Old News

Archived news items from September 2002
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news from October 2002

Monday, 30 September 2002 [23:40 CDT]

Got back home about two hours ago. Cats survived without me (with a friend feeding and checking on them everyday), and I survived 80 hours without Internet access. Conference was good, Salt Lake City was pretty but arid, and I've got just a bit more grading to finish before grades are due tomorrow afternoon. Eep. Right back into the swing of things I go.

Finished reading Mona Lisa Overdrive on the flight back (re-reading, it turns out, though I didn't remember any details so it was almost like reading it for the first time). Bought Red Dragon at the airport bookstore in Utah, but haven't started it yet. I may have already read this one, too.

On last week's episode of Email To Ignore:

From: Matchmaker@someonelikesyou.com
Date: 23 Sep 2002 04:42:00 -0000
Subject: Someone likes you!

Believe it!  You have a secret admirer!

Just go to http://www.SomeoneLikesYou.com to find out who!

See you soon!

Best wishes,

The SomeoneLikesYou Matchmaker

And this week, the chilling sequel!

From: Matchmaker@someonelikesyou.com
Date: 30 Sep 2002 05:59:07 -0000
Subject: Someone *still* likes you!

Believe it!  You have a secret admirer!

Here's a CLUE: Your secret admirer is between 15 and 19 years old

Now go to http://www.SomeoneLikesYou.com to find out who it is!

See you soon!

Best wishes,

The SomeoneLikesYou Matchmaker

Goody! Teenage stalker! Just call me Cary Elwes. (And it probably ain't Robin Wright!)

Friday, 27 September 2002 [13:09 CDT]

Vroom! Off to scenic Salt Lake City for IB computer science training. Be back Monday evening. Guest worship leader looks good (I sat in on rehearsal last night), so go to Lakeline without me.

Tuesday, 24 September 2002 [23:14 CDT]

Oh, I remember. Saturday I slept until nearly noon, then went shopping in the early afternoon. After dinner I went up to the church and spent nearly four hours getting things set up for Sunday.

Since we didn't have a drummer for this week, we pared things down a bit and did a cool Unplugged thing. We all sat on stools, and I had the Kurt Cobain thing going on with my stubble and hair anyway. Turned out nicely.

Had meetings all afternoon and then in the evening got a call from a guy wanting me to release my vorbis article into the public domain. I declined, but I did give him permission to distribute it, and he did inspire me to clarify my terms of use for the article on the article itself, rather than just dealing with requests via email.

Went to bed early Sunday night but still slept way too late on Monday. I was on time, but I missed breakfast and making a lunch. Has trouble getting up this morning, too.

I just spent an hour or so catching up on grading for Webmastering this six weeks (since I haven't really been doing it all along), but I'm going to try to get to bed ASAP.

Tuesday, 24 September 2002 [23:02 CDT]

Okay, eBay is pretty cool. I recently decided to start trolling for cheap CDs on my wish list. So far I've gotten one of them (which is $15 on amazon) for $2.26, plus $3.00 shipping. And I've been outbid on half a dozen others. We'll see if the CD I won actually shows up and is in good condition, but I'll pay $6 for a used CD.

Not much else going on over the weekend that I can recall. I'm sure I did something Friday night and Saturday, but I don't remember what.

No movie tonight. I'm going to Salt Lake City this weekend for IB Computer Science training (like I went to in the summer about four years ago), so there'll be a guest worship leader this week. As is usually the case for such weeks, we cancelled vocal rehearsal and will do both on Thursday. I'll be there a bit Thursday, but won't really need to stay the whole time, probably.

By the way, the rest of the costumes last week also worked out well. I added a cape to my typical Spirit Day costume, and that turned out nicely. They didn't give out a spirit award to students or teachers. I figure they just knew when they'd been beat.

Friday, 20 September 2002 [23:11 CDT]

I believe I've mentioned here before that my brother and his wife are pregnant. (Well, really it's just her who's pregnant, of course.) Today they found out that's it's going to be a boy! Due in December. Just thought I'd share the news.

Wednesday, 18 September 2002 [22:24 CDT]

A short recap of the past week:

Friday I did get to ride my bike to school, but hit a muddy patch and my bike slid out from under me. Fortunately (ha), I was thrown clear of the dirt road I was on onto a gravel road, where I skinned both knees (the right one pretty badly) and got some nice gravel pits in my hands. I wasn't otherwise hurt.

Once at school, I tried to clean up the blood as much as I could, and made the mistake of putting antibacterial hand gel on the skinned right knee. Much pain ensued. I put a bandage on it, changed into blue jeans, and taught school all day, while the knee oozed platelets and serum through the bandage onto the inside of my jeans. I had no problems biking back home that afternoon.

