After a lazy morning, Erin and I went to Rockefeller Center to have brunch at the Rock Center Cafe. The head chef from one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, Seersucker, was guest chef there. The prix fixe menu was delicious beyond words. I think he's there until the end of the month. Go!
Then we went to the Top of the Rock. If you love tall buildings, there is no better view in the city. Attached, please find the requisite couple photo, a panorama, and me in front of a radome.
While there, I got a text from Alex V., saying that he and Kitri were in our neighborhood, having a few drinks at our local German place, and asking if we could drop by. I said maybe, as my aunt Kathy was in town and we were going to have a small birthday dinner for me, so we couldn't stay long.
Erin and I took the train home, dropped off some stuff and went to the restaurant to say hi to Alex and Kitri. When we got there, they suggested we check out the downstairs, as we had never seen it before.
"Surprise!" I heard and reflexively ducked, extraordinarily embarrassed for accidentally triggering someone else's surprise party. As my eyes adjusted to the light, I saw one familiar face, then another, and another. People from Science, TKD, and even my extended family came into focus. I had not set off someone else's surprise, but my own!
To recap the party itself would take far too long, and make for slow reading (imagine the list of begattings in the Old Testament), but I am so very grateful for everyone who showed up, and I'm extra grateful to Erin, the mastermind I am extremely proud to call my wife.
Entertainingly, my aunt Inge was there, with whom I share a birthday (albeit 50 years apart) and who, unbeknownst to her, had her own surprise party scheduled for the next day. Needless to say, my family is done with surprise parties for a while!If I was paying attention
My dad didn't have a solid dinner plan for our (fictional) party - he usually plans this stuff way in advance.
My mom read out an email where her sister said "see you Saturday", despite the party I knew about happening on Sunday.
My aunt from Boston coming to town itself - although I thought it was because we didn't do any swims by her this summer
When we stopped by the house on the way to the German place, there was stuff for Manhattans out - only my mom's side of the family drinks Manhattans
In short, well done everybody. I've always wanted a surprise party and you all delivered in spades. Thank you thank you thank you!
Too many computers trying to sell shoes or pharmaceuticals. Not that I have posted here at all in months and months.
Edit: Just got more comment spam. Forbidding anon comments from here-on-in.
I was in the middle of the crosswalk, when I see a too-fast cab rounding the corner. My first thought was "He must be slowing down to make this turn, and he's gotta see me." Very quickly I realized that neither of those things were true, so I ran up the block and across the street. I'm not sure how close he ended up being to me — definitely less than a meter, though. As he sharply decelerated (somewhere after where I was initially in the crosswalk, but before I made it completely across) the cab (one of those hybrid Ford Escapes) made some awful noises. The cab was stopped about 1.5 meters past the inside edge of the crosswalk and would not move. He tried revving the engine, to no avail (and to some horrible noises).
Some other pedestrians asked me if I was okay (I guess the thudding noise coming from the inside of the car sounded like I got hit). I had trouble deciding whether to call 911 or 311 or what, and decided that the damage he did to his own vehicle was sufficient, since I was not harmed (hell, I didn't even have a stress reaction aside from swearing at the guy).
Afterward, as Erin and I headed out for dinner, we went by the guy who was calling someone about his broken vehicle. He apologized. I asked him what happened there and he said he didn't see me. I said "Really?" and went on my way.
IIRC, it was 4J16.
Distance: 1.7 km
Type: Point-to-point (Cross-channel)
Body: Narragansett Bay, RI
The event was scheduled to start at 8a, and me being myself and my mother being herself, we tried to get to register when they opened, at 6a. As always, the Naval War College is beautiful, especially at sunrise. Not as always, I was jumping in this time.
A little history: My mom has been doing this swim, skipping a few here and there, for 17 years. It was her first big open water event, and we all know how that turned out. In short, I was really happy to be able to do this together with her. It was our first event together on the same course (I did the 1-mile Mighty Merrimack last year, and she did the 2-mile).
We braved the treacherous rocks into the bay, and were both relieved to hit a bed of sea grass. The event was launched by a big cannon by men in Revolutionary-era garb, and away we went. I was amazed at how clear and how blue the water was. The waters around NYC are sort of a #466552
while Narragansett Bay was more of a #466560
, a minor difference, I know, but it really means something when it's all you can see ;-)
It got a little choppy when we got into the main channel, but the water was clear and warm, and the Pell Bridge a welcome companion. I made it in 1:05:05, which was not amazing, but I'm pretty pleased, as I was expecting about 1:10.
By the way, you can see some photos I took at the event at this Google Plus entry
Distance: 1.2 km
Body: New York Harbor
The event started in the early evening to rain. Not that we noticed in the water. I ran into my friend LB shortly before jumping off the boat Respect. The pack was very congested, and it never really cleared up. For some reason the water seemed cloudier than the East River was last year, perhaps because of all the rain we've been having lately. It was overcastand very choppy - fun, but challenging. Pretty neat event, and it was a real treat to swim at the feet of Lady Liberty.
Or is it me who never calls or writes anymore?
In July I will be doing a swim to help protect waterways and keep them
safe for swimmers, boaters, or even seaside walkers. The event
supports a great organization called Save The Bay, which preserves and
protects Narragansett Bay in RI.
I'm writing this post now because I need to raise $300 for Save The
Bay to be able to do a beautiful 1.7 mile swim across the bay. You can
donate to me at https://www.savebay.org/Xoder
Thanks in advance for all your help and thanks to those who have
already done so!
