Monday, April 30, 2007

Goddamn Maintain

History Essay? Check.
Tech Writing Report? Check.
Awesome Motor Ataxia Due No Sleep? Double Check.

This weekend, on the night of that huge storm, Spencer Liechty went outside to smoke a cigarette at approximately 2am. He brought his laptop with him, and when it started to sprinkle he placed the laptop back inside. Upon his not so gentle handling of the glass door, it locked when stepped back onto the balcony. I'm asleep upstairs.

Back up a few hours.

We have regular beggars who swing by our apartment to bum various and sundry items: cigarettes, milk, use of my computer, legal advice (we're white so we must know). One of these guys, who goes by the name 'Maintain', had come over asking to bum a cigarette and use my laptop. I let him have the former, but I'm pretty fed up with the latter. It's not unheard for these guys to swing by at 1-2 AM in the morning, so when Spencer started knocking on the wood to wake me up, I was unimpressed. I was fed up with "goddamn Maintain" and put a pillow over my head to muffle the sound. I slept like a baby until around 430AM, at which point the incessant knocking in my dreams finally woke me for good. I sat around until I heard it again, ready to go downstairs and yell some shit.

Haha, sorry dude.


I forgot to mention that Spencer had to pee three times out there. He hung his "ding ding" over the rail.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Exciting News! Spencer and I have leased a place to live for the next while, and that place is Sophie's soon-to-be old house on Pershing. It's a really neat two story house with hardwood floors and a huge living room. There's also a little room under the stairs to which we will attach some badass function. I have already claimed 'best room' privileges in the house as I have been shafted the past two times (inadvertently, but still). It also has a yard and shit, so it's gonna be mad party party central. Hunter will be joining us next fall, but if you or anyone you know needs a place for the summer, there is a vacant room. Will post pictures soon!

I promised that I would post pictures of our projects in the nano-lab, and I'm a man of my word:

Ehh, ehh, whattya think about that?!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The end of the semester is always rough, but this one especially so. Between the classes I had to take and my thesis, I have three full size reports (and my thesis) due by Monday and three nuclear physics assignments. Enough complaining though.

As many of you know, I've maintained a plant -- a "Texas Star" -- on my balcony for a year or so now and its story has been tragic. No matter how hard I tried to keep this fellow in good health he wasn't having it and I eventually gave up. Not only did he die on me, but before his demise he saw it fit to have the police called to investigate his ambiguous appearance. The policewoman who came-a-knockin' didn't believe that the plant was a Texas Star, and cleverly quipped that from her angle it looked like a Texas marijuana plant. Don't think me uncapable, but it wasn't the truth. Just recently his legacy in the form of four or five seedlings and a sprout off his main (dead) stalk have risen from the dead, prompting me to now call this plant Frampton because "Frampton Comes Alive".

Monday, April 23, 2007

No entry today.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Since I'll be driving to Dallas tomorrow I am going to post today in advance. I hope you will forgive me.

Today was pretty fun. We spent a few hours in the nano-fabrication lab implementing designs we made last week. My nerdy contribution was a Feynman diagram, which turned out be such a simple design that the electron exposure took maybe half a second after which the computer let a pleasant "beep beep bloop". I'll post pictures of the final product (at nanometer scale!). My original idea was a 1:1 replica of Jason's unit, but that didn't make it past the approval stage.

The best part of today might be classified as stalking on my part, but it's okay because if the person is famous you are allowed and even encouraged to stalk them. I was sitting in the physics lounge and happened to look out the window and notice Stephen Hawking being lifted out of his van. I wanted to see him up close but I didn't want to make it obvious! So, since I knew his office was on the fifth floor, I ran to the stairs and ran up to the fifth floor where there is a small reading table and chairs adjacent to his office. I set up shop pretending to read and when he finally was wheeled in I peeked over the magazine at him, but he knew this game and totally caught me. Stephen Hawking can smirk.

On a more serious note, a friend of mine and a close friend of Hunter and Spencer had an accident in Ft. Worth over Easter. He suffered extreme brain trauma and the outlook isn't good, and so I'd like to close by imploring you to act safely and responsibly with regard to substances, especially if you are going to drive. Tonight is Thursday night. Everybody have fun tonight! (Everybody wang chung tonight?)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Today I turned in the first draft of my thesis, all of its 35 page glory. I am scared of what Dr. Rapp has to say about it since the rest of his reviews have all gone fine. I'm pretty sure he's saving up an ass-chewing.

For those of you who care -- about me, at all -- you can put this blag up on your RSS feed because it will be so interesting and so funny. I plan to update it every MWF, but maybe not always about my life. Who cares about that shit anyways. So, if you love me, "FEED ME SEYMOUR!"

My latest sojourn into vegetarianism-ism has been pretty successful, though I predict a brief lapse this weekend for Fam-Fam Reunion 2k7. I think the most interesting change that comes about due to the dietary change is just how regular you can become. Spencer and Sophie and I have already had a chat about how you cannot be the "most regular" as it contains some sort of contradiction. Whatever.

Fun Facts About Vegetarianism:

1.) You poop green.

2.) People like to make fun of you.

Have you guys been keeping up with the VA Tech shooting? I recently came across the gunman's plays (link), which are both disturbing and awfully written. If I had to guess the author from the writing alone I would want to say he was a demented 12 year old, but in some sense I think that's probably a correct assumption about someone who must have been self-centered enough to do such a thing. Anyhow, it makes me angry to think about that event too much.

God speed,

Monday, April 16, 2007

Every Friday at 10:30 AM we (my research group) have a scheduled research meeting. Each member of the group is supposed to review the work they've done since the last meeting. These meetings would be completely unbearable if not for the presence of one extraordinary human: Xingbo Zhao.

Here's a photo of Xingbo:

I have described Xingbo to pretty much every single close friend I have and never has anyone failed to be enchanted by even a description of this creature. Xingbo has a naive quality that has nothing to do with the fact that he is recently immigrated from China -- I'm sure he was weird there too.

One of Xingbo's most outstanding qualities is his attentiveness which is at times taken to extremes. If you're giving a presentation or merely discussing something, Xingbo's preferred listening position is no less than 10 cm. from your face and if you're standing up, well, so is he. This is funny at first but can easily drive you bat-shit-insane after the sixth or seventh time. He drove this man bat-shit-insane:

Besides that, Xingbo is an alright guy, but as I've mentioned before is super naive. One of the visiting post docs, Lorenzo -- an Italian fella -- got it in his head that he was going to teach Xingbo a new hand gesture. You've probably seen the gesture before as it is a pretty universal symbol, but since I've failed to find any pictures on the interweb I'll illustrate it for you with a simple animated gif:

So this is kind of what it looks like:

Which is of course super hilarious. By the time Xingbo started doing this and asking "What's it mean?!" I was doubled over and nearly crying with laughter, but then Dr. Rapp walks in and Lorenzo shouts,

"XINGBO NO!!!!!"

My life rules.
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