Monday, May 29, 2006

Printer's Row

It's the Printer's Row book fest this weekend!! Who wants to go down there with me??? Last time I went I think I picked up like 15 books...they are all super super cheap! And they have authors, good authors who talk. Dave Eggers is talking again, which is always fun.


busy weekend..

It's now the end of a super busy weekend. But a really great weekend!! I think I've eaten more this weekend than I did all week :) Dinner at my uncle's house, a bbq at joe and kelly's, a bbq at jen's, and then off to Susan's for her b-day celebration. I don't think I've seen so many friends in one weekend for a very long time. Such a nice change from working all the time.

But of course I did some work too. It's quite productive to be the only one in the office on a holiday :)

This should be another busy week at work, but I am going to be committed to running every day. I'll find someway to make time, even if it means less sleep...


Friday, May 26, 2006

busy busy week (with good food)...

So this was the busiest week I've had in a super long time. But I guess it's usually crazy busy whenever we're doing a field study at work. We had four users come back this week and two more go out so lots of excitement :) But the upside to long work hours is good food! We had a participant down on the south side, so of course we stopped by Chinatown for lunch and had some great Malaysian food at Penang. I have to highly recommend the Mango Tofu. Man was that good! And what's a trip to Chinatown without a trip to Chiu Quon for some baked goods. Well, we couldn't say no to that :)

I've been staying late at work to get a bunch of stuff done as well and we've been eating well there too. Thai Garden, the old standard, but last night I was down in Rogers Park to drop off phones and of course stopped at Blind Faith on my way back to work for a BBQ Seitan sandwich. Mmmmm. :)

Today I got out of work early (7pm) to try out something I hacked together in about an hour before I left. More on that soon :) And I got in a good 3.2 mile run around the reservoir a few times before it got dark out. All in all a nice day.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

more running...

So I have officially registered to run the Chicago Marathon this fall...and the Chicago Distance Classic 1/2 marathon this summer. I'm going to die...

Serious training will start this weekend. I'm at the point now where my six mile runs don't phase me, so hopefully that's a good starting point. I don't think the 1/2 will be a big's the full marathon that's scaring me like crazy :)


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

nike + ipod...

ooohhhh. This looks so awesome! Basically it tracks your workouts, gives you your pace and total time/distance while you're running. Now if I only had an ipod nano and nike shoes to make it work...


Sunday, May 21, 2006


The painting is all done, and thus ends another chapter in home improvement :) I'm excited and love my "new" dining room. But now I'm exhausted and think I'm going to just veg in front of the tv for a bit.

Not much else new. This week should be busy with user study stuff, but then hopefully I'll have a week of relative calm starting this next weekend. Calm is good :)


Saturday, May 20, 2006


So I finally paid off my car loan! Yay! Although the process wasn't as easy as I had expected. The loan payment book said to call this 800 number to get the final payment amount, which I did. But they didn't tell me what to do with that where to send it and how to get my title. And pressing 0 was "not a valid option." So luckilly I live a block away from the bank that manages the loan, so I went over there to talk to them about it. The lady was like, oh yeah, if you would have sent in that amount from the phone it totally wouldn't have worked. That number goes up 70 cents a day and it would take time for the check to get in. So how was I supposed to know this? So she let me just pay in the bank. I'm glad I live close to the bank!


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Boston is wonderful...

I love this city!! Do I saw that everytime I come back? I think so :) Class went well last night and there were some really interesting presentations...everything from mobile flickr to a location based real estate app to a location sensitive alarm clock. It was good work and we came up with a lot of ways that we can make the class better for next year. Yes, it looks like we'll be doing this again next year which will be awesome. Yay for many more trips to Boston :)

Today is just a beautiful day here so I did something I almost never up early and went for a run! I had a nice 6.2 mile run down to the river and then a loop from Mass Ave to the footbridge and then back up into central square. Such a fun run and such a beautiful day. Coming across the Harvard bridge into Boston just brought back so many memories of that run and of walking home everyday over that bridge.

I head back to Chicago tomorrow! But first, Brown Sugar and Roads. :)


Monday, May 15, 2006


So the small-world-ness continues today! WildStang won the Chairman's Award this year, so they had a big reunion tonight for their annual awards ceremony. And I walk in and who do I see!?!? Tracy and Rosie! And Ludwig! And Nipesh! And so many other people who were on the team back in 96 and 97! I hadn't seen Tracy and Rosie since 1997, so that was so awesome that they were there!

And I have a new floor! I put some pictures up on Flickr today. More when I get back from Boston and paint :)


Sunday, May 14, 2006


I thought this was funny...and appropriate...

You Are a Soy Latte

At your best, you are: free spirited, down to earth, and relaxed

At your worst, you are: dogmatic and picky

You drink coffee when: you need a pick me up, and green tea isn't cutting it

Your caffeine addiction level: medium



So I was reading the latest Economist last night and there was this article about google. Did you know that they only have about 50% of the search market? Half of the searches people are doing online are with some site other than Google (mainly yahoo with msn and also showing up). That just blows my mind. It can't be that these 50% haven't heard of why are they using something else?

