Packed

At this point, the only things that remain unpacked are Chronos, his power adapter, the clothes I am going to wear tomorrow, my toiletries, my coat (with pocketed gloves and earmuffs), and my shoes.

The quick packing at 1 am was a nice change of pace from sitting on my butt all week. I’m still not sure if my body is ready for a regular schedule again, even though that’s exactly what I need. I’ve basically been running on Hawaii time for most of break, which shifts my alone time from the 8am to Noon block while my parental units are at work to the Midnight to 4am block. Either way, I don’t really see the sun. Come to think of it, we do still have a sun, right?

I did get some stuff done this week. I finally tallied the SWILMovie votes (only 6 weeks overdue!), and wrote some SWILNewsii (only 8-12 weeks overdue!). I went through 10 chapters of a Quenya textbook, and I’m really starting to get the hang of it. Soon I’ll be able to write elvish poetry! Anwavë, quetanyë ar tecanyë i vanya lambë Eldaron!

On a random note, I’ve noticed lately that I tend to type the wrong homonym. In the previous paragraph, for example, I wrote “right” instead of “write”. It’s been happening more and more often. I’m wondering if my brain is malfunctioning or something. Maybe I’m hearing the sentences in my head when composing, instead of seeing them? At any rate, I think we should all just adopt IPA, and learn all of the weird characters. Then you could at least pronounce any language written in it. If you had a little phrase book, you could probably even be understood by natives! Will it be okay for me to assume that practically everyone in Vienna will speak English, and therefore I can be a stupid American and not bother learning a word of German? I apologize for the random linguistic rambling. I should really just get to sleep, so I can wake up for church in the morning.

The huge, huge, huge project I worked on this week was an update to the family tree. First, I moved my existing database of about 470 names from Family Tree Maker, an out-of-date OS 9 program that used a non-standard and proprietary database format, to GRAMPS, an open-source GNOME program that uses a nice standard XML database. While I was working on that, my dad mentioned that he had gotten some new documents from my grandma. I have now added a bunch of data out to the third cousins for the Schuett and Bahnfleth families, who were the parents of my paternal grandmother, and my grandparents. This has upped my entire family tree to almost 1300 names. I have birthdates for about 900 of those, and I think that there are only 30 incomplete names. I have actually done very little research myself; mostly, I’ve just compiled data from a lot of different sources.

As I continue the project, I want to add something none of my other genealogically-inclined relatives (there are at least 3 of them) have: media objects. GRAMPS supports images and sounds, and I am fairly sure that I can get images on all of my living relatives out to the second cousin level. Such information is nice, and perfectly suited to the Web. I have my family tree published online, although there are still some small errors I need to fix: The Family Tree. There’s no graphical view, just a name index and links that connect an individual to their parents, spouses, and children. You can navigate the whole tree that way, however. If you click on my head on the right, that will take you to my node, the home node of the tree. The whole site gives you a preview of the look & feel for my as-yet-unfinished new website, Nurd Central.

I did see some movies amid the worthlessness of the last week, and we did some shopping. Cold Mountain is good, but not great. It tried too hard to be a mix of romance and action, and didn’t succeed really well at either of them. In other words, it’s a good date movie. The Cooler is very good, with a decent script and some amazing acting from William H. Macy and Alec Baldwin. Baldwin is a great old-school gangster, and Macy plays his classic nice-guy-down-on-his-luck character, just like the one from Fargo, Magnolia, and others. I will quickly mention that both movies have unnecessary sex in them. I will continue to contend that you can show people’s love for each other without any sex. In Cold Mountain, Kidman and Law didn’t even hook up until after almost 2 hours of demonstrating how much they love each other! Call me a prudish Lutheran, but you never need sex in a movie to tell a story. Violence, on the other hand, is both really sweet and totally awesome. Not sure which is worse for children to see; probably the latter.

Anywho, I really need to go to sleep, otherwise I will be dead for travel on Sunday and Monday. I’ll be in DC all week playing with the robots at NIST.

8 comments on “Packed
  1. For some reason I hadn’t thought of doing a family tree that way, but it seems like an excellent idea. I should do something like that with my tangled one at some point; it would be a good incentive for collecting all the data. Just one question: what’s a K?llstr?m?

    Oh, and I put SWILmovies up on the site. It’s extremely sloppy html, but it’s what was there, and it contains the relevant information.

  2. Nicolas Ward says:

    Apparently GRAMPS doesn’t use the proper HTML characters to render umlauts. No wonder she anglicized her name to Shelstrom… ;o)

    Guh… where’d the background on that page come from? We should definitely remodel that. Want me to XHTML-ificate it?

  3. The background is a result of me being sick of the same ancient parchment stuff on every page, and also, slightly, a result of my wanting to annoy people. The real thing is in gifs/parchment, so it takes one keystroke to change it back.

    If you’d like to XHTML-ify it, that would be great. If you do it to enough pages, I’ll probably figure out what it is you’re doing. (:

  4. tirerim says:

    On a random note, I’ve noticed lately that I tend to type the wrong homonym.

    I’ve been noticing myself doing the same thing, more and more often. I usually catch it immediately, but occasionally, with stuff like ‘its’ and ‘it’s’, I let one slip by, which really annoys me. But I have no idea what’s causing it, either — I never used to do it, as far as I can remember.

    Will it be okay for me to assume that practically everyone in Vienna will speak English, and therefore I can be a stupid American and not bother learning a word of German?

    I always try to learn at least, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak X,” just to be polite, even if I know that everyone speaks English — people are generally nicer if they know that you’re making some kind of effort. “Es tut mir Leid, ich spreche kein Deutsch.”

  5. wayman says:

    I too have caught myself typing more wrong homonyms over the past year or so. I’m glad it’s not just me! I don’t know what it indicates, but I tend to be paranoid that such things are indications that I’m losing my mental sharpness.

  6. flammifera says:

    I went through 10 chapters of a Quenya textbook

    I think you are exceedingly silly. :-P And remember, I don’t have a high ‘practicality’ demand for languages I learn!

    But if you’re going to learn any not-spoken-at-any-time-by-people-on-Earth language, you should learn Sindarin, because it’s based on Welsh! Check out this article from the BBC website.

  7. rebeccapaul says:

    There are more recent versions of Family Tree Maker (9? 10?), at least for the PC, that allow you to link media objects. Maybe they don’t do it for Macs, though.

    Are we related?

  8. Nicolas Ward says:

    I just typed “stough” instead of “stuff”. This is a recent thing… what am I doing to the language center of my brain?

    Is it the alcohol? The Spanish? The Quenya?

Nurd Up!