Friday, December 21, 2007

Sinterklass

December 5th is Sinterklass, a holiday similar to Christmas that is celebrated in The Netherlands and Belgium. It revolves around Santa Claus, who arrives by steamboat from Spain and hands out candy to all. Here is a picture:



What you might notice is that Santa doesn't have elves helping him out, he has black slaves! Somehow, I don't think this would fly in the US.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Busy Day

Yesterday I had an action packed day. I finally got up to the mountains for some skiing, the first time I've ever tried it (I've always snowboarded in the past). The snow was in good shape, not too icy and there was a nice powder coat keeping things soft. I picked it up pretty quickly, and by the end of the day I was cruising down blues with relative ease.

From a practical point of view, skiing seems superior to snowboarding. I felt much more in control, and you're actually facing downhill seeing everything in front of you as opposed to snowboarding where you're looking to one side or the other. On the other hand, snow boarding feels a little more fluid, its more of a full body motion. Regardless, I'm looking forward to more skiing in the future.

I went and saw I Am Legend last night. It was a packed theatre, but well worth it. I recommend everyone goes and watches this one, it was action packed! I don't think I've ever been so stressed out throughout an entire movie like this one, one of the best I've seen in a long time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fitness Bread

Thanks to Pippa, I have been clued in to the most insane bread I have ever encountered:



Its called Fitness Bread and you can buy it at whole foods. One loaf weighs an impressive 17.6 oz, or 1.1 pounds and there are seven slices in a loaf. I've been eating it for breakfast the past week or so, and I pretty much feel awesome all the time. This probably has a lot to do with the 24% of dietary fiber a single slice has; it's keeping me light on my feet.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snow

Well the snow has finally arrived in Boulder, we've gotten maybe a foot and a half since Friday. Looks like it'll stop tonight or tomorrow.

Snow really sucks, it makes getting around such a pain in the ass. I like it in the mountains, but naturally it is snowing in Boulder, but somehow not up at the ski resorts. I am ready for it to be gone.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Leopard Ubuntu Dual Boot Success

With a little help from Pete, I am now running my MacBook as a dual boot machine, 1/2 OSX Leopard and 1/2 Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon". For those of you unfamiliar, Ubuntu is a "flavor" of linux and it lets me use all the freeware in linux much easier than trying to figure out how the hell to get it running in Leopard.

Here is a really brief outline of how to do it:
1. Make sure Leopard is up to date, then use Boot Camp to partition your hard drive. This essentially is only for OSX, you'll do the other partition with the Ubuntu disk.
2. Install rEFIt, its free from sourceforge. This allows you to choose your operating system when you load (although I thought Boot Camp was supposed to do this, but it didn't work without).
3. Insert your Ubuntu disk and restart, ideally rEFIt will give you the option of loading OSX or Ubuntu from the cd. Choose the latter.
4. Ubuntu will load from CD, and you'll see an install icon on the desktop. Click it, repartition your space, and Ubuntu will be copied over.
5. Restart again, and hopefully Ubuntu will load (from rEFIt).

All my drivers seem to work including video, sound, and even the screen brightness and volume controls. It was pretty painless.

Ubuntu is essentially just like Leopard, except its easier to get free programming software installed and working. It took me about 2 minutes to get Python, fortran, emacs, and everything else installed and running. I must say I'm very impressed, my next computer may be pure Ubuntu, although that'll be some years down the road.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

How Money Works

Watch the five-part videos below that I have posted. They explain how the world's monetary system currently works. It is absolutely fascinating and completely INSANE. Its about a 43 minutes investment to watch all the videos, but I think its totally worth it, I had no idea this was how it worked.

If anyone actually watches this leave a comment so I have someone to discuss this with...









Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bush, You're a Moron

The US intelligence released a report yesterday, stating that Iran had halted its nuclear weapon program four years ago and wouldn't be capable of getting a nuclear device in the foreseeable future. I thought this is good news, as now maybe the US won't start another war in the middle east. After all, it makes no logical sense for Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, all they'd get in return is sanctions from the rest of the world.

However, Bush had this to say this morning: "Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon." Get over it! Iran is probably no more dangerous than Venezuela to US interests.

Here are some things that are more dangerous to the US and probably much more likely to occur:

1. Global warming destroying our agriculture and water supplies
2. Devaluation of the dollar destroying the US economy
3. Rudolf Giuliani being elected president (or Mitt Romney, or Mike Huckabee, etc)
4. Everyone in America dying from being fat
5. or cancer
6. Hurricanes
7. Volcanos
8. Tsunamis
9. Trans fat
10. Bears

Sunday, December 2, 2007

IF I was a Republican...

I'd vote for Ron Paul. Check this video out:



I got to say, I really like him. He has some insane ideas (i.e. pulling out of the UN) but his justification for them is seems fairly reasonable and logical. You can read more on his positions here:

Ron Paul Positions via Wikipedia

Also, he makes such a great point about the principles of the Republican party. Aren't they supposed to stand for less government? Being fiscally responsible? That's clearly something that has been lacking in all the Republican presidents that have served in my lifetime. After all, the only president to ever balance the budget in the past few decades was Clinton! He's got about 0% chance of getting the nomination, that'll go to some polarizing asshole who believes the Earth is 3000 years old, but you got to start somewhere.

And if you've got $100 to blow, maybe spend it here:

Tea Party 2007

Beavers

This was by far the most stressful Civil War game I've seen in a long time, the highs and lows almost gave me a heart attack. Luckily, the Beavers managed to pull off the victory at Autzen, their first at Autzen since 1993.

There is a reasonable chance that OSU will get into the Holiday Bowl, which they've never played in. Most likely, the opponent would be Texas, which I think would make for a pretty interesting matchup, especially since Pippa is a Texas alumni. If we don't get the Holiday Bowl, we're headed to the Sun Bowl again to play South Florida. I don't like this match up nearly as much, as losing to South Florida would be embarrassing and winning doesn't gain you much.

We should know what bowl we're headed to once the BCS bowls are announced, hopefully ASU will get the Fiesta Bowl giving OSU the Holiday Bowl.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Nerd Post

I'll write this for the non-nerds out there as best I can.

So I spend a lot of my time solving Ax=b, where A is a huge matrix with thousands of entries. This is done with a computer, and it can take a significant amount of time to do. Amazingly, I just programmed a new method for solving this system, called multigrid, and its about an order of magnitude faster than the way I was doing it before. That means I can spend a way less time worrying about Ax=b and actually get some work done. I wish I had started using this a long time ago...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shampoo and Conditioner

Currently, I use one bottle of shampoo and one bottle of conditioner to wash my hair. I find it irritating when one bottle runs out before the other, so I'm thinking about switching to a 2 in 1 formula. Since I buy the cheapest possible hair products, I think the effects this switch will make on the quality of my hair is negligible. Let the great experiment begin!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Time To Move To Europe

After traveling a few weeks ago and paying the price of the weak dollar, I began thinking that the US could be in some trouble. Then I read this article:

The Weakening Dollar

It pretty much freaked me out - I think the US is in for poorer times. Good thing about getting a PhD is its much easier to get citizenship in another country!

However, there is a benefit that Adam pointed out; all those student loans of mine are getting cheaper by the day.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Some Pictures

Being solo I took way too few pictures of the trip, but here are a few of them.

Belgium and The Netherlands

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trip Summary

So my trip in Europe was a ton of fun, and it pretty much sucks to be back at school and having to work again. After Bulgaria, I flew into Brussels. The airline was Bulgaria Air, and it was a moderately terrifying experience to fly with them. I have never been on a plane before that taxied so fast on the runway, when we went around corners I thought it was going to tip over. The plane was pretty old, obviously they had bought it from United or something and retrofitted it for service. The landing was pretty horrible as well, I thought the wheels were going to break we hit so hard.

Anyways, once in Brussels I had to get to my hotel, since I couldn't find a hostel to stay in that Saturday night. It turned out to be about an hour walk with all my gear from the train station through downtown, but I eventually made it and had a decent night's sleep. I woke up early and walked through the city to check out the main sites. The famous statue of the peeing boy wasn't nearly as big as I thought it would be, a real shame, but I took a picture with it anyways.

I ended up buying a bike from a local bike shop for 180 euro, a bit expensive especially with the crappy dollar to euro ratio now, but it got the job done. It was an old Puegot, maybe from the 80s with a ghetto red paint job. It wasn't ready until 1 PM that day, but I finally got on the road with all my bike gear.

