Tag pictures (78)
Germany trip recap
Posted on 2010-11-16 23:28:00
Tags: pictures travel
Full recap behind the cut:
Monday 11-8 11:40 AM (local) Frankfurt
I'm officially 2/3 of the way to Hamburg! Flight from Austin to Charlotte was unventful other than it being on a tiny cramped plane. The Charlotte airport was a nice surprise (since I had 4.5 hours to spend there). I walked the whole thing (no small feat), enjoyed a fresh yogurt parfait, read for a long time, then had dinner at a Cuban place where I saw the NY Giants (my weekly football pick) were dominating. Ordered a steak sandwich, which was heavy on the steak and gave me some stomach issues...
The plane to Frankfurt was a little disappointing. The video entertainment options were pretty good, but you needed a $5 headset or your own pair of the two-pronged headphones (where I swear are designed to be incompatible with every other headphones). Since it was getting late anyway, I just read for a while and tried to sleep, mostly unsuccessfully due to the ridiculously small legroom (after I put my backpack there) and the aforementioned stomach issues. By the time we landed I had already gotten through 2.75 books "today" which is pretty good!
I knew I had a tightish connection (1 hr 20 mins on paper), so I rushed through the airport as best I could. In Austin, the checkin agent said my bag was checked all the way to Hamburg, so I skipped it, stopped to get gouged at a currency exchange booth (Google said 1 USD was around .7 EUR and I got .57...) and went through Immigration. The guy asked a total of zero questions (I guess I don't look suspicious!) and I had nothing to declare so that all went pretty fast.
Then I realized I was out in the main airport and would have to go back through security. Also, I didn't yet have a boarding pass. So I walked all the way to my terminal, cursing my hurriedness and uncomfortableness at taking picture in a foreign airport (giant railroad-style display with >100 flights! A checkin booth for Iran Air!), found a kiosk and got a boarding pass. Then I wondered whether I did need to recheck my luggage to Hamburg or what, but I asked a Lufthansa checkin person and she assuaged my fears.
Made it to the gate with time to spare, although not much. Frankfurt is a huge airport!
I feel a little bad for not brushing up on German more than the very basics. Totally wasn't a problem so far (even the inflight magazine is in German & English!) but I do feel a bit the ugly American, so at least I try to act ashamed!
Although, later when the guy with the food cart comes by:
Me: Water Him: <something that sounds a lot like German>
Me: <Gesture helplessly> I don't speak German (in halting German) Him: OK, what language do you speak?
Me: ...English <confused> Him: <acting offended> We are an international airline
Me: <feeling bad, making excuses that it's hard to hear> Water Him: Ice or no ice?
Me: No ice.
And then, with God as my witness he pours me a Coke. I'm not sure what lesson to take away from this...
Part of what I like about traveling is the unfamiliarity and disorientation of being somewhere new. However, when I've had three flights already and am pretty jet lagged, these become more intimidating than fun. Managed to make it to the hotel, though, so that's something.
soo tired, write tomorrow
Tuesday 9:00 AM
Yesterday I managed to find the NI folks at the hotel. Not having cellphone access is very debilitating! I had hoped to stay up and then go bed early (to beat jet lag), but I found out we had dinner reservations at 8. So I had some time instead to roam around Hamburg while it was still light.
The hotel has WiFi, but you have to sign in and for some reason I couldn't get my phone to work with it. So I decided to go on a mission - find tea, find WiFi so I could check email/let David know I had arrived, and some Rolaids.
I'll spare you the gory details, but this mission was a miserable failure. WiFi was everywhere but it was all protected, and I didn't see any coffee shops that said "Internet" on them. At one point I could see nine different protected networks! After a long time I gave up and did at least get some hot tea and sat inside to warm up - it's in the 40s after the sun goes down.
Stumbled back to the hotel after getting a little lost, and lugged my laptop downstairs (no WiFi in the room :-( ). Thankfully I was able to chat with David and check email. When I went back to the room I noticed that the voltage converter I bought only has two prongs so I can't plug my laptop into it. Not quite sure what to do about this since I have very little free time until Friday. Hopefully the next hotel's WiFi will work on my phone.
Dinner was nice - everyone was very friendly and we chatted a lot. Also, everyone's English is very good, which reinforces the "ugly American" feeling. Oh well. For Tuesday-Thursday the plan is to check out of the hotel, give the presentation (which is roughly 9-4 - my part is 11-11:20), then pack up and go to the airport - hence the lack of free time. Hamburg does seem like a nice city - wish I had more time!
Afterwards we walked back and went up to the hotel bar, which was very nice but I was dead tired by this point. Collapsed in my room at midnight for 7 hours of sleep, which is still a big upgrade!
This morning I dragged myself out of bed, checked out and went up to the presentation room, which is very nice:
I do get three nice LabVIEW shirts out of this. The theme of LabVIEW 2010 is "It's about time", so right now they're having an audience quiz and rewarding correct answers with LabVIEW-branded alarm clocks! Unfortunately it's all in German, so not only do I not understand but it makes me feel more awkward about my English presentation. Hopefuly it goes well!
I just got introduced (with everyone else). I hope he said nice things!
My presentation went pretty well. That was the most relaxed I've ever been giving it in front of people. I got a lot of good questions which is usually a good sign. Apparently I need to talk slower, though.
Knocking on table=applause!
Whoa, this plane has a row 13! I'm surprised we didn't crash.
Wednesday 9:00 AM
We arrived in Düsseldorf (the most German of the cities I'll be in because it has an umlaut! München doesn't count because it's Munich in English) and got a minivan taxi to the hotel which managed to fit all 8 of us with luggage. Arrived at the hotel at 7:30 and started setting up, which unfortunately took until 9 or so, not that I was able to help much. By that point I was hungry, and we went to dinner at the hotel. I had been doing well sleepwise up to that point, but I started to crash hard during dinner, and even got a bit of dizziness which I hope is just a jet lag thing (it happened Monday night as well). I bugged out around 10:30 and went up to the room, was able to connect to the internet and chat with David and check email. I then wanted to charge my phone (used it to work some crossword puzzles yesterday!) but had misplaced part of my voltage converter which took me twenty minutes to find since I was so tired. Went to bed watching the same UEFA Champion's League highlights (soccer) I had watched Monday night.
I did not sleep well - the room was too hot (the thermostat was...confusing) and the pillows too soft and the bed too hard. I guess I'm kind of a picky sleeper. But I felt decent when I woke up, made myself a cup of tea and headed downstairs.
The breakfast buffet was amazing - I took pictures!
Meats, cheeses, yogurts, mueslis, pastries, and (most importantly) tea! I held myself to two bowls of yogurt with various mueslis and fruit on top. Sooo good.
- I had a dream last night that someone walked into my room, smoked a cigarette, and left. About half of the NI folks here smoke, and at least one used to but quit.
- Voltage converter has been working great, except the American side of the plug has no ground, and my laptop has a grounded plug. Today I'm going to borrow a plug to charge it, but it would be nice to have a more permanent solution.
- My allergies have been quite bad - tea in the morning helps (I quickly learned the German for "tea" is << tee >>), but today I have a headache. Also, I'm tired again...
- Getting through security 10 minutes before boarding = "just enough time for a beer!" Excellent.
- Speaking of which, Lufthansa has free beer and wine!
Thursday 9:00 AM
Another late night - after setting up and dinner we walked to a local Berlin biergarten and had three pitchers of a local beer (Berliner Kindl = very good!)
It was nice to at least see a little of the city, as opposed to Düsseldorf of which I only saw the airport and hotel.
Looking forward to arriving in Munich tonight - already have at least one meeting set up on Friday to talk about work stuff.
Hopefully the jet lag is done - yesterday I crashed in the early afternoon. Probably getting more sleep would have helped, but when am I going to be in Berline again?
Apparently 21 years after the Berlin wall fell, you can still tell the difference between East and West Berlin.
Yesterday's presentation went well - I tried to speak slower and pause more, which took concentration, but hopefully people understand better. People seem to feel comfortable asking questions/talking to me during breaks, which is good.
It's kind of intimidating when everyone else's introduction is a name and position, and then they get to me and I get a minute of quickly spoken German, during which the audience smiles knowingly at me. Still don't really know what was being said...
Friday 7:30 AM
Boy, I finally get to sleep in and I'm unable to sleep past 6. My jet lag seems to bounce around randomly...not sure if this will make it easier or harder to adjust back.
Session went well yesterday - people seemed to understand my part better and I got a lot of good questions. Funny story: someone set one of the alarm clocks we gave away to go off at 11:11, which apparently is the official start of Carnival, it being Nov. 11 (which lasts until Ash Wednesday...weird). They had discussed doing this to all the alarm clocks when we were at the biergarten, so I was surprised it actually happened!
At the Berlin airport I had a currywurst for dinner, which is a sausage covered in curry powder served in a tomato-y sauce. It was delicious! And now I've had beer and sausage here, so I feel like I've "done" Germany :-)
After breakfast I'm going to head into the office - I was going to walk there but it's a bit far so they recommended I take a taxi. But it looks like it's close to an S-Bahn station, and so is the hotel, so I think I'll try that.
I'm in Munich now, which I guess I didn't mention. Very glad to be done traveling for a day or two.
Saturday 10:00 AM
Yay I slept in today! Feeling much better with the timezone, just in time to leave.
