January 2006


Dad and I got to the office rather late this afternoon as he had an errand to run this afternoon. Aunt Lauren’s house was sold not too long ago and dad had to stop by an attorney’s office uptown on Maple Street so sign some papers for the closing. We arrived a bit early. Since he wasn’t sure how long it was going to take, I decided to go somewhere nearby rather than wait in the office. I went a few doors down to Fresco and got a drink and some appetizer with spinach in it I think. They were done about twenty minutes past noon and we then went to the office. While we were at the office I transcribed some dictation and did a little more work in the back room, getting it cleaned up so it can be used soon. We left the office around five. By this time Dad learned he had to go back to the attorney’s office to sign one more things, and we did. We also stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get something for dinner. We left with a few frozen seafood items. The evening was rather quiet. I was on the computer for the better part of the evening. I watched Bush’s State of the Union speech and talked to Khadijah on the phone for a while later in the evening.

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First Speeches

This is another later entry. I think I was at the office from noon to about five this afternoon. Doc had a late new patient. Dad got me to class this evening with about ten minutes to spare. Class started ‘late’ at six this evening as Professor Hanemann was late to arrive. He acknowledged that he won’t be able to arrive on time at 5:45 so he changed the start time to six. He started the class by having everyone do an short, impromptu speech on some off-the-wall subject written on an index card. I kinda made an ass of myself, I’ll leave it at that. After lecturing for a while, some students gave their prepared speeches on a personal experience. Only half of the students gave their speech tonight. The rest, including myself, will go next week. Dad was waiting to pick me up after class. I know he worked late but he must have been waiting for quite some time. After I got home I got some dinner, white beans, and watched 24 with the family. I don’t remember what I did later that evening, probably nothing.

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Moving a Table

As this post is nearly four days late, my memory of the weekend is now a blur, which usually means I didn’t do anything. I do remember doing something on Sunday though. I went with Dad to the storage facility that’s been holding Aunt Lauren’s dining room table and stuff from grandma’s house. We helped a couple ladies take home Lauren’s rather nice, but flood damaged dining room set. They had a pickup truck which we managed to get the table and chairs into with one trip. The table was easily disassembled wish we’d known that when Dad and I moved the table out of Laruen’s old house.

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Andrew's Birthday

I didn’t go with Dad to the office today because he wanted me to be home for a satellite technician that was coming by the house today to install another dish. I did have work to do at home but I never got around to it. The motherboard and video card that I ordered arrived last night and I was anxious to get them installed in my case, even though I still don’t have a new CPU yet. I spent the better part of the afternoon emptying and cleaning my PC case, which had an extraordinary amount of dust inside, even though I do keep up with regular cleanings. With the case clear and clean, I installed the new motherboard and video card as well as all of the other components I will continue using. With the power requirements of the new card, I had to lose one of my optical drives. The only loss is being unable to do quick disc to disc copying, and I no longer need a PCI IDE controller card. I’ll probably upgrade the 400 watt power supply in the distant future however. I was rather proud of myself at the immaculately neat job I did with the cabling. With less cables in the middle of the case and fewer PCI cards, I removed one of the case fans and will try going with three for the time being. I may cut it down to two later depending on how the new CPU and cooler affects the ambient case temperature. Today is Andrew’s birthday and Mom and Dad took him out to dinner. We went to eat at the House of Blues. Unlike the restaurants in Metairie, you can actually get seated without much of a wait in the quarter. Mom, Andrew and myself had po-boys and Dad got a rack of ribs. It took a good while for us to get our food, as the restaurant is likely short of staff like every other New Orleans establishment. We got home not long before nine, with time to spare before Battlestar Galactica started. This evenings episode was decent, although not quite a gem like so many other episodes.

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More Rambling

This evening’s media law class was very much like the first class last week. There was plenty of conversation among the class and barely any covering of class material, whatever that may be. I thought I’d be able to get away without buying the book, but I’ll certainly need it if the instructor doesn’t lecture. A lot of the rambling regarded local and national political goings-on. After class I caught the 8:20 shuttle downtown that showed up at 8:15. When I got off the bus on Canal Street, a young lady asked me to walk with her to a building just by Tulane Avenue. After escorting her, I walked down to the Sheraton to wait for dad. He arrived not too longer after I got there to take me home.

