zorknapp's Journal http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/ zorknapp's use Perl Journal en-us use Perl; is Copyright 1998-2006, Chris Nandor. Stories, comments, journals, and other submissions posted on use Perl; are Copyright their respective owners. 2012-01-25T02:24:37+00:00 pudge pudge@perl.org Technology hourly 1 1970-01-01T00:00+00:00 zorknapp's Journal http://use.perl.org/images/topics/useperl.gif http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/ New blog site http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/28450?from=rss Hello! I'm not using this site for my blog anymore. If you want to check out what I'm writing, go to: <p> <a href="http://zorky.blogspot.com/">http://zorky.blogspot.com/</a> </p><p> Also, my new website, that looks like it was created in the mid 90's, is at: </p><p> <a href="http://www.dartmouth.edu/~mikelord/">http://www.dartmouth.edu/~mikelord/</a> </p><p> Farewell! </p><p> Mike</p> zorknapp 2006-01-24T13:43:53+00:00 journal Backstroke of the West http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/25635?from=rss <a href="http://homepages.nyu.edu/~shl249/episode-iii-backstroke-of-west.html">A film for our time...</a> zorknapp 2005-07-11T14:24:22+00:00 journal Squirrel Vs. Crow http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/20150?from=rss So, I was walking around campus a few weeks ago, and saw a squirrel. Then, shortly after that, I saw some crows standing around. Because my mind may choose to wander down unfamiliar, or frankly, odd paths, I thought to myself: <p> "Hmm. Squirrels and crows are about the same size. I wonder which animal would win in a fight." </p><p> The crow has the advantage of flight, but are its beak and talons/claws enough to overcome the tenacity of an enraged squirrel? Could a crow pick up a squirrel, and drop it on a rock, like some sea-birds do to crabs? </p><p> Could the squirrel, on its own, climb a tree, and attack from the air a crow feeding on the ground? </p><p> Does the advantage go to the attacker, whichever creature goes first, or is there some inherent ability in one animal or the other that would lend it the ability to achieve victory no matter the situation? </p><p> At first, I know you're thinking, "What a stupid question." But, you're going to be lying awake tonight, or tomorrow, or sometime, thinking to yourself: </p><p> "A squirrel's teeth are sharp, but could they really get through the crow's feathers to the flesh below?" </p><p> "Yes, the crow can dive bomb a squirrel, but how sharp is that beak, really?" </p><p> Your thoughts, ideas, and strategies are encouraged. I think I have the beginnings of a book here.</p> zorknapp 2004-07-30T18:32:10+00:00 journal Janet's boob http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/17182?from=rss So, there's all this hoopla about Janet Jackson's boob being exposed during the Super Bowl. <p> <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3453855.stm">Photos of boob here.</a> </p><p> There is a lot of clamoring happening to have an "investigation" into this exposure, and of course, cries of the "children" being hurt by this. </p><p> All this during a game of pummeling, hitting, and focused violence. I'm sure that's not damaging to children at all, it's SPORTING!!!! </p><p> This is just another example of how much some Americans hate their own bodies. We can't see a breast on TV, because it'll cause some sort of moral decay. </p><p> I would gather that most humans on the planet have seen a naked breast at some point in their life, and yet somehow, society hasn't collapsed. </p><p> Strange, that.</p> zorknapp 2004-02-03T13:53:25+00:00 journal The Tolkien "Dick" List http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/16475?from=rss So, if you haven't gone to see <a href="http://www.lordoftherings.net/index.html">Return of the King</a> yet, you should climb out from under your rock, and go see it. Repeatedly. <p> I've seen it twice so far, once at Trilogy Tuesday, the day long screening of all three movies back on December 16th, and once this past weekend. </p><p> After watching the first movie again, I commented to jjohn, "Wow, Saurman's a dick!" From this simple comment, we decided to come up with a "Dick" list for the characters in the movies. </p><p> So, without further ado, here it is: </p><p> Saurman: Pure dick </p><p> Frodo: Can be dicky, because of the Ring. </p><p> Sam: Dick to Gollum </p><p> Smeagol/Gollum: Precious Dick </p><p> Sauron: The One True Dick. </p><p> Faramir: Was a dick, but got better. </p><p> Denethor: MEGA-dick, dick! </p><p> Aragorn: Not a dick, unless you're orc or uruk </p><p> Legolas: Not a dick. </p><p> Gimli: Dick to the elf. </p><p> Balrog: Ancient dick </p><p> Theoden: Dick through Saurman, but not a dick on his own. </p><p> Wormtongue: Tool of a dick </p><p> Boromir: Dick by proxy, (see Denethor). </p><p> Gandalf: not a dick, unless you screw with his fireworks or attract foes to his party </p><p> Sackville-Baggins: dicks </p><p> Old Gaffer: not a dick, but only liked by Sam </p><p> Galadriel: very nearly a Big Dick </p><p> Celeborn: useless dick </p><p> Elrond: not a dick, but not really helpful either </p><p> Treebeard: a dick to axe wielders </p><p> The Nazgul WitchKing: total dick </p><p> Tom Bombadil: missing dick </p><p> If you have anything you'd like to add, feel free.</p> zorknapp 2003-12-23T15:05:17+00:00 journal Blogging is serious business http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/16294?from=rss There's an interesting discussion going on over in the comments section of <a href="http://use.perl.org/~jjohn/journal/">jjohn's Journal</a> about his use of the Markov blogger. <p> The discussion falls into two categories, to my mind: </p><p> 1. MarkovBlog is a pain, because I, as a reader, may be led to a blog that has no real content. </p><p> 2. People have their own choice about reading, and if the author chooses to put goop in his blog, that is his decision to make. </p><p> I'm totally fascinated by this discussion, because no one is forcing anyone to read any entry they do not want to read. Sure, if someone goes to jjohn's journal, and it's a MarkovBlog, and they didn't want to read it, it may waste a few seconds, but isn't blogging, whether you read or write one, at its core, kind of a waste of time anyway? </p><p> Don't get me wrong, I totally enjoy both reading and writing blogs, but is it an essential part of my day? No. Is it an essential part of anyone's day? Perhaps, but I would ask, what did these people do before blogs? Sure, something like reading blogs can become a positive part of someone's day, but does getting distracted by a randomly generated blog really detract from the enjoyment of blogging in general? </p><p> Part of the concern about this also seems to be that MarkovBlog may keep people from reading jjohn's blog as often as they would otherwise. To that I say, so what? Should this be a concern of jjohn's, that some people don't read