I Want Criticism Not Compliments

The best gifts are useful gifts. One Christmas I got socks which I was a
little miffed about until it turned out I actually needed socks. Many times I
have been given compliments like a gift. What use is a compliment? There is a
quick rush of happiness, a little smug satisfaction, a tiny increase in your
sense of self worth. But how can you make use of a compliment? What information
does a compliment contain to better yourself with? The last thing I need is
more air to inflate my ego. I want criticism.
I can take criticism and use it to better myself or the project I am working
on. Criticism has a use and a purpose where a compliment does not.

Confessions Philosophy

Confessions of a Hopeless Egoist

You may have noticed the name of this blog, and perhaps even the domain it
is registered under. Why did I use my own name? I could have named this blog
something more informative, perhaps Grammar Challenged Musings or
Poorly Conceived Ideas. At least then you might have had a better
idea what the content I would be writing about would be. But no, I used my own
name. Is this perhaps merely a dearth of creativity on my end? Did I just run
out of ideas? Not at all. I am just hopeless infatuated with myself. So much so
that I have to name my blog after me. To do anything else would not be in my
nature, despite the pretense I had of using another name*. The phrase for this
is not good, or if you are less charitable, not healthy.

It is not just the use of my name for this blog, here is a quick listing of
some other failures associated with my rampant egoism:

  1. Failure to listen to others.
  2. Preoccupation with my station.
  3. Obsession with status (salary, possessions, intelligence, etc).

I should really read my own blog posts, that
would help. So what am I doing to resolve this.

1. Actually listen to people instead of daydreaming while you wait your turn
to talk. People other than myself have interesting things to say oddly enough
and perhaps I can even learn from them.

2. Never talk about money. The chance to brag and boast is just too great. I
am not even that wealthy, but I just cannot help myself so the best bet is to
eliminate temptation.

3. Never miss a chance to self-deprecate. I like to think this is a daily
chance for me to remind myself of how badly my skill is at some tasks.

4. Speak honestly and openly. If I can just say the truth I can tamper down
some of my outrageous beliefs. This blog is that in practice.

5. Internalize and use often the phrases “I do not know” and “that is my
fault”. The mere act of saying you do not know something or that something you
did was your fault helps, for me at least, accept it.

So with the confession done hopefully I learned something.

* For historical reference here are some blog names I was considering:

  1. Eye On the Clock
  2. Both Eyes on the Clock
  3. The Unobserved Garden
  4. Things Unobserved
  5. Undiscovered Countries

Reading these again, some of them are pretty awful.


Thank You Dearly Departed 6870

My short lived Radeon 6870 has gone up to Silicon Heaven. Specifically I had
the XFX HD-687A-ZHFC.

Thank you 6870 for the many days of gaming you provided. Thank you for the
clear Mass Effect 3 performance you gave. Thank you for 349 hours of Company of
Heroes 2 gaming you allowed. Even if you did die during a match. Thank you for
continuing my Counter Strike Source tradition by providing 2.5 half years of
more gameplay. Thank you for letting me experience the Witcher 2 as it was
designed. Thank you for rendering my Vegas projects and for playing all the
high definition content I wanted. Thank you for Rage, Spec Ops: The Line,
Metro: Last Light, Dishonored, Call of Juarez Gunslinger, and Swan Song. You
may rest now that your job is done.

Your successor will continue your noble tradition.

The ASUS GeForce GTX 770 will take your place.


The Excitement of Not Knowing

How many times during the day do you find you do not know something? Once or
twice? More than that? For me its just about the whole day. Not sure how this
widget works, unsure what this thing does, not clear what that word means. Yet,
for the most part, this is not upsetting to me. At times, yes, it can be
frustrating to fail just because you lack knowledge. But here is the thing, the
silicon lining if you will, it is exciting to find out you do not know
something. Why, because now you have the chance to improve yourself in the
easiest way possible. I am too lazy for the gym, I struggle to keep myself in
working order, and I can barely be bothered to eat some days, but given the
chance to learn something new, I will take it every time. We live in the
glorious future promised to us by scifi books for a generation. I can, with
minimal effort, find the answer to all the questions I think up today. Here is
a brief list so far:

  1. What does imprimatur mean?
  2. What does the error “undefined is not a function” mean?
  3. Does S. C. Rossi Automotive have a website?
  4. What car tires do I need?
  5. What is the difference between mortgage Pre-Qualification and

It took about 10 minutes total to find the answers to all those questions
and at the end I felt like a better person. Did it make me better at my job?
Probably not. Did I gain new insight? I doubt it. Still, totally worth it. I
gained that much more knowledge to apply to future problem domains and I can be
of that much more utility to others. So be not afraid to embrace what you do
not know. It is a chance for self improvement, which is always exciting.


