September 1 Waking up is getting more and more difficult. Our early start to the north bay was repeatedly delayed as things just kept coming up (like a missing Marin County map). We took the Honda, and for the first time this year, took advantage of the fact that it was a convertible. Arrived at a fire station near Mt. Tamalpais around 12:30, and prepared to hike to the top. It only took a few minutes for me to lose all the liquid I'd drunk in the morning as sweat. Thank god that the trail entered trees eventually, and Fern creek provided water suitable for splashing on newly toasted skin. Bizarrely enough, the hike was actually much shorter than expected, probably 'cause of the really steep trail that followed the course of the creek. From the top, the view was grand, and would have been magnificent if it weren't for a persistent haze. Our return was hot but uneventful, save for a brief case of misdirection in Mill Valley. In the evening, I went over to a friend's and we watched "Funny Face", an older movie starring Audrey Hepburn among others.
September 2 Labor day. My labor of the day was shopping. Fortunately not as much of a labor as I'd remembered. I ended up with some clothes and a new pair of shoes, and my girlfriend inched closer to the completion of college shopping, so a good time was had by all. Our trek from store to store even caused a chance encounter with my 8th grade English teacher, all the more surprising for our having seen him 5 days before. Getting back through Labor Day and/or beach traffic was a bit slow. Spent the afternoon musing about hikes, helping with college packing, and so on. Looks like my proposed hike (Onion Valley-Kearsarge Pass-Vidette Meadow-Forester Pass) may be a little bit hard to manage, but I always have enjoyed doing mildly impractical things, so we'll see. Had a very good dinner and a delicious desert as well. Productive day. Now why am I so sleepy again?
September 3 Odds and ends day. In reality, I did a fair bit. Began the morning with the ill-considered notion that I should take a jog. I haven't done that in a while, and it sure felt like it. Ouch. Next order of business: reconstruct my secondary system so I can resume my hobby of benchmarking if and when I finally find the time. Next order of business was the garden. First, there was the bit about removing unwanted weeds from the rose garden. In the course of that, I decided to try and clear the cement path around the house of brambles. This of course led to an attempt to take all the previously removed dead stuff even further away, and that resulted in my declaration of war on thistles, which kept cutting my legs. Yes I am easily distracted. Eventually remembered what I originally trying to do and watered the roses. Spent the evening attempting desperately to listen to NPR while maintaining my composure. If that's part of the liberal media, by god, I'm no liberal.
September 4 Up fairly early. I discovered a new toy: distcc. Distcc basically distributes compilations across a network of machines. Very clever. Spent the morning setting up an x86 x PPC Linux cross compiler. This accomplished, thanks to distcc, I had an effectual 3 processor TiBook (2 x86, 1 PPC). Went out for lunch with a friend and on a walk in the early afternoon. Realized that September weather on the coastside is... well... 3 degrees less than perfect. After a brief stint at envelope stamping, I came home, and continued playing with distcc. Mozilla 1.1 built in 45 minutes. Nice. Now if only this thing had a bit of security.
September 5 Woke up early with a plan. Sprung it on my sleepy girlfriend. Success. Today is really a perfect day to hike up Montara mountain. Clear, but not hot, and with a nice cool breeze. The hike up was actually almost too cool at some points, but the view, save for some haze in the extreme north and south, was magnificent. Disposed almost completely of a 36 exposure roll of film. Going down was less successful. We took an alternate route, one which was pretty well choked up with brambles, including poison oak. Walk still considered a success pending any itchy red marks on my skin. Went home in the afternoon and practiced flute for a bit. Flute choir worked out pretty well too: only 2 people gone, so all parts are now more than adequately covered (there are 18 of us). Came home and discovered camping trip this weekend is impossible. Blargh. Failure.
