Posts Tagged as deep thoughts

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  1. Monday, October 09, 2017:
    New Job FAQ   As I mentioned in last month's Highlights post, I got an interesting job offer from my old company last month. Since I've now accepted it (and start tomorrow), here are a few FAQs to describe what's going on.    What's this new job you're starting?    I will be a  Solutions Architect , which is essentially what I was doing in 2015 - 2016 but with a fancy title. I'll provide technical writing and reviewing skills on proposals and whitepapers in the hopes of winning new government work for Novetta, and will distill complex concepts into understandable chunks for audiences of varying technical levels. There will be no software development involved (but I could go back to it in the futur...
  2. Wednesday, August 16, 2017:
    New Job Day  Now that I've been back to work for two whole days, it's probably safe to announce that I've accepted a new job that starts on September 1. Meet my new boss:     That's right, I'll be joining the hallowed ranks of stay-at-home dads. I'm looking forward to helping Maia grow up without turning into a neo-Nazi, as well as trips to the park in the middle of the day where I get accused of being a pedophile for being the only dad there.   Rebecca and I have been planning to do this since before Maia was born. I gave my notice at work in early June after we seriously discussed it and realized it was feasible. It's not a choice without risk, but just seemed like the right choice for us  right now . ...
  3. Wednesday, November 09, 2016:
    Despair Is Not a Long-Term Solution    When Clinton and Trump applied for the position of US President, I did my due diligence as hiring manager. In Clinton, I saw a career politician with strong policy credentials and an inability to prevent self-inflicted political wounds. The email controversy, while serious, was no worse than established practice of other politicians before her (although her flippant comment about wiping the server with a cloth incites Hulk-levels of rage in me to this day). In the "Miscellaneous" portion of her resume, I liked the symbolism of electing the first woman president.   In Trump, I saw an erratic, ineloquent businessman with no experience in politics. His actions and words showed clear racism and misogyny, and he used...
  4. Tuesday, November 27, 2012:
    Music Tuesday: Spectralism and Other Gimmicks  Mike (of Mike and Chompy) came out for a visit a couple weeks back and mentioned his interest in going back to school for a music composition Ph.D. When asked what sort of musical fads were getting all of the youngsters excited these days, he described spectralism, which is a compositional style based on sonographic representations and mathematical analysis of sound spectra, where timbre is the most important element.     In order to become an overnight expert in spectralism, I used Google to find a page with three or four songs embedded, including  Lichtbogen by Saariaho , and listened to them multiple times without judgement. What I found was that I still probably wouldn't do very well in a doctoral comp...
  5. Tuesday, April 17, 2012:
    Outspoken Day  As I look out across the Facebook wasteland of maroon and orange ribbons, the concatenation of 4s and 16s with no sequence of squares in sight, and the maudlin, pasted "Never Forget" status messages, I would like to respectfully disagree.   Please DO forget. It happened, it was sad, and it was  five years ago . This event doesn't need reminders or anniversaries -- it was not a birth, or a wedding, or the time you got all of the achievements in Halo. Take a moment to honor the memories of the people you lost and move on with your day. Keep growing.   Your continued life and love of others is a far better tribute to those no longer with us than any collective Internet campfire song. 
  6. Friday, October 02, 2009:
    Singles Day   The motions have been rehearsed, the arch has already fallen over three times, and the outdoor ceremony weather forecast calls for a high of 79 and mostly sunny skies. We have a beautiful cake done by Anna's mom, and tiny gnomes with leopard spots will support Rebecca's train as she walks down the aisle to a wedding soundtrack that prominently features the trumpet and/or cornet.   Everything that can be done ahead of time has been done, and all that's left is to enjoy the fruits of our labour (especially grapes, fermented). Tomorrow after 5 PM, Rebecca and I will get married in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just 364 days after I proposed, and 6 days before Mike (of Mike and Chompy) turns 30 and likely dies.  &nb...
  7. Thursday, August 20, 2009:
    List Day: 10 Deep Thoughts  I've kept a running list of deep thoughts on my Blog Ideas page since 2004, figuring that on a slow day they might make good fodder for discussion. However, I never seem to look up from the posts about boobies and chipmunk vomit for long enough to be seriously serious. For housekeeping purposes, I'm just posting the list as is, because it's easier than exploring any one of them in depth!      To truly master a topic, you have to study one step beyond the level that it's taught. That is, Calculus I might give you working knowledge of an integral, but you won't really  know  integrals until you take them to the next level in Calculus II. If you are looking for engineers that are skilled in C.R.A.P., s...
  8. Tuesday, April 17, 2007:
    For Virginia Tech1  Today's Newsday Tuesday entry was originally about the supposed Internet buzz surrounding Shia LaBeouf's starring role in Indiana Jones 4  and why anyone would care about an unknown soul who sounds more like a tasty French cuisine than an actor. In the aftermath of yesterday's shooting at my alma mater, that post seems eminently discardable.  Thankfully, the people I know directly like my sister, her husband, Zone-reader Jaood, and Anna's sister have all reported in and are safe. In a win for serendipity, Anna's sister was actually supposed to be in class in Norris Hall, but was delayed by a phone call from her mom (who wanted her to see something unrelated on television before anyone knew something was going on). ...
  9. Wednesday, January 31, 2007:
    Ambition Day  I have no ambitions.   With that concise statement, I just dropped off the dating radars of millions of single women whose profiles reveal that they're looking for smart, funny, confident guys with long-term goals and ambitions. That's no big loss though, because those same profiles probably continue with a variant on the phrase "someone who loves to go out and party but can also just stay home on the couch and watch a movie". I actually tried this, and quickly deduced that it's physically impossible to do both at the same time without bringing the couch with you, and Bungalow Billiards frowns on B.Y.O.C. even more than the movie theatre frowns on smuggled foodstuffs. Therefore, all those women are dreaming the Impossib...
