November 30, 2003

One Million Cookies

I was talking to Janet, as I am wont to do, and the concept of cookies came up, since she accused me of eating a million cookies today. I really only ate five. Then I told her that I probably haven't eaten a million cookies in my whole life. She thought I had, if you counted brownies and cookie bars and that sort of thing. Well, I decided to do a little approximation to determine if she had any base for this wild accusation. Observe below please:

22.75 years * 365 days = 8303 days 1,000,000 cookies / 8303 days = 120 cookies per day

At my very best, I don't think I have eaten 120 cookies in any single day of my life, let alone averaging 120 cookies a day since I was born. I probably didn't eat a single cookie during my first year of life without teeth. Also, if anyone saw me my freshman year of college, they would know that the gaunt looking fellow they saw was not eating many cookies. Frankly, I wasn't eating much of anything, which is probably why I was in such a bad mood a lot of the time. (My one roommate liked to listen to rap music and the other one had a friend who liked to come over really late at night, but that's probably not it.) Anyhow, one million cookies is a difficult mountain to climb. Even if I live to be 95, that's still 28 cookies per day, every day. Maybe you should look here for some people that may have had what it took to pull it off.

November 29, 2003

The Fun Ends Soon

The Thanksgiving break has been nice. Uneventful, but nice. I've been here a lot of the time just getting some things done. I just finished a set of lab reports, so that's a good thing. I really don't like grading them, but I got it done. It is better than the homework, at least. However, the break is nearly done. I did half my last homework of the semester today, so that was a good thing. It took a little longer than I thought. Hopefully, the second half will go more quickly than I'm thinking it will to balance everything out.

I've been thinking lately about my friends who are finishing college either this semester or next. I've wondered what it is that they will all be doing. It's much the same what I and most of my friends went through last year. I'm just wondering how it will all turn out. It's hard to say, exactly. Looking back, of my friends, I'm the only one that moved anywhere. James, Tim, Tim, and Amy actually all still live with their parents, if I'm not mistaken. Now, they're not bums or anything. They all have things they are doing (jobs, school, both), but they do all live in familiar places. That makes our experience here in Raleigh a bit unique, at least among the people I hung out with in college. Thinking back, though, it seems like a lot of people stay near their roots. I mean, most of my family lives within an hour or two of the Stow/Cuyahoga Falls area. My parents came from families with 13 combined kids, and 9 of them still live in Ohio. The other four are scattered to New Mexico, Oklahoma, California, and Washington. Not too many family reunions with that group. All this is to say that I'm betting Katrina stays in Akron for a good long time. Also, I'm not sure where I'll eventually end up. I doubt it will be anywhere near Springfield, Vermont, so we won't be near Janet's family. It's not that Vermont's a terrible place (it is cold as anything though), it's just that there's no job for either of us anywhere near there, so it's out. Also, if Janet spends another year in Raleigh, I don't think she'll ever leave, given the 70 degree temperatures in November that we just experienced.

November 28, 2003

C celebrity sighting

The guy who played Principal Dennis Martino was a lawyer on Law and Order tonight. I thought that was pretty funny. I guess I would rate him as a C celebrity, assuming I have any idea what I'm talking about. A quick perusal of IMDB confirms my suspicions. He's been in a fair number of movies/tv shows, but never as the star. I guess that makes him C list. B list people have to at least starred in a movie or TV show. I don't think I have to describe A list.

Janet was at work for Black Friday today. She said it was crowded, but not bad. Rather than come to hang out with their small children, people where there to shop today. I'm told that's what you do on the day after Thanksgiving. At least, that's what some people do. My crazy parents hopped in the car with the resident skater punk (my brother) and headed down to Kentucky for some Nags Skate Team action. I'm not exactly sure what's all on the schedule for the trip, but I'm just hoping my brother survives it without any disfiguring injuries. I guess that's kind of my hope every time, since I've seen the scars. As long as he doesn't get any on his face, it's probably not disfiguring, so he's got that going for him. It's tough to hit your face on the ground when you're skating. Youc an hit a lot of other things, but the face is usually the farthest thing from the ground, giving yourself more time to catch yourself before getting a moutful of curb.

Here's something you can all help me with. What do I want for Christmas? I go through this every year, and I never can figure out what I want. It's driven my mother crazy for 22 years now, and this is the first Christmas I've been able to inflict it on Janet. Therefore, any help would be appreciated.

Congratulations to Katie on scoring a job in a bookstore in Camp Hill. Good luck on the apartment search.

Finally, before signing off, let me just say that I am waiting on pins and needles for Vikki's report on Thanksgiving with the Romanoskis. It can only be craziness with what I know of that family. Frankly, if I was Tim's mom, I'd be seeing what sorts of ridiculous things I could get that kid to do at this point.