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One Class

Before leaving the house today, I started spaghetti for dinner to be slow cooked. I also did a little bit of work at the house. Before Dad dropped me off this afternoon, he picked up Andrew at school. After I got dropped off, I went to the bookstore to have a look at the texts for the my classes this term. I didn’t buy any, as they’re all pretty expensive, I’m not sure they’ll be necessary and I didn’t really have the money at the moment anyway. After leaving the bookstore I decided to find a place to get some lunch. I know there are some places on Maple Street to I walked down there and ended up in the first place I saw that was open, Babylon Caf, a little middle-eastern restaurant. I got a gyro on bread, a sandwich with lamb and beef. It was pretty good, although surprisingly messy to eat. After lunch I went to the library for a pretty good while and remained there until after 5:30. There was no psychology class today because the professor is out of town. There were a lot less people in this week’s Consumer Behavior session. I’m sure a lot of people were turned off by the permanent instructor being gone for the first few weeks. This week’s session was about the many facets of culture materialism, the value of work, tradition vs. change, etcetera, etcetera. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the discussion was sufficient tied to the subject matter of the class maybe next week. Ms. Ogden said our permanent teacher would be starting next week. On the way to the shuttle stop, I stopped in PJ’s and got a Coke and a brownie. I caught the 8:20 shuttle downtown. Instead of enjoying my Coke and music as I usually do on these rides, I spoke with a young lady named Olivia, who I believe is a member of the Newcomb Senate. She told me about a rally to save Newcomb college that will take place on Friday and about the circumstances surrounding the dissolving of Newcomb and Tulane Colleges. While getting rid of the Engineering program at Tulane makes some sense on paper, getting rid of Newcomb seems pretty pointless as Olivia described it to me. I walked to the Sheraton after being dropped off on Canal St. Dad picked me up not long after. When I got home I got myself some dinner. I had the spaghetti I made earlier and ate in the living room while the family was watching Lost. I watched a little TV later in the evening and got to bed at a decent hour.

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First Patient in Metairie

I went with Dad to the Metairie office at about 11 this morning. On the way, Dad stopped at McDonalds so I could get some lunch. I spent most of the early afternoon sorting through things in the back room, where a good deal of stuff from the Metairie office is being stored. I had to go through a lot of various papers, a lot of which is trash. Dad met with an architect at one to discuss a future office on Carrolton. Doc arrived sometime around two. The clinic, which isn’t quite open yet, saw its first patient today. Dad and I left around three. Dad made a couple stops downtown to a couple attorney’s offices before we made it all the way home, over an hour after leaving the office. I made pizza and pasta salad for dinner and watch a new episode of Boston Legal this evening. I watched Adult Swim for about an hour before bed.

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Persuasive Public Speaking

I don’t really remember what happened before my class this evening, but it probably involved me sitting with my laptop for a while in the Library. This evening I went to the first session of Persuasive Public Speaking, a required class a Tulane. The professor spoke for a good while about the class, what it entails and how he goes about teaching it. He spent a lot of time trying to put the class at ease, as speaking in front of an audience is a real big deal to some people. Later, each student had to get in front of the class briefly and introduce themselves. There are about 20 students in the class so this took a bit. The professor spoke briefly again before dismissing the class shortly before eight. The next shuttle downtown didn’t leave until 8:20 so I decided to peek into the first College Republicans meeting of the semester. I left with enough time to get back to Freret and McAlister. I stopped to get a Coke on the way. Unfortunately, I ended up missing the bus my just a few seconds, it passed five minutes early. I ended up waiting about a half hour for the next one in front of the Reily Center. I walked to the Sheraton when I got downtown and waited for a bit until Dad picked me up. I got home not long before ten.

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Saturday and Sunday kind of blurred together, as my weekends often do, since both days usually have an equal amount of inactivity. The only event of circumstance on Saturday was repairing my ‘new’ flip clock, again. Friction on the alarm dial was still a problem and my previous attempts made no significant improvement. The last two times, I just lubricated the alarm dial to try and prevent it from moving and subsequently changing the alarm time. On Saturday, however, I did some more serious disassembly and removed to the alarm dial to reveal a broken part. I’m not sure how to describe it, but a spring loaded ‘tooth’ catches indentations in the dial and holds it in place unless the setting is being changed. The spring was out of place, apparently from a previous operation on the clock made by someone else. My best guess is that it was screwed up when someone replaced the small bulb that illuminates the dial, which is incredibly dim as the inside of the bulb looks to be largely coated with a black paint. Anyway, after a good deal of fiddling, I was able to get the ‘tooth’ back on the spring and fixed the problem. The spring was bent out of shape though and I had to idea how it was supposed to look having never examined a perfect specimen of this clock. I had to just force the spring into a position that worked. On Sunday night, Dad and I went to see Paul Varisco and the Milestones at the Rock ‘n Bowl in Mid City. After the hurricane, I wouldn’t have expected to see the cover band again. They’ve been around since 1960. It was a pretty decent show, and it was just nice to see the band together again after the storm even though I have no particular emotional attachment to them. It's always nice to see some pre-Katrina fixture of New Orleans in operation again.

