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Thoughts on Life

Howard Thomas Greene (August 9, 1950 – January 25, 2004)

To add to the seeming chaos that is my life right now, my dad died Sunday night. My dad had a car wreck in 1970 and it damaged his spinal cord. Unfortunately medicine in 1970 was not as good at treating spinal cord injuries as it is now, and dad had dealt with chronic medical problems for the the past 30 plus years.

On Dec 31, 2003 he went to the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center with an infection. It started as a bladder and kidney infection but soon moved to his heart causing cardiac arrest. After one cardiac event it took 20 minutes to revive him, which left dad brain dead and a vegetable. He was given little to no chance of recovery and died January 25 after life support was removed.

He will be buried Wednesday, January 28, 2004 at 2:00 pm at Mountain Home National Cemetery near the VA Medical Center.

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Thoughts on Life

High School and Personality Tests

I’ve been thinking about personality tests and high school lately so imagine my surprise when Julie Miyamoto posts a comment to my blog. I went to high school with Julie and had some classes with her at ETSU during my time in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences there. She has an online comic as well as a blog.

Anyway she took an online Myers Briggs test and remembered that she and I had the same personality type the first time she took one, INFJ. Dr. Countermine, the chair of the ETSU CS dept, was also INFJ. We were both borderline and she is now INTP while I appear to be INTJ.

INTJ – “Scientist”. Most self-confident and pragmatic of all the types. Decisions come very easily. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.

Not sure I buy it, but these kind of tests are interesting. BTW, Julie I’m only physically-impaired after drinking too much scotch. 🙂 I prefer “roguishly handsome guy with odd limp” 🙂

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Thoughts on Life

Computers, Blogrolls, and Studio MX 2004

The computer situation is back to normal finally. I have my Pentium 4 back on my desk in working order, which means my notebook can take a well deserved rest. I also now have a dual monitor setup, a Dell UltraSharp 19 inch LCD and a ViewSonic VE 700 17 inch LCD both running at 1280×1024. The Dell is a better monitor and on a digital connection while the ViewSonic is analog. Both are good, I’m just working on getting the colors etc. balanced just right. Dual monitors is very nice. With these and the iMac on my desk i have a nice semicircle of screens. I’m glad it’s a sizable desk.

I have a BlogRolling account now, I just need to get the time to set it up. I purchased and installed Macromedia Studio MX 2004 yesterday. Very nice and it supports secure FTP which alone is worth the price. My only quibble is that it has an activation scheme, which means no installing it on the laptop for me. But I may eventually find a way around that. But that might violate the DMCA which seems to equate to treason these days.

I’m disappearing for a few days since it is fall break here at the University of Tennessee. Yay! A break from academic madness.

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Thoughts on Life

Update on earlier post

Well glad I didn’t go to the game tonight. Tennessee lost to Georgia 41 to 14. No SEC championship for us. But Tony Stewart won the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. So at least something orange won tonight.

In other news BlogRolling looks like it’s finally moving. Hopefully new signups will be accepted soon.

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Thoughts on Life

Things in the life of Dan

Just thought I’d post to the blog since I haven’t in over a week. Ph. D studies have really kicked into high gear, staying very busy with that. I’ve been trolling through articles looking for stuff on the digital divide (primarily as it relates to libraries). First Monday seems to be good place for that, as is D-Lib to a lesser extent.

My computer situation is looking better. About 2 weeks ago I managed to blow up two computers in one day. One was a new Pentium 4 3.0GHz box for me and the other was my old machine that I was going to rebuild for my mom. Well, I bought mom a new computer instead. I got her a Athlon 2400+ (2 GHz) machine, a nice upgrade from her K6 450 MHz box. And my P4 is on it’s way back to me after its warranty repair. Luckily my Pentium 3, 1 GHz laptop still works, although with only 16 meg of video memory and 256 meg of RAM it’s a bit underpowered. And then there is my trusty iMac, which I suppose I could use for more than a jukebox, if I could afford all the software needed to make it useful.

If you are looking for good computer systems check out Monarch Computer Systems (where I got the P4 from) and Mwave.com (where I got mom’s computer). Both are good places, Mwave is a good value and Monarch’s service and support are excellent.

Been wanting to add some things to the blog, like book links and a blogroll, but I’ve been short on time and BlogRolling is not accepting new signups anyway.

Tennesee plays Georgia today, I had tickets but didn’t feel like going and gave them away. Hopefully they’ll play better than they did against Auburn last week. The next home home game after today is against Duke on November 1. I’ll be there, hopefully they’ll win that one.

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Thoughts on Life

Cyborg Liberation Front

Saw this artice about the World Transhumanist Association conference at Yale University. This conference examines the implications of a human/tech melding to become “post-human”.

To me this seems like people who have only seen ancient single sailed boats, trying to understand the International Space Station. Sure, they could speculate and they might have a metaphor in space as sea, shuttle as boat, but they really couldn’t understand.

This debate may help us understand what a human is. But to quote Bonnie Kaplan, chair of Yale’s Technology and Ethics Working Group, “My gut says we’ll never have the answer to that question we first raised thousands of years ago: Who are we?”

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Thoughts on Life

And now for something completely different

A friend of mine told me about this site which is a pretty harsh counterpoint to the idea that vegetarianism is better for the planet etc, than eating meat. Specifically this site deals with the fact that animals are routinely killed as collateral damage in gain harvesting.

I grew up on a farm. We raised animals for meat, and I have been to stockyards and slaughterhouses. I have seen rabbits and other wildlife killed because they were in the path of farm machinery. The point is nobody has the moral high ground here. Some farming practices may be harder on animals than they need to be. Stockyards are not nice places. On the flip side, wildlife die to harvest the soybeans for that soy burger.

I rarely eat red meat and tend to eat more soy and grains. That’s a health choice not a moral one. Why can’t people like the guy that behind this grain harvesting kills site and PETA see that there is a middle here and mellow out a bit?