November 27, 2003

Perhaps I'm better than I thought

Ever heard of Wikipedia? It's a cool website that is an open source encyclopedia. It has thousands of articles about nearly everything you can imagine. The difference is that anyone can edit the articles. Anyone at all. If you find a typo or have something to add, you can fix it. A few weeks ago, I checked on the article for the Boer War (see it here; I wrote everything underneath "More Detail on the Second Boer War") and added a paper I wrote in college about the war. Then, I checked today, and someone had deleted what I added. Their comment was that it looked like what was written had come from Microsoft Encarta. I just added it back with the comment that it was original material. I'm flattered that my writing could be mistaken for professional encylopedia writing, but annoyed that it got deleted. At least I could add it back.

Happy Thanksgiving

Janet and I are busy preparing Thanksgiving dinner here in Raleigh. We couldn't make a trip to see either of our families, so we're here together. We're making potato dough rolls and turkey and mashed potatoes and apple crisp. The apple crisp was a late addition after we decided we needed something else and that we had a bunch of apples from our last trip north. I can start to make them once the potato dough rolls are done, since I need the pan. Hopefully, I can do a good job making the apple crisp. I'm on a roll this week. I cooked dinner a few times, did a bunch of dishes, and learned to use a sewing machine. All this, and I did my homework on time. I'm hoping that I can finish next week strong and blow through my exams. Then I have to figure out what to do with myself during the ensuing several weeks of vacation. I better not get ahead of myself. I have to grade a monstrous stack of lab reports before the end of next week.

Finally, everyone pray for Janet as she goes to her interview next week for the position at the library.

November 25, 2003

Christmas is coming, and there's nothing to be done about it

Today, Janet and I made some Christmas stockings. They're pretty standard red and white affairs, but the kicker is that I learned to use the sewing machine to help. It's a 1951 Singer Featherweight sewing machine that Janet's grandmother lets her use. It runs like a dream after all these years. We even oiled it up before using it. I think that the oil can we used may be original to the machine, so it's a little piece of history. Janet said she likes that machine because it's simple to use and runs nice and slow. Both of these things helped me to sew in straight lines as I fended off Janet's incredulity that I never took a Home Ec class in school.

November 24, 2003

Sad Sack Town

Is there a sorrier sports town right now than Cleveland, Ohio? It's hard to think of one.

First, the Indians. They had a good run there in the late '90s, I will admit. A lot of playoffs and two World Series appearances do count in the grand scheme of athletic achievement. It is worth mentioning that the Indians set an American League record for victories in 1954, yet lost the World Series. However, between 1954 and 1995, the Indians did not play in a single playoff game and spent much of those years in 70,000 seat Cleveland Stadium playing in front of less than 5,000 fans. I went to a game there onece, it was depressing. One year, the stadium giveaway was deodorant on Mother's Day. As for the present, they have been at the bottom of the leagues worst division. Only the record-threatening Tigers saved them from the cellar this year. This is a team with a curse of its own (The Curse of Rocky Colavito) that got zero media attention during their playoff run. Even their curses don't get noticed.

Second, the Browns. This is a team that has never won, or been to, the Super Bowl. The Fumble, The Drive, and more recently, The Helmet Toss have all tainted this franchise. Then, to top it all off, Art Modell (perhaps the most hated man in the entire city, just ahead of Michael Jordan and John Elway) takes the team and moves it to Baltimore. To make it worse, the team and the city found out about this 2/3 of the way into the team's last season in Cleveland. Try to play hard when you know the team is leaving. It was a disaster. Since then, the Ravens won the Super Bowl, and Bill Belichick, readily acknowledged as one of the worst coaches in the history of the team, won a Super Bowl with New England (the good people of Boston never got to see Metcalf Up the Middle). Now, the Browns struggle through another mistake-riddled year. Drafting hasn't gone well either. They have had four first round picks since they were reborn. It goes like this. 1. Tim Couch - currently the most expensive backup in the league 2. Courtney Brown - averaged 4 sacks a year. We hoped for more from a first rounder 3. Gerard Warren - held out in training camp, 8 sacks in three years (Derrick Thomas once had 9 in a game) 4. William Green - arrested for DUI and drug possession, then stabbed a few weeks later by his fiancee. As you can see, it's been rough on the Brownies.

