Thursday, December 29, 2005

Warren Tavern and MRI

Last night I went to the Warren Tavern. Upon walking in, I ran into Justin who sings and plays guitar on Wednesdays. I told him about Hannah, and it turns out he became a daddy in December. Congrats, and welcome to Cameron, born December 8.

Bree, Bob,, and Andrew arrived shortly thereafter. By that time I'd said hello to Sam and had to get through a pretty dense crowd to talk to them. A typical fun night.

Today I went for an MRI on my toe. Dude, those things SUCK. I actually never knew what an MRI was before. I had to keep my darn toe still for over half an hour! You all know how hard it is for me to sit still for even five minutes. I think I did okay.

Of course, I needed to get another shot....ARGH. They put some dye or something into me so that they could distinguish the different tissues. So gross. I have such respect for those in the medical industry, if only because they do things hundreds of times a day that would have me vomiting or something.

The doctors were very nice, and talked to me through my shot. I took the T home, and am now going to finish up work for MITRE before enjoying a nice, quiet evening at home watching football, away from the rainy ickiness of outside. =)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Quote from Today's Bowl Game:

"All from spectacular Boise, Idaho." Cracked me up. =D

Bluegrass to be Sanctioned at Berklee


Shot is over! Yay!

No more vaccinations for MIT =)

Atlanta people: (Cason) Wanna do a shot? (/Cason)


I have a doctor's appointment to get a shot to finish out the suite of vaccinations required by MIT. I was just swapping stories with John, who was telling me about when his son had to get a blood test and tried to run away once they reached the hospital. As "payment" for his son getting the bloog test, John owed his son and daughter ice cream, a movie, and a round of mini golf.

Here was my story:
I really hate needles, and refused to go to the doctor to get a flu shot. My parents insisted that I get one. Finally, they got a friend of the family to come over and administer the shot at home. Of course, I hid.

My mom yelled up the stairs, "Ilana, come down and get your flu shot. You're 26 years old!"

And--all credit to Dr. D, who told me who was going to go on 3 but went on 2--I barely felt it at all. I've been much better about shots ever since. =D

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Good Damon Story from SoSH

I got a kick out of this.

Anti-War Smurf Video

Disturbing, funny, effective, and, of course, filled with Smurfs.

Thanks to Ayal and Dingwell for the link, and the joyous atmosphere of the ADD Office. (Wait! Something bright and shiny?!?! Where?! Let me Google it!!!!)

Monday, December 26, 2005

Two endings

Tonight is the last Monday Night Football on ABC. I wonder if it is really going to be the last, or if ESPN will end up switching it back to its non-cable network. Meh, who knows.

And the other ending? When did everybody stop speaking English? I was at Filene's downtown today, and heard Spanish spoken by about 70% of the people there. This is my only true right-wing view: I think that if people are going to live in a country and reap its benefits, they should respect the country's traditions, including its language. When I was backpacking through Europe, I learned at least rudimentary phrases in each language to enable communication with those around me. Yes, speak your language in the home so that your children learn it, but do not expect clerks in a store in this country to speak the language you learned in your home country.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Ilana's New Religion

I have had a wonderful Christmas: I relaxed, watched TV, made a gingerbread house, and received emails and phone calls from all over the country, a couple from folks I haven't heard from in a while. My kind of holiday. =)

Those of you who know me well know that I find religion to be more of a divisive entity than unifying. To me, religion is about being with or speaking with friends and family...and eating.

I thereby am going to start my own religion. The religion will be centered on the traditions of various nations and creeds. Therefore, the celebrants will be able to eat latkes on Hanukah, duck on Christmas, and whatever it is they eat on Canada on Boxing Day. Of course, all feasts are optional. The key is to select those that will enable the greatest sharing of food with the largest group of friends and family.

As for the rules that govern the people of this religion, they will boil down to this: Treat others as you would want to be treated, or as you would want them to treat your parents, children, and friends.

I think that simple rule takes care of most of the commandments (who would want to be murdered? Or robbed? Or dishonored? Well, all except those that pertain to worship, I guess.) The focus would be on the unity of people and of people treating one another with respect.

