Monthly Archives: March 2007

In which I am once more car-enabled.

Today was my first experience with car sharing (or as I think of it, mini-renting). I reserved a car yesterday so that I could run some errands today. When the time came, I walked up, waved my evil RFID card over the windshield, and off I went. It was a hybrid and an automatic, both things I’m not accustomed to driving, but overall it wasn’t too hard to get used to.

I hit a little snag when I tried to extend my reservation because I was running late. The automated system told me that someone else had the car reserved, and that I couldn’t extend, but when I got home I discovered that nobody else had the car reserved for two more hours. When I called to ask why, they seemed puzzled and were unable to give me an answer.

When I was done, I took my stuff out, waved the RFID card over the dash again, the car locked itself, and I was done.

It was handy to have a car to run those errands, but I almost got sideswiped when I had a protected left by some lady in an (of course) SUV who ran a red light. It didn’t help that the guy in front of me panicked and slammed on his brakes, putting me right in the path of the SUV with not much of an escape route. Anyway, the woman caught herself in time and I was saved from impending doom.

My passenger was a little more shaken than me — he would have been on the impact side. Maryland drivers…

Overall it was a very neat experience, and I think it’s something that will continue to catch on.

Not so much with the biking

Today’s a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for road biking. Unfortunately I seem to be way out of shape on the bike, so I wasn’t able to keep up with my training partners. Oh well, it was a nice 6 miles to start back up with.

Paper’s almost done

I have been working nonstop. Had a very interesting meeting with IBM sales reps yesterday about possible new hardware configurations for the lab. The stuff I’ve been learning in my parallel programming class really came in handy, I was able to grill the sales reps and find out exactly what I needed to know. There may be 6000 or more CPUs in our future…

In other news, I’m trying to get back on the triathlon training bandwidth, and get off of the caffeine. The best I’ve ever felt, and I think maybe my only all-A semester of my undergraduate years both came when I was exercising regularly and off the caffeine. I just need it for one more day, and one more, and one more… although this really has been a bad time to quit, with all of the looming deadlines. I’m going to attempt a swim tomorrow early in the morning followed by a 41-mile bike ride late in the afternoon, after I’ve sent my draft to my advisor. This has been partially driven by the newly-minted Hopkins triathlon club.

I’ve not been inactive, with regard to the blog. Every day new post ideas pop into my head, and in good GTD fashion, they go on my @Blog context list. I plan to start emptying that list soon. Sooon….

The Waiting Pose

Ah, the joys of webcams. I just discovered today that this is one common pose I strike while waiting for my homework simulations to run.

Waiting Pose

That’s my hat I’m holding in the hand over my head, by the way.


I’m completely swamped with work right now, trying to keep my head above water. This will be the case for most of the near future, probably up through mid May, at which point there may be a minor let-up. The immediate crisis should be over by the end of March, so hopefully I’ll be back to my daily posts by then.