Monthly Archives: January 2002

Time flies when you're having fun!

Or even if you’re just plain busy, as I’ve been the last couple of weeks. In short, since I last wrote, I’ve:

  • taken another jog along the beach at Waikiki
  • bought Hawaiian shirts in what I’ve been told is Definitely the Wrong Color (but that’s OK; I have the receipt and I’m going back in May!)
  • flown to the lovely IBM Learning Center in Armonk, New York, where they close the gym and breakfast room too early for someone who’s just come in from the West Coast and doesn’t have a morning meeting
  • spent a day-and-a-half at our team planning meeting in an old barn in New Fairfield, Connecticut
  • driven to Richmond, Virginia
  • set up my Mom’s “new” computer
  • reconnected my brother’s TV, VCR, DVD, and TiVo (because I could, not because he necessarily needed it done!)
  • flown home on amazingly empty planes
  • gotten a brand new IBM ThinkPad T23, which came preloaded with a customized Windows 2000 setup
  • reformatted the hard drive on the new ThinkPad and installed Windows XP because I don’t like the internal customizations
  • discovered that I should have backed up some of the software provided by the internal customizers before reformatting
  • attended a talk by IBM’s Senior VP for Strategy (Bruce Harreld) which made me much happier about the company’s plans and prospects
  • reviewed more papers for WWW2002
  • picked up our new Prius (I even got to drive it!)
  • sold our old Camry (life would have been easier if I’d remembered to bring the title along to the dealership)
  • and found where the cleaning service put Jeffrey’s birthday cards (and the enclosed checks).

Tomorrow is Jeffrey’s birthday. For a change, we’re having the party on his birthday instead of weeks later — so we’ll be busy tomorrow.

And on Sunday, I fly East again for an e-tirement party for my old boss and my group’s annual kickoff meeting. The weather was pleasantly warm there last week — I’m hoping for a replay. It’s certainly been cold here!

More anon, maybe even with pictures.

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The best $8 I didn't spend today

This morning, I awoke early and intended to go to the hotel fitness center to work out. But when I got there, I found out that they charged $8 for access to a rather mediocre workout room, and I felt offended. So I went outside and ran by the beach instead — that was a far smarter choice!

But now I’m back in the meeting for the forseeable future. Work is hell.

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Work is hell

The room we’re meeting in is across from a corridor separating us from the window which separates us from the beach, so we have to put up with this horrible view during the meeting.

1247 view from meeting room: And we're supposed to work?Maybe it’ll motivate us to work faster.

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Aloha!

Here I am at my hotel; the flight was uneventful, and even shorter than expected (I guess there were some tailwinds helping us), but whatever time I gained in the air got lost when I decided to take the shuttle bus to Waikiki instead of a taxi.

During the flight, I finally got around to watching Buckaroo Banzai; I’d forgotten how strange a movie it is. It might make more sense if I didn’t have to try to hear the dialog over airplane noise…but then again, it might not.

I’m not used to having to stay up late when I travel — I usually have to pretend that I’m tired too early because morning is going to come too soon; this time, though, I need to stay up a bit later than usual. But it’s almost late enough to call it a night, so I will.

Trying again

For the first time since November, I’m in the familiar confines of the San Jose Admiral’s Club, awaiting a flight. The last time I was here, I decided not to fly at the very last minute, after boarding had started for my flight; I was nervous because of a crash earlier in the day, and then Windows decided to go into a permanent blue screen, and that was the last straw. I went home.

I hope to actually take today’s trip — the news has been better, and I’m not going to screw around with my computer’s configuration (which was probably the cause of the BSOD last time). Somehow, the destination this time (Honolulu) appeals more than Austin did, too!
But I’m still far more nervous about travelling than I was before 9/11.

Airport security was noticeably different than it was last time; I didn’t have any hassles, other than having to juggle all of the electronics I took out of my briefcase and pockets, but I did see them asking people to put their shoes through the X-ray machine. I’m not convinced that adds any real security, but it probably makes people feel better.

Last night, I made the mistake of finishing Dave Barry’s Big Trouble before going to bed. It’s a funny book — but the second half is far less funny since 9/11 than it was when it was published, and I’m not sure that I want to see the movie when it’s finally released (it was originally scheduled for 21 September, and I think the studio made the right choice in delaying it).

Thinking about the book kept me awake for a while; then I realized that I had no idea where I’d put my upgrade certificate for today’s flight, and I jumped out of bed to go find it. It took a while, but I was successful — and in the process, I found the cellphone charger I’d put away while cleaning up for our New Year’s Day party and had been unable to find ever since. I’d’ve rather had the extra sleep.

