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Champaign was visited by a pretty epic storm briefly this afternoon, with sheets of rain lashing down and flashes of lightning flashing through clouds that look like they came from Mordor.

I would have never noticed any of this, though, if I hadn't stepped out of my office while the storm was happening and heard the hammering of the raindrops on the AC unit and seen the downpour from the windows of the office across the hall. The office I sit in has no windows, which makes working in there very much resemble this:

Cut for picture )
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It was mid 20s Celsius at the beginning of the week...why is it barely above freezing now?
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Looks like spring has started to visit us in earnest, as we've had several days of excellent weather.

We had our second recruitment weekend start on Friday with a large crowd of potential froshlings this time round. Got to go to lunch and dinner with several of them, a nice lot, which was fun. We went to KoFusion and tried a wide sampling of sushi that was surprisingly good for a landlocked state. There were wide platters of cut rolls that had tempura shaped like crab claws, and aluminum boats of sushi that were surrounded by gin-fueled fire.

We went to Crane Alley afterwards for a few rounds of pool, resulting in several quite unlikely shots. The game I played in together with a froshling from Tech included had us lagging behind sorely in the beginning in typical Tech fashion (we had not yet scored by the time our opponents were down to 2 balls). Surprisingly, though, we were able to catch up in the next few rounds with a few unlikely shots, including sinking a ball into a pocket that was on the opposite side of the table from the pocket being aimed at. The game was close after that for a while--the other team scored in another ball, but also hit one of our balls in for us. Ultimately, though, it came down to a showdown between two red balls. The other team's ball was blocking the path of our ball to the corner pocket. I managed to bank our ball ball around the other to avoid hitting it into the pocket, but in doing so, lined up the shot for the other team to take the winning shots. Still, it was quite unexpectedly close. Other games featured balls being sunk after banking twice and cue-balls jumping over target balls to land straight into the destination pocket.

Saturday was one of the first warm (it's amazing how warm 52F can feel after months of winter), sunny days we've had this year, so to take advantage, I went rollerblading at Meadowbrook Park. I managed to rent a Prius zipcar, which was an interesting experience. Rather than an ignition key, there's an on button, and there was also a separate parking button apart from the transmission stick. Being able to hear the engine turn on and off at stops was highly amusing. The park itself was quite nice, with wide stretches of wild grass lined with trees.

Nature hasn't quite woken up from its sleep yet as this year, the cold has persisted quite late into the year, but I did manage to see the occasional swallow flitting about.

Today was even warmer out, despite predictions of rain, so I managed to make a stop at the other big park in town to watch the sunset. The geese are back in earnest now and are quite feisty, honking at each other both on land and in the water.

I've got my fingers crossed in hopes that the good weather will last for a few more weeks.
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Just finished off everything for the school year (related to classwork...the research never ends). It feels a bit odd to be stopping in mid May, but I'm glad that I'll have more time to focus on the important, long term stuff now.

Also, Illinois has the funkiest weather. It was threatening to rain the entire day, but was ~20C for most of the time despite really dark clouds. I felt I was in a coolish sauna really--it was really hard to decide whether to keep my coat on.


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February 2014

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