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Thinking outloud

Google Maps apparently just got updated with new satellite imagery. There’s now higher resolution of Europe, I can now find our colocation facility in Amsterdam. My old apartment complex in Tulsa is now there, no longer a clump of trees. Looking at that picture now brings back all sorts of memories living there. The whacky home for runaway girls I periodically operated on my popular futon, running around to other friend’s places nearby, driving through uppity Holland Hall SUV-land traffic in the mornings, so many trips where I got home at 4 AM. I like how from the image you have no idea it’s on top of a hill a couple hundred feet tall. I’ve spent hours cycling up and down those hills. Meaning to lay out by the pool more during the summers but never really doing it. Going out to IHOP at 2 AM when the place is blanketed in snow and having to park in Albertson’s across the street because it’s too slick to get back to the top. My pet rats who used to get into mischief and nibble on way too many things like electrical cords and water lines.

In retrospect, my first apartment seems like a totally lonely purgatory. I did only live there for 6 or 8 months before I realized I could roll with higher class with a kickass view for the same amount of money. I just didn’t have that many people come over to visit. I had pretty boring couches there too. 51st and Harvard traffic was a total ordeal when going to school every day.

My place in Austin is seeming like my first apartment. It’s a really nice place, but I don’t have anyone hanging out here to make it feel like it has a life of its own. For all intents and purposes, I could be making it all up since nobody is ever here. It’s mainly a place where I come to hide from the tortures of the day in order to face the next day. A friend told me for my first place in Austin should be a loft downtown, then I’d have more life than I could beat off with a stick. At $1,400+/mo for a loft, I didn’t need that much life.

Speaking of my place in Tulsa, I had a dream last night I asked the cute leasing girl out to lunch and she said yes (in reality she said no, something along the lines of “that’s sweet, but I don’t think my husband would approve”, which is another short story in itself). More importantly, she said she wanted to go to KFC. I love KFC. It was totally awesome that she wanted to go to KFC. Then I woke up and was horribly disappointed.

Wednesday, I leave for Virginia to do prep work for a big upcoming project. One of the things I get to do is manhandle a bunch of loaded server cabinets around. Mind you I’m a 165 pound cyclist, I don’t exactly have a lot of mass to heft these things around with. It’s going to be an experience. Incidentally, as part of this move, a lot of work and planning has been shouldered on me to care care of before it can happen. I’ve been wheeling and dealing on the phones a lot, trying to get stuff done. It’s been especially bad this week since I’m cramming to get what loose ends tied up before I leave on the trip since my deadline is looming near. Between of all my real-time multitasking I caught my mind racing ahead while my fast talking was lagging behind. I’m surprised people understood what I said (they probably didn’t). Overall I’m sort of enjoying the challenge of planning something this big with the expectation it goes off flawlessly. It certainly gives focus on what to do.

Part of my Enron fascination has lead me off to better understand the power, oil, and natural gas industries. Through some random googling I ran across this page “What’s wrong with the electric grid?” It’s a great read and filled in several fundamentals of the electrical grid I didn’t know existed or how they really worked. The bibliography lead me to this book, Understanding Electric Power Systems : An Overview of the Technology and the Marketplace which also lead me to this book, Understanding Today’s Natural Gas Business. Both seem like good reads; part of my growing up involved the gas industry so I’m already familiar with parts of oil and gas exploration, but I’d like to learn more. I bought the first book over power systems, unfortunately it’s not going to arrive in time to be used as plane reading material.

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