Congregants can choose whether they would want to incorporate the traditional religious element of a diety; my theory is that like a parent, God (or gods, for those coming from multiple diety religions) would be happy to look down and see us all respecting one another rather than being jerks all the time (see Route 128, any time of day... Would you flip that man off if he was your father?) Therefore, it would be possible to remain Jewish or Christian or Muslim and still partake in feasts covering the other traditions.

Anyhow, those are my semi-sacreligious thoughts for this Christmas night and Hanukah eve. I am currently considering naming the religion Mishteh, from Hebrew meaning "Feast." Any other suggestions (for the religion name, rules, or whatever?)

How much fun would it be to have a religion centered on friends and family and food rather than on stories of death and destruction? Oo...and if there are sports on TV, so much better for the family to bond around. Okay, I'm done. Flame away.

A Christmas Story

*Such* a good movie.

My gingerbread house came out well. I had wanted to make a slanty roof, but did not have the patience to hold the halves until the frosting-glue dried (about 15 minutes). I ended up covering the house with one half of the roof, just as Vicky and I used to do when we were younger. So much fun!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Joyous whatever!

Happy Holidays, all! Or, to those not celebrating anything today, happy TV-watching!

I just got back from picking up some more flour for my gingerbread house. Six cups of flour, dude! I had to go to Store 24 in the Navy Yard to round out the four cups I had here.

It was so gorgeous out that I went for a walk along the harbor. The city looked stunning, and the weather was great.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Welcome, Hannah Reese!

Hannah Reese entered the world today at 5:32pm, despite Eve's best efforts for a 5:27 delivery (as 27 is her favorite number). I have never seen a more perfect baby.

@#$(%& Damon

Johnny Damon is going to the Yankees. What an ass! Seriously! How can he basically spit in his fans' faces by going to the team of their arch-rivals?? Ugh. I'm so disgusted with him right now. Yes, like news, sports is a business. However, I have turned down a larger salary in favor of location and loyalty. Many people have. 52 million is a lot of money. He could not have remained loyal to his fans to play for less?

I never was a Damon fan. I'd root for him madly because he was on the Red Sox, but I never actually liked the guy. Being proud of ignorance is not really a quality I admire. Sigh...

I may have to change my license plates to Pats plates (which is what I had originally requested when I moved up here, but they were not yet available). I'm not being a fair-weather fan here; I really disrespect the way the Red Sox are being run, and really admire the way the Patriots organization is controlled. Although losing Damon may not be a sign of bad decisions on the part of the Red Sox brass, I think they have definitely made some huge ones along the way.

I think the biggest mistake the Sox have made over the last few years was losing Cabrera. In a clubhouse of idiots, you need a classy guy who is well-liked yet stands apart. Schilling could never fill this role because he is too self-righteous. I really like Varitek, yet can you imagine Cabrera taking a shot at A-Rod the way Varitek did? Yeah, it was cool and we cheered him and I still like that he did it, but that's not the personality you need to unite people.

Cabrera also crossed race and language lines. He was a hard worker and somebody we all could admire; soft-spoken and not trying to take credit or sleeping with strippers (that we knew of like we know of with Johnny).

Okay, that's my vent for today. Time to work.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Plane lands safely in Boston

A plane that circled Boston for two hours has landed safely. It was pretty incredible to watch--not because anything really happened on the landing, but just because it was so easy to imagine oneself on the plane.

Thanks, Mom, for the heads-up on the situation.


For those wondering about Eve's comment from yesterday's post, here is an Evie story:

As many of you know, Eve is due soon (Wednesday!). Her doctor recommended to her that she take some castor oil, as it can help speed the process. Eve asked, "But isn't that for cars??" She had been thinking of Castrol oil. When she asked the doctor if she had heard that a lot, her doctor responded, "Nope. That's the first time." Eve was very surprised. =)

I love you, Evie!

Insomnia Again

I had insomnia again last night. I went to bed at 10:30 and did not fall asleep until around 2am. It strikes me as very strange that something I have done no less than 11,620 times should remain a challenge.

