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Sunday, February 29, 2004
What should have been
 
So the following quote should have been up here at the time indicated above, but owing to a lack of computer resources recently it was delayed. But here, in all its leap year glory is the (delayed) QOTD:
"We love you Lisa... I think" -Joon

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Thursday, February 26, 2004
Mint Chocolate Chip?
 
Our reward for finding a place to stay is supposed to be ice cream, since we have been starving ourselves of it for nearly a week now. Last night I found out that you can't get mint chocolate chip ice cream in most places here (although if i search around I should be able to find it). The good news is that we are almost ready to sign a lease and should do so tomorrow- the 28th. It looks like we will be living on Botany St. which runs along the east side of campus, just a short bus ride from the beach (or a 35-40 minute walk). All thats left is to be confirmed by the owner as suitable to live there, which shouldn't be a problem. We are meeting with the owner at 6:30 to give him our stuff, and assuming it all looks good he will draw up a lease for tomorrow morning. Then this ordeal will be over and my stuff will have a home and we can try and get it set up.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Timing
 
For whatever odd reason, when I'm posting from here in Australia I don't see the post show up on the main page until it is actually that time locally, despite the fact that its past the time of the post here. Apparently it is showing up back home because I'm getting comments on the new ones- I just can't see the new ones for about 16 hours. I can always just click on the archives for the month to see the most recent posts, but either way its weird that it seems to be checking the local time before deciding what to show me.

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Monday, February 23, 2004
A place to live
 
Haven't had internet access all weekend since I don't have a place of my own yet and the center where I've been using it is closed on the weekends. But I'm here and still trying to find a place- hopefully today will be the day that I do. I may end up living with 2 other Grad students, Ryan and Lisa, who are both from Florida (but didn't know each other before hand). We spent all day yesterday looking at a half dozen places all around, and probably went to a dozen realty offices to see what they had. Today will be more of the same, but it's also O-week here. (Read: orientation week) for the new students, so there are all sorts of campus activities going on and free stuff to be had and everything you expect for an orientation to college (uni) life. Once things have settled down and we have a place to live I think it will be a lot less stressful. I just hope it's today so I can take advantage of the events going on and not feel like I should be spending time looking for housing. We're off now- with our faithful (and extremely helpful) driver, Sam, one of the guys who is working in the ISS office. He's been nice enough to take us around and drive us where we need to go for today (Tuesday) and yesterday. Adrian, my ISS mentor, also deserves a mention as he has been letting me stay at his place for the past 2 days since I couldn't stay in my temporary accommodation since new students were moving in to it.

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Friday, February 20, 2004
Sydney nightlife
 
After 4 days I finally got into Sydney for the first time. A whole group of us international students went out with some of the older students to see the city. We started with a bus into Chinatown, and walked through there, stopping for a bite to eat at one of the many eating establishments there. From there we walked down to the harbor, watched a strett performance which included a guy juggling a chainsaw, a knife and a flaming torch while standing on top of a bicycle balanced 20 feet in the air on top of a pole. Then we had a quick drink and got onto one of the ferries for a run across the harbour. Got to see the famous bridges, the opera house and all that good stuff but will have to go back and appreciate it in the day. Then a group of us broke off- me, Ryan, Lisa, Laura, and Joon- and ended up following an irish couple to a pub after walking up some creepy stairwell. After a few pitchers we were summarily thrown out of the bar as midnight was apparently closing time and it was then 12:15. Would have expected more on a Friday night, but I guess thats the city law (or else the bar just didn't want to stay open late). We went back down to Circular Quay, decided against having pancakes, and caught a 396 bus back to campus where I got to walk through lots of sprinkler arches as they were watering the lawn I had to follow a path across.

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Killer self replicating robots on mars
 
By far one of the odder links that has somehow come to reference me in some way. I'm not quite sure how exactly they came to my site from there, but someone from the Horn of Plenty found their way to mine. Anyway, it is an interesting read on the use of automation to the effect of near unlimited resources- or something like that. Anyway, the original paper the short commentary is base on can be found here.

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Thursday, February 19, 2004
Whatwhat?
 
