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A Holler, a Note, a Whine

Hey everyone, things have been kinda busy around the ol' homestead of late, but I thought I would catch you all up on some of the latest occurrences and goings on.

Last weekend was my girl Elle’s birthday! I had a great time planning it and we had a very nice time living it. Last Thursday I took her for a surprise mani-pedi at La Monique in Mountain View. If you’re an MV resident you’ve probably never seen it, because it’s on Castro Street behind the Le Boulanger. It’s affordable and they did a great job.

Friday after work we went to Il Fornaio in Palo Alto. While I shouldn’t note such things in a blog post about my girl’s romantic birthday dinner, Il Fornaio is a great value (even with my Sapphire Martini Dirty). Excellent Italian fare at a reasonable price in a very nice atmosphere. Also on Friday I gave her her presents. First was a tasty cake, second was a DVD she really liked as a youngster, and third were two passes to Great America. It may sound a bit juvenile to go to GA but hey, she asked to go.

Saturday we had a leisurely morning, watched her video, and headed to Hobees for a tasty breakfast before going to Great America. In retrospect we really should have skipped that heavy breakfast as it would prove to be, uh, uncomfortable at the park.

Late in the season GA is open on the weekend and we very, very short lines. We rode all the crazy, twisty rides in rapid succession owing to the lack of crowd. Usually when you are at a theme park there is an hour to an hour-and-a-half wait between boarding. With the low crowd volume we only had 15 minute waits (and that was because we wanted the lead car). As a result of this after about five rides I was feeling pretty woozy. We took a break and had a drink and wandered about, but on our next ride we felt even woozier and, having ridden all the major rides, decided to call it a day.

We got back to the car and I had some reservations as to whether or not I could drive us to dinner. Fortunately I was able to settle quickly and we headed to the Mountain View Amici’s for a large pizza and some much-needed Pellegrino.

Thereafter we drove home and watched “The Godfather”. Having been at Paramount’s theme park all day we wound up discussing how my girl had never seen Coppola’s masterpiece. It also fit with the pizza theme.

Sunday we relaxed at home and then went to Red Rock Coffee for some reading and relaxing. At that point I finished my Snow Crash essay posted earlier.

This weekend has been pretty calm. We did some things around the house this morning and then went on a quest for some new gym shoes for me. I didn’t find them anywhere we went (a runner’s store, REI) but while we were down in the Campbell region we headed to the Pruneyard and grabbed Pizza My Heart. Next door was the independent Camera 7 theatre where we saw “Proof”.

I really enjoyed the movie, I found it less of a “working to solve a problem” question but more of an examination of familial obligation, raw emotions, and sibling rivalry. I had expected something like a mathematical DaVinci code - that it certainly was not. I was expecting Gwyneth to be nice and sweet etc., but she really pulled off being emotionally diffident, unavailable, afraid of being emotionally present and I really liked that angle. I also really liked Hope Davis' portrayal as a type-A New Yorker in Chicago. Very believable.

I’ve also been doing some Sudoku games. I finished two today. I need to get on to other things but it’s just so much fun tumbling those numbers into place.

Work is going really well, I spent the last part of this week working on the second system I ever designed (and the first one where I really “got” Perl). There’s a statement in “The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, 20th Anniversary Edition” (Frederick P. Brooks) that states that a programmer’s second system is his most dangerous. It’s the one where he’s most likely to do simple things in a complex manner versus doing the simple things elegantly and the complex things with no more confusion than necessary.

I’ve resisted re-working on this project because dealing with “old spells” is not a very fun activity, but this week I got into it and found out that some progress had been made that I no longer had to add code in to compensate for and that huge chunks of the code were still pretty OK. I was pleased with that and I think that if I can get this thing all taken care of I won’t have to have its nagging semi-brokenness taking my attention away from new and exciting things.

Anyway, we’re just home from that adventure. I’ve got some thrilling laundry folding to do (and I’ll watch Numb3rs while I do it).