Saturday, September 22

200th Post!

So this is my 200th post... And... probably my last post on this blog.

I know I haven't posted much since the beginning of school but a lot in my life has changed and the adjustments are taking longer than expected. I don't have anything really positive to write about in here and that has stopped me from posting as I should be.

School finally started and its been okay. Its starting to get interesting now. My classes are picking up and I actually have a good amount of homework to procrastinate. I should start my part time job this week. I'm working at the university again, for ITS again, but not the same group. I've been asked to do some technical writing and a Usability study. The money will be nice but part of me doesn't really want the extra work anymore. I was just getting used to the spare time in the house by myself.

I spend more time alone than before. It gives me lots of time to do homework and get a head but its still lonely. Don't get me wrong, Michelle and Matt should be out on their own more and thats not the problem. I just spend more time alone now. The internet doesn't keep me entertained like it used to.

I've decided I'm going to try to get into Grad school and do my masters while I am in "School Mode". I don't know forsure that I can do it, but I'm going to try. I'm looking at 4 different school, all Human Computer Interaction (HCI) based research programs. So hopefully I can continue my whole Usability Thing.

Grad School won't start until Fall 08, so I have about 8 months to kill in between. I'm considering taking another semester of school or looking for internships that would last about 6 months. I'm sure I could go back as an intern to Google, but I need to work someplace else. It would be nice to experience, "User Experience Research" some place else as well.

As I said in the beginning I think this will be all for this blog. As the next chapter of my life unfolds I'll maybe start another blog but for me this feels like a good ending point. Thanks

Wednesday, September 5

Waiting for School to start

I need something to focus my time on. I'm ready to start school and have stuff to read and do at night. I SUPPOSE I could work on my 499 research, but I'm kinda lost on direction of the project. I Would like to talk to my advisor and figure out the best way to move forward.

My textbooks are mostly in the mail... I still should order 2 more but I'm waiting to see how necessary they are and where I can buy them for cheaper.

I didn't buy a parking pass this year... I'm sure I'll regret it some days... but I think the walking will be good for me. Its weird to think I'm graduating soon. Almost surreal sometimes.

The kittens are doing well... they co-exist with the sheik fine now... we are pretty sure that as long as no one gets within a foot of each other everyone will be fine. The food is still an issue that we are working on... but it will get better.

Sunday, September 2

In Windsor

So I didn't get to update from the road... Mostly I was just too tired to blog about the boring drive. We did three long days of driving and put a lot of time in in the car. The kittens traveled pretty well... Carmicheal did not like his carrier and cried a lot.

It feels a lot different to be home here. I'm not sure just what to do with myself. I'm unpacked... I did laundry... the kittens are adjusting... I'm missing Sean... Michelle is here and we are hanging out... but I'm not very talkative. I'm pretty excited to see my family. Its been a while and I think they missed me too. Can't wait to see my niece. But I have a feeling I will likely be quiet around them as well.

I thought I had more to say... but I can't really think of anything.

Saturday, August 25

Next

Finished my internship... now i just have to get home to everyone.
Once the car is packed i will feel much better.... but right now.... we have too much stuff!

Hopefully I'll be able to update from the road...

Thursday, August 16

The Countdowns are on...

I only have 7 days of work left and 10 (?) days till we start the drive home. I doubt people are reading this blog anymore since I update so infrequently but I just felt like writing today. I'm currently in the middle of my last study at Google, I have a series of one on one interviews still to do and a report to write. But I'm fairly confident that I will be able to finish everything with sometime to spare. I finally started bringing my own tea to work, the coffee was killing my insides. I missed tea.

I've been trying to describe my feelings about the next few weeks to a number of people. I think anxious is close to the right word... I'm excited to go home to see my friends and family, All the new people in the world... I'm worried about the trip... about the kittens and endless amount of driving and getting lost. I'm sad to be leaving Google and California... I mean this place is really nice and I'm pretty comfortable here. I worry that I won't get my report done before I leave. I'm concerned and scared about my future... with Google or otherwise, Graduating and the possibility of Grad school.

All these and more a rushing me at the same time... I've been very quite recently and doing a lot of thinking. I've unfortunately been more anti social recently... which makes me sad as well... thats not who I am normally.

I dunno where this is going... Or how to end it now. I mean ... it all sounds really depressing over all. But I've really had an awesome summer all around.

Monday, August 6

Numbers

  • 15 number of Days of Work Left
  • 20 number of Days till The Road Trip Begins
  • 1 number of Times it has rained since I got here
  • 1.5 number of studies that I still have to complete
  • 3 number of reports I have written
  • 128 number of regularly scheduled meetings I have or will attend.
  • 3 number of free books I have got so far
  • .5 * 3 number of books I've read
  • 2 number of interviews I still have to do
  • 2 number of add/drop forms I had to submit to register
  • 5.5 number of classes this semester (only one lab!)
  • 2,782 number of miles I have to drive before I can see my friends and family at home
I like this... I may try something like this again...

Tuesday, July 31

Usability Recruitment

Hey Everyone,
Google is looking to build their usability participant database and they need volunteers who might be willing to participate in a study. They also pay their participants usually about $75 a hour to help us. What I need you to do is follow the URL:
https://survey.google.com/wix/p0822776.aspx?referral_code=MV4 and At the bottom of the first page there is a "Where did you hear about us?" box. Please enter jlweber so that they can track who the referral is.

You can forward this message to anyone you want. Where you live doesn't matter they do remote studies all the time.

Thanks for your help!
Janna

[Why am I doing this? What's in it for me? Officially, If I have the most referrals I win a t-shirt that I already have. But really I just want to help build the database for my team]

Tuesday, July 24

Bullets from the West Coast

  • Camping was a lot of fun.
    • I haven't had a chance to get the pictures up yet but it was exciting to have some time to take some pictures.
    • The park was pretty small and probably only used for day trips by locals.
    • The campsite wasn't really what was expected but we made it work
    • The lake was cold and filled with gold flakes... which was pretty cool.
    • Smores are awesome!
  • My internship seems to be flying by pretty quickly. I only have a few weeks left and two big studies left.
  • I'm pretty thankful right now that I don't have to do a work term report for school... cause I would be pretty lost trying to do that.
  • Most of the interns I know are starting to pack up and leave... I had one of the longest internships of anyone I think...
  • Canadian dollar hits a high of 96 US cents - International Herald Tribune -- SUCKS
  • I'm currently doing laundry at work and making a blog post... something just isn't right about that
  • In the past few weeks I've had three blow my mind kind of meals...
    • 1. Steak and scallops with mashed potatoes
    • 2. Prime Rib with ranch horseradish sauce
    • 3. Seafood Jambalya
    • Other meals have been very good as well but those top my list
  • Planning on going to the Beach this weekend... Patrick is going to surf and Sean and I are going to hangout on the beach. Get more tanned.
  • Going to see the Simpsons movie tonight
  • We've been playing a lot of scrabble lately and I've been getting better. Last night in a 4 person game I broke 200 for the win.
  • Back to work.

Thursday, July 19

Roughing it...

Just posting a PSA, Sean and I are going camping this weekend...
I will be without internet connection for a few days...
Its shocking I know... I'm not sure if I will survive...
or if I will be able to dig out of my inbox on Tuesday.

More about the camping trip later.

Saturday, July 14

Big Sur Road Trip





One Saturday we decided to take a road trip to Big Sur, just to enjoy the ride along the coast. We stopped along the way to take a few pictures and enjoy the view. I have more pictures to come but I have to finish my film first. After making it to one of the Big Sur parks we made our way back and had dinner in Carmel-by-the-sea, not sure why they hyphenate their name like that but it was really nice... the food, even for pub food was amazing. Would definitively like to go back sometime.

From Big Sur

Tuesday, July 10

Congratulations!!!

Congratulations on your engagement Julie and Andrew!!!

Friday, July 6

Some Creative Title....

So its been a really long time since I updated.
It may be the beginning of the end folks... I've lost time and actually I've kinda lost interest in blogging... its become this thing that is always sitting over my head whenever I am at home. Thankfully, I guess, I'm not actually home that often. I had to actually make a point of staying home tonight (even tho it is a friday) cause I've been so tired lately. I finished a big study this week and presented the results today. It went pretty well... but is also going to lead into an even bigger set of studies. Which is cool I guess.

