log  ->  quadium.net

Tue 2000-08-08 - 16:39

First, I'm typing this on a Dvorak keyboard. I've always been interested in them, but (as usual) I hadn't gotten around to actually doing anything about it. A couple of days ago, though, I noticed that Natasha, a Web developer here, had one, and she let me borrow another. Currently I'm not very fast, but I'm improving, and the layout certainly seems nicer.

I saw a big accident today -- actually, I was standing just a few feet away when it happened. It was about 2:45 or so, and I hadn't eaten lunch yet, so I decided to head over to IHOP. I was waiting for the light to cross the intersection of Veterans and Whipple when a black car pulling into the intersection suddenly stopped, and the big flower van behind it smashed into the car. I felt little bits of car hitting me as inertia carried it all the way across the intersection.

The people in the van seemed to be okay, but the car wasn't moving at all (no surprise, considering the back was completely smashed in) and it didn't look like the driver was either. I grabbed my cell phone and started to call 911, but just as I entered the second 1, a Highway Patrol car and a police car screamed up. Weird.

Within a minute or two, a fire truck, an ambulance, and another Highway Patrol car had arrived. One of the CHP cars pulled up behind the van until their bumpers were touching. I thought this was weird, but then he called over the loudspeaker, "Take your foot off the brake and put the car in neutral. We're gonna try to make it to the gas station." Then he moved forward and shoved the van around the corner and into the gas station, which worked nicely because the CHP guy had these battering-ram things on the front of his car. I've added "Highway Patrol" to my List of Cool Possible Future Careers.

The patrolman came back on foot and started kicking glass bits out of the way, so I called, "Hey, officer!" He looked up and said, "Just a minute, sir!" Great, I figured, he probably thinks I'm just a Curious Onlooker. But once he got back to his car in the parking lot, he beckoned me over and asked me if I had seen it.

"I was standing about three feet away facing them", I told him.

He asked me for my ID, and as he was getting that information, a Redwood City cop came up and suggested that he probably had jurisdiction. "Whatever you want. I'm just here to help", said the CHP guy, and they decided that the cop would take care of the driver of the car while the highway patrolman took my statement. Once that was settled, the patrolman asked, "What'd you see?"

I began several times, but we kept getting interrupted by his radio. Finally we had an opening, and I started to explain how I knew what position the signal was in, because I was waiting for the crosswalk, but he interrupted with, "just a short synopsis". He probably figured I was Shook Up, so I decided to come back to that part.

I described my position and explained how the first car had pulled out, then stopped, before getting smashed. He wanted to know if the car in front had been trying to make a left turn, but I didn't know. I took this opportunity to explain how the crosswalk hadn't changed for me yet, so the car's light couldn't have turned red, or if it had, it had just done so.

The paramedics were milling about the driver's side door, so I asked if the driver was hurt. He said yes, but that he would be all right. We finished up, he thanked me, and I walked back to the corner to finish watching.

The paramedics loaded the driver onto a stretcher and left, and the cops got to have fun redirecting people who didn't seem to understand simple hand signals. Another witness came up and we exchanged pleasantries while the car was towed away. He wanted to know if a red truck had pulled in front of the car, but I hadn't seen anything like that.

Personally, I'm guessing the light changed, and instead of speeding up a little to get through the intersection, the driver panicked and slammed on the brakes. Either that or something in his car broke. He did seem to stop quite suddenly, and there was a loud noise involved, but that was probably someone's brakes. Whose brakes, I don't know.

Once the intersection was clear, which happened very quickly once the tow truck left, I went on to IHOP, had lunch, and then came back to work and beat a number of people at pool, including Keith, which was quite enjoyable.

I found an apartment this weekend, and paperwork is still happening, complicated by the fact that since I have absolutely no credit, my dad needs to co-sign. But I should have it either this week or in the middle of the month, depending on how far along their touch-up job actually is. I'm crashing at Barry's for now.

Tue 2000-08-21 - 18:44

Wow, I'm so lazy when it comes to updating this thing. I've got an excuse, though, since I have no Internet connection except at work. Seth hooked me up with a PC Card modem, but for some reason it crashes my laptop (one of those super-thin Sony Vaios, heh) whenever I try to access it. Oh well. My dad's shipping my computers out to me, so once I get them, I'll just do NAT.

Anyway, I'm all set up in my apartment. I got a bed and a kitchen table first, then a TV, and I just bought a DVD player and some speakers this weekend. All that's left is a chair/sofa and desk(s). And maybe a throw rug. And some art or something.

My DSL is scheduled for sometime in the next five weeks, and cable is scheduled for sometime in September.

Things are kind of interesting financially, since although TriNet finally decided to send me some paychecks, Wells Fargo decided that since I was a new account, I didn't deserve to have my money right away, so they placed a five-day hold on it. So I have like 30 dollars total for the next few days. Ahh, getting crushed under the wheels of business as I help keep them turning. It's a great feeling, being a little cog in the big machine of American capitalism.

I'm just finishing up on this project which has yielded a rather significant loss in sleep the past few days, as I locked myself in my apartment to make sense of it. It touches on a number of different APIs, and since they were lacking in some areas, I also received the choice opportunity of improving them. Yippee. But it's about ready for QA, and I'll amuse myself by creating a random bug generator for Keith. I think things will break maybe 20% of the time, and in no reproducible manner. That'll teach 'em.

I watched the X Games yesterday and today live. Definitely a lot more fun than seeing them on ESPN. I bought one of those disposable cameras, since I in my infinite wisdom and all-seeingness decided not to pack a camera when I moved, and used it all up today. As soon as I get them developed and scanned in, I'll post them with some commentary.

I actually competed in the X Games yesterday, in the 1-800-CALL-ATT speed-dialing competition. I tied for first with 1.07 seconds, but then this kid somehow came in at 0.68 seconds. That clock had to be broken. Anyway, I then lost the dial-off for second, but it was great. Then, made confident by my dialing prowess, I asked the AT&T girl overseeing the competition to go out to dinner, but she informed me she's seeing someone. Hmph. I bet her boyfriend can't dial 1-800-CALL-ATT in 1.07 seconds. Hah!

Okay, back to wowing my colleagues with incredible programming feats. Barry just mentioned in passing that "Tim's working on an unscheduled feature, so when he finishes he needs to start on actual stuff for the next release. This was something sales wanted." Which is just peachy. I spit on customers and their puny desires for user-friendliness! I think they should all tail -f the logfiles to see any errors, like I do.

Oh yeah, and I really need a pineapple phone booth for my apartment like the one they had at the AT&T booth.

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Last modified: Thu May 10 03:56:10 PDT 2001