Old News

Archived news items from July 2002
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news from August 2002

Tuesday, 30 July 2002 [00:28 CDT]

Actually late Monday night....

Yesterday was long as expected. Worship went very well, then the puppeteers arrived and Andrew and I sort of stayed available while they set up their stuff. The puppet show was really good (but definitely targeted toward younger kids). Then they ate dinner, broke down everything, and then scattered to various homes to spend the night. A few of them are at the house, in fact. After seeing them there and giving them the tour, I finally rolled back home around 8:30.

So today I slept off the past couple of days and then turned my attentions to unpacking. I got all my books unpacked and put away, the kitchen stuff I'd already brought over, and my closet set up. In fact, everything that's here is done. All that's left at the house is about half the kitchen, my spare computer parts, everything going to Goodwill, and cleaning supplies. Hopefully tomorrow I can get most of that dealt with as well.

I also got a chance to go to Wal-Mart again and buy queen-sized sheets. They fit perfectly, so apparently this new bed is not a full after all.

Currently reading: Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson, the author of Cryptonomicon.

Saturday, 27 July 2002 [23:06 CDT]

All my furniture is now in the apartment. The movers did a good job despite being later than expected. And everything fits. There aren't many wide open spaces, but everything has a home and one can walk around fairly freely. And while I was at the apartment with the movers, John got a start on cleaning the house, and pretty much got everything except the rooms I haven't emptied yet.

Tomorrow we've got some puppeteers coming into town for a show at the church at 4:00. It's supposed to be professional quality, so I'm looking forward to it. However, that probably means I'm going to be busy from after church until after the puppet show is over getting them set up and things. Which means another long day.

Hopefully by tomorrow evening things will be settled and I can get all my books and kitchen stuff unpacked. Then once I've got some empty boxes again I'll have a go at sorting through all the computer junk that's still at the house, decide what I want to keep, and get that moved over, too.

Dad correctly nailed yesterday's song quote. Since probably most of my visitors don't visit often enough to have already read yesterday's update, I'll hide the answer here (hover your mouse over the word to see it). And with that, it's time for bed, in my new sheets on my freshly-acquired bed. (Which may actually be queen-sized; the sheets seem a bit too small.) And, by the way, the sleeping bag last night was okay, but not having a pillow was horrible. Shudder.

Saturday, 27 July 2002 [01:06 CDT]

Actually late Friday night....

I got up summer-early today. (Workday-early would be like 5:00 A.M. During the summer, early gets redefined to basically anything before 8:00 A.M.) Spent all morning bringing loads of whatever would fit in my car. The earthlink guys showed up at 11:56, just in the nick of time to be able to claim they'd made their "sometime between 8:00 and noon" appointment window. In fact, they shouldn't have even had to come in the building; they could have just called me and said "You're live; see if you can get an I.P. address," since that's what they did in person. But the upshot is that I didn't have any Internet downtime at all. Makes up for last time, I guess.

At this point, I've got my closet, bathroom, and refrigerator/pantry moved (though not the rest of the kitchen stuff). And of course my computer, though it's not set up on its normal desk right now. I'm going to sleeping bag it tonight, and tomorrow after a morning meeting I'll get a few last things ready for the movers. They are supposed to show up early afternoon. So hopefully by tomorrow evening I'll have all the heavy stuff moved and in the right places, and I'll spend the next several days bringing little things as I get them packed and cleaning.

So it's time for bed. "We talked until two and then she said, 'It's time for bed.'"

Wednesday, 24 July 2002 [22:42 CDT]

Got some good news from my brother Paul today:

Subject: web search bonanza!
From: Paul Mitchell
To: me
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 21:24:23 -0500

Oh, just so you know... after doing a web search for your name on Google
reveals that you are the number one "Graham Mitchell" on the Internet!!

Woo-hoo, indeed.

And Bob came by today and picked up all his furniture, leaving quite a bit behind for me. I'm making off with a wooden dining table and four chairs, a huge sectional couch, two coffee tables, two end tables, a full-sized bed (frame, box springs and mattress), and lamp. Almost certainly some of it won't fit in the apartment, though. We'll see. Took a load of clothes over there this evening. Probably will move more tomorrow.

Tuesday, 23 July 2002 [23:42 CDT]

Some of you know that my former roommate and former Lakeline worship leader Bob used to be in the band Massivivid. I'd heard their Dove Award-winning album back in 1999, and it had even been on the jukebox at school, but I didn't have a copy. So a few weeks ago I went searching for one and found a copy on eBay with three other similar Christian albums. My bid of $4.26 was the highest, and so plus $3.50 shipping and about a week later, I finally got my hands on one. It's very good industrial, reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie in places. The album is also still available online at Flaming Fish Music, if you're willing to pay a little more. Highly recommended.

I spent the morning making phone calls getting things ready for the move. I've set up for the movers (a perk of moving into Red Stone Ranch) for this Saturday, set my water and gas service to be disconnected, and for my electric and Internet services to be moved over. And, in order to meet some monthly sales quota, the leasing agents switched my lease to begin today rather than Friday, refunding what I'd already paid for July rent as well. So I got access today and my $111.00 in pro-rated rent waived. Cool.