Lastly, the Cavs. It is nearly Thanksgiving, and they haven't won a road game yet. They never won a championship, and they had the good misfortune of assembling their best team ever smack dab in the prime of Michael Jordan. Most people don't even care about them. They tore down one of the best arenas in the league so they could build an ugly, empty place downtown. I guess it would help if they actually had a team that could win. Ask most people who their favorite Cav is, and they'll probably say Mark Price, even though he last laced 'em up in Cleveland in 1995. There is reason to be optimistic since LeBron James came to town, but he can't shoot, so he'll need some teammates.

The good thing is that the Browns and Indians always make the people of Cleveland care about sports. Terry Pluto's job depends on it.

Neither the Time nor the Place

Messiah College has set up an online alumni community where former students can update information about themselves and stay in touch with other alumni. A part of this website is the message board for alumni news (e.g. weddings, jobs, engagements, children, that sort of thing). Unfortunately, one idiot never got the message. Josh Olsen, a Psychology major (maybe that explains it) from the class of 2001, has posted the following message:

Support Howard Dean in the Democratic party primary

Now, I don't really believe that is in the spirit of the alumni news message board, and this guy deserves to have his posting privileges revoked for his misuse. Keep in mind that I would be saying this no matter who he supported politically, and I'm not just picking on him for supporting the former Vermont governor who's campaign up to this point has been based on saying ridiculous things just to get attention. However, not to get away from the point of this blog post, Mr. Olsen should be harshly reprimanded for his utter disregard of the purpose of the Online Alumni Community.

New additions

Just to say, I have a new cousin as of yesterday. Carol Lynn Campbell was born at 7:43am yesterday at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. She was 7lb. 13oz and 20 inches long. I'm willing to bet this will be my last cousin, since my cousins are starting to be old enough to have children of their own. I didn't think the gap would get any bigger, but the difference between my oldest and youngest cousin is around 26 years now. I guess that kind of stuff can happen when your dad has five siblings and your mom has six.

November 23, 2003

My little message board is gone

It wasn't as cool as I'd hoped, and it did something funky to my mom's web browser, so it's gonzo.

November 22, 2003

Raleigh Christmas Parade

Yes, you read that right. We went to a Christmas parade today. I realize that it isn't yet Thanksgiving, but there we were. Unfortunately, we just missed parade marshall and former Raleigh resident Clay Aiken, but it was pretty good nonetheless. It helped that it was nearly 70 degrees outside. Santa just isn't the same when I'm wearing short sleeves. The funniest thing we saw though is a close contest. There's the Christian motivational speaker The Chicken Man who has trained chickens (some of which were named Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos). It was pretty funny. The other funny thing is the sign on the church across the street from where we were watching the parade. It said "Christians 4 Clay." I'm pretty sure Aiken says he's Baptist, so maybe that's the reason. I didn't see what kind of church it was, though.

Luckily, I'm starting to feel better. I passed out for a few hours today, and it seemed to help. Then we went and got Chinese food from our favorite place. You can get soup, an egg roll, and an entree for 6 bucks. Not bad at all.

November 21, 2003

James was right about one thing

Yes, he actually was. I'm going to chide him for flushing 16 bucks down the toilet yet again on another Dave Matthews CD of songs he already has. I like music as much as the next guy, but I'm not out there trying to collect every live performance of Walk On by U2 or anything like that. If I've heard the song, I've heard the song. This phenomenon seems to manifest itself the most in Dave Matthews fans. They insist on having the new live albums with all the same songs. Personally, I think a lot of DMB's stuff sounds pretty much the same, without the variation between songs that I tend to like in my recording artists. That's neither here nor there, however. The issue is that I'm sure Dave Matthews sits in his apartment at night saying to himself, "I put out another CD of two year old songs that people snatched up by the thousands, and I lie awake asking myself, Why?"

Well, another week come and gone. I finally got the last batch of tests graded, and they did well enough on them so that there was no curve, which means I don't have to figure the curve grades and write new numbers on every test. This make me happy because I was not in the mood to have anything else to do with those tests. I'm starting to worry about next semester a little bit. I don't know where I'll be assigned, but it could be right back in good old ECE 200. It won't be as bad next time, though. In the spring, there are only about half as many students. This is good when it comes to grading homework and tests. I don't think I could ever be a teacher, what with all the grading. I do think it wouldn't be as bad as this, however. There is no way I would ever have 230 students in my class as a teacher unless I had a staff of TAs to dump on just like we have it. I could do the teaching and assigning, I think. It's all moot anyhow, since I've no plans to become a teacher. Engineering should suffice by me, as long as I get the chance to practice it. I've been feeling pretty rotten the last few days. I'm hoping it isn't SARS, because that would be a shame, and I've probably already infected Janet if it is. Assuming it's not, I will one day get to be an engineer and make engineer-style money so Janet can live her lifelong dream of working less than three days a week. That dream may be in jeopardy, however, since the NC State Library wants to interview her for a job that will be five whole days a week, though she will get to check out as many books as she wants without ruining her husband's reputation if she forgets to return them.

