Friday, August 31, 2007

Vero House

Actually not taken in b/w...I used photoshop to remove color profile. It's my house in Vero taken from the west later on in the day.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Espegizmo

Me alegro de leer los "posts" de Espegizmo, un blog en español sobre los desarrollos actuales de tecnología. Cada uno es sencillo y breve. Se puede leer solamente los posts que interesen a uno. Le recomiendo visitar este sitio de red. Los autores aumentan unos tres cuentos diarios para que visiten con frecuencia sus lectores.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Prelims Passed!

I passed BOTH my prelims!!!

Traffic and Weather

I was listening to the Fountains of Wayne album Traffic and Weather on my ride back to Tallahassee when I realized that every song was about motion and romance. I started thinking that perhaps every FOW song was about these things. I hadn't thought really hard about it, but I ended up talking to TBW about it, and he reminded me that personal shortcomings are a big theme in FOW songs. I guess I should have thought of that one.

I think something else that they write (not necessarily about) is catchy pop songs. Vocal harmonies and catchy riffs along with sustained rhyme schemes kinda get their songs stuck in your head. I'm surprised that these factors along with the length of their average song that they don't have more radio success.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Growth Spurt

When I was home on vacation, my mom told me that she thought I'd grown. I keep hearing this from people: "you're taller than you used to be." I usually think that they're shrinking or that I'm wearing bigger shoes or something. This time, I decided to get measured. To the best of my knowledge, I've been 6'0" for a while now. My mom crudely measured me at 6'1". I got on one of those scales with a height measurer, and it turns out that I'm now 6'¾". I guess that rounds up to 6'1". Interesting...I guess I'm just a late bloomer...I thought guys stopped growing before reaching their 20s. Guess I was wrong...or that I'm an exception to the rule. I like it when rules make exceptions for me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Mark Spitz


Mark Spitz "holds the record for most gold medals won in a single Olympic Games (seven), which he set at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany. "

He has substantially more hair than most other swimmers.
I mean, check out the mustache! Through his natural talent and dedication to the sport, he was able to outswim all his contemporaries. It goes to show that effort alone is all some people need to get/stay on top.

The other side's argument is "ya, but how much faster could he have been if he had shaved?" I don't know whether it's possible to go much faster when you are next to your only competition. For instance, I can be running top speed in a race but then go faster when I hear somebody coming up behind me. I don't know much about the world of competitive swimming, but I do want to say "way to go" to Mark Spitz.

Jensen's Joke

So, Jensen came up with this joke...I told it this weekend. Kinda disappointed Matt didn't get it right away. High five to Jensen for making up jokes...that shit is hard.

Do your best to read it in a gay German man's voice:
"Hi, I'm Karl and this is my gay lover Friedrich...we share everything."

So much more politically correct than the 3/5 joke...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More Fun Activities

On my way back to Tallahassee, I stopped in Orlando to see Jessica & we went bowling. Then stayed up late bullshitting. She showed me an awesome hand-drawn blueprint of a building that she designed. Pretty impressive. I've only really looked at the electrical plans to see where phones and cables go. She had to do cabinetry, ceiling tiles, A/C, electrical, floor, and probably something else that I'm forgetting. I couldn't believe that it was drawn by hand because everything looked so perfect. Jessica also gave me some posters and I freaking forgot them at her house. I realized that I forgot them once I was about an hour and a half away.

Next, I saw Crista in Gainesville. Haven't seen her in years! Then to Stephanie's house for a while to see pix from her Argentina trip. Then we went to Matt's house then out to dinner @ Satchels. There was a huge wait, but we passed the time. Dinner was good, then back to Matt's place for some brews. I got to sleep on a cot...I don't think I've ever slept on a cot before, but they're kinda cool. This morning, we went to breakfast at Jones's somethingoranother. They had an incredible painting on the wall that I stared at the entire time. I also ate a good breakfast burrito.

Gas mileages from trip:
From Tallahassee to Orlando to Vero: 25 mpg
From (a little in-town driving in all these cities) Vero to Orlando to Gainesville: 22 mpg
From Gainesville to Tallahassee (all highway): 26 mpg
Does't my car kick ass. Can your 4.6L V8 do that??