I took a clipboard, some graph paper and a tape measure over there and drew up a scale floor plan, so I can decide if any furniture needs to go away before I move. The good news is that I think the huge sectional couch will actually fit in the living room. Holy dang.

In other news, Lakeline's own Kendall Pryor sang the national anthem at the Round Rock Express baseball game tonight. A bunch of us from church went down to hear her, and she did a pretty good job in front of over 8,000 fans. She left after the first inning, and the rest of us stayed until after the fourth. I used one of her comp. tickets to get in free, but then spent $8 on a personal pizza and drink, so I think we're even.

Overall, a highly productive day. I even upgraded Mozilla to version 1.1 beta, which seems much more stable and responsive than 1.1 alpha had been.

Monday, 22 July 2002 [17:36 CDT]

The Scheme conference was good. It was good to see Chase and Charleen (who now live in Rhode Island), and I got to eat some great seafood.

I've watched Ocean's Eleven, Trainspotting, Orange County, and A Beautiful Mind in the last week. They were all good (a surprise for the Jack Black comedy).

The church service yesterday went very well for me having been gone all week. Andrew did a good job making everything happen.

This week I'll be packing, and I'll start moving on Friday.

And speaking of Ogg Vorbis, I spent some time doing listening tests with 1.0 today, and all I can say is "Holy dang." Most of the time I can't tell the difference between quality 0 and the original CD, though it's one twentieth the size. In fact, even quality -1 (roughly 45 kbps) sounds quite good. You now have no excuse.

Saturday, 13 July 2002 [21:49 CDT]

Last night I watched Better Off Dead, the 1985 John Cusack teenage flick. I think I'd seen it before, but it was so long ago I didn't remember anything. Entertaining and certainly a lot lighter than the usual fare lately.

Had a couple of folks come and look at the house today, so I spent some time cleaning. Just as I was about to vacuum, I was outside changing bags and a lady drove by in a truck. She asked if I was having problems with my vacuum cleaner. I said I wasn't. She asked if she could show me a Kirby vacuum cleaner. Not wanting to pass up the chance to get a room vacuumed for free, I agreed.

So she came in and did the whole presentation. I must say, "the Kirby" (as she kept calling it) is the most impressive $1500 vacuum cleaner I've ever seen. It clearly was in a different league of machine from my poor plastic Dirt Devil. I had her in the computer room, which was fairly small but containing lots of cat hair, especially considering how infrequently I vacuum. She did the whole room three time with that monster suction machine and was still pulling up stuff at the end. Then she put on the steam cleaner attachment and did it that way too. Very impressive, but I didn't buy one. I guess I was just using her for the free vacuuming. I am so shallow.

Otherwise, today I just got things all ready to be gone for a week. I'm all packed and everything. I probably can update from Rhode Island, but that doesn't mean I will. So if not, I'll see y'all in a week.

Friday, 12 July 2002 [21:07 CDT]

Ogg Vorbis version 1.0 went "gold" yesterday, so look for a fresh encoder (with reportedly even better sound quality) coming soon.

I picked up a nice "pullman" upright luggage thing on sale at Target yesterday for the trip. (I didn't want to check a duffel bag, which is the only thing I had even remotely resembling luggage.) And today I picked up a leatherish document bag to carry on, because I lost my other one years ago. I made a trip to Wal-Mart to buy this $10 document bag and some $4 mini-blinds to replace the ones Pepper destroyed several months ago, but I stopped along the way at CD Warehouse and spent three times that on used CDs. Figures.

The haul this time:

Today being a busy day, I also finally signed a lease on one of the apartments I'd been comparison-shopping before. This one's a nice 700-square-foot luxury "apartment home" with big garden tubs, plush carpet, a fitness center on property, covered parking, etc. I went with Red Stone Ranch because they were closest to the high school (just 5 miles by bike!) and because they were willing to rent the place to me for $190/month below the regular market rate. Let's hear it for competition, eh?

My new address will be:

CEDAR PARK, TX 78613-2011

I get access to the place on Friday, July 26 and have to be out of this house by the first of the month. Another sweet deal is that the complex is throwing in up to $200 worth of moving service, which means hopefully I won't have to borrow a truck or indentured-servant any friends. Though if you want to help out, don't hesitate to give me a call.

I also got my hair cut today. (Just a trim though. Sorry to disappoint you that've been lobbying for the short-hair look again.) I always go to my friend Ty Cobb (his real name), who owns an actual barber shop on Pond Springs road. Today when he was done cutting my hair, he said, "Okay, now you've got a choice. You can pay $12 for this haircut [his usual rate], or you can take me out to lunch at Jason's Deli."

