Category Archives: Tired Rambling

A Short Discussion of Life

What is different?

There are some people who have told me that life is mundane. Once you leave
school, you get into the daily grind of things. Life gets repetitive, work gets
boring, and people all seem to do the same thing over and over again. What is to
differentiate the neverending stream of tedious day to day life? The life of the party,
the life of the free spirit, the life of someone who lives with no regrets even though
in his dreams he regrets every night of his life.

I always thought that this is what life would turn into. I was dreading the day when
I graduated from high school because then what would I do? I would go to college, sure!
But that’s just another round of the daily grind with classes that are much more difficult
than they were in the last round.

But then I thought about the reality of existence, if you will. Although we are all teh same
on a biological level and a chemical level, each one of us has our own personality, our own
hobbies, our own likes and dislikes, our own pasttimes and our own will to think about whatever we please. Knowing this, I have created a small goal for myself: be different.

Being different doesn’t have to be extreme. Some people seem to come to the conclusion that
being different consists of dressing in bold colors and flaunting every wacky thing about one’s personality. What if that’s not being different, though? What if being different is just doing the small things that no one else does. For instance, what if someone actually cared about your day when they asked how you were doing. What if that person standing next to you
on the subway decided to talk to you? What if someone walked tall and proud and seemed
to ignore the troubles that were happening within the world. What if somebody’s sole
goal in life was not to participate in the society that we have created, but by rebelling against it,
change it. This is what I want to do.

The Process

Currently, I sit atop a hill in Dolores park in San Francisco. I am alone. I am on my laptop.
I am typing in vim. I am not smoking, I am not drinking, but merely taking in the atmosphere,
admiring the city, and writing my thoughts on life. I think that this on its own is different.

But it’s also insipiring. As I sit, I realize that life is a very short adventure that each
individual is forced to live. Although there is definitely a pessimistic side to that story,
I think it is in everyone’s best interest to make the best of every event that comes their way. By
doing so, one will unintentionally change the world. For instance, if everyone around you is complaining about the cold weather, be the one to suggest that the cold bring everyone together in the warmth of your own home. It may not seem like a change, per se, but let’s take a moment to analyze it. Each person within that scenario seems to mull within their own depression. Everyone’s sadness is being reflected onto the people around them, making the situation even worse. Although it is definitely easy to give into the sadness and agree with everyone that cold days are indeed something worth complaining about, why not be the one to change everyone’s viewpoint, feelings, and day?

This, I think, is the best way to go about any situation.

The Bigger Picture

Imagine if everyday you went about your daily events in this fashion. Imagine if you looked at
every event and asked yourself what you truly felt, what made you happy, and what you could
do that you wouldn’t regret in the morning. With this viewpoint, life is a neverending adventure
that is to be discovered. You never know whose life you will be able to change by simply being
different. Of course, the difference here is not that you’re boasting your unusually positive spirit, but it is instead that you are being genuine. You are saying what you are actually thinking. That, believe it or not, is one of the rarest traits that I have come across in a person.

If something as simple as picking up trash can start an environmental movement, speaking
and acting in accordance with your thoughts and feelings is more than likely to start
something else. A social revolution perhaps? Maybe., but only if you stick to your goals
and continue to work hard.

The Work

I think that the main determining factor of the success of this life philosophy is not how much
work you put into it, but rather, how passionate you are about the work. As long as you are passionate about being positive, affecting the lives of others, and making an impact in your small world, things will change. If the passion is not there, however, it is quite easy to picture how quickly the kindness will lost its effect.

This is not only true with this particular aspect of life, but it remains true in the world
of careers as well. For instance, a person who is passionate about their work is more likely
to create a unique product that does not yet know its market. A person who is passionate is willing to take more risks when it comes to the development of a product. To them, however, it is not development, but rather the materialization of a dream.

Often times, people say that I have passion. That is what separates me from those around me.
I am passionate about computer science, the world, those that I love, and thoe around me. I
want to make a lasting impact on the world, and I think all of the work described above is
worth the risk of having a very rewarding outcome of a world that was influenced by my actions.

The Outcome

Each person has roughly 85 years to live. During this time, the first eighteen are spent
stuck in a path of life that is predetermined by the governments of our country. Because of this, I believe it is necessary to truly work hard in life. What makes me say this? Let’s put it this way: Hundres of people die every day, but it is only once in a while that you hear of someone actually passing away.

Why? Because this person has made an impact on the world as a whole. Whether it be Michael Jackson, Carl Sagan, or Martin Luther King Jr, these people are remembered long after their passing because their time on earth was not wasted, but very well spent. I think that the moments of their lives that were spent changing the world are the moments that we should all channel into our own lives.

