journal for 2003-05-15


I didn’t feel like going to the gym, yesterday, so I went cycling after dinner. I rode down to the tow path and then headed west toward Allentown. This is one of my traditional evening bike trails.

It was pretty meh, but I only blame my own lame timing and preparation. The two big problems were geese and gnats, both of which irritate the hell out of me. There were a lot of gnats. I can live with some gnats, but this was pretty gross.

I have hairy arms, and the gnats get caught in my arm hair. At one point, I looked down and actually yelled out in horror; I was covered in little black bugs. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to get them off of me. Unfortunately for them, it involves a lot of smacking and wiping.

The geese are more annoying, especially this time of year, when they’ve got their goslings with them. I stopped once when there was a family of geese just meandering over to the canal. They were nearly there when a bunch of rowdy kids on BMX bikes (ugh) zoomed by, wooping and hollering. On one hand, it’s nice to see the geese getting yelled at. On the other hand, grow up!

Later, I came around a curve and saw a goose family in my path. I could’ve easily missed them, but I figured I’d just stop and not scare the hell out of them. This involved jamming on my brakes, which led to skidding, spinning, and spilling. Ouch. I took a moment to determine whether I broke my arm (I didn’t, but it still feels funny) and then looked up. The geese were hissing at me. I know animals are stupid, but that sucks.

My new decision is this: I need an airhorn to blast at geese. I’m not sure what effect it will have, though.

I didn’t want to encounter any more of these obnoxious creatures on the way home, so I didn’t head back on the tow path. I swung up behind the whatever factory across from the Allentown end of the path and cut through Allentown onto Hamilton. Hamilton at 1745 is not a great place to cycle, so I wove back and forth onto side streets and rode on the sidewalk for a while. Around Stahleys, I felt OK staying on the road, and I just rode home.

I didn’t end up feeling covered in sweat, either, which was nice. I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t actually work enough or what, but I felt relatively good about it. Cycling is fun, even when it’s annoying.

the matrix

Gloria and I got invited to see Matrix Reloaded with Shawn (from work) but he ended up being unable to go. Doh. Well, we were able and we did so. We caught the 2200 showing at the Hoyts Saucon Valley. It was packed, but we were the first people there (by several minutes) and sat front-row center. (To be honest, it was the front row of the stadium seats; there were two more rows a bit closer.)

The movie was OK. It had some good fights, though sometimes I felt like they could have been shorter. (If they took two minutes off three of the fights, they could’ve added two more short fights. More but shorter is OK with me!) The special effects were usually good, but there were quite a few times when it was amazingly obvious that they were rendering characters. Their surfaces and curves were just too smooth. It’s nice that you can render sin waves, but don’t use them to form the edges of Neo’s coat, OK?

There was also a lot of kissyface, which I could’ve done without, especially the big Orgy In Zion scene.

The thing that really made me go, “Eh,” was all the freaking metaphysical wankery. “You see, Neo, you have already made your choice. Now understand your choice. Then, cause your choice’s effects, which you will understand only when the end is the beginning.” It wasn’t vague hand-waved ideas that we could understand as the backdrop for the Matrix. It wasn’t clever misdirection. It was like Waking Life, a movie made by people who think they’re much smarter than they are, or at least much more eloquent.

Still, it was OK.


Answering questions on raif and playing around with rewriting Suspended is making me much more savvy about Inform’s library. A lot of people have talked about how arcane and scary it is. They’re right.

I think that I’ll gain a full level when I fundamentally understand NounDomain.

In the meantime, I at least understand parsing and scoping much more.

Written on May 15, 2003