Sunday, April 30, 2006

best song ever...

Excerpts from "Dear Mr. President" by P!nk...

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep
What do you feel when you look in the mirror
Are you proud
How can you say
No child is left behind
We're not dumb and we're not blind
They're all sitting in your cells
While you pay the road to hell
What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine

Way to go! I almost fell out of my chair on that last line!! :)


Saturday, April 29, 2006

busy day but now time to relax...

So I made it back to Chicago last night on this little tiny American Eagle flight. It's interesting that Montreal is considered "regional" - I guess it only was an hour and 50 minutes away. It's so awesome to have such a "european" city so close!! Anyway, it was fun...we had one flight attendant for the whole plane and it was just all so laid back compared to a "normal" flight. There couldn't have been more than 30 of us on the whole plane.

Today was a busy day helping Richard move out to his new house in Elgin. We got everything in the house before the rain started, so that was a total success.

I'm super tired now though, so have just been vegging out to some tv that my tivo saved for me while I was gone. Last week's West Wing was especially excellent. I guess I can relate to Josh a bit :) Maybe I should take a vacation soon...not a work trip to someplace fun, but really a vacation away from it all, where the laptop and mobile email are left at home.


Thursday, April 27, 2006

montreal run...

I just got back from a great 4.7 mile run in Montreal. I ran from the hotel up this giant hill in the middle of the city around the university. It was just so beautiful up there. An Olmstead park, so you know it was awesome :) And fun to see so many people out running in the nice weather. I really love this city! So much diversity, so many fun little neighborhoods, and a beautiful park up in the hills just steps away from downtown. So nice!!


best of CHI...

So CHI is nearly over. It was a very fun conference...and very tiring as always. But I thought I'd share what I thought were some of the best papers for anyone who might be interested...

Best of main papers and notes...

Girls, technology and privacy: "is my mother listening?"
Wendy March, Constance Fleuriot
Pages: 107 - 110

This was a great paper on how and where teenage girls used communications devices. They looked at girls who wanted extra privacy and made calls from closets or used IM while doing homework. Some very interesting ethnographic observations.

Design requirements for technologies that encourage physical activity
Sunny Consolvo, Katherine Everitt, Ian Smith, James A. Landay

Sunny et al built a system to help people be more active. They built this cool cell phone app to allow people to see how many steps they and each of their friends had taken in a given day as a way to promote activity.

Mobile phones and paper documents: evaluating a new approach for capturing microfinance data in rural India
Tapan S. Parikh, Paul Javid, Sasikumar K., Kaushik Ghosh, Kentaro Toyama
Pages: 551 - 560

This was an amazing study of a mobile phone being used to manage "paper"work in a women's microfinance group in India.

Understanding photowork
David Kirk, Abigail Sellen, Carsten Rother, Ken Wood
Pages: 761 - 770

I didn't make it to this talk, but the paper looked like a very interesting study of the work that people need to do in order to prepare photos for sharing.

Everyday practices with mobile video telephony
Kenton O'Hara, Alison Black, Matthew Lipson
Pages: 871 - 880

This was an interesting look at the issues with mobile video telephony today, espescially that video just doesn't work in the places where people make their mobile phone calls.

From awareness to connectedness: the design and deployment of presence displays
Anind K. Dey, Ed de Guzman
Pages: 899 - 908

Anind had a nice talk about creating systems that make people feel more connected and not just "aware" of each other.

Collective creation and sense-making of mobile media
Antti Salovaara, Giulio Jacucci, Antti Oulasvirta, Timo Saari, Pekka Kanerva, Esko Kurvinen, Sauli Tiitta
Pages: 1211 - 1220

I didn't make it to this talk either, but it seemed like a very interesting paper on mobile media sharing in large group environments.

Best of alt.chi

Tokyo Youth at Leisure: Towards the Design of Media to
Support Leisure Planning and Practice
Diane Schiano, Ame Elliot, Victoria Bellotti, PARC, USA

PARC did a nice study into how people use mobiles to plan and meet up with each other in Tokyo. Surprisingly they weren't used much for deciding where to go, more for just coordinating attendees and exact places and times to meet while in the process of meeting.

I Just Clicked To Say I Love You: Rich Evaluations of Minimal
Joseph ‘Jofish’ Kaye, Cornell University, USA

This was a really great paper about how a simple click to say "thinking of you" can dramatically make couples feel closer to each other. Very great talk!

AuraOrb: Social Notification Appliance
Mark Altosaar, Roel Vertegaal, Changuk Sohn, Daniel Cheng,
Queen’s University, Canada

This group took one of those caller ID orbs and turned it into a presence display. While they were just display status like email alerts or stock information, systems like this could easily be used for presence.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

another good day at CHI

So today was another good day at CHI! Apparently I've been publicly attributed the tagline - "CHI: Explaining stuff that should make sense" :) Which was a funny off-hand comment, but I think actually has a lot of truth to it. The work of the CHI community is about making things that work for people and understanding how people interact with the world. And so much of that just sounds so obvious in retrospect. But it's amazing what people haven't put thought into yet and how many more things we need to investigate.

