Sunday, December 25, 2005

Friday, December 16, 2005

Weather. Entertain me.

No Ice Storm. I am slightly disappointed at the lack of precipitation and emergency-level media energy.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Laptop Musings

Writing here so I won't subject people to it in public...

In my laptop flirtation that's gone on over the past two months (most notably in the past two weeks, when work has been due), I've come up with the following parameters for the computer:

(1) Must be Apple: First of all, like I said, I have this unhealthy obsession. Second of all, I really do believe that most other brands of laptops simply die after about two years of heavy use. The same could be true of a Mac, and I have heard of some problems, but I just have a little more faith in the machine.

(2) Must be 12": This narrows it down to either the 12" iBook or PowerBook. Basically, I need to get this machine to and from the library every day, without it being a royal pain in the ass.

(3) Ideally, some longevity involved: 2 -3 years of useful portable computing, perhaps?

From researching on the web, it seems like the iBook vs. PowerBook question is sort of the Paper vs. Plastic question at the grocery checkout line. With a few more complications. Especially with recent upgrades bridging the gap, it's more a question of if you're willing to spend $500 more for a mostly better/faster computer. Someone made a good analogy-- difference between a tricked out iBook and a basic 12" PowerBook is similar to the difference between a tricked out Honda Accord and a bare bones Accura. And there are things about the PowerBook that I think are just kind of neat- all sorts of audio/video ports, plus bigger std hard drive, and the ability to work with video and music fairly well (iBook will probably have some bumps and trips here and there).

When it comes down to it, though, price is the kicker-- I might have $500 extra to spend in the future, but I certainly don't have it now. Not to mention the fact that I don't have $1000 to spend now, so why increase the amount that I'm paying back for a few bells and whistles. If the PowerBook were substantially lighter (as opp. to .3 lbs lighter), maybe I'd be in a more dubious position.

Interesting factoid if you don't check macrumors.com twice daily, Apple is making a move to Intel based processors, making Apple computers a bit closer to PCs. They used to be working off of PowerPC chips (which were made by Motorola and/or IBM? I'm not sure where the lines stop/start), and at this point, they have reached something of an empass. The chips, though good and fast, have not been getting better and faster at the rate Apple would like-- that is, a rate comparable to PC machines. On the plus side, Mac's operating system, OSX, uses its processor more efficiently (so the pundits say), such that the physical chip speed doesn't make as huge a difference as one would think, comparing the specs of Mac & PCs. However, the next generation Mac chip, the G5, is just too darn hot to get into a laptop right now (no...really...it needs lots of cooling and ventilation and stuff, and would possibly melt your thighs if it were to rest on your lap in a small metal or polycarbonate box). Soooo they started developing hardware/software/OSX to work with Intel processor chips that can take them faster.

There are rumors, lots and lots of rumors, that instead of releasing the first Intel Macs (likely iBook and Mac Mini) in March, that they'll come out at the Mac convention that's being held early on in January. Pretty crappy when you think that if they did it a few weeks earlier, you could ask for it for Christmas...(or I could...if I would...which I wouldn't).

So now it's just a matter of time. I will look towards January 10 (or whenever it is the keynote address for the convention is), and if they say "Intel based iBook, 13" widescreen, shipping today!", I'm on board, and that's my ride. If they say nothing of the kind..12" iBook here I come. That will be exciting, but just a 'tad bit less.

Another interesting point, Apple has a so so history when it comes to first generation products. The first products of a new line tend to be a little bit glitchy (such as the iPod Nano's propensity for getting scratched). This is generally held to be a result of their sealed-lid privacy and product security while they are in development. So if something new is available in the beginning of January...and I buy it...there could be lots of problems. But I'd rather that w/ option of recalls/etc, than get a more reliable machine that I know will be shorter on features/speed. Hm. As long as the hard drivve doesn't crash....thinking of it now, daily document backups will be very much in order.

There really is no time any more.

2PM: Arrives at Library.
7PM - 8PM: Dinner Break.
3AM: Leaves Library.

