Thursday, June 29, 2006

upcoming funness...

You all should join in on some of the following...

Friday night - Hairbanger's Ball (80s cover band) in Palatine
Sunday - Race to Taste 5K and then Taste of Chicago funness
Monday - Summerfest to see Lewis Black!
Tuesday - ????

Let me know if you want to join in on any of this! Hope everyone has a happy 4th!!


Monday, June 26, 2006

Top 5 reasons I love working at MotoCity...

1) From my desk today I could see both the lake and the Sears Tower
2) I don't have to use my car at all
3) I can have dinner with friends after work
4) There's a burrito place and a coffee place *inside* the building
5) The place is filled with young people who think differently, not the standard corporate culture


Sunday, June 25, 2006

lots of running...

Not much new around here, just lots of running! 17 more weeks to go! I went for a nice 7 mile "long" run today up at Moraine Hills State Park. Such a nice place, rolling hills, lots of shade, places to get water, and nice lakes and trees and things to look at. And it's only a half hour drive from my place! I think I'll be going up there for a lot more of my weekend runs.

Not much else is really new. I've been working a ton to get a write up of a study done by this coming Friday which has been a ton of work. But after this week things should return to being relaxing for a while and maybe I'll actually have something interesting to blog about :)


Thursday, June 22, 2006


First our phones, now they're monitoring our bank accounts. OK...this is really getting out of hand... I wish someone would do something about this!


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

running in the rain...

I'm all for running in the rain, but not when the forecast says "Variable clouds with strong thunderstorms. Storms may produce large hail and strong winds." The radar has pretty strong rain stretching a few hundred miles away. Oh well, off to the gym for the treadmill today I guess...


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

lewis black on july 3rd?

Is anyone interested in going up to milwaukee to see lewis black at summerfest on the 3rd???


Monday, June 19, 2006

al gore...

So I just got back from seeing Al Gore's movie. As Ann had told me, it's pretty much just his powerpoint presentation on global warming made into a movie. It was actually 1/2 a commercial for the 15" Powerbook as we saw Al actually making his slides again and again and again :) But all in all very good. It's good to get some of these numbers and some of the visuals out to people who haven't seen them before. My parents actually saw the movie before I did!

I think it could have used a bit more, "so here's what you can do about it" though. While the credits said a few things like buying a hybrid or using timers on your heating system or using energy-efficient bulbs, the movie itself really didn't do much to get people doing something to help the problem. Yes, lobby congress, but make some changes of your own that will help as well. That wasn't there.

Possibly the most disturbing was that I saw it with someone quite well educated that still questioned the ability of scientists to get carbon and temperature levels from so long ago. And if you don't believe that, well then, I guess it's hard to believe the basis of the whole movie.


Saturday, June 17, 2006


I just finished an interesting book that my lab manager lent me, How Would a Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok. Although it seemed like a lot of repetition, the points that he makes really cannot go unheard. It's just so amazing to me that our president can imprison people without cause for multiple years, and when the case gets to the supreme court, just let people go, or charge them with a tiny unrelated crime. Or how he can authorize the survalence of anyone's phone, email, IM, etc. without any warrant on the same day he tells congress that the new FISA law is all he needs to fight terrorism (and that law required getting a warrant!). Grr. It's just amazing to me that there have not been impeachment articles drafted or serious ongoing national debate forcing him to realize that he is not the king of America, that his powers are to execute on the laws, not to be "the decider."

I'm in the middle of another great book as well, Patriots Act: Voices of DIssent and the Risk of Speaking Out, which has the stories of people who have dared to stand up against this massive abuse of power (and have usually gone to jail for doing so). More on that when I finish it...


CRU Meet Up

CRU Meet Up
Originally uploaded by bentley79.
Last night was a lot of fun! After a crazy busy day at work where I just barely managed to get a Ubicomp workshop paper done in time, I headed out to meet up with a bunch of Chicago Blogging Runners. Leah, author of Marathon Running and Barb of Running Jayhawk put it all together and it was so much fun to get to meet everyone over some good beers. I ended up talking to Leah and Jason the most (ok, in a group of people, of course I'm going to talk to the physics phd students!). Leah, I stole your picture as I didn't take any. Anyway, lots of fun and we're going to all meet up again next month!


