What To Do In San Francisco?

I’m leaving for a short trip to San Francisco tonight for — gasp — pleasure! Rachel’s will be in Bozeman for wedding planning and family time, and I’ve owed Matt a visit for a long time. I also have a handful of other friends (Audrey/Griffin, Shanan) Question is, what should I do? I get in late tonight (Thursday) and leave early Sunday afternoon.

I wanted to go to the Exploratorium1, but they’re closed while they move in to their new place.

The Bay Model Visitor Center2 also looks interesting.

I’ll be based out of the Haight neighborhood, what’s a nerd to do on vacation in San Fran?

Also, what’s the best way to get around? I have a free car rental I could use, but will parking be disastrous?

  1. this has been on my list since at least 2007, says my del.icio.us bookmark 

  2. this has been on my list since at least 2007, says my del.icio.us bookmark 

One Year Ago: Photo Time Capsule, Part II

I keep thinking back to where I was this time last summer1. By this point, I had traveled to 5 countries and traveled over 10,000 miles as the crow flies. By this time, I was a well versed international spy traveler and having the time of my life figuring out all sorts of things and interacting with so many interesting people (always remembering the Prime Directive though). In many ways, I am where I thought I would be today; in many ways, I’m not. That’s okay though; planning is guessing.

18.0 mm || 1/160 || f/4.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Avanos, Nevsehir, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/500 || f/4.0 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Ayasoluk, Izmir Province, Turkey

18.0 mm || 1/640 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Ayios Konstandinos, Aegean, Greece

18.0 mm || 1/8000 || f/4.5 || ISO1600 || NIKON D70
Thira, Aegean, Greece

18.0 mm || 1/1600 || f/3.5 || ISO200 || NIKON D70
Athens, Attica, Greece

Map of photo locations, showing travel progress from right to left

via the Photojojo Time Capsule

I’m going on an awesome hike2 tomorrow with The Edge and my friend Matt Matteson is in town for the 4th of July, it’s going to be rocking holiday weekend.

  1. Santorini, Greece 

  2. Lake Serene 

Designing The Brunton: 2009-2010

Earlier this year, I was asked if I would like to work on designing the front cover of The Brunton. Despite everything I was trying to get accomplished, I took this task on a way get some creative exercise. Working with the Student Activities Office (the department responsible for publishing The Brunton), I was able to come up with a pretty spiffy design:

Brunton: 2009-2010

I was also able to draw on my extensive collection of photos to pick 12 photos for display on the inside:

Inside Pictures_0001_BackgroundInside Pictures_0004_BackgroundInside Pictures_0007_BackgroundInside Pictures_0008_BackgroundInside Pictures_0009_BackgroundInside Pictures_0011_BackgroundInside Pictures_0012_BackgroundInside Pictures_0013_BackgroundInside Pictures_0014_BackgroundInside Pictures_0015_BackgroundInside Pictures_0016_BackgroundInside Pictures_0017_Background

Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Andrew Ferguson ’08 as an Enginerd, Mines Women’s Rugby, an Engineer participates in Engineering Days activies, Eileen Sullivan ’09 bores a hole in a rock during Engineering Days, Audrey Nelson ’07 enjoys a powder day, Lance Atkins ’09 and Nicole Zambon hiking Mt. Democrat, the Mines Marching Band during Homecoming, Ben Keiser ’07 stands in the Orecart during the march to the state capital, Blue Key member Corinne Johnson ’09 gets doused in whitewash while supervising the M-Climb, new LED lights on the M, Paul Johnson ’08 is Marvin the Miner along with Blaster.

It was a pretty fun project and didn’t take too much time. The Student Activities Office was kind enough to give me a lot of creative control, with only a few requirements. I also got a credit and a short biography on the first page of the The Brunton, which I thought was pretty spiffy:

Front cover and calendar photos taken by Andrew Ferguson, 2009 CSM graduate with a Degree in Engineering, Electrical Specialty. Front cover designed using a USGS topographic map of the Golden Quadrangle (7.5 minute series).

Over the course of his five years at Mines, Andrew amassed a wide variety of photos through his work with The Oredigger and personal projects.

After graduating, Andrew returned to the Seattle area to work in the aerospace industry. You can follow him on his blog and see more of his photos, from Mines and around the world, at http://AndrewFerguson.net.

All of the photos used in this year’s Brunton are of Mines students or places related to Mines

Update: I found some of the original designs I was working with. This was after the stage where I picked the initial photo to use on the front:

Version 1

Version 2

Version 3

Version 4

Version 5

Version 5b

My Faith Journey

I wrote this at the beginning of the year for a missionary organization that I was applying to. I ended up withdrawing my application for other reasons, however, I thought this was worth sharing. And what better day to share than Easter? He is Risen.