I had some more good food tonight after the conference! We went to this veggie buffet where you pay by the gram. I had some awesome "beef" stroganof like dish, some tofu with pasta, a veggie roll, and some awesome vegan cheesecase and carrot cake. So so so good! We need places like this in Chicago!!

I've been hacking fun code tonight. :) I can't wait to see it work!!!


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

awesome day!

So today was an awesome day! Despite the fact that I had to get up at 6:45 to get to CHI madness, my 40 second presentation went well, and well enough to draw a standing room crowd to my 30 minute talk in the afternoon. The talk went really well. People loved the user data that was included and laughed a lot and generally got a lot out of the talk. I was able to handle the questions that were thrown at me, and some people I really respect in the field came up to me after the talk and said it was really good.

In the middle of all of that, today was a day filled with wonderful food. Instead of going to a critique of the xbox 360, I met up with an old co-worker and a bunch of her friends for Dim Sum. Wonderful as always and they even had a bunch of veggie options! It was so good, but I was just so stuffed for the rest of the afternoon :)

Then we had dinner at this awesome thai place that alicia recommended, Chu Chai. Amazing! It's an all veggie thai place and I had the sweet and sour "chicken" as well as a dumpling in peanut sauce appetizer. Both were incredible, especially the appetizer. Wow...what a way to end the day! Thanks Alicia for the tip, and if any of you ever come to montreal you totally have to go to this place for dinner!!


Monday, April 24, 2006

hi from chi!

Hi from Montreal! It's been a busy few days here so far. The mobile social software workshop yesterday went really well and it was great to get to meet some great people from yahoo, intel, and microsoft among others. We talked about everything from wearables to privacy to business models.

Today's papers were good, a session on Privacy, a session on Social Software, and now I'm sitting in a session at alt.chi called "Design is fun and people are great" Should be interesting! I talk tomorrow afternoon so I'm a bit nervous about that, but it should be a fun talk and hopefully will get some people thinking :) I've got my one minute madness all together for the morning. Too bad I have to be there at 8:10 am! Ick. Basically I get 40 seconds to tell people why they should come to my talk in the afternoon :)

Montreal has been fun! I really like the city from what I've seen so far. But it's been raining all the time, so I haven't had a chance to explore too much. They have this fun cute 2 block long chinatown right next to the convention center, so that's become my favorite lunch/dinner spot.

More news from CHI soon!


Friday, April 21, 2006


I'm heading to Montreal for CHI tomorrow! If anyone knows of any fun things to do or good places to eat or drink, let me know!! I'm excited...I've never been up there before. And I'm excited to give our talk on photo and music use similarities. It should be really interesting and hopefully should spark some good questions. The Mobile Social Software workshop should be really interesting as well. It should be a good week in Canada!


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

5 mile runs...

I remember being in college and thinking Katie was crazy for running 5 miles every afternoon. Well, I may not be running it every day yet, but I have been running 5 miles two to three times a week for the past few weeks. And you know what? It's a really comfortable distance for me now. No longer am I starting to get tight or sore towards the end...if I had time, I could easily just keep going without a care in the world.

I'm really looking forward to this summer of running :)


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

go neil young!

His new album including a song, "let's impeach the president" that according to CNN's story...

According to some online reports, that song accuses Bush of "lying" and features a rap with the president's voice set against a choir singing "flip-flop."


Saturday, April 15, 2006

one year...

So it's been a year now since I moved out to Palatine. Hard to believe that it's been so long. It's been a fun year...trips to china, japan, many many trips to boston, nyc. Living close to work has been wonderful too and has saved me so many hours trapped in the car and so much potential pollution in the air. But sometimes when I'm driving around out here trying to get to whole foods or the post office or to my parent's house, driving past strip mall after strip mall, I just wonder what I'm doing out here. I'm a city person there is no doubt. Running a bridge loop in Boston or along the lake downtown and being among all the big buildings, museums, and people just makes me happy.

So with that thought, I went downtown this afternoon and had a great time as always. I checked out the new Freedom Museum at the Tribune Tower. It's pretty cool and basically gives you a history of "freedom" - albeit a very American viewpoint. There are some interactive displays where you can hear cases that went to the supreme court and weigh in with your decision, and then it'll show you how the court voted as well as how everyone else who visited the museum voted. There are little exhibits on each of the "freedoms" given in the bill of rights and extra exhibits on minorities, women, and native americans. It's pretty well done, but with all the advertising I was hoping that it would be a bit more left-leaning. It's a museum though and they tried to be "fair and balanced." I just wish it would have had a more international view of freedom or gone a bit more in depth about some of our government's recent attaks on freedom such as the Patriot Act or wiretapping. All in all a fun day!


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

awesome weather...

