Monday, October 26, 2009

This past weekend Rach and I headed up to Duluth to attend the reception for a  wedding that we went to a month ago or so. It was a pretty good party, though the dancing portion left much to be desired. Still, I soldiered on and valiantly made a fool of myself on the dance floor doing the YMCA and air guitaring to Queen.

We also got to see Rachel’s parents and hang out with them for a while. Rachel forced her mom to start watching Planet Earth with us, which was jaw-droppingly amazing. Even if you don’t like animal/National Geographic documentaries you will like this gorgeous masterpiece. Things like swooping silently through snow covered trees, seeing the full extent of a caribou migration and the incredible tactics of African Wild Dogs on the hunt are just spectacular experiences.

I also got to see Where the Wild Things Are last night, and it was pretty good. It does feel a bit stretched out at points but the entire thing is beautifully done and very true to the book’s artistic style. It’s definitely not so much a movie for kids as it is a movie about kids, as all of the Wild Things represent different child archetypes. There’s the rambunctious child who flies into a tantrum at the slightest provocation, the quiet loner looking in from the outside, the universal crush, the couple, etc. as well as plenty of the activities that kids tend to do. But they're not just children- they are also Wild Things that are large and have very sharp teeth. As one of them said, "If you have a problem, just eat it. It's what I always do." It's pretty, it's funny, it's scary, and it's pretty enjoyable for those who want to see a great look at what being a kid is like. Just don’t expect kids to be incredibly entertained by it.

Well, that’s it for now. Until next time…

 "Children have but little charity for one another's defects."
- Autobiography of Mark Twain

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Most Awesome/Geekiest Thing EVER!

Surfacescapes Demo Walkthrough from Surfacescapes on Vimeo.


I want. And not just for that program. Just for MSurface tech in general. So much modding... *drools*

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Robots vs Humans!

My computer and camera are talking again- so time for

This was a party thrown by my friend and fellow CTEP-er Oahn a couple of weekends ago. It was blast, there was plenty of retro robo-music, and there were cartoons and/or Look Around You projected onto the wall all night. Good time indeed.

Wrench the Robots!

Oahn in all her Robo-glory

Mr. Egerman, Cupcake-Robot Extroardinaire

To convince of how awesome Oahn is, she has an official POG tournament game pad.

Me in all my robot hating sketchiness.
  Until next time...

"I really hate robots. Stupid metal men..."
-Quote attributed to Mark Twain by an unknown source, but totally legit

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Heute ist einen Scheisstag

I'm going to try more regular, shorter posts, so let me know how it's working out. Today is already a pretty bad day. Had a class this morning that kind of worked- all three of my students showed up at different times and basically had solo lessons, though one of them was distracted by her two kids. I guess it went ok, but I feel I was mostly just talking and not teaching. Need to rework the lesson to get more interactivity methinks...

So it was kind of beneficial I guess that this afternoon I was 0/10 on my students for their first class, so I ended up helping out with the Math group because one of my colleagues was feeling sick up there. It was a bit chaotic- language barriers and a few too many people created a bit of an oppressive environment. We really, really need a volunteer there, but who knows if we're ever going to get one. I get the feeling that I'm the only one of the three who knows what he's doing and actually thinks about the class when it's not happening as I don't see lesson planning happening. I'm unsure of what to do for that though- one person hasn't had training yet (though I should encourage her to do so soon) and the other... gah. We got some problems with that one.

So in essence- too much going on at work to actually plan for work. I need to have a meeting with my colleagues for the math class and work something out, as our current system can't handle more than two groups at once. I need to call all my students and make them sign blood pacts that they are going to show up to class. And I need to rework my lessons to have a greater degree of interactivity. Oy. Freakading. Vey. Maria.

Sorry about the negative nature of this post- I had a great day yesterday, but so far today has been weighing heavily on me and I needed to get it out. Also it's really incredibly gloomy outside today, which certainly didn't help matters. I'll work on some more cheerful posts soon.

Until next time...

"The rain is famous for falling on the just and unjust alike, but if I had the management of such affairs I would rain softly and sweetly on the just, but if I caught a sample of the unjust out doors I would drown him."
- quoted in My Father Mark Twain, Clara Clemens

p.s. Deutsche sprecheren- der Tag oder das Tag? Ich kann es nicht erinneren.