I’ve never really been sure how to best answer this question. I do not believe there is a single identifiable point in time where I became a Christian. I was raised in a loving Christian home, as both my parents are Christian’s. My faith has been, and continues to be, a wonderful journey of understanding. Along the way, I have developed a relationship with the Lord that I can call my own. My goal is to seek Him, incessantly. I can, however, identify some critical points in my journey.

High school was a time when a lot of my faith flourished. I went on student trip to Lake Shasta through my church and an organization called Sonshine Ministries. I became part of an amazing Bible study that, even after high school ended, still stays in contact with each other regularly.

College has been hard though. I attended Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Campus Crusade for Christ for a little while my freshman year, but it was radically different from what I was used to and I soon stopped going. Sophomore year, I tried going to a variety of different churches around my school. Toward the end of my sophomore year, I thought I had finally found a church: First Presbyterian Church of Golden. I went for the remainder of sophomore year and the start of my junior year. However, it just wasn’t sticking. I found the sermons uninteresting and inapplicable in my life. The audience was also predominately older couples and children, there were practically no college age students. So I gave up and coasted for a while, going to church only when I was back in Seattle.

When I was back this last summer, I was talking with our senior pastor, Earl Palmer, and some friends from my Bible Study. One question came up about how to find another church away from home. Part of what I got out of the that discussion is that I was missing something when I was trying to find a church in the past: the community.

When I got back to school this past fall, I called up a friend, Matt, and asked if he wanted to go this church I’d heard about, Flatirons Community Church. As it turned out, he was already planning on carpooling up with another mutual friend, so we all carpooled together. After church, Matt introduced me to his community at church. This is when I stopped coasting in my faith. I had found community within a church; which is the part I had been missing previously. And it has been an absolute blessing to be in this community.

I have been enjoying going to Flatirons. I’ve also been going to The Annex (a college ministry run by First Presbyterian Boulder) on Tuesdays and I recently volunteered to drive freshmen from their dorms to The Annex and back.

Comment Stats

TDavid over at Make You Go Hmm has been playing around with mySQL to get stats on his users comments. I also enjoy looking at pretty numbers (always being careful to remember they mean absolutely nothing), so I did some digging in my own comments database.

So here we go:
First up, total posts by year:

The blue line is all comments. The red line is all comments minus the ones from the WordPress plugin related pages, which are typically help related. While this year isn’t over yet, I highly doubt I’ll get to 2007 or even 2006 levels of comments.

Top ten commenters of all time are

  1. Andrew Ferguson (595)
  2. quinn (108)
  3. staples.jeff (107)
  4. Audrey (69)
  5. Matt Matteson (43)
  6. Peter (42)
  7. CrazyBarbour (40)
  8. laura (34)
  9. Amelie (23)
  10. Ryan “Artoo” Goodwin (19)

I was going to post the leader board for each individual year, however people changed their emails and the way they entered their names in the comment fields and I really don’t want to fix all of them to get accurate results.

I’m kind of stumped as to why 2006 was such a good year for commenting. Interestingly enough, this year has seen more comments per a post, which I think is good. Thoughts?

1.5 TB for $76

I just bought an external 1.5TB hard drive for $81.38 from Dell.

You heard me right, for $67.99 + $7.99 shipping and $5.40 in taxes I got my hands on a SimpleTech 1.5TB SimpleDrive Pro Duo USB 2.0/eSata External Drive (FP-UFE2/1.5TB).

That’s 5.4 cents per a gigabyte, which is crazy low!

Amazon says that they should going for closer to $600.

I think that someone at Dell made a typo and instead of typing in 679.99, they punched 67.999 (and the computer just truncated the last digit).

Get’em while they hot and not sold out:

Dell/SimpleTech 1.5TB external HDD

Thanks to Matt for finding the link on Slickdeals

Quotes of 2007

It’s that time again. I’m clearing out my quotes section on Facebook to make way for the new ones I’m sure to amass in 2008.

