Friday, July 30, 2004
Heather and I enjoyed going to see soccer games in Columbus, where the Columbus Crew have a nice soccer stadium and tickets for MLS games are only 20-22$ each. The ticket prices for the Chelsea-Roma game were much more expensive, at 60$ each. Although we enjoyed the matchup, we kindof felt that it wasn't worth the $60 price to watch the game. The cheapest tickets to this game were $37.50, still almost twice what it would cost to see a Columbus Crew game!
Nevertheless, we DID enjoy watching the game and would be interested in attending other soccer games here in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh does have a soccer team called the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. We've yet to see them play because it's really inconvenient for us to go to the games. They moved their games to Moon Area High School's stadium which is out near the airport, a good 30 minute drive away. In the meantime, Heinz Field is mostly empty for the entire summer. I realize that additional costs come with running an event at Heinz Field, but I would rather have the Riverhounds play there and generate SOME income for the city, no matter how minute, then let the thing not be used at all...
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Anyway, I feel like sleeping for a week...
If/When I get another gmail invite to give away, I'll post it on here. Stay tuned!
Saturday, July 24, 2004
I understand that the spammers are trying to sell their products. I don't see why they don't get the clue that I shouldn't have to deal with their emails. Besides... Selling something like vîåg®ä just makes you look stupid to the point of me not possibly wanting to do business with you...
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Anyway, the first person to write me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request the gmail account will get it. Good luck!
Monday, July 19, 2004
Thursday, July 15, 2004
The Misunderstood Osama - How to read Imperial Hubris. By Bryan Curtis
My favorite quote is "At a news conference following yesterday's vote, Pitt officials, including Chancellor Mark Nordenberg, said they had done everything they could to control spending."
This from the man who received a 3% raise last year to $401,500.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Incidentely, the blue belt passes down Shady Avenue, a mere half-mile from our home in Squirrel Hill. Check out Rainbow Connections
Friday, July 09, 2004
Explanation: What causes the patterns in Saturn's rings? The Cassini spacecraft just entering orbit around Saturn has started sending back spectacular images of Saturn's immense ring system in unprecedented detail. The physical cause for many of newly resolved ring structures is not always understood. The cause for the beautifully geometric type of ring structure shown above in Saturn's A ring, however, is hypothesized to be a spiral density wave. A small moon systematically perturbing the orbits of ring particles orbiting at slightly different distances causes such a density wave bunching. Also visible on the image right is a bending wave, a vertical wave in ring particles also caused by the gravity of a nearby moon. This close-up spans about 220 kilometers. Cassini is scheduled to take and send back images of the distant ringed Saturn and its unusual moons for the next four years.
... and then this coronal mass ejection was hurled into space.
If you want to see what the sun looks like during a "normal" period, check out http://www.space.com/spacewatch/sun_cam_animated.html for images of the sun over the last several days.
Do you remember the big solar storms last year? They didn't impact Earth TOO much, but people were afraid that it might. We're talking about solar activity which was off the scale. Never before had such intensity been measured. Anyway, the solar particles are still out there, and moving. Quite fast it seems... They've almost caught up with Voyager 1 (launched from Earch in 1977) and will be at the "edge" of the solar system by the end of the year. Read the article for more info!
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Have you ever wondered what it was like to live back in the 1700s? The 800s? Earlier? That's exactly what I want to convey to an audience that could be our children, grandchildren, or further down the line. Tell those people what life was like way back in 2004. Tell them about my memories and takes of the past; reflect on events as they happen and what I do in my day to day lives. Let them see, through my words, what life was like "back then".
I just hope I get a chance to write it!
Saturday, July 03, 2004
A new Ethiopian restaurant opened here in Pittsburgh, and Heather and I decided to give it a go. Abay is located on S. Highland Avenue in East Liberty over near the Whole Foods Market. We had heard that there were sometimes large crowds at dinner, so we tried to make it early, arriving at 5:15.
The service was good and not nearly as slow as we had heard. Heather and I ordered Sambussa as an appetizer and a bowl of Shorba. For our meal, we had the two person combination platter with Kay Wat, Doro Tibs, Doro Minchet Abish, and Shiro Wat. For an explanation of what these things are, check out their menu at http://www.abayrestaurant.com/Menu/menu.html To drink, I had a delicious Yekemem Shai tea which tasted a lot like cinnamon tea.
The food was, well, different. The order comes out on a very large piece of thin flat bread, kind of like a crepe. Our four selections were placed on the bread with a spicy paste in the middle. The idea is to eat with your hands... You tear off a piece of bread, "pinch" up a piece of food with the bread, and eat it. Although forks are available, this style is the preferred Ethiopian style, so of course we tried it.
The food was good, but not exactly excellent. There was nothing that stood out on my plate, but nothing was really bad either. We had ordered some of the spicier dishes, but they weren't really spicy at all. The spice paste in the middle helped in this regard, but there really wasn't enough of it to use for the entire meal. We probably could have gotten more if we had wanted it though.
There was also enough food that you probably didn't need the soup or appetizer. The soup was a rather tasteless bean soup which tasted much better after I added a lot of pepper. The appetizer was kindof eggroll-ish. Neither were bad, but both can be skipped in the future. The meal for two could probably feed three people if they weren't huge eaters. I made a Herculean effort to finish off the chicken and meat dishes, but was quite full at the end of the meal. The price was very good too. Our appetizer, soup, tea, and platter of four entrees was about $30 before tip. It's even cheaper if you go at lunch.
Considering the horror stories we had heard about long wait times for simple things (like the check) we were prepared for a long trip to the restaurant, but we were in and out in 50 minutes. Not bad at all. All in all, I'd recommend this place to people who are adventuresome in their food tastes and are looking for some place new.
You can also read a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or a Pittsburgh City Paper review of Abay.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Tonight's entertainment was "The Terminal" starring Tom Hanks. Heather and I thought this movie was very good. It had a nice since of humor about the whole situation, and was an interesting view on the whole American airport security situation. The movie is based loosely on the story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian man who has been "trapped" in the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France since 26 August 1988.
Overall, Heather and I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to others. We were actually somewhat surprised that the movie hasn't received the publicity it should be getting; the problem with having a non-action movie being released in June.
Explanation: The Spirit robotic rover on Mars has now reached the Columbia Hills on Mars. Two of the hills are shown on approach near the beginning of June. The above true-color picture shows very nearly what a human would see from Spirit's vantage point. The red color of the rocks, hills, and even the sky is caused by pervasive rusting sand. Spirit has now traveled over 3 kilometers since it bounced down onto the red planet in January. The robotic explorer, controlled and programmed remotely from Earth, is now investigating a rock called Pot of Gold. On the other side of Mars, Spirit's twin Opportunity is now inspecting unusual rocks inside a pit dubbed Endurance crater.