Thursday, November 17, 2011

They Might Be Still Alive!

One last post I wanted to get up here before I head out for the islands and miss the snowstorm that's hitting town this weekend:

A couple years ago I went to see They Might Be Giants in concert and had a great time. When I saw they were coming again, its was an easy call to buy tickets again.

And then it turned out that Jonathan Coulton was opening for them.  Granted he's not the most famous of singers, but among a certain population, he definitely does alright. That's right, I'm talking about nerds.  He's most famous for a song ("Still Alive") that's sung over the credits of a video game. :)  I thought that was the only song of his I'd heard, but at least one other song was familiar to me. Anyway, the Salt Lake nerd crew definitely showed up in full force for this show.  In addition to the aforementioned video game song, he also sang a song about an mad scientist in love, and my personal favorite was a zombie song where we, the audience, got to be the zombies. :)


They Might Be Giants then took the stage and put on a show that was a little less mellow and a little more rockin than the last one I went to, and while it was hard to top their last concert, an anniversary show for the first album I ever owned, it was still great fun and I'd definitely go see them again.


Monday, November 14, 2011

More updates: Washington DC

Cleaning out my to-blog list, since I will hopefully soon have a whole new list of things to post and share (leaving for Hawaii in approximately 3 days).

Toward the end of last month, I went to Washington for the annual Informatics symposium. I didn't present anything, but our department had enough surplus budget that my boss encouraged me to ask if I could go and they said I could.

Sunset from my room
Here's a sunset view from my room

I always see this building across the way from our hotel (we're always at the same hotel) with Argentine paraphernalia, and I always wonder what it is. So this year I went over and checked it out.

I'm not sure what a military aggregator is ("agregaduria militar"), but that's what this building is. I'm always tempted to knock on the door and find out, or at least find out if there's anywhere in the neighborhood where I could score some empanadas, but it doesn't seem like an office building.  I don't know. Someday...

Generally, the conference is meetings/presentations all day and then walking around to dinner at night, but I did take one evening to take the Metro downtown and meet up with my friend Colette.  She's a statistician at the USDA, so I met her at her building and we walked over to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial (or is it monument?).

MLK Memorial

MLK Memorial

MLK Memorial
Got there in time for some decent sunset pictures

Old Ebbitt Grill
We had discussed going to dinner and Colette made us a reservation at the famous (at least we'd both heard of it) "Old Ebbitt Grill", near the White House, reportedly a favorite of such famous folks as Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, Warren G. Harding, and a few other presidents.  Somehow we both ended up getting the same thing (some delicious cannelloni) and then we each got a dessert (I got peanut butter pie, she got chocolate cake).

Definitely an enjoyable evening. I even got to see the inside of the Dept. of Agriculture, though I couldn't find the stamps that say "USDA Grade A Beef". :)

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Update: Birthday Party!

Since I've been slacking at blogging lately, I'm just going to share some photos of stuff that's been going on.

I had a birthday party. (Yeah, like 2 months ago)

33rd Birthday Party 001
And people came!

33rd Birthday Party 010
Several people!

33rd Birthday Party 002
And they played Scene It. And it even seemed like they have fun playing Scene It. :)

33rd Birthday Party 008
Someone made me a cake!

33rd Birthday Party 009
And I blew out all the candles!

33rd Birthday Party 012
Julie (and if you look carefully, Brandon) took a picture with me!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Just some random photos I took with my cellphone

Given that my phone has a semi-decent camera built-in, sometimes I take pictures with it of things I come across that interest me.

These are a few of those:

Farmville for Dummies
Is there another kind? :) Saw this book at the library the other day. Really? Not only does this book exist, someone at the library thought it was worth featuring?

Remember Netscape?
When trying to get the internet in my room to work while I was in DC (eventually I gave up and went to bed, and avoided watching the Utes lose to Cal), I found these instructions that suggest you use your browser, either Internet Explorer or Netscape. Really? How long ago did Netscape disappear? Might be time to update those instructions...

Kick them nasty thoughts
Sorry, it's a little blurry. Also, while in DC, doing the USA Today crossword, I came across the fact that if you get stuck, you can always call a 1-900 number for answers.  My thoughts: 1) Hey! A 900 number that's not trashy. 2) Are there really people who call that thing? At 99 cents a minute, I'm sure they take their time in getting around to the answer you want. Do you have to listen to every answer to get to the one you're stuck on?