Saturday, January 29, 2005

An Amazing 4 Days

Just this evening got back from San Diego. It was an INCREDIBLE trip, Wendy and I had an amazing time! I ended up taking over 500 digital pictures and keeping over 400 of them. Needless to say, I have a lot of sorting to do, but I promise, pictures will be posted over the next week or so, as I have time to look over all of them, get them properly sized, etc etc. :)

It was about 15 degrees when we left Baltimore on Tuesday morning (the 25th of January at 9:25 ET), and there was still snow on the ground, leftover from earlier in the week. It was in the mid-60's when we landed in San Diego at 3ish ET (noon PT). We left San Diego earlier today at noon PT, with weather in the high 60's and landed (30 minutes early!!!) in snowy Baltimore. Yes, that's right, it was SNOWING when we got back. Silly weather.

Anyway. The snow's stopped, there wasn't too much accumulation, and check back this week for more updates and pictures!!!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Warm Weather, Here I Come!

FYI the blog won't be updated for a few days while I'm out of town in San Diego, CA with my good bud Wendy.

Yes, this will be my first "vacation" in over 3 years that hasn't involved a scalpel.
No, we have no real idea of what we're going to do when we get there.
We decided on San Diego because of cheap airfare and neither of us had been there before...this is sort of a graduation trip for us. :)

Anyway, hopefully y'all won't miss the updates too much, I promise I'll have pictures when we get back. In the mean time, don't forget to catch the Terps @ Duke game Wednesday night. I assure you, Wendy and I will be watching the game from some bar in San Diego.


Saturday, January 22, 2005

More Snow!!!

According to weather reports, College Park is going to get 6-10 inches of "heavy snow" (thanks to AccuWeather). Naturally I figured more pictures were in order. Just like last time, these were taken from inside my apartment, 2 from my room window (which looks to the back) and 2 from my front living room window. I'm not going anywhere today, my tires really aren't suited to driving in the snow. If you want to bring beer my way, of course, that would be welcomed. :D As I type this, the snow is continuing to fall, and it seems to be coming down at an even faster pace than it was when I took these pictures. Enjoy the snow!!!

First pictures, taken from the back window. It's pretty out there, but it's hard to see how much snow has really fallen.

These two pictures are from my front window. You can see my car in the first picture, it's to the left of the tree that's 1/3 of the way from the left. It's got a bit more snow on it this time than it did for the snow a couple of days ago.

This one is a little wider view, so you can see the roof of the apartments that abutt mine. My car is still there, same place.

More later, maybe.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Two Gems Lifted From FARK

I love FARK, and these two exemplify why:

First, whoever thinks of website URL's/domain names should really consider what their domain names look like when all "one word." Now, if you saw the link, what would be your first guess of what might be at the other side of the link? OK, now CLICK the link. I promise, it's safe for work. That is all that really needs to be said about this one, but if you want more, check out what the FARK'ers are saying.

The second one is a great weather alert written up by a humorous forecaster in Boston. While it's aimed at Boston readers, it may be applied to those readers in the DC-Metro area, too, since the rumor is that we're getting some snow this weekend. The link can be found here, but for simplicity, I've copied and pasted the great part, incase the link dies when they next update the weather report:
Battlestations! MAJOR snow's on the way. Here's the tenative timetable:

Another frigid night tonight. Lows a few degrees either side of zero. Hazy sun tomorrow as light snow continues out on Cape Cod.

Those snowshowers on Cape Cod join hands with a developing band of snow offshore and sweep into Boston in the afternoon. Meantime, the meat of the storm moves up from the southwest late day. We're in a pickle! The game is on!

Steady light snow turns heavy and ugly by midnight as the lines between ocean-effect and the main-storm blur. Sideways snow with near-blizzard conditions by the wee hours on Cape Cod and the Islands. Boston will be near whiteouts at times...classic nor'easter style.

The snow will be like baby powder: light and fluffy, but also dense in wind-driven snow banks. Try and keep it off your buns though.

Problems include the possibility of splashover at high tide on Sunday morning (see above) and the near-blizzard conditions on the Islands (ferry service may be halted) Sat. night and Sunday AM. Cape Cod/Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket take it on the chin with this one.

