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+ Food as far as the eye could see...
Saturday, November 29, 2003 ~ 07:49 p.m.


There were three, count 'em, THREE kinds of turkey.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. No matter how much planning goes into such an event, having eighteen people crammed together in a house nominally built for four always introduces an element of chaos. All weekend it seemed as if we were running around like crazy, when in truth I spent a good deal of it sitting on my butt with a good book talking to various family members and snacking. It still seemed crazy, though.

I saw family members I hadn't seen in years, despite how close we all are. Both Kelsey and Andrew are now fourteen. I was shocked the first time Andrew spoke - in addition to being well on his way to my height, his voice has also already changed. Everyone else is pretty much the same, although there was the addition of a new face - Laura's husband Marcus. Because of those two, the older cousins bailed out after dinner to wander downtown Nashville, eventually ending up at BB King's Music Hall. It was fun, although we're not exactly party animals.

The highlight of the holiday was my first ever turkey frying. I observed the whole process, which fortunately did not involve a fire extinguisher. As for the end result, I tell you I will never go back to baked ever again. This stuff was absolutely the best tasting turkey I have ever eaten - I'm drooling just at the thought of it.

And it snowed! Not much, but enough to make me happy.

This holiday I have eaten more food than I ever thought possible. I have returned home with a cooler stuffed full of leftovers and other assorted goodies. I will never need to go shopping again. Ever.

Which is good because I doubt I'll leave this computer lab for anything other than work for the next four days.

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+ Taking a break
Tuesday, November 25, 2003 ~ 08:54 p.m.


So the project thing seems to be progressing slightly. I finally found some specs I've been looking for since, oh, JULY, so I can actually start discussing a design. Yay for progress.

In other news, I ran across this little tidbit of geekness a while back. I can't remember where it was or who posted it, but it amused me at the time. Since I've just happened to run across it again tonight while avoiding work, I decided to include the link, in case you haven't already seen it: What is the Airspeed Velocity of an Unladen Swallow?

Okay, back to work.

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+ Nine days and counting...
Tuesday, November 25, 2003 ~ 12:44 p.m.


So the plan is to leave for Nashville around 2 on Wednesday, straight from work. The family size for Thankgiving dinner has been pruned down to just under 20, since the New Jersey and Ohio contingents can't make it and the other half of the Memphis delegation won't be there until Friday. Amazingly enough, my mother's parents will be in attendance, although they won't be staying the whole weekend. I'm really looking forward to seeing my cousins, on both sides.

Last night's ESC meeting was, as usual, an exercise in futility. Words can't describe how tired I am of only making plans to plan. All we ever do at a meeting is decide to discuss something at the next meeting. Grr. At least ASCE gets to sponsor a Duct-Taped-to-the-Wall Contest! Russell, I expect you'll want to participate in that, considering your "skill in the art of duct tape."

Only nine more days to finish the project from hell.

Current Music: 'Caught in the Rain' - Revis

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+ Quasi-Rant
Tuesday, November 25, 2003 ~ 10:16 a.m.


Marriage is a topic about which I feel very strongly. I despise the way people treat it these days, as if it is something one can just slip into and back out of on a whim. When our dear Shrub-in-Chief decided that he could ban gay marriage because Jesus told him to, I got even more irritated. I ranted a bit on the whole idiotic concept of a state ban on gay marriage, but left out my opinions on what really needs fixing with the whole institution.

Then I read this article, and it said everything I've thought on the issue and more. I pulled my favorite quotes, but you should go and read it for yourself.

Oh, and for those of you who think gay marriage is wrong just "because the Bible says so" please read this first.

"So before you lobby to ban gay marriage, you might want to work to enact laws limiting the sheer frivolousness of straight marriage. You should be lobbying for an increase in minimum-age requirements, for mandatory counseling pre-marriage, and for statutory waiting periods before marriages (and divorces) can be permitted."

"If you're going to take the position that marriage exists solely to encourage begetting, you need to oppose childlessness by choice, birth control, living together, and marriage for the post-menopausal."

"The decision to make a marriage "sacred" does not belong to the state — if the state were in charge of mandating sacredness in matrimony, we'd have to pave over both Nevada and Jessica Simpson."

"Gay couples have asked the state to explain why such privileges should be denied them and have yet to receive an answer that is credible....There will be more "sanctity" in marriage when we recognize that people of all orientations can make sacred choices."

