October 2007

Mon., Tues., Wed.

Work so far this week has been rather unremarkable so I’ll just briefly summarize my night classes and consider myself caught up.Monday’s visual communications class was a bit dull, some of it was about photography, a subject I already have a working knowledge of. It was spiced up a little bit in that one of the students, who previously has not hesitated to express her disdain with this class had another little outburst, which was actually rather funny. Tuesday’s Louisiana history class wasn’t bad. Professor Fontenot discussed reconstruction in Louisiana and the Bourbon period. He often pointed out the similarities between politics then and now. We got our mid terms back at the end of the class. I got an 85 B, which wasn’t bad. I did fine on the short answer questions but my essay wasn’t sufficiently detailed for full credit.Art Survey on Wednesday was a bit brutal. Being Halloween night, I figured Mr. Bayer would be merciful and keep class short so students could go out and do whatever that evening. Quite the opposite occurred. The instructor started class by saying he thought were behind and had a lot of cover not a good sign. The lecture about Byzantine and early Christian art ran longer than usual. For the most part, we looked at slides of churches and elaborate decorative paintings as mosaics. After the lecture, there was a 10 question quiz on Roman art, which we covered during the last couple classes. This was like the first test in that we had to look at slides and answer accompanying questions, so it took about 20 minutes.

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Being too lazy to write individual posts for each day this weekend I’m summarizing. With the exception of Tulane’s homecoming game, the days kinda blend together anyway.On Saturday, Dad and I went to Tulane’s homecoming football game. We played Memphis in what was largely a back-and-forth game. Tulane should have played better but a couple of incredibly bad calls robbed Tulane of the win. On Tulane’s first possession, Tulane drove the ball right down the field, largely in the hands of Matt Fort, a Heisman-worthy player on an otherwise unremarkable Tulane team. At the goal line, Fort lost the ball after it hit the ground and it was called a fumble. The officials appeared unaware of the rule stating the ground cannot cause a fumble in the sport of football. Coach Toledo went as far as to call a timeout hoping the play would be reviewed but it was not.At the end of the game, Memphis had just taken the lead 28-27 with less than a minute left. Tulane had a fighting chance to get the ball up field and kick a game-winning field goal. On a running play, Matt Fort got a few yards and managed to get out of bounds. The clock was stopped to move the chains and then restarted, even though it is not supposed to run again until the next play starts. Time expired prematurely and the officials ran off the field. I think I can speak for most Tulane fans and say we were shocked and angry.I spent a good deal of time fooling with my computer this weekend. After buying a few new drives I attempted to move the OS to another drive but cloning the old drive and fresh installs always yielded the “a disk read error occurred” error message, very odd for a drive that I know is functioning perfectly. I eventually just gave up and will be unloading the drive. In the course of working on my computer on Sunday I broke the SATA connector on one of my brand new drives. It’s not drastic damage but since it’s virtually impossible to get spare parts I’m basically out of a hundred bucks.When my computer was in one piece, I played Portal, an awesome little game released as part of the Orange Box. Since the game seemed portrayed as ancillary I wasn’t expecting much but the game was actually quite fascinating and entertaining. It may be one of the only first person shooter games that doesn’t involve any weapons. Over two nights, I also watched Dersu Uzula.

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Quiet Wrap-Up

I worked from 11 to 4:45 this afternoon. I got a couple reports finished up and got the rest ready to mail out today. I was distracted today by an ebay purchase. I won a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 Mark I lens for $150. My research tells me the older mark I lens is better than the newer, cheaper Mk II. I think I paid too much though, in spite of the apparently excellent condition. This is an old, discontinued lens and the price seems to be rising as the years go by.Dad dropped me off on campus at about five this evening. We got our first tests back today. I got a C, which is what I was expecting. The average was a D but I think one or two people dragged it down considerably. The lecture tonight was about mathematical induction, which I didn’t quite grasp.After class I went to the computer lab adjacent to the PJs across from Aron and waited for this evening’s activities. Attendance at this evening’s dance lesson was rather dismal. It may have had something to do with the homecoming activities across campus tonight. There was only one female aside from the instructor when we started although a few more trickled in with applause later. This evening was largely a recap on the last couple weeks and the final session on swing dancing. I think I would have done reasonably well had I not been without a partner so much. Near the end, we were shown a means to “cheat,” performing the same dance in a more relaxed fashion with fewer steps. I think I did just fine on this.Andrey and his friends intended to go out later this evening but not for a little while. Andrey took me to his place nearby, which I had not seen before. He shares a shotgun double with a guy who wasn’t there. It’s a nice little place but devoid of wall decoration. Veronica was already there. We’ve met several times before but this was the first occasion I’ve had to have an actual conversation with her. Later on Patrick showed up and we eventually went over to Vera Cruz where a lot of familiar faces were. I felt my presence there was rather superfluous though and I left to go home at about midnight.

