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23:21:51 Thursday November 03 2016

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Most of you know that I am not a very political person. I enjoy thinking about politics in the abstract: rights and responsibilities, fairer ways of voting, and better systems for redistricting interest me.

I don't like to battle with friends and acquaintances about the messy daily ebb and flow of practical politics. I think we all have important ideas to contribute to the nation, even those that disagree with me. Why should daily political squabbles estrange us from one another? This whole nation votes and through the wisdom of the crowds we are all better because of one another.

While candidates I like or dislike come and go I rarely raise my voice because I know that even those that disagree abide by the same core enlightenment era ideals:
  • Peaceful transition of power
  • Protection of political minorities
  • Freedom of speech and the press
  • Separation of church and state and freedom of worship
  • Rule of law
  • Separation of power
  • Sovereignty of the people
Now one candidate has dug deep into the darkest part of of the American psyche. He has given no indication that he cares one iota for these ideals if they stand in the way of his rise to power.

In the face of such a candidate keeping quiet isn't politeness; it is cowardice. So for the next five days you will hear nothing but my full-throated endorsement of the candidate most able to prevent this travesty.

00:19:36 Wednesday October 26 2016

Mostly just work today. I worked late, but took a break to have dinner and watch the 17th Street High Heel Race [photos].


00:37:05 Tuesday October 25 2016

Today:

  • On my way back from work I bumped into some folks from Pavegen installing kinetic pavers into the sidewalk to recover energy from footfalls to power the upcoming Connecticut Avenue Overlook Parklet. Interesting little project.

  • Had Monday night Ingress happy hour with Michael and Joe and Sara.

  • Went to the Lindsey Stirling concert at DAR Constitution Hall. She plays a mean fiddle as they say. Great show. Thanks to Michael for planning the event and arranging our tickets.


02:11:57 Sunday November 23 2014

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November (so far)

  • 7th - Heard legendary newscaster Carl Kasell speak at Politics and Prose.

  • 11th - Went shooting with Ben at Maryland Small Arms Range.

  • 15th - Drove out to Virginia Beach to compete in an event associated with the Google Ingress game. It hasn't come up here before, but I am really enjoying this location based game. I already like to walk and explore and this game gives me points for doing so. Double win.

  • 14th - 16th - We hosted Tien-Jui, one of Sara's fellow grad-students from Purdue for the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting.


00:26:30 Sunday November 23 2014

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October

  • 1st - We tied our yellow ribbons around the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office and marched together in solidarity with the protesters in Hong Kong to the White House, our umbrellas open on a warm dry night. As John Locke taught us governments govern with the consent of the governed.

  • 5th - Attended the closing ceremonies of the 2014 Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival with Sara, Rachel, and Ben. We saw some great comedy and some not-so-great comedy. Highlights included Tig Notaro and Birds!

  • 10th - For our proper anniversary we kept it simple and had a nice dinner at Fiola. The service was excellent and we learned of our server's fascination with the Roman satirist Aulus Persius Flaccus.

  • 17th - 19th - Our 5th wedding anniversary, observed.

    • Bed and breakfast at Rixey Manor for the weekend. Isadora and Ben were fantastic hosts. They have a great place and it will be amazing when they finish restoring it.

    • Strolled the streets of Culpeper, a cute little Virginia town, in search of coffee, bread, and cheese.

    • Took our bread and cheese as a picnic lunch while we hiked the Whiteoak Canyon Trail in Shenandoah National Park. It passes passes not one, not two, but six waterfalls.

    • Dinners at Lucio and Culpeper Thai. Wine at Early Mountain Vineyard.

    • A long drive to see the fall foliage along Skyline Drive Scenic Highway as it winds its way along the ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

    • We took the long way back to DC by way of a visit to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

  • 21st - Remember that art exhibition that Katie set up back in September? Well we went to see it. "Art as Research" at the George Mason University Fine Arts Gallery. We just happened to arrive as a class was touring with their professors so we got to hear the professors and students discuss the work. Very interesting.

  • 22nd - Had a few beers with Dulaney at the local pub. Haven't seen him in a while. It was good to catch up.

  • 26th - Went down to the mall and visited the United States Botanic Garden. At The National Museum of the American Indian we had delicious native foods for lunch before taking in the exhibits.

  • 27th - Another visit with someone from the past. We had Monday night trivia with Lita. I mean, she doesn't call herself Lita any more, but if you had only read some truly ancient entries in this log you wouldn't know any other name.

  • 30th - Went to go see General Wesley Clark speak at Politics and Prose just up the street a couple neighborhoods.
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21:22:52 Saturday November 22 2014

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So I am behind again. Time to start doing these entries on the same day of the event. To bring you up to date:

September

  • 5th - Ben and Rachel welcomed us to DC with a nice dinner out at Firefly.

  • 7th - I got out on my bike and took a nice nine hour ride in an attempt to internalize the geography of the city. I made my way along the canal exploring and stopping when I was hungry/thirsty. Besides generally exploring the streets in the northwest and southwest quadrants of the city I stopped and visited a few places.

    • I stumbled into an open house at the Abner Cloud House and was led on a nice little tour by one of the friendly Colonial Dames that maintain the place.

    • Made my way to Hains Point for a view of the Potomac River.

    • Parked my bike and spent some time exploring Roosevelt Island.

  • 12th - Date night with my lovely and talented wife. Dinner at Le Grenier on H Street and a peculiar little play entitled She Kills Monsters about an older sister coming to understand the inner life of her deceased little sister through the Dungeons and Dragons campaign notes she left behind.

