April 2004

March 2004 -- 2004 -- May 2004

April 1, 2004

Happy April Fools Day!

I would try to pull some elaborate April Fool's stunt, but it would end up just being dumb instead of funny. So I'll let the rest of the Internet do it for me:
  • My dream job: Working for Google on the Moon.
  • ThinkGeek has new items today for your Hamster, a cool new Virus Network Device (greatest idea EVER, includes Sircam, Nimda, Melissa, and even kicking it old skool with Michelangelo), as even an E-Z Bake Oven for your computer.
  • The top April Fools Day Hoaxes as determined by those guys.
  • And then in our student newspaper this morning their lead story was that our star quarterback, Chris Leak, was leaving immediately to play pro football in Europe. Which was mainly belivable because one of our best basketball players did that exact thing midseason this year. Needless to say pretty much everyone I talked to fell for it, including me.

I got my Vienna Teng autographed CD in the mail the other day, and it's really really good. She visited UF a week or so ago to give a small concert, and my friend loves her so she took me along. She's really really good, and while unfortunately she ran out of CD's afterwards, she got our names and addresses to send it to us later, and still sign it. So that was really cool. I also saw a local Gainesville band last weekend that plays classic Nintendo music called Select Start. They were pretty good, and the songs were awesome. Huzzah for music.

And I need to get to bed, as I am getting up early tomorrow to not only brave the fearsome laudry room and get clean clothes, but I (think) I finally figured out my CMU cam problems with my robot. And yet again it was something incredibly simple. Note to self: It does no good if the "Recieve" pins of the two ports are connected to each other.

April 7, 2004

Exactly one week until Sbob (formally named Rambot but the whole "bot' part isn't well liked by the TA's, so it's changed to the short form of Senor Bob, being a Spanish bull and all) is due. I have it detecting red and moving about and running into my "sheet" (a red folder) so now all that is left is programming in a bunch of complex behaviors. I'll post tons of pictures and video once everything is 100% complete, but until then it's going to be a very very busy next few days.

And now on to some stuff I wrote a while back but didn't update with...

I may not like the man very much most of the time, but every once in a while, when he's not screwing up the enviroment, restricting civil rights, or racking up huge deficits, Bush manages to do something right. In this case it was signing the Unborn Victims of Violence Act which makes it a seperate crime harm a fetus, an issue which gained a lot of attention with the whole Laci Peterson thing. Of course abortion advocates are decrying it as eroding reproductive rights. But as I've written on here before, the issue of abortion is not about reproductive and women's rights, or religion. But about the basic human right to live. You can reproduce or not reproduce all you want and a woman can do whatever she feels like to her body. I don't care and the government should have no say in that. But when a person's actions affects another human being in a negative way, in this case the murder of an innocent person, that is when it becomes a basic human rights issue. This bill just says that a fetus isn't a "blob" of nothing, but a person that deserves to be protected. Which is the entire crux of the whole abortion debate: Is it a human? I say yes, and therefore that's why I'm so strongly pro-life. Which in an age when abortions are ending the lives of the exact same babies age-wise that hospitals try to save when they come out pre-mature, how can someone say it isn't a human being?

These are great ideas for eating a little bit better without going to something stupid like the Atkins diet craze. Eating a huge steak and tub of butter is not better than eating a slice of bread. But of course people will lose weight on it since you'd lose weight if all you ate was ice cream, but it doesn't mean it's good for you. I've always maintained that if we could see 100 years in the future, the best diet advice you could get was "Don't eat too many fried foods or red meat, and eat a lot of fruits and vegetables." which is exactly the same now. Anyways, I've stopped eating fries (mostly), so the next step is to not drink so much coke. It's so freaking good though!

Thanks to the Internet, you can find out where a zipcode is mapped to in the US. Pretty cool application.

April 18, 2004

Sbob is done! Four months of more work than I've ever done in my life is finished and I can finally rela.... er no, do all the other million projects and homeworks I put off to finish him. Oh, and then finish that the final report on Sbob, which at the moment is over 6,000 words and 28 pages long, and I have over 1,100 lines of code to add, as well as a few more experiment results. It's easy writting at least (just describing what I did to build him) but this is one of those times I really feel like an English major instead of an Engineering major.

Step 1: Open Mouth
Step 2: Insert Foot
I am way too good at this.

Word is always helpful, in any situation.

