it's a blog, yo

by brian copeland

Summer Update

ribs, maybe sexy?

Fourth of July has come and gone, we’re in the depth of summer now. I made ribs.

 

 

thezissou

It’s been the summer of biking for me! I found The Zissou at a garage sale and have been rocking it around town. Not every day to work, but at least one day a week.

 

Unlimited Coffee This Summer!

It’s been the summer of Peace Coffee, where I bought their unlimited anything deal. They’re located on Minnehaha Ave, which is undergoing major street renovation. As in, don’t-drive-here-if-you-can-avoid-it street renovation. To lure in customers like myself, they offered a flat rate. I’m probably not getting my money’s worth, as I only go about every third day. That said, the flexibility of any drink I want is pretty sweet. Mostly, I love the excuse to wake up early and bike over before work.

 

Favorite Couples Costume

Convergence is a Minneapolis area convention that has lots of drinking and cosplay. Alicia and I returned for our second year, it was a blast. Here’s a photo of my favorite couple’s costume, Waldo and Carmen.

 

Outdoor loving cats

Summer is here, thus the cats are out. Here’s Leela in a barely-feral pose.

 

Pride Parade, TargetStyle

Once again, I rocked the Pride Parade – this time it was TargetStyle.

Other photo-less updates:

  • Good friend Carl Cooley got married!
  • Work is awesome
  • New favorite-show-as-of-late: Veep
  • New albums being played in my house: Radiohead, Kaleo, The Avalanches, Mick Jenkins
  • Old albums being played in my house: Father John Misty, Cake, DJ Shadow
  • Speaking of music, Alicia and I have seen several musical acts lately! Violent Femmes, Tyler the Creator, The Kills, plus several random bands at the Kitty Cat Klub
  • Back to running again, hit a 22:20 5k and a 49:50 10k. Ya know what? Screw running longer. An hour is a _really_ long time to run.
  • I learned the value of white paint. The garage has never looked better, and it all it took was covering up some of the less clean spots.

I’m off enjoying the best months of Minnesota, hope your summer pleasant, to say the least.

ruminating

San Diego Recap

Work has been treating me pretty well, lately – I was sent west to California to a Big Graphs Conference (housing data in a graph instead of a table has some nice advantages). Here’s a photographic recap!

Arriving at San Jose International Airport on Sunday evening, visitors are proudly greeted with an upcoming event:

Fur Con was proudly advertising it's upcoming conference in San Jose - interesting!

Fur Con was proudly advertising it’s upcoming conference in San Jose – interesting!

Furries are an interesting new trend growing in the world. Mark my words, it’ll be as popular as the 50 Shades of Grey stuff in ten years.

Having no where to go on a Sunday night but my hotel, I didn’t mind the 30 minute delay on baggage return. It’s actually one of my favorite things – being around a bunch of frustrated people when you’re perfectly chill. There’s just a tension in the air that washes right past you. Here’s an action shot:

Angry passengers waiting for their bags at San Jose International Airport

Angry passengers waiting for their bags at San Jose International Airport

I spent Sunday – Wednesday in Sunnyvale, CA at the Target office. Just work stuff there, nothing super special to report.

Wednesday, three coworkers and I headed to San Diego to the University of California – San Diego campus for a Workshop on Big Graphs. I haven’t done much graph theory since my Ph. D. studies back in New York, so it was fun to get a taste of academia again.

I was reminded how important sampling is (and how nuanced it is to sample a graph and maintain the same structure), important questions to ask about graphs, and generally get a sense of where current development is in large graphs. I’ll post more of that stuff in later posts, let’s talk the UCSD campus:

Just an epic view of one of the libraries on the University of California - San Diego (UCSD) campus

Just an epic view of one of the libraries on the University of California – San Diego (UCSD) campus

That’s the Geisel Library off in the distance (recognize the name?). It overlooks a decent size ravine that we had to cross walking from the parking lot to the auditorium. I fear the picture doesn’t do it justice, but it really sits god-like over you.

There was a ton of varied and interesting architecture on the UCSD campus! What do you think of the Engineering building?

Notice the house? Gotta notice the house!

Notice the house? Gotta notice the house!

The conference itself was in the IT Building and had this performance space going:

Photo Jan 06, 2 59 42 PM

That’s 24 flat screen TVs connected to one PC. This wasn’t even where the talks were given, it was just where attendees were fed. UCSD goes big and goes home. I have a hunch why – here’s an ad I found in the CS building:

 

I certainly didn't see ads like this at my alma mater - this was spotted in the CS Building

I certainly didn’t see ads like this at my alma mater – this was spotted in the CS Building

I guess the competition is strong down here – Snapchat is looking for programmers, btw.

So talks were all day Wednesday through Friday, with nights being taken up by movies (surprisingly). My coworkers had kids and usually don’t have a chance to get away and see a film. Ended up seeing Star Wars and The Revenant. Other highlights? Lox:

I tried Lox!

