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Archived news items from November 2002
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news from December 2002

Saturday, 23 November 2002 [21:34 CST]

The past two days have been quite productive and relaxing at the same time, if that's possible. Last weekend Leander won its first post-season football game ever. Yesterday's game was at the Astrodome in Houston. So to celebrate and allow as many people as possible to get to watch the game, school was released at noon on Friday. (According to the paper, we barely lost to Spring, 28-26.)

Now, I don't have a second period class, so I was done for the day at 10:10. I took off and went to the Austin Travel Clinic again to get the second of my three hepatitis vaccine shots (the next one is in five months). Then I went and got my haircut (just a trim; sorry to disappoint those of you that prefer me with short hair). I didn't have an appointment and got there when they were pretty busy, so I probably waited an hour an a half. This gave me plenty of time to read a graphic novel featuring the first six comic book episodes of The Tick. So that was fun.

Afterward I dropped by the apartment to find my copy of David Gray's new album had arrived. It's instrumentally different than his last, but the songwriting is still superb and I like it. I also ate lunch, then went back up to the school, where I spent a few hours getting Allegro working under Windows 2000. I'd been trying to get the Borland version working, but it just wasn't going to happen. So I gave up and installed DJGPP, and then everything worked the first time. So probably Monday after school I can get that put on a new image and ghosted out to my lab. Which means my new printer will be working, too.

(And speaking of new CDs, I've listened to the They Might Be Giants compilation I got, and it's great. It features basically their entire body of recordings prior to Flood, their first really popular album and the only one I had owned. I'd had a tape copy of Lincoln, the album previous to Flood, so I'm quite familiar with those songs and I'm glad to now have them on CD. The two discs together have a staggering 72 tracks! A must-buy for TMBG fans.)

Got home around 7:30 from all that, and just relaxed the rest of the evening. Got to bed early (well, at 11:15, which is pretty early for me). I then slept until nearly 11:00 this morning.

I've spent all day taking care of things from my TODO list. First on the agenda was backing up all the stuff from my server at school, which has lots and lots of custom code and data on it from the past four years, and which had never been backed up at all. So I'm glad to get that done finally. If I'm smart I'll make weekly incremental backups from now on.

Then while I was in the CD burning mood, I burned two more sets of the ISOs for Red Hat 8.0, which I'd downloaded a while back. I'd burned the CDs then, but ended up giving them to a coworker who was thinking about experimenting with Linux. So now I've got a set to keep at home for whenever I feel like upgrading (probably not anytime soon) and another set to keep at school in case a student wants to experiment with Linux.

And speaking of Linux distributions, I recently got a DVD of Debian 3.0 from LAN Comp Systems. Popular opinion on slashdot is that Debian is the "nerd" distribution of Linux, where Red Hat is more for newbies or the corporate crowd. So I figure next time I'm going to upgrade, I'll give Debian a try first.

After all my burning was done, I turned my attention to updating my plaintext songbook. I went through my music folder, typing up the words and chords to any new worship songs I'd obtained in the last year or so. My allsongs.txt now contains 230 songs in plain-Jane text format, with chords for all but half a dozen or so. About sixty of these are currently in rotation at Lakeline, and probably fifty more have been in the rotation at some point during the past five years.

Then I made a copy of the file and whittled it down to the 55 songs Lakeline's done in the past six months and then mailed it to a guy from church who'd asked for a copy of some of our worship music about a month ago.

While doing all that typing, I made up a pot of pinto beans, which'll last me a couple of weeks. Then had beans and rice for dinner. Mmmm. Beans and rice. (To quote Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, in an interview on MTV probably ten years ago: "I just wanted to sit down for a nice bowl of beans and rice and sitting.")

Now I'm going to practice the worship set again for tomorrow, and get to bed early again. Two-day work week next week, as school is out from Wednesday for Thanksgiving. Excellent.

Tuesday, 19 November 2002 [21:27 CST]

Spent the day talking to freshmen in the Future Careers class convincing them to take Computer Science. Short but sweet.

Got the first of what will probably be four shipments of my amazon spending orgy. This one had a book (Unlearning Church, recommended to me by a friend of mine) and two CDs: Then: The Early Years by They Might Be Giants, which I haven't listened to, and Stephen Stills' self-titled album, which other than the phenomenal Black Queen, isn't as good as I was expecting.

Tuesday, 19 November 2002 [00:24 CST]

Actually late Monday night....

Spent the evening getting my Haiti page finished. It's a long but (I think) interesting read, and I put up eighteen photos there in logical places. Might take a bit to get all the pictures loaded if you're on a modem, but at least the text will load fast so you can get started reading.


Another eBay CD arrived today: Soul Coughing's Ruby Vroom. It's great.

Sunday, 17 November 2002 [21:59 CST]

Wasn't too sick to spend time with Paul and Julie this weekend, though eleven hours of driving isn't super fun. Logan sleeps a lot, but is super cute. Paul and Julie aren't sleeping real well at this point, and won't for several weeks. They had lots of other visitors as well. Paul took a photo of me with Logan on Saturday.

me holding 4-day-old Logan

You'll notice that being first on the block with Christmas decorations is important to Julie: even having just had baby, she's already got her tree up.

Oh, and I finished typing up the rest of my Haiti journal this evening. I've also got all my photos developed and on a Photo CD. So now I just have to turn in into a web page, excerpt out the more interesting bits, and choose which photos I want up there. Hopefully that'll happen this week.

Thursday, 14 November 2002 [23:53 CST]

Okay, so I broke down and ordered the David Gray album today anyway. As well as Audioslave, which will be released in a few days. Another $26 spent....

