All posts by Jamie Todd Rubin

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

Unusually foggy morning

It was unusally foggy for the DC area this morning–for any time of year–but especially, it seems, for winter. It’s not that cold out so that dew point must be up there. Crossing the Potomic this morning, I could not see the Jefferson Memorial, or the Washington Monument. I could barely see the car bridges that run parallel to the metro bridge.

It’s supposed to be mostly sunny today with the temperature reaching just about 60 degrees.

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Unusually foggy morning

It was unusally foggy for the DC area this morning–for any time of year–but especially, it seems, for winter. It’s not that cold out so that dew point must be up there. Crossing the Potomic this morning, I could not see the Jefferson Memorial, or the Washington Monument. I could barely see the car bridges that run parallel to the metro bridge.

It’s supposed to be mostly sunny today with the temperature reaching just about 60 degrees.

One of those non-stop days…

I realized that it was one of those non-stop days today when it glanced at the time and it was 2 PM and I hadn’t even thought about eating lunch yet. I spent the morning hip-deep in code, trying to make something work with SQL triggers that has no business working, and yet I managed to convince it otherwise. Then I sat through a great 10 minute meeting. Problem is the meeting went on for another twenty minutes.

By the time I got back to my office, I had heard back form a vendor I am working with to schedule some training, and so I then spent several hours trying to obtain conference rooms for 4 days of training at the end of the month. Meetings are out of control. I had to beg and borrow in order to convince people to shift meetings around so that I could get conference rooms for four consecutive days. And not even the same rooms! Do all companies have these problems when it comes to conference rooms? Do we really need all these meetings? I’m reminded of something I once heard on KNX radio in L.A.:

A meeting is a place where minutes are taken and hours are lost.

It just seems as thought there is something wrong with the world when the time it takes to schedule a meeting exceeds the time of the meeting itself.

Somehow, I was then bombarded by email and it seemed like every message demanded an immediate response. I counted (come on, let’s face it, you know me by now) and in a two and a half hour span, I sent or replied to something like forty email messages. Productive work slipped away. I wrote one line of code, answered two email messages, wrote another line of code, answered three more email messages.

But I finally made it out the door. Switching trains on Mount Vernon Square, the Green Line that game by had an “isolated” car (that means that the car was closed, you had to use other). What this really means is that it was a crowded train by Washington Metro standards. In the 3-1/2 years I’ve been taking the metro, I’ve ridden on trains with isolated cars three times; two of those time have been in the last month.

I was finally able to relax when I got home. I finished up Foundation’s Fear and will start on Foundation and Choas tomorrow. Spoke to Mom, Dad and Doug on the phone this evening.

No need to pack a lunch tomorrow; I’m having lunch with A.J.

Best of all: tomorrow is my “Friday”. I’m heading up to Albany this weekend (a 4-day weekend for me) to see Eric and Ryane and so I took Friday off.

Now, going to watch a Sopranos episode and then off to bed.

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One of those non-stop days…

I realized that it was one of those non-stop days today when it glanced at the time and it was 2 PM and I hadn’t even thought about eating lunch yet. I spent the morning hip-deep in code, trying to make something work with SQL triggers that has no business working, and yet I managed to convince it otherwise. Then I sat through a great 10 minute meeting. Problem is the meeting went on for another twenty minutes.

By the time I got back to my office, I had heard back form a vendor I am working with to schedule some training, and so I then spent several hours trying to obtain conference rooms for 4 days of training at the end of the month. Meetings are out of control. I had to beg and borrow in order to convince people to shift meetings around so that I could get conference rooms for four consecutive days. And not even the same rooms! Do all companies have these problems when it comes to conference rooms? Do we really need all these meetings? I’m reminded of something I once heard on KNX radio in L.A.:

A meeting is a place where minutes are taken and hours are lost.

It just seems as thought there is something wrong with the world when the time it takes to schedule a meeting exceeds the time of the meeting itself.

Somehow, I was then bombarded by email and it seemed like every message demanded an immediate response. I counted (come on, let’s face it, you know me by now) and in a two and a half hour span, I sent or replied to something like forty email messages. Productive work slipped away. I wrote one line of code, answered two email messages, wrote another line of code, answered three more email messages.

