Monday, October 31, 2005

Theo is leaving?!?!

According to, he sure as heck is. Interesting that the reference for this breaking news is a blog...hmmm....

Not sure how I feel about this departure. I like Theo, and he did help get us to the playoffs the three years he was here. His moves after we won the World Series were questionable, but dude...we won the World Series.

Okay, I admit it. I'm just mad that a good-looking single Jewish man who knows something about sports is leaving town.... =D

Back to work

Ah, so it's monday and I'm back to work after an adventure-full weekend. On Saturday, I went with Katie and her friends to two parties: a very fun one at Hurricane O'Reilley's, and a very awful one at some dude's house (long story, ask for it. It's pretty funny, but too long to write)

Last night, I went to the Pats game with my dad. The game was just awful. Being with my dad at the game was fun, as was tailgating with Mark and Jonathan, friends of our family.

Okay, gotta work, but felt bad for not blogging much.

BTW, duck tour goers, how was that?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

It's snowing

I kid you not. It's going to be a looooong winter.

These are no little flurries, either. These are big, fat, proud flakes. Bastids.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Software engineer at her best

Okay, so it's not really software-centric, but man, do I feel like a dope.

I have spent about 12 hours over the last three days trying to rid myself of what I thought was spyware being constantly invoked by a trojan. I even deleted and reinstalled Firefox because it spawned windows that Explorer did not, even when i followed the same paths.

I kept getting a window that said, "Zedo blah blah." Turns out has this embedded in some of their pages and Firefox doesn't kill the popup.

This seems to be a fairly common problem. I am currently downloading Firefox's adblaster plugin to take care of these windows.

Always the most obvious solution, huh?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

One Year Ago Tonight

Watching in Warren TavernBottom of the 9th

Random revelersBig huge crowd at Fanueil Hall

Me with random dude with broomDuh

Business Trip: Marc H. Meyer

The second speaker of today's business trip was Marc Meyer. The talks are given in a dark, basement room, so the first talk of the day left me a little daydreamy.

Then Meyer gets up and puts yet another S-curve diagram in a PowerPoint presentation up. My brain began switching to more pressing matters...that is, until he put M&M's on said S-curve chart. He turned out to be an excellent speaker.

I liked his style. Before introducing each segment, he said, "Here are four challenges. Here are five challenges." I like when speakers set things off clearly like that, rather than just talking.

My caveat: I wrote these up from my notebook while talking to Jeanne. Some things may be inconsistent. Let me know if you see any =)

Some highlights:
Market expansion challenge #1: Create a product line architecture based on scalable shared subsystems that hit a related set of market applications.
* An example is different soles on fishing boots. A $129 pair of fishing boots has interchangeable soles at $19.99 each for different terrains.
* In reference to transitioning from hiking boots to software: "The world lives in software."
* Challenge #2: Design appropriately for platforms.
* Much to the delight of Paul B and Kevin, our resident Ford employees, Honda was used as an example rather than Toyota.
* Is the platform the car or the engine? For Honda, the engine. Build the car around it.
* Focus common subsystems.
* Create scalable products which can result in scalable manufacturing.
* Funny moment: Meyer asked who liked to use power tools. Many hands raised. He responded, "That's the difference between MIT and Harvard."
* Mentioned that Ryobi is better than Black and Decker (had to put that in since my drill is Ryobi. I heart my drill) They execute better; Black and Decker outsourced production to China, then had a Chinese company create a strong competitor, taking much of their business
* Challenge #3: Organize appropriately for platform strategy
* IBM used to have poorly differentiated product. They now have separate silos. Hard part of doing platforms is organizing it.
* Good quote in response to MBA-type question: "I'm just a propeller head like most of you."
Second part of presentation: Leveraging Technology to New Markets--Applications for Enterprise Growth
* Many can leverage platforms but not many people can grow revenue.
* Challenge 1: Add related technology.
* Another funny moment: Meyer asked "Who owns a sailboat? Anybody? At Harvard, this would be completely the opposite."
* A winch on a sailboat is a windlass on powerboat. There are way more powerboats than sailboats.
* Example of PEG: Many uses for this, including colonoscopy, dialysis, and post menapausal competition. He called this "A product line targeted to the back end."
* Challenge #2: Do deep dives on target users, buyers, and channels.
* Build a safer mousetrap. Studied latent needs. Created plaastic mousetrap which costs $.10 vs wood and metal for $.25. Lower volume, higher margins.
* Challenge #3: Leveraging technology to new market applications
* Used Honda Element as example. "Animal House on wheels." Built for young, partying-type men. Fills in the single/extreme intersection on the single-family vs. extreme-settled chart.
* Honda used a shared powertrain technology. Has large effect on return on assets.
* Challenge #4: Empower multi-functional teams liberate from traditional gates.
* I loved this part. He put up a picture of the Red Sox jumping on each other after winning the World Series.
* Meyer does not like stagegate. He called this "Scoop and poop" on projects.
* Need to know how to build enthusiasm within your company.
* Like Red Sox championship chemistry, only not only 86 years.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wednesday of the Business Trip

We had an interesting speaker in Tom Rosburn of Honeywell. He spoke about climbing to upper management. A discussion of the quality of the talk ensued, followed by a question and answer session for the 06's to grill us on the program. The talk was mostly dominated by employment questions. Afterwards, several of us milled about to entertain individual questions.

