I have a wishlist of things I would like to get once I get settled and have a little disposable income. Here goes:

  • Flickr Pro account
  • Webspace and domain (mainly for collab music projects)
  • Xbox 360
  • Canon Rebel XT
  • A nice, used Stratocaster
  • A nice, used J-Bass
  • One SM57 microphone and one SM58 microphone
  • A HD flatpanel TV

Also, as mentioned earlier, I have done a rough recording of the first half of Ashitaka. Here it is. All punched in, and completely not ready.

Agile Suku Fishing Boat

March 30, 2008

I just rough recorded Ashitaka. It sounds alright in Audacity, but not so hot when I export it, which kinda sucks. But this is easily remedied.

That was my distraction for the day; recording an old song. And it kickstarted my mind in to writing a song or so. But not just yet. Probably tomorrow I’ll flesh it out.

I finished up about 50% of the homework I missed in stats to turn in tomorrow.  I have three sets of problems between where I left off and where we are now, and 10 sets from the beginning of the semester. The latter should go easily. I got a 67% on my stats exam last Thursday, which is the class average. I know exactly what I did wrong too after going through the homework I did this weekend.

What exactly is left for this semester?

  • Every Thursday: Project Sim deliverable due
  • April 7th (my birthday): Planning and Scheduling exam #2
  • April 7th: Stats project hypothesis tests due
  • April 8th or 15th or 22nd: Planning lab practical
  • April 17th: Stats project final report due
  • April 30th: Stats final exam at 5:30pm and possibly a Planning final exam earlier in the day?
  • May 3rd: Graduation!

There’s a lot of busywork in there too. Blegh. Goodnight all.

What’s Going On

March 27, 2008

I guess it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been working my way through the feared third semester of Nursing School that everybody talks about. Knowing that I’ve only got about 4 weeks left of it is just crazy. Time flew by really quickly. For some reason this part of my life seems to be going by really fast. I want to slow down and enjoy it more or else I’ll wake up and realize that I’m 35 and have children of my own. Sometimes I wish i could go back to the middle school days or high school days when I didn’t have so much going on. I want to go back to the days of playing football out on the play ground and showing up the guys in a rousing game of Dodgeball. But again, this time of my life is very exciting. I’ve been in the process of wedding planning. Who would of thought that I would be attending my own wedding this summer. It’s gotten to that time in my life. I’m ready to start a new chapter. I was given a bridal shower last Saturday. Daniel and I are starting to receive a bunch of cool gifts that will help create our first home as husband and wife. It’s very exciting. Going back to school, from now til the end of the semester is just full of stuff to be done. I’ve got a teaching paper to write that has to be at least 5 pages long and then we will have to do a presentation to go along with it that includes visual aids and handouts. Also there is an exam at the end of next week I’ll need to take, as well as giving a little speech about an article I read in a nursing journal. There is going to be a SIM Competency plus a SIM quiz the same day in about a week and a half that I need to prepare for. These SIMs are tests on various nursing skills that we need to complete. If failed, it counts as a clinical failure for the day, which if you get two, your out of the program. So there is some pressure there. As long as I review and understand everything, I should do just fine. I’m looking forward to when I can say I’m done with my semester. That’s about all I have to say for tonight. More later.

Head Games

March 25, 2008

I hate migraines. I’ve had them since I lived in Texas, but just thought of them as bad sinus headaches. Only this year did I discover that they were really migraines after having one that led me to vomiting. That had never happened before. Nor have I ever have a migraine that lasted three days until last week.

I’m up to about three or four migraines a month. I don’t know if this is caused by some external trigger or an internal trigger. External triggers that I can list would be stresses from  school and the wedding and all, a very violent winter with very sharp changes in weather and barometric pressure, a change in diet to a “healthier” set of meals, or just messed up sleep cycles. Internal triggers are more sinister, and I can’t think of anything that would be happening to cause these.

Last week, as we got back in to Houghton after spring break my head started spinning and a migraine came on that never fully receded until Tuesday evening. It came and went as it pleased: I would wake up with a splitting migraine and after about four hours of pain I would be treated to an hour of dulled pain, and then right back in to the full headache. Today, one week later, my head has been doing the same thing. I woke up, and the pressure in my head was too much to actually wake up. It was better to be asleep and not feeling it, as is often the case when one is sick. Then around noon or so it was better for about an hour. For about two hours in the evening I was alright, and right now I’m feeling decent (though tired and achy).

