Thursday, June 29, 2006

Brute force is the magic bullet!

Just as I was giving up hope, I managed to get a big improvement by forcing an update in a certain part of the simulation. It isn't elegant, and I'll need to clean things up to do it the "right" way, but we're finally getting within striking distance of the results we need. This is a great way to end the week!
Categories: , ,

Followup on baby hats

If you are interested in the baby hat project mentioned in the previous post, this blogger is posting some patterns you can use.

Yarn Harlot on breastfeeding

The Yarn Harlot wrote:
"It's a nasty trick, this getting women to spend all of their time slagging each other for breastfeeding or not breastfeeding instead of wondering why, when they tried to breastfeed their baby there was no reliable information, no reliable help and not enough time off of work to get the hang well enough to continue, or why women find out after they have decided to feed formula that it is significantly linked with diabetes.

I am frustrated with the culture that does not provide women with proper information about risk, tells us that formula and breastmilk are the same, and forces women through misinformation and poor social constructs, to make decisions that they wouldn't have to make if they had proper help and support. This is a culture where women are bombarded with information and incentive to use formula, because nobody makes any money when you breastfeed."

One of her readers is trying to collect handknit baby hats for an event promoting breastfeeding among low-income women. If I didn't have so many projects on the needles already, I would consider making a pumpkin hat for them.
Categories: , ,

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

There is no magic bullet

I finished implementing a change that makes our simulation's results improve noticeably, but we still are too far off from the other simulation to be able to brag about it. I've been making changes like this for weeks. They make things better, but only in little steps. We've yet to hit upon a big leap, and I doubt we will at this point, since we've already dealt with the obvious modifications. I guess I should be pleased that we are at least managing to make forward progress, even if it is at a snail's pace.
Categories: , ,

Monday, June 26, 2006

Gradually settling in

This weekend we unpacked several boxes of books and refilled the boxes with stuff left at the old place. I think another car load or three should take care of everything else there. After that, we just need to vacuum and clean a bit and we'll be completely moved out of that house. We won't really be moved into our new place until we've dealt with all the boxes of stuff, though. That'll take a while.

Categories: , ,

Friday, June 23, 2006

Baby birds at work

I've obviously not been looking out my window much lately, since it took me until today to notice the bird's nest on the ledge containing two baby birds. They happened to have a very vocal feeding session at a time when I actually had my headphones off to talk to someone. (I usually listen to music to drown out the construction noise.)

They don't seem to notice me when I look through the glass, so I've been able to get a good look at them. Baby birds tend to look like they are frowning. At the moment, these two are curled up, taking a nap. One of them occasionally chirps in its sleep. They are quite cute in that ugly baby bird sort of way. Their feathers aren't enough to cover all of their pink skin yet. I don't have access to a camera here or I would post a picture for you.

Categories: , , ,

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Back online and better than ever

Our phone service is hooked up now (same number as before) and we now have DSL service. It's so fast! We had been using dialup through the university, but decided to spring for something faster now. Whee!

Now that I've confirmed it works, I'd better log off and go to bed. There's still another workday before the weekend.

Categories: , ,

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Moving Day!

We've been doing some crazed packing this week, boxing up about 90%1 of our stuff. We had a massive construction of boxes filling up half our living room as we kept finding more stuff that had been hiding.

This morning, we picked up a U-Haul truck2 and, with the help of several friends, filled it with all of our furniture and lots of stuff. We had some skilled loaders in the group, so it was quite full. We all drove over to the new place, about five blocks or so from the old place, an reversed the process. Our new house is in total disarray, with boxes and furniture arranged every which way. Apparently, our abilities to estimate which furniture would fit in which room was rather poor. I think we're going to get rid of our entertainment center, since it takes up way too much room, especially relative to its new location.

We were all done by 3:00 or so, including returning the truck. We had put all of ten miles on it, using about a gallon of gas. Most of the driving was just getting to and from the truck place.

After returning the truck, we stopped at Dairy Queen for a snack, since we hadn't really had lunch. Re-energized, we drove to Sears and bought a lawn mower, since although grass does grow slowly out here, not mowing the lawn since buying the house has led to a few long spots.

Now we are in a computer lab at the physics department at UNM, since our computers are at the new house, but we won't have any phone or internet connection there until Thursday3. We do get to keep our old number, since we aren't moving very far, so that is nice.

It'll be nice to have a good night's sleep tonight4, after a long soak in the big bathtub. Tomorrow we can worry about unpacking.

1. 90% is, of course, a rough estimate.
2. 26 footer. My husband got to drive the big truck. Driving a big rig... (sort of)
3. Thursday "by 5:00". We'll see how long it takes Qwest to manage the transfer.
4. Assuming, of course, that we can find the sheets.

Categories: , , , ,

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

No news is good news

I haven't heard anything from Knitty since the confirmation email when I submitted my pattern. According to their submission guidelines, this means they are still considering it. I guess I'll find out one way or the other in the next couple of weeks.

I'm thinking I should try to come up with a pattern or an article for the next issue, regardless of the status of my current submission. I have a few ideas that might work.

Categories: , ,

Friday, June 02, 2006

MySpace isn't my sort of place

As I mentioned before, I've been trying to track down my old high school classmates recently. After being annoyed by, I took the suggestion left in a comment and created a myspace account. Sure enough, there are people I know from high school there. However, the site is also rather bothersome and inconsiderate to those without highspeed connections. Admittedly, that is the also fault of the people who put large images and sound files on their profiles, but MySpace seems to encourage it. Who makes a song automatically play when the page loads anymore? Apparently, lots of people on MySpace do. One profile even tried to install software. Bleh!

Currently my only highspeed internet access is at work, where sites like are blocked, so that is yet another reason why I won't be frequenting that site. I put a link to this blog in my profile. Anyone who wants to reach me can comment here, or send me an email, or track me down some other way. My real name is fairly distinctive, and so is my usual online handle. I try to keep the two fairly separate so personal posts don't show up when someone Googles my name for business purposes, but I don't get excessively paranoid about it.

Of course, if any of my old classmates want to talk to me (and each other), they can always go to the discussion group.

Categories: , ,