Good Apple — Bad Sticker

Today I was at work, well just now, and I decided to be the healthy person that I am (ahhhem) and eat an apple.  A few days ago I had done some grocery shopping in anticipation of this desire.  The fact that I did my grocery shopping 200 miles away from my destination is worth a whole other post.  So I start to do the standard pull the sticker off the apple so you do not consume things designed for a printer and I discovered, to my horror, that this was a precut sticker.  If you try to pull it off then it starts to rip.  This is not a sticker designed for a passport!  Ohh well.  I will now have to take the next several minutes dislodging this sticker from the apple before I can enjoy.  I thought I would share it with you.  Now for all you non believers out there (you know who you are) I have taken a picture and mocked it up with lines to represent the cuts in the sticker.  Too bad the sticker is fuzzy in the image.

Good Apple --- Bad Sticker

I am actually not sure if I even feel like eating the apple anymore.

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Regular Expressions

From time to time I just really fall in love with Unix (well, Linux for you purists)…  In windows it can be very difficult to get a quantity.  A click here, a click there, install update, reboot…  Then well at least 5 more clicks.  Well, Unix to the rescue.  The power comes from the ability to combine several different small programs in ways that the original programmer had not even thought of to get a result.  Case in point…

egrep ‘.*(nan|bweight.*[^.]).*’ analysis_trigger_nocuts.out | egrep -v ‘[.]’ | uniq -c | awk ‘{ print $1; }’ | grep 2 | wc -l

Here I needed to know how many events in my analysis had returned two “nan”‘s (one for each jet).  I will not go into detail about what the above line really does, I just dont have time for that right now, but sufice it to say the answer is 484.  Add that to the number of events that gave me a zero weight for my btagging and then you have 1794…  The total number of nan lines in my output.  So, everything adds up.  That is nice.  The point is this…  The power of unix comes not from huge programs that try to do everything, but from a combination of seemingly small programs that do small tasks well.  Seems like almost anything can be done with combinations if grep, egrep, awk, sed, wc, uniq, sort, and cut…

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Dear World….

Today I have been though a gauntlent of dissapointment.  I have received a email from my advisor last week telling me that she wants me to be on my own more and to start looking for a job.  Now, this is a good thing since that means that she is starting to think that I am getting ready for the “real world”.  I have been trying to get stuff to her for the past week and a half and nothing is working correctly.  When I submit jobs to the batch queue’s to get results they just crash.  And on top of that I can not seem to get the corretions into my Monte Carlo all the way due to these batch issues.  Ok, so besides some other dissapointing news I thought that I had this batch issue solved where I come in this morning and find out that I had submitted with the wrong config file last night.  Worthless computing time wasted.  Now I have to resubmit but the computers at the experiment are being upgraded so the batch queue’s are offline.  Now to supliment this…  I have been needing to get some code together to make a plot for my work.  I have been putting it off since it was a hastle.  The other day I finally got around to getting this code written and it was awsome.  It did everything I needed it to, had cross-checks in the code, and the plot was great looking.  Today in an effort to back it up I accedentally removed it!  Now I must start over from scratch.  Now I know that it was only about 400 lines of code but…  Now on top of all this I need to be editing a paper.  I have been trying to get to it but things keep getting in my way.  For one I can not update the efficencies untill I have the corrections in the Monte Carlo (which I am waiting on batch jobs to be available again since they are required to get this to work.)

I dunno World…  Guess I just needed somebody to rant to.  Now to settle down and recover from my morning…  Possibly a trip downtown would help me to recover…

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Quarter thiefs…..

