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-- 11/01/07 --

Happy Halloween! Oh wait...I guess I'm a little late for that. Well happy November, at any rate.

Where has all the time gone?! We only have five weeks of school left before finals! I've already planned out next semester's schedule, to consist of Principles of Meteorology, Tennessee's Geologic and Cultural Landscapes (another Tuesday night class...so no 714 again), Astronomy 202 (General), Voice and Diction (the dreaded Commuications class), Writing Features and Editorials and of course Comm Practicum and Scholars, all for a total of 18 hours. Everything worked out fine once again, so I'm very happy about that. With two majors, trying to fit in classes from both disciplines that are only offered once every one or two years gets quite tedious (and nerve racking) when you get to the upper division levels. On a sad note, I won't be able to go to University Singers at all, but I'm sure Dr. Simmons will still let me be in New Pacers.

So with all that out of the way, I just have to survive the next six weeks (more like, get caught up in the next five weeks and then survive finals...) I've done quite a bit to get caught up the last two nights, staying in the GIS lab after Methods on Tuesday night to finish a GIS lab for Dr. Simpson, and spending the afternoon over there yesterday finishing another. (Astronomy lab was cancelled, as was class today, because Lionel is in Denver with Dr. Dan.) So I'm doing better, or at least not getting further behind. I really need to find more time to do library research for my Methods paper...Dr. Rogers wasn't exactly pleased with my first draft, judging by his written comments, but I expected as much because I had to write the first draft in a hurry without nearly as much research/reading competed. Everything else is going pretty well; Political Geography has remained very interesting and the biggest project of the semester is done for my group (we split into groups to do research on either Darfur or Mexican Immigration - Legal or otherwise.) I wrote the paper after my teammates gathered most of the research and turned that in on Monday. Now we just have to condense it to a 15-minute PowerPoint to present tomorrow.

In other news, The Pacer has received a lot of flack this week about a story involving a KA pledge (available here.) Due to this one story getting the most attention from the greek community on campus, the entire focus of the paper on Martin economic growth/decline has been lost on the majority of our readers. (There's generally one story every year that makes the greeks mad at us, it just happened to fall into the same issue as this Special Edition.) Now, for the good perspective of the paper, we've cut our circulation down to 2,000 from 3,000 this year because of the amount left over after every week. The trend to get news online seems to be catching on, as our page hits have jumped from around 5,500 in August to almost 12,000 in September to 25,000 last month. That is 100 percent growth each month, which is fantastic in that it saves us the cost of printing 1,000 extra newspapers, cuts down on paper waste (which we do recycle/reuse) and means that our efforts to switch online content managers earlier this year were worth it. One number I want to see increased, though, is the number of registered users. Registered users can opt to receive an e-mail version of the news as soon as it goes online every week (before the print edition is even printed in Jackson) and can also receive breaking news alerts by e-mail. We only have about 130 registered users at this point, and I know at least five of them are in my family. So if you are reading this and haven't signed up, go register.

That is all I have time for at this point, I hope you have enjoyed the update.

-- 09/21/07 --

Happy Friday everyone. I've had a loooong week: lots to do (and stuff that didn't get done), was harassed by Donna Graves for about 30 minutes in the last hour, now have a headache, have two news stories to pursue/write this weekend, have myriad amounts of reading to do for geography (like...three textbooks and all of the Annals of the AAG...ever)...etc.

And so for that, I say happy Friday. I'm also going to Jackson this weekend, surprise! Literally! Karen called me about 10 minutes ago and said that her mom did not know we were coming... I told her [Karebear, Ed.] early in the week to call and remind her ['Nita, Ed.] , but it went unheeded and the assumption was made that her mom remembers everything (which she does, at least when it makes it on the calendar.) OH well. I guess that's what approaching 50 can do to anyone. (Did I just say that out loud?) [Shurely she's not almost 50...Ed.]

So anyway, lots of fun and crazy stuff this week despite the busyness. Like the feeding of the music majors last night, a departmental deal to which I tagged along and succeeded in yet again thoroughly confusing almost everyone (excluding Kim Kraft and Sarah Roberts who know better) into thinking that I'm a music major. If only...but there is no time.

