mushrooms, clothing inertia

Seeing as it was thirty and raining this morning--differing from the last few days only thanks to the liquid precipitation--I took the (I thought) entirely reasonable precaution of leaving home with my warm down jacket, gloves, scarf, and a balaklava just in case.

Work went OK, thanks to a combination of little problems satisfactorily solved with small progress on a bigger projects or two, and having some people around to talk to and email about stuff. I also got email from my high school friend Evan who I'd been thinking of recently but hadn't heard from in a year or two.

And by the time I get on my bike to go home it's mid-fifties and sunny and I've got my big jacket unzipped and flapping in the wind, and the other extraneous clothing stuffed in my pannier.

I stopped by Manna and picked up some green onions and, since the only shitakes they had were in some huge quantity, a little bag of odd curly dry bits described only as "black mushroom". Sara has them soaking in some hot water. We'll see.


Work didn't come to any satisfying conclusion today, and I felt a little at loose ends.

I walked home by way of the Co-op, Sparrow's, and Manna. That means holding my shopping bag from the first two while I browse through the others, which always feels a little awkward, but nobody seemed concerned, and what else should I do anyway?

Thanks to our spiffy fuzzy-logical rice cooker and Sara's forethought we had some rice ready for us at dinner, and we cooked some of the stuff I'd brought home to go with it, then ate while watching another episode of Firefly--"Shindig", more of a romantic comedy this time, so maybe we can excuse them from the horror of the previous episode.

The show has a nice team of characters that you come to like over time, but Sara points out that one of them, the mysterious, psychotic, psychic, "River", is an exception. I think it's partly her strangeness, partly just that she's sometimes more a plot device than a character--she's always available to know something nobody else could, or to reveal some previously hidden skill.

I still haven't quite finished "Beloved", which is a problem, since the next book-group book, "If on a Winter's Night a Traveler", is one I'd like to get an early start on. I've read it before, but it's a book I'll never feel I've really got figured out.


Tonight I finally believe i found the cause of the bug I'd been trying to track down. I wrote a patch, verified that I could reproduce the problem on the latest kernel without the patch applied, then couldn't with it applied, wrote an explanation of the problem, where it originated, the symptoms, and how I'd fixed it, and shipped it off to the people responsible. Hopefully that'll do the job.

Of course while testing I was also reminded of some equally (or perhaps even more) mysterious problems in the same general area. But I should probably work on something else a while before getting back to those....

Sara handed me a Diskworld book ("The Light Fantastic") to read--it's fun, like all of them, and a little different from the ones I've last read, which were among his more recent.

I finally got around to placing an order with REI for a replacement for my old panniers. They look big, and nifty, and very, very yellow. They're also expensive as heck, so I hope they work out a little better than the last ones.

beloved, firefly, weekend

My mom gave me a copy of "Beloved" while I was at home, since I mentioned it was last Tuesday's book group reading. I read some on the train home, but by Tuesday was still barely halfway through. I went to the meeting anyway, and the fact that there were less people than usual just made it more fun, to my mind. It's been my bus-ride reading for the rest of the week, and I'm close to the end now. I like the feeling of being dropped into the middle of a scene and being forced to dig a little to get my bearings, and "Beloved" does a lot of that. And I know I'd have fun figuring out more things if I read it again--though I don't love it enough that I'll do that right away.

I borrowed my sister's copy of the complete "Firefly" episodes, and we made it through the first disk's worth (3 episodes) this week. It's been fun, though the last one was a bit too much horror for either of us (I could do without these "reaver" guys that keep popping up), especially watching it right before bedtime as we did last night.

We'd passed on watching a movie with Paul and Ajit, mainly just because we feeling too sleepy after our early dinner at Pizza House with Dave's parents and the jugglers.

I spent most of today gathering a little more detail on a very annoying bug in my privacy code and fooling around with git, while listening to the shortest song from every album that I own (skipping a few that didn't have anything under 5 minutes or so; Coltrane's half-hour "Om" came up on shuffle a few days ago, and that's quite enough of that, thanks.)

hot and cold

Yesterday almost made us think summer had come, with the temperature reaching 70. This morning there was snow on the ground, and the wind was bitter on the walk home by way of the coop.

friends, amtrak, work

Friday night my high school friend Darren stopped by for dinner. I heated up some of my mom's Turkey soup, and made some whole wheat muffins and a Waldorf salad (based on my mom's suggestions--she makes it with yogurt and some honey and orange juice, instead of the usual mayonnaise). He seems to enjoy hanging out with my family as well, and after dinner he, Helen, and my mom, and I played a game of Carcasonne, and then (having worn out mom) a fiercely contested three-player game of Bohnanza. Helen and Darren and I then sat around and talked mainly about movies until he left for the night.

