December 31, 2003

Last Blog of the Year

It's been a wild wild ride, 2003 has been. I graduated from college, got married, moved to North Carolina, and started grad school. I was in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. I got a new cousin (not to mention a whole bunch of in-laws from the wedding). The wedding featured the maid of honor attempting to tackle the piano and leaving the ceremony in an ambulance. I, personally, left in a Saab. Now, I'm off to a party to ring in the New Year, sing a song with indecipherable lyrics, and kiss my date.

December 30, 2003

Today I Joined the TLLB Blogosphere Ecosystem

Now she's four out of four

Hotel? Check. Duke? Check. Barnes and Noble? Check. Let's add NC State to the list. Janet got a call from the library today, telling her that they want to offer her a job. The only thing left is for HR to sign off on their decision and the job is hers. She was, without question, excited about the call. She'll end up making way more money and having such novelties as holidays off. She thinks she'll enjoy to job, since it's basically what she was hoping for all along. The only downside is that the hours are 11-8, but the reward for that is extra pay for those hours. Of course, I also have to get used to eating dinner at 8, and likely cooking it many nights, but that's ok, I'm good at it. Lastly though, Janet is all happy about getting to sleep in a bit more. Me? With the extra cash, we can move in the summer and buy me a MINI, which I plan to test drive this weekend during our trip to Virginia Beach to visit Liz.

December 29, 2003

Paper Boy

A little known fact about me is that I had a paper route once. It wasn't really my paper route, though I did help with it. Back in the day, when Katrina and I were homeschooled, my dad did a paper route with us through the neighborhoods of Silver Lake. It's a little town bordering Stow with a lot of senior citizens and expensive houses. The police like to give people tickets for driving 28 in a 25 zone. This tiny village has two lakes, the larger of which was a sizable amusement park until 1920, as well as the sight of the first airport in the county.

Anyhow, we delivered papers to the good people of Silver Lake. We got up early in the morning, put the papers together and set out in the car. We took turns running the papers up to the houses or tossing them in the driveway, whatever we were supposed to do. It was an extracurricular activity for the homeschool crowd. It's hard to remember all the details, since I was young, and a lot of the pertinent details happened before 6:30 in the morning. I remember doing some of the collecting, and going to the Chervenic house on the corner, since she was a realtor that did a lot of business in the area. It furthered my education somehow, though there was no need to worry about the kids getting sleepy in school, since school was mostly in the kitchen for that year and a half of homeschooling. Now my brother is doing the homeschool thing, but his extracurricular is being a member of the Nags skate team. You can see a video of him doing his thing here.

December 28, 2003

You Want Fun?

Who wants to have some fun? I mean who really wants to have fun? Who wants to have some fun, and who wants to just talk about having fun?

If you're interested in some fun, I suggest you check out Dave Barry's Year in Review, which is a month by month look at the past year. It will be funnier to you if you've read a newspaper or watched a television newscast at least once in the last year, so I guess that leaves James out, but the rest of you can enjoy it.

December 27, 2003

Christmas

James got an HP h4155 PDA for Christmas. I'm highly jealous of him and his wireless connectivity.

December 26, 2003

Fish and Chips

Have you ever fried anything on your stove? I highly recommend it. We saw Alton Brown doing it on Food Network's Good Eats, which is about the only cooking show I can stand. He tells you about the science of cooking and he often talks to the camera in his refrigerator. He made fish and chips, so we looked up the recipe on the Food Network website and went to town. For good measure, we made some onion rings that were delightful as well. Next time we might make some chicken fingers.

A few tips though, before attempting this on your own. First, when it says to use the whole gallon of oil in your 5 quart Dutch oven, don't do it. Leave room at the top of the pot if you don't want to get oil everywhere. Unfortunately, I had quite a cleanup job when I was done, but it was worth it. Also, you can use any polyunsaturated oil, not just safflower as it says in the recipe. We used Canola, since that was all we could find at Harris Teeter (the name of that store deserves a post of its own someday). Thankfully, we were able to cook dinner without burning ourselves or any of our stuff. Before attempting frying, make sure you have something to put the oil in when you are done, since you can use it for more than one frying.

Becoming a Nation of idiots?

Found on the Internet:

There was a problem with this word last year when a teacher in North Carolina used "niggardly" to describe some literary characters to her fourth grade class. One of the student's mothers was offended by this as she felt it was offensive to her and her African-American daughter. Why? Her reason was that the word sounded a lot like another N-word we all know too well.