Think about it. If someone spent their entire lives contributing to something as much as Carl Sagan did to the fields of astronomy and astrophysics, the chances of them accomplishing something worthwhile are very, very high. After their death, their accomplishments and contributions to the world will surely be rewarded.

At the age of 19, people have told me that I am too young to be thinking about this. I should
instead be enjoying life, having fun, and doing things that will make for crazy stories in the
future. By this, of course, people mean that I should be socializing, partying, and voiding the
morals that I have upheld for the past 19 years of my life. However, crazy stories don’t have
to fall into the same categories as everyone elses’ stories. How boring would it be if everyones’
crazy stories were nearly identical. For instance, how boring would it be if all people had to
boast about followed the template of last night I got so drunk I did X. Well, although it may not be true, that is what I see. I see a world in which most people do the same thing as one another. Thus, these crazy stories aren’t so crazy afterall. That lack the one thing that would make them crazy: uniqueness.

Thus, I want to be that person with the unique stories. I want to always be able to say that I
have accomplished something that most people have not even thought of accomplishing. I want to say that I’m unique. I want to say that I’m different. If this is done for a long
enough period of time, I believe that it will be a very rewarding experience.

Not only that, though. I believe that I truly will change the world. Because let’s face it,
a world without change is boring. So why not work to turn it into something you will always enjoy?

 

Working From Home

I worked from home for the first time today.

It was actually just because I woke up late, and even then, I had a very, very bad headache. I rolled out of bed, hopped in the shower for 10 minutes, made myself a hot cup of coffee, roamed around in my underwear, and sat down with three toaster waffles and syrup for breakfast. I finished my breakfast within 5 minutes, pulled out my work laptop, and logged on.

It was weird working for home — seeing everyone on GChat who is at the office, where you’re supposed to be, doing things that you’re supposed to be doing. There is an overwhelming sense of guilt. I needed to get something done and fast. I opened up my code and made some changes. All was well. I just had to compile.

Normally, at the office, during compile time I sit around waiting for a good 30 minutes while the entirety of the company’s codebase combines into single executables. I usually just listen to music, read documentation, or tap my fingers. At home, though, it was a whole new experience.

I started the compile, got up, did dishes, made my bed, cleaned the table, got myself another cup of coffee, and then began reading tech news. There was no overwhelming sense of “You should be doing something corporate related”. I chatted with friends, read some documentation, and experimented a little with tools I’ve never used. It was the most fun I’ve had working in a while.

Why? All because it was from home. Granted, as the day went on, I continued this trend, and I think I ended up being a little less productive than I would have normally been because of this. However, I was able to truly get absorbed in my work since there was no pressure to get stuff done. It was a great feeling.

I always thought that working from home sounded like a bad idea. You would get distracted and wouldn’t get much done. My experience was completely different. Although I did get distracted, I got more done around the house than I would have ever gotten done if I was at the office. On top of this, my extra long lunch break was rewarding and delicious. Things just went well.

The only problem with working from home is, well, the fact that you’re at home. I got several requests from coworkers to go to certain locations within the office building to meet or look at something. The problem was that I wasn’t there. It is always a bad thing to tell your coworkers “Sorry! How about tomorrow”, and that was the worst part about working from home.

 

All in all though, it was a great experience. I would highly recommend it atleast once to anyone whose job does not involve a necessary physical presence at the office.

The Big City

When one thinks about big cities, one usually thinks of the people, the cars, the filth. That’s not what I think about. I think about the huge amounts of people who are each doing their own thing, meanwhile being mingled amongst thousands of others who are also doing their own thing. I think about the brilliance of architecture, the beauty of structures, and the fascinating efficiency of public transportation.

The city I am referring to, of course, is none other than San Francisco. I will be spending the next three months living here, and although it has only been a few days, I am loving it here. I wake up in the morning, walk on the balcony of my apartment in Mission Bay, and take a deep breath of the city air as I stare at the beautiful bay and watch the KT go by. I make myself a plate of eggs and a cup of coffee. After, I join the masses on their commute to work via the KT, get off at Embarcadero, and then proceed to work at the Landmark building. It sounds tedious, but it is really beautiful.

There is something amazing about the journey. I am surrounded by thousands of other people who are doing the same exact thing as me. I am surrounded by thousands of people who have never interacted with me, yet they feel my breath, my presence, and my aura. They, however, have no idea who I am. It makes me question who I am.

Words simply cannot describe the feelings that I feel as I walk around a big city. Whether it be the mysteries of public transportation, the beauty of walking home on the Embarcadero, the great feeling of a 5 minute walk to the nearest Safeway, or the unbelievably large amounts of daily interaction with unbelievably large amounts of people. This place is just amazing.

