Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Busy. Busy as always

That's what I've been hiding behind lately. The fact that I've been quite and weirdly busy. What is weird about it, you might ask, and I say that it's not that I've been working until late at night and weekends... But it's also that I have been working late at night and weekends.

Contradictory, huh? Surely!

But I'll leave it as a contradiction and move on to more details on what is going around in the world.

CNet has an interesting article saying that one of the reasons why Linux hasn't been adopted as much as it could is the dress code that tends to follow it. It is quite scary that I do know a quite a few people that look just like that at Amazon.

So, why does dress code still influences things that much? Well, I don't know why it wouldn't. Dress code means two things: importance and tradition. You wouldn't wear something that is less confortable if you don't think it's important. And it all ties back to what it used to be done in the past and should be rememebered.

Anyway, I'm not being able to make much sense this morning, so I'll move on to the next piece of news:

This is indirectly from a silly book I've found around (but don't own) called Blogosphere: Best of Blogs that, as the title explains, contains a list of "best blogs" in different categories. Of course it suffers with the same effect (if not greater) than lists of best websites: it goes stale quickly. So some blogs don't exist any more, some haven't seen a post for some months, and a coupld even changed subject a little.

Oh, yes, the article:

Kansas is keeping their nuclear power plants safe. These terrorism-inspired reactions always amaze me every time I see them. People pile rules in order to make people feel safer, but it only ends up causing confusion and, later, legal disputes (no, he wasn't heading to the plant when he was shot... the pack that he had on his hand was a shoe box...).

Alright, I know I'll never make it to the list of the best blogs out there. Maybe when my new blog is ready (hahaha - think something like one year from now! I can't even have enough time and energy to finish a reasonably simple project for my father!) I might start to get a little bit more activity around here. I have big plans for it. But, again, I always have big plans for everything. Even the laptop that is taken apart and sitting on my desk (and partly lying on the floor) right now.

And I have to note here that certainly the highlight of this last weekend (wow, it's Wednesday already???) was being able to talk with my best friend and his fiancee using Skype. Made my otherwise quite crappy weekend.

I've also received messages from my sister that works at American Express in Brazil. AE Brazil was sold to the largest bank there, Bradesco, and people are trying to flee, my sister included. One of the ideas that she has in mind is to continue at AE, but move to the US, New York City to be more precise. I don't think my mother will be very happy with that! But It's just in the wishing and planning phases right now.

Oh, and on a sad note: no solar eclipse around here.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

An interesting article

Just because Kevin Kelly has been everywhere I've been looking lately (more on this some other time), here is his latest slashdotted article:


I think he has some interesting points. However, I think most of the things are a little too hopeful and naive. For example:

The creation of "wiki-type scientific articles" is a little silly. Very few scientific articles actually would benefit from a wiki style mechanism. Most are just self-contained. I think what has to change is the delay for you to add small comments to an article. It's easier to keep up with authorship (and blame) and allows you to organize information in an easier way than a huge 100 people article.

There are lots of other things I think are a little too far-fetched. Unfortunately, I won't give me that much time to comment on it right now. Maybe some other day when I don't feel too guilty that I haven't finished working on everything I need to work today.

blah.. blah... blah... bad blogger... blah.. blah...

I know that I haven't been blogging much lately. The worst thing is that I don't know if I have a good reason for this lately. Yes, I have been busy and I haven't been spending time in front of my computer much lately, but I'm not sure this is actually the reason for my disappearance.

However, instead of trying to analyze why I haven't been writing (something that I've actually tried to do and post about maybe 3 times between the last time I've posted and now), I'll just move one and post something!

Well, I'm back! It's been a very good week, I guess. Last weekend I was in Colorado Springs visiting my former roommate and a very good friend. It was a lot of fun, but very cold too! Amy and I arrived there on Friday evening, were persuaded to have dinner at my old roommate's place and went to sleep at about 1:30 am. Woke up Saturday early morning and went skiing. It was quite a nice day to go skiing!

