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(no subject) [Aug. 18th, 2008|10:50 pm]
ktbaynes
[music |By Torpedo or Crohn's - Why?]

today on ask mefi there was a post about how to slow down time. a 25 year old had decided that time was going by too fast. a-fucking-men.
  • what if i am not making the most of my time?
    • (have you read every post on my feed reader? yes)
  • what if i am far behind everyone else my age?
    • (why are you constantly comparing yourself? i have to)
  • what if im missing out?
    • (you are.)

advice from the mefi masses:
  • learn to meditate
  • have children (there's that whole being far behind thing again)
  • just wait and see how fast it goes as you get even older!! (bitter old bastards)

::

previous previous book:
       Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
previous book:
       VALIS by Philip K Dick (PKD was nuts, but in an interesting way)
current book:
       The Road by Cormac McCarthy

I am pretty sure when the apocalypse comes .... I might not be the good guys.

basically to sum these books up....they are 2 insanely sad books sandwiching a completely ridiculous (and somewhat sad) book about a man and his pink light (sort of)

::

For all its ridiculousness, VALIS has some interesting ideas relating to religion and the nature of existence. One particularly attractive example involves the idea that ultimately, any spiritual elucidation comes from future iterations of the self. This is sort of like reincarnation, but, according to the protagonist, is different in that one isn't simply reborn after death, but actually has to be ... sort of rediscovered. A soul can basically act as a messenger through time to former iterations of that soul. Because time is perceived as an illusion by Horselover Fat (the main character, a surrogate for PKD himself), he is able to perceive himself as not only his current self, but as himself living in Roman times. Also, Horselover is suicidal and bat shit insane.

Sometimes (hell, oftentimes) the book is repetitive and meandering ...  it was sort of a mental exercise just to complete it and stay focused on the presented ideas, so, in that respect, it was pretty worthwhile experience.

But ultimately, it seems to me that for all his bloviating over religion and the nature of the cosmos Horselover has some very simplistic fundamental questions about the nature of God (or gods or whatever) including the big, faith-rattling cliche: "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

Were I religious, I really don't think this would be a problem for me. Mostly, my big spiritual cross to bear (pun TOTALLY intended) would involve my simplistic fundamental question: "Why fucking bother with all this mess?"

::

Video Games:
Braid
Fable
Mass Effect
Civ Rev

::

"Self-criticism is not the same as introspection"

::
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(no subject) [May. 24th, 2008|09:10 pm]
ktbaynes
Today we interred my aunt's ashes. My Aunt Ginny died about 2 months ago during Holy Week, which I'm sure she would've loved. Today was our final goodbye.

There was a short ceremony in a small courtyard called the Memorial Garden outside of her church, St. Luke's. This was a relatively small group of people when compared to the funeral services of March. Even so, there were about 50 people crowded in this small, sweltering space to bid farewell to this woman who had touched all of our lives.

I cried like a baby.

Before the ceremony, I was skirting the edges of the crowd observing people in my normal way and I began to think of what Aunt Ginny would be doing if she were here as a mourner. I'm pretty sure she would be mingling and exchanging sympathies like everyone else for the most part, in the thick of the herd, but I think she would have come over at least once to talk to me and see how I was doing. I think she understood that I don't really experience these kinds of things like most people and I really prefer to keep myself apart. Yet she would still make the effort to come over and include me and engage me and make me feel a little less awkward. She was so full of grace. I'm going to miss her so much.

This weekend has been Grieving Part 2 for me and my family. This time we are less in shock. This time its ok to laugh a little. This time we watch tv and talk about more than just the morose events that bring us together. We don't have to notice all the fresh produce that she had bought only days before in anticipation of a week of planned meals. This time my uncle has had time to remove some of "her" from the house. Her death feels more distant and acceptable now. I am more comfortable this time around. We even talked about taking a vacation together.

