New Apartment part(ment) 1

So I’ve been kicking around the new apartment since Sunday all by myself. I’ve comitted to getting everything unpacked and settled before Alli comes back from Cancun (my pennance for being that jobless boyfriend who sits around the house all day eating cheez-its and watching CNBC and CSPAN until June 23rd.) I finally got cable and internet today ($110 a month for basic digital and broadband. Anyone else paying this much?) so I will be posting pictures of my unpacking and apartmenting escapades in the coming days. But to tide you over, heres a video of me assembling Tobo, our new entertainment center. Excuse the poor quality. I was struggling with Adobe Premiere long enough to not care about removing redundant and bad frames and such.

Building a Tobo from Alex C on Vimeo.

It’s a Beautiful Day

So, the video isn’t as clear on Vimeo as I’d like it, so I’ve added subtitles.

May 10th @ 2PM in Bemidji, MN from Alex C on Vimeo.

Can a person have two soul mates?

Short post today. Mostly because it’s contents will make you think I’m crazy/obsessive/creepy.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with my love for XKCD. The author shares my EXACT sense of humor. Sometimes it’s kind of eerie, especially on those occasions where we make similar jokes only weeks apart. Think back to my Jurassic Brunch post, and then check this week’s XKCD out: Forks and Spoons
If you mouse over the image, you see it’s alternate text, which is usually a related joke. To make life easier for you, here it is as well:
“Their biggest mistake was bringing Rachael Ray and Emeril to tour the lab and sign off on the project. That’s when Spielberg caught wind of it.”

A couple of months ago I left the following on a white board in the Computer Science lab:
“O(n) solution to the traveling salesmen problem: Jetpack.”
Which was followed a few weeks later by this XKCD: The Traveling Salesman Problem.

Of course this could all be attributed to the following:
1. Computer scientists aren’t funny.
1a. When a computer scientist is funny, it’s funny to other computer scientists.
2. Computer scientists are almost all exactly alike.
3. The number of possible jokes stemming from advanced topics of computer science are very small.


As some of you may know, I have an older sister who used up all of my parents’ art-DNA when she was born. Christy is about to get her MFA in Metalwork and Jewelry Design from Illinois State University at Bloomington-Normal, and I just went down to visit her and check out her thesis exhibit. Check out Symbiosis, and check out some of the pictures I took of her exhibit after the break.

I also found a number of interesting things on my way to/from Illinois. Pictures of Kitties, Bikers, Furnature, and ‘pf’ words after the break.


We’re gonna make a fortune with this meal.

My creativity is fleeting, but potent.

More after the break:

Greetings from Bemidji, part le two…

Okay, so heres a list of reasons I actually DO like Bemidji: 1) ALEX DUHHH 2) I can sleep in and hang out and not have to go to work/do anything I want, 3) Alex always has cheezits 4) UNLIMITED FREAKING CABLE. And one of my favorite cable channels is the Discovery Channel. While watching Mythbusters today, we saw this great ad for the DC that we thought we’d share with you! Its really cute!

PS Joel: Alex and I cannot figure out how to add an author… I dont think we have the “post author” section on the the right-hand side of our screen, what gives?

Pimpin ain’t easy, Joel

First order of business is for me to shamelessly pimp my Uncle’s website. Rustic Workbench isn’t exactly shambot-style wares, but I thought you all might want to look around, just in case. Plus my Uncle’s story is pretty cool. He graduated from the U of M with a bachelors in Middle Eastern Studies. He and his wife Kay lived and worked in Saudi Arabia as translators for the embassy. After my Uncle got tired of that he got his MBA from Harvard and owned a PIP Printing franchise until he retired about 5 years ago. He then learned how to program and builds websites freelance. He’s currently living in the Maine wilderness, and is spending his time updating the cabin and building the things that he’s selling on his website. His wife Kay has been up to some interesting stuff as of late as well. She performs the ‘ud in various Middle Eastern music productions. They’re really cool people with really interesting lives. Fun stuff.

