Recently in Work Category
September 30, 2007
Last night we left Ollie at a parents' night out thing run out of our daycare and worked on the house for about 4 hours. The floors and trim are pretty much done and the bedroom is painted a really horrifically neutral Pottery Barn Beige color, so the list of things to do is shrinking, slowly. I need to change out a pair of light fixtures, and we need to touch up, clean, and organize everything, and I'm so ready to be done I could scream, but it's getting there. I'll put pics up once it's gotten to a point where the idea of having other people see the house doesn't fill me with abject terror. ;)
The process hasn't been helped by the recent wave of illness that swept our house. I got sick twice in a week, once a headcold, and once a stomach bug that put me in bed for 24 hours straight. Ollie's had a headcold for more than a week now, and he's recovering from an ear infection on top of it, so things have been kind of rough for the little guy, but aside from some nights where he'd only sleep laying on top of us while we sat in his glider, he's been pretty much the same cheerful, friendly kid as always. It's amazing how good-natured he is almost all the time, I don't know where he gets it. He slept better last night than he has in a while, only woke up every 3 hours, was easy to put back to sleep, and he slept till 8:30, all of which combined for a much-needed night's rest for all three of us. Hopefully he's on the mend for a bit.
Work is kind of stressful right now, my team lost a (part-time) developer, and I don't think management has any plans to hire anyone to replace them right now. That makes my team the smallest dev team at ASI, despite the fact that we build the tools the other teams use to write their modules. Fortunately I have a really great team and I estimated enough slack into the schedule to cover for it, but I hope we get some new hires soon to help with the workload. It's really cool stuff, I'm happy to be working on all of it, I just hate feeling so rushed for time always.
Nothing else really new is going on. Hockey is fun, I have a good team and it's really starting to gel. Unfortunately I missed two games to being sick, but apparently my goalie had a great game for the first one and really stole it (at least, according to him ;)). I can't wait to get back and play some more, we have the lowest # of penalties and the lowest shots against in the league, which means we have a little room to play more aggressively on offense, especially since we do have a good goalie, and everyone loves playing offense. :)
The only thing I miss right now is real free time. Time to sit and read a book, or go to the theatre with Jen, or just hang out for a bit, things are so busy right now it's hard to catch your breath sometimes. I know it will slow down, and I know I'll look back on parts of this and miss it someday, but man I could use a break. :) Hopefully England will provide that, and I'm really looking forward to seeing Simon and Fiona and meeting Ben. Plus I hear we're going to visit Fiona's parents, and I've not been to Belgium before, so that should be a fun experience.
Anyway, quick update before I go back to caulking/spackling/puttying everything in sight. Fun fun! :)
June 29, 2007
So yes, we vacationed in Virginia for a week. We had a really good time, especially in Williamsburg. JetBlue caused us no end of problems, including losing our suitcase (I wish I'd taken a photo of all the Transfer tags on it when it finally came back, because it was impressive), but I'll not dwell on that.
Virginia was beautiful, it really drove home how much different the flora is from Central Texas. Austin is a fairly well-treed Texas city, but the ones here are scrubby little poseurs next to the woods they have in more temperate climes. Cooler weather was a lovely surprise, too, although if you want to know what the single best change was in my opinion? The lack of mosquitos. Oh, I'm sure there were a few, but I am not kidding when I say that spending thirty seconds in our backyard right now will result in no less than four mosquito bites. I've seen flocks, I kid you not.
On the plus side, all that rain has produced a very impressive cucumber vine and some massive tomato plants. Here's hoping they fruit before Texas succumbs to drought and everything dies again.
Williamsburg was really cool, it was very effective in making me more interested in revolutionary America. Jamestown (particularly the glassmaker) and Yorktown were fun too, but to be honest I could have passed on Busch Gardens.
I know I keep saying this, but Ollie is changing so fast. Since we left for Virginia he has started rolling over really easily, sitting up, eating solid food for real (applesauce and peaches are big hits; bananas are as well, but they're off-limits after he had a reaction to one), laughing all the time at just about anything, learning to love swimming (and splashing), and moving ever closer to talking. We're kind of halfheartedly doing baby signing, although to be honest I think it's an open question whether he signs "food" or says it out loud first.
There are, of course, a boatload of new pictures (more than 100, a new vacation record for me) and two new videos in the gallery.