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Rainy Day

I don’t recall doing any work today, home or away. It was gloomy and wet outside all day. We left the house before three this afternoon. We first went over to Lusher to pickup Andrew, and then we stopped in front of Gibson Hall and Dad dropped me off. I don’t remember if I went to the library or not, but I do remember going to Richardson to find the second floor computer lab closed. It was raining pretty good at the time and I didn’t want to walk all the way to the library so I ducked in Gibson and found that the UC lab was closed as well. I was invited to just hang around in the office, and I did. I had my laptop and a couple of the staff for company. I remained there until about half past five and then went back to Richardson for class this afternoon. I had another session of Introductory Psychology. This evening’s class dealt with the scientific method. It’s certainly not a new subject to me, although it was discusses within the context of the course. I walked to Freret and McAlister after class. The shuttle stops there at 5:50, five minutes after class is supposed to end. I caught the shuttle with two other people. Again, when I got to Canal Street, I walked to the Ferry to find it closed, even though it was just after six. Dad came downtown again and picked me up. I got home in time for dinner. I think we had spaghetti for dinner, which was pretty good. Battlestar Galactica and the Stargate shows were the order of the evening.

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Media and the Law

I got up at a half decent hour this morning. I did a little bit of work today at home, just a couple of reports. Dad took me to Tulane at about 2:45 this afternoon. We stopped at the bank on the way. I got dropped off in front of the library. I went there briefly and found out I still couldn’t use the internet with my laptop. I walked over to the laptop station in Richardson to get the problem fixed. As it turns out, nothing was really wrong, but the Tulane network doesn’t broadcast an SSID (anymore). After I left Richardson I walked over to the Boot for something to eat before class this evening. I was there for a little while before going back to the library. I had the net working on my laptop and I remained there about a half hour before walking to Gibson Hall for my class this evening. My class this evening was Media and the Law, instructed by Stephen Gernhauser, an attorney. The class deals with various forms of media and the first amendment, but you wouldn’t have figured that out attending the first session this evening. Most of the class time was spent by the professor and the class discussing personal experiences associated with hurricane Katrina. The professor started first. He was one of a couple people in the room who lost everything. This went on for a good while. The last several minutes were spent going over the syllabus and what the class is actually about. After class I walked to Freret and McAlister to catch the downtown shuttle to get home. It showed up about 10 minutes after I got there. There were six or so other people waiting as well. After the bus got to Canal Street, I walked down to the riverfront expecting to take the Algiers ferry to the west bank, but it already stopped running. There was a guy parked in an RTA vehicle near the landing. I asked him about the hours but he had no idea. Nobody on his radio had any idea either. I called Dad and he had me meet him at the Sheraton, just up the street. I waited inside for a little while before he arrived. I made myself some soup for dinner when I got home. Beyond that I don’t remember doing anything.

