[the field of] Infinite Potential

I’m free flowing my writing tonight. We’ll see how much sense it makes. My dad has encouraged me to listen to Deepak Chopra. He is a western medicine educated Indian who beecame disillusioned with the poor success rates of western medicne. Determined to fuse the best of the West and East he went back to his native country to study the medical practices there. The final result is a fondue of Western Medicine, Quantum Mechanics, ancient Indian teachings, and Eastern Medicine. His books are part motivational and part practical. Sometimes they just offer plain and simple advice – eating such and such a food with such and such a quantity is shown to reduce the chance of disease X. Other times they are more metaphysical in nature.

One topic which permeates is the concept of the field of pure potentiality or infinite potential. This has a Quantum Mechanical meaning and a metaphysical meaning, but they are both different sides of the same coin. Quantum Mechanics says that this field is the source of all of the energy in the universe and that all objects are linked through it. A chair is the energy vibrating at one energy level while a human is another vibration. I wrote about this long ago in Eric’s Binary World 1.0. The metaphysical meaning is that the field of pure potentiality is another manifestation of God because God is the source of all energy. At any rate, by accessing the field of pure potentiality one is able to unlease their true destiny and infinite potential as a “spiritual being with ocassional physical experience.”

Right now I feel as if *I* am the field of infinite potentiality. Like Schrodinger’s cat we don’t know yet if I’ve been fed or not. (killed or not – depending on the version you read) Right now there are an infinite number of future paths for me when I graduate from Cornell. There are an infinite amount of paths because I have yet to choose one. Once I choose one, I have one path and all others cease to exist. Think of it as a highway system where once you transfer to another highway (say from I-80 to I-95) you cannot go back. It does not mean that there will not be future opportunities to switch highways, but all the ones you did not choose are forever lost. I have no idea where I’ll be once I graduate other than the USA. Each job I have applied to and am waiting for answers from is in a completely different place. I might be in DC, Arizona, Florida, NYC, or NY State. I might have a more technical job or a more managerial job. Right now I have absolutely no idea. I know where I want to be in a few years, but I have no idea where I’ll be in three months. It’s a very weird feeling.

It’s these infinite possibilities which make it so hard to plan for the future. To plan for the future implies some certainty about future events. Without this certainty, it becomes impossible to plan. For example, what is the best strategy for moving my stuff out of college? It all depends on where I am. If I’m in Florida then my parents may want to drive up with vans. If I’m in DC, they can just fly up and rent some vehicles here. If I’m in Ariona…well, I have no idea what that would bring.

This is such a unique time in my life. I had many choices to make in the past, but life was mostly linear, like a video game RPG. They can build in a few little things here and there to make each experience slightly unique, but you still have to do certain events in certain orders to save the world. I knew I had to get into a good college and so my life was actually pretty steady since just before I started middle school. However, now I have no idea. It may come to pass that I am given the opportunity to reduce my choices from infinity down to one or two by this week. I hope it happens.

As you know, humans can only take so much uncertainty in their lives. Pure certainty is boring – no one wants that. I certainly don’t want to know every intimate detail of the day because it’s exactly the same as the last. However, a certain degree of that certainty is necessary. I like to know that I’ll be eating between 6 and 8pm on most days. I like to know that every week day I have classes to attend. I also like uncertaintly and spontenaity such as deciding out of nowhere to drive to Syracuse. However, and I think most people feel the same way, I like my balance to be tilted in favor of certainty. Perhaps even something like 70/30 certainty to uncertainty is what I like.

I’m not afraid of anything, don’t get me wrong. I believe (and therefore know) that my God has a plan for me which will be the optimal choice for me. If I end up at company A instead of company B, there is a reason for it and that reason will be made manifest when the time is right. I simply grow weary of day after day of uncertainty.

Why Mandrakesoft bought Conectiva

A while back I posted that Mandrakesoft had bought Conectiva and changed its name to Mandriva. What I didn’t both researching at the time was the reason for this move. Apparently, Conectiva made the most popular commercial distribution of Linux in Latin America. In fact, it had contracts with the Brazilian army and navy, as well as others. Looks like they actually made a really good purchase!