Sean and the kittens are doing well. Carmicheal is growing so big and well.... Sammy hasn't grown much at all... But they are so super cute. Sean got his wisdom teeth taken out last week and is pretty well recovered now... has to get his stitches out tomorrow.

Michelle was here and visited... I think she should come back again... it was a really fun time with her... I think she had fun as well... there are pictures from her trip on my picasa web album.
Missing everyone at home.

Tuesday, June 19

Driving in California

So I do a lot of driving in and around the Bay area and I've found it to be a very different experience than that of driving in Ontario.

The number 1 rule... expect traffic. Always expect traffic to add time to your trip. Then you can be pleasantly surprised if you show at your destination early. Often times I find myself increasing my speed as I exit the Highway. Yes... speeding up on the off ramps. I've also observed (and through a survey of sample size = 1 I have found it to be true) that there is a direct correlation to the time of day versus the quality of cars on the road. People who arrive at work at 9 or before in the morning tend to drive slightly older cars that are slightly more likely to be American brands. People who can arrive at work when they choose (err 10am) drive very nice cars that are always shiny. A super impressive car is always in sight... at least one. Often in the first few months you will get very distracted by the amazing cars everywhere you look. Eventually.. you get distracted by the crappy cars that clearly do not belong in California.

Most roads are a minimum of 4 lanes wide. (In fact I can only think of 2 that are 4 lanes) most are 6 lanes with a center divide. Which requires more U-turns and one ways. It also brings a whole new meaning to driving defensively. (Maybe not a new meaning but it enforces the old one) You have to assume like most people are out to get you and you must defend yourself first. Its quite interesting watching people weave in and out of lanes in and around people. Its very much like a dance with metal robots.

Finally when you are venturing any where in the bay area, if you go far enough you will run into mountain driving conditions. Which are either very steep or very twisted. The drive into big basin on this past Saturday was amazing... but very much like a video game... left then right then left then right... Very scary when the centerline goes away and the road narrows.... AND then you can't see around the corners.

In Other News: After lots of thought and discussion Sean made the very tough decision to leave his job. Everyone he's talked to thinks it a good idea that he did and I think it was overdue. He doesn't have a new job lined up yet, but he does have options. The tough part is getting a company to take him on under the condition that he will only be here till the end of the summer. I'm sure he could move back now if he really wanted... but I would rather spend summer with him.

In Other Other News: I always find it interesting when main-stream media tries to explain an online phenomenon.

Friday, June 15

Long Time without an Update

Where does the time go? I seem to be running somewhere all the time, which is normally a good thing for my social life. But unfortunately my online life and responsibilities seem to fall by the wayside. So a brief update from my desk at G.

Been exploring the bay area more this week, specifically the San Jose area. Found a few really cool places to eat and more that we will have to explore in deeper depth. I've really come to appreciate yelp.com . The reviews are usually pretty close and if you can take them all with a grain of salt you usually know what you are in for. Aside from food we also visited a nickel arcade and spent a few hours there playing classic arcade games at a fraction of the price. This weekend we are planning a photo taking excursion to Big Basin. A park that isn't too far away in the santa clara mountians. should be a good chance to take some really nice photos. I'm excited. (There is about 6 or 7 of us going)

Work is coming fast and hard now. My day to day work isn't overly stressing but thinking about all the various projects that I could/should be working on makes me fret a little. I'm totally enjoying all my time here tho. Sean is having a rough time at work the management of the place seem to be falling apart which is pretty sad and frustrating. I think he should really consider switching jobs soon, but thats just my opinion he has to make up his own mind.

Anywho.. back to work.

Sunday, June 3

Point Form Stories

So I feel that I have too many stories about my pass weekend adventures and happenings to give them all justice so ... instead I will give none of them justice and write point form teasers of each and then IF you want to know more you have to let me know.

Symphony
  • Got tickets to go to the Play! Symphony
  • Miscommunication with the arrangements
    • Wrong cell numbers
  • Arrive at the wrong location
  • Finally arrive only to miss the first 3 minutes of the symphony.
  • Loved the rest of the show.
  • Tried to buy the CD but it was of a totally different show (thumbs down)

Sunday at Six Flags
  • Started to six flags at 8:00 (park opens at 10:30)
  • People are late and lost... finally on the road to six flags at 9:30.
  • Get about 2 miles from the park and join the line up that goes into parking.
  • Frantic phone calls and indecisiveness ensues
  • Changes lanes and heads towards Napa.
  • Mmm(mumm) Wine and trolley cars.
  • Close the Winery
  • Heading home and hitting traffic on a road without a median!
  • Hwy 29 to 37 to 580... no 980.... no 580... to 880.
  • Lost in Oakland. Don't make eye contact with the drug dealers outside the elementary school that has the bars on the windows.
  • 3 hours to get from Napa to San Jose.
Patrick Arrives!
  • I was supposed to pick Patrick up at 6pm but I went to napa instead
  • He missed his connection in LAX (a common occurrence for me)
  • Get Home from Napa at 9. Patrick Lands at 9:15
  • Break into his new apartment. (Nice place... not very secure tho)
  • Visit a real English Pub
Memorial Day
  • Sean, Patrick, Matt (Patrick's Roommate from MIT) and I give Pat an introduction to American/California Culture.
  • Visit
    • Chipotle
    • GameStop
    • Frys
    • Target
    • Safeway
  • Eat Steak! (very tasty)
  • Play Wii.
Google Happenings
  • Google had a very busy week
    • Streetview was released
    • Gears was released
    • FeedBurner was bought
    • Panoramio was bought
    • 1st Ever Global Developers Day
  • The Food was to die for!
    • Baby bay scallops by they bowlful. It was amazing.
  • Had Dinner with Brian since he was in town (starts Monday)
Friday Night
  • Date night!
  • Getting Lost
  • California Pizza Kitchen for dinner
    • Shrimp Scampi Pizza (mmmm!)
    • 2 for 1 by accident
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 3
    • LONG movie!
    • SO much stuff happening on the screen
    • Weird Ending
Santa Cruz Beach
  • Saturday, Sean, Patrick and I head towards Santa Cruz to the Beach / Boardwalk
  • Saw the Seals (you know ... ArpArpArp)
  • Sean went Swimming! Found the water a bit Salty
  • Spent (too much?) time in the Arcade
    • Played Tetris
    • Sean is awesome at Ms. PacMan!
  • Nice Drive out and back on the 17.
  • Lasagna for a Late dinner.
  • Scrabble with Sean, two Apple Interns and a Google Intern
  • Sean Kicked all of our asses. (Hes really smart)
Sigh... Thats all... Today I went shopping for a little and for a drive by myself. Then I ended the night at Panera were I like to blog and talk to people on the computer. Had a good conversation with my parents and Michelle. That was a really long post. I should go back and add links to things.... but I'm feeling Lazy right now and should be leaving soon. Yay!

Saturday, May 26

Mood Change

I'm Still alive folks.

Sorry for my long delay between posts. I'm even more sorry that I still don't have a super interesting topic to post about. This may just be all about me for a while. At some point I'll get back to my blog posts about super interesting things I learned in psychology but for now the mood of the blog has changed back to an update for my friends and family back home. I miss you guys!

I've been working a lot lately and only on Google things. I go to work at about 9ish (traffic pending) and get home usually about 6 or 7. by that time if Sean's home we might go out to eat or something but if hes still at work I usually get pretty lazy and just watch tv. I barely turn on my computer when I get home and even if I do, its hard to get up the energy to be creative and blog.

So whats going on today? I'm at work again. Doing Laundry. Sean left me last night to go to one of his friend's weddings in Ohio. (He told me the wrong dates or I probably would have gone too). He'll be back on Monday. Tonight I'm going to the Play! Symphony tonight, which I'm super excited about. And Tomorrow I'm going to six flags with a few intern friends. should be fun...I'm going to get burnt again.

Google updates: The food is just as awesome as ever. Probably more healthy now tho. Everything is color coded. Green means healthy, eat as much as you want. Yellow means its alright to have a little extra but don't over do it. and Red... well... red is the most unhealthy, should be the smallest portion on your plate, but is always the most delicious! I had roast lamb and sweet potatoes mashed the other day... It was so wonderful. The broccoli soup was to die for the other day as well.

