Friday, August 18, 2006

a trip of a lifetime

I must make amends or not having posted in a great long while. Three things have and will prevent me from doing so for the foreseeable future:
I must finish writing certain sections of my master's thesis. In particular, I need to expand on earlier sections and go back through several months of research to reinforce a section on an algorithm I developed for altering synthetic speech timing.
The main harddisk on m computer suffered a catastrophic failure yesterday. By design I kept my files on the auxiliary HDD, so it was not a mortal blow to my ability to satisfy the previously mentioned goal. However, since it contained the boot loader and the system files, it could not start my computer without it. Thus I needed to buy a new HDD (with the same amount of memory, now half the price), install it in my computer, install Windows on it with all the tedious stops-and-starts, re-reconfigure my internet connection, and download a copies of the core programs lost before I could get back to work. Once again I conssider myself very fortunate in using only freely-available and gratis software, making this an hour-long process rather than all-day affair. Here's a list of all said vital software: Firefox, VLC Player, CDBurnerXP, GIMP, BitComet and OpenOffice. So one problem, resolved.
It's my birthday today. To celebrate my birthday, I have not acquired any special ceremony and I have longer since been unable to keep the traditional rites of cake, candle and song due to my nomad condition. There is one thing I make it a point to do every year for myself: I try to visit somewhere I have never been before. When I was younger, I tried to DO something I have never done before, a new experience be it physical or psychopharmalogical. With the wisdom of time, it has come to be more important me to go new places, rather than trying to change myself. Last year, I went to the Efteling for my birthday. This is the largest amusement park in the Netherlands and quite a way to resolve a quarter-life crisis. This year, I am going to Paris for the weekend for the first time. I plan to seek out the Mona Lisa, climb the Tour Eiffel and seek philosophy at the Cafe des Phares. If you are there, you can reach me at +31-0614814368. If you are not, I say to you, bon voyage.

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