January 2008


Dad and I made to work this morning at 10:40. Both our new intern Tasha and Shanda were using my computer for work this afternoon so I didn’t get much of anything done myself. Dad drove me downtown Canal Street for the 4:40 shuttle to campus. It started raining pretty heavily during the ride and still was when I got off. I generally don’t mind the rain but it was a bit annoying today since I made both the mistake of wearing a leather jacket and forgetting my umbrella. I wore my jacket inside out as I walked to Gibson Hall so it wouldn’t be damaged.Turnout for this evening’s small group communications class was light, especially at the start. A handful of people trickled in late. Even though I’m writing this less than an hour after the event, I can barely remember what the lecture was about. I think it had something to do with getting groups to better discuss the issues before them. Almost as promised, class was dismissed early at 7:15. She said she would last week because of tonight’s parades. Unfortunately, all three were rescheduled or cancelled, much like this past Friday. After class I walked over to the LBC and got something to eat at the Quiznos. Soon after finishing I moved to the Willow computer lab to finish waiting for ballroom this evening.There was a pretty good crowd tonight with a couple new faces. A good part of the lesson tonight was review of last week which I certainly needed. The new steps this evening were a bit complicated but at least I didn’t step on any feet. Afterward, it took me longer than usual to get home because four sorority chicks stole my cab not that I should expect to be able to compete with four pairs of big tits.

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Before heading to the office this morning I went to get a haircut at 10. We finally got to work at 11:30. I was only there until 3:30 when Dad dropped me in front of Tidewater to catch the shuttle to campus.This afternoon’s weather and climate class was a long one, going the full time from 4:30 to 7. The professor covered chapters three and four which pertained to temperature, moisture and atmospheric stability. Before the break I was having trouble staying awake but I was fine afterward. I guess being tired in the middle of the day is just a state of mind.After class I waited in the LBC for a little while before Dad left work for the day and picked me up. Later that evening I watched The Bourne Ultimatum and talked to Krystle before bed.

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History in Everyday Life

This weekend was largely of no particular circumstance. After work, I had another new class this evening having dropped two weeks ago and then having a holiday. The replacement class I signed up for is called “History in Everyday Life.” Although this wasn’t the first session it very much felt like one, largely intentionally because the professor said half the students were knew so I suppose he was compelled to repeat himself. Since the material discussed was largely introductory, I’m not sure how well this class is going to turn out yet, which is unfortunate since we’re already three weeks into the semester.Later this evening I watched the president’s final State of the Union address. This being a republican president’s final year in office over a democratically controlled congress, his proposals were rather mild.

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Hornets vs. Clippers

Work today was rather uneventful. The doctor was in but we didn’t see many patients. Over the course of the day I was more concerned about how I’d be spending the evening than the work at hand. There were going to be parades this evening but most were rained out.Ultimately, I ended up going with Dad to see the New Orleans Hornets play the Los Angeles Clippers. Some tickets fell in our lap through someone Mom knows at Loyola. It took some extra time to get there with the rain affecting the traffic. Our seats were in a corner but down low so we had a perfectly respectable vantage point.By and large, the Hornets dominated the game throughout. At no point did it look like the Hornets’ winning streak was in immediate danger. The final score was 111-92.

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I worked from about 11 to 4:30 this afternoon. During the workday I got a few discharge reports done. Dad dropped me downtown just in time for the 4:40 shuttle.After dropping Ethics last week, I had another new class, small group communications. I have already satisfied my public speaking requirement but there were no other real choices for Thursday night. The first half of class was a lecture about the basics involved in group interaction. It involved a lot of vague terms and was a bit dull. After the break, the class broke up into groups to continue a discussion on difficulties in graduating from the school of continuing studies. Last week they apparently came up with a list of about ten things. Tonight the group had to agree on the top three. I was absorbed into group 3, which has a familiar face from a class both this semester and last. We worked very well and had no real trouble deciding. Our top three were limited class availability, time management and the cost of textbooks. The first group was considerably less agreeable and sucked up a lot of class time, although they were entertaining. Class was dismissed a bit “late” at 8:20.After class I eventually made my way to the Reily Center. Tulane Ballroom started up again for the semester this evening at nine. Turnout was good but girls outnumbered guys over two to one not that I’m complaining. I recognized most people but there were a few new faces. The first dance style up this semester is Cha Cha. I caught on to the basic step without too much trouble but some of the moves introduced later on still elude me. It’s nothing I can’t get with practice though.Later on, after waiting at PJ’s for a bit before meeting up with Andrey, Patrick and Veronica to go out for the evening. We had a small group so our plans weren’t very ambitious. We went to a little tea place uptown called the Neutral Ground. It’s a neat little place. Andrey, Patrick and I played a long game of Scrabble. Sadly, I lost to Patrick and Andrey, which was especially embarrassing since English is Andrey’s second language.We left there around one to go home. I was hungry and not in a hurry to get home so I went to the Rat to get something to eat before heading home. On Patrick’s recommendation I got the philly cheese steak sandwich and some fries. The fries were great but the sandwich was pretty average no surprise really. Later on around two I got a cab home.

