December 2004

November 2004 -- 2004 -- January 2005

December 1, 2004

Bored and looking for something to do? How about the top 100 scientific things to do before you die. Or even five things to do when you're dead, like donate your body to science. Which after getting all my organs out for organ donation, isn't a bad idea. I still want my ashes shot into space though.

Four minutes: The time it took an unpatched Windows XP computer to get cracked after hooking it up to the internet. After fixing dozens of computers last Fall due to the Blaster worm, I'm not surprised at all.

My mom sent me back up with a christmas tree, so I've been in the process of putting it together in the last few days. I was missing the tree stand so I had to track one down, but I've finally got it done. Now to finish decorating it. I've also put up some Christmas lights around the apartment, and have random Christmas stuff scattered around. The best holiday is only 25 days away!

More random weird pictures, this time an overexposed shot of one of the Rowdy Reptile basketball shakers that was lit with a flashlight.

And because I forgot to upload it the other day, here's an update from Monday...

December 6, 2004

Today's been one of those days where no one spectaculary good thing happened and not even everything worked out in the best possible way, but yet it's still been a really good day. Though any day I get free pizza at a club meeting is a good day! Actually I take that back, two very cool things happened. One is an kicken rad penguin cup my mom got me for St. Nicholas day, and then the other being the skill assessment test in my social dance class got cancelled and everyone got an A. I would have gotten a 100 on it anyways (it's a 1000 level dance class for crying out loud) but now I can get up at 10 instead of 6:30 on Wednesday.

Speaking of dance class, I can't remember how much I wrote about it on here. Which isn't surprising since I can't remember what I even ate on Saturday. Anyways, it's my first non-technical elective I've gotten to take in college (yay Engineering!) and I figured it'd be fun since I love dancing. It covers Foxtrot, Waltz, Mambo, Rumba, and Swing, and has more girls in it than my last 3 semesters combined. Learned quite a bit, although it goes REALLY slowly. I learned as much in one hour of swing club instruction as we would cover in 4 hours of class. Still it was a fun easy class, which is exactly what I'd be looking for in something that starts at the godawful hour of 8:30 in the morning.

In between writing the proof to the Extremum Theorem a dozen times over the weekend to study for my math test today, I managed to get the tree decorated. It's a Mexican Christmas tree, which I have to give credit to Alyson for thinking of that great idea. Here's a shot of just the lights as well.

I also went back to the 80's Friday night, to not only celebrate the birthday of one of my friends, but it also happened to be my half-birthday. ::cue picture of me with a bunch of hot girls:: 80's pop is freakin awesome!

America: The Book was named Book of the Year today. My roommate got it for his birthday so I read through it and whole heartedly agree with that assesement. It's spot on in so many cases. Particulary, in regardess to the media: "'Was the president successful in convincing the country?' Who gives a crap? Why not tell us if what he said was true"

I got this book awesome book called Hardware Hacking for Geeks today. Hardware Hacking for Cool Jocks was all sold out. Who would have known?

December 8, 2004

4 Finals. 1 Computer Architecture Project. 1 more week. Next Wednesday is not going to be fun. In the meantime the last day of regular classes was today.

Yesterday marked the start of (C)hanuk(k)ah. And while I"m not Jewish, I do seem to have a thing for Jewish girls, being over half the girls I've liked while in college have turned out to be Jewish or have Jewish ancestory. It's the dark curly hair I think. And I how could anyone not like Natalie Portman! There is also a Jewish Hey Ya. Because "oy is just yo spelled backwards."

This is the greatest music video EVER. Pizazz!

UF put up Christmas lights on a giant tree outside the Reitz. And I found the perfect Christmas tree for your favorite computer engineer.

I got some candy for St. Nick day (thanks Mom!) and I noticed they are all "Fun Size". But they're so small, the Funness of each piece is but a small amount of the total fun that is possible. If it were truly "Fun Size" they'd be as big as a car. Now THAT is fun!

December 11, 2004

Reason #3 why I love college: College Basketball!

