February 2003

January 2003 -- 2003 -- March 2003

February 1, 2003

Today is a tragic day for the United States space program, as the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over the Texas sky. I found out about it fairly late, as I slept in till about 2:30 and when I woke up I had about 3 IM's telling me it had exploded and to turn on CNN. So needless to say I've been watching the news the rest of the day. I missed Bush's speech but caught the hour and a half long press conference on CNN. There was also a ghostly radar image showing the trail of the shuttle over Texas.

Hopefully there will not be a huge delay in space flight like after the Challenger explosion, and space travel can continue quickly once again. There are still three people in the International Space Station that need to be replaced eventually.

This tradegy has also reminded America that space flight is still incredibly dangerous. It's amazing that such an complex machine doesn't fail more often, and it's a mark of true engineering achievement that the space program has had so few accidents, the last one being in 1986 with the Challenger explosion. Space is still a frontier that is never truly routine.

Personally this is really saddening to me because I've always dreamed about being an astronaut and these people are now martyrs for science. They died doing what I would love to do, and they accepted the risks of space flight for scientific progress.

As Gus Grissom said, shortly before he tragically died in the Apollo 1 fire, "If we die, we want people to accept it. We're in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life."

February 2, 2003

Happy Groundhog Day! Six more weeks of winter, but being in Florida it's nice to walk outside without drowning in sweat.

More proof that Texas is the greatest state in the US, look at all the cool stuff you can get in the shape of Texas. Any kind of food that's in the shape of Texas gets my vote.


And finally, a few more notes on the shuttle disaster yesterday. My uncle went to the same church as Commander Rick Husband, and sang in choir with him. It also turns out that Husband graduated from the same high school I went to while I was in Texas. Such a tragic loss of 7 heroic people...

February 8, 2003

Has it really been a week since the last update? Wow, time does fly.

Well I had one of the most memorable Friday nights of my college experiance last night (and no, not for why you're thinking. Get your mind out of the gutters people). I camped outside the UF basketball stadium for 14 hours in the cold and rain, staying up all night and having a ton of fun.

I had always wanted to camp out for a basketball game, cause I thought it would be fun and definitly a "college experiance". So with the Alabama game today being show on national television on CBS, it was the t-shirt game where the first 1,000 students sit in the Rowdy Reptile section of student seating, and get a free shirt. So people start camping out in front of the O'dome on Wednesday afternoon for the Saturday afternoon game, just to be sure to be in Rowdy Reptile. So I was originally planning on getting in line very early Saturday morning with a friend of mine. But then Alyson wanted to camp out overnight, so of course I decide to do that. She knew some people who got in line at 3 pm Friday, and so we took over the night shift for them, with me, Alyson, and her friend Adam at about 11 pm. By that time there are about 20 tents set up around the area, and I'd guesstimate about 200 people camping out.

The night itself was pretty cold, as the lows got to the mid 40's. It also rained lightly off and on througout the night, so I had a poncho over my blanket and an umbrella over my head to keep me pretty dry. And then the people..... oh the people. Games of Marco Polo (and then Crude... Oil) at 3 in the morning. Doing Gator chants far into the night. Some of the band students played some earlier in the evening. And then every hour (and yes, this includes like 5 am etc) this group of kids would walk around with a stero blasting Roxette's "The Look". So that song will forever be ingrained in my head with last night. And then just random funny stuff that people would yell to each other or to no one. It was crazy, and so much fun. Needless to say I got absolutly no sleep, but it was very entertaining.

Finally morning comes (and it gets bright very quickly, I was playing tetris and in the time it took me to do 2 levels it had gone to barely being able to see the pieces to it being very clear), and everyone takes down their tents and I take all my crap back to my room since they don't allow you to carry anything in with you. Finally get into the O'dome at 11am, and get our shirts sortly after that. The game itself was great, and we won thank goodness after our embarressing loss to Kentucky on Tuesday.

Suprisingly enough I'm not "sleepy" but I'm incredibly tired. By this time I'd been up for 32 hours straight, with only 4 hours of sleep on Thursday night. My mind is completely useless, but physically I'm active, must have been the adreniline. But it was definitly worth it! And as an extra perk, the shirts we got glow in the dark! Too cool. And I'm planning on camping out again for the Kentucky game in March, so I'll get to go through all of this once again this year :)

Oh, and pictures will be up eventually. I took a bunch with my disposable camera, and took a bunch with Alyson's digital one as well.

