weekend, pictures, etc.

Ah…some good Dave Matthews Band in the morning really mellows me out. Good stuff!

Had a good weekend – got stuff done that I had been putting off for the past two weeks (while working on Robolab), caught up on sleep some, played some games, went out to dinner and watched a movie. The latter two were with wildrice13, amorphousplasma, and skip_conrad – we went out to Zorba’s and watched Amelie, which I hadn’t seen. Very cute movie, although I had some difficulties because I first couldn’t get comfortable, and then when I did get comfortable, I was afraid I was gonna fall asleep 🙂 But it was good, we played some smash and then I went home exhausted. Felt much better on Sunday – slept in a bit (went to late mass), and we put new sheets on the bed which are softer, which makes it a lot more comfortable. Neat!

One of the things I did was put up pictures from Beer Bike. For reference, I used this tutorial to remove red-eye from a few pictures.

I have a new idea at work that I’m fairly positive about…hopefully I can figure out today whether it’s worth pursuing or not.

Have a nice day, all! Peace out.

successish! done!

Robolab went well! We played two rounds, and your best score was counted. After the first round we had 262 points, which was first place! (and only 8 points lower than our best trial run). During the second round another team scored a very very good 335 points, which we knew we weren’t gonna beat (and didn’t), so we ended up in second. Happy it went well, happy it’s over.

The hour is near…

robolab approaches! I’m down here doing some tweaking, then one more session, then the competition at 6. I’m trying not to be too stressed about it, but I’ve so tired (and work hasn’t been going well) that everything is a huge freaking deal. I had better be over this soon, because it’s really wearing on me.

Blah. Anyway, the robot just climbed the stairs well, so I’m happy for now! Onward…

today. Also, last night.

First things first. West Wing was good!
So, good episode…really the last few episodes were good. I’m glad Santos won, and the addition of Baker was a nice surprise. As for the big surprise (Leo for VP), at first it made sense, but now…I dunno. I mean, he doesn’t add anything electorally (chief of staff is not an impressive position, electorally), and his health problems would raise serious red flags for me. The real race should be interesting, especially since they’re really setting both candidates up as “good guys”.

Props for Jonathan – he noted at the beginning of the episode that of all the primary candidates, we’ve only seen Santos’s wife.

So, still tired and stuff. Robolab went well tonight – there were some minor snags, but I think things will go well tomorrow. Today and tomorrow is a technical conference, so I was in sessions all day, which was kinda neat, but meant I was at work for 14 hours, and doing actual work for none of it. Which was weird!

Hmm. I’m out of things to say I guess. Hopefully things will go well tomorrow, and I will be able to relax some. Not that I should be stressed about this. But I have some new ideas to try at work, so hopefully that will help.

Happy Birthday, onefishclappin! Some people (including wildrice13 and onefishclappin) are over talking and stuff, but I need to go to bed – bright and early tomorrow! *sigh*

robolab randomness!

So robolab stuff went pretty well last night – we did another task and then did a few runthroughs. Not that the runthroughs went particularly well (I’m the “commander”, which means I decide which tasks to try again, skip, etc…and I was just too tired to do a good job. More practice, which will come Thursday, should help), but we’re in pretty good shape. Go us! (we don’t have a team name yet)

I’m tired still. I’m having two cokes a day just to stay afloat. Next week I am so catching up on sleep, come hell or high water!

Does anyone else start listening to music right before posting so they can have something to put there? Or am I like the lamest person in the world?

Google Maps now has satellite views of their maps, which is wicked cool. Although it seems to be not working for me at the moment.

There was an article on our internal web site titled “American Idol Debuts at NI”. So I was interested, and clicked. The first few sentences were: “American Idol at NI? Well, no … but we are bringing something close.” Does this seem like irresponsible journalism to anyone else? I know it’s just an internal site, but you can’t lie in your story title!

West Wing season finale tonight! The last few episodes have been very good, so I’m really looking forward to tonight’s. Who’s gonna die this time?

Hmm…still tired. And I get hungrier when I’m tired, so my weight watchers is totally totally shot for the last few weeks (and this one too). Maybe I’ll grab some candy. Mmm…

Help sunset provisions of the Patriot Act!

Some of the provisions of the Patriot Act are up for renewal, and so Congress is debating whether to renew them or not. I’d like to see them expire, so I wrote a letter to my Senators and Representative, which is actually pretty darn easy to do and makes me feel more involved in the government. You should do it too!

First thing to do is to do a little research and write your letter. I found information about this at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which led me to a coalition of groups opposed to the Patriot Act (Patriots to restore Checks and Balances). Looking at these sites (and a few news articles) led me to write the following letter:

I would urge you to consider supporting the Security and Freedom Enhancement (SAFE) Act introduced by Senators Craig, Sununu, and Durbin. This act would add some checks and balances to some provisions of the Patriot Act and would help protect the civil liberties of all Americans. When the Patriot Act was passed in 2001 (a mere 45 days after the terrorist attacks of September 11), Congress voted to make the most extreme provisions expire in December 2005 so that they could be reviewed, and now is the time to review and curtail them. The bipartisan group Patriots to restore Checks and Balances (with members such as Grover Norquist and Bob Barr) is in favor of this bill and other efforts to maintain our civil liberties in the face of the Patriot Act.

I would be most interested to hear your thoughts on civil liberties and the Patriot Act. Thank you for your time.

It’s not a great letter, but it gets the point across. After that, it’s easy to go to www.senate.gov and www.house.gov to find your representatives and write them (they all have email forms to contact them). My representatives are:

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
Senator John Cornyn
Representative Michael McCaul

(anyone in Texas has the same senators, but probably a different representative, unless (for example) you live in my apartment complex 🙂 )

So take 10 minutes and write them. Maybe this isn’t important to you, but when an issue that is important comes up, let them know!

weekend, stuff

(I’m not very good at coming up with subjects…)

So the weekend was decent, I guess. Even just being 2 years removed from Rice drastically reduced the number of people I knew at Beer-Bike (and WRC didn’t even sweep! 😦 ) I took some pictures, which I’ll put up sometime this week, hopefully. I did put up pictures from Easter – you can find them here.

“Sin City”…yikes. It was a pretty good movie, despite all the violence and gore (and those don’t usually bother me too much, but it definitely bothered me this time…not for the faint of heart or stomach). I like Alexis Bledel 🙂 Actually, I found out she’s from Houston (thanks to IMDB). Neat!

Despite not getting enough sleep over the weekend, I felt better than I did during the week, and now I’m feeling blah again, which leads me to believe that stress is really the problem. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot I can do about it. Although things are going a little better at work, so hopefully that’ll help some.

This week is robolab competition week, so I’m busy monday, tuesday, thursday nights working on it (and friday is the competition!) Things went OK last night – we’re trying to be careful to make sure things work, as opposed to trying every single task and having none of them work (like what happened last year). Tonight I think we’re gonna do calibration and some test runs on the real board. Wish us luck!