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

news from comedy central...

Did anyone else hear the head of the Republican Party on the Daily show last night?

Jon: You guys became parsers, when did that happen?
Ken: I think greed, cynicism, all those things caused us to do it.
Jon: Really, did we get that on camera?

Well, at least he admits it.

Then on the Colbert Report last night, they had Tim Flannery on talking about global warming. He mentioned the he buys carbon credits everytime he flys to offset the carbon produced by his percentage of the flight. That's a really good idea! After filling out that carbon tally quiz in Wired last month, I really felt bad about all the carbon that I produce by flying. Maybe I'll look into the credits next time I fly.


Inconvenient Truth?

Does anyone want to go see Al Gore's movie this weekend? It's playing at Barrington, Evanston, and River East Downtown.


Monday, June 12, 2006

calling the bullpen...can you hear me now??

Now when Dusty goes to the bullpen, he'll be talking on a Motorola cell phone. Pretty interesting!


Sunday, June 11, 2006

wedding and beer...

Susan's wedding was just awesome today! It was super small (~60 people) and held in the courtyard at this art gallery on the west end of pittsburgh. The weather was perfect, 70 and sunny, and Susan and Adam looked wonderful. Between the wedding and lunch, they had tons of vegan appetizers and Yuengling!! And then for dessert they had a vegan mint-chocolate wedding cake!! I told Adam that this was the best wedding ever and he was like, wow, yuengling and vegan cake is all it takes to make you happy?? :)

On my way home, I decided to stop at a grocery store and pick up some yuengling as I know that many here in chicago miss it :) I see this super huge grocery store on the side of the highway with a big "wine and spirits" sign on the side of it and am like, perfect! I go inside and they only have wine and spirits, no beer. I look around a little more and ask this guy in the store if he could tell me where the beer is. He looks at me and shakes his head:

Random Guy: "You're not from PA, are you?"
Me: "Nope, just here for the weekend."
RG: "Well you have to buy beer from a beer distributor"
Me: "A beer distributor? I just want a case, not a truck load!"
RG: "No no, everyone has to buy their beer that way, stores aren't allowed to sell beer."
Me: "But they can sell hard alcohol?"
RG: "Yep"
Me: "So is there one of those places near here?"
RG: "Nope, but they aren't open on Sundays anyway."
Me: "But you can buy hard alcohol from the grocery store on sunday??"
RG: [with a totally straight face] "Yes"
Me: "Wow"
RG: "Welcome to PA"

So no Yuengling for me or any of you Chicagoans :(


Saturday, June 10, 2006

awesome day in pittsburgh...

So today has been one of those crazy days that's been so much fun!! It started out with an 8 hour drive to Pittsburgh which went pretty well. As soon as I checked into the hotel I got all ready for a run. I really had no idea where I was going to go, so stopped at the concierge desk and the guy sees me coming all suited up to run and starts taking these maps out. He's like, how far do you want to go? Man I love the service in this hotel!! Anyway, he gave me a nice 6 mile run on this abandoned rail bed that's been turned into a running/biking trail called Eliza's Furnace (or as I later learned people here call it the 'jail trail' since it goes past the county jail). Anyway, it was a nice run with great views of the river and all of the bridges along the way. And it was the best running trail I've ever been on. Asphalt trail in the middle for the bikers and bladers and nice crushed limestone on both sides for the runners. Awesomeness....we need more trails like this in Chicago!!

After the run was Susan's rehearsal dinner which was a ton of fun! I learned that they are going to have vegan cake tomorrow which is just totally awesome! It was so wonderful to catch up with them and Ann for a while. It's always so fun to talk to MIT people :) It's amazing how many people at this wedding are professors or lecturers in universities. Fun fun times! :)

Anyway, now I'm back at the hotel, and what's on TV? Lewis Black doing a comedy show on HBO! Man, could this night end any better??? I LOVE Lewis Black! I can't wait for his new TV show on comedy central this fall!


off to pgh..