In other news: Patrick arrives tomorrow evening and starts his internship on Tuesday. Which is very exciting. Michelle has bought her ticket and is coming to see me for Canada day!! I can't wait to see her and show her around here. (I think Sean will get jealous that weekend... hehe).

That may be all I have for now. I will try to keep this better updated.

Thursday, May 17

Picasa Web Albums Slideshow Feature!



Just thought I would give it a try. Let me know what you think.

Monday, May 14

I'm still alive!

Woo!

So A LOT has happened since my last update so this post should be full of kick ass information and stories about myself... But I'll probably lose interest half way through and put everything in bullet points or something like that... Sounds like me at the moment.

There are somethings that I should have done already but still haven't. Like my report for the university... for work.. that I should have finished before I left. I'm sorry Richard, there is no real excuse I've just gotten lazy I suppose. I plan on sending something in point form tho I'm sure you don't really need it anymore. (I feel like I've burnt a bridge that I really didn't want to). Secondly the other report for Dr. Boulos.... Its not overdue but I'm sure someone is waiting on it. One of these nights I will be able to pull my thoughts together on the subject and send it off.

I've started work! I''m back at G again and loving it. The food and the work are just bout the same as I remember them. Tho... there are more cafes now and I get a little more freedom with my work. But my hosts are great and I'm pretty excited about my project!

My parents sound like they are having a pretty good trip. I saw them last on Wednesday when they came to work with me for breakfast. It was quite an experience I wish I could have thought faster of what to show them and where to take them on campus. I think they enjoyed seeing the place anyways. They call me from time to time and get me to pass on the message that they are still alive. Today they were waking up early to do a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon. Should be amazing I hope they talk lots of pictures and that my mom isn't sick in the plane.

On Sunday, a group of interns and I headed up the 101 to Muir woods and did some hiking. I think we walked 4 miles uphill. We celebrated properly tho by going to the cheesecake factory for dinner. Surprisingly enough my knees are fine... my calf muscles are KILLING me today tho... I can barely walk on my one leg... its like when you get that muscle cramp in the back of your calf... and it won't relax!

The Kittens!
The kittens are doing good. They are SO cute you just can't get enough of them until they are fighting and jumping on you while you are trying to watch a movie and their tiny little claws are sticking in your skin. We took them to the vet this morning to get them all checked out and make sure they are really healthy. So far so good.

I give up... thats all for now.

Saturday, May 5

I'm at my Summer Home


Day 7, Saturday
Current Location: San Jose
Start Time: 8:30 am (PST)
Stop Time: 11:00 am (PST)

Sorry this post is late, I been adjusting to my new place and taking my time. the drive down from Sacramento was pretty painless. There was a bunch of traffic (as expected) and a little bit of construction that slowed us down. But we finally made it to my summer home, Sean was still in bed hehe. After a very short tour of the apartment for my parents we headed to Panera for lunch (free!). After which my parents went their separate way and headed towards San Fran.

We spent some time at the apartment, we were waiting for Sean's coworker to come pick up keys. Or at least that is what I was told. What actually happened was Sean's coworker was coming by to drop off two kittens!! Sean got me two, 6 week old brothers! They are so adorable! Carmicheal and Sammy. Quite the pair, and quite a handful so far.

Friday, May 4

I'm in Cali!

Day 6, Friday
Current Location: Roseville, CA
Start Time: 11:00 am (PST)
Stop Time: 4:00 pm (PST)
Traveled: 450 km

Wow, what a crazy day. Woke up to snow in Nevada, and they were telling all the trucks to make sure they bring their chains to get up the mountain. Pretty scary. So we planned on trying to get to Fernley (about 2 hours away) and see what was happening after that. We didn't leave till 11ish tho hoping it would warm up a little. Instead we drove through rain and more rain untill about 30 miles before Fernley when it started to clear. Giving us the motivation to move further up the mountain and try to pass Reno. With only a few flakes in the air we sail through Reno and up further into the Rocky Mountains. Very beautiful scenery for a short while. I'm sure it was very cold for dad tho. At the summit, My head started exploding with a pressure headache due to the altitude. At the same time a nice scary blizzard sets in.... just after the sign saying we will be going downhill for the next 40 miles. So... we've got downhill slope at 70 mph in slush and snow. On come the 4 way flashers and we try to slow down as dad tries to see around his windshield to know what is coming ahead. Words cannot describe!

Anyways we are all safe and sound in California tonight. It's fairly warm here (particularly in comparison) and the room is pretty nice. Should get to see Sean tomorrow for lunch which is pretty exciting!

Thursday, May 3

Snow!!

Day 5, Thursday
Current Location: Winnemucca, NV
Start Time: 9:00 am (MST)
Stop Time: 4:00 pm (PST)
Traveled: 550 km

Our luck with the weather was too good to be true. Today was a pretty bad day for traveling. I'm feeling a little guilty for making Dad drive through all this. Headed across the salt flats today and into the mountains in Nevada. Hit rain... then freezing rain... then as we went up the mountain SNOW. Dad.... on a motorcycle... driving in snow... 6000+ ft above sea level. It was pretty crazy.

We stopped in Wells, NV., for lunch... it was pretty good but far too much food. You can tell we are headed west by the increase in Mexican food. Mmmm Quesadilla. We stopped early-ish tonight so that dad could warm up. We are fairly close to San Jose now... Could make it tomorrow if we tried hard and the weather was better. But I think Mom wants to keep me for at least one more night.

Wednesday, May 2

Something You Should Do Once.

Day 4, Wednesday
Current Location: Salt Lake City
Start Time: 8:00 am (MST)
Stop Time: 5:30 pm (MST)
Traveled: 720 km

Man, It's hard to get up the energy to write these posts... as short as they may be. So we were on the road this morning by 8 am. It was pretty foggy when we started out but about 20 minutes in all the fog suddenly lifted and we were off and running. After lunch we hit a little bit of rain and mom and I were thankful we were in the car and not on the bike like dad. About 20 long minutes of rain and then we drove out of it and more into the mountains.

Coming into Salt Lake City was quite a treat that I'm sure I won't soon forget. My car was pushing really hard to make it up the mountain at 60 mph while everyone else was doing 75. And then once at the top, had to go down the mountain (at 70 mph due to gravity) with winding and curving roads. It took me about an hour to calm my nerves after and stop shaking. Dad thought it was pretty funny. There were some very awesome views, from what I heard.

Another two Harley dealers today. A small stone shattered the front headlight on the bike so we had to get it replaced. Didn't take too much time tho.

Tuesday, May 1

Nebraska: Defeated

Day 3, Tuesday
Current Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming
Start Time: 8:00 am (CST)
Stop Time: 7:00 pm (MST)
Traveled: 925 km

It's hard to make coherent thoughts right now But just for you.. I will try. Today we started in Iowa, Got the tire fixed and we were on our way early. We stopped at two different Harley Dealers today but it was a welcome break. While we were stopped I dropped my sunglasses and they broke... at least I have something to shop for now. We traveled hard and completed all of Nebraska today... quite a feat if i do say so myself. We also got an extra hour when we hit another time zone. I've never really spent much time in the Mountain Time Zone. When we finally landed (in Why-Oh-Ming) we had dinner and got and amazing Prime Rib and Shrimp Scampi. Unbelievably amazing.

What I learned today: Cheyenne is the capital of Wyoming

Monday, April 30

The Day of 4 Different States

Day 2, Monday
Current Location: Adair, Iowa
Start Time: 8:30 pm (EST)
Stop Time: 6:30 pm (CST)
Traveled: 825 km

Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa.
Traveled on I94 to I80, passed through Chicago without any problem.
Currently have a flat tire, which we will get fixed in the morning, hopefully it won't set us back.
Food wasn't great today... but it did the job.
Missed Heroes tonight :(
Since I left Windsor on Saturday, I have driven over 2000kms

Sunday, April 29

I'm on my way!

