Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stress, my longlasting buddy

Stress became a significant part of my life. Even if you can definitely say that I was stressed out before, as time went by, and I came here in the US the levels and peaks increased substantially. I don't mind it, never did but I am sure some tiny behavioral disorders take place everytime one goes through tough periods. Good things come along: loose weight, become more determined and faster:)), what else? Ohh yeah, many satisfactions if your endeavors are successful; however, even then you don't get to enjoy them much you just move along towards new goals and objectives. Stress is a huge problem in the US; probably in Japan too, but they have their own weird ways of refulating all the "bad" stuff out. Unlike us, the European people with their causy jobs and two month back2back vacation are far better off. And then, you have to pose yourself the question:which is more important, the success or the health and how to balance them in an optimum way? Any answers??:)) guess not.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Washington DC

Finally I got to visit the capital. It is exactly how it supposed to be; reminded me a lot of Bucharest with all the governmental buildings and parks. Otherwise very clean, large streets and of course many officers of the law around all those touristic and governamental sites.
The SMIthsonian was great by the way but of course we had little time to browse around just a couple of museums but it is something to look forward to come back to. The vast green space bookended by the Capitol and the Washington monument is a hub of activity. The mall has hosted protests, concerts, festivals and more. And hundreds of joggers prowl the big rectangle every day. It's a refreshing oasis in the middle of a bustling city. And it is the ideal place for a nice quiet rest between stops at the various Smithsonian Museums around its edges.

Miss M and the Saturn US rocket

the Washington monument

One great shot

The Smithsonian visitor center

The Senate

The White House

Great nightshot

I took a lot of pictures and saw some nice museums and gardens (in between them). To stroll the Mall and the streets and parks in DC it's really worthwhile and I can't wait to get back there. The time spent in the Natural History Museum was totally insufficient for observing all the animals, mammouths, dinosaurs and all the special expositions. Ohhh, I forgot: they are all free; I knew/heard that before so it is probably not so surprising but the diversity and variety of museums is charming and appealing.
These 5 days were amaizing and everything was perfect. Although I was extremely tired after visiting all these, it sure was worth it.

One week getaway

It was an excellent 5 day get-a-way from all happening back in troy. Maryland. and DC.
Great landscapes, people and a lot of things to see. Below are just a few pictures of things that I've seen in these days. Also for the first time I flew Southwest the leader in low-fare airline companies from Albany to Baltimore in a quick and easy 50 minute flight.

Outside the Senate building in Annapolis with a local guide

The Naval Academia and the result of a rookie challenge

Same location, congrats for the graduates

Just another student on the bench

North Beach, MD on the boardwalk

Friday, May 26, 2006

Odd inventions :-) episode 1

Today I am gonna launch a new topic [could become a post in time - I sense great potential here:))- ] under the title 'Odd Inventions'; the ones that I fail to see an immediate applicability and value but are here on the market and sure enough got patentet under the title "useful and new". I am not gonna show funny and stupid stuff that passed this test (e.g. the urine drip collector, just to mention one) but other inventions that surprised me in pages of shopping magazines or websites.

Here is our first one:
the PLUS DECK converter which once inserted into a 5 25" bay of your computer and connected to your serial port (I am not sure here because I didn't read the specs) it will provide you the miracle of inserting a tape and transforming those track into mp3s. Just a couple of issues (came to me in the first seconds): who listens (still) to tapes? who will buy something like this? (100 and some $$- just for converting some tapes???) QUALITY?? (mp3s are far far far from a perfect sound; tapes are worse; what can possible come out of this magical combination?) when is the vinyl PLUS DECK converter coming up? or are we there yeeet??:)))

The true (and unknown) Romania

Here is something that all Romanians should be aware of...and make others aware also.
Just a few of the Romanian contributors (main ones) to the global heritage.
(the link is truncated after the "F" sign)!
a nice 5 minute movie (eng).

Thursday, May 25, 2006


Just tried one of these babies: Sony DCR DVD 105 top of the long line of Sony's releases this year. Although kind of high priced in the ordinary stores (I got it for 540$ w tax) but attractively cheaper online (400) it really does a nice job in setting the standards higher for amateur shooting and home movie lovers.
Easy to use, comes bundled with Nero Express 6 DVD software – the trouble-free way to copy video directly to 12cm DVDs without the need for a USB connection- although I personally didn't use it at all and is equipped with Sony’s Super SteadyShot technology. The DVDs are a hassle though; I bought the best of the line (5 SONY small DVDRW+) 24 $ !! and they are not lasting that long also: 20 min HQ; 30 min SP; and 60 LP; Thus, beware on those and your battery level (about 90m at most).

Summarizing: Very small, very compact but impressive in action and zooming. (4 out of 5)

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Cool cinematic stuff

An excellent German movie!! An appealing Kusturica-type of story, excellent actors and a beautiful song theme => a good recipe for success: winner of six European Film Awards (including Best Picture of the Year -2004-)and a Golden Globe nominalization (Best Foreign Film).
In 1989, Christiane Kerner suffers a heart attack and enters a 8-month coma. She was a devoted believer in the Socialist system existing in the East Germany, which came with the cost of her marriage also (she refused to follow her husband into fleeing to West Germany). To protect her from the shock her son Alex conceives an elaborated plan to keep her in the dark.
Funny but dark serious at the same time.
It reminded me so much of those long gone time and although I was in primary school when it happened it's still much alive. A must for all Eastern Europeans:))

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Last Exam

The exams are over. At least for me:). Econometrics was the last brick to tear down between myself and a well-deserved Summer Break (although not a genuine "break" at least a break from NY, US and my university - I have plenty to do this summer and it's no fun, believe it or not). Today's exam was easier than I thought but the subject isn't at all; again I am not so sure about my answers and solutions but surely glad that I put it behind. Now I have to search for a place to live next year, make a storage plan for my (thousands of) things that I've managed to gather in these two years of US graduate school and prepare for Summer's exciting experience winking ahead. Ciao.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Movie wise

Lately I caugth two good movies; both fairly recent (2005) and with good reviews.

An excellent Award winning movie. It got three Academy Awards(Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Art Direction) but probably the attention of the world is a better reward. Fine directing,excellent acting and the mistique atmosphere of early 20th century Japan make the 2 and 1/2 hours fly by in the most pleasing way possible.

The classic, by now, first campaign in Iraq (war??) in 1991 seen through the eyes of a classical marine recruit. Hillarious at the begining(Jamie Foxx has some cute lines in this way) it evolves more into the usual atmosphere of the gendre without reaching the same level of accuracy regarding the atrocities of war.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May 1st - more anniversaries

This blogg reached 50 posts already..and it is still the dark.:))
But not for long hopefully.
Also,today the Empire States Building is celebrating 75 years. Currently the tallest building in NYC -approx.450 m- (after 9/11), it will always remain a symbol for Manhattan, New York City and even the USA.

Mother's Day

In the US we celebrate Mother's Day on the 14th of May.However, today it actually is my mom's birthday. Plus the MAYDAY -International Worker's Day- which also suits her fine. She worked all her life hard and she actually believes in the principle the more you work the better off you'll be. Which, of course doesn't really hold in today's complex world and especially in the state own educational Romanian system. Competitivity, creativity or excellence receive (if any) repayments in the form of handshakes and diplomas.
Happy Birthday mom! :)