September 6 Went with my dad to HP today. Plan of the day: try to get mozilla building on ia64 HP-UX using aC++ (the HP C++ compiler). Got bogged down in a maze of dependencies. Not good. Realized that HP-UX would be much more pleasant to use if all the GNU stuff built out of the box on it. HP-UX porting center was helpful. Sorted out dependencies only discover all the ia64 HP-UX boxes lacked X11 headers and libraries. Oops. Went to lunch. After lunch, resumed quest. Succeeded in building DDD with aC++ on PA HP-UX. Only snafu was configure picking up the wrong X11 (X11R4!). Then tried to build mozilla. Solved the dependency issues slowly, but eventually, build did begin. Completed in 35 minutes. Scary thing is, mozilla even runs. Yay! After this we left to go to REI and try to find camping equipment (even though we're not going). Spent a good long time looking at backpacks. The search for a roomy, light, comfy and visually appealing backpack will probably continue, although one was pretty good (just 4 lbs. 8 oz. too heavy...). Got home quite late, still without backpacks or tent. But now, at least we have a water filter!
September 7 I can't understand why the weather is so nice, all of a sudden. No matter. Had a flute lesson in the morning, and was told I'd do fine at my audition at Stanford, provided I played really well. Hmm... Also did the laundry in the morning. Due to inflation, one quarter gets only 7 minutes on the dryers. Came home for the afternoon, and after lunch, helped my dad replace the brakepads on the car. A much more complicated job than anticipated. This time at least, we have the right pads. Went out for dinner in the evening, and watched Hitchkok's North by Northwest with a friend, for the second time. Amazing how many subtle things I didn't pick up, the first time through.
September 8 Relaxing. Woke up a number of friends in the morning trying to determine whether the original plan to go to Golden Gate Park was still viable. Answer: no. Somehow ended up making cookies with my girlfriend. Was slightly surprised to discover that the cookies contained more additions (chocolate, toffee, etc.) than cookie dough. Clever plan to hike on the hills near Montara thwarted by inability to find the trail/inability to remember to bring sunscreen. Yes ladies and gents, sunscreen is important. Did manage to get in a nice walk in the afternoon. Since I'll be on a backpacking trip next weekend, getting in shape is a pretty good idea.
September 9 Long day. Began with dentist appointment, which would've been fine (I have a good dentist) but the appointment was for my father. Sorted that out. Then went to try to get maps from the USGS. Oops, I forgot to bring the address. Darn. Next stop, De Anza College for my transcipt. They're out of forms, and have a real long line. Give up on that. Return to San Mateo to try Anymountain, a store which supposedly has the lightest backpack (for backpacking) known to main. It does. Only in M or L though. Visit REI and get a back of size S. Yay. Then discover they don't have the tent I want to rent. Boo. Final stop: AAA. Realize the card I'm supposed to use to get maps expired 3 years ago, and has my dad's name on it, misspelled. Ooops. Spent afternoon doing a number of odds and ends. Following dinner, continue the trend of Monday night bowling (it's cheaper than other nights). Had two games of over 100 points! Yay. Made it home past midnight.
September 10 Short night. Only slept 5 hours. Then, up early to take my girlfriend to the Department of Motor Vehicles. We arrive at 8:03AM. There are 22 people ahead of us in line. DMV opened at 8:00AM. Hmm... Only spend an hour in line waiting. Following this, I go in search of USGS. This time I have the address, and find it. They have a neat little kiosk where you can print your own maps on plastic sheets. This constitutes my first use, ever, of a credit card. Stop by Hillsdale mall, and then return home. Have a pleasant walk to the beach in the afternoon, before beginning to frantically pack for the backpacking trip. I hope my backpack doesn't end up weighing much more than 20 pounds.
September 11 My thoughts, given that today is the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, are here. That aside, it's off to the eastern Sierras. If all goes well, I'll be on top of the Forester pass (13,200 ft.) on Friday night, and be home come Monday morning. If not, I may be well on way to Whitney by that time. I haven't got much else to say about today save that I offer my sincere condolences to all victims of terrorism: be they the thousands murdered a year ago today, or the thousands murdered abroad by our friends and allies.
