follow A Selection of Varied Topics

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

THIS should have been called Über-geek....

Only the other day I was mentioning that 'I have no life'. This was refuted by my worthy compatriot, who has also been quoted as saying that my days don't end, they just slow down a bit.   I am definitely back in the insanity-zone....

Sunday we drove back up to P-town to RETURN the sink we bought two days before. This was after a pleasing interlude in the sink aisle at Home Depot whilst the three of us discussed the respective merits of various sinks. There was some heated debate over whether or not it was important to have a sink that is resistant to scratches, stains and grey marks from pans. I became quite fired up, and mentioned that I planned to write a manifesto laying out a 'Workers' Declaration' that the sole consideration regarding kitchen implements should be Utility and Function, not Aesthetic Appeal.  However instead of Rallying the Troops, I wound up laughing as we trailed through the store looking at countertop materials. 

Monday it was back to the daily grind of school and expeditions into geekery.  After school I went to a robotics meeting for the CHS team, and wound up staying the whole three hours. DIscussed video-considerations with the team captain.....there was a huge amount of things to be hashed over and planned out, and now I am engaged in making a short ad to air on the local community access TV station, and also filming the introduction of the robot at tomorrow's assembly. Yesterday I rendezvoused after school to film the voice-over for said advert.    Today I stayed at school the whole day, in order to be present at the robotics meeting after school and likewise the assembly run-through at lunch. 

Also on the way back from P-town I read over part of the infamous novel I wrote last November, and was surprised at how hysterical it was. Most amusing to read the incoherent copy I wrote at the height of the lack of sleep. And a couple of terribly funny lines that I honestly do not remember writing.... O.o  

Wednesday tech stuff:  I didn't know it was possible to be this much of a geek. I'm wearing a pair of earphones over my earbuds, am working simultaneously on two computers, have two flash drives in play, am downloading a codec for Mac and Windows...all this as preliminaries for editing an advert for robotics. 

I was given a .avi file of Team 997's winning match at the championship games at regionals. This is for use in making the ad to turn in to the broadcasting studio in the next day or two. The file plays with no trouble in VLC media player (a really nifty little free media player, here) but when I tried to import it to my editing program (Sony Vegas Movie Studio) only the audio was visible. The same thing happened when I tried to play it with Windows Media Player, or (switching to Mac) import to iMovie.  

I have heard this is a problem sometimes, and it requires fiddling with codecs. A little hunting on the internet revealed the VMS editing platform tends to have trouble with certain .avi files, and I found recommendations to download GSpot, a tiny application which diagnoses which codecs are needed to play the file.    Downloaded that...found that the file needed the DX50 codec, supplied by DivX. I downloaded a version for both Mac and Windows.    That is currently being installed, so we shall see.....

and because I have nothing better to do than my bio homework, here's this....
Date: Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Starting time: 18:38
Mood: geeky :P
Outside my window: sun on huge snow clouds
I'm thinking: I hope this codec works.....
I'm reading: Baha! Who has time to read?  Well Great Expectations, on and off...finished 1984.
I'm listening to: Scott's voice-over for the robotics ad  XD
I'm wearing: dark grey tank, black and white plaid shirt of me dad's, jeans with a TON of stuff in teh pocketses
Yesterday, I: went to robotics potluck :)
I'm excited for: Atlanta
I'm sad because: not sad :)
I'm hungry for: salad
The song stuck inside my head is: Another One Bites the Dust
I want: FinalCut Pro
I love: being awesome :P
I loathe: cold wet weather
This week, my goal is: to get the robotics stuff done on time

Life in the land of the Über-geek

Attempting to email a post from the school library, as the school servers don't allow access to me blog:  Entertaining things from math class......

[about some problems on the board]

"Should I talk about these?"


'Do you understand them?"


Students discussing how one of them was applying for a job:

"I feel like the whole useless-manager thing might be part of the problem."

"Don't call again, go in."

"I did."

"Well then let it simmer!" [with a simmering motion of her hand :P ] 

Discussion on 'what to throw into the air' as a height-of-projected-object equation: resulted in penguin. 

