Spring

It turned spring last week, but now it’s starting to feel like it more.  It’s raining now a bit, but you can feel it in the air.  It’s changing.  And I can’t wait.

I love this time of year.  Spring and fall may very well be my two favorite seasons.  Especially now, since more starts to happen with me music-wise.  My band’s got a bunch of gigs coming up in April, and we might even hit the studio for the first time and get a CD going.  Well, just a demo-tape at first.  But it’ll be cool, as it will hopefully lead to many more gigs.  Stay tuned.

Scientology Protests, New Job, and the Weather

Well, it’s warmer today, in the mid 40’s. Pretty nice. The snow is still here, but it’s metlting, as you can tell by the dripping roofs and occasional streams running into storm drains.  Just a few more weeks and it’ll be pretty nice out.

On another note, I am taking a break from school and working.  No, I haven’t dropped out; my school requires that I do a certain amount of work in my field of study.  The company I am at is in Rochester, and it’s pretty nice.  It’s a good job for me, and it’s not too far from where I’m living.  I’ll be working through the summer, so this year should be a bit of a different experience for me.

Now, for a final note.  Today is L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday.  For those unaware, he was a science fiction writer as well as the father of the Scientology religion.  Said religion is not in the greatest favor of the Internet community and has as a result sparked some turmoil.  The religion (or cult, as some would say) has had its Websites attacked, phone lines jammed, and now its offices protested.

This happened a while back, with the Internet group “Anonymous” announcing plans to blast Scientology off of the Internet.  The issues had to do with Scientoloy rasing legal action against leaked proprietary videos posted on sites like YouTube.  It was further feuled by reports of actions taken by the religion that led to people dieing.  (Search for this on Google; it has been explained many times already.)

This whole thing has interested me to an extent.  Overall, I like to think of myself as more of an outside observer.  I am for religious freedom; practice whatever you want so that long as you respect others (and the world) and don’t force your beliefs on anyone else.  (That’s a simplification of what I think, but it’s the gist.)  So, as far as I’m concerened, if someone thinks that Scientology may have something that can help them out in life, all the power too them.  I can also respect an organization wanting to keep their intellectual property safe.  However, I also wonder as to whether or not Scientology has crossed the line and caused harm; obviously there are reports, and obviously a religion will have the crazy minority which gives the entire group a bad name.  But are the protests justififed?

Maybe, but I’m not getting involved.  I can commend Anonymous for making a stand, and brining attention to the issue.  But at the same time, it is something I am not sure I want to involve myself in too much.  Not really because I am afraid, but because it seems like a waste of time.   Sometimes you just need to step away.

Back to Snow Again

I must take a brief moment here to tell you about something you may already have noticed: I talk a lot about the weather.  Well, let me elaborate a little, as I’m sure I’ll do again sometime in the future when this post is buried somewhere in the vast abyss of a MySQL database I’m building up.  You see, where I’m from, Buffalo, we get made fun of a lot for the weather.  Particularly snow.  We don’t get a lot of it overall, either.  Sure, we’ve had some huge snowfalls (eight feet back in 2000).  But on the whole there are plenty of places where they get it much, much worse (I’m looking at you, Alaska.).  Even in the same state.

I guess it’s because we make noise about it; I can recall a couple times when a state of emergency has been declared because of the snow.  But the truth is  that the snow isn’t that bad.  Contrary to what some may believe, it does melt up here.  And, in the summer time it can actually get hot.  We’ve got a pool in the backyard, and it’s a life saver.  We hardly ever heat it.  We’ve had heat waves up into the 90’s before, and a cold pool is great.

Now, to get to the point, my frequent posts about the weather are important to me for the simple fact that they affect me.  I love the outdoors, and currently reside in the suburbs.  Because I don’t always have the opportunity to go off into the woods (deep woods, not just the lot a few streets down), I end up scrutinizing other aspects of the natural world more closely, namely the weather.  And it’s important to me; not so much “good” or “bad” weather in particular, but just that I’m aware of it.  Of course, whatever kind of weather it is can and does change my mood a bit, but mostly I just like it.

Ironically, I don’t have any pictures for this post to contrast from a previous one in which I noted 63 degree weather and vast ponds, but I will say that things have taken a turn.  We’ve got about a foot of snow, nice, wet spring snow.  It looks great, but it makes travel kind of hard.  And, it’s cold.  But it won’t be long; this is probably our last snow of the season.  I like winter, but after a few months of it I’m eager for spring.

Ice Storm

Well, that was interesting.  We had an ice storm pass through, mostly tonight.  It wasn’t horrible (where we are at least), but it was bad.  The car was covered with ice earlier, and the ground was pretty slippery too.  I was in the basement when the lights started flickering here and there, and so I decided to come up stairs.

I now type this from the laptop.  The storm seems to have moved on, but you never know.  I’ve got some flashlights ready, and if the power does go off it won’t be off for long.  My only big concern is the sump pump, as a flooded basement is not much fun.  We do have a generator, but I’d have to go to the garage and start it, and doing that at 1:30 in the morning would not be pleasant.  Plus, it seems like kind of a waste to start the 5500 watt generator for the sump pump.  I mean, it’s not a waste to save the basement, but it seems like it would be better to have some sort of battery backup.  Maybe a battery with a boat bilge pump.

Well whatever.  Storms are kind of nice when they don’t get too wild (and even when they do they can be neat I think).  I can’t wait for thunderstorms in the summer.  But that will come soon enough.

Mood Swings in the Weather

Yesterday it was 63 degrees F outside. It was incredible. I mean, we’ve been used to weather in the 20’s and 30’s since the fall, and this was quite the break. It was just amazing, amazing to go outside, just to breath. Spring was in the air, you could smell it.

