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Means nothing

Okay, this'll mean nothing to anyone who hasn't been in this town for a long time, but I was just sitting here at the bar at the Embassy waiting for Susanna and working on my laptop, and just got a friendly poke in the ribs from Candy Foster (*). He was coming in to pick up some dinner.

Makes me feel kind of.. proud to be a townie. I have no idea where he knows me from, unless he recognizes me from the crowd from one of his zillions of gigs here.

(*) www.candyfoster.com

And Ike isn't even here yet!

While some of the rain in this storm system can be attributed to upper-air moisture brought along by the hurricane, Ike itself isn't due to arrive in Illinois until tomorrow. No doubt there will be even more heavy rain then. Wow.

Click to enlarge.

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Shipping inefficiencies

You'd think that, living in Urbana, ordering something from a company also here in Urbana would cause the package to go from company to the local UPS depot, and then get sorted onto a local delivery truck.

But no, it instead gets funneled out of Urbana to the huge UPS processing facility near Chicago, where it spent a couple of hours before returning straight back to Urbana. At least this didn't take too long.

(The package was 4GB of memory for my home iMac; I don't have memory squeeze any more and can actually think about running both a Windows and a Linux guest VM at the same time now.)

US                 09/04/2008   5:45pm  BILLING INFORMATION RECEIVED
URBANA, IL, US     09/04/2008   8:08pm  ORIGIN SCAN
                   09/04/2008   8:09pm  DESTINATION SCAN
                   09/04/2008   9:13pm  DEPARTURE SCAN
HODGKINS, IL,  US  09/05/2008  12:16am  ARRIVAL SCAN
                   09/05/2008   3:23am  DEPARTURE SCAN
URBANA, IL, US     09/05/2008   7:08am  ARRIVAL SCAN
                   09/05/2008  10:58am  OUT FOR DELIVERY

Fillings last but 30 years

Monday morning I was eating a bowl of fairly mushy cereal when without warning I bit down on something very hard. Extracting it from my mouth, I felt a wave of nausea when I realized it was a fairly large part of one of my teeth. My far lower left molar (tooth #18 in the dental numbering system) was, my tongue soon discovered, mostly missing, with the missing part extending below the gum line.

I assumed no root was exposed because the pain wasn't intolerable and sharp, but it was terribly sensitive to both hot and cold, and throbbed more or less all the time. I had a pretty nice time at the Labor Day party we hosted, but was actually quite subdued because of this.

Happily, I managed to snag a quick appointment at my dentist late this afternoon. I like my (new) dentist because he's young, confident, aggressive, and (apparently) has some relatively modern techniques in his arsenal. In no time he had applied some vaguely rubber-cement-smelling compound to the area, the resulting mass being much less than the missing tooth material but at least the sensitive and vulnerable areas are fairly well covered up for the nonce. An X-ray was taken and a further appointment made for next week, wherein he'll (unpleasantly no doubt) grind down the rest of the tooth into part of a post to mount a crown on, build up area where tooth and old filling are missing into the rest of the post, and make a mold for the gold crown.

The best news of all here is that he said a root canal probably won't be necessary. With so much of the tooth gone, that most painful and arduous of all dental procedures is what I had feared. When I told him this, he said with a wink "well, we can do a root canal, if you really want one." This is another reason I like my new dentist.

When I asked why I rather catastrophically lost one filling last year, and another just now (tooth and all), when I'd had little trouble with them, he just said well, these old amalgam fillings really only last about thirty years. Which sucks, because that tells me they're ALL going to start going now.

When I left the dentist's office it was already after 3:30, so it seemed pointless to try to return to work. Instead I found Ross and Warner at Ross's tavern, and finished my day's work email over a couple of cold drinks.

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geek love

This is all over the web by now, I'm sure.



Kudos to Ms. McAlpine for her efforts in popularizing some of the interesting science that's going on these days. (She's done much more than rap about the LHC.)

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The future (IPv6)

We just got our PI IPv6 address space from ARIN. Soon we'll start assigning out of 2620:0:E00::/48 which is enough room for 65536 subnets of four billion hosts apiece. And we get to start learning a whole new set of bugs and quirks.

In a way I'm looking forward to it. Although they were hellish, learning how to route IP in a campus-sized network made for interesting, exhilarating days. But that was 1987, and by 1992 it had become sort of old hat. Now everything old is new again.

We've actually been playing with it for a while, but we were waiting on our real assignments to deploy it on the production network.

Gas prices!

Why yes, I think I WILL come again.

What kind of search engine is this??

The new cuil.com doesn't know what fried eggs are? This certainly doesn't bode well. I'm sure they have a lot of tweaking with their engine and database to do to optimize things, but come on.

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The Nightmare of Calendar Sync

Well, I finally have it working.

I've got several devices and locations that keep calendar, schedule, and contact information. I try to keep things organized, and there are some options for synchronizing one thing to another here and there, some of them third party software, some freeware, and some collaboration suite products. But keeping everything organized and up to date was elusive, and in various attempts to do so I lost all my contact information at least once and various calendar information was either lost or duplicated several times.

Finally, by combining several things in just the right way, I've got it. A major difficulty here is that there's no information-sync equivalent of the Spanning Tree Protocol&emdash;no way for various things to tell when things are being created or deleted in a loop. So one has to be very careful not to create loops, but also to be sure that one-way sync is used in those critical places to avoid two-way information transfer where "hairpin" loops would be created latently.

What I finally came up with is pretty Rube-Goldberg, but does meet all my requirements of preserving the identity of separate calendars across sync, allowing any change to propagate anywhere, operating over the net (and not via docking), and allowing adds/deletes/changes to be made anywhere.

(click to enlarge)

Finally, a storm worth mentioning

Fucking rock on. This is what I love about Midwest weather. We were flashed and boomed most satisfyingly when this rolled through.


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