"Don't penguins do that, they push one of them into the water and then see if the whale eats it or not?" 

"Well the numbers I'd picked aren't going to match this scenario very well, I guess they're some hardcore penguins...."

Teh notes I took: 

Ex: A penguin is thrown into the air at 112 ft./second by his hardcore buddies from a 75 ft. cliff.    (A) Write the equation for this monstrous action.  (B) What is the maximum height Penguin reaches? When?

Answer: (The vertex! rejoice!)  

(C) When does the whale get him? (hit the water) (assuming the whale waits for in-mouth delivery) 

Debate as to whether the whale would be waiting patiently at nought height for the penguin: 

"Don't you think if there was a scuffle at the top he'd wait, 'Okay serve me up'. But maybe he's a crafty whale, waits for the whole lot to jump in." 

Later, learning about how long devision of polynomials gives us the synthetic-devision algorithm: There were gasps as the variables disappeared off the smartboard. "What! No put it back...stay there....that's better!" 

Kimes: I'm not just magicking it up out of nowhere!

Finn: ? Cause I feel like you are right now....

Saturday, March 27, 2010

(warning: amusing, and lengthy)

The past two days have been pretty epic....Thursday we went up to P-town (the Big City). The morning started out with a nice bit of excitement: My mom saw my dad's ghost. The short version of the story is that he was still in bed, whilst my mom is convinced she saw his reflection outside, for quite a while.  O.o

On the spur of the moment we decided to drive to P-town.  I promptly demanded that I be allowed to wash my hair.....this was granted, with the stipulation that I not take very long....I wound up being the first person waiting in the garage, hehe. My hair was still wet....but behold, there on a garage shelf was, of all things, a hair-dryer......doubtless used for blow-drying the windshield prior to application of rain-repellant. Never one to miss an opportunity, I proceeded to blow dry my hair with it.  ^.^

In P-town we went to Ikea (Swedish furniture store) and bought a kitchen sink.....amidst direful warnings that it would mean the disruption of the kitchen for the next few weeks, in the style of the Great Sink Débacle of 2009, which saw the upstairs bath sink (my personal property) in disarray for WEEKS. 

Yesterday was packed with bits of randomness.....first thing in the morning (well, first thing when I got up which was not til 10) I came downstairs and found the kitchen in the predicted state of conniption. The new sink was on the table and there seemed an unwarranted lot of stuff sitting about. Despite this, I baked a chocolate cake, then went into town with my dad to buy cream for the frosting, and pick up the lawn-mower which had been taken in for repairs, and also take some stuff to the recycle.  

My dad was talking about hiring someone to install the sink....or rather to make it level, with boards on the side.....anyways: "Yes, they will prop the low side up with dollar bills, that's how much it'll cost..."

We first stopped at the Co-op, in order to deposit the recycle at the provided bins. Then decided that "Haha well since we're here, we'd better stop in and get some food...." and went and bought a lot of groceries. 

Then it was on to Trader Joe's (upscale grocery, for those deprived souls in the wilderness of whereever-there-are-no-Trader-Joe'ses).  We were just going in, in our identical signature Carlson bouncy walks, and both making amusing comments, when I spotted my grandmother's car parked out front of the store. We went in, found the cream and my grandma....she tends to ply us with food...anyways, we wound up all checking out together and there came the next bit of grandma was plying us with the goat cheese she'd bought, and we were separating out our cream, and the cashier was helping us.....we had four people all gathered round the paper sack full of groceries. My dad was starting to laugh, and I was chuckling (of course), and finally we paid and the cashier thrust another empty bag at us to divvy up the groceries among.  Our Trader Joe's has got a bit of an exit problem....there is a sort of little isle that the entire mass of people exiting the store has got to go through. One incident at the check-out, one dropped cheese, one over-excited grocery bag, and the whole place can pile up. 