In fact, I really wonder what my purpose was in writing this post. I actually do not think that there was a purpose at all. I really just wanted to spew words about how much I enjoy the big city and how much I enjoy this lifestyle. Being from Temecula, a city where to get anywhere you had to drive, this walk-and-go lifestyle is extremely fascinating to me. Just as when I visited Boston, I am so excited to be here. Every day, I wake up with a smile on my face because I get to experience the Frisco lifestyle.

Will it get old in a few months like my colleagues are telling me? I hope not. At this rate, I will be living here permanently in no time.

 

In short, I love San Francisco and everything it has to offer.

ego sum tristis

I usually can’t stand reading people’s depressing blog posts where they talk about how much they hate life and how much they just wish to move on from their current situations. Well, now it’s my turn to contribute to the massive heap of posts that no one wishes to read.

I broke up with my girlfriend about two weeks ago. It has not been going well at all. I have not been sleeping well, I have not been eating well, and I have developed this cough that is not going away. Overall, life has just been going pretty poorly. I have been trying to keep up with classes, grades, homework, and finals, but it is so easy to lose motivation.

I recently read an article talking about first relationships. I think that it sums up my feelings perfectly. Often times, I just want to fight this feeling and never get into a relationship again, but I know that’s unrealistic, as I’ve always wanted to have someone by my side and my first relationship made me realize that. It was so wonderful.

Unfortunately, things happen. I will spare the details. While I sit and fight this feeling, she quickly fills the void that I left her, which hurts. It hurts more than anything else I have ever experienced. She so quickly threw me away and replaced me with someone else. It hurts.

I really don’t know where I was going with this post. I just wanted to express my feelings in an extremely vague and unspecific way. As the title suggests: I am sad. What else am I to do?

No matter how impossible it may seem, when you’re feeling down, you need to do something to show yourself that you’re worth more than the depression you’re putting yourself through.

Taking Notes in Class

To clear up any confusion before anyone begins to read this post, I am a Computer Science Major at University of California, San Diego. I run Linux as my primary operating system.

As I go from class to class, I often ponder upon the most efficient and effective way to take notes. Why do I ponder this? Because every time I forget something I wish that I could just use a computer function to scan all of my handwritten notes for certain keywords. But I can’t for several reasons.

  1. My handwritten notes are not on a computer
  2. Manually scanning pages of my handwritten notes into a PDF file would take decades
  3. No computer handwriting recognition system can recognize my handwriting.

Because of these three factors, I often ponder upon taking notes on an electronic device; however, what happens when I want to draw pictures or draw fancy symbols or doodle? I can’t if I am not working on a tablet with a decent stylus – and I’m not. I am working on my trusty laptop. Usually, this is enough to convince me that I should just stick to buying a few nice notebooks and keeping all of my notes organized in them. However, next time I need to find something fast, I regret it, as I really want to CTRL+F my notes.

In order to solve this, I looked for a lightweight note editor program for my laptop that had basic organization and markup capabilities. I found ZIM, which is super handy for building a local version of Wikipedia for all topics that interest you. I used this program for a good 20 weeks. Everything worked great and I acquired a vast amount of notes in many subjects that covered a range of topics. The problem arose; however, when I wanted to use vim keystrokes.

Writing in ZIM is great, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes you just want to be able to write faster. You don’t have time to reach over to the enter key for a newline. You don’t have time to press end to get to the end of the line. You want something faster. In order to solve this, I gave up writing in ZIM’s editor and used vim instead. Of course, I acquainted myself with ZIM’s markup syntax so I could still read my notes from ZIM, but I no longer wanted to use their proprietary environment. Instead, I stuck with my handy-dandy vim.

All was well in my note-taking world. That is, until someone asked for a copy of my notes. They were a mess if you didn’t have ZIM installed. Markup syntax everywhere that made the file almost unreadable to the untrained eye. I needed someway to share this file with my friend while retaining the beauty of its marked up design. The closest markup language I found was Markdown, the internet standard for marking up documents.

I could write all of my notes in markdown and then save them to a GitHub repo and then everyone could access my notes all the time and I could edit them and then push the changes and then everything would be great. In fact, that’s exactly what I did. I setup a repo and began writing my notes in Markdown. The only problem was that I had no way of converting my old notes from ZIM to Markdown. Thus, zimdown was born.

zimdown is my own personal solution to converting ZIM markup files into Markdown. It is not complete, but it will allow me to continue writing my notes in ZIM markup, view them locally in ZIM, and convert them into markdown to push to my GitHub repo for public viewing. Sound like a pain? It probably will be.

Why do I write notes like this? All because I don’t want to let go of my precious vim and I don’t want to use a heavy solution like Evernote. I think it is worth it. What are your thoughts?