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Tulane vs. SMU

I think lunch from Five Happiness was the highlight of the workday today, I don’t remember getting much done. Dad took me to the shuttle for 3:40. This afternoon’s weather and climate class covered chapter two of the book I don’t have yet. The professor discussed the heating of the earth’s atmosphere, how the earth takes in and subsequently radiates the sun’s heat.After class I walked over to Fogelman Arena. Tulane’s basketball team played SMU at seven this evening. I got there about a half hour before the game started. I brought my camera with me this evening to shoot some pictures of the game. Basketball isn’t the easiest sport to shoot, especially with the inadequacy of my lenses. Before the game I got to speak with Dave Browning, who shoots Tulane sporting events regularly for the university.Dad arrived just before tip-off. The first half of the game was pretty close even though Tulane was a 14 point favorite. Tulane only managed to get the lead at the half with an awesome three pointer by David Gomez at the buzzer.In the last 10-12 minutes of the second half, Tulane gradually pulled ahead. Their defense started to look pretty good. Tulane won the game with comfortable lead with a final of 67-52. When I looked at my pictures later this evening, I found that my technique needs about as much work as my lens speed.

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Following the three day weekend, it was back to business as usual. The work day was pretty quiet. This evening’s pirate societies class was a general overview of piracy across the centuries, although I don’t remember anymore than a passing mention of naval piracy today. After class I got a ride home.

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This evening after work and dinner, Dad, Andrew and I went to the theater to see Cloverfield on its opening night. Although I saw the trailer and such for the movie beforehand, I had no overwhelming desire to see the movie. Dad was quite interested though, the new Star Trek movie teaser was being shown beforehand and I was curious enough about the feature to want to go.I don’t want to detail the movie in any great degree. Suffice it to say it’s a New York City monster movie as seen exclusively though someone’s camcorder. It’s an interesting idea but not for anyone susceptible to motion sickness. Even though I’m writing this several days after the fact, I’m still not sure if I like this movie. I can say that it held my attention very well, however. I didn’t look at my watch once.

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Boxed Ethics

Dad and I got to work at 10:30 this morning. I did a few initial reports today. At about 3:30, someone came by to steam clean the carpet in the office. Dad dropped me in front of Tidewater for the 4:40 shuttle this afternoon.The class I had this evening was Ethics with Terence Hoyt. I thought this could be an interesting subject to have an elective class on. Unfortunately I almost immediately knew I’d be dropping the class when we received a two page handout detailing the required structure of the writing assignments. I know it’s bad news when the professor dictates font sizes, margins and paragraph structure. I take that as laziness and a hatred for grading papers, which as a paying student I don’t want to deal with. I sat through until the break at 7:30 and availed myself for some class participation (arguing with the instructor).At the break I called Dad who was still at the office and offered to pick me up. I waited in the LBC and typed the very sentences you are reading now. Later this evening I watched a little TV before bed.

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Weather and Climate

I never made it to work this afternoon because I had to wait for DirecTV to come have a look at a problem with my receiver as well as the S%WB to come out and fix the water. We had heavy rain through the first half of the day which must have slowed down the dish people because they never showed up. It also turned out that I didn’t need to home for the water thing either. I got a cab from home to campus this afternoon and arrived not too long before class at 4:30.Today’s class was “Weather and Climate.” I thought I might find the class interesting since weather is something everyone deals with on a daily basis. The first session had little in the form of introductory remarks. It was mostly just the first lecture. Although the instructor certainly knows what he’s talking about, the class wasn’t very interesting. It may get better though. Class was dismissed at about 6:30. Dad was still at the office and I went to the LBC to wait for him. He arrived at about 7:20. I didn’t do much of anything later that evening.