More OS-Tan Info

I was left wondering about these OS-Tans. Here’s some extra information I picked up:
To see some of the comics translated go to: http://www.otakubell.com/os-girls/
to see a little movie that parodies the beginning of an anime go to: http://ironfrost.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/.

Decriptions from Answers.com, This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “List of OS-tans”.
Go there to see pictures, but here are the descriptions they had:

The OS girls


Windows ME

The more cutesy personification of the much maligned and infamously unreliable Windows ME OS, ME-tan’s appearance rarely varies and was the first OS-tan created, by the one now called ‘ME-aki’. She is instantly recognizable; she has green hair in long pigtails and wears a maid outfit with a ! badge on the front in the spirit of the Windows yellow error icon. ME-tan is a hard worker and always wants to help her master (Toshiaki), but predictably fails at everything she tries to do, and often literally crashing and irritating her sisters. When she is not frozen or out of control, she tends to do things showing a lack of common sense or knowledge, such as putting soda into a microwave oven or attempting to kill people by swinging a scallion (see below). In spite of, or perhaps due to, her pitiful plight, the clumsy ME-tan is one of the most beloved OS girls.

Windows XP Pro
Windows XP Home

XP is a sexy, dark-haired girl wearing the XP logo as a hair ribbon. As XP is sometimes criticized for bloating a system and being very pretty without being equally as useful, XP-tan wears very little and has large breasts. Also, as XP uses up large amount of memory, XP-tan eats a lot, usually holding a large empty bowl with the word “memory” on it, but still requests more. A rare variant that represents XP Home features a more reserved look, akin to 2K Pro-tan. She has XP shaped hairclips instead of a ribbon, and tends to wear her hair up in a short ponytail. An even rarer variant, for XP Media Center Edition, has short hair and small earrings in the style of XP Professional’s hairclip.

Windows 2000

A few variants exist, but the most common is Win2K Professional. She is typically drawn as an intelligent, professional, reserved looking woman with short blue hair, glasses, and hairclips that resemble cat ears flanking a small white bonnet or ruffle, similar to maid’s hairclip, that shows the windows logo. Her outfit resembles a swimsuit suggesting the Windows logo colors, and she wears a long coat. This is thought to reflect the opinion that Windows 2000 is the most stable, dependable, and balanced system. She is characterized as the “dependable woman” among the OS-tans and one of the domain controllers. Because of the greater stability of Win2K compared with WinME, which was released near 2K, 2K-tan is often described as a guardian of ME-tan. The blue in the picture is close to the default Windows 2000 desktop colour.

Windows 95

95, being an older version of “modern” Windows, is usually represented as a traditional lady from the early modern era of Japan. She is a gentle-looking brown haired woman in a kimono, with a hair ribbon showing the four Windows colors. The pattern of her kimono is based off the file “hana256.bmp,” which was used as a desktop wallpaper pattern in the Japanese version of Windows. Moreover, the color of the big ribbon on her head imitates the logo of four colors of Windows. Her costume is a traditional kimono and a hakama of Japan, and she wears thick sandals (geta or zori?) on her feet. These are women’s college student’s typical clothes as seen in the earliest period during the course of the modernization in Japan (from the Meiji period to the Taisho period), and the cultural background for the comparison of the modernization of Windows to modernization of Japan is seen there.

Her most common activities are drinking tea, serving meals or doing other housework. One recurring theme is her unfamiliarity with newer, post Win-95 technologies, such as USB devices and broadband internet connections. She is also occasionally depicted wielding a katana in an aggressive manner, symbolizing that it was her generation of operating systems that Microsoft finally achieved full dominance of the personal computer market. One comic strip shows her talking to other OS-tans about beating up the Mac girls; and 95 is commonly portrayed with an overwhelming hatred of the Macintosh OS Tans.

Because Mozilla Firefox is incompatible with Windows 95, several OS-tan four-panel comics have been made portraying other OS-tans encouraging 95-tan to “think in Russian!” and 95-tan’s inability to internalize the Russian language enough to accomplish this.