November 20, 2003

With much delay, The Ed Report

The only thing that can save the show is stupid Carol moving back to Stuckeyville and giving up on stupid Bridge and Tunnel Magazine. The whole episode was kind of bland to me. I mean, it was a big deal and all with the engagement, but last week was a lot more entertaining. Carol spent the whole episode acting like some other weird person. I don't know what sort of selfishness would bring this out in her, but I don't like it. She's a crazy lunatic, and I never really wanted Ed to get together with her. I think it's well established that Bonnie Hane was a far more interesting character, but I don't think I'll ever get my wish. The one thing this show needs is more Phil and more Cheswick. I like the whole Eli/Pie Lady thing, and that's the best thing that came out of the show, though I will admit Ed did good with the list thing. I'm sorry, I just don't have that much to say about a wedding that will probably be canceled, rescheduled, postponed, moved up, and all that. We'll see how it goes.

It will all be over soon

This has been one of the most frustrating weeks of school I have had in my entire life. It started with my being sick all week. It's not bad sick, just one of those things that refuses to go away. Then, I had a lab in my Embedded Systems class. Our hardware is buggy or just plain broken, I'm not sure which, and htis made completing the lab difficult, because testing our code was a hit or miss affair. When we borrowed someone else's board yesterday, our productivity increased a billion percent and we finished it off. I had stayed up until 2 the previous night working on it. I finally submitted it yesterday, which was on time, so that's a good thing. Then, I've been grading the latest quiz for my job. The three of us split it up so we would grade one problem on a third of the tests then make a trade, grade that third, then trade one more time. We got the tests on Friday afternoon, and made the first exchange on Monday after class, with the goal to make the next trade yesterday. Tuesday, the professor sent us an email telling us he wants the quizzes on Wednesday so he can give them back today. Well, that didn't happen. His reasoning is that there is another quiz Tuesday, so he wants to give the tests back. I don't understand this reasoning, since the tests do not cover any of the same material, and different people will be grading them. We never figured there would be such a time crunch on these tests, since the last time he gave a test to a TA to be graded, he told him not to grade it for a week or so. I don't know what, but that's not the point. Another annoying thing is the fact that we are supposed to have weekly meetings (on Fridays at 3pm, no less), yet the professor has not come to one of these meetings in over a month, and he has not told anyone (if he does at all) that he wasn't coming until that day, sometimes that afternoon. If we're going to be there on Friday at 3, he could at least let us know he can't come.

Finally, I had an assignment in the worst class ever, Random Processes. I think it's bad when the questions covering a section of the text take up more space in the book than the section itself. How are we supposed to get any information to do the problems? The worst part of the class is the combination between a book with problems that are not addressed anywhere in the text and a professor who 1) thinks the class is easy and 2) speaks very poor English.

As soon as I finish grading those tests and give them to the professor tomorrow, I'm going to sleep pretty much forever.

By the way, the Ed report will be here tonight some time. School is more important than my little reviews, I'm sorry to say.

November 18, 2003

I thought this beared repeating, for all you history buffs out there

Car Crash Totals Civil War Monument In Gettysburg
- Driver Faces Charges (Copyright 2003 by

A Gettysburg woman is facing charges after an accident in which her sport utility vehicle damaged a Civil War monument in the Gettysburg National Military Park

Park officials said Laura Staub failed to negotiate a curve on West Howard Avenue on the Gettysburg battlefield Wednesday night. The SUV she was driving struck a drainage culvert, overturning as it left the road, and colliding with the 74th Pennsylvania Infantry Monument, according to park officials.

The monument, a large granite sculpture of a color bearer and flag on a granite pedestal, was severely damaged, breaking into several pieces. Initial National Park Service estimates for the repair of the monument are between $15,000 and $20,000.

Veterans and survivors of the Battle of Gettysburg dedicated the monument in 1888.

Staub was charged with failure to maintain control of a vehicle.

This is the second recent car crash that has damaged a piece of Civil War history at Gettysburg. A couple weeks ago, a Maryland man lost control of his car and hit a Civil War cannon, leaving it in pieces.

November 17, 2003

For the record

The new DiGiorno's commercial with the guy in drag with a five o'clock shadow really creeps me out.

