Monday, June 28, 2004

Acronyms and Marriage

      So, I've got the motivation to put up a new news post. Let’s see if this one will be good. Let me give you a brief overview of what this post will be about. First, and foremost it will be about acronyms. Boeing let them out of their cage, and they're literally EVERYWHERE. Second, my first friend got married this summer, and I've got 2 more good friends tying the knot this summer, and I want to talk a little bit about this marriage phenomenon sweeping my age group.
      If, for the sake of this article (and for a little bit of comedic chutzpah), I have to go the bathroom. If while at Boeing, you speak concise normal English, you receive 5 lashings. So, I would have to say that "I'm working on the Tile-Urinal Interface". But, this again would incur lashings. In proper BG (Boeing Gibberish) I would have to say: "I'm reestablishing the uplink in the TUI." And for preparation, I need to spend at least 50 minutes drinking coffee (or water out of my coffee mug, so I still fit in) and BSing (Bull Shitting) with other employees. Of course, I could say: "I-H-T-G-T-B," or, I could even try to pronounce it: "I hot got b." While, no one would understand what this means... 90% of the people I said this to, would just smile and nod like they knew what I was talking about. And, there are 2 possible explanations for this. 1) They don't want anyone to know that they don't know EVERYTHING. No one there wants to admit that. I think my project leaders are impressed when I ask what an acronym means... because they're used to people just using the acronym without knowing anything about it. 2) This acronym actually has some meaning other than what I've assigned it (in my head at least). Some quick math leads to 308,915,776 unique 6 letter acronyms. Which, I'll admit... is a metric shitload. But, there are almost 200,000 Boeing employees (not really... but there are a crapload of them too). Each employee only has to come up with 1544 (and some change) acronyms. And, if Boeing steals 25 years of your life, you only need to come up with 61 acros/year. Sound hard? pshhh, I could do that in my sleep (ZZZZZZ... only 60 left to go).
      On to marriage. I'll admit I'm a little jealous of my friends getting married. I think it’s because most of them are marrying their best friends. So, that said: no, I will not marry you. I'm not ready physically or mentally (I have no idea what I mean by that...). But, I know this: Bachelor parties rule, and so do receptions. We went up to Vancouver BC for this particular party. We stayed at the YWCA. It’s just kind of fun to stay that, but basically it’s just a Hotel that’s run by the YWCA. It’s just a normal hotel that is pretty cheap to stay in. Strip clubs rule, I love boobies. Alcohol rules, I love not remembering stuff. That’s all I've got to say, mostly because that’s all I remember, boobs and alcohol.
      I grew up catholic, so I'm used to catholic weddings, and this wedding was definitely not a Vatican sanctioned event (VSE). The pastor was a woman! And to kick the pope in the nuts... she was a lesbian. She did however give one of the best weddings I've ever seen (and believe me... because I've seen like... 3). The best part was when she told the story of how the couple met. She left out the drugs and alcohol, and the fact that the first time the groom talked to the bride, she was topless and playing strip poker (and apparently she's not very good at it. and... um.... boobies).
Then came the very catholic portion of the wedding. Free booze. 3 kegs, like 150 bottles of wine, and a gallon of vodka (for Cosmos).

Monday, June 07, 2004

A NASA Intern

One of my friends from Idaho is doing an Internship for NASA in Virginia. He wrote me an email about his orientation. I thought it was good enough to post here. So, enjoy:

Today was my first day at NASA. Langley Research Center is a quite impressive place. It's also right next to Langley Airforce Base so we see F-15 fighters fly by all day. There were 164 Scholarship students, about 30 Fellowship students, about 10 interning professors, and about 20 high school students all at the orientation. We sat through a mostly boring 3 1/2 hours of safety and security lectures. The most interesting part was the part where they talk about past, present, and future research such as the X-43, a new civilian jet/plane that can reach mach 10! That's about 7,500 mph! They also have a flying car that has been finalized for years now and ready to replace regular automobiles - the only problem is the software. The flying car needs real time networked software that works anywhere in the world and is 100% guaranteed never to fail. Good luck with that.

The funniest part was the presentation by the head IT guy. He was talking about viruses and worms and computer security and he didn't even know how to work a computer. He was pressing the right mouse button (instead of the left one) the whole time to access links on his website. A menu would pop up and he would choose "open in new window" (he's trying to go from one slide to another). He eventually had something like 40 windows on top of each other and he didn't even know it because the windows were maximized. He then wondered why the computer crashed...dooh!

I met my group and we talked a little about the project. Basically we're going to be using Python, html, Zope (which uses dtml), and Postgresql to create a web-based application to enhance SRI's Prototype Verification System (PVS, a formal methods prover) by allowing for adding, editing, and accessing of mathematical theories, functions, formulas, lemmas, etc. directly from PVS itself. Researchers from all institutions will have public access and can submit new math formulas anytime. The goal is to eventually have at least 1 million formulas in the database. So far we have about:

- 20 libraries
- 465 theories
- 1179 functions
- 3966 formulas

with the current libraries being:
prelude, bitvectors, finite sets, algebra, analysis, arrays, bags, calculus, digraphs, div, fixedpoints, graphs, mod, nat funs, number theory, powersets, reals, series, trig, and vectors

Our group's goal is to finalize the application by the end of our
internship. That's about all I know pertaining to my project. At the end we
have to submit a research paper for publication. I'm sure you're all looking
forward to reading that...


Good Luck Neil. I hope you have fun. NASA Rules (Because they buy Boeing stuff).

