Tuesday, August 30, 2005


The fact that I am teaching becomes a reality when there is a website. Of course, this is a very plain website. I figured it would suffice for what I need. I think this is one of the plainest website I have done in the longest time.

Anyway, don't laugh at it. OK, don't laugh to hard that you fall out of your chair or anything ;-)

Assorted Rambles...

"A distributed system is one in which the failure of a computer you didn't even know existed can render your own computer unusable." - Leslie Lamport

Here are some links you just might enjoy, but you don't have to take my word for it:

"Five reasons NOT to use Linux"

"Unique Polymer Coating - Made of Silica Nanoparticles Eliminates Fogging"

The internet has a little bit of everything and I mean that in the most sarcastic way.

"Kangaroo stays a jump ahead in Germany"

Monday, August 29, 2005

I'm Here...Well Maybe

I just wanted to thank everyone who sent me emails and best wishes regarding grad school. I will email you back as soon as things calm down. In the last week the following events have occured:
1. I got accepted into Western Michigan's PhD program
2. I find out that I am joint teaching a class (CS 1060 introduction to Visual Basic)
3. I find out that CS 1060 has 60 students and I am doing the lectures
4. I find in two days
5. I move into new apartment (and hope to finish unpacking soon)
6. I wrote my class syllabus, figured out my lecture schedule, and did a ppt presentation for first lecture
7. Realized my new apartment is nearly twice the size of my old apartment
8. Registered for classes
9. Had the admission department of new school ask me to send transcript from a university I never attended

OK, so I could make the list longer - but I won't. Anyway, be nicer to your professors. Do you know how much work they had to go through to prepare material for your classes? Of course, be even nicer to your graduate student instructors who had to but in all that effort and start their own classes.

Well, I have to get going. Lots of stuff I still need to do before the day is over. Hopefully, when I get internet for my apartment I can post regularly - or more often.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Complete Duckiness

"Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land" - Josh Lyman (The West Wing)

Monday was a great day! Why? I got accepted into a PhD program! I am starting at Western Michigan University next Monday. Of course, this Thursday I am going to orientation and apartment hunting. I am really excited about the whole thing. They are going to let me go ahead a start this semester even though I haven't completely finished my master's degree (but that is only 1 credit hour). Oh and I got an assistantship as well with the CS department (so close to free tuition). Could it get any better than that? I think not.

A couple of links, totally unrelated:
Google Desktop 2, an upgrade of Google Desktop Search, came out

"New Radar System Developed To Monitor Space Weather"

Well, I better get back to working on my project. Rough draft of the paper is completed. I have a little bit of data I need to run and see what that does, but I am seriously getting closer to being done. More duckiness. Happy Tuesday everyone! Thanks for reading my blog!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Sunday News Bulletin

"The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant. This also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change." - FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers

Happy weekend! Of course, I feel bad for all of you who start school on Monday/Tuesday. OK, let me be honest - I don't feel that bad ;-) Sorry. Of course, I might be around later in the week to drop off a rough draft of my paper (yep, still working on it - mostly because I am obsessive and insane). However, it is really wacky not taking classes. I sort of miss it actually. (Again, yes I am insane). I like taking new things and having new problems to work on. OK, so I think I will stop rambling about it before you all get mad at me for enjoying grad school. Here are the links I know you really came for:

"Spacewalkers Retrieve Radiation Monitor"

"Fine Fabric: New, fast way to make sheets of nanotubes"

Watch out for the squirrel because "the claws are very sharp"

I wanted to point of out this article specifically: "US women still face bias in science-report". I understand this is a problem - heck I was in engineering. The only problem I have with their suggestions - I have to hear "you are only in this area because you are female" comments. These comments arise because there are special "conscious efforts to recruit women" and then you are right back were you started. I don't know the solution. Actually, I am beginning to think there is no solution other then the passage of time. One day there will not be a need for these kinds of programs. Until then, women need to go into these fields and stay in these fields. Never give in - because that's how the "other people" win.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The Short Blog Strikes Back

"Sorry, I was - door was a little sticky. Did you see that? I'll get one of my boys up here with a can of WD-40." - Fred Kwan (Galaxy Quest)

Here is the sad sad truth: I have spent the last week or so working on my project. I spent the break inbetween semesters to work on my project of all things.

Here is the really good news: My presentation slides are 96% done. I have a rough draft of my paper. My paper is about twice as long as it needs to be. See I have 10 pages single spaced and the minimum is 10 pages double spaced. Of course, I view this as a very good thing. Anyway, I am excited. I can see a glowing light at the end of the tunnel...or maybe that is some weird sci-fi thing. Either way, the point is I am getting closer to being done! Ducky.

On a complete side note - you know at least a couple people visit your blog when you start getting "spam" comments.

