Archived news items from March 1999
Since this is old news, some links may be broken.
Helen (my pastor's wife) just had her baby yesterday. Daniel Scott Lightsey weighed a healthy seven pounds, especially good considering he was almost a month early. Both mom and Daniel are doing fine and will come home from the hospital tomorrow. Pastor Brian is relieved, and last time I saw him he was grinning like a madman. (In a good way, of course.)
In trivial news, I am eating some Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream as I write this. Bovinity Divinity is a new flavor consisting of milk chocolate ice cream and white fudge cows swirled with white chocolate ice cream and dark fudge cows. This has the potential to approach New York Super Fudge Chunk as my favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream. If you'd like to know more about this and other expensive but delightful flavors of premium ice cream, visit Ben & Jerry's on the web.
Just played through and beat the Kingpin demo. It was interesting and quite different from a typical first-person shooter in many respects. However, it's a sad statement on the shallow aesthetic nature of our culture when it takes me far longer to download a game than to finish it. This was a 110MB download, which took about nine hours on my 33.6 modem. I played it for about two and a half hours. Oh, well.
The student brought back his digital camera on Friday. Another picture, and half an hour with Paint Shop Pro produced a new photo, this one of me as Tinky-Winky, the purple TeleTubby. It's thought-provoking at least. I'll stick that one up, too if I get brave enough.
A student of mine brought a digital camera to class today. It was a very nice Sony Mavica model, one of the ones with the floppy-disc drive built in. He took a couple of photos of me and was able to instantly put them on the computer by just removing the disk. Very nice.
So now I have some photos of me with the beard. I'll see if I can get one of them put up here, since many of you haven't seen it.
I think I'd like one of those digital cameras. Maybe a digital video camera that can record 1280x1024, 32bpp at 60fps or so. That writes directly to DVD-RW as its native format. Yeah, I'll probably pick up one of those this weekend. ;p
Shiny but dulled by road dust and some pollen from a tree in East Texas, the maroon sedan rolls back into Austin.
I'm back. After a fun visit in Houston (a friend of mine from college) where I got to assemble some computers, I'm finally in Austin again. In fact, I didn't even come straight home; I went to our church's coffee house to see Salvation Day Parade, who were very good. Vocal harmony stuff, kinda like Take 6.
I'm about ready to get some rest; I'll unpack and see y'all later.
Well, today was a productive day. I washed my car.
There are some of you who don't know me very well who are thinking, "So what? I wash my car all the time, and you don't see me making a web page update about it." On the other hand, many of you understand what a momentous occasion this is. My car has not been washed since June of 1996. For those keeping track, that's pushing three years.
So my brother and I got out and washed the thing, and then attacked it with an abrasive rubbing compound/wax. It looks great! And it doesn't even have a real wax job at the moment, only the semi-wax from the cleaning compound.
Not content with accomplishing that major undertaking, I then went after my passenger-side door with a screwdriver and was able to get it locking and unlocking again. So now my passenger-side door can be opened for the first time in about two years. This also makes me happy. Now I no longer have to have passengers crawl through the driver's side or be chauffeured in the back.
Anyway, all-in-all I'm pretty excited. I've probably improved the resale value of my car by at least $500 dollars.
Am safely at home. I know you were all worried... ;) I'll let you know if something earthshaking happens up here.
It's Spring Break!
I'm going home to see my family for a few days, and then down to Houston to visit a friend of mine in medical school. I hope to be able to continue updating the site as usual over the break, though.
In other news, I went to my second cousin's house yesterday for a one-year birthday party for her youngest son. The kid's grandfather was there making balloon animals, and I made a few. It had been a while, and took me a bit to remember how to do everything. I managed to avoid passing out, which many of you know has been an issue in the past. It was fun, but I'm still glad I don't do that for a living anymore.
Anyway, I'm off. I'll check in once I arrive in east Texas.
Got to see the Leander High School choral department perform Carmina Burana in our new performing arts center on Tuesday. It was very well done. The facilities are wonderful, and the kids did a nice job.
Also, we just finished filming the recruitment video for Academic Decathlon. It has a war theme, which means I got a chance to wear all my army stuff and yell a lot. A couple of the students are going to finish up a scene or two over spring break, and do all the dubbing and post-production. It should be pretty funny for those in the know and fairly campy in any case.
Have the kids one more day before Spring Break. They're gonna be rowdy tomorrow....
Well, the audition was a resounding success. My voice was looser than it's been for a while, and I did well on the sightreading, too. So I've been accepted, and will start rehearsals with them next Monday evening.
Our next concert will be a little lighter, with lots of pieces from musicals. It will be May 13th, so everybody put it down on your calendar.
Spring break is coming. I plan to do a lot of reading. Reading is fun.
Oh, it also looks like the web page was down for a little while; since about yesterday afternoon. I wish I had anything to do with that so I could have fixed it sooner, but I didn't. Sorry for any inconvenience it may have caused.
Had some friends over Friday night and had a good old-fashioned LAN party, something I rarely do. We killed each other into the wee hours in Quake II and Sin deathmatch. We wanted to play Half-Life, but we don't all own it (yet), and one of the guys just had a little P-233 laptop with no 3D acceleration, so he would have been hurting anyway.
I think I've finally recovered from AcaDec in terms of sleep. I've already gotten the books for next year, which I'll probably begin reading over Spring Break.
On a related note, I ordered the O'Reilly book Perl Programming so I can have my own copy. I've been learning Perl since Christmas, and only had a borrowed copy. It took me a week or so to let go of my strongly-typed ways to really enjoy Perl, but now I know why it has the solid reputation it does. The languages flexes in just the right places to be fun. It's structured enough to be useful but lax enough to be fast.
Any of you UNIX sysadmin types who use a lot of shell scripts really should give Perl a try.
I audition for Austin Singers tomorrow. I'll tell you how everything goes.
Archived old news items. Yeah, I know I do this every month and rarely call attention to it, but tonight I felt like it.
We are back. We had a good time in Beaumont, and ate some great seafood. Oh, yeah, I guess the kids competed, too.
Results met all my expectations of the kids and I'm pleased. We did not win state, though we increased our ranking from thirtieth (coming in) to twenty-first, and beat Bryan High School in the process, though by an even slimmer margin than they had beaten us at the regional level.
Our score was 41,111, an improvement of over 2500 points from our score just one month ago. We did not earn any medals at this level, though one of our Honors-level students placed fourth overall in speech with a 980.
On the other hand, our score was far from that of the first place team, James Taylor High School from Katy ISD, who weighed in with over 51,000 points.
Topics for next year should be available very soon, so we can go ahead and get started for next year. ;) I'm looking forward to a little easier schedule for a while, and imagine we won't start up extra-curricular sessions until after Christmas.
I think I'm going to join the Austin Singers.
archive index (for dates back to August 1998)
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