Thursday, July 12, 2007

Beer, Bikes, and... Bugs???

Yesterday (Wednesday) was a pretty interesting day for me. It was a productive day for me at work, getting closer to uploading my code into the robot that we have, but I dealt with a unique bug when I was testing out my code.

When I was subtracting two floating point numbers (decimal numbers, for those that don't understand floating point), when the numbers were identical, the subtraction, at times, would produce a negative zero (-0). I was using the number that was produced by this subtraction to check to see if the value was still greater than or equal to 0 (value >= 0). But seeing that a negative zero came up, it didn't pass the test, which caused changes in my output.

The only thing that I could think of was that the environment (Eclipse) that I was using to code in, wasn't processing the subtraction right. The only thing that I could do for a temporary fix would be add a SMALL value to one of the numbers, and recalculate. This obviously doesn't fix the big picture, but it is only a temporary fix. I'll have to check with the people that built Eclipse to see if they know about it... or if there is already a fix for it.

Well, after the productive day, Frank and I joined another student at a local bar for a going away... drink, I guess. Two of the interns that got here before Frank and I are heading back home to India today (Thursday). Frank and I had been joining them for lunch lately, just because they were able to speak English as well. In other words, we were able to hold a conversation at lunch that didn't require a translator. :-) Well, only one of them joined us, (the other was packing I guess) and we sat down for a beer. Yeah, I know, "Me? A Beer?". But I figured if I didn't have at least one beer here in Germany, then I'm missing out of the whole Germany experience. Yeah, well,... I only had about a third of the glass. What can I say? I just don't like the taste of alcohol. Plus, the beer had a VERY BAD aftertaste. But then again, that might be normal...

Well, Frank finished off the rest of mine, which made him a little flush. We didn't have anything since lunch, which was about 5 hours prior, so alcohol on empty stomachs didn't help. But we were fine in the end. None of us felt like getting smashed or anything, especially with it raining outside and biking home would be a mess (Don't drink and Bike folks! It could get ugly). Well, we parted ways, and I followed Frank home (just to make that the two beers didn't effect him too much, which it didn't). However, on the way back, as Frank and I were biking along, we get to this turn... well, not really a turn... How can I describe it?

Okay, there are two parts to the sidewalks here in Germany. One for regular pedestrians, and the other for bikes. Well, there is this one part, where the bike path (which was already pretty narrow at this point) does a quick straight "s" kind of curve (like a x^3 curve, for those of you who know math fairly well). This curve is put there because there were trees along the sidewalk, so they put the bike path on one side of the trees, and the walkway on the other. Well, the trees and Frank kind of blocked my view of two other bikers who were coming down the same path in the opposite direction. Once again, I remind you that the bike path was already pretty narrow. Squeezing two bikes side by side is hard on a path like this. Well, Frank was able to pull around the two fairly well, he was ahead just enough, but I got to the corner just as I saw the other two bikes.

At this point was pretty scary, because trying to avoid the other bikes, I almost lost control of mine. I went into the street into traffic, but kept enough to the side of the road (kept it that much under control) to not be any danger. But I gave a few drivers a fright, NOT to mention myself! I'm looking for adventure here in Europe BUT NOT THAT MUCH! :-) Well, I put the bike back onto the sidewalk, went over to the pedestrian side (larger walkway) and continued home. See! See what I mean about not Drinking and Biking! There you have it, it could have been A LOT worse than what it was. Well, that was enough for one day. I'll save the rest for later on Friday when I leave for Berlin. :-) TTFN

Oh, almost forgot, I was listening to some Big Band Radio yesterday, and "Begin The Beguine" by Artie Shaw came up. If I remember correctly, this song was one that Dad use to play on the Organ ALL the time. But I'm not sure, I'll have to check in with my brother to see if he knows (He's the musician of the family). ;-)

1 comment:

Fred said...

Yes. Begin the Beguine was one of the songs that dad played frequently. That's probably why it might have sounded familiar to you.