"Imagine where you will be and it will be so!" quoth Maximus. There are certainly times when I imagine myself skiing, and today this adage holds true. Just one class, a ton of packing, and a couple of games of charity bowling are all that stand between me and departure on what has become a traditional late-Febrary ski holiday.
The concert last night was good, although the musical selection was not as good as the last concert in my opinion. Nonetheless, the celtic "Lord of the Dance" arrangement was very pleasing and it was good to hear some classical music. Afterwards, a group of six visited (and closed down) Sindhu...still good but holy wow don't order the Chicken Kodia in the medium-spicy flavor. I had beads of sweat rolling down my head for half an hour. Still, the flavor was outstanding and I highly recommend it. Afterwards, Aimee and Robin and Dad and I hit The Parlour on Campus for ice cream, a malt, the spectacle, and a junior-sized banana split, respectively. If you're ever in East Lansing, I highly recommend it - the burgers are great, too.
posted at 1:00 PM - comments
Thursday, February 24, 2005
The big event for today is the MSU Concert Orchestra's concert at 7:30 in Fairchild. I find it to be a cruel twist of fate when things that are exciting and worth looking forward to happen in the evening, because when you look forward (or when I look forward, at least) to things I invariably truncate their start time to just the day; Robin's concert is on Thursday. This causes a problem because there was still almost half a day in between that my looking forward style had neglected.
The interval has been filled with not a lot. I had a pretty good piece of correspondence with MPYD this morning, getting happy news from Chris, the promise of a W-2, a mini-assignment to use my (apparent) press release writing ability to put together a bio for Mike, and the link to some nifty-looking boat photography. (If you follow the link to see the pictures of the 84' diesel & waterjet sportyacht, pay special attention to how totally spifftacular the louvers look on the stern. Similar for hawse holes, arch/hardtop connection, aft door, foredeck hatches, the entire aluminum structure, house-to-deck joint, windshield, and side windows.)
posted at 12:47 PM - comments
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Many newfangled, blogspot, or pre-templated blogs have inline comments; below a post there's a button that says "comments" except that instead of linking to an email address, these fancy pages provide a textbox for entering your comments and they are then shared for everyone to peruse. Today blogger.com announced that this trick feature would be available in a popup. I found myself at a webmasters' crossroads, torn between user anonymity and loathing of pop-ups and the chance for others to create content that could be divulged here. There is no real gauge, though, for the amount of use such a feature would get on browncow.(tripod.)com so for now we lumber on with this legacy interface.
Another thought of mine today is my trend toward sub-weekly themes. I've noticed that sometimes the things which weigh heavily on my mind over a few days' span appear, with no small amount of transparency, on browncow.(tripod.)com, for better or worse. This week's theme: NA 416 midterm. It was this morning. When I get it back (likely to be some time; awesome) this may be post-dubbed "a day which will live in infamy" but in the meantime I'm thinking positively about it. But that's off topic; the point here is that I suppose it's good to let strings or strands of conscience stream onto the internets under the pretense of 'sharing the human condition.' Ppphhhhhhbbbbbbbbbbbtt.
Another thought of mine has to do with another form of media: television. I'm not a big TV watcher and I don't make a point to tune in for much. The exception is Scrubs, which NBC airs on Tuesdays and fits nicely into my schedule. It's generally pretty hilarious and always offbeat, which I (and we) like. Last night, though, it lapsed into somber and mainstream. There should be warnings at the beginnings of episodes: This previously funny program will now contain strong emotional cues, including but not limited to an autistic child and a failing marriage. Then an innocent viewer like me would butt out and not let writer Angela Nissel bring me down. posted at 3:46 PM - comments
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Last night I was feeling a little lethargic so I headed up to the NCRB for some basketball. After shooting around for awhile, I got roped into a 2-on-2 game...whoa nelly is basketball ever hard. With all of the getting back on defense and picking and rolling, I was on empty after about 15 or 20 points. It was fun to play, though, and I'm liking the increase in energy level with another form of workout.