The Last Thing Anyone Cares About is You

This took me a while to get and I still half wish it were untrue, but for
the most part people just do not care about you. Why is this? Because they are
too busy thinking about themselves. I am usually not in the business of making
broad statements so you do not have to believe that last sentence. I merely
invite you to consider, the amount of time you spend thinking about other
people. I would estimate I spend roughly about 5% of my day thinking about
other people. Breaking that 5% down even further about half of that 5% (2.5%) I
spend thinking about how nice it would be to get together with some people and
play some board games. The rest of that 5% I spend thinking about how other
people appear to me. So I admit, you got me, a small fraction of my time is
spent actively thinking (caring) about what other people say and do. Does 2.5%
of my total brain activity represent enough for you to care what I think about
you. I would say no.

Now, what does it mean that no one cares about you? It means freedom,
freedom of thought, of action, of personality. Because no one cares about you,
you can do all that you once feared. Think about all that time I wasted
preening, dressing half decent, worrying about what others thought about my
hobbies, etc. Almost all a total waste because everyone else is too busy doing
the same thing and has no time to care about me. If I want to grow a terrible
neck beard because I hate shaving, I will, because no one cares. If I want to
talk about how awesome Katawa
is, I will, because no one cares. If I want to spend all day
watching anime, I will, because no one cares. I am not saying to drop all
decency and be a slob, I am saying you should act as you and you alone see fit.
Worry about what others think is worthless because no one cares.

This is a tough rule to internalize and I admit to not fully following it,
but I try.


The State of the Cadian Helmet

I mentioned I would talk about this as it is a work in progress. Objectives
for this post:

  • Explain what I hope to accomplish.
  • Briefly cover the work up to now.
  • Discuss future work and improvements.

The End Result

Lets look at what an ideal final product would look like:

Pretty cool, but there are a couple tough elements to replicate.

  1. The sides of the helmet reach down much further than a modern day military
  2. The Imperial Guard logo on the front is pretty detailed and I have always
    been rubbish with intricate work like this.
  3. There are three rectangular side bits.

These reasons make it tough to just buy and modify an existing helmet so
that was out. This is why I started from scratch with a paper model.

Materials and Construction

The general idea is to take a 3d model from a game (in this case Space
Marine – RELIC) and ‘unfold it’ so that the 3d model is reduced to its
constituent 2d elements. Lucky for me someone did this already with the helmet
I want to make. You can find the file here. You will
need some free software like Pepakura
to view the file. The end result of all this is you print out a
bunch of sheets that in total look like this:

I used cardstock (heavy paper) to print out all the shapes. Then you have to
put this together based on the fold lines and the 3d model you can see in
Pepakura. I used hot glue to piece everything together. It is generally easy
until you come to a piece like this:

Complicated Cadian Helmet Fold

You ever seen I Borg from TNG?
Where the crew is thinking of sending an indiscernible shape back to the Borg
collective to destroy them. Borg would be toast trying to process this thing.
After about a weekend of time you get something that looks like this:

Gallery here.

Its a neat look and it is probably the hardest part of the project. Next I
covered the whole thing with fiberglass resin (inside and out) and then covered
the inside with fiberglass mat. The mat is coated with resin and bonds with the
inside of the helmet to form a hard shell. Couple of quick pointers on this

  1. Work with small batches or you will end up having the resin turn solid
    before you can use (re: the 20 bones worth of resin wasted on the Kasrkin
    OR MAT
    . I did not do this and that is why I had to hack out the bottom
    portion of the helmet so I could actually wear it.

After you do all the resin go over the helmet finding streaks of dried
resin. Sand these out so everything is smooth. You will end up with something
like this:

Gallery here.

Then apply a layer of bondo. This should hopefully give the helmet a nice
smooth look and provide additional strength to the outside shell. This is what
I ended up with:

Gallery here.

Yes it looks ugly, you sand all that off. Get a power sander. Your time is
too valuable hand sanding. This is the stage I am at now and here is what it is
looking like:

Gallery here.

Next Steps

Couple problems I encountered:

  1. Not sure I went to light overall on the bondo or just to heavy in places,
    but while sanding it is uneven in places.
  2. The logo on the front is not quite right. Right side is not mirroring the
    left, needs more sanding.
  3. There are a bunch of places where the there are little bondo craters.
  4. The bits that jut out the front are not quite finished.