Work is good. My team's current task list has them scheduled until at least the end of 2008, and there's always more to do, so no worries there. In fact, our R&D department, and our management, are emphasizing some things that will have my team at the very forefront of the company's long-term strategy, which is exciting.
Lindsay asked me recently if it was frustrating to be selling software now that I already know is obsolete. In some ways it's an interesting question, because it's not a question one programmer asks another; it's kind of a given. In other ways it's a really interesting question, because it's kind of the central fact of my professional life. Yes, it is frustrating. I know our customers could really use everything we're working on. In fact, some of the stuff I worked on in the last two weeks, I wish I could just give our customers, because it's so much better than what we're selling now. On the other hand, that does give them a reason to pay those software update fees, which keeps my dogs, cat, and baby in kibble, and they do like that. ;)
Anyway, for those of you who want a better insight into what it's like to write software, you might try looking at the book Dreaming in Code. Or you can buy me a beer and ask me questions, but then, Lindsay's flying off to Australia next week, so I guess she hasn't got that option. :-P
Being captain of my hockey team is so far a lot of fun. I tried to pick a team that just wanted to have a good time and play some good hockey, and it's by far the best locker room I've been in. Not a bad team, either, even if we are 1-2, but I'm certainly having a good time. :)
March 10, 2007
Today Jen and I took Ollie to the University of Texas Natatorium and introduced him to swimming. He loves his nightly bath so much--he squishes himself as far down as he can get into the water--we figured that putting him in the biggest bathtub he had ever seen was a good idea. He actually seemed alternately entranced and freaked out by the whole thing, but it was a lot of fun and I think he'll love the water as much as his parents do eventually. The lifeguards seemed to think it was really cute; I love it when people randomly smile at you because you have a baby. I just don't trust people who don't like babies. Anyway, he got cold pretty quick, so we were only there a half hour or so, but it was a good time. And then there was spicy vegetarian Chinese food after, so that's always a plus.
Speaking of Ollie, there are two new videos (one an "artistic reinterpretation" of the other) up in Ollie's gallery, as well as new-old photos from a 2004 vacation with Jen's family in North Carolina. Should you be interested.
You can definitely see the changes in his behavior, I think. He's nine weeks old now; when we brought him home, "holding Oliver" meant holding him in your lap while he slept for hours on end. (Ah, the joys of newborns, he says with the air of an experienced parent... ;)) Nowadays, he wants to be actively entertained, and what was hugely amusing ten minutes ago is as passe as last season's fashions. He does love his mobile, and he's getting pretty good at reaching out and smacking/grabbing onto random things, but he's not really to the point where he can significantly entertain himself yet, so things are actually a little more labor-intensive than they were a month ago. On the other hand, he smiles (hugely), coos, laughs, and is a lot more interactive, so it's not exactly a hardship spending time with him. :)
Work is very good lately. I had my annual review, and while I've had some positive annual reviews in my time, this was easily the best so far. Not only did I get a promotion to senior software developer, but the Director of Engineering has laid out a pretty comprehensive career plan for me, one that sounds absolutely perfect. It means a lot more responsibility over the next several years, and a pretty steep learning curve, but I think it will be a lot of fun and I'm really excited about it.
So life is pretty good right now. I'm excited to be going to Louisville in May, to show Ollie off to my dad, my brothers, and one of my grandmas (who haven't met him yet) and see everyone again. Time is flying by, so I'm sure it won't feel like too long. Although I do miss having people around. We had friends or family around so much from December-January that I guess I realized again how much I miss all the people we love when they're not around. I'm sad, too, that we won't get to go to England to hang out with Fiona when her and Simon's baby is born; I know she'll be well-attended, but nonetheless. Hopefully we can get over the pond sometime fairly soon.
So, to summarize: Ollie got wet, he's fun to play with, work rocks, and I miss you all. :)
November 7, 2006
...is my command, so I'm posting an update. :-P
I voted today, at an elementary school cleverly hidden in the woods near our house. Not that it mattered a bit, of course; Austin invariably goes heavily Democrat, the rest of the state heavily Republican, and every two years we consider walling them out and they consider walling us in. ;)
About the only votes I actually cared about were the ones funding local parks, central libraries, and theatre, all of which passed (though the theatre vote was closer than I would have thought; maybe Austin's not as arts-friendly as I thought).