Windows 95 OSR 2.5

The last patched version of 95, Windows 95 OSR 2.5, resembles the first but has shorter hair, and outfits are black and dark coloured versions of 95’s. She also has a more extroverted personality. She also seems to regard 98-tan as a rival, and is sometimes seen wearing a black skirt, black gloves, and a white sleeveless shirt like 98, but with a red tie and black 95 style bow.

98 and 98SE
Windows 98
Windows 98SE
Windows 98’s Mech
Windows 98SE’s Mech

Many variants exist; however, the most common are a pair of young girls. The First Edition of 98 has a white and blue uniform, navy blue hair with a clip shaped like “98” and has a windows logo as part of a necktie. The 98 Second Edition mascot normally has grey-blue hair and a green sailor school uniform with the letters SE on the front.

Two early versions that continue to be used alongside the girls are a pair of stick-limbed snack-boxes with a face and version number drawn in crayon, based on the ‘Vulcan 300’ toy that appeared in the anime series Konjiki no Gash Bell!! (Zatch Bell!). In the very early days before the designs of the primary OS-tans had settled, generic stick-limbed boxes were often used as placeholders; there had been instances of small DOS and Windows 3.11 boxes before other designs gained popularity. Both girls now make regular use of these as ‘mechanical suits’. The ‘mech-box’ used by 98 is blue in colour, and likewise the 98SE mech-box has a green theme. The mechs are sometimes shown as guardians or friends to the 98-tans, otherwise the two girls can be seated inside them as pilots. The box sizes can vary, ranging from doll-like when carried by the girls to taller than an adult when they ride inside them.

While both are fairly shy girls, 98SE is seen hiding in her mech-box a lot more often.


This character is not very common. She usually has the purple hair and the pink dress seen here, but her age can range from child to adult. Sometimes she is also portrayed as the mother of 2K-tan.

Another version, Windows NT Workstation, also exists and has recently been more common than the original NT-tan, at least on the Futaba image boards. “NT” has the romaji representation of “enu ti”—this sounds a lot like “inu ti”, and “inu” is the Japanese word for dog. Inu-T has blue hair, dog ears, a dog’s tail and a necklace. She usually wears gloves and boots shaped like paws, and colored blue to match her ears and tail.

Yet another NT-tan, Windows NT SP6, was designed by the dōjinshi group Deja vu, but it was considered a bootleg design by Futaba society and not an “official” OS-Tan. (See “Dispute between Futaba Society and Deja Vu” for the details.)

Windows CE

Being an OS designed for small devices, the personification of Windows CE (CE for short) is portrayed as diminutive and fairy-like; complete with gossamer wings and wielding a USB cable wand. Because a modified version of Windows CE was the operating system of the Sega Dreamcast console, there are several illustrations of CE standing upon or around the Dreamcast’s “swirl” logo.


This character doesn’t have many pictures and not much is known about her as she is based on Microsoft Operating System Windows Longhorn, which is still in development. One picture shows her as a girl with dark blue hair and two horns extending from the back of her head to the front; her clothing is all white except across the shoulders where it’s black and there are the letters L and H on her chest. A design becoming more common is a young girl with long brown hair in pigtails wearing one or two clips featuring an orange and black logo resembling a stylized bull’s head.

2003 Server (Saba)
Windows 2003 Server

2003 Server is often portrayed as being half-girl, half-fish, with an ethernet hub as a bonnet on her head. Other versions show her as a girl with a short white skirt and a vest-style top with a long tail in the back (usually with a bow) and Windows four-square logo pins in the bow at her neck and on the tail. In some forms, she has a belt made from ethernet cable wrapped around her waist. Saba is a pun: in Japanese, the word for “server” is pronounced “saaba”, while “saba” is the word for mackerel.


A rare character, the few appearances of Windows 3.1 have used a white ‘mech-box’ similar to that used by 98 and 98SE, piloted by a girl who appears to be DOS/V. Another version becoming more popular is a frail grey-haired young woman in a long frilly violet gown, with a “3.1” brooch on her collar. She is usually accompanied by either a black cat or a small black-haired catgirl in a nurse’s outfit, both representing DOS.