....I'm sure there were more fun things in my week...but they aren't immediately coming to my mind. All that's coming to mind at the moment (aside from my headache) is the correct way to write that someone wouldn't return your phone calls in a news story. "Calls to Matt's brain on Friday were not immediately returned."

There were more fun things, I promise. Oh well. I must leave this lowly dwelling of my office. I depart with a humorous note (see below.)

vista sanity photo

-- 09/07/07 --

I've been berated more than once this week about not updating lately, but to my defense school started with a big rush and I've yet to catch my breath so to speak. Karen would tell me I spend too much time sleeping and not enough time reading my text books...but honestly, I'm just enjoying getting enough sleep (for the most part) for the first semester...ever.

Along the lines of textbook reading, I have only four classes that require reading. Astronomy, GIS Modeling (which has so far proven to be the sleeper texts), Political Geography (more interesting than it sounds) and Methods in Geoscience (which is consists of reading articles that we will incorporate into our semester-long literature review paper.) My other class, Comm 300, has no textbook, but rather the wisdom of Tomi and the shared experience of the writers in the class.

The Pacer has been going very well, which is most satisfying. We've got a hard core crew of editors who like to stay on top of things, so now that we are past the first two issues things are starting to smooth out some. Let's hope it stays that way. ITC work continues to come and go. The old days of not having much to do have come and gone. Between Shannon and Steve, we all have a lot of projects to be working on at all times. It's all good, though, cause in the end it only helps the university.

That's really all the time I have to update. As always, I'll try to do better...or whatever. Oh, all of my last 100+ photos from Germany are now up on Flickr, but I just had time to upload last night, not label. Make sure you view the set in order, instead of viewing the photostream. I'll label them when I get a chance. Unless somebody wants to for me...

-- 08/21/07 --

Yes, I did in fact make it back from Germany alive. Contrary to popular belief. The last almost-week has been busier than expected, getting stuff caught up at ITC, getting The Pacer up and running (it hasn't been officially announced to the campus yet or anything, but I'm the Executive Editor. Shh. Don't tell.) Getting unpacked...which was actually done first, but is least important. Oh, and watching the three Bourne movies. Fantastic stuff, I encourage everyone 13+ to see them. (Have to protect the little eyes around here and everything.)

This is really all the time I have at the moment, I got tired of Web updates for the moment and thought maybe mine would benefit from some as well... See you all when there is more time. And I promise to finish uploading pictures to Flickr...sometime.

-- 07/19/07 --

As Karen has yet again reminded me, I'm a slacker for not updating my blog (not getting packed yet, not washing my laundry yet...etc.) I dare say she is one to talk since we both have only updated six times this month... although this is my seventh. She will be updating as often as possible during her trip out west, and I also plan to make updates here to inform everyone in one location about the daily goings-on. I just assume I'll be able to find wireless Internet somewhere in Braunschweig, because after all, it is one of the leading cities for technology in Germany.

Anyhow, most of this week has been spent either being sad that k-face is gone, installing software and such in the ITC computer lab and reading Harry Potter every spare moment. So far I've read books one through three since last Thursday. Not exceptional, of course, but Karen and I did take about ten hours over the weekend to watch movies one through four. So I'm not doing terribly, right?

As hinted at above, since I am such a slacker, I am taking off the entire afternoon to get a haircut, shower, shave (for the first time in a month, I realized today) wash two or three loads of laundry and sheets, pack and read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Ideally, I'll be done with it before we leave for Germany tomorrow at 1 p.m. so I only have to take books five and six with me on the plane (they are my sister's, after all...)

That's all I can think of for now, so Bis Später <?> to all of you dear, faithful readers and I'll write you next from Germany!

-- 07/13/07 --

I wore flip-flops for the first time in ages today.

No, it wasn't to work - wearing flip-flops is mostly torture, in my opinion.

After waking up at 7:02, 7:15, 7:40 something and 7:53, I finally decided to get up. (I normally get up at either 7:02 or 7:15.) I decided quickly to text message Karen, who might be waiting to bike to work with me, that I had just gotten up, but somehow it ended up being sent as "I just govp." Strange how texts turn funny on you.