his blog as often as they might? </p><p> This gets to a question about blogging. Is the act of blogging for the blogger, or for the readers? Which is prime? Is either prime? Should one be prime over the other? Personally, I view the blog as the domain of the writer, and the reader is secondary. The writer can use the blogging venue to develop thoughts, to post interesting ideas or links, or just randomly post whatever he or she feels like doing at the moment. </p><p> The reader has the freedom to put the book down at any time, as it were, and make a choice to go elsewhere for their blogging pleasure. It's not like there's not a proliferation of venues out there to read blogs. </p><p> Finally, I guess that whether you care about Markovblog one way or another comes down to a question of what your expectations are of the blogging experience. If you expect relevant content, or even simply logical sentences put together in a proper order, then a blog that has Markov as part of it are not for you. If you are looking for the random musing of a writer, along with goofy stuff, then I guess putting up with Markov is your kind of excitement. </p><p> All comments are of course, welcome. Not that I'll pay any attention to them, but who knows...</p> zorknapp 2003-12-11T20:55:22+00:00 journal Long time, no write http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/15686?from=rss You know, since I haven't written since the little black bear appeared on campus, my reading public has most likely been wondering if I had perhaps been EATEN by Mr. Bear. <p> I can safely say, FEAR NOT, my fellow humans! The bear did not make the treat out of me it may have wanted to. No bear bites on my bottom. Yet. </p><p> Since August, I've been both lazy and busy. Lazy about writing, and busy with work. The combonation of the two of course conspires to keep me away from blogging. This perhaps is not the <a href="http://www.blogforamerica.com/">Blog for America</a>, but the blog for lazy bastards. </p><p> Hearing Mr. Jjohn's <a href="http://use.perl.org/~jjohn/journal/">music</a>, along with songs I played on quite a bit of time ago, has made me realize that I really haven't written anything musical in recent times. The creative bug just hasn't been biting. I have had opportunities to play music with other people. That has been fulfulling, but I need to do more. I have been picking up the bass more in the past few weeks than I have before then, in order to get the strings back under my fingers. There is just more pulling me away from the music now than in the past. </p><p> My hope is after my wedding in February, that I'll be able to devote more time to non-wedding related activities. Honestly though, the wedding hasn't been what is taking me away from being creative, it's just the lack of motivation to be creative. </p><p> I've been reading much more, and I'm beginning to get the writing bug again. However, I don't seem driven to do anything about it. My ideas are half formed, and I find it difficult to come up with the dramatic twists that would make certain ideas more compelling. More to think about with these ideas. </p><p> On a totally other subject, I have seen <a href="http://www.elfmovie.com/">"Elf"</a> and <a href="http://whatisthematrix.warnerbros.com/">"Matrix Revolutions"</a> over the weekend. "Elf" was much better than the third installment of the Matrix. The battle scenes in the third Matrix were tremendous, but the plot/characterizations left much to be desired. "Elf," on the other hand, was funny, entertaining, and although the sweet ending at the end was fairly predictable, it's a friggin' Christmas movie, it's supposed to have a happy ending. </p><p> Now, for happy endings, here comes <a href="http://www.lordoftherings.net/index.html">"Return of the King"</a>! Can I mention how much I'm salivating for this film. In fact, jjohn, my fiance, and myself, along with some others, will be attending the <a href="http://www.theonering.net/features/newsroom/files/102003_trilogytuesday_aftermath.html#part1">"Trilogy Tuesday"</a> massive showing of "Fellowship," "The Two Towers," and "Return of the King" all in a row. </p><p> Some have asked me if seeing three movies, and long ones at that, in a row will be overwhelming. I say, "Yes, but it's supposed to be overwhelming!" </p><p> Alright, enough yakkin for now, I'll try to write on a daily basis for now, and I won't just whine about being uncreative. </p><p> Cheers!</p> zorknapp 2003-11-10T18:53:48+00:00 journal Excitement!!!! http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/14123?from=rss So, today on campus after lunch, I'm walking to the main Residence Life office, and what is happening on campus? <p> We had a bear on campus!!!! A little black bear. And when I say little, I mean as compared to other bears. The beastie was probably as tall as me when it stood against a tree, and was bigger than the biggest dog out there. </p><p> I was excited, as I had heard stories of different wild creatures on campus, but hadn't seen any. Last summer, there was a moose running around, and I missed it! But now, I can safely say that I encountered a real bear, although at a distance. </p><p> My hope is that they tranquilized the bear, and can bring it back into the wilds of NH, but I don't know what procedure is. I'll keep people updated as to the status of the bear.</p> zorknapp 2003-08-14T18:10:35+00:00 journal About damn time! http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/14003?from=rss It's been a few weeks since the last entry for me in this journal. I could claim busyness at work, but let's be honest, it really doesn't take much time at all to do these daily blogs. I'm just inherently lazy about writing, and I'm coming to terms with that. <p> There, I've come to terms with it now. </p><p> Anyway, since my last installment, I've continued to get more settled into the new apartment with my fiancee, we've done some wedding registry work, and I've seen a couple good/middling/bad movies. They break down thusly: </p><p> Terminator 3: Better than I thought it would be. The ending isn't as happy as it could have been, which is a good thing. It was a surprisingly satisfying film, perhaps because my expectations were so low. </p><p> Tomb Raider 2: A dopey movie, that had no real purpose other than to show off that Angelina Jolie can act badly, even with an Academy Award to her name. I know it's not to be taken seriously, but it just wasn't that believable, much like a bad James Bond movie. </p><p> Johnny English: Fun, although a bit thin on the plot. The movie also shows that even the cultured English think getting rained on by poo is funny. </p><p> American Wedding: Another surprise for me. Very funny, in a sick/crude way. I enjoyed every minute of it, although I thought the jokes could have been tied together with a plot that made a bit more sense. But hey, what do I know... </p><p> On the music front, I received my copy of Peter Gabriel's Encore Series from