Friday, December 30, 2005

(local time 5:15 am) jet lag finally caught up with me. i woke up aroudn 2:30 from a bad dream and just lay in bed playing it over in my head and trying to change teh ending. then as i was getting tired again 20 minutes later, emily woke up from a dream. then at 3:30 somethign made a loud noise that jolted me more awake again, so emily and I stayed up talking for 45 minutes and then i decided i was hungry and being in bed was pointless since i wasn't at all sleepy anoymore, so i got up and got a snack and have been playing on the computer for a while. I got some books ot read for christmas and a coupel sudoku books to work on if i'm still not tired in a little bit. wee for jet lag!

(local time - 12:35 am) Quick update: got into Tel Aviv with no problems whatsoever. I had been telling Emily that I hated the Newark airport but couldn't remember why. Having now been there again, it all came back to me what a hellhole that place is. Can't wait to go through customs there on the way back... Stayed up for part of teh Tech game last night. Fell asleep after teh 4th and 2 Reggie slip and the 3rd and long interception returned 45 yards as the score quickly became 13-0. Woke up with teh score 20-0 with 12 to go in teh second, so Emily and I went to bed. Woke up to find out we'd been slaughtered. No shocker there since we haven't scored more than 20 points in months, so even if we held utah scoreless (we didn't, 38) th rest of the game, we already had a slim chance ot winning. Way to back up my assertions that we deserved a better bowl game... Typical GT football... Today we had Christmas all over again, including waffles. Then went for a walk on teh beach and got to see teh ruins of a roman crusader castle right up on teh cliffs. I went rock climbing to the dismay of everyone else. We foudn some cool ancient glass that had washed up on teh beach and all in all had a good round of exercise. Israel so far is a lot of fun and a beautiful area. I can't wait to explore some more of it over the next few days.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I'm getting really sick of the constant fire alarm testing occuring this morning... I know there's basically nobody here, so really, how many peopel are they bothering? But still, it's during business hours and there are people here... You'd think they could test the alarm after hours or something. I'll come in to supervise at 2 am if it means I don't have to hear it go off every 5-15 minutes for 2 hours...

I had a good weekend. Did basically nothing on Saturday, went to church that night, saw all my friends, some of which I haven't seen in a couple years, so that was nice. The communion wafers made me hungry, so I tried to stop at Wendy's on the way home at 1:15, but the drive thru was already closed. Stayed up and watched CodeBreakers instead. Don't waste your time. Sunday I opened presents from my mom and the Taylors before some pet sitting and christmas (salmon, mmmm) dinner with the Bevers and Hueys. It's alwasy a fun time over there. Bobby (who's pushing 50) is like an 8 year old when it comes to presents. Then I went home and gave the girls their present, which they devoured. I made corn muffins for some reason and then went to bed. Monday kicked my ass big time because I kept putting off everythign I needed to do all weekend. So I ran aroudn like a chicken with my head cut off all day and never did get anything done I meant to do for work. But the good news is that I think I'm ready to leave for Israel tomorrow. Caryn came over for some homemade dessert since I won't be here for her birthday, then I did a few more chores and talked to Emily before finally crashing at 2 am. Now here I am at work with tons to do and no one here. Hopefully I'll get done everyhting I need to do so I won't have to be in panic mode tomorrow morning before I leave. Anyway, that's my brief synopsis, now back to the grind.

