Each year, as I acquire new music (Still mostly purchased on CD then ripped to MP3, though an increasing amount of music is only available as digital downloads.), I add new tracks to a yearly playlist for occasional review and December retrospective use. This was 2020 (in order of acquisition):
Bladerunner 2049 Original Soundtrack Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch
Arrival Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Johann Johannsson
The Blue Notebooks Max Richter
Ad Astra Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Max Richter
Asbury Park Live 8/8/13 They Might Be Giants
Les Revenants Mogwai
Beethoven or Bust Don Dorsey
Chemical Chords Stereolab
Cloud Atlas Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, and Reinhold Heil
Pieces in a Modern Style 2 William Orbit
Adrian Legg Live Adrian Legg
Dead Bankers Adrian Legg
The Ambient Collection Art of Noise
Evans City Zombi
Interstellar; Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Hans Zimmer
Back in December of 2017, I was working for the Uber Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) here in Pittsburgh. This was the self-driving vehicle research arm of Uber. The group threw a holiday party at the Pittsburgh History Museum, and as a party favor they gave us all custom “Magic 8-Ball” toys that had answer dice filled with ATG catch-phrases and in-jokes. Now that the ATG is no longer a division of Uber but is now a part of Aurora Innovation, perhaps it is time to post the 20 “answers” here. I can’t find them anywhere else on the ‘net.
Ask The Julies
Catching Rain Water
I Aaron Doubt It
I Do Not Concur
Keep on Truckin’
Krypton Says No
Let’s Have An All Hands
Letwin Will Fix It
No Swag For You
That’s a HW Problem
That’s a SW Problem
Xenon Says Yes
Your Answer Is At CRU
You’re a Boron
Keep in mind that I was hired as part of the third or fourth wave of hiring at the ATG, so some of these jokes refer to things that were before my time. Some of them are just startup anxiety phrases, like “Reorg” and “Let’s Have An All Hands”. Some of them are somewhat specific to autonomous vehicles, like “Catching Rainwater” and “Winter’s Coming”.
“Boron”, “Krypton”, and “Xenon” were the code names of the three test platforms at the time. “Chicken Bucket” was the nickname for the large spinning LIDAR unit on the roof of each vehicle. Kryptons were the Silver vehicles that Uber bought from Volvo, and were the most numerous. A Krypton is what hit that lady in Arizona.
“CRU” was the name for the “Crucible Building” which the ATG moved into when they outgrew their original startup space. By the time I left the ATG, Uber had five or six buildings down in the Strip District. Very few people had been in all of them. I’d been in more of them than most people had, since I started in Operations and later moved to Engineering. Each was a few blocks away from the others, so if your answer was in another building that could be tiresome.
“[Nick] Letwin” and “Aaron Doubt” are the names of a couple of influential ATG engineers. “The Julies” were the two main HR people at the ATG. Troubles with HR were the main reason I left.
The first incarnation of this blog had a lot of politics on it, and I’ve tried to keep politics off the blog this time because politics is everywhere now and I really didn’t feel the need to bring it here, but now things have changed.
Republicans in Pennsylvania actually want to go to the Supreme Court to get my vote, cast legally and in good faith by mail in the recent election, thrown out because their favored candidate for President lost.
Not that I was ever likely to vote for a Republican candidate, but this makes it certain that I will never vote for a Republican candidate in any election at any level for the rest of my life.
Just forget it. You people take your Superspreader in Chief, Total Landscaping Lawyers, and Zodiac Killer Senators and just forget that.
Progress on the wood frame lanterns to fit the solar flicker lighting units continues! I completed the fifth of six planned lanterns recently, this one made from some surplus poplar lumber I had in the garage.
Here is the lantern hanging in the Shourou at night after a recent snowfall: