Old News

Archived news items from October 1999
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Sunday, 31 Oct 1999 [21:06 CST]

A faint aftertaste of blood in my mouth. A slight pressure behind the eyes. Unable to eat regular food without pain. Halloween night. Is something strange happening to me, you ask? Not really. Just got done making balloon animals for the fall festival (halloween alternative) at Milwood Baptist Church, where my second cousin and her husband attend. It was fun, and I figured out a new balloon shape: a single-balloon flower.

The symptoms described above are fairly typical after three hours of balloon art. The blood taste in my mouth should be gone by the morning, hopefully.

My best friend from high school came into town this weekend, and we hung out all day Saturday; watched the Longhorn game, bought costume stuff at Goodwill and went to some halloween parties. My pimp costume is the greatest. There were a bunch of pictures taken; if I get a hold of any I may consider putting them up here.

Anyway, he spent the night here last night and mostly just hung around the house all day waiting for his ride to go back to Houston while I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to get everything done. I think I had about twenty minutes "down" time all day. Yeesh.

Church was very good this morning; the worship team just keeps getting better and better.

Oh, and I won the teacher spirit award at the last home pep rally. I'm sure other stuff happened this week, but I got far too little sleep last night (even with the extra hour) and it's been a long day.

Notice I did remember to change from CDT to CST this time around.

Saturday, 23 Oct 1999 [20:33 CDT]

Yes, the impossible has happened. The Texas Longhorns, more than ten-point underdogs, beat third-ranked, unbeaten Nebraska 24-20. For the third year in a row. Some crucial turnovers, poor play-calling and an erroneous "pass-incomplete" call plagued the Cornhuskers. Texas played excellently, and were the better team. I'm a happy camper.

Friday, 22 Oct 1999 [22:40 CDT]

Yes, the impossible has happened. I have written the linux client for voteamp. I finally got some free time to do so, and wrote on it for about three hours after school today. It exists. It works.

So basically this means that I almost feel comfortable wrapping up the current code for voteamp into another archive for release. I'll probably sit on it for another week or so, polishing up the documentation, since this is probably going to be the big release on freshmeat.net, and I'll want to make it at least possible for someone else to install. There's no real security at the moment, so next thing on the list is firming up the network protocol to have some authentication, but I'll probably have to dig out my notes from college to remind myself how to do it right.

Also need to create a webpage for the thing with screenshots, explanation, installation instructions, and whatever, since interested parties are going to want to visit the web page to see what they're up against before downloading for the most part. Hopefully I can get all the intangibles in place in the next week or so, now that all the major parts of the package are at least written.

In other news, the apologetics group I'm in has been involved in a sort of storm of an email debate with some atheist coworkers of another of our members. It's been quite intellectually stimulating because it's rare that someone makes a clear, reasoned agrument against the existence of God.

We've got Action SuperCross installed again this year after having been blown away over the summer. It's good to have that addiction back. :)

Thursday, 14 Oct 1999 [20:11 CDT]

I'm now caught up listening to albums for school. There are no more albums submitted at the moment (at least until tomorrow; probably some student will give me some more then).

I've been putting in a lot of time at school, but I'm caught up on lesson plans and updating the web page and everything. I spent way too long last night writing a perl script that would take a text file containing:

sting me
thorn in my pride
bad luck blue eyes goodbye
sometimes salvation
hotel illness
black moon creeping
no speak no slave
my morning song
time will tell

...and a directory with files:

Track01.mp3   Track04.mp3   Track07.mp3   Track10.mp3
Track02.mp3   Track05.mp3   Track08.mp3   Track11.mp3
Track03.mp3   Track06.mp3   Track09.mp3

...and turn them into:

Bad_Luck_Blue_Eyes_Goodbye.mp3    Sometimes_Salvation.mp3
Black_Moon_Creeping.mp3           Sting_Me.mp3
Hotel_Illness.mp3                 Thorn_In_My_Pride.mp3
My_Morning_Song.mp3               Time_Will_Tell.mp3
No_Speak_No_Slave.mp3             album.m3u

...where the album.m3u contains the list of tracks in album order like so:


It took longer than it should have. But now I've got it, so it will streamline the process of adding albums to the jukebox that much more.

In other jukebox news, I've got the voting server clamping down votes which use more than their fair share of points either for or against, so I no longer have to rely on the client to enforce that for me. Also my perl script that generates the ballot files is handling sorting for me, so the client and server don't have to worry about that anymore either. I've got the server writing its pid to a file in /var/run/ at startup, making it easier for other processes to signal it if need be. And finally (because of making the pid more accessible) I've got the automatic class-rotation working again, so I no longer have to manually stop and/or reset the server at the beginning of each class. Hopefully crond is handling that for me....

Once I finally get around to finishing up at least a workable linux client for voting, I'll roll everything up into a new release and post it. Yeah, I know I've been promising that for ages.

Sunday, 3 Oct 1999 [21:24 CDT]

I've been listening to a bunch of albums lately. Since my students listen to music in class while they're programming, and since they can submit albums to be added to the "jukebox", I've been trying to get caught up on approving them. I think in the last week I've listened to six or seven albums all the way through, reading the words as they were sung and concentrating to make sure they're singing the words that are printed. Not a tremendously difficult task, but fairly time-consuming. So at the moment I only have about three albums left in the queue, which I might be able to finish for the most part on Monday. We'll see, I guess.

Last week was homecoming week at Leander, so we had dress-up days to raise spirit. Of course, you know that I'll take any decent excuse to wear a costume, so I went all out all five days. Hawaiian day wasn't particularly impressive on my part, but all the others (Hillbilly day, Hippie day, Camo day and Spirit day (school colors)) were pretty nice. They didn't give out a faculty spirit award, so I can't be sure I was the most spirited teacher all week, but I feel pretty sure I was in the running.

The Homecoming Game itself was a lot of fun, too. The team played well, and beat Pflugerville 28-14. Our kicking game could use some work, though, as we didn't make a single point-after attempt (missed two and the other two were successful two-point conversions). But it was a good game to watch and not tremendously boring. The defense played very well, I thought.

Finally, I got my car washed yesterday. Yes, this is the first time the car has been washed since Spring Break, which is a fair amount of time. Of course, this is still much better than the years it went before the Spring Break Washing, so maybe I'm improving. This time, the compelling event was a car wash by the LHS Choir students to raise money for some trip in the spring. I like to support such things, and if I can get a bunch of kids to wash my car in ten minutes rather than doing it myself in two hours, I'm all for it.

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