September 11 Continued A second entry for 9/11, so that I can report on what did actually happen. First drive to REI to pick up a backpack. Oops, they don't open 'til ten. Spend the morning at my dad's office doing spadework for our trip, plus a little bit of compiler benchtesting. Discovered python is an excellent compilation benchmark. After lunch at a pizza place with a number of my dad's old workfellows, we went back to REI, and after some debate, picked up a pack and a tent. We finally left for the eastern Sierra around 4PM. At first our route was pretty smooth. But when we tried to use 84 as a shortcut from 680 to 580, we got bogged down in a nice 30 minute tie-up. An accident on 205, near Tracy cost another half hour. We finally made it off the interstates around 6:30PM, and didn't enter Yosemite until well past 8PM. The next 3 hours were spent driving through Yosemite on 120 east, and then down to Lone Pine, on 395 south. Arrived at the Alabama Hills Hotel at 11:30PM and promptly slept.
September 12 Why a 6:30AM wakeup call? Oh well... We drove to the ranger station and waited for an hour 'til they opened. When they did, they had a lottery for the priority of those getting permits without reservations. I pulled 7 (of 9), then lost the slip. Miraculously, they had overnight wilderness permits for Mt. Whitney, something the website had flatly denied (to be fair, this was due to cancellations). Hooray! At Whitney Portal, we spent a nice solid 2 hours preparing our packs, and emptying the car of anything a bear could possibly want. Despite the attempt to "go light," the packs were plenty heavy. We finally started up the trail at 11AM, elevation 8,365ft., with a clear blue sky, a light breeze, and a lot of direct sunlight. Hiking steadily for the next 2 hours, we stopped for lunch just above Lone Pine Lake at around 9,800 feet. The trail was remarkably well constructed, so despite the continual elevation gain, no one part was unreasonably steep. That is, until we had passed Outpost Camp and Mirror lake. The last stretch to Trail Camp (12,000 ft.) was quite strenuous. We didn't arrive until almost 5PM. The camp was pleasant enough, with a tremendous view of nearby peaks, but when the sun set behind those peaks, it got cold quick. We pitched tent, moved in, had a quick dinner and went to bed at the unheard of hour of 9PM. I slept poorly thanks to a headache purchased by the high altitude and bright sun. Two aspirins improved life substantially.
September 13 Up at 6:30AM again. The sun actually rose over the Owens valley at 6, but thanks to the mountains above, it took a while to reach us. First order of business: prepare day pack. Next: pump day's supply of water. Today's attempt on Mt. Whitney includes 5 quarts of liquid, since there's supposed to be no water whatsoever on the trail. We finally set out around 8, with 2 cameras, 2 boxes of crackers, 2 jackets, 2 sweaters, and some odds and ends. First leg of the journey was 1,600 vertical feet, consisting of 96 switchbacks and a lot of direct sunlight. Whew. Rest from 9:45 to 10:15. Then the last 2.5 miles to Whitney, hugging the ridgeline, with a nice 2,000 vertical feet of view on our left. We reach Whitney summit at 11:20, following a final exhausting stretch up the ridge. The views are absolutely amazing. Although you don't have a full 360 degree view from any one spot, by moving around a little, you get pretty much the same effect. We rest for a while, take a great number of pictures, and eventually set about the task of returning. Due to a number of long rests, losing the trail and a long picture stop, we actually take longer going down than going up. No matter. We arrive at Trail Camp exhausted, having used 3.5 quarts of liquid, around 4:15PM. A number of preparations and a quick dinner later, we go to bed. It is 7:30. We've had a long day.