My original goal was to head to Gent, maybe 50 miles from Brussels, but things did not quite work out as I had hopped. The first 20 or 30 miles was pretty straightforward, I just followed the signed on the secondary roads, but suddenly those signs put me on an expressway, where I was freaked out for my life for about 10 minutes as I looked for a way off. Finally, I managed to get onto an overpass and away from the express way, but had no idea where I was. I spend the rest of the afternoon following the sun to make sure I stayed in a westerly direction, but if finally got dark on me and I decided to do some stealth camping.

I chose a pretty great spot in a group of trees behind a farmer's field, where I spend a pretty chilly night next to some cows. In the morning I woke up and proceeded to Gent, where I had a huge breakfast in the town square. Gent is a nice town with some really cool architecture, but I was in a hurry to get to Bruges that day and to a hostel, so I headed back on the road.

After some flat and uneventful riding through the Belgian countryside, I finally got to Bruges around 6 PM. It is a very touristy town, there were so many people walking in the streets I could barely ride through. Apparently, its the most visited town in Belgium because its got some really great medieval architecture. I guess it was halfway abandoned after the middle ages and so nothing really changed in it.

The hostel I stayed at was quite nice and cheap, only 11 euro for the night. I met some Australians who I had dinner with, and drank a wide variety of Belgian beers. I was a little hesitant about Belgian beers, mainly because a few weeks ago I went to the Cheeky Monk in Denver, where I had a terrible beer from Belgium. However, all the beers I tried in Bruges were excellent.

In the morning I went to the grocery shop to buy some food for the days ride, and proceeded to head to the Dutch border. I'm not actually sure when I crossed over, as I never even saw a sign, but suddenly the bike paths and bike signs greatly improved and I began seeing lots of windmills, a sure sign of The Netherlands. I eventually had to take a ferry ride to an island were the capitol of the Zeeland province is located, Middelburg. This was a small city, nice to ride through, but I ended up camping in a town a few kilometers past called Veere. I had to pay 10 euro to use the campsite, which really pissed me off as it was just a piece of grass to sleep on. If I had known better, I would have just stashed away in some trees again.

In the morning, I went into Veere in search of breakfast and continued on the ride. I rode over several islands and saw the famous Dutch sea dikes with there massive mechanical gates to control the tides. It was quite impressive. Unfortunately, it was consistently windy coming at me from the north, the direction I was headed although the weather was blue skies. This was particularly annoying because my guide book said the winds should be coming from the exact opposite direction, as they experienced when they rode through.

Around 2 PM I had lunch in some tiny Dutch town along the coast at a place called Food Planet. It was actually pretty good, I had a hamburger which was absolutely nothing like a hamburger in the states, and decide to head to Rotterdam and catch a train to Amsterdam instead of suffering through another day of wind. I got to Amsterdam that Tuesday night after dealing with the train system, and booked up at a hostel.

Amsterdam was a fun city, I was there a total of five nights and pretty much saw all of it. I had my bike with me which made getting around a piece of cake, especially since every street has a bike lane on it. I've never seen so many bikes, it was incredible. I had a great time riding in bike traffic jams and scaring pedestrians that were spacing out and walked into the bike lanes. The only bad thing I have to say about Amsterdam is that it was incredibly overcast the entire time I was there, but since its so far north, it felt much darker outside than say Portland in the winter. It actually sort of got me down after a while and I'm glad to be back in Colorado, land of eternal sunshine. It also would have been more enjoyable to have someone with me on the journey, as I got tired of being by myself most of the time.

All in all, a good trip.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

In Belgium

I've made it to Brussels! All the hostels were filled up last night, so I ended up having to fork over $100 for a room, but besides that its been pretty easy going. I hit up the main tourist spots this morning, and now I'm waiting for the bike shop to open so I can get going on this trip! Food here is cheap and delicious, I had a croissant and coffee this morning for less than 3 euro.

One nice thing about Bulgaria is that many of the signs were in english as well. Not so here, I've been looking for a post office but haven't had any luck, which is probably because I don't know what post office is in french or flemish...

Alright, back to the cycling hunt!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Place visited

So today we had the afternoon off from the conference, and I went and checked this place out:

http://enjoybulgaria.info/2007/04/17/dobarsko-village/

Its well known because of a painting that has jesus climbing into a space ship. Awesome!

Monday, October 15, 2007

In Bulgaria

Its Monday evening now, and I've been in Bulgaria since last night. It is a LONG journey to get here, or at least to Bansko, where I'm staying.

I started Saturday morning, flew to Washington/Dulles, then Frankfurt, and then Sofia, the capitol of Bulgaria. The flying actually wasn't too bad, in total maybe 12 hours actually on the plane. The worst part was getting to Bansko. It was a three hours on a cramped bus that had zero suspension on a road that was covered with potholes. I'm not looking forward to the drive back to Sofia Friday, although I can't wait to start my bike adventure.

Sofia itself is really run down, all the buildings (for the most part) are old communist block-style apartment buildings that haven't seen much in the way of maintenance. There is a ton of garbage on the sides of the streets, and the streets themselves are full of pot holes and there isn't any painted lines dividing the traffic. I would hate to try to cycle here, you would definitely get hit by a crazy driver!

Bansko is a big ski resort, I was told the biggest in Bulgaria. There isn't any snow here yet, but there are a ton of hotels under construction. I took a walk through part of the town and all there was to see is hotel after hotel under construction, but no shops of any kind. Its like a ghost town, but its the off season (skiing starts in December) so its somewhat understandable. I heard a few miles away there is a town center of sorts. Wednesday there is a tour in the afternoon I'm going to go on that should be interesting. I think we visit a village with a very old church...

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pooping of Pants Avoided

Well, I finally got my passport, although I found out last night I should have had it September 5th. I spent most of yesterday night and this morning freaking out about it and what to do when I managed to get ahold of someone at the passport office. Turns out they sent everything to 305 S 39TH ST instead of 365 S 39TH ST. I went down to that house today and sure enough, they had my passport and birth certificate sitting in their mail pile! Now I've got it and I'm set to head to Europe.

Besides that, I had a pretty terrific weekend. Rode the bike over Loveland Pass Saturday morning and then went to a wine party on the top floor of some huge office building in downtown Denver. It was for the launching party of this website, vinecatcher.com, which is like facebook for people who like wine. I also brought a kickass date with me, a nice change from the solo show. I didn't get to bed until late but had to get up early to ride up to Brainard Lake Sunday. I did do the ride, it was sunny all morning, but was pretty wiped at the end of it and I fell asleep at 7:30, getting a good 12 hours of sleep.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tour of the Copper Triangle

Pete and I did a bike tour with my new setup this weekend, that new setup being me with some panniers instead of a trailer. The verdict is that they're way better than the trailer, the bike handles much better and you don't feel like you're pulling anything along (other than all the extra weight on the bike). No pictures to upload, they're all on Pete's camera but I'll put up a link or something when he gets around to it.



We started in Frisco early Saturday morning with some breakfast at The Butterhorn, and rode the bike path that parallels I-70 to Copper Mountain. Its a nice stretch of path, slightly uphill but nothing bad. It was a tad cold, but blue skies were abundant. We took the road up to Leadville, which goes over Fremont Pass, about 11,400 ft or something like that. It was a nice stretch of road with a good shoulder.

Once in Leadville, we ate lunch at a pretty sub par burger place and received a few stink eyes before rolling down the road towards Vail. This stretch goes over another pass, Tennessee Pass, about 10,600 ft. It was an easy stretch of road and at the top is the 10th Mountain Division WWII war memorial which is basically a big piece of marble and a turnoff to Ski Cooper, a small ski resort up in the mountains. We rode down into a valley and proceeded to the turn off to Mt Holy Cross, a 14er in the Rockies. We camped off this road at a pretty decent campsite and had burritos and wine for dinner. Let me mention the wine French Rabbit, its pretty decent and comes in a small 1L cardboard box so its perfect for packing along.

Throughout the night it sprinkled a bit, but since I have my new sleeping bag with a built-in bivy, I was very comfortable and got to enjoy sleeping with nothing between me and the sky. The next morning we had a little oatmeal and some hot tea and proceeded to head to Vail. It was much colder than the previous day, with Oregon-like overcast most of the time. In Vail, we went through the Saturday market (or technically Sunday) which is quite big and is mostly a ton of really delicious looking food. We were too cheap to partake and proceeded on up Vail pass, which is about 10 miles of climbing on a path that heads back to Copper Mountain. This stretch of the journey was challenging but really nice as there were no cars to deal with. It was a downhill ride from the summit, about 10,800 i believe, and a little tail wind made the journey to the car a piece of cake.