Then it was back to the SDM offices with Matt, Dave, Yaming, and Kevin. We sat in a team room and worked for a while. Those guys crack me up. It's fun to study with others in the room, although maybe not very efficient.

Tonight we had a speaker. I did not find I connected with him very much. I must admit I am tired of the "born with leadership" or "learned leadership" question. Dude, born with leadership does not sell books. Learning it does. What do you think these guys are going to say?!?

Ooo! The talk is over! I can emerge from my corner =)

Wow...Mike Luckovich's cartoon

Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal Constitution created this cartoon about the 2000 soldiers killed in Iraq. Wow. Very powerful.

SDM Business Trip Pool Outing

Last night Paul B planned an outing to a local pool hall. I met up for dinner at Cambridge Side Brewery first with Spiros and Christian. After that, we headed around the corner to the pool hall. The usual suspects and then some were there: Sam, Matt, Matti, Spiros, Christian, Paul B, Dave, and an SDM 04 from Boston and Steve, Yaming, Kevin B., Sky from distance. We really need more women in the program. Not that I don't love hanging out with the guys--they're all really great--would just be nice to have a wingwoman once in a while =D

This morning I spent a good two hours cleaning spyware off my machine. I don't now how non-technical people can deal with that stuff. It's very complex to remove, even for a software person like me. This one was a very fun trojan that kept spawing different spyware apps. So much fun.

Then it was off to MIT to hear our keynote speaker, Tom Rosburn of Honeywell, brought in by John Haj. We was a good speaker. It's also cool because the SDM06's are here, so we get to meet them. Unfortunately, they are still just 10% women. Everybody does seem nice though.

Now Jan is doing her debrief. Guess I should stop being rude and go listen =)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Lost in the tunnels

I got lost in the tunnels on my way to the SDM town hall meeting. I was so proud of myself for having found them. I ended up going underground for about 15 minutes, only to emerge two buildings farther away from where I had started. D'oh!

On the way back, Dave walked Biju, Kevin B, Jeff, and me through the tunnels the proper way. Very cool. He also told us about various courses we could take over IAP such as glass-blowing.

Saccio Retires

I recently referred to Professor Saccio in my outstanding lecturers entry. He is now retiring. Thanks to Michael G. for the info!

Also as a bi-product to that entry, I have gotten back in touch with Mr. Pane. I sent him an email, and he responded with one that had me laughing out loud. Thanks! =)

Monday, October 24, 2005

Disturbing Ken doll

Having been a little tomboy growing up, I never played with dolls. However, I did have one Barbie doll. In what would turn out to be a very prescient habit, I would just try different shoes on for her. Anyway, Ken is getting a makeover. traces him through the years. Scary, dudes.

Axl is old?!

ElleGirl has released their list of the coolest old people. Among them are Axl Rose and Madonna. Dude...I feel old, too.

Freudian Directory Navigation

I was just trying to navigate over to my JBoss directory on my local Linux box. Instead of typing out the usual cd /usr/local/jboss/server/default/etc., I typed cd /usr, then hit return. I realized I had to go to local next, but was thinking about how dumb it was to go to usr first. I ended up typing "cd loser." Excellent. It's going to be one of those weeks =D

Welcome, distance students!!

The distance students are in town this week for our quarterly "business trip." For those that might not be as aware about the SDM program, about a third of our students learn at a distance. During class, they appear before us in a Brady Bunch-like matrix.

It's great when they are all in town. It's kind of like having a family reunion in which you like all the people that are coming in from out of town. I really look forward to it. This will be our last one all together, as some of our local students are graduating in January of this year.

We will have many social events throughout the week in addition to the scheduled talks.

Welcome to Boston, all!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Lazy blogging weekend

Sorry for the lack of updates. Just taking some time off from blogging. I felt bad about it until realizing that many of my fellow bloggers are doing this same thing. =D

Have spent today working on my analysis of the jUDDI project for project management and doing write-ups for software engineering. Of course the write-ups for this week are going particularly slow, as the first one deals with the axiomatic basis for computer programming. After this summer's study of axiomaticrap in systems engineering, the word causes my eyes to glaze over.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Hello, my name's Ilana, and I like Microsoft.