What typically helps more than any medication for me is a caffeine pill. Yup. This has the distinct drawback of detracting from my ability to sleep.  Apparently (if Wikipedia is to be trusted), this can work on vascular headaches that appear to be migraines. The entire condition is quite interesting. There is little agreement on what causes them and what the best cure is, as there are tons of variants for each person.

Blegh. I need to sleep.

The title of the blog here has changed. Up until earlier today it was “Every Day I Write the Book”, a song by Elvis Costello that I believe can be found on the Wedding Singer soundtrack.

It is now Never Mind the Consequence. This is a lyric from my song “Reality” that was released with the rest of the Few No More album. The song itself is about a girl that Jill and I knew who was a close friend to both of us, but her in particular. She deceived us as to the nature of her character, and this struck hard. It was the first time I had ever seen Jill cry. Later on as she prepared to graduate high school, she told us she was sleeping with a married man from work, and believed that she could be pregnant. She went to a clinic and took a pregnancy test. The day after that she told us it was negative. She graduated about 3 weeks later. Eight months later she had a child.

“Never care for carelessness/Never mind the consequence… If you ask me now/The answer will be ‘no'”

Truth be told, the meaning of the last part to that lyric just dawned on me again. I had forgotten it, trying to blank the situation from my mind.

Never mind the consequence means more though. It means fearlessness. Never mind the consequence of a strong moral stance. Never mind the consequence of integrity. Never mind the doubters and scoffers picking your future apart.

Consequence, eh?

What is the consequence for picking up after a project team that failed to do any of the work they were supposed to do, leaving you to do it entirely? Well, hopefully a decent grade.

_______________________________________________________________

I have ceased working for Flock. Actually, I haven’t put in an hour since December or so. The reasoning given at the time was essentially that my work load from school was too heavy. At the moment of discussion with Mike about this, there wasn’t actually a ton of work going on. I did, however foresee a lot of work, and it indeed came. The second reason I failed to mention was taxes. Self-employment taxes suck, and with a new job starting in May I really wanted my 2008 taxes to be relatively straightforward. Call it lazy, call it simpleminded, but it’s the truth. However, it truly was classwork that killed my ability to work with the amazing folks at Flock.

The folks I worked with there were each awesome. My first point of contact was Lloyd Budd. When it came to handling users, he taught me books worth of methods and tricks. I was pushed to learn some Drupal and PHP by him (though I would be super fuzzy if asked about it now). He is now with Automattic (the WordPress folks).

Will Pate was also on board back then. The guy is charisma and marketing and a puppy. Truly. Can’t think of any time where a comment from Will would not be appreciated. Don’t really know what the dude is up to right now, but he’s on CommandN, and it is always a good source of tech tidbits.

Mike Dosik was the guy to report to after Lloyd left for Automattic. Coming back from class and checking the scrollback from him was always good for a laugh or five. When he’s not kneecapping professors, he’s got a great big group of QA folks he somehow manages to wrangle up and set to task. That’s what really impresses me the most.

My last main point of contact was Evan Hamilton. Community Ambassador for Flock, he always was approachable and, as with Mike, up for a good kneecappin party. He does community ambassador stuff, which I’m sure is a lot more that it sounds like on top (or maybe not, depends on who you are I guess). Essentially representing Flock in everything public, which is pretty cool. Also, he’s in a band, which puts him in that fellowship of bandmates category.

_______________________________________________________________

Consequences. I have to live with the fact that I am doing poorly in stats, but I can also take matters in to my hands and work hard and meet with the professor to ensure that I pass. I have to face the consequences of plenty of actions daily.

Never mind the consequence. Never mind the consequence of writing what you believe and feel for all to read.

Week Remaining

March 19, 2008

  • Today
    • 11am Comm class
    • Noon-1pm Lunch
    • 1pm Planning class
    • 2pm Meeting with Stats prof
    • 3pm Project Sim
    • 4-6pm Dinner and homework
    • 6-7pm Bible study
    • 7-8pm Emails. Got a lot to send out
    • 8-9pm Study stats
    • 9-10pm Pack stuff to move to Jill’s
    • 10-11pm The Office, winding down the night
  • Thursday
    • 8am Stats
    • 9am Work out
    • 10-12 Study/homework/cleanup/lunch
    • 12 IME meeting
    • 1-3 Planning lab
    • 3-5 Proj Sim lab
    • 5-6 Dinner
    • 6-8 Packing
  • Friday
    • Up at 7am
    • 9am Work out
    • 11am Comm class
    • Noon-3 Pack
    • 3pm Proj Sim
    • 4pm Finish packing, load in to van
    • 5pm Heading off to Midland for weekend!

