Archived news items from February 2000
Since this is old news, some links may be broken.
Okay, ZDNet's link checker tells me that all my links are now fine. Also, my friend Anthony finally has a CD up for sale! Check it out at his site.
Far be it from me to miss updating on leap day. It was called to my attention that several of my links were outdated. I cleaned up all the ones which are no longer active and fixed URLs and such. The funny thing was, it was a friend correcting the link to his own page which caused me to look at things. However, I'd already corrected his link but apparently never uploaded the fixed version. Oops. Things should be all good now.
The kids have been off from school this week, and all the teachers have been attending professional development at our annual Continuous Improvement Conference. As usual, I got to go to several excellent seminars and have picked up lots of cool ideas for things I can do to be a better teacher. The conference is now over; I didn't win any scholarships or anything. Tomorrow the kids still have off and it's a regular inservice day for us. I'll be grading a bit and writing up a proposal and such. It's been a nice break from the routine.
Been playing with several puzzles from a Mensa puzzle book. Thinking is good for the brain.
I finally have seen all of Triumph of the Nerds, and now I have seen the first tape-and-a-half five times. It's a good thing it's quality stuff, or I'd be going batty about now.
And I hear that Robbie made it over the train.
Have been watching Triumph of the Nerds with the kids at school for TAAS week. Very nice so far, as is the book which spawned it.
Also, Robbie Knievel is jumping over a train in my parents' little town. They tell me the news has been nothing but for quite a while now. Strange things happen when FOX has to scramble for something to replace Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire that'll get similar ratings.
Updated the wish list. Mostly just updated prices on the computer junk, which change so quickly, and added some DMB albums.
This is TAAS week, which means the freshmen and sophomores are busy testing. It's also COOL week, which means that most juniors who've passed the TAAS are out on location with some local business (ranging from Wal-Mart to IBM). The seniors are sleeping in, since everyone else who's still here only has class in the afternoon.
My computer science II students are working on the linked list, finally. Hopefully we'll be able to cover all we need to this year.
I also finally got the distributed.net clients set up again in my computer lab, so we should begin going up in the ranking again after a several-month hiatus of no activity.
In other news, Lakeline had its first Maturity class the other day, to complement the new members' class already in place. Of course, all the staff and volunteers and such needed to go through the maturity class, and it was pretty good. The curriculum needs a little refining, but overall is quality stuff. We committed to trying to keep six essential habits of Christian maturity, a couple of which I'm fairly weak on.
Of the six, I'm weakest on the quiet time. It's something I've not been disciplined enough to do consistently. Prayer is a little better but still needs much improvement. The other four areas I'm better in.
Hopefully having signed a pledge and the accountability of the other people in the class will help me get over the habit hump and make these excellent things a regular part of my life.
On Sunday we also had our monthly prayer gathering, which was quite good. I think our people are getting better at praying with practice. All in all it was a very long day, since some people were at church from 8:00 AM until after 9:00 PM. I managed to get home for about half an hour. It was all good stuff, though.
Grading is finally done. I graded for a lot of the day on Saturday. I had planned to finish the rest on Sunday, but got to school to discover that they were waxing the floors and that I couldn't get in to grade. Miffed, I went home and puttered around. Bought Valentines for all 175 students and filled them out.
Stayed up at school yesterday until just after 11pm finishing up the grading. Unfortunately, I didn't bubble in grades then, preferring to get some sleep. Today I got everything done but was about half an hour late turning things in.
So today I got home early for a change and found the office still open, so I went in to find out what my package was (which had been delivered about a week ago; it really takes me about a week to make my schedule match that of the front office so I can pick up packages). It was the packaging materials for Quake III Arena, so now I have a manual, a copy of SUSE 6.3 and a really cool collectors edition tin box.
Just for the record, eating nothing but Red Hots for an hour or so seems to burn your tongue. I'm hoping it'll recover in a few days.
Was pleasantly surprised to find that H.E.B. actually had some 9 oz. bags of tortilla chips this time. It's probably been nearly a year since I've seen any (and I check every time). But of course, I looked for Berry Berry Kix and couldn't find any. Sometimes you can't win for losing.
I've just finished beating the last of the 54 levels that shipped with the registered Elasto Mania and recording "clean" demos of each level so I can put make them available for the students at school. Registering this game is only $10 and is well worth it, IMO.
It's been a long work week because my students have been working on their six weeks projects. They were due today, so I'll be grading them this weekend.
Other exciting news is the opening of www.BrothersFrail.com, the home page for my little brother's band. I bought the domain name myself and got it set up with a web hosting service. So far things have been pretty seamless, including them answering a tech support email from me within thirty minutes even at midnight.
I've been playing a lot of Elasto Mania, which is the cool motorcycle game previously known as Action Super Cross. The new release features much improved graphics, a switch to DirectX, new levels and a lower price. I've played far, far too much Elasto Mania over the past week, which is another reason for the lack of updates.
Finally, since my wireless rig for my guitar eats 9V batteries, I've been running around pricing them lately. Consumer Reports from a few months ago basically reveals that all alkaline batteries (including store brands) seem to be made by either Duracell or Energizer, and shelf life is long across the board, so they encourage buying for price. The surprising winner in my area is Walgreens. Here's the breakdown.
|Location||Brand||quantity||Price per battery|
|Sam's Club||Energizer||6||$1.50 each|
|Radio Shack||store||8||$2.00 each|
One of my former students has nominated me for Who's Who Among America's Teachers. I'm fairly honored, since only students who are on the Dean's list of their college are allowed to nominate teachers, and they can only nominate one from their entire school history.
So I just filled out the information for publication online, so my stuff should be published in the next edition. I'm not going to be purchasing one, so I'll just trust that it happens. And of course, I'll advertise the fact that I was in Who's Who Among America's Teachers, 2000 to anyone who'll listen.
By the way, I'm beginning to wonder if H.E.B. has it out for me. Apparently I am not a typical consumer, because just as soon as I start liking some grocery item, H.E.B. quits carrying it. Notable examples in the past year or so:
I'm beginning to wonder if there's some sort of conspiracy to oppress my grocery choices.
We found out on Wednesday that our score at the regional competition was not high enough for us to qualify for Academic Decathlon state. Of course, I'm a little disappointed, but I'd considered this a rebuilding year anyway and we did better than I had expected. And now at least we're through with study sessions for the year.
Not much else is going on. The kids began their six weeks projects today, and so I'm catching up on grading and such while they're busy working. Of course next weekend I'll be busily grading, so I guess I'd better enjoy it while I can.
And what did I blow two hours on yesterday? Two words: Elasto Mania.
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