Tuesday, May 31, 2005

another good day...

today was another good day! got lots done at work! learned who deep throat was! Emailed people and read a lot and relaxed this evening! Yay!

I'm really really liking The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime. I mean how could I not love a book that randomly breaks into the mathematical proof for the Monty Hall Problem or talks about Occam's Razor or casually mentions Turning machines :) All while telling a story from the point of view of a 15 year old autistic boy in England. Very very interesting.


say what?

wifi in church??


Monday, May 30, 2005

random late night observations...

1) I live 20 minutes away from Lake in the Hills. That scares me a bit. :)

2) Gas is below $2 a gallon again! Yay!

3) Playing spoons made me think of Blink tonight, and how you never actually remember how you got the spoon in your hand, or even looking for one, you just look down and all of a sudden you have a spoon in your hand. Anyway, interesting.

4) Fire pits are cool

5) There are a lot of stars out tonight! Especially in Lake in the Hills/Algonquin.

Goodnight! (can't say I didn't warn you about the randomness)


Saturday, May 28, 2005

flyers and thai

Last night was another fun-filled night of baseball...this time of the Northern League variety. The Schaumburg Flyers against the Gary Rail Cats at good old Alexian Field in Schaumburg. Although it got off to a rainy start, it was fun to hang out with Susan and friends again and get to see some more baseball, including an RMHS alum pitching!

Today was a nice lazy day. Got my Storm print framed! That was actually a lot of fun and it looks really good now up on the wall in my dining room!! I'm thinking about painting in there, but not sure yet. I think I'll wait until after my party to decide for sure. And then I got take out from Thai garden, and got in a conversation with the "usual" waitress who wondered why we hadn't been in a lot lately at lunch time and was wondering if I was working today. Yay for places where people know you!

Tomorrow night is Memorial Day funness at Joe's. Should be a good time and fun to see people again!


Friday, May 27, 2005

Cubbies game in the bleachers!

Cubbies game in the bleachers!
Originally uploaded by bentley79.
Yay for fun cubs games!! :)


Thursday, May 26, 2005

cubbies part II

Another totally awesome day at Wrigley today!! So much fun! Whenever you get 12 people together in the bleachers though, how could it ever not be fun!? Even though the outcome of the game was sad, we had an awesome time down in the front row of the left field bleachers! And then went to Gino's East after the game! So much fun to see Susan again and get to hang out with everyone at the game!

More baseball tomorrow night...this time Schaumburg Flyers. Yay! Can't wait!

But now I'm super tired and heading to bed! Goodnight everyone!!


Wednesday, May 25, 2005


why did my ipod have to play "how do I get there" again. boo. and it was such a good day too...


cubbies fun!

Last night's game was awesome!!! We were sitting up in the Twomey's season ticket spot and saw an awesome game where the cubbies won 4-2!! yay!!! And wrigley now has veggie burgers which is so awesome!!! :) It was almost a sad game as the cubbies were down 2-0 in the 8th, but they came back!!

More cubbies fun tomorrow in the bleachers!! This is turning out to be an awesome week! :)


water is cool...

using cold water to produce energy! awesomeness :)


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

cubs week!

well, my iTunes knows what week it is! The second song it played today was Everybody Loves the Cubs (taken from a broadcast on WGN) and this is indeed Cubs Week for me! One game tonight thanks to the Twomeys and their season tickets! :) And then another game on Thursday with Susan and all of her friends in the bleachers! It's gonna be a good time!! :) Listening to the cubs intro though actually for a second had me fooled that the cubs were playing right now...well, I was still kinda tired :) But it ends with "and now here's the voice of the chicago cubs, pat hughes" and I was all ready for Pat to come on!!


Sunday, May 22, 2005


Stumbled on this today...it's a blog where people send in postcards of secrets and they get posted. A cool combination of art and a mixing of old and new technology...mailing to get posted online. Very cool...although some of the posts are somewhat disturbing. But that makes it all the more interesting.


Saturday, May 21, 2005

differing opinions...

I love it when books that I've read all talk about the same topic from different points of view. The book I'm finishing now, The Tipping Point, is a prime example. So one chapter was about the reduction in crime in NYC in the 90s. Gladwell claims it was because of the "broken window" theory. Basically that by fixing up neighborhoods and stopping people when they commit little crimes, you'll stop the big ones. Of course last week I read Freakonomics where Lecitt says that the broken window theory was mostly theory and the real cause of the decline was the start of wide spread abortions 18 years earlier weeding out many would-be criminals. And maybe they're both right in certain ways, but it's just interesting to hear both sides, to consider the facts of each opinion.

