Thursday, December 30, 2004
NWA and UsAirways (the other companies on which I have miles/credit) don't really have expiration. Kudos to them.
Ok, back to doing whatever I'm doing. NY tomorrow, if I talk to Krista anytime soon (haven't talked to her since Monday, hope nothing went wrong with travel and nothing has changed with my visit!)
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Monday, December 27, 2004
Napoleon Dynamite is about a high school student named, interestingly enough, Napoleon Dynamite. He lives with his 32 year old brother Kip and his butch grandmother. His brother is an internet chat room junkie who has no job and no life. His grandmother is absent most of the movie due to an injury from 4wheeling on sand dunes.
Basic premise: new kid (Mexican) Pedro moves to town. Pedro runs for class president against the most popular blonde girl in school. Also, Napoleon's uncle Rico shows up and sells random things (Tupperware, breast enhancements) and tampers with Napoleon's life. LaFawnduh, Kip's internet chatroom sweetheart, shows up too.
Movie's cool in that it covers the coming of age, asking girls out in high school thing but misses reality by a mile. Everything's just a little weird, and I couldn't really tie myself in with the main character. There was a dance scene to Jamiroquai which is pretty cool, following Pedro's presidency speech. Other than that, not really worth watching in my opinion.
I probably watched the movie 6 months too late - I am guessing if the movie hadn't come out I wouldn't have heard all of this through second hand sources. The movie also probably would have meant more if I hadn't seen Bowling for Columbine.
However, the movie does not endear me any more to the Bush administration, it does not make me any more proud of the US in Iraq. Hopefully the country can support itself quickly and we can get our soldiers home soon.
This seems more appropriate than normal:
Thursday, December 23, 2004
The drive home went pretty well - I've at least driven through all 5 boroughs of NYC. Boring story about how I detoured through Brooklyn to get from Pittsburgh to Maine.
Music - Paul van Dyk featuring Hemstock & Jennings, "Nothing But You", from Reflections
Hope everyone's break is going well - Went to Yum Mee in Bath today with John and Russ from Burgess. Also went to CVS to get cards, and ... umm... that's it. I'm lazy. Sunday River yesterday - I'll link to pics when photos.zchicken is back up.
Saturday, December 18, 2004
15-359 (Special Topics: Probability and Computing) was an amazing course - somehow I got a 97 on the exam. The professors are awesome. If you ever have a chance to have Mor Harchol-Balter or John Lafferty take it in an instant. One of my best courses here. (And somehow I got a 97 on the exam?)
I'm working on my resume and getting stuff together for the internship hunt - I'd like to get one at Google again, but after how I almost didn't try for any other companies last year due to a "sure thing" back home, I'm going to go through without any assumptions.
I keep dreaming about California. Shar and RobOn were in a dream the other day.
Music of the moment - Pete Tong Friday Night Essential Selection.
Peace - study, pack, and clean tomorrow, exam and drive Monday (to Brooklyn?!), finish drive Tuesday. Ski Wednesday.
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
As an example of what this whole subject is like let me tell you about a long-studied model of interpersonal behavior that the author discusses in Chapter 3, a chapter titled "Road Testing the Bed"--I kid you not.
"You have to choose your life mate. The rules we adopt for this model are that you will be presented 100 choices one after another, you may date them, sleep with them, whatever. But, at the end, you must say yea or nay and if you say nay, you will never see them again."
What strategy should you adopt? Well, if you wait to the end, the odds are only 1/100 that the last person is the optimal choice; ditto if you choose the first person. The modeler then asks: what strategy should you adopt for optimum results? A little bit of mathematics involving infinite series gives the answer. You can prove mathematically that the best strategy is to look at (approximately) the first 36.787944117144235 people (rounding it to, say, 37 people) and then you should choose the first person from that point on that is 'better' then the previous 37 people. This increases the odds of your finding the best match from 1% to about 37%- roughly a 37 times improvement. (In the pre-politically correct literature this model was called "The Sultan's Dowry Problem," or "The Secretary Problem"; now, alas, it is usually called simply an example of an "Optimal Stopping Problem." )
Monday, December 06, 2004
Sunday, December 05, 2004
I realized, when I kept trying to go into my old room at the house in Maine (now my sister's room) that Maine is no longer home to me, I really don't have a place more real than here in Pittsburgh. Not that it's a bad thing, it's just a thing, that I noticed.
