Friday, January 30, 2009

Me a Designer?

Somehow a picture of me is on CMU's School of Design homepage. I am not sure why but I know that the picture was taken last year in my CDF class. Take a look:

Here is a copy of the picture for when it gets taken down.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What a Shitty Day!

Weatherwise anyway...

Today, I think ever kind of precipitation possible fell from the sky!  When I left for my client meeting this morning it was raining and everything on the ground was a total mess.  There was slush everywhere and rivers of water running through the slush.  I can believe I made it to the CIC without being totally soaked in muck.  Then when we took our client out to lunch, it was snowing, while in the restaurant it was a mix of rain and snow and on the way back to the CIC it was really snowing in big chunks.  At least when I was walking home from the bus the precipitation stopped but the ground on the other hand was still quite bad.  It is supposed to be in the teens tonight so all of that nasty slush should be frozen and rock hard for the way in to work tomorrow...  Is it summertime yet??  Once I got home there was no way I was going back out in that shit, therefore gym skipped for the day and I don't even care.  A little break should do me good.

On a positive note, the client meeting today went really well.  The project that I am working on sounds like it is going to be really cool.  We are tasked with designing a social learning site for professionals; basically a facebook for self motivated learners.  It is going to be a lot of work, because nothing combining these two aspects has ever been done before, but I think it will be well worth it in the end.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice Skating

Check out the ice skating rink outside of my building! Yes that is
gold ice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Steelers Shirt

I am now ready for Sunday.


Wow I've never seen the street so empty before!

Happy Monday

Sitting here in the lab waiting to start my group meeting for the day. I hope this week goes by fast, I am pretty excited for the super bowl and a Steeler's victory!

Yesterday the rents came to visit for the first time in a long time. We went to Trader Joe's and Right by Nature then had lunch at Fuel and Fuddle. I finally got to show them the lab too (not that it is that exciting!) I am pretty proud of them too because they decided to join a gym. I hope they keep at it and not be like all of the new years resolution people (who are STILL at Skibo by the way and really starting to piss me off, they just stand around in big groups.) Anyway, mom and dad joined a new gym in Irwin that is a converted movie theater. They only have to pay $15/month...for life! Must be nice...

I'm still keeping at it with working out everyday that I have free time. It kinda sucks since Shawn hurt himself and I don't have a partner anymore. Hopefully he will be better soon so we can start working out together again soon. I don't push myself hard enough when I am by myself, although I have been making a few decent gains. O and Friday is was warm enough for me to go in shorts and a hoodie! Man I can wait until winter in over.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Well after a bunch of negotiation between CMU and PPG it was determined that PPG was not able to sponsor a project.  Although I was a little disappointed after all of the work I did putting everything together, I was told that I would still be able to take the project class anyways in order to graduate on time.  I was thrilled to hear that!  My team is working on a project for the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) at Carnegie Mellon where we will be building an interactive learning platform for professionals who are not a traditional full-time student.  The project sounds interesting and I will get to find out more about it when I meet my client next week.  So far my team is pretty cool, it looks like we are going to be able to work together well.

There is not much else I really feel like writing about right now so that's it until next time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I'm actualy going to try to have breakfast in the morning each
day...we'll see how that goes...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A social experiment worth remembering

This is an email that someone forwarded to me.  I always try my best to not be the kind of person who lets life's little pleasures and/or surprises pass them by.  Do you do the same?

A Violinist in the Metro - Something to Think About

A man stood in the lobby area of the metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin.  It was a cold January morning.  He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle-aged man noticed there was musician playing.  He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, then hurried up to meet his schedule.. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and continued to walk without stopping.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but then the man looked at his watch and started to walk again.  Clearly he was late for work. The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother pulled him along hurriedly, but the boy stopped to look at the violinist.  Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head back toward the violinist all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people actually stopped and stayed for a while.  Twenty-seven people gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace.  He collected about $32.  When he finished playing and silence took over, no o ne noticed.  No one applauded, nor was there any other recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the finest classical musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written
and he played it with a violin worth $3.5 million.

Two days before this performance in the subway, Joshua Bell had sold out at Symphony Hall in Boston where the seat price averaged $100.

This is a true story.. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by The Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: In a banal setting at an inconvenient time, would beauty transcend?  Do we stop to appreciate it?  Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

New Computer

My new work computer came.

First Day of School

Today was the first day of spring classes.  First I had Project Management.  It is a class I am taking in the Heinz School and do not know anyone in the class.  At first I thought I would take this class only because it would be useful in my job, I never really understood why anyone would need to waste time on planing a project.  After meeting the teacher and listening to the first lecture, I think this will be a good class.  She is pretty interesting and seams to like what she does (which is always a great quality to have in a teacher.)  I found out that there will be a lot of true cases that we will be learning about so that should be good, one of them is about the Petersen Events Center.  The second class was HCI Project...I already knew this was going to be a time consumer.  Today I found out in addition to going to class and meeting with my group I have to have a weekly meeting with my professors and a weekly meeting with my clients!  Wow, this is going to eat up a lot of time.  The one project that I wanted to do (I think it had to do with Highmark) was no longer an options.  I made my first choice in project be with  It sounded pretty cool.  I talked to Ceren about the project tonight and she said it should be a great project and that I should try to get it.  I let her know I already made it my number one.

