Thursday, October 05, 2006

A Day in the Life (paca)

In blatant imitation of the llama from a few days ago, I will now tell you of a typical Paca day in excruciating, I mean fascinating, detail.

This was my Wednesday, October 4.

N had an early meeting this morning, so she was up by 5:00 AM at least, and was gone before I got up. B and I then got up around 6:45. B ate some raisins while I shaved and then a bowl of cheerios while I showered. I think he watched a He-Man episode as well. Season 2, Volume 1. We got dressed and B went on the back of the bike to head to day care. We arrived at day care around 8:15. We washed our hands, B settled down to eat a banana, and I left to school.

I park my bike in my office around 8:30, gather my books for French Phonetics class, and my article that I have to present tomorrow (Thursday) entitled, "Efficiency and ambiguity in an adaptive neural code." This paper is not for French phonetics, but for the Machine Learning class.

I walk over to the cafeteria where I order two scrambled egg, two portuguese sausage, one tater tot, and a tea. I then sit down, do my French homework in about 5 minutes, and then spend the rest of the time reading about the adaptive neural code. At 9:30, it's off to French phonetics, where we work on various rounded vowel sounds in french. After French, it's up to the department where I start printing out articles I think I will need to read in order to understand what the hell they are talking about in the adaptive neural code one. After a library stop, it is off to my office where I do a little journal work and read some blogs for about 30 minutes, then voila, it's Acoustic Phonetics class. We are talking about hearing, especially with regard to intensity and frequency.

1:15, class is done, so I spend about 10 minutes telling my prof about the project I have in mind for both the machine learning and the acoustic phonetics class. I want to take a corpus of English intonation and use the machine learning techniques to estimate predictability of frequency. Sort of. Prof prints out a recent paper looking at intensity in a corpus. This turns out to perhaps be the best 10 minutes all day, because I might be able to use this same corpus as my data. We will see. Then it's a quick run to grab a bowl of chili and a diet pepsi for lunch.

At 2:00 J-W comes by. She's the person I had been helping edit the dissertation. However, she's largely done with that now because she defended the dissertation last week, so I joke about calling her Dr. J-W. Then we discuss possible projects we'd like to try doing together. She's Korean and all the ideas revolve around sort of cross-cultural things. She's into ethnography and socio-linguistics. I'm into phonetics, intonation, and theoretical / cognitive stuff. To keep this short, I will just say we throw several research ideas around. We also discuss possible stories for fiction writing.

3:00 I do a combination of journal work and blogging, and then realize I need to get away from the computer to get some work done, so I pack everything up for the great Thursday presentation and head outside to read that same damn adaptive neural code article some more. At 4:45, I pick B up at day care and we head home on the bike as always.

Today is running club day, so I won't be back to do more dinner cooking until almost seven. So I put some artichokes on and do dishes while B snacks a little and watches, well, you can guess. 5:45 we head down the street to the Nike Running Club. My knee's been acting up, so I decide to keep it to the 3 mile run today, which is to Ala Moana Beach Park and back, instead of the 4.4 mile course, which goes to Ala Moana Beach Park, around Magic Isle, and back. The really good news is I set a new best time for me, which is a flat 30 minutes. I don't know if I can really go faster with the stroller. The problem isn't how fast you can go with it; it's that you cannot easily get around obstacles, like people walking on the sidewalk, and you are always getting stuck.

B and I get home and it looks like N has added corn dogs to our artichoke fiesta. Dinner happens. N then kindly takes over B around 8:00 and I head off to a MacDonald's down the street to study. You can't study inside the house when B is awake. So over 2 hours, a McFlurry, and a Diet Coke, I finally finish the freaking adaptive neural code article. I then add in "Entropy and Information in Neural Spike Trains". I get home and then add "Adaptive Rescaling Maximizes Information Transmission" to my repertoire between 11:00 and 12:30. I still haven't written the actual presentation yet, but that's what tomorrow morning is for. From 12:30 to 1:15 AM, I write this blog entry, then it's off to bed.

See you all at 6:45 or so again tomorrow to rinse and repeat.

P.S. 1: Around 5:30, I call the jury duty hotline and learn that the trial for my group has been canceled. To be honest, I am not sure if I am happy or not. It would have been different, anyway. They do warn me that I might be called again later in the year. The voice mail lady wants to make sure I have something to think about.

P.S 2: The Dr. J-W thing isn't really a joke. She's supposed to get the last signature tomorrow and will really have the title. I'm very pleased for her. She has worked a long time for it.

pacapaca

5 comments:

kristybox said...

One tator tot? Just one. Is this a sign of self-control, a really huge tator tot (my favorite theory), or a typo? (Say huge tator tot, say huge tator tot. {jumps up and down like a three year old in antici-pation})

pacatrue said...

Ah-hah! It is neither. It is one serving or one scoop of each of these things, but that's not how you order it. So the breakfast was in fact two scoops of scrambled eggs, 6 pieces of portuguese sausage, and a scoop of tater tots. But the proper way to order that is 2 egg, 2 sausage, and 1 tater tot.

Can you take a big old baking potato and throw it in a fryer? I wonder what the maximum size of a tater tot is.

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