I spent 12 hours in line and went without sleep for almost 30 hours in order to get some of the best seats in the house for the Louisville game today. Me and my friends got in line about midnight, and I brought my laptop to watch some Family Guy and Ghostbusters while we waited. It was pretty cold, got down to 45 I think, but I had on a thick sweatshirt, a huge winter jacket, and a blanket, so I managed to stay pretty warm. Most of the about 250 people out there with us slept, but I just can't seem to fall asleep while in line, so I stayed up the entire night. We got some free hot chocolate, water, and McDonalds in the morning from the athletic department, and when we got in they handed out free tshirts. I also got to have my picture taken with Dick Vitale, who is my favorite (and one of the most famous) college basketball announcers for ESPN.

The game was awesome as usual, and we played really well except for the 3-pointers. We had an abysmal 3 point percentage, while Louisville kept sinking them (18% versus 43%), and that's why we ended up losing in the end. So it goes. That was are last challenging game until SEC play starts up in the spring.

The line at about 6 in the morning
Our spot in line, I was sitting in that chair to the left of the tent
It was really cold
Free food!
Me and Dickie V

Google's got another new search, Google Scholar that searches research papers and theses. Want to find out how to make your computer "psychic" to predict the future? I'm currently doing a project on that very idea.

December 17, 2004

Fall 2004 is done! I managed to survive my finals, for the most part, and now I'm up here until Sunday to see a basketball game with the 'rents. In the meantime I've been cleaning the apartment, going to Jacksonville to bring my roommate his wallet he forgot and couldn't get on the plane without proper ID, finally getting around to doing some Christmas shopping, watching movies, and hanging out with friends before they go off for the break. The days before school starts and after finals are the most fun since it's all the fun of college without any of the homework.

Slashdot was running a poll on favorite Christmas carols, except named in a non-obvious computer nerd kind of way...
Ag s (Silver Bells)
#ffffff Christmas (White Christmas)
1100 Days of Christmas (12 Days of Christmas)
!L (Noel)
(137 i7 5n0//)^3 (Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow)
away in a manger (Away in a Manger)
O(n) Christmas Tree (Oh Christmas Tree)
Also there's a Foxtrot comic on the Christmas card for smart people.

Or if you're tired of old holiday favorites, how about statistically computer generated Christmas songs? His computers listen to Christmas music and learn the most important parts, and then creates it's own. The results are a little disappointing, but with work one day computers might be composing the next great symphony.

Only two weeks for winter vacation. That's not cool.

December 19, 2004

Back in Tampa once again for a bit. I always thought in college you get super long breaks, but apparently that is only true at every other college except UF. So a measely two weeks it is, but I intended to take full advantage of them and work hard at slacking off.

Bush was Time's Person of the Year this year, which I can't say is too surprising nor do I really disagree with. I am however sick and tired of hearing about this supposed "mandate" and "clear cut win" when 49% of the country (tens of millions of people) wanted someone else.

50 foods to eat before you die. My personal favorite on there is of course pizza.

Speaking of food, has anyone else ever heard of bon bon's? They're chewy candy that the French club in high school used to sell as a fundraiser, and I swear they put crack in them because I couldn't stop eating them. I haven't had one in years, but today for some reason I had a really strong craving for them. Mmmm sweet chewy goodness.

December 21, 2004

News of the story about Yahoo refusing to open up the email account of a Marine killed in action has been raising questions about privacy and just what happens to all that information stored behind passwords. I know I have a lot of information on my computer (which is password protected) that I'm sure people might like to know after I'm dead, but that I don't want to release while I'm still alive. There's also the question of how do you let people online know that you're dead. Sure this website would never be updated again, but at what point to people think "Wow, did they die?" or maybe they just decided to move to the middle of nowhwere.

Speaking of death, I know I've put this elsewhere on the site, but whenever that should occur, I first want all viable organs donated, and then my body donated to science. If there's anything left over after that, then I want my ashes shot into space, just because who knows, maybe it'll end up on some planet someday and the beings over there would use it as proof of life elsewhere. I really don't understand why everyone doesn't donate their organs, you're dead already, might as well help someone else live.

