Monday, October 27, 2008

Is it November 4th yet? Will the campaign ads and phone calls stop please? Frankly, I could not be happier to be getting out of the DC area this weekend. I've decided that my new policy is to vote for whoever annoys me the least during the next week. We get at least 2-3 robocalls a day from campaigns, and occasionally even a real human being on the line. We don't answer the house phone, so they all get to talk to voicemail no matter what, but it doesn't make it any less annoying. So far, the list of people I'm not voting for includes Keith Fimian, Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin (yes, I know she's listed twice, her campaign calls twice as much as anyone else), and John McCain. I've been invited to more victory rallies than I could possibly attend! I decided months ago not to vote for Keith Fimian after his campaign put up signs that dangerously block the view cars coming up the 66 onramp I use, but apparently no one on his campaign read my irate email, so I still get his pleading phone calls. Also, he was apparently once vaguely involved with the Cleveland Browns. I believe that makes three strikes sir.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Talk about a football-dominated weekend. Friday night started with watching Boise State obliterate Hawaii. But I had to go to bed before the end of the game, secure in the knowledge that the Broncos had it pretty well wrapped up already. Saturday morning I had to ref the 8am flag football game, then play in the 9:30 game, then ref the 11:00 game. When all was said and done in Anacostia (including a 41-24 beatdown of Clemson alumni by GT alumni), I "rushed" home. I say rushed because mostly I just crawled along 66 in the flow of out-of-state idiots and local assholes. So I missed the entire first half of the GT@Clemson varsity game, and even though the second half was frustrating, Tech came away with another win. I spent the remainder of the day on the couch, trying not to take a nap and toggling between games when one got boring. Sunday morning GTDC had another flag football game against Michigan State. Despite a slow start, our defense and a defender-ankle-shattering run by Kim saved the day as our flag football team improved to 7-0 and took a commanding lead in our division. We rushed home (this time, rushing was actually possible), showered, packed a cooler, and hit the road again for a trip to Landover. Phil's boss hooked us up with some info on a good tailgating spot which worked out really well. We grilled up some brats and chicken breasts, had some chips and queso, and then headed to the stadium. The first half was blindingly sunny in the upper deck, and rather boring on the field. The only real excitement was a missed field goal. Once the sun went down, it got cold fast, but the football got interesting as the Skins pulled out a nailbiter against the Browns. Then it was back to the tailgating field to hang out while traffic died down a bit before heading home. All in all a pretty fun weekend, but I am totally worn out. I need another weekend to recover from my weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Today's awesome tidbit comes from one of my coworkers. Since he's in the lab at the moment, his cell phone is on his desk and has rung several times now. It took me a minute to figure out what was going on, but his ring tone is a sonar ping!! That's almost as cool as the generic plastic building block model of a submarine that's at EG&G.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sources: Bowden fired at Clemson after 3-3 start HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Sucker. That's what you get for being the head coach of the most over-hyped, under-performing team of all time. We're down to one coach Bowden now, and it's only a matter of time before he gets the boot. Given F$U's downward spiral and Penn State's recent resurgence, Bobby's not likely to catch JoePa again. But he is more likely to be forced to retire, especially given Jimbo Fisher's outrageous contract where he stands to be paid $2.5 million if he's not named head coach at F$U by 2011. Meanwhile, JoePa took a huge hit on the sidelines last year, broke his leg, and still demanded to keep coaching, albeit from a booth per doctor's orders. The man is invincible! And now, back to Tommy: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

If you're interested in Politics and numbers (or really just numbers), I suggest you have a look at Five Thirty Eight (so named because there are 538 electoral votes). Rather than looking at a single poll and saying that so-an-so is ahead by X points, Nate Silver's algorithms compile massive amounts of poll data and analyze it all, weighting the more historically accurate, more recent, and larger sample-size polls heavier. Of all places to see something like this, I read about this in my Sports Illustrated, because Mr. Silver is also a writer/analyst for Baseball Prospectus. He's after basically the same thing I am with Chaos Rankings, in that he wants to accumulate the largest sample sizes possible because it negates outliers. As someone who literally has dreams about how to put together this kind of thing, all the different plots and graphs on the page made my mouth water. Certainly, 538 isn't for everyone, most people will likely just zone out due to information overload once the page comes up, but I thought it was fascinating and well worth some further investigation this weekend.

