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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The Great Blond Elf's LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, October 7th, 2014
10:42 am
So much older now. Now I'm a data scientist. I work in Seattle, but for the same lab as before. Cars, people, jobs, skills.....it's too much to go over. The point is, things are actually pretty good. :)
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009
1:35 am
why does a platypus have to be so gorgeous? She taunts me, sitting there, all be-ribboned.
1:34 am
Goin' native
So I just saw the film "Avatar." It was decent, but I think I liked it as much back when it was called "Ferngully: the last rainforest."
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
4:11 am
fermi, see?
positive sister and negative brother,
they once dreamed a dream where they thought up each other
and there played a slow game of tag in their bubble
and never once thought that they'd cause any trouble
but at once their mother (named causality)
came and chastised them both, yelling "how can you be?
No spin and no charge, now at your feet I lay it,
to think yourself up - I've the bill, how'll you pay it?
she took his hand then, and his hand on hers curled,
and faster than sunlight, they left from this world.
Some say they just winked out, or vanished within,
the lab fellows claim "they just never have been!"
but I saw them sailing, right off the gulf stream,
in Enrico's boat, and still dreaming a dream.
Thursday, July 23rd, 2009
1:29 pm
The Dow....
It's over niiine thousaaaaaand!

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
12:08 am
just in case
The president ever was kidnapped by ninjas, I am totally a bad enough dude to rescue him.
Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
9:02 pm

Current Mood: happy
Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
8:27 pm
Is there such a thing as a Rick Astley impersonator?
I was thinking, the next time I have to give a science talk, I'd get them to wait behind a curtain or something......then begin with the first slide in my talk and right when people thought they knew what was coming for the next few minutes, I'd duck behind the podium and.......well.....
Friday, October 24th, 2008
1:52 am
vegan thesis, dresden antithesis, sin-thesis.

Sitting in the Dresden congress-center, listening to a talk about the LHC by dr. Engelen from CERN.  It turns out that helium gets into the darndest places, but then again, anyone who's been to the beach will already know that.  And, by "beach," I mean ultracold, synthetic environments, inside a lab, and under high vacuum.. So, really, the perfect opposite of the beach.  If you have been to the beach, consider the exact opposite of that experience, with yourself as a massless, zero-dimensional test object.  So, naturally, you'd expect a helium containment leak due to electrical fault.  I mean, obviously.

The internet lies and there is no "vegan" in east Germany.  The use of meat and cheese here, frankly, elevates meals here to a kind of ecstatic exhaltation of the substances.  The phrase "they eat meat and cheese a lot here" doesn't begin to cover the nature of the practice.  Of course they eat meat and cheese, but it's more accurate to say that meat and cheese are their medium.  It's like some kind of goddamned church of animal products over here, only with the holy eucharist replaced with an actual dead body, and the baptismal font filled with a foul mixture of rich cream cheese and bacon grease.

Thus, as predicted in the book of revelation, those without the unholy mark of the meatLord must wander the streets, unable to buy food and starving like reviled, hungry dogs.  After days of missing lunch and dinner, ekeing out a few calories in the morning by way of a bowlful of nuts and seeds at the hotel (in lieu of the english acre of offered cold cuts and cheeses), my love the 'quark and I were "treated" to a lavish reception at the conference consisting (I am not exaggerating) of fish, other seafood, a kind of seafood-curry chowder, cream puffs, cream-based desserts, and NOT A DAMNED THING a vegan could eat, with the possible exception of questionable bread.  After this, the laboratory "horde" was going out to our customary dinner, which turned out to be - wait for it - at a place with not a *single* meal not based on meat or cheese.  Not a place where substitutions could be made, you understand, but where menu choices like "venison in sauce over potatoes" played alongside "platter of imported cheeses," vying for "impossible to veganize" champion.  And - I gave up.  I ordered meat.  I ordered chocolate fondue.  I ordered soup with sausage.  I ate until I felt poisoned by it, which, as it turns out, didn't take long at all. 

So, here's an interesting point - as a vegan, I have been given nifty vegan powers.  I can stay up late, drink a gallon of beer, work until the dawn, then get up in an hour and do wind-sprints without my body throwing an alarm.  For my daily life, these powers combine to create voltron significant benefits for me, and I had gotten used to it.  So when I say that I passed out without any conscious control on my part, and couldn't get up on time the next day, and when I tell you that I felt sicker than I have been in recent memory, I want you to understand my full meaning.

So, screw it.  I can't go back.  I want my body to work like the high-octane machine it's become, and if that means eating a pile of nuts and seeds to stay alive for another few days, you can call me a freakin' gold finch.  Chirp, everyone.  Chirp.

Current Mood: contrite
Monday, August 25th, 2008
11:29 am
yellow 6, standing by
Janet, over radio: "Mobile 1, no alarm registered in detector"
Tracy, over radio: "Mobile 2, confirm no alarm"
Me, over radio: Mobi.....um....I'm not sure that I have a name, but I'm reading no spectroscopics..."
Janet, over radio: "Mobile Command Center is what you are, Sean."
Me, over radio: "......oh."
Thursday, May 1st, 2008
7:30 pm
Third first of may
Hooray, hooray, well.....you know. :)
Tuesday, April 15th, 2008
1:39 pm
Fly on the wall
Me, standing in front of a blackboard, pen in hand: "As you can see, we can make an estimate of the atomic weight of the intervening material here, and once we have that, it gives an estimate for the total density, which is sensitive, up until the high densities where the material is totally black to gammas. In that region, we can't really make a good estimate, since once you go black, you can never go back.."

