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Thursday, May 25, 2006


It's been a while...sorry.

I've been working my ass off, maybe 50+ hours a week at work, then teaching 6 hours every Saturday from 9 to 3.

One thing about teaching: all your energy goes into it, then you = drained. Also, I've taught before, but when the material is new (i.e. it's your first time teaching the class), the amount of prep work is staggering. I'm teaching the MOC 2555 Programming Windows Applications in C#, and the curriculum is all there for you, but the students won't learn anything from it. All the labs are adding a few lines of code to an already existing project, and not having to develop something - even small - from the ground up. The module on asynchronous programming is lousy, and definitely would have confused anyone reading it, even experienced C#-ers. Plus, more than half the students have little or no object-oriented experience, so I had to try to give an hour intro to that. C# is either very easy to learn if you have OO experience, or will be thoroughly confusing if you have none.

Anyway, I've learned a lot so far, though, just by teaching the class. And where I once couldn't care less about XML or not, now I'm converted.

As if this isn't all enough, my fiance and I are trying to get the house out here ready to sell so we can move to the East Coast. She's taking two classes and working 50+ hours a week for Pepsi, so we have no life until Sunday. And we can barely go out Sundays while Sopranos is still running. And I've got a SQL contract to teach, starting in two weeks, and MOC 2389 ADO.NET after that. Ugh...

I have to wait until early July to even think about the East Coast plans. Joey's going for a Vet Tech program and I'm trying for graduate school in Computer Science. I'm narrowing down to studies in computer vision, computational linguistics, and machine learning. I'm trying to locate research out there into context and/or concept modeling - that is, when the machine receives conversational input, it's one thing to process it, but what about retention? How might the data received be "stored"? Could we perhaps find a more univeral data-type that could house information garnered from conversation.

Then why computer vision? I think that the above is hard enough as it is, but certainly harder without some sort of other "sensory" data to associate to. I remember from a psychology class long ago that the eyes technically do (among many other things) edge detection, as well as filtering out redundant data, so to speak. I'd like to see the effectiveness of using two cameras to perform depth-perception. If the images from two cameras are used together, can we determine light-sources? Could we determine distance from shadows? Etc. Then object detection could be merged with the context / concept idea above by have two sources of data to associate with each other. I think it would be amazing to have a computer look at a basketball and a tennis ball, then be asked the difference in size between the two, and be able to say that the basketball is x times larger than the tennis ball, what the radii are, etc. The uses for a Hubble-like telescope could be fantastic.

Well, I've been on vacation since yesterday and want to continue slothing until Monday. Just wanted to post here during the break.

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Sunday, May 14, 2006

That is an ex-parrot!

(no, it's just pining for the fyords...)

At my momma's for mothers day. She likes to collect and arrange odd things. She has a fake / stuffed parrot in this cage hanging upside-down...oooo-kay...

Love coming out here, though. She has three pugs: Mojo-jojo, Chung King, and Zsu Zsu. They're fat, fun, and our shepards are great with them.

She also has a fantastic view from her porch, except for the lightpost.

Unfortunately, Joey and I had to flee early to try and make it home for the Sopranos in time. We were late by 10 minutes and had to wait till 9:00pm, so I laid around and did nothing. Which I like.

While at my mother's, I saw an article or something laying around that said Bush and the Cronies were building detention camps. So I did a little Googling and saw this. What the fuck...? Well, I'm sure it's just for our own safety -- a place to put chickens with the flu, their owners, and American islams with any sort of money or legal prowess. I, for one, already feel safe, as I neither own any chickens, nor have any prowess or money and haven't had any contact with Islam since breakfast.

Currently teaching a C# class while working full-time plus some. My god is teaching draining. But I'm getting good reviews from my students and learning way more about C# than I thought I would. The one thing that I'm noting during this class: my students wanted to use VS 2005, but 2003 was the required version for the class. I went ahead and upgraded to 2005 for them, and although we're mostly doing our own labs et al anyway, I'm realizing how much programming has changed over the years. Languages are slowly merging with their IDEs. Not that that's necessarily bad, but my god would .NET suck to learn without Intellisense. And look at what's happened with web programming. I don't know how many Dreamweaver experts I've run into that think they're the fucking gurus of web page design, but as soon as you show them a few lines of Javascript...I mean some of these people look at me as if I'm trying to trick them or something. I guess I have to be more subtle.

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

This is my first posting, and I have nothing to say today...

However, my fiance informed me that every night we eat at least ten spiders in our sleep.

WTF? Is this true?

Here's my engagement pic from April 15.

She was beaming, and everyone in the restaurant was smiling... except the couple two tables to our right. They went dead silent. Then the woman got up to leave. Then the guy after her. We toasted to our engagement and its blow to some couple's night.

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