I enjoyed skiing at home, and I'm looking forward to having Kacy up over Christmas for skiing - anyone else out there interested?
OS Project 4 is done, it was really rewarding to add some extra functionality to the kernel.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
What does it say about the human condition that someone with these traits seems so alien to us? Clearly, in the process of becoming “civilized” something has been lost. It’s so far gone that when it stares us in the eyes, we don’t even recognize it, and it seems strange.
There’s a part of us that instinctively knows we are not our masks, our outer shells. This part of us knows exactly who the Blue Man is. For some people it may be too far down to access; they get so far in they can’t get out. These people do not recognize the Blue Man, but there are others who haven’t completely buried this aspect of themselves. These are the people who “get” the Blue Man. When they see him, his essence is not at all alien; it is familiar, like a voice from the distant past. In this moment of recognition, it all becomes clear; we are the ones who have become the aliens.
Friday, November 05, 2004
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Courses next semester:
Acting for Non Majors
Research (Waiting on a professor...)
After that I'll need Algo and I'll be done.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
Thursday, October 21, 2004
John Kerry held a rally yesterday at Carnegie Mellon. I'll add the link to the pictures later when the photos site is back up. Krista got to shake his hands (albeit, she was on my shoulders at the time...)
[EDIT: Pictures of rally]
Friday, October 15, 2004
Bush's Home Newspaper, endorsing Kerry
Rebulican member of the house speaking out on Iraq
Why conservatives must not vote for Bush
WSJ Journal Reporter in Iraq
Dwight Eisenhower's son on why he'd vote for Kerry
Food for thought
Sunday, October 10, 2004
The thought that you should never do the good of someone else if you don't gain is selfish. Where would we be as a society if everyone followed this economic view of interpersonal relations?
(If you aren't following, Ayn Rand is an author who writes books about how man's happiness is the only end to which one should strive. Or woman's happiness.)
So why do so many people do things that benefit themselves only by putting others down? Is superiority that important to them? Does it make them happy to think they're better than someone else?
Do things for others for no reward. Make someone happy today because you can. Put yourself out there for the betterment of society.
To quote Ignatius : "Lord, teach me ... to give and not to count the cost ... save that of knowing that I do your will."
I am not religious, but there's something about the prayer of St. Ignatius that strikes me at the core.
So I wanted to see why photos.zchicken.com had such a high page rank all of the sudden. Turns out 2 blogs (those above) linked to it with me wearing the propellor hat that I got as a noogler. I took them down. Because, well, I put those pictures up for friends and family and there has to be a reason why no one else has a picture of that online
Plus, I shouldn't be the fifth link for Noogler on Google.
Saturday, October 09, 2004
Busy busy busy. Still at 57 units. People who understand how heavy I'm loading this semester think I'm crazy. People who don't understand think I'm only half crazy. Hero of the week: Klaus, for letting me hand in an assignment one week late.
how do I get poison ivy in October?
Sunday, October 03, 2004
Waking up at 4:30 for buggy, going through all the motions, and finding out that we don't have enough barricades to roll.
Pancake consumption summary:
1+ 40 oz box of bisquick
1+ bag of chocolate chips
1/2 gallon milk
1 dozen eggs
1 gallon juice
And that's why we have stadium seating at Club Wilkins.
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Pittsburgh Dowtown under water
And the next 3 days will have highs above 80. It tasted like fall this weekend... I actually remember liking it every fall. The leaves changing aren't as pretty here as they are in New England.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Today is the Technical Opportunities Conference here at CMU and I really only wanted to talk to Google. I know that I need to look at other companies in case I don't get an internship at Google next summer.
