Here ends the first chapter of a fine and mighty run.

I've moved my journal over to InsaneJournal. It's a lot like LiveJournal, because they both run from the same codebase. But IJ is operated by a man in Florida, while LJ is now operated by a Russian company that seems to espouse this philosophy with respect to its users' (but primarily its advertisers') pocketbooks.

You can do a couple things.


This is the easiest. I'll seem to disappear, because this will be my last post on LJ, ever. I'll probably drop in to comment occasionally, but I'll use my IJ OpenID account instead. So I'll only be able to read and comment on public entries.

Medium integration

Reading my entries

Drop-dead simple. Add chronomex_ij to your friends list in order to see my posts, syndicated over from IJ. However! When an item from that feed appears on your friends list, DO NOT click "comment" directly. Instead, click through to IJ (using the "(Read more...)" link) and log in with OpenID to comment. It should be fairly straightforward. But it sucks, and it's hacky, and I hate it.

When I say "log in with OpenID", I'm talking about a really damn cool way to interact with one website, using an account on another website. In this case, you choose the second option when commenting, "OpenID" and type "" in the textbox labeled "Identity URL". You can check the "Login?" checkbox so that you don't have to enter your credentials every time.

I think there may be a better way to do this syndication, using the magic of OpenID. More later, if I find out a better way.

Letting me read and comment on your entries

Fairly simple. The first comment on this entry will be from my IJ OpenID account. Hold your mouse pointer over the little OpenID icon by the username (which should be "") and click "Add friend".

But this won't let me read your private entries on my IJ friends page. I'm going to have to do some legwork to figure that out. Same as above, more later if I find out a better way than reading two friends pages.

Joining me on InsaneJournal

I don't know how interested people are in moving to IJ, so I won't go into great detail. If you are, please do ask and I'll help you however much you wish. It took me a couple hours to migrate my entries, and I had to start basically from scratch.


Optical Fibers

From Engineering and Operations in the Bell System, page 134 (copyright 1977):

For applications such as interoffice trunks in metropolitan areas, it may be possible to use a cable in the order of a centimeter thick that contains a few hundred fibers, each of which carries a channel of a few megahertz bandwidth.

From Fiber-optic communication on Wikipedia:

Using WDM technology now commercially available, the bandwidth of a fiber can be divided into as many as 80 channels to support a combined bit rate into the range of terabits per second.


My Account Status

I have a Paid account, expiring April 6th. That's just a week or two away. I'll let it fall back to Basic, because I don't agree with SUP's recent changes.

As if anyone cares.
  • Current Mood
    pissed off pissed off


I'm sort of getting tired of Facebook. I want to delete my account.

Reasons For Deleting

  • It's hardcore and people will be amazed
  • Facebook is becoming Evil. (So is LiveJournal, apparently.)

Reasons For Keeping

  • It's where all my friends are.
  • I feel I have a responsibility to my groups.
Poll #1157740 Facebook

Should I delete my Facebook?

  • Current Mood
    groggy groggy

Blocking the blocker

It's quite hard to block someone on Facebook who's already blocked you. You can't see them in search, and so you can't find them in order to block them. Blocks are symmetric, as in if I block someone, I can't see their profile.

Here's a simple mechanism.

  1. Find their user ID., for example.
  2. Go to any Facebook page and type this in: javascript:do_post("")

ID numbers have been changed to protect the cretins. Not like they deserve it or anything.


Ebay wins again!

From this auction (also this link for posterity).

HTTP Status 503 - This application is not currently available

type Status report

message This application is not currently available

description The requested service (This application is not currently available) is not currently available.

Apache Tomcat/5.5.15-150

I don't think the CSS came through, but I posted that as well if you really want to see what I mean. But the silliest bit is the last error message.


State of Me: Comprehensive Report

In which is much information, and perhaps whining, and most certainly praeterition. Not all is new information, but most is new to this venue. If you care, consider setting aside a few minutes to read, as it is long.

Concerning School

This is probably one of my worst quarters ever. I was carrying 13 credits at the beginning. That's barely full-time. I then allowed myself to stop doing homework. I fell so far behind that I had to drop Physics 123. Now I've got 8 credits, and I doubt that I'll break a 3.0 overall regardless.

I have a theory or two about why I lost all motivation this quarter, but I'll keep them to myself.

According to my father, my entire paternal lineage is composed of smart people who are lousy students. I take some comfort in that. Some comfort.