I can recall only four nights that I stayed up all night on purpose:
1. The first night of Spring Break my Senior year of college was the first. I could not travel that year because I was captaining the softball team. Vicky, who was captaining tennis, Josephine, Eric, Ryan, Felix, and I went up to Loon mountain later in the week. The first night there, we drove the Kancamagus, stopping for a snowball fight, and looking for moose after dark. We got back to the house and played cards until all the guys and Josephine conked out. Vicky and I stayed up and drove to a river where we took a polar bear dip.

2. My sophomore year of college I had an appointment to see if I had a stress fracture (turns out I did and still do). The appointment was at 7am, which meant I would have to leave my dorm around 6:30am. Why should I sleep? I used to go to bed between 2:30-3:30 anyway. So my roommate Melissa and I stayed up all night. Yes, we were geniuses.

3. Sophomore year again. After having spent three months studying in France, Melissa (again) and I were about to begin our three months of backpacking. She was starting out in Northern France, and I was starting in Israel. My flight was at 6:15am. I could not afford to take a cab to the airport, and the trains did not start running until 5am. I stayed in the airport and did not sleep all night. (As a side note, I checked my luggage into one of those locker services so I would not have to worry about it. Guess what time it opened back up for the day? Yup, 6am. I got my luggage and barely made my flight).

4. Out of college, still acting sophomorically. This was in 2003, just before I moved to Boston. I was out in Vegas with Grant, Dan, Tara, Grant's then girlfriend, Tara's then boyfriend, Tonja, and Steve. Grant, Dan, and I decided to stay up all night to catch a 7am flight. We spent it sitting at a $1 blackjack table. Too much fun.

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Monday

Hmm...seems I have a lot less to blog about now that school is done for a bit. Pretty ordinary day: gym, work, home. Gym was good. I worked legs, then stayed around a bit for a smoothie with Laina and the rest of the smoothie crew. I then went to work. I am working on two projects now, one with eXist, the other with Ruby on Rails, as I have mentioned. I am really enjoying working with these technologies. I like learning the intricacies of new languages and protocols.

That's it, I'm dull =)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Quick Weekend Summary (Because Eve Asked for It....)

Friday: Last day of classes. After class, we went to the Muddy for beer. From there, a smaller group (Yoav, Sam, Matt, Kevin, Paul B, Dave, and John H) went to the Asgard for dinner. It was a lot of fun, though sad to say good-bye at the end.

Saturday: My first totally free day for a while. I slept in, then watched the Pats take on the Bucs. I then met Katie and her friends Jess and Jessie for dinner at Grafton Park. From there, we went to a fundraiser at Felt. Unfortunately, the "draiser" part may have been there, but the "fun" part wasn't so much. After paying $9 for watered-down drinks, we left (around 11:30). It was still fun to see Katie and her friends.

Sunday: I woke up around 10am, then went to the gym and the supermarket. I then plopped myself in front of the TV to watch the Chargers end the Colts' win streak. Yay! My mom and dad then came over for dinner, bringing with them salad, spaghetti and meatballs. It was delish! I supplied carrots and dip for appetizers and pudding for dessert. Yummmy. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Fantasy vs. Reality

On the Daily Quickie today, Dan Shanoff discusses rooting against your real team in favor of opposing fantasy players. I wish I could say I have never done this, but I would be lying. Of course, with the studmuffins out of contention and the Patriots trying to get on a roll into the playoffs, I have no guilt-tripping quandries this year. Go, Pats!

Randal and Yankees

Yesterday afternoon, we had our final basketball game. It was the usual suspects, minus Robbie and plus Krishna and Spiros.

Last night, Randal took the Apprenticeship from Donald Trump. Yay! For a while, I was in the auditorium with the other MIT fans, with Matt L, Sam, Dave, and his sister. After Paul B and Karen arrived around 9:45, we left to go to the Thirsty Ear so we could multi-task: watch and drink! Oh, and do karaoke.

Paul and I did a wonderful rendition of "I've Got Friends in Low Places," then Karen and Paul did "Shiny Happy People" with excellent accompanying dancing by Paul. Later, Christian, Dave, Matt, and Sam arrived from the Apprentice party to join the fun. I did one more number, "500 Miles" with Dave, Matt, and Will. After that, I was wiped out and left to go sleep.