I've had the chance to watch two of my good friends perform in dance shows within a week of each other, which is really cool being I had never seen either of them dance in a show before. Sarah was in a Pakistani cultural show because one of her friends is Pakistani and she wanted to dance in a show. It was REALLY cool and there were a lot of the girls on her floor in it as well so it was a lot of fun. Then I went to Alyson's show where my roommate for next year's girlfriend was also performing. It was also really awesome, and there were some incredibly good dancers. I liked the blurb in the program too where it complained about modern dance and how it turns off people to dance. Which the one modern piece in the performance was universally the most non-liked even though she was a very good dancer. I don't mind modern dance at all, but I'll take the more active beat driven choreography anyday.

April 22, 2004

For some reason word wrap stopped working correctly on my HTML editor, so now everything is one long line.

Today was the last day of classes for the semester, and one would think that that (two that's in a row) would mean no more homework and just studying for finals. But no, I still have a computer networking project to finish and some microprocessor stuff to get done. I am however completely finished with the robotics course I took, after turning in the final report along with the sensor report on the CMUcam. I got an A on my robot, and I hope to have most of the pictures and stuff up before too much longer.

I also downloaded my second legally purchased internet music file today (Frou Frou's Let Go, from the trailer of Garden State, which I REALLY want to see and not just because it has Natalie Portman in it). This time it was with Apple's proprietary iTunes service. The other one was just a plain mp3 file purchased straight from the record companies website. Both cost me 99 cents, which is a little high in my opinion, but at least you can get an entire album for $10 usually. I really don't like proprietary things however, and after some trial, I was able to get an mp3 out of the file I donwloaded. If you try to convert it directly to mp3 it says it can't do it since the file is protected. But you burn it as an audio cd, and then eject the disc, reinsert the disc, and then it lets you rip it from the cd to an mp3 with one click. So it really doesn't prevent you from making a "protected" song unprotected, but just makes you jump through hoops to get an mp3 for some reason. The only thing I can think of is that they figure people are too lazy to do it and by restricting the number of floating mp3 files out there that piracy will go down. Otherwise I was fairly impressed by it, though since it runs on Windows I can't say I'll be using it that much.

The Song of the Moment is updated for the first time in about 4 months, this time with Jarabe De Palo - Bonito . The lyrics are simple, but it's like audio crack. I listened to it for 4 straight days before I got tired of it.

April 30, 2004

Spring 2004 is finally over! I think this is the first time I've ever really looked forward to the school year ending, though in this case it's just the work load that I'm happy to see go. This has been by far the most difficult, stressful, and just incredibly busy semester I've had yet. For the first time college got hard, not to say that it was ever easy, but this semester was the first time I ever actually really struggled in some classes, and where I had to spend a vast majority of my time doing homework and studying. A lot of that though is due to my graduate classes, and especially building Sbob. I also think I bombed my first final (Electronic Circuits), but I think everyone else in the class did as well, so hopefully it'll be ok. But now that I've finished my last test (on the last possible testing date of exam week none-the-less) I can finally relax. At least until I start my summer internship in two weeks in Huntsville, AL. And I should probably take the GRE too before I go, so I can start emailing and applying to grad schools and try to figure out where I'll spend another year and a half of my life.

On the Internet, George can say anything. And because it's on the Internet, it must be true! (tm)

Speaking of Bush, Salon had an excellent excerpt from a book called Dark Victory that lays out the problems with the war in Iraq and the harmful consequences that the war has and will cause. If you don't have a subscription you'll have to view an ad to read it, but it is well worth it. I have always been against the Iraq war because I never saw it as neccasary, and if it were trully about freeing the people of Iraq, there are MANY other nations with people under dictatorship and we don't seem to be in too much of a hurry to go liberate them. Plus the original motivation for this war was over WMD's, which still haven't been found, nor any evidence of recent WMD programs. But the general public still doesn't quite grasp this, which is why so many people when polled believe that Iraq and the al-Quida worked together, and that WMD's have been found, when neither are true. It'll be interesting to see what history books in a decade or two will have to say about Bush's war.

In lighter topics, I played basketball for the first time in over a year today, while also visiting UF's huge student recreation center for the first time as well. Which being I've been here 3 years, it's a little over due. Anyways, it's really nice, although I hurt myself playing volleyball thanks to me and other guy colliding in midair over a ball and me landing on my elbow.

One more day in the dorms. And then I'm out of them forever. It's a sad day.

March 2004 -- 2004 -- May 2004