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A Real Post

A lot of recent events have gone unreported or unexplained, and tonight I aim to correct that.

I will start with the most recent and work backwards, since I think things will flow out of my brain better that way, and also the order will match the descending order of cronologies that this site follows that exists whenever the newest content is always put at the top.

After work today, Dan had a party to celebrate his 25th birthday. Colin, Alex, Jay, Carolyn (sp?), her guy, and I all went to Jillian’s in Seattle to play some pool and eat some cheap appitizers. Pretty quickly we seperated into groups of people who knew what they were doing when it came to pool (namely, Colin and Jay, plus… well, I still can’t remember his name), and those whose only hope was deals with the devil, which at vrious times we were certain people had made after some pretty incredible shots (namely, Alex, Carolyn, Dan, and me). My best shot of the game was a complete fluke – I got two stripes in during a game of 8-ball. Although I was actually trying to get one of them in, neither one went into an expected hole. Another shot I had during a game of cutthroat saw one of Dan’s balls ricochet off of the short ends of the table twice before sinking in a corner pocket. Dan had a few “devilish” shots himself, though.

After scarffing down many plates of appetizers (I was voraciously hungry), and finishing the game of pool, we returned to Dan’s house for cake, ice cream, and gifts. Being the stud I am, I hadn’t gotten him anything yet, but that oversight has already been corrected. Among the new toys he recieved were a multi-tool screwdriver, a cordless soldering iron, a book on pool shots that he could have used earlier in the day, and a shirt and a book on poker, which he doesn’t really need because he already cleans me out easily enough.

Happy Birthday Dan!

Before the party, however, was work. I made it in at 9:02, right as the 9:00 meeting was getting under way. Then came a short respite of work before we headed off to a presentation by Slade Gorton, former US Senator and current Board member of Microvision. The topic was the 9/11 commission report, and he is quite an incredible person in his ability to articulate clearly and concisely. He talked a some about the process that led to the findings and the people he worked with, but he focused mainly on the conclusions he had. He was fairly candid while carefully avoiding finger pointing. It was a masterful presentation by any means. After his formal remarks, he had a Q&A session. I had jotted down some notes, and eventually had the opportunity to ask him a question. It went something like this:

You talked about the many massive failures of government leading up the the 9/11 attacks. Yet many of the commission’s findngs suggest that more government is needed, not less. Since the commission is a bunch of former politicians – its a lot like a group of Microvision employees saying that the way to solve terrorism is to buy more Nomads (everyone in the room laughed at this). Don’t you think that there is a conflict of interest here?

At this, the former Senator laughed and complimented my question, and then artfully dodged the meat of the question by stating that the commission didn’t suggest an increase in the overall size of government, just a reorganization. It was a skillful dodge, and although I sensed a doge at the time, it took me a while to figure out exactly how he had done it. After all, even if the commission didn’t explicitly suggest an increase in the size of government, any change in government today that doesn’t explicitly make it smaller implicitly makes it larger. And there is no denying that the size of the federal government has once again blossomed after 9/11.

After the Slad Gorton presentation (which included lunch – pizza and salad – I ate a bunch here too – like I said, I had quite the appetite today), came another meeting, after which came more work – which involved software specification writing. And as dull as it has traditionally seemed to be in the past, I actually got into a groove on it today. Its much easier to write the spec after the software is already well on its way to completion. Either that or the fact that I have worked thrugh the development process has made me much better at writing specifications. Either way, what I thought would be the height of dullness actually had me somewhat interested. Until it got close to 5:00, when I took off and headed to the party (see above…)

