I am Serene...

You scored as Serenity (Firefly). You like to live your own way and don't enjoy when anyone but a friend tries to tell you should do different. Now if only the Reavers would quit trying to skin you.


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Serenity (Firefly)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Moya (Farscape)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
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Strange problems building sbcl on intel mac

I had some strange problems building SBCL on my Intel mac mini. At least, when it was being built in a directory served by OpenAFS, the build failed eventually. After consultation with slyrus on freenode irc, I moved the sources and the 0.9.15 binary onto my local disk to do the build. And it worked fine.

So, I moved the binary that resulted out into AFS-land - and it failed to run. Hrmppphhhh. Changing the AFS owner to someone with a UID on the local box caused the sbcl binary to run. Tried the build again. Failure mode.

Just to prove I wasn't halucinating, I moved it all back to the local disk and rebuilt from scratch - which worked fine again.

The joke here is that the errors were related to malloc()ing memory from the heap - something which should have no relationship whatsoever with the fact that the image is in AFS-land.

Just for gigles, I took some C code I had lying around that did a few malloc()s and compiled and ran it. It didn't seem to make one bit of difference whether or not it was in AFS-land - nor what UID was the owner of the binary.

I'm confused, to say the least.

billiards table update

In this entry, I mentioned that I had purchased a used pool table. Yesterday morning, they arrived to install it. Sadly, it didn't fit through the doorway into the basement, so we had to go with plan B - the "dining" room.

The problem with plan B (you knew there had to be one right?) is that the room isn't quite large enough for use with full size cues. The table is mostly playable, but some shots just can't be made. So, yesterday evening [after about a two hours nap and 4 racks of straight pool], I went off in search of shorter cues. I ended up purchaing a 40" Mizerak cue from The Sports Authority and a 48" two-piece Excalibur cue from Dick's Sporting Goods. I should be good to go now.

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purchase of a billiards table

Today I purchased my first billiards table. It's a used table, originally made by Wilmington Billiard Company in Wilmington, DE. It has a 1" slate bed and will have wine-colored cloth once it is delivered and assembled. The installers will be here at 08:00 on Saturday, 2006-08-05!!!! I can hardly wait!!!!!
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Successful De-stressors?

I have a chronic problem with stress. It interacts with my medications and mental state to produce an increasing whirlwind of stress-hormone release. Regardless of how I try to release the stress, I end up feeling battered, bruised, fatigued, folded, mutilated, spindled, torn and weary.

This has caused me to focus on how I am choosing to relieve my stress. I find that it rarely involves a rational choice to relieve stress in any given way. Rationality, it seems, is malfunctioning, in so far as it is used only to dissuade me from pursuing particular paths toward less stress. This misfeature leaves me desperately trying to choose between a small number of self-destructive choices.

Post-decision review often leads me to think I could have made a better choice, but these are often not even within my frame of reference when the choice has to be made. There is no doubt, at the time, that a choice is necessary and soon.

My query is: how do you relieve your stress?

Note: comments are being screened, so let me know if you want them to appear publicly.

I've tried, really I have

For some reason that still remains a mystery to me, I felt a strong compulsion to go on vacation this past week. Perhaps it was inevitable due to the low-grade mania I'd been under for the previous 5 weeks. Perhaps I'm just going through a mid-life crisis and am seeking stiluli I haven't experienced in a long time. In any case, I managed to get most of last week off from work and have been on a beach vacation since Tuesday, July 18, 2006.

The first night was great. Chesapeake, VA is a nice place, not very far from the Outer Banks (OBX), where we would be staying and I had reward points for a free-night in a two bed-room suite at the Residence Inn there. The room was tremendously large, even for 2 adults and 3 children. The drive down on US 13 was pleasant and uneventful. We had a great time.

The drive from Chesapeake to Corolla, OBX was not very long - approximately two hours in length. We were able to get into our rented apartment early. Unfortunately, this wasn't quite as nice as the two-bedroom suite back in Chesapeake. Don't get me wrong - it was fine for 2 adults, perhaps even 4 adults. It was not fine for 2 adults and any number of kids.

The problems were essentially two-fold: it was in the middle of a commercial development (above Nicoletta's Italian cafe), and it was barely big enough to qualify as a decent sized one bedroom apartment. For a two bed-room, it was cramped - probably nearly the size of the 1 bed-room suite I'm in right now.

It's a big hassle having to always be careful to make sure the young children don't go head-over-heels down the stairs and end up in the middle of the parking lot, sprawled face-down in the fire lane. There was a small playground, which was fenced, but it was too small to be really enjoyable by the children for more than about 20 minutes. Despite the fact that most properties in Corolla do not have grass lawns, there is still a large amount of comfort in knowing that people won't be actively driving through the sand-lot yards that are there.

I enjoyed the pool time that I was able to have and hope to use the outdoor pool at the Brandywine YMCA a few more times before it closes Labor Day weekend. I was unable to enjoy the beach, however, because it's very difficult to walk on the sand with my fused-ankle and I wasn't able to go out into the water far enough to benefit from the ocean taking the weight off of my foot. The constant shifting of the sand at the tide line made for more than a few awkward steps with my bad ankle as well.

All of this would have been enough to convince me that a beach vacation is not a grand idea next year, unless my foot is substantially better (perhaps because I've lost a lot of weight between now and then). The coup de grace, though, was the psychological distress caused by sharing the beach time with other members of the extended family. In the end, there just isn't enough positive benefit derived to justify the additional stress and the bad influence the cousins have on my own children.

For the first time in two+ years, I need a vacation to get over my vacation.