Gladwell also talks about the "chasm" in product marketing and adoption and puts an interesting spin on it for non-high tech products...namely shoes. Basically saying that a product needs some sort of spin to get it over the hump from early adpoters to mainstream. And that watching the things that do make the jump can help you predict what might make the jump in the future. Interesting, especially since I read Crossing the Chasm last year which talks about making sure you keep thinking about mainstream customers in the design of what you're making.

Anyway, random ramblings, but I thought it was cool :)


Friday, May 20, 2005


slashdot, gmail, and weather all on my google homepage! No way! :) Google rocks :)


Thursday, May 19, 2005


So Disney is making a movie out of CS Lewis' Cronicles of Narnia!!! It's coming out this Christmas!! So cool :)

And how did I find that out? It was in the previews during STAR WARS!! Which was truly awesome...dare I say even the best one out of the six? Is that blasphemous to Return of the Jedi or Empire? It was really good though and fun to have a lab movie outing again! We haven't had one of those in a long time. And yes lauraf, we do work, but we also like to have fun :)



Tarantino directed tonight's 2 hour CSI! I'm excited! But first I have to go see Star Wars, get a frame, and pick up cubs tickets :)


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

condo meeting...

So I just got back from this meeting of everyone who lives in my condo development. It was interesting for sure. It was great to hear that almost all the complaints raised to the builder (who was there) were about the elevator. At least nothing else is really going too wrong in these buildings. And they seem to be super-responsive about anything that comes up, so that's good.

This developer is seriously amazing in how he plans stuff out. I learned that before he built these condos, he built a parking garage for the train station (to make a whole bunch more land for development), and made a little shopping plaza with a newly redone bar. Nothing like making demand for your soon-to-come housing!

Also funny at the meeting I saw two people come in who looked very...well...East Campus. :) And I'm sure that if they would have gone to MIT they for sure would have lived at EC. And of course their complaint...why did you guys pick doorknobs that need two hands to open? :-D Yay for engineers! It is annoying to open. Anyway the builder was like, that's what we picked, when we turn the building over to the association, you can change them. I wonder what other occupations you can totally tell by looking at people?

So yeah, interesting evening for sure. And cool to meet a few more people who live here!


Monday, May 16, 2005

friends as family...

A lot of you have heard my rant on friends as family lately, but a few more things have me thinking. First off, I read a speech that my friend Helen is writing for a big end-of-year dinner about friendship and ties from the present being defining roles in our future among other things. And especially about how friends become like family to us. Which of course got me thinking more of my own thoughts and where my whole friends as family notion came about.

I really believe that friends can create strong social bonds, even stronger than bonds of family at times. That we can care about our friends so much, and feel free to be our best or our worst in front of them and know that they'll still love us tomorrow just as much. And that we will go to whatever lengths we can to make sure that our friends are happy anytime we can. I don't know what point I'm trying to make, other than to all my friends out there, you're awesome! And keep being the awesome people you are!! And I'm always here for you! And maybe I'll make more sense out of this post in the morning...



SMS a search...

If you happen to be in Amsterdam...just SMS tags for photos you want to see and they show up on the wall!


Sunday, May 15, 2005

relaxing night...

Had a nice relaxing night last night. Cooked up a great tofu stir fry, almost finished reading Freakonomics, had some tea, and slept in nice clean sheets. Sometimes simple nights at home alone are just wonderful :)

Speaking of Freakonomics, it's a really interesting book. Although I wish it wasn't so mainstream. I mean he spends pages talking about what a correlation is and then just tells you that there "is" a correlation between two things. Well, how good is that correlation!? I want numbers and he's not giving them. I mean if you state that Roe v. Wade was the biggest contributor to the drop in crime in the late 90s, no matter how logical your argument sounds, you need confidence values for that sort of thing! I mean I'm sure his papers have all that, but I really didn't want to have to go hunting. Anyway, the argument is really interesting and makes a lot of sense. If you can legally and cheaply have an abortion, the parents who didn't think they could raise a child at the time would not have kids. Those sorts of children (from generally low-income or young women) would be most likely to cause crime. So by them not being born, by the time they would have reached 18, there are far less criminals (with over 1.5 million abortions a year, even if 1/4 of them would be criminals, that's a huge reduction in crime!). Anyway, read the book, or find his paper...it's interesting stuff...you can also learn about the real motivations of your real estate agent and how teachers in CPS cheat on their students tests.


