Thursday, January 31, 2002


I'm typing this right now at the Quizno's in Bowie as I have lunch. I managed to pick up a new laptop for a bargain price, thanks to my friend Martin, whose company is going through rough times, and found itself with more laptops than it had a need for. So it decided to sell off the surplus, Martin hooked me up, and here I am. Unfortunately, I won't be able to post this from here (no Internet access at Quizno's).

All I've really done so far is charge the battery and attempt to install Ski Resort Tycoon II. Unfortunately, that game crashes (I need to update some things on this system, no doubt), which is why I'm typing up a weblog entry rather than designing ski slopes with my lunch. I'm looking forward to a few other handy uses of this machine, especially when I travel. Once I get the cable that connects my new GPS to the serial port, I'll be in fine shape for navigating on the road. Also, I'm looking forward to doing much of my computing from the comfort of my couch while checking out stuff on TV. Unfortunately, I need to get an electrician in there to install grounded outlets near the couch, so I'll be running an extension cord across the room. (Along with a phone cord, until I get the wireless network up and running.)

Well, I'm finished with lunch, so it's time to shut this down and head back to work.


Hey, it worked. I'm now at home on the couch posting this while watching the BBC News. Cool.

Thursday, January 24, 2002

Ski Liberty

Christina and I went skiing on Monday at Liberty. We had a good time and were happily skiing one of the blue (intermediate) slopes by day's end. We did have some...interesting experiences on the chairlift, which I related in this discussion topic on the DCSki web site.

Family Dollar

In case you're wondering, this Family Dollar is 3 miles from my house. Weird.


The talk at the National Gallery was good, and the lunch at Jaleo was delicious. The endive with orange and goat cheese was particularly good. But more about those later.

We ended the excursion by watching the closing ceremony for today's portion of a creation of a sand painting. Tibetan monks are working to create a mandala -- a sand sculpture -- to aid in healing in the aftermath of September 11th. We got to see them working on it -- I hate to say this, but the pictures hardly do it justice. Then they held a chant -- an end of the day meditation. An interesting day -- when else am I going to get a chance to see Tibetan Buddhist meditation? I think that's a good way to get myself out of bed when I don't feel like getting up -- who knows what I'll see today? Maybe Tibetan Buddhist monks meditating after creating an intricate sand sculpture. You can read more about the mandala here.

Happy Birthday to Me

Hey, it's my birthday today. I'm in the second year of a tradition of taking the day off and going into DC as a tourist. Today the plans are to head to the National Gallery of Art and hear a talk, have lunch at Jaleo, and then head somewhere else. I haven't decided yet, but then it's my birthday, so it's my decision, eh?

Saturday, January 12, 2002


I'm at a conference at UCLA right now. I'm enjoying this visit. The weather is quite nice. I realized on my way out here that I had never actually been to LA before. I had been through the area driving to and from Berkeley and San Diego. I had been to a football game in Pasadena. But this was my first visit to Los Angeles proper. (Disclaimer: I'm not 100% sure I'm in LA proper right now; I haven't checked municipal boundaries.)

Anyway, UCLA is located right on the edge of something called "Westwood Village". My hotel is on the other side.

I was mostly familiar with "Westwood" through the radio network Westwood One. But it turns out that it's a neighborhood of shops, restaurants and offices that's much more traditionally urban than I expected from Los Angeles. I mean, this is the land of the highway, right? But after getting off the 405, I found I didn't have a lot of need for the car. So it's mostly been sitting (at $18/day) in the hotel parking garage. Today, I got tired of walking, so tack on an additional $6 to park on campus.

Anyway, I head back tomorrow, but I just wanted to say that UCLA is definitely a cool place to be for a conference. Great weather, many restaurants within walking distance...what more could I ask for?