Monday, October 19, 2009

ETS, among other things...

So as you may have guessed from the lack of updates, I've been a bit busy these past couple of weeks. What with the GRE not actually happening, trying to get two classes off the ground and getting profs to give me recommendations life has been busy.

Most of the reason that I haven't posted in a while is that me and my digital camera haven't been on the computer together and I really wanted to get some pics up about the Robots vs. Humans party that happened... jeez, 2 weekends ago now? Oy... But, my life has been very interesting in the meantime, I assure you. Some, errm, "highlights" of the past couple of weeks:

-Studying for the GRE. It's not fun, especially when they give you the wrong address causing you to miss the test and have to wait a month to take it again. Apparently they switched addresses at some point but forgot to tell us that the new location was in St Paul, not Minneapolis. Now Rachel and I are going to go down to Carleton to make sure that we don't miss the next one. I'm still bummed about not getting it done, but hopefully I'll be able to do better now, so it's not all downside.

- Gaming. The past two sessions have been very entertaining (well, at least for me, but that doesn't take too much). I was really tired of gaming before taking the two week hiatus but now I feel much more refreshed and on top of things. Last night's escapades involved roleplaying nerds being attacked by paper monstrosities, Russell's character losing his vocabulary and having to do a combination of charades and pictionary to have the other characters understand his instructions, and Ben's character convincing a geek that he was, in fact, a 12th level dwarf.

- The Wire. It is the cop drama that was finally done right. Every character is interesting even if they are all a$$holes. Very good (if confusing at times with all the nicknames), and a definite recommend.

- Admission Possible Party. I think this was the first one that I really enjoyed. Most of the time when I go to a party where I don't know anybody I feel really uncomfortable, but this party was different. Rach and I showed up midway through a game while there were still only a handful of people there. It was a good party game and segued into an even better one, at which point more people showed up and the party started getting better. The more communal feel at the beginning, plus the nostalgia-tastic music selection all came together to make me feel much more comfortable and have more fun. Yay!

- Classes. I have them, or at least theoretically I do. Friday morning I had 1 person signed up for basic computer, which started today. After sitting in the hallway for a sign up sheet for an hour I had 15 more people signed up and 5 more for my math class, a feat unparalleled in its scope. But, even though I sent out reminders on Saturday I still had 0/4 show up for my class this morning and only 1 out of the 6 people I had signed up for math class show up this afternoon. When I called they all claimed that today was no good. Oy... Wednesday will hopefully be a redo, but now I'm a day behind. Hope they like coming on Saturdays...

Well, that's enough griping for now. Hopefully I'll have the pics from the Robots Vs Humans party up pretty soon, but for now I must get back to work.

Until next time...

"The self-taught man seldom knows anything accurately, and he does not know a tenth as much as he could have known if he had worked under teachers; and, besides, he brags, and is the means of fooling other thoughtless people into going and doing as he himself had done. There are those who imagine that the unlucky accidents of life - life's "experiences" - are in some way useful to us. I wish I could find out how. I never knew one of them to happen twice. They always change off and swap around and catch you on your inexperienced side. "
- "Taming the Bicycle" by Mark Twain

Monday, October 5, 2009

C'mon, get down, get down with the sick-ness...

So I've been sick for the past couple of days, causing me to leave work early on Wednesday and not show up on Thursday. Don't worry, it's not the swine flu, just some kind of throat irritating, stuffy nose making, headache inducing bug. I'm on the sunny side now, so everything should be fine. Rachel was down with it too, but she's also feeling well enough to work now.

The Physics and English GREs are this Saturday, so tensions are starting to run high over here. When taking a break from studying means working on grad school applications, you know that something is wrong. But still, Rach and I think we can get it all done in time. My plan is to finish reviewing and correcting my mistakes from the last practice test, take another one tomorrow, rinse and repeat. Hopefully that'll be enough to push my score up another 50 or 60 points or so.

After the GRE we are looking forward to letting loose and going crazy with such events as a book fair, the Zombie Pub Crawl and the inaugural big Admission Possible party. Should be some interesting pics up about that come this weekend.

Until next time...

"Supposing is good, but finding out is better."

- Mark Twain in Eruption; Mark Twain's Autobiography