Friday, December 23, 2005

So I cut out of work early (shhhh! also, for most of the day, I was the only TSMS team member in the building) and was sitting on the couch watching Comedy Central's Last Laugh 2005. Yellowcard played on the show, and out of the corner of my eye, as soon as the song starts, I see a very familiar headbob. Now, I've seen Yellowcard a bunch of times from backstage on Warped Tour, so I didn't think much of it, I just attributed it to the fact that it's been a while since I've seen them play. But when the guitar solor hit, the camera pulled in tighter. No wonder the headbob looked so familiar! Ryan Mendez of Staring Back is playing for Yellowcard now! This is a fact which is slowly dawning on me that I already knew, but it was a nice memory jog nonetheless. Ryan is an immensely talented guitarist and songwriter, and I'm sure he will be a big factor in a lot of their new songs. Those guys go way back to the Santa Barbara days before Yellowcard bailed on their Lobster contract (note: I still refuse to take sides on that issue), so I'm glad for them that they've picked up someone with a lot of musical vision who I think will really help them out down the road. The only problem is that Ryan is a bit of a primadonna and always wants things done his way, so I hope that doesn't conflict with the band and blow up in anyone's face later on. In any case, yay for Ryan!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The lake behind my office is froxen again except right around the fountain, so now our canadian geese are back and they're all over there ice skating around trying to find where the lake went and why there isn't water to land in anymore. Silly canucks...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

So one of the other projects on my floor is having a secret santa/gift exchange thing today, and all the presents are in the conference room right now. Every time I walk past it, there's this one wrapped in green paper that says MerryMerryMerryMerryMerry all over it. Well, it was wrapped in such a way that as it reaches the edge, it reads MerryMe before it gets cut off. Even though it's obviously spelled differently, my brain still interpets is as "marry me." Damn homonyms. So it's like an engagement present instead of a non-denominational winter holiday gift. *shrug* Just makes me laugh every time I see it.

How to tell you're not quite awake yet: I went to get a cup of coffee before a meeting because I was really dragging this morning. Except that instead of taking my coffee cup, I took my notebook. So there I am standing in front of the coffee machine with my notebook looking like an idiot trying to figure out what I need my notebook for when what I obviously need is my coffee mug. At least I get a 3 day weekend soon...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

My car drives much more sprightly than I remember now that it's shed 350 pounds of NSWC equipment from the trunk...

More graduation stuff: I got treated to a lot of good food. =) Friday night after I arrived we went to the OK Cafe for dinner. That place has such good breakfast, but I've never had anything else there. Everyone's food looked really good though, and my simple chicken sandwich was quite tasty. I love their shoestring fries there too. Mmmm... After the short ceremony (2 hours for 800ish undergraduates vs 3 hours for mine with 1500ish undergraduates) we went back to Emily apartment to change and accidentally take a nap. Then it was off to the South City Kitchen for lupper. Man was it good. Emily's been raving about this place for 2 years, so I'm glad I finally got to go. I'm sure it's not cheap, but our selected menu was full of delicious items that I found it very hard to choose from. In the end, I went with the fried chicken that was so moist and the breading was nice and flaky. The mashed potatoes were perfect too. I wish I could have eaten the whole thing, but it was so big and my tummy is so small! (insert fat joke here) My apple cobbler dessert was also spot-on. Sunday morning after carrying all of Emily's stuff to teh curb and loading it into 2 cars, we were trying to decide where to go for breakfast. Emily wanted to go West Egg, which I've never been to, but we ended up at Silver Skillet instead (like it's hard to go wrong with that). Then off to the airport for several hours. Whee. But all in all it was a fun weekend, though never long enough. It's going to be a really busy week here at work, but it will make my 3 day weekend that much better.

