Sunday, February 20, 2005

Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.

I'm sure Ben Franklin had a divine experience one night at the pub that led to this revelation. Today my paraphrasing of Mr. Franklin's quote is, "cancelled meetings are proof that God is a redneck and wants me to watch NASCAR."

I was supposed to have a code review meeting this afternoon with three professors. The project has been going on for 6 years and while they direct the work being done they don't really know what is in the code and how it looks. Since it will take a while to go through all 15,000 lines of code and the concepts represented we've scheduled a 3 hour meeting for every Sunday afternoon until we're done.

I'll not comment on the fact that I had a Sunday meeting to begin with, how I'm really not all that bothered by that, or my thoughts on balancing professional and personal lives as a PhD student. Those are all subjects for further posts.

Today's meeting was scheduled to start at 2. I got a call at 1 from one of the professors saying the meeting would have to be cancelled because they have to get work done on their tenure package that is due tomorrow. Woohoo! I had been watching a little of the Daytona 500 prerace show trying to get my redneck fix before heading to campus. I did a happy dance that had Lidia rolling on the floor, grabbed my laptop, and parked myself with an adult beverage on the couch to watch the Superbowl of NASCAR (no comment on that for now either).

In other happ news, broadband via cable modem was setup yesterday, so I am on the couch with a 5Mb connection!

Boogity, boogity, boggity! Let's go racin' boys!

Monday, February 14, 2005


I need a sign I can hang on my office door with these words. I could use it in the mornings until I have drank enough DrPepper and gotten my BCC (blood caffeine content) to an acceptable level, say 0.3. Usually I don't need the sign because I'm the first in the office and able to shotgun DrPeppers in silence to get my fix. However, this morning I get to the office to find two coworkers in their office waiting to pounce on me.

The first wanted to discuss the underlying philosophy of the code I'm working on and why I hadn't specialized a class with a particular type (if you don't understand that last bit, trust me, you really don't want to). Half an hour of this when I have had enough to drink is too much, but before I've gotten my fix it is really like having a death wish. I managed to not snap until the last three minutes, and thankfully by then we had reached an understanding.

The second had an implementation question. Fair enough, we're working together on something and I've been working on the code longer so I should be able to answer the question without problem. However, in the haze I was in from the lack of stimulants in my bloodstream and still reeling from having to think in the first conversation it took me a little while to come up with a solution and I wasn't as polite as I should have been.

I can't just shut my door because I had to walk by their office to get into mine so I was already spotted. I really do need the sign or some other indicator to let folks know they are putting themselves in harm's way by approaching me at this time. It would save them injury, and probably get me a discount on my personal liability insurance.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

News from the nerd world

Two posts in one day. The only thing that could cause me to be so active is good news in the nerd world that probably interests no one reading this, but I'll share anyway.

CNN is reporting the HP CEO Carly Fiorina has been forced out by the board and the search for a new CEO will begin immediately. I have a soft spot for HP since I co-oped there as an undergraduate. Since Carly became the CEO the decisions that have been made have been driving the company into the ground. I guess shareholders agree with me since HP stocks were up some 10% in trading this morning.

I know a few former Compaq employees, Compaq was bought by HP, that will also be happy to hear the news.

One thing I don't understand in the article though is the talk of breaking HP up into two or three separate companies. HP split its medical and engineering hardware division off into Agilent Technologies back in the late 90's. If HP splits its printer business off into a separate company I don't know what they'll have to profit from. I'll leave such speculation and rationalization to the analysts that are paid to figure these things out.

Good luck to HP in their chance at a new start.

The dreaded naked wall

Not much news on the school front. I managed a return to the pool last week after recovering from my cold, and now I'm working on getting back in shape. I've had to start back at the beginning, swimming for 20 minutes and trying to survive. By the end of next week I'll be back to 45 minutes. That is the one thing about being sick I dislike the most.

Lidia is starting to show more, and is surely going to get sick of me telling her how cute her belly is and slug me before June. Last weekend we started to make space for the baby. We rearranged the bedroom to make space for a recliner and book case from the office. It has made a nice reading space in the bedroom that I'll enjoy using. Now the office is almost half empty, and will be once we take off part of the desk and relocate the keyboard. The empty space is just waiting to be filled by the baby. Anyone have any neat ideas on decorating baby room/ office space?

As part of the rearranging we also finally got around to hanging a few pictures on the walls in the bedroom. We have lived in our place for eight months now with nothing on the walls except a clock in the office, and a calendar and a few pictures in the kitchen. Sad, yes, but neither of us is big into decorating. Anyway, now we at least have pictures on the walls in the bedroom too.

As part of the rearranging and picture hanging process we discovered that at one point we had, gasp, a naked wall. This is a wall that has been completely empty for over half a year, and by hanging a picture on it that is a little too small it is suddenly naked, and naked is worse than empty. I'm not sure how the decorative physics all works out. I guess the desolate wall look is a fashion statement itself and when you hang pictures you aren't allowed to stop somewhere between barren emptiness and a dense population. Disaster was avoiding by relocating the lamp on the wall and finding a larger picture for the space. The wall is no longer nude, and is suitable for viewing by family audiences.

This weekend the search for a crib and other baby furniture begins. I just hope we don't wind up floating from store to store in the rain.