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31 December 2008

Way Over Your Head

I bet you thought I wasn't going to do my traditional year-end post, didn't you?

For those of you who knew about my recent travels, this post may just come as a surprise. It certainly won't be in the same form as usual, but I'm getting it out there nonetheless.

As I type this sentence, it is currently 0304 UTC, and I only express the time that way because I'm miles above the ground and have no clue what state (or time zone, for that matter) I'm over at this time. Although I suspect we're over the Central time zone, and I promise I'll find out for sure later.

In case you're a little bit confused, I've been in El Paso, TX since Monday 29 December with the band and am now on our return flight to Pittsburgh. Since we're expected to land at about 23:20 EST, the only way I can get this post out by year's end is to use two-thirds of my remaining battery life to type this and the remaining third to take brief advantage of the free wireless Internet at Pittsburgh International Airport and upload it quickly before we leave.

Pitt's football team played in the Sun Bowl this afternoon against the Oregon State Beavers, and the last three days in El Paso have been one big "fiesta" leading up to the main event.

We met in Pittsburgh at 06:30 EST on Monday, and were busy either flying, practicing, performing, or whatever until we returned to the hotel at 22:30 MST (i.e., 00:30 EST, a full 18 hours later). Then Tuesday morning was a continuation of the whirlwind with a Battle of the Bands and another brief rehearsal before we got about 90 minutes of free time. I'm pretty sure most of us took a nap. Then off to the Fan Fiesta (where another Battle of the Bands was held), and we were free for dinner.

So all in all, over the course of the last three days, the band have had precious few hours of unstructured time. Not to mention that our hotel was right across the street from the airport, and there's not too many of those "authentic Mexican restaurants" within walking distance.

And then, of course, there was the game. Which we lost, 3-0. As one of my colleagues said, it was far more a matter of Pitt losing than of Oregon State winning. Such low-scoring games are always frustrating, especially when you're down and there are so many turnovers (including two in the first minute of play). Pitt stepped up to the plate in the waning moments of the game, but it was too little, too late. If only they'd played like that from the beginning...

But it certainly wasn't all bad. Not at all. Although the lows in El Paso were nearly identical to the lows in Pittsburgh on Monday and Tuesday (about 34 °F or 1 °C), the highs ranged from 60-65 °F (16-18 °C), whereas Pittsburgh was... well, let's just say it was colder back home. I got a bit of sun at the game today and am probably burnt. Which doesn't typically happen in December.

And then, of course, there's the time spent with friends. We may not always get along like peas in a pod, but it's good to see some of the people you care about and haven't seen for a while. And it provided a little bit of an escape from the hectic holiday season.

As I said, earlier, we're projected to land in Pittsburgh at around 23:20 EST, which means we'll probably be busing back to Oakland when the ball drops. And since I'll be away from home for the first time on New Year's, staying at a Pittsburgh hotel until my parents come on New Year's Day, I don't want to ring in 2009 in such a lackluster way as just saying "Happy New Year" on a darkened bus full of sleepy, grumpy people (grumpy because we lost and they're tired, not because they're generically grumpy people).

Anyway, I think that, should the celebration be unsatisfactory, I'll reserve the right to stay on El Paso time for celebratory purposes only until after it's midnight there. Maybe somewhere they'll be selling sparkling grape juice at 01:00? I don't know, but it's worth a shot, right?

In any case, I hope all of you have had a very happy holiday and I wish you all the best in 2009.

This is Tim, signing off from way over your head, at 0328 UTC (with 25 minutes of battery left for Pittsburgh).

Random tangent: Apparently, the in-flight movie for this flight was really short, so they're supplementing it with an episode of Numb3rs. Too bad my headset doesn't work.


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04 November 2008


If you haven't heard it already, you're going to hear it again.


If you are eligible and registered to vote today, there's no excuse for you not to. Let your voice be heard.

I overheard a piece of a conversation yesterday between two people, one who was planning on voting for Obama, the other for McCain. And they (albeit jokingly) said that they should just agree not to vote and not waste their time.

What a horrible way to look at our electoral system! I voted absentee last week, and I haven't yet told anyone who I voted for. For all you know, dear reader, I could have canceled your vote. Should that matter to you?

On the contrary, it shouldn't cause you to do anything different but place your ballot as you were going to anyway. If you happen to agree with me, great. If not, fine. At least your voice will have been heard.

Obama or McCain, I really couldn't care less who you particularly vote for. I mean, obviously, it does matter who is elected, and so your vote does matter, but your particular choice isn't going to make me think any higher or lower of you.

On one condtion:

When you vote, whomever you vote for, it matters to me that you do so consciously and not blindly. You should actually think about all of the many issues at hand (taxes, economy, social security, foreign policy, health care and education to name only six)... and then make a decision that you're most comfortable with.

It may sound at first glance like I'm referring to those who are seemingly enamored with Obama, but there are just as many "McCain-iacs" out there who aren't looking at the issues. Likewise, there are just as many people on both sides who actually know what they're talking about and have made an informed decision one way or the other.

I know no candidate is perfect, and quite honestly, neither candidate will be best for all of the wide range of issues we must consider. But it is my belief that one should be able to justify to oneself why they voted for whomever they did in every category (or at least be willing to concede in a few cases that you can't have it all). If you can't do that... well, you still have every right to vote however you choose, but maybe you should reconsider your options one last time.

I may never ask you who you voted for to see if you can defend your choice. Most likely, no one will. But you should be accountable to yourself. Pro-McCain, pro-Obama, I don't care. Pro-thinking is the way to go.

This is the closest most of us get to running the show. Don't mess it up for stupid reasons. Think... and vote.

Polls are open in Pennsylvania until 20:00 EST. For customized local voting information, click here.

Random tangent 1: Yesterday, I was handed a bag of Doritos as part of a "get out the vote" campaign. It read: "Two parties, one America. Ranch and Pizza Cravers." And in my oh-so-perpetual 24-hour-laggy-wittiness, I realized that I was in fact registered "Salsa Verde." I should be offended.

Random tangent 2: Do they even make Salsa Verde anymore? That was a really good flavor...


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30 October 2008

On the Road Again

Why do I always seem to blog right before leaving town?

But alas, another month has gone by, and all too fast. It's amazing how that happens. And I really ought to be writing.

In a few short minutes, I'll trek up the hill to get on another band bus to Notre Dame. We'll be spending most of the day and evening tomorrow (Halloween) in Chicago, IL, where our hotel is, before heading back to South Bend, IN for Saturday's game, and ultimately returning to Pittsburgh in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

As a side effect that only a geek would notice, that means I'll be travelling into UTC-5 (Central Daylight Time), travelling back into UTC-4 (Eastern Daylight Time), and then changing the clocks to UTC-5 (Eastern Standard Time) on the way back. So I might as well just get used to "new time" now.