But I finally made it out the door. Switching trains on Mount Vernon Square, the Green Line that game by had an “isolated” car (that means that the car was closed, you had to use other). What this really means is that it was a crowded train by Washington Metro standards. In the 3-1/2 years I’ve been taking the metro, I’ve ridden on trains with isolated cars three times; two of those time have been in the last month.

I was finally able to relax when I got home. I finished up Foundation’s Fear and will start on Foundation and Choas tomorrow. Spoke to Mom, Dad and Doug on the phone this evening.

No need to pack a lunch tomorrow; I’m having lunch with A.J.

Best of all: tomorrow is my “Friday”. I’m heading up to Albany this weekend (a 4-day weekend for me) to see Eric and Ryane and so I took Friday off.

Now, going to watch a Sopranos episode and then off to bed.

Pilot humor

A fellow pilot forwarded me this today and I thought it was hysterical. If you like flying and you are a Star Wars fan, this is for you. (Incidentally, I’ve checked and found people quoting this all over the web, but I haven’t been able to find the source site, so I’m reposting the whole thing here.) It’s worth reading:

I have read many posts on the web site from members and on MMAIL who are thinking about owning their own aircraft and looking for ways to offset the cost of ownership. I have heard many reasons for and against ownership. Why buy an aircraft? It’s cheaper to rent and you do not have all the hassle with maintenance, fuel and insurance. Well, here is a little story that I think explains it all as to why I own my own airplane.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning. No winds and the temperature was just right. So instead of mowing the lawn like my wife had planned for me, I decided to go to the airport and take the Sport out for a run. She yells back at me, “WELL IF YOU GO, TAKE YOUR SON WITH YOU.” So I ask my son. Want to go flying with dad? In which he says Yea, Can I take my light saber?

You see, my 9 year son thinks he is a Jedi Knight and that our Sport is his personal X-Wing fighter. He is only 4′5 and has to sit on a pillow in order to see over the glare shield and he always carries his light saber just in case we land on a strange planet in which there might be trouble or civil un-rest. Always prepared this one is. So away we go.

THERE I WAS….

We were straight and level at around 6,000ft and I let him take the controls of the X-Wing to do some turns to the left and right. Joshua Approach called and said there was traffic at our 2 o’clock 2 miles opposite direction and my son said to me “Look over there dad, Tie fighter coming right at us”. I told him to steer clear of the Tie Fighter because our lasers were out for repair and we were un-armed. No reason to provoke a fight.

So even though he is having a blast, I am starting to get a little bored and thought, “Let’s go do a practice approach on the ILS”. So I called Joshua Approach, requested the ILS 25 Approach to Palmdale Full Approach and off we went. I maneuvered the X-Wing to the VOR and started the turn outbound to the outer marker. Now my son is just really enjoying this. At the outer marker, the blue light started to flash and you could hear the BEEP in the headset. My Son jumps in and said “That Tie Fighter has locked on to us” I said “That’s Right” and I started my evasive maneuver on the procedure turn.

My Son is listening to the exchange between me and the controller and wants to chime in on the conversion. I said to my son, “Just hang on; I will give you a chance”. I never should have said that because now he is all excited to talk on the radio. As I start to turn inbound on the turn, the Approach control said “Contact tower when established on the localizer”. So I told my young Padawan Learner “OK, when this needle gets here on the dial, push the radio button and tell the tower that 93 Romeo is inbound on the localizer”.

Now imagine this, I am giving basic instrument instruction to a 9 year old, I cannot get adults to say this during training. So before I can give him something simpler to say he keys the mike and says “REBEL BASE, THIS IS RED 5. WE ARE STARTING OUR ATTACK RUN ON THE DEATH STAR”.

Good God.

Now this post 9/11 and before I can key my mike and say anything, the tower jumps on and says “RED 5, YOUR CLEARED FOR THE APPROACH TO THE DEATH STAR. REPORT HITS AWAY”

Now I am waiting for the tower to add “And tell your dad to call this number” But I hear nothing else. So we continue the approach. Now my son is in heaven. This is real life stuff to him and he is doing everything I tell him to do as far as tracking the needle. As we approach the outer marker inbound, the light starts to flash and there is that tone again. “Dad, the Death Star has a lock on us”. Yes Son, you keep on the approach, I will worry about the guns.

