WARNING: Do Not Yawn

The eerie part: my roommate is in this video. As is another person in my hall. The scene occurred in their business computing class HA 1174 (in the School of Hotel Administration) one month ago, but it went viral within the last week, suddenly reaching epic proportions today.

The class is normally filmed so that students can later review the lectures online on Blackboard, an academic portal site. Somebody who is enrolled in that class (read: with access to the video) had the knowledge apparently of how to rip the video off of Blackboard and upload it to Youtube. Yeah, it is not impossible to do, but it requires at least some level of computer-savviness. Which means that person definitely needed a refresher on the definition of a kilobyte.

For the record, I am in the College of Arts and Sciences as opposed to the School of Hotel Administration, and I do not know Professor Talbert at all.

If Something Can Go Wrong, It Will

Moreover, it will go wrong at precisely the worst possible moment.

So it’s 8:25 am and I’m printing out a 2-page paper for an 8:40 class that is located 3 minutes away. It’s a seminar, so attendance is taken. But the printer in my room isn’t working. I try various methods of fixing it, such as replacing the paper tray, restarting the printer, and restarting my computer, but nothing works. The printer DOESN’T WORK.

It’s about 8:35, and I figure I can stand being a couple of minutes late because I’ve been like 10 minutes early every time before this so it’s just a minor lateness. I put the file onto my USB flash drive and go to the nearest computer lab in the Appel Center—and what do you know, the printer there is out of operation for the day. Great.

Now it’s 8:40. I go over to the Tatkon Center, where my class is at, and I know there is a way of printing there. It is 8:43. I ask the front desk people how one prints something, and they allow me to use a laptop that is attached to their printer. I turn on the laptop.

3 minutes later, it is STILL booting up. Finally the desktop appears and I frantically hit the windows button, which takes 1 more minute more to open. I navigate to the file on my flash drive, and double-click it. It takes 2 minutes for Microsoft Word to load. Finally I hit the print button. After a relatively short delay (of 15 seconds or so), the thing finally prints.

So I walk into the classroom at 8:50. Then I remembered that any work over 1 page should be stapled. So I reach into my backpack for my pocket stapler and—omg, where is it? Yes, for some reason I always carry a pocket stapler around. Except for the one time I need it.

Everything worked out fine in the end, but it was one of the most frustrating 25 minutes in my life.

Oh, and then, I go pick up the new battery I ordered for my laptop. Despite having the exact same shape and electronic specs and battery type label, it isn’t recognized by my computer. It matches to the point that it can provide power, but it can’t charge, so I basically have a one-time-use battery starting at 56% charge. It happens to be Made in China; the original battery on my computer was Made in Japan. This means I’ll have to make a return sometime…

Let’s hope the rest of the day goes better.

“If something can go wrong, it will.”

—Murphy’s Law

What Happens in New York…

After living in rural Ithaca (population: 30,000) for nearly four months, I found New York City to be QUITE a different experience. We went there this weekend, and between playing away during the game vs Columbia, marching in the Sy Katz parade, eating in the Cornell Club, and wandering around Grand Central and Times Square (and, of course, writing my novel), it was an amazing trip by all standards.

Anyways, novel-writing progress so far:

Day Words Written Accumulated Word Count
Nov. 1 4510 4510
2 1975 6485
3 3538 10023
4 1701 11724
5 1688 13412
6 2694 16106
7 1703 17809
8 1682 19491
9 1869 21360
10 2052 23412
11 2220 25632
12 2075 27707
13* 1721 29428
14 1720 31148

*Spent in/near NYC.

Just added the first badge on my blog:

I have so far managed to follow the 1667 words quota per day needed to reach 50,000 words in 30 days. I’m uncertain how much longer this will last because I feel very burnt out now. On Day 11 I wrote a 1766 word English paper and on Day 12 an 1862 word history paper in addition to the novel quota. On Day 13, the day of the trip, I had to write in strange places (at a hotel, at the Cornell Club, on the bus), but filled the quota. Yesterday, Day 14, I felt very unmotivated, just passing the 1667 word quota at 11:50 pm. I almost feel like taking a break for today.

But a writer must keep writing!

Writing Writing Writing

In the last 48 hours I have written 5400 words of a novel, a 1766 word English paper, and an 1862 word history paper.

This means the total word count across the last 2 days is 9028.

It’s over 9000!

I am about to a nice break though: the Cornell Big Red Marching Band is going on a trip to Columbia from this afternoon to Saturday night! I don’t have any imminent essays due, so it will be awesome compared to what I’ve gone through the last couple of days. 😀

Current novel word count: 26,760/50,000

An Experiment Within an Experiment

All right, it’s Day 6 of NaNoWriMo and I’m still writing. Yay!

So far my word count is at 15,153 words. Split up by day:

Day Words Written
1 4510
2 1975
3 3538
4 1701
5 1688
6 1741*

*and counting!

To reach 50k words in 30 days, you must average 1,667 words a day. I’m treating this as a daily quota, trying to write more than this on every day.

So far the story is developing pretty well. And by pretty well, I mean that it’s developing much differently than I expected. Part of the reason is that I did not think of a full, detailed plot before writing this one, as I did for my previous novel-writing attempt. For my current novel, I just gave myself a theme, a bunch of topics, and a general direction, and I started writing.

By the way, I’m conducting an experiment, just for curiosity’s sake, to find out when and where I’m the the most productive in writing. So I am keeping notes of when and where I write each segment. For those of you who follow this blog, you would know that NaNo itself is an experiment, so this is sort of an experiment within an experiment.

