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Monday-Friday, June 13-17

Bakeathon week at work, preceded by a few days of testing and bugfixing, mostly reboot recovery stuff.

The week of bakeathon, though, I only did a little reboot recovery testing and mostly worked on ACLs. Both seem to be working reasonably well, though.

We also had a day-long pNFS meeting on Thursday, which was interesting.

testing, 1, 2, 3, testing

Just fooling around with gnome-blog-poster.

It works, except that images just get ignored. Hm, how to fix that?

previous homes

1975--1979? My old school has a website, which seems to depend on some immensely annoying flash to do some very simple navigation.

1979--1982?

1982--1984?

water, drupal

Some water main broke, so they're advising us to boil our water for a couple days while they wait for test results.

Drupal doesn't really seem to do all that much for me, so I maybe I'll try something else this weekend. Then I suppose I'll want to figure out how to export this stuff. Ho hum.

Stuff I'd like fixed: it doesn't handle images in entries so well. The "archives" thing is useless. Actually, it doesn't seem much better than just writing html. Hm.

Sunday: Taste of Ann Arbor, Buster Keaton, weather

I happened to notice yesterday a showing of a Buster Keaton movie at the Michigan Theater, with live accompaniment. We figured we'd go to "Taste of Ann Arbor" for lunch first.

"Taste of Ann Arbor" gives you the chance to eat on Main Street while standing up, in the sun and heat, amidst crowds of people, using some payment system that gives all the pleasures of dealing in a foreign currency with none of the bother of actually visiting a foreign country.

(OK, in its defense, there was a trebuchet flinging rubber chickens, which isn't something you see every day.)

Sara had a couple things; but thanks to Sara, I'd had a big pancake breakfast and figured I could hold out till dinner.

The movie, "the General", was great. Though I didn't understand why it had to be introduced by two people (a local film professor and the organist). It's not as though the movie particularly needs explaining. And I don't think they actually said much that you couldn't figure out on your own.

At night we had some nifty weather, one of the advantages of living in the midwest.

Saturday: Juggling, Silver Lake

It was a hot day, so after juggling Dave thought it'd be nice to drive out to Silver Lake. It's not wilderness, and not much to look at as far as I'm concerned--there's people everywhere, motorboats, developments around the lake, etc. But it was nice to splash around a bit in the hot weather.

We juggled a bit by the lakeside too, and I did a couple crosswords with Paul.

Monday, Tuesday: DC to Ann Arbor

I did some more computer stuff Monday. In the afternoon my parents dropped me off at the Takoma Park metro station and I did last weeks trip in reverse: metro to Union Station, train to Toledo, bus to Ann Arbor, then a walk back to work.

I had a nice time sitting in the lounge car eating dinner and alternately reading and watching the world go by.

I read some more of "House of Leaves", and made it through another quarter or so of the very fat complete version of "Bone" that Helen loaned me before I left. I also watched most of "In Good Company", which was an irritatingly predictable Hollywood treatment of some supposedly relevant topic (corporate layoffs and politics--but does it really matter what?).

The train was very crowded--presumably everyone was returning from Memorial day weekend--so for once I actually had a seatmate. I tried hard, but just didn't manage to get any significant amount of sleep at all, so by the time I made it to work Tuesday morning I was pretty shot.

So by early afternoon I split and took a long nap at home. I was worried that'd throw off my sleep schedule even more, but as it turned out I had no trouble getting to sleep again that night.

Sunday: computer problems

I spent some time in the morning, then more later on, trying to get my dad's antivirus software working. After entirely too long with tech support, their final suggestion was to uninstall and then reinstall. His copy came with the laptop, there was no CD, and despite the fact that he had a paid-up subscription, they didn't seem able to give him a way to download another copy. Arrrg!

We also got my mom a new computer--a bottom-of-the-line emachines box which seemed nevertheless quite capable.

Setting it up, though, I'm acutely aware of all the small things that could be done to screw it up, and all the ways you could click on just the wrong thing and end up in some confusing situation.

I don't quite understand how non-computer geeks survive these days. I know that my computers sometimes do weird things that require troubleshooting, but I'd always assumed that was just because I had some idiosyncratic Linux setup. My parents are on Windows, doing only very normal things that their software is supposedly designed to do, but still it all seems very fragile. And when stuff breaks their computers are hostage to the software companies who are the only ones that can really fix anything. Blech.

My dad showed me some of his pictures from his and Helen's trip to Mali. Wow, looked like an interesting place.

Saturday: 20 years

I spent the morning working on some more frustrating computer stuff.

From 3 to 6 there was a reception at a local hotel celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Montgomery Blair Science Magnet. I'd been in the very first class of the program, and my sister in the fifth. Many of the people there weren't born yet when I started high school, but there were 7 or 8 people from my class. It turned out Lorrie had actually been in Ann Arbor (and met with Peter) pretty recently. And she was there only because she'd run into Howard in Tokyo a few weeks ago (she was at a conference, he's there working for google). Anyway, it was fun to catch up with them, and with the teachers: one of my computer science teachers and my guidance counselor had died recently, but I think all the others (except the original director of the program) were there.

Afterwards Helen and I went out for dinner with Marcus and Howard.

Friday: A Midsummer Night's Dream

My dad met me at Union Station, then my mom met me and him at the Takoma Park metro station.

One of the excuses for this trip was to set up the network at my parents' house so they could all use their new DSL connection. But it turns out there wasn't much to do--the DSL modem from their ISP came with built-in router, dhcp, ethernet switch, and wireless access point, so it was just a matter of plugging things in.

After they'd napped--I was tired, but afraid if I slept in the afternoon my sleep schedule at night would get even weirder--we met Helen on for a picnic on the grass outside the amphitheater where The Shakespeare Theater was doing a free showing of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

One of the picnic goodies was a packet of wasabi peanuts. I think the secret to enjoying them is proper breathing technique--breathing out through your nose in particular seems to be a mistake.

As we went in they asked if we had cameras. I didn't answer. These days, that's such an obviously ludicrous question--do they expect people to hand over their cell phones?

The play was very well done, of course--especially the sets, costumes, and lighting. The humor seemed overdone sometimes--I occasionally wished they'd let us decide what was funny for ourselves instead of hitting us over the head with it. And there are parts that just always seem to me to drag on, regardless of how well done. I've never gotten the play-with-in-a-play bit. But still, it was funny. A brawl in a "lake" (recessed into the front of the stage, it looked like it was probably not actually more than an inch or two deep) was especially good.

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