, it makes me incredibly sad that Julia Child died.

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Tuesday, August 10th, 2004
12:24 pm
Overheard at work
A new girl started at work today. This wouldn't normally be a big deal. But here's a little snippet overheard on her telephone conversation today:

"Hey baby, I just messaged you back."
"How badly do you want it?"

This isn't something I really want to hear at work.

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Tuesday, August 3rd, 2004
10:47 am
I have an odd memory. I have a hard time remembering to do tasks (like forgetting to pick up the lunch I made for today), but I can VERY clearly remember mundane items from years ago with absolute clarity. I can remember the white swing on a friend's porch from when I was 9 years old. I saw the swing only once. I can remember the huge roots of an oak tree that I walked over to get to school in the mornings when I didn't want to cross the asphault parking lot.

I believe some of these memories are shaping memories. They define who I am and who I was. The affected my life from the point they were committed, and will always affect me.

One of these memories is the night my mother died. She had gone into hospital with an infected tooth. I guess a little explaination would be in order there. My mother had Crohn's disease, a disease that causes your immune system to attack your digestive system. At the time there was essentially no treatment for it. When part of your GI tract was attacked, they surgically removed it.

At any rate, they were trying some experimental drugs with her (Mercaptipurine-6, a chemotherapy drug), and she was doing relatively well. Unfortunately, MP-6 weakened her immune system pretty dramatically. An infected tooth was a pretty serious problem, and could lead to encephalitis.

She had been in hospital abour 2 weeks, I guess. About 3am I get a call. The voice on the other end called to inform me that she had died. I thanked the person and hung up. My mind literally couldn't process the statement -- It made no sense.

And I remember absolutely everything about that night, even though I was mostly asleep: the bed, the phone, the table (the phone for some reason was on the floor).

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