So, my parter and I have been trying to get our STIGLitz board going to generate some video for our lab. It's been a rough go of it. The text is all garbled, and it's just a big pain in the neck. Well, we finally got the garbage to go away, but it's kind of odd. Basically, we start the system up, then start poking at the microcontroller until it almost resets and the screen flashes. Then, everything is ok. Now, we get to actually implement the code we've been writing. We have a bunch of code, and we don't quite know if it works, so we'll cross our fingers, considering the fact that it's due on Wednesday. I think someone may have mis-soldered our SRAM (wasn't either of us), and that may have thrown us off.

I'm pretty sure I've discovered my superpower. I can find little known actors that are guest stars on television reruns. My record is pretty good so far. I got another one today. There's a Law and Order commercial with a judge saying, "You're in contempt, Mr. McCoy!" This judge was The Chief on Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. I must resolve to only use this power for good.

Yeah buddy

Go here, scroll to November 16th, and read the second paragraph. I knew Lisa was cool.

A fun new feature

Now the blog is interactive. You can still use the guestbook, but now I can converse with my many readers. Just leave your name and a message in the box on the right. Then, anyone who comes to the blog can read and respond. You can see the first sample message from me in the box right now. This way, blogging can be a two way street.

November 16, 2003

Sunday Grading Fun

Ok, so it wasn't fun at all, but I did some grading today. Today, I had some tests to grade, at least my part. I get the rest of them starting tomorrow. It's a real team effort here in ECE 200. It's tough to grade the tests for a few reasons. The cardinal rule of test giving (pay attention Victoria) is to make your questions independent of each other. That way, a student's wrong answers on one part of the test don't mess up their answers on other parts of the test. That way, you don't have to decide whether it's all wrong, or you let them get credit for correctly worked solutions with incorrect data as a result of earlier mistakes. I don't think that there has been a question on a test or homework yet that has been independent of other results. The problem is that the professor has no reason to change his ways, since it doesn't matter to him, just to the students and the graders.

I saw my car again today. Someone we go to church with has a maroon MINI, and it's one sweet ride. My friend James (no, not that one) said, "They need to move this car because it makes me covet when I walk out of the church." I had to agree with him.

Vikki, my grandpa just got himself a brand new F150, and he's happy with them, especially since I've never seen him drive anything else. Be careful bad mouthing Ford. He worked there for 38 years, and when you want a good truck, you buy a Ford.

More Ed

Someone named stubbmuffin has signed my guestbook. I have no idea who this person is, but they have brought up something I overlooked in my review of the latest Ed episode. I didn't mention anything about Phil and Molly. Perhaps I was just too shocked to say anything. Anyhow, the part about it that was the most unexpected for me was how cool Phil played it. He could have gone all whacko and thought they were some sort of couple (which wouldn't surprise any loyal followers of the show). Instead, he drops the "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," line and cruises on out of the office. I've never had more respect for one Philip Washington Stubbs at that point.

November 15, 2003

Strange TV Appearances

I saw the actress who played the Oracle in the first two matrix movies on The Cosby Show today. I thought it was her, but a quick check on the Internet Movie Database confirmed my suspicions. Last week, I saw The Logger on Law and Order. Janet has one of this guy's videos. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it for good entertainment value. If you've ever been to, or ever met someone from, Vermont, it makes it better. I saw it when Bob was my roommate, and then Janet has it as well. I think every person in Vermont has one of these tapes.

November 14, 2003

Movie Night

So, we went to see The Matrix Revolutions tonight. There was some weird stuff going on there, which I expected. Of course, not everything got totally explained, but at least I finally got some stinking answers about the heck went on in the last movie.

Of course, they had to weave some subtle storytelling in there to deal with the fact that the Oracle looked nothing like the old one, since the actress who played the first one died in between movies. It all worked out in the end. I mean, shoot, the Tom Clancy movies have gone through 3 different Jack Ryans (in terms of ranking, Harrison Ford is first, Alec Baldwin is second, and Ben Affleck is 457th). I don't think those movies lost anything in the switch (except the last one, Sum of All Fears, with Ben Affleck. My gosh did that movie stink. In terms of believable movie characters, Ben Affleck as Jack Ryan was right down there with Denise Richards as a Nuclear Physicist in The World is not Enough. At least in Bond movies, you're not supposed to think it's probable).

Speaking of switched characters, what the heck happened to the first Willie Butch on Ed. First, he's a weird looking medium sized dog. This week, he was a long-haired Jack Russell Terrier. What gives? Am I the only one that's noticed this? I need answers, people.

School Daze

I wish I had a more original title, but that's about how I feel about it right now. There are times when I feel like stopping this whole grad school thing and getting a real job. I just get this feeling sometimes that I want to have a life without homework. A life where I can leave at 5 or whatever and go home without having any job-related responsibility until the next morning. As it is now, every minute could conceivably be spent on something school-related, and hey, didn't I graduate once already? I think the ideal thing for me could possibly be finishing this year and then getting a job that paid for me to take one class at a time at night. That way, I could still go for free, but there would be no grading, no thesis, and I would have a real source of income at the same time.

