Let's Go, Red Sox

It but it was great watching the Red Sox kick the Yankees' ass on Wednesday night. It was a great game in a great, record making series. I wish I had seen more of the series than I did. I'm definately becoming more of a sports fan over time. Watching this Red Sox/Yankees ALCS series made me miss watching the games last year in Boston. I remember watching game 7 in the bar. Of course the Red Sox ended up losing and it was very disappointing.

Tonight I watched game 1 of the world series. This was another great game, a close game, high scoring, but with the Red Sox winning. I have a feeling that baseball will really mess up my schedule this week. I'm excited that I may get to see my team win the world series for the first time in almost a century.
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John Kerry on campus

Four years ago, before the last presidential election, Al Gore came and spoke on campus at CMU. I remember it well, because as a member of ABTech, I got to be a volunteer to help out with the event. Gore brought his own equipment and union crew, but we were still able to help setup up banners and other miscellaneous things. I got to go on the roof of Wean 7500, where few people ever get to go. Cooler was when the secret service told us to leave.

Today John Kerry came to campus for a speech. This time tech was not involved in any capacity. I still ended up going to the speech with some tech members. The line was ridiculous. We waited for hours and it wasn't fun. When we finally got in it was very hard to see. It was also hard to hear because the speakers they brought were too few and two small for the venue. ABTech could have honestly done better.

Bon Jovi was there to play a few songs. It really wasn't that great. I did enjoy hearing Kerry speak. Much more than Gore because I'm actually politically aware this time, and concerned about the election. Speaking of concerns, I supposedly registered to vote in PA, but I haven't received any confirmation or info about it yet. Anyways, I know that these types of speeches are really for undecideds watching on TV and not for those of us in attendance but I still enjoyed.
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This weekend the whole ETC went on a field trip. The main part of it was a "Cruise to Nowhere". It was a two day cruise with no stops, departing from and returning to Norfolk, VA. We also saw Gettysburgh, Noah at the Sight and Sound (religion) theater in Strasburg, PA, and Colonial Williamsburg.

At first I was a little upset about losing my weekend. As you can probably tell by my previous post, my first ETC all-nighter was this week. My weekends are my times to relax and catch up. It's what I look forward to that makes my weeks bearable.

The trip turned out to be a lot of fun though. The cruise was less boring that I thought it might be, and just hanging out with ETCer, chilling on the bus, and stuff was really fun. I got to play some shuffleboard. I played some blackjack and lost some money, I could have done without that.
Keywords:ETC | Travel
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May the force be with me

Today Anthony Daniels, the actor who plays C3PO in Star Wars, came to visit the ETC. He had just been inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame. As cool as it was to meet him, the exciting part of the day was only leading up to that.

Yesterday I got CCed on an email from Steve to Dave giving him some old lightsaber demo files. I was clearly coming in in the middle of something that I didn't understand. I wasn't sure why Dave wanted the lightsaber demo, but I volunteered that I had the latest copy since I was the last to update it. I also boasted that I could probably rewrite the code in Panda in 3 hours now that I had an Alice to Panda model converter. Only then did I find out that they wanted the demo to show C3PO today. So I got stuck with the job of either rewriting it in Panda or at least making sure the Alice one would run.

I chose the tougher path. Before I could start, I had lot of BVW stuff I needed to do to get ready for the next day. At 2am I started working on the lightsaber. Converting the models ended up taking me 3 1/2 hours. I thought it would be quick but because the demo was in an old version of Alice, I had a few problems. First was fixing it just to run in the old version. Then I had to solve a problem with a function I was calling being wrong in the old version. Finally, I had to handle scaled models which I hadn't had to do before. Writing the code in Panda was really easy and fun. It was very quick, 6 hours plus 1 for tweaking. I finished just in time for our visitor. Randy and others in the ETC seemed really appreciative and impressed by this task in this time. "Miracle-worker" was a term I heard used to describe me. I love stuff like this.

As far as the demo itself, Anthony Daniels liked it. It was really cool seeing him turn to the R2D2 model and talk to him like C3PO. After playing the game he told us some stories about filming that scene and other things about Star Wars. It was a great day.
Keywords:ETC | Busyness
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Things have been good for friendship lately. Yes, Team Illegal did win the scavenger hunt. It was really awesome. And speaking of driving around crazy style, tonight was interesting. A Denny's run. I haven't done that in a while and it was pretty good. On the way home the other car claimed they would beat us home. Racing is a little scary and stupid. The fun part was driving around an intersection that the other car was stopped, even though they eventually caught us.

Puzzle Royale, like the previous Puzzlestorm, only this one is between three schools, us, University of Toronto, and University of Michigan. Team Simon is reformed. This year it is Linda, Dave, and Dan replaces Joe. We came so close last year, this year we're going to kick ass.

There's already a pretty good puzzle story related to it. We were told by someone at MS (sponsoring it) that if you put a space before your team name you'd sort first on the team list page, even though spaces don't show up in HTML. So I did. There was still one above us who must have realized it too. I added a few more. They edited their name and moved up, I countered, and then they added a lot more. I didn't think this brute force deadlock was fun, so I decided to be puzzly and find a tricky way to beat the. By copy and paste I was able to insert a newline (enter/return) which is a lower ascii character than space. Best part is that even if they go to our edit page, that symbol won't even show up in an input field like a space will. They'd have to view source and notice that there's a line break in the code at the beginning of our name. Even if they do, I know about a few lower characters that can be inserted. ;-)

I feel I should mention the spontaneous lunch date I had last weekend. It was pretty cool. Glad to finally meet her. It won't work out, because of my curse of course, but anyway.
Keywords:Friends | Puzzles
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Scavenger Hunt

URL: http://sparkyb.net/pictures/gallery/2004-2005/AEPi/Scavenger Hunt/
Today I participated in an AEPi scavenger hunt. We split into teams and given a list of thirty clues to places. We had to figure out where the clues refered to and go there and take a picture of our group there. My team was Team Illegal, Avi, Mike Gross, Dave Mason, Bryan Arsham, and me. I think we probably won. The score hasn't been tallied yet but we got all the answers and all but two pictures. If we had done a little research before we went out we could have even gotten those two and we would have finished in less time (we went very near both but spent a while looking for them and didn't find them). It was a lot of fun. You should check out our Pictures.
Keywords:AEPi | Pittsburgh
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Dreams and Projects

The weirdest thing happened to me this morning. At work my project group, Animateering, wants to do a specific thing with the 3D engine we're using. I know what to do in the code but we can't figure out how to export the model from the modeling package correctly for it. I know that Jesse did this at Disney so I planned to ask him. This morning I had a dream that I was at work and that he told me how to do it. This wasn't the first time I had a dream that I solved a problem I've been having, but it was the first time that the solution still made sense when I woke up. It probably wasn't how they actually did it at Disney but I think it will probably work.

A little update on the things in the last entry. I ran all this week. I haven't missed one day (that I intended to run) since I've started! And I've been getting faster every day. I'm down to 30:10, only slightly slower than 7:30 pace. That's very good for after only 2 weeks. Juggling is going really well. I'm starting to juggle continuously now. I didn't go to Jeopardy because it was only for undergrads. :-(

The last project I want to mention is one my roommate is working on for the house. My roommate bought our house from the landlord. The carpets are fairly gross and he was thinking about replacing them. We discovered that there is hardwood floors below so we converted the dining room tonight. It still needs work, sanding and finishing, but it still looks better than before.
Keywords:Dreams | Animateering | Projects
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Thought Repository » October 2004