Saturday, June 02, 2007

First week and Memorial Day

So the first week was not that bad. We had a long commute and took a ferry across the Potomac. The second day we let ourselves get up later, and added about an hour to the commute, so we went back to really early wake ups.

Andrew's parents were awesome. They treated us like sons and acted as if we were returning from college like Andrew. Definitely spoiled, great meals, good conversation. I learned how much fun watching your neighbor can be though a dinner window. It ended up being fairly dramatic, the guy would bring beers home every day, his "cube". Then one day his car broke down, and his wife had to get him... no cube. Another time it seemed like he was in trouble... again, no cube.

On the Friday, we went into DC for some beers and met some of Charles' friends. Before that we had had some appetizers and beer at TGIF.

On Memorial Day weekend, we went to see the new Pirates movie and dinner at Longhorn. It was a fun time, but I slept a ton afterwards due to all of the early morning wake ups. Went to bed at like 8 on a Saturday.

On Sunday we saw the battlefield at Antietam. It was very interesting, and you could see how the land shaped the battle. 23,000 killed, wounded, or missing in one day. I looked up the real numbers and 3,650 died. Can you imagine that? Here we are, with a vastly larger population, acting as if 3,000 over three years is the end of the world. I am not saying that 3,000 is a small number, so that we should not care, but we need to remember the magnitude of real war. Look back on how many casualties other wars took.

It is interesting how the battle played out. It was not only a contest of technology or numbers, as we often model battles. I would not have liked to be one fo the 400 or so Georgians that were stuck in a ditch and held back a much larger force. It was sort of like a natural WWII trench and was a major force multiplier. At another place, the Union had to cross a 10-12 ft wide bridge (maybe a bit more.. it was small, ok?). The other side was a hill that they had dug into and had natural high ground advantage. The Union funneled their forces across the bridge and had a very tough time. I can see how the South must have been pretty happy, as they had the Union at a choke point, and held high ground that had been improved.

Side note: The Dafur government was like "no gum arabic for you!" after we imposed sanctions. Alot of our food contains the gum, like coke. He is even pictured showing a coke bottle. Its interesting that he believes that we will choose coke over the death of hundreds of thousands. What does that say about the perception of the United States in some areas? (yeah, I read the article, we probably wouldn't have to make the choice, but think about the choice.)

I found it interesting that Robert E. Lee was given the choice to fight for the Union. He decided that he could not bare to bare arms against VA.

"I shall never bear arms against the Union, but it may be necessary for me to carry a musket in the defense of my native state, Virginia, in which case I shall not prove recreant to my duty."
I don't think that people today have that kind of love for their state over the union.

On Monday we moved in. Very inefficient line, but they seem to take care of everything if slowly. Cards to scan yourself into everything but the bathroom were handed out. We got parking tickets when we shouldn't have, and they are already voided. Contrast this with tech, where I just got a notice about a ticket on Mar 11th. Interesting fact: I DO NOT OWN A CAR.

Work was pretty good, I got a lot of random new employee training, and we finished that on the first day. I had a computer and a desk on the first day (surprise!). Nothing else really of note, still doing the stuff I have been doing. Sucks a bit because it was mostly just a change of location with higher pay.

No comments: