Monthly Archives: June 2003

contemplation/optimization

Last night I dreamed that I had to clean the old apartment again. This was because, in the dream, I’d needed a venue for a D&D game, and since my new place is full of boxes I somehow decided it would be a good idea to go play at the old one. (It does have a lot of room, now that there’s no furniture, but under waking logic seems a bit uncomfortable that way.) As the dream continued my problem solved itself (rare for my dreams); I went home to pick up some cleaning supplies and on my return the entire house had been demolished, as if by a hurricane. The final image of the dream is Phil using a broom to sweep debris off the basement floor, now out in the open.

I think the proper interpretation of that one is, Damn, it’s good to be out of there.

I’ve been devoting my thoughts to optimization in various forms lately. Certainly as far as setting up in my new home, but also I’ve had a flood of ideas about how to improve the software that runs our experiments. For example: wouldn’t it be nice to configure a measurement and queue it up while another one is running, so you don’t have to wait for it to finish before going to lunch? I’m also looking for ways to make new types of measurements easier to set up, which has been a big problem all along – somebody wants to do it in a slightly different way, but the change in the program is not so slight. Implementing all these things I’ve thought of will require rewriting the software from scratch – a big task, but not impossible. It’s sometimes even necessary, since the peculiarities of Labview imply that “spaghetti code” becomes a visual rather than conceptual metaphor after enough editing.

Internet access from home any day now. Today was the due date quoted to me over the phone when I made the request last week, but that was tentative.

briefly/service

I called SBC yesterday to have a technician come out and get my phone working. I scheduled it for Thursday morning, and then came home to find that the phone had started working while I was in lab. Talk about service!

(Actually, I suspect it was somehow tied to turning on my DSL – which is not, as of this morning, completely set up, but is close enough that I can get to the username/password stage of the log on process. This means I should soon be back to my 24/7 online state, and will never get my boxes unpacked.)

report/relocation

I’m out of my old residence, right on schedule. All my stuff is still sitting around in boxes; I’ll have to work on that.

At the beginning of last week I was discussing my move-out plans with Phil, the landlord. He wanted to know when he could start showing the place. I’m getting out ASAP, so the easiest thing is to start showing it once I’m gone.

“I’ll need to get my stuff out, and then clean up–“

“Oh, it doesn’t need to be clean to show it.”

I give him a funny look, so he follows up with:

“I’ll just tell them to use their imagination; it’ll be clean when they get it.”

Bet you rent a lot of places that way, Phil.

I hired some guys to move my furniture. I call the company on Monday and scheduled a truck to come the next day. The guy on the phone tells me exactly what I’m going to get, and says he’s sending the information on to the branch office, so I figure I’m all set. To my recollection he didn’t say anything about needing to call the branch office to confirm. So on Tuesday I spend the morning getting everything ready, and then when the truck hasn’t arrived I call the number he gave me for the branch office. “Did you make a confirmation call?” D’oh!

(By the way, this seems horribly inefficient. Why not list the local branch number in the yellow pages, instead of making people call the main number and then the branch number?)

Anyway, I reschedule the truck for Wednesday. They tell me it’ll arrive between eleven and three. Everything’s ready this time, so starting at 10:30 I’m sitting on the couch waiting and indulging my newfound Golden Sun addiction. I get my ass demolished by the kraken’s fighting technique, and start my game over after realizing that I have missed no fewer than six djinni.

At 3:15 I call the branch office again, asking “Dude, where’s my truck?”

The answer is that it broke down that morning. They have another one that just came back, and they promise it in half an hour. It shows up at 5:00, and I get my stuff moved.

This is where the girl with the beer shows up. (See my previous entry.) She was there to welcome me to the building with beer and sweet lovin’. That’s what I’d like to say, but actually she was moving out herself, had just had a party, didn’t drink beer, and needed to get rid of it. Needless to say I wasn’t about to turn down free beer. With the experience I was having so far, I was going to need it.

I go back to the old apartment to get the last batch of stuff. Batches, really – I’m going to renounce my pack rat tendencies from this point; I hauled a lot of useless stuff away from that place. My plan was to put it in the storage room that comes with the new place, but my key no longer opens the lock. Was it rekeyed by mistake when the woman with the beer moved out? I still have yet to track down the building manager to sort this out, so there’s a huge pile of boxes in the middle of my floor with nowhere to go. Maybe this will force me to go through them and get rid of stuff.

The other annoyance is that my phone still does not work (so don’t try to use my new number yet). SBC assures me it has been connected, so it’s another thing to harass Fred about.

The good part? I no longer wake up at 7:30 every morning to the sound of kids yelling. No one is coming in to play my video games while I’m gone. And, I have beer.

storytime/reversal

The move is proceeding, finally. Later perhaps I shall relay all the numerous twists and turns in escaping my dark confines, but for now I will just pass on this excerpt:

So I open the door to my new apartment to let the movers in with the first batch of stuff. Shortly thereafter I hear a voice behind me. “Are you moving in?”

I turn around, and standing in my doorway is a woman. She is holding all of the following:

  • A two liter bottle of Coke
  • Two bottles of Anchor Steam
  • A six pack of Dos Equis

Did I just walk into a commercial, and if so, what’s it for? Or is this all a dream, and am I going to wake up realizing that I have to move all over again? Or, have I gone off the deep end into John Nash fantasy land? Or, is this story not as interesting as it sounds? Must be the latter, since this is another cliffhanger entry. Tomorrow – the exciting conclusion!

report/moving

Ah, the joy of moving. It’s a testament to my desire to get the hell out of here that I managed to move anything today (especially when the alternatives were Dynasty Warriors 4 and Planetside, the time-devouring games that consumed last weekend). In any case, I managed to move the Library today, which takes care of most of the heavy stuff (at least, the heavy stuff that I can handle alone). (At some point I got into the habit of referring to different areas of my apartment as if they were separate rooms: Library, Gameroom, Study… makes the place seem larger.) Tomorrow I’ll attempt the bulk of the moving, and see if I can get some burly men to help with my bed (and the other furniture).

Who needs the Matrix – I can slow down time just by waiting in line at the Target. I’d prefer the opposite effect, but I guess the clerk was running on obselete hardware or something.

Tomorrow: the exciting saga of how many dishes I break while trying to move them. Place your wagers in the comments!