afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I've been sucked into coursera, and I've started a couple math-based classes.

The last time I tried this, I stopped a few weeks in because I tried too many hard classes at the same time, and couldn't work them into my schedule. This time I'm ramping up more slowly: intermediate algebra (to brush up my skills), pre-calculus (same, but at a more accelerated pace), and data analysis.

I find statistics a challenge. I get the basic underlying concepts in an abstract manner, but find it really difficult when it comes to actually applying them. Which points to my not really understanding the basic underlying concepts, heh.

Just had my first eureka moment: I can happily parrot back that SD = square root of variance, but I never got why it mattered which one you used. And just two sentences cleared up years' worth of confusion:

"Variance is expressed in (units of x) squared. Standard deviation is often preferred because it is expressed in units of x"



Saturday, March 6th, 2010 12:48 am
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
OMG. I think I just figured out why I was having trouble with crochet. I needed to do a turning chain at the beginning of each row, but I wasn't aware that the concept even existed because it was only mentioned within a list of a glossary of other terms (not instructions), which I'd skipped over.

Meanwhile, my eye had been drawn to the basic stitches section because they contained diagrams. Very nice ones, too \o/

Each diagram explained the stitch I had to make, and even explained how to start a row from the foundation chain. After the diagrams of the stitches was one paragraph explaining how to crochet into the next row, which basically said, "do what you did for the foundation stitch, but push the hook through both sides of the top loop".

I sometimes have trouble with diagrams, so I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to follow these diagrams at all. And that just made it all the more frustrating that my work was shrinking with each additional row. (Maybe I wasn't following the instructions properly? It would not be the first time I'd misinterpreted a diagram!)

So. Turning chains. [personal profile] zarhooie commented letting me know that I'd need to do chains. One google search and several clicks later, I figured out what I was missing.

I also did a couple of things that helped me as a beginner:

* switched to a lighter-colored yarn, so I could better see the stitch definition (I remembered how much more obvious the flaws were in the light sections of my grandpa's scarf, because I could see the stitches better. I guess that was useful at least ;-))

* switched to a smaller hook, as per [personal profile] starshadow_rivaulx's advice which made the hook easier to push through the holes. I thought I needed a bigger hook so I could have a bigger loop, which would make it easier to see the stitch I was working on, but switching to a lighter yarn did the trick much better

* managed to finally figure out how to tell which loops I've already done, and which loops I haven't so I don't end up with doubled or dropped stitches

My first row looks horrible, but I've somewhat figured out what's going on starting from the third row up.

I'm having a difficult time crocheting without looking at my hands. I guess that just comes with practice?

(One thing I'm actively trying not to do: compare knitting to crochet. Much more enjoyable if I treat them as totally separate things -- the only thing they have in common is yarn, and the use of a(t least one) metal stick!)


Sunday, February 28th, 2010 09:58 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Dropped by the bookstore to pick up some things for my mom. I came face-to-face with a copy of TC7 Leithold (which is not the proper name for that calculus book but it is what I shall always know it by).

I... wow I was so tempted to buy it and give calculus another try. Six hundred pesos seems like a lot as a student, but it's a sum I can afford easily now that I'm working. (Now time, that's the problem!)
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
Trying to find an English word which sounds out like "ng+g" (not necessarily spelled that way), to prove (or maybe disprove) a point in a conversation.

I thought "finger" was close, but it turns out it's pronounced "fin+ger", rather than "fing+ger", huh.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
So far this weekend, I have:

  • Committed massive fail at work (not going to give details, just... ugh, but the world didn't explode, and I didn't get fired, so)

  • Started driving again (wow, driving with automatic rather than manual is so much easier)

  • Started cooking again (nothing fancy, just made canned tuna more palatable using three pieces of calamansi and some garlic, but I'm finally making stuff that's not eggs eggs eggs? *g*)

  • Submitted a patch where I had almost zero idea where to start

  • Claimed another bug which frankly scares me... (performance considerations anything makes me nervous)

  • Started looking at some more courses in MIT OCW during my free time -- I'm wondering if I can make sense of Calculus this time around

And I would have gone to yoga with my cousin, except that she couldn't make it *g* Tiny things, etc, but it's been a pretty good week.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I am fascinated by hacking stuff, by finding the ways that something fails and the ways that something succeeds, and then digging into that gray area of behavior where it doesn't exactly fail, but it wasn't exactly envisioned to work that way, either.


Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 01:31 am
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)

  • I am falling behind on a lot of correspondence; I need to set aside a day to respond to comments and bugmail and email

  • OTOH, my work inbox is completely empty, whoo!

  • watched the first lecture for [community profile] intro_to_cs. The segment where he was generating syntax errors reminds me of the first day in CS 101 where our take home group assignment was to take a simple Java program, and find as many ways as we could to make the compiler complain

    ... that was awesome fun

  • Also, the blackboards in that video are really, really, nifty

  • Learning about Spring MVC for work. Slightly less fun, but I shall sort it out. (I may soon treat myself to learning jQuery from the very basics, which I also need to study, to break up the meh of enterprise Java)

  • Reworked three patches, uploaded one new one, have one last one almost ready (just need Pau to comment on one bit)

  • Tomorrow shall be a reviewing day, I think. I meant to make it part of today, but it's getting late

  • Ran out of my current yarn stripe; switched back to white for my pouch bag. I am on the final stretch, I think!

  • Need to make time to go to the one yarn shop I've found that sells non-acrylic yarn. I have found some acrylic yarns that are easier on my fingers, but I do miss the feeling of cotton (and I may get something else -- not sure what, but I want to treat myself to trying out a texture I have not tried before)

  • Coding is patterns; knitting is patterns. They play around in the same area of my brain :-)

  • I thought the whitepages were my connection's fault, but no they aren't? I guess that makes sense

afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
[personal profile] zvi pointed out an interesting community: [community profile] intro_to_cs.

The community is for people following along a series of lectures from MIT (all information freely available online). And it uses Python, which I have been meaning to pick up.

No programming experience necessary.

I am nervous because it's been a while since I did anything even remotely resembling the rigors of academics. Classes! Study! Lectures! Commitments! Stuff! But I am excited, too.

Magicians of Love

Saturday, February 2nd, 2008 05:13 pm
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I just realized that I have never watched an entire series in Chinese. Let me go remedy that (I'm watching "Magicians of Love" right now, about... a beauty parlor?)

The show has been on my computer for ages now, but I've put off watching it because I'm not very fluent in Chinese, so I'd have to rely on subs, which means that I'd need to concentrate on what I'm watching instead of multi-tasking the way I usually do when I'm watching a show in English.

However, I've just discovered that I understand Chinese better than I give myself credit for. Unlike with Japanese shows, I'm not relying strictly on the subs. This tickles me.
afuna: Cat under a blanket. Text: "Cats are just little people with Fur and Fangs" (Default)
I don't know how to cook, and starving while I'm in China doesn't appeal to me so I decided it was time to learn. Two nights ago, I learned to mash potatoes (note that I didn't say cook potatoes). Potatoes + butter + milk, dash of salt, some wrist action, and I have a side dish!

Then yesterday I learned how to cook scrambled eggs. (eggs + milk + salt + pepper + more wrist action). Too late, I realized I wanted to have a cheese omelet -- the egg had already been cooked, so I grated a block of cheese over the scrambled eggs, and it turned out mildly pretty. Added toast, a bit of ketchup, and tadaa, breakfast!

I know I still have a lot to learn, but I was satisfied that I at least wouldn't grow sick on just instant noodles and takeout. Then I realized that I didn't know how to cook instant noodles...

This morning, i decided to learn. I now know how to boil water and drain noodles. Isn't it great?