So yeah. How does one overcome this?
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
PiKA decided to nominate a safety chair with 0 design, 0 building, and limited mechanicking experience. Yay.
I really like my probability class. It can be a little slow, but having problems about drives going offline really is nice and concrete. I figured out that I really dislike abstract stuff like algebraic structure theory.
OS is a bit annoying right now. However my new habit of doing work ahead of time to some extent is helping, to a large extent.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
4 cs courses
1 physics course
1 humanities course
to graduate. Basically a little more than 1 more semester.
Get a random minor (psych: 7 courses. Business: 5)
Do research this spring and hope to get into the fifth year master's program
Have an amazingly easy senior year.
Scary. If I pushed extra hard, I could graduate this spring. I'm not ready to be a college grad!
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Photos from Fallingwater
Best line today from a professor in an email "Also, let's talk about constructive uses of low precision (to test algorithm stability)." It's making the CS major in me cry. Less precision?
sold the 19" crt today. I just couldn't justify the desk space when the image sucks so much. Thanks Dell, I'm glad I got your monitor.
Wednesday, September 01, 2004
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
OS: Likely hard and ballbuster. Want to make it through. Can do on sheer perseverence.
Special Topics Prob & Computing: now 12 units, for more fun! I cringe when I hear them describe it as the "honors" alternative
Computational Discrete Math: Anything called "251 on steroids" also scares me. Though Klaus rocks.
Computational Physics: could be very cool. Heard it's hard from past people, don't believe them yet.
Stars, Galaxies, & The Universe: Anything with Peterson is cool. Who else has a picture of himself on a bike at the south pole on his website? Plus we can check out telescopes for personal use.
Sunday, August 29, 2004
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Go to Alcatraz: 100% (went with parents)
Get white water rafting at least once: 100% (With Matt and Justin)
See Krista at least once: 100%
Have fun: more than 100% accomplished.
Read 20 books: 90% (Only read 18)
Other things that I got done that were really cool:
First pilot's lesson
Went to Lake Tahoe for a weekend
Went to Santa Cruz many times
Built a spud gun with Matt and Justin
Summer is almost over, but not quite. If only the air conditioning were working here at Club Wilkins.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
I went on campus yesterday and it looks so nice when I don't have classes. Saw the people from housing, got my new ID, and stopped by the garage.
I'm also the airport shuttle for a few people.
Justin said the same thing when he got off the plane that I said when I got off the plane in New Hampshire "Wooooooo humidity!"
Saturday, August 21, 2004
This semester looks tough, 63 units (though 9 of those are currently waitlisted) including
Stars, Galaxies, & the Universe
Computational Discrete Mathematics
Special Topics: Probability and Computing
Intro to Anthropology (that's the WL)
Anyway, apparently travelling south sucks, so I leave now. It's been nice to be home...
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Car's ready, oil changed, brand new Kenwood KDC-MP245 in dash receiver from the nice people at Crutchfield.
The flights went well, albeit long. One guy either didn't know where his elbows were or he didn't care that they were in my side half the time.
As a side note, US Airways is no longer flying from Portland to Pittsburgh. In other news, Independence Air is flying from Portland to Dulles (and Dulles to Pittsburgh) but they don't look as inexpensive as their website is cheap.
Friday, August 13, 2004
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Friday: Matt, Justin and I drove up to Auburn to spend the night at the local KOA. We get lost on Highway 49 and end up in Cool, CA.
We eventually get to the KOA and pitch tent. Justin, however, was supposed to bring a sleeping bag for me. He forgot. I was very very cold.
Rafting was awesome! The rafting out here is different from Maine - the river was narrower and lower water release, but longer with more rapids. We saw a bunch of equipment from what used to be gold mining setups, we saw 2 bridge abutments that were missing their bridge (it was wiped out in 1964); we all jumped off a cliff 25 feet up into the river too. I got knocked out of the boat 3 times though. Still, a lot of fun.
