Happy 22nd Birthday to Me

Wow, twenty-two times around the sun. Time sure does fly fast.

I figure that my birthday would be a good time for a little State of The Ferg, a time to reflect on everything that has happened in the past year, which is a lot.

I think this past year has seen more change then any previous year and, as Ms. Stewart would say, it’s a good thing.

While I won’t be graduating this year, the end is definitely in sight. This time next year, I’ll be completing my last semester.

The last 3 years have been spent building a toolbox with which I can practice engineering. It’s only been the last semester and now this one that I’m finally able to pull tools out my box and use them.

While I continue to learn at school, I’m also expanding in my extracurricular activities; especially in the photography and coding arenas.

I’ve had many great stories with many more great friends.

In a time of constant change, I’m happy to report that things are most definitely changing for better.

This coming year promises much with school, work, family, and friends.

And as many things start to wind down from a local perspective, other things are opening globally.

The future looks to be more exciting now then it has ever been in past and I’m exciting to be part of it.

Who I Won’t Vote For

It’s not a real secret that I’d like Ron Paul to become president. However, I’m not an idiot and so while I hold out hope for my man, I also realize that he has a slim-to-none chance of winning.

And instead of figuring out which candidates I like, I’m going to list which candidates I don’t like and thus won’t vote for.

Here is the current list of Presidential candidates I will not vote for:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Rudy Giuliani
  • Mike Huckabee

Other Andrew Ferguson’s on the Web

There are a bunch of Andrew Ferguson’s out there on the web, Google reports about 317,000 hits. Most of the time, I don’t think we (as Andrew Ferguson’s) give much thought to the existence of the other Andrew Ferguson’s. However, every once in a while we do.

Take the Andrew Ferguson of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada that I found (well, he actually found me first) about two years ago:

From inri33.livejournal.com:

Plus it was hella cool when a wager I created and implemented showed up on both BoingBoing, Gizmodo, and the BBC. Also on a bunch of blogs, including one that I just found that’s kind of creepy. The guy posts here and links to the Gizmodo story, which in and of itself is not creepy. What is, is that he has the same goddamn name as me and the domain to prove it. I’m really tempted to call him and explain why I think this is funny, because his cell number is on his site.

Interestingly enough, he’s also an amateur photographer (like myself) and takes some great pictures.

Why I Won’t See ‘Untraceable’ or What Code Doesn’t Do

The advertisements for ‘Untraceable’ are pretty exciting. Some sick schmuck kills his victims using a web site. The more people visit the site, the faster the victims die.

From movies.nytimes.com:

You may view “Untraceable,” as I do, as a repugnant example of the voyeurism it pretends to condemn. Or you may stand back and see it as a cleverly conceived, slickly executed genre movie that ranks somewhere between “Seven” and the “Saw” movies in sadistic ingenuity.

Here’s my issue though: the concept is fatally flawed from the get go. In short, all our heroine needs to do is yank the DNS entry for the site and the game is over.

I might let something like this slip if technology were more accurately represented on a regular basis, but it’s not.

Matthew Inman has nice round up of the top 10, What code DOESN’T do in real life (that it does in the movies):

From www.drivl.com:

10. Most code is not inherently cross platform
Remember in Independence Day when whatshisface-math-guy writes a virus that works on both his apple laptop AND an alien mothership? Bullshit!
If real life were like film I’d be able to port wordpress to my toaster using a cat5 cable and a bag of glitter.

Portfolio Inductions

I’ve added nine more photos to my portfolio:

Left Wings (by Mr Ferguson)
Left Wings
Note: This is one image, not two

â„–s: 483 & 984: Chuck Batchelder & Kathleen Holland (by Mr Ferguson)
â„–s: 483 & 984: Chuck Batchelder & Kathleen Holland

#483: Chuck Batchelder (by Mr Ferguson)
#483: Chuck Batchelder

Ryan's Skating Vans (by Mr Ferguson)
Ryan’s Skating Vans

Seattle From Alki (by Mr Ferguson)
Seattle From Alki

Solo Red Car (by Mr Ferguson)
Solo Red Car

Untitled Laura (by Mr Ferguson)
Untitled Laura

Untitled Laura (by Mr Ferguson)
Untitled Laura

Untitled Laura (by Mr Ferguson)
Untitled Laura

A Woman Crammed in The Car

On the way to a dinner party in Redmond, I looked over at the car next to me at a stop light. The woman in the passenger seat was crammed up against the window due to a large package that was slide between her and the driver. She managed to look over at me right before I snapped the picture and was able to cover her face, although I don’t know why:

DSC_1398 (by Mr Ferguson)

The driver, who I presume is the husband, then glanced over at us and gave us bit of an evil stare.

