- San Francisco
My first time in San Francisco, here to experience the Apple WWDC and a bit of vacation. Staying centrally located in The Mosser hotel, close to the conference and a 1mi walk to just about anything (Chinatown, piers, etc). This is going to rock :)
- iPhone Photos
More snow - and lots of it. Panoramas taken at night - the cool thing is that it really looked like that - very creepy!
- Snow Day
- Microsoft Company Picnic
"Big" is the only way to describe it. Spread over two weekends to get everyone in.
- Curried Salmon
Florita got a massive chunk of salmon on the cheap, and tried out making to curry-based marinade for it. Turned out amazing!
- Jay's Rooftop Party
Jay had the team over for a little get together. It was fun.
Taken with crappy Blackberry camera
- Foo Fighters, 2
Lisa decided to give up her 4 tickets to her Seattle Foo Fighters concert (woo thanks Lisa!). They were just as good the second time as the first!
Really need a new point and shoot camera, as this Sony sucks in the dark! Blur-o-vision!
- July 4th Party
We had a few friends over for the 4th of July, as we were told we had a good view of the fireworks. Although true that we could see them, they were pretty far away. The food and the company were great, though :)
- Moving In
Our goods arrived! Now only 153 boxes to individually go through before we can really be 'home'.
The couch was interesting: being 8ft long, and with the building having narrow corridors, the crew could not get it in the elevator or up the stairs and even if they could they wouldn't be able to get it through the door. For a good hour or so, we had resigned ourselves to throwing out our awesome (expensive) couch. At the last minute, the coordinator, dispatcher, and crew were able to get together some guys/equipment to hoist the massive couch up 5 stories and over our deck side. Amazing!
- New Apartment!
2 bd, 1.5 ba, close to downtown. Hopefully it's good :)
- Moving West
Shrimp bisque, crab cakes, asparagus salad, deviled eggs, and mashed potatoes - mmmm
- Fresh Snow
There was a pretty big snow storm, so Florita and I decided to have some fun. We drove up to the park and were the first/only ones there. Unfortunately, my camera is not that fancy and can't get wet and I don't yet have a hood for it, so I Maguyvered my own from some paper towels and a water bottle. I also have no idea how to use my camera, so half the pictures are blue ;)
- Nets vs. Knicks
Florita, Lisa, Lars and I were gifted some amazing tickets - we sat 6ft from the hoop and 6ft from the Knicks, and got to see a lot of action (twice the ball almost hit Florita ;). I snapped photos the entire time, and although my camera couldn't keep up with all the movement, I think I got some decent shots.
Chris Rock was there, as was Bill O'Reilly and some football players.
It's probably the closest I'll ever sit at an NBA game; enjoy!
- Gun Range
Chris took Jon, Florita, and I to the shooting range. It was mine and Florita's first time shooting, and it was amazing. We rented a 9mm Glock 17 and used Chris' 45mm H&K duty gun, 45mm Glock 21, and small 32mm Keltec.
- Christmas I
The first of a few Christmas albums
- Mobile Photos
Sent from my BlackBerry
- Snow, Really
The first snow of the season, and Florita's first time seeing it!
- Candy Apples
- Office Wii
- New Work Computer
- Baked Potato Soup
Our first time making a soup like this, and it turned out great. We used the recipe here, but used 6.5 cups skim milk and ~1 cup heavy cream instead of the 7.5 cups milk. We also added some red pepper to give it some kick. The green onions really made it, as well as the bacon, so make sure to do it right!
This was also my first time using my new camera, so some shots came out great and some came out bad (weird shadows, etc). Still cool though :)
- Phanfare Fall BBQ
- Breakfast for Dinner
- Asian-inspired Scallops
- (Semi-)Final Apartment
We got our table today - one of the last major things we needed for the apartment. Woo!