Of course, I suppose this feeling could pass in a few weeks, and then I'll be glad to stay until I graduate. I'll keep you posted.

November 12, 2003

If only I couldn't see the handwriting on the wall

Ed was good tonight. I laughed as hard at the show as I had in while. Phil sliding down the hall was pretty hilarious, as well as Mike's internal rendition of Joy to the World by Three Dog Night. I also particularly enjoyed the physical therapist who was listening to Eli's version of the night at the pool. Hopefully, Eli and the Pie Lady can work it out. Eli can get some guts and talk to the girl, who obviously liked him. There's only one girl I've ever been that sure liked me, and we ended up married.

There's only one thing that bothered me about the episode, and it starts and ends with Carol. The show has to be coming to an end. Hopefully, the writers can keep the twists coming, since I don't need this formulaic nonsense. There's always Friends for that. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Ed belongs in Stuckeyville. What good is that show in New York City? None, that's what. Carol can go have her magazine career and her $3000 dollar a month apartment, Ed needs to stay on the roof of the bowling alley chucking ice into trash cans.

Speaking of $3000 dollar a month apartments......
I was talking to Janet about the cost of living in Manhattan today, and television characters must have some stranglehold on rent controlled apartments. Let's use and example from my second least favorite show, Friends. Janet explained to me that Rachel spent a significant portion of time on the show as a waitress in a coffee shop in the Upper West Side. Now, this is some of the most expensive real estate in the world. The apartment she lived in was likely $3000 dollars a month realistically. I don't care where you work, coffee shop waitresses can't split a $3000 a month apartment and have enough to eat. If you pay half of that rent, that's $18,000 a year in rent alone. Never mind food, clothes, utilities, and all the going out those people do. I suppose a show about a hard-working factory worker who barely gets by wouldn't be as glamorous.

I need a nap

Or something. Right now, I could be doing something productive (goodness, there's enough for me to do all right), but I just need to rest a little. That's ok, since I don't have anything due tonight or tomorrow. I can spend my time after class watching Ed and grading lab reports. I don't really want to grade them, but for the 7th straight week they have refused to grade themselves. Therefore, I must do it.

As for Ed, he needs to get a life without Carol. I don't even like her that much, but there she is, and he's off to try to marry her. Hopefully, that one will disappear some time tonight, but I'm thinking they're going to get married and then I will have no more show to watch on Wednesdays. Darn.

November 10, 2003

Notes from all over

Janet has a new obsession. She wants a cat. Not just any cat, she wants an "orange kitty," as she so eloquently puts it. For a while, she insisted that she didn't want any pets. Now, she talks about it all the time. We can't have one here in good old E.S. King Village, so it will have to wait until we move, which will happen before July at least. They can't raise the rent to $530 plus $12 for parking and expect us to put up with tile floors and cinderblock walls. Location, good. Cinderblock, bad. When we move, we'll probably go get ourselves an orange kitten. Janet does worry that she'll "mess it up" somehow, but she's pretty gentle, and probably won't break it.

Now, notes to my fellow bloggers:
James - There are no aliens. Just get over it. They aren't coming, and even if they are, they're not coming for you, unless you somehow made first contact. However, that's a moot point, since there are no aliens in the Orion or any other nebula. While we're on the subject, ninjas aren't real either, but, frankly, I can't remember if you care about that or not.

Vikki - In my experience working, adults are always worse than kids in meetings. Any time a group of them get together and have to have a discussion, it never works. No one has any respect for anyone else. Kids at least know how to shut up (on occasion). The main problem is that the adults all think they are too smart to have to sit and listen to anyone else, whereas the kids might think it, but most won't act on it. Granted, this doesn't apply to everyone, but I bet teachers are the worst. They think they are supposed to be the ones up front talking all the time.

Lisa - Sorry about Sumner (the head of engineering at my LA internship was named Sumner, by the way). I'm sure he'll be missed and has been already. Don't sweat the class stuff, and don't worry about the feedback. The girl you were jealous of for being athletic in junior high ended up with a pair of blown ACLs while you were smacking crosscourt backhands at Grove City. And hey, you'll be a doctor someday or whatever you're aiming for.

Janet - Stay cool. Or warm. Or whatever. I don't need to type this here, I could turn around and tell you while you're going through the filing cabinet and paying the cell phone bill.