So here is a much more detailed progress table:

[Edit: For some reason the table is too wide and the right-most column is partially cut off by the sidebar. It’s the Words Per Hour column.]

Session Day Start Time End Time Duration Words Location Words/Hour
1 1 12:00 AM 3:00 AM 3:00 1680 Dorm 560
2 1 8:20 AM 9:30 AM 1:10 1336 Dorm 1145
3 1 9:55 AM 10:10 AM 0:15 209 Phillips Hall 836
4 1 1:10 PM 2:10 PM 1:00 582 Dorm 582
5 1 10:20 PM 11:35 PM 1:15 703 Dorm 562
6 2 2:45 AM 3:00 AM 0:15 227 Dorm 908
7 2 10:45 AM 11:10 AM 0:25 204 Dorm 490
8 2 3:25 PM 3:40 PM 0:15 113 Lincoln Hall 452
9 2 4:40 PM 5:10 PM 0:30 459 Uris Library 918
10 2 6:50 PM 8:00 PM 1:10 678 Dorm 581
11 2 8:40 PM 9:20 PM 0:40 232 Dorm 348
12 2 10:30 PM 10:35 PM 0:05 62 Dorm 744
13 3 2:00 PM 3:15 PM 1:15 798 Dorm 638
14 3 3:30 PM 4:40 PM 1:10 918 Dorm 787
15 3 6:15 PM 6:20 PM 0:05 55 Dorm 660
16 3 7:00 PM 8:30 PM 1:30 750 Dorm 500
17 3 8:40 PM 8:45 PM 0:05 36 Dorm 432
18 3 9:50 PM 11:50 PM 2:00 981 Dorm 491
19 4 10:05 AM 11:25 AM 1:20 1008 Math Library 756
20 4 3:20 PM 3:50 PM 0:30 331 Dorm 662
21 4 7:50 PM 8:00 PM 0:10 165 Dorm 990
22 4 9:15 PM 9:20 PM 0:05 82 Dorm 984
23 4 9:35 PM 9:45 PM 0:10 115 Dorm 690
24 5 11:30 AM 12:10 PM 0:40 573 Uris Library 860
25 5 1:25 PM 2:05 PM 0:40 509 Uris Library 764
26 5 3:40 PM 4:10 PM 0:30 324 Band Hall 648
27 5 10:20 PM 10:45 PM 0:25 282 Dorm 677
28 6 3:05 PM 4:45 PM 1:40 1718 Olin Library 1031
29 6 5:20 PM 5:25 PM 0:05 23 Appel Dining Hall 276
30 6 7:25 PM ? ? ? Olin Library ?

As a math person, I should probably be analyzing and pointing out nice results in this, but I’m planning to write more words! I’m in Olin Library at the time of this blog post, as implied by the last line of the table.

I have a very busy week coming up, marked by two prelims, a 2000-word essay, two 1500-word essays, AND a band trip (the only one of the things I just listed that I’m actually looking forward to!). This means I might fall behind schedule for the next few days. Fortunately I am three days ahead in word count right now (yay!), so I have room for slacking. I’ll try to maintain a steady quota though. Let’s see how this will work.

I ♥ WordPress!

Today is my first anniversary with WordPress! Yes, that means I started this blog on Nov. 4, 2009, exactly one year ago.

In year one, this blog received 221,517 hits (views).

182,490 (or 82.4%) of these hits came from one post: US Census 2010 Win. Thank you “certain person.”

84,570 (or 38.2%) of total hits occurred on one day: March 26, 2009. As the vast majority (75,741) of these came from the Census post, my blog was, for one day (3/27/09), ranked #58 on WordPress Top Posts.

The second most popular post was StarCraft II Unit Review: Protoss Void Ray, at 4,472 hits. Note that this is only a fraction of the the viewcount of the top post.

The third most viewed post was Tumblr vs WordPress: Simplicity vs Power at 2,582 hits. Fourth was The StarCraft II Map Editor, In Context at 2,183 hits, and fifth was Why is a Raven Like a Writing Desk? at 1,074 hits.

The longest single contiguous post was Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty Walkthrough, Difficulty Guide at 4,946 words. The second longest is the short story One Day, and One Day Only, at 3,129 words.

The shortest non-image post was When I Can’t Think of Anything to Blog…, at 4 words (not including the title!).

The most common search term that arrived at this site was tumblr vs wordpress, with 1,269 hits. Second was void ray, at 321 hits. There was a two-way tie for third between the scarlet letter and nargaque, at 253 hits each. And fifth was the persistence of memory, at 197 hits. Note that these stats are not truly representative, simply because of overlap, e.g., protoss void ray rush brought in 144 hits, void ray rush was 138 hits, and protoss void ray was 113.

[No very precise stats here.] The most effective referral site (i.e., the site which generated the most traffic here from links) is Digg, at an estimated 125k referrals, followed by StumbleUpon, estimated at 70k. The third site, Facebook, at an estimated 2k referrals, doesn’t even come close.

The busiest month was June 2010, in which I created 33 blog posts. My longest posting streak is 42 days in a row.

My most posted category was a two-way tie between Books and Life, each with 34 posts.

There were 212 total posts, for an average of 0.58 per day, 4.1 per week, or 17.7 per month. Accompanying these were 413 comments, including pings.

Well, I hope y’all enjoyed this plethora of data. How will 2010-2011 go for this blog? Well, as most of the 221k views this year came from one post, and that one magical post is actually quite rare, it would be very unlikely for this blog to match or beat its first-year record. Let’s see what happens.