Studying like a madman today for the NA416 midterm tommorrow. For the first time in some time, I need to park this thing. I've been getting some help and it's been helping some, so who knows what might happen at 1030 MST on the 'morrow?
posted at 1:19 PM - comments
Monday, February 21, 2005
Michigan Boating Industries Association's Detroit Boat Show wrapped up over the weekend and here are some thoughts. Firstly, boats are cool. The absolute highlight of highlights for me was my first real look at a Chris Craft 19 Speedster, my pet project back in yacht-designer days. I had a real hand in that project, making it a boat that I'd be interested in buying, and it really turned out that way. The display model at the show had a navy hull with red boot stripe, tan all-weather leather inserts in the cockpit, and the Volvo 5.0 engine. It looked sharp, cute, and classy all at the same time. Outside of the Chris Craft stand, though, there wasn't much that really stood out. We were impressed by the interior of the wickedly expensive Formula 40 SS, the value and sensibilities of the Rinker cruisers, and little else. Somehow, this was a boat show detuned. I really got the impression wandering COBO on Saturday that we are living in a recessionary Post-9/11 universe where the only people who buy production boats are rich families. Gone was the lime-green and candle-apple red Day-Glo armada of 'toy' boats from the last time I was there. This was epitomized by the lack of a stand featuring Donzi Marine products. Imagine a boat show without that American standby and you get a sense for the depressed state of boat-buying in the Midwest.
Back at home, the big news for the weekend was the arrival of my last Christmas present: a Sensenich 72 CK wooden propeller. Technically it is designated as a non-airworthy souvenir, but it is still pretty amazing. This thing has compound curvature like nothing else, and I was a yacht designer.
It is Friday. I was up late last night working on homework and came in pretty early this morning to do the same. Then class, NA416 Thin Plates and Shells, which is my chosen struggle for the semester. I really didn't anticipate that it would be this tough, and after pretty limited success on the homeworks I am sweating next week's midterm.
Outside of class, it is going to be an afternoon and evening of domesticity. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, and more laundry with studying sprinkled all in there. It's nice to have a clean apartment though, so I suppose this is the price to pay.
The scheduled weekend highlight (apart from hopefully a couple of full night's rest) is the Detroit Boat Show. Circumstances are different from the last time I was there, meeting Dad in Motown for the show and surprisingly finding Wings-Avalanche tickets the night before. This year it's a day-trip without the possibility of hockey, which is fine. Except for the hockey part. Do NOT get me started.
posted at 1:19 PM - comments
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Back on the ground in A-town after a whirlwind trip south. The presentation went smoothly, although I have to say that giving a talk in a room with an ocean view to a bunch of navarchs while two frigates loiter offshore make it hard to keep people focused. Slides of ships are rarely more exciting that ships themselves.
The balance of the day was spent alternately attending some pretty dry papers, having a pretty good lunch, and exploring pretty much all of the quaint seaside portion of Atlantic Beach. Before I knew it it was time to head back to school, though. posted at 10:13 PM - comments
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
It's late and I'm using Maple to do mathy stuff; it's intense enough that I find it funny that this post goes out at 1-1-2-3, Fibonacci o'clock. I hope a sophomore Webbie is tilting one down in the Brocket Arms for that!
A sure sign of one's age is the progression of software releases on programs they used to know...I started on Maple 4, loved Maple V to death during vector calc take-home season (cue "Bad Touch" by the Bloodhound Gang on nostalgia FM), and tonight I'm working through the intricacies of Maple 9.5. Four.five versions have come out and I'm still doing math.
Speaking of math, I got some financial calculator advice today. Can you believe it, after 7 years with my trusty (and no longer in production) TI-92 , it's time to drop another Benji on a calculator?