Snow in Pittsburgh? Yeah tomorrow morning. Should be gone by game time with temps in the teens. Snow on the sidelines and maybe in the stands will give the Pittsburgh fans something to play with when the Pats are up by 30 in the fourth quarter.

FYI, I got dibbs on the english muffins in the bread isle - don't mess with me...I know Mr. Whipple.


Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Snow Stopped

Well, the snow's stopped, so I figured it was a good time to take another picture to try to show what it looks like now. Enjoy. :)

Note my car is in the same place as before, yet is much more snow-covered.

Better Late...

...than never.

Just when I was thinking that this winter would be fairly tame, it decides to snow. Today's snow, the DC-Metro area's first real "snow storm" of the winter season has so far amounted to about an inch, maybe a little more. It's really pretty outside, though I must admit my little car (Mazda Protege5) didn't exactly enjoy the road conditions.

Because it was so pretty, I decided to take a few pictures (admittedly from the warmth of my apartment!).

This first one is a picture looking out from the back of my apartment. It's a mostly-wooded area, though there is a house just to the left of the picture's frame:

This one is looking out from the front of my apartment. You can actually see my car, on the far right side of the picture. It's a black little car without much snow on it, because I took the picture shortly after returning home to my apartment (it's behind the tree branches):

Finally, this is one again from my back window:

As I type this, I'm thinking I really should get my camera out again and take a picture of the snow now, about an hour and a half later than the first pictures I took. This looks like it's the opening of the season for College Park, as the news is saying there is a chance for more snow Saturday and into Sunday. 'Tis the season! :)

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Mentioned at PalmAddicts

My blog entry, "What's On My Tungsten C?" ended up getting submitted to PalmAddicts and so got a mention over there. Of course, I didn't notice it until just this morning. When I was working on my thesis I stopped most of my surfing and somehow hadn't managed to get back to PA for awhile. Anyway, thanks for the mention!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Novel Update

14,158 words and counting.
I'm under where I'd like to be for this point in the month, but hopefully I can write a bunch today and tomorrow.

Between job interviews, doctor appointments, and physical therapy, I've been sadly busier than anticipated.

What's On My Tungsten C?

I recently wrote up this list of what programs (admittedly mostly games) are on my PalmOne Tungsten C. More information about Palm gaming can be found at PDArcade and information about Palm OS things in general (including gaming, useful applications, and technical stuff) can be found at 1Source. As a side note, most of these applications have Pocket PC (and sometimes WindowsSmartPhone) versions, so even if you're not a Palm OS user, you may want to check out titles that sound interesting. :)

-Agendus (date book/contacts replacement made by Iambic)

-Gamebox Asia (Mahjohng game by PDA Mill)

-AvantGo (FREE web browser and news reader)

-Bejeweled 2 (the diamond-swapping game from Astraware)

-Bike or Die! (really addictive bicycle stunt game...even those people who aren't into biking are into it)

-Super Bounce Out (the same PopCap or whoever makes it game ported to the Palm by Astraware)

-Kickoo's Breakout (the pong-ish game where you break bricks)

-Chess Tiger (IMO the best chess game available)

-Neat Freak's Cleanup (helps identify and remove unused files and orphans)

-Crosswords (Scrabble-ish game, also FREE)

-DataVizMail (Mail application since the Tungsten C comes with built-in WiFi)

-Documents to Go (allows creating and editing MS Word, Excel, and Power Point files and syncing with computer versions of said files...a version of this program may have come on your the CD-ROM that came with the Palm, it did for me)

-Earth Defender (one of those silly Space Invaders clones)

-Easy Calc (FREE calculator program with a lot of modes)

-eReader (basic version which is FREE, pro is on sale for 9.95 right now; used to read ebooks)

-Insaniquarium (Palm version of the popular game of same name)

-Jack or 100 Ways to BBQ (2-d platform-style game that I've had a lot of fun with)

-Legacy & all of its expansions (RPG created by Redshift)

-MicroFluxx (FREEware version of the sort-of-well-known Looney Labs game, Fluxx)

-Monsta (turn-based trategy game that I rarely if ever play)

-PalmEMS (EMS reference)

-Pictures to Go (part of the Documents to Go suite, allows viewing of pictures; can also be used to view images that come in as a part of email attachments)

-Pocket Mini Golf (easily the most fun miniature golf game out there with a whole slew of functions, made by Momentum Games)

