Thursday, December 28, 2006

14.5/32, 30x30

When it comes to shopping for computers, people really have 2 options. They can buy a complete system from Dell or Apple and get everything they need at the same time. Or the more professional user can buy a system piece by piece. They can order each component individually and assemble it themselves.

I wish I could buy clothes the Dell/Apple way. Currently, I’m stuck buying things piece by piece, and frankly I’m not as good at putting together ‘outfits’ as I am computers. I know there are people who actually enjoy shopping for clothes. I could really use your help.

"This is the train to Ronkonkoma"

After the game everybody caught the next train to Long Island. John missed it because the NYC subway was running slow. He got on the next one. We didn’t end up doing too much the next day, but we did meet up with Philip. I was introduced to Euchre, which is a very good game. We should play it here.

Tom’s motivational quote of the day: “It’s not worth winning if you can’t win big!” –The Mighty Ducks

"Start Spreading the News" (Trip to NYC)

I first want to express my frustration with airport security confiscating my toothpaste. As of today, only containers of 3 oz. are allowed in carry on bags. Clearly a 4 oz. toothpaste tube is too dangerous. [By the way, screwdrivers and wrenches seven inches or less in length are permitted.] Link

We flew over Arthur Ashe Stadium, which was cool. [google map]

My flight landed at LGA. That’s always fun because you land over the water and looking out the window you basically have to hope that the runway appears. Luckily it did this time. I saw Donald Trump’s Boeing 727-100 plane parked at the airport. It’s pretty big.

It was time to get ready for the Duke vs. Gonzaga basketball game. I instructed my cab driver to “Take me to The Garden.” I had always wanted to say that. Traditionally, Duke schedules one ‘home’ game in the NYC area. This year we were at Madison Square Garden. The game was a lot of fun. I had a good time conducting the Duke Pep Band in “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” It was great to see all the alumni (and current students) who came to the game. My dad and Rick were also there. Not sure about TV coverage, but the band and I definitely made it onto the jumbo screen. We won 61-54.

Other points of interest:

  • Tom, Michelle, and I saw an electronic billboard displaying the IE “Cannot find server” page. It was extremely funny. Too bad John couldn't see it. [The computer running the sign couldn’t connect to the server to get the content it was supposed to display.]
  • The Wachovia ATM ate my debit card. I was able to get one shipped next day to Durham, though. Luckily I was able to get my money.
  • Food-wise, I was able to get the 3 main food items I was looking forward to, a Potato Kinish, a slice of pizza, and cheesecake before we caught the train to Long Island.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Washington Duke Inn

I ate dinner at the Washington Duke Inn this past weekend. It’s a nice treat to eat there, but you really have to mentally prepare yourself for a 3+ hour dinner. Also, with the wait staff attentively filling water glasses, I can’t imagine anyone making it without a rest room break. The staff was incredibly friendly and the food was great, presentation included. Favorite quote from the menu:

“To use your cellular phone, kindly excuse yourself from the dining room.”

I guess sometimes you just have to spell it out for people. Wait, that didn’t include Blackberry does it?

PS: Speaking of Blackberry, my advisor is no longer “IN”. He claims that “Blackberry is too dorky.” He opted for a newer, slimmer phone. I’ll hold onto mine for a while, the Motorola Q looks pretty cool, though. Is that or Treo any good?

Latin Moments

I wanted to note how well the Latin title of my previous post leads into this post. I wanted to share some saying from my Phrase-A-Day calendar. Here are some excerpts in chronological order:

Melius tarde, quam nunquam.
Better late than never.

Sit vis nobiscum.
May the force be with you.

Aude sapere.
Dare to be wise.

Monstra mihi pecuniam!
Show me the money!

Quid currus passus est?
You did what to the car?

Ubi fumus, ibi ignis.
Where this is smoke there is fire.

Licentia poetica.
Poetic license.

Modo vincimus, modo vincimur.
Well, you win some, you loose some. (Literally: Sometimes we conquer, sometimes we are conquered.)

Iube tuos colloqui cum meis.
Have your people talk to my people.

Hoc est verum et nihili nisi verum.
This is the truth and nothing but the truth.

Isto pensitaris?
You get paid for this?

Mater atrium necessitas.
Necessity is the mother of invention.

Nullum gratuitum prandium.
There is no free lunch!

Experientia docet.
Experience is the best teacher. (Literally: Experience teaches.)

Nunc aunt nunquam.
Now or never.

Nec possum tecum vivere, noc sine te.
I can live neither with you nor without you.

In memoriam

Joseph Roland "Joe" Barbera (March 24, 1911 – December 18, 2006) was an American animator, cartoon artist, storyboard artist, director, producer, and co-founder, together with William Hanna, of Hanna-Barbera. The studio produced well-known cartoons such as Tom and Jerry, The Huckleberry Hound Show, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Scooby-Doo as well as the musical film, Charlotte's Web. []

On a personal note, I remember watching many of those cartoons when I was younger. Also, in my undergrad days, I remember using the Flintstones theme song in an engineering project. The ECE 64 music project was generated solely using MATLAB. I’d be more than happy to share more technical details for those interested. []

I didn’t realize this as a small kid, but The Flintstones name is actually very amusing. Flint’ and ‘Stone.’

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Master’s Thesis approved, completed, and submitted

A final version of “Coded Sampling in Optical Imaging Systems” has been submitted to the Graduate School, completing all my requirements for a second Duke degree. If interested, please let me know, and I will be happy to email you an electronic copy. I made an effort to make the first chapter non-technical.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Classic(al) Music Connection

A blog update is much overdue. I do hope to meet all expectations with the following update. As you may know, my favorite classical radio station, WCPE, has a Saturday evening request program. It was a treat to hear a very familiar tune on the radio this past weekend, one I couldn’t quite place at the time.

After checking the online play list, the noteworthy piece was Wellington's Victory, Op. 91 by Ludwig van Beethoven. According to wikipedia, it is “a minor orchestral work to commemorate the Duke of Wellington's victory over the French at the Battle of Vitoria in Spain on June 21, 1813.”

With the help of Apple’s iTunes, I discovered the appropriate section, “Part I: The Battle, Marlborough.” iTunes Link

Listen carefully, and you will hear an unmistakable connection to “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow.” [In addition, alternative lyrics sharing this same good old(e) tune are “The Bear Went Over the Mountain”]