I'm just about on my way out the door right now. If any of you are bored and have time to kill, feel free to give me a call and keep me occupied while driving :) I should be driving from 6am-2pm today and 3pm-midnight tomorrow. Crazy you say? I wouldn't have it any other way!

I have to remember to get off I-90 and not head to Boston :)


Thursday, June 08, 2006


Organic food at walmart? What will this do to the organic farming industry? Walmart says they can sell it at 10% over the conventional food, but can organic, sustainable farms really produce at this price?


bad day...

Today was not a good day. I'm glad it's almost over! I got news that my Ubicomp paper wasn't accepted. They had a super low accept rate though. I think with taking the comments and a little rewrite we'll be able to resubmit to another conference or the question is wihch one??? :)

In other news, a bunch of documentation for our phones was wrong and it doesn't look like I'll be able to do something that I wanted to. Ugh.

I can't wait for the week to end and for it to be the weekend! It'll be great to get out of town for a few days and relax a bit!


Wednesday, June 07, 2006


I love that I can get calls at 7:30 in the evening from Susan in Boston asking (on behalf of her roommate) if the 'beef' seitan is better than the 'chicken' seitan at Grasshopper :) BTW, the answer is beef all the way!! It's so so so excellent!! Anyway, fun randomness. I need to eat at Grasshopper for sure when I visit Boston at the end of July.

Not much else going on around here. I've been running a bunch as has become usual. This weekend I'm heading to Pittsburgh for SusanB's wedding! It should be a great time and I was able to book a four star hotel on for $77. I love that website!! It's done well for me so far in St. Louis and NYC, and it's not letting me down for Pittsburgh! It should be a fun weekend...we'll see if I can find a fun place to run in PA saturday afternoon assuming traffic isn't bad. I need to download some good music to keep me entertained and awake on the drive...any suggestions?


Monday, June 05, 2006

running update...

Regular running has started! I posted a respectable start at 15.48 miles for last week. I'm trying to ease into the "real" training schedule which starts on the 19th. We'll see how things go, but the progress can be tracked on my running blog. I'll make updates every Sunday so those who don't care don't have to deal with all sorts of running news here :)


Saturday, June 03, 2006

books are my friend...

Today was another wonderful day! This weekend is turning out to be a lot of fun :) I made it down to Printer's Row in plenty of time to get a good seat for Dave Eggers' reading. It was great! He had a bunch of students from 826CHI there reading various stories/poems that they had written and then Dave read a part of an essay on American soccer that he wrote. I stayed for a bit after the talk and talked to Dave for a minute while getting a book signed. I think it's really amazing what he's doing with 826 and helping young people to see how accessible writing really is and helping people write to develop their own voices and be better equipped to tackle all aspects of their future lives. Anyway, he was like, 'you should get involved in 826.' Which I thought about and was like, yeah, that would be cool. So I'm thinking of volunteering. Yes, what time do I have? Well...I'll find some...things like this are important! :)

Oh, so as usual here are the books I picked up at Printer's Row...
From Beirut to Jerusalem
You Shall Know our Velocity
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
The Best American Short Stories (2004)

All for $5. Can't beat it! :)


Friday, June 02, 2006

neofuturist fun!

I just got back from a wonderful evening of neofuturist fun! I met up with Laura and Dustin for this week's Neo Solo featuring "Bernadine and Dina" as well as "I'm Fine and I'm Happy."

Dina was awesome as always and had an awesome play about her namesake and her journey to discover more about a girl she never was able to meet. It was told wonderfully as only Dina can. She rocks!

I'm Fine and I'm Happy was an interesting look at discovering what happens when it's discovered that someone is seeing other people. There were amusing memories that reminded me of dealings with a certain someone. If only my story was as amusing as the one in the play. Oh well. My favorite line "How many others can there be!" :)

So that was a fun night! I'm off to Printer's Row tomorrow morning! Should be a fun afternoon of books and readings.