Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I'm A Poor Grad Student

Well, not really. I'm just taking one online class and still working full time. However, with 2 assignements turned in and 2 quizzes done, I'm riding high on a low A. Now I just need to get through Friday's exam.

It's A Girl!

Apparently we have confirmation from last week. My brother and his wife are expecting a baby girl. Congrats! I promise that I'll do my best to avoid all things pink. I've discovered that there is a weird phenomenon where every accessory for a baby girl is pink. What gives? It's not that there's anything wrong with pink, it's just that there are plenty of other nice colors out there and we should give them a try. Why force the kid into some weird monochromatic world?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Now It's Really Summer

I had my first Creemee of the season last night. Yum.

On an unrelated note, I noticed that the menu board listed 'sprinkles' and not 'jimmies', so I guess I'm loosing that battle.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Welcome to the Family

My brother and his wife are expecting a baby somewhere around Novemberish. They just sent me the latest ultrasound and it's starting to look like a baby now. Say hello to the latest member of the clan. We still don't know the sex yet, though the suspician is that it's a girl. During the ultrasound, the technician couldn't get the little bugger to spread its legs.

More on the Root Beer Front

I've had the oppurtunity to add 2 more root beers to my growing list.

First up is the micro-est of microbrews that I found at the Burlingon Farmer's Market. It's called Rookie's Root Beer and I believe it's brewed in a home brewery in Colchester. The guy selling it (Rookie, I'm assuming) didn't have a business card on him and I don't remember all the details.

Anyway, Rookie's is an above average tasting root beer. Major points for using real sugar and not high fructose corn syrup. I forgot to ask if he uses a preservative agent or if he just brews in small enough batches that it's not a problem. It doesn't contain anise, which is one of the flavors I really like about root beer. Not too heavy of a liquorice taste. It has a decent amount of carbonation, but not enough creaminess; it would have benefitted from some vanilla. Over all, it's a good tasting root beer. It gets extra points for presentation. It was served on tap from a wooden cask. More bonus points for using all Vermont ingredients.

Our next contender is Capt'n Eli's. It's a micro brew out of Maine that I picked up at a random convenience store while on the road for work. With a pirate on the label, you know I was not going to pass this by. one I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how yummy it was. Yay for anise. This is another one that uses real sugar. It's a nice trend in micro brew sodas. This one has earned a spot in the top 4, and just misses Maine Root. Hmmm...apparently Maine knows how to brew some good root beer.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Back to School

I'm currently taking a summer university class. Summer classes sound good in theory, but really only exist to drive you completely insane and make you long for those peaceful days when you were putting the finishishing touches on your senior thesis. Basically UVM takes a semester long class and crams in into 6 weeks. It's a lot of fun.

I am taking Advanced Medical Instrumentation, at the request of my boss, who is teaching the class. I was not technically forced to take the class, but the question was phrased in a way as to suggest that declining would not be the best thing for my career.

Unfortunately, I was also asked to sign up for the class last Monday, the day the class actually started. Normally this wouldn't have been much of a problem, but the class is completely online and I needed to go through UVM's online registration system. After several phone calls to the registrar's office, information technology, and finally Black Board (the company that hosts the online courses), I was finally able to log on to the course content late on Wednesday afternoon.

Keep in mind that this is a concentrated 6 week summer course. I just missed 3 whole days. And so I have spent this beautiful 3 day weekend here in my room, desperately trying to get myself caught up on the ridiculous amount of reading I had to do. And the 3 new articles that have been assigned.

I am happy to report that as of 10pm Sunday evening, I am officially caught up on my course work. Whoo hoo. Let's see if I retain any of that information for tomorrow's quiz.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Movie Review: WALL-E

WALL-E is Pixar's latest animated film. I saw this movie knowing very little about it and working on the premise that Pixar does not do a bad film. I was pleasantly surprised by how good this movie was, even by Pixar standards.

First, WALL-E does not follow the standard animated movie plot. You know, hero is kind of a jerk, finds a group of friends, gains acceptance, royally messes things up, makes things right and saves the day, then lives happily ever after. WALL-E's plot is hard to sum up in a few sentences, and the whole thing is done with very little dialog.

The basic plot is that all of the humans have left earth because of all of the pollution. The humans were supposed to have been gone for 5 years to allow the WALL-E (Waste Allocation Load Lifter-Earth Class) units to clean up the mess. The humans never returned and the WALL-E units continued to work until they finally break down.

Our hero is the last remaining WALL-E unit and survives by scavenging spare parts from other broken down units. He continues to dutifully do his job cleaning up the garbage while collecting small treasures along the way. By picking through the trash, WALL-E gains the humanity that humans have discarded.

WALL-E himself looks like the love child of ET and Johnny 5. The Movie focuses on his fascination with the world. Throughout the first half of the film he collects treasures from the piles of junk. It's hard not to see the world through his very expressive eyes. He is the most lovable trash compacter that you will ever meet.

This is Pixar's darkest film. It's ominous without being overly scarey for the kids. It's hard to miss the enviromental message and the modern human, or at least American, life style is called in to question. There is also the threat of relying to heavily on technology that is implied in many sci-fi tales.

Like all Pixar films, there are some great little touches that you had to be looking for. WALL-E boots up every morning to the chime of a Mac. EVE is modeled after an I-pod. And the Auto Pilot is an obvious homage to Hal, complete with the 2001 overture during one scene.

All of this is wrapped up in a beautiful film. You would expect nothing else from a Pixar film. The animation is gorgeous. The musical score is fitting. But the amazing thing is that there is very little dialog throughout the moving. Everything is conveyed through expression and gesture, and it is utterly amazing how much is able to be conveyed in this way.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Awesomely Ironic Name

I caught the tail end of the Sox-Rays game last night. The closing pitcher for the Rays had the most awesomely ironic name.

If you can't read the name on the jersey, his name is Balfour. Now we just need to find a DH named Popup.