Wednesday, August 30, 2006

busy busy week

It's been a crazy busy week at work, but things are starting to wind down which is nice. I finally had some time today to finish final edits on a paper for a ubicomp workshop I'm attending next month. And I still have a month to get some CHI submissions together. Writing conference papers is totally the most enjoyable part of my job! :) I just totally love it!!

If anyone wants to do anything fun this weekend, let me know! Honestly it'll just be nice to sleep in, so nothing too early!


Sunday, August 27, 2006


Is google trying to tell us something about what they're doing with all our data??? Here's their quote of the day from the personalized google home page:

If you trust Google more than your doctor than maybe it's time to switch doctors.
- Jadelr and Cristina Cordova


15 miles...

Not much new here this weekend. More trips to Street Fest yesterday where I got some lunch and then met up with my parents there for dinner. It was good to see them. I've been so busy these past few weeks so I haven't seen them in a while.

Today was a big 15 mile run! I took the 11:25 train downtown and walked over to randolph and the lakefront path as a warmup. Then I started the 15 miles. All went really well. I really love the lakefront path and all of the water fountains every mile or less. I miss that on the trails out in the suburbs. I think I'll have to do my remaining three really long runs (a 16, 18, and a 20) on the lakefront path as well. I made it all the way up to Hollywood and then back down to Oak St beach where I got a gatorade and waded into the water up past my knees as a little ice bath like thing. The only problem was the 3ish foot waves. Oh well...I was hot, so they felt good :)

16 miles next weekend...


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Palatine Street Fest

Palatine Street Fest
Originally uploaded by bentley79.
After a very long week at work, it was great to get out with some friends tonight to see Mike and Joe play at Palatine's Street Fest. For those not familiar with Mike and Joe, they're a cover band in the midwest that plays just about everything...Counting Crows, OAR, Beatles, Dave Matthews, John Mayer, 80s stuff. And they play it all really well too!

I was pretty impressed with the crowd that showed up and as always, Mike and Joe put on a great show! You should all check them out when they play at Cubbie Bear or Nellies!


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Lake Arlington...

Tonight I went running at Lake Arlington, the lake I used to run (and rollerblade and bike) at in high school and when I was home during the summers in college. It was fun to go back and run a familiar path. It was also fun to see all of the people there training for the marathon and running their 7 mile Higdon training for the day! There had to be at least 5 or 6 people doing it. Two of them were exactly out of phase with me and running the same pace. After three laps (1.85 miles/lap) they yelled over to me "Marathon??" and I was like "Yep!" How fun!

And the 7.4 miles that I ran today just flew by. I totally love my new shoes :)

Totally unrelated, but if you ever go to Karyn's Cooked on Wells, be sure to get the banana cake there for dessert! I was there last night and man it was good! Hopefully more veggie restaurant fun-ness in the future with the person I had dinner with last night :)


Sunday, August 20, 2006


Well, I ran more than 20 miles last week, so it looks like all is good with my foot again which is good news! I honestly think that the whole point of the run hit remix is for nike to show you how awesome their dri-fit shirts are. I just ran in mine today, 10 miles in 78 degree weather, sun shining down, and it wasn't even the slightest bit moist when I was done. Crazy. Looks like I might be heading down to nike town or fleet feet for some new shirts sometime soon :) Does anyone know if nike has improved its working conditions at all? I wasn't buying anything from them for a while...

Otherwise, the weekend has been nice and relaxing. I really haven't done much which has been so nice for a change! A little more cleaning and some reading for work will wrap up the weekend.


Friday, August 18, 2006

Run Hit Remix!

The skyline
Originally uploaded by scrapplequeen.
Last night was the Nike Run Hit Remix: the 90's race. It was such a great time! I showed up to Grant Park a little bit early for some pre-race clif bars, jamba juice, trying out the nike+ shoes and ipod thing, and just walking around a bit to get warmed up.

