Thursday, March 31, 2005

icebergs and metra

I went to go hear Marianne talk about icebergs tonight at the MIT/Caltech lecture series downtown! So much fun and fun to see old friends from MIT! :) And to learn all about icebergs and data gathering and how people work down there. Very very cool stuff! :) It's just incredible how they drop them on a breakaway ice berg with a helicopter, they set up tents and live there for days! So crazy! :) And how you can model an iceberg as a thin sheet with a moment (pressure as you go deeper in the ocean) and the force of the melting ice on top. So cool :)

And I think I'm a convert to Metra. Yes, you are allowed to make all the suburban jokes you want about that :) But I was running late to get downtown and was like, I really wish I could find out when the Evanston Metra leaves since that would be so fast and convenient. Well, as I'm thinking that, a Pace Bus pulls up next to me in my car on Golf Rd with a number on the back "Call for Pace/Metra information" :) Nice timing! So I do! And there was a train 5 minutes after I could be in Evanston! Man, why was I taking the el all these years! 20 minutes and almost perfect silence, not super crowded, you can actually get a seat! So nice :)

OK...I'm off to bed now! Have a great weekend everyone!! :)


the double rainbow...


Wednesday, March 30, 2005

rainbows and interestingness

On the way home from work today it felt like I was driving through a painting...or maybe more accurately an over exposed photograph. The sky in front of me and around me was pitch black and there were thunderstorms in the distance, but behind me the sun was shining brightly, illuminating everything like it was mid-day against the super black sky. Very cool. And about half way home, I saw TWO full rainbows, one on top of the other!! SO amazing. I tried to take pictures...I'll try to get them posted tomorrow. Very very cool!

Tonight...I'll just say interestingness and leave it at that...don't really know what else to say. Other than the fact that there are two or three people out there that might understand. And that it involved explaining what I do. OK. Time for bed!


Monday, March 28, 2005

Dania! I have furniture options. Here's the "best of Dania" from my point of view. Sorry for the blurry pics in some cases, I was using my 780.

I'd appreciate any votes in the comments! :) I need to make up my mind soon so I can order it all!


BK, I thought you were doing so well...

As if people needed more food! And I thought BK was doing awesomely by introducing the BK Veggie nationwide a few years back!


Sunday, March 27, 2005

can't say it...

You know when you want to tell someone something, but you know you just can't. And you hint at it, and hint at it, but they have no clue what you're trying to say. Yeah. I hate that. :)

Happy Easter!!! :) :)


Saturday, March 26, 2005

I love's new descriptions for the weather. According to them, tomorrow we will have "Abundant sunshine."


let's go wildstang!! :)

WIldStang just won the midwest regional!! :) They were teamed with Beatty, so I mean how could they lose ;) I wasn't there to see it though as I caught a little cold and stayed in bed all day. But with the power of real video and a dvi to composite cable I got to take it all in on my TV...along with a few West Wing episodes :)

Congrats to everyone on the team this year!!! And good luck in Atlanta at athe championships!!


Thursday, March 24, 2005

good day!

Today was a good day! :) Although it feels like a Friday to me. We finished up the paper at work...came in at a whopping 173 pages. A little crazy, but it's a good paper :) So like a good group, we went to Prarie Rock to celebrate and got out "usual" waitress who knew exactly what we wanted. Good times for sure. And then had a wonderful dinenr with lauraf at my favorite schaumburg restaurant, thai garden, mmmmm. tasty :)

Random thoughts:
1) I want to meet more people who understand what I do
2) I can't wait to move into my new place! Just 3 weeks from today!!
3) I have too many books on my "to read" list
4) Friends are awesome :)


Tuesday, March 22, 2005


don't know why but was just feeling a bit down today...that's all...I think I had too much fun being a student in Boston last week!


Sunday, March 20, 2005


Back from Borders with...

1) McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories
2) The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less

I'm trying to balance out my non-fiction with some fiction. Oh, and Lewis Black has a new book! Maybe next time!

The new McSweeney's started with a really long rant on the term "genre." We've been having one at work too, so I thought it even better! And that got me wondering what genres of books (as they are classified by the publisher - or where that wasn't obvious wherever I thought they should go) I've read in the last year. Of the ones I could find sitting on my bookcase that I think I've read somewhat recently plus the ones I got today...

Fiction 4
Science 3
Sociology 3
Current Events 3
Short Stories 2
Autobiography 2
Biography 1
Programming 1
Business 1
Comedy 1


smart mobs...

Just finished reading Smart Mobs. Great book! OK, so how could I not totally love a book about mobile social networks :) It was really interesting though. I find that I really can't travel anywhere without being totally linked into the internet or at least my phone. In Boston this week I'd callor txt people from T stations or walking across the bridge, meeting up with people as I walked around the city. And I never seem to plan a whole lot more than, "let's do something saturday night" any more and when saturday night does roll around, we fiigure it out.

