beckham's back, all right!
Posted on 2007-08-10 09:09:00
Here's the ESPN story. The story of our evening is below:
I went back and forth for a while about whether to drive all the way down to RFK or take the Metro. After reading that 45000+ people were going to be there, I decided to take the Metro - seemed like it would handle more people, and we wouldn't be adding to congestion.
So we did, and I grabbed a copy of The Onion to read on the Metro. (after djedi pushed me to - thanks!) Good stuff. The final train we took was absolutely packed with people, many of whom were wearing soccer or Beckham shirts. Neat stuff :-)
We got out and walked to the stadium - it was pretty clear at this point there were a huge number of people. Been a while since I've been part of a crushing mass of humanity. It's fun!
Eventually we got in the stadium and waited in line to get some pizza for dinner, then found our seats, around 6 rows done from the very highest in the stadium. Whee. Incidentally, we left work at 5:30, got to the Metro stop at 6:00, and got to our seats right around 7:05, so it took a bit longer than I had expected. (and we missed the first five minutes of the game, which was fine)
Clearly, RFK stadium was not built for soccer, as the seats we had were pretty far away from the field, and a little corner was cut off from our view with other seats. This also meant that when there was action down by that goal, people would stand up and so you had to stand up to see what was going on. Suboptimal. The people next to us were DC United fans and yelled a lot during the game - they knew all the chants and "songs" and whatnot. (they weren't exactly songs, more like musical cheers. I'm glad I read the ESPN article that explained the "We sing better than your wife" banner - thought it was weird to have that there all the time :-) ) A few people behind us worked for sports networks and talked loudly, one of them said he had interviewed Beckham yesterday.
The atmosphere was pretty electric in general. The stadium was pretty darn full, and DC United played aggressively in the first half, getting lots of good chances and scoring a goal. It was fun to watch!
At the 36th minute (right before a goal kick) people started yelling and cheering, and we finally figured out Beckham was warming up on the sideline, running back and forth and stretching and whatnot. I think everyone stopped watching the game and started watching him running and stuff. It was awesome! You could see the flashes go off from everywhere in the stadium too. Everyone was waiting for him to come in, but halftime came and no Beckham.
A 15 minute halftime sure seems pretty short...maybe this is indicative of the fact that the last game I watched was baseball, but 45 minutes of action, then 15 minutes of not, then 45 more of action is a pretty darn good ratio. They set up a small mini-field on the field and kids played soccer.
The second half started and shortly after it started raining hard. At that point we noticed the upside to our seats - you had to be pretty close to the top to have them covered so we didn't get wet at all. Hah! I figured this was bad news for our chances to see Beckham since he was having ankle problems...wet grass only increases a chance of an injury. LA was playing better this half, just missed a few shots and such. Then Beckham started warming up again with more cheering and stuff.
Finally when he was on the bench he took his warmup jersey off, to great cheering. Then he took his shirt off and put on a jersey, to even louder cheering. (for the shirtlessness or the putting on of the jersey? You make the call!) Then he subbed in and everyone went wild.
I was worried about being able to keep track of him, but even from our height I was able to tell him apart from the other players. He definitely wasn't sprinting or anything, and looked like he was still getting his bearings, although he did make a few nice passes. Whenever he touched the ball people yelled and cheered, amusingly enough :-) He even took a free kick and bent it toward the goal, but to no avail.
DC United won 1-0 (despite the guy behind us's prediction that Beckham would tie it up in the 89th minute) and all were happy. We began the voyage home...
Since there were soooo many people there Metro was running buses to a different Metro stop, which we got in line for. I can't imagine what it was like at the Stadium stop but the whole station must have been packed with people. There were buses there but we didn't get in the first round, then it took a while for them to get to Union Station, then we had to change trains, and then finally we had to drive home. We were pretty hot (it's been quite hot here, even at night) and tired by that point. The game ended at 9 and we didn't get home until 11. I do hate driving in DC but if I had to do it again I might just drive and save some time. Yeesh.
So, good times. Glad we were able to go :-)
beckham doubtful tonight
Posted on 2007-08-09 13:19:00
So I was hanging out in Gmail when I saw a link Beckham might make MLS debut Thursday. Hey, we have tickets to that game! Unfortunately, as the article points out, his ankle is still questionable, so he might play 10 or 20 minutes at best. Also, we just had lunch outside and it started pouring rain. So I guess we'll see how that goes tonight.
