Hello from VLDB

Writing this from my hotel in downtown Toronto. Got into the city sometime last night, after much rain and a 2-hour electricity outage, everything is pretty much settled down. I'll be here for the rest of the week attending VLDB 2004. Other than that, not much to see in town since I was just here a couple of years ago. So I will take this free time to prepare for my upcoming Ph.D. qualifying exam. But I'll definitely go out to Chinatown often for the food; good thing the public transportation system in Toronto is robust.

I came back from Dallas last week visiting my new-born nephew, cousin and her family. It was a fun trip, babies are cool. Among other things, we visited Austin and downtown Dallas. The 6th Floor Museum about JFK was really cool. It's not often you can be so close to history.

Also, the fall semester started last week. I'm just taking one class but will probably sit in on a couple more. The big thing this semester will be the qual. I probably won't be able to relax until passing that.

Doom 3 finally came out and it was downright dissappointing. Aside from the monotonous gameplay, I wasn't even that impressed with the graphics. Why is everything so shiny? I guess I'll just have to wait for Half-Life 2 (which is suppose to go Gold on monday).

Currently listening to: Rilo Kiley - ``More Adventurous.''