I'm not bragging about that-- I just think it's kind of nuts! I'm thinking to myself that had I not done Ramblers this semester, maybe I would not be in this same level of time crunch predicament possibly. More likely, though, I'd be doing pretty much the exact same thing-- if not for my catch up projects today, for me longer projects, both due Monday.

There probably is something to say for quality of work, even if it doesn't make the difference of a letter grade. And I guess if both were due two days from now, I'd find some way to get it done. I think I've just started getting pickier about what's worth handing in. It makes me shudder to think of actually reading over...well...most of the stuff from last year, and maybe even some of the stuff from the summer.

Tonight, the reserves room, reference room and periodical room were all open for 24hrs a day use. Thank god, for one. The reference room can become something of a circus around finals time. I definitely recommend taking advantage of the 24 hr option. At least, that works well for me. I really, truly, simply can't get work done at home. On that subject-- another post!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Showing up

A blog I was reading had the following quote:

"My dad had a great piece of advice for me once. 75% of completing anything is just showing up. Through the years, I’ve learned the value of this lesson over and over again, and it still holds true."

Truer words were never spoken-- except that they were. In the 2001 film Hardball, down-on-his-luck-deadbeat Conor O'Neill, goes all Bombay and coaches a softball team in the inner city. On one of the team's darker days (it involved a forfeit or a loss), Keanu gives this line:

Conor O'Neill: The most important thing in life is showing up I am blown away by your ability to show up.

Conor O'Neill, I am blown away by your ability to make words sing.

When I heard that in the movie, I was really not sold, and focused more on Keanu's trademark delivery. Thinking about it now, though, it's surprisingly true, particularly in regards to obligations a. It doesn't say too much to me about that remaining 25%, but it tends to have worked out for me lately.

Class: "Should I go to class?" A more complicated question than it would seem. But more often than not, when I've chosen to skip on class, in the end, it wasn't wholly necessary. At the very least, you just show up, and as long as you can stay awake (something not to be taken for granted), you're in good shape, and are in better standing with the professor than you would otherwise.

Library: I've recently found that without necessarily trying to be a good student or anything...I'll just go to the library. And even if I dawdle or facebook or whatever...I'll be there, and at some point, there really is no other alternative than to just put in some hours on work.

Work: After going out last night, I could have just stayed in and slept. But, unpleasant as it can be getting here and settling in...once I'm there, there's no other option, and now I'll have about $50 more than I would have otherwise.

Maybe what seems to make this seem like such a good idea is just because there's really no alternative once you get there. You arrive, and it's not like at that point you can just choose to leave at least work or class. You're kind of stuck there. The pessimist, perhaps, would be saying, it's not as much a positive thing about "showing up," as much as placing yourself in a position where you have no alternatives that might make you happier.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Tinker in the Snow

there is soemthing that I find oddly satisfying about going to The Jolly Tinker when there's bunches of snow on the ground. Preferably when it's actually snowing. After playwrights, Lenore and Jeanmarie and I took the trek over. And the cold, and the snow that make it a deterrent for me makes it a neat little adventure that I'd be glad to make every other week.

And part of the fulfillment came from walking into the bar out of the cold, to see that there were all sorts of Christmas lights strung up around the place inside. Warmth plus Christmas lights make a place ten times as cozy. Insert here what self-gratifying comments I may have.

I wish I had something more lyrical, or perhaps, independently poetic about that whole...going to the Jolly Tinker in the snow sort of thing...but being able to do that, spend time at Webster Cafe, and just enjoy the company of good friends and still get home before dawn-- that's a pleasant evening.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Midsummer

So when exactly is this thing going to auto-archive my entries? No idea.

The statue dedication was a rather involved affair, more so than I thought- it was in a prayer service format. Went w/ Polcino, Knittle and his girlfriend, Emily, after popping the suggestion out by the caf. And I love university/academic ceremonies. No joke or mention was made at the statue's appearance, in deference to the artist, I would assume. The statue of Ignatius on the Alpha House Lawn, to me personally, has a somewhat odd history. One day, I saw them clearing out and flattening a plot of land. Then, another day, I see them put a big round slab on the ground, and I think-- what the hell is this, a fountain? And then Ignatius lowers onto it, in all its glory.