Overall, I'd say this is an excellent way to spend a weekend, its too bad I don't know more bike tourers as the more the merrier for this kind of thing!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Barry Bond's Baseball

Vote for what to do with it, I'm leaning towards launching it into space:


Vote Here

Dogs and Football

My roommate Adam got a dog on Friday, a Malamute thats about 6 months old and is supposed to get up to 130 pounds. Its like having a small horse running around. Its name is Cuyahoga, after the river that caught fire in Cleveland in the 70s. Its a pretty stupid name but its not my dog.

Unfortunately, Cuy got a little sick this weekend and left an insane amount of diarrhea all over his crate in the kitchen and in Adam's room. It must have been coming out at some serious velocity, because the spray was several feet up on the cabinets. He was pretty docile all weekend, but seems to have regained his energy this morning.

I also dominated Adam in a heads up match in fantasy football, a trend that is most likely to continue throughout the season.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Chicago and Madison

So I spent Friday evening through Monday in Chicago and Madison to see my roommate run his ironman and meet up with some old friends who live out there. It was a good time, especially seeing Birch (who was in the Peace Corps in Honduras for the past few years) and Ben.

Friday night Adam's brother Kevin being spit in the face in a cab by a cyclist for yelling "Share the road asshole!" This is why you shouldn't yell at cyclists, especially when they can get past the traffic faster than you. It was hilarious, he hit him right in the hat. We then went to a crappy bar with loud music which I wasn't particularly impressed by, but I think Chicago has potential for being a pretty fun town.

Madison was a cool town, sort of like Boulder but bigger and with less bike paths. I saw Michigan get their asses kicked by Oregon at some sports bar downtown and it became clear to me that the entire Big 10 really dislikes Michigan. I was quite surprised by how much the Wisconsin fans were cheering for Oregon.

Ben got into town (he lives way up in northern Wisconsin) and we met Birch at a free Flaming Lips concert. It was a good show but short, probably because it was free. We all headed back to Birch's house, which is about 20 minutes south of Madison on a big lake. It wasn't really in a town, but there was a bar about 100 yards from his front door. We went down and had a pitcher, played electronic cornhole, and stole appetizers from a 20 year high school reunion that was taking place in the same establishment.

In the morning, we got up and did some canoeing on the lake followed by lunch at the same bar. Probably the best part of the trip because I got to try fried cheese curds, which are delicious. I headed back into Madison to catch the second half of Adam's Ironman, which involved walking back and forth between different points on the course and cheering him on for the 10 seconds he was running by. He looked tired, probably understandable.

After the race, it was back to Chicago to sleep and in the morning, an attempt to go to Lou Malnati's. To might great disappointment, it didn't open until 4, so instead I settled for Giordano's, which is was pretty good but not mind blowing delicious deep dish like I had hoped for. I then went back to Midway and flew home. It was an action packed weekend and a good time all around. Probably the last time I go to Wisconsin, I found the lack of hills pretty disturbing and don't think I could handle that permanently.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Prelims Done

Well, I found out that I research passed my final prelim exam, so I'm pretty much done taking tests for the foreseeable future. AWESOME.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Surly Tragedy

I finally got around to taking my Surly into the bike shop to get the bent hanger fixed. Good news was that the derailer is fine. Bad news is that the shifter is broken. For those of you unaware, Shimano integrated shifters are so mechanically complex, you can't take them apart to try to fix them so when they break, you have to replace the entire unit. They are also expensive. I must have knocked something loose inside of it because when the hanger was fixed and the chain back on, I only had 8 gears instead of 10. Anyways, next Wednesday and $220 poorer I should be back in business with the Surly.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Route Decided

So I'm pretty sure I know what I'm going to do in Europe. From Sofia, I'm going to fly into Paris, maybe hang out there for a day, then ride to Amsterdam. I might go through Brussels, but maybe not, depends what info I find on it. I've got a couple of books coming, so I'll put a firmer itenerary together once I get them...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Help Me Visit Europe

So, as I mentioned before I'm headed to Bulgaria in October. I'm planning on taking about 10 days after the conference is over and checking out the sights. I have no idea where to go, so those of you who have been, give me some recommendations.

I am also seriously considering bringing my bike and some panniers to tour around with. I could go from Bulgaria and take a train to somewhere, bike to another city, and fly out. Or I could forgo the logistics of the bike and just max out a city/country. Give me some advice!

Also, if anyone wants to come with I will meet you in any city in Europe on October 20th and we can check it together...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bulgaria Here I Come

It appears as if my conference paper in Bulgaria has been accepted and that they are covering my hotel and meals while I am there! My advisor will also pick up the cost of the flight, so it looks like I'm set to travel to Bulgaria and hopefully will be able to spend week or so in Europe! I can't wait!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Jaw Dropping

I found this youtube video rather shocking:

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Pickup Artist

So I was doing my standard Sunday morning routine this past Sunday, which envolves me sitting on the couch in my undies, drinking coffee and watching some bad television. The show I ended up watching was on VH1 and is called The Pickup Artist. The premise is that these three suave guys are going to teach socially awkward men how to become "pickup artists" throughout the season.

First, let me introduce the instructors Mystery, Matador, and some other guy who I can't remember. You can see how awesome they are below:







Now maybe its me, but I don't see how these guys could pickup ANYONE. Amazingly, they had a clip of them in a bar picking up women. Their strategy seems to be to find the drunkest women and let them play with their accouterments. They would then grind up on these women who were too inebriated to notice. Needless to say, it was spectacular! I am 99% sure the women were paid off to make these dudes look good, but if not, I am going to get a velvet cowboy hat, leather jacket, bling in my ear, a fur, and dye racing stripes in my hair.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Studying Away

Well, the studying for my upcoming analysis prelim exam has started, its not particularly fun to study for. On the other hand, the material does make a lot more sense the second time around and I feel pretty good about my odds on passing. Can't wait to be done with these exams!

Besides studying and working, I did some karaoke, or roke'n as myself and Paul Rudd like to call it, last night with Pete. We seriously blew the house away after renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody and Mr. Blue Sky. There was also some shuffleboard played and I got my ass kicked pretty bad in it. If the Outback Saloon was a little closer to my house, I would frequent it all the time; not only does it have shuffleboard, pool, darts, and karaoke, it also have a large customer base of cougars.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Coolest Internet Thing Yet

My buddy Josh showed me this site the other day, and it is amazing:

Pandora Radio

It is an online radio station that is completely customizable to stuff you like, and its free!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Rain

It is finally raining outside, threatening to do so all day. I was excited this morning when I checked the weather and there was a flash flood warning posted for most of Colorado. This means there is the potential for said flash floods. Severe weather excites me and I always hope to be there for the action. I distinctly remember traveling to my aunt's house in Western Nebraska when I was about 13 and really hoping to see a tornado. No such luck.

My god I have been in school a long time. This is what I've been thinking as of late. Maybe I should move to Denver and commute to Boulder. That could increase the fun factor - I do enjoy a good bus ride. When I was riding the bus to the airport in Portland, there was a mentally ill person making all kinds of strange noises; I felt like I was on the set of Police Acadamy. AWESOME. I think this past week's trip to Portland has ruined me. One disturbing trend I've noticed is that almost all my friends back in Portland are single, or at least not ready to be married. In contrast, a large portion of the people I know in Boulder are in serious relationships/engadged/already married. Why are all my Boulder friends married? Where are the others not ready to be tied down?

The constant influence of being around other couples while I am in Colorado sometimes makes me long for a girlfriend, like when I watch a movie solo at night or I want to go out to dinner. Evenings by myself can be lonely and boring, I find myself baking things to kill the time (what will I do when the landlord removes the oven!). Tonight I made these killer calzones that blew my mind with deliciousness. Then I ate one by myself. I seem to have a hard time getting people to eat dinner with me, both yesterday and today my invitations to several people were declined. Maybe I chew with my mouth open or something.

That last little bit sounds like some serious self loathing, but rest assured it is not. This is just how it is when you pretty much live by yourself without any friends that live in say a one block radius. I don't feel too bad about it, in fact I think I'd feel much worse if I was obligated to eat dinner with the same person every night. I think I'd eventually be throwing plates of asparagus against the wall circa American Beauty. The joy of being single is I get to do whatever I want whenever without feeling like I need to invite someone along.