As far as politics goes, I voted on Monday. At 12:12 EDT, I filled in a bubble on a bubble sheet that somehow represents (in an absentee manner) my choice for president. It was a little bit scary, and I actually did pause a little beforehand. But I did it. And the ballot's in the mail.

I watched Barack Obama's 30-minute infomercial last night, just to see what he had to say, since it obviously couldn't sway my vote in either direction. I really don't know how to feel about that. I mean, sure it was uplifting and inspirational, but are paid infomercials really what our democracy is coming to? Please tell me it isn't so.

In any case, I'm sure glad to have gotten that over with. Obama referred to "having gotten to know Americans over the last 21 months," which really made me frustrated that this spectacle that has been the 2008 election cycle has been drawn out for so long. My one choir friend even wrote an Op-Ed for the Pitt News warning people to watch out for the onset of Post-Election Depression Syndrome.

But as important as the presidential election is, it's not been at the front of my mind lately. I had mostly made up my mind about a week and a half ago, which is a very good thing... because I haven't really been able to keep up with the news for the last week and a half.

If you've been reading recent tweets on my Twitter, you'll have noticed that I've been having computer troubles lately.

I was having a remarkably awesome dream on the morning of Saturday 18 October, when at 05:30, it was interrupted by a grating and whirring sound within my laptop. At first I thought it was the hard drive, and my tech-support/friend Corey was inclined to believe me, until I had him actually come over to run some diagnostics, which proved that it was in fact the cooling fan which was failing.

So in order to not overheat my laptop, I've been working out of computer labs for about the last fortnight. And when I get back from Indiana, I'll have to somehow find a replacement fan.

Classes are going well, and the same with all the extracurriculars. I'm a little bit frustrated that two of my classes decided to have big group projects for the end of the term but didn't assign them until just now, but I'll deal with it.

And, oh yeah, I'm a membership candidate for ΚΚΨ, the national honorary band fraternity. In fact, if all goes well, I'm just over two weeks from becoming a Brother.

Oops. Guess it really has been a while, eh, blogosphere?

Hope October was great, everyone. I'll see you hopefully sooner this time.

Random tangent 1: First snow in Pittsburgh yesterday! And I don't have my winter coat down here because my parents forgot to bring it down with them on 12 October. I'll survive, I guess.

Random tangent 2: The Cathedral of Learning has been lit up in all kinds of cool manners lately, as part of the Festival of Lights celebrating Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary next month. I have some awesome pictures, and I'd certainly like to link them, but (as you've probably guessed) uploading them just won't happen without a working computer.


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13 September 2008

Back to Blogging Basics

So, I feel like I should write here a bit more often. There are a number of reasons for this, which are listed below in no particular order:

  • I miss blogging.
  • A lot of my readership have just gone off to college and are physically further away.
  • I want to feel as though I'm connecting with my family and friends as much as I have in the past.
  • I've gotten 3 IMs in the last 24 hours basically saying "you should blog... now." ;)
Not that I'm one to cave to peer pressure (at least not often), but it's really a good point. For all of those reasons, I should be writing this right now.

And so I am.

But enough nonsense. A self-referential blog post isn't what you came here for. No one wants or needs that. You, dear reader, want to know about my life!

Or at least, I'm assuming you do. After all, you came here.

First and foremost, my classes are going pretty well. It's always hard to tell just three weeks in how things are going to be, but I'm fairly confident this time around. As always, there are many annoying quirks in each class, but I won't dwell on them (at least not here). After all, they pale in comparison to Laurel's dropped class, although I'm sure I find them just as frustrating at times.

I'm actually pleased with all of the members of my ChE 0301 lab team, which was a pleasant surprise considering I didn't know any of them prior to our first lab session on 4 September. As expected, Biochem is an interesting class despite the fact that it annoyingly falls on Tuesday nights. World Music is definitely fun and interesting; however, I'm a little bit anxious about the first exam on 17 September because I've never taken a formal music class here before and I have only a vague idea of what the exam will be like in terms of format, content, and the like. So I'll definitely be studying up for that.

I've been doing okay with waking up, too. For example, on 3 September, I watched Gov. Sarah Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention online, since I figured I might as well hear what she has to say in order to have any hope of making an informed decision in November. Her speech ended at around 23:15, at which point I decided to head for bed. One problem: I hadn't yet read over the lab for ChE 0301 the next morning.

I told myself that I'd get up at 07:00 to read it and do some other work before lab at 10:00... and I actually did. After a wakeup routine of about 20 minutes, I was actually alert enough to read and comprehend the lab manual. And then I realized that I was ever-so-slightly more of a morning person for doing so. Really, when was the last time I subconsciously decided to go to bed before midnight?

This isn't to say that I'm suddenly a morning person. Au contraire, mon frère. I mean, I'm writing this in the late evening hours, so that should be at least something of an indicator.

On a typical weekday this fall, I've had my "gentle beep" alarm go off at 07:50, followed by my louder "music" alarm at 07:56. I then fumble for my computer and wake it up, and it starts playing BBC World Service Radio at 07:59, just in time for the hourly news bulletin. Early on, I'd be out of bed when it ended at 08:06, but lately I've listened to the program in a half-dozed state until the break at 08:30. That's not good on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, when I have the 09:00 class, but at least I'm waking myself up... and I'm trying to stay informed while doing so.

Speaking of the 09:00 class (Materials), we just had a guest lecturer who presented a case study on airplane engine failures. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm sure glad that that lecture was on 12 September and not 11 September. Because it wouldn't be very tactful to be talking about things going wrong with airplanes on 11 September.

I might be informally tutoring Physics 1, because I've got a couple of acquaintances who aren't having such a good time in that class right now. I helped one of them with kinematics just this afternoon. It took a little while to get the juices flowing in that direction again, but I think we made progress. And progress is good.

Um, that's about all I have now. Hopefully I'll be able to blog about some other things in the near future. But for now, it's late... and I must get to bed.

Random tangent: I've gotten back on a caffeine-regulated schedule. So long as I control my intake, all is well with the world.


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28 August 2008

Term 2091

Very quickly, and very briefly, before we get started, I need to stick to tradition and mention that I got a C in Organic Chemistry 2 over the summer, which puts me at a cumulative average of 3.525 on 70 credits; the old concern with the old OChem 1 grade being counted has been resolved.