Friday, May 13, 2005

the good side of people...

So you all know I'm an optimist...and no matter how bad things get, I always give people the benefit of the doubt. And I really do believe that most people out there are really good at heart. So yeah, maybe that makes me a little naive at times, but honestly I'd rather be naive than interpret someone's well-meant action as maliciously intended when it's not. There were just a few incidents this week in various aspects of my life where this came out with respect to various people, and it's something I've been thinking a lot about. And I believe in all cases, there were no ill intentions meant. Anyway, maybe the next time any of you is about to think that something was intended to hurt or deceive or get someone an advantage it might be nice to look at things from their perspective, or at least ask them why they did or said what they did. The world's a lot happier when people trust each other and are open with each other.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

taken by storm...

Tonight was a ton of fun!! I went downtown to this art opening with a coworker and just had a great time! :) And actually bought a piece down there! It was this show called "taken by storm: the art of storm thogerson" - he's the guy who did the art for most of the pink floyd albums as well as a bunch of other really amazing photography. This one is a signed piece called "The missing piece, literally" and has these guys carrying this puzzle piece through a countryside with this awesome sky behind it. SO cool! :) I think it's going in my living room as soon as I get it framed. It's not on the website...I'll take a picture at some point and post it. I also got a poster of "The Wall" for free with it and got that signed too. So that'll be fun to put someplace!!

So yeah, such a great time tonight. I love going into the city!! And then crysta and diana got to see my place which was fun. And they liked it a lot which meant a lot to me :) It's really come out well! Yay!

EDIT: Here's the art I bought...in a bad camera phone pic...


Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Sometimes we just get so busy in everything we're doing and thinking about and never notice how wonderful this world is. Driving home tonight (yeah, my big ten minute drive) I took a deep breath, relaxed, and looked at the tiny sliver of moon in the sky and just felt so relaxed, and reminded of the awesome world we live in. Maybe I should go hiking sometime this weekend...


more on the debate...

Stacie sent me an interesting link today covering a debate between Pinker and Spelke about the whole Summers statement a few months ago. Very interesting read. Of note was the mention that men are statistically bigger risk takers among other things. Yeah, maybe we shouldn't do that so much :)

Pinker made me a little upset as he usually does...but he wouldn't be Pinker if he didn't. Spelke was cool...I've never heard her before. All in all a good debate!! Pinker's talk of looking at statistics makes me think a little bit about the book Freakonomics that I'm starting right now. It's really interesting to look at the statistics of social issues and see what you can find. So Pinker did what he always does in making me at least think a bit more about his positions...

Although I'm still upset at Pinker for making me fail the Freshman Essay Evaluation at MIT :) Long story but basically in one of the essays we had to comment on some of his writing. And well it just made me so upset that I couldn't write anything insightful.

Anyway, the latest debate is interesting for sure and you should all read it!


Monday, May 09, 2005

a super crazy day...

Wow...what a day. Um, where to start. Crazy conversations at work leading to surprising decisions after talking for many hours. Then staying at work until the doors closed for the first time in a long time, which was actually quite fun :) And coding some and just generally having a good day.

Then came some talking to Stacie. Which was good to talk for sure, but I just really hope there was no permanent harm from all that I said last week.

All of this has made me wonder how I'd react if a friend had told me that they were attracted to me. Well, first I'd have to think of how I'd react if anyone was ever attracted to me...since I can't really think of any examples in my life except maybe Laurap. Anyway, I think I'd be kind of honored, and even if I didn't like them at all would take it pretty well and just let them know I wasn't interested. So if any of you ever think you like me, just let me know ;)

OK...seriously though...I need sleep...


Sunday, May 08, 2005

I had a post here, but it's gone now.

To sum up, still feeling very sad and missing someone a lot...


Saturday, May 07, 2005

good day...

A fairly good day today...after being totally unmotivated to do anything this morning, I felt a change of scenery was required, so I went downtown on the train to relax a bit, get my mind off things, and do some very last minute mother's day shopping. It was totally a nice break, but hard to get my mind off things when everything reminds me of what I don't want to be stressing about right now. Anyway, it was still a great time and I finished the Friendman book.

(Helen, don't read what's next if you don't want to know about the last chapter!)