This morning, I did some work and tried to get Yankees-Sox tix at Yankee stadium. This is the first time I have ever tried to get Sox-Yanks tickets the day they went on sale and failed. I'm pretty bummed. I was online, ready to go at 10am when they were on sale, but all Sox tix were sold out. Bummer.

Now I am in System Architecture for our last class. Yay!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Yankees' Home Field Advantage?!?

What the...? I just checked the Yankees schedule, and they have only one weekend series against Boston at Yankee stadium. The other two are midweek in May and June!

I wonder if this was somehow set up to help the Yankees maintain an advantage at their own field. If the series is on the weekend, it is more likely that the hoodlums from Boston (i.e. me) will make the trek to the Bronx and fill the stands, rooting adamantly against the home team. Having the games mid-week certainly makes it more difficult for those of us in school and working.

Ah...Red Sox/Yankee/MLB conspiracy theory...ain't nuthin' else like it to help get through a 13-degree day in December...

Country vs. Pop

I like to listen to music when I am coding. It shuts out outside noise, and helps me keep a rhythm in my coding, so to speak (write).

Anybody who has had the misfortune to be trapped in my car with my iPod knows that I have a very varied mix of music there. I have the same set on iTunes on my laptop. I'm beginning to discover that the country songs have a much larger effect on me than the pop songs. I guess this makes sense when one considers the reputation of country music.

The country stuff I have is generally very slow and sad/emotional (Garth Brooks "The Dance" and "Butterfly Kisses), and the fast stuff is really peppy (Avett Brothers (thanks, Christian and Dave, "Two Pina Coladas"). I find that I often have to fast forward through the sad country songs while I never have to skip sad pop or rock songs. The beat is just so sad-sounding. That plus they go for the obvious cheesy tricks to draw out emotion from the general, easily-influenced population who get all sappy any time a violin plays (yeah, that's me).

This is one of those posts everybody is going to make fun of me for, isn't it?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Happy 400th to me!

This is my 400th post! I can't believe I've written so much...okay, that's a lie, I can. I just redid the template, too. Let me know what you think. I actually put this one together myself. Je ne suis pas artiste.

Anyway, I have been having fun with this blog. At first, it seemed really silly to be entering in whatever came to mind. Then it got to be a challenge. Then things began to become "blogworthy." If someone said or did something exceptionally funny or interesting, I would try to remember it to blog about it (of course, being me, I forgot most of them, but what can ya do?)

I don't want to wax too poetic here. Just wanted to say thanks for reading, y'all!

Basketball and Tech

Last night I played basketball with the usual suspects (Yoav, Robbie, Sam, Deming, Paul B, John Wang, and the addition of a tough young kid Yoav nicknamed "Red" for his red shirt. For some reason, I think they were all trying to get back at me for a year of elbows. I found myself on the ground three times, and being thrown out of bounds about four. I remember thinking to myself, "At least they're treating me like an equal, and not going easy because I'm a girl!" =D

Afterwards, Paul B left us to spend time with his fam, and the rest of us went for burritos/teriyaki at the student center. We hung out there for a while, then walked to the parking lot. It was freezing out!

I couldn't warm up through the car ride or when I got home, so I started drawing a bath (with water, not a pen, smartasses). I also popped a thermometer (aka "temperature thingy") in my temp was 96.7 degrees! Does this make me cold-blooded?

Today I'm back at work. I'm excited about my projects. I'm using Ruby on Rails for one project, and the eXist XML database for another. Yay!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

New Template

So, what do you think? This is my 398th post, so I would like to have a new look to celebrate my 400th. =D

studmuffins Are Out!

The studmuffins lost their last game to Nole Control, missing the playoffs by a game. Weak performances by Ladainian, Fitzgerald, and Galloway contributed to the loss. Jerks.