This fall's classes are as follows:

Class Title and Credit Value
ChE 0300 Transport Phenomena 6 cr.
ChE 0301 Transport Phenomena Laboratory 1 cr.
ChE 1085 Departmental Seminar 0 cr.
ChE 1530 Biochemistry for Engineers 3 cr.
ENGR 0022 Materials Structure and Properties 3 cr.
MUSIC 0311 Introduction to World Music 3 cr.
MUSIC 0612 Heinz Chapel Choir 1 cr.
MUSIC 0630 Marching Band 1 cr.
18 cr.

Classes begin 25 August 2008; final exams are 8-13 December 2008. No classes 1 September for Labor Day; no classes 13 October for Fall Break, Monday classes instead observed on 14 October; no classes 26-28 November for Thanksgiving Recess.

As you can see, I have nice big open afternoons. I'm not sure what to think of it yet, but I have the feeling it's a good thing, because I can do errands, do homework, do internship searches, or whatever else needs to be done during that time.

I'm still not used to the fact that my ChE courses are at 10:00 and not 08:00 yet, but it means that instead of my friends and I going out for bagels afterwards, we go out for lunch.  Which is a lot of fun.

The only thing I don't particularly like is the ChE 1530 (BioChem) lecture that spans Tuesday nights.  It causes me to miss the last half-hour of choir, miss all of band, and risk missing my meeting for ΜΚΥ in the event that band should let out earlier than normal, which I'm sure will happen on at least one Tuesday between now and November.

Fall break is a bit of a complicated thing, too.  Because we miss a Monday for Labor Day; and we miss a Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for Thanksgiving Recess; it makes sense to miss a Tuesday for any Fall Break we might have.

But you can't just call off a random Tuesday, so we're going to call off Monday and then make up the Monday classes on Tuesday in lieu of the Tuesday classes, effectively canceling the Tuesday classes even though we have Monday off.  I am envisioning mass chaos on those days.

All in all, I think that this can and will be a good term.  I'm doing well on forming good habits, although it hasn't even been a week yet, so we'll see how everything holds up once it comes time for midterm exams.

Random tangent: Pitt's Bonfire & Pep Rally is tonight at 20:30; I will be playing there.  And apparently, my grandfather won tickets to tonight's Steelers preseason game and is taking my father.  So that's exciting.

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31 July 2008

Waiting for College

Granted, it's an experience I've already had for two whole years. But I still can't wait to go back.

But for now, here I am, sitting at my computer in the last half-hour of a month which has, all things considered, been quite good to me. I suppose having neglected this blog for the entirety of June, it would be prudent to write something here before we say goodbye to July. In fact, I've thought this for several days now and have kept putting it off.

So now, I will force myself to try.

Because of the extended hiatus, I'll skip over a lot of the things that my recent posts have set me up to write about, as they're not really at the front of my mind right now. Rather, I'll start with the week I recently spent at Camp Lambec counseling campers at Music Camp from 12 to 19 July.

It may seem odd that I'm starting with camp on my blog, especially because I never have the words to describe my experiences there. It was simply amazing, as always. To think that there is a place so beautiful, peaceful, and full of God's love... it's been quite reassuring throughout the tougher times of my life.

Since words seem to fall short, I'll share what I can through the photographs I took. It is simply breathtaking to hear so many voices singing praises to God and to see so many people doing His work and learning about His Word.

As I've done for the last several years, I plan to manage the camp newsletter this year, periodically reminding the campers that though they were at a spiritual high at camp, God is with them even in the deepest of spiritual valleys.

The rest of my spare time has been easily filled up with projects for and Mu Kappa Upsilon. I'm somewhat confident I can tie up all the little loose ends by the time I have to leave.

Which is Thursday 14 August, by the way, just two weeks away. It's kind of scary that I'll be entering my junior year.

My sincerest apologies for not being too comprehensive or comprehensible in this post. I just wanted to get something out there to let my readers know I still care.


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30 June 2008


Apparently, June was rather uninteresting, at least as far as blog fodder goes. See my post of 31 July 2008.

23 May 2008

It's BPRD, or is it?

Wow. It's been a whole year since I last celebrated my made-up holiday which had, just prior, been made effectively made useless. There's not much point in remembering lost blog posts when they're autosaved. In fact, this post just autosaved when I paused after writing that last sentence.

I knew something would have to be done with this holiday, and last year, I said that I would "have quite a while to change things around or decide to do away with [the holiday] altogether."

Well, obviously I didn't think too hard about that, now did I?

So here I am, on another 23 May, and I have no blog posts to remember. No Blog Post Remembrance Day. Nothing to celebrate.

Or do I?

At 02:11 EDT today, Randomness logged its 8,000th hit from New Jersey. So I do have something to celebrate! Now, if that isn't the made-up holiday gods looking down on me, I don't know what is.

Now, if I could only get around to telling you all about what's actually going on in my life, other than the fact that I'll be going to Laurel's graduation party on Sunday. I mean, that's exciting. But you probably already know about that. She has her own blog, and besides, half of my readership will be there!

Until next time, have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

Random tangent: I happen to be in a computer lab next to Emily. When I mentioned I didn't know what to write, she suggested, "Pancakes are good. Yum, yum, yum."


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14 May 2008

Bloggy Cake!

Egads! My blog, Randomness, is three years old! Yes, this very blog!

And, to celebrate, as has apparently become a bit of a tradition on this blog, I baked a delicious little bloggy cake. By which, of course, I mean I went to the computer lab, found some clip art, and then Photoshopped it a little.

The best part about bloggy cake is that it can be whatever flavor you like. It's digital, so it doesn't matter. Dig in!

It's hard to believe that for three whole years I've been here, sharing the nonsense that my life so often is. Personally, I'm proud that I've persevered for that long, as I've never been able to stay focused on a project for as long as this. I don't know what I envisioned when I wrote that first post in 2005, and I don't even know what I envision now for the future of this blog, but I really like what I'm doing here. It makes me happy.

Now, I acknowledge that I haven't written as much here as I would have liked to over the last few months. And that's understandable. Academics come first. However, I'd really like to get back into the habit of blogging more often. Even though this little exercise here is done for nothing but my own benefit, I have to remind myself that I do have an audience, and that they do care about my life, whether I write about it or not. In the past year, 2803 hits have proven that to me (down 11%, if you were wondering, like me; oh, well).

And so, to my blogging friends (many of whose blogs also turn 3 this summer), consider this a little nudge for you to continue blogging as well. Because I'm part of your audience, too, and I certainly care.

