Where Am I?!

You may have been asking yourself “Where has he been?! It’s been an entire week or so since his last blog post!!” You would be right to ask yourself that question, and I’m going to provide you with an answer. I’ve been around.

A Roomba/Create rather precariously carrying my laptop. I made sure to drive it slowly so my computer didn't fall off. It's safe to say that this was the smartest vacuum cleaner in the building.

A lot has happened since we last talked, so try to keep up. First, I started working at McGill as a research assistant, as I said  I would be. I haven’t started any of the actual machine learning stuff though; right now I’m getting used to writing simple behaviors for the Roomba (e.g. move until you hit something, find a wall and crawl along it, etc) so that we can use the sensor data collected during the behaviors to try some simple learning algorithms. It’s been a lot of fun so far. I’ve been riding my new used bike to work, which has been fantastic. It’s an oldish, classic looking bike with an awesome front lamp that’s powered by a dynamo. I’m planning to put a capacitor in the lamp as well so it will stay lit while I’m stopped at traffic lights, but I’m waiting on that for now.

Yes, that's correct, I did model it after a Fender Telecaster. (Fender, please don't sue me: this is a one-off and a modified design. Also, immitation is the finest form of flattery, and you should think this is as awesome as I do.)

Plans for the one uke to rule them all are almost complete! I’m building a solid body ukelele with pickups I made from popsicle sticks (which actually work quite well,) and I’m hoping to have it finished by the end of the summer, but right now I’m still in the drawing/planning stage.

Feast your eyes on that delicious cake and pastry cream. You know you want it.

Several weeks ago I made a cake with two duck eggs and a goose egg, and then filled it with pastry cream made from one goose egg. It actually wasn’t as good as cake and pastry cream made with chicken eggs; the goose eggs lack a certain element of taste that cakes want, but the texture was the same. They were whiter than cakes or pastry cream with chicken eggs though, since duck and goose eggs have lighter yolks. Either way, it was a delicious excuse to eat cake. (Like you need an excuse to eat cake. Sheesh.)

They were delicious. And having eight of them for practically nothing made them taste that much better.

A few weeks before that, I made spring rolls. Once I realized that using a sushi roller for the wrappers was a horrible idea (they stick to the bamboo like no one’s business,) it actually went quite well. They weren’t entirely what I was hoping for, but they were very good nonetheless. The mayonnaise sauce I made was delicious though, and I’m proud to say I made it with no instruction at all.

It’s finally spring, and spring is rapidly turning into summer. Things are blooming, people are sneezing, and there are more people out on bike paths than I think I’ve ever seen. I saw some business guys in their suits riding along the bike path discussing business things, so I’m hoping this means biking will be the trendy thing to do in the next few years. Maybe Montreal will become another Holland. I’m not convinced it’ll go that far, but we can always hope.

So that’s it for my little summer update. I’m hoping to post some of the cool projects that have been rolling around in my head as soon as I can get them going. Until then, here’s an awesome picture of a tulip tree.

This is a tulip tree down the street from my house. It's pretty startling, especially since it has no leaves. Apparently the leaves develop after the flowers bloom and die.

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2 thoughts on “Where Am I?!

    • I don’t think they are, but they might be in the same family. Although, a quick look through Wikipedia seems to indicate that they’re not tulip trees either…

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