Work is taking interesting turns. I've been advocating for a more open discussion of upcoming versions of our software; in the past we've been relatively tight-lipped, but I think our customers would be better served by learning about and discussing some things earlier on. It's a balancing act, of course, but this week I got the go-ahead to post about something I've spent a lot of time working on. It's not completely public, but it is available to any member of our blog site, so while I can't exactly say "go read it", at least our customers are getting a chance to learn about and think about it. I'm looking forward to what they have to say. I kind of envision part of my role being an advocate for third-party developers and system admins, so having dialogue with those people is really helpful for me (and very interesting as well).
We had a very fun baby shower (thrown by our good friends Shannon & Stephen) last Sunday. We stuck with the "favorite childhood book" theme that worked so well in NYC, so we got some very interesting gifts, all of which Ollie will love, I'm sure. I've taken to reading a book (or story) or two each night before bed, out loud so that Jenny, Ollie, and whichever of the animals cares to listen can hear it. I have to practice my dramatic reading skills (including voices ;), after all.
Nothing else of particular interest to report; I'm looking forward to our trip to Louisville for my birthday, we're planning a post-dinner Thanksgiving party that should be great, and Christmas (and Ollie) can't get here soon enough. :)
October 24, 2006
It's hard to believe it's already the end of October. (Of course, it would be easier to believe if it weren't still hitting 80 every day. I want Fall, damnit!) It seems like it was just a few months ago that we were carving pumpkins with our (still child-free at that point) friends Stephen and Shannon, not a whole year.
Of course, on the plus side, that means hockey is back on. :) We had Alec over last night to watch the Canadiens lose to Buffalo (after Janne Niinimaa guaranteed they'd win--smooth move), which was lots of fun. We have startlingly similar taste in books, too, which is cool. :) Also went out to a birthday party on Saturday that was a lot of fun. We don't stay out late very much anymore, so it was novel in that respect; we ended up hanging out in a neat little park with some friends until it got too cold.
Work is settling down a little bit again, aside from a minor crisis on Friday afternoon (why is it always Friday afternoon?) that I had to handle; it's been really busy lately, but at the moment I'm working on some estimates for the release after this, and it's hard to feel the same sense of urgency about that kind of thing. :) Tomorrow I'm supposed to take my work-provided pair of monitors in and exchange them for brand-new flat panels, which is cool. It certainly will give us back some of the dining room table--those 21" CRTs take up a lot of space. I should also be getting an IP-based phone this week, so I will no longer be tying up our phone line every morning for teleconferences. Which doesn't really matter to anyone but me (because I'll finally be able to hear everyone else in the meetings) and Jen (because she hates me tying up the phone), but hey. :-P
Nothing happening on the Ollie front. He's pretty active most days, which means Jen gets worried when he's not active, but he generally gives her a kick or two if she asks if he's OK. The class moves along; last week we simulated contractions (using ice cubes). It's all very interesting (actually, I'm finding it very useful to get a clearer picture of what my role will be, what kinds of things I will need to do and think about--I might be getting more out of it than Jen is, in some ways, although she does enjoy practicing the relaxation exercises).
Also I'm kind of getting the writing bug again for some reason. I might just ignore it until it goes away, I might not. It's been hard to start writing simply because the last time I did, I somehow managed to not save about 3/4 of what I wrote. I have the Word doc, it's just a lot... shorter than I remember it being. Which is frustrating, but I guess it's all still up in my head, so no great loss. Sometimes I think about trying to write and publish a novel or something, just to see if I could. And royalty checks (however small) certainly wouldn't suck. ;)
September 9, 2006
Yeah, so these things seem to be monthly, so here you go for the month of September. ;) I'm just kidding... or am I?
Anyway, last weekend was lots of fun. Sandy flew in from Florida (between all kinds of crazy business trips: we appreciate the stopover! ;)) and hung out all weekend. We went to the Botanical Gardens, and also a nearby collection of animals who had been rescued. Many of them had been people's pets, which makes you wonder about humanity (I mean, who thinks a bobcat would make a good pet?) I did feel bad for the coyote, Martha, though; she had grown up on a ranch with a family and dogs to play with, and now she's stuck in a small cage with no entertainment at all. She just paced back and forth, back and forth, and she really reminded me of the poor dogs at the Humane Society, the ones who keep hoping their family will come back and find her again. Some kids came by while we were watching her, and the way she perked up was kind of heartbreaking. The vultures were kind of cool, though, especially since it was feeding time (yum, rats!). Jen was a little squicked out by that, though.