Day 1, Sunday
Current Location: Kalamazoo, Mi
Start Time: 1:30 pm (EST)
Stop Time: 7:00 pm (EST)

Today we started our trip in Grand Bend. Dad was leading on the bike, mom and I following in the car. It was quite weighted down but kept up no problem at all. Passed the border easily... had very little traffic. Now I'm pretty tired... I'll try to keep little updates on this if I get to have internet at night.

On another note:
She is so tiny and adorable.

Friday, April 27

The State of the World

  • This hellish semester of school is over
  • There are new people in the world
    • Emily Joanne Weber (April 27 - Happy Birthday)
    • Adara Michelle Peachy (April 23)
  • I have a slight hangover from my awesome going away party last night
    • Thus my post will be short and expanded on over the weekend
  • The Anberlin Concert is tonight
  • I leave Windsor tomorrow and won't be back for 4 months
  • I leave Ontario Monday and won't be back for 4 months
  • I'm driving (with my parents) to California
  • I know an Intern that will be working for Apple
  • I'm an AUNT!
  • My parents are GRANDPARENTS

Sunday, April 22

Do you know the Muffin Man?

Artanis:
i think i have to go for a drive soon get out of this house, let laptop cool
Janna Angel! --:
for a muffin?
Artanis:
probably not. I'm trying to be 'good'
Janna Angel! --:
you should throw them at us as you drive by
Artanis:
lol, i'd throw cheezeburgers
Janna Angel! --:
LOL! i'd rather have a muffin
Artanis:
cheezeburger is wrapped up - so when i chuck it, it 'chucks' better
Janna Angel! --:
but...
Artanis:
*matt is deep into creative thinking mode*
Janna Angel! --:
uhoh - that can't be good for our health
Artanis:
I got the solution
*matt grabs his portable stapler out of his drawer*
Janna Angel! --:
we may be going inside
Artanis:
hehe
Janna Angel! --:
o...
m...
g..
Artanis:
if the bags were stapled, upon 'throw' from car, you would not have to worry about muffin separating outside of bag. Thus, maintaining sanitation of said 'baked good' - problem is, I can't throw with my left arm - especially while driving
Janna Angel! --:
ah .. i see
Artanis:
so, car would have to be halted. i would jump up on the seat - stand through sunroof - chuck muffins at the two women. And thus drive away
Janna Angel! --:
LOL!
too much hilarity if you did the sunroof thing
TOO MUCH
you need to CALM DOWN
Artanis:
don't tempt me - nobody has ever stood through my sunroof, i dunno if it's possible I've never tried in the 3.5 years i've had this car
Janna Angel! --:
i think i would die
like.... "sorry dr liu... i'm dead... i can't write the test today"
"sorry google... take helena instead... I'm dead"
...
Artanis:
and I Planned on leaving the house to begin with
next time i'm not going to tell you
*maniacal chuckle*
i'll go get my shoes on
...
Janna Angel! -- sent 4/22/2007 10:36 PM:
OMG... I"M DEAD
Artanis:
i threw 2 since i didn't know what flavour you wanted but i messed up - and I accidently took the 1 blueberry for myself! they all looked the same under the streetlights!
Janna Angel! --:
OH NO!
...
Artanis:
overall, mission success.

Wednesday, April 18

We have a BBQ!

Thanks to our good buddy Nathan, we now have a BBQ at the house... and I'm loving it! So far we have had hamburgers, hot dogs and today I made Steak for Michelle and I. See the picture below... It was awesome!


And I Eated it!


Later this week I will also be making Salmon on the BBQ. MMmmm I love BBQ!

Tuesday, April 17

The Light is Blinding Me!

So... I wrote my 454 exam today and I think it went okay considering the class has been pretty painful for me... but now I'm sitting at home and remembering that.. oh yeah. I have 2 more exams to study for and work to finish. And its put me in a weird mindset since everything about this semester has revolved around 454 and working on it. And now I'm done... and... its like a part of me is missing. Like this darkness that has been over me for the past four months has been lifted, but now I don't know what to do and I'm slightly afraid of the light. Its this very odd sensation where I have to keep telling myself that I don't have to study for 454 anymore.

Now I just need to find the motivation to study for the other two.

Saturday, April 14

End of Class - Start of Exams

I'm currently in the dash...
Technically my last day of class was yesterday... and my first exam is on Monday... what better opportunity to procrastinate a little and have a party for Tyler's Birthday. It's hard to believe this semester will be officially over soon. I can't wait. I think this has been the hardest semester of school I have ever taken.

Looking forward to my summer at Google again and getting back to some real blogging. Stay tuned for all the happenings on my exams and then my trip out west.

The Blog needed more Pictures

Sunday, April 8

Happy Birthday Mom!

Just wanted to give my mom a shout out and wish her a very happy birthday!

Also!
Happy Birthday Jaci (April 1)
Happy Birthday Tyler (April 12)
Happy Birthday Jason (April 14)
Happy Easter Everyone!

Tuesday, April 3

Psychology Class

Currently in class... paying attention very well... However I find that this class is always very interesting, almost enough to keep my attention. Everyday there is a question that peeks my interest and almost inspires a blogpost... if I had more time I would certainly try to post it. From time to time you will see the questions appear in my MSN name. So I will just throw out on of the questions and see what happens.

"If you had 24 hours of consequenceless behavior what would you do?"

Further clarification, we (my roommates and I) decided that... Its like the day didn't happen... At the end of the day... that day starts over... Groundhog day style.

Some sample responses:
Stacey: Cause a ruckus
Julie: Drink lots of Coke and eat lots of bad stuff
Matt: Steal a BMW and joy ride all afternoon

My answer, I think I would do a few things... First, I would not do any homework, none ... zero ... I may even try to forget... Secondly, I would adopt a whole bunch of kittens and puppies and play with them for hours! Finally, I would be like my sister and eat a whole bunch of junk food... mmm cheesecake! I know I might be thinking small with my 24 hours... but they are things that would make me happy.

Monday, March 26

Flip Flops!

So today was a beautiful day outside and was warm enough for me to legitimately wear flipflops. and thats a beautiful thing! It marks the beginning of my summer... And no more socks.

Saturday, March 24

Computer Science Co-op at UWindsor

These are my frustrations with very little answers.

I had an excellent time as a co-op student. I learned a lot about myself and about my future career. I learned what I can do, and what doesn't work for me. I learned how to do a resume; cover letter; technical report; report defense presentation. I improved my time management skills and made some excellent industry contacts and future job prospects. (And I'm not just talking about G)

However I sit on many co-op committees and hear many different opinions about the program, about the students in it and about the faculty members view of it. I hear all the circular arguments about it... like there are no good jobs in co-op in Windsor but I can't leave the city to find a job cause it will cost to much. Many students won't even take a job that isn't on a bus route in Windsor. Not to mention that there are much better paying jobs outside of the city if they are just willing to push themselves and do a little work. To which the faculty say ... these work term reports are substandard... these kids aren't doing anything worth while in co-op and they just don't understand what a technical work term report is supposed to be. The co-op office provides many seminars and sessions for students to work on and improve their co-op and employability skills that no one ever shows up to... but they also never remind any students about it.... they should have personal accountability and their own time management skills.

Ah!

There are so many good qualities about the program it would be nice it see the not so great ones improved and the enrollment and participation in co-op increase. I know that the CS faculty and the co-op office are trying their hardest to improve the program, hopefully I have been helpful with my input and the program can continue.

Blogged on Saturday Night in Dillion Hall Rm 355

Friday, March 23

Busy Week!

Its too bad I have no time right now. I have a few good blog post ideas in mind and just don't have the time to sit down and write them out. Hopefully that will change next week... but probably more realistically at the end of April. I've been to physio three times this week and it seems to be helping my knee. However my calf muscle is freaking out to the adjustments and exercise. I should be done physio soon as my health plan doesn't cover much and I'm not working as much because school is keeping me too busy. Man I have a lot to complain about... really I do have better posts in store they just take longer to write.

