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23 May 2007

Happy BPRD!

For those who didn't already hear, for those who forgot, and for those who just don't care whatsoever, today is the second annual International Blog Post Remembrance Day (BPRD). We certainly set the bar, albeit rather low, with last year's festivities, which weren't all that great: a short, silly post on my blog and three others (1,2,3). But then, what can you expect from a made-up holiday?

BPRD was declared specifically in memory of a very long blog post which was lost in May 2006 due to an error in the post-saving process. Back then, Blogger's only method for recovering posts was a tiny little-known link shoved off to a corner, which used only a cookie stored on the user's computer to retrieve small amounts of text, but it wasn't enough to save such a long post.

This year, BPRD is overshadowed somewhat by a new feature that Blogger that effectively ends the lost blog post dilemma. Now, the full text of posts in progress is sent to Blogger's servers regularly as a draft so that posts are never lost.

Obviously, this is a good thing. A very good thing. It just means that the main impetus for BPRD is no longer valid. And it didn't help that the new feature was just unveiled last Thursday, giving people like me practically no time to revamp the scope of the holiday.

So what can we do?

Observe it anyway, of course! At least this year. After that, I'll have quite a while to change things around or decide to do away with it altogether. And in light of the recent developments, BPRD this year will be more celebratory than anything.

So remember today those posts that have been lost, and give thanks that no more will meet the same fate. I can finally wish everyone a "happy" BPRD. Enjoy.

Later this week, I'll post on developments in my life, rather than those in the blogosphere.


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14 May 2007

Happy Birthday, Bloggy!

Yup. Randomness turned two years old today.

It's almost unbelievable that it's been two whole years, but when I think of all that's happened in my life since my first post, it makes a lot of sense. So in celebration of this wonderful day in the life of my precious "Bloggy," I've cooked up a little cyber-cake for everyone to enjoy. Dig in.

Now that people beyond my family actually read this regularly, it makes blogging more worthwhile, at least for me. Randomness received 59% more visits during its second year compared with its first. Not that readers are all that makes me blog (although each of you is special). But it definitely helps, since this is the longest-running journal-type thing I've ever had. Ever. And believe me, I had tried countless times before this. All it took was a little nudge to get me going, and a few more to keep me going. And it didn't even have anything to do with Laurel's blog, which is six days older in terms of the date of the first post.

Anyway, here I am, continuing the tradition of writing posts that have "nothing to do with anything," or at least very little. Honestly, go back and look at some of my posts from the first few months and see how much this blog has changed. There are reasons for some of the changes; others just happened. But I'm still here, and I intend to stay for quite some time.

And since it's my blog's birthday, it's about that time of year when everyone else's comes up, too. At least the original four of us: Andrea's blog will turn two on 03 June, and Jay's will on 18 June. Laurel's blog already passed the two-year mark since its first post on 08 May 2005, an anniversary that conveniently became Andrea Day in 2006. I wonder if anyone noticed that before... not that I'm accusing anyone of foul play, because I'm sure it was accidental. I mean, there're only so many days in a year...

So celebrate, because the birthdays of blogs in this somewhat close-knit circle means one thing: summer is near. And with summer could possibly come a rebirth to some blogs, no?

Looking forward to posts and comments in celebration...

Random tangent: Tuesday 15 May is the primary election here in Pennsylvania; I must remember to vote. Also, no word yet on the job front, but I'm definitely making some phone calls Tuesday.


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10 May 2007

Easing into Summer, Busily

First off, I would be remiss if I didn't mention Andrea Day, which of course was Tuesday 08 May. And from the sounds of things, it was just in the nick of time, too. I feel a bit sorry for not being able to send Andrea anything, although I did send her a comment on just about every one of her online profiles right at midnight, and probably freaked out a couple of my friends by asking them to do the same.

And interestingly enough, Wednesday was an Andrea Day of different sorts, if only at the National Hurricane Center. Recent public advisories have made reference to a "slow-moving Andrea... just offshore of the southeastern United States." Whatever. All I know is that our Andrea, slow-moving or not, would be happy to hear that her name is first on the 2007 list of Atlantic tropical cyclones that ends with... Wendy. Can anyone say "cheeseburger"? ;)

Speaking of which, my father cooked some on the grill last night for dinner.

Moving along, though, from that utter nonsense, the last couple weeks have been pretty darn cool for me. Where did I leave off in my last post? Oh, yeah; finals week. I guess it could have gone better, but it all worked out well enough. The PHYS exam was entirely multiple choice, and as I've said before, I maintain that physics knowledge is not adequately assessed by multiple-choice examinations.

I blanked out on how to do one of the main problems in MATH, and we all know how I've loved Honors CHEM exams over the year. In comparison, writing the paper for PS wasn't all that bad, although I had a little bit of trouble finding the office to which it had to be turned in, and ended up submitting it just moments before it was due.

Meanwhile, the DRS project for ENGR 0715 was winding down, and we were still emailing files back and forth and we ended up delivering the files to our client, DRS on Thursday 26 April. And as of yesterday, our version of the online accessibility map is up and running! They seemed to have been thrilled with what we provided, so of course that made all of us very happy. That was combined with all those presentations I mentioned and the huge paper which apparently established "engaging, articulate, well-detailed descriptions, explanations, and evaluations of... all aspects of [our] project, process, and outcomes," i.e., it was good. The end result was a good project and a good grade.

