Thursday, April 28, 2005


I just fixed my first bug in bloglines!

It was just in the unreleased development version, so nobody outside the people here in the office will notice the difference, but I'll know, and that's what matters ;-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I'm Such An Idiot

So apparently I'm totally incompetent, and managed to delete virtually all of my AIM buddy list today. So if you think I should have you on that list, you might want to IM me so that I can add you again. So far I've only been able to recreate the names of the people I've actually talked to on this particular computer rather recently, since all I had to work from was the logs I still had lying around...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


I'd like to point out the irony in the fact that "Microsoft Outlook Web Access" (i.e. the webmail thingy for MS Exchange) works a hell of a lot better with a Mozilla based browser than the lotus notes webmail thingy we had at my previous job.

Monday, April 25, 2005

First Day

Today went pretty well.

I overestimated the time it would take me to get to work (better than underestimating it I guess), and showed up a little earlier than I planned to. Then it turned out that I failed to account for cultural differences between California engineers who work on web based RSS aggregators and Connecticut engineers who work on financial software, because I had to wait around about an hour before anyone actually got to work.

Once my coworkers arrived we had the usual fun getting my computer set up and usernames and passwords worked out and so forth, and we managed to miss my orientation meeting with the HR people, but other than that things went about as well as can be expected. I got to meet the people I'll be working with (some of them for the second time), and they all seem quite cool. I'm especially impressed with Mark's ability to be amusing after having been woken up by a crashing database server at 3AM ;-)

Spent most of the day reading over parts of the codebase while we waited for RedHat CDs to download. Those finished just as I was about to leave, so tomorrow we can reinstall my computer and get a development environment set up for me, then I'm off on whatever project Mark and Paul decide I'll be working on.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Day 7: Santa Clara, CA -> Santa Clara, CA

Ok, so it's not like we actually drove all that far today (a mile or so?), but in some sense this is the last leg of the trip, as today we were able to get into my new (temporary) apartment for the first time.

Spent most of the day killing time, since I wasn't technically supposed to show up at the apartment until 4PM. This involved breakfast at IHOP, wandering around Microcenter (they had a copy of my book!), catching a movie, etc. Once the movie finished up we decided to head on over, despite the fact that we were technically a little early.

Fortunately, the complex had everything set up already, and we were able to basically walk right in. The only catch was trying to park in the wrong parking garage (they don't indicate anywhere which parking spaces are in which garage, so I went through the entire first garage looking for space 300 only to find that it's in the second garage), other than that everything went perfectly.

The place is nice, really nice. It's right across the street from a supermarket, and a reasonably short (15 minutes or so) drive from the office, so all in all I'm pretty psyched about it. Getting motivated enough to find a new place may require some effort though ;-)

Day 6: Long Beach, CA -> Santa Clara, CA

Well, we're finally here. The drive up the CA coast was great, and we rolled into silicon valley around 8 or 9 last night. Unfortunately I can't actually get into my new apartment until late this afternoon, so now begins the time honored tradition of killing time. Fortunately there appears to be a movie theater just down the street from our hotel, and the first shows start reasonably soon after we have to check out...

One thing that did amuse me about the ride up though: there are these huge sections of California with big rolling hills, covered in green grass and alltogether too perfect trees, it looks like something out of either a model train set or a miniatures battle, quite strange.

Anyway, I imagine much of the rest of today will be spent in the "figuring out where things are" process. The temporary apartment seems rather close to where we are now, and I think I know how to get to the office from there, so at least that's a start...

Friday, April 22, 2005

Day 5: Las Vegas, NV -> Long Beach, CA

Once again, I didn't get around to posting this last night. Oh well.

Vegas remained amusing, as ever. I mean where else can you see such astounding examples of hubris? A replica of New York City built in the middle of the freaking desert! Right down the street from a roman colloseum, and a pyramid, and a sphynx, and a pirate ship... It truly does boggle the mind.

Plus, where else on the planet can you ask the question "where is the buffet?" and have the answer be "oh, next to the lions."

In any event, we hung around vegas for most of the morning, then headed out towards LA, a nice 3 hour drive, as opposed to the usual 9 or 10 hour drives we've been doing up to now. When we finally got to our destination (Long Beach), we wandered around for a while, looking for something to do to waste time while we waited for my friend Ellen to get out of work. We eventually gave up and just found a hotel room (yay internet accesss!).

Ellen eventually met up with us later on, resulting in a trip to Krispy Kreme and a rousing game of Set back at her place. She still kicked my ass, but in at least one game I was only behind by 3 sets, so I consider it a moral victory.

Anyway, time to take a shower and check out of the hotel. Today the plan is to head up the coast towards our final destination, although as usual, things may change at the last minute (I like to think of it as "Just In Time Planning").

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Day 4: Denver, CO -> Las Vegas, NV

Ok, I didn't get around to posting this last night, but sure enough, given the choice between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas, we decided to go with Vegas.

As my friend Ellen pointed out: "Hmm, let's see: stronghold of mormon conservatives, versus promiscuous city of wanton sex and gambling? Tough choice!" ;-)

Of course, the irony is, all we did when we finally got here was find a hotel (the Holiday Inn Express was our first choice, primarily because the Oscar Mayer Weiner Truck was actually parked in the parking lot, but they were out of rooms, so we ended up at some other Marriott variant next door) and go to sleep. Today we'll hopefully spend some time exploring before heading out to LA.

