Archive for November, 2005

I’m stupid, but annoyed anyway

There’s a Berkeley publication in which people give brief summaries of their work. Weeks ago, I sent an email to Slav and Dan asking if we should contribute ours. Well, no one ever got back to me, and the deadline passed. But, they extended it….and the deadline passed again. And when they sent out an email saying that, they also included a form for late submissions. I contacted Slav and Dan, and verified with Slav that my summary looked okay, so I sent it in. Then, just now, now that it’s too late, I got an email from Dan asking that I run the summary by him first.

So, I was stupid. I sent it in without verifying it with everyone. Now, I’m irritated with myself for not giving Dan a chance to make sure I was representing him well. But I’m also irritated with him. If he had talked to me about this in time, then I wouldn’t have felt rushed and compelled to submit something today. Anyway, I can almost surely contact the people who publish it and change it tomorrow morning, so it won’t be so bad. But I’m still annoyed that because I was the one to take some initiative here and make sure things get done (albeit late), I am the one who is inconsiderate and responsible for messing it up.

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Apartment renovation

Our landlord once offered us $2000 to move out. We were tempted, but ultimately we declined because our wedding was only weeks away. He warned us that not accepting would mean subjecting ourselves to the construction noise, but we just couldn’t move at that time.

Well, our landlord’s predictions have come true. Now, it turns out that I’m scarcely bothered by construction noise while I work, so it’s not so bad. Except….

Construction starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings, and neither of us can sleep through that sort of hammering. The last two weekends, we both woke up early on Saturday and were sleepy later in the day. Kate actually napped, I think. I left a phone message for the landlord, but I got no response. Today, I tried again.

I called the landlord, and he said that it’s legal for him to work on Saturday morning, and he’s not allowed to work on Saturday afternoon. So, we should expect Saturday morning construction for the forseeable future. I’m not happy, but I don’t know what to do. I don’t see why work on Saturday afternoon wouldn’t be legal, while Saturday morning is fine. I called the Rent Stabilization Board, but their best guess was that Franco had an agreement with the workers to only work on Saturday morning.

There’s not much for me to do, but I do suspect that the hammering is louder than noise ordinances allow. They only allow about 45 decibels for hammering-type noises, so it would be very hard for them to keep it below that. I may call the cops to verify that noise level next Saturday morning; it could lead to a change.

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Math exam, visiting famous people

I haven’t been writing much because I’ve been busy, but I figured I had some time now. So, here’s the latest on me.

I took a test today, and it was not hard. The first exam in that class was rather hard, and the mean was 50%. This one was much easier, and the mean will probably be around 90%. Still, I feel good about how I did, and I could have beaten the mean, even though it was so high.

Stephen Hawking (the famous physicist) will speak in Oakland tonight, but all the cheap seats were sold out. The cheapest would be $75–the same cost as to see, say, Cirque du Soleil. And when I read his website, it says his degenerative neural disease means he can only speak at 15 words per minute, even with a speech synthesizer. So either it will be a very slow lecture, or it will be canned. Neither of these are worth $75, so Kate and I will be staying home.

Yesterday evening, Joseph Wilson (husband of Valerie Plame) gave a talk near Berkeley campus, in the International House. I don’t imagine that venue was very large, and his appearance was scheduled before the Scooter Libby indictment. As a result, the line was blocks long, and I think a lot of people went home without seeing anything. Kate and I were going to go, but we saw the line when we drove up, so we just turned around and went home. It’s a shame, but apparently we’re only destined to see unpopular appearances 🙂

I had Thai lunch with Kate yesterday. It was quite good, and although I see her all the time, it was good to get to talk over lunch. There are occasionally annoying things in our lives, but in general we live well, and get along well together. We still like spending time together, even after a substantial portion of a decade, so I think getting married was a good idea. (I’m sure Kate will be glad to hear that.)


The evil Patriot Act

Ah, that lovable Patriot Act. Now, the FBI is collecting information on people not suspected of wrongdoing using secret National Security Letters, which can be used without judicial oversight.

(Note: I took this story link from

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