I believe in the near future I'll be keeping my relationship exclusive with this blog. After all, I can say whatever and you rarely comment back. My only complaint is that I can't spice up the lingo or subject matter too much as I discovered on my trip back to Oregon that I have a surprisingly high number of relatives that occasionally read this. Its a shame really because I strongly believe that the occasional f-bomb can really add some flavor to the dialog. Rest assured, when I do start dating someone those conversations will be lightly peppered with profanity.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dickheads Gone

The day has come at last, my dickhead neighbors have moved out! Several hilarious things occurred on while they were leaving 39th street, let me relay them to you.

1) I came home to find the garbage overflowing and the recycling bins full of trash. What a burn Mindy and Rich! Looks like I'll be stuffing said trash in the neighborhood trash cans on my way home from quiz night. I'm thinking this is mainly a result of me being in Portland last Friday and them being too dumb to realize they needed to take the trash out, since when I came home on Tuesday the cans were on the curb, unemptied. I am fairly certain they are under the belief that you just bring the trash out when its full and the trucks well come any day of the week.

2) They ran the hose all day in the lawn trying to get rid of the burn spots in the backyard from their dog. That will guarantee a full refund on your deposit!

3) They never evened up on bills for the past two months. Too bad they have a huge deposit with the landlord who loves us and we'll be getting the cash through that if they don't pay. I'll be slapping all the water they wasted onto the bill I give them.

4) They disconnected the cable that they had been stealing all year. Luckily, they left their windows open and I just hopped inside and reconnected it.

I would be somewhat pissed about items 1 - 4, but the joy I feel about having them gone easily overcomes the rage!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Rent Question

So my landlord found out that there is some sort of zoning violation with having a stove in the basement and she needs to take it out. Adam and I were thinking of staying, she is going to get a hot plate and microwave, while my parents are sending out a spare toaster oven. Neither one of us cooks much, so I think we can swing it.

The bonus here is that we'd get a rent deduction and she asked us how much she thought was fair. The current rent is $1000/month. I've gotten numbers all over the board, so if you've got an idea of what you think would be fair post a comment!

Oregon Extravaganza

I got back from my trip to Oregon last night after spending a week back in the northwest. I must say, I had a great time and I am somewhat homesick already. Damn you doctorate program, why are you so long and time consuming! On the plus side, when I got back to Boulder I found that I had a paper accepted in an ASME journal, so the Young name should soon be famous. In the immediate future, I will begin my study for my last prelim exam, this one is in Analysis, my least favorite subject. I feel pretty good about my odds though, but we'll find out how I feel in about a month.

I first flew back last Tuesday, the 17th getting into Portland at like 11 pm. Nick picked me up and we enjoyed ourselves a pint of Portland's finest, PBR, at some crappola dive bar in the Hollywood district. Erin picked me up the next day with her friend Katie and she took me back to good ol' Albany. I ate some pizza with the family in Corvallis and proceeded to Freddie's house to catch up. He's moving to Denver in a few weeks and I spent the time convincing him to get a job skiing so he can hook me up with free passes and whatnot.

The next day, I headed up to Salem to see Shannon and her baby Emmerson. For some reason, small children always seem to like me despite the terror I experience when encountering them. This one was no exception, feeling free to smile and fart at liberty in my presence. We got some lunch and I procured a new coffee making device, the Aeropress. It is like a giant syringe that pushes water through coffee grounds, and it make surprisingly delicious coffee. I then headed down to Eugene to visit Josh for a bit.

Friday was wedding preparation day. This involved my sister and her friends making all the flowers while my mother and aunt prepared salads. I got roped into helping with the deviled eggs; this required me peeling 9 dozen eggs, and awesome and rewarding experience. Later on, there was a rehearsal dinner and me forcing my mom to watch Tour de France highlights.

Saturday was wedding day. The first priority was picking up the new Harry Potter, then heading to the wedding. There was some concern of rain, but it all cleared up by the afternoon and turned out to be about perfect conditions. There was a short and sweet ceremony and a nice reception where I got to catch up with most of my family. I heard later that my grandmother took a fall and broke her thumb after the wedding, looks like someone was taking advantage of the open bar! My cousin Melissa took me back to Portland, and being that it was Saturday night, I met up with my college amigos and later with Melissa and her friends for drinks downtown.

Sunday and Monday in Portland revolved around Nick and I reading Harry Potter and getting food/drinks with friends. It was a pretty great time and I wish I could move back. I finished the book on the journey back to Colorado, so if anyone wants to discuss it, talk to me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Disaster Strikes

This Saturday I had an epic adventure with Pete and Ben that involved us riding up Rollins Pass, a dirt road that goes over the continental divide and eventually takes you to Winter Park, although you can only do that with a bike. Its about 13 miles up to the summit from where we started. Anyways, we rode our bikes up and brought our ski gear with on the trailer, it was pretty ridiculous. We did manage to get some runs in at about 11700 ft up, but it started to rain and we headed back down below tree line.

Unfortunately, along the way back to the car I was riding the road was extremely bumpy, and as I was using my cross bike I had no shocks so every little bump was felt. The smoothest part of the road happened to be next to a ditch on the side, about a foot or two deep. I had kept the skinny tires on the bike because I was too lazy to switch them out, and I got a little to close to the edge of the ditch. The dirt gave way and the bike pulled into the ditch, which wouldn't have been too big of a deal except I was towing a trailer with two snowboards sticking out of it. As I went into the ditch, the one of the snowboards buried itself into the ground, sending me on a little endo over the handlebars. Luckily, I wasn't going very fast so I just received a few scrapes, but the rear derailer took a big hit and bent the hanger (the part of the frame from which the derailer hangs) enough to wear I could no longer pedal the bike! This is a pretty common repair, so I think I can take it to a bike shop and get it fixed for a few bucks. I've actually had it happen on my old mountain bike a few times, so I'm not too worried about it. Pete went on ahead to get the car as I scooted the bike along, and he eventually picked me up. Little did I know that somewhere along the crash I lost my digital camera, never to be seen again. Somehow, it flew out of its holder and neither one of us noticed. I'm a little bummed about it, but it wasn't too expensive and I got some good use out of it while I had it. The worst part is I had some really great pictures from the day on there and now I'll never get to see them.

This is not the end of the disasters. We were running late, Pete needed to pick his fiance up about 35 miles away from where we were at 4:15 PM and it was 4:15 PM by the time he got to me with the car, so were trying to get moving. The road was bumpy as I said, and on the way back down, Pete's bike somehow fell off of his rack. We got out and sure enough, the slot where the wheel connects on the front fork was bent 90 degrees! We manages to straighten it out enough to where he could get it back in the bike rack, but he now needs a new fork. To top it off, on the way back to the highway we got stuck at some train tracks for about 20 minutes, making us a whole 1 1/2 late to pick up his fiance!

In summary, we had an awesome day of biking and skiing, but it was a little soured when in about 1/2 an hour we managed to inflict hundreds of dollars of damage to ourselves and make Pete loose his car privileges for the rest of the summer, as his girlfriend is sick of him being late to pick her up at the summer camp she works at and is keeping the car up there with her!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Wind Power!

This is a hilarious pitch for wind power. Watch the whole thing, its only like two mintues long:

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Victory!

Finally, after months of trying, my team finally managed to win the Thursday night Geeks Who Drink pub trivia. We've gotten second several times, but this week things finally came together thanks to some amazing freak guesses that turned out to be correct in uber hard rounds and Ben's amazing ability to come up with correct answers after he though about them really hard. That, and the entire box of Tuna Helper that Pete and I ate immediately beforehand probably stimulated our minds to new levels. There were only four of us tonight, and the fourth didn't show up until round 6 (of 8). I also won the internet bonus trivia, which got me a really crappy t-shirt that I'll never wear.

The beard is itching, but I'm fighting the urge to shave it.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Colorado Springs and a Beard Update

It was in the 90s all weekend and for some ridiculous reason I decided to ride my bike with trailer attached down to Colorado Springs. I sweated about 20 gallons of water out of me, it was pretty amazing. The route I took looks like this:



Its about 100 miles each way, I spent the night down there and rode back on Sunday. One thing I learned is not to eat a calzone for lunch and expect the next hour of exercise to be especially pleasant. Cheese does not digest quickly.

I'm well on my way to becoming the star of American History XI, judge for yourself:





I figure about one or two more weeks and it'll be full blown.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Making Pops Proud

The time has come, I'm bored for the summer and I've decided to unleash my massive facial hair growing power. That's right, it is time for me to grow a beard. The time has come to unleash the Young/Kruger genes and grow myself a half beard, here is what I've got in the past four days:



Be prepared to see all that is man in the next few weeks as I fill this MOTHA FUCKA in (sorry for the language Mom, but its necessary). It may not look like too much now, but I've got blondish hair so forgive me...