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+ Everybody, sing along!
Monday, November 24, 2003 ~ 10:35 a.m.


"SEC 221: RESCIND THE PROHIBITION ON RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF LOW-YIELD NUCLEAR WEAPONS.
Section 3136 of the national Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994...is repealed."

One sentence in a 273-page bill. You know, you'd think that would be a bigger deal, but I guess not. Full text of the bill is HERE. A summary of the bill can be found HERE.

Nothing like taking that first step, is there?

For if the bomb that drops on you
Gets your friends and neighbors too,
There’ll be nobody left behind to grieve.

Oh we will all fry together when we fry
We’ll be french fried potatoes by and by
There will be no more misery
When the world is our rotisserie
Yes, we will all fry together when we fry

And we will all bake together when we bake
There’ll be nobody present at the wake
With complete participation
In that grand incineration,
Nearly three billion hunks of well-done steak

Oh we will all char together when we char
And let there be no moaning of the bar
Just sing out a Te Deum
When you see that i.c.b.m.
And the party will be "come as you are"

- 'We Will All Go Together When We Go' by Tom Lehrer

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+ In my opinion...
Thursday, November 20, 2003 ~ 11:12 a.m.


As a customer of AT&T wireless, I have to say that Penny Arcade got it exactly right. "AT&T's new rapedroid - with a bank of three hideous, whirling cocks."

In other news, Kat's got the wedding pictures up. There's only ten bazillion of them. Jeff, if you took any pictures that turned out, you might want to send them to her.

Short story:
- Kat wondering why
- Kat's gorgeous dress
- The groomsmen with Kat
- The bridesmaids with Kat and Sean
- The happy couple
- Cutting the cake
- She made me line dance
- Tequila!

Current Music: 'Fallen' - Sarah McLachlan

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+ I don't think Fido likes it...
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 ~ 08:25 p.m.


Like Waylin said in his post on DT, I did not make this shit up. He has a screenshot, but I'll just give you the link to prove that it's real. The product itself is strange enough, but the "Customers who shopped for this item" section is what terrifies me.

I'm suprised PETA isn't all over this.

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+ Nashville and back again
Wednesday, November 19, 2003 ~ 11:58 a.m.


Last night was a lot of fun. I skipped my last class to head up to Nashville with Russell, so we got in around 7. My sister and her boys, Josh and Ryan, were already there, so I got to meet the new boyfriend (Josh) mere seconds after walking in the door. Very nice, E, by the way. ;-) We ate dinner with my mom (my dad was at work) then Kimberly and Jo showed up at 8:15. I spent most of the drive over to the Bluebird laughing harder than I have in weeks. My friends are nuts. ;-)

The Bluebird Cafe wasn't at all what I'd pictured. It was a lot smaller than I'd expected, with Vienna sitting only a few feet away from her audience, and lot more relaxed. It definitely lived up to its reputation as far as I'm concerned and I really enjoyed the concert. She played Boy at the Piano at my request and a couple new songs I'd never heard before. I should have requested that she cover Cannonball again. I'll have to remember that next time.

It was a nice break to go home, even if only for one night. Getting up at 6 and getting ready to go reminded me of being in school back home, which was kind of a warm fuzzy feeling. I really would have stayed if I could have.

But now it's back to panicking over the amount of schoolwork I have to do:
- Sociology project, Nov 24
- Honors thesis, Dec 4
- H. Seminar Paper, Dec 9
- GIS project, Dec 11

Finals and tests fit in there somewhere. Only two weeks from tomorrow to design my WRS. Eeeeeee.

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+ So far so good...
Monday, November 17, 2003 ~ 08:02 a.m.


Happy Birthday, Jeff!

Here's hopin' you make it to 24! :-)

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+ Blah blah blah
Sunday, November 16, 2003 ~ 06:42 p.m.


Yesterday we went to the behind-the-scenes tour at the Tennessee Aquarium. They were talking about the water treatment they do on the incoming city water and all that's required to keep the aquarium going. It occurred to me that designing and operating an environmental system on the scale of an aquarium like that would actually be a pretty cool job. Filing that thought away for future reference.

On another note, I've got about five and a half pages of useable text for my big project and I've reached a crossroads. None of the people I've contacted about more information have come through, so I'm stumped on existing design comparisons. But I can design a two-loop system roughly based on NASA's single-loop design and then compare those two. That's a lot of work, but I can do it. It just means abandoning what I said I was going to do when I submitted my proposal.