Fish Oil and Web 2.0

Today was my second (and now last) day of taking Omega 3 fatty oil pills. All day morning I kept tasting sushi and couldn't figure out what it was. Then I realized...just before going to do a presentation on Web 2.0 at MITRE. I made sure to eat something to get rid of the taste before beginning my briefing.

The presentation was based on the one I did with my Web 2.0 team for Cusumano's Business of Software class. I thought the presentation went well. We had good discussions going, primarily about security and pull vs push technologies. Interesting stuff.

Ugh. Fish pills suck.

It's cold out

The temperature thingy in my car read 15 degrees. When it read 8 degrees when I was in Atlanta, they cancelled school throughout the state.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Party, Sox

Matt's party last night was too much fun. Thanks, Matt! Yoav beat me to writing about it, which is good because I am feeling kind of lazy. It was a great time. =)

I'm happy to announce that the Red Sox have kept with the new tradition of hiring young, reasonably handsome young men as GM's. Co-GM's should be interesting. Go, Sox!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Thanks, Dharmesh and Kirsten!

Last night, Robbie, Yoav, Alli, and I went to Dharmesh's house for dinner. I had spent several hours struggling with my blinds (see post below), taking a quick break to make brownies to bring. Such is the life of a single person: from drill to stove, with a stop at the sink for some hand-washing.

Dinner was excellent. Dharmesh and his wife Kirsten brought in Indian food and had lots of delicious wine to go with it. The food was great, but the conversation was even better. We had a tour of part of the house and got to see some of Kirsten's painting, which was excellent.

All in all, a great night. To make things even better, we got something new to tease Yoav about, after he was an hour late from over-sleeping on a nap. Be sure to ask him about it. =D

So mad at Levolor right now

I ordered 2.5 inch wood slat blinds. A very nice product, custom-ordered. I did not order installation because, frankly, I enjoy doing home improvement stuff.

I am so disappointed with Levolor right now. My blinds were:
1. Missing a "tassle" (the wood thing at the end)
2. Missing two screws for the middle support
3. And this is the kicker: the cord lock is faulty. They are trying to feed six threads through the mechanism seen here:

Just doesn't work fellas. So I have spent about six hours hanging these #$#)$ blinds and they are completely defective and useless. So mad right now.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Think you had a bad day?

Read this. It's about a wrongly convicted man getting out of prison after 25 years. His attitude upon release is pretty darn remarkable.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Words we rarely used before MIT

Okay, I want to start a list of words that I rarely or never used before starting at MIT (or that are simply used too much there).

Here is my start:
(oo...this sounds like that INXS song...)
TV land
a priori (Paul B)
a posteriori (Paul B)
systems architecting (Yoav)

Seemed like this would be a good way to procrastinate from doing my sys arch principles, but that's all I can come up with for now. Oh well.

My Principles Bore Me

My system architecture principles, sillies. Sigh...just what I like to do with my Fridays...sit at home and create system architecture principles (well, I'm actually doing it tonight because I was already out and don't feel like venturing back into the snow...not even to go to the Tavern. That plus I want to make sure that my Nerd Quotient stays nice and high....)

Jeff Baxter: Counterterrorism

Today Jeff Baxter spoke about counterterrorism. He was a very engaging speaker. The talk was supposed to be an hour, but I stayed for almost two, only leaving to go to Business of Software class. There were about twenty people in the room, and he had us go around and tell him what we do and what our interests in counterterrorism were so he could speak to those. He also had his college-age daughter with him, which I found to be very sweet.

He was the guitarsit for the Doobie Brothers, and now works for the LAPD counterterrorism unit. He holds many clearances, and his nickname is Skunk. Okay, here are the notes:

  • Those in DC are like the court of Louis the 14th: good poeople, but with a loss of perspective

  • There is are stovepipe (this is my vertical) and rice bowl (don't even think about touching my rice) mentalities in government agencies

  • His goal is to cross the stovepipes

  • Dealing with terrorism is like dealing with the flu: It can't be eliminated, only managed

  • He doesn't intend to think out of the box; he just doesn't have a box at all

  • He uses unconventional methods to achieve his goals. People don't know how to deal with a rock star rather than the usual visitors, so are forced to tell him the truth (he had some great stories, btw)

  • We need creative people

  • War used to be like chess. Then the bad guys started circumventing the military and attacking civilians

  • If we step back from the horror of 9/11, the use of planes as weapons is creative; it's a mix of art and science. We need to start thinking like this to counteract it

  • Think about:How do you reward someone in the mmilitary without the classic promotions?