Well, you don't have to ask me twice. The barter system is alive and well. Buying his and my sandwich and two drinks cost me $13.75, which saved me money since I tip for haircuts. Plus, I got to have the tasty portabella mushroom wrap ("grilled portabella mushrooms with Leo's Italian dressing, sauteéd onions and bell peppers, homemade guacamole and melted Swiss cheese rolled up in a sundried tomato wrap"). Yum.

And speaking of yummy vegetarian food, I'm currently reading Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating. I borrowed it from Cara, tutoree Jesse's older sister who's vegan herself. Good stuff so far.

I leave for Rhode Island on Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, 9 July 2002 [23:26 CDT]

Leading worship on Sunday went well, but that's the easy part. The "getting things ready behind the scenes" is the difficult bit. But I'm adjusting. We had a programming meeting on Sunday and got things planned out for the next few months, and yesterday and today at the office I got a lot done, so now I can do the things I need to more easily.

Friday night I went to the theater to see Star Wars Episode II: The Attack of the Clones, which was okay. Except for Ewan McGregor, most of the acting wasn't very good. I'm about to decide that Lucas isn't really a very good director of human actors. Still, it was entertaining, and I don't regret spending $7.75 to see it on the big screen. This late into its run, there were less than 25 people in the whole theater.

Sunday night I went over to eat with a couple from church, and we watched Jesus Christ, Superstar, which hadn't been on my list. The music wasn't bad (though not Andrew Lloyd Webber's best), but I had some theological issues with a few scenes. Like Judas coming down out of heaven to accuse Jesus of "using" him to accomplish his own plans. Or the movie ending with Jesus dead and in the grave (omitting that whole pesky resurrection bit).

The evening wasn't a waste, though. The food was good, and Denise, who owns over 3,000 movies from laserdisc to Betamax to VHS to DVD, lent me four movies, three from my list. So that'll save me $6 or so of Blockbuster rental fees.

Speaking of borrowed movies, tonight the becoming regular crew of Andrew, Kendall, Kristin and I watched The Shawshank Redemption. It was a very good movie, but unfortunately I knew a crucial secret already and so the movie wasn't nearly as suspenseful as it should have been. Still, it was worth the watch.

Next week I'm going to Rhode Island all week for a computer science teachers' workshop on Scheme. I've never been to the northeast before, so I'm looking forward to it. Also, Chase lives in that mighty state, so I'll get to spend a week with him. (Although as a doctor he keeps pretty busy hours, so he won't have lots of free time.)

Wednesday, 3 July 2002 [21:40 CDT]

Oh, and even forgot some birthday excitement. While listening to KGSR on Monday, I found out that I share a birthday with blues man Willie Dixon, who was born in 1915. And also with former Muddy Waters harmonica player James Cotton. In fact, they played a track of James Cotton, live at Antone's, covering a Willie Dixon tune. Wow.

And on Tuesday, Kendall returned my Third Day CD I'd loaned her months ago, so that was almost like a gift. She also found a nice stainless-steel coffee mug in my cupboard that I'd gotten from the lost and found at the church after it being there unclaimed for several months. It turns out it had been hers, but she gave it to me also (i.e. let me keep it).

And on the movie front, I rented Memento, which I watched with Andrew Sunday night. It was so gripping and thought-provoking, we watched it again Tuesday night, this time with Kendall (who'd also previously seen it). What an intriguing flick.

And, yes, I know this is only fifteen minutes after my last update. Submitting the first one jogged my memory, and I don't like to add content to entries once they're up.

Wednesday, 3 July 2002 [21:25 CDT]

Would you believe it's rained nearly non-stop since my last update? Finally this afternoon we saw the sun, but not after getting over a third of our yearly average rainfall in just three days. I'm glad I don't live in Seattle, or this would be more commonplace. Ick.

It's been my first week as worship leader, and I've spent a lot of time trying to get a handle on what exactly needs to be done. I think I've got a good idea about that now, so I can start doing it. We've also been cleaning up the stage area a lot, since the end of the previous sermon series had us having to "strike the stage" anyway. Andrew and I (mostly Andrew) have been pretty busy at that.

Monday was my birthday, and there was unprecedented celebration. You already know about Dad's early CD-burner gift. But Mom called me in the morning and she also sent a nice card. But wait, there's more!

I went out to lunch with my friend Jeremy of Campus Renewal Ministries, and he treated. We ate at Jardin Corona, a very excellent hole-in-the-wall Mexican food place in Cedar Park. While I was there worship team member Kendall called me to wish me a happy birthday.

Then I dropped by the church to find (now-former) worship leader Bob had left me a card and gift: The Simpsons Trivia Game. Nice.

Off to tutoring, where the Bertons had caught wind of my increasing age and gotten me a gift (Brushfire Fairytales by Jack Johnson, which is quite good). In addition to cooking dinner for me as per usual (this time Indian food by the indomitable Cara), they had a cake with candles and singing!

Overall, it's been several years since my birthday has been so celebrated. It was nice, even despite the rain.

The only other thing I should report is that according to the Brunching Shuttlecocks' Cyborger, my cyborg name is:

Hardwired for
Assassination and

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