Apologies

Today, I was at work by 0555. We finished up the necessary work, I dropped by the nursery to pick up a couple more bags of mulch, and I was home by noon. So that’s a good thing.

A bad thing is that I managed to not push the publish button on last Sunday’s second post: My apologies, as I really don’t like shirking on my acknowledgement of the sacrifices made on our behalf by the men and women of our Armed Forces.

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Spc. James E. Dutton, 25, of Checotah, Oklahoma, died March 31, in Logar province, Afghanistan.
  • Cpl. Michael J. Palacio, 23, of Lake Elsinore, California, died March 29 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Staff Sgt. Christopher L. Brown, 26, of Columbus, Ohio, died April 3, in Kunar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained after he was attacked with an improvised explosive device while on a dismounted patrol.
  • Cpl. Christopher D. Bordoni, 21, of Ithaca, New York, died April 3 of wounds sustained Jan. 18, 2012, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Capt. Nicholas J. Rozanski, 36, of Dublin, Ohio, died April 4, in Faryab province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained during an enemy attack by a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey J. Rieck, 45, of Columbus, Ohio, died April 4, in Faryab province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained during an enemy attack by a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. 1st Class Shawn T. Hannon, 44, of Grove City, Ohio, died April 4, in Faryab province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained during an enemy attack by a suicide vehicle borne improvised explosive device.
  • Cpl. Alex Martinez, 21, of Elgin, Illinois, died April 5 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Jeffrey L. White, Jr., 21, of Catawissa, Montana, died April 3, in Khost province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Spc. Antonio C. Burnside, 31, of Great Falls, Montana, died Apr. 6 at Ghanzi province, Afghanistan of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Staff Sgt. Tyler J. Smith, 24, of Licking, Missouri, died April 3, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when he was attacked with an enemy improvised explosive device.
  • Constructionman Trevor J. Stanley, 22, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, died April 7 while deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.
  • Lance Cpl. Ramon T. Kaipat, 22, of Tacoma, Washington, died April 11 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Philip C. S. Schiller, 21, of The Colony, Texas, died April 11 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, 25, Providence, Rhode Island, died April 12 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Tanner S. Higgins, 23, of Yantis, Texas, died Apr. 14 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.

Spring Semester Fini!

Yay! I wrote and submitted my last 11 pages of work for the Principles of Software Engineering class yesterday, so I’m done and waiting on the ‘A’.

Today, to celebrate a few weeks of freedom from school, I shopped, cleaned the coffee roaster, did yard work, roasted coffee, cooked, and cooked some more. Sore and tired now, but still happy. And of course, we won something on Friday. Nothing close to a half billion dollars, though.

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Capt. Aaron D. Istre, 37, of Vinton, Louisiana, died March 24 in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Daniel J. Brown, 27, of Jerome, Idaho, died March 24 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. William R. Wilson III, of Getzville, New York, died March 26 in Paktika province, Afghanistan, of wounds from small arms fire.
  • Sgt. Joseph D’Augustine, 29, of Waldwick, New Jersey, died March 27 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Capt. Francis D. Imlay, 31, of Vacaville, California, died March 28 from injuries received in an accident involving an F-15 aircraft near a base in Southwest Asia.
  • Pfc. Johnathon F. Davis, 20, of Griffin, Georgia, died Mar. 29, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from enemy small arms fire.
  • Cpl. Roberto Cazarez, 24, of Harbor City, California, died Mar. 30, while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. David W. Taylor, 20, of Dixon, Kentucky, died Mar. 29, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

Good news, bad news

The good news is twofold. First, my penultimate deliverable for the Software Engineering class is in the hopper – two sections (about 11 pages) of an SDMP document. One more week of reading and writing puts that class to bed.

Second, it looks like my effort to finally purchase materials and get the cold frame built (see yesterday’s post) is going to pay off: we’re likely to see frosts Monday and Tuesday nights. With luck what I built protects what I’m growing.

Third (yes, third, this is a bonus good thing, for some definition of good), I’ve got a week-long VSphere 5 boot camp training that I’m attending this upcoming week. It’s nearby, I won’t be away from home much early or later than normal working hours, and I’m going to learn a crapload about VMware to supplement what I already know from the environments I’ve worked with previously. The downside is that all of this piles into my brain while I’m trying to finish a very challenging UMUC class. Such is life – the next convenient training is months away.

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. Jamie D. Jarboe, 27, of Frankfort, Indiana, died March 21 in Topeka, Kan., from wounds suffered on April 10, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Spc. Dennis P. Weichel Jr., 29, of Providence, Rhode Island, died March 22 in Laghman province, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered in a noncombat related incident.

Team Project DONE; Now, Lasers!

