There was something I was going to complain about, but I forget. There's something else I'm going to complain about, though, and it's evangelists. Specifically, how all well-adjusted people despise this particular brand of person. Today on the Submarine a visitor-pig asked a few questions and got a few responses from me in the control room. He said something along the lines of, "you guys are doing a great job, here's a tip!" He hands me and my coworker Gamer a tiny replica $10 bill, and on the back are some clever trusims, to wit:
A bed BUT NOT sleep
Books BUT NOT brains
Food BUT NOT appetite... etc.
Blah de dah, no big revelation to anyone who's spent more than a few miniutes of their lives in self-examination. Then we get to the kicker religious crap, "What money can't buy, Jesus Christ can give freely without charge. Is He your Lord and Saviour?"

Whoa, hold on a minute, slick. If you don't have, oh, let's say brains, and you buy books to try and improve your brain, you will fail. But Jesus Christ can make you smarter? Hungry? Sleepy? If I were a religious kind of guy, I'd find this kind of depressing. Gamer, who's very religious (wears a cross necklace, listens to gospel music in car), gets the heeby-jeebies from these nutbars too. I think it's the absolute unthinking unblinking certainty in something that by it's very nature cannot be proven to exist that gets to me. God is the greatest logical falicy there is, and I just can't understand why you would want to base your entire worldview on something so nebulous.


Harumph - every web browser I've tried using the past few days has been acting up, crashing at random and doing other unsavory things. Is it possible that there's something dirty in my U of A campus network connection?

Read The Cryptonomicon. It's a long story, but so well written that you won't notice. Also, I desire the weather to continue to become colder. I need the practice, you see, for a brief December sojurn back home to the Mountain State. Aisling and I have timed the trip to coincide with the release of The Return of the King so that we may share the experience with our Tolkien-fiend father. I can hardly wait to pack up and go somewhere.


There was indeed snow on the ground in certain parts of New York, which made our journey to Ithaca all the more entertaining. Good bagels, too.

For everyone attending a place of higher education, these last few weeks will be a close approximation to the waiting room for Hell. You know, intellectually, that the end is near, but there's so much shit to wade through in the meantime that you'd almost rather not exist at all. And someone here at the University of Anytown has made me their real and permanent enemy. This person is responsible for putting up Christmas decorations a week ago. Christmas decorations? What other clever, sick ways will they find to torture us?

My calculus teacher said today, in effect, "you need to teach yourselves this information." I almost laughed out loud.


Well, the DOOM is over with. Knowing that it is no longer mathematically possible for me to earn the required grade in Calculus is kind of disappointing (yes, I'm sure I did that poorly), and it also seems intolerably cruel. If someone fires a missile at my ship, I won't have ten minutes to work out my own intercept vector; a peice of simple software will have it done for me in a fraction of a second, another one will check it over, and a third will update it constantly so that my firing solution is always accurate.

But there's no point in me jabbering on about this horrid non-sense. There are reports that in certain areas of the North East there is actual Snow falling from the sky, as though that's what it was supposed to be doing all along. I can hardly wait for an accumulation...


The Time of DOOM approaches. This Calculus test will end me, and I'm starting to think that I should have just chucked caution and gone for Total Burnout, that weird energy that you only get when it's been a high number of hours since you last slept and you've lost all hope of recovering any sense of self. You begin, for instance, to italicise indiscriminantly, which is not good for anyone. But your mind is free to act in ways that are not possible when it's properly adjusted to the external social pressures we're accustomed to, which can be an important advantage when one is dealing with something as gnarly as resolving vectors into norms and calculating related rates.



Madness. This hideous form of mental torture known as Calculus threatens to end my career - all Midshipmen must pass Calc 1&2 with a C- or better, which I am well on my way to not doing. Every minute of my day from 0600 to 2300 is full of something terribly important, all leading up to this weekend when our Unit drill team traverses an untold number of miles to Cornell University in search of fame and glory. I'm probably experiencing the closest thing to stress that I ever do, and all I can do for now is consume this aluminum-wrapped energy beverage and hope it balances out the fact that I'm running on two hours of real sleep and might might get another six before I collapse into my pillow approximately 31 hours from this moment.

I must really be a deep-seated masochist, though, because this is fun as hell.


Also, I know that this won't matter in the long run, but I just want to point out that I in no way whatsoever support the RNC or our !President's "compassionate conservative agenda." I don't know where Google gets off making these sorts of connections.
Last night I did absolutely nothing, and it was everything I thought it could be. Seriously, one of my roommates told me this afternoon following our Navy/Marine Corps Birthday ceremony, "I have a hard time keeping track of what you're always running off to do." I laughed and said "yeah, I'm pretty... busy." He said, "Yeah, but at least your life is interesting."

It is. You know, with everything we put up with, everything we're asked to do and the standards we have to perform to, our lives as Midshipmen are very interesting. Quite a bit more so than your standard-fare college kid, I'd dare to say.


Today, oweing to the unseasonably warm weather, I convinced my Psych T.A. to hold our recitation out of doors on the grass in front of one of our Learning Buildings. Yellow leaves fell as we discussed Skinner and behaviourism, the sun shone into our eyes, and the only thing that could possibly have ruined it did; time progressed to the point where I was required to attend my work study, in the basement of some other building where I could not see this pure blue sky. Ah well, we are never in control of our circumstances.

"Soft Serve" is the perfect song for a beautiful day. Perfect.