Saturday, August 01, 2015

return travel visit to Nashville

On the flight from Louisville to Atlanta to Home, there were thunderstorms over the Atlanta airport. We left Louisville sightly delayed as the ATC figured it would be clear by the time we got there, but up in the air we circled a few times waiting for clearance and then were instructed to come down in Nashville to refuel and wait for a landing in Atlanta to become available. At the Nashville airport we did not deplane. At the gate in Nashville the pilot then told us that the refueling truck typically used at that gate is broken, so we left that gate and went to another and got refueled there. We then waited out on the Nashville apron for a little while until a path was cleared into Atlanta.

Fortunately our flight home from Atlanta was also significantly delayed, so I got home at 2h30 this morning instead of 23h50 last night. We had enough time to go to Duty Free in Atlanta, but because they 'had already serviced' the flight, they were not willing to do it again. We were eleven employees of my company traveling together and five of us were ready to buy something so we figured they would accommodate by doing another 'service of the flight'. But no, it was not in their interest. One of my coworkers became very upset, but that changed nothing.

I paid extra for Comfort+ (Delta) which gave me priority boarding, free entertainment, free alcoholic drink, more leg room and quicker deplaning as the seats are closer to the front. The aircraft did not have built in screens, but I could use my device. Only, the tablet I have was not compatible, so I did not get to use the 'free entertainment'. All the rest I did get, however, and I was happy with it.

There was a baby crying, one row behind me on the other side of the aircraft. At times the crying was piercing, but for most of the flight the baby was quiet.

Friday, July 31, 2015

calisthenics of the mind, wrought iron rung out

Back in the day I have made use of a random question generator contained in my cerebrum as a method to keep engaged in what normally would be a one-on-one conversation. It has been many years since I've used it, so it was quite rusty, but I managed to put it to work last night spending time with K and A (or is it A and K?). The real tricky part is to listen very carefully to the response(s) in such a way that I can ask followup question(s) if warranted while at the same time reserving a spot in my head for my own answer to the question while also having a tertiary spot that is working on the subsequent question. I found that normally as I was asking the question I could come up very quickly with the idea of my own answer which left me time to get to the next one.

It ended up being a really great time where the three of us got to learn a lot more about each other. I had mentioned this blog to them so if they happen to read this; thanks for being such great people.

In other news a ski lesson instructor, while baking petunia flavoured ice cream lozenges in her crimson coloured bath tub, sang mercilessly, out of tune, to the radio, that was playing a staccato version of a 1971 AT&T dial tone.


The flight is actually in two segments, Louisville to Atlanta, and then Atlanta to my city. GMaps doesn't show segmented flights, so here is what it would look like if I drove:

The flight lands in my home city at around midnight tonight, so it will end up being a long day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


The University of Louisville is hosting a customer conference for the customers of my small software company and it is happening at The Brown Hotel. I am staying at the hotel and that is where the conference is, so it is quite likely I won't be getting out much. The conference has organized an evening meal (Thursday evening) for all attendees at the Kentucky Derby Museum, so we'll be bussed over there as a group and bussed back again.

A coworker of mine and I are in technical support and at the conference will be manning a 'Support Desk' in the hallway outside of the rooms where the conference sessions are taking place. As a result, it is possible we won't be attending any of the sessions. Customers will be able to meet with us in an ad-hoc way, or, there will be a sign up sheet to meet at specific times with either of us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015

caricature of a tetrahedron

Subway here in Canada is having a contest; take a little tag off of a drink cup that has on it a twelve character code that, when keyed in to the contest website, can instantly win the contestant a 50$ Subway gift card, and will also get an entry in for the grand prize of 20,000$ cash. I've put in five codes already and have not won any of the gift cards.

There are about two million entries that will take place over the contest life span and there is a way to participate without a purchase. To do so I have to mail in a request for a twelve character code in a way that is not mechanically reproduced. I'll be traveling tomorrow and again on Friday and I could theoretically spend all of that travel time hand writing the requests for the codes; then, when I get back, I can buy a package of envelopes and some stamps and send them all off. One fortunate aspect of this is that I would mail the contest admin the request, but they would email back to me the code; so then I can simply copy/paste it into the contest site.

I am leaving very early tomorrow morning so if I am going to do this, I would need to decide shortly, so that I can acquire the supplies needed.

Have you ever done something like this? Would you do it?

Saturday, July 25, 2015


A friend of mine has been part of a Dragon Boat team for quite some time and it so happened that I had an opportunity to go and see her team race this morning. The various stars and planets were aligned to make it so that I had no other plans; my wife and the kids were all elsewhere so I could go and explore and take my time.

I awoke early and got there by public transit in a quicker time than Google said it would take me, so before the races started I could see the boats all lined up.

Before the teams get into the boats, they collect here so that they are ready to go to the next stage as soon as possible; this is the first queue station, so as a race is going on, the teams show up in their appropriate queue station.

The next queue station is where they line up in preparation for getting into the boat, so here you can see for each lane there is a tent, so the team moves from the queue station one above, to the lane queue station you see below.