I really want to make an effort to be a good family member. I want to be more involved. I want to be better as this. This means alot. This is my life, right? These relationships really are worth the effort. How can I remember to get over myself and reach out? Why am I so anxious about picking up the phone and telling these people that I really want them to be a part of my life? What is my problem? Even as I type this I am holed up in a room by myself while everyone else is bonding and watching a movie. Arg. I love them all so much and I have to type it out on the internet instead of telling them in person.

Once again ... I am so held back by my own mind. But enough self absorbed blathering.

My Aunt was an amazing woman. Today I heard stories (and not for the first time) about how she brought people to God and really changed their lives for the better. She was always doing her damnedest on our family, but we never budged. My mom says she always prayed for us. I am incredibly grateful for that, but not for the sake of my eternal soul.

She impacted so many people while most of us sit on the sidelines hoping to be ignored and waiting to die. I am going to miss her so much.
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(no subject) [Aug. 17th, 2007|05:23 pm]
ktbaynes
last updated 48 weeks ago. maybe i should wait for a full year to pass. nah, i'm feeling a little ranty.

i'm working on a new(ish to me) project at work. we are implementing a sharing database thingy for local law enforcement agencies who want to big brother a little harder and catch the crooks. the idea is basically to exchange data nationwide using the federal government as a facilitator. its fun an interesting work and i know i building up skills that i can use in the future.

of course, i can always find something to bitch about.

one thing that bothers me: why are all these people putting in 60 hour weeks? i mean, don't get me wrong, i like the work and its interesting, but i don't have any desire to burn the midnight oil for someone else's profit margin. actually, this is part of a larger problem i have with the entire way that most software projects i have been involved with have operated: bitches don't (maybe can't?) plan well.

my company has a strict policy: "no more than 80 hours per two week period are reportable on your timecard." this means, if you are a lowly schmuck working 60 hours per week, it will never be known by the muckity-mucks in the head office because you can't report it. they aren't watching your back, seeing how well your silly ass martyrs itself for the bottom line, they are at home watching their tivos. sure, your extra back breaking effort may help get the project in on time and on budget, but get this: if you work all that extra time for no pay and finish your work on time, they will never realize that the planning effort was horribly underestimated. all the higher ups will see is a project that they planned came in on time. they are only charging the contract for your 80 hours per two weeks, and the cycle continues. the estimation process gradually becomes more and more skewed because people are working for no money.

if you are a real mover and shaker within the company *maybe* (MAYBE) i can understand putting in all this extra time: you might get a big promotion and a corner office if you are a real "team play". but in all honesty, these people just seem to be letting themselves get abused for the sake of the company, not because they are particularly ambitious. i often feel that i am the most ambitious among them (and i'm NOT very ambitious) and i will be damned if i sacrifice my life for the sake of a poorly planned development effort just to see the smile on my bosses' faces that might signal a few more dollars in the future.

this has bothered me continuously for the past couple months. a woman i work with has said that her husband is making snide remarks about how unavailable she is and i am sure her kids are wondering why their mother is acting like a nutcase.

and another thing, why are people who are working back breaking hours not interested in improving their efficiency. this is another thing that just doesn't make sense to me. as i watched this same poor woman mouse up to the menu bar, click edit and select copy all i could think was "who doesnt use control-c? wtf?". i mention this to her and she replies that her kids tell her the same thing but "i have been doing this for so many years and i'm not going to change now"

LADY, YOU ARE A FUCKING SOFTWARE DEVELOPER. YOUR WHOLE JOB IS TO MAKE THE WORLD MORE EFFICIENT THROUGH COMPUTERS. YOU ARE REQUIRED TO KEEP A CURRENT SKILL SET TO MAINTAIN COMPETITIVENESS. IF YOU ARE TOO SET IN YOUR WAYS TO LEARN TO FUCKING CUT-AND-PASTE WITH KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS, HANG IT UP NOW.

