Mmm… is there anything as delicious as an afternoon barbecue at the beginning of summer? I think not.

Tonight we had our (usually) annual SCCS/CS system administrator’s picnic. Lisa and Tia stopped by briefly, and we tried to grab Rich, but his wife had a baby just seven days ago so he figured that he’d be in troubled if he stayed at work to drink at a barbecue instead of running errands.

Before we started, I was hanging out in Sproul after my afore-mentioned final exam. Matt Fowles complemented me on my typing technique, which was surprising for two reasons: (a) I don’t think I’ve ever heard Matt give a complement regarding computer usage before :oP, and (b) I don’t actually type that impressively, in my opinion. I touch type more or less by muscle memory, because I’ve never learned all of that structured home row QWERTY stuff. The end result is that I’m decently fast, but also fairly error prone. At least I don’t have to stare at the keyboard anymore; it’s a nice speed-up for coding and such-like.

The BBQ itself was great. There was good grilled meat and veggies (thanks to , our Grillmeister, and Dan, our obtainer of food and beverages). Even better, I am now the proud owner of the left over Mountain Dew.

Oh yeah – the BBQ was on Sproul roof, which, as it turns out, is a really awesome space! It was a nice way to say goodbye to Sproul, which instead of becoming an awesome student space is getting converted into stupid alumni relations offices. If anyone who works for alumni relations actually reads this, I say nyeah for taking away the Sun Lab.

We also had an excellent discussion, about the oil industry, the war in Iraq, closed support groups at Swat (SQU, SAO, and the like), and issues about personal and national cultures. I think a big post on that is in order later, since I’m too happy to unintentionally offend anyone right now. I think I ruffled Sorelle’s feathers a little bit :o(.

Anyway, yeah, good times. A great way to spend the evening. Frisbee on the roof. Also…

I checked off another largely forbidden campus location on my list: some of us snuck into the observatory dorm through a window. It’s a very cool echoey space, but it was very dark, so there wasn’t much to see. The telescope seemed a lot bigger that I though it would be. I promise, we didn’t touch anything except for the window sill and the floor.

I got the steam tunnels my freshman year, and I got to see LPAC back (and under) stage earlier this spring when I helped Emery strike the You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown sets.

This leaves me with Papazian sub-sub-basement, which I don’t actually know how to get into, Parrish Ballroom (although that goes away this summer, doesn’t it?), and the Belltower.

If you can think of any other cool hidden places on campus (utility closets and the like) let me know :o).

I just found out that my parental units are currently playing canasta. Online. Against each other. While in the same house.

I mean, I knew that my dad was addicted to online canasta, and that both of them play canasta together as something to do when my sister and I aren’t around… but this is just… Hi mom!

Speaking of online games… our flag’s blockade of Papaya Island in the Midnight Ocean ended in a tie. The Bloody Seas is only a medium-sized flag, but because of some great allies, we were able to hold our own. Since we tied, Papaya is still uncolonized, and we can try to capture the fair isle again. For the few rounds where I was online, it was a really awesome combat.

Bohemian Polka” from Alapalooza by “Weird Al” Yankovic


7 responses to “SCCS/CS BBQ”

  1. Huh, I didn’t know the observatory was forbidden. I thought it was open to the public once a month for star gazing… I’ve been sent in on errands at least once, plus been given tours twice. I even got to see them work the telescope once. There’s rather more to see when it isn’t dark–cool 1920’s technology that moves the roof and the telescope and the observer’s chair.

  2. It’s always struck me as a place I don’t really have access too… I didn’t realize that anyone other than astro classes used the dome.

  3. Having checked all four of those “forbidden places” off my list by junior year, I feel entitled to a haughty scoff! But here’s how you should do it, courtesy of Keith Henderson ’84:

    Go to the Alumni office and say you want to write a short article/photo essay for the Alumni Magazine called “Forbidden Places”. You’ll need sanctioned access to the steam tunnel, the top of the bell tower, and the Ballroom (the “Trifecta”—I have to agree with , the telescope dome isn’t much of a conquest). While there’s not much of a story (“so… these places are off limits”), there certainly is an opportunity for a range of good photography, especially with all the graffiti in the Ballroom and the views from the bell tower. Actually, now that I think of it, there’s got to be a lot of folklore about getting into these places, so you could include neat stories from folks who made it past the security. With the new construction on campus, you could also speculate on the creation of new forbidden places.

    Do stress to the Alumni office that time is of the essence, since the Parrish renovations are coming.

    For the sake of completeness, here’s how I got into the forbidden places.

    1. Monitoring radio chatter: I drove the Morning Shuttle freshman year, and the shuttle radios shared the same frequency as Public Safety. One day, the dispatcher called for an officer to open the ballroom. I raced through the last of my runs, scurried up Parrish Beach and five flights of stairs, and found a surprisingly accomodating art prof running a class up there for whatever reason.

    2. Sometimes it’s legal: Fall semester of my freshman year, ASME offered a tour of the steam tunnel. Later, when I was in Italy (Spring ’01), there was a spring event where the bell tower was open to anybody.

    3. Asking nicely: Once there was a crew working on the bell tower—they may have been contractors. “Can I go up there? I’ve always wanted to see the view.” “I’m not watchin’” was the response. Those bells are powerful loud up there.

    Final notes:
    1. Surely you’ve made it on to Papazian roof by now, right? That’s a gimme.
    2. The water tower has a small door at the bottom. Either it’s a new frontier or a 200,000 gallon mistake.

  4. My technique for seeing the Parrish ballroom probably won’t work for you. I cleaned up after the ML halloween party sophomore year, and Susan, in her role as super amazing RA, got the cleaning crew legally allowed into the ballroom as a reward. It’s really nifty up there, with lots of graffiti and sketchy underwear. Also, were you there freshman year when some Parrish folks broke their way into the weird attic-ish space on the fourth floor and from there onto the roof? Of course Parrish roof isn’t challenging at all, but it’s still forbidden and fun.

  5. You used to be able to get into the Parrish ballroom from a hole in the wall in the Parrish darkroom, which led you into a narrow between-the-walls secret passage over to another hole in the stairway wall. They may have fixed things by now, though, that was eight years ago. It was just a graffiti mess with a bunch of clotheslines with underwear on them when I saw it….

  6. I visit the observatory all the time.

    Quite an impressive telescope – the largest on the east coast.

  7. Also, the only refracting telescope still used to collect data for papers that get published.

Nurd Up!