I just got out of Steve Ballmer's talk at Sloan. It was excellent. Some highlights:

1. My absolute favorite example of future technology was a system in which, if you were watching a sporting even on TV, you could say "Hey, Dad! What did you think of that call?" and it will automatically connect you with whomever you say. If anybody out there has ever watched a game with me or my family, you know we are on the phone pretty much the whole time. I want that technology!

2. In the future, there will be a "better architecture of big pieces of software," rather than more, smaller products.
3. Microsoft Windows' primary customers are software developers
4. Someone asked Ballmer what as a CEO he controls and what he delegates . He controls the culture of the company, the choice of excellent people to 3-4 levels below him, the overall vision of the company, and the external image of the company as a company.
5. When asked about open source, Ballmer noted this was a "forever" competitor, unlike the fleeting nature of some commercial competitors.
6. To compete with open source, microsoft must innovate, build a better ecosystem (i.e. environment around software), build strong security, and increase overall customer value.
7. Ballmer kept emphasizing software as a service. Very pertinent to me considering my current work at MITRE
8. When asked about competing with Google, Ballmer brought a laugh to the audience by calling them a "search and advertising business."
9. The next big vision is the "Backpack PC," a cheap, rugged tablet notebook for students.
10. Healthcare needs great software innovation. It is the least automated of all the categories
11. Companies today have a big advantage when competing, as the internet gives them much more "sensory input," including blogs.
12. Typical Ilana humor: a guy in a red hat asked a question. He wasn't a Linux guy, but of course his attire made me laugh.
13. As for emerging markets, Ballmer noted three levels: developed (e.g. competes with a company in US), emerging middle class (target market), and the "out of the economic mainstream" (needs to do "computing by the drop:" internet kiosks and cafes"
14. When asked about an alternative career, here were his choices: professional basketball player, pro tour in golf, and lastly a professor at a business school, to which he said "that was such shameless pandering it nauseated me, too."

Robbie will write his notes up later. Yoav, I'm sure, will comment as well =)

Oh, and I love panda bears! (I'm trying to see if the google ads will pick up on all the panda bear stuff I've blogged in the last week. Little geeky experiment for me. Sorry to my readers and to panda bears.)

One year ago today

One year ago today, I woke up ecstatically happy. We had beaten the Yankees in seven games. It was so unbelievable.

It's amazing the effect that sports have on a city. I remember going shopping the day after we were massacred by the Yankees in Game 3. Everybody was dragging, grumpy, and rude--even more so than normal. After Game 7 and throughout the World Series, the whole city was so upbeat it was unreal. As A. Bartlett Giammatti said, "School will never start, rain will never come, sun will warm the back of your neck forever."

I'll reminisce about last year and post some of the things I wrote as the week goes on.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Steve Sinofsky Talk

Yesterday I went to hear Steve Sinofsky talk at MIT. He was a very good and entertaining speaker, and 90 minutes flew like it was nothing. Before the talk even started, I was able to pass the hour I waited talking with Paul B. and Robbie. That hour also flew.

Robbie always takes really great notes, so I will wait for him to post his (yes I'm lazy). The highlight of the talk was a preview of the next version of Office. It really looks excellent. It seems as though Microsoft is trying to step up its effort in order to show that paying for software has something over Open Source.

Ooo! And this was funny: some guy in a Google shirt sat slouched a couple rows behind me. I think his only purpose in coming was to ask Sinofsky when Microsoft would open source its components. Sinofsky responded "no time soon," and the student walked out minutes later. Hysterical.

Anyway, the project called Office 12 looked really good. As a prisoner of PowerPoint due to my work in defense, I am excited for its new ease-of-use features.

Dude, now this is written, I feel dirty. Extolling the virtues of a Microsoft project as a Java and Open Source-type developer? Inconceivable! (Sorry watched Princess Bride the other night =D)

SDM Bumper Stickers Found!!!

I have found the long-lost SDM bumper stickers. For some reason, I had them filed away among my bank statements and phone bills. I'll have them in class today =)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The good part about Miers' nomination

The only part about Miers' nomination that makes me smile is Arlen Specter's visibility on the case. It reminds me of a time back in 1996 when I was at Dartmouth.

I was walking over to the apartment of my friends Melissa and Selma. Seeing as how it was senior year and a day that ended in a 'Y,' I was hungover. Okay, I wasn't that bad senior year, but I was definitely hungover that day.

I had almost reached their apartment when a funny-looking dude got in my path. He told me his name was (Something) Specter and that he was running for President. We often had presidential candidates running around Dartmouth during election years, seeing as how we were up in New Hampshire at all. These ranged from the Hemp Lady to Bill Clinton to Bob Dole. Despite this knowledge, I didn't believe this guy and his funny, made-up name for a second. "Sure you are," I replied. "So am I!" and walked away.

With that, I went upstairs to my friends' apartment, leaving the guy standing there looking flabbergasted. I told my friends that some dude named "Something Specter" had made up some story about running for President. Being much more politically savvy than me, they laughed hysterically and told me who he was. They then looked out the window and confirmed the guy outside was him.

Yay, hungover 22-year-old Ilana!

Bad Ilana

No sooner than I had written the post below (okay, half an hour afterwards), Katie and I left to take a rare lunch away from the office. We made a last-minute decision to go to Cheesecake Factory, which is in the Simon-owned Burlington Mall. D'oh! The wait was at least 30 minutes, so we went to Pizzeria Uno instead. Still in the same mall. I wonder if they will be shut down as well.

Now that I have bought stuff at that mall, I will need to go to Pizzeria Regina to make up for it. =D

Principles vs. a lot of shoes all in one place

The Simon Mall group is screwing over Pizzeria Regina. Not cool. So do I boycott their malls? There own so many malls (Burlington, Phipps, Lenox, etc) and have so many stores there, like Lord and Taylor and Sharper Image. I guess I will try to shop elsewhere when I can and eat more pizza at Regina's to make up for their losses.

Leo probably headed to the Yankees, Shakespeare defamed, Regina's evicted. I need another panda picture.

Ok, now I feel better.

Leave Bill Alone!

Yet more people who doubt Shakespeare's claim on his plays. Stupidheads.

These are people who should have gotten the whole decoder ring thing out of their systems before they turned 18. Now they are looking for hidden messages in Shakespeare's sonnets. Dudes, give it a rest. Go, like, find a cure for the common cold or something.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Say it ain't so, Leo!

The Yankees are trying to grab Leo Mazzone, the Braves pitching coach. If you have watched a Braves game on TV, you have seen this guy. He is the one who rocks back and forth the entire time. He is also the one who built an incredible pitching dynasty in Atlanta (yes, that somehow could not win in the playoffs in the last few years).

Stay in Atlanta. Don't go to the Yankees. I don't want to have to root against you and mock the rock rather than cheer it.

Excellent Project Management class

I found today's System Project Management class to be very enjoyable. We had a guest speaker who led a discussion about a Microsoft Office case study. It is fun when we talk about software in the SDM core classes, as the people who are usually the quietest in most discussion suddenly come alive to talk about software.

Between my Business of Software and Project Management classes, I am beginning to think they should change the name of the school to the Microsoft Institute of Technology. =) However, that might just be because I think I'm funny. Yoav commented that the name should involve a mention of the defense and aerospace fields that are always cited. I agree with him there, too, but my new name for MIT is so cute it's like, panda cute!

My car passed inspection!

Yay! My car passed inspection!

Nothing much else of note today. This morning as I was driving to the gym I heard a really sad song on the country station. Something about a girl that gets cancer, her hair falls out, she wants to go to the prom but has no hair, a boy asked her, he shows up with a shaved head, they go to the prom, they dance, they're in love. Yup, it had me all teary and I had to wait to go to the gym. The moral of this story is don't listen to the country music station when you're still more asleep than awake.

Now I'm in class waiting for project management to start.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Everything is a bright, shiny object today

I am having one of those days in which everything is distracting me. It's been very hard to settle down and get work done. Not quite sure what the cause is. Maybe seeing the sun after so much wind and rain? Hmm...I have no idea. I'd like to continue guessing, but I need to go try to focus my attention on something. What, I have no idea. But something.

OOo! And I hope y'all noticed that earlier today I finally put a description under the "Ilana's Blog" up top. I'm proud of me and my description-publishing initiative.

Who'sh an 'ittle panda bear?

From, the new panda at the Washington zoo. Too cute to not post:

For all you South Park junkies: when I just looked at this picture again, all I heard was the "Sexual Harrassment Panda" theme song. HAHAHA. That always makes me laugh.

"When one little panda calls another little panda a name, that makes me a saaaad pannnn-da."

Thank you, Quality Volvo Auto Repairs!

This morning I took my car into Quality Volvo in Wakefield. It had failed inspection for the second straight year for the same reason: the driver's side front suspension. I had been dreading this appointment all week. I really like the mechanics there, but was willing myself to leave if I felt they did not treat me fairly.

I got there around 8am. I told them what had happened and asked to get an estimate before they went ahead and did any repairs. I sat down on the couch (with the owner's golden retriever that is always in the office), and did homework.

At 9:15, they gave me the bill marked with no charge. They had replaced a part on the car for free. They said it really didn't need to be replaced, but since it failed inspection, they considered it to be under warrantee and fixed it. I asked how it wouldn't need to be replaced if it had failed, and they told me that Volvos have different alignment from most cars, and some of the inspectors do not account for this.

