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Doran's Journal - 16 July 1997

The news is... it's hot. And from what I understand, it's hot pretty much everywhere else too. Cray has enacted energy cost saving measures of turning up the heat inside and turning off many non-essentially lights in the hallways and common areas.

My mom says I'm not writing enough... she's always right about these things. So here's a midweek report.

Earlier this week we went to see a matinee showing of The English Patient which won Best Picture of 1996. It was a long movie, but it definitely deserved recognition for its merits. A beautifully filmed story. The theater was packed wall to wall and I think the average age of it's occupants was somewhere in the mid 50s.

Monday was the big summer intern event at Cray. On this day, interns working at Cray's Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin facility rode a bus to Eagan to take part in a joint intern activity. The activity began with a special tour of the Eagan computer center (which, as I mentioned before, is the LARGEST unclassified computer center in the world) and Cray's visualization lab. The visualization lab houses some very cool graphics hardware including a huge (~8 feet wide) display screen where 3-dimensional data objects are visualized. While on the computer center tour, we also got to handle the system boards that went into many of the milestone computer systems since the Cray 1 in the 1970s. Very interesting tour, I must say.

After this, we went to the Off Line Cafe (the employee cafeteria) and got our complimentary intern polo shirts and our tickets for the evening's activity. Then, we listened to two speakers- one was the Director of Hardware in Chippewa and the other was a woman who is over Cray's graphics and visualization. She had some very cool slides showing particle traces used in industrial chemical mixing applications.

Then we had dinner- hamburgers, bratwurst sausage, potato salad, and cookies. Cooked and served outside on the patio just outside the F building.

After dinner, Christine and I hopped in our car and headed to St. Paul. Why? Because we were going to see the St. Paul Saints play baseball. We got to the ballpark almost an hour before the game started. It was then I realized I had left my ticket in my office before we left. So, we waited around outside the ballpark hoping to find one of the HR people to get another ticket from. Eventually, I just bought another ticket from a scalper for three bucks. Christine suggested we could leave at halftime because we had some stuff to do. I had to jostle her memory that there is no "halftime" in baseball. She's okay.

We stuck around for 4 innings. It was great fun.

Yesterday (Tuesday), there was a special video presentation in the Off Line. Cafe at 2:00 by the sales department. Christine and I went down a little early to make sure we got good seats. They showed about six short videos- a couple of which were tributes to the late Seymour Cray who died in an automobile accident last year. I got a copy of one of the videos.

Last night I went to the county library here in Eagan and got another book of Carl Sagan's. I'm getting interested in his work again after having seen Contact. A new book by him was just released- he was working on it just before his death. The title is Billions And Billions.

Incidentally, if you haven't run out in your bathrobe to see Contact, do so immediately.

Today, after work, we went to the Mall Of America, had a quick dinner at a chinese food place there, and then went clothes shopping at a place called Marshall's. It's a big discount store where they sell stuff that has been taken off the shelves at other places. And they sell it real cheap too. I got a pair of Ralph Lauren Polo jeans, normally $48, for $29.99.

While I'm keeping myself busy here in Minnesota, I'm starting to miss Utah and all my friends and family back home. So, if you're not busy, don't be afraid to take a moment and drop me a line letting me know how you're life is going.