Sunday, July 23, 2006

Week in Review

It has been quite some time since my last post. Lately, I have been very busy at the lab. I’m glad I have the chance now to catch up on the past week’s excitement.

I went to see Chicago and Huey Lewis & the News last weekend with Katie and Roman. The show was a lot of fun. How can you beat rock and roll trombone? This time we sat out in the ‘John Deere’ Lawn at Alltel Pavilion. Great place to watch the show. (Obviously the grass was really nice.) The weather for the day looked a little threatening, but it worked out perfectly. Not a drop of rain the whole evening, plus we saw lightning in the sky behind the stage.

This week, I went to a Durham Bulls game. They got slaughtered by the Red Barons 8-1. Unfortunately not the best game, but at least it was a nice day.

Back at the lab, I’ve made some great progress on how to better use our 3D rapid prototyping machine. I can give more technical details, but this basically allows us to create 3D plastic objects in pretty much whatever shape we want. It gives a new meaning to ‘Save and Print’. My fun non-scientific breakthrough of the week was giving us the ability to import a graphic into our CAD software. Now we can put logos on our parts! (For those concerned, don’t worry, I actually do real
work, too.)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Review: Original Steakhouse & Sports Theatre

Neal was in town the past couple days and we went to the Original Steakhouse & Sports Theatre. The food was pretty good although I have one complaint. I don't like the aspect ratio of their menu. The menu was about 24 inches tall and 7.5 inches wide, unfolded. (Each of the 3 pannels were about 2.5 inches wide.) This just made for an awkward experience. We couldn't both put our menus down on the table at the same time because they would overlap. I had the bottom of the menu running into my stomach. It was just a pain. I mean really, don't these people know I'm used to watching HDTV in the 16:9 aspect ratio? I need my content to be wider than it is tall so that I can more effectively process the data.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Rant: Unlock My Door

I don't understand it. A particularly convenient first floor entrance to CIEMAS is guarded by a Duke Card swipe 24 hours a day. In all fairness, this isn't a traditional entrance to the building because it allows access to the under construction clean room. HOWEVER, the door does allow access to the stairwell. And, it’s a lot quicker to get to my office by going up these stairs than walking all the way down to the main entrance, and then all the way down my hall.

Here’s my problem: The door isn’t protecting anything! I can still exit though the door without ever needing a Duke Card. Will someone please unlock my door during normal hours like every other door in the building?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 4th Weekend

To start off, I want to wish my coworker, Scott, and his newlywed bride, Robin, all the best. I attended their lovely wedding on Saturday, July 1st. Additionally, two great friends, Gregg and Jeff, were in town this weekend. It was great to have the opportunity to catch up with them.

I saw Superman Returns, which I would rate it a 3.8 out of 5. There were a number of references to the historical Superman which were especially amusing. Overall, the movie met my expectations. Not outstanding, but a worth seeing action movie. Interestingly enough, the movie questions its own reason for existence. Does the world need Superman? I believe the world at least needs the idea of a Superman. I’d also be willing to bet Joseph Campbell would agree.

There was a great turnout for the 3rd Annual July 4th BBQ at my house. About 30 friends came over for the hamburgers, hot dogs, and vegiburgers. Guests generously brought their own favorites, too, so we had more than enough food for everyone. Thank you to all who came out!

At the BBQ, we also watched the launch of space shuttle Discovery live in HDTV. The launch was originally scheduled for Sunday, but delays pushed back the date to July 4th. If you ask me, that was probably more than just a coincidence, but the show was well worth the wait.

As if that wasn’t enough, Paul, Jeff, Gregg, and I went to the Journey/Def Leppard concert at Alltel Pavilion Tuesday night with fireworks afterward. Now, I usually try to make the best out of any situation, but we had an incredible time. As you can see, our seats were just amazing. Great music, great friends. Feel free to choose your own tagline. The couple that came to mind include Mastercard's Priceless commercials as well as the all too fitting recent Alltel ads. It's all about being in the Circle.