I have seen the Internet and it is full of spam

For what amounts to a personal blog with a pretty small readership I seem to get a lot of spammers in the comments. I was emptying out the comments filter this morning and ran across these nuggets:

Symptoms of flu…

That was it. Very ominous. Or maybe it was referencing how the other comments feel.

I conceive the articles here is very excellent.

*System error. English teacher subroutine failing. Grammar? Very yes.*

Then the best one of all: three identical comments from different “people” declaring:

Does it look like some of these remarks look like written by brain dead individuals?

You don’t say!

Some Quick Thoughts on the Move

The radio silence here lately has been due to the big move that took place this week. Last Friday we packed up our lives in Oregon and hit the road for Los Angeles. The move itself happened over three days: one day to pack, two to drive. We unpacked the truck on the last day of driving. I’m happy to say that a week after starting the process we’re finally settling in. Getting the bulk of our stuff unpacked helped. As did discovering that my desk did still exist under all the boxes.

Ok, fine: getting the internet back plays a big part. I know, I’m addicted. Whatever.

Now that I’ve confronted one of my shortcomings I wanted to jot down a few things.

– First, a big thanks to all the folks who helped us move!

– Surprising is the wrong word, but I can’t think of the right one to use: I’m surprised by how much OR was home. I mean, I knew I was going to be hit pretty hard by leaving the people there (and I was right), but the surprise lies in how much I liked the physical place. This isn’t meant to reflect on how I feel about LA though. The two places are too vastly different to really compare. Besides, I haven’t been here long enough to form an opinion. The real point is just that I hadn’t realized how far we’d gone in making OR home. The lingering end point to graduate school obscured that more than I realized. So, yeah. I miss it.

– All of that said, I don’t miss the allergens. It’s really good to breath.

– The southern portion of I5 is boring. Sooo boring. Unless you’re driving through construction in a big moving truck. Things get exciting real fast.

– I’m not sure how it happened, but we ended up having to return the truck to a spot with basically no parking and a broke down minivan half blocking the rental place’s “driveway.” I distinctly recall looking at this place on street view and thinking “nope!” Somehow (through whatever glitch of the truck rental online reservation service) I ended up having to go there anyway. My dad took it all in stride though. His thought process was basically “you got the insurance, right?” That was shortly followed by him pulling out into traffic. Type 2 fun if ever I’ve had it.

– The best line I heard during the move was as follows – HP: Would you like some lemonade? DP: No Thanks. The only liquids I take in are coffee, beer, and water.

– One of the biggest things that’s taking some getting used to is the fact that protected left hand turns are an endangered species down here. I think they’ve been hunted off like elephants. When I find one I keep expecting someone who looks like Teddy Roosevelt to be lurking with a blunderbuss behind the nearest tree.

– My mind works in mysterious ways.

– Some people smash fingers or toes moving. Some cut themselves. Some fall out of moving trucks. Some do all of these things at the same time. I may dally in these other activities, but my real skill lies in ramming my head into whatever object happens to be nearby… and then doing it a second time for good measure.

– I’m finding it very hard to come to terms with being done with my degree. That doesn’t mean I’ve been sitting around doing research. I’m done with the degree, not with being burnt-out. What this all translates into is a weird sense of guilt that permeates my free moments. Luckily (I guess) there those have been in short supply during the move.

– I’ve been battling the guilt by reading Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail. It’s doing wonders. It’s also a good fix for being incredibly tired of the current campaign season and all of its nuances.

More on that and more blogging in general later I hope.

Links 7/6/12

Here’s a backlog of stuff I’ve been meaning to link:

– I came across an old article form the Atlantic by  Paul Fussel after his death was announced back in May. Warning: It’s a bit of a gruesome read. Given its subject matter – getting past the propaganda and examining the World War II without rose colored glasses – it needs to be. Here’s the link.

– An article on Stephen Hawking’s lost bet about Higgs boson over at MSNBC.

– Lynn Parramoore Alternet has an interesting article about job insecurity as a new American epidemic and the health problems that’s causing. It’s an intriguing subject and I know a lot of hard working people working under this sort of stress.

– Ages back Io9 ran some pictures of Pittsburg in the 1940s and 50s. I’ve tried to think of how to describe it, but it all sounds lame when I type it. You’re better of just taking a look for yourself.

– Finally, in the irony category: Karl Marx on a MasterCard.

What I’ve been up to…

Things have been a bit busy lately and I thought a quick update was in order. So, what’s been going on? Nothing big.

I suppose I did graduate with my PhD and got all the pomp, circumstance, and fancy hats that comes along with it. As did C (though the outfit looked better on her). The best part about it was having so many of our family and friends here to celebrate.

I also went to Santa Cruz for some job training for my new job.

The training was pretty interesting and I had a lot of fun wandering around Santa Cruz in my free hours. The best bit was the early morning four mile run I along the bike path where the picture above was taken (though the picture’s from the evening before).

I made some friends while I was there.

They didn’t get to go to the training session though.

The rest of the brief trip to CA was spent visiting family and moving firewood. My parents had to cut down some trees on their property since they were endangering the house. Saying these trees were big is a bit of an understatement. Let’s just say I got there after a lot of the work was done and I still spent about four or five hours moving the wood my dad was going to keep. He ended up giving the biggest tree away to some guys willing to cut it and move the logs themselves. Still, I was happy to help though and I only dropped a wheelbarrow on my ankle once! That was enough to convince me not to do it again. Guess that means the PhD is paying off.

A funny thing happened this morning…

I woke up and was a doctor.

Strange though it seems to me, I successfully defended my dissertation yesterday. As I posted on various social media outlets:

(To this day this I think of the victory fanfare from FF IV at times of success. I played that game a lot when I was a kid.)

This isn’t to say that it’s all done. I have line edits to complete. I also have the rest of the school term to get through. Most importantly C still has her defense coming up so I’m still a bit anxious on her part. (She’s going to absolutely rock it, of course. Her committee will get to do what I do just about every day, which is go “damn, that is one smart woman!” They will not, however, get to add my next thought: “And I’m married to her!” Sorry C’s committee, you just gotta deal.)

Another funny thing was happened this morning:

I got a copy of the journal that just published an article I wrote in the mail!

Seriously, this morning was pretty awesome.