Flight of the Puke

…with a Hat Tip to Adam for the find1.

Update: Video wasn’t mine, nor hosted on my account. I’ve found another copy of the video and linked to it above.

  1. Archived here, in case it ever disappears from YouTube. 

Constantly Searching

During high school graduation, I gave a speech. I remember having a fun time writing it. I wanted it to be my own special moment of profoundness. Whether or not I accomplished that is not for me to decide.

Let’s take a short walk almost four years back in my life:
<a href='http://andrewferguson.net/2008/01/22/constantly-searching/youtube_1jpg/' rel='attachment wp-att-2244' title='youtube_1.JPG'><img src='http://www.andrewferguson.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2008/01/youtube_1.JPG' alt='youtube_1.JPG' /></a>

I pulled quotes from a couple of sources which had been influential in my life, namely Shakespeare and Star Trek.

Quoting Shakespeare is nothing new for anyone. In fact, Star Trek takes from Shakespeare on a fairly regular basis and there’s some considerable similarities between Klingons and Roman Shakespeare1.

However, I did not use Shakespeare solely because of its Star Trek connection.

I had a hard time with Shakespeare in high school, and for me, quoting it was sort of a way for me to say: “I hate how complex you [the works of Shakespeare] are, but I still respect and admire you.”

I suppose that I could have also quoted Wordsworth, Blake, or Coleridge. But I didn’t.

I watched the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine on Sunday and was reminded of one of the Star Trek quotes I included in the speech:
<a href='http://andrewferguson.net/2008/01/22/constantly-searching/youtube_2jpg/' rel='attachment wp-att-2243' title='youtube_2.JPG'><img src='http://www.andrewferguson.net/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2008/01/youtube_2.JPG' alt='youtube_2.JPG' /></a>

It is the unknown that defines our existence. We are constantly searching, not just for answers to our questions, but for new questions. We are explorers. We explore our lives, day by day. And we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge. And that is why I am here. Not to conquer you with weapons or ideas, but to co-exist and learn.

I never actually attributed this quote to Star Trek in my speech, which is probably one of my biggest regrets of the entire thing. I think my reasoning at the time was to try and reduce any negative impact that mentioning Star Trek would have on my speech.

For example, let’s say that I quoted this:

As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.

By itself, these come off as great words. Now let’s say that I told you C.S. Lewis wrote them. Now they’re even better words! Profound statement and respectable author makes a great quote.

Now let me postulate that Adolf Hitler was whom I quoted2. My guess is that would not go over so well.

Not that I would/should ever equate Star Trek and Hitler, but I think my point is made.

Back to the Star Trek quote though. I really like it, especially the first sentence: “It is the unknown that defines our existence.”

I like it because it is a statement of purpose and one that I can agree with. I exist because there are unknowns.

The statement of purpose then leads to a statement of mission: “We are explorers. We explore our lives, day by day. And we explore the galaxy, trying to expand the boundaries of our knowledge.”

We are explorers. We explore. We explore the human element and we explore physical element. And as we explore, we find answers to the aforementioned unknowns. But we also find more knowns.

To me, that’s exciting.

There really is no other point to this except to share that thought and rectify my failed attribution.

By the way, that quote was from Adolf Hitler.

  1. You Haven’t Read Klingon Until You’ve Read It In It’s Native Klingon by Andrew Ferguson, 10/11/2003 

  2. I think this fulfills Godwin’s Law for this discussion 

For Rent: Students From NATO Countries Only

0121080828 (by Mr Ferguson)

If you overlook the fact that this violates the Federal Fair Housing Act1, it’s kinda funny at first.

After a bit more thought, it becomes less funny, especially when you consider the fact that many of the International Students at Mines are from the Middle East, none of whom are part of NATO.

You can examine the advert yourself down at Higher Grounds Cafe.

1 U.S. Code Title 42, Chapter 45, Subchapter 1, Section 3604 (b): “To discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.”

Dropped Off on Both Ends

I dropped Jeff off at the airport yesterday for his flight back home to Seattle.

This would normally not be a notable event, except that I also dropped Jeff off at the airport in Seattle on his flight here to Colorado.

You read that right, I dropped Jeff of at the airport in Seattle in my car. Then drove to Colorado and dropped Jeff off at the airport in Colorado in my car.