Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Random Activities When I Haven't Been Working

The most exciting thing this past weekend was my making French Toast for the first time. It worked out rather nicely. I used thinly sliced pieces of French bread, which seeemed to be a good choice. It's a lot easier than making pancakes, since the bread already has structural integrity.

I spent a lot of time over the past few weeks watching basketball. I've had a lot more free time ever since Duke lost.

I went to the Orange County Radio Amateurs Saturday morning breakfasts at BoJangles for the last couple of weeks. It's been entertaining, educational and filling.

I've been having fun with my Treo. Last night I put on the 1.08 firmware update. I think there was a slight improvement in the audio volume and it did free up some memory. I also added the free 128 MB expansion card , which palmOne offered.

Otherwise it's been work, work and more work. Today I even decided to leave work at 4:15pm and work from home the rest of the day from my deck. That was very nice, indeed. The weather has been beautiful. The cardinals, who were originally far more timid than the titmice and nuthatches, were finally brave enough to take a few seeds while I was sitting there. This time one of the squirrels barked at me for a while, but they stayed away for the most part.

I met JJ at Fowler's for lunch yesterday. They've expanded their lunch menu, which was quite exciting. I had a bagel with smoked salmon, tomatoes, onions and capers, with a side of fresh fruit. I also tried yet another brand of root beer, Abita. It was good, but still not as spicy as I prefer.

Saturday, March 26, 2005


I don't really remember what I did last week, which is always disturbing to me. That week must not have actually happened.

Last weekend, however, I went to the Sprint Store at Brier Creek shopping center and purchased a Palm Treo 650. I believe last year one of my new year's resolutions was to resist getting the 600 model. That turned out to be a good move. It's a wonderful little toy. I have/had a Palm V, which I'll be passing on to my mom. It's nice to see how PalmOs has improved in the last five or six years.

The Treo 650 has a nice .3 megapixel camera. A camera was not one of the chief reasons why I wanted a phone, but it really take decent pictures, particuarly for a phone. It's handy having the camera conveniently available when I'm in the car, so I can just roll down my window and snap away. My daffodils along my driveway are blooming, so they've been a good target.

More later..

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Only the Greatest Hits

I'm not sure what I was looking at on Nedstat last night. I actually had quite a few hits yesterday. My apologies for the confusion. Of course, 13 hits wouldn't be considered a lot by most standards, but that's pretty good for this blog.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

House Invaders

Thursday night, I hosted a faculty recruiting reception for the Duke Computer Science department at my house. Basically, each of the recruits that have been invited to interview and present their research are invited to a party at the house of one of the faculty members. Ordinarily, my parents would host it at their house, but my house is much more suited for parties, with the large great room. Plus, FIFO's social skills aren't ready for prime time. I took the day off, so I could spend the day cleaning. Things have been hectic at work, so it was nice to have a break even though preparing for the reception was work in itself.

My mom bought all kinds of great food from several different stores. She even found some wonderful frozen spanakopita from Sam's Club that were even good when I microwaved them at work to heat them a second time. We had cheeses and nuts, food from Neomonde, chips, fruit, mints, and shrimp. My fridge is full of leftovers.

It was a lot of fun having a hoard of faculty, grad students and, of course, the recruit invade. I really enjoyed talking to some of the people I hadn't seen in quite as well as well as people I hadn't met before. So many people got to see my house that had been eager to see it. People really seemed to like my paintings, too, which was cool.

Believe it or not, no wine (red or white) was spilled on my carpet. In fact, no beverages have spilled on it since I moved in. They've finally come out with a scotch guard that alters the laws of gravity.

Today I started washing the dishes, although I've barely made a dent in them. Part of the reason for this is because it was the Semifinals of the ACC basketball tournament. I managed to catch the last 11 seconds of Georgia Tech's beating UNC. My parents came over and we watched Duke win against NC State. I guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow.


It's been quite a while since I posted. I hadn't quite realized until tonight just how long it's been. Perhaps noticing that it's almost 10:30 and there haven't been any hits yet today has something to do with it. My mom isn't even checking anymore!

Part of the reason I haven't posted is because I've been working quite late most nights. I often don't feel like writing if I'm just having dinner and getting to bed. There's not a tremendous amount to write about in that case, either.

I did have a good weekend last week, however. On Saturday, my parents and I went to a "new" Japanese restaurant, Oishii, at Timberlyne Shopping Center in Chapel Hill. I had been over to my parents' house earlier in the week and read the newspaper. I checked the What's Up section of the News and Observer and saw some of the restaurants that Greg Cox had reviewed since I moved. I really don't have an excuse for not keeping track since his columns are available online. In any case, he gave Oishii three stars and they have sushi. I was very excited about this possibility, since it's about ten minutes closer than Kurama. I ordered an Oishii Roll, which is primarily lobster and caviar. It was very good and gigantic, but all the toppings kind of overwhelm the lobster. The rest of the nigiri pieces that I ordered were excellent, in addition to the eel and avacado Dragon Roll that I shared with my mom. I ended up having to share a lot with my dad, because the portions were so generous.

On Sunday, I went over to GM's apartment. GM and AE made brownies from Ghirardelli brownie mix and JH came over and watched Sleepy Hollow with us. So far I've enjoyed every Johnny Depp movie that I've seen. It was suspenseful and even funny, particularly Depp's facial expressions. The brownies were really wonderful and I'm pretty snobbish about using baking mixes. Afterwards, AE and GM came over to my house and GM made spaghetti sauce with canned tomatoes, olives, garlic, mushrooms with pork sausage meatballs. It was very good.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Canned Peaches

I actually wrote a blog post while I was, dare I admit it, watching the Oscars. My brain rotted enough such that I shut my laptop off without remembering to actually publish. My post wasn't very inspiring anyway, so it's probably good that my dear readers were spared from it.

I even forgot to mention in that post that I had dinner with JJ at Blue Corn Cafe last week. We enjoyed fried plantains as an appetizer and then I ate smoked salmon quesadillas. Any meal that I can remember vividly a week and a half later is worth mentioning.

Last Wednesday, I saw AE and GM perform works by Glinka and Mussorgsky as a part of a Duke Symphony Orchestra concert. Among other things, they played Pictures at an Exhibition, which is one of my favorite pieces and is quite at home in my CD changer. It was fun getting to talk to them both as well as JH during intermission.

My Dube stage ball is actually the EXACT color of canned peaches. That's far more appealing to me than mashed bananas.

This past Sunday, I met JJ, JA and EB at Fowler's for brunch. I had a wonderful smoked salmon, green onion and goat cheese quiche, with home fries and a fresh fruit cup. We had a fun time talking and eating, as always. I also stocked up on Blenheim ginger ale.

It was cold and icky yesterday, so I worked from home. It really is nice to be able to do that. We were supposed to have snow. In fact, the local weatherman, Greg Fishel bet about a month ago that we would have frozen precipitation before the end of the month or he would jump in the fountain outside the television studio. ...and he did.