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.

That’s MY spot!

Lexi in my spot

Lexi in my spot

I worked until about 2330 last night, remotely to the office. When I came to bed, there was Lexi, in my spot. You might say that she was keeping it warm, but frankly, she was resentful about having to move. Nice picture for the circumstances, too: A 6-watt night-light provided enough ambient light for the sensor in the D5100. I’m rather impressed.

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.


Columbus Day

No, not that Columbus Day! Mine! I was in Columbus for the last two days on business. Still battling the cold from Hell, though. Getting through the days on antihistamines and cough suppressants, and getting through the nights somehow.

Today I finished up really early, and got to the airport early. There I was reminded of the maxim: If The Deal Seems Too Good To Be True, It Is. That’s because all the money I saved booking flight, hotel, and car through the Southwest Airlines website seems to be a third party package seller working in cahoots with SWA.

So, even though I’m there at 11 AM, they can’t put me on the 1410 flight home, even if there were room on it. So sayeth the ticket counter. So sayeth the bloke at the 1-800 number. So sayeth the first person at the gate I talked to. But through all of that, the saving grace was it didn’t matter, the flight wasn’t just full, it was overbooked.

When the boarding of that flight was done, and I overheard that there were still three seats empty, I asked the gate person, “Really? You’ll fly three empty seats and not change my ticket?”

Really. My only option at that precise moment was to cancel the 1830 flight, and buy a one-way there at the gate. $200. Um, not gonna do that.

But that wasn’t the ONLY fun part of the trip, oh, no! I also learned that the cheapest rental car really was. Cheapest, that is. Thrifty appeared not to have maintained that particular Chevy Aveo much – it rattled and shook when I stepped gently on the gas, and threatened to cut out if I pressed harder. The wipers didn’t wipe much (and it was raining). The check engine light came on, during the drive back to the airport this morning. I’ll give it this – it didn’t break down (entirely), I was everyplace I needed to be, on time. And I didn’t have to change a tire on that car.

What? Oh, yeah. I get to BWI, hope the shuttle to the daily garage, hoof it over to my car … flat left front tire. Sigh. Sigh. One quick tire change later (the wheelbarrow undersize spare tire was in fine shape) and I was on my way home.

Now I’m here. Nice to see y’all! Ciao!

Out the Wazoo

So, the good news is that I’m back on the upslope. Pending a relapse, I’ve gotten the better of this cold. I even got several hours of (non-contiguous) sleep last night. I did, however, fail at taking a nap during the day. Heck of a holiday weekend, eh?

What I did do today was as much of the week’s reading as I could manage. All of the Geology reading is done, and I’m slogging through Chapters 8 and 9 of my Principles of Software Engineering book right now. Slogging is the politest term I can come up with – I don’t find Roger Pressman’s writing very accessible. For example, in just one paragraph, I count sixteen references. And it’s not a very long paragraph, a mere seven sentences to support all that weight. Wow! (Thus, references are flying out the wazoo!)

Additionally, I love statements like this footnote (in Chapter 8): “You might consider reviewing Chapter 15 at this time.” Dude. If you consider the material in 15 to be prerequisite to Chapter 8, then you reorder the chapters. It’s a writing failure followed by an editing failure, IMO.

Tomorrow, back to the work world. I should rest, but I think I’ll read some more Pressman first. Ciao!

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.