Tuesday, May 26, 2009


An inappropriate time to be just leaving school.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Sunflowers & Beans Progress Post


Yes, this is a people-powered mobile bar.

Jess Doing Stuff


Sitting in a box which is too small.

Weekend To-Do List

  • Vacuum, sweep, mop
  • Clean up packing material
  • Find a tailor
  • Figure out favors
  • Deal with soy sauce
  • Move plant
  • Fix window blinds
  • Do research on vows
  • Clean out inbox
  • Set up backups for Erin
  • Go to Five Party
  • Poorly lit arithmetic
  • Take the re-bar and pipe out of Erin's trunk
  • Talk to Anna, Chris, Matt? re weddings
  • Finish lens test?
  • Do some Cyclopath work?
  • Start on trip report?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Puzzle Game

Last weekend, Erin and I and Katie did a puzzle game, with running around downtown Minneapolis and solving puzzles to get the next destination.

One of the stops was Deja Vu strip club. Katie went inside. Embarrassing photos were taken (see Facebook for details).

In this town, we have not one but two unnecessary and wasteful stadiums going up.

John as Agent Smith.

Sunset Trees

Just some trees across the street at sunset a few days ago.


I think 825-TUBS is an excellent phone number for a dumpster company. However, I think it would be better for a weight-loss agency or personal trainer.


Every spring, the University re-sods this stretch of grass, and every winter, they kill it again with salt from the sidewalk.

It's things like this -- and also resolving the University's budget problems by taking educational opportunities away from the lowest-paid workers while continuing to pay the basketball coach over a million dollars per year -- that make me extremely disinclined to ever donate to the U as an alum.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekend To-Do List

  • Clean up remaining trip gear that's laying around
  • Vacuum, sweep, mop
  • Find a tailor
  • Figure out favors
  • Deal with soy sauce
  • Pay bills
  • Install monitor
  • Update kernel and reboot
  • Calibrate monitor
  • Call Dad/Melissa, Mom, Fritz
  • Clean out e-mail inbox
  • Write some blog posts with pretty pictures
  • Move plant
  • Do treasure hunt with Erin and Katie
  • Go to farmer's market to pick wedding flowers
  • Start CTS presentation?
  • Get started on trip report?
  • Test lens(es)?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monitor Fail

This is what greeted me yesterday morning when I woke up my computer. Doh!

Erin worries that it's because she spilled water on it while watering the plant that hangs above it about a month ago. Perhaps, but I'm the one who put the plant there in the first place. So even if that's why, I don't blame her.

Besides, now I have an excuse to buy a real photo monitor, like the supposedly gorgeous HP LP2475W which is now in the mail.

But I think I'll move the plant. :)

New Stadium, Yecccch

Here is the new stadium which we are paying godawful sums of money for and which is not needed. U of M sports, bite me. And stop sending spam hawking tickets.

I am told that for a few days the giant grey sign read "TCF Band Stadium".

Sunflowers and Beans

This past weekend, I finished harvesting my sunflower seeds saved from last year and planted them.

Here is the workspace in the kitchen where I separated the seeds from the heads. It made a huge mess. Then, I took them outside and used a box fan to separate the crud from the seeds.

I planted all the crud (which had lots of seeds in it too) in our "sacrifice" bed where nothing likes to grow. We'll see if there's any success.

Here is the result. There are lots left, though sadly I lost my notes on how much exactly I planted. It was a lot, since I was too lazy to look up the actual recommended spacing, last year I followed the directions and didn't get enough plants, and Erin was worried about the viability of the seeds.

