I wasn't really joking when I told people the university hands you an eviction notice with your diploma.
The university doesn't do this for everyone, of course, just those of us who live in student housing. I lived in Smiley Court for more than 9 years, longer than I've lived anywhere other than the house I grew up in. It was home, and home can be hard to leave.
Admittedly, the apartment had gotten a bit cramped. It was tight from the start, since I was downsizing from a two-bedroom apartment into a one-bedroom. Adding an extra bicycle and a few hundred books along the way didn't help. The apartment was also miserably hot in the summer, with south- and west-facing brick walls and a location on the top floor. Even with a small air conditioner wedged in the too-small windows, running all day, the temperatures could get over 85 degrees and stay that way past midnight. So it wasn't perfect. But then again, it had this view:
I have made a habit of posting on December 31, if for no other reason to ensure that I've posted at least yearly on this blog since 2001. I found an old post titled "Y2K + 10" that I wrote 10 years ago, so the logical title for this post must be "Y2K + 20." I only have a few hours before the year, and the decade, comes to a close, so I'll try to pick a highlight from each month to show what I'll remember most from 2019.
A year ago I was closing the door on my old apartment at CU Boulder, bringing to a final close my long tenure there as a graduate student. And what a wonderful tenure it was! That meant I spent a lot of January trying to get settled into a new apartment. In hindsight, it's been a really good move for me. I do miss aspects of Boulder, but I have a more comfortable living space here and it's cut my commute by about 15 minutes.
I was on the road quite a bit for work in February, something that's continued throug…
Ten years ago yesterday I scrobbled my first tracks to last.fm. What's scrobbling? On last.fm, scrobbling refers to automatic music track logging to the internet. For me, uploading a record of my music listening habits was my first real experience with "Web 2.0." Remember Web 2.0? It referred to websites of user-generated content that enabled virtual communities and interoperability. Now such sites are too ubiquitous on the web to warrant a special designation — they're just the web. But that wasn't true in 2006, and even though I'd been putting content on the internet since 1996, at the time it was enough to make me a little nervous. What did these strangers want with my data, and what was in it for me?
Ten years and 24,941 scrobbles later, I have my answer: I have a really cool record of all the music I've listened to the past 10 years! Well, not "all," technically: I've certainly listened to music in places and on devices that didn't …