Everything is going great and now we are approaching the middle marker. My son has noticed the GPS has a red line with an airplane on it and it ends at the Death Star. So he asks me “IS THAT A TARGETING COMPUTER DAD?” Well of course it is, and it shows us where we are to the target. So now he hears Obewan tell him to USE THE FORCE SCOTT and he turns the GPS OFF. Tells me he is OK and does not need the targeting computer because he is using the FORCE.

Now the middle marker light flashes and the tone comes on. I apply full power and the airplane,,,X-Wing,,, Starts a climb. I start the turn to the missed approach path when my son keys the mike and says “HITS AWAY”. The tower answers back with “GOOD JOB RED 5, CONTACT REBEL APPROACH ON 126.1″

We go back to Mojave SPACEPORT, and I decide that the X-Wing needs a bath. So out comes all the cleaning stuff and we spend the rest of the day washing and waxing the turbo jets and laser pods.

So you see. This is why I own my own aircraft. You cannot beat this kind of quality time with your kids. And there is no way you can put a price on that.

Jeff Bryant
Southwest Regional Director
Beech Aero Club
1975 X-Wing Fighter Model B-19
N6993R

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Pilot humor

A fellow pilot forwarded me this today and I thought it was hysterical. If you like flying and you are a Star Wars fan, this is for you. (Incidentally, I’ve checked and found people quoting this all over the web, but I haven’t been able to find the source site, so I’m reposting the whole thing here.) It’s worth reading:

I have read many posts on the web site from members and on MMAIL who are thinking about owning their own aircraft and looking for ways to offset the cost of ownership. I have heard many reasons for and against ownership. Why buy an aircraft? It’s cheaper to rent and you do not have all the hassle with maintenance, fuel and insurance. Well, here is a little story that I think explains it all as to why I own my own airplane.

It was a beautiful Saturday morning. No winds and the temperature was just right. So instead of mowing the lawn like my wife had planned for me, I decided to go to the airport and take the Sport out for a run. She yells back at me, “WELL IF YOU GO, TAKE YOUR SON WITH YOU.” So I ask my son. Want to go flying with dad? In which he says Yea, Can I take my light saber?

You see, my 9 year son thinks he is a Jedi Knight and that our Sport is his personal X-Wing fighter. He is only 4’5 and has to sit on a pillow in order to see over the glare shield and he always carries his light saber just in case we land on a strange planet in which there might be trouble or civil un-rest. Always prepared this one is. So away we go.

THERE I WAS….

We were straight and level at around 6,000ft and I let him take the controls of the X-Wing to do some turns to the left and right. Joshua Approach called and said there was traffic at our 2 o’clock 2 miles opposite direction and my son said to me “Look over there dad, Tie fighter coming right at us”. I told him to steer clear of the Tie Fighter because our lasers were out for repair and we were un-armed. No reason to provoke a fight.

So even though he is having a blast, I am starting to get a little bored and thought, “Let’s go do a practice approach on the ILS”. So I called Joshua Approach, requested the ILS 25 Approach to Palmdale Full Approach and off we went. I maneuvered the X-Wing to the VOR and started the turn outbound to the outer marker. Now my son is just really enjoying this. At the outer marker, the blue light started to flash and you could hear the BEEP in the headset. My Son jumps in and said “That Tie Fighter has locked on to us” I said “That’s Right” and I started my evasive maneuver on the procedure turn.

My Son is listening to the exchange between me and the controller and wants to chime in on the conversion. I said to my son, “Just hang on; I will give you a chance”. I never should have said that because now he is all excited to talk on the radio. As I start to turn inbound on the turn, the Approach control said “Contact tower when established on the localizer”. So I told my young Padawan Learner “OK, when this needle gets here on the dial, push the radio button and tell the tower that 93 Romeo is inbound on the localizer”.

