Archived news items from October 2002
Since this is old news, some links may be broken.
news from November 2002
Okay, last update until we return. Here's the outline of our itenerary:
We are also hooking up an electric generator which has been shipped down ahead of us. I think that's Saturday evening, with it spilling over into whatever other nights it takes.
Hopefully I'll remember to switch off daylight savings time for my next update. See you then.
Actually late Wednesday night....
Last night was packing and prayer night. We had a good prayer time with the church, but we also did some serious packing. All of us brought our already-packed suitcases to be weighed, sealed (with duct tape or tie wraps), labelled, and stored for safekeeping. We're bringing several trunks full of medical supplies, books, electronics, etc. Checked baggage may not exceed 60 lbs. At first, some of the six trunks were 100 pounds, and some were 40. So we moved things around until they all weighed right at the maximum weight.
This process involved me dead-lifting a trunk and stepping on a scale. If we combined for 220 pounds or less we were okay. If not, I'd put it down, we'd open it and take out a few heavy items, replace them with light but bulky items, and I'd weigh again. Some trunks took like six weighings. There were several trunks. I got a workout.
Tonight I stayed up at school until nearly eleven o'clock getting all my bases covered to have a substitute for seven class days. Hopefully they'll have *plenty* of information; I can be pretty detail-oriented when I need to be. Since I don't have to be at the church until 2:30 tomorrow, I can sleep in if need be.
Driving home I heard the latest about the "serial sniper" manhunt in Washington D.C. Looking for two men in particular, who we are not to assume have any connection to the sniper. Though one is an ex-Army sniper, and we are to consider him "armed and dangerous". Methinks they're just trying to prevent any vigilante justice.
And a random thought. The flour tortillas I bought last week say "traditionally made in New Mexico". Presumably this is supposed to mean "made in New Mexico, in keeping with tradition". But couldn't it also mean "traditionally, tortillas like these are made in New Mexico, although the ones in this package were made in Hoboken, New Jersey." Call me a cynic.
It's really Monday this time....
Okay, proof that I'm not a morning person. After getting to bed so late last night, I overslept and got to work running ten minutes behind as usual. This is commonplace.
I did more grading during my planning period, and stayed after school until 6:30 grading. At this point I was not a happy camper. I went home, ate dinner, chilled out a bit, and then headed back to school, picking up where I'd left off at around 8:15. I then finished out the grading, finally leaving for home again at nearly 10:30.
Now that I'm home, I'm still quite alert. I could easily stay up another couple of hours just puttering around on the computer or packing (which I need to do anyway before tomorrow at 6:30).
Anyway, my grading is now done (I just have to submit it to the registrar's office tomorrow). Tomorrow night is "packing night" and prayer night with the church. Wednesday night I'll probably get everything nailed down for the substitute (though I've got a lot done for that already). And I've taken the day off Thursday even though we're not meeting at the church until 2:30, so I'll have that morning to sleep in, get one last hot shower for a while, and take care of any last minute issues.
I'll try to at least make one last update Thursday morning with our rough itinerary, but I may sneak another one or two, also. You just never know....
Actually late Sunday night....
Believe it or not, I went to the school this evening to do some grading. You know I've got a lot going on when I'm doing things like that. I also made a bunch of illegal copies of the AcaDec CD for the kids, finished writing Haiti thank-you notes to those who are supporting the trip (financially or in prayer) and got those mailed.
I took another typhoid pill today and am again feeling the low-grade fever thing going on. It's too late for me to get to bed early, but I'll try to sleep well anyway.
And for the record, the service was good this morning, so if you weren't there, you missed it.
Been a busy week preparing to go to Haiti. I'm trying to get all caught up on grading and such at school, and packing ahead of time. Not to mention planning to have a sub for seven class days.
I received the Weezer and Metallica CDs this week. I then took my surplus copy of Fatboy Slim to CD Warehouse, where they gave me $3 for it (I'd only paid $4.40). I bought Soul Coughing's Irresistible Bliss (another album a student brought for the jukebox years ago), Metallica's ...And Justice For All, and Sarah McLachlan's Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. That last disc was free because I'd enough stamps on my "frequent buyer" card, and the other two cost me only $14 (tax free because it was a "trade"). So overall in the last month, I've gotten seven CDs in nearly new condition for an average of $5.96. The same CDs new from Amazon.com would have come out to $14.14 a disc. Go eBay!
Thursday I rushed off to the Austin Travel Clinic during my planning period to get medicated for Haiti. I got vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, polio, tetanus and typhoid, and I have a prescription for an anti-malarial drug and something else I can take for severe upset stomach if Pepto doesn't do the trick. I'll also be using Deep Woods Off to keep the malaria-carrying mosquitoes away. So assuming I live through all the vaccines I should be in good shape to stay as healthy as possible.
In addition to buying some other things for the trip today, I also splurged on a pair of Doc Marten's hiking shoes. They were pricy but are supposed to last forever. So if I wear them for ten years, they'll have been worth it. Not to mention just the general coolness factor of having shoes with soles that are "oil, fat, acid, petrol, and alkali resistant".
Last night was the Haiti team's prayer night. We had worship, communion, and a time of prayer and reconciliation. It was good stuff.
Tomorrow looks to be a good service, so everyone come to Lakeline. See you there.
RedHat finished downloading and today I finally got around to burning the CDs. Having a 12x SCSI burner is nice for such occasions. Maybe once I get back from Haiti and things settle down a bit I'll try installing it.