In other news, I bought a suit with a semi-amazing tie. I'm pretty excited about it, it will be unleashed at Erin's wedding this July.

By the way, I was hoping for a massive influx if witty/clever responses to the neighbors. I received zero, come on!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Arcade Fire Tickets

The Arcade Fire is playing Redrocks Sept. 17th! I just got tickets, they're $45 including service charge...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Quite The Weekend

I had a great weekend, let me do a little recap for you.

Saturday, I got some excellent sleep in time and did some needed gardening with Katie. Most of of our plants rebounded after getting knocked down by the wind and I put up supports for the tomatoes. Its looking pretty decent. That night I went out with some buddies, where we were accosted by the Red Stripe girls at the Lazy Dog. In other words, I got free beer and it was delicious.

Sunday morning, I volunteered at the Boulder Sprint Triathlon as a bike marshall, which involves standing on a corner and pointing to where people should turn. It wasn't too exciting, but roommate Adam got third in his age division, most likely because my presence inspires peak performance. Later in the day, Adam's girlfriend Emily was nice enough to drive Pete and I to Nederland where rode up into the Indian Peaks and dominated some high alpine trails, here are some pics:







We rode back through Gold Hill and got some delicious apple pie right before the general store closed. Once I got home, I took a shower and to top off the day, Alien vs Predator was on. It was incredible.

In a slight downturn in fortune, I've had to deal with Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum today, aka my semi-retarded upstairs neighbors. Two weeks ago, Rich came down and issued a series of profanities like "faggot-ass college kids" and whatnot because we supposedly called the landlord about them NEVER cleaning up their dog's poop. We never actually called her, but a month or so ago she asked me how the yard looked and I told her the back yard was long and we weren't mowing it because of said poop.

Last week, I had to explain to them how they owed $53 instead of $50 in bills. It involved adding two numbers together and dividing by two.

Today, I came home to find an empty box of Tide in front of the door with a note reading

"This was Mindy and Richie's soap. Hope it cleaned your clothes."

Of course neither of us have ever used their soap. I haven't yet decided how to respond, but I like Adam's suggestion of the following:



Rich and Mindy,

Thanks! I think you're mistaken about us using the soap, but just in case, thanks for the laundry assistance. Feel free to take the $2.89 out of the $289 you owe us for the cable you've stolen this year.

Regards,

The "Faggot-Ass College Students" Downstairs



They were nice enough to lie to us about getting cable for free, and we noticed sometime back that they were watching ESPN and whatnot. We never said anything, but perhaps the time is now. Post your suggestions for a response in the comments!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Foam!

Exciting times at CU, they've replaced all the old soap dispensers with those magical ones that spit out foam. It is now way more fun to wash your hands.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Next Summer

I have bike touring on the mind and I can't stop thinking about doing a major trip at the start of next summer, starting maybe in the middle of May. Most likely, this will never happen, but what I'm thinking now is that I could bike from Portland to Boulder. Its about 2000 miles, and I think it would take about 5 weeks if I was pretty dedicated to riding 80-90 miles a day which is pretty manageable I think since I'd probably have tail winds most of the time and I'd hit the Rockies towards the end after building up some good endurance. Anyone who has some time off could join me, it would be quite the adventure. I think I'd try to do it as cheap as possible, so mostly stealth camping and cooking for myself (aka oatmeal and pasta). We shall see.

I don't think I'm going to take any classes in the fall, so it'll be full time research but also I'll be able to take time for whatever. I may try a week long tour in September or October and see how it goes...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Classy

I got a package from Linfield today, pertaining to my alumni giving. That's right, I gave them a $25 tax deductible donation about a month ago, and they are really excited about it! They're so excited that they turned around and spend that money on sending me this:




That's right, a recognition award. I took it to the framer today. I also got a Linfield Alumni sticker that is printed backwards so I can put it inside my car window, too bad I don't have a car.


Further developments of the week included Katie and I planted the transplants in our garden, it now looks somewhat presentable, I may get around to putting a picture up. I also went on a long bike ride to Ward and Lyons on Sunday and saw Knocked Up this evening. It wasn't as funny as I had hoped, but still hilarious.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Notre Dame Scheduling

Whoever sets the schedule for Notre Dame football is a complete idiot. Being that living with Adam forces me to watch every Notre Dame football game, I was somewhat interested in who they're playing this year. Here it is:

September 1 Georgia Tech
September 8 at Penn State
September 15 at Michigan
September 22 Michigan State
September 29 at Purdue
October 6 at UCLA
October 13 Boston College
October 20 USC
November 3 Navy
November 10 Air Force
November 17 Duke
November 24 at Stanford

Taken as a whole, this is a pretty challenging schedule (minus Duke and the insane number of home games, come on!). However, the last four games are ridiculously easy. Here is what is going to happen this coming season. Notre Dame is going to win and lose at the start of the season, get in the rankings probably in the latter half of the teens. Then they'll win their last four by blowouts and not move up at all, and I will be forced to listen to Adam bitch about how they're getting no respect, which will undoubtedly be extremely annoying. They will then get to some bowl game where they'll get stomped because they hadn't played a quality team since October 20, over two months! Spread the difficulty around a bit, you complete retards.

Here is an example of a schedule not designed by morons:

08/30 Utah
09/06 at Cincy
09/15 Idaho St
09/22 at Arizona St
09/29 UCLA
10/06 Arizona
10/13 at California
10/27 Stanford
11/03 at USC
11/10 Washington
11/17 at Wash St
12/01 at Oregon

Put the fluff at the beginning so you can work out the kinks and then start playing quality teams. Who's schedule is this? Oregon State. My prediction is an 11-1 season, including a spanking by USC as revenge for last year. They'll probably get a BCS game and have a repeat of the OSU-Nortre Dame game except they'll be playing a team that deserves to be in a BCS game. Snap!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

You Know

Here is a link to the transcript of an interview Kobe Bryant gave yesterday:

Kobe Interview

I don't care about basketball whatsoever, but I did find it fairly amazing the number of times Kobe said "you know". Wow.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bulgaria

A few days ago, one of the graduate students in my group freaked out and decided to quit at his masters. He was the senior most graduate student in the group, and since there is only three of us working on this project, I have now become the senior most member.

This doesn't mean anything, other than I'm first in line to go to conferences and talk about our research. Interestingly enough, it now appears that I have a good chance of going to Bulgaria October 14-19th on the dime of the school to present a paper! I find this somewhat insane, being that I've never left N. America and I would be doing this solo (unless anyone wants to come, free hotel room if you do).

I'm thinking that I would have to stick around for another week or so and do a little traveling, maybe in Greece, Bulgaria is just north of it.

If anyone has been there, let me know!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Map of Trip

Here is a map of my weekend trip, the markers have pictures embedded in them.

Map of Trip

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ride to Briggsdale

Pete and I rode to Briggsdale, CO and back over the past two days, its was a great ride, pictures I took are available here:

Briggsdale Tour Pictures

I may get around to making an elaborate google maps item, but this will have to be sufficient for now.

We started Saturday morning from Boulder and headed up through Hygiene to Ft. Collins. I was using the BOB trailer and Pete had his panniers. We made some really good time in the morning, there was little to no wind and we rolled into Ft. Collins around noon. After a delicious Spicy Italian at Subway, we rode through CSU's campus, which isn't as pretty as CU's, and found our way to New Belgium Brewery, who treated us to a free pint.

The ultimate goal was to get to Briggsdale, CO which is in the North Eastern plains in the Pawnee National Grasslands. To get there, we headed straight east for about 40 miles. Somehow, the storm systems around us created a weird inversion and despite of the fact that we were headed into the direction the wind always blows, we had a headwind pretty much the entire time. It sucked our spirits for about 20 miles before we got to Ault, CO, where we stopped for dinner at a mexican restaurant.

This restaurant was a sight to behold, not only did it have a couch inside with a 3 foot tall california raisin sitting on it, but a disturbingly large photo of a hamburger framed on the wall, like 3x4 feet! Pete has a picture of us with these items that I'll post when I get the chance.

The wind didn't die off and the next twelve miles were grueling. We finally hit the border for the grasslands and almost called it a day, but the wind completely died off and the rest of the ride to Briggsdale was really nice, especially at that time of the day.