Here's to a wonderful fourth year of blogging...


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Academic Update

Well, finals came and went, and contrary to popular rumor, I'm still alive. I know you're all disappointed. But not really.

Gosh, where has all this sarcasm come from lately?

Anywho, I went online on the evening of 30 April and found some nice little letters from my professors, some of which are adorned with mathematical symbols:

ChE 0200 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics 6 cr. A+
ChE 0201 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics Lab 1 cr. A-
ChE 1085 Departmental Seminar 0 cr. S
CHEM 0310 Organic Chemistry 1 3 cr. B+
ENGCMP 0400 Written Professional Communication 3 cr. A-
ENGR 0020 Probability and Statistics for Engineers 1 3 cr. A
MUSIC 0631 Concert Band 1 cr. A

These grades represent a QPA of 3.819 on 18 credits, and that makes me very happy. According to official University policy, this gives me a cumulative average of 3.593 on 67 credits; however, the online system is still counting the old OChem 1 grade in its calculation and says my average is 3.482 on 70 credits. This is wrong, and I'm going to address it quickly to make sure that the right people are aware of this disparity, especially because (as of now) it would mean the difference between graduating Cum Laude and Magna Cum Laude. I mean, "magna" is an important word!

Of course, there is a slight downside to this news, and that is that my lovely 4.000 in ChE classes is no more. It's all because of that pesky little A- in the ChE 0201 lab. It was mostly group work, and I missed the A by six points, and although I'm sure those six points were within my grasp, I can't help but think that one of our more difficult group members also lost us those six points at some point. Nevertheless, I'm not here to make excuses, and besides, my QPA in my major is now 3.982 on 14 credits. Which is still pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

Anyhow, many of you have probably already heard that I'm taking Organic Chemistry 2 as a six-week summer course. It's already started, and it's going well. So here's the obligatory information, which is quite streamlined since it's only one class:

Class Title and Credit Value
CHEM 0320 Organic Chemistry 2 3 cr. (6Wk1)

Classes begin 12 May 2008 for the Six-Week 1 term, and end on 20 June 2008. No classes 26 May for Memorial Day.

My professor is Dr. George Bandik, who I had for OChem 1 (the first time) in the fall. One might think that's a bad thing, but he's a really good professor who genuinely cares about his students' progress, and my choices were either to take his six-week course, take someone else's four-week course, or possibly be a year behind in chemistry. So I think I made the right choice.

Fortunately, I'm understanding the material so far. I just have to spend a lot of time poring over it. I've heard from my friends that OChem 2 is easier, especially once one has the OChem 1 foundation. Although that's not enough to lull me into a false sense of security, it's still nice to know.

I won't bore you with any more details, though. Just know that this is what I'm doing for a while.

Random tangent: The maintenance crew was testing the fire and smoke alarms in my building today, and they got to my floor just as I was coming back from class. Let's just say that knowing there's a reason such alarms are so piercingly annoying doesn't make them any less so. It sort of acted to get people out of their rooms, though, which was nice. I talked to a few guys on my floor.

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21 April 2008

Term 2084 Finals

Okay, let's get this over with.

I know, it's been eons since I've blogged, and I have a ton to write about (not to mention the pictures to post!), but the fact of the matter is that it's a busy time of year here in Collegeland... namely, Finals Week. Here's what's on tap:

As you can clearly see, the reason this post is going to be so gosh-darn short is because I'm frantically trying to get together everything for my ENGCMP 0400 Portfolio, which is due at 12:00 EDT tomorrow.

After that, I have a few phone calls to make and errands to run before the fun studying starts Tuesday night, specifically for ChE 0200 (Thermodynamics). The week is rounded out with CHEM 0310 (Organic Chemistry) and it spills over into Saturday (ugh!) with ENGR 0020 (Statistics).

I don't know what to think about this, aside from the fact that such a back-ended schedule is less than desirable. Thermodynamics is generally regarded as the hardest of these courses by my peers, but I actually haven't been having too much trouble with the style of exams in that course. Statistics has been relatively straightforward... and to top it all off, it's a non-comprehensive exam. Again, the whole course has basically focused on applying principles that I've been using, in some form, since I was ten. Not that I was taught how to use them then... I was just that much of a nerd. See? It can pay off!

So, although I will of course be studying for both of those exams, I'm not very concerned about their outcome.

Organic Chemistry sticks out like a sore thumb. It's not quite the bane of my academic career, but admittedly, it feels like it sometimes. The curriculum is supposed to go through Chapter 13, so what do we do? After sloughing through Chapters 1-8, we covered Chapter 9 in two lectures, ahead of Exam 3 on 11 April. There were two questions on epoxide ring opening on that exam, material that was covered only in the last five minutes of the lecture immediately prior. I'm pretty sure I figured out what to do, but I genuinely feel bad for those who are taking this class the first time around. While that wasn't fair to anybody, it was much less fair to them.

Naturally, the topics of Chapters 10-13 were breezed by in the ensuing week, and we didn't get Exam 3 back in that time, so we don't know what we missed, and thus don't know what to focus more heavily on in studying for the Final. Normally, exam turnback has been within two lectures' time, with a period afterwards to challenge grading errors. This time, though, the idea is that our exams will be checked over so thoroughly that regrades will not be necessary. It's great in theory, but when the mantra all along has been "make sure the students know where they're not understanding things," even at the expense of keeping pace with the curriculum, it comes as a shock to have one-third of the material dumped on the students in the last week while they're kept in the dark about what they missed on the material before that.

I apologize for being so cynical, but on the academic front, my biggest peeve lately is probably how that class has been run.

Anywho, with a portfolio deadline closing in on 12 hours away, I've got lots more writing to do... just not here.

Random tangent: It is really, really hot in my room. Like 77° hot. I might trek to the lobby, or even Hillman Library tonight if this keeps up, because for me, warmth equals sleep, which I can't necessarily afford exactly now. (Don't worry; I'll get some sleep. Just not much.)


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18 March 2008

Basketball, etc.

It's amazing what fancy Photoshop-type stuff you can still do using just Microsoft Paint.

Pretty much by the time anybody reads this, I will be in the air on my way to Denver, CO for the first- and second-round games of the 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship; we're heading to the airport at 14:00 EDT. By the time most of you read this, I'll already be there. And by the time a select few of you read this, I'll already be back in Pittsburgh.

We'll likely stay until Sunday 23 March, except in the unlikely case that Pitt loses their first game.

This is, barring something really weird happening, the only NCAA tournament trip I'll be making this year, as other obligations in Pittsburgh will prevent me from traveling to subsequent rounds.

