Wednesday, September 24, 2003


From time to time IBM decides to send me on a business trip for one reason or another. Unfortunately the location of the trip is usually Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. So far I just haven't found the cities in that area to be all that exciting. I mean sure I spend most of my time at the office or in the hotel, but when I do go out, it's just not all that. Now certainly it doesn't help that the IBM site and the hotel are both in the Research Triangle Park area, which is code for "middle of nowhere." You really have to drive more into the city to find anything remotely interesting. Plus with all the trees around you have to know where you are going. You can't just drive around and hope you see something. Trust me on that one.

This time around the trip had some upsides. On the way to RDU I was bumped to first class. If you've never been in first class, it's hard to describe. To put it simply, it was one of the only times I have been completely comfortable on a plane. Plus there's free booze and that always helps. Also, there were a few other guys in RTP from Austin, three of whom were close in age, so I had some people to hang out with. Oh right, and there was a hurricane.

Hurricane Isabel was at one time a category five hurricane and was awe inspiring and scary at the same time. Growing up in New Orleans you learn from an early age to fear hurricanes since, as we have been told so many times, the perfect hurricane will destroy the city. Having heard tales from my parents of Betsy and Camille only added to my fascination and fear. Once in RTP, I kept up with every National Hurricane Center update. I was prepared to leave the area in an instant if that monster was headed my way. I had my escape route all planned out and had the phone number for my nearest relative in my wallet.

Now the natives in the area were as worried as I was. The name Fran came up a few times. The people from Austin however didn't have a clue. They didn't think it was a big deal. By the time Izzy hit it was a baby three and missed RTP to the east, so it really wasn't that bad at all. I had fun keeping up with the weather buoy information, when the site was working that is. We had the day off work and sitting on the balcony watching the trees bend kept me entertained. The next day me and the people from the area felt spared, but the Austin guys just seemed to think hurricanes weren't that bad. Fools. Just look at all the damage to the east coast. It could have been a lot worse for Raleigh/Durham, a lot worse.

Back to business trips. Being in a hotel by yourself just isn't that fun, and this place has free high speed internet access so it was better than some. I watched a fair bit of television, Monday Night Football and Carnivale to name two, and surfed the web every night, including watching Jerry play BF1942 via BFStats. Dinner was not too bad since there were other people, and these people actually knew of places to eat in the area which was a plus. I mean I like pine trees and all, I miss them actually, but finding things is just so hard through all the pine trees as I said above. Also, eating dinner with IBM paying for it is always good. As Taylor said, "I always make it a point to drink on IBM." And that brings me to an interesting Saturday.

My department has people stay Sunday to Sunday in case there is any activity on the weekend. This particular weekend there was nothing going on. I took the opportunity to sleep late, which is pretty much routine for me on the weekend. For lunch, one of the guys and I went to a Mexican restaurant where I topped off lunch with a margarita. Back at the hotel, three of us decided to do some shopping at Best Buy and Barnes and Nobles, where I had a frappuccino, then headed back to the hotel for some football watching. We put the Georgia LSU game on in the hotel common area, grabbed a few beers and snacks, and watched a very good game. After the game we went to swanky restaurant, had drink at the bar and wine with dinner. Anyone keep track of that? That was 5 drinks in one day. I didn't realize I was that much of a lush.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

The things people will research amaze me.

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Help me ObiChad, you're my only hope.

I didn't honestly think I would see the day when something from Star Wars became a reality.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Do you know where your money is?

As if I needed any more reasons, here is another reason why I am against investing in a mutual fund.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

So Much To Say

Apparently I am not very good about updating my blog. I suppose this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows me.

23-1. Yes that is a baseball score. Thankfully it was our last game .... ever.

I have been playing a lot of Battlefield 1942 ever since Taylor got his new computer. Its an amazing game that really emphasises team play and really its playable for hours without getting old. Another plus is the availabilty of tracking websites such as bfstats and bftracks. Bfstats is the better one as it ranks people beyond the top 10,000 and it gives you authentic medals for achievements in the game. Check out my stats and Taylor's.

What would life be like if there weren't public schools?

It turns out my fantasy football team is quite good, if you look at the week one results. I won my game scoring 87 points, the highest in the league. Time will tell how good the team really is. The funny thing is I really can't take any credit as I just let yahoo rank and pick my team.

Pennsylvania it seems has a new idea for highway safety that may prevent rear-end accidents by giving a visual guide for the two second rule. In other news, the duck quack echo myth has been debunked.

Melissa and I went to Houston this weekend to see the future godchild. Elizabeth Lynae is four months old and I think I am smitten. There is just so much to love about someone so young and so small. It's crazy really. I wish I had gotten to spend more time with her and I am honored to be her godfather. One small question remains however. What does she call me? Techincally I her first cousin once removed's husband, which really makes us nothing. The family has decided on Nanan for Melissa, but we couldn't come to a decision on my name. Any suggestions? I suppose paran is the logical choice.

Does a circle if leaned over in the third dimension, create an ellipse in the second dimension?

We stayed in Austin for Labor Day weekend and hung out my sister and her boyfriend Andy. Andy is a cool guy and I approve, though I know that doesn't really mean anything. All of us went to Barton Springs, a natural spring fed pool here in Austin. Its an interesting place and certainly very Austin but the pool has one unique feature/problem. The water is always 72 degrees. I am kinda chilly when the air temperature is 72 degrees, did anyone really think I could swim in 72 degree water? Dangling my legs in the water from the side was enough for me.

In the Bible Jeseus says," Love thy neighbor." Can someone believe that and at the same time not give a damn about a starving Ethiopian man dying of AIDS?

Dirty Pretty Things is a movie about illegal immigrants and organ harvesting. Yeah it's odd like that but it's quite good. It shows a side of life most of us know nothing about and remains believable even when it seems it may be headed into urban legend territory.

West Wing has been replaying on Bravo lately starting from the first episode. I have been recording it on the DVR and we have been watching them one by one. Some of the first episode I haven't seen so its nice to fill in the gaps. Plus Melissa has never watched the show so this is giving her a chance to get into it. Yes Taylor it is the Left Wing, but it does at least bring up issues and get you thinking about them. I respect that.

Coldplay's Rush of Blood to the Head is an amazing album. If have seen the HBO commercial with the piano music, you know of Coldplay and probably like them or at least that song. They also have had a few radio hits. Though people are complaining that the songs are being overplayed, those songs are still good and the album is still great. Go pick it up.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

You callin' me a dinosaur?

A quote from a ZDNet News article (emphasis mine):

Along with the new Itanium, Intel will also discuss "Tiano," a new version of the BIOS (basic input-output system) for servers. The BIOS, which records system settings and acts as an interface between a computer's hardware and software, is one of the oldest, least evolved elements of a computer.

What are they trying to say? :)