JANUARY <-- FEBRUARY, 2002 --> MARCH
Been a busy week. Had Wednesday off and Saturday off. Saturday I helped Joe move, driving his box spring down 101 at 80 MPH, with a spotter making sure the thing didn't fly off the roof of the car. Jonathan said it wanted very much to be a wing, and thrashed a great deal, but at no point did it start to look more frightening than it already was.
Joe's new room is gorgeous. The room itself is nothing special, but the window overlooks the street, the park across the street, the adjacent telephone poles, the expanse of San Francisco rolling downhill to the bay, and the bay. Joe treated us to Zachary's pizza, the only stuffed Chicago-style pizza you can buy in the bay. I met Moshen's new girlfriend, who is awesome, and with whom we went to get ice cream, and later catch an anime called "Metropolis." What a stunning work of art THAT was.
Wednesday, my day off, much time was spent at the shiny company getting the project done for deadline. There's more to be done this week, when I have Wednesday and Thursday off. This past Thursday I worked at the shiny company starting at 9:30AM, got to the restaurant at 5PM, and worked through 'til about 10:30, closing the place.
The next day, Friday, I somehow managed to get to work an hour early, thinking I was late. Anyways, the past week had coached me to an earlier waking hour. Definitely a good thing. But I was tired too early on Saturday to feel properly motivated towards meetin' girls.
You know, it is hard to sit in a chair for hours on end and "do work" like in an office. Especially when I need to make the most of my time, I need to pace, pull hair, visit the washroom, the kitchen, look out the windows, chat on IRC, and send e-mail so I can think out the algorithms I need to implement, and then be ready to implement them. Kind of like an essay exam - you need to distract yourself enough that you can think about the question at hand, before you hunker down and express the answer. The fact of the matter is, the solutions I've been implementing are totally elegant and are implemented quite fast. I'd like to think that's creative energy. Perhaps I may yet learn to master the harvest of it.
Well, time to try and sleep.
Work progresses at a healthy clip at the shiny company. My colleague is waiting on a password to push files to the production box. But where is it? So close to 5PM. Bored.
A friend is sleeping at work this week because he and his girl are on the outs. Of course, I offered the couch, but he's content at work. So, yesterday, I took him out for some beer and Mexican food. Yum!
Ah, the phone call. Is the password imminent?
Yesterday I acquired a TiVo. You see, Joe's moving out, and they'd like a bigger TV at their house in San Francisco. My 27" Sony Trinitron has been sitting in the garage. Originally, he tried to buy Brian's, thus giving Brian an excuse to get one of those neat VEGA flat-screen TVs. But then Brian looked at TV prices and reconsidered. But, hey, TiVo is neat, and I have a TV to spare! My TiVo! Yay!
The first thing I did was take out that awful "Dragonball Z" that Joe likes to watch - in Japanese! Now I've got it set to record Nova and stuff. And "Sex in the City" for Jessica's benefit.
Last night I got to hang out with some old Tellme friends. We played pool and then we went over to the one guy's house to watch "The Fifth Element" on his super-huge TV. It was a special version of the DVD, or something, with a higher bitrate, so watching that (HD)TV was somewhat like watching a painting that moves. Fantastic! And that movie gets better each time you watch it. Lots of fun as long as you don't take it at face value.
Good to hang out with some old-time friends. Well, old-time by California standards, pushing three years in acquaintance. It's funny, because I have roots in Chicago, but I also have roots out here now. Wherever I live, I'll be away from somebody. I kind of like it that way, though. It is very nice to see folks after a long spell.
It gives me wonder great as my content
To see you here before me. O my soul's joy!
If after every tempest come such calms,
May the winds blow till they have waken'd death!
If a typical workday consists of waking up at 10AM, working from 11:30 to 1:15, a stop home and then a few relaxing hours at the bookstore, returning to work from 4 to ... 8? 9? and then back home to the roommate's home-made pasta, I guess I really can't complain.
