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February 24, 1999
a year ago


Realized three things. First, that the demonstrator is always going to show ink the minute it's inked. Second, that the medium nib on the demonstrator isn't something that I'd want. Third, it comes, normally, with a steel nib that's gold plated rather than a real gold nib. So it won't ever have the flexibility of one of the better Pelikans. So I punted on it and bought the one from Pendemonium and got the additional benefits of getting to write Sam again and talk with him a bit. Also got a normal ink barrel, a fine nib, and real gold. So I'm happy.

Mailed Genevieve's box today, at lunch time. It was funny seeing the post guy's face when he read the declared contents. That was cool. International mail kinda wow's me, now, as it's just a week to get something to the U.K. now instead of a month or two. There are a few other things that I should mail over sometime.

More meetings in the afternoon. KFC for lunch, and I gobbled up the coleslaw but peeled most of the chicken. Interesting choices. Just what I was or wasn't hungry for. Dropped four pounds in the last week, though some of that's likely hormonal, it's odd to feel better.

Spent the entire afternoon in meetings. Meetings with some of the keener minds in Xilinx, which helped, but there was one ex-professor that just drove me insane, as he was lecturing as if to a not-very-bright freshmen class that had no concept, none, of what manufacturing software involves. It was pretty clear that the structures he was lecturing on made no sense to him. He had no clue why things might be the way they were, whereas a lot of our software sources had evolved into something that resembled the same structures simply through necessity.

I am so glad of my Caltech education. I am so very, very glad of professors that never spoke down to me, instead, often making it nearly impossible to understand things without some insight on my part.

Anyway, it ended up going okay. We got the concepts, even the ones that he tried to hammer into the white board three or four times, a few of which were fundamental to some of our software development. That was interesting. Anyway. It was good to know that the ones that were pretty quick on the uptake figured out what we had and hadn't figured out with some feedback from us, and things just moved forward.

I think it's going to work. That our processes may well fit, eventually, into theirs and things are going to fit pretty well in the end and there's enough encapsulation of system parts that there's enough independence for working relationships between stuff. I like that the number one rule is that things work. It was encouraging to see how far up the software ladder they were in comparison to some of the places I've been.

Another late day and another late evening, and I didn't have much more energy than to make ramen when we got home. So we ate, then took Fezzik on his walk. He was hobbling pretty badly when we started off, but smoothed out as we went. The flow of the body is different under exercise than without, so that was interesting to see. He did better by the end, but he's still not a completely happy dog in the joints. We might have to go to real arthritis medication eventually.

The kitchen floor was a completely muddy mess by the time we got back. The pond is overflowing onto the driveway and there's deep puddles everywhere. The rain just hasn't let up for a good week or so and it's showing in all aspects. It was just pouring most of the evening, and we found the one clear spot for the walk. The moon was really bright. Fezzik happily squished in all the mud holes while we were coming back, so that's why the muddy mess of the kitchen floor. At least that's cleanable, the carpet would have been toast.

Did three things that I've been putting off. There was one year when I gave up procrastination for Lent. It really is a luxury item and it's something that's just a pain in long term costs, sometimes, and costs to the soul when I do use it a lot. So I sent the check and order off for my knee brace, finally. Had to call the insurance company about it, and they said that it was covered and just fine by them, so they're covering it like they cover everything else. That's cool. Another thing was that the leather cover on the Circa address book that I have really sucks in that I can't close the address book when I have it open without really wrestling with the thing. It's the one badly designed Circa element I've seen. So I called Levenger to see if I could return it and get something else. They said that it would be no problem. Had to decide on what to get, so I decided on the Stanley Journal. I don't know exactly what kind of access I'm going to have to this place when I do move. So, it'll likely be necessary to have something to record my days for myself.

The third thing was buying the D-500L I've been actually kinda looking at for the last several months. Found it up on ubid and went into the bidding for it while keeping an eye on the bidding on ebay to see what a 'reasonable' auction price would be. The advantages of ubid were that they accept credit cards, they do the shipping charges and everything themselves, and all the merchandise not only has a warrantee but they also have multiples of nearly everything, which makes the bidding a far less intensely contested thing. With multiple units available a number of people can get in, and I managed to get the low end of the range of prices for the auction close. That was nice to have. Also found a nice deal for a three pack of the 8M SmartMedia cards, and sucked those up as well.

Sadly, they're not going to arrive before our trip, this coming weekend, to Boulder, so no house or Range pictures immediately following. But you'll likely get some pictures of the process of moving and getting ready to move. As well as some incredible pictures of a *clean* Liralen house. That's a minor miracle.

Sleep was easy and thorough. I dreamed of wet work missions and getting avocados for breakfast. An odd mix.

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