The campground we stayed at was called Crow Valley Recreation Area, which is a prime bird watching venue, something that neither of us have any interest in. We set up camp and were fortunate enough to meet the friendliest people in the entire world, Andrew and Jean from Greeley, Co. They were with their kids at the next campground cooking campfire food just for fun, and were not staying the night. They invited us over to eat there food, which was amazing; Brawts, baked potatoes, fried Shitake mushrooms and zucchini, and baked onions all for free! It was delicious, especially since the original plan was to eat in Briggsdale, which turned out to have zero restaurants, or anything else for that matter.

After a good night's sleep, we headed out of camp to find some food. It took about 25 miles, but in Kersey, CO we ate at this pretty incredible breakfast joint. I had something called the Haymaker, which consisted of hashbrowns covered with biscuits, which in turn were covered with over-easy eggs, and everything smothered in gravy. There was sausage on the side as well. Quite a meal to say the least.

Immediately after riding again, I began to experience flats, in total three. I blame the tires I was using, Kenda Small Block Eights which are cross tires. I should have gotten some touring tires, but I'm cheap. Anyways, these things were getting really soft on the pavement, which I believe let to the increase in flats. Luckily, after the third tire change the sun disappeared behind some clouds and I didn't experience anymore equipment failures.

Finally rolled in to Boulder around 5 or so, glad to be done but having enjoyed the ride. I then immediately ate two pieces of cherry pie that I had conveniently bought before I left.

Things I will not be using on another tour:
-Kenda products of any kind
-Terry saddles, this monstrosity on my bike has probably caused me permanent butt damage. I ordered a Brooks B17 the second I got home. I don't know how I managed to convince myself to use it again after the problems it gave me in Utah, but those days are over. I also ordered new Specialized Armadillos to tour on, kevlar weaving!

Things I was impressed by:
-My new Mountain Hardware sleeping bag, this thing kicks serious ass and I'm excited to try it in colder weather.
-My Joby Gorillapod camera tripod. This thing wraps around everything and it allowed me to actually get in some pictures so it wasn't the Pete show nonstop. Good call Dad!
-My new Chaco flipflops, they did a great job letting my feet air out after a day stuffed in cycling shoes and the soles are like hiking boots so you can walk on anything in comfort.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Killers Suck

Last night, The Killers attempted to play Redrocks. They sang to songs and then walked off because the lead singers throat hurt. Ultimate lameness. Luckily, they rescheduled for September 4th and they're honoring old tickets, so I'll get to see them again.

It was the first time I've been to Redrocks, its a pretty amazing venue and I want to see some more shows there, assuming they actually bring in some decent bands...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Get Human

Nick showed me this site a while back, but it basically tells you how to get to a human as fast as possible when you call a customer service center. I just used it to get through on my Visa, it works great. Check it out:

http://gethuman.com/

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Garlic

In keeping with tradition, I have begun my annual summer garlic binge. Last year was not as intense, but the summer before, Josh and I took it to new levels. The intensity of the flatulence finally forced us to cut back, but as I am going to be alone for most of this summer, I see no reason to stop the deliciousness.

I made some fettucini alfredo for dinner today, and it called for five cloves. Even after brushing, flossing, and some listerine, I can still taste it. I'm excited to drop some bombs tomorrow while walking through the crowds at The Killers concert, I'm sure it'll add to some 16 year old kid's concert experience.

Keep On Climbing

I was reading on CNN that gas prices have hit an all-time high of $3.07 a gallon, and there hasn't even been a hurricane this year to make it jump. That's too bad for all you suckers who rely on your cars, I was completely oblivious that prices were even increasing. I hope it hits something ridiculous, like $10 a gallon. Imagine the bike traffic!

Sure, gas prices hurt the economy, but on the other hand, it should infuse the alternative energy market with cash, creating many more jobs in the USA as opposed to overseas. It'll probably keep us out of the middle east as well, no one wants us there anyways. Rising gas prices = good times for the USA.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Weekend Update

I've had a pretty good weekend, I've been working on a research paper that is due Monday and finally am getting the data I hoped for.

Yesterday, while waiting for my data to complete running, I decided to watch a movie, Notes On A Scandal. Its not a very good movie and I do not recommend renting it. However, at one point they made Lasagna which got me thinking that I really wanted some. I looked in the cookbook my parents gave me for Christmas and made a huge Lasagna. Realizing there was no way I could finish it on my own, Pete, Mary, and Sarah came over and helped me eat it. It was delicious.

This morning, Sarah and I got a good ride in up to Jamestown, it was a really nice ride. I had never been to Jamestown, but the road up there is freshly paved and has some nice curves on the descent, I think I'll be riding it again in the future.

Now I need to finish my paper tonight, which is going to suck, but it'll be nice to be done with it. Then I can finally have a weekend off without any work to do! Pete and I are planning a little tour for the weekend, more on that later.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Gold Hill Via Switzerland

This morning I took the Surly on a ride with Ben and two professors from my department to Gold Hill, via the Switzerland Trail, check the route below:



Tom (one of the profs) drove us to the turnoff in his truck and we rode from there. It was nice taking a truck past the pavement, but I felt a little guilty not climbing the entire thing!

Last year, I rode a variation of this route on my old Specialized Enduro, and decided it was overkill, hence the trade in for the Surly. It performed like a champ, climbing with very little effort, at least compared with the full suspensions I was riding with. I think it may have inspired Ben to look into a cross bike.

The only downside to the skinny tires is descending on loose gravel, I defiantly experienced a little slippage.

Unfortunately, both Ben and I were in a hurry today and missed out on pie, a huge tragedy in my opinion and I hope never to repeat it.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Nice Day For A Ride

I finally got off my ass and went for a ride today in my attempt to kick off the summer Patrick with a bang. For those of you not with the times, the summer of Patrick involves me biking, running, or some other outdoor activity pretty much everyday. It also involves drinking microbrew, mostly in moderation, but sometimes not.

It was a really nice ride, not a in the least windy or cloudy. Pete, Adam, and I rode to Rabbit Mountain via Hwy 36 and came back to town through Hygiene. It was a little over 40 miles total. The route is below, if you click on it, it'll take you to an interactive map of the route:



This is actually the first time I've gone riding with Adam in quite some time. He learned a new game, which involves fictitious mini-races, which makes the ride way more entertaining. For example, the first to the end of Hwy 36 wins sprinting points, or first to the top of a hill gets king of the mountain points, Tour de France style. I recommend adding this to all your rides in the future.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Cinco de Raino

Yesterday, it rained like crazy all night long. I had to ride my bike back home from the bar and I got ridiculously wet. However, my head was dry thanks to the HUGE sombrero I was wearing the entire time! It is the ultimate inclement weather gear and I think I'm going to open a business that sells helmets with built-in sombreros.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Photo Which Represents My Life Exactly

I stole this image from Kathryn, I hope she gets over it. It is a perfect description of how I live my life everyday. If anyone ever sees a poster of this, buy it for me.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Almost Done

I just finished giving my final project presentation in my computational fluid dynamics class, meaning I am finished with 1 out of 2 classes for this semester! The presentation went well, it was on immersed boundary techniques. For those of you who have any idea what a PDE is (skip to next paragraph if not), this method allows you to simulate boundaries inside your domain without altering your grid in any way. Since you're solving on a cartesian grid, things are simple and clear for your actual solver. Also, it is extremely easy to simulate moving boundaries with this method, a bonus for me as I aspire to simulate moving droplets.

What I found most shocking in this course is how incredibly dumb most of the aerospace engineering graduate students seem to me. Their final projects consisted of using commercial code and having no idea what it actually does. I equate this to learning how to use photoshop or something, making a picture, and saying you drew it by hand. I am continually shocked by engineers, what do they actually do?

Monday is my Applied Analysis final. I wish I could use commercial software on that, its going to be a bitch. Four days of studying await me!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Awkward

I was reading the news today, and found out that India issued an arrest warrant for Richard Gere because of this:



First the gerbils, now this! Hilarious.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Midterm Done

Well, I finished what is hopefully my last midterm ever. It went alright, but we'll find out when I get it back.