Unreleased Microsoft Operating Systems

Occasionally, artwork appears for internally developed versions of Windows, that were never or still have yet to be commercially released, such as those with the project names Blackcomb, Odyssey, and Windows Neptune.

Neptune was to have been the “Home Edition” of Windows 2000, but was dropped as a release project in favor of Windows ME. The currently preferred OS-tan character design has her resembling an Android from the online game Phantasy Star Online. She is easily recognized by the visor she wears, and a Shinto O-fuda demon-protection charm being used to keep her banished from the real world.

Odyssey, the second attempt at a “Home” version of Windows 2000, appears as a senior high-school girl in a blue-themed uniform, wearing glasses and a gold CDR disc as a hairpiece or halo. As this operating system was never formally published, its release was limited to a impromptu supply from the developers’ own desktop CD burners, using gold CDR blanks.

(The third attempt to merge the functionality of the Windows NT and Windows 9X Operating Systems into a single product, project Whistler, is better known today as Windows XP.)


A rarer character, MS-DOS is a cute but very shy little girl carrying around a keyboard and usually peeking around corners. The implication is that, like MS-DOS itself on non-NT versions of Windows, she is always lurking somewhere in the background, just out of sight.


DOS/V is a variant of MS-DOS designed with Japanese language support. She is about the same size as DOS but has long grey or grey-blue hair and a dark bodysuit. She is also a lot less shy.

Mac OS

Mac OS 9
Mac OS 9
Mac OS 9

Mac OS 9 is the most common Mac OS girl. She is blonde, and wears a ribbon shaped like a 9 and a “platinum white” bodysuit. She usually carries a large apple on her head, or a bomb from the standard Macintosh error dialog. Other common accessories are a white dress with the Mac face logo on the skirt with a slit up the front that follows the nose/profile line, and showing some of her hair like the “detached leaf” as used by the multi-coloured Apple Computer logo. Usually friendly and demure, OS 9 has been known to fly into insane rages when angered.

Mac OS X
Mac OS X

The Mac OS X girl is often portrayed as cat-eared, following with the Apple “wild cat” naming tradition. (Every Mac OS X release has a codename like “Jaguar”, “Panther” and so on.) Otherwise, she is shown as an older variation of the Mac OS 9 girl, wearing a platinum white coat and a wireless AirPort device fashioned as a hat. She is occasionally shown holding a publication of some sort, as Macs are often used for desktop publishing.


A girl with blue and green hair who wears a white shirt. As the color of her hair is similar to that of a scallion, she is usually referred to as “Scallion girl”. She represents the LindowsOS distribution of Linux, now known as Linspire.


Originally seen as a bearded penguin (a reference to Tux, the penguin mascot of the kernel program Linux), the more friendly image of a girl with helmet and flippers was chosen as a human alternative. Her helmet usually has horns on it, likely a reference to the GNU operating system which is usually run with Linux as its kernel program (hence “GNU/Linux”). The “gear-teeth” on the helmet is a reference to KDE, a common desktop environment used with GNU/Linux. She is often seen with a spear that has flags attached representing the GRUB, LILO and GCC tools for GNU/Linux.

Other characters

Norton AntiVirus
Norton Antivirus

Doctor Norton, an unspeakably lecherous old doctor, personifies the Symantec Norton AntiVirus software. While an ingenious physician, he is infamously known to request (and attempt) the total undressing of an OS-tan for a full physical inspection, even when they’re completely healthy. The doctor’s lust has no bounds, and his morality is void. His appearance as a Japanese ghost (the whisp of smoke style tail end instead of legs) is a reference to the Norton Ghost system recovery tool.

Trend Micro Virus Buster
Trend Micro Buster

A personification of another antivirus software. He is a young boy, with blonde hair who wears a white T-shirt with the words “Trend Micro” on it and red shorts. He wears a red cap backwards, a band-aid on his cheek and carries a blue satchel bag. It seems that he also likes to take a peep at OS-tans’ bodies, so-called “virus scan”, just like Doctor Norton.

McAfee Antivirus
Miss McAfee

A personification of another antivirus software, but images of this character are rare. Unlike the two antivirus programs above, McAfee Antivirus is a blonde woman, wearing a long red dress. She is occasionally seen wearing a monocle, or period European wear, also in a red-yellow coloring scheme. It seems that both Doctor Norton and Trend Micro welcome her existence, due to her beauty.