I’ve been working like mad on a team project for my CMIS330 class, it’s due tonight, and happily, I think it’s done! I’ve got it out for review to the team members right now, and hell or high water I’m turning it in at 2100 EDT.

It makes me want to build robots with Laser Eyes (thanks to JoCo) and loose them upon the world.

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Our condolences to the familes, friends and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Staff Sgt. Jesse J. Grindey, 30, of Hazel Green, Wis., died March 12, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
  • Spc. Daquane D. Rivers, 21, of Marianna, Fla., died March 14, from injuries sustained in a non-combat related incident in Paktika province, Afghanistan.
  • 2nd Lt. Clovis T. Ray, 34, of San Antonio, Texas died Mar. 15 at Kunar province, Afghanistan of injuries suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Argh III

In my introduction conference entry for my CMIS class, I said I hate school group projects. At work it’s fine, people are motivated and interested – the mission gets accomplished. My dislike continues to be fueled by the current group project I’m participating in. I posted up template documents, did my part quickly, completely, and early to provide exemplar material to make it easy for my teammates to follow the template … and we needed everyone to the the first part done by last night. Of the other three folks, only one had anything done. Me == Sad.

I’ve finished my Geology course – that’s the last of the General Education Requirements retired. All that’s left is upper division electives – the one that I’ve got three weeks left in now, two in the Summer session, and two in the Fall. Huzzah!

So sorry for the delay in this post – my life is pretty bloody full right now, and daylight savings time sent me for a loop. Feeble excuses at best, but I’m here now…

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Our condolences to the family, friends, and compatriots of Specialist Acosta

  • Spc. Edward J. Acosta, 21, of Hesperia, Calif., died March 5, in La Jolla, Calif., of injuries sustained Dec. 3, 2011, when his vehicle was struck by an improvised-explosive device in Wardak province, Afghanistan.

I’ll rest when I’m dead

I took off from work a couple of hours early on Friday.

At that time, I was still feeling a bit off my feed – this whatever it is that isn’t a cold anymore has been kicking my ass. So I “took it easy” this weekend: I slept in past eight both days! Thanks, Lexi!!!

After that, though, no rest for the wicked. I put in about 12 hours writing for both classes yesterday. Today: Shopping, washed the car, cleaned the dining room, weeded out the raised beds, and seeded/prepared for snow peas. Then I reviewed the writing I did yesterday, and submitted the assignment I could. The other one doesn’t have a class link for submission yet, argh! Now THAT’S frustrating.

Oh, yeah, and the bug’s still got me, more’s the pity. Still plugging away with the antibiotics, fluids, and other OTC meds.

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

Maj. Robert J. Marchanti II, 48, of Baltimore, Maryland, died Feb. 25, from  wounds received during an attack at the Interior Ministry, Kabul, Afghanistan.

On Feb. 25, the armed forces medical examiner at the Dover Port Mortuary in Dover, Del., positively identified the remains of Staff Sgt. Ahmed K. Altaie, of Ann Arbor, Michigan. On Dec. 11, 2006, a casualty review board declared Altaie “missing – captured” after his disappearance in Baghdad, Iraq on Oct. 23, 2006.

Cpl. Conner T. Lowry, 24, of Chicago, Illinois, died March 1 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Jordan L. Bear, 25, of Denver, Colorado, died Mar. 1, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from small arms fire during an attack on his base.

Pfc. Payton A. Jones, 19, of Marble Falls, Texas, died Mar. 1, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from small arms fire during an attack on his base.

Columbus Revisited

Formerly lurking, kind reader Doug was sad to read of my problems in Columbus (as you might see in a comment to the prior post).

Let me be clear – the problems in Columbus were those of my cold virus, a car rental company, and an airline. Columbus has always been a gracious and pleasant place for me to visit – everyone is seriously NICE! That’s probably a middle-of-the-country thing that’s also related to the pace of life far away from the loons (like me) on either coast.

I haven’t seen much of the town yet – I usually fly in, work, and fly out again. However, I may try to visit during one of the nicer-weather times of the year … though it wasn’t too bad for mid-February: rain and 40’s is way better than snow/ice and teens. I’ll let you know, Doug!