I really don't like the guy who did my inspection. After taking it back to get my sticker (I already paid for the inspection, and the final look has no charge), I will not return there. I went back this year because I was happy he had found something wrong the previous year, figuring his attention to detail would help me be more safe. Finding the same thing two years in a row is a little weird, though.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Thank goodness for LaDainian

Tomlinson has thrown for a TD, rushed for a TD, and caught a TD. He is the anchor of my fantasy team. Can't believe I even considered picking Shaun Alexander with the number one pick. Yay, LT!!

Go, studmuffins! Let's improve to 4-2!

Pats Game Disqualification

What kind of crap is this? Logan Mankins (#70) gets kicked out of the game for supposedly throwing a punch from where he was laying at the bottom of a pile? Are you kidding me?!?! Denver has been taking cheap shots all day, ever since the Pats first run in which someone had a very late hit on Pass. Grrr...

Yes, the Pats look really bad today, but bad officiating still stinks.


Saturday Update

Yesterday was a great day. I puttered about until about 5:30, at which time I picked up Brian and headed to Dave and Christian's. There we met up with their friend Matt, Dave's sister Meghan, and picked up Matti and Dave's friend from college Erica.

We headed down to Fall River to see the (crap, Denver just had a huge run) The Avett Brothers, a bluegrass group out of North Carolina. Dave and Christian have been watching these guys for years (crap, Denver scored. We look bad). I went with them once before to a concert at a bar in Harvard Square.

The concert was even better this time. The venue was at a Fall River arts center. It was a big open room set up with pews. The only problem with the set-up was that it did have a church-y feeling to it; during the opening act, I felt like I was talking in class when I whispered.

Then the Avett Brothers came on. They are so much fun. Great energy, great humor, great songs. By the end, we were all up and dancing in the back. Oh, and Dave and Matt went out to get take-out for dinner: buffalo wings, hummus, and bruschetta.

Afterwards, we headed home, with Christian DJ'ing once again on Meghan's iPod. Too much fun....

And today: After having some trouble getting out of bed this morning, I went to Costco. (Oo...Simms just called this challenge wrong. He said the elbow didn't count as being down, but then the referees contradicted him. Now he's pretending he was saying this the whole time. Dumbass). I finished my errands in this whipping wind and headed home.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Busy Friday Night

After class, Robbie, Yoav, Dharmesh, and I headed to the Helmand to discuss our Business of Software project. After a bit of initial talk, we ordered a delicious dinner and got deeper into our topic of Web 2.0. It was really quite an exciting discussion; the group is very knowledgable about basically all aspects of Web 2.0, so it was good to be able to listen and participate. I had initially had trouble with the definition of Web 2.0 itself, but that is part of what everybody runs into with it apparently.

After that, I rushed home, dropped off my car, and raced into the North End to meet up with Suzanne and Matthew who were in town so that Matthew can look at schools. They saw Tufts yesterday, and are off to Bowdoin today. I sat with them at the restaurant for a while. Afterwards, we headed to Mike's but the line was ridiculous, even the "local express" line (i.e. the rapid way to the counter for those that lived in the North End and know the tricks =D). We left there and walked to Bova's instead. From there, it was back across the bridge to Charlestown.

It was pouring the whole time. At one point, a car hit a puddle, and a huge wall of water like they show in cartoons hit and drenched me. Matthew and Suzanne were hit by separate waves. By the time we got to my condo, we were soaked to the bone. I gave Suzanne a pair of my jeans (which I had inherited from Eve...thanks Eve! We talked for a few hours, then they left at 10pm. I had such a great time with them.

I then started getting ready for bed. However, I talked to Sam on the phone, and ventured out to his friend's party instead. I was happy I did. It was great to hang out with Sam and his friends Brian, Milt, and John. I haven't been to a house party for a while. It was nice to be at one.

This morning I dropped a bunch of clothes and luggage off at Rosie's Place. It took me about a half hour from the time I left my door until I finally left the building to head over there. First, Rosie's Place wasn't on my GPS, so I had to run up and get the address off my computer. Then I ran back downstairs, hopped in my car, reached for my phone, and realized I had no idea where my purse was. I took all the donations out of the trunk to look for it, put them all back, and headed back to my condo where my purse sat next to my computer. I grabbed it and went back downstairs. I was finally on my way.

And now I'm doing homework. =)

Business of Software class very good

I am liking my Business of Software class more and more. After the initial premises for the class were established the required terms defined in the first few weeks, it has become a very interactive and interesting class. There is a lot of diverse experience in the room, and it is good to hear others' points of view. Prof Cusumano has been doing an excellent job of guiding the discussion, adding his viewpoints, but letting the class learn from each other as well.