  • Nothing is impossible: "Somebody wins the lottery"

  • Need to be creative: "If we only have a hammer, every problem is a nail"

  • Example of creativity is using missile finder technology to detect breast cancer

  • When asked about success said that he earns much more money than his dad ever did. However, he learned from his father, so in reality, his father is more successful than him.

  • Talked about systems architecting approach (inspiring me to write in all caps: "Why can't our sys arch class be like this???")

  • Recommended listening to Wynton Marsalis and reading the biography of John Boyd

  • I've left some details out because I didn't feel right posting all info to the web, so come talk to me if you want to know more =)

Last Friday of Class

Today was our last full Friday of classes. Software engineering was good. I started to get very sad as I was realizing I was sitting between Yoav and Robbie. Neither of them will be here next term, Yoav graduating and Robbie back in North Carolina. But it wasn't just to Robbie was Deming and further down was Paul B.. Both of them are still in the program, but leaving Boston to return to their companies. So sad. The lecture was good, all about Professor Leveson's research in Safety.

Instead of going to System Architecture, I went to hear Jeffrey Baxter speak about countterrorism. He was the lead guitarist for the Doobie Brothers and is now an expert in counter terrorism. I really liked his message and will blog my notes later. He inspired me in terms of a thesis topic, and I spoke to him after his talk to see if I could contact him for help. He liked my ideas, and told me to get his information from the head of TPP, as he didn't have a card. Yay! Anyway, more about that later in my notes.

Last was Business of Software. There were two presentations. I was not at all impressed with the first one; they did not seem prepared. The second was Robbie and Dharmesh. They did an excellent talk on entrepreneurship. Very impressive.

Afterwards, Paul B., John Haj, and I went out for Chinese food. Normally we go out for beer, but I needed to drive home so was in no mood for drinking (and neither were they, I guess =)). Dinner was good and conversation was very funny. Afterwards, they walked me to my car and helped shovel and scrape it out (okay, they did it. I helped.) I then drove them home, dropping them off before following two plows back to Charlestown.

Thanks sooooo much, guys. Paul and John--I owe you both dinner. You read it here! It's in writing now =D


Last night after class, I played basketball with the usual suspects: Paul, Deming, John W., Sam, Yoav, and Robbie. I managed to get away with only a broken nail. Yay!

Afterwards, we went to dinner together at Anna's for burritos, with Alli joining us. After that, Sam, Paul, Yoav, and I went for a beer at the Thirsty Ear. Paul and Sam provided the entertainment with a couple of Karaoke songs. Thanks, guys! =)

This morning I had the best plan for avoiding getting my car snowed in: I would get to school early and park in one of the garages. They don't get locked down until 8:30, and stay locked until 5pm. My classes today happen to run from 8:30-5pm. Unfortunately, I must not be the only genius at this place because they had set a guard out to watch for cheaters like me. I parked in the West Annex instead.

Oh, and for those needing a political gift (Dingo, I'm looking at you), Eve sent me this link: Bush Toys.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Distant Replays Sale

Distant Replays, one of my favorite stores, is having a sale on Ivy League Paraphenalia. So if you ever wanted to show your support for Darmtouth hockey, now is your chance.

Great store for people looking for throwback replicas, by the way.

Kevin's Visit to MITRE

Kevin came to MITRE today to present his thesis presntation to my group there. He did an outstanding job. I was very impressed by his content and his presentation skills.

We have these technical talks twice a week, and attendance varies. Based on Kevin's abstract, we had all of the bigwigs in there, including the more experienced folks. They all stayed the whole time and asked questions.

Thanks very much for your time and effort, Kevin!

Inappropriate content on the front of has a new feature on their front page that lists the most emailed stories. One story has been there for 9 days now: "Man pleads guilty to horse-sex case."