Concerning Work

I'm still working for Classroom Support Services, in the basement of Kane Hall. I started as a preventative maintenance worker. This meant that I went around to classrooms and checked all the installed equipment (overhead projectors, data projectors, computers, TVs, VCRs, etc) for proper functioning. That became dull quickly. Now I do somewhat the other side of the job. Each PM worker (there are at most nine) takes inventory of installed equipment as well as testing it. I take the inventory sheets that the PM workers fill out, and correlate that with a database of installed equipment.

It's the correlation of multiple realities. The reality of the classrooms as they are, which I don't get to directly observe. The reality of the database, which was an approximation of the first reality last week. And the reality of the inspection sheets, which is close to the reality of the classrooms now. From this, I have to create the reality of the database as it is now. It's not exactly interesting, but it's not boring. I can mostly zone off as long as I keep an eye out for inconsistencies that need conscious attention.

Earlier I said that there are at most nine PM workers. There are nine routes, each of which has ten to thirteen hours worth of classrooms. Until this week, one (two?) position was vacant and one person was doing two routes in order that she might get more hours. Two PM workers were recently hired.

One of the new PM workers, Jessica, was in the office today at the same time as I. I was a bit curt (any amount is too much, in my opinion) to her. I'll be helping train her Friday afternoon, so I hope to remedy my behavior.

Concerning my Family

My mother is now working outside the home for the first time since my parents married, 21 years ago. This means that my father is the homemaker. It's very stressful for him. He tends to invest himself emotionally in the food that he makes. I don't care about food, it's just food. The best possible metaphor I can think of for this situation is of an impedance mismatch. Actually, that's an excellent metaphor for lots of situations.

Concerning my Work at the Museum

I love working at the museum. However, it's just one obstacle after another.

I got the D4 channel bank connected to the #5 Crossbar recently (finally). It works great. Except there's a very strong echo. I don't know how to get rid of it. Passive echo cancellation, which attempts to match the channel bank impedance to the line impedance, doesn't help at all. Active echo cancellation, which is completely done in the computer, doesn't help at all. Combining the two yields no improvement over the initial state, which wasn't adjusted. It's frustrating.

So I moved back to my previous project — the 3 ESS. It's got a mashed-together distributing frame, which consists of about 1200 terminals spread among nine terminal blocks, high above the central aisle of the switch. Rich and I removed around 20 dead jumper pairs today. Dead jumpers are wires that are connected at one end and not the other, or that aren't connected at all. Any installation will have some amount of dead cable, which has to be periodically "mined" to free up space. Yes, professionals do call it cable mining; I am not making this up.

We have documentation on about 80 pairs in the "distributing frame", so we'll have to trace (by hand!) about a hundred more pairs of wire. The plan is to install a bunch of 66 blocks (punch-down termination, which is much easier than soldering or even wire-wrapping) and transfer all the cable to them. I don't know how we'll do it, but when it's done there will be documentation. I'm making sure of that.

Old cable used cotton for insulation around each wire. Around the cable as a whole, asbestos was used for fire-retardance. Cables made before about 1935 were also fortified with arsenic in the insulation to deter rats from using them as nesting material. This is what I'm working with every week. I'm not worried. I don't do too much manhandling of old cable, so I shouldn't release a great deal of asbestos. The arsenic is a little bit more worrisome, but I assume that washing my hands well will eliminate most of the risk.

I left my gloves there today.

Concerning my Friends

I have friends. I have new friends. It's amazing. Why didn't I develop a social life in high school?

One person in particular. But I won't talk.

The Bottom Drawer

Today I saw a dumpster on a truck in Georgetown. The dumpster was black and bore the Seattle Center logo. It was incongruous. I can't really explain the feeling I got. The logo says along the bottom, "What a wonderful place." It felt out of place pasted on a filthy trash receptacle headed to parts south.

Wow. Almost 130 lines; that's the most substantial entry I've written in months. How did I write that? And, yikes! where did the evening go?

  • Current Music
    Brand New Quiet - Quiet Things No One Ever Knows

Consumerism at its best

I bought a new calculator today. $40 used, not including the $6.70 ferry ride to Bainbridge. I'm going to have to disassemble and wash the damn thing now.

This brings my family, ahem, collection to five calculators.

  • Voyage 200 (unknown HW/AMS cos I'm too lazy to go see)
  • TI-89 (HW2, AMS 2.05)
  • TI-89 Titanium (HW4, AMS 3.10)
  • TI-92+ (HW2, AMS 1.05)
  • HP-49G (not 49G+, mind you! I have the really crappy one that was manufactured for only a year or so.)