I am hopelessly behind on my blogging. In my defense, it's the end of the semester and I've been busy.
Monday: BiD took a field trip down to Menlo Park to visit Willow Garage. As expected, it's a darn cool place. We got to tour the facilities, see all the robots and demonstrations, and ate a delicious lunch. I chatted with Radu Bogdan Rusu about object tracking. Afterward, I showed off the Kinect audio driver I've written to Nate Koenig, and he seemed to think it was cool.
That evening, the toilet in the half bath broke. Specifically, the shutoff valve had broken, so the bowl refill tube was constantly spewing water. Ordinarily, this would be a small problem, except for the fact that the metal stop valve at the base of the toilet was so stuck that neither Andrew nor I could budge it, even with the assistance of a wrench and a power screwdriver. Thus, we had a pipe spewing water and no way to shut it off. Andrew jury-rigged the toilet to be in a constant state of flushing so it would drain. Yay for engineering!
Tuesday: I went to the bank to retrieve my passport from the safe deposit box. The plumber came by, but couldn't shut off the water until the afternoon.
I also introduced Sarah to the concept of airbnb, a site for finding rooms/couches/airbeds to crash on in various cities. It's the appropriate tool for the slightly scrappy minimalist who'd rather find a more inexpensive room with friendly people than stay in a hotel.
Wednesday: my panic level escalated as I prepared for my final presentation for my algorithms class. I also picked up my midterm, which was absolutely utterly a mistake.
Thursday: finished preparing my presentation and delivered it (after much searching about for an empty space in which to give the talk). I had the misfortune of having to present after two theory students who had WAY more relevant-to-the-class talks than I did. But hey, that's how it goes. It'll go the other way when I get to TA the HCI class next fall and everyone has to code stuff. :P
After dinner, I called my dad and talked for a while, then went over to Kristin's house to assemble her new desktop. We were able to get everything up and running with few troubles - one too few power cables, the unfortunate combination of an IDE DVD drive and a motherboard with only SATA ports, and an upgrade-only Windows installer gave us a little grief, but all hardware worked correctly, and with a USB flash drive we were successful in flashing the BIOS, (double-)installing Windows, and getting everything up and running. Now I can say I've assembled a computer from parts!
Today: I packed my luggage this morning and am flying to Vancouver for CHI (which is why I had to present my project on Thursday). I'm on the same plane as Wes and Kenghao from BiD lab, so it should be pretty fun. I'll see if I can find a prepaid SIM card or something while I'm in Canada; I don't really want to pay roaming charges.
UPDATE: I've arrived in Vancouver, and the view from the apartment we're staying in is AWESOME. It'll be even better once the fog clears. Pictures will come later.