Monthly Archives: May 2006

Mt. Rainier is a volcano

And when it blows, it’s going to be bad. I watched a show on the History Channel tonight, Mega Disasters, which forecasts 18,000 deaths and 31,000 injured when (not if) Mt. Rainier explodes. The biggest risk? The mountain will flash-melt tons of snow up at the peak, which will result in boiling water mixing with pumice and ash pouring down the mountainside. These avalanches/waves will strip all the dirt from the mountain slopes as they go, and pick up other minor debris, like boulders the size of rooms. The whole muddy mess will roar down the mountain, filling valleys with a 40′ to 100′ tall wave of utter destruction with the viscosity of wet concrete and the force of a freight train. Bad News.

The area that will be worst hit is the little towns on the volcano (retarded place for a town), and the city of Tacoma, which is right in the path that the muddy destruction wave thing will take to reach Puget Sound. Fortunately I won’t be subjected to that up in Kirkland, but we will nevertheless be buried under hundreds of tons of ash falling over Seattle and afflicting its 2 million residents with a nasty cough and toxic dust.

Let me just say, for the record, that when that thing starts rumbling, I am getting the hell out of here. I’m not sticking around for pictures like people did when Mt. St. Helens was erupting. I’ll get my pictures off of Flickr after the fact.

Well, with that cheery revelation, I need to go to bed. All that stuff I promised in my last post is coming, I swear… I’ve been without internet since Sunday morning when Jeni & I left Salem, OR, so I haven’t had the opportunity to catch up just yet. In the mean time, I start work at Microsoft tomorrow, and I’d really like to be awake for it.

Good night all, and if you live near the Cascades, keep an eye on your neighborhood volcano.


At Lauren’s behest, I am updating my blog.

Expect (a lot) more later. Wifi is pretty scarce around Crater Lake, and you have to drive like 30 miles to get back in cellular range.

Since I guess I haven’t posted anything this side of normal life in Green Bay, I’ll summarize briefly where I’ve been for the last week:

  • Friday, May 19: Green Bay, WI -> Madison, WI
  • Saturday, May 20: Madison, WI -> Rapid City, SD
  • Sunday, May 21: Rapid City, SD -> Missoula, MT
  • Monday, May 22: Missoula, MT -> Seattle, WA
  • Tuesday, May 23: Seattle, WA -> Aberdeen, WA -> Central Point, OR
  • Wednesday, May 24: Central Point, OR and Medford, OR
  • Thursday, May 25: Central Point, OR -> Crater Lake National Park -> hiking around Plymouth & Klamath counties -> Crater Lake National Park
  • Friday, May 26: Crater Lake National Park -> Medford, OR -> Crater Lake National Park -> ?

I’m at the library in Medford right now, but I have to leave pretty soon because Jeni’s done with work in an hour and a half (which is how long it will take me to get back to Crater Lake).

I promise I’ll update later, and even go back and find all the other things I promised to post that I never did so Jeni doesn’t have to complain any more. I have a bunch of pictures from here & other trips that I haven’t posted, so I guess the moral is: stay tuned.

Why I own an iPod

Subtitled: Why WIXX Sucks.

I was in the bank today picking up my passport from the safe deposit box. Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” came on the radio, which reminded me of why I hate the radio.

Last night I drove to Bay Port to watch the musical, and I thought “well, let’s see if there’s anything new on the radio, since I don’t have one at school and never really listen to one except Z104 in the weight room.” Bad call. Nothing new on the way to the musical. As I turned the car off in the parking lot, “Unwritten” was playing. I went to the musical, talked to people after a little bit, and then I came back out to my car again to drive home. I turn the key, the radio comes on, and damn if it isn’t “Unwritten” again, as if the radio just paused while I was inside. Talk about rediculous.

Let’s get more than a single CD’s worth of songs per radio station, PLEASE!

South Pacific, and a new phone

I went to Bay Port tonight to see their Summer Theater production of South Pacific. It was pretty awesome! I had stopped by on Tuesday to say hi to the crew, got to see the cool radio prop that Ben made, and even helped rebuild the wheel & pulley system that made a set of stairs mobile. Tonight I got to see the show from the audience for a change- it was a really great time. Left me pretty nostalgic for high school & the 7(?) plays and musicals we put on. It was good to see Ben (who will eventually look exactly like Tom from Gomez), Chris & Greg, Lance, Brent, Phil, Jared, Ashley, and even Mr. Frieder & Mr. Schlegel again, though it was bittersweet & short, very much a “hello, goodbye” type of deal.