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Dad and I made it to the office before 11 this morning. The time I spent working was on discharge reports, although I didn’t mail any today. At about one I took a lunch break and went over to Venezia. I had the shrimp fettuccini alfredo. We left the office at quarter past four. Dad dropped me at Tidewater to catch the shuttle. During the ride I studied the chapter in the art book about the Etruscans, as there was a quiz on the subject in class.This evening’s art survey class was about Roman sculptures and paintings. The latter didn’t take long as very few survived antiquity. After the lecture we had the quiz, which I don’t think I did very well on. There were no questions on any particular works of art, which I did study. What I missed was some terminology about various structures.Dad picked me up after class. He was still in the neighborhood. That evening I watched the Rockies get their ass kicked in game one of the World Series. Later I started watching a movie before Krystle called.

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Following yesterday’s rain and very humid air, it was exceptionally cold outside today, all day. Dad and I got to the office before 11 this morning. I got a few reports send out this afternoon but not as many as I would have liked.Dad took me to campus for about 5:15 this evening. Tonight’s Louisiana history class dealt with Civil War era Louisiana. I was a bit distracted answering questions about plasma TVs over IM. After class I waited around for the student practice session this evening but nobody ever showed up. I’m not sure if it was cancelled or I was the only one interested in coming. I got a cab and was home before 10.Later this evening I watched The Scarlet and the Black, a surprisingly good made-for-TV movie about Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty.

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The greater New Orleans area was inundated with rain throughout the day. Several parts of the city flooded resulting in destroyed cars and damaged homes and businesses. Due to the weather, Dad and I never made it out of the house this morning. Dad sent the nurses home early although I’m sure Bianca had a hell of a time getting home from Metairie. Schools across the city closed early, including Tulane.I planned on skipping class today and seeing Ann Coulter speak at Tulane. Dad and I were brave enough to try and drive to campus this evening but turned around and came home once we reached a portion of General De Gaulle Drive that was flooded and impassible. After watching the local news that evening, we were certain we made the right call.The two 500GB hard drives I won on eBay last week arrived today, along with the Netflix DVDs I thought were lost. I installed the drives in my computer this evening and set up a RAID 1 array for mirrored backup. Generally I have two copies of everything but this makes certain of it. Even so I’m still screwed if the house burns down so I’m considering keeping a drive at an office with rsync for remote backup.Later this evening I watched last Friday’s episode of Stargate: Atlantis and talked to Krystle on the phone for a short while.

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Sunday at Home

I slept in again this morning. I was at home all day today, not doing much just watching TV. The Saints won. The raiders lost. The Red Sox are going to the World Series again. This evening, I finished playing Half-Life 2: Episode 2. It was a fun game but I though the ‘tragedy’ at the end was completely pointless.

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Jindal Wins

I slept in this morning and didn’t get up until almost 11. At around noon, I walked over to Eisenhower Elementary to vote. The Louisiana governor’s race ended with today’s election. There were also a large number of other positions on the ballot including several other local officials and four constitutional amendments. Educating myself on the election was just like studying for a test.Later this evening, I went to Snug Harbor with Christy to see The New Leviathan Oriental Fox-Trot Orchestra. They play vintage American popular music from the 1890s through the early 1930s. They are an entertaining act and I was curious to see how many of their members they could fit on their cramped stage.Christy arrived 15 minutes after the show started. She said she was waiting for me at Canal Place I guess I should have specified exactly where we were meeting. The show was a lot of fun. Although the music played certainly isn’t anything I’d buy on CD, it’s very entertaining to see performed live with the talent they have. There were 18 musicians on Snug’s tiny stage.After the show, we had dinner at their dining room. A couple parties up front made things unusually loud and it was a little hard to hear conversation. We both had the fried shrimp which was quite decent. It took a while to get it though. Most of the talk over dinner was whatcha-been-up-to stuff since I haven’t seen her in a few months.After dinner we walked a while, through the quarter on Chartres to Canal Street. We stopped at the pelican bar at the Sheraton. We remained there until about one, talking about different things like movies and her Dad’s return to law school. We shared a cab home. Late that evening I talked to Krystle on the phone a short while before bed.

