July 20th, 2009

Boss Coffee

long weekend was long...

...and will be discussed at length in another post. For now, I direct your attention to this LJ post about Readercon and this post about SDCC. Especially the comments. Those of you who are on staff at AD or who have been unfortunate enough to be cornered by me when I'm in a certain mood will be familiar with this topic, but it's always interesting/reassuring to see that other people are experiencing and thinking the same things.

Big ups to badger2305 for linking to this.
Boss Coffee

The Apollo program and other disappointments

Jerry Pournelle comments briefly on Google Chrome, which he correctly sees as the third try for network computing. He further notes (in his column) that less than 30% of the US has access to broadband. Add the two together, and it says to both of us that much like the paperless office, we're not in the future yet where network computing actually works well enough to risk your business on it.
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Jerry also comments on this article by John Derbyshire about the Apollo program. He has some interesting things to say about the program, and I agree: we should have done it Delos D. Harriman's way, taking a step farther out until going to the Moon was just another step from our L4 and L5 stations. Instead, it got tangled up with the Cold War and national pride, and we did it in one mighty rush. RTWT.

UPDATE AND BUMP: Megan McArdle also has some thoughts on the Apollo landing's anniversary.
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Boss Coffee

long weekend is long (agonizing reappraisal version)

So...Saturday P and I got together to do the Goonmeet, which involved driving from Alexandria to Ashburn to the DC waterfront and back to Ashburn again. The Goonmeet went well; there were about a dozen Goons and Battlestars and IGNE guys there, which was a good turnout, and there was a lot of grilling and drinking and conversation. Awesome party barge was awesome; breeze off the Potomac was particularly fine. We'll have to do this again, if at all possible.

Got back home Saturday night ~0030 after a brief stop on the way home for coffee and filters, and thought I'd have problems with sleep since I really needed to be on the road for Baltimore to meet deathquaker and onsenmark in Baltimore for breakfast by 0700. Oddly, I woke at 0500 and couldn't get back to sleep, so all of Sunday's hegira was accomplished on FOUR HOURS SLEEP...and a buttload of caffeine. Anyway...motored on up to B-town, found the Blue Moon without much problem and arrived only 10 minutes late thanks to some incredible luck with parking spaces. The chorizo with eggs was great, the cinnamon roll was extremely good (I only took samples!) and the service was outstanding. This may turn into an annual thing.
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Unfortunately breakfast was over far too soon because there were panels deathquaker wanted to attend, and onsenmark had to pack and check out. They did get me 90% of the way toward volunteering for staff at next year's Otakon -too old and experienced to gofer, thank you very much.
I then woke my niece up with texts and phone calls, and about 20 minutes later picked her up in front of the Baltimore Hilton, which at $138/night fails badly; no free breakfast, only 1 TV in the room, perks nonexistant. Welp. We then drove down to my apartment where she ogled my vast collection of anime and manga (ha, stuckintraffik, revolutionaryjo, and others - if she could have seen yours she would have plotzed!) while I changed my shirt. We then headed up to Frederick for a visit with brian_edminster and his lovely fiance.

Failbox was still fail; those primitive screwheads at MSI have a BIOS flashing procedure that insists on using a floppy drive and does not recognize modern innovations like thumb drives. There's also a possibility that the SATA drives are mounted too close together and the heat they're throwing off is messing things up. Joy. So the next thing on the agenda is to get an IDE floppy drive, remount the SATA drives, and try that reflashing thing again. At this rate I may be able to afford a a new box from Gateway before this thing is running without problems. In the meantime, it's back in my living room waiting for the next step.

Got my niece home around 2300, drove home, took meds, and fell over. Everything went black until 1100 today. Still kind of tired, but I took care of my obligations to the VEC and tried to get caught up on some other stuff online. As much time as I spent in the Sportage this weekend, I think there are a couple of things I need to go out and pick up tonight. We'll see what happens.

Tom Wolfe looks back...

...to the Moon landing, which he sees as the beginning of the end for NASA and America's involvement in space. (Dan Collins)

As much as I respect Tom Wolfe, though, I think he's wrong. The philosophers who believed in the space program have always been out there, and they inspired many of the men and women who went to work for NASA, to say nothing of guys like Burt Rutan who want to get us into space without the politicians' meddling. It is pretty sad, though, that when we won the culture wars, we forgot that one of the reasons we won it was because we wanted to find out what was out there. I'm hoping we get some of that back.