I miss the World Cup.
starcraft, buying stuff
Posted on 2007-08-08 09:12:00
Tags: starcraft poll
Cracked open Starcraft last night (found my old CD as well so djedi and I can play at the same time!) and played the first 5 or so Terran missions. Good stuff!
Apparently I was allergic to something I ate or touched on Saturday, because I had a ton of red bumps (that looked like mosquito bites but didn't itch) on my chest and back. Thankfully, they're almost gone now.
Here's a question I've been meaning to ask: Let's say you go into a retail store alone with the expressed purpose of buying a birthday gift for someone.
yet another fine day
Posted on 2007-08-07 09:14:00
Tags: starcraft worldofwarcraft
After djedi's awesome cash award, we stopped by Best Buy and got a couple of things, including StarCraft which I played in high school but not since. djedi was reading the manual and ohhhh the memories. Now I really want to play again :-)
WoW 5v5 arena last night was awesome - we went 8-2 (one team we lost to we then beat twice), including a 24 point win.
We've been watching Futurama episodes with commentary the last few days. Excellent stuff. I keep forgetting that even the episodes that don't stand out in my mind are still generally good, and the commentary is pretty quality - they'll talk about jokes they pitched that didn't make it, or gasp in mock surprise as a major plot point is revealed. Can't wait for the new movies to come out :-)
Busy weekends ahead - this weekend onefishclappin and krikwennavd are around, next weekend djedi's out of town, after that is our NYC trip, after that we're visiting my grandparents and aunt & uncle in Hanover, NH. Yikes!
for a monday, things are pretty good
Posted on 2007-08-06 12:59:00
Tags: movies worldofwarcraft
wonderjess and friends came down to visit for the weekend, and Friday and a lot of Saturday was spent painting DC red. We toured the US Capitol and went to the top of the Washington Monument, as well as lots of other things. I'll put pictures up sometime this week. At night we watched old Square One episodes. (search for "Square One" on YouTube and you'll find lots of good sketches :-) )
Played some WoW on Saturday and got Rilinar (my old priest on Alleria) up to 61. It took a while to remember to watch the health bars and not the mob's health, but I still do enjoy healing.
Yesterday we were both feeling kinda blah, and it would have been perfect to have someone over or go over to a friend's place. Instead I programmed some Haskell and eventually we rented and watched the first Die Hard, which I hadn't seen. Good movie!
taco wrap! RIP marvin zindler. twitter!
Posted on 2007-08-02 12:54:00
I had a taco wrap for lunch! It was exactly as awesome as you would imagine. Mmm.
As Stanton mentioned, Marvin Zindler passed away. Iconic quotes: "Slime in the ice machine!" and "Marvin Zindler, Eyewitness News" (.wav files)
As a general reminder, I've been posting random links and stuff on twitter.
from the barrel of a gun
Music: The Simpsons Movie: The Music - "Trapped Like Carrots"
Posted on 2007-08-01 09:25:00
Austin trip was fun. We got a lead on a really nice apartment complex that's going to turn into condos, one of which we might buy if we can afford. (don't know the prices yet) It's right off of Far West, a block or two from where we lived before. Ratings are good.
Simpsons movie - very good. Like watching a long episode, which is all one can hope for. Watching 50 minutes of random Simpsons clips before, then drinking Duff, eating a Ribwich and donuts heighten the experience. Thanks Alamo Drafthouse!
Texas game night - man, I miss those things. It was great to see everyone again, even if it was a little intimidating. (big shindigs don't happen up here)
Summer musical - we stopped by and got to see people and the new theatre. Good stuff. Can't wait to try out next year!
Mario Strikers Charged - a lot of fun so far. Nothing like soccer with red shells and fire pits and random bits of electricity.
Work - stress came yesterday but most everything has cleared up now.
Free time - I want to play WoW, Mario Strikers Charged, program a few things, learn more Go, etc. It's getting a little excessive.
People visiting this weekend - yay!
Mario Strikers Charged friend code:
Posted on 2007-07-31 19:10:00
Feel free to respond with yours!
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!
"entreprenurial" is hard to spell
Posted on 2007-07-20 15:28:00
A coworker of mine is leaving to Google, which has the unintended consequence of making me feel jealous. And I hate feeling jealous.