Today I also go to experience New Year's Resolution Day round two.  Since it was the first day of classes everyone was at the gym.  I was in the Skibo Weight Room and it was packed with so many people that I never saw before.  This was worse than Trees was because most of these people had absolutely no idea what the fuck they were doing.  People were standing in front of machines that they were not using, doing exercises totally wrong, and just plain being in the way (I swear all half of the people were doing was talking!)  One guy actually did curls about 6 inches (no lie) from the bench that I was trying to dumbbell bench press on.  At lease I decided to wait to go until a little before 6.  After I was half way through my workout the crowd became much more manageable.  I can't wait until a few more weeks when all of these stupid people give up on there resolutions and stick with being super skinny or super fat.  I know it sounds mean but there just is not enough room and most people just do not have the dedication.

Tomorrow I physically go back to work for the first time since January 2nd!  I have been working remotely due to that stats class I had to take last week and today because of the first day of real school.  I am ready to go back.  I feel bad for being away from my team for that long.  Also I found out my new computer with 22" monitor came in today, so I will be looking forward to setting that up.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Week Wrap Up

This week has been alright.  I had to go to stats class each day to stratify a prereq it was from 9-4 each day, but we got out a little bit early at least.  I don't really like missing that much work, but I am staying up to date for the most part remotely.  One cool thing about spending the days in Oakland is that I got to stop into Faculty Records at Pitt to see Carol and some of the old crew...those were the days, back at old faculty records!  haha :-)

The gym has been great except for all of the New Years resolution people.  Monday it was packed but the other days were not too bad.  Shawn hurt himself while squatting today so hopefully that injury won't be too bad and set him back too much.

Saturday is Erin's birthday and I am hosting a pre-game party at my place.  It will be nice to have people over again, have not had people for a while, I better clean this place up some!

Stats test tomorrow and that is one more thing I have checked off of my masters to-do list.  Then real classes start Monday, but I am not thinking about that right now!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Weekend

Last night was fun, I got to hang out with a bunch of high school friends that I don't get to see very often.  We had dinner at Kaya and it was really good.  I been wanting to try that place for a while now and was glad that I finally got to.  To the right is a picture from last night.  Sorry, the only one that I had with everyone in it was the one in the "smoking section!" haha :-)  I forgot how much I hate being around smoke so much.  Pretty much everyone I hang out with now on a regular basis does not smoke at all.  I wish I could convince these guys to do the same as is so unhealthy!

Today my grandma wanted to take me out to dinner so we went to the new Chinese buffet that Megan suggested and she was right, it is pretty good.  One thing I really liked was this thing called a "Love Flower" it was this filo dough crust filled with some kind of egg custard...mmmm.  Then my grandma got a craw fish and she had no idea what it was...I told her she had to pull off the head, legs, and exoskeleton before she could eat it.  She had no idea and was cracking me up as she was pulling the thing apart.  After a whole bunch of work she took one little bite, made a terrible face and spit it out.  She said that is lousy.  O well it was funny to watch.  Picture of said specimen to the right.

Tomorrow starts my first day back to fake school.  I have to take a one week stats class as part of a prereq from 9-4 all week.  I will be working remotely during that time.  One thing that I am really excited for though it the opening of Trees tomorrow!!!!!!  I cannot wait to go in and have an awesome workout tomorrow and all week.  I feel like such shit since the gym has been closed for so long.  But for right now dinner is almost done so I am out.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Is it Monday or Friday?

Today is the last day in a weird week, and I will be happy when it is over. I had to work Monday and Tuesday, was off Wednesday and Thursday, and am currently working now on Friday. So now I am all out of wack. I am looking forward to tomorrow because I am going to hang out with some of my high school friends that I never get to see. I'm not sure where we are going but it should be fun.

Today at lunch I went to Sacks and got some Christmas candy since it was 90% off! I got this awesome thing that was part brownie, part fudge, and part something else (I forget) but it was good :-)

New Years Resolution

I don't usually make New Years resolutions, but this year, my resolution is to update this blog at least once per week, maybe even once each day if I have time.

So far winter break has been going good.  I love not having to worry about school.  The only bad thing is the gyms are closed.  I am going through and Shawn have been going six days per week since August, at least we don't have much longer to wait.

New Years Eve was fun.  Started off drinking at Shawn's playing land mines then migrated to Charley Merdock's.  The only bad thing was that they do not serve food anymore and I did not eat dinner that night and to top that off I drank beer, liquor, and champagne.  I really need to stop mixing drinks!

Today I was more productive than I thought I would be (even though I spend the first few hours on the couch,) I took down all of the Christmas decorations and did a little shopping at the Waterfront.  Tomorrow I have to go back to work which to me is kinda pointless since it is a Friday.

That's all for now, hope everyone had a Happy New Year and I wish you all the best of luck this year.