the Mansfield, MA show, which I attended with my fiancee and jjohn. A cool show, and it's even cooler to have a great clean copy of the audio from the show. What I would like to see in the future is DVD's of shows like this, since most shows at summer sheds like Great Woods/Tweeter Center have cameras running for the punters on the lawn. Can it be that much harder getting the video recorded of a show like this, along with the audio? Perhaps some techies out there can correct me on this. </p><p> Can I also mention that one of the joys of doing this blog here, as a "non-techie," is reading blogs like jjohn's, where I hear about these big issues in the computer programming world that I wouldn't even know existed if it weren't for me coming here to check out blogs every day (even if I don't write as much as I should). </p><p> I also know that I really should put more links in here than I do, but that turns too much into work for me. I only do it in instances where there's a real need for it. If someone wants to look up the Peter Gabriel Encore Series, they can google it themselves, that's what I say! </p><p> My work now is consisting of a lot of writing, in order to generate a manual for our office, along with preparing for our student staff training in September. Busy, but not hectic. </p><p> That's all for now. </p><p> Tally Ho!</p> zorknapp 2003-08-08T18:55:18+00:00 journal Back in town... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/13481?from=rss Hello all! I have returned from a week's vacation on Martha's Vineyard, and from moving apartments. Pardon my absence in this time, I'm sure you were all wondering where I was. <p> I've decided that I don't really mind packing, or unpacking. It's the physical act of moving boxes and other things that I don't really like. Fortunately, the college had some movers who were able to transport most of my really heavy pieces of furniture, along with all the boxed books, cd's, dvd's, and various sundry items. Now, the unpacking begins. </p><p> I enjoy not labeling the boxes, because then it's like your birthday every time you open a box! </p><p> "Wow, I didn't know I would get a box of CD's! And I like all of them!" </p><p> It's a small joy, but I'll take what I can get... </p><p> Martha's Vineyard was tremendously enjoyable, in a very relaxing kind of way. The great thing about going to MV is that if the weather is great, you can do a certain set of fun things, and if it's not, you can do something else that is equally as fun, just different. </p><p> I got a sunburn on the beach, went out to eat quite a bit, wandered around Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and some other locations, ate, went to Chappaquiddick (I probably spelled that wrong), and just generally relaxed. </p><p> My dad and stepmother rented a house off of Old County Road, and the group was myself, those two, and my stepsister with her husband. My fiance joined us on Friday for the weekend, as she had to work during the week. </p><p> The friends of the family who used to own a house on the island now own a 55 foot yacht, which we visited often. It was a great boat, and I like sitting on the water in something like that, even if we're just tied up to the dock. There's something romantic about being on the water. </p><p> Now, it's back to the grind of work. Not that it's really bad, but it is work. I have to pack up my office belongings to move to my new work area, but I won't be totally moved until next week. There's no rush to move, as we haven't hired someone for my old position yet. </p><p> More soon, once more happens.</p> zorknapp 2003-07-16T13:32:17+00:00 journal Viking Kitties! http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/13227?from=rss You may have seen these kitties before, but if not, here's a new song for you all... <a href="http://www.rathergood.com/gaybar/">Viking Kitties</a> zorknapp 2003-07-03T13:19:27+00:00 journal NEARFest 03 http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/13178?from=rss Hello! <p> I attended NEARFest, the Northeast Art Rock Festival, in Trenton NJ this past weekend. Here's my short review of the bands. I'll go in order of performance. </p><p> 1. High Wheel-A band out of Germany, they were the festival openers. Not a bad band at all, they at times had hints of Pink Floyd in their sound, along with a heavier vibe. I think that if they get a little more "original" in their sound, High Wheel could make some really terrific music. </p><p> 2. Alamaaliman Vasarat-This band totally rocked out! They are from somewhere in Scandinavia, and their line up is drums, trombone, sax, piano and pump organ, and two cello players. The cellos were overdriven to sound like electric guitars at times. This band could give Metallica a run for their money in the "heavy" department. I bought both of their CD's. The sax player would introduce songs with enigmatic phrases like, "This is a song about an axe." </p><p> 3. Tunnels-Featured Percy Jones on bass, and a midi-vibes player, along with a drummer. Percy's Brand X mate John Goodsall also guested on a few numbers on guitar, and there was also a guest violinist and singer. A decent set of jazz fusion, even if it didn't light me on fire. Their one big misstep was having a drum solo that went on way too long. </p><p> 4. The Flower Kings-A newer progressive band in the style of the older biggies, Yes, Genesis, and others. However, it sounds to me that they stopped their listening at those bands, instead of going deeper into the classical influences that shaped the earlier prog bands. And, if I wanted to listen to watered down Yes, I'd listen to 90125. Not a horrible band, just not my cup of tea. Many in the audience loved their performance. I gave them a chance, but the music didn't move me. </p><p> 5. MAGMA!!!! This band from France that sings in their own invented language of Kobian truly is progressive in the best sense of the word. In their two hour set, they played 3 songs. Then, after their encore, when the house lights were brought up, the crowd wouldn't leave. Their cheers and noise finally brought Magma back for one more song, a shortened version of Theusz Hamtaahk, the first movenent of the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy. I had never been to a show where the crowd brought a band back out after the house lights were up. A great show, from a cool band. </p><p> Day Two: </p><p> 1. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum-If you get a chance to see this band, DO NOT HESITATE TO GO!!!!! You'll be floored by their performance. Check 'em out. My words can't do them justice. </p><p> 2. Glass Hammer-Another neo-prog band, that just didn't do it for me. My friend and I left early, and ended up running into two of the members of Magma, so it was worth it. The mix was pretty bad for Glass Hammer, I couldn't really feel any low end in the sound. After we left the theater, I guess one of the guys from Kansas came and played with the band, but we missed it. Oh well... </p><p> 3. Kraan-A German instrumental band that really had a good sound to them. At some points Floydian, but in general they really put their own stamp on their music. A great piano/keyboard player in this band. </p><p> 4. Anglagard-An instrumental band from Finland, I believe. Alternately heavy and quiet, they put on a tremendous show!. One of the standouts of the festival. I recommend picking up their discs if you like melodic music that really packs a powerful dynamic punch. </p><p> 5. Camel-Camel is one of those bands that I had heard about, but never really listened to. It was my loss, I learned on Sunday night. They put on a terrific show, and have music with depth, power, and finesse. I'm definitely going to pick up some of their cd's now. </p><p> All in all, a great experience, although the show ran a little long on the 2nd night. I would recommend picking up any of the cd's of the bands I mentioned, except for Glass Hammer and the Flower Kings. They may entertain some people, but their music didn't do it for me.</p> zorknapp 2003-07-01T17:40:07+00:00 journal Leaving for NJ http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/13054?from=rss Hello! I'm heading down to NJ tonight, to go to the NEARFest concert I have mentioned in past journals. A rocking time will be had by all, I'm sure. <p> Speaking of rocking, I saw Peter Gabriel a week ago today. Another great show! For an old dude, Gabriel can get out there and put on a show with energy and focus. </p><p> On the work front, I'm going to be moving to a different area of campus for this coming academic year. I've been tapped to run the college's residential program that brings faculty and students together in the residence halls. It should be a fun time, although moving is always a bit of a pain in the butt. I figured out last night that since 1996, I've moved 7.5 times. </p><p> The<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.5 is from when, at my last job, I moved, but it was to a different apartment in the same buildling. It's a move, but wasn't a huge one. </p><p> So, all is well in the world of Zorknapp. Hope all is going well with you in the world of Perl out there... </p><p> I'll be back on Tuesday, and I'll be sure to write up a review of the NEARFest for you all.</p> zorknapp 2003-06-25T13:23:19+00:00 journal This Just In... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/12876?from=rss For those of you who play <a href="http://www.firaxis.com/smac/">Alpha Centauri</a>, here's a news item for you... <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/devon/2992996.stm">Tidal energy turbine launches</a> zorknapp 2003-06-16T13:39:08+00:00 journal A Zorknappian Update http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/12796?from=rss It's been awhile since I've written, not because I haven't had anything to write about, but because it has been a bit hectic up here in the land of the disappearing <a href="http://www.mutha.com/oldmanmt.html">Man in the Mountain</a>. <p> I mentioned in one of my last journals that I had put in for a "promotion" here at the college, but unfortunately, it didn't work out for me. However, now I have the opportunity to move areas on campus, and work in a different residential cluster. </p><p> I'm going to be having more conversations with individuals over the course of this coming week, to see if this is something I really want to do. I was asked to do this by my supervisor, which is never a bad thing. It's good to be considered the "go to" guy, as long as I don't get taken advantage of in the process. </p><p> This move would not entail more money, but it would involve different responsibilities, and perhaps a more visual role within the Office. </p><p> So, that's the work end of things. But I'm sure you're saying, "Zorky, there's more to life than work. What about fun things?" </p><p> Well, voice in my head, I'm going to see <a href="http://www.petergabriel.com/">Peter Gabriel</a> this coming week, down in Massachusetts. I'm also, at the end of the month, meeting up with one of my old college roommates to go to <a href="http://nearfest.com/nearfest/">NEARFest</a>, the Northeast Art Rock Festival, taking place in Trenton, NJ. </p><p> One of the headliners at this festival is <a href="http://seventhrecords.com/MAGMA/biomagmauk.html">Magma</a>. They're a French band who sing all their songs in the invented language of Kobian. So, it's going to be a rockin' time. </p><p> Keep on keepin' on. More to come!</p> zorknapp 2003-06-13T19:07:15+00:00 journal Sometimes I get tired of the waiting... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/12524?from=rss Hello journal friends, hope all is well in your segment of the world today. It's semi-sunny and nice here in New Hampshire. We're still working with students here, as the residence halls don't close until next week. Exams are happening now for the students, and it's great to not have to take any tests myself. <p> Right now, I'm waiting until next week to see if I will get a position here at the college that would be a nice promotion. The limbo of patience is sometimes easy to slip into, and other times, it's a sticky wicket with which to deal. I'd say that this is somewhere in between. In my interview, I did as well as I believe I could. I feel more relaxed now than I did before the interview. I know that I've done all I can do to show that I'm the best person out of the other two internal candidates. </p><p> We'd all be good workers, but I believe that I'd be better. Of course I would, or else why apply for it? </p><p> Anyway, I hope to have some news on this by the middle of this coming week. At least then, I'll know one way or another. </p><p> Other than that, life is progressing nicely. I'm traveling to <a href="http://www.mvol.com/">Martha's Vineyard</a> in July, my dad and stepmother have rented a house for a week there. It'll be nice to go and relax there for awhile. </p><p> If you haven't yet, you should all find any comedy by <a href="http://www.danagould.com/">Dana Gould</a>. He's a funny guy!</p> zorknapp 2003-05-30T19:34:36+00:00 journal A fun meeting... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/12330?from=rss So, I get to meet with someone today at 2pm. It's a meeting to talk with a student about why they didn't get a student staff position for the coming year. <p> It's really not going to be a bad meeting at all, but it is one of those times when you have to rationalize why someone didn't get hired for a position. The simple fact is that we have too many qualified people for a limited number of positions. It's a microcosm of the bigger issue facing many job searchers today. </p><p> Other than that, it's a simply beautiful day today here in sunny New Hampshire. My fiancee and I have our dance lesson later today, and I may be heading down to Boston for the day on Saturday. I will be chaperoning a school trip to the big city, but other than making sure everyone gets back on the bus, I don't think I have any real responsibility. I'll find out for sure later on. </p><p> I have been playing an awful lot of <a href="http://www.firaxis.com/smac/">Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri</a> recently. In fact, I just installed the expansion pack, Alien Crossfire, a few days ago, even though I bought it a few years back. I enjoy these "god" games, they're terribly addictive for my personality. If I could get a job just playing these games, I'd do it. That's why sometimes I just stop playing the games for months at a stretch. Otherwise, I get too sucked into the game itself. </p><p> Okay, I'm off to read the file for the meeting now. Enjoy the day, wherever you are.