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AlbertJayNock

I'm 52 years young today! (Edited on March 11, 2010)

I guess I'm old enough now to talk about how many "years young" I am. I've resisted it so far, because I thought of it as something only old people do. But hell, I'm old.

I'm on vacation, so I spent most of the day hanging out at the coffee shop. I got birthday hugs from a lot of the young ladies who work/hang out down there, which was nice. One of them even gave me free ice cream. YAY!!

None of the hugs were unsolicited. I went up to them and said "It's my birthday, can I have a birthday huuuuug?". I know that's pathetic, but it's gratifying to know I can still pull off that sort of thing at the age of 52. I'm still not too much of  a creepy old man to hug.

My sister sent me too many presents as usual. Also as  usual, I am not going to have much conviction in my voice when I tell her she did too much.

It was nice just hanging out and socializing at the coffee shop. There's always lots of interesting conversation. I talked to a computer engineering major about the nature of problem solving, and how  my math background biases me towards the deductive, when computer science gets more empirical every year. I told him about a problem I once had with an IDE, that I got rid of by trying random things until something worked. (What the exact problem was is a long story...I might tell it sometime,but I don't want to clutter up this entry too much.)
He said I solved the problem, and I told him I didn't feel like I did because I didn't understand the cause of it. I guess that's the difference between an engineer and a mathematician.

Some students came in later, and they were talking about a problem one of them was having with VHDL. I have never used VHDL, but I listened to his problem anyway. He wanted to do arithmetic with both integers and floating point...he wanted to divide an integer by 3.5 (which would of course be a float) and truncate the result. I told him to just represent 3.5 (or any other float, if it was sufficiently small) as a ratio of integers, do a multiplication and a division, and forget about floating point operations. He seemed to think that was a good idea.

I was glad I was able to help him, especially since my help was based on an understanding of the problem (unlike my earlier mentioned IDE problem.) Being an old computer scientist can be just as rough on the self-esteem as being an old movie star. I was gratified to know that my knowledge and my approaches to problems were still helpful.

Not as gratified as I was by hugs and free ice cream from the pretty young ladies, but it was a close second.

I've had a great birthday so far!

EDIT:

And then it got even better. That night I went back to the coffee shop, and everyone had chipped in to get me an ice cream cake and a PRESENT!!!!! (The present was God Created The Integers , edited by Stephen Hawking.)  And queenjoni got me a Jackson's Java gift card, which I know I will make good use of. Thanks everybody.

Comments

Happy birthday! :) Glad you had such a great one. Yay for hugs and free ice cream! :)

"He wanted to do arithmetic with both integers and floating point...he wanted to divide an integer by 3.5 (which would of course be a float) and truncate the result. I told him to just represent 3.5...."]

(Miss Breeziness' head officially starts spinning)

:D

Guess I forgot all the math I learned in high school.