Summer is approaching and I've been thinking about various things I want to, which got me thinking about things I'd like to achieve sometime in lets say 20 years. Here is what I've thought of so far:

1) Finish school
2) Get a job
3) Buy a house, with a nice deck to drink beer/watch weird people walk by
4) Meet someone who would like to sit on said porch with me
5) Have the house be powered by non-CO2 producing means (solar or whatever)
6) Have a vehicle that doesn't produce CO2 (technically I already have this with the bikes)
7) Have a cabin in S. Utah to enjoy the desert in
8) Bike around Patagonia, Australia, and Europe for a while (probably multiple trips to each)
9) Learn spanish, which I see coming in handy for #7 and future family gatherings

Thats about it, if I got to do all of these things I think I'd be a happy camper.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

NBA

Does anyone watch the NBA anymore, or for that matter, care about the NBA playoffs? College basketball is far superior, at least the teams try their best for every game. Where is Clyde the Glide? His retirement was the end of the NBA.

Last Midterm Ever!

I have a midterm on Monday, and I think it is my last for the foreseeable future, just one final and a prelim left, assuming I don't fail the prelim in August. I am tired of taking tests.

Adam is in Alabama for the weekend so I have the house to myself. This means that I am rarely wearing pants, a nice feeling indeed. I also baked a pie, it is delicious although I wish it was cherry instead of apple. I watched two "chick flicks" over the past few days, I think my subconscious wants me to get a girlfriend. This would involve me meeting new girls, so it probably won't happen.

The first movie I watched was "My Super Ex-Girlfriend". This is not Luke Wilson at his best, although I found myself extremely attracted to Uma Therman, probably because she had glasses on for most of the movie.

The second movie was "The Break-Up". It pretty much sucked and I do not recommend it. I'm tired of Vince Vaughn and his whole I can talk fast thing. It was also fairly shocking to see how fat John Favre has gotten since Swingers. I hope this is not the future that awaits me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday Morning

Today has been a good day so far. I woke up around 7:20, ate some breakfast, did some laundry, and cleaned my room. I've decided to give running another shot, since my knee has bothered me for quite some time so I headed out on the bike to a trail south of town and did a 3 or 4 miler. It was a super nice morning, and a ton of people were on the trail. I felt pretty good, but towards the end had some slight twitches of pain in the knee and my shoes were giving me blisters.

I went home showered up, and headed to Boulder Running Company to see what I could do about the shoe problem. These shoes have always given me blisters on the sides of my feet, the insoles were pealing away on the sides. Anyways, the people at Boulder Running Company (where I bought the shoes) gave me a brand new pair of insoles for free! The guy just looked at them and grabbed a new pack off the shelf. This made my quite happy and I recommend that everyone buy their shoes at this store from here on out.

I've decided to get one of those knee bands for my right knee to see if it improves things, I hope so.

To top it off, I stopped by Great Harvest for some bread and they had fresh out of the oven this cherry and blueberry bread and now I'm eating it! It is delicious. I hope the rest of the day works out as well.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ride To Ward

Yesterday, myself and three of my friends went for a ride up to Ward, a mountain town about 20 miles from Boulder. It was an amazing day, not a cloud in the sky to be found. We ended up riding past ward up the road to Brainard Lake, but once we got to the gate the road was covered in snow. Here is the route and elevation profile provided by the insane GPS device that Ben has:





Is was a great ride, pretty casual but grueling as well. When we finished, we stopped at Amante's Coffee for a little food and sunbathing on the patio. That combined with riding all day without sunscreen resulted in this:



This should make for an interesting tan line for the rest of the summer.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Interesting Fact

I found this little factoid today:

"In 1972, 87 percent of children who lived within a mile of school walked or biked daily; today, just 13 percent of children get to school under their own power, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."

Why wouldn't a kid want to ride a bike to school? I used to do it almost everyday when I was in elementary school (not to mention that I pretty much do it everyday now!).

No Snow

It has become clear to me that people who predict the weather have no idea what they are doing. It didn't snow at all last night or today!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Snow = Lame

There is a winter storm warning for Boulder starting tonight at midnight and going through Saturday until 6PM. A foot of snow is possible.

I am tired of snow, its April. Give me rain showers!

On the positive side, I got a hole-in-one on Tiger Woods today.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Questions On God...

While procrastinating at school, I found this article on CNN:

Collins: I'm a scientist; I believe in God

For those of you unwilling to click on the link, Dr. Francis Collins is the head of the human genome project and a devote Christian. I found that I agreed with the first part of the article, mainly the idea of a higher power makes sense to me, just based on what I know about the complex world we live in. It is somewhat mind boggling that life can exist in this universe, especially in such a complex form. The number of things that had to come together to make it all work out is incomprehensible.

The break I see in Collins thought process is where he leaps from a belief in God to Christianity. It is not clear to me how one can pick a particular religion. For me, it seems that a belief in a high power is self-evident, for all time any human that has or will exist could look around the world and come to the conclusion that there is something bigger than them in the world. This is not true of Christianity or any religion for that matter.

Think about it, were the billions of people born before 0 BC not privy to the "correct" faith? What about those who never had the chance of being exposed to this point of view? In undergrad, I had a man from Campus Crusade For Christ talk with me. He was explaining to me that the only way to heaven was through Christ, otherwise you're headed to hell. This made me think heaven was a pretty empty place before the birth of Christ, and things didn't really start filling up until Constantine spread the religion across Europe. Needless to say, his answers to my questions on the subject left something to be desired.

Sometimes, people point the way to Christianity as through the Bible, i.e. it was divinely inspired and all that. All these arguments are flawed, in that you can use them in the exact same manner with the Koran to lead you to Islam or any other religion with a sacred text. How can one choose correctly?

My belief is that the only reasonable view of God is one without a particular religion backing it. This view allows for all who came before us and those that will come after to believe in the same higher power regardless of when or where they have or will be born. I see individual religions as extremely polarizing, just look at the motivation for many of the conflicts of today and in the past! Christian vs Muslim, Sunni vs Shi'ite, Catholic vs Protestant, Judaism vs everyone else, and the list goes on. Take away these polarizing sects and there is nothing to argue about, everyone would believe in the same thing. This seems like the path a higher power would desire. People's beliefs bringing them together, not tearing them apart.

I welcome comments destroying my point of view.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Sports Are Over Until Next Fall

Last night's championship game between The Ohio State University and Florida officially brings and end to this school year's sporting season, mainly because the only thing I like about baseball is annoying my roommate with questions on obscure rules. Just like last year's tournament, the Big 10 let me down by getting blown out. Had Ohio State won, I would be $25 richer. My impression of Greg Oden did go up quite a bit after seeing him dominate on the inside, too bad the rest of his team was horrible. I hate Florida.

Another thing that is coming to an end is television shows for the year. Last night was the season finale of The Hills, the greatest show MTV has ever made. The end wasn't as satisfactory as I hoped, but hopefully there will be another season. Only a few more episodes of Lost and The Office are left as well. On the plus side, this will make me ride my bike more as I'll have nothing else to do, other than play Tiger Woods Golf on the Wii.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The White Rim

I just got back from my spring break trip, this year I rode the White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park. Here is a link to pictures, I'm too lazy to link to all of them.

Pictures

This road is a 100 mile ride along the aptly named White Rim, here is some info:

Park Service Info For The White Rim

It was an amazing ride. Pete, my officemate and I decided to do this ride self supported, Pete using his touring bike with panniers while I used the Surly with my BOB trailer attached. Things didn't start out that well, I had a problem with my skewer that is needed to connect the trailer and when I climbed into my new sleeping bag for the first time, I found that it had a large hole in it! Luckily, I bought it at REI and I'm sure I can get a new one without any hassle.

Anyways, we started Monday morning and managed to put about 50 miles down the first day. We both agreed that the ride would go faster with a mountain bike, simply because you could fly over the little bumps. The shaking gets to you after a while when you have no suspension. It was definitely doable though, and I think it was good practice for later this summer.

After a nice desert night, we finished the second 50 miles. This portion was significantly easier than the previous day, we had the wind at our backs but mainly the road was smoother and our skills much improved on the dirt allowing us to double our average speed from the previous day.

I really recommend this ride to anyone, its really beautiful and challenging! In a few days Pete and I will throw together a full travelogue with pictures, but I'm too lazy now to do it and he has more pictures.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Round Two of Betting

As I explained in a previous post, Adam and I have a bet on who will have the most teams, the Big 10 or Pac 10, in the NCAA tournament. Last night, the Sweet 16 began. UCLA took care of Pittsburgh pretty handily and since there is only one Big 10 team left, Ohio State, I was feeling pretty good.

Unfortunately, Tennessee pulled one of the biggest choke jobs in NCAA history by blowing a 17 point half time lead and eventually losing the game. The most amazing part was that the entire lead was gone in the first 10 minutes of the second half! It wasn't even that Ohio State played that phenomenal, Tennessee just stopped scoring. It was possibly the most infuriating thing I have ever seen.