Yesterday I did take the S-Bahn in to the NI office, which is very nice. Spent most of the day working and being surprisingly productive. At lunchtime I gave my presentation again for a group of ~15 AEs, which seemed to go well. I also threw in some stuff about how we test LabVIEW at Andreas's request - apparently some of them grumble we don't test at all, which is so not true. Not sure how this part went over exactly...
Came back to the hotel and hung around all evening - was feeling pretty tired and blah. Had Thai food at the restaurant next door to the hotel which turned out to be connected to the hotel, but it was still pretty good.
Today I'm going to hit the Deutches Museum which is very large and and takes two days to go through, so I'll just pick the neat stuff. Then maybe the city center or something.
Kind of a weird day.
I took the S-Bahn to the Deutches Museum and when I got out there were a lot of police just standing around. Nothing was going on as far as I could tell, and I first thought maybe this was normal, but I could see at least 50 officers stationed on corners, etc. Anyway, I couldn't figure it out (and was unsure about taking a picture), so I walked to the museum.
As soon as I got in (after I had bought a ticket) I realized that I had been here before when my family visited Europe right after college. Dang it! So I walked around to the stuff I wanted to see, but fairly quickly, especially since only 25% of the displays were translated into English. Oh well...
So I left the museum much earlier than planned, and when I walked back towards the S-Bahn suddenly there were a lot of police cars blocking the road, and even more police.
There was a group of people between the cars, and police in front of them. But the street was empty, except for more police down the street. At first I thought they were blocking off the street, but someone asked if he could cross and they let him. So I hung around and eventually some people walked down the street heavily flanked by police, and the crowd around me started whistling and chanting "Nazis out!" (or maybe "Nazis auf!") So I think it was a Neo-Nazi rally or something - crazy! I left pretty quickly since it seemed things might get ugly.
Then I decided to visit the Allianz Arena which is where Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 München play soccer. They have some shops that are open even when there are no games, although it turns out there weren't that many, but I got some nice Bayern Munich memorabilia. :-) It also led me to think about an interesting math problem...details to follow. (update: here's the problem with solution)
After that I decided to randomly explore the city - I've had mixed success with this in the past, but being well-rested and having some idea of where stuff is seems like a recipe for success, which today was. I went to the main train station, sat down for a bit and had a snack and read (the Kindle was awesome for this - very light in the backpack and easy to hold food in one hand (far away!) and "turn pages" with the other). After walking around the stores there some more I decided to head back to the hotel for a break before supper.
For supper I headed to the central bus stations, which had some shops but nothing particularly appealing, so I found a local place, which is where I am now. The all-day pass on the S-Bahn really paid off!
Well, I'm finally on my way home. Between the jet lag and lack of sleep and constant plane flights, it feels a little surreal to be headed home. Just finished Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die which was good but creepy and not helping with the surreal feeling.
Pretty impressed with this plane - this time there's only one headphone jack so I can actually use the entertainment system. Watched a Simpsons episode during lunch, and they also have a music section so I'm listening to some Glee and some Gaga which are good reading music. Plus you can see where the plane is/how long until arrival which is very convenient since I don't have a watch.
Right now is supposed to be a "rest period" which confuses me since we left at 11:55 AM Munich time and are arriving at 3:25 PM Philadelphia time. Think I'm going to stay up when I can and sleep if I get tired. Switching time zones confuses me.
The woman sitting next to me said I was in her husband's seat - apparently his passport was stolen and the embassy doesn't have an appointment until Thursday. One of the flight attendants has been sneaking her free headphones, etc. I feel a little justified in being paranoid about my passport all week - I carried it around with me because I wasn't sure if I needed it if stopped by the police, but I've had bad luck with losing things from my pockets (see: San Francisco trip)
The plane to Charlotte also has a row #13 - what happened to the proper respect for dangerous numbers?? The flight attendant announced the flight time as "1 hour, 19 minutes and 32 seconds", and no one else giggled. Pretty sure that's 3 significant digits too many.
Wow, that was more words than I thought.
San Francisco trip
Posted on 2010-10-13 23:37:00
Tags: pictures travel
We had a great trip to San Francisco! Here are pictures:
This time, I didn't write up every single thing we did, just when I had something to say. So:
Monday, we drove out to Fairfield to visit the Jelly Belly factory. The tour was pretty interesting - we got to walk around the factory and saw a bunch of videos about the company's history and how they make Jelly Bellies. Along the way we got to try new flavors of Jelly Bellies (honey is good!) and sample beans that had only gone through part of the process. The scale of the place was pretty impressive. Also, one of the steps is putting the beans through a "sugar shower" which sounds really tasty! The store had free samples and a ton of Jelly Belly paraphernalia. I went a little overboard...
Afterwards we played Putt-Putt. I was a little ashamed because we were very hot, but the high was only in the 80s. Later I found out the high where we were was actually 97, so we hadn't transformed into California wimps. Yay!
The cable cars were neat but a little frightening - it looked like the driver had to grip very tight on hills to keep the car moving. Also, the brakes often took two or three taps to actually stop.
The Alcatraz audio tour was very interesting - the site is still relatively well preserved. There is a very nice view of San Francisco (it's only 1.25 miles away); apparently some nights inmates could hear chatter from parties there.
Pier 39 but had a lot of neat stuff, like an amazing sock store! I got a hot tea and then spent an hour on a ridiculously overcrowded and unventilated streetcar getting home...honestly was a little afraid of fainting. (lesson learned: hot tea is a "sometimes drink")
The Muni system is...interesting. Muni is the public transit system for the city of San Francisco (i.e. not BART, not CalTrain, not any of the 10 other mass-transit options) There are four(!) types of vehicles - cable cars which run a very limited set of routes, buses, streetcars that run on rails and attach to overhead power lines, and streetcars that also go underground like a subway. This was all extremely confusing for a day or so until we mostly got the hang of it. Stops were sometimes hard to see, and the payment system is kind of arcane. For street-level things, you pay at the front when getting on, unless you have a 1/3/7-day pass. (we bought a seven-day one...and then bought me another one when I left it on a bus our first full day here. Whoops!) The passes aren't electronic, so the driver's supposed to verify that it's still valid, which of course rarely happened. In the subway, however, you have to pay cash to get into the station, unless you have a pass, in which case you just...walk through the gates. The linchpin to the system is you can be stopped at any time by a Muni cop to show proof of payment (including a timed transfer if you paid cash), but we rode a lot and never saw one.
The California Academy of Sciences was pricey, but it had a good planetarium and enclosed rainforest environment. And a good museum shop :-)
We saw a fun show called Beach Blanket Babylon. It's a musical revue of, um, pop culture and stuff. Some of their jokes were fairly groan-inducing (bordered on the whole "referencing someone in pop culture=joke" philosophy), but usually either a joke or the music was good in each scene, so that's fine. Rule of thumb: the show isn't over until the big hat comes out. No, the really big hat. Seriously - biggest hat I've ever seen. Oh, and the plot of the 100 minute show could be described in 60 seconds. Just think of it as "Family Guy with music" and you'll be fine.
minnesota, civ 5, bridge
Posted on 2010-09-20 12:07:00
Tags: pictures bridge projects programming
I went to Minnesota last week on a recruiting trip and took a few pictures:
Civilization 5 is releasing tomorrow! The full manual is available online (warning: 233 page .pdf) and it look spretty good. I do miss having a paper manual, though.
I've been working on the bridge program for webOS. It's coming along nicely - the framework is all in place to bid and play, and I've done some of the graphical stuff so you can almost actually play a hand on the webOS emulator. The next big thing to do is the AI for bidding and playing, which will probably be big tasks. We're going to be fairly busy over the next month or two so I'm not expecting much progress for a while. (also, Civ 5 coming out certainly doesn't help :-) )
Eric Fischer took census data on race and mapped where people live in major cities. (here's Houston, Austin, and San Antonio) Some patterns definitely jump out at you, but if you zoom in you can see there's nowhere that's exclusively one race, which is a good thing.
Posted on 2010-08-02 14:18:00
Tags: pictures asmc projects
The summer musical went well this weekend, although I was losing my voice by the end on account of doing the pirate accent. Happily, today begins 3 days of no rehearsals/performances, which hasn't happened since we started rehearsals just under a month ago. So, I've been catching up on a few things:
- Pictures from Jonathan and Sarah's wedding are finally up:
- My PasswordHash thing now has a Google Chrome version. Unfortunately right now there's no support for adding things to the right-click context menu, so it just copies the password to the clipboard.
weekend pictures, my first ad!
Posted on 2010-06-07 10:52:00
Tags: pictures palmpre projects
We went down to Houston this weekend to see the Young Frankenstein musical (verdict: entertaining but not as good as the movie), and ended up seeing a nice backyard with some bees. Also: back in Austin we saw the original Batman movie at the Paramount with Adam West. Pictures of all the above:
The Palm Hot Apps competition will award cash prizes to the 221 most popular free and paid apps on June 30. I think FlightPredictor has a (very) outside shot at winning, so I bought an ad for it on webOSroundup. (it's one of the boxes on the right - doesn't show up every time so you might have to reload) Thanks to destroyerj and skimmerduk for design help!
One year and one day ago, the Palm Pre went on sale - PreCentral has a a good retrospective on what went wrong and what went right.
