Monday, November 26, 2007

Catching Up II

Robocup was great, and then, to top it off, my awesome friend Heather Nordstrom was in from NYC for a conference.

Heather and I met learning and training Capoeira in the Twin Cities in 1995 and took Portuguese classes together at the University of Minnesota. She's one-of-a-kind, taught English in Germany, M.A. in Education from Columbia's world-renowned teacher's college, amateur steeple-chase rider, outdoors-woman and now teaching for the past several years in Manhattan.

It was fantastic that she was in town. I even had a chance to get my first tank-full of biodiesel from Rob del Bueno's new station on Arizona Ave. while Heather and I were out for dinner and a tour of Decatur.

She's an inspiration and I'm looking forward to trying to talk her into transferring to Ron Clark's school here in Atlanta!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Catching Up

First off, Robocup!

It's been a while, but it was great fun. I took my week's vacation from Barnes and Noble College to be the volunteer coordinator for the Georgia Tech Student Center venue for Robocup 2007.

Not only did I get to meet tons of great Tech community volunteers, and work side-by-side with my lovely and brilliant better-half, Margarete Mote, (seen above with an Aibo "robodog"), we also, to our total surprise, met the Robocup Jr. team from Margarete's home town of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil: the Clube de InvestigaƧƵes Cientificas (CIC) Robotics (Scientific Investigation Club Robotics), created and led by Fabio Ferriera, who lives in the next neighborhood over from my wife's family.

We had no idea there would even be a team from Salvador, but that they turned out to be almost family, was, well, more than I could have ever hoped for. And then I was able to do them a favor: they originally planned to have enough time before the competition to make it to Fry's Electronics (they had done their research!) to buy new laptops (because equal quality machines in Brazil would be 3-4 times as much), but, they assumed they would be able to take public transportation (or a not too expensive taxi) to get there. Also, the laptop they brought with them and one of the adapters they received as part of the competition weren't compatible so they needed new laptops to be able to program their bots.

I had the chance to get them to Fry's and back and get to know the team better. So I got to practice my Portuguese and find out about the state of robotics in Brazil all week, as well as help out guys from "back home".

Great way to spend the week of the 4th of July. Hopefully I will get to see them all in Salvador sometime in the not too distant future.