Lastly, I'm returning to Florida for the first time tomorrow to speak at the ASNE Reconfigurability and Survivability Symposium. Non-NA's who read this will probably find this topic a little dry, but it should be interesting and at the very least it's a strong resume point to be published and to have given a technical talk at this stage of my career as a navarch.
posted at 11:23 PM - comments
Monday, February 14, 2005
Skiing is pretty great for a lot of reasons, but after two awesome days tearing up Searchmont, I'd be hard pressed to pick one. Saturday's mild temps allowed an afternoon in just my fleece vest - a Midwest first - and Robin and I won a weekend getaway in the Valentine's Slalom. The snow and grooming were perfect for the T-Power Vipers X and with new drive plates I think a new gear is available with that setup. Robin and I essentially played cat and mouse for two days, hitting some big jumps, taking a whack at the terrain park, arcing out the steepest runs we could find and invariably finding the dropoff between the bottom of "Slalom" and "Champs."
Reading the Wall Street Journal could create plenty of fodder for blogging (blodder, if you will) but today had an especially juicy tidbit: General Motors has agreed to pay USD 1.99bn not to buy the remainder of Fiat. Is there any way I can get in that line? If anybody wants to pay me not to buy something, click the "comments" link below.
End of the week, which means I'm taking off after the upcoming NA 570 midterm to head north over the border into Canada. This weekend I'll be at Bruno stomping grounds The Ambassador Motel, the last neon sign in Sault Saint Marie, Ontario. We're skiing Searchmont and hoping for good snow and good roads. Today hasn't been that great a day in terms of not loading on the homework, but hopefully there will be time in the James to get stuff done.
posted at 1:08 PM - comments
Thursday, February 10, 2005
It's rare that I have such a quick turn-around on the blog - there's usually at least 20 hours between posts so that, you know, stuff happens. Today it's different.
As a college student I'm lucky enough to get Sports Illustrated On Campus, the raggy magazinelette-spawn of SI. It is, though, fairly Michigan-centric which makes it fun. One of today's best Michigan-isms came from a Bowling Green hockey player: Jordan Sigalet, who recently announced he has MS. At the end of the article he says he was at Michigan and the press box phone rang over the PA system, at which point the Yosties yelled "Hey Sigalet, it's your mom! She says 'you suck!'" Sigalet told SIOC "that's great to hear, all I ever wanted is to be treated like a hockey player."
posted at 9:35 AM - comments
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Man it is like deja vu all over again with this whole Iran thing, and ex-weapons inspector David Kay feels it too. Where is it going to stop? The Nuclear Club has five nations (that we know of, for now): the United States (founding member and HNIC of late), Russia, Britain, France, and China. New non-military members are joining here and there, so are we going to ring Brazil and tell them to turn off their power plants and burn down or damn up more of the rainforest? A line needs to be drawn, soon, before the Non-Proliferation Treaty of 1968 turns into the Un-Profileration Mandate of 2000-2008, aka the Bush Doctrine. That that phrase even exists saddens many a happy heart; its place in history is assured and that saddens my heart.
Went skating at the noon hour today - fast and furious on blades that need sharpening. A little trouble getting home, though, took some afternoon time and is on my mind. In the evening a QD meeting and GSRA and class work ruled, but this semester lacks the urgency and pressure needed to really get cranking.
A weekend of mediocre sporting events, this! Two U-M v. MSU hockey ties, although Michigan had both in hand with just a handful of minutes left, and then the most un-exciting exciting finish ever. Clock management, hello?
Robin and Amy hosted a Super Bowl party, which was cool. There was steak and cake and some salad and nachos and veggies and fruit, so when you get right down to it the game really was a distraction.
