A Happy New Year to you all!
me
westwind_mv
I can't honestly say I'm sorry to see 2016 depart; this was not an easy year. But hope for the future is one of humankind's signal characteristics, so I will partake of that hope and wish you all a much better 2017! I know many of my friends (and to be honest, I myself) have a hard time believing that things will move any direction but downward, given the change in government. Nonetheless, I have hope that irrespective of what happens up top, here at the ground level we'll continue to help one another, to love one another, and to Keep Moving Forward.

Peace and Joy to you all!

A lovely, restful day
me
westwind_mv
I've noticed before that once I start a period of time off from work, it takes a number of days for my mental hard drives to "spin down" as it were. Finally today, after 4 consecutive days off since Friday, I felt like the drives were finally spun down. It's always amazing to be in a state of mental peace like this.

Didn't do too much today, and that's just the way I like it. ;-)

Ahh, a little time off
me
westwind_mv
I'm using up some vacation time, and taking the rest of December off. Yay! Maybe I can catch up on sleep, finally...

A milestone day
me
westwind_mv
As of today I've lived longer in Northern California than I have in Southern California! Over 31 years in each. I'm getting old...

Surgery went fine
me
westwind_mv
Just got back home after arthroscopic surgery on my left knee to repair a torn meniscus. I'm resting and am looking forward to being mobile again! ;-)

Some days it's the little victories...
me
westwind_mv
Today was a good day!

My garbage disposal had stopped, so I watched a brief video on YouTube, and used a 6mm hex wrench to fix it myself. And it worked! I don't know why that gives me such a frisson of accomplishment, but it does.

And I got a difficult piece of code working well for work.

And I found some ice cube trays for the freezer; I'd been looking for this particular kind for a while now.

All little things, but they add up to a satisfying day.

Ahhhhhh.......

R.I.P. Kenny Baker
me
westwind_mv
I just saw a note on the passing of Kenny Baker, who was the actor inside R2-D2 in the Star Wars movies.

You brought a lot of joy to a lot of people, Mr. Baker. Rest well.

An amusing furry idea
me
westwind_mv
I was really cracking up thinking about this one...

Imagine a future in which companion bots can be made-to-order as anybody at all, human or alien or fur or whatever. Now, given popular characters in books, movies, etc., it's inevitable that many people availing themselves of this service will end up choosing the same person. You know, countless requests for a Nick Wilde, or a Ratchet, or whoever.

Now imagine showing up at a party with your companion in tow, only to find eight other people there who have the same companion. Puts "she wore the same dress as me" to shame as an embarrassing potential series of faux pas, no?

Honestly, the future cracks me up sometimes. ;-)

It's Calendar Day!
me
westwind_mv
No, it's not an official holiday. It's a personal one.

Many years ago, on May 13th, 1970, I decided that I'd memorize various calendric counts, just once, so that I could easily derive those counts for dates in the future. So I memorized May 13th, 1970, as Julian Day Number 2440720, and as Maya calendar date 12.17.16.13.17 2 Caban 10 Uo.

Now it turns out that quite a few years after I memorized that, scholars ascertained that the previous correlation factor they were using between Julian Day Number and Maya date was off by 2 days. So now, the above Maya date now correlates with May 15th, 1970, JDN 2440722. Irksome but not hard to deal with.

So how does this work? Well, let's say you wanted to find today's JDN. Since today is May 13th, 46 years exactly have elapsed, so you'd add (46 times 365) plus (12 leap days) to 2440720 to get JDN 2457522.

Similarly, adding a distance number of (46 times 365) plus (12 leap days) minus (2 days of correction to the correlation) to the original Maya calendar date yields a new date of 13.0.3.7.17 6 Caban 0 Zip.

Fun with calendars!

Saw Zootopia and loved it
me
westwind_mv
Hi there! It seems I've let things slide a little too long here, again. Sigh. Don't know why it's so hard to motivate myself to write.

Anyway, Zootopia: loved it! Not only for the amazing animation and marvelous character design, but because it had quite a serious message underneath. I'm quite amazed that it took an animated Disney movie to provide some of the most trenchant commentary on the recent turmoil over race relations in America I've yet encountered. If you've not seen it because you think it's "just a kid's movie" then in my opinion you might want to reconsider.

I've been thinking more and more about retirement lately. I'll be turning 62 in a week or so, and have definitely been noticing that I'm a lot more tired and low-energy than I used to be. There are some mitigating factors, but my current thinking is that I'll probably aim for retirement in maybe five years or so.

If I may paraphrase Yoda: "Earned it, I have."

And speaking of work, one of the most amazing things that's happened lately has been the rebirth of significant portions of Quickdraw GX typography. GX was going to be Apple's successor to Quickdraw, and I was the architect of the typographic line layout engine. It was a fabulous achievement for the late 1980s, and really paved the way for much of what the world uses today. But politics being what they were, with Microsoft and Adobe acting in concert against Apple, GX languished. Parts of it still live on; if you have a Mac or an iOS device, you're using a text layout engine that is the direct descendant of the one I wrote all those years ago.

Recently, though, several companies have expressed an interest in some of the facets of GX typography that haven't seen the light of day in years (like TrueType variations), so there's been a flurry of discussions about this technology being revived. Honestly, I never thought I'd live to see this, so it's been quite astonishing!

Peace to you all, Gentle Readers.

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