Monday, December 19, 2005

It's been a long day already even though I've only got 7.5 hours on the books so far. I didn't sleep much over the weekend because of the 9 am graduation thing and the moving out by noon on Sunday thing. So I really could have used another day off, (despite having taken all day Friday off), but oh well. This week is shaping up to be super hectic since we have a ton of stuff to get done before everyone starts disappearing for vacation.
The invention of the modern airliner and the jet engine has radically altered the world for the better. I think you'd be hard pressed to argue con on that one. Obviously, globalization has its negatives aspects, but I think the positives far outweigh them. However, as much as US airline deregulation sounded like a good idea at the time, methinks it might have not been such a sound decision. Most airlines are operating under Chapter 11. I haven't had an on-time flight in forever. Seats are made for people half my size. With rising oil prices, airlines are cutting costs elsewhere, and making their customers suffer. And they can get away with it because, let's face it, there's no faster way to travel a distance of 400+ miles than by jet. I say 400+ because including inevitable delays, security lines, check-in times, taxiing, hiking across an airport, etc, you can drive from point A to point B 400 miles away via interstate highway in less time than an airplane can get you there. Unless of course 400 miles happens to include a large body of water, or a major city at rush hour.
Both my flights were delayed this weekend because of "air traffic control delays." What does this really mean? It means the airport schedules too many flights in and out simultaneously and assumes some won't show up (similar to intentional overbooking of seats). Then all it takes is a controller taking 5 extra minutes for his smoke break and suddenly 5000 people get affected by delays. I like having an choice of times to fly between major cities, but I like it more when my flights leaves and arrives when they said it would. How about scheduling bigger planes and fewer flights? You accomodate the same total number of people. Also, while we're at it, can we make the seats so my knees aren't bruised for 3 days afterwards? 7 days if the guy in front puts his seat back. Also, my calves are sore from the contortions I have to go through to keep my legs from going completely numb while onboard. Or, better yet, build more airports. People don't have to drive as far to get to them, more people will fly because it goes more places, each airports runways become less crowded. Everyone wins. Then again, what the hell do I know? Other than that flying has become way less convenient and way more painful than it used to be.
Okay, new topic, graduation. It was fun to be back on campus and it was interesting to see commencement from a different perspective. I even got to stand up and be recognized as an alumni at the ceremony! Shirley Franklin gave a forgettable speech. Clough had a few good remarks. That's about it. Mostly I listened to my iPod (which I've managed to keep mostly quiet about for 2 weeks to avoid raising Emily's suspiscions about what I got her for graduation/christmas - she was totally fooled and very excited - go me!) and played gameboy. The new CoC looks pretty sweet. I'm gonna miss Tech, but hopefully we'll be back for a football game or two this fall.

I had some other stuff to post too, but I got so busy griping about airlines that I forgot what it was, and now I gotta run home and pick up something at the office before they close at 6. If I remember, I'll post about it later.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I cannot believe I just spent 5 minutes trying to explain to someone how to insert the bitmaps and gifs I just sent them into a power point presentation... Basic Computing 101. Double-click image file, CTRL-A, CTRL-C, open power point slide, CTRL-V. Done. Why is that so hard? Or use the damn built in menu option: Insert --> Picture --> From File... Done! AAAAUUUUUUGH!!! I'm pulling out what's left of my hair on this one... I can't believe some people don't have the most basic computer operating skills in this day and age.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It's good when you can't turn your head or lean over without getting dizzy, right?

Monday, December 12, 2005

This is my house in 5 years. You only think I'm kidding. I already have a Trans-Siberian Orchestra record, a loud enough stereo, and a half dozen strings of Christmas lights. This is nothing more than that, plus a microcontroller, a whole bank of relays, and a lot of time-consuming programming. Except I'll have lasers too. And then Emily will take the house in the divorce settlement. So in 6 years it will be at my storage unit I'll be living in...

I would kill for some chocolate right now... The day is winding down, and it's practically dark out already, but I'll probably be here another 2 hours. And I could really use some chocolate to make that two hours go by faster. Mmmm, chocolate. Ooo! What would be better is fresh Krispy Kreme donuts, the ones with chocolate glaze! Maybe this craving has something to do with the fact that I know there were 34 dozen (less one as a delivery fee) donuts in the trunk of Emily's car last night... Just maybe.