A personification of typical anonymous users that visit the image boards of Futaba (i.e. Nijiura). Sometimes portrayed as the OS-tans’ “master”, representing computer users in general. He is as perverted as Norton, if not more so. There is a short series of comics in which he tries to take advantage of the OS-tans by getting them drunk, but gets beaten up each time.

The name “Toshiaki” comes from Futaba Channel, where it is the default name for anonymous users.


Based on Microsoft Outlook, a blonde girl in a blue maid uniform, with a white apron and orange collar bow. Delivers mail to the OS-tans.

Alternate Male OS Characters

Referred to as the “OS-kuns”, where “-kun” is the Japanese honorific commonly used informally between males, are counterpart characters of the OS-tans.

XP-kun is large man in his late teens to early 20s, with a very muscular build, wears shackles on his wrists and legs, tattered blue and white clothing not unlike XP-tan’s, and several large scars forming the letters “XP” across his chest. His hair is black, and braided into a long ponytail. XP-kun has an aggressive temperment, and is known for not thinking things through.

ME-kun is a unremarkable boy of high-school age wearing a green uniform, a blazer and shorts, of a private academy. Like his female counterpart he has green hair, with the long ‘antenna’; but unlike ME-tan, he is often the one in charge of a situation, providing network connections, fixpacks, or reading the Help documentation to the OS-tans.

2k-kun is a rare character, but his appearance and behavior follows the style of 2k-tan, wearing business attire, fashionable reading glasses, and carries a cell-phone.

Whatever you do….don’t use wikipedia….

…unless you have a LOT of time on your hands. Wikipedia, by being internet-based takes advantage of cross-referencing in a way that was NEVER possible with traditional encyclopedias. Even new multimedia encyclopedias like Encarta don’t take advantage of it like Wikipedia does. Almost every word in an article is a reference to something else. For example, I was curious if there was an article on Five Iron Frenzy, easily one of my favorite groups of all time. To both my dismy and delight there WAS a Five Iron Frenzy article. I was only dismayed because I would have liked to have written the article! However, the author(s) did an amazing job and there was no need to add much to what they had written. In that article they mentioned Third Wave Ska. I knew that ska had come out in a few waves and often talked about it based on what I had heard people say, but I wasn’t sure on the definition. I wanted to read more so that I would have a clear understand when I spoke of it, so I clicked on the link and found out about third wave ska. I knew that ska came from Jamaica, but I had no idea what its origins are. I especially wanted to find out about it since some groups (such as No Doubt) have recently gone to a more reggae sounding ska. Unlike other encyclopedias, I did not have to type a search for ska, it was already referenced in the article! I click on it and read about ska.

If you think that was neat, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Here’s what happened when I wikied Linux:
Although I have been using Linux to run this server since last April and have been using it as a desktop since October, I have only recently begun to learn the history of this great operating system. In the article about Linux I finally got to see what the creator, Linux Torvalds, looks like. He doesn’t look anything like I expected. Frankly I thought he’d be more like the Finnish hacker in Swordfish. He looks like he could live down the street from me. The article mentioned something I already knew, that Tux the penguin was the Linux mascot. However, I wanted to see what wikipedia had to say about Tux. This is where I entered the rabbit hole! Oh boy, I had no idea what I was in for! I found out about another group of mascots, the OS-Tans! This is an example of when anime can go just a little too far. OS-Tan are a series of anime girls who represent the different operating systems. The origin came about, according to Wikipedia because, “The concept is reported to have begun as a personification of the common perception of Windows Me as unstable and prone to frequent crashes. Discussions on Futaba Channel likened this to the stereotype of a fickle, troublesome girl. The personification became expanded, with the creation of Me-tan (dated to August 6, 2003) followed by the other characters.” Of course, after wating a parody of Final Fantasy 6 using gaming consoles (which I will be posting soon), any personification of these devices isn’t so weird. Finally, from the Tux page I found out about User Friendly, a web comic about some people who use Linux to run an Internet Service Provider and Ctrl-Alt-Delete, a gaming comic where one of the characters has a pet penguin. So, my afternoon was not quite as productive as I would have liked. Although I did learn a lot!

