What a Wonderful Day!!

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as a day that goes really well, the whole way through! These are the days that make me thankful and happy to be alive. I would also like to point out that this post is completely angst-free, unlike some people I know… :oP Actually, today was just the culmination of a great weekend. I’ll get to today in a moment.


Emery and I “borrowed” Fritz’ poor, abandoned Gamecube and hooked it up to the projector to play exceedingly large Super Smash Brothers Melee. Play was concentrated on Friday night, but was spread over the weekend. Emery doesn’t have the conviction necessary to play video games constantly, like I do. Wimp.

There was a gaming session Saturday afternoon/evening in Jake’s room (read: double-that-could-be-a-triple-but-is-now-a-ricockulously-massive-single). He’s big on the Oriental Adventures setting, particularly the Japanese-style land of Rokugan. It’s probably because he’s been studying Japanese for a while. We’re playing nobles and military officers in a major fortress city, on the eve of a huge attack. Should be interesting. By the way, thanks to Raoul for selling me his Oriental Adventures book last year.

Emery and I had a great 3-hour conversation with Jenny, one of the frosh on our hall, on Saturday night. Her quadmates were all out partying or on dates, so we losers decided to have a lovely little chat. It’s nice to have the time to just sit down and talk about stuff, without thinking about work and what-not. We covered everything from dreams to linguistics to high school. I also had some good green tea with mango.

On Sunday, I led SPC discussion. I also ended up leading singing; I’m basically the third-string singer, but when Sara and Tammy are both doing the opera, we’re left with me. Most people think I have a decent singing voice, but I’m fairly weak on technique, like finding a pitch, part independence, sight reading, that sort of thing. It’s still nice to know I can still sing, however. The discussion went very well. I had touched upon the idea of a major division in the church at Pizza & Parable on Thursday, and I wanted to explore that further. We talked about church unity, and examples of polarizing issues (e.g. homosexuality) within the church, generally along the liberal-conservative axis. We talked about the Bible’s misapplied role as an absolute Book of Answers, and what it means to have the Truth. We also briefly touched upon the different denominations in which people were raised. It’s nice to have a real spiritual discussion, even with a small group of people.


Class on Monday was generally uneventful. Somewhat interesting, but nothing to jump and shout about.

Fritz () and I gave a CS Lunch Talk about our experiences working with the robots last summer, focusing in particular on what we learned at the IJCAI conference in Acapulco and the experiment at NIST in Gaithersburg, MD. We talked mostly about the interface, and the various modules we use on the robot. A lot of the focus was on what problems we had, and what we learned from them, and in turn, what future work we’re going to do with the robots to improve the interface. Our presentation was well received; there weren’t many students there, but the CS faculty seemed to like it. I managed to drag Emery in, and Dan and Ben, two people from our Advanced Computer Vision course also attended.

Fritz and I spent the rest of the afternoon working in the SCCS Media Lounge, up to and including staff meeting. I got some more things up and working on Peregrine (our G4), specifically the Fink package manager. I tweaked some of the LOS scripts, so that’s almost ready to go (really, we just need to put a link on the main web page). I put up a big To Do list on the whiteboard, of which at least 4 items were completed today. Fritz did more work on Fully-Automatic Install (FAI), and Erik finished testing the voting scripts, which are now active for the purposes of electing an SCCS Policy Board. If you have an account, go vote! Branen bought us a Dirt Devil mini vacuum cleaner, so we can make people clean up the messes they leave in the Video Pit. We’ve also ordered brand-spanking-new hard drives for Roc, so we can have plenty of space for all of that crap our users put in their home directories and webspace ;o). Things are finally looking up, and all the media lounge needs is some hot Facilities wiring action!


The day was capped by a wonderful dinner. Joanna () is house-sitting this week for some Swat alums who do folk dance. She invited a number of people over for a belated 21st-birthday dinner party, with wonderful food. She and Katie spent most of the day cooking. I really liked the weird garlic cheese bread appetizer, and I can safely say that the chocolate chip pecan pie was the first pecan pie I loved. Must’ve been the chocolate ;o). I’m becoming both a tea and coffee person of late, so I had a couple of cups of vanilla tea.

The highlight of the party was the nearly 5 straight hours of thoroughly excellent conversation. If nothing else, it proved to us that, when removed from Swarthmore, we can have lots of intelligent adult conversation, about many different topics. I really hope that tonight’s experience was an accurate reflection of what adult life is like…

We really did talk about a lot. The main subjects were linguistics ( and I arguing about various Latin-based pluralizations as they appear in modern English), computers (mostly Fritz, Ben, and I whining about the lack of decent FPGA software), and most interestingly, childhood reading tastes. We all got into science fiction and/or fantasy at an early age, but we definitely represented a general trend of reading a lot as children. As a group, our parents read to us a lot, but rarely forced any reading or education on us. I would guess that a similar history is true for most Swatties.

All in all, an absolutely wonderful day. I am really not looking forward to doing my laundry tomorrow…

Summary: Nice House. Good tea. (Bonus points to people who get the reference.)

2 comments on “What a Wonderful Day!!
  1. tirerim says:

    Ooh, I get it! What do my bonus points get me?

    Also, it’s much better without the excessively tacky murals on the walls.

  2. Nicolas Ward says:

    How about… 10¢ on Paypal? :oP

Nurd Up!