Thursday, November 13, 2003

The things I have to deal with at work
Mostly I'm just writing this out for my own benefit, so I can see its awfulness with my own eyes.

In order to run the main hybrid test program I use here at work, I
1) run a Perl script, which nicely generates the arguments and passes them to...
2) a shell script, whose main purpose is to call...
3) another shell script (written in tcsh), which checks that everything is in order and then calls...
4) a C program with an embedded Tcl interpreter, whose first action is to call...
5) a Tcl script, which again checks that everything is in order and then calls....
6) a C routine within (4) to run the main testing program.

Just to confuse things more, (2) and (5) are actually the same file, with some cleverly-written half-commented shell at the beginning so that it'll go to (3) when called as a shell script and (6) when invoked as a Tcl script.

Needless to say, if I had my druthers, I'd rip out 90% of this labyrinth. Sadly, I don' least for now.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Literary game #2
This question seems surprisingly hard: What book titles can you think of which are also complete sentences?

So far I can come up with two: Atlas Shrugged and No One Writes to the Colonel. You'd think that with all of the literature out there, I'd be able to come up with more, but it's just that they're all noun phrases (or, in a few cases, prepositional phrases, like Around the World in 80 Days).
Literary game #1
Here's a question I've been turning over in my mind for a little while: What words sound like they should mean the opposite of what they actually do mean?

"Temerity" is the big one here. It always seems to me that it should mean "timidity", rather than the opposite. The other one is "truculent", which I feel should mean something more like "obsequious".
So I had another quizbowl tournament this weekend, the combined TRASH regionals/Technophobia at Caltech. Overall it was a good experience, and I certainly can't complain about our performance, but it was a lot of quizbowl -- we ended up playing well past 1 on Friday night, and then twelve more rounds on Saturday.

I think every time I have to drive back from LA, I enjoy it a little less. And given that I didn't exactly love the drive the first time around, I wouldn't complain too loudly if we never went to any more tournaments down in the southern part of the state. Of course, this time was bad just because I was so tired and it was rainy, which made driving just that little bit more difficult. In better circumstances, I probably wouldn't have minded too much.