  • 19th - 20th - Sara's sister Katie was in town setting up for her art show. We had lunch at Jaleo with their Aunt, Uncle, and cousins; poked around the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial; and saw some amazing toy construction with Superstructs at The National Building Museum. Dinner at Pizzeria Paradiso.

  • 28th - Prof. Davidson and his wife had us over to their home for a nice dinner party with others from the lab / department.

00:47:06 Monday October 13 2014

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No the thing where I restarted the log wasn't a drill. I'm doing this thing for real.

So my first few weeks here were super eventful. All of Sara's friends and co-workers came over to help us move in which was very generous of them. That gave us the better part of four days to unpack and complete a herculean amount of administrivia before Sara's family arrived.

They came into town to attend the wedding of Sara's cousin John Laughlin and Cristiane Lobo. We had an excellent dinner with Sara's immediate family at Founding Farmers.

Sara showed her family around DC. The next day the rehearsal dinner was at The Lansdowne Resort.

On August 30th the big day arrived and the wedding vows were exchanged. The doves were very interesting. I have never attended a wedding with trained doves before. There skills were impressive. They flew right down the aisle and did a showy little turn or two before heading back to their trainer.

The reception was fantastic. The band kept everyone engaged and did a good job mixing tunes familiar to the Americans and the Brazilians. There was lots of dancing and fun. It was wonderful to join the Laughlins in their celebration.

It wasn't until the week of Labor day that I got an opportunity to explore the city. More on that soon.


11:56:42 Tuesday September 16 2014

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Hey everyone. Remember when I was a diarist? I have been failing at that for some time now. However my life has undergone some big changes recently, so it is time to start logging again.

I don't intend to try and catch up with the backlog at all. I'm just declaring logging bankruptcy on the intervening time. I may upload some of the pictures from my camera, but that will be the extent of it.

You will need a bit of background though, so allow me to give you enough to catch up.

On May 17th my lovely wife was granted her Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience by Purdue University. Within a week she was moved out to our new apartment in Washington DC to begin her postdoctoral research position at American University. Although I helped her move in I had to return to West Lafayette to hold down the fort until the house sold.

Needless to say being separated from my wife and maintaining two households was a stressful time.

On July 9th my little Niece Copeland Groves was born.

From August 13th through 17th I attended GenCon 2014. Showalter, Woodfin, Girard, Mrozek, Newby, Lehmann, Reuss, and a pair of Oglesby joined me this year. I ran a number of sessions of Dread for the excellent folks at Games on Demand. In terms of games played this year the highlights were Amidst Endless Quiet, a playtest of Feng Shui 2, and a session of Call of Cthulhu by the clever folks from You Too Can Cthulhu.

From August 17th through August 21st I packed like mad. I owe a huge debt to Jeff, Chris, Brad, Mike, John, and Reid who helped me pack up the house.

On the afternoon of August 21st I handed over the keys to the old house on Willow Drive and headed out to Washington DC to start the next phase of my life with my lovely wife.


17:43:22 Friday February 15 2013

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On January 26th I attended Winter Fantasy Con 2013 in Fort Wayne [my photoset]. This is my first time to a real gaming convention other than GenCon. It was a much smaller convention (by a couple orders of magnitude).

Fort Wayne has built themselves a shiny new convention center. So the location was very nice. I arrived late on Friday and stayed in the adjoining hotel connected by skywalk. Unfortunately it was too late and registration was closed. So I woke up early Saturday to get registered.

The low-tech event ticketing system was effective and I was easily able to buy my way into all three gaming slots on Saturday. The choice of games was limited to mainstream titles including D&D 4, D&D Next, and Pathfinder. Those are the big crowd pleasers and only weird indie/small press RPG weirdos like myself would want other choices in the line-up.

I played two sessions of D&D Next which is a game that I wanted to try out last year at GenCon. It is interesting and definitely brings some simplicity and an old-school RPG feel back to D&D.

Near the end of my Pathfinder game I received a text message from Tony indicating that GenCon was having a promotional give-away of a free pass to GenCon 2013 at the convention. So as soon as my game concluded I snuck away and defeated the guy in a roll-off of d20s and won the pass.

All in all a good convention. The timing is particularly nice since it provides a gaming opportunity in the boring winter months and is separated from GenCon by about half a year.

22:39:07 Friday October 19 2012

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Today I received an embedded development environment with a little ARM CPU running at 700 MHz, a half gig of RAM, and 4G of permanent storage. It can have gcc, gdb, emacs, and a whole damn X-Window environment installed.

Not bad at all for 35 USD. I think the Raspberry Pi and I are going to be good friends.

04:23:17 Friday October 05 2012

If you are reading this then the transfer to the new server has been successful along with all the DNS record changes, vhost entries, and other administrivia that entails.

The new server is made of "cloud" rather than hardware. The fine folks at steadfast.net spun up a virtual machine for us at a reasonable price.
13:44:37 Thursday January 12 2012

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You may have noticed the lack of transmissions recently. The current server setup has degenerated to the point that it is no longer even remotely usable.

Alternatives are being investigated, but it may take some time. I appreciate your patience.

21:52:03 Sunday September 11 2011

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In March we celebrated Ittie's birthday with a Mexican themed party at Alice's place. The theme was particularly appropriate on account of the vacation to Puerto Vallarta we took over the Christmas break in celebration of her impending birthday.

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