Jun. 27th, 2010

dagoski: Emperor Norton I of the Bear State Republic (Default)
I had thought I would've done something cooler with this blog by now, but I've been unable to find the interest of late.  First, I'm about 50,000 words into a novel I'm writing.  The amount of world creation that's gone into it brings the total closer to 100,000.  I think this might be one I actually finish.  I've tended to crap out at around 50,000 in my past attempts.  I'm setting the work down for the next few weeks, though.  I'm in the final stretch of time here in Philly and I need to work on packing.  Mostly that's done already.  I find myself both depressed and impatient.  I'm sitting in a mostly bare apartment bereft of art and all the things that made it a home.  Boxes stretch from end of the living room to the other.  I want to be on my way already.  That'll happen quick enough.  I'm pretty surly for the time being though.  I've been looking for a job to replace the one I'm leaving for more than a year and nothing has come up anywhere within a three hour drive of Michelle.  So it's unemployment/under-employment and back to school with me.  I'm not thrilled with this especially in the current political climate.  On one hand, the large banks that created the credit crisis have failed to anything to alleviate it and are hoarding all the money they made off Federal payments and dodgy deals.  No one's loaning right and that's kill the recovery before it's begun.  The deficit hawks are doing their best to kill the administration of a president whose race they dislike.  They were curiously silent for steep tax cuts to pay two wars of occupation far away from traditional US interests.  Notice how that sentence fails to parse.  That's old fashioned Reaganism there.  That's part of the BS line that cutting taxes raises revenues.  Notice also how our deficits grow under Republican rule but decline under a Democrat?  Not all Dems are cut out like that.  Anyway, there's no pump priming going on to restore some sense of normalcy to the economy.  Not this time.  At the same time, there's a stubborn refusal to attack the whole entitlement vs revenue issue.  No party wants to take that one on because they fear it'll alienate voters like me.  Hey, no prob here, man.  I haven't believed I'd ever collect my benefits since Reagan got into office.  I've already written that piece of the New Deal off as history from a nostalgic Golden Age.  So, my job prospects are not good.  Then there's the Tea Party candidate who says that I'm spoiled for collecting the unemployment insurance I'm due for paying into the system all these years. 

I haven't been in such a great mood this past year.  I've been living away from Michelle and we haven't been able to visit each other on a regular basis because we don't earn enough money to jump on a plane every month or so. Thought we did, but paying two rents has meant that sticking with my job has meant breaking even and no more.  So, I've found it pain to find the motivation to do things.  I haven't wanted to be social because I lived in this constant mood of being on the edge of leaving.  That didn't turn out so I've wound up living like some crazed hermit in a cave.  Looking forward to being near to the old Ann Arbor crowd in a few weeks.

Work has been interesting.  I'm working on an automated QC system for multimedia language resources.  I can directory structure, troubleshoot audio headers and even do some rudimentary XML validation.  I'll be able to do more once we upgrade our SAX Python version.  I'm hoping I can break ground on the video QC module this next month.  Eventually, I'd like to include some language ID capacity as well.  That's the gold standard.  If you can identify the language with even a 50% certainty, then you're pretty sure the resource has been well structured and you've parsed it well enough to get something other than gibberish out of your LI module.  This is all part of an advanced project that I might consult on in the future.  If that goes well, I can earn a part time income from my current employer by redesigning the publication catalog and developing advanced Description Logics and Ontologies for describing language resources.  Sort of a specialized Resource Description Framework that allows a software system to parse the description and launch into a full blown Quality Assurance test.

But right now, I'm sitting in my cheerless apartment waiting for it all to be finished.  I'm embracing the lameness and taking time to reflect on things as I pack and await the arrival of the wife who will whisk me off to the relative paradise known as Toledo.


dagoski: Emperor Norton I of the Bear State Republic (Default)

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