Around 8:30pm or so, all 10,000 runners headed up to Columbus drive to line up. It was very well organized! As you walked up to the street you got a mini bottle of Propel and all along the street were signs for the pacing that you wanted. I camped out just in front of the 9 minute group thinking that sounded like a good pace for a Thursday night fun run :) The whole time they have a DJ playing 90s music. It was just like I had brought my iPod with me :)

Right at 9pm, the race started! It was a good course out and back to 31st st via lake shore drive and the lakefront on the way back. We got to run past soldier field, mccormick place, the aquarium, the field museum, and back in to grant park. And every mile there was another 90s group playing. We were entertained by Digital Underground, Young MC, a local U2 Cover Band, and another local generic 90s cover band. Lots of great music to keep you going!

The running itself went well, and I'm glad to report that no heel pain returned. I was keeping up a slightly sub-9 pace for the first three miles or so but then took a quick water break and fought off a little cramp and lost a few seconds in the last two miles. All in all, I finished with a respectable 46:03 which wasn't bad for taking the past week and a half off of running :)

After the race, there was more Jamba, more Clif bars, free Goose Island Beer (nike doesn't skimp on the beer, only the best for them!), and a concert by De La Soul. I stuck around until about quarter to 11 and then walked back to the train. All in all a very fun night and something I must repeat again next year!

Oh, and thanks to Random Flickr User for the great picture of the skyline from last night with "RUN!" written out on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Building!!


Thursday, August 17, 2006


I now know more about the HTTP protocol than I ever wanted to :) If you ever need to implement an HTTP 1.0 compatible client on top of sockets, this page turns the HUGE RFC into something more manageable.


Monday, August 14, 2006


I've been doing a lot of coding this past week, which is actually been a pretty rare activity in my job these past few years. It's nice to get coding again on a large-ish project and really get into it. As I code more and more again I keep thinking of Hackers and Painters and the art of making something out of nothing. Just like building something physical, after a few hours of work you can really see progress and see something that exists and is working. And making things is always fun :)

This project is fun for many reasons. Hopefully you can all see (and use) the results soon! :)


Saturday, August 12, 2006

a pause in the running...

So as many of you know, I hurt my heel last week. Lots of stupid things put together added up to a painful experience. My shoes were approaching end of life and ran on them anyways, I added 15% to the mileage and swapped two weeks of the training because I knew the next weekend would be busy with a friend in town, and I ran a little faster than normal because it was getting hot outside and I wanted to finish before it got *really* hot.

In the end, it hurt, and hurt badly. I saw the doctor yesterday and he labeled it a "contusion" although he wouldn't rule out the slight possiblity that it was the start of a stress fracture even though he couldn't see anything on the x-rays. In any case, I took the week off of running and probably need another two weeks off. So sadly, no CDC for me this weekend :( But I think I'm going to use that free 1 month bally's membership that came with Race to the Taste and get in some pool running these next two weeks combined with some good bike time.



So I've started a fairly regular routine of working downtown on thursdays. Motorola opened up this new office down there that anyone can sign up and work at whenever they want to. It's in an awesome location, right on Michigan Ave. by the river and super convenient to everything. And by taking the express train, it's under an hour door to door for me which works out nicely!

One of the best parts of working downtown is lunch. This week we all had lunch with a bunch of folks from Accenture labs including my friend Mary. It's just so nice to see other non-motorolans during the work day and get a break and be reminded of the real world that we live in. And then being right downtown when work is over is excellent. It's been great to see old friends or head to an MIT alum event and not have to leave work until 6pm.

I feel I'm more productive down there as well. Totally less distractions and I can just focus on getting work done (while having millenium park to look at when I do need a break!). We've had a good number of people from our lab come regularly now, like 4 out of 12!

Hopefully the thursdays will continue for a while! And if you work downtown and want to get lunch or a drink after work, let me know!!


Thursday, August 10, 2006

I love the new york times...

From a story on the liquid ban on flights...

"The first tool is big plastic garbage bags, which screeners were using to accept containers of shampoo, hand lotion and beverages that the Transportation Security Administration said were being "voluntarily surrendered" by people who packed their bags on Wednesday night, when those items were considered innocuous, and arrived at security checkpoints this morning, when they were considered "threat items."


Monday, August 07, 2006

fun in chicago!