-Pocket Mini Golf eXtra (the add-on for PMG, just some more courses and challenges)

-PToolbox (I think this came built-in, I have no idea what it does)

-QuizWiz (build your own flashcards for review of stuff on your Palm, it's FREE and it's been helpful in some of my classes)

-Snails (PDAMill's version of the Worms games; i.e. turn-based strategy to kill the opposite team of snails)

-Gamebox Solitaire (solitaire game)

-Gamebox Solitaire 2 (the "sequel" to the above title, really it's just a different collection of solitaire games)

-Due Yesterday (FREE program to keep track of homework assignements or other deadlines and a bit of planning)

-ZLauncher (launcher, version 5.10 or whatever)

-Neat Freak's Uninstall Manager (helps uninstall files and acutally remove all the associated files that may be hidden)

-Tots n Togs Christmas Edition (clothing-shop business simulator with really fun graphics and lots of challenge; the game is available from HANDYENT and from Astraware)

And now for the listing of books I have on the device (all from eReader)...
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson
The Confusion by Neal Stepenson
The System of the World by Neal Stephenson
The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Monday, January 10, 2005

My Ankle: A Freak Show

I saw Dr. Myerson today for my 6.5 month post-op follow up from my most recent ankle surgery (triple arthrodesis, sural neurectomy, and Crisman-Snook lateral ligament reconstruction). Dr. Myerson is a leading foot and ankle specialist, so has a lot of doctors following him around as a part of a fellowship program. The first time I saw Dr. Myerson, I had about 6 doctors come in and examine me all at once, all who wanted to see me walk, see my X-rays, etc.

I thought it was crazy at the time, but then, my situation was a bit unique. Never, though, did I expect what I got today: 7 different doctors coming in at different times to see me. Most of them didn't even introduce themselves when they came in, which annoyed me to no end. Instead they would look at my most recent X-rays, look at me, and then look back and forth between them and me repeatedly.

I understand that it is quite rare to see a triple arthrodesis (ankle fusion) on a 25 year old, but some greeting would have been nice. Of those fellows that actually talked to me, they wanted to know about my initial injury and about the three previous surgeries. I honestly felt like a specimen on display at a museum.

Alas, all's well that ends well. I'm done going to Dr. Myerson for the time being and will only have to go back to him if things get dramatically worse. I do, however, have to see a pain specialist to hopefully minimize most of the discomfort in my ankle. I'm not sure how that will end up, but I'm going to go and see what the doctor suggests/recommends for treatment.

The other good news of the visit is that I should be able to regain most of my dorsi- and plantar-flexion, so my PT has been given carte blanche to beat me up a bit, provided my pain is under control. I'm really looking forward to being able to walk down the stairs like a normal person, instead of taking them one at a time. I also can't wait until it stops hurting when I walk or bike, so I can get my butt back into shape.

I'll keep readers here posted on how things go with the pain management specialist!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Now Playing...

Just for fun, figured I'd let y'all know the next 20 songs in my random playlist of all songs on my computer...I'll probably do this from time to time. If you care to recommend any music, pleast do!!!

1. Paul Oakenfold - Hold Your Hand
2. A Perfect Circle - People Are People
3. Counting Crows - Anna Begins
4. A Perfect Circle - Vanishing
5. Counting Crows - Mr. Jones
6. Alan Jackson - Remember When
7. American Hi-Fi - Flavor of the Week
8. Linkin Park - Ppr:Kut (from Reanimation)
9. Coheed & Cambria - A Lot of Nothing: IX
10. Foo Fighters - See You
11. Paloalto - Fade Out/In (from Daredevil soundtrack)
12. Mark Ronson - Bout to Get Ugly
13. Aerosmith - Dream On
14. 12 Stones - Running Out of Pain
15. Linkin Park - Points of Authority
16. Alicia Keys - Fallin'
17. Bruce Springsteen - Thunder Road
18. "Matrix Reloaded" Suite (from Matrix Reloaded soundtrack)
19. Bob Dylan - Knocking on Heaven's Door
20. Trapt - Still Frame

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Novel Update

Word count: 6,200 words as of this morning. I have yet to write today, hopefully I'll get to do it when I get home (currently I'm at my parents' house doing paperwork, shopping, and laundry).