We went to Loveland, quite a nice ski resort with something like 11 lifts. We kept ourselves to the only one corner of the resort that had only 2 lifts. The first one for beginners (from which I went up maybe 4 times) and one that had some easy and intermediate slopes. At the end of the day, I've decided to go crazy (and I would found out quite soon that I was REALLY crazy) and went to this second lift.

There I went, sitting down at the lift and seeing it going up, and up... The base of the resort was at about 10K feet high (about 3 km). Let's say that the ski lift took us to almost 13K feet high (almost 4km). I was petrified when I got out of the lift. There was an easy way down, but easy was based on the slope of the way down and not the length. Let's say that I had to stop maybe 4 or 5 times on the way down just to wait for my legs to start responding again. I was exhausted, but alive! I only fell twice getting out of the easy lift and once on the way down the long path (just because I felt I was too fast and my left leg didn't want to help me turn right - so I just forced myself to stop by sitting down).

Sunday we went to the Mountain Zoo in the morning. Quite a nice zoo, actually. Just was a little cold sometimes. And in the afternoon we went to the Garden of the Gods. It was also quite nice, but the weather wasn't very nice. Very windy and cold... And then it started snowing, the time we decided to head back to a warm place; my old roommate's place.

There we ordered a pizza and played some group games, like Apples to Apples and Wise or Otherwise. It was fun!

On Monday we woke up at 4 am and started our way to the airport to arrive at work at about 10:30am (keep in mind that I've won an extra hour with the time zone difference).

What happened is that I've spent the whole week trying to recover from the weekend, but I would do it again!

As for the rest, I've finished two books this week: Olympos, by Dan Simmons; and A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson. Both very interesting and entertaining! Olympos is the continuation of Ilium. While Ilium was quite interesting because it tried to put a huge twist to the Greek-Trojan war, Olympos pretty much decides to divert completely from this line of thought and goes to a much more "action-packed" and quite inventive hard sci-fi.

A Short History of Nearly Everything is a must read! There isn't much else I can say about it! It's a very readable and sane description of what science knows (or maybe knew, as it was published in 2003) about the creation of the universe, physics, biology, astronomy, geophysics, and many other sciences that relate to who we are and where we are.

The rest, there is nothing much else to talk about. I have tried to work on my taxes today and got scared with the fact that I might have to pay federal taxes this year. This puzzled me greatly, as I don't quite understand how this could happen. So, instead of spending my whole day trying to figure this out, I've moved on to posting on my blog.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Learning to sleep

I think I forgot what it means to go to sleep. It's not that I don't sleep, it's just that I don't really want to sleep any more. It's not that this is something new, it's just that it has been bothering me lately. I get home tired of spending a whole day refactoring other people's code to enable unit tests (more on this some other time). I get to my computer to check my emails and then just rathole into reading papers, studying new technologies, checking the news... When I look again to the watch it's past 2am. In the morning I just jump out of the bed and get moving. My body is tired, but I just don't want to waste time (even though I have been getting late to work, as I've been just doing random things at home in the morning, like doing the dishes and cleaning)

In general, lately I've been busy. Lots of things to do and think. And what worries me the most is that things are starting to pile up and I just can't get to finish any of the things I have to do!

Tomorrow I'm going to Colorado Springs, Colorado to meet some friends. My former roommate moved there and another very good friend was going to visit his, so I decided to tag along. But I think I mentioned this already in the past. The plan there? Talk, entertain girlfriends/wifes, visit and just take my mind ouf the the things I have to think about lately. Try to restore my sanity a little.

Oh, last weekend I bought one more missing part for my recipe reader project: a new wireless router. My old one (my cable modem) is only 802.11g compatible, but my cheap laptop has an 802.11b wireless card. Also my PDA didn't like to connect to the network that much either. It would work sometimes, but most of the time it simply wouldn't be able to get an IP address. Now it works perfectly!

Anyway, step by step I'm getting there!

Now it's time to have breakfast and head to work!