Friday, July 28, 2006

California Rocks!

I get to go to Redding, CA this weekend.

It will be lots of fun. See you on the flip side.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Cyclin' Home

Hot day it is, as I strap on the bag and saddle up
Six short miles, my bicycle knows 'em well
But today is a different day with a short story to tell
Gloves, glasses, helmet and all, ridin' my fat ones down that curvy rode home

Round 'bout 2 miles, on top'er the hill
Pumpin' fast as ever, I feel my legs ready to give
But yonder I spy another desperado on a skinny hot love
Red, his jersey screams for blood, I bet this old boy know the road home

Not thinking much as I pass his flowing head of snow
Just another hot day on that curvy road home
But as he mounted up and steamed on my way
Zoom, he goes by with his bronze legs sayin' "Think again"

Pour it on and I'm off, findin' these legs are ready to go again
Right next to him I pull, as he looks back and nods just to be off again
Ready to show who is the boss another burst I give
As fast as I can I could reach out a touch him, no use now he definitely speedin' on

Should I slow down and enjoy that curvy road home
Wait a minute, there I spy'em takin' a drink
My chance has come, his guard let down
Zoom I go by, saying come on we ain't done

Together we arrive, stopped cold by the traffic light
Grinding our tires, neither fool enough to let down the stirrup
Green it goes and a climb we must make
Both tired to the bone but it looks like I've gotten home

On with the wind that old cycler goes
Quite the ride we shared, hope he remembers it well
Only six short miles and we enjoyed them so much
Next time, I'll be ready on that old curvy road home.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Working too much.

Something I am definitely not doing this summer is working too much. It's not like I'm not working hard and all that but the sunny California outdoors keep calling my name. Whether I am off fishing, kayaking, or bicycle (I did all three this last weekend), work is not something keeping me busy.

Today at my internship a post doc gave a job talk to get a permanent position. After the talk I heard the manager saying how it is a problem that the fellow actually works too hard! I couldn't believe it. I don't think this possibility has ever been conceived by most of my professors back at school. In fact a colleague of mine once got a stern lecture for not spending every weekend constantly working (although the consensus is that prof is a jerk). But at least the Lockheed Martin business model understands that a well-rounded individual both increases productivity and loyalty (it also prevents workplace violence -- that training module was loads of fun ;D ) I think I am going to cry when I have to go back to Chicago.

Speaking of well-roundedness, this summer my constant fight with my Buddha belly is paying off. Of course bicycling 12 miles to work every day certainly helps. Who knows maybe I will shave my beard and cut my hair to be somewhat respectable looking ... heh, I knew you would scoff at that idea. Besides I trust respectable looking people far less than the average Joe.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Big step for Microsoft, Giant leap for open source

I am frequently annoyed whenever I get a Microsoft Office document in my mailbox. Most of my computers are running some flavor of Linux and it is rather difficult to get all the features to come out right, but I guess I have become even more annoyed at my new job. Not only do the HR people give me MS Office stuff, they want the same format back, and while I can usually go through the pain of reading the document writing to it in the same format is much harder. The arrogance is stifling, the sender is demanding that I buy some software to communicate with them while my free software is not good enough for them.

Then I read this article on Microsoft adopting a plugin to OpenDocument Format. Now you can pay too much for software and play with us freeloaders as well. But the reasoning for switching is because some governments and Massachusetts have adopted the OpenDocument format. This is a real plus especially for developing countries that may not want to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy all the right licenses for their computers. While I would love to believe this will help put the money towards the right causes, I'm not holding my breath.

Anywho this news made me really excited and I just wanted to share.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Coffee or Beer

So when I was a young undergraduate and hung around lots of physics and math people, I drank lots of beer. I was even encouraged by my departments to drink beer. To the point where I shared my homebrew with a one and went out drinking with another. In fact when I was in charge of the department banquet, I wanted to hold it in one of those science museums for kids but was told by at least four professors that they would boycott a dry banquet on principle.

Now I hang out with largely computer science people. They drink coffee. Pretty well end of story, go to the bar with a group of cs grads and it's like taking a fish out of water. Even I as I go through the day find myself desiring a good cup of coffee.

What is the deal here. One group wants a drug that helps them pontificate and the other wants the drug that helps them work. Why am I now in the second group? My undergraduate professors did not warn me about this. Although there is hope. The group of us computational math guys like both, well we also like tea. And apparently some of my colleagues like tea way too much, spare yourself an hour and never ask them what kind they like best.