Sunday, March 18

Math vs. CS Profs

Guest Author: Michelle F (Math Geek)

By this point in my math degree, I’ve been exposed to many different philosophies of teaching that the math professors at the University have. Also, being an ‘honorary CS student’, I get to hear about from my friends, read about on Ataraxis and sometimes personally witness the styles of the CS professors. I’ve been pondering the major differences I’ve observed and realized that this comic from xkcd really helps sum it up:


It seems to me that a lot of the CS profs don’t want their students to succeed. They don’t give them any breaks, and some even punish the students when the prof themselves made a mistake. For example, with one of the CS profs, if he makes a mistake marking your test and owes you extra marks, if you go and see him about it, he’ll give you the marks, but just find somewhere else to take them off so he doesn’t have to change your mark. Also, some CS profs, not only give you zero for a wrong true/false answer, but will give negative marks for guessing (0 if left blank, -3 for getting it wrong). I know that this happens in other subjects sometimes too, but it does not happen in math.

The math professors (minus a few of the crappy sessionals from first year) really want their students to do well. It’s not like they just give away marks, but they really want you to learn the material, and will give you marks if you can demonstrate you have learned it. For example, my one prof (the now-famous Tim Traynor from Pi Day), will give you 3/10 on a proof, even if you do not know how to do it at all, but write down the definitions of terms used in the theorem! Some of the math profs also set up extra study sessions (like group office hours) to help the class do well on the assignments or midterms.

I don’t know the exact reason for this major difference in teaching styles, but I think it may have to do with the type of people that are computer science (sometimes more introverted) and in math (sometimes more pleasant). I definitely think that the math profs are trying to make the students learn more, and aren’t just trying to make them cry.

Saturday, March 17

City vs Country Test

This test was found on facebook and we already know how I feel about facebook questionnaires...

HOW CITY ARE YOU?

[x] I've been to Starbucks more than once in my life
[] I link arms whenever I walk with someone
[x] I shop at AE, A&F, or HCO
[x] I own 2 or more polo shirts
[x] I will never be caught without my cellphone
[] I straighten or blow dry my hair on a daily basis
TOTAL: 4

[x] I wear flipflops no matter what the weather
[x] I own an oversized pair of sunglasses
[] I own 1 or more pairs of ripped jeans
[x] I layer my shirts
[] I will do anything to get the best Myspace pic
[] I had a "Myspace mirror pic"
TOTAL: 7

[] When I'm not drinking starbucks I prefer water
[] I get annoyed with tom-boys
[] I own an oversized bag or purse
[] I have seen every episode of Laguna Beach
[] My new addiction is 8th & Ocean or the Hills
[] I say "lol" in every sentence of every online conversation
[x] I own tight jeans
TOTAL: 8

[] I wear large necklaces
[x] I own an iPod/mp3 player
[x] The internet = survival
[x] one of the sports I play/played is Football, Baseball, Basketball
[] have more than 1 AIM screen name
TOTAL: 11

[x] I have said "lol" or "OMG!" in a real conversation
[x] I love shopping
[x] I shop whenever I have a chance
[] I own a bathing suit that cost 100 dollars or more
[] I have watched the Simple Life
TOTAL: 14

***add x's & Multiply By 3 & Put "I'm % City***

I AM 42% CITY

HOW COUNTRY ARE YOU?

HAVE YOU...

[x] ridden a horse
[x] owned a horse (a pony counts!)
[] owned land
[x] been 4 wheelin'
[x] said "ain't"
[] been cow-tipping
[] been deer hunting
[x] been swimming in a lake..
[] caught a fish
[] seen a deer get skinned
Total: 5

You ...
[x] have worked on a ranch or on land
[x] have lived in a house in the middle of nowhere
[] have been duck hunting
[] have went swimming in a river
[x] driven or have owned a truck
[] owned a rebel flag
[] like to fish
[x] have a funny accent... or thats what people tell you (Does Canadian accent Count?)
[x] own/owned a pair of cowboy boots
[x] own/owned a cowboy hat
[x] own/have owned a big dog..
[] sometimes say "y'all"
[] have gotten made fun of for sayin "y'all"
Total: 12

You also...
[x] cuss when you're mad
[] have dipped/dip snuff
[x] go to church on sunday
[] owned/own a hunting dog
[] have ridden a horse to somewhere in town
[x] have gone on a field trip to a farm/ranch
[x] have eaten deer/elk meat
[x] have shot a gun
[] always listen to country music
[x] park your vehicles in the yard
Total: 18

You...
[] have gone shopping...for a gun
[] get the kids in your family a toy gun for christmas
[] wear long sleeves even in the summer
[x] know what stirrups are
[] have fed the deer..
[x] know the difference between a guitar and a banjo
total: 20

***Add x's & Multiply By 3 & Put "I'm % Country**

I’m 60% Country

BUT actually a better representation of the % would be an actual precent since the numbers just don't add up. City and country don't have even close to the same amount of points.

City has 29 points ... I answered yes to 14 of them. == 48.3%
Country has 39 points ... I answered yes to 20 of them. == 51.3%

Its pretty cool that it looks like the numbers are related but really they are independent of each other, there is nothing stopping you from getting 100% in both.

The whole multiply times 3 thing doesn't even make sense... if you were really country and answered yes to everything you would be 117% country... which is just dumb.

I usually don't even read survey things like this but it seemed interesting enough, what it lead me to was that many people don't understand math even in basic concepts. I realize that this puts me out on a limb, by defending math I'm also showing my geeky side. But really, how many people can say that are comfortable with themselves. I love who I am and what I've become. A little country and a little city but a lot of geek. I not only celebrated pi day, I was one of the main organizers for the event. I've found a group of friends who not only accept me, but are like me as much as some of them may denie it. No one has as much fun as us.

Also. This test is very biased towards girls... particularly in the city section. But maybe that was the intention.

Wednesday, March 14

Happy Pi Day!



I think the video says it all... Happy Pi Day everyone!


(you can click on it to be able to read the caption)

Addition Pictures

Monday, March 12

Recurrences; Help

Can someone please explain to me (in email preferably):
1. how to find a recurrence from the algorithm
2. how to prove a recurrence using the master theorem
2a. how to decide which case to use

I am going crazy and none of this makes sense.

Friday, March 9

Writers Block

So, its been awhile since I blogged and really I don't have much to write about. However I need a break from school and being in Grand Bend its usually a good time to ignore homework. I was really hoping to have a super insightful post and something that people would be like... "wow you're right Janna!" but I haven't really been inspired lately.

From time to time my friends Matt and Michelle have really been inspired to the point of almost starting a blog. They have been offered the chance to guest author on my blog ... but have recently been faced with the same writers block. While starring at the blank page with the flashing cursor its hard to think of something witty and insightful to write.

I dunno... Anyone have any good ideas?

Saturday, March 3

UofW CS Website Launched

cs.uwindsor.ca

So after so many months of work it's finally done, well at least enough to be launched. It may not be perfect ... but its a lot better than it was before the usability study, if I do say so myself. The 12 page usability report was a lot for them to digest but I was actually impressed that a lot of it was incorporated. It's not done just yet ... it still requires more content. But it's a lot closer than it was at the beginning of the year.

Even got an honorable mention

Thursday, March 1

Oh California...

Currently in Panera listening to Pandora. Earlier I was drinking a delicious chai tea latte. Seems incredibly cliche but its still fun. I'm also trying to study for my 411 midterm. (seriously who has a midterm the first day after spring break) But I thought I would take a small break to post somethings about California and my spring break happenings.

The Prius Drinking Game - Every time you see a Toyota Prius you take a drink. Here in CA it is guaranteed to get you drunk faster than any game other drinking game... Kings included. They are simply everywhere here. While Sean and I were out for a walk we came up with the game, unfortunately (or fortunately) we didn't have anything to drink. If you think that this is too weak then just up the anti..... Drink every time you see a Hybrid car.

The "rain" - the weather here in the valley is the strangest phenomena ever. It has been in the teens (Celsius) all week here with random bouts of cloudiness, but in comparison to the negative degrees and snow that Windsor is getting... it is quite beautiful. I mean... I haven't wore my coat the entire time, mostly out of stubbornness. Every so often it "rains", which is really not rain and only lasts about 20 to 60 minutes before its sunny again. Even stranger is the locals reaction to... "this horrible weather"... that they are having.

Chinese Food - I have been spoiled for Chinese food. California is a food lovers paradise without a doubt. But I have been constantly amazed by the quality of the Chinese food here. Amazing portions and fantastic taste. And since I've started eating here I've become much more critical of my food, and Windsor Chinese just can't even come close.