Once a race is over and a boat is emptied, the team now gets into the boat, as you see below. Boats are always loaded with the people in the front first, and then are unloaded with the people in the front getting out of the boat last. I don't know why, but that is how it is done.

While the current race is running, the next set of boats passes them on an outside empty lane reserved for this, and then once the boats in the current race have passed, the next race boats can move out into the lanes to get into the starting position, so here you can see boat 0 and 2 moving towards their starting position.

This is where you see all of the boats now ready in their start position.

I didn't notice that my camera wasn't on a very good video setting, but no matter, I filmed the start of a race (race 2), the middle of a race (race 3) and the end of a race (race 4) to give an idea of what it all looks like. Sorry about the poor quality, but at least you get an idea of it. Youtube cut out the audio which is too bad as you can easily hear each boat's caller yelling at the crew to keep going.

The motor boats trailing the racing boats are there to tell boats to get back to the center of their lane if they end up swerving out of true.

Near the end of the course there is an enormous Parc Jean-Drapeau sign; you can tell the size of it by the people walking beneath it.

On a panel they show the list of races including what teams are competing and when they are competing. As results come in, they staple a new sheet on top of the existing one that shows all of the same information, but not including the results.

You can see that it took about two minutes and ten seconds for most teams to complete this 500m race.

In the end I didn't see my friend; I forgot to ask what team she was on. She mentioned that her race was at 8:44 or 8:56 or something like that, but as I didn't know what team it was I couldn't easily seek her out. I did wander among all of the teams, but there were so many people it was hard to find a specific individual.

It was pretty neat to see the variety of people that were participating; there were some teams that were really young, in their late teens while other teams had a few members who were in their 50s. Most of the people looked extremely fit with slim, well toned bodies. As this league (?) is very competitive, the teams must train very hard and very often.

Friday, July 24, 2015

dispatches from the underground

I think that I'm too level headed to ever be a terrorist. It seems to me that people who become terrorists live an emotional roller coaster with severe lows where they are particularly vulnerable to persuasion and ridiculous highs where they are armed and would shoot anyone. Also, it takes a fairly fervent belief in a cause, and while I do take up causes, I don't think fervent is ever a word that has been used to describe my demeanor.

I will occasionally become somewhat obsessed with an idea but usually it is fairly short-lived, or, it has a fixed ending. For example, I was obsessed with getting my 41st birthday party as perfect as I could manage and spent a lot of time thinking about it, and then working on it, but then it was over. I was obsessed with playing Tetris back in my late teens, but then I got over it.

I suspect I am too well balanced to be a lone gunman. This particular group seems to be the group that is wreaking the most havoc in the United States these past few years. In particular, it helps that I do not own a gun and have never held one or fired one, so it would be difficult for me to switch right into a lone gunman role.

fervent - adjective
having or displaying a passionate intensity

demeanor - noun
outward behavior or bearing.

wreak - verb
cause (a large amount of damage or harm)

havoc - noun
widespread destruction.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

xalatan? Really?

I haven't been Xalataning my eyes at all for the last few months. Today I will find out if it is really needed when I go for tests and then meet with my ophthalmologist. It was only a minor case of intra-ocular hypertension that was detected back in 200?, but it was treated with the eye-drano (Xalatan) anyhow.

Left untreated, intra-ocular hypertension could lead to glaucoma.

How are your eyes?

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

beware of witches

It took taking the SIM card out of my mobile phone and putting it back in again for it to start receiving text messages. I had tried removing/replacing the battery, but this was insufficient.

It has been particularly humid here lately with thunderstorms that come along which include torrential downpours. It is possible, for the first time in my 15,372 days, that today is the first time I've ever purchased an umbrella. It has been a fairly rainy summer so far here and a few times I have been found wanting one.

All three of my kids are back at camp this week, so the wife and I are kid-free until Saturday. We aren't doing anything special with this time; I'm on call for work, and she has a conference she is going to for the second half of the week. At the very least it means we don't have to pick up after them, and I don't need to make their lunches.

I'm really keen to see what the New Horizons has found on Pluto and Charron. It passed closest to the pair on July 14th, while I was at camp, but I've been reading that it could take weeks or months before all of the data it has accumulated is processed and then released. Mostly it is due to the time it takes the data to be sent from New Horizons back to here.

I was leaning towards Mulcair and the New Democrat Party for the fall federal election until, apparently, just in the last few days he opened up the Clarity Act. What a bone-headed thing to do. Still, of all of the political leaders, I would want to see him as PM. Federal politics in Canada mean very little to most of my readers, no matter, since I don't seem to be receiving even my regulars lately it doesn't really matter if I post about it.

I need to fold four baskets of laundry tonight. Then I need to clean the kitchen. There is no end to house chores. If I could get to bed a bit early, that would be nice, only it isn't going to happen as I have to be available to our Australian customers until midnight my time. On the bright side, I do get extra pay for this.

Monday, July 20, 2015

awake, young paduan

There isn't really a way to remember things that haven't happened yet. I should know.