The men earned a 4 seed and will start the tournament by playing (13) Oral Roberts in Denver, CO on Thursday 20 March at 13:00 MDT (15:00 EDT). The women earned a 6 seed and will play (11) Wyoming in Albuquerque, NM on Saturday 22 March at 14:30 MDT (16:30 EDT). I took my bracket template and made up printable brackets for both these tournaments, so go download them and follow along! They're made to fit 8.5"×14" paper, but will look just as nice (only smaller) if printed on 8.5"×11".

Unfortunately, my departure means I'm missing a lot of class this week. Fortunately, things have been worked out so that even if the Internet isn't free at our hotel (I don't know which one we're at), we will chip in to get it cheaper, and our director Jack may even help us out so that we can continue to send work into Pittsburgh... because it will be necessary.

I'll be keeping everyone posted on happenings in the tournament and my life at my Tournament News page throughout the week, so keep checking there as well for updates.

Things I must remember to do:

  • Wednesday 19 March - ENGCMP readings; polish Proposal
  • Thursday 20 March - ChE 0201 Report due; print remotely to Pittsburgh by 07:30 EDT (05:30 MDT, ugh)
  • Friday 21 March - Online Housing Selection for 2008-09 at 14:45 EDT (12:45 MDT)
  • Saturday 22 March - Work on ENGCMP Interview Portrait
  • Sunday 23 March - Find a nearby Denver church; potentially attend a really early Easter service before leaving (assuming a Thursday win)
  • Monday 24 March - OHMIGOSHLAUNDRY!!!!
Haha, yes. Seriously, though, that last one must happen, or I die. Figuratively, of course.

In the spirit of the season, I've started up the Pool of Randomness 2008, the successor to last year's Facebook pool that strangely didn't get mentioned on this blog. If you go to the pool, just login to Facebook or sign up and get started! Pick the winners of each of the 32 first-round matchups, then pick the winners of the second-round matchups you've created, and so on to a champion. Brackets are due Thursday 20 March at 11:00 EDT, which I have to remember is 09:00 MDT. Tonight's play-in game between Mt. St. Mary's and Coppin State is not included in the competition.

I'll have a safe trip to Denver, I'm sure! Everyone have a great Easter!

Random tangent: It's my first time flying today. "Excited anxiety" is about all I can call my feelings right now, and by the time I read any of your comments (which would otherwise be filled with advice), it'll be over. I'll be fine.

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29 February 2008

Intercalation, Quantification, Blast from the Past, and Lofey

You didn't seriously think I was going to let 29 February go unrecognized on this blog, did you? Clearly you don't know me very well.

February is really weird. In non-leap years, it seems so abrupt when the calendar flips from 28 February to 1 March, as though February got gypped. Which is pretty much true. But today, even though 29 days is still shorter than any other month, it just seems like February is unnecessarily "hanging around." I don't know.

I still find these quadrennial intercalary insertions fun, though. And if you think about it, this little "glitch" in the Gregorian calendar is that bad compared to possible alternatives: The Hebrew calendar inserts a month in 7 out of 19 years. Heck, the calendar system I made up has an extra 39-day month every 12 years... it doesn't make my calendar less accurate (although it does drift from the seasons), it's just more inconvenient for a greater number of people and on a grander scale. Can you imagine being born in a month that was only observed duodecennially? Granted, that being said, it is Fimadin 27 Negkamun 8 on my imaginary calendar-I-never-use-but-have-a-computer-program-to-calculate-anyway. And quite frankly, that "date" matches up nicely with the weather outside right about now.

Speaking of which, it's pretty bad, which is why I'm glad that I only had to walk between two buildings today. It was fairly slippery and snowy as I was walking back from my last class, when I saw some kids making snowballs and throwing them over the construction area off the side of Benedum Hall toward the street on the other side. Sadly, I was one of the only people leaving the building at that time, and they quickly saw me as a good target.

But I'm not stupid.

Rather than running away and inevitably slipping on the slush, I kept my amused eye on them until I got to the stairway that would take me from the plaza to the street level, still genuinely interested in their activities, but pretending to be naïve to their plans. But between them and the stairs is a big auditorium building (which won't be there soon), which would give them an opportunity to sneak up on me. So as soon as I rounded the corner, I turned around on the step, and knowing how many steps were in each set (because I'm a nerd), I cautiously and slowly walked backwards down the stairs. And I just laughed when I saw each of them peeking around, hoping I wasn't looking... only to have them see my eyes looking straight at theirs!

Anywho, the nasty weather is preventing the ΜΚΥ camping trip from starting as planned. Instead of leaving for the campground in Farmington, PA this afternoon (in which case I'd already be gone), we are going to someone's house for the evening before making our way to the campground tomorrow morning. I'm sure it will be just as much fun.

But back to leap-yearing and intercalation (which are both fun words). I was fortunate this year that my watch has a "minus" button to page backwards through the numbers, because, as usual, it jumped ahead to read "3/1" at midnight. In the past, this would have meant going through all the months and days to get to "2/29," but it ended up being a quick and painless fix this year.

At least we make an effort to have our years match up to something, though. My made-up calendar has a 362-day year, which is fairly reasonable, and when you add the intercalary month, you get 4383 days in twelve years... exactly the same as we get with the real one. But my high school friend Jaci once made a calendar with six 64-day months... 384 days that continuously fall out of cycle. Similar to mine, it's an imaginary calendar-we-never-use-but-Tim-has-a-program-so-he-can-calculate-it-anyway. And today is Friday 16 Molybdenum 5. Can you tell this concept was designed in Chemistry class?

No, she didn't get uncreative with the days of the week. On her calendar, tomorrow is Tuesday. And the next day will be Tuesday as well. In fact, the week is comprised of seven Tuesdays and a Friday. Today just happens to be special in a coincidental case.

Then there's the calendar my brother decided he wanted to make. It's so convoluted it's not worth explaining, but one should note that it alternates between 5- and 13-day weeks. Anyway, today is Uvuladay 20 Shrub 1.

Yes, he named a day of the week after the uvula. No, I don't know why.

It's quite clear that this is just arbitrary stuff. Certainly on those other "calendars," this would be a normal day. And for the most part, it is. But this day is certainly special to us, even if for arbitrary reasons.

I think it represents a willingness to accept that things won't always delineate themselves cleanly enough to satisfy our scientific drive to "quantify." Really, if you think about it, science boils down to a bunch of empirical equations that mean practically nothing to the casual observer. The reason? Because the quantities expressed by these equations are often so abstract! I think it's amazing that scientists over the years developed a method for quantifying some really crazy concepts. What does 24 kJ of energy feel like? What does it mean to have your entropy increase by 1 J/K? You can't answer these questions... and yet, part of science is being comfortable with the fact that we can only observe the effects of these quantities and not the quantities themselves.

