Monday, December 31, 2007

Best Idea Ever

So, Mom, Simon and I were brainstorming ideas for what to do New Years Eve, and mom was like "We could see a movie." And we were like "meh" and then she was like "or we could go to dinner?" And we were like "meh" and then she was like "Or, we could gather up the Christmas ornaments that were damaged in the fire and chuck 'em against the trash compactor to smash 'em." I do not need to tell you what we were, in response, all totally like.If you don't know my mom, you don't know how surprising that was. But I guess she's full of surprises.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


And lo, though the good camera's batteries were dead, it still found some way to be useful for the blog.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Family Conference

Last Christmas we figured that since 4 of 5 kids were in grad school and 1 of 2 parents was a prof, we could probably have our own Dilts family mini-conference. We didn't plan another one this year, but I happened to have a poster handy, so I showed it around. If Simon looks bored, it's because he happened to have something way more awesome handy: Here he is, showing us the nature film he wrote, directed, shot, edited, narrated, and starred in when he was in South Africa in October:
You should track it down. Dung beetles are amazing.

Friday, December 28, 2007

A Life of Luxury

America! Will I ever get to sleep on your velvety beds?
Eat your giant meatballs?
Become one of your beautiful princesses? Well, I can dream.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Key Features

I was like "Mom! Take a picture of me driving!" So she took a bunch until she was satisfied with this one. I snorted and showed it to her an she said "What? <pause> Oh, well, you can't see your face, but your hands are on the wheel!!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nutritional Highlights

My favourite part of this cereal is that the new emphasis on nutrition in America means that the box emphasizes how nutritional it is for kids to eat 40 or 50 tiny double-chocolate chip cookies for breakfast every morning.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


The Christmas season is about lots of things, but I think Christmas Day for me is all about loot. Here's what we got:Mom got to say "ooh!" about 15 times.
Simon got the same thing from two people for the 3rd time in 4 years, but at least this time the second person was a video rental place. Andrew got exactly what he asked for, to his surprise. Can you see what it is?
Dad got "Dad's Life in Pictures". Also, check out the last supper in the background.
I got a little piece of Havoc, and sent it up to land on a bigger piece.We all got home-made whole-wheat cinnamon rolls. Yum.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Oh, right.

I guess when Mom said it was a cot, an I said "I would love to sleep on a cot!" I forgot what the word 'cot' actually refers to. It refers to a cot.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

After Math

Once in a while it's nice to hang out with someone who can remind you that NP doesn't mean Non-Polynomial, it means Non-deterministic Polynomial. Partly because Non-deterministic Polynomial time is a way cooler idea to think about, and partly because, man, you should know this!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ghana Must Party

I was sure that if I was going to a West African party with (among others) an Iranian man, I would be under-dressed if I didn't wear a suit. Oh well. At least I looked formal enough to join the impromptu caroling choir.

Friday, December 21, 2007


So, I'm at the Unitarian Universalist Winter Solstice service, right, and there's a candle on my chair, and they say they're about to start the "spreading of the light" or something, so I start looking frantically for my candle! Where is it! I lost it! But, you know church, someone nice comes up smiling and gives me an extra one. I'm relieved for about 15 seconds, until I realize the candles are for people who want to STAND UP AND EXPRESS THEIR GRATITUDE FOR SOMETHING IN FRONT OF EVERYONE. Which I must have looked like I was frantically trying to ensure I could do. Um, uh, I guess, uh, thanks for, um, blogs. And new experiences. And friends. And 3/4 of the church being at least as shy as I was.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Back to the, um, Past

The camera phone is back in action! Here's Heidi expressing how cool the giraffe cup was back at the Christmas party on the 15th. Hooray for the HOC.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Last Night in Raleigh

For my last night in town we picked up Mickey and went to an awesome brew pub. Which beer do you think I chose?
Anyway, after one of those and one or so of the $2 pints of Pilsner, Tyler and I felt confident enough to challenge Charlotte two on one:
Then we dropped Mickey off, had one last look at his fantastic book collection,
and went back to Charlotte's, crawled into our toques and sleeping bags and went to bed cold and satisfied.

