August 1 to August 7 Busy with summer classes. Yes, other things did happen, but not too many. In my opinion, not enough. Plus I can't remember very well.
August 8 In the morning, I worked on my paper. In the afternoon, I worked on my CS assignment. I think I had lunch in between. The end.
August 9 Lots of fun today. Reading. Finishing my history paper. Working on the CS assignment. Watching movie for history class. Trying to figure what's up with my jury duty petition. When does the madness end?
August 10 Getting up this morning was a bit of a challenge. Spent the morning at school working on the CS assignment. After lunch, we had our final history class meeting. So my paper is in, and Chairman Mao and I have parted courses. Not a bad state of affairs were it not for the two finals ahead.
August 11 /Me is not happy today. Failed to finish my final CS assignment in time, by a rather large margin. A lot of work for not much benefit. A flute lesson in the afternoon improved things somewhat, but then back home to start studying for Friday's tests. Yes, I know that's boring. Believe me, I know.
August 12 Stayed at home all day studying. It was foggy, and I had the heater on, with my feet draped over the side, and a stats book in front. An uncomfortable studying position. My recreation consisted of planning out the next 2 years. In particular trying to find a course-load that gets me the most (on paper) while taking the fewest possible classes! In truth, it's more a matter of trying to graduate on time and not have 20 units every quarter for the next 2 years. Somehow though, I ended up looking up grad schools, and universities in general. American University Beirut looks kinda cool... But I have tests tomorrow. So more study. Then sleep.
August 13 I'm finaled. Or out-finaled. Or something along those lines. Two final exams later, I am also extremely relieved. As Garrison Keillor would say, it could be worse. Indeed. Because I sent out a call yesterday, all the folks at school showed up for lunch (well, almost all). Some folks are rather tired (as was I) but talkative nonetheless. After the stats exam in the afternoon, took a walk around Stanford. Late-afternoon sun makes everything seem somehow mellow. Visited Half Moon Bay's finest Thai restaurant to celebrate the end of the quarter. Apparently I haven't been there in over a year (I find that hard to believe). Where does the time go? But anyways, I'm done. Done. done...
August 14 Today, it was gray outside. Well, actually, there was some white too. But the hike of the morning, to Montara mountain, not only lacked any view (visibility dropped to about 20 feet in some spots), but it was cold to boot. Not cool. In any case, spent the afternoon clearing up all the junk I've accumulated from school. Even managed to get a vacuum cleaner into my room. Of course, I haven't updated these pages in a while either, so I did a bit of that too.
August 15 Of course, Sunday is the nice day. I should have known. Still, I did manage to give the car a well-earned bath. It's actually white for now (not the greyish-brown it usually is). The front wheels actually aren't black, when cleaned properly (stupid brakepad dust). In the afternoon, went back to Stanford to go with some friends to see the not-so-new movie "Bourne Supremacy." I think the term "fast-paced" understates the situation significantly. Everybody else thought so too. Back at home played around with some benchmarking stuff. How much pi can you get from an Opteron?
August 16 Grades were due to appear tonight. So they did, for two of my classes. Since I was basically home all day, alternately reading and on the computer, that was probably the high point of the day. Except, the TA screwed up on some of the assignments. So things could improve. Or not. Also began to respond to my e-mails for the first time in quite a while.
August 17 Courtesy of a dentist appointment at 9AM, I was off and out early. After that, I popped by the Stanford bookstore, to discover that they have some (but not all) of the books for next quarter. Which also means they have a listing of classes, even though the official course lists aren't even finalized. Hmm... Ate lunch with friends on campus, but headed home in the afternoon. Grades for Stats popped up too. Looks like I did well to gamble on the final.
August 18 Spent the morning on flute practice. I'm hitting high D with about 60% accuracy which, while better than before, leaves a lot to be desired. Especially since when it doesn't come out, it sounds like I'm choking. Prokofiev's D Major Sonata is progressing though. Had lunch at Stanford, after which I did a little shell-scripting for a friend. Hopefully automation is helpful in the long term! Had a flute lesson in the afternoon, and then came home to do some more reading. Also tried to burn a CD on my laptop, and discovered Roxio Toast had hijacked the burner (a broken installation of Roxio, to be precise). Very frustrating. Took a lot of head scratching to finally be able to burn CDs like I'm used to.
August 19 Devoted most of the day to installing PathScale's AMD64 compiler. Unfortunately, it needed Fedora Core 1 or newer, so I dug up a machine to test it on. Had to do a net install of Fedora, but it seemed to work okay. After lunch, mainly read, first my text on the modern Middle East, and then a historical fiction novel. I miss reading for fun...
August 20 I had the silly idea to convert pi_css5 from C to Java. Whew. Took me most of the day to do so. Eliminating pointers can really get to be a pain. Still, it works, and it's in Java, so I can claim success. It doesn't seem to run more than 60% the speed of the C version though, which is less than impressive. Also managed to dig up some old David Eddings fantasy books. Guess my reading tastes haven't changed much in the last 10 years...