On a random walk, we found "Singularity Ave" and thought that it would be a fun place to live.

Getting used to the TV schedule is a little weird. I had to watch Heroes, 3 hours after everyone back in Ontario did. But there are something that play at the same time. Like Discovery channel and Food network. These channels aren't really dependent on a time zone and usually play all the same shows 3 hours later anyways.

That's all that comes to mind right now. I can't believe its already Thursday, this week has gone by incredibly fast and I haven't got caught up on much of my school work. I suppose I still have at least one day in transit to do some work.

Sunday, February 25

Trip Timeline

  • Saturday (PM) - 4:30 (EST) - Christina and Jake arrive to drive me to the airport.
  • Saturday - 5:00 - Major third degree crossing the border
  • Saturday - 6:00 - Check in and security check as normal.
  • Saturday - 6:30 - announcement: the flight will be over an hour late... those making appointments will have to reschedule.
  • Saturday - 6:45 - New flight booked for Sunday morning at 7:40
  • Saturday - 7:00 - Emergency SOS call to Eric to come pick me up
  • Saturday - 7:01 - The hunt to find my luggage begins
  • Saturday - 8:10 - Eric shows up
  • Saturday - 8:45 - Bags show up
  • Saturday - 9:00 - Get back to Windsor and collapse in the house
  • ...
  • Sunday (AM) - 4:45 - Wake up, shower, dress and wait for Stacey
  • Sunday - 5:35 - Get Gas with Stacey and head for the border.
  • Sunday - 5:45 - Say slightly the wrong thing to the customs people and get some funny questions.
  • Sunday - 5:47 - Holy crap the roads are bad!
  • Sunday - 6:15 - Get to the Airport (again)
  • Sunday - 6:16 - Holy crap giant line up!
  • Sunday - 6:45 - Check in and security check as normal
  • Sunday - 7:30 - Not boarding the plane yet
  • Sunday - 7:40 - Still not on the plane.... Apparently theres Ice or something...
  • Sunday - 8:05 - Attempt at rescheduling people, decides to do it for everyone while we are in the air.
  • Sunday - 9:15 - Boarding the plane!
  • Sunday - 10:15 - Taxiing to the de-icing area
  • Sunday - 10:16 - Begin de-icing (should take 10-15 minutes)
  • Sunday - 10:56 - Finish de-icing
  • Sunday - 11:00 - Take off!
  • Sunday - 12:45 (MST) - Land and find out that the reschedules are really bad!
  • Sunday - 2:05 - Fight with the US Airways Customer Service
  • Sunday - 2:35 - Find out that my luggage has been forwarded to San Jose
  • Sunday - 2:45 - Break down
  • Sunday - 3:00 - Eat something and find out there is free wifi
  • Sunday - 6:00 - Line up for the Security Check
  • Sunday - 6:30 - Security Check as normal
  • Sunday - 8:20 - Boarding the plane!!
  • Sunday - 8:30 - Take off! (I'm on time and everything)
  • Sunday - 9:20 (PST) - Land and try to find Sean or my bags.
  • Sunday - 9:30 - Find Sean
  • Sunday - 9:40 - Head to the other terminal and find my bags
  • Sunday - 9:50 - Get to Sean's apartment and have a sandwich
This was a very long trip... But I'm here and alive... and I'll post more later. I have one post from the last plane ride but it needs to be edited first.

Thursday, February 22

The Study Break Tease

Woo! Spring break ... a week off from school. Isn't it fantastic to have a whole week off an not HAVE to think about school... What a lie! Over the break instead of just playing catch-up on my reading I have 2 assignments and a midterm to study for. Maybe it is a 4th year thing but many of my profs seem to enjoy in the fact that its called study break not spring break. Okay, FINE, but you all can't have the same plan. I would rather stay in school for the extra week then be expected to do all this extra work.

"But it's study break and you should be able to do lots of studying." "But we are giving you extra time to work on it" NO. It's not fair. Some people do go away for the break and like to have actual time of off to take the break that we so desperately need. It's like this horrible tease, that's the best way to describe it.

My spring break plans include: Assignment 1, Assignment 2, Midterm Studying, Going to Cali to see Sean, Thesis Research, Video Games (new DS games!), New textbook reading, and... maybe sleeping in... that would be nice.

Monday, February 19

Tea vs Coffee

So I've recently started a new addiction. I'm not talking about Heroes this time, I'm actually referring to my new Tea addiction. Over the Christmas break my whole family was drinking tea and Ruston7 drinks tea as well so I thought why not... I can learn right. I learned to drink coffee fairly fast. Tonight I'm trying Earl Grey for the first time. Its not bad actually... its one of the ones that I would add milk to tho.

In comparing tea and coffee they each have their strong points... like coffee obviously has major props for the caffeine factor. It's a definite pick me up in the morning and it has this ... deep down warm feeling about it, once you put the right amount of sugar in. It also carries with it the cool factor, the grown up university student factor. The negative is theres not much to it... coffee is coffee and it doesn't vary TOO much with the exception of some flavoring.

Tea on the other hand has SO much flavor and its just so good sometimes. My favorite part is there so much out there to try. With slight variations of sugar/honey/milk you can make it taste totally different. Awesome point number 2 its cheap. like, super cheap. If I bring my own cup and tea bag I can get a hot tea for free at the school any time I want. Hot water is free folks. The downside is that there isn't much of a kick there... not nearly enough caffeine to be functional.

Theres no real point to this argument. I just thought I would voice my opinions about them both. It was mostly sparked from a conversation that included the following...

"Coffee is like a hooker that you can have a good time with, but you gotta put a lot of make up on it, where as tea like that casual friend you have that isn't that good in bed, but she's just pretty cute" -- Ruston7

Additional Random Quotes:
  • "I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of Saturday Night Fever... do it John.. do it" - Tyler
  • "I have to strut out of here now... " - John
  • "SO High five worthy!" - Janna

Saturday, February 17

My Celebrity Profile

Learning how to Juggle all over again.

I've always been pretty proud of my time management and personal organization skills. One aspect of it that I'm always been pretty good at is having all the food on the table, or in the case of Pizza Delight out to the dinning room at the same time... My mind very easily breaks apart multiple tasks and allows me to work on them in the proper order (or at least an order that works). I look a little crazy while doing it cause I'm usually going around in circles, but it works. In the past, with my school work and studying I been fairly good at balancing my work time and my play time, with the exception of Exam time when I'm always stressed and constantly studying. During exam time all of my energy is focused on exams and which one I should be studying for and what I should be doing next.

This semester however, classes are harder and more demanding and I feel that I've gone into exam mode far too early and its lasting far too long. I'm slowly working on a new system so that I can still study as much as I feel I need to but at the same time I don't completely crazy and I can still talk to people without biting their head off. So I can have decent conversations with Sean again. The change is going slow... but I'm trying. Right now I don't have any other midterms till after spring break I just have assignments to do.

Tuesday, February 13

454 - Update

It was worse than I thought...
... I guess I'm just not cut out for this university thing...
Think I can get into College?

Monday, February 12

Anti-Valentine's Dinner Party

The theme wasn't my idea but I liked it and thought it would be fun. The basic ground rules were, no PDA and no sitting beside the person you came with. We also asked that people wear dark colors, no pink or other valentines day colors were allowed. We played sad emo music to add to the mood. But all in all I think everyone had fun.


I got to try my hand at making dinner for 10 people. What did I serve? It was quite a feast... we started with Caesar salad from Matt, It was very good. Then we had Beer Butt Chicken, that got drunk too fast and kept falling over in the oven. The second chicken cooked in similar style was made with white wine and a little lemon... absolutely delicious, I can't wait to try it on the BBQ sometime.For the people who don't like chicken, we had rotini pasta with a veggie and tomato sauce, with just a hint of the white wine in it. Also made fresh meatballs for on the side. The other sides included Mashed potatoes with a little garlic, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, swiss chalet sauce, garlic bread and orange Jello with pineapple in it. Everything was hot and on the table at 5:58... it was awesome.