It's just cool to see how cell phones and the internet have already changed the ways that we all plan and work together. And it's fun to think about the ways we can make new technologies to connect us in even richer I can know that Robyn is walking down Mass Ave as I rounded Boylston or to know that Susan has class on monday night or any of a million other things. Of course we'll have to watch out for privacy concerns, but I know I for one would be willing to share location and availability with my close friends most times...I already do most of the time on AIM when I'm at home, why not on my mobile too? Time to dig out my meng thesis for inspiration :)

OK...enough to walk to Borders to find a new book!!


back in chicago!! :)

So I'm back in Chicago! Had a wonderful Friday night in Boston involving some No Name from Grasshopper and some beer at Roads. Such a great time to be in Boston and eat some of the best food ever :) And of course wonderful to hang out with old friends from high school and from MIT.

The workshop had a great ending and I actually stayed around talking to a few of the people for a few hours after it was all over. So much fun and really great people!

Now I've gotta catch up on work though!!


Thursday, March 17, 2005

st patty's day at pour house!

fun times at pour house with susan and her architecture friends. Too bad I had to drive back to Waltham and too bad I have class at 8:30am! Which means I should get to bed now. And they were out of green beer! Boo! Still fun times though :)


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

boston: part II

Last night, Boston fun continued. Had a great dinner with Amber at Brown Sugar. mmmmm, sweet and sour veggie ham! :) Great conversation, and as always wonderful to hear abou all the crazy places she's been going and things she's been up to! You know, talking to MIT people always makes me realize that there are just really really amazing people out there!

After dinner, had a few beers with Susan! So fun to see her!! You know, I think I've seen her more since she moved to Boston than I did when she lived in Wrigleyville!! Crazy!

Today was a big 12 hour day at the workshop! Lots of fun though. Yesterday's topic was prototyping and today's was usability testing. Tomorrow we get to run some tests, which will be fun! :) There was a nice dinner at the workshop tonight which was fun and nice to get to talk to people in a more relaxed environment. There are some fun people in the workshop...and I've become known as "the guy with the really cool job" which I think is awesome. Yeah, my job is pretty darn cool :)

And a final note. I *really* want to import kiss 108 fm to Chicago. It's just the best radio station ever!


no confidence

Harvard has no confidence in their leader! Yay!


Monday, March 14, 2005

you know you belong somewhere when....

I'm having an awesome time in Boston!! I'll talk about the seminar in a bit, but first, reasons why boston is the coolest place ever :)

1) I walk into a small family restaurant in the Italian North End of Boston. I'm greeted by the owner going "Hey!!! I haven't seen you in ages!" followed by "Would you like gnocci with maranara and no cheese?" At which point, after thinking, hmm, it's been a good 2 1/2 years since I've been in here, I was like "Of course! And it's great to see you too!" :) Gotta love it!

2) Walking down Mass Ave by Hynes, I hear "Frank, Frank" and look around, thinking it's probably my friend Susan who goes to school a block from there. Nope. It's Robyn, a friend from high school I haven't seen since...well, basically high school :) And she's just randomly walking the other way on the street. Again, gotta love it :)

3) Ice skaters on Frog Pond. 'nuff said. Personally I think much better than millenium park's ice skating!

4) Lunch buffet at the class today. I ask the food service staff what is vegan. They look at the buffet and are like, *everything* except this little tiny dish of chicken they have out. Aw yeah, I love this town :)

5) There is now a Qdoba in the Pru!

Sad things...

1) Marche is gone :(

2) FAO Schwartz is gone :(

3) Where did the newpapers stands for The Tech go in the infinite???? onto the seminar...

So it's pretty awesome. It's about 25 people from all different diciplines. Everything from engineering to technical writing to design. And it's going over all sorts of methodologies for new product development. And as a part of the class, we're broken up into teams and creating a web site for booking a hotel room online. It's pretty cool. Today we did requirements brainstorming, persona generation, role playing, and scenario building. Tomorrow we're doing paper prototypes, and later in the week we're doing usability tests of the prootypes. It's really cool actually. And it's a good overview of all the techniques that are availble for things like this. Which is cool, since although a ton of this is review and I've done so many of these techniques, it's nice to see them all presented together and to be able to talk to others in the field about how they use them all and for what situations. Fun fun. I can't wait for tomorrow :)

OK...that's all from Boston for now! Goodnight :)


Sunday, March 13, 2005

hi from boston!!

I'm in Boston now!! (actually Waltham, a suburb) It was so fun to come out of the Ted Williams Tunnel and see the Pru and the flashing blue (guess it'll be cloudy tomorrow). And to drive by Jillians and Fenway on Mass Pike. Yay Boston! I missed it here! :)

If you're in Boston, give me a call! Let's meet up sometime this week!!


Friday, March 11, 2005

boston and robots :)

So I'm minding my own business at work today, writing up a report, and our lab manager comes in and is like, can anyone in here go to Boston next week for a usability seminar? And I was like, um, hell yeah :) So yes, I'll be in the wonderful city of Boston from Sunday-Saturday! So if you live in Boston, I want to see you!!! Let's hang out! Let's go to Roads or Pour House or Grasshopper or Other Side or all those other wonderful places :) I'll be in Waltham with a car, so I can come into the city any night, and Friday night I'm staying with my friend Susan near Harvard Ave so I'll for sure be in the city! I'm so excited! I miss Boston!