And only like *one* person even snickered.
Monday, January 28th, 2008
9:29 pm
I guess I'm back
Well, I'm suffering from the aftermath of acute caffeine overdose, and my CNS is all shot to hell. I drove for about 9 hours last night, and I've noticed that every time I'm in Seattle and Snoqualmie pass is full, and I decide to take the Columbia River Gorge through Oregon instead, it is somehow the "storm of the season" and I almost die somehow.
Monday, July 23rd, 2007
1:41 pm
plant face
So, it's good to know that training still hangs around a while after the trainee has stopped actively partaking. I got out of my car last night at a gas station, and realized that I needed to feed the car some oil, such that it might be mysteriously consumed by the oil-eating demons living under the hood. Taking off from the pump at a full-tilt run toward the convenience store attached to the gas station, I passed the second pump and clipped the metal stand one of those freestanding signs with my right foot, sending me into a nose dive into the pavement at full running speed.

And then I was upright, walking toward the mini-mart again. In reconstruction, I had put the ball of my right foot back on the ground and purposefully launched my legs such that I hit the ground in "rolling" posture, and pulled myself through "zenpo kaiten," after whch I came right back up. Didn't feel a thing.

If actually called upon to do such a thing, I might reasonably balk at it, due to my lack of practice, and the overall hardness of concrete and velocity one accumulates while falling toward it. But, while forced, the training seems to make unlikely things like that possible.

Current Mood: contemplative
Thursday, July 19th, 2007
10:04 am
Dr and the Hobo
So...I was bitten by a Hobo spider, so I believe - while riding, I felt an extremely sharp pain on my left calf, which upon inspection revealed a painful red bump. I was unable to find a spider within my pants, and turned therefore back to biking. Had I but considered the situation, I'd have remembered that the wave function of a spider diffuses very quickly over time, and so the spider "event" I had just observed, coupled with the non-observation of a spider, was completely plausible in a spider-present scenario. The cross section of my leg presented to a nonuniform spider flux was tested again, as I felt another bite just behind my left knee.

Now, part of my job deals with pattern recognition......so......let's just say that I made a linear extrapolation.

To make a long story short, I ran around in public for awhile with no pants on, screaming and jumping around. Except for the part about screaming, I made that up.

The emergency room put me on an antibiotic for a secondary staph infection, so if you have any spare "juice" lying around, I'd appreciate it if you sent me a thought. I think I'll be okay though, since antibiotics kick the crap out of my "healing trance." My healing trance is a total wuss compared to modern pharmaceutical biochemistry.
Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
9:42 am
Blog of eternal stench
Okay, so, I'm literally just posting to do something with the blog again. Thus, this is a placeholder and doesn't serve any real purpose.
Thursday, March 8th, 2007
4:58 pm
on vacation
I'll see you all when I get back from Japan. (and, since I haven't mentioned it on my LJ yet, "surprise, I'm going to japan." Also I'm visiting Jon.)

We're going to be attending (among other things) a festivel around gifu, which I am told is roughly translated as the "penis festival." Wish us luck. :)
Wednesday, March 7th, 2007
3:24 pm
Iteratively reweighted least squares
So, it turns out that when you're doing scientific work, and you need to make sure you do a mathematical problem correctly, and so round up a room full of mathematicians to explain the ideal way to solve a problem.....

They do! Seriously, this was an enormous shock. There I was, thinking "well, I'll just write the likelihood function, and then iterate over the parameter space, or maybe use an annealing method, blah blah blah," and they schooled me on the analytical poisson likelihood maximization method to the point where I now realize it can be done analytically, right down to the hessian matrix. Wow, is my face red.

Okay, seriously though, I'm probably actually going to use IRLS, like the title line says, because my math still sucks, and I don't actually have the money to have my room full of "reweighted squares" around all the time. :(

Indeed, I'm now going to consider "room full of mathematicians" a special skill that I can call upon once I've built up my "energy" bar far enough by hammering away at the "x" button until the level rises.

"what are you doing?"
"almost...got it....this is the only way to get past the stage 4 miniboss..."
"is that why you're bashing away on that controller?"
"yeah....I....got it!!"
Room full of mathematicians!!!! *cool music and FMV*
"Okay, I'll go get coffee and be back. Room full of mathematicians is the longest summon in the game..."
Wednesday, January 10th, 2007
10:30 am
got bent
I have a Hurricane Short Wheelbase understeering recumbent now.

Just as soon as my legs stop cramping and cars stop driving over me, I'll totally be a traffic nuisance - in ur lane, wreckin' ur moodz.
Thursday, January 4th, 2007
11:35 am
Thai one
*Me, clutching at my stomach* - "The spice is life! He who controls the spice controls the universe!"
*Jenny* - "okay, next time? Medium."
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