The next Harry Potter book comes out on July 16th, which is a lot sooner than I would have thought. One of my other favorite authors, Michael Crichton, has a new book called State of Fear out as well now. I loved most of his books, except for his last one Prey, which I really didn't like at all. I'll have to get a hold of this one though, or probably just end up reading it an hour at a time in Barnes and Noble, which I've done before with other novels.

I saw Maria Full of Grace last night. It was really good.

The Albert Einstein action figure. How awesome is that?

December 25, 2004

Merry Christmas!

Santa stopped by (the tree is actually in focus in real life, despite what the camera would have you believe) again this year, and I must have been a pretty good kid, because I got a lot of awesome gifts. Perhaps making some chocolate dessert Christmas Eve for "Mr. and Mrs. Claus" had something to do with it. The highlights include:
Star Wars Trilogy on DVD
DDDR Max 2
An apron from my roommate that says "What part of 'It's not ready yet' don't you understand?"
Dave Berry 365 Day Calender
"Pure Vanilla Extract Alcohol" from the Caribbean. Alcohol? "Special" cookies indeed
Some wooden brain teaser puzzles
Wayne Gretsky's 3D Hocky '98 (old skool)
And a bunch of other kitchen stuff

All the kitchen stuff is because I've really been cooking a lot this year now that I have an apartment with its own kitchen. And then I get home and all my parents want me to do is show them what I've been up to the last few months and cook dinner for them. Which it's a little easier at home since I don't have to pay for the ingredients (meat can get expensive when buying pork ribs compared to ground beef for hamburger helper, which is why hamburger helper usually wins), I actually have time to let stuff cook for 3 hours, and I don't have to worry about leftovers like when you're cooking for one.

That dessert by the way was Eskimo Snowballs (which is at appropriately, the only snow Florida will ever be seeing. Can't say the same about Houston though, as it somehow managed to snow there last night. Some kid's Christmas wish came true. Meanwhile it was snowing in Tampa today, but it melted by the time it got to ground level so that it just appeared to be a regular Florida rain shower. Or at least that's what I like to tell myself.

To pass the time while at home, since there's nothing else really going on, I've been watching a LOT of movies. Blockbuster has a movie pass deal for $15 that lets you rent as much as you want, but only 2 movies at a time. But since Blockbuster is really close by, we end getting about 4 movies a day. So I've been seeing a bunch of stuff that there is no way I'd pay $6 to see (cough*Princess Diaries Dos*cough) but for free I'd check it out. Also all those movies I really did mean to see but just didn't have the time. There's still a bunch that I need to see, so hopefully I'll get a chance before going back up to Gainesville.

NORAD's been tracking Santa for 50 years now. I'm surprised they haven't spruced up the graphics on the video's, but then again as a kid I really wouldn't care. Also Santa granted an interview with questions from 1st graders. My personal favorite response: "Didn't you see that documentary, 'Elf,' with Will Ferrell? Just because you haven't seen an elf doesn't mean they don't exist. Have you ever seen Canada?". It's a good point, I'm not sure Canada really exists though, I think it's a great northern conspiracy.

December 31, 2004

One more day of 2004. I remember back in 1999 celebrating it around the world with CNN as they showed live coverage all over the place (it being 2000 and all). New Years also means football, and while I'm not happy that Auburn got gipped, at least Florida got a decent bowl game (against Miami) and Texas Tech won last night against #4 California.

Waves of Destruction has a bunch of pictures and video of the now infamous tsunami (I still can't spell tsunami without looking it up). Also making news is the incredible amount of online donations, made possible since it's so easy to click and send. That and every major website has a link on the front page on how to donate. Hopefully it can really help a lot of people who lost so much.

If you're in New York (or just wish you were) there's information on the details on everything you need to know to party in Times Square. Too bad Dick Clark won't be around, that guy is somewhat human after all, even though he has looked the exact same for the last 30 years.

November 2004 -- 2004 -- January 2005