sylvar: (Default)
Last night I played NTN Buzztime Trivia with [ profile] wedash; her new husband was out of town, but said hello by phone. Once some regulars showed me how they changed the trivia system from "Race Day" (boring NASCAR stuff) to regular trivia, we had a fine time. I was cleaning up in the music game until I got to the final question. Seeing that the five answers were all Rolling Stones songs, I risked the maximum 50% of my score. But the question was "Which one of these songs did they play at Live Aid?". I guessed "Gimme Shelter" because it seemed appropriate, but I was R-O-N-G wrong. Freakin' Live Aid...

I had breakfast at Panera, just across the street from Costco, then went to pick up my photos. Some of them are older than I'd guessed, but others were, of course, taken just yesterday.
Me and Matt near the Publix Cache This one, for example, was taken on top of a ridge of dirt with a little hedge-maze on it. It overlooks a Publix parking lot -- not a spectacular panorama, but who needs a spectacular panorama when you've got two big ol' slabs of man like us to look at? Admit it, you can't decide which one of us is hotter. Though I've got my suspicions, I won't air them here. Modesty forbids.

Carousel and swingset Here's another photo from yesterday. There's a cache hidden just inches from the camera's view. The clever thing about this cache is that it could be up to eight feet away from the posted coordinates at any given time. Naturally, with a GPS accuracy of about 20 feet, that doesn't matter a bit. But knowing that its location varies up to eight feet, perhaps you can guess where it is.

What is Jodi thinking about?I'm going to get on with my day. If you want more entertainment, peruse the other photos from the disposable camera and see if you can guess what Jodi is thinking about in this photo. I'm outta here. Tampa, here I come!
sylvar: (Utena: Did You Hear?)
Last night I saw a special preview of S.O.A.P. (Snakes On A Porch). It was half a meter long, brown, and utterly panicked. It had obviously gotten in under the screen door but couldn't figure out how to get back there. I guided it back with a broomhandle and it slithered happily away.

After 11 hours of sleep (aah!), I woke up and went over to Starbucks for a dose of my drug of choice, LiveJournal. Oh, and their new green tea latte, which is only 70 calories with nonfat milk. (If you get the 'short' size -- which I didn't -- but it's still A LOT better than the chocolate chip Frappucino, which is a lower-sodium version of a Big Mac with a straw in it.)

I went back to the condo, watched a bit of TV, and removed the slab of ice from the bottom of the freezer in one huge piece. It didn't even entirely fit on top of the sink, so I used hot water to break it up into manageable pieces. Matt came by and helped me demolish it with a well-placed karate chop. Actually, he and I leaned on opposite sides of it, which snapped it in two across the sink's middle ridge. We got everything defrosted and put back in the freezer.

Then we went geocaching. Matt spotted a few caches before I did, and we picked up a very cute travel bug named Pat. 'Pat' the Travel Bug next to the GPS She's sitting next to the GPS on my dashboard in this photo, though she has a habit of stage-diving as soon as I give it some gas.

We found three caches and took a travel bug from each, leaving two aloe-and-sunscreen kits for the next folks who come along. One of the caches involved decoding a hint written in a made-up language. If you want to try to translate it, you may find this page helpful. (If you don't want a hint, don't click that link!)

Greek salads, hummus, skordalia, and melitzanosalata (note: 'aubergine' means 'eggplant') with pita filled us up with healthy veggies. After dropping off the leftovers in the fridge, we came back to Starbucks to log our caches and upload a few photos, then went to Costco for $2.82 gas (the cheapest in the area). I dropped off a disposable camera and we shopped together.

I got a bottle of Panarroz Jumilla 2004 for $6.89 (hard to go wrong with a Wine Advocate score of 90 and a price under 1¢/mL, que no?), and Matt got two DVDs and a backpack with a two-liter water bladder that will serve him well in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. It looks pretty good for long bike rides, too, but I'm going to hold off and just use 1L water bottles for now.