Whilst in the store my dad bought a box of so-called "thousand-layer crackers".....little Asian treats that nobody except him likes. The first time he bought them (I quote) "I had to eat the entire box and not like them....then there were two left which somehow hadn't gotten into the recycle, and they were pretty good."   He admits that they have sort of an unpleasant taste: "...sort of like burnt fish...." 

The whole gather-round-the-grocery-bag episode remained in our conversation as we hit the high road again.    I commented that the incident would have been made more epic had there been a couple of high-powered executives attempting to leave the store at the same time, through the afore-mentioned little isle. Yes, I did actually say 'high-powered executives'. ("With their espresso smoothies in hand," my dad chipped in.) "Heading off to their power-lunch....isn't that what those things are called, power lunches?" Dad agreed--"Yes, power lunch....wouldn't it be funny if there was, say, some sort of have a couple of high-powered executives at a power lunch, and (just casually) one of them pulls out a power bar--" (insert hoots of laughter from me) "--and gestures with it--"  "Yes, shows the profits going Up, Up, Up!" (dad cracks up) "And as the shot finishes, the other executive propounds a theory: 'Yes, this is it, let's do this!'....and he takes a bite out of his power bar..." 

On to the next attraction: picking up the lawn mower. This is where we were, to quote my dad, 'snookered'. (A side note: the term had not crossed my path before yesterday, I requested my dad explain it to me, and he made general reference to 'billiards, but I never know whether to call it billiards or know, where you're supposed to put all the balls into the pocket except for the white one....'  Anyways, as far as I can make out from the authoritative Mirriam-Webster's Online, the word refers to being 'hoodwinked'.  Mmph. 

The way in which we were snookered was not at first apparent, it was left to my dad to relate it to me.....we pulled into the parking lot, and my dad paused to eat a Thousand-layer Cracker of Doom. In this split second of delay, of Hesitation, another car pulled in beside us: a Large Car, one could even say a Too-big Car. (The driver also honked, as if to presage his another car, I believe. It could not have been us, WE were harmlessly sitting there eating our Thousand-layer Crackers.)
"Oop! Look at that, he's going to get in there before us...."  My dad decided to wait in the car for an opportune moment to go in. I observed that the Too-big Car had a load of brush in the back, piled up. "You see all that brush? All piled up, with a bungee-cord? Well do you think [I was getting silly at this point] that he's going to get a brush-hog or whatever those things are, bring it out here and test it out on the brush? Seems quite reasonable, just like bringing along the camera when you want to see if it fits in the messenger-bag...or wait, I think I'm planning to bring the bag to the camera instead of the camera to the bag..."  "Yes, he'll try it out, won't stop until there's no brush in the bed of the truck, and the parking lot is just covered...but it's a Power-mower" (this, to tie in with the high-powered executives.)

My dad then proceeded to go in and attempt to get our lawn-mower. This is where he was snookered. I was told of this afterwards: I stayed in the car and ventured to eat half of a Thousand-layer Cracker, but did not get very far because of foresaid burnt-fish savor, and nasty after-taste. As I later said, "It doesn't taste too great at first, then about a second into it's not too bad, but then it leaves a nasty taste in your mouth." "Yes, it has a weak finish...." 
Dad came out: "Another cracker..." (I proffer him my half-eaten one)   [Talking about it later: "I had time to come out, have another cracker and file down a hang-nail..."]  

Evidently the first customer was indeed getting some sort of lawn developed that he couldn't take it home with him BECAUSE of the brush in the bed of the truck.  Most amusing, really. 
Then the repair-store owner said not to use regular gasoline, the ethanol kills the engine...but recommended a little place down in south-town where we could get pure gasoline. My dad said he hadn't thought it served people, had to have a card. But no..."You can get in without a card if you go in the daytime, not at night...and not on weekends..." 

There had been some talk that we might drive BACK up to P-town yesterday, to buy a cabinet to go with the sink.....also rumors that I might be forced to go along....OH, THE HUMANITY....I really did not want to go, it meant a good 3 hours on the road round trip, and it's hard to listen to music 'cause the car is very noisy, and I can't hear the talk in the front seat very well, and anyway I didn't want to go up there two days in a row. But when the fam. requires that I come along for a Family Outing, well....
I asked my dad to 'lobby on my behalf'. 

We got home (around 2 that afternoon) and found my mom thinking about P-town, and cabinets. I was in the kitchen, drying my hands, and I nipped into the laundry room and asked if I had to go with. "Maybe you'll go, and maybe you won't" was the reply.  O.o   Still clutching the kitchen towel, I hustled through the hallway, out to the garage, gave a squeak of dismay ("Daddy!") as I heard the unmistakeable sound of the lawn-mower firing up on the back lawn. I popped out of the door and waved the towel at him: "Mommy says she wants to go to P-town today and she wants to come cause she wants a cabinet for the laundry room" --gasp-- "and she says maybe I'll come and maybe I won't and I want you to lobby so I don't have to go...and the FROSTING...." I trailed off and cracked up: "I pop out and wave a towel at you....."  (Dad gets signature chuckly look on his face)  We went inside and I started the frosting as per mum's direction, as we wouldn't be leaving for a while. 

"You know, I foresee this frosting taking a long time" --meaningfully-- "This is the sort that takes a few hours of stirring while it cools.....oh and I'm going to make it softer this time...."  Dad: "Mmm! That's even better! How do you do that?"  "Just a higher ratio of cream to chocolate...." 

We wound up not going to P-town dad went off to town to get the gasoline, and I tidied the kitchen, dyed my hair, went shopping and bought t-shirts, and spent the evening chatting with Insane Buddy named Einar :D   I also spent a while trying to type up this blog post but kept getting distracted with email, multiple chats, Skype, facebook, and et cetera. Oh yeah: I henna-ed my hair again last night...came downstairs with my hair wrapped in a plastic sack.....ahh deja vu.  Lol. It's sorta more red, I think I'll redo it....
Did not get more than 6 hours of sleep last night and I am rather whacked today! 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

In reply to Einar and Tragedy101

There were some rather interesting comments on that last should really go look at them. The upshot was my writing out rather an interesting comment in reply and I thought it had better not get buried....


haha, thespian indeed ;) Ah well, Ron Paul is pretty much epicness incarnate..... WHAT'S THIS? A messenger-bag is NOT a purse...not even a is a SATCHEL :D Yes I think it is a conspiracy too.....and I think Einar and Tragedy101 are in on it together.....they claim they don't even know each other.....'tis a lie. You two and a fair portion of my other friends are in is a SCHEME to steal what little remains of my started last November when you rather blatantly failed to keep me from writing a novel in 30 days. This clearly is responsible for the downward trend we see between then and now, in my general sanity-levels...the sanity-score, the s-score.

Back before you-all started egging me on with cries of "Caffeine!" and "How do you do it!" and "I think you are going to take over the world" and the time-honored classic, "You're insane", I was well on my way to becoming a Normal Person. (Others may not have thought so, but humor me for a minute.)

NOW, all is different. NOW I ricochet from one piece of insanity to the next. NOW I lay awake working out ridiculous schemes involving airfares, school-skipping, and the infamous One Bag to Hold Them All. NOW I spend the majority of my life in one (or more) of four places: 1. On Chief Dephi  ....the place for all robotics info, where casual visitors are shocked to discover that FIRST robotics is akin to a cult experience (granted, a cult that involves wrenches and essay-writing) 2. doing math 3. programming 4. holding online conversations which are monuments of randomness/insanity. If you have chatted with me, you know what I am talking about.

A few samples of the random happenstances that drifted through conversations in the past days have included: Thomas Jefferson, lemmings, hunting,, mass hysterical laughter, conniptions, politics, faith, careers, Mac versus PC, and the rather epic quote reprinted with permission below:
O.o Someone on LotRO next room over just played Another one Bites the Dust on their Lute.