I am now a published author!

I am now officially a published author. Of course, my first published work wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be, but I’m still excited about it! I decided my first book would not be a photography or fictional book. Instead, my first book is a report I wrote about migrating from a MS Windows environment to a GNU/Linux environment. Since I really want people to be able to read this, I am offering my first book for FREE on Lulu.com. It’s a PDF download that will cost you nothing! Go check it out and see how you can stop paying for software.

my book at Lulu.com

And the new Pope is….

Joseph Ratzinger from Germany! I had been hoping they would go with a Latin American poope like they had been predicting. Not only because this would have probably been a Hispanic, but because it would have been the first Pope from the New World. I would also have liked an Asian or African Pope because that would also have been a break from a European Pope. Well, maybe next time.

It’s interesting to note how much the world has changed. I mean, it was important that Pope John Paul II was the first non-Italian Pope. But even more interesting to me is the fact that we just went from a Polish Pope to a German Pope only 60 years after the end of World War II.

This new Pope has taken the name Pope Benedict 16th. The news reported that he is one of the older popes in a while, he was born on 16 April 1927. He has his own fan website which can be found here. When I checked it was down, but that’s probably due to so many people trying to visit the page to find out about the new Pope.

Why flickr? Why?!?!

Flickr just did the best and worst thing to me it could possibly do. As a Thank You for my going pro while they were still Beta, I got my subscription doubled to TWO years! Not only that, but they doubled my bandwidth to 2 GB. They may as well have made it unlimited because I’ve been having a hard enough time filling up my 1 GB limit! They also gave me the ability to freely upgrade two people to pro. I upgraded my mom. I’ll upgrade someone else later.


In a world based on technology, a small error in a program can lead to some interesting results. Take this for example:

Hot Ithaca

This was what weather.com displayed a few days ago when I typed in Ithaca’s area code. Rest assured that it was barely HALF the temperature they claimed it was. I think they probably had a variable slightly off and so it pointed to Arizona or something, but came up as Ithaca. Pretty humorous when it’s the weather that’s so off this way. Not quite so funny when it’s your phone freezing up.

My brother, whose phone runs on Windows CE, recently had to have his cell phone company replace his phone because it refused to boot up. For him this was just a mild annoyance – for a few days his girlfriend (who goes to another school) couldn’t call him and he couldn’t call us at lunch time to see where we were. What if he had been in a car accident and couldn’t call for help because his cell phone refused to boot up?

Of course, there is much to be said about this situation. First of all, if Microsoft can’t even make their flagship product, the Windows Operating System, to work correctly, why are people letting them make software for cellular phones? This is why so many people are just switching over to using the Linux kernel for embedded devices. It is much more reliable. As my C++ programming book said:

There is almost nothing that you can do with your programs that will corrupt the operating system. However, this program would destroy your computer if you ran it on Microsoft Windows. Do not attempt to compile this on a Windows machine.

But besides the obvious fact that Windows shouldn’t be allowed near mission-critical systems, we have a more important fact to consider. When computers increasingly become more and more important to our lives we have to take extra steps to be sure that we program them correctly. Sure, anyone with some common sense would have known that it wouldn’t be 113 in Ithaca, but if we suspend common sense for a moment, what if someone had read that it would be 113 and then decided to go out in a tank top instead of a jacket?

What scares me the most is that more and more of my car’s functions are running on computers. Even if the programmers use Linux or some other stable OS, there are still plenty of potential programming problems that may lay in their own programs. They need to really be careful when they are making programs that people depend on. It’s not the same as a vanity C++ project created for yourself.

Heart Attacks

A study my fiancee shared with me:

A series of epidemiological studies were conducted. The results were as follows:

-Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans
-French eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans
-Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans
-Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans

What can we conclude from these results?