Anyway, Karen called to make sure I wasn't text messaging in my sleep and to make sure I knew I was a slacker (as always) and I remembered that I wanted to borrow the second Harry Potter book
from her. (I checked out the first one yesterday from the LRC yesterday, because they have all of the Paul Meek Library's juvenile collection in their hoarde for education majors. I finished reading it at 11:34 last night. Really good book.) I would have just gotten the second book from the LRC, but they are closed on Fridays during the summer. Just my luck, Karen had it. So needless to say, I had to get the book from her as she was going to work.

Long story short, I put on shorts and flip-flops and my glasses, contemplated going to work like that (messy hair and all) but in the end, I decided it would be better just to get the book from Karen and go downstairs to the vending machine and get some chocolate milk. Yes I drank it all, Karen, don't hurt me. I went back upstairs and ate my breakfast now complete with chocolate milk.

And now, I shall be off to another day of exciting ITC work, er cough, reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

-- 07/11/07 --

So I got a little bored at work this afternoon and decided it was high time I used my mad skilz to create some "fine art." Yeah right. With Hannah and the Internet's help in looking up translations, I came up with this "masterpiece."


Yes, this is a silly shot at all of those people who slap things together at random on a computer graphic program and call it art. I understand that there are thousands of artists out there who express themselves in excellent ways using digital art, but there are some people out there who are quite honestly faking it. This is for all of you. And your moms.

Best of luck.

-- 07/10/07 --

"¡Tu bisabuela!"

As my Spanish increases..."incrementally"...the taunts continue to fly around here. Hannah and I tend to like using tu madre/tu bisabuela and such to remind each other than we're dorks. And we like slacking off.

But there hasn't been too much opportunity for that lately...With the second term of summer classes starting today, we've been swamped with Blackboard requests. Fortunately, Craig staved off the temptation to go to Boston with Josh and Steve to the Blackboard Users Conference that they go to every year. The upside is that I have learned and now have the user priviliges to do a lot in Blackboard. It's kind of cool, because it helps me burn time when I run out of blogs to read.

I can't think of much else, honestly. Oh, I'm totally loving the ability to watch baseball now on our UTM Charter. Fox Sports South decided to be really cool and stop showing us in west Tennessee Braves games (that we can already catch on TBS) and start showing Cardinals games (90 percent of the time) and the occasional Cincinnati Reds game. Also, courtesy of ESPN, I got to watch the State Farm Home Run Derby last night and tonight will get to watch the All Star Game. This is totally what I needed to motivate me to be athletic back in middle school.

-- 07/06/07 --

It's interesting how a single song can make you remember the past.

I was listening to Samuel Barber's The Coolin on Karen's Web site (and it actually sounded good!) and I was reminded of my first semester on campus. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade the present for that semester or anything, but I have to admit it's been a while since I thought of how fun that was (choir tour, New Pacers, bus rides, hanging out with Joel Malin, etc.)

Anyway, I'm toying with the idea of further revamping my Web site. How do you like the current changes? People I've talked to so far say it's ok...but it resembles the UTM template (that I'm so...fond of... cough hack weeze) too much.

-- 07/03/07 --

Not to be out done by Karen's update to her beautiful blog and recent updates to its template, I decided it was time to "flash" things up around here, so here you go!

-- 07/03/07 --

Don't ask me why, but the "I don't want to update my blog" bug seems to have bitten me this week. There have been interesting happenings to report on, commentaries to be written and a whole host of upcoming events that need coverage. Guess my journalistic edge is slipping.

Anywho, with Karen and Rachel both updating for the first time in a week (or two, in Karen's case) I knew it was time to jump back on the band wagon. Wouldn't want to let them get the impression that their sites can out-blog me.

Let me also say welcome und wilkommen, bienvenue y bienvenidos to those who are new here, or who have not been formally greeted. (My small blogging flock is growing!) Ones who come to mind in particular are M.G. and Judy, who hopefully deciphered my handwriting on my business card and found the links to our (Karen's and my) respective Web sites. Feel free to explore the past rantings and wanderings of my mind using the links on the left.

So after all that big long introduction, I think I'm going to stop for now. Ha! Fooled ya. Thought you were getting quality stuff, huh? There's not always a hard news day, you know.

I'm off (almost time for lunch). Maybe if you are lucky I'll be back later this afternoon with a real update.

