September 29, 2003

My legs hurt

It's a good hurt though. I really did feel good, a good satisfied kind of tired. The big question with this kind of hurt is what to do the next day. Do I go again, or wait a day and hope it feels better. My schedule may dictate the answer to that, so we'll just have to see.

Now, let's talk about the Do Not Call registry. Big kudos to the Direct Marketing Association, even if they are an evil, evil group of people calling me, for agreeing to honor the list no matter what the courts say. To me, this is a pretty cut and dried issue. I don't want people calling me to ask me to buy replacement windows. The FTC comes up with a way for me to not receive calls I didn't want in the first place. Don't you think that if I wanted replacement windows or a new credit card or a different long distance carrier I would go out and get one. It's not for lack of opportunity that I don't buy these things, but lack of desire. I definitely don't want telelmarketer calls on my phone since it's a cell phone and those minutes aren't free, no matter who calls. Maybe next time I'll tell them it's a bad time to call, and ask for their home phone so I can call them later. When they say they aren't supposed to do that and they don't want calls at home, then I'll say, "Now you know how I feel."

Pic of the Day:

First time in a while

So, I went running today at the nice indoor track here on the beautiful campus of North Carolina State University. It's not a competitive, track, so it's not that different from the one at Messiah, though it is longer and softer and the curves are mercifully banked a little bit. It's amazing what a difference that makes. The funniest thing of it all was all the identically dressed people in the gym classes. I think they get issued special clothes for gym. It's not a bad idea, since they turn them in after class as well, though the uniform was funny.

Argh!

I got the following email this morning:

Some of the STK500s include an ATmega16L rather than 163 as the second MCU. The version of avr-gcc we're using doesn't support it yet (newish chip), so those of you with the 16L will use the AT90S8515 instead. Later today I will post a new version of the files, since some of the control register names have changed (for the UART).

For those of you with no idea what that means, the long and the short of it is that I spent all sorts of time trying to make numbers and letters show up on my screen, and it never worked, but at least it wasn't my fault. Though I wish I'd known this a few days ago. Oh well, it should work now, I think, I hope.

September 28, 2003

Are You Ready?

I went and played football today with some guys from the church. Scored a few touchdowns, threw a few. Evaded a blitz for a score, and took a pick back to the house. A good time was had by all. A side note was how out of shape I am. I really have to find a time to exercise, maybe play some rec sports or something.

Additionally, the Cowboys won again. I didn't see the game, but I hear Troy Hambrick finallly got untracked in his quest to replace everbody's favorite former Cowboy, Emmit Smith. I won't call them good, since they just beat up on the hapless Jets, but hey, we'll take it, and 2-1 is 2-1, no matter who you played. Hey, the beat the Giants, who are supposed to be competent at least.

So I finallly saw Warren Cheswick(I'm sure he has a real name) in the new Vanilla Pepsi commercial. Jimmy was right, it just about made my day. Sitting there in the store turning the switch on and off. Made me really wish he was on Ed last week, and I'm hoping for some serious Cheswick action, and more Phil, by the way.

Lastly, the new show 10-8 has the cockfighting bodega owner from Seinfeld as the station captain.

Picture Update

Just to let the world know, there are now 54 pictures from the wedding available here. Enjoy!

September 27, 2003

Picture of the Day

See My Pictures

You can see some pictures from the big day here. Also, there are some pictures of me wrestling that I just found on the web. You can buy copies of them by going here, then clicking on Messiah College and going to the Muhlenberg match of the 2001-2002 school year. Basically, the pics have been there for over a year, but I just found them, and I thought they were good. Of course, it's easy to look good when you win 17-1, which is about what the score was.

By the way, I'm looking for big things from Messiah Wrestling this year. It's a team with more seniors in the lineup than they've had since I was a freshman. They're looking to make some noise in the MAC this year and increase the number of NCAA qualifiers from 1 each of the past three years to more than that.

I Think the Bike is Safe

I really did want to go to the review session for my test this upcoming week, but the bike lock refused to cooperate. Of course, it didn't help that I forgot the combination and 10 minutes of guessing turned up nothing. The moral of the story is: write down the number to the lock somewhere. Instead, I will grade tests. I don't really want to do it, but hey, it's my turn, and it's my job, so I'll do it without too much complaining.

Oh, and if anyone out there knows how to make the STK500 spit data in a readable format to Hyperterminal, drop me a line, and we'll talk.

September 26, 2003

Just in case you were wondering.

I own Digital Signal Processing.

Let's Do It

I'm about to go take my first test of grad school. Frankly, I'm not that worried. I think I understand the stuff. Then again, I'm usually never worried about tests, so we'll take this as the status quo, which is good, since the status quo got me into grad school in the first place.