Pic for Janet:

November 9, 2003

The ever vain human

Ever search for yourself on the Internet? I did, just the other minute. Well, I searched for Andy Vogel, not necessarily myself. Interestingly, search results #2 - #5 actually refer to me, though all for wrestling. Oh yes, I'm all the heck over the internet for wrestling. However, based on my searches, I can also speak German, in addition to being an English professor at The Ohio State University (by the way, it is The Ohio State University, not just Ohio State University. I have no idea why, but I know it's true). I'm also an oil painter, which could be true if you count the chair in our living room. A search on Andy Vogel Wrestling gets much better results for me. You have to go to the 4th page of results to get to a link not referring to me, and there are plenty of links after that with me in them (like this one that proves I really did win the Ohio State Wrestling Tournament way back in high school). A search for Andy Vogel engineering gives interesting results. The first four are me, but the first one is cheating (you'll have to search yourself to see what I mean). The ones with me are mostly related to wrestling though. Perhaps I'll make a name for myself in another venue.

A day at the clinic

NC State had a wrestling clinic yesterday. Dan Gable was there, and they gave out shoes to every person who came and paid the fee. The combination of those two facts resulted in an utter onslaught of wrestlers from NC, SC, and VA. We didn't quite have enough shoes, and I was in charge of the shoes, so I ended up taking a bunch of names, and the kids who didn't get shoes will get shoes mailed to them some time this week. Currently, the list is sitting in my backpack. I'll be delivering it to Coach Guzzo tomorrow, and hopefully, those kids will get their shoes.

Next, the NC State team had their Red/White intrasquad match during the clinic. Guess who officiated one of the mats? That's right, yours truly. All in all, a fun day. I even scored my first NC State t-shirt and a new pair of wrestling shoes (see below). This was good, because my old red ones have a hole in them. I enjoyed my time as some sort of volunteer assistant for the team. To top it all off, a coach who was helping me take names and addresses showed up at church today because his fiancee goes there. A million people in the Triangle, and I see him. What are the odds.

All right, time for me to do homework and grade papers. Also, Alias is on tonight. Let's see how Sydney almost dies tonight.

Andy's New Shoes

November 7, 2003


If you know where that title comes from, then you watched baseball this fall. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I'm talking about Skin, the show we were all supposed to wish the playoffs were over so it could be on (at least according to Fox). Granted, I never watched the show, but I sure saw a lot of previews ("You can't tell me not to see him!"), so I think I have a feel for it. I do believe that his show has set a record of some sort, and not the kind you want to set, if you're invested in the show. I think the total length of all the repeats of the commercials for the premier is longer than the total length of all the episodes. That's impressive, if you ask me. The glorious show has been canceled after three episodes. It joins Coupling among the ranks of quickly killed off shows. However, the record of Girls Club still stands at two episodes before cancellation. I believe that is the absolute barrier. You can't cancel a show after one episode, so two is the absolute minimum. There you have it, the record that will never be broken, along with these 10 other unbreakable records....

1. Cy Young - 511 victories in the Major Leagues - current winningest pitcher (Clemens) just retired a scant 200 behind
2. Wayne Gretzky - 2,857 points - Mark Messier just moved into second, over 1,000 points behind
3. Britney Spears - fastest rise to stardom with no discernable talent, though the Hilton Sisters are closing
4. Seinfeld - best dang show in television history
5. Matrix Trilogy - biggest drop off from Everything you know is wrong (first movie) to Let's blow crap up (2nd)
6. Hubie Brown - most uses of the term "upside" in one NBA draft, though he could break his own record some day
7. PT Cruiser - most hype for a car based on the Neon chassis
8. Dave Barry - funniest man in America
9. I wore shorts yesterday. Not really a record, but I thought I'd throw it in here, it being November and all
10. James Barley - because I'm running out of ideas

November 6, 2003

I really don't like bugs

The biggest spider I have ever seen in person has built a web right over the door to my apartment. I think it's planning to eat Janet when she leaves for work tomorrow morning.

I say the biggest I've seen because I was asleep when I was two and we lived in Florida. My parents told me they chased one as big as my hand around my bedroom one night as I peacefully slept, unaware of impending doom.