Matt is now on his way back home because he's got a lot of work to do (he's a third-grade teacher, so he's got loads of progress reports to write and tests to grade). I'm chilling at Starbucks again, and I think I may go play some NTN trivia at Pizzeria Uno tonight. There's a bar area with booths and stools, and I can think of little else I'd rather do right now than act the know-it-all while having a cold beer.

In fact, I've just invited my friend Mrs. Dana Anderson. Yes, that's right, Sheryl Andersen Morgan Anderson got married yesterday with all their kids watching. I'm looking forward to hearing the details!

This mini-vacation is going wonderfully. Tomorrow I think I'll go to Flea World. How many people can say they got a haircut at a flea market? Well, I probably won't, although there is an air-conditioned barbershop there. I'll probably just cruise the schlock and play a few games at Fun World. Eventually I'll want to go back to Tampa and make sure the apartment has been certified poison-free, then go get the cats and bring them home to piss out their annoyance. I'd better leave some dirty clothes on the floor to give them a target I'd prefer: feline realpolitik.
sylvar: (PUTV: Dirty thought in a nice clean mind)
Around midnight last night, I gave up on bagging all the food before the termite-tenting began. I set my alarm for around 3:15am. Amanda apologized for the noise she made during the few hours that followed, but I never even heard her.

I woke up, got ready for the day, and by 4:30 the three of us left for the airport. Once Jodi got to the security gate, Amanda and I went back home (stopping at Einstein for a quick breakfast) and bagged up all the remaining food that wasn't already in airtight packaging. Then we grabbed the cats, and while they complained loudly, I dropped Amanda off at Stately Segnboraweth Manor (the home of [ profile] segnbora and [ profile] tregoweth, natch) and took the cats to the boarding kennel.

I managed to get to the office a bit early, but soon realized I was pretty tired and didn't want to stay until five, then get stuck in rush hour traffic on the way to Sanford (on the far side of Orlando, up the under-constructionest bits of I-4). So after a meeting, I called it a day and took a little road trip.

After a fuel-efficient but pokey 55mph journey without air conditioning (I'm still not used to the idea, but it hasn't killed me yet), I got to my family's place in Sanford and discovered that the freezer's icemaker was broken in a way that resulted in an inch-deep puddle behind the fridge, plus seepage involving the padding under the laminate flooring and the carpet in the bedroom behind the wall.

One and a half washing machines full of towels later, the floor was finally dryish and I'd found out how to turn off the icemaker's water pump. It was about this time that I realized I had left my suitcase in the apartment, which was by then full of poison gas.

So I headed to the thrift store and found khakis, a shirt, and other necessities at a combined price cheaper than one pair of pants from Wal-Mart. I did get one pair of socks on clearance from Wal-Mart for 50 cents. Later I found out that they were size clown, but I'm not hiking in them, only walking while I launder a better pair.

Finally, showered and in clean clothes, I came here to Starbucks for an Internet fix, and to plan out some geocaching for tomorrow. I might also see a movie tonight, but I might just be too tired. Fortunately, it's still 18 hours before Matt will arrive for some brother time, so I'll be able to get lots of sleep no matter what I do this evening. (NTN trivia and a beer at Pizzeria Uno's bar? A haircut? Reading a library book? Truly, the nerdy possibilities are infinite. Countably infinite, probably, but still...)

Despite my fatigue, this has been a pretty good day. Or maybe it hasn't, but I've enjoyed it anyway, 'cause I'm stubborn like that. And hey, new icon from Pump Up the Volume, so how can you go wrong?
sylvar: (leviticus)
This afternoon's session on internationalization (or i18n, as geeks call it) was a lot of fun. The new catalog software apparently allows you to supply translations of words and phrases that will be used by people who want their library catalog to appear in Canadian French, Armenian, Chinese (simplified and traditional), etc.

I made a lot of suggestions, since I'm a linguistics geek. For example:

In English and other left-to-right writing systems, it makes sense to offer links like this:
< previous | next >
But in Arabic and Hebrew, it might make more sense for next to be on the left, since that's where the next page is.

