Lost Cellphone Story, Harassment

August 21st, 2005

The Suprise – Last night after my brother’s wedding (which was great btw — future post) we went out to eat after the reception for a 2am breakfast at Perkins. Apparently then my phone slid out of my pocket and got left behind at the booth, then the next early-morning customer likely found it… and began to abuse it extensively. He made his way through calling perhaps everyone in my address book on my phone and left them terrible messages early Sunday morning or harassed them over the phone personally, eventually pretending to be me after finding out my name from the conversations. Almost all of my family and friends in town for the wedding received the nasty messages, and were a bit shocked to receive them of course. I don’t think many had even checked yet to see that they were supposedly from “me”.

My parents received the messages as well, and that morning we worked to get the phone back and get it disconnected. Calling my cellular service providor (Alltel) from their number in the phone book and the 1800-Alltel9 number, all I got was an automated machine with no option to speak with a person for technical support until regular office hours resumed on Monday. I found this perhaps the most frustrating and disturbing, even more so than the harassing calls being made on my behalf all morning, was the feeling of not being able to do anything in response. (Assuming everyone who knows me would be able to immediately conclude these calls were not from me since it is completely out of character for me and voice differences.)
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The Village

August 17th, 2005

I just finally saw The Village tonight (thanks Dan and Lauren). It’s a great film by M Night Shayamalan about a community secluded out in “the woods” from all other villages, and the townspeople are afraid to cross into the woods for the “things which we do not talk about” (scary man-eating creatures) will attack them. There’s a few themes and details hidden in the movie worth critique. I’ve just started amovie critique section on my wiki, hope you check it out and add your comments!

Great Sushi Lunch Deal

August 17th, 2005

If you happen to be in the Baltimore/Washington area close to Laurel, MD for lunch, be sure to check out Asahi Japanese Restaurant (map) for a great all-you-can-eat sushi buffet for $10! The deluxe lunheon buffet goes from 11:30am – 2:30pm in Laurel. Thanks for the 2nd farewell lunch guys!

Summer Ending, Wedding Approaching

August 12th, 2005

I now have less than 1 week left of my summer out in Maryland. Just this week we had the farewall lunch at the Silver Diner (I thought the burgers were great!) and I gave my presentations of my work for the summer. I’ve enjoyed my summer, but alas, it always seems to go so fast… perhaps that’s how we know it was great!? I have got to spend some time with old friends, make new ones, explored some of the east coast, and now it’s time yet again to return home to family and activities in Nebraska. I’ll get back just in time to prepare for my brother’s wedding! Just another time marker for new beginnings as I give closure to my summer here, and also a new beginning with graduate school classes to begin in September.

In brevity, just a few of the things I’ve gotten to experience this summer include (each a story in itself): trip to NYC (cheap bus to chinatown, great hostel, bad hostel), white water rafting, hiking the Appalachian trail and biking DC with Eric (photos), hiking Sugarloaf Mtn. with Dan, took in an Orioles game with John, the DC United vs. Chelsea game with Eric and Mark, 4th of July fireworks on the mall, some practice dancing, hike to Calvert Cliffs, memorial day in DC, young adult church group meetings and activities – including sailing!, discovered Theology of the Body, read 1984 and Boy Meets Girl, and learned a lot about working in research (yeah to gnuplot!). Photo links updated

Birth of Google and.. I need a Thesis!

July 28th, 2005

I just read the quick wired.com article on the Birth of Google and am impressed! Yahoo and Google, both born out of Stanford and I assume both the result of some curious research projects – now both the most popular search engines and synonymous keywords of “the Internet”. The power of ideas and tools to change the world continues to suprise me, especially in this age of “the net”. I really need to come up with something truly exciting for my research thesis in grad school!

Even though I didn’t go to Stanford or UM like some brilliant people I know, I think that I still have the potential to contribute something worthwhile and notable… but I’m just looking for my niche, and to buildup the tools necessary to excel within that niche. Looking back and trying to remember (with difficulty at times) all the great interesting computer science I learned in my years of undergrad, I think somehow I could have done more work to solidify it deeper into my brain. My mind was in a thousand different directions all the time though, picking up a piece of many different interesting things along the way, but perhaps not holding on hard enough to some of the things I’ll need to use later on… even if I didn’t need to use them then. This upcoming school year is going to be an intense one and I’m looking forward to it… as well as to processing, internalizing, applying and in a way recording all the valuable things I learn. Look out world, Brian’s getting ready to do something big!

DC United 1 – Chelsea 2

July 28th, 2005

Just got back this evening from my first MLS game, and it was actually with last seasons champions DC United vs. Chelsea – last years champions of the English premier. DC united got the first goal in the 31st minute, matched shortly thereafter by a goal from Chelsea. Chelsea kept the pace up, with the only goal in the 2nd half for a 1-2 final score I don’t really follow sports, but I do enjoy soccer/football – and this was a great game to see… even though my roomate Mark and I had to pay $30, $35, $45, $65 just for tickets! I did get to meetup with my good friend Eric at the game though, and we made some plans for camping out this weekend. (will have some pics soon)

July 4th Fireworks in DC

July 19th, 2005

I’ve finally uploaded my pictures from the 4th of July. Some friends and I spent that afternoon and evening out in Washington D.C. for the national fireworks display. We laid out a spot on the grass next to the Lincoln Memorial around the middle of the afternoon, without any shade on a hot day… yet I managed to get some reading done. When evening fell though, it cooled off and we had one of the best seats in the house for the fireworks! I will try to upload some videos I made with my camera online soon!