Now, that is a true fact. It does have a similar sound to it. But the word "niggardly" means stingy, nothing worse than that. It certainly is not racial in any way. It is a word that has been around since 1571 and nothing more. Any connotation is brought by the listener, not the word itself.

What is most shocking to me about this is the teacher was ordered to attend sensitivity training and reprimanded in the school, ordered to never teach that word again. The meaning of the word is, apparently, immaterial. Who cares what it means? It sounds like something else and that is enough.

The sad thing is this is not an isolated incident. In 1999, the mayor of Washington, D.C, Anthony Williams accepted the resignation of a staff member for saying the word, "niggardly" during a meeting. I mean, if they guy had said, "Juice", would that be a problem too?

December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!

Have a great holiday, but stay away from this guy.

December 24, 2003

Cars for Spring?

It looks more and more like Janet and I will be purchasing a car this spring some time. We're going to be moving out of this apartment since the rent is going to go above what we think is reasonable for a place such as this. Since we don't know if that new place will be on the Wolfline, then a car might be necessary for me to go to school. More importantly, however, is the fact that I will be working this summer (as soon as I find a job), and I will need to get myself to said job every day. For most jobs, they just won't accept that I can come in whenever my wife isn't using the car, so I'll have to get my own.

That said, the car of choice at this instant is the venerable MINI Cooper. I still haven't gotten over my fascination, and the rave reviews I keep reading about all the cool stuff that comes standard and how well it drives isn't helping. The cost isn't that much. Now, I understand that it's not exactly basic transportation, but hey, I've never had my own car (I don't care what anyone says, that Saab is Janet's, and she lets me drive it). The way I see it, I should be able to drive it for quite a while since it should be pretty well built since those Germans at BMW got their hands on it. I will of course test drive it before deciding whether or not to buy it, but I think I will need some help deciding what color I want. It's an agonizing decision, as I'm sure you can understand, plus Janet has to be able to deal with it, which probably means you won't ever see me in a car with rapper gold paint.

December 23, 2003

Accents Away!

After living in several places and experiencing several different accents from all parts of the country, I've come to a conclusion. Regardless of my feelings for a particular place or people, there is nothing good about an accent that leaves out letters. To me, 26 letters is the absolute minimum that should be used in the English language. I don't care what Vikki says, there is nothing good about the Boston accent. Not only do they refuse to use all the letters, they add words that make no sense. I remember when it was cool to call things "wicked." I also remember being in 5th grade when that came and went. Anyhow, people where Vikki lives are faking it. She lives half as far from Providence, RI, as she does from Boston. The Boston accent isn't the only offender. There's the Southern accent, the Minnesota accent, the Pittsburgh accent (many people aren't aware of that one, but if you've ever heard anyone say warsh, you've heard it), the Vermont hick accent (again, not as familiar, but it's out there), the Appalachian accent (Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Southeast Ohio; for this one, it's mostly speaking really fast and trailing off at the end of every word). It's just what happens when people come from all over and end up in the same country. Also, being isolated only with people like you can perpetuate the accent. I'm willing to bet that someday the accents will mostly disappear with the way communication is going. Add that to the fact that you can't get on a television station of any reknown with an accent. Until then, I will deal with the Southern accent here in the South, though not every day.

December 22, 2003

Beds

After my daily wake up at 7:30, Janet left and went to sleep again, the next thing I remembered was looking at the clock and seeing that it was nearly 11:30. I can't remember the last time I slept that late, especially after getting to bed at my normal time. I guess I just needed some rest, though it's hard to imagine which part of my day on Sunday would have worn me out so much. Maybe I just have a comfortable bed.

It could be the bed. I do have a really comfortable bed. It's a queen size pillowtop from The Original Mattress Factory. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. They aren't that expensive when compared to every other mattress store, since they build them right there and you can go back and watch them make mattresses. The only thing that may stop you from getting one is the fact that there are only so many locations. After sleeping on the crap passed off as beds at Messiah, this is a welcome change. The pillowtop makes it all worthwhile. Next time you buy a bed, check this place out and just lay down on the pillowtop once. You'll never go back. Also, if you get the good one, you'll have it for a long time. Not as long as Messiah keeps their mattresses, but no one should have a bed that long.

December 21, 2003

Eating Outside in December?

