Saturday, March 19, 2016

Balticon news

This year's Balticon is the 50th occurrence of that esteemed convention, a gathering that is as close to a home SF con as I have.  I've been going to it for almost as long as I've been attending SF conventions.  I was lucky enough to have my first novel, One Jump Ahead, win the Compton Crook Award for Best First SF, Fantasy, or Horror novel there, and for a few years I've been the MC for its Opening Ceremonies.

This year, as the con just announced, I have the honor of being Toastmaster for the con.  With George R.R. Martin as the Guest of Honor, my pal John Picacio as the Artist Guest of Honor, and a host of wonderful guests--including a great many of the past Guests of Honor--this Balticon promises to be a great con.

I'm pleased and honored to get to be its Toastmaster.

Friday, March 18, 2016

In case you missed it

Earlier this month, Google DeepMind's AlphaGo program bunny-whomped Korean Go champion Lee Sedol four out of five games with moves that some Go masters declared "beautiful."

A few decades from now, this victory will stand as a key moment in the development of AI, the time at which we humans had to admit that we would soon no longer be the best at board games.  That may sound like a small thing, but it's not, and in the coming years we will see the techniques behind AlphaGo enable more and more AI advances.

Increasingly strange days await us.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Gotta see it

You know I do.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Mall walking, DFW style

I'm writing this on a plane and will post it from here, confident that the plane will land safely and I will soon be home.

Travel brings frequent surprises, and not all of them are good.  We landed today at DFW, where I had to walk from C8 to C28.  No problem.  After waiting at C28, we learned the plane still at the gate was not ours, so we had to change gates--to C2.  Sure, why not?

We waited at C2 for quite a while, only to learn that a window seal was bad, the maintenance team couldn't fix it, and so we needed "new equipment" (read:  a new plane).  That plane would have to go to a new gate:  C8.

You have to love the irony of the universe.

At least I enjoyed a Red Mango amidst the walking.

I am very glad to be home.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane

I had planned to skip this movie, but Kyle said it was good, and I came to a good stopping place in work in time to catch a show at a nearby cinema, so off I went.

I'm glad I did.  In the beginning, you think you know everything about the movie, and then it swerves--but maybe just a little.  You can't be positive.  It then returns to the form you expected--and gets dark fast.  Then it swerves again.  I like it when I'm not sure what's going to happen at every step of the way in a film, so I very much appreciated the construction of this one.

I'm intentionally avoiding spoilers, because I think it's best if you bring as few preconceptions to this movie as possible.

Check it out.  I believe you'll enjoy it more than you expect to.

Monday, March 14, 2016

I decided to postpone any birthday party

until another time, because I spent this birthday flying from Seattle to San Jose and then working into the early evening.

Still, I permitted myself the indulgence of a barbecue dinner at the nearby Smoking Pig BBQ restaurant.  I'd never visited it before, so I had to try the three-meat combo.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Oh, yeah, that's health on a plate.  (Don't worry; I didn't even try to finish it all.)

The meat was good but not great; no BBQ joint in Texas has anything to worry about.  I nonetheless enjoyed it, because, hey, barbecue.

Tomorrow, some work here, and then I fly home Wednesday!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The XPRT Women Code-a-thon finished today

and was a great success.  I'm very happy and proud to have been able to be involved.  Women gathered, came up with strong ideas, did a ton of good work in a very short time, formed friend and mentor relationships, and helped provide ideas and sample code for possible workloads for the BenchmarkXPRT performance-measurement tools.

For dinner our hardy band of travelers, minus one off visiting friends, enjoyed sushi at Momiji.  I'd definitely go back there if I were in the area again.

We walked a few blocks to Molly Moon's for delicious ice cream dessert.  I'd like to believe that bit of walking burned off our cups of ice cream, but, alas, I know better.

Tomorrow, I fly again to a different city--but not home.


Blog Archive