It's vacation time, and I've taken the unusual step of not checking my email during the first few days. You know, all 500 of them (!). I've decided to postpone a little longer because, and this is true, most of the things that people are reminding me that I forgot are totally my fault and actually necessary but I can't do any of them.
As it would just so happen, the graduate student luck has followed me back to Pennsylvania where, and this is also true, if you get up early enough in the morning, your nose dribblies will freeze as you breathe in. This is not an occurance greeted warmly! My parents' computer from 13 years ago is now so old that I have convinced them that an update from Windows to Linux is in their best interest. It's right up my alley to install it with my unix know-how! The problem is not that the computer can not handle it; rather, I've run into a bunch of tiny snags!
At first, I made them a live USB, but the computer wouldn't boot from it. Then I tried using a CD, but we didn't have a writeable CD over 700MB. Then I tried doing a minimal Live CD, but it wouldn't detect the wireless connection and the ethernet cable was about one meter too short. I had it stretched all the way from the basement! The whole thing has felt like how research goes: get a good idea and watch it fail--repeatedly...now, I'm thinking we should just spend $60 on Ebay or work on something else (just like research!).
To make matters worse, Kieron wanted some pictures I made, but lacking any access to a computer with a unix terminal, it might have to wait until the 29th when I go through my (new tally:) 514 emails. There is a program made just for these circumstances called Putty which works on Windows machines, but I can't log into the modeling facility. Maybe they block every IP address from outside a 500 mile radius or my computer can detect that I'm a graduate student doing things at the last minute and wants to mess with me or (most likely) it's crashed and I'll have to manually reboot it. I wouldn't be surprised if my computer has gained artificial intelligence is playing jokes. I also can't remember anybody else's computer name, so that's on me.
Anyway, the break is welcome. I've been so relaxed I can't do basic math or spell very well any more. It's my first real break in a hard eight months, and I'm totally exhausted. Hopefully, I can get some of my focus, patience, and creativity back if I take it easy. It's hard to stay away, though, and I might read some things tomorrow. Anyway, happy Kweznus, Diary!
[Editor's note: "Kwenus" is actually spelled C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s]