January 10th, 2009

The Milpitas Library

Today is the Grand Opening of the new Milpitas Library. It's probably a zoo there right now.

But we went last week! It was awesome! It was actually open to the public all week, but really, most people assumed it wouldn't open until after the grand opening. I took the family there after work, and, boy, let me tell you, there's little better than a brand-new library that is full of books and empty of people.

We basically had the run of the place. I picked up a couple of graphic novels that I'd had my eye on, but was never interested in enough to buy. (One by Garth Ennis, the other drawn by Josh Howard.) The kids picked up about ten books each.

We explored the whole place. There were cabinets full of historical photos and artifacts. It was very cool to see Milpitas 100 years ago. Made me want to watch Deadwood again.

Status of the Knee (Especially as Related to Climbing)

The knee is still visibly swollen, but I can walk again. It's wonderful. I'm climbing very easy climbs. The danger is mostly the landing after being lowered by your belayer. I've got an attentive belayer, and he's been babying me, just as I need it right now.

I should write more about climbing and displaced patellas, because the conventional wisdom I've been getting from doctors doesn't exactly line up with my experience. Let me just say this, from anecdotal experience of someone who's been climbing for 10 years after having severely displaced his patella, and with a subsequent tendency to repeat the injury:

  • Climbing with deliberate, static moves is good exercise for strengthening the musculature around the patella.
  • Drop-knee moves are dangerous. My kneecap has popped out doing that.
  • Landing after being lowered is dangerous. My kneecap has popped out doing that, too.  Didn't even seem like a fast lower.
  • Jumping down after bouldering is intuitively risky, but my kneecap has never popped out doing that.

Teasing Stories from Numbers

What are you doing tonight?  (And I might add that it's Saturday night.)

Me?  My wife is away, working.  (Poor her, there's a full moon tonight, and that bodes ill for the hospital.)  The children will be sleeping.  Should I pop in a video?  Play a game?  Read a book or graphic novel?  Program for fun?

No, yes.  Yes!  I'm gonna be programming, but not on any of my personal projects.  There's some data (hundreds of thousands of numbers) at work, and I know there's a story in there.  And the challenge of teasing that story from the numbers is irresistible.

Tonight, here's my scenario:  A CPU and disk almost always at 100% (one or the other).  Excel, python, statistical math, and scads of regular expressions.  This is totally going to be fun.  Especially seeing if I can figure out how to make Excel show me what I'm thinking of, and seeing what the numbers have to show me.