MetroRail and links
Posted on 2010-05-04 11:53:00
Tags: pictures links
On Saturday, we took the MetroRail downtown to the Pecan Street Festival. It was quite crowded, but apparently that doesn't mean there will be Saturday service in the future. The single track problem is really a big obstacle at this point. I took some pictures:
while we were there, we walked by a booth for the Austin Planetarium, which doesn't exist yet. Did you know that Austin is the biggest city in the US with no planetarium? Or that Dallas has 12 of them? So we joined, mostly to stick it to Dallas. Jerks!
At the Palm Developer Day, I had my picture taken with my app. Nerdy, I know!
The Alamo Drafthouse is looking at eliminating lines at the South Lamar theatre and moving to a Southwest-style system. (with a followup post) They're also looking at more healthy food items.
Why do we root for underdogs?
A visualization of what color cultures associate with ideas - interesting that ones like heat, anger, truce, success are relatively uniform but death, peace, love are not.
Amazon is releasing a little bit of data about what people are reading on the Kindle, specifically the most highlighted passage - I mentioned the possibility earlier, but now I want more data!
Palm Developer Day trip: Day 3
Posted on 2010-04-27 22:53:00
Tags: pictures travel
The plan was to wake up at 8:15, which would give me enough time to get ready, check out, eat breakfast, and walk the .8 miles to the Caltrain station to catch the 9:34 to San Jose.
Everything was going well - I was out the door at 9, which should have been just enough time. I took a few wrong turns but still manager to arrive at around 9:31, figured out how to buy a ticket, and then saw there were two tracks. I saw a sign that seemed to imply the first set was for express trains, so I crossed to the other side behind some other people and looked around a little. Just then a train started to arrive, and the little pedestrian gates closed so I couldn't get back to the other side, and lo and behold I was on the wrong side. (later confirmed by an actual sign) So I had to wait an hour for the next one. And just a few minutes later the limo from my hotel pulled up and (presumably) dropped someone off. That would have saved a lot of walking.
Caught the next Caltrain (which was very loud and big) to San Jose, and then had to wait for the light rain to downtown, which wasn't too far but I wasn't sure I could walk under the freeway. The Caltrain runs every hour on weekends and the light rain runs every half hour, so I had a lot less time than I planned in the city.
Which turned out OK because I was tired of walking around. I checked out the Tech Museum of Innovation (pretty neat museum, especially for kids) and had a nice lunch at a local cafe, with tea even! It was still an hour until I had to catch the light rain but I convinced myself to at least walk along an island to the art museum, which was nice. It was still early but I didn't want to tire myself out before having to walk back to the hotel, so I went to the light rail station and promptly got on the wrong train. Easy enough to get off and take one the other direction, but I just missed the real train so I had to burn another half an hour sitting and reading. Arrived back at the hotel uneventfully but thirstily (was a little chilly in the morning with no sweatshirt, was a little warm in the afternoon) - and what kind of hotel doesn't have a water fountain in the lobby? The desk clerk helpfully informed me that there were water bottles in the minibars.
Thus ends the trip wrapup; pictures are all up now:
Palm Developer Day trip: Day 2
Posted on 2010-04-27 21:48:00
Tags: pictures travel
I woke up excited and nervous about interacting with people. After getting ready and seeing a few fellow attendees eating breakfast downstairs, I got in the hotel limo with two other people to go to Palm HQ. Chatted with them a bit about the kind of stuff they worked on. When we arrived Palm had breakfast available in their cafe - I grabbed some fruit and sat down with some people and joined their conversation. (Hooray for being somewhat sociable!) Even got one guy interested in FlightPredictor (coming very very soon!)
The keynote started at 9 and talked about a new things coming to WebOS in the fall timeframe - access to the microphone and camera, better file I/O access (yay!), a new database system, etc. After that the company store was open (all items 30% off!) so I got a nice Moleskine notebook with the Palm logo and a new headset. The rest of the day was a blur of sessions - interestingly they had both hour long and 30 minute sessions, but generally the hour long ones were good and the 30 minute ones were less so. I was proud of myself for asking a few questions and going to the Apps Lab to report a bug which we spent 20 minutes examining. Later I got a picture taken with my app (link coming soon!)
After all the sessions were done, Palm had an offsite mixer with free beer and food, so I took the shuttle they provided there. I was feeling pretty socialized out, though, so I joined a group talking with a Palm guy for a bit, got a beer and food from the buffet and then sat alone, thinking someone might join me, and they might not. As it turned out, no one did, and after a while I pulled out my book and read for a while, then just felt like going home.
This was a little tricky logistically - one option was to wait for the Palm shuttle to take me back to Palm and then call the hotel and wait for them, but I wasn't sure if the Palm shuttle was even running since I was leaving so early. The other option was to walk the 3.1 miles back to the hotel, which I decided to do. It worked out OK, but it was a long walk and I took a few wrong turns. Hooray for Google Maps with walking directions on my Palm Pre, though!
When I finally made it back to the hotel, I collapsed for a bit, then ordered a dessert as a reward, and prepared my plan for the next day. My flight wasn't until 5:50 PM so I was planning on taking the Caltrain to San Jose to explore the city...
Here are the pictures (more being posted as I type!):
official wedding pictures up! and yogurt
Posted on 2010-04-13 10:58:00
Tags: pictures wedding food
Our official wedding pictures are finally up! Thanks again to Eric Hegwer, who did a great job photographing the event. I went a little crazy posting pictures (119 in total) because so many of them were so good, so don't feel obligated to look at all of them :-) If you're interested in a DVD with all 400+ pictures, let me know.
Yesterday I tried Sushi Zushi in the Domain for lunch. They had a wide selection of "real" sushi, but I just went for a Bento Box as I'm very inexperienced (I like California rolls but I've tried very little else). The meal was decent - (the miso soup was particularly good) but some of the stuff in the box was a little too weird to me. And it was fairly pricey - $14. But if you're a big sushi fan, they have a good selection and it's a nice place...
Anyway, on the way there I walked by Yogurt Planet, which is one of those "dispense your own yogurt and add toppings and pay by the ounce" type places. It looked like fun so I got one on my way out. It was amazingly delicious! I had fat-free mango yogurt with fresh blueberry, blackberry, mango and pineapple on top, as well as cookie dough bits and caramel. Seriously, check out the toppings on their site - it will make you hungry!
weekend at the park
Posted on 2010-03-28 23:10:00
We went down to Houston for my Grandpa's 85th birthday party, which was fun. On Saturday we spent some time in Hermann Park, which was a good opportunity to put my new camera through its paces. I think the pictures turned out relatively well.
In the Japanese Garden we saw what really looked like a marriage proposal - on a blanket, a guy holding a girl's hand while she excitedly talked on the phone (and we overheard at least the word "wedding"). Would have taken a picture but I felt weird invading their privacy. They looked happy, though :-)
Our planted tree!
Posted on 2010-03-25 19:55:00
Tags: pictures house
First picture with new camera!
Posted on 2010-03-23 10:42:00
Tags: pictures house
...and it's of our new tree! I just set the camera to auto and it did a pretty good job in the darkness:
There are more new pictures in that gallery, too. Coming soon - a picture of the tree after being planted :-)
Picture of our solar screens
Posted on 2010-03-13 12:38:00
Tags: pictures house
Here's a picture of the solar screens we got put up on our bedroom windows:
More snow pics
Posted on 2010-02-23 12:32:00
Tags: pictures snow
Posted via LJ for WebOS.
The snow is sticking!
Posted on 2010-02-23 10:06:00
Tags: pictures snow
Posted via LJ for WebOS.
first links of 2010!
Posted on 2010-01-04 10:52:00
Tags: pictures gay links
More Christmas pictures and pictures from Jess & Wong's wedding:
A nice article about newly elected mayor and Rice graduate Annise Parker - contains this surprising bit:
Chandler Davidson, professor emeritus of sociology, recalled Parker recruiting him to serve as faculty sponsor for the Gay and Lesbian Support Group that she founded at Rice in 1979 -- a year after she graduated. When the members of the group later posed for their first Campanile photo a few years later, Davidson said, almost all wore paper bags over their heads to guard their anonymity.The article includes the picture - Parker was one of two people who didn't wear a bag over her head. Craziness!
Posted on 2009-12-07 18:02:00
can be found here:
a few new pictures
Posted on 2009-10-31 13:36:00
Only two months late! Including cute nephew pictures and a few camping ones.
Posted on 2009-10-01 10:20:00
Tags: pictures programming
I visited Rice for some recruiting this week, and tried to document all the things that have changed since I graduated. The result is here:
This has been, for various reasons, a crazy few weeks. I'm hoping things have settled down a bit now.
One of the things I've been doing is competing in the Google Code Jam, an online programming contest. The structure is interesting - each problem has a small set and a large set of data to solve. The small set you can usually get by doing a straightforward program/algorithm (although not always!), and you have 4 minutes to download and submit your solution. If it's incorrect you get notified right away and you can try again on a different data set. The large set is much, well, larger, and you usually have to do something pretty clever to solve it. You get 8 minutes to download and submit it, but you only get one shot and you don't know whether you succeeded or not until the contest is over.