Sunday morning and good Christians are in church. Down at the bookstore a handful of Pagans and hedonists relax in the upstairs coffee shop. I see a middle-Asian man practicing his handwriting in an East Asian language - I can't tell if it is Japanese or Chinese. Behind him there is an east-Asian man studying electronics. Some day perhaps an automaton can sit behind HIM studying middle-Asian philosophy. THEN we'll be there.
Jefe, the general manager at The Pizza Place, knows he's a tyrant. It's that he knows that he is a tyrant that makes him so compelling. One day, there were two groups of young folks appeared at the spur of the moment for two different birthday parties. The first group requested and was awarded a free birthday cake. The second asked, after seeing this, but The Man said NO. Well, I had to break the news. Why? Well, I don't know if I had to explain, and if I did my answer wasn't that "The manager is capricious in his tyrannical ways."
I got a good laugh, though. I pictured the Seinfeld Soup Nazi, another culinary tyrant, declaring "No CAKE for YOU!"
The kids had been unchaperoned, noisy, running around the restaurant, just begging to trip and bring on what the Tyrant fears most - a lawsuit. That is why he said no.
The Tyrant has also his good days - a lady who comes in many days a week for lunch got a free lunch for her and her friends on a recent Friday. "This is the best thing that's happened to me in months!" I think it was last night that a party asked if they could use two coupons, one per pizza. I said I'd ask the manager. I found him in the kitchen helping to keep the pizzas moving. "Can they use both coupons? I don't think so."
"Yes. I'm in a good mood tonight."
You know, I really like figure skaters. In my youth, I had a soft spot for gymnasts. But gymnasts are all twelve years old, so it is only appropriate that my tastes evolve as I age to another class of athletes with toned bodies that move artfully in flatteringly tight clothing.
I rode the bus again today. The driver got off and was replaced. It took him some time, and I noticed his shoes - the back of his heels were especially worn. It seemed weird to me at first until I considered that it must be because he sits for hours on end for days on end with his heels rubbing the floor, back and forth, as he accelerates and brakes.
But why both heels? I don't think he has a clutch. He's not riding the brakes, I hope ...
Today's highlight from the Atherton police blotter:
Catalpa Drive, Friday, 3:14 p.m.: An unknown four-door white Lexus was parked in the driveway. It was determined to be a carpooler who commuted to work with the resident's husband.
Yes, some lady in Atherton called the police on Friday because there was an "unknown white Lexus" parked in her driveway.
You see, Atherton has the highest average property value per square foot of any suburb in America. In Atherton, there are no stores, only mansions, surrounded by walls. There have been two home burglaries in Atherton in the past decade. Nothing mobilizes the residents of Atherton more than the town council unilaterally deciding to place those little reflecty things on the roads to help prevent accidents, spoiling the rural character of Atherton, which is just between Redwood City and Menlo Park, on the teeming peninsula that is the Silicon Valley.
Atherton is where the oppressor lives. It is important to note what the oppressor calls the cops about: suspicious vehicles, suspicious persons, basically, anything that doesn't belong in Atherton, like an unknown white Lexus of the proletariat, a potential harbinger of the revolution. Yes, the Atherton police blotter shall be watched. I'll try to share my findings with you.
Oh, and they decided to remove those reflecty thingies, though it cost a few thousand to scrape them off the road, to preserve the suburb's rural character.
I will say that while I'm not Chinese, it sure feels like a holiday. I scored the day off work from the restaurant to ride on to a lunch with a bunch of Tellme folks held to honor the lunar New Year. Wednesday and Thursday are my weekend, and tonight me and Angel are looking to go drinking down in San Jose, as today is also Mardi Gras, and Angel says they close off a block of traffic for booze.
I'll drink to that!
