March 29th, 2006


Siding completed

The siding was finished last Monday (March 20). (I've been slow to update my journal.)

It looks pretty nice, and we've gotten compliments on the appearance. But it looks a bit blander than it did--I think there's no doubt that the house's exterior has lost a bit of its personality.

The shutters on the upstairs windows don't quite match the trim. We knew this going in, but I'm still uncertain about how much it bothers me.

I think I've just hit a new record for Largest Personal Check I've Written. This check is about 75% of the size of the check I used to close on our house--but that was a cashier's check, not a personal check.

Office Move

Apple's Pittsburgh office has just moved from Squirrel Hill to the Collaborative Innovation Center at Carnegie Mellon. We finished packing our stuff on Thursday, stayed home on Friday, and came to the new building on Monday.

It's nice to have an office at last, and the new offices are pretty nice.


I had a very simple commute before, with only three traffic lights on my route. My new commute has gotten much more complicated.

My current route is to get off the Parkway in Squirrel Hill and wend my way through Schenley Park. And then, because the entrance to the parking garage is down in a ravine near the railroad tracks, I have to spiral down under Schenley Drive along a cobblestone street (Jonclaire) and through an underpass so narrow that cars can only go through it in one direction at a time. Even once I park, I have to take two different elevators to get to my office.

The primary advantage of this circuitous route is that it has less traffic than most other routes. But I can't avoid the sneaking suspicion that maybe it's less trafficked because other drivers know something I don't.


When planning office furniture for the new place, we were offered an option of furniture that could be configured so that you were standing to work at your keyboard. The possible benefits from a standing configuration included better posture and muscle tone, and a bit more calories burned during the day. I worried, though, because I have had trouble with my legs and knees since the last time I sprained my ankle. But it's optional, so I took the configuration with the option.

So I've been trying this. It's not too uncomfortable. I do end up aching after a few hours, though. Fortunately, it's not too hard to lower it again when I've had enough.


One of my concerns about moving here was how it would feel to be on the CMU campus again. CMU represents for me my biggest academic failure. (Never mind the fact that I ended up in a career much better for me because of it; I still feel that I failed out of the Ph.D. program.) And the grim bare concrete architecture was the setting of a lot of dismal, depressed times for me.

The verdict is still out on that issue. The office itself doesn't feel much like a CMU building; it feels like any anonymous office space. But I can look out and see the grim monstrosity of Wean Hall, and the rest of the building has a lot of exposed concrete.