Between this class and Prof Leveson's Software Engineering, Friday is becoming a very, very enjoyable day for me.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Leveson's class out early

Today Professor Leveson ended class early because she had gone through everything she wanted to. So nice to have a professor that does not just idly fill time.

The class itself was good as usual. We discussed object-oriented programming vs. functional. After that, we got into a discussion on reuse. It's' really interesting to hear the classes' opinions on different subjects. Very diverse.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Hi, my name's Ilana, and I'm a SYTYCD junkie

Okay, I admit it. I have four episodes of "So You Think You can Dance" saved on my TiVo. I've watched each at least three times. Sometimes to perfect the steps I've learned off the show, sometimes just to watch.

The one thing I can't watch is Lauren Sanchez. That woman freaks me out. She makes Michael Jackson look natural. Seriously, check the photos.

Anyway, the more I watch, the more I still think Nick should have won. However, I also still think Ashle should have been the top woman. She has incredible lines; she always holds her form. She also has longer lines than little Melody, which may have hurt her in the fast-paced final girls dance. It's much harder to get those longer legs to do the quicker movements (believe me, I remember from being a way over-tall pre-teen).

I'm sure most of my audience just doesn't care about SYTYCD, but I am seriously hooked.

Thankfully, another very guilty pleasure--Comedy Central's "Drawn Together"--starts back up next wednesday. Dude, between "Lost," "South Park," and "Drawn Together," Thursday TiVo will be just awesome. And if they get SYTYCD back on Wednesday at 8pm...dude...

Controversy too well-timed?

The whole "run-to-first-base-on-third-strike-after-being-called-out" controversy seems like something a little-too-perfect to happen to the most boring ALCS in years. All of the media is lamenting a Red Sox- and Yankees-less ALCS, citing the probability of low ratings? Then all of a sudden, this huge controversy?

Okay, so the terrible call and subsequent run to first happened. But can't you see the conversation among the umpire and referees? "Dude, let it stand. We only have .0001 viewership right now." "Yeah, this could push us to .001." "Let's leave it."

The best thing about the whole thing is seeing all the replays of Slappy McSlapsalot from last year (ARod slapping the ball out of Bronson's glove).

Gotta love Belichick!!

In response to the Falcons listing Michael Vick as "Probable" (meaning he will most likely play) rather than "Questionable" (50/50 chance), the Patriots listed 15 of their own players as "Probable." HAHAHA.

Full details here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Rapist caught!

The cab-driver rapist was arrested.

Scott Berkum Talk

Today I went over to MIT for a talk given by Scott Berkum, a former Program Manager at Microsoft. His talk was very enjoyable, though I really did not learn much new. It was mostly directed at those who have not yet been in the workplace, which I have for over nine years now =). Great and entertaining speaker, though. I'm bummed to have to miss his 4pm talk on "Why Software Sucks," but religion calls.

Some pointers and thoughts from the talk:
* Don't send out bad resumes. It's seem obvious, but a lot of people do it (you wouldn't believe the crap I saw while at SI. I think my favorite all-time was one in which the person had put "Great written and oral communicator" and "communicator" was misspelled)
* Berkum used a picture of a football team to illustrate the different roles a person can play. You want to be the guy making the tackle, even if someone is drawing a face mask penalty on you at the same time
* Chewing with your mouth closed is a good thing. Smacking is gross (Oops, sorry. That was inspired by the guy sitting next to me. It was seriously making me nauseous)
* Work-life balance is incredibly important. Yeah, we all know this, but I loved the quote: "You work eighty hours a week?!?! That's embarrassing!"


Nomahhh saved two women from drowning. I'm sorry, but the best part of that article isn't Nomar diving in to save them or the uncle jumping from the 20-foot's the fact that the second woman fell in after the first.

Seriously....close your eyes, great mental picture (well, close them after reading). They're leaving Tavern on the Water. They've had a wee bit too much to drink. One of them leans over the water to look at something sparkly and falls in. The other one leans over to check on her friend and ker-splash! If it wasn't for Nomar, I'm guessing the second may have qualified for the Darwin award.

So do you think Nomar was just jealous of all the attention that A-Rod was getting for saving the little boy last year (by pushing him out of the street, away from an oncoming car)? I also can't believe Nomar's place is only on the second floor. I thought we were talking, like, penthouse here. I wonder if he's the one with the telescope. If you live in Charlestown or have ever walked by those condos (blanking on the name), you know the one I'm talking about.

PostscriptOkay, I just read that the woman was trying to save her friend. I should feel like a jerk, but I still think the above image is funny in sort of an immature Ilana type way.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dude! We're legit!