Wow. That was a tangent.

Anyway, I was in my ChE Thermodynamics Lab yesterday, and my group and I were doing some stuff with compressing carbon dioxide at different temperatures to observe a liquid-vapor transition (at normal pressures, it goes straight from solid "dry" ice to vapor). The apparatus was attached to a really old computer which was taking data the whole time ("really old" as in "it was running Windows 98").

When we were done, we had to get the data off the computer for our report that's due next week. Since USB drives aren't plug-and-play on such old machines, I was given one of these things:

Oh, wow. What is that thing? It looks familiar... How does it work? It's so amazing! WHAT DO YOU MEAN, "IT ONLY STORES 1.44 MB"?!!!???

Haha. Good thing the data were only 102 kB. So then I had to go to the computer lab and rent a drive for this contraption. Apparently, just like scanners, you can go up to the desk and lend them your ID card, and they'll lend you a drive that plugs into a USB port. So now I actually do have the data on my USB drive (yay!).

I just found that interesting. I mean, I can accurately say that it's been years since I've used one of those things.

And, in other news, let's go back to the land of Silly Animals, a group of imaginary friends my brother and I had during our younger years that sort of fizzled out around 1999. Today is Lofey and Rebecca's second anniversary. Happy anniversary, Lofey! Here's the gift I gave them: It's a photograph of the happy couple, can't you tell?

I just got off the phone with them, and they are doing quite well, as are all of Lofey's siblings, Lofay, Lof-eye, Lofoh, and Lofoo.

Now, I did say that we didn't pay much attention to Silly Animals after 1999, but the wedding date had already been set. Of course, 29 February 2000 was a Tuesday, so that's a bit weird for a wedding, but then again... Did I mention I was a weird kid?

Did I mention I'm also a weird teenager twenty-something? (Granted, that something is zero, but I've heard that nothing is something.)

And now, as if this post weren't incoherent enough, I'm going to attempt to make up for having not posted in almost a month by wrapping up with a random tangent rapid-fire:

1: Apparently, there's an event going on in a lounge in my building tonight entitled, "Happy 5th Leap Year Party!" Excuse me. Many of the sophomores in this building are 20 now, and thus this is their sixth leap year.

2: I bought a new air freshener yesterday, and it's really quite fragrant. Almost excessively so. I don't think any room needs to smell that much like "After the Rain." Then again, who's to say that's what it smells like after the rain? Quite frankly, I usually smell wet socks after the rain. Oh, no! I've been duped by a fragrance-based commercialized lie!

3: Will is celebrating Leap Day by "touching the sky." And if you knew him (or his dorm room's theme song), you'd know why that's annoying. ;)

Jen is still singing the "Kenya" song that's been stuck in her head for about a month. In the past, I've yelled at her for not being considerate to the Kenyans in their time of political instability, but in theory, that's all over now.

5: Me? I got a creative burst and started writing a song on 17 February, but it hasn't gone anywhere yet... mainly because I've been too busy. Perhaps today would be a good day to do some work on that... I mean, 29 February has to be good, right?

6: Speaking of good days to do big things, the new Heinz Chapel Choir website that Joanna and I made went online in the wee hours of this morning! Check it out!

7: When I was uploading things to another site, I noticed that my FTP program doesn't like Leap Day. Any time it adds timestamps (and since the one server in on Mountain Time, I tell it to), it just adds the hours, but the way it recalculates the date ignores 29 February in any year. So according to that program, I uploaded some things tomorrow.

8: I'm tired, and this post is long enough. Peace out!


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04 February 2008

No Asterisk Required.

Yeah, I had actually decided that if the Patriots were to have won, I was Photoshopping in an asterisk, probably bigger than the Patriots' logo itself. Now that's one "Giant" asterisk. (Haha.)

But that is no longer necessary, as they lost. Granted, there was that ridiculously questionable challenge early in the third quarter. Since when can you challenge for a penalty call? The Patriots played just how they have all season... and they finally got their just desserts.

I watched only the second half of the game, and did so in the ninth floor lounge here, as there were a bunch of trumpeters hanging out there, as well as others from nearby floors. Now, to be fair, one of those "others" who was rooting for the Patriots did mention that Plaxico Burress of the Giants specifically left the Steelers after the 2004 season for a team that would get him a Super Bowl victory (and recall the Steelers won the Super Bowl in his absence the next year). So this kid at least justified his rooting for the Patriots as rooting against Burress' ego, even though that logic didn't change the fact that he was outnumbered.

Still, though, in the wake of the Spygate scandal, it is sickening that such corruption seems to actually go rewarded. Many professional athletes are paid hundreds of times more than the highest-paid of those who actually do important things that matter, all while actually upholding their moral standards.

I'm not saying that there weren't genuinely good-natured people playing Sunday, but there are some sore losers, too. After the Patriots' failed to convert a fourth down, their coach Bill Belichick angrily returned to the locker room, even though there was still one second on the clock, and thus a play had to be run. During his post-game interview for TV, he really looked like he didn't want to be there.

If only he would suck it up and lose graciously. He's taken his team to four Super Bowls in the last seven years. Nothing lasts forever. Quit whining.

I really hate being harsh, but I really had strong feelings about this one. Last year, I really couldn't have cared less, having practically ignored the playoffs once the Steelers failed to get in. But because of all the buzz and controversy surrounding the Patriots' potential 19-0 season, I had to take a side. There was no forgetting about football this January.

On a lighter note: Did you notice the red, white, and blue confetti that covered the field after the win? Apparently, the NFL saved money this year because both teams had the same colors, so they didn't have to rig up two sets. Economization for the win!

But cheaters aren't champions. You got what you deserved.

Giants 17, Patriots 14.


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11 January 2008

Term 2084 Schedule, Revised

I was finally able to register this afternoon. Based on the numbers, they were unable to justify adding more space to the section I needed, so I had to get the Chemistry Advisor's signature to enter a closed lecture and recitation.

I was the third one that he was able to get into this class. Since he is taking great care to not "over-enroll" any one of the four recitation sections, he must evenly distribute the students amongst them. By the time I got there, there was one extra person enrolled in both the Monday 14:00 and Monday 18:00 sessions. Since Thursday 09:00 wouldn't fit in my schedule, I took Wednesday 14:00. The next person would either have to take Thursday 09:00, wait for someone else to take it (opening up a new round), or not get in.

