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Adrian Dewhurst

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1/4/11 12:10 am - Calendar year 2011 post

So, I er haven't updated much lately. I guess that's been apparent. I mostly lurk and read posts about everyone else feeling guilty that they haven't updated much lately either, and check daily because my friends page is where all of my comic RSS feeds go.

I'm going to be a father soon. Signs (well, ultrasound images) point to us having a baby girl late April / early May. We've started a baby registry at Amazon, to make online ordering easy.

This is the last day of my long Florida vacation. We flew to Miami on Dec 10th, had a week long western Caribbean cruise, spent a week in Orlando going to Universal and Sea world, then crystalinentity left to spend Christmas with her parents while I spent Christmas with my mom and stepfather in their new Florida condo. It's been a good time, but I miss my wife and the pets, and need to get back to work I guess.

This year, there will be two priorities: saving for a down payment on a house (for 2013 maybe?), and figuring out the parenting thing. It'll be quite the adventure.

Work's been going well. I might have an intern this summer, and if the stars align correctly, I can try and get promoted this fall. That'll be pretty cool. In the meantime, I have lots of interesting things I can work on, and I seem to be valued by my coworkers. As long as I remember to take vacation more than once a year, things look good.

Now, back to packing.

4/7/10 09:17 pm - More than lurking

Ah yes, LiveJournal. We meet again.

In fact, I do actually read my friends feed every day... pretty much whenever I'm bored and hoping that a new XKCD comic has gone up. The fact that people that I know still post is a bonus :-)

This week has been play-with-electronics week. On Monday, crystalinentity and I went to a surplus electronics place and picked up an AC adapter, some wire, a connector for the AC adapter to plug into, a soldering iron and some wire strippers. She found a doorbell at Home Depot yesterday. Then last night I attacked our cat laser toy with a drill and the recently purchased equipment. New features include:

  • Eco-friendly! Batteries optional!
  • Remote switch (sorta). Once refined, our puppy may be able to learn how to turn it on herself, instead of complaining at us until we do.
  • Random wires dangling out the back. That makes everything cooler, right?
I've discovered that I probably need to learn how to properly use a soldering iron, rather than poking at things until they melt. I seem to have bad habits that make the tip almost useless after soldering like 3-4 connections.

Work's going well. Everyone in my group is pretty awesome. I used to find a couple people annoying, but either they've grown on me (I've got a ton of respect for everyone at this point) or they've self-corrected. I'm pretty happy there. I got promoted in the fall, which was nice. I'm still a Software Engineer, just a mid-level one instead of a fresh-out-of-school one. I still cringe a little at the word 'Engineer', since I'm still more of a computer scientist than an engineer. At least, that's what my degree and lack of an iron ring say.

I still haven't found the urge to tweet.

We're moving from our 1 bedroom apartment to a renting half of a house with a yard in June or so. Unfortunately, we're already renting it (because the roommates needed to move immediately) and haven't found anyone to sublet. If anyone wants to come down here and sublet the house (partially furnished!) from now until mid-June, that would be awesome. We had a subletter all lined up, but he backed out at the last minute because he decided that it's waaaay too expensive to live here. That's true, but sucks for us. Also, it will be interesting to see how well we can get along with roommates after having our own place since moving down here.

I think that concludes interesting stuff that's going on. At the rate things have been going, next post is ETA 2011. Have a great year, everyone!

8/11/09 03:18 pm - Brainwashed

I caught myself suggesting we use WvStreams for something at work today. In fact, I've spent the past week comparing things being suggested to how it would be done in WvStreams, thinking longingly about WvCont.

Apparently I was brainwashed back in 2004.

3/11/09 02:17 pm - Phone calls

So I'm talking to someone about our wedding plans, making an appointment for Crystal to go visit.

Him: What's your name?
Me: Adrian
Him: Just checking, but are you two women?
Me: No, I just sound like a woman on the phone.
Him: Ah, ok. Because I know a female Adrienne.
Me: Yes, my parents gave me two gender-ambiguous names since they couldn't agree on two sets of names in case I was a boy or a girl.

Or, talking to a real estate agent earlier

Him: Does your husband work?
Me: My wife (well, fiancee for now) is a student.
The conversation becomes slightly awkward at this point since I think he assumes that we're a gay female couple. Which is ironic because he had just inadvertently implied we were a gay male couple.

Seriously, every time I call somewhere, they think I'm female. I wonder if I can use this to my advantage sometime.

