I’m back

Wow, Safari (my web browser) automatically filled in the “title” field for this post. Guess I’ve used it before. Anyhow, I’m back from beautiful Ithaca and New York City! My plane was delayed 145 minutes in Philadelphia, so I didn’t get home until about an hour ago. Hope I’m somewhat coherent tomorrow.
Pictures and a full report to follow soon! 🙂
Update, 8:19am: What a crappy culmination to an otherwise great weekend! I wasn’t sure if it was just allergies last night, but today I’m definitely sick. 🙁 Lots of fluids and bed for me. The timing couldn’t be worse — this morning I was supposed to return from a week of vacation.

Happy (US) Thanksgiving

Well, I’m packed; I went to work at 11:30pm to print a copy of my itinerary, get my travel bag and quit iChat and MSN Messenger; sorry to the seven of you who tried to get a hold of me that way since Friday. I really need to figure out how to VPN in from home.
I’m pretty excited to be seeing Dani tomorrow; I can’t remember the last time we hung out. Years ago. Too bad this trip is so short.
I’m not taking the laptop with me, so I’m going to have to wait until I get back to see my pictures. Ah, the tension.. I’m getting fidgety already!
Beyond exploring Cascadilla Gorge, we haven’t made any set plans on what we’re going to see. I have the vague notion that I’d like to get to a music store while we’re in New York City, but beyond that it’s all going to fly by so quick I’m going to take the experience as it comes rather than trying to regiment it.
I might get the opportunity to update from remote, but just in case: have a good weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday. 🙂

Vacation, Cornell, Myakka

Click to view the Nov 2004 Myakka Gallery
So I’m on vacation until next Monday! Woo! It’s been very relaxing so far (read: I’ve opened Rolling Stone 962 and actually read a few pages since I bought it last week), but very soon (read: Thursday afternoon) that’s all going to change. I’ll be in upstate New York, Ithaca, to be precise, visiting my childhood friend Dani, who is enrolled in the PhD Program in the Department of Government at Cornell, whose campus you might remember from that classic piece of cinema Road Trip. It’s going to be awesome. We’re hoping to do a day trip to the Big Apple while I’m up there. Anyone ever been?
In other news, I went to back to Myakka River State Park yesterday with Octávio (the significant other of one of our Portuguese interns). It’s been a while since I was last there, and though not much has changed since — it’s a natural park, after all — it was a lot of fun showing him around. Especially to the ‘gators. 😀 I’ve posted a new gallery with pictures from the outing in Davin’s newly upgraded gallery (which he kindly hosts for me, in addition to my blog).
That’s it for now!
Update, 3:24pm: By the way, if anyone has tried to instant message me since Friday night, I accidentally left myself logged into MSN and iChat at work, so I won’t have received your messages. That should be fixed later this evening. 🙂

Photoshoppy fun

I took this shot just after twilight tonight — the sky through the skylight was a brilliant blue, contrasting very nicely with the yellow of the apartment building. Thought I’d try Photoshop’s “auto-levels” feature, since quite often it can help out with these sorts of things. Not this time! Still fun though, so I figured I’d post it. (If you haven’t yet, make sure you move your pointer over the image 🙂

Results of the Mini Tournament for Floridians

Taking a break from 26-celcius heat during a timeout
So yesterday I attended a brand-new Ultimate tournament, one specifically for new teams in the Florida (dubbed accordingly “a Mini tournament for Floridians”). And what luck, it was only an hour’s drive north! Cam and I carpooled up and arrived shortly after 9am. We were greeted by a group of footballers on the fields we were supposed to play on. I was a little worried there would be some kind of confrontation, as they had already set up their cones, but they cleared out quickly without any kind of hassle. +1 good karma!
I thought the tournament — run by first-time tourney director and Tampa resident Jason Kirkpatrick — was very well-organized. Format for the day was as follows: 12 teams, single-elimination, with a winner and losers bracket. This worked out to four games for each team, regardless of wins/losses; each game was to be played to 15 points or to a 1 hour-40 minute timecap, whichever came first. Games would start every two hours, on the hour, and the first game started at 10am. (Actually, it started at 10:45 — right on schedule, Ultimate-time 🙂
As it turned out our team was a bit smaller than I had expected; we had 10 show up and I was expecting around 15. We had a couple of players from other teams in Sarasota (Joe and Jake), but otherwise everyone was from UPS (the club team I normally play with): Cam, Capt Tom, Alec, David, Jennifer, Chris, George and me. If I forgot you please accept my apologies in advance!
We went 2-2 for the day! We lost our first game against the Orlando co-ed team Death Knell 8-15, and our second against UCF 13-15, but we took USF 15-7, and Alpha-Omega from Fort Meyers 15-7. By the last game we had lost Jake and were all pretty much running on steam. Still, that didn’t keep Dave and Joe from making some incredible layouts. And Cam from continually scoring in the front corners of the endzones. A special shout-out to Alpha-Omega for being the best-spirited team we played!
Afterwards six of us went to Outback for dinner. It was good, though I must admit drinking beer on an empty stomach after having been in the sun all day — not recommended. Get your food first. 🙂