The TA for the Wednesday 14:00 session is the same one who teaches the Monday 14:00 session (which I attended this week), and he also happened to be my OChem Lab instructor (CHEM 0330) in the fall.

So here is my revised schedule:


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07 January 2008


As you may know, today was the first day back to classes here at Pitt. And that usually brings some sort of schedule with it on this blog. But you may also know that I usually talk about how my semester went once it's over, in terms of meeting expectations as well as grades.

Well, I put one off, and now it's time to do the other... and they're really a lot related, more so this time around then ever. Anyway, here's last fall's roundup:

Finals week started with OChem, and I'd made it no secret that I wasn't grasping the concepts as well as I'd have liked. On the other hand, I did feel confident that I had done better on my final than on some of the other recent exams. I got my exam grade back (a number) that Friday afternoon, but forgot that I had signed the exam allowing my professor to post my grade by ID number later that day. So he didn't have the exam or the signature, and my grade wasn't posted and I had to wait. And that was hard.

The Diff. Eq. final was a bit of a non-event. It was a departmental final, written by my professor and one other guy, so it was fairly predictable. The last of the ten problems was on material squeezed into the last week, though, and I put the wrong types of information on my "cheat sheet" that we were allowed to use. So, I had practically nothing for that one. But I did well on all of the others, and even caught myself in the process of making a reading mistake similar to one I'd made on an earlier exam.

The ChE 0100 exam was easy, but long. Not to mention it was open-book, so even if you got stuck, you were there for three whole hours. Really, that class was a breeze, but it's those basic concepts of various chemical properties, expanded to a more general sense, that will really lay the foundation for the future ChE courses. I'm already seeing that in ChE 0200. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Anyway, I'd been debating with myself over how to approach this next part: the summary. You see, as it turns out, though I passed OChem 1, my grade did not end up being satisfactory by my standards, especially considering that I'm going to have to take OChem 2. So, I'm retaking OChem 1 (and again, I'm jumping ahead), as there are a lot of important concepts that I must look over again.

So it is with some trepidation that I summarize my grades, although really, in the end, I decided that having a class like this is fairly normal, and that it really won't matter once my new grade replaces the old one. So, if I can quit talking about this term, here's the breakdown of last term:

ChE 0100 Foundations of Chemical Engineering 6 cr. A
ChE 0101 Foundations of Chemical Engineering Lab 1 cr. A
ChE 1085 Departmental Seminar 0 cr. S
CHEM 0310 Organic Chemistry 1 3 cr. D
CHEM 0330 Organic Chemistry Lab 1 1 cr. C+
MATH 0290 Differential Equations 3 cr. B-
MUSIC 0612 Heinz Chapel Choir 1 cr. A
MUSIC 0630 Marching Band 1 cr. A

As it stands, these grades represent a QPA of 3.094 on 16 credits, giving me a cumulative average of 3.365 on 52 credits. Obviously, I'm disappointed with the drop caused by OChem, but I'm glad it was only 0.12. And of course, the retake will replace the old grade in the QPA calculation, so barring a complete meltdown, it'll really be higher than that.

On the plus side of things, you can see that I actually have grades for my major now, and that it stands at a perfect 4.000 on 7 credits. Oh, how I'd love to keep that...

Now that I'm done with that, I'd ordinarily start talking about break thusfar; obviously, it's not only done, but it's already been blogged about. So now, it's onto the present. Here's my schedule for Term 2084:

Class Titles and Credit Values
ChE 0200 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics 6 cr.
ChE 0201 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics Lab 1 cr.
ChE 1085 Departmental Seminar 0 cr.
CHEM 0310 Organic Chemistry 1 3 cr.
ENGCMP 0400 Written Professional Communication 3 cr.
ENGR 0020 Probability and Statistics for Engineers 1 4 cr.
MUSIC 0631 Concert Band 1 cr.
18 cr.

Classes begin 7 January 2008; final exams are 21-26 April 2008. No classes 21 January for Martin Luther King's Birthday Observance, or 9-16 March for Spring Recess.

The first and most important thing to notice is that the OChem 1 classes are in a different color. It's not actually that color on my calendar, but I did that while taking the screenshot to illustrate that I'm not technically registered for it... yet.

You see, there are two sections of OChem 1 offered this term: the one shown above, and one that meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 09:30. Obviously, that one won't work with my ChE 0200/0201 complex that clogs up the top of my schedule and allows me to progress through my major. So it's pretty important that I get into the 10:00 sessions.

Only problem: it's filled to capacity... and as of this morning, there were 48 seats open in the other section.

If the students were distributed more evenly, even if one was closed, I could probably get in easily, just with a few extra forms. But the "capacity size" of each section is linked to its corresponding recitation sections (mine is shown Monday at 14:00). Each of the two lectures as four corresponding recitations, or review sessions, that hold 30 students each. Hence, capacity for the lectures has a fixed cap at 120. The Chemistry Department could add more recitation sections to accommodate a popular course, but they can't do that until the other one gets closer to filling up.

So after running around from building to building, department to department, I found out that I'm not the only one in the same boat, where ChE 0200 precludes taking the more open section. And since I happen to already have an established rapport with the Chemistry Department's Undergraduate Advisor (my original OChem prof, as well as through ACS-SA), he greeted me with open arms (literally), and said that we'd have to wait to see some movement from one section to the other. But he also assured me that if the add/drop deadline of 18 January was to sneak up and no such movement occurred, he would gladly sign the necessary papers and help me jump through the proper hoops to get registered in time.

In the meantime, I'm still technically registered for OChem 2, and I'm going to attend the lectures until things are finalized, and maybe even occasionally throughout the term as my duties will allow, just so that I can get used to seeing that type of material before I'll need it. And after one day of add/drop, there are only 16 seats left in that other OChem 1 section. So things are looking good.

ChE 0200 today was uneventful. Being a two-hour class, we actually started on material — review material — but that was to be expected. I've heard that the class is quite challenging, but very rewarding, and is also curved to account for the challenge. It's thermodynamics, so that should be very interesting.

CHEM 0310 was... CHEM 0310. My professor is a very nice lady, although it's her first time teaching OChem 1. She did take about 40 of the 50 minutes going over the one-page syllabus, though, because she kept thinking of things she forgot or "words of wisdom" and advice for the course. She also helped me in my quest for registration, though there really wasn't anything she could do.