So I guess what that means is I want a new project. I could rewrite the image-generating part of Pretty Pictures in something faster than Python (C++? D?), but that's not really exciting. Things with collaborative filtering or genetic algorithms are neat. I have a list of ideas at home that I guess I'll look at.
Or I could deal with my emotions, but that sounds a lot harder.
Also, did everyone give up on twitter?
Posted on 2007-07-18 08:12:00
After doing dinner (at the food court!) and Harry Potter last night (verdict: pretty good), I found a few horrendous bugs in Pretty Pictures. The upshot is that I think the scripts won't hang anymore, and breeding (which was horribly horribly wrong) seems to work better now. If you tried it yesterday and ran into problems, try it again (hitting Shift-Reload to make sure you get the new scripts).
pretty pictures is done
Posted on 2007-07-17 09:15:00
Play around with it here. It can be a little slow, so be patient. There's also some problem with the script getting hung up, but I couldn't track that down last night. Also, I forgot to put my favorite genotype up - try
(abs (sub-wrap (neg (ccrgb (ru (ru (num 0.6614554081190059))) (log-clip (abs (div-clip (abs (cchsl (ccrgb (num 0.5266760532380341) (num 0.2037882282789114) y) x x)) (mul-wrap (sub-wrap (atan-wrap (num 0.2710625018544712)) (num 0.46994645301411775)) (abs x))))) (rd (cchsl (num 0.811607978527779) y x)))) (abs y)))
Leave your favorites in the comments!
Other things I was planning on adding but didn't:
- going back a generation
- Perlin noise
Posted on 2007-07-16 13:46:00
So the project I mentioned is basically a web version of Pretty Pictures with Genetic Algorithms. (the final comp314 project) It mostly works - I need to fix it for IE, write it up and add the ability to load genotypes into a current generation, but I'm hoping I can do that tonight or tomorrow. I'm excited - the project turned out well and it's fun to play with :-) The only downside is that rendering large images is kind of slow...the backend script that draws them is done in Python, so I could probably speed it up by rewriting in C++ or D or something.
Haven't been much in an LJing mood lately.
weekend, wow, project
Posted on 2007-07-09 09:49:00
Tags: microresolution worldofwarcraft
Just another weekend up here, but it was pretty nice. We went to a wedding at Ft. Meade (quick ceremony, good cake), met up for lunch with bobacita and medryn (good times, made me jealous-er of google, good hotcakes), ran our first heroic WoW instances as a guild (cleared them minus one boss!, lots and lots of scary trash), watched a few good episodes of BSG, and generally had a good time.
Just bought tickets to the DC United game when the LA Galaxy come to town with David Beckham! Should be full of awesomeness.
Happy Fifth of July!
Music: Radiohead - "Where I End and You Begin"
Posted on 2007-07-05 13:03:00
Tags: microresolution haskell worldofwarcraft links
Yesterday was nice - we got djedi his flying epic mount, finished Super Paper Mario, went out to eat at Copeland's, and didn't let the stormy weather get us down!
Super Paper Mario - pretty good game, and the story was kind of interesting, but not nearly as interesting as the ridiculous amount of conversation, etc. that you have to go through. Still enjoyed it though.
As previously mentioned, we saw Transformers at Bengies. I've only been to a drive-in once before, so it was fun! The place is pretty nice and retro, although the owner seems to be one of those people that sees it fit to enumerate every single thing you shouldn't do. See the House Rules and FAQ for examples. There was a condom machine in the bathroom that had (not exaggerating here) four paragraphs about how the management doesn't endorse their usage, and how it's just there for protection and abstinence is the only sure protection, etc. Yikes. The movie was pretty good for a summer blockbuster. (read: lots of giant robots fighting) I've never seen the series on TV so maybe you'd get more out of it if you did?
Microresolution complete! I spent some time on the hat puzzle genetic algorithm thing in Haskell. It's frustrating to work on because I really have to get in the functional state of mind, but I wrote a few tough methods (randomly selecting which genes to reproduce based on the fitness function) so I feel good about that. The genetic part of this is going to end up being a sort of framework for writing genetic algorithms in Haskell, which is a neat side benefit (although such things already exist).
I'm trying out Twitter. It seems neatish.
In Ohio, you can't get arrested on the Fourth of July! (except for felonies and treason...you would think the penalty for committing treason on the Fourth of July would be more strict or something :-) )
Babies learn to lie when they're six months old - lousy lying babies!
Yay holiday week!
Posted on 2007-07-03 09:38:00
2 hours of administrative leave make today much more palatable!