My uncle picked me up and drove me up to Truckee on beautiful Lake Tahoe. We kayaked from the Lake Tahoe - Nevada State Park for a couple of hours. My uncle and I went to Donner Lake and rented Sea-Doos. They have a really cool statue that was as tall as the snow was the year that the Donner Party decided to gnaw on each other. Unfortunately I lack a link for the picture.
We ate dinner tonight at Lanza's. My cousin, Mike Laroche was here with a bunch of friends when we got back.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
I also finished Dune and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass. Now on to Shadow of the Hegemon (Ender's series book 6).
Work is good; I am done on Friday, August 13. Matt, Justin, and I are rafting Saturday on the Middle Fork American. Though it starts uber early due to the Tevis Cup horse race (they are releasing the rapids earlier so that the river level can be back down later for the horses & riders to cross the river).
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Friday, July 16, 2004
I'm trying to see if I can get a flying lesson this weekend. That would be cool; I realized this week that I'm likely going to be more comfortable in life than I'd expected. It's really a nice thought.
(that's from my new image gallery)
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
Tomorrow: Spiderman 2 on the company
A week from Thursday: gone to NY for a 3 day weekend with Krista
Let's see, past that
Just read Zodiac, by Neal Stephenson
Reading Speaker for the Dead (the book that comes after Ender's Game)
So for my goal of 20 books, I'm on my 12th.
Friday, June 25, 2004
Thursday, June 24, 2004
I got a blogger shirt finally, and the Eng offsite shirt too :)
Parents are here in a week, leaving for Krista's in 2. Got to go!
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
When I go home, I have no computer to use.
The last 2 movies I've seen are Shrek 2 and Harry Potter 3.
I'm reading Harry Potter book 1.
I'm enjoying all these really new experiences. (San Francisco, Santa Cruz)
Google is like a giant playground for nerds
I haven't driven since I was home
No responsibilities (or very limited)
Oh, and a coworker today described me as "having a personality like a labrador retriever."
Monday, June 07, 2004
Friday, June 04, 2004
Pretty roses trying out the Macro Mode on my new Canon SD-110
The rest of the rose pictures
Check out the afterburners on the thunderbirds
The rest of the airshow pictures
Sea lions in Santa Cruz
The rest of Santa Cruz pictures
I see this on the way home every day... (The mountains are across the bay)
(I miss Krista... but hey. I wouldn't have seen her yet if I lived at home either. And in Maine I wouldn't have a job.)
Tuesday, June 01, 2004
I'll post pictures soon. I have good pictures of the air show, and of sea lions at Santa Cruz, and trying to take some of the roses in front of the Burstein's.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
To get easy mac, campbell's soups, and chef boyardee one must go to an inorganic grocery store (the opposite of Whole Foods).
Major League Soccer is fun!
The bay area is georgeous... and no rain rocks too. And bike paths are awesome. And Google is awesome. Do I have to leave?
I am currently working with jsp+struts+ant+beans. If that means anything you know what I'm doing. If you don't... basically high end web based application stuff.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
2 pm lunch with Kacy
8:30 (EST) land in Minneapolis
1:58 (EST) land in San Jose
Goals for the summer: (non work related ones)
Get to San Francisco 5 times
Go to Alcatraz
Get white water rafting at least once
See Krista at least once
Have fun :)
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Sunday, May 09, 2004
I'm working on finding a sponsor professor/advisor for my fifth year master's. It's a possibility for me to do one S06 and F06. Maybe S07 too.
I started learning about ORDBMS (object relational databases). I'm kind of disappointed that it wasn't covered in DB, but the book for the class is good.
My high school alumni relations person is thinking about doing a feature on me in the alumni news publication... I don't think they can take too much credit for anything. But hey - could be a good excuse to go to Portland.
I signed my paperwork for Google yesterday. I know where I'm living too! This is all going excellently.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
My family is celebrating my birthday on Sunday before my dad leaves for Norfolk. I'm bummed that I only see him for under 2 days, but I think that it's all worth it.