Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pics and Such

So, I finally got out today. I walked to the CBD and browsed the Victoria Market with a bud, Sven. Anyways, here are some of the pics from that adventure, along with a handful I took at the uni and hostel. The following images, along with various sizes and such, are linked from


Friday, July 23, 2010


Wow, you know, I kinda like Batman; but more on the latter later. So, I am still searching for housing, a matcave, and I do realize that my pictures and updates have been less than frequent. I have started university, which really seems cool so far. The campus is beautiful, and I do need to get more pics. But, I have curtailed a lot of fun, in lieu of wanting to get settled. I do enjoy that the program is research, and quite flexible; however, I do get bouts of homesickness. At times, I just want to be at home or in my cube at work. Missing my family and friends kinda stinks. But, there new hacking experiences and the research, all really make staying here alluring! But my prime task from my advisor is to find a place to live!

I did just want to drop a quick post. Sorry, hopefully I can get settled soon, out of the hostel, and then let myself have a tad bit more fun; and yes I know I should let myself have fun no matter if I have found a place to settle. Don't get me wrong, I have had fun, but I really want to experience this city.

I do get in bouts of homesickness, who wouldn't? Batman lost his family as a kid, however he survived with his aspirations of being a vigilantist. So, my goal, is to pursue my research to provide a benefit to more than just myself, but to the CS community at large. So, while I do want to be home, at 757Labs, or at my work cube, or with my friends wherever they may be, I must also realize that this time I am here might be short.

I do have aspirations of researching abroad. Once I find a place to lay-my-head, aside from the hostel, my family (and friends are family) have a place to chill too! I want to take you all on this ride with me, y'all being my family and any-other internet stalker. Let the fun begin.


Monday, July 19, 2010

What's the happs. Yeah no pictures...

Wow, I feel kinda lame for not posting much. I have basically curtailed most of my fun until I can find a place to live, as that seems the priority for my sanity. Hence, no pictures. I have met some really cool people though. I have two metal heads in my room, I think both are from Germany. Another dude I met, and chatted with all night, was from Germany as well. He was a brewer of beer, and also home brews... 40 Liters!!!

A (I think) Korean girl has been really nice. She, and I assume her boyfriend "Fish," bought me some noodles. It seems like Ramen, but truly from Korea. I have yet to try that. I might get her and "Fish" to help me cook it. So courteous. Also, she and her boyfriend are leaving for Tasmania soon.

One thing I learned. Always look both ways before crossing the street. I almost have died like a hand-full of times, as they drive on the other-side-of-the-road here (the left side). So when I cross the street, I would look the wrong way and start moving. Kinda funny actually.

Also, I decided to pickup some Vegemite. It's verrrrry unique. It's high in B-vitamins, and is basically a product of yeast. I think it's an acquired taste. Still workin' on that.

Also, I almost caused a fire today. I made toast, it's a good substrate for Vegemite, but apparently if you only put half-a-piece of bread in the ginormous toaster umm, the heating element is offset not-enough, thus the toaster does not realize the bread is as hot as it is. The result being smoke and charcoal.

Yeah, I know. I need to stop worrying about getting housing. I need to enjoy the area and take pics. I did meet two other Uni Melbourne students, one from Chile and another from France (she's cute). The latter being in the CS program too. However, I am in the research portion, I believe she is taking graduate classes or combination I really do not recall now. We all walked to the Uni yesterday.

So, umm, its been kinda hard. I really miss my family and friends. Wait, friends are family. It's that safety net that I kinda miss. However, I also think that leaving such a safety-net has made me be more independent about consuming food. I need to keep up the caloric intake, so that I can stay strong and walk about this beautiful city. Plus they calculate calories via kilojoules, and I do not know the exact conversion form kJ to calories. In other words, stop counting calories and just do what your body wants; stop the OCD. That's kinda how cavemen did it.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Melbourne ho! ... and some pics from the first day there.

Ok, so excuse the possibly excessive loading time. I decided to just drop a set of pictures I have taken, somewhat documenting my journey to Melbourne. By the way, the Virgin Australia airline is crazy! Their 777 (I think) had mood-lights, music in their check-in area, courteous staff, and just felt really hip. And I feel mega-lame for saying the word hip. It's like 4:16AM, been up for a while, couldn't sleep, but I did go to be around like 9:30. Anyways, here are some pics. Actually, I am going to sleep, I'll finish the post later.


Ok back, its like 8AM now.  I have had a lot of apprehension on going here. I think I need to move from the hostel. Things are pretty expensive around here. I kinda just want to get settled first. Anyways, here are some pics!

Ah, so what we have here is a bag full of clothes, an extra pair of shoes, a towel, bowl, spoon, container, Dr. Happy Stein, and some other stuff.  And in the MRD bag, yeah, N-SA style, we have a notebook and camera.  Well the camera was in my hands, but it rested in there on the flights.

This dude sat next to me from Charlotte to LAX.  His name is Cameron, and he was once from Australia.  He now lives in New Zealand (where he is off to), and researches molecular biology.  Really cool dude, and he listens to Slayer!  Not to mention he had strong encouragement for me on going to Melbourne.  He might be one of the reasons I have not yet chickened-out yet.  But he told me something that is of utmost importance, and stemming from Buddhist philosophy.  Never worry, because if there is a solution, it will present itself.  If there is no solution, it will obviously not present itself, and thus there is nothing you can do about such.  So worrying is pointless.