- Labor Day Weekend
Florita and I wanted to make something fun on our day off, and ended up with a southwestern theme. We did Chimichurri Steak as our main dish, with Spanish-style black beans and rice and Honey BBQ shrimp on the side. For desert we had some of the really good fruit things from Wegman's. We ended up using our little grill that we had picked up at the A&P (the pieces didn't fit right, the directions were for a different grill, etc) and despite our doubts (and last minute attempts to get something better), it worked out great. The meat sat a little too close to the fire, though, and one side got a little dark - it was still good though, and didn't get tough or nasty. I'd strongly recommend the beans and rice - they are easy to make and with some chicken or ham could make a meal in and of themself. I'll try to put the recipes up later.
- Pulled Pork and Beans
- Birthday Dinner
Finally got around to setting up my wheel and playing Forza 2.
- Blackened Tilapia, Again
We had some blackening stuff from a spice store we picked up on our trip to St. Augustine, and I figured it was about time we used it. I made some blackened tilapia (which would have been better in a skillet, but I don't have one yet), and some veggie udon. Instead of soy sauce I used some of the leftover sake yakitori sauce, and it turned out great. I mistakenly used cucumbers instead of zucchini, though, and they were a little hard/overpowering.
- Bourne Ultimatum
Forgot to take more pictures after the movie - it was that good!
- Florita's First Day
- Lazy Weekend
We were (read: I was) too lazy to go get some real food, so we made due with what we had around.
- Tacos with Eric
Eric was in town using our pad as a base for his NYC apartment searches. We decided to make some tacos for dinner, but Eric had to do his own thing because he's a dirty vegan. His stuff was surprisingly good, but not as awesome as our homemade taco seasoning! We also made some black bean and corn salsa that was probably the best I've ever had.
- Ikea Rocks
Got a bunch of Ikea furniture - helping to complete our apartment. The bookshelves look great and hold everything we have (for now). The metalic kitchen cart thing was a steal at the price, and is really handy.
- Monkey Bread
Flo got around to making her infamous monkey bread. It was so good we had to ditch it for fear of eating it all in one sitting.
- July 4th
A lousy day out, so we decided to have some fun with food and watch a lot of CourtTV. At the end of the day, we were able to see three different fireworks shows from our balcony.
I made some pasta salad (my favorite dish ever), Flo made some deviled eggs (didn't last long), then we tried our first beer bread and used Sam Adams Summer Ale - it came out nice and sweet, and with honey on top was almost desert worthy! In the afternoon Flo made some potato salad and bruschetta on some leftover ciabatta bread. Yum!
- Best Leftovers Ever
Asparagus with some more of the Vintners Red topped a great salad, with crutons made from the leftover hamburger buns and one of the still-juicy burgers on the side.
Not pictured are the hamburger omelettes we had for breakfast. Yum!
We still have no furniture. Enjoy our table-box.
80/20 ground beef, vidalia onions, poblano peppers, garlic powder, and a little bit of San Sebastian Vintners Red. We carmelized some onions and some peppers to throw on top (with a little bit of the wine, too), and they came out great. A perfect summer meal!
- Trip to Central Park
Our first trip to the city since the move. We hit Central Park, walking up the western side then back down before heading east to 5th Ave. Along the way we stopped for lunch, picking Wendy's out of pure hunger (and the fact that the pizza places around had some pretty nasty looking selections). We played in the Apple store and then FAO Schwarz, and by the end of that I was pretty sore. We made our way back to Penn Station before heading back home.
- Planked Salmon
Our first time planking anything! Wegmans sold the whole set of plank, side of salmon, and spices together for $20 - not bad!
We let the plank soak overnight so we wouldn't start a fire. We made some drinks and started our adventure. We kept the plank in for 3-4 minutes, took it out and oiled it, then added the fish before putting it back in. Most sites said 10-15 minutes, so that's when we checked ours. Although the internal temp was good, it wasn't quite done. In the end, we kept it in for about 30 minutes. It came out tasting amazing! If there's one thing I'd change, it would be leaving off the oiling of the plank - the skin of the salmon didn't stick (as it should have), so the finished salmon was a little too fatty for me. The flavor was perfect, though, and I strongly recommend trying it if you haven't!
