Sunday, May 23, 2004

Friday went by in a blur. I met Sanjay at the coffee shop in the morning, where we talked about anchor losses and Earnshaw's theorem for a bit. Then we went to a dissertation talk, and from there to the SUGAR meeting. I dropped off stuff at the office, went to help Elaine move, ate dinner, and then walked back to campus -- to encounter Sanjay going the other way. His class had a final exam on Friday evening. We had a brief conversation about some ways in which electric filters can go awry, at the end of which he shook his head and said There's too much out there to learn. Then I walked the rest of the way to the office, and if I did anything with the rest of the evening, it wasn't sufficiently inspired that I remember it through the general bemusement of a tired end-of-week evening.

I briefly visited the office on Saturday morning to have a cup of coffee and do a little editing. Then I wandered back home, where I cleaned while I waited for Winnie. I find household cleaning very satisfying. It's so simple: scrubbing goes in, shine comes out. Then Winnie came, and we spent the day walking and reading and eating some fish chowder that I made for dinner. I thought I might read a while after she left, but I fell asleep before I even opened the book.

Winnie brought with her a collection of stackable plastic drawers, and this morning I moved the drawers into my room and my clothes into the drawers. I'd say that I moved my drawers into the drawers, but they're actually in a separate box at the foot of my bed -- alas! a pun wasted. After a flurry of rearrangement, one of my small black shelves was free, and I moved it to the kitchen, where it accomodated the piles of stuff -- flour, sugar, corn starch, spices, and the like -- which previously occupied one end of the dining table and threatened to take over all available eating space. If the Thing from the Swamp ever does come to devour us all, it would do well to disguise itself as such random clutter. Nobody would be wise to its existence until it was too late.

And so a wave of reorganization rippled through the apartment, and left things looking tidier in its wake. I rearranged my tea collection on the shelf, and moved my little porcelain figurine of the old sage so that he looks like he's beatifically pondering life from a cave in a cliffside of tea tins. The Old Man of the Tea and the Bookshelf Buddha -- we could build myths of such things, if the whim took us.

My whim for the afternoon took me to the office, though, where I spent an idle our finding out about various visualization tools for scientific data. Huzzah for pretty pictures! Learning how IBM's Data Explorer tool works is not exactly a high-priority item, but it's a weekend, and I'm willing to forgive myself a little wandering. Besides, without substantial wandering, most of the ideas I've had would have come to naught. Sometimes it's good to follow an outline, and sometimes it's good to follow where my wierd may lead.

And now the outline says I should go home and make dinner.