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The More, the Merrier

I have been surprised by the volume of traffic that this blog is getting (about 8x the amount I thought it did). I have blocked my home computer from counting toward the number of unique visitors (before blocking myself, I counted as one person every day, but I won't any more). I am thrilled that so many people are coming across this thing.

Not everyone who's been checking it out even knows me. My counter tells me what the "referring link" was for visitors. I have about 5 people who got here from a Google search on "grandeur of the seas." Somebody else on "non-mercator globes." I've had people in a few different countries: Trinidad & Tobago, Sweden, UK, and of course USA.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Pick #38

Lil' Jon - Read a Book
The link is to a YouTube video. Thanks to Neil for showing this to me. I didn't know what to make of it at first, but after watching and thinking about it, I'm pretty sure he's serious. At first I thought he was just making fun of white people.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Drinking Around the World

So, I got to visit Bailey yesterday and the first part of today. Yesterday, we went to Epcot (me, Bailey, & Mackenzie) and drank around the world. We all got in free. It went something like this:

Mexico: Austin "I hope they have Cerveza Sol!" get there "Oh, all they have is XX...I'll wait until the next country."
Norway: Carlsberg...also a no-go
China: The girls get this frozen slushy stuff: peach and plum wine. Mackenzie drank about 3 sips of her plum wine slushy and decided that it was too gross to drink any more. DD. BTW, stay away from plum wine slushies. "They have Tsingtao on tap, that's pretty cool...and I'd drink Tsingtao, but I'd rather get something somewhere that I can't get at the Leon Pub" Bailey: "Austin, you've been in 3 countries and not had one drink. That's weak...what are we here to do anyway?" Austin: "OK, I'll have whatever they have in Germany, as long as it's not Heineken."
Germany: They have Becks. Nasty. Luckily, they had a local wheat beer that I couldn't prounounce. I got one.
Italy: Bailey gets Bellini.
America...really? Miller Light and Budweiser? However, I thought we were going to watch a show so I drank the rest of my German beer only to find out that I could have enjoyed it a little longer.
Japan: Bailey - "Austin, do you kike Saki?" Austin - "no" Bailey- "will you take a shot anyway." Austin-"hell ya." She buys me Saki and we laugh at funny Engrish on packaging.
Morocco: Best country there. I get a Casa beer. Only 12 fl oz...not like the 20 oz-ers in the other countries. Awesome market, but I didn't see any hookahs.
France: Bailey gets a Grey Goose lemonade-slushy. It's tasty.
UK: Insert English pub here. I didn't get anything beause it's so easily accessible at any bar.
Canada: Did we even stop there?

We make another lap around. I decide that we should go back to Morocco for another Casa beer...I would definitely end up drinking those if I ended up in Morocco for some reason. I get another Casa beer and Bailey gets a Habibi daquiry that was pretty good...

Somewhere, maybe Japan, Bailey got a strawberry daquiri thing with a drop or two or ¿orange blossom water? which made all the difference. Best mixed drink I've tried in a long time (or at least since my last party).

Then we watched a badass fireworks show (oh, and I noticed that Madagascar on the Epcot spinning globe is proportionally way too small). Go back to her place, finish looking at Japan pictures (the real Japan) and eat a peanut butter sandwich. Talk to Bailey for about an hour and a half after she wants to go to bed...you know how I do.

Woke up this morning and went to a hole in the wall place in Orlando for breakfast. "Best sweet buns in town" there. I can't remember the name. Back home, trying to decide what to do. We end up going to a driving range (the first time for all 3 of us). I wacked the snot out of a few of them, but all the ones I hit hard curved way to the right. I got a little blister on my right pinky finger. We made tacos for dinner and Bailey demonstrates that she doesn't cook very often.

The end.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Summer Obsession

Andrew moved in on Wednesday and has been unpacking/spending time with his parents up until earlier today. We went to Publix tonight and talked for a little while. He was going through things in his room to throw out, and I saw what looked like a CD sampler in the trash (grocery) bag. From the brief glimpse I caught, it looked like the "Pro-Mo Fo Sho" single from The Summer Obsession. I asked "hey, is that The Summer Obsession?" He replied in the affirmative with an underlying expression of "how do you know them?" Interesting. By the way, I got that sampler at the Warped Tour last year and TSO has played for Andrew's fraternity for a long time (6 years if I remember correctly).