I've been gazing out the windows in 137 NAME of late, down the hill towards the new North Campus Chiller Building. The great thing about the U is that they make everything fancy...you'd have to be lost (seriously) to find the NCCB, but it still has two-tone brick with tension-cable glass window walls and a louvered nickel enclosure around the heat exchanger towers. Fantastic!
posted at 6:47 PM - comments
Friday, February 04, 2005
Whoa dawg! I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that last night's hockey focus group meeting wound down with a tour (led by the Director of Hockey Operations) of the team's facilities at Yost. It's hard to imagine that the football team is another huge step up from there, because any locker room where you have to take off your shoes is outside my realm of comprehension.
Then there's today. Productive, sure. Exciting, not so far. Going to get better, hell yeah. Michigan State comes to Yost tonight, where Robin and I will renew the rivalry affectionately known as "hahhahahahaaaa your school sucks!" It's maize-out night, so free t-shirts courtesy Fox Sports Detroit, but mostly it's fun to be a part of a Big Ten rivalry within the family. Last time we went wild for two periods and then spent the third (like the teams) wondering why the lights were so bright, but tonight's game has even bigger implications so hopefully we'll see three full periods of hockey action.
posted at 1:15 PM - comments
Thursday, February 03, 2005
Holy Schnikies! Would you believe it, Rapid River was in the Michigan Daily Weekend Edition today! The best part, though, is the context...what to do for a budget spring break: take a trip by dog-sled with a Quick Trickle kennel owner. Fantastic. Let's perpetuate the stereotype a little bit more - it really isn't the frozen tundra.
Stereotypes are a funny thing. This evening I attended the student hockey ticket holders meeting held to tone down a certain unrepeatable Yost cheer. The leader of the meeting, Assistant A.D. Dr. Mike Stevenson, appears to be a stodgy old man with an iron fist and short attention span. In point of fact, he was pretty understanding and actually surprisingly willing to grease some wheels. He jumped especially at my idea to improve solidarity with a kickoff event for the non-organized student group. So, let it be stated here first, in the form of a hypothesis: next fall, before hockey season, there will an open skate with Red Berenson and the Michigan Varsity Ice Hockey Team. Free pizza, swag, and t-shirts all around, I'm guessing. Suggesting stuff is fun.
posted at 9:21 PM - comments
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Couple things: 1. Ice skating is fun. It can be tricky, though. I've been skating publicly on a weekly basis for about a year and so far no catastrophes, but today I celebrated my first dinger. I was going backwards and worrying about the people towards the inside of the rink and not the boards on the outside of the rink so much. You can guess how that went...a scrape on my arm and a butt-bruise. 2. It's amazing how many ways there are to be proficient at something. I've mentioned this before in the cases of knowledge proliferation and yacht transport, but my example for today is automobile cleansing. My parents once asked an old man "what has changed the most during your life?" and he replied quite matter-of-factly: "paint." The WashZone by Jenelle's has had this impact on the automatic carwash. For $4 (on Tuesdays) it cleans your car like never before, which leaves one wondering, what's the next big advance on the automobile cleansing front? 3. Doesn't anybody use their turn signals anymore? 4. Seriously. 5. The flash-movie splash page (with the cows) is gone. The blue & gray page is now the front of the site. A redirect page will take you automatically to this page in case you don't want to update bookmarks. I think the site works better this way, don't you? 6. Holla! posted at 6:19 PM - comments
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
My beef with the world today is mail. Not the mail service, although I've been on that soapbox before, but what actually arrives in my little postbox each day. Last night was especially choice: credit card checks, a credit card offer, a DVD-club membership solicitation, and a flier encouraging me to join a warehouse club. In these on-demand times, why isn't someone taking note that I NEVER order out of catalogs, that my commerce is almost purely of the 'e' variety, and that my credit card usage follows a supremely boring pattern month after month. Seriously, who is sitting in a darkened basement cubicle thinking that today is the day that CAR-RT SORT #VKN277-TR52 will break their habit and join Costco or a DVD club and pay for these adventures with credit card checks? It isn't going to happen, Mr. Man, so please stop sending me this stuff!
posted at 1:25 PM - comments