That's what I did today after church. We went to MoJoe's for some burgers, and we ate in the enclosed outdoor area. Mind you, it was a bit cold and most of us wore our coats during the meal, but still, the very fact that we had the option to eat outside on December 21st is staggering to a couple of Yankees like Janet and I. I guess it's the way it goes when you live South of the Mason-Dixon line.

The burger I ate today was called the Carnivore. It had bacon and cheese and chili on it. It was pretty good. I like chili; I like burgers; I like bacon. It was a good combination and I will surely go back for more someday. The fries were pretty good as well. Maybe the only lowlight of the meal was the waitress. Her attitude left a little to be desired, and the weird tattoo of a woman missing some clothing on her right forearm was a little odd, but hey, we got our food.

December 20, 2003

New Look, Same Great Content

Saw this new template on the internet and thought I'd try it out, since I'm Spiderman and all. If I decide to go back to the old one, it won't be any trouble. Just let me know what you think.

December 19, 2003

Bad in State College, good in Columbus

Well, Joe Paterno has declared that he will continue to coach next year. He's nearly 77 years old and has been at the school for 53 years. He has had 4 losing seasons, and three of them are within the last 4 years. This year, Penn State set a record by losing nine games, most in the history of the school. They won three, but since they beat Kent State, I think it should only count as 2 1/2. This is all to say that I think it's time for JoePa to hang it up. He's starting to lose the recruiting game and lose touch with the players, I would think. Of course, this is just fine for me, since Penn State is on the schedule for the Buckeyes every year, and what's wrong with another easy conference win?

It was what I hoped for

Well, I got my grades back finally. Two A's and a B. That's somewhere between what I hoped for and what I expected. It was enough, however, to keep me employed as a TA and getting my tuition paid for by the great state of North Carolina. Perhaps I'll have more success next semseter, provided my teachers have a clue what they're doing up there and they have a command of the English language. In the course evaluations, there is a spot where you rank the professor's command of English. I would think that this should be taken for granted, considering that this is a country whose language is English, but that would be foolish of me. I gave one of my professors a 1 out of 5, and that's pretty much accurate. That right there is something I never had to deal with at Messiah. Of course, some of my fellow classmates don't even rate a 1, but that's a story for another time. The real issue isn't the language, it's what you do with it, and sadly, he missed there too. It was almost as if comprehension was a distant second to covering all the material he wanted to get through. That's frustrating right there. I mean, isn't it far better to understand what you've covered than to just simply race through the incomprehensible text? The professor had his priorities wrong, his English was barely passable, the textbook was all but useless, and the subject material is extraordinarily difficult. It was the perfect storm.

December 17, 2003

How you like them apples

Well, Vikki, take a break and relax about the Sox. Looks for all the world like A-Rod is on his way to Boston, and Nomar is on his way to Chicago for Magglio Ordonez. Theo Epstein couldn't have spun this one any better. The lineup the Red Sox are going to throw out there next year is terrifying. The weak link here is the second baseman, but with the rest of that team, I could play 2nd and hit ninth and there would be no problem. In addition to a potentially record setting offense, they will walk out three frontline starters and some guy named Wakefield. Then they can hand it off to their new closer, who led the league in saves last year. Good golly. Can anyone believe this is the same team that once employed Dan Duquette as its GM? The fun part of it is to see how many people Steinbrenner fires as a result of these shenanigans.

December 16, 2003

All Done

Finished off semester number one today. It was a good feeling to be standing on that corner waiting for Janet to come pick me up for the last time this semester. I capped off the semester with a hellish final and then some hard core exam grading. The intrepid TAs of ECE 200 fired off those last hundred finals with aplomb. Hopefully, the students did well. It's hard to say how they did, since I only graded two problems and they were pretty simple ones, though the mistakes these sophomores make never cease to amaze me. It's not a bad deal though, I'm sure they'll be lean, mean, engineering machines when they get to be seniors.....well, the ones that pass the class at least. Now, they won't likely match up to the high standards set by the class of 2003 electrical engineers at Messiah College, but that's a pretty high goal to shoot for. Not just anyone can walk into the room and claim to be as good as Amy Hall, but again, who can?

Of course, now the goal is to figure out what to do with myself until I am subject to classes again. Janet keeps telling me that someone needs to write books about sports for young teenagers, since there seem to be a lot of people asking for suck a book, but the supply is limited. Not sure I could do that in three weeks, but I could get a good beginning at least. I probably won't do it, since I might get published and become world famous and then I might end up quitting school to pursue my illustrious writing career. Well, it's fun to think about at least.