Too legit...too legit to quit (sorry, had to channel MC Hammer for a second).

Yahoo is placing Blogs side-by-side with news.

I'm sure I'll be getting a call any day now. This site is definitely at least as informative as that of my former employer.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Jaws is a darn good movie

Just watched Jaws while avoiding watching the ALDS. Dude, that is a darn good movie. The shark was obviously pretty fake looking, but what a movie! It's amazing how much we have learned about great whites since it was filmed, even just in the way they move. Truly beautiful creatures, though I must admit I have no desire to meet one face-to-face.

Oh, and the ANGELS WON!!! YAY!!! We love and miss you, Orlando.

Good article on Sox

Good article on the Sox collapse of 2005 by the Boston Sports Guy. Go here.

MITRE uses VenSim

Just did a Google search on MITRE's internal pages, and 45 results were returned for VenSim, the systems dynamics project management software I was panning.

Luckily I only had a small lunch so I have room for dessert when I am forced to eat my words.

Enlargement patches?

I just got an ad to my yahoo address for penis enlargement patches. We all get these weird enlargement emails, but the subject of this one made me laugh outloud. I guess if you stick enough patches on, it's bound to look bigger.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Another project management homework...

...another tool to be learned and forgotten.

I have yet to meet someone in the real world who used anything but Microsoft Project or a lower-cost equivalent. Why is it that we are continually forced to learn tools that are not at all applicable outside the doors of academia?

Still here

I decided not to go to Atlanta this weekend. While I was really looking forward to seeing Sharleene and my other friends--and of course watching the Patriots from ten rows back--I forewent the trip in favor of catching up on stuff here. I want to get ahead in my homework so that I can spend time with my family this coming week and finish swapping out winter for summer clothes.

I tried to change my flight from coming home Tuesday to coming home Monday or Sunday after the game, but couldn't, and that ended up being the dealbreaker.

I have been cleaning and doing errands this morning. I decided to take a spare suitcase that has been sitting in my closet since I used here into storage. When I lifted it for the second time, I realized it was heavy. I opened to see if there was something in it, and there was full of clothes!!! Winter clothes! Over half still had their tags on. There was also a sweater that Kellie and I had bought together. We had bought twin outfits from sweater to skirt to boots, and I was really sad to have lost the sweater. But I found it! YAY!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Good day, except for Sox

Today was a good day. Great software engineering class in the morning, then, after a two-hour sit through system architecture, great business of software class.

Interesting contrasts today... in software engineering, we were talking about the failure of reuse, while in business of software, we talked about how it helps. I still think that reuse needs to be done with care and only in appropriate situations (easy for me to write, huh?)

Then after watching the Sox, Eve and I went for dinner at Legal Seafood. We each had a bowl of chowder, then shared the butterfish and crab dip appetizers. Sooo good. I felt Eve's baby kick (she is 6.5 months pregnant). So exciting.

Then over to Tavern on the Water for a drink with Jeff (Eve had water). We only stayed for about an hour, then headed home to watch the Yankees game.

I'm still debating going to Atlanta. On one hand, I'd love to see the Pats game and all my friends there. On the other hand, I wouldn't be flying back til Tuesday morning, keeping me from my own bed for three nights. Hmmm... It's tough with all the classes...i'm so scared to get worn out and fall behind.

Are you f'ing kidding me?????

Bases loaded??? No outs??? Your season on the line, and you don't score?!?!??!?

Nothing like it

Nothing like yet another lecture on creativity delivered in a monotone. At least this guy's slides have color.

Instead of having SDM students take System Architecture to learn creativity, we should have to take a liberal arts-type class. Make us take creative writing to learn about thinking outside the box. These dull creativity lectures are deadly ironic.

Manny, MickyD's, and Me

Last night I had a dream that I was waiting in line at McDonald's behind Manny Ramirez. He ordered a water, which came to $1.35. I stepped up and also ordered a water. Manny then turned around and told me he made millions of dollars, so he would pay for my water. Any idea what this means? It is unclear whether or not I was there *with* Manny or if we just met up there.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Rude guy outside of Sys Project Management class

While waiting to enter PM today, Deming and I wandered over to where Biju was sitting. Near him was a cup with two butterfinger bars in it. So, of course, Ms. Jingle woman over here has to sing, "Baby Ruth...and Butterfinger...Fresh! Guaranteed!" (We all remember that one, right?)

Some old professor dude comes up, takes the cup and says, "So you lost it huh? Pressure too much?" His tone was quite rude. I decided not to get offended and said, "Lost it a long time ago. Just riding it out now." He gave me a look and said, "And your hair used to be straight and blonde, too, huh?" Hmm...wonder why there aren't momre women at this school...

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

So you think you can dance ends....