We followed the dinner with tea, coffee and some light dessert. Nathan and Jaclyn brought some really good ice cream and Jen brought some two bite donuts and carrot cakes. It was a really nice touch. Including what went into the food we went through 3 bottles of white wine, 2 bottles of Wild Vines wine and 1 non-alcoholic wine. I was very excited to see that Eric who brought a bottle of wine even managed to match to the menu.

We capped the night off with new episodes of Simpson, Family Guy, King of the Hill and American Dad; It seemed very fitting considering the theme.

Saturday, February 10

Four-Fifty-Four

Postmortem of this past week

454 - Algorithm Design and Analysis, quite possibly the hardest course I will take in my undergraduate career. The prof encourages us to aim for 40% and if it is your last semester you should be able to appeal the mark and still graduate. But at the same time you probably won't get into grad school. This has been the worst week for me because not only did I just finish the first midterm (on a Saturday) we also had our first assignment due. It has been brutal and I truly apologize to anyone that I was outwardly angry at because of it. It's just the mathematical theory getting to me. -- The test however didn't go as badly as I suppose it could have. It was a rough test of only 5 amazingly hard questions. One of them was "prove or disprove ______" I choose to disprove which I'm confident in but I know I'll get zero if it was supposed to be prove.

On top of that! I had my practicum assignment and midterm which really isn't hard... just more work. Sigh ... woe-is-me.

Tomorrow we are throwing an anti-valentines day dinner party... just for fun, I'm not bitter. There will be pictures... But I'm kinda nervous cause this will be my first time cooking for so many people.

Monday, February 5

What?! I'm a grown-up?!?

Do you ever have that moment when you look at your life and think "Holy crap grown-ups are valuing my opinion?"

I know that not many people in my school really understand what usability is and the more complex functions of my job are beyond what they have heard about it. But because I feel so new to the subject matter I still find it amazing sometimes when my opinion is valued as much as it has been. Profs and people who know infinity more than me actually ask for my opinion. I shouldn't be so surprised but I like to still think of myself as a kid and I'm afraid I've already grown up. I'll be finished my undergrad soon (Dec 07 - Tsin pending) and the possibilities that lay in front of me are daunting. Makes me wish I could just go back to making pillow forts!

Reference the Comic: http://xkcd.com/c219.html

Quotes of Recently:
  • "You know what....... I run into things...." - Michelle
  • "Love is like a hourglass, as the heart fills the head empties" - Tyler
Also:
Happy Birthday Sean! You are getting old too!

Friday, February 2

Online "Get-to-Know-You" Questionnaires

Okay, this morning in my random Facebook probing I was reading someone (who should remain nameless, cause it could be anyone) and they had completed a random "Get-to-Know-You" questionnaires, which are usually pretty interesting to read, but something struck me as odd.

Who needs a phishing scheme when you can just start a new survey! These survey things seemed to be okay when passed as email, not totally secure but definitely not right out there on the internet. All someone would have to do would be cleverly hide the important questions in the middle of a bunch of dumb questions.

Among the 200 questions on this survey were:
200. My middle name is:
199. I was born on:
197. My cell phone company is:
192. I am allergic to:
191. I was born in:
190. I live in:
179. My favorite Holiday is:
89. Who makes you laugh the most?
67. People call me:
59. I have gotten a speeding ticket:
56. My zodiac sign is:
50. What is your dream job?
49. First job?:
47. I have these pets:
33. My favorite piece of clothing is:
32. My favorite sport is:
29. My computer is:
28. The school I go to is:
22. The all-time best movie is:
21. The all-time best thing in the world is:
12. I want to be:
10. My favorite words are:
8. My favorite celebrity is:
5. My weakness is:
4. What I like about the opposite sex:
Like really... they could ask about your car, license plate, do you prefer visa or mastercard...
I'm surprised that "Whats your mother's maiden name?" wasn't on there... With identity theft running rampant all this information can be used against you. I think in the next couple of years social networks like Facebook and MySpace are going to have to consider the implications of their services.

On a related note, it's going to be an interesting day when the teens that used myspace at the height of it existence are trying to get a job... with ALL of their dirty laundry online, trying to make themselves look cool will give their potential employer a much more complete view of who they are hiring.

Post 150 woo!

Monday, January 29

New York City ... Wow

I'm impressed... and I had a great time. Really big thank you to Mom and Julie for hosting and taking me along. Such a great experience.

School will probably pay the price for the trip... like already tonight I have done no school work... I can't really explain where the time has gone... but its almost time for Heroes.

So about New York then... we hit a lot of the popular sites, did the whole tourist thing. Also had some amazing food. NY Cheesecake and NY Steak, top the list... but also had, NY Pizza and NY Chinese food... mmm yummy.

Been there, Done that:
Saks 5th avenue
Bloomingdales
Tiffany's
Nintendo World
Apple Store
FAO Schwarz
Trump Tower
World Trade Center
St. Paul's Church
Pier 17 - Including the Bodies exhibition
The NYC Gift Show
Carnegie Hall
Times Square - Including M&M World and the Hard Rock Cafe
Next time I think I would like to see the Met. and hopefully it will be warmer and I could go hang out in Central Park.

Everything was good.. and a little overwhelming. Times Square was great, visual overload for sure. Enjoy the pictures.

Friday, January 26

NYC Teaser



Having a lot of fun so far. Will actually post later...

Thursday, January 25

Household Quotes of the Week (Episode 1)

So heres the thing... My house is really funny. I'm sure as with any house of 4, 20 somethings there are many classic quotes. So heres the first of hopefully many installments of our random quotes.

"I know how to work all men..." -- Michelle

"Your boobs make that shirt look good" -- Tyler

"Now I'm going to be trying to hard to be quoted" -- Tyler

" We are two girls on IRC lol'ing on the couch together" -- JL

"We have some flat 7-up in the fridge" -Michelle
"Take that and go on a killing spree" - Tyler

"Man-tastic" - Matt

"Solid 4 inches" - Unknown...

Sunday, January 21

Birthday, New Years and GReunion all-in-one!

Alright... so that was a good party.

In celebration of my birthday and in general to have a party in the new house that I'm actually around to attend we had a really great party last night. Scheduled on Saturday night so that Vince and Mark (and Emine), former GInterns could attend and join in. GReunion 2.0 for me! (3.0 for Vince... he gets around more). Invited some people who haven't been to any of our parties before and of course all the regulars as well. It was a very well attended party ... a full house! Wii upstairs, drinking games downstairs, and random conversations in the limbo areas like at the bottom of the steps. Tyler came up with an awesome idea, at Midnight we celebrated new years 2007. Since my actual new years was spent in Chicago with the airport. I got a second chance. It was awesome and really thoughtful!

Went to bed finally at 6 am .... and the waffles in the morning were great! But my head is killing me.

Thank you to everyone who came out and had a good time celebrating. I hope you had as much fun as I did and I hope to see you all again at the next party.

Thursday, January 18

Gender Roles - Psych 101...

So I'm sitting in my very full psych class of course pondering my life and why I do what I do, and the new subject starts... Gender Roles and our society. Now I'm the first to admit I don't fit in to most models of femininity but I do have my moments.

The listed traditional masculine traits: decisiveness, assertiveness, independent, leader
The listed traditional feminine traits: sensitivity, warmth, nurturer, passive

Humm... quite the list to pick from there... anyways... I tend to lean towards the Androgyny model... where I have some of both (as most people do) I just think that my masculine traits are more developed based on my career and personal attitudes. And I'm not sure that how I really want to be portrayed all the time.

I love that I can be just one of the guys and that its not awkward when I'm the only girl in the classroom. But lately I've been feeling... overlooked as a girl... many of the guys seem to forget that I am in fact a girl. Comments along the lines of "there are no girls in CS" are funny to a point... but tend to get below the skin after a while. Don't get me wrong I don't want to be singled out and I don't want the wrong kind of attention... but I don't want to lose my identity either.

Sigh... more cleavage shirts I guess.

Sunday, January 14

23!

It's hard to believe I'm 23 now. I saw a lot of family this weekend and have a pretty good birthday at home (even without my Bailey). There are others in my family who also have birthdays that we were celebrating this weekend... Uncle Wayne turned 50 and Uncle Mark turned 37. (Happy Birthday again) and I realize that I am still the young one in the family but I'm kinda feeling old. University is almost done and big decisions are coming up soon.