- Hot Dogs
- New Stuff
Washer, dryer, TV, and an awesome couch. Still no bookcases or kitchen set :(
- June Street Fair
Metuchen had a bunch of carnies and such come in for a street fair. It's not only amazing that a town as small as Metuchen gets something like this, but that it got the kind of turn out it did.
The 25hr drive to Jersey (including stops). I don't know how we did it. We left around 5am and arrived around 7am the next day (that means we were only off the road for about 5 hours). It was Florita and I (of course), and my roommate Mike. We love you Mike!
- Last Days in Florida
I'm done! Got my BS in CS, magna cum laude (grrr - still bitter I didn't get summa).
- Yuki is Amusing
- Chicken Parmesan
- Herby Cobb Salad
- Shrimp Cups
Flo and I went home for Easter weekend. On Saturday, along with Sara, Jason, and mom, we went to the Ringling Estate to tour the mansion and the museum. Unfortunately we didn't have time to view the art galleries inside, but we did get to see the sculpture garden. Being a big fan of Greek and Roman art, it was a treat for me!
- Rocky Horror
Flo and I went out for some sushi before heading over to campus to see the theatrical production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. She had never seen the movie, so it was a bit of an 'experience' for her :P
- Legos are Cool
Picked up a Mindstorms NXT system, and it rocks. The specs on the control block are pretty nice (bluetooth for PC-bot and bot-bot communication, the ability to run custom code, etc), but I just got started playing so I haven't done anything neat yet.
One thing I'd like to do is play with the Microsoft Robotics Studio, which lets you write code in C# that runs the bots!
- Downtown Disney
My mom was in Downtown Disney with my sister for Cirque du Soleil, and before she headed back to Sarasota Flo and I met up with her for lunch. It was their first meeting :)
- Weekend in Sarasota
Went home to help my mom set up her new computer.
- Beans and Turkeydogs FTW!
Flo's always so good at picking new things to make. Kind of an easy southern meal with beans/sausage and turkey-dogs, with rock candy left over from St. Augustine for desert!
- PSP Emulator
I've been toying with a Playstation Portable emulator for the past few months (but only for about 4-5 days a month total). I finally got it rendering graphics now! It supports some basic BIOS routines like file IO, threading, events, timers, controller input, and now basic graphics support. I also have a fully dynamically recompiling CPU that translates the PSP's MIPS instructions in to .NET CIL instructions - I believe it's the first of its kind!
- Flos Gift
Flo brought me some lemonade and yummy pasta salad - a mix up from the normal one I used to make, with some Boar's Head tavern ham and cheese cubes.
- Sega Saturn
I picked up a Sega Saturn on EBay for a pretty good price. Wooo old-school gaming!
- Winter Park
Flo and I went over to Winter Park to hang out; the weather was beautiful so we ended up people watching for a bit.
- Drinks with Flo
- House Cleaning
I went home to clean out my old room at my parents, and found some treasures. This album is more of a memory-preserver than anything else, as most of the things pictured here are now sitting in a dump.
- Blue Man Group
Blue Man Group - How to be a Megastar Tour 2.0 came to the Amway Arena, and I was compelled to get tickets. Flo and I made some yummy (and quick) beef stir-fry before running out.
Unfortunately the Ticketmaster (grrr) ticket said "ABSOLUTELY NO CAMERAS" so I didn't bring mine - turns out the BMG not only encourages them, but even allows you to upload your stuff to their photo galleries after the show! Damn!
- Beer & Beef
One of my all-time favorite dishes, this is a classic that my mom taught me. I kind of messed it up and it came out a little too soupy, but it still tasted great! While waiting, we played some Rummikub.
- Supreme Commander
The most amazing game in the world was finally released! It even supports dual monitors, so I went and grabbed my old CRT!
- Seasons 52
AMAZING restaurant Seasons 52 - everything is fresh, the menu is seasonal, and all entrees are under 475 calories. I had the planked salmon and Flo had the crab stuffed shrimp.
Flo and I got together and she made an amazing French Toast/omelette breakfast - mimosas and all!