Erin and I went to the Rally for Sanity on Saturday, which was a whole lot
of fun! I
posted some stuff to Flickr which you might enjoy
Things at work have been both busy and slow, the way you do.
I'm writing this on my phone with this thing called 8pen. Its supposed to
increase my speed, which it hasn't yet, but I can see how it might, once I
I apparently got that jetpack that they're selling in New Zealand these days
and was giving my brother Nick a ride around DUMBO. At some point, we decide
to do a free fall landing, which is a lot of fun. Then we go into one of
those old warehouses that is now an office building. They force everyone to
submit to some kind of body scan in a big group. It's a bland concrete room,
maybe 3m tall with a 1m bench molded into the wall opposite the scanner,
which is not visible. While we're all waiting to get scanned, a guy asks how
much money the people in this building make. I tell him it's impossible to
know that, as there's over 100 companies in the building. He gets very
upset, and I realize he's asking for his daughter, but I'm not sure if it's
on her behalf or because he's interviewing here and her care is very
If you could eliminate all the calendars, clocks, and measurements of time, how would it change your life? How about the world?
Every single piece of communications technology would fall apart. And so would GPS. There are such things as asynchronous computers and communications technology, but they're much harder to make well, or make powerful.
NYC Bonus Calculator
This calculates the amount of money to put on your Metrocard to reach an integer number of fares. Runs on Android 1.6 and up. Enable "Unknown sources" in your Applications menu. Built with Android App Inventor. Very very slow at this time. Rotating screen causes the values to reset. Have patience and click "Wait" instead of "Force Close"
I cut my swim by 1/3 today due to extreme sleepiness and an interest in
getting in to and out of work early.
I've been having trouble getting photos into TwitPic lately, so I'm going to
try to post to LJ by email and see how that goes.
In no particular order, as I cannot guarantee the order of inclusion:
- Talk to your girlfriend before Android addiction takes hold
- The new train announcement system in Secaucus clearly uses Linux
- Torn up shoe on the train tracks
- Graf instructing you what to do with TV
- Pretty clouds!
- Fibonacci busses!
First off, I should mention that I volunteer as a driver for RightRides
, a group that provides free rides home to women, LGBTQ, and gender-queer individuals on Friday and Saturday nights. The goal is the elimination of gender-, orientation-, and sex-based violence. This Sunday, at the Mercer Street Babeland
, there will be a performance of The Vagina Monologues
benefiting both RightRides and the V-Day
2010 Spotlight on Women of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
What can you tell me about the similarities, percussion-wise between this video (starting at about 0:42):
And this video (it's pretty much the same throughout, but there's a point right before the chorus that's a little different, but that's not the part I'm talking about):
They both feel very similar to me, but there's an obvious difference. The first vid seems to be a straight beat, where the second has a very ba-da-da-dump-ba-da-da-dump (rest). They both have that same "driving beat" feeling, to me.
Which is not mine because I made it (I didn't), but because it's on my phone.
This weekend (Fri-Mon), I was with erin_trying
in Savannah, GA. See, I had a 4-day weekend from work, but had gone home the previous weekend, so my work would not pay for another trip home. Therefore, Erin and I decided to go to Savannah for an extended weekend, hang out with her cousin, and generally enjoy some of the South's oldest extant architecture.
Plans changed a lot, but I ended up picking her up from Atlanta's Amtrak Station at 8am, had breakfast, and then went to Savannah. We checked in and chilled (very necessary after long scary rainy drive) in the hotel room before heading to dinner with Erin's cousin.
The next day we drove to get Erin a massage. On the way we stopped at the sketchiest gas station I've ever had the pleasure of patronizing and got lost, but recovered to get her there less than 15 minutes late, which is not bad for one's first day in a new city, I think! We had a very late breakfast at IHOP and went to a(n?) historic house, which was pretty neat. We saw a hip-hop community rendition of Romeo and Juliet put on by a local non-profit, focusing on getting kids out of trouble through hip-hop, poetry, dance, and art
Sunday we did some more touristing, and feasting. Including going to the local bamboo nursery. erin_trying
was ultra cute there, as she is everywhere.
Oh yeah, and we saw the Super Bowl with Erin's cousin and some of her friends. The game was exciting!
Monday we got a call from Amtrak saying that Snowpocalypse 1 was causing all trains leaving Georgia to be cancelled, so we hit up the internet and bought her a ticket home from ATL airport. It meant we had to leave Savannah early, but we still had time for a tasty brunch there. Then I parked at ATL to have linner with her, and away she went. Flying was a lot more pleasant for her than taking the train, it sounded like.
I was performing some kind of experiment up in the Arctic. It was a comms/radio experiment much like the one we're doing down here in GA right now. For a while, we were all (30-50 people) working in one location, then we traveled to another location, and as we were returning to base (on a truck-pulled convoy of personal sleds [about 0.5m square) we passed that original location, and I saw that I left my laptops there, namely, this one, and a work one. I was able to grab the work laptop while we were sledding, but I missed my personal one. Fgrir Qnivqfba (one of the guys in charge at my current experiment, and a Enlgurba employee) was in front of me, and called for a halt for me. Everyone piled off in excitement that our journey was paused, and I retrieved my laptop.
I'll take, "I've been here for too long" for $200, Alex.PS: I have used ROT-13 to Google-proof key details.
This was a very little dream.
I found my New York State quarter ring on my left hand, instead of right where it belongs, and a New Mexico state quarter ring on my right. My wedding ring was nowhere to be found.
That was it.
READER NOTE: If you've not seen it, erin_trying
gave me a ring many years ago that was made out of a New York state quarter.