Secondly, I thought this bit from Dave Barry's blog bears repeating:

ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION
Be honest: Do you actually care who the next governor of California is? Do you even care if California has a governor?

Neither does this blog. Thank you.

September 25, 2003

Season Premiers

I can write this now that Janet won't see it until she's done watching Ed. In terms of season premiers, this season was a bit of a downer so far. I mean, I wait since April to see what was going to happen after the anticlimactic season finale involving Carol Vescey and Frankie flying back to Houston, and this is what I get. If this show turns into Friends, I'm going to be seriously cheesed off. Where the heck was Warren, and they sure as heck better be setting up something big with Jennifer the pie lady, and don't get me started on the dissappointing Mo Rocca performance.

As an aside, Ed mentioned Neil Patrick Harris, of Doogie Howser, M.D. fame, in the show this week. I don't know how often this happens, but the writers have made a bit of an error by mentioning the real name of an actor who had previously played a guest role on the show as the other bowling alley lawyer. I just thought it warranted mentioning.

The Latest and Greatest

There is now a guestbook for my blog. Go ahead and register your comments there in the upper right where it says "sign my guestbook." As I say in the guestbook, the more entertaining the post, the more likely I will mention it in future blogging. Also, if you feel something is missing from the blog or you like it better than any other site on the web, go ahead and let me know.

Guess Where I Am

I'm in lab typing this right now. Thought you should know.

I slept a little easier the night I found this.

See my reason for relaxing

September 24, 2003

I did lab.

Lab is kind of a drag, especially at night, but I survived. I learned a little bit about China from Wenjun, though she's a quiet one.

Also, the bus driver got all confused. I live in the E.S. King Village. It is a stretch to suggest tha the E.S. King Village bus would possibly drive past E.S. King Village. I think not, yet there we were, walking down Method, wondering why no one tells us when the bus routes make drastic changes. Seriously, look here and try to tell me the bus doesn't go past E.S. King. The bus goes right down Ligon St. I live in the building just below the period in St., right on the bus route. It was cranky, but we hiked it valiantly.

This Blogger thing is so cool.

Just an update to everyone, my blog is now way cooler than it was before since I added some pictures and links to places you should go. Comments, suggestions, ideas for what else to put on here? Send me an email or an IM. I'm usually on, so leave your comments with LegendOfAndy.

September 23, 2003

I've climbed out of the papers

It was kind of like the ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese. Just swimming around in the stack of papers. They are all gone now, graded, entered, and returned. It makes me happy, though I get a new stack of lab reports this week, but those aren't nearly as bad as the 230 homework papers, each of which is worth less than one percent of the student's grade. That's why I plan to kick the first person who argues a homework grade with me, since it is worth so little. I wish the prof would go back to the online assigments that graded themselves. For whatever reason, he didn't like them as much. Maybe he just wanted us to earn our money or something, which I definitely did this week.

Tomorrow is superhuman Andy day. My day begins with lab at 9 and ends when the night make up lab ends at 10pm. Good thing nothing is due on Thursday. I get to talk about capacitors, diodes, oscilloscopes, transformers, triacs, and instantaneous power all in one day. Bonus points to the reader who knows what all of those things are.

Finally, a word about a new spot on the net. James "Jimmy" Barley has started a blog, and it can be found here. It promises to be excellent, and as Hubie Brown would say, it has tons of upside.

September 21, 2003

The stack of papers is so high

Grading is the biggest drag ever. I always wondered how professors of large classes handled all that grading. Now I know: they didn't. They have TAs to dump it on, so here I sit, grading my half of 230 homework assignments. It takes sooooo looooong. It never ends, since as soon as you finish one set of papers, there are lab reports, and more lab reports and then it's your turn on the homework again, and then you start trying to decide if grad school is this important. Thankfully, you decide that it is and keep going, since there is, theoretically, a big payoff at the end of it all in the form of cooler jobs at higher pay. We will just have to see.

September 19, 2003

The power comes back, and we are happy.

We came back from our places. I was at school and Janet was at work. When we came back, the lights were on, the refrigerator was on, and the clocks were flashing. Most of the food made it through the terrifying ordeal, but the popsicles had to take one for the team and ended up a sticky mess. They couldn't just go quietly, but they had to leave a big pink puddle in the freezer. I cleaned it up, and everything is freezing nicely.

In celebration, we went to Best Buy and bought a DVD/VCR combo. We also looked around at stuff and saw the nice TVs and laptops with giant screens for cheap. The drop in electronics prices over the years is astounding. Your dollar buys more and more as time goes on. It might be the only thing in which this is true. Moore's Law in action.

