What Made Me Smile This Week (May 13 – 19): “Welcome to the Grid, Program”

Here it is! The busy week that has gotten my scheduling into a Gordian knot! I enjoy busy weeks when they happen, but to have two in a row is extraordinarily uncommon for me. That is to say, I’m not used to it. Normally, I have weeks of extreme con followed by short punctuated bursts of frantic activity. So far, I have had two busy weeks in a row, and as of this Monday, I am shaping up to have a third! How is that for a winning streak?!

Monday, May 13, 2019

  • I sadly had to say goodbye to my siblings today almost immediately after the heady festivities of Mother’s Day. At least we all had breakfast together one last time. It was the old standard, our local Good Stuff restaurant, which has cemented itself as a staple of casual beach dining. I smiled over that meal like it was Mother’s Day all over again.
  • Fortuitously, I was also given the day off of work today. I took the opportunity to do one of my favorite things in the whole world: visit Los Angeles, the one true mega-metropolis in all of Southern California. I went hoping to acquire another internship. Unfortunately, this didn’t pan out, but at least the city worked its magic on me and made me smile once again just for being there. I love downtown Los Angeles!
  • In order to make my commute home easier, I decided to take the slightly longer route from Pershing Square to the 7th St., Metro Center stop. This meant that I had an excuse to ride the red line, one of my favorite train lines in the entire county. There isn’t much to see on the red line, as it is a subway. No, I love the red line because it cuts straight through the city’s heart, which is arguably where you will find some of the most vibrant activity in the entire area. I always love an excuse to take the train, because it is by far the most hasslefree way for me to travel. I don’t need securements, I don’t need assistance boarding, and it’s not subject to any of the usual traffic which plagues Los Angeles’s congested city streets. In short, I ride that subway every chance I get, and it makes me smile every single time. Today was no exception.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

  • Remember how I mentioned this was a busy week? Today is the main reason why. My work is offering a VR program for bedbound hospice patients. The idea is that if they can no longer experience the world, a sliver of the world will be brought to them in the form of an Oculus Rift VR headset. VR (short for virtual reality) is the idea of experiencing a computer program in three-dimensional space. That’s a very complicated way of saying that you put on a set of goggles and you can experience a virtual world as if you were actually there. This has been a concept since the 1970s, but the technology behind computer-generated imagery has only recently gotten good enough to make this experience available to the general public. My work in particular has a fascinating program, but many bugs still need to be worked out of rapidly deploying it to patients. I am one of the more tech savvy people currently available in the office, and so it has fallen to me to help my coworkers evaluate which programs would be most useful for hospice patients. In practice, this means spending a lot of time immersed in virtual reality. It has been an absolute blast! I smiled that day on several occasions of course, but I think a better way to describe it would be that I was completely in awe of what modern technology can do. If you haven’t gotten time on a true Oculus Rift headset, I highly recommend you do so. Virtual reality is an entirely different experience than sitting in front of a computer screen.
  • In all that excitement, I almost forgot it was movie night again! The movie on tap for tonight was “Poms“, a heartwarming drama about a woman at a retirement community determined to start her own cheerleading team. As far as I know, the story was fictitious, but the film did a competent job of seeming like a story that could very easily have been true. The inner lives of the characters were masterfully portrayed.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

  • More VR, more smiles today.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

  • I have had Isaac Asimov’s “Nightfall” on my Kindle for quite some time now. Today, I finally got around to reading some of it. I have not finished it of course, I have a voracious appetite for science fiction and a good book in front of me. Nothing will slow me down for very long, nor prevent me from smiling about it. Be warned, the link I posted contains spoilers, which I have not yet read.

Friday, May 17, 2019

  • I have been shamefully addicted to yet another open source computer game. This one is called Mine Test, and if you are familiar with the much more famous Mine Craft, you will have no difficulty playing this one. I don’t know what it is about gameplay without objectives, but an infinite sandboxing game in which you can do pretty much anything you darn well please sparks the inner kid in me.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

  • We watched a documentary about the current world record holder for the longest skydive ever, called “14 Minutes from Earth“. Watching some of their preparations for the dive was nerve-racking, that the documentary was fascinating. If you enjoy unobstructed views of the earth from the upper atmosphere, this documentary is well worth a watch. As for me, seeing the greatest minds humanity has to offer solving a science experiment of epic proportions made me smile that night.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

  • Another Netflix movie tonight! This one is called “Killer Cove“. The plot looked like it was going to be obvious, but I have to give the movie makers credit – looks can be deceiving. They kept me guessing until the very end, which is exactly how I like it!

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