Phrases like "You are logged in as " assume that the user's name should come at the end of the sentence. But in some languages, you can't just translate one phrase and follow it with a name, you have to embed the name into the phrase: in the name of Ben Ostrowsky are you logged in. And that's ignoring the languages in which "you are logged in" might be worded slightly differently if the user is male.

And then there were the non-linguistic suggestions like "Hey, if you give us an Export/Import function, then we can share our translations with each other without having to retype all these phrases one at a time."

The presenter said that they obviously need someone like me working for them, and said he knew of a house for sale in the vendor's hometown. I'll stay in touch with them about the idea, since we'll be moving when Jodi picks her next school. Since they already have offices all over the place, they probably would allow telecommuting, especially if my job would involve interviewing native speakers to make sure that we get things translated properly. (You don't want to translate that "Home" link as "Casa", for example. The Spanish equivalent means "main page".)

Some sort of winter-wonderland cocktail hour is starting soon. I saw them setting up Christmas trees, pastel castles, and the like inside the main ballroom. I'll go check it out to get some good pictures and use my free drink ticket. After that, I'll probably go to sleep early. There's a walking tour of Loring Park that meets at 6:30am, and if my knee's up to it, I want to see if I can find the Loring Park Micro geocache.

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Last night Jodi and I got to meet the very cool [ profile] magnoliafly and her very cool fiancé (does he have an LJ account?). ABC Pizza House had cheap Italian food, although the tomato sauce was nothing to write home about, even if you hadn't written home in a while. Still, at $3.99 for the plate of shells with mushrooms and cheese, it's hard to complain too much.

The weather was great until we actually tried to split up the bale of hay that was in my back seat. Then it started raining to beat the band. So I hauled it from the car to the covered entrance to the restaurant (bet they loved seeing that!), where we split it up and kept it relatively dry. Unfortunately, our goodbyes were cut short by our mutual desire to not get completely soaked, but I get the feeling we'll be meeting again, hay or no hay. They're board-game fiends and their bar is sadly unused -- as is ours -- and I hope to go geocaching with [ profile] magnoliafly when she's got time. (Impending weddings don't leave a whole lot of free time.)
sylvar: (Default)
[ profile] magnoliafly and I are so freaking similar!

  • We carry Palm PDAs

  • We have GPS receivers

  • We're house rabbit people

  • We're into Alton Brown

  • We're ST:TNG fans

  • We live in Tampa

  • We both do cross stitch

Honestly, if we weren't already taken, I think I'd have found my new bestest friend. (Well, I'm available if I get a permission slip, but I don't know about her, and anyway she's got a wedding to plan, so she's a bit busy.)
sylvar: (Did you hear? (Utena))
George Bernard Dantzig died recently. He solved the equations on the chalkboard because he didn't know that they were famous unsolved problems. This feat inspired urban legends about other geniuses doing the same thing as students, but Dantzing was the mathematician who inspired the opening act of Good Will Hunting.

Today I found a geocache that was believed to have disappeared. I didn't know it had been declared unfindable, so I was able to find it fairly quickly. I couldn't figure out why it wasn't listed among caches in the area, and was surprised when I finally realized what had happened.

Just goes to show you that Bugs Bunny was right when he declared, hovering in the air after walking off a cliff, "I know this defies the law of gravity, but, you see, I never studied law!" Sometimes you can only do it if you don't 'know' that it's impossible.

Road trip

May. 11th, 2005 10:17 pm
sylvar: (Default)
Sunday afternoon we decided to visit lots of graduate schools for philosophy. The megillah that follows may be almost as long as the trip itself. )
Tomorrow we'll go to Tampa, and on Friday we'll go to Miami, and on Saturday we'll go to Stuart, and Sunday we will finally be home in Tampa for at least five days. Two thousand miles in a week is fun, but I'll enjoy getting back to a normal commute.

November 2010

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