And it's coming....... one week...

February 12, 2003

It's that time again.... picture update! This time of camping out for basketball. No, not my pictures, but one from a digital camera. I personally still have yet to develop pictures I took in Decemeber.... heh

Since there's so many, I'll just list them:
Me (with my eyes closed as usual)
The owner of said digital camera, Alyson
Line extending to sidewalk outside O'Connell Center. This was taken at 4 in the morning.
Part of "Tent City"
The front part of the line, people put tarps over the metal railings
What we wanted in line 14 hours for: Rowdy Reptile Shirts! (and eyes closed as usual)
Gator basketball being awesome as usual
Gator Band
Rowdy Reptiles!
My eyes are (sorta) Open!

And speaking of basketball, a game in Kentucky had a fight that resulted in the ejection of all but 8 players total for both teams. Then one of them fouled out, so only 7 players ended the game. Crazyness.


February 14, 2003

Happy Valentine's Day!

And welcome to the Valentine's Day edition of BF.N where I compress one year's worth of teen romance angst in one day! It's an update with rants, raves, and links about life, love and geeks. Enjoy.

First I should mention that I did this last year on Single's Awareness Day as well. You may remember it if you've been reading a while, and I got quite a few comments on it. Most of the stuff in that update is still pertanient today, and some of the articles, especially Why Geeks Make the Best Boyfriends and very especially "I just Want To Be Friends" are definitly worth a read if you haven't seen them already. And yep, still doing most of the "Do's" on the "Do's and Don'ts of Cultivating and Maintaining a Platonic Friendship with a Woman You Would Otherwise Want To Have a Relationship With and Quite Possibly Marry." I love that title :)

First up this year is "nice guys" and why girls (supposedly) don't like them. As a semi-famous article that's made it's rounds about the net suggests, maybe Nice Guys are Losers. There is some valid points in there I do have to agree with, but I think someone was just bitter. There seems to be a thin line between confidence and arrogance. Finally there is yet another article on yet another piece nice guy not getting girls. It's a conspiracy I tell you! Who wouldn't want a sensitive boy?

Given all that, (most) people want nice people. It's just a matter of what you consider "nice". Girls complain that they can't find nice guys, when they're actually all over the place. But you won't find them hitting on you half drunk in a bar (well not to say that it's impossible, just not likely). Join some clubs, and get involved in something, and that's where you'll find the nice people. Watch how someone treats other people, it shows a lot about a person. And if the girl you have your heart set on does indeed go after the jerk, then doesn't that say something about the girl? Do you really want to date they type of person who would go after a jerk? Course, as I read in the paper the other day, girls tend to date different types of people every time, and the person they end up marrying is usually nothing like any of their previous boyfriends. Men go for the same type everytime.

Next I have to point out a GREAT series of 3 articles on Why Girls Actually Want Geeks, then Why it usually doesn't happen, and finally the pitfalls of dating a nerd (which I can admit there is a lot of truth to). Very interesting set of articles though. Still not convinced that geek guys make for great relationships? 15+ reasons why geek guys are "not so bad at all". And as a self-described geek, yep, it's all true. Of course, some people just aren't right for the geek lifestyle, as these girls found out, but hey, whatever floats their boat :) Lucky for them there's a list of How To Lose A Geek in 10 Seconds. The root password one is particulary hillarious :) Some girls definitly appriciate the geek though.

This brings me to a subject that I've noticed somewhat, in people trying to become what they think girls/guys want them to be instead of who they are. Is a lie anything that a good relationship should be based on? Sure for a one-night-stand (if that's your thing) go for it cause there is no relationship, but for pete's sake don't try to change yourself to attract some girl or guy you like. If she/he doesnt' like you for you, then it just wasn't meant to be. It's pretty much doomed to fail eventually, as sooner or later you'll get tired of the charade and once the person discovers the "real" you then it'll be over. That's why I am unabashedly nerdy, because if a someone can't like me for having a passion for computers or nerdy/geeky stuff, then it just wasn't meant to be. Not to say that's all I ever talk about or get involved in (as my friends can attest) but I'm not going to pretend that side of me doesn't exist to impress some girl.

