Powerpuff Wil

Mucking about in boats

This past weekend, ladymondegreen and I went to Northampton to visit my mother.

On Saturday, since it was a gorgeous day, Mom and her boyfriend G. suggested we go canoeing. This seemed like an entertaining prospect, so we agreed.

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  • Current Mood
    exhausted wet (in retrospect)
Powerpuff Wil

A day out

ladymondegreen is in Boston this weekend, so I'm home by myself. Usually when I'm home alone I end up sitting around all weekend not doing anything, but that seemed like a bad idea, so I decided to get out today for a change.

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  • Current Mood
    happy exhausted but happy
Powerpuff Wil

Nine months since my last post, and it's a meme?

This meme's going around, and in the process of discussing it with ladymondegreen I somehow started coming up with answers...

Name a CD you own that no-one else on your friends list does.
Echoes and Shadows: Romantic Choral Music of Twentieth Century American Composers.
This was one of the last CDs from Pro Gloria Musicae, the record company of my dear friend Gabe Wiener who died completely unexpectedly in 1997.

It was to be the first of a new series, the Ars Nova imprint, featuring more modern (twentieth century) music instead of the Renaissance and Baroque-era works he'd always done before.

Name a book you own that no-one else on your friends list does.
The Universal History of Numbers, by Georges Ifrah. I'm probably the only person on my friends list geeky enough in the right way to find this fascinating.

Name a movie you own on DVD/VHS/whatever that no-one else on your friends list does.
Do I own any movies? (Goes to check.) Not very many. The one DVD I have is Troma Films's The Toxic Avenger. Note that I did not actually buy this -- I won it (dubious prize) in a raffle run by the Columbia Science Fiction Society. Hopefully no one else out there has felt the need to acquire it...

Name a place that you have visited that no-one else on your friends list has.
Consensus on the meme seems to be that answers like "my grandmother's house" or "the high school I went to" are cheating.

So I'm going to pick something which might not be true, but if it is, will almost certainly continue to be for the forseeable future: the U.S.S.R.
  • Current Music
    agrumer coming up with various clever ideas
Powerpuff Wil

Twenty-five years of formal education, done

(Or twenty-eight years, if you count Montessori school.)

I deposited my thesis with the dissertation office a little over an hour ago. I got in return a letter saying

January 29, 2004

To Whom It May Concern:

This letter certifies that Mr. (A.K.A. Wil) completed all requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at (This University).

The Ph.D. will be conferred on February 11, 2004.

So that's it, then. They send one of my two-copies-on-acid-free-paper-20-lb-weight- 25-percent-rag-content-pure-white photocopies of the final printout to those people in Michigan to be microfilmed, and stick the other one in the library stacks (where no one will ever look at either one). I'm done.

No more student discounts for me.

I also put a copy of it up on my web page, where it'll get into Google and CiteSeer, i.e. potentially this is the copy people will actually read. Those of you who know my web page (or my real name and how to use Google) can take a look...

  • Current Music
    Office computers humming
Powerpuff Wil

This Friday, 10 a.m.

They attack, and thus, I defend.

Two points:
1. Whoever heard of people in Computer Science doing anything at 10 a.m.?
2. Aiiiiiiieeeeeee.
  • Current Music
    For some reason, Captain Jack and the Mermaid, in my head.
Powerpuff Wil

My goodness, it seems to be a thesis

So yesterday, I was meeting with my adviser. I told him all the fiddly little things that still needed to be done on my thesis -- write an acknowledgments section, for instance, or figure out why the formatting was wrong in the table of contents.

"Don't worry about that," he said. "Send it to the committee."


So I printed it out, made five photocopies of the thing, and mailed them / stuck them in mailboxes of the committee.

Which I guess means that the thesis is done. There'll still be tweaks to do, and some continuing work I'm doing might make it in before the deposit version, but ... wow.

I seem to have written a dissertation. How'd that happen?
  • Current Music
    WFUV barely audible from the bedroom
Powerpuff Wil

Brief life of a kitten

A week ago, my mother called me. She was very happy; she'd just gotten two new kittens, which she named Walter and Benjamin, to keep company of her beloved eighteen-year-old cat Paul.

Just as ladymondegreen and I got home tonight, she called in tears. As she was going to bed, she heard some noisy ruckus -- very different from the kittens' playful wrestling. She got out of bed to investigate, and discovered Benjamin bleeding heavily, apparently from a bite on the neck. She tried to bandage it, and called the vet emergency line, but there was apparently nothing she could do; the kitten had died.

She doesn't know exactly what killed him. There was some strange black fur around, like none of her cats. She has a cat door, which things have come in before, but this was upstairs, far from where the food is; I don't know why any intruder animals would be up there.

The other kitten Walter is, according to mom, still very confused, trying to nuzzle the other kitten's body, or clean up the blood. Mom has put Benjamin's body in a cardboard box; she doesn't seem to know yet what she's going to do with it. I hope she buries him in the yard with our other cat, Rosa, who died three years ago...I imagine she will.

The kittens loved to wrestle with each other, and to sleep in front of the computer monitor, pushing the keyboard off the desk. I was very much looking forward to meeting them...

I really hope Mom's going to be okay.
  • Current Mood
    shocked shocked
Powerpuff Wil

Plan of attack

My dear sweetie ladymondegreen has now graciously kicked my ass, and made me think about what I want.

I do want to finish the Ph.D. Basically - because I feel that by this point I've earned it. It's been slow, but I have done a good amount of good work. I haven't solved all the world's problems, but that's not what I need to do.

My main problem is finishing things. I've got 80-90% of the work done on a number of good things. If I push myself, I can finish them.

As a first step, LMG is telling me to write out a plan of what I want to do tomorrow. I'm putting it out here, so I can be subject to public ridicule if I don't accomplish it. (This helps.)

So, tomorrow: see Prof. N. and Prof. K. about what they think about my situation. (These are two other professors in the department, on my thesis committee, from whom I can get second, or nth, opinions about my status. I've heard opinions that my advisor is asking me to do too much.)

Assemble the various papers, and other written material, that I think would make up a thesis. This is just a rough cut at this point, but the idea is to see just how much substance there is there.

And, things not to do: reading anything non-work-related while at work. This includes but is not limited to the GCC mailing lists, FreeBSD mailing lists, fanfic, web boards for discussion of fanfic, Usenet, LiveJournal, or Slashdot. Or the novel I have with me.

Let's see if this works.