I checked my email just as I was ready to go to bed and found a surprise message from MJ, a good friend, fellow math student, and housemate from Reed. I'd known for a while that he was trying to get a job in the area, but it had been held up and I hadn't heard from him in a while, so I was starting to wonder.

Anyway, he'd been in his new apartment in Baltimore for a few weeks now and had just gotten his internet service up and running, hence the email. So saturday he stopped by earlier in the aftermoon and helped out with dinner--this time split pea soup, salad, and little pre-made frozen mushroom pocket things, and then we watched a fun episode of the Jeeves and Wooster TV series that I last remember seeing--oh, maybe in high school?

Sunday I took the train home, got little sleep (as usual), had a nice breakfast at Angelo's with Sara, and barely managed to keep my eyes propped up through a day of work before coming home and sleeping 12 hours.

Tuesday and Wednesday were a little better, though I'm still feeling a little tired and unproductive at work.


I met my cousin Laura at a theater in Laurel to watch a silly Bollywood comedy. But due to some schedule confustion it turned out instead to be rather serious movie--still Bollywood, but there was only one song! and it was was completely in character and had a function in the plot! OK, but it (Eklavya) was actually pretty good. The photography was quite nice, and the scenery very dramatic, so it was worth seeing on the big screen. And it was good to get the chance to talk to Laura afterwards.

The drive there and back was a minor adventure for me, since I very rarely drive, even more rarely around here, and never before to this particular place; and since it was my sister's car, which I'd never driven before. And it's a stick shift, to boot--I learned on a stick, I can cope, but it just takes me a little time to get to used to the clutch on every new car I drive. That said, it turned out fine. I got there and back without getting lost or threatening anyone's life.

Other than that, life here in the Fields household has been pretty routine. After pizza Monday night, we had salad with fried vegetable sandwiches (ha--pizza again in disguise) Tuesday, and then butternut squash soup and spaghetti Wednesday night. And I've been getting some work done during the day. I make up for not having coworkers around by being more active on email and irc, which makes it all feel more social than you'd expect.

My dad left today for a long-looked-forward-to trip to ski in Colorado. With me leaving this weekend, that'll leave just my sister to look after our mom. But she seems to be doing well enough that it shouldn't be a problem.

strange kitchens

I don't think the kitchen setup in our apartment is really ideal. But then I cook someplace else and I can't find something, say a knife, exactly like the one I'd use at home, and I get frustrated. I did dinner on my own tonight and felt pretty incompetent, though I guess it ended up OK in the end.

My mom's still doing well, and my sister got back from her trip to Norway this afternoon. She claims she took 1200 pictures. Gack. But I suppose it means continuing demand for people working in filesystems....

I stayed up too late last night, and feel a bit strung out. Tonight I need to get to bed a little earlier.

weekend at my parent's house

I made a little progress on the git documentation Saturday and Sunday. Saturday night we watched "Top Hat". I'd never seen a Fred and Ginger movie, and I'd been meaning to ever since reading Connie Willis's "Remake". I thought it was fun, but my parents rolled their eyes at it.

Sunday morning I went to the Takoma farmers market and Trader Joe's with my dad. My parents suggested I take the metro from there and spend the day downtown, which might have been smart, but I didn't really feel like going anywhere. It was fun anyway to get out of the house for a little while. I even enjoyed grocery shopping.

Sunday night we tried watching "Serenity", but my mom said she was tired and that it was too much of a war movie for her. I'd remembered the few episodes of "Firefly" I'd seen as a having more dialog (and more fun), and not so much fighting, but I watched the rest and found it really was a (quite grim) war movie. Pretty good, though.

Tommorow morning my mom and dad are off to Baltimore to see the eye doctor. My sister arrives in the afternoon. I agreed to have dinner ready around 5:30 and I'll need to plan a bit.

Working in Maryland

I was able to work all day yesterday, though I didn't get done quite what I'd hoped to.

My mom is doing well, so all I need to do is help with eye drops and some minor household chores. I have a couple laptops I brought with me and some space in my dad's office, and while I work my mom generally naps or listens to audiobooks.

Today's Saturday, and my dad's away skiing for the day. I'm going to try to get a little git documentation work done.


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