Here's the whole breakdown:

CHEM 0770 Honors General Chemistry for Engineers 2 4 cr. B-
ENGR 0082 Freshman Engineering Seminar 20 cr. S
ENGR 0715 Engineering Applications for Society3 cr. A
MATH 0240 Analytic Geometry & Calculus 34 cr. B
PHYS 0175 Basic Physics for Science & Engineering 24 cr. A-
PS 0200 American Political Process3 cr. B+

These grades represent a QPA of 3.319 for the term on 18 credits, bringing my cumulative average to 3.486... not quite so wonderful as last term, but absolutely respectable nonetheless.

So I was done with everything by late Friday afternoon, 27 April. I quickly checked my messages and then got ready to take a shower before heading off with Emily to PNC Park for a baseball game. Except my mother called at that very moment. Oh, well. It was a slight setback, but all went well, and despite an impromptu bus detour, we found our seats and sat in them just in time to be told to rise for the singing of the national anthem. Which, of course, was performed by a choir of obnoxiously cute elementary school students, among which was my ten-year-old cousin Scott.

The game was good (and the Pirates won 3-1, making it better), but I really enjoyed spending time with Emily and my aunt Bev. It turned out that my friend Andy from high school had brought a group of friends from Slippery Rock University to see the game as well, so we met up for a bit during one of those "middle" innings (the fifth, maybe?). After the game, Emily and I went up the Incline and talked for a while before heading back to Oakland.

I spent most of Saturday 28 April packing up all of my stuff. At some point, I invited Emily over to help. Then Sunday 29 April was Commencement, which started with a wonderful breakfast for us (the band), and then we played a series of commencement-like songs strung together for the 31 minutes it took for all 6,000-plus graduates to process into the Petersen Events Center. Former Governor Tom Ridge gave the keynote address. Soon afterwards, my parents came to take me to dinner, and then we started shoving all of my stuff into the van, save for my trumpet, and a couple suitcases.

Why a trumpet and suitcases? Because of the symphonic band's two-night tour in New Jersey! We played at a high school in Oakhurst, NJ on Monday 30 April and at the Ocean City Music Pier on Tuesday 01 May, right on the beach. And the sand was perfect. I didn't go in the ocean, though. Too cold.

We got back to Pittsburgh around 16:00 on Wednesday 02 May, just in time for me to be whisked away by my father to... a Pitt alumni event in Erie that just happened to be later that evening. I got a little name tag like everyone else, and I had to do a little mingling, but it was pretty cool. Especially considering that I was one of the few there whose class year started with a "2," and certainly the only one whose year was in the future. The lectures were health science-oriented, but some of the stuff they were talking about was just plain awesome! Really, really neat stuff like tissue regeneration, "humanized" mice for lab research, and possible cancer treatments. Really cool.

Anywho, I finally got home around 21:00, and was utterly exhausted. I basically slept for a couple days. I got a haircut while I was awake on Friday, and oddly enough I knew both of the people sitting in the chairs next to me at the time, which never happens. One was a lady from my church. The other was my aunt Marilyn, whose family is now up from Florida for the summer.

Saturday I went to a wedding with my parents while my brother attended an extracurricular school function. The priest who officiated was large and jovial, and he projected his voice in such a manner that my mother likened him to Santa Claus. What a coincidence, then, that the church was St. Nicholas'?

About halfway through the reception I was practically falling asleep. But not because it was boring. Both sides being Italian, they danced the Tarantella for about eight minutes straight, which is appropriate because it's often danced at "authentic Italian weddings." It was pretty cool. My brother would have run out of the place screaming because he hates the song. Better hope he doesn't marry an Italian.

On Sunday I went to a SeaWolves baseball game, and again, it was primarily for the national anthem. This time it was my brother, as well as the rest of the GHS Select Choir. They certainly weren't "obnoxiously cute elementary school students," but they definitely had talent, as they quite readily pulled off a rather difficult four-part arrangement of the Star-Spangled Banner, despite having a noisy fire truck go by on Tenth Street during the "rockets' red glare."

Occasionally, during lulls in the action on the field, they play songs such as the Tarantella over the loudspeakers at Jerry Uht Park. They didn't on Sunday, which disappointed me. Then again, a mad David isn't usually a good one. But the SeaWolves won. And apparently they're doing well this season, which hasn't happened in a while. So that's cool. [insert trademark wolf howl here]

Um, I applied for a summer job on Tuesday. We'll see how that goes, and I'll keep you posted right here.

I also visited some of my old teachers on Tuesday; all were glad to see me (as one would hope). I'll visit some of the others next week.

Oh, and I found out that I've been selected as a counselor for Music Camp this July! So that's exciting. There will certainly be much more here as camp approaches.

Um, I think that's it. Except I recently came to the realization that my total exhaustion probably has something to do with caffeine withdrawal. Because it was so prominent in my lifestyle at Pitt, it's a big difference here where you'd think it was banned or something. I woke up Wednesday afternoon from another one of those "way-too-long" naps and promptly drank a root beer, because I figured sugar might help. It didn't. I need to detox more gradually. I blame last year's stupid meal plan which didn't let you get milk as part of a meal block... at least that'll be better next year when blocks won't exist.

Okay, here I am talking about being tired, and it's the middle of the night. I'm done.

Random tangent 1: Though I've been home a week, I still haven't finished unpacking, nor will I ever. I've just got to sort enough stuff out so that I have room to walk in my room. That sounds like a project for today...

Random tangent 2: This is post number 123. Just thought you'd like to know.


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