Saturday, June 05, 2004

The Fastest Week Known to man...

      This last week went by SOOOO fast. There aren't many things better than 3 day weekends, followed by 4 day work-weeks (I guess a 7 day weekeend followed by a 0 day work week would be pretty sweet too).
      This weeks post shan't be about as much about work, as it will be about everything else. Here is a listing of this post's goodness: Being Evicted? Going Out! I know that was a lame attempt at a thesis statement for this... essay? but, I like lists, they keep me going in order.
      The weekend I moved in to my apartment over here, there was a "comply or vacate" notice on our door. Because Ben (my roommate) had installed a locking door on his bedroom, the battery in one of the smoke detectors was almost dead (which doesn't matter, since the smoke detectors are all hard wired to the power in the building), and Ben had asked her if he could be in the apartment whenever she was, because he suspected her of stealing some cooking pans from him. So, we're like: "I guess most of those are actual violations, no biggy, we can get two more of these notices before they can do anything."
      So, I come home from my first day of work and there are already like 10 people in my place and everyone is like: "We're going to a party in a little bit.." So, I'm like: "cool, let me change clothes." What a waste of time/energy/clean clothes that was. Nobody ever went to any parties, about 20 people just chilled at my place and we played drinking games and whatnot, it was actually pretty damn fun. There was a birthday party for a sorority girl on the floor above us, so there was about 50 hot girls roaming our halls. Some of them came and hung out (and spent the night... way different story though), so that was pretty cool.
      Next day: "Comply or Vacate" notice is on our door again. We were "Using a common area" or something like that, because some people were out in the hall and the stairway "talking." Some people were smoking out on our balcony, which is stricly verboten. And, someone had damaged the building a little... but we honestly don't think any of our friends did it, because we knew everyone at our apartment, and the party the sorority girls had was WAY huger than our party. That was like 2 weeks ago now... Ben and I are going to try to be good tenants for the next few months, so we don't get kicked out.
      In Moscow, my friends and I go to the bars with some regularity. But here, my friends and I hadn't really been going to the bar, or drinking at all. Well, I think we fixed that problem. I went to a bar with some Boeing interns last night, it was pretty fun. Although, they wanted to dance... and I'm fat, white, and lazy. Which are mutually exclusive (WOOHOO! set theory) properties. Thursday night, I went out to a couple bars in the U-District (where I live, so we walked). I met up with some friends that I hadn't seen in a while. They said they loved this page, and that I should mention a mangina on here. There you go girls, I said it.
      There was going to be so much more to this post, but... I'm really running out of steam. I need... FOOD! YAY! Lets go get some Thai food. Buh Bye.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

The First Week (+1)

Thanks for checking in, and here's the newest update:
      So, here's what happened in the first full week: I met my manager's manager's manager, Alan Johnson at a status meeting; I went to ethics training; I got an actual project; I made more friends; I also did a handful of other things.
      Alan Johnson is a pretty cool guy. I went to a status meeting for some of the the BCA-IS ID&S (Boeing Commerical Airplanes - Information Systems, Information and Data Systems) projects. That morning, there was a breakfast for the BCA-IS interns. I won a vibrating pen (don't ask). Then, later that afternoon I went to the status meeting. Alan introduced himself, and said: "I'm sorry I missed the breakfast this morning." Then, I said: "Yeah, me too." If you don't know me that well... I'm a little on the sarcastic side. So, when I said: "Yeah, me too" it was just dripping with saracasm. Because I didn't actually know he was my manager's manager's manager. So, everyone goes silent... then they all bust out laughing.. and Alan says: "I like a guy with balls, come up and sit at the table next to me." So, my typical fresh intern mistake turned into a miraculous office politics coup. I went to another status meeting later that week, and Alan remembered my name (keep in mind, that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of people in his group).
      At the end of last week I had Ethics training. I was kind of sad that I had to go, because it sounded like it would be 2 hours of: "blah blah blah ethics blah blah blah don't do that yadda yadda." But, I talked to a few people who had already taken it, and they all said it wasn't too bad. So, I rounded up the Renton intern troops , and we went to it. We got a video lecture that was really interesting. Did you know that 99% of people think they're the most ethical person in their workplace. Isn't that insane? Which basically means if you think that you're the most ethical person in your workplace... YOU'RE WRONG! haha, sucker. The video was filled with a bunch of other awesome little factoids, and it was awesome.
      The Oracle Standards Development Team gave me a project. I got some requirements, and I did a logical data model and drew an ER diagram (woohoo! CS360 - Databases has some applicability to a real job). The SDT just wants a small database, so they requested it to be done with Microsoft Access. They also requested that I make a form so they can do data entry with some prettiness. I've been working on that, coding up some Visual Basic for the form to do some cool crap. I've got a meeting with a person from the SDT tomorrow to see what Data Model they want to use, and what the form should look like. Today, I got a couple more projects, these ones are for an actual Oracle database.
      The interns that work in the 10-80 and 10-18 are getting to be pretty good friends. We meet for lunch everyday... a standing date. One of them had his 21 birthday this weekend and they took him out, and got him h-a-m-m-e-r-e-d. Unfortunatly, I was back at Priest Lake because it was also my birthday (I'm 22 now). I heard some good stories, and I hear there are some good pictures... I can't wait. We're planning on going to Leavenworth (Washington's little Bavarian village). $10 beer garden... :-D
      I'm also learning about about a million miles an hour. By the end of the summer, I suspect that my brain will be about 110% full.
      Thats it for this week. Band of Brother is on HBO, and its like one of the best shows over. Peace.