I recommend their “Cyclone Chicken” dinner

Paying the bill! Clockwise from left: Joe, me, Jennifer, David, Alec, Cam

Definition Time

This morning I learned a new meaning for the word “betray”:
From dictionary.com, definition 4:
To make known unintentionally: Her hollow laugh betrayed her contempt for the idea.
e.g. This entry betrays my mundane life. 🙂 In other news I joined a few meetup groups last night! Two for photography and two for singles in the area. The Sarasota photography group has only met once back in August, and most of the people in the singles groups look quite a bit older than me, but hey, who knows?

16B – How To Live 100 Years

I just want to say, if you can find it, get your hands on a copy of 16B‘s How To Live 100 Years. Deep, sexy tech-house, it’s easily stood the test of time. It’s been on the “to buy” list in my head for a couple of years, and I just threw it on my Amazon wishlist in case someone out there is feeling generous. 🙂 I’ve had it in 192kbps MP3 form this whole time, but I’d still gladly plunk down US$30 for a copy of the CD. It’s awesome.

Camping, Space Center, New Music

Well how’s everyone doing? Sorry it took so long for the update, I just finished a 12.5hr day at work. Nothing stressful, but definitely time-consuming.
Camping was excellent! The highlight of the trip for me had to be running 500 yards or so for the tent when a rainstorm came out of nowhere, and then playing Uno with Hugo, Ines, Patricia, Melissa and Cam while the rain pelted down outside. Of course we ate like kings too, thanks to Melissa’s skill with a knife and some aluminum foil. My favorite dish was the steak-spice-baked potatoes, but the smores, hotdogs and corn on the cob were all great too. Mmm. Cam has a little writeup on the weekend too.

Sunday Hugo, Patricia, Ines and I went to the Kennedy Space Center. It was my second time there, and Hugo’s fourth, but the first for both of the girls. It was pretty much the same as when I went the first time — got to visit a launch observation tower, view a simulated launch of one of the Apollo rockets in the actual control room which was used, wander around underneath the Saturn V rocket while eating lunch (you really don’t know how big a rocket is until you see it in person; it’s a massive 363 feet!), watched simulated moon landing and takeoff, watched a 3D 45-minute long Imax film about the Space Station, wandered around the “Rocket Garden” (where recovered boosters and the like from more than half a dozen rockets sit), and walked on board a replica of an orbiter (Space Shuttle) where we saw the Canada Arm! All very nifty stuff the second time around, and Patricia and Ines loved it too. Update, 7:24am Wed: One interesting bit of news I intended to mention is that they intend to do their next launch in the May-July timeframe, so they’re scrambling to make sure everything is ready. When they announce the final date, I’m planning a trip to back to watch.

On the music front, there’s a couple of releases which came out today which have me intrigued. #1 is Rammstein‘s new CD Reise, Reise (from which I heard the single Amerika while in San Diego and was pretty impressed), and #2, UNKLE‘s new CD Never, Never, Land, which contains the original versions of two of the tracks off Sasha’s Involver, In a State being one of them and What Are You To Me? being the other. Eye for an Eye also enjoyed a fairly big moment in the limelight too. Woo, I love new music! Just have to see how the prices at the iTunes Music Store (US$9.99) compare to the actual CD prices. I’m leaning towards the CDs anyways, since then I’d be able to play the albums in my car.
Anyhow, Dad just gave me a recipe for pancakes over iChat, so I’m going to try it out now for a late dinner. 🙂