December 14, 2003

Ladies and Gentleman, America's Team

It's about stinking time that my Cowboys started playing like America's team again. They picked up win number nine today at the expense of the Washington Indigenous Persons (see TMQ for explanations). Terence Newman had three interceptions and they blanked them 27-0. Without Patrick Ramsey, the Persons were forced to start Tim Hasselbeck. The cowboys said to him, "Hello Mr. Hasselbeck. We don't care if your wife was on Survivor, we will still hold you to a passer rating of 0.0. Tim, you have been voted off the island." Well, they must have said something like that in order to beat him like a red haired stepchild.

At this rate, my 'Boys may even make the playoffs. Hard to believe I know. Frankly, nine wins is a monstrous accomplishment in the first year of the Parcells era. Imagine how many games they would win with an actual quarterback on the roster. I do remember the good old days when everyone else was in the rear view mirror. Just for you Jimmy, I remember watching former Steeler Neil O'Donnell spend the entire second half of the Super Bowl like he was a double agent working for the Cowboys. Either that, or he briefly forgot which team he wanted to win. It was great either way. That was the last time America's Team won the big game. It was all downhill from there. Michael Irvin nearly gets paralyzed while the Philadelphia crowd cheers him and his abnormally narrow spinal column. Emmitt starts to wish they had given him a bit more rest at the end of blowouts. Aikman and his soggy noggin' head off to Fox. Hopefully, they're on the way back up. I doubt they'll be able to cobble together an offense like they had back then, but it seems defense is the hot card to play these days, and they're doing all right there.

December 13, 2003

In case you didn't know

The degree to which Vikki will get stomped in any sort of competition is directly proportional to the amount of trash she talks before said event.

My Guy

I've been playing this cool computer game called Freedom Force. In it, you have a band of superheroes and you fight bad guys. Pretty standard fare. However, you can design your own superheroes and have absolute control of their costumes. The picture below is my first go at it. I haven't figured out what to call him yet, but I'm pretty sure he'll have fire and lightning as some of his powers. There are tons of websites to download characters. I found batman and superman, but I think it's more fun to make my own. Maybe I'll make a girl superhero next time.

More About Me

At the bottom of the About Me page you can read about my lifelong dream.

December 12, 2003

About Me

Attention: There is now an "About Me" section of the blog. Find the link in the top of the sidebar at the right of the page. It is short now, but will be updated in the future.

December 11, 2003

Unfortunately, my favorite show has decided to go all soap opera on me

I'm speaking of Ed, of course. The show is starting to tick me off. This week's episode wasn't bad, but the previews for next week are just making me cranky. I guess they just needed a way to keep the show "interesting" until May when the season will come to an end. All is not well in Stuckeyville (except for the ever more lovely Nancy Burton...has she been on Extreme Makeover, or am I just crazy). This last episode had a huge focus on the goings on at Stuckeyville High, yet Warren P. Cheswick was conspicuously absent. Where the heck is this kid. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Warren and Phil make the show go. The funniest part of last night's episode was when Eli called Phil (in all his tracksuited glory) the "Cincinnati Idiot." As for the whole pizza oven thing - nothing about it made me care or really even laugh. Lastly, at least as far as my favorite show goes, Vikki informs the world that Lea Thompson will be portraying Ed's ex wife in a few upcoming episodes. I'm not sure what's worse here: the fact that they're switching actresses that play Ed's first wife or the fact that Vikki is willingly admitting to looking at E! Online on purpose. Seriously Vikki, spend your time on better things, like Sons of Sam Horn, where you can go rant about your Sox.

I got my first grade in grad school back today. I got an A in ECE 561 Embedded System Design. I was pretty sure I did after walking out of the test, but it's still good to know for sure. Maybe I can keep the streak alive with Digital Signal Processing.

Now, a few nice links to keep you busy:
1. ESPN.com
2. Baseball Prospectus
3. Start your own Blog at Blogger
4. What's on TV?
5. Try a free office suite
6. Why I don't use Internet Explorer anymore

December 9, 2003

I miss all the good stuff

Apparently, there was an earthquake that hit 4.5 centered in Richmond, VA. I guess some people here in Raleigh were able to feel it. Janet and I didn't feel a thing. Maybe I was in the wrong part of Raleigh to feel it.