Also, if you remember the Fire Wire videos I posted a couple weeks ago, it turns out campus security was aware of it, and as a result the newspaper was as well.

Finally, I just wanted to update you on my website project. It’s coming together well, but unfortunately I won’t be able to host it on the public CS server, so you guys won’t be able to see it. Just as well too because we decided not to worry about how it looks, and instead concentrate on how it functions. As a result it’s butt ugly. But I am thinking seriously about developing the site further after I graduate, in which case I’ll get some real hosting for it and might talk to some of you shambers about designing it for keeps.

Another Short Post – Don’t be a Hater Baby

Sorry guys don’t hate me, I just thought this was SOO funny that it needed postin’. For those of you who didn’t know, the only people nerdier than Comp. Sci. majors are people who make a living off of WOW, and people who work with patents. Proof is in the pudding. By far the nerdiest marriage proposal ever.

Also, my birthday is coming up. To commemorate it, Microsoft is releasing this. Anyone who wants to curry my favor (yes, my favor is worth thousands of dollars) can go ahead and give MS a call.

Happy re-winter everyone!

double-post, ftw

Quick video post today.

First, I went ahead and put a bunch of my videos up on Vimeo. They’re not anything at all special or artsy. Basically they’re just occasions where instead of turning my camera to “Auto” i turned it to “Movie”. But heres a link to my page for posterity Alex’s Vimeo Videos (I’m not RickRolling you this time, I promise.) On a related note, if you’re wondering how one entertains oneself in Bemidji, MN check out the video after the break.

Second, Robots are getting cooler. Also props to MIT for coming out with this robot (Nexi), which rivals the expressive abilities of most AIBots I’ve seen to date. It’s amazing what emotions can be expressed with only the eyebrows, eyelids, eyes, and mouth. If you’ve got a spare few minutes, just imagine what it’dd be like to have a conversation with this thing. I remember the first time I talked to an AIMBot. Blew my freaking mind. Anyway, enjoy the video:


I got a job, just in the rick of time.

Hi shambers,

I am employable! I’ve been worrying a bit lately ’cause i haden’t found a job yet (despite most of the other students in my department having jobs all lined up since February. But yesterday my luck changed and I got an awesome offer from Target! I’m excited! I get to work in a big tall building downtown and wear suits to work. Interestingly, my job will require very little computer-code writing (they outsource that to India.) Instead my job will involve… well, i’m not entirely sure. From what I understand it will involve designing systems and working through the details of solutions, as well as fixing things. Exciting!

On another exciting note, I’ve had this idea for a website kicking around in my head since Christmas. The site pulls articles from blogs using RSS feeds (sites like Shambot, as well as news sites like and It then keeps track of which users read and recommend each article, compares the users’ reads and recommends to each other, and suggests articles for you to read based on these other similar users. It’s kinda like, except instead of using universal recommendations, they’re customized to you and people like you. I came up with the idea when I realized that Digg, which used to be awesome, was beginning to suck because most of the people who ‘digg’ things like things that I do not.

Well, my instructor assigned my Advanced Web Design class a project, but left it up to us to decide what the project would be. I pitched this idea to the class and they liked it. So we’re going ahead with developing it. We’re using the name Jovial right now (it doesn’t really mean anything, so don’t bother asking.) Unfortunately we’re all CS people and not design people, so the site will probably be butt ugly. I’ll post a link to it when we get something working. Oh! But since so many of you people are artists, i’d appreciate any suggestions for a color pallet. Since the site is named Jovial, and it’s a news site, think Jupiter and readability as far as colors are concerned (milky reds and yellows maybe, black text?.) We need colors for the title bar/borders, page background, and article background. Exciting project.

Well I’m off to play some sports on this nice day (no snow in Bemidji.) Happy April Fools everybody.