The first round was the qualification round (you had to get one small set and one large set to advance) and after that was Round 1A. There were also rounds 1B and 1C, you could compete in any/all of them, and the top 1000 from each round advanced to round 2. I did well enough to advance, so I started doing more practice rounds from previous years with varying levels of success. This culminated in trying round 2 from last year the day before the contest and getting 0 points. I was kinda frustrated at this but it sorta worked out well because I was resigned to probably not advancing. In the actual round 2 I got 2 small sets and 1 large set, which I considered respectable - it put me in 1078/3000 people, but only the top 500 advance (and get a T-shirt :-) ). So I'll probably do it again next year but without a lot of practice or something I'm not sure I'd ever see the ways to do most of these; Google publishes a contest analysis of each round after the fact, and those round 2 problems are doozies.
The upside is that it made me want to jump back in to my other programming projects, so hopefully I'll get to do that soon!
Rochester pictures, Obama's health care speech
Posted on 2009-09-10 10:26:00
Tags: pictures politics
Finally put pictures up from our Rochester trip this weekend:
Obama's big health care speech was last night - I caught a bit of it on the radio, but reading the remarks this morning it seems like a good speech and hopefully something will get done. (here's the plan in bullet point style) I'm glad he addressed some of the more ridiculous rumors like "death panels".
During the speech, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) yelled "You lie!" to Obama, which got some boos. Here's a video - the look on Nancy Pelosi's face is priceless :-) Apparently he called afterwards to apologize to Obama.
I got my copy of Alien Hand Syndrome (i.e. the Damn Interesting book) yesterday. It is good!
Posted on 2009-08-17 09:52:00
Tags: pictures palmpre projects links
Pictures from New Mexico and Barbara & Alex's wedding are up. Note that the pictures from the wedding itself aren't that great...I did my best!
Published a Pre version of PasswordHash - it was relatively easy to port. A new feature (in the web and Firefox versions as well) lets you force a special character to appear in the password.
Apparently men who "strongly endorsed old-school notions of masculinity" were half as likely to get flu shots and other preventative medicine. Can't say I'm surprised.
Also, "for men, sexual boredom was correlated with variety in partners (or lack thereof), while for women, it was more related to variety in activity." Good to know? (the Coolidge effect description at Wikipedia is pretty funny)
Finally, an Obama protest I can get behind.
Honeymoon quick wrapup
Posted on 2009-08-08 18:24:00
Tags: pictures honeymoon travel
We had a very nice honeymoon. Hawaii is a really beautiful place. Maui is great for relaxing and sightseeing, and Oahu seems nice for shopping and whatnot.
We kept too busy on Maui. I don't regret anything in particular that we did, but we should have scheduled fewer activities and had more relaxing/recovery time. It's been a while since we had a vacation that we planned for ourselves, so hopefully we'll remember it for next time.
Amazingly, I didn't get seriously sunburned!
Stuff we didn't do this time but I'd like to do next time:
Maui: Surfing lessons, parasailing
Oahu: Polynesian Cultural Center, swimming with the dolphins at Sea Life Park
Full honeymoon pictures:
anyone want a camera?
Posted on 2009-03-16 11:12:00
So I got a new camera for Christmas (it's great!), but my old camera works fine - anyone want it? It's a Canon PowerShot A510, 3.2 megapixels, 3x optical zoom, flash, etc. I'll even throw in a spare pair of batteries and battery charger, and a little carrying case. I just realized that I don't have the extra mini USB to USB connector, but they're like $8 at Fry's. Here's a picture:
Let me know if you want it!
The trip to see our new cousin Eli last weekend was good - here's David holding him:
(does linking pictures in LJ posts like this piss people off?)
Taking the day off today, hopefully will get lots of wedding stuff done!
ThumbnailCopy firefox extension
Posted on 2009-01-03 12:19:00
Tags: pictures projects programming
So I wrote this ThumbnailCopy extension (see Kurt's post) and in order for it to go public people have to register for an account there and review it. So...anyone mind doing that? :-)
Also, Texas Bowl pictures are up.
Texas Bowl was awesome!
Posted on 2008-12-31 14:13:00
Tags: pictures travel essay
That was a lot of fun! We got to the game early and walked to the stadium (avoiding the $20 parking), got some food and sat in our seats. We were literally four rows away from the field, at the 35 yard line. Visibility would have been better had we been a bit higher up, but being that close to the field was pretty fun. Reliant Stadium is huge!
I haven't watched a Rice football game since I graduated, as far as I can remember, so the team was very different. When I was there it was a lot of running, and a pass play almost qualified as a trick play because they happened so rarely. Rice ended up running a decent amount, but their passing game was stellar. Chase Clement (their senior QB) is quite good - he ran for Rice's first touchdown and threw for a few as well. He was good at avoiding the pass rush too - on one particularly nice touchdown throw he did a neat little turn to throw off the rusher and had plenty of time to step and throw.
Jarrett Dillard (Rice's All-American WR) was pretty amazing too - he made some nice catches (my dad says he has a 42" vertical leap!). James Casey sometimes lined up at tight end, sometimes at fullback, and he returned punts and was the holder for the field goal kicker :-)
Rice tried a few trick plays including a flea flicker (QB hands off to the fullback who takes a few steps, tosses it back to the QB who then throws a long pass) which didn't work, and a reverse followed by an attempted pass which would have worked but it was a bad throw. One that did work was with four wide receivers lined up on the left, Clement quickly threw to Dillard and then took off to the right. Dillard took a few steps, stopped and threw it to Clement who waltzed in to the end zone. It was awesome :-)
Here's the game recap - it was never close at all (Rice won 38-14 but went up 38-0 and then started taking out first-string players). The downside was that it wasn't that exciting per se, but it was nice the coach got to take out Clement and Dillard to a standing ovation.
The stadium was reasonably full and there were unsurprisingly a lot of Rice fans, including NI's former VP of R&D who I ran into. We got some good cheers going and stuff :-) I went with my dad and sister (not wonderjess, the other one who refuses to get a LJ account...) and had a lot of fun! Got to use my new camera for the first time and it performed well - took a lot of good pictures that I'll post when I figure out how to download them...
Edit: pictures now up!
back from Maine
Posted on 2008-08-17 15:20:00
Tags: pictures travel
Well, we're back from Maine! Here are pictures, and trip recap is behind the cut:
Left on Wednesday and, after the plane stopped in Baltimore (thought the flight was non-stop but apparently not), made it to Manchester, NH. The Southwest gate agent in Baltimore was nice enough to let us off the plane for a few minutes so we could grab some dinner. It was weird being in an airport that we were so familiar with!
My family picked us up and we drove back to Old Orchard Beach, ME. The cottage we were staying in was small (and the stairs were creaky!) but nice enough. The next day we walked down to the beach and walked along the beach for a while. We walked around town and picked up some souvenirs, including a half-pound of fudge and almost three pounds of Jelly Bellys. (this is too many Jelly Bellys, by the way)
I tried lobster for the first time - it was...OK, but nothing spectacular.
Thursday afternoon we walked around Portland and saw something about a renewable feast being put on by Cultivating Community. Of course, the whole eating local thing was offset by the fact that we flew up there, but whatever. The food was pretty good, although the meal lasted for a while and it was quite chilly by the end.
Friday we walked around the beach some more and almost played a game of mini-golf before Aunt Rebecca, Uncle Barrett and company arrived. Walked around some more with them and had a nice dinner at a local place.
Saturday morning we walked down to play some mini-golf before dropping wonderjess off at the train station and driving back to Manchester for our flights. We barely took off before a thunderstorm rolled in, and in fact we barely landed in Austin before thunderstorms came in (or at least the rest of the flights were delayed).
It was nice to have some time off!
Music: Peter Gabriel - "Down to Earth" (from Wall-E soundtrack)
Posted on 2008-08-12 14:31:00
Tags: pictures programming links
Since we're leaving tomorrow, I put up the pictures I had built up. Here are a few more ASMC pictures (check out my awesome chart!), here are a few recent random ones, and the most recent puzzle we did.
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner is out!
Barack Roll - memes upon memes...
I downloaded the iPhone SDK and may play around with it some, although I don't have a great idea for an app.
My throat gets tired talking for hour-long chunks at a time!
probably not worth a whole post
Posted on 2008-08-09 20:53:00
I like my new userpic! (taken from here)
not in a talkative mood
Posted on 2008-06-24 10:32:00
Tags: pictures whereslunch projects
Pictures from weekend before last
really close to unpacked!
Posted on 2008-05-26 17:08:00
Pictures and a video tour of the house.
weekend at Wash U
Posted on 2008-05-19 14:03:00
Carrie's graduation went well. Pictures of graduation are up, as well as pictures of last weekend.
The ceremony was good. Chris Matthews made a surprisingly good commencement speaker. The protest of Phyllis Schlafly happened as planned. (see pictures for more information) My back is pain-free despite sleeping on a foldout bed for two nights so I think I'm officially not a bed snob. I did manage to tweak my knee and ankle but they're on the mend. Also read some good books and did some more math on my Target project.
Game night tomorrow night and a three day weekend ahead. Life is good.
Mario Kart friend code
Posted on 2008-05-05 21:39:00
Tags: pictures worldofwarcraft wii
Unrelatedly, a few new pictures.
Two-shot Mag on our first time!