September 14 The night had a few disturbances, but we get up at the usual time, and decamp. Decamp involves re-packing the backpacks, so by the time we're ready to leave, it's 8:30. We take our time going down to Whitney Portal, taking plenty of pictures and trying to avoid stubbing our toes on sharp rocks. Around 10:30, we stop for breakfast above Lone Pine lake. Attempts to take a short-cut back to the trail result in a goodly delay, but we descend steadily. On the way down, I count 53 day-hikers who are attempting Whitney. Most of the ones we talked to started up before 6AM. When we arrive back at the portal, the sun is out in full force, the temperature is quite warm, and I have really sore feet. No matter. We've made it. The drive back is fairly leisurely. We stop in Lone Pine to return the bear cannister we rented, in Independence to try to buy something good to drink, and in Bishop because Independence lacked such acceptable beverages. North of Bishop, we take the June Lakes loop on 158 to see the local scenery. I also get my first glimpse of Mono Lake: seeing is believing. Our drive through Yosemite is punctuated by frequent photograph stops, ended only due to sunset around 7:30. At 8:30, we arrive in Groveland, and stop, looking for a place for dinner. At 10:00, we leave, me stuffed with spicy tandouri chicken. Good food, but we did have to wait for it. Somewhere around Oakdale, I begin to nod off, and don't wake up fully until we reach Hayward. At 12:30, we arrive home. Whew. What... a... trip......
September 15 Back at home. Odd how I expected the trip would make everything somehow different. Awoke late, and still quite sleepy. What have I done wrong? First business: breakfast. This accomplished, we call a friend over the hill, and immediately depart to see her. En-route, all the photos I took are dropped off at Longs. Next we went over the hill, visiting an old hideout in Shoup Park. Lunch was a relaxed affair, over some bad Mexican cuisine. A trip to REI had to be made to return our rental tent and backpack. After that we visited Stanford where my dad took pictures. We located my dorm: Junipero in Wilbur Hall. It doesn't look to bad from the outside. After getting home, I took advantage of the opportunity to catch up on all the news and e-mail I'd missed. A short day after a long one.
September 16 I got up late, and set about dealing with paperwork. I managed to figure out something of how my governor's scholarship worked. Spent the morning at a friend's house. Returning to town, I had what will probably be my last San Benito House sandwich. Good stuff. They could make an export business out of it, or at least sell their bread separately. Old books were dropped off for a former calculus teacher who is now teaching kindergarten. Pictures of my Whitney trip were picked up from Longs. Some did turn out. Others definitely didn't. We returned to Montara in the afternoon, and I had dinner at the friend's house. Dinner concluded, we went for the usual Monday night session of bowling. I wasn't really in form, and we were on a lane of 4 people, but it was fun, and I didn't hurt myself too severely, nor anyone else for that matter. Despite only playing 3 games, we didn't make it back 'til past midnight.
September 17 Packing day 1. My first task of the day was to begin to determine what I needed. Being easily distracted, I emptied out the car trunk instead. I went to help my girlfriend pack a bit before noon, but she didn't need any help, so we went for a picnic lunch instead. Next we went to my house, where I actually did begin to pack. I discovered that, among other things, I have 23 good pairs of socks, and 10 not so good. Should be enough for a while though... Other clothes gradually migrated into bags too. The biggest surprise of packing ended up being how little was actually needed. I guess the big stuff, like the bike, don't really need much packaging anyway. This took almost all of the afternoon. In the evening, we went out to dinner with both our family's at a pleasant restaurant in Miramar, which had a rather piquant curry dish. Maybe I should check in advance if a dish is spicy? Burnt tongue aside, the day ended peacably enough, if a bit late.
September 18 The day of reckoning. This is effectively my last day before college starts. Naturally it started quite early. I got up around 7, and, sans breakfast, ran off to pick up my girlfriend Kristine and her mother to take them to the airport for their trip to Chicago. Despite fears that school traffic would foil my attempt to make it there before 8, I succeeded, and no elementary school kids were harmed in the process. The drive to the airport was eventful in that I neither got lost, nor involved myself in a major car accident. Parking took a bit of patience, but finally we made it into SFO. The task of 3 people taking 6 bags (4 of them quite large and heavy), worked remarkably well, and after 4 were checked in, goodbyes were said, and they passed through security. The drive home was quick, and I spent a bit of time trying to write up my more detailed account of the Mt. Whitney trip. Around noon, I drove back up to the high school, where I spent over 3 hours hobnobbing with former teachers and classmates. After that, it was off to a friend's house for a final goodbye to the gang. Admittedly, only one of them is going to be any great distance from us (UC LA). Around 7PM, I went home to a goodbye dinner. The dinner was special both in its intricacy, and in the fact that I managed to complete almost all of the necessary packing in about an hour, after it finished. Another late night.