Within a couple of days I was finally able to get a good scab on there, so I can move about pretty freely. However, when the scab is good and hard, I can't bend my knee all the way. My other knee and hands are almost completely healed as I write this.

Friday night I found a new laundromat only two miles from my apartment! I'd been traveling seven miles, and having to cross the highway, so traffic was rough there and back. This one is less crowded, also, so the wait is nicer. I did my laundry while brainstorming on a clipboard for a new gradebook program I'm trying to write for my own use, occasionally wiping off a drip of Knee-OozeTM trying to escape down my shin.

Saturday I slept in, ran a few errands, and generally took it easy. This week is Spirit Week, so I went to Goodwill and the Salvation Army picking up some costume accessories. After spending fifteen minutes trying to find a skinny, black tie in Goodwill's forest (and buying a too-wide, dark navy one with a stain on it for $3), I had success next door. The Salvation Army had many fewer ties, and they were easier to look through. I found a jet-black one which was only one inch wide at its widest point, and for $1.99. So since I was making a purchase anyway I also picked up a single fork, knife, and spoon out of their 25-cent silverware bin and then went to the check-out.

The cashier took all my items, rung them up, and then announced, "That'll be forty-nine cents." I protested, saying the tie alone should be two dollars. She said, "The silverware is fifteen cents each," and then looked at me as if that settled it. So not wanting to make an issue out of it (there was a little line behind me), I paid the amount. She put all the items, including the apparently-free tie in my bag with my receipt, and I was out. Enron would be proud.

Then I went to the AT&T Wireless outlet to look at phones and get signed up for another year of service, since I was about to finish up my contract. I found out that as a state employee, I get 15% off any calling plan, 15% more minutes on that plan, and 25% off any accessories. I also got a $50 instant rebate on any new phone.

I'd been on a plan giving me 400 anytime minutes, 2000 night and weekend minutes, and free nationwide long distance for $40 a month. But looking at my statements for the last year, I'd never used over 215 anytime, 300 night and weekend, or 500 total minutes in a single month. So I figured I'd move down to a cheaper plan.

After the extra minutes, specials, discounts, and etc, I now have a plan that gives me 285 anytime minutes, 3250 night and weekend minutes, and free nationwide long distance for $30 a month. And for $100 I got the sweet Nokia 6360, which among other perks, has a stopwatch, calculator, and calendar with PDAish functions. I also picked up a leather case/belt clip thing.

Sunday worship (the last one with a drummer for who knows how long) went well, and after the Haiti meeting I rested some more and got my costume ready for Monday.

Monday was Hillbilly day, so I did the realistic, white-trash, mechanic thing I'd done last year. Tuesday was Twinkie day (choose a twin), so the physics teacher and I went as the Blues Brothers (hence the 80's black tie). I was "Joliet" Jake, John Belushi's character, and made $6.45 thrown at my feet playing blues harmonica in the halls between classes. I even shaved the facial hair for the proper effect (but I'm growing it back immediately).

Today was Way-Back Wednesday, and I just used the Travolta-esque maroon ensemble I'd bought for a Campus Crusade 70's party my freshman year of college. It still fits. :) Plus, with the long hair and being recently clean-shaven, I pretty much looked exactly like I did then (nearly ten years ago, wow).

Tomorrow is Camouflage day, and I'll do my usual. Friday is "Spirit" day, so I'll whip something weird up with school colors in it.

Monday night I spent a couple of hours putting together a market survey Lakeline is going to do. HTML forms are just a nice, easy way to collect and collate data.

This week's movie was Monsters, Inc., which Kendall owns. We made some kettle popcorn and the movie was good.

And Monday night I picked up the Blues Brothers CD, which is good, and Cake's Comfort Eagle, which is typical Cake. And speaking of CDs, sometime in the last few weeks I got Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits, a not-for-resale promotional copy of Ill Harmonics' Take Two (not as good as their first but still good), and a Paleface CD with Burn and Rob.

Today was also See You At the Pole, but I woke up too late to make it, making this the first one I've missed (I think), since it began when I was still in school.

Wednesday, 11 September 2002 [20:48 CDT]

So far this week I have yet to wake up early enough to make a lunch, much less ride my bike to school. So today with lunch I had a hankering for a Coca-Cola in a bottle. I had no cash, but got four quarters from my car, just enough for a $1.00 twenty-ounce bottle of Coke. So I went down to the lunchroom, found a vending machine with bottles that wasn't sold out, and put in the first quarter.

It went all the way through the machine's innards and came out the coin return receptacle at the bottom, unaccepted. I tried a second quarter, and it also was rejected. All four quarters (ranging from a 1976 "drummer boy" to a shiny 1996) didn't pass this machine's muster.

So I moved down to the next vending machine in line (our contract with Coke means we have several), and repeated the process, only to have all four quarters denied again. Miffed now, I tried each of the half-dozen vending machines in the lunch area with Coke bottles, to the same effect. Not a single machine would take any of my quarters.

