adrian is rad



Filed under: — adrian @ 5:11 am

Amazingly, there were two perfect games thrown this month (only the 19th and 20th ever in major league baseball).

The first perfect game was thrown by Dallas Braden. He has mediocre numbers while pitching for a decent team. The opponent was easily the top team in baseball at the moment.

Roy Halladay threw perfect game on Saturday night. He’s widely acknowledged as a pitching ace. Playing for a top-of-the-division team, he pitched against one of the weaker teams in the league.

(See highlights at each of the ‘perfect game’ links.)


ready to explode

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:20 am

giant vuvazela recently erected on the road to nowhere

Newspapers, TV, and signs on the street have all been counting down to one day, June 11, the start of the World Cup. When I arrived, they proclaimed ‘310 days to go!’ I imagine they’ve been announcing the count down for longer than that. Now the number is eleven; just eleven more days.

Construction at ‘Hospital Bend’ is done; the new interchange is open. The new bus system started yesterday. The heavy blanket of construction that has covered the city for so long is lightening. But it’s not done, nor will it be soon. I don’t think the Koeberg interchange will ever be done. The passovers look like a toy city where a vengeful child took all the middles of the bridges out. Eleven days isn’t going to fix that.

Also under construction are two new pedestrian bridges over Buitengracht that may be open in time, but I’m sure they’re giving a construction manager sleepless nights.

The stadiums are ready. FIFA effectively owns them now. One in Pretoria acts as the home ground of a local and international rugby side; they had to play their ‘home’ semifinal and final in Soweto.

Most importantly, the people are ready. To say that almost seems ridiculous. Even using a cliche like ‘the sense of anticipation is palpable’ would be ridiculous. After all this build-up, after the hundreds of days of count-down, with South African flags adorning everything from houses to car side mirrors, with tickets in hand after standing in line for hours upon hours not to get a preferred game but to ‘just get something’, with every store selling merchandise or flags or gear, with the day of the first game apparently being declared a national holiday, the people are ready. The country seems ready to explode.

I just wonder what will happen when the number reaches zero.

6 months

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:00 am

What would you do if you had 6 months off, but limited funds? I mean, I’m not asking what you’d like to do: what would you actually do? Just something to think about.


august 9, 2006

Filed under: — adrian @ 9:20 am

august 9, 2006

I’m not sure why I took this photo, but I found it today while looking through some photos on my laptop. I sort of love it.

It’s in my room in Menlo Park, my laptop on my bed. I’d just gotten back from a ten day trip to DC, NYC and Pittsburgh, where I attended two weddings. I think I also bought this Steelers hat on that trip.

I’d been at Function for two years at that point. I had another year in Menlo Park. Another few weeks till I was 26. I was just starting to recover from MIT and grad school. I was blogging a lot.

It’s weird how everything changes and how so much stays the same.



Filed under: — adrian @ 4:32 am

I installed captcha to help prevent comment spam because my current comment spam filter was starting to let a lot (~20/ day) through. Let me know if it’s not working for you or bugs you. You can use email (a@ab) if the comment box won’t work for you.


harden the [explicit] up

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:26 am

Not for those scared off by explicit language, but a pretty funny video some Australians introduced me to. I have a hard time not quoting this all the time, even if it’s in self-deprecation.


“I’ll be honest”

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:32 pm

I haven’t watched a lot of Ellen but this clip is hilarious. Thank you, internet.



Filed under: — adrian @ 10:45 am

victoria falls with rainbow
Victoria Falls

I still haven’t written much about my trip to Zimbabwe. It’s been a busy couple weeks here.

The falls themselves are still magnificent (I saw them in 1998 as well). The water was coming so hard now, though, that it was hard to see them through the mist in places.

muscle car in victoria falls
muscle car, vic falls

Strangely enough, there are a number of vintage cars in the town. I wish I’d caught more of them, but this is a great one.

phone shop, victoria falls
phone shop, vic falls

high tea at victoria falls hotel
high tea at Victoria Falls Hotel

I stayed at the famous British colonial opulence of the Victoria Falls Hotel in 1998 when I was traveling on someone else’s dollar but now that I’m on my own, I stayed at somewhere a bit more price conscious. I still went to the hotel for their afternoon high tea, though, which was lovely. It makes you feel like you should be wearing a khaki safari suit while chatting to Dr. Livingston.

Speaking of dollars, the Zim dollar is not a legal currency anymore—businesses can accept US Dollars, SA Rand, Botswanan Pula and possibly some other currencies, but the default is the US Dollar. It’s quite strange to be in a sub-tropical rural African town spending US Dollars.

