Extreme Blue Internship, Uncategorized 0 comments on Week 4 – San Jose – Arkansas River

Week 4 – San Jose – Arkansas River

The week started with our first indoor victory of the season. RSI Random took a close game 6-5 with a goal scored in the last minute by Captain Joe and assisted by myself. It was really an exciting game. I had an absolutely gorgeous goal that I will now share with you. We had a free kick from about 10 yards out on the yellow line. Nikki, our right winger extraordinaire, chipped the ball through the box and right onto the instep of my left foot which knocked in the ball backpost. It was just pretty.

The remainder of the week was dominated by my need to finish my midterm before I left for the Arkansas River in Colorado. I wrote a pretty darn good set of essays in my own personal opinion. I’m really enjoying this philosophy class as it’s very real world and still down to the basics. The basics are key because you can’t build arguments without understanding your foundation. I would definitely suggest this class to anyone who asked.

Friday, I left work early to head to our second game of the week. We had a great first half of smart to lucky soccer. We were down 3-2 at half, but it was the kind of game that anyone could win. The second half started with an ugly goal by the other team from behind the yellow line which counts as 2 points. With the score 5-2, they didn’t look back as they won the game 9-2. It’s my first game without any points, but I did have an own goal. Bad game on my part, and bad game as a team. The other team was definitely a good unit, and we tried to beat them with one or two players. Eventually, we started playing too much defense. Very scared. It wasn’t our best game, and now we go 2 weeks without soccer. Not a good situation.

The one positive of the weekend was going to Colorado. I headed out to meet my buddies Sam and Byron, and I met Neil, Joseph, Darryl, and Thomas along the way. We started at Fisherman’s Wharf and headed down the Arkansas River. It was amazing. I was scared for my life. I wasn’t very comfortable until we hit the jumping rock and I chilled out. The pictures can be found here. We got through Widowmaker on our first day and then camped out. We had shish kabobs for dinner, and slept under the stars. I’ve never seen that many stars in my life. I was absolutely amazing.

The next day we started off and hit three intense rapids right away. The first crazy one… I don’t remember the name. The second one was Sidell’s Suckhole, so named for a poor kayaker who didn’t make it through. It’s a IV-V, and was hitting hard that day. We hit the hole straight on, went vertical, spun around, hit the second wave backwards, went vertical, Byron almost flew out, and then landed. It was AWESOME! We then hit the Twin Falls. A seven foot fall followed by a five foot fall. It was pretty awesome itself. The rest of the day was really non-chalant. But I really enjoyed the weekend. It was absolutely a blast. Big props to my main man Sam with Byron as the sidekick main man.

Extreme Blue Internship, Uncategorized 0 comments on Week 3 – San Jose – Yosemite Trip

Week 3 – San Jose – Yosemite Trip

This was a good week for us at work. We’ve built a prototype which is going to get showed off at the IHE Workshop in Chicago. I guess that means we’re officially a big deal. Our mentor is really excited with the work we’ve done. I think we’ve taken something that could have been good, and set it up to be great. That’s really an exciting feeling. Up next is documentation and architecture. A lot of that is done, but I think it’s going to take us cleaning everything out and starting over to show step-by-step how to setup the various environments. Getting Tomcat, OSGi, Axis, working and talking isn’t exactly easy. Up next is entering the open-source community in such a way that they’re excited about what we’re getting started for them.

Monday night, I had my first soccer game. I’m on a team called RSI Random at the Off the Wall Soccer Center in Santa Clara. It’s 3 light rail and 6 CalTrain stops away from me. Then, it’s a 2.5 mile walk from there. It’s quite a trek, but could you imagine a summer without soccer? It’s just not an option. I have 2 teammates who live near me, and hopefully, I’ll be able to bum rides off of them in exchange for some gas money. It was quite the experience. I’ve never thought of the Soccer Dome in Raleigh to be cutting edge or brand new, but it definitely feels that way compared to this place. The one cool thing was the surface. They’re using the carpet filled with carbon approach that creates a very realistic surface without the knee pains associated with concrete, or the rug burns associated with carpeting. Quite cool, but I might need to find a pair of cleats. On to the game results. We tied 8-8 and I had one goal. I was able to play through the first half, but I died about 5 minutes into the second half, and played goalie the remainder of the time. It was killer. I let in 4 goals, but it could have been a lot worse. I’m a little lucky. That was a good time.

Next came the trip to Yosemite National Park. It was absolutely amazing.