This is in addition to speculation on the true colour of my eyes (the case is not closed), the phrase *snicker*, trenchcoats, self-defense, rather an over-use by all concerned of O.o (albeit usually with good reason), discussion with a person I had seen only an hour earlier in to another dear friend who had previously been rather whacked on Dayquil (having a cold), discussion of the pampering of filmmakers at last week's film fest, Nutella, and so on and so forth.

In short, I think we can conclude that it is YOUR fault. Not just you two, but really all my followers/friends/henchpeople who keep spurring me on to New Heights of Bethie-ness. THANKS A LOT.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Hah I'm in a really weird prepared for randomness.  Here are two Facebook statii:

Sunday night:
 Little geek spaz-out: "YAY! Math! I love math! Where's some scratch paper?" Day not going too well, I happened to log into online College Algebra homework and now know what I'm going to do this evening before folk dance.
Oh and the scratch paper was the backs of robotics scouting sheets.......

Next day: 
You know you're a nerd when: you are bored on a Sunday night and get excited when you remember there's some online College Algebra homework that isn't due for a week or proceed to finish it up....and then are disappointed it's all finished. Good grief I have no life.....

Yes, I was in fact rather disappointed that my math was finished.   ^_^ 

Yesterday evening I went out with some friends, for the first time in MONTHS....lotsa fun :)

I have to buy a bag for me trip to  is the main see it has to hold the video camera (HUGE), laptop Eddie, not to mention such little sundries as clothes and food. I refuse to have more than one bag (save the tripod bag) with me. Likewise, suitcases on wheels are has to be carryable.....the strap has to be able to throttle me, inotherwords. The ideal thing is to have the strap of one bag conspiring with the strap of the other bag, effectively choking off one's neck. Good for long treks.   I have been told that the bag must not be allowed to imprint on Eddie (laptop) at a young age. 

Hmm I have just been called a hobbit.....this is awesome.....yes and random! Random, trademarked! 

Saturday we spent quite a few hours pruning blueberry bushes.  Facebook statii tell the story of the week: 
Several observations from the afternoon spent pruning blueberries: 1. Wear a sunhat to avoid burning one's vampirishly-pale skin 2. Techno is the best music to prune to 3. Hunting knives are better than clippers 4. Gotta blister on her little finger :D

quotes from dad: "Was there a pair of pliers in the pantry?" and "I'll glue it on and then you'll have a two-legged cow" me: "is that all?" "Instead of a one-legged cow..." [he was looking for pliers to take the glue lid off to glue the leg on a wooden cow cut-out] 

Top quotes of the past few days: 'Crap....I think I just swallowed glass' and 'Wow...I have just been handed a lime margarita' from two different people whilst chatting with them. Both were superbly random.      Oh and before you get too worried, the lime margarita was non-alcoholic and the glass has been taken care of   O.o

Other stuff: am wading through scholastic requirements for next year......looks like more College Now classes at the local high school are in order. I planned to take Trig at community college in the fall, then Calc, but it looks like it is very hard to get into classes there.....simply no room. I'll probably take the equivalent classes at the high school. 

A side note....the most awesome combination of smells EVER has got to be really high-quality rose-water mixed with woodsmoke........

byebye folks!  Also, how many people actually read this, I wonder?  

Friday, March 19, 2010

New look for bloggie

Yeah, I redid the colours and header and all.....still having issues with me sidebar though......I've deleted the sidebar entirely, as it was just sitting down at the bottom of the page.

Weather is nice and sunny here.....all the pallid Pacific Northwest peopleses are getting their poor widdle vampirey skins burned.....

Spring break is upon us THANK GOODNESS  =D  I'm about ready for it......math test today went quite well.....hmm what else.

Other stuff is going well......anticipation for Championships....all you people on the East Coast should definitely come! Atlanta GA, April to the public :)   There will be robots, there will be over-excited geeky high school students, there will be rock music, there will be dancing to Chicken Dance.....all in the Georgia's gonna be awesome! :)  Still working out details with a couple of friends there......if you're in the area, do stop by! I'll prolly be mighty busy with a big ole video camera, but I'd love to see you if you're an awesome-person and not a creeper :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

my kaleidoscope life

Before class I write list for the day ahead, I think it helps me stay organized even if I never look at it again. 
-call Amy Hunter  [community access TV station...about internship]
-biology HW 
-robotics DVD....script....
-May scrimmage?
-chicken feed
-scouting data: the plan
-Rise Against

"mathematically viable"! 