Statistically…

March 18, 2008

I MUST pass stats. I cannot not pass stats. Stats is the little mind killer…um. Spice?

AnywayI’m studying up. I am very very concerned about my stats grade and it is now my number one priority. Here’s the way the class is set up (according to the syllabus)

  • Homework: 20% of final grade
  • Exam 1: 20% of final grade
  • Exam 2: 20% of final grade
  • Exam 3: 20% of final grade
  • Project: 20% of final grade

Pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, right now I have about 20% for my homework grade, and my first exam ended up at a 60% (depending on the regrade, anywhere up to a 75%). I am expecting about a 90% on the project, as it is going very well. If I were to get 60% on the next two exams and not turn any homework in for the rest of the semester, I would be at a base, uncurved grade of about 57%. Unacceptable. If I were to turn in the rest of the homework and do decently on it, and still get 60% on the next two exams, I would be up to a 62%. Passing, but not where I want to be. Should I get 70% on the next two exams with homework turned in and all, I could get up to a 66% or so.

I believe the class will be curved in the end. Looking at the prof’s grades for other classes it seems there might be one. Looking at the distribution of grades for the two recorded and available online, the center of the plots is about 50%. I don’t know, it’s a stats prof, who knows what he will do with it in the end.

One saving grace I might have is a senior rule, where graduating seniors don’t have to take the final exam (getting an auto 100%). While I doubt this will occur, should he actually allow this to happen, it would be possible for me to get an uncurved, solid C. But that means I kinda have to be passing first, and it’s something I am highly skeptical of.

All those technicalities aside, I truly am devoting most of my time to this now. I kinda have to. I am not looking for a way out by not doing anything and playing cards right. I’m just kinda walking through what could happen. In order for me to pass, I must work at this 250% harder.

My other classes are going great. Heck, when you’re up until 2am every morning working on things, they tend to turn out well eh? A little concerned because my Communications project group and I don’t connect much (I’m always at class/meetings when they are trying to work on the project), but aside from that, I am enjoying my other classes.

I am actually on the edge of one of those nervous panic attacks that happen every now and then. You know the ones: the camera dolly moves in toward you while zooming out as your face goes white. Yeah, those. But I will get by and survive. Just wish Jill was out of clinicals tonight so I could fall back to her.

The fact that I’ve been layed up with the worst weather migraine I’ve ever had (it comes and goes. This weather is evil) does not help.

Wednesday is my long day. I am glad it ends in Bible study.

13 Days

March 16, 2008

I was with Jill for 13 days straight. The longest we have been together in four years. Yup.

Basically, we got stuff done. I’m on the leading edge of a migraine right now so quickly:

  • Determined that stats is all that’s holding me back from contentment
  • Got an apartment picked out
  • Got paperwork for my job, as well as drug testing done
  • Booked a limo
  • Filled out paperwork for apartment and job
  • Picked out “must play” song for reception, including first dance, etc.
  • Found out a lot about what the other person wants and needs emotionally
  • Worked out the budget

Seriously, it’s that Stats class that I’m working on. I plan to talk to the prof about it Tuesday (Mondays are too hectic and don’t afford me the time between classes) and see what I can do.

Good night all.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Positions

March 14, 2008

My list of positions politically is getting bigger. I have a few hard stances, and a lot of stances that are situational. But mainly it all boils down to what I feel is right. Not what you, Oreilly, Huffington, Colbert or Franken think.

My basic stance is this: return focus on American infrastructure and internal issues with morality as key guide.

Healthcare costs are out of control. Yeah, it’s because of our sue-happy mentality, but that doesn’t mean something shouldn’t be done about it. We need doctor protection laws in place that provide a way for healthcare professionals to do their job without fear of being sued, but at the same time allowing for a course of action should legitimate malpractice occur. When you have a good chunk of the nation unable to pay for basic treatment something is wrong. It puts us in a place where our system is no better than the systems we see as “failing” such as Canada’s.