We're going to see Transformers tonight at Bengies, home of the biggest theatre screen in the US!
I resubscribed to digitalblasphemy after a few years off. My current background at home happens to be in the free gallery now! Very pretty.
We ran Black Morass twice in two nights and cleared it both times, so now six of us are Karazhan keyed. Aaand I beat the fourth (of six) Netherwing race last night. Now they start getting really hard and they recommend knowing the route really well. We'll see if I can beat the last two. We're getting close to the money for djedi's epic mount :-)
Looking forward to the day off tomorrow. Happy 4th!
Posted on 2007-07-02 11:11:00
Tags: movies microresolution haskell computer
For our anniversary, we ate at Famous Dave's BBQ and saw Ratatouille. Famous Dave's - not bad, but the meat was kind of fatty. And no, their brisket wasn't "as good as anything you'll find in the Lone Star State", as their menu audaciously claimed. Ratatouille - excellent, excellent, excellent (same director as The Incredibles!). Very sweet comedy. Made me hungry. kottke's review convinced me to see it.
After a little bit of pain, I got my new hard drive set up, SATA and all, and all the data copied over. It's even faster than the old one! I'm experiencing some weird freezes (usually if I wait 10-15 seconds it will come back) in WoW, but I think it may be a video driver problem; I just upgraded them so I'll try downgrading tonight or tomorrow.
Microresolution: I will spend at least one hour of concentrated time before the end of Saturday on the Haskell version of the hat puzzle. (writing the genetic algorithm) I've been trying to do this for a while but I always find myself distracted by other things. I don't know why it's so important to me to do this, but it is.
Music: Wilco - "On and On and On"
Posted on 2007-06-29 16:15:00
On and on and on we'll stay together yeah
On and on and on we'll be together yeah
You and I will try to stay together yeah
On and on and on we'll be together yeah
Please don't cry
We're designed to die
On and on and on we'll stay together yeah
On and on and on
On and on and on
One day we'll disappear together in a dream
However short or long our lives are going to be
I will live in you or you will live in me
Until we disappear together in a dream
Please don't cry
We're designed to die
You can't deny
Even the gentlest tide
On and on and on we'll be together yeah
On and on and on
On and on and on
We're going to try
Happy 7 years! (tomorrow)
Mothers, lock up your hard drives
Posted on 2007-06-29 10:31:00
for I am their slayer. Yesterday morning I woke up, and after getting out of bed my first stop was my computer (as usual). Turned on the monitor and the screen was black and unresponsive to key-pressing. "That's odd," I thought, but sometimes two xscreensavers get running somehow and so it's slow to load the desktop. So I used the restroom, etc., came back and still nothing. Definitely bad. Couldn't switch to the console or ssh in, so I did an emergency sync, unmount and rebooted the computer. Everything seemed fine after that, and I didn't think much of it. (mistake #1)
When I got home from work it became immediately clear that things were not fine, as KDE was partially dead. I tried to vi /var/log/syslog and it said vi: command not found. Oh, this is bad. I couldn't even shutdown because it couldn't find that either. Switching to the console and trying to log in led to a string of I/O errors on /dev/hdc. Aha!
Next step was booting into a Knoppix CD I had lying around, which has saved my butt numerous times. It booted fine, of course, but then didn't find /dev/hdc at all. (/dev/hdc is my 320 GB I bought last year that has all my stuff except for music on it, so this is scary) I take a deep breath, shut it down, open up the case, clean out dust and check the connectors and such, reboot into Knoppix and presto, /dev/hdc is back! I rebooted into my real system and everything seemed fine after playing WoW, etc.
I went ahead and bought a new hard drive (after some persuasion from djedi) because if it's dying, it's dying (and there were definitely I/O errors on it before), so I have a new shiny 320GB SATA drive that I get to try to make my kernel work with. Hopefully I'll copy over data (takes foooorever) this weekend sometime.
I should add I'm a little irritated a hard drive I bought 15 months ago is dying already.
take me out to the ballgame
Posted on 2007-06-28 13:06:00
Tags: baseball politics
djedi and I went to the Orioles-Yankees game last night. It was fun! Roger Clemens was pitching for the Yankees (which I didn't know when I bought the tickets, but a nice surprise), and it was a good game.
- There were a lot of Yankees jerseys and Yankees fans there. I'd say (judging by the noise of the crowd) probably about half and half. Wasn't expecting that.
