California, Fencing, and Ren Fest

Sat Jul 14th, 2001 10:37:45 PM EST

Diary Entry 24
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It's been a good week. I bought my plane ticket to California, found out about fencing at Ren Fest, refereed at a fencing tournament, bought some textbooks, met some new people, went to a party, and more.

Buying plane tickets is a difficult experience. I went through Expedia since their website seems pretty usable. I tried lots of the permutations of one-way/round-trip versus leaving from LAN/GRR/DTW versus arriving at SFO/SJC versus leaving Sep. 19 or 20 versus "returning" Sep. 24 or 25. I discovered that it's cheaper to buy a round-trip ticket and throw away the return ticket than to buy a one-way ticket. I also found out that prices on leaving from LAN have plunged in the last month—last time I checked it was $300 more to leave from LAN than it was this week!

For some reason Expedia insists on sending paper tickets by 2nd day air. This seems silly for a flight that doesn't leave until September.

Dale (assistant fencing coach) says that we are going to be fencing at the Michigan Renaissance Festival again this year! This is such great news. I had so much fun at the Ren Fest last year, I can't wait to do it again this year. Hopefully I will be able to be there for all 5 of the weekends before I leave for California.

I refereed at a fencing tournament at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan (USA) today. My friend and fellow MSU alumnus (although he preceded me at that by several years) Doug McLaren, who teaches at the fencing club there, invited me out. This is the first tournament that I've refereed at outside my own club. I need some more experience before I take the referee practical exam in order to be officially accredited for refereeing. Maybe I'll have more opportunities for this around Stanford—I hear that there's a lot more fencing out there than there is around here.

Wednesday afternoon I hung out in a local bar and restaurant, ``Beggar's Banquet'', with a programmer friend of mine by the name of Joe Whitesell. We showed each other our latest creations and ideas on our laptops over beer. Inspirational: it's great to talk to other people who think like I do, and it happens far too rarely.

Thursday I ate lunch with a couple of computer buddies on campus, then headed over to the library with my laptop, because I can get Ethernet-based Internet access there and watch people go by. I upgraded to the latest Debian unstable while I was there and actually got some work done on libavl at the same time. And then about 4:45 I ran into some friends of mine there (Becca, Jo Ann, and Kin), just by chance, and we went to feed the ducks down by the Red Cedar. I threw a lot of my bread at Jo Ann to see if the ducks would attack her, but they didn't seem too interested. It was fun anyway.

I put up pictures of two of the sand castles that Tim and I built last week on my webpage. I still need to get pictures of the third one from Tim.

Found out that Cammie is in Utah for three weeks. Guess we won't be going anywhere together for a while :-)

I met some more of my friend Jeremy's housemates. He's living in an all-vegetarian co-op this summer, although he's not a vegetarian, and new people keep moving in. The newest is Sarah from Utah (unrelated to where Cammie is). On Tuesday night the three of us went out for a drink. She's an MSU grad student in art, and good to talk to.

There was a party at Jeremy's co-op on Friday. Sarah and I played checkers and air hockey. There was way too much food because Jeremy (who got the food when we were out late on Thursday night) expected more people. Guess they need to advertise, or have free beer, if they want lots of people to show up!

I'm sure that there's more, but this has been kind of pointless detail already. Does anyone really read these ramblings of mine? Probably not; I only seem to get comments when I ask a question.

Last updated 03 Apr 2004 21:17. Copyright © 2004 Ben Pfaff.
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