Gesticulations and Other Geekery » Posts in 'Uncategorized' category

A Day Trip

I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and drove a small bit of CA Highway 1. I posted some pictures on Flickr: Aquarium, and Highway 1. It’s not much, but it’s something for those who like to see what I’m up to.

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Point Reyes Photographs

I have finally got the photos I took on the Point Reyes hike online. The picture are all in a Flickr album: Point Reyes. The panoramas have links to a viewer in the descriptions.

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My fish eye

As anyone who watches this space knows I fail at posting blog posts. :-/ However in hopes of getting started again here is something small.

I have a new fish eye lens. It’s a cheap one but I really like the projection (the edges are not too compressed). However I am realizing that what people say about chromatic aberration and fuzziness are very true. It is not a very crisp lens. But from what I have heard it is the only lens which is stereographic projection.

Here are some pictures taken with the lens:

At OrFunner (a burn-a-like event)

At OrFunner (a burn-a-like event). There are fish in the pond.

The Congress St bridge in Austin. There are people standing on it because it’s near sundown and people come out to watch the bats come out.

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A quick update

It’s been a while since I posted. Sorry about that. And this will be a short one. I just thought I’d post a quick update.

  • I got back from my Japan trip (which I will post about soon I hope with lots of pictures). Japan was interesting and I presented two papers.
  • I have submitted what I believe is the final version of my thesis.
  • I walked for my graduation and I should officially graduate in a month or so.
  • I am planning my move to Austin, TX and I’m visiting Austin next week to find an apartment and all that. I’m also going to talk to a few faculty members and maybe start some research thought.
I’ll try to post again soon. Hopefully with Japan pictures.

Posted in Life (other than code), Uncategorized

Going to Japan

I’m in the airport waiting to leave on my trip to Japan. I’m insanely early, but it seems to be one of those things where if you get there early everything goes fast, but if you are running late you get later. So I am over 2 hours early for my flight.

I am on my way to Kobe, Japan for FLOPS 2012. I will be traveling for roughly 24 hours: 2.5 hours to LAX, 11 hours to Tokyo, and finally 6 hours on a train to Kobe. That doesn’t add up to 24 hours, but there will be time in custom and things and I’m not sure how I estimated it in the first place. Maybe it will be less.

I will spend 3 days in Kobe and then head up to Tokyo to visit Marty for 2 days and then back down to Nagoya for another conference (WFLP) for my last day and then back up to Tokyo for my last day. It’s going to be quite a trip with lots of time on trains, but I’m kind of excited about the trains so that’s OK.

I have a JR pass (similar to the Eurail Pass) for 7 days (it just hit me yesterday that I will be in Japan for 8 days, so I guess that last trip up to Tokyo will be in addition to the JR rail pass cost). The JR pass does  not cover Nozomi (the fastest of the Shinkansen, “bullet trains”) but all of  the Shinkansen are fast which should be fun.

I am presenting a paper at both conferences. At FLOPS it is a paper I co-authored with my adviser (Sergio Antoy). At WFLP it is a Work-in-Progress extended abstract that I wrote my self based on a class project I did last fall. I’m excited about both, but slightly more so about WFLP because I am the sole author and because I’ve been working with the subject of the FLOPS paper way too much because it is also the subject of my thesis.

In other news, I passed my thesis defense earlier this month and I submitted the final version of my thesis yesterday. So I’m finally done with that and I will be graduating in June with my Master of Science in Computer Science. This is pretty exciting to me. ;-)

In my last post I mentioned the camera I was eyeing. I did get it and I’m pretty darn happy with it. You can see some pictures at my google plus album. I’m thinking about starting to use flicker or something like that for better photo sharing.

Anyway, wish me luck in Japan. It should be exciting. Sadly, I’d really rather have sleep right now, not excitement (and not just because it’s 5:30am). I am looking forward to getting back from Japan and getting some real rest. It has been a really intense term.

Posted in Grad School, Life (other than code), Uncategorized

RAGBRAI 7: Epilogue

I am now in the car coming back from Iowa (I’m actually posting this while going 70MPH of I-80 … Zach is driving). Ironically we are following a route fairly similar to the second half of the ride just in the other direction. And 5 or 6 times faster.

Zach and I did ride down to the river and dipped our tired as is traditional for RAGBRAI. It was 9 miles each way, but 18 miles is not that bad for me at this point.

My hands hurt most of the riding. They are just really tired and sore. The numbness in my right hand did not get worse that I could tell and the rest of the hand pain is just muscles and some bruising I think so it will all heal up. My legs also hurt but that took a long time to develop. I only started having leg pain like the 4 day riding. My butt kinda hurts from the seat, but I managed to avoid to much chaffing by using “Chamois Butter” which is basically lube to apply your crouch to prevent chaffing against the seat (no need to share the dirty jokes I’ve already thought of them all). So at this point it doesn’t hurt unless I sit on a bike saddle.

I don’t expect to do RAGBRAI again, but I said that about Burning man after the first time too and I’ve been back 3 times. So who knows. Riding that far sucks, but drafting is awesome. Camping in the hot and the rain is no fun but the people along the route are really nice and helpful. So who knows maybe in 3 or 10 years I’ll get the urge and go back.

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RAGBRAI 6: The final reckoning

So I woke up this morning in a hotel. Yesterday I rode the last day of RAGBRAI: 65 miles with plenty of hills and a hell of a head wind. Then Zach and I rode another 9 miles to the hotel. We hung out for a while. Got clean and then both fell asleep around 9. I slept until 8am. It’s really nice to wake up clean and not have any major ride in my plan for the day.

Today Zach and I are gonna hang out and go down to the river. But that will be a 20 mile or less and at this point that is nothing at all.

I already spent a couple of hours looking for apartments in portland. I have 8 places to inquire about. I think it will go well.

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I rode 75 miles (actually maybe a bit more) today in around 8 hours. It was hilly for some of the route but not too awful. We had a head wind for the middle part.

I learned to draft today (ride my bike close enough behind another rider to be in the pocket of air they are pulling along). It was fun and not nearly as dangerous as it sounds. I was usually 2 to 3 feet behind the rider in front so it wasn’t that different from normal riding when the road is full. It made riding into the head wind WAY easier. This is because instead of riding into a head wind you are actually being pulled along a little by the pocket of low pressure behind the rider in front.

I talked to various people while on the road. It was fun. Overall the day went as follows (very roughly):

  • Bagel and peanut butter and cream cheese.
  • Ride 10 miles.
  • French toast.
  • Ride a few miles.
  • Trail mix.
  • Ride 15 miles.
  • Burrito.
  • Ride 5 miles.
  • Ice cream.
  • Ride 10 miles.
  • Key-lime Pie.
  • Ride 10 miles.
  • Lime-aid.
  • Ride 20 miles.

So you can see why RAGBRAI can be though of as “eating you way across Iowa”.

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I finished my 4th (the 5th for most people) day riding RAGBRAI. Today was like the very first day but the lite version. Lots of hills but a bit less than the first day and it was cloudy most of the day so it was much cooler and more comfortable. It went well I was able to fight my way up most of the hills powered by ice cream and Dutch pastries (Rasberry and cream cheese and flaky dough).

I am much happier with things. It’s going well. Only 2 more days of riding. Time to deal with other things. And sleep. Lots of sleep. God riding is tiring.

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This is the 4th day of RAGBRAI. I have ridden 3 days so far for a total of around 185 miles. Today went well. I think I will be able to finish fine.

The pie is good. The people are nice. Overall things are going well.

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