Feb 14 First micro-on-a-chip patented (TI), 1978 Feb 14 Bombing of Dresden, 1945 Feb 14 St. Valentine's Day
I read in the paper today that the DEA has banned all food products based on hemp, because trace amounts of THC are contained in them. Since the ingestion of THC is drug abuse, hemp-based foods are illegal, and consumers have 120 days to purge their domiciles of hemp-based food products.
I'd figure that poppy seeds also contain trace amounts of opium. Shouldn't the DEA also ban poppy-based foodstuffs as well? Otherwise, our society may be overrun by young urban types slamming down poppy-seed bagels and Chicago-style hot dogs to support their illicit habits!
What beautiful weather! What a good day to have off, for sauntering about the sunny suburban streets of Northern California!
Well, I'm up here at the shiny company, to explain some stuff to my patroness, who is in a meeting. That's cool, I get to chill for a moment.
Meanwhile, back at Tellme, I hear the winds of change continue to blow. "Getting more corporate every day." On the one hand, everything gets documented. Official rules and procedure of work, which, while you could stifle creative energy that way, you ensure that everything that is meant to happen happens just so.
Tellme, always a company that has respected its own sense of identity, is cultivating a more corporate image. Where once there was a multitude of bean bags dotting the office, now only beanbags of the appropriate, approved, color scheme may litter the floor. The unfortunately-colored bean bags are stowed away, out of site, where visiting suits wont have their vision tainted by their horrible, incoherent, colors.
You see, the start-up look is out. Now, stable corporate sanity is the aesthetic sensibility that cultivates the deals that bring the revenue. Still, it'd be a long road to travel down before Tellme became a cube farm. I hear concerns about bean bags and office plants messing up the symphony of individual creative chaos that was the company's ethos last year. But they have a ways to go before they become East Coast corporate monkeys, clad in suits and ties, living life out in grey cubicles, accented only by the orange and blue of the approved corporate color scheme.
Meanwhile, on Monday I received an e-mail from a guy who found my resume on the web after a long, frustrating day of fruitless interviews. I called him yesterday for what turned in to an impromptu telephone screening. So far, so good, and I'm supposed to hear from the manager today. Nice, well-respected company down in Santa Clara, just a few suburbs away, doing pretty much what I was doing at Tellme, only as part of a team. God, I hate to get my hopes up, so for now, I stay calm. :)
Hrmmm, I was just looking at my .cshrc:
if( -e /usr/local/bin/rsync ) then setenv RSYNC '/usr/local/bin/rsync' if( -e /usr/local/bin/ssh ) then if( -e /usr/local/bin/ssh1 ) then setenv RSYNC_RSH '/usr/local/bin/ssh1' else setenv RSYNC_RSH '/usr/local/bin/ssh' endif endif if( -e /usr/bin/ssh ) then setenv RSYNC_RSH '/usr/bin/ssh' endif endif
It makes me sigh with a weird sense of appreciation for the bizarre nature of Unix.
Of course, a more recent innovation:
if( -e ~/.cshrc.local ) then source ~/.cshrc.local endif
You see, the first long bit of code is designed to test things out and automatically set the right variables based on the local operating system. The second means I can just copy the same config file to every machine I use, and if anything need to be tailored to that particular environment, I just put it in the "local" file.
Of course, anyone who knows Unix knows that the "local environment" may be a directory on a disk that is shared by a bunch of different machines, each with their own unique quirks to tune to, so even in a local file, you might interrogate the machine that you are logging in to to set up your variables appropriately.
On Mon, Feb 25, 2002 at 08:04:02PM -0000, cshay wrote: > Type any two english words in google and see if you can get precisely > one hit. > > Example: "Cockteasing" and "Hallucination" > > http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Cockteasing+Hallucination Hrmmm, I don't believe "cockteasing" is an English word. I think to win here, you'd need a hyphen. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=cock-teasing+hallucination returns 8 hits. It is too bad that it does not suggest "cock-teasing" as an alternate spelling for "cockteasing". Clearly, the Google search engine has a few edge cases to work out.