About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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Writing manuals is a very special and privileged task in a computer company, for in the process of writing them you are forced to go over every detail of the hardware and software the company sells in an attempt to make it understandable and usable in our extremely broad customer base. In the process a conscientious writer will discover nearly every good and bad feature of the system, and can provide valuable feedback to the designers and implementers.

Jef Raskin



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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 6/22/2018

Totals
Posts - 2503
Comments - 2574
Hits - 2,057,505

Averages
Entries/day - 0.46
Comments/entry - 1.03
Hits/day - 376

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 8:41 PM Pacific


  11:32 AM

We were able to move Sabrina into her dorm room a day early, no problem. Then it was Target Trip #2 for a groaning load of ... stuff. But the shelves had been picked over in the preceding 24 hours (like, no 60W bulbs?), so our provisioning expedition required a detour to the K-Mart next door.

The mom had shipped boxes of stuff to the dorm to complement our overstuffed suitcases, but most of the boxes hadn't arrived yet. Shoot. No bedding, for example, so Sabrina wasn't able to actually move in. Oh, well. She unpacked what she had and we made a list for Target Trip #3.

Have I mentioned that Indiana is hot in the summer? omg.

With our free evening, we decided to head into Indianapolis. I wanted to look. Sabrina wanted to shop. Indianapolis looked pretty cool, allowing for the fact that we spent only an evening there. For some reason I hadn't expected the monumental architecture, including a tall column with an archer dude on the top, which I particularly liked. That would be Memorial Circle, I guess. There was a baseball game on as well, which might have been fun. And I noted that the good people of Indianapolis have, like the rest of us, been screwed by the professional sports industry -- an arena is going up next to a baseball field and a football stadium.

Most of our time was spent at Circle Center, which is the Indianapolis version of Seattle's Pacific Place, only spread across three buildings with skyways. A hundred shops, and not a one that I was interested in. So while Sabrina went to shops, I got my book and read.

Next day, my last, more errands. we bought the last of our supplies (for now). We stopped into a bank, where we discovered once again that banks don't trust people under 18, an age Sabrina will not reach for about another month. Grrr.

Then we braved what I thought would be the crowds at the dorm. Not so bad, though. While waiting for the famous boxes, we explored campus. Not surprisingly, there's lots of beautiful stonework:
 
We went in search of the sculpture of Herman B. Wells, a long-time IU president who is now memorialized in bronze. According to tradition, parents are supposed to shake his hand to give their student four years of good luck. (5-year students apparently require another visit.) We stopped and asked directions of some kids who were handing out water. Before we'd said anything, one girl asked Sabrina "Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Scarlett Johansson?" Why yes, they have. Anyway, Wells turned out to be a friendly sort of guy:
 
Back to the room. A big pile of stuff, but no roommate in sight. Well, how about lunch? An opportunity to experience another fine exemplar of midwest cuisine, this time the much anticipated (by me) Steak and Shake.

Then back once more. Another pile of roommate stuff, but still no roommate. The boxes had arrived, tho, so Sabrina was able to make up her bedding and such. The default arrangement has a bunk bed for each student, with a little study nook underneath that would be comfortable if you were a dwarf:



By peeking into the rooms of some of the other kids on the floor, it looked like it was possible to reconfigure the room in somewhat more accommodating ways. But for that we'd need to consult with the elusive roommate. However, it was time for me to go.

So the kid has been delivered onto her new life as a college student. I'm a parent: I worry about how she'll do, socially, musically, academically. Life-ically. I had to walk her through how to use a checkbook, for heaven's sake. But there's not a lot we can do for her at this point; we can't introduce her to new people or look over her homework. But that's sort of the point, isn't it? You leave home and the things you can't do (which mostly you can, despite your parents' worries) you figure our for yourself. Perhaps there will be a mishap here and there, but all the better (one hopes) to learn the lesson. All we can do at home is cross our fingers. And hope to get the occasional email ...

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