</p> zorknapp 2003-05-20T17:43:19+00:00 journal A new tool! http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/12174?from=rss Okay, now even though I'm one half of AliensAliensAliens, that doesn't mean that I'm terribly html savvy. I've had to ask jjohn to show me how to put links in these weblogs. So, here we go, let's try it here... <p> Hey, for a good time, check out <a href="http://www.aliensaliensaliens.com/"> AliensAliensAliens</a> </p><p> Okay, let me see how this looks... </p><p> (Some Time Later) </p><p> Woo hoo, it seems to work! Now, I just have to drive it into my head how it's done.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:) </p><p> Enjoy the steamy alien goodness...</p> zorknapp 2003-05-13T17:41:25+00:00 journal Yet another journal entry... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/12139?from=rss It's a Monday, on one of my "off" weeks. I try to schedule my meetings with my student staff, who I meet individually on a bi-weekly rotation, so that I'm busy one week, and lighter the next. So, this is one of my off weeks. The main work item I have to do are the end of year evaluations for my staff. Fun stuff, I just need to sit down and write the damn things! <p> Which is why I'm writing in the journal now. </p><p> I hiked a bit of the Appalachian Trail yesterday, a co-worker and I drove about 5 miles off campus, and walked the trail back into town. We thought it would be downhill most of the way, but there was a section where we had to climb about 150 feet at a 30 degree or so angle. Maybe this doesn't sound too bad to the mountaineers out there, but for me, it was a bit of a haul. But, after the feelings of vomiting passed, it was good. A great day for a walk outside. </p><p> For those of you into genealogy, I finally made the leap across the Atlantic, and have sent letters to some churches in Poland, trying to find information on the families of my great-grandparents on my mom's side. I found some templates online to write letters in Polish, so I cut and pasted to my heart's content on Friday, and posted the letters on Saturday. Of course, it may take up to a year or longer to hear back, but I'm a patient guy. At least I finally sent the letters. </p><p> I also sent out today some letters to churches in NJ where some of my family went back in the day. It'll be interesting to see what comes of those. </p><p> I thought I would get more of a response to my humorous B5 journal entry before, but c'est la vie! </p><p> I have nothing much more profound to say now, so I think I'll get back to work now. Bill Hicks is playing on the computer, so I will reflect and laugh soon... </p><p> More later...</p> zorknapp 2003-05-12T16:42:21+00:00 journal Babylon 5 DVD's!!!! http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/12017?from=rss This is a very exciting day! I've finally got the Babylon 5 season 2 DVD's in the mail! <p> This is a show I have only just gotten into. I actually bought the first season DVD's, and have watched them all. I can't wait to see some questions answered on this set that have been plaguing me since the first viewing, such as: </p><p> -Whatever happened to that loveable scamp, Jinxo, who worked on all 5 Babylon Stations? </p><p> -Will there be any more run-in's with that arch criminal, the Preying Mantis? </p><p> -I need more of Mutai, and I need it NOW!!!! </p><p> -I certainly hope we get this whole assination thing over with quick. I don't think it's going to be that important to the show... </p><p> -I want to see more of Londo's cool tentacles! He's like a squid man, but on land! </p><p> -What will Delenn turn into? I think she's just taking a long nap, but some others are telling me that she's changing into something. I think they're getting distracted from the main storyline, but what do I know? </p><p> -I don't know about you, but I think there's more to this Dilgar plot than meets the eye... </p><p> -Will Franklin kill any more kids? </p><p> -The Psi Corps seems like a distraction from the main stories, these great one time characters that come around (except for that Morden guy, he's creepy, I don't like him). Walter Checkov does an okay guy playing him, but I can tell that his russian accent creeps through into his voice every once in awhile. I never realized that it would be hard for someone to keep up an American accent. </p><p> You know, I feel jealous of all of you who got to watch the show in its first run. You already know the answers to all these questions, while I still have to discover them. </p><p> I'm a bit puzzled though, by something on the cover of this box set. There's a picture of someone who looks like that guy who played Scarecrow on some doofy show back in the 80's on the cover. Maybe it's just a really bad picture of Michael O'Hare, but I'm not sure.... </p><p> Happy viewing to all, and as the Vorlons say, "Keep on Truckin!"</p> zorknapp 2003-05-05T18:54:07+00:00 journal Manor House http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/11912?from=rss So, I was flipping channels last night, and came across the beginning of a new British reality show on PBS. It's called "Manor House," and it chronicles the lives of people who for three months are given the opportunity to live in an old English mansion, in the style that it was kept at the dawn of the 20th Century. <p> There is a family who "own" the house, and their servants. I'm no big fan of reality television, I prefer fiction on television, as I get reality every day of my life just by living. However, there was something strangely compelling about this show. I think it combined my interest in history with the opportunity to see how it "really was" back then in the "good old days." </p><p> One thing you realize very quickly by watching this show, if you didn't know it already, is that the good ol'days were only good if you were in the upper classes. Otherwise, if you were a servant or a laborer, you usually worked from about 6am to as late as midnight. Granted, the servants had fun too (or else how would you make more servants?), but there was certainly not the leisure enjoyed by the upper classes in their world. </p><p> I recommend you check it out, if you can find it in your local listings. It's much more compelling than watching yet another "Mr. Personality" or "The Real World." </p><p> In other news, it's finally spring up here in New Hampshire. We've had two days in a row where it broke 70 degrees (fahrenheit!) and almost all the snow has melted. </p><p> On the genealogy front, I had a conversation on the phone Friday night with a cousin of my grandmother. This guy is 90 years old, and lives out in San Francisco. For a guy who's that far along in life, he certainly sounded like he was still spry and vital! It gives me hope that I have good genes in my family. </p><p> Now, I have to go to our main office, I may have to give a tour of campus to a prospective employee of our office. We're in our hiring time here, which in the world of student affairs is a fairly normal time of year to be hiring people. </p><p> Tally ho!