So sad! After a great night at Warren Tavern, I came home eager to watch "So You Think You can Dance." Nick won, followed by Melody, Jamile, and Ashle. I think Nick deserved to win, but think Ashle should have been second as she was much more versatile.

Katie came over to go to Warren Tavern tonight. We ran into Rooney and Donny as soon as we walked in. Greg was working bar. Paul, along with his brother Peter and Peter's friend Frank stopped by to meet us later. The Sox lost. I don't want to talk about it.

Eve and I have tickets for Saturday's game. I had really hoped the Sox would win the series that day, but they can't possibly take it that day. Friday is a big night. Me scared.


After the batting cages, I went to Project Management class, then headed over to SDM with Paul B., John Haj, Sonny, and Biju. Paul, John, and I grabbed a room and started working on system architecture. We worked through one of the problems, and I headed home to work on the reaminder.

I took a quick break to head to Pizzeria Regina's with Jeff. He had never been there before! We shared a pepperoni pizza and pitcher of Sam Adams Octoberfest. Not your typical Rosh Hashanah dinner, but still good.

Then it was back home to finish off system architecture. WOohoo!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Batting cages

I have had a very stressful few days, and the work just keeps piling up. I therefore left work 15 minutes early for class (after getting there two hours early this morning for a meeting), and hit the Ironwood batting cages. I hit 75 balls. It felt really good, and helped to blow off some steam. I continued on to school and found a great parking spot right on Memorial Drive. WoohoO!

Monday, October 03, 2005

Excellent article

Excellent article by John Donovan, a very nice guy I worked with while at SI (and apparently very intelligent too =D)

One excerpt: "[...] the Sox, the hugging-est group of grown men this side of the Promise Keepers [...]"

Go here

From one who loves bright, shiny objects...

Heard on MikeFM this morning:

"Here at MikeFM, it's like we have A.D.D. That's because we play all kinds of--Hey look! A firetruck!"

I cannot type the word "methodologies"

I love spell-checking my software engineering papers. Every time I do, I find at least nine different typos on the word "methodologies." They are all entertaining. Other words I consistently mistype include programmers and developers.

Just in case you were interested =)

(BTW, I had to go back and retype the title to this page. I had spelled it "methologies")

Sunday, October 02, 2005

DSM Homework Really Pissing Me Off

I am still working on the frigging project management homework. This is unbelievable. I have tried three different tools to execute on the DSM and none of them work. What is the point of this homework? It is of no use to have a project management theory with no tool. Not even Microsoft Project implements this crap (and the plug in downloadable on the site just throws errors).

SOOoo grumpy.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Yucking Fankees!

Still a great day, though. My dad and I got to our seats before lineups were announced (with beers in hand of course). I had bought a calendar to support Canine Companions, so i entertained myself looking through the calendar, which is filled with pictures of Red Sox players and puppies. And you know me; when i got to David Ortiz, I was particularly joyful. "Big Papi! Small puppy! Big Papi, Small puppy!"

My dad should have been in the dugout today. Here's what would happen when Randy Johnson was pitching.
"Watch. Fastball"
I look up. Fastball 94
Look up at the board: slider 68.
"Another slider."
Yup, you guessed it.

he didn't get one wrong once! Yay, Dad!

Not many fights during the game until the 8th and 9th when Yankee fans were egging on Sox fans by waving their shirts around. There was almost a girl fight five rows behind us. One of the girls who was talking smack had a hat made out of balloons, like you usually see on five year olds. Tough to look tough while wearing that.

Sad game... Meredith and John who sit next to me and i were discussing the similarity of the crowd behavior to game 3 of the ALCS last year. Very interesting stuff.

At least Cleveland lost, and the Sox will win tomorrow! Go Sox!

After the game, we went to my condo to pick up my mom and go out for ice cream. Now it's off to meet Katie to head out to see Oge and friends. YAY!

I am Kermit

Hmm...I guess this is accurate...or it could be because my favorite color is green.

You are Kermit the Frog.
You are reliable, responsible and caring. And you have a habit of waving your arms about maniacally.
"Hi ho!" "Yaaay!" and "Sheesh!"
"How Green Was My Mother"
"Surfin' the Webfoot: A Frog's Guide to the Internet"
Sitting in the swamp playing banjo.
"Hmm, my banjo is wet."
What Muppet are you?
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Feeling lucky today

I am feeling very fortunate this morning. My parents are coming in around 11:30. My mom is going to stay here to watch the game while my dad and I head over to Fenway. I feel very lucky to be going to the game today and very excited.

Tonight I get to see a very good friend of mine, Oge, who is in town for the weekend. Life is good.

Of course, you are all right. I am writing this before I go to the game. Hopefully, I'll feel just as lucky afterwards! =)