World Class

Dear J-

Of all the things you’d think I’d be doing now, would this be it? I’m not sure what they were thinking when they slapped that ‘most likely to succeed’ label on but I’ve always thought that between the two of us you’d be far more famous and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t mistaken in my belief. On the other hand I also didn’t think that I’d be in southern California, either, or doing this much traveling, or working outside of academia, either, so that goes to show you how good my predictive abilities are. I’m feeling better about the trip technically — I can support the project and make some progress on the road at night.

I’ve learned a lot this year, switching jobs and making for higher and higher ground, but there are times that I suspect I’ve made myself too narrowly specialized. The guy I first worked with on this project had the right perspective and worst-case scenario mapped out way back in February: what if we don’t get the unit back? What if we don’t get both units back? These things that I thought were merely academically interesting have become quite personal; I’m invested into getting us back on line and bear that sense of responsibility with me.

On the other hand and more importantly, to boot, figgy graduates today — tonight — and I was reminded to try to get home a little earlier so that we can all eat; it’s a preview of the year to come, when she’ll start kindergarten at 7:30 each morning, meaning everyone’s going to become an earlybird here before long. I’m excited to learn new things on the trip but equally disappointed that the new life at home is going to keep moving on without me; there’s a whole lot of change that’s happened already, and more to come in the next month.

Mike

P.S. That laptop I’m bringing on the road? I’m probably jinxing myself, but it’s working now, running xfce on top of Arch Linux; I’ll try to figure out how to set up my email and news readers and pretty soon it’ll be just like 1994 again.

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