Written yesterday, posted today:

I woke up at 4am to boot up my brain before shutting down the servers back at the office some 1300 miles away. With a minor exception (the newest servers without VNC on them yet), it went smoothly.

A heat wave would raise the temperature to almost 60 before a tailgating cold front brings snow in a few days, but I walked six blocks to the train in 40-degree weather. I’m sure I looked like a wimp in my tan trenchcoat, but I wanted to stay warm if I could.

I reached the airport over three hours early, got oriented, and decided to get a bit of exercise. I walked to the farthest gate on Concourse A, then back across the central mall, and down to the farthest gate on Concourse G.

By the time I finished, I was quite ready to stow my heavy backpack in the lockers. $2/hr is worth it, and seeing my thumbprint displayed on the screen was kind of neat. That thumb, plus a six-character code on the receipt, will let me retrieve my bag.

Thus unencumbered, I repeated my little jaunt — a mere mile and a half each time, the information desk told me — and had the pleasure of helping a tourist be in the picture with his family. I also got to sample Leiniekugel’s Red, a lager with an interestingly sharp clear taste and banana esters. I could be wrong about the esters, though, since I did eat an actual banana between walks.

While I waited and wandered, I got a call from the office saying that the air conditioner upgrade had gone well and quickly, the servers were all running again, and the server room was now a proper 69 degrees. If we can cough up $20-30k for a proper centralized backup, it’ll finally be up to snuff. And if not, I guess I can hack together an AMANDA network.

I stopped halfway back to Concourse A for a pint of Leiniekugel’s Honey Weiss (filtered, sadly) with lemon at TGI Friday’s. Since it’s about the only restaurant in the airport not owned by the same company as all the rest, a pint of decent brew is under $5. That wouldn’t buy a Bud anywhere else in MSP.

Since the flight home was 48% full, I traded my exit-row seat for one of the many empty rows in the back. Flying is even more fun with satellite radio (although it’s clearly prerecorded and synced on the ground like other in-flight audio). We took off as I was listening to “Wonkavator / End Titles” from _Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory_, soaring into “a world of pure imagination”. (Yes, the end title is instrumental, but it quotes richly from “Pure Imagination”.)

Later in the flight, I switched from the Cinemagic movie soundtracks channel to Bluegrass Junction. Bill Monroe played or would have recognized almost all of it, but Hayseed Dixie’s cover of “Feel Like Makin’ Love”, mixed in with the more traditional tunes, delighted me.

During most of the flight, I reviewed and made thorough notes on the study guide from yesterday’s class. HIP 4.x’s architecture of abstractions is really a lot more useful than HIP 3.x’s. I have a sinking feeling that there are global settings that should have been delegated to a smaller scope — what if only some of our libraries want to allow borrowers to get e-mail when the library gets new items on a particular subject, by a favorite author, etc? — but generally it seems useful.

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