This reminded me of the day when Walker and I found out that we both had Black Lab's "Your Body Above Me" album. I guess Andrew knows other (frat) guys with this disc, but I would wager that he did not expect me to have it. I told him that I really like the Pro-Mo Fo Sho songs but wasn't impressed with what I found on purevolume. He says that he has some of their older stuff and one song is an all-time favorite. I must cop that.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Done with School

I took my Macro prelim today. Don't know exactly what you need to get a "high pass," but I think I'm close. Now I get to go on a small vacation. Orlando this weekend, then home until Thursday, Orlando again, then Gainesville, then back to Tally.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Social Inefficiency of Stealing my Backpack

My backpack did not get stolen. But I was thinking (and talking about it a little bit with Paula) a little while ago that it is socially inefficient for anyone to steal anyone else's backpack (and/or certain other items). The only possible exception would be when the bag is empty.

The reason is that it must be worth more to me than anyone else due to the specialized nature of the items inside. Who really needs my old homeworks. They will be better for me to study from. Who needs my cell phone with the phone numbers of my friends? My jump drive with all my computer programs and essays? I will have huge costs associated with replacing everything in the bag whereas they will represent a small benefit to the person who took the bag. Back to the jump drive...I guess they could use it after formatting it, but they probably could have bought a used one comparable to mine for under $10, which is way less than the cost I have to go through to get another one and replace the files (if that's even possible).

This social inefficiency of taking someone else's item applies to anything that is personalized, anything that holds sentimental value, or anything that is specialized (i.e. why would you want my glasses when there is a very small chance that we have the same prescription). Any time the value to the current owner is greater than the value to anyone else, a redistribution of that resource will result in diminishing the level of social welfare.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blue Jay


Check out the feathers around the eyes and on the breast. I must have been 20 feet away!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Starstruck

Tonight, Nick was flipping through the channels and I was like "hey, go back." :::he flips back::: "I think I know that guy..." "Dude, that's Nick D'Anna." I was about 98% sure of it, but then some girl called him Nick. Then he was talking and it was definitely him. He's on E's "Sunset Tan," whatever that is. Jessica tells me that she's seen him on there since about a month ago.

I went to school with that kid in middle- and high-school. I remember when the only CD he listened to was Blink 182's Cheshire Cat album.

I have often wondered how many famous people I will know. I don't think this counts as famous, but it's a start.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction

I just finished On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction by Karl Iagnemma on Thursday. What a great name for a collection of short stories written by a mechanical engineer from MIT. The stories themselves aren't that awesome, although this is the first time I've encountered non-trivial, formal mathematical notation in a "pleasure-reading" book. Karl seems to have a fascination with not-quite-modernized human society and the cold. I'm not sure if the cold in his stories is symbolic or just something that he relates to and therefore feels the need to include.

The title of the book is the title of the first short story and also of an unfinished PhD dissertation by the protagonist of said story. Not all of the stories are about romances between romantically-awkward geeks. It's not on my list of books to recommend, but you can borrow it if you want.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Awesome Dinner

So, I took my micro prelim this morning. Think I did well enough to low-pass...whatever that means. I won't find out for a couple weeks. Afterward, came home, met Micah TBW around 3:30 and headed to the batting cages. Tried out the slow-pitch softball, 40mph, 60mph, and 70mph. Not bad performance for not hitting for a while. I was a little late on some of the 70mph and whiffed a couple of them. I was really early on the slow pitch, which reminds me that I have a hard time waiting on a pitch...one of my big game flaws in softball. After hitting in the hot sun and wearing sweat-soaked shirts that made us look like the 3 of us had just gone swimming, we wondered what we'd wrangle up for dinner.