I can't help but think of comments that I've said at least three times. Heck. Why not just go back to classicism. I mean, in terms of sculpture, I still feel like we did it best then. This new statue just seems oddly two dimensional, somehow. Aside from the elongated probosis, it just looks not made to be viewed as a statue. Lines are too smooth, textures aren't there, and the smoothness of it does not elevate me in any particular way.

Nonetheless, the dedication was as nice as one would expect from a formal university function, and though the statue itself did not bear the brunt of Father McShane's public speaking wit, he nonetheless got to exercise his on-the-fly speaking:

"It says here in the program that we will at this point, the close of the ceremony, sing a hymn. Judging by the extremely cold weather, I would imagine it would actually be in everyone's best interests for us to go straight to the reception in the student center as soon as possible. So if you will...it's right over there...please feel free to walk in that direction. If you feel so moved to sing a hymn on your way there-- so much the better."

Euphonamagoria III: Ramblers Fall Concert, Lincoln Center performance tomorrow night, Rose Hill performance Saturday night. Details in my AIM profile. It's got a wide variety of songs, but do trust that by the end, it does develop into face-melting rock.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dedication to Be Held for Ignatius Statue

3:30 P.M. on the Alpha House Lawn.

For any number of different reasons...I'll be there.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

In which...Borch buys a Colt 45

heyitsborch: just broke my pentium processor
FunkyForvm: howd you do that?
heyitsborch: i took it out to clean the processor fan, a pin got bent, i tried to bend it back, it broke off
FunkyForvm: oh man
FunkyForvm: no fixing that, is there?
heyitsborch: no
heyitsborch: i must have known i was going to break it cause i went out and bought a colt 45 earlier, which i will open now
FunkyForvm: hahaha
FunkyForvm: did you really buy a colt 45?
heyitsborch: yeah
FunkyForvm: oh wow
FunkyForvm: did you tell Guillermo?
heyitsborch: no, he wouldn't understand
FunkyForvm: you mean...he'd probably get upset?
heyitsborch: no, he would literally not understand
FunkyForvm: hahaha

*** interlude of 10 minutes of conversation ***

FunkyForvm: so what route are you taking...buying the replacement chip, or putting that colt to work?
heyitsborch: i'm drinking the colt right now, and i dont know how much money i have in my account right now
heyitsborch: so i will have to check tomorrow
FunkyForvm: ok.
FunkyForvm: We need to rewind.
FunkyForvm: Because in the context of you previously talking about buying a gun.
heyitsborch: hahaha
FunkyForvm: For the past 15 minutes, I was entirely believing that you had purchased a firearm.
heyitsborch: hahahahaha

Risk and Rolling Rock

Risk went on in Hoffman 2412/Apt 3 between the hours of 1AM and 6:30AM Wednesday morning. The game started out rather well for Rob, who gained a surprisingly fast foothold in Europe, holding onto the continent within the first turn. North America and South America went largely overlooked early on in the game, with most of the action taking place in the Asian continent-- a difficult land mass to be sure, if we are to remember the words of the Sicilian in The Princess Bride. Asia versus Australia was an issue for a long while during the game, contested between Mr. Walters and Mr. Duffy. Meanwhile, as was said in Seinfeld, "Ukraine is not weak!" oh no no- on the contrary, Ukraine steadily became stronger, as Rob, playing extremely conservatively, attempted to hold on to Europe with as ferrous a fist as possible, deterring for a long while any sort of attack from the Eastern front. From the west, all was not quiet. The forces of Blue, lead by Mr. Walters, amassed an army that moved from Greenland, through Iceland, and then starting a European invasion. For my own money, I have to say that I made some surprisingly good rolls, but alas, did not turn out all great in the end. By this point, trading in cards was at about 40 armies worth, and after I was eliminated, it was Walters vs. Duffy, and Walters had the upper hand. Though Duffy successfully held Asia, Walters, dominatrix of Risk, did come out on top. With a solid end game, and many, many more reinforcements on the way, Duffy submitted to a good game/forfeit, leaving Walters at iwin@risk.com.