Thursday, September 30, 2004

Today my boss told me to be careful when I'm speaking to clients because some of them are extremely religious. I asked him what he meant, since I thought I was doing a remarkably good job at ignoring the bigotry that sometimes goes on around me. He said, "Well, the other day in the meeting, L. said something, and you muttered that she was being a totalitarian." He didn't explain, of course, the connection he thought I was making between totalitarianism, religion, and handicapped access to our museum, which was the topic on the table at the time. Anyway, I think if he's going to accuse me of something, he needs to get it right. What I said was, "Ah. Jeremy Bentham's formulation of utilitarianism, the greatest good for the greatest number of people," an assessment that was not only inoffensive, but perfectly appropriate for the conversation. If only my boss knew who Bentham was, that is.

And speaking of formulations, how many different ways can I say that I'm tired? I've run out of synonyms. I wish I never had to get out of bed. Ever.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

If I believed in god, which I don't, but if I did, I'd wonder why he was always pounding his fist on Haiti. It's a big universe--don't you think he could spread it around a bit?
1. I decided to go w/the Dick Francis option, just in case you're curious. There's 30 or 40 of them, and re-reading them should keep me busy for a couple weeks. And just to prove that I am still a Serious Thinker (tm), I promise I'll read at least one of them in a language other than English, okay?

2. I also decided some other stuff--a LOT of other stuff--so I won't have to make any more decisions until the middle of 2005. And even then, the decision making won't be all mine, so there's nothing more to worry about. I easily narrowed a list of about 50 schools to about 24, and then without much more difficulty cut that list down to six. Then down to five, and finally to four, although number five keeps getting cut then added back on. But, really, down to four. And that's all the decision making I have to do on that.

3. I wish I had run as well last Saturday as I ran this evening. It sucks to be me.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Too many choices. Besides the race yesterday, we had many other choices for entertainment this weekend: the Lotus Festival, the International Mongolian Festival, the Multicultural Festival, the Chautauqua of the Arts, the Apple Butter Festival, and a hot air balloon race.

We had to cross the Mongolian Festival off our list because tickets were $40 a piece. That's a bit steep for a one day pass, no matter what the attraction. The Chautauqua and the hot air balloon race missed us because I was too tired to drive that far yesterday afternoon. Really too bad, because I wanted to see the balloons go off. We did the free-of-charge parts of the Lotus last night, and that was fun. Today we went to the Apple Butter festival, and right now Catherine is at the Multicultural Festival. I'm going to meet her there later, after I clear some e-mail out of my inbox. I think I've earned a vacation.
Catherine and Garry

Catherine ran in her first 5k today, and she kicked my ass. I struggled the entire race to keep up with her, and now I'm wiped out. She, apparently, feels fine and is very much looking forward to the next race.

Just got back from downtown. We wandered around the free part of the Lotus Festival this evening. Had a good time watching Kepa Junkera. Actually, I mostly watched the drummer, Blas Fernandez, and the txalaparta players, Igor Oxtoa and Harkaitz Martinez. Wish I could get me one of those things (the txalaparta, not the Oxtoa or Martinez). Very nice way to pass an hour.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Breaking my self-imposed moratorium on political discussion, I must say is really fascinating. If you put in a zip code, you can track political contributions in your neck of the woods. Some of the contributions from my neighborhood are to be expected--a few $20,000+ donations to the RNC by big business--but who would expect a grad student to have given Wesley Clark, John Kerry, and John Edwards $1,000 each, then follow it up w/$800 more to John Kerry? I wish I had his graduate student stipend. I would have guessed the top echelon of the Chamber of Commerce leaned right, but I was wrong, it donated to the left. I sure as hell wouldn't have expected anyone from Ken Nunn's office to be voting Democrat, but I was wrong about that as well. But the Mellencamps donated exactly how you'd expect them to, so I guess the world's not so crazy after all.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Massive headache. Must kill.

Lessons learned this week:

swallow the pride and ask for the favor;

Villa Lante;


if the USB port on the back of the computer doesn't produce results, try the one on the front;

good goggles = ability to see dirt in the pool;

not a mathematician;

not a statistician;

the world deserves itself.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Too tired and I can't think of anything interesting to say. I'm really going to have to find a hydration solution for lsd runs because I can't spend all day Sunday wiped out.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Monday, September 06, 2004

This for Doyle because I'm too lazy to update the other page.

What I'm reading:

Hillary Rodham Clinton, Living History. So far, it reads like one long Acknowledgements page. If she doesn't cut to the chase and start discussing policy soon, I'm standing on line at the library for Bill's book instead.

National Commission on Terrorist Attacks, The 9/11 Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. Not for the faint-hearted--especially the first chapter--but an intriguing and complicated text. The end notes are fascinating, and I wish I had time to chase down all the cited sources in order to make a better judgement on the commission's work.

Penny Le Couteur and Jay Burreson, Napoleon's Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History. My boss had never heard of "tin disease."

Marcus du Sautoy, The Music of the Primes: Searching to Solve the Greatest Mystery in Mathematics. Pushing the envelope of my mathematics knowledge, but I'm still hanging in there.

G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician's Apology. Again. And I might read it a third time.

Ross King. Brunelleschi's Dome. Still. It got buried on my desk.

David L. Goodstein and Judith R. Goodstein. Feynman's Lost Lecture: The Motion of the Planets Around the Sun. Also still. Also got buried on my desk. I seriously need to finish this, though.

Catherine is reading Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City. I liked his Isaac's Storm, so maybe I'll read that one after Catherine's done. Or maybe I'll just sit down and re-read a 1/2 dozen Dick Francis novels. It's hard to say.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

So, Maria Rita won the Best New Artist award tonight, and good for her. Doesn't she remind you of my favorite group, Aterciopelados? Thought so.