On the next page of my notebook there's an illegible first page or so of a short story....the first line is supposed to be in italic, but my hand-writing put that out of the question so I used an HTML tag.....hehehe. 

The weather has gotten a lot warmer today.....all last night I was chilled.....did the Garrison Keillor thing. ' get into bed and shiver in your little takes hours but inch by inch you finally get the whole bed warmed up and then....THE ALARM CLOCK GOES OFF'

Yes. Mmph.   Despite that, I had an insane amount of energy most of the day.....felt ready to fight somebody. Not angry, just a load of adrenaline....went for a walk/run when I came back from school. Geeked out and spent a lot of time on the big robotics forum......way too long in fact. Then I was absolutely thrilled to find that I was in fact still perfectly on schedule with biology, which surprised me because of all the stuff I've been doing. 'You know you're a geek when procrastination doesn't affect your grades.'  hehehehe 

Friday, March 12, 2010

in which i have an interesting week

Yes my friends, I am still alive and well. The past three weeks have been so incredibly packed that I really have to do a quick recap, although I'm sure you don't want another in-depth description of Performance Week and so on. 

Holy cow, only two weeks ago was the show...Romeo and Juliet. Stress and extreme fun and late nights. After three days to begin to regather my forces and catch up on sleep, it was off to robotics: that was just a week ago. Seems like it's been much longer than that, for several reasons. 
Everything still seems to revolve around playlist has been revamped to include a lotta techno and rock and so forth which brings on instant frenzied memories of the competition. 
I just realized that about 90% of the documents in my computer are related to robotics :D
Here is a link to photos from the event, because posting lotsa photos on blogger is annoying: you should be able to see these even if you don't have facebook.

Let's see, what else has been going on. This afternoon is the opening of the film festival mentioned below. We also got an email listing the winners, and sadly Road to Freedom in not listed, which is a pity....but it's okay; I'm still happier than I've been for a long while. 

I'm going with the CHS robotics team to the national competition in Atlanta.....(not my team) videographer. An extremely exciting development.....I've got the skillz (and the certification) to check out the professional-quality video cameras from the local community access TV station located at the school. I've never been to nationals.....April 15-17...I have heard they are a circus. Period. I am über-thrilled. :)  The team unanimously agreed to have me come....(the student team captain was pulling for me :P) and should be a rather awesome experience.....first steps down the road to a career......woooot :)

Hmmm well that's the most of the big news around here....I'm recovering from a cold that's been plaguing me for a while, all the screaming in P-town didn't help either :P  It's what we call the robotics-scurvy, my dad has it too. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

As if things could get any more epic.....

Do me a favor and check out this link! :) 

Remember the film festival that I submitted my film to? Well this morning my Facebook homepage (I'm a fan of the film fest) sported a photo from Road to Freedom and an excerpt from the film festival blog. My film is one of the two local Young Filmmakers featured. 

!!!!!!SQUEEEEEE!!!!   I literally danced up and down for about ten minutes.  :) :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

most epic times :)

Facebook updates give a summary of the week:

March 1: Bethany is 'drilling holes in the robot to make sure it's not overweight'....i.e., shaving about 40 seconds off of the Chairman's Award video. Good times.

March 2:And now we hit "Render" and let 'er chug away all night! :) Ah the life of the video-editor.....

March 3:Tomorrow: Portland!! Three days of peace, love and robotics! :P [and hard work and really late nights]

March 4:Bethany is in a hotel room in Portland

March 5:YES YES YES WHOOO WHOO WHOO!!! This may rank as the best day of my life. No matter how we do tomorrow, today was WIN all the way.

March 6, 6:23 AM: Four hours of sleep, I'm twitching slightly. Add caffeine: today is going to be awesome.