While I was doing this, there was another girl there trying a similar ploy. She had more like fifteen quarters, because earlier she had tried dollar bills, which she said the machine also rejected. She had no luck with any of her quarters either.

Finally, an ROTC student, observing my dilemma, traded me a crisp dollar bill for my four quarters. I put it in one of the machines, holding my breath. It was accepted! I depressed the button, the machine's four-character LED readout read "VEND", and my frosty beverage was dispensed. Victorious, I went back to my cubicle to drink my spoils. It tasted good.

Wednesday night is one of the few nights in the week I don't have any evening responsibilities. Thus I stayed late after school (until 6:30) and started working through a Flash tutorial. Our school has a site license for Macromedia products, so the Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, and ColdFusion development tools are installed on every machine in school. I've always wanted to learn Flash, and today in CS-3 I had a lesson where a Flash illustration would have made the concept much easier to visualize.

It looks like the tutorials that came with Flash MX are very good, as I spent over an hour doing just the first three out of maybe twenty which are available. Hopefully I'll have enough free time over the next month or so to learn it and then start adding Flash demonstrations to some of my more abstract lectures.

Tuesday, 10 September 2002 [23:24 CDT]

For movie night tonight Kristin wanted to see something scary, so I immediately thought of When a Stranger Calls, the suspenseful chiller from 1979. That did the trick. And Kendall was mad at me because she's a babysitter. I think one of them is going to spend the night at the other's house tonight.

Other than that, not much to report since yesterday. (That's right kids, updates two days in a row!)

Monday, 9 September 2002 [22:38 CDT]

In reverse order: open house. Hanging on #vorbis. Saw Signs. Worship went well. Old car no longer in my possession. LOTR Blockbuster card is spent. Got a free T-shirt. Jamie's back at Chuy's. Watched Unbreakable.

I'll try to be better about updating this page. I'm setting a bad example for my Webmastering students.

Monday, 2 September 2002 [22:29 CDT]

Been a busy, busy beaver this week. Tutored Monday night for the first time in a couple of weeks, and for the last time for three months, as my tutoree and his older sister are heading to Spain for a little farming (or some such).

Wednesday night I wrote the script for a little six-minute movie we showed this Sunday. Thursday night after worship rehearsal Brian and I filmed all the scenes he was in (less than ten lines total). Friday evening I filmed a couple more scenes at home and made sure I knew how to get the video off the camera and work with it on the computer at church. Saturday I spent all day driving around shooting the last few bits and all night (until 1:00 A.M.) putting it all together. And then Sunday morning, running the video crashed the computer even though it'd worked fine the night before. Andrew and Kathy re-rendered it, though, and it went fine during the two services.

When I get a chance this week I hope to render it again down to a web-friendly size, and then I'll put it up here for you guys to check out. Expect a largish download, though; the copy we used on Sunday was about 800MB.

We cancelled movie night this week since it just would have been Kristin and I, but I did watch The Talented Mr. Ripley on Friday night, and enjoyed it. It's rare that a movie has me changing my mind about what's really going on several times throughout. And regarding "Was he or wasn't he?", which people always seem to ask each other about this movie: I think he was.

Bob (former Lakeline worship leader and current cultural strategist for Catalyst) and his wife had some of us over for a cookout Sunday afternoon. On his advice, I picked up some tasty Hatch Green Chile Sausage from Central Market and we grilled that, along with some good chicken and "cowboy burgers" (also from Central Market, I'm told). Afterward we all went out to see Austin Powers in Goldmember, which I liked. I especially enjoyed all the cameos.

Services at Lakeline continue to go well and our attendance (except for a slight dip yesterday for the holiday weekend) continues to improve, which is a sign we're doing something right.

The healthy front, I rode my bike to school twice last week, meaning I've biked fully one-third of the days this year. I also have been eating a nice salad for dinner every once in a while. I tell you what, finding salad fixings you like is crucial; if I had to use iceberg lettuce I'd sure not be enjoying eating salad. As it is, my base is usually baby spinach and often sprouts of some kind (this week I've got clover sprouts, which I don't much care for). This is filled out with tomatoes, occasionally carrots, and garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chick peas) and topped with sunflower seeds and a nice creamy Italian vinaigrette. The salad that eats like a meal!

I keep meaning to throw some fresh avocado or hard-boiled egg in there, but I'm too lazy to cut up the avocado, and hard-boiling takes longer than I want to wait for salad. If I weren't a procrastinator I'd boil up half a dozen or so in advance, since they'll keep a couple of weeks if you don't shell them.

School seems to be going well. I'm not doing any new preparation for CS-3 yet, so I've yet to see how difficult that's going to be once it gets started, but everything else is running smoothly.

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