Today's games include USC playing North Carolina. I have a feeling they might not win that one, but USC looked really good in their last game so there is hope remaining. Oregon plays UNLV, who is surprisingly good. I'm going to need T. Porter and Aaron Brooks to pour on the threes, otherwise I think we're in trouble.

Now I cannot lose this round of betting, but my odds for the Final 4, which happens to be the largest part of the bet, would be greatly increased with two Ws tonight. Adam's pain is my gain.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Domestic Dispute

Its 1:30 AM and I'm listening to my neighbors upstairs yell at each other, its fairly entertaining. There have been many f-bombs dropped so far.

Keep in mind that these people are possibly the dumbest human beings on the planet. As far as Adam and I can tell, Rich's daily tasks include sitting on his couch watching the cable they steal from us, and occasionally smoking out of a huge bong. Mindy works all day and is always friendly, but some of the stupidest conversations I have ever experienced have been with her.

I can't be sure, but apparently Rich, the guy from Brooklyn who informed me when we first moved in that he's "old school" has gotten in trouble for either playing online poker or going to some sort of online chat room, either way, Mindy is jealous. Rich feels like he was justified to do whatever he was doing because he was "loving and loving and loving" Mindy all night. This apparently came to an end when he started using the computer, which he was doing because he was "lonely".

It all just ended with Rich storming out and informing Mindy that he is sleeping on the couch, he just wanted her "to hear it from his mouth." Somehow this all involves dropping things on the floor on the hardwood floor directly above my bedroom. Now there is music playing and I'm envisioning Rich crying himself to sleep on the sofa while he listens to "Lonely Teardrops" by Jackie Wilson.

I hope to one day have a relationship this strong.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Back Off Before I Rock You Harder Than Wolfmother

For those of you who are unaware, "the true rebirth of the power trio is upon us." This is a quote I picked up off the band website for Wolfmother, a rock band from Australia.

Wolfmother is awesomely bad, they sound sort of like Black Sabbath. I found out that they are coming to Denver April 18th to Melt the metro areas faces off, and I'm seriously considering going. Anyone interested, let me know, I think it would be pretty entertaining.

Strangely enough, Wolfmother and a few other hard rock bands were featured on NPR the other day. Apparently there is a resurgence in rock music going on nowadays. I guess when you spend all your time in a windowless office or on a bicycle, you don't hear about new trends in music.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Update

Wisconsin and Purdue helped me out this morning and I've won the Sweet 16, if USC wins today I'm looking good for the rest of the tournament.

Emotional Rollercoaster

Yesterday was a stressful day for me. Not only did I have to study for a midterm on Monday, but more importantly the NCAA tournament was on all day. CBS figured out a way to let you watch it online, so while doing some math I'd watch the game at the same time.

The reason it was such a stressful day is that my roommate and I have a wager on who will have the most teams in the Sweet 16, Elite 8, and Final 4, between the Pac-10 and Big-10. I won't fill you in on the details, but the games that were on yesterday were all close and packed full of potential upsets, and it drove me crazy. If you were in the Math building yesterday, all of the screaming was from me.

Right now, there is 1 Big-10 and 1 Pac-10 team in the Sweet Sixteen, and both conferences have two teams playing today. Wisconsin is playing UNLV, so I don't think I'm going to win that one. Purdue is playing Florida, so that should work out well for me. On the Pac-10 side, we have Oregon playing Winthrop, which should be a win, and USC against Texas. This is probably the most interesting game, hopefully Kevin Durant got the flu last night and won't be playing. Cheer for the Pac-10!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tuesday Bike Ride

After the epic bike rides of this weekend and the 70+ degree weather in Boulder this week, I decided to go on a bike ride this morning on the Surly. The route is here, I went counterclockwise:



This was around a 40 mile loop, and I've always wanted to give it a shot. The Surly is my enabler.

I met my buddy Ben from the Computer Science department at 8 AM at the corner of Broadway and Baseline. We then rode on up Flagstaff summit. The insane steepness towards the top was definitely difficult, I had forgotten how steep it is. Plus the Surly doesn't have as wide a range of gearing as the Bianchi, so I really had to grind away. Ben is a serious biker, it was nice to ride with someone who can really fly up the hills. Here is the view this morning of the Front Range near the summit of Flagstaff:




After reaching the summit, the road descends into a valley and you ride through rolling hills for a bit. Eventually, I got the dirt road where I needed to turn, and said goodbye to Ben as his road bike can't handle the dirt. To my surprise, there is a big reservoir back here with an impressive dam:




I rode on this dirt while for quite sometime, not a single car came by although there were some houses scattered about. All of a sudden, I popped out on Highway 72, my ticket back to Boulder. There was also a liquor store with a sweet wooden bear out front at this intersection, but I missed him in the photo:



I took this road back into Boulder, its maybe another 20 miles but pretty much all down hill so it went quickly. Here is a photo of Denver after popping out of the canyon:



Here is the canyon I popped out of:



A photo of the Flatirons on my way back into town:



This is pretty much the ideal Tuesday morning, I recommend you try it! I also found this sweet feature of Google's that allows you to store photos on the web and its syncs with iPhoto and its free! Go to picasaweb.google.com

Monday, March 12, 2007

Playoffs

Yesterday was a day of mixed results. The innertube waterpolo team lost in the semis for the second season in a row, it was a real heartbreaker. However, I went on a bike ride and felt really fast. I think this was mostly because everyone on the road that I saw was much older than me and as a result, slow. I don't know how many people I passed, but it was a ton and I never got caught by anyone.

Most importantly, in Madden world the 49ers won the NFC West after trouncing the Browns (Adam's team, hilarious) and the Ravens. I play the Seahawks in the second round, and I'm expecting big things. I finished 11-5, a pretty good improvement on last years 7-9 and if I pick up enough cash flow, I'll be signing some big names in the off season.

I've ordered my garden seeds to plant next week. I've got spinach, carrots, green beans, and onions on the way right now. In May, I'll pick up some transplants to finish the garden off.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Riding To Gold Hill

I took the Surly out for its first voyage, a trip up to Gold Hill. Gold Hill is a old mining town up in the hills, I have only been there on my old mountain bike because its only accessible by dirt road. However, the Surly is not constrained to the pavement, so I decided to see if I could get there.

I had heard that the road to Gold Hill (up Four Mile Canyon) was the steepest county road in the lower 48 states, but having ridden it, I would disagree. It is definitely steep, I was in my lowest gear working hard for some of the climb, but I've got a compact double 34x50, which is not particularly low gearing, and I was fine. It was a great ride, I only saw a handful of cars the entire time. It was a pretty exciting ride up though, mainly because it started snowing a little bit!

My primary motivation for going to Gold Hill was to visit the general store there, as it has the most delicious pie I had ever had! Unfortunately, when I got there they only had pecan pie, so I had a cheese and pesto croissant and a cup of coffee, both were delicious. I also met two mountain bikers at the general store, probably a few years older than me, who were semi-pros. I got some good tips on places to ride and I'm excited to try a few new routes.

I really like the Surly, it climbs amazingly well. I'm not fully comfortable going really fast on decents on a dirt road, but that will hopefully come with some more practice. My advice to all of you is get a cross bike! It feels great on the road and performs well in the dirt.

Here are some glamor shots of the ride:

This is the route, I went clockwise:



This is looking back down Four Mile Canyon, the hill you see in the background is where Boulder Canyon Road is:



Where Four Mile Canyon turns to dirt:



An old truck in Gold Hill:



Just outside Gold Hill looking at the Front Range. To the far right is Left Hand Canyon going up to Ward:



Coming down Sunshine Canyon. You can barely see Boulder in the distance:

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Castor Beans Are Not For Decoration

Last night, I attended a mandatory garden plot meeting. It was pretty useless, other than I got a bunch of flyers on when to plant stuff. There was this old codger at the meeting who informed the entire room not to plant castor beans for decoration of your garden, because terrorists can use them to make ricin and poison the children. Although I wish he described this to the entire crowd, ricin is poisonous because it causes diarrhea so bad that you die from massive fluid and electrolyte loss! I'm pretty sure I'm going to grow some and test it out on Adam (my roommate and arch-nemisis), as it is an excellent laxative in small doses (thanks wikipedia).

I also discovered yesterday that Smart Ground soy taco meat, tastes exactly like real meat, at least in burrito form.



More disturbing than that, it looks exactly like real meat. I suggest you all try it, it is delicious.