April 2005

The lab is complete. I’ve included a few pictures after the jump. I’m off to bed!


I’m in Atlanta, Georgia helping set up the lab for our user conference that starts tomorrow. As you can see, we now have the internet connection up and running. We couldn’t get into the room until just after 10:30 pm, so this is a late night getting everything set up for the first class at 8 am tomorrow morning (okay, I guess at this point that would be later this morning). Everything seems to be going pretty well, so hopefully we’ll be done before too much longer.

Joy had another ultrasound today and the baby is up to 9 lbs, 7 oz. We now have a c-section scheduled for next Tuesday. It’s hard to believe Charis will be here in just over a week. Joy is thrilled that the end is in sight and we’re both very, very excited for next Tuesday.

Last night Joy and I watched “It Happened One Night” (1934). What a fun movie! It was cute, sweet, funny, and incredibly entertaining. It was also quite a bit better than most of the popular modern romantic comedies I’ve seen.

I was sorting through my favorites list and came across this cool site that I found when Joy and I were looking at baby names for Charis. You can type a name (or just part of a name) in the upper-left corner and it shows you the popularity of the name over time (since 1900) using a really neat dynamic graph display. I learned that my brother, my sister and I were all named near the peak of popularity for each of our names, while Joy was named almost at the low point of popularity for her name.

Last night Joy and I watched “City Lights” (1931). I thought it was a great movie. The underlying theme of judging others by what you see on the outside is just as relevant to our society today as it was 70+ years ago.

As for my expectations going in, I didn’t think the boxing scene was as funny as I had heard it built up to be (not bad, just not hysterical), but the ending was so sweet and wonderful and more than made up for it. One of the extras on the DVD was a screen test were they considered Georgia Hale, who starred with Charlie Chaplin in “The Gold Rush”, to play the blind flower girl. I really liked Georgia Hale in TGR (the scene where she turns around slowly to survey the entire dance hall and then turns her head quickly to just skip over the Tramp is absolutely priceless), but I don’t know that she could have done better than Virginia Cherrill in CL. She was just about perfect.

Since last Sunday I’ve been having trouble connecting into the office from home via Citrix. Last Thursday everything was working fine, but when I went to connect on Sunday, the connection failed almost immedately. I tried installing a newest Citrix client and it still failed. It turns out (thanks to Carrie for the info) that the MSLicensing/Store value in my registry had someone “gone bad”. In the end, all I had to do was delete the value from the registry, and the next time I tried to connect it patched up the registry and I could get in just fine. Totally bizarre, but at least everything is working again now.

Along the way to solving this problem, I found two other problems. One of them I solved and the other I still don’t exactly understand.

The first problem started when I installed the latest Citrix client. When the attempted connection failed, I got a dialog box saying that the connection dropped, and it had a button to cancel. The only problem is that clicking the cancel button did not cancel the connection attempt. In a matter of seconds, I ended up with 30+ connection attempts all going on simultaneously. I ended up having to kill the Citrix process using task manager. I never figured out exactly what was going on, so I just reinstalled the earlier Citrix client again and the cancel connection button worked just fine.

I found the second problem when I went to reinstall the older Citrix client. Even though it is a 32 bit client, it still apparently has portions of the install and/or client that run using 16 bit components. When I tried to run the installer, I got error messages regarding the Windows 16 bit subsystem and the install would not complete. After some Google searching on the error messages, I found out that when you uninstall Symantec Norton Antivirus, it can leave behind some files and registry entries that leave the Windows 16 bit subsystem in a bad state. About a year ago, I switched from Norton Antivirus to Trend Micro (which I like much better, by the way, except their firewall component is horrendous to the point of being unusable), so that was the source of the problem. I found a Microsoft Knowledgebase article on how to clean up the registry and files, and then the install ran just fine.

I read on CNN this morning that Mariah Carey has a new album coming out today. That reminded me how much I liked her first two albums when they originally came out. Is it okay to say that, or am I know considered hopelessly tasteless? Anyway, whatever happened to that Mariah Carey? I can’t stand any of her new stuff, but if she came out with a new album like the first two, I might actually buy it.

Joy had another ultrasound of the baby today. She is 35 weeks and the baby is already measuring at 8 lbs 1 oz. This is going to be a big baby! It was kind of amazing to see how big the baby is now. In the first ultrasound her whole body fit completely within the screen, but now just her head alone fills up the whole screen. It’s all just a waiting game now, but I’m sure she’ll be here before we know it.

Last night Joy and I watched “All Quiet On The Western Front” (1930). I had not seen it before, and I thought it was a very powerful movie. I thought the scenes from the point of view of the machine gunner in the trench were particularly moving.

I can’t help but compare it to “Saving Private Ryan”, which I think of as a somewhat similar movie from my generation. I thought both movies were able to movingly depict some of the horrors of war, and I was a little surprised that AQOTWF was able to do that so well since it did so without the use of modern special effects.

One of the main differences I see between the two is one of tone. To me, AQOTWF tends to portray war as pointless, while I think SPR gives the soldiers purpose in their sacrifice. As a result, I think that SPR ends up portraying (in general) the soldiers as brave, good, honorable men, whereas AQOTWF does so to a notably lesser degree. Instead, AQOTWF tends to portray the soldiers as almost duped into fighting in a war they don’t understand, surely still brave, but just not depicted with the same awe/reverence/honor given to the soldiers in SPR. Some of that surely comes from the time periods in which the films were made, especially with SPR in a sense looking back at the “greatest generation”.

I think that difference in tone makes AQOTWF a little more difficult to watch for me, even though SPR is more graphic in its depiction of violence. I understand where AQOTWF is coming from, especially in its time and context, but my father served in the military and I have a friend over in Iraq right now. Whatever your thoughts on war in general, I think that our soldiers deserve all the respect and honor we can offer for their sacrifices for our country.

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