Anyway, here are some links for you to take a look over:

Who Wants to Be a Scripting Guy? - my favorite quote from this page: "Trust us: the folks here at Microsoft wish you – or just about anybody else – had our jobs, too". Anyway, have fun.

"Viking ship built with 15 million ice cream sticks"

"Lions stalk little Smart cars in English big game park"

Have a fun weekend! See some of you in the up coming week when your back a school. (Insert evil laugh here).

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Face Down by Kate Todd Band

"Face Down" by Kate Todd Band is available via iTunes for free this week. I have a new song to listen to over and over again while working on my project. Anyway, it's a good song. No, I take that back it's a great song. Go listen to it on their site.

What are you still doing here? Go forth, listen to the song, and be merry ;-) And I will go back to working on my project presentation and paper... I need chocolate first. Yes, chocolate sounds really good right now or maybe one of those strawberry frozen fruit bars.

Monday, August 15, 2005

10 Ways to Know...

10 Ways to Know You are Working to Hard on Your Project

1. Any time some asks "How are you?" You give them the status of your project

2. Your "To-Do-After-My-Project-Is-Done" List has more than 10 items on it

3. You have a "To-Do-After-My-Project-Is-Done" List

4. Some piece of computer equipment vital to your project has decided not to work anymore

5. Printing off papers, slides, and collected data has caused you to change the ink cartridge in your printer (possibly more than once)

6. You have started to consider take-out pizza and candy bars as "finer dining"

7. You cut your caffine in-take in half back in May - but you are now back to your original amount

8. You leave to go to lunch with your parents on Sunday you realize it is the first time you have been out of the house in at least 48 hours

9. You consider more than 4.5 hours of sleep a really good night

10. You write a list of "10 Ways to Know You are Working to Hard on Your Project" and think it is funny

Nope, not done with my project yet. Thought of this list on my drive up to BG. Wrote the list waiting to meet with my project advisor. Back to my 10 page (minimum) paper.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Today's Blog? All Wacky New

I fixed the link from yesterday's blog. (Thanks Ken for pointing it out).

Today's blog will be about wacky and funny news stories. Why? I have no idea. I guess it just seemed like a good idea. Plus, I have to get back to working on my presenation and paper for my project. I just keep repeating to myself - "two more weeks, two more weeks". I am sure it will take me four weeks to actually get done, but I am trying to optimistic. So if you don't see many blog updates or have a difficult time getting a hold of me you know why. It would be a good guess that I have gone completely round the bend. I know I was already pretty far around...

Anyway were are some links you might find funny:
Is it really hacking if the school tapes the password to the back of the computer? You can also read about it here. Favorite part: "The administrative password that allowed students to reconfigure computers and obtain unrestricted internet access was easy to obtain. A shortened version of the school's street address, the password was taped to the backs of the computers".

Just a suggestion: Never try to steal cars on live TV unless you want to get arrested.

I guess he didn't see this coming.

Live near cows? Watch out! It could be dangerous.

Mice that surf.

It seems it just wasn't these criminal's day either.

"Police chase goat off beach". Maybe they wanted to learn how to surf?

You can also read all about the Second Annual Dress the Chicken Contest. It was a real crowd pleaser - it "drew an amused crowd of about 40 people beneath the beer tent".

Friday, August 12, 2005

"Mac Hacks Allow OS X on PCs"

OK, it's offical I have been working to much on my project! Someone had to point out this little news item to me. Just the thought of Mac OS X running on a PC is amazing.

Return of the Really Short Blog

"End, begin, all the same. Big change. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad." - Aughra (The Dark Crystal)

In the rare event I get to read I have started Sophie Kinsella's new book The Undomestic Goddess. So far it is really funny. To bad I don't have time to read more.

Here is a funny comic I thought you might enjoy.

Interesting news indeed - maybe I just might buy an Xbox after all ;-)

Alright, well I better get back to data collecting for my project since I want to watch Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Battlestar this evening. Hope you have a happy weekened. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Blog Gone Crazy

Edit: OK, so I started this blog and never finished/posted it. Opps. Well, better later than never.

Hello Again! I am being lazy. Well, I am being lazy about my blog. I have been spending a lot of time working on my project. Yes, my first week off from classes and I am actually doing work. What can I say? I am just a little bit wacky. OK, OK, I am a lot wacky. However, I want to get this project finished up! I want it to be done! So I have spent the last days running data, working on my slides, running more data, researching temporal difference (reinforcement learning), and running even more data. I have made so many print outs that I had to change the ink cartridge in my printer!

Anyway, here are some links:
"As Yoda might put it, 'Really a 'Star Wars' geek is he.'"

People will research anything won't they?

Monday, August 8, 2005

Can Monday's really be happy?

