Feh!

My latest copy of BusinessWeek arrived smelling like cologne; it turns out that they’ve started running scented ads. I called their customer service number, and almost before I finished complaining, the rep told me that they’d code my record for “no scented ads” and extend my subscription. I suspect I wasn’t the first one to complain.

We made it

The flight from O’Hare to Albany was a bit bumpy at times, but uneventful. The flight attendant had a great personality — her commentary would have been right at home on Southwest or PSA (even the pilot had a sense of humor!).

Unlike last time, we avoided Buca di Beppo.

The Desmond seems to be a nice hotel; we have a four-poster bed (no canopy, though), to which we will repair soon.

Four-poster bed at the Desmond

Tomorrow starts far too early.

Connecting with the past

Irving Wladawsky-Burger writes about his experience with the Genographic Project. Since he was an early participant, he’s already gotten his results (both Diane and I are still at stage 1, “sample received”), and though there weren’t any surprises, it helped him reconnect with his recent ancestors (and with the villages they came from, and what happened to them in the Holocaust).

I’m looking forward to getting our results.

In French, “Reunion” is just a meeting

Diane and I are at O’Hare Airport, about half-way through our trip to RPI Reunion ’05 (my 6th). I was on the organizing committee, though somehow I missed the last few calls (or they didn’t happen), so I will be surprised by whatever we do for the Parade of Classes.

I turned in our rental car this morning at Hertz Local Edition near (but not at) the airport; they gave us a ride to the terminal, and it may have been faster than if I’d returned the car at the airport itself — my experiences with the SJC shuttle have not been good ones. I had, of course, planned to return the car at the airport, but the nice folks at Hertz told me that trying to return a car rented as an “insurance replacement” to the airport would cause me nothing but grief, and I was willing to believe them.

I’d been unable to check in online, so I was expecting at least one of us to undergo the dreaded “secondary screening” at the airport — but that didn’t happen. There were only a couple of people ahead of us in the check-in line; security was no different than usual. And we had plenty of time to wait for our flight (which left on time and arrived a few minutes early).

We’ve got another two hours ahead of us here at the Concourse G Admiral’s Club; time to have some lunch.

It’s hard being helpful from across the country

There’s good news on two fronts this afternoon.

My father-in-law checked out of the hospital today and was admitted to a physical rehab center, where they’ll help him recover from his knee replacement (and he gets a private room, too!).

And I just solved a nasty connectivity problem for my Mom — it may have started as a glitch in the DSL modem or the router, but while she was on the phone with the ISP, powercycling the equipment, one of the cables got disconnected. She discovered the hanging cable while I was talking her through the same procedure — and now she’s back on the air.

Hi, Mom!

28 is a perfect number

That was just about my first thought this morning (but since I wasn’t quite sure I remembered the perfect numbers, I had to verify it — yup: 1+2+4+7+14 = 28). It’s unlikely that we’ll make it to the next perfect anniversary (496), so I decided to make the most of today.

So we spent it doing the usual sorts of Sunday things. Diane had a Women of Reform Judaism meeting party in the morning, and I went to the Y while she was there; then she went to the Y, and I called car dealers (blue BC Priuses are in very short supply — if we wanted silver or white, we could have one within a week, but we’d rather wait a bit longer for blue); then we all went for a walk to Starbucks/Jamba Juice, and finally we had Indian take-out for dinner. It was a very nice day.

Friday at last

Although this was officially only a four-day week, and in some ways really a three-day week for us, it’s been an awfully busy one.

In health news, Diane’s dad had his knee replaced yesterday (we talked to him this morning, and he’s doing well — he even claims that the hospital food is “not too bad”), and I found out that one of my Academy colleagues is going into the hospital next week for an autologious bone marrow transplant to cure his multiple myeloma, so we have a couple of names for Mi Shebeyrach at services tomorrow. (By the way, the National Marrow Donor Program Registry is worth checking out — signing up is simple and painless, especially if you’re already a blood donor.)

In car news, I sent State Farm the title and keys for the 2002 Prius today, and we should receive a check next week to help replace it. We’re still waiting for a dealer to tell us “come on down!”, so in the meantime, the Kia will continue to serve as my commute car.

And work has been busy — among other projects, one of my colleagues and I have set up a departmental blog and status report site to make it easier to keep track of what we’re all doing. I still have to write the announcement for the group before I leave for the week so that we can start using it next week.

But things are looking good for the weekend. There’s an interesting new geocache near one of our favorite restaurants. Diane’s reading Torah tomorrow at services and I’m giving the D’var Torah (hmmm, I guess I’d better write it soon!), and then there’s what looks like a fun rallye tomorrow evening. And Sunday’s our 28th anniversary!

Shabbat Shalom!

(Geocache link fixed. Thanks, Sam.)

Maybe I should learn Morse Code again

When I first became a ham, I learned just enough Morse Code to pass the 5wpm Novice test; I’ve had, at most, one CW QSO. And I didn’t upgrade to General (let alone Extra) until the code requirements were lowered so I didn’t have to take another test.

Despite that, I wrote a program to turn my callsign (well, any string) into a cellphone ringtone (both in Nokia format and in IMelody) so that I’d know when it was my phone ringing.

Now, though, I’m tempted to learn Morse again so that I could use Morse Texter (thanks to Russell Beattie for the link. It’d be great on a Palm — much better than Graffiti!