Yesterday, I started the day at the International School, helping the Titan Robotics Club set up a recruiting station for the schedule pickup / asb signup day. I left there around 9:30, made it into work at what has unfortuantely become a semi-normal start time. Work was pretty normal as well, until I recieved a series of calls from family members concerning moving a bunch of computer equipment from a recently vacated office space. When I heard that free monitors might be involved, I readily signed up. I left work around 3:30, went South to get the Highlander, then returned North to the building. The monitors (7 of them!) ended up being just 15 inchers, so not much excitment there, but the computers turned ot to be the real treasures. Out of six, four or five of them are P4 1.8Ghz class machines, and the last one or two are somewhat lesser, it appears. I think my Mom’s office is claiming some of them as upgrades to their current 400 MHz Celerons, but that should leave a few computers to upgrade my servers, creating a plethora of 400-600 MHz machines that need homes. I think some will go the the TRC, and some may be donated to other worthy causes (to be determined). After jam packing all of these computers and monitors and two extremely nice printers and peripherals into three vehicles, I headed back to the International School, where the 6th grader ice cream social was taking place. The night ended with me recording all the people who had signed up for the TRC interest meeting into an Excel Spreadsheet. We had 45 legible signups, so that bodes well for the club’s future, if we are able to convert a decent percentage into effectual members. It ended up being a long day, which a lot of my days recently seem to become.

Nothing special happened on Tuesday. After work, I think I went to Costco to return some shirts that were too big in exchange for the next smaller size. The shirts are very nice; I wore one today to work (today being the day of the post, not the day of that the post is talking about). It is comfortable and it seems to be reasonably good looking too. Not a bad combo, I guess. And, speaking of Costco, I called that girl Stephani that I met there on Sunday and left a message. Haven’t heard back yet. I figure I might try again, but seriously, women are so flaky (at least in my recent experience).

I don’t remember anything special happening on Monday either, but that may simply be because my memory fails me. I think I ate chili with cheese and chips, but thats a fairly safe guess this week anyway. (Backtrack! I already completed the following paragraph when I remembered this: I donated a pint of blood on Monday – In a quick but not record time of 6:15. I believe, although I don’t have the records to verify, that I’ve donated in under 5 minutes before. Since I’ve started carrying my Palm m500 around again, I should be able to keep better track of it, since its really such an important part of my life…

Sunday, however, was fairly special. I drove the Highlander because the truck was more or less running on empty and probabally not capable of making it all the way to Mercer Island and back. At church, my brother taught the final lesson he will be teaching in a while, having transitioned fully into his new position. It won’t quite be the same with him not teaching and most of the hot women returning to BYU. Oh well. Anyway, after that, I returned home and made one of my famous Caesar salads for a family dinner. Christine, a cousin on my Dad’s side (the one who got married in Rome last summer) and her husband Luca have moved into the area after Luca got a brand-spanking new job at Microsoft. Its the first extended family to live in the same metropolitan area as us ever, I believe, so that should be cool. After the dinner, which included my first meeting of the newest addition to the family, Isabella, we went out and about to look at possible homes that they might be buying. It was while looking at the second neighborhood that I made the as-of-yet-unreturned call to Stephani that I mentioned earlier, somewhat out of order. At least my two neices had some good screams to let out about that time (albeit for a completely unrelated apparent scream contest). Bah.

Now we’re getting near a week old. On Saturday, there was Frisbee (it seems to have died on Tuesdays, which I suppose is just as well, because there’s not enough light anymore anyway). After frisbee came a hack session, with the usual attendence of Justin, who was extremely produtive, finishing the circuit board and hacking two servos for full rotation. We should have a mobile robot in not-very-long (thats an official time unit now). Genevieve made an appearance too, to work on logo stuff. Erik, of Freedom Down (see links, above right, because I’m on too much of a roll to link it here now), returned Saturday night as well. While he was returning, I was missing a wedding reception that may have not happened, and watching K-19, in which the fake Russian accents really didn’t help a decent but underachieving movie.

That brings us to Friday, which I don’t remember, which is a good sign that its time for me to stop.

Except for one more thing, because I’m just that cool. I noticed, as I prepared to post, that every category was covered except for “school.” So, to cover that, I will mention that I am signed up for linear algebra at BCC, the only math class that they offer that I haven’t already studied. I’ve heard horror stories, but I will remain confident that I can handle it until I am proved otherwise.

There, a complete sweep of categories. Now there is no excuse not to read this post!

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