Okay, I don't know about you all, but when I was a kid, I read the paper. When I was a kid, I did not know what beastiality was. These are both good things.

This article is being constantly pushed towards the eyes of anyone visiting Yeah, I know there's a lot of worse stuff on the web, but is a respected web site representing the primary newspaper for one of America's largest cities. Its content should not hold details on a story more befitting a different kind of site.

A sentence from the article:
Tait admitted to officers that he entered a neighboring barn last July with friend Kenneth Pinyan to have sex with a horse, charging papers said.

I really believe that needs to find some kind of filter if they want to continue to use their little "most emailed" feature. I don't have kids, but if I did, I'd be pretty upset about this headline being shown to them every time they wanted to read the paper.

How's that for irony?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bad stuff happening to the Yankees can always make me smile

I'm not in the mood to write yet--still sad about Scully--but this made me smile.

From ESPN Daily Quickie

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Scully has athritis =(

I took Scully to the vet today. I asked the vet to look carefully at her hips, as it has seemed to me that she has been having more trouble than usual jumping on the bed. I was hoping I was paranoid--I did rush her to the vet once at 3am because I thought she had something wrong with her ear, but it turned out to just "be itchy." I wasn't wrong this time. She has arthritis in her back hip. The vet said her hip "crunched" when it moved.

For those that don't know, I adopted Scully from a shelter. She had been beaten with a tennis racket and left for dead. They broke her back right hip in the process. When I adopted her, I made myself a promise that I would do all I could so she would never feel pain again. I know it's an impossible promise, but I try. And now her arthritis is caused by the act of those assholes over seven years ago.

I'm really upset. I didn't cry at the vet, but did the whole way home and now. I know it's "just arthritis," but I really don't deal well with the thought of Scully in pain.

Monday, December 05, 2005


While doing research to find Chinese proverbs for my System Architecture principles, I came across this one:

"Have a mouth as sharp as a dagger but a heart as soft as tofu."
Nice quote, but, dude, tofu is gross, even if it is delicious.

Oooo! Here's a good one, brought to us by the Scandanavians:
"Go often to the house of thy friend; for weeds soon choke up the unused path."

George Steinbeck: "Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen."

One more: "Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning."

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Ok, no reason I should be the only one with this song in my head. Go check out Brian on Family Guy doing the "Peanut Butter Jelly Time" thang. NOW! Don't make me post the "Oh my lord this song is annoying" link again.

(For those that don't know the "Peanut Butter Jelly" joke, go here to see the original video or here for the history.)


After working out this morning, I started my car from inside the gym, then sat down to have my morning breakfast shake thing. By the time I got to my car, it was warm.

However, I could not shake the chills the whole trip! I had the heat blaring, I knew it was warm in my car, but I just had this chill that would not go away. After about 25 minutes, and about 5 minutes after giving up and putting on my hat, it started to fade. Then my iPod decides to throw Palchebel's Canon in D Major at me. That thing gives me chills no matter how warm it is!

Now I'm at the office with the heat blaring and my extra sweaters on. My officemate is going to kill me when he gets in. It's very sauna-esque.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Bright shiny objects abound!

If you are bored today, go google "bright shiny object." Yeah, this blog is pretty high up =D

Boston's Sacred Spots

Interesting article about Boston sacred spots. Thanks to Mom for the link!

Bad Blogger!

Oops, just realized I haven't blogged for a bit. Here's a quick review:

Software engineering was great as usual. The topic was teams in software engineering, particularly problem developers. I have (un)fortunately had a lot of experience with this area. Good discussion, including differences between male and female communication styles.

Software business was good as well. All of the teams presented their final projects. There were a lot of interesting ideas. Of course, I enjoyed my team's topic of Web 2.0 the most =). Thanks to Yoav, Robbie, and Dharmesh for a great project!

After class, a bunch of us ventured over to the Muddy for a couple of pitchers of beer. From there several folks went to Alex's for poker, but I went home to meet Katie for a night out on the town. We were unable to meet up with Ed and his sidekick Underwear boy, as they went out on Landsdowne Street (a.k.a. Illegal ID Row). We stayed at the Green Dragon with Andrew, Brie, Bob,, Andrew's friend from college, and some friends of Bob's. Michael Flatley made a guest appearance in his stumble back to Charlestown.