Now imagine this, I am giving basic instrument instruction to a 9 year old, I cannot get adults to say this during training. So before I can give him something simpler to say he keys the mike and says “REBEL BASE, THIS IS RED 5. WE ARE STARTING OUR ATTACK RUN ON THE DEATH STAR”.

Good God.

Now this post 9/11 and before I can key my mike and say anything, the tower jumps on and says “RED 5, YOUR CLEARED FOR THE APPROACH TO THE DEATH STAR. REPORT HITS AWAY”

Now I am waiting for the tower to add “And tell your dad to call this number” But I hear nothing else. So we continue the approach. Now my son is in heaven. This is real life stuff to him and he is doing everything I tell him to do as far as tracking the needle. As we approach the outer marker inbound, the light starts to flash and there is that tone again. “Dad, the Death Star has a lock on us”. Yes Son, you keep on the approach, I will worry about the guns.

Everything is going great and now we are approaching the middle marker. My son has noticed the GPS has a red line with an airplane on it and it ends at the Death Star. So he asks me “IS THAT A TARGETING COMPUTER DAD?” Well of course it is, and it shows us where we are to the target. So now he hears Obewan tell him to USE THE FORCE SCOTT and he turns the GPS OFF. Tells me he is OK and does not need the targeting computer because he is using the FORCE.

Now the middle marker light flashes and the tone comes on. I apply full power and the airplane,,,X-Wing,,, Starts a climb. I start the turn to the missed approach path when my son keys the mike and says “HITS AWAY”. The tower answers back with “GOOD JOB RED 5, CONTACT REBEL APPROACH ON 126.1”

We go back to Mojave SPACEPORT, and I decide that the X-Wing needs a bath. So out comes all the cleaning stuff and we spend the rest of the day washing and waxing the turbo jets and laser pods.

So you see. This is why I own my own aircraft. You cannot beat this kind of quality time with your kids. And there is no way you can put a price on that.

Jeff Bryant
Southwest Regional Director
Beech Aero Club
1975 X-Wing Fighter Model B-19
N6993R

Heading to Santa Monica at the end of the month

My first business trip of the year is now scheduled. I’ll be in Santa Monica for work (some Crystal Reports training) the week of January 29, and back home on February 5.

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Heading to Santa Monica at the end of the month

My first business trip of the year is now scheduled. I’ll be in Santa Monica for work (some Crystal Reports training) the week of January 29, and back home on February 5.

Constabulary Notes From All Over

I was skimming through the Jan 9 New Yorker this evening (reading “This Is No Game” by Jack Handy) and came accross this little item at the very bottom of the page in small print. For some reason, this amused me more than the Jack Handy item:

CONSTABULARY NOTES FROM ALL OVER
From the Lewisboro (N.Y.) Ledger

A Flintclock Ridge Road man said he saw a bear in his backyard. Police could not find a bear when the officer arrived. Police said it was possible the man saw two turtles.

How can you not love it?

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Constabulary Notes From All Over

I was skimming through the Jan 9 New Yorker this evening (reading “This Is No Game” by Jack Handy) and came accross this little item at the very bottom of the page in small print. For some reason, this amused me more than the Jack Handy item:

CONSTABULARY NOTES FROM ALL OVER
From the Lewisboro (N.Y.) Ledger

A Flintclock Ridge Road man said he saw a bear in his backyard. Police could not find a bear when the officer arrived. Police said it was possible the man saw two turtles.

How can you not love it?

Lois & Clark: Season 2

Lois & Clark Season 2 comes out on DVD one week from today and I placed my order through Amazon.com this evening. Smallville is currently one of my favorite shows, and I can recall watching and enjoying Lois & Clark back when it was originally airing, but I only saw the last two seasons, never the first two. I bought the first season when it first came out on DVD and really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to getting season two once it’s shipped.

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Lois & Clark: Season 2

Lois & Clark Season 2 comes out on DVD one week from today and I placed my order through Amazon.com this evening. Smallville is currently one of my favorite shows, and I can recall watching and enjoying Lois & Clark back when it was originally airing, but I only saw the last two seasons, never the first two. I bought the first season when it first came out on DVD and really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to getting season two once it’s shipped.