Archive for February 8th, 2011

I haven’t added any favorite lyrics in a while, so tonight I’m adding three I’ve had bouncing around in my brain for a few days now.  The first is “Both Sides Now“, written by Joni Mitchell and performed by Judy Collins.  It’s one of those songs you think about when you’re sitting on the top of a hill looking out at the clouds on the horizon.  In a strange way, the verse:  “It’s life’s illusions I recall…” means more to me as I get older (and hopefully wiser).
The second song is a “sappy” Dad song which is typical of the songs that pull at my heart strings.  It doesn’t seem possible, but I would almost swear I saw this in the original broadcast in 1962.  Since I know we watched the show, it’s certainly possible.  Anyway, the song is:  “My Dad“, and was sung by Paul Peterson (the son on the show).  Being raised by a single mother, the lyrics never meant much to me looking up (to my own dad).  Instead, the lyrics were something I hoped my sons (or daughters) would feel about me.
The third song is: “She Used To Be My Girl“, performed by The O’Jays.  On the one hand, it’s a fairly typical rhythm and blues song from the 70’s disco era.  But, at the same time it’s a classic do-wop song about lost love / missed opportunity — another typical theme in songs I love.  If you have time, YouTube both the live and studio versions.  The contrast is startling!  The studio version is all about the sound.  The stage version is about JOY!  I’m not saying one or the other is better.  I am just surprised by the contrast.
Again, read and think about the words;  then go listen to the performances.
Other notes:
Tomorrow I’m off work, at the dentist, getting a root canal.  I still can’t believe dental work (or vision) was NOT included in the health care bill.  Every American should have access to dental care at a reasonable cost.
My INR results from yesterday was:  1.0; down from 2.0 two weeks ago;  and, 2.3 three weeks ago (one week after I started Coumadin).
I tried a different jogging technique tonight.  I’ve used it before, but not lately.  Basically, it’s jogging by rolling your hips.  It seems to transfer the running motion from my quads and calves to my core and upper thighs.  It lets me extend my stride slightly (I’m only talking a few inches) with no extra fatigue.  It’s an interesting technique I’m planning to investigate more.  In theory, it should allow me to gradually increase stride and pace with more efficient mechanics and less energy use.

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One of the main characteristics of a computer science mentality is the ability to jump very quickly between levels of abstraction, between a low level and a high level, almost unconsciously.  Another characteristic is that a computer scientist tends to be able to deal with nonuniform structures — case 1, case 2, case 3 — while a mathematician will tend to want one unifying axiom that governs an entire system.  This second aspect is sometimes a weakness of computer science:  When we encounter a situation that can be explained by one axiom, we might still give it five, because five different rules are no sweat for us.  But we’re at our best in circumstances when no single principle suffices;  then we can handle the discrepancies between different cases very nicely.
    —    Donald E. Knuth
From his book:  “Things A Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About

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