By quantity, my parents have probably given me the most good advice, but the most useful piece of advice was given to me over a game of chess with my English teacher, Mr. Matkowski. I had made some placeholder move. He shook his head and said to me, “Don’t do chicken shit moves”. That was 30 years ago and every time I do a chicken shit move, I still hear his disapproving voice in my head. I need to find him and thank him some day.
April 15, 2015
June 20, 2014
One of my side goals is to increase my typing speed. I do touch type, but I have some bad habits, and I was only typing at about 25 to 30 words a minute. I’ve tried many typing programs both online and installed locally. I’ve narrowed down to my two favorites; GNU Typist (gtypist) and Amphetype. Both of these are command line programs which work well on linux. They also run on windows according to the descriptions. gtypist includes full lessons all the way from home row beginner to speed drills with a fair amount of mixed text. Amphetype (which is becoming my favorite) is all speed drills using text you import. I imported the text to The Hobbit and I’ve been having a blast. Gtypist is very polished, but once you’ve been through the speed drills a couple of times, it starts getting repetitive. Because I can import a whole novel into Amphetype, it doesn’t get boring for me. I’m now up to about 45 words per minute, which was my goal, but I think I can push that goal up to 55 WPM now.
update 2014-07-12: I’ve managed to average 55 wpm, but I struggle to get consistently faster than that. It might be time to move on to other minor obsessions.
February 26, 2014
I wish that I had paid more attention to math when I was in high school. So many things that I like to do depend on a math background and playing catchup now is a little frustrating. Catch up I must if I wish to pursue my dreams, so I am always on the lookout for good math sites. The best related site that I’ve found so far is Khan Academy. Many of the newer “learn to program” sites share a lot of structure in common with Khan Academy. Right now, I’m studying limits and am about to jump into derivatives. I need to brush up on trigonometry as well, and there is a new article over at better explained that really nails home the commonly used points. Maybe some day soon, I’ll be able to crack those books on Digital Signal Processing and not get a headache when I see the equations.
May 25, 2010
Alaska was great. I highly recommend visiting some time in your life. In our case, my wife and I took a cruise through the inside passage. I won’t go into any great detail, but the wildlife, glaciers, and the rustic towns are a lot of fun. Driving up into Yukon from Skagway was interesting. I’d never seen a tundra before.
October 10, 2009
I bought my wife a new stove, a new dish washer (the old one broke), and a new fan over the stove for our anniversary. Before you tell me what a cad I am, I’ll have you know that she asked for them. She practically dragged me to the store to have some input in the appliances that she had already picked out. They were nice. We cheaped out and decided to install them ourselves (myself actually).
Read about boring appliance installs