who the heck knows anything, anyway

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mountain View, Day 3

This may come as a huge surprise to some of you*, but Mountain View, CA is not very exciting. That being said, I'm making the most of my alone time while Daniel is out conferencing. I've gone swimming a couple of times, worked out in the mini-gym, checked out a few little restaurants (sushi for lunch yesterday, a burrito today; we accidentally slept through lunch on Tuesday), discovered an awesome little Indian grocery store where I bought the foodstuffs for my dinner tonight, and I even bought a brand new paperback copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray for less than a dollar at Goodwill. I also finished re-reading Franny and Zooey, which is one of my favorite books ever written ever. In some ways, I'm getting "out of the house" more than I do in Seattle. That's likely because my apartment back home is awesome, and this hotel room is kind of dark and surprisingly non-conducive to getting real work done. There's still hope for being productive today, fortunately; I just had to discover that it's easier to work on the bed than it is at the desk. Go figure.

Last night I saw the "Live" discussion/panel/thing for "Transcendent Man" with a few of the guys from Daniel's conference. All of us were under the impression that we were going to see the movie "Transcendent Man", but we were totally wrong. It was a taped panel of individuals, who are supposedly smart, talking nonsense FOR TWO HOURS about the Singularity. Daniel didn't think it was good, either, so I know my opinion is a well-founded one. If you're curious about the Singularity, I have one piece of advice: ignore all of the media, and ask someone who knows about it. I'm sure most of the people on the panel are geniuses in their own fields, but the majority of them did such a shoddy job in that thing. Just, please, ask someone who knows and who has no interest in being shocking.

the DEKA arm, in action!
image and further awesomeness via
However, there was one gent on the panel for whom I developed immediate and profound respect--his name is Dean Kamen, and if I had millions of dollars to invest, I would definitely give him a million dollars. He is genuinely interested in helping people (he invented boxes that purify water for use in developing countries, he teaches kids about robots, and just LOOK at the prosthetic arm he invented!), he's wonderfully soft-spoken, and--most importantly--he's not interested in getting people all riled up and freaked out about nanobots and uploading brains and living forever and whatever the heck else. You should read about him. Such a cool guy.

It may also be worth noting that some of the dudes from the conference (because it is a predominately-dude field, so I went to the movie with Daniel and nine other guys) were wonderful and very sweet--and some were total weirdos. In fact, I excused myself from the restaurant to smoke at one point because I didn't want to accidentally punch this one dude in the face.

But that's enough of that!

I saw a bitter melon today at the Indian grocery store. They're pretty odd. I wish this hotel room had a kitchenette, because I would be cooking up a crazy bitter melon feast tonight! Instead, I bought a box of PG Tips, some lentil rice, a green banana, and some veggies that are good for raw munching (bell pepper, radishes, etc). All for $6, guys. A box of 40ct PG Tips by itself at QFC is like $8. They also had Green Label Lipton, which Manpreet says is the best for making chai--so I think I might go pick some of that up tomorrow.

Ummm...yep, that's about it. Prolly studying for the GRE tonight. The conference doesn't end tonight until after 10pm, so I'm flying solo for a few more hours (ugh, five more hours? blegh). I'm on a bit of an IPA** kick right now, so I might try to teach myself some of that, too. Yup. 'Tis an exciting life I lead.

But, hey--San Fran on Sunday! Woo!

*sarcasm. This should not actually be surprising to anyone.
**International Phonetic Alphabet, not India Pale Ale...thought that's good, too