A little late, but The Ed Report had to take a backseat to Random Processes

Hard to know what to say about my show. Carol is off to New York, Ed stays in Ohio, and next week he's supposed to propose? What the heck is going on here? Either way, the good points involved Warren's season long obsessions with Punk'd as well as Phil making whip noises at Ed. I do think Ed opened himself up for a lawsuit with the whole "locking your client in a wooden box" trick, but you can get away with anything on TV. I liked the antenna ball business idea to spice things up. Most shows wouldn't have thought of an original idea (Friends, come on down. New York. Coffee Shop. Single people trying to be funny while dating, yet talking about nothing consequential. Where have we seen this before, only funnier? Oh, that's right, Seinfeld.) I do think that it is time for the return of evil temptress Bonnie Hane. The actress is free. That awful Coupling show got canceled already (only the truly wretched Girls Club of last year died more quickly, despite the hopes of quasi-feminist college students everywhere. Two episodes is a tough record to beat). Carol's in New York. This couldn't be more perfect. I fear it will never be, as Ed is obsessed with Carol. It has nothing to do with the job in New York. They're not married. If she wants to go, I say go, but Ed needs to get a grip on reality here. For the first two seasons, beautiful women were dropping into his lap. I think he can find one in that group with the brains to go with the body, don't you think? I'm still enjoying the show for all its wacky hijinks, but Carol needs to get hit by a car or something. They could make it a murder and tie it in with Law and Order, then combine the two shows into one super episode.

Lastly, where is Biff/Sean's son? He's the one that got Molly and Biff introduced to each other, yet he's nowhere to be found. The only character more conspicuously absent is Rachel's baby on Friends. I've seen a few episodes this season since Janet watches it, and I keep asking her, "Doesn't she have a kid?" because you never see this baby unless it's convenient to the plot. I may not be a parent, but I was a kid, and kids don't only show up when it's convenient, especially when their parents aren't married and both of them are still trying to be dating machines. Yet another reason it's good riddance when that show stops after this year. Now if we could only get Will and Grace canceled.....

November 4, 2003

Roadrunner is the bane of my internet existence

It just hasn't been reliable the last few days. It's working now, thankfully, but that could change at any time.

I got another mark around my eyes today in the wrestling room. It was worth it though, so I'm not upset. I'm a little tired, but some dinner and Law and Order should get me all fired up for some grading and homework. Well, not exactly, but it will have to do. I don't know what to eat, though. Nothing is thawed, and I didn't go to Sylvia's for pizza, so it might be a rice night.

I thought my life was rather dull. Go to class, do homework, hang out at home, go wrestle. It's not bad, though, when I think about it. Janet and I went to look at a new place to live yesterday. It was an old duplex, but there were enough things wrong with the place that we won't be moving there any time. It was just too old and somewhat run down. The woman that lives there now seems to like it, but there are enough things to make a us look elsewhere. We want to move because we think we can get a lot more for not much more money. Also, the cinderblock walls and tile floors just aren't getting it done for us. To top it off, they're raising the rent again next summer. When we decided to live here, the rent was going to be 460 a month, which is pretty good around here. Then they raised it to 505, and they're raising it again to 530. All this, and they wonder why no one will live here. We hardly have any neighbors. I'm no accountant, but it seems that a full complex with lower rent would bring in more money than an empty one at high rent.

November 2, 2003

Trick or treat in a foreign land

We live in North Carolina, but it might as well be China or India in my complex here. Where else do you get a flyer in the complex newsletter that explains the concept of Halloween? That also explains why we only had 4 kids come to our apartment for trick or treat. Now we have a giant bowl of candy that taunts me constantly. In fact, I just ate a mini Reeses Fast Break. Those things are good. Hopefully, there will be enough candy left by Tuesday for me to take to RUF in my Halloween costume, assuming the last piece arrives in time.

Roadrunner isn't running

Our internet is still down. It came up briefly yesterday, but it's down now. I'm in the computer lab checking my email. I wish it would just come back. The silly Time Warner people need to quit messing around with their equipment and let me use the internet. All it does is make me upset, and nobody wants that. The internet in the lab is directly connected to NC State's network, and it's super fast. The 3GHz PIV I'm using it on doesn't hurt either. I also like the 18" flat panel monitors. I think I want one.

November 1, 2003

Sweet Fancy Moses

It changed my life. The Hot Now doughnuts at Krispy Kreme. You see, they have this giant neon sign that lights up whenever they're making glazed doughnuts. You can go in and order "hot now" doughnuts, and the guy will go back behind the glass and pick them straight off the conveyor belt mere seconds after the frosting has come off the waterfall and onto the doughnut. By the time the doughnut is in your mouth, it has only been cooked and frosted for less than a minute. At this point, you're not eating the doughnut, it's dissolving in your mouth. I don't think I can ever go back to regular doughnuts. Good thing Krispy Kreme is close by.

James, you haven't lived until you have some of these. Dunkin' Donuts is no good. Hot Now is where it's at. I have my other friend named James to thank for this one. He said it would change my life. I was admittedly skeptical, but hey, the man doesn't kid. There must have been 50 people there at 10:30 on a Friday night. Nothing like the Dunkin Donuts at Messiah, where it was usually just us and the Indians.