Here's the bed, all 130 square feet of it! There are also beans mixed in. Last year, we got back about as many beans as we planted; hopefully we'll have better luck this year. I planted at most 537g of seeds but I think it was more in the 250g range.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Weekend To-Do List

  • Vacuum, sweep, mop
  • Go to library
  • Plant sunflowers and beans
  • 5021 take-home final
  • 5021 study for final exam
  • Post ads for photo stuff
  • Contact Matt about bagpipes
  • Look up tailors
  • Think about favors
  • Write wedding e-mails
  • Call Mom, Anna
  • Look over wedding party e-mail
  • Deal with soy sauce
  • Pay bills
  • Get started on trip report?
  • Some Cyclopath work?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Max's Thesis Defense

Max's thesis defense was this morning. Here he is waiting for the remaining member of his committee to show up.

Here Max is fielding a question of the form: "Your question [the one on the screen] is worthless. Please comment."

Here Max is fielding a question of the form: "Your graph [the one on the screen] is worthless. Please comment."

Eventually the professors threw us out and continued to grill Max.

Then Max came out into the hall with us while the professors decided if he passed or if his entire graduate career was worthless. (If you fail your defense, you can't re-take it. You're just screwed.*)

"Congratulations, Doctor." Actually, a different professor said that. This one said, "Next time, I'll get you, my pretty! And your little dog too!"

Here Max is putting on his extremely expensive academic robes.

Incidentally, we're now going to refer to him as "F. Maximum Doctor".

* Acutally, there was no suspense. This basically never happens. Any minimally competent advisor will let you take your defense only if he/she is confident you will pass.

Midnight Water Main Work

Last night, the city turned off water in our neighborhood from about 11pm until (they said) 3am. Here are some workmen down the block a little before midnight.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bus to St. Paul Campus

There's a dedicated busway from the Minneapolis campus to the St. Paul campus. It was opened to bicyclists too a few years ago. Here's one.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Neighbor Fail Double-Header

In Minneapolis, if you put bogus stuff out with your trash, you get one of these orange tags complaining about it. One of our neighbors attempted to submit some concrete pavers for trash collection, which are bogus. They received both this orange tag as well as a blue one. I didn't look closely and didn't see what the blue one was about, though, it seemed to be the same at a casual glance.

About a month ago, I complained about water pouring out of the ground in front of a different neighbor's house. Long story short (Erin queried not one but two city councillors), apparently it's the neighbor's problem, not the city's, even though somehow it's related to when the city turned off a water main???

Anyway, this is our slacker neighbor, who hasn't shoveled his driveway once in two years, almost never mows his lawn, and has ten-foot weed trees growing next to his house. So I was unsurprised when it wasn't until Monday when people came by and started working (and turned off our water at a different time than the door hanger said they would, but that's a different story). But now Erin's told by the city councillor's office that something went wrong and they're not coming back for another two weeks! Yeeesh.

Eckles Avenue

Saturday, May 2, 2009


This is the buckeye tree that Erin and I planted a couple of years ago in the front yard.


I find dumpsters fascinating. What's in them? Why was it thrown away? For example, this dumpster contains a couple of big institutional coffee warmers. Are they any good? If not, are they fixable? Why weren't they given to Goodwill? You also get a view into people's lives because their stuff, normally hidden away, is on display for everyone to see.

Also, dumpsters occasionally contain awesome prizes. I've personally found a Nintendo machine and several games, and I've heard of someone finding a brand-new in-box digital camera. On the other hand, Erin once found a bucket with a turd in it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Weekend To-Do List

It's time!
  • Vacuum, sweep, mop
  • 5021 lab
  • Unpack
  • Make list of needed gear repairs
  • Make list of missing gear and ask for it back
  • Do trip finances and bill people
  • Mow lawn?
  • Fix pedal
  • Get started on trip report
  • Figure out wedding certificate
  • Write CTS abstract?
  • Write Alison Slaats stuff
  • Post ads for photo stuff
  • Contact Matt about bagpipes
  • Look up tailors
  • Think about favors
  • Follow up on missing invites? (no)
  • Clean up sidewalks
  • Deal with soy sauce
  • Call mom, Anna
  • Clean up boxes in basement
  • Fix wobbly picture
  • Fix itamae cronjob
  • E-mail HS lady
  • Clean lenses
  • Pay bills
  • Go to library