I am sooo cold. I keep forgetting about bringing in my space heater and a thermometer to keep my fingers from getting so stiff. Time for some nice hot coffee instead.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I helped my cousin Sarah move today into an amazing apartment in Oakton/Vienna. She and her roommate are paying about the same in rent as I am for a bigger, nicer, 2BR/2B place with a loft. I am 100% dead serious about moving into the same complex in July if I don't buy a house. It's still really convenient to my office and a short trip to the Metro if Emily needs that. It was just really really nice. Got some exercise today carrying heavy things, and I'm not in any pain, yet. Also, I got a free dinner at Five Guys out of it, so I'm in a super good mood. Mmmm, Five Guys... *drool*

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The problem with not getting out of bed until 4 pm on a Sturday in December is that teh entire day is basically already gone. The sun it setting and it's already getting dark. I've been awake for a coupel hours, just laying in bed and watching basketball. But now that I've gotten up and taken a shower I feel like it's pratically time for bed again what with the oncoming twilight...

Friday, December 09, 2005

I love how "when I leave work in a little while" at 3:20 becomes actually leaving work at 4:35...

Google Earth is super hot. I could easily spend hours playing with it and trying the different overlays and information pieces. In fact, when I leave work in a little while, I just might do that. When I rolled out of bed this morning I only had to work 3.5 hours today, and I'm now pushing 5 hours. *shrug* Not like anyone else is really here anyway. They're all scared of the big bad snow monster. We got a decent amount of accumulation this time (a couple inches), but it was mostly icy and not as powdery. Great for cleaning off my car since it came off in big chunks, and easier to walk in without getting it all over me. Great for sledding, not so much for the snowman building. Oh well.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Congratulations to Emily, who finished the last classes of her undergraduate career today!! Now just a brutal week of final exams to get though, and then it's all over! Except for the 3 hour commencement ceremony with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin... Whee! Gameboy/mp3 player to the rescue! I don't understand why GT can't get someone better, or more, I dunno, influential? I'm sure they Mayor of Atlanta sounds impressive, much as Georgia Governor sounded impressive at my graduation. But let's face facts: you're delivering a commencement speech to what basically amounts to a group of young engineers (and other technically-minded inviduals who may not be engineers) who aren't going to care what most politicians have to say. Either get someone from the 80s that we can all identify with (Mr. T, MC Hammer), someone who's become succesful with technology in the late 90s and didn't get obliterated by the dot-com bust (Google founders, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos), someone more-or-less universally revered and/or a national hero (John McCain, Willie Nelson, Neil Armstrong). How about Jimmy Carter? A public university in Georgia really can't book Jimmy Carter for 3 hours? He was just on the Daily Show... If Comedy Central can get him, I'm sure Georgia Tech could. Oh well, at least Shirley Franklin was never a dawg... (I'm still bitter about Sonny Purdue, can you tell?)