she is a nice woman. i really like her. she is funny and kind and sweet. i feel sorry for what she puts herself through for the sake of this project. but DEAR GOD LRN2KEYBOARD!!

sorry

this ultimately means that i will most likely be looking into becoming a contractor at some point in the not-too-terribly distant future. maybe i should make a goal....goals are for ambitious types and, as i said earlier, i'm not very ambitious.
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(no subject) [Sep. 14th, 2006|09:07 am]
ktbaynes
Great read.

http://byneddiejingo.blogspot.com/2006/09/we-have-not-gone-forth-we-will-never.html

"Now please. I'm not apologizing for them, or justifying their actions in any way. Their incomprehensibly distorted idea of the worth of a human life is utterly contemptible, and if I could turn back time I'd murder them in their beds without a second thought. But I do profoundly wish, as fervently as I wish for anything, that we could as a species understand just how badly the lies we tell ourselves to escape the reality of injustice and suffering impede the understanding of the truth that this, this thing we have here, this little ball of rock floating in space, is all we've got.

No gods. No saviors. No magic. No prophets. No afterlife. No angels. No saints. No heroes. No going forth and returning. No myths."
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(no subject) [Aug. 21st, 2006|10:23 am]
ktbaynes
I have always been mildly interested in the gender and the participation in engineering, math, and sciences. I found this post to be particularly interesting.

From the study discussed, this was what I found the most interesting. (EMS = engineering, math and science)

"In fact, among EMS graduates in both cohorts, the women have a higher mean math score and smaller variance than the men. Note that if the relationship between mathematics test scores and EMS participation were the same for men and women, then female EMS participants, drawn from a lower test score distribution, would tend to have lower average scores than male EMS participants. The finding that the mathematics test scores of white women with EMS degrees are not lower than those of the men suggests that women are morecautious about entering unless they have very high scores."

I knew it! It also links into my personal fear of failure and constant need to prove myself. Its a problem that I have found dogs many women in the field and may have influences people I knew in college who eventually chose not to persue a career in EMS.

Many of use are really afraid of being wrong and being perceived as dumb. Its an uphill fight because we are so harsh on ourselves when we make mistakes. Not to be a complete generalist stereo typer, but it seems as though many men don't mind as much being loud and wrong. :)
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(no subject) [Jul. 21st, 2006|11:34 am]
ktbaynes
Now this might be trying to hard:

http://www.43folders.com/2006/07/13/eccentricity/

Some things just come naturally.

Favorites from the comments section:

"I label all of my white socks to keep the pairs “monogamous” throughout their lives. I feel it leads to a more even wear.
And why would I ever want to stop that?"

Why indeed?

"In 4th grade I decided to be quietly unflappable: I resolved to react to everything, from a trivial remark to a violent punch, with a silent, monk-like nod. I was sure that in no time, I would have a reputation for total coolness and possibly start a peaceful Zen revolution among my classmates. It lasted about a week, and stopped because of how incredibly boring it is to be that calm."

I think I have tried and failed at this at least once per week since 4th grade.

"At the moment, I sport a bright orange mohawk, about five inches tall. If you can avoid having piercings or tattoos and still be friendly, it can open far more doors socially than you would think! You become a ‘regular’ everywhere you’ve been more than once, and it’s an amazing conversation starter if you take care of it. It’s the BEST thing I’ve ever done."

This reminds me of the time my boss told me while at a party that she was disappointed when I didn't show up for work for the first day with pink hair (as I had in the interview). Its a positive thing sometimes I guess.
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Sass that Hoopy Frood [Jul. 12th, 2006|02:53 pm]
ktbaynes
[mood |chatty cathy]

Oh shit, a two entry day ... talk about a pulse!

I was reading this blog and learning about Crab Canon in the context of this book which I have always wanted to read.

Lover of order and symmetry that I am, this is incredibly appealing to me.

...