Went to Publix. On Micah's suggestion, we got stuff for kabobs. Beef, green pepper, onion; chicken, green pepper, onion; shrimp, pineapple. Stubbs marinade for the beef, Sweet Baby Ray's honey chipotle sauce for the chicken, and Jack Daniels sauce for the shrimp, olive oil basted on the veggies. Came home, cut stuff up, grilled it. Blue Bell chocolate chip cookie dough for dessert. It fed me, TBW, Nick, Micah, and Glenn. Tasty shit. I probably haven't had a dinner that good in a long time. It was probably just as good as Brock's 4th of July food, but we had way more of it. We all ate our fill. I think the total bill for dinner was $35 or less. For the 5 of us. MAYBE one reason it was good is that all the meats were fresh. Plus, the Lake Ella Publix didn't have regular Publix chicken breasts, so I had to get the Publix Premium ones. HOLY MOLY MELT IN YOUR MOUTH GOOD!!! If you're planning a dinner in the near future...this is easy (although it creates mounds of dishes) and awesome.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Chopper Blades


After one of the coolest birthday presents ever, I took this picture when we were on the ground. It's the business end of a Bell (something or another) helicopter.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

O Valencia!

You might know that I'm thinking about applying for a Fulbright grant for the 2009-2010 school year in order to study abroad on someone else's dime. Ideally, I would end up in España, but I would settle for Chile, Peru, maybe Bolivia... The problem is that you can only apply for one country. However, I think I might have a chance at getting in to the Spain program (which is fiercely competitive).

In the fall, I will be working for Dr. Cooper on money from a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. Dr. Cooper has coauthors in Barcelona and Valencia. I don't speak Catalán, and don't really think that I'd like to spend a year in Barcelona (maybe more than the one weekend I spent would be cool, but I'd put a voluntary 2 week cap on time in Barcelona). However, they speak Castillian Spanish (castellano) in Valencia in addition to the local language, valencià, which is predominate in communications such as public signage. It is a form of Catalán, but I can actually read it, as opposed to the kind they speak in Barcelona.

So, if things go well with Dr. Cooper, I may have the opportunity to get a letter of recommendation from him, a letter of affiliation from the university where his coauthor works, and letters of recommendation from two (former??) Fulbright scholars who were my thesis advisor and my favorite spanish teacher in undergrad. It's at least worth applying for.

Valencia would be better than a latin-american alternative because I can go straight south whenever I want on my own dime...If I can get the US department of state to pay for a year-long trip to Spain, then I might as well milk it for all it's worth. With this connection, there might be equal odds of me getting in to any of the 4 countries of potential interest. I need to talk to the scholarship lady at FSU to see what I need to do to beef up my application.

I also need to come up with an idea for community involvement in the city of Valencia in my proposal to go to there. Let me know if you have any ideas that could help me rock out the application process.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Side Projects for Fall

In addition to going to classes, I figured that I would pick up a few side projects in the fall since I hear that the second year of grad school is supposed to be easier than the first. Here is a non-exclusive, non-binding list of things I want to do more/start to do:

Marathon/triathlon training
more soccer
learn to play (at a very basic level) the piano
learn (beginning) Swahili...I'm going to buy the Rosetta Stone program.
cook more/be creative in the kitchen
read Atlas Shrugged
start lifting weights again
not slip on my school work.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Stat Counter Retraction

Wow. I am surprised by what the counter tells me. I didn't think that anyone visited my site. I have decided to make my counter visible. It will only count "unique visitors," not "page loads," so I can't inflate my own numbers by re-loading the page a bunch of times.

The StatCounter is pretty sweet. It can tell you where people are in the world when they log into your page, what link they followed, and all kinds of other stuff (like their screen resolution, OS, IP address, .....).

Let me know what you think about StatCounter if you check it out for your site. Check out my stats (I'm responsible for the bulk of the page loads on the first day...just playing with the counter stuff).

Monday, August 6, 2007

Roachinator

A few incidents occurring as of late have made me re-embrace my status as The Roachinator. For starters, I talked to Angelica on the phone today. Tonight, I killed a roach (bare handed with no assists). Last week, some girls were talking about how much they hated roaches and I had to tell them that I like to kill the roaches. The fact that Carmen lost my Roachinator bracelet *sorry about that, Angelica :(* came up in conversation only Saturday.

