Jul 28, 2012

Bugs under the Covers

Debugging is an artform.  The right debug message, once you've figured out what it means, can save you hours of digging.  If you can figure out what they're talking about, that is.  On the other hand, a badly worded or just plain misdirecting debug statement can waste hours of your time.

Not enough can be said about the right console log or print statement.  Any bug is trivial once you know where to look.

Jul 21, 2012

Super Guac

Need a dense, vegan friendly calorie booster? Try this guac inspired super combo.
Warning- its a bit salty, so if possible enjoy with unsalted chips, homemade or unsalted hummus, and/or unsalted miso.
1/2 an avocado
3-5 tbs hummus
1/2 c freshly cooked unseasoned beans (I used adzuki, but black beans would work as well)
1 1/2 tbs miso paste
Optional: few drops lemon or lime juice.

Mash avocado with beans with back of spoon. Mix in hummus, then miso paste and citrus. I didn't have any citrus, but it could use a little. Enjoy with chips!
Caveat: This is so dense, it could float a rock.  But I finally feel full. 

Jul 19, 2012

Camel Straws

It feels like a rubber band, that loses it's elasticity.  You're pulling back, ready to let fly, and suddenly find a sagging scrap of rubber dangling from your forefinger.  Or when the elastic in your favorite sweatpants gives out, stretching out to hip size and refusing to come back in to meet your waist.  Or the day at the pool that your swimsuit gives out, as you're reaching for the last stroke, the winning pull against your brother.  Droopy suit 'boobs', you discover, are not a part of a victor's garb.  

There may have been 10,000 pieces, but they all fall to the ground as one.  A solid wall of camel and straw.  His knees are gone, strength disappearing as the elastic rubber band of the earth snaps him back down.

All Gravity is is a gigantic elastic band.  Every push up against it, like a bungied fall down a precipice -- yanked back at the other end.

Does it really matter how many pieces that it took?  That he stood for a whole nine thousand nine hundred ninety nine?  He snapped, like an avalanche.

I like to think that he'll be back.  That he'll at some point, get back up.  That he'll realize how little ten thousand is, and talk himself up all 10 hands of camel height.  Never mind that it's harder to stretch a band out than to keep it taut.  Never mind that he's never done it before.

It's all a matter of mind over matter, isn't it?  Isn't it?

Jul 17, 2012

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There was a Haxor Skool get together tonight.  It was the first time we all really hung out, away from the classroom, in a mingling environment.  I met someone from UT, and as I was introducing myself, I realized that I don't tell anyone about plan II any more.  And in that, I was, by omission writing it out of my story.  It's ironic when you think about it though.  Most of my college friends and experiences, in some way, were related to plan II.  I got more from plan II, and Portuguese really, than I did from any of the other majors that I profess to be.  Really, it says more about me than "Management Information Systems".  It's a truer representation.  But I'm writing it out...

In a way, Haxor Skool reminds me of plan II.  The people are all smarter than me.  We're all driven, fun, dynamic and interested people with a love for learning.  It makes me wonder what experiences I truly missed while I was pretending to be more than "Plan II".  Because honestly, that's what I am. I am a plan IIer, maybe even more so than a haxorskooler.  I love learning and discussing systems, meta thoughts, psychologies.  I'm obsessed with identities and cultures, almost to a fault.  I want to talk to people about how they see the world, what they think of thinking, how programming is changing the world.

As much as it may, or may not, be a 'true representation' of myself, I am writing it out.  And in the act of doing so I find, by accident really, that I have the power to do just that.  To write Plan II out. With that recognition, comes the realization of responsibility -- that my story is my own.  

To understand why this is so revolutionary, you have to understand that implicitly I'd always expected someone else to be keeping track of my life, writing the life story of me in the memory of someone else.  I'm not sure who; just someone.  So it didn't matter if tonight I didn't explain that I did Plan II, or that I was on cross country in high school, or that I'm trilingual, or one of a hundred other facts about me and my life, someone would know.  They would tell that story, to this person, if I didn't.  My reputation, my story, my history would be told, with or without me.  Right?

Looking around, though I don't see that someone.  And that's just it: that someone doesn't exist. The ghost writer that I've been expecting to find is actually me -- I am the author and bookkeeper of my own story.  My story, without me, goes untold.  But just as amazing, as author,  I have the power to write it as I go.  Not the history part, not really.  What's done is done.  But how much of that affects or is brought into the present, what's brought to light in the now -- that's my responsibility, my power.  No one here knows the whole story of me.  And how can they?  In college, no one fully knew the whole story of high school.  And no one in high school fully knew the whole story of my childhood.  My oldest friend, who's known me since middle school, makes up parts of our history together.  (Literally, has memories of me that couldn't have possibly happened since I lived in a different city at the time).  There is no one that knows the whole history of me.  Not one, single person.  

Just me.

So I have to ask.  If I am the only person who knows my history, how much of it actually matters?  I mean, as we carry ourselves forward in time, what do the people we've met and the places we've been mean?  If you cut all ties, drop your email, shut the face book, change your number, move to a new place, what's left?  

Just you.  But, who are you?  The more I ask myself this, I find that it's not where I've been, or what I've done, or who I know, but the kinds of people that I enjoy spending time with.  The conversations that I want to have.  The food that I enjoy eating.  What I want to do with my spare time.  How I want to interact with the people that I've met on the subway, on the street, at bars, meetups, book clubs.  The experiences that I want to have, the emotions that I want to feel.  What matters, then, is just that - and that is who I am.  That, the things that I want, and that I feel and I experience -- that's me.

The job of recording our stories may be ours.  We are our own bookkeepers, written, if you're smart, in your own identity.  But writing stories, alone, is lonely work.

As a former self said it best:  "True love is that that saves you the trouble of writing an autobiography".   


‪some days I remember the lies you told me and i laugh at both of us‬ ‪at me, for wanting so badly to believe you‬ ‪at you, for having t...