(highest tag to word ratio? maybe)
Posted on 2008-04-30 16:26:00
Tags: pictures worldofwarcraft
Put some weekend pictures up.
We downed Gruul's Lair for the first time last night! Things went rather smoothly - the whole run took under two hours. Recruited a lot of new guildies too.
Posted on 2008-02-10 14:36:00
Tags: phone pictures camerapics house politics
Yesterday djedi's parents were around and we got a lot of stuff taken care of with the house. One of the more annoying things was countertops. Long story short: I don't recommend buying countertops from Home Depot.
Well, they charge by the square foot, but what they don't say is that they charge for the waste material too - so we get charged for all the extra runoff in the crazy corners and stuff, and you pay for the space the sink takes up even though no countertops go there. That alone increased the cost around 50%. Then, you get charged for them to take away the existing countertops, which is I guess reasonable but they didn't say anything when we were there the first time so we had no idea. Also, we're leaving the nice tile backsplash in but I guess it's more work for the installers to work around it, so that's an extra $150. And the guy said that sometimes they have problems and it may be unavoidable that they damage it, so I thought that $150 covered the "expected cost" of fixing it. As it turns out, no, if they mess it up they don't fix it at all. Lovely.
On top of that, it's our responsibility to disconnect and remove the sink before installation and put it back and replace and reconnect it afterwards. And, as if spending $4K on countertops wasn't enough, they charged us $1 per "rounded corner" for a total of $7. Seriously.
Compared with this, buying carpet from Lowe's was easy easy easy and I would totally recommend that over Home Depot. Blargh.
Since countertops were way more expensive than we thought we're going to pack our stuff ourselves. We'll set a date when we hear about carpet but if you have boxes and/or a free evening to help us pack, we would be very grateful!
I'm liking having a cameraphone, although the quality of the pictures isn't great: a sign seen at closing (I guess the point is they don't get paid if you don't close so they make you comfortable - we were repeatedly offered drinks, they had plenty of pens, etc.), a sign in the wire aisle of Home Depot.
Tomorrow I leave for Houston for work. Whee!
Obama cleaned up yesterday, winning with 68% in Washington and Nebraska and 57% in Louisiana. Woohoo!
Posted on 2008-02-04 14:39:00
Tags: pictures guildwars worldofwarcraft mac computer politics
The Mac continues to get better. Three days after spilling a ton of tea on it the screen is all better, the fan no longer spins crazily, and the battery charges normally. (which may have been happening all along but I was suspicious for a while) Unfortunately, the only problem is that the "v" key (and maybe the Control key) don't work at all. So I guess I'll have to take it in and see if they can fix it, which honestly is pretty doubtful.
Assuming it can't be fixed, I'm leaning towards not replacing it since we don't play WoW much anymore (we picked up Guild Wars over the weekend...we'll see if we continue playing or not) and I just bought the damn thing. I am getting back a big ol' tax refund since I deducted a bunch of moving expenses, although the Maryland state tax situation is a little more unclear. (if there online calculator is right, which I don't think it is, I owe $500 and will be very miffed)
The cover of a romance novel I saw at HEB - thanks, cameraphone!
A work friend has an imported version of Smash Bros and I get to play it tomorrow night. I am extremely excited.
Super Tuesday is tomorrow! Some polls look really good for Obama, others look less good, so who knows. Not sure how I'll keep up with results while playing Smash Bros tomorrow night, but I'll think of something!
Posted on 2008-01-23 14:55:00
Tags: phone pictures projects work
I took pictures of the latest puzzles we've completed, whereby "we" I mean "David, Miriam, and sometimes me". The last two were taken with my new phone, which is why the color is pretty messed up. (I tried to fix it in iPhoto but I may have just made things worse) So: having a camera with me at all times: pretty neat, but I'll stick to the real camera when it's available.
Speaking of the new phone, it's pretty neat! The screen is much nicer than my old one, and it's my first clamshell phone, which I think I like. It has pretty good web access, although my one big complaint is that it doesn't let apps access the network, which means that I have to use the kinda crappy web version of Google Maps instead of the super awesome one(*) that runs on the phone.
I got my car's oil changed today, which revealed that the rat that used to live(**) in our garage was gnawing on my air filter. Luckily it didn't gnaw all the way through; I don't know what implications that would have, but I can't imagine they're good.
Work is going really well today - between that and a new project at home(***), I am really peppy!
(*) - I've never seen or used said version so it may not be super awesome.
(**) - "used to" because we haven't seen any signs of it in a while, so it seems likely it's gone. We're moving out soon anyway. Whee!
(***) - which I will post of the results of hopefully tomorrow. Thanks to destroyerj for the idea...
check, check, check
Posted on 2008-01-21 09:19:00
Tags: movies pictures music house
Stuff we did this weekend that's worth mentioning:
- Saw "Juno". Good movie - the first scene had me worried that the whole thing was going to be very snappy and sound like it was written by writers who thought they were awesome, but it calmed down after that. Also, Michael Cera + Jason Bateman == win.
- Saw "Cloverfield". Also a good movie. I will avoid spoilers but I'd recommend it if you like horrorish movies. Kept me awake for a little while last night :-)
- Bought new music! In order of how much I expect to like them:
- Radiohead - "In Rainbows". Yeah, I should have gotten this a while ago but I was busy or something. Anyway, I've only heard the one track but it was pretty good and, come on, it's Radiohead!
- Arcade Fire - "Neon Bible". I listened to this on mediator and looved it.
- Nine Inch Nails - "Year Zero". I heard some samples and wasn't terribly impressed, but I like the concept so I'll give it a shot.
- White Stripes - "Icky Thump". I liked the samples I heard, so who knows.
- The Magnetic Fields - "Distortion". "California Girls" is a really catchy song but I dunno about the rest of the album. We'll see...
- Took down the Christmas tree in 10 minutes.
- Gave notice to our apartment that we're leaving.
- Went to the NI-sponsored hockey game, which was fun. The Ice Bats won!
- Bought a hot tub! We just stopped by to look at them but the '07 models were on clearance and the guy sold us the floor model for substantially cheaper than the "regular price". Anyway, we spent about what we wanted to spend so it's fine.
- Put pictures and videos of David's brother's wedding up. This was the first event that I used my Flip Video at (besides house-hunting) and let me tell you - editing the videos and such is a real pain. I gotta find a better way...(and fix the thumbnails at some point)
one christmas down, one to go!
Posted on 2007-12-28 10:57:00
Tags: pictures links
Here are pictures from the first Christmas. (not the first Christmas ever, mind you...)
From Daring Fireball, why 6 megapixels is the sweet spot for compact digital cameras and anything more than that just creates noise.
Why Starbucks actually helps mom and pop coffeehouses - that's kinda cool!
Why having a new programming language created every week for the last 50 years isn't necessarily a good thing.
Christmas is nigh
Posted on 2007-12-10 10:09:00
Tags: pictures itunesanalysis worldofwarcraft
I finished my WoW arena rating graph. The neat part is being able to see statistics (we are much worse against teams with 1 mage than teams with no mages, etc.) and select criteria to get specific results.
I put some Christmas pictures up (getting the tree for my parents house and our tree), as well as a puzzle David and Miriam did. (penguins!)
Sunday we went Christmas shopping for 3.5 hours, hitting 8 stores plus the mall. It was crazy. I'm beginning to understand feeling overwhelmed at the holidays. We did get gifts for a good chunk of the people we need to, though.
I added an iTunes playlist containing the first song from every album. It turns out I rate the first song on each album an average of .4 higher (see the analysis - "First tracks" average rating is 3.86, "Music" average rating is 3.47), which I found interesting!
iTunes rating analysis! Portal, TexRenFest.
Posted on 2007-11-19 09:58:00
Tags: pictures music itunesanalysis projects links
I'm "officially" releasing the iTunes Rating Analysis after making a few last minute tweaks. Unfortunately you have to be at your home computer (or whatever computer your iPod is synced to) to use it, but you can at least see see my analysis, complete with fancy charts! Not being able to use it at work means it'll probably be significantly less popular than the WoW Frost Mage DPS calculator (currently the most popular page on my site by a factor of 2 or 3 or so), but that is OK.
We bought and played through Portal this weekend, which is a first person puzzle game and pretty darn fun (and pretty short). The end credits song is extremely cute and catchy, and it's sung by the passive-aggressive computer who's talking to you for the whole game. The song was written by Jonathan Coulton (here's his blog post about writing the song) who happens to have lots of music available for download! So I'll probably check that out this week. Edit: live version of Jonathan Coulton performing "Still Alive" - there's cake!
wildrice13, abstractseaweed, quijax, djedi and I went to the Renaissance Festival on Saturday. David and I were going to see the Bolton's renewal of vows (here are the few pictures that I took - we participated in the ceremony so I didn't want to interrupt too much :-) ) which went well except for their not letting us do it at the festival proper (the words used were "unauthorized wedding" which I found amusing), so we went out to the parking lot and had a nice ceremony. The trip back wasn't so great - we got stuck in the parking lot as everyone else was leaving and then there was an accident 10-15 cars in front of us just as we were about to get to 290, so we didn't moved for half an hour or so. Ugh.
I slept on my neck funny. It hurts.
iTunes ratings analysis - what looks nicer?