For those of you who don't know the back story, this fascination with killing roaches began in Hell-Hole-Ocho, Salango, Ecuador. Beerman, Matt S., and I were staying in a bungalow that was shared with scores of roaches and a bat (named Deuce). We decided to keep track of how many roaches each of us killed. There were also bonus points to be earned. We decided to keep track of how many assists you got...an assist could be spotting a roach then holding a flashlight on them so that someone else could kill the roach or maybe moving furniture or other objects in order for the other person to kill the roach. You got 2 points if you killed it barehanded, 5 points if you killed the roach with your forehead, and 10 if you used your nutsack (unattempted by anyone). Naturally, these kills only counted if they were confirmed, i.e. if somebody else saw it happen.

Reminiscing, I killed a roach outside when B was staying at my house a few weeks ago and I went to get him so that he could verify the kill and he refused, saying that it wasn't good enough that there were roach guts on my shoe and roach guts on the wall...he didn't see the actual kill. What a bastard.

As for technique, let me tell you that there are different ways to kill different roaches in different scenarios. First of all, Amazon roaches are in a class of their own. Some of them grow upwards of 5 inches. The best way to kill any roach (and make SURE it's dead) is to stab it to a hard surface so it can't go anywhere, then take a lighter and burn its face off. You've got to be careful with the big ones, though. They will try to turn around and eat you once you stab them. Make sure the blade of your knife is long enough so that doesn't happen.

I think one of the reasons that killing roaches is so exciting is because sometimes they get away. Those bastards are fast and don't want to die. I think that it wouldn't be nearly as much fun if I won every time. After you spot them, you've got to keep an eye on them. If you have to look for an instrument of death, then they have time to relocate and then you have to go hunt for their location. You also have to make sure that your weapon is hard enough to kill them (but not to break whatever surface they're on) and small/agile enough to get in the space they're in *like a corner.*

As an end note, it's not as fun to kill them with bombs and traps and residual sprays...but, the kill-on-contact sprays are cool, especially if you use something aerosol based and light it on fire and give them a flame-thrower death.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Pick #36

Shins - Kissing the Lipless from the Chutes Too Narrow album. I have never been very big on The Shins...but I started listening to them more this past week probably triggered by hearing one of their songs randomly. I think "Kissing the Lipless" is my favorite one of their songs as of right now.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Friday, August 3, 2007

Reunido con Univisión

Mi nuevo ¿compañero de casa? (roommate) me dijo que tiene que ver ESPN los fines de semana. Por eso, hoy llamé Comcast y pedí un boquete más grande que ahora tengo. Había dos opciones al mismo precio...aún la segunda fue mejor. Voy a tener Digital Cable Starter Package y ahorrar unos $20 al mes por 6 meses en mi pago de servicios de la red. En total, Comcast me va a cobrar unos $85 al mes (hasta que terminen estos 6 meses...después de aquel día pagaré unos $100 mensuales). Pero, tendré canales como: History, Discover, TLC, ESPN(2), 45 canales de música, UNIVISION OTRA VEZ!!!!!, y otros con películas OnDemand.

De mi perspectivo, es una buena inversión por tener otro ser pagándome (digo viviendo aquí).

StatCounter

After seeing this counter on FSU's experimental economics webpage, I decided to get one for my blog. I made it invisible so you can't see that you are the only other person that reads this besides me.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Silly Proper Plurals

(and singulars) These tend not to be used or to be misused.
plurals:
stadia
aquaria
formulae
fora (not forums!!!) *also, not to be confused with flora.
fishes (fish as a plural doesn't work when there are multiple species of fish)
corpora (like if there was another city somewhere named Corpus Cristi, that and the TX one could be corpora Cristi??)
genera (plural of genus)
media (lots of people mean medium)

and i just like nuclei

singluars:
datum (lotsa people use data like it's singular)
criterion
elf (which is plural in German...)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Tallahassee Marathon

I found out a couple weeks ago that Tallahassee has a marathon in early February. I'm going to run it this upcoming Feb. 3,2008. I initially wanted to qualify for Boston on my first marathon. Unfortunately, the Tallahassee Marathon is not a qualifier. I guess I'll be happy if I can run a "qualifying time" which is under 3:10 for my age group. You can't beat starting it so close to home. I'll have plenty of support. It's a flat course. Should be pretty easy to train for. Not to mention cheaper than all the other possible marathons (including all costs, as an economist would).


Retraction posted on 9-23: the Tallahassee Marathon IS a qualifier!!!