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Archived news items from April 2003
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Wednesday, 23 April 2003 [21:43 CDT]

I've spent the first part of this week waking up late for school. But I've been pretty productive during my "non-classroom" time up there, generating several assignments and getting some grade corrections done. In particular I spent quite a lot of time on Monday preparing some sample AP questions for my CS-2 kids to take.

We had almost 350 people at Lakeline on Sunday, which is quite a large crowd (though not a record for us). The service went very well, indeed. I'm particularly pleased with the high turnout since 1) we didn't send out a mailer for this series, and 2) even the webpage hadn't been updated for Easter, since the guy who normally does that is out of the country at the moment. I did break a string, though, which is looking like it's going to be a monthly occurrence since I really beat on my guitar nowadays.

After church several of us drove out to McKinney Falls State Park, where we had a little picnic. It was overcast the whole time and sprinkled on us a couple of times, but it was still nice. The water was very low, but it was also fairly deserted because of the weather, so we nearly had the run of the place.

Sunday evening Robin and I watched One Hour Photo, which I liked pretty well, and ate ice cream. And Robin surprised me with The Princess Bride on DVD (along with some Peeps), so we'll probably be watching that before too long.

Saturday, 19 April 2003 [22:39 CDT]

Okay, it's been a nice, lazy weekend so far. Last night we had pizza and watched Maid in Manhattan. Yes, that's a chick flick. It was entertaining, and I was actually impressed with J-Lo's performance; she acted better than I'd expected her to.

Today we went to the dollar theatre to watch Catch Me If You Can, which was also good. And Robin brought over this cool cookbook put out by Men's Health magazine last year called "A Man, A Can, A Plan: 50 Great Guy Meals Even You Can Make!" I made "Black-Jack Quesadillas" for dinner and they turned out pretty well. And running to the store to buy the canned goods in question was the hardest part!

I would also like to point out that the title is an obvious allusion to one of the world's best known palindromes: "A man, a plan, a canal. Panama!" Which has something to do with Teddy Roosevelt.

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. Expecting a good crowd in the morning and the music should rock your socks off!

Friday, 18 April 2003 [14:06 CDT]

Did I mention that news sometimes only gets updated twice a month?

During the week I've been busy with finishing out the 5th Six-Weeks at school, which involves creating exams and lots of grading. Also I have enough church-related meetings in the evenings to keep me from having many nights free to sit down and update the page. And of course weekends belong to Robin.

I'm finally healthy again. I was able to get into the doctor the Thursday afternoon after my last update, and though at the time we thought my illness was abating, it came back a couple of days later and I started taking antibiotics. Once that was done, I started to rapidly improve, and though I had a nagging cough which hung around for about another week, I think I'm pretty much recovered now.

Robin was in a car wreck about two weeks ago. She and her dog were fine, but her car was totalled. So she's been driving a rental since and I think we may go car shopping this weekend, since the insurance company has quoted her a figure.

Then this past Sunday (six days later) we were hit in my car on the way to her house from church. This was a hit-and-run in what was essentially a case of road rage. Again, no one was hurt and my car wasn't damaged at all and I was able to get their license plate number before they were gone and reported them to the police. I haven't heard what, if anything, has come from it.

We've also watched a few movies since last I posted.

We haven't decided what we're going to watch this weekend yet.

I would also like to point out to those who doubted me that "remotest" is indeed the correct superlative for the word "remote". "Most remote", my foot....

Wednesday, 2 April 2003 [19:14 CST]

Robin also discovered for me that my archives were missing the month of January for 1999, 2000, and 2001. Luckily I'm pretty pathological about making and keeping backups, so I was able to pull out one from September 2001 and get them restored. Also took the time to clean up a few (but not all) of the broken links in those archives. Enjoy.

Wednesday, 2 April 2003 [18:31 CST]

Okay, first a correction. My observant girlfriend pointed out that the matron of honor in the wedding was not one of Ben Stiller's personal assistants. It's a shame, since it made for some fun speculation.

Unfortunately, I am still ill. My cold has pretty much degenerated into a sinus infection, so I'll be going to the doctor at some point in the next few days (or whenever I can get in for an appointment) to get some antibiotics. I feel a lot better overall than I did this weekend, but I know I'm still not well.

Despite my illness, worship went really well on Sunday (which seems to be the course of such things, since I'm always able to worship God, no matter how sick I am). It left me really drained, though, so I went home and got a short nap Sunday afternoon before FW Friends.

As my CS-2 students are finishing up the recursive version of the binary search tree, I've been trying to write a viewer that will allow them to see a diagram representing their data, mostly for debugging purposes. I wrote it in two parts, a function to add to their ADT which would write a data file describing the current nodes in the tree and their respective "locations" and then a separate viewer application that would load that file and display the resulting tree.

As of Friday last week, I had a start on the "logging" function, except that the x-coordinates for all the nodes were incorrect. That is, they were in the right order, but in the wrong scale. What's scary is that at some point during my serial napping Friday night, I dreamed a solution to that problem. What's more scary is that not only did I remember it when I woke (and still remembered it days later), but that it was a viable solution. I've since thought of an even better one (this time while awake) and basically finished both parts in the past two days, but dreaming correct code is a first for me. I blame the fever.

The viewer is in Java, since it's so easy to do GUI and graphical stuff in that language. I've still got a couple of usability issues with it, but overall I'm pleased with how it works.

And finally, some of you know that I wasn't the biggest supporter of us attacking Iraq. Now that the war's begun, it's a moot point and we might as well fight as well as we can, but I wasn't in favor of taking action at this time. (Nor am I in favor of 'freedom fries' and other sophomoric slams against certain European nations, but that's another story.)

Anyway, I ran across this really excellent dialogue that basically sums up my thoughts on the issue:

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