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June 7, 1999
a year ago

Forwards and Back

The very pleasant surprise of the morning was that my sunglasses were still in the women's bathroom where I'd left them on Friday. This was very good because Kathy gave them to me as a present, and I'd be really peeved if I'd lost them.

Got up and showered and John was working on the computer trying to get pictures from the camera from yesterday. I need to put those up. We ate the leftover scones from the day before standing up over the kitchen counter and then I drank a SoBe for breakfast 'juice' instead of coffee. I'm getting the feeling that the caffiene is slowly eating into my nerve, which is probably a bad thing for today. Got another meeting this afternoon that I'm supposed to run and didn't come up with a real plan for it until about 2, and it was supposed to be at 3. *sigh*. Well, at least it has a plan and one we can pretty much stick to for an hour or less if we make it.

New Orleans. I'm going to New Orleans for DAC, and, as usual, for DAC, I'm probably going to only see the few inches of city that are between the hotel and the conference and be way too exhausted to do anything else. Bob and I tromped all over San Francisco for the Microsoft conference; but it's a lot harder by oneself. Steve, my boss, will be going with me for part of it. But this is going to be interesting as a travel adventure as much as for a professional adventure.

Burrito Guy to the rescue for lunch. Yum. Beef and cheese.

I'm getting good chances to talk with Cera now and again and it's very nice to just talk.

Got a bunch of entries posted for the last week, things were so busy I didn't even really have the energy to write things up or even think much about them. The thing is, I guess, at all the other companies, they handed me technical problems that were very tough and technical to solve; but it was pretty clear when it worked and when it didn't. Usability is so much more a touchy-feely kinda thing, no hard facts, no real 'this is how you get something usable', and it's very dependent on the user that really is out there, rather than the user we all wish were out there. It's hard to even look at and know that one is getting a good look.

Anyway, the meeting turned out good, and there's a few concrete things I can do immediately, which is a cool thing to know.

The really hard part about all this is making sure that everyone really is engaged and really wants to be there and wants to participate and wants to see how things get done. We may well have done a good enough job, but I can't know until we at least test the hypothesis.

We didn't get home until late. Around five thirty I asked John how much longer and he said six, so I started something and I couldn't get it done in the time alloted. Took much more than that, and was in the hour-long stage when he came over to see how I was doing. It was really nice to talk with Cera a lot. She got me pointed at the The Alexandra Digital Library. What frightens me is that I've read about 85% of the books it's asking me to rate.

The recommendations are pretty amazing, too. When I'd only gone through about 40 books, of the first 20 I'd read 18 and enjoyed them all tremendously. So I'll readily recommend the service.

We stopped by Whole Foods mostly because we needed milk and from the produce section, I could *see* salmon in the fish section that I *knew* would be good, and sure enough it was Copper River salmon from Alaska. For eleven dollars a pound! Expensive, but worth it for now, a treat for the evening. So I bough three-quarters of a pound of the fish and then we also got fresh green beans to go with it. I just pan fried the salmon in a little bit of butter, though it provided most of the fat, and then stir fried the green beans hot and quick with just the smallest amount of oil to do something that approximated dry-cooked green beans. There was still rice left over from yesterday, so I had John nuke that to steam it and then it was dinner. The salmon turned out as I imagined it would, tender and juicy and marvelous to eat.

Bryant's package arrived, hoorah! He bought me a number of Clairfontaine Clairing notebooks, which are a lot like the Circa notebooks. Same plastic rings, same kinds of spacing, and the beautiful Clairfontaine French milled paper, which is smooth and lovely and strong. The pages can be moved around just like with the Circa notebooks and rather than just white paper, there's a rainbow of blue, green, yellow and pink, all lined and all that beautifully solid paper. The cardboard covers are nice and solid and so they work pretty much exactly like a spiral-bound notebook but the pages can get moved around. That's kinda nice.

We watched some basketball. I used some polishing compound on the blue Duofold and managed to get a lot of the little scratches off the cap and barrel without impacting the imprint. Added a bit of car wax, polished it thoroughly and then was pleasantly surprised when I brought it under the desk light again. It is now quite nice and shiny and pretty as well as writing well! That's really fun. I stayed up to write a little while on the cool, new paper while John went to sleep.

For some reason, today the moths were just awful. Flocking in the kitchen and when I tried to give 'em the chance to just go out into the night by turning off the lights, lighting a candle and opening the door and turning on the porch light outside, they didn't go anywhere. When I finally ended up turning on the bug light it was just a cloud of moths around it. So, figuring that the fly swatter was far more merciful than the gradual zapping off of limbs, wings, and body bits that the too-small electrical grid does to 'em, I laid about with the swatter and it was a carnage of moths. It did, however, clear out most of the house of them. No fluttering in the night, and no sounds of Fezzik snapping at something that got too close to his nose.

They'd better be gone soon, especially if it starts to get hot. I'm starting to get really peeved at them, especially since they seem to pile up in the hanging chairs where we have them hung up in the alcove outside the garage, I poured out a stream of probably a hundred of them in the morning.

Sadly, also, Fezzik's growth came back again and seems to be getting gradually bigger, so we may well have to call the Vet to get him to them sometime. Maybe on Friday or something, since I have the day off. He's also sometimes having difficulty getting up off the floor even when there is traction, his back legs seem to be less stable than normal, so I'm probably going to have them check that too. He's all cheerful and everything anyway, and doesn't seem to mind, but it's still kinda sad. Sometimes it's disheartening when I feel like things are going backwards.

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