Posted on 2007-11-05 10:37:00
Tags: pictures itunesanalysis projects poll
quijax and Todd and djedi and I went to Enchanted Rock on Saturday - here are pictures. I am sore and out of shape, but it was a fun hike.
My next project will be smallish - sprucing up my iTunes ratings analysis and letting people do it on their iTunes libraries. I'm starting with the sprucing up part - here's version 1 and version 2 (for reference, here's version 3 which is the same as version 1 except with darker alternating background colors):
[ Fill out Poll ] [ View Poll Results ] [ Discuss Results ] [ Close Poll ]
Poll #1083910 Pimp my iTunes Ratings Analysis!
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 8
Version 1 has alternating background colors on tables, while version 2 does not. Thoughts?
Version 1 (alternating colors) looks nicer
Version 2 (no background colors) looks nicer
I like the idea of alternating colors, but not those colors in particular (please explain!)
Version 1 has black table headers while version 2 has more grayish ones - opinions?
Version 1 (black headers) looks nicer
Version 2 (gray headers) looks nicer
They both suck (please explain!)
Will all the constitutional amendments pass today?
Halloween pictures, etc.
Posted on 2007-11-01 11:20:00
I put pictures from the Halloween party up. (they start at the bottom of that page)
So we bought a new router after suspecting problems with the old one. So far the wired connections don't drop, and it had the bonus of now I can access my website from my computer at a normal speed! (so the pictures took like 5 seconds to upload instead of the usual 10 minutes (no exaggeration!)) That makes me happy.
Making me less happy is that every 90 minutes or so the wireless will cut out and take a few minutes to come back. (the router is a Linksys WRT300N) At Fry's yesterday (when destroyerj was looking for a router) the sales guy said that Linksys's 802.11g routers are good, but he's gotten a fair amount of returns on the 802.11n ones. (like mine) I played with some wireless settings and it might have fixed the problem though - we'll have to see. Meanwhile I'm lusting over this Belkin N1 Vision which looks awesome. Luckily I'm not crazy enough to buy a extra router even if I'm infatuated with it :-)
When I was walking in this morning, I didn't see anyone around and thought about LJing how sometimes when that happens I think that I'm missing a meeting when that's almost certainly not the case. Lo and behold, when I got to my cube I had a note that everyone was in a meeting. Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you...
Posted on 2007-10-14 21:37:00
My mom's in town and we went on a Segway tour of Austin. Here are my pictures of said event.
Posted on 2007-10-08 15:35:00
Tags: pictures cluesolver
Look, the subject is the same as the tags!
After my last post about putting the clue solver on hiatus, I couldn't get to sleep Saturday night so I got up, played a little WoW, and, in a flurry of inspiration, sketched out a clue solver GUI. It's not beautiful, but it seems relatively functional and easy to do with the GWT parts. I've coded up most of it and I'm on to writing the script interface functions and hooking it all together. This makes me a happy man!
I (at long last) have put up pictures from the trip down and a few random ones.
weekend, pictures, etc.
Posted on 2007-09-05 11:45:00
djedi and I spent the weekend in New Hampshire with my family, some of whom he hadn't met yet. The weather was pretty nice, especially with nice cool breezes. Had maple syrup, went to a few arts & crafts fairs, did a lot of hanging out. Here are a few pictures, and if anyone could tell me what that pie chart represents, I would be grateful :-)
I picked up either a cold or allergies on Monday, because I was fairly miserable Monday and Tuesday. Feeling betterish today, but gonna stay home sick again and feel better and take care of some of the moving stuff. If all goes well, two weeks from today the movers will come to pack up our stuff - frightening!
Apple announces new stuff today. Will be following on engadget!
Posted on 2007-08-29 09:19:00
Tags: dreams pictures
Pictures from our NYC trip are now up. If you like strange and interesting street signs, this gallery is for you!
djedi had to get up earlier than I did, so when his alarm went off we cuddled for a minute then he got up. I was trying to go back to sleep, but he kept making noise in the bathroom and living room, and occasionally coming back in the bedroom and making more noise so I couldn't. I eventually got irritated and started yelling at him and we got in a nasty fight when it was time for me to get up. Eventually he was ready to go, and he walked out the door while we were still fighting...
...and then I woke up for real. (everything after the first sentence above was a dream) My subconscious loses points for a) having us fighting 2) being very uncreative when it comes to dreaming. A dream about not being able to sleep, how original! Jerk.
Posted on 2007-08-17 16:48:00
Really, not a lot of difference. (except they don't fall off of my face and I can see better)
Posted on 2007-08-13 12:56:00
I put up pictures from Jessica's visit and a few from this weekend. Enjoy!
Posted on 2007-07-23 09:26:00
Tags: pictures work
I had a really nice weekend. Saturday we had a DC-touristy day as we crossed off a few spots on the "places to see" list (pictures from the weekend). First up was the Kwik-E-Mart where we procured a Squishee and a sprinkled donut (both eaten quickly) and a Buzz Cola and box of Krusty O's (still at home). Even the employees were dressed up in Apu-like clothes (lime green!), although I felt a little weird about taking their picture. The place was pretty busy.
Library of Congress was up next - we took a tour led by a very knowledgeable woman with a delightful British accent. It's a beautiful building with lots and lots of authors and leading scientists, etc. of the day on the walls and such. After that was the National Botanic Garden which had a lot of neat-looking flowers and plants and such. Then we went to an art gallery which was sufficiently underwhelming that I don't remember its name.
We were pretty tired by this point so we went to Dupont Circle and had dinner at a trendy-looking place. Top Gun was playing on a big TV (although no sound), oddly enough.
Sunday we stayed at home, played a little WoW but mostly relaxed and read. I bought Man in the Middle by John Amaechi (the first NBA player to come out, albeit after his career was over), which was pretty interesting, and we both managed to get through it yesterday. We're saving the new Harry Potter for the big trip in September but I've mostly forgotten what happened in book 6 so we're listening to that again, which makes car trips more fun :-)
I just got a time off award at work (24 hours!), so yay for that!
Posted on 2007-06-13 10:59:00
The aforementioned camping pictures are up.
Yay day off! It's nice to know that, despite our general unhappiness with not having friends and work and such, we're not so bad off that we can't enjoy a nice summer day to ourselves :-)
where's my burrito? where's my burrito?
Posted on 2007-06-01 09:19:00
Tags: pictures links
I posted a few pictures - nothing earth-shattering, as I haven't been in the mood much to take pictures lately. With people visiting and our visiting people during June, hopefully that'll change :-)
I have a plan: rewrite the hat problem solver in Haskell. Maybe I'll get to it this weekend? I'd be interested in running timing tests to see the speed difference...
Wil Shipley argues for smaller, less flexible code. Yay!
Bush calls for global warming summit. Why do I get the feeling this is like Ronald Reagan not talking about AIDS until well after it was a problem?
I didn't watch the game, but LeBron James took over the Cavs' playoff game last night, leading them to victory in double overtime by scoring 29 out of their last 30 points. That sounds Jordanesque to me!
Blizzard's suing peons4hire, the most prolific in-game gold spammer that I've experienced. Yaaaaay! Although I played a lot last night and don't remember a single gold spam, which would be unheard of before the 2.1.0 patch...
Hope everyone has a nice weekend.
Posted on 2007-04-11 14:26:00
Tags: pictures music links
Pictures from Easter are up.
The author of the Joshua Bell street performer article I linked to earlier took part in an online discussion with Washington Post readers. Good stuff!
Now that "The Show with ze Frank" is over, you can buy an album of songs from the show, including the very catchy "Where the Fuck Do Ideas Come From?"
Recent developments have left me a bit jittery.
American Airlines just launched a website for women who travel. Umm, what? Someone please explain to me how this isn't horribly insulting and stereotypical and stupid.
Posted on 2007-03-28 14:31:00
Tags: pictures links
I'm not sure what happened, I felt perfectly fine Monday going to bed, and yesterday I woke up with bad allergies/congestion. I stuck it out at work but after a night of waking up a lot (I hate trying to sleep when my nose is all messed up!) I gave up. Hopefully I'll be back to normal tomorrow.
Anyway, it gives me a chance to catch up on stuff. Like put up pictures! And link to some random things!
- To promote their new book, zug.com staged a prank at the Super Bowl - unfortunately the intended message didn't show up as well as hoped.
- damninteresting.com is making a book!
Look what we can do!
Posted on 2007-03-09 09:07:00
Tags: pictures worldofwarcraft programming
Last night, I accomplished the following things:
- grocery shopping
- mole check
- wrote a script to download data from the World of Warcraft Armory, and set it up to download every guild member's stats nightly. At some point I'll do something neat with the data. (to do this I used the new Python XML library elementtree, which is better than the builtin stuff, but not nearly as nice as e4x) I had to solve a bit of a mystery - when I would fetch the URL http://armory.worldofwarcraft.com/character-sheet.xml?r=Maiev&n=Tsouzer in Firefox and the HTML page would show up, but I could view source and see the raw XML data that I wanted. When I fetched it with wget or curl, I would always get the HTML page, not the XML data. The key is to fake out the user-agent: I guess if it thinks you support the fancy XML processing it does (with XSLT, I think?) it will give you the data, otherwise it gives you standard HTML any browser can handle. Neat idea, I guess.
- fixed my automatic del.icio.us bookmark backup script (the API had changed a little).