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The ultimate terror

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The New Car is Coming!!

Dueling Radios Won’t Work – So Sez Dave

I did some digging on the Radio Userland beta group and found a posting from Dave Winer saying:

Subject: Re: [radio-dev] running two Radios against one site

That should be a FAQ.

It won’t work. Each machine should have its own usernum. That works.

Dave

Oh, well.

* * *

My old computer is on its way to my Mom’s house, to replace her even older computer, so that reduces the number of computers I’d want to be running Radio on by one.

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Dueling Radios

I installed Radio Userland 8 on both of the computers in this room and tried to share a weblog. This doesn’t seem to work well — when I posted from the second computer, it completely overwrote all of the postings I’d made on the first computer. And then going to the first computer made all of the postings from the second computer disappear. And so forth.

I bet there’s a way around this, but I’m not going to try any more tonight.

Oh…my Radio weblog is Radio Defenestration Corner, what else?

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Gotta pub my ish

When I wrote my last entry, I expected to take a few days away from the ‘blog while we went to Disneyland; I didn’t expect to take a two-week vacation. But I did; I hope you enjoyed yourselves while I was gone.

I’m not sure what happened, but when I returned, I found that my 25 December entry had been read 2383 times, far outstripping any of my other pages. I can’t imagine what was so interesting, and by the time I got around to looking at the referers page, the evidence was gone.

Disneyland

We left home fairly early on 26 December to drive to Anaheim, home of Disneyland and other amusements. The drive on I-5 was tedious (except for lunch at the Harris Ranch) but easy, at least until we got past the Grapevine and into Los Angeles County, at which point our speed dropped precipitously, and stayed low for the next two hours, until we finally reached the Orange County line and the I-5 got wider again. I guess I should have followed the instructions from the mapping program and taken the 170 to the 101 and then rejoined the I-5 instead of just staying with the I-5 all the way. [Notice the clever way I started adding “the” to freeway numbers when my narrative reached Southern California.]

Our hotel offered a special package (strictly limited to those who wanted to buy it): four admissions for the price of a three-day ticket. So we used the bonus admission the night we arrived, going directly to the Indiana Jones Adventure. The claimed waiting time was 45 minutes, but we wanted to do it anyway, so we got in line, only to find that Disney had lied — we were on the ride in well under half-an-hour. This pattern continued throughout our trip — I wish airlines were as good at underpromising as Disney is. After Indy, we did the Haunted Mansion Holiday Edition; we all much preferred the regular staging of the ride. Then we did Pirates of the Caribbean, and finished the evening with the Matterhorn.

Thursday was a full day at Disneyland, and it was much more crowded. Lines were longer, and we used the new Fast Pass system a lot — though we didn’t take advantage of the time we saved to go shopping, which I’m sure disappoints Disney’s bean counters.

Friday was a gorgeous day, and the park was packed. So we ducked out after a while and went to the former parking lot, now Disney’s California Adventure. If it had been a standalone theme park, its name would soon become Disney’s California Chapter 11, because it was far less crowded than Disneyland. But the 3-D movies are good; Soarin’ Over California is fun (though the effect is marred by feet from the row above you); and the Power of Blast! was very enjoyable. As a place to retreat from Disneyland, California Adventure is fine — but I wouldn’t pay $43 for a day there, which was the original business plan.

On Saturday, we met a friend of Jeffrey’s who was just starting his Disney trip, along with his father and sister; we spent the day with them, hitting both parks. And the weather was wonderful: it rained, thereby keeping many locals away, but it wasn’t so wet that it kept us away!

Sunday, we drove home. Again, the drive through LA County was slow and tedious, but the rest of the trip was pretty brisk. Harris Ranch is too far north to be a good lunch stop on the trip home, so we stopped at the Buttonwillow exit, where we took our chances on the A&W at Bruce’s Truck Stop. We lived, but I think I’d try somewhere else next time.

More Quiet Time

We visited some friends for New Year’s Eve, where we played Trivial Pursuit Millennium Edition (I like the classic Genus better, but we won anyway), enjoyed some good champagne (Diane got to have more than I did, since I was driving and it was her birthday), and watched the two big celebrations of the evening: the arrival of 2002 in San Francisco (we’d already seen the Times Square balldrop happen live and didn’t see any point in watching a replay), and the move of NBC from KRON to KNTV. Both were equally exciting. (I had wanted to go to Paris for the holiday to watch the Euro roll in, but I was outvoted — hence our trip to Disneyland.)

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