</p> zorknapp 2003-04-29T19:01:32+00:00 journal My sincere apologies http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/11707?from=rss My apologies for being away so long from the land of Blog. I will do my best to be sure to book tours here more often. I like to visit, but I'm inherently lazy, so I don't jump at the chance to write as much as I should. <p> Since my last captain's log, I've been to a student affairs conference in Minneapolis, MN. At first, upon taking a taxi from the airport to the hotel in downtown Minneapolis, I thought the city would be quite a pit of despair. Upon further review, Minneapolis isn't that bad of a place. Decent restaraunts, some bookstores, and better weather at the time than New Hampshire was getting. How could I go wrong? </p><p> Of course, after being in Minneapolis, I had to go over to Iraq, to help liberate Iraqis from their oil. Good times. </p><p> Then, after that, I made my way back to New Hampshire, where I have been plowing my way through work. That's another reason why I haven't written so much. Traveling and work. </p><p> Jumping back to Minneapolis for a second, have any of you been to conferences where the only food available within easy walking distance is at the conference center itself? That's was the only real big negative about Minneapolis. No other food except for snack bar burgers and dawgs at the conference center. Not that I was complaining too much, I'm a carnivore as much as the next person, unless they're a vegeterian. I would have liked a bit more selection or options though. I eat enough at a cafeteria when I work. </p><p> In fact, when I finish writing, I'm going to be going to the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat. </p><p> Next writing, I'll talk about the dance lessons I'm taking with my fiancee. I'm pretending to be cultured.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;) </p><p> Tally ho, enjoy the warm/neutral/cold weather!</p> zorknapp 2003-04-17T17:41:31+00:00 journal Mimeograph Machines http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/10757?from=rss Sorry for the huge friggin lapse in writing in this 'blog. I've been busy with work, life, and just not writing. So shoot me, okay? <p> I recently had a conversation on the phone that got off onto the winding road of things that we saw as kids, that kids will never see again. One of those items were mimeograph machines? Remember those? I have a good memory of the huge beasts from elementary school, great reams of purple damp handouts coming into our classrooms, young students getting high from the fumes... </p><p> Ah, those were the days... </p><p> My father was a high school teacher before he retired, and I remember as a child, going into the English teachers room with him on days when I would go with him to work, for whatever reason. I wanted *so* bad to be able to play with the mimeograph machine. Turn that handle, have the paper come out, with WHATEVER I WANTED printed on it. </p><p> The power would have gone straight to my head. </p><p> That's why I write a journal like this. Or, I should say, why I pretend to write a journal. </p><p> Some of the main things going on in my life right now are preparations for my wedding, which will be happening in slightly over a year. My fiance and I have our location, our officiant, our DJ, our photographer, and most of the other *big* details worked out. Now, we just have to get the minor details worked out. </p><p> Another fun part of my life is the study of my family tree. I keep on pushing the generations back, a little bit at a time. I'm going home to NJ in March to do some more research at local libraries down there. I hope to find information on my mom's side of the family. They come from Elizabeth, which is a big port city near New York. I'll go to the state archives in Trenton, some libraries at Rutgers, and also try to meet up with some of my older relatives, to see what they know about some of these great-grandparents I've never met. I'm also on a photographic search, because I don't even have images of some of these people. </p><p> Anyway, I'm off to get lunch. Tally ho!</p> zorknapp 2003-02-24T18:10:19+00:00 journal Happy F*ucking New Year http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/9794?from=rss Well, here we are in another new year, another new war on the horizon, and less money in my check each month. Thanks, Shrub! <p> Now, with my political rant/statement out of the way, hope all out there in cyber-land had a good few weeks away, if in fact you did have no work to do over the break time. Me, I left for home a few days before Christmas, and came back here the Monday before New Years. </p><p> As I said to one of my co-workers about the break, when asked how it was, I said, "It varied between periods of great fun and moments of unspeakable horror." He thought I was kidding. </p><p> Granted, unspeakable horror is a bit much, but I was going for effect, not for accuracy. I enjoy going home, resting a bit, seeing family and friends, and doing all that homey stuff. This time, however, was a bit different, because we had to put one of my mom's cats to sleep two days after Christmas. </p><p> Merry Fu*cking Christmas, indeed. </p><p> It was especially hard, because Emily was only 11 years old. She seemed tired and sluggish on Christmas day, but I thought she was just getting into the spirit of the holiday. The next morning, she was obviously unwell, so I took her to the vet. They discovered quickly that she was dehydrated and suffering from a lack of potassium (she couldn't keep her head up, that's how they knew about the potassium). Cats should have a temperature of about 100-102. Emily's was about 96, which the vet said, almost in passing, meant that her "systems were shutting down." </p><p> I knew then that this would not end well. </p><p> My mom visited Emily in the hospital later that day, and said she was just really unresponsive. The vet was giving Emily a IV to rehydrate her, but there wasn't a lot of hope put out. </p><p> The next day, my mom and I went to the vet around 2pm, to see Emily. She was doing a bit better, but could still not really move much. The vet confirmed through the blood