In other news, I must just say that MIT people are awesome. That's all I'll say on that topic for now, but if you've talked to me in the last week, you know what I'm talking about :) I will also add that MIT is a very small world.


Friday, May 12, 2006

call logging ok??? wtf!?

This is craziness! "According to a Washington Post poll, a majority (63%) of Americans 'said they found the NSA program to be an acceptable way to investigate terrorism.'"


Thursday, May 11, 2006

quote of the day...

I love the Google Quote of the Day today...

I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.
- Pablo Picasso


boston next week...

Hey Boston People!

I'll be out in Boston next Tuesday and Wednesday! The final trip of the term. I think I'll be pretty busy with the final day of the class on Tuesday, but if anyone wants to meet up for lunch, dinner, or drinks on Wednesday, let me know! I'm thinking Brown Sugar for dinner around 7 and maybe Roads around 9pm for drinks. Also, if anyone has a place I can crash on Wednesday night, that would be greatly appreciated! Susan offered her couch but she's crazy busy next week so I'd rather not be in the way if I don't have to be.


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


So I finally got around to reading last month's Wired last night. The featured topic was the environment and especially Al Gore's recent crusade to fund companies that are creating sustainable technologies. Anyway, they had a little carbon survey in there and I scored much worse than the last time (damn plane trips to other continents). I was actually really amazed that one trip to China produces more carbon per person that driving a whole year in my car. I mean I guess that makes sense, but it's unfortunate. Anyway, I ended up personally generating 19,862 pounds of CO2 per year just missing the 15,000 that you needed to be "deep green" according to the survey. So I'm in the "fair weather eco-friend" group, which I guess is ok, but I still wish I was better. If I never flew, I'd be at 10,878 which is pretty sweet.

OK...doubtful anyone cares at this point. If you want to take the survery, it's on p150 of the May Wired.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

jazz fest '06: make music, not war!

I just got back from a super-fun weekend in New Orleans for Jazz Fest! The festival was a blast...picture Summerfest^2 centered around jazz. We saw a bunch of local new orleans bands and ended the day with Jimmy Buffett!! My first Buffett concert! The crowd was gigantic and there was hardly even a place to stand. But we found a place, like 5 people over from an MIT alum too...I love the small world of MIT :)

So the festival was sponsored by Shell, and there were tons of small protests going on. And an airplane that kept flying over with different anti-shell messages - "Thanks for the music! But keep our water clean!" "Clean up your act!" etc. Entertainment while waiting for concerts to start.

I was really amazed by the amount of damage that's everywhere down there. I mean you see it on the news and they tell you about all the places that were flooded, but to see it with your own eyes...block after block of abandoned houses, entire neighborhoods with no lights on. And you almost can't believe you're in America. There's this huge hatred of all things government going on down there right now. My favorite t-shirt was "make levees, not war" which really is amazing when you think about it. We're paying so much money to rebuild Iraq and many many thousands of New Orleans residents are out on the street with no place to live, no street lights, no electricity, and toxic waste all over everything that they own. All while Bush and cronies keep pouring billions into Iraq. At least Jazz Fest was helping the relief effort with its profits this year!

Other favorite shirts were "FEMA - Fix Everything My Ass" "FEMA's evacuation plan: Run motherfucker run" and "FEMA: the new four letter f word" It's just incredible to see how much was messed up with the evacuation and the relief and how much is still not up and working. When we were taking the shuttle to the hotel, the first things we were told as we pulled away from th terminal was that there were a few hospitals up and running, they only have 1/3 of the cab drivers that they used to, and that there are huge crime problems. Welcome to New Orleans... :)

But yes, back to more fun things...overall, a very fun weekend filled with good times with old friends! This whole jazz fest thing may just have to be repeated in the future...


Thursday, May 04, 2006


I'm off to New Orleans for Jazz Fest for the next few days. I'm not bringing a computer (gasp!) so I'll be out of touch for a bit. Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lemelson-MIT awards

Lemelson-MIT awards
Originally uploaded by bentley79.
Tonight was a fun night at the Lemelson-MIT awards. If you ignore the debate about Lemelson and how he found his way to success, it was a great night filled with lots of inspiration about innovation and invention. The two guys who won the awards were amazing invented the LCD and the other found a way to mass manufacture interferons to treat a variety of diseases. Dean Kamen, in his usual way, showed up in jeans and a denim shirt to a black tie event. :)

But I had tons of fun! Caught up with an old MIT friend, Anna, who happened to be getting married to the student award winner this year! Random, but fun to run into her in Chicago!

And yay to Stacie for coming along with me! It's always fun when good MIT friends get together around nerdy events :)


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

working like crazy...

I'm sorry if I haven't been able to answer your emails or IMs this week. I've been crazy crazy busy with work. But it's coming to an end and the fun starts tomorrow afternoon! I'm off to the Lemelson awards with Stacie! When I first got my invitation to the awards I knew there was no one better to take :) I picked up my tux today...I've never been to a black tie event before! Pictures coming tomorrow night...

And then Thursday it's off to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and Richard's batchelor party. Should be an awesome weekend! I just have to finish all my work first!!

Oh, and possibly more trips to the bay area coming up soon! Details to come later. Yay for trips to San Francisco and chances to visit awesome bay area people :)