June 6th, 2003


I'm glad I didn't have plans last night.

I left work yesterday with the intent of doing some cleaning & repair, either on the front porch or the studio or the basement. It was fairly nebulous, because most of the time-critical stuff is either done or waiting for other stuff to happen.

I got dog food on the way home, and when I got home, I picked up the dog and we went and got a refill for the propane tank for the grill. I walked in the door at about 5:15.

Val, our new roommate was sitting in the living room. She asked if I could give her a ride to a meeting that started at 5:30, which was about 15 minutes away. I said sure, and we went. Traffic was pretty nasty, but we made it there just a few minutes late. Then she said "it should be about an hour". I asked if she needed me to come pick her up, and she said yes, so I told her to call me when the meeting was done, as I probably wasn't going to be near a clock.

Drove back home. Nasty traffic yet again, 20 minutes, plus a fill-of-the-tank. Changed clothes. Turned the computer on. The phone rang. It was Val. The meeting got done early. I drove down to get her (another 15 minutes), and then had to wait while she chatted with one of her meeting buddies. Got home a little after 6:30.

Barb got home a few minutes later and said "Feel like seeing a movie?". Unfortunately, she said it within earshot of Val, who decided to go along.

So I finally managed to see X2 last night. At the Regal at 7:30.

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However, there were some interesting trailers.
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The trend of giving away too much in the trailer is disturbing to me. I mean really, who makes these decisions?

It used to be that the trailer was representative of the film. That hasn't been the case since Grosse Point Blank (an excellent movie, BTW). So I've grudgingly come to accept the trailer as a try-to-suck-you-in ploy. But when you give away too much, you spoil the movie for me. I want to be surprised. I want to see things develop in the movie.

Otherwise, I'll just wait for the DVD.
  • Current Music
    the fan

Five from Lex

1. How many times have you truly been in love?
Tough question. There are times I thought I was in love, but it was infatuation. The first time I was head-over-heels gone for a woman (Elaine) comes to mind. I would have called that love then, but looking back on it now, it's more of a "what was I thinking" feeling.

There was Sanna. I don't think that was love, even then, but it was a good friendship and a lot of physical affection. It was still pretty good.

My ex-wife (Dawn) would probably be #2. I think that must have been love, at least at one time. It's hard to remember now.

Barb would be #3. And it's different. More solid, less exciting. Then again, it's lasted for well over ten years.

2. What was/is so great about the person you love(d) the most?
Hard to say. All of them have been different. Elaine could turn me on like a light switch. Sanna was close and a good friend. Dawn was beautiful and made me extremely happy. Barb is solid and intelligent and funny and laughs at my stupid jokes.

3. What qualities should a significant other have?
Some shared interests, as well as different interests. Intelligence. The ability to communicate. Patience. Forgiveness. Trust.

4. Have you ever broken someone's heart?
I don't think so. I treated a couple of women badly when I was younger, but we were hardly in any kind of relationship. I've been treated badly in return (like being the butt of a very sick practical joke), but heartbreak is a different thing.

5. If there was one thing you could teach people about love, what would it be?
Cripes, like there's anything I know about love? Maybe that love and sex are not the same thing, that they are vastly different.

Your Brain Usage Profile

Auditory : 47%
Visual : 52%
Left : 55%
Right : 44%

Rob, you are somewhat left-hemisphere dominant with a balanced preference for auditory and visual inputs. Because of your "centrist" tendencies, the distinctions between various types of brain usage are somewhat blurred.

Your tendency to be organized and logical and attend to details is reasonably well-established which should afford you success regardless of your chosen field of endeavor, unless it requires total spontaneity and ability to improvise, your weaker traits (Totally off the mark). However, you are far from rigid or overcontrolled. You possess a degree of individuality, perceptiveness, and trust in your intuition to function at much more sophisticated levels than most.

Having given sufficient attention to detail, you can readily perceive the larger aspects and implications of a situation or of learning. You are functional and practical, but can blend abstraction and theory into your framework readily. (dead on.)

The equivalence of your auditory and visual learning orientation gives you two equally effective sensory input systems, each with distinctive features. You can process both unidimensionally and multidimen- sionally with equal facility (yeppers). When needed, you sequence material while at other times you "intake it all" and store it for processing later.

Your natural ability to use your senses is also synthesized in your way of learning. You can be reflective in your approach, absorbing material in a non-aggressive manner, and at other times voracious in seeking out stimulation and experience.

Overall you tend to be somewhat more critical of yourself than is necessary (ding ding ding!) and avoid enjoying life too much because of a sense of duty. You feel somewhat constrained and tend to sometimes restrict your expressiveness. (hardly!) In any given situation, you will opt for the rational, and learning of almost any type should be easy for you. You might need certain ideas explained to you in order to fit them into your scheme of things, but you're at least open to that!

What Flavour Are You? Cor blimey, I taste like Tea.Cor blimey, I taste like Tea.

I am a subtle flavour, quiet and polite, gentle, almost ambient. My presence in crowds will often go unnoticed. Best not to spill me on your clothes though, I can leave a nasty stain. What Flavour Are You?

Good detective work

So in filling in some of the missing pieces from the documentation, I've had to spend a lot of time manually going through data and decoding it to verify that it is what I think it is. Taking things like

04 00 02 01 10 00 01 03 00 0C 00 04 41 58 34 36 30 31 36 45 33 30 30 00 04 00 00 00 20
02 00 13 00 00 05 18 99 8D 0C 59 03 80 00 83 00 00 93 07 00 20 03 00 0B 00 0C 00 83 00 00 93 07

And determining that this is a Nissan automatic transmission controller, type 4, model #AX46016 E300, and that the vehicle is not moving, the engine is not running, the throttle valve is almost entirely closed (9.412%), the automatic transmission fluid temperature is on the cold side (about 30%),
battery voltage is 11.059V, the engine RPM indicator is showing 384 RPM but there is a signal failure so it can't be trusted, the turbo speed sensor is showing 2848 RPM, but it also can't be trusted, the transmission is in 1st gear, the shift lever is in park or neutral, and a bunch of other stuff.

Now I have to do this all over again with the engine running, with the car moving, with several different models, and repeat it all for the engine computer, too. And different models provide different data in different formats.

The key to it is finding abstract patterns in raw data. And I'm very, very good at that.

Once I get consistent agreement, then I have to figure out how to program a decoder to do all the stuff automatically, interface it to an existing display system, and provide a demo channel that can "fake" the data from a vehicle so it can be used in demo mode.

Wow. That sounds like a lot.

No Pants tonight!
  • Current Music
    the sound of the clock slowly ticking toward time for me to go home.