Some days, it’s really hard to think of something worthwhile to put in this box. Apparently, August has been a month full of said days.
In most regards, this month hasn’t been too eventful. I’m trying really hard to think of something blogworthy, but very little comes to mind. It kind of makes me sad in some ways, that I haven’t had much of interest to post here, but I guess that’s how things go sometimes. I should enjoy the fact that at least I haven’t lost yet another family member or something.
Well, now that I think about it, I remember one thing I wanted to post at some point. On the 13th of this month, we helped Lisa’s parents with moving all of their possessions into their new house. The sky was particularly neat looking that day, as well as the next few days, so I snapped some pictures. As always, click the thumbnails for larger entries in my gallery.
You’ll notice in some of the second set of pictures that it kind of looks like the clouds are flowing over the mountains, like some large tidal wave of moisture, suspended in time. It’s a very neat visual, and I only wish my cell phone could capture it. My friend James is an awesome photographer, and he took this incredible photo of the effect I’m trying to describe. It’s great.
The other big event this month is that I’m taking classes at the University of New Mexico again. Well, not classes, so much as one class, namely Dave Ackley‘s CS 591 – Artificial Life Research Studio course. Note: That link will probably go invalid at some point in the far-off future, but it’ll be good at least through December this year.
On that site, he has a sample of this neat little predator-prey type model called WaTor that’s apparently some 20+ year old model of sharks and fish battling it out (sort of) on a toroidal planet. It’s really kind of funny. It’s also a lot of fun to play with the Java model. We had to make a not-insigifnicant change to the model for our first assignment. I used the C++ version instead of the Java version, so I don’t have a nice pretty GUI to toss in front of you, but I still had a lot of fun working on that assignment. I basically added another predator at a level above sharks, and due to my lack of creativity, I named this breed of predators supersharks. I’d hand you my code, but I haven’t done any real C++ work in a couple of years and I’m sure it’s horridly ugly and that’s the end of that. My supersharks reigned supreme on the planet of WaTor.
It’s very different, being back on campus. I mean, yeah, I haven’t been gone forever or something, but it’s still quite different. I graduated in December of ’03, and took a stab at taking classes in the Spring of ’04 and wound up dropping most of them due to a bunch of crap raining down from above, so really I’ve only been gone for a year or so, but it’s been quite a different year. I think that with each year, I’m changing a lot more as a person than I’d have ever expected. Most of it is good change, I would say, although I’m certainly not doing all that I could to be improving myself. You’d think that knowledge alone would be enough of a kick in the pants to take action, but it hasn’t been.
I suppose I could ramble on a bit more, but I’m just happy to have something to post, so I’m going to put this up for now. I’d expect the next fifteen or so weeks to involve a lot of rambling on about my artificial life class. That reminds me, if anyone has any ideas for something that could be interesting to research, let me know. As mentioned above, I’m not exactly the most creative person in the world, and while I find the topic and the thought of implementing some sort of alife models very interesting, I’m struggling really hard to actually determine something to research. I was thinking of doing something involving music, but I think I’ve realized that the model I envisioned there holds little-to-no actual research value.
That’s it for now.