But today it’s in the 30’s again, too cold to be out without a coat on. And whereas we had sun yesterday, now it’s back to the normal, gray light. I suppose it’s kind of like a mood swing in the weather. It almost reminds me of an article in The Onion stating that God had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Well, whatever. But it was a source of hope that spring will soon come; we just need a few more weeks. I went out for a walk, and got a few pictures. Enjoy!

Temporary Ponds

There is a hill not too far from my house that used to be a partially-buried water tank for the town. (I think it held something like 1.5 million gallons.) This was a popular sledding area, but apparently someone got hurt, so they took it out and developed the surrounding lot (which has a nice little forest on it). They left a smaller hill in for people to sled on, and myself and my friends enjoy frequenting the area. The picture shows the ponds that formed when the snow that covered that field melted yesterday. I was tempted to go swimming.

Stream

Toward the left edge of the field (as seen from the first picture) the water starts to run off toward the drain. As you can tell, the drain is backed up, so this is what you get.

Flooded Path

Needless to say, I ended up getting my feet wet.

The Ditch

You can’t get the best idea of how deep the ditch is from this picture, but at that point it was probably about a foot and a half deep.

More Water

 

 

This is an offshoot of the ditch, perpendicular to the sidewalk and running along the side of the field. The drain, which is horrendously clogged, is just at the bottom out of the frame.

Bright Sky

Now for something a little more uplifting than poor drainage. This is the sky above my house (which is the one on the left).

Sunny in Buffalo

It’s nice here.  I was told the weather would be bad today, but it’s not.  In fact, it’s quite sunny.  Soon I’ll be going back to school, so driving shouldn’t be too bad.  It is pretty windy, though.

Well, only a couple more weeks left in the quarter, things will be heating up.  They have been a bit already, but they will do so even more.  I’m learning to appreciate learning things, like the Fourier series, that I’ll probably never use in my career.  I’m appreciating them, of course, because learning about them teaches one how to learn (as a friend put it).  so that’s a good thing.

I’m lucky to have good exposure to music, going to a tech school.  Here is a link to the MySpace page of a band I’m in.  This is in addition to school ensembles.  It’s a fun distraction from normal crap.

Well, have a good one!  Maybe now I’ll get around to moderating some of the comments…

Conclusion of Hell Week

I just had the second part of my Linear test today, which means that the Hell Week sequence is now over.  Of course, the end wasn’t horribly pleasant, but it happened.

And of course, some of it was kind of fun.  The musical was tough, but I don’t mind playing for that kind of thing.  And the weekend was great, between the parties and free food.

And now, it’s kind of warm out, which is nice.  After I get through today I have tomorrow off, and I don’t really have a lot of stuff left for today.

I’ve got some pictures to post, so hopefully I’ll remember to do that soon.

Home and Ham

Christmas Ham

This past Wednesday we cooked the above ham as a sort of Christmas dinner before everyone left the apartment for break. It was good, much better than the available food on campus. This meal made me reflect upon how nice it is to be with others.

It’s great to have others. I mean, I am somewhat of an independent person; I can occupy myself through one means or another. But I am not a recluse; my friends and family mean a lot to me. Without doubt this is the same with most people.

We’re social creatures; we interact because it makes us feel good. This doesn’t just apply to other humans; I’m happy for the animals I’ve lived with as well (right now these would be my three cats). When we interact with other things alive we feel part of something bigger, whether it appears that way or not. It’s healthy.

Now that I’m home for break I have come to appreciate this. Being with my family again is great, despite the fact that they get to me at times. There is a lot we take for granted in this day and age, one where we all seem so close thanks to cell phones, the Internet, and a new mindset induced by swift means of transit and grand hopes for the future.  So, as we all gather for the holidays let us remember this, and enjoy our time together.

 

 

 

New Blog Theme and other stuff

Well, I think I’ve settled on this WordPress theme for the moment.  I like the look of it, and I think I can set up the rest of the site to eventually match up to it.  Next I might look into importing old posts from the previous incarnation of whatsmykarma.com, but that’s not a high priority right now.

In addition to finishing up this site, I plan to host two other sites for my brother.  Stay tuned; I will link to them from my main page, along with some other sites I host.  (Hopefully this will please the search engine gods.)

Interestingly, with at least one of those sites for my brother I will end up doing some PHP coding.  I’ve only done a little of it in the past, so it should be an interesting experience.  Basically I’m trying to create a very simple content management system.  Yes, I know, there are tons of them available.  But I’ve never found one I really liked.  Also, the requirements for the site (an online periodical regarding the city of Buffalo, NY) don’t fully mesh with any of the current CMSs I’ve seen.  Who knows, maybe my crappy little CMS will grow up to be a big exciting open source project…  Who knows.

Well, aside from my little foray into Web development, I’ve been keeping busy.  Kind of.  Well, I should be busy, with the classes I’m taking, which practically all relate to math.  I’m keeping up, but they do kick me in the ass.  I think that’s the intent.

I can’t wait for break.  Yes, most college students are somewhere around finals week at this point (or past it), but I just started a new quarter a couple weeks ago.  So, a couple weeks off will be a welcome change, and a chance to catch up with some of the new classes.  Although, most of my break will be spent catching up with friends at different schools, which it should be.

Well, I’m going to try to get some sleep now.  If nothing else I will try to keep this blog here, no matter how far my relentless wanderings through Web design will take me.  So come by, there might be pictures.  Or something else.

If by any chance any of you reading this happen to remember my message board, well, I’ve thought about trying to go that route again.  Whether I do or not remains to be seen; I have been looking for an excuse to set up an Ikonboard lately…