Thursday, November 11, 2010

Recently

  1. I thought that the return to my beloved Standard Time was going to solve all my problems. It didn't.

  2. Kitchen is done. I threw a party. It was not lame. I have so much leftover alcohol. Taking advantage of my basement being damp (a big floody hole in the ground) and cool, I have moved all the leftover wine into my "wine cellar."

  3. Heading to New Orleans this weekend. Going to be in Germany the week after that. Then I'm going to New York.

  4. Statistics involves a formula that is based on a symbol named π. In the MATLAB code that the professor sent us it appears that π is the real number that represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. In the slides from some talk he gave at a conference almost four years ago, π seems to be based on the number of terms in the model, the number of observations, and the determinant of some matrix. (His lecture style has devolved to opening a random slide deck from his hard drive and reading it to us. Recently we've seen two unrelated conference talks from the past and a lesson he gave his Intro-level undergraduate course.) In email, the professor claims that the constant value near 3.14 is the one to use. Unclear why this value should appear in the calculation of a statistic, especially as it appears as nln(2π) + other terms, where n is the number of observations. I am wondering if some complex-valued function was integrated behind the scenes? But why would that be hidden from us when the freakin' limsup and the frobenius norm played prominent roles in the past two lectures? This class is so puzzling.

  5. Stats professor is using information criteria that are all kinds of crazy and are not in JMP or SAS or SPSS whatnot, so he told us that we can use any software that we want. (He wants us to use MATLAB.) I am going to use R because R can do crazy.

  6. My theory of being kitchenless being the only factor leading to my recent weight loss appears not to be the whole story. Kitchen has been functional for a few weeks now. As of this morning I was down to 109.6 pounds. (I am 5'5" tall.)

  7. Not unrelated: A lot of my pants don't fit any more, so I have bought some cheap pants at Old Navy until I can catch up on eating more cake. Today I bought a very cheap pair of khaki pants at the urging of The Man. On Monday night there is some sort of hoopla, and everyone is supposed to wear khaki pants and a polo shirt with our institution's logo embroidered on it. I do not own such a polo shirt, as no one has ever approached me about how one would be acquired. Even if I owned such a shirt, I would be reluctant to wear it because I do not belong to the demographic that wears khaki pants and polo shirts. I'd like to see the Broader Impacts(tm) of group cohesion having some more fashionable options. But all of the middle-aged white guys seem to be perfectly content with the khaki pants + polo shirt combination.

  8. Today my boss sent out some sort of email about the system going down and not coming back up for a long time and a team of engineers being called in to look at it. We will hope that the vender will provide good service because next week everyone will be asking my boss how well things are going with this hardware.

  9. Hair is remarkably close to its natural color. Do not have the energy to deal with this. The only plus side of this is that I can cancel a color appointment without it looking too bad. A mix of brown and grey roots doesn't look that bad with brown hair compared to brown and grey roots with brightly colored hair. I may need to switch a future color appointment to a longer block of time and get the hair blonded. Or pinked. Or I could stop getting it colored and go with brown + grey.

  10. On Tuesday I ended up in a yarn panic and bought too much yarn. Just in case. Have not yet cast on a single stitch. Only mildly related: Still considering buying a sock-knitting machine. Thinking of getting one that takes really, really fine gauge wool yarn. Like making socks that are 96 stitches around instead of the usual 64.

  11. I'm back on the caffeinated coffee in hopes that it will mask the problems that my beloved Standard Time has not solved. I think I may have bought myself a few days of functionality, but I suspect that this will not last. I'm hoping that any crash will be hidden in the holiday madness coming up in December and then that the post-solstice return of the light will fix everything. Just like how the return of my beloved Standard Time was supposed to fix everything.