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Back to Tulane

Monday was another rather quiet day, as was Tuesday. Aunt Lauren and Arien went home on Tuesday. Watch Boston Legal was pretty much the high-point of Tuesday. This morning, Dad and I went up to the new Metairie office to start setting things up. We took a bunch of equipment that was in the Mid City office before the storm up there. To be honest, we didn’t get that much done in the time we were there. We did get the wall brackets for the EMS machines up though. I cleaned the windows and door in the front, which were actually pretty dirty between the dirt the storm flew around and the dust generated by the recent renovations. Dad took me to McDonald’s at about one to get some lunch. It was pretty crowded but I didn’t have to wait terribly long. I took the food back to the office where remained for almost another hour. I got a ride to Tulane around two this afternoon. Dad stopped at the post office on the way. This was actually my first time being uptown on St. Charles Ave. since the storm. At a casual glance, things actually looked pretty normal. It didn’t look like many trees had been downed in the area. I used the phrase ‘causal glance’ for a reason though. Dad dropped me off in front of Gibson Hall. I first went to see my student advisor, Ms. Houston, as I was curious how valuable the classes I’ve scheduled will be to my major. Although I thought two of them were pretty irrelevant, it turns out I have still have all of my general elective credits open and all of the classes I scheduled will contribute to my major. We talked for a while before I left and made my way to the library to remain for a while before my first class starts at 4:30. Walking through the campus, things look pretty good. That’s the case because an incredible amount of work has been done on campus since the storm and the work looks pretty good. It was quite nice to walk through the campus and see things intact. My first class this evening was introductory psychology at 4:30. It takes place in a large auditorium in Richardson. About 70 students showed up, although the professor, a Dr. Brian Edwards, said only half of those who signed up showed. Most of the class period was spent going over the syllabus, which was hardly out of the ordinary. It took about an hour though. Myself and obviously some of the others thought that would conclude the class but we weren’t so lucky. The professor lectured until the end of class at about 5:45. The professor defined psychology and went on to talk about how broad a field it is. Class ended with just enough time for me to walk across the quad to Norman Mayer for my second class of the evening, which started at 5:45. This class was Consumer Behavior I don’t really know why I’m taking it. The professor wasn’t there, but a substitute was. Ms. Ann Ogden said she’d be teaching the class until the regular professor arrives in February. This is a considerable turn-off, even though Ms. Ogden is a nice lady, I’m more worried about being a month into the class and finding out the regular teacher is intolerable. That said, I may very well drop the course. There was no getting out early tonight either. The professor didn’t go over the syllabus until the ned, and then only briefly. The first session covered the first two chapters of the book, mostly basic introductory stuff I don’t feel like elaborating on. Basically, the class is about ‘why people buy what they buy,’ which was also my response when the professor asked what we thought the class was about. If I keep this class, it may be interesting basically having two back-to-back psychology classes works. After class ended shortly after eight, I walked back to Freret St. with the intention of catching a bus downtown and meeting Dad. The bus didn’t come anytime soon though and Dad came and picked me up. I didn’t do much of circumstance in the evening. I looked for at the class schedule again to no avail. I started watching a movie rather late and didn’t finish.

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This weekend passed pretty uneventfully. Nothing productive took place. I played a lot of PGR 2. I forgot how fun that game was, or perhaps I just got bored with it after playing incessantly for months. I didn’t go to church on Sunday just because I didn’t bother to get out of bed in time. On Sunday evening, I saw my first episode of ’24,’ an obviously very good show that I just never bothered to see. Jeff is a big fan and recommended I watch it, and the whole family did this evening. Although I haven’t seen the previous seasons I was able to keep up, although I’m sure I would have benefited from seeing the previous episodes. I also watched a rather amusing episode of The Boondocks this evening.

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Dinner, BSG and Music

I didn’t do much of anything productive today. I probably could have done a little work but I didn’t bother. I did schedule a couple of classes for the upcoming semester which starts on Tuesday. I spent some time playing Project Gotham Racing 2, which I haven’t touched in many months. This afternoon, I went for a short ride with Aunt Lauren and Arien to Belle Chasses to get some groceries and to see Grandma Laughlin’s old house, which was sold not too long after the hurricane. It looked pretty much the same with a few changes. The shutters and window trim were painted dark green. There was a new driveway in the front yard and there was a FEMA trailer parked in the back yard. This evening, the family, Aunt Lauren, Arien and I went out to eat at a restaurant in Crown Pointe called Restaurant Des Familles. It took about a half hour to get there. I’m not sure how Dad found out about the place but he’d been there not too long ago and really liked it. From the outside it looks like an old plantation house although judging from the floor layout inside, I doubt it was ever anything aside from a restaurant. In any case, it’s a very nice establishment and the food was very good. They have a small menu with a number of seafood and Cajun/Creole dishes. I got a small platter with fried shrimp and catfish, which was quite good. We got home in time for Battlestar Galactica. I’d been waiting not so patiently for tonight’s episode after last weeks’ cliffhanger. It was another fantastic and pretty unpredictable episode. Ronald D. Moore is the man. Not too long after the show, Dad, Lauren and I went to the Maple Leaf Bar uptown to see John Gros and Joe Crown play in a trio that might have had a name. We got there at 10:30 but they didn’t start playing until 11, an hour late, so we didn’t miss anything. We got a couple drinks, saw the first set, and left not too long after midnight. The music was pretty good and of course it’s always nice to be out of the house. I went to bed not long after getting home as I was pretty tired.

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