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October 30, 2002

Telemarketing Fun

Over the years there have been many discussions of telemarketing on slashdot. Another one today brought me this site: the anti-telemarketing counterscript. I've heard many, many suggestions for dealing with intrusive and annoying telemarketing calls, but I'm always a little hesitant to put them to use myself, since they often involve annoying or harassing the caller. I imagine that most people working in outgoing call centres are working for a fairly low wage. Pestering them may hurt telemarketing in the long run by keeping the working conditions poor. On the other hand it seems unlikely to me that bothering a telemarketer is not going to reduce the volume of calls received in the short term. Since I don't get a large number of telemarketing calls I've never analyzed the issue any closer than that. The counterscript is an interesting read, and seems a little more respectful than most suggestions I've heard.

Life on the Persian Gulf

My mom writes:

We attended the Bob Fitts Christian concert last night. I didn't know that he wrote "Blessed be the Lord God Almighty". Do you know any of his other music? There were close to a thousand people there and it was really fantastic. [...] We are going with Melvin Matthew and a few teachers from the college for an overnight camping trip in the desert on Thursday. The location is right on the Arabian Gulf so we hope to do snorkling and fishing too. Of course, I have to fit schoolwork in so I will make up my exam tonight for Sunday. Dad and I are going golfing after school with Max and May Keats. It will be my first time ever. Dad also made his decision on a new computer and we should be able to pick it up tomorrow...
Good to know that they are surviving the hardship of moving away from home.

October 29, 2002


I have seen this page of Lego constructions before, but the renderings of M.C. Escher drawings in Lego are new, and quite impressive.

October 28, 2002

Home again, Home again, Jiggity-Jig

I'm back at home in my favorite chair, and ready to do schoolwork. Unfortunately, I have to check my email, pay my cell bill, make my bed, unpack and do laundry. Good intentions, at least...

Kerry and I had a nice day yesterday, attending church and taking Mark and Pauline out to lunch. We went to a nice Mexican place on Spring Garden.

I always enjoy flying in to St. John's in the daytime, because the usual approach takes you right over the city. I still haven't gotten tired of aerial views, and I don't know if I will anytime soon. I got a window seat, so I was able to fully enjoy the view of Red Cliff, by Torbay, on the final approach to the airport. If I had a digital camera, I would have some lovely pictures to post.

Looks like Uncle Geoff will be a day late, since the TCH is closed on the west coast because of the winds and 15 cm snowfall. As well, the gulf ferries were not running yesterday, also because of the wind.

Off now to check the email... by the way, if you were a drummer at YC and happen to have a Musicstop drum stool, or a Musicstop cymbal, please let me know...

October 26, 2002

A weekend in Halifax

Earlier I alluded to the fact the I am currently in Halifax. I have had a wonderful weekend visiting Kerry. I visited her lab at Dalhousie Univeristy and attempted to do a little schoolwork on Thursday and Friday. Thursday evening we went to dinner at Il Mercato with Dr. Phillips and Susan Hall. On Friday I rented a car from Enterprise, taking advantage of their surprisingly affordable weekend special. A Hyndai Accent is no great shakes but for $9.99/day I'm not complaining.

We went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding at the Bayers Lake Studio18 cinemas Friday night, making good use of two movie passes we got months ago at Fog City in St. John's. We both enjoyed the movie very much. Today we took advantage of the car to stock up on heavy grocery items as well as go shopping at the Mic Mac Mall in Dartmouth. Kerry got a swimsuit for her trip to Orlando next week, as well as several amazing deals on end-of-summer sale items. I read two full papers while we were at the mall, which was astonishing as well. All in all a good day. I'm not sitting in Kerry's lab again, while Kerry does a little homework. We will hopefully top the night off by renting a movie.

Tomorrow we'll go to church, and after take Mark and Pauline out to lunch. If the weather cooperates we might take a Sunday afternoon Drive to the Annapolis Valley, or failing that, perhaps Mahone Bay. Monday at lunchtime I'll be on my way back to Newfoundland.

I mentioned that Kerry is going to Orlando next week. She's actually going to a Neuroscience convention to present the results of the experiments she worked on for the past few summers as a research assistant at Memorial.

October 24, 2002

May I recommend...

For fine Greek cuisine in Halifax, try Opa! I'm visiting Kerry in Halifax, and for dinner last night that's where we went, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Great food and a very nice atmosphere.

October 18, 2002

Blogger trouble

I didn't realize that my posts have been published anyway after a delay. Oh well, at least it doesn't look like I've been gone for three weeks.

I know lots of the secular crew at YC really like Paul Oakley's more straight ahead rock-n-roll sound, but I have to say that I am really enjoying Phatfish's Heavenbound album. Great job, Nath, Lou, Luke, Mic and Alan (if you ever read this). Be sure to let me know when you release your next album. And I was serious about coming over to visit. It may not be soon, but sometime...

SRC Optimization of Loudspeaker Arrays

So last night I found that it was a really stupid mistake in my plotting routines that was causing the apparent trouble with my optimizations. Turns out it was (sortof) working all along. In my bug-hunt I found a one or two small things that will lead to better optimization runs, I hope, but the good news is all well with the optimizations. Now to finish the paper by the end of the day.

October 16, 2002

YC is here and gone...

I'm finally caught up with sleep after the weekend of YC. I still have a mess in my room, and laundry that needs to be done, and rental equipment that needs to be returned, but things are coming along.

The priority right now is writing a paper for NECEC. I have a bug in my most recent simulations, so I need to track that down today and get some sensible results so that I can include them in the paper.

I have been sparse with the blog updates lately for a combination of reasons: blogger.com seems to have lots of Error 503: Unable to load template file problems recently, and of course last week I was incredibly busy preparing for YC, and then I was out of town all weekend. Hopefully life will settle down, and I'll also get some good pics of the weekend to post too...

October 07, 2002

Living on my own

My dad's plane for Qatar (via Halifax and London) left about 5 minutes ago, so I guess I'm officially on my own. Woohoo, independent living, here I come...

Record breaking

There were 629 people counted in the two morning services at Bethesda. That breaks our previous attendance record (set two weeks ago) by a solid margin. Of course, the free lunch for university students following the second service may have been a factor. Rumor has is there may be another student lunch before the end of the semester.

October 01, 2002

String Quartet goodness

Wierdest thing. Today I was in the Village mall getting a few odds and ends, and in centre court there was a string quartet of Memorial University music school professors playing. Very cool, but odd!

Other updates from the past week

I didn't get around to posting these, but 9:25 a week ago today, the Honda Civic officially became mine. Fully paid and insured and in my name only. Yay.

Summer is over, Fall is here. I started wearing wool socks again yesterday. 'Nuff said.

Note that I wrote this Oct 1, but couldn't publish it because of blogger.com trouble.

Happy Birthday to me

Yes, I'm old. Exactly how old you'll have to find out for yourself. Thanks to Kerry and Dad and Mom for the wonderful gifts and cards.

I hardly know what to do with myself this morning. I'm actually doing schoolwork. Unbelievable.