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On my own, Purple

I stopped by the library after work Thursday and got some movies, including Purple Rain, which I started Thursday. It's a strange movie--no surprise--but I enjoyed it. With a lot of the people playing themselves, the acting is awkward at times, but sometimes it's actually pretty good. The music is mostly identical to that on the soundtrack album, which doesn't sound particularly "live" to me, so it's odd to see them on stage pretending to play it. The performances are kind of fabulous in their own way, though.

Friday at work I just wasn't managing to understand the things I really need to understand, and I found myself getting kind of angry at myself.

So I gave up around 6 and hung out in the library a while. There was a band playing in the basement, but something about the room just made them seem loud and screechy. I listened for probably less than a minute and then left and came home to watch the second half of Purple Rain over dinner.

On my own, Red

Sara was picked up this morning to go to Bethesda for her conference, so I'm on my own for a few days.

To keep myself busy at night I watched "Red", which I'd seen before. But it was a while ago, and I remembered liking it. It's still OK. What's the fascination with the number 25? The heroine is 25, the ferry has 7*25 passengers, and on an interview on the DVD the director makes a point of the fact that a critical scene occurs 25 minutes in. (Oops, wait, this is what I get for doing arithmetic in my head late at night while watching a movie. The ferry has 1435 = 7*205 passengers.)

Delegation headaches

Our NFSv4 server gives out read delegations, which allow clients to cache file data and attributes by giving them guarantees they will be notified before a file is changed. But we don't really have any policy for when we give them out--we just hand them out whenever we can. This has a number of consequences, one of which I discovered today: since we don't even have any limits on the number of delegations given out, it's possible to overwhelm the server just by creating a whole bunch of files--the server will dutifully give out a delegation for each one, until the state required for all the delegations exhausts available memory, at which point we get some rather mysterious deadlocks.

Anyway, fixing this all should be interesting work. There's no lack of interesting work at work these days....

The roughly 40-minute (2.5 mile) walk to work is an excuse to enjoy my new toy, the digital music player. So I've walked to and from work both of the last two days. The only thing that makes it a little impractical is traffic noise in the downtown bits. I can't listen to anything with dynamic range without turning it way, way up.

Ready for Paris?

I finally got tickets to Paris, leaving a few days after I get back from Ottawa, and staying another week and a half after the ietf meeting ends.

What the heck am I actually going to do there? Who knows.

I had some fun listening to French podcasts on my way too and from work. Their main subject seems to be, erm, podcasting. I need to find something more original.... Anyway, as an attempt to improve my French comprehension I think it's not totally in vain.

Sunday: Top of the Park finale

I had a ton of chores to do at home, so I spent most of the day dealing with a backlog of bills and bank statements, fixing some odd computer problems (the stupid self-signed certificates for my mail servers had expired, so I had to remember how to make new ones), etc.

We showed up at Top of the Park partway through Laith Al-Saadi's set. I'm a little impatient with straight-ahead blues when played by rock bands, but I'm a sucker for overblown guitar solos, which they do extremely well. They did a version of Stevie Wonder's Superstition that seemed like it would never end, and I didn't mind a bit.

And George Bedard and the Kingpins was great fun as usual.

Sara I think would have liked to stay for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but it's a long movie--it would have lasted till something like 12:30--and we'd both already seen it. So we went home instead.


I walked downtown, picking up a quart of cherries at the farmer's market on the way.

I passed clubs with Dave a bit and tried fooling with devil sticks. I'm still no good at that.

After a sandwich with Fred, Deanna, and Wendy, I puttered a bit at work, then went to Top of the Park, arriving maybe halfway through Jeremy Kittel's set. Too bad, I should have showed up for the whole thing--he was great.

Jo Serrapere was OK too. Does she get tired of "Jesus in a Snowball"? I don't, but I only hear it once a year.

"Big Foot Bob and the Toe Tappers" was good but kind of cheesy and, once again, we were getting tired. So we went home after a few songs.

I think the cherries were finished by about the time Jo Serrapere was.

Toys and Bands

My new music player came today. I apt-get installed the necessary software, uploaded some oggs, and... it worked. Weird.

I hadn't heard the bands at night--The Boomerangs, Measured Chaos, and Universal Expression--but they were all pretty good. But when the final reggae band came on we decided we were tired and had had enough, so we left after a couple songs.

Wednesday -- Thursday

Bugs Beddow and Dick Siegel are always two of our favorites, and this year was no different.

We stayed for the "The Wedding Singer" Wednesday night. It was reasonably fun, but I just don't know what to make of Adam Sandler movies.

Thursday night I was kind of looking forward to The Incredibles, but rain was threatening and going home seemed the safer move.

I seem to be an employee of the School of Information now. Weird.

II-V-I, more rain

Back at work on Tuesday, I finally got tickets for the Ottawa Linux Symposium. This'll be the third time I've gone, and I've enjoyed Ottawa before, so I decided I'd take some vacation and spend a few extra days there.

At night we saw a bit of the II-V-I orchestra. When the rain started in earnest they made a quick exit from the song they were playing at the moment and started throwing tarps over everything. We decided to go home instead of waiting to see whether the movie would be rained out too.

The local public library has set up a new site with a front end that seems to be based entirely on Drupal. Those crazy librarians.... Actually it's a pretty interesting idea. I hope it works out. But by replacing everything all at once they've invariably introduced all sorts of regressions, and they're forcing everyone to learn a new interface. Why does it always have to be that way? Is it that hard to make these sorts of changes in smaller steps?

rained out on the 4th of July

In the morning we walked downtown for the local 4th of July parade. Politicians like to throw candy to the spectators. Actually, *everyone* throws candy. So we had lots of candy.

The libraries were all closed, as was Eastern Accents. Those are the places I like to sit around and kill time. So it wasn't the best time to be sitting around downtown Ann Arbor. We ended up sitting in the math common room for a while. And we ate some candy.

The math social room looks weird.

At 7 we wanted to go see the Ann Arbor Civic Band do their Sousa marches and whatnot, but it started raining, hard, as soon as we got to Top of the Park. It didn't look like anyone from the Civic Band was even there, so I guess they were all smarter than us.

I also didn't have an umbrella, or even a jacket for that matter, none of the buses were running, and I just couldn't see walking in the rain 40 minutes. So we waited a really long time. The second band was also waiting there to see what happened, and one of their roadies handed us their CD. Maybe he thought our persistence was the sign of devoted fans....

Russ Collins's legs.

Finally, Sara talked me into walking to the museum. From there we got a taxi. It was the $3/person holiday fixed ride service--which came pretty quickly, actually. Question of the day: for the purposes of tipping, are they a taxi, or an extension of the bus system?


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