I’ve been suffering from terrible bronchitis for two weeks. I can barely talk. I had to cancel a planned colloquium. I’m not even gonna try to describe what I’ve been coughing up. The doctor couldn’t figure out if it was viral or bacterial, but gave me antibiotics anyway.
My laptop broke, the day before I had to give my time travel talk at QIP’2009 in Santa Fe (if you want to know what actually happened at the conference, see Dave’s blog or ask in the comments section). First the fan started acting up—causing the machine to overheat and shut itself off whenever the computations got too complex; then the ‘G’ and ‘H’ keys became unreliable; and finally the hard disk went, taking much of my data along with it (though I recovered the most important stuff). So I ran out and bought a new Toshiba laptop, which of course came preinstalled with Vista, which is not just said by everyone to suck but truly does suck. (Though if you spend a day disabling all the new features, you can make it almost like XP.)
On the flight back to Boston from Santa Fe, the pressure drop during the descent, combined with my bronchitis, sent my ears into pain for days.
The shitty economy is no longer just an abstraction, as friends and close family members have lost their jobs. I, the starving quantum complexity theorist, now feel like one of the last people I know with an income. (Though MIT, like other universities, has lost much of its endowment and now faces serious hardships as well.)
But it’s all OK, because the competent guy is president now—even if he flubbed his Oath of Office (update: it seems most of the fault lies with Roberts (another update: Steven Pinker theorizes that the problem was Roberts’s reluctance to split an infinitive)). He’s gonna fix everything. Just give him a day or two.
Happy Barackday, everyone!