- seemingly fixed the problems with sending email from my computer, although it still complains that it can't write to the log file.
- put up a (very) few pictures.
- updated my backup script to back up some more databases
A lot of this stuff had been hanging over my head for a while, so I feel great today!
Christmas pictures finally up
Posted on 2007-01-24 23:31:00
Tags: movies pictures
Subject says it all - check them out! I also put up a few snow pictures, snow still being novel and all. Actually, it's supposed to snow tomorrow; hopefully it won't delay our flight!
On a random note, I saw that "Little Miss Sunshine" was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Apparently the field is fairly weak - the movie was cute and neat and indieish, but definitely not Best Picture caliber in a normal year. I saw a reasonable number of movies this year, but I haven't seen any of the other four.
You know you're a geek when you consider getting a safe deposit box not because of birth certificates or passports, but for your computer backup DVDs!
Also, my SMTP server is borked, so if you're expecting emails from the guild website, you're not going to get any. I'll try to fix this next week. (as it sends me > 100 emails a day on my computer...)
Pictures from DC
Posted on 2006-12-14 10:57:00
I posted my latest pictures - here's a hoodie picture, and here are the DC ones. (I think my favorites are David and me in front of the Capitol and the Washington Monument reflecting on the Reflecting Pool)
Whoa, this new LJ posting page is weird. Neat, though!
Posted on 2006-11-08 23:15:00
Here, pictures: This gallery feels very fall foliage-y, while this one is more Baltimore-y.
Posted on 2006-09-25 22:50:00
Yay pictures! My humblest apologies for the long delay. Here are apartment pictures, sightseeing-ish pictures, and Philadelphia pictures.
world o' stuff
Posted on 2006-08-31 21:21:00
Tags: moving pictures
As djedi mentioned, our stuff is here! I'm sitting in a chair now, which is very exciting!
Anyway, I took some time while the movers were hauling in our stuff to put up pictures from our move.
We bought an S-Video cable today. On the package, it says
For hook-up of a DVD player with an S-Video connection; carries video signal over two discreet paths
Posted on 2006-08-15 10:01:00
Tags: pictures rant terrorism
Pictures from this weekend are up. There are some good ones of the nephews :-)
I have a great link at home that I don't have in front of me about how the goal of terrorism is to terrorize. If we get worried and upset and scared and stop flying every time a terrorist plot is revealed, isn't that what they want? If this is really a "war on terror" (yeah, yeah, I know), we can't be surprised when plots are revealead and so forth.
Other things that make me mad: people who have no concept of risk. In 2004, 42636 people died in car accidents. Right now you're 10-200 times safer (depending on what metric you use) flying than driving. And yet people will get panicy about flying (to be fair, it can be a little scary) but then speed in their car, not pay attention to the road, drive while buzzed/drunk, etc. Really, this is even worse because you could hurt/kill not only yourself but others if you're in a car crash.
So I guess my point is - drive safely! (and I mean this as a directive, not a "hope nothing happens"-type statement) Don't talk on your cell phone too much, etc., etc.
Apparently, left to my own devices...
Posted on 2006-08-03 11:48:00
...I watch all the "House" episodes (three) on the TiVo. That's probably not a good sign.
Summer musical pictures are up!
The pilot to Aaron Sorkin's new show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, is up on YouTube. Good stuff! I will be watching come fall.
Maryland pictures up
Posted on 2006-06-29 10:07:00
Tags: pictures palmtogooglecalendar
Here are the Maryland pictures - didn't get too many that turned out decently.
Yesterday Google released their authentication for Web-based clients (although it seems to have disappeared at the moment - weird!), so I hope to get a working version of the palm to google calendar thing up soon.
na nanana nana na na...
Posted on 2006-05-31 09:35:00
Tags: movies pictures ruby palmtogooglecalendar
...Katamari Damacy! djedi bought WeKatamari yesterday before he left (thanks!) so I played last night. Goood stuff. I love doing the flower level (collecting as many flowers as you can) - very relaxing. Quitting without saving and losing my data was somewhat less relaxing, but if you think I'm not going to redo those levels tonight, you'd be sadly mistaken.
I have the top Google result for "pic6"! Unfortunately it goes to this picture, but you can't win them all.
Speaking of pictures, I put pictures from Jessica's graduation up last night.
Speaking of things I did last night, the palm to google calendar thing is basically done. I have a few tweaks to do, but I'm going to link to it soon. fairydust1, want to test it?
So last time I talked about getting the ruby script to return that it was done while forking a new process. I was almost correct, but instead of doing this in the new thread:
# Create session and return session id to browser
pid = fork do
# Do long-running stuff
you instead just need to do this:
# Create session and return session id to browser
pid = fork do
# Do long-running stuff
Closing $stdin and $stderr just leads to problems (which was why passing parameters weren't working before).
Speaking of...umm...lj-cuts, I saw X-Men 3 this past weekend.
I liked it, all in all. The parallel between mutants and gays was extremely striking in some parts. I also liked the shift of power that the vaccine gave the humans - now they had a weapon against the mutants so it wasn't just a case of "watch the mutants kill the humans, who have no hope of ever retaliating". I like Storm the character (especially with the white hair!), but I didn't think Halle Berry did a good job acting this time around, especially during the scene where they're debating whether to keep the school open. It felt very fake to me.
Also, I loooove Ian McKellen. Maybe it's the white hair talking, but I like the obvious mutual respect he and Professor X have for each other. When Magneto lost his power, even though he was clearly a bad guy, I felt very bad for him since his identity was so wrapped up in his power.
I'm looking forward to a number of summer movies - at some point I'll post the ones I want to see and y'all can make fun of me. Oh, there was a trailer for Snakes on a Plane, and it was good.
warning: good weekend ahead
Mood: happy! not sick!
Music: Lordi - "Hard Rock Hallelujah"
Posted on 2006-05-26 09:37:00
Tags: pictures music ruby palmtogooglecalendar links
Already this weekend (starts on Thursday!) has been good - we finished Maraudon last night in WoW, which was fun (despite an infuriating part where Dextra and I (the two people who can rez) died and had to spirit rez and fight our way back. Scary!), and I got a shiny new dagger and orb.
Another good thing - I'm not sure yet, but I think I've solved my work problem...but not in a great way. It's like finally arriving at Disney World in Georgia (the country, not the state), and you're tired but happy you finally got there, and then getting out and realizing that Tennessee (where you started) is really right across the street from Georgia (the country, not the state). And you think everyone is mocking you for taking such a roundabout journey when you were right there, except they presumably aren't. Whee. I think I'll put this analogy to rest :-)
I have a problem...I cannot stop listening to "Hard Rock Hallelujah"! Seriously. Sometimes songs stick in my head so long, it actually makes my stomach hurt (and can keep me up at night). This song isn't there yet, but it's headed that way...
I put up pictures of Stephen's graduation. Next up - pictures from wonderjess's graduation! And then the pictures I will have acquired in the intervening time. Yikes.
Had a breakthrough in the palm to google calendar thing last night.
So the problem I had been having was that, when you connected to start the syncing process, it wouldn't return until it was done, which means that you couldn't poll for status updates. (actually, I guess you could, but then you'd have two connections open at once unnecessarily) So, I tried something like this:
# Create session and return session id to browser
pid = fork do
# Do long-running stuff
Interestingly, this works when you run the script from the command line, but not when you're doing a POST to it! I'm not sure if this is an Apacheism or something. After digging around for a while, I found the solution is to do something like this instead:
# Create session and return session id to browser
pid = fork do
# Do long-running stuff
(Note: this is incorrect. See update here) and this makes everything work well. Except that I'm having some difficulty access variables declared in the pre-fork section inside the forked process. I bet they're getting destroyed or something when the parent finishes. But, on the whole, I'm closer to getting it to work. Yay!
"How to cheat good" (by a college professor). Tip number 8 is hilarious!
Top 50 Places to Have a Beer in America - I was a little disappointed/surprised there were no Texas places in there. (although this is just the places with highest scores on BeerFly - maybe there's some geographic bias there?)
DeLay campaign cites Colbert bit as evidence of innocence...um, wow. After the White House Correspondents Dinner thing, I thought everyone had figured it out!
Music: Pink Floyd- "Hey you"
Posted on 2006-05-10 09:51:00
Tags: pictures weight links
So after the weekend where I ate lots of bad stuff, I was sure I was going to gain at least a pound. Flash forward to Tuesday morning....I step on the scale...plus .2 pounds! Awesome. So my goal this week is to lose weight, and next week to get below my low since I started in December (I'm only .8 pounds away, so this is very doable). Woohoo!
Some fun Daily Show videos: Hayden/Goss and "Oh, Really? bin Laden? Who?". Well done! Also a fun trailer for a "Pac-Man" movie made by Uwe Boll.
I put up the pictures from last weekend. Cute pictures of the nephews :-)
Fun information about US interstates. (thanks medryn)
Oh yeah - here's the Onion's preview of summer movies. (hint: they're not terribly excited)
Posted on 2006-04-17 00:14:00
Tags: pictures ruby
Happy Easter, all! I took some pictures of an Easter get-together at destroyerj's place.