March 6, 10 PM: Best weekend EVER!!!!! :) I am hoarse from screaming, I got four hours of sleep last night, didn't eat for 24 hours, and have run up and down thousands of stairs. Our team got into the finals which was really all I wanted. And we got the Xerox Creativity Award, for the third time...this is the first time any of our team members have gotten an award. GOOD TIMES.

On Saturday I wrote the following during a hiatus in the goings-on: (caffeine, adrenaline and lack of sleep will excuse all questions)

Writing this on Saturday, before the finals at the Autodesk Oregon regional. I want to capture the excitement right now, because regardless of how we do in the finals, we have had an EPIC season.

Thursday, after an early morning drive to Portland, we competed in the practice matches. Thursday's competition is really just practice and I have never seen such a slow start to the weekend; it was rare that we had a full 6-robot field, there were low scores and stalled robots. We did only so-so. I got a handle on the scouting scene: Wednesday night I had been up til midnight packing and getting scouting materials ready to go. Armed with laptop, spreadsheets and clipboards, I and my team advanced to the stands.....spent pretty much the whole day there, watching matches and taking notes. I kept commenting on the lack-lustre performance of most of the robots to my scouting buddy (new to the team) Hannah, and explaining the energy would be exponentially higher Friday.

Whoever not on the field was in the stands scouting (or being told to by me, hehe). We made friends with a few people from other teams: I do so appreciate the camaraderie and sportsmanship at robotics: everybody cheers for everybody, there is good-will and helpfulness all over, chiefly because you know that in one match you will be playing against a team you'll be buddied up with two matches later. Gracious Professionalism is the watchword of the day.

half hour later: Holy cow we just one our first match!!!! WOOT

hour later: we won once and lost once, and are waiting for our next tie breaker. one of the teams has called a timeout, and there is a huge mosh pit going on....YYY EMM CEE AYY! woot! :)
Gotta love the nerds and geeks dancing and rocking out!

Techno, rock, dance. ADRENALINE. 

Anyways, Thursday after the matches we had to stick around for a few hours until the pits closed, working on the robot. All our engineer-types were doing that,whilst our scouts curled up in the corner of the 10'x10' pit and tried to catch forty winks (trenchcoats make marvelous pillows).

After getting back to the hotel we played the DVD that I had made for Chairman's Award. it was much approved, but the playback volume on my laptop was far too quiet.....this involved a lot of panicked talk of speakers, and I took a look at the rendered .avi file and raised the volume. The problem was solved finally by swtching to a different media player.....the standard Mac dvd player was not giving enough volume....VLC is far superior.....VLC is the best media player's just about the only thing that will play AVCHD files (which was the format our new camera recorded in, to my initial alarm.)

Got into bed that night, late: "This is the best part of the whole day!" as I lay there groaning for a minute. 

Friday we did even better. Won most of our matches. During autonomous we were just about the only team to be able to score. Other tems were coming around groveling to us, although I only heard this by word of mouth because I spent the entire day in the stands, inputing data and team scores into the laptop. There was a lot of what we could call light banter around us. "I do not want to play patty-cake with the cement!"

At the end of the day we ranked about number 18 out of 61 teams....not bad at all. At the end of the day were the first round of awards: creativity in design, team spirit, etc. We were not expecting to get anything....mass hysteria when Team 956 was announced as the winner of the Xerox Creativity in Design Award. (Ironic, don;t you think, considering that a xerox used be a term for a photocopy?)

Last night we came out of there absolutely insane (or at least I was....maybe the coffee had something to do with it...) Mass euphoria pretty much.... Went to dinner (around 8 pm)

The first year I was marginally involved in robotics was 2006. My dad, as mentor, went along when our team went to the Sacramento fact the whole family. There was one interesting incident on the way....we were supposed to pack the control board (which is really, really important). We got about an hour on the road when "OH DEAR where is the control board?" We went back for it, very very glad we hadn't gotten to, say, Corning (California folks know Corning....we know and loathe it...hehe)
Our team did extremely well...placed 4th in fact (as a side note, another Oregon team took first place which made us happy). I sort of got hooked on robotics that year.....although the next year I wasn't involved. We won the Xerox Creativity Award that year....this year was the first time since then that we've won any awards.