-- 06/27/07 --

I feel like I'm doing so much better at updating this year. Or at least here recently. I knew I would out grow my "Older News" page at some point, so I decided to cut off all the 2006 news and put it in a new page here. The 2006 news is really small!

Other than that site maintenance, I have also created a page for selling my Chacos. Just check it out.

As I mention on the Chacos page, I floated the Buffalo River with Karen, Emily, Rachel and Blair last weekend. It was the first time I've been on a river in a looong time. Like, since Scout Camp in middle school. Dad and I canoed around the water front. I can't think of another time. Emily, Karen and I kayaked and it was awesome. We have decided that we need to live somewere close to a river or etwas <?>so we can go kayaking and/or whitewater kayaking more frequently. As my sister pointed out in her blog, thanks to Google Maps we discovered that there were two Flatwoods, Tenn., and we ended up in the wrong one. So embarrassing for a Geography major...


What's up with smart teenagers speaking with British accents all the time?

At the moment, and for the past few evenings at the coffee shop during Karen's SI sessions, a flock of the Governor's School for the Humanities girls have been here being not only annoyingly loud in a college-town coffee shop with British accents.

I can relate of course; some of my friends and I did it from time to time when we were their age. Some of the Scholars guys did it when they were Freshmen. Heck, Rhett Chrysler still does.

But again, one never observes your average "southern kid" doing this. Maybe it's because they revel in their thick southern accents and feel quite comfortable with their big truck, blue jean lifestyle. No, it's only the "smart kids" who pretend to be British.

But why British? Perhaps because they believe that the British, from what they've read in some lit class somewhere, have it all together. Or perhaps that in some way British intellectualism surpasses ours.


I know I felt that way more than a time or two my senior year when I was in love with British literature and tired of the rednecks that I graduated with. Perhaps they think it's cool, not noticing that people who are around them are slowly grinding their teeth in frustration with their immaturity. That's why I stopped - I came to the conclusion that I wasn't as amusing as I thought. Go figure.

Why not German?

People only use a German accent when they feel the need to make fun of the Germans or the German language. People only use their "joke" to promote ignorant stereotypes of the Germans, thinking that they are, on the whole, a race of Nazi skinheads.

Having studied and embraced the German language and culture, I can only find solace in the slight irony that those who so "intelligently" fake a British accent have no idea how awesome the language of another European nation. (In my opinion, the best European nation.)

There. I've had my spill. Namaste.


minesweeper win

Now that's more like it. Complete with Michael Ballack (German National Soccer Team's captain) in the background. How fitting.

Work continues to provide both amusement and difficult/annoying projects to do. This morning, for example, I converted the Department of Biological Sciences's and the Reelfoot Lake Research and Teaching Center's Web site. Biology, no problem. Reelfoot? Not only did the site consist of 120~ish pages, none of them were created in the departmental template correctly so I had to copy all of the information from each page and paste it into a newly created page (from the template.) Unlike the other site conversions, this one took more than an hour. I was not happy.

But there is still good news. There are only 12 sites left to convert (all mine or Craig's/mine.) With six days left I still only have to do two a piece and finish this puppy up in just in time. Hooray!

In other news, I've been looking at trucks lately (as if all of you who read this didn't know that!) The point is, I'm still not sure which truck I want. According to Karen and Consumer Reports, I would be very wise to invest in a Toyota Tacoma (although maybe not one as fancy as in the photo.) The problem with them is price: they are the most expensive of the compact pickups I'm looking at. Used or new. It would almost behoove me to pay an extra couple thousand and pickup the full warranty options that come with a new vehicle. Problem number two is that I have yet to test drive one, but I plan to rectify that soon.

I am also considering the Ford Ranger and Ford Explorer Sport Trac. I have test driven both of these (actually hauled furniture twice in a Ranger) and both are enjoyable rides. Neither get safety ratings quite on par with the Tacoma, but the Ranger is more affordable with the right options. The Sport Trac, while being built on an SUV's body and having less bed space is quite the truck. I drove one at Weakley County Motors last weekend and it was quite cool. It's a little more pricey, more on tap with a mid range Tacoma or a tricked out Ranger, but I don't like the new model so I would have to find an older one (the one we drove was an '04.)