Hurricanes used to be fun.

So, we have no power, going on 18 hours straight now. The really frustrating thing is that our building, building B, is the only one in our complex without electricity. that's how I can send email from the computer lab 100 feet from my apartment. This also means that restoring our power would only help 12 apartments. With Progress Energy dealing with 145,000 outages, I don't think our little building is high on the priority list. Basically, I think we'll just have to live without for a while, which is pretty bad, since now we have to take our food over to Jenelle's and put it in her freezer. Additionally, we have to pretty much shut down when the sun goes away. It just stinks big time. I'll let you know when we're back up and running.

September 17, 2003

The Hurricane Watch is On!

Classes are canceled tomorrow. I can hardly believe it. I always figured that being 150 miles inland would protect us from giant swirling storms, but I guess not. It hasn't even rained yet, which is the part that truly boggles the mind. I suppose Isabel will come sweeping in any time now and knock out power. Blogging may be sporadic if the power is out for any length of time. Apparently, there isn't a bottle of water or a battery in any store in the state, whcih cracks me up. How long do these people think hurricanes last? Of course, when my apartment floats away, I may be singing a different tune, but until then, I remain optimistic, and happy that the powers at NC State aren't.

On a side note, how about the Braves. My gosh. Closing in on their 12th straight division title. Bonus points if you knew the Reds were the last non-Brave team to win their division, way back when Eric Davis and the gang knocked off the Bash Brothers of Oakland in the 1990 World Series. I suppose something just as shocking is that in that twelve years, they are tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Florida Marlins in World Series rings. I think they've got a chance this year since they finally have an offense to go with all that pitching, though any of the four AL teams could win it, and the Giants surely won't go quietly with the scariest hitter of my lifetime coming up to bat four times a game.

September 16, 2003

Happy Birthday Katrina.

It's interesting, isn't it? How my sister could turn 21 the day before ROTC PT, so she can't go out. I think it's making her a little cranky to be at home tonight, but sometimes we just have to deal with it.

In other news, Janet began the first 40 hour work week of her life today. She's always worked, just never full time. The vagaries of the surveying business, I suppose. She'll like the job, I think. She finds out tomorrow if she gets to be a "Lead Bookseller," which means a little more responsibility and a little bit more money, the amounts of increase in each is a little vague. It's too bad for all those other companies that wanted to hire her, but I guess they'll just have to deal.

By the way, Cowboys win in OT. I may have a heart attack one of these days.

September 15, 2003

Interesting article yesterday in the Raleigh News & Observer about workplace blogs. Seems companies are using them to cut down on the amount of email. The way it works is a group of people who work together will be assigned access to a blog set up by the company. Then, to share info and float idea, they publish it on the blog which lists the time and the name of the poster. That way, the email inbox doesn't fill up so quickly and the reader can pick out what pertains to them specifically. It sounds like a good idea, something we should be doing in the class I TA for, rather than hit the "Reply All" button on emails.

September 13, 2003

Hot Diggity Dog!

All right. I've watched two Ohio State games in the last two years, and both have gone into multiple overtimes, and I watched both of them by myself. I'm never watching one of these games by myself again. I can't take the strain of pacing around wishing the officials would stop making make up calls for a questionable interception two quarters earlier. Ohio State did the best they could to make this game winnable for the Wolfpack, yet they held when they had to. I think, game for game, this OSU team has to be the most exciting I've every seen. I mean, what fun would it be if they rolled everyone every game? Instead we get overtimes, tailback scandals, fourth down touchdowns, and defensive scoring. I would have been really disappointed if the Buckeyes had lost. Now I'm watching a tough Michigan team and just hoping the Bucks can make it to that game undefeated.

Overtime?

So my Buckeyes are about to start overtime against NC State. Is it bad to spend 3 hours rooting for the Buckeyes when I'm sitting a mile from NC State and I go there? I'm going to say no, since I'm doing it. Let's just hope they can punch it in and win the game for transplanted Ohioans everywhere.

September 11, 2003

Oreos, my gosh, the Oreos.

Every week they have a sale here, and it's always 2 for 1 Oreos, which means we can get the chocolate peanut butter ones, which are definitely the best kind. Yummy and everything.

I never really knew how long it would take to make friends, but it's going well so far. I think it helps to take this big city and college of 29,000 students and instead focus on smaller groups. Church is a nice place to start. Between that and RUF, we're doing ok. I'll keep you posted.

September 10, 2003

Maybe some people should be psychology majors.