- The temperature at first pitch was a sweltering 97 degrees (when this was announced there was a lot of ooohing, as Baltimore isn't supposed to be that hot!)
- At the "O" of "O say does that star-spangled...", everyone yelled "O!", presumably for the Orioles. I thought this was weird. (I don't remember the Houston Rockets doing that...)
- The next section over, an old guy fainted (or something) during the first inning (presumably due to heat stroke or something). The medical people got there very quickly, brought some ice, and eventually carted him off. He was talking, so it didn't look too bad.
- They had a scoreboard race between innings with Ketchup, Mustard, and Relish. (go Mustard!) Pretty standard fare, except they printed season statistics beforehand! ("Ketchup started off slowly winning 2 of the first 13, but then went on a tear winning 4 of the next 6") Awesomeness.
- During the seventh inning stretch, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was not sung! Unconscionable. (some country song was, which would have been appropriate afterwards, like the Astros do with "Deep in the Heart of Texas")
O's won 4-0 (take that, Yankees fans!) in a real pitcher's duel.
Dems force Cheney to flip-flop on secret docs - apparently defunding his office was threat enough for him to stop claiming he's not in the executive branch. (although he's still not giving up his secret papers)
Cheney series at Washington Post
Posted on 2007-06-26 09:36:00
Wow, the Washington Post is doing quite the series on Cheney. Here's the chapter I found most interesting. (may require registration, use bugmenot if you must)
In response to Cheney's claim that the Office of the Vice President is not in the executive branch (um, right), Rahm Emanuel wants to stop allocating it money from the executive branch. Sounds fair to me.
fun with go
Music: Radiohead - "Everything in its Right Place"
Posted on 2007-06-22 15:27:00
Tags: health go
del.icio.us pointed me to this awesome Go wiki. Soo much good stuff there. Going through the Beginner Study Section, reading fun proverbs. I like "Black should resign if one player has four corners" (twisted logic!) and "Even a moron connects against a peep". And look at this cute Valentine's Day Problem! I should play go more, at least against the computer.
Went to the doctor today (see previous entries), everything's normal. The little amount of blood in my urine is just idiopathic. Yay!
epic flying mount!!
Posted on 2007-06-20 09:07:00
Tags: ljbackup baseball rice worldofwarcraft
With the help of djedi, I bought my epic flying mount last night! (big screenshot of required money) It, in a word, is awesome. I will have to see about getting one of the cooler looking ones (right now it's green) but it is super fast.
One of the advantages of putting my sample LJ backup online (created with LJBackup</shamelessPlug>), besides the neat statistics, is that when people do searches and click through I get to see it. Like, I'm one of only two results on Google for "homer 3d" "fermat's last theorem" (the search leads to here), which someone clicked through to last night. Oddly enough, Google doesn't find the original LJ post...
Rice plays NC State today (and tomorrow, if necessary) at 2PM Eastern - if they win one of these games, they advance to the championship series! Go Owls!
Also, LiveJournal will be selling permanent accounts starting Friday for one week. They cost $150 and you're a permanent member for life (like being a paid member but you get more space and userpics). I considered it but I think I'm going to pass for now. (the last permanent account sale was in 2005 so they're pretty rare)
Posted on 2007-06-18 09:56:00
Tags: facebook programming links
I'm going do to something called the "compliment sandwich", where I talk about something good, then something that could use improvement, then end with something good.
You look like snoopy, and it makes me smile.
I tried to work on my new facebook app, and made the same little amount of progress that I had on the previous one, but I just felt confused. I think the ideas I have are all pretty heavily friends based which seems hard to do with the API. I'm probably gonna let this idea die unless I get a huge burst of inspiration, which seems unlikely. Supposedly this is why "fun" projects are better than work - if they don't end up working out, you don't have to force it. I still feel bad about it though, like I'm failing and not good at "this stuff".
You really wowed that rep from the Cincinnati office! (thanks for the real quote, which was a little hard to find)
I had a long weird dream Friday night, the culmination of which was that searching for minnesota guacamole was very important. The results, as you can probably imagine, are not interesting.
Links I was going to share on my now-defunct neato Facebook thing:
Places I go when I'm bored:
Posted on 2007-06-15 10:33:00
Being pregnant and receiving unscientific advice go hand in hand. Also, she spells fetus as "foetus", which is pretty cool!
This backup was done by LJBackup.