Archive for January, 2005

Matthew’s B-day

Sunday, January 30th, 2005

Kathy and I drove to Texas A&M in College Station, TX to wish Matthew a happy birthday. It’s about about a 2 hour drive from Austin. He’ll be 22 on Monday. It’s amazing how time flies. We brought with us two pies, and some carmel brownies. Somehow we (mostly myself) thought he liked pies and not cakes, but that’s not true. We arrived at 10:15 AM, met Beth, his girlfriend, had lunch together, and saw a movie (“Meet the Fockers”). Afterwards we sampled the pies and brownies as dessert or pre-dinner depending on how you saw it. We left around 5 PM. Overall we had a nice time. Matthew looked relaxed and Beth is delightful.

Brain scan

Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

I had an MRI today. It was my yearly recheck MRI after having brain surgery for a benign brain tumor on 1/8/2003. Laying prone in an enclosed narrow tube with loud clicking and buzzing noises all around. Headphones on and listening to the radio to help kill the noise. An angled mirror lets me see the technician and helps reduce claustrophobia. Then after about 20 minutes, I’m rolled out and injected with gadolinium. It causes any abnormal areas to become very bright (enhanced) on the MRI. Hopefully I don’t have any of those. Then back in again for more scans. After about 45 minutes, I’m done and I leave. In about a week I should get the results. Last year I got them on a CD. Neat!

A programming milestone

Friday, January 21st, 2005

Since last month I’ve been developing some programming at work and yesterday my partner and I reached a milestone of successfully getting the first test case to operate. This test program was a simple query, but it took a slice through the entire system to accomplish its task. Now that a single path works we can add more capability and continue to broaden it. Today another person in our group joined our development team. It was fun telling them all about the software and how it was designed and organized. It made me feel good that the design was clean, and I was able to show it and explain it relatively easily. Their questions were good and it showed that they were beginning to understand what it was all about. We’ll continue tomorrow going into it in further depth. Then they’ll be given their own programming assignment to do and I can see how they do as a further confirmation of how much they understand. I’m looking forward to their help since almost everything has been on my shoulders and I’ve been assigned other things to do, such as, design documentation. But now that we have a simple prototype actually working so documenting the design will be a piece of cake.

Why am I so weird

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

I’m just a lame geek jerk. I don’t understand the world around me. I try, and some people think that I understand things, but I don’t. I’m clueless. I laugh along with others and they think I got the punch line but I didn’t. I can’t read people. That’s why I work with machines. I’m totally a failure with sensing people , and especially knowing what it takes to get people to do things. I don’t even know what it takes to make a romantic moment with my wife and I’ve been married for years. I’m such a nerd, a dork, and socially inept.

We’ve been good to Goodwill

Saturday, January 15th, 2005

Today we loaded up the car trunk and backseat with stuff. Kathy sat in the passenger seat with stuff on her lap too. We drove it all over to Goodwill and dropped it off with them. Naturally we still have mucho stuff, but it’s a start. While loading the car we found some more books for Half-Price Bookstore, and now have two laundry baskets full to drop off next week.

Half Price Books has been good to me

Wednesday, January 12th, 2005

Yesterday I sold used books, audio tapes, and video tapes to Half Price Books mentioned in Still on Vacation and got over $40. So I continue to make money, however slight with the junk that I’m unloading. For the past two days I’ve been packing and shipping my eBay items too. I still have two more to do. At work I finally got the programming working all the way through that I mentioned in Full Day at Work.

EBay has been good to me

Tuesday, January 11th, 2005

My eBay selling has gone quite well and I’m now over $500 richer. Ah what should I spend it on. Maybe a mini-ITX system as a web server similar to the one that Justin built. Only one more eBay listing to go and then I’ll be done. Next I’ve got to get all my sold items shipped, which will be a feat, since I’m talking about several stacks of heavy periodicals in the 30-40 pound range.

Full day of work

Friday, January 7th, 2005

I was programming most of today. Just before vacation I started some changes to this programming I had done. I then stopped due to the holidays. When I returned to work yesterday I dusted it off and realized that I had left it broken, so today I fixed it, improved it and extended it. Now I’m testing it with some new data and realized that the design had several flaws it in. So I made some subtle design changes to accomplish these new requirements. It was fun to not have to toss it all out and start over again. I deftly made the changes while maintaining the existing balance in the design. I’m sure they’ll be more changes, but for now I’m happy with it. I kept thinking that it was like sculpting where the form is there, but I had to add a little and subtract a little to adjust the code to get it to work better, that is, making it more general, more powerful and more complete.

Back to work

Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

I’ll be going back to work in about an hour. Need to get some lunch and then head out. I’m still cleaning up the computer room, but overall it looks much better. Boxes gone, extra chair gone, books sorted and gone, and oodles of papers shredded. Overall it’s getting there, but there is always more to do. However when I get home from work most evenings I just don’t have the energy to tackle something like this. Maybe now that I’ve started it, I’ll be able to keep going a little at a time – for example, I just unearthed a few old boxes in the corner that need going through.

Still on vacation

Wednesday, January 5th, 2005

Because I spent additional time at work before the holidays, I have a bit more vacation to complete before I return to work. Today I continued to do my eBay selling by adding one more listing, and watching my current listings. Also I sorted through all my technical and fiction books for what I can send off to the used book store. Then because tomorrow is garbage day, I took down the Christmas tree which required extensive moving of furniture beforehand and extensive vacuuming of needles and returning the furniture back afterwards.