I guess it was a matter of statistical probability that there would be a few people in lab that weren't quite ready to become engineers and should consider a career change. It happens all the time, and that's ok. I mean, not everyone can be an engineer any more than everyone can write the great American novel.

Ever have nights where you can't sleep? Your mind just races? Happened to me last night. I thought about everything in the past week that every happened or I read about. One weird thing that kept popping into my head had to do with the Dallas Cowboys. Now, they're my team and all, but I haven't watched an entire game in about three years, and only saw a quarter or 2 the other day, but my gosh, that Jerry Jones is an idiot, and it won't quit. I was distressed with the whole Quincy Carter draft from the beginning. Why draft an unknown player you could have had 2 rounds later and then make him the starter. Then, to top it all off, he loses his starting job last season to a guy who had been failing at minor league baseball the previous year. So, does Jerry go get a real quarterback? Of course not, he lets this guy win the job back this year. This is what kind of thing was keeping me up all night. Visions of Quincy Carter underthrowing the receiver and getting picked off. Parcells is going to strangle that kid one of these days. Where was Dallas when Drew Bledsoe or Brian Griese were rolling around in free agency?

September 9, 2003

She went away.

So Janet started work today. this morning has been a little different than the last month of mornings, since I'm home by myself for the first time. At least when she left for the Duke interview, I left before her and got back after, so she could have done anything while I was gone. Now, I just have to wait and see how her first day goes.

September 8, 2003

She's a machine.

That wife of mine, she can't be stopped. So far she has had three official interviews for jobs here in Raleigh, and she's been offered all three jobs. The Duke University Library was the last to be wowed by her poise and intelligence. The Homewood Suites have already missed out. Who will be next? No one knows. Will the great Janet stay at Barnes and Noble or will she leave for the ivory tower of academia at Duke University. There are pros and cons to each job, obviously. Duke is much further away, yet pays quite a bit more. Books in both places. Tune in later for further developments in this breaking story.

Meanwhile, back in grad school......I have three classes, and I have a different feeling about all of them. Digital Signal Processing is where I'm the most confident, and the professor teaches like good old Dr. U. Embedded System Design seems to be going ok, though I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Random Processes is the killer, or at least it appears that way with confusing subject material and a prof with a tenuous grasp of the English language. I shall press on and prove the naysayers wrong. Of course, I'm assuming there are naysayers.

September 6, 2003

It's not hot.

It's been nice that the weather finally broke and it got super nice. I also got Janet to like living here since I showed her that the average high in this place only dips below 50 in January. I talked to my sister tonight, which is always entertaining, since she's so subtle. As subtle as a kick in the face. Not that it's always a bad thing. It serves to make me laugh. My brother has been cleared to skate with a kneepad over his bruised patella. He had his first MRI a year earlier than I did. Not sure what it means, but I thought it warranted mentioning. Went grocery shopping today, which takes on a whole new slant when you're the one paying and having to plan what you're eating. Janet's a little better than I at planning meals for the week, which is good, since I would end up eating the same three meals all the time, like I did in California (ravioli, chicken with zucchini, and soup for those of you scoring at home). This whole marriage and move out on your own thing should come with a warning label. Sure, being married is great, but what's with the responsibility. I payed an electric bill this week. Definitely a first for me. That and getting the car inspected and getting drivers license and signing up for natural gas and all the other stuff married people do.

September 4, 2003

I do like my job, but everyone asks the same questions.

At least today I was able to ward off the questions about how to measure current. We'll take the small victories. As for Random Processes and Dr. Dai, I'm not sure what to think. If the tests are anything like the class, then....dang. We'll just have to see. Maybe things will get better. The best thing I guess is that everyone I talk to has the same thoughts about the class as I do. It makes me long for the good old days. You know, seven people in the class, Dr. Gray at the board. Stories about Bell Labs. Relating grades to being chased by a tiger.......

September 3, 2003

The Internet was Cranky

I couldn't blog yesterday, thanks to the wonders of modern telecommunications. On a happier note, I started lab today. I'm now a teacher man. Tomorrow, I'm in charge of 24 students. Today, I kinda assisted, since I'd never done it before, but tomorrow, I'm in charge. thos sophomores better know Ohm's Law, or there will be serious consequences. I also have to start grading homework this week. Thankfully, it's only three problems, but there are a ton of students. At least I know that I have other TAs to help me out. In physics, it was just me grading 50 papers that were pretty long. Anyhow, I like my job, I like the other TAs. I made a friend, even. I learned a lot about India from her today. It was a fair trade, I think. She told me about life in India, and I told her to stop being so nervous because she spoke perfect english and the lab was easy. Hopefully, it went well enough for her.