Ok, as young growing adults out of the home we have from time to time the lovable task of doing laundry.  Now, I know that there are some that find this to be a fun and exciting task (you are all weird), for me it really is the last thing that I want to be doing.  My post here is not really about the act of doing laundry, but what one has to go though to get it done….  Putting quarters in a machine.  In this day and age it is really rare for me to carry cash, and an even less probability that I will be walking around with the eleven quarters it takes to wash and dry a load of laundry at my apartment complex.  Now, I really am not bent out of shape about the money it is just that I have to have quarters.  Can the companies just not get with the times.  I would be totally cool with switching to laundry tokens and have a token exchanger avail so that I could put 1/5/10 dollar bills into to get the tokens.  Or even better just swipe my credit card and have it issue me x number of tokens.  Really.  This definitely falls into the category of rant.  Lets get on the ball Mr laundry machine coin thief decider person.   (Ok, I think that is out of my system now P-) )…

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Taco Hell….. (ohh, I ment Bell)

Today, I will write to you the reader with a new drive, a rejuvenation of desire to spread the silly things that happen to me on a daily basis.  To who do I owe this burst of energy to…  Stacie, the always bubbly and always fun to talk to girl that you wish you had more time with.  So many things have happened since my last posting.  Obviously too many to really talk about.  Now, just in case you thought this post was going nowhere…(and quickly)…  I will turn this around and set the stage at Lawrence’s premier late night restaurant, Taco Hell…  After I had met with some friends for the evening I decided to make a stop at the Taco Bell to grab some late night grub.  If you thought that your evening was entertaining before your stopped at the border, then you have a whole new surprise coming your way.  I have found that sitting in the drive though lane in a college town at 2:00 am in the morning always has its moment where you think to yourself, “Why would he do that…” or more common “What an idiot…”  So, after about 5 minutes in line a very large black pickup truck decided it was time to get out of there and proceeded to drive around the other cars to leave.  What the driver failed to do was realize that truck was not going to fit around all the cars and of course clipped the front end of the car making the order at the super wicked cool display that always shows what you ordered, but not necessarily what you will get.  The person making the order immediately got out of his car to confront the other driver, in a non-aggressive fashion of course, and was welcomed with a driver side window being rolled up as fast as possible.  This is where things started to get a little out of hand.  The guy opens the driver side truck door in an effort to further confront the driver.  I mean wow…  To just open the door of the other vehicle.  I could have sworn that there was going to be a confrontation ending in some form of bloodshed.  Well, at this point the ruck driver pulled away and left nothing behind but an aggravated and taken advantage of soul.

Now being the person that I am, I try to place myself in the other person’s shoes (usually cause they have better shoes, seriously, I need to glue the toe on my Vans back before it gets even worse).  When I do this I normally see some sort of justification for the action, but not this time.  I will go ahead a make the guess that the driver of the truck (who was female) was probably drunk and just could not handle a confrontation with the police, hence the hit and run.  I really hope that somebody got the plate of the truck.  It really sucks when your car is damaged and there is no way to get it fixed (this happened to me years ago in the University of Kansas parking lot).  Well, Mr Angry Damaged Car still kicking tires person, I feel for you.  I wish that I could do more to help but I think this is decidedly out of my hands.  If you were that driver, and you end up reading this post then let me know and I will buy you a drink.

Ok, so what can we all take away from this tale…  When bored and it is 2:00 am, just make a run for the border, there is always drama to be seen in the drive though….   (and yes one night I did see somebody get out of one vehicle in line, walk to another on in line and then piss on the tire.  Again, could have swore that was going to end up with blood there somewhere)…

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KDE4.2 (and stuff)

Well,  it has been a while since I made a blog entry and it seems like so much stuff has happened since the 4th.  I will have to spend some time and make some other posts related to these other ventures.  Today I have hit a point where I am very happy with my desktop.  It is the past few days that have been very hard to deal with.  Lets go back to there.  Last Thursday I decided to update my SVN version of KDE.  Version 4.1 had just been released and I should have known that the trunk of the KDE SVN tree would be come very unstable.  When I got into work on Friday I was welcomed by a black screen, no doubt a Plasma problem.  In trying to debug the problem I inadvertently deleted my entire .kde directory.  So then to fix that problem I rebooted with a boot disk, ran reiserfsck to recover the removed files (which was unsuccessfully by the way), and then finally rebooted back in the next morning.  When I booted back in I found that my file system was just corrupted…….