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Office Pictures

Dad and I arrived at the Mid City office sometime around 11 this morning. We visited all three offices over the course of the afternoon. He wanted pictures of every office to show some folks. We went out to the Metairie office and then to the west bank. Dad had a meeting scheduled with on the west bank at four but the lady never showed. We left for the day at 4:30.Before heading home, we stopped at best buy to pick up a wall mount Dad’s TV. We were there a little while so I had a chance to look at a number of other things.This evening, Dad and I attached the wall mount to a large wood panel that goes with the TV stand he bought. The TV attaches to the back panel and that panel sits on the stand. The final product looks pretty good although the TV sits a little below the horizontal center. Later on I played Half Life 2: Episode 2 for a couple hours and then talked to Krystle for a little while before bed.

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Dad and I were rather late getting to the office this afternoon. We waited at the house a while for the new TV stand to be delivered. Dad ordered it from Ethan Allen ages ago and we finally got a delivery scheduled. The delivery schedule was 10-1 but I think they came closer to two. We left soon after they made the delivery.We finally arrived at the office at 2:45. We only stayed for a half hour before leaving again. Dad wanted to be at the west bank office by four to be present when a bunch of patients arrived. Dad dropped me off at the Tidewater building to catch the shuttle bus to campus. On the ride I continued to study for a math test this evening.When I arrived on campus I got a smoothie and took a seat in the dining area of the student center. After I’d been there a little while, Andrey saw me. He, Shona and Veronica joined me with their lunch. Andrey and Veronica left and I walked with Shona back to Mayer and then went over to Tilton to get to class early.As I suspected, there were a handful of people there already going over the material for the test. I sat in with them for a bit trying to pick up on a few things. The test started reasonably promptly just before six. There were 25 questions which weren’t especially hard with a couple exceptions. We were allowed the use of our notes and the textbook. The book is completely useless but the notes were quite valuable. I took about two hours to finish the test.After finishing, I walked over to the PJ’s to sit with my laptop and a muffin until the dancing thing started at nine this evening. Patrick, who I met last week, showed up while I was there. More often than not, we talked about movies.Turnout at this evening’s lessons looked like it was going to be a bit light but several people showed up a little late. A good portion of this evening’s session was spent on recap on last week, which was very valuable to me after an unproductive student practice on Tuesday. We also learned a couple new steps including another sort of spin. While I still don’t quite look like I know what I’m doing, I felt like I did a lot better tonight and really enjoyed myself.Andrey and his friends wanted to go out this evening, but not until after 11. While I waited, I walked back to PJ’s and intended to wait there a while. Patrick caught up with me and suggested we go get something to eat. We walked to his car and went to Felipe’s Taqueria, a little Mexican place near campus I’d never been to before. I wasn’t really hungry and just got some chips and salsa.After eating and trying to figure out what was going on, we went back to campus and met up with Shona and a bunch of other people in her dorm. We waited there for a good while for Andrey and Veronica. They finally made it at about 11:30. They arrived with Chelsi, who I first met earlier this evening.There was a good sized group that went to Vera Cruz this evening. There was a pretty good crowd there when we arrived. The music, dancing and the 2 for 1 margarita pitchers are the main attractions. I was there until about 1:30, not much longer than Andrey. There was a cab outside waiting for a fare so it didn’t take long to get home.

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It was wet outside throughout the day, raining on and off. Dad and I made it to the office at 10:30 this morning. I spent the workday doing a few discharge reports and getting the work of the past couple days ready to mail out this afternoon. Later on Dad dropped me off at the Tidewater building and I caught a shuttle to campus. During the ride, I finished the homework I started last night, creating ten quiz questions on Etruscan art.This evening’s art class was pretty decent. It was the first in a two part lecture on Roman art. Most of what we looked at was architecture, both ruins and some intact structures. A good part of the lecture was about Pompeii. We got our mid terms back and I didn’t do very well.Dad picked me up after class. He was working late. That evening I watched some TV, cleaned up my room a bit and talked to Krystle on the phone late before bed.