Well, I made it back to Chicago super early this morning. Logan is so nice and efficient at 4:30 in the morning when there are only a handful of people around :) And I came back to weather even more beautiful that what we had in Boston yesterday. 75 and sunny. I think I'll have to take advantage of that tomorrow and go for a long run after work.

Tonight I headed over to Streets and had a nice dinner sitting outside at Chipotle with my Jamba Juice. There's just something really wonderful about being able to eat outside. I totally miss that every winter. And while I was there I got measured for my tux for Richard's wedding! Man, I still can't believe he's getting married this summer! Crazy! And I got a little catalog to pick out a tux for the Lemelson awards reception at MCA in a few weeks! I've never been to a black tie reception before...this should be fun!


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bridge Loop

Bridge Loop
Originally uploaded by bentley79.
I had no idea how much I missed running along the charles! I ran a nice 6.26 mile bridge loop today in under an hour! Yay!

I find it amusing that I ran faster than my shamrock shuffle time. Well, I didn't have 25,000 people to try to get around either :)

It's so wonderful to be in Boston on a nice warm spring day! I won't be back until the end of the term though. This next month is craziness at work and I have no time to make it out again which is sad. But there will be one more day in Boston before the term is over! It's sad that I'll miss fun Patriot's Day celebrations next week.


Sunday, April 09, 2006

Cubs win!

Cubs win!
Originally uploaded by bentley79.
I had a wonderful afternoon at Wrigley yesterday! We had seats in the new bleachers to see a 1:20 game against the Cardinals. It was a great game and the weather was not too cold, which is excellent for opening weekend!

The new bleachers aren't that bad either. There are now multiple staircases out of the bleachers, and an extra bleacher gate on waveland. And you can walk from the bleacher section to the rest of the stadium now as long as you get a hand stamp. So I went on my veggie burger run before the game started. But what's up with that new glass elevator right on the corner??? Couldn't you be ADA accessible by putting one off to the side where it's not the focal point of gate n?

What could be better than sitting in the bleachers with friends, drinking Old Style, and watching the cubbies win?


Saturday, April 08, 2006

"what about the terrorists?"

I just really love the city. That should be no surprise to any of you. The energy of all the people, all the things to do, places to eat or drink, amazing buildings, museums, etc. I was talking to my parents the other day about the new downtown office of Motorola and how it's totally going to revolutionize my quality of life. I mean lunches with friends, going out for drinks after work or over to the Taste of Chicago or a movie in the park or museum, or anything! And a nice train ride to get some reading or work done. It's going to be awesome.

But their reaction was not one of "that's awesome!" but instead one of "but what about the terrorists!?" I was like, huh? And they were like, the terrorists, they are going to blow up the city. It's not safe. So yeah, I was just speechless. Um, I do beleive that it's safe to work in the city. To use a line from Bush *shudder* if we're afraid, the terrorists have already won. Anyway, I just thought that the comment was odd since I honestly haven't thought about a terrorist since about September 15, 2001.

In any case, I can't wait until our downtown office opens this summer!!!!!


Thursday, April 06, 2006

say it ain't so....

The Bud Light Bleachers????? Nooooooooooooo!!!!!


Wednesday, April 05, 2006

dual boot...

Apple is now officially letting people dual boot! And they have drivers for winxp! Maybe this will have to be my weekend project. Just for those rare occasions when I actually need to run something in Windows.



I still have Cubs tickets for Saturday's game against STL. If you want to come along, let me know!!


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

boston! :)

So again I prove the rule that I can't get from the airport to MIT without running into someone I know. In this case it was sort of unfair since he was on the same plane, but I didn't see him until I got off. So 20 steps off the plane, I see another MIT alum from Chicago that I met at a dinner a few years ago. I love coming to Boston, always such a small world! We shared a cab to Kendall where I of course ran into another friend. :)

So I'm looking at the age of my bookmarks on Athena...let's see we have Winona State University Women's Basketball, the MIT Student Ambassador event login page, MySloanSpace from when I took 15.301... It's amusing. A trip down memory lane circa 1999-2001 :)
Grasshopper tonight for dinner and then Roads after class!! Come to Roads tonight if you're in Boston!!! :)


Monday, April 03, 2006

more running...

I just signed up for Race to the Taste 5K. You should too! :) It's a fun short run along the lake and you get coupons for the Taste when it's all over. And when it'll be snowing in Boston tomorrow, it's always nice to think of warm weather and the Taste of Chicago :)


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Shamrock Shuffle...

So the Shamrock Shuffle is possibly the world's perfect race. 8K, free beer, and a concert at the end! I ran with my MIT friend Connie and some of her USG friends and finished in 50 minutes, so 5 10-minute miles. It's not bad since I haven't been running nearly as much as I should have been these past few months. I'll definitely keep running this race every year! Too much fun!! I had no idea that Cracker performed the Bowling for Columbine theme. The USG group was a lot of fun too. I've never had so many beers before noon :)