Monday, April 04, 2005

Not Written

In the past week, I wrote one entry on a quote from William James.

In the past week, I wrote three letters, about twenty pages of miscellaney in my log/research notebook, and more e-mails than were probably necessary. I swapped a new cartridge into my fountain pen, and wrote it dry again within five days. I renewed my library books, and recommended to someone else that they might recall a particularly useful book on Microtransducers CAD which sat on my shelf for about six months a while ago -- I used it often enough that I was sad when it was recalled, but not enough that I was willing to pay $240 for it. I did wash and accidentally put my partly-broken watch through the dryer; fortunately, I'd already bought a new watch. I re-set my clock, which had slipped so that it was nearly a quarter hour fast. I then forgot about daylight savings.

In the past week, I answered questions about SUGAR, about FEAPMEX, and about CLAPACK; I asked questions about VTK; I tried to test out features of OpenDX, gmsh, and GnuPlot. I added a few critical features to the MATLAB wrapper generator I use, including one which allows me to add documentation strings so that MATLAB's help says something better than "No documentation available yet" for my HiQLab commands. I wrote test cases for HiQLab.

In the past week, I listened to a very interesting talk about companion matrices, and started to work on my seminar talk on complex symmetric eigenvalue problems, which I will give Weds. I had interesting technical conversations with people about finite elements and singularity-capturing shape functions, about different interactions between thermal, mechanical, and electrical fields in different types of materials, about dielectric losses and about how to choose a starting node in the RCM ordering algorithm.

In the past week the pope died, and Terry Schiavo died, and Paul Wolfowitz was approved as the World Bank leader. Student government elections are coming up, and the campus has been swarming with people advertising one or the other of the candidates. They have avoided me.

In the past week, I saw Bulletproof Monk and Hero and Once Upon a Time in China II. I read from A Stroll with William James, and have added A Short History of Nearly Everything (Bryson) and Principles of Psychology (James) to my short-term reading list. I read an interesting article on self-plagiarism in the Communications of the ACM, and another article on whether or not CS is really a science. I listened to interesting pieces on All Things Considered about the neo-conservative movement, about John Danforth's views on the religious right's increasing role in the direction of the Republican party, about the pope, and about the return of the radio essay series This I Believe. I read interesting articles on Joel on Software about the FogBugz bug-tracking software. I bought a thesaurus. I read my favorite blogs.

In the past week, I tried Filipino food for the first time, and had pho for the first time in a while. I ate bread and cheese and yogurt for dinner, Mexican for lunch, steamed spinach buns for breakfast, Chinese dough balls for dessert, yuan yang for tea time. I had crayfish with pasta at Ikea while helping Winnie shop for a computer desk. I had pears and chips and shortbread. I probably averaged 2.5 meals a day, but I ate well.

In the past week, I finally got around to ordering my new bus pass, and I signed up for the CityShare car sharing program. I took the train to Fremont once and got stuck across from a man who smelled foul and who kept ranting about the pope. I walked to El Cerrito once, and I took a few walks through parts of Berkeley I'd never visited before.

In the past week, I did all the ordinary everyday things that I do. They were neither dramatic nor profound, but they filled up my days and kept me happily busy.