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince,
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!” – William Shakespeare; Hamlet Act V, scene ii

“The greatest risk in life is life – it has 100% chance of causing death.” – Unknown

“My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things, that I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Saviour.” – John Newton

“There is nothing left to do but get drunk.” – Franklin Pierce, 14th President of the United States

“I have guidelines for my personal cell phone use while operating a vehicle. The guidelines say I can call back an awesome girl while monitoring the horizon for things that do not fit under the car.” – Matt Matteson, http://dlzip.com/wordpress/2007/11/06/come-play/

“If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – James Madison

“Oh, then it inverts! Isn’t that cute!” – Ryan
“Look, Ryan’s making cute circuits!” – Amanda

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” – Douglas Adams

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.” – Douglas Adams, Restaurant at the End of the Universe

“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – Mother Theresa

“The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred.” – Alan Mulally

“Progress is made by lazy men looking for easier ways to do things.” – Robert A. Heinlein

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn’t exist.” – Verbal, “The Usual Suspects”

“It’s Not A Decision. It’s an IQ Test”. – VC Josh Kopelman on MySpace v. Facebook

“Mysteries require judgments and the assessment of uncertainty.” – Malcom Gladwell

“It should be noted that no ethically-trained software engineer would ever consent to write a DestroyBaghdad procedure. Basic professional ethics would instead require him to write a DestroyCity procedure, to which Baghdad could be given as a parameter.” – Nathaniel Borenstein

“Dear God,”
“Yes, my child?”
“I would like to file a bug report”
-XKCD (http://xkcd.com/c258.html)

“No matter where you go, there you are.” – Buckaroo Banzai

“…brick by brick like a Lego shit-house…” – Michael Hood, blatherWatch

“Ah, the things we could do if we didn’t have to waste time sleeping and eating… What an annoyance!” – Brian Layman, TheCodeCave.com

Dear Neighbors

Came home from Woody’s tonight to find this note waiting for Matt and myself:

Hi – Dear Neighbor, –

I came up to talk w/ you but you are out. I have to be at work very early ( I teach High School) each day. City Ordinance for noise is 10 pm. Please respect Quite hours in this complex; everyone here worksin the am. Im in bed by 10, so is Le. (your next door neighbor)

My bedroom is the last room back. And yes, I can hear everything. So, yes, you woke me up several timis [sic] last night. I’d appreciate it if you could please remember: I’ve asked twice now! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, if youre in the living room I don’t seem to hear you at night. Hope thats helpful.

Thank you for your consideration.



You have got to be kidding me. I probably shouldn’t get this wound up about it, but I really just want to scream, “What the fuck?!?” Yes, you came up stairs last night and explained how you were trying to sleep since 10pm and we were keeping you up. I apologized for being noisy, even though we weren’t. But please, don’t start our relationship off like this. I’ll admit when I’m wrong, but when you start asking for unreasonable things like this…bortaS bIr jablu’DI’, reH QaQqu’ nay’.

I’m also tired of being treated like a teenager. And she never asked twice. I think someone needs some remedial math skills….”Okay kids! Counting starts at one. And what comes after one? Two! That’s right!”

Here’s my imaginary letter I’m going to write to La:

Dear Neighbor,

Thank you for sharing your concerns. Sorry both of us were out, one of the side effects of being social, I guess. I understand that you have to be up very early. I go to college, just in case you were not aware of this fact. One of the great things about college is all the studying we have to do. Unfortunately, this often keeps us up late. While we try our best to keep quite, it is regrettable that we sometimes are louder then 10dB.

I also appreciate your concern for Le. It is very admirable for you to stick up for her, especially since she is no longer in grade school.

Regarding placement of your bedroom, the location is unfortunate. I would suggest moving it to another location. I have found that I do not often occupy the kitchen after 10pm, so if you were to locate your bedroom under the Northeastern most area of our complex, you should find it much quieter.

I would also be willing to buy you a pair of ear plugs.

I also took the liberty to lookup the ordinance in question and regret to inform you that no such ordinance exists. For your records, the closest law I was able to fine is:
From ci.golden.co.us:

8.04.310 Disturbing the peace/persons

It is unlawful for any person to disturb or tend to disturb the peace of others by violent, tumultuous, offensive or obstreperous conduct, by loud or unusual noises, or by unseemly, profane, obscene or offensive language; or for any person to permit any such conduct in any house or upon any premises owned, possessed, managed or controlled by such person or persons so that others in the vicinity are or may be disturbed. (Ord. 1142, 1992; Ord. 626 ร‚ยง1, 1970).

Just to be thorough, I also elected to search the Colorado Revised Statutes. Again, I regret to inform you that no such law exists. If you believe that my search is erroneous, I would appreciate the precise listing of the law you paraphrased in your earlier letter.

Thank you for your cooperation,


P.S. Suck my balls.


That’s what I would like to write. In reality. I’m not going to do a single thing about it, except post this short little rant about it. God bless the Internet.