Unsure how I want to proceed. I would like to fix the front tabs and smooth
out things a bit more. I could do another layer of bondo, but I am concerned
about the helmet weight and I would like to avoid adding more if possible. I
could try and fill in all the craters with regular white glue, but not sure how
well that will stand up to general wear. I could do another layer of resin, but
again concerned about the weight. Might be light enough to justify though.

After the helmet is sufficiently smooth I will paint it and add some eva
foam padding on the inside so I can actually be a bit comfortable wearing

Will update as project continues.


Why You Should Not Listen to Me Or Anyone Else for that Matter

I have a lot of things to say. Some of them probably will not make sense,
others are just bad, and still others will make you question how I can even
continue to exist. But on some rare occasion I may say or write something that
you might agree with. Stop. Do not do that. I am going to try and do everything
and anything to get you to agree with me, but that is exactly what you must not
do because you should not listen to me or anyone else. The only person who
matters is you. The only person who makes a decision is you. The moment you let
someone else start dictating how you should think, act, feel it is game over.
Go over here,
fill out the form, and sit down and wait.

Now you might say, Paul, aside from sporting such rugged good looks I agree
with you, I am in control, but you just told me to not agree with you! Yes dear
reader I did say that, but that is not the full extent of my point. It is more
accurate to say you should not agree with me UNTIL YOU HAVE COME TO THE
. By all means take into account my reasoning, another
source, a book, a website, anything reputable, but please oh please do not just
parrot back what someone says for the mere reason that they said it. Think
critically about the idea and examine just the facts. Whatever conclusion you
come to you should be willing to die over. To steal a phrase, fear is coercer
of conformity. When you liberate your thinking from the control of others you
can truly be your self.


On The Introduction of the Blog

Welcome to the first blog post of my own little digital journal. I would
like to take some time to talk about myself, lay out the reasoning for writing
this blog, and highlight some topics I would like to cover in the future.

Who is this Guy?

– name: Paul M. Geromini – Born: 11/11/1990 – Education: Primary School, BS
Computer Science UMass Lowell – Residence: Franklin, MA

Why start a blog?

1. I am vain. Look at the name of this site. Committing your thoughts to
some form others can read is an act of vanity, it is showing off. It says one
thing, that I have something so valuable, so important and worthwhile that it
justifies the hardware to show it (the server this blog is on), the electricity
to power the hardware, my money to pay people to maintain the
hardware/electricity, and most importantly, your time to read it. I must have
an incredible sense of self worth to even begin to think such a waste of
resources should be allocated for my ramblings. And yet here we are. The only
explanation is I am so vain that I think others want to know what I have to
say. Hopefully I will be able to justify such an expense.

2. I want to improve my reasoning and communication skills. Did you just
finish reading what I wrote above? It makes sense to me, but I am not sure how
many other people will get it. Either I think my reasoning is so above the
plebeian mind of the readers of this publication that only I can understand it,
or there is something terribly wrong with my ability to convey complex ideas
via words. Regardless the mere act of forcing my self to convert my thoughts to
text should, I hope, improve both my ability to reason through whatever
nonsense dribbles from my brain and my command over the actual mechanics of
writing (spelling, grammar, flow, etc).

3. Owning a domain should improve my technical skills. My job is to make
computers do things and hopefully do them well. The more time I spend trying to
do this the more I realize how much more time I must dedicate to accomplishing
this. By owning a domain I should hopefully be exposed to more unknown
technologies. The more I realized I do not know the more things I can
familiarize myself with.

Why should you read this blog?

Here is the deal, you should not. I am not kidding with you. Look at the
three reasons for starting this blog, do any of them have anything to do with
you? If I could simplify the above a bit more concisely I would say I started a
blog FOR ENTIRELY SELFISH REASONS. I might pass around the
blog link or put it in a signature somewhere, but I can accomplish all the
above regardless of the amount of readers of this blog. I will always have at
least one reader so presumably as long as he is satisfied, mission
accomplished. If however, by some character flaw, you want to keep reading here
are some topics I hope to cover in the future.

– Building a helmet from a paper model This is already mostly done so I will
probably just talk about how badly things went wrong.

– The Paul Philosophy I have opinions on how best to live my life. I will
try and share them.

– Buying a house I want to buy one of these things and I am totally
unprepared for doing so.

– Engineering topics I will take what little I know and try to explain it in

– Video Games/TV/Book Reviews I will try and articulate what exactly I like
or dislike about some form of media.

That is the stuff that interests me. If you want me to write about something
else feel free to write to