Through the cold, another school assignment turned in each of the last two days. That and a few hours and a few hundred bucks on new tires yesterday. Sigh. I’m still on track, and it’ll get a bit better in another two weeks, once the one class is done with. Two eight week classes with overlap leads to a hellish pace during the overlap time. I’ll have to pay attention to scheduling for the summer session, or the garden might die…

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Capt. Ryan P. Hall, 30, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died February 18 when his U-28 aircraft was involved in an accident near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa.
  • Capt. Nicholas S. Whitlock, 29, of Newnan, Georgia, died February 18 when his U-28 aircraft was involved in an accident near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa.
  • 1st Lt. Justin J. Wilkens, 26, of Bend, Oregon, died February 18 when his U-28 aircraft was involved in an accident near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa.
  • Senior Airman Julian S. Scholten, 26, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, died February 18 when his U-28 aircraft was involved in an accident near Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa.
  • Sgt. Allen R. McKenna Jr., 28, of Noble, Oklahoma, died Feb. 21 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Joshua A. Born, 25, of Niceville, Florida, died Feb. 23, in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit came under small arms fire.
  • Cpl. Timothy J. Conrad Jr., 22, of Roanoke, Virginia, died Feb. 23, in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his unit came under small arms fire.
  • Lt. Col. John D. Loftis, 44, of Paducah, Kentucky, died Feb. 25 from wounds received during an attack at the Interior Ministry, Kabul, Afghanistan.

 

Plodding along.

Someone who’s had a  bad cold in the last couple of weeks decided that I was lonely, and needed a cold, too. Thanks, Hon! Aches (but no fever), head congestion and throat pain. I sound like Kim Carnes on a bad day after a couple of packs of Parliments. But I make up for that with the loonie sense of not having gotten much sleep in the last two nights. I detect a little improvement, and hope to sleep better this evening.

How I feel has no bearing, of course, on the work that has to be done for school this weekend. I ended up writing about 29 pages of material in the last two days, and doing a couple of geologic diagrams, too. I used GIMP for one, and AutoDesk’s Sketchbook Express (SBX. Sounds like a new Cadillac model, eh?). GIMP is great, but it is a complex X11 application, and performance on OS X is teh suck. So I went poking around until I found SBX – it does a fine job for what I needed to do. Oh, yeah, school. I have three more weeks of overlap, then three weeks of just one course to finish out the Spring session. Then I’ll be four classes away from the finish line. Huzzah!

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

Pfc. Cesar Cortez, 24, of Oceanside, California, died Feb. 11, in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Lance Cpl. Osbrany Montes De Oca, 20, of North Arlington, New Jersey, died Feb. 10 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Kyler L. Estrada, 21, of Maricopa, Arizona, died Feb. 14 as a result of a non-combat related training incident in Djibouti.

Sgt. Jerry D. Reed II, 30, of Russellville, Arkansas, died Feb. 16, in Paktika province, Afghanistan.

Petty Officer First Class Paris S. Pough, 40, of Columbus, Georgia, died Feb. 17 during a port visit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

One

One …

One free minute would be nice. Yesterday, I sat for my take-home midterm in Geology. It took me 5 hours. I pity the folks who read slowly and are tortured when it comes to writing. After that, I gave several hours to working on the front matter for an SRS (System Requirements Specification) document due this weekend for my Software Engineering class. I had one bum system last night that needed (remote) rebooting and hand holding for about an hour. There were several Linux systems updates last night and this morning, followed by reboot and testing. I did the weekly shopping this morning, finished and submitted the SRS, and did reading for the upcoming week’s class work the balance of the day. I finished up one course’s reading about 15 minutes ago.

One … is about the number of degrees fahrenheit that it felt like this morning, walking the dog in 18 degrees as measured, and gusty winds on top of that. It never did get above freezing today.

And lastly (on this side of the fold), Marcia has one heck of a cold, poor girl.

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One casualty reported this last week by DoD. I got all excited for a moment, before Sergeant Sutton’s notice stopped hiding from my eyes, in between DoD Nutrition Standards and the Overseas Service Photography Project. None of my narrowly averted excitement takes away from my  somber gratitude for the service and sacrifice on the part of Sergeant Sutton. Our condolences to the Sergeant’s family, friends, and the 223 Engineeers:

  • Sgt. 1st Class Billy A. Sutton, 42, of Tupelo, Mississippi, died Feb. 7 in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan.

Gladiators: second door, down the hall, third office, please.

Yeah, apparently there’s going to be a game of feet-baal or something like that. The pregame show was on the tube when we awoke this morning apparently, and may have been on before we retired last night, for all I know.

I’m all caught up on schoolwork for the moment. I have some reading to do for Geology, and an assignment and midterm for that class this week as well. My Principles of Software Engineering class starts tomorrow. I’ve done the first week’s reading for that, but there’s an assignment there, too. This new eight-week pressure cooker format is going to suck, I can just tell.

Marcia is doing her home physical therapy right now, stuff with weights and rolled up towels and strips of fabric – all in the service of extended bending and stretching and such. She’s doing GREAT, frankly. Stairs and all! Marcia starts back to work tomorrow.

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Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. William C. Stacey, 23, of Redding, California, died Jan. 31 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Lance Cpl. Edward J. Dycus, 22, of Greenville, Mississippi, died Feb. 1 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province,
  • Brig. Gen. Terence J. Hildner, 49, of Fairfax, Virginia, died Feb. 3, in Kabul province, Afghanistan.