As of today, all the business of getting the new car is complete. I have the title, got the car registered with the state and got the sticker on there, have it insured and have proof of insurance in the glove compartment, and today I got it inspected. Now finally I don't have to worry about making excuses for missing paperwork if I get pulled over. I even have the jumper cables stored in the spare-tire compartment and put a bungee cord in the trunk to keep things from sliding around in there.
Having driven the car almost 1500 miles since I got it (most of it in the city), my overall fuel efficiency is just over 31 miles per gallon. It's nice to only spend $11 at the pump with today's prices.
Today I received a second copy of Fatboy Slim's You've Come a Long Way, Baby. I had made the mistake of bidding on two auctions simultaneously back several weeks ago when I was still new to this whole eBay thing, and won both. (Who knew that $2.26 and $2.75 would be the highest bids for such a popular CD?) I received the first one pretty quickly, but for the second one I had to request the shipping amount, get around to buying and mailing a money order, and then wait for the money order to arrive in New York, and finally for the CD to be shipped.
Since I've never seen this disc at CD Warehouse, maybe I'll be able to get a few dollars for it there (and it only cost me $4.40 total) and get some other CD on the cheap.
Since my last update I've also won Weezer's first eponymous CD (the blue one) for the astonishingly low price of $2.99. Metallica's black album (also eponymous) is en route from Manitoba, Canada (about 2000 miles straight north from Austin), so should be here early next week.
I finally gave in to the inevitable and transferred $20 into my PayPal account, so that future eBay auctions won't have to wait for the funds to be transferred from checking. Thus sellers will get paid almost instantaneously, and so they should be able to ship sooner. Meaning I'll get my CDs sooner. And paying fast insures good feedback, which increases my eBay karma. Good times will be had by all.
In non-eBay related news, I did two monthly Lakeline small groups today: Wilson's Straight Talk at Barnes & Noble in the morning, and Chris Crombar's College Football Crew in the afternoon, where I watched the University of Texas get run all over by OU's Quentin Griffin. Ick. It wasn't as bad as last year's Big-12 championship game, but still depressing.
And at school, we've been learning about the B-tree in CS-3, and I've been trying to code it all myself. It's challenging, but draining.
Twelve days until we leave for Haiti.
I won. This one will be $8.26 with shipping and handling, but it's a more popular CD.
Also currently downloading the ISO images for RedHat 8.0, but I'm not waiting up for that:
ncftp> get psyche-i386-disc1.iso psyche-i386-disc2.iso psyche-i386-disc3.iso psyche-i386-disc1.iso: ETA 409:34 48.48/644.03 MB 24.97 kB/s =
I wasn't feeling too well last night (sinus pressure, drainage, and a sore throat), and I'm still not 100%, but was able to sing fine today. Music went excellently, and Brian didn't even go too over (timewise) with his teaching. We just started a new series on the Lord's Prayer. And you know how much I like talking about prayer....
Also, I cheated death this evening (or at least a wounding) while riding my skateboard downhill to the complex's dumpster with a full trashbag. I've done this before, but tonight 1) it was dark, 2) the bag was heavier than usual, affecting my balance, and 3) my stance was weird. I didn't fall off the board, shredding my recently-healed-over knee, but I sure felt like I was going to. Why God would protect me from such stupidity I'm not sure, but it feels like He did.
I also found out today that as of this week, we've raised all the money we need to go to Haiti, and even some more. So some of you that read this helped out, either monetarily or in prayer or both. Thank you for contributing to what looks to be an incredible trip. I need to write Thank-You notes, but I'm a bad procrastinator when it comes to such things.
And yes, though I'm ready for bed, I'm staying up until nearly midnight so I can see the end of an eBay auction I'm currently winning. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery....
This morning marks three weeks and one day after "skinning" my knee, and my scab is finally gone. I also finally got to Buck's Bikes to pick up a replacement inner tube (my front wheel had been flat since the accident) and I also got a nice pump that clips to my bike.
Today I finally got a chance to sleep in (meaning I got up around 8:45, which I know Jesse would consider heretical), and then spent the day running errands. I went back to the laundromat I'd found last time and brought my guitar so I could practice the music for tomorrow's service while I waited.
When grocery shopping at Whole Foods earlier this week, I spent a minute or two trying to figure out if the single variety of canned salmon there had bones in it. One of the employees soon got in on the quest, and he took off for several minutes trying to track down anyone who knew one way or the other. He finally returned, and handed a can to me, putting a sticker over the UPC. "I'll tell you what," he said. "Take this home on us. If when you open it there are bones, then chunk it. But if there aren't, enjoy. Either way, you'll know for next time." So that was pretty cool. I haven't opened it yet, so it's still a mystery. I'll keep you posted.
Wednesday my second eBay CD arrived. This one was also under $6 including shipping, and is in perfect condition. The CD is Fatboy Slim's You've Come a Long Way, Baby, which I first heard when a student several years ago brought it in to put on the jukebox. My eBay success continues.
Oh, and regarding the crush email: the former student who'd triggered it only went as far as CS-2, not CS-3.
And scope out the coolest optical illusion I've seen in some time: the checker-shadow illusion. I just couldn't believe the claim, but taking a screenshot and zooming in to the pixel level with my image-editing program confirms they're telling the truth. Wow.
Heard through a current student that a non-female former CS-3 student is responsible for the someonelikesyou.com crush emails. With any luck, they'll sell my email address to other types of spammers!
By the way, I found a grey hair in my beard last week. You'd think that being a grey-bearded old man would dissuade the high school crushes....
I received my first eBay-purchased CD today, Dysfunction by Staind. It cost me $5.79 including shipping and handling, was shipped in less than 5 days, and is in new condition. So far, so good. If I am as lucky with the other two I've won, I'll become an eBay junkie, I think.
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