In fact this feels exactly like 2006....from the really strong team, to the award, to the festive goings-on at dinner last night. Our team captain was building with sugar packets, and then there was what one of our mentors termed an "ice-breaker' when foresaid mentor managed to spill a lemonade over the table, and mostly over myself. the subsequent mopping-up process involved the whole team and loads of paper towels, and ice cubes slithering around under the table.

We got back to the hotel about 9, and met another team in the lobby and talked with them for a while, and firmed up potential alliance partners for the finals. Got into our team meeting around 10:30. By that time I was more or less exhausted and not inclined to view favorably the digressions....was nevertheless amused when one of our mentors did an impression our robot's jerky steering....then one of the other team members said, "I though that was the autonomous!" and we dissolved into laughter. I think possibly the quote of the evening was one of our Korean echange students, when we were discussing the intricacies of the scoring of the matches. As we argued over whether it was better to completely cream one's opponent or have a close game: "I think robotics is weird!"

The team cleared out around 11:30 and Sarah (our team captain and lead driver) and I holed up for some epic strategizing. I kept busy with the computer, entering scores, updating data, summarizing the stats on each team. Got done with that around 1 AM....the other two girls in our room had dozed off long ago. Despite exhaustion I was unable to get to sleep...around 2 I heard what sounded like a construction zone outside our window although it was probably just a truck backing up...good times.
I then went on to wake up at 6 the math...I got less than 4 hours of sleep. Went staright to work on the spreadsheets to the competition early and started promoting our team. Then spent the morning in the food...I had too much adrenaline and not enough sleep combined to steal my appetite. At noon came the most stressful part of the the whole competition (for me) Sarah the list of the teams we wanted as alliance partners in the finals.

We wound up not being able to choose teams, but one of the higher ranked teams selected us and we played in the semi-finals after lunch. Just the fact that we were able to play in finals was epic. We got eliminated after a few rounds but I am currently quite relaxed, don't have to worry about whether we are going to win or lose our next match.

Later still: Well that was epic! The final (or so we thought) round had a huge score on one side, and very low for the other then developed that the winning team had had a penalty and was disqualified from that match.....hence a rematch.

Sunday night update: A local team wound up being on the winning alliance which is happy-making. We packed up after awards, tear-down in the pit, final farewells and then twas off. My dad drove Hannah and me home...he was dealing with some to the car and the battery was dead. We weren't parked close to the competition, no robotics people in sight. Amazingly we immediately found a helpful passerby to jump-start the car and we got off around 6:45 that night. Stopped at a health food store for refreshment and pursued our merry way home, amidst reminiscences over our epic 2010 robotics season.

Really I think this has been the most epic few days EVER for one reason and another. Now I am home, not much more excitement from here on out....well of course next weekend IS the DaVinci Film Festival, where my film Road to Freedom is being shown and judged, so who knows :)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

yah so i'm back and i'm off again!

sorry for these quick posts......but tis late at night and I've gotta catch up with neglected sleep. 

The shows (all five of them) were AWESOME.   An intense striking of the set, cast party awesome, good times good times.  <3

Back to school [I am being extremely nerdy...beeky?]. Good.  I lessthanthree math.  

  Weather good. 

Robotics: tomorrow me dad and I pack, hold conferences with rest of team, pack food for epic expedition to P-town. We leave at dawn on Thursday and get back late Saturday. 

Three days of peace, love and robotics. Woot! :)  I am even now watching over the rendering (very slow) of the video required for Chairman's Award. HOURS of editing THREE BLINKING MINUTES of film. 

Life is good. I've got two dear friends who are really happy [you know who you are]. :)    Things are going well, nothing unpleasant looms on horizon, I'm not in anguish of mind or heart, SPRING IS HERE, you are all awesome and I love you and I'll see you in a few days! :)