Anyway, like I said, it was lots of fun. We went to see The Illusionist at the Alamo; I really liked the movie. It was all stylish early-1900's Vienna, and magic, and love, and an ambiguous ending (I love ambiguous endings), and Jessica Beal's te-herr-ible "Generic Euro" accent didn't detract too much, seeing as she didn't have all that many lines. I liked Edward Norton's role a lot, though, and Paul Giamatti did a good job too. Anyway, if magic and intrigue in Imperial Vienna sounds interesting, you should definitely check it out. We hit the Texas State History Museum as well, which had an interesting exhibit on Braggin' (It's not braggin' if it's true!), including a Cadillac covered in rhinestones (the glitteriest car I've ever seen) and an actual, working, VW Beetle made from wrought iron (which was amazingly cool). All in all a fun visit, with a very nice mix of activities and full-out lazy relaxation. My kind of holiday weekend. :)
Lately work has been madly busy. We have a major deadline Monday (I've been working 10- and 12-hour days, highly unusual for us), and another at the end(ish) of October, and somewhere in there we're moving offices. Well, I say "we", but I'm not moving offices, because I already did. I packed up my office at work, including my work PC, and brought it home, and I now work from the dining room 4.5 days a week. (The other half day I have to be onsite for meetings etc.) Working from home is, in a word, delightfullyawesome. It's definitely nice to have separate work and home PCs--easier, at least for me, to keep the two activities separate and be able to "leave" work even though I'm still here. I feel more productive, able to concentrate better; I couldn't imagine working in a cubicle farm again. A private office, maybe. ;) The lack of commute is really, really nice. It does take some discipline, but I guess I don't really find that all that hard to manage.
This weekend we're just kind of chilling. USA Baby was having a huge sale, so we picked up a full-body pillow for Jen and a car seat/stroller system. We also took down the popcorn ceiling in the nursery (which is terribly messy, by the way; there's fine white dust everywhere), I primered it today, and will be painting it tomorrow. We need to do the polka dots soon as well, just to get that room totally done and ready.
Ollie is really active lately, and he's pretty strong. It's very weird (in a cool way) to feel him kicking or punching. Today Jen said she tapped her stomach and Ollie immediately kicked her there, so she may have invented a new game. ;)
Charlie is finally back down to his ideal weight, but Cara managed to put on five extra pounds in the meantime. The dieting never stops here, man; we just take turns. ;)
Anyway, aside from Sandy's visit, my life is all about work and Ollie, so not much else to say. I hope all you guys are having a good time of it. :)
May 16, 2006
So the season has ended; my team finished in third place. The final stats for the season are available online here. If you drill down into the stats, you'll note I got no goals, no penalty minutes, and a single assist. Go me. ;) Still, I feel like I had a great first season and a lot of fun. The handful of pictures Jenny was able to get before the camera battery died are up in the gallery. I'm in black with a white helmet, #79. (I would have been #13, but someone else on the team already had it).
Being in the top 4 teams meant we got to enter the playoffs, which are a simple single-elimination tournament. Our first-round game was last night, against the 2nd-place team. Of our 4 regular defensemen, one was recovering from salmonella and the other had just gotten new skates (and isn't really comfortable in them yet) since the steel runner in his old ones shattered during a game earlier in the season (seriously). The referees seemed to kind of have it in for our team; we took 7 penalties to I think 2 for the other team, although I honestly think there were an equal number of offenses on either side. We did score first, one goal in the first period, but the second period kind of fell apart on us and we gave up two power play goals.
Fortunately, one of the things this team is very good at is coming back from a deficit, and we really went to work in the third period. My defensive partner scored a beauty of a wrist shot off a faceoff during a 4-on-4, leaving us tied. We had several more great opportunities, including one where I cut off a clearing pass, passed to a forward at the side of the net, and ended up with the rebound and a wide open net. My shot was a little off balance and someone got in the way of it, and we ended up with about 8 players involved in a scrum in front of the net--most of us laying on the ice. The puck ended up right in front of me, and I saw our center about three feet away, standing up. I very carefully used my stick to push the puck towards him, but as soon as he touched it the ref whistled us for a hand pass (which was nonsense).