A Book Report

I am reading a few things at the moment. The first is a historical, fantasy, romance fiction book A Dragonfly in Amber which is a sequel to the addictive Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. The second is the non-fiction classic The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. I highly recommend this book. It just celebrated its 30th birthday and is still a fantastic and engaging read. Give you something to really think and talk about, not just idle chatter. Of course since I started WoW, I haven't picked up either, but I'm sure I will finish both eventually.

I am also re-listening to the Hitchhikers Guide Original BBC broadcasts again. Good for the commute and for the sheer joy of being a geek for listening.

...

On the work front, I just bought a book for that too: Joel on Software

...

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." -D. Adams
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(no subject) [Jul. 12th, 2006|02:29 pm]
ktbaynes
[mood |busybusy]
[music |some GYBE (PERFECT for coding)]

Concerning Introverts (from comments)

"We're not shy--we just don't want to engage in pointless chatter and pretend it's conversation."

...

I will wake up soon and be 30, i just know it.

...

Meanwhile, I have been playing WoW pretty much non-stop since I installed it over the 4th of July weekend.
Scott (Hydrar) and myself (Arynaya) are really enjoying it. Anne (Nicea) and Eli (Mordant) are playing too.
What fun!

Since I am so focused, I forget to eat and forget to go out to eat. I look up from the game and its 1 AM

w00t!!

This is shameful that I am using a video game to lose weight and save money.

...

I will wake up soon and be 30, i just know it.

...
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(no subject) [Jun. 8th, 2006|04:11 pm]
ktbaynes
Quote from the Post's Wedding Week Chats:

"It all adds up to some women feeling embarrassed if they just want to eat, drink, dance, and be wed to the love of their lives in front of their friends and family; everyone they meet ... wants to talk about the color of their table linens."

A-fucking-men.
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(no subject) [Mar. 31st, 2006|10:54 am]
ktbaynes
life is moving at a million miles a minute.
yet i always seem to be waiting. ick.

wedding planning is not for the lazy grad student.
i need to crawl into an academic tunnel this weekend and the weather is mocking me.
school is hard. i am so looking for an excuse to say "fuck it"
honestly its not so much that school is hard, its just that its really really freaking low on my list of priorities right now.

below, apparently, updating my livejournal...which is saying alot.

if i can just make it to mid-may.

:::

was in st. louis last week and denver this week. i had a rental car and was able to drive around each for a few hours.

the country is homogeneous. but denver has mountains to the west.

red rocks amphitheater is "the end". it is the ultimate concert venue. the only thing i could think of walking around the stage was "if i were a musician, my ultimate goal would be to play here" i know thats cheesy but that place is fucking magical.

i have still never made it out to the west coast. this will change on the honeymoon.

:::

i have realized that as agnostic as i am, i *really* dont want a JOP service for the wedding. i want a person who understands how i feel connected to humanity, not god.

i want everyone to know how i feel towards scott and how we want to share in this life together and how serious that commitment is to me and him. its not just a legal document, its a promise from one person to another. that requires more than a civil servant to me.

as much as i bitch about the wedding and what a pain in the ass it is and how its not what i imagined because i never imagined anything: i want it.

i want it.

i want to stand up in front of everyone and shout out how much i love scott and how connected i feel to him and how i want to devote myself to our life together and how lucky i feel.

maybe i dont want the fancy dress and the ridiculous menu and the music headaches, but i want that ceremony. and i fucking hate ceremony.

:::

this final portion of my post is dedicated to kevin gormally, who will never read it. :)

work is going ok, im just still torn between wanting to have an uber successful career or settle into mediocrity and actually enjoy my time on the planet. i guess it shouldnt be such a hard decision.

i was reading this article yesterday about living with less. for all my material greed and my 25 mile commute ... i settle for selfish, comfortable, affordable, middle class guilt.
what change can i (as in "am i willing to") make for the good of mankind? not much.

but i dont think that im any happier overall when i have more "stuff".

:::

im way too meta on my life.
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