Message Of The Day

Sun, 17 Apr 2005

04:55 [zork(~)] cat Eccles.txt

Nothing new under the sun

I started to write a new diary entry and then made the mistake of looking back over my previous scribbles. GAR! It is clear that I have nothing new to say.

Life at work still has its ups and downs. I have been given the chance to be mentored by someone I hold in very high regard but my immediate management is still a constant source of frustration. My associates are wonderful people and I want to do my best for them but they know I am not 100% happy. As of Friday I have been at the same grade for >3 years and no guarantees of change in the near future.

The job possibility on the east coast has upped their offer but their circumstances are less secure and the Nebraska INS office is still moving too slow (currently processing Sep 2002) to give me any reassurance. I have been though another telephone interview for another very nice west coast job but I know there are a lot of people out there competing and so I am not holding my breath. I made myself extra miserable by playing with Google maps and remembering that I used to live here. I then took some virtual trips up to Point Reyes and then down the coast to Pescadero Beach and across the peninsula to I280. I enjoyed getting the road lost in the trees and finding that Google's images include both summer (golden brown fields) and other (green and cloudy) pictures. There's also a few non-seamless junctions where a road runs to the edge of a tile and then leaps wildly to the left or right. But still...

Nothing new on the music front. I've been cycling some old favourites through the CD player on the way to work. No new books and no inclination to look for any. For films I am still relying on my colleague. Zhiwen is a big fan of Feng Xiaogang and started me with 《天下无贼》 which is darned good. I knew I had seen Rene Liu before but had to look back to find that she was the star of The Personals. In my mind I also kept mixing Li Bingbing up with Chiaki Kuriyama, if only because they have the same long fringe (U.S. = bangs). The latest fillum has been 《手提》 (or 《手机》) which is also fairly challenging. In the meantime I enjoyed the inimitable Zhang Yimou's 《十面埋伎》.

What else? My town was under a "boil your water" order for a couple of days because of supposed bacterial contamination. I also picked up the new spectacles which are very comfortable. Cute optician lady thinks she'll be able to fix the older ones (why did I wait so long?).

I have been doing some cool stuff with scripting. Out of habit and comfort I wrote the first attempt in Perl. When I was looking back through some older code I was shocked to find a bunch of cool things I had done in Python a couple of years ago. I had completely forgotten about that. I didn't realise that my memory was so bad. I am using Spotfire and JMP and they are good but their proprietary nature makes me feel dirty.

For reasons I'll keep to myself I spent some time in genuinely quiet meditation today. It started as a "sit and think about this scientific problem" period but then I realised I hadn't done any true quiet sitting in ages. I need a Quaker to come around and force me to be still ("relax dammit!"). Am I so wrapped up in myself lately? Why am I trying to hide? Hmmm... Just read the previous paragraphs and you'll wonder why I am not completely catatonic.

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