Tuesday night, Vienna Teng is playing at the Bluebird. Nothing is certain except that I'm going.

Current Music: 'When I Look to the Sky' - Train

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+ Random
Thursday, November 13, 2003 ~ 10:44 a.m.


Judy: "Love means never having to say you're sorry."
Howard: "That's the stupidest thing I ever heard."
- from What's Up Doc?

Oh, I need to watch that movie again. It's still one of my favorites. Thanks, Jen. ;-)

Speaking of saying sorry, this article amused me: Fiji Villagers Apologize for Cannibalism. Better late than never, right?

After the presentations I had to sit through last week, I'm determined to make mine today at least a little interesting. For starters, I'm not just plastering my whole paper, word for word, on a bunch of boring monochrome slides. I have pictures! And color! And I know better than to just read to them or expect them to read whole paragraphs on my slides. It's a pet peeve of mine when people abuse PowerPoint. Seriously, you should have to take a class or something before you're allowed to subject hapless others to your creations.

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+ Funny Cartoon Thing
Wednesday, November 12, 2003 ~ 12:17 p.m.


Hard to believe that it's Wednesday already. This week is just flying by. At least I've been somewhat productive as far as school goes.

Saw this link today on Geof's site. It's just a flash cartoon about the end of the world, but it cracked me up. I figured I'd repost it here, for the rest of you all to see. Go, watch, laugh.

Current Music: 'Get it Faster' - Jimmy Eat World

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+ Gripe
Monday, November 10, 2003 ~ 10:17 a.m.


Have you ever had one of those days where just the little things get to you?

Like, what moron decided to make the number keypads for computers and phones/fax machines opposite? Whenever I get distracted and try to dial a fax machine without looking, it always gets screwed up because of this guy. I'm going to find him and cause him pain.

And then there's that woman who always screams phone calls over the intercom like answering them is a matter of life or death. I just want to shake her...or maybe slip valium into her coffee.

And of course, there's the boss who keeps trying to answer me without ever really hearing my question. He tells me, over and over, stuff I already know but never actually answers me with what I need to know. I wonder if I'm speaking English.

And of course my printer's out of toner, which doesn't really matter because I could probably grow a small garden in the dirt that's accumulated inside it.

Grr.

On the upside, the weekend was a lot of fun. I still think Todd's crazy for wanting to ride 105 miles, but I have to admit that it was pretty cool. And Savannah was beautiful.

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+ Fruitcake around the campfire
Thursday, November 6, 2003 ~ 12:48 p.m.


Did you know that Claxton, Georgia is the Fruitcake Capital of the World?

Good, because I didn't either. I found out because that's where I'm going this weekend, for the Crusin' in the Country bike ride Todd's doing. I'm just there to drive the truck, but it sounds like a really neat event for riders. Maybe they'll give me fruitcake samples? It's on the schedule.

I finally finished my Seminar paper! It's all printed out and ready to go. I have to present it next Thursday, but for now I'm just happy to have it mostly behind me. This weekend, I start on the body of my thesis. I have 27 days to finish it. J'ai peur.

Saw the Paul Taylor Dance Company last night, thanks to Russ. Very cool. Very different, but even the one I didn't like as a whole had some really neat elements in it. The last performance was definitely the best, but the whole thing was fun. Every time I go to stuff like that, it makes me wish I hadn't quit dancing when I got to UAH.

Mmmm, weekend. It feels like Friday.

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+ You gotta watch out for those Mondays
Tuesday, November 4, 2003 ~ 10:47 a.m.


The most insulting part of all is that I got my ass handed to me by a damn sociology test. Not engineering; no that I can handle. Sociology. Kind of makes me wish I'd stayed awake for at least a few of the lectures. Not that it would have helped. For the first time in a very very long time I found myself staring at a test and thinking, "Is this even in ENGLISH?" It was literally incomprehensible to me, as if there was no logic behind the assembly of the words. At least I made an A on my paper. We'll find out about the test next Monday.

I'm looking forward to tonight! Kat and I are meeting up. I'm not sure what we're gonna do, but it'll be good just to see her. We haven't talked since the wedding!

I didn't get my seminar paper done either. That's what's on my schedule for tonight after Kat and I get done. I'm hoping the prof won't obliterate me. *crosses fingers*

Current Music: 'Do This Anymore' - Nickelback

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