Mon 13 Sep 2004

September 13, 2004

  • Travels: I spent last week in Northern California meeting with a customer. The visit with the customer seemed to go pretty well, though it took a lot of my time. I also saw friends and family while out there, and was generally kept busy. On Wednesday, I made it to a Red Sox game at the Oakland Coliseum, which despite being an away game, had a large Red Sox contingent.

  • automata: Last Labor day I went with my parents to the San Francisco Exploratorium. It has a new exhibit of automata, which by itself is worth the price of admission. They were cleverly done with lots of intricate gears, cogs, bellows, levers, and pulleys, all intricately carved out of wood. They were modern and it showed in the themes and sensibilities of their vignettes. The lack of age didn’t detract from their cleverness and charm, though.

    It’s definitely worth a trip for those in San Francisco, even if you have seen the Exploratorium many times already.

  • Birthday: For my birthday, Zana made me crab and shrimp stuffed crepes. It was served with a side dish of asparagus, and stuffed shrimp and cheese as starters. She also got up at 5:00 in the morning to pick me up from the airport, which was very appreciated!

  • Crossword Helper: On the plane trip out last weekend, I wrote a simple little program to help with crossword puzzles. I wrote it from start to finish in about three hours in python. It searches for a list of words that match a partial word, and does simple anagram searches. The feature count was limited by the battery life on my laptop, though I did add a blinking cursor a couple days later. A screenshot is available at:

    http://www.gnome.org/~jrb/files/crosswordhelper-1.png

    I don’t know if this is interesting enough to check into CVS or not, as it’s only a couple-hundred lines of code.