- Sake Yakitori
Flo and I went to a Williams-Sonoma wok tutorial in the morning and found some neat sauces that inspired us to have a very Japanese dinner. We had some amazing sake yakitori kabobs and stir-fry veggies, with a bit of sake on the side.
- Brunch Downtown
- Blackened Tilapia
We tried for blackened grouper, but Publix had no grouper! The tilapia rocked, though, and was a good substitute.
- Weekend at Home
Finally a weekend at home where I could relax! Just me, mom, and pop. We made some blackened grouper, and it was amazing.
- Tequila Lime Chicken
Flo and I made dinner, it was GOOD. Recipe is here. I strongly recommend it!
- Gears of War!
Gears of War for the Xbox 360 came out, and Jon and I got together to play through it
- The Lab
The new Engineering 3 building (aka Harris Center, or something) opened and Dr. Stanley got a lab. I find myself being productive while there so I've been spending a lot of time on campus.
- New Laptop!
Lenovo T60p. It has a freaking keyboard light in it!
Jessie got Mike a grill (she even built it herself!) and of course we had to make some smores :)
- AAAI Fall Symposium
My professor sent me to another conference (the previous being GECCO), this time a AAAI Symposium. It was a lot smaller and much more focused than GECCO, with a lot less people attending. It was held in DC, and as it was my first time there I took the opportunity to take some pictures. Unfortunately I missed the Lincoln Memorial, but at least I have an excuse to go back now! We stayed at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency, which was decent except for the rennovations and the whole booking 3 people to a 2 person room thing...
- Summer in Metuchen
Summer in the apartment (aka Phanfare world headquarters). Fun!
Ken Stanley sent me to GECCO, one of the major conferences for genetic computing and AI. This was my second time in Seattle, but this time I had a camera. Unfortunately there wasn't much time to do anything fun, as the only free time was early morning (5:30-7) and late night (8+).
I forgot to set the camera time back on the first day, so just imagine the times are 3 hours earlier ^_^
- Trip to Gramercy Tavern
Mark and Andrew decided to treat Mike and me to lunch in the city. Since this would be the third time I got to travel into the city and the first time I brought a camera, I went into total tourist mode; stopping in the middle of the street to take a picture, taking pictures of random people, the whole 9 yards. Andrew was actually in the city for a breakfast earlier that morning and left Mike, Mark and I to fend for ourselves as we trekked to the restaurant.
Disclaimer: I was running to keep up, and a lot of the photos turned out blurry and the videos are a little shakey (Bourne Supremacy-esque). It's hard to stop and take a picture in NY.
- Sarasota -> Metuchen
My mom came up with me again, making the drive much more bearable. It was nice to be able to chat with her on the drive up, and afterwards we spent some time around town. Note that there are no pictures of the road - it's something I didn't want to remember ;)
- Japan is cool
I got a shipment in - Final Fantasy XII Potion, a health drink tied to the game, and a fancy DVD movie set that puts the overpriced domestic releases to shame.
- Class Project
This was created for my Topics in NeuroEvolution and Artificial Embryogeny (CAP 6938) class headed by Ken Stanley. For my class project I decided to do a space sim where the spaceships learned to follow a target. My thinking is that this could be extended to control AI in a game, or maybe even robots in real life.
What you'll see in the video is the spaceships learning, over the course of only 30-45 seconds, how to follow the target. They start out with no knowledge of how to even move and by the end they have no trouble keeping up. Run 2 is the better one, so watch that, if anything :)
The project homepage is located at hiranipra.com.
- Avalon Park house
Shots of my current digs in Orlando and my roommates
- Playing with my new camera
Just got a Sony DSC-W50. Pretty good for the price!
- New House!
Videos taken with Mike's camera phone
- 'Ben Box'
New server I built for backups. 8x400GB SATA drives in a sexy case. rackmountpro really pulled through and sent the thing with motherboard/etc all in and wired - made the setup almost trivial!
- Computer Parts
- Ben's New Pad
11 New Street, Metuchen NJ. 2BR Duplex. Bedroom on the second floor and on on the first. Taken by Andrew before the previous tenents moved out.