I have plenty of pictures up on my online gallery of images. Here’s the story on Saturday. We arrive in Yosemite Valley at 10am. This happens to be relatively late as far as arrival time goes apparently. We start climbing, and it’s up. With very little relief, we start our journey. The view, amazing. Imagining how crazy it must have been to build the steps that we were climbing, amazing. Looking down the cliff, not amazing. I was very scared. We get to the 4 mile point, and stop to have lunch. About this time it’s 12ish, maybe 1ish. I didn’t have much water, but I didn’t think I needed much. I did have a lot of camera gear. Which happened to be a mistake. I kept going after lunch until the 2 mile marker. I was 2 miles away from Half Dome. I just couldn’t make it. I just wasn’t good enough. Well, more accurately, my legs weren’t enough, my water wasn’t enough, and my load was too much. So I snapped a shot at that point, and turned around.

I thought my adventure was done. I was wrong. We started back to Glacier Point which is where our new car was to be found. It was a 5 mile hike straight up. The elevation at the top was near 7000 feet. I couldn’t breathe. It was the longest day of my life. The memories were great. But 18 miles of walking is killer. Especially when it’s switchback after switchback, rock after boulder, and only hill ahead. Fortunately, I survived, and saw Half Dome in the evening sun. That was a beautiful image. I was too tired to take the shot. It was great.

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Week 2 – San Jose – Let the Fun Begin

There’s something about working on a project that might get out there and change the world that makes the week fly right by. I couldn’t believe how quickly this second week passed. We had a protoype due on Friday, and it wasn’t easy, but the job got done. My only complaint right now is that we’re constantly going into meetings and talks that have very limited point. The staff is great, but the program seems to be holding us back a little bit. We’re the only group that really has started putting something together. Everyone else is in a design phase. I have to agree with my mentor and say that designs made without a hands-on approach to the technology will be quickly modified.

My adventures this week took me all over the Bay area. Wednesday I tried to go play soccer at a local park. By local, I mean 25 stops by light rail and then 3 miles up the road. This area is very spread out. I really hate that. That’s the downfall of Raleigh, and it’s quickly become the downfall of this area. There is public transportation, which we don’t have in Raleigh, but it just isn’t quick. I guess that’s the fallacy of it all. The people who ride the light rail are a story of their own. It’s truely the most eclectic group of people. I met a guy who carries his dog in a baby carriage. The breed was Papillon which is French for Butterfly. It looked like a Collie to me, but I don’t know any better. Then this group of San Jose youth got on the light rail, and started talking about how one of them just got a deal with the DA on some petty crimes that he committed. A couple in ethnic African garb joined us for the last few stops. It was quite the adventure. I didn’t make it in time to play soccer, but the day was well worth the journey. Thursday night saw us walk to a local sports bar that’s about 1.5 miles up the road. Our waitress Barbie hosted us at the Britannia Arms Sports Bar which has existed since at least 1987. The crowd was really good, and we watched the NBA Championships. It was a good night.

The Weekend
Friday was the beginning of the World Cup. On the West Coast the games are at 5:55am, 8:55am, and 11:55am. That’s too early/during the work day. Hence, the gameplan was to not know the scores, and to only discover them after watching the TIVOed versions of the game. As soon as I get to work, I get a broadcast across Sametime that Germany has scored. Before the day ended, I knew all the scores, and all the information about the games. I was so mad. We watched the games after work, and then headed up to San Francisco. Meshkat, my roommate, found an Arab restaurant/club where they had 2 DJs, belly dancers, and lots of fun to be had. It was a great night. The music was awesome. The dancing was exotic. The belly dancer wasn’t bad. Meshkat is a lot of fun to go out with as well. Saturday was a lazy day. I watched a lot of sport. The Argentina/Ivory Coast game, the horse race, the Hurricanes game, it was great. We went to a hookah bar later that night. The music was great, and the guys smoked the same hookah for 2 hours. I’ve never seen a hookah last that long. It was a lot of fun. Sunday turned into a day of recovery. A definite necessity I must say.

Off to bed.

Extreme Blue Internship, Uncategorized 0 comments on Week 1 – San Jose – New town, New start

Week 1 – San Jose – New town, New start

One week has passed since I’ve come to California. The first week was really one long adjustment period. It’s a week worth of learning a new town, getting used to a new time zone, and, ultimately, trying to impress the boss. My manager’s, what IBM calls my mentor, name is Eishay Smith. He’s a really smart guy who has essentially created the project we’re doing in the field. Our challenge now is to get the basics of the technology working and in place after which we’ll change the world. It’s the beginning of something that’s going to be great.

In town we’ve gone out once. We went to a bar called Tres Gringoes, which happened to be a terrible idea. It was 95% guy with a small percentage of attractive girls amongst the 5% that were there. My roommate did however find himself a local. I don’t think it really worked out, but he tried. Saturday night I went to go see the Break Up which wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. It exists somewhere in the contiuum between the two. Total craziness.

Also, how about them Hurricanes? Down 3-0, they come back to win the game 5-4. I just hope people don’t try to marginalize the win based on the goalie situation. 4 goals were scored on their starting goalkeeper. Also, my boss at the Cary News, Grant Halverson, got the front image on ESPN.com, which totally rocks socks.

Anyway, so far so good. Off to bed.