In other news, I saw Robots tonight with my friend Stacie. Hilarious...such a fun movie, especially if you just had a long day/week and just need to relax and laugh and laugh and laugh :) Robin Williams is funny as always (except when he's not funny) ;)

Hope everyone had a great week!


Thursday, March 10, 2005


So I've been getting back into a regular workout pattern with some people in my lab lately. And I must say that my back hasn't bothered me at all since I got into it again. Which is so great :) And I have a ton more energy again which is always welcomed as well. Hopefully I can keep it going until the summer when it's possible to work out outside again!!


Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Super early notice, but who wants to go to nextfest this summer with me? They have tickets on sale now, and I have no idea how fast it'll sell out. Super cheap, and awesome awesome stuff to see! And it's in Chicago!!!


Tuesday, March 08, 2005

chicago weather...

So Sunday afternoon it was 65 and sunny...everyone was driving around with their windows rolled down and bare feet sticking out, and of course Monday night it got down to 19 degrees and was snowing. Gotta love Chicago weather :)


Monday, March 07, 2005


met some awesome people this weekend at the ivy league chicago event. made me think a lot about what really impresses me, and as we all know, I'm quite attracted to people who intellectually impress me or who go to great lengths to do a million amazing things. :) just made me think a lot. and made me wonder what it would take to ever be really attracted to someone who wasn't a really good friend first. just that I don't think I could be attracted to someone without knowing how they think, how they plan, and what goes on in ther head. I think everything that went down with the beauty queen really made me a lot more doubting of people and their honesty/intentions, which is sad, but it means that it takes me a lot longer to really trust someone and be attracted to them. maybe I'll make more sense of this post later.

happy monday! :)


Saturday, March 05, 2005

starbucks, design, and tea...

So have you heard that Lewis Black sketch that talks about the end of the world being near because he discovers that there is a starbucks across the street from another starbucks. Well, sitting in the starbucks inside the B&N in evanston, I looked out the window to realize that there is indeed another starbucks more or less right across the street. Of course, right across the street is a Panera, and directly across the street from the other Starbucks is Unicorn Cafe. :) I love Evanston! I'll miss all the coffee shops and bookstores. But I'll be living a block from a starbucks at my new place, so I guess it's all ok :)

There's a new furniture store in Evanston, and since I'm shopping for all sorts of new stuff I figured I'd take a look. And it's called "Design Within Reach" so I figured that there was a tiny chance it could be things I could afford. Well, by "within reach" I'm fairly certain they are talking about the fact that they deliver because there was nothing in there short of $1000 :) Pretty stuff, lots designed by Le Corbusier, but I think I'll have to pass.

Walking home from my little trip to the bookstore this afternoon, I was like, hmm, you know, it's time for tea :) And it was. Too bad I can't get those awesome biscuits here!


Friday, March 04, 2005

first fridays...

Tonight was a ton of fun!! There was a fun event from the Ivy League Young Alum group down to First Fridays at the MCA downtown. So imagine an art museum, with fancy drinks, a DJ, and tons of 20-something Chicagoans. A very fun time! And totally fun to get to meet others around Chicago from some good schools. People that made me feel like I was back around MIT. People from Stanford working two jobs in CS although they really had a degree in Bio, people who started their own companies or are working in various research labs. Or working with inner city hispanic families. Anyway, fun times and fun people!! I'm totally going to some more events the group puts on.

I was actually a little curious what the Ivy League group would think about MIT people coming. I mean they invited us, but I was wondering if it would be weird. And it totally wasn't at all...some were even like, woah, MIT. Which is cool, cause I was like, woah, Yale or woah Cornell back to the same people :)

Oh, and more random small worldness! I was walking around tonight at MCA and ran into kellyR and anna! How cool!! It's so fun to run into friends in random places. It doesn't happen nearly as often in Chicago as it always did in Boston though...but still fun every time it happens!

And finally, yay for the cubbies going 2-0 and for Nomar coming back from the bruised wrist to hit a HR today! Yay cubbies!!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!


motorola rocks...

our company is awesome! :) Check out our seamless mobility car!!


Wednesday, March 02, 2005

social networks...

So pretty much all of you know that I've been fascinated with the idea of social software and using technology to bring people together for ages now. Maybe even since the first time I started using AIM in '95 and saw how easy it was to talk to people all over the world using simple technology, and how easy it was to share presence info, to find out when friends were available and when they weren't. Simple, but so powerful. Or my masters thesis on Perceptive Presence systems that connect people through physical objects and light and give a shared sense of awareness.

Anyway, I watched an interesting lecture today on social networking by danah boyd from Berkeley (formerly of the Media Lab). Interesting talk on the history of Friendster and other social networking sites as well as how they differ from traditional thoughts about social networking (e.g. second degree friends aren't the real connections that end up dating with friendster-like sites, directionality of links can't be defined, and strength of links or the disappearing of links over time aren't supported, etc.) Interesting talk for sure :)


Sad for Ronnie...

It's a sad day for cubs fans everywhere...

And it's Ron's month on my 2005 Cubbies calendar too!