While talking to my Uncle Bill (yes I have lots of uncles), he offered a theory that life really begins at 20 and thats when you are slowing down and you start to really pay attention to the world around you. And this theory make a lot of sense, by the time you are 20 you have a pretty good grasps on parts of the world and you are quickly realizing how fast time has gone by. The first 20 you spend your life wanting things to hurry up... you want to just get older. Now... we sit around and think about the future and about the real world. We start thinking about things like "when our parents were our age they were {married, with child, with children...} and here we are..." Even 5 years is leaps and bounds now. Where I was 5 years ago at 18 is hugely different from now at 23... and I can only imagine where I will be at 28 and who I will be then.

The second half of the theory is now... we spend our time trying to slow time down and really enjoy every year as much as possible. Making events as memorable as possible, taking lots of pictures.... starting a blog...... joining social networks to keep tabs on people. yeah... so anyways. I'm very much looking forward to my party this coming weekend, at which I will take lots of pictures of all my friends and undoubtedly will blog the day after.

I still can't believe I'm already 23...

Friday, January 12

Bailey

Shortly after my post last night, Bailey passed away. Being a Doberman of 8 years she had a long life. She was the only dog that we ever got as a puppy in my lifetime anyways. She was very smart always crafting a new plan to get herself into trouble. I remember the first time I came home from university in first year... She got so happy to see me and then a few minutes later she was so mad at me for leaving her like that. I wish I could have been there to see her, but this is life I suppose.

She was a great dog, with an amazing personality. She will be missed very much.

Bailey Weber
Aged 8 years 18 days
Jan 11, 2007

Tuesday, January 9

The Art of Usability

How do you tell someone that their product sucks and it will take weeks to make the product usable including a redesign of many aspects the they know and love. And its not just showing and proving something is wrong, also telling them how to fix it.

This is the hardest part of my job.

Engineers, Programmers, Designers... I love you all, I respect and even try to emulate some of your work. And I can even respect your love for your product. I know I would feel the same way. But my job now... is to try to make it better for everyone, trying to find the problems that you don't always see. And while work leads to a lot of subjective and qualitative results I take it every bit as seriously as you do your products.

So how do you do it? Obviously I could try to speak their language... math, stats and hard facts... Sure, that makes the study longer, more expensive and much more involved. Then I come out with stats and facts... but at the end of the day I still have to make the recommendation on how to change it. Not to mention the fact that chances are they know how to bend stats better than I can. So what I've found that works well so far ... is giving the positive first... build them up, make them feel good... then work on tearing them down and making them feel small... but end on a positive note or they won't make the changes and they will never read the report.

I've had my ups and downs with this part of the job. And it always feels like I'm preparing to go into the fire when I'm into the analysis and report writing. Just waiting for them to shoot the messenger. Some people get it more than others they understand what I'm trying to do, but ... there there are the people that think I will magically fix the product and that the testing is all they will ever have to do to have a wonderful product. Anyways, thats all I have to say about that.

Also, My dog Bailey is very sick and not eating. I'm worried and really sad. She's getting pretty old and now isn't responding to the medication. She will probably get her own blog post soon.

Monday, January 8

Schools In...

I'm back in Windsor, my jet-setting holiday is over and I'm feeling very broke and tired. The flight back from Cali was much better than getting there, but still at the same time very rocky. There were many clouds in the sky that day and the plane doesn't like that. It was sad as always leaving Sean there, but I'll be back soon enough I hope. All in all the vacation was at least 12 hours too short and I still haven't seen the end to happy feet... (long story).

It's time to get back to school and attempt the winter semester. I'm not sure I'll have the same motivation I had last semester since my grades weren't any thing to celebrate over. This semester I have quite a few challenging classes and I'm starting my undergrad thesis..... which reminds me I need to pick my thesis topic soon. I wonder what it will be.

I don't really have anything interesting to write about... but I don't really have any homework to do just yet... I suppose I could do some more work work, but I did a lot of that today.

Sunday, January 7

6 weird things about me. Tag. You're it.

I wouldn't normally do this but because Vince was the one who tagged me and I do owe him I guess I'll write something down.

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the '6 weird things about you'. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says 'you are tagged' in their comments and tell them to read your blog.
  1. I live in a house with more computers (7) than people (4) and we aren't all in CS
  2. When I was young I used to live on a farm where we raised cows, I was a member of 4H and had one show cow who did not do very well.
  3. I think warm toast and butter is an excellent snack
  4. As much as I try to fight it, I think I'm a morning person.
  5. I've only ever been to ONE concert thus far... Incubus (but I'm going to GooGooDolls soon)
  6. I actually met my boyfriend online... Going on 4 years this March.
That was a lot harder than I thought it would be.

I Tagged...

Friday, January 5

Photos


Some of my pictures I just like to stare at. They can take me back to the place they were taken and they make me happy looking at them. I'm not the greatest photographer but I do enjoy and appreciate it. It's one of my part time hobbies that I'm going to keep working on.

Wednesday, January 3

New Years...

Another year. It's hard to believe it's 2007 now. Seems strange to think about the year 2000 being 7 years ago. Someone on the CS Forum asked "What does New Years mean to you?" and its a pretty interesting question and I think this year has changed my opinion on the issue. I used to think that what happed over new years and the first few days was a pretty good indicator of how your year is going to be. Of course... this was when I was having good new years celebrating with Sean or Friends and family. This year... I spent my new years alone stuck in limbo. It would make me very sad to think that thats how I might be spending my whole year. So I'm working on redefining my answer to the question. I think New Years is like a new beginning, It can give people a chance to start clean or change a behavior. Now I think its a good time to do that... I don't think its the only time that people can change. And I really don't think that people should wait till the new years starts to change.

At the same time... there are many people that purpose a change at this time of year that is too drastic. That even they know that they won't keep up with. If you want to change your life it takes many small steps and continual dedication.... if thats your new years resolutions then so be it but there are many people who think up their resolutions and never see them through.

Having said all that... I haven't decided on my resolution yet... I need to go back to the gym and I need to not take my laptop to my hard classes, I'd like to read more books and learn a new language, I need to stop biting my nails too. We'll see what I finally settle on.

Tuesday, January 2

Happy 2007

{Blog post from Dec 31 finally being posted}

This is not a good way to start 2007.

I’m currently spending the night in Chicago… I don’t even have my AC for my laptop since it was in my checked luggage. So I’ll do this for a while, then I guess I’ll listen to music for the rest of the night. I’ve finally stopped crying tho, so maybe things are looking up? How do I begin? It was just like any other time I’ve traveled. I crossed the border no problem, left in plenty of time, check in and security was a piece of cake. I even waited at my gate peacefully while the flight was delayed…. 10 minutes… 20 minutes…. 30 minutes past the scheduled departure time. Finally we are told that the plane is having technical difficulties and we will have to go to a new gate to board a new plane. Fine… I’m calm. FINALLY we get in the air. It’s a short trip, only going from Detroit to Chicago after all. The rain slowed us down and the turbulence was rough but I’m still calm. We arrive about 30 minutes later than we were supposed to, the same time I’m supposed to be checking in in Chicago. … shit … So I boot it to my next gate and come to find that I’ll be second on the list for stand by. Fighting the tears…. I wait for that flight to load; it was about an hour late from when it was supposed to take off. So I guess I could have celebrated new years in a plane alone if I had actually got on the flight. Yeah this is pretty bad… So I wait in the customer service line… they can put me on stand by in the morning to San Jose or I can fly at 9 am to San Francisco. Screw this stand by stuff… So I’ll be arriving in SF about 12 hours after I was originally planning on arriving in SJ. … But the kicker is that my bags will still (hopefully) arrive in San Jose tonight.

It’s almost midnight in Windsor, there is a happening party going on at my house now. It’s almost midnight in Grand Bend where my sister is having a small gathering. It’s almost 9 in San Jose where my boyfriend is and where I’m supposed to be arriving. Its almost 11 here in Chicago… same as in Minneapolis… Where I’ve spent my past two new years. Maybe that’s the kicker… I have to celebrate new years in a central time zone now.