Time wound down and ran out; unlike the regular season, there are no ties in the playoffs, so we went to a 5-minute 4-on-4 sudden death overtime. We played for about 3-1/2 minutes, with some good chances on both sides, until a miscommunication ended up with us apparently having too many men on the ice. (I'm not completely sure there actually were too many men, but that's what was called.) One of our centers, my defensive partner, and I ended up as the 3 in a 4-on-3. I was really excited to get tapped for the 4-on-3, since it indicated a lot of trust from my captain and teammates. Less than a minute later my partner got the puck in our zone. He had some time, so he held it, and the center started yelling for him to ice it all the way down. Instead, he very calmly passed it straight up the middle to the center, who fought off the lone defense in his way, broke in on the goalie, and beat him 5-hole. It was an amazing goal shorthanded in overtime, and the crowd (friends and family as well as the teams waiting to play the next game) started yelling. It was great. :)
So we're into the championship game, which will be played next Monday. We've played our opponents three times: beaten them twice and tied once, so we feel like if we play well we have a great chance. Either way, I've had an amazing time this season and I'm really glad I got to play.
In other news, yesterday and today my company held the annual conference for our independent resellers, consultants, and other developers. This year it was held here in Austin. I was scheduled to judge an annual competition yesterday, but I had to bow out at the last minute because I needed to make it to my playoff game. Today I gave a 25-minute presentation on recent improvements to one of the tools we sell. It was very well received, although I have several notes on things I can do better next time I get the opportunity. It was very interesting to me to meet all these people who build an entire ecosystem of software based on our stuff, and hear their perspectives on how things are and should be. Being an insider was a new experience for me too; all these developers wanted to know what's coming down the pipe, and how things work, and I have to keep in mind what I am and am not allowed to state publicly. It was very cool taking questions and being able to give good answers. Hopefully I'll get to participate in the conference in years to come as well.
April 27, 2006
I'm really bad about updating this thing. Sometimes I'm not entirely sure why I have it. :-D
Anyway, hockey has been going great. All of a sudden my team is on a tear; we've won our last 5 games, the most recent with a substitute goalie. In that stretch we beat the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams (we were more or less in 4th place for most of it). As of this last game we are tied for 1st place in the division with either 1 or 2 other teams (the latest games haven't posted to the website yet).
Of course, I still don't have a goal, an assist, or a penalty to my credit. I'm the only player on the team who has not missed a game of which that is true. :) Partially it's just luck; I've certainly had chances for goals or assists. Mostly it's due to the fact that I tend to play a defensive style; my partner tends to play pretty offensively, joining the rush or pinching to try to hold the puck in, which means I'm covering back in case he gets beaten. Still, we're winning and I'm having a great time, so I'm happy.
Work is going well. I've been working on my presentation for our reseller/developer conference, which is coming up very soon. I'm a little nervous;hopefully it goes well. No hecklers, that sort of thing. ;)
The garden hasn't died yet. We've been watering more than we did last year, and that seems to be helping. The bell pepper plant from last year has actually grown quite a bit, so here's hoping it feels productive this time around. This weekend I'm going to put up the new mantel and re-lay the floor in the bedroom. I'll be painting the guest room this summer, and I need to find some way to keep the stupid transition pieces attached to the new flooring (I think I'm going to end up drilling into the concrete and screwing them down) and then hopefully that will complete the inside of the house for the time being.
Also, for some reason, yesterday and today I've been thinking a lot about Neil. I'm not really sure why; maybe it's that all the flowers around here are blooming. I remember noticing on the way back from Houston that the bluebells were blooming along the highway; they were kind of heartbreakingly pretty actually. Either way. I still miss him a great deal, especially when I cut up bell peppers or broccoli.
April 6, 2006
Sorry about the lack of updates. I got busy again. Or got lazy again--take your pick. ;)
I won't recap the games individually, but our last 3 games have been a loss (a really bad loss; our captain got injured and one of our players got ejected for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty), a tie (0-0; our first shutout), and a win (in which I played like crap; see below) respectively. Aside from the really bad loss (which wasn't fun for reasons other than losing the game), the season so far has been lots of fun. I feel like I'm learning something every time I'm on the ice; I feel more confident every game, and I feel like every game I find some way to make a good contribution, even if it's not scoring (and it's not; I have 0 goals/0 assists on the season--but 0 penalty minutes, too ;). I actually kind of love blocking shots, partially because I find it incredibly frustrating when other people block my shots, and turning that around is very satisfying.