I tried Lox!

It was fabulous. I don’t think I’d had lox like this before – I didn’t know how well capers, tomato and onions mellow out the smoked salmon. Yum.

Pillow for sale in San Diego.

Pillow for sale in San Diego.

I found this pillow that I forgot to pick up for Alicia. It’s poop!

Had some fabulous mexican here!

Had some fabulous mexican here!

As advertised, the mexican cuisine was legit.

Headed home on Saturday, by way of Seattle (so many cursed Seahawks fans were on this flight). On the plus side, it sure looks like the future arrived. This was only a 3 hour flight, but had inflight entertainment in every seat.

Delta's Seattle -> Minneapolis flight really looks like the future

Delta’s Seattle -> Minneapolis flight really looks like the future

So, fabulous trip. I should totally go back sometime this year. Heck, April maybe?

Ice Candle

Got one of those things you really like, but never remember to use? For me, it’s this Mathmos Ice Candle.

What's that tantalizing glow?

What’s that tantalizing glow?

You’re seeing a cylinder of ice surrounding a tea light. The ice is sitting on a grate with a rubber bucket below to collect the water as it melts.

It’s all frosty in the beginning, and then physics kicks in:

Mathmos2

As the fire melts the ice, it gets more scandalous… in that it remains a candle

It’s pretty cool that the tea light doesn’t burn completely: the surrounding ice prevents all the wax from melting. It lasts about 1.5 hours, which is a lot longer than you’d think ice could withstand sitting next to a candle. I usually go through at least two tea lights in one sitting.

I’ve been trying to get rid of the useless junk I own and this almost certainly qualifies. Not only do I have to store it for the sole purpose of being pretty, it takes up space in the freezer, which is much more valuable space than your usual knick-knack. Fuck it, it’s cool.

/pun

Kanye West iPhone Cover

It’s been two years, but it’s time to retire the Kanye West Exclusive Art iPhone Case.

Exclusive art by Kanye West for my iPhone

Exclusive art by Kanye West for my iPhone

I snagged this guy for $0.54 at the Office Depot that closed in downtown Minneapolis. It was grey, tacky, and suitably prevented scratches on the back of my iPhone.

Should you have doubted the AUTHENTICITY of this iPhone case...

Should you have doubted the AUTHENTICITY of this iPhone case…

You know it’s good when it’s signed by the artist himself. Lesser art certainly doesn’t have a CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY.

I normally go sans-case, as I don’t mind scratches and hate adding precious millimeters to my designed-to-be-thin devices. But I broke my screen last February and decided I was no longer worthy of a sexy case-less phone. Luckily, this bad boy was amazingly tacky and my favorite color. Plus, it claims I donated to charity by purchasing this for less than a dollar. Win-win!

Interestingly enough, the case started causing my phone to crash starting in November. I don’t know if it was holding a button down, or simply not dissipating heat. As the phone is now over two years old, I’m just going to risk it and go sans-case again. Bare-back is better, anyway.

Backyard Fire Pit

Close up of some winter flames

Close up of some winter flames

One of my new year resolutions is to spend more time outside, even in the winter. As a result, this sexy propane fire pit (a Christmas gift two years ago from my folks) is getting a lot more use. It’s peaceful outside, it’s great getting fresh air, and it makes the winter suck less.

Copeland backyard in the dead of Winter

Copeland backyard in the dead of Winter

Updated Theme

The really observant of you will notice I’ve switched themes (from Cols to Manifeset). I really liked Cols’ simplicity and dynamic two columns for posts. But after looking at it for a month, it really isn’t straight forward to read. Thus, for 2016, I’m trying a new look.

Song of the Moment 2015.12.29

I can’t stop listening to this jazzy rendition of ‘Clair de Lune’ from Kamasi Washington. Thanks, /r/listentothis!

Holidays Update

Space Wonder-Boy Brian

Christmas has come, let’s get you debriefed on the Brian scenario for the holidays.

Brian and Alicia in front of a cold Lake Superior

Brian and Alicia in front of a cold Lake Superior

Alicia and I agreed to forgo gifts to each other and instead travel. Up north we went to Duluth for some nostalgia, drinking, and relaxation. We got all of those things! Cookies from Positively 3rd Street Bakery, burritos from Burrito Union, a fish bowl pitcher from Grandma’s Sports Garden, and even cheese fondue at the New Scenic Cafe. The hotel room was the the highlight of the trip – it had a fireplace and a direct view of the lake. Yay!

Lake Superior waves crashing on a cold December day

Lake Superior waves crashing on a cold December day

After requesting fancy food and treats as gifts for Christmas, my parents outdid themselves with Copeland’s best

The Copelands Best gift pack from my parents. Classy with a capital C.

The Copelands Best gift pack from my parents. Classy with a capital C.

Other miscellany:

I hope 2015 treated you well and that 2016 is filled with actualized pipedreams!

~Brian

car_fire_reverse