Thursday, August 31, 2006


If you don't care about computers, you can shut your eyes for this entry.

I already had a lot of respect for the programming languages people here at CMU before they created this year's programming contest for the International Conference on Functional Programming. But this contest really put their cleverness in a whole new light. It had a neat back story, and clever problems that were actually fun to solve. I didn't actually compete, but did take the time to work on some of the problems on my own time. For all that, they were rewarded with the greatest recognition a computer scientist can receive: an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The article is a kind of neat look at a pretty obscure topic from a layman's point of view. Worth reading if only because "Yeah I go to school with those guys!!1!"

Going Back, Back, Back to School

This is a little late for my first posting of the new semester, but I do feel it necessary to celebrate the new school year blog style. A few notes:

  • Today was my first advisor meeting of the semester. It went relatively well.

  • I am trying to fool my body into thinking that the semester hasn't started yet by going out every night of the week, and by going on a camping trip this weekend.

  • Likewise, I have been watching TV at night, something I did during the summer but never before during the school year.

  • I have a new office mate.

  • Taffy is delicious.

In other news, I watched the 40-year-old Virgin again this week (I finally bought it). Last night I was stumbling around wikipedia and I discovered that there is actually a name for the whole Will Ferell/Vince Vaughn/Ben Stiller comedy cabal. They are known as the 'Frat Pack.'

For my NOLA friends...

I was doing some heavy thinking today, and I came to the following conclusion:

The sixteen ounce Mardi Gras cup is man's single greatest achievement in the past five years.

(For those of you who have never been to Mardi Gras, this will make more sense if you know that Mardi Gras cups have traditionally been twelve ounces. Also, Mardi Gras cups are plastic cups thrown from floats in Mardi Gras parades. You can stock your entire apartment with them, as I have, and you can even put them in the dishwasher, as I do.)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

9th Ward

Today I went to the 9th Ward, which is on the eastern edge of downtown and the French Quarter. It was roughed up a whole bunch during the hurricane, and while I had already visited Lakefront (another storm-ravaged part of town) in December, I never actually went to see the 9th ward. Later on, I'll put up some more pictures on my site, but here was one that I took with my mom's camera.
A messed-up car in the 9th Ward.

There were lots of overturned cars, and ruined houses still. We saw a bunch of construction crews there, and they seem to be taking away a bunch of refuse, but the rebuilding in that part of town is proceeding slowly. (This is just as far as I can tell, and not based on any other evidence.) Things are much better in other parts of town though.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Somewhere in Alabama...

Your mom is in my top 8.

We can attribute this to the "myspace-ification" of our world.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Somewhere in Pittsburgh, PA...

For assistance push 3 inch help buttom.

Exactly how large is the help button again?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

LOL Out Loud

Somewhere in cyberspace:

  • Frank: dude what's going on in NOLA, USA?

  • Chester: oh the thigns

  • Chester: i'm working for cee-ray

  • Frank: yeah I heard about that

  • Frank: from you

  • Frank: how's the love action?

  • Chester: i'm dr loveless

  • Chester: i move around on steam-powered spider legs and i have no anus

  • Frank: hahahahah

  • Frank: hahahahaha

  • Frank: hahahahah

  • Frank: hahahaha

  • Chester: hoho

Take that Mel

Man, am I the only person to notice the similarities between this week's "Tom the Dancing Bug" and today's "Wondermark?" Oh, what's that? You don't actually read comics? Well, too bad for you...

Anyway, I just got back from some carousing at Kelly's... time to go to bed.

Joy in Chicago

Well this isn't the best picture ever take of me. It's even worse because of the bootleg cellphone quality BUT I thought it nicely expresses the amount of fun that I had in Chicago... can't you see the joy in my eyes?

(Weird, I just noticed my camera takes pictures backwards when it's in self-portrait mode... Peep the text in the background if you can read it...)

Last Week of Work, Son

This is my last week of work at the summer internship. I've had a good time working there this summer, but this last week I am really trying to get a whole bunch of last minute stuff done before Friday. I did a lot this summer, but it never seems like enough, and I feel a tiny bit stressed at the moment.

Friday, immediately after work I am leaving to go back to New Orleans for one week before the semester begins. I'm driving, which is absolutely rediculous for one week of vacation, but there's a bunch of stuff I have at my parent's house that I want to bring back. If you feel like I haven't been hanging out much in the past few weekends, it's because I've been out of town or busy or something, and most likely you may not see me for another week! Boo... that's unless of course you are in New Orleans, in which case, "Do you want to get some roast beef po-boys?"

Monday, August 14, 2006

Pictures from Chicago

I posted a few pictures from Chicago on my web site, for any person or persons who wish to check them out.

It was good, seriously. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. Hanging out with Amy, her friends and Kevin in Wicker Park and in Logan Square. Drinking and attending some very underground-style bars. Okay, they weren't really super chic, or unknown or anything, but they were way better than the places we would have gone to.

