Monday, March 31, 2003

Over the weekend, the air conditioning in our server room failed. The temperature rose to ~105°F, and the servers crashed. The jobs I had scheduled to run didn't.

This does not please me.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

Did you see in the morning light?
I really talked, yes I did, to God's early dawning light
And I was privileged to be as I am to this day
To be with you. To be with you.
To be with you. To be with you.
To be with you.

Listen. I have arranged this display for... for all of you
people to... to come here this evening, and I... I know you have
been searched, but what you... you don't realise is that in the
back of it -- the Maltese Falcon -- I have it...
Ooh, right... Honda makes motorcycles, too.

My loyalties are divided. I swear by Honda engineering... heck, if they made a cereal, Honda Flakes would be the only cereal I'd buy.

Again, I have this odd craving to be on a motorcycle. I've never been on one, mind you, and up until, oh, a year or so ago I had a strong aversion to them. Then I started having dreams that I was riding on one and enjoying myself. Weird.

Anyway, today I spent a few minutes peeking at the Kawasaki web site. (Yeah, it's a rice rocket in my dreams -- the Harleys still don't appeal to me.) I'm a bit surprised how inexpensive they are (I figured that they cost as much as a normal car; you know, the whole women's swimsuit "less is more, you're paying for style" phenomenon). No, no, still not going to get one...

Polarbee, which Ninja model did you get? (I kinda like the Ninja 250R and 500R...)

Heading back down to VA this weekend; this time for a friend's wedding. Ooh, should be fun.

Saturday, March 22, 2003

Shredding? Ew.

There are no good guys, there are no right answers.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Never attribute to conspiracies and cabals that which can be attributed to arrogance, ignorance, or sheer stupidity.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Excellent four-part essay in this week's Newsweek by Fareed Zakaria on the "Iraq" situation. Will post a summary and review later. (For now, you'll have to read it yourself to find out why I put Iraq in quotes.)

Writing the code module that just won't die for now...

Friday, March 14, 2003

Inexpensive camera for sale

This is all your fault, . :-)

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

One of our field support engineers filed a bug today saying that the splash screen should have a blue border.

I only wish I were kidding.

Why I'm Glad I Didn't Take That State Department Job

For those of you who are game theoretic types, you might enjoy this.

The whole Iraq fiasco has moved international diplomacy to a new arena... one with a big top tent and three rings.

The positions of the U.S. and France have become so hard-line that either side would lose face (and, therefore, diplomatic influence) should the U.N. vote definitively either way for or against a war. The only way out of this impasse is to have another nation -- which can't be any of the position-taking states: U.S., Britain, Spain, France, China, or Russia -- propose a compromise position.

Which is what we're seeing with Guinea, of all places. Yeah, the headlines now say "U.S. May Revise Draft Resolution on Iraq," but this idea of postponement (last I've heard was April 17th) was the Guinean Foreign Minister Francois Fall's initiative. This will buy time; I'm getting increasingly convinced that waiting Hussein out (exile? internal coup?) is the only way that will prevent diplomatic feathers from getting... well, not just ruffled, but outright plumed.

Why is diplomatic influence such a big deal? Is it just about egos? Well, no; the world is a fragile place, and it is the responsibility of stable nations to keep the balance. States and dictators that get out of line (such as Iraq, but also Burma, Indonesia, North Korea, Nicaragua, ...) need to be kept in check. This is done through a variety of means: (promises of) economic assistance, (threats of) economic sanctions, diplomacy, threats of force, and, regrettably, use of force. Sadly, if we were to do a 180 and back down on Iraq, we'd lose the ability to use threats of force. And, I'm sorry to say, we don't live in a world where straightforward diplomacy is 100% effective.

What depresses me is that the person playing this game the best right now is Hussein. It'd be an easy decision if he were fully cooperative and accounted for all the missing weapons, or if he completely blocked the inspectors and provided no evidence of weapons. Instead, he's baiting the West. If this were a trial by jury, yeah, all the evidence would point to his guilt, but there would be an inkling of reasonable doubt.

Anyway... yeah. I doubt that many diplomats assigned to the U.N. are getting decent sleep these days.

Monday, March 10, 2003

Why is it that printers are so adept at ignoring print requests? It seems like this is true everywhere I've worked or gone to school.

54 vodka /home/dacut/packages/x-docs: lpstat
Printer: Hp4000West@vodka (dest Hp4000West@Hp4000West)
Queue: 3 printable jobs
Server: pid 21580 active
Unspooler: pid 21581 active
Status: waiting for subserver to exit at 13:18:20.201
Rank Owner/ID Class Job Files Size Time
1 dacut@vodka+577 A 577 (STDIN) 3449678 13:15:38
2 dacut@vodka+595 A 595 (STDIN) 1579456 13:16:04
3 dacut@vodka+630 A 630 (STDIN) 481680 13:18:20

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

When I retire, I think I'll become a cat herder.

Eric Weisstein for President

Weisstein wrote the original MathWorld and continues to edit it. This is an invaluable resource for recalling all of those tricky math concepts that you were quizzed about on a midterm once upon a time and promptly forgot, but now find yourself needing to recall. Well, at least for us less than godly types who can't whip Bessel Functions of the First Kind out of our ass...

Well, today I checked in and was surprised to discover a few additional links. There is now a ScienceWorld which is a superset of MathWorld. Aside from the original mathematics category, there are catgories for physics, chemistry, astronomy, and a special biography section. Though far from being as complete as the mathematics category, I was very pleased to see a sections on Maxwell's Equations and the dear father of all electrical engineers.

Monday, March 3, 2003

Why am I being so lazy?

I know I can work harder, concentrate harder. I know that saying that the noise in the office is too loud is a pathetic excuse. I know that I can wake up earlier and get in to the office by 8:30 or 9.

I worked much harder in college. Four hours of sleep was a luxury then. I get far more than that now, almost double, and I still complain about being too tired.

Ok, time to work. I need three hours of solid productivity before my 3:00 meeting.