For as much as I begrudge certain electronics/computer companies (whose names I will not mention here because deep down I still despise them), I have to give credit where credit is due. When I placed an order on Friday night, with an estimated ship date of 1-3 business days, and and estimate of 5 business days for delivery, that order is processed Monday afternoon, and shipped from Shanghai Monday night, I had no expectation whatsoever that I would have my order in my hands on Thursday morning before I left for work. Delivery at 9 am on the 4th business day after placing my order, which includes shipping time from halfway around the world (11976.82 Km as the crow files) and clearing U.S. Customs, is pretty damned impressive.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It is soooo cold in my office. I swear, tomorrow, I'm bringing in a thermometer. It's colder in here than it usually is in my apartment, which, because of my frugality and the chins, is usually hovering around 65. My normally cold hands I think might actually be turning into solid blocks of ice. There's a high probability of losing my fingers tips to frostbite. Maybe I should go outside and play with some of the leftover snow to warm them up? What I really should do is bring in my space heater. I wonder what kind of permission I need to do that...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I would like to point out one more thing about the ACC's bowl scenario, and then I'll shut up. The ACC has 5 teams ranked in the BCS and 6 in the AP and USA Today: Miami, VT, FSU, GT, BC, and then Clemson is also ranked in the polls. Obviously FSU is the conference champ, so no arguement there. VT has the best record after them, so they're Gator-bound, fine. Miami has the next best record, they're in the Peach, so far everything's golden. Now it starts to get screwed up. Which remaining teams have the best conference records? BC and GT, tied at 5-3. Where are we going? Boise and San Francisco respectively. A good bowl game, close to home, is a reward for a team and for fans. Clearly, we are both being punished. BC had to know coming into the ACC, especially in their first year, that they were likely going to get screwed by geography. One of us should have gone to the Tangerine Bowl. Orlando hates our guts for some reason, and begrudgingly accepted us by default last year after UVA and Clemson removed themselves from consideration. So BC should go there this year. Then we should get the next available ACC bowl, in Charlotte. Instead, those bowls go to Clemson (4-4 and tied with UNC who isn't bowl elligible) and NC State. NC State? Really? They have a losing conference record (3-5), along with UVA (3-5), who also gets to stay closer to home in the Music City Bowl. What kind of insanity is this? Apparently, the way to get a good ACC Bowl game is to put together a losing conference record and make sure you're unranked at the end of the year. Before FSU decided to show up in Jacksonville and play the way they're expected to play and before VT decided it didn't want to play in a BCS game and just let FSU dominate them, we had our sights on a likely Peach Bowl (admittedly in the Redneck Dome) just down the street from Tech. You can't get any more close to home than that. I promise you a sold out Georgia Dome if GT is in the Peach Bowl again. Instead, we're almost as far away from home as possible (Honolulu hosts the Hawaii bowl) since the Seattle Bowl (which we have also played in) dissolved. Brian forwarded a good suggestion from The Hive - let's call up BC and stage our own bowl game. This is a perfect opportunity for me to promote my DC-based Bureaucracy Bowl. It's even roughly equidistant from Atlanta and Boston. It'd be a perfect new ACC tie-in rather than the Emerald Bowl. Okay. I'm done now.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I'm quite dissapointed by the lack of snow accumulation here. Stupid weather forecasters. I doubt we even have 1/2 an inch. It's still flurrying a bit, so maybe if that goes all night long (I don't think it's supposed to) we'd have an inch in the morning. Oh well.

I knew as soon as I posted that that it would start snowing. It's coming down pretty heavily right now. If this keeps up, we might get some decent accumulation. It's what you might call a snow shower outside. It's like rain, but snow instead. Just really pounding down. I can't wait to watch the news tonight and see how many people thoguht they coudl do 80 in an SUV in this weather and rolled it over...

According to the weather radar, it's currently snowing and has been for the last two hours. This is a complete and utter fabrication. There is no snow outside. Where's my 1-3" mother nature?? Bring it on!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

I'm mad about our bowl game. As usual, we got screwed out of an east coast bowl. It's some sort of conspiracy. No one ever wants us in their bowl game and I don't know why. Whatever. At least I got my wish to see Paterno kick Bowden's ass in the Orange Bowl. Go Fightin' Fogies!!

Happy big scary 25th birthday to my favorite cousin! Doesn't it suck having a birthday near the end of the semester when everyone is too stressed out to do anything fun? ;)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Thanks to the construction crew across the street hitting the underground power lines, again (this makes 3 times), there was no power to anything even near my office starting around 3:45 today. After waiting 30 minutes, we gave up all hope and left. Instead of just going home to watch TV, I tried to go to Best Buy, but no power at Fair Lakes either. So Manish and I went to Todd's to play Civilization the board game. Once we got the hang of it, it was hella fun, but there was a lot of stuff to keep track of. Kind of a mix of Risk and Catan. I should introduce Ben and my dad to the game; I'll bet they'd enjoy it.

So cold... I wish I had worn a long sleeve shirt today. This DKM polo just isn't keeping my arms and hands warm enough. Drinking my cold beverage isn't helping matters any, but really it's my office that is just plain cold. And something about wearing a wool coat while sitting at my desk just seems wrong. I need to start wearing gloves around the office or something...

About time... While we're on the topic, can we raze RFK too?

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  • I'm Rev. Adam
  • From Oakton, Virginia, United States
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