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I had my wisdom teeth taken out on Thursday. I can't report all that much about the experience itself because I missed it. I thought that the dentist was going to use conscious sedation. Then he put something in the IV and told me "I've just given you some medicine that's going to make you a little sleepy." 30 seconds later -- give or take -- a nurse was waking me up and helping me wobble over to the recovery room. It's probably just as well. I imagine I was a much more cooperative patient than I would have otherwise been when they went after the more strangely positioned teeth.

The lower half of my face feels like it is swollen to the dimensions of a beach ball. I am coming to despise the 90 minutes between when one dose of painkillers wears off and when I am allowed to take the next one. I have something stronger if I need it but I'm trying not to resort to that unless absolutely necessary. My diet consists mainly of Gatorade and sunshine floats. I am wearing an icepack that wraps around the top of my head and the bottom of my jaw. For an accurate picture of what it looks like, imagine a production of "A Christmas Carol" with Marley hovering over Ebenezer's bed moaning "Scrooooooooooooge!" in his best dead miser voice. See the thing wrapped around his head? That's me, but with Velcro holding it together at the top instead of a knot.

Really, though, I'm doing fine. All of that is completely par for the course and I have the tools I need to deal with it. Best of all, I have [ profile] willowisp looking after me. She's been absolutely amazing. I almost feel embarrassed, like I should tell her "No, really, let me get this one. You've done more than enough already."

I'll be glad when this one's over.


Apr. 28th, 2008 12:33 pm
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Not the waterfowl or the activity; the city. Work travel has brought me to Duck, North Carolina for a few days. I'm staying at a hotel called the Sanderling Inn and discovering that I really should do this vacation thing more often.

Semi-work trivialities )
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Friday, April 18



We came home today. I'm all over the map about it.

The details )
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(Note: The particularly detail-obsessive among you will notice that the location I put in the posting comments doesn't match the content described in these entries. That's because I'm posting them one day late. It was the only sane way to do it while on board.)

Thursday, April 17


Doubletree Castle Hotel, Orlando

Back in port )
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Wednesday morning, 10:16
80 miles from Nassau

Heading back to port )
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15 April 2008

I'm just now back from the morning's excursion. We sailed from
Freeport to Nassau overnight and woke up to a gloomy, cloudy sky.

Another excellent day )
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Monday afternoon, 14:39

I got to swim with dolphins this morning!

How Monday went )
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(I'm posting these the day after I write them. I've got pictures but the ship doesn't have enough bandwidth for me to upload them. Those will wait until I get home.)

April 13, 17:15

I'm at sea. )
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I'm not as out of touch as I had expected. It turns out that the ship has an Internet cafe aboard, and better yet, I have wireless access to it from my cabin. The prices are only mildly exorbitant so I can afford to retrieve my email and post to my journal once or twice a day.

Those of you who are expecting mail from me, I'll be sending things later this evening. Those of you who are interested in the cruise [ profile] willowisp and I are taking, stay tuned!
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This is a very, very rough explanation of what's going on in the image I posted in my last entry.

Cut for large image and math )
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Here's a picture of an experiment I finished today. I'm reasonably pleased with how it came out. These 7 pieces are exactly the same folding method with only slight differences in the angles on the outgoing pleats. The image here is a link to a larger one. If you want one larger still, or if you're interested in the underlying math, just ask.

There needs to be another version with better color balance. I know my camera can do it, I just have to figure out how.

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Please visit. Your tourism will help ensure our success. Early residents will be granted their choice of a tropical island once world domination is complete.
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89% Geek

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Goodbye, 2007. You brought some good things (Sprout, for one), but you also put a lot of the people I care about through a highly unfair wringer. Some of them didn't survive. Enough already.

2008, welcome, here's your nametag. I expect you to behave better than your predecessor.
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Observation #1: Keynote addresses are often scheduled early in the morning so that they will seem more profound than they actually are.

Observation #2: Harry Connick Jr. singing Van Halen's "Jump" is a tremendously bad idea. It just doesn't work. I am tempted to hack into the audio system and pull up iTunes just to counteract some of the wrongness.

