William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

9. looking for a cool down


I think I'm starting to go loopy down here. I'm trying to think of it as a lesson in patience. If I've waited this long to start getting my dolls and dishes in order, I can wait a little longer. And never again will I have the opportunity to go through the Java tutorials a day at a time (except maybe when I'm retired, as part of my Anachronistic Computing hobbies). Here is one of the more illuminating paragraphs:

The methods in the Path class are syntactic, meaning that they operate on the Path instance. But eventually you must access the file system to verify that a particular Path exists, or does not exist. You can do so with the exists(Path, LinkOption...) and the notExists(Path, LinkOption...) methods. Note that !Files.exists(path) is not equivalent to Files.notExists(path). When you are testing a file's existence, three results are possible:
  • The file is verified to exist.
  • The file is verified to not exist.
  • The file's status is unknown. This result can occur when the program does not have access to the file.
If both exists and notExists return false, the existence of the file cannot be verified.

Pound-for-pound, that's about as transparent as the writing gets. Tomorrow – concurrency! Or a trip to Antigonish, if Andy decides he wants that guitar amp.

Last night we watched Gattaca. It was highly placed on this list of sci-fi films – one of the highest that the Eastern Counties library had and that I hadn't seen. Anyway, I was really looking for a space opera that wasn't low-rent, but I think I've seen them all except 2001 if you count that. Gattaca is not a space opera, but it might be a “ground opera”.

Here's what you need to know about Gattaca: It raises important ethical questions. Its art direction is sometimes hilariously hokey, and the workstations and user interfaces are something out of a fable, yet it's all pleasing to look at. Uma Thurman is hot, of course, and can also act worth a damn – you can tell, because her character more than any other has to have both private and public faces. Tony Shaloub has a bit part where he says some things just like Monk would.

I believe this movie was crafted with the utmost care, yet it's not overly complicated. It's a simple story told superbly – well paced, well shot, well acted. Can't ask for much more. 9

Saturday night at the Lodge we spoke with a couple from rural Michigan. The husband reported being able to see the Northern Lights from his farm from time to time. Their talks of the roast-pig parties they'd have reminded me of the bull sales my parents hosted when I was a kid. Elise was there too, and we 'made' her share her growler of Pale Ale from Rare Bird. It was really good, among the tastiest beer I've ever drank. Through her, I 'ordered' my own growler of stout for next weekend.

Later we went to her uncle's and he showed Elise some new baking concoction – nobody knows what the shelf life is, since they disappear so quickly. He's a cook on an oil-seeking ship and tells many interesting stories.


NBC Sports' coverage of the Tour de France is a laugh sometimes: “We'll be bringing you the final climb up the mountain commercial-free, so we'll have one more quick break before that.” “The riders are approaching the final climb, and we'll take one more quick break.” “After this break, we'll be going up the mountain.” “We'll take one more break, and then we'll bring you the final climb.” Honestly, it was like 1 minute of content, 4 minutes of commercials, 1 minute of content... I'm guessing there was some kind of minimum commercial threshold that they had to meet, and I thought I heard them saying that the riders were farther along in the race than they were anticipated to be, so maybe that's why they had the sudden crush of ads.

I got on my bike and dropped by the community picnic. I stopped on the way to chat with Elise and Andy but they weren't going in, so I went in alone. I stood in the shade of a building to have my hot dog, lemonade, and cake with ice cream. There was also a woman representing Scotsburn who was handing out ice cream cups. “Strawberry or lime?” I noticed the “lime” was more specifically Margarita.

One of these days I'll bike the whole way down to Wine Harbour via Sonora and come back up again through Indian Harbour Lake. A sign at the entrance to the Village said it's 33km. I'll start looking for a good overcast day to go. I'll also need water bottles and stuff, and perhaps a snack. I've done ~50km trips once or twice when I was in Japan, so I think 33 is doable. I'll probably come up Old Road Hill on the way back – it's a heck of a climb but I'd rather do that than face the wind and the traffic along the river again. If I actually want to go into Wine Harbour, it's going to be more like 42km.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb – An, uh... strange, dark kind-of-comedy. The satire was pretty good but it was seldom laugh-out loud. It was a mix of satire and suspense that's seldom done (that I know of), much less done well. It's gripping, but it's subdued. I probably would have mucked it up by putting a bunch of lame jokes and more sexy women in it, so maybe it's just as well.

I didn't realize, until I read the DVD cover after watching, that Peter Sellers was playing multiple roles. They were each done with just enough absurdity. In one of the roles, most of the ridiculousness he has to convey is extrinsic. He performs admirably either way.

8.5, but 9 if it's still the Cold War.

I shouldn't be afraid of the happy little woodland creatures as I bike up the hill and the driveway after midnight, but I am. Coyote and bear attacks are very rare, but I always wonder if I'm next. I find walking less stressful, but it might be because I'm less sober. My hope is that, if I end up staying here (which isn't super likely, but worth thinking about), I'd build up more and more attack-free trips and with that an idiostatistic confidence.


If you weren't working today, you were probably (wishing) you could spend it in a dark room with the A/C cranked reading a good book or watching some movies. My “accomplishments” include doing my laundry and sitting down with Grampy to assemble a grocery list. I'm going to drive myself and Andy and Josh to Antigonish tomorrow afternoon. (Excitement!!)

Right now I'm in Andy's studio hopping on the web and sipping a soda and gin with lemon. Life is good.
Tags: sherbrooke 2013

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