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Archive: May 16, 2009

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thirty years

Saturday,  05/16/09  10:38 AM

thirty year reunion - nametagLast night I attended my Caltech class of '79 thirty year reunion.  Wow, thirty years.  It gives me goose bumps just typing those words.  I was looking forward to it, but it was even more fun than I anticipated.  There were about thirty members of my class present - out of about 250 total, I think - and about ten people from my "house", Ricketts House, one of the seven undergraduate dorms.  The weird thing is we're all 50+ instead of 20+, but people don't change.  Honestly everyone looks, acts, thinks, and is exactly the way I remember them.

Which is not to say everyone's life has played out as I might have expected; if you made two columns, one with names, and one with life stories, I would have been hard-pressed to match them up.  Some have taken conventional paths to their future, and others pretty weird ones, and of course there are probably some even weirder ones among those who didn't or couldn't attend.  But their experiences didn't change them.

I had gone to my twenty year reunion (sorry, no link, that was pre-blogging) and that was fun, but it was different; as I noted the other day, at 50+ you're a lot more relaxed than at 40+, or at least I am...  It was thoroughly enjoyable to be among a group where everyone accepts everyone else without question.  And they're all really smart; which makes them really interesting.  I could spend any amount of time hanging out.

I'm looking forward to our fortieth year reunion already!

BTW there was a reception before the dinner where each class presented a donation to the Caltech Alumni Fund, and it was interesting to see some of the older classes present theirs...  The members of the class of '49 attended Caltech sixty years ago, and are now in their eighties... what amazing lives they must have led, joining Caltech just as WWII ended, and seeing everything that has happened since.  Incredible.


Saturday,  05/16/09  10:05 PM

Megan debates!Spent today watching Megan compete in a middle-school debate (!), which amazingly was at Pasadena Polytechnic school, right next door to Caltech, while still under the influence of my reunion dinner last night.  What are the odds of that?  In other ways it was a quiet day, but there was stuff going on in the blogosphere...

Still enjoying Win7 although getting everything installed and working is quite a time sink.  There is no question it is faster and less buggy than my XP system was, admittedly a low bar.  And I am almost ready to disable UAC, it is less intrusive than under Vista, but still seems to add no value, just mouse clicks.  Also I've decided the Aero look of Explorer is stylish but it makes using it harder, I guess that is what it is, and I'll probably get used to it.

Here's something really useful that I did under XP too: create a default association for files with no extension.  I associate it with Notepad and then I can leave notes on my desktop.  This is useful if, like me, you ask Windows always to display file extensions.

Win 7's 3D Alt-Tab (Windows-Tab)I'm not sure yet whether this is a dancing bear, but Win7's 3D-alt-tab is amazingly cool; you activate it by Windows-Tab instead of Alt-Tab.  I'm using it right now because it is cool, time will tell whether I keep using it because it's useful...

I'm a Mac... and I'm a MeganThe PC / Mac ad wars have definitely led to some pretty entertaining ads; the latest from Apple is great.  "I'm a Mac", and "I'm a Megan".  I'm an Ole, and I love it :)

Slate helpfully explains why trains run slower now than in the 1920s...  train travel is definitely a weird exception to the rule that technology keeps getting better and cheaper.  (and how great is it that the article is written by a Vanderbilt :)

the Veritas roadsterLike Glenn Reynolds, I too have absolutely no use for this car, and I too think it looks really cool...

Back in the real world, a nice comparison of the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight.  I am becoming more intrigued by these hybrids, yeah, I know, they're efficient gas-powered cars, not electric cars, but until Tesla get their Model S Sedan on the market this is all we've got...

shuttle Atlantis and Hubble space telescope silhouetted against the sunI'll be the ten billionth blogger to link this picture, but it is too cool not to, the shuttle Atlantis and the Hubble space telescope silhouetted against the sun.  How cool is that?

Dave Winer: when will Twitter start for real?  "At some point we will finish this sentence: Twitter is... ?"  Hype.  And that's all it is.

ZooBorn: baby cotton-topped TamerinZooBorn of the day: baby cotton-topped Tamerin.


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