Last Day in Raleigh

So, on the 30th, I woke up in this little island house for the last time and headed out for breakfast. Of course, we had grits, as always, with Texas Pete:
But this time there was an extra special treat: Watkins Grill's own home-made banana pudding pie:
Then we set out to the farmer's market, where we saw a bean-shucking machine with fascinating properties, an eccentric honey-making family, and some seasonal crops:
When we went inside, we found lots of farmer's markety things that were too expensive to buy, food that I couldn't fit in my grits-filled stomach, and Cheerwine, a red North-Carolina only soda. I bought one for a buck, tax included. I couldn't get anyone to tell me what it is exactly, but when I was leaving I saw a sign telling me exactly what it is:
Then I got on a plane and went to Waterloo.
You saw how well that turned out. I miss Carolina already.

Lost and Found

Look! My Camera:
Thanks to Andrew for bringing it back! And thanks to my K.K. for giving me this rather extreme way to prevent it from getting lost again.

Also, the return of the camera means the return of a few dozen lost photos:
I'm going to date all the posts with these photos as Dec. 14th until I retrieve my lost my cell-phone, and with it the pictures I've been taking for the last two weeks (sigh).

さすがフィル (Sasuga Phil)

No matter how many cameras I have, There will always be a day where I don't remember to bring any of them anywhere.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Shifting Sands

This morning at 6 AM I found myself without sleep, slightly drunk, wearing a magic hat and singing in Swedish to a woman I had never met. It's not uncommon for me to lose my grip on the world and slide right off, but it rarely slides out of itself to catch me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


If you're missing your youth orchestra, you left them in our basement.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Look! Actual work! Like, a whole page of it almost! Pseudo-code! Pseudo-UML even! Best workday all month.

Monday, December 10, 2007


I bought Dr. Bronner's Monotheistic Soap partly because my absolute favourite webcomic artist recommended it, partly because it's bio-degradable, fair trade, low-waste and refillable, and partly because it looks like it was created by a crazy person. I soon found out that while it's a great soap you shouldn't use it as shampoo unless you want your hair to feel like waxed hay and look like this: which, fortunately, I kind of do.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I Lied!

I just said we were out of corners because it made good copy. We have an even cozier corner that I've just decided to take over.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Improper Attire

AMT is always indignant when she sees me wearing my silly hats indoors, but she's never slept in my basement. With the -19 degree weather and my failed efforts at home repair, I had to bring this toque home and wear it to bed to prevent MADNESS.

Friday, December 7, 2007


Alison and I were bouncers for the department party last night. You can see how seriously she took the job, both by how she's dressed and by how she's started a lineup to prevent the club/classroom from exceeding capacity. We must have slipped up at some point, though, because one of these people is probably a minor.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

More Books

I tend to buy a lot of books, so I know a few good used bookstores in Edmonton. My favourite is Broadvalley Books. You should go there today. The books are awesome. All the books are awesome. You could choose a book literally at random and it would be awesome. Some day, I will do this.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Gie had never been to the High-level Diner, and we figured what better time to try than their 25th anniversary, when they brought out their original menu and charged their original prices. Everything looked good, but this $2 spinach salad was definitely the show piece. Well, that or the bill: After two coffees, one salad, spinach pie, soup, sandwich, gelato, and a chocolate eclair, I still felt comfortable making her buy me dinner.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Performance Enhancers

A quick look at Dorothy's bookshelf revealed the secret to her success.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Environmental Engineering

You know who's made the department an even nicer place to be? Alison. Lots of people decorate their work spaces, but she decorates hardcore. We're talking seasonal hardcore. Free halowe'en candy hardcore. Be jealous.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Team Work

Sullay has spent a fair bit of time on this blog lately, so he knew why I was taking his picture. He said emphatically that I should use the word "Team" in the post because in his native language it also means "fight". But I've never seen him even want to fight anything other than contempt for imagination. And maybe fighting itself.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


...I buy it. Whenever I see awesome music or books or arts or crafts like at the Royal Bison fair (that you should totally go to right now if you can) I think 'man, I wish I was making stuff like that.' But I'm not.