Here’s Lance, who will actually be out in Seattle in August for a cruise. Hopefully I’ll seem him briefly then:

It’s weird… it’s not like it hasn’t been more than 3 months since I saw most of them last, because it’s really been more like 5 or 6, but I am much more aware of being away from all my high school friends now that I’ll be at least 7 hours away from everybody this summer. Hmm. Everyone be sure to email/write/IM/call this summer!

In other news this week, my Grandma Betty McCambridge (my dad’s mom) flew in to see us. She left the gate in Sioux Falls, SD, at about 11:20 yesterday morning, and didn’t get to Green Bay until 7:38 this morning. In between she sat on the runway for 45 minutes, sat on the runway for an hour, flew to Chicago, (missed her connecting flight), waited for the flight that was supposed to arrive here at 6:51, waited for a 30 minute delay, had that flight cancelled, waited for the flight that was supposed to arrive here at 10:12 pm, had that flight cancelled, waited until midnight before they were sure she couldn’t fly until the next day, got a blanket & pillow from a nice airline guy who had been following her from gate to gate, trying to get a plane to Green Bay off the ground, got up real early and finally caught a plane around 6:30am to get here around 7:40 this morning. Damn weather! At least she got here in time for me to see her a bit before Jeni & I go out west tomorrow. Her trips have been working out perfectly- Two years ago she was here for my graduation, then last year she was here for a week before I went to Europe, even helped me get some hiking shoes, and now this year she made it over in time to see me before I leave for Microsoft.

Kaisa’s news is that she got her hair colored from blonde to red yesterday, leaving my mother the only remaining non-redhead in our immediate family:

My other news of the week is that we got new cellphones & a new provider. We’re now with Verizon wireless, with four phones and nation-wide coverage. Interestingly enough, the base rate works out to be cheaper than our previous plan, which was three phones and a Wisconsin and UP-only home area. Even more interestingly, my dad and I priced out what we would get from Verizon and Sprint over lunch to make our final decision. The cost difference between the two carriers, with different phones, slightly different base minutes, different percent discounts available for my dad at WPS, and generally just a different situtation, over two years and ~$2226? $0.40. Forty cents. $2225.60 vs. $2226.00. How insane is that?

My cellphone is an LG VX8100, which the sales rep highly recommended over the RAZR. The phone is awesome, and was only $25. It’s got the works- 1.3 MP camera (nothing to write home about, but decent on the 2″ screen), speakerphone (actually pretty common now), bluetooth (with great support [no modification/hacking required] thanks to BitPim – upload custom ringers, download photos from phone, upload pix to phone, DUN, etc), mp3/mpeg player, etc. I think I’ll even be able to set it up for free WAP (counting only against minutes, aka, free after 9pm and all day on weekends), courtesy of HoTTProxy. To access the service menu on your LG VX8100, press [Menu] and then [0], followed by six [0]s for the password.

Jared also got a new phone. It was free w/ contract renewal and came with a belt clip. He once again claims an increase in his overall sex appeal of 10%. Sadly, he made the same numerical claim senior year of high school when he got his first phone. Anyone see any dramatic improvement in the last two years? Yeah, me neither. Have a good summer Mason! (and let me know if Connolly’s still going to be here for a party on August 20)

Well, that’s about it… still have to get up and pack clothes tomorrow, so good night!

No life can escape being blown about, by the winds of change and chance. And though you never know all the steps, you must learn to join the dance.

One last refrain, glory

I turned in my last final this afternoon at 4:30, and no longer consider myself a sophomore at UW-Madison. In a few months I’ll be a junior at said institution, and in the interim, I’ll be a Software Development Engineer Intern at Microsoft. It should be an interesting summer.

I couldn’t have asked for much better an end to the semester, either.

Last weekend, Jon had an awesome cookout in Vilas park. I tried getting pictures up, but my camera battery is dead, so I’ll still need a raincheck on that. In the mean time, look at Dale’s facebook photo album for details.

Then I had exams Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday I caught up on some email, played some SNES, met the guys from Enlight one last time for the year, and then Jeni and I hung out Wednesday night.