"At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place. But believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may in fact, be the first steps of a journey." - Violet Baudelaire (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Happy Monday! Can Monday's really be happy? Yes they can! Especially, when you realize you are done with taking classes (for my masters) and you just have to finish your project. I am collecting more data, working on my slides, and all that jazz. On a complete side note: Yes Chad I did watch Stargate SG-1, Atlantis, and Battlestar on Friday. I thought they were pretty good.

Spend the weekend moving back to Michigan (from Ohio). It only took 2 mini-van loads (excluding all the stuff I brought back earlier in the summer). I figured that wasn't too bad. I still have food (rice, pasta, etc) that I purchased with the remainer of food money from living in the dorms more than a year ago. How sad is that? Actually, do you think they make you buy too large of a meal plan? (Yes, I got the smallest one they offered).

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Here are some links you might enjoy:

I was going to buy an Xbox, but now I am not sure. OK, so most likely I will still buy an Xbox but it isn't going to be nearly as exciting.

Guide for buying an inkjet printer (cough, cough).

"Schrodinger's cash" - interesting, most interesting read.

Really ducky: "Robot catcher grabs high speed projectiles"

"Tandem Ions May Lead the Way to Better Atomic Clocks"

I thought this was an interesting little article (by cnet.com): "Top 10 tech we miss"

By the way, according to this article, "Quantum information can be negative". "The discovery, that quantum knowledge can be negative was made by three researchers, Drs Michal Horodecki, Jonathan Oppenheim and Andreas Winter, of the Universities of Gdansk, Cambridge and Bristol." Wow.

Friday, August 5, 2005

Motorola Razrwire

Today I saw this (Motorola Razrwire) featured in the New York Times article "Hands-Free Calls and Music. Great. But What's That on Your Shades?"

So what is it you ask? It's "a small Bluetooth headset attached to a pair of Oakley sunglasses". This allows you to "connect wirelessly to Bluetooth-enabled phones and music players". So what do you get for $250? "6 hours of talk time and 100 hours of standby". Ducky.

Of course, I am not going to get one or anything. I don't use the phone while driving and hardly ever while outdoors, but the concept is pretty cool. I just don't have that kind f need (and hope I never do). This is one of those "saw it, don't want to buy it, but felt I needed to blog about it" type things.

Happy Friday! (I am done with summer classes!!!) By the way, I have rescheduled my presentation - Friday, October 14, 2005, 3:30 PM Hayes 111. Well, that is the current plan anyway.

Thursday, August 4, 2005


"...the law of large numbers says we gotta win one one of these days, right? Let's make it a good one" - Josh Lyman (The West Wing)

As of today, I have finished up the class work for my masters in computer science. Wow. It's so cool and yet a little wacky feeling. I still have to complete my project - but I have taken all the classes I need to graduate. OK, I take that back - it's a very wacky feeling, but in a good way.

This got me thinking about a lot of things. I started my masters in January of 2004 and now I am getting so close to the end. Maybe that is what got me thinking in the first place. I am also busy getting my stuff ready to move back home. I think my personal belongings expanded while I was living at school. Seriously, I don't remember having this much stuff :-) I have been taking home stuff I didn't need since summer began, but there is still a lot of stuff here. Tomorrow I plan on working to getting the rest of it home. Today I am packing a little, working on my slides for my project, and just relaxing. It has been a very busy 6 weeks, but I am pretty happy with it. (Of course, I am even happy that it is over).

But, I digress from my original point...oh wait I never had a point in the first place. OK, well here are some links I have been meaning to post and just hadn't gotten to yet. Also, a few I saw while looking for these. Hope you enjoy!

Apple Related News:
Microsoft Related News:
Other Stuff:

Chad sent me these links the other day and I thought I would share them with you (thanks Chad):
If you are grad student friends of mine then enjoy your 2 weeks between semesters else hope you are having a nice day!*

*OK, that was just sad. I have been doing way to much programming recently!

Oh Look, an Actual Blog...

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss (The Lorax)

I finally got around to actually writing a whole blog! OK, so I have my final today so I sort of put blogging on a back burner for this week. Anyway, I have finished the take home portion of this exam and figured I had a little time to throw a couple links up. Hope you enjoy:

A good read for any computer programmer

"The Eyes Of The Space Shuttle"

Anything that supports the idea of eating chocolate is healthy has my support.

"Masked robbers stole three worthless copies of pictures".

iTunes goes to Japan

This comic is very funny and so is this one.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

"Bad Day" by Daniel Powter

Bad Day by Daniel Powter is the free song being offered by iTunes this week. Excellent song! You can watch the video here if you are interested. This is one of those songs I will listen to over and over again.

Monday, August 1, 2005

Hair Ball Theorem

Nope, not kidding on this one.

You can amuse yourself with that until I have a chance to write up a real post. (Hopefully tomorrow, but no promises)