Terps Cruise to 9-2

The game started slow and Gary Williams was quite obviously annoyed by the slow performance, but the 2nd 10 minutes of the first half and most of the second half showcased what the Terps can really do--especially what they can do with their bench.

The final score was 85-53 in favor of the Terps, with Gilchrest and Caner-Medley each scoring 17 points. It's good to see Nik back in good form, it seems he's been in a slump lately. Also of note in the game was that DJ Strawberry started in place of Nik Caner-Medly, giving DJ his first start and Nik his first time coming off the bench since his freshman year.

2004-2005 Record: 9-2

Last game: Terps 85 - Mt. St. Mary's 53
Next up: Terps @ UNC (8 Jan 05, 12 p.m. ET, televised nationally on ESPN)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

This is January?!?

Well according to my computer's clock today is Tuesday, January 4, 2005.
WHY ON EARTH IS IT 66 degrees outside here in the DC-metro area?

Not that I'm really complaining per se...I'm a warm weather girl so I love this weather. But it makes absolutely no sense. That is all.

New Year, New Project

Seeing as it's the new year and I'm currently unemployed, I've decided that the month of January will be a great time for me to try to write my novel in a month. I had originally hoped to do this last November, as a part of the National Novel Writing Month annual event, but with my thesis defense on 12/1/2004, I decided that writing a novel in the 30 days prior to my defense was probably a bad idea. I still stand by that decision.

Hopefully I won't be unemployed for too long; I do have bills to pay and all...but at least this gives me something productive to do while I'm unemployed and gives me another way to kill time even after I get a job.

So far, I've written about 4,000 words. My goal going into the month was to write 2,000 words a day to be able to make the 50,000 word goal with time to spare. But I've had this cold now for a few days and yesterday it just kicked my butt and left me totally wiped out, so I opted not to write. As the month progresses, I'll update here of word totals, but don't expect to read my novel until it's all written out. I really don't want feedback on it yet...I just want to let my creative juices flow.

Most of my writing this month will be done on my laptop, an HP ze1210. I really hope that the laptop makes it. This computer has a tendency to shut itself down randomly, overheat, and have mixed performance. Because of the flakieness of the computer, I also have a copy of my novel on my PalmPilot, which I sync using Documents to Go, so it will be possible to write on my Palm if the computer really goes nuts one day. Of course, if I end up doing most of my writing on the Palm (a PalmOne Tungsten C), I may get one of the keyboards for it instead of trying to write with Grafitti2 or the thumb board. So we'll see how that goes...

If you're interested in trying to write a novel in a month, you might want to check out Chris Baty's "No Plot? No Problem!" It's the book I've used to help me plan my novel and gather inspiration and motivation to write.

So with that, Happy New Year to everybody! I'm off to try to write a bit before going to PT...

This Week in the ACC

It's Tuesday and that means that the national NCAA basketball polls are out. As usual, the ACC has a strong showing in the rankings. So, here we go, for week 8 (format is ESPN/USA Today Rank. Team (AP Rank)):

3. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4)
4. University of North Carolina Tarheels (3)
5. Duke University Blue Devils (5)
10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9)
21. University of Maryland Terrapins (22)
24. North Carolina State Wolfpack (not ranked)

I must admit I'm disappointed with the rankings. For example, Duke played one of the ugliest games I've ever seen versus Clemson, yet they managed to MOVE UP in the rankings. But, this is the ACC and we all know that everybody loves the Carolina teams.

With conference play just starting, it's hard to really put any value in conference standings, but here they are anyway:

1. Duke Blue Devils (1-0 ACC, 9-0 overall)
2. North Carolina Tarheels (1-0 ACC, 12-1 overall)
3. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (1-0 ACC, 12-1 overall)
4. Maryland Terrapins (1-0 ACC, 8-2 overall)
5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (0-0 ACC, 9-2 overall)
6. Miami Hurricanes (0-0 ACC, 9-2 overall)
7. NC State Wolfpack (0-0 ACC, 10-3 overall)
8. Virginia Cavaliers (0-1 ACC, 8-2 overall)
9. Clemson Tigers (0-1 ACC, 9-4 overall)
10. Florida State Seminoles (0-1 ACC, 8-6 overall)
11. Virginia Tech Hokies (0-1 ACC, 6-5 overall)