Last time I stayed back in New Jersey I kind of shorted writing about what I did. Well, most of it felt unexceptional. Going into the office has some advantages, in that I can gently nag people into answering my needs by the simple virtue of being there. Sometimes. The person I really wanted to get a good talk with, about redesigning my main project, and who'd agreed we ought to have one, kept saying that today was packed and we should get together tomorrow, and ultimately the whole trip puttered out without my having a serious talk. That person is in at least intellectual agreement about the kind of redesign needed, though.
More useful was talking with the database expert they've taken on. He's been developing the worlds of MySQL. To my eye this is a lateral shift from the MS-SQL that we've had installed on a couple of systems. But it's probably a net improvement because he seems to know just how to set these systems up so they work, and he's able to nag the tech department when things aren't working until they do. And we talked about ways to do my big project rather better by the better use of MySQL. I've been trying since to get the tech guys to give my project access to his MySQL servers, although that hasn't gotten done. Maybe I need to revisit them.
I didn't feel much like doing anything tourist-y after work, so I'd just putter back to the hotel and to my room. That's a lot like being home, only without a DVR. Sticking to the television that's actually on, live, gave me some weird feelings of isolation because I just don't watch all that much of anything anymore. I found some show about mythological figures; one episode in the set treated Lord of the Rings as if it were a folk-created mythology, which I guess would have pleased Tolkien. For generic basic-cable pop-educational stuff this was a better-than-average show, and even took some efforts to explain the context Tolkien worked in and how his style synthesized several traditions. Some of it surprised me, since, you know, I haven't read Lord of the Rings, but I have been in pop culture and I've played the pinball machine quite well several times. I got the game up to the Destroy The Ring mode my first ball, last league night.
Or, you know, there's like four hundred episodes of Mythbusters I don't remember seeing that clearly, so that's good too.
Trivia: In the one-eighth scale model of the Space Shuttle used by NASA-Langley for the structural test program the miniature External Tank had its liquid oxygen tank filled with water, and its liquid hydrogen tank filled with plastic pellets. Source: Development of the Space Shuttle 1972 - 1981, T A Heppenheimer.
Currently Reading: The Mapmakers, John Noble Wilford.
PS: The Set Tour, Part 5: C^n, giving you everything I really know about complex-valued affine transformations. Good luck!