Observation #3: I am told that the Sacramento Hyatt (where IEEE Visualization takes place this year) serves as the Governator's home when he's in town. Rumor has it that he stays on the sixteenth floor. None of the elevators I have seen so far go that high. Coincidence? Conspiracy? Security? You be the judge.
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Completely work-safe and firewall-friendly (it's an image):

OMG! Not the 280!
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On Sunday afternoon, while we were waiting for our luggage, [ profile] willowisp, her mother and I took a drive through the New York countryside. We went out toward Boonville and wound our way along Moose River Road. The leaves were very pretty but the real fun came when we pulled off and went for a walk -- rather, a climb -- by the river itself. It was and is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

I took plenty of pictures when we were there five years ago. This time I had my tripod with me and an hour of clear, end-of-the-day sunlight to play with. I didn't get as many exposures in but I'm pretty pleased with how they came out. Here's an example:

Trees and water

(click for full-sized version)

I've taken a handful of my favorites and put them in this gallery. I'm still learning how to develop digital images (I'm using a trial version of Lightroom) but I'm quite pleased with how they turned out. I know they're a bit dark -- I haven't quite figured out what I did wrong there. Constructive criticism is welcome, of course -- I'm as rank an amateur as can be.

If you're ever in upstate New York in the fall and have an afternoon to spare I recommend looking this place up. It's magnificent.
callicrates: (homicidal kitten)
If you've read [ profile] willowisp's latest entry this is old news. In case you haven't... our bags arrived around 3am Monday morning.

As far as I can tell, Northwest followed a brute-force-and-simplicity approach. They did not reroute our bags on the quickest possible path from wherever-they-were (probably Minneapolis) to Syracuse. They doggedly sent them to Cleveland, handed them to Continental, and then to Syracuse. On the one hand, I can admire this algorithm for its tendency to get the job done no matter what. On the other, it seems like there must be a better way. I'm also assuming the existence of a tracking system like the ones UPS and FedEx have in place where your package is scanned and recorded every time Something Happens. I kind of suspect that this is a mistake. The airlines certainly have fragments of such a system but I doubt it's as unified as it needs to be.

Anyway, we finally got our stuff. Wearing pajamas to bed instead of street clothes is a vastly underrated luxury.

We fly home tomorrow. Cross your fingers that it will all go smoothly.
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Very short version: I'm in Syracuse. My luggage isn't.

The slightly longer version )
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Here's the background: when I travel for business I almost never have problems. Maybe a flight will be delayed 15 minutes but that's usually about the worst of it. Whenever [ profile] willowisp and I fly to visit family... things go wrong.

Last month we went to visit my family. That went completely without incident. I thought that perhaps our luck had changed.

This morning we're going to visit her family and I find out that no, it's still there, it's just making up for lost time.

Our original routing was Albuquerque to Minneapolis to Detroit to Syracuse. Apparently, at some point the flight from Detroit to Syracuse got cancelled and the automated rebooking code kicked in. Fine so far. This happens all the time.

We got to the airport this morning and were very confused when the ticket agent asked us for our passports. See, the rebooking code didn't just change our routing. It decided that we wanted to go to Vancouver, BC instead of Syracuse, NY.


It took quite a bit of wrangling on the phone to figure out that that's what happened and to get ourselves rebooked. As I write this the current plan is Minneapolis to Cleveland, transfer to Continental, pray that our bags do likewise, and then Cleveland to Syracuse.

But wait! There's more!

After the mad rush to get through security and down to the gate, meanwhile hearing ourselves paged to "report to gate A12 for immediate boarding", and after we jammed ourselves onto the plane, we hear that Minneapolis is having weather delays and we'll be half an hour late taking off. That's no big deal. Then, fifteen minutes later, we hear that our push-back time has been delayed at least an hour and 45 minutes because Minneapolis has just shut down all incoming traffic.

I have no idea where I'll wind up tonight. I think the chances of making it to our destination before midnight are about 1 in 3. It's kind of funny, really. I'm in this sort of sleep-deprived haze where I just nod at each new announcement of calamity and say "That's nice. I'll just sit here until you tell me it's time to go."

How did I get such consistently bizarre luck with travel?
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