Dan!  Artist who has done work for Mattel and Disney.  He is now trying to throw-together a political satire piece.  He is from L.A. and is freakin' awesome.  Both he, and Cameron, were strong encouragement for me to go.  And he said something quite warming.  A parent's role is to dust off their kids, if they ever need help.  I should never feel guilty if I need to approach my parents for financing.  One of his sons is a physics researcher.

I have arrived in the Southern Hemisphere!

Me and Mike.  Discovered him in my room at the Hostel.  From South Korea.  Really nice guy.

My bunk at the hostel.

The following pics are on my Flickr account:

I found it!

Melbourne Central Business District, taken from the roof of the hostel.



Friday, July 16, 2010

The Eagle has Landed.... Zombie Matt Lurks

Everything is upside down. Wait! The earth is a sphere in a universe to which there truly is no up or down. So, in relation to how the earth orbits about the sun, I am in the Southern Hemisphere. The toilet I tested earlier, in fact flushes so hard you can't really test the Coriolis effect (it should spin counter-clockwise that opposite of the Northern Hemisphere). I need to test on a lesser powered toilet. I'm really tired, feel like a zombie, and do not feel like posting pictures now. I'm on the rooftop of the hostel (no free wi-fi BOO!). Finding free wi-fi around here is not easy. Apparently Macos has it, that's slang for McDonalds. The library has it too, but it's not as convenient as being here in the hostel. I did some war-walking earlier, also scored a crack, er, pay-as-you-go phone, and a calling card. More like a calling receipt, easy to loose. Anyways, when I get some sleep, I haven't had much since I departed Wednesday. I slept a total of maybe 30 minutes on the LA-to-Sydney flight. Anyways, me tired. And pictures need to be posted. Way-cool looking city. Tons of cafes, and prices seem pretty steep. But that might be due to the conversion differences between US Dollar and Australian Dollar.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Wow, the past two weeks have been amazing. Sure, I have been stressed-out, trying to get out of my condo, getting rid of furniture, packing, trying to get rid of my car, banking stuff, and redirecting my mailing address. But ya know what, I got the best family and friends anyone could imagine. I'd like to thank you all individually, but doing so would probably generate a list with a few absent names, unintentionally. Likewise, my co-workers, whom I classify as friends, as well, have been amazing. All of the encouragement and such has been wonderful. Just a few more hours till I hop the plane and take a ride. I sit now on a towel on my floor, the only furniture here is my bed.

Remember, this experience is temporary, so I want to make the next 6 months, or year, the best of my life. However, I am bummed that Slayer just announced their tour with Megadeth and Anthrax here in Virginia, and I should be away then! But, ah, no worries, I've experienced all of those artists before, just not on the same bill.



Sunday, July 4, 2010

What Have I Done!? Uncertainty and Matt's Boolean Rubric of Justification

Sweet droppings from the dark-side of my mind! I am so scared! What happened? Two weeks ago I was all gung-ho about going. Then last week, once I did the plane ticket deal. It really kicked in. I don't know if I want to go. Incredibly scared. But then , I wake up this morning, take a walk, and was like; damn I'd like to be doing this in Melbourne right now.

I'm so wishy washy. I feel weird, because I have led all my co-workers/friends/family into thinking I was going to do this, and now I might just chicken out! I just want to be 7 years old eating cheerios with about 5 lbs of sugar (no, really, my mom loaded the cereal substantially) and watching ALF.

Hark ye naysayers! Well then I start to rationalize everything. I really want the degree, I want the new "job" of research. I want to meet new people and explore new things. And I eventually want to wrestle a drop bear with my bare hands. Oh, and vegemite. But I kinda feel like I'm a character in a Shakespearian play, whose hamartia, or critical-flaw, is that of being rash. I think fast, want something, and try to get it. Later it hits me... what have I done? And I fear I might have done that in this case. Likewise, if I give up now, it might also be a rash decision. It is my assumption that most people fear uncertainty. I tend to be pessimistic about this, and my uncertainty-fear produces a scary-lonely place, while others have a more optimistic sunny-happy vision.

So let me do what a few friends/family have told me to do, (thanks Danny). Danny calls this the "Matt Algorithm" Essentially it's just a break down of "why vs whynot" on going; however, I prefer to call it a boolean Rubric:
WhyWhy Not
  1. Future Job Opportunities for Lower Level Development
  2. Make a Valuable Contribution to CS
  3. Make New Friends and Collegues
  4. Avoid the Lonely/Bordom After Work, as I Plan on Sharing a House/Flat
  5. Learn
  6. Get Outside and Do Something
  7. Proving I Can Do Something On My Own
  8. Get Out of My House
  9. Avoid the Dependence of an Automobile
  10. See Bon Scott's Grave
  11. Vegemite
  1. Expense
  2. Missing Family and Friends
  3. Leaving My Saftey-net
  4. Drop Bears

Ultimately, the money thing is lame. Money is fake, and a fabricated commodity which gives people an excuse NOT to do things.

Right now, just baby steps. I'm going no matter what, for a vacation. If I go crazy, I'll come home with an experience, and only be out the cash it took for transaction fees and school processing charges (they reimburse up till August ~31st). And possibly rent for a place, one of my first goals. If I avoid going all together, I know I will be miserable all my life not even trying. And that's a sad thought.

Positive thoughts. Heck I'm an adult, on my own, why do I feel now I'm 7 again and wanting the comfort of mommy and daddy? Grow a pair!