ENGR 0020 is fun. It's common knowledge that statistics can be manipulated to "demonstrate" nearly anything. So as an exercise, each day this class will start with a brief discussion about a "statistical lie," a scenario in which the truth is hidden by the way the numbers are presented. Some important parts of being a free-thinking and honest engineer are to detect such tactics when employed against you as well as to prevent accidentally doing it yourself.

And that's all I have for now. I'll talk about how weird ChE 0201 works this semester in a later post... even though it's listed as Thursday above, I have it tomorrow instead of the ChE 0200 recitation. Very confusing. At least there's no OChem lab.

That and English Comp. tomorrow, as well as sitting in on an OChem 2 lecture. Band and choir start up Thursday. And I still haven't unpacked since I've been running around all day.

Random tangent: How about that nice weather we've been having? I'll take 63°. But warn me next time; I went out in the morning with a coat because it was cold, and then I had to run around all day with it.


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04 January 2008


Well, today is the vigentennial anniversary of my birth. That's right, in case you haven't yet heard, I'm 20. I've gotten about twice as many Facebook wall posts as last year, either because I know more people, because the people I know care more, or because 20 is more of a milestone than 19.

There are obviously some who would argue that 20 is not nearly as much of a milestone as 21, but I respectfully disagree. Teenagerhood, whether we like it or not, is something that becomes a part of us. Although it never really leaves, it's sad to say that it technically is no longer there. Is this making sense? or am I already going senile?

Twenty-one, although special, has no such significance. It seems that 18 and 19 are the "last hurrah" of adolescence that mesh into college life. And although, even after reaching this age, some continue to act as though they are about four years old, sooner or later, the expectations of adulthood arrive. The number 20 is indicative of that change in my eyes. It comes with the "2," I suppose.

Of course, I'm not bitter or mopey. Rather, I'm excited for what my third decade has in store for me. All of you who are older, and I'm sure many who aren't, know that there's a lot which typically happens between 20 and 30. I eagerly await the challenges ahead, as well as that which will come as a result of finally overcoming them.

Today was a rather ordinary day. I got that haircut that I mentioned yesterday, but not after going to the grocery store with my mother. We got some much-needed foodstuffs, then she sent me off to get milk and said she'd meet me by the cake mixes. After waiting there for quite some time, I went and found her buying my birthday card. Silly mother.

After having stayed up for most of the night doing what seemed to be an inexorable amount of homework, my brother basically crashed and slept until it was time for dinner, which was celebrated by my immediate family as well as my local grandparents at Outback Steak House.

I suppose that's been a sort of tradition for my birthday (compared with Barb's family's Christmas Eve tradition). But it really isn't. I just like their food, and seems I either pick there or the Olive Garden for my birthday dinner. I distinctly remember that three of my last seven birthday dinners (including tonight) were held there, two at the Olive Garden, one at Mike 'n D'Angelo's Italian Restaurant, and one (last year) at the Schenley Café in the William Pitt Union.

I'm glad to be with family this time around.

Afterwards, we all went to my house, where I opened cards, and we attempted, with varying degrees of success, to stuff in some cake and ice cream. "Happy Birthday" was sung to me in the key of B, which was rather high, as my family didn't take the pitch I suggested in quite the way I'd expected.

Now, my mother is sitting downstairs, half-asleep, watching my Christmas present, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), which she has implored me to let her watch almost nightly since I've opened it. Apparently she wasn't with us when I saw it.

All in all, my twentieth year has been a good one. And I thank from the bottom of my heart all those who have wished me well in ushering in my twenty-first. I think there are about 49 of you who've wished me a Happy Birthday in some form or another. Thank you. I really appreciate it, and feel quite loved.

Random tangent: My brother felt the need to point out the beer section of the menu at dinner tonight, making fun of me for not being able to have any. I then pointed out that he's 15. Silly David.


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03 January 2008

Last Day as a Teenager

My day started with my sleeping in rather late, which I mustn't do tomorrow, because that's a teenager-ish thing to do. Although it really has more to do with me returning to school this weekend.

No one was home, which was a bit unexpected, but not necessarily unwelcome. I showered, tidied my room a bit, and ate a little.

After enjoying much of the day, when my brother got home, I helped him with his studies a little. We then ate dinner, after which I primarily distracted my brother from his studies. Oh, well. Then I looked up information on the Iowa Caucuses as it became available.

And now I sit here. A rather uneventful day, actually. My mother took tomorrow off, not specifically for my birthday, I'm sure, but she's scheduled haircut appointments for 15:00, and we still have a bit more work to do in tidying my room for some guests they're housing in March (Region Choir folk).

I'd said there was little point in trying to squeeze lots of things into the last moments of teenagerhood. And I epitomized that statement today by having what was really an ordinary Winter Break day.

Birthday post tomorrow, and some combination of third semester results and 2008 resolutions over the weekend.

Random tangent: I've also got a small programming project that needs to be done within the next week. With my luck, the code and database structures will just come flowing through my brain tomorrow when my mother needs me to be doing other things.

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01 January 2008


527,040 minutes: How do you measure a leap year?

No Photoshop doodle this year. Instead, I'm letting my creative juices flow in another way. Can you tell Mom, David, and I played Uno the other day?

There's just something about 2008 that seems neat and orderly. Unlike a year with a "sloppy" seven on the end. Yes, I know I said seven was a great number, but eight rhymes with "great." Beat that!

School starts back up on Monday 7 January, and we still haven't decided when during this coming weekend I'm going back down. Probably Sunday, though. My birthday is on Friday, in case you've been forgetting, so I'll be home this year to celebrate.

David goes back tomorrow, as we've been reminding him throughout his break, though despite this he insisted this afternoon that he wasn't to go back until 3 January. We had a hard time convincing him otherwise, but eventually proved it to him. He's sleeping now.

Speaking of which, I'd better get back to normal sleeping hours soon. Another 08:00 class this coming term... yay...

Of course, a big thank you to those of you who keep coming back here because you'll read what I have to say no matter what it is. Through thick and thin, I blog to preserve memories. Any subset of my memories, good or bad, would not suffice to summarize the whole thing. Alas, I can't blog everything, but I continue to do what I can because you care enough to keep me going.

A thank you to those who came here through my campus celebrations video, giving me an unexpected boost on 2 and 3 December, as well as to Robert, who made my day on 17 September.

Here's to a happy, healthy, and fun-filled new year!

Random tangent: The first commercials aired on ABC in 2005 and 2006 were for Vytorin. In 2007, it was for Zetia, which is half of Vytorin. Apparently, we all needed to resolve to manage our cholesterol. This year, however, the first commercial was for Gardasil, which means lots of resolutions against cervical cancer. Just thought you ought to know.


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