Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day Weekend

I'm seeking a certain Olympus Stylus battery recharger in the garage (a typical hangout for dads on Dad's Day), digging through stuff, some moved from Carol's office in a hurry, when Carol returned for the warm season.

Rescued from boxes this Father's Day:
  • Paul Urone's Physics with Health Science Applications. Dr. Bob Fuller, University of Nebraska emeritus, suggested at our meeting recently that he and I try to revamp this genre, if Dr. Urone's brilliant and pioneering text book failed to stay prominent (like, let's keep his lineage alive).

  • Kappa Sudoku Puzzles #2. Time was, I thought these would be important brain teasers in my life, but I eventually decided developing this skill would be a time sink I couldn't afford.

  • Historical Dictionary of Wittgenstein's Philosophy by Duncan Richter. I liked his using a dictionary format to help assemble a philosophy in the mind of some reader. You get a handy reference, and an internally connected hypertext document, all in one fell swoop. Good job Duncan!

  • The Road to Reality by Roger Penrose. This is my signed autographed copy, from the night I ran camera for the guy, at the Schnitzer (sort of like in the old days).

  • My Mapparium bag, from that time I went to Cambridge for a nuclear disarmament conference (I recall Daniel Ellsberg speaking about Manhatten Project II (a big cleanup in the wake of No. 1)), my attendence sponsored by AFSC (I also researched local AFSC youth programs, as this was the start of our Portland AFSC's LAAP/UV, for which I served as clerk for many years).
I'm still looking for the Olympus thingy, and might have to revert to other recording equipment for Tara's roller skating event (we should call Alexia and say hi). I'm also late getting back on to my bicycle this summer. I missed the Canby Century this time (Gayle went, as did Chris and Larry).

I'm OK with Guido and Alan anchoring the teaching track in their keynotes at EuroPython this year at CERN near Geneva. We're lucky to have recruited Alan into our highly geekish EuroPython community. I continue networking around Project Kusasa, feeding it with our Gnu Math breakthroughs, and getting back some really good ideas about how to do more more efficiently.

The Edubuntu box is now semi-permanently on wireless in my basement, courtesy of Derek and Dave (both sponsoring with hardware).

My new 1 GB Cosair memory stick easily goes between it (Jennifer) and any other USB-equipped machine, so it's easy to move curriculum writing around from multiple open sources (such "writing" may include executables, with source, so you can at least read 'em to see what they'd do, even if you choose not to run 'em -- an advantage you don't have with binaries-only (or if you can't read the language (gnu math helps make sure that you can))).

Speaking of which, this very memory stick has been steeply discounted for Father's Day and I have the receipt (showing Dave paid a lot more -- I reimbursed him in cash). Fry's is usually quite good about letting customers retroactively take advantage of sales (given the 15 day return policy, that makes sense). I'll plan to get out there again shortly, to spend some more dough (I still have some birthday money left).

In today's Oregonian (Dawn pointed this out): HP is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its 12c calculator. Rogoway boasts how he, and a majority of users, never really "got" RPN (reverse polish notation). I wouldn't be so proud of that if I were him.

Queued for the DVD player: two documentaries from Movie Madness: one of those anti Wal*Mart muckracking pieces, and another about the birth of Air America radio.

Follow-up (June 28, 2006 4:38 PM):

Following prolonged digging, I located that Fry's receipt for the memory stick and was able to redeem $45, on a father-daughter outing to what used to be known as Incredible Universe.

With a full return I could have gotten another $10 (because of the mail in rebate), but I'd ripped open all the packaging, and felt I needed to eat some of the cost (I too have a reputation to protect).

I used the returned in-store credit towards a Uniden 5.8 Ghz base phone plus moon unit. The sound is somewhat garbled on my end (wrong channel?), but works better than what it replaced, which was entirely broken. At some point, when not facing steep medical bills, I'll think about further upgrading.