It's interesting to think about what a globally, digitally connected world can do. And it's really interesting to look at the ways it can be used for good, and for bad. Look at all the engineers and call center employees in China and India who have a much better quality of life now. Look at how efficiently a company can get experts from all over the world working on a problem. But also look at what an organization like al-qeada can do...that osama can get the latest reports streamed to his computer in a cave over satellite phones, that he can create an "all-star" team of sorts from the "best" in the world to go attack a country. Interesting for sure. It's also interesting to think about how all of this globalization might keep countries from going to war. Think of China attacking Taiwan. This would be a huge event that would probably result in US interests moving out of China and a huge disruption to world trade that would probably end up mostly leaving china out in the future. They know this. Does that mean they are much less inclined to want to attack, probably. Who would have thought a few tech companies and Wal Mart could stop a war...interesting to think about.

Anyway, I'm on to Freakonomics next! Hope everyone is having a good weekend!!


cubs red sox

Enter to win four cubs red sox tickets!! And if you win....remember who told you about it ;) You've gotta live in IL to enter though...


Friday, May 06, 2005


I wonder if the way we teach CS at MIT is understandable to the rest of the world. I was trying to think of the smallest number of CS classes you could take that involved software projects and I think that it may be possible to get a CS degree with only taking 2: 6.001 (which uses Scheme) and 6.170 (which uses Java). Does that mean we can't pick up C++ or learn how to do JNI or how to write a multi-threaded app later in life? No, it means instead of learning the ins and outs of a language or technology (like a database or network programming or ...) we spent time thinking about problems...breaking down what you want to do into algorithms, seeing behavior of complex systems and learning how to architect software. All of which I think makes us better coders when it comes around time to learn how to code something and then to code it. But I think that a lot of others see it as, we've never done a whole lot of things, so we're a much greater risk...so it may take an extra 3 hours to learn JNI, or maybe an extra day cause we might screw it up the first time, but we probably just saved a week by thinking about the algorithm and details before sitting down to code in the first place. Grr. (EDIT: it's the whole, "where to put the x" thing) Anyway, we interviewed an awesome MIT person today at work and people just didn't get it. Which made me sad. Honestly they were probably one of the best fits for our lab that I've ever seen and someone I know I'd just totally love working with.

Also frustrated for other reasons, because I promised time and I suck at waiting :) Totally my issue though...I really do suck at waiting for things...

I think I'm just going to curl up in a ball and read all weekend.


news and more...

Good article on news sources and globalization and education and all sorts of other stuff :)


top 30!

Wow! I've eaten at a top-30-in-the-world restaurant!! How cool is that!! It's Hakkasan in London! :)



To borrow from a recently popular book...What's the matter with Kansas? :) They are changing their definition of "science!"


Thursday, May 05, 2005

coding...and evening fun!

So I was coding this morning to get my mind off other things. And it was awesome :) I haven't been coding a lot lately, and man, the joy it brings to me is just great! It just feels so great to have to think hard, figure out how to do something, and then minutes later (hopefully) actually see your ideas working. I love it! I just feel so relaxed and like nothing else is going on in the whole world for a few hours. And I needed that :) And others commented (in various ways) about how good I looked coding...a big change from the past week for sure!

This evening was a ton of fun too!! Annual Cinco de Mayo celebration with coworkers, then cookie baking and a trip up north to deliver cookies to someone who really needed them :) And a simple SMSed "thank you" that almost made me pull off the road in happy tears. And then a nice relaxing dinner in front of the daily show!

I'm off to read now though so I can move onto new books soon! Blink and Freakonomics just came today!! Goodnight everyone!! :)



There is absolutely nothing harder than not talking to someone you care about so much...


Wednesday, May 04, 2005

metadata for pictures

Yay for using metadata to find pictures!! :) Cool to see this topic hitting the main page on CNN!


Tuesday, May 03, 2005


My couch came today!! Which was very exciting!! It looks really nice now and I can't wait to get a coffee table and lamp and be done with this room :)

In other news, an email I got last night made me happy that someone wasn't mad or upset at me. So that was happy :)

Not much else new around here. But wanted to wish those with lots of work to do tonight and this week good luck!!!

Happy Tuesday everyone!!


Monday, May 02, 2005

unlocked phones on amazon...

Very cool! Amazon is selling unlocked phones now!! At a good discount too! Yay for freedom of choice :)


Sunday, May 01, 2005

"Student Houses"

So I'm participating in a new blog! It's a community blog on home ownership set up by some people from Student House, and it's called, Student Houses. Should be fun! And it also means I now have accounts on Blogger, Xanga, and LJ. :)



for all of you who have been waiting for pictures of the condo :) Sorry...just haven't been too motivated these past few days to take them and post them. Enjoy!