Theresa O’Connor

My last few days in San Diego (or, All good things…)

This is a record of the last few days I spent in San Diego. Most of this was written the night of Saturday, August 26th, though the Sunday and Monday sections were written on each of their respective days.

While this does contain some contemplation / reflection stuff, this was written primarily for augmented memory, and so you may not be interested in actually reading through it. You’ve been warned. :)

T minus 5 days: Thursday

Carolyn and I had Farsam and Andrew over for dinner and conversation. It was my birthday party, complete with a delicious birthday cake that Carolyn made. (Arigatou, Caro-chan!) The evening was very enjoyable; I didn’t get to bed until after three.

I am happy to say that Andrew has taken to the Worse-is-Better meme, and, more generally, that I have had the chance to get to know him this summer. His is a very worthwhile friendship indeed.

Farsam and John Smart’s latest project, Singularity @ BurningMan2000, fast approaches. I suspect that Farsam will have a lot of fun (I certainly hope that he will) though I do think it will be inhumanly hot there, as it was when Bomis went to Vegas a few weeks ago. I would have liked to have gotten to know Farsam better, but he was only able to come down to La Jolla a few times.

T minus 4 days: Friday

I arrived at work very sleepy-eyed from acute lack of sleep combined with the commute.

I spent the morning giving a talk at the Friday programmer’s session. I talked about several things of note: OpenSSH, the backup system that I developed this summer, and GNU Emacs (on which I spoke two weeks ago as well).

It was “Kid’s Day” at Bomis; we went to Chuck E. Cheese’s for lunch. Terry and I knelt down at the kid’s air hockey table for a followup to our Vegas match. I did fairly well in skee-ball too. It was a really light and fun way to spend the afternoon.

I spent the rest of the day setting up a new OpenBSD firewall for the office. OpenBSD rocks.

T minus 3 days: Saturday

Jimmy and Christine, Terry, Carolyn, and I went sailing on San Diego Bay in the afternoon.

This trip started out on a very loud note, as Carolyn and I set the alarm off at Bomis by accident. The police officer that showed up was fortunately really cool about the whole thing.

The weather could not have been better for sailing, with the breeze just right and the sun warm and soothing. The view of downtown was splendid, and we got to get real close to the two aircraft carriers in port at Coronado (Constellation and John C. Stennis). There were some wonderfully small birds diving into the water to snack. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring a camera, so I have no pictures of the day.

Carolyn and I went to La Posta in Hillcrest for dinner afterwards. La Posta is one of those places, not unlike the Deli Haus back home, that doesn’t look like much, but is actually wicked awesome. It’s this bizarre little Mexican joint in the parking lot of a laundromat. All interaction with the staff is through a little window you couldn’t even fit your head through. It’s wicked inexpensive and wicked good. I will definitely miss the widespread availability of good Mexican food of San Diego while in Terre Haute.

After returning from Hillcrest, I finished reading Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a most excellent book. I might even venture to say that it’s a must-read.

I am only resolved to act in that manner which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.

— Elizabeth Bennet, to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, Chapter 56

Neither duty, nor honour, nor gratitude have any possible claim on me in the present instance. No principle of either would be violated by my marriage with Mr. Darcy. And with regard to the resentment of his family, or the indignation of the world, if the former were excited by his marrying me, it would not give me one moment’s concern—and the world in general would have too much sense to join in the scorn.

— Ibid.

T minus 2 days: Sunday

Sunday started out with Carolyn and I listening to Blondie’s Parallel Lines while we each reread her & Tom’s paper, “Edges, Entities, and Existence.” Sunday afternoon was the last La Jolla salon of my stay here, the topic of which was the aforementioned paper.

Aside: One of the most fun things about this paper is that Objectivists get all worked up and mad about it, even though it’s clearly happy and consistent with the Objectivist epistemology. The only things that it is inconsistent with are some bizarre and contradictory statements of Rand herself, when interacting with Prof. B (Gotthelf), Prof. E (Peikoff), and others. The paper is all about cleaning up the mess that Rand left with regard to the concept ENTITY, so chill.

This salon was held at the beach, and started out with some frisbee between Carolyn, Rion, Jessica, and myself. Andrew called things into order, and Carolyn began to talk about some of the various problems in Rand’s corpus that got Tom and her working on the issue of entities. The paper was fairly well received by the audience, unlike at TOC’s Advanced Seminar. This was pleasing.

The salon was followed by the now standard trip to Spice and Rice, my last such trip of my stay in La Jolla. I got to talk to Michael Korns a bunch over dinner, which was very cool.

Andrew and I ended up closing two coffee shops and one restaurant after the Spice and Rice crew broke up. Our conversation ranged over three general topics, with many diversions along the way. The three general topics:

I got back to the apartment around two in the morning.

T minus 1 day: Monday

I rode the bus into work today, having dropped my bike off at the shop for a tune up on Friday.

Today was my last day working at Bomis. I very much enjoyed my summer there. Getting to know Jimmy, Jason, and the rest of the Bomis crew was really awesome, and I got to work on several interesting projects over the course of the months.

I picked up my bike from the shop today, and rode it from Bomis to home for the last time. When they said “Super tune-up,” they meant it. I have never had so pleasant a ride. I paid special attention to the view from each of the bridges over Mission Bay that I crossed, to the people and beauty of Mission Beach and Pacific Beach, to the natural splendor along the bike path I take through southern La Jolla, and to the panoramic view of La Jolla Shores from Torrey Pines & Prospect.

Jing Jing and I had dinner at La Bruschetta at La Jolla Shores after I got back from work. Both the meal and the company were splendiferous. We talked about artificial life (specifically, about Pookie the artificially living pool filter), communication, self-awareness, and several other related topics. A very pleasing experience. Yay! Jing Jing rules.

We met up with Andrew at Jamba Juice at La Jolla Village Square after dinner, and hung out together until midnight or so, at which point Jing Jing returned to the lab and Andrew dropped me off at the apartment.

Perhaps it would have been a good idea to have begun packing before this point. On that note, perhaps it would have been a good idea to get a good night’s sleep at some point in the past week. Oh well.

T minus 0 days, AKA lift-off: Tuesday

The morning mainly consisted of last-minute packing and all that. It also involved saying goodbye to Carolyn, a tough task which involved a fair amount of don’t-let-the-shuttle-driver-notice-that-I’m-all-choked-up. I’m really happy that I’ve gotten to know her as well as I have, and I hope and expect that we’ll maintain a good friendship for the long-term.

I had an absolutely wonderful summer. Thanks Carolyn!

I flew out of San Diego at 7:55 AM PDT for St. Paul, where I caught a connecting flight to Indianappolis, which arrived at 4:30 PM EST. David McCoy picked me up there, and we were back on campus in Terre Haute around 6. A bunch of us went out to dinner, followed by hanging out at Colin, Kent, and David’s apartment. We then headed over to Dan’s apartment and watched The Princess Bride.

I didn’t get to bed until almost 5 AM, which isn’t terribly good since the last time I slept was Sunday night / Monday morning. Urk.

Assuming my memory isn’t completely failing me, my first class is at 9:00 AM Thursday. I only remember four of the five classes I registered for. Here they are, in no particular order:

Update: My fifth class is Operations Management.

Rose’s campus has purportedly changed quite a bit since I was last there. Construction of the chapel should be most of the way done, I think, and the new auditorium and alumni facility should be started soon, if not already. Dan Moore has provided pictures of many of the changes around Blumberg, the dorm I live in.

I suspect that this school year will rule, much like the past three have ruled. Although I can’t say that I’ll miss Terre Haute upon leaving it, I’ll certainly miss the Rose crew and our time there.