There's also the ever dreaded I Just Like You As A Friend thing. Now of course I relieze that there are just some friends that are undateable or you're just not attracted to them in that way for various reasons no matter how great they are (like I myself have several friends who are incredible girls, but I have no interest in dating), and you can't "make" someone like you (learned that one the hard way). But it seems like friendship is the best way to find someone that you're really compatible with, rather than obsess over some random hot girl/guy at the mall that you've spoken 5 words to ("Number one with cheese please"). One would think you should have to get to get to know a person fairly well before you can truly like them (hence why I do not believe in love at first sight, just lust at first sight), but then what do I know.

*Standard disclaimer applies to the previous paragraph*. I'm perfectly happy with being "just friends" with my female acquitances. It's just those very few who you think have possibilities that cause all the angst. Oh, and a good tip for anyone who wants to get across non-interest to someone who may be interested in them: Just talk about some other guy/girl (they don't even have to be real, just make someone up) in the romantic sense. Gets the point across nicely and without embarrassment on either side. Just for the love of God don't go into detail on how great/nice/funny/smart/etc this person is, particulary if you've used any of those adjectives to describe the aforementioned liker. Then it's just cruel.

Moving on, The Ladder Master Theory Page is an interesting idea on how men and women rank each other on their respective ladders. It explains the phenomenon of ladder jumping, ladder disparity, and other related phenomenon. Very interesting theory.

But perhaps you don't want a relationship, perhaps you just want some random girl for a "night-o-fun". Don't have a Valentine yet? Never fear, let the people at alt.seduction.fast help you pickup women. Interesting tactics, and the scary thing thing is that some girls actually fall for them.

If however you want some substance, then some tips on How to be Romantic would be useful. One of the suggestions is pet names, which if you're having trouble coming up with one, try the Pet Name Generator for ideas. Particulary fun for teasing your friend with, as everything sounds funnier when "snugglyhoneybear" says it, as shown in this AIM conversation (edited version):
(15:12:13) Me: Hmmm, a good pet name would be Snuggly Honey Bear....
(15:13:07) Me: heh, I'm gonna change your name to that in AIM
(15:14:20) Snuggly Honey Bear: no
(15:14:34) Me: (15:14:20) Snuggly Honey Bear: no
(15:14:36) Me: haha
(15:14:39) Me: this is awesome
(15:14:47) Snuggly Honey Bear: shut up
(15:14:55) Snuggly Honey Bear: (expletive deleted)
(15:15:45) Me: I don't think snugglyhoneybear should say those naughty words
(15:15:51) Me: it's not snugglyhoneybearish

Futurama's had some good quotes relevent to today, quoted here for your reading pleasure (both said by Fry):
"What? Valentine's Day is coming up?!?! Crap! I forgot to get a girlfriend again"
"Well she was in love with the part of me that's a slob. I was in love with her with the part of me that's desperate."

Have a date for Valentine's but don't know what to do? Never fear, let old 50's educational movies guide you. From what do to on a date, Do's and Don't of Dating and Beginning Dating to Going Steady and How do you Know It's Love, cheesy acting and horrible plots can show you the way. No wonder all those people in the late 60's were so messed up.

Finally a fictional but sure-it-happens-in-real-life heartstring tugging account of why you should always tell someone how you feel (which no longer exists). Not that I follow that advice at all of course, but it's a nice story for Valentine's Day.

So that's the V-Day update for this year, which I believe fills my blog quota of girl/love/romance-related postings for the year. Now back to not-updating....

February 15, 2003

Yesterday turned out to be suprisingly good, once I got finished with a horrible computer organization test in the morning. My digital design class was cancelled, ate part of a giant sugar cookie, and I ended up eating pizza at this great local pizza joint and seeing Daredevil and Amelie with some friends. And then a good friend of mine from FSU visiting her boyfriend came by, and I got to talk to another friend of mine from Tampa.

Now for all the cool stuff that missed the Valentine's Day update since I first saw them on Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day form letters (no longer up). The Coder one had me rolling on the floor. "My love for you in O(n^n)" and "You NP-Complete me" are classic! Oh man what I'd do for a girl that said stuff like that..... Am I nerd or what? :)

And speaking of that, Slashdot did an article on Valentine's Day that covered several of the things I've posted before, plus some new one's like The She-Geek Guide to Dating and Geek Guide to Dating. And yes, I find the joke "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Recurse." "Recurse who?" "Knock knock..." funny

February 16, 2003

Yet another picture update day! I finally got pictures developed that I've been taking the last two months, and $25 later they're ready for your viewing pleasure:

First some more basketball pictures:
Our "camp" for the night (ie a few chairs and blankets
This is how I looked most of the night, umbrella over my head and poncho over my blanket. And of course the goofy grin :)
It's me. Standing. Hooray!