If anyone has any ideas as to why my dream last night included me giving a lecture on 'The microcosm of cheela life' please let me know. It might help my sanity a little. And for those of you wondering- I'm still looking for an apartment, but will definitely have a place to stay tomorrow night, even if it isn't a permanent residence.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Another sunny day
 
It's Wed. over here, and I should prob change the times on here to be in Sydney time, but I'll let that stand for now till I take care of more important things here. Got my student ID, and some of the services associated with it activated, and am looking for permanent housing now- went to see a couple places but they weren't exactly what I was looking for. Hopefully I'll find a place close by with other students and it should be good. Right now I'm scheduled to move out of temp housing on Friday, but I can extend it if I haven't found a permanent place yet. Once the basics are taken care of I will be able to spend my time exploring Sydney- I've walked quite a bit already just finding houses and its quite beautifl and a lot more hilly than I ever imagined. Definitely good for keeping in shape. Had a meeting at the international student services building today about lots of things to know about moving in here. Mostly repetitive but there were a few good things to take away from it. Now I'm going to try and find an advisor so I can register for classes and all those good things.

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Monday, February 16, 2004
Sydney
 
I'm here. It took a while but I made it despite a small fire, an emergency landing and a lack of cups. Now I'm staying in a little dorm room which has seen better days and looking for long term accommodation. Lots to do with all the new student stuff, but luckily there are free computers to use in the International Student Services building. At least I can send some emails and let the world know I've arrived. A more in depth update will follow when I don't have a list half a mile long of things to do before the sun goes down. And for some reason none of the computers here have clocks which strikes me as odd when it asks you to limit your usage to 20 minutes. Hey, thats Australia for you.

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Sunday, February 15, 2004
Aussie to be
 
Leaving at 6:05 today on my way to Sydney. My visa came on Friday, and I got my ticket yesterday and now I'm leaving today. A bit of a whirlwind last few days, and I still need to get my bag closed and my laptop together, but that should be easy enough in the hour or 2 that I'll have at home. Spent Valentines day in the city with Meg, and went to a really nice Indian restaurant, Madras Mahal, for lunch. We had a dinner sampler which meant we got to try a bunch of different dishes which were all yummy, but the lentil soup was a little spicy. Then we went and got my ticket for Australia and then just headed back to her place where we watched Philadelphia, and part of Field of Dreams. And now we're heading down to Maplewood to have breakfast with my dad and then off to Joe's for lunch with my Mom, Richard and Nana. As always the last day is filled with more food then I need, but wonderful company.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004
Laptop
 
Got my new laptop today, and am writing this post from it. Its nice and fast and fun just have to get used to the little track pad till I get my own mouse for it. Now I just have to install everything I need program wise while I still have a fast connection- although Im sure I will get one shortly after I get there it will be nice just to be all set with things before hand. And I might as well use the time to do things now so I don't have to worry about it later. The thing to do now is just figure out what I need, and what junk can stay off here. Any programs that you think will be absolutely essential to me? Let me know.

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Monday, February 09, 2004
Redesign
 
Just a bit of a redesign, changing the link system around a bit so that everything appears 'above the fold'. I like the idea of having dual sidebars as well, so I'll see if it works well like this. I may also change around the title bar and see what I can do to make it not feel dead spaceish on the right side. Probably ending up with smallwalls coming in smaller, and have something on the right hand side as well- not sure what though. I'll see about updating the colors as well, but shades of blue and gray will probably remain- I just may use different shades for different parts as long as it doesn't end up too striking. Comments are always appreciated, and if there is something you want to see done, tell me. I can at least work on a rough sketch of new designs on the long flight down to Sydney.

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Saturday, February 07, 2004
Flooded
 
I probably have almost written something 5 times in the past week, but got distracted continuously. Finally I'm home again and it's Saturday and our basement flooded at some point yestarday. Luckily my mom caught it in time so its not too bad, and there were some dry patches still so everything isn't ruined, but the carpet is all ripped out already with fans blowing on high. One of my bags for Australia was down there all packed already, luckily it didn't get damaged too bad. I'll need to go survey the damage I guess, but last time this happened 10 years ago I remember it being a lot worse. I guess sump pumps need to be changed/inspected more frequently.

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