September 19 College move-in day. I got up suitably early. Of course, last night's packing had forgotten a fair bit, so there was plenty to be done. Coupled with breakfast, this meant that I didn't make it to Stanford until well past 8AM. No roommate had arrived, so after a rather vocal welcome, I unloaded the stuff we'd brought, and headed off to pick up ID card, P.O. box key, and sign up for phone service. My dad left for work right before lunch, so that left me to fend for myself. Not that this was all that hard, given all the friendly people around and the fact that I'd been on the campus dozens of time. Lunch was unspectacular, but definitely edible. After lunch, my roommate did arrive, and we talked for a bit. I ended up running off to a practice room to play flute for an hour. Then came convocation, a hot and rather dry affair in the center of the quad. Although all the people who spoke were good speakers, the constant repetitiion of themes got on my nerves, and I was glad enough when it was over. Finally came the final room arrangement, and the goodbyes to all the parents. Dinner was served in the dining hall, and all would have been well, but I somehow ended up with an extremely spicy soup. Our first dorm meeting was held (I'm in Junipero House, a part of Wilbur Hall). There were a number of activities put on by the house hosts (all cool folk, mostly juniors, and one senior). Finally went to bed quite late.
September 20 Day 1 of college life. I got up at the usual hour of 7 feeling quite unusually sleepy. I felt odd being one of the first ones up, but... oh well. Breakfast was a latish affair, and I made the mistake of getting granola. Big mistake. There was more sugar than fiber in it. Oops. Morning's first activity was a visit to the memorial auditorium for an event called Discovering Stanford. Bearing in mind that I spent a summer taking classes here, barely a year ago, the irony was not lost. My dad brought my bike right after breakfast, so now I can easily travel around campus. "Discovering Stanford" was mainly a series of speeches, but unfortunately, the Provost ended it with a series about people breaking Stanford's Honor Code and/or Fundamental rule. Both can be summarized as "use common sense" and I had a hard time appreciating the length lecture about them. Lunch was next, and included a meeting with PAA, AA and a number of students. Welcome to the acronym capital of the world. Both the Peer Academic Advisor and Academic Advisor were quite nice, and though lunch was primarily focused upon eating, I did learn a bit in the process. After lunch, I went on a jaunt up to Tresidder to use their pay phone, since mine was completely nonfunctional. I arrived back in the middle of a dormwide discussion of Dave Eggers's book: A Staggering Work of Heartbreaking Genius. There was a brief bit of spare time before dinner, when I set up the laptop's ethernet (the laptop is my only college machine, thusfar), then dinner, and then, though it was not on the main schedule, the LSJUMP (marching band) showed up, and started playing. They went systematically from dorm to dorm, playing, dancing, and gather quite a crowd. We ended up going all the way across campus, and finally landing in the quad (and nearby fountains). Unfortunately, I lost my dormmates, and so spent most the time wandering around in the dark (at high velocities). I haven't had so much exercise in ages.
September 21 Day 2 of college life. Scratch that. Day 3 orientation is more like it. Not quite college life. Almost... Up at 7:30 again. Time to get used to less than 8 hours a night. Breakfast was first item on the agenda. Then came the tasks of buying books. Still no phone service in my dorm, so I broke down and got a cell phone. My rationale: it's cheaper than the regular one on weekends. Next there were a number of talks by various school divisions. I visited those given for the School of Engineering and the School of Humanities. Both speakers were good, but the information was, I felt, rather general, and not all that new. My dad came by to drop off a number of forgotten near-essentials, and stayed for lunch. After lunch, it was back to more discussions. This time, I went to one about choosing Computer Science courses. Although I'm not sure if/when my first CS class will be, I sure hope I get Eric Roberts as a professor. My next plan was to visit the talk on Math classes, but when I realized it was directed at Humanities/Social Sciences majors, I left instead for one on Stanford's requirements. There I found 20 or so people who couldn't fit in the lecture room crowded in the hall. I went back to the dorm instead. After a bit of room straightening, it was time for dinner. After dinner, there was a production called Stanford in the Real World, at Memorial Auditorium. Despite arriving 30 minutes early, we had a tough time getting seats. The show was a well-dramatized discussion of issues of alcohol, relationships, and other potential college pitfalls. We had a discussion afterwards, and I somehow made it to bed before midnight. The game goes on.
September 22 Well, this narrative's getting kind of long winded, so I'm gonna try and bring it down to size. With no scheduled event until 10:30 (breakfast), my roommate and I took a bike ride off to Palo Alto, with detours on the return past the Cantor Arts Center and Stanford Mall. Brunch actually included hot cereal, so I was thrilled, at least temporarily. The early afternoon was spent doing housekeeping chores (odds and ends, mainly on computer), and then the whole dorm paraded up to MemAud for "Faces: Diversity at Stanford." The presentation was actually quite moving, with one speech being made by the Georgian son of a civil rights lawyer. Boy did that kid go through a lot to make it here. We had a good discussion of the talk back at the dorms, and I expanded my list of name-face pairs to about 15. Score! Dinner followed, as did a slight bout of indigestion. Around 8:30PM, we departed to Frost, an open-air amphitheater where they showed the movie "Back to School" on a huge rear-projection screen. Not much of a movie, if you ask me. Good night.
September 23 What did I do today? It's getting a bit hazy, but it began with breakfast, and a visit to the Braun Music Center to schedule a flute audition, and get some practice done. Then there was a return for a brief lunch, and a meeting with my academic advisor. Proposed course list includes Math 51H, Physics 51, IHUM (Intro. to HUManities), beginning Farsi, and hopefully a private flute class. Should keep me pretty busy. In the afternoon, I went back to the music room for more practice, and also to get a music locker. In the course of this, I ran into 2 acquaintances from my math class last year. Dinner was actually quite early, and I ended up spending most of the evening updating various webpages, trying to organize the room (unsuccessfully), and musing about what is to come. I think I'm almost looking forward to the beginning of classes.
September 24 Last day before classes start. Hooray. Morning at music center practicing. Went to the President's Reception at Hoover House. Reception was dull, so I left early. I had an early lunch, and did a bit more music practice right before my audition for flute lessons. Auditions worked fairly well, well enough that they even suggested I try out for the flute ensemble. Which I did. And was told I'd be contacted later. Good, good. Afternoon spent doing very little. After dinner, the whole dorm went to the O-Show, a concert of "a capella" groups in MemAud. Went to bed late. Rather habitual.
September 25 Yay, classes. Began day by buying physics books. $130. Ugh. First class: Physics 51: Light and Heat, 9:00-9:50. Good lecturer, but extremely rapid. Silly Nobel prize winners. Then one hour break. Then my IHUM class (topic: Thinking with Nature) 11-11:50. Lunch was at about 12:15 at the dining hall (and, incidentally, unusually bad). There was a nice break 'til 2:15 when I went to Math 51H: Honors Multivariable Calculus. I had an unpleasant surprise therre, and finally realized just how good a lecturer and professor I had last year. I'm not sure I want to retake the class anymore, not with the different professor, certainly. Had a talk to my old math teacher who had some useful advice. Farsi class was supposed to be 4:15-5:45, but today we just made a few arrangements. Played flute for a bit, before going to dinner. Dinner was short and unpleasant (the company was almost as unappetizing as the food). After dinner, I did very little for about 3 hours. Finally, we had a house meeting, but that ended with a bunch of Junipero house alumni coming in for a party and tour. One of my math class friends from last year was there too, which was nice. Got to bed late, as usual.
September 26 7 hours of sleep. Gre-eat. I was only slightly awake for my IHUM discussion group from 9-10:30. After yesterday's math experience, I tried out Math 171: Fundamental Concepts of Analysis. Very good lecturer, so I do want to take the class. Just unsure that I can survive there. Lunch back at the dorm. After lunch, attended Math 120: Modern Algebra. Yikes. Not quite ready for that. Seems I understand 171 better than 120. Weird. Came back to the dorm for most of the afternoon. Went to the bookstore, but couldn't locate what I wanted to. Returned to dorm. Sat. Stared. Was bored. Couldn't concentrate on homework. Yeah. Not good. Went to sleep again late, this time for a better reason: we were discussing proofs of the existence of god until past midnight.
September 27 Friday! Got up too late to do any of my morning chores save eat, and run off to physics. Today's lecture was slightly easier to follow. Mmm... Guess I'm not a physics guy. Spent 2 hours in Green Library afterwards reading Frankenstein. Nothing like a monster story to get into the swing of things. Lunch next. I'm starting to dislike eating. After lunch, spent a lot of time on the phone, before going back to Math 51H. Definitely need to figure out what to do. Even already understanding the material, I had a tough time deciphering the lecture. Wonder what'll happen once we get to stuff I don't understand to begin with. Probably don't want to find out. Had talk with another former math teacher. Still undecided as to course of action. Was going to go to a Career fair at White Plaza, but somehow, once I finally got there, it was gone. Played flute instead. Came back for dinner. After dinner, spent a great deal of time trying to avoid doing work. Somehow, by going out into the hall, I was embroiled in a discussion of the existence of God. Three hours later, we were still going strong. When I finally turned in at 2, no satisfactory conclusion had been reached. I have found, however, that I'm really more an agnostic than an atheist. Sort of fits, though, since I am generally a wishy-washy person.
September 28 Scavenger hunt day. Up early so as to be ready for our 9:30AM departure for San Francisco. Bus trip to San Francisco for scavenger hunt by entire dorm was uneventful. We were then split off into groups and set to work. Some of the items on the todo list were pretty funny. What we actually ended up doing was a lot of wandering around the city looking for this and that. In the process, we were kicked out of Virgin Megastores for taking photos, tried unsuccessfully to have our dorm keys copied at 4 locksmiths, got 2 of our group into a bed in the Drake Hotel, jumped through a few fountains, visited a number of peculiar shops on Haight-Ashbury, and much more. Some of it was quite fun. We ended the day with a cable-car ride to Fisherman's Wharf and dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (if you haven't been there, don't worry, you haven't missed much). Returned to Stanford around 9. Somehow ended up in the middle of a discussion of the development of life. Realized I didn't know enough about the topic to meaningfully participate and left it to those better suited, and with stronger opinions. Fortunately they finished around a quarter of 1, allowing me to get some sleep.
September 29 Woke up late today. Not sure quite why. Had brunch at the dining hall, and then met my dad. We went for a nice walk next to the bay east of Palo Alto, where we saw an astonishingly large number of bicyclists. After our walk, we stopped on California street to have lunch at the usual Mediterranean cafe. Upon attempting to leave, we discovered that the car wouldn't start. Net result was that I had a pleasant walk back to Stanford, through Escondido village, and my dad had to take a taxi home. Hopefully the car will be all right (thank god it didn't break down on our Whitney road trip). Dinner was a barbecue served near the dorm. Although not a vegetarian personally, I definitely felt for those who were not only consigned to veggie burgers, but to moldy ones, at that. Went to bed far later than was strictly necessary, after doing far less than was strictly necessary. Time for a quick course in time management?
September 30 Blech. Monday = Busy day. Up early. Didn't do much. Physics lecture at 10, IHUM at 11. Uneventful lunch. Spent period between lunch and math class doing absolutely nothing. Dumb idea. Still not quite certain what to do for math class given that understanding the professor is still difficult. Farsi class began with a handout of the alphabet. 32 letters. Okay. Four letter 's'es. Not okay. Next ate a quick dinner, and headed off for Flute Ensemble. Learned that we number 11. Was also immediately told that I'd be playing bass flute some this quarter. Hmm... Was given flute to try, and actually did pretty well. Thank god my hands are as large as they are (and larger than they were). To bed late (per routine).