  2. Museum of Science and Industry, because we are nerds and I love that kind of stuff.

  3. Walking around the Loop and the Magnificent Mile.

  4. Eating big fat manly steaks at Gene Georgetti, a dope steak restaurant.

Oh man, ask me and I'll tell you all about it. It was fun though, and I'm pretty sure I would want to go again. Let me know, anyone, if you're interested.


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Too Fast For Love

Sorry, there is precious little time to Blog, as I am in Chicago this weekend! Right now! As we type!

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Getting Awesome

Oh man!

Well Monday night my sis-McSister came to town. She was doing a little bit of the lawyerly type work, and was sent to Pittsburgh as part of that whole thing. Some welding-related lawsuits, which sounds like a lot of fun. Anyway, a bunch of the troops were nice enough to gather together and go out to the Harris Grill. This was like actual proof to my family that I actually have friends, or at least that I have five friends, because I always think they secretly think I don't, and just are too nice to say anything about it.

Last night was also fun because I was invited over to a dinner party. I was just meeting the guy whose apartment it was for the first time, but I was invited by some other friends, Emily mainly. He does work that's pretty similar to mine, and he went to CMU. But in addition to boring work stuff, he's got me beat by being a fashion/portrait photographer (a la here) and has a super modern, sparse, and all-around nice looking apartment. (The kind someone who was really in to art or design might have.) Anyway, he was a nice guy and we all had a nice time, methinks. It reminded me more than anything, though, that I MUST see the 40-year-old Virgin again...

Let us not forget, also, a little lunch-time meeting with Z. Turns out Z works right down the street and we had Golden Triangle sandwiches (sounds dirty doesn't it?) and talked about what it means to be young and awesome in Pittsburgh at this very moment in history. It was fun.

Tonight I went rock climbing (indoors only) with Jen. I invited some other people, including Kate, but they were all busy. (Kate was at the Pretenders... sounds like fun!)

And finally... nothing I guess I really want to get to bed on time, even early tonight. I am just realizing how precious little time I have left before my internship is over, and while have definitely done a lot of work, I am really just starting to get worried that I won't have finished enough...AH...

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Geeks and Freaks


I am currently engaged in a back-to-back-to-back viewing of Freaks and Geeks. Suzanne was nice enough loan me the whole box set. I knew it was good but I am just having a fantastic time wasting my Sunday afternoon, lying on the couch.

In other big news, my sister is coming tomorrow and she's going to be hanging out for at least one night. We'll probably go to one of those famous Pittsburgh bars (Kelly's? Dee's? Brillo Box? Can't decide, brain anuerism!) If you wanna come out, meet my sister, let me know! It's gonna be schweet.

Okay, but last night was awesome. More or less. It started off with a BBQ at my bosses house. Then when they went over to watch the movie (Ricky Bobby and whatnot) I went over to Marcus' for a going away BBQ. (I KNOW! Two B.B.Q.s in one D.A.Y.) Anywho, we were there for a while and even had a little bit of dress-up session, military styles. Before finally heading out. Firehouse. Gooski's. All in all a good time, but I have to admit I was in a weird. (One of those kinds of moods where no one really knows you're in a weird mood except that you're telling everyone you're in a weird mood...)

Doing okay, feeling alllllright!!!

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Office Space

I had always thought the movie Office Space (which I am watching right now, as sort of a way of getting back to my roots) was filmed somewhere in Texas. I guess I figured it was Dalas or something, just because I really didn't recognize anything. BUT, I finally decided to investigate, and I learned that it was in fact filmed in Austin, TX, which is even cooler. Mike Judge, the writer/director guy (see Beevis and Butthead) was born in Dalas, and so maybe that's why he wanted to film it in Texas. Also, there's a lot of software stuff going on in Austin, so I guess it makes a lot of sense. Anyway, check out this blog, to see a little bit more.

Some day, I'm may have to go on the Office Space tour...

Oh oh, I wanted to add, that I think/hope this is why there is so much Geto Boys music in the film. You see they are Houston's finest gangsta rappers, and by transitivity, also Texas'.

Doping is for Dope Fiends

Looks like we found out Floyd Landis really did do some bad stuff after all... but here's my favorite part of the whole ordeal. Here is a quote from the article:

"I have received a text message from Chatenay-Malabry lab that indicates the 'B' sample of Floyd Landis' urine confirms testosterone was taken in an exogenous way," Pierre Bordry, who heads the French anti-doping council, told The Associated Press shortly after the "B" sample results were released.

So basically what this means is that now text messages have become a means of official, history-changing communication. I, for one, say bring it on.This is even more true now that I finally signed up for a text message plan. After paying $25 over my regular bill two months in a row, I decided that, yes, I am addicted to text messaging, and I need to cop to it.