Unwrapped

Unwrapped is a cool show on the Food Network. They show you how a bunch of the foods we eat are made. Anything from candy to parmesan cheese. Today they were talking about the parmesan cheese, and it reminds me of a little story of my life.

Every time my family has eaten pasta as long as I can remember, my dad has asked me if I wanted any parmesan cheese. This would not be odd for normal people. For me, however, it's a special little time. I hate parmesan cheese, and I would never put it on anything at all. My dad knows this. I suppose I could excuse him if he simply forgot and was simply being polite. This isn't the case, unfortunately. He just likes to be difficult. It never fails. Spaghetti on the table, time to ask Andy if he wants the cheese. It's a vicious cycle. Thankfully, Janet doesn't really like it either, so I don't have to deal with this any more.

Well, our little get together tonight was a big success. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and we ended up watching the latest Charlie Brown Christmas movie that was on TV tonight. It was pretty funny, as they usually are. I'm pretty sure Rerun is giving Calvin a run for his money as the world's smartest six year old. I think Calvin is still ahead, but the gap is closing. As for the whole Peanuts franchise. I'm pretty sure Snoopy is my favorite character. I like Marcy, too. She's got the dry wit of the bunch dealing with Peppermint Patty. Unfortunately, neither of those two girls were in the latest offering. It was still good. Rerun wanted a dog, and we got to see pictures of all of Snoopy's brothers. Spike from the desert even made an appearance.

December 8, 2003

James and Vikki

Today I will write about James and Vikki, and what they have to say.

First, Big Daddy Jimmy B. He noticed that the ads at the top of the blogs are somewhat related to the content of the blogs. I noticed this a while ago when I had a bunch of references to Ohio State and those stupid, stupid, got my hopes up and dashed them to pieces Cowboys (Quincy Carter! Troy Hambrick! What was I thinking?). The ad at the top mentioned both of those esteemed football teams (if stupid Maurice Clarett could go to class and quit receiving "illegal benefits" and then lying to the police about it, I think we all know who would have a date for the Sugar Bowl). Anyhow, just wanted to mention that I had also noticed the ad thing. Also, I know why it took so much time to plow the roads around the Cove. You see, in Pennsylvania, they have two snow trucks. I'm pretty sure one of them makes sure Allen Iverson and can get to the arena, and the other one takes care of Pennsylvania's other roads. There are a lot of roads in Pennsylvania, so it takes awhile to get them all cleared with that one truck.

Now Vikki. There she goes pretending to teach math to high school students. I've seen the math they do in Biology in college. I can only imagine what they do in high school. The most complicated thing I ever saw a biology major do was Pascal's triangle. Not exactly triple integrals or Fourier transforms. On to the Red Sox. To me, this is one giant no brainer. If you can afford Alex Rodriguez, then gosh darnit, you get Alex Rodriguez! This guy is just easing into his prime. He's the best hitter in the American League and he plays the most important position. I don't care about Nomar and his giant nose. If anyone had any brains, all they have to do is shift him over to second now that Walker is gone and have the best middle infield in the big leagues. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that will happen. Bill Simmons, the former Boston Sports Guy, said it best:
There's a nagging sense that, like Julia Roberts, Nomar's best days are behind him. It's not like he's washed up -- he just isn't someone who gets mentioned in those "Who's the next guy to hit .400?" articles anymore. At his absolute apex, he strode to the plate, did his "Rain Man" routine with his gloves, swung at the first pitch -- whether it was at his head, his feet, rolling to the plate, or whatever -- and belted the living hell out of it. He sprayed line drives like a machine gun. It was almost freakish. And then he broke his wrist ... and three years have passed, and he's settled into that ".301 BA, .340 OBP, 25 HR, 115 RBI" stage of his career. Yeah, it's good enough to make the All-Star team. But it's not the same Nomar.

You see, Vikki, that .301/340/25/115 guy is good enough, but A-Rod is like 2 of that guy and figures to be for quite a while. Some day you will tell you grandkids about watching A-Rod. The only thing you'll tell them about Nomar is that he married that soccer player and looked like he had Tourette's when he came to the plate.