Update: I guess this means I'm like Vaarsuvius. Well, I guess I always wanted to be a mage. Mwahahaha.

I cast magic missile. At the darkness.

3/7/09 04:02 pm - General life update

So I should probably post something of substance if I'm going to write angry messages about my current ISP.

My mom recently left after visiting for a week. We didn't go too far (she was feeling a bit sick and we only had a car for the weekend anyway), but it was good to see her. I haven't spent much time with either of my parents for a while now.

crystalinentity is staying with her parents for the next few weeks (and has been there for a couple weeks already). The apartment is not the same without her... it feels more like I'm sitting here with a collection of personal property inside a couple rooms rather than inside a home. It's odd.

Wedding plans seem to be coming together nicely, thanks mostly to crystalinentity and her father figuring it all out. I like to think I've helped out here and there though.

Car? House? Maybe? Perhaps I shouldn't get ahead of myself.Collapse )

On a positive note, work is going well. I seem to be in the swing of things and I think I've earned the respect of my coworkers (and just as importantly, they've earned my respect too). Although I get a little stressed out from time to time, I do recognize that it's mostly something I bring upon myself due to my personal standards, rather than something they demand of me (good for long-term sustainability). I work on interesting stuff and of course the food is great.

So overall, I figure that considering I graduated less than a year ago, I'm in really good shape. I'm happy in general, I have someone who I love (and loves me back!), I've got a good job and a great future ahead of me. A few years ago, I'd merely have predicted a decent job, neutral-to-happy, and a future I wouldn't think much about. So things have been going well :-)

3/7/09 03:50 pm - Internet support

Dear Comcast:

I switched to you from an ISP with competent support. Now I remember why I was originally willing to put up with decreased speed: when I start saying that my 16 megabit service is consistently only going at 2-6 megabit (and sometimes merely 1), do not tell me to delete my cookies. Judging from how you religiously instruct me to do this, you clearly do not know what cookies do, for it is merely a measure to make clueless people feel reassured that something is being done and so hopefully they will experience the placebo effect.

This insults both of our intelligences. Someone who describes things in terms of megabits probably has a reasonable idea about what's going on.


P.S. Why did I have to open my browser to comcast.net before I could open the dialog box to clear my cookies? Further, why are you still assuming I use IE? It's actually pretty common these days to use something else.

In the end, I think I fixed it myself by power-cycling my modem before calling. I was planning to test if that fixed things while on hold, but there was inexplicably no hold delay today. Due to cable being more of a broadcast medium, I expected that a power-cycle would not help. If I cared more, I'd probably research the technology further.

The guy suggested that sometimes it's slower based on time of day. If there's that much variation, clearly their network needs upgrading. Maybe I should upgrade to the DOCSIS 3 service so that there's more neighborhood bandwidth available.

1/23/09 10:33 am - Internet Contracts

So I just switched (sadly) from sonic.net DSL to Comcast cable for my internet service. I really liked Sonic, but the fact of the matter is, AT&T has awful lines around here (in silicon valley no less!) and I can only get 2mbps. So I sacrifice my static IP and get 6mbps downstream in its place, for cheaper... and that's their 'normal speed' package. I could get 16mbps for the same price as I'm paying (the static IP is a high price premium)... which I would have done, but it apparently negates my downgrade promotion pricing (more on that later).

BackgroundCollapse )

Lesson #1 (for me): Actually read the terms and conditions. Apparently it's not possible to assume they'll be reasonable.

Mystery contractCollapse )

Lesson #2 (for Sonic): You can turn perfectly happy customers against you as soon as you do something dirty like sneaking in a contract when there is no expectation of one. There seems to be some improvement here by removing that.

Lesson #3 (for Sonic): If you say you have a contract, make sure you keep it on file. Because it's kind of ridiculous to hold someone to something if neither side knows what it said.

A touch of reasonCollapse )

Lesson #4 (for Sonic): You make people feel happier when you seem like you care. You did a pretty good job of that in all contact before today. Waiving the stupid contract cancellation fee shouldn't count because it should never have happened in the first place (although it did help simply because I know it's special even to be that nice, which is sad). They should have asked me if they could do anything to help, or like... shown some sort of indication they were sad I was leaving (especially since I was paying the extra $20/month for a static ip, which is almost pure profit for them). Apparently I didn't matter after all. Cable companies have this down to an art.