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History Mid-Term

Dad and I got to the office sometime before 11 this morning. He left to go to the westbank with an intern for a couple hours so it was pretty quiet. When they both got back I relinquished the front computer so she could do the mid city billing. Dad bought a new router to replace the one that’s been misbehaving. The new one seems to be working fine. Later on I spent some time studying for a test this evening. We left at five sharp.This evening’s Louisiana History class was reserved for the mid-term exam. There was a decent bit of writing but it was actually a short test. I think I did reasonably well although my grade will hinge on what the professor thinks about my long essay.After class I went to the student center to get some dinner. After I finished eating I continued to sit around the student center for about two hours until I walked over to the Reily center for the student dance practice at nine this evening. There were only nine people there tonight including myself. The only one there who could run things was Andrey. He did his best, but he wasn’t entirely up on last week’s steps himself. The practice ended before 9:30 so it was over in under a half hour. Seeing as how the session was so unproductive I was sorry I bothered to show up, having taken some two and a half hours out of my day.As I left the Reily center the downtown shuttle was pulling up. I decided to hop on and see if I could save any money by calling a cab from Canal Street. The fare home from the tidewater was about $18, only about a four dollar difference.Later this evening I watched Boston Legal while I worked on a small homework assignment for tomorrow’s art class. I talked to Krystle on the phone for a while before bed.

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The Orange Box

Dad and I were especially late getting to the office this afternoon. This morning before we left, I watched a little of the Fox Business (HD) network that debuted this morning. It’s hard to judge a network from a half hour of viewing but it looks decent, certainly pretty in HD. The nature of the business news is definitely less hardcore than say Bloomberg TV. I also watched the 36th season premiere of The Price is Right, now staring Drew Carey. I was a little disenchanted when I heard the show would be continuing after Bob Barker’s retirement, if only because nobody could be as good as he was. There can be no expectation for the show to retire if there is still money to be made though. Mr. Carey is probably as good a choice for replacement as I can think of. He did okay on his “first day,” although he didn’t match the genuine enthusiasm Barker has kept up for 35 years on his debut episode.Dad and I finally made it to the office sometime around noon. I was waiting around for us to leave Mid City and go to the Metairie office but I never made it there. Dad decided to just take me to campus and go out to Metairie after dropping me off. He wasn’t going to be there long anyway as he went to see his mother at the hospital this evening.Dad dropped me off at the student center and I went to get something to eat. Shona bumped into me as I was waiting for my sandwich at the Quizno’s and had lunch with me. We didn’t talk about anything in particular. While we were sitting a couple of her friends, Ashley and Ashlie joined us for a little while. After everyone left I remained in the student center until 5:15 when I walked to Norman Mayer for my visual communications class this evening.This evening’s class was much like last week’s in that I don’t believe I heard anything of circumstance. We did receive a study guide for an upcoming test so I’ll be able to figure it out. After class, Dad picked me up from the student center.Later this evening, I started playing Half Life 2: Episode 2. I preordered The Orange Box on Amazon last week and it arrived today. I didn’t get very far so I can hardly offer much opinion on it as of yet. I also tried out Team Fortress 2, which was a lot of fun. I wish all this had been released in the summer, I would have had a lot more time to enjoy it.

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Yeah You Right!

This past weekend has been pretty quiet. The family was out of town until late Sunday. I shamelessly spent most of the time in front of the (beautiful) TV. I did get a good deal of laundry done though.On Saturday afternoon, I watched LSU lose to Kentucky in triple overtime, which was quite satisfying. Later that evening I watched The 40 Year-Old Virgin and Mission: Impossible III, both of which were underwhelming.I had NFL football on the TV most of the day Sunday, just because it was pretty with the exception of the Raiders game which wasn’t pretty at all. It wasn’t even available in high-def. Later on I watched the Saints play the Seattle Seahawks. Unlike the other games this season, they looked good, played well and actually won. Consequently it was a lot more fun to watch, even though I was by myself. After that I watched 300, which was visually interesting but I would stop short of calling it a good movie.

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