work that Emily was suffering from kidney failure, which can really strike cats at any age, not just older cats. Even if medication helped reduce some levels of toxins in her blood, there was no way she'd last very long. So, we had to make the decision to put her to sleep. </p><p> I don't know how many of you out there are pet owners, but it's a hard decision to make to put your pet, a companion, a friend, to sleep, even if you know it's the "right" thing to do. Emily had been my cat alone for a few years, when I lived in Boston. Her name was "Killeen" then. When I went to grad school in 1996, I had to leave her with my mom, because living in residence halls, we're not allowed to have pets. So, it wasn't just my mom's cat who I stayed with as the vet injected her with an overdose of drugs, but my cat from 1993 onwards. </p><p> So, that was my holiday. It put a damper on things for the rest of the time home, obviously, but now, things are looking better. I remember more of the good things about Killeen/Emily than the last few moments at the vet. I won't forget that time, when I had to say goodbye, but I'll be able to focus more on the better times...</p> zorknapp 2003-01-06T19:03:57+00:00 journal The end is near... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/9390?from=rss Hello! <p> The end of the semester here is fast approaching. Students are leaving, I'm checking rooms for people who are moving over the break, to make sure they're out, and generally just getting things done. </p><p> I've got 14 more evaluations of my staff to do, which need to be done by next Friday. Shouldn't be that much of a problem, I simply need to sit down and do them. </p><p> I don't remember if I mentioned this, but I got a program accepted at the two major student affairs conferences going on in March 2003. Unfortunately, I can only go to one of them, so I have chosen to go to the conference in Minneapolis. I have never been there before, so I thought it would be an interesting place to see. </p><p> No news about the other job yet. The more I think about it, the less I'm sure I want to go back to being at the same college I was at before coming here. While the opportunity is great, perhaps there are other opportunities around the corner, which if I take this one, will disappear. </p><p> It's easy to talk myself out of anything. </p><p> However, if the offer is good enough, assuming it's made, I'll just have to see how it feels in the moment. </p><p> I've been talking with one of my co-workers here about starting up a student affairs weblog site. More to come as it develops, if it does. </p><p> I'm off to an end of term holiday party here. So long!</p> zorknapp 2002-12-11T22:01:14+00:00 journal The die is cast... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/9270?from=rss Hello! <p> It's been busy here, with approaching the end of the term. Evaluations to write for student staff, prepping for the work we have to do while students are gone, and just general end of year work issues. </p><p> I've had an interesting opportunity drop into my lap. I've been in contact with people at my last position, and it seems that the Director of Residence Life position there is open. My friend has asked if I would be interested in having my name dropped into the pool of candidates, and I said, sure, why not? I have nothing to lose by doing this. </p><p> Now, I have to see what will happen. I have sent in my resume and cover letter. However, I have committed to being in my present position through the academic year. Therefore, if it was offered and I accepted, I would not be Director at the other college until June or July 2003. </p><p> Of course, none of this may happen at all, so I could be thinking about this for no other reason than to make myself crazy. But oddly enough, I have an "interesting" feeling about this. Not good or bad yet, just interesting. </p><p> More reflections on this to come... </p><p> Cheers!</p> zorknapp 2002-12-04T20:52:32+00:00 journal Long time no writing... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/9096?from=rss Hello! I haven't written in a bit, mainly because this week has been hectic with work. I finally got my new computer at the end of last week, and I've been adjusting my work habits to take advantage of the expanded power at my fingertips. <p> We're nearing the end of the academic term here. Thanksgiving break starts on Wednesday afternoon, and when students come back, there's only about 1.5 weeks left. Exams are on people before they know it. I've been telling my staff that while they're working on exams, I'll be working on their performance appraisals. Fun stuff... </p><p> I talked with jjohn on the phone last night, and I made a prediction that if Osama bin Laden is caught by US forces, he may be the first execution broadcast on television. So, you heard it here first. </p><p> Personally, I don't go in for the death penalty. I'm more for locking someone in a small room for life, and sliding food into them under a small hole in the door. No human contact, no interaction, no sunlight. Is that more cruel and unusual than the death penalty? Personally, I don't think so, but hey, what do I know. </p><p> I was initially told that when my computer got switched, my music files would not get transfered. However, they're all on here, so I get to continue to listed to Ben Folds, Yes, Pete Townshend, Dana Gould, King Crimson, Lewis Black, George Carlin, and the other cd's that I had transfered to the IMac I had. </p><p> It's the holiday time of year again, and have you all made your wish lists for this year? I have, and it's DVD heavy. The Babylon 5 box set, the 4 disc Fellowship of the Ring set, the Law and Order season 1 box set, and perhaps some others. I tend not to put cd's on my holiday list, because I tend to listen to some more obscure artists, and it's just easier to buy those myself. </p><p> My stepsister, brother, and I have decided not to do gifts amongst ourselves this year, which makes the holidays so much easier. I'm pretty much done with my shopping, although I do still have to get something for my dad. He has yet to offer me some suggestions, but I'm sure they're coming soon. They better! </p><p> I just finished reading Kiln People, the new novel by David Brin. If you're interested in a science fiction detective story, I recommend it highly. </p><p> Okay, I think that's enough for today. Sometimes I feel like I'm writing a bit like Larry King's column in USA Today. Very rambling, whatever comes to the top of my head. But hey, it's my log, I can cry if I want to. </p><p> Cheers!</p> zorknapp 2002-11-22T18:50:24+00:00 journal Delayed postings... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/8910?from=rss I took the day off from work on Friday, and have been busy catching up since coming back to work on Monday, so I've been a bit slow in writing. <p> I found out on Thursday of last week that a program I had submitted to one of the major national Student Affairs conferences, had been accepted. This is cool news, especially since I didn't spend more than 20 minutes writing the proposal. I had reflected on the idea for long enough that I didn't really need to take a lot of time in writing it. </p><p> There are two major organizations in Student Affairs, NASPA and ACPA. I submitted the same proposal to both organizations for their national conferences. I would like for the proposal to get accepted to ACPA, because I'd rather go to their conference this year than NASPA. But, if not, I'm more than happy to attend NASPA and do the program there. I doubt if my employer would pay for me to go to both conferences. </p><p> Does anyone out there do genealogy/family tree research as a hobby? If not, I recommend it. It's like a drug addiction, but in a good, productive way. Before I started this, back in December of 2001, the furthest back I knew was one branch of my family to my Great-great-great grandfather. Now, through the work I've done, I've pushed all branches of my family back to at least the great-great grandparents, and the farthest back I've gone is 7 generations! It's great fun, and it has helped give me a perspective on a sense of place and time. Not that I didn't have this before, but now, I feel like I know more about where I'm from. </p><p> Granted, all I know about a lot of these ancestors are their names, vital dates, and perhaps their job, but it's a start. I have two G3-grandfathers who fought in the Civil War (from NJ). The earliest ancestors in the US came over around 1850. I've pushed back my Scottish ancestors, for one branch, into the late 1700's. Very cool stuff... </p><p> I've also been able to make some connections with siblings or cousins of my grandparents, who I never really knew before. That's really rewarding, in it's own way. </p><p> Okay, I have to go back to work. I'm typing this on a really slow Mac laptop, because my ICrap is waiting to be converted to a Dell... </p><p> Cheers!</p> zorknapp 2002-11-12T20:47:32+00:00 journal Ticking away... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/8779?from=rss Sometimes, when I sit down to write this little log, I feel that I'm going to be repeating myself a lot. <p> For the sake of argument, if you are reading this, you can safely assume that I've spent part of this day: </p><p> 1. Meeting with my staff </p><p> 2. Eating </p><p> 3. Organizing schedules/room/lounge reservations </p><p> I'm going to try to use this space for more deep thinking, exploring areas that might be useful to have some written thought processes out there in the world. Or, I'm just going to spout off about whatever comes to mind. </p><p> So, with that, here's my deep thoughts for today. </p><p> It's election day, and I hope you've all gone out to vote. As I walked to the polling place today (the local high school), I reflected on this tradition, the idea of having a say in how we get to run the town, state, country, whatever. I really do think that voting is important. We can hem and haw over whether we think our vote "counts" or not, but if you don't vote, it's sure to not count. </p><p> Also, in this post-9/11 world, voting is perhaps one very obvious way we are different from those who would choose to fly planes into buildings. We choose who we vote for, and if the person who wins isn't our candidate, then that's okay, because we'll have time to throw the bastards out when the next election comes around. We don't pick up guns, and storm the seats of government. </p><p> Although, after the last Presidential election, I'm sure some were tempted... </p><p> I feel like I'm not getting to the crux of what I'm thinking, about the differences between our system and others. I don't even know if it's relevant today. But I do feel, that anyone who was moved by what happened on 9/11, and still doesn't vote, they need to think long and hard about what happened. Because the attacks were about wanting to destroy the fundamentals of our way of life, and that doesn't mean that the attack was only aimed at economic or military targets. The attacks were meant to produce fear, and fear brings inertia and inaction. </p><p> Okay, soapbox mode off now... I need to think a bit more about this. I'm forming a lot of thoughts in my head now, and I'm not sure how well thought through some of them are. And that's how I'm different from our President. I'll admit I need more time to think about something!<nobr> <wbr></nobr>;) </p><p> Cheers! Now, go vote, you bastards!</p> zorknapp 2002-11-05T20:32:33+00:00 journal Absent, now present... http://use.perl.org/~zorknapp/journal/8761?from=rss Has anyone else here been captured by the music of Ben Folds? If you haven't, I recommend you pick up the recent live album of his, released just a few weeks ago. Excellent. <p> Work since my last entry has been good. Busy, which is why I didn't write. I would like to write *something* every day, but I'm not in the discipline of that yet. </p><p> I get to serve on our student staff appreciation committee here at the college. It's something I honestly have little to no interest in. Not because I don't think staff should be recognized for the hard work they do, but I do think the "institutional" recognition matters less than those little moments where a supervisor, or someone else simply says, "good job!" </p><p> But, in our lives, we have to do what we have to do, so I am a member of this committee. I actually have yet to meet with the other members, but I will be doing so later this week. Perhaps I can be subversive, and make recognition something a bit different than what res life folks usually take as normal. The norm is to do things that allow residents of the buildings to leave little notes on staff members doors. We prepare small slips of paper that residents then write messages on, and put them on the door. Perhaps your high school did this, on special days, as fundraisers. I know mine did. </p><p> Anyway, I really don't like this method of recognition, mainly because it sets staff apart from the rest of the residents of the buildings. I think that a general apprecation of other residents could be useful, and maybe I'll do that on my own, where the recognition is not limited to the staff members. Where students can drop these notes at other students doors, just for the sheer bloody fun of it... </p><p> My day today has been, and will be mainly about getting ready for the rest of the week. I'm keeping up on basic administrative tasks, and will be meeting with some of my staff members in one on one meetings later today. Great fun, I love talking with my staff. </p><p> Saw two movies this weekend, Red Dragon, and Jackass. Red Dragon was much better than Hannibal, but not as good as Silence of the Lambs. Jackass was simple fun for simple people, and there are times I enjoy that. You got a problem with it! Good. </p><p> I think it's time for food. Off to eat lunch now. See you all tomorrow.</p> zorknapp 2002-11-04T18:09:26+00:00 journal