Finally, I would also consider a Dodge Dakota. I haven't seen many of them that I like yet, but I have test driven one and it was a good ride. I know I can trust Dodge, so that's a good factor (just take my dad's 23-year-old Ram for example) but again they don't get quite the safety ratings as a Tacoma. We'll just have to see.


minesweeper death

Can anybody else relate? You're going along all smoothly and logically, capping off mines left and right and then you get down to your final x number of mines (nine in my case) and boom. You=dead. I've won a mere two times in the last week. Please note that to protect the identities of the innocent, their faces have been covered with Mr. Dead Sweeper.

In other news, the UTM Web site conversion process is going very well. We have 23 sites left to convert and unless Craig finds some spare time (to work on his list) Josh and I are going to get the thing done on time. I have to do two sites a day to be done on time/early. (It's actually 1.6 sites/day if you do the math, so two sites will get me done early.) Currently on tap: finishing the departments in the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, such as Geology, Geography and Physics.

That about does it for me today. It's only 4:06 and I'm debating between one more conversion or Minesweeper. Quite the puzzler.


I forgot to mention what we at the ITC finally learned about Kevin a couple weeks ago. He finally e-mailed us all after we had not seen him in three weeks and he told us that he had been accepted into one of his top-choice grad schools. We knew he had been accepted into Arizona State or something like that.

But no, then he get an acceptance letter from the University of St. Andrews. The one in Scotland. Yeah. Thanks for telling us. But in his e-mail he explained that in the last three weeks he spent all of his 8-5 hours dealing with Passports and governmental red tape (hey, he should be pretty good at it - he had to put up with the ECCE's crap the whole time he worked at the ITC, which is bound to be about as hard.) He also married Amber, since that was going to be the easiest way to get her to Scotland.

So anyway, we managed to survive the '07 Faculty Summer Workshop without him and Jennifer. Steve is currently tied up in the committee-based process of hiring a full time person to take Jenn's place. So far, not looking too good: we have one applicant. But he interviewed for a student worker yesterday, and with any luck Hannah Burcham will soon be a part of the ITC team.

Enough about work.

The whole reason I started this post was because Elizabeth "tagged" me to respond to the Eight Random Facts meme. Seeing her site makes me wonder if I shouldn't move to wordpress or blogspot. Nah. So I wonder if I can come up with eight random facts... lessee...

1. A lot of people give me music that I never listen to. Say for instance the time that Kevin gave me a two CDs of MP3s of The Thorns, Tantric, Racer X, the BeeGees, etc. I've listened to The Thorns album all the way through, because I had already listened to some of it in his car but other than that, the rest is untouched. Steven Malin gave me a lot of music before he graduated too, and aside from listening to a few songs on shuffle, I never listen to it. Today is the first time I listened all the way through Downhere's second album "So Much for Substitutes."

2. I wish I had time to implement my own content management system (CMS) around here and over at spaceapple. Problem is I don't have the patience or that much desire for a headache to mess with the PHP needed to run it. Although I could borrow from Stephen Yeargin's models...but again, too much implementation. I'm really good at stuff like that.

3. I had to look up the spelling of implementation just a second ago. I'm no Tomi Parrish/Spelling God.

4. Going back to the music theme, I like to listen to my iTunes library on shuffle a lot here at work, especially when no body else is around (like at lunch.) But then I get annoyed when it plays three or four Beatles, CCR and Eric Clapton songs very close together like it doesn't know that I have the setting on "less likely" to play songs by the same artist. Grr. Despite iTunes greatness, I wish I could program occasionally just so I could write something to fix things like this.

5. I used to just play with my hair when I was mentally engaged in something like reading or driving, etc. Recently, this has expanded to chewing on my tongue and pulling (gently) at my goatee. While Karen hates every one of them, I can't seem to make her understand that it's practically a necessity for me to do something of that nature. It's just the way I work. It occasionally annoys me, too, like when I'm pulling at the facial hair while surfing the Internet here at work and then noticing a small collection of split ends that have broken off and fallen on my desk. I know, ew, gross. Get over it.

6. The way I have my desk set up currently at work is to have the monitor directly in front of the desk "opening" with the Boston subwoofer on the right and the Boston speaker/controller to its right. Then on the left I have a smaller Boston speaker that has a short in the cable. Rarely does it stop playing (it must not be a bad short) but I can never tell when it does. I look at it and fiddle with it sometimes to make sure it is working. Do you think this says anything about my hearing? Just curious.

