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I'm an engineer, for Christ's sake. I stopped running when Nixon was president.

Joey Butta-fooooo-co.


Ok, it's been a while since I've done a journal entry. Hence, this entry is pretty long. Cope.

Note: all references to "today" are very relative (as opposed to being only somewhat relative).


Some funny things I saw today:

  • A sign at the cleaners today: 314 days until Santa returns.

  • An episode of News Radio today that I had never seen before! It was about Bill's book deal. Good stuff.

  • An ad for Tucson College for their networking technology degree. But it showed maintenance and parts for hard drives during the entire commercial. Amusing.


I got my $60 refund from Iomega today (from the Christmas present that my sisters and I got for my dad)! Amazing, since a) I'm pretty sure that my refund form got to Iomega a day after the deadline, and b) it got here in only three weeks.

I also got my LAM slinkees! Woo hoo! They're a big hit, both with me and with my cow-workers.

It seems that one of the items in a journal entry that I lost a few weeks ago mentioned another amusing story about LAM slinkees... The CS secretary called Brian one day saying that FedEx called saying that they found two boxes of LAM slinkees that never made it to SC'2001 (in November) in Utah.

Yeah, it was found several months after the SC'2001 conference.

Whoever heard of FedEx losing packages for months?


Tracy was here this past weekend. An excellent weekend, but too short, of course. :-\

Tracy's flight got in around 10:30 at night, so we stayed in a local hotel in Tucson rather than drive back to Sierra Vista (about an hour's drive).

The theme of the weekend was to treat it like a vacation. For example, we did the whole Valentine's Day thing a week late. So we slept in, bummed around Tucson a bit, and stopped at a Borders bookstore because my brother- and sister-in-law gave me a gift certificate for Christmas.

I spent it all, and have plenty of books to last me for a while.

Continuing the tradition of going to see a movie every time Tracy comes to Arizona, we went to see The Count of Monte Crisco -- it was pretty cool. I give it 7.5 minutes.

We then went to a great dinner at a restaurant that was much nicer than we expected -- The Tack Room (their web page sucks, but it was a fabulous restaurant). It was a great meal, though -- well worth it.

We drove back to Sierra Vista that night. There was a big forest fire on one of the mountains near Sierra Vista -- it was clearly visible from I-90 as we drove by, and you could even still see it from my apartment in SV. It was quite stunning -- I'd never seen a forest fire in person before.

On Sunday, we went to The Skywatcher's Inn, a bed-n-breakfast outside Tucson. It was very, very cool. The B-n-N is in an observatory -- there are lots of telescopes (including a really big one in the traditional domed observatory roof, etc.). We didn't use that one, though -- we went to a different part of the observatory that had a roll-back roof with bunches of different kinds of telescopes. We had a 2 hour session with an astronomer where we saw all kinds of extremely cool stuff, like:

  • Saturn, including its rings

  • Jupiter, including the dark bands, and the big red spot

  • oodles of detail on the moon

  • various nebulae

  • lots of stars and clusters -- different types, etc.

The moon was almost full; so much so that it somewhat washed out lots of other distant features. The moon was so bright that when we looked at it directly, not only could you see all kinds of really amazing detail, I would actually have a blind spot in my eye for a minute or two when I pulled away from the eye piece. Whoever thought that the moon could be so bright that it was literally blinding?

Word to the wise: if you ever go do astronomy, do it in the half of the month with less moonlight.

Our room had black lights and glow-in-the-dark stars and constellations on our ceiling. Cool. :-)

Monday morning, I drove Tracy to the airport and she flew home. I went back to work.

<sigh>


The voice mail light on my phone sucks.

Sometimes it doesn't light up until a day after a message comes in.

My voice mail light angst.
Annoying technology.
Not blinking on time.


Since I use an ISP dialup for the vast majority of my non-Army work, I decided to drastically cut back on the amount of e-mail that I receive. I switched several of my list subscriptions to be daily digests instead of individual e-mails.

This cuts back on the overhead of pine/IMAP/SSL a lot.


I spent just about all weekend re-writing the gm RPI for LAM. The new version is much simpler than the last, although I am finally understanding some of the wisdom of how the other RPIs were written. I got the majority of the infrastructure done, and basic (tiny) message passing finished. Short and long messages do not work, and unexpected message passing is only partially written.

More to come...


So I didn't make it to the commissary to buy more food -- I've got almost nothing left. So I decided to go to Wendy's for lunch on Sunday. I was waiting in the drive thru when the Mystery Machine pulled in behind me. I mentioned seeing this van in a journal entry a while ago.

When I finally pulled up to the window, I was thinking both about LAM and the coolness of the Mystery Machine. The guy at the window caught me off guard. The exchange went something like this:

<Jeff off in space thinking about LAM/Mystery Machine>
Window guy: "You traveling much?"
Me: "Uhhh... yeah."
Window guy: "Where you heading?"
Me: "Uhhhh... here for a while, actually."
Window guy: "Well, I'll warn you that this is a pretty boring place."
Me: "Uhhh... thanks."


I have the best news -- Joe Isuzu is back! I just saw him in a car commercial.

He's 3% funnier than before.


There's a new forest fire on another mountain here -- it's the big mountain behind Mt. Huachuca. The fire has been burning for almost a week now, but it's almost out. It started last Friday as a controlled burn, but it was really windy and apparently it just spread. Although the fire was on the far side of the mountain, it was so big that you could easily see the glow of the fire reflecting off the smoke and clouds. Doh!

That, and there was lots of smoke.


Tim and I watched Space Cowboys the other night. Good flick, and a bunch of "engineers are great" kinds of themes.. I give it 10 minutes.

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