Charleston Chew the hamster (aka Charlie, fka Chewbacca) passed away on Tuesday night, curled up in a ball under his blankets of tissue. He was only about a year old, but he hadn't been doing very well the past couple weeks, so it wasn't much of a surprise. He'd stopped eating a few days ago and had all but quit drinking as well. Although whatever was wrong with him made him lose weight and energy, as recently as a week ago he was still getting his nightly exercise of climbing the side of his cage and then working his way across the top, commando-style, like they were monkey-bars on a elementary school playground. We put him to rest in my parents' front yard on Wednesday night on the opposite side of the driveway from Oro and near Griffin, so he's in good company.
Emily brought Charleston home in mid-November last year after one of her friends at work couldn't care for him. After picking him up at the office in the morning, apparently he slept under Emily's desk all day, then enjoyed a ride home on the Metro. Despite the change of scene, he warmed up to us right away, though at first it was hard to tell which end of him was which with all the fur! He was a teddy bear hamster, but had hair like you wouldn't believe! Think of how a caricature artist would depict Einstien's 'do, and then go wilder. When Emily's mom came to visit, she wanted to take a pair of scissors to him and cut it all off, but we managed to spare him the loss of his out-of-control mane. Charleston wasn't as big a fan of the hamster ball as Oro was, but because he was a lot friendlier, you could actually sit somewhere and play with him for a while and pet and brush him.
Charleston had been having a hard time breathing the past couple of days and hadn't really been opening his eyes much either. It's sad to see such a little creature in such obvious pain and be helpless to do anything about it besides try to make him comfortable and keep him company. On Monday night when it cooled off so much, we left the windows open at night. I like to think that the cold air put him into hibernation, where his troubled breathing became less of a hindrance and he could drift away peacefully, dreaming of doggie biscuits and yogurt drops.
Rest in peace little furry friend.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

It's official, I bought our tickets tonight and we're going to London for Thanksgiving! Two of Emily's close work friends just started grad school at LSE, so we'd been talking about going to visit this fall, and decided that Thanksgiving would be a good time since work will be slow, and as long as we're not traveling on the typically busy days, the airports shouldn't be too bad. So, we're watched prices for a while and as seats ran out, we finally decided to pounce and got what I think is a pretty good deal. Unfortunately, I think we may have a hard time finding the Georgia ggame on TV over there. "Pardon me my good fellow, do you know of a pub where I might be able to view the football game?" isn't likely to help me very much... Though I'm told that Hillary and Priya's "flat" (see, I already speak the language!) is near the Arsenal stadium, so maybe we'll take in a football game after all. ;)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

My second week of work at Sedna went well. I've started to accumulate some assignments now too, so I have things to do on a daily basis. I've learned a lot so far. I even solved a problem all by myself on Friday! Yay!
Saturday Emily and I went apple picking at Stribling Orchard, which means we missed the GT beatdown of Duke. Hey, stop laughing! Don't underestimate Duke this year - David Cutcliffe has them paying well. We got a little confused in the orchard as to what variety of apples we were actually picking, but all the ones we came home with I'm sure will take great. We have plans for applesauce following Emily's grandfather's recipe, some baked apples, and possible a pie in the near future. In the mean time, it was nice just to get out of town for a few hours and get some exercise and fresh air.
Since we were already out in the middle of nowhere, we decided to take a detour to Winchester for a Sonic excursion. I know I'm not the only one who wishes there were a Sonic closer than an hour away (with no traffic). It's not like there aren't places to put one around here. And it's not like there aren't enough people with money around here to buy franchise rights. Let's get with the program here Sonic...
After the Sonic excursion, we came home on Route 7 through Leesburg, stopping for some goodies at Lola's bakery. My pumpkin muffin was awesome for breakfast this morning, and my cinnamon-chocolate cookie was really good too. And Emily assures me that her coconut cupcake was superb also. If you're into that kind of thing, the bakery is being featured on Rachel Ray's talk show in the near future. We also wandered around downtown briefly and managed to find the bed and breakfast where Tommy and Steph got married, which, despite the debilitating heat, we have very fond memories of.
Today we had a flag football game against Iowa. I'm less than thrilled with our new coaches this year. I won't go into all the details, but they just don't see very on top of things. Anyway, we won the game to improve to 3-0 on the season, though we haven't played any really tough teams yet either. Now we're just recovering getting ready for another week at work, but I'd say we had a pretty eventful weekend where we were really able to enjoy the beautiful weather. It's going to disappear before long, so I'm glad we could take advantage of it while we could.

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