December 7, 2003

Exam Week

I have exams this week. It's always a fun time of year. I have two of the buggers tomorrow. One at 1 and another at 6. I did some studying today. Not too much though. One of the tests is open book, and I'll do more studying for the other one after the first one is done. I don't really like to have to study for two things at once, so I try to avoid it if at all possible. Some of the questions people ask in review sessions really crack me up. I guess some people deal with nerves by asking questions. People ask how many questions, what they'll cover, that sort of thing. I always figure the professor will give us the information we're supposed to have. Anything else is up to us. It does amaze me that these grad students who should have taken hundreds of tests still act this way. Perhaps it's where they grew up and went to undergrad. It seems that the students asking these questions and having these concerns are nearly all foreign. I think Americans have been in the U.S. educational system long enough to have relaxed to the point by now where they know what to expect from professors and exams. Maybe they have the same concerns but aren't as bold as the foreign students. I doubt that's it, but who knows. I may not be the best person to evaluate this, since I'm pretty laid back, though.

December 5, 2003

The Wimps of Central Pennsylvania

Well, the schools surrounding Messiah College are closed today, I'm told. This boggles the mind. A quick check of The Weather Channel shows that it did not snow an inch yesterday there, and the forecast (just the forecast, not actual data) is for 2 to 4 inches. This happens all the time there. Mind you, it hasn't actually snowed 2 to 4 inches, it just might. Yet they closed school. Pennsylvania needs to do one of two things. Either suck it up and act like a real northern state, or else move somewhere a little further south where it isn't weird if a little snow cancels school. Just next door in Ohio, they wait until the first third grader has died of hypothermia before closing school, and they make sure the kid wasn't sick to begin with, just to be sure. The real cake taker was last winter when school was closed and it hadn't snowed in three days. They just decided not to clean up the snow. I suppose I ought to get used to the idea. I've heard that stuff closes around here when it snows, looks like it's going to snow, might snow, or anyone named Snow is visiting the area.

There are three different types of snow drivers in my experience. The first type is the type that would just as soon stay home. If you see them on the road, they are the one driving no faster than 14 miles per hour regardless of the road condidtion. It's as if the white powdery stuff falling from the sky triggers something in their brain the make them drive slow. The second type is the type I'd imagine most people are. This type takes stock of the conditions and adjusts their driving accordingly. No slick roads, drive close to normal. Ice on the highway, better slow down. The third type is the scariest. These are people who make no adjustment for the climate. Oftentimes they will make some sort of excuse along the lines of "I'm from New England, I know how to drive in the snow." (it's even worse when it comes from someone from Connecticut, where it really doesn't snow that much because it's near the ocean) In my experience, they're saying this while fishtailing down the road. Unfortunately, the ice and snow can't read a license plate and decide to not make that car crash.

December 3, 2003

Three Quick Things

1. Messiah College is a bunch of liars. They told me that my email account would be deactivated on December 1st, yet I just checked it today on December 3rd.

2. I only have to go to my Random Processes final, and then I never have to go again. Ever.

3. Happy Anniversary to my parents, who were married 24 years ago today.

December 2, 2003

How does this stuff happen

Ok, so we were supposed to have a problem solving session in class with the TA in Random Processes because the professor is out of town. Somehow, the TA has worse English than the professor, and she doesn't know the material nearly as well as he does. This is a problem. You ask a question, she kind of answers it, and you don't quite understand all the words. The first time she said "variable" one of the guys I know looked at me and said, "what the heck did she just say?" The bigger problem was that I didn't know the answer any more than he did. This is a word you will say perhaps a thousand times in college for engineering, yet she could not say it in a manner that was remotely close to the accepted English pronunciation. It did not help that she is from a China, where they seem to forget to teach their students how to pronounce all 26 letters before shipping them over here. L and V seem to give them the most trouble, as well as the previously documented case of my professor saying "shift", but leaving the "f" out every time.

Well kids, I read a set of articles in Time Magazine about jobs in America. It seems that the "jobless recovery" we've been hearing about is turning into a job recovery. Jobs are coming back. November was the third straight month where jobs were created, to the tune of 126,000 last month alone. The real winners here have always been the winners in the job market. Mommies and Daddies, tell your boys and girls to become health care professionals. There is never a recession in health care. The number of registered nurses in this country is expected to increase by 561,000 by 2010. That's why hospitals are throwing around free insurance and $10,000 bonuses like so much candy. My good friend Liz will pretty much have her choice of places to work once she gets out. I'm hoping I'll have similar choices, but for more money when I get out of here. We'll just have to see. Hopefully the job I want hasn't been exported to India by the time I'm looking for it.