Saturday, October 10, 2009

U2 in Giant's Stadium 9/24

"We've never played here before." Bono told the crowd. "Okay, that's a lie. We've been here 27 times before"

The concert was the perfect end to a hectic week. I drove up, with Dave and Steve (two fellow pro-dentites) right after a practical exam for Restorative Dentistry I. I was a bit concerned about traffic and being able to make the two hour drive in two hours. It ended up being just about perfect. We pulled into what might have been the last open parking lot "close" to the stadium.

After we got into the stadium and located our seats, we went and g
ot dinner: cheesesteaks and beer, which hit the spot and got the night off to a great start. Muse was the opening band, and I knew all but one of the songs they played. That really says something, because I don't really know all that much of their music. I was disappointed that they didn't play Undisclosed Desires from their latest CD. It's a really great song that I think everyone should check out. Go, now. Here's a couple of Muse Photos:

U2 came on stage at 9:08 pm. At which point, I took a picture.

Then, U2 proceeded to play two hours of really good music. Mixing up old and new stuff, they played a lot from No Line On The Horizon. There was also plenty from The Joshua Tree, but Atchung Baby, All That You Can't Leave Behind, and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb were well represented too. Here's the set list:

Get on Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day
No Line on the Horizon
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Unknown Caller
Until The End Of The World
Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
I'll Go Crazy - Remix
Sunday Bloody Sunday
Walk On
Where The Streets Have No Nam

The music is why we go to shows, but that's not all of it. U2 always has the most unbelievable stage set ups. They truly outdid themselves. I can't imagine how much they spend on that LED screen, and all of the lights. Seriously, there were lights/LEDs on everything. Heck, the microphone that Bono swung around on during the encore must have been pretty expensive. But it sure was cool.

Beautiful Day

Unknown Caller

City of Blinding Lights

With or Without You

Saturday, October 3, 2009

My Room

Okay, so here are some photos of my room out here in Philly. It's pretty nice, if I do say so myself.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Orientation Update ---> I survived

It's hard to believe that in two days I'll be attending actual classes for dental school. Thursday and Friday were both orientation. Thursday included lectures from the Dean of Admissions, as well as Dean Ismail (who is over the whole dental school). I got the feeling that Dean Ismail is extremely interested in listening to the students, and more than willing to make changes when the need arises. This is the kind of progressive mentality that I think will make Temple a great place to be. The dental school is going to be going through some major changes over the next few years (including some significant renovations to the clinics) which will be both exciting and stressful. He also mentioned that the school will be up for accreditation review in 2011, so I'm sure there will be some added pressure for excellence relating to that.

We got our pictures taken for our student IDs during lunch. When I got my ID card, I was completely appalled, because they had cut my chin off in the photo. How do you do that!?! I'm tempted to "lose" my card, but I'm worried that they'll just print a new one with the same pic.

The rest of day one was pretty much a wash. We had various guest speakers, some of which were absolutely horrendous (read: Office of Sustainability, as well as a community organizer...) while others teetered on the edge of moderately amusing (a librarian from the health sciences campus, who was pretty much how I envision Greg in a few years).

Thursday night was a party hosted by Temple Dental at the Summit Park clubhouse (where I live). There was a DJ that seemed allright, and the bar had open draft beers from 7-11. I didn't drink much after the beer went back to normal price, so I was able to drive some of my friends to the house they are renting in Manayunk, a mile or two down the road.

Friday, for orientation pt. II we had more lectures, this time from the people in the financial aid office. The material would have been more helpful about three or four months ago, when I actually was working through the loan process. I can't imagine it was helpful for anyone, but then again, perhaps there are a few UBER procrastinators in my class.

This year is the first year the dental school is going to have a dress code. To tell you the truth, I'm a little bit relieved that we have to wear scrubs. It'll simplify everything. Plus, the scrubs we'll be getting will have our names on them. The only downside is that we have to wear business casual attire until they come in. Oh, I might need another pair of khakis.

The biggest part of the day was the unpacking of our dental kits. Our job was to verify the contents of two large boxes of supplies and instruments, about $6500 worth. Before we could unpack, we had to get our pre-clinic lab assignments. Southpaws i.e. lefties get moved out of alphabetical order so they can sit on the ends of the rows, so I didn't get quite as an early start unpacking as some of my classmates. Additionally, there were a lot of 3rd year students there to help, but my "buddy" didn't show up. I got a bit behind, but then a guy came and helped me out, so I was good.

I also joined one of the dental fraternities, mostly so I could get a discount on their collection of back-tests. For $110 you can purchase all of the exams given by professors to D1s in the last 10 years or so. It's crazy, here's the proof:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Welcome to Philadelphia

So, it's been an interesting few weeks here. The humidity seem to have broken for the most part, which makes it more than bearable to go outside in the daytime. It also makes my gum less gooey. In Utah, my gum would dry out if I didn't chew it soon enough after opening the package. Out here, it absorbs water from the air. I learned not to carry gum in my pocket on humid days, and was complaining to Eric (a fellow first year who also lives in Summit Park) about the result. His response: Welcome to Philadelphia.

My Utah license plates stand out like a sore thumb. Yesterday when I came out of the salon after getting a haircut, there was a teenage girl taking a picture with her phone of my license plates. I didn't notice what she was doing until after I went to unlock my car. I think I scared her to death. I could tell she was embarrassed, so I attempted to flash a reassuring smile.