What a deal, one small problem, to a slightly larger problem, to the problem of all problems.  I was forced to do a reinstall.  This took me since then to now to get what I wanted.  A fresh gentoo install using the paludis package manager and an install of KDE trunk from SVN.  What a beautiful system.  It has been a long road to toll but I think that the end result is defiantly worth it.  Here is a screenshot of my desktop.

Here…

What a nice looking system.  I am very excited about what is coming from the KDE developers.  I think that some of their ideas are wonderfull.  In the screenshot above I have just a few plasmoids running, the analog clock and then three folderviews.  Two of the folderviews (for my work) are on the left side of the screen while there is one spanning the bottom for my downloads.  I am running compiz fusion which is handling all the nice effects.  I know that kwin has its own but I think that compiz is just more polished.  You will see that I have no friends in my Kopete window (a great app).  I have the new firefox running with the iFox Graphite (version 3.0.1) theme running.  The background I got from Deviant Art and is called Conquer the World.

The end result is that now I am back up and running.  What a good feeling….

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4th of July Weekend

I felt it prudent to write up a post on my past weekend. My friends and I went to my parents house for the 4th of July, where we set off a lot of fireworks, and then proceeded to checkout the Current River on Saturday and Sunday. What a trip this has been. The 4th of July party happens every year at my house but I have missed of for like 4 years now due to my work in the Chicago area. While it sounds simple on the surface it gets quite complex when things are said and done. Clean this, clean that… Fix this, and then fix that…. The joy happens in the early afternoon of the 4th when I get to lounge around the pool and wait for people to arrive. BBQ, swimming, and fireworks consumed the rest of the evening. One of the main reasons for this post is so that other people can see the photos of the trip. I love to share you know. You can actually view the full resolution photos on the flickr site. I have placed a small slideshow of the photos here in the blog entry for convenance. It should be stated that the majority of these photos came from a friend of mine Pablo Palafox and his wife who were there and a lot more active with his camera that I was with mine. (Thanks guys)





The trip was wonderful. I have been to this river many times in the past and it seems that each time I go I have just as much fun if not more that I did before. The route that we took is shown below.

This trip had a lot of firsts for the people that went along. For some it was floating and for some it was camping. For me it was having a solo canoe. I have done it one time before in the past for like a mile, but this was different. I was going to have to do the entire trip this way, and sitting in the back not the middle. I must say that the experience was better than I thought. I got the hang of it pretty quick and only kind of ran into trouble at one spot in the river.

We found a lot of really cool stuff along the river. One of the coolest that I found was Merritt Rock Cave towards the end of the float (about 2 miles or so from Round Spring). The cave has basically walking passage, but it is all though water. The deepest that it got was probably knee to mid thigh on me and I am 5’10”. I was surprised to find a large amount of formations per foot on this cave. Some caves you go to and it is just a mud pit, but this one was good. If you do go down the current river make sure to stop here, but don’t touch the formations. Don’t forget the cavers motto, “Take nothing but pictures Leave nothing but footprints, Kill nothing but time.” We stopped at three springs along the route; Welch spring, Cave spring, and Pulltite spring. All of these spots were cool, on more than one level, the water coming out of the springs is very cold.

As you can see from the presented map we camped a little bit further than half way just past cave spring. This was a good place to camp and after a lot of effort was able to get enough firewood for the night. The challenge was finding the dry wood which required us to go though the woods a bit. One of my favorite things is the evening and morning fog on the river. You can see some of it in the pictures from above. All in all I must say it was a great trip. I really enjoyed everybodies company and I hope that we get a chance to do it again on a different river sometime in the future. You have to just love the Ozarks…..

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