Lack of choiceCollapse )

1/5/09 12:35 am - It's 2009 and I'm still not posting often enough!

Something that I should probably mention right away is that I'm engaged to crystalinentity and we're getting married May 18 2009. We don't have a guest list yet. The intention is to keep it small, so I won't be able to invite everyone I want to (sorry!).

So here is 2009. There was a leap second and the world didn't explode, which is always an excellent sign.

crystalinentity's parents were down here for Christmas and the New Year, and we had a pretty good time. It was great to see them again and we all enjoyed ourselves. Among other things, we drove down to San Diego along the coastal highway and then came back up inland. Quite the contrast between the two.

I've got one of the G1 developer phones now, so I think I'll try hacking on it a bit in my spare time. That should be fun to do. Speaking of hacking on things in my spare time, it's kind of interesting how the nature of spare time changes when in a relationship. Before, I'd have spent hours upon hours playing with the innards of my computers at home, but that's actually not all that appealing to me anymore. Sure, I like to play with gadgets a bit now and then, but things that require prolonged deep concentration (like coding) really don't appeal to me when there's someone else to talk to, cuddle with, etc. That has the handy side-effect of making work mostly stay at work (except for the fact that I still check and sometimes respond to e-mail way too often).

Living down here is kind of weird in that it feels the same as living in Ontario, except when I suddenly run into something that is different. And these are just random things that I'd take for granted. The grocery store is an excellent example... it's just like any grocery store in Ontario, except that things are more expensive, the frozen dinners section is about 4x the size it should be, and the frozen burgers section is less than 1/4 the size it should be, and I don't recognize 1/2 of the brand names. Oh, and it doesn't snow here.

In other news, apparently I'm too excited to file my 2008 taxes. I have to wait until software is certified for netfile in Canada and for my T4/W-2 forms to come in. Boo.

Anyway, hopefully I'll post more this year. Maybe?

8/4/08 03:51 pm - Um, hi


Despite my best intentions to begin posting again, it hasn't really happened. I guess I should start back when exams finished.

... except I wrote the above about 4 weeks ago and I still haven't actually managed to write the whole update yet. It's actually quite sad.

But something else came up I wanted to post:
Something that I've really been noticing since declaring my old computers obsolete and moving without bringing them along is that no matter how carefully you try to preserve everything of importance, you're going to miss something, or forget where you put it for safe keeping. This applies just as well to computers as real life. I'm actually fairly well set up now, except for my ~/.xchat2 directory (but I'm convinced it's somewhere here if I remember to look).

I thought it would be really hard to go without my computers and get by with just my laptop. It was far easier to give up than I ever imagined. Strange.

Really, the only thing I miss is having a machine always hooked up to the TV that I can play videos on with a minimum of hassle (no fiddling with cords, no playing with video settings). Well, something's been ordered so that's going to be taken care of. Now I just need a NAS. My "old" laptop (the one that I had before work gave me a MacBook Pro) will probably do this for a little while. But I really do need the reliability of RAID or something before something bad happens.

Anyway, what got me thinking today was how crippling it would be for my productivity to have to start fresh without my ~/.bashrc, ~/.bash_profile, ~/.screenrc, ~/.ssh/config or ~/.vimrc. It's astonishing to think about how much work has gone into tweaking those to do what I want, and how weird it is to try and use a system without them. Right now my work machine is only half configured with these so far, and it really interrupts my flow. I should probably finish getting everything set up sometime.

4/11/08 01:56 am - Exams v8.0

So it's exam time. Again. A time of stress, a time without routine, a time of many video games, and a time of sadness as people start to move out.

Exams started today and I've already written one. None of my exams this term are really capable of stressing me out, except perhaps the philosophy take-home final. Even though I've written an exam already, it doesn't feel like exam time except for the part where I don't have to go to class. It's weird.

This exam schedule is going to be different from the others. Not really in structure -- as per usual I have a gap of over a week ended by an exam right near the end, but in that it's my last set of exams in my undergrad career. Due to various circumstances this fall/winter (due to a combination of workload, not being around, and growing apathy about everything related to school), I haven't really connected with the people on my floor. It sucks, but I also don't really have a great urge to reach out, especially not now when it's almost over and I just need to get out of here. Maybe this means that it will be less depressing when everyone starts moving out? We'll see.

... and my brain proceeds to dump its views on Life, the Universe, and EverythingCollapse )
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