Yesterday was a day of fun with my friend carol! Up until a few weeks ago when I hung out with her in DC, I hadn't seen her since graduation, and now I get to see her twice in a month! So much fun! It was a fun-filled day starting with a walk through millenium park and a trip to the bean. That was followed by a walk through the loop and a trip up to an MIT BBQ in lincoln park on the top of a 44 story building right on the lake! Lots of fun hanging out with a bunch of alums and current students for a while. Next on the agenda was a trip to Fleet Feet for a shoe fitting. My old shoes were on their last mile, and I actually have a little bit of heel pain right now so I really need some new shoes. I got one with a little more cusioning and a little less stability control since it turns out I didn't need a shoe as constraining as the one I was using. Hopefully this will make things feel better :) Fleet Feet is an awesome place. They have this whole system where they put all these different shoes on you and then watch your run outside on the sidewalk and help you pick the best one that keeps your legs doing what they're supposed to be doing. So yay for much lighter shoes now and hopefully a cushier ride :)

I really wanted to go to Karyn's Cooked for dinner, but as I always forget, it's not open on Sunday evenings. That's very annoying since that's usually when I'm downtown. Anyway, after a wonderful dinner at India House, we took one of the sunset boat tours out on the lake. It was a ton of fun and just a perfect evening. It was great that Carol got to see the city on such a good day!

Getting back to Palatine was quite the adventure though. Since Lollapalloza (the super huge gigantic concert downtown) was going on, there were about 100,000 people who all wanted to get on the train back home. People were turned away from the first train as it was quite overfull with people standing everywhere. I made it on the later train though, but it seemed like people might have been turned away from that one as well, since the people waiting basically filled the entire area around about 10 tracks in the station before they let us on. Craziness! But I made it home!

All in all a crazy weekend with adventures in nyc and chicago! Now I just need to catch up on my sleep this week so I can survive the 1/2 marathon this weekend! Let's hope my heel is feeling up to it!



This weekend I had an excellent trip to nyc to hang out with some high school friends and attend Deborah's wedding in NJ. After an early morning flight to newark with my friend elizabeth, we set off on the train into nyc. Of course, our first stop was the apple store on 5th ave! It was very cool...this big glass cube sticking out in this plaza right on 5th ave with this spiral glass staircase and a gigantic glass elevator in the middle. The whole store is buried underground underneath the plaza. Very very cool inside.

After the apple store, we hung out at a nearby irish pub over some yuengling and a veggie burger. I love new york :) A quick trip to Moo Shoes and a lovely open faced seitan sandwich with mushroom gravy at Angelica Kitchen ended the evening and I headed back out to NJ and met up with my high school friend Irvin at the hotel and caught up in the lobby while the wedding party was playing networked computer games on the hotel's wifi network. :)

The wedding Saturday was fun and the reception was very east coast. :) A brass band playing the whole time over a many course lunch with this crazy appetizer hour before hand with like 10 different stations of people cooking up all sorts of goodies, many of which were vegan. It turns out that a friend of stacie's was at the wedding as well, which is sort of odd since deborah was a friend of mine from high school. Such a small world we live in!

Saturday night I was back off to Chicago so I could hang out with my MIT friend carol on sunday!



So last thursday I had an excellent date down in Chinatown. A wonderful dinner at Penang where everything from architecture to computer science to math to baseball to running were discussed with great excitement over some mango tofu :) Follow that up with dessert from one of the bakeries down there and all made for a wonderful night :)

Of course, such fun could never be followed by any good news as it appears that after all that, she's no longer interested. Such is my life.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

things to blog about...

Coming soon...

Thursday night dinner in chinatown!
Manhattan - apple store, yuengling, veggie food
Deborah's wedding


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

he said what?????

You can say what you like about the cubbies and their 44-62 record, but don't go saying things about Ron....

From Paul Lukas of ESPN: "I know we're all supposed to feel sorry for Santo, what with the diabetes and the amputations (insert pants/stirrups joke here), along with the Hall of Fame snub. But seriously, is there a bigger embarrassment on the airwaves than this guy? Has there ever been? Can't even imagine what it must be like to have to listen to this hokum on a daily basis."

Yikes. Ron rocks and he's amazing for having been through all he has and still climbing the stairs to the press box every day and sticking with his one true passion, the cubbies. Follow the instructions here to let Paul know how you feel!