April in... Pittsburgh?-- 04/03/02

April in Paris? No... April in Pittsburgh.

I seem drawn to Pittsburgh in April... I was here two years ago... I still remember how we had had a mild Saturday in Rhode Island and it wasn't very cold when my plane took off so I was startled when I looked down on New York and Pennsylvania and saw white. A cold front had come from the midwest overnight and brought some snow with it, not a lot, but enough to cover the ground with a blanket of white...(it reached Rhode Island that evening).

Last year I was in Raleigh (Research Triangle Park area) in April... everything was green, looked like May or June to this Yankee, but there was snow one morning...

The weather was seasonably mild when I got here at the beginning of the week, but this morning was cold and rainy (snow in some of the outlying areas) and it never did warm up very much although the rain stopped and this evening is chilly and tomorrow is also supposed to be on the cool side...

I was digging through the archives, looking for some April items to link to from my Home page and realized that not only was it April in Pittsburgh time again, it was also new laptop time. I got the machine I'm currently using in April two years ago -- It's an IBM ThinkPad 600E with 416 megabytes of RAM -- I think it had 96 Mbytes when I got it but I immediately replaced the two 32 Mbyte chips with a pair of 128 Mbytes to get 288 total (there's 32 Mb on the motherboard) and sometime last year swapped out one of the 128's for 256 Mbytes to get 416 total. There is a new machine waiting for me back in my office (it arrived on Monday, the day I flew to Pittsburgh)... I'm not sure which model it is -- a T23 I think -- but it has one very important feature: a full Gigabyte of RAM! (Yes, I really do need that much memory for some of the stuff I work with.)

April in Pittsburgh... I'll be back here the week after next -- for the full Sunday through Friday instead of just Monday through Thursday that I'm here for on this trip. And there's also a slight chance that I may have to come here at the end of the month as well, but I'm hoping that I don't because my birthday is that week and I'd rather be home. I'm really glad I got here this week because these have been really valuable sessions covering the coming beta release of the next version of some software I teach about... but it's difficult to diet and travel... The buffalo chicken sandwich with fries and a beer Monday night was bad enough, but last night I went to the Green Grass Cafe (a Cambodian restaurant that Emily and I had gone to back in the fall) with a colleague (Hamid, the guy I co-taught with in France and Norway), split a bottle of wine (but he had to prepare to deliver some lectures today so he didn't drink much) and I was naturally forced to consume the rest of it... came back to the hotel and was just booting my computer with thoughts of getting some work done when a different colleague phoned (Sully, the guy I co-taught with in France back in December) and invited me down to the hotel pub where I proceeded to drink Guinness and munch on a lot of pretzels (and here I am wanting to lose weight!)

April in Paris? I've never actually been to Paris... well, okay, I changed planes there once on a flight from JFK to Nice but that doesn't really count.

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