7. I love playing catch. Problem is, I'm not very good. Karen and I have thrown a softball around a few times this summer with baseball gloves and I've gotten better, but I wish I had played sports as a kid sometimes. It's just so much fun!!!

8. Just happened again: Beatles followed by CCR, followed by some Miles Davis (fortunately a long song) and then another Beatles song. Go figure.

So that about does it for the randomness, except that I'm supposed to tag eight more people to post this. But I won't, because I'm nice like that.


According to my mother I need to update my blog more when I'm bored at work.

Guess she's in luck.

I have to admit, reading Fake Steve Jobs has left me feeling more bloggy lately. I just feel really, really lazy at the moment. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's leftovers from the semester, which wasn't terrible but occasionally hectic. Maybe its the fact that I have three or four things on my to do list that would really like to be finished. These include: finishing the TNGIC newsletter I volunteered to put together. It's almost done. I worked a few hours this morning and the only thing I lack is a good name for the president's letter to the organization. Everything else is complete.

Also chomping at the bits is the UTM Web site conversion process. Now that Josh is back and the faculty workshop is over, we're down to under half of the UTM departmental Web sites still needing to be converted. Hopefully Josh will continue to convert some of Craig's and my sites...he's almost done with his.

Finally, I need to start working on a GIS project for Donna Cooper Graves. Dr. Graves wants some maps of crime in Kansas City, Kan., from 1880 to 1920. At least she has the database compiled already. All I need to do is find a base map and start plotting away...or devise some other method of sort the crime locations to come up with a pretty distribution map.

By the way, I put a few photos of a photo adventure Karen and I took to Land Between the Lakes on Flickr if you are interested. One of my favorites is below.

karen at lbl


It's about time to update again here at the old mCook fort. Now that summer is in full swing and all I do for 40ish hours a week is sit at my desk at the ITC I have more time to slack off.

Things, as always, have changed since my blog and I last spoke. Jennifer left us at the ITC to work for St. Jude in Memphis at reportedly twice the salary. Kevin never showed back up after his one appearance during finals and he didn't respond to my text messaging (and on top of that he deleted his Facebook account...) so we're looking for a replacement. Someone I get along with, preferably. We're still working on converting all the departmental sites to the new template, but it's remarkably quiter around here. Not so fun.

To pass the time lately when I feel "worked-out" from conversions, I check up on the Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, otherwise known as Fake Steve or FSJ. It has some interesting Apple insights as well as humor about the tech industry. Good stuff.

Karen has made more progress over at spaceapple seed lately, after we learned that there is some sort of space limitation to the UTM student server. I took all her music and compressed it big time using Soreson Squeeze and now she has a lot more room and fewer upload problems. Hopefully she'll get all of her music from the last couple University Singers and New Pacer Singers concerts and tours online soon. Makes for a great archive and sort of puts Dr. Simmons's choral site to shame.

Finally, it's good to be in the land of the living after undergoing wisdom teeth extraction last Thursday. I'm just going to borrow a photo from the seed to sum up my feelings on the matter.

wisdom teeth removal





So I'm pretty much certain I'm getting a cold. I was up till 3:30 a.m. this morning, creating and working on my Geography 202: Cultural Geography Photo-essay. Instead of sticking to the boring print format I came up with for my rough draft, I developed the entire thing in Flash. It is by far the best project I have ever created in Flash, and much thanks are due to Karen who provided me with the background images from iWeb. Check it out here.

So yeah, about that cold. I feel it in my throat. It started last night about 9 and was awful by 3:30. I woke up late (fortunately) at about 8:30 (I slept past the alarm) so at least I got five hours of sleep. I guess I could have predicted its arrival at the beginning of the week for two reasons: I have had a lot of projects to finish this week, causing me to have less sleep and the spring choral concert is this weekend so naturally, this is the week to get sick.

I'm holding out on Centrum multivitamins and lots of water to hopefully shake it before Sunday, 3:00 p.m. Be there, Harriet Fulton Theater, Fine Arts Building, University of Tennessee at Martin. Or else.