Am leaving for Longview directly from school tomorrow. Woo-hoo! A nephew!

Wednesday, 13 November 2002 [21:31 CST]

Oops! Accountability meeting was cancelled because Wilson is ill. Only he forgot to call me. It's just as well, though, since I'm feeling a bit under the weather myself and could use the extra rest.

Wednesday, 13 November 2002 [20:45 CST]

I just ordered a bunch of CDs and a couple of books from Amazon. I picked all the items off my own Amazon.com wishlist and then confirmed the order. I then went onto my own wish list to remove the entries for the items I'd bought. Much to my chagrin, I noticed that several of the CDs I wanted hadn't been on my Amazon.com wishlist, and so some of the CDs I did buy I didn't really want as badly as these others.

In particular, I'm bummed that I didn't (yet) order David Gray's A New Day At Midnight. While grading the past couple of days I've been listening almost exclusively to his last album (White Ladder), and I love the single The Other Side that's currently playing on the radio. I certainly would have ordered that album, too, if I'd remembered.

Of course, I already spent over $100 getting what I did, and I probably would have thrown two more albums into the order, making things a bit more than I should spend on a whim.

When grading yesterday I ran out of time. I'd told my B-day kids that they could turn in any missing assignments to the "Submit" drive, but that if they didn't I'd go hunting for them in their home directories. It turns out that was a lie, as I just barely had time to look at what'd been submitted. So today many of them were alarmed to see the grade that was going to show up on their report cards. Fortunately, this grading cycle they printed out proof sheets for the grades, and gave us until 8:30 tomorrow to correct any "errors". So I stayed after school again today (this time only until 5:00, though) finishing up those "hail marys" from the B-day kids and got all those changed. So I've only got a handful of students failing instead of dozens.

Talked to Paul on the phone last night. He's tired but happy and just in awe with the wonder of it all. Since Logan was three weeks early, he's having to stay in the hospital for 48 hours for observation. Of course, that means Julie and Paul are staying there as well (with Paul sleeping on a chair in the hospital room). Paul fortunately has a week of paid "paternity" leave, and he's excited to have a job that has any paid leave at all. (He's the manager at a new Marble Slab Creamery in Longview.

I plan to head up there Friday to see everybody and spend the night. Right now I'm off across the street to meet with Wilson for a bi-weekly accountability meeting. Accountability is a good thing. (Just ask Enron.)

Tuesday, 12 November 2002 [20:30 CST]

Okay, I've got a photo of my brother holding his newborn son. Holy dang!

Paul holding newborn Logan

Tuesday, 12 November 2002 [17:48 CST]

I'm an uncle!

Born today, 2002-11-12 at 9:37 A.M.
Weighing in at 6 lbs. 15 oz.
Measured at 20 inches,
"definitely a boy",
Logan Andrew Mitchell, the first child of Paul and Julie Mitchell,
and the first grandchild of Dr. Joe and Brynda Mitchell,
and the first nephew of mine.

Paul called me from the hospital a scant 16 minutes after Logan "broke on through to the other side," so I feel like I was kept well-informed. Mom and Dad were there and have pictures, but they haven't made it to me yet. Maybe this evening, and I'll post them ASAP.

In other news, I got my grading done after several marathon sessions (Sunday until nearly midnight, last night until after 2:00 A.M., and all day today). I said it before, but I'll say it again: ick.

I did take a break last night between 7:00 and midnight to go see Point of Contact (consisting of Lakeline's lead guitarist, our bass guitarist, and a former drummer) play their first gig at Steamboat. There was a good crowd, and they played really excellently. Musically it's a bit reminiscent of Godsmack crossed with Metallica crossed with Creed. They were extremely tight and you could tell they loved playing together. I think the Monday night is a regular gig, so drop by from 9-10 to see a nice show for only a $5 cover.

Other than grading torture and babies in the family, it's been a pretty uneventful couple of days. ;) Oh, though I guess I did break a string during the second service Sunday. We covered it well, apparently.

Sunday, 10 November 2002 [23:50 CST]

Quickie! Been shopping around for a washer/dryer for Christmas. Thoroughly enjoyed watching the unranked Aggies beat previously-unbeated OU this weekend. Got all my Haiti photos developed, but still no more journal typed in. Been grading (ick) for the end of the six weeks.

Sunday, 3 November 2002 [20:46 CST]

The Haiti service at church (talking about what all happened on the trip) went very well this morning. I'm caught up on sleep and bills, and after 107 minutes of typing, I've keyed in 14 of the 24 journal pages I wrote. I'll continue to work on that as I get time. I also took three rolls of film, and once I get them developed I should be able to put them up here.

I went grocery shopping today and a third of my grocery bill was beer! I found a cool Chimay sampler pack with one of each of their three varieties and a chalice to drink them from. Okay, it was only $10, but when your total bill is only $30, that's significant. Of course, it'll probably take me a month to drink all three.

I also dropped by HEB and picked up some clearance Halloween candy. Yum. By the way, they don't celebrate Halloween in Haiti, but since it's nominally such a Catholic nation, they did celebrate All Saints Day, meaning there wasn't much traffic out when we drove to the airport.

And yeah, most of Haiti doesn't have running water or electricity. Turns out it's not so bad....

Saturday, 2 November 2002 [00:11 CST]

Actually late Friday night....

We're back: mostly healthy, all exhausted, but God taught us a lot about Himself and ourselves, and it was worth the effort. I've got 24 pages of journalling I'm going to try and type up in the next few days, so watch for that to appear here.

And now I'm going to sleep.

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