So far, people here have been very nice to me. At Home Depot, a fellow noticed I was from Utah, and walked over to welcome me to the city. He asked where I was going to be attending school, and was excited to tell me that Temple was his alma mater. And last, but not least, the night I rolled into town, some of the people in my apartment building were out playing bean bags. They pretty much unpacked my car and carried stuff into the apartment in 5 minutes flat. When I thanked them for their help one of the dudes told me, "No problem. That's how we do it in PA."

That's all I have time for now. I'm going to take some photos and post them in the next couple of days. I have my first day of orientation on Thursday, and then classes start on monday!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2100 miles to Philly - In Photos

So, I've finally got my desk set up in my room, along with my external hard drive. Now I can start posting some pictures and such on my blog. I didn't want to get ahead of myself and post anything until I got the roadtrip pics up here. They aren't as cool as I was hoping they would be, but hey, I tried. Basically, there is a picture about every 100 miles, taken by whomever was sitting in the passenger seat.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Grilling

Even though it's been raining a lot over the past month I've still been grilling like it's going out of style. Kristen gave me a fabulous cookbook titled "Mastering the Grill" and I've been getting a ton of ideas from it. At pretty much any given time in the past week, there has been something marinating in the fridge. In any case, I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe for a chicken marinade. Mince some garlic and cilantro and mix it with half a bottle or so of Zesty Italian salad dressing. Pour into a ziplock, add a few chicken breasts, and toss it in the fridge overnight (don't tell Whitney, though). The next day, fire up the grill to high heat, and sear each side of the breasts for about three minutes. Then turn the grill down, and cook until the juices run clear. The result should be juicy and delightful. Give it a try!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Higher Education FAIL

I'm a regular subscriber to FAILBlog. Some of their posts are pretty hilarious. I saw this while driving home the other day. My mother was kind enough to hang out the window and take the photo.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dental School Woes

I've only just begun to look at the full cost of going to dental school. Temple's tuition runs somewhere in the middle of all of the schools I interviewed at. While it's not nearly as expensive as University of the Pacific (in San Fran), and the fact that becoming a Pennsylvania "resident" is rather difficult (so, no in-state tuition unfortunately) it ends up looking about "average" tuition for an out-of-stater like myself. And, of course, tuition isn't the only thing I'll be spending lots of money on. The cost of living isn't terribly outrageous in Philly, but it's nothin' like the midwest, either.

I've been running spreadsheets for about the last week now, trying to estimate how much money I'm going to need to take out in student loans over the next four years. If you take out too much, you'll be the last person from your class to pay back the loans. If you don't take out enough, you eat Ramen six nights a week, and Mac & Cheese (not the kind with Gruyere) for your fancy meal of the week.

In any case, I'm hoping to have my loans paid off within ten years of graduation, if not sooner, and i'm totally prepared to drive my Camry until the wheels fall off in order to make that happen. Eeek. It sure is scary to see how much it's going to cost me, in sum. $300K, less if I'm smart about it.

The photo is a screenshot of a part of one of the spreadsheets, which shows monthly payments, as well as the fraction of interest and principal balance paid.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A bit of handywork

Two of my three Xbox 360 controllers have been unhappy recently. The buttons on one stopped popping back up after they had been pressed down. The other controller had the misfortune of being the one I was using when I lost my 10th straight game in Halo 3's fiesta double experience playlist a couple of weeks back.

I had two controllers in need of repair, so I bought a special tool online so I could undo the screws that Microsoft uses (tamper resistant Torx, size T8, just in case you care). Long story short, when I was putting the controllers back together, I realized I could mix and match the pieces from the different colored controllers (white and black) to make a unique look.

I was so pleased with the result, I took a couple of photos.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dental School: Not For Me

So, I've been thinking a lot over the past couple of days. I'm not sure I'm ready to take the plunge and go to dental school quite yet. I guess I've got a few months to decide. Actually, I'm pretty sure that if I don't show up for orientation, then they'll just call the next person on the wait list at that point. That means I have until the 27th of August to decide for sure. It feels so great to finally get this off my chest. Amazing, really!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Spring Cleaning v3

If you can't tell, I'm having a pretty good time here... More photos! This time we have a selective desaturation and an abstract.

U2 Tour Thoughts

So, the other day U2 announced the dates for the first leg of their worldwide tour. I'm really excited. I just wanted to make a quick comment on something I noticed. The tour is sponsored by Blackberry. This is interesting to me because to me it seemed that U2 always had a pretty tight relationship with Apple. I mean, remember when U2 had their own limited edition iPod? Anyway, it's just at thought I had running through my mind.

While we are on the subject of U2. I just wanted you to see how cool the stage set up for this next tour is going to be. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Spring Cleaning, v2

These photos didn't really work well with the last post's somewhat unintentional nature theme. The previous photos just so happened to come from the same folder (surprising, I know) and I felt that a new post was appropriate.

Spring Cleaning

So, here I am, once again, looking through my hard drive and finding some pretty cool pictures that I've taken in the past. It is an unfortunate occurrence in this digital age, that after taking hundreds of photos and then dumping them on the external disc, many get forgotten and never get to be shown the love of photoshop. Hope you enjoy a couple of old ones I found.

Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm not a cookie cutter Utahn

Another slightly annoying Facebook request:

Monday, March 2, 2009