Since the Zim dollars went out of circulation, street merchants sell the bills, particularly the high value ones. I now own a 50 Trillion Dollar note. Yes, you’re correct in thinking a bill with a five followed by thirteen zeros looks ridiculous.

victoria falls train station
Victoria Falls train station

Possibly my least favorite part of Victoria Falls was all the tourists and particularly Americans, who seemed to do a particularly good job of embarrassing our nation.

On the plane there, I saw multiple Americans wearing all khaki, including vests and safari hats. On a British Airways 737. This is not 19th century colonialism, Americans. You can wear regular clothes.

Another particularly embarrassing instance was at a restaurant that served local-flavored dishes. One of them had a description that read: “A Shona dish with dried meat in peanut butter sauce.” Someone asked the waiter “What’s Shona? Beef?” Pro tip: learn the barest essentials about the country before you travel to it.

In the town of Victoria Falls, I was told not to walk around at night, not because of crime. The reason: elephants. As if to prove this advice was sound, one evening two elephant walked right by the entrance to the hostel I was staying.

elephant in the Victoria Falls National Park

On the morning of the day I left, I went on a horse ride through a wilderness area. We saw some elephant, who asserted their territory quite strongly, which was a bit exhilarating. We also managed to get very close to some bushbuck and warthog, apparently because they saw us as other animals rather than humans.

handwritten boarding pass
handwritten boarding pass for Air Zim

I was on British Airways to and from Zimbabwe, but to get from Victoria Falls to Harare, where I was headed for a family wedding, I flew Air Zimbabwe. The first signs that it may be an interesting experience was that when I went to check in, they looked up my name on a print out and crossed it off. They then hand wrote out my boarding pass.

air zim turbo prop
Air Zim turbo prop

I’ve flown a lot of regional airlines in at least four continents but it’s been probably 15 years since I’ve flown on a turbo prop. The whole experience was interesting for a few reasons:

1) Turbo props are loud and shake a lot. I rarely feel the urge to drink on flights but I took the wine they offered on this flight.

2) When I booked, they told me the flight time was a bit under two hours. I checked in at the sign that said “Harare” and waited in the boarding area for the only plane on the tarmac. I boarded with everyone else for the only plane on the tarmac. So on the flight, I was in a near panic when they said “This is the flight to Bulawayo.” Another passenger quickly assured me that it was going to Harare after a stop in Bulawayo. But there was no way that the flight could make it to Bulawayo and then Harare in two hours. We ended up in Harare an hour late and I very nearly missed my shuttle to the wedding because of it.

3) Tiny chunks of dry ice fell out of the ceiling onto me during the flight. I thought they were paint chunks but when I brushed them off they were really cold. I suppose the insulation was going up there and CO2 is the first gas to liquify or freeze.

rob and theresa wedding, morondera
the bride and groom signing the registry

My second cousin’s bride’s family is from Zimbabwe and her mother lives and works at a private school about an hour outside Harare, outside the small town of Marondera. There isn’t a lot of accommodation so all the guests stayed in the dorms (while the students were on holiday) and ate at the school. With guests from five continents, it was an interesting occasion.

wedding tent

The wedding itself was pretty spectacular. The wedding was in a small game park that the school owned; driving to the site of the wedding we saw wildebeest and zebra; apparently giraffe were right there during the rehearsal.

Perched on a large rock surrounded by those typical African wind-swept trees and with an amazing view over the park, the bride was marched in by a marimba band from a local school. We sat on hay bails as a local school’s choir sang the hymns and the ceremony beautifully unfolded before us.

The reception was on the rugby field back at the school. There was some eating, some drinking, some dancing, some chumming around with family and strangers alike.

jet dry cleaners, morondera
jet dry cleaners, marondera

The day after the wedding, there were some braais and general relaxing. I went into town for an hour to look around and take some photos. It was bigger than I thought it’d be but it was still, in many ways, a typical rural African town.

rock, gosho park
a rock and the moon in Gosho Park

I finished off the trip with a quick track back into the game park. I saw a couple animals, but one of the more striking features were the teetering rocks perched around the park.

All in all a fantastic trip.


so the guy says to the horse

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:44 am

horse face

“Why the long face?”


nice commercial

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:15 am

I like this Puma World Cup related commercial. It’s very well made. It’s worth noting that Bafana Bafana doesn’t feature because they are outfitted by Adidas (while the other African World Cup teams are all Puma).

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