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Pirate Societies

Work was nice and quiet this afternoon, almost not even work. Shanda, an intern who was with us a few months ago, was just hired and started today. I showed her the joy of initial evaluation reports. She is already familiar with a lot of the other office duties.I spent a lot of time this afternoon watching the Macworld keynote coverage online. Most notable was the announcement of Macbook Air, which is almost an Apple product I would actually buy. The non-removable battery killed my enthusiasm, however.This evening’s class was Pirate Societies. I was hard pressed to find something interesting for Tuesday nights and I remembered hearing good things about the class a few years ago from a friend. The title pretty well explains what the class is about and the professor seems like a nice guy and a good teacher so I think I’m going to enjoy this class. Later this evening I went to bed “early” around midnight because I had a headache.

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Back to School

After about a month off with the winter break, it was back to class this evening. The workday prior was rather short and uneventful. I didn’t go to the Metairie office but caught a shuttle to campus early. After sitting in the LBC for a while, I walked to Tilton Hall where this evening’s class took place. I signed up for an IT security sort of class. When I added it I was under the impression that it had to do with the hardware and software side of security, but it’s actually a management class which I’m not interested in. It only took me a few minutes to decide to drop but I sat through the whole class session since there was no break in the middle to allow a discrete exit. Late this evening I signed up for “History in Everyday Life” to replace this class.While I was barely paying attention to the class I was about to drop I was talking to Shona online and her “broken” camera came up. I offered to take a look at it and did so after class was over. I saw what I thought was a broken battery connector and offered to fix it at home.Later this evening I dissected the camera and found that no pin ever existed where I thought one was missing. To rule out the battery as a problem I connected a battery from my Sony T9 with some spare wire and found there was nothing wrong with the camera at all. I essentially wasted two hours fooling with the thing and only risked breaking it when I put it back together, but at least I had the experience of taking apart my first digicam and now I know to try a different battery before collecting all the screws in a small cup.

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Marsalis and Davenport

I went to work this morning for about 11. The office was calm today although we had several patients. I was going to see some friends this evening so I Dad dropped me off downtown. I was going to just sit in a hotel with my laptop for a while but I decided to take a walk instead. I deposited my last check and walked the length of the Quarter on Royal Street and then to d.b.a., to get a drink, type the previous log entry and wait some more. I called Andrey not long before 5:30 and he said he couldn’t make it.Patrick and David were already at Port of Call where we were to meet for dinner so I walked there and made it on time at 5:30. I’ve heard good things about the place but every time I’ve been past there was a line out the door. We all ordered cheeseburgers, which are as popular as they are big.After dinner we walked to d.b.a. as we had a good hour and a half before the 8 o’clock show this evening. I had my new camera with me and Patrick and David enjoyed fooling with it. After a round and about an hour, we walked a few doors down and took our seats at Snug Harbor.This evening’s set with Ellis Marsalis featured familiar accompanying faces including Roman Skakun on the vibraphone. As usual, the performance hall was packed. Overall, this set was among the best performances I’ve seen with Ellis. The music was excellent and mostly up-tempo.After the show, we rode across the quarter and went to the Ritz-Carlton. We went up to a place called Mlange, a restaurant on the third floor featuring live music with Jeremy Davenport. The music was good and the setting was appropriately ritzy.I think we left there at about one and stopped at Caf du Monde for some beignets before ending the evening. After parting ways I didn’t have much trouble hailing a cab home.

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Break Winding Down

Over the past week or so there have been a few happenings barely justifying entries but I simply never got around to it. Over the past several days, work has only been broken up by a couple new toys and a close basketball game. On a whim, Dad generously bought me a new monitor for my computer, a Samsung 226BW. I’d read reviews before and knew this was a good display, although there is some controversy surrounding it as the same model number has three different panels from three different manufactures. I received a “C” panel, the worst of the three. With proper calibration, however, it isn’t too bad, not for the $300 price tag anyway.Last night, the new Canon 30D I won on eBay arrived. I bought it to replace my 10D, which isn’t a bad camera but rather slow in use. The “new” one is also of use to me because of better high ISO performance. It does have two shortcomings compared to its older sibling, however. It’s a tad smaller and doesn’t feel quite as good in hand. The shutter actuation is also considerably louder on the 30D. On Wednesday night, Dad and I went to see Tulane’s basketball team play UAB. UAB is a good team. The game was close throughout and down to the wire. With just five seconds left, Tulane had a two point lead. UAB had the ball in the final seconds. A UAB player got to a far corner of the court behind the three point line, was surrounded by Tulane players and fouled with 1.6 seconds left. The UAB player got three free throws, made them all and put UAB on top 62-61 to win the game.

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