-Eat and Drink what you like
-Speaking English is apparently what kills you

Anberlin’s new CD

There’s a very hackneyed saying, “don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.” For a while now I had been putting off talking about the new Anberlin album and now Andrew beat me to it. I had been listening to “Ready Fuels” for almost six months before I got around to buying the first album, Blueprints for the Black Market. I almost immediately fell in love with the band’s music. I put it on my workout playlist and it was what I listened to for about a month and one half while working out. My fiancee said it was the first time she had heard an album where she liked every single song. When I found out they had come out with a new record in February, I set out to buy it.

What a different album this one was! Whereas the first album was mostly a happy or neutral album, the new one was much more raw. After just one listen through the album I came to a conclusion: the song-writer had suffered a broken heart. Almost every single song on the album is about a girl who sold him out in some way. Andrew talked about “Paperthin Hymm” which was definitely a sad song, especialy with lyrics like:

Who’s gonna call on Sunday morning?
Who’s gonna drive you home?
I just want one more chance
to put my arms in fragile hands
I thought you said forever
Over and over

One of my favorite songs for the way the music is arranged is “A Day Late”

So let me get this straight
Say now you love me all along?
What makes you hesitate
To tell me in words what you really feel?
I can see it in your eyes you mean all of what you say
I remember so along ago saying I felt the same way
Now we both have separate lives and lovers (and lovers)
Insignificately enough we both have significate others

Only time will tell
Time will turn and tell

We are who we were with
Could’ve been lovers but at least you’re still my day late friend
We are who
We are who we were with
Who knew what we know now
Could’ve been more but at least you’re still my day late friend
We are who
We are who we were with

Lust come and go and this I know I’m not who you recall anymore
But I must confess you’re so much more then I remember
Can’t help but entertain this thought
Thoughts of us together

We are who we were with
Could’ve been lovers but at least you’re still my day late friend
We are who
We are who we were with
Who knew what we know now
Could’ve been more but at least you’re still my day late friend
We are who
We are who we were with

My day late friend

So let me get this straight
All these years and you were no where to be found
And now you want me for your own
But you’re a day late and my love just still renown

We are who we were with
Could’ve been lovers but at least you’re still my day late friend
We are who
We are who we were with
Who knew what we know now
Could’ve been more but at least you’re still my day late friend
We are who
We are who we were with

my other current favorite is “Stationary Stationery”:

Do they not have pen or paper where you are
‘Cause I haven’t heard from you in ages
I relive each memory
From time to time
With notes exchanged
With all the scented pages
It’s comin back
It’s all comin back to me now
Tell me everything turned out alright
‘Cause I’m well and we said
That we’d meet tonite
Does he treat you like you want?
Does he ask to take your hand?
Does he believe in dreams we talked about?
Though with no music we dance
I thought you said that you’d come find me
I thought you said you’d be home by now
I heard you say that you’d come back here
So I wrote to remind you somehow
Dance by yourself and
Think of me when you do
I’m not sure you understand
What this means to me
What you do to me
I’m willing to prove
That you’re the one
I regret to slip away
Now I know it was only you
That I’ve been searchin for
And missin all this time
I thought you said that you’d come find me
I thought you said you’d be home by now
I heard you say that you’d come back here
So I wrote to remind you somehow
I thought you said that you’d come find me
I thought you said you’d be home by now
I heard you say that you’d come back here
So I wrote to remind you somehow
Let the past be past
Let’s start today
And let us both do
I need to see your face
Tell me where to be
I’ll tell you why we shouldn’t be
(I’ll tell you why we shouldn’t be)
I thought you said that you’d come find me
I thought you said you’d be home by now
I heard you say that you’d come back here
So I wrote to remind you somehow
I thought you said that you’d come find me
I thought you said you’d be home by now
I heard you say that you’d come back here
So I wrote to remind you somehow

In the first he laments a girl who he once dated and thought everything would be perfect. However, they drifted apart and now they each other other significant others. They want to get together, but it’s too late. It certainly wouldn’t be fair to their current boy/girl friends to leave them for the other. In the latter, again he has been abandoned, but this time by a girl who just dissapearted into the ether. She doesn’t write him anymore and I absolutely love the first line. It’s sharp, witty, and cautic. It almost stings me and I didn’t do anything wrong.