Thursday (yesterday) I did a so-brief-as-to-be-non-existant amount of studying, and then went to Chicago with Jeni and Lauren. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate with us walking around Chicago, so we killed some time at the Des Plaines Oasis. Enough time that I think the employees thought we were crazy. lol.

Anyway, the point of the Chicago trip was not the oasis, but the Gomez concert at the Vic. Our timing couldn’t possibly have been any better, as we arrived, had supper, and went to the Vic about 5 minutes before they opened the doors, amazingly securing us a spot in the front row. I think the weather helped us a bit there. Btw, parking on the street just a couple blocks from the Vic in kindof-downtown Chicago was $0.25 per hour. How on earth is it $0.25 per 15 minutes in Madison? Oh, and don’t put dimes in the meters in Chicago- they only take quarters and dollars.

The opener was David Ford, who was really good. One song in particular that I really liked was “State of the Union,” both for the lyrics and for the Howie Day-style live looped/layered performance. You can find a copy of the music video, which, while awesome, was not nearly as cool the live performance was, by searching Google for it. (Try the first link…) I definitely need to learn more about the technology behind that looping. It was awesome.

Then came Gomez themselves. (Who, I have been told, were named Tom, Ben, and Ian, from stage left to stage right.) Apparently Ben had a new shirt, though not the new striped shirt he has been otherwise spotted in 😉 It was somewhat strange going to a concert and not knowing much of the music beforehand, but it ended up not really mattering; the music was awesome. I don’t care what technologists say about CDs being indistinguishable from the real thing to the human ear. There’s something undefinable that’s unique to live music that makes it a completely different and better experience. Maybe its the difference between speakers that merely hurt your ears versus speakers that make you literally feel every note. It’s probably also the difference between the sound guy mixing the live music (who was awesome, might I add) versus a producer having to choose the most “sellable” sound to put on a CD. Maybe it’s also the fact that at a live show, the band is performing for a live crowd, and puts just that little extra into the music that makes the connection more real than listening to a CD. Idk. It’s awesome nonetheless. Going to the concert really makes me wish I had the free time to do some sound mixing again. Seeing all the top-notch equipment that groups like that get to use, and hearing a sound guy who has everything perfectly mixed right on the edge of distortion but never actually crossing the line was so cool.

So to forestall my rambling on any further, I’ll just say: it was an excellent way to end the school year.

Oh, and today I took my last final. It went well. The end.

Now I need some supper, and then I have to pack: My parents will be here around 8-8:30 tomorrow morning to move me home.

I hope everyone else’s year ended so well!

I believe I can fly…

Yesterday Jon hosted a cookout/party at Vilas Park. It was a really fun time, and I’d love to tell you more, but I need to go to bed so I can study for my 353 final tomorrow. I’ll have more to say after the final, and I’ll put up some of my pictures as well. For now, here’s a picture from Dale’s new Olympus E-500.

I believe I can fly…

Here’s the full-resolution 8MP version from Dale’s camera. [5MB JPEG]


[Update] Oops… just now realized that mobygames was being picky about borrowing their pictures and bandwidth. Sorry. Thumbnails are fixed now. [/Update]

So Jared and I were going through some old SNES games this afternoon for something to do between me getting my ass kicked yet again in racquetball and supper. We found Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time. We were looking for one of the old school cooperative fighting games like Final Fight or Double Dragon, and thought maybe TMNT would fit the bill. So we fire it up. The title graphic looks awfully familiar:

We pick out 2 player mode, give ourselves a couple extra lives for the first run through, and start the game. As soon as the character selection screen appears, little lights start flashing in my head; this is looking very, very familiar. The opening/intro movie starts running, and Jared and I are both like “holy crap! We have played this game!”

It was a really surreal experience. I really have no memory of playing TMNT 4, but as soon as we started, I knew I had played it before. The game came out in 1992, which would put me at 6 years old, or roughly kindergarten. Since I don’t really have many concrete memories of kindergarten either, I guess that makes sense. But wow, what a weird/cool feeling to rediscover something that you once knew, but so long ago that you only know that you knew it… you don’t actually remember it at all.

Here’s the final boss, Shredder himself, to jar the memories of anyone else who might have once played the game. We beat him in 30 minutes, 25 seconds today, using somewhere around 5 continues.