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19 January 2009 @ 01:39 am
This entry in omgimsuchadork's journal caught my eye on thekaraokeninja's friends page and got me looking for street view pics around here. So, here we go:

The physics building where I work/take classes. (UMCP has some weird thing for red brick buildings...)

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Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
17 January 2009 @ 02:44 pm
Dr. Mohapatra has to be one of the most quotable professors I've ever taken a class from. So compiled here are snippets of "wisdom" and humor and dorkyness that I felt the need to write down at the time, most from 624, some from 851:
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Current Mood: amusedamused
17 January 2009 @ 02:11 pm
Hiya internets, long time no... um... filling with unneeded updates about my life? Whatever. Anywho the semester went amazingly, probably the most productive single year of school I've had in terms of how much I learned/relearned/solidified, mostly due to 851 (Advanced Quantum Field Theory). What ended up happening was I kept trying to read ahead and get to where I could work on a project for Dr. Mohapatra, and then later in class he would lecture on the same material, so I got to see a bunch of stuff from a couple different angles. The other class (751 - Survey of Elementary Particle Physics) went well also. It was interesting because it was taught by a guy that works experimentally (most recently with the BaBar collaboration), and looking at the physics from an experimental and phenomenological point of view was really helpful. It's nice to stay grounded in (in a manner of speaking) tangible, physical results, especially when the whole field of Elementary Particle Theory is so speculative at the moment (and will remain so for the foreseeable future, at least until the LHC has run for a while and results start coming out of ATLAS and the other experiments there).

Found jotted into my notes:

"851 Episode 2: Who is stealing our chalk?"
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
08 September 2008 @ 10:18 am
A lot has happened since I last wrote anything here, so that means it's recap tiemz!

More or less in chronological order:
Wedding! The wedding went great, the ceremony went beautifully and it was really an amazing experience. That being said, I'm glad I only have to go through it once.

Moving crap! thekaraokeninja is moved in with me now. She has too much stuff, and you should tell her so ;P
It's fun to have her around. I tend to make friends kind of slowly, so I was getting kind of isolated/lonely here in MD.

Honeymoon! Disney = oh so much walking. It was a great time though, and there was much nostalgia on her part.

Quals! I passed them! WOOHOO! Big first step on the road to graduation. While there's still oh so much to do still, I feel like I've really accomplished something (without much studying at all no less! woot).

Classes! This is going to be a great semester. I'm taking PHYS 751: Elementary Particle Physics 1: Survey, PHYS 851: Advanced Quantum Field Theory, and PHYS 749&759, Nuclear and Particle Theory seminars, respectively. This semester is going to have so many little quantum things bouncing and zipping around, I love it! Also, Dr. Mohapatra is teaching 851, which will be awesome. He's pretty hilarious.

I'm getting kind of anxious to jump into some research work soon also, and I've actually talked with people a little bit since the last post, but still no real progress. I don't think I can make much progress convincing them I can work with them until I've finished 751 and 752 :(
Current Location: New office (which sucks)
Current Mood: excitedexcited
09 July 2008 @ 01:51 pm
I'm gonna be on my way back to Ohio this weekend to see family, get married, and bring more of my crap back to Maryland. Probably Friday. Hoping everything goes smoothly and we can get thekaraokeninja up to Maryland without incident in a couple weeks.

Note also that she wasn't kidding when she said how much she liked One Piece: Unlimited Adventure. I think it ended up being a total of 8 or 9 hours she played that for on Monday. She'll claim that I played for big chunks of that too, but that's all lies. Dirty, dirty, accurate lies. xD

I really need to get out of my office now and go talk to more of the elementary particle theory group about what I need to be doing to prepare to join soon... so hard to just walk into a prof's office you've never really met beyond talks/seminars and discuss your prospects for being a student in the group they're in. *Sigh*

Linky to group page, for the curious
Current Location: my office
Current Mood: intimidatedintimidated
06 July 2008 @ 06:35 pm
Woot. This has turned out to be a pretty gewd week. Recap time!

thekaraokeninja drove up Monday to spend the week. It's been a pretty great time so far, a lot of the week has been devoted to exploring Japanese food and grocery places around here. I have discovered the unbelievable awesomeness that is banana bubble tea. OMG. It's pretty awesome. I also stocked up on Calpico, while Ameria is now up to her ears in melon pan. Tasty dorky-ness.

On the 4th we went to the fireworks display in DC. It was pretty great, and there were lots of people having a good time. We got rained on quite a bit, and some shoe choices were regretted. Otherwise the rain didn't bother us due to being prepared with umbrellas.

While we were up Japanese fooding, we popped into the Rockville Guitar Center. Sitting out was a Gibson custom shop 1960 VOS reissue Les Paul, begging me to try it in one of the Marshall amps. Wow. Just wow. Plays amazingly and sounds awesome. DO WANT. NOWZ. SRSLY GUISE. Lolspeak fails to express the joy.

