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weekend update // life - Lograh

Wednesday, 30.Apr.2008

13:31 - weekend update // life

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So yeah, been a while since an update. This is not for a lack of thoughts, I assure you. Nor, oddly enough, is it really attributable to a lack of posting availabilities. I've had many a moments at work this week which were slow enough that I could reasonably have caught all you up on my recent musings, but I for some reason just didn't.

Lucky you.

But now that luck has come to an end! For here, right now, I am posting! Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! Mine is an evil laugh! Ha-ha-ha.

Lesse.. We'll go in reverse chronological order, shall we? LJ seems to think this is a reasonable enough way of doing things, so I'll just stick with tradition and follow suit here.

Recently I've been pondering Umbrellas. Thing is, I always mange to bang my head on the lower rods on those things. Ya know, how there are the top rods to which the fabric is attached, and then there are the lower rods that go diagonally to the part you push up? Yeah, those lower rods manage to bump against my head every time I'm carrying an umbrella. Maybe I'm just carrying it too low, but if I carry it any higher then it's more unstable, difficult to control, and the area effectively covered by rain lifts up a bit so my feet are getting rained on! So I've been thinking about umbrella design, and I think I may have come up with another way of doing it, but it kinda relies on answering the question of just how strong the fabric-attached rods are. Since my thought wouldn't have any secondary rods, all the strength would have to be in the primaries. I've looked around online and can't find anyone else doing this, so I dunno if that's because it has been tried and found to be inferior or if it simply hasn't been tried yet. Either way, I might have to get a cheap(ish) umbrella for tearing apart to test my theory. I would describe it here, but I can't really put it to words well enough to get the point across effectively -- will have to wait till I have some reasonable modeling program to diagram it with or something.

Monday I walked home. This is normal enough, but what made it note worthy is how I did it. I was sauntering along as normal, when I came to M street and I decided that I should start practicing walking barefooted. So off with the footwear and I started my way home carrying my sandals and setting foot to pavement. 2.3 miles later (my text of 2.5 was just a rough estimate) I figured I may have been somewhat overzealous in my attempt and decided to put my sandals back on. This is where things got real interesting. All the blisters (there were a few) that had built up in that short distance were now even less happy with me once I was no longer walking barefoot. At least originally, they could kinda move around a little in the open. With sandals pressing on them constantly, my feet were not in a pleasant mood.
What I learned was quite interesting, though. For all my life I've walked a bit. I was never the kid who wouldn't go anywhere unless his parents drove him. I have long enjoyed finding my way around town by foot power, either walking or riding my bike. So when I think of walking 5 or 7 miles, I don't really take much note of it. I just set aside some time for the trip and start on my way. Walking barefooted showed me how I've been doing it wrong all these decades. You wouldn't think that something so simple, so basic to human nature, as walking upright could be done 'wrong'. But there it is. Sure, some of the blisters on my feet are from them not being used to the wear of real use. But some are from my form.
I look forward to doing this more, and finally learning how to walk.

Lesse... Sunday was slow, didn't really have much to do. Had tea plans but they were canceled due to illness. Saturday did a few hours of tutoring, ate some tasty lunch food. My student is letting her grade slip a bit, so I mentioned some choice words during the tutoring session trying to get her to pay more attention to the details. She is certainly smart enough, and knows generally what to do, but she's just having so much trouble with minor, trivial, details. Forgetting to completely distribute a negative through when multiplying polynomials is a particularly sticky spot for her. Unfortunately, I really don't know how to learn that stuff other than just "be careful and take your time with it". Seriously, at a certain point it really is just memorization of how to perform the tasks, and practicing enough so that you can finally perform the tasks properly regularly. And it's not like I'm any better at these things. I still have trouble with multiplication of certain numbers, and I still drop a negative every now and then. So I understand where she's coming from, I really do. But sadly I don't have any trick to offer her to make learning these skills any easier. The larger issues, like why we get to simply assume certain constants are 1 or 0 when finding power series solutions to second degree differential equations, I can help with. In fact, that is one of the issues we went over last week and she came out of it feeling better about that topic. She may not have full understanding of the method yet, but she understands enough of what's going on that she can remember the method and apply it correctly when required (which, frankly, is all the understanding one can really hope for at this level -- the student simply doesn't have enough background knowledge of the topics involved to get any more than that). But how to make sure you've not dropped a negative when multiplying polynomials? Other than to serve as a cheerleader when the student gets frustrated, I'm helpless.

Friday I went to a party. Well, sortof. Actually, I went with intent of having a nice discussion with the_misha, which we did for a short while, but there was also a small gathering at his place which it was clear he wanted to be a part of so after some words were said we both resigned to joining in the fun. This wasn't as bad as I'm making it sound, though. There were some people I recognized, and some I didn't. Some conversations that were amusing, and some that I just let go. Also, the lovely aine13 was in attendance and spending time with her is pretty much always a plus in my book. So while Friday didn't wind up quite as I had planned, it was enjoyable and pleasant, and I certainly wouldn't change it one bit.

Comments:

From:boiwondering
Date:21:07 30.Apr.2008 (UTC)
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I did want to be a part of the gathering, but I also wanted to have our conversation. It was, in retrospect, probably not the ideal setting... so, wanna try again in the near future? There can even be tea. ^_^
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From:lograh
Date:21:16 30.Apr.2008 (UTC)
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Of course, I'm always open for chatting. You are the busy one, email me some thoughts on which days/times would work best for you. I'm guessing weekends might be better, so to avoid conflicts with worknight bedtimes, but I'm flexible.
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From:lograh
Date:0:25 03.May.2008 (UTC)
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No need to say anything, you are welcome.
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From:lograh
Date:0:23 03.May.2008 (UTC)
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You can't walk around at night? bummer. There are parts of Sacramento I wouldn't want to walk around during night, either, but it's not too hard to get out of them and to the areas where you can go for a walk.

Polynomials are those fun things in math that involve x, and can have x squared or to some other power as well. Things like x+5 or x^2+5x-7. Note the lack of an = sign, x+5=3 is an equation, not a polynomial. There are other restrictions as well, the Wiki page does a good job of covering them.

remembering to turn off the stove when done. Yes, this is one of those steps in life you just need to remember. Keep practicing till it becomes automatic. It's just a bummer when you're trying to teach this process to someone and that's all you can tell them. There's no trick, no other way to explain it, you just have to make sure you go through all these steps. Those are the least enjoyable to tech and can be the hardest to learn.
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