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Categorized, A Look Back

I just finished categorizing the several hundred posts that I recently imported from GreyMatter. About half way through, I stopped editing the posts for numerous question marks that had replaced em dashed and apostrophes. Maybe some day I’ll get on my horse and fix that stuff too, but don’t count on it. For the foreseeable future, I’ll keep the original Greymatter posts around too.

Going through this process has given me a lot of insight as well. Certainly, my blogging style has changed significantly from the early days. I still post a lot about my life, but generally my posts are much less rambling, and much more focused on the title. On the other hand, I have kept the same website address for quite some time now, which is better than a lot of people do. Also, this website has grown into a veritable cornicopia of information about my life and my recent history. I remember things because of this blog that I certainly would have forgotten. I see a lot of how I used to be, and realize that I have changed, much but not all for the better. I reflect on past struggles and triumphs, and I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done, even while recognizing that I still have a lot of room to become a better person, and I certainly haven’t even scratched the surface of what I want to accomplish. All in due time.

Java’s Lack of Unsigned Types Considered Harmful

I have been aware of Java’s lack of unsigned types for a long time, but it was never really an issue for me — until today that is. Enter arrays of bytes, which Java considers signed and only signed and nothing but signed. The only way around it is a massively ugly hack that goes soemthing like this:

buf[i] & 0x000000FF

This promotes to an int, then chops off the signed stuff, and gives you a signed int that is big enough to hold all the values that an unsigned byte might.

I found an excellent delving into the reasons for this nonsense; it ends on this sad but all-to-true remark:

In the sidebar it says: “unsigned isn’t implemented yet; it might never be.” How right you were.

Things Lost In Atlanta

– Glasses
– Tripod

I just purchased a new tripod. Soon I will purcahase new glasses.

I just consumer whored.

New Bike

I just purchased a 1999 Giant DS2 XTC from a fellow Seattlite. The bike is very nice, but in need of a little bit of maintenance and one item of repair work — its rear shifter only has about half the range it should. The components are all Shimano LX, and its rear shock is vevelt smooth — quite incredible to ride around on. It is also quite light for its size. In its heyday, a bike like this would have retailsed north of $1,000. I picked it up for $150, quite a deal, as long as I am able to get the shifter working.

Its probably time to invest in a little more theft prevention equipment. While I am very happy with my current U-lock, I don’t want my wheels running off on their own either.

UPDATE: Photos!

Giant DS2 XTC
Read the rest of this entry »


I left Detroit at about 1:30 on Friday afternoon on a Greyhound Bus headed to Cleveland. We made one stop in Toledo on the way. For short rides like this, Greyhound is a pretty good way to go. It is still not suggested for long, cross-country hauls.

Upon arriving at the Cleveland station, I was immediately accosted by a homeless man who, after learning I was from Seattle, wanted to talk about the Seahawks, and of course money. I gave him some food, and then Scott picked me up. We headed to Scott’s old apartment, where I enjoyed his very big screen TV (56″) and we made soem banana bread. He then took me to an overpriced mexican joint where he main reason for going appears to be a smoking hot waitress. That establishment better hope she never leaves. That night, I slept fitfully on his couch; it was too warm all day.

On Saturday, I helped Scott move. Yeah, he just happened to be moving the weekend I showed up. It was alright though; I got to meet Ben (a jew!) and Scott kept feeding me the whole weekend for my help. Scott’s new place is a lot nicer than his old place; he is now on the ground level, has more space, a built-in air-conditioner, laundry a door away, and an attic to store his plethora or worldly posessions (as he continuously says, he is a consumer whore. Saturday night, Ben, Scott, Emma, and I went to the Boneyard, a Gameworks-like place, where we proceeded to have a good deal of fun, before searching endlessly (and fruitlessly) for a Taco Bell, before we gave up and went to one of the seven or so Wendy’s that we passed during the search.

Sunday, we lazed around, had a late breakfast at Denny’s, I got a tour of Progressive Insurance’s campus (and its extensive art collection) and then we ate again — Mexican (but not with the hot waitress), and then I was depositted at the airport, where I breezed through security, hacked into the wireless network, and had my flight delayed an hour. After meeting a Volleyball player from Trinity Western University who sat in my row, we landed in Seattle around 11:15, and Kunlun picked me up promptly after my baggage arrived just before midnight (Thanks!).

Now I am back, safe and sound in Seattle (well, as safe as that can be!)

Greymatter Import

I finaly (after-several-years-finally) imorted my Greymatter Blog archives into WordPress. It probably would have been a lot easier had I done it at the beginning, but I wasn’t very advanced then. This time, it took a little bit of php hacking, but the import itself was relatively painless and quite quick. I’ve just spent the last few hours cleaning up and categorizing the November and December entries (including the entire Roadtrip series!).

I have a few more months to go (I think I had Greymatter for 8 months), but I’ll get around to fixing up the rest of the months as well. Its just tedious, and I feel the need for a shower.

Canada (or not)

I was hoping to travel to Toronto today, but further research has indicated that a passport is the only way to be sure I’ll ever make it back into the United States. Since I didn’t plan on having all sorts of extra time here in Michigan, I didn’t even think about brining my passport. But from now on, I’ll consider it an essential part of my travelling gear.

Meanwhile, having nothing to do is really starting to bug me. I want to rent a car, but that will be expensive. Probably worth it, but I still don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.