Old News

Archived news items from December 1999
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Wednesday, 29 Dec 1999 [22:27 CST]

Today was fairly productive. Of course there was the AcaDec study session in the morning, and then I called around to find a guitar case in Austin. I did, at South Austin Music. Though it wasn't a Washburn branded case, the guitar fits in it perfectly and it's really nice.

While driving down to pick it up, my odometer turned 50000 on my car. Of course, the car has quite a bit more than 50,000 miles on it; the speedometer was replaced at about 120,000, so the real total is just over 170K. But round numbers are fun.

I spent several hours at school today and got a new ghost image for my lab made up. This one addresses all the little quirks that annoyed me about the previous one and hopefully I haven't missed anything. So tomorrow I'll ghost the whole lab with this new image and may actually start grading.

Tuesday, 28 Dec 1999 [23:32 CST]

Okay. I'm back and rested. Here's what's been going on in my life the last month or so.

Okay, about a month ago I took my car in to get inspected. It failed, because the tires were too threadbare. So the day I was going to go home for Thanksgiving I got up real early and went to Sam's to get some new tires. Only Sam's doesn't open to the general public until 10:00AM (several hours later). So I went to NTB instead, since it was already open and on the way home. Five new tires plus labor cost over $300. Then, after waiting in a loud waiting room hearing EPSN Sportscenter played over and over for nearly an hour and a half, I'm told that my strut bearing is missing(!) and needs to be replaced or "the wheel may fall off." Now, this was true, but it meant another $100 and another hour wait. I finally got away from NTB, and got my car inspected and left for home for Thanksgiving nearly four hours later than I'd hoped to leave and quite a bit poorer.

Thanksgiving break was pleasant and fairly uneventful. I got to see lots of relatives and eat a lot of food, and played some board games with my brother and his girlfriend and their friends (don't ever play Monopoly with her, by the way; she's intense). I also saw the Pokemon movie which was really a waste of $4. I also got plenty of rest and pretty much was able to recover from the illness I'd been fighting.

Got back to Austin after the break and basically went into crunch mode, which explains the lack of updates. Heading into the month of December, there is a lot of planning that must be done for music and special services at church, and this year we got a late start for whatever reason. So a lot of my free time was consumed with that.

In addition, we almost immediately got into doing our end-of-six-weeks projects at school, and that keeps me at school a lot. Come early and stay late, you know. Then, once the six weeks projects were completed we had to review for the semester final and then take the semester final, and then I had to grade them. I also have to grade the projects, but I haven't done that yet.

Add to the mix the fact that my car battery decided to give up the ghost on me one morning. I had to take a cab to school (at a cost of $40) and then replace the battery as well. So even more car-related expenses incurred.

By the time finals were over and Christmas services were done I left for home for Christmas break. We got out of school on Friday the 17th, and my biggest service music-wise was Sunday the 19th. Overall I ended up working sixty-five hours that week at school alone, not counting worship team rehearsal and other church stuff. So I went home the following Monday and got some sleep and fought off illness again. Orange juice is my friend.

I came back to Austin for the Christmas Eve service at my church, which was packed; we had over 200 people at the first service and over 100 at the second. It was by far the largest crowd ever at Lakeline, so that's fairly exciting. My brother made the trip down with me and we drove back that night, getting to Palestine at around 1 AM.

The next morning was Christmas. Both sets of grandparents came over and we ate a lot of food. We had opened our presents the night of the 23rd, but I'll list them here anyway; I basically got a shirt and a tie tack, which actually I really needed and am looking forward to using once school starts back up again. It was a nice relaxing day (and we needed it, after the six hours of driving the day before).

I went to church with my parents on Sunday morning, taking a rare week off from Lakeline. It was nice for a change. Then drove back to Austin Sunday evening.

Yesterday I had friends come over and we installed Quake III Arena on my linux box and finally got it running (took us a while though, and my sound card still doesn't work). I played it just a little, but pretty much got whooped, especially without sound. One of my friends spent the night (since he lives in San Antonio) and I was up too late.

Today after our Academic Decathlon study session (yep, we're pretty dedicated) I went to San Antonio (with my friend) to a music store called Hermes. There I purchased the guitar that's been on my wish list since June. It is the Washburn J28SCE electric/acoustic. It's a jumbo model, and has a natural "blond" finish. It plays very nicely and the sound is good both acoustic and plugged in.

Also got the Boss TU-12H tuner. Both were less than I was expecting. The guitar was only $500 (the same guitar was $690 at Mars and it lists for $1199) and I saved $5 on the tuner.

Unfortunately, this guitar doesn't come with a case, and Hermes didn't have any jumbo cases in stock. I decided to try my luck in Austin this week looking for one, and then if I can't find one locally I'll see if I can order one from Musician's Friend or somebody.

Things I'm glad to have on my new guitar:

So basically that's what I've been doing. I promise to get the pictures of the kittens up before the new year. I've read Desiring God, which was excellent, and am now about halfway done with The Purpose-Driven Church which is also excellent (so far, anyway).

But now it's time for sleep. Another AcaDec study session in the morning.

Tuesday, 14 Dec 1999 [21:48 CST]

Yeah, I know. Update. So far this week I've worked 35 hours, and it's only Tuesday. Looks to be not a good week for sleep. Just to illustrate; I received Quake III Arena in the mail on Friday. I still haven't picked it up from the front office. Ugh. I'll update when I can.

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