  10. Thursday, November 02, 2006:
    Sitcom or Serial?   Your average television sitcom is all about concise resolution. Through the course of the hour or half-hour, a conflict is introduced and neatly resolved, just in time to regain equilibrium before the credits roll. The players in the sitcom are generally timeless, and large plot changes are rare, only occurring to provide new situations in which to tell the same story. Because of this, viewers can jump in on any particular show without worrying too much about what came before or how many episodes they missed. There's a certain comfort level in knowing that there are no loose ends or drastically altered perceptions.  In contrast, the serial is all about the continuing plot. The whole point of watching a serial is to for...
  11. Tuesday, August 23, 2005:
    Untitled Post   I have a little over three weeks until I turn twenty-six -- I got a big laugh at my last music presentation after telling the audience that I wasn't born until three years after  A Fifth of Beethoven    was mixed by the Walter Murphy Orchestra. For the lifespan of these daily updates, birthdays have not been a big deal; they were just a day where I took off from work and made filler updates like this one    , and I think Number 26 will be no different. Since it'll be on a Thursday this year, I may take two days off from my limitless vacation pool and squander them by doing nothing of historical value. I can't even think of any gifts I'm particularly interested in, so if you're having troubles thinki...
  12. Monday, August 08, 2005:
    Untitled Post   There have been further developments in last year's accidental death of a summer Crew coach in Alexandria (You can read my original thoughts here    ). The parents of the crew coach have sued the Alexandria Crew Boosters organization for wrongful death, seeking both compensatory and punitive damages (including the projected income for the coach, who was planning on becoming a surgeon after college)    .  One facet of our society which I'm not too keen on is the blame game. Whenever something goes wrong, fingers and accusations fly in gnat swarms and someone always ends up being the scapegoat, deserved or not, of the problem. A much healthier solution would be to accept that the dastardly e...
  13. Thursday, March 04, 2004:
    Untitled Post  Something about this situation rubs me the wrong way:  . If you're living in a link-free environment, the news story is about an underage drunk driving death in which another student was charged with buying beer bong parts which the driver used.  Ignoring the death, which I'm not trying to argue was deserved, these charges seem to be a weak attempt to place the blame somehow to appease the living. Yes, the 18-year-old bong buyer plays a small part in responsibility for the accident and subsequent death, but it also seems like people are not willing to fault someone who has died, as if they become a saint as soon as they're gone (and not just in this specific example).  Here we have a girl who should be old eno...
  14. Monday, March 17, 2003:
    Untitled Post  It's interesting to see how much chronology is affected by surroundings. I lived in a single place all the way through high school, and for those years, I have a very clear chronology of world events, politics, and personal events. In college when I was moving around yearly, I have a recollection of events, but it becomes much harder to associate them with a particular calendar year. It's like the living place is the constant against which I can mark time. Events in my early life follow a stately progression, while the past seven years are more of a couscous of random happenings.   Yesterday, Booty got annoyed that I'm on the computer so much, so I let her create her own webpage. You can see it here   (415KB).  &nb...
  15. Saturday, November 02, 2002:
    Untitled Post    So next year at this time, I'll be a software engineer in northern Virginia. That doesn't mean I'll stop composing by any stretch of the imagination. I just decided that this is what I need to be doing for the forseeable future, based on a combination of factors. Here are the questions I posed back in August:    Do I have enough inspiration to compose for the span of an entire career without rehashing old material?  Probably so, depending on how prolific I would be. I started off in high school with scads of new music every month, but have continuously slowed down since then. This probably reflects more attention to detail than lack of inspiration, but it's important for me to realize that composing for...
  16. Wednesday, September 11, 2002:
    Untitled Post    The city of Tallahassee seems to be afflicted with a general malaise of sluggishness. It reduces the urgency of work, makes you want to sleep later, and blunts the need for accomplishment. Last year, I thought it was related to moving to a new environs in general, but after a summer spent back north in hectic northern Virginia, I can say that it's definitely unique to this city. With the exception of teaching, which I still attack with verve, all my grandiose plans to read, write, and listen this semester seem less important now that it's time to get to work. I wonder if there's other folks out there who've encountered the same suppression of urge that I've described.   " In one production of the opera,  Car...
  17. Wednesday, August 14, 2002:
    Untitled Post    As I hinted on the first day of this edition, this year is going to be the decision year for my imminent future. Money aside, I'll have to decide what to do after my Master's... go on to the Doctorate or stop there and work full-time as a computer programmer at FGM. The major questions that are weighing on my mind:     Do I have enough inspiration to compose for the span of an entire career without rehashing old material?   Am I a good enough composer to make an artistic difference?   Am I motivated enough to "sell" myself competitively and professionally in an already-struggling academic field?   Will the amount of time and effort devoted to a Doctorate make me that much better at c...
  18. Friday, March 01, 2002:
    Untitled Post  I need to work harder at keeping my reason for being here in perspective. Although I don't write any less than I did as an undergrad, I could be devoting so much more energy towards composition. The various tasks and procrastinations I take part in aren't bad or unproductive for the most part; I just need to make sure they don't overshadow the fact that I'm here to study composition. All the other activities should really be secondary, and could probably be done at any point in my life after school. An aspiring composer who doesn't devote one hundred percent to composing is like a theorist who doesn't theorize or a nutrition major who doesn't eat.   I suppose that part of the problem is just the open-ended nature of all musi...

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