Older blog entries for epsalon (starting at number 95)

Turkey, India, and Thanksgiving

This weekend was Thanksgiving. As always, holidays in the US are designed to create long weekends, and Thanksgiving is no exception. Scheduled on the third Thursday of November, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the winter holiday period. As I did last year, I went to the traditional Stanford Thanksgiving dinner, which was nothing too fancy. I spent black Friday playing boardgames for nine consecutive hours, winning almost all games I’ve played (except Pandemic and Stone Age).

This Thanksgiving, I couldn’t avoid hearing the news about Mumbai, India. I thought to myself this is not the first time Inidans are killed on Thanksgiving, though this time they weren’t native Americans. That also made me think about the traditional Thanksgiving dish — Turkey. In almost all modern language this bird is named after some far away land. Many languages refer to Turkey, many others, including Hebrew and Turkish, refer to India. The interesting this is, the Turkey, like the American Indians, is in fact a native American, a fact most closely reflected in Vietnamese, referring to it as “Western Chicken”. For more information, see Wikipedia.

In exactly one week (and 3:30 hours) my parents will be arriving here for the first time since I moved here. I’ll get to show them my office, my room, and play games. We’re also going to go on a road trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon! I’m happy!

For those of you who asked what  I got from Tanga Trash. Here’s your answer: 20 Questions card game, The Fabolous Fifites Shaped Jigsaw Puzzle, and a Space Alien Test Kit, I kid you not.

Syndicated 2008-11-30 03:29:49 from Alon's Blog

A hard day’s night

So, as I wrote earlier, I am in charge of an NSF grant proposal, and today was the deadline, which meant me and my professor had to work the entire day from 10 to 9 on writing the proposal, which meant I had to arrive late and miss on playing Agricola with my awesome new friend. We did play other games though, and I came back home tired but happy.

You could have known all this in real time, because I have signed up for Twitter, where I make short updates on my whereabouts and actions. You can follow my twitter by signing up, by looking at the twitter box on the right of this blog, or by signing up for the RSS feed.

For example, if you read my latest Twitter, you’d see that Tanga has sent me trash, which I paid good money for. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

Syndicated 2008-11-25 08:58:46 from Alon's Blog

A new friend

I made a new girl (space) friend this week, and together we have founded to awesome peoples’ league (Bay area chapter). She and her fiancé are into boardgaming in addition to using free operating systems. They also watch many similar TV shows and enjoy hanging out and playing the same games I do (and in a good level).

As part of my ongoing commitment to resurrect this blog, I’ll tell you all that I’m happy. It’s amazing how happy a friend could make you when you need one!

In other news, I am in the process of writing an NSF grant proposal, which basically means write something about your research and beg for money.

One of the great things about being a postdoc is that you have students who do all the work, so I will have at least two papers submitted to IJCAI (probably more), and all of them in collaboration with different authors, both here and in Israel.

BTW, If you like my blog, please comment so I’ll be encouraged to write more!

Syndicated 2008-11-24 06:04:07 from Alon's Blog

Happy Birthday?

It’s my birthday today. I’m 28, and at work. One year older and not much to show for it. Maybe I’ll start updating my blog, but for now that’s all.

Syndicated 2008-11-18 23:23:05 from Alon's Blog

$400 to spend a night in Georgia

That’s what I got offered, I accepted. They took back their offer. I’m talking obviously about Atlanta, GA, and the offer was by Delta due to overbooking in my flight back to San Francisco. The offer was revoked due to the fact they didn’t need volunteers after all. Too bad, I was looking forward to a day in Atlanta.

Syndicated 2008-09-08 22:02:24 from Alon's Blog

Oral Surgery

After SurgeryToday I underwent oral surgery under general anesthesia. The procedure was the removal of my two lower wisdom teeth which were impacted. This procedure is uncommon in the US for people my age (27). Usually people get their teeth removed in their teens even if there aren’t any complications.

The clinic I have chosen was within short walking distance from my home and I arrived there in less than half an hour: