Elephants are Bigger in Person!

After finishing off the ICDE'05 submission, I spent the July 4th weekend in DC, hanging out with Scott and Alex. Checked out all the famous places and saw the fireworks. Very fun. Been doing some external reviews for ICDM'04 and ICDE'05. I finished a DMKD journal revision submission and will start soon on a TKDE journal submission. More importantly, I have to start preparing for my Ph.D. qualifying exams coming up this September. Lots of papers and books to read for that.

Recently, I set aside some time to setup a decent stereo system. Finally got tired of using my computer as a receiver. I got Onkyo TX-SR601receiver, Acoustic Research PSC25 center channel, Acoustic Research PS2062 as fronts, Sony SS-MB150H as rears, and the Pioneer DV-578ADVD player. I can't believe I didn't do this sooner. All my music (especially the vinyls) sound so much better and watching DVDs is just awesome with the surround sound. I also got the Flaming Lips' ``Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots'' on DVD-Audio. That album is 10x better with the surround sound.

Last week, I sold pretty much all my video games (except for Splinter Cell and Project Gotham) and put down pre-orders on ESPN NFL 2K5,Doom 3, and Halo 2. NFL 2K5 should be good; hopefully it will get some respect this year over Madden with its budget pricing and early release date. Totally psyched about Doom 3 (see screenshot), out on August 3rd. I just hope my system can run it smoothly, might have to upgrade the video card.

[Doom 3]

Currently listening: The Polyphonic Spree - ``Together We're Heavy''. Lots of good music came out recently (legally & illegally). The new Converge, The Faint, Dillinger Escape Plan, Isis remixes, Further Seems Forever (demo), The Cure, Unearth are just some. Good time to be a music fan.

PS. I ordered that Airport Express thing from Apple. It looks awesome.

PPS. My cousin just had her baby recently, which means I'm an uncle! Going to see them in mid-August hopefully.

PPPS. I recently broke the 800 mark on the number of CDs I own. Wow.