Hooray for Thursday. I had a GIS test this morning at 9:30, so about two hours ago now. I was up until almost 1 this morning studying because the GIS textbook could not be any more boring! Then to top it all off, my cramming was cut short this morning because I started to feel a bit sick ... needless to say, I went in to the test and did fine.

Anyway, now that all that is over ... I went to the UC to buy a "smöothie" - as they are so called by the company that makes them. I was starving. Despite their ridiculous name, a Strawberry Sunrise really hits the spot. Now if only it didn't cost $3.94...

I think I have a serious Red Hot Chili Peppers addiction. Granted, some of their lyrics are just weird, but they are pretty brilliant writers! That was random, but whatever.
Now Thursday is almost over .. I had to leave and now I am back at work, once again listening to the 'Peppers. At least Karen is here now, waiting for her SI session to start in 20 minutes. Bet she wishes she had cancelled it, seeing as to how it is the last thing either one of us really has to do before the four-day weekend starts.

I don't know, come to think of it ... I think I'm going to go to the GIS Lab and work some more on my project. Earlier this week, after I went to the trouble of reworking my database over the weekend I couldn't get my database to join to the existing database properly. I didn't have much time to fool with it, though, because Dr. Rogers was about to have class in the lab. I'm off.

Wish me luck.


Per the request of AnnMarie, I will blog twice in one week to briefly talk about the birthday of the century...

Number 20 was a good one, and I hope the year itself pans out well, too. Karen and I went to the house Friday evening, and while we waited on Mom to order pizza (a generally safe plan for two vegetarians and three or four non-vegetarians) we went outside and took a few pictures. Karen's may be viewed here (note: only a few of those photos are from that evening.) Mine will be on Flickr once I finish a few touch ups.

Beyond that, an overwhelming majority of the gifts were photo-related. My parents got me a very nice camera backpack, on my recommendation. Karen has a versipod (monopod/tripod) waiting for me in Jackson. Her grandparents gave me the money to buy a filter case for my various filters. Rachel and Blair got me a book of German history, and Rachel made Karen and I an "exploding box." On top of all this, Anita got us Rummikub so we can get everyone in Martin addicted...

That's about all I can come up with...oh, wait! In addition to pizza, I forgot to mention the awesome ice cream dessert/cake that Mom had a friend make. Ignore the bites Karen had already taken before she took the picture...

With that, I shall be off. My eyes are bugging me to death... Anyone care to guess if this is the result of allergies or looking a computer monitor too much from working more than normal this week?


Kinda reminds me of Dr. T.J. Eckelberg...


So what? I stink at updates.

Well, with some Dream Theater playing on iTunes in the background and a few other nice distractions from work, it's time to play sixty second update with Matt.

I know I missed the whole "new years" update by now. I guess that's a good thing, considering my resolutions included getting in shape and doing better at studying. Studying has gone a little better. Karen would argue differently; she thinks I just sleep every time I try to study. Getting in shape isn't so wonderful...being a vegetarian the last few weeks has helped. Slightly. Enough of that.

This week is spring break, as I obviously neglected to mention earlier. With Karen in Jackson, the break thus far has been a conglomeration of work at ITC (e.g., slacking off, looking at camera accessories, chatting with Kevin and finishing up about three or four small projects and Contribute installs), playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, sleeping and calling Karen. Whoot! If only all weeks were this slow...Last week was total chaos between the Tech Showcase, the Board of Trustees visit and the 2007-08 Tech CD being due. I'm still not entirely sure how I finished it all...I'm just glad I did.

Classes are going swell. A's as usual in everything. I sort of thought GIS would challenge me gradewise this semester, but I'm taking to it rather well. The hardest part is reading the book - I swear it is designed as a sleep aid! Other than that, I've done really well at scraping by for tests. Ok maybe I lied earlier about studying... Seriously though, most of my classes are not tough. I expect that to change next semester, as I will be getting into some of the more fun comm and geography classes.

Looking at it again recently, I will have around 183 hours when I graduate. That's without additional things like New Pacers or Singers...which I'm not going to sign up for anymore. It takes away from Lottery Scholarship money. We can't have that, now can we? I think I have to take somewhere around 19 or 20 hours every semester from here on out to graduate in four years.

Well, iTunes has gone from Dream Theater to The Beatles and now to Red Hot Chili Peppers...time to move to other projects.

2006 News >>