I’m sick of career politicians polluting our capitol with stagnant, rutted ideas. Heck, most politicians veer away from the vote. That’s their job, why are they getting paid when they miss so many votes? Solution: requirements for voting records and a 3 term limit. Make congress “of the people” again. Folks in these seats must vote in 85% of the yearly issues, abstaining from the vote on only 5% of the issues. This is a job. You must represent us. This means you must vote. An abstaining vote is not acceptable on crucial issues. That’s like me saying that I went to work, but didn’t do anything because I didn’t want to upset anyone. It does not fly.

Infrastructure. Sheesh. We’ve seen what can happen when one hub goes out (1/4 country blackout anyone?). We see the ridiculous energy prices. And yet here we are, not taking any real action on it. This is absurd. Our country has some of the greatest innovators imaginable and yet we face these problems as if it were still 1970’s technology. Our power plants, as a whole, are aging and inefficient. Not to mention they do put off a good amount of pollution. Yes, solar is expensive, but it’s still one of those technologies that is expensive because of relatively limited use. We don’t have to power solely on solar. Look at wind farms, look at hydro and geothermal power. Look at biomass. Cogeneration is a wonderful thing. It is renewable, it is clean, and it can be very cheap to maintain. Don’t do it because of “global warming” but do it instead for the sheer fact that it is the better alternative.

Not to mention our current engineering. A LEED green building can cut energy and water costs dramatically by simple methods. In addition, occupant health can be increased by low-VOD adhesives and coatings. Look at our cars. We have cars that have run on the same body design principle since the 50s. We still believe that we really need that horsepower. For what? While I applaud GM for calling global warming a crock, their refusal to change the way they go about designing cars to be more fuel efficient is a throwback to the 70s. Look what happened then; consumers wanted better fuel economy, Toyota saw the demand and swooped in with the cars the consumers want. GM hurt. Same deal now. So the Prius looks dumb; does it matter? It’s engineered the way a car should be for fuel efficiency: less aero drag equals more fuel economy. Duh. Oh, and GM, thanks for taking the option of having a stickshift away from us unless we buy a Vette. Real smart there. I can get almost any Toyota I want with a manual transmission, but Chevy offers very few sticks. What the heck happened there?

Infrastructure also covers our transportation system. I’ve driven a ton this past year, putting close to 20k miles on my car, 12k of that in under 8 months, and 5k of that in under a month. Know what I’ve found in those trips? Our roads are falling apart. Crappy asphalt jobs, horribly poured concrete slabs, and potholes that could eat a Mini. And they are all over the place. Iowa of all places had the nicest roads I saw. I’m sure if we set about to redoing our road system it would be a boon to the economy. Think of the jobs that would be created.

The economy. Summed up: bad. Just, blargh. There are tons of ways to go here. Unfortunately, democrats have about half the ideas that would work, and republicans have the other half. The two can’t agree on enough to actually see what’s good in each of the plans, and we lose out while they bicker on and pander to the pundits. Democrat economics aren’t all bad, but growing up in Michigan you sure wouldn’t be able to tell. Thanks Granholm; thanks for giving the business to Canada.

Foreign relations: my stance is follow the generals. A good number want us in, a good number want us out. The president has more information on what these generals are reporting, and based on that decide when to leave and how.

We need to repair our image. “Who cares if other countries don’t like how we do things” will destroy us. Countries don’t like us, we won’t get trade with them. It’s pretty simple really, can’t break it down past that. Not to mention, if countries don’t like us, who will ally with us in foreign conflict.

And for the love of jicama, be open to actual negotiations and diplomacy. Castro was replaced by Castro, sure, but this is a critical point in Cuba’s history. To refuse to talk to him is asinine. Maybe it won’t go anywhere (probably) but it shows a willingness on both sides to work out freedom for the country. It’s like all of those old family sitcoms (kinda) where there’s a bully and he seems really mean and all but all he needs is someone to talk to him since he’s been so neglected (OK, not as simple as that, but you get the point). Oh, and general foreign policy tip (this one goes out to you Johnny): Don’t call for a hasty demise of a foreign dignitary. Especially if you claim to be a Christian.

Other issues go here…tomorrow…or later…sometime

March 13, 2008

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Hehe! I get Vista for free. Hopefully it ships to my place before I move. Either way, it’s pretty cool of MS to do this. I hope they got some crazy info from me about my usage.