March 23rd, 2016

storyteller doll

Assorted Odds and Ends

I am still jet-lagged, so that probably limits how interesting I am. Or am not.

Celebrity Death Watch: Bob Ebeling was a NASA engineer whose warning prior to the Challenger disaster was, alas, ignored. Rob Ford was the mayor of Toronto and followed in the mayoral path so clearly set by Marion Barry of Washington, DC. Andy Grove was the leading force behind the dominance of Intel. (He was also, by the way, a Shoah survivor.)

Day Without Metro: Metro welcomed me home from vacation by shutting down the rail system completely for a day in order to inspect cables that should really have been inspected during the weekend shutdowns we’ve had damn near every weekend for the past decade or so. I could get to work by bus if I were willing to spend enough time at it, but I opted to drive. And, really, it didn’t seem much worse than normal, perhaps because I timed things well. My only real complaint about the shutdown is that they waited until 4:30 in the afternoon to announce it, which is well within normal rush hour. And, indeed, I heard that a number of people had not gotten the message.

By the way, the real winner on public transit that day was apparently Capital Bikeshare. Too bad there are no bike sharing stations within 10 miles of my house.

Travel Planning: I have figured out plans for short breaks over Thanksgiving and Christmas . One is a trip to Martinique, based on a ridiculously low airfare from BWI. The other is a reasonably priced trip to Key West. In both cases, I expect hotel costs will balance the air deals, but so be it.

I am also thinking that my birthday will require a national park trip, but I’ve only gotten as far as narrowing it down to four possibilities for that. (The Key West trip will include an excursion to Dry Tortugas N.P.)

Oh, and before someone asks why the short breaks? I have, um, negative 60 something hours of vacation after the South Pacific excursion. I have commitments for at least 5 more days before the end of the calendar year.

MIT Summer Interns: Monday night was the annual reception for MIT’s DC summer intern program. Unfortunately, there weren’t any candidates looking for space policy related positions this year. It’s still good to mingle with students and other alumni.

Android Question: This isn’t something really important, but it’s been bugging me. When I go to my task manager and click "end all," my tablet will sometimes tell me it is closing 20-30+ applications. Those are apps I never actually opened. The weirdest part is that clearing the memory will sometimes increase memory usage, rather than decreasing it. None of this has any big impact on functionality, beyond sometimes needing to clear memory to get mail or webpages to load. But I would still like to understand it.