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I just stayed up to watch the depressingly short semifinal match between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick. I was of course rooting for Andy, but Roger put on another one of his seemingly routine show-for-the-ages routines, with a particularly amazing second set in which he blanked the hard-serving American 6-0. The rest of the match seemed to be on autopilot for Federer, who didn’t seem to even break a sweat.

Although Federer still has a few records to break (which I am convinced he will break), I am pretty sure that a tennis player of his dominance is unprecedented. Sure, he’s not perfect yet — he is weak on clay (thank goodness for Roland Garros), and he had a bad game in which Roddick broke him in the first set, but for much of the match it looked like a convincing reason that we don’t have college teams play in the NBA finals. One game might be fun, but after that it just wouldn’t be entertaining.

However, it is not in my nature to begrudge someone just for being good at what they do. I am in favor of great competition, but I prefer that competition to come from player’s rising to a higher level during competition rather than the better player having a bad day. So I want Andy to beat Federer — the sooner the better — but I want him to win by outplaying Federer at his best, and not because Federer has a bad day.

Until then, I guess we just have to wait for the French Open, when Nadal to call up his clay magic once again and restore a little bit of balance to the Tennis universe.

Soccer and Happiness

I am actually feeling really good right now. I turned in the second Bioengineering problem set of the week today, I’ve already finished my Wednesday CSE homework, my Operating Systems group amde good progress on our threads library, and I played in my first soccer game since 2003. I’m not in very good soccer shape, so I did what I always do after a sports game leaves me winded: I ate a really awesome meal (Teriyaki Tilapia, rice, veggies), and then I biked at high speeds around Green Lake. Except for the pot-smoking dopehead going the wrong direction in the wrong lane, it was a good ride.

On an interesting side note, my LED bike light doesn’t play nicely with my wireless cycling computer. When the light is in blinky mode, the computer reports a steady pace of 16mph plus the actual speed. When the light is on steady, the computer simply doesn’t count. Must be some of the energy efficient switching electronics wreaking havoc on the radio waves. So, I opted for safety over information (it was actually a hard choice — but the pot head should be happy), and I used my light instead of my bike computer. I used my wristwatch to time myself around the lake — 2.7 miles by previous measures — and I was able to complete it in about 9:30, about 17 mph if I’m doing my math right. I’ve one better, but I think thats pretty good for a late night ride.

Oh, and we tied the soccer game.

Florida Gators

Florida Gators

Well that left no doubt.

But of course that means there is only one undefeated team

Playoffs anyone?

Long Days

Saturday was the FIRST Robotics Competition Kickoff. It broadcasts live from Manchester New Hampshire where it is 10:00, so that means 7:00 here, which means getting up around 5:30. The local kickoff event is hosted by none other than the Titan Robotics Club, with generous support from the FIRSTWA/SRA, and DeVry Univeristy. Red Bull was kind enough to provide refreshments (in the form of Red Bull drinks, of course).

I recently discovered that a fellow CSE student, Helene, was a FIRST alum (from team 192, GRT), so I invited her along. With just a little bit of prodding, she accepted, and we both ended up enjoying ourselves while learning about the new game. Of course, I already had a sneak peak from helping assemble the rack on Friday night.

I had promised to get Helene home early, so I left immediately after the kickoff to take her back to the U-District. Next came soccer practice, at 12:30. Since intramural sports seem to be the only way I can coax myself to exercise regularly, I try to get involved with them every quarter. A big thanks to Scott for organizing it every quarter.

Next, I did some homework while organizing a movie-going expedition with Courtney. Along with Kunlun and Anne, we ended up seeing Children of Men, a wonderfully gritty apocalyptic offering. While the others I was with saw it as depressing, I have a way of seeing these sorts of films as very hopeful. Sure, the surroundings were grim — women are infertile and the whole world is self-destructing — but in the midst of it all, life is finding a way forward. I’d give the film an A, or a 4.5/5.

After the movie, I went over to Ananth’s place to watch the second half of the Seahawks game. Talk about a roller coaster! But the Hawks prevailed, so for now, all is well. Ananth was kind enough to feed me while at his apartment, so I didn’t have to do it myself. I also got a call from Maneesh right after the game, and we were able to go crazy over the phone together. It was a good time. After seeing the Sonics lose yet another game, I headed back home to work on some more homework, before succumbing to sleep fairly early.

Sunday, I woke up surprisingly late, considering how early I had fallen asleep. Most of the day was homework until I ended up at my parent’s for food. After dinner, Jon came over an we all watched the replay of the Boise State-Oklahoma game, which I must agree was the best college football game I have seen in a long time, perhaps ever. It seems that for the last few minutes of the game, and overtime, Boise State had simply run out of normal plays. Everything was a trick. Even my mom was excited. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

After the game, it was back to the homework. With the help of my Dad, I was finally able to quash a bug in some of my code, finishing the first part of an assignment due Wednesday. Of course, I have a lot of stuff due Monday, which I guess is today, as well, so I have to go home now and start on that. So much for a great start to the quarter; of course this is probably the most stuff I’ve had to do on a first week ever. Even the amount of reading is looking improbable. Oh well, this is what I signed up for I guess.


This fall, I am once again on two intramural football teams — a men’s team, to which I somehow wound up the quarterback, and a co-rec team, where we actually have a competent quarterback :-).

Today we held a practice, and as long as we have enough people show up, we should have some fun and stand a chance in both of our games.

So Close!

The valiant Huskies lost 20-26, a noble effort against the #3 (yeah right) team in the nation, USC. They came seconds away from winning — and I believed right down to the strange, anticlimatic ending that they were going to do it. Isiah Stanback has earned my confidence as a quarterback. Just a stupid way to end — I think it was really Willingham’s fault (I think they would have been ready otherwise), but with what he’s done to the program otherwise, I find it easy to forgive him.

Oh, and I have tickets to the last three home games. I may be a proud husky yet!

I smell a bowl

A bowl game, that is, right around the corner.

From the AP, via Yahoo Sports:

Coach Tyrone Willingham’s Huskies have already doubled their wins total from last year, his first as Washington coach.

Washington (4-1, 2-0) scored three times in the final 6:07 of the first half to take a 21-3 lead and held Arizona (2-3, 0-2) to minus-7 yards rushing.

Washington, though clearly no national-title contender this year, is certainly on the up-and-up. I take it as further validation Tyrone Willingham is indeed the right man for the job.