As for the trip from Denver to Vegas, I must say it was interesting. The rockies are impressive, at least once the fog cleared, and while Utah is rather empty, it's nothing if not beautiful countryside. I got some good pictures which will hopefully turn into an impressive panoramic shot of the scenery, assuming I can manage to master one of those programs that stitches such things together. Continuing on we actually managed to run into a brief snowstorm, and eventually ended up passing through a wonderfully twisty and turny road through the mountains of Arizona in the dark. The trip ended with a drive through Nevada (which as EJ pointed out, is the tackiest state in the union, although that's part of its charm) in the dark, which looked pretty much like you're driving through a cartoon. Everything is either black (the road) or pinpoints of light (approaching cars and stars), with silhouetted mountains and a wonderfully gradiented sky. It really did look very cool.

Anyway, that's about it for now. Off to break our tradition of driving someplace as quickly as possible and then leaving ASAP ;-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Day 3: New Florence MO -> Denver CO

Today has been largely focused on porn.

Not on actually looking at it of course, but on theorizing about it.

You see, it turns out that Missouri has a far larger number of roadside porn superstores along route 70 than you'd guess. Kansas, on the other hand, has very few, and Colorado has pretty much none.

Does this mean that Kansas and Colorado have something against porn?

Our current theory is that it's not actually Kansas and Colorado being particularly anti-porn, just that the parts of Kansas and Colorado we drove through have way fewer people than the section of Missouri, and while roadside porn stores can probably extract some kind of business from the interstate trucker community it seems unlikely to be enough to really sustain a business if it's unable to also draw on some sort of local community support.

In any event, that's the most interesting observation from today's drive. Kansas and the first half of Colorado aren't all that interesting really. Kansas is large areas of farmland, with almost nothing else, and eastern Colorado is a slightly smaller area of farmland, which actually has less non-farm type stuff than Kansas had.

Here's the google map for today's journey, although it's not all that interesting considering that the entire trip was along one road...

Tomorrow is still up in the air. The original plan was to head through Colorado and into Utah, ending up in Salt Lake City. That's still a possibility, but considering our rapid progress the idea of heading down to Las Vegas has become an attractive possibility, especially since it would allow us to drive up through much of CA, which is actually an interesting drive, and honestly I'm not all that psyched about seeing Salt Lake City.

We'll just have to see what tomorrow brings us...

Monday, April 18, 2005

Day 2: Austinburg, OH -> Louisville KY -> New Florence MO

Today we took a rather indirect route, driving down as far as Louisville KY, which I had never seen before, and then up through St. Louis, ending up in New Florence MO. Nothing especially interesting to report, other than the fact that the first comment on Rob's t-shirt was actually a positive one, clearly a rogue outlier on the charts for this particular part of the country.

Oh, by the way, if anyone knows of a way to insert multiple waypoints into a set of google maps directions, I'd love to hear it. It'd be nice to be able to generate a single map per day, rather than having to create several in order to accurately capture our route.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Day 1: Troy, NY -> Austinburg, OH

Apparently even crappy roadside motels have wireless internet access these days.

Why didn't anyone tell me about this sooner? This is great!

Anyway, after having way too much fun and getting not nearly enough sleep at Psi Upsilon's annual founder's day celebration up in Troy this weekend I've finally begun the drive out to California. Rob (who was able to join the trip at the last minute due to some scheduling changes at work) and I left Troy at around 3PM and made it through upstate NY and PA and finally came to a halt in Austinburg Ohio.

For the curious, here's what Google Maps has to say about our first day's work: Troy -> Austinburg.

So far nothing especially interesting to report, other than the fact that playing quarters and listening to loud music in the basement of the fraternity house until 5 AM probably isn't the best way to start a cross country road trip. Hopefully we'll make better progress tomorrow when we're less tired.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Moving Day

So it's like half-past OH MY $DIETY IT'S EARLY, and the packers are supposed to arrive any second now. Then, an hour and a half or so later the guy with the truck should pull in.

It would be nice if I was a little more prepared (certain parts of my apartment are still something resembling a train wreck), but oh well, that didn't happen. In any event, everything I plan on taking with me on the drive is either in the car or on the way to the car, so I figure I'm at least reasonably prepared, All I need to do is keep them from packing up any of my roomate's stuff and I'm all set.

Anyway, this is certainly better than packing everything up myself, but all things considered moving still sucks, even when you discount the whole "leaving 98% of the people I know on this side of the country and moving someplace I've hardly ever been to" part of the equation.

But I'm still excited about it! Now where the hell are the movers...

Saturday, April 9, 2005

(vector-push "Practical Common Lisp" *reading-list*)

Apparently Practical Common Lisp has hit the streets.

Check it out online, and then pick up a dead tree version as quickly as possible, I doubt you'll regret it...


So today is my first day of unemployment. Granted, it's temporary unemployment until I manage to get myself across the country and start my new job in a few weeks, but still...

I must say that it's kind of nice to know that there's no chance at all that I'll be paged and have to spend the next 15 hours trying to fix some sort of catestrophic problem. I've spent too many weekends doing that, and even more weekends worrying about having to do that, and while I'm sure that kind of thing will happen at every job, including the one I'm about to start, it is awfully nice to not have to worry about it for a little while.

Anyway, time to find some food and drive up to MA. With any luck people will have started to wake up after recovering from an all-night game of Twilight Imperium by the time I get there...

Monday, April 4, 2005


Apparently my new coworkers are PSP Owners!

Looks like I'll have to pick up Ridge Racer at some point...