While all of the songs are really well written and really well performed, it’s just an overall darker album than the previous one. Nothing wrong with that, but I would certainly like a return to a happier day. Perhaps on the next album. Anberlin continues to rock with extremely poetic titles and lyrics. Go check them out.

The Order of the Engineer

Last Monday I joined the Order of the Engineer. Although it has a title like the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo of the Flintstones, it is nothing at all like that. It is based off of a similar, but much older Canadian process known as The Ritual of the Calling of the Engineer. The American version was founded in 1970 by engineers at Cleveland State University. We will never had a meeting or pay dues again. The whole point of the order is to function as yet another institution I belong to which does not tolerate unethical behaviour. Unlike the IEEE, I have a ring to wear which symbolizes to all my commitment to the ethical practice of engineering. Official Order of the Engineer literature has this to say about the ring:

This commitment is not a trivial act but is, rather, like the wedding of the engineer with his profession. The ring is owrn as a visual symbol to attest to the wearer’s calling, and symbolizes the unity of the profession in its goal of benefitting mankind. The stainless steal from which the ring is made depicts the strength of the profession

My Order of the Engineer Certificate

Here is the Obligation of the Engineer, which I had to promise to uphold to as part of the induction process:
I am an Engineer, in my profession I take depe pride. To it I owe solemn obligations.

Since the Stone Age, human progress has been spurred by the engineering genius. Engineers have made usable Nature’s vast resources of material and energy for Mankind’s benefit. Engineers have vitalized and turned to practival use the principles of science and the means of technology. Were it not for this heritage of accumulated experience, my efforts would be feeble.

As an Engineer, I Eric Mesa, pledge to practive integrity and fiar dealding, tolerance and respect, and to uphold devotion to the standards and the dignity of my profession, conscious always that my skill carries with it the obligation to serve humanity by making the best use of Earth’s precious wealth.

As an Engineer, in humility and with the need for Divine guidance, I shall participage in none by honest enterprises. When needed, my skills and knowledge shall be given without reservation for public good. In the performance of duty and in fidelity to my profession, I shall give the utmost.

What resonated with me the most out of this obligation is probably different from what will resonate in the future, although the same may ring true then. Since I am currently immersed in the free software movement, I find the last paragraph, when speaking about using skills and knowledge for the public good, to be very compatible with this movement. If I can develop a software product which will vastly improve the public good, then it is my obligation to offer this software for free that others may also benefit from my knowledge and skills. By making my knowledge open and freely available to all, I add to the public good. When I hoard my knowledge I subtract from the public good.

My Order of the Engineer Ring

I would like to end this post with the quote from President Hoover about engineers which I found quite delightful. Just remember that in his time, Engineer mainly meant what we could consider today a Civil Engineer.

It is a great profession. There is the satisfaction of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer’s high priviledge. The great liability of the engineer compared to men of other professions is that his works are out in the open where all can see them. His acts, step by step, are in ahrd substance. He cannot bury his mistakes in teh grave like the doctors. He cannot aruge them into thin air or blame the judge like the lawyers. He cannot, like the architects, cover his failures with trees and vines. He cannot, like the politicians, screen his shortcomings by blaming his opponents and hope that the people will forget. The engineer simply cannot deny that he did it. if his works do not work, he is damned. That is the phantasmagoria that haunts his nights and dogs his days. He comes form the job at the end of the day resolved to calculate it again. He wakes in the night in a cold sweat and puts something on paper that looks silly in the morning. All day he shivers at the thought of the bugs which will inevitably appear to jolt his smooth consummation.

On the other hand, unlike the doctor his is not a life among the weak. Unlike the soldier, destruction is not his purpose. Unlike the lawyer, quarrels are not his daily bread. To the engineer falls the job of clothing the bare bones of science with life, comfort, and hope.

No doubt as years go by people forget which enigeer did it, even if they ever know. Or some politician puts his name on it. Or they credit it to some promoter who used other peoples money with which to finance it. But the engineer himself looks back at the unending stream of goodness that flows from his successes with satisfactions that few professions may know. And the verdict of his fellow professionals is all the accolade he wants.
-Herbert Hoover, The Profession of Engineering (from his memoirs)