The best part of the week has just been having my (soon to be) wife around. I make friends really slowly, so it's been kind of lonely after moving away from everyone I know well. I mean, the other grad students here are great, don't get me wrong, but it's just not the same as the people you've been friends with forever, you know. Having Ameria around has been great for my sanity, lol.
Current Location: couch
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: Kevin James - Sweat the small stuff
24 June 2008 @ 05:49 pm
So nervous so nervous so nervous so nervous so nervous so nervous so nervous so nervous so nervous so nervous so nervous so nervous...

On an unrelated note, can't wait for the next episode of Doctor Who, crap is totally about to hit the fan, and there seems to possibly be more to Bad Wolf (or at perhaps knowledge Rose retained after absorbing the vortex) than we were led to believe at first.

Also, did lots of guitarring over the weekend, I have all but a couple notes in "She Builds Quick Machines" learned now, just need to get the solo up to speed, yay! I'm working my way through The Guitar Fretboard Workbook by Tagliarino and The 30 Day Guitar Workout by Fisher. Both are turning out to be pretty helpful... this is my second attempt to get through the 30 day workout, as I kinda stopped a week in the first time after going back to Ohio. Gonna try to get through it completely this time, though not necessarily in 30 days.

Thats all for now, back to figuring out what I'm going to do in discussion if (when) noone has questions regarding the test tomorrow...
Current Location: My office
Current Music: Trans-Siberian Orchestra - "A Last Illusion"
Got lots of ranting going on in my head, so I'm deciding to send the rant off into the wild internets.

Apparently, allowing detainees at Guantanamo Bay the writ of Habeas Corpus is going to clog the court system, embolden the terrorists, cost the U.S. a city and end the universe in 2012. It could also create a stranglet or micro black hole that will eat the earth. At least, that's what the hardline conservatives seem to claim, and if you can't tell already, I think that people calling it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country" are so full of it it's spilling out of both ends. (That quote comes from McCain, BTW).

If, as the administration claims, these people are supremely dangerous and releasing them would lose the war on nonspecific nouns, then surely they can back that up with some kind of reason or evidence at a habeas corpus hearing, right? I mean, all this allows them to do is ask that a judge be shown the evidence against them to see if there is good reason to imprison them. We're not letting them run free, they get one judge to hear exactly why the government thinks they are so dangerous, and if they aren't then there is no cause to imprison them and the judge can call of their release, and if there is good evidence they stay in prison.

Another argument thrown against this decision is that we shouldn't extend the rights of US citizens to detainees. This is kind of a flimsy argument though, because habeas corpus is more a restriction on the rights of the executive branch than a right granted to citizens. But the ruling isn't about giving rights, it's about the rule of law applying on US soil (as much as the administration wants to convince people otherwise, as a US Naval station, Guantanamo Bay is sovereign US territory.)

Some are Godwining the whole situation saying we're treating them better than Nazis, but that's dumb. Seriously. The Nazis got trials in international courts. We won't even let the UN look at the detainees.

In my opinion, it boils down to this: the government has nothing to fear from the granting of habeas corpus hearings if they have a good reason to lock these people up. They only have a problem if they have been imprisoning people based on association "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon" style links to Osama. So which is it? It's time for the writ of "put up or shut up."

Of course, this is all my opinion and really means nothing, it could very well be wildly inaccurate. IANAL etc etc.
Current Location: my office
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed
Current Music: Black Crowes - Hard to Handle
17 June 2008 @ 10:13 pm
Hilarious. Definitely worth a watch. In fact, go watch more clips of "A Bit of Fry and Laurie." Unless you hate British Comedy. Then you probably wouldn't like it.

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Current Location: couch
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Europe - The Final Countdown
17 June 2008 @ 03:33 pm
Our A/C at the house has been out since Saturday afternoon/evening. The timeline goes like this:

Saturday: Came home, found house getting uncomfortably warm, notified landlord of A/C troubles.

Sunday: Noone could come out to fix it Sunday, of course. But one guy did take a look and said we just needed a couple minor parts replaced, and he'd be out to do it the next day.

Monday: The guy came up to replace some fuses and such, and discovered the compressor was dead and the fan was in bad shape too. So he says he needs to call the landlord and will be back to fix it the next day (today). Later was told that apparently the whole thing needed replaced, so the landlord OKed it (thanks landlord Brian!) and they came out this morning to fix it.

Tuesday: I guess they came in, worked on it for a couple hours then left without saying anything. Adam didn't even know they were done? We have a new unit, but STILL no air conditioning! The new one is green, which isn't really an improvement, since if it's just a box decorating the house, it may as well match... What happened? Do they still need to finish it? Did they botch the install?


That brings us up to date. Stay tuned for the thrilling (and hopefully chilling) conclusion.

Not happy at the moment. Thankfully my office is cool xD


Our A/C apparently DOES work... but only when the thermostat is being pushed in. Physically pushed against the wall. We have it taped in now. Your guess is as good as mine, especially since we didn't have this problem before.
Current Location: My office
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: Velvet Revolver - Spectacle