Monthly Archives: January 2014

Art of Computer Programming: Euclid’s Algorithm

Math is fun!

So here’s the first algorithm from the Art of Computer Programming written in php. Continue reading

Categories: algorithms, books, geeky, math, php, programming | 4 Comments

A Person’s Books

I thought I’d start light with a comic book. Didn’t work.

Maybe a nice little mystery that leads you along to where the murderer is caught in the end. Nope.

A history of libraries? Almost.

Algorithms in a Nutshell? Blah blah blah.

The Art of Computer Programming Volume 1 Fundamental Algorithms Third Edition? YES!

Donald E Knuth is a lyricist and a logician. He shows algorithms as steps in a list, as flow charts, descriptively, and as programming code. He covers all learning styles. He is thorough and knowledgeable and I love the way he writes.

I thought to get my brain working again I should start slow, read something easy. Instead it turned out I needed return to an old favorite, an author who speaks to me like kin. To explore familiar paths and comfortable book houses.

Time to pull out Oscar Wilde, John Burroughs (naturalist), Robin McKinley, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jane Austen, Gene Stratton Porter, Joseph Campbell, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Tamora Pierce, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, etc.

For now though dear Donald Knuth.

Categories: books, surgery recovery | Leave a comment

What Makes a Person

Approaching the intentional transformation of self for me includes an outline of what makes Self. Foundationally I agree with Joseph Campbell on the concepts of masks.

We all wear masks throughout our lives. These masks come with familiar phrases like “professional behavior will help with networking for a job” or “don’t talk like that around your grandmother.” Sometimes the masks are changed out with barely a thought. One outfit is for a night on the town and another is for on the job. The idea that these different ways of presenting ourselves are just masks that we wear and switch out is not a new one, though also not always done consciously.

Underneath these masks exists a fundamental me with traits that thread through all the masks. For me one of those traits is I won’t lie just to get ahead. I failed a class in college because I wouldn’t just go along with what the teacher was saying. My truth was more important than a grade, or a relationship, or a free ride, or a job or anything. I value sticking to my guns on topics I believe in and I’m not going to say “yes, we should all be vegans” just to get an A.

My goal is to sift through my traits, figure which ones are firmly me and which are simply taken on for convenience and then facet them out into masks appropriate for each situation in my life.

To make this easier I’ve divided traits into the following categories:

  • Actions
  • Appearances
  • Dreams
  • Environments
  • Feelings
  • Memories
  • Perceptions
  • Physical States
  • Thoughts
  • Words
  • Works

Each one is plural because each one is changeable as well as potentially multiplicital (spell check says I made that word up).

Here’s the list again with examples:

  • Actions: Exercise, hug a friend, or share lunch with a homeless person
  • Appearances: Wear spikes on a leather jacket or smile at people
  • Dreams: Wipe polio off the face of the planet or eat pumpkin pie every day for a week
  • Environments: Live in a small town or read in a coffee shop
  • Feelings: Sadness or love
  • Memories: Picking mint for Mama’s tea or almost drowning
  • Perceptions: Eugene is the big city or Eugene is a town with delusions
  • Physical States: Healthy, head cold, or heart murmur
  • Thoughts: E = MC^2 or I wonder if she’s out of my league
  • Words: “Thanks for the lift!” or “I can’t believe he did that!”
  • Works: Founding a non-profit, building a skyscraper, starting a successful business, creating art, or etc

So given my belief that these things make a person I simply (ha!) have to quantify myself in each of these areas as I have been, as I am and as I want to be.  Then I just (ha ha!) facet that into appropriate masks for the situations most likely to occur in my life. In the end I will have a solid sense of core self with easy to reference facets for general purpose use.

Categories: philosophy, surgery recovery | Leave a comment


I’ve had a few life events to finish off 2013 and am very ready for 2014. As I heal from surgery I plan on healing in the direction of the me I want to be. I’m pretty tired right now, just got back from very delicious Dim Sum at a very crowded noisy restaurant but let’s just start this transformation with a little change in style for this web site. Something a little brighter and sunnier.

Categories: surgery recovery, websites | 1 Comment

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