Next is some pics of the Bucs stadium taken in December, which me and a friend took a tour of while he visited me in Florida. This was of course before they won the Super Bowl.
This is what the players see as they step out onto the field
The infamous pirate ship
The Buc's locker room. It only has their stuff in it on game days

Remember that DDR tournament I went to in mid-January? Here's the pictures from that:
The crowd watching me play
More shots of the crowd watching
Me (in orange) and another guy on the DDR Gators playing

Here's some more reasons why dorm life is so very fun:
The "soccer in the hallway" group (I'm in the middle)
The kitchen is NOT a bathroom
Gaming at it's finest (we have a SNES, Genesis, Dreamcast, and PS2 hooked up to the lounge TV)

And finally, some random pictures from throughout the last 2 months:
My best friend and her roommate playing DDR in my room (Disney Mix none-the-less
A yellow VW Beetle dressed up as a mouse
Me and Molly the Manatee!

February 20, 2003

Bobby McFerrin is INCREDIBLE! He played today at the Phillips Center at UF, and some friends and me got tickets to see him, even though most of us (including me) didn't really know who he was. He's famous for the "Don't worry... be Happy" song, but his talent extends so much more than that. He has an amazing range of voice, and can do all kinds of noises and sounds with it, not to mention it sounds incredible. It truly is like another musical instrument. He also is big on audience participation, and had us singing the "Itsa bitsy spider" song, and then mimicking some of the beats he created. What makes it so unique is that he improvises everything he does. He brought out a sax player to do a duet with, and then brought out UF's star gymnast Orley Szmuch to create a song based on her movements. He ended by bringing out Bo Diddley to play along with, as they made up songs and just went wild. It was an AMAZING concert that completely blew me away. If you ever get an oppurtunity to see him live, definitly do it, you'll thank me later. I am in awe.

I was really sick on Monday, by far the sickest I've yet been in college. I think I have some kind of stomach bug, because for most of the day all I did was puke my guts out. A total of 7 offereings were made to the porcelien throne, by far the most I've ever done in one day. I felt somewhat better by late Monday evening, and could finally keep food down, but it was not a fun day. This also marks the first time I've ever missed class due to sickness, but luckly nothing *too* important was going on that day.

Yesterday I went and saw two local Gainesville bands, Hey Nice Guy and The Busdrivers. They were both really good, with HNG being more rock/punk and Busdrivers ska. I came out partially deaf, but it was a lot of fun.

If you're familiar with hard drives, then you know that it's hard to "trully" erase something. Deleting something from the recycle bin is easy to recover if you know what you're doing and it hasn't been overwritten yet, and even more complicated measures have their pitfalls or possible failings. So one guy decided to make sure no one could read the old data on some old hard drives: he melted them. I'd say it did a good job.

February 28, 2003

Another week of no updates, but at least I have an excuse. This week has been really really busy with school and other various stuff, and at last it's over and I can start getting back in the regular hectic-but-tolerable pace that I'm used to. And spring break is only a week away, which is muy goodo.

This is fun.

Being in Florida we don't get much (any?) snow, but thanks to the Internet that can now change. Here is How To Build your own Snow Gun with pictures and hardware list. Of course being that there are no mountains in Florida it's not very good for downhill skiing (well except for that huge hill by the New Engineering Building hehe) but it's snow.... in Florida!!!

A very interesting article on the internet and privacy was on Slashdot today. It's pretty long, but an insightful look into what happens when you write an email that you consider "private" but ends up being forwarded multiple times until it eventually appears on the internet. Everything you write on the internet or in email could eventually be found by anyone if you're unlucky enough, as the "Forward" button is just a click away.

On a sadder note, Mr Rogers died yesterday. I, like many of my peers, grew up watching him on PBS, and while I do admit I like Seseame Street more, Mr. Rogers was a really cool show, especially when they took tours of different factory's and things. I remember reading a profile of him in Readers Digest a few years ago, and thinking how incredible this guy is, because he really loves children. He will be missed.

Now you can get Joe Millionaire for only $15,000! Or the girl he picked for $10,000. Hooray for capitalism.

January 2003 -- 2003 -- March 2003