Anyway, I got really, really sick last weekend. I played hockey Sunday afternoon, felt great, had a great game (the tie, which we really should have won but for their substitute goalie playing like a pro), came home, had dinner, and then spent much of the night throwing up. Oh, and massively delirious. Apparently I was a real pain in the ass; I don't remember much of it. Monday morning I felt slightly better but was weak as a half-drowned kitten and still shaky, so I stayed in bed all day. Wednesday, we played our next game, and I was very obviously still tired. I couldn't seem to stand up on the ice at all; I fell down even more than usual (and usual is fairly often--my teammates call me the "Tasmanian Devil" for my signature spin-around-and-fall-down routine). Fortunately I don't seem to have relapsed, and we have a 10-day layoff to the next game, so I have time to recover.
We just finished a major milestone at work. The project that's been taking up the time of the majority of our developers for the last 3-1/2 years has finally come to a closure point, and from here on out we're going to be starting to pull that code into our existing applications and actually shipping it to customers. This isn't really new for me, because the stuff I've been working on has been the actual shipping applications, up until the last 3-4 months. Lately I've been getting things in place to significantly improve our infrastructure to make that migration easier; after Monday that will all be done (we'll be using .Net 2.0, SQL Server 2005, and Team Foundation Server--all really cutting edge stuff) and I'll be back working on actual code, which will be nice. I'm really a code monkey at heart. :-D
Some of the stuff I've been working on (and will be working on) is really cool; I'll be helping present some of it at one of our annual conferences, aimed at our resellers and other people who customize our application. That's very exciting for me; I often envy the situation of the various Microsoft developers who blog about their work and have very active, engaged communities, and this is kind of a similar situation for me. Although I've worked on applications for end-users at other jobs, this is the first time that I'm really starting to get directly connected to users/developers who aren't actually on my team or working for my company, and that's pretty cool.
September 15, 2005
Okay, so a quick update before I crash for the day; I have to get up at 5:45, after all. (In case you're wondering, I have to get up that early to catch the bus, in order to be at work by 8:30. Jen and I are riding the bus at the moment because gas is outrrrrrrrrrrrrageous and we're poor after August. :)
I played hockey Sunday for the first time in roughly 2 months. I'm still a little stiff. :-P It was fun, though; nothing like puck-in-the-corner drills to work out any lingering stress or aggression. Hockey is kind of funny, because nobody ever thinks of me as a sporty person. I played varsity tennis in high school, and soccer at various points, and now both roller and ice hockey, and yet when you think of sporty people I'm never one that comes to mind. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get to play in the league this fall (and I'm sure I won't this spring)--between the cost and my crunched schedule (spending 4-1/2 hours a day on the bus kind of squeezes your free time), there's just no way. Maybe next summer.
Work's been good. We apparently had a gangbuster August in sales and are shaping up for a good September. Our salescritters are evidently very excited about the new stuff we're putting in the next version, including specifically mentioning a feature that I worked on pretty heavily. I've never worked in retail software, and while 90% of the job is the same as it was at Boeing or LG&E or Darwin, the other 10% is completely different. :) I guess that's true of any job, but retail software just seems really different somehow. I need to think about that when I'm less tired; maybe I can get a decent post about that. In general work is really good; sometimes tedious, sometimes exciting, but all in all it's one of the two best jobs I've had, and I'm really happy with it.
We took the dogs in for their annual checkup today. Charlie is kind of fat. When we got him he was about 50 pounds. Last year he was about 62. Today he was 74 and change. I hope he doesn't have a thyroid problem; we should know in a few days. On the other hand at least a thyroid problem would be treatable, and would explain how he can gain 25 pounds on a diet of less food than the one that keeps Cara at about 55 pounds. :(
The plus side of riding the bus for 4 hours every day is, of course, that I have lots of time to read books. I've been going back through the Wheel Of Time series (next book in October!), at about a book every other day. The later books have some warts, but overall I still love that series. Jen and I went to a library book sale which was unfortunately kind of lame; nothing like the St. Louis one where they'd sell you a box full of books for like $2. I miss that. :)
You meet the strangest people riding the bus, though. I mean, I usually have my defenses against meeting people well in place; Zen headphones in, nose firmly in book, but there was this fellow at one stop last week who pretty much took the cake for "non-scary" weirdness. He wanted to talk about physics, and Einstein, and psychology, and computational theory, and neurology, and ghosts and UFOs and whatnot. It was one of the most wide-ranging 15-minute conversations I've ever had. His grasp of physics was a little incomplete, and we didn't spend too much time in computational theory, but hey, at least he was thinking about stuff. :)
Okay, I think that's about enough of a brain dump for right now. I'll try to expand on some stuff from this post over the next few days.
Also: Cheese. That is all.