Okay, I've done a really poor job of keeping my blog up-to-date recently. Apologies, dear readers. Let's clear the backlog:
January 7: I met up with Sarah Hodde and Eric Rasche as they were passing through Dallas. We went to a Panera Bread. I'd never been, but Eric was an experienced Panera client. I love paninis. We talked for a good few hours, catching up with the happenings of each other's lives. It was so good to see both of them - apparently, we've all had really rough semesters.
January 8: Eddie Eigenbrodt and Julia White, two awesome folks from A&M (that I had sadly not seen in quite some time) were engaged. Today was their wedding! I drove down to Dripping Springs in the morning and found the event center at which the wedding was set to take place. It was supposed to rain, and the wedding was to take place outdoors, but the sun peeked out from behind the threatening clouds just in time for the ceremony to begin. I didn't know which side of the aisle to sit on - I met both Eddie and Julia my first semester at A&M, and had several classes with them both.
Everything was beautifully decorated in black, white, and red. Julia has always loved penguins, so they made numerous appearances in the decor, including a pair of plastic penguin figurines (one tall, one short) sitting atop the wedding cake. The dinner tables were numbered, but not sequentially. Rather, each table had a number that was significant to Eddie and/or Julia in some way, like pi, Avogadro's number, Planck's constant, 235 (for Uranium 235, since Julia is a nuclear engineer), or 1050 (the muzzle speed of a .22 pistol in feet/sec(both Eddie and Julia were involved in pistol team)). I got to sit with the pistol team at table 1050, and they were interesting people. In a "wow, small world!" moment, I met the brother of Andy Echols, whom I knew from the A&M computer society. In another "wow, really small world!" moment, Mark Browning introduced me to Kate Stewart, the Ubuntu release manager. Turns out she's friends with Julia's dad. We chatted for a bit about the open-source community and contributing and how cool she finds it to see the project come together from the top, but also run into the individual hackers that make it happen from time to time and hear about the pieces. Pretty awesome coincidence.
All together, the wedding was lovely and perfect and I'm overwhelmingly happy for Eddie and Julia. We sent them away by the light of a hundred sparklers, and it seemed like everyone had a splendid and joyous time. And inspired by Gabe, I lit two more sparklers and used them as poi. Another wedding guest said I "looked like I knew what I was doing" which was awesome because I totally didn't.
ANYWAYS: Congratulations, Eddie and Julia! I wish you all the best in your life together!
January 9: The night of the wedding (after I'd left and checked into my motel, thankfully), I came down with some bothersome sinus bug that resulted in my blowing my nose nonstop for practically the entire night. I coulden't breath out of either nostril, and had an awful time falling asleep. Around 4:30, I finally managed to stay asleep for more than an hour, eventually leaving to drive back up to Dallas around 11am. Oh, it was snowing. There was snow and a small amount of ice on I-35, which had a negative impact on visability, highway speeds, and my level of calm. I made it home about 15:30, at which point I finally got to take some proper decongestants and nap and eat. The wedding the day before was so awesome that it was totally worth it though.
January 10: Didn't accompish much of anything. Tried going for a run, but it was ridiculously cold and I was done running after about 10 minutes. I covered probably ¾ths of a mile. Gah.
On the upside, the frigid air and running cleared my previously-blocked nostrils out rather well.
January 11: See January 10. Although I did learn about how NOT to use libusb from different threads. Which is relevant since I still don't understand why my high-res patchset for libfreenect crashes.
I got a bit stressed out at the prospect of packing and leaving, which was strange, since I've been fine doing so for the past 5 years or so now.
January 12 or, "When the **** hits the fan": I was scheduled to fly to Boston today. Through Atlanta. For historical value, I'll note that Boston is currently having a massive blizzard (30mph winds, over a foot of snow), so no flights got in today. Furthermore, Atlanta is on the tail end of uncharacteristically cold weather, including so much snow that their roads iced over. Atlanta owns a grand total of 8 snowplows for the entire city. CNN did a viewer-submitted piece today showing a guy ice skating down Peachtree Street, Atlanta's main street. So Atlanta has not been terribly on top of flights either.
But I was hopeful. Neither of my flights were cancelled when I woke up. I hugged my dad and sister goodbye as they left, and then my mom drove me to the airport. Both flights were still a go. I went through security. About 10 minutes before my first flight boards, my dad calls me, letting me know that in the past minute, my second-leg flight had been cancelled. Along with every other flight from Atlanta into Boston except one that arrived just before midnight. I quickly went up to the service desk, and the helpful woman there managed to get me one of the rapidly vanishing seats on that last uncancelled flight.
My DFW -> ATL leg went smoothly. When I arrived, the second-leg flight was still a go. It remained that way for about three hours, and then I got another phone call from my dad, again helpfully letting me know that my flight had just been cancelled and that I should seek another. (How he managed to get this info so quickly is beyond me, since he got me the word faster than the Departures screen at the airport. I have this picture in my mind of him refreshing a flight status webpage every 10 seconds all day long, which makes me laugh.) So I hauled between terminals to find the Airtran Customer Service desk, and they put me on the first flight out on the 13th. We'll see how that turns out tomorrow. For now, though, I've pulled up a comfy patch of carpet in a corner near a power outlet for the night.
Oh, one other thing about Atlanta: the wifi sucks. Well, technically, not the wifi - the access points ping just fine, but they block access to the general web with what's probably a massively overloaded squid proxy. That might explain why the redirecting proxy managed to drop approximately every other connection I tried to make.
"But!" you might say, "don't you have your Nokia N900, with which you can tether at delicious speeds?" I do indeed, but it turns out that T-Mobile's 3G backend was also having issues. I'd get an IP, but couldn't ping anything at all. Eventually I figured out that I could force the phone to use only EDGE instead of 3G bands, and that worked. That wasn't until much later in the evening, though, so most of the time I was trying to check my flight status with either of two failing paths to the Internet.
BUT now I have EDGE so I can write this lengthy and belated post. With any luck, in twelve hours, I'll be in Boston.