Yesterday, I got all bundled up to walk down to Filene's, but was too cold once I got outside, and turned back. When it gets cold enough to prevent me from shoe shopping....well, then it's just getting too damn cold.

Later, I went to John's to help move him to a new apartment with Paul's help. Most of the moving was done by when I got there, but I certainly did an excellent job cheering them on (like Peyton Manning in that commercial..."Cut that meat! Cut that meat!...and it's FULL!")

We went for dinner then to the Asgard to watch some college football. We left in the middle of the Va Tech/FSU game to head back to the Cambridge Beerworks. FSU ended up winning. I was happy because Georgia won, as did Matt Leinart for USC...sigh....

Now a day of doing homework, cheering on the Pats, and watching the snow.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

USS Indianapolis Show

TiVo also picked up a show on the USS Indianapolis. For those that don't know or don't want to follow the Wikipedia link, the ship that brought the bomb that would be dropped on Hiroshima was torpedoed afterwards. 1196 men were on the boat, 300 died in the attack, 900 went into the water, 316 came out. They were in the water for about 100 hours.

The captain of the ship was court marshalled and found guilty of not properly protecting his crew. The Japanese man who torpedoed the ship testified. The captain killed himself a few years later. In October 2000, President Clinton updated McVay's record to indicate that he was not to blame.

In this show, they had four of the men that had survived talk about what they went through while scientists tried unsuccessfully to find the remains of the ship of the ocean floor. It was heart-wrenching. They all cried. So I, of course, cried. Such a sad story, but one that folks should know (in addition to the short account of it in Jaws). Read it here.

New Show on Discovery Channel

I stayed in tonight to do some work, forgoing Girls' Night Out to dinner. I got a bunch done, then turned on the TV to see what my buddy TiVo had found for me.

My TiVo loves to pick up random shows on the Discovery and History channels (it's based on what shows the owner records, watches, and gives thumbs up or down to). Most often the Discovery/History shows are centered on engineering, natural mysteries, or sharks and other wildlife. Today it picked up "I Shouldn't be Alive" on the Discovery channel.

A ship is wrecked at sea. Five people survive that wreck, but only two are left five days later when they are rescued by a Russion tanker. Two of the survivors guzzle sea water and go mad. One then jumps off the boat and begins swimming toward what he sees to be land. I didn't realize ocean water would drive a person mad; I thought it was just dehydrating. Even the shock of jumping in the seawater didn't bring them to their senses.

This was a very well done show. Just the right mix of personal stories, photos of sharks, and explanations of the workings of the human body. A few too many blood and gore shots for me, but I am a wuss about that stuff. I really liked it, would recommend it, and have gotten a season pass through my TiVo.

Lunch with the Mom

I took a break from work today to have lunch with my mom. After some discussion, we decided to go to Boston Beer Works. She had a pumpkin ale, and I tried their Black Rider, which is similar to but more coffee-tasting than a stout. Very good.

We shared a lobster quesadilla, nachos, and conversation. I had a great time. Thanks, Mom!

Extended study break: Warren Tavern (for a change)

Last night I went to Warren Tavern for a "quick study break" around 8:00pm. I was actually not planning on drinking at all, but the bar was crowded and Gregg handed me my usual drink before I could order. Sigh...peer pressure =)

I hung out with some of the usual suspects: Brie and John were both there. I also saw Danny, who I hadn't seen in quite some time. He got married! Yay! Congratulations, Danny!

I also got to meet Shannon's sister Erin, brother Ryan, and his girlfriend Kaitlyn who had just moved to town that day. We had a great time talking, laughing, and cheering on Justin. We stayed until the bar closed, then joined up with more folks to head to Sully's before Justin could make any more Michael Flatley comparisons to certain people's dancing (not mine).

We stayed at Sully's until it closed, and about 6 people took off for the Green Dragon, but I headed home to get some sleep. I had a great time. Thanks, everybody!