Also, I'm learning Ruby to work on a LiveJournal archiving project of mine, and Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby is easily the weirdest, most bizarre programming tutorial I've ever seen, or expect to see. Even if you don't want to learn Ruby, I'd recommend skimming through it (and the pictures), and then wondering how Ruby relates to cartoon foxes.
christi & david and baltimore pictures
Posted on 2006-03-27 23:20:00
Now that my computer works, I finally posted my pictures from christi & david's house and baltimore - check them out! (yay for working computer!)
math problem not so interesting
Posted on 2006-02-28 08:51:00
Tags: pictures links
I mentioned an interesting math problem last entry -
OK, I lied, it's not too exciting. I implemented the interquartile range method first (because it was easier than calculating the standard deviation) and ran it on a set of markers. It found a lot of markers that were in the correct city, but were definitely outliers from a statistics perspective. These markers are all dental clinics (more or less), and it turns out they're not evenly distributed throughout a city. So I kept the interquartile range method but added a test to only reject it if the distance from the median point was more than .25 latitude or longitude. This got rid of the false positives (and kept something that indeed wasn't categorized correctly!), so that's what I'm using. The sad part is that I'm pretty sure that that would give the same result if I just did that test and not the interquartile range, but I don't have the heart to test that. So, not so interesting problem after all, but at least it's presumably solved.
I'm definitely making more progress on this side project, and hopefully I'll work on it tonight a bit and maybe be "done" for now ("done" because it's never done, stuff keeps getting added, which I'm going to have to deal with at some point. ugh...) On the plus side, I'm writing a lot of stuff that can at least be theoretically reused for some other project. *shrug*
Here's a good article about lobbying to get your industry millions. Ugh. Hopefully the fact that the article was written will shed some light on the system. I am proud, however, that my former congressman Lloyd Doggett was mentioned as trying to end the offending credit. Good for him!
Some indie rockers are refusing to license their songs for Hummer commercials, turning down big money in the process. Good for them!
Wow, this is turning into Link Tuesday. One more: here are the local commercials that Rudy's aired during the Super Bowl. Good stuff!
purging old memory, and pictures!
Posted on 2006-02-23 10:48:00
At some point I had a lot of things to mention on LJ, none of it terribly important. As I am behind on mentioning such things, I'm removing them from my memory - *poof* - and now I feel free to post again.
The trip to Rice went well - chatted with candidates at the information session on Monday night and interviewed people Tuesday. I have a few tips for people who interview:
- Don't be late. Seriously, not only are you wasting the interviewer's time and making your interview shorter, you're possibly putting them in an irritated mood. I actually wasn't irritated, but interviewing can be subjective, and you're only hurting yourself.
- So, stuff happens, and you're late for whatever reason. Please apologize/acknowledge that you are in fact late. I'm not sure how I feel about hearing an excuse, either way is fine, but pretending like nothing happened is not a good option. Yeesh.
Afterwards, I drove back, and it was incredibly foggy most of the way from Brenham to Austin. There was lots of billowing fog and all that. It was pretty scary - I was going 45-50 a lot of the way and it still seemed fast. Had I known it was gonna be so foggy, I might have taken I-10 to 71 back - at least there are lights on I-10. Anyway, we made terrible time and I was exhausted afterwards, but at least we made it back safely...
I took a few pictures at Rice, and so I put up a set of random pictures left on my camera. I'm showing one behind the cut because it's so sad for Rice folk!
Ack! What happened to the hedges?? (apparently they're just being pruned, but wow is that sad)
I'm sure I'll think of more things to say right after I post this, but oh well.
New Year's pictures
Posted on 2006-01-06 15:09:00
I'm out sick today, so I took some time and put up pictures from New Year's. *sniffle*
pictures are up
Music: Madonna - "Ray of Light" (Pandora)
Posted on 2005-12-29 10:03:00
Just a quick note - I put some more pictures from Christmas up, including the first ones taken with my new camera!
I'm having this new chamomile tea that my mom bought for me in Rochester. It's good, but it kinda tastes like soap. I'm having a hard time reconciling those two facts. Mmmm...
good times, people
Posted on 2005-12-19 11:41:00
So we had a Christmas get-together last night, and thanks to being reunited with my camera after stupidly leaving it at Britton and Liz's place, pictures of the event are available at my gallery. Power Grid was played, as well as video games, and there were cookies and pizza and cake (not in that order!). I had a good time, and I hope everyone else did too!
Today is a shopping day. Luckily djedi and I know mostly what we're going to get, so after we drop wildrice13 off at the airport, we'll go do that. Woohoo!
If you like conspiracy theories, or you're interested in Chapelle's Show and why it went off the air, read that article. Don't know if it's true, but yikes.
Posted on 2005-11-30 12:34:00
I forgot to mention yesterday that I hit a deer on the way back to Austin! I was just driving along, minding my own business, when a deer ran across 290 (super-fast), and I just barely hit it. We stopped soon after and there didn't seem to be any damage, but it scared the crap out of me for a while. Never had that happen to me before.
Firefox 1.5 did in fact release yesterday. The pop-up blocking seems to be better, and things are noticeably faster (especially going back and forward). Still seems to use a lot of memory, though.
Yesterday djedi and I got a Christmas tree and put it up in my apartment, which was exciting (although messy). We haven't decorated it yet, but it really feels like Christmas even with just a bare tree up in the living room :-) I ordered some TiVo ornaments to put on it, too!
I finished putting keywords on all of my pictures, so now you can search by keyword to find pictures that people are in.
Hope everyone's having a nice day! And I hope whatever's in the air that keeps my allergies (and other peoples', it seems) going disappears!
Happy 151st post to me!
Posted on 2005-11-08 13:28:00
Tags: pictures activism
I put up pictures from this weekend (including Ren Fest), although I didn't take very many.
For your viewing pleasure this evening, the Texas election results (courtesy of the Secretary of State). I'll be watching as soon as we get back from our boring meeting.
My hands have been hurting for the last week or so (it feels like the muscles in the hand, but it's hard to tell). This is not a promising development.
off to houston
Posted on 2005-09-15 16:23:00
Tags: pictures charlottesweb
So I'm gonna be in Houston tomorrow doing recruiting stuff at Rice for NI - we'll be in Duncan Hall from 10-4ish or so. Come check it out!
Also, Charlotte's Web was reviewed, which is pretty nifty. Only show this weekend is on Sunday, which'll be a nice break.
Gotta run to the van soon, but I'm trying to finish up some work stuff!
Oh, right, and there are new Charlotte's Web pictures up.
lots of stuff
Posted on 2005-08-30 13:59:00
Tags: pictures projecteuler referrer
I meant to post yesterday, but didn't have the time. And I don't really have the time today, but if I wait another day I'm sure to forget stuff. So here goes!
I put pictures of my recent vacation up, which means I'm now caught up on pictures. Woohoo!
I'm going to see "Wicked" in November, which I'm psyched about! It should be a lot of fun. I just need to stop listening to the music for a while so I don't get sick of it :-)
Still having fun with Project Euler - I've moved up to #130something on the rankings, which is good, I guess. I'm averaging about a problem a day, which is a nice and slow pace...
Fun referrer links:
- Searching for cow riding on Ask Jeeves leads to this picture, which seems appropriate.
- Another "naked" query (naked rice university run pictures on Yahoo) leads to Jonathan's album. No luck for the searcher, though!
- Barbara Stoll on MSN gives my gallery page, which makes sense. But I don't know of a Barbara Stoll related to me...
pictures, rehearsals, and movies! oh my!
Posted on 2005-08-27 13:22:00
Tags: pictures charlottesweb
I put pictures from the musical up. Next up, pictures from vacation! And then I'll be caught up. Which will be nice.
So for two consecutive nights, I've almost been in a car accident on the way back from Charlotte's Web rehearsal. This is not good. The first wasn't really my fault, but the second was, sorta (I was passing someone even though I had a feeling that he/she wanted to get over, which turned out to be correct). I really need to be more careful. Hopefully catching up on sleep and relaxing more this weekend will help.
But rehearsal last night went really well - we ran the whole thing in 62 minutes, and we're aiming for about an hour show, so good stuff! I only missed one of my cues (starting Monday, no more lines from the stage manager, which will be interesting...), and I felt pretty good about it even though Ron gave me in particular a lot of notes. And he let us out early!
So I went up to destroyerj's and met djedi there (and wildrice13 showed up later) to watch "Garden State" and "I (Heart) Huckabees". Both weird movies. I liked them, though. Especially Zach Braff. :-) After that, I was so tired I slept way late today, which is why I feel grrrreat!
That's all I got. Thanks for reading!
Music: "The Tick" background music
Posted on 2005-08-23 22:42:00
Tags: pictures charlottesweb
I put up pictures from my family's Father's Day trip to Lake Conroe. Does anyone have problems loading my gallery in Firefox? Because I do (it takes a really long time and sometimes the pictures never load), and I thought it was my webserver, but I just tried it in Konqueror and it worked fine. So maybe it's just on my computer or something. Anyway... (Edit: the weird thing is that it seems to work in Firefox when I click on a link to it - it doesn't when I type in the address directly. *confused*)
Charlotte's Web rehearsals are going pretty well, although they are quite tiring. I mostly know my lines...now I need to learn blocking and whatnot. And work was really stressful today - lots of interruptions and stuff so I never got a good flow going, although I did accomplish a few things. Oh well - I'm sure tomorrow will be better.
This backup was done by LJBackup.