August 21 We were going to go on a hike today. And so we did. Drove off to Butano State Park (near Pescadero) in the morning. Weather was clear and hot. We took the trail up the south side of the valley, and then contiued along the ridge (Olmo Fire Road and then Butano Fire Road). Trail topped out in the trees around 1,700 ft. according to my altimeter. We had lunch at the little saddle near the end of the main valley, in the almost adequate shade of a manzanita bush. Coming back, found a very large ant on my hand. Before I could get rid of it though, the blasted critter bit me (and drew blood). Ouch. Got back to the car around 4PM. My dad insisted upon exploring all of Pescadero on the way back, which took a while (and a lot of pictures on the new digital camera). Thus we got home fairly tired, and decently late.
August 22 Didn't do much with the morning. For the afternoon, drove down to Los Altos to visit a family friend. We had a pleasant lunch in the sun and talked of the summer (not that, as you may guess, I had a whole lot to say about it). Afterwards, dropped by the San Antonio shopping center (which to me is the modern equivalent of hell). We did find a good grocery store though (Milk Pail) and explored the other parts of the mall. Spent the evening doing webpage stuff and reading.
August 23 Read a lot today, though not what I should have been reading. Went back over a lot of my old David Eddings fantasy books. Made it through 3 books in one day. I see now what appeals about the books: it's the quirky characters. One character notes that he's a merchant and a member of a royal family. Another replies that this is true, but he's also a thief, a swindler and a spy. The first one responds, "We all have our faults." Fun books.
August 24 A day of reading. Went through 3 more books. That's what vacation is for.
August 25 Practiced dutifully for my flute lesson all morning. That worked pretty well, though I didn't get any lunch. The lesson itself was fine too. Unfortunately, when I went into the lesson, my car was fine, and when I came out it had one very flat tire. I thought I must've banged it on the curb, but its on the side of the car that didn't go anywhere near the curb. Hmm... Having not changed a tire before, I managed to convince my dad to come down and give a hand. It wasn't really all that tough. It's just that the bolts were sufficiently frozen that when the car was up on the jack and I gave one a tug, the car started to roll back (despite a fully engaged emergency break). Moral of the story is leave the car on the ground until you've un-frozen the lug nuts on the wheel. Nonetheless, got the wheel switched. The spare was low on air, so we had to pump it up too. Finally got home around 7PM. That's all for today's little lesson in auto mechanics.
August 26 First order of business is to get the flat tire repaired. Ain't gonna happen. Its got an 8-inch gash, so we're looking at a new set of tires. Next drove over to campus. The bookstore has books in large numbers, including a number that I need for next quarter. I left much poorer than I entered. Met those folks still at Stanford for lunch. After lunch, did some reading, and met with my advisor for my new major (it's not so much new, as my decision to follow it is the new part). A nice guy, and hopefully not such an unlikely proposition as I'd feared. Plus if I succeed it'll be great for my ego. In any case, had to load my car jam-packed with boxes from a friend. I promised him I'd take it, and so I have. Admittedly I didn't count on it being quite so much (plus a fridge and a microwave). He left bike though. I don't quite know what to do about that.
August 27 Many of the boxes containing that guys stuff were falling apart. So I've removed a lot of the stuff to smaller boxes. In the process, did some vacuuming and cleared a bunch of stuff upstairs in order to find boxes to put them in. But just when I thought I'd run out of boxes, I found a new supply. Cleanup is a long process though...
August 28 Do I seem like I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)? Began the day clearing out part of our garage. Needed to make room for the stuff that I'm keeping for a friend who's taking next year off. He has a generous amount of stuff, so it took plenty of time to pack it into durable boxes, seal them, and find a place for them. Next up was weeding the garden, and cutting more fenceposts for the fence-to-be. After that, did a good bit of vacuuming and clearing in our infamous "middle room." It definitely looks better, but there's a long way to go. After dinner, did some compilation tests with various compilers. Yay pi. Maybe I do have ADD.
August 29 Did various house related stuff in the morning including vacuuming and finishing sawing the fenceposts for the fence we're hoping to put around the rose garden. Folks from Stanford came over to drop off stuff for me to keep (while they're away for the interim). Not quite sure what to do with this all. Oh well, I don't anticipate having to repeat this scenario next summer. Went to San Benito for lunch where we sat and chatted for quite a lot of the afternoon.
August 30 Had a bunch of business at Stanford, so over I went in the morning. Took a lot of junk from the house which had to be tossed. At Stanford, met with a number of friends for lunch and goodbyes. Lunch was good, though I'm not so sure about the byes. At any event, I had some errands to do and books to pick up too. Met with my advisor (for History) to figure out a course of action for the next year. Came out with the sudden realization that I've a lot of work still to do (can you say foreign languages?) even before grad school. Sigh.
August 31 Didn't do too much today. One of the folks from Stanford came over to see if his dress clothes were in the mass of stuff I'm storing for a friend who's taking next year off. They weren't. Mainly organized my mp3 collection. Incidentally, if you don't listen to They Might Be Giants or The Arrogant Worms, I suggest trying them. Not only are they wickedly funny, but they're equal opportunity offenders (like Tom Lehrer